The Entertainment Podcast ...... Where the Stars Talk!

 

Movie Reviews - short and to the point without giving away the whole story, from On Screen & Beyond!

1 Slate = Don't bother                       2 Slates = Not bad

3 Slates = Worth seeing                     4 Slates = Must See

JORDON SAFFRON TASTE THIS!                           Synergetic   Jordon Saffron Taste This is a mockumentary which follows the struggles of an over the top celebrity chef who loses his ability to taste food and his journey to get it back.  The film has some laughs with it's reality style feel.  Steve Schirripa (The Sopranos) gives a good performance as Saffron's cooking show partner.  Overall the film is a little uneven and some perfomances are weak, but it still delivers in the end.  2 slates

 

2012                                                                                      Columbia Pictures - Sony Pictures - PG-13  It may have been tops at the box ofice, but that doesn't mean it's good!  Be prepared for a long drawn out film, that part way thru you will be squirming in your seat wondering why do I keep coming to see these disaster movies and expecting something good?  This is your typical end of the world film, complete with beyond belief survival antics from John Cusack.  Wait for the DVD and have more money to spend on snacks or something else.  2 out of 4 slates. 

UP IN THE AIR     

Dreamworks  Pictures - R  George Clooney stars in Jason Reitman's fantastic film about a man who is hired to fire people at various companies across the nation.  Living his life mainly in the sky and at numerous hotels out of a suitcase, his life at home is something he has no problem leaving behind - despite how little there is left of it.  That is until his company suddenly grounds him.  Vera Farmiga co-stars and has great on-screen chemistry with Clooney, while Anna Kendrick really shows her abilities as Clooney's trainee which is nice to see that she can go beyond the role of vampire.  Great enjoyable quirky film - I give it 4 out of 4 slates!  Reviewed by Min 

THE BLIND SIDE                                                              Warner Brothers Pictures - PG-13  This is, without a doubt, the feel good movie of the year.  An excellent story, casting and showing what can happen when people help each other.  Sandra Bullock shows her true acting ability with a great performance.  Take the family, friends, whoever, but don't miss this one.  4 out of 4 stars! 

PLANET 51                                                       

TriStar Pictures - PG-13  Animated films either go fo the mix of adults and kids or just kids.  Planet 51 has a problem, it doesn't seem to know who it wants to please.  There are some funny and entertaining parts for all, but in general the youngest viewers will be captivated by the bright colors and thats it.  Not bad, not good, but ok, wait for the DVD.   3 out of 4 stars.  reviewed by Ken

CRAZY HEART                                                                       Fox Searchlight - R  Jeff Bridges is outstanding in his role as Bad Blake; a country-music singer who struggles with alcoholism and relationships with others. When he meets a local journalist, played beautifully by Maggie Gyllenhaal, he begins to connect as she discovers the man behind the musician who calls him self Bad Blake. Robert Duvall's performance is also fantastic - but I wasn't completely sold on Colin Farrell as a country-music performer. It is impressive that Bridges, Duvall and Farrell all do their own singing in the film! This film is an amazing story and it's no wonder Bridges has already won the Golden Globe and SAG award for best male performance in a drama - bring on the Oscar!   4 out of 4 stars! 

AVATAR    

20th Century Fox - PG-13  After more than a decade, James Cameron's latest film Avatar has rocked our world, our sensories, and the box office. Cameron has had this film in mind since 1995 when he wrote an 85-page treatment but the technology was not developed nor available at that time. So what did James Cameron do? He built his own high-def 3D camera and equipment so that during filming he could see the world and people of Pandora as it was filmed. And while he was at it, he had a linguist from USC create a new language for the Na'vi people of Pandora - and the list goes on. This movie will blow your mind - you will be convinced that people are wearing prosthetics and only a little CG was used - but you'd be wrong. Everything in this film is completely indistinguishable from reality - it's simply out of this world. See it in 3D. 4 out of 4 slates.  Reviewed by Min 

LOVELY BONES                                                             PARAMOUNT PICTURES - PG-13 From the best-selling novel, Peter Jackson brings us the film starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Rachel Weisz. There is a reason a novel is a novel -and it should remain that way particularly in this situation. While Tucci's performance as the creepy neighbor is prominent but the viewer is hammered over the head throughout the entire film making sure they remember that it is a Peter Jackson film. We get it - don't over do it. 2 out of 4 slates.   Reviewed by Min

EVERYBODY'S FINE                                                     Miramax Films - PG-13 A rather sad film about a father (played by Robert DeNiro) who sets out across the nation to visit his children after 8 months since his wife passed away. It's a nice but quite sad story about life and parents expectations of their children. Nothing outstanding just a very simple film - but DeNiro's performance is respectable. 2 out of 4 slates. reviewed by Min 

MILTON GLASER TO INFORM & DELIGHT                        New Video  I found this DVD to quiet interesting.  It's about graphic designer Milton Glaser.  Many people may not recognize his name, but you do know his work...he is the man behind the famous "I (heart) NY" campaign, which we still see on t-shirts all the time, as well as other campaigns including posters and album covers.  A true pop-culture icon.             2 1/2 slates

 

WILLIAM KUNSTLER DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE       New Video  This documentary takes a look at lawyer Willian Kunstler through the eyes of his daughters.  For a documentary that can sometimes be a red flag, but in this case it works, for the better.  It is a memorial and an insight into a man who fought for the rights of those who were being repressed and the film features appearances by Harry Belafonte and Sen. Julian Bond.           2 1/2 slates

 

THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS             

MG FILM -  From the warped but overly creative mind of director Terry Gilliam comes Heath Ledger's final film, 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.' Colorful and bizarre yet seemingly enchanting - this film goes beyond any sense of normalcy. Ledger's performance is very well done and it's sad to think he was unable to complete this film - but when his character transforms while in Parnassus' imagination - comes Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrel's take on the character. We could've done without Law in this film all together - Depp by far is the strongest actor of them all. Christopher Plummer and Tom Wait's performances are pretty great as well. The story itself is somewhat confusing at the beginning and there are chunks missing and things left unexplained. Maybe that's Doctor Parnassus wanting us to use our imagination?? 3 out of 4 slates!   Reviewed by Min

AN EDUCATION

Sony Picture Classics - PG-13  Peter Sarsgaard stars in this quaint film about a teenage girl (played by Carey Mulligan) living in London circa the 1960's whose dream is to attend Oxford until she meets a mysterious man (Sarsgaard) twice her age who sweeps her off her feet into the lives of the upper class. As her relationship develops, she quickly realizes the truth behind the gold curtain. Alfred Molina co-stars. Strong story, Mulligan's performance is stunning. 4 out of 4 slates. Reviewed by Min

PRECIOUS                                                                       Lionsgate - R Most people, myself included, thought I would have to mentally prepare myself for 2 hours of complete and utter depression while watching this film. I was about 85% correct - though it wasn't as sad and depressing as I thought it would be. Precious tells the story about a young girl living in the inner city who has had a very rough and sad childhood while living with her mother, played by Mo'Nique. Gabourey Sidibe's performance as Precious is remarkable but it's Mo'Nique's performance as her mother who stands out - especially at the end of the film. 3 out of 4 slates.   Reviewed by Min

THE YOUNG VICTORIA                                                    Apparition - PG Emily Blunt portrays Queen Victoria during her first years on the throne and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. While the trailer is better than the actual film and the story itself is quite lackluster - the costumes and Blunt's performance are the sole highlights. There just simply isn't enough to keep the audience's attention throughout this film - it's not that interesting. Not worth seeing in the theatres - rent it and save yourself some money. 2 out of 4 slates. reviewed by Min 

THE HURT LOCKER                                                          Summit Entertainment - Director Kathyrn Bigelow's latest film is BRILLIANT! A MUST-SEE!! Not only are the performances exceptional but the story line itself is so intense you will be on the edge of your seat thinking something is going to happen any second through the entire film. Not for those who don't like war movies or can't handle some gruesome scenes. I think this should win for Best Picture hands down! 4 out of 4 slates. Reviewed by Min

SHERLOCK HOLMES            

Warner Bros. - PG-13  Robert Downey Jr takes us away for an exciting ride and pumps new life into the old story of Sherlock Holmes!  This movie has everything, wit, romance, comedy and adventure rolled into one fantastic, yet sometimes confusing movie.  The plot is at times all over the map, but still well worth the price of a ticket!  3 out of 4 slates!   Reviewed by Samantha

TWILIGHT SAGA : NEW MOON                                              Summit Entertainment - PG-13  Ok, let's give this a try.  I have to say I liked this installment of Twilight better than the first, but I didn't care much for this one either.  The acting by Pattinson and Stewart is just so blah!  The books are far superior to the films.  Will the next film be better?  My hopes are it will, but the reality is  no.  2 out of 4 slates.  reviewed by Tammy 

CITIZEN DUANE                                                              MTI - PG-13  Citizen Duane is a entertaining film which follows the life of a high school boy who is tormented by the class bully and ends up running for mayor of the city he lives in.  It's funny, has a heart and doesn't go in the direction you would think.  It's worth watching!    3 out of 4 stars.

 

CREATURE OF DARKNESS                                             MTI - R   A group of off-road all terrain riders are terrorized and killed one by one by not a crazed human killer, but by an alien!  Similar to the usual teen party slasher movies, but with a twist.  The close-up images of the alien are very well done showing great detail....the running shots of the alien are CGI and well, it's CGI .  It brings back memories of the old Creature Feature films.   2 out of 4 slates. 

 

THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD                      Docuramafilms  The Yes Men take on Corporate America by posing as representatives of major companies and causing mayhem through their pranks.  In one of the segments, they pose as Dow Chemical reps and make an announcement of compensating the victims of the Bhopal, India disaster which is braodcast to 300 million people around the world on TV and Dow's stock plunged by two billion dollars instantly!  You get the picture.  Bonus features are included.            2 1/2 slates

 

VIGILANTE                                                                               MTI - R   Vigilante is a low budget film which is actually not bad.  Lots of fight scenes and a somewhat coherent storyline.  Good guy gets savagely beaten and girlfriend killed...Good guy recovers, worksout and seeks revenge on all bad guys, ending with the guys who killed his girl...all while wearing a black turtleneck and ski mask.  The biggest problem with the film is the poor audio.  At times, the music overpowers the people speaking and you can't hear what they are saying.  Overall it's not bad if you like revenge films.  2 out of 4 slates. 

***UPDATE*** The studio has informed us that the early screening copy of the DVD we received did have audio issues which have been corrected in the final consumer release.  So enjoy! - OSB

JUSTIN TIME                                                                             MTI  Justin Time is enjoyable for the whole family.  Kids will get a kick out of it and the pace keeps the interest of adults as well.  It deals with a ancient medallion that can stop time for a short time, the boy who has it and the man who will stop at nothing to get it.  There is action, snowboarding and even some light comedy sprinkled in.    2 1/2 slates

 

BITCH SLAP                                                                             20th Century Fox - R  Bitch Slap is a homage to the "B" movies of the 50's - exploitation films.  It's raw, violent, sexy and over the top.  Some people might be offended, but hey, chill, it's a movie folks.  Get over it.  These women fight better than Rambo and the Terminator put together.   It will not win any Oscar's, but it doesn't take itself seriously and you'll see cameo's from Lucy Lawless and Kevin Sorbo.  Catch it on DVD and have fun.  2 1/2 slates

 

MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT              Sony Pictures Entertainment - PG  The true Jackson fan will love this final look at the performer before his death.  The music, the dancing, the showmanship,  all show what a great performer he was.  A bit self-indulgent at times, but that was the way it was.  Just the performing of "Thriller" makes it worth seeing as well as the other classics.  This film shows Michael doing what he did best.  Take away all the problems he had in his life and you have a great showman.      3 out of 4 stars.

SAW VI                                                                                       Lions Gate Films - R  You can tell when a movie franchise is running out of gas, they resort to more and more blood and gore to shock you.  Now, Saw has never been low on the blood flow, but the story flow is definitely slowing down.  It seems to be just moving along trying to torture more and more and sling the blood and guts around, hoping to slap you silly on the side of your head, trying to force you to like it.  I'm not sure who was tortured more, the actors on screen or the audience?  Wait for it on DVD or better yet...skip it!   2 reluctant slates out of 4

Another view - The sixth installment of the SAW series is out and welcomed with open arms! While Saw IV and V were story driven, VI has come back with more gore than ever before! We're talking more gore than any of the recent films; it's brutal and bloody! Not for the weak of mind or stomach for that matter. Saw VI answers many questions that fans have been pondering for the past few films and the viewer is left satisified but ready for more. Bring on Saw VII (which is rumored to be in 3D!) 3 out of 4 slates! reviewed by Min

COUPLES RETREAT                                                        

Universal Pictures - PG-13  Couples Retreat is a very funny film that you will enjoy!  Usually October is filled with "Filler Films", where the studios place weaker films until the blockbusters come out in November and once in a while a gem is found.  This is one of those films.  It's funny and at times, dare I say it?, thought provoking!  The only reason it doesn't get 4 slates is because of the ridiculous and blatant product placement "commercial", which really doesn't even fit into the story, other than to pay for the exotic location of the film.  Come on Hollywood, don't insult us.  3 out of 4 stars.

ZOMBIELAND                                                                          Columbia Pictures - R  Finally, a horror film with a sense of humor!  Woody Harrelson and the gang take on zombies, giving you a fair share of blood and guts and a smile.  You have to enter the theater with an open mind, lighten up and enjoy and you will have a good time...escape into the world of Zombieland!  4 out of 4 stars! 

 

THE CARETAKER                                                                    MTI - R   The Caretaker starts out as standard teen slasher fare, but has some twists that puts it above the usual slasher stuff.  Death toll is high, but blood factor is low (which I thought was refreshing, they could have gone for the "let the blood flow mentality" but they didn't...thumbs up for that).  2 out of 4 slates. 

REMARKABLE POWER                                                              MTI - R  Listed as a comedy, I found the comedy level very dark and very low.  In fact, it is quite gruesome at times.  There was more blood in this than in most horror movies!  Tom Arnold gives a good performance, as does Kevin Nealon, but even that can't pull the film up out of the trenches.  There are plenty of twists and turns in the film and in the end it all meshes together!  2 out of 4 slates. 

CASH                                                                                          MTI - R  Cash has to be the badass of all badasses.  This guy just keeps on going, leaving death and destruction behind him.  After being released from prision, (why they would ever let him out after everything he does to get in there in the first place, I don't know), he sets out to seek revenge on Hector Gonzales, a mob leader who set him up and left him for dead.  Very violent, not for the kiddies!  2 out of 4 slates. 

SPEED DATING                                                                      MTI - R  Speed Dating is an enjoyable, quirky film about a man who is having bad luck in the dating pool after being left by his girlfriend.  Multiple twists within the film make for a pleasant and funny movie.  All the actors come through with well done performances.  It may not be a Hollywood blockbuster, but if your looking for a  good solid movie, check this one out!   2 1/2 slates

 

TAKING WOODSTOCK                                                             Focus Features - R  Director Ang Lee tries his hand at portraying a story of how Woodstock came to be - and just as the hippie generation moved peacefully and slowly, so does this film. About as slow as molasses actually. Demetri Martin's performance as the main character throughout the film seemed as though he was reading right from the page. The random horses that character Michael Lang would enter on into scenes with was so ridiculous it took you out of the already uncomfortable film. Overall, the film doesn't hold up to the hype even though Eugene Levy, Emile Hirsch and Liev Schreiber are part of the cast. 2 out of 4 slates. Reviewed by Min

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS                                                        The Weinstein Company - R  Quentin Tarantino is back and better than ever! This film is FANTASTIC!! Christoph Waltz's performance as Col. Hans Landa by far is the highlight of the entire film. Brad Pitt is entertaining as well alongside the rest of his Basterd crew. The entire film is true Tarantino style: from the music, editing, humor, and random violent killings you won't realize that you just sat through a 2 1/2 hour film. A definite must-see in the theaters! 4 out of 4 slates!  Reviewed by Min

DISTRICT 9                                                         

Sony Pictures - R  Peter Jackson presents Neill Blomkamp's directorial debut with this Sci-Fi action drama about an extraterrestrial race living in the slums of South Africa who are about to be evicted by the human race, until one agent is exposed to an alien chemical and he is forced to call upon the help of the extraterrestrials. The special effects are definitely impressive but the story it self is questionable. While some moments during the film are intense, others leave you laughing and you can't help but think 'this is kinda of cheesy' - which isn't something I personally want to experience during a Sci-Fi film. Overall, 3 out of 4 slates.  Reviewed by Min

JULIE & JULIA                                                                      Sony Pictures - PG-13  Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, and Amy Adams star in this film about blogger Julie Powell's attempt to cook her way through every recipe in Julia Child's first cook book. Streep and Tucci have great on screen chemistry, but Amy Adam's performance is the same across the board from her previous films and very lackluster. The film will give you a few chuckles, make you hungry and possibly inspire you to try your hand at cooking - but a running time of 2 hours is unnecessary for this film. Bon Appetit! 2 out of 4 slates.  Reviewed by Min

G-FORCE                                                                                  Walt Disney Pictures - PG  Don't look for a thoughtful, meaningful film here...hey, the stars are a bunch of talking guinea pigs!  Young kids will get a kick out of this film, as they did with some of the mindless non-animated Disney films of old.  Adults may not get into it, but let the kids have some fun once in a while.   2 out of 4 slates. 

THE HANGOVER                                                                   Warner Brothers  Pictures - R  Todd Philips, the director of 'Old School' and 'Road Trip' is back better than ever! 'The Hangover' is the funniest comedy I've seen in awhile - so much that I had tears in my eyes from laughing so much almost through the entire film. It's hilarious, raunchy, ridiculous, absurd, and so outrageous it puts 'Old School' to shame!! It's great to see new fresh faces in the comedy world - and not the same 8 we have been bombarded with lately. Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis steal the show - you will not be disappointed! 4 slates!!  Reviewed by Min

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY                                                       Paramount Pictures - R  After all the hype about this movie, I finally decided to check it out. I wish I hadn't - it was terrible and a waste of my money! Similar to the style of The Blair Witch Project, the camera work is mostly hand held which ultimately lead to my nausea throughout the entire film (just like when I went to see Blair Witch). The only time I could stand to watch was at night when the camera was stationary and they were sleeping! The 'acting' is painful and the story is so predictable - they go to sleep and something happens, more sleeping and the spooks come out. Steven Spielberg saw this film and suggested the ending be changed from the original ending to what it is now - which is a Hollywood cop out in my opinion. I could go on and on about this but in the end it's not worth seeing - 1 out of 4 slates.  reviewed by Min

CHAI LAI ANGELS: Dangerous Flowers                     

Magnolia- R Chai Lai Angels...think Charlie's Angels done in another country.  Five sexy undercover agents take you on a ride to save the world in their own special way!  Yes, it's silly.  Yes, it's overdone, but hey, so was Charlie's Angels.  Sit back and get taken away with this foreign film.  Dubbed in English to give the feel of the Kung Fu movies of the 70's...out of sync and all!  It's a riot.    2 out of 4 slates. 

THE GIRL FROM MONACO                                                          

Magnolia - R  Here is a film (with English subtitles) that is very well done, about a lawyer defending a woman in an important case, who meets a weather girl and grows attached to her and must juggle his time on the case with his time with her.  Interesting film with twists and turns along the way!   3 out of 4 slates. 

KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS                             

New Video Group  Know Your Mushrooms is a lighthearted look into the world of, that's right, mushrooms.   Who knew that mushrooms can do so much.  Filled with animation and fun for the documentary lover.   2 out of 4 slates. 

LOST TREASURE OF THE MAYA                              

MTI - PG-13 Lost Treasure of the Maya follows a lazy Private Eye as he reluctantly helps a woman find her archeologist sister who has turned up missing while on a dig in the Yucatan Peninsula looking for an ancient Mayan mask.  They are not the only ones who want the mask.  Slightly uneven, with sprinkles of humor throughout the film.  Stars Micheal Madsen (Kill Bill) and Heather Storm (Epic Movie).   2 out of 4 slates. 

HARRY POTTER and the HALF-BLOOD PRINCE                  Warner Brothers - PG  Fans of the Harry Potter books and movies will love the continuing adventures of Harry and the gang, but others may be a little bored with the length of the film.  At times it seems slow and dragging.  They are all growing older and things are changing, they just need to keep it moving for others to enjoy.  2 out of 4 slates. 

PUBLIC ENEMIES                                                         

Universal Pictures - R  Johnny Depp stars in Michael Mann's latest crime-drama set in the 1930's in Chicago as American gangster John Dillinger.  Mann's style of film, which includes many hand-held scenes and excessive close ups of the actors, can be a bit jarring.  That aside, Mann does a thorough job of portraying the story and film - not glamorizing it in a way that he could have.  Depp's performance is commendable (as always).  3 out of 4 slates.  Reviewed by Min

WORLD'S GREATEST DAD                                                   MAGNOLIA PICTURES - R  The sometimes outrageous Bob Goldthwait directed this dark comedy/drama starring Robin Williams.  Williams plays a down and out high school teacher, whose life is spiraling downhill and then things get worse, only to take a sudden turn toward what he thought he always wanted.  Not the normal craziness from Williams, but still a strong performance and Daryl Sabara steps away from his "Spy Kids" persona, showing he can play other roles, in this case an extremely obnoxious teenager.    2 1/2 slates

 

ANGELS & DEMONS                                                          

Sony Pictures - PG-13  From director Ron Howard, comes the sequel to the 2006 thriller "The DaVinci Code," starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, and Stellan Skarsgard. While there are some plot holes throughout the film and you may find yourself 3 steps behind in an attempt to keep up with everything by trying to decipher scientific and religious terms and phrases, the film is significantly much better than 'The DaVinci Code.' It moves quickly but those who read Dan Brown's novel (myself included), should find that the film holds mostly true to the book. It's entertaining, kept me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the time, and certainly is not as cheesy as its predecessor. I give it 3 out of 4 slates.  Reviewed by Min

HOOKING UP                                                                      MTI  - R  This film doesn't seem to know where it's going or what it wants to be.  It's seems to want to be the next "Porky's", it even has the eyeball looking thru the hole in the wall in it's poster, but it falls miles short of any comparison, even with it's raunchy humor.  And the casting is way off the scale...Cory Feldman, who is pushing 40, playing a 25 year old going after 16 year olds?  Give me a break!   1 slate.

 

THE CHRISTMAS CLAUSE                                                     MTI -  Lea Thompson stars in this delightful Christmas film which, yes, is a retelling of "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Scrooge", and it's been done a million times, but Lea does it so well.  It makes for a good way to get you into the holiday spirit with something with a different cast and a few new hooks!   2 1/2 slates

 

BLOOD NIGHT                                                                   

Blood Night isn't called that for nothing!  Fans of horror movies will like this one.  The blood flows and heads roll through out the film!  It's standard Horror movie fare with teens, a crazed killer, sex and blood.  2 out of 4 slates. 

STAR TREK                                                                  Paramount  Pictures - PG-13  Star Trek comes back in a fun filled action movie!  It takes a tricky way of wiping out past Star Trek lore, but does it in a good way while still maintaining what the old trekkies have come to expect.  The actors used a lot of the  manurisms of the past actors who lead the way for Star Trek, Bones, Scotty and Spock, so those that remember the originals will see a glimore of their old favorites.  Well done!  Live Long and Prosper!  4 slates out of 4. 

 

UP                                                                                     Disney/Pixar Animation - PG  Pixar countinues to rule the animation world!  They make films the way Disney used to make them, quality all the way! Great stories that tug at the heartstrings and are fun to watch.  Up is a top notch film for the whole family.  4 out of 4 slates!

TRANSFORMERS: Revenge of the Fallen                   Paramount Pictures - PG-13  If you're under 12, this will be a movie for you...action, robots, explosions...bad acting....no story.  There was not much thought put into this film, just get it out to make oddles of money...and blow up a lot of stuff!  2 disappointing slates.

PANDEMIC                                                          

MTI -  Pandemic takes you on a suspenseful thrill ride.  Filled with twists and turns, this film keeps your attention once it gets going and doesn't let up.   What is causing people and animals to die?  Can the military protect them?  Check out "Pandemic"!   3 slates.  

LAND OF THE LOST                                                     Universal Pictures - PG-13  Another Will Ferrell movie misses the boat.  Unfortunately, he continues to do the same character in every film and we know he can do more.  Fans of the old Saturday morning TV show will enjoy the fact that they kept most of the stuff intact other than the main characters are not family members this time around.  This could have been a great parody of the old show, but it got lost...in the land of the lost.  2 disappointing slates.

 

MR ART CRITIC                                                                    MTI -  Bronson Pinchot (Perfect Strangers) stars in this likable comedic film about an art critic who spends most of his time causing the closure of art shows by giving bad reviews...until an artist he shut down takes his revenge, by entering him in a local art show, only the critic has no talent!  2 1/2 slates

 

SIX: THE MARK UNLEASHED                                          Sony Pictures Home Entertainment -  Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey's Anatomy) and Eric Robert lead the cast of a film set in a future where people follow an evil Leader or are imprisoned and killed.  Will they escape from prison?  Stephen Baldwin also stars in this inspirational Sci-fi thriller.  2 1/2 slates

 

THE PROPOSAL                                                                Walt Disney Pictures - PG-13  Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds star in "The Proposal," a romantic comedy in which Bullock enlists the help of her assistant as her 'fiance' in order to keep her visa and job in the US.  It's a simple but fun and entertaining film.  Most of the funny parts are revealed in various trailers, thus not leaving many surprising laughs during the film itself.  Overall, if you have nothing else to see and care for a lighthearted movie, this will do.  Otherwise, wait to rent it.  2 out of 4 slates.  Reviewed by Min

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE                                       20th Century FOX   - PG-13  The Summer Movie Season is on...hopefully it will get better.  Wolverine is a continuous show of Hollywood's CGI special effects and fight scenes.  It's missing one major component...a story!  Don't get me wrong, kids will love the action, but there are so many holes in the plot and so many new mutants, it's easy to lose interest.  But, if you like constant fight scenes...this picture is for you!   2 1/2 slates.   

GHOST IMAGE                                                                      MTI - PG-13  Ghost Image is a first class supernatural thriller! When her boyfriend dies in a car crash, a video editor starts to see him on a video...and his killer is out to get her.  A great cast and well scripted storyline highlights this film.  If your looking for an entertaining film, this is it.  - 3 1/2 slates! 

 

BEER WARS                                                          

Review -  Beer Wars is a well done documentary on the beer industry.  Even if you don't like documentaries, this film is interesting enough to keep your attention ... and maybe wanting a beer!  If you have a chance, check it out, you will not be disappointed.   3 slates.  

SAFEHOUSE                                                                            MTI   By no means is this a great spy flick and it has enough holes in it to drive a truck through it, but still it is engaging enough to keep you interested...and isn't that what a movie is supposed to do?  Basically it's an ex-FBI agent comes across a flash drive containing info the bad guys want.  Now they are out to get him.      2 out of 4 slates.

FROST/NIXON                                                                    Universal Pictures - R  Ron Howard is back with the retelling of the dramatic story of the post-Watergate scandal's televised interviews between Richard Nixon and David Frost.  All the performances are remarkable, particularly Frank Langella who portrays former president Nixon.  The story is compelling, enticing and everything you would expect from a Ron Howard film.  One of my top favorites of the season - 3 1/2 slates!  Reviewed by Min

KNOWING                                                           

Summit Entertainment - PG-13  This movie started of in a good direction, interesting and suspenseful.  But by the end of the film, they had drifted off on to a bizarre ending which seemed to implicate, the writer had written his way into a corner and didn't know how to get out of it, so they went for another direction.  Very disappointing, but still ok to see...if you have nothing better to do.      3 slates.  

 

THE WRESTLER                                                                     Fox Searchlight Pictures - R  Recently winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, Mickey Rourke's performance as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson is phenomenal. He's raw, rough, and more importantly he is real. His boxing background definitely helps his character and it's great to see him back in action. The film is simple but compelling as it gives a peek into the world of wrestling and all it entails. Definitely a movie to see in the theaters! 4 slates out of 4.  Reviewed by Min

 

THE READER                                                               Weinstein Company  - R  Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes star in this post WWII drama about a teen boy who has an affair with a woman nearly twice is age, and years later encounters her   in a war-crime trial in which she is part of.  Winslet's performance is the strongest we have seen yet - and far surpasses her performance in 'Revolutionary Road.'  Ralph Fiennes - one would hope for more than a forlorn face, but what can one expect really.  Slow moving yet interesting - 3 slates out of 4.   Reviewed by Min

 

KARL ROVE, I LOVE YOU                                                MTI   This film stars Dan Butler (Frasier) in a mocumentary of a documentary.  Butler does a good job of playing the part of becoming obsessed with the object of the part he is playing in the play in the documentary in this mocumentary.  Does this all sound confusing?  The film realy isn't that confusing and is enjoyable.  Some people may not get the political portion of the film, but if you like documentary style films, here is a good comedy for you.      2 out of 4 slates.

BRIDE WARS                                                                      20th Century Fox - PG  A chic-flick until the end, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway make a great comedic team in this film about two life-long friends who become rivals after their weddings are planned for the same day.  Funny, charming and entertaining, yet once again Hathaway plays the same 'plain-Jane' role that we've seen her in over and over again.  The photo montages seen throughout the movie however are distracting and annoying.  Definitely rent worthy, but if you're looking for an enjoyable light-hearted movie, see it in theaters.  3 slates out of 4.   Reviewed by Min

 

 

DOUBT                                                                          Miramax Pictures  - R  Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams team up in this drama about a nun who suspects a priest of abusing a black student in her school. The story itself is interesting, however it was very anti-climactic leaving you wanting more. The performances overall were mediocre; Streep is a force to be reckoned with but simultaneously also lacks. Hoffman wasn't intriguing enough, and Adams really needs to move on from the innocent and naive character she plays in every role. 2 1/2 slates out of 4.  Reviewed by Min

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD                                               Paramount Vantage   - R  Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio rejoin in this dramatic romance about their young lives and the struggles they face in the mid-1950s.  While the performances are strong, you may find yourself unable to relate or care about them for that matter.  The film moves along at a very slow pace, one that makes you check your watch a few times throughout.  Overall, their performances are more mature than the 'Titanic' days - however overall I'd give this a 2 1/2 slates.    Reviewed by Min

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON                                              Paramount Pictures - PG-13  Director David Fincher's (Zodiac, Se7en) latest film tells the tale of the life of Benjamin Button, a man who was born in his eighties and ages backwards. The film stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Like most of Fincher's films, a running time of 159 minutes is lengthy - one that I felt halfway through - however, the story is quite poetic. Pitt and Blanchett's performances are admirable; particularly with their ages ranging from late teens to some 80 years old. Additionally, Taraji Henson's performance, who plays Pitt's 'mother' in the film, is one to be remembered. The makeup is pretty incredible - allowing Pitt to look like a young man in his early twenties, to Blanchett's flawless skin during her peak as a prima ballerina. The film is simple yet elegant. 3 slates.   Reviewed by Min

HIDE                                                                                   MTI  - R  Hide features solid performances from Christian Kane (Leverage) and Rachel Miner (Californication) in a film which is a little "Bonnie & Clyde", a little "Saw" and a little "Psycho".  It's a good film that keeps your interest and has some plot twists just for fun.  This film gets a rating of 3 slates out of 4.

KILLING ARIEL                                                                   MTI  - R  Killing Ariel is a well made, suspenseful horror film which dosen't depend on gory scenes (not too much) to give you a chill running down your spine.  As usual we don't give anything away, but look for good performances from the actors (the lead guy in the film reminds me a little of an early Jack Nicholson).  Worth seeing!   3 slates out of 4.

BROTHERS WAR                                                         MTI   This film is not bad, but it just never seemed to get going.  It keeps you interested, but you are always expecting it to have something happen and it never does.  It's also difficult to figure out who is who at the beginning and we don't really care that much about the characters.  2 out of 4 slates.

TRAIN MASTER                                                                MTI   Train Master is a family oriented film with kids, trains and a story.  It is acually a pretty good film.  Some of the acting is weak, but the story has enough action to help you overcome the flaw.  Here is something the whole family can watch together and enjoy.  2 out of 4 slates.

SLUMDOG MILLIONSIRE                                                                                                  Fox Searchlight Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures  - R  With all the hype this film has been receiving this awards season - I couldn't disagree more.  Sure it is an interesting story - how a teen, who grew up in the slums of Mumbai came to be part of the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" and is suspected of cheating.  Events of his life then reveal how he knows all these answers.  But overall, it's still a mediocre film.  I give it 2 1/2 slates.   Reviewed by Min

KICKING THE DOG                                                              MTI  - R  Kicking the dog attempts to be the next coming of age film, but falls way short.  It's about a bunch of friends spending their last summer together.  Unfortunately, you could careless about the characters and there is so much dialog and so little action, you quickly lose interest.  They also spend most of the time indoors and by the end, it feels like they were trapped in the house like in "Night of the Living Dead"!  I had high hopes for this one, but I can only give this film a rating of 1 slate.

STORMFORCE                                                                       MTI  - R  I am not a big fan of foreign films re-dubbed into English...the whole mouth out of sync just bugs me while watching a movie, but overall, this movie is a pretty good action film.   The scenes are well shot and the story holds your interest, following the life of a helicopter rescue diver.  I give this film a rating of 3 slates.

MILK                                                                                   Focus Features  - R  Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected as a San Francisco Supervisor in the 1970s, who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone.  Based on the actual events of Milk's life, director Gus Van Sant does a decent job of storytelling here despite it's running time of 2 hours and 8 minutes.  However, Penn's performance has a feel of his character from 'I Am Sam' - which doesn't sit well considering he is portraying a gay man.  James Franco and Emile Hirsch's performances are commendable - as is Josh Brolin who plays Dan White.  2 1/2 slates.  Reviewed by Min

TWILIGHT                                                                            Summit Entertainmnet - PG-13  This is one of those films that was hyped to the hilt and never really came through with the goods.  The movie was slow moving  and at times down right boring!  Fans of the books will love it and defend it.  It felt more like a movie of the week type film.  It will continue on with the sequels, but this one never reached it's true potential.  It fell far short of the "Blockbuster" status it was hyped to be.  Hopefully the sequels will be better. 

CHANGELING                                                                  Universal Pictures  - R  Angelina Jolie stars in Clint Eastwood's latest film that centers around actual events which occurred in Los Angeles in the 1920s. When Christine Collins kidnapped son is returned to her by the LAPD, she quickly realizes the boy is not actually hers. The story is powerful, Jolie's performance is engaging, Eastwood's direction once again notable. You will detest the LAPD, love John Malkovich's characters passion, all the while wondering how on earth the LAPD could attempt such a corruption. 3 1/2 slates.  Reviewed by Min

MAX PAYNE                                                                    Twentieth Century Fox - PG-13   Max Payne, based on the ever popular violent computer game, stars Mark Wahlberg as a Detective who is consumed with finding the murderer of his wife and daughter. While the film is wildly obsessed with special Fx and seeing how far it can push the envelope, I will admit it does this very well. It's entertaining in that regard, but the bill stops there. There are many scenes of dialogue that are quite cheesy, and it snows in every scene in the film (sans the flashbacks). Wahlberg's performance as a relentless edgy tough cop is believable and enjoyable. If you decide to sit through all the credits, you'll see a little extra snippet. I give the film 2 1/2 slates.  Reviewed by Min 

 

NIGHTS IN RODANTHE                                                    Warner Brothers - PG-13   Richard Gere unfortunately continues to play a one dimensional character.  It's been over 25 years since he has played any other type.  What a waste of talent.  They tried to make him look younger and make Diane Lane look older to make the story more believable...it just didn't work.  The movie itself was a little far fetched, since people a half a mile and more in from the shore would evacuate during a hurricane, yet they stayed in an Inn that is lapped by the waves during high tide on a normal day.  They try to tug at the heartstrings and succeed a few times from the sniffles I heard in the theater, but over all it only rates 2 slates.

 

EAGLE EYE                                                                  Paramount Pictures - PG-13   Shia LaBeouf and director D.J. Caruso team up once again (previously with Disturbia) in this outlandish techno-thriller. Younger audiences will probably enjoy the jam packed action scenes, car, plane, train, and bus chases, but the overall plot is lacking and absurd. Even the opening sequence leaves you wondering if you're sitting in the correct theatre. Shia unfortunately does not show any growth in his role as a 'action star' but you can tell he's trying to branch out. The first hour and 15 minutes was tough to sit through, but the last 45 minutes kept me fairly entertained. I give this a 2 1/2 slate rating.  Reviewed by Min

THE WOMEN                                                                   Picturehouse Entertainment - PG-13   With a great lineup of female stars, you would assume that this 'chick flick' would hold your attention for the full 1 hour and 54 minutes: wrong! The movie is based on the 1939 play/film and its old-fashioned tone is apparent some 69 years later. It's trying to be like "Sex and the City" but with much less edge. Maybe that explains why the audience I was part of was all 60+ years old. The highlights: Cloris Leachman and Annette Bening's performances, and Jada Pinkett Smith's hospital labor room scene. I rate this film 2 slates.  Reviewed by Min

RIGHTEOUS KILL                                                              Overture Films - R   Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino star in this crime/mystery cop drama. The duo makes a great cop team however, DeNiro's performance was somewhat weak; you want and expect more from him. John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg's also star and their on-screen partnership plays out fairly smoothly. However, the story isn't as smart or compelling as the previews lead you to believe and gives you the impression that it's trying too hard. I give this movie a rating of 2 slates. Reviewed by Min

BURN AFTER READING                                                         Focus Features  - R  From the Coen Brothers, comes a film of smart, witty and quirky humor. The ensemble cast includes Clooney, Pitt, and Swinton - but Malkovich and McDormand steal the show with their characters. The Coen brothers prove they know how to write a great dark comedy and you will keep laughing through this entire film. I would give this film a rating of 3 1/2 slates.

THE DUCHESS                                                                 Paramount Vantage  - PG-13  Based on the life of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, the film chronicles Georgiana's life as she becomes eventually trapped in a triangular love affair. Keira Knightley's performance is quite remarkable, proving that she is coming into her own. The story is simple, but moving. Locations and costumes are extraordinarily beautiful. Overall, I would give this film a rating of 3 slates. Reviewed by Min

THE MUMMY: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor      Universal Pictures - PG-13  Not a bad movie, but not nearly as good as the first movie.  The story has taken a backseat to the special effects and it has hurt the franchise, the magic is gone.  They seem to be going through the motions, with only a few sparks of the characters we have come to know.  OSB rates it 2 out of 4 slates.

THE DARK KNIGHT                                                          Warner Brothers - PG-13  After all the hype going on before this film was released, it finally arrived and showed it was worthy of it all!  This is without a doubt, the best of the recent Batman movies.  Don't miss it!  OSB gives it 4 out of 4 slates! 

MAMMA MIA! The Movie                                                         Focus Features  - R  The sets and the cinematography are beautiful!  They should make more lively, funny musicals like this.  It's a good movie, but if you've seen the play on Broadway, Vegas or where ever, you may not like it as much.  It's hard to beat the live show, but this movie give it a worthy try.  Enjoy!  OSB says 3 1/2 out of 4 slates!

WALL-E                                                                                     Walt Disney Studios - G  Pixar does it again!  They continue to roll out the films without a dud in the bunch.  Even though the film has limited talking, they have created a warm and funny movie everyone will enjoy.  OSB rates it 4 out of 4 slates! 

KUNG FU PANDA                                                        DREAMWORKS ANIMATION  - PG  Well, Dreamworks has a hit on their hands! A great cast and Jack Black being Jack Black with a good story and, at times, funny. Unfortunately, they are already talking sequel. When will they learn to leave a good movie alone. It was once said "Always leave them wanting more." OSB gives Kung Fu Panda 3 1/2 out of 4

SEX AND THE CITY                                                                   New Line  - R  This one will be tough...fans of the show will love it...others will take it or leave it.  95% of the audience were women at the showing I saw, at the end they all were saying how great it was.  It reminded me of the first Star Trek movie, fans were so glad to see it again, they didn't care that the movie had a weak story line.  It seemed to be a bunch of TV episodes blended together, some good, some not so good.  They should put out a sequel, now that they have gotten past the "Hey, look we're back!" stage.  OSB rates it 3 out of 4 slates.

INDIANA JONES and the KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL                                                                                 Paramount Pictures  - PG-13  Indy is back and the thrills continue!  Almost twenty years have past, he's getting older, but he's Indiana Jones!  Lucas, Spielberg and Ford still deliver the same action and adventure we have come to expect!  A rollercoaster ride of non stop fun.  If you're looking for a good time at the movies, look no further.  OSB gives it 3 1/2 out of 4 slates!

 

THE CHRONICLES of NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN           Buena Vista Pictures/Walt Disney  - PG  Not as magical as the first installment of the series, but still good family entertainment. The children return to Narnia, 1500 years have passed and things have changed from before.  A little too much fighting for younger film goers, and it  makes the movie drag a bit.  OSB rates it 3 out of 4 slates!

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS

Twentieth Century Fox - PG-13  This film is mainly light and silly fun that is watchable but forgetable.  It relies mainly on sex oriented jokes.  This is one of those movies you'll watch on TV, eventually, if nothing else is on.  Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher lack any chemistry.  They can and will do better, most likely apart.  OSB rating;  2 out of 4 slates.

IRON MAN                                                                       Paramount Pictures  - PG-13  This is what we have come to expect from a summer Blockbuster  movie... excitement, action and fun!  What some promise, this one delivers!  The cast, Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gweneth Paltrow and the rest, are superb.  Grab somepopcorn, sit back and enjoy!       OSB hands it 3 1/2 slates out of 4!

 

BUCKET LIST                                                                          Warner Brothers - PG-13   With Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starring in it and Rob Reiner directing, many people expected more than what this film is...a simple film about unexpected friendship.  It has a few twists in it.  It's not a great film, but it is a good film.  OSB gives it 2 1/2 out of 4 slates.

I AM LEGEND

Warner Brothers - PG-13  While taken by itself, this is a good movie, the 1st remake of the novel (Omega Man with Charlton Heston) had a much better storyline.(the original movie was The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price and I Am Legend is remake #2).  Though very similar, you were drawn into the Heston version more and the twist at the end of Omega Man worked better.  Of course the filmmaking in this version is far superior.  So see Omega Man and enjoy both.  OSB hands this one 3 out of 4 slates.

ENCHANTED                                                                       Walt Disney Studios - PG  This one is an instant classic for Disney!  A great film for the whole family to enjoy.  They go from the animated world to the live action world with ease and weave a light hearted, charming story that pokes fun at itself.  OSB gives it 4  out of 4 slates! 

MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM

Fox Walden- G   From the get-go this movie was questionable, was it a reformulated Willy Wonka?  Young kids may get a kick out of it (even though it deals with death), but it drags along throughout the movie.  It's not a bad movie...it's just not a good one either.  OSB gives it 2 out of 4 slates.