29 July 2008

Meet Dave

Spanks - 0

Director - Brian Robbins

Writers - Rob Greenberg & Bill Corbett

Starring - Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union, Scott Caan & Ed Helms

Release Date - 11 July 2008

MPAA Rating - PG

Do not go see Meet Dave! I am sure it is as bad as Norbit, if not worse, but I couldn't tell you for sure because I didn't see that classic piece of cinema (Brian Robbins directed Norbit as well). I don't have any idea why Eddie Murphy continues to make such terrible movies, I don't think he has had anything good since Beverly Hills Cop 3 in 1994. Its obvious that family themed movies haven't worked for the past 14 years, but he continues to make them.

Meet Dave is about a group of aliens who come to Earth in a spaceship that looks like a Human. This works because the inhabitants of the planet Nil are only one inch tall. They come to Earth to search for a rock that was sent a few weeks before to drain the Earths oceans for salt because of an energy crisis on the home planet.

The film tries to be funny. I will admit that I did laugh 2 or 3 times. The reason I say tries to be funny is because it uses jokes that have been used over and over again in the 71 years since feature length talkies have been around. The most original part of the movie was when I walked out...

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Spanks - 4

Director - Guillermo del Toro

Writers - Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola

Starring - Ron Perlman, Selma Blair & Doug Jones

Release Date - 11 July 2008

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is based on an original story written by del Toro and Hellboy's creator Mike Mignola, so if you have all the comics be prepared for something all new. The story is about Prince Nuada wanting to find the Golden Army (an unstopable army 70 times 70 soldiers) and break the truce between the Humans and Elves. Meanwhile back at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, things are going as normal as can be for Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman. That is until they find out that Prince Nuada is plotting to destroy humanity.

The film has a more fantasy then the first which makes the visuals a lot more stunning. The first film took place all in our world so it looks more real. Del Toro uses makeup and puppets to create his creatures as much as he possible so its not like most movies where you can tell that the main character is talking to a tennis ball which will become something fantastic and most likely fake looking in post production. From what I have seen of Pan's Labyrinth this is a big step up from what he did visually in that. I can't wait to see what his Middle Earth will be like in two years.

It is also a lot deeper of a movie then the first. It deals more with Hellboy's many internal struggles, Liz and Abe's feeling, and FBI director Tom Manning overall problem's with Hellboy. It is also a very funny movie, and not just because I saw it after Meet Dave.

23 July 2008

The Dark Knight

Spanks - 5

Director - Christopher Nolan

Writers - Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer

Starring - Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, & Maggie Gyllenhaal

Release Date - 18 July 2008

MPAA Rating - PG-13

You might be thinking The Dark Knight to be another comic book movie, in the age of comic book summer movies blockbusters. It is much more than that. Unlike the Batman films of the 20th century, Christopher Nolan made his Batman world very real looking and nothing looks comicy. The film is the film of the summer if not 2008, comic book movie or not. If you go see one movie this summer it should be this one. If you didn't like Batman Begins because it cut between 4 different time periods, you don't have to worry because this one is linear from start to finish.

People say its doing so well is because it is Heath Ledger's final completed film (you will see him next year in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) and that is why its doing so well. His performance of The Joker is perfect, much better than Jack Nicholson and before seeing The Dark Knight I did not think that was possible. He is totally psychotic but very funny and likeable (if that is possible). See if for that performance alone if you need a reason to go see a comic book film.

Another thing I love about Christopher Nolan is that everything looks real. That is because it is real. No cheesy computer special effects like you see at some point in all action movies. The truck they flip that you can see in the trailer, they really flipped it. No crappy green screen backgrounds or fake fire or explosions either. He is standing on the top of a skyscraper and they blew up a building.

I wanted to see it in IMAX, but it was sold out until Friday (7/23/08). Hopefully there will be some open shows next week. The reason being is that parts of the film were filmed with an IMAX camera. All the movies that have been on IMAX up until now have been shot on 35mm and blown up to IMAX size.

14 July 2008

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Spanks - 3

Director - Eric Brevig

Writers - Michael Weiss, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin

Starring - Brendan Fraser, Anita Briem, and Josh Hutcherson

Release Date - 11 July 2008

MPAA Rating - PG

Journey to the Center of the Earth is in 3D but only in selected theaters. The reason being is the theater must have a Dolby Digital Cinema projection system. It uses a technology called RealD, check thier website for a theater near you. Any other theater will be a regular movie projected off of a film print. To give you a heads up, you might have to pay an extra dollar or two to see it in 3D.

Journey to the Center of the Earth is based off the Jules Verne book, but is set in the present and not 1864 when the book was written. There are refrences to those characters in the film. The film stars Brendan Fraser as a volcanologist whose lab is about to lose its funding. His nephew comes to stay with him and is giving some of his dead brothers stuff which includes a copy of the book Journey to the Center of the Earth with various notes written throughout. It leads them to Iceland where they meet Hannah who is thier mountain guide. And so begins their Journey to the Center of the Earth.

If you go see this, do so in 3D, and only in 3D. As a regular movie it is nothing special and wouldn't be worth the 9 dollars. It is a family movie so expect cheesey dialogue and cheesey action sequences, but there are some good action sequences and some funny scenes. Parts of the movie were slow for me and I was more interested in trying to figure out how the 3D works. Visually the film is great, and they created some fantastic visuals and the 3D does enhance this world as things jump off the screen in your face.

You have to keep in mind that this is the first live action movie to use this 3D technology and it can only get better. Over the next few years many films, mostly animated, are going to be in RealD 3D.

09 July 2008


Spanks - 3.5

Director - Peter Berg

Writers - Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan

Starring - Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman

Release Date - 2 July 2008

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Peter Parker's Aunt May said "with great power comes great responsibility"... something that nobody ever told Hancock. Will Smith plays a man who can not be harmed who helps the city of Los Angeles, but with no car for the destruction that occurs from saving the day. He is also an alcoholic who doesn't care what people think of him. One sunny afternoon after stopping an SUV led car chase down a freeway he stops a train that is about to crush a car driven by a publicist called Ray (Jason Bateman) who afterwords decides to fix Hancock's image for saving his life. There is more to it, but I won't saying anything as to not give anything away.

In the time when super-hero movie are the summer blockbusters year after year, Hancock looks at super-heroism from a different view. The view that crosses your mind even though your no supposed too. The damage caused as a result of saving the day. The result is a very funny movie (but not as funny as Get Smart, and I am sure a million times funnier then Meet Dave) filled with super-hero sized battles and special effects (almost as good as The Incredible Hulk, and a million times better than Daredevil). Check it out if your looking for a fun movie that you and your girlfriend who hates super-hero films will enjoy.

07 July 2008


Spanks - 4

Director - Andrew Stanton

Writer - Andrew Stanton

Voices - John Ratzenberger, Sigourney Weaver, Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin, Ben Burtt, and Elissa Knight

Release Date - 27 June 08

MPAA Rating - G

is the third Pixar movie Andrew Stanton has directed and the sixth he has written. I must say it is the most original of all of them. It is also very different then all the movies made now because there is very minimal dialogue throughout the entire film (there is only eight different voices in the entire 98 minute film). It is awesome that Pixar is not afraid to try something different. This is also the first Pixar film that incorporates a live action character.

The film is science fiction with many references to classic sci-fi films, but it is more importantly a love story. Wall*E is the last robot still active whose task is to clean up the Earth while all the humans are on the spaceship Axiom. He develops a personality and starts collecting human idoms includeing a VHS tape of Hello Dolly. He comes in contact with probe EVE and falls for her. EVE completes her directive and is picked up and taken back to the Axiom, but Wall*E won't let her go and follows her back. On the Axiom all the humans are fat and lazy and just watch tv and eat all day with not a care in the world to get back home. EVE's realizes here directive isn't compete when she arives on the ship and with the help of Wall*E works to complete it.

Like all Pixar films it has a deeper message for you to take from it and I take on of them one as just be yourself. If you do not have kids, you will still enjoy the movie, as it is more grown up then the previous Pixar films. I look forward to see what Pixar does next to keep animated movies original and ahead of all the rest.

The short attached to Wall E was the best yet. It is called Presto and its about a magician trying to pull a rabbit out of his hat.