Movie of the Month - December, 2008

November 19th, 2008

Son of Rambow

Son of RambowImagination, fantasy, and the irreplaceable bonds of childhood friendship highlight this "comedy that's full of heart" (Joe Nuemaier, NY Daily News). Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) is looking for an escape from his family's stifling home life when he encounters Lee Carter (Will Poulter), the school bully. Armed with a video camera and a copy of Rambo: First Blood, Lee plans to make cinematic history by filming his own action-packed video epic. Together these two newfound friends-turned-budding-filmmakers quickly discover that their imaginative -- and sometimes mishap-filled -- cinematic adventure has begun to take on a life of its own! Entertaining, uplifting, and brimming with nostalgia, Son of Rambow "makes you feel like a kid again" (Ethan Alter, Giant Magazine).

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The Love Guru

November 6th, 2008

Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0811138/

The Love GuruMike Myers plays the hilarious character The Guru Pitka!

As The Guru Pitka vies for the title of the world's best self-help guru, Pitka must help a star hockey player win his wife back from rival athlete Jacques "Le Coq" Grande (Justin Timberlake) and, along with it, the Stanley Cup. Will Pitka's comic karmic intervention be enough to turn this losing team into champions?

Also starring Jessica Alba and Vern Troyer, The Love Guru is "one big laugh from beginning to end!" (Jim Ferguson, KGUN9 ABC)

The owner of a seemingly cursed NHL franchise contacts a self-help guru about helping the team's star player get back together with his wife. The team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup if its star can focus on hockey and not on the fact that his wife has left him for a rival player, nicknamed "Le Coq." I know it sounds like a recipe for a bad sports movie, but it isn't. The movie really has little to do with hockey at all. The focus is on Mike Myers's schtick and Justin Timberlake delivering comedy gold (as Le Coq).

The movie had a few hilarious scenes, but was just decent overall. I know it has not been well-reviewed by anyone, but I think most people's expectations were way too high. This is Mike Myers rehashing a few of the old bits that have brought him success in the Austin Powers franchise. His interaction with Vern Troyer (more affectionately known as Mini Me) is silly and for some people it is past its prime. I still enjoy it and I still enjoy Mike Myers so I still enjoyed The Love Guru.

The show stealer was easily Justin Timberlake. From the trailers you get a snippet with him on screen. I figured he would not play much of a part in the overall movie, but he had a good amount of involvement. He was fantastic. If he keeps taking rolls like this one I will see every movie he makes.

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October 28th, 2008
Thank You For SmokingJoey Naylor: Why did you tell that reporter all your secrets?
Nick Naylor: You're too young to understand.
Joey Naylor: Mom says it's because you have dependency issues and it was all just a matter of time before you threw it all away on some tramp.
Nick Naylor: Well, that's one theory.

Movie of the Month - November, 2008

October 24th, 2008

Layer Cake

L4yer CakePlanning to retire and begin a new life, Mr. X (Daniel Craig), a successful West End drug dealer, has been asked for one last favor: to negotiate the sale of one million hits of Ecstacy. Unfortunately for Mr. X, the pills were stolen from a Serbian drug lord who'll cut off his head if he sells them. And with a London crime czar (Michael Gambon) promising to retire him permanently if he doesn't, Mr. X may be rightfully concerned about his future. Nothing worth losing his head over.

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Redbelt

October 8th, 2008

Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1012804/

RedbeltREDBELT is the story of Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Jiu-Jitsu master who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing instead to pursue an honorable life by operating a self-defense studio with a samurai's code.

An accident on a dark, rainy night at Terry's studio between an off-duty officer and a distraught lawyer (Emily Mortimer) puts in motion a series of events that will change Terry's life dramatically, introducing him to a world of promoters (Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna) and movie star Chet Frank (Tim Allen). Faced with this, in order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.

Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor) runs a martial-arts studio, always emphasizing the arts' use being rooted in self defense only. He has a reputation as a passivist, but his honor is tested when a series of events back him against a wall. He is played like a fool and has to regain his honor and come up with enough money to pay off his debts.

This was not your typical martial-arts movie -- well, it wasn't really a martial-arts movie at all. Sure Terry is a teacher, and the movie involves a competition, but the movie is more about the web woven by writer and director David Mamet. The plot is mainly about the trouble Terry suddently finds himself in with no feasible way out and the jiu-jitsu is used almost like a prop. I enjoyed how each of the characters became involved, voluntarily or otherwise. Each player was a pawn in the game. I enjoyed this movie only for what it could have been. In execution, it was a weak effort.

And while David Mamet may be known for his obscure plots and confusing endings, this movie left much to be desired by way of substance. It was VERY rushed and moved too quickly. To defend the pace, the ideas were not that complex and required little to set them in motion. But the movie could have easily been given some depth and lengthened. I feel that this story could have been better sold to HBO or someone as a mini-series rather than a stand-alone movie. There were many characters that warranted more attention than they were given, but before you knew it, the movie was over.

Maybe Mamet was trying to capitalize on the popularity surge that mixed martial arts has enjoyed recently. I fall in with the crowd that has made MMA fighting something to watch. I have to admit that I was disappointed in the lack of fight scenes.

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October 3rd, 2008
Being John MalkovichCraig Schwartz: Can I buy you a drink, Maxine?
Maxine: Are you married?
Craig Schwartz: Yes, but enough about me.

I'm walking!

October 1st, 2008

As my fourth week "post-op" (knee surgery. no big deal.) comes to a close, I face an exciting milestone. Tomorrow I get to put weight on my right leg for the first time in a month. I told my physical therapist that I will crutch through the office all day and take my first step(s) under her watch. Though I admitted that it will be something like Steve Martin towards the end of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. (I apologize that the link isn't to the exact scene referenced, but I cannot find it. This is the closest I could come.)

Have you ever done that? Where you slip a movie reference, allbeit maybe an obscure movie reference, into day-to-day conversation and then immediately turn your eyes on your audience, watching intently for any signs of recognition? You don't do it to feel superior by stumping this person, someone may not know at all (though this happens, but under different circumstances). You do it reaching out in the night for someone you may call "brother." Simply someone with whom you may share a moment, however brief.

My reference was lost on my physical therapist. She's never seen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was a man on a lonely island with no one to appreciate my reference. My solution? you ask. You should all get your hands on a copy of this movie.

Movie of the Month - October, 2008

September 18th, 2008

Harry and Tonto

Harry and TontoArt Carney won a Best Actor Oscar for his moving performance in this poignant comedy that proves it's never too late to live. When Harry Golden's New York apartment faces demolition, he and his cat Tonto set out for Los Angeles to live with Harry's three grown children. But Harry quickly discovers he'd be happier just about anywhere else. So once more, Harry and Tonto hit the road -- except this time their only plan is to have an adventure they'll never forget. With its outstanding supporting cast including Ellen Burstyn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Larry Hagman and Chief Dan George, this classic is one you'll want to watch for years to come.

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September 15th, 2008
Thank You For SmokingNick Naylor: That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.

Movie of the Month - September, 2008

August 18th, 2008

Smart People

Smart PeopleFrom the producer of Sideways -- get to know a lovable yet dysfunctional family everyone can relate to in this lighthearted comedy People calls "smart and enjoyable." When Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) -- a widowed and self-absorbed professor -- falls for his attractive former student (Sex And The City's Sarah Jessica Parker), his all-too-predictable life suddenly turns sunny-side up. That is, until his freeloading brother (Thomas Haden Church) and his sharp-tongued overachieving daughter (Juno's Ellen Page) speak up, making "chaos" the word of the day. Now on DVD, Smart People is even funnier with never-before-seen interviews, deleted scenes and hilarious outtakes.

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