Friday, October 5, 2012

Taken 2

My View:  Taken 2 (2012) In this sequel to the 2008 film, Bryan (Liam Neeson), is on a business trip to Istanbul when he gets a surprise visit from his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). But Bryan has enemies, and his wife and daughter are now the bad guys’ targets. Taken was a surprise hit when it came out in 2005, but Taken 2 isn’t going to be one. It’s silly, stupid, and you can tell when an action guy is getting old - the film uses the shaky camera for all the action sequences. This is a film, where you just want to tell Maggie Grace’s character “shut up, already!”, as she seems to scream and cry out throughout the entire film. If you were a fan of the first, don’t see this one because it will ruin it for you.    My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Taken Info
Family Faire:  Frankenweenie (2012) Victor Frankenstein is a child scientist whose best friend is his dog, Sparky. When Sparky suddenly dies, Victor decides to conduct a science experiment in an effort to bring his trusted pedigree friend back to life. Victor is successful, but a re-animated Sparky may be just too much for him to handle. I would suggest that the 6 year-old and under crowd not see this film because it’s a little scary, there are some deaths in the film (including Sparky), and they will be bored by all the dialogue. The film was shot for 3-D, but because it’s in Black and White, the 3-D doesn’t really stand out at all. There are very few laughs in this strange film, and you'll probably only really enjoy it if you are a huge Tim Burton fan. If you want to see a better film, go online and see Burton’s 1994 project of the same name.  It’s so much better.    My Rating: Cable    Frankenweenie Website
My View:  Looper (2012): This film is set in the future. When the mob wants to rub out someone, they send them 30 years into the past where Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is waiting to commit the perfect crime. The mob has a surprise for Joe, though. They are sending him his future, older self (Bruce Willis) to be killed. Will Joe do the deed? I enjoyed this film and especially enjoyed Gordon-Levitt’s performance as the young Joe. There are some really cool special effects, but if you think this film will be as interesting and complicated as the 2010 Inception, you will be wrong. This is a much simpler film, and, while that’s not a bad thing, it is somewhat easy to figure out.    My Rating: Full Price   Looper Website
IndieFest:  The Oranges (2012)The Wallings (Hugh Laurie and Catherine Keener) live across the street from their best friends, the Ostroffs (Oliver Platt and Allison Janney). Their normal, suburban world is turned upside down when the Ostroff’s daughter, Nina (Leighton Meester), comes home for Thanksgiving after being on the road for five years. This is an intriguing film with plenty of humor.  It’s nice see Hugh Laurie play something very different from his House character. The best thing about this movie is Leighton Meester, as she brings some grace and intelligence to a part that isn’t always likeable. While this film isn’t a great comedy, it’s a fun film to see.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   The Oranges Website
IndieFest: Chicken with Plums (2012) A violinist in 1950’s Tehran loses his love of music, and, therefore decides to die. Over the next 8 days, we see how he and his family deal with his decision. As the man slowly dies, the film shows how he made this decision with a series of flashbacks that take us through the big events in his life. This is a beautiful film, and it’s one that I wasn’t really liking, that is, until the last fifteen minutes when everything we have seen earlier in the film suddenly fits together. It was then that I loved this film.   My Rating: Full Price    Chicken with Plums Info
IndieFest:  Butter (2012) Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner) is married to Bob (Ty Burrell) the 15 time winner of the Iowa State Fair Butter Sculpting competition. Bob is forced to retire, so Laura decides to enter the competition. Little does she know that Destiny (Yara Shahidi), a ten year old girl, has also decided to enter. Laura will do everything she can to win the contest, even if it means she has to cheat and play dirty tricks. This is a funny film that has a great deal of heart. I especially liked Olivia Wilde’s performance as the stripper, Brooke, who, after meeting Bob, is convinced that he is now her man. Garner is good as the determined Laura, and Yara Shahdidi is perfect as the child who has been shipped from foster family to foster family while hoping that her long lost mother will eventually show up. The large cast also has Hugh Jackman, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, and Phyllis Smith. Be sure to stick around after the first end credits, there are a number of very funny outtakes.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Butter Info
Forgotten Film: To Sir, With Love (1967) Sidney Poitier plays Mr. Thackeray, who, after not getting work as an engineer, agrees to become a teacher at a school in London’s East End slums.  To reach his students, Mr. Thackeray decides to put away the textbooks and, instead, teach his students about life.  Poitier is his usual brilliant self as a man who cares about his students, and the cast of students are outstanding in their roles, especially Judy Geeson, who plays a student who idolizes her teacher. Lulu, a British pop star from the 60's, sings the title song near the end of the film which was a big hit in 1967 and made her a star.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    To Sir, With Love Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Frankenweenie: Puppet Hospital Assistant Coordinator

In Case You Missed It (A Film just Released on DVD):  Cinderella (1950) Disney is releasing this timeless classic animated film about Cinderella, the young woman who dreams of a better life as she is tormented by her evil stepmother and stepsisters. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella gets to go to the Ball and meet the man of her dreams – but will the story end happily ever after? The great thing about the classic Disney films is the great music and songs, such as Biddidi-Bobbidi-Boo and So This is Love.  My Rating:  Full Price    Cinderella Website
Until Next Time!

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