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Star Trek (2009)
Thought Star Trek sucked until this f@ss kicking flick
Saw the film at the $1.50 bargain theater this weekend only because it was not my turn to pick the flick. BEFORE the film I hated the 60's series, ignored all the other Trek films and pretty much thought the whole saga sucked big time! This 2009 version kicked @ss and held my attention from start to finish. All the characters were well casted and Nimoy as Spock was great! The special fx were outstanding. Sorry for decades of doubting Trekkies but as the saying goes..."comes a time". This does not mean I will become a complete Trekkie. If there is a sequel I will definitely be there opening weekend.
If you have not seen it, you are missing a highly entertaining film.
Michael Clayton (2007)
One of Clooney's best !
Important advice if you watch this flick....PAY ATTENTION! Use the pause button if your eyes have to leave the screen. Outstanding acting, writing, and directing make this flick a worthy DVD investment.
George Clooney and a excellent cast shine in this legal eagle drama. Sydney Pollack is terrific. There are no dropping anvils that lead you to a "hey, I got it all figured out" realization early in the film even after the Clayton's car blows up. Well worth all the Oscar nominations received. Clooney as the protagonist keeps drama moving.
BTW....don't blink or you will miss Maggie Siff as a lawyer in the firm delivering a one-liner to Clooney's Clayton near the end. She is an up and coming actress, lately cast as sexy Rachel Menken in AMC's Mad Men.
Career crook escapes from Feds (several times) to hunt serial killer
This flick was both surprising and disappointing for several reasons.
Short summary of this B Movie saga is career crook and absentee father Tyler Pearce( Michael Madsen) busts outta a transport van on his way to the state pen to look for the serial killer that whacked his daughter. Seems as if the bumbling FBI Special-Agent-In-Charge (hhehheehe) played by Bokeem Woodbine couldn't track a dime store thief. Old Tyler gets help in the search in more ways than one from a call girl with ethics played by Jamie Luner. One positive aspect is there are no anvils falling for the first half of the flick that give away the killer's identity. But unfortunately there are too many what tha ^&*(! scenes in this flick.
Bonuses: 1. Michael Madsen does not prance around to a classic rock song and slice off anyone's ear (Reservoir Dogs) 2. Jamie Luner's smoking body in the sack time with Madsen ( great diet and gym time on full exhibit here...doubt the gal eats Big Macs) 3. No fake a$$ Southern accents by Madsen or Luner. 4. Diane Farr is hard to recognize at first except for her eyes.... she was a real hottie as Laura Miles in FX's Rescue Me four years later.
Downers: 1. Mutilation of women 2. Terrible gun play scenes ( a first year film student could have directed some scenes better) 3. Too little Luner and too much Madsen lumbering around as if he's just left happy hour. 4. Too many stupid quips between the FBI agents.
Watch if you are a Luner lover, a fan of Madsen's brooding, or just looking for a semi drama-semi slasher flick that requires you to be only partially lucid while viewing this flick.
The Valley of Light (2007)
Good script, excellent acting, and beautiful cinematography
This little gem (scheduled to be out on DVD February 15 at select Hallmark Stores)will make a great addition to any DVD collection. Just the basics here: WWII vet Noah Locke (Chris Klein) returns home to find a world of change on the home front, ala "The Best Years of Our Lives", and he must take his life in a new direction. A kind old gent Hoke Moore (Robert Prosky) directs him to the valley where a change of his life's direction is offered.
Great job by Gretchen Mol as the leading lady Eleanor Chatwin. Mol's character undergoes changes of her own after meeting Noah. She is a widow of a WWII vet who ended his life upon returning home from the war and her life is a closed loop. Between caring for her late husband's grandmother(who seems to survive on chocolate bars) and running the farm, she appears to have little else in her life. Just compare the change in her physical appearance from their initial meeting in a general store to the the scene of a good old' sit down catfish dinner in her home....Southern Style!
A terrific supporting cast rounds out this Hallmark Hall of Fame gem. The filming locations in Oregon and California fill in nicely for rural, post WWII North Carolina.
Tragedy strikes both their lives and threatens to end the blossoming romance between Noah and Eleanor. Noah soon realizes that he was guided to the valley. Several media critics panned this flick, but it came in at #10 for the week in the ratings, tied with "24", so see it for yourself and make your own decision.
The Perfect Marriage (2006)
Leopards can't change their spots.......Money/power hungry psychos simmer just below radar range!
First and foremost....kudos to Jamie Luner for a great performance as a she-devil Dr. Jekyl and Mrs. Hyde character. ( A HUGE improvement from her two previous Lifetime flicks where she was the resident heroine-in-peril.) This outing made a good bookend to the other end, "Blind Injustice". I posted on these very IMDb message boards that she should cease with the heroine-in-peril scripts, so I now feel vindicated...she is a heroine about as much as Theresa Russell was in " Black Widow". This was a pretty good effort on Ms. Luner's part.
The short saga of this flick is a greedy wife Annie (Luner), with the help of a equally conniving back door man Brent( James Wilder in sleepwalking mode) scheme and kill Hub #1 for 250K in insurance money. Predictably, back door man Brent burns through about 90% of her share AND his. Fast forward several years and Annie(now known as Marianne)has new identity, new hub Richard (William R. Moses), high social status, and loads of money. Life is a bowl of cherries until back door man Brent shows up through the front door and Marianne returns to her scheming, murderous ways. Hint: This closet psycho loves potassium chloride and syringes....watch out for those nasty air bubbles! The body count is up to three by the time she sets out to waste her hub's co-worker Tia who is on to her nasty past.(Unbeknownest to Tia, Marianne is out to waste Richard too)
Above average chase scene at the end in a parking garage. Jamie Luner does some great, open field running in boots for a gal of her height, 5'9".(I swear she could run the 50 yard dash faster than some guys) Credit the director for NOT having her character fall several times and bust her tush on a slick parking garage floor....which is predictable in some scripts.
Catch it on Lifetime when it repeats, it was better than most thriller TV-movies you will see on any of the big three networks.