Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Weekly Round-Up, August 30th

Life as a House graced my TV screen this week as Kevin Kline stars alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Hayden Christensen as a terminally ill man whose swift change of lifestyle choices enables him to build his dream house as well as repair the broken bond between his son. A poignant, funny drama, with fantastic performances from Kline and Scott Thomas.

Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz star in the definitive chick flick, In Her Shoes. After a potentially life-altering row between sisters sets the inseparable two apart, Diaz's Maggie, a care-free girl, heads to see her Grandmother as Collette's Rose, the uptight lawyer, quits her job and goes with the flow. Curtis Hanson's wonderfully written romantic drama could have fallen within the rest of the clich├ęd bunch, but the performances sets the bar a tremendous amount higher.

Unarguably hated by critics, Primeval Kill (previously titled Primeval) received an ill-conceived trailer, therefore setting viewers up for a murder mystery set in the war-ravaged jungles of Burundi. Little did they know that the film was in fact a story based upon Burundi's most notorious serial killer; Gustave, the crocodile. Infamous for his long list of victims, the 25-foot crocodile intrigues a news crew from the city, therefore sending them on a gory, but wild, goose chase. The story fuses fictional horror and horror based on fact, therefore i regard it as an enjoyably thrilling 80 minutes, despite the dodgy CGI.

Steve Carell and Paul Rudd team up once again in Dinner for Schmucks, Jay Roach's (Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers) latest comedy. Rising executive Tim must befriend a 'schmuck' to take to his boss' dinner, an annual shindig where everybody invites an idiot to make fun of. Coincidentally, Tim meets mice lover Barry (Carell), a down-on-his-luck but hilariously troublesome IRS employee. While i'd hardly call it laugh-out-loud material, it's an easy comedy to pass 90 minutes, with Carell and Rudd working fantastically together to form a sweet brotherly love.

DVD Review: Burning Bright

Starring: Briana Evigan, Charlie Tahan, Garret Dillahunt, Meat Loaf

Directed by: Carlos Brooks

Plot: After the death of her mother, Kelly (Sorority Row's Briana Evigan) must care for her autistic brother (Tahan), but their loathsome stepfather (Last House on the Left's Garret Dillahunt) is making it awfully hard for Kelly to leave home. Attempting to cut his loses, he releases a ravenous tiger in the boarded up house during a hurricane.

Out of the vast majority of home invasion flicks released in the past ten years, we've seen hooded figures, rapists and robbers, so credit can be given to Brooks for sparking a sense of originality in the worn genre. A tiger released in a secluded house during a hurricane; farfetched and somewhat comedic, but it's an undeniable change.

With the straight to the point plot placed on the tables, surely "Damn, they're screwed!" is circling throughout your mind. In any other case, most probably. That is unless Step Up 2 babe Briana Evigan (also seen kicking ass in horror remake Sorority Row) is cast as the leading lady, then you have an actress willing to give as much charisma and physicality to a role as possible. Attempting to care for her brother whilst maintaining their distance from the starved tiger proves irresistibly entertaining.

Unarguably carrying the film, Evigan's strong female lead overpowers all co-stars, with Tahan (seen previously in this year's Charlie St. Cloud) performing merely passable and Dillahunt's villainous stepfather figure proving once again how he was truly born to play such hideous characters.

Capturing a dozen successfully intense scenes, it's obvious Brooks tries his hardest to also keep his distance from the need to use computer graphics. As the film progresses and the tiger becomes all too aware of his potential prey, the need for CG comes into focus. Thankfully, it's never over-used, with Brooks sticking, mostly, to the real-life feline available.

Burning Bright is far from perfect, but with the straight-to-DVD fate, it's simply an entertaining, fiercely intense thriller, with Evigan proving she can do more than just dance and scream her way into the limelight.


Friday, 27 August 2010

This Week's UK Cinema Releases, 27th August

A round up of this week's theatrical releases that you should and shouldn't feast your eyes upon.

-This week's biggest, and most exciting, Hollywood flick spawns from the wondrous mind of Brit genius Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. If you've paid attention to any of the reviews, you'll know how fantastic and downright original the film is. Michael Cera stars as Scott, a twenty-something bassist in a band called the Sex Bob-ombs, but falls head over heels with magenta haired Ramona Flowers. However, to be with Ramona, Scott must defeat her seven evil exes. Read my full review here!

-Adam Sandler's latest sees him team up with Paul Blart's Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock and David Spade in Grown Ups. The film focuses on a group of college friends reunite after their school coach passes away. Whether or not the film is genuinely funny, you can't deny that they didn't try!

-Paul Rudd also teams with Steve Carrell this weekend in advance screenings of Dinner for Schmucks, a screwball comedy that may be the zaniest of the week. After Tim (Rudd) discovers his colleagues host dinner parties to celebrate the most idiotic, he coincidentally meets Barry (Carrell), a man whose easy friendship enables Tim to showcase something he guarantees nobody has ever seen before. The film co-stars The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis.

-The largest grossing film in the world, Avatar, returns back to the big-screen in 3D and IMAX 3D this week with James Cameron's special extended edition, Avatar 3D: Special Edition. With a few minutes of unseen footage, revel in Pandora's unexplored forests and Jake's wild, ferociously entertaining adventure once more.

-One for this kids now as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the big-screen adaptation of Jeff Kinney's novel, hits screens nationwide. Greg Heffley is starting middle school, therefore, accompanied with his best friend, must survive the cliques, the bullies and the almighty myths.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Movie News: Mike Leigh's Latest, Another Year

One of this week's highlights was the trailer premiere of Mike Leigh's next feature, Another Year.

The director of Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky had the premiere of Another Year at this year's Cannes, placing it in the competition for the Palme d'Or. Sadly, the film won no awards, but gathered a nest egg of positive reviews, setting it as one of the most acclaimed of the year.

The film stars Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville, Peter Wight and Imelda Staunton.

At the moment, Another Year hasn't received any release date for the UK, but i imagine it hitting early 2011.

Weekly Round-Up, August 23rd

I continued my string of Disney flicks with the 1992 feature Aladdin, another one of my all-time favourites with "A Whole New World" proving very popular in my long list of uplifting Disney songs. We follow 'street rat' Aladdin as he survives on the streets of Agrabah with his pet monkey Abu. Once a chance encounter with Princess Jasmine captures his attention, he must defeat the evil Jafar with the helpful, zany Genie (Robin Williams) by his side.

Another classic with the Disney telling of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. Wendy and her two siblings John and Michael are swept off to a wonderful land known as Neverland, surviving mermaids, Indians and Captain Hook, the devilish pirate whose personal vendetta against Peter often gets the best of him.

One of this year's most anticipated films Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was welcomed with open arms by myself, proving to be one of the most original, fantastically funny and gloriously well-made (Edgar Wright, the genius, is to blame!) action romp. Read my full review here!

(500) Days of Summer, my favourite film of 2009. With the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel gracing the screen, what isn't to like? Marc Webb's original, and blatantly realistic, view of relationships was a breathe of fresh air, written and directed with such care and enthusiasm for both the story and the characters. A must see!

Heading back to Neverland, it was only fitting to throw Peter Pan: Return to Neverland on to maintain the Disney-ness of the week. Amidst a war-torn London, Wendy's disbelieving daughter Jane is kidnapped by Hook himself and used as bait to lure in Pan. One of the better Disney sequels.

Taking a swift turn from child-safe fairytales to espionage thrillers, Angelina Jolie's Salt graced the screens this week. Accused of being a Russian spy, Evelyn Salt is thrown on a whirlwind of uncertainty as she attempts to uncover who/what is heading to murder the President. Read my full review here!

Yes, we've finally come to it. Truly, my all-time favourite Disney animation, Beauty and the Beast. The wonderfully heartfelt story of falling in love no matter what obstacles are in the way. Belle, a small town girl with an imagination as wild as the fictional fairytales she loves so much, is trapped inside a cursed mansion with a former Prince. Cursed upon by a witch, the selfish Prince was transformed into a hideous beast, along with every other body living in the castle. To break the curse, Belle must fall in love with the Beast. One of the most memorable soundtracks, fused with a genuinely heartwarming tale.

All summer we've been thrown dragons, airbending monks and talking animals in 3D. This time, embrace the sheer awesomeness of PIRANHA 3D. Clearly a nod to the trashy, B-movies featured back in the 70's, Alexandre Aja's remake is full of gratuitous nudity and over-the-top gore. Read my full review here!

Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst team in Disney's Original Movie, Tower of Terror, giving a slight backstory to the fantastic ride featured in Walt Disney World, Orlando. A thrilling romp for the kids, but adults may wish to turn off their brains to enable any sort of enjoyment.

Movie News: 127 Hours Hits!

Oscar winning director Danny Boyle (renowned for Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Trainspotting) has possibly hit another high with his latest, 127 Hours.

The film depicts the true story of Aron Ralston, a larger-than-life mountaineer whose unfortunate canyoneering trip in 2003 had him trapped for five days, leaving him to resort to desperate measures.

James Franco (Spider-Man, Milk) plays the title role, with Amber Tamblyn (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Kate Mara (Shooter, Zoom) and Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Cloverfield) filling the co-star quota.

The film is set for a November release date. Check below for the trailer!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Film of the Week, 24th August

To this day, i know approximately three people that have ever heard of Life As A House, and i can assume is purely because of my continuous string of positive buzz surrounding the film. Sadly, nine years later and the film remains as one of the most underrated dramas i've ever had the pleasure to come across. Here's hoping this article does it justice!

New York City born and Oscar winning director Irwin Winkler (De-Lovely) teams with writer Mark Andus (As Good As It Gets) and brings us Life As A House, the story of a man whose life takes an unexpected turn once fired from his architect job the same day he's diagnosed with terminal cancer, giving him a mere couple of months left. Destined to turn his life around, he attempts to fulfill his lifelong wish of demolishing his poor excuse of a house and build an entirely new building, with the hopeful help of his drug-addict, goth son whose relationship has slowly eradicated over the years.

Kevin Kline stars as George Monroe, a father and ex-husband. Playing the role beautifully, the character sets off with simply wishing to build a house with his son, a tangible object he can leave behind. What George unintentionally accomplishes is building and repairing the relationships of those around him, including ex-wife Kristin Scott Thomas. Essentially, the film is a tale of redemption and love.

While the film may teeter on the edge of the overly sweet, it's undeniable that the final product will tug on many heart strings. Deeply moving, George's growing relationship with his ex-wife and son are alone enough to make for essential viewing, with Kline and Scott Thomas' chemistry proving incredibly relatable and always heartwarming. Co-stars Jena Malonen and Mary Steenburgen are also a delight to watch.

While his character's whiny nature is understandable, Hayden Christensen doesn't seem to stray from his frankly annoying need to act with such a vacant expression, proving more wooden than the planks in which they're building the house with. The film also falls into the predictable catagory, but you can't win at everything can you?

Other opinions...

"One of the most powerful dramas of the year" - 60 Second Preview

"Life as a House is no cinematic masterpiece but it stays with you" - Josh Gilchrist, Billings Outpost

"Achieves an intimacy rarely seen in a star-laden Hollywood drama" - Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine

Check below for a trailer for Life as a House.

Movie News: Sequel Planned For Piranha 3D!

With Alexandre Aja's remake of Joe Dante's camp slasher Piranha hitting theatres last week, the film was welcomed with mixed reviews, but most were leaning more towards the positive.

With comments such as, "the film delivers exactly what horror fans like...", "the violence is gory, gratuitous and convincingly staged..." and "those who go in craving blood, gore and breasts are going to leave the theatre with big, silly grins on their faces", it was only a matter of time before a sequel was announced, especially after the original received the same treatment - i'm pretty sure James Cameron won't be returning, however.

Dimension Films was pleased to announce that Piranha 3D: The Sequel is in the works, despite a disappointing sixth place on this week's US Box Office. With a film made with such a minimal budget (compared to most others pegged by Dimension, anyway), a sequel to one of the goriest, outlandish and simply enjoyable films of the year would be welcomed with open arms.

Expect a big-screen return of the razor-toothed prehistoric creatures some time in 2012. Read the review for the recently released Piranha 3D here!

Monday, 23 August 2010

This Week's DVD/Blu-ray Choice, 23rd August

This week's chosen DVD is Dear John.

Limited choices this week, but the the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' latest romantic fare Dear John is enough to tide viewers over for a week. Amanda Seyfried joins with Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum as two 'caught in the moment' lovers, with Tatum's duties to the war tearing them apart. Keeping in contact traditionally by letter, the two write back and forth. But will their love be strong enough? Hardly straying from Sparks' own style, the film never particularly appears sugar coated. The story never truly falls saccharine, merely realistic in relationship terms. Seyfried and Tatum have terrific chemistry, making the film all the more believable. A DVD purchase is perfectly fine.

Dishonourable Mentions:

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker team up in Repo Men, a macho action romp about two friends whose job entitlement of reclaiming artificial organs proves too much once Law's character is fitted with one himself. Straying from the company's wishes, Law teams up with an outlaw to escape the repo men after them, willing to do anything and kill anyone to stay alive. While the premise is promising, it never fully lives up, with writing failing to induce any sort of realism in the characters and the situations which occur. A wasted opportunity, with Darren Lynn Bousman's Repo: The Genetic Opera proving a substantial amount more interesting.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Cinema Review: Piranha 3D

Taking a swift turn from the rest of this summers entertainment, Alexandre Aja brings us his third remake in a row, Piranha 3D, modernizing Joe Dante's 1978 original splatterfest.

After an unexpected tremor unleashes copious amounts of ravenous, prehistoric piranha, the town Sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) must divert the amplitude of wild, booze-hungry teens on Spring Break.

Whether you've seen the original (or James Cameron's sequel) or not, we're all aware of the sudden uproar in B movie flicks, all of which are continuously overproduced by the Sci-Fi channel. They succumb in the ridiculous, containing an undoubtably OTT, often hilarious storyline, superfluous characters and sadly devoid of any real intelligence. Still, with the 50's introducing such propsterous films, they've only grown more popular. If you're in the right mind-set, B movies can supply the audience with one hell of a good time, and Piranha 3D is no different.

With our set of oddly placed characters serving no true purpose other than a few cheap laughs, we're left reeling with who'll be next on the piranhas' long, long list of who to munch on. It's the true reason why Piranha 3D will do so well, so why try to act otherwise? Jerry O'Connell's spoof of Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis is an utter delight, especially with the hilarious outcome proving one of the film's true selling points. British model Kelly Brook swims in a camptastic manner with porn star Riley Steele (with full frontal nudity, three-dimensional style!) as Shue battles her way through the floating corpses to reach her kids who're stranded on a capsized boat. The film yells cheap, yet never fails to entertain.

From the fantastically tongue-in-cheek opening paying homage to another well known ocean dweller, it's clear from the get-go that Aja has made a B movie for the ages. With the 3D proving similar to those catapulted on-screen back in the 70's, the entire film is a nod to the classics that re-defined the genre.

The beautifully serene setting tainted by booze, boobs and blood is chaos defined. Teens frollicking in all directions as limbs are ejected, gnawed, ripped and eaten. A copious amount of blood envelops the water as screams engulf multiple scenes; never before has carnage been this entertaining.

Full of genuine thrills, cheeky humor and motorboating (yes, motorboating - courtesy of Brook and Steele), horror buffs will truly revel in Piranha's brilliance, with Aja directing his best film since High Tension. While many will find faults with it, those able to yield in Piranha's camp, often overwhelming enjoyment may just find that that it's one of this summers biggest highlights.


Cinema Review: Salt

Tomb Raider; Mr & Mrs Smith; Wanted. A minor collection of Angelina Jolie’s action romps that have either left viewers reeling for more or simply bemused with the story, but never disappointed with Jolie’s investment to the role. Salt, a Phillip Noyce directed action thriller, is her latest, proving further more that she may just well be the definition of an action superstar.

CIA agent Evelyn Salt is thrown into a world of utter chaos once a Russian defector accuses her of being a Russian super spy, thrown into an American lifestyle years ahead of the intended attack to throw off any suspicion, with every intention of taking down the American president.

The brutality of the opening scene depicts a film alarmingly more hard-hitting than the trailer previewed, with Salt introduced in a North Korean camp being tortured to inexplicable lengths. Already, Law Abiding Citizen-writer Kurt Wimmel has differentiated his latest from the rest of Hollywood’s desperate, simply lacklustre excuses for a decent action thriller.

Co-stars Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor are quickly thrown in place, with their roles proving important parts in Salt’s story. Without personally handing out potentially spoilerific information, they merely play their parts well, but, unarguably, it’s Jolie that nabs the film. Gloriously gorgeous, her vigorous performance as Salt is sole proof that as an actress, she’s fantastic, but as an action star, she is flawless. Seemingly effortless, she gold coats parkour into something that I’d be willing to take up instantly. Infinitely thrilling, Salt jumps from lorry to van, van to busy highway with the upmost enthusiasm. Whilst maintaining her truly bad-ass attitude, there’s a vulnerability to Evelyn, and that is the form of her German, arachnid-lover husband. Once kidnapped, Salt’s mission strays from time-to-time to finding her love and with Jolie’s ability to forcefully entrance viewers with her gargantuan, soul-seeking eyes, we’re catapulted on this journey with her.

Cleverly written, Wimmel provides enough intrigue to captivate most attention spans. While the script undeniably plummets into the hilariously farfetched, but most plot holes and short-comings (the flashbacks fall instantly tedious) are vastly overpowered. Salt thrives on the truly outlandish to immensely entertain, intensify and, with the few twists and turns, challenge viewers. Whether you predict the end or not, a good time is guaranteed.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Movie News: Lionsgate Pimp Out Last Exorcism

With the US release just around the corner, The Last Exorcism - Lionsgate's latest horror flick - has been honored with early reviews, therefore the studio are undoubtedly pimping it out as much as possible, with all intentions of creating enough buzz before they start with the Saw 3D campaign.

Below is a collection of moments from *ahem* porn website *ahem*, i mean chat site Chat Roulette, with a couple of young lads being scared half to death due to Lionsgate's fantastically creepy viral videos. All they wanted to see was a cheeky slip!

In the film, a troubled minister allows his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew, unaware of the severity of the situation.

The film is released in the US August 27th, and September 3rd for the UK.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cinema Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

While summer '10 may have lacked in certain aspects, the silver-lining came in multiple stages. One of those bright stages of the deliriously enjoyable, without a single doubt, has been brought to us by the genre-smashing Edgar Wright; Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is an aimless 22 year old who lives his days training with his band Sex Bob-Bombs and dating a high schooler (Wong). That is until magenta haired Ramona Flowers rolls her way into Scott's life, literally, and captivates him into an obsession. Unbeknownst to him, if Scott wishes to date Ramona, he must defeat her seven evil exes, all of which are equipped with special powers.

Wright miraciously and downright successfully transfers Bryan O'Malley's series of Scott Pilgrim's adventures onto screen, truly re-defining what can be portrayed as fantasy and fusing videogame intellect with extreme care, and pulls off spinning an unusually, but profoundly, enjoyable and fantastically original twist on a story that has been thrown on-screen countless times before. With source material as unique and extravagantly charming as this, Wright, and the rest of the Pilgrim team, were off to an auspicious start.

Opening the film with electrifying, neon titles is the perfect example of the flick ahead, with the remaining 117 minute running time maintaining enough zeal to keep your eyes permanently glued to the screen. Profusely zany and exuding enthusiasm and ambitiousness, Scott Pilgrim is visually mindblowing, with the many "BAMF", "WHACK" and "THUD" comic-like words illuminating the screen after the quickfire-paced, well choreographed martial arts sequences are displayed in a hypnotic manner - proving first handedly that Cera can handle a physical role.

With the many failed game-to-film adaptations, it shows with Scott Pilgrim that the answer may lay in the source. With Pilgrim never becoming a fully functional game (that is until the film is properly released), it's unarguably easier to transfer - all the more with a willing cast as brilliantly pieced together as this. Cera carries the film throughout, as cute and innocent as ever but a character that forcefully demands physical capabilites, as well as a certain vulnerability to become likable enough. Co-stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (sporting multiple, hilariously dodgy wigs), Kieran Culkin, Johnny Simmons, Alison Pill and the adorkable Ellen Wong all shine vigorously with their quirky, potentially laugh-out-loud one liners, as do the seven evil exes (Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh and Mae Whitman to name a few). Despite brief moments on-screen, each seem fleshed out enough to never come across as repetitive.

I'm not under any false pretenses, Scott Pilgrim won't be for everybody. While many will find Pilgrim's slacker lifestyle interpreted fantastically through comic, game, music and bold, clever scriptwriting, some may miss the point entirely. But, the finished product has the potential to become your favourite film, ever. Slick, dazzling and truly spellbinding, Edgar Wright's latest packs a heavy punch, lightening up summer with something that will hold firm as one of the year's most exciting, displaying that originality is not lost in mainstream cinema. Revel in Pilgrim's sheer awesomeness!


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Today's Cinema Viewing

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, Johnny Simmons, Anna Kendrick

Bryan O'Malley's well-known comic book series gets the big-screen treatment, directed by no other than Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead creator Edgar Wright. Michael Cera stars in the title role of Scott Pilgrim, a teen whose crush on the wonderfully hypnotic Ramona Flowers sets off a rivalry between him and her seven, evil, exes. Filmed with the upmost enthusiasm (this is Wright we're talking about!), Scott Pilgrim may as well be one of the biggest, most enjoyable films of the year.

Movie News: Full Length Trailer For Monsters!

Finally, the full-length trailer for Magnet's Indie monster flick 'Monsters' has hit the web.

Hailed as "Utterly unique and original", Magnet has undoubtedly scored big with their $15k sci-fi love story, starring Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy as two civilians caught in the wildfire in the infected zone in Mexico.

After a sample-collecting probe sent by NASA crash lands in Central America, strange life forms began to rapidly evolve, spanning over half of Mexico's landmass. We follow a US journalist escorting a shaken tourist through the 'infected zone', with all hopes of reaching the US border.

Check below for the brand new trailer.

Monday, 16 August 2010

This Week's DVD/Blu-ray Choice, 16th August

This week's chosen flick is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut in Whip It!

Ellen Page stars with a fantastic supporting cast - Kirstin Wiig, Marcia Gay Harden, Juliette Lewis and Barrymore herself - in a film displaying the very best in all-out girl power. Bliss Cavendar is bored with her mother's forcefully, pageant-loving attitude. Therefore strays and joins with an all girls roller derby team, a competitive, violent sport that just about mixes up every aspect of Bliss' life up. Fantastic performances full of vigor and fun, clearly written and directed with a delicate and loving nature. One of the year's most enjoyable films, hands down.

Honourable Mentions:

David Duchovny joins forces with Demi Moore in this surprise hit of the year, The Joneses. The two are the structures of a faux family moving into a neighbourhood with the mission of selling almost everything they own. Equipped with the very best, the 'family' must encourage the surrounding families to want the same, seemingly idyllic, lifestyle. A downright original, well written drama with Moore and Duchovny on top form.

Neil Marshall, the director of The Descent, writes and helms the latest 'toga epic' with Centurion. A rag-tag group of soldiers must defeat the devilish Picts after they jump them with a surprising guerilla attack. Running for their very lives, the Picts, led by Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko, specialise in the bewilderingly outlandish, therefore forcing the soldiers to tread carefully. An intense cat and mouse thriller, with stunning cinematography making for an enjoyable action adventure. Read the full review here.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Weekly Round-Up, 15th August

Knight and Day -
Mr Hollywood himself Tom Cruise teams with the gorgeous Cameron Diaz in crime caper Knight and Day. Cruise stars as a rogue agent whose run ins with June (Diaz) causes a rippling effect of non-stop action and high-flying romance as they run from country to country taking down everybody that attempts to take them down. Fantastic chemistry and enjoyable action culminates in a fun-filled, albeit shortly lived and unoriginal, Friday night at the movies.

Step Up 3D -
An exhilartaing dance flick that nails every dance-related bar. Everything else is just dire. Read the full review here.

The Lion King -
Disney's classic has maintained the sheer wonderment after all these years, displaying the very best in luscious animation and awe-inspiring, highly uplifting musical numbers. An undoubtable classic, not only for animation, but film itself.

The Little Mermaid -
Another Disney epic standing firm today as one of the best of its kind, with the tale of the merfolk looking unarguably captivating undersea. A re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen's story about a young girl willing to give up her life under the sea to live on land with a handsome Prince.

Treasure Planet -
The final of this week's Disney features, forcing the well-known story of Treasure Island on its side and throwing a futuristic twist on the tale. Rebellious teen Jim Hawkins goes on the adventure of a lifetime by hitching a ride on an exploration ship and attempts to find a mystical planet known to most as 'Treasure Planet', but must defeat the legendary pirate Silver and his collection of no good bandits. Highly underrated animation, but the wonderful story fused with enjoyable voice talents (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson) makes for a delightful 90 minutes.

Fired Up! -
A raunchy teen comedy starring Eric Christian Olsen and Nicholas D'Agosto as two high school football players who decide to spend their summer at cheerleading camp, with the prime mission of getting as many girls as possible. An often laugh-out-loud, surprisingly well-written comedy that stands as the counterpart to Kirstin Dunst's Bring It On. Olsen and D'Agosto are also a memorable duo, with the hilarious John Michael Higgins co-starring as the camp's flamboyant, but oddly straight, coach.

Elizabethtown -
My personal favourite, with Orlando Bloom and the always joyous Kirstin Dunst teaming up in Cameron Crowe's partial biopic, Elizabethtown. After being fired from his job, potentially suicidal Bloom heads home to Elizabethtown for his Dad's funeral, unaware of the large, loud but loving family willing to help him. Cue love interest Claire, the larger-than-life stewardess brightening up Bloom's life. A wonderfully written, incredibly quirky and poignant story, fused with one of the best, and largest, movie soundtracks i've ever had the pleasure of hearing.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice -
Disney's partial homage to their classic Fantasia sees old-age sorcerer Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) attempting to find the true descendant to Merlin. Years in the search and he comes across Dave (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly ordinary New York student whose life turns upside down once recruited as Balthazar's apprentice. Throwing his everyday life aside, Dave learns the incredibly trickery needed to banish evil Morgana (Alice Krige) and her loyal sorcerer Alfred Molina. An enthralling, well acted and fast paced special effects laden adventure, proving to be one of the year's most exciting fantasy flicks.

The Last Airbender 3D
A truly pitiful excuse of a film. M. Night Shyamalan's live action adaptation of the classic Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon proves to be one of the worst films of the year. Read the full review here.

Deadline -
One of Brittany Murphy's last films sees her as a troubled writer forced to re-locate to an abandoned, Victorian house, only to fall victim to a chilling case including murdered wife Thora Birch and jealous husband Marc Blucas whose curious need to carry a camera first handedly unfolds the mystery behind their disappearance. A lackluster, scare-free 'horror' with Murphy falling victim to not only a boring haunting, but a badly written role. Disappointing fodder.