December 2008

Frost/Nixon

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Frost/Nixon
  • IMDB: link

“What made you exceptional, they said, was that you were a person who had achieved great fame without possessing any discernible quality.”

Sometimes it takes David to bring down Goliath.  David Frost (Michael Sheen) was a likable talk-show host who mortgaged his future and career with an interview with former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella).  Nixon, in need of money and a change in his public perception, agreed to the interview with the man whom his aide (Kevin Bacon) stated simply “isn’t in your league.”

After an intial montage summing up the Watergate scandal, the film follows Frost on his journey to land, finance, and prepare for the interviews which would almost break him, all while the rest of the world looked on and laughed.

Sheen (The Queen, Music Within) once again gives a great performance on which the film rests.  Over the last two years he’s become one of my favorite actors working today.

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Spirited Silliness

by Ian T. McFarland on December 25, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Spirit
  • IMDb: link

There’s not much to the movie, and that’s just how it should be.  Basically, The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) is vigilante that never seems to die.  The same thing could be said of his arch-nemesis, The Octopus (played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson).  The two have locked heads with each other for the foreseeable past – the good guy fighting for the city, and the bad guy fighting to keep selling drugs.  More stuff happens, like the Spirit’s former flame coming back to town, and something to do with eternity is also mentioned; but there’s not much to figure out in this movie.

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Tom Cruise’s Noble Nazi Flick

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Valkyrie
  • IMDB: link

“God promised Abraham that he would not destroy Sodom if he could find ten righteous men.  I have a feeling that for Germany it may come down to one.”

Tom Cruise stars as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg one of many Nazis loyal to the fatherland, but disatisfied with the Fuhrer’s running of the country.  After getting blown-up in the early scenes the now eye-patched Stauffenberg joins a resistance group and begins planning the assassination of Adolf Hitler (David Bamber).

The film, written by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander and directed by Bryan Singer has so many issues not even Superman’s return could save it from disaster.

Let’s start with the Nazi’s themselves.  A more honest good-natured group you’d be lucky to find anywhere outside a Hogan’s Heroes re-run.  All the the conspirators are presented as noble, self-sacrificing men who might be handing out money to the poor and donating their time to work with the elderly if it weren’t for that Hitler guy.  Were all these men tricked into joining the Nazi party?

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‘Bedtime Stories’ Makes You Fall Asleep

by Ian T. McFarland on December 25, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Bedtime Stories
  • link

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Adam Sandler all the sudden gained the ability to magically make anything happen just by telling a story about it happening?  Neither did I, but I guess that’s what we pay Walt Disney Studios for.

So Adam Sandler starts telling his niece and nephew bedtime stories and quickly realizes that, well, these stories come true.  The stories are always about Sandler’s character of Skeeter; so the next day, he finds select elements from the story incorporating themselves into his life.  All the sudden he can control his own life!  (And no, this bears no resemblance to any movies Sandler has put out over the past three years.)  This is all great, but oh no!  All of the sudden bad guys are going to demolish the kids’ school to build a new luxery hotel!  Now, by the film’s climax, Uncle Skeeter has to stop this the only way he knows how: a motorcycle race (totally not shitting you there).

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A Movie for Dog Lovers

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Marley & Me
  • IMDB: link

Before we begin let me be honest and admit I’m more of a cat person.  That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy dog movies (when they’re good), but it does mean I’m not likely to give a pass on a film, or go easy on it, just because it has a cute four-legged star.  Based the semi-autobiographical experiences of columnist John Grogan the film tells the story of how a dog changes the lives of a young couple.  If you can get over the cute factor (and the length which, at two-hours, is a problem) you might have an enjoyable enough time.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as John and Jennifer Grogan.  She’s a well-known feature writer, while he tackles the small local stories which barely earn him a byline.

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