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Movie Reviews

Alex Florez

By

2008/07/24 at 12:00am

Step Brothers

Rated: R for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language.
Release Date: 2008-07-25
Starring: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Director(s):
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Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/stepbrothers/index.html

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Step Brothers
Alex Florez

By

2008/07/17 at 12:00am

The Dark Knight

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.
Release Date: 2009-01-23
Starring: Bob Kane, Christopher Nolan
Director(s):
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Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://thedarkknight.warnerbros.com/

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The Dark Knight

WHERE IS THE OLD BATMOBILE WHEN YOU NEED IT?
 
At two and one half hours, “The Dark Knight” is a great muddle of equivocal morality masquerading as a superhero skein.  Helmer Christopher Nolan’s sequel to “Batman Begins” falls victim to a curse common to attempts to build a franchise:  It has no compelling story.
 
Instead, it throws a filmmaker’s bag of tricks at a screenplay that is too long by an hour.  The tricks come in the form of plot twists, largely incomprehensible because their visual clues are buried under special effects and their dialogue clues are buried under a pumped up soundtrack.  That is too bad, because stripped of its silly subplots, “The Dark Knight” has the germ of a satisfying comic book flick.
 
The first rule of superheroes is that the superhero is the guy with the super powers.  Civilians do not have super powers.  If they did, there would be no need for a superhero.  This is where “The Dark Knight” falls down.  Too many civilians survive explosions, car accidents, and assassination attempts that should have killed them because they don’t have super powers.
 
The plot is roughly this:  After cleaning up Gotham Batman (Christian Bale) is having second thoughts.  Using criminal tactics to catch criminals may turn him into one.  He also wants to marry his love interest, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, terribly miscast).  She won’t have him until he gives up the cape and mask.  Into this frittata toss The Joker (the late Heath Ledger) with a scheme to take over what is left of Gotham’s mob headed by Salvatore Maroni (convincingly played by Eric Roberts).  Add handsome crusading DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) who gains the confidence of Batman and alter ego Bruce Wayne, and you have the recipe for the end of the Batman saga.  Predictably The Joker is the fly in Batman’s retirement ointment.  Without Batman’s help, cops can’t prevent the agent of chaos from turning Gotham into a war zone – and from keeping Batman in costume.
 
Ledger’s Joker is totally competent, but in Jack Nicholson he has a tough act to follow.  He comes across more like Christian Slater in “Heathers” than the cinematic master of madness.  With the exceptions of veterans Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, performances fall victim to special effects, some of which are cheesy.  Even the once sleek Batmobile now looks like Hummer that has been sat on by an elephant.
 
With a PG-13 rating, nothing in “The Dark Knight” is objectionable to children, but it could bore them to death.

 

Ted Faraone

By

2008/07/17 at 12:00am

Mamma Mia!

Rated: PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Release Date: 2008-07-18
Starring: Catherine Johnson
Director(s):
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Film Genre:
Country: NULL
Official Website:

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Mamma Mia!

Meryl Streep gives a bravura performance as Donna, the innkeeper of “Mamma Mia!,” a faithful screen adaptation of the ABBA-based musical of the same name that has played on stages worldwide for the past several years.  In addition to acting, she excels at physical comedy, dance, and singing.  The same is true of the entire cast.  “Mama Mia!” may well become the feelgood movie of Summer 2008.  Streep is well matched by Christine Baranski (Tanya) and Julie Waters (Rosie), as erstwhile members of an all-girl pop trio.
 
The soundtrack cannot be beat.  The ABBA tunes, although thoroughly rooted in the 1970s, are excellent music and not the easiest for singers.  “Dancing Queen” has a three octave range.  As with the play, the audience leaves the theater humming the tunes… just like the best musicals of yore.
 
In the transition from play to movie, helmer Phyllidia Lloyd (who directed stage productions in London and New York) took advantage of the scope afforded by film to expand on the choreography using expressionistic imagination sequences to build on some of the production numbers.  Writer Catherine Johnson missed not a beat in adapting her script for the big screen.
 
The plot is basically an excuse to string together ABBA’s best tunes in a movie.  Twenty-year-old Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), about to marry, invites to her wedding the three men her mother’s (Streep as Donna) diary indicates could be her dad.  Her mother is unsure.  She also doesn’t know about the invitations.  It is a tribute to the filmmakers that no one questions why DNA testing is not at issue.  “Mama Mia!” simply beguiles the audience into total suspension of disbelief.
 
The three, Pierce Brosnan as architect Sam Carmichael, Colin Firth as prosperous banker Harry Bright, and Bill, a travel writer played by Stellan Skarsgård, make an unlikely Three Stooges.  Firth’s uptight banker is a wonderful counterpoint to Skarsgård’s loosey-goosey world traveler, while Brosnan wonderfully projects a mixture of ego, hope, and humility tempered by experience.
 
The pic is long on sight gags – from Streep’s phallic cordless drill to a pair of tattoos on Skarsgård’s tush.  The latter may be the only objection brought by overly sensitive parents to this PG-13 rated opus.  In a nod to multiculturalism, minority players get some featured screen time.  “Mamma Mia!” needs no excuse to be a family outing.

 

Alex Florez

By

2008/07/10 at 12:00am

Meet Dave

Rated:
Release Date: 2008-07-11
Starring: Rob Greenberg, Bill Corbett
Director(s):
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Film Genre:
Country: NULL
Official Website: http://www.meetdavemovie.com/

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Meet Dave
Mack Chico

By

2008/07/10 at 12:00am

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Rated: PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments.; Rated PG-13 for some bloody sci-fi violence. (special edition)
Release Date: 2008-07-11
Starring: Michael Weiss, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin, Jules Verne (novela)
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://www.journey3dmovie.com/

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Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ is the first film live action film that uses the new digital three-dimensional technology. The film is an optical tour de force, but lamentably that visual experience does not manage to incorporate the same satisfaction to a story with a duration of an hour and a half. Based on a novel of Jules Bern that captivated the imagination of readers in 1864, ‘JTTCOTE’ feels more like a sequel of the novel and not a direct adaptation of original story.

 

The professor of geology Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), and their 13 year old nephew (Josh Hutcherson), travel to Iceland in search of a volcano that is acting up in a very unusual way. With the aid of Hannah (Anita Briem), an attractive mountain climber, they find their objective, but accidentally fall in a hollow path that leaves them in center of the Earth. What ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ accentuates is how the technology ends up dictating the script. In this case, the three-dimensional sequences are the main attraction, and therefore, it debilitates the story. Don’t expect too much from the protagonists either. Usually, these type of films offer high doses of special effects and nothing else. The film’s stars are only a secondary feature to the already charged up VFX.

 

This type of film strictly is done for the entertainment of the public and not  for the Oscar committee. If you’re looking for a delightful time with the family, ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ will satisfy all your demands.

Alex Florez

By

2008/07/01 at 12:00am

Hancock

Rated:
Release Date: 2008-07-04
Starring: Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan
Director(s):
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Film Genre:
Country: NULL
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hancock/

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Hancock


Mack Chico

By

2008/06/25 at 12:00am

Wanted

Rated: R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout.
Release Date: 2008-06-27
Starring: Michael Brandt, Dean Georgaris
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Country: USA
Official Website: http://www.wantedmovie.com/

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Wanted
Mack Chico

By

2008/06/19 at 12:00am

Get Smart

Rated: PG-13 for some rude humor, action violence and language.
Release Date: 2008-06-20
Starring: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember
Director(s):
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Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: www.getsmartmovie.com

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Get Smart
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