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Showing posts from October, 2012

Trailer Talk - Django Unchained (2012)

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I enjoy Westerns.  I enjoy Quentin Tarantino films.  I enjoy most films starring Jamie Foxx,  Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, or Jonah Hill.  Tarantino has rolled all of them into his latest effort.  It is pretty safe to say that I am eagerly anticipating Django Unchained.

It will be very interesting to see how Tarantino's violent, explicit styles mesh with the western genre.  I like the role reversal that Tarantino is using with DiCaprio and Waltz (DiCaprio as the villain and Waltz seemingly being an accomplice for good).  Samuel L. Jackson's almost obligatory appearance in a Tarantino film is always appreciated as well.

If the movie itself plays half as well as the trailer does, I think we'll be looking at another excellent outing from Quentin Tarantino.  While I've never been one to run out to the theater on Christmas afternoon (and I don't really see myself making an exception in this case), you can bet that I'll t…

Review - Argo

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Argo (2012), R, 120 minutes - I know that I begin quite a few of my reviews with a statement about how much I was anticipating the film. I’d love to tell you that I’m not going to do that this time around, but that would be a lie. Not only does Argo have an amazing and intriguing story on which it is based, but it also marks the third directorial outing from Ben Affleck. When I first saw the trailer for Argo, I thought to myself that it was a film that needed to be seen. When I realized that it was directed by Affleck, in my mind it became a can’t miss based on my enjoyment of his previous directorial efforts Gone Baby Gone and The Town.  So yeah, I was quite looking forward to Argo.  (Side note: Gone Baby Gone predates this blog, but my review has been re-posted below.  My review for The Town can be seen here.)

Argo is based on actual events surrounding the 1980 joint CIA/Canadian exfiltration of six American diplomatic personnel from the Canadian Ambassador’s home in revolutionar…

Trailer Talk - Iron Man 3 (2013)

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The first teaser trailer for Iron Man 3 just hit the web in the last day or two and from this first look at the film, it appears to be more of the same Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark goodness that we've come to expect from the first two films (and from The Avengers for that matter).  Iron Man may not be my favorite Marvel Comics character (that distinction belongs to Daredevil), but judging from the success of the franchise, there is no denying that he is the character that drives the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The trailer is absolutely packed with great looking action sequences, Stark's Extremis Armor (from Warren Ellis' run on the comic), Stark's Armory, Iron Patriot, and the first sights and sounds of Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin (a classic Iron Man villain who has been brought back to the forefront in Matt Fraction's current run on the comic)!

Iron Man 3 boasts an amazing cast, no different than the first two films in the franchise.  The aforementioned Kings…

Review - Paranormal Activity 4

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Paranormal Activity 4 (2012), R, 88 minutes - I was never really into the Paranormal Activity movies until my fiance had me watch them in preparation for last year's Paranormal Activity 3.  It turned out that they were actually right up my alley.  Suspenseful, creepy, good jumpy scares hear and there, but they were not slasher filled.  I even really enjoyed the continuity that they created by making the second and third movies prequels that made the events from the first film not so random.  So my fiance and I were very much looking forward to Paranormal Activity 4, which skips ahead and takes place 5 years after the events of the first two films.

This time around the story focuses on a new family that lives across the street from Katie (Katie Featherston) and her son Robbie (Brady Allen), the characters that carry over from the previous installments.  Most of the film follows Alex (Kathryn Newton), the teenage daughter of the family across the street.  Her family takes Robbie in …

Rental Review - Moneyball

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Moneyball (2011), PG-13, 133 minutes - Ok, so this wasn't so much a rental as a 'I bought it months ago but just hadn't had a chance to watch it' movie.  I know I am way behind the curve on this one, but Moneyball was a wonderful film.

Moneyball is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Lewis, and tells the story of Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane, and how, in the early 2000's he and his Assistant GM Peter Brand adopted what was considered a new and radical way of evaluating players.  They began focusing on statistics like on base percentage and other advanced metrics more than the long time 'tried and true' categories like batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.  Beane (played by Brad Pitt) came to this line of thinking after his Oakland A's team had been knocked out of the playoffs by the New York Yankees, then lost their three best players because they could not afford to match the monstrous contracts offered to those pla…

Review - House at the End of the Street

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House at the End of the Street (2012), PG-13, 101 minutes - My fiance and I decided the other day that we were in the mood for a scary movie.  From the trailer that we had seen part of, we thought that House at the End of the Street might do the trick.  We were under the impression that it was a horror flick, but House at the End of the Street only sets itself up like a horror film.  It really turns out to be more of a psychological thriller.  That's not to say that it is bad, it just wasn't quite what we were expecting.

House at the End of the Street gets its start when a mother and daughter (Sarah and Elissa, played by Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence respectively) move into a house that they are newly renting.  The house just through the trees (at the end of the street - see what they did there?) has a bit of history and is looked down on by the rest of the neighborhood.  You see, a family used to live there.  That is, until the daughter stabbed the parents to death.  I…

Trailer Talk - 42 (2013)

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42 (2013) – Not only is this a historically based period piece, but it is the story of one of the greatest athletes who ever lived.  There have been films made about Jackie Robinson before, but it never hurts to have a new and current retelling of his journey to becoming the first African American player in Major League Baseball.  I also like the idea of Harrison Ford playing Dodger executive Branch Rickey.  I’m not familiar with Chadwick Boseman (playing Jackie Robinson), but the cast also includes Alan Tudyk, Christopher Meloni,  Lucas Black, and John C. McGinley so it should be fairly strong.  42 is scheduled for an April 2013 release, so it will beat the big summer rush and will hopefully find a nice audience.


Trailer Talk - Lincoln (2012)

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Lincoln (2012) – Daniel Day Lewis?  Steven Spielberg?  Historically based period piece?  I was sold on this film before ever seeing the trailer.  After seeing the trailer (and the rest of the unbelievable cast that this film boasts), I am adding it to my short list of absolute must see theatrical views (along with Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey).  Day Lewis is joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Sally Field, John Hawkes, David Strathairn, and many others (more recognizable by face than by name).  I am very much looking forward to seeing Daniel Day Lewis’ take on one of our most popular presidents during a pivotal time in our country’s history.  Lincoln hits theaters on November 16th, which will be here before we know it!

Review - Won't Back Down

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Won't Back Down (2012), PG, 121 minutes - Won’t Back Down is a drama, or maybe I should say a political drama, about two parents – Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a lower class mother holding down two jobs, and Nona Alberts (Viola Davis), a mother who teaches at a school that has seen better days.  The two are both frustrated with the educational system and how it isn't working for their children.  They begin a petition to ‘flip’ or take over and re-structure John Adams Elementary (the school that Alberts teaches at) in Pittsburgh, PA so that they can provide their children with a better education.  Of course, it isn't as simple as that.  There are all kinds of procedures and timelines that have to be met in order to have one's proposal even heard by the proper committee, and on top of that there are the social hoola hoops that Fitzpatrick and Alberts must jump through that effect not only their personal and professional lives, but the lives of those they care f…