Posts Tagged ‘movie’

For all the laughs that Adam Sandler has delievered over the years his role in Spanglish set him apart as a serious actor. His performance in Reign on Me far surpasses even that achievement. I’ve always loved Don Cheadle. He’s just such a classy, likeable guy. Liv Tyler is so demure and ethereal. The cast as a whole works so well in this film, but the writing and directing are masterfully orchestrated. Mike Binder really amazed me. Who knew he could be capable of such art? He even has a small role in the movie.

The film is heavy without a doubt. How can you make a movie about a 911 widower struggling with grief light hearted? Nonetheless there is tremendous balance with just enough laughs and brevity to rivet your attention and keep your heart from breaking completely until just the right moment.

I haven’t cried watching a movie since Where the Red Fern Grows when I was 9. I cried during this movie! Did you hear me? I cried for God’s sake. I couldn’t help it. What was odd was that I finally broke near the end of the movie during a happy scene of all things. The film takes you into the depths of pain and heartache like few have done before, but it’s not a sad movie. It’s really not. It’s heart warming and endearing. It will make you cherish your life and all those in it that you love. It is a must see, and a must win for an Academy Award.

I was first in line at Blockbuster Tuesday morning to get Tranformers, and I was not disappointed. Wow! I thought the FX were impressive, the story was pretty good, and Megan Fox was amazing. As a Gen X kid, or whatever they call kids that grew up in the 80’s these days, I was a huge Transformers fan of both the cartoons and the toys. I like the way the storyline introduced the whole franchise to a generation that weren’t familiar. There was just enough humor in it to tone down the intensity and remind you what it was to grow up with the franchise. I think Michael Bay did an outstanding job directing. It has got to be one of the best cartoon to movie transitions I’ve ever seen. Five stars all the way!

Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was ok. The special effects were good. You gotta love anything with Jessica Alba in it, but there was no real wow factor to the movie. I didn’t really enjoy the first one much either. It’s great for kids I guess. Although I’d rank it higher than a lot of B-rated comic movies of recent years, it falls short of Spiderman by a skyscraper.

Even MoneyShari Rhodes deserves an academy award for casting Even Money. How she got these people to sign up for this one, I’ll never know. Consider the A-list here: Kim Basinger, Nick Cannon, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Ray Liotta, Jay Mohr, Tim Roth, & Forest Whitaker. The beginning was good, as in the first 15 minutes. I liked the layered intro of the characters, but after that it went down hill quickly. It was terribly written and ridiculously predictable. It starts getting worse, but you keep hoping that something’s going to turn it around soon. It doesn’t happen. About half way through Basinger has an argument with her husband Liotta when this corny background music starts playing. Right then my wife looks up and says, “This sounds like a Lifetime movie.” I could not have described it any better. It would be a perfect Lifetime Original were it not for the all-star cast. Oh, Kelsey Grammar was good though, if only they didn’t bury his face in prosthetics and makeup, as to disguise the fact that it’s Kelsey Grammar.Don’t waste your money or your time on this one. You’ll have better luck with the nickel slots!

Without a doubt one of the movies with the most spiritual impact that I’ve seen in a while has to be Levity, starring Morgan Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Kirsten Dunst. I warn you, it’s gritty. The characters aren’t just flawed, they’re seriously messed up. Three lives intersect, each needing their own measure of grace in hopes of finding redemption. I’ll leave you with a few quotes in hopes that you will see it for yourself:

Miles Evans (Morgan Freeman): You think God talks to me? We argue maybe, but He don’t participate. It’s all right. I’ll see Him one day. When I do, I’m gonna whip His holy ass.

***********************************

Miles Evans: You know, you could get lucky. God might decide to grade you on the curve.
Manuel Jordan (Billy Bob Thornton): It wouldn’t matter either way.
Miles Evans: You don’t know what the hell you talking about, do you? Why be afraid of a God that you don’t believe in? Oh, I know, it seems like people are making up shit so they can feel good about all the pain, all the cruelty, loss, violence, suffering, death. Famine, bigotry, small-mindedness, repression, depression, oppression. Want me to keep talking? ‘Cause I can go on forever with this shit.
Manuel Jordan: No, I get the point.
Miles Evans: The point is: I believe in the lie. Never underestimate its power. Now, as for me, well, I’m lying through my teeth. I’ll see you soon.

Changing Lanes is an amazing movie I never heard of before but just happened to see at Blockbuster. I’ve never been real impressed by Ben Affleck except in Good Will Hunting, but he really delivered in this one. The movie is an ordinary day that goes to hell quickly and continues to unravel at every turn just until it couldn’t get any worse. It’s a true crescendo effect of emotion with a very powerful ending.

Favorite lines/moments:

Doyle (Jackson): “Money. You… you think I want money? What I want is my morning back. I need you to give my time back to me. Can you give me back my time? Can you give my time back to me? Huh? Can you?” 

Gavin (Affleck): “They’ve got to write their own letters.”

Doyle’s Sponsor (William Hurt): “You know, booze isn’t really your drug of choice anyway. You’re addicted to chaos. For some of us, it’s coke. For some of us, it’s bourbon. But you? You got hooked on disaster.”

Gavin (Affleck): “It’s like you go to the beach. You go down to the water. It’s a little cold. You’re not sure you want to go in. There’s a pretty girl standing next to you. She doesn’t want to go in either. She sees you, and you know that if you just asked her her name, you would leave with her. Forget your life, whoever you came with, and leave the beach with her. And after that day, you remember. Not every day, every week… she comes back to you. It’s the memory of another life you could have had. Today is that girl.”

I’ve seen quite a few movies the last few days between the Blockbuster movie program and HBO. I thought I should share a few thoughts on them:

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music documentary by Robert Elfstrom
I love all things Johnny Cash. I’ve read several biographies, including one by Rolling Stone magazine which was an amazing photo journey. This documentary was not an all encompassing birth to death, rags to riches epic. It was filmed by British filmmaker Robert Elfstrom in the late 1960’s as he traveled with Johnny and June. Johnny was so impressed with Elfstrom’s work that he later asked him to produce his film about Jesus Christ, The Gospel Road. This movie is archival footage from live concerts, recording sessions, Johnny’s return visit to his hometown, and rare personal moments and reflections. Fantastic!

Conversations With God with Henry Czerny
I had this movie in my queue but moved it up after my friend commented on it on his blog. I thought the movie provided a very human portrayal of a man who fell upon hard times and into homelessness and struggled to climb his way back out. I did not buy into the spirituality. It seemed to lack substance and drive book sales or something. Overall, I was glad I watched it.

Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas
Ok, how many movies have there been about courageous teachers who transform the lives of inner city kids? I didn’t rent this one, but when I started watching the beginning I had to stay up to watch the whole movie. I’m not a big Antonio Banderas fan, but he did an excellent job of acting in the movie. I guess the whole ballroom dancing thing was a large enough curiosity hook to separate it from the other movies about troubled inner city kids. Definately worth watching!

Proof with Gweneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, & Jake Gyllenhaal
I missed the first few minutes of this one, but it was really good. It’s a little similar to A Beautiful Mind but definately stands apart. Gweneth Paltrow was amazing in this movie. Jake Gyllenhaal was ok. Anthony Hopkins’ appearances are limited but he’s old, heavy, and going crazy in the film, so he provides some depth. He’s Paltrow’s aging mathematical genius father who is losing his mind. Paltrow’s scenes jump back and forth to her time of caring for him and moving forward after he dies. In the process she’s wrestling with her own sanity and genius. A very good drama. I recommend it.

Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands
I saw this one over a year ago and just watched it again today. I enjoy movies filmed in or set in Louisiana, especially if they’re good. This is a darker movie about old New Orleans and voodoo, and it has some amazing plot twists. It’s not a horror film but a great suspense thriller. It’s grade A entertainment that will keep you hooked.