Friday, August 5, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens

My View:  Cowboys & Aliens:  This is one of those movies that you won't hate but you also won't really like.  You think this film “just has to be good,” but it's just not.  Jon Favreau follows up his Iron Man movies with this tale of a man (played by 007 Daniel Craig) in the 1870s Wild West, who wakes up with no memory and in the middle of nowhere, with a big, metal bracelet on his wrist.   He finds his way to the nearest town, a town that is soon under attack by…wait for it…aliens in spaceships.  And so our adventure begins.  While Craig and Harrison Ford, who plays the town’s robber baron, do an adequate job as cowboys, the weak link in this film is Olivia Wilde, the mysterious girl whom Craig is destined to get involved with.  Wilde seems to sleepwalk through her lines, and there's no fire in her performance, a role where supposedly she has survived the wide open west on her own.  I’m not saying this film would have been great with someone else (like Michelle Williams) in the role, but the film may have, at least, kept us awake before the big battle with the alien bad guys.   My rating:  Bargain Matinee   Cowboys & Aliens Website
The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time)
#38 Best Film 
The Last of the Mohicans  (1992):  Michael Mann (Heat, Ali) directed this dazzling film about life in colonial America during the French and Indian War.  Daniel Day-Lewis plays Hawkeye, a trapper raised by the Mohican tribe, who becomes involved with the British army in their fight against the French.  Hawkeye is reluctant to join the fight until he meets the daughter of a British general, played by the gorgeous Madeleine Stowe.  Day-Lewis is perfect in his role, and he brings to the screen a quiet intensity in a man you can count on in a fight.  Incredible cinematography, beautiful North Carolina scenery and intense battle sequences make this a film that is quite memorable.   The Last of the Mohicans Info
Forgotten Film:  Flipped (2010)  This Rob Reiner-directed film was in theaters for about one minute last fall, which is sad because this is an amazing film, reminiscent of Reiner’s classic, Stand by Me.  Set in the 1960s, Flipped tells the story of a young boy and girl who live across the street from each other.  Juli (played by Madeline Carroll) falls in love with Bryce (played by Callan McAuliffe) the moment she meets him, but Bryce thinks Juli, who raises chickens and likes to sit in trees, is a little weird.  Their story is told "flipping" from one perspective of a boy's to a girl’s perspective.  As the boy and girl mature, we see, through their eyes, their blossoming relationship and the trials and tribulations of growing up.  This is a extraordinary film that has just the right amount of humor and heart to make it very enjoyable.   Flipped Website
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released on DVD) Soul Surfer   (2011)   This film is based on the true life story of Bethany Hamilton, a talented and promising surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack.  AnnaSophia Robb does well in the lead role as Bethany, and Dennis Quaid/Helen Hunt make a surprising turn (how the mighty have fallen) as Hamilton's parents; but the Christian overtones in this movie are just so over-the-top that the film becomes almost too uncomfortable to watch.  Another downfall is Carrie Underwood as Bethany's religious go-to person, who tries really hard to act but just can't.  My Rating:  Cable   Soul Surfer Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Apollo 18   It turns out there was a mission to the moon that the government has never admitted.  It's being called Blair Witch in Space, but didn't we just determine by watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon what exactly is located there?   Apollo 18 Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Tabloid:  Vagina Dentata illustration by

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Restless   Directed by Indie favorite, Gus Van Sant.  Mia Wasikowska plays a terminally ill girl who falls for a boy, played by Henry Hopper.  The boy likes to attend funerals and has a sidekick who is the ghost of a World War II kamikaze pilot.  This is right down Van Sant's alley.   Restless Website
Until Next Time!

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