Author: glitch

W. – presidential portrait

Director: Oliver Stone Cast: Josh Borlin, James Cronwell, and Elizabeth Banks Rating: PG-13 Year: 2008 Running Time: 129 George W. Bush is obviously referred to as a very controversial figure. Director Oliver Stone takes a more human look at depicting the life of Bush. In the film W., we get Stone’s interpretation of a life and presidency that has greatly affected America’s course of history. W. switches back and forth between events leading up to the 2003 Iraq war and the youth of George W. Bush. Specifically the youth of Bush starts from his college days and initiating into a fraternity. (It would have been nice to see Bush’s upbringing as child, but the start of his youth is appropriate.) Afterwards we see the many struggles Bush has with maintaining a career and his clashes with his father. After failing at many things and overcoming alcoholism, Bush successfully finds himself as governor of Texas. The film eventually transitions toward the end of focusing solely on the events of the 2003 Iraq war. The film W. takes a more human view of George W. Bush and gives events through his point of view. Stone himself has said that this isn’t political commentary but a biographical film about how Bush became who he is. (Which I would say that he succeeded in doing.) We see the gamut of emotions; both positive...

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All About Steve – Not all funny

Director: Phil Traill Cast: Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Thomas Haden Church, and Ken Jeong. Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 99 minutes It seems that Sandra bullock churns out romantic comedies as if they are coming off an assembly line. Her latest venture into the genre playing a very strange character and some little twists along the way. All About Steve tests Bullock in whether she can pull off an offbeat character. Bullock plays Mary, a cruciverbalist (a crossword writer) and a person who talks almost nonstop about her vast knowledge of random facts. (Along with the red boots that she always wears, even when dressed up) This of course makes her socially awkward to other people , and gives Mary trouble in her love life. (She is even asked why she isn’t married during a speech to children in an elementary school) .She soon finds herself on a blind date set up with her parents. After only a brief time with the blind date with a man named Steve (played by Bradley Cooper), Mary becomes obsessed with him and seeks to see him whenever she can  as Steve travels as a camera man for a news crew. This leads Mary all over the country and into some strange situations. Bullock’s portrayal of the character Mary’s off beat is successful in being strange but doesn’t appear as lovable as the film...

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Kagemusha – the shadow warrior

Before making the 1980 film Kagemusha, Akira Kurosawa was in the later end of his career and had trouble financing any film he wanted. Eventually George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola (both describing themselves as Kurosawa fans) stepped in and managed to help bring funds to Kurosawa’s film project. The result is a historical drama of epic proportions. The film Kagemusha centers on Shingen Takeda (head of the Takeda clan) and the man he chose to use as his double. (Both roles played by Tatsuya Nakadai) The title of the film itself Kagemusha means “shadow warrior”. A very apt title that would later become very relevant once Shingen dies and the double (whose actual name is never said) must assume the role in order to fool enemies of the Takeda clan and Shingen’s own men. The double is a rough and petty man who is pretty much the polar opposite of Shingen, (Specifically since he was a thief who was about to be executed) so he stumbles in every aspect as he tries to impersonate him.  How well this kagemusha is able to carry out this act is at the center of the film and it’s ramification on everyone in this world. I will say a little bit of knowledge of Samurai history makes the film easier to follow, but may not be absolutely necessary. Even though many different...

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Snowboard Academy – waste of talent

Skiers and snowboarders clash on a ski resort with Rudy James (Jim Varney of Ernest fame) caught right in the middle. What results is the 1996 film Snowboard Academy. A half hearted (maybe even no hearted) attempt at comedy, and you’ll see why. Jim Varney pretty much plays his Ernest character in this film under a different character name. And that name would be Rudy James, a man applying for safety inspector at a ski resort headed by Mr. Barry (no first name given and played by Joe Flaherty).  From introduction to all the way to the end, Varney plays Ernest with a slight bit of cursing and adult humor added. (He randomly tells jokes like “”my wife is so fat that when we finish making love, she rolls over and smokes a ham.”) Most jokes are dialogue about misunderstanding between Mr. Barry and Rudy. Causing trouble at the resort is the feud between Mr. Barry’s adopted sons, the kiss up Paul (played by Paul Hopkins, with a character name that sounds like director [] said “might as well call you by your given  name”.) and the rebellious Chris(played by Corey Haim in a role he tries too hard to be “cool”). Chris and his snowboarding buddies are always causing trouble at the resort while security figure Red Eagle (played by Andreas Afergis in a role that becomes an...

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Nine – mature CGI adventure

The fall of man is the setting for the 2009 film Nine. A feature length movie directed by Shane Acker and based on his 2005 short film. At center of this CGI, post apocalyptic animated film is the character (and movie’s name sake) Nine (voiced by Elijah Wood) and his journey through the after math. We start the film with the awakening of Nine (a mechanical being resembling a burlap sack, the size of a doll and with the number nine on his back) as he first sees the world around himself.(it seems to be a world based on 1930’s style of technology) Soon after he finds another being like himself named Two (played by Martin Landau). After a dangerous encounter with a robotic beast he finds even more similar people, each one also having numbers on their backs. As Nine discovers how dangerous the world he lives in is, he also gradually finds answers as to who he is and what the world around him is. Through accident, Nine has awakened a giant machine (a dark colored, spider like robot with red beams which looks to be very inspired by the machines in the matrix) that has had its hand in the extinction of mankind. With the help of the warrior like Seven (played by Jennifer Connelly ), Nine sets out on a way to defeat the head...

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