Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 1/29/13

Hotel Transylvania: It doesn't happen too often, but my son and wife were both able to check this one out without me. So, guess I need to catch up to them - of course I am sure they will want to watch it with me.

Paranormal Activity 4: There are now four of these. The first one came out in 2007 - they are really pumping this well dry fast.

Seven Psychopaths: Looks pretty good. I finally was able to check out In Bruges, which comes from the same guy, and I enjoyed it. Here I like most of the actors, so I am guessing this one will be just as good.

Noobz: Never heard of it, but saw that Jason Mewes was a part of it. Probably a dumb movie, but I will probably check it out.

Hello I Must Be Going: Heard some decent things about it, but not a lot. Looks sort of interesting, and may look into it sometime down the line.

Citadel: A man suffers from agoraphobia after his wife is brutally attacked by feral children. Is this really happening that often? Feral children? With this and the new film Mama that is two films in the past year.

The Awakening: Even after reading what this is about I am still clueless. Of course not a movie for me, but it's too bad because I do enjoy Dominic West.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 1/22/13

End of Watch: Gotta be honest wasn't drawn to the film when its trailer was released - it looked decent enough and something I would eventually check out. But, it sounds like it's getting tons of good reviews - so maybe its even better than I though.

The Paperboy: Well, I have heard about this movie for a long time, but this is the first time I actually looked to see what it was about. Actually think I may like it even more now - but, who knows?

For a Good Time, Call...: A girl doesn't get a job and in order to make some cash she joins her roommate in a phone sex position. Looks like it has some decent cameos in it - might be better than expected.

Nobody Walks: Young artists moves in with a family to complete one of her projects. I enjoy John Krasinski, but this doesn't look like it is something I would go for. Maybe if I catch it on tv.

Nature Calls: Getting such horrible reviews, but has so many people that can make me laugh in it - I still have to check i tout.

Death Race 3: I will eventually watch these movies - just haven't gotten to them yet. Probably won't until Death Race 6 comes out at this rate.

Universal Soldier 2: The return of yet another aging action star - yeah, I will probably want to check this out eventually.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 1/15/13

Taken 2: I enjoyed the first film, and I am hoping that they caught lightning in a bottle twice - although that is hardly ever the case. I am sure it is not as great as the original, but hopefully there is still something in it worthwhile. I will definitely be checking it out.

The Possession: Um, no.

To Rome with Love: Not a huge Woody Allen fan. I think I may have only seen one of his films - and it wasn't even one of the main ones. But, this looks to have a decent cast so I think I will give it a shot eventually.

Won't Back Down: This looks like nothing I want to see. But, Mrs. Kano has added it to the queue. Could be something we watch together - so I can't say I won't be watching it.

Branded: I am not sure how to take this film. There is something is definitely drawing me in - it looks like it could be very interesting. But, reviews have been rather harsh - so I am not optimistic.

The Other Dream Team: 1992's US Dream Team was obviously a huge story and one of the most influential teams in the history of basketball. But, during that same year the third-place team was also pretty influential - more for their country than for their sport. Definitely want to check this out.

17 Girls: Best friends always stick together. But, this is pretty ridiculous. A girl accidentally gets pregnant and 16 of her friends decide to join her. Um, I find it very interesting - crazy, but interesting.

About Cherry: Young girl moves out west and gets involved in the porn industry. Maybe if I catch it on a movie channel or something.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 1/8/13

House at the End of the Street: Definitely not my type of movie, but it has the up-and-coming Jennifer Lawrence in it. Apparently Mrs. Kano wants to check it out, so it has been added to the Netflix queue. Let's see if she actually checks it out.

Frankenweenie: My son wanted to see this in the theater and Mrs. Kano tried to take him and a couple friends to see it for his birthday, but it apparently wasn't working at the theater so they never got to see it. Definitely will check it out with him once we get a chance to on DVD.

Hit & Run: This could either be really funny or not. I have some trepidation with some of the harsh reviews - but I will check it out and find out for myself.

Dredd: Never saw the original, but think I should. I was pleasantly surprised with Karl Urban's performance in Star Trek and he was pretty decent in Red. So, I want to give this one a chance as well.

Compliance: Had never really heard of this, but have heard it is pretty good. I think I will give it a shot. I watch Apartment 23 and Dreama Walker, so think I will give it a shot.

Stolen: Nicolas Cage - wonder which way this can go?

Touchback: A man looks back on his football career and what could have been if he hadn't been injured. Seems pretty cheesy to me. I am all for sport movies, but even I don't think I will check this one out.

Jack & Diane: At first it looks like a film about a lesbian couple, but reading the summary it looks like it takes an extremely odd turn. Wasn't really interested in it before - but with that strange turn, definitely not now.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Theater Review: Les Misérables

It is not very often that a movie can get an emotional reaction from me. In fact, since I hit my 'older' days I don't think it has happened to me many times at all.

But, that is exactly what Les Misérables did to me on my date night with my wife - and subjected me to ridicule for the rest of the night (and most of the next day as well).

This film did not jump out at me at all with previews or announcements - not one time. But, my wife is a fan of it and really was excited to see it. So, we went.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I guess my wife picked up on that very early on when I asked my first question, "Is this entire movie singing?" Now, in my defense I have seen many musicals in my day where the songs are dominant, but there is also still dialogue throughout the film. Not here - there was, at most, five lines of dialogue throughout the entire movie.

It was there that I began to get nervous.

But, my nervousness quickly subsided as I began to get more and more interested in the story. I soon realized that the lack of dialogue wasn't bothering me in the slightest - in fact, I hardly noticed anymore.

The film itself is pretty much about the life and trials of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). We first meet Valjean on the final day of his 19-year prison sentence. He was sent to prison for stealing bread for his sister's dying child - and later more years were added to his sentence for trying to escape.

Javert (Russell Crowe) is a prison guard, who only refers to Valjean by his prison number. Valjean is released on parole and is ordered to return every so often to check in. Not able to find work due to being a criminal - he is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne (Colm Wilkinson). Despite the Bishop's generosity, Valjean steals silver from the church - but he is caught and brought back. Bishop takes pity on him and alerts the police that he had in fact given the silver to him. And, Valjean changes his ways - becoming a solid citizen, but breaking his parole in the process.

Now the mayor and a factory owner in Montreuil, Valjean is nearly discovered by Javert - who has been tracking him down for years. A skirmish in the factory gets a worker, Fantine (Anne Hathaway) fired. She is sending all of her money to a pair of Innkeepers who are taking care of her daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen). Not being able to make an honest living, Fantine turns to do anything and everything she can to make money for her daughter.

Found by Javert and nearly arrested, Valjean recognizes her and takes her to the hospital. He feels responsible for her condition and vows to take care of her daughter for as long as he possibly can.

The Innkeepers Tenardier (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) have been playing Fantine from the start - asking for more money claiming Cosette was sick. Instead, Cosette is treated like garbage, while their daughter Eponine (Natalya Angel Wallace) is treated like a princess.

Valjean, though, pays off the Tenardiers and takes Cosette into his care - but always keeping an eye behind him for Javert.

Years later, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) becomes the object of Marius' (Eddie Redmayne) affection despite the fact that Eponine (Samantha Barks) is in love with him. Marius is part of the revolution against the government with his friend Enjolras (Aaron Tveit).

Now an old man, Valjean realizes that he can not look after Cosette forever and believes that Marius may be the perfect person to take over. So, he joins the revolution if only to look after Marius to make sure he does not die.

This movie was remarkable. The music was amazing - though I only truly loved a few of the songs, the rest were still very nice. Having the cast sing live on camera (instead of in a studio) was also a nice touch - it really brought out the emotions of the song and the story.

It also had some great laughs thanks to the Tenardiers. I had no idea that Sacha Baron Cohen was in this movie - but immediately picked him out, despite it not really looking like him. The pair added some much needed lightheartedness to an otherwise bleak film.

Finally the story, which mixed with the songs finally hit me at the conclusion of the film. Yes, Les Misérables struck a chord with me - something that very rarely happens. And, I thank my wife for taking me to see it. A beautifully shot and acted film all around.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

50x3: The Notebook (E-2)

For my second movie from my wife we took in a little romantic film that was all the rage a few years back. It also pretty much put Ryan Gosling on the map as an A-list star - and just check out his last few years in film.

Gosling stars as Noah Calhoun in The Notebook. Noah is part of a story that Duke (James Garner) is telling a friend of his (Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home.

The story goes that Noah sees a girl, Allison Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) at a carnival and is immediately head-over-heels for her. Allison is in town for the summer with her rich family and is friends with Sara Tuffington (Heather Wahlquist) - who happens to be dating Noah's best friend, Fin (Kevin Connolly).

Noah's first attempt to ask Allison out is shot down rather quickly. So he decides he needs to ask her out in a much more extravagant way - by hanging from a ferris wheel. And, she begrudgingly accepts his proposal to 'save' his life.

The two of them, though, hit it off rather quickly. And soon they are pretty inseparable. He takes her to meet his father - and she takes him to meet her family.

Immediately it is seen that her family does not approve of this courtship - but thinking it was just a summer romance they allow it to play out.

One night Noah takes Allison to an abandoned house which he notifies her that he hopes to eventually purchase and fix up for them. She plays along and tells him of things that she would want for the house. Though, he is not joking.

As the night progresses the two of them make a makeshift bed and appear that they will make love for the first time - though she stops it. Moments later Fin busts through the door saying that Allison's family had called the police because there daughter was missing.

Allison and her family argue in a room as Noah sits in another room - and it is here that for the first time he finds out that they believe he is not good enough for their daughter. And, he decides to break it off so that she can move on with her life without him.

Noah, though, writes a letter to Allison each day for an entire year. Even after enlisting in the Army and losing his best friend Fin in the field of battle. However, he never hears from Allison as her mother intercepts each letter before she is able to get them.

Now, Allison is forced to move on and becomes engaged to Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden). Noah, though, thanks to his father purchases the abandoned house and fixes it up with all of the special requests from Allison.

A photograph is taken of the house and placed in a newspaper that Allison sees - and all of her feelings for Noah come rushing back. She takes time away from Lon and goes to see Noah - rekindling their romance. But soon, she is forced to choose between her fiance and the man of her dreams.

This film is obviously a 'chick flick' as I believe most Nicholas Sparks films are. But, there is definitely something that men can take from this as well. Us lucky ones will find someone out there that we would do anything and everything for.

I pretty much saw what was happening in the movie from the start - and I didn't know anything really about the movie heading in. It was pretty obvious. And, I still liked seeing how things came together. Pretty heartbreaking, and in a way sweet.

Gosling and McAdams were great, and they had great chemistry together as well. I really enjoy Connolly as an actor, and despite not being in the film much, I enjoyed him.

I guess we can thank The Notebook and Gosling/McAdams for starting off this Nicholas Sparks phenomenon - seems like we are getting a new film almost every year now. Guess the wife will want me to get caught up now. We'll see.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

50x3: Big Trouble in Little China (M-2)

Well, I am probably going to take a lot of flack for this. I realize a lot of people love this movie, and I can see that it may be a bit of a cult classic. Usually I can handle weird and a bit confusing, but this film was just a little much for me.

In Big Trouble in Little China Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) takes a friend of his, Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) to the airport to pickup his fiancee. While there Burton locks eyes with a woman, Gracie (Kim Cattrall) who seems to realize that something is about to go down.

Once Wang's fiancee is through customs, a Chinese street game known as the Lords of Death kidnap her. Burton and Wang jump in Burton's truck to chase them down and end up in the middle of a street battle between the Wing Kong and the Chang Sing.

As they escape, Burton loses his truck and he and Wang meetup with Gracie, Eddie (Donald Li) and a magician named Egg Shen (Victor Wong). Together they come up with a plan to infiltrate a brothel where Wang's fiancee is supposedly taken.

It turns out that all of this is happening because of a sorcerer known as Lo Pan (James Hong). Legend says that he is forced to roam the Earth in as a ghost until he can marry a girl with emerald green eyes. Turns out Wang's fiancee is just that girl.

Burton is now tasked with finding Wang's fiancee, stopping Lo Pan from marrying her and regaining his human form, and most importantly - finding his truck.

I do have to give this film props for one thing - it was incredibly ambitious. A lot of stuff was shoved into a 99 minute movie, and so many strange and odd ideas tossed in as well.

Again, perhaps this is me watching it a bit too late in my life. Had I watched this in the '80s or early '90s I may have enjoyed it a lot more.

It did have its moments, and I laughed a handful of times at the sheer insane things that they put into the film - but overall it just didn't hit me right.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 1/1/13

Looper: This one drops on New Year's Eve, wrapping up a pretty sick Joseph Gordon-Levitt DVD month. Really looking forward to checking this one out. Looked really good when I first saw the trailers and now hearing what everyone has said really has me excited.

Cosmopolis: Looks pretty confusing which intrigues me, but also stars that Twilight actor that stars in Twilight. I didn't hate him that much in Goblet of Fire, so perhaps there is a chance I can like him in a film outside of Twilight.

Little Birds: Even after reading what this is about, I am still really not sure what it is about. Maybe if I know more about it, but as of now not on my list.

Trouble with Bliss: Guy gets into a relationship with a daughter of his former classmate, seems interesting. Plus, it has Michael C. Hall (still hoping he can break out somehow in movies). May check this one out down the line.