Movies

Movie Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1

© 2010 Warner Bros. | HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 movie poster

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 gets off to a bit of a wobbly start, as even those who are familiar with J.K. Rowling’s series of novels and the previous HARRY POTTER films (which is to say, the majority of the audience) may need a little while to remember just where we’re at in the story. Steve Kloves’ screenplay assumes we remember the salient facts from the last film, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, where the ailing Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) was killed by Dark Arts teacher Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), to the general horror […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SKYLINE

© 2010 Rogue Pictures | SKYLINE movie poster

Although its creators have stated otherwise, SKYLINE feels like a movie where the plot was created to service the special effects rather than the other way around. This said, as apocalyptic alien invasion movies go, it’s got a lot of action and characters who behave mostly as we’d expect suburbanites would when confronted with a shocking, insoluble situation. SKYLINE begins with the alien attack – huge, organic-looking ships that hover and emit a bright light that sucks up anyone who ventures out to see what’s going on – then flashes back fifteen hours earlier to introduce the main characters. Jared […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: TOY STORY 3 – 4-DISC COLLECTOR’S EDITION

© Walt Disney Home Entertainment |TOY STORY 3 - Blu-ray

Rating: G Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Ned Beatty, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, John Ratzenberg Writers: Michael Arndt based on a story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich Director: Lee Unkrich Distributor: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Suggested Retail Price: $45.99 Even when Pixar is producing sequels to their hit films, they manage to do things right. First, they had the unenviable task of following up their first full length feature TOY STORY with TOY STORY 2 and (surprise) exceeding all expectations. Now, 11 years after the second round-up, they’ve finally produced TOY STORY 3, which could […]Read On »

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Movie Review: UNSTOPPABLE

© 2010 20th Century Fox | UNSTOPPABLE movie poster

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn, Kevin Chapman, Kevin Corrigan, Lew Temple, Ethan Suplee Writer: Mark Bomback Director: Tony Scott Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Release Date: November 12th, 2010 UNSTOPPABLE is an apt name for this action thriller, which mimics the momentum of the title menace, a 39-car train carrying explosive, poisonous cargo that is accidentally set loose at speed upon the tracks. If this sounds like the plot of an average TV disaster movie, it is. However, this is an instance where it’s all in the details. Director Tony Scott and writer Mark Bomback […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MEGAMIND

© 2010 DreamWorks/MEGAMIND movie poster

After the success of this summer’s super-villain animated feature DESPICABLE ME, it was a big question mark if the similarly themed DreamWorks animated comedy MEGAMIND was going to pale in comparison. Thankfully that’s not the case. MEGAMIND exists in its own animated universe spearheaded by hilarious and cheeky vocal work by Will Ferell and Tina Fey. They take the material and elevate it by transcending the animated universe by delivering a great overall movie that takes the superhero genre and spins it on its head.

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Movie Review: 127 HOURS

© 2010 Fox Searchlight | 127 HOURS movie poster

Chances are, you’ve heard of Aron Ralston. He’s the outdoor enthusiast who got pinned by a boulder in a freak accident and, after five days, had to cut off his own arm to escape. For those who can cope with a depiction of Ralston’s ordeal, 127 HOURS is a consistently gripping drama that puts us face to face with the question of what we would or even could do to save ourselves in a similar situation.

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Movie Review: RED HILL

© 2010 Destination Films|RED HILL Movie Poster

Poor Shawn Cooper (Ryan Kwanten). He and his pregnant wife Alice (Claire van der Boom) arrive at the tiny Outback town of Red Hill, where Shawn has been transferred, per his request, to be a new deputy. Shawn walks into town from his new house to meet his fellow deputies – a mixed lot – and their boss, known as Old Bill (Steve Bisley), a cantankerous but effective lawman who seems to have seen it all. Then the radio reports that convicted murderer Jimmy Conway (Tommy Lewis) has escaped from prison. Tommy was a local man and Old Bill put him away. Now it looks like the extremely dangerous escapee is heading into Red Hill for revenge. Shawn winds up in situations he never imagined as things get more and more perilous.

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Movie Review: DUE DATE

©2010 Warner Bros. DUE DATE movie poster

When two teams of writers work on a project, it’s generally not good news. Such is the case with DUE DATE, a road trip comedy blessed with the intense, intelligent presence of Robert Downey, Jr. and Zack Galifianakis as mismatched travelers, but lacking hilarity in either premise or details.

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Movie Review: CONVICTION

CONVICTION movie poster | ©2010 Fox Searchlight

Although parts of CONVICTION have no doubt been fictionalized to make a better story, the heart of the film is what in fact happened. When Kenneth (Sam Rockwell) was convicted of a vicious murder and lost his first appeal, his sister, small-town barmaid Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) put herself through law school for the purpose of becoming a lawyer so she could re-open her brother’s case and exonerate him. The entire process took eighteen years.

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Movie Review: HEREAFTER

HEREAFTER movie poster | © 2010 Warner Bros.

With gorgeous locations in London, Paris, San Francisco and Hawaii (this last standing in for Indonesia) and the agreeable company of Matt Damon as a tamped-down, but not hopeless man who is trying to change his life, HEREAFTER is quite pleasant. However, one gets the feeling that director Clint Eastwood and writer Peter Morgan (of THE QUEEN and FROST/NIXON fame) had something a bit more affecting in mind, and the movie seldom connects on a fully emotional level. Indeed, it actually generates more intellectual curiosity about the story’s claims of scientific proof of some sort of shared afterlife.

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