Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Review: Kikujiro (1999)

The first thing I love about this movie is the soundtracks. They are so touching and beautiful. Takeshi Kitano is famous for violent films like Sonatine, I thought with no action Takeshi will look dumb, boy I was so wrong. His performance was really great not only acting even the directing. Even the camera angles were different than a regular movie. Packed with humor this is a wonderful heart warming movie.

Story: Masao a small kid on a journey to find his mother paired up with a unlikely travel partner, an ex-yakuza bad mannered Kikujiro.

Starring Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi

Directed by Takeshi Kitano

Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics (US)

Running time: 121 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Kikujiro)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review: The Horsemen (2009)

The Horsemen
Good thriller. Kept the suspense all along with a unexpected twist in the end. Zhang Ziyi was super creepy. It had some shocking moments that completely takes you by surprise. Serial killing, Biblical prophecy (Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), Gore, physiological suspense. What else do you need to keep your attention :)

Plot: Detective who is distant from his kids and lonely from his wife's death tries to solve a string of killings that were done by a religious cult who calls themselves Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He soon finds out that he also has links to the murders.

I didn't like the ending. It just ended pretty quick.

Starring Dennis Quaid, Zhang Ziyi

Directed by Jonas Åkerlund

Distributed by Lionsgate

Running time: 110 minutes

Rating: 7/10 (The Horsemen)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review: Faintheart (2008)

I had high expectation for this movie since it was co produced by MySpace. But I was totally disappointed with the effort. Plot has been redone many times on the past and is very predictable. I agree, movie had some funny moments but overall experience was bad. Acting was not bad, kind of an average performance.

Story is about a irresponsible guy who is trying to make it up to his wife.

Starring Eddie Marsan, Ewen Bremner, Jessica Hynes

Directed by Vito Rocco

Distributed by Vertigo Films

Running time: 90 minutes

Rating: 5/10 (Faintheart)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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Review: The Ramen Girl (2009)

The Ramen Girl
Cute, sweet, funny and at times a sad movie. I think Brittany Murphy is really suitable for her role. She just gives that spunky little spark the movie needs. You also get a good taste of Japanese culture and people. The movie made me really hungry and love Ramen.
Story was bit cheap and rusty. It gets worse to the end but really worth a watch.

Story is about a young American girl who was stranded in Japan when her boy friend just leaved her. Lost and confused she then started training to become a ramen chef under a very rude Japanese master.

Starring Brittany Murphy, Toshiyuki Nishida

Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman

Distributed by Media 8 Entertainment

Running time: 122 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (The Ramen Girl)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Review: Thick as Thieves (2009)

This is a decent movie flick. The plot was very weak for such highly rated stars.
Predictable story but had a nice twist. Freeman was good as always. Actually I watched the movie because of his acting. Worth a watch if you have some spare time to burn.

Story is about a top thief who teams up with a younger talented thief to pull off his final heist to repay his debt to the Russian mob.

Starring Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Radha Mitchell

Directed by Mimi Leder

Distributed by First Look International, Lionsgate

Running time: 99 minutes

Rating: 7/10 (Thick as Thieves)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review: Winged Creatures (2009)

Winged Creatures
I cannot really get the main point of this movie.
This plot had lot of potential been a thought provoking drama but it lacked a solid background that help us make sense of each character.
Not a bad story you should give it a try.

The story is about five individuals who are traumatize after surviving a random shooting at a Los Angeles diner.

Based on a novel by Roy Freirich with the same name

Starring Dakota Fanning, Forest Whitaker, Guy Pearce, Kate Beckinsale

Directed by Rowan Woods

Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Running time: 100 minutes

Rating: 6/10 (Winged Creatures)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Review: Notorious (2009)

This is the Biography of Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls and The Notorious B.I.G.
Hip Hop lover or not you should watch this movie because Notorious B.I.G was one of the most influential Hip Hop artist that revolutionized the industry.
Movie contains some performances of Biggies greatest hits.

"No Dream Is Too Big"

Starring Jamal Woolard (BIG), Angela Bassett, Derek Luke

Directed by George Tillman, Jr.

Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Running time: 123 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Notorious)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Review: A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)

A Bunch of Amateurs
This movie had some really funny moments. No fancy acting, no dirty jokes just plain classic humor that everyone can enjoy.
Nice simple and charming story with good amount of everything that completes the movie. Predictable story but well worth the watch.

Story is about a faded Hollywood action star who was tricked by his agent into playing King Lear in an amateur charity production in England.

Starring Burt Reynolds, Samantha Bond

Directed by Andy Cadiff

Running time: 96 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (A Bunch of Amateurs)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Review: Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Waltz with Bashir
The first ever documentary I have seen done totally as an animation. The movie pace through in a different animation style. Story gradually take us on the journey of Ari Folman trying to dig up the lost horrible memories of 1982 Lebanon War.
As the movie digs deep we witness the disgusting horrors of the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
Sometimes I was puzzled to understand the message Ari Folman tried to convey, yes war stinks is the big message but he tried to convey something else I didn't completely understand.

Movie is in Hebrew. It's not that hard to follow the story reading the sub-titles.

Directed by Ari Folman

Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics

Running time: 86 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Waltz with Bashir)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Review: Passchendaele (2008)

This maybe the best Canadian movie I ever seen. Nice story with good cinematography.
It is amazing to see that Paul Gross has directed, starred and written this fine movie. Very good details of war scenes that has the standards of Saving Private Ryan.
Movie has also successfully inserted a heart warming romance to it.

Story mainly resolve around troubled war veteran, a nurse who is his girl friend and her brother who is enlisted to fight in the bloody WW I battle of Passchendaele.

It's good to see these kind of movies so we can remember that their were lot more countries involved in the war that made a difference other than America.

This story is partly based on real life events.

Starring Paul Gross, Caroline Dhavernas, Joe Dinicol

Directed by Paul Gross

Distributed by Alliance Films

Running time: 114 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Passchendaele)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Review: Milk (2008)

Milk movie
Part biography part documentary of Harvey Milk the American gay rights movement leader during 70's who was assassinated in 1978. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man elected to a USA political office. Acting was excellent by all cast and deserve an award. This movie will change your opinion if you are against gay men.

I felt uncomfortable when two men openly kiss and make love in the movie but when it comes to their rights, I think all men needs to have equal rights whatever their sexual orientation be.

Notable quote from the movie,
"I am not a candidate, I am part of a movement. The movement is the candidate."

Starring Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, James Franco

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Distributed by Focus Features

Running time: 128 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Milk)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Review: Repo The Genetic Opera (2008)

Repo The Genetic Opera
Good rock horror musical with little bit of dark humor. Scenes are extreme bloody and has a touch of gore. Songs were good but could have been better. You cannot compare this to a Rocky Horror Picture Show they are far better than this.
Guess what Paris Hilton does a good job with her character it really matches her.

Story: World is spread with a organ failure disease and only GeneCo has the cure for it by organ transplant. Anyone dares to miss a payment for their transplants will be retaken by the killer Repo.

This movie is a reamke of 2006 short movie with the same name.

Starring Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Distributed by Lions Gate, Twisted Pictures

Running time: 97 minutes

Rating: 7/10 (Repo! The Genetic Opera)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Review: The Lucky Ones (2008)

The Lucky Ones
Really smooth and solid story with nice humor in it. Well thought out characters. Keeps you well entertained till the end. Cannot agree if someone tells that this movie is a war movie. I don't know why this movie is underrated.
Kind of a movie that makes you feel, "WOW I wish I could have seen more".

Story is about three soldiers returning from Iraq find themselves stuck together for a life changing Road trip to Vegas.

I hope more films like this, comes out very often.

Starring Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, Michael Peña

Directed by Neil Burger

Distributed by Lionsgate

Running time: 115 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (The Lucky Ones)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Review: Echelon Conspiracy (2009)

Echelon Conspiracy
Action, Thriller and Mystery all in one package. Reminds me of the movie "Eagle Eye", Echelon Conspiracy is like a low budgeted version of Eagle Eye. Could have been lot better. Acting was also bit corny. Some scenes looked really dumb but I must say that you can enjoy the movie without getting bored.

Story is about a young man receiving text messages by a unknown person that gives him tips on how to win lot of easy money. Soon he finds himself in middle of a big international conspiracy.

Echelon Conspiracy is also know as The Gift in USA.

Starring Shane West, Edward Burns, Ving Rhames

Directed by Greg Marcks

Distributed by After Dark Films

Running time: 105 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Echelon Conspiracy)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Review: Frozen River (2008)

Frozen River
Emotional and silent look into a working class woman trying to make a better life for her two sons.
Frozen River has a documentary effect which makes us think that Melissa Leo's character is real.
Courtney Hunt tries to show us pure affection of two mothers who are willing to go into any danger for the betterment of their children. The movie silently tries to justify their actions with a humanistic touch.

Story is about two working class women struggling for a better life, involved in smuggling illegal immigrants to USA from Canada.

Worth all the nominations and awards. Great work by Courtney Hunt in her debut film.

Starring Melissa Leo, Misty Upham

Directed by Courtney Hunt

Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics

Running time: 90 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Frozen River)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review: What Doesn't Kill You (2008)

What Doesn't Kill You movie
I have seen very few movies of Mark Ruffalo having a leading role. This must be one of the best in his career. Excellent performance by both starts Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke.
I like the way how Mark Ruffalo's character transist between diffrent personalities.
Sometimes he's a bad-ass, drug addict and a struggling but loving father. The only complaint I have for this movies is that it's bit slow at times. So some viewer will think this is a boring story. If you can bare with the slow moments and watch the full movie, you can experience a realistic movie that shows how bad choices of life can ruin lives all around you.

Story is about Crime, Drugs, Alcohol and a man trying to raise living standards of his family which force him to do more crime.

(Based on real life events of the movie's director Brian Goodman.)

Starring Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, Amanda Peet

Directed by Brian Goodman

Distributed by Yari Film Group

Running time: 100 minutes

Rating: 7.5/10 (What Doesn't Kill You)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Review: Stop-Loss (2008)

Good story about war and stop loss policy. An emotional drama of real world soldiers torture mentally, physically and injustice from their own country. Realistic movie with powerful acting, worth a watch.

Story is about a war hero who returns home from completed tour duty in Iraq just to find out he is re enlisted again by the stop loss policy.

Innocent soldiers are scarified for power by corrupted leaders. Its really sad to see all this happening in this world. War sucks anywhere.

Starring Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Abbie Cornish, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Directed by Kimberly Peirce

Distributed by Paramount Pictures

Running time: 112 minutes

Rating: 7/10 (Movie)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review: The Uninvited (2009)

The Uninvited
Really good Psychological thriller. Worth a watch. I'm not going to tell anything much because you only need two words to spoil the whole movie. I could have enjoyed it more if I knew very little about the movie. Horror scenes were good but not hardcore like a complete horror movie. Acting was very good by all the cast specially Emily Browning.

Story is about a young girl who returns from a mental institution to her home. She finds it difficult to cope with her fathers new cruel girl friend and the memories of her dead mother.

This movie is an American remake of the South Korean horror movie "A Tale of Two Sisters"

Starring Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, Elizabeth Banks, David Strathairn

Directed by Charles Guard, Thomas Guard

Distributed by DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures

Running time: 87 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (The Uninvited)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Review: Fanboys (2009)

This is the worst it can get for a comedy. Total waste of time, I cannot believe I did not laugh a single time, YES not even a smile. I don't know why this movie has so much hype, really boring and poor acting. Some people may like the style of humor in this movie but definitely not my taste.

Story is about four Star Wars nerd fans who are on an adventure to Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of "Episode I: The Phantom Menace".

Starring Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler, Sam Huntington

Directed by Kyle Newman

Distributed by The Weinstein Company

Running time: 90 minutes

Rating: 5/10 (Fanboys)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Review: Crossing Over (2009)

Crossing Over
Very moving story. Deep look into USA immigration, shows us both sides.
Dramatic and progressive presentation. If you liked "CRASH" you will like this movie.
Harrison Ford is doing a very good job in his intense character.

Story is about struggles of immigrants in USA to achieve legal status. Story Switch between Mexican, Jews, Islamic, Australian wanna be actress and Korean immigrants.

What I don't understand is why people just don't stay in their motherland and do something to build their own country. Why risk everything and come to be treated as an Alien and low level. In the end they return to their own country disgracing his/her own country.

Starring Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd

Directed by Wayne Kramer

Distributed by The Weinstein Company

Running time: 113 minutes

Rating: 8/10 (Crossing Over)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gigi end monologue in Hes Just Not That Into You

Gigi: Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up: if a boy punches you he likes you, never try to trim your own bangs, and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. every movie we see, every story we're told implores us to wait for it: the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. but sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. how to tell the ones who want us from the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. and maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. maybe the happy ending is just moving on. or maybe the happy ending is this: knowing after all the unreturned phone calls and broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment... you never gave up hope.