April 28, 2006

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:III

This movie had TomKat prints, all over it...

So, the first one was mildly cool, except for the fact that it was T(om)MF instead of the IMF. The second one was John Woo cliche, the Movie. Now, the third deals with Tom, sorry, "Ethan Hunt" and his deep feelings for two women and the ramifications of that for his IMF gig. Yeah.

There are some mildly cool stunts, but ultimately, it was as much of a letdown as I expected it to be...We have two new members of the team who are relagated to as little characterization as possible, John Rhys Meyers (he and his evil-looking blue eyes) and Maggie Q (she either had eyelid surgery or she's bi-racial [*just checked the imdb...She's Hawaiian and Irish-Polish]). They spout a few cheesy one-liners and there's one weak attempt at adding a little characterization with some random tidbit about a praying for a childhood cat (I kid you not).

Laurence Fishburne and Simon Pegg stole their respective parts with lines that were puzzlingly, miles better than the rest of the script...Hmmm...Me thinks more than one person wrote this [*checked that on imdb too, that's an a-ffirmative]...or a little improv, perhaps?

Anyway, despite a few cool action scenes (the opener with Keri Russell and the bridge scene were especially, noteworthy), what really messed this film up for me, was the lame "girl-power" ending...Oh, when you see this, hopefully on cable, you'll see what I mean.

Oh, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman rocks no matter what, but he was underused. Action movie makers, listen up. What make us root for the hero is the "badassness" of the bad guy. Die Hard? Check. Predator? Check. The Terminator? ...You get the picture.

If they had made Hoffman enough a badass, I could have forgotten the TomKatScientology thing long enough to hope Ethan Hunt would mess some mofos up. Alas, that was one of the many things they should have done that they did not.

:-|

PARENTS: I found nothing too objectionable in this one. There's an onscreen death that's creepy, some torture, and the usual blown-up stuff. You may want to take your older kids, the tweens.

MAZZA GALLERIE

I have a vague memory of going to this theater before the renovations for a Naked Gun 33 and 1/3 screening, waaay back when.

I'm glad they did those renovations. What seperates this from other theaters is the adult lounge, which serves alchohol. It's plush leather seating and all grownfolk, can be a nice respite from the regular theater experience.

Mazza Gallerie often picks odd first-run movies to fill its theaters, usually an indie or two, fifth place box office holders, and if you're lucky the #1 box office hit you want to see.

Other then that, it's pretty much like any other theater. Stadium seating, etc...

Crowds tend to be like that of the movie they are watching.

April 25, 2006

DVD of the Week: Just Friends

Okay, I have to make a confession. I have a little crush on Ryan Reynolds.

...For three good reasons...His girlfriend is not a breast-implanted Barbie (it's Alan Morrissette, y'all), He has washboard abs with that sexy little pelvic v-thing and he reminds me of a cockier, wannabe, youngish, Chevy Chase...Yeah, it sounds bad but, for me it's crushworthy.

Anyway, that's why I picked up this little stinker of a film. I just keep thinking, if you give this man the right script, he could really shine. So far, though, he's only twinkled a bit in bad movies.

The reason why this film stunk was they make you hate the leading lady (Amy Smart) a bit too much for you to want the romance to succeed...You just don't see why he's trying so hard after a while.

Though there's some great use of horribly cheesy early 90's music, it isn't enough to make it worthy of the price of a rental. Even the outtakes suck.

On a sidenote, Chris Klein, is great here...Heck, he was great in Election, his debut as an actor(!) too...Laugh all you want, but Chris Klein is woefully underrated. Anyone who can do comedy as well as he does deserves more chances than he gets to show it.



:-(

April 21, 2006

SILENT HILL

There's no end in sight to the string of crappy video game movies.
Even with Ragda Mitchell and Sean Bean, it's just stupid and gross for no logical reason. I was too busy being annoyed by the pointless progresssion of this film to care what was going on. I was never once afraid for anyone in this movie. In fact I was hoping some folks would get chopped and not in the bloodlusty glee of a horror fan, but in a "these are annoying-ass characters kill them all!!" sense.

Yes, it is a hard R...but only in the CGI sense. It's not tangable violence, people, it's all computer generated.

Blame the scriptwriters, who believe video game movies must be targeted firmly at 13 year-old boys, who also have abnormally small IQ's for their age.

Just, stay far, far, away from this one. It's not quite as bad as White Noise, but it comes pretty close.

This gets a from me.

PARENTS: Keep the kids away, not only for the blood and gore, but because it's awful. If you allow your kids to watch, they will turn into imbeciles.

LOEWS GEORGETOWN
I usually like this venue well enough, but the snobby air in the area, actually takes away from the experience, for me. The movie audience doesn't react enough.

...I know, I like my movie audience quiet too, but when warranted, a little applause or emotion can enrich a movie experience...Like when I first saw LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring and Aragorn lops off that Orc's head. The audience's roar of approval was good stuff, people :-)...But, not here, never at Georgetown.

Hey, at least the yellow lights in the bathrooms, camoflauge the pee color in the toliets, so all the toilets look equally unflushed. :-)

April 14, 2006

BRICK

Brick is classic film noir set in a modern high school. If you can bend your mind around that idea, then you'll enjoy this. Yes, it is gimmicky. But I'd say it's well-executed.

The actors all give strong performances save the actress who plays the ingenue Laura, who was too boring for it, IMO.

Joseph-Gordan Lewitt is proving time and time again that he is the new Ryan Gosling...No, that's a good thing. :-) He's another child actor turned surprisingly "serious indie-cred actor" despite his dubious past, MMC and Third Rock from the Sun, respectively.

I think it would be tough to make convoluted script, filled with noirish/modern high school slang engaging, but it's done here. I was riveted throughout, even when the pieces fall predictably into place. It's not all high tension drama, though, quite a few big laughs are sprinkled well through-out.

All said, it's a solid film.

It gets a :-D from me.

PARENTS: Oh, your teens will want to see this one for the cool cult factor. I say, if they're savvy, and mature enough let 'em. There's violence SPOILER!--->(a headshot and thorough beatings) and implied sex (if they get the referrence) but very little, if my memory serves, cursing. Of course, keep the little ones away.


LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
I almost don't want to praise this movie house for it's specialized snack offerings (Lindt chocalate, anyone?) which clearly targets upwardly-mobile, hipsters and yuppies.

Mainly, though there's a twinge of guilt in liking this house, because I know it is partly responsible for the demise of Visions...A long-running Dupont Circle arthouse, that had a nice bar in the front. RIP, Visions.

But, hey...it does have Lindt chocolates, folks. *cue Homer-style drool*:-)

The screens are relatively small (when will arthouses learn, that small films should not nessacarily be seen on small screens?), but once again, the cellphone blocker rules. No annoying rings are going to interrupt your film experience, here.

I highly recommend the white chedder topping on your popcorn, folks...It's finger-licking good.

April 8, 2006

SLITHER

What kind of movie do you get when you want a gross, tongue-in-cheek, B-horror, comedy?

Well, for me it would have been a Troma film...or early Peter Jackson. Think of this as the same thing except with a slightly larger budget, a clever script, and toned down "grosseosity".

Nathan Fillion, who played the captain in Serenity proves the limit of his charisma by playing essentially, Mal in a police uniform.

The real stand-outs (who clearly revel in their roles) are Michael Rooker and Gregg Henry.

This is a worthy matinee. Both laughs and jolts abound...But it's not for folks who have weak constitutions.

I didn't think it pushes the genre anywhere new, except as a loving tribute to what has already been done. But for what it is, it's good.

:-)

PARENTS: Your odd-ball horror-fan (teenaged) kids will find all the gore and guts in this film, quite cool. But THERE IS A LOT and it's vivid. Maintain the innocence of the uninitiated. Keep those prone to vomiting and nightmares away.

REGAL GALLERY PLACE: It's great venue, but only a few theaters have the super-large screen. The rest (showing older and less popular films) are on tiny screens. The audience can be noisy too, depending on what's showing, with cellphones and loud talking.

The hand-dryers in the bathrooms are particularly noteworthy. It's like drying your hands with a mini-jet engine.

DVD of The Week : SECRETARY



I just purchased this little gem at Best Buy for $9.99.

This sexy, quirky, romance tale has all the usal markers and cliches in place...

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love, etc...

What makes this one special is the respectful rendering of the type of romance this is. To say it's S&M is almost too confining. Beyond that it's about a woman coming of age. It's about her coming to terms with her own sense of self.

I'd say, if you're the judgemental type or at all conservative (folks who avoided Brokeback Mountain, for instance)...Stay away. You probably won't get it, anyway. Or better yet, watch and perhaps learn that what you thought about S&M, ain't at all so.



PARENTS: This is strictly for adults...or maybe you and your older teens can watch together if you suspect they are getting involved in S&M culture and you want to iniate an awkward conversation about it. ;-)