Month: February 2010

Enemy of the State

Title: “Enemy of the State” Year: 1998 Run Time: 132 mins Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller Cast: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King, Stuart Wilson, Jake Busey, Barry Pepper, Gabriel Byrne, Jason Lee Director: Tony Scott Plot: What happens when an unsuspecting law biting citizen, oblivious to the conspiracies around him, gets pulled into the dark world of espionage? You get a thriller packed with action that is riddled with secrecy, conspiracies,  personal destruction, and one man’s fight to regain his life back. When an environmental researcher named Zavitz (Jason Lee) accidentally records the political murder of a high profile figure executed by NSA top official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight), it triggers a string of events that will forever change the life of labor lawyer Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith). As Zavitz tries to flee from the NSA henchmen hired to apprehend him and the tape, he consequently runs into Dean and unknowingly passes off the incriminating evidence to him. Instantly, Dean’s seemingly ordinary life is torn apart by highly skilled and resourceful NSA operatives. They use every high-tech resource in their repertoire to violate every civil liberty Dean has in order to humiliate him and make him give up the evidence of murder he has no clue he possesses. As he is forced into this dark world of espionage, he unwillingly crosses paths with a...

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Shutter Island

In Martin Scorsese’s latest film, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshall sent to Shutter Island, a mental health facility for the criminally insane, to investigate the disappearance of a female patient. Once on the island, Teddy and his partner, Chuck Aule, (Mark Ruffalo) are met by guards and doctors, who are unwilling to cooperate with the marshalls’ investigation. A tremendous storm forces Teddy to stay on the island and search for the missing woman and his wife’s murderer, whom he believes is also housed on the island. The dream sequences in the movie were a little over the top. It is clear that Scorsese wanted to use the dreams experienced by Teddy as a way to tell the backstory and a way to set up the ending of the movie, but the number and length of the dreams seemed excessive. In addition, the World War 2 dreams seemed to be unnecessarily violent. Leonardo DiCaprio was superb as Teddy. He seemed to completely engross himself in the role, and the range of his acting ability was definitely on display. Teddy was an unforgettable character, and one that I wanted to succeed throughout the entire movie. Other than the Departed, it was definitely my favorite role that DiCaprio has played. Overall, I would recommend this movie. DiCaprio’s performance alone is worth the price of admission. However, be advised...

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Collateral Damage (2002)

2002 brings us another “in between Terminators” period, as I like to call it, film from one of the greatest action superstars off all time, Mr. Schwarzenegger.  “Collateral Damage”, a movie that has Arnold past his prime as I see it but still looking in pretty good condition.  This movie was originally supposed to be released in early October of 2001, but due to the very tragic events of September 11th it was pushed back because of its terrorist movie plot and explosion sequences.   It was actually tested on an audience first before finally being released in early 2002. In this film, Arnold is joined by Elias Koteas (Zodiac, Shutter Island) who plays an FBI agent who is hell bent on destroying terrorism against the United States at all costs, Cliff Curtis (10,000 BC, Live Free or Die Hard) as Claudio Perrini aka “The Wolf” along with John Leguizamo (Gamer, Ice Age trilogy).  Arnold plays Gordy Brewer, a Los Angeles firefighter, who loses his wife and son to the terrorist attack of The Wolf which was meant for a different target.  In acts of war, as Brewer is told in the film, deaths of the innocent are known as “collateral damage”and happens all the time.  Obviously, this is Arnold we’re talking about, so we all know he isn’t just going to stand by and not inflict some of his own justice on the situation.  That is exactly...

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Superman 2

Three years after the massive commercial success of “Superman” at the box office, Warner Brothers returned the hero to the big screen with “Superman 2”. The movie would once again rejoin actors Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Gene Hackman for an even bigger adventure than before. Despite the good fortune the franchise was enjoying from the first film, this new movie wasn’t without its fair share of troubles behind the scenes. Even with such a hefty dose of drama and strife occurring both on and off camera, Superman was able to soar to even greater heights the second time around. “Superman 2” finds our hero coming face-to-face with a nasty trio of Kryptonian villains recently escaped from the Phantom Zone. Led by the enigmatic General Zod (Terence Stamp), these super-villains will stop at nothing until Earth is under their control and the son of Jor-El is kneeling at their feet. Now, Superman (Christopher Reeve) must fight harder than ever before to protect not only the city that he loves, but the entire planet he calls home. For a moment I’d like to take some time to expound a little more on the troubles I mentioned that surrounded the production of this sequel. Perhaps there are some of you out there that were made curious as to just what this strife may have been about. Well, I feel it only...

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Avatar (2009)

Paraplegic ex-marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) takes his dead brothers place in the Avatar program amid the lush paradise moon of Pandora because his DNA is compatible with the vat-grown body being held there. For what purpose exactly? Well it is a replica of a Na’vi, the eight-foot blue-skinned tribe species that inhabit Pandora, remotely controlled from within the facility in what seems to be an extortionately expensive solution to a problem no-one has. The moon’s air is toxic but only if inhaled, face-masks serve all the humans just fine throughout the movie, and the Na’vi is fully aware of their presence anyway. If ‘the company’ wants to bulldoze the utopia for an earth saving super-mineral why are they funding such a costly project to research what they’re about to destroy? Still, chain smoking Dr. Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) is determined to study the planet and its unusual life forms so she and Norm (Joel Moore) pack Sully into his new body, complete with working legs and take him into the jungle. Here Cameron takes us into the second phase of his schizophrenic movies personalities, from cerebral sci-fi character study to Jurassic Park aping dangerous wonderment. Sully is separated from the team and forced to spend a night in a wilderness as eye-wateringly beautiful as it is inhospitable. He’s saved from six-legged coyote aliens by our fearless love interest, Na’vi...

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