TRAILER: Stone

This flick looks good; great cast, cool premise (even if it's been done) but my only question is what rock has this been hiding under as I saw this trailer over a year ago? Either way, I'm down with Norton (maybe not the hair style) and look forward to another hard hitting thriller.

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BLU RAY: Insomnia

"Pacino at his best."

With I.A. crawling down his back over a past case, detective Dormer is loaned out to colleagues in Alaska to help solve a brutal murder. A conflicting time zone, sleep deprivation, the sudden murder of his partner and the elaborate games of a killer start to stretch Dormer beyond his means.

I could have easily written this review without re-watching the film (I love this movie and have seen it about a dozen times or so) but a curious thing happened when I gave the cover a closer glance. Across the top it plainly reads, “From the director of THE DARK KNIGHT and INCEPTION.” I had no idea this was directed by Christopher Nolan which isn’t surprising considering this flick came out before he was a household name. Be that as it may, my curiosity was renewed and so I watched it again loving it even more this time around. It’s not Nolan’s best but it sure does rank up there with the greats.

First and foremost I’m a HUGE Al Pacino fan. It saddens me immensely that the guy’s getting up there in years and will no doubt retire from the business alongside many other veterans in the not so distant future. Pacino’s all over this one, his character is multi layered and deep, his portrayal of a sleep deprived man is stupendous down to the physical representation as well as the micro naps and hallucinations. There’s a lot going on under the skin of this film and its characters. Robin Williams gave a surprisingly chilling performance here as a killer. Sure the man’s hilarious but his creepy side was quite convincing. I also enjoy Hilary Swank especially in the films when she comes off sexy and feminine (this one was good but I feel she looked the hottest in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER...which is probably the best thing I can say about that movie).

The visuals were crisp on Blu-ray, making the serene locales come to life. I’ve never been driving down a stretch of road and looked over to see a beautiful cascading waterfall nearly an arm’s reach away. I’m not sure I’m all for living in Alaska but the place sure does look captivating. The storyline and dialogue are smart and come across as not only believable but empathetic. I feel for Dormer and would have done the exact same thing as him when it came to planting the evidence that got him the conviction in the past case haunting him. Of course, if it was me, I’d go a step further and execute the bastard like Gerard Butler did in LAW ABIDING CITIZEN but I’ve always been an “eye for an eye” kind of guy.

INSOMNIA is a perfect little psychological thriller that digs its hooks in deep and doesn’t let go until the fade to black. For a two hour movie the pace is smooth and pushes all the right buttons to keep you on edge and wanting more. I’m not certain but I think I remember this film getting some poor reviews when it came out but I can’t imagine why. This is a remake (something I learned this time around) but Nolan has a keen eye for re-imaging a story and I for one am not complaining. If you have yet to see this film I suggest you check it out and/or add it to your collection.

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BLU RAY: John Rambo

"Much better the second time around."

John Rambo has been living a simple life in the quiet reaches of Thailand away from the world and away from war. That is until a group of missionaries with a clear death wish drop in on him in hopes that he’ll take them into Burma. Knowing Burma’s nothing but a war zone Rambo reluctantly agrees but when the missionaries go missing Rambo must join forces with a group of mercenaries in hopes rescuing them from certain death.

I didn’t care for JOHN RAMBO the first time I watched it and I hoped that this second run through the jungle would fare better. Thankfully it did, though this film is not without its faults. The first Rambo flick was pretty good for its time but RAMBO 2 is what blew my mind and had be wearing headbands and bugging mom to buy me a huge knife. The third one was “meh” but I can’t say that I was unhappy with Sly’s decision to expand both Rambo’s and Rocky’s worlds with new age sequels (for the record I loathed ROCKY 5). On both counts Sly brought back his two most iconic characters with class and style and in Rambo’s case, this setting is exactly what I would have expected from the character.

The opening scene is one of my favourites as who else but Rambo would be crazy enough to be out catching cobras and water snakes (two of THE most deadly snakes in the world), not that the Asian dudes with him were any better, taking the snakes out of the bag so that they could poke and prod at them, pissing them off royally. The boat scene with the mercenaries was another good one, when the leader was giving Rambo some lip. The look on Rambo’s face was a lot like the look Arnie gave Bill Paxton in TRUE LIES just before he broke his neck. Rambo could have smoked all those fools before they even knew what hit them, he didn’t but the fact that he could have if he wanted to was enough to make me smile.

The psychological approach this movie took to the character was also worthy of note even if they only did show his restless dreams from the past only once and briefly at that. Rambo’s a tortured soul and a few more years certainly didn’t change that. I found this film aged him gracefully though and even made him more humble. The war end of things is where I was let down. Though in all honesty Burma is one of the few places left in the world that we could have sent Rambo in shooting (I’m very curious to see where he goes next). The gore was a tad over the top. War is brutal, I get that, but having soldiers bet on which prisoner will blow up on a landmine as they’re herded across a body of water is a touch much. Add to that an excessive amount of body parts whizzing through the air and gallons of red stuff and you can visualize the kinda party I’m talking about.

JOHN RAMBO is a solid action flick that digs down deep into the roots of its protagonist hauntingly well and paints a dark picture of war and cruelty. This is not a film for the squeamish that’s for sure, even I winced a couple times and I was brought up on this stuff (RAMBO was the first R rated action flick I ever saw, that, COMMANDO and then COBRA). Sly did a great job keeping the game going and though it’s not the best in the series it’s good for a watch here and there. I’m not sure about the whole “extended cut” end of things as I didn’t feel I saw anything different (and the run time was still a slim hour and thirty nine minutes which is pretty short) but I can’t say it was a bad ride. Onward to THE EXPENDABLES baby!

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BLU RAY: Lock Up

"Better than I remember it, but still not one of his best."

Sly is Frank Leone, a relatively straight shooter who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. With only six months to go on his prison tab, Frank’s suddenly hauled out of his country club prison and shipped up to the meanest cell block around complements of a warden from his past who’s hell bent on breaking him and seeing that he spends the rest of his life behind bars.

Prison, that’s the one place I hope to God I never see in this lifetime. I do enjoy a good prison based flick but after seeing just about every one of them out there I’ve come to realize that it’s no place for me. Frank Leone feels the same way but unfortunately he’s passed the point of no return. I liked this flick when I first saw it and re-watching it now is like singing and eighties farewell tour which is good and bad. The good part being that I love eighties flicks, the bad part being that we don’t get that kind of movie anymore.

There’s a lot of my favourite eighties nuances here from the gritty finish, the ballsy language and the no holds barred violence, all of which are good to see but truth be told this is one of my least favourite Sly flicks from back in the day. I will say that this movie bridged a nice gap for his performance in TANGO AND CASH (now THAT was a prison scenario that kicked some ass!). I enjoyed Frank’s character here but the movie I wanted to see was the back story between him and warden where Frank busted out of his prison and made him look like a fool. Sadly this isn’t the case which doesn’t make this film bad by any stretch, just a little mildly paced.

It was nice to see Donald Sutherland in action (I miss that guy and always picture him in BACKDRAFT which makes me smile) and of course there were some other familiar faces but the one that sticks out the most is Larry Romano (First Base) who I wouldn’t have known then but recognize now from one of my favourite comedy sitcoms THE KING OF QUEENS. One of the best parts about revisiting oldies for me is catching small cast things like this, and you’d be amazed how many of them there are to catch. The acting, dialogue and overall performances were pretty tight and not all cheesy like some eighties fodder, which is also nice considering many of these films are known for that.

LOCK UP is nowhere near Sly’s best film, if anything it felt like a dramatic roll of the dice from a man who was used to just doing shoot ‘em up action pieces. Is that a bad thing, not really, it’s just not the adrenaline rush you might be used to when it comes down to Sly’s older stuff. Flicks like this one are what made me love PRISON BREAK and or prison films in general. Nobody wants to be in general population but I think we’re all very curious about what goes on in there...aside from the soap dropping end of things. The upgrade to Blu-ray is solid but this one’s for Sly fanatics in my opinion. One thing’s for sure, this has made me want to go out and hunt down OVER THE TOP on Blu-ray and re-watch TANGO AND CASH on Blu-ray which I happened to pick up last week (new) for nine ninety-nine.

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REVIEW: Repo Men

"This is one cure you don't want."

Remy, a repo man who repossesses artificial organs from within their hosts if and when the person doesn’t pay up, starts having second thoughts and as a result suffers an accident that puts him on the other side of things with an artificial heart and when he too falls behind his crew is then sent after him.

I didn’t have a whole lot of interest in this film when I saw the trailers. Don’t get me wrong, I was intrigued by the idea but unimpressed by the presence of Jude Law as one of the main characters. Every time I hear his name I think of his Gigolo Joe character from the ridiculous ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE movie and get very angry. That said, I enjoyed him in SHERLOCK HOLMES so I went into this flick with an open mind. I enjoyed it for what it was but I found myself torn (no pun intended) by some of the decisions these characters made.

The premise is gold, no question there. A company selling overpriced man made organs in hopes that the consumer will be unwilling to pay so they can send in the repo men to “reclaim” set organ so they can sell it again. There’s a strong moral code here that seems to shatter on impact when it comes to the brutality in which these men “work”. Lots of companies are greedy and would love nothing more than to bleed us consumers dry, but slicing them open and actually leaving them to die is a hard pill to swallow. Add to that, with the amount of people needing these organs, you’d think that someone would have a friend who knew a guy who’s uncle’s cousin got ripped open and left to die impeding their judgement on the matter and causing a bit of exposure to these tactics but the film doesn’t imply this whatsoever.

I loved the action and much to my surprise Jude Law carried himself rather well in the action seat. It helped having Forrest Whitaker on board as his partner in crime (I really dig Whitaker, he’s such an underrated player in the movie biz) and their chemistry was bang on. I dug where they’re relationship went and their loyalty (of sorts) to one another. My biggest character question mark came from Law’s family life. His wife clearly wasn’t happy and sure I can see her distaste for the guy’s work but that work put food on the table and got her that big house. I get that she could be pissed, but the guy was willing to change and then you spit it back in his face like he’s a chump? Add to that, Law quits (no these aren’t spoilers as you see this in the trailer) and goes on the run living like (to quote Vincent Vega) a bum? These were big character decision plot holes in my opinion, ones that I just couldn’t get behind.

REPO MEN brought the pain, blood and action I hoped it would, especially via the unrated version. Other than the plot holes and gaps in character logic, I did feel a bit squeamish at times when it came down to all the graphic incisions and what not. I love action and I don’t shy away from blood and gore, but if there’s one thing I can’t watch it’s the operation channel on TV where real people are being cut open and worked on. That sucking sound of hands going into someone’s body sent chills up my spine, this flick felt vividly real on that front which I suppose is a good thing. The ending will be a fifty, fifty split when it comes right down to it but I dug the wink in TOTAL RECALL’s direction.

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REVIEW: Inception

"This poster kicks ass, I was disappointed that this wasn't a scene in the movie."

My main man Leo is a thief, but not just any type of thief, he specializes in stealing ideas and secrets from people's subconscious while joined with them in an indused sleep.  His latest mark is on to the game though and counters by hiring him to plant an idea (inception) rather than steal one.

I was sold on this one long before I knew anything about the plot details.  Leo + Nolan = balls to the walls good times.  What made this even better is the fact that Nolan didn't go for the "just another summer blockbuster" here, he went above and beyond that with something that was destined to be hailed as a genuine highlight for this generation (or at the very least decade) of movies.  Now I know what you're thinking, "oh great, here we go again, this guy's gonna suck Nolan's dick for the next three to four paragraphs," but I assure you that's not the case.  I'm giving credit where credit is due yes as this movie makes many of the new breed of film look mighty inferior but it's by no means the holy grail.

The idea here is fantastic and though the direction used is relatively original the base on which it's built is definitely not.  This film leans heavily upon the precedent made by THE MATRIX, two dots that most everyone will no doubt put together.  This doesn't make it a bad thing or a copycat effort (wouldn't that be ironic though considering the wachowski's stole THE MATRIX idea from a short story competition), the bottom line for me is that this film didn't possess the sheer "wow factor" it would have had THE MATRIX never been.  That said, this is a sharp as hell script, smart and cleverly executed with very little in the way of plot holes.  Nolan covered his bases well and made some real magic here.

The cast is stellar, led by one of my personal favourites Leo Decaprio but the list of greatness doesn't stop there.  Any fan of Nolan's other titles will quickly catch the many returning faces from the past; Cilian Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine from the BATMAN films as well as another couple guilty pleasures in Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Everyone is spot on flawless here and that in and about itself is grounds for celebration.  However, with a team this big and a job this dangerous I was a little disappointed to see no casualties among the ranks.  This film could have been done a little darker and in doing so upped the ante as far as realism is concerned.  I'm also not sold completely on the ending but I won't get into that as I don't want to spoil anything.

INCEPTION is a fantastic movie and a hell of a good time at the movie theatres (I wish I'd caught it in IMAX).  My biggest problem here is that people griped and complained that the first MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was just too damn layered and complicated forcing the series to be watered down from then on.  I'm fairly sure people's intelligence level as a whole has gone down since then rather than up, so my question is, why in the fuck aren't people saying this now!?  And I answer:  this film is one hundred and ten percent BANDWAGON material.  Everyone and their dog's mother's cousin will say they loved it.  Sure, the simpler ones won't be getting into much detail when asked why, but rest assured they'll still say they loved it even if they had no fucking clue what in hell was going on.  I'm fine with this (for the most part) but on some levels find it sad that such is the way of things.  Either way, see this one in theatres as it's worth every dollar.

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TRAILER: The Town

Now here are two things I really enjoy: bank robberies and Ben Affleck kicking ass in an action role! I loved him in DAREDEVIL (even if I'm the only one) and feel that Affleck can do action. This flick looks like a hell of a good time and I can't wait to see more.

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TRAILER: Faster

There was a time when I thought The Rock could do no wrong...man did that feeling ever change. I would never watch THE TOOTH FAIRY on principle and though I find it interesting to see The Rock trying to reattach his nut sack and re-join the world of men, I'm not so sure this one will fly. This trailer doesn't give us much to go on, but here's hoping it'll be okay.

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REVIEW: Batman: Under the Red Hood

"A must see for Batman fans."

A new villain, calling himself The Red Mask, has taken Gotham's criminal underworld to their knees forcing their desperate hand.  Batman too becomes more than intrigued when this new threat is able to anticipate his every move and worse still, knows his true identity.

This new Batman adventure continues to up the ante for DC and fans of the character.  Following Christophe Nolan's lead, these stories are getting darker, gritter and more emotionally fueled than before (which is a most definitely a good thing).  This film follows the comic book storyline, "A death in the Family" which I'd never read but would like to now that I've watched the movie.  Batman's guilt over the death of the second Robin slowly eats away at him, making the temptation of crossing the line seem all that much easier.  Yes, this film features the boy wonder and yes, I was originally not amused by his presence but let me tell ya, this flick changed my world view on Robin (that said, I'd still rather it just be about Batman but I won't deny that the dynamic duo worked wonderfully here).

Another pleasant surprise was the added voice talent of Jensen Ackles (my man Dean Winchester from SUPERNATURAL), I couldn't believe it when I saw his name in the opening credits and I mus say he did a fantastic job voicing The Red Mask.  Bruce Greenwood returns as the voice of the Dark Knight and I was overjoyed to see Ra's Al Ghul and Riddler join the fray but what Batman flick would be complete without some insane Joker action.  I loved the storyline here, it was rich with powerful emotion and an intricate blend of darkness and fun.  DC dares to dig deeper and push the envelope farther with each new title (Marvel's been doing equally well on the animated front as well) and that's just what I want to see.  These are no longer "kid's cartoons" and that puts a smile on this guy's face.

BATMAN:  UNDER THE RED HOOD was brilliant in it's conception and entertaining all around.  This is Batman and DC at their best and holding no punches.  There's only so far the live movie Batman series can go and with the death of Heath Ledger (may he rest in peace) I'm not so sure we'll see much of the Joker anytime soon and we do, he just won't be the same.  The animated front is where the real magic can happen and the good news is, after years of borderline achievements, the animated front is on fire, kicking ass and taking names.  This is the way I want to see animated features and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one.

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TRAILER: Due Date

It's clearly evident that the peeps behind this flick are the same ones who brought us THE HANGOVER. Galifianakis's character is pretty much the same dude only this time he's riding around with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx which could end up being really funny (Foxx hasn't done a comedy in ages). With THE HANGOVER 2 coming, I just hope they don't wear out this character or worse yet milk it. We'll know soon enough.

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TRAILER: Devil

I'd heard about this one awhile back and despite all the negative reviews M. Night getting over THE LAST AIRBENDER this flick had my attention from the beginning. The Devil's stuck in an elevator with a bunch of people, how could I not love that premise!? Say what you will about Shyamalan but this one looks like it could be well worth checking out. I'm looking forward to seeing more on this bad boy.

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REVIEW: Predators

"The summer's first solid action vehicle."

Eight of the world's deadliest killers are rounded up and dropped into the jungle/gaming reserve of the Predator home planet where they are to be hunted one by one or sport.  An unstable alliance is all that stands between them and certain death.

The original PREDATOR was not only ahead of it's time, bringing about the birth of Sci-Fi's coolest and deadliest monster of all time, it also came about at a time when action films were at their best and packed the sort of punch Mike Tyson would give you for making an ear biting joke.  I miss those days and it's hard to acknowledge that those days are dead and buried.  PREDATOR 2 was just as action packed as the first film, but suffered from the loss of Arnold as well as from the loss and allure of the unsuspecting jungle.  I'll be honest though, like most people, I was in it for the Predator monster himself (not the local) and as a result would have paid to see him rip it up on a carnival cruise full of old people if need be (hence why I was able to sit through the AVP films).  Thankfully, this film pays distinct homage to the original and is the best we can come to hope for in this day and age.

Personally I don't think we could have had a better director than Robert Rodriguez, the man can deliver the goods when it comes to action.  He also made sure this baby sported an R rating and didn't hold back on all the good stuff (gore, language and violence) that we came to love about the first two PREDATOR films.  The action was great, the weapons were great, the Predators themselves looked fucking awesome and I particularly enjoyed the idea of expanding with different types of Predators as well as the dogs and the hunting of other extra terrestrial game.  The gear upgrades were also pretty badass as was the storyline explanation of it all.  This was easily this summer's best action hit to date but it was far from perfect.

Though I most definitely enjoyed the return to the jungle, other than the obvious planetary alignment scene, the compass reading and the mention of "alien looking" plant life this jungle didn't look or feel as alien as it could have.  I also enjoyed the idea behind these characters and felt they all had something cool to bring to the table but sadly the envelope wasn't pushed in this regard.  The first one didn't have to do this because Arnold's team were all the same breed of soldier, not so this time around and because of that I guess I was expecting a different tactical approach from each (or at least several) unique perspectives.  Nope, they follow Brody's lead (with the tiny exception of the Yakusa dude's ninja showdown which WAS cool and all but at the same time painfully short and uneventful) and that's fine but it could have been so much more grandiose.

PREDATORS is without a doubt what I expected it would be so I'm not going to say I'm disappointed with the film.  Adrian Brody was a solid lead, his crew were equally well balanced and even Fishburn's character (though brief) was fun.  Again, this is about as good as it's gonna get when it comes to shadowing the action flicks of the past (here's hoping EXPENDABLES follows suit), something I'm not terribly happy about but have to live with.  For that reason there's lots to love about PREDATORS and I hope to see more when this one came from.  As for nitpicking the details, yes, there's lots to choose from but look on the bright side, at least it wasn't another worthless AVP sequel.

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REVIEW: Chloe

"Amanda Seyfried radiates with forbidden darkness."

A married woman suspicious of her husband’s extracurricular activities decides to hire a call girl in hopes of figuring out whether or not he’s being faithful. Her plan backfires when they pass the point of no return and the already complicated situation escalates beyond her control.

When I first caught wind of CHLOE, Amanda Seyfried was coming off her recent win with JENIFFER’S BODY (please note, I’m not saying that movie was anything special only that it was a “win” for Seyfried as the spotlight was on her performance rather than Fox’s). Marketing-wise this film was coming off as a dark independent film with a neon lit “oh snap, we get to see Amanda Seyfried naked” sign slapped across it. Worked for me as I raised an eyebrow but rest assured (thankfully) this film offers far more than the spoils of T&A alone, it was a devilishly good time.

Trust is a difficult issue to conquer in this day and age, especially when it comes to relationships. Monogamy seems to be a thing of the past (and it ain’t gonna get any better when so called cult phenomenon’s like the TWILIGHT series preach that it’s okay to love and be with two people at the same time) so it’s no wonder men and women have trust issues when some people are working on their third or fourth marriages. CHLOE serves up a storyline that just about anyone can relate to as we’ve all no doubt gotten jealous or maybe suspected our significant other of cheating. I don’t blame Julianne Moore’s character for thinking it, I mean the signs are all there but then again, the signs are always going to be there if we’re insecure enough to be looking for them which of course, she was.

The cast is magnificent and though both Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson both look great for their age, hat’s off to Moore for going naked (and still looking good). The angle played is a little different from similar attempts such as SWIMFAN and OBSESSED but that’s the neighbourhood we’re egging this time around. I loved the woman’s perspective on things and felt Amanda Seyfried’s character was genuine in what she was doing but found myself questioning her drive. The trailer lets us know the situation, that Moore’s paying Chloe to find out if her husband’s messing around, but at no point does this film actually acknowledge that Chloe is indeed a prostitute or call girl. Sure it’s implied but as Chloe’s opening monologue would suggest, she just seems a bit too smart for that line of work.

CHLOE is a darker spin on our more primitive hungers and emotions while playing up on our weaknesses as people and as lovers. It’s also a fresher spin on an old tale but at the same time isn’t without its fair share of contradictions. I said Chloe appeared smart but her questionable actions imply otherwise. The end result is about what you would expect here but I didn’t buy the ending as the film’s last scenes (and decisions) were just so out character. This flick is worth the watch to be sure (I’m always up for a nice girl on girl sex scene) and in case you were wondering, yes, Amanda Seyfried DOES have a nice rack.

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TRAILER: Resident Evil: Afterlife

This game to movie adaption has gone much farther than I expected it would go and though I've enjoyed the ride thus far, I'm not completely sold on this latest installment (and even more unsure about the reboot rumors for the franchise's future). Adding Wesker, a new axe-wielding nemesis and Chris Retfield (played by PRISON BREAK's Wentworth Miller) are all nods in the right direction but I'm going to have to wait and see how it all plays out before I cast the first stone.

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REVIEW: Eclipse

"Easily the best one yet."

As Bella struggles with her decision to join Edward in eternity she must first tie up some loose ends which least of all come down to her friendship with Jacob.  Unfortunately she's got bigger problems, mainly an army of vampire newborns heading their way.  Vampires and werewolves must now stand together to face this immanent threat.

As I've said many times I'm a huge vampire fan so giving this series a shot was pretty much a given.  With any ongoing series (the Harry Potter films come to mind), the first one always feels a little off as the actors struggle with becoming these iconic characters.  NEW MOON took them further but with ECLIPSE I found that everyone now knows exactly who they are as characters and are very comfortable on screen.  That said this film is not without faults but I can honestly say this is their best work thus far.

The best thing about this film is how they finally decided to focus on some of the other characters for a change, giving us a bit of reprieve from the Bella, Edward, Jacob love triangle.  There was a lot of back story shown through flashbacks which added a fair bit of intrigue to the Cullen Family as well as the wolf clan.  It was also cool to see team Edward and team Jacob fight together as the enemy of enemy theory came into play.  Of course, like NEW MOON, the sour end of that deal is that this end battle doesn't last overly long and feels rather anti-climactic.  The Volturi were also terribly underused this time around (much like last time, but worse if you can believe it).  Their scene in the trailer accounts for three quarters of their screen time which is a shame.  I didn't read the books but I sincerely hope they get a meatier piece of the action in the next two films.

My biggest complaint about this film (as with the two before this) is the overabundance of sappy love story.  I get that there needs to be some but all the wispy glances and cheesy dialogue don't have to drag on and on until our ears start to bleed.  There was arguably more action in this film than before, but it's all too brief and doesn't even come close to balancing out all the downtime.  The wolves looked better this time around but I was a tad confused at how suddenly the vampires were made of what looked like liquid metal from TERMINATOR 2's T-1000.  Vampires were shattering like glass from punches, getting limbs torn off and even being beheaded, all of which looked like the T-1000 when he was falling apart after being frozen by liquid nitrogen.  Interesting but oddly out of place.

ECLIPSE was a good time for fans of the series or vampire fans with open minds (I'm the latter).  This was a nice step up for the series and despite the pacing issues mentioned (which I can only imagine is who the books play out, or so I hope that's the reason) I found the film decently enjoyable.  The cast work well together and all seem to share a fondness for the source material which shows in each character's growth.  I was particularly happy with Jasper's origin story and hope they follow suit in bringing the rest of the crew to life.  There's a cool story here if you can get past all the High School mush and I won't condemn you if you can't.  This was one of the better theatrical endeavors I've seen all summer which, no offence to film, is a little sad.  I sincerely hope PREDATORS is all I hope it will be.   

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REVIEW: Knight and Day

"That is one TERRIBLE looking poster."

June, your flamboyant everyday gal, suddenly gets mixed up with a government agent whose supposedly gone rogue and lost his mind.  Past the point of no return, these two characters must now trust one another if they plan on surviving their unique situation.

Tom Cruise can do no wrong on screen as far as I'm concerned, he's on of few actors whose work I can honestly say always brings it home for me.  That's not to say some of his films aren't better than others (which is obvious) but I've never watched a Tom flick I didn't appreciate on some level.  KNIGHT AND DAY isn't MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4 but in some ways it does try to be.  Seeing as how Tom plays a highly trained government agent, it's very easy to imagine him as Ethan Hunt which is exactly how I perceived his character.  This film is nowhere near as complex or layered as an M.I. film but there's enough there to tickle the imagination.

Many are calling this film a dud, and in light of the recent stream of let downs this summer lobbed onto the big screen I'm not entirely surprised.  This film tries to be MR. AND MRS. SMITH but in no way delivers that sort of promise.  Tom can sub in for Brad sure, but Diaz is no Angelina and for me that's where this film hit a sour note.  I've never been too keen on Diaz as an actress, she's managed to surprise me a couple times with films like ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, VANILLA SKY and WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS (not to mention how sinfully hot she was in THE MASK) but other than that she comes off as either a soulless bore or an annoying bimbo who's trying to hard.  This film could have hit a higher note with a more capable female lead in my opinion.

KNIGHT AND DAY was enjoyable for what it was but again falls victim to the summertime blues running rampant over Hollywood this year.  Most people are eagerly anticipating that next big flick and keep getting let down as they wait for the big ones like PREDATORS and EXPENDABLES.  The story and concept for KNIGHT AND DAY is worn out to be sure, a fresher take on this concept will no doubt (hopefully) come from Angelina's SALT and honestly that's the sort of envelope pushing this genre needs to survive in the long run outside of James Bond, Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne films.  People are still beating up on Cruise but I think he was great here for what he had to work with and I'm totally looking forward to the next M.I. film (and am morbidly curious with anticipation about how they're going to make a Les Grossman feature film).  This one is a fun enough ride but can easily wait for DVD or Blu-ray.  

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TRAILER: Let Me In

Many people were (and no doubt still are) outraged by the remaking of this film which is based upon the 2008 Swedish sleeper hit LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. This very different take on vampirism and youth outcasts was a little hard to get into but I did enjoy it. It was a film you had to look for, so the inevitable "Americanized" version is now upon us. This trailer looks good, but then again they always do, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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TRAILER: Paranormal Activity 2

I'll be honest, I didn't watch the first one simply because I watched a cheesy knockoff version around the same time and couldn't justify sitting through the same thing twice. I should get around to it though, especially now that a second one's coming to town. However, like the second BLAIR WITCH film, this one won't have nearly the same effect the first one did and will no doubt bomb as BOOK OF SHADOWS did.

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TRAILER: Rec 2

For those who don't know REC 1 is the film QUARANTINE was based upon and I can only assume with REC 2 on the way, another QUARANTINE will follow. This sequel picks up directly where the first film ended and looks intense and gory as hell. You couldn't pay me enough (or equip me in enough body armour and weaponry) to go into that building, and why don't just level the place is beyond me. Still, for an over-abused genre, this one looks fun.

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TRAILER: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows

I wasnt' a fan of the Harry Potter series until the third installment and even then I wasn't exactly sold until the fourth. That said, as the cast and story matured and darkened my enthusiasm began to soar. This trailer looks phenomenal and these next two films will close one of the most iconic movie experiences of our generation. It's been one hell of a journey and the best is clearly yet to come.

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