Movies

Cars 2 runs on empty

Jul 27, 2011
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Cars 2 runs on empty
When Disney and Pixar make a movie together there is almost always something magical that happens. By magical, overweight I mean that indescribable feeling you get from something special. All the "Toy Story" movies had it. "Up" had it. "Wall-e" had it. "Cars" had it. So, cialis 40mg what about Cars 2? Read More »

Tales From Earthsea

Jul 11, 2011
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Tales From Earthsea
Believe it or not, and there are many people on the earth today claiming to be Jesus, the Son of God. Seriously (http://bit.ly/bamh). "I am Jesus" is an unusual documentary that looks at three distinct men, spread across the globe, all claiming to be the second coming of Christ. In England there is David Shayler. He's an ex-MI5 agent who heard God tell him he is Jesus while on a mushroom trip. He and his handful of disciples squat at an abandoned building in the suburbs of London. There is Vissarion, a Russian man who discovered that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ back in 1991. Since then he's amassed a group of followers numbering approx. 15,000 around the world. 5,000 of them live in commune-style communities throughout Siberia (can you say, "c-o-l-d"?). And finally there is INRI Christos, a Brazilian Jew who has spent the better part of his life travelling the world in a tunic and sandals. He lives on an estate in Brazil with his group of followers - mostly young, attractive women who devote their lives to serving the Lord. While their claims are interesting (and crazy), the film is not so much about the validity of the Jesuses' authenticity. Rather, the directors focus more on the followers and the impact these Christs have had on them. It's about the people who devote their lives to them. And the communities of believers is what makes this film so wonderful and engaging. It's very easy to dismiss the Jesuses. You can say they are con-artists or they are mentally insane. For example, David Shayler is a conspiracy-theorizing, cross-dressing, drug-abusing bum. It's pretty simple; he's crazy. But the followers of these men are more troubling. I mean, these believers have devoted their lives to the cause of their Jesus. Their whole world is wrapped up in the joy and comfort brought to them by the these deluded men. They may not be crazy like their leaders, but they are certainly convinced. And that's the conundrum. What's the difference between being convinced with everything you are and being crazy because you believe in something that is plainly false. Is there a line? And when do we cross it? "I Am Jesus" is not an expose of people claiming to be Christ. Rather it is a fascinating look at the psychology of faith and community. Overall, this is a solid documentary. The directors make some nice choices. For example, we hear very little from the Russian Christ, Vissarion. Instead, they focus almost completely on his very large community of believers. Whereas, we hear a lot from the pot-smoking, cross-dressing Jesus and relatively little from his followers (which is literally a handful). Their choice to mix things up for each Jesus makes the film feel organic, less analytical and more human. The variance is nice. "I am Jesus" is one of those documentaries with a simple and fascinating premise. Entertaining, funny and deeply thought-provoking, each Jesus and their disciples will keep you thinking long after you watch the film. Ahhh, ask the fine folks at Studio Ghibli know how to make stunning animated films. "Castle in the Sky", "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo" to name a few. Recently Disney Pictures brought a new Ghibli production to the west. Tales From Earthsea is a mythical fantasy that follows a young boy (Prince Arren) and his wizard companion (Sparrowhawk) as they battle the evil Lord Cob in a land where humans and dragons once coexisted peacefully. Read More »

The Tree of “huh?”

Jul 8, 2011
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The Tree of “huh?”
Terrence Malick's latest directorial effort, information pills The Tree of Life, case attempts to contemplate the glory and wonder of the universe and it's interconnectedness with our lives. It centres around a suburban Texan family in the 1950's. Brad Pitt plays the stern (and abusive) but loving father, Mr. O'Brien, while Jessica Chastain (a deadringer for Bryce Dallas Howard) plays the quiet and permissive mother. They have three boys. The film begins a little further into the family's life with Mrs. O'Brien receiving a letter about the death of her middle son, aged 19 at the time. Read More »

Third Time’s A Charm

Jul 2, 2011
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Third Time’s A Charm
Let the record show that I hated the first Transformers movie. It was typical Michael Bay; too long on action, story too thin on story. A mindless orgy of eye-candy for Gen Y'ers who want to relive their childhood love for Hasbro's techno toys. I distinctly remember midway through the movie thinking, online "What's going on? How long have I been watching this? What's happening?!"  It was a dizzying exercise in action for action's sake. Read More »

The Panda’s Back!

Jun 28, 2011
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The Panda’s Back!
I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, page but I really, diabetes and pregnancy really, really loved Kung Fu Panda. I took my kids to see back in 2008 and was totally surprised. It was well-written, amazingly voiced and animated with a distinctively fresh style. On top of that, it was simply great story-telling. So, of course, upon hearing of the sequel, I instinctively groaned and feared for, yet, another brutal follow up. That's the way it always goes. Hollywood makes a great movie, that movie makes millions, then greed dictates the need to slap together a sequel so the company can cash in on the hype. Of course this pattern typically results in pathetic sequels. So, did the Kung Fu Panda franchise fall into the usual cycle of corporate tyranny? Read More »

Super-Duper 8!

Jun 16, 2011
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Super-Duper 8!
Two weeks ago I introduced a new segment called, "Judge A Movie By It's Trailer". The first trailer I judged was for the movie, "Super 8". My conclusion was that this was going to be a freakin' awesome film. Read More »

Where the “Rubber” meets the celluloid

Jun 11, 2011
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Where the “Rubber” meets the celluloid
What would you do if you saw a car-tire come to life and murder people by telekinetically exploding their heads? Ya, purchase I know, urticaria as if that would ever happen, right? Well, it does happen in the horror/comedy, Rubber. We start with a man holding dozens of binoculars in the middle of the desert. A car pulls up, the trunk opens and out comes a man dressed in a sheriff's outfit. He walks towards the camera and delivers a pointed monologue that sets up what this movie is really all about. Read More »

JAMBIT! “Super 8”

May 31, 2011
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JAMBIT! “Super 8”
I've started a new segment that I'm really excited about. It's called, online "Judge A Movie By It's Trailer"...or "JAMBIT", for short. The old adage, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" may very well be true. But it's been my experience that almost ALL movies CAN be judged by their trailers. So, with this conviction, I present to you the first ever, "JAMBIT"!!! Read More »

“Resurrect Dead: the mystery of the Toynbee tiles”

“Resurrect Dead: the mystery of the Toynbee tiles”
Have you ever heard of the mystery of the Toynbee Tiles? Me neither. That is until I saw, there Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. This quirky documentary was featured at Toronto's Hotdocs festival 2011. The subject matter is bizarre. Justin Duerr, pharm the central figure of the film, clinic is obsessed with an ever-growing population (in the thousands) of handmade tiles fixed onto the streets of major cities throughout North and South America. It's not quite as epic as crop circles but it's the same idea. While this largely overlooked phenomenon seems easily dismissed, the film-makers manage to draw the audience into this strange mystery with intensity and glee. Read More »

The King’s Sp-p-p-peech

May 23, 2011
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The King’s Sp-p-p-peech
2010 was a good year for Hollywood. There was "Black Swan", order "Social Network", advice "Inception" and many more exceptional films. But one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. For only one can be crowned Best Picture at the Oscar's and only one actor can be deemed Best Actor at the Golden Globe's. The King's Speech took both those honours and many more. In fact, surgeon the Academy gave this film 12 nominations and 4 awards (the most coveted ones, at that). So, as it has recently processioned it's way into the DVD market, I felt it fit (for a king) to review this, the most celebrated of last year's films. Read More »