Movie Review – Interstellar

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Jun 062015

InterstellarIn the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen its lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Matthew McConaughey, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Matt Daymon, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace
Runtime: 169 min; Rated: PG-13; Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi; Released: 07 Nov 2014

I watched this one afternoon a few weeks ago on Amazon Streaming. (Yes, I am way behind on my reviews.) I would like to have seen it in iMax. It was a very good movie, and I enjoyed it, but thought the story could have been told just a little more concisely. Continue reading »

Alice In Wonderland

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Mar 152010

Movie Poster for Alice in Wonderland19-year-old Alice returns to the whimsical world she first met as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen’s reign of terror.

Genres: Fantasy and Adaptation; Running Time: 1 hr. 49 min.; Release Date: March 5th, 2010 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover

Directed by: Tim Burton

I love Tim Burton and I love Johnny Depp even more, which means I really wanted to love this movie. But alas, it is a unrequieted love.

[callout title=Favorite Characters]While we love Johnny Depp, it was the CGI creations Tweedledee and Tweedledum that had us laughing the most.[/callout]It’s often said a camel is a horse designed by a committee, and having served on lots of committees, I know of whence they speak.  Alice in Wonderland is a Tim Burton film designed by Disney fatcats in a boardroom. They spent so much time worrying about selling it as a product that they completely forgot about putting together a half-decent story.

Mia Wasikowska’s Alice has no character arc; she is exactly the same by the end of the film, and her journey is utterly pointless. I came out of the theater wondering if it were just the mediocre script or the director who had failed to meet my expectations. The narrative thrust is so weak that they have to resort to a mostly hollow battle scene in order to keep everyone awake.

Depp, as usual, played his part perfectly. That man can say more with the lift of eyebrow (prominent ones in this film), that most actors in pages of dialogue. The visuals themselves were stunning, and as in Avatar (although I admit to dodging one time), I was pleased that the 3-D effects were used more to immerse you in Wonderland, than to used to startle. However, as beautiful as the visuals were, they just didn’t seem to add to the story, and the story is all about Wonderland. By the end of the movie, I just kept wanting the Rabbit break out into the “I’m Late, I’m Late” song.

All that being said, the movie is probably worth seeing, but I don’t know if I’d worry about paying the extra for the 3-D version, and you might just enjoy it more on DVD when it comes out.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)

Get Smart – A Movie Review

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Jul 082008

Get SmartMaxwell Smart is on a mission to thwart the latest plot for world domination by the evil crime syndicate known as KAOS. When the headquarters of U.S. spy agency Control is attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, the Chief has no choice but to promote his ever-eager analyst Maxwell Smart, who has always dreamt of working in the field alongside stalwart superstar Agent 23. Smart is partnered instead with the only other agent whose identity has not been compromised: the lovely-but-lethal veteran Agent 99. As Smart and 99 get closer to unraveling KAOS’ master plan–and each other–they discover that key KAOS operative Siegfried and his sidekick Shtarker are scheming to cash in with their network of terror. Given little field experience and even less time, Smart–armed with nothing but a few spy-tech gadgets and his unbridled enthusiasm–must defeat KAOS if he is to save the day.

Genres: Comedy, Thriller and Adaptation; Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.; Release Date: June 20th, 2008 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some rude humor, action violence and language.

Director: Peter Segal

Cast: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terrence Stamp

I used to watch the old series and Don Adams is a unique comic actor. Steve Carrell’s portrayal of Maxwell Smart was very good. There’s enough of the old stuff to keep you reminiscing and even a fun little cameo from one of the surviving members of the original cast. Even more so than earlier film attempts, they made this for the big screen with action that would’ve never been possible on the old series. For those who may not remember the original series, this is a great primer to go and catch up with it if you can.

I think the main disappointment for me was a lack of chaos (pun intended). In the series, Smart seemed to just leave a constant stream of chaos in his wake. There was less of that here. All the larger and expected gags were there, but it just lacked a lot of the little gags that were so much a part of the series. But overall it’s a good watch.

Long Live C.O.N.T.R.O.L.!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

The Devil Wears Prada

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Jul 172006

Devil_Wears_Prada.jpgA naive young woman comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly. ?

Directed by
David Frankel

Comedy, Drama

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier, Tracie Thoms, Rich Sommer, Simon Baker, Daniel Sunjata, Jimena Hoyos, Rebecca Mader, Tibor Feldman, Stephanie Szostak, David Marshall Grant, James Naughton

We went to see ths movie Sunday night.

Meryl Streep is brilliant. Without a doubt, she delivers the first Oscar-worthy performance of the year. Streep remains calm and cold throughout the entire film. She also manages to humanize Miranda. Her subtle brilliance is captivating, and one cant help but feel honored to watch her work!

It’s the story of a young girl who moves to NYC to become a journalist but finds herself working as an assistant for a top notch fashion magazine, which is way out of her style league. The girl is a go-getter so she does what she has to do to make it work and ends up becoming the right hand (wo)man to the editor and chief changing her life (for better or worse) forever.

Anne Hathaway delivers a charming performance that is incredibly likable. Despite being the main character, she is completely upstaged by Streep and Tucci.

Stanely Tucci is the definition of a scene stealer in “Prada”. He comes off as a catty, yet sweet, “fairy godmother” figure. If the Academy decides to give comedies some love, expect Tucci and Streep to make the cut.

Emily Blunt also adds some laughs to “Prada”.

The movie is definitely a feel-good and has you leaving the theater with a smile and a bit more confidence in your walk. I absolutely recommend it and apologize for not giving more details, but it’s too good and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone!

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