Saturday, January 9, 2010

Across the Universe

The story, inspired by the music of the greatest rock band to roll across the earth, The Beatles, Across the Universe tells the tale of a struggling Britain played by Jim Sturgess, named Jude of course, who finds himself young, in love and in America. The cast consists mainly of unknowns with the occasional cameo, including Bono (I Am the Walrus). The film displays superb talent and, for a musical, does the Beatles justice. Particularly well rendered editions include All My Loving, Let it Be, Come Together, Because, Strawberry Fields Forever, Revolution, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Hey Jude (because of an original drum sequence) and All You Need Is Love. I give the film four and a half stars for its musical value and acting excellence.


Based off Stephenie Meyer’s like-titled book, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) find each other in the town of Forks, SE. Bella quickly learns that Edward is no normal high school boy of 17 but an immortal vampire who is only one of the immortal vampires living in this wink of a city. Edward introduces Bella to a whole cast of fantasy figures including a few dodgy human hunters that any serious boyfriend would have better avoided. Needless to say, Bella becomes the dodgy vampire’s prey and an exciting chase ensues. The soundtrack includes two songs written and performed by Robert Pattinson and features Supermassive Black Hole by Muse. The musical overtones of the movie harmonize with the new age love story, alluring to a dark but hopeful resolution. This may not be a great film and cannot be confused with a classic but it entertains and offers a bit of eye candy. I give this film three and half stars out of five for the cliché lessons on love yet its power to bring the vampire back into pop culture.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The 25th Hour

Gripping. Edward Norton depicts a man sentenced to seven years in prison. On his last night as a free man, he's forced to face both what his life has come to and what is yet in store. Norton reveals a strong heart behind a petty drug pusher and tells a story not often told. Shiningly emotional, intimate; The 25th Hour in a epic character study of a man on the precipice of despair.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Monty Python's The Holy Grail

If you like to laugh, I have a film for you. Clever, silly and contradictory, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the defining film of British humor. From the writers and actors of Flying Circus, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life comes a series of skits that happen to add up to the story of King Richard’s great crusade. If you aren’t already quoting the banter, open your ears and await the French insults: “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.” Or the Black Knight’s famous, “It's just a flesh wound.” And Sir Bedevere’s surprising exchange with a peasant: “What makes you think she's a witch? Well, she turned me into a newt! A newt? …I got better.” Regardless of your friends irritating and incessant quotation of this film, it is a must see.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

If you like the story of Robin Hood, clever action heroes, or old movies, you’ll love the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood (in color!) featuring adventure star Errol Fynn. As always, our hero must rescue maid Marion from a terrible fate and stop Prince John from robbing the good people of England. Olivia de Halvilland sparkles as Marion, however impotent the fair lady may be. The reality is that no matter her competencies, any woman should prefer rescue from the Errol Flynn Robin Hood to the Kevin Costner Robin Hood. The Flynn Hood knows the smooth words for Marion and the sharp quips for the sheriff, a better hood I have yet to see (save perhaps the adorable Brian Bedford as Robin Hood the fox). I give it 5 out of 5 stars for the witty banter and the “Roaring” retro action shots. If you haven’t seen an Errol Flynn film, The Adventures of Robin Hood is the best place to start.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Rafael chasing the foot and saving April O'Neil for 95 minutes; who could not but fail to see how totally tubular the turtles are? If you enjoyed the 80's cartoon, you'll love this film. If you didn't enjoy the 80's cartoon, you'll love this film. The Puppetry by Jim Henson, brings out a realistic, albeit teddy-bearish, element to the turtles that no CGI can do.


One of Tim Burton's best, this dark film brought out the black part of Batman's heart that most other tellings of his story had left out. Michael Keaton opposite Jack Nicholson is a magic spell waiting to be cast. Could there be a better Joker than Jack Nicholson? (He is, in fact, the joker in his everyday life) The answer, no.