I Am Number Four – a quick post DVD review

The choice to run and live another day or combine forces and stand your ground. The day to decide is here...

I saw the previews. I heard the chatter. Despite some naysayers about it being an teen angst film – I still wanted to see the movie. I waited and finally it was released on DVD. I Am Number Four was very much worth the wait. I really enjoyed the plot, the story line, the characters, the graphics and the actors. This is a movie for fans of sci-fi, Superman and Marvel Comics movies.

A really brief summary:

A distant planet called Lorien was destroyed by Mogadorians. In order to save their race, the Loriens sent 9 children to Earth with guardians to protect them before their planet was destroyed.

As the children grew, so did their alien races abilities. Unfortunately, the Mogadorians discovered the children were sent to Earth and have begun to hunt down each child that can only be killed in a specific order.

Alex Pettyfer plays John who is number four in the order of the alien children. He and his guardian are located by the Mogadorians in one of their many secret locations and they are forced to move after the third alien child has been hunted and killed by the Mogadorian leader, Commander. John and his guardian move to Paradise, Ohio.

Here, John must again try to fit in and not be noticed. All the while his powers are coming into maturity and he is battling controlling them so as to not draw attention to himself. John makes unlikely friends with another social outcast at his school, Sam Goode, played by Callan McAuliffe,  who is being victimized by a bully.  John catches the eye of the bullies girlfriend, Sarah Hart, played by Glee Actress Dianna Argon.

Another alien child, Number 6, loses her guardian and decides to fight the Mogadorians rather than run and hide. With this goal in mind she works to find Number 4. Meanwhile, John and Sarah form a bonding love and things start to heat up in Paradise as the Mogadorians hone in on John’s location.

I am going to cut off that summary there so that if you decide to watch this movie you can watch it free of spoilers. I just have to say I loved the Chimera. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel – not sure if there is going to be one but if there is, I am so watching it!! I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did 🙂

Beastly – A DVD review quick post

A quick post review of the recently released DVD, Beastly. A retelling of the Beauty and Beast fairytale. A tale as old as time if one recalls…

Love is never ugly...

Hello blog website -I am finally back again after a brief hiatus. While I was on break from blogging, I most certainly wasn’t on break from reading or watching movies.  I’ve decided since time seems to be a major factor in getting out my more thorough posts, I am going to try and do some quick posts reviews for the books, movies and TV shows that I have been following recently.

What better way to start than with a classic fairy tale remake of Beauty and the Beast. In case its not apparent by now, I’m going to re-state that I am a fan of fairy tales and fantasy and love to see classic tales re-told time and again. While the Cinderella tale seems to be the leading contender for people to remake, Beauty and the Beast seems to be a close second runner up.

The recently released DVD, Beastly, does a great job of revamping this classic tale. The lead actor Alex Pettyfer (I am Number Four and Beastly) plays the main character,  Kyle – a young man whose sole definition is based on his looks, wealth and what it can buy him.  Following the classic fairytale, Kyle runs afoul of a witch that decides to teach him a lesson about what life is really about and curses him. Kyle has one year to find someone to love him in his newly disfigured form.

The witch is portrayed as a social high school outcast – ridiculed by her fellow classmates while feared for her rumored magical abilities. Mary – Kate Olsen did a stellar job in her role as Kendra, the

Kyle approaches Kendra to try and ask for more time...

Enchantress, and her ability to show strength, daring, cunning and compassion while bestowing a life lesson to someone who seems so lost in his self importance. I am giving out props to the films make-up department because they did a wonderful job of creating the outward dis-figuration of the rather yummy Alex Pettyfer. The makeup department also managed to do a good job of not overdoing the gothic bent for Mary-Kate Olsen’s character as well – making her looks changeable and versatile – hmm, maybe a play on the whole beauty-is-not-all theme of the movie.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the lady fair that sees beyond the outer image and into the soul of what a person can really be – as Lindy. The movie finds interesting ways to follow the fairytale to where the lead female finds herself in the care of the ‘beast’.

The movie follows Kyle through his tormented dealings and his coming to terms with his new world and having his basic beliefs redefined by one fateful encounter. We get to see him develop a heart and build a soul on more than looks alone. A bright comedic relief in the movie is the blind tutor played by Neil Patrick Harris that offers another eye opener for the twisted visage of Kyle. Something about watching a man so full of himself be so humbled by those around him draws me into this movie. Honestly, for a movie that did not get a lot of promotional hoopla, I was quite pleased with how well done it was in a simple non-overblown dramatic way.

Without giving away too many details – I highly recommend this movie for a sweet, simple, soul redefining couple of hours enjoyment. If you do find yourself enjoying this fairytale remake, here are a few other recommendations: Snow White: A tale of terror (1997), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Ella Enchanted (2004), EverAfter (1998),  Red Riding Hood (2011) and Tangled (2011).

Bonding

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD – movie review

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD

Broke down and rented the movie Beyond a Reasonable Doubt from Redbox – I got tired of waiting for it at the library. I really wanted to see this because I like Amber Tamblyn, known for her role in Joan of Arcadia and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and am depressed her TV series keep getting canceled so any chance to watch her is good for me. Plus Michael Douglas, known for his role Disclosure and Romancing the Stone, was in this as well as Jesse Metcalf , known for his role in Desperate Housewifes and John Tucker Must Die, (not too much of a positive for me but he does a decent job in this movie). Overall, I’d categorize this movie as a Corrupt Law Murder Mystery with a twist. I did enjoy this movie better than Law Abiding Citizen and it didn’t have nearly the violence as Law Abiding Citizen or the action but you actually are given a character background with this movie so that you care what happens to the characters. And what I really liked about this movie was that it was throwing hints and clues my way the whole time and they didn’t hit me in the face until the end of the movie. Then I was like, ohh, that why he was limping when he got out of bed and oh, that’s who kept calling him and little things like those that tied the movie together when that final climatic scene was played.

The general synopsis of the movie plays out that a news reporter from Buffalo gets his big break after winning an award for a documentary. The news reporter C. J Nicholas, played by Jesse Metcalf, is trying to make it big and thinks he’s found his news story in a theory on how a high-profile criminal lawyer is winning all of his cases by planting evidence after the murder has happened. This Criminal Lawyer in question, Mark Hunter, played by Micheal Douglas, is running for Governor. Jesse strikes up a relationship with the Hunter’s Assistant D.A., Ella Crystal, played by Amber Tamblyn.

Unbeknown to Ella, Jesse finds his job in jeopardy as cut-backs are being made. Now, despite his bosses telling him to let his theory about Hunter being corrupt go since he doesn’t have proof, Jesse set out to find proof. He convinces his photojournalist coworker to help him frame himself for murder by documenting C.J. purchasing pieces of evidence after a murder has happened and setting C.J. up for a crime he didn’t commit – they just have to wait for the perfect crime to come up. And gee, imagine that, one perfect crime comes along rather quickly for C.J. He and his partner work fast to plant C.J. at the top of the suspect list and it works. Ella is shocked by C.J.’s arrest and sets out to investigate C.J.’s claims that Hunter works with a head detective and somehow they are planting evidence after the crime occurs to get Hunter’s convictions in court.

Amber Tamblyn plays Ella Crystal in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Amber Tamblyn plays Ella Crystal in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
C.J. Nicholas played by Jesse Metcalf in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
C.J. Nicholas played by Jesse Metcalf convicing his co-worker to help C.J. frame himself for murder

The drama and tension builds as we watch Amber sift through the evidence and work towards proving C.J.’s innocence. Hunter and the head detective pick up that something is off with this murder and work fast to enter evidence after the fact during the trial – incriminating blood found on the pants that C.J. was to have worn during the murder. All the data that C.J. and his partner recorded as proof that they bought the supposed evidence after the crime is lost in a horrific accident. Now its a matter of life and death after C.J. is convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection. I was really into this movie and enjoyed watching it unfold. I won’t share too much more but I hope I shared enough for you to want to go out and get a copy.

You can purchase a copy of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD and some other suggestions by clicking on the Amazon.com images below:

Law Abiding Citizen on DVD – Movie Review

Finally found time to watch Law Abiding Citizen that came on out DVD this Tuesday, 02-16-10. Now, before I rented this from a Redbox machine, I tried getting a copy from my local library and in the process of checking out the movie on the library website I read their version of this movies violence level and it said something to the effect that it has extreme violence, a brutal rape scene and something more long those lines. This made me hesitate about renting this movie since truthfully I’m not in to movies like SAW that are all about violence for violence sake. Luckily I didn’t let that mis-leading statement hold me back from renting this movie because, trust me folks, there are WAY more violent movies out there this day and age and this movie  hits a violence scale of maybe a 6 out of 10.  After seeing The Last House on the Left, my scale for violence has shifted dramatically and it’ll be while before a rape scene can traumatized me as much as that one scene in the Last House.

*minor spoilers that shouldn’t ruin the movie for you because, really, if you don’t figure it out when the movies rolling than I can’t help you* 

What I did like about this movie was that it wasn’t as predictable as I find a number of movies today. When Clive, Gerald Butler’s character, kills his inmate, sure, you can see it was gong to happen but it stumped me as to why he did it. What was the reason behind his killing the inmate? Was the guy part of the attack on Clives’ family? Was he another killer that got a lenient sentence? And if the goal was to get Clive locked up in solitary – again – why? What could he do from there? The movie did make me think and I like movies that can do that. 

Arrest scene from Law Abiding Citizen
Aww, they made him put his pants back on.

I had a bit of hard time concentrating  since – and don’t hate me for this but I only just figured it out – I’m not that big a fan of Gerald Butler as an actor. I actually had him confused with the actor that played Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy – Jeffery Dean Morgan  – and was sightly disappointed when it wasn’t him. Although, when Gerald strips down in the movie, I did take a moment or two to appreciate that he has a rather finely muscled body. Another thing that threw me out of the movie was what the hell is up with Jamie Foxx’s lips in this movie? I know he has a goat tee there but for some reason it made his mouth so dark it was distracting. Jamie’s usually a decent looking guy but there were moments in the movie,  and I’m going to blame them maybe on the lighting,  were he just looked off. 

Jamie Foxx - Law Abiding Citizen
Perfect example of how the lighting made Jamie Foxx's lips too dark and unflattering

I think  what was missing from this movie , and I figured it out since I kept comparing it a lot to Last House on the Left, that it didn’t do the prep work for making the viewers care about the characters. There wasn’t a build up to the destruction of the family. It was a wham, bam and your dead ma’am attack. We didn’t have the time to actually feel for the characters or to feel for Clive’s loss so that when he starts his crusade, we weren’t with him on his motivation. Yea, I know, “What’s my motivation?” is cheesy but it’s what really helps a movie stand out. 

I do have to say that as the movie progresses you do get a better idea of Clive’s motivation and the fact that it’s not a hit you over the head reason makes more of an impact later on with the movie. Mainly, the unpredictability is what makes this movie not fall into the ‘I just wasted two hours of my life’ category. 

Plus, I did have a couple of  ‘peeking through my fingers’ moments so it did work on the suspense level. And the violence is definitely upped near the end. I will say, for getting vengeance, Clive was masterful and creative in his methods. I even squeaked at the cell phone moment. 

For those of us that have felt shorthanded by the justice system, this movie does appeal to our feelings of  ‘helplessness’  when dealing with the courts and that feeling of ‘ it’s just not enough punishment for what that criminal did to you’. Ultimately I really liked what Clive’s true message  was that had him destroying most of Philly’s legal department to get across. And in the end, Jamie Foxx’s character, Nick Rice, finally did learn what Clive’s’ lesson was all about. 

So if you’re looking for a movie with enough twists to keep you guessing mingled with some rather impressive spillage of blood as well as a true message to get across, Law Abiding Citizen just might meet those requirements for you. And now, a side by side comparison of Gerald Butler to Jeffrey Dean Morgan just so you don’t think I’m way off getting those two actors mixed up from a distance: 

Gerald Butler
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Jeffrey Dean Morgan - okay, can you see the resemblance between these two?

You can pick up your own copy of Law Abiding Citizen and Last House of the Left by clicking on the Amazon.com Images below: 

               

Zombieland on DVD – Movie Review

Alright, so I missed Zombieland in the theater – truthfully I wasn’t sure I wanted to shell out the $10 or so bucks for this movie so I patiently waited for the DVD release on 02-05-10. Well, its here and I’ve watched  it and OMG! How many times have you watched a thriller movie where someone knocks out the killer, turns their back and you’re shouting at the screen “BEHIND YOU!”, as the killer gets back up again? Well, Zombieland so addresses that main movie plot issue in the best way – rule # 4:  the Double Tap! lol. 

From the get go, this movie reminded me a little bit of a mash up of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and a video game.  And if someone out there just went, “Kiss Kiss – what?”, we have to talk. 

So, we meet the main character, Columbus – by the way, I loved how they by-passed names in this movie – as he’s telling us how the mad cow disease mutated, and after a fateful bite of a tainted hamburger, the world changed forever.  Suddenly the world’s humans are dwindling as the zombies are taking them down one by one – mass feeding’s were not a rare sighting.  Throughout the movie, Columbus tells about us his rules for survival and the four key rules are:

1) Cardio – When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons… were the fatties.

2) the Double tap  – In those moments where you’re not quite sure if the undead are really dead, dead, don’t get all stingy with your bullets. I mean, one more clean shot to the head, and this lady could have avoided becoming a human Happy Meal. Woulda… coulda… shoulda.

3) Beware of bathrooms – Really not just bathrooms any good apocalyptic zombie survivor should know better than going into a bathroom, small closet or any other small room with only one way in or out. Only thing stupider to go into then a bathroom is a movie theater. Lots of places to run around before you get eaten.  

4) seatbelts – a safe bet unless your a complete dumb dumb ( see rule #7 ) your not going to be hoofing it on foot in the event of a zombie outbreak. So when travelling on four wheels wear your seat belt. Nothing worse than finding yourself ejected out of your car into the loving and oh so hungry arms of zombies.

I am a fan of twisted humor and enjoyed this movie.  The stars, Jessie Eisenberg – Columbus, and Woody Harrelson – Tallahassee, really make the movie. I loved the following quote* because – seriously – I feel the same about coconut, lol :

Tallahassee: [discovers Hostess truck filled with Sno-Balls] Sno-Balls? Sno-Balls? Where the fuck are the God damn Twinkies?
Columbus: I love Sno-Balls.
Tallahassee: I HATE coconut. Not the flavor, but the consistency

*courtesy of IMDb

I also loved how the movie managed to throw in how the youth of today is missing out on some great classics and how we, the 1970’s generation, needs to step up our game in sharing the cultural joys of our youth. I’m talking Smurfs, movie’s like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Goonies and singers like – well – hell, I can’t think of anyone but Aerosmith right now but I think I got my point across 🙂

 I am tempted to share a lot more  – like the surprise I had with certain actors being in the movie. I didn’t spoil the movie for myself  by going to IMDb.com and reading up on it so, yes, they were surprises for me – but I’ll keep some of the surprises under lock and key for now. If commentors share – be kind and do the ‘spoiler’ warning thing ;-0.

I do have to say I had a hard time with the girls and their little adventure to Pacific Playland. I mean, how could they not have noticed that Tallahassee made noise to lure the lurking zombies out for some double tapping whenever the four of them made a pit stop. But – on the plus side, this is where the video game likeness comes in. It looks so much like an arcade video game that I was hooked and laughing. 

Another thing that bugged me was that – HOLY HELL – you are in a zombie world and you only have ONE shot-gun that you have to reload for your choice weapon of survival? Seriously? I am with Tallahassee, stock up on the automatics and awesome tools of destruction.

  So folks, prepare for gore, laughter and some key survival rules that can be used in all walks of life.  Zombieland, directed by Ruben Fleischer, is an R rated movie with a wicked take on a horrible end for humanity. Rent, sit back and be ready for some gruesome laughs. Enjoy!

   

 

 

 

 Purchase Zombieland right now at Amazon.com by clicking on the image below: