The Barbarian Invasions

November 13th, 2004

Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001XAPWE/petespage01

The Barbarian InvasionsAcademy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, The Barbarian Invasions is a provocative look at the many ties that bind a group of friends and lovers! It's not easy for a narrow-minded professor to reconcile with his equally stubborn son. But soon, father and son find themselves gathering with their wide and colorful circle of family and friends to confront their differences, confess their secrets and celebrate life! Winner of the Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, this outstanding motion pictures has been hailed by critics everywhere as one of the year's best!

Since hearing about this film even prior to the Academy Awards, I have greatly anticipated seeing it. To no one's fault but my own, I let an incredible amount of time lapse before I finally got around to see The Barbarian Invasions.

Let me begin by telling you that whatever expectations you have going into this movie re: plot will be misleading. This is a very unique plot line that mixes a variety of stories with which we are familiar. The movie I would most equate it to is The Big Chill, though it didn't have nearly as good of a soundtrack.

This movie is truly an invasion on the comfort we take in blissful ignorance to many harsh realities of life with which we rarely come in contact. That complicated sentence could be explained in the following way: There are many tragedies in life that we do not deal with on a day to day basis. The Barbarian Invasions tells us not to forget that these situations arise.

An incredibly moving film that tugs hard at the strings we've hung in our hearts for family and friends. I challenge you to not take a moment and think of how lucky you are to have whomever is close in your life.

This was not the movie I had expected. I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Regardless, The Barbarian Invasions was a very good movie. I gladly recommend it.

Buy The Barbarian Invasions $23.99
Buy The Big Chill $7.99
Buy The Big Chill Soundtrack $13.98

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Team America: World Police.

November 8th, 2004

Team America: World PoliceThe next big screen installment from Matt Stone and Trey Parker (those who bring you South Park) is Team America: World Police. This movie, acted entirely by marionette puppets, satires the current political system in the United States and offers somewhat of a perspective on how we are viewed by the rest of the world.

If you are going to see this movie, and I recommend that you do, please please please understand that it is all in fun. This is a comedy. These are jokes. Do not get offended. Also, understand that if you are going to take your child(ren) to this movie, be sure you check with your wife. There was a man, woman, and little girl (probably around 14) who got up and left the theater some 30 minutes into the movie.

That out of the way, this movie was hilarious. I do not want to ruin anything for those of you who have not seen the movie yet or take my site above a PG rating, so I'll not go into any great depth. I will however tell you that the plot is weak, the "action" is terrible and the writing was absolute comedy gold. I was not expecting to see the next Pianist, so I was not offended by the explicit language/actions in the movie.

I laughed. I laughed a lot. You will laugh, too.

Hot Deal from Amazon: A Bronx Tale

October 26th, 2004

The Ladykillers

October 19th, 2004

The LadykillersAcademy Award-winning Tom Hanks turns in a hilariously original performance in THE LADYKILLERS, the laugh-out-loud comedy that explodes with outrageous wit and slapstick humor from the Coen Brothers. Underneath Professor G.H. Dorr's (Hanks) silver-tongued southern gentleman persona is a devious criminal who has assembled a motley gang of thieves to commit the heist of the century by tunneling through his churchgoing landlady's root cellar to a casino's vault of riches. But these cons are far from pros. As their scheme begins blowing up in their faces, their landlady smells a rat. And when she threatens to call the police, they figure they'll just bump her off. After all, how hard can that be? Wickedly funny from start to finish, it would be a crime to miss THE LADYKILLERS.

I anxiously anticipated this movie's release in theaters, but was unable, for whatever reason(s), to see it there. I was forced then, to wait for the DVD release. My time came last night to watch The Ladykillers. A very unique role for Hanks who appears to be journeying slightly from his stereotypical "good guy" roles. Combine his genius (yes, I'll be so bold) with the unique stylings of the Coen Brothers and you have got my attention.

The writing, as expected, was hilarious...at times. There were lulls in the story, though that happens often in Coen Bros' films. In my opinion Tom Hanks has only made one bad movie; this was not it (The Terminal). The Ladykillers seemed to follow a "Coen" path from start to finish, though understand this is not a bad thing. The "Coen" path you do not necessarily notice until the movie is over and then everything makes sense. Their stories always come full circle. It is always worth your time to see how their movies end. Still not convinced? Marlon Wayans is funny in The Ladykillers, who else but the Coen Brothers could make that happen?

Buy The Lady Killers $22.49 from Amazon.com

| Forum | Other DVDs by the Coen Brothers
O Brother, Where Art Thou? $14.99
Fargo $14.99
The Big Lebowski $11.24
The Hudsucker Proxy $15.98
Raising Arizona $14.99

Almost Famous

October 12th, 2004

Link: http://www.almost-famous.com/index_main.html

Almost FamousCameron Crowe's first film since his Academy Award nominated hit Jerry Maguire captures a pivotol time in the history of rock and roll. Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William (Patrick Fugit), an unabashed music fan who is inspired by the seminal bands of the time.

When his love of music lands him an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater--fronted by lead guitar Russell (Billy Crudup) and lead singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee)--William embarks on an eye-opening journey with the band, despite the objections of his protective morhter (Frances McDormmand). With the help of the lovely "band aid" Penny lane (Kate Hudson), William finds himself in a circle. But as he becomes less an observer and more a participant in the band's dynamics, the fledgling reporter loses the objectivity to tell his story honestly, and learns a life-changing lesson about the importance of family-the ones we inherit, and the ones we create.

Brilliantly written, Almost Famous is a feel good movie you can sink your teeth into. From the incredible soundtrack to the all-star cast, the movie is enjoyable from every perspective. If you are a movie watcher who likes to enjoy film as entertainment, but also as a form of art, you may enjoy the scene on the tour bus as Elton John's Tiny Dancer plays. Moments like that can be very powerful in a movie in which it is not necessarily expected. I am not generally a Philip Seymour Hoffman fan, but his role as mentor to young William was a great role. He summed up life towards the end of the movie, "The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."

Check out this movie. This is one of the good ones.

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Shark Tale

October 9th, 2004

Went to see Shark Tale this afternoon as a means of killing time between a wedding and its reception. I was not thrilled by Dreamworks' work on this one. There were some absolutely hilarious parts, but there were also too many slow moments to carry the movie. The kids in the theater seemed to love the movie, maybe my expectations were too high. I do doubt that was the case though as I went into it pretty indifferent as I couldn't tell if it looked good or not from the previews. Big names in the case doing the voice overs, though you will not even know it is them until they run the end credits. Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and a few others sounded nothing like they do normally. The movie was fun, there is no denying that fact, but I will not rush out to buy the DVD.

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Forgotten

October 9th, 2004

So I am still pretty much on the fence about this movie as to whether to list it as a "Watch" or "Don't Watch." The premise of this movie is that Julianne Moore believes she had a son and that someone is trying to erase him from her memory. She fights whatever may be causing the lapsing of what she feels are memories of her boy. Very interesting plot, though I feel they could have done more with it. I am not happy with the execution of the story, but I cannot tell you that I was not scared. The movie was definitely scary, though more so in a startling fashion than in a suspenseful one. There was one part of the movie that is a guaranteed jump out of your seat moment. It happens as you can feel something is about to happen, though you are not quite positive as to what, and then that something happens. It is so rare to find a good scary movie, they are so hard to pull off. Worth seeing once, though you will not be in any rush to see it a second time.

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The Shawshank Redemption

September 27th, 2004

Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000399WI/petespage01?dev-t=mason-wrapper%26camp=2025%26link_code=xm2

The Shawshank RedemptionI find the discussion of a single favorite movie to be unfair as often times it is difficult to select one above all others. So many movies can be favorites for different reasons; why force someone to choose? Instead, ask someone what would be a few of their favorite movies. Though, if I had to pick one, my favorite movie would be The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

Last night I was faced with a very difficult decision. Do I sit and bore myself to tears watching a horribly boring Sunday night NFL matchup? Or do I peruse the select few other channels I ever watch for a reprieve? Luckily I opted for the latter as I flipped to AMC and caught "Shawshank".

This is a feel good movie. Though some of the subject matter is not the most upbeat, the overall theme of the movie is hope. The movie portrays life in a prison in the 1940's as Andy Dufresne (Robbins) befriends Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding (Freeman). The movie stresses perseverance in the face of adversity and emphasizes how we can better our lives by focusing on the little things, the simple pleasures in life. Obviously the movie takes adversity to an extreme through prison life as it's vehicle, but the message is clear.

Interestingly enough, this movie was adapted from a novella by Stephen King, though do not expect a horror film when you watch The Shawshank Redemption. And you should watch The Shawshank Redemption...

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Robin Hood Men in Tights

September 23rd, 2004

Mel Brooks, where are you!?!?!

It is downright criminal that this movie is not available on DVD. Arguably the greatest comedic mind the film world has ever seen has almost his entire resume on DVD, yet no Robin Hood Men in Tights. This has bothered me for so long. I check now as often as once a month, though before I would check once weekly in hopes of finding one day that there was a release date.

Robin Hood Men in TightsWhen will the madness end? The point was made to me by another person tonight that the movie is not available on DVD as if it was news to me. I now know I am not the only one in search of Robin Hood Men in Tights.

What does it take to begin placing requests for it's production? Who must I write?

I pride myself on my DVD collection. Without Robin Hood Men in Tights, my collection is incomplete...



Mel...help me out.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

September 18th, 2004

Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0347246/

This movie was crazy. There is no other way to put it. I've never been more impressed and more confused and liked a movie so much. I'm not sure I can even call this a movie. The term animated poetry seems more appropriate. They drop some knowledge on you in Innocence. The animation was unbelievable, thought at times it looked that they were just showing off. There were a few cut scenes that did not need to be 3d rendered, but at a few points they will take your breathe away with the detail. Though as the credits roll you stay in your seat stunned as you try to figure out what just happened, there is no negative feelings toward this movie. It was great. Batou was a beast, maybe a little more of him fighting would have made me a little happier.

Check it out.