Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sin (2003)

Eddie Burns is a retired cop who lost the use of his left arm in the line of duty. When he finds out his junkie sister Kassie is violently raped and left for dead, Eddie takes the law into his own hands and vows to find who's responsible. What Eddie doesn't know is that a man from his past is connected with it. A sadistic man by the name of Charlie Strom; a producer of pornography movies, Charlie has been supplying the drugs for Kassie. Average dramatic thriller that feels like a modern-day western. Starring Gary Oldman, Ving Rhames, Brian Cox, Alicia Coppola, Kerry Washington, Bill Sage 6/10

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Copying Beethoven (2006)

Twenty-three year old Anna Holtz studied composition and aspires to become a composer one day, so she is honored when she gets the opportunity to transcribe Beethoven's work until the premiere of the Maestro's 9th symphony. Despite Beethoven's erratic behavior and eccentric nature, Anna thinks his music is brilliant and wants to show him her work, but she is told to wait until after the premiere. Because of his deafness, she helps him conduct the orchestra and he helps her with her composition. Ed Harris gives an incredible performance, with an electrifying and powerful soundtrack that is nothing short of genius. Starring Ed Harris, Diane Kruger, Matthew Goode 8/10

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Watcher (2000)

Serial killer David Allen Griffin likes to stalk his young female victims; he studies their daily routine and very is detailed and concise, even bringing along tools to enter their homes. Joel Campbell, an ex-FBI agent from Los Angeles has been on David's trail but hasn't been successful catching him. Frustrated, he moves to Chicago where he goes into therapy to try and deal with his failure to capture the serial killer. David ends up following him, calling him up to tell him he's sending Joel a picture of a woman and that he has a day to find her or he'll kill them. An average cat and mouse thriller; with gripping suspense, and although I didn't find Reeves to be all that menacing, he does make a surprisingly convincing villain. Starring James Spader, Keanu Reeves, Maris Tomei, Ernie Hudson 6/10

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Tale of Desperaux (2008)

In a small kingdom called Dor, there was born a mouse by the name of Desperaux Tilling. He was small with bigger ears than most mice, and didn't act the way other mice usually do; he was brave and didn't cower. One day he discovers the library and reads a fairy story about a princess named Pea who's locked in a castle and longs for a prince, soup, and for it to rain. What Desperaux doesn't know is before he was born, a rat landed in the Queen's soup and made her have a heart attack and die, so all rats and soup weren't allowed in the kingdom. Desperaux meets and befriends a rat named Roscuro. He tells him about the princess and they decide to devote themselves to helping the princess. An adorable tale with an all-star cast that's visually entertaining, based on the book by Kate DiCamillo. Starring Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Frank Langella, Tracey Ullman, Sigourney Weaver 8/10

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Jess Aarons lives on a struggling farm with his family. He likes to draw, and he also enjoys running which he trained all summer for, but when school starts and new girl Leslie Burke beats him in a race, he doesn't like her one bit. He dislikes her even more when he finds out she moved into the house next door to where he lives. But they have more in common then they think; they're both outsiders and they both have a great imagination. Soon they become friends and she opens his mind to a wonderful land of trolls, ogres and monsters in a magical kingdom called Terabithia. Based on Katherine Paterson's novel. Starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison, Zooey Deschanel 7/10

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harold and Maude (1971)

Harold is a rich, young man who is intrigued with death which drives his family crazy, so much so that they make him see a therapist. He stages fake suicides, he likes to attends funerals of people he's never met and drives around in a hearse. Then one day when he is outside listening to a funeral eulogy, he sees an old woman sitting some distance away watching. He encounters her several more times at funeral services and finds out her name is Maude and she's seventy-nine years old. Maude is a carefree spirit who loves music and art, as opposed to Harold's morbid personality. Not too long after they become good friends. His mother keeps setting him up with girls, but Harold falls in love with Maude and wants to marry her, but Maude has already made her own plans. With a great musical score by Cat Stevens, Harold and Maude is by far one of my favorite dark comedies; Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort are amazing, lovable and hilarious as the title characters. Starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer, Eric Christmas 8/10

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tim (1979)

Tim Melville is a handsome young man with low level intelligence. He works as a builder's laborer and hired by an older woman named Mary Horton to fix up the garden and other various jobs outside the house during the week. To Mary's surprise, Tim shows up on the weekends too. They become good friends; she teaches him to read, he takes her to the beach. However Tim's family is suspicious of their friendship, thinking that Mary is just out to take advantage of Tim's innocent nature, especially when the friendship turns romantic. A wonderfully sweet romantic story; Gibson is most convincing in one of his earlier roles, and Piper Laurie is impressive and brilliant as well. From Colleen McCullough's novel of the same name. Starring Piper Laurie, Mel Gibson, Alwyn Kurts, Pat Evison, Peter Gwynne, Deborah Kennedy 8/10

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Messengers (2007)

Sixteen-year old Jess Solomon relocates with her family from the city of Chicago to the rural outskirts of North Dakota because she got into some trouble and her parents are reluctant to start trusting her again. Along with her father Roy, mother Denise, and young baby brother Ben, they move into a dark and old house that is on a farm so Roy can start harvesting the sunflower crop. Her father hires a farmhand named John Burwell to help out on the farm and not long after, Jess starts to have horrible visions and believes that the house may be haunted. A slow beginning, but picks up the suspense as the film progresses. The best way to describe the film is it's The Amityville Horror meets The Grudge, meets The Birds. Starring Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, John Corbett 6/10

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Firm (1988)

Clive "Bex" Bissell is an estate agent who has a wife and a young baby boy at home and for fun he is a football hooligan, leader of the Inter City Crew who wants to recruit for a national firm for the European Championship. But his extracurricular activities clash with his home life and his wife doesn't want to put up with it anymore after their son accidentally cuts himself with Bexy's "Stanley" blade, but he tells her that he needs the buzz. Based on the Inter City Firm, a football firm of West Ham United during the 70s and 80s; gritty and violent. Oldman is extraordinary, and gives another great and memorable performance. Starring Gary Oldman, Lesley Manville, Phil Davis, Charles Lawson 7/10

Monday, July 11, 2011

Payback (1999)

A man known only as Porter, is shot and left for dead by his former partner named Val Resnick and his ex-junkie-wife Lynn after a one hundred-forty thousand dollar heist. After healing for months Porter returns for payback. He finds out Resnick has joined The Outfit, a criminal organization and using the heist money to pay his debts. So Porter asks for the help of a call girl friend, Rosie, who is in close relations with The Outfit so he can get back his share of the loot. Stylish crime thriller; Mel Gibson is too cool as the bad guy, based on the book The Hunter by Richard Stark. Starring Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, Lucy Liu, John Glover, William Devane, Deborah Kara Unger, Jack Conley, Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn, Freddy Rodriguez 7/10

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Charlie's Angels (2000)

Natalie, Alex and Dylan are three young, beautiful women who come from different backgrounds and places but have one thing in common; they all work for a mysterious man named Charlie. Their new assignment has them investigating the kidnapping of a man named Eric Knox, an engineer who owns a software company. They suspect that another man named Roger Corwin might be behind the disappearance because Corwin wanted to buy out Knox's company. But the angels find out that things are not at all what they seem, and that their boss is the target of assassination. Sleek, sexy and fun, with killer action and fighting scenes. Starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore, Bill Murray, Crispin Glover, Sam Rockwell, Matt LeBlanc, Tim Curry, Kelly Lynch, Luke Wilson, John Forsythe, LL Cool J, Tom Green 6/10

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Casanova (2005)

The place is Venice, the time is 1753. Casanova is the city's greatest and most legendary lover with many admirers. But scandal and trouble seems to follow him around. So unless he finds a wife and gets married he'll be banished from the city. He does get engaged but when he meets a beautiful feminist named Francesca he becomes smitten with her, only problem is she is betrothed to another man. And Francesca is under the impression that he's someone else instead of who he really is. An infectious and delightful romantic comedy; Heath Ledger is absolutely charming. Starring Heath Ledger. Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin, Oliver Platt 8/10

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)

Billie Jean Davy is a beautiful young high school girl who lives in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her younger brother Binx gets his scooter stolen by a bully named Hubie Pyatt. After Binx gets it back, Billie Jean goes to Hubie's father's shop to get the money to get the scooter fixed. But when she tries to get the money, Mr. Pyatt tries to rape her. Binx ends up shooting him so he, Billie Jean and their friends Putter and Ophelia go on the run as fugitives from the law. A inspiring cult film about standing your ground for what you think is right. Starring Helen Slater, Christian Slater, Keith Gordon, Yeardley Smith, Peter Coyote 7/10

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Monster (2003)

Aileen "Lee" is a hooker who lives in Daytona Beach, Florida. She ends up befriending a young girl named Selby Wall whom she met at a bar. But one night while Lee is with a customer, she is beaten and raped and in self-defense shoots the guy as a result. Lee and Selby soon become lovers and Selby leaves home to be with her, while Lee vows to stop hooking and go straight. But she can't get work as she and Selby struggle to survive. So Lee starts hitchhiking with strange men, luring them into the woods and killing them to take their money. Lee becomes a killer on the run and eventually the authorities begin the search to find her. Shocking, sad and depressing, this film is based on a true story about the life of convicted killer Aileen Wuornos; an almost unrecognizable Charlize Theron is absolutely extraordinary in her Oscar-winning role. Starring Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Scott Wilson 8/10

Friday, July 1, 2011

Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Wayne Szalinski is an inventor who has been experimenting on a new machine that is supposed to shrink objects, but he hasn't had any success in getting it to work. Until one afternoon when their next door neighbor Russ Thompson accidentally hits a baseball through the Szalinski's attic window, activating the machine. When they go up to the attic to try and find it, the machine shrinks them down to a 1/4 of an inch tall. Frustrated with the machine, Wayne destroys it as the kids try desperately to shout that it works. He throws them out with the trash and now the kids are stuck in the massive jungle that is the Szalinski's backyard. They decide to go through the backyard to get back to the house for help, but it's quite a long journey and not an easy one, as they encounter some huge insects and the sprinkler system. One of my favorite movies when I was a kid; an imaginative adventure story that'll have you seeing the world in a very different perspective. Starring Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland, Thomas Wilson Brown, Jared Rushton, Amy O'Neill, Robert Oliveri 7/10