3:10 to Yuma

January 30th, 2008

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0381849/

3:10 to YumaInfamous outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Christian Bale) volunteers to deliver him alive to the "3:10 to Yuma," a train that will take the killer to trial but with Wade's outfit on their trail - and dangers at every turn - the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man's destiny.

Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) robs banks and trains and he will not hesitate to kill anyone who stands in his way of the money. By contrast, he is also an intelligent, charismatic, religious man who loves his mother. He is supremely confident in his ability to outwit and outshoot "the law," so it is no concern for him to get caught one day when he is separated from his gang. The concern belongs to the people who need to bring him to justice. The group of volunteers includes a desperate, but honorable man (Christian Bale) who is willing to take on the risk of getting Wade to the train in Yuma that will take him to jail.

I have frequently and even recently said that I do not like Russell Crowe, but he was very good in this role. It was impressive to see him pull off a character who can seem so innocent and trustworthy but is capable of horrible things if you cross him. He was not the star, however.

Ben Foster. I wish I could say that we will see more of this guy in roles like this, but unfortunately I don't see it. (I won't call this a fluke, because he definitely has talent, but I really believe this was the kind of role that comes along once in a lifetime.) He was the consumate outlaw. His fierce loyalty to Wade made him a very bad man, which translated into one of my favorite on-screen villains.

The DVD synopsis makes it sound like 3:10 to Yuma is edge-of-your-seat excitement. This was not the case, and most of the movie was pretty slow. It came to a boil at the end, which made up for a majority of the slow feeling, but please don't expect high energy when you watch it. The movie was long and it felt long, but Crowe and Foster were two great bad guys. Overall, I feel like this is a movie worth watching if you like Westerns and/or shoot-'em-up action flicks -- even though a movie about a pre-capture Ben Wade would have been much more entertaining.

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January 24th, 2008
Half NelsonDan: Change moves in spirals, not circles. For example, the sun goes up and then it goes down. But everytime that happens, what do you get? You get a new day. You get a new one. When you breathe, you inhale and you exhale, but every single time that you do that you're a little bit different than the one before. We're always changing. And it's important to know that there are some changes you can't control and that there are others you can.

Meet The Robinsons

January 23rd, 2008

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0396555/

Meet The RobinsonsHave the "time" of your life with Disney's fun-filled comedy Meet The Robinsons -- a thrilling adventure that takes you to a whole new world full of imagination and surprises. It's a "masterpiece," raves John Anderson of Newsday.

Join a brilliant young inventor named Lewis as he sets off on a time-traveling journey to find the family he never knew. In the fantastical world of 2037 hip-hoppin' frogs and dogs that wear glasses are as common as talking dinosaurs. In an amazing twist, Lewis discovers that the fate of the future rests in his hands, but he can't save it alone --- he'll need every bit of help he can get from the wonderfully wacky Robinson family, who help him learn to keep moving forward and never stop believing in himself.

When Lewis was just a baby he was left on the doorstep of an orphanage. He was well cared for there, but he was a special child and every couple that came to interview him for adoption was looking for a "normal" little boy. His rare talent for invention impressed no one. Rather than try to find a couple who would appreciate his gift, he decided to use it -- by inventing a machine that would help him find his real mom. In the most unlikely events that follow Lewis met the most amazing family and began to long for one of his own. Conflict arose and he found himself struggling between his loss of confidence and the need to use his gift to save the day...and the future.

When the previews came out, Meet The Robinsons was not a movie I planned to see. It looked like a movie for young children. I like a lot of kids' movies, but of a certain type. There are many that appeal to an older audience, and many that do not. I felt like there was nothing I would get from this one, so I wouldn't bother. But then I heard some surprisingly favorable reviews.

Meet The Robinsons is a fun story about a boy who has a chance to help other people if only he can believe in himself. The movie was well animated, funny and it had a great message without being preachy. This would be a good movie to show young kids because it talks about the importance of failure to success but does so in an unoffensive manner that won't bore you or them. I liked Meet The Robinsons and if I had kids this would be a movie I would keep on hand.

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January 22nd, 2008
Silence of the LambsHannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?

Movie of the Month - February, 2008

January 21st, 2008

December Boys

December BoysThey share the same birth month, so the orphanage calls them December Boys. But these teens -- Maps, Spit, Spark and Misty -- have much more in common. With no hopes of ever joining a family, they form their own familial bonds. Then the unexpected news comes that a young couple may adopt one of them, and the long-time pals suddenly share something else: a rivalry to be the chosen one.

December Boys, a poignant memoir of friendship and family, marks Daniel Radcliffe's first major film role outside the Harry Potter series. He plays Maps, a big brother to the group as it stumbles and wavers its way toward manhood. Join the boys for their remarkable journey of the heart called growing up.

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January 18th, 2008
Eagle vs SharkJarrod: I guess I've got to keep creating or I'll just die.

Top 5 Movies: from 2007

January 17th, 2008

1. Sweeney Todd

2. Juno

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Golden Compass

5. Lars and the Real Girl

(Honorable Mention: 300, Death at a Funeral, Transformers)

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January 16th, 2008
Broken FlowersThe Kid: So, as just a guy who gave another guy a sandwich, you have any philosophical tips or anything, for a guy on a kind of road trip?
Don Johnston: You asking me?
The Kid: Yeah.
Don Johnston: Well, the past is gone, I know that. The future isn't here yet, whatever it's going to be. So, all there is, is this. The present. That's it.

Waitress

January 15th, 2008

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0473308/

WaitressDon't miss writer-director Adrienne Shelly's sweet, sassy comedy about the power of friendship, motherhood and second chances, starring the radiant Keri Russell who serves up "a hilarious and heartfelt performance" (Rolling Stone).

Jenna (Russell), a small-town waitress with big dreams, has an uncanny gift for baking out-of-this-world pies. Her secret ambition is to win a $25,000 contest, so she can leave her obnoxious husband, open her own pie shop and transform her life. A chance meeting with a handsome newcomer to town just might supply the right ingredients to help Jenna find true happiness.

Jenna (Keri Russell) would like nothing more than to pack her few belongings and move away. She has never been truly appreciated -- especially by her controlling husband -- despite her talent. Jenna makes pie. And there is an upcoming pie contest with a grand prize that would allow her to finance her escape.

Reading and thinking about the synopsis of this movie would probably lead you, as it did me, towards an expectation of a sad movie. But if you watch it, you will find a more uplifting and empowering story about a woman who is finally ready to do things that make her happy.

The movie had its rough spots just about any time Jeremy Sisto was on screen. He played the controlling husband and his scenes were hard to watch. I have noticed that there is a distinct category of people who did not like this movie based solely on Sisto's character. I find that unfortunate since there was a very charming story here, but I can appreciate the viewpoint of anyone who fits that category.

Waitress was very well written. There were many great lines delivered by various members of the cast, but Andy Griffith stole the show. He played Old Joe, the man who owned the pie diner where Jenna worked. He was a crotchety old man who was nice to no one...except Jenna. He played a valuable role serving as her mentor and conscience and was a key ingredient to my enjoyment of the movie.

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January 14th, 2008
Ride with the DevilDaniel Holt: You supposed to sleep with the wife, Roedel. Great day in the mornin' you got to know that much! You supposed to share her bed. That way, if some other man do that, you shoot him.