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“Bee Movie” is good. Go watch it.
And, watch this report from 60 Minutes.
Part 1
(there’s a brief ‘pause’ in the video partway through…just wait for it…)

Part2

1/3 of the bees in this country have disappeared.
I repeat – 1/3 of the bees in this country have disappeared.

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Haven’t done a movie review post in awhile…so here goes.

In no particular order:

The Constant Gardener

I read the book a couple of years ago and liked it, even though it wasn’t the typical John le Carre ‘Spy Thriller’. And, with knowing the plot beforehand, I was able to concentrate more completely during the movie on the cinematography, directing and acting. All in, it’s a good film. I would give it five stars. I question why Rachel Weisz received an Oscar for her portrayal, though. I suspect it was because she was very pregnant (apparently) while filming took place. But, her appearance on screen never really seemed to me to be Oscar worthy. (Moderate Spoiler Alert – There is a pretty heavy liberal/anti corporation/ bias in the film.) It’s a ‘thinker’ drama and worth the time spent watching it.

Broken Flowers

I will always love Bill Murray. Period. And, the characters he plays in movies are wonderful and complex (although flawed). His talent for playing these types of characters is amazing. While he may be better known as a comedic actor, it’s his acting in dramas that is especially good, in my opinion. Consider this list (all of which I have seen and recommend) – “The Razors Edge” “Lost in Translation“, “Groundhog Day“, “The Life Aquatic” and “Rushmore“. All present a philosophical dilemma. And, Bill Murray’s characterization in each is brilliant. I would give Broken Flowers five stars as well. It’s a good flick…well written…with a a good message…worth the time.

Nacho Libre

Silly fun. Jack Black once again does his stchick. I think he’s funny. The film is funny. I’ll give it four stars.

Mission Impossible 3

I really hope this is the last in the series…because I hated it. Sure, the effects and gadgets and impossible missions were there. Sure, it was full of action. But, Tom Cruise is just annoying. His grin is annoying. His ‘mean look’ is annoying. His entire performance was annoying. I give it one star. Skip it.

16 Blocks

Bruce Willis is a VERY good actor. And, this movie shows it. I give it four stars. The plot was interesting and suspenseful, even if it was a little stereotypical. The bad guys were authentic. Mos Def stole the show, though, in my opinion. As good as Bruce Willis was in the film, Mos Def was better. If you are interested in the NYC Police Drama type of film, this one is worth seeing.

Lucky Number Slevin

It seems that lately Hollywood is fond of the deceptive crime drama. I call it the ‘Lost Effect’ after the popular TV show. Essentially, these are plots that are full of twists and turns that keep the audience guessing right until the very end. The audience is savvy…so, the movie has to be smart. And, for this one, it works very well. Again Bruce Willis does a fine job. And, with Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley in supporting roles, you know it has to be good. But, it is Josh Hartnett that carries this film…and he does a wonderful job. It’s a very good film and I give it five stars.

Tristan and Isolde

I didn’t know the legend of Tristan and Isolde before seeing the film and had to look it up on wikipedia. Essentially it is Romeo and Juliet in medieval England/Ireland…but with an adultery angle. The story is a good one and it plays well for a movie. This movie, though, could have been better. It lacked authenticity. It lacked emotion. And, while I did enjoy it, I didn’t think it was great. So, I give it three stars.

Enjoy…

saw this trailer last night…

am definitely gonna see this movie.

have luved everything jason statham has been in…(“lock, stock and 2 smoking barrels”, “snatch”, “the italian job”, and both “transporter” flicks)…he’s a great action hero/anti hero…CRANK looks equally COOL!!

I find it a little funny how often the Fatboy Slim “Right Here, Right Now” tune is used in movie trailers…

Because of the recent movie review here, I thought I’d add one to the ‘sphere.

I saw Syriana.

Since it always seems to be that whenever I review a movie I say ‘watch it’, I figure I should explain why. Well, I only review the ones I think are worth watching and recommending. Syriana fits that criteria too. It is a movie worth watching and I highly recommend it.

I knew I’d like it. So, maybe I’m biased. I knew I’d like it because it is a story worth telling.

The actors give fine performances. The plot and cinematography are excellent. The conclusion is…well, I won’t give away the ending…at least not of the movie itself.

It is hard to follow in places. There are a lot of characters in which to keep track. And, since it based on the book, “See No Evil”, I suppose I’ll have to read the book in order to get the complete ‘picture’. Don’t let that dissuade you from seeing the film, though. The film gets the point across.

And, what is that point? It cam be summed up as follows…

One person dies for what he believes.

One person dies because of what he believes.

One person dies to give his life meaning.

One person changes his beliefs because of people dying.

And, the rest? The ones in between?
The rest will die because they only believe in themselves.

It is a sad indictment of humanity. The good and the evil. The life we choose on this planet. The choices we make as individuals and as members of society. It is sad that dying for/because of/to give beliefs is necessary.

Would you die for your beliefs? Would you be killed for your beliefs?

Or would you keep doing what you have always done?

Me? I have taken the easy road many times. I have rationalized it with “discretion is the better part of valor”. I have talked myself into believing that “choosing your battles” and “keeping a sense of humor” is more noble. I have avoided the “dying for your beliefs”…even figuratively…at nearly every turn. I recognize my choices…and regret many.

Midway through the movie, I turned it off. I didn’t like the direction the movie was taking. I didn’t like the message. And, specifically because I’m a parent, I couldn’t bear to watch a child in the movie die. I couldn’t handle the sick feeling watching that scene gave me.

The next day I turned it back on and finished it. But, I was changed nonetheless.

Movies should do that to us. Stories should do that. Sure, sometimes we simply need stories to provide a momentary suspension from reality. Sometimes we need a laugh. Maybe we need a catharsis. But, for the most part, movies should make us think.

Syriana does that.

It makes you realize every fight in the history of mankind is about resources. They are fights between the haves and the have nots. They are about survival.

Take the news today. Isreal and Hezbollah. It is fight about resources.

Yes. Religion and Idealogy and Politics and Ethnicity are always used as the resons for these fights. But, at their base, they are still about resources.

Fighting for something in which we believe. Fighting to provide resources to the ones for which we are willing to die.

Syriana is sad because it tells us that humanity is cursed.

Last weekend I took the kids to see Cars.

Bottom line – it is a very good movie. It has a wonderful "message" and GREAT animation. The story is fun. The characters are neat and believable. The hidden messages (for the adults) are interesting. Anyone could like this movie. Anyone with an interest in cars, racing, 'neck-car', and the changing face of America will like this movie.

That said, it's not a good movie for kids under five. The jokes and message are lost on them. And, it's too long.

Yes, I took a chance by taking a youngster to a 2 hour movie. It was the first one of this kind of length they'd seen, so lesson learned. But, since there hadn't been an issue with previous trips to the theatre, it was a little surprising nonetheless.

So, if you're reading this and don't need to be concerned about kids getting bored in movies, pay no attention. If you are reading this and needed one last recommendation, here it is. Go see the movie. Pixar has another hit.

I took the LilOnes to see the new Over The Hedge animated film on Friday. As an adult, I thought it was very funny and well done. As a parent, I thought it was appropriate for the kids. I'd recommend this film.

Some of the jokes were a little advanced for the age of my kids. Like Shrek, there are some things obviously included just for the benefit of the adults in the audience. But, all in, they were laughing during the film, they talked about the various scenes in the movie the next day, and they asked to go see it again.

Here are the trailers for the film, if you need 'em…

I have a feeling the DVD will be on the list for Christmas!

Every article/review of the movie, The Wild, is required to mention Madagascar. I'm not sure why, though. Apparently there was a memo that went out or something…

I took the kids to see The Wild at the theatre recently. They enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. It's a good flick. (Not having seen Madagascar, I don't feel qualified to compare the two movies.) The Wild is good. Go see it.

Full Disclosure – It gets a little tedious about two-thirds of the way through. The kids started to fidget. And, it gets a little scary right near the end. They wanted to sit on my lap at that point. But, for the record, it's no scarier than Lion King. (I told 'em to suck it up and tough it out…"geesh, it's just a movie, ya little brats!!!") There isn't the wonderful music soundtrack like was in Curious George…and, there's very little humor like was in Monsters, Inc. or Chicken Little. But, the plot is good. The animation is good. And, the characters are ready made for the McDonalds Happy Meal…

I've been a huge fan of the Sopranos since the beginning. Unlike most things that achieve a huge fan following, I didn't "miss the train" on this one. I love the premise. I think the acting and writing are excellent. And, while I don't condone the moral flexibility of the characters of the show, I do think it both entertaining to watch their struggles and socially beneficial to explore the implications for real life.

Four episodes into what is the final season, I have noticed some serious rumblings on the internet about the show. People are saying they don't like what has happened. They are saying it is boring so far. They are saying they don't get it.

I think they are already missing the show.

Transporter 2Jason Statham has been GREAT in every movie I have seen him do…including the two Transporter movies. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch may have been the movies that made Guy Ritchie famous, but it was Statham (in my opinion) that made the films. And, while the plot of Transporter 2 is formulaic and predictable, Statham's character is interesting and exciting to watch. If you are looking for an action flick, this is a good one to get.

Halfway through the WeatherMan, I turned it off. (The only other flick, btw, I have ever turned off midway was Green With Envy.) WeatherMan was a huge disappointment for me. I have always liked Nicholas Cage, but that attitude wasn't enough to keep me from hating this film. Schizo is the only word I can come up with to describe what happened in the half I saw. The attempt to be both funny and depracating/ironic failed miserably.

A History of Violence is one of the best films I have ever seen. Well acted. Well directed. Well written. It has it all. The message is powerful. The character development is perfectly executed. I could go on and on. Viggo Mortensen gives what I believe to be his best performance. Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt all provide excellent support. It is a very fine film.

Not every movie I view is a winner, unfortunately. Sometimes, there’s a lot of hype…big names stars are included…the concept seems to have potential…and then it turns out to be a DOA dud. This is the case with Wedding Crashers. It stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Suffice it to say that they didn’t stretch themselves at all. They act the parts that they always act. In reality, I’d assume these guys aren’t acting at all. They appear to be playing themselves. Which, if not for the fact that they have done like 20 movies a piece or so, would be fine. But, they have done lots of movies and the stchick is getting old. Read the rest of this entry »