July 2009

Psych – The Complete Third Season

by Alan Rapp on July 31, 2009

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Psych – The Complete Third Season
  • tv.com: link

I’m a big fan of Psych. Equal parts silliness and mayhem (with more than its fair share of 80’s pop culture references), the tale of fake psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best pal Burton Guster (Dule Hill) solving crimes, both large and small, is a darn good time.

The four-disc set includes all 16 episodes from Season Three. One of my favorites from this season, or, for that matter the entire series, is the high school reunion episode “Murder? … Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?” packed to the brim with John Hughes references. It, like the season’s final episode “An Evening with Mr. Yang” (another strong episode, which you can watch below), also guest-stars Rachael Leigh Cook as the girl from Shawn’s past who got away.

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500 Days of Summer (in 500 words)

by Alan Rapp on July 31, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: 500 Days of Summer
  • IMDB: link

500-days-of-summer-poster(500) Days of Summer isn’t your typical date movie. In fact, in many ways it’s almost an anti-date film. Through the eyes of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon Levitt) we are shown the ups and downs of his relationship with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). Those couples looking for a fun romantic evening should choose this one only if they’re very comfortable and confident in their relationship. Otherwise the evening might turn a little more uncomfortable than what you planned.

Rather than giving us a linear look the script, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, jumps through the timeline of the relationship for maximum effect. Sometimes this provides hilarious juxtaposition, and at other moments you’re allowed to feel Tom’s pain. To help you follow the timeline title cards and narration (provided by Jean-Paul Vignon) are provided.

Without a doubt it’s the cutest film about a doomed relationship I’ve ever seen. Those who have been involved in love affairs where one side feels more passionately than the other will no doubt understand and empathize with Tom’s plight.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by Ian T. McFarland on July 17, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • IMDB: link

Being a Harry Potter fan and a film snob is not easy. Though Chris Columbus’ films were decent, the only adaptation that really worked was 2004’s The Prisoner of Azkaban. With that single concession, we the faithful have just had to sit around and take it from Warner Bros. as they haphazardly adapted the books into competent but lacking films.

On various occasions, I admit, I day-dreamt of getting that phone call offering me the job of directing the next HP feature – which I’d nail and rock the pants off of, obviously. But having just seen The Half-Blood Prince, I’m shocked but very pleased to say that my services were not at all needed on this sixth movie.

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First Flight

by Alan Rapp on July 7, 2009

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Green Lantern: First Flight
  • IMDB: link

Created 40 years ago by John Broome and Gil Kane, at the dawn of the Silver Age, Hal Jordan is back in the center of the DCU and the star of his own animated film.

I was a bit surprised when I first heard DC was planning an animated Green Lantern film. Thrilled, but surprised. They had already done Justice League: The New Frontier which, at its heart, is a Hal Jordan story. I was also concerned by Warner Premiere’s hit-and-miss track record so far. So it was with hope, and a little trepidation, I sat down to watch Green Lantern: First Flight. Although far from perfect, this straight-to-DVD flick has a lot going for it. It’s a pretty good GL story, and it even casts Red Foreman as the voice of one of the villains.

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Public Enemies

by Alan Rapp on July 1, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Public Enemies
  • IMDB: link

public-enemies-posterWell, it’s not my favorite Michael Mann film, and is sure not The Untouchables, but for all it’s faults, Public Enemies is still a fair film filled with some great moments, and it’s worth a good long look.

The story is centered around bank robber extraordinaire John Dillinger (Johnny Depp). We don’t learn much about Dillinger over the course of the film other than he’s the brains of the operation, well respected among other robbers, disliked by the mob for bringing attention on them, and an all around good guy (at least for a robber and murderer).

Rather than give us a character study or a balanced look at both cops and robbers, like he did in Heat, Michael Mann instead shifts the camera to zoom in on how this man’s mere presence affected those around him. The cops, led by (Christian Bale) begin to take shortcuts and cross many important lines in their quest to apprehend their prey. The most gruesome of these is the questioning of Dillinger’s girl (played magnificently by Marion Cotillard) with an old-school cop brutality that isn’t easy to watch.

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