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February 17, 2008

Jumper (2008)

IMDB: Jumper (2008))

Plot Outline:
A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between "Jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill them.



So much anticipation, so much dissappointment. Doug Liman had the opportunity to create a kick ass piece of work, and instead left us wanting so much more.

A picture whose premise with so much potential, co-written by David Goyer, of Batman Begins fame, and Samuel L. Jackson along for the ride, is burdened with the mega-corpse of a leading man, Hayden Christensen.

This is an actor who has 3, maybe 4 emotes, and uses them all up early in this film.

The good: FX, scenery, underlying cool sci-fi potential.

The bad: no depth, story arc, characters we care about, moral stance, but I'm babbling a bit.

My only hope is the box office is high enough to make a sequal, which, one can only hope will be much better than the original.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 02/17/2008]

Posted by mark at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq (2007)

IMDB: Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq (2007)

Plot Outline:
American Soldiers fighting in the Iraq war and their homecomings.



Well written piece on returning soldiers missing pieces of their former lives.

Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 02/10/2008]

Posted by mark at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960)

IMDB: The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960)

Plot Summary:
London at the turn of the century. Three men is on a mission from the IRA to steal all the gold in the vaults of the Bank of England



Aldo Ray is a nice piece of work in this standard bank robbery heist.


Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 02/10/2008]

Posted by mark at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

Teacher's Pet (1958)

IMDB: Teacher's Pet (1958)

Plot Summary:
James Gannon, the hardboiled city editor of a newspaper, believes that the only way to learn the business is by way of the School of Hard Knocks.



Light romantic fare, with a bit long-in-the-tooth Clark Gable doing his bit as the old-school curmudgeon to Doris Day's piquant teacher.


Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 02/10/2008]

Posted by mark at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2008

The Trip to Bountiful (1985)

IMDB: The Trip to Bountiful (1985)

Plot Outline:
Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940's Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish -- just once before she dies -- is to revisit Bountiful, the small Texas town of her youth which she still refers to as "home." The trouble is her son, Ludie, is too concerned for her health to allow her to travel alone and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on bus tickets.



While Geraldine Page's performance was definitely deserving of her Oscar, I though the film would have played better as a fictionalized account of the play. As it is, it was more play than screenplay and thus, in my opinion, suffered for it.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 02/06/2008]

Posted by mark at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2008

Black Christmas (2006)

IMDB: Black Christmas (2006)

Plot Outline:
An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one. A remake of the 1974 horror movie, Black Christmas (1974).



Something to watch while cleaning my room.


Rating: 4

[Viewing Date: 02/04/2008]

Posted by mark at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2008

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

IMDB: The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

Plot Outline:
A golf drama based on the true story of the 1913 US Open, where 20-year-old Francis Ouimet defeated his idol, 1900 US Open champion, Englishman, Harry Vardon.



Nicely produced drama directed by Bill Paxton presents storybook scenes most would expect, but also shows us some interesting scene cuts and segues.

Shia LaBeouf plays the role of Francis Ouimet with aplomb, but I thought that Josh Flitter, who plays Ouimet's 10 yr. old Caddy, Eddie Lowrey, stole most of the scenes from LaBeouf.


Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 02/03/2008]

Posted by mark at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

Saw III (2006)

IMDB: Saw III (2006)

Plot Outline:
Jigsaw kidnaps a doctor to keep him alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen through a brutal test.



Not anywhere near as good as Saw, and not even as good as Saw 2.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 02/03/2008]

Posted by mark at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

IMDB: Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

Plot Outline:
A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.



Philip Seymour Hoffman totally dominates this otherwise by-the-numbers movie. PSH is well worth the admission. Those not aware of the political scene during the Afghanistan rebels vs. the Russian army may gleen some rewarding tidbits.

Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 02/03/2008]

Posted by mark at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Gandhi (1982)

IMDB: Gandhi (1982)

Plot Outline:
Biography of Mahatma Gandhi, the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British through his philosophy of non-violent protest.



I've not watched this film since it first came out, and while still maintaining its greatness as a movie, and Kingsley's great work, somehow the epic grandeur is a bit lost when not seen in the theater.

Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 02/02/2008]

Posted by mark at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

Rambo (2008)

IMDB: Rambo (2008)

Plot Outline:
In Thailand, John Rambo joins a group of mercenaries to venture into war-torn Burma, and rescue a group of Christian aid workers who were kidnapped by the ruthless local infantry unit.



This was most definitely the most gore filled, action packed of all the Rambo films. I'd put it as my 2nd favorite, following the original First Blood.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 02/02/2008]

Posted by mark at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

Clerks II (2006)

IMDB: Clerks II (2006)

Plot Outline:
A calamity at Dante and Randall's shops sends them looking for new horizons - but they ultimately settle at Mooby's, a fictional Disney-McDonald's-style fast-food empire.



Rosario Dawson pretty much makes this movie watchable, although there were a few great moments of laugh-out-loud fun.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 01/31/2008]

Posted by mark at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Saboteur (1942)

IMDB: Saboteur (1942)

Plot Outline:
Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.



This early Hitchcock didn't quite produce the suspense intended, at least for me, although seeing Bob Cummings in a dramatic role was notable.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 01/29/2008]

Posted by mark at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

The Outrage (1964)

IMDB: The Outrage (1964)

Plot Outline:
A Mexican bandit, Juan Carrasco, spies a newlywed couple journeying through rugged country. He confronts them, rape and robbery on his mind, and the husband ends up dead. From the viewpoints of each participant and witness, a different story is told of what "really" happened.



This retelling of Rashomon, while minor in impact, was nevertheless an interesting piece, held together by the ensemble, including Paul Newman, who I didn't even recognize in his part of the Mexican bandit until 30 minutes into the film.

William Shatner's pastoral character was helped by Shatner's somewhat histrionic style - in this case, it wasn't laughable.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 01/26/2008]

Posted by mark at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)