Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Month at the Movies: August 08

Death Race 2 1/2 Stars
This 1975 remake is full of blood and guts, heroes and villains, high speed races and cheesy one liners. Is it going to win any Oscars? No. However all of these elements make for an entertaining watch.
Jason Stathem stars as Jasen Ames, a retired race car driver who, after being framed for his wife's murder, finds himself driving in the most popular sport in the world. The Death Race. Joan Allen plays the psychotic Warden and creator of the Death Race who will do anything for T.V. ratings. The movie is filled with C average acting and a terrible script, but if you enjoy the things I listed earlier then it's a good one to rent.
MVP: The races: The best parts of the movie are when not many people talk. There are some pretty sweet deaths.
LVP: "The Condemned 2": I saw this movie last year, but it was an island instead of a racetrack.

Elegy 3 Stars

Ben Kingsley strikes for the second month in a row, and once again he plays an old man who's wants to be young again. I think he's trying to tell us something.
Penelope Cruz stars opposite Kingsley in this romance between a college professor and his student. Kingsley, a man who has never been in love in his long and successful life finally fells something he has never felt before. With help from his friend (Dennis Hopper), Kingsley struggles with his feelings towards the beautiful and younger Cruz. Isabel Coixet does a wonderful job of direction, but it is not a movie I see myself watching more than once.
MVP: Ben Kingsley: I never knew that much about him, but this is the second performance in two months that he has blown me away.
LVP: Sloooooooooooow: It felt like this movie was 10 hours long.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 1 Star

They should have called it "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Mummy." I found it ironic that the first Asian "Mummy" installment was the same one that EVERY CHARACTER LEARNED KUNG FU! The yetis are great by the way. That's right yetis.
This is the plot. Mummy is found. Mummy wakes up. Mummy gets pissed. Mummy dominates. Mummy gets killed... somehow. Everybody's happy until the next Mummy gets woken up by some idiot. " I've seen that movie twice before, and each time it gets worse. They tried to be super original by making it an Asian mummy. People are really running out of ideas in Hollywood.
MVP: Some of the action: Totally stupid, but I give them props for trying.
LVP: Maria Bello: I have nothing against her, and she did an alright job, but as soon as I found out that Rachel Weisz wasn't in it, I cried a little bit.

Pineapple Express 4 Stars

Watch the trailer. If you thought, "Guns? Stoners? Sounds like a winner," then you'll love it.
Seth Rogan plays Dale Denton, a pothead and underachiever, who gets mixed up with the wrong people after witnessing a murder. Denton and his drug dealer "friend" (James Franco) then proceed to do everything in action films that we tend to make fun of. But they do it stoned.
MVP: James Franco: He finally plays a stoner and he blows it away (no pun intended).
LVP: Rosie Perez: I hate her.

Tropic Thunder 4 1/2 Stars

Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. star in Tropic Thunder. And their characters... star in Tropic Thunder. It's the perfect blend of amazing humor, action scenes, and fantastic acting.
Stiller, Black, and Downey Jr. play three extremely different actors who are all joined together to make the spectacular motion picture, "Tropic Thunder." However, after a failed attempt to make their acting more realistic, they are left alone in the middle of the jungle to fend for themselves and survive the elements as well as the extremely violent citizens of the land. Oh, and they think they're still filming. This movie is filled with many laughs, but the acting itself surpasses the jokes. Tom Cruise gives the performance of his life.
MVP: Robert Downey Jr. black: Hilarious.
LVP: Robert Downey Jr. white: You miss the black one.
Movie of the Month:
Tombstone (1993) 4 1/2 Stars

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