My Movie Reviews and List of the Top 10 films of 2008
Just A Note: Movie Reviews on Films I Have Seen!
Updates: The movie War,Inc is available on DVD or BLUE-RAY, please show your support and buy a copy.
In Theatres now: Twilight Coming Soon: Shanghai released out in theatres on January 1 ,2009
Movies In Review: The Day The Earth Stood Still
Movie Review on War, Inc.
The movie, War, Inc., produced by New Crime Productions and Millenium Films, directed by Joshua Seftel, produced by Grace Loh, executive producers David Victor and Steve Pink, script written by Mark Leyner, and Jeremy Pikser. This movie which, John Cusack, helped produce and co-write, takes us on a dark satire, that gives a look into the power of corporate funded wars. War, Inc tells a story of a distant future. Where individual countries no longer exist, except as corporations, whose profits depend on waring on their neighbors, and outsourcing jobs to third party contractors. If anyone gets in the way of profit. The corporation sends out a lone gun man to take care of the problem. That is how Brand Hauser comes in played by, John Cusack, who poses as a corporation's trade producer, and has been asked by the ex Vice-President played by, Dan Aykroyd, to take care of a minor problem, an oil sheik name Omar Sharif over a oil pipe line. He is told to contact the Viceroy played by, Ben Kingsley, to aide him in this mission. Hauser, meets human rights activist slash journalist Natalie Hegalhuzen played by, Marisa Tomei, who tries to side track him to get a story on, what is really happening in war torn Turaqistan. He than meets Asia pop star Yonica Babyyeah played by ,Hilary Duff, whose marriage is the main event at the trade show, and it is Hauser's cover to help cordinate it. Hauser tries to stay on the course with the help of his operative partner Marsha Dillon played by, Joan Cusack, whose only desire is to get him to complete the assignment. So they can both go home. His emotions are conflicted between his duty to complete the mission, the sexy journalist, and the strange hold that the pop star has over him. Hauser's only release is a daily dose of hot sauce to soothe his nerves. You will like this funny, brilliant, movie about a diverse set of characters who are just trying to survive a world being sold on government propaganda, and trying to escape a war-torn country, caught in the middle of corporate enterprising.
I did something I have never done before. I went to a movie directed by the, Pang brothers, called Bangkok Dangerous. This movie is a remake from the original film in 1999, which Joe is a deaf assasin, and the female pharmist Fon tries to help him. This new version of the movie has a U.S. twist to it. The assasin Joe is played by, Nicholas Cage, and the female pharmist named Fon is played by, Charlie Young, who is deaf. Fon helps Joe find antibiotics, and cream to take care of the injury on his shoulder. Joe finds himself breaking his own set of rules on not getting involved with people, or leaving a trace of himself. Here you find the assiasin befriending a young hoodlum named Kong played by, Shahkrit Yamnarm, who becomes his student, and Joe is his teacher. The movie shows their strong bond as Joe teaches Kong on how to kill, and defend himselft against attack. Joe falls for Fon who he starts to see while in town. Kong meets his girlfriend Aom played by, Panward Hemmanee, while picking up a package for his new boss. Kong falls in love with Aom, and the two begin a relationship. The gangsters Surat played by, Nirattisai Kaljaruek, and Aran played by, Dom Hetrakul, plan Joes' termination after he completes assisination of a well-known political leader, who is getting in their way of business in Bangkok,Thailand. Toward the end you see the unusual explosions, and action scenes involving the main characters, which the Pang brothers are famous for in their movies. These twin brothers know how to get their audience on the edge of their seats, and cheering for the good guys when they win. Toward the end of the movie it will shock you, but it is worth the price of admission.
The 2008 remake of the original play, The Women written by Clare Booth Luce, which tells the story of a New her husband, Steven Haines', relationship with Crystal Allen, a perfume spritzer girl from Saks Fifth Avenue, who is played by, Eva Mendes. The four best friends are; Sylvia Fowler, a magazine editor played by, Annette Benning, Edie Cohen is a housewife, and mother of four daughters played by, Debra Messing, Alex Fisher who is a award winning novelist and lesbian played by, Jada Pinket, who all help Mary deal with her husband's infidelity. I think that ,Cloris Leachman, who played the housekeeper stole the show with her wit and humor. Tilly Scott Pedersen, who played Uta the nanny, did a great job as her side kick. I loved to see ,Bette Midler, again and I thought she gave a great perfomance of the love lorn Leah Miller in this film. Leah's best advice to Mary is to take care of yourself first, instead of the needs of everyone else around you. Mary takes Leah's advice to heart and opens her own design business with a loan by her mother Catherine Frazier played by, Candice Bergen. She starts to design her own line of clothers, which becomes a celebrated event in New York. I thought this film was a wonderful retake on the women of today, different time and decade, but the same message to all women who have a hard fall in life. It shows you that you can always pick yourself up with the assitance of family and friends This movie is the one event to bring your friends, family, and anyone you grab along the way. When you leave this movie it gives you a sense that whaever is troublesome in your life, you do eventually get over it, and the feeling of accomplishment is the best you will ever experience in your life time.
I watched a foreign film titled, The Curse of The Golden Flower. It is about the royal court of the fifth dynasty in 946 AD, where you experience the unrest among the royal family. The Emporer Ping has his Empress Phoenix on a strict medicine to control her illness. The Eldest Son has returned after a long journey with his father, and is now aware of how bad his mother's illness has become since his absent. The middle son has a affair with the empress who is not his birth mother. The youngest son is experiencing neglect from both parents. The Empress forms a plan with her eldest son to take the throne away from her husband the Emporer, who used her to upscale his position as rank of captain to sitting on the throne. In the end, the Empress fails and looses all three sons. The plot is easy to understand with subtitles and you get memorized with the daily soap opera of the royal family's daily rituals and routines. I would definately suggest you rent this movie if you are interested in Chinese History. The characters of the Emporer and the Emporess come alive by the superb acting of ,Chow Yun-Fat, and Gong Li.
I wanted to go see the movie Nights In Rodanthe based on the book by Nicolas Sparks, whose novels I have always liked. My real reason was I heard a rumor that this might be Diane Lane's last movie she will be in, and that was something to spark my interest in going to see this movie. Richard Gere, plays Dr. Paul Flanner, who has just lost a patient for the first time on his operating table. He plans a trip to North Carolina after receiving a letter from the deceased patient's family. Paul Flanner meets Adrienne Willis at the local inn, who is stepping in for her friend Jean. While she is away on business in Florida. His behavior startles Adrienne at first, after he moves himself from the dinning room, and sits himself at the table in the kitchen to join her. His remarks "I don't like to eat alone" starts a conversation between them on their own individual lives, and that he is on his way to join his son in South America. The weekend gives light to what is missing in each their lives. Which for Adrienne is divorcing her husband, and the distance she feels from her daughter because of that decision. Paul who has to deal with his own demons, before moving on to work with his son in South America. A freak storm appears suddenly at the inn. It brings the two together on a journey in discovering true love and friendship. So I implore all you to go see this film and I suggest bring plenty of kleenex. This movie is a tug at the heart strings.
I was curious about the new film Nick And Nora's Infinite Playlist with actor ,Michael Cera ,who I saw in Juno. In this movie ,Michael Cera, doesn't play a boyfriend of a pregnant teen, but a high schooler named Nick, who was just dumped by his girlfriend on his birthday. His friends Thom played by, Aaron Yoo, and Dev played by, Rafi Gavron, urged their friend Nick to play at a local bar in New York to get his mind off the break up. Their all members of the band The Jerk Offs, and on their way to New York try to come up with a new name. Nick meets Nora played by, Kat Dennings, who is left alone by her drunk friend Carolyn played by, Ari Graynor, and asks him to be her boyfriend for ten minutes to fool her frenemy Tris played by, Alexis Dziena. This leaves them in an uncomfortable silence, until Carolyn appears suddenly very drunk, and Nick helps Nora to carry her friend outside to his car. He leaves Tris to sulk as she watchs Nick leave with Nora. Nick's friends Thom, and Dev get into their heads to get these two kids together, so they come up with a scheme. They talk Nick into letting them take Carolyn home. and taking Nora to find the band "Where's Fluffy". Nora agrees to this, and Nick drives her to the gig only to find more trouble with Nora's boyfriend. Unknown to Nick his friends Thom, and Dev loose Carolyn, who wakes up suddenly in the back of their van freaks out, and runs out into the city. Now The adventure begans, when Nick's is called, and tells Nora that his friends lost Carolyn. So, the young teenagers are thrown together for a wild night in New York City to find Carolyn ,who is drunk ,and find themselves searching for her in the oddest of places. This movie takes you on a ride of what these two teenagers discover in themselves, and what they find in each other. It gives the viewer an insight on who are your true friends and who are your frenemies. Take my advice "GO SEE THIS MOVIE"!
I ususally don't go and see an animated film, but IGOR sparked my interest. The movie IGOR is about a aspiring Igor voiced by, John Cusack, who dreams of being a evil scientist, and not a lowly assistant. His master Dr. Glickenstein voiced by, John Cleese, dies from a explosion of a failed experiement. Igor masters a plan with his two friends he created. A indestructible rabbit named Scamper voiced by, Steve Buscemi, and a brain voiced by, Sean Hayes, to create life. He creates a monster named Eva voiced by, Molly Shannon, who after a freak accident of brain washing thinks she is a aspiring actress. In hopes to win the prize of the yearly Mad Scientist Fair Igor tricks Eva into thinking she is auditioning for a role. Igor has no idea that King Malbert voiced by, Jay Leno, is planning something sinister of his own, and that is to beat his enemy Dr. Schadenfreude voiced by, Eddie Izzard. Dr. Schadenfreude has a plan of his own, and with the help of his girlfriend Jaclyn voiced by, Jennifer Coolidge, he hopes to conquer the prize. This movie was written by, Chris McKenna, who tells a classic fable about how you can conquer your goals, and not lower yourself to everyone's level. In his words, "You don't have to be evil to prove your worth to world". It has a few in your face political views on the world, but also pokes fun at it, too. The theme of this movie will gets the kid's attention on how to go for your dreams. I would grab your family or friends, and go see this movie for yourself. You won't be disappointed, and it will give you something to laugh at. Sometimes its good to laugh at yourself . We all need to let it out, and not keep it in all the time.
I went to see Beverly Hills Chihuah and I have to admit I loved it. The theme of this movie tells a story of a Chihuah named Chloe voiced by, Drew Barrymore, who is loved, and pampered by her owner Vivienne played by, Jamie Lee Curtis. Chloe's love interest is another Chihuah named Papi played by, George Lopez, who is always trying every angle to get his lady's attention. While his owner Sam Cortes, the Landscaper played by, Manola Cardona, trys to get Papi to come back to his work. Vivienne's niece Rachel played by, Piper Perabo, who is asked by her aunt to take care of Chloe. While she is away in Italy on a business trip. Rachel brings Chloe along on a trip with her two friends a trip to Mexico. While the three girls are out at a club, Chloe decides to leave the hotel, and find her. Chloe is than kidnapped, and is forced to fight another dog. She is resucued by Delgado, a German Sheppard voiced by, Andy Garcia, who helps Chloe find her way back to Rachel. Sam arrives in Mexcio to help Rachel find the little dog. Chloe discovers her inner "Chee' WOW wa" on this trip and what true friendship really means. This movie gives us all hope that by working together both human and animal that anything is possible. Please go and see this movie. You will not only laugh, dance, and cry with these characters, but when you leave it will change your perception of what a Chihauah is.
If you have ever seen the movie War Games, than you get the idea of what Eagle Eye is about. The movie starts with Jerry Shaw played by, Shia Labeouf, who has a twin brother that died in a tragic car accident. When Jerry arrives home he finds several million in his checking account, and several packages of weapons in his apartment. Jerry is arrested as a terrorist by the FBI and is held in a jail cell. A woman's voice calls him on a phone, and tells Jerry to jump out of the building if he wants to save himself. He is told to go into an alley way where a car is waiting, and that is how he teams up with Rachel Holloman played by, Michelle Monaghan. The viewer will be lead down scene by scene action, as a voice of a woman barks orders to these two strangers, and leads them down a wild ride of bizarre errands. That have to be done or there will consequences if they don't. I think you will like this edge of your seat action and holding your breathe to see what happens next. I would definately go see it with friends, because you will need someone to hold on to.
I went to see the movie Ghost Town after hearing great reviews about it. This movie is about a dentist named Bertram Pincus played by, Ricky Gervais, who is in need of people skills, and just goes through his day, without any contact with anyone. Until, the fatal day of his surgery at the hospital, and he wakes up to see dead people standing over him. The dead have wondered the street trying to fine someone, who will help them with their problems, and move on. Their only hope is a dentist, who doesn't like people, even dead ones. Bertram meets deceased playboy Frank Herlihy played by, Greg Kinnear, who promises him to end the harrassement of every soul in Manhattan. All, he has to do, is to help in aiding his widow Gwen played by, Tea Leoni. This movie will appeal to everyone out there who have found themselves down in love, and just gong through the paces of life. So, take my advice, go see this movie, bring friends, and lots of kleenex.
The movie, The Secret Life of Bees, is about a girl named Lilly living in 1964 South Carolina, who is trying to escape her abusive father, and plans to runaway to find out what happened to her mother. In 1964, the Civil Rights Law, was just passed, and everyone of color is allowed to register to vote in the next election. Lily played by, Dakota Fanning, tags along with her housekeeper Rosaleen Daise played by, Jennifer Hudson, to register to vote in town. They meet trouble in the town, and Rosaleen is beated by a group of men, while the townspeople stand by to watch. Lily sneaks off to the hospital after the attack to visit Rosaleen, and talks her into running away in search of her mother's past. The young girl's only clue is a picture of a black Madonna, and a name of a town written on the back. When the two runaways enter a town to get food, and find a place to rest. Lily sees the same picture of the black Madonna on a jar of honey, and gets directions from the restuarant owner to the house of the Boatright sisters, who own a bee farm. After they arrive at the house Lily asks to stay, and earn her room, and board working on the bee farm. Lily and Rosaleen are accepted by the three sisters. August played by, Queen Latifah, May played by, Sophie Okonedo, and June Boatright played by, Alicia Keys. You will love this heart, warming, story about a lost girl who finds a home, and friends who show her what love really is. It will truly touch your heart and bring a tear to your eyes.
In The movie, "The Visitor", Richard Jenkins, portrays a widowed professor of economics, Walter Vale, who discovers a young couple living in his apartment. Tarek played by, Haaz Sleiman, and his girlfriend Zainab played by, Dania Gurira are victims of a real estate scam. Walter sees that they don't have anywhere to go, and allows the young couple to stay in his apartment. After a misunderstanding at the toll booth, Tarek is arrested in the subway by two cops. When Walter arrives back at the apartment. Zainab explains to him that they are living in this country illegally. Tarek mother comes into Walter's life, after her son is thrown in a holding cell. Walter starts to come alive as he tries to help Tarek to get a green car, and befriends Tarek's mother. You will like this warm, hearted, film about how strangers are thrown suddenly together, through circumstance, and than, find something in themselves along the way.
I found myself giving in to the high publicity of the film Twilight based on the book series by author, Stephenie Meyer. This film is a story about a girl named Bella Swan played by, Kristen Stewart, who moves to Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona to live with her father, who is a police officer in the small town. Bella tries to fit in the small town and manages to make a few friends at the local high school. Her dismall life is changed when she meets Edward Cullen, who at first can't be near her, but later starts up a friendship with Bella. Bella's days and nights are strangly replace with dreams of Edward. The allure of Edward is what draws Bella closer to him, and the truth of his immortality. I liked the simple tale about a forbidden love between a vampire and a human, and the movie keeps the viewer enthralled, until the end. I suggest you read the book first, before watching this movie, because it will help you understand the plot of this movie better, and to look forward to future movies based on the four books in the series. Stephanie Meyer vampire series: Book 1: Twilight Book 2: New Moon Book 3: Eclipse Book 4: Breaking Dawn
I went to see the movie, Bolt, by Pixar Pictures which tells a story about a canine who plays a fictional character on a popular tv series. Bolt voiced by, John Travolta, has no idea that his remarkable abilities are all part of a special effects team and the girl Penny voiced by, Miley Cyrus, is his co-star. After the show learns about it's low ratings from the studio. The director plans to end the series with a cliff hanger. Bolt thinks his human Penny is in real danger. So, Bolt trys to escape by crashing through a window, and knocks himself out. The canine finds himself in a box and that he has been shipped to New York. Bolt enlists the help of a ally cat named Mittens voiced by, Susie Essman, and the two plan a trip back to Hollywood. They meet a hamster named Rhino voiced by, Mark Walton who is a fan of the tv show and tags along to help Bolt in his mission to go home. Together Rhino, and Mittens travel with Bolt to help him get back to his human, Penny. I think you will like this clever story about a canine that thinks he is living the tv series for real, and finds two friends along the way, who help him come back to the real world. The hamster and his ball steal the show by trying to be heroic, and the alley cat whose only dream is to have a home of her own. The other animated film Wall-E will have competition next year at the Oscars for best animated film and I hope that Bolt will win. It's scripted was well written and the assembled cast brought the characters to life.
The last film I will review will be the motion picture remark of the sci-classic,"The Day The Earth Stood Still". This film's original release was in 1951 starring, Michael Rennie as Klaatu, Patricia Neal as Helen Benson, Helen's son Bobby Benson played by Bill Gray, Professor Jacob Barnhardt played by Sam Jaffe, and Helen's love interest Tom Stevens played by Hugh Marlowe. In this 1950's B-movie the plot of the movie was a visting alien and his giant robot coming to earth as a embassador of peace. He wanted to warn the people of approaching doom, if they didn't stop in experimenting in making bombs, and declaring war on each other. In bringing this this film to our present time and the problem of our involvement in the Iraq War. The remake of this film was revived with special effects, reverse role of the main characters, and rewriting the plot of this movie. The film didn't sway from the original opening of the visiting alien played by, Keanu Reeves who is accompanied by his giant robot protector coming here to warn us, but the ship didn't land in Washington D.C, it landed in Central Park, New York. The role of Helen Benson is played by, Jennifer Connelly who helps the alien escape and to fulfull his mission to save the human race from itself. The alien is chased by the Secretary of Defense, Regina Jackson, played by Kathy Bates, and is later aided by Professor Barnhardt played by, John Cleese. Helen's son Jacob Benson, who helps the alien to see the other side of being human is played by, Jaden Smith. You will like the remake of this classic sci-fi flick from the 1950's, and the reverse of the role of why this alien visits Earth. It will hold the viewer at the edge of their seats, for the climax, at the end of this movie.
My list of the 10 Best Movies of 2008: Do you agree or disagree?
10. The Women
9. Ghost Town
8. The Secret Life of Bees
4. Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist
3. Nights In Rodanthe
2. Bangkok Dangerous
1. War, Inc.