Friday, May 26, 2006

Movie of the Week - Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge
Staring: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Nolte.

Premise: RJ (Bruce Willis/raccoon) finds himself in a heap of trouble with a bear who has given him an ultimatum - replace everything that was destroyed in one week, or he will be hunted down and killed. So RJ frantically looks for someplace to get the goods which need replacing and runs across a new development. Even better, he runs across a group of foragers who are just about to start gathering food for the following winter. RJ decides to enlighten them to the ways of man and hopefully can get them to get all he needs for him.

Review: Very cute film. Lots of funny moments, especially the climax toward the end. The acting and computer animation are great. Make sure to sit through the credits! There's a little extra bit at the end! ***1/2!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Movie of the Week - The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code
Staring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jurgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany, and Jean Reno

Premise: Symbology History expert touring in Paris is asked by the police for his expert opinion on the murder scene of the curator for the Louvre. While inspecting the site, he meets Sophie, a police cryptologist, who tells him the evidence was tampered with and that he is currently the one and only suspect for the crime. His only chance is to escape with her and attempt to solve the riddles her dead grandfather left behind in the hopes they will lead to the real killer.

Review: A fun puzzle treasure hunt movie. Amazing vistas, lots of great locations. Tom Hanks does his usual great job. Ron Howard did some awesome imagery insertion of the past into the present scenes when talking about different spots in history as the characters discuss/argue/puzzle out the clues. Also loved how they dealth with showing Dr. Langston's partial editic memory reconstructions. Very nice! If you've seen this type of film before, it is not outstanding in its own genre, but a lot of fun nonetheless. Weirdly enough, despite all the religious hooplah accompanying the film's release, it doesn't really bad mouth the church (just the usual bad apples that might creep into it), and ends up being a reaffirmation of faith for the main characters despite the truths they've uncovered. Fun film! ***1/2!!!!
And in case you want to check the Last Supper for yourself- Last Supper

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Movie of the Week - Poseidon

Staring: josh Lucas, Kurt Russel, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, and Jacinda Barret

Premise: The cruise ship Poseidon is hit by a giant wave and turned upside down. The survivors need to figure out a way to stay alive and get out of the ship.

Review: I was actually looking forward to this movie. I remember the original fondly. The special effects were good, the far off scenes of the wave and the full moon over it utterly gorgeous. The acting was also good. That being said however... One of the characters is a young boy, toward the end, to seemingly up the suspense, he runs off to explore though he has seen explosions, bodies, flooding, etc and though pretty smart for before, now turns into an idiot and goes off without telling anyone. Very contrived. Worse (though the film tries very very hard to push the fact no one else is alive) the heroes start filling a ballast tank to get to a hatch, and then leave the thing running. With the ship in the condition it is in, filling all the ballasts will sink it. Yet not a thought is given by the characters to the fact that if anyone else is alive on the ship, they've just signed their death warrant.

With the talent gathered for the film in both acting and technical, this could have really been good if the scripting had had as much attention. It didn't and so it suffered for it. :( ** of 4 (Or as my husband would put it - better on cable.) :P

Friday, May 12, 2006

Movie of the Week - Mission Impossible 3

Mission Impossible 3
Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes

Premise: Ethan Hunt has left the life of being an MI agent and now only trains others for the job. He has found a woman he loves and is about to marry her. He is contacted by the agency and told that his most talented student, now in the field, has been compromised and kidnapped. Though they normally disavow all knowledge of their agents, they are willing to make an exception in this case due to the information she might have. Ethan goes on the mission to save her, and though the look like they will get away with it, the agent is still killed. Info on the man responsible, leads Ethan to continue with the case. But all turns out not to be as it seems.

Review: Great stunts, great acting, great choreography! Though some have called the film somewhat unrealistic, that is what these have always been about. It is a non-stop ride, starting you with Ethan in big big trouble and then going back to show us how he came to be in that situation. The movie is worth it just for some of the locations in the shoots. :P If you're looking for non-stop action and adventure, this movie is for you!!! ***1/2!!

Book Review - The Man Who Tried to Get Away

The Man Who Tried to Get Away
by Stephen R Donaldson

Premise: Mick "Brew" Axebrewder is in the hospital, recovering from the gun shot wound he received from El Señor's bodyguard. Calls start coming in warning Brew that El Señor is not feeling forgiving on the fact Brew killed the man who shot him. His partner, Ginny Fistoulary, has been hiding her own concern on the subject, until she shows up one day telling him she's gotten them a cushy job that will get them out of town. They've been hired as security for a murder camp retreat. Too hurt and full of misery on several counts, neither questions the job sufficiently before going there. Brew sees that Ginny is attracted to one of the guests and starts agonizing that he might be finally losing her. Then the murders start. And though he was missed, it looks like the actual intended target was Brew. But now they are all stuck in the lodge, snowed in, all means of escape denied them. Brew and Ginny must find out who the killer is before it is too late.

Review: This was one twisted puppy! A bizarre yet compelling cast of characters. Some awesome discussions on mystery fiction vs. real life. More Ginny and Brew angst.Relationshipsps, sneaking, lies, and more galore! And definitely several surprises. Good stuff! 3 1/2!

Book Review - The Man Who Risked His Partner

The Man Who Risked His Partner
by Stephen R Donaldson

Premise: Mick "Brew" Axebrewder has not had a drink for 6 months. He's been helping his partner, Ginny Fistoulari, try to cope with the loss of her hand. Brew is getting desperate, trying anything he can think of to try to get the old Ginny back. So when a case crops up that might be tied to El Señor, the biggest crime boss in the city, pops up, Brew makes them take it, hoping to somehow use it to jump start Ginny back into the detective she was before the bomb. His attentions are divided, however, as the son of some Hispanic friends has also disappeared--the boy was a numbers runner for El Señor.

Review: Filled with a lot of twists and turns. Interesting study of some rather unusual psyches in this one. Awesome noir work and lots of angst. Shows what a man might do when push comes to shove. Another great work by Mr. Donaldson. 3 1/2!
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