Reviews


300

A Movie Reel300: 8 out of 10.

Now that was fun. I finally saw 300 so I can now participate in popular culture exchanges that were fresh 12 months ago.

300 wasn't just a great tale about King Leonidas and a force of 300 men who fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C., it's also a fantastic looking flick. You could mute the volume on this sucker and still enjoy the hell out of it.

King Leonidas has given me a new battle cry to complement my Braveheart arsenal. "My children, gather round! No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight... and die. A new age has begun. An age of freedom, and all will know, that 300 Spartans gave their last breaths to defend it!"

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Blades of Glory

A Movie ReelBlades of Glory: 5 out of 10.

This film is super disappointing. Isn't Will Ferrell supposed to be funny?

Much better than "Blades of Glory" is "Blades of Steel", the Nintendo game I adored in the late 80s. Fight!

blades_of_steel_box_art

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No Country for Old Men

A Movie ReelNo Country for Old Men: 9 out of 10.

After seeing Juno a couple of weeks ago, I finally finished off my 2007 must-see list with No Country For Old Men, which I caught in theatres this afternoon. "Caught" is the wrong term, as you don't really catch No Country For Old Men. It's as elusive as Anton Chigurh and still, hours later, I find myself wrestling with this exceptional film.

As one who absolutely hates spoilers, I assure you I'm writing this in a fashion that won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. This, in itself, isn't easy, because there are pages and pages I wish to write about the ending alone.

Instead, I'll regurgitate what you already know, if you've read any reviews of this film. The direction by the Coen Brothers is awesome, every actor nails their role and this might just be the best Coen Brothers movie to date, and that says just about everything you need to know.

Now about that ending...

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Premonition

A Movie ReelPremonition: 3 out of 10.

Have you ever watched a movie and then completely forgot you had ever seen it? Taryn and I watched Sandra Bullock's Premonition either Wednesday or Thursday, and I just now remembered I had even seen it. Yes, it's that memorable.

Premonition isn't very good, either. It tries to get funky with the plot, but it comes across like Memento made by primary school students, except I think I'd care about that movie. In this movie, it's impossible to give a rat's ass. Surprisingly, I'm not recommending this complete waste of 90 minutes.

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Vacancy

A Movie ReelVacancy: 5.5 out of 10.

I was going to give "Vacancy" a 5, but Taryn liked it so much, I've bumped it up a notch.

On the positive side of the ledger, it's only 85 minutes long, although I thought that was still a little lengthy for this film. It's dark and creepy, but I never felt scared I just wanted to feel a little scared.

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The Last Mimzy

A Movie ReelThe Last Mimzy: 7 out of 10.

James and I are having a dude's day. With the girls out of the house, James and I skated for an hour at Rennie Park and then settled in to watch "The Last Mimzy".

Here's some sage advice from a father of two. If you want to watch a film with the kids, or maybe your young nieces or nephews, this is a fantastic choice. You can't live on a diet of Pixar alone. "The Last Mimzy" is a lot of fun and pretty damn cool. We both enjoyed it thoroughly.

As I was watching this little fantasy I started thinking about a movie I absolutely adored as a kid. I would watch "Time Bandits" over and over again. That's a movie I need to revisit with the boy.

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A Mighty Heart

A Movie ReelA Mighty Heart: 7 out of 10.

I'll admit to having a little difficulty seeing Mariane Pearl on the screen when all I could see was Angelina Jolie. That's not to say Jolie is weak in this, because she's very good, but she's morphed into a characuture that dominates the screen.

It's still worthwhile viewing because even though we know the story and how it ends, it's still a compelling journey.

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Hot Fuzz

A Movie ReelHot Fuzz: 8 out of 10.

I should start by telling you I've never seen "Shaun of the Dead", so I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch "Hot Fuzz". Not only is "Hot Fuzz" hilariously funny, but it's a pretty sharp crime film as well.

Now I need to see "Shaun of the Dead"...

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The Fountain

A Movie ReelThe Fountain: 6 out of 10.

My brain hurts. I watched "The Fountain" last night, and I'm still not sure what the hell happened. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. My brain really is in pain.

I watched "The Fountain" because I saw it was directed by Darren Aronofsky, the man who brought us the most excellent "Requiem for a Dream". It stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz and it's totally bizarre.

I'm a pretty smart cookie and I couldn't tell you what I saw, which is both frustrating and stimulating. It's got me thinking, even if I am in pain.

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Juno

A Movie ReelJuno: 9 out of 10.

"Juno" is fantastic. It's funny, charming and sweet and is powered by a great cast. It's a great cast, with personal faves J.K. Simmons, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman complemented nicely by Allison Janney, Olivia Thirlby and Jennifer Garner, but this movie kills because of a stellar performance from young Canadian actress Ellen Page.

If you haven't seen "Juno" yet, Ellen Page will blow you away. She's a breath of fresh air, quirky, funny and smart, and she is the reason this film is nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. I'm highly recommending this one.

Later today, when I get a chance, I've going to comment further on both the Canadian aspect of this wonderful little film and the "Arrested Development" tie-in. Stay tuned!

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