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Raw, Gritty, and Stunning.
I was lucky enough to catch the last showing of "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" at my local theater, and man, was I surprised. I haven't seen a film with such an accurate and heart wrenching portraits of troubled youths since "Kids".
"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" gives us a glimpse into the life of Dito Montiel (Shia Labouf, with Robert Downey Jr. as the older version) growing up on the streets of Astoria, Queens in 1986. When he leaves for California, he leaves behind his best friend and resident tough guy Antonio (Channing Tatum, with Eric Roberts playing the older version), his caring mother (Diane Wiest) and tough love father (Chazz Palminteri), his girlfriend Laurie (Melonie Diaz, with Rosario Dawson as the older version), and pretty much everyone else he knew.
First time director Dito Montiel does a stellar job of establishing characters and their relationships. He also does a great job directing scenes that seem so real (thnks to some superb acting by the cast), it almost seems like a documentary. A huge round of applause goes to the cast for their performances.
The ending wasn't really cohesive with the script. I didn't leave knowing what happened with Dito and his family and friends. Other than that, there's not a single bad moment.
"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" is raw, gritty, and stunning. There's not a single disappointing scene in the movie.
The Chumscrubber (2005)
Someone needs to 'Scrub' the 'Chum' off of this movie
'The Chumscrubber' is a movie that tries, but unfortunately falls short of telling the story of crazy housewives and pill popping teenagers living in the chaos that we call the suburbs.
The story focuses on Dean (Jamie Bell), who's put on heavy prescription by his psychologist dad (William Fitchner) after his best friend hangs himself. And to top it all off, he gets wrapped up in an ordeal involving a $#@% load of drugs, and the dealers who hold his neighbor's kid captive. Meanwhile, Terri Bratley (Rita Wilson) is trying to plan a wedding while her fiancé, a.k.a the mayor (Ralph Finnes) is having some sort of strange epiphany.
There were 2 big problems with this movie. The first one was some of the acting in this movie. Camilla Belle, you are beautiful and talented judging from your other films, but you made me want to punch myself in the face while I watched you say your lines without moving a muscle in your pretty little face. Ralph Finnes played up the insanity in his character a little too much, it made me wonder why anyone would elect him as mayor. Thank God that the always lovely Glen Close and the best young actor out there, Jamie Bell, were in this to save it from being an F movie. The ending scene between the two of them was so enjoyable to watch, I forgot for a minute how bad the movie was.
The second, and probably most important flaw of the movie, was that nothing was explained. As a viewer, I was left at the end of the movie confused and wondering why certain things were put in the movie.
To sum it all up, even getting some of the best in the business might make your movie better, but not as much as you think.
Sky High (2005)
A Really Fun Movie
Sky High isn't exactly Casablanca, but it's still just a really nice fun movie. The plot revolves around Will and how he doesn't have super powers. Before I saw the movie, I thought "At least I'm getting paid to see this (for babysitting)." But by the end of the movie, I was very glad my little sister picked this movie. The cast was a great blend of some name actors for the adults (Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston and the very lovely Lynda Carter), and some fresh new and talented faces. The dialogue was great too. I thought there would be a lot of corny jokes, but they were all played out very well, some were actually very suddle, and I caught myself laughing till I cried. Also, some of the special effects were awesome! It's a great movie for kids, teenagers and parents to watch.
Stick It (2006)
A really good teen movie
"Stick It" was an unexpected but very pleasant surprise. I think Jessica Bendinger may be one of the next big writer/director combos. Jeff Bridges gives a stellar performance as Burt Vickerman, the tough love gymnastics coach. Everyone in this movie did a great job. The gymnastics was phenomenal, especially the scene where Way-Way does balance beam routine. The only thing that bugged me was the "walking out on the finals" thing. You spend the movie wondering what would make her do that, and then what you find out turns out to be still pretty bad, but not as bad as you thought it would be. Overall, it has a good message about conquering obstacles. I give it an 8.5/10.
National Treasure (2004)
A Great Adventure Movie
The movie is about a man named Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage), who has been searching for years for a treasure that can only be found with the clues that have been left behind. He also has the hep of his friend, Riley (Justin Bartha), and his love interest, Abigail (Diane Kruger). I'll admit that at times it's pretty unrealistic, but over-all, it's just a lot of fun. The jokes were funny and hardly ever cheesy, the writing was great as well as the acting. Nicolas Cage gives a great performance as Ben, Justin Bartha delivered each joke with great ease, and Diane Kruger couldn't have been more right for the part of Abigail. There were moments where I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen. I'm definitely going to buy this movie on DVD.
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Ridiculous, but hilarious, riotous fun!!
Scary Movie 4 is truly the epitome of the stupid humor movie, but that's what makes this so damn great.Everyone was perfectly cast. Anna Faris was perfect reprising her role as the bubbly Cindy Campbell,Kevin Hart and Anthony Anderson were back as the hilarious duo of CJ and Mahalik (along with a very funny Brokeback Mountain spoof), Leslie Nielson couldn't have been more awesome, and Carmen Electra was even funny! It's filled with dumb jokes, sexual references, and everything in pop culture that's happened in that last year. If you want to see Dr.Phil saw off his foot, or Carmen Electra taking a dump into an open up desk in front of the Village, this is definitely the movie for you!
Eight Below (2006)
The Dogs Stole the Movie!
I am a huge dog freak, so I was looking forward to this movie already to begin with. But I didn't expect it to be so touching. it's not just about sled dogs in Antartica, it's about survival, and the bond a person has with their dogs.
While the actors did well in the movie, the best performances in the movie came from the dogs, hands down. I know that makes me sound pretty crazy, but when you see this movie, you know it's true. This is an awesome movie for all ages. I went to go see it with my 20 and 30 year old friends, and this is now one of their favorite movies of all time (besides Dirty Dancing). I say this is a great movie for the whole family!
When a Stranger Calls (2006)
The Laugh Out Loud Comedy of the Year!!!
That's right folks, it was THAT bad.
The first 30 minutes is nothing but Jill going towards strange noises, turning out to be either the cat or Rosa, the maid. It's makes the 30 minutes seem like 30 hours. For half of the movie, me and my friends found ourselves compelled to shout "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, YOU MORON!!". For example, when Jill sees a light in the guest house, of course the smartest thing to do is TURN OFF the security system, leave the kids alone, and run slowly to the guest house. Yep, and run into a tree limb that could've easily been avoided on the way back to the house while you're at it!!! So many things were just done wrong. All the tension was fake, the cinematography was okay, The script was corny D grade writing, and the ending where she's in the hospital (that also bugged me, how they changed it so that she lived.) was a rip-off of Carrie. I feel bad for Camilla Belle. She was good in "The Ballad of Jack and Rose", but in this only one word comes to mind: "Ewwwwww".
If I can sum up this movie in one phrase, it would be this: It will probably be the worst movie of 2006
A Knight's Tale (2001)
I'm pretty sure they weren't singing "We Will Rock You" in the middle ages. But hey, what the heck!
********* This May Contain Some Spoilers****************
The first 5 minutes of the movie were a little bit of a turn off for me. I also got a little confused when I heard the infamous STOMP STOMP CLAP of Queen's " We Will Rock You", but then Iactually started to really enjoy it. Everyone gives great performances in the movie, and the fighting and jousting scenes are spectacular. I'm not really a Heath Ledger fan, but he did do exceptionally well in this movie. Plus I also love the scenery and the costumes. The climatic battle at the end of the movie between Heath Ledger and Rufus Sewell will have you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails. I'd say this is a good way to spend 2 hours and 10 minutes of your life.
Beautiful People (2005)
You're Missing Out if You're Not Watching.
Beautiful People is a great show with great writing and great acting and great everything else! Daphne Zuniga is awesome as Lynn Kerr, a single mom trying to make it in the fashion business. And Sarah Foret is actually very good also as Sophie Kerr, the youngest of the Kerrs. I will admit, sometimes she does over act a little bit. But only at some parts. Torrey DeVitto is my favorite of the three as Karen Kerr, an edgy and spunky girl who wants to be a model.
I like the rest of the cast equally as much. Overall, this show is just sometimes over dramatic, but still doesn't go way too over the top.
I've been missing it for a while, and I can't wait till the season premiere.
Just Like Heaven (2005)
Very Cute Movie!
Just Like Heaven is a great movie to see with anybody. Your sister, parents, friends boyfriend/girlfriend and everybody in between. It reminds me a little of an old romantic movie from the forties.
Reese Witherspoon gives a great performance as an uptight workaholic doctor. She gave every emotion without pushing it too much too the point where it looked fake.
Mark Ruffalo was probably the best performance in the whole movie. I don't think that any other actor in Hollywood would be better for this role.
Jon Heder wasn't that bad either. It's his first movie after Napoleon Dynamite, so it was pretty hard not to expect him say "Gosh!" or break out his "Sweet Dance Moves" at all during the movie, but he broke away from that role though.
All in all, I thought this was a great combination of humor, and good old fashioned romance. Great job Mark Waters!
'Rent' is a beautiful, mesmerizing, heart wrenching experience that will leave you cheering for more.
The opening sequence is enough to make any movie goer's eyes widen. The movie is made in a way that attracts people who aren't familiar with the musical, and also pleases the already strong fan base.
In the first ten minutes of the movie, you make an instant connection with all the characters. Which makes it even more tragic when Angel dies of AIDS. Honest to God, at least 20 people in the theater were crying during "I'll Cover You Reprise"
My expectations truly exceeded me this time. Chris Columbus deserves to be hailed for making this movie as it should be.
To sum it all up:
THIS MOVIE *&%$@#$%^ ROCKS!!!!!!
$11.50 for a ticket very well spent!!!
For me, the stand out performances were Nathan Fillion as Mal, Summer Glau as River, and Jewel Staite as Kaylee. They just seemed so much like people that you pass on the street everyday they were that real.
I happen to think that Nathan Fillion is very cute, his accent was probably the hottest thing about him, not that everything else wasn't bad. He isn't your typical action hero, but that's what I really liked about him. There seemed to be a small bit of vulnerability in him that slowly but surely made it's way up to the surface. Plus, he was just amazingly funny. Especially in this one scene that I won't give away because that wouldn't be good. Plus the chemistry between him and Morenna Baccarin as Inara is so great beyond words.
Summer Glau's fight scenes are probably some of he greatest fight scenes in about, well, ever. Her experience as a ballerina probably helped a lot. I think the hilarious thing is that if you just glanced at her without knowing her, you'd think she wouldn't harm a fly. Plus, her performance wasn't too over the top, but it wasn't too low key. It was the perfect place in between.
Jewel Statie as Kaylee reminded me of someone just like her, who secretly pines for the really handsome guy, the guy and was just a little clumsy, me. She was the character I could relate to the most out of all. She was funny, real, and a lot of fun to watch. That's why I was rooting for her through out the entire movie.
My final thoughts, and I promise I'll shut my trap. This is probably going to be the next big thing for Sci-Fi movies, a la Star Wars. I can't wait to see what all the actor's in this movie are going to do next, cause judging from what I saw, they've got a lot of good things coming for them. And finally, I'm hoping to god they make a sequel. Peace out:)