March 17th, 2011


TraitorAcademy Award nominee Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash) and Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) star in Traitor, a taut international thriller set against a puzzle of covert counter-espionage operations.

When straight-arrow FBI agent agent Roy Clayton (Pearce) investigates a dangerous international conspiracy responsible for a prison break in Yemen, a bombing in Nice and a raid in London, all clues seem to lead back to former U.S. Special Operations officer, Samir Horn (Cheadle). But a tangle of contradictory evidence emerges, forcing Clayton to question whether his suspect is a disaffected former military operative -- or something far more complicated.

Obsessed with discovering the truth, Clayton tracks Horn across the globe as the elusive ex-soldier burrows deeper and deeper into a world of shadows and intrigue.

Don Cheadle is Samir Horn, a man who makes unlikely friends with a Middle-Eastern terrorist group. Does he support their holy mission, in furtherance of the God he shares with them? Or may he be the catalyst to bring this group down...from the inside?

You can no longer count the number of movies about the global threat of Middle Eastern terrorism on one hand. It is a topic that gets headlines around the world, and movie makers must salivate over the screenplays. I have admitted my bias, and maybe that is what made this movie mediocre for me. I thought the Americans were portrayed as ruthless, witless cowboys. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with that viewpoint, but only that I grow tired of it.

Don Cheadle is my saving grace. He is one of the finest actors of this time. He has a seriousness about him that makes everything he says worth hearing. This movie followed him through some very difficult decisions and you feel torn in two directions almost more than he is. He is a talent worth keeping an eye on. He is also the only real highlight in this movie for me. The rest of the movie was just another take on these now-popular, religious Crusades.


March 15th, 2011

March 9th, 2011
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidButch Cassidy: Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.

Sunshine Cleaning

March 8th, 2011


Sunshine CleaningAcademy Award Nominee Amy Adams, Golden Globe Winner Emily Blunt, and Academy Award Winner Alan Arkin find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in this "colorful, refreshingly quirky comic drama" (Leah Rozen, People).

Desperate to get her son into a better school, single mom Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) persuades her slacker sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to join her in the crime scene cleanup business to make some quick case. With the help of their ill-fated salesman father (Alan Arkin), they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, finding themselves up to their elbows in murders, suicides, and...specialized situations. But underneath the dust and grime they also come to discover a true respect for one another, and create a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family.

The plot was nothing extraordinary, but the characters and the actors cast in those roles could have been very endearing. The character development left much to be desired. With a cast including Amy Adams, Alan Arkin and Clifton Collins, Jr., it might be my naïveté to assume the film makers would let them shine. Ms. Adams and Mr. Arkin drift aimlessly through this film as cliché. The former cheer captain who is unable to lead her own life and leave the star quarterback behind. The grandfather who is unlucky in business but always working some angle only to disappoint his family with unfulfilled promises. If the characters are nothing new, at least try to present them in a unique fashion. That was not done here. Mr. Collins, Jr. is too talented to take such a small part where his role is as more of a prop than a character worth developing. Regardless of Mr. Collins Jr.'s involvement, the character he played could have improved the movie with minimal expansion.

I wanted a movie about the strength of troubled relatives as they came together as a family. Perhaps it was my expectations that got the better of me. Perhaps this movie was a good idea in theory and once executed missed its mark. If you must, decide for yourself. I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend this movie.

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February 28th, 2011
The United States of LelandLeland: The worst part is knowing that there is goodness in people. Mostly it stays deep down and buried. Maybe we don't have God because we're scared of the bad stuff. Maybe we're really scared of the good stuff. Because if there's no God, well, that means it's inside of us and we could be good all the time if we wanted. So when we do bad things, it'd be because we want to or because we have to. Or maybe we just need the bad stuff to remind us what the good stuff is in the first place.

December 17th, 2009
RobotsFender: Well, good luck in the big city. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, and if you can't make it here, welcome to the club.

Movie of the Month - September, 2009

August 19th, 2009


The hand is quicker than the eye in LA's underground gambling scene, hustlers get hustled and fortunes ride on every deal. Three small-time grifters devise a plan to beat the ultimate card mechanic -- The Dean. But a seat at The Dean's table doesn't come cheap.

Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Damned), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects), Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II), Jamie Foxx (Any Given Sunday), Melanie Griffith (Crazy in Alabama) and Sylvester Stallone (Cop Land) star in this stylish film where quick maneuvers and shady alliances keep you guessing until the last hand is revealed.

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August 17th, 2009
The PrestigeAlfred Borden: The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

August 12th, 2009


From the Main Menu select "Upgrades." From the Upgrades menu, when your cursor (which will look like a wrench) is on "Commentaries" move to the left. You should see crossed wrenches appear on the bottom lefthand corner of the Upgrades title sign. Press enter/select to watch "Mechanical Mistakes - Rodney Loses His Head." This isn't even a film, it is just a short snippet of quite literally a mechanical mistake where Rodney...loses his head. It is only a few seconds long and...not at all impressive. But it's there if you want to find it.

July 26th, 2009
Unknown White MaleNarrator: How much of our past lives, the thousands of moments we experience, helps to make us who we are? If you took all of these remembrances, these memories, away, what would be left? How much is our personality, our identity, determined by the experiences we have, and how much is already there - pure "us?"