They made a Miami Vice movie with no pastel colors or Jan Hammer? I’m sorry, you lost me. At least there is a Ferrari (a gray one). Michael Mann fashioned this movie like his “gritty” past few movies, such as Heat and Collateral, enough so that it has very little in common with the TV show (at least the good years). Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell do passable jobs as Rico and Sonny, but they can’t save this movie. After 20 minutes, I had no idea what was going on, and not in the way that would make me want to watch more.
Before Sam Raimi made his trillions on the Spider-Man franchise, he made a different trilogy of films, starting with The Evil Dead and ending with this classic here. The story follows Bruce Campbell as Ash, who is sucked through time and space to 13th-century England. In order to get back, he needs to acquire the Necronomicon ex Mortis. He botches the job and unleashes an army of undead. If it sounds ridiculous, it is. It’s also hysterically funny. You don’t need to have seen The Evil Dead or Evil Dead II to get this movie, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
Between "message" pictures, a little sunshine, and a long-frustrated bandwagon for director Martin Scorsese, Dreamgirls was not nominated this year for a Best Picture Oscar. But it was, nevertheless, one of the best movies of 2006, and one of the most highly anticipated video releases of 2007. The Blu-ray discs are reviewed here. An HD DVD version, with identical contents, is also available, as well as two standard definition DVD sets.
A seemingly random death initially appears to be unrelated to a devastating New Orleans ferry bombing that kills over 500 people. While the body is discovered in the same area as the explosion, and the cause of death is consistent with the tragedy, it turns up hours before the disaster. As Federal agent Doug Carlin investigates both the random death and the bombing, however, he suspects a connection. He soon has the opportunity to use a state-of-the art surveillance system that can seemingly look in on the most private and inaccessible activities, hoping that it will help him prove a link between the two events.
Extras: 2 Lethal Weapon has been the paradigm of cop movies ever since its release in 1987. This is mainly because the film is more about the relationship between Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) than the plot. That’s not to say that the plot doesn’t hold up. Far from it. Lethal Weapon grabs you from the beginning and never lets go. With a supporting criminal cast of Gary Busey and character actor Mitchell Ryan, the performances all around are incredible.
Do you ever think about how implausible the plots of mystery books and movies are? So does Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Writer/director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) adapts, in part, Brett Halliday’s mystery novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them. Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey, Jr.) finds himself in the middle of a seemingly simple murder mystery within his first day out in Los Angeles. But Harry knows mysteries are never simple. He soon gets sucked in, along with Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) and Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), trying to find how multiple murders are linked before his is next. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a highly enjoyable dark comedy that turns murder mysteries on their head. The performances are engaging, especially Robert Downey, Jr.’s narration, and all the actors handle the quick banter superbly.
Yes, I know it’s stupid, sophomoric, and about two dumb guys doing some fancy driving in an old muscle car, but that’s what makes it great! OK, maybe “great” is too strong a word. It makes me laugh and has some of the best precision driving since Ronin. I wrote the DVD review for this movie a few months ago, and I really can’t think of anything else to say about it. Bo and Luke have to—I don’t know—save Uncle Jesse’s farm or something.
There’s something inherently fascinating about watching someone who is unquestionably the best at what they do. Bruce Lee was just incredible to watch, and, regardless of the quality of the films he was in, they are worth watching just to marvel at his greatness. Enter the Dragon, ostensibly about a martial-arts competition put on by one bad dude, is really just a showcase for one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen.
They say there's nothing new under the sun, and nothing drives home that old adage like the birth of a new format or two. The first movies that come out on a new format invariably aren't the Citizen Kanes, or even the Titanics of film history. No, it's the star-studded action warhorses that are considered at least somewhat tried and true that are trotted out by the studios.
Note: I experienced playback issues with the first screener of this disc sent to me by universal. Trying to play the first copy of this disc in the Toshiba HD-XA2 (with the very latest firmware) I got an error message to the affect that the disc was not the correct format and it wouldn't play. However, that copy did play in the HD-A20 I just received for review. The second copy sent from Universal played in both players. There have been similar reports online.
Bond is back, and he's a bad man. Yes, 007 has blond hair and blue eyes for the first time, but it's his character that takes on much darker tones here. His license to kill is his primary occupation, not a smart-ass tagline and Daniel Craig is almost feral under the cool veneer of James Bond. This remarkable and gritty new entry takes the series out of the realm of gadgets (no Q anywhere to be found) and special effects, and back into the realm of hard, breathtaking physical stunts, which is something director Martin Campbell, of Mask of Zorro fame, excels at. Even the theme song is grungy, being sung by former Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell. And it's exhilirating from the opening foot chase to the finale. Not only is Bond back, I can't wait for him to return!
What a fun surprise this turned out to be! Night at the Museum stars Ben Stiller as Larry, a wannabe entreprenuer who just can't make it happen for himself. His ex-wife is remarried, and Larry's son Nick now wants to be a straight business man like his step-Dad. Seeking to impress Nick that he's a reliable Dad, Larry grabs a job as the night watchman at the Museum of Natural History. There's something immediately off about the orientation given to Larry by the outgoing trio of watchmen (led by Dick Van Dyke in an inspired turn), not to mention the oddly thick packet of hand written job instructions they hand him.
Oddly enough, I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, at least in its original form. Kneel before Zod! Most of this movie was shot concurrently with the original Superman, but the producers took it away from director Richard Donner and made it more comic-bookish by putting it into the hands of a new and mostly disliked director, Richard Lester. The punished trio from the beginning of the first movie break free and decide to take over Earth. Superman does what he does and makes Terrence Stamp cry.
Thanks to two remarkable films, I've learned more about penguins in the past few weeks than I ever thought I needed to know. The first, March of the Penguins was a surprising hit when it played theatrically in 2005, winning an Oscar that year as the best documentary feature. The second, Happy Feet (review following), won an Oscar as the best animated feature of 2006.