Friday, March 29, 2013

Theater Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

This was definitely a risk.

No matter how great this film could be, it was never going to live up to its predecessor. And that film came out in 1939. But, it risks are meant to be taken - and after many years it finally hit the big screen.

Oz the Great and Powerful is the prequel to the classic 1939-film The Wizard of Oz. As Wizard told the story of a young Dorothy Gale being transported to the wonderful land of Oz, here we see how Oscar 'Oz' Diggs (James Franco) finds himself transported the Emerald City.

Now, with any prequel, you already know how things are going to end - but it is interesting to see how exactly we get to the start of The Wizard of Oz.

Oscar Diggs is a circus performer and just so happens to be visiting Kansas for a performance. Diggs is a player, in more ways than one. He tricks women into falling for him - he's the type of guy to have a woman or more in each stop - and he uses tricks in his magic act as well.

After a young girl from the audience asks Diggs to allow her to walk again, and the audience quickly turns on him when he refuses to do it - Diggs and his partner rush out only to get cornered by the strong man, whose wife Diggs had recently been flirting with. So, Diggs jumps in a hot air balloon, only to get sucked up into a twister - a twister.

Here he lands in Oz and meets Theodora (Mila Kunis), a witch who believes that Diggs is the wizard that they have all been waiting for to rescue them from the Wicked Witch. She takes him to meet her sister, Evanora (Rachel Weisz), yet another witch.

Evanora, who doesn't believe that Diggs is the wizard that can rescue them, shows him a room full of money that he can have if he defeats the Wicked Witch by destroying her broom.

Along the way, Diggs meets up with Finley (Zach Braff), a small flying monkey that owes him a life debt after Diggs saves him from a lion. The two of them also meet up with China Girl (Joey King) a small china doll whose entire village and townsfolk were destroyed by the Wicked Witch's flying monkey.

That is where I will leave it - in essence it is up to Oscar Diggs to save the people of Oz from the Wicked Witch. And, despite even him not believing he is the wizard that everyone is looking for, but he will do his best to pretend he is.

My wife is probably the biggest Wizard of Oz fan that I have ever met. So, as soon as this was announced she was already in the theater. In fact, she went and saw it the day before without me - and then went again with me the next day.

It's tough to meet those type of expectations, but she loved it. I had the same issues in a similar way with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  - which I found horrible and can never watch again.

In my opinion, Oz was pretty darn great. I thought to even come close to the original would be an accomplishment. It is odd, however, that the low point of the film may in fact be James Franco. Although he did a good job as Oz, the rest of the cast was so great that he looked to be lagging behind.

The best two, however, were the CGI characters. Finley and China Girl were both amazing characters. They had heart and humor - which tended to be lacking in a lot of the rest of the cast.

Also, I saw this in 3D. And, this was the absolute best use of 3D that I have ever seen in the theater (though I never saw Avatar in the theater - which I am told was amazing).

Finally, the bridge between the two films was done very well. We see things that build towards Wizard of Oz throughout the film, and I am sure there were even more that I missed. But, those were very cool to see and fun to pick out.

Overall, I really enjoyed the film. Does it reach the original? No, probably not. But, they took the risk and honestly I thought they succeeded.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 3/26/13

Lincoln: Surprisingly, I have heard some bad reviews about this film. However, the good have certainly outweighed the bad. Looking forward to checking it out, plus the wife was a history major and I know she is really looking forward to seeing it.

Parental Guidance: One of those movies where all of the funny bits are in the trailer? Guess we shall see. Probably bad, but sometimes accidental funny can come from bad. I will give it a chance.

Killing Them Softly: Brad Pitt as an enforcer. I'll check out most of Pitt's films, but this one looks like it can be pretty good.

The Collection: Horror movie of the week. Guess this is a sequel to The Collector from a few years ago.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Breaking Dawn: Part 2

My lack of love for this franchise has never been hidden. But, I definitely enjoy doing things with my wife that she likes, so I watched each and every one of them with her one time.

I do a bit of a Mystery Science Theater action during the films - not sure if she enjoys it or not, but it keeps me invested in the film throughout.

So, after watching all four previous films I needed to stick it out to the end and I watched Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

Let me first start by saying that I enjoyed two things in this film - and one of those things absolutely crushed me in the end.

First, I loved the way the film wrapped up and by that I mean the credits. The way they showcased all of the major characters throughout the entire franchise was spectacular - and to the tune of Christina Perri's 'A Thousand Years'. I almost wish other films would take notice and do this more often.

Second, the battle season. The fight between the Volturi and the Cullens was what I had been waiting for throughout the franchise. There were a few decent fight scenes in the earlier films, but Part 1 had absolutely nothing and I was hoping it was building to this - and the fight itself did not disappoint.

So, here is the deal. Bella (Kristen Stewart) has just given birth to Renesmee and Edward (Robert Pattinson) was forced to turn Bella into a vampire in order to keep her alive.

Jacob (Taylor Lautner), meanwhile, had to imprint on her to save her from his pack - and sticks around to protect her and the Cullen family.

I am not too familiar with everything that is going on, but the majority of the film happens because Irina (Maggie Grace) comes to visit with the Cullens and witnesses Renesmee - believing her to be an immortal child, which is forbidden by the Volturi because they cannot be trained or restrained.

Knowing that Renesmee is in fact not an immortal child, but a half-and-half, the Cullens are about to flee Forks in order to stay to together and get away from the Volturi. But, Bella and Edward convince them to find others to stand up to the Volturi and show them that she is in fact not an immortal child.

It's funny though because the best actors in this movie are not the main characters. They are the supporting characters. I actually don't think the main three are horrible - but they are not great in these movies. They are better in other films.

Anyway - the ending (before the credits) absolutely crushed me. I didn't see it coming at all - I was pretty damn pissed. I honestly can't believe it happened that way - and everything I had 'invested' in watching this I thought had actually been worth it, but it was yanked from under me.

I know I am going to do it - one day or weekend I will watch all five movies back-to-back and see what happens. I don't even remember the first few movies right now. Perhaps my opinion will change. But, right now I am a bit pissed off so this is the grade.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 3/19/13

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: This will be a part of my collection as soon as I can. I love the Lord of the Rings films and got the collection on blu-ray for my birthday. I saw it in the theater and here is my review. I felt it was a good start to this 'extended' movie. As I said in my review, I don't feel like we can judge it as one film because it's really just a piece.

Zero Dark Thirty: Really looking into checking this out. A great piece of history for our country on film, and the film actually looks good as well. Definitely can't wait to see it.

Bachelorette: Looks like another version of Bridesmaids but I've heard that it really isn't. I like all of the leading ladies in this film, so I will definitely give it a chance.

Price Check: A small little movie starring Parker Posey. Looks like it may be worth giving it a shot.

Les Misérables: Well, what to say. Definitely will be owning this film. It really surprised me, and though a bit depressing, this was a great film - here is my review. A film I would probably have never even looked at but my wife wanted to see. Glad she did (don't let her know that thought).

This is 40: I have to admit that I really enjoyed Knocked Up even despite the fact of Katherine Heigl and a whole lot of Seth Rogen. It was probably because I enjoyed the supporting characters - the odd group of friends and the strange little family. Here, the family gets it own spinoff and, to me, looks like it may be ok.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quick Shots 21 Part II

Title: Green Lantern.

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, Temuera Morrison, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Clarke Duncan.

Brief Synopsis: Hal Jordan (Reynolds) is a test pilot who is still harboring some bad memories from the death of his father. Meanwhile, in the galaxy the Parallax is growing stronger with each body it destroys by stealing their fear. Abin Sur (Morrison) was one of the top members of the Green Lantern Corps, but get injured by Parallax and crash lands on Earth. The ring sets out to find a new member to take Sur's place - and it selects Jordan.

Opinion: I never really got into comic books as a kid. I was more of a baseball card guy. But, with movies and video games - and through my son - I have really started to develop a love for these comic book heroes. And Green Lantern is certainly one of them. But, this movie was panned - and I am not sure how the true comic fan feels about it - but I enjoyed it for what it was, and thought it was a decent start to a series. I was definitely looking forward to a sequel - and I am holding out hope that one still may come.


Title: Haywire.

Starring: Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonia Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton.

Brief Synopsis: Mallory Kane (Carano) works for a company that handles 'operations'. She is great at what she does and also she just so happens to be leaving the company. Kenneth (McGregor), who is her boss, sends her and Aaron (Tatum) to Barcelona to rescue a hostage - and immediately following sends her to Dublin to pose as the wife of Paul (Fassbender). It's here that things start to go a bit crazy and Mallory finds herself on the run.

Opinion: Not a bad movie - definitely hard to follow at times though. I think in the end I got it all figured out, though. Carano is a female MMA fighter, but I thought for someone that really hadn't done a ton of acting before she was amazing - especially to carry a film pretty much on her own.


Title: The Campaign.

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, Brian Cox, Sarah Baker.

Brief Synopsis: Cam Brady (Ferrell) is up for re-election for Congress in North Carolina, and is running for the fifth time unopposed. However, brothers Glenn (Lithgow) and Wade (Aykroyd) try to get in Brady's pocket unsuccessfully, so they bring in Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) to be their patsy. And Huggins and Brady battle for North Carolina's approval to win the election.

Opinion: I knew this movie was not going to be good. When it was first announced and I saw the trailer I wasn't even planning on seeing it, but something made me give it a try. And, wow was it bad. Not even that many things that made me laugh. Ferrell channeled his Bush impression, and Galifianakis, well I am not sure what the heck he was channeling. If anything, I did like the semi-nod to Trading Places and having Aykroyd play one of the brothers. But, that is pretty much it.


Title: Source Code.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Arden.

Brief Synopsis: Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) is a helicopter pilot in the Army that finds himself awaking in the body of somebody else on a train. Across from him is Christina (Monaghan), who calls him Sean. As he tries to gain his bearings, all of a sudden the train explodes and he wakes up inside some sort of machine with only Colleen Goodwin (Farmiga) to talk to through a computer screen. Turns out, he needs to find out who blew up the train and he only has eight minutes of the same event (as many times as possible) to figure it out.

Opinion: Pretty interesting concept. Not truly a time travel movie at heart - Gyllenhaal is actual sent back into the memory of Sean and experiences all he can through those eight minutes on the train. Not a ton of well-known actors in this, but it was done very well with just a few main characters. Definitely kept me interested to see if he could find the bomber and how, which makes it a decent enough film for me.


Title: Wanderlust.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda, Malin Akerman, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kathryn Hahn, Lauren Ambrose, Jordan Peele.

Brief Synopsis: George (Rudd) is married to Linda (Aniston) and they have just purchased a small apartment in NYC. George hates his job, but works hard to support his wife, who is trying to sell a penguin documentary. But, George's company goes under and Linda is unable to sell her documentary to HBO - so they sell their apartment and head to Atlanta where George's brother, Rick (Marino), has offered to put them up and give George a job. On the way, though, they stumble across a commune and have the best night of their lives.

Opinion: I can honestly say I was not expecting much out of this one. But, I came away liking it a lot more than I thought I would. It was funny, yet odd - and although I knew a lot was happening, something did happen that surprised me. I enjoyed most of the characters on the commune, each with their own little quirk. Theroux may have been my list favorite character - but I am not too familiar with his work to begin with. All-in-all a nice little watch - not amazing, but not horrible either.


Tuesday's With Movies: 3/12/13

Life of Pi: Even with all of the hoopla this film has received, and its director Ang Lee winning the Academy Award, I am still not really sure what the film itself is about. But, that doesn't stop me from wanting to see it. The look of the film alone has me very interested.

Rise of the Guardians: Was already able to see this in the theater and reviews it here. A lot better than I was expecting - and actually made my Top 10 list for films of last year (of the ones I saw). Definitely looking forward to seeing it again - probably near Christmas.

Smashed: Looks pretty interesting - and stars Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad. About a couple whose love is pretty much based on their mutual love of alcohol. Which happens to get tested when the wife decides to get sober.

Hitchcock: I feel like I should see this. I don't know why but nothing about it has drawn me in at all. But, I will definitely check it out eventually - but only because I feel I should.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away: Yeah, this is probably something I may check out when bored in Las Vegas, but I really don't see myself watching this on DVD in my home.

This Must Be the Place: I had never heard of this film - and I mean at all. When I saw the poster I thought Sean Penn was playing a girl. But, turns out he is playing a retired rock star. Yeah, nothing here that has me the slight bit interested.

The First Time: Two high schoolers come together - he is secretly pining after a girl that he cannot have, and she has a boyfriend that doesn't understand her. I am guessing that they will find what they need with each other. So far not checking this one out.

In Their Skin: No. 1.

Storage 24: No. 2.

Grave Encounters 2: No. 3. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Shots 21 Part I

Title: Men in Black 3.

Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Alice Eve.

Brief Synopsis: Boris The Animal (Clement) has escaped from his moon prison and has found a way to travel back in time to kill Agent K (Jones), who in 1969 has put up the ArcNet - or a a forcefield around Earth that prohibits alien attacks. Agent J (Smith) travels back to 1969, a day before Boris kills Agent K, to stop both Boris's, protect Agent K and allow the ArcNet to get into place to prevent the destruction of Earth in the present.

Opinion: This was very enjoyable. Still not up to par with the original Men in Black, but I feel it may blow the second out of the water - which still wasn't horrible. The absolute best performance in this film comes from Josh Brolin, who plays a young Agent K - his performance of Tommy Lee Jones, including his voice, was spot on. And, with each one of these films you get a little more background into the two main characters, which is nice.


Title: The Watch.

Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt, R. Lee Ermey.

Brief Synopsis: Evan (Stiller) is a guy who loves his community. He is the manager of the local Costco and creates clubs to fit in. One night the security guard of his Costco is murdered, so Evan decides to create a neighborhood watch to protect the neighborhood and hopefully track down the murderer. Joining his group is Franklin (Hill), who has been denied in joining the police force, Bob (Vaughn), who really got into it to have guy's nights, and Jamarcus (Ayoade), who is hoping to meet a girl.

Opinion: This film was hurt, many times, because of the real-life trial of George Zimmerman. This was not a great movie, but it was decent enough. I laughed a handful of times - which for a film with Hill and Stiller, who both have good and bad moments for me, is a good thing.


Title: Super 8.

Starring: Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Elle Fanning, Noah Emmerich, Richard T. Jones. 

Brief Synopsis: Joe (Courtney) and his friend Charles (Griffiths) are making a zombie film and take their crew, including Cary (Lee), Martin (Basso) and Alice (Fanning). While out at a train station, a train comes roaring by - and a truck runs into it causing a huge accident and explosion. Soon, things start to go awry in this house and Joe's father, Jackson (Chandler), who is a sheriff in the town - is trying to figure out what is happening. Joe and his gang, though, continue to try and finish their movie and begin to uncover some things on their own.

Opinion: This was a film I wanted to see in the theater and never was able to find the time to get out and see it. And, I am mad at myself for waiting so long to watch it on DVD. This movie was outstanding - and the main reason for that was the performances of the children. Each kid, and the only one I had ever heard of was Fanning (though Lee looked very familiar), put in a great performance. Honestly, Fanning's  performance was outstanding and though he wasn't a main character Basso really reminded me of Martin Starr - heck his character's name was even Martin.


Title: Contraband.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Caleb Landry Jones, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas.

Brief Synopsis: Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) and his friend Sebastian (Foster) are both former smuggler wo have gone straight. Farraday has married Kate (Beckinsale) and has two boys, while Sebastian has created a construction company. Kate's brother Andy (Jones), though, has gotten himself in trouble with Tim Briggs (Ribisi) and Farraday jumps back in one last time to keep his brother-in-law alive and get his family complete out of trouble.

Opinion: Not a horrible film. Pretty action packed and some pretty darn good actors. My issues, which is more Hollywood than with this film, is I figured out the ending and some of the twists that happened. There aren't many films nowadays that surprise me. But, for what this film was - it was a good ride..


Title: Premium Rush.

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung, Wole Parks, Christopher Place.

Brief Synopsis: Wilee (Gordon-Levitt) and his girlfriend Vanessa (Ramirez) both work as bike messengers in NYC. Wilee is looking for some extra fairs, and gets one at the conclusion of his shift to pickup something from his former college and take it to a woman in Chinatown. But, a police officer, Bobby (Shannon) wants to take the package from Wilee for reasons that Wilee is unaware - but, as rules of the carrier service, once a package is in the bag it doesn't come out until it reaches its destination.

Opinion: The film jumps back and forth to tell its story. Both Gordon-Levitt and Shannon continue to stand out, and here is no different. The bike riding is the action in the film as Gordon-Levitt tries to get away from both Shannon's character in his car - and a police officer on bike. Which, is actually pretty fun to watch. Probably the weakest film of the year of JGL, but I still really enjoyed it.


Friday, March 8, 2013

HOT: Toy Story 3

It's very tough for an animated film to come along that can come close to my favorite one of all-time in Toy Story. But, I guess if one was going to get close enough it would be a film featuring those same lovable characters.

Toy Story 3 comes out a full 11 years following Toy Story 2. A lot has changed in those 11 years - as Andy (John Morris) has grown up since we last saw him, and it has been a long time since he has played with the toys we have all come to love.

Andy is just a few days away from heading off to college and his mother is on his case about clearing out his room before he leaves. So, he must decide the fate of his old, favorite toys - put them in the attack, donate them or toss them in the garbage.

As he grabs a garbage bag and tosses many of the familiar toys, Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles & Estelle Harri), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Rex (Wallace Shawn), and Bullseye and those three aliens - he comes across Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen).

He decides to toss Buzz into the garbage bag and Woody into his box for college. As he begins to bring the garbage into the attack for storage - his sister stumbles out of her room with an oversized box for donation, and he leaves the bag on the floor to help her.

Then the real adventure begins. Thinking the bag is for the garbage, Andy's mother takes it down to the curb for trash pickup. Woody, though, does his best to rescue them - but the toys make it out themselves and decide to send themselves to Sunnyside Day Care in the donation box.

Woody tries to get them to reconsider, and he himself gets stuck in the box for donation. Sunnyside, though, proves to be the perfect landing spot for the toys. They are welcomed with open arms by a strawberry-scented bear named Lotso (Ned Beatty) and a metrosexual tour guide Ken (Michael Keaton), who immediately makes a connection with Barbie (Jodi Benson).

After Woody escapes, only to be picked up by Bonnie and taken to her house, the other toys soon to realize that Lotso and Sunnyside isn't all that its cracked up to be.

At Bonnie's house Woody is told by her toys, Buttercup (Jeff Garlin), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Trixie (Kristen Schaal) and Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) inform him how horrible Sunnyside and Lotso are - so Woody heads back to try and break his friends out.

Toy Story 3 was, at the time, what we thought was the perfect sendoff for the toys that we have grown up loving. And, it was done to perfection.

It was funny, exciting, sometimes 'scary' and definitely pulled at your heartstrings in more ways than one. They had done the impossible - created a film as close to perfect as the original Toy Story film.

Now, with Toy Story 4 pretty much a guarantee - I hope they can catch lightning in a bottle for a third time. Although I enjoy Toy Story 2, it isn't up to the standards as the first and third. Hopefully the fourth can buck the trend.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

HOT: Angels & Demons

As I said in my Da Vinci Code review, I did not read this book. I really enjoyed seeing Da Vinci Code when I first saw it - so I was really looking forward to this sequel (prequel?).

But, when I first saw Angels & Demons in the theater I felt it as a bit of a let down. I was looking for more hidden clues like in Da Vinci Code and it just wasn't there. In fact, although I always wanted to re-check it out, it wasn't until this Hanks-O-Thon that I was finally able to.

On a second viewing, I must say I enjoyed it a lot more. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon, a symbologist that had helped solve Da Vinci's code to track down the final resting place of Mary Magdalene, and discover the last scion.

Although Angels & Demons was written before Da Vinci Code because of the popularity of the latter, it was turned into a film first by Ron Howard. And, when making Angels & Demons he decided to make it as a sequel instead of a prequel.

Here Langdon is summoned to the Vatican after the pope has died and a member of the CERN team is killed after creating three vials of antimatter, which one is stolen. The Vatican, while most of the cardinals are voting to to elect a new pope, someone has kidnapped four 'preferiti' - or the top options to become the new pope. It is sensed that this individual is part of a once thought extinct Illuminati.

Of course, clues are left - some many, many years ago - that can help lead Langdon to the four spots where the cardinals are being left to die.

This time, Langdon is helped by a member of CERN, Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), that helped create the missing antimatter that is being used to threaten to blow up the Vatican. Ewan McGregor also stars as the Pope's Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, a boy that was adopted by the pope and raised inside the Vatican.

Head of the Vatrican police is Commander Maximilian Richter (Stellan Skarsgård), who doesn't readily accept the help of Langdon and Vetra in tracking down the missing cardinals - especially after Langdon leads them to the wrong spot the first time.

So, this time around the pair aren't being chased by everyone as in Da Vinci Code - here it is a race against time to find the missing cardinals before they are all killed, and find the missing antimatter before it is used to blow up the Vatican.

As I said to start, I liked it when I first saw it - but I wasn't in love with it. What I fell in love with during Da Vinci Code and a lot of films like it is the clues and codes that are used to move onto the next code or clue. Here there just wasn't as many - there are still some good ones - but not as much as I would have liked.

On repeat viewing, though, I believe I enjoyed it much more. I still enjoy the first movie more, and I definitely enjoyed Audrey Tatou more than Zurer as Langdon's sidekick.

However, after watching both of these films a few weeks apart - definitely looking forward to them coming out with more. Lost Symbol has been out for over three years now, and it appears to be in development - can't wait to check that one out.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HOT: The Great Buck Howard

It's rare a Tom Hanks film will come out and sneak past me. Here I understand it a little more, but I can honestly say I had never heard of this film until I started looking up his work.

The Great Buck Howard is much like That Thing You Do where Hanks' production company PlayTone put out the movie, but Hanks himself is not the star - instead he plays a smaller part.

Here, he plays an even smaller role than the role of Mr. White in That Thing You Do. However, Colin Hanks, Hanks' son, plays a much larger role. In That Thing You Do he is only seen escorting Liv Tyler into the Showcase.

Colin Hanks stars in The Great Buck Howard as Troy Gable. Gable is a law school student desperately in need of a change - so he drops out of school to become a writer. But, in order to continue paying his rent and all of his bills he answers an add in the newspaper for a road manager.

The job is for "The Great" Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a once popular mentalist who over the years has slowly faded from popularity - but not in his mind. He still believes he is amazing and loves travelling to cities to showcase what he can do.

Colin Hanks takes on the roll of departing Alan Berkman (Adam Scott) as Howard's road manager. He gets things ready for Howard on the road and makes sure everything is perfect for the show.

Meanwhile, Howard is trying to retain his popularity - and Valerine Brennan (Emily Blunt) a publicist is brought in to take on this difficult task - and also happens to start falling for Gable.

Tom Hanks plays the role of Colin Hanks' father, Mr. Gable. His role is very small and actually only has a pair of scenes - both with Colin. But his presence is felt.

Colin Hanks is a pretty talented actor himself - no where near his father yet, but he can continue to climb. The star of the film, though, is of course Malkovich. So over the top as Howard and really fun to watch the ups and downs of the role - and all of his idiosyncrasies.

The film itself is based loosely on The Amazing Kreskin - and was pretty fun to watch, but not the greatest of films. Pretty decent, but not amazing.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

HOT: Charlie Wilson's War

As I said before, there weren't too many Tom Hanks' films that I haven't seen before. But, this happens to be one of them.

Charlie Wilson (Hanks) is a representative for the United States in Charlie Wilson's War. He happens to be much more interested in partying and meeting women than he does at actually being a representative, though.

A friend (and sleeping partner) Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) encourages Wilson to get more involved in the Afghanistan-Soviet fight, and Wilson visits an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan.

Together, with rogue-CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman) they are able to get Afghanistan the weapons they need and take the $5 million dollar anti-communism budget and expand it to $500 million.

Wilson becomes a hero, but in the end he worries about what his actions may have on the U.S.-Afghan relationship in the future.

Sort of fitting now, I guess.

Anyway, that is just a quick recap - a lot happens in a movie that really only has a small premise. But, I did enjoy it.

I actually enjoyed Hoffman more than Hanks in the film. I wasn't really thrilled with Hanks' Southern accent, but it wasn't the worst I have heard. Again, Roberts is not my favorite - and I wasn't too thrilled with her in this film.

Overall, not an amazing film, but enjoyable - for at least one watch.