Month: April 2011

Movie Review: Water for Elephants

INTRODUCTION Hollywood turns to adapting yet another bestselling novel. This time they have set their sights on Sara Gruen’s literary brilliance Water for Elephants. Directed by Francis Lawrence, whose best known directorial credits include Constantine and I Am Legend. As a fanatic fan of the novel I was anxious to see how the book would play out on the big screen.  PLOT The film starts with the introduction of an old Jacob Jankowski (Hal Holbrook) retelling his life to a circus manager. The movie than cuts to a younger Jacob (Robert Pattinson) just about to write his final exam  at Cornell University in 1931, the exam would make him a veterinarian. Jacob is than told that his parents have died in a car crash. Distraught over the death of his parents and the realization that the bank owns all the family assets, Jacob leaves town. Jacob jumps on a train in an attempt to find work, luckily for him he has jumped on a circus train in which a veterinarian is needed. Jacob is hired to work for the circus under the watchful eye of ringmaster August Rosenbleth (Christolph Waltz). Jacob finds out quickly that life on the road working for a circus during the Great Depression included several hardships.   STRENGTHS Lawrence handles the source material in an effective and mature way. The way the film is shot...

Read More

The Lincoln Lawyer, a Mr. E Movie Review

Run time: 118 min – Director: Brad Furman – Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillippe From celebrated author Michael Connelly comes the big screen adaptation of his best selling novel The Lincoln Lawyer. Mathew McConaughey stars in this gripping legal thriller that mixes in little bit sarcastic wit with a whole lot of smooth talking country boy swagger. All of which comprise a role that McConaughey really shines in. Mickey “Mick” Haller, played by McConaughey, is a California lawyer with the skills of a street hustler. Taking on cases with the help of his “associates” that include his ex-wife prosecutor Maggie McPherson, played by Marisa Tomei, a rumpled private eye Frank Levin, played by William H. Macy, his loyal driver Earl, played by Laurence Mason, and a gang of on-call bikers. But, when low-life bail bondsman Val, played by John Leguizamo, tips Mick off about a potentially huge payoff, he’s reeled in. He takes on the case of the pampered, Beverly Hills socialite Louis Roulet, played by Ryan Phillippe, who claims he has been framed for the brutal beating of a prostitute he met in a bar. Initially, Louis is convincing in his plea of innocence however, in the course of finding out more about the clean-cut Roulet, Mick becomes less convinced as his actions reveal less of a frame for assault and battery and more of...

Read More

Movie Review: Scream 4

INTRODUCTION Ladies and gentlemen we have another Scream film on our hands. Scream 4 is directed by Wes Craven, the same director as the previous three Scream films. It has been eleven years since the last Scream film was released. Will Scream 4 add anything new or inventive to the franchise?  PLOT Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to her home town of Woodsboro on a book tour. Since she has been able to survive three massacres she found fame in detailing her life into a book. Prescott is returning to promote her book and she receives a hero’s welcome from the townspeople. The other two survivors are also still present, Sheriff “Dewey” (David Arquette), and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox). Sidney’s arrival also overlaps the anniversary of the previous killing spree. In the midst of her return a new killer has arrived who is targeting Sidney and her two companions but also her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts). Can Sidney cheat death a fourth time and save herself and her cousin from the new killer? STRENGTHS The opening scene of the movie is clever and fans of the Scream franchise will more than likely admire the new twist that is added. The film makes clever use of it being self aware that it is not just a movie but a horror movie as well (preferred term for movie buffs is Meta)....

Read More

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix is a combination of science fiction and martial arts. The action scenes are mostly composed of the latter, with the addition of guns, while the premise is almost solely based on the former: Science fiction. These two styles manage to go hand-in-hand, without one overtaking the other. The result is an action packed movie that leaves you with a lot to think about after it is finished playing. The basic set-up involves a man codenamed “Neo” (Keanu Reeves), who has been looking for an answer to the question “What is the Matrix?” for some time now. He finally gets his answer when Morpheus (Laurence Fishbourne) gets in contact with him. Morpheus offers him a choice: Learn what the Matrix is, or forget everything he’s worked years learning. Since the latter choice would make for a really boring movie, Neo must pick the former. He learns that the world is not how he once believed it to be. The actual world ended years before, and that what he thought it was is actually a computer simulation created by machines in order to keep humans unaware of what is actually going on. There was some sort of war, Morpheus explains, that turned Earth into an uninhabitable environment, where humans are now farmed to get energy for machines. Think of humans like batteries for them. He gets freed from this...

Read More

Bradley Cooper’s Top 10 Movie Roles, a Mr. E Special Countdown

To go with my review of the film Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, I thought it might be nice to take a look back at some of the other roles Mr. Cooper has graced us with over the last couple years. So lets just jump right into Bradley Cooper’s top ten list with… 10. Valentine’s Day (2010) Cooper plays Holden Wilson, a newly single gay man who befriends Julia Roberts character Kate Hazeltine on a flight in this romantic-comedy. 9. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) Bradley plays Ben, a married guy in a struggling marriage to Janine, played by Jennifer Connelly. He becomes attracted to a young yoga instructor named Anna, played by Scarlett Johansson, and the affair eventually leads to divorce. 8. Yes Man (2008) Cooper plays Peter one of Jim Carrey’s characters longtime, yet neglected friends in this journey of a lifetime in which Carl (Carrey), has to say yes to anything he’s presented after attending a seminar. 7. Case 39 (2009) Bradley plays, Douglas J Ames, a psychiatrist and best friend of the lead characters Lilith, played by Jodelle Ferland, whose worst fears get the best of him in a bathroom full of hornets. 6. The Rocker (2008) Cooper plays Trash Grice, a ridiculous member of an 80’s style hair metal band named Vesuvius. In the film they kick their drummer named “Fish”, played by...

Read More

Critics Login

Subscribe to MFR

Recent Comments

Review Archive