TRAILER: Little Fockers

SIGH. I'll admit that MEET THE PARENTS is still outstandingly funny each and every time I watch it, a true gem of a comedy. MEET THE FOCKERS had it's moments but beyond that was forgettable and certainly lacked the charm of the first making it far from re-watchable. This one looks like a blatant cash grab and to me, boring and cheap as the trailer not only has zero fun factor but worse still is trying to re-sell stale jokes that were only funny the first time around.

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BLU-RAY: The Illusionist

"An awesome example of top notch storytelling and entertainment."

As a young boy Eisenheim is seduced by both the art of magic and a young noble girl whose love was forbidden. Separated from his love he traveled the world mastering his craft only to return years later to the home and love he left behind setting the stage for an unbelievable performance.

THE ILLUSIONIST came out back in 2006 and is an example of the Hollywood’s “idea to the second power” principle where they release two films the same year about the same thing. The concept here is magic and the other film is THE PRESTIGE. Fresh off the BATMAN BEGINS/Christopher Nolan high (not to mention how f*cking cool the trailer was) I opted for THE PRESTIGE over THE ILLUSIONIST and as such never really got around to watching it until now. Since I’ve only watched THE PRESTIGE once, I’ll have to re-watch both films a second time to see which is my favourite of the two but rest assured I’m not taking anything away from this film as it was truly amazing.

I’m an avid fan of magic, illusions and all things mysterious or supernatural. I wasn’t around for the Houdini days but I’ve seen David Copperfield twice and still revel at his ability to captivate a crowd. I consider myself a pretty smart guy but even I shook my head in amazement more often than not. Both THE ILLUSIONIST and THE PRESTIGE utilize a fine arsenal of magic tricks though sadly more so in THE PRESTIGE than here. What Eisenheim does on stage is nothing short of spellbinding but the film does shy away from magic as the story progresses and becomes something else. The good news is that it works marvellously for many reasons, one of which being that it’s so well written and superbly acted.

Edward Norton has been (and will always be) one of my favourite actors since PRIMAL FEAR. For some reason he’s able to pull of just about any sort of character, from a skinhead to the Hulk and you believe it from start to finish, at least I do anyway. I had no problem whatsoever believing in Eisenheim especially once I saw the whole picture. Paul Giamatti was sensational here as well, I mean I enjoy the guy and all but this was by far one the strongest and best characters I’ve seen him play (that and I enjoy his dark side because as ridiculous as it was SHOOT ‘EM UP was still lots of fun thanks to him). Biel was Biel (I never feel she’s truly there) and Rufus Sewell is always a delight though I wish he’d go back to his DARK CITY roots and play another good guy for a change.

THE ILLUSIONIST was an impressive delight and my only real complaint is that I waited so long to watch it. I should have known I’d love it as I loved THE PRESTIGE and Clive Barker’s underrated LORD OF ILLUSIONS, now there is a concept I’d like to see two more films employ, that being the evil side of magic. Speaking of the evil side of the coin, I also enjoyed THE SKELETON KEY (though I might be the only one). There are plenty of films that dabble in magic, the supernatural or the dark arts but rarely do we get films that are dedicated to it like this one. That said, you rarely get such a phenomenal cast and epic script either so I feel extra lucky for being able to review this flick. Take it from me folks, if you have yet to catch this film, there’s no time like the present.

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REVIEW: Creation

"An engrossing tale of emotional turmoil and genius."

Charles Darwin is believed to be one of the most brilliant men to walk the Earth but this brilliance came at a cost, one that nearly drove him insane and tore his family apart. This is an intimate look at the struggles Darwin faced and overcame in his quest for knowledge in the name of Science.

Like most people, I know who Charles Darwin was and of course know of his evolutionary theory, which as the film points out, is perhaps the most powerful idea of ever to occur to a human mind. That’s a tall order to put on anyone’s shoulders and that’s the side of the story I didn’t know much about. There are many aspects of Darwin’s life such as the fact he married his first cousin, their daughter’s death and the tremendous toll it took upon his sanity as well as the massive amount of guilt, fear and dementia attached to his work when his peers started referring to him as the man who killed God (ouch). This film was nothing like I expected which is clearly a good thing as I enjoyed it quite a bit.

One of my favourite aspects of this flick was the visceral style used to capture the many luscious landscapes, forces of nature and cycles of life and death within the animal kingdom. There is a lot to see, hear and feel as this film progresses and most of the intensely powerful scenes stem from the flashbacks and dazed visions Darwin experiences. I fully enjoyed his story about bringing native children to court, teaching them manners and then releasing back into the wild hoping they’re people would evolve (they didn’t) and was touched to my core by his story about Jenny the Chimpanzee which I won’t get into to avoid spoilers. Also, therapeutic healing through water treatment is a vastly interesting concept in and about itself and has me curious to know more.

Paul Bettany has been on the top of my cool list since A KNIGHT’S TALE though sadly that was the most fun I’ve had with his character performances. That said, the man is diverse so he gets extra points for going balls to the wall rather than playing it safe. It’s hard to believe the frail husk of woman Darwin’s married to is the Jennifer Connelly I fell in love with as a kid watching LABYRINTH and whose epic rack I later fantasised about as I watched and re-watched THE ROCKETEER and THE HOT SPOT (if you currently do or have ever had a thing for Connelly, you owe it to yourself to watch THE HOT SPOT. You can thank me later).

CREATION is a worthwhile film for the thinking viewer but not so much for the deeply religious viewer. I’ve always had a hard time with the idea that we’ve evolved from apes, something about that just doesn’t sit right with me. Of course, the idea that we’ve all come from Adam and Eve and are therefore all related or the product of incest isn’t any easier of a pill to swallow. As you have no doubt surmised this flick doesn’t just tap dance on the line, it kicks the line square in the balls and then chuckles. There are many great controversies in the world and this one of (if not) the biggest. Bottom line, if you happen to be an easygoing  person like myself, you’ll have no problem enjoying this for what it is.

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REVIEW: Family Guy Volume 8

"Thankfully better than the past couple seasons."

The Griffin Family are back and pulling no punches in their eighth season of mischief and adventure. From trips across the multiverse to replacing the friend who moved away, the antics of all your favourite characters are back and better than ever.

I’ve been a big fan of FAMILY GUY from the day one and in all honesty I don’t know many people who aren’t fans. I was weaned into animated comedy by THE SIMPSONS (I can always depend on Homer to put a smile on my face) and then later explored the cynical side of cartoon comedy with the underrated Teletoon series DUCKMAN. Though I can’t confirm it, I believe Seth MacFarlane was no doubt a DUCKMAN fan as this series fits the same mould. All praise aside, the seventh season felt a touch desperate to me and though I still managed to laugh every now and again, I began to lose interest in the show. Thankfully this season renewed my faith in the series and was action packed with more than enough laughs to keep the fire burning.

The storylines and jokes found within the FAMILY GUY universe encompass a very broad spectrum; from political, religious, celebrity and film humour to outright slanderous material that can and no doubt does offend a good many people. Personally I love it all. I’m always in stitches when Jesus or God pop up (I laughed my ass off at the Black Jesus bit this season), I though the Hannah Montana bit was funny and my all time favourite episode of the season was Stew-Roids where Stewie gets all jacked up on steroids. Of course, some of the funniest aspects of this show for me come from the numerous mentions of old cartoons like HE-MAN, THUNDERCATS, TRANSFORMERS and a slew of other shows I grew on. Some of these jokes are no doubt lost on younger audiences (even my girlfriend doesn’t get most of them) but these outlandish cameo appearances and mentions put me in stitches almost every time.

FAMILY GUY’s eighth season is one of the shortest ones yet (with only fifteen episodes) but it’s also one of the funniest in awhile. I’m a Stewie fan through and through and though they went way overboard with his “ahem” sexual preference theme, he’s still my favourite (the “bitch” Stewie clone almost had me in tears). I’m still not a hundred percent sure how they entice Seth Green and Mila Kunis to stick around with so few lines but in Green’s case I suppose he’s not doing much else. The one thing that bothered me about this season was the abundance of shameless winks and nudges toward THE CLEVELAND SHOW which I refuse to watch on principle. Why in hell they took the least interesting character in the show and gave him his own series (other than the money and use of race jokes) is beyond me. I’d have been more interested in a Quagmire show, but that’s just me.

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REVIEW: The A-Team

"One of the better films I've seen this summer."

A covert military team called in when the going gets rough and the job seems impossible are set up while trying to get back some counter fitting plates, court-martialed and then locked up.  They soon escape and become hell bent on tracking down those responsible.

As a kid, I grew up watching the old school A-TEAM show.  For me, it ranked up there with THE DUKES OF HAZARD, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, STREET HAWK, AIR WOLF and KNIGHT RIDER.  Oh how I miss the glory days of old.  That said, not so long ago while visiting my in-laws who have a ridiculous amount of satellite stations, loaded and bored, I found myself scanning the stations when suddenly I saw THE A-TEAM.  Naturally I was pumped and tuned in.  Suffice to say the show doesn't currently hold the same level of interest for me that it did when I was a kid.  The "old TV show" to film ratio is painfully high lately and the result is usually God awful.  I wasn't sure what to think when I heard about THE A-TEAM coming to the big screen, and though it was no MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (single handed the best transition yet in my opinion) I was very impressed and thoroughly entertained.

Liam Neeson as Hannibal and Bradley Cooper (who was supremely ripped for this role) as Face is what caught my eye early on.  Both are fantastic actors and I knew if they were on board I was in for something special.  Then came the Rampage Jackson news which had me scratching my head.  His later quote about how "gay" acting is really made my balls start to ache and question whether or not he was going to single handedly kill this movie.  I'm shocked to inform you that he was not only funny but pretty damn likeable as B.A. (I do miss Mr. T though, but at least he has the WARCRAFT commercials).  Sharlto Copley was equally impressive here and I'm glad to see him follow up DISTRICT 9 with something this solid, especially seeing as how he played a major role and how this could easily become a franchise.

THE A-TEAM was a welcome surprise for me as this summer had been terribly unbalanced for a time of year when the supposed blockbusters should be hitting theatres.  Some critics are taking pot shots at this flick but that's to be expected and comes with the territory when dealing with TV show/Video Game to movie translations.  Despite my hatred of watered down action via the PG-13 rating, this flick was fun and took itself far more seriously than I thought it would.  The use of the shows "plan making" sequences was cleverly implicated showing a distinct love and respect for the source material and keep and eye out for a cameo from another old school TV series SIMON AND SIMON (loved it).  That, and make sure you stick around until the end credits role for more cameos that'll put a big smile on any fan's face.  

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Batman: City of Scars

I'm all for fan made films and as for Batman, I was rather fond of the one they did a few years ago with Batman, Joker, Aliens and Predators. This one has a solid dude in the Batsuit and a pretty good story to roll with. I thought the Joker was horrible in both presentation and acting-wise but I guess you can't win them all. But speaking of Joker, check out the Joker files I posted on here a few months ago for a cool set of fan made Joker fun.

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TRAILER: The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I enjoyed the first trip to Narnia for what it was and was then blown away by the followup PRINCE CASPIAN. As excited as I was to hear the third film move forward (despite being dropped by Disney) I find myself sadly underwhelmed by this trailer. Fans rave about this book's storyline so I guess I was expecting more. I'm still hoping my opinion gets turned around soon.

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TRAILER: The Green Hornet

I'm gonna be honest here, as much as I enjoy the antics of Seth Rogen I had no interest in a GREEN HORNET film and furthermore felt is was going be to be a steaming piece of dog shit. That said, it still could very well end up that way but this trailer delivers potential on a level I never imagined.

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GAME TRAILER: Fable 3

I loved the first FABLE game and though I got to it rather late (a year or so after it was released), I also enjoyed the second one. It feels like it was only yesterday that I played it, which is nice as the wait for the next one wasn't all that long. Now, I did feel the second game was far too easy but enjoyed the addition of your dog companion (not to mention the final boss fight fought itself and while you watched). This first trailer looks beautiful but I'm not sold on the story just yet.

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TRAILER: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

It's hard to believe Harry and his crew are all grown up now and nearly finished telling their tale. I was doubtful at first, but as they kids became young adults and story got grittier and darker I became hooked. This is a series I don't want to see end, and I'm still not sure how it ends as I've not read the books. Here's the first teaser, beginning the countdown to part one of Harry's last battle.

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HBO Teaser: A Game of Thrones

Admittedly this isn't much, but even a teaser for the upcoming Fantasy series based on the George R.R. Martin books is enough to give me rock hard wood strong enough to crush a pop can.  I'm anxiously awaiting this series with (God help me) high as hell hopes.  I know I won't be let down but the wait is killing me and now I NEED to see a full trailer very soon.

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Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

Okay, I was obsessed with MORTAL KOMBAT when it hit arcades (to be brutally honest, I'm still trying to find a MK 2 arcade machine on EBay that will ship to me) and naturally was super stoked when the idea of bringing it to big screen came along.  Sadly, the R rated extreme fighting films I wanted to see, well, never saw the light of day.  News of a reboot came a knocking not so long ago (I still don't know what the hell happened to part 3) and an edgy new director cooked up this short film/trailer/preview of what "could be" if he were to get the reins.  THIS VIDEO IS FUCKING AWESOME AND EPITOMIZES EVERYTHING THAT AN MK MOVIE SHOULD BE, I MUST BE DRINKING BRAWNDO BECAUSE I'M DEFINITELY WINNING AT YELLING!  Please God, let this guy make the new MK movie, let it keep this storyline and let it star Michael Jai White.

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REVIEW: Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

"If only these films would dare to go beyond PG-13."

A supposedly normal kid who thinks he had ADD soon realizes that not only is he the son of the Greek God Poseidon but that Gods are about to go to war because they think he stole Zeus’s lightning bolt, which makes him a target for Gods and monsters alike.

With the ridiculous success (and boatloads of cash) surrounding the HARRY POTTER franchise studios are raping and pillaging the world over in search of the next book to film translation to win people’s hearts and fatten executive pockets. PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF is one such endeavour. But for me, the Potter series holds a distinct type of charm with its magical world of intrigue that this film can’t seem to capture. I got the distinct feeling they were trying too hard to make this film appeal to everyone (rather than pick a certain age category and stick with it) resulting in a rather bland adventure that doesn’t seem to really go anywhere.

My biggest beef with LIGHTING THIEF if the story, now bare with me here, we have a Demigod who has no idea he’s a Demigod. Suddenly there’s a war going on between Gods with Hades aspiring to take over Olympus. Percy’s sent on a quest to the Underworld but to get there he needs to first defeat Medusa...any of this sound familiar? Well it should as most of what goes on in this film took place earlier this summer in CLASH OF THE TITANS. Okay, so there are more than a few differences between the two films but there are far too many similarities to ignore. I’m not going to play the “which came first” game but this story serves up a painful kick in the nuts to the God of originality.

Now for all its flaws, one place this film does deliver the goods is with the effects. Hades looked totally badass in his fire demon form, Percy’s water powers were cool and even Zeus’s lightning bolt seemed pretty real. The CGI Hellhounds and Minotaur looked cheap as hell but the Hydra wasn’t too bad. Granted, no matter how real or fake any of these monsters appeared, there was absolutely no sense of danger whatsoever. The characters just blew through each step of the film with nonchalance and ease, there were no real obstacles to overcome, I mean hell, Percy all of a sudden becomes this seasoned warrior after getting his ass kicked by a chick and then crawling to the water where he discovers his “powers”. I get that he’s the son of Poseidon and all, but just because he can control water doesn’t mean he should automatically know how to fight with a sword.

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THEIF is watchable but hardly memorable. There were some great cameos in here from Uma Thurman and Rosario Dawson both of whom are still looking sexy, especially Dawson. Sean Bean is one of my favourite actors be he’s merely an afterthought despite playing the mighty Zeus. There was some TROPIC THUNDER love by way of Brandon T. Jackson and Steve Coogan and even Peirce Bronson came out of hiding and scored a pay check (I also loved SUPERNATURAL’s Jake Abel showing up). The cast wasn’t the problem, for me the film just felt hollow and bland, just another excuse to take a series of books and turn them into gold. What’s worse on that front (from what I hear) is that they didn’t do a very good job of representing the book either.

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REVIEW: She's Out Of My League

"Not bad considering how far the bar has been raised."

Kirk’s not what you’d call a lady’s man when it come to dating, so when a drop dead gorgeous chick takes a liking to him his crew insist she’s out of his league and it’s only a matter of time before he blows it which only adds to already nervous demeanour.

With each new year comes a slew of raunchy romantic comedies that try to reinvent the wheel for a genre that’s been fresh out of ideas for years. Dane Cook gave us a couple similar flicks with MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL (which I enjoyed rather shamelessly) and GOOD LUCK CHUCK which though admittedly yielded a couple laughs, was completely forgettable. MISS MARCH suffered the same fate as CHUCK and at first glance, that was exactly what I felt SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE would add up to. Thankfully I was wrong but don’t let the cover fool you, this is NOT the funniest movie since the HANGOVER.

I’m not going to bully the story too hard but let’s be honest here; the geek’s been getting the girl since the “CAN’T BUY ME LOVE” days so this plotline is far from new but I’m cool with repeat business as long as they make the flick funny in some way shape or form (which they did) and then tweak it in such a way that it brings something relatively fresh to the table. Their obsessive rating system was a hoot, especially when they got into all the details that added or subtracted from the prime number. I also dug Kirk’s ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend living with his deranged family and all the chaotic fun that came with it. Again, the ex getting jealous when her guy gets a new girl scene is also worn out but all in all it was well done and didn’t drag on to the point of annoyance.

Jay Baruchel definitely isn’t the dude I generally picture headlining this type of flick. That said he’s a far better choice than most of the throwaway nobodies that we see once and never really here from again. This genre’s notorious for that kind of thing so at least I felt better about it seeing the token “funny loser guy” from TROPIC THUNDER and FANBOYS. He handles himself well here and has an entertaining group of friends to fall back on for support as well as laughs (the ball shaving was priceless). One of the greatest things about comedies like this is the one liners and overall dialogue. There’s more than enough to go around with Kirk’s best bud Stainer hitting most of the homeruns. I’m also a fan of Mike Vogel (Kirk’s buddy Jack) but unfortunately he’s terribly underused whereas his annoying fat friend seems to be lurking around in almost every damn scene.

SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE isn’t the hottest comedy of the year nor is the worst. If I were to use their point system I would say this flick started out as an eight, but lost half a point for lack of originality and another half a point for falling prey to the dreaded third act love story angle that tends to suck the life (and humour) out of these films rather quickly. I do enjoy these types of movies and I will admit that lately the hits outshine the misses but very few of these films have the infinite replay value I want them to have so if you want my honest opinion, check this flick out but make sure it’s a rental.

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REVIEW: Undisputed 3

"Scott Adkins kicks some serious ass."

Despite suffering a devastating leg injury (the bone protruding kind) at the hands of Michael Jai White at the end of UNDISPUTED 2, Uri Boyka is once again ready to put his life on the line in the underground fighting syndicate. This time around eight lethal fighters from various maximum security prisons around the world will fight not only for the glory of being champion but freedom as well. Of course, the bad news is that the organizers are just looking for a multimillion dollar payoff and have no damn intentions of giving the winner anything other than a bullet.

I’ve been an avid fan of martial arts flicks since I discovered Loren Avedon and KING OF THE KICKBOXERS back when I was first coming into movies. I had the distinct pleasure of talking back and forth with Mr. Avedon (he’s a super cool guy) and it was he who actually told me about UNDISPUTED 2 while shooting the shit about life and movies. I immediately watched it and loved every second of it. Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White are phenomenal athletes who can do superhuman things in the ring. I was very excited to hear they were going ahead with a third film and I was not disappointed in the least. The fight sequences were just as stellar as the second (if not more so) and again it just blows me away seeing what these guys can do.

The only sad part here is how few and far between these martial arts epics have become and that they still have to get by on the direct to DVD market. Don’t get me wrong, the production value here is top notch, so I can only imagine how much better it could have been with a bigger budget. Michael Jai White’s BLOOD AND BONE was the same way but like the UNDISPUTED films could have blown the roofs off theatres with a little more money and finesse. Instead, we end up with farces like FIGHTING in theatres which is nothing short of an insult. But on the opposite side of things, Larnell Stovall, the dude behind UNDISPUTED 3’s amazing fight choreography, was also in league with the MORTAL KOMBAT: REBIRTH short film now online starring Michael Jai White and a few others. If you’re reading this review you clearly dig martial arts as much as I do so you owe it to yourself to look up the MK video after this. Trust me, you’ll be glad as hell you did.

Scott Adkins is working his ass off to get THAT break and though he did pop up in the underrated X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE (I have no idea why I’m the only one who loved that film) as Weapon X1, played a small role in THE TOURNAMENT and landed the lead in NINJA, he’s still not there yet. Adkins doesn’t get much in the way of lines in either UNDISPUTED film and his dialogue in NINJA was somewhat cheesetacular (though I won’t blame him for that as it WAS a ninja film and the entire script emanated a cheesy eighties vibe) so the man is clearly doing the best with what he’s got to work with. But let me tell you, physically he’s far superior to just about any other martial artist in the business (with the exception of Michael Jai White, though he’s just about on par) with incredible speed and moves. I’m rooting for you Scott and I hope you get the break you deserve soon.

UNDISPUTED 3 is everything you could want in an epic martial arts extravaganza. The fights are brutally impressive, the choreography is shot with a distinct edge of intensity that had my adrenaline going into overdrive and the story was great considering the limitations of where the series can go. I’m happy to see that Adkins is steadily getting more roles, and I wouldn’t be overly bothered by seeing him in an UNDISPUTED 4. That said, he deserves better than the straight to DVD market and I hope people are starting to get that. My advice, give him and Michael Jai White a feature film together and watch guys like me flood to the theatre by the truckload.

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REVIEW: From Paris with Love

"John Travolta shows he's still got it baby!"

A low level CIA operative who has yet to pop his mission cherry is suddenly teamed up with a bad-ass Vin Diesel XXX type agent whose crass tactics are not only as lethal as they get but at least a hundred times more entertaining. What starts out as a reluctant partnership takes an unexpected turn when evidence of a cover-up even closer to home suddenly changes everything.

I’m all about the action, an adrenaline junkie if you will, so what better way to start this pairing up than with an angry Travolta arguing with Paris customs over bringing a carry-on bag full of energy drinks into the country. This flick didn’t get much advertizing and I’ll admit to not being blown away by the premise when it hit theatres. I should have known better though as Luc Besson doesn’t put out too many duds. FROM PARIS WITH LOVE may not be TAKEN (but it does have the same director which is a bonus), however I couldn’t help but find myself immediately overtaken with glee by what these boys are selling.

Travolta as a villain (or in this case anti-hero) is just my game. I don’t remember the guy for LOOK WHO’S TALKING or MICHAEL, I worship the man for character driven flicks like PULP FICTION, FACE/OFF, BROKEN ARROW and SWORDFISH. Travolta is a lot like Anthony Hopkins, both men are destined to dance with the devil and we love them for it. In XXX Sam Jackson joked about the idea of dropping another mouse in the snake pit or sending in their own snake to get the job done right, Travolta IS that snake and man does he love to bite. Meyers isn’t a bad actor, nor does he do a bad job here but this particular setup makes him look like Robin with Travolta of course being Batman. And when it comes to Robin, he’s good for an “oooh or ahhh” here and there but you don’t really need him when Batman’s around which is exactly how their relationship plays out.

The story’s not half bad for a “shoot first, ask questions later” flick with Travolta bringing the pain at every turn. His persona is epic and his dialogue pure gold from start to finish (reminding me a lot of his character from THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123). Having Meyers carry around a vase full of cocaine was almost as funny as how they ended up with it in the first place, then we’ve got hookers, bazookas and my personal favourite, a “royal with cheese” shout out. There were enough winks and nods of pure genius in this film to keep my smile ear to ear for the entire hour and a half. I did put two and two together with the ring and what not when the plot started to thicken but I’m not complaining as this is nowhere near the connect the dots flight a lot of actions films charter these days.

FROM PARIS WITH LOVE may sound a touch cheesy but rest assured if action is your game this will have you hooked in a heartbeat. Travolta still has a couple aces up his sleeve and makes for a hell of a good action star when he’s not making buddy comedies or kid flicks (OLD DOGS was pretty rough). The R rated action flick seems few and far between lately but it’s nice to see decent actors still able to get the job done. This flick caught some flack (like most action vehicles do) but for those of you who haven’t seen it, I urge you to forget what you’ve heard and check it out. For those of you hating, I suggest you calm down and appreciate these films for what they are: mindless action escapes. It’s not supposed to make sense people it’s supposed to be fun and trust me, it was.

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A Drop of True Blood: Webisode 6

This final taste brings us to Jason, arguably one of the best characters in the series and definitely the funniest. Calling out to Jesus, aliens, Scientology and the Lion from Narnia is fucking hilarious! This one, again is pushing the werewolf button pretty hard, I sure hope the pack doesn't disappoint. Guess we'll find out tomorrow night.

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A Drop of True Blood: Webisode 5

The wait for TRUE BLOOD season three is nearly over and this fifth (of six) web episode gives us a look at what Bill's up to prior to his night out with Sookie (which again feels like it takes place before the last episode). I wish I had his suductive powers so I could get those kinds of badass discounts.

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MTV Movie Awards Trailer featuring Les Grossman

TROPIC THUNDER was insanely hilarious and it still blows my mind that Tom Cruise agreed to play such a minor role in Hollywood Tycoon Les Grossman, who ended up stealing the show for me with his explosive over the top character and gut retchingly funny dance moves. This MTV Movie Award bit with him and Robert Pattinson has insured that I will be watching this program as you just know Les will make at least one more appearance.

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REVIEW: Valentine's Day

"A chickflick even guys can enjoy."

Valentine’s Day means a lot of things to a lot of different people and whether we like it or not it’s unavoidable. This story explores a series of strangers connected by love, hate and every emotion in between on one of the craziest days of the year.

I’ve never really been a fan of the Hallmark Holiday known as Valentine’s Day so the prospect of having it blowing up into a full-fledged film didn’t exactly instil me with a lot of enthusiasm. I’m not cheap or unromantic (God knows I’ve gone out of my way to impress a good many ladies on V-day) but both my girlfriend and I work in the restaurant business and as such usually end up working V-day anyway so it’s ended up meaning very little to either of us. This film was not at all what I expected and cast stones if you will, but I didn’t mind the ride and enjoyed it for what it was. I wasn’t thrilled or packing wood, but I’ve seen far worse.

I’m more perplexed and or confused than anything when it comes down to the cast. How in the hell do you pay twenty plus well known to relatively well known actors and actresses to come on board without blowing the budget to the farthest reaches of space!? Inflation is a sassy bitch these days and nobody works for peanuts in this business. That said, a good portion of this cast are present for glorified cameo purposes but still, I’ve seen people paid more for less if ya know what I mean. At the end of the day though, you can easily spot the central figures like Jamie Fox, Ashton Kutcher and Anne Hathaway, but there’s more than enough cast to go around and as far as calling out favourites is concerned (for me it was Bradley Cooper, Topher Grace and even good ol George Lopez) there’s something or should I say someone here for everyone.

The other thing that made this film interesting enough to keep me from napping was the interlocking storyline. Yes, I’m a sucker for that style of film but be that as it may, I can spot a flubbed job a mile away and this didn’t feel like that. There were many solid connections and as the story continued I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be the fluff-fest I originally assumed it was. On that end, most of our cast don’t have all that great a V-day at all. The subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) character flaws were also very refreshing and in some cases (like with Hathaway and the guitar kid) seriously funny. Thankfully, for the most part these unique situations pertain closely to the pitfalls of life’s unexpected journey through the minefield of love. As we see here, it can be pretty damn messy when you step down and hear a “click” but for me that added to the flavour.

VALENTINE’S DAY isn’t the best romantic comedy (if that’s what you want to call it) I’ve ever seen but in no way is it the worst. As I said, with a cast this extensive, it’s hard not to have favourites and be rooting for someone, which is how this film got me in the end. No, it’s not a must see or something you need to own and yes, it does feel a little odd watching a movie about Valentine’s Day in general, let alone when it’s not actually Valentine’s Day. That said, if you’re looking for a laid back flick to kick back to with your woman (that won’t have you knee deep in THE NOTEBOOK territory) this would be a wise choice.

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REVIEW: The Wolfman

"A fantastic return to what made this legend memorable in the first place."

Stage actor Lawrence Talbot is visited in London by the fiancĂ©e of his late brother whose grisly murder has raised many questions. He reluctantly returns to his family’s estate and all the awful memories from his childhood. These memories pale in comparison to the cursed monster that will lay claim to his soul.

For the most part, I’ve always found werewolves rather bland and predictable in the fight to become the masters of horror. I don’t really know which came first, the vampire or the werewolf but I feel the werewolf got the short end of the stick. The main reason being that werewolves are just another Jekyll and Hyde story with their wolf form making them monsters that can’t be reasoned with or controlled instead of the suave vampire who’s still a master of intrigue. This isn’t THE HOWLING, but it isn’t UNDERWORLD either and as far as the monster goes, I loved the old school feel of THE WOLFMAN and couldn’t have asked for a better representation.

The story works because it focuses upon the lore of lycanthropy, curses, mystics and the overall recklessness of small minded religion and politics found in the old world. The gypsies were a nice touch and rightfully so as magic goes hand in hand with werewolves just as nicely as it does with vampires. There’s all kinds of silver floating around; from pure silver bullets, silver tipped shotgun shells and of course, the silver wolf’s head cane/sword that some random old dude gives our main character at the beginning of the film for no particular reason whatsoever. It was an odd scene, and yes, I understand you wanting to get a weapon like that in the film but I’d have personally gone about it differently. I also enjoyed the addition of Scotland Yard and loved the subtle Jack the Ripper nod.

I wasn’t sure about Benicio Del Toro in the lead at first (though I’ll admit he looked the part in the early pictures) but he played his role with an elegance I didn’t know the man had and I was particularly impressed by his lack of accent. As a matter a fact, the wardrobe and sets are magnificent and add just the right tone, look and feel to this film. The score is similarly well handled and easily makes the hair on your arms squirm. Anthony Hopkins is one of those actors that rocks the shit out whatever film he’s in, even more so when he plays a sinister type of character (he was made for those roles). Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving didn’t get nearly as much screen time as I’d have liked but both added their own appeal and did the best with what they had to work with (check out Blunt in THE YOUNG VICTORIA for a true measure of her acting skills).

THE WOLFMAN is exactly what I wanted it to be, a slick, atmospheric monster movie that delivers Horror the way it should be delivered, with an R rating (there was talk of making it PG-13 for awhile). There is also an unrated director’s cut giving us an added fifteen minutes of the good stuff and I definitely approve. The only downside I found here was the obvious predictability of it all, as sadly there are no surprises when it comes to how things are and will eventually play out. Is that a bad thing? Sometimes it can be but rest assured this film works as a monster movie and true Horror experience and that’s what counts most at the end of the day. There are so few actual “Horror” films being made lately so relish these babies like gold cause who knows how rare they might soon become.

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TRAILER: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

I'm no doubt one of the only guys who isn't totally against these films. My love of vampire flicks demanded I watch them and though they're a far cry from TRUE BLOOD and the BLADE series I still find myself coming back and in this case, a little excited to see where things go. I guess I'll find out in July.

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TRAILER: Scott Pilgrim VS. The World

Say what you will about Michael Cera but I think the dude's hilarious and I'm totally up for more of him when it comes down to comedy (that said, Jack Black's picture side his on YEAR ONE made me bypass the film). This flick looks like a story I'd write on acid while drinking and snorting some blow, but all in all I applaud the creative angle but have to say this would look ten times better with an R rating.

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TRAILER: Lost Boys: The Thirst

Okay, so I suppose I have to start with LOST BOYS is one of my favorite movies of all time and I was mortified to the tenth power when I heard they were going to continue the series. THE TRIBE could have been an alright vamp flick (better than the FROM DUST TILL DAWN SEQUELS) but since it was a LOST BOYS sequel it got shit on and rightfully so. Though THIRST's premise looks remotely interesting, the same thing will happen. That, and it just feels wrong with Corey Haim's recent passing.

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