March 2012

Mirror, Mirror Review

The tale of Snow White comes alive

My husband and I decided to go to a movie today, and once again, we didn’t have a lot of choices. We decided to see Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts. I’d seen previews and read some reviews and had mixed feelings about seeing this movie, but it was the best offering of the available choices.  I didn’t realize until later that while my husband had heard of the movie, he wasn’t sure what it was about until it started. We both thought it was a decent movie, not great, but good. I give it a B minus.

Mirror, Mirror is a retelling of the tale of Snow White, the version you were never told as a child. Julia Roberts plays the Queen, who put a spell on Snow White’s father, the King, in order to get him to marry her. After the King is killed in the forest, the Queen exiles Snow White, played by Lily Collins, not allowing her to leave the castle. The Queen has also devastated the village, continually taxing the people so that she can use the money to throw lavish parties.

Rise of the Guardians

Fairy tales kicking butt

 

When I first heard about the premise of this film, I have to admit that I was rolling my eyes and cursing Hollywood yet again.  Upon seeing the trailer, I’ve changed my tune a bit.  For those who haven’t heard, Dreamworks has thrown together a CG animated film (in 3D of course) based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood.  The basic plot follows what is essentially a super-team of childhood icons as they seek to battle back the forces of evil which threaten to take over the world.

Get ready for 'Anchorman 2' because it's happening

News comes straight from Ron Burgundy's mouth

Sweet Lincoln's mullet! It's the news fans were waiting for: Another Anchorman is coming! Will Ferrell made the exciting announcement last night on Conan...as Ron Burgundy, of course. I can't tell you how many close friends I have who swear that Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy is the funniest movie in the history of all cinema -- and every one of them is flipping out today.

It's not clear just yet how long we'll actually have to wait for Anchorman 2 (or whatever it will officially be called), but at least now we know it's happening. Dare I say this might be one of the most highly anticipated movie sequels ever?

' The Hunger Games' cleans up at the weekend box office

Incredibly impressive opening exceeds (already high) expectations

Want to know where the happiest place on Earth is right now? Try Lionsgate. I can almost hear the champagne corks popping right now, after The Hunger Games raked in an incredible $155 million at the weekend box office. And yes, that's a history-making take. A big one.

The Hunger Games enjoyed the third-highest movie debut of all time, just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Dark Knight. And keep in mind, both of those films were sequels. Did anyone ever really doubt that The Hunger Games would score huge at the box office? Nah, me neither. But I have to say, this movie beat even my high expectations. We saw it on Saturday afternoon, in IMAX, and I absolutely loved it. I read the Suzanne Collins book two years ago and when I first found out a movie was coming, I was nervous. How could they possibly pull it off, and with a PG-13 rating, no less? They pulled it off. Fans of the book should be overjoyed. And the folks at Lionsgate studios? Yeah, there's champagne flowing freely.

When You Should Shoot For An R rating

There was a time when the R rating was a badge of honor for movies. The audiences was made up primarily of adults out for a night on the town and you knew going in that there was going to be something good to see.

It could have been a lot of nudity, violence or both and that appealed to a wide audience. No one went to go see Basic Instinct or Rambo for the acting. Movies were about entertainment and no one was pulling any lunches. Then, it all changed.

Bill and Ted Coming Back for a Third Movie?

When Bill and Ted had their Excellent Adventure back in 1989, I was but a teenager and the film was an iconic bit of comedy to me.  Two years later, 1991 saw the release of their Bogus Journey.  While this one didn’t quite live up to the level of funny that the original possessed, it was still an entertaining day at the movies.

But now, more than 20 years later, it looks like Bill – Alex Winter – and Ted – Keanu Reeves – may be coming back for one more installment in the franchise.  Yes, that’s right Bill & Ted part 3 is likely coming to a theater near you.

Casablanca

American Myth

People sometimes speak of “Casablanca” as a film noir, but it actually isn't. Humphrey Bogart's character in the movie, an American mercenary, gunrunner and nightclub owner named Rick, is a film noir trope (the hard-drinking, jaded idealist anti-hero), but that trope is inserted into a movie that is not a noir.

Teaser for 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2' Hits the Web

Fans can expect the full trailer to drop very soon

This has to be a first: A teaser trailer for...a movie teaser trailer? Seriously, not kidding here: Summit has released a (very) short preview trailer for the upcoming final film in the Twilight movie series. It's only 15 seconds long, so don't expect too much. Still, for fans desperately in need of a Twilight fix, anything helps.

The biggest news, however, is that a full teaser trailer for Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is expected to be out early next week.

Tim Burton's Dark Shadows

Every family has its demons.

Before "Twilight" and "True Blood", there was "Dark Shadows". I loved the original television show that ran from 1966 to 1971. Imagine my excitement when I heard that Tim Burton was making a "Dark Shadows" movie. Even better was the fact that Johnny Depp was going to play vampire Barnabas Collins. After all, Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors.

Finding Forrester

A reclusive writer and an inner city teen become friends

I watched "Finding Forrester" for the first time tonight. Awhile ago, my husband had asked me if I had ever seen it. I told him no, and he told me I'd like it. So today when we were at the video store, he found a copy on sale. We came home and watched it, and he was right - I did like it.

Released in December of 2000, "Finding Forrester" stars Sean Connery as a reclusive author, William Forrester. Rob Brown plays Jamal Wallace, a young African-American boy from Brooklyn who excels at both his school work and basketball. 

Leprechaun

Given this most festive of holidays, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide information about the best known Irish r-movie: Leprechaun. You may know Warwick Davis as the actor inside the Star Wars character Wicket, or the star in the movie Willow or as Prof. Flitwick in The Harry Potter series.

His first big starring role was as the homicidal leprechaun in Leprechaun. The movie also starred a very young Jennifer Aniston. I am sure she is proud of this classic gem of cinematography. It all starts when Dan O’Grady comes home from Ireland with a crazy story about trapping a leprechaun and taking his gold.

The leprechaun managed to escape and stow away coming to America. He kills O’Grady’s wife, but the Dan is able to trap him in a box with the power of a 4-leafed clover. He’s about to set the whole place on fire when he suffers a stroke and the leprechaun is left in the box for a decade.

Battleship (2012) – Wtf?

When I heard that there was a movie in production based on the Battleship board game, I had to roll my eyes at the desperation of Hollywood for subject matter.  Had it come to this?  Was the well of ideas tapped and drying up to the point that they were going to film two people yelling out coordinates and blowing each other’s boats apart?

This movie is, however, not anything of the sort.  The only “based on” connection to the board game seems to be the name, as the plot of this movie revolves around a small Naval force fighting against (what else?) aliens.  We’ve all seen a dozen of these films and skipped another two dozen.  It’s the same basic premise as Independence Day, except instead of the American Air Force winning the day, this time it’s the American Navy.  And this time the aliens are hanging out in the ocean instead of descending from the sky.

State of Grace

Irish Mob Movie

“State of Grace” is one of the coolest Irish gangster movies out there, starring Sean Penn and Gary Oldman as members of the Westies during their 80s heyday in Hell's Kitchen. The Westies were the last and possibly the most insanely brutal of a long line of Irish-American street gangs and organized crime entities that dominated the West Side of Manhattan for many generations. The scenario in the movie is fictional, but several of the characters and incidents are based on the real history of the Westies.

Will Ferrell in a Spanish-Language Comedy?

'Casa de Mi Padre' begins limited run in theaters soon

Have you heard that Will Ferrell is starring in a new Spanish-language comedy movie? Casa de Mi Padre might just be Ferrell's Ron Burgundy, done up Mexican-style. The movie hits theaters in limited release in the next few days, and it looks kind of funny.

The cast for Casa de Mi Padre is phenomenal, which is really what caught my attention. This one might be worth seeing, depending on how the critic's reviews turn out. Will Ferrell, with subtitles? It's definitely interesting, but will it be as hilarious as some of Ferrell's other movies?

"Empire of the Sun"

A little-known WWII movie.

Empire of the Sun (1987) is one of my favorite movies of all time. The Tom Stoppard-adapted, Steven Spielberg-directed World War II flick tells a little-known story about an era that has been done to death on film. Additionally, Christian Bale, as the twelve-year-old lead, Jamie “Jim” Graham earned his stripes as a serious actor, and predicted the success he would have in his later career.

Let's Dance

What do you get when you mix Kevin Bacon with a city that does not allow music and dancing? You get Footloose. In the 80’s, the original Footloose was released. The reviews were mixed; but this movie has managed to stay in the spotlight since the 80’s and eventually was remade into a 2011 movie.

I cannot deny that the 80’s version and the 2011 version are both good; yet I personally am impartial to the original, as most often the originals are better altogether. Regardless of what movie you prefer, the plot is the same.  A small towns’ challenge of banning music and dance and a city boy’s journey to breaking that ban and having a senior prom.

Let Me In: Just Plain Creepy

When I first saw that Chloe Grace Moretz was playing a young vampire in the movie Let Me In, I was intrigued. After seeing her in Kick Ass, I thought for a young girls she was a very good actress and quite dark.

 

Let Me In turned out to be just plain creepy and wrong in my opinion. Moretz plays a young girl that appears to only 12 or so, but in reality is significantly older. She craves blood and survives by meeting young boys, making them fall in love with her and then take care of her for the rest of their lives.

Total Recall – Totally Rebooted

"A budget of $200 million will no doubt make everything about this film look very pretty, regardless of how intelligent the screenplay is."

As seems to be the case with all movies that became cult classics in the last few decades, 1990’s Total Recall is getting a reboot.  The new film will feature the same basic storyline, complete with memory problems, spies and an entertainment company named Rekall which dredges up the main character’s past and causes him a host of problems.  What the new film will not include is the planet Mars, freaky mutants and a girl with three boobs.  Like the original, this new version is loosely (very loosely) based on Philip K. Dick’s story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.

Cannibal!

The Musical

Even though I hate cannibalism, I love “Cannibal! The Musical,” an early work by the same two guys that do “South Park.” With about as much historical accuracy as the typical Hollywood “based on true events” blockbuster but much more hilarity, Cannibal tells the story of the extremely ill-fated Packer expedition, which got lost in the Rockies and then eaten to the last man.

4 Ways We're Already in the "Hunger Games" World

Dystopic future? You're soaking in it!
The Hunger Games trilogy describes a dystopic future world rife with government lies, severe economic inequality, and impressive archery skills. But like many works of science fiction, the world of "The Hunger Games" isn't as comfortably distant as you might think.
 
 
1. Desperate Appalachian Poverty
Huge portions of the Hunger Games trilogy are set in District 12, where Katniss, Gale, and Peeta are from.

 

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District 12 roughly maps to Appalachia, and guess what? Its portrayal in the book is only a half step away from the reality of life there today. As of 2006, a study found that Martin County in Kentucky has a per-capita income of only $10,650 (less than half the national average of $21,587) and 37% of its residents
 live below the poverty line.

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