September 2008

L.A. Confidential

by Alan Rapp on September 30, 2008

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: L.A. Confidential
  • IMDB: link

“Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.”

The year was 1997 and the film was L.A. Confidential. Based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name the film tells the story of corruption and murder in 1950’s Los Angeles.

The film follows the investigations of three distinctly different cops.  The first is the ambitious career-mined Det. Lt. Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce) who makes a name for himself on honesty and a willingness to throw those who don’t agree to the wolves.

The second is Officer Bud White (Russell Crowe) a blunt instrument with a strong desire to help women in trouble and more brains than most people, even himself, give him credit.

And the third, Det. Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), is a fame obsessed cop drunk on the Hollywood scene, his small role as a consultant for the cop show Badge of Honor (think Dragnet), and his ties to sleazoid magazine editor (Danny DeVito).

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Beauty and the Beast

by Alan Rapp on September 30, 2008

in DVD Reviews 

How many shows can you name which center around lawyers, doctors, cowboys, explorers, families and space travelers?  Now how many prime time fairy tales do you remember from television?  Here’s one…

  • Title: Beauty and the Beast – The Complete First Season
  • tv.com: link

“We’re below the city, below the subways.  There is a whole world of tunnels and chambers that most people don’t even know exists.  There are no maps to where we are.  It’s a forgotten place.  But it’s warm and it’s safe, and we have all the room we need.  So we live here and we try to live as well as we can, and we try to take care of each other.”

After being attacked society girl Catherine Chandler (Linda Hamilton) is nursed back to health in the bowels of New York City by Vincent (Ron Perlman).  Here begins a fairy tale love story between a beautiful Assistant District Attorney and her protector, a beast with the soul of a poet.

This first season introduces us to the world of “down below” and the characters who will become staples of the series.  It also sets up Catherine’s world above with her boss Joe (Jay Acovone) and her on-again, off-again, suitor Elliot Burch (Edward Albert).  “Son of Orpheus” reveals Father’s (Roy Dotrice) past and his reasons for retreating from the world above and creating the underground society.  “An Impossible Silence” and “China Moon” are set in the distinct worlds of a deaf girl (Terrylene) and Chinatown.  “The Alchemist” introduces the recurring villain of Paracelsus (Tony Jay), and Vincent’s childhood friend returns in “Promises of Someday”.  The nature of the lovers relationship is put to the test in “A Happy Life

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I Will Remember You

by Alan Rapp on September 30, 2008

in Music News & Reviews

Hitting stores next week is singer/songwriter and Lilith Fair founder Sarah McLachlan‘s new “Best of” album Closer which includes “Aida,” “Angel,” “Sweet Surrender,” “Building a Mystery,” and “I Will Remember You” (which you can watch her performing live in this vid below.  Enjoy!

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This Week in Film

by Alan Rapp on September 29, 2008

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Blindness
  • IMDB: link

Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo star in this adaptation of the Jose Saramago novel about a city struck by an epidemic of unexplained blindness.  Alice Braga, Danny Glover, and Gael Garcia Bernal also star.  Check out the official site.  After two weeks in limited release the film opens wide on Friday.  Larger trailer available inside the Full Diagnosis.

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This Week in Documentary Film

by Alan Rapp on September 29, 2008

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Religulous
  • IMDB: link

In the documentary comedian and talk-show host Bill Maher travels around the country interviewing people about God and religion.  Check out the official site and the Wikipedia page.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on Friday.  Larger trailer available in the Full Diagnosis.

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Eagle Eye

by December Lambeth on September 26, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Eagle Eye
  • IMDB: link

I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m a… fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you. Damn I did it again, I keep getting Eagle Eye confused with 2001: A Space Odyssey, how clumsy of me.

Jerry (Shia LaBeouf) is an underachiever, he does very little to simply get by; shortly following his brother’s death Jerry is thrown into a whirlwind of shit and finds himself in a life threatening situation with a perfect stranger. Rachel (Michelle Monaghan), a beautiful and young single mom, is forced by a mysterious phone call to assist Jerry in some diabolical plan that has them fleeing from Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) a sarcastic butt of a FBI agent, and eluding Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson), Air Force Officer.

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Miracle at St. Anna

by Alan Rapp on September 26, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Miracle at St. Anna
  • IMDB: link

“I know who the Sleeping Man is.”

The latest from Spike Lee is an adaptation of James McBride’s book itself inspired by events in Italy during WWII.  A murder and the discovery of a priceless artifact lead to a tale forty-years before involving four African-American soldiers in a Tuscan village and a disturbed child, the lone witness to a monstrous act.

Aside from the beginning scenes and the epilogue the majority of the film takes place in 1944 where four members of 92nd Infantry Division (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller) find themselves cut-off from their unit and trapped in a small Italian town in the Tuscan countryside surrounded by German troops.

The film is about secrets which are slowly unveiled to the audience, though not necessarily the characters, over the course of the movie.  The discovery of the small child (Matteo Sciabordi) in 1944 who survived the Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre and the murder and discovery of the artifact by the police at cub reporter Tim Boyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 1983, at the beginning of the film, are but two pieces of a much larger story.

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Choke

by December Lambeth on September 26, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Choke
  • IMDB: link

“You Touched My Woo Woo!”

If you have a sensitive gag reflex then Choke is not the film for you there are plenty of scenes that will make you gasp, feel your tongue swell and the bile rise.  Throughout the story there is never a redeeming quality about any one single character and ultimately they are all pathetic and desperate, but this merely adds to the humor.

Victor (Sam Rockwell) is a med school drop out, a sex addict, a sleaze ball and a very confused clone of Jesus….of who? That’s right; Vic’s mom Ida (Anjelica Huston) was part of a top-secret experiment in Rome, when 5 women were impregnated with the genetic material from the Holy Vessels foreskin. And if you believe that, then I’ve got another story to sell you about a hairy beast that lives in the woods with a big foot.

Seriously part of the story runs a muck when Ida tells her lawyer, aka son Victor that she’s been keeping a secret all these years and must tell Victor who his real dad is before she’s moved up to the 3rd floor, the floor for the dead.

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The Lucky Ones

by Alan Rapp on September 26, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Lucky Ones
  • IMDB: link

“Thank you.”
“No, thank you.”

The film, except for small cameo roles, is a three-man piece.  Two soldiers wounded in action (Rachel McAdams, Michael Peña) with 30-day furloughs and one (Tim Robbins) on his way home for good travel home on the same flight.

Do to circumstances beyond their control the threesome find themselves renting a mini-van and travelling west.

Cheever (Robbins) just wants to make it home to his wife (Molly Hagan) and son (Mark L. Young) in St. Louis.  T.K. (Peña) is on his way to Las Vegas in hopes of curing an unfortunate medical problem caused by his injury.  And Colee (McAdams) is traveling to Vegas to return a friend and fallen soldier’s guitar to his family.

Their journey across the country will lead to surprises and disappointments as the world they fought so hard to get back to has change and dreams they had for their futures turn to ash.

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All Roads Lead Home

by December Lambeth on September 26, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: All Roads Lead Home
  • IMDB: link

Belle (Vivien Cardone) is forced to learn some pretty tough life lessons at the young age of 12. She loses her mother in an automobile accident and blames her father, Cody (Jason London) an animal control officer in Kansas City, for pulling the plug and ultimately gets to go live with Grandpa Hock (Peter Coyote) who trains and sells horses, for a short summer. Cody believes that his wife’s father can help straighten Belle out and get her on the right track.

While dealing with Grandpa Hock’s cold streak, Belle uncovers a friend in Basham (Evan Parke) a work hand on her grandpa’s farm. As the two grow close and start to see the similarities between them, she notices that Basham has a kind heart towards all animals and explains to Belle that she needs to treat her grandfather with the same type of unconditional love. He believes that ole’ Hock needs a tender hand, a hug every now & then and told he’s doing a great job.

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