Movies

Movie Review: MARS NEEDS MOMS

MARS NEEDS MOMS movie poster | ©2011 Walt Disney Pictures

Stars: Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon Writer: Simon Wells & Wendy Wells , based on the story MARS NEEDS MOMS by Berkley Breathed Director: Simon Wells Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Release Date: March 11, 2011 MARS NEEDS MOMS is the latest CGI offering from Walt Disney and Image Movers Digital (who were responsible for the performance capture films THE POLAR EXPRESS, BEOWULF and A CHRISTMAS CAROL).  I have had to warm to the slick almost real style of motion capture animation. Sometimes it really works for me, and other times it’s so natural/unnatural […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BLACK DEATH

BLACK DEATH movie poster | ©2011 Magnet Releasing

Rating: R Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Carice van Houten, Kimberley Nixon, John Lynch, Tim McInnerny, David Warner Writer: Dario Poloni Director: Christopher Smith Distributor: Magnet Releasing Release Date: March 11, 2011 To compare or not to compare? There’s a particular genre movie that BLACK DEATH brings to mind, but will naming it give the game away, or indeed lead readers to wrong assumptions about the new film? Since the subgenre of Christianity vs. paganism is relatively small, let’s say there are some thematic similarities to – along with striking differences from – the original WICKER MAN (put the miserable […]Read On »

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Movie Review: KILL THE IRISHMAN

KILL THE IRISHMAN movie poster | ©2011 Anchor Bay

Rating: R Stars: Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini Writers: Jonathan Hensleigh and Jeremy Walters, based on the book TO KILL THE IRISHMAN by Rick Porrello Director: Jonathan Hensleigh Distributor: Anchor Bay Films Release Date: March 11, 2011 According to the press notes on KILL THE IRISHMAN – and there’s no reason to doubt them – 36 bombs went off in Cleveland during the summer of 1976 alone, courtesy of a ferocious gang war. These days, who remembers or ever knew organized crime was that active and that angry in the Midwest? Rick Porrello, now a […]Read On »

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Exclusive: Broadway vet gives take on SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK controversy

SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Broadway poster

This Friday, actor Kevin Cahoon stars in the new Disney CGI animated films MARS NEEDS MOMS as the Martian sidekick Wingnut. However, Cahoon is also known for his Broadway work, including his work with Julie Taymor on THE LION KING musical. Naturally, we couldn’t resist asking him his take on Taymor’s latest Broadway effort SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK, which has had its fair share of controversy, accidents, unhappy actors – and all of this in the preview stage. Here’s what Cahoon had to say … ASSIGNMENT X: You’ve worked with Julie Taymor before on THE LION KING musical, what […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU movie poster | ©2011 Universal Pictures

Stars: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp Writer: George Nolfi, based on the story THE ADJUSTMENT TEAM by Philip K. Dick Director: George Nolfi Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: March 4, 2011 Screenwriter George Nolfi, who has previously tackled THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, OCEAN’S TWELVE and TIMELINE, makes his feature directorial debut with THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (adapted by Nolfi from Philip K. Dick’s THE ADJUSTMENT TEAM). The film has a curious inversion of the usual problem that plagues big science-fiction/fantasy films. Instead of a terrific idea populated by rote characters, here we’ve got delightful characters […]Read On »

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The Dork Side: Let’s get ranty with the STARS, the Oscars, BEASTLY & more

BEASTLY movie poster | ©2011 CBS Films

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t limit my ranting to just one subject this week. There are just too many things that make me ranty. Dancing with the Polarizing Political Figures Professional witch-denier and all-around dummy Christine O’Donnell says she has been approached to be on ABC’s DANCING WITH THE STARS. In a related story, I’m going to file a class action suit against ABC for claiming that this show features stars. Christine O’Donnell? Really? What, you couldn’t get Michael Vick? ABC, have you thought about asking Ben Roethlisberger? If you are lucky, he might even rape one of your dancers. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: UNKNOWN

UNKNOWN movie poster | ©2011 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Frank Langella Writers: Oliver Butcher & Stephen Cornwell, based on the novel by Didier van Cauwelaert Director: Jaume Collet-Serra Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: February 18, 2011 Director Jaume Collet-Serra helmed 2009’s ORPHAN, which had a truly “Holy bananas!” plot twist that was fairly unforeseeable. UNKNOWN likewise hinges on a big plot twist and, although this one is easier to guess before it is revealed, it’s also a better movie. This is largely because UNKNOWN is a perfectly decent action thriller even once we and our hero […]Read On »

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Movie Review: I AM NUMBER FOUR

I AM NUMBER FOUR movie poster | ©2011 DreamWorks/Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand Writers: Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and Marti Noxon, based on the novel by Pittacus Lore (Jobie Hughes & James Frey) Director: D.J. Caruso Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: February 18, 2011 Stop me if you’ve heard this: super-powered teenager attends high school and tries to pass for normal, but a combination of human and otherworldly forces cause the teen’s otherness to surface. In terms of the spine of I AM NUMBER FOUR, you can skip past CARRIE and jump straight to SMALLVILLE, especially […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE EAGLE

THE EAGLE movie poster | ©2011 Focus Features

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong, Tahar Rahim, Denis O’Hare Writer: Jeremy Brock, based on the novel THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH by Rosemary Sutcliff Director: Kevin Macdonald Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: February 11, 2011 Director Kevin Macdonald and screenwriter Jeremy Brock, the team that previously brought us THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, now set a tale in actual, albeit ancient, Scotland. Although THE EAGLE is much more steeped in legend and natural beauty (the film was shot in Scotland and Hungary), the filmmakers manage to bring the moral ambiguity levels impressively high, even […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GNOMEO & JULIET

GNOMEO and JULIET teaser poster | ©2011 Miramax Films

Rating: G Stars (voices): James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham Writers: Andy Riley & Kevin Cecil and Mark Burton, additional writing by Emily Cook and Kathy Greenberg, based on an original screenplay by Rob Sprackling and John Smith Director: Kelly Asbury Distributor: Touchstone Pictures What would it look like if a bunch of 3D animated garden gnomes danced to famous Elton John/Bernie Taupin songs? If this seems like a strange question, rest assured that the answer is equally loopy in GNOMEO & JULIET. Adapted very, very loosely from William Shakespeare’s similarly-titled tragedy, GNOMEO takes us into a world […]Read On »

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