I went to see “Shoot ‘Em Up” (2007) directed by Michael Davis without reading anything about it and so I was in for quite a surprise.
The film starts out with the hero “Smith” (Clive Owen) sitting on a bench at night waiting for a bus, munching on a carrot when a pregnant woman in a yellow raincoat stumbles by moaning. She disappears in a nearby alley and is being followed by a very angry man with a gun. This prompts our hero to get involved and angry, too. From that moment on it is all about shooting people.
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Someone once said that horror movies are always a bit cheesy. True or not, “1408” (2007), directed by Mikael Håfström, is about a book author and skeptic, Mike Enslin (John Cusack), who writes about paranormal occurrences. Sounds cheesy enough so far. The film is based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name and this is where things start getting interesting.
For his latest book, Mike Enslin wants to check out room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in New York. The manager of the hotel, Mr. Olin (Jackson), tries to convince Enslin not to stay in that room and warns him in fact not to enter. No one ever lasted more than one hour in that room. This only prompts Enslin to check into 1408 no matter what.
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The 3rd installment of the Spider-Man franchise is supposed to be the best yet. Does it live up to the hype? Let’s find out!
“Spider-Man 3” tagged as “The battle within” features two new villains Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace) although the latter takes over Spider-Man first turning him into an aggressive Peter “Saturday Night Fever” Parker, strolling the streets of NY city, singing, snipping his fingers and hunting skirts. Certainly not what I was expecting as a side effect of being possessed by some evil, sinister organism from outer space called “Venom”…
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Zack Snyder brings Frank Miller’s graphic novel “300” based on the Battle of Thermopylae onto the big screen. This movie is oozing with glistening manly chests (not one chest hair to be found) and (you may have guessed this much) 300 stout Spartan warriors from tip to toe clad in only the most necessary garments, wielding a hefty spear and shield.
Do not look for character development or historical accuracy here, if you want that go see the 1962 version “The 300 Spartans“. Here you get digitally enhanced muscles, lots and lots of slow-motion battle scenes tinted in Sepia, severing of heads and limbs in slow motion and some heterosexual activities.
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Helen Mirren plays HM Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears “The Queen” and she does it particularly well, so well in fact that she won an Oscar for it for best actress in a leading role and deservedly so.
I was skeptical about the biographical part of the movie at first but you come to realize quite quickly that this movie is not about being absolutely accurate but rather telling a story of a queen and a grandmother, whether it is heartfelt or not. Whether Queen Mum has her daily Gin or goes and has encounters with a majestic stag is not the core of the matter here.
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“The Devil Wears Prada” directed by David Frankel and starring Meryl Streep as ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly and Anne Hathaway as her new assistant Andy Sachs does not quite deliver the goods. Streep’s Oscar nomination certainly is justified but her performance does not save this film from being just about average with little to no depth and nothing to really motivate the viewer to get interested in any of the characters.
Despite the catchy film title you will not find any “devil” in whatever sense of the word and the “Prada” you get to see is worn by vain shallow characters who are only mildly entertaining and as tragic as a hair in your soup.
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Quick! Want to have some fun tomorrow with friends and family, betting on who will win? Easy! Go get the Oscar ballot sheet from imdb and make your crosses now! No cheating!
Here’s my votes:
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Guillermo del Toro’s movie “Pan’s Labyrinth” is set in fascist Spain in 1944 where a young girl Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) escapes the brutal and sadistic reality by entering an eerie fantasy world in which she must complete three tasks in order to be freed and be able to return as princess to her underworld kingdom.
Ofelia travels with her pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) to a remote outpost headed by Vidal (Sergi López) her stepfather and evil, sadistic capitán, hellbent to quell all rebellious activities once and for all.
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I was very skeptical at first when I read about Daniel Craig being the “new” Bond in “Casino Royale“. Soon, critics would start raving how good he is and how this “Bond” movie takes the franchise back to its roots. Less CGI, more story, more character was the word. And it’s all true.
At 144 minutes “Casino Royale” clocks in as enjoyable as ever. Gone are the cheesy special effects galores, gone are the pitiful impressions of double-O sevens, Daniel Craig is the new Bond with balls of steel as we find out later in the movie when he says:
“Now the whole world will know that you died scratching my balls!”
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On Sunday, Feb. 25th 2007 the Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2006 will be presented at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. You can find this year’s Oscar nominations here. I think Forest Whitaker will get the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland“. For Best Actor in a supporting role my money is on Mark Wahlberg (The Departed).
Meanwhile you can also vote over at joblo.com for the “Golden Schmoes” Movie Awards until Feb. 18th 2007, so hop on over and cast your votes!
Here’s my Golden Schmoes List for 2006:
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