March 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens

by Alan Rapp on March 27, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Monsters vs. Aliens
  • IMDB: link

monsters-vs-aliens-posterFinally some truth in advertising. From the title alone you should know whether Monsters vs. Aliens is going to be your cup of tea. Do you want to see animated monsters fight animated aliens? If so, here’s your chance.

Susan Murphy’s (Reese Witherspoon) wedding day is ruined when the power from a strange asteroid makes her grow into a 50-foot woman. For her own safety she is detained by the government and sent to a top-secret lab to be housed with other monsters including the not so bright blob B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), the half-bug/half-man mad scientist Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), the Missing Link (Will Arnett), and the massive Insectasoris.

The monsters are released by General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland, in a pretty forgettable role), and offered their freedom for their assistance when an alien Squidbilly (Rainn Wilson) attacks the planet looking for the powerful meteorite and not caring who he has to kill to get it.

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Timecrimes

by Alan Rapp on March 27, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Timecrimes
  • IMDB: link

timecrimes-posterLos Cronocrimenes (or Timecrimes) is a low budget suspense film centered around the concepts of paradox and time travel. That’s not exactly a new area for films to cover, yet Timecrimes finds a fresh take. Part suspense, part sci-fi, and all good, it’s a film you should be on the lookout for. The movie relies on simply imagery, strong emotion, and a well thought-out plot to create a compelling story that you’ll enjoy wrapping your brain around.

Our protagonist is Hector (Karra Elejalde), and ordinary man whose curiosity gets the better of him. When he notices a woman undressing in the woods (Bárbara Goenaga) Hector investigates only to be attacked by a stranger whose face is completely covered by bloody bandages. His escape leads him into a laboratory to hide in a strange contraption only to emerge an hour before he entered to the surprise of a scientist (Nacho Vigalondo, who is also the film’s director).

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Sunshine Cleaning

by Alan Rapp on March 27, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Sunshine Cleaning
  • IMDB: link

Sunshine Cleaning, much like it’s lead actress, is quirky and pleasant to watch – even if it does get a bit hokey at times.

Hitting a mid-life crisis, Rose (the always perky Amy Adams) spends her days cleaning homes of the wealthy and her nights in a cheap hotel room with her married high school sweetheart (Steve Zahn). She sums up her existence late in the film: “I’m good at getting guys to want me, not marry me. That, and cheerleading.”

Things aren’t much better at home where her ADHD/OCD riddled son (Jason Spevack) has just gotten kicked out of another school, her father (Alan Arkin) is involved in yet another get rich scheme, and her sister Norah (Emily Blunt) has just gotten fired from yet another job. Hmm, I sense a pattern here.

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  • Title: Knowing
  • IMDB: link

knowing-posterAlex Proyas is responsible for the sci-fi noir thriller Dark City (a film which I love to no end). Nicholas Cage, despite having a career which I kindly refer to as spotty, has made some enjoyable flicks over the years, and even picked up an Oscar.

The fact that this combination produced a movie such as Knowing can be met with nothing more or less than puzzled bewilderment and great sadness. I might expect something like this from a team-up with M. Night and Eric Dane, but c’mon! Ignorance truly is bliss; sometimes it’s better not to know.

The plot goes something like this, 50 years ago a creepy little school girl who heard whispered voices (this is one of those films where the voices are real, and always right) wrote a letter containing a series of numbers (which turns out to be a series of dates and exact GPS coordinates to many future disasters) which found itself into the school’s time capsule.

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I Love You, Man

by Alan Rapp on March 20, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: I Love You, Man
  • IMDB: link

i-love-you-man-posterI don’t remember exactly when the term bromance was introduced into the lexicon but it seems were stuck with it, at least for the foreseeable future. From the writer/director of Along Came Polly and the writer of Doctor Doolitle 2 comes this tale of a man on the eve of his wedding who realizes he doesn’t have any male friends. Thus hilarity (or Hollywood’s approximation of the concept) ensues. As set-ups go it’s pretty bland (and seems to be cribbing a tad too much from The 40 Year Old Virgin), but I’ll admit I Love You, Man was better than I expected.

After an eight month courtship Peter (Paul Rudd) and Zooey (Rashida Jones) have gotten engaged. Zooey’s friends (Sarah Burns, Jaime Pressley) are pleased with her choice for a husband, but they’re a little concerned with the fact that Peter has no male friends. When Peter realizes his wife’s misgivings he begins a “humorous” search for a best pal that ends in Peter’s discovery of a new friendship with a slightly unbalanced stranger (Jason Segel).

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Castle – Flowers for Your Grave

by Alan Rapp on March 10, 2009

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Castle – Flowers for Your Grave
  • tv.com: link

Nathan Fillion‘s new show premiered last night on ABC. In Castle Fillion stars as a mystery/crime novelist who gets called into help the police when a killer begins recreating some of the deaths from the writer’s book. Stana Katic (who you might remember as a cop from The Spirit) plays the detective saddled with fun-loving, and well-schooled, writer.

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I watched the Watchmen

by Alan Rapp on March 6, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Watchmen
  • IMDB: link

watchmen-posterAs a self-professed comic book nerd you can bet I’ve read Watchmen a few times and keep an Absolute Edition within easy reach. I will also admit I didn’t read the series when it hit shelves in the late eighties. It took a few years for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ work to find itself into my hands. Perhaps its because I first read the graphic novel as an adult that I can look at it through a different filter than something like Star Wars, Transformers, or Batman, and I can separate my appreciation for the subject without childhood wonder coloring my opinion.

Although it brings to life several moments of the comic in vivid detail, and includes a superb performance by Jackie Earl Haley as Rorshach, it also condenses, mangles, and distorts the tale into a movie that only slightly resembles the comic. And for a movie which is style over substance it adds very little in terms of look or technology. The most memorable shots are either taken directly from the page or borrowed from better films (such as a war room eerily similar to that of Dr. Strangelove) you would rather be watching.

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