Archive for May, 2009

There Will Be Blood

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by ldw

This movie is about an oil man who is extremely good at his job!  He acquires a son but he grows to love the boy deeply.  And with his son at his side he creates quite an empire and monopoly for himself.  Then one day he gets a job to drill and as things are moving along something goes wrong and the rig catches fire after blowing up.  Did I mention his son is on the rig watching the men work?  Well, his son goes deaf because of the blast and this changes everything for the man and his life.

This movie is dark and twisty!  And most people think it is boring but I loved it!  It depicts what many people experience in life.  They make their plans and set to achieving their goals but when things don’t fall into place the way they want them to, they quit or change significantly.

The colors continue the story through pictures – as the man becomes darker and withdraws from life the colors get darker and muted.

Daniel Day Lewis was wonderful as the oil man.  It was a believable performance by someone exceptional.  Paul Dano is creepy and sinuous as Paul and Eli Sunday – a perfect adversary to Lewis’ Daniel Plainview.

Rating: * * * 1/2

There Will Be Blood

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World Trade Center

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by ldw

Everyone complains that this movie should have had “nobodys” in it instead of well known actors.  I disagree.  I think Flight 93 needed unknown actors – it worked for that movie – but this one needed some strong actors to make it work.

Nicholas Cage was better in his role as John McLoughlin than any other role he’s ever played.  I think with A-list actors they understood the severity of the roles they were playing.  I also really enjoyed seeing Michael Pena in his role as Will Jimeno.  The ensemble cast was great too – the casting director did a fantastic job with this one!

Everyone knows what the plot of this movie is – on September 11, 2001 terrorists hijacked four plans.  One crashed into the Pentagon, one crashed into a Pennsylvania field (see Flight 93), and two crashed into the World Trade Center.  The WTC crashed eventually caused the towers to collapse killing 1,000’s more than the initial crashes had.  In the mayhem one team of firefighters (among many) is trapped in the rubble and two of it’s members are the last two victims to be rescued from the collapse – alive.  John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno are heroes and should always be seen that way!

This movie came at a perfect time and was done with such humility and greatness that I have trouble expressing how great it really is!

I loved every moment of it – even when it was hard to watch and even when it was uncomfortable.  It brought back all the feelings I had on 9/11/01 – a date that will live in infamy.   But it did something else  – something greater – it made me remember why I love this country so much.  It reminded me why I fight – in my own way – for our freedoms and why I support our troops and elected leaders and everyone else who is also fighting for our freedoms and safety!

Great movie!

Rating: * * * * *

World Trade Center

Winter Passing

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by ldw

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Zooey Deschanel!  I have liked her in everything I’ve seen.  She’s a great actress and it was no different for this movie.

Winter Passing is about a drug addict daughter (Deschanel) who must go home to see her seriously dysfunctional father to take care of some financial issues.  She is a struggling actress who needs money to continue her drug habits and she has been offered a small fortune to allow the love letters between her parents to be published.  So Reese heads home to retrieve the letters.

When she arrives she finds two strangers living in her former home and her father living in the old garage.  The strangers turn out to be an ex-grad student and a wannabe musician who teach her many things about her father and life in general.

The movie is phenomenal because it doesn’t sugar coat life or give us a happy feeling at the end.  There is yelling and manipulation and frustration and so many other things that all of us have experienced in our own families.  It makes us care about Reese a little more.

The casting was perfect and all dove into their characters with great focus.  Will Ferrell plays the stage frightened musician, Ed Harris plays the reclusive father, and Amelia Warner is the ex-grad student who treats everyone like a child.

The cinematography was great and felt like you were sitting on the couch as this crazy “family” got into fights or tried to sit quietly at the dinner table.  The colors and lighting continued the story through the sets and props and really creatd a place of believability.

Rating: * * * *

Winter Passing

He’s Just Not That Into You

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by ldw

I’m not even sure I can fill a whole post about this movie.  It sucked so bad!

This movie has SO MANY A-list actors that you’d think even if the storyline was bad they could pull off a good movie but no!

Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, and Drew Barrymore did not pull their weight in this movie and as the A-listers they should have shown through the crap.  Drew and Bradley were “ok” but not great!

Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long saved this movie!  Their characters were spunky and fun to watch.  You cared about Gigi and Alex and you wanted to see them end up together – or at least happy.

The whole movie plays into all the stereotypical things that boys think about girls and girls think about boys.  Everyone thinks if they can find that person that thinks like them they’ll be happy, but no girl really wants a man who thinks like her – that’s what makes them men!

The storyline was disjointed and erratic at times.  It was hard to really get your head around what was happening.  Jennifer and Bradley were married and working toward the “perfect life” but Bradley wasn’t sure he wanted that anymore.  Jennifer’s best friends Jen and Ginnifer were having their own romance issues: Jen couldn’t get her VERY committed boyfriend Ben to marry her and Ginnifer was too hopeless a romantic to find anyone serious.  Then Bradley meets Scarlett who tries to seduce him while holding on to “nice guy” Kevin – just in case.  Let me stop here and say that Miss Johansson needs to find an acting gig where she doesn’t play the home wrecking whore!  Oh, and she sucks all the goodness out of any movie she’s in!  So where does Drew fit in?  She works at a gay magazine and believes that you can find your soul mate through facebook, myspace, twitter, and an endless other online groups.  She eventually meets Kevin and they fall in love.  Bradley and Jennifer get divorced but Bradley doesn’t get Scarlett.  Jen and Ben get hitched and Ginnifer and Justin end up together and very happy.

It was a dumb movie.  And I feel I wasted $.75 to see it!

Rating: *

He's Just Not That Into You

Coraline

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by ldw

I really disliked this movie!

The stop-action was neat.  Dakota Fanning was good.  But that was it!

The storyline was weird and hard to follow.  It was too dark and scary for kids.  The characters weren’t people we cared about.  The “happy ending” was cheesy and fake.  It was not a good movie.

Coraline is a girl who feels neglected and lonely.  Her parents are journalists for gardening magazines and they deeply care about their work.  Coraline just wants them to play with her instead of working!  Her family moves and the new house has a tiny door that has been locked and wallpapered.  Coraline complains until her mom opens the door for her, just to find it is bricked closed.  That night Coraline can’t sleep and she sneaks down to the bricked door just to find it isn’t bricked anymore.  She crawls through the door into a new world where everything is just how she thinks she wants it – good food, parents who stop working to play, friends who don’t speak, cats who do.  There is something weird in this new “fun” world – everyone has buttons instead of eyes.

After visiting the new world a few times, Coraline is asked to have buttons sewn into her eyes and stay there forever.  She refuses but she can’t escape the new world.  This world quickly become scary and unsafe!  She meets three child ghosts who chose the buttons many years before and they ask Coraline to find their eyes so they can be freed to rest in peace.  Then Coraline learns that the button-eyed mother is actually a spider-woman (not like Peter Parker) and extremely evil.   Spider mom stole Coraline’s real parents and now she must find the ghost kids’ eyes, her parents, and a way out before she is caught and buttons are placed in her eyes.

Dumb!  I just kept thinking, “Why do I care?”

Like I said, I did like Dakota Fanning who voiced Coraline.  I had a hard time even picturing Miss Fanning because she was that good at becoming this new character.  No one else really jump started my heart for their voice acting and the overall movie was blah.

We haven’t had a good stop-action, claymation movie since The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride but this movie did that well.  I enjoyed watching the movie for the artistry experienced.

Rating: * for the movie but * * * 1/2 for the “animation”

Coraline

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Posted in Movie with tags , , on May 20, 2009 by ldw

This movie was dumb.  It was barely worth the 75 cents I paid to see it.  I mean it had some funny parts but that was it!

Kevin James plays Paul Blart, a single father still living with his mother how has a dream of being a police officer.  Unfortunately he is hypoglycemic and has yet to complete the obstacle course for the academy.  So he works at the mall as a security guard who is treated horribly and without regard.

He eventually gets to save the day and get the girl – not a spoiler because it’s obvious from the start!

There are some funny parts and some fun action sequences but for the most part this movie is … bad.

There is nothing spectacular about the cinematography, the acting, the directing, or the storyline.  It is what it is and it’s a bad comedy B-list movie.

Rating: * 1/2

Paul Blart Mall Cop

Speed Racer

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by ldw

I was not excited about seeing Speed Racer, but I buckled down(pun intended)  and put in on my Netflix account and when it came I actually enjoyed it!

I LOVED the colors and the CGI.  It’s Speed Racer – it’s supposed to look like that!  I thought the cinematography continued the story through the pictures and animation and action.  It pulled me into the story and sucked me into the Racer family!

Emile Hersch plays Speed and I thought he was perfect.  I mean he had just finished Into the Wild and he jumped into this role.  It really showed his versatility as an actor.  I believed Speed and I thought he really cared deeply about his family.

The rest of the cast was perfect – Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer, John Goodman as Pops Racer, Paulie Litt as Spritle Racer, Scott Porter as Rex Racer, Matthew Fox as Racer X, and Christina Ricci as Trixie.  The ensemble cast was stellar too! I enjoyed watching them act.

Speed is a great racecar driver just like his older brother Rex.  The entire Racer family is involved in the racing world!  But when Rex dies in a racing accident, Speed takes it extremely hard.  He plans to avenge his brothers death by becoming the best racer EVER!  But he falls into the same ills as Rex – being good enough to be pursued by a Professional Racing Team.  Speed uses this and his family and friends to bring down the corrupt racing industry so that the true racers can get back to what they love!

It has a great message of family and values not to mention the idea that good triumphs no matter how powerful or rich evil is.  It was a fun and interesting movie that made you think and feel and laugh.  It did everything a movie is supposed to do and they did it without cursing, sex, or other negative things.

Rating: * * * *

Speed Racer