Archive for the '4' Category

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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What is the purpose of life?

Walter Mitty

Swift shot: Loosely based on the short story by James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about the world’s greatest adventurer, well, in his daydreams. Set against the re-engineering of “Life” magazine to an online outlet, Director Ben Stiller uses a mosaic of beauty and design to tell the story of one of the little people in “Life” who breaks out of his comfort zone to finally realize his true potential. Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig pair up well together on screen, and the film has a slight Gumpian feel to it.

Walter Mitty used to be a pretty cool kid, but then something happened when he was young that ended his cool streak, and he needed to become mature, and responsible, at a young age. Now he spends most of his life dreaming about the adventures of his hero, Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), a photographer who travels from one extreme clime to the next just to capture the perfect image for Life magazine. Walter is smitten by one of his new co-workers, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) who really barely knows he exists. Of course, in Walter’s elaborate daydreams, she is the one smitten with him!

As Walter signs up for EHarmony, and makes the acquaintance of “Todd, from EHarmony,” his plans of approaching Cheryl seem destined for failure, because the beards (as I call them) led by Ted (Adam Scott) are there to fire most of the staff deemed unessential. Before they switch over to Life Online; however, there is a missing photo that Sean has labeled the quintessence of Life, and Walter must find this photo if he wants to keep his job. Sean is impossible to locate, and thus begins Walter’s purpose of life, to find Sean, and discover what photo “number 25” reveals.

Walter goes from daydreamer to globe-trekking adventurer, as what first starts out as a journey for a photo turns into a journey of self-discovery. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty may convert a few people who didn’t like Stiller into an instant fan, as he is hard not to root for on his quest for the quintessence of his life. With dramatic music, grand cinematography, brilliant angled shots, and a touching tribute to Life magazine, this film will leave you wondering what is your purpose of life?

[Swift aside: I have a rule about comparing re-makes to the originals if more than 20 years has passed. But, for the sake of clarity, there is another The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) starring Danny Kaye that you might also enjoy.]

 

American Hustle

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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“People believe what they want to believe.”

American Husttle

Swift shot: Splotchy, scattered, yet somehow spectacular. Set in the late 70’s, Director David O. Russell’s American Hustle features an all-star cast, with Christian Bale committing sex-symbol suicide by playing the most charismatically-vulnerable role since The Fighter. When he first appears on screen, it is the complete opposite of what you expect, or want, to see. With a few fun twists and enough side-boob to make Peter Griffin blush, this film will get you talking, especially if you grew up amidst the sexual revolution and Carter – where fashion and fun were the order of the day. Interestingly, the whole film was cast like a Boardwalk Empire reunion. See if you can spot them all.

Set in New Jersey, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a con-man who owns a few glass repair shops and dry cleaning businesses. He learned at a young age that very few people get ahead by following the rules. After watching the mafia roll his father who started the glass business, young Irv came up with a simple solution to drum up business for his dad . . . and he never really looked back. There was always a way to make people give him money, but he always controlled the hustle “from the feet up.”

At a Long Island party, he meets a sultry woman who is his match, she’s a huge fan of The Duke, no not John Wayne, Duke Ellington, whose moody tunes connect Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) and Irv in a way that he just can’t reconcile with his reality. Irv has a wife and an adopted son whom he loves very much. His rotten and delicious wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) is a real piece of work too. She isn’t naive enough to believe he is remaining faithful, and their relationship is far from ideal, but they have an odd respect for one another and both take care of their son in their own respective methods. She’s also the textbook definition of a dingbat.

Irv and Sydney set up swindling desperate people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their plan is simple, keep telling people “No” and they will always want into something. And, it works, until the FBI finds out about their little scam. Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) busts them, well Sydney in fact, because she handled the check. This little detail has a huge impact on how everything plays out for all three characters.

Agent DiMaso is spiraling out of control. His reality is he lives with his mom and his fiancee, but he would much rather bed Sydney’s British facade.  DiMaso is driven and ambitious, and he wants his reality to be something flashy and sexy. But, his frumpy mid-western boss Stoddard Thorsen (Louis C.K.) knows his young agent is about to go rogue and is probably chasing shadows and tries to keep DiMaso on a short leash. He fails.

Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) is the most loved man in all of Camden, NJ. He is desparately trying to open casino gaming back into Atlantic City and is willing to work with people of the nefarious variety. Since the mayor is such a family man, Irv agrees to have Rosalyn at his side when he meets and convinces the mayor to take money from an Arab benefactor who needs to immideately become a citizen to facilitate the deal. This is DiMaso’s wet dream, because he will now have politicians taking bribes to help push this deal through. If you didn’t key on the “Arab” thing, you might not know about ABSCAM – where the FBI used undercover agents to bust some politicians in the late 70’s. That’s what American Hustle is really all about, how the different parties came together to pull off the near impossible.

With a definitive Boogie Nights vibe, and a lack of facial make-up, American Hustle will keep you involved throughout. The scene-stealer (no surprise) is Jennifer Lawrence. I came out of the theater thinking, that kid is the best actress in America – and she’s only 23, folks! We are lucky to be enjoying her work right now, whoever “discovered” her – THANK YOU! Personally, I haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook yet, but it is on my must watch list. So I can’t compare her chemistry with Cooper in the two, but she has very little interplay with his character in American Hustle. Sadly, and probably by design, Rosalyn is almost completely an after-thought until the second act.

With the mafia, the Feds, a crazy wife, an adopted son, and a coked-up FBI agent desparately trying to make the bust of the century, Irv is in a “science oven” of his own making, and how he navigates the hustle is one of the most entertaining things you will see out of Hollywood this year. American Hustle also really unravels what betrayal looks like, on the ground, and serves as a kind of street-lesson for undercover operators and actors alike for why “from the feet up” is essential for success in any role you play.

If you miss the 70’s, long for any of the all-star cast, or just want a really well told story about greed, deception, corruption, and betrayal with a well balanced bit of comedy relief, American Hustle is for you. – and some of it actually happened! Consider also, you have Katniss, Batman, Hawkeye, and the Face Man in one film convincingly playing the furthest thing from action stars – what’s not to love?

Out of the Furnace

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 4.00 out of 5)
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OUT OF THE FURNACE

We all want justice in life, but how far should we go to find it? In December 2013, Russell had to decide what was worth losing to get what he wants: justice.

Directing this 116 minute drama/thriller is Scott Cooper.

Some of the great cast was: Christian Bale as Russell Baze, Casey Affleck as Rodney Baze Jr., Woody Harrelson as Harlan DeGroat, Zoe Saldana as Lena Taylor, Sam Shepard as Gerald “Red” Baze, Willem Dafoe as John Petty, Tom Bower as Dan Dugan and Forest Whitaker as Chief Wesley Barnes.

Brothers Russell and Rodney live in a town with little to no choices for work. Russell followed in his father’s foot steps and went to work at the steel mill, while Rodney went to serve his country. Small town life isn’t for everyone, and when Rodney’s through with his tour of duty he wants more for himself than a mill job. Russell always tries to look out for his brother, but in one ill fated moment his life is changed, taking him away from everyone he loves. When Russell gets back home he tries to settle back into his life and pick up where he left off, as much as he can. While Russell was away, Rodney started down a path he may not be able to come back from. One that will lead to nothing good, with the likes of a dangerous man named Harlan waiting for him at the end of it. Now, Russell has to make a decision, risk losing everything he has left to seek justice or let the police find it for him.

This was a pretty cool movie. Bale does a great job bringing emotion to the scenes. Not to say the rest of the cast didn’t, they all did great. I’m just not a huge Bale fan so I haven’t seen a lot of his movies. So to see him preform like this was awesome, compared to his other memorable roles I’m used to seeing, like Batman.

As always, Harrelson was crazy cool to watch, and Affleck kinda surprised me. The story-line was really good, it draws you in and keeps you entertained the whole time. It runs at a good pace with a few sharp turns here and there and a nice build up to the end. It covers family looking out for one another, and just how quickly things can change. It was just an average Joe movie, no feats of super heroics, or super fast car chases. An average guy that was scared, mad and hurting. Trying to find some justice, and the play-through matched perfectly. Overall, it’s well worth the money and time to go see.

Paranoia

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 2.00 out of 5)
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Paranoia

Who doesn’t want more, or to be better off? In August 2013, Adam wanted both, until he realized the price was too high.

Directing this 106 minute drama/thriller is Robert Luketic.

Filling in some talented cast spots are: Liam Hemsworth as Adam Cassidy, Gary Oldman as Nicolas Wyatt, Harrison Ford as Jock Goddard, Amber Heard as Emma Jennings, Embeth Davidtz as Dr. Judith Bolton, Julian McMahon as Miles Meechum, Lucas Till as Kevin, Richard Dreyfuss as Frank Cassidy and Josh Holloway as Agent Gamble.

After a bad decision, Adam finds himself with his back against the wall, and without a lot of options. Adam is pushed into a position to help corporate tech giant, Wyatt, win his battle for supremacy against his long time rival, Goddard. The longer their game goes on the more tangled the web of lies gets. Soon, Adam realizes he’s just another pawn in their game. Adam must figure out a way to free himself from the grip of both the giants using the rules of the games they showed him how to play.

If you have to spend an hour and some change watching two big name stars fight for power, who better than Ford and Oldman? Both stars did a great job showcasing their rivalry and building the tension. The story was really good, and had a great play-through, for the most part. It had some special effects that help make everything look cool and high-techish in scenes. The cast did a great job, and it kept my attention the entire time. I do feel like it went on a little longer than it should have. Otherwise, great entertainment and worth the watch.

Four stars for reminding me money only brings problems.

Kick-Ass 2

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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“Robin wishes he was me.” Hit-Girl

 

Kick Ass 2

Check out a slightly tamer version of this review at NerdSpan.com

Swift shot: Kick-Ass 2 certainly kicks ass, but nowhere near the amount of ass that was kicked in the original Kick-Ass. The dirty, violent style of Director Matthew Vaughn is hard to master, as Jeff Wadlow certainly tries to capture the tone, but he doesn’t quite measure up to the challenge. And even though only Nic Cage’s image is present in Kick-Ass 2, he manages to steal every scene he is a part of.

Following the death of her father, Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) now lives with her dad’s cop friend, Marcus (Morris Chestnut) who tries to keep a leash on the fifteen year old mega-killer.  He wants her to just go to school, get good grades and live a normal life. See if you can guess how that turns out?

Following the death of his father, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and his mother live in their fortress with Javier (John Leguizamo) who tries to keep him on a leash and prevent him from becoming like his father. Then the little shit has a hissy fit and becomes the head HMFIC, or Head Mother Fucker In Charge. He finds some items that teenagers shouldn’t even know about, and he assumes the identity of The Mother Fucker . . . you can follow him on twitter, here: @MotherF_cker.

Dave Leziwski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) still lives at home with his father, and is a senior in high school. His friends Marty and Todd still have no idea he is Kick-Ass, and in fact only Hit-Girl knows his true identity. She wants no part of high school, and she still goes out and kills people. And let’s face it, after you have strapped a jet-pack to your back and killed a mob boss with a rocket launcher, high school would be pretty boring, so Dave tries to enlist Hit-Girl to team up, ala Batman and Robin. Like the original, the writers take a few jabs at the comic book industry and works of other classic characters, Batman, Spider-Man and several others.

Hit-Girl opts out, but Dave quickly finds a place to belong when he meets Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Eisenhower, his female German shepherd who has a particular yearning which gives new meaning to “taking a bite out of crime.” The Colonel has a group of heroes, there is Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison), Night Bitch, Insect Man and others. They call themselves Justice Forever, and at first they manage to do a bit of good. That is until they cross paths with The Mother Fucker and his crew The Toxic Cunts, made up of Mother Russia, The Tumor, Black Death and Genghis Carnage.  Oh, and Game of Thrones fans will be happy to see a great cameo from one of the more regular characters from the series.

In the end, there is a much-needed battle royale between the assumed forces of good vs. evil. And, I must admit, there were moments where my warning to Madison that “this is going to be violent” were certainly warranted. People die, people die badly, and some people are straight-up executed. You will love when the “sick stick” makes its first appearance, and you MUST stay after the credits. There isn’t so much a teaser for the next film as a completely different ending than what you will think if you leave the theater before the end credits. Seriously, it will completely change the film’s end if you leave before then.

I think where Kick-Ass 2 suffers is that it isn’t novel anymore, and people are really expecting to be as impressed as the first one. On its own, Kick-Ass 2 is fine, but compared to the original, with Mark Strong as the main villain, and now we are expected to believe that McLovin is some kind of super-villain . . . meh. The director was wise to over-employ Mother Russia, and The Mother Fucker certainly is vile and despicable, but he is not a super-villain, more like a bitch who found his mom’s anal beads and we never did see where he sewed those to make his leather costume. Still, the peripheral characters make the film fun, and you will chuckle at the obvious direct comparison to Chloe Grace Moretz’ next big film, Carrie, as she struggles with high school bullies.  Well, struggles isn’t really the right word, to be honest.

I had fun.  I laughed.  I didn’t cry, but I was surprised a few times, but in the end, Kick-Ass 2 didn’t (and perhaps shouldn’t) surpass the original, not by a long-shot. Sorry folks, this is no Lethal Weapon 2, but it will kick your ass, a little, the second time around. Ultimately, Kick-Ass was so good, as I gave it six-stars (out of five) that the bar was just set a little too high for the sequel, and without Director Matthew Vaughn, it just wasn’t as good.  Directors matter, folks.

Planes

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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Full throttled fun!

Planes

Swift shot: “It’s Cars 2, Planes!” – That’s how my five year old kid described the film.  But only a few of the Disney Cars make any kind of appearance.  I didn’t laugh as much as I thought I would, but the film did leave a mark in more mature ways.  Director Klay Hall uses remarkable Disney magic to transport you on what you might label a Herbie the Love Bug gets wings story.  As a crop-dusting “farmer” competes in the world air rally . . . a seven leg race which will test endurance, agility and most importantly speed.

Planes is rated PG, and it certainly warrants the extra precaution, as the planes encounter some rather adult situations, to be frank.  There are mild amounts of war violence and perhaps a not so subtle suggestion that two of the planes, hook up, if you will pardon the pun.  There are even some bits about, well, losing your bits!

I was impressed with Planes, and Dane Cook as the voice of Dusty received a passing grade, with strong supporting “character” acting by his compadres, Chug (Brad Garrett) and Teri Hatcher as the little service vehicle Dottie, who easily stole most of the scenes.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays a French-Canadian plane named Rochelle (a fact which Seinfeld fans should immediately love) and she is the love interest to the other scene-stealer, El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui) who audiences can’t help but warm up to.  His panache can not be matched, my friend!  Thing is, he needs to learn to ratchet down that “unbridled enthusiasm” if he wants to land (oh, God, make the puns stop) Rochelle.  And, if puns in this review bother you, steer clear of Planes, because there are too many to list in one write up.

I think that is where Planes suffers a bit, the road puns are a bit old, we got the jokes in Cars, we need to see something fresh and interesting in Planes.  With the introduction of Skipper, (Stacy Keach) a heroic WWII era Corsair, provides the audience with something for Dusty to aspire to become.

Dusty has to endure more than just the harsh climates of the race, and he too must balance the tail-winds of love as he is smitten by the alluring Ishani (Priyanka Chopra).  No good race movie would be complete without a cheating villain though, and Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith) may not be as vile as Disney’s supreme bad-guys, but he does provide some serious peril for our hero.

In the end, Dusty faces a lesson that he not only absorbs himself but the others in the film pick up a few things as this crazy crop-dusting plane, who is afraid of heights, attempts the ridiculous.   Fortune favors the bold, whilst the timid are trapped in society’s mold.  If you have little ones that liked the Cars movies, this will make them just as happy.  But, as the rating suggests, they may not understand everything that is happening.

Only God Forgives

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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“Wanna fight?”

OnlyGodForgives

The H-Bomb: Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive was one hell of a great film. Easily one of the very best of 2011, and it will in all likelihood end up somewhere on my list of favorite films of the decade. With its striking visual style, its potent violence, its kick ass soundtrack, and, most of all, its understated-but-arresting lead performance by Ryan Gosling, it was the epitome of cinematic cool. When I heard that Refn and Gosling were re-teaming for Only God Forgives, I was stoked. They did such a phenomenal job with Drive, I just couldn’t wait to see how they followed it up.

Then the film premiered at Cannes this past Spring, and I got nervous… very nervous. With people labeling it pretentious, claiming it’s all style no substance, a cinematic jerk off session, it was booed out of the festival, and when it came to select theaters over here a couple of weeks ago, the Stateside critics weren’t any kinder. So, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst, I sat down to check out Only God Forgives via On Demand (since no theater within a hundred miles of me is playing it), and you know what… I fucking loved it! Screw those clowns on the Croisette, they must have had a giant baguette jammed up their collective asses, because as far as I’m concerned, this is a near masterpiece.

Of course, I’m only jesting about the whole baguette thing. I can get why many would be put off with a film like Only God Forgives, why they would call it boring, indulgent hogwash and dismiss it so quickly, I completely understand… I just don’t agree. One thing I should say right up front, while Only God Forgives is technically a crime picture, it is not a sequel to Drive. Nor is it really anything like Drive, it is entirely its own beast.

It does have a similar kind of minimalism that Drive had, only this time, Refn takes it even further, as there’s probably less than ten minutes worth of spoken dialogue in the entire 90 minute movie. The story itself is also quite simple: Julian (Gosling) is an American running a drug smuggling ring with his brother, Billy (Tom Burke), in Bangkok, Thailand. Billy, as it happens, is a pretty messed up individual, a fact that is made apparent when he rapes and murders a sixteen-year-old prostitute. The girl’s father then beats Billy to death with a bat, a revenge killing that is facilitated by Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm), a Bangkok police captain and avid karaoke singer who is handy with a machete.

Billy’s death brings the boys’ mother, Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas), to town. A mean matriarch with a short temper, she does not respond well when she finds out that Julian has failed (or more accurately, refused) to avenge his brother’s murder. Upon being told that Billy raped and killed a young girl, mama Crystal simply shrugs and says, “I’m sure he had his reasons,” before taking matters into her own hands by ordering a hit on the girl’s father, as well as Chang. What Crystal doesn’t realize, is that even though Chang doesn’t look that imposing, he is a cop who should never be crossed. This puts Julian, as the dutiful son, in the position of having to take Chang out before he and his machete can get to his mother.

Maybe I was wrong earlier, when I stated that Only God Forgives is nothing like Drive. It is, like its predecessor, a film about cold, violent people set in a cold, violent world. Except this world is considerably colder than the one depicted in Drive, without the romantic element to help us warm up to Gosling’s distant protagonist. Instead of exchanging sweet looks with Carey Mulligan, he watches as a hooker masturbates in front of him. That’s about as romantic as he gets, this time around.

And if we thought Gosling’s Driver was the quiet type, he was a regular motor mouth next to Julian, who has maybe a dozen lines in the entire film. It’s been asserted that Julian is a non-character, but I beg to differ. While Gosling once again says next to nothing, I felt he conveyed that there was quite a bit going on with Julian underneath the surface, like the simmering hatred and resentment he feels towards his mother, who never fails to remind him that he is her second favorite after Billy… and that his cock was always smaller than Billy’s, as well… don’t ask.

As for Scott Thomas, she’s the only one who’s given an opportunity to chew scenery, which she does marvelously. She embodies this icy, manipulative, and truly detestable bitch flawlessly, giving the film the kind of villainess that we really want to see bad things happen to. She also has the very best line in the film, delivered when she’s having dinner with Julian and his hooker girlfriend… you’ll know it when you hear it. Long and short, Scott Thomas is splendidly nasty in this role, and dare I say her turn is Oscar worthy.

My favorite performance, however, has got to be Pansringarm’s as Chang, the cop who is more brutal than criminals he pursues. He’s even more low key and less emotive than Gosling, but when this midget ninja pulls his blade and goes to work, he is downright terrifying. And his climatic fist fight with Julian… not to spoil anything, but did you notice how fucked up Gosling’s face was on the posters? How do you think it got that way? Pansringarm is like a coiled snake here, playing the quietly intense act beautifully, and I loved him.

Though the lead performances are subtle and first rate, the real star of Only God Forgives is director Refn himself. Working from his own screenplay this time, he has truly crafted a film of savage beauty. Every shot in the movie could be put in a frame and displayed in an art gallery, they are that meticulously composed and that gorgeously lit. For the film’s detractors, it’s all way too self-consciously stylized. For me, however, the very deliberate look, particularly the lighting, worked well in setting the heightened, noir-ish tone Refn was going for.

In fact, just about everything in Only God Forgives worked well for me, from the brutal, stomach churning violence, to the evocative score by Cliff Martinez that would often completely over take the soundtrack. It’s not quite as successful as Drive, but it’s not the horrendous failure that others in the film critiquing community have claimed it to be. It’s a mood piece that’s as unsettling as it is beautiful. It’s a true work of art, made by a true auteur.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

When we last left Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), he had rescued his mother from the clutches of Hades and returned Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt to Mount Olympus.  It was an epic quest, one that brought him and his friends Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) across the United States, down to the Underworld, and up to Mount Olympus.  Now he was ready to face life as a half-mortal, son of Poseidon.

Unfortunately, since that epic quest, Percy has been having a bit of a hard time.  He is constantly being beaten at events at Camp Half-Blood by newcomer Clarisse (Leven Rambin – she was Glimmer in “The Hunger Games”).  Clarisse is a mean girl, but she is a good competitor.  She takes great pride in always one-upping Percy and his friends.

Also new to this installment is Mr. D (or Dionysus) (Stanley Tucci – awesome, as always.  He was in “The Hunger Games” too!!).  Chiron is back, but instead of being played by Pierce Brosnan, he is played by Anthony Head (Giles in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).  Mr. D and Chiron are the voices of wisdom for the half-mortals at Camp Half-Blood.

We learn via flashbacks the origin of the magical barrier that encloses Camp Half-Blood and protects the half-mortals and their mentors.  Surprisingly, one creature is able to penetrate the barrier – a Cyclops named Tyson (Douglas Smith).  It turns out that Tyson is Percy’s half-brother, as he is also a son of Poseidon.  Until this point, Percy thought he was the only son of Poseidon, but it seems that Poseidon had a dalliance with a wood nymph, and thus came Tyson.  Tyson is a nice Cyclops.  He always means well, but he’s kind of a clutz.  He’s thrilled to meet Percy, but the feeling isn’t exactly mutual.  Percy isn’t outright mean to Tyson, but he’s also not very brotherly.

When a giant mythological mechanical bull breaks through the protective barrier and basically wrecks the camp, it’s revealed that Luke (Jake Abel) is behind the destruction.  He’s also recruited other fellow half-mortals to join his evil group.  Since the barrier is dying, Annabeth discovers that there exists a magical golden fleece, which has the power to heal anything.  Mr. D selects Clarisse for the quest, and she is off with another satyr to save the day.

Of course, Percy can’t just sit still, knowing that Luke is out there being evil.  He also learns of a prophecy that may or may not involve him either saving or destroying Mount Olympus.  So he, along with Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson set off on their own quest to find the golden fleece.  Annabeth summons transportation, courtesy of the Gray Sisters (Mary Birdsong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Missi Pyle), who all share one eyeball and know about the future.  After a crazy taxi ride, reminiscent of the Knight Bus from the third “Harry Potter” film, the group arrives in Washington D.C.  Grover is then promptly captured by some of Luke’s goons, making this quest even more important.  It seems that Luke knows where Percy and his crew are heading, and he wants the golden fleece to resurrect Kronos.

The trio then head to UPS, where Luke’s father Hermes (Nathan Fillion) is genuinely concerned for his son.  He gives the group a few magical objects to help with their quest, and then they are on their way to the sea of monsters.  Along the way, of course craziness ensues.  It was definitely a fun ride.  When the group finally makes it to the abandoned amusement park where Circe, the Cyclops who has the golden fleece, lives, things get a lot hairier.

I thought the filmmakers did a fantastic job blending ancient Greek mythology with modern times.   The use of Fall Out Boy’s song “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” while the half-mortals participated in a physical endurance competition was a good choice.  “Percy Jackson” is a solid fantasy flick, along the lines of the “Harry Potter” series.  Since this one left it wide open, I really hope this series continues!!

The Body (El Cuerpo)

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 4.00 out of 5)
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The Body

Written and Directed by: Oriol Paulo
Cast: José Coronado, Belén Rueda, Hugo Silva, Aura Garrido, Jaime Pena

Sometimes a little mystery from across the pond makes its way over here just to thrill and confuse us. This quirky item from Spain is just such a film. From the very opening, a moody, dark, misty shot, to the first-rate conclusion, it’ll suck you in and keep you guessing. And, after you do figure out ‘who done it’, you’ll still be twisting as to why it all happened all the way to the end credits. It’s a true Hitchcock/De Palma style psychological thriller complete with a missing body, morose Detectives, power wielding executives, a killer or two, forbidden love, and lots of clever misdirection.

Yes, it’s in Spanish, and yes it’s with English subtitles, but the visuals are so striking and the acting so compelling, you’ll know what’s happening even if you miss a few sentences here and there. This is an exceptional thriller, the type of film that’s been missing from cinema for a while. Nice to see it back again, and so well done.

Here’s the storyline:
It’s a dark night, no moon, misty fog lies upon the ground and all is still. Suddenly a man appears fleeing something in a panic, he runs onto a dark road and is hit by a truck. When the police arrive they discover that he is the Night Watchman at the nearby morgue. When they backtrack to his workplace they find that one of the bodies, Mayka Villaverde (Belen Rueda), a married society woman with lots of corporate holdings, has disappeared before an autopsy could be performed. The deceased’s husband, Alex (Hugo Silva), is under suspicion of stealing the corpse to hide his complicity in her death. Over the course of a long evening in the morgue, a detective (Jose Coronado) struggles to wring a confession out of the husband and the suspect is tormented by bizarre discoveries of evidence that point to his guilt. Someone is setting up incriminating clues around the building, and Alex is convinced it’s his wife, still alive and spoiling for revenge.

Ok, so you can see the plot is rife with delicious clues and contradictions that you as the audience and they as the detectives must muddle through to get at the whole truth, if there is one. The performances are terrific as well, as sharply drawn as the visuals the director uses to illustrate the story. You’ll find “The Body” to be classic detective fiction with a dusting of the paranormal that leads to a relatively simple, but completely un-guessable, explanation.

My take, it’s only playing at a few theaters around town, see it while you can, it won’t be around long and you don’t want to miss the fun of it.