Tuesday, March 13, 2007


In the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy.

Looking for an adrenaline rush? 300 is the movie you are looking for. Looking for a movie with a deep inspiring storyline with violence that is meaningful and furthers the story? Go watch Braveheart again. 300 is an orgy of stylized violence. Every scene is designed to get you pumped up about what is going on.
Gerard Butler as King Leonidas is yelling at least once in every scene it seems. However, the battles in this movie are amazing. The quality of the fighting in 300 reminded me a lot of the Matrix and how groundbreaking it was when it first came out. If you enjoy war scenes, 300 delivers over and over.

The R-rating stems mostly from the violence which is graphic and constant. From graphically severed limbs to decapitations, the violence and gore is equivalent to the beach scene in Saving Private Ryan. However, there is some nudity to note. 3 different times you see women either topless or wearing a cloth so shear they may as well be topless. A sex scene between the King and the Queen does not show excessive nudity (other than her topless) but it is very clear what is going on.

I don't like going into a movie with my expectations too high. Unfortunately, in the weeks leading up to the release of 300 I have heard it praised on par with Braveheart and Gladiator. Don't be fooled. While 300 does what it sets out to do, this movie is not the next Braveheart or Gladiator. However, as an adrenaline-powered war movie, 300 delivers.

4.7 out of 5

Monday, March 05, 2007


From 1966 to 1978, the Zodiac Killer claimed victim after victim in the San Francisco Bay area, repeatedly taunting law-enforcement authorities with direct messages bragging about his deeds. The killer is officially blamed for six murders, but claimed to have killed some 37 people and could have been responsible for as many as 50.

Obsession. It can destroy the lives of some and drive others to greatness. On the surface, this movie is about the Zodiac Killer but what makes the movie outstanding is the obsession of the men trying to discover who the Zodiac is. Se7en is an excellent movie. Zodiac comes awfully close. While Zodiac doesn't have the imaginative murders that Se7en does, Zodiac will grip you from start to finish.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. are excellent in this film and may be in line for Oscars next year. Excellent movie that slows down a bit in the middle, but the 2 hr. 40 min. runtime doesn't feel long at all.

R-rated serial killer movie. Violence and language abound. No nudity or sexual situations.

One of the better movies I've seen in a while, Zodiac is great movie about one of the most notorious serial killers in American History. If you enjoyed Se7en, you'll probably like Zodiac.

4.8 out of 5

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ghost Rider

Long ago, superstar motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze made a deal with the devil to protect the ones he loved most: his father and his childhood sweetheart, Roxanne. Now, the Devil has come for his due. By day, Johnny is a die-hard stunt rider--but at night in the presence of evil, he becomes the Ghost Rider, a bounty hunter of rogue demons.

I love Marvel comics and especially their translation to film. Films like Spiderman and X-men are very well done in their translation. Fantastic Four, Punisher and Daredevil aren't quite as good and The Hulk was just a waste of time. I was very afraid of how Ghost Rider could be ruined. Nicolas "The Eyebrows" Cage just didn't seem right to play Johnny Blaze. Thankfully, my fears were mostly unfounded. What a fun movie. From the first time Blaze changes to Ghost Rider almost to the end this movie is a visual treat. Cage actually does a pretty good Blaze since Cage has had plenty of experience as the reluctant hero. However, the real lack in this story was the enemies that Ghost Rider fought. The Devil was played well, however Blackheart just seemed silly throughout the entire movie. Apparently, to be a fallen angel all you need is a black trenchcoat as that seemed to be the uniform. The effects for the penance stare could have been improved.

Violence is mostly the reason for the PG-13 rating as you see the fallen angels literally suck the life out of their victims.

Ghost Rider is not a timeless classic, nor is it going to win any Oscars. However, it is a fun ride. This isn't Xmen 2, but neither is it The Hulk.

3.9 out of 5

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


A boy named Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest. At first, he thinks it's a lucky discovery, something that will bring meat to his poor family for the winter. Instead, it brings a dragon hatchling, and Eragon is soon thrust into a world of magic and power through which he and the dragon must navigate.

I really have to stop reading the book before I see the movie. If you are making a movie based on a very good book do you: a. Follow the book as much as possible as it is a tried and true success or b. take the characters from the book and a loose plot outline and basically make the entire story up from scratch. Unfortunately, "b" was chosen. I never once in the book thought "Eragon is an arrogant jerk", but I did constantly through this movie. Regardless of whether Eragon was responding to a king, his mentor or the dragon you could see him right on the edge of a temper tantrum if he didn't get his way. What a hero. Jeremy Irons provided some much needed expertise as Eragon's mentor, Brom.

A PG movie with most of that rating stemming from the frightening look of Durza and the Raz'ac (which were done completely wrong).

What a waste of a license. So many times during this movie my wife and I looked at each other with incredulous looks as major plot points and aspects of the story were completely ignored. This movie could have easily been another Lord of the Rings, but the fact that it threw away an excellent story for a hastily thrown together one makes is more of a Bloodrayne.

1.5 out of 5

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Smokin' Aces

In these interlocking tales of high stakes and low lifes, Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy "Aces" Israel--a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state’s evidence against the Vegas mob.

How pointless does a movie have to be when I wish that it was as good as Crank?
This movie starts out with so much promise and loses steam within the first 30 minutes. I checked my watch at least 3 times in this movie as really only the beginning is interesting at all and the end is bearable. The middle drags so long with the various side stories and sub plots that you just wish something would happen. While this movie is very tedious, the variety of characters introduced in this movie are somewhat interesting and Ryan Reynolds does a decent acting job. It just isn't enough to make this movie worth your time.

Language is pervasive and standard for a R-rated movie. Violence is what you'd expect from a movie about hitmen. As for nudity, there is a woman topless in one scene. Standard R-rating fare, nothing outstanding.

I have to hand it to the people who created the preview to this movie. It really looked like it would be enjoyable. Unfortunately, between the slow pace and boring storyline, this movie is rarely enjoyable.

2.0 out of 5

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Set in 1940s Spain against the postwar repression of Franco's Spain, a fairy tale that centers on Ofelia, a lonely and dreamy child living with her mother and adoptive father, who is a military officer tasked with 'ridding the area' of rebels. In her loneliness, Ofelia creates a world filled with fantastical creatures and secret destinies.

I really enjoy fairy tales. That is why I enjoy movies like Pan's Labyrinth
or Lady in the Water. Pan's Labyrinth is set in two worlds. The volatile, frightening reality of WWII era Spain and the sometimes just as frightening fantasy world that Pan introduces Ofelia to. I was impressed by the subtlety Del Toro uses in conveying Ofelia's fear of what is happening to her in the real world. Rarely do you see her truly upset about the real world situations but instead you see how little she is afraid of the frightening creatures in her fantasy world. For example, Pan is not pleasant to look at and I'm sure he would be frightening to just about any child, but not Ofelia. This lack of fear she shows in dealing with these fantasy situations quickly underscores how when compared to her real world issues, the fantasy just isn't that scary. The story told, in both real world and fantasy, is outstanding. While there are really two separate, yet subtlety interwoven, storylines in this film, you never find yourself missing the nuances of each.

Although a fairytale of sorts this movie's R-rating should make it obvious that nothing about this movie is appropriate for children. There is zero sexual content and not much language (keep in mind the movie is all in Spanish with English subtitles). However, the R rating is definitely deserved in the category of gore. From watching a man getting his face smashed in with a bottle, to multiple stabbings and shootings, to other things I can't say because it would give away parts of the movie, the camera does not shy away from showing you every gory detail that you could possibly see. While not even close to Hostel levels, this movie is not for those that faint at the sight of blood.

A dark Alice in Wonderland is a good way to describe Pan's Labyrinth. An excellent storyline, amazing visuals and excellent acting make this an enjoyable movie... just leave the kids at home.

4.6 out of 5

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Departed

In South Boston the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate that is run by gangland chief Costello

I like gangster movies. I thought Gangs of New York was a pretty good movie, Goodfellas was great and The Godfather is one of my favorite movies. I was excited to see that Martin Scorsese had made a new gangster movie with such talent as Matt Damon, Leo Dicaprio, Mark Wahlberg and (one of my favorites) Jack Nicholson. I've read elsewhere that this is Scorsese's best movie since Goodfellas and I'm inclined to agree. A movie that is interesting and fast-paced enough to make a 2 and 1/2 hour running time seem more like an hour is always great in my book. Jack Nicholson is brilliant as always as the gang chief Costello, Matt Damon as the dirty cop is perfect as is Leo as the undercover cop. I especially noticed the chemistry between Damon and Dicaprio as being especially believable and immersive.

With the R-rating you'd expect a fair amount of violence and language in a film like this and you'd be correct. Nothing suprising or outstanding for an R-rated gangster movie.

It's nice to have a good choice at the theaters during the traditionally slow month of October. While the previews focus on Nicholson's witty one-liners and such the movie goes much deeper than that right into the politics of survival. The ending was a bit predictable in some ways but many will find that comforting in an age where everyone thinks good ending = twist ending. All in all a very enjoyable gangster movie that is a worthy addition to the resumes of all involved.

4.7 out of 5

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby has always dreamed of driving fast--real fast--like his father, Reese Bobby, who left the family to pursue his racing dreams. Early on, Ricky's mother, Lucy Bobby worried that her boy was also destined to end up as a professional daredevil on wheels

Did you enjoy Anchorman? If so, you will enjoy Talladega Nights. Will Farrell does what he does best: play a larger-than-life, hilarious character. Farrell's performance in this movie was absolutely outstanding. He is hilarious as always and honestly it's hard to notice the supporting roles with him on screen. The storyline is a familiar one. Ricky Bobby is the top of the pack, a newcomer arrives and challenges that, Ricky must "find himself" and through it all makes friends with the newcomer (pretty much the exact same formula as Anchorman). The NASCAR jokes are perfect and will be funny and relevent to those who know nothing of NASCAR (like me).

Mainly language is the only thing parents will be worried about in this film. There are a few times that sexual situations are inferred but never explicitly shown (including it being apparent that a woman is flashing Ricky but nothing is shown).

Talladega Nights is a fun, familiar comedy that has many many laugh-out-loud situations. Will Farrell is at the top of his game in this film. However, some may find the recycled storyline to be a bit boring and tedious, but that didn't keep me from laughing all the way through.

4.2 out of 5

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lady in the Water

Cleveland Heep has been quietly trying to disappear among the burned-out light bulbs and broken appliances of the Cove apartment complex. But on the night that irrevocably changes his life, Cleveland finds someone else hiding in the mundane routine of this modest building--a mysterious young woman named Story, who has been living in the passageways beneath the building's swimming pool.

"A bedtime story" is a great tagline for this film. From the very beginning we are thrust into a world where make-believe comes true and good creatures need our help to protect them from the evil. M. Night may be arrogant and think more highly of himself than he deserves (he's not another Hitchcock), but this movie is, in my opinion, one of his best. Ever since the Sixth Sense, he has been expected to put a twist in every film he makes. Yes, it worked great for Sixth Sense but I've always hoped to see M. Night as more than just a one-trick pony. Lady in the Water solidifies my opinion that M. Night has, not only a good director's eye, but also an incredible imagination. Make no mistake, Paul Giamatti as Cleveland Heap carries this film. Bryce Dallas Howard is great, but Giamatti makes you really care about what happens, humanizes the experience and helps you feel what he feels. Without Giamatti this film wouldn't have been even nearly as good.

The PG-13 rating is almost completely for "frightening images" and it's well deserved. The Scrunts (the wolf-like animals), are extremely frightening. That part of the bedtime story may give little ones nightmares.

Why is this movie getting such bad reviews? It couldn't possibly be because M. Night Shyamalan portrays a movie reviewer as being out-of-touch, arrogant and stupid could it? While the film isn't as good as it could be because of M. Night's insistence to put himself as a major character (a very distracting choice), this is a solid fairy tale that I really enjoyed. I hope all of M. Night's films continue to be as good as this one.

4.4 out of 5

Friday, July 21, 2006


High school senior Bartleby “B” Gaines is on his way to scoring eight out of eight rejection letters from colleges—which isn’t going to go over big with Mom and Dad. At least he’s not alone in the exclusion. Several of his crew of outcast friends are in the same, college-less boat. So…how does a guy facing a bleak career please his parents and get noticed by dream girl Monica?

A good movie reviewer reviews a film on what it is trying to be, not what he/she wants it to be. In that vein, Accepted is great. It was fun to enjoy such a light-hearted, hilarious take on the college entrance process that is such a stressful time for students. Lewis Black is great as the pretend dean of the "college" but only because he's only playing himself, nothing more. It's really just the age-old story of non-popular, yet smart and nice boy likes popular girl who is dating popular jock. Jock cheats on girl, girl gets with smart and nice boy. But the avenue we take to get through that story is really incredible. Honestly, I think the whole "good guy gets the girl" substory was a bit distracting and unnecessary. This movie is in the vein of Old School: lots of language and lots of fun.

Language is 100% of the PG-13 rating for this movie. That and sexual dialogue is pervasive.

This movie won't win any Oscars, neither will it make a ton of money. However, if you are looking for mindless fun that is short (about 90 min) and sweet, Accepted is a great choice.

4.0 out of 5

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Captain Jack Sparrow discovers he owes a blood debt to the legendary Davey Jones, Captain of the ghostly Flying Dutchman. With time running out, Jack must find a way out of his debt or else be doomed to eternal damnation and servitude in the afterlife. Making matters worse, Sparrow's problems manage to interefere with the wedding plans of a certain Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, who are forced to join Jack on yet another one of his misadventures.

Does sequel mean copy? Does it mean that you feel like you are watching the original only with a bit of a different story line? The makers of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sure seem to think so. I feel like we have already seen this movie the last go around with Pirates. Let's recap, there is a Captain Jack Sparrow who is trying to get something from an otherworldly foe, he enlists the help of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann whose romance is being threatened by a overzealous British higher-up. Which movie am I talking about, the first or the second? Either one and that's what makes the 2 and 1/2 hours feel so long. That being said, Johnny Depp does an outstanding job reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow and his amazing ability to become that character really carries this movie. Much more of a humorous movie than the last with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The visuals in this movie are absolutely amazing. The Kraken is awesome but Davy Jones is the effect that really steals the show. The special effects team should win an Oscar for this. It is very apparent that this movie is meant to be a transition and it does a good job with that.

Nothing new in the way of inappropriate content. Typical for a PG-13 movie. Violence and language carry the rating.

Sequels have gotten the bad rap of being worse than the original, but in a few cases (such as Batman Begins and Xmen 2) they can be better than the original. For Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, neither of the above cases are true. This movie is just more of the original with a few running jokes thrown in for a laugh. Good transition movie that could have been so much better.

3.7 out of 5

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Superman Returns

Superman--born on a planet which has long since died--has been raised by adoptive parents on the Kent farm in Kansas. The young boy Kal-El is renamed Clark Kent, and though he has grown up among humans, he is not one of them

Wow. That is a great word to sum up this movie. Honestly if I didn't know people couldn't fly I would have thought Brandon Routh as Superman was flying. It was that well done. Other times I had to look twice to remember that this wasn't Christopher Reeves as Brandon was so much like him. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor was inspired. His previous stint as a bald bad guy in se7en was incredible and apparently the director remembered that. This is another Superman movie like Batman Begins was another Batman movie. It's like the franchises were killed with so many bad sequels and then someone who truly loved the heroes took the reins and made something memorable.

What you'd expect from a Superhero movie in the way of violence and language can be found here. Nothing unexpected.

Bryan Singer, the director of this film and the first two Xmen films, has consistently gone above and beyond in his directing of superhero films. I was never bored in this movie, never wished it was shorter and loved every minute of it. While this movie isn't perfect as it does drag a bit but not in that noticable of a way, it is pretty darn close. If every summer blockbuster was like this I'd never miss one.

4.9 out of 5

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Michael Newman is married to the beautiful Donna and they have two terrific kids, Ben and Samantha. But he doesn't get to see them much because he's putting in long, hard hours at his architectural firm in the elusive hope that his ungrateful boss will one day recognize his invaluable contribution and make him a partner. When he goes looking for a Universal Remote to make his life simplier, Morty, gives him a remote that can control his universe.

Adam Sandler gives us what seems to be a combination of the crude humor of his previous movies with The Family Man and It's a Wonderful Life. Throw in the remote as a plot driver and there's your movie. The ability to fast forward, pause, rewind or even mute our lives is something that he thinks he wants but finds out that he really doesn't. Jumping from milestone to milestone of his life makes him realize how important it is to not just get through life to get to the next promotion but to really LIVE life day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. I love it when a movie hits home for me personally. There are some movies that stimulate the brain but others that touch the heart. This is definitely the latter. I couldn't help but think about decisions that I make in my own life in regards to priorities while watching this movie as well as the consequences of those decisions. I love the imagination and vision that went into what his life would be like in the future and how his life decisions make such an impact. What a great lineup of talent too. Adam Sandler is great as comic relief in this movie; Kate Beckingsale is beautiful and perfect as his wife; Henry Winkler is perfectly cast as Sandler's dad; Hasselhoff as Sandler's boss; Sean Austin as a constant gag; and Christopher Walken takes this movie to the next level as Morty. Great casting.

This is the humor you would expect in an Adam Sandler movie thus sex jokes and language throughout. PG-13 rating is earned.

I hate it when previews for a movie tell the entire story. However, a preview is perfect when it spotlights one aspect of the movie while not giving it all away. That is what is done here. I walked in thinking "light-hearted comedy" and walked away re-examining my life and my priorities. I can't say that this will be the case for everyone but you'll soon discover that Click is more than just a good laugh.

4.2 out of 5

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs.

From Toy Story, to Monsters Inc., to Finding Nemo and more recently The Incredibles, Pixar has distinguished itself as an animation studio that is committed to releasing top quality movies that while appealing to children, are something adults can sit through as well. Cars is an excellent addition to the Pixar library and gives me hope as we begin Pixar's "Disney-Owned" era.

It is apparent from the opening scene of this movie that you are going to enjoy a great family film. The excitement of the races that Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) participates in will keep you on the edge of your seat yet give you plenty of comic relief. Don't think, however, that this movie is all about racing. Lightning, while traveling to the big race, is stranded in the small town of Radiator Springs. There he learns that you are responsible for your actions no matter who you think you are as well as how important friends can be. Larry the Cable Guy is excellent as tow truck, Tow Mater and provides constant laughs throughout the movie.

The G-rating of cars is well deserved as there is really nothing here that is inappropriate for children.

One of Pixars better movies, and the best movie I've seen so far this summer, Cars is one of the rare types of movies that parents won't be falling asleep in yet can feel comfortable that the movie will still be completely appropriate for their kids. Cars is a great movie for families to enjoy together this summer.

4.7 out of 5

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

A cure for mutancy threatens to alter the course of history. For the first time, mutants have a choice: retain their uniqueness, though it isolates and alienates them, or give up their powers and become human

I wouldn't consider myself a X-Men purist. I have only read a few of the comic books and most of my background in the X-Men is either from the animated series on Fox or the X-Men Legends games. However, even I found things in this movie that were a big step away from the X-Men storyline conceived by Marvel. Unfortunately I can't really be specific without giving away major plot twists. First of all there is a major and extremely powerful being that is reduced to the status of Magneto's henchmen. That is wrong. Juggernaut is not a mutant thus Leech's power wouldn't work on him. Also wrong. Honestly the way this film is left I don't see how they can stop there. There is a perfect opening now to introduce the Astral Plane in the next film and thus perhaps an introduction of Emma Frost. Other things bothered me about the continuity of this storyline. Wolverine's role in this movie as the leader of the team really bothered me. Wolverine is not a leader, Storm is a leader, Cyclops is a leader, Wolverine is an animal. I realize that Wolverine sells big time but making him into something he's not cheapens the character and ruins the continuity. Also I understand that Halle Berry is a big name that has to be at the forefront of every movie that she's in, but her "street talk" as Storm about killed me. If Halle wants to be a major part of a movie she should at least study the character she is supposed to be. That being said, I think Brett Ratner did a respectable job coming into this movie midstream. Also Beast was perfectly cast and extremely well done. I just wish this movie would have been more like X2

Nothing different here in the way of violence or language than the previous films. At least there is continuity there.

The first X-Men movie excited me because it was a X-Men movie! Nothing spectacular. X2 blew me away from the beginning with Nightcrawler's scene, impressed me by not only introducing new characters but actually developing them, and ended perfectly leaving moviegoers satisfied yet eager for more. X-Men: The Last Stand feels like they forgot everything that was done right in X2. Characters like Juggernaut, Kitty Pryde, Angel and Moira McTaggert were introduced yet all but ignored. If the studio had decided to introduce less characters, get acquainted with the characters and prepare us for X4 I think this movie could have been as good as its predecessor.

3.4 out of 5

Monday, May 22, 2006


It's New Year's Eve and festivities have begun aboard the luxury cruise Poseidon, at sea in the North Atlantic--that is until the First Officer senses that something is wrong. Scanning the horizon, he sees a rogue wave; a monstrous wall of water over one hundred feet high, bearing down on them with tremendous speed.

This movie will, for obvious reasons, draw a lot of comparision with Titanic. But there is one stark difference between Poseidon and Titanic. Titanic spends 90% of the movie in character development before any disaster, Poseidon spends about 20 minutes in character development and uses the disaster for all other character development. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat disaster movies, this one fits the bill. Kurt Russell is great as always and I really enjoyed Josh Lucas's performance in this film. Some of the situations though were a bit unbelievable. One scene where they had the people swimming underwater through and area and holding their breathes for well over a minute was a bit too unbelievable. I can understand if the former navy guy or firefighter have no problem doing that, but there was also a 10ish year old child and an older man and we are supposed to believe that they can hold their breath that long with no problem?

Violence here and there, no nudity but some language. Nothing different than usual PG-13 action movies.

I think most people going into Poseidon would realize that realism is not what they are shooting for. Just the fact of a huge wave sinking a cruise ship is pretty unbelievable in itself but combined with the incredible breath-holding, ability to get hit in the face very hard with a metal door and still live, and a thin metal table holding two men across a chasm, Poseidon goes from far-fetched to impossible. However, it is obvious that the film maker is going for breathtaking views and narrow escapes, not realism. I just wish we could have gotten to know the characters a little better before disaster struck as I found myself caring little whether they lived or died.

3.0 out of 5

Friday, May 19, 2006

An American Haunting

Based on a true state-documented case that took place during the 1800s. Between the years 1818-1820, the Bell family of Red River, Tennessee was visited by an unknown presence that haunted the family and eventually caused the death of one of its members.

I'd heard mixed reports about this film and thus was skeptical going into it. However, I was pleasantly surprised. This movie's intent is to be creepy with plenty of "jump" points and it succeeds. I always enjoy Sissy Spacek in scary movies and she does great here. Donald Sutherland is also great in this film.

Nothing too graphic, some language a bit of violence. Most of the PG-13 rating is for scary situations.

A decent opener to the Summer movie season. An American Haunting is a good scary movie with an interesting twist at the end.

3.6 out of 5

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mission Impossible IIII

Recently retired, Agent Ethan Hunt lives a slower-paced life training new IMF agents. With this change, new opportunities enter his life, including a possible marriage to his girlfriend Julia. However, when a new conflict arises, Ethan is called back to duty to confront the toughest villain he’s ever faced – Owen Davian, an international weapons and information provider with no remorse and no conscience.

I absolutely loved the first Mission Impossible movie and detested the second. While the first movie was smart in its twists and gotchas, the second movie was just an action movie, nothing memorable. Thankfully, Mission Impossible III is more like the original. In all honesty, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Cruise's acting and passion is what makes this movie very watchable. The result when those two personalities collide is one of the better hero/villian dynamics that I've seen. Great movie that feels a bit drawn out, but nothing too bad. That being said, I don't know who edited this movie but they could really have done a better job. A great example is when Cruise is running along side a bayou they focus on a side view of him running for a good 8-10 seconds. Transition scenes are necessary but it seemed like that was an obvious attempt to fill more time into the movie.

PG-13 is a good rating for this movie as there is plenty of violence and language to warrant it. Parents of smaller children should be warned that there is a point where we get a good look at dead woman's face and her eyes are pointing in different directions among other things. Might be a little much for the younger crowd.

Not as memorable as the first movie, yet not as forgettable as the second; Mission Impossible III is a great action movie that will leave you walking away from the theater glad that you watched it. Not an outstanding movie but a great way to kick off the summer movie season.

3.8 out of 5

Friday, May 05, 2006


Local businessman Grant Grant--successful, albeit oafish--is one of the few leaders of Wheelsy's pack. With beautiful young wife Starla, a large house and fat bank account, Grant truly relishes his "big fish-small pond" role in the town. Other than the fact that the passionate love he feels for his woman goes completely unrequited, he's a man content. But things are about to change for Grant.

I didn't go into this movie expecting much and you shouldn't either. This movie relishes the fact that it's a B-movie heavy on gore and tongue-in-cheek humor. I was reminded why I enjoy Nathan Fillion so much as an actor in movies like these. From playing the Captain in Firefly/Serenity to his performance as the Police Chief in Slither, Fillion consistently provides great laughs.

This movie can be very disgusting at points and you should realize that going into it. From bloody corpses of everything from dogs to cows to people as well as gruesome deaths, Slither isn't shy with the violence and gore. Well deserving the R-rating.

If you enjoy gory alien invasion movies that are fun and funny at the same time, Slither is a great choice. Just don't expect to see this one up for any Oscars.

4.0 out of 5

Monday, April 24, 2006

Silent Hill

The eerie and deserted ghost town of Silent Hill draws a young mother desperate to find a cure for her only child's illness. Unable to accept the doctor's diagnosis that her daughter should be permanently institutionalized for psychiatric care, Rose flees with her child, heading for the abandoned town in search of answers--and ignoring the protests of her husband

There are different types of fear. There is the fear of the knife-wielding killer that you KNOW is out there somewhere. Then there is the fear of the unknown. The fear that SOMETHING is out there, but you really don't know what. The fear that you will walk around the next corner and see something you didn't expect. The first type of fear is much easier to manage. The second type of fear, the fear of the unknown is so psychologically taxing that you wonder how much more you can actually take. This movie perfectly harnesses the psychological fear. Every time you hear the siren in Silent Hill you wonder what you will possible see come out of the mist this time.

The directing in this movie provides an atmosphere that grips you from the very beginning and doesn't let you go throughout the entire movie. Silent Hill is a place where nightmares come to life and there is no relief of any kind. I really liked Radha Mitchell in this film as Rose (the mother of the little girl). I have enjoyed her in other movies such as Man on Fire but her fear and dread was so well done in this movie that it draws you in. I've already heard mumblings about how Sean Bean's character as Rose's husband and Sharon's father, Christopher, was unnecessary for this plot but I disagree. Silent Hill would not have been as surreal without the contrast between what Christopher was going through searching for Rose and what she was going through trying to find her daughter. Jodelle Ferland, however, is the outstanding performance in this film as the little girl Sharon.

Unless you desire for your children to have nightmares for years, don't take them to this movie. Language is here and there, but the extreme violence and horrifying creatures that inhabit Silent Hill is what makes the R-rating well deserved. This is not a film for the faint of heart or weak-stomached. Graphic portrayal of a person being burned alive, showing the skin being ripped off of a person and people being ripped apart by barbed wire, among other things is what you can expect from this movie.

Silent Hill completely succeeds in being what it has set out to be. Silent Hill is a story that is terrifying on a level that goes beyond ghosts or demons. All the evil in Silent Hill is there because of what people did to a child. What is really more terrifying? Is it the demons and evil that torment or is the things people did that caused that evil to be there in the first place? Silent Hill will cause you to think about that question and others for days after you see this movie.

4.5 out of 5

Saturday, March 18, 2006

V for Vendetta

Against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, a young working-class woman named Evey is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man known only as "V." Profoundly complex, V is at once literary, flamboyant, tender and intellectual, a man dedicated to freeing his fellow citizens from those who have terrorized them into compliance.

Well this one is going to ruffle some feathers for sure. From the obvious parallels between the world of V and today's political environment to the assumed glorification of acts of "terrorism" to the portrayal of the "voice of the state" as an ultra-conservative, ultra-"patriotic" pundit, V for Vendetta will certainly get negative responses. Make no mistake, this movie has all the political relevancy of Good Night and Good Luck but is so much more entertaining. I was amazed by Natalie Portman's acting in this film. Her character of Evey is so well done and so easy to connect with that you feel everything that she feels within the first 20 minutes.
The part of this film that hit home for me is the "voice of the people" who is a government-sponsored "religious" pundit who tells the people what to like and dislike in the name of patriotism. How many people in this country already let people like that think for them? Some will complain that this movie glorifies terrorism, but if you look a bit harder and see the real story that is being told here this movie glorifies freedom. V is shown to be obviously insane but his insanity and his thirst for vengence is not because he is a bad person, but rather that corrupt, evil men in the government made him what he is. Evey says it best when she points out that because of the monstrousity done to him, they created a monster. V is not the hero of this film, the people are. V was nothing more than a wakeup call to a people oppressed by a facist government. It was the people who stood for their freedoms and Evey as the particular example given that were shown as the "good guys".

Like the Matrix, violence is where this movie gets its R-rating. There is an attempted rape shown but nothing graphic. Some nudity in the form of corpses is shown.

My only complaint about this movie from a political standpoint is that it was obvious that they were trying too hard to tie it in to the political climate in this country. I don't understand why the filmmakers trust the public to be able to see what is obviously written between the lines regarding who was the "hero" of this film and not trust them to draw their own conclusions regarding the parallel to today. The entertainment value is flawless, yet in a movie that is so obviously trying to send a message, I have to take the way that message is delivered into account. It seems like everyone has a strong opinion on this movie, however I encourage my readers to disregard that, see the movie for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

4.8 out of 5

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

16 Blocks

All he wanted to do was go home and get a drink. But at 8:02 a.m., hungover NYPD detective Jack Mosley is assigned a seemingly simple task. Petty criminal Eddie Bunker is set to testify before a grand jury at 10:00 a.m. and needs to be taken from lock-up to the courthouse, 16 blocks away. What Jack doesn't realize is that there are many crooked cops who don't want Eddie to ever get there.

Well spring seems like a good month for regurgitated ideas apparently. Bruce Willis as a disgruntled cop, what a surprise! That being said, I enjoyed his performance in this film, though it's not a big stretch for him. What really surprised me was Mos Def's performance. While I'm not a big fan of "musicians" playing actor, Mos Def really did a good job as Eddie Bunker and had me really caring about what happened to him towards the end. I also really enjoyed the way that the director made you think something was about to happen bad to the main characters and then it is revealed that they fooled everyone.

Language and violence are what gives this its PG-13 rating. Though really the language more than the violence.

I was surprised at this movie as it really did almost feel like more of a drama than an action movie. The characters were very well developed and you really cared what happened to them toward the end. While breathing a bit of fresh air into a tired genre, 16 blocks is enjoyable.

3.8 out of 5

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Eight Below

The fierce Antarctic winter is just setting in when an intrepid team of explorers and scientists on a research mission-survival guide Jerry Shepard, his best friend and cartographer Cooper and the rugged geologist Davis--just narrowly escape a fatal accident, thanks to their steadfast team of eight skilled sled dogs. Forced to evacuate, the men must leave the beloved dogs behind in the frozen wilds--with a promise they will return. But when the storm of the century approaches, cutting off all means of travel, the dogs are stranded. Now, as the intelligent, courageous dogs--including noble pack leader Maya, rambunctious rebel Shorty and rising young alpha-in-training Max--fight to make it through the most unforgiving winter on the planet, the heartbroken Jerry is driven to mount a seemingly impossible rescue mission, aided by a beautiful and adventurous bush pilot, Katie. Held together only by unwavering bonds of friendship, the humans and the dogs alike make a remarkable journey of grit, endurance and belief to find one another again in this spectacular but perilous land.

I love the movie Iron Will and I thought this movie might be like it. However, to my surprise it isn't at all alike. This movie focuses on the struggle of the dogs themselves rather than the people and that's why it succeeds. Paul Walker does fine as
Jerry Shepard, the guide who trained the dogs. Thankfully, he is really more of a support role to the real story of how 8 sled dogs survived (or didn't in some cases) in the Antarctic winter. Eight Below is a great story of bravery, teamwork and sacrifice that people of any age can enjoy.

Only one item of note to parents in this PG rated movie. There is a scene that caused everyone in the theater to jump and may be a bit much for small children.

In the lull between the Christmas movie season and the summer movie season, Eight Below is a breath of fresh air for families. It's been a while since I saw a movie that I really enjoy but this is one of them. A word of warning to dog lovers, while this movie centers on dogs it also centers on the pain and struggle the dogs go through. Congrats to Disney on giving us one of the best family movies in a while.

4.6 out of 5


Computer security specialist Jack Stanfield works for the Seattle-based Landrock Pacific Bank. A trusted top-ranking executive, he has built his career and reputation on designing the most effective anti-theft computer systems in the industry.

When I see Harrison Ford play so many various roles from Star Wars to Patriot Games to What Lies Beneath,
I wonder why he feels that he belongs in the same tired role we've seen him in half a dozen times. I really did enjoy this movie for what it was, but there was absolutely nothing outstanding about it. It's the typical "Harrison Ford's family gets in trouble, he saves them, everything's ok" formula he's done so many times. It's just not done particularly well here. I did enjoy how he got back at the terrorists though. It's an aspect of the movie that will be very satisfying to audiences.

Typical language and violence that you'd expect from a PG-13 thriller. No sexual content or nudity.

Harrison Ford has another action movie to add to the long list. It's unfortunate, however, that given his history and influence in Hollywood that he can't be a part of something a bit more memorable.

3.5 out of 5

Monday, February 20, 2006

Date Movie

Hopeless romantic Julia Jones, who has finally met the man of her dreams, the very British Grant Fonckyerdoder. But before they can have their "Big Fat Greek Wedding," they'll have to "Meet The Parents," hook-up with "The Wedding Planner," and contend with Grant's friend Andy--a spectacularly beautiful woman who wants to put an end to her "Best Friend's Wedding."

I think the goal of this movie was to see how many movies they could spoof. From Bridget Jones Diary, to When Harry met Sally, to Napoleon Dynamite, to Wedding Planner, to my Best Friend's Wedding, to... you get the idea. I don't think there is a romantic movie made in the past 10 years that wasn't spoofed in some way. Unfortunately, none are spoofed very well. It's the typical humor you'd expect from the Scary Movie crowd except (if this is possible) not even as well done as Scary Movie.

This movie pushes PG-13 to the limit. Sexual dialogue is raunchy and constant and not even redeemably funny. Some side nudity is shown.

In the vein of Not Another Teen Movie, this spoof is not well done at all and hoping to grab a quick buck off of the success of Scary Movie. Don't waste your time.

2.0 out of 5


It's known as one of the toughest institutions is America--a home for the best and brightest who are driven to serve their country and a training facility where only the strongest survive. It's a rarified world that, by necessity, makes or breaks tomorrow's heroes

I was hoping that James Franco could breathe new life into this tired movie formula but it just isn't so. James Franco has really picked up steam ever since the original Spiderman movie, starring in such great films as the Great Raid. However, this is not a good addition to his resume. Jordana Brewster helps make this movie watchable but hardly anything could compensate for the horrible acting of Tyrese Gibson as the commanding officer.

Typical PG-13 fare. Some language, a few sexual comments, a bit of violence and no nudity.

As implausable as Jarhead and not nearly as entertaining, it's no wonder that the Navy refused to help the movie producers with this movie. This is one you can skip.

2.8 out of 5

Monday, February 13, 2006

Glory Road

For Don Haskins, the dream was always about winning: winning with guts, heart and grit; winning with self-respect; and winning even when the odds were completely stacked against you. What Haskins didn't know in 1966--when he was just a small-town family man trying to make an indelible mark in his first job as a collegiate basketball coach--is that his underdog team's incredible victory would transcend sport and change not only his life and the lives of his players, but the country itself. Haskins and his scrappy Texas Western Miners were unwittingly about to revolutionize basketball and the American landscape. It was still a time of innocence in the United States, yet the country was on the verge of major social changes when Haskins decided to play an all-African-American opening lineup at the NCAA championships against the all-white juggernaut of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Haskins did it to win. But his bold decision would help break down barriers of segregation that affected every segment of society and set a new course for the future as his team did the one thing they could to prove themselves to a watching world: the played their hearts out.

I'll admit it. After seeing a movie or two that I really didn't like, I do go for the sure thing that I know I'll enjoy. Glory Road is that type of movie. Honestly, we've seen this movie before many many many times. From Mighty Ducks to Hoosiers to Miracle to Glory Road, you have seen this movie lots of times. The utterly predictable storyline that all these movies follow of a down and out team getting a new head coach, the new coach recruits talented yet undisciplined players, he shows them discipline and they keep winning and winning until something happens and they lose a game, the coach inspires them and they win the big game. It's a tried and true sports movie formula that is in all its glory in this movie. Josh Lucas had a very admirable performance as the coach of Texas Western and Jon Voight is great as always as the coach of Kentucky. A great family movie with a predictable formula.

A PG rating and the obvious slant toward families keep the language to a minimum. No sex or nudity in this movie and a bit of violence mostly in the form of people getting beat up. All examples of racism are displayed as very wrong and ignorant. Parents should be ready to explain why a black player was attacked by white men as young children may not understand.

A great family movie with a great message. As the latest example of feel-good sports movies, Glory Road merits a visit.

4.0 out of 5

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Two adventurous American college buddies, Paxton and Josh, backpack through Europe eager to make quintessentially hazy travel memories with new friend Oli, an Icelander they’ve met along the way. Paxton and Josh are eventually lured by a fellow traveler to what’s described as a nirvana for American backpackers--a particular hostel in an out-of-the-way Slovakian town stocked with Eastern European women as desperate as they are gorgeous. The two friends arrive and soon easily pair off with exotic beauties Natalya and Svetlana. In fact, too easily. Initially distracted by the good time they’re having, the two Americans quickly find themselves trapped in an increasingly sinister situation that they will discover is as wide and as deep as the darkest, sickest recess of human nature itself--if they survive.

To be honest, I had a hard time getting through this movie. The violence and gore in this movie is so graphic to reduce this movie's appeal to only a niche market. While the story is well layed out and terrifying, the images and sequences in this film will cause you to remember little else. Basically the first 1/3 of the movie fancies itself a porn movie and the last 2/3 of the movie fancies itself a snuff film.

Gratuituious violence, stomach-turning gore, graphic nudity, and explicit sexual situations makes one wonder if the MPAA actually sat through this movie as this movie is well deserving of a NC-17 rating.

As I've stated before, I don't rate based on the level of violence, gore, nudity or sex in a movie UNLESS it takes away from the movie. This is one of those movies. If your idea of a good time is watching Faces of Death videos when you aren't torturing neighborhood dogs, this is your type of movie. However, if you don't enjoy seeing the mutulation and torture of helpless victims displayed it graphic detail, stay far away from Hostel.

1.0 out of 5

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wolf Creek

Liz Hunter and Kristy Earl are twenty-something British backpackers in Broome, Western Australia, on a road trip with their Australian friend, Ben Mitchell. For them it's a time to cut loose, reconnect, and rediscover life, friendship, perhaps newfound love, and the countryside's astonishing visual beauty. However, a cross-country trip soon becomes a fight for their lives.

Wolf Creek is basically Wrong Turn set in Australia. It's a trite tale of twentysomething friends looking for "adventure" and finding crazy people out in the middle of nowhere. You've seen this story before, unfortunately I'm sure you'll see it again. I realize that Deliverance was a well-made movie that catered to some of our basic fears, however it is not necessary to continuously crank out poorly made "remakes".

As is typically for all movies like there there is plenty to justify the R-rating including, gratutitous violence and stomach-turning gore.

If you want to see a movie about people from civilization being attacked, captured, or killed by crazy hillbillies, rent Deliverence. Keep moving folks, nothing to see here.

1.5 out of 5

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The World's Fastest Indian

In the late 1960s, after a lifetime of perfecting his classic Indian motorcycle, Burt sets off from the bottom of the world, Invercargill, New Zealand, to clock his bike at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With all odds against him, Burt puts his irrepressible kiwi spirit to the test, braving the new world on a shoestring budget. He makes fast friends of many he encounters along the way who find themselves swept up in his energy and singular determination. Burt's quest culminates in an unlikely conclusion and remains legendary within the motorcycle community to this day.

I thought they didn't make movies like this anymore. I figured that hollywood figured that no one values outstanding acting, edge of your seat excitement and an amazing story all in a film that would be appropriate for (though not fully appreciated by) a young child. Anthony Hopkins performs some of the best acting of his career as Burt Monro. He performs in one of the most amazing stories of a dream realized that I have ever seen. From his innocence at the craziness of Hollywood, to his cross-country journey to the Salt Flats to the people that helped give him a chance to live his dream, you can't help but get caught up in his emotion and his desire.

While this movie is rated PG-13, I don't know how it received that rating. While there are a couple of times that Burt spends the night with some ladyfriends, nothing inappropriate is shown, only hinted at. There may have been a bit of language but nothing noticeable.

It's so exciting to me to review a movie that I can recommend to all. As one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, The World's Fastest Indian is a great movie that anyone 9 to 99 can enjoy.

5 out of 5

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Underworld: Evolution

With the exposure of well-kept secrets and the tough resolve of one betrayed Vampire warrior, a centuries-long struggle between vicious predators has reached new heights of fierceness. But it's one Immortal's insatiable lust for power that leads to disturbing new disclosures about the origins of the feud between the Vampires and the Lycans.

Let's be honest, if you are looking for a thoughtful, deep movie that makes you think for days afterward, Underworld:Evolution is not your movie. If you like more of what the first movie offers, the sequel will not disappoint. The closest approximation to this movie would be any of the Blade sequels. This movie is simply fast violence with a hint of a love story thrown in. Kate Beckinsale does fine as Selene.

Typical R-rated fare. Plenty of violence and gore as well as some nudity thrown into this one. Michael and Selene are shown in a fairly graphic sex scene.

There's not much to this review because there is not much to this movie. It seems to pride itself on being a popcorn movie with little to no substance with the redeeming factor of never being slow. As a pure action movie, it's fine. As anything else, it's worthless.

3.0 out of 5

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Four young adventurers playing hide-and-seek in the country home of an old professor stumble upon an enchanted wardrobe that will take them places they never dreamed. Stepping through the wardrobe door, they are whisked out of World War II London into the spectacular parallel universe known as Narnia--a fairy-tale realm of magical proportions where woodland animals talk and mythological creatures roam the hills. But Narnia has fallen under the icy spell of a mad sorceress, cursed to suffer through a winter that never ends by the White Witch Jadis. Now, aided by Narnia's rightful leader, the wise and mystical lion Aslan, the four Pevensie children will discover their own strength and lead Narnia into a spectacular battle to be free of the Witch's glacial enslavement forever.

I read the Chronicles of Narnia books as a child and remember that the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was one of the more boring books of the series. As I told my wife that as we left the movie, she said "well, then they did a really good job with it". Indeed they did. Few times will I ever say that a movie translation of a book adds to the story or makes it better, but in this case I feel it does. Everything about this movie is incredible, from the bombing of London at the beginning to the final battle at the end. This movie will give Harry Potter a run for its money in capturing the hearts and minds of children as well as rival Lord of the Rings in quality and scope of story. I was skeptical in how the talking animals would be portrayed. I didn't want to see anything too cartoony and I wasn't disappointed. They were perfect. Liam Neeson does great as Aslan. Tilda Swinton, however, was absolutely incredible as the White Witch. What a perfect movie to have as an option for families during the holiday season.

Disney made sure to keep the movie fairly tame to appeal to parents of younger children. However, there are some creatures and scenes that may be a bit too intense for very young children. Nothing as scary as the orcs or Uruk-Hai in Lord of the Rings, but some scary creatures nonetheless. Parents should also be aware that some last minute cuts had to be made to this film to make the violence level at the PG level rather than PG-13 so be aware that the violence, while neither gory nor graphic, is at the ceiling of the PG rating.

I tried hard to find something wrong with this movie. The only thing I could think of was it did drag a bit while the children were playing around the mansion. Also I even found the kids a bit annoying, but they will grow on you throughout the film. This is a perfect film for families with children (or anyone of any age) to see this holiday season. What I'm most excited about, however, is if this book was translated so well to screen, how awesome will The Voyage of the Dawn Treader or The Silver Chair be? Disney did it right this time.

4.9 out of 5

Monday, December 05, 2005

Good Night and Good Luck

Taking place during the early days of broadcast journalism in 1950’s America, a chronicle of the real-life conflict between television news man Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. With a desire to report the facts and enlighten the public, Murrow, and his dedicated staff--headed by his producer Fred Friendly and Joe Wershba in the CBS newsroom--defy corporate and sponsorship pressures to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist ‘witch-hunts.’ A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing the anchor of being a communist. In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on regardless and their tenacity eventually pays off when McCarthy is brought before the Senate and made powerless as his lies and bullying tactics are finally uncovered.

Movies can be like books. There are some you enjoy because they are fun and there are some you enjoy because you think about it after it is over. This movie is the second type. George Clooney has become very active politically and this movie lets it show. For those of us who weren't alive during the era of McCarthyism, this movie is an important history lesson of what our country was once like. I was very impressed by the fact that they used actual footage of McCarthy for all scenes where he responded to Murrow and for the Senate hearings where he was censured. The movie did drag a bit at times, but I was overall impressed by the quality of the film as well as the message it gave.

The PG rating ensures little objectionable content. The only reason it is PG instead of G is the few bad words and constant smoking of the central characters.

George Clooney has skillfully recreated the atmosphere that was undoubtedly present in that era. This movie is an excellent example of what a historical movie should be.

4.8 out of 5

Monday, November 21, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Beset by nightmares, Harry Potter is all too happy to escape his disturbing dreams by attending the Quidditch World Cup. But something sinister ignites the skies at the Quidditch campsite--the Dark Mark, the sign of the evil Lord Voldemort. It's conjured by his followers, the Death Eaters, who haven't dared to appear in public since Voldemort was last seen thirteen years ago--the night he murdered Harry's parents. Harry longs to get back inside the safe walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Professor Dumbledore can protect him. But Dumbledore announces that Hogwarts will host the Triwizard Tournament, one of the most exciting and dangerous of the wizarding community's magical competitions. One champion will be selected from each of the three most prestigious wizarding schools to compete in a series of life-threatening tasks in pursuit of winning the coveted Triwizard Cup. Ministry of Magic official Barty Crouch and Professor Dumbledore preside over a candlelit ceremony as the enchanted Goblet of Fire selects one student from each school to compete. Amidst a hail of sparks and flames, the cup names Durmstrang's Institute's Quidditch superstar Victor Krum, followed by Beauxbatons' Academy exquisite Fleur Delacour and finally, Hogwarts' popular all-around golden boy Cedric Diggory. But then, inexplicably, the Goblet spits out one final name: Harry Potter. Suspecting that whoever entered Harry's name wants to put him in grave danger, Dumbledore asks Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, the eccentric new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, to keep his magical eye trained on the teenage wizard. Events take an ominous turn when someone is murdered on Hogwarts grounds. As they edge closer to the Triwizard Cup, Harry soon finds himself hurtling toward an encounter with true evil.

I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter books. I think they are extremely well written and present an excellent story as well as outstanding character development. I have also been impressed with the film translation of the books and this film is no exception. From the very beginning of this film you are shot through at an excellent pace that kept me from checking my watch until the credits rolled, amazed that two and a half hours had passed. Mad Eye Moody is incredible in this film and adds so much. I have a few issues with this movie however. At the beginning of the movie, we are introduced to Viktor Klum and the return of the Deatheaters at the Quidditch World Cup. If the director felt that he wanted to include the Quidditch World Cup as part of this movie that's fine, however I felt that the 15 minutes used for that could have been much better spent improving the character development of Cedric Diggory, Viktor Krum and especially
Fleur Delacour. Fleur becomes a fairly important character later in the series and it would have been beneficial to let us know her a little more. **SPOILER** The fact that Cedric's character was not fleshed out at all made me feel little to no sorrow when he was killed. He was no more an important character to me than the twins Ron and Harry took to the ball. The same can be said for the 2nd challenge where Fleur's sister is tied underwater. I didn't even realize who she was until later. **END SPOILER** That being said, the graveyard scene is absolute perfection. Lucius Malfoy is an excellent villian that is one of the best in the series. I would have also liked to see more flashbacks in the Pensieve as there is more in the book.

This movie has been given a PG-13 rating which confuses me. I don't think this movie is any more frightening than the Prisoner of Azkeban (which received a PG rating). I agree that both movies should have a PG-13 rating for scary scenes and a bit of language, but the inconsistency in the ratings is confusing.

Honestly, when the worst complaint I have about a two and half hour movie is that I wish it was longer.... there's not much to really complain about. I suppose they could have split it into two movies or made it a 4-6 hour movie with intermissions, but neither option is really viable. That being said, aside from the very beginning, I don't think this movie could get much better.

4.8 out of 5

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


After their father leaves for work, leaving them in the care of their older sister, six-year-old Danny and ten-year old Walter discover an old tattered metal board game, "Zathura." After trying unsuccessfully to get his brother to play the game with him, Danny starts to play on his own. From his first move, Danny realizes this is no ordinary board game. His spaceship marker moves by itself and when it lands on a space, a card is ejected, which reads: "Meteor shower, take evasive action." The house is immediately pummeled from above by hot, molten meteors. When Danny and Walter look up through the gaping hole in their roof, they discover, to their horror that they have propelled into deepest, darkest outer space. And they are not alone. Danny and Walter realize that unless they finish the game they'll be trapped in outer space forever. With every turn, they confront one incredible obstacle after another: They accidentally put their sister Lisa into a deep cryonic sleep, are chased by a crazed, malfunctioning six-foot robot, rescue a stranded astronaut and are besieged by lizard-like, carnivorous creatures called Zorgons. With the help of the astronaut, Danny and Walter begin to put their petty fraternal differences aside, work together to overcome the obstacles they encounter and attempt to finish the game so they can go home. But all their efforts may be in vain when they face their biggest challenge of all--a battle against an intense gravitational pull into the void of the dark planet Zathura.

I loved Jumanji and when I heard that this movie was made by the writer of Jumanji (and alot like it), I was really excited. In it's own right, this is a great movie with great values that are taught to kids. It's made obvious in this movie that bickering with your brother or sister can only turn out bad and that you and your siblings are on the same side. A big nod to Dax Shepard, while he is obviously not to the level of Robin Williams or Kirsten Dunst in the original Jumanji, adds alot to Zathura.

There is a bit of language and some scary scenes with alien lizards. Otherwise a clean movie.

It's almost unfair to compare this movie to Jumanji until you realize that you can't help it. It's a board game, that makes things happen, that reverses everything to normal at the end. It just isn't quite as good as Jumanji. However, it is a great movie with great values for kids. Probably the best choice at the theaters until Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes out on Friday.

4.0 out of 5


Set during the Gulf War, the episodic tale follows Anthony Swofford (a.k.a. "Swoff"), a third-generation enlistee, from his sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, where he's sporting a sniper's rifle and a hundred-pound ruck sack on his back, while moving through Middle East deserts with no cover from the intolerable heat. As well, he advances with no protection from the Iraqi soldiers--and there's always a potential enemy sighting, just over the next horizon. Swoff and his fellow Marines sustain themselves on humor and camaraderie as they tread the blazing desert fields in a country they don't understand, against an enemy they can't see, for a cause they don't fully fathom.

Wow, the trailer for this movie looked promising. I was looking forward to a good movie about the Gulf War. I got a mediocre movie about the Gulf War. Alot of people go see war movies to see what war is like without having to actually go there. I think some, like Saving Private Ryan and to some extent Platoon, give an accurate representation of what that war was like. From what I read from Marines that served in the Gulf War and what friends who served have told me, the Gulf War and Marines in general are nothing like those portrayed in this movie. From the complete lack of discipline to the disregard for superior officers, the soldiers in this movie behave more like you'd expect mercenaries or pirates to behave like than highly-trained Marines. This lack of realism from a movie that supposedly shows real events really overshadowed the rest of the movie for me.

This movie barely squeezed by with a R-rating. Some might think it deserves a NC-17 rating. There is as much violence as Saving Private Ryan as well as plenty of sexual references and even a graphic sex scene. This movie takes the F word to a new level.

I enjoyed some of this movie including his boot camp experience and part of Desert Storm, but the lack of realism really kills this movie as realism is what a 'based on a true story' should be trying to acheive.

3.2 out of 5

Monday, November 07, 2005


Olduvai Research Station is a remote scientific facility on Mars where something has gone terribly wrong. All experiments have ceased, and communication has failed. The few messages that do get through are less than comforting.

I really love the Doom games. I remember playing the original Doom and how impressed and addicted I was to that game. Doom 3 was a gaming masterpiece that has no peer. There was no way I would miss seeing this movie. Fans of the games will recognize many parts of this movie. The dark, almost claustrophobic feel of the game is very well done here. Zombies from the game are done very well and the first-person section is awesome. However, there are parts of the movie that are alot different from the games. The zombies and 'demons' in this movie are not from Hell but rather genetic mutations. Neither the Hell Knights nor the Imps throw fireballs which would have been a very cool addition to this movie.

R-rated for good reason. Lots of violence and cursing in this movie. As much violence as the game.

I began to feel that this movie was Resident Evil on Mars. I enjoyed the fact that they included plenty of UAC references and that they did include some of the characters from the game, but I feel that they dropped the ball on this one. I understand why they changed some things to appeal more to the mainstream but I doubt this movie would appeal to the mainstream. Rather they should have geared it to the fans of the game and made it everything we were hoping for.

3.0 out of 5

Friday, October 21, 2005


The daughter of respected matinee idol Lawrence Harvey and model-turned-socialite Sophie Wynn, Domino Harvey was born into a life of wealth and privilege--a lifestyle that did not interest her. Even from her earliest years, Domino rebelled against convention and the jet set.

Man, this movie is bad. I really tried to like it. Keira Knightley as a bounty hunter. What's not to like right? Unfortunately, there is a lot. Typically it takes me at least 45- 60 minutes to get bored in a movie but this movie achieved it in 15. The jumping back and forth between present and past, while done well in other movies, is hard-to-follow and boring. Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Lucy Lui and Keira Knightley's acting skills are all that kept me from walking out of this movie.

The R-rating is well deserved. Lots of language, lots of violence (including blowing off an arm by shooting it multiple times with a shotgun). There is also a scene in a strip club where you see many topless women.

I should have been warned by the poor first trailer for this movie to stay away. Unfortunately, I felt there had to be some redeeming value from this movie but I was wrong. This movie isn't even a renter. The only reason it gets more than one star is the excellent acting mentioned above.

1.5 out of 5

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

In an extremely rare decision, the Catholic Church officially recognized the demonic possession of a 19-year-old college freshman. A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed the exorcism that resulted in the girl's death.

I went into this movie expecting the Exorcist, but I got so much more. I was absolutely amazed at how this movie kept you on the edge of your seat during the flashbacks, yet gave you time to breathe (briefly) during the courtroom scenes and other places. An excellent mix of suspense and relief make this a great movie. That being said, this movie is horrifying. As you watch this movie you begin to realize something that sets this movie apart from the Exorcist: The Exorcism of Emily Rose actually happened. There were some parts in the middle that drag, but other than that, great pace and a great movie.

As this movie deals with demons in general and possession, I highly recommend keeping young children away from this movie. No nudity, some language, plenty of disturbing images.

It's rare that I see two excellent movies back-to-back. However seeing the Corpse Bride and then The Exorcism of Emily Rose a day after gave me a rare treat. The Exorcism is a great film for those who want to remember that there is a spiritual world out there and not everything in it is out for our best interest.

4.5 out of 5

Friday, October 07, 2005

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Set in a 19th century European village, young Victor is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride, while his real bride, Victoria, waits bereft in the land of the living. Though life in the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in this world, or the next, that can keep him away from his one true love.

Both those looking for another Nightmare Before Christmas and those looking for something better will be satisfied. Corpse Bride is another Tim Burton masterpiece using the same type of animation and style as Nightmare Before Christmas, yet going a completely different direction. The storyline is both fresh and classic. The classic story of love and marriage and the cold feet of the groom. Yet it is told in such a refreshingly different way that, even though you may think you know what will happen at the end, you don't dare guess until it actually happens. One area that is definitely on par with Nightmare Before Christmas is the music. The songs that are sung (especially in the land of the dead) are catchy and fun. It's really not fair to compare the animation between these two movies as Nightmare Before Christmas came out 12 years ago and the age really shows. Suffice to say, Corpse Bride is beautifully done. A true masterpiece of the art form. A big nod to Johnny Depp for his work on this. His voice and personality fits 'Victor' perfectly and I doubt anyone could have done better. Christopher Lee, a living legend himself, predictably stands out as the priest.
Helena Bonham Carter does an excellent job voicing the Corpse Bride herself. Carter succeeds in humanizing the Bride and making her seem beautiful and desirable on the inside where on the outside she is not.

I probably would not recommend this movie be shown to very young children as subjects such as murder and death are things they aren't ready to deal with. This movie is geared toward older children (and children at heart) so there is really nothing else in it to be weary of.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp show once again why they are one of the most potent duos in Hollywood today. From the colorful, fun Land of the Dead to the gray, depressing Victorian-era Land of the Living Corpse Bride is a visual feast with a great story behind it and excellent actors and actresses bringing the characters to life. For a fun, beautiful movie that all older than about 10 will enjoy, the Corpse Bride delivers.

5 out of 5

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lord of War

Yuri Orlov is a globetrotting arms dealer. Through some of the deadliest war zones, Yuri struggles to stay one step ahead of a relentless Interpol agent, his business rivals, even some of his customers who include many of the world's most notorious dictators. Finally, Yuri must also face his own conscience.

Man, there's alot of action in this movie. From the very beginning when he's a small-time gunrunner, up to the end where even the government is protecting him, it's alot of fun to watch Nicolas Cage's Yuri stay one step ahead of Ethan Hawke's Jack Valentine. I wasn't really amazed or stunned by anything in this movie until the very end where it shows that all that happened in this story was based on actual events. At that point, what you watched, from the killing of a young boy at the beginning to the giving away of AK-47s to those who can barely read so they can continue killing each other, is met with somewhat of a detached observance. Only at the point where I realized that it was all true did it hit home and change the movie from a fun movie to a sad one.

This movie is typical fare for a R-rated movie. Violence is graphic and constant. Partial (topless) nudity is shown for a couple of women. Sex is shown a couple of times as well. Language is constant throughout this movie.

This movie is well-made and makes a point without seeming preachy. Nicolas Cage does an excellent job as Yuri as does Jared Leto as Vitaly. I don't have any real complaints about this movie but it just doesn't have what it takes to be truly monumental. I will warn you, the final words you see on the screen before the credits roll will haunt you for days.

4.3 out of 5

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Transporter 2

Frank Martin is the best in the business. The ex-Special Forces operative hires himself out as a mercenary "transporter" who moves goods--human or otherwise. Very simple, he delivers, no questions asked. Frank has relocated from the French Mediterranean to Miami, Florida, where as a favor to a friend, Frank is driving for the wealthy Billings family. There's very little that can surprise The Transporter, but young Jack Billings has done just that; Frank has unexpectedly bonded with Jack, age 6, who he drives to and from school. But when Jack is kidnapped, Frank must use his battle-tested combat skills to retrieve the boy and thwart the kidnappers' master plan to release a virus that will kill anyone with whom it comes in contact.

I loved the first transporter and I was hoping for more of the same. I wasn't completely disappointed. Jason Stratham as Frank Martin is as cold and professional as ever. This is a movie that is unintentionally funny. Most of the action scenes are so over-the-top and unbelieveable that you can't help but laugh. I remember one scene where Frank removes a bomb attached to the bottom of his car by jumping a ramp, his car flipping upside down, and the hook on a crane removing only the bomb while missing everything else on his undercarriage. He then lands perfectly. The entire theater was laughing. I don't see how this could have been the studio's intent. All craziness aside, Transporter 2 is a fun, short movie that has a fast pace and plenty of action.

Typical PG-13 fare. A bit of language, plenty of violence and a insane woman who only wears lingerie. Nothing outstanding here.

A fun movie with some far-fetched ideas. Plenty of action and great pace. Unfortunately, the unbelievable nature of some of the scenes will have even fans of the first film shaking their heads.

3.8 out of 5

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Brothers Grimm

Legendary fairytale scribes, brothers Will and Jake Grimm, travel around the Napoleonic countryside vanquishing monsters and demons in exchange for quick money. But when the French authorities figure out their scheme, the con men are forced to contend with a real magical curse when they enter an enchanted forest where young maidens keep disappearing under mysterious circumstances.

I really didn't expect alot out of this movie and that's really a good way to go into a movie. This movie is basically a combination of 10+ fairy tales. Tales from Rapunzel to Sleeping Beauty are covered and that's really the only enjoyment I got out of this film. This movie would have been unbearable if it wasn't for the enjoyment of figuring out which fairy tales they were combining into this story. My wife and my sister enjoyed the story, but they also mainly enjoyed the incorporation of multiple fairy tales. Matt Damon performs fairly bad as is typical, however, Heath Ledger actually was fairly impressive as Jake Grimm. He actually did some very good acting and really impressed me (which he's never done before). The concept of this film is very cool, however, that seems to be where it stops: at concept.

While you might think this movie would be fine for smaller children, it really isn't. Some scenes that would very frightening to children (i.e. a horse eating a small girl), are sprinkled throughout this film.

I suppose this is the type of film you'd come to expect at the end of the summer movie season. Nothing outstandingly good nor bad about this film. It's really a shame that they couldn't capitalize on the awesome concept of multiple fairy tales being used and instead settled for a mediocre storyline and fairly bad acting. They could have easily taken this film from bearable to incredible.

3.0 out of 5

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Great Raid

The year is 1945 and hundreds of U.S. soldiers held captive in the brutal Japanese war camps at Cabanatuan in the Philippines are under imminent threat of death. These are the only soldiers who remain alive in the Philippines of the 70,000 American and Allied forces surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army at Bataan in 1942, following the departure of General MacArthur. Forced to walk through the sweltering, mosquito-infested jungles on what would become known as the Bataan Death March, the survivors were then held captive in remote and deadly camps. Now, three years later, with MacArthur back as he promised in the Philippines, the Japanese War Ministry has issued a "Kill All Policy" to annihilate their war camps--and every single U.S. prisoner in them. At a camp named Palawan, 150 U.S. soldiers are forced into trenches, doused in gasoline and set on fire. Meanwhile, believing themselves all but forgotten by their comrades and country, the surviving prisoners at Cabanatuan have dubbed themselves the "ghost soldiers." Among them is Major Gibson, weakened by malaria, who is hanging on by a thread of hope and his love for a Catholic aid worker, Margaret, who has been assisting the Filipino Underground. Back at the 6th Army Headquarters in nearby Luzon, Lieutenant Colonel Henry A. Mucci, the tough, ambitious but charismatic leader known for inspiring devoted loyalty among his men, has been assigned to find a way to penetrate behind enemy lines and free the U.S. prisoners. The task appears to be strategically impossible--the men will likely face heavy resistance and will be far outnumbered by Japanese troops--but Mucci is never deterred by an extreme challenge. Mucci selects the young, bookish but brilliant Captain Robert Prince to lead the raid, who in turn comes up with a daring plan to have 121 hand-picked, elite Rangers and Alamo Scouts slip 30 miles deep into enemy territory and make a surprise, lightning assault on the camp. To increase the already slim chances for success, the U.S. will join forces with members of the Filipino resistance, led by Captain Juan Pajota, whose intimate knowledge of the lay of the land will help to guide the committed band of men to their ultimate goal.

Too bad this one didn't get more publicity. Miramax was smart to produce this movie. It's a great war movie with many actors that you see in supporting roles from other movies or from TV shows (like Harry Osborn from Spiderman) playing lead roles here.
Joseph Fiennes really stood out as Maj. Daniel Gibson. A great war movie that leaves you walking away with a good feeling.

R-rated for the graphic violence and minor language. The violence is where the rating really comes from though. While not as graphic as Saving Private Ryan or Black Hawk Down, this movie runs a close second.

This movie has a great flow to it that never really drags while still giving you time to breath between intense scenes. If you enjoy a good war movie, The Great Raid delivers.

4.4 out of 5

Wedding Crashers

Divorce mediators John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey are business partners and lifelong friends who share one truly unique springtime hobby--crashing weddings! Whatever the ethnicity of the wedding party--Jewish, Italian, Irish, Chinese, Hindu--the charismatic and charming duo always have clever back stories for inquisitive guests and inevitably become the hit of every reception, where they strictly adhere to their proven "rules of wedding crashing" to meet and pick up women aroused by the very thought of marriage. At the tail end of another successful season of toasting brides and grooms, Jeremy learns that the daughter of Treasury Secretary William Cleary and his wife, Kathleen, is getting married in what is sure to be the Washington D.C. social event of the year. After infiltrating the lavish affair, John and Jeremy quickly set their sights on two bridesmaids, Claire and Gloria Cleary. With the lavish reception in full swing, Jeremy works his game plan to perfection in seducing Gloria, but John's flirtation banter with Claire is unexpectedly impeded by her pompous, Ivy League boyfriend Sack. Having uncharacteristically fallen hard and fast for Claire, John convinces a resistant Jeremy to bend the crashing rules and accept an invitation to an extended weekend party at the Cleary family compound. Once at the palatial waterfront estate, John and Jeremy endure a multitude of comical mishaps at the hands of the dysfunctional members of the Cleary family, but also learn a few unexpected lessons about love and relationships.

This movie showcases Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson playing off of each other at their best. The laughs come throughout, yet there is a good romantic undertone which makes this movie a great date movie. I really have no complaints about this movie, yet I seem to compare all movies to Old School anymore and while this movie is excellent, it doesn't quite reach that standard.
Isla Fisher really shines as the crazy sister Gloria Cleary. Her perfomance combined with Vaughn and Wilson really make this movie hilarious.

The R-Rating for this movie is well-deserved. In the vein of Old School, Road Trip and 40 year old virgin, much of the humor is sexually-based and the language reflects that. Sexual situations are throughout which is to be expected.

Between the 40 year old virgin and Wedding Crashers there is alot offered for comedy fans. This movie is one both the guys and girl in the can enjoy as
Rachel McAdam's character will really appeal to the romantics in the crowd while the rest of the cast will keep you in stitches throughout.

4.6 out of 5

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The 40 year old virgin

Forty-year-old Andy Stitzer has done quite a few things in his life. He's got a cushy job stamping invoices at an electronics superstore, a nice apartment with a proud collection of action figures and comic books, good friends, a nice attitude. But there's just one little thing he hasn't quite gotten around to doing yet--something most people have done by this age. Done a lot. Andy's never, ever, ever had sex--not even by accident. So is that such a big deal? Well, for Andy's buddies at the store, it sure is. Although they think he's a bit of an oddball, there's certainly a planetful of stranger (and homelier) guys who've at least had one go at having a go. They consider it their duty to help Andy out of his dire situation and go to great lengths to help him. But nothing proves effective enough to lure their friend out of lifelong chastity until he meets Trish, a 40-year-old mother of three. Andy's friends are psyched by the possibility that "it" may finally happen--until they hear that Andy and Trish have begun their relationship based on a mutual no-sex policy.

You know how you get annoyed in a movie? Not with the movie itself, but because people are laughing so loud during the movie that you can't hear the movie? This is one of those movies. Steve Carrell's acting debut as the 40 year old virgin is hilarious in the same vein as Old School or Road Trip. From him getting waxed to watching him try to hit on girls to the reactions and antics of his coworkers this movie will keep you laughing from beginning to end. Steve Carrell shines as Andy but he isn't alone in this movie. His 3 coworkers (Played by Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, and Seth Rogen) play perfectly off of Carrell's personality and antics. They had me laughing as much as he did.

This movie is R-rated and proud of it. Language and sexual situation are constant. Nudity is sprinkled here and there and no violence of course. Not a movie for the whole family.

What a great way to end the summer movie season. Though I enjoyed Wedding Crashers, it wasn't even half as funny as this movie. As we move into the slower fall movie season, enjoy this naughty comedy that will keep you laughing all the way through.

4.6 out of 5

Monday, August 15, 2005

Four Brothers

Four Brothers

After their adoptive mother is murdered during a grocery store hold-up, the Mercer brothers--hotheaded Bobby, hard-edged Angel, family man and businessman Jeremiah, and hard rocking Jack--reunite to take the matter of her death into their own hands. As they track down the killer, they quickly realize that their old ways of doing business have new consequences.

I had a completely different experience seeing this movie than I expected. I had no idea that this movie had so much appeal for the African-American folks, but judging from the fact that my wife and I were two of the 12 (yes, I counted before the movie started, I was bored) white people in this sold out show..... the point was driven home. I always apply the audience's reaction toward the movie in my reviews..... and this audience LOVED this movie. The story is well told. You are definitely sympathetic toward the brothers since they lost their mother and you really do care as they get closer and closer to the real killer. It had some definite laugh-out-loud moments and plenty of action. Mark Wahlburg definitely stood out as the older brother, Bobby. His attitude throughout the movie was perfect. Overall, the four brothers were very well cast.

Revenge is the entire story of this movie and the violence level reflects that. Language is what you would expect from a R-rated movie. There is a bit of sexual content but not anything really worth mentioning.

This movie is good but not outstanding. The bad guy had a weak personality that really kept me from truly disliking him. Mark Wahlburg's character was what was truly outstanding in this movie. If you want to see a fairly good revenge movie, Four Brothers is a good choice.

3.8 out of 5

Friday, August 05, 2005


U.S. Navy pilots Ben Gannon, Kara Wade and Henry Purcell are part of a close-knit elite division of test pilots flying highly classified stealth fighter jets, referred to only as Talons. They're the best of the best and they know it. Then their commanding officer Cpt. George Cummings introduces the team to their new wingman--an artificial intelligence-based UCAV, nicknamed "EDI." Although Ben is hesitant about taking "the human pilot out of the equation of war," Cummings orders the team to execute their first real mission alongside "EDI." To their amazement, "EDI" proves to be a cracker-jack wingman and they successfully eliminate their target. But on the return trip to their base aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson, "EDI" is struck by lightning. The drone's brain expands in ways its creators could never have predicted. Despite Ben and Henry's reservations, Cummings declares "EDI" ready to rejoin the team in the air. On their next mission against a nuclear-armed warlord in a remote Chinese province, "EDI's" seriously compromised circuitry problems only get worse. Ben decides that the risks of the attack far outweigh the benefits to himself, Henry and Kara, (for whom he has developed a romantic attraction). When he aborts the mission, "EDI" goes against orders and executes the hit anyway. The danger escalates when "EDI" decides to execute a top-secret mission that, if successful, could spiral into worldwide nuclear Armageddon. And only Ben can prevent it.

I find it hard to enjoy a movie when I am constantly having to shake my head at the unbelievability of scene after scene. From the idea that lightening can reprogram computers to the idea that a pilot can survive going from sub-mach to Mach 5 in under 2 seconds, the director was relying on the stupidity of the moviegoing public. The camera jumped from shot to shot so fast during the flying scenes that you had a hard time seeing what was happening. I did enjoy Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel in this movie as they both did a great job. I just wish they had a better story to work with.

Everything offensive in this is typical PG-13 action fare. Violence, a bit of blood, some language and inuenddos might offend some. No nudity.

Frankly, this seems like a Michael Bay-esqe summer popcorn flick. The action scenes are pretty fun and you find yourself rooting for Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas to get together. This film can be fun, but remember to check your brain at the door.

3.2 out of 5