Apr 302013
 

Oblivion Movie Poster-Click to view trailersThe year is 2077: Jack Harper (Cruise) serves as a security repairmen stationed on an evacuated Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying alien threat who still scavenges what’s left of our planet, Jack’s mission is almost complete. In a matter of two weeks, he will join the remaining survivors on a lunar colony far from the war-torn world he has long called home.

Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, Jack’s soaring existence is brought crashing down after he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Drawn to Jack through a connection that transcends logic, her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he thought he knew. With a reality that is shattered as he discovers shocking truths that connect him to Earth of the past, Jack will be pushed to a heroism he didn’t know he contained within. The fate of humanity now rests solely in the hands of a man who believed our world was soon to be lost forever.

Release Date: April 19, 2013; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity); Genres: Action/Adventure, Adaptation, Sci-Fi/Fantasy; Run Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Writers: Joseph Kosinski (original story); Karl Gajdusek and Michael DeBruyn (screenplay)

Actors: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, Andrea Riseborough

The new film from the director Joseph Kosinski who directed 2010’s Tron Legacy, has two things going for it, his great visual style and a fanstastic score provided by M83. The film is beautiful, having been filmed with 4K cameras which is definitely the way to see it as it was stunning. Underneath the film is an amalgamation of a number of sci-fi films that came before. One reviewed said it was the most expensive episode of “The Twilight Zone.” I couldn’t agree more. It is definitely not a masterpiece, but to the open-minded viewer it provides more than enough to give you an easy two hours of entertainment and interesting landscapes. Continue reading »

Invictus – A Movie Review

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Jul 032010
 

The true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

Genres: Drama, Adaptation, Biopic and Sports; Running Time: 2 hrs, 14 mins.; Release Date: December 11th, 2009; MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern, Julilian Lewis Jones and Bonnie Henna

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

We watched this as a download a couple of weekends ago. (I know, I’m behind.)

This is set in the early ’90s, and covers the first year of Nelson Mandela’s presidency and how he pushed the nation’s rugby team, led by captain Francois Pienaar, to achieve World Cup glory. You have to remember that most of the players on the team were white, and the “Sprinboks” were still seen by many as a symbol of apartheid. This meant Mandela was risking the very base that pushed him into office.

Morgan Freeman completely immerses himself into the role of Mandela, and gives one of the best performances of the year. Not only are his accent and tone of voice quite good, but he brings a true 3-dimensionality to the role. Compare, for example, him having tea with Francois, to talking with his family, and to making a political speech. Freeman nailed every facet of Mandela’s life.

Damon also excels as Pienaar, the solid enough rugby player who must do more than just lead by example for his team. The screenplay, adapted by Anthony Peckham, doesn’t offer many narrative surprises, but it does do a good job examining not only the strife South Africa was in when Mandela was elected, but also the value of the team to the entire nation.

Eastwood wisely plays the material straight. Though the material may seem familiar, the performances by Damon and especially Freeman are what elevate this tale into a solid and even uplifting drama. There’s enough suspense to get things interesting, even though we know the outcome. All-in-all, a pretty good movie.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)
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Se7en – A Movie Review

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Jul 252008
 

Movie Poster for Se7enLt. William Somerset, a burnt-out veteran cop, is on the brink of retirement. Forced to train his ambitious and eager replacement, Somerset is teamed with Detective David Mills on an investigation that draws these disparate cops deeper and deeper into the twisted world of a cunning and meticulous criminal. He is methodical, exacting and grotesquely creative. He is known as John Doe and he is the most vicious serial killer alive, fashioning murders based on the seven deadly sins. As each new victim is discovered, the detectives must combine their collective experiences to track the trail of a killer bent on seeking attrition for society’s sins.

Genres: Drama, Thriller and Crime/Gangster; Running Time: 2 hrs. 5 min.; Release Date: September 22nd, 1995; MPAA Rating: R for grisly afterviews of horrific and bizarre killings, and for strong language.

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, Richard Roundtree, Kevin Spacey

Directed by: David Fincher

This was a movie we watched weekend before last. It was better than I expected. I started watching this movie and i couldn’t stop until it was over. This gritty film about a serial killer who is doling out punishments according to The Seven Deadly Sins, and leaving a trail of crumbs that lead two police officers to a final act that will leave you stunned with disbelief. What a great storyline and the acting was pretty good. Freeman played a great cop and an extremely creepy Kevin Spacey is an exceptional demented bad guy. Brad Pitt is much younger then, and some inexperience comes through, but overall he handles the part reasonably well. The ending of this movie will shock you, probably my favorite ending of any movie and it’s not often you see Hollywood end a movie like this. Such a dark movie that it will leave you thinking about it for days after the movie. You have to see this one.

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Lucky Number Slevin

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Dec 102006
 

Lucky Number SlevenA case of mistaken identity lands Slevin (Josh Hartnett) into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city’s most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley) and The Boss (Morgan Freeman). Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci) as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat (Bruce Willis) and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.

Directed by
Paul McGuigan

Genres
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Cast
Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Michael Rubenfeld, Peter Outerbridge, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Chamberlin, Dorian Missick, Mykelti Williamson, Scott Gibson, Daniel Kash, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Sam Jaeger

I just really do not recall seeing the trailers for this movie, and we certainly didn’t watch it at the theater. However, we rented this movie last weekend. I didn’t get around to watching it until Thursday night. Lay had watched it the night before, and had really liked it.

Lucky Number Slevin – no, that’s not a typo – will easily be dismissed as Tarantino-esq. Starring Josh Hartnett as the unlucky title character, the film has more twists and turns than a high-tech roller-coaster, but it’s just as much fun.

Directed with breakneck technique by Paul McGuigan from a clever though highly implausible script by Jason Slimovic, the film is cast, with one minor exception, impeccably. It marks the first role that justifies Josh Hartnett’s hype, and bestows Lucy Liu the most normal – and incandescent – part of her career. It’s a bonus that they have palpable on-screen chemistry, as well as great foils in the guise of Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman (though Ben Kingsley’s high-strung performance as The Rabbi is a miscalculation). The film itself is stylized – written in high gumshoe/screwball mode, with a guided tour of ugly wallpapers throughout history as part of its hard-boiled milieu – though the actors’ convictions root the topsy-turvy narrative in recognizable human terrain.

At its best, Lucky Number Slevin has the feel of a minor John Huston caper directed, with prankish glee, by Brian DePalma. It’s a blood-revenge thriller with no depth, though there are reservoirs of feeling in Hartnett’s and Liu’s performances, as well as wit. Liu seems to the screwball manor born. And Hartnett prances around for nearly 30 minutes of screen time in nothing more than a long purple towel and a quizzical expression. He’s such a game actor that his performance is both a put-on and homage to the long line of Macguffins in film noir. With, of course, a twist.

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