Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mean Girls (2004)

Cady Heron is sixteen years old, and up until then has been home schooled, spending twelve years in Africa with her zoologist parents, until her mother got offered a job in a university. So Cady has to attend public high school. Although her new surroundings are strange and overwhelming, Cady ends up befriending classmates Janice and Damian, while hanging out with popular girl Regina and her clique "The Plastics". However after Cady finds a book in Regina's room, that is filled with bad things said about some kids in the school, she along with Janice and Damian decide it's time to show everyone what a fake Regina really is. Good teen story of high school life and cliques; although this movie is funny I prefer the darker, edgier "Heathers" as opposed to this one. Starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Lizzy Caplan, Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer 6/10

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Amateur Physicist Stuart Besser ends up finding a porthole through time, and when he comes back to the future he ends up bringing Leopold, Duke of Albany from the 19th Century back with him to the 21st Century. When Stuart ends up in the hospital after an accident, he asks his ex-girlfriend Kate, who lives in the same building as him to keep an eye on Leopold. He slowly starts to get used to the modern day world and technology, hanging out with Kate's actor brother Charlie. But Kate doesn't believe who Leopold says he is and although they share some tender moments, their ways of life and opinions clash. After Stuart comes back home, he thinks that Leopold should return to where he came from, but Leopold can't forget Kate, and she can't forget him either. A funny and charming tale of two star-crossed lovers from different eras of time. Starring Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Natasha Lyonne, Breckin Meyer 7/10

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

It is Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and already he has been expelled for having performed a charm in front of a Muggle (non-wizard person), which he is not allowed to do outside school. Another new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is at Hogwarts named Dolores Umbridge, who appears to be nice, but is absolutely cruel and sadistic. Harry finds out about The Order of the Phoenix, a secret society founded by Albus Dumbledore when they started fighting Lord Voldemort. Sirius Black, Harry's godfather believes that the dark lord has come back and is gathering an army, so Harry is more than eager to fight. When Umbridge refuses to teach the students how to defend themselves against the dark arts, they decide to have Harry Potter teach them. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Julie Waters, Jason Isaacs, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane 8/10

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nil By Mouth (1997)

Raymond, his wife Valerie, their daughter Michelle and brother Bill live in a working-class London neighborhood; Valeria and Bill's mother Janet and grandmother Kath often visit. Ray is an alcoholic, who often spends time with Billy and his friend Angus. Billy is a drug addict who later on steals Ray's drugs and when Ray finds out he kicks Billy out of the house, so Billy stays with Janet. She gives him money for some heroin, but when she refuses to give him anymore, Billy breaks into Ray's house looking for things to sell. Ray finds Valerie out playing pool with a man, he orders her home, then accuses her of having an affair and physical abuses her. Gritty, violent and hard to watch; although the dialogue is difficult to understand, Gary Oldman's directorial debut is nothing short of impressive. On another note, Oldman's own sister Laila Morse plays the role of Janet, while his mother is the voice for the song in the film. Starring Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Charlie Creed-Miles, Laila Morse, Edna Dore 8/10

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

She's All That (1999)

Zach Siler is the most popular jock at his California High School; he's an honor student, class president and plays soccer. When his bossy, snobbish girlfriend Taylor Vaughan comes back from spring beak she dumps him for Brock Hudson, reality star of The Real World. Zach is pissed off and is convinced that he can easily replace her, and transform any girl in the school into prom queen. So his friends Dean and Preston make him a bet that he can't, and they get to choose the girl. And of course they pick the artsy misunderstood, self-conscious girl Laney Boggs. Although Zach isn't too successful with Laney at first, he befriends her little brother Simon. However when Laney is invited to Preston's party, Zack's sister Mackenzie "Mack" gives her a makeover, Zack starts falling for her. Typical teen chick flick with a dozen cliches and stereotypes, but with a few really funny moments. Starring Freddie Prinze, Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook, Anna Paquin, Paul Walker, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Kevin Pollak, Kieran Culkin, Usher Raymond, Matthew Lillard, Gabrielle Union, Clea DuVall, Tim Matheson 6/10

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Basquiat (1996)

Jean-Michel Basquiat lives in Thompkins Square Park in a cardboard box, who writes graffiti on the streets of Brooklyn, New York; he spends his time with friend Benny and the waitress from a coffee shop named Gina. He encounters Andy Warhol at a restaurant and gives him some art to buy, later on a poet named Rene Ricard is marveled by one of Jean's paintings at a party. Ricard ends up launching Jean's career and he becomes a star. However, Jean's friends think that Andy is just out to use him. Jeffrey Wright is beyond amazing in the title role of this biopic story about one of America's most influential postmodernist/neo expressionist artists, as well as a terrific cast of supporting characters. Starring Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Benicio del Toro, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Michael Wincott, Parker Posey, Claire Forlani, Courtney Love, Christopher Walken 8/10

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crazy/Beautiful (2001)

Nicole is a spoiled, rich girl whose the daughter of a congressman from Malibu, Carlos is from East L.A. and a straight A student trying to get into the naval academy so he can become a pilot. They meet one day on the beach when she's doing community service. They both go to the Palisades Charter High School, and soon Carlos realizes that Nicole is a bit of a party girl, getting drunk and hanging out with her best friend Maddy. Not long after they fall in love and Carlos spends a lot of time with her, but Nicole's father advises him to stay away from her because of how troubled and destructive she is. Kirsten Dunst gives a great performance as well as Jay Hernandez; you want them to be together despite their backgrounds and how different their lives are. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez, Bruce Davison, Taryn Manning 7/10

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The 'Burbs (1989)

Ray Peterson lives in a seemingly ordinary suburban neighborhood who takes the week off to just relax and not have to stress out over anything. But his vacation is anything but stress-free as he becomes more and more suspicious of his mysterious new neighbors next door, The Klopeks. They never go in, they never come out, they don't get any visitors or deliveries, and late at night Ray hears noises coming from their basement. He, along with his fellow suburbanites Art and Mark decide to do a little snooping on them. Then when their other neighbor Walter disappears, Art has a theory that the Klopeks are satanists and that Walter is their human sacrifice. My favorite Tom Hanks film; an hilarious black comedy that makes fun of the suburbs and their crazy inhabitants. Starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Wendy Schaal, Corey Feldman 7/10

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Gate (1987)

After Glen has a bizarre nightmare, he is awaken by the sound of drilling outside his window, and sees men cutting down a tree that is in the backyard. As the workers take the tree away, Glen discovers a fragment of a geode. Later, along with his friend Terry, he digs up the yard and they find a larger geode. When his parents leave for three days, Glen's older sister Alexandra "Al" insists she's old enough to be in charge. So while Al has a party downstairs, Glen and his friend Terry hang out in his room and the geode suddenly opens up. Not long after, weird things start happening; Glen is levitated at the party, Angus, Glen's dog mysteriously dies. Terry shows him a heavy metal record album with lyrics that are based on "The Dark Book", that can summon demons and open the gate, and Terry believes that they have accidentally opened it. It's the battle of good against evil in this fun cult horror classic. Starring Stephen Dorff, Louis Tripp, Christa Denton, Kelly Rowan 7/10

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Girl 2 (1994)

Vada Sultenfuss is now thirteen, her grandmother has died and her new stepmother Shelly is pregnant. Harry decides to use Vada's room for the baby's nursery because it's right next to theirs. Vada has an assignment to do for school, where she has to write about someone she admires, but has never met, so she decides to do it on her mother. Spring break is coming up, and Shelly suggests taking a trip to Los Angeles, California, that way she can visit her uncle Phil and do research on her mother. So Vada stays with her uncle, his girlfriend Rose and her son Nick. A good sequel to the original, funny at times although not as heartfelt as the first. Starring Anna Chlumsky, Dan Aykroyd, Christine Ebersole, Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Masur, Austin O'Brien, Richard Beymer, Ben Stein 7/10

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Girl (1991)

Vada Sultenfuss is an eleven- year old girl who is kind of obsessed with death, especially since her father is an undertaker and she lives in a house that is also run as a funeral parlor. Her mother died when she was born, so she lives with her father and grandmother. She's best friends with Thomas J, who is allergic to everything. Vada is in love with Mister Bixler, her English teacher, and she signs up to be in his poetry class to get close to him. Her father hires a new make-up artist named Shelly DeVoto, who gives her advice about makeup and boys. So when she discovers that her father is falling in love with Shelly, Vada does everything possible to keep them from getting together. A wonderful coming-of-age story; with scenes of great humor, but also of deep sadness you'll instantly fall for newcomer Anna Chlumsky. Starring Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macauley Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Richard Masur, Griffin Dunne 7/10

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sea of Love (1989)

Frank Keller is a New York police detective; he's also an alcoholic and divorced from his wife. His ex-wife is now involved with one of Frank's colleagues. Frank investigates a series of shootings where men are being shot in the back of the head, while "Sea of Love" is played. He meets Detective Sherman Touhey, who thinks that he and Frank should work together on the case, believing that it's a woman who is the culprit. They find out that the men who are being murdered have been putting rhyming ads in the singles magazines; so Frank has an idea that they put their own ad in the magazine, go out on the dates with the women, get their prints and catch the killer. Pacino is pretty good and his scenes with Goodman are great; however what really makes this film memorable are the moments Pacino has with Barkin. Their chemistry is red-hot and incredibly sensual. John Goodman's rendition of "Sea of Love" is hilarious. The title is actually a song by Phil Phillips, which is essentially played throughout most of the movie. Starring Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman, Michael Rooker, William Hickey, Richard Jenkins, Paul Calderón, Samuel L. Jackson 6/10

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bird on a Wire (1990)

After helping to put away a drug dealing FBI Agent, Rick Jarmin is relocated under the Witness Relocation Program, where he works at a gas station in Detroit, Michigan. Fifteen years later, his ex-fiancee Marianne Graves happens to recognize him and Rick decides it's not safe to stay. The FBI Agent, a man named Eugene Sorenson is released from jail on parole, and along with his partner Albert Diggs set out to get rid of Rick. But when Marianne goes back to the station to talk to Rick, Eugene and Albert show up to kill him. Luckily Marianne comes to his rescue and they flee in her car. He finds out not long after that his identity has been erased, so he needs to find help to get him back into hiding. An entertaining adventure story with lots of exciting action scenes; Hawn and Gibson have convincing chemistry together. Starring Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine, Bill Duke, Stephen Tobolowsky 6/10

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tangled (2010)

There was once a small kingdom where there lived a king and queen. And in this land there was a golden flower with healing powers, which an old woman used to stay youthful. But the queen falls ill when she is going to have a baby. The flower heals the queen, and she has a baby girl, who receives the power of the flower when she's born. But the old woman wants the power back, so she steals the baby and raises it as her own, calling her Rapunzel. Years later Rapunzel is a young woman of eighteen, with seventy-feet long golden hair whose been locked up in a high tower without any human contact except for her mother. She longs to see the floating lantern lights that shine in the sky every year on her birthday. A thief named Flynn Ryder climbs into her tower one day, in an attempt to hide from the law. So Rapunzel makes a deal with him; she'll give back his satchel (which has a stolen diamond crown in it) if he'll take her to see the lantern lights. A creative new twist on the classic tale of Rapunzel; with great humor, memorable characters and wonderful songs. Starring Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Brad Garrett, Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor 8/10

Friday, September 2, 2011

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005)

It is Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts, and he along with the Weasley family, the Diggory family and Hermione attend the Quidditch World Cup where Death Eaters (followers of Lord Voldemort) stir up a frenzy. Lately Harry has been having strange nightmares about the dark lord. At the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there's another Defense Against the Dark Arts professor named Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody. Headmaster Professor Dumbledore announces that there will be a Triwizard Tournament, in which one wizard's name from each of the three houses is picked from a magical cup called the Goblet of Fire, to compete in three very dangerous challenges. The only restriction is students who are under seventeen aren't allowed to enter. However the Goblet chooses Harry for a fourth name, despite him not being old enough. But being bound by a magical contract, Harry has no choice but to compete in the tournament. Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Miranda Richardson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Robert Pattinson 7/10