Thursday, June 30, 2011

Matchstick Men (2003)

Roy Waller is a con artist (and a very good one at that) who lives in Los Angeles and works alongside his partner/protege Frank Mercer. Roy has several disorders that include agoraphobia, mysophobia, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and a tic disorder which sometimes interferes with his work. Frank suggests for him to see someone about his problems. So Roy visits Doctor Harris Klein where he starts talking about his past relationship with a woman whom he got pregnant. He tries to track her down, but she doesn't want to talk to him. However his fourteen year old daughter Angela wants to meet him. Before long she shows up at his house and starts spending time with him, and going along with him when he's conning other people. I think Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell make a great team and give equally great performances in this comedy/drama; as well as impressive newcomer Alison Lohman as Roy's long lost daughter. Starring Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell, Bruce Altman, Bruce McGill 8/10

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead (1991)

When Mrs. Crandell decides to take a much needed two month vacation to Australia, she hires a live-in babysitter Mrs. Sturak to watch her five kids. Needless to say it totally ruins her daughter Sue Ellen "Swell" plans to go to Europe for the summer. As soon as she's gone, Mrs. Sturak turns into the babysitter from hell, ordering them around like a drill sergeant and assigning them to chores. When she discovers to see just how messy the house is, she ends up dying from shock. It's up to the kids to fend for themselves for two months, except they can't find where the money is that their mom gave to the babysitter. So Sue Ellen has to get a job to support the rest of the kids until their mother gets back. A cute and funny movie; the actress who plays the babysitter is really creepy, and Christina Applegate is great as the teenager turned career woman. Starring Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, John Getz, Josh Charles, Concetta Tomei, David Duchovny 7/10

Monday, June 27, 2011

JFK (1991)

It's New Orleans, November 22, 1963. The assassination of the President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is shown on television. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and his team begin to investigate possible suspects who may have been part of a conspiracy to kill the president; including private pilot David Ferrie, alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby who killed Oswald. With an all-star cast, this is a very intriguing film about a very significant time that impacted America. It was adapted by director Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Joe Pesci, Brian Doyle-Murray, Donald Sutherland, John Candy, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Wayne Knight, Vincent D'Onofrio 8/10

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ransom (1996)

Tom Mullen is a millionaire airline owner. He attends a science fair in Central Park with his wife Kate and son Sean one day when suddenly and without any warning Sean mysteriously vanishes. Not soon after Tom and Kate get a message on their computer that their son has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom in the amount of two million dollars. The FBI are contacted and arrive at Mullen's penthouse to help to get back their son. Tom wants to pay the ransom but when he goes to bring the money things go wrong. As the hours go by, tensions rise and Tom risks his son's life by not negotiating with the kidnapper, instead appearing on a live broadcast to tell the kidnapper that the ransom money is now going to be a two million dollar bounty. An intense and chilling thriller, and I think one of Mel Gibson's finest performances. Starring Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise, Donnie Wahlberg, Lili Taylor, Delroy Lindo, Liev Schreiber 7/10

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Smokin' Aces (2007)

FBI Agents Richard Messner and Donald Carruthers are assigned to travel to Las Vegas to get to showman/illusionist Buddy "Aces" Israel before the ex-cons, assassins and hit men bump him off first. It's a race against time between the good and the bad guys; but the agents have no idea that their Deputy Director Locke has other matters on his mind regarding Israel, until one of them is killed and the other discovers the secret that brings the film to a shocking conclusion. With unbelievable stunts, amazing special effects and a smokin' hot cast, this action packed film is one that you won't easily forget. Starring Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Alicia Keys, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Common, Ryan Reynolds 7/10

Monday, June 20, 2011

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997)

Romy White and Michele Weinberger have been best friends since high school. They live together and do everything together. But their memories from way back when are horrible and embarrassing. So when Romy recognizes a girl whom she went to school with, she finds out about their ten year reunion. However they're not sure they want to go, because their lives aren't anything impressive. So Romy has an idea before the reunion to get fit and find better jobs. But it doesn't quite work out so they just dress up in fancy suits and pretend to be business women to impress their classmates. Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino are like the female versions of Harry and Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, but they have such wonderful appeal in this terrific comedy about being true to yourself and not caring what people may think about you. Starring Mira Sorvino, Lida Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo, Alan Cumming, Julia Campbell 6/10

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Speak (2004)

It's Melinda Sordino's first day as a high school freshman and she is feeling out of place. Everyone thinks she's a depressed and weird freak and she is almost constantly picked out, she doesn't even talk to her ex-best friend Rochelle anymore. The reason why is because she called the police the summer before when she was at a party, now everyone in school thinks of her as a squealer. The only thing Melinda enjoys is art class and drawing to express herself. Backtracking from past to present, with Melinda narrating throughout the film, Kristen Stewart is really wonderful as the outcast whose frustrated about school/life/family/boys with a shocking secret that she's too scared to tell anyone about. Have I mentioned how awesome Steve Zahn is in this movie, playing the art teacher? Based on the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. Starring Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Perkins, D.B. Sweeney, Steve Zahn 8/10

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forever Young (1992)

The year is 1939, Daniel McCormick is a test pilot who likes to be daring, but he can't seem to get up the courage to ask his girlfriend Helen to marry him. But when she gets hit by a car and falls into a coma, which the doctors aren't sure she'll wake up from, Daniel has a plan. His best friend Harry had been experimenting with freezing chickens and bringing them back to life, so Daniel goes to Harry and asks him to freeze himself for a year and if she gets better to wake him up. 53 years later, the year is now 1992. A young boy named Nat Cooper and his friend Felix go playing around in a military warehouse when they discover the metal capsule that Daniel is been sleeping in. Thinking he's dead, Nat and Felix run off. Daniel thaws out and to Nat's horror shows up at his house. They let him stay in Nat's tree house and help him to track down Harry, but without much success, and assumes that Helen is dead. Until things get even more complicated when the military finds out about him. An emotional romantic story about seizing the moment and second chances, with little bits of humor that make for a great combination. Starring Mel Gibson, George Wendt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood, Joe Morton 8/10

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Great Expectations (1998)

Finnegan "Finn" Bell is a young boy who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. One morning he goes to explore when he unexpectedly has an encounter with a escaped criminal, threatening him to not tell anyone about him. So Finn helps him but when they go out on a boat the police sail by and he is eventually sent back to prison. Later on Finn accompanies his uncle to Paradiso Perduto (meaning lost paradise) owned by the rich Nora Dinsmoor. He sees a young girl named Estella in the garden. Dinsmoor calls Finn's mother and asks for him to spend time with her niece Estella, as a playmate for her, but she doesn't seem to like him. As the young girl and boy grow up, Finn becomes entranced by Estella, but Dinsmoor warns him that she'll only break his heart. Estella leaves for school without saying goodbye to him. Seven years later, Finn is a painter traveling to New York to have a show displaying his artwork when he reunites with Estella again. She asks him to draw her, and he longs to be with her, despite finding out that she's already engaged to another man. Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, this is an unforgettable story of love and obsession; Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow are remarkable, as is Bancroft as the heavily makeup-ed, eccentric Miss Dinsmoor. Starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert DeNiro, Anne Bancroft, Chris Cooper, Hank Azaria 8/10

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Birds (1963)

Melanie Daniels is a wealthy socialite who visits a San Francisco shop one day when she sees a swarm of birds in the air. Thinking nothing of it, she walks into the shop to pick them up when meets a man who asks her about lovebirds for his sister's birthday. She pretends she's a salesperson but she isn't convincing seeing as how she names the birds wrong. He reveals that he knows who she is and that he has seen her before. Next day, Melanie brings the lovebirds to Mitch Brenner (the man she encountered in the store) but he's away at Bodega Bay where he's staying with his mother and sister, so Melanie drives over there to surprise him with the lovebirds. But when she rents a boat and goes over to surprise him, a seagull swoops down and cuts her on the head. Over the course of the next few days, Melanie, Mitch, his mother Lydia and younger sister Cathy are the subject of a series of vicious and violent attacks that soon brings a widespread panic. A nail-biting suspense thriller as only the legendary Alfred Hitchcock can deliver, you'll never look at birds the same way again after seeing this one. Starring Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Tippi Hedren 9/10

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

Plummer plays Doctor Parnassus, who travels around performing a magic show with his daughter Valentina, along with friends Anton and Percy. Parnassus had made a deal with the Devil for everlasting life and powers, in exchange any child who reached sixteen would belong to him. One night Valentina discovers a man hanging under a bridge and saves his life, but later on when he comes to he doesn't remember who he is, so she names him George and he travels along with Parnassus. But there is more than meets the eye, for behind a simple mirror is a world of beauty and imagination that one only dreams of. An astonishing visual adventure, Plummer is remarkable as is Ledger, in his last film role. Starring Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law 8/10

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)

Jed Clampett and his poor family live in a shack in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. Until he's out hunting one morning when he strikes black oil and becomes a billionaire. So when his cousins suggest going to someplace posh to live, they pack up and move to Beverly Hills, California. But seeing as how they are new and naive when it comes to living rich, there are plenty of con-artists who want to take advantage. A hilarious and fun rags to riches story; if you liked the original television show of the same name, you'll love this movie! Starring Jim Varney, Dabney Coleman, Lily Tomlin, Cloris Leachman, Erika Eleniak, Lea Thompson, Rob Schneider, Diedrich Bader 6/10

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)

Terry Doolittle is a computer operator who works in a bank in Manhattan. She leads a seemingly normal life until one day when someone taps into her computer system named "Jack", claiming to be from British Intelligence and needs her help. Before she knows it, she is going on assignments for Jack, whom she's never even met face to face and getting involved in the dangerous world of espionage and international intrigue, while trying not to get herself killed in the process. One of my favorite movies that Whoopi has done; she's brassy, lovable and wonderfully funny in this spy comedy. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Collins, John Wood,Peter Michael Goetz, Jim Belushi, Annie Potts, Jon Lovitz 7/10

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim is a young man who plays in a rock band, and despite what his friends think he is dating a seventeen-year old high schooler named Knives Chau. Until an encounter at the library, when Scott sees the girl of his dreams with pink hair and falls in love almost instantly. He sees her again at a party and finds out her name is Ramona Flowers. Not long afterward he starts dating her while still going with Knives. But when Ramona's exes (seven in all) start popping up, Scott has to fight them for the girl he loves. A fast paced and unusual movie with some very funny jokes that is just like being inside a huge video-game. Michael Cera is great as the eccentric Scott, whose personality and insecurity resembles that of a Woody Allen character. Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin 7/10

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985)

Pee-Wee is an unusual man who still acts like a child and plays with toys. He lives with his dog Speck and owns a shiny red bicycle that he loves more than anything in the world. His jealous neighbor Francis Buxton offers to buy his bike from him, but Pee-Wee refuses to sell it. After Pee-Wee goes to the bike shop to pick up a horn, he discovers that his bike has been stolen. He suspects Francis and goes to his house to demand it back. However Francis already got rid of it. So begins Pee-Wee's quest to find and get back his beloved bicycle. He visits a supposed psychic that tells him that his bike is in the basement of The Alamo. On the way to San Antonio, Texas he meets Simone, a waitress who dreams of one day going to Paris. Thinking that Simone and Pee-Wee are together, her jealous boyfriend Andy goes after Pee-Wee, but he flees into a boxcar of a moving train. When he finally makes it to San Antonio, he finds out that there is no basement at the Alamo. A funny and enjoyable movie with some good jokes but may seem silly to most. Not for small children for there are some disturbing scenes, most especially Pee-Wee's clown nightmare and his encounter with "Large Marge". Starring Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger, Judd Omen 7/10

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Look Who's Talking (1989)

Mollie is an accountant who has an affair with Albert, one of her clients. Only problem is he's still married but tells her he's going to leave her. When she finds out she's pregnant with his child she tells everyone that she was artificially inseminated. Nine months later she goes into labor and meets James the cab driver when he drives her to the hospital. Albert ends up having a fling with his decorator and breaks up with Mollie, leaving her to raise her son Mikey on her own. When James shows up with Mollie's wallet that she left in his cab, she hires him to be the babysitter while she tries to find a father for Mikey. But Mikey doesn't like the guys she goes out with and wants James to be his daddy. A cute and charming comedy; Bruce Willis is hilarious as the voice of Mikey. Starring John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis, George Segal, Abe Vigoda, Bruce Willis 7/10