Friday, April 29, 2011

The Reader

The movie, The Reader, takes place in Germany. On his way home one day, Michael Berg, collapses in the street. He has been sick for some time. A woman finds him and brings him back to her apartment, and later brings him back to his home. Once he is well, his mother makes him go back to the woman’s home to thank her. After an incident where she catches him sneaking a peak while she is changing, they start having an intimate relationship. It is then that he finds out that her name is Hanna, and she is thirty-six years old. She is surprised when she finds out that he is only fifteen years old. She starts to make him read to her, every time before they get intimate. They eventually start having fights here and there, and Michael starts to give up whenever a fight is about to start. He becomes so quick to say, “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault”; even if he isn’t in the wrong. Hanna eventually disappears without a notice. The next time Michael sees her, he is a law student, observing the trials of a few women whom were guards in the concentration camps during the holocaust. Hanna is one of them, but as Michael soon finds out, that was not her only secret that she has been hiding. This fictional story was originally a book, and then it was made into a movie. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories about this subject.

Eichmann






We all know the story of the Third Reich, and how its perpetrators were convicted of their crimes afterwards. What some might not know is that not all of them were caught right after the empire fell. Eichmann is the true story of one of the SS officers whom fled, and remained hidden for so many years. In the movie Eichmann is found in Argentina. He is then extradited to Israel, where is to be put on trial for the atrocities that he committed. The main character of the movie is the person that is going to be prosecuting him, Anver Less, a captain in the police force. At the beginning, no one knows who is going to be prosecuting Eichmann, and all around Anver Less, everyone is saying how Eichmann doesn’t even deserve a trial. This is naturally hard for Anver Less, because he has been given instructions not to reveal to anyone that he is the prosecutor. Naturally word gets out, and as always in situations like this, his wife is one of the last people to find out. Naturally this creates some friction at home. As we come to find out, this is not Anver Less’s only secret. He soon finds out that his family was directly affected by Eichmann during the holocaust; which means that a jury will not be happy if they hear that a prosecutor could have biases towards the person he is prosecuting. His secrecy is then threatened by a journalist who threatens to tell everyone his secret. Anver’s is having a lot on his mind, not to mention the fact that he is running out of time to get a good conviction on Eichmann. I really enjoyed this movie, and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in history.


Only a very good scary movie can keep you up all night from how scary it was. This movie is brilliant and one of the scariest I have seen in a while. If you haven’t seen the first one, I would see it and then see this one. Paranormal Activity 2 is truly a mindboggling film with parts that make you jump five feet out of you chair. The connection between Paranormal Activity One and two is so crazy it will blow you off your feet. In a small town we find a young father and mother with a newborn and a young daughter Molly. After a series of break ins the Rey family decides to set up security cams all over the house. A couple of days later the family starts to notice some weird things in the house. Things that is near to unexplainable. Kristi Rey is sisters with Katie the girl from the original movie, this connection is one of the main reasons they are in the devils hands. A spiritual gathering when they were younger doomed both of them for eternity. Daughter Molly is the first to notice that strange things are happening in the house and tells her parents. Her father looks at the tapes and doesn’t notice much and what he does notice doesn’t freak him out till much later in the movie. However they can’t leave the house because the devil will just follow them. There lives’ and days are in the devils hands, slowly the spooks become scarier and scarier until they find their way out, or do they? You’re going to have to find that out on your own.

Grow Up


With a cast full of some of the best comedians of out time, Grown ups attempts to put Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David spade, and Rob Schneider on the same screen for what I expected to be one of the funniest movies ever. Unfortunately it did not reach my expectations. The movie takes us on vacation with these five funny guys, their wives and kids, who were childhood friends, to their childhood vacation spot. It seemed like more of a reality show than a movie, like hey just sent all these people on vacation with a cameraman and tried to see what they could make out of it. The movie seemed unscripted and at times extremely boring. There was barely any plot besides the basketball game challenge that was extended towards them by their childhood rivals. Though at times there were some funny jokes, it seemed like they just threw one liners out to make fun of each other. This got really old after about 10 minutes of the movie. What especially bothered me was the consistent bashing about Kevin James being fat. There had to be ten jokes made on this topic, and though one or two would have been funny it got very old after a while. the bottom line is that after making this film these guys need to grow up.

Surprised by I am number 4


A close friend who I do not always agree with her movie selections recommended I am Number Four, to me. Because of this I was very skeptical when I started watching the movie. It turns out that for the first time I agree with her movie taste and I surprisingly enjoyed the film. It turned out that this is actually an alien movie that takes you on a journey with John who is from another planet where only him and a few others like him survived a massive war. Obviously by the title we know hat John is the fourth survivor. John has a guardian named Henri, and they are forced to move multiple times because the race that exterminated the people on their home planet has followed them to earth in order to kill them. This was a very fin movie and I would definitely recommend it for a rainy day. It has all the expected aspects of an Action drama, but will keep you entertained for two hours while you enjoy the special effects and interesting costumes. I would give it a 6.5 out of 10.


A movie made for only the eyes and ears of poker players. If you don’t play poker I wouldn’t see you liking this movie at all. But if you do play, this is a film I would recommend if you haven’t seen it already. Beyond poker this movie has a very interesting plot that keeps you focused throughout. The movie is about two poker players, both very good however I think with the ways they play they could be considered degenerates. Matt Damon plays a law student named Mike Mcdermott. Mike is your classic gambler, lies to his girlfriend about where he is going, puts all his money on the line and sneaks out in the middle of the night. Mike loses big 10,000 against the big fish Teddy KGB, one of the best poker players in the town. Unfortunately that was it for Mike, his poker career was over that was all his money. His girlfriend said she would leave him if she caught him playing again. His buddy Worm gets out of jail and the gambling slowly starts up again; he loses his girlfriend and ends up taking care of Worms’s poor habits. If Worm needs money Mike gives it to him, however instantly we know that Worms name is Worm because he is a slime ball. No one helps him other than Mike because no one likes him, there like brothers and Mike is trying to redirect him. This movie is a quick glimpse of the life of a poker player. It shows the rough times that player have to go through to live out their dreams.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is, without a doubt, one of the best comedies this world has ever witnessed. With a star studded cast that consists of Will Ferrell, Christine Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, and a guest appearance by Seth Rogen, how could this movie possibly go wrong? Anchorman is the story of San Diego’s top anchorman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), and his comedic news team. They are the most popular news team in all of San Diego, and also the news team with the most antics. Life is good for Ron Burgundy until his station brings in some new talent. Awe-stricken by her beauty, Ron Burgundy falls head over heels for the new girl. Veronica Corningstone (Christine Applegate) is the new girl in town, holding her own ambitions of becoming a television news anchor. When Ron Burgundy runs into trouble, he misses his show. The station offers Veronica a sudden chance to replace the missing Ron Burgundy, and she does an amazing job. When Television ratings show high approval ratings for Veronica, they promote her to co-anchor. Ron and Veronica begin to despise one another, creating a rift between the original news team and Veronica Corningstone. When Ron becomes further distracted by his co-worker, the station decided to promote Veronica to full time anchor and everything goes downhill for the divided news team.
Although my description might seem slightly dreary, the movie succeeds in all levels of comedy. Will Ferrell offers an arsenal of one-liners, while the rest of the crew offers silly, “slapstick” adventures that will have you laughing in your seat. You know a movie succeeds on a comedic level when all your friends begin to impersonate specific lines from the dialogue. Ron Burgundy’s humorous persona allows for this movie, even with a meaningless plotline, to champion every aspect a comedic film wishes to complete.

Worlds Greatest Dad


The World’s Greatest Dad is a dramatic comedy that consists of a lot more drama than comedy. Lance, played by Robin Williams, is an elderly school teacher and failed author. He is a lonely man who isn’t married and has one son. Lance and his son, Kyle, have nothing in common. Lance’s supposed “girlfriend” is having relations with another man. To sum up his life, it sucks. When Lance comes home from a date with his girlfriend, he finds his son dead with a belt around his neck and his pants down. Realizing his son’s death occurred during an embarrassing masturbation accident, Lance begins to emotionally break down. He decides to cover up his son’s embarrassing death by moving him into his closet so it appeared that Kyle hung himself. Lance proceeds to write Kyle’s fake suicide note. While writing the note, he realizes that his son was masturbating to pictures of Lance’s girlfriend. Upon his return to school, he realizes that his son’s suicide note is published in the school paper. When teachers and students alike are profoundly shocked by the astonishing level of literature presented in the suicide note, fellow colleagues of Lance ask to view more of Kyle’s supposed writing. Lance, from the point of view of his son, creates a memoir that stuns the entire school. As an inspiring author, Lance is shocked at the acclaim his son is receiving for his work. When a publishing company offers Lance a contract to publish his son’s memoir, he realizes that he is way over his head.
This movie reflects many valuable life lessons. In life, the things you aspire to be may not be the things that make you happy. Throughout his entire life, Lance was an English teacher who wanted nothing more than to be an accomplished writer. When he finds success through his dead son’s fake writing, he realizes that he is living a lie and has never been more lonesome in his life.

Wedding Crashers

John Beckwith, played by Vince Vaughn, and Jeremy Grey, played by Owen Wilson, are business partners and lifelong friends who also happen to enjoy crashing weddings. Regardless the race of who is getting married, they always create background stories to tell the guests and eventually, they become the hit of every reception. The goal is to get with girls who are aroused by the idea of marriage. Toward the end of wedding season, Jeremy learns that the daughter of Treasury Secretary William Cleary is getting married which should be the social event of the year. Jeremy and john fall for two of the bridesmaids, Claire and Gloria Cleary. Jeremy is able to easily work his game plan in seducing Gloria, but John has trouble seducing Claire. Unexpectedly, John falls for Claire, and John convinces Jeremy to violate the wedding crashing rules and go to a weekend party at the Cleary family house. Once they get to the house, they face many strange and funny obstacles with the members of the Cleary family. Eventually, they run into a few problems as their cover gets blown. Will they still be able to get the girls?

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are at their best and are hilarious in their roles in Wedding Crashers. Wedding Crashers, directed by David Dobkin, did a wonderful job.

Overall, Wedding Crashers is a very funny movie with a pretty good story. I highly recommend going to see this film. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Blow

In this amazing true story, George Jung, played by Johnny Depp, is the son of a struggling small business owner. George vows to never be poor and bankrupt like his father. He moves to California, where he starts his own marijuana dealing operation. George Jung’s marijuana business starts off well, as he makes a good amount of money, but ends up getting caught and gets sent to prison. In prison, he meets someone who introduces him to the high profiting drug cocaine. After being released from prison, George Jung immediately becomes a huge part in bringing cocaine into the United States, making a ton of money, Jung claimed that he handled about 85% of the supply during the 1970s. He also marries Mirtha Jung, played by Penelope Cruz, and has a child with her. Eventually, as usually the case when dealing with illegal drugs, Jung puts himself in many dangerous positions, including the FBI attempting to bring down George Jung’s whole cocaine operation.

Johnny Depp, George Jung, and Penelope Cruz, Mirtha Jung, did fantastic jobs with their roles in this film. Since this film is based on a true story, the viewer is amazed at what goes on in George Jung’s life, and Johnny Depp does not fail to impress.

Overall, the movie Blow is a must see film. With a true story, great cast and acting, and directed by a young, up and coming director, in Ted Demme, who unfortunately died at age 38. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Across a Wonderful World


Magic; sublime; wonderful; never before the Beatles’ songs had been depicted, rearranged and put together in a similar way. In Across the Universe, director Julie Taymor not only created a remarkable playlist, but also brought alternative interpretations for the legendary songs that fascinated the world on the beginning of the sixties, and that still delights the ears and hearts of even those who were not here during those eight years of Beatles fever.

The sacred songs of the Fab Four are used to turn into poetry the lives of a group of young people who lives in New York. Although several friends play essential roles during the whole movie, the story basically concerns the love between Jude (Jim Sturgess), a young British boy from Liverpool who comes to America to find out who his father is, and the beautiful Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), an extremely wealthy girl from Ohio.

After the disillusion of meeting his father (a janitor of Princeton University), Jude becomes friends with a lively bohemian boy (Lucy’s brother), called Max (Joe Anderson), and they both move to New York. Lucy comes and joins the two boys a couple of months later. Jude becomes an artist, and as her brother goes to fight the war in Vietnam, Lucy engages in the antiwar movement, turning into an energetic peace agent.

Additionally to the already magic atmosphere created by the songs, director Julie Taymor implements many alternative visual effects that not only enhances the visual aspect of the film, but depicts the popular association between the Beatles and psychedelic esotericism. At the end, the movie represents not only a storyline with beginning, development and end; it is a visual and musical experience that carries people to a unique beautiful world.

Orphan

In the movie Orphan, a husband and wife decide to adopt a baby in order to help change their troubled life. The child they choose, is a Russian kid around 5 years old. She seems very bright for her age, as she picks up on playing the piano and other things very quickly. The one bad thing about this girl is that everywhere she goes, she brings death and trouble with her. Both of her parents died and the hospital she was at magically burned down. After a while the parents two true blood children realize that this girl is evil and she is the one murdering everybody. The mom just doesn’t like the adopted child, but the dad loves her, and the kid uses that to her advantage. She manipulates him and causes the parents to fight with each other. Eventually, the family figures out that she is not a child, but instead she is an adult in her thirties, who just has some growing disorder.

There are no well known actors in this film, but Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays the orphan, did a pretty solid job. She was convincing and she was quite scary.

Overall, this movie is average at best. With an average plot and no big name actors, the movie has little to work with. After the movie was over, and while it was still going on towards the end, I kept thinking to myself wow is this stupid. I give the movie two out of five stars.

Casino

With a star filled cast, Casino, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a fantastic film about mobsters and Las Vegas. Sam Rothstein, played by Robert De Niro, isthe best sports gambler in the world. Because Rothstein is so intelligent, the mobsters send him to Las Vegas to run a casino. For a while everything goes smoothly as Rothstein continues to make money. Then, Rothstein marries a gold digger, and has a bunch of problems with her throughout the movie. Also, Rothstein’s old friend Nicky Santoro decides to come to Las Vegas. He starts his own jewlry store, all items have been stolen from people though. He ends up gettingkicked out of Las Vegas and getting into a lot of trouble with the mobsters back home.

Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci did phenomenal in their roles in Casino. They all made their parts very believable. De Niro excels in gangster type movies, and he did not fail to impress in this movie. The beautiful Sharon Stone was amazing in her role. She was very believable as a toubled wife and mom, who only married Rothstein for his money and cheats on him regularly. Martin Scorsese did an outstanding job directing the movie.

The only negative thing I have to say about the movie was that it is three hours long and it may drag on a bit for some people, I personally didn’t mind, but I can see how some people may think the movie was too long.

Overall, with a great plot, fantastic actors, and a wonderful director, Casino, is a must see movie and I give it five out of five stars.

Limitless


Ever wonder what you could do with your life if you used all 100% of your brain? Though this is currently impossible, the movie Limitless provides a thrilling platform to experience the powers of the brain. Struggling writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is at a dead end in his life with no inspiration, a girlfriend who just dumped him and a career going down the drain. When he bumps into the brother of his ex-wife, who looks 10 times better than he did a few months ago, Eddie can’t help but to find out the secret to his success. Eddie quickly learns that the magic comes from a powerful little pill called EZT that enables you to recall any information that you have ever absorbed or even skimmed with little to no effort, whenever you wanted to.

This drug causes one to become extremely perceptive, and in turn getting anything they want, with a deadly price. Eddie becomes wildly addicted to this drug and it begins to deteriorate all aspects of his life. The visual affects in this film are extremely entertaining and take the audience to a place of fantasy and imagination. This film captures what can happen when we risk our health to have the perfect life, and the dangerous side affect that come with that. I would definitely recommend this film to all teenagers and adults looking for a feel good well thought out thriller. Limitless is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, and will have you leaving the movie theater smiling.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stepbrothers


Stepbrothers was directed by Adam Mckay and stars the hilarious Will Ferrell(Brennan Huff) and John C. Reilly (Dale Doback). Adam McKay was Ferrell's partner on the internet comedy videos "The Landlord" and "Good Cop, Baby Cop" (where a toddler relentlessly bullies Ferrell's character), as well as being a writer on the seminal comedy programme Saturday Night Live. Ferrell and Reilly are perfectly paired as man-child rivals in this bromantic comedy. The pair stars as lazy, live-at-home 40 year old men who become competitive stepbrothers when their single parents find love and get married. Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins play the blissful parents who begin to plan this new chapter in their life which does not include their selfish sons. When the stubborn, childish pair of men first lay eyes on each other, each sizes up their opponent from either end of the front yard. The screenplay reaches it’s best out of altercations such as, "Did you touch my drum set?", and goofy scenes such as the boys' inept attempts to land jobs in the real world. Anyone with a sibling will surely relate to the childish nonsense shown throughout. Thanks to their ability to convincingly portray adults who have never emotionally advanced beyond their pre-adolescent years, Ferrell and Reilly perfectly inhabit these obnoxious yet hilarious characters, making this an extremely funny, classic Will Ferrell film.

Despicable Me is Not Despicable At All



Despicable Me, Believe Me, isn’t Despicable
From a time period in which many great animation films were created, Despicable Me stands out as being a frontrunner for top prize. From the comedic masterminds of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, and Russell Brand, Despicable Me is one of the funniest, most clever animation films I have ever viewed. The film begins with our main character, Gru, played by Steve Carell. Gru is a criminal mastermind who is on the back end of his career. When competition confronts Gru, he is challenged to become the best Villain he can be. Gru is accompanied by hundreds of small yellow creatures called “minions” who stay and work all day in Gru’s secret laboratory below his house. In order to pull off the greatest heist of all time, he uses three orphan girls to sinisterly steal the “shrink ray” for completion of his crime of stealing the moon. At first, Gru is hesitant to care, love, or even notice the orphan girls desperately seeking the love from ordinary parents. When he finds himself slowly growing affection for the girls, his sidekick Dr. Nefario (played by Russell Brand), orders them back to the orphanage to rid Gru of the distractions of parenthood. Gru realizes his duties as villain, but ultimately decides that he cannot be the same without the girls. He gives up his dream heist to reunite with the three girls, Margo, Agnes and Edith and the four live happily ever after.
This animated film offers more than just a humorous plot. The film truly shows how a parents love for their kids reigns superior to every emotion. It shows the events which turned the empty, cold-hearted Gru into a loving, caring parent. The film also offers intriguing graphics and humorous scenes which leaves the audience entertained the whole movie. If you appreciate films that are witty, light, and offer life lessons, then Despicable Me will surely not disappoint the viewers. The humor of Steve Carell and Jason Segel will have viewers of all ages laughing hysterically and showing compassion towards the unequivocal power that is love.

Zoolander


Zoolander stars Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller and was directed by Ben Stiller himself. The plot is ridiculously silly, all of which adds to the fun. Stiller plays America’s top male model Derek Zoolander, owner of the trademarked "Blue Steel" look. His life consists of fashion shows and awards shows, where he is under threat from up-and-coming pretty-boy Hansel (Owen Wilson) However, when he is mysteriously kidnapped for a day, a pretty investigative journalist (Christine Taylor) helps Zoolander understand that he’s been brainwashed by a sinister group of fashionistas, and he gets caught up in an assassination plot on the president of Malaysia. Some of the audience’s and my favorite scenes are include the hilarious advert-inspired ‘Orange Mocha Frappucino’ scene and the ‘walk-off’ challenge scene between Hansel and Zoolander. The acting is excellent. Stiller speaks with a strange accent throughout and takes a little getting used to, but delivers an excellent nonetheless. He’s also a generous director, giving as many laughs to Wilson, who is hilarious as always, and his support cast as he does to himself. Overall, Stiller has given us a simple, fun, silly film that is full of laughs making it a classic.

Eat, Pray, Love.


In American culture we are always so fascinated with the wonders and sorrows of the mid-life crisis, and Eat Pray Love shows one way to deal with life, when you realize everything has gone terribly wrong. After realizing that the confines of married life with a white picket fence is not for her, Liz (Julia Roberts) gets a divorce with her husband and decides to take year off to find who she truly is and what her purpose is meant to be.

Though her friends in New York think she is crazy, Liz travels to Italy, India, and Bali to indulge in delicious international foods, learn new languages, and expand her mind, spirit, and her waistline. Being a woman that has always been in a relationship with a man since she was 15 years old, Liz felt that it was about time to be independent, and feel passionate about something again, instead of just taking those boring parts of life and ‘making it work’.

It is inspiring to watch Julia Roberts play this role because I think it is such an uplifting thing to see a woman that is stuck in her life, to step up and step out of her comfort zone and realize that where she is isn’t working for her. Some might complain that the length of this movie is a bit excessive but I believe the movie highlights each part of Liz’s (Roberts) journey in finding herself perfectly. Though I would not recommend this film for all, if you have some time for a cultural and spiritual uplifting, this movie is for you.

I Love You Man


I Love You Man, directed by Ivan Reitman and John Hamburg, is by far one of my favorite bromantic comedy films out there. Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a real estate agent with aspirations to move into property development though perhaps lacking in the self-esteem to reach his dreams. When he proposes to Zooey (Rashida Jones), she calls her closest hundred or so friends to share the happy news, and Peter realizes that having put effort into his work or his girlfriends over the years, he let his male friendships fall by the wayside, and he doesn’t have even one close male friend he might want to tell, much less to ask to be his best man. Peter stumbles into the middle of a girl’s night out with Zooey’s friends, and accidentally overhears them wonder whether his lack of friends to distract him will make him an impossibly clingy husband, and calls in help from parents (Jane Curtin and J.K. Simmons) and brother (Andy Samberg). They set him up on an unsuccessful series of ‘man-dates,’ until he meets a kindred spirit in Sidney (Jason Segel) who crashes an open house Peter is running to mooch free food. It is very interesting and clever how Hamburg has the film explore the complexities of modern, grown-up friendships, and especially the awkwardness of making new friends in middle age, while still retaining a bracing sense of adolescent humour. So thanks to the incredible chemistry of its two leads, I Love You Man, stands as one my favorite and a must see bromantic comedy.

The Experiment


The Experiment is a must see film for all psychological thriller buffs. This remake of the early German film Das Experiment is a revision of the events that took place in a world famous psychological study at Stanford University on prisoner’s behavior. This controversial psychological study inspired the twisted action packed movie that is now on my list of favorite films. This film would entertain a spectrum of filmgoers from those well versed in the actual Stanford experiments and those who are just looking for a well-made thriller.

The story follows a group of men who have decided to take place in this 14-day experiment in order to earn some cash. Based on some gritty personality testing and interviewing, the men are split up into either prisoners or guards. They are then put into a mock prison scenario where the guards are in charge and the prisoners must adhere to the rules. Once Barris (Forest Whitaker) and the other guards start to push their power too far over the line, the Travis (Adrien Brody) and his fellow prisoners start an uprising against them.

It is compelling to watch how personalities changes drastically when such a large amount of power is given, even if only for a short amount of time. This psychological thriller is actions packed and will keep all audiences on the edge of their seats. As I watched this film I questioned the very essence of human nature and what keeps us all form ripping each other apart. Any film that can get me to think like that, I will definitely recommend.

The Gladiator


Movie Review: The Gladiator Are you someone who appreciates violence? Do you like ancient history? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Gladiator will surely offer you an experience you won’t want to miss. From director Ridley Scott comes a story of betrayal, revenge, valor, and of course, violence. Russell Crowe stars as Maximus, the Roman General whose military ambitions is unmatched throughout the entire Roman Empire. When Emperor Marcus Aurelius is overcome with sickness, he decides to pass on the throne to Maximus rather than his own son, Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix. When Commodus hears of the news, he defies his father’s wishes by ultimately murdering Aurelius and proclaiming the throne for himself. Maximus is then thrown into exile and made into a slave. The rest of the film could be summed up by this quote from Commodus, “The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do”. Maximus is forced to fight for his life as a gladiator in the historical Coliseum. His fighting prowess does not go without notice as he quickly earns the respect of the entire audience. Against all odds, he slays all who opposes him to earn his freedom. As Maximus yells to the crowd “Does this not please you? Is this not what you came for?”, he gets the response of a roaring cheer from the entire crowd. The story incorporates many historical facts, while embellishing some minor details. History did not, in fact, play out the way described by Ridley Scott. The story of Maximus is essentially false, but Commodus did take the throne after Marcus Aurelius. If you’re a fan of historical films such as Spartacus, then please do not hesitate to spend three hours(dear god) of your day to view the award-winning display known as Gladiator. Plus, Russell Crowe is a damn good actor and his wife in the film is beautiful. What’s not to love about this historical thriller?

Troy


Troy is an action packed film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Someone might not think it is a very interesting film in the beginning seeing as it starts with a confrontation between two armies. However, if you just watch past the first five minutes your mindset will completely change. This movie is based on the Iliad by Homer. The Golden Globes winner, Brad Pitt, plays Achilles and Orlando Bloom plays Paris. These are two of the biggest roles despite the fact that they are enemies in the film. Achilles and Tropias, the king of Troy, both bring emotion into the film. When Achilles’ cousin is killed he is completely devastated which is quite different than every other death in this movie. He is one of the few who is sympathetic in the movie when he sees a woman who is a prisoner from the other side being taken advantage of. Tropias shows much affection and support for his sons and shows them an immense amount of love when they go into battle.

In the beginning of the film, Tropias, Paris, and his brother Hector have finally reached peace with Sparta. However, this peace does not last long. While the Spartans are on the Trojan lands Paris falls in love with Helen, the wife of Menelaus. This creates a whole new war. Paris believes he is doing the right thing because he is in love but his brother is disgusted. The problem is that there is no way to avoid war now that he has kidnapped the wife of the Spartan king. Even if Paris ran away with her or sent her back on a ship the Spartans now had the perfect excuse to burn the entire city.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


The fun filled animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the perfect blend of child friendly humor with wit that audiences of all ages would enjoy. The story follows a young man, Flint Lockwood, who is an inspiring inventor in a very small isolated island town whose main source of income comes from the sardines they catch. Flint feels isolated and stuck so he feels the need to bring something more to his little town of Chewandswallow.

Because sardines are the only things they catch in this little town, it is unfortunately the only thing that they eat. Flint decides to make a weather machine that creates clouds filled with whatever food flint could think of. The weather food machine is a great success at first bringing in tons of money and tourist to Chewandswallow, but when the food that falls from the sky begins to reach monstrous sizes, flint must scramble to avoid disaster and save the hoards of people that will be in town for the grand re-opening of the town.

This film a great film to bring the entire family to because it fosters a sense of supporting one another and selflessness for kids of all ages. It shows that no matter where you are and whatever hand of cards you are dealt, you can still achieve your dreams and find people around you that will support those dreams. I would definitely recommend this film for everyone especially if you need a little boost of ambition and inspiration.

Jarhead


Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes, follows Swoff (Jake Gyllenhaal), a third-generation enlistee, from a boot camp to active duty, who carries a sniper rifle and a hundred-pound rucksack on his back through Middle East deserts with no cover from intolerable heat or from Iraqi soldiers, always potentially just over the next horizon. This film, I would say, is just a good movie. It is uncanny in it’s effect and lacks many key things. It contains no heroism, little action, and no easy laughs. It is about men who are exhausted, bored, lonely, trained to the point of obsession and given no opportunity to use their training. The most dramatic scene in the movie comes when Swofford has an enemy officer in the crosshairs of his gunsight and is forbidden to fire because his shot may give advance warning of an air strike. In the second act, the marines move to Saudi-Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield; the plot grinds to a complete halt. The soldiers hydrate, masturbate, play football wearing gas masks, and hydrate some more. By showing deadening, continual boredom on screen, Mendes nearly bores his audience to death. Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, and Peter Sarsgaard are acting their hearts out, but Jarhead has no momentum. Overall, I found this film to have some of the best actors and performances, but a disappointing plot and storyline to say the least.

Braveheart


With a great plot line and great battle scenes Braveheart takes the cake at the Grammies and in my opinion as one of the best films ever. An action packed, romantic movie with much more. Braveheart is a very gory movie with beheadings, throat slitting, and stomach gouging scenes. A little stomach twirling for some people but all in all a movie I would recommend to the stronger stomached war fanatics. William Wallace (Mel Gibson) the main character is considered a Scottish rebel looking for complete freedom. England’s King Edward the Longshank is looking to take the throne completely for himself, taking all land, eventually running the country. Williams’s ancestors have fought for ‘freedom’ in the past and he has the same intuition. He leads an army that rises considerably throughout the movie of men that are looking for the same thing, this freedom. Wallace builds up an army of townspeople that slays the English troops, his rebellion spreads quickly and people are eager to sign up to his army. They have many successful battles and show to be a tough match for the English. A group of townspeople… Fighting against a highly trained and specialized army…(very inspirational if you ask me) The only movie I can compare it to is 300, people fighting for something they believe in and don’t care whether they die or not.

The Patriot

I have read a lot of movie reviews on The Patriot and have come to a conclusion that no one really fell in love with it. They felt that it was a bad movie but somehow it was a lot of fun, so it was ok, receiving three stars. I personally loved this movie, it was a very classic war movie and all of the Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger fans will like it as well. It is a perfect classic heroic war film, about a man that is fighting for his country, and his family. The Patriot is a fascinating movie during the American Revolution about a single father. A small town farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) and his seven children live a very comfortable life on a farm. Benjamin is called to the South Carolina Assembly to contribute to a debate to go to war with England. His vote against it is not enough to stop it. His son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) enrolls in the war with lack of his father’s acceptance. Benjamin stays out of the war, trying to put all his past bad memories behind him of the French and Indian war. However, when he loses one of his sons to an English bullet the war becomes personal. The English burn his house down and ruin his life, all he has left is his family and he must protect them. All of this is owed to Col. William Travington whom we see as your regular bad guy. Through the Mise-en-scene and cinematography we truly see a spectacular film that is very uplifting. I don’t know who rated this movie but it is worth much more than a three star rating. This movie has a lot of significant meaning throughout it and is very heartwarming and inspirational.

The Proposal


After watching The Proposal, directed by Anne Fletcher, I would say it is easily one of the cutest and funniest chick flicks I have seen in a while. There is not a dull moment the entire movie. It includes some incredibly popular actors and actresses: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, and Betty White. The Oscar winning Sandra Bullock, who plays a highly stressed important editor, does not seem to care too much about anyone else, ever. However, the tables are completely turned around when the United States Immigration Office wants her to leave the country and Margaret must find a way to stay.

This movie has scenes in it that will make you laugh out loud and scenes that may make some people cry. One of the best moments is when Margaret ends up in a forest and the only thing she can hear is chanting. As she wonders over she sees Betty White chanting some strange chants. Sooner then later Margaret finds herself dancing and singing to Get Low in front of her fiancĂ©’s grandmother. Her fiancĂ©, Andrew Paxton, is standing there to observe almost the entire thing. He also was there for another embarrassing moment when Margaret who is terrified of water and does not know how to swim gets thrown off the boat in the middle of an argument. Andrew Paxton, played by Ryan Reynolds, does not notice until he is finished with his side of the argument and makes a few smart comments at the fact that this is the first time she has ever not had a rebuttal. This humor continues throughout the entire movie. The butting heads of two people who work together creates comedy and romance all in one film.

Dark and Mysterious


F. Gary Gray keeps the audience at the edge of their seats in his 2009 thriller Law Abiding Citizen. Staring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, the plot thrives on the power struggle between a man and his former attorney.

Different from any of his other roles, “Clyde” outsmarts his enemies instead of using physical force like in Bulter’s lead role in 300. Both films promote Bulter’s toughness and determination in his roles. However, his role as “Clyde” is much more personable. The film draws us in my starting with a painful scene to watch, throwing us right into the action. The scene that one would typically see in the climax of the movie is getting the action started early. As an audience we feel bad for “Clyde” and do not pin him as the villain.

Jamie Foxx on the other hand plays the same old “good cop” character that he always plays. Only difference is instead of a cop he plays a lawyer, but the title is meaningless in terms of his performance. A role we have seen before from Foxx he plays well as always.

Bulter gives an outstanding performance and shows that he can play anything. He shows us his new role as Dark and Mysterious fugitive. He can make us fall in love in P.S. I Love You. He can kill an army without breaking a sweat in 300. He can also make mistakes like The Bounty Hunter. Law Abiding Citizen was no mistake. Bulter gave an excellent performance while playing a much more complex character than he had in the past. Foxx gave good support but nothing worth praising.

Over all, the movie was very intriguing and mysterious. During the movie the audience is torn on whom to root for. This gives the movie the suspenseful edge it needs to succeed. The film is very entertaining and has a dramatic ending the audience would not expect. One of Gerard Bulter’s best films yet, Law Abiding Citizen is a must-see.