Month: March 2011

Unforgettable (1996)

Yes, Ray Liota can do more than mob movies. I’ve appreciated John Dahl films since Rounders. He also added little-seen war flick The Great Raid and underrated You Kill Me to his list of films, but I saw that I hadn’t seen one of his earlier films, Unforgettable. I always appreciated Dahl’s since of shots and editing, and this film certainly capitalized on his abilities. The movie stars Ray Liotta as David Krane, a crime scene investigator who was, in the past, framed for his wife’s murder. He got off from the trial because the evidence was unsubstantial. He is investigating another crime scene where he sees something that was at his wife’s, and he doesn’t know what to do. He thinks the culprit in the case he is investigating killed his wife. But he can’t prove it. Until he hears a doctor speak about a new memory drug she created that can allow someone to experience the memories of people from their point of view. Needless to say, Krane does whatever he can to get his hands on it. Best Aspects: Good acting, plot and a sad yet well-crafted ending. Bottom Line: A. Good movie, a possible cult movie, with a great twist that you’ll never see coming. Ray Liotta gives a convincingly good...

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Hereafter

Have you ever wondered what happens to us after we die? Clint Eastwood (known recently for directing the acclaimed Invictus and Million Dollar Baby) asks this question in 2010 drama Hereafter, starring Matt Damon (Saving Private Ryan, Oceans trilogy, Bourne trilogy) as a once psychic attempting to move on with a ‘normal’ life, alongside Cécile de France and Frankie McLaren as two people who have experienced the aspect of death in different and troubling ways. The film opens to French Journalist Marie Lelay (de France) shopping in Thailand for her children when an unexpected tsunami (2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami) hits, sweeping up her and thousands of others along the beach. She is pulled out of the water and revived by some rescuers after having a near death experience. Her and her lover, Didier (Thierry Neuvic), reunite after, and they return to Paris. However, her memory of visions she saw when unconscious of several figures inhabiting a realm of light, troubles her and interferes with her work. Didier, who is also her producer, sends her on leave to get her mind right. Meanwhile in San Francisco, George Lonegan (Damon), a former psychic, is persuaded to perform a reading for his brother Billy (Jay Mohr)’s client (Richard Kind), despite George’s wishes. George has the gift to communicate with the dead and is asked to speak with the client’s deceased...

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“Water Lilies” – A Controversial French Teen Drama

This is an amazingly fearless movie that tackles issues no Hollywood studio would touch. “Water Lilies” is a French film that deals with the lives of three distinct teen female characters and their very real struggles. Set in the world of synchronized swimming, director Celine Sciamma takes you on a disturbingly honest depiction of the lives of modern teenage girls. The sport of synchronized swimming is very similar to the internal struggles of each of the girls, with all of the furious action and kicking occurring just under the surface. Marie is a fifteen year old tom boyish girl that tends to keep to herself. She is short and is envious of the older more developed girls. She is best friends with the second main girl Anna. She is overweight and often resorts to childish behavior. She fears growing up and being alone. Then there is Floriane the hottest girl in school and captain of the swim team. All of these characters share many of the same problems and deal with them in very different ways. When Marie sees Floriane perform at a school swim meet she quickly becomes enamored with her. Her grace, beauty and popularity make most all the girls in school envious. Marie makes a deal with her so she can watch the team practice. In return Marie has to be the reason for Floriane to...

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Movie Review – “Sucker Punch” delivers one low blow after another

  A new age of filmmaking –  For those wondering where Hollywood is going the next 10 years, just watch any Zack Snyder film. Here’s a guy that on the surface is extremely inexperienced, yet you watch one of his films like “Sucker Punch” and come away with a big smile on your face.  His films may not be perfect or what you think you will get before watching it, but that’s the beauty of Snyder and why his own style is like no one else’s right now.   What’s it about? It all starts rather abruptly with a struggle and shooting, but for ‘Baby Doll’ (Emily Browning), that was just the footnote to what would come later. You see, unlike other 20-year-olds, Baby Doll had never had a chance to explore and “find” herself as most of her time was spent running from her abusive stepfather. So, after accidentally killing her sister one day with the bullet meant for her stepfather, Baby Doll is institutionalized and shipped off to the Lennox House to be lobotomized.  But, as we quickly found out, this was no ordinary mental hospital. It was in fact a brothel owned by the mob, which controlled anything and everything that went on, so naturally, Baby Doll’s only escape was in her mind. There she built worlds like no other, as it was the only way...

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

I hesitate to state that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the movie that New Moon should have been, but then I realize that this is exactly the case. If this hadn’t been an adaptation of the novel of the same name, I would have guessed that this would be a mulligan film. They rehash a very familiar storyline — one where Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has to, once again, choose between the vampire or the werewolf — but this time, they do it properly. Well, maybe not “properly”, but far better than what happened last time. Eclipse has almost everything that New Moon had, in terms of plot, but tells it in a far more intriguing way. My biggest problem with New Moon was that it was too boring and ran too long. Eclipse still runs for too long of a time, but at least whatever is happening on-screen is entertaining. Or at least, it’s not incredibly boring, which was the case last time around. The main reason for this might be that there is an actual threat to the characters. Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard replaces Rachelle Lefevre in the role) was supposed to be a threat before, but appeared once or twice, never causing much trouble. This time, she’s raising a vampire army in Seattle. “Newborns”, they are called, and they are stronger than veteran vampires, apparently because...

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