Showing Tag: " cinema" (Show all posts)

REVIEW: Kill Bill: Volume 2 – Superman Dressed As Clark Kent

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Monday, December 24, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring:  Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Gordon Liu

"[T]here are consequences for breaking the heart of a murderous bastard."
–Bill (David Carradine)

We continue our retro review series of the films of Quentin Tarantino with a look back at the 2004 film, Kill Bill: Volume 2.  In Volume 1, we saw the pregnant Bride a.k.a Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) gunned down by her former...

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REVIEW: Kill Bill: Volume 1 – Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring:  Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen

We continue our retro review series of the films of Quentin Tarantino with a look back at Kill Bill: Volume 1.  I have to confess Kill Bill is one of my all time favorite films.  When it first debuted in 2003, I watched it on a Friday night and went right back to the theater on Saturday for a second viewing.  Kill Bill is an action-pa...

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REVIEW: Reservoir Dogs – Twenty Years Later And It's Still Like A Virgin

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Reservoir Dogs

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring:  Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Quentin Tarantino

As part of STMR’s Retro Review Series on the films of Quentin Tarantino, this week we turn our attention to Reservoir Dogs.  Released in 1992, the cult film is coming up on its 20th anniversary.  After watching the film recently, I must say it still stands the test of time after twenty years.

Reservoir Dogs is the story of a diamond he...

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REVIEW: Pulp Fiction – A Royale With Cheese

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, November 24, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Pulp Fiction

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring:  John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel

In honor of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Django Unchained, STMR is doing a retro review series covering Tarantino films.  We are kicking off the series with a review of Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction.   We know that is out of chronological order for his films, but we could not resist.  Pulp Fiction stands as one of the fin...

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REVIEW: Vampire Baseball Games?! Soap Opera Teen Romances?! Twilight Perverts the Vampire Movie Tradition

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 


Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, and Peter Facinelli

You all know by now that I'm no huge Twilight fan.  I've made this clear time and time again in countless reviews.  That being said, the series will be concluding this month in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2.  The torture is almost over!  Out of what little respect I have for the franchise, I've decided to revisit the Twilight films.  With this in mind, there's no...

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REVIEW: What is the Matrix? One Damn Good Movie That Shows Us How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes

Posted by James Brown on Monday, October 15, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

The Matrix

Directed By: Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano

How many movies have you seen where a director uses slow motion to emphasize big moments in action sequences?  How many times have you seen fools nearly break their necks trying to lean back as much as possible while dancing or horsing around?  How many times has someone asked you to take the red or the blue pill?  You can thank The Matrix ...

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REVIEW: While Love and Fame Can't Live in the Same Place, Country Music and Liquor Can in Country Strong

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 30, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Country Strong

Directed By: Shana Feste

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester

I'm definitely not the world's biggest country music fan.  In fact, I don't even know who today's top country singers are, and I can't name a famous country song off the top of my head.  I'm simply not that interested in the genre.  However, this doesn't mean that I can't appreciate a good tune or even watch a movie about the country music industry.  What I do know is how to r...

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Posted by Zack Mandell on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 


Directed By: Michael Haneke

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil, and Maurice Bénichou

Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast and owner of and writer of movie reviews.  He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites such as Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic and Helium.

We live in an era hooked on voyeurism.  The major American television networks, which once thrived on scripted shows, have slowly transformed into purveyors of “reality” shows, s...

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REVIEW: Watchmen Successfully Brings the Frames of a Comic Book to Life

Posted by Zach Davis on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Zach Davis

Directed By: Zack Snyder

Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Patrick Wilson

I have to start by addressing the end of Watchmen as it takes a huge left turn from the end of the graphic novel.  To many, this was considered heresy, but I think it did the film justice more so than sticking with the original material would have.  Without spoiling the movie, the ending chosen by director Zack Snyder and ...

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REVIEW: The Bodyguard is a Bad Mix of Business and Pleasure

Posted by James Brown on Monday, September 17, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

The Bodyguard

Directed By: Mick Jackson

Starring: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, and Bill Cobbs

Earlier this year, we lost the renowned Whitney Houston.  We lost a music icon who embodied an era of pop music.  We lost a world-class singer who also dabbled in acting from time to time.  We lost a legend.  With that in mind, it's important to revisit her filmography as well as her discography.  While she currently stars in the film Sparkle, she will be remembered most as an actress ...

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REVIEW: Who Is Salt? One Kickass Chick in a Mediocre Flick

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 16, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 


Directed By: Philip Noyce

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, and August Diehl

Angelina Jolie has really built a versatile career as an actress and filmmaker.  While she can hold her own in dramatic roles in films like A Mighty Heart and Changeling, she can also kick some asses in films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Wanted.  To top things off, she established herself as a burgeoning director with In the Land of Blood and Honey earlier this year. ...

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REVIEW: It's All About the Closers and Their Leads in Glengarry Glen Ross

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 16, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Glengarry Glen Ross

Directed By: James Foley

Starring: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, and Jonathan Pryce

"You never open your mouth until you know what the shot is."
-Ricky Roma (Al Pacino)

The gift of gab is a rare treasure, one that even few movie stars have.  For the most part, the all-time greats are the only ones with this gift.    They're those actors who can have monologues that go on and on, and yet we don't want them to stop.  You may thin...

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REVIEW: Good Luck Negotiating with Bryan Mills in Taken. That's One Badass Dude

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 16, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 


Directed By: Pierre Morel

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Katie Cassidy, Holly Valance, and Famke Janssen

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I...

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REVIEW: The Usual Suspects is an Unusually Great Crime Thriller

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Usual Suspects

Directed By: Bryan Singer

Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite, and Kevin Spacey

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world that he didn't exist.  And like that, poof.  He's gone."
-Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey)

There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and criminal masterminds flirt with it all the time.  The stories, schemes, and crimes they concoct are things that could only b...
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REVIEW: The Godfather Is Gonna Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse...For One Great Movie

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, August 23, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Godfather

Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Cazale, and Diane Keaton

"Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made enemies they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you. "
-Don V...
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REVIEW: Hanging Up...Throw That One Back

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, August 9, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Hanging Up

Directed By: Diane Keaton

Starring: Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Walter Matthau, Adam Arkin, Ann Bortolotti, and Cloris Leachman

Sometimes a movie is so fluffy that I wish it was never made.  I wish that Hollywood had never given the filmmakers a green light to make it, and I wish that I never decided to torture myself by watching it.  This is exactly how I feel about the comedy-drama Hanging Up.  Based on Delia Ephron's book of the same name, Hanging Up is a movie that just n...
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REVIEW: The Skin I Live In Is Absolutely Disgusting, But That's the Point of It All

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito)

Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, and Roberto Álamo

Every once in a while, there's a movie that just disgusts me.  It absolutely disgusts me and leaves a lump in my stomach.  This doesn't happen too often.  When I do see a movie like this, I know it will unfortunately be etched in my memory for quite some time.  This is what happened when I recently sat down to watch Pedro Almodóvar's The S...
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REVIEW: A Pie May Not Solve All of Life's Problems, But It Does Offer Sweet, Delicious Payback for Minny in The Help

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Help

Directed By: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, and Jessica Chastain
At STMR, I try and cover the latest and greatest to hit theaters.  Every once in a while, however, a film slips through the cracks.  Normally, it's just because of other higher priority films.  Typically, it's some awful horror film or thriller that gets the boot.  It's the film for which the trailer can't hide how much it will suck.  In the case of Th...
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REVIEW: Machete Don't Text, But He Does Open Up a Serious Can of Whoopass

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, and Don Johnson

B movies can be good for the soul.  Every once in a while, it's good to see a flick with cheesy dialogue, ultra violence, and gratuitous sex.  While that sounds like most of the crap Hollywood puts out today, I'm talking about a special kind of film — not a movie that sucks because of these qualities but one that thrives on them.  I'm talk...
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REVIEW: If You Open Your Mind, Total Recall Can Rock Your World

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Total Recall

Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox

"You!  You're the same. No matter where you go, there you are.  It's always the same old you.  Let me suggest that you take a vacation from yourself.  I-I know it sounds wild.  It is the latest thing in travel.  We call it the Ego Trip."
-Bob McClane (Ray Baker)

Sometimes, your enjoyment of a movie depends completely on your ability to suspend your disbelief of th...
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REVIEW: Operation Blackbriar May Be a Failure for the CIA, But It's a Success for The Bourne Ultimatum

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Bourne Ultimatum

Directed By: Paul Greengrass

Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Édgar Ramirez, Albert Finney, and Joan Allen

2006 and 2007 were really great years for action movies in general.  We had Casino Royale, Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard, and The Bourne Ultimatum all released in a little more than a year.  With all these films being released within a little more than a year of one another, it's needless to say that P...
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REVIEW: Jason Bourne Has to Beat the CIA at Its Own Game One More Time in The Bourne Supremacy. He Doesn't Have a Choice.

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Bourne Supremacy

Directed By: Paul Greengrass

Starring: Matt Damon, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, and Karl Urban

The Bourne Identity cemented Matt Damon's status as a viable action star.  Damon was no longer just a dramatic actor who could play genius janitors or fallen angels.  He was a badass spy who could handle himself.  By the time The Bourne Supremacy came rolling into theaters, we were ready for the next chapter in the Jason Bourne saga.  Happily, I can say that Matt Damon deli...
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REVIEW: The Malfunctioning $30 Million Weapon is Kicking Some Serious Ass in The Bourne Identity

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Bourne Identity

Directed By: Doug Liman

Starring: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

"You're worried about a budget meeting?  If we don't take care of this, we don't make it to the men's room.  We will burn for this.  We will both burn for this."
-Alexander Conklin (Chris Cooper)

In the world of spy movies, there are three guys who have burnt more baddies than anyone else — James Bond, Ethan Hunt, and Jason Bourne.  Th...
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REVIEW: Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill to Fetch a Pail of Crap

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 15, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Jack and Jill

Directed By: Dennis Dugan

Starring: Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, and Al Pacino

Adam Sandler's career is a continuous downward spiral that baffles me.  After nearly a decade of constant crap, why is this guy still making movies?  Better yet, why are his films still making money as loyal fans continue to waste their money on the latest and tasteless?  Why do big name stars continue to make appearances in his flicks?  All these questions perplex me because Sandler has not been at his c...
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REVIEW: Step Up 3D Adds a New Dimension to Crappy Filmmaking

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 14, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Step Up 3D

Directed By: Jon Chu

Starring: Rick Malambri, Adam Sevani, Sharni Vinson, and Alyson Stoner

"I dance because dance can change things.  One move can set a whole generation free like Elvis.  One move can make you believe like there's something more...and some moves can give a skinny, curly-haired kid, that just wants to dance, some hope."
-Moose (Adam Sevani)

Dance may give Moose hope, but I've lost all hope for the Step Up franchise. As I continue this retro series, director Jon Chu keep...
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REVIEW: Step Up 2 Takes It to the Streets As It Takes the Series to New Lows

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 14, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Step Up 2: The Streets

Directed By: Jon Chu

Starring: Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman, Adam G. Sevani, Will Kemp, and Cassie

Bad movies making money breed more bad movies.  When I heard of Step Up 2: The Streets, I was less than enthused to say the least.  After all, Step Up was nothing more than a mediocre flick.  What good could come of another one of these pointless dance movies?  After having revisited Step Up 2, I've been reminded that I was right.  On the one positive note, the dancing in St...
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REVIEW: Step Up Needs to Find Its Groove

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Step Up

Directed By: Anne Fletcher and Mico Heltborg

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Mario, Drew Sidora, Alyson Stoner, Rachel Griffiths, and Josh Henderson

Every time I begin to wonder why Hollywood keeps shoveling crap into theaters, I'm reminded that we keep buying it for some strange reason.  I can think of no better example than the Step Up movies.  By any measure, these films suck, but people keep buying tickets to see them for whatever reason.  Ultimately, our lack of good taste a...
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REVIEW: Jane Eyre May Be a Freeborn Spirit, But She Has One Messed Up Love Life

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 8, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Jane Eyre

Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, and Jamie Bell

There are always films that slip through the cracks that even I don't get the chance to catch while they're in theaters.  There are so many hidden gems out there, and it's my mission to catch them all with a drink in hand.  That's why retro reviews are so important to STMR.  2011 was a big year for a lot of young actors, namely Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Fassbender....
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REVIEW: For Your Voices, Coriolanus Has Done Many Things, Namely Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 6, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Directed By: Ralph Fiennes

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain, and Paul Jesson

It's hard to jazz up Shakespeare these days.  After a good 400 years, there aren't too many new ways you can bring his works to life unless you're donning a cape and hammer like Marvel's Thor.  Aside from my cheap references to The Avengers, Shakespeare's works have been done to death both on stage and on screen.  It's rare that someone breaks new ground wi...
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REVIEW: Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona Shows Us Just How Romantic the Count City Can Be

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 6, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Directed By: Woody Allen

Starring: Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, and Chris Messina

Woody Allen manufactures movies.  He keeps putting out at least one new movie year after year and has been doing this for decades.  As any manufacturer knows, quality control is absolutely critical to putting out a good product. Over the years, one could argue that Woody Allen has had some issues with this critical item.  Ev...
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REVIEW: Get Lost Bub. That's All Vera Farmiga Has to Say to the Devil in Higher Ground

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Higher Ground

Directed By: Vera Farmiga

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Donna Murphy, John Hawkes, Nina Arianda, Dagmara Dominczyk, Bill Irwin, Joshua Leonard, Ebon-Moss Bachrach, and Taissa Varmiga

It's got to be really hard to direct and act in the same film, especially if the individual is the star of a film.  As an actor, I can imagine that a person would be used to direction from someone else other than himself.  As a director, there's probably no time whatsoever to get behind the camera.  The dual...
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REVIEW: Nora Ephron Flirts with the Fantasy of True Love in Sleepless in Seattle

Posted by James Brown on Friday, June 29, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Sleepless in Seattle

Directed By: Nora Ephron

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rosie O'Donnell, Rob Reiner, and David Hyde Pierce

The legendary Nora Ephron passed away earlier this week.  She was truly an innovator who helped mold the romantic comedy genre into what it is today.  I can think of no better way to honor her legacy than to revisit her filmography and knock back a few drinks in the process.  Given that 2013 will mark the 20th anniversary of Sleepless in Sea...
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REVIEW: The Wise Guys Live It Up Like Movie Stars in Goodfellas

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and Paul Sorvino

"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster."
-Henry Hill (Ray Liotta)

After The Godfather was released in 1972, mob films were never the same.  It was the film that made gangsters cool.  There were the Corleones, and then there was everybody else.  With the exception of The Godfather: Part II, no mob film could ever measure up to the greatness of Franc...
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REVIEW: Spider-Man 3 Is Just Too Much. It's Just Too Much

Posted by James Brown on Friday, June 22, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Spider-Man 3

Directed By: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, and J.K. Simmons
The bar was set high for Sam Raimi after the towering successes of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, two of the greatest comic book movies of all time.  How do you come up with a story and a film great enough to at least match its predecessors?  Admittedly, it's a daunting task for any director.  In trying to outdo himsel...
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REVIEW: The Courageous, Self-Sacrificing Peter Parker Sets an Example For Us All in Spider-Man 2

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, June 21, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Spider-Man 2

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, Daniel Gillies, and Dylan Baker

"Sometimes we have to be steady and give up the thing we want the most, even our dreams."
-Aunt May (Rosemary Harris)

With the commercial and critical success of Spider-Man, a sequel was inevitable.  Hollywood was undoubtedly going to keep this cash cow alive.  The only problem was that they had to follow up one of the greatest comi...
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REVIEW: Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem Launches an Assault on Good Taste in Movies

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, June 21, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem (AVPR)

Directed By: Colin Strause and Greg Strause

Starring: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, and John Ortiz

It's always terrible to see a bad movie making money.  When it does, you already know that Hollywood plans to shovel more of the same crap into theaters some time down the road.  After having raped both the Alien and the Predator franchises in the awful flick Alien Vs. Predator, Hollywood decided to have another round of this pointless conflict in Aliens Vs....
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REVIEW: Our Friendly Neighborhood Spidey Slings His Way to Greatness in Spider-Man

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Roberts, Rosemary Harris, and J.K. Simmons

"In spite of everything you've done for them, eventually they will hate you."
-The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)

Superheroes do the impossible.  They are legendary men and women who do what the rest of us can't.  For this, we both love and hate them.  We put them on pedestals as gods among men.  At the same time, we label them as vigilantes and relent...
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REVIEW: Sanaa Lathan is a Predator's New Best Friend in AVP. Where's the Fear in That?

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, June 7, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Alien Vs. Predator

Directed By: Paul W. S. Anderson

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner, and Colin Salmon

Crossover films are always hit or miss.  Bringing the main attractions from different franchises together is a very tricky matter.  They can't all be like Freddy Vs. Jason where Jason just comes to Freddy's killing grounds on Elm Street.  When confronting the concept of Alien Vs. Predator, writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson had a lot of work to do.  Given the f...
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REVIEW: Smarter Aliens and a Ripley Clone Can't Hide the Money-Hungry Desperation Fueling Alien Resurrection

Posted by James Brown on Friday, June 1, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Alien Resurrection

Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Brad Dourif, Leland Orser, Dan Hedaya, J. E. Freeman, Kim Flowers, and Raymond Cruz

Sometimes it's abundantly clear when Hollywood is trying to make a quick buck.  There are some movies that are just so unnecessary that you're just left wondering why.  After Alien 3, who would've thought that another Alien film centering on the character of Ell...
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REVIEW: Alien 3 is Not a Scary Movie. The Bitch is Back For a Group Therapy Session

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, May 31, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Alien 3

Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Danny Webb, Pete Postlethwaite, Lance Henriksen, Leon Herbert, and Peter Guinness

The biggest problem plaguing the Alien franchise is that there is no central vision for the series.  There's nobody steering the ship aside from profit-oriented studio execs.  There's no director that has made more than a single installment in the franchise.  While this worked ear...
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REVIEW: The Colonial Marines Get Their Asses Handed to Them by Some Badass Extraterrestrials in James Cameron’s Aliens

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 26, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Directed By: James Cameron

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Paul Reiser

The 1979 classic Alien was such a landmark film in the sci-fi genre that many imitators and copycats followed.  It took seven years for an official sequel to be released.  By then, 20th Century Fox had hired a new director, future king of the world James Cameron, to direct the movie.  After the success of the 1984 The Terminator, Cameron decided to take a diffe...
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REVIEW: Men in Black II — Needs Work Fellows, Needs Work

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Friday, May 25, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Men in Black II

Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson, Tony Shalhoub, Patrick Warburton, and Rip Torn

In part 2 of our retro review series on the Men in Black franchise, we turn to Men in Black II.  The original Men in Black film is a creative, smart science fiction comedy.  However, as I watched Men in Black II, all that came to mind was a line from the movie Lean on Me.  There is a scene in the film...
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REVIEW: Alien, a Perfect Organism for Fear and Death & One Tough S.O.B.

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, May 24, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Directed By: Ridley Scott

Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto

The 2012 summer movie season has shown us one thing.  People love some alien movies.  Aliens are part of most of the big blockbusters kicking off the summer.  Just think of flicks like The Avengers, Battleship, and Men in Black 3.  Badass extraterrestrials are in style.  There's one more alien flick coming out in June as well.  It goes by the na...
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REVIEW: In the Matter of Meryl Streep Vs. Goldie Hawn in Death Becomes Her, Nobody Wins

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, May 17, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Death Becomes Her

Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis

Hollywood has always been obsessed with beauty, whether it's real or not.  That's why Los Angeles is the home of many, many plastic surgeons.  Though these surgeons are well paid, I would imagine they have to march to the tunes of their often-wealthy clientele.  Until I saw Robert Zemeckis' Death Becomes Her, I never thought about how nerve-wrecking that could be at times.
Actress Madeline Ashton...
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REVIEW: Everything Burns in the Joker's Gotham, But We Have a Silent Guardian and Watchful Protector in The Dark Knight

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 13, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Dark Knight

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman

"You'll hunt me.  You'll condemn me, set the dogs on me.   Because that's what needs to happen.  Because sometimes... the truth isn't good enough.   Sometimes people deserve more.  Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded."
-Batman (Christian Bale)

Once in a long while there comes a movie that changes the way you look a...
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REVIEW: Mr. Wayne Embraces His Fears, and the Legend of Batman Begins

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 12, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Batman Begins

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Tom Wilkinson, and Ken Watanabe

"If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal and if they can't stop you, you become something else entirely – a legend, Mister Wayne."
-Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson)

With summer 2012 heralding the reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, I feel like déjà vu. All I hear is that five...
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REVIEW: Patience Phillips May Land on Her Feet, But Catwoman Lands Flat on Its Ass

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 12, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 

Directed By: Pitof

Starring: Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Sharon Stone, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, and Alex Borstein

After Michelle Pfeiffer's seductive and fiery performance as Catwoman in Batman Returns, there was talk of a spinoff film about the feisty feline starring Pfeiffer and directed by Batman Returns director Tim Burton.  With Batman Forever taking a lighter turn and Joel Schumacher taking Burton's place in the director's chair, the chances of the spinoff happening with B...
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REVIEW: Larry Crowne with an 'E' is One Movie You Shouldn't See

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 6, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Larry Crowne

Directed By: Tom Hanks

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw

He's starred opposite a volleyball named Wilson in a riveting survival drama.  He's played a gay lawyer afflicted with AIDS who struggles to find justice on his death bed.  He's even portrayed a mentally challenged yet charming Southerner who runs across America from one adventure to another.  Tom Hanks is undoubtedly the most likable gu...
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REVIEW: The Heat Is On. Clooney and Schwarzenegger Need to Get Out of the Kitchen in Batman & Robin.

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 6, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Batman & Robin

Directed By: Joel Schumacher

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Pat Hingle, and Michael Gough

The on-screen role of Batman was cursed back in the 90s.  Batman was like the Defense against the Dark Arts post at Hogwarts.  Each live action Batman film was headlined by a different guy, and this became increasingly to the detriment of the series.  Michael Keaton reprised his role as the Caped Crusader in the spectacular B...
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REVIEW: Men in Black — Nothing Beats the Original

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, May 5, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Men in Black

Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, and Tony Shalhoub

In light of Men in Black III’s upcoming release, STMR is doing a retro review series on the MIB trilogy.  We begin with the original 1997 film, Men in Black.  I must confess that I am a long time Will Smith fan.  I grew up watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and listening to “Summertime”.  His transition from a teenage rapper to...
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REVIEW: Warner Bros. Killed the Bat We Loved in Batman Forever

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Batman Forever

Directed By: Joel Schumacher

Starring: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, and Chris O'Donnell

Batman may be the most successful superhero of all time at the box office.  For a time though in the 90s, he was the worst managed hero.  After the magnificent films Batman and Batman Returns directed by the imaginative Tim Burton, Warner Bros. decided that they wanted this superhero franchise to be more “family-oriented”.  Apparently, a few little weak kids went ...
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REVIEW: Batman Returns Helps Us Find the Man Behind the Bat & the Woman Behind the Cat

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Batman Returns

Directed By: Tim Burton

Starring: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Christopher Walken

Later this year in The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway has the hardest job of all.  She's got to be Catwoman.  She's got to grab some skin-tight vinyl and a whip and bring out a dark, seductive side in her we've never quite seen on screen.  It couldn't be a more fitting year for this.  While 2012 marks the epic conclusion to the legend of the Dark Knight, it also marks the 20...
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REVIEW: Did You Ever Dance with the Devil in the Pale Moonlight? Vicki Vale Did in Batman. His Name was Joker.

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 22, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Directed By: Tim Burton

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance

With the excitement over the upcoming epic motion picture event The Dark Knight Rises, it's definitely worthwhile to revisit some of the older Batman films.  Before talk of Bane, Catwoman, and the Dark Knight himself reaches a fever pitch in the coming months, we need to talk about the movies that laid the foundation for films like TD...
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REVIEW: Riggs is a Daddy-To-Be & Murtaugh is a Granddaddy-To-Be. Lethal Weapon 4 Proves That It's Time for the Original Buddy Cops to Retire

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 22, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Lethal Weapon 4

Directed By: Richard Donner

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock, and Jet Li

By the time Lethal Weapon 4 came rolling into theaters in 1998, the focus of the films had changed a bit.  The 90s had been good to Mel Gibson.  Because of the success of films like Braveheart, Gibson was unquestionably the main attraction of any film in which he starred at that time.  That's why Lethal Weapon 4 was the Mel Gibson Show featuring guest stars Danny Glover, ...
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REVIEW: As Iron Man, Billionaire Playboy Tony Stark Becomes a Superhero We All Can Love

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Iron Man

Directed By: Jon Favreau

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Every once in awhile, a film comes along that changes the game.  It's so refreshing and innovative that you can't be anything but impressed by it.  More often than not, you don't see it coming.   It's the film you would least expect to be revolutionary that changes everything.  Just take a look at Iron Man for example.  You would never expect some B-list Marvel superhero to step up ...
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REVIEW: Mr. Green Steps Up His Game in The Incredible Hulk

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Incredible Hulk

Directed By: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt

Back in 2003, Hulk was an absolute disaster.  The film did anything but justice to the big green menace, and there was a backlash from fans.  That's why the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk seems nothing like its predecessor.  Universal has brought in a new director, a new Hulk, and an entirely new cast.  They wanted to distance themselves from the painful memories from Hulk.  I can happi...
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REVIEW: Riggs May Be Chaos & Murtaugh May Be Mayhem, But Lethal Weapon 3 Has Lost A Little Bit of Its Edge

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Lethal Weapon 3

Directed By: Richard Donner

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson, and Joe Pesci

By the time 1992 came rolling around, Lethal Weapon was well-established as the premier buddy cop franchise.  After the successes of Lethal Weapon and Lethal Weapon 2, Richard Donner, Mel Gibson, and Danny Glover had nothing to prove.  Nonetheless, Lethal Weapon 3 happened.  To make things interesting in this third time around, we have a new cast member in Rene Russo.

Riggs (Gi...
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REVIEW: Hulk Is Nowhere Near As Incredible As It Could Be. Are You Getting Angry?

Posted by James Brown on Monday, April 16, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Directed By: Ang Lee

Starring: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas, and Nick Nolte

Back in 2003, we were just getting started in this era of annual big budget action flicks featuring superheroes from Marvel Comics.  With the successes of X-Men, Spider-Man, and X2: X-Men United, everybody was expecting Hulk to do big things.  In the 2003 film Hulk, we wanted to see the big green angry man be incredible on the big screen.  Unfortunately, director Ang Lee takes us on a tour o...
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REVIEW: Riggs and Murtaugh Bring the House Down in Lethal Weapon 2...Literally

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 14, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Lethal Weapon 2

Directed By: Richard Donner

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland, Derrick O'Connor, and Patsy Kensit

The first Lethal Weapon film set such a high standard for the modern action thriller that Lethal Weapon 2 had quite an unenviable task.  Following up a future classic is always a tall order.  As history tells us though, Richard Donner, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, and others rose to the occasion and delivered another great action thriller that has stood the tes...
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REVIEW: Riggs and Murtaugh are the Original Buddy Cops in Lethal Weapon

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 8, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Lethal Weapon

Directed By: Richard Donner

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, and Tom Atkins

Mel Gibson has really screwed up his career.  For a long time, he was the premier action star of his generation.  Having starred in countless classic action flicks, it's unfortunate to see how far he's fallen because of his incendiary comments in drunken, abusive tirades.  Gibson is now reduced to releasing films on Video-On-Demand as opposed to in theaters. 

What the hell happ...
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REVIEW: Danny McBride Straps a Bomb to 30 Minutes or Less But Somehow Doesn't Blow the Damn Movie Up with His Crude, Humorless Nonsense

Posted by James Brown on Friday, April 6, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
30 Minutes or Less

Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, and Nick Swardson

I've never been a big fan of Danny McBride.  There's a thin line between funny vulgarity and pointless crudity.  McBride crosses that line time and time again in his effort to be overtly raunchy.  He just drops four-letter words and any kind of reference to sex without any real purpose.  That kind of nonsense is not comedy.  Unfortunately, we have to deal with this crap in the...
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REVIEW: The Lincoln Lawyer Electrifies the Courtroom with Some Old School Magic

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Lincoln Lawyer

Directed By: Brad Furman

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Michael Peña, Bob Gunton, Bryan Cranston, and William H. Macy

Hollywood used to be ballsy.  There was a time when big studios would tackle epic romances, moving dramas, and utterly intense thrillers.  They used to make movies that made you think.  In the chase of the almighty dollar, most of Hollywood's mainstream films have increasingly become big budget spectac...
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REVIEW: "You're Killin' Me". Bruce Willis is the Modern Day Clint Eastwood, and 16 Blocks Shows Us Just Why

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
16 Blocks

Directed By: Richard Donner

Starring: Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse, Cylk Cozart, and Casey Sander

Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood have a lot in common.  They are both iconic action movie stars that defined their generations.  They've both starred in classic films that will live on for ages.  They both have this unique charm that allows them to turn grumpy old assholes into lovable characters on the big screen.  They both can get away with ridiculously cheesy lines like "You're ki...
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REVIEW: Clash of the Titans Is a Clash Between Great Action and Bad Acting

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Clash of the Titans

Directed By: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson

With Wrath of the Titans being released this weekend, it's the perfect time to revisit the 2010 remake that started it all.  When the movie hit theaters a couple of years ago, it got panned by critics.  Nonetheless, the movie made big bucks at the office.  With studio execs having fatter wallets, there was no doubt that there was going to be a ...
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REVIEW: Titanic May Be the Ship of Dreams, But James Cameron Makes It an Awe-Inspiring Reality

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Directed By: James Cameron

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, Kathy Bates, Danny Nucci, Bernard Hill, Victor Garber, and Eric Braeden

It's a special year for the Titanic.  April 15th will mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic shipwreck in the North Atlantic Ocean back in 1912 that heralded the deaths of more than 1,500 passengers.   Later this year, December 19th will mark the 15th anniversary of James Cameron's film base...
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REVIEW: Your Highness Needs a Royal Makeover

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 17, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Your Highness

Directed By: David Gordon Green

Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Zooey Deschanel

As I begin to wrap up my 2011 retro reviews, I watch each movie with this false sense of hope.  For some reason, I think that I've seen all the crap Hollywood can produce in a single year.  Every time I watch one though, I'm proven wrong as I discover another awful, manufactured Hollywood production.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  I should know that there's no cap on cr...
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REVIEW: Hanna Is a Damn Good Hunter

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 17, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Directed By: Joe Wright

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, and Cate Blanchett

I admire hunters.  I'm not talking about those guys that just pull out a gun and shoot their prey.  I'm talking about hunters who have to track and kill their prey by much more challenging means.  By going out in the wilderness and braving the elements, they do what most of us don't.  By pursuing their prey and taking life without question, they do what most of us w...
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REVIEW: Big Momma Needs to Retire

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, March 8, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

Directed By: John Whitesell

Starring: Martin Lawrence and Brandon T. Jackson

Some movies are so bad that they're fun to watch.  I know going into them that they'll absolutely suck, so I have a few drinks beforehand and have a good time watching them.  Any time Martin Lawrence decides to put on a fat suit and channel his inner Big Momma, I know I'm in for a bad movie.  Only the original film was anywhere near decent.  For Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, I liqu...
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REVIEW: Take Shelter Brings the Thunder

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Take Shelter

Directed By: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain

Watching a mental breakdown is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.  You get a front row seat for all the carnage and chaos that builds to a devastating climax.  That's why I love movies about crazy people.  You get a taste of what leads to their breakdowns and a better understanding of what makes them tick.  Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter is one such film.

Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is a man afflicted...
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REVIEW: Something Borrowed Is Something Worth Skipping

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 3, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Something Borrowed

Directed By: Luke Greenfield

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, John Krasinki, Colin Egglesfield, Steve Howey, and Ashley Williams

With all the big films that came out last year, a lot of smaller movies got swept under the rug.  For every Thor, Harry Potter, or Mission: Impossible, there were twice as many films we ignored at the box office.  These forgotten flicks tend to be either romantic comedies or family films.  One of the forgotten ones from May is Something Borro...
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REVIEW: The Rite Offers a Strong Message of Faith, But It Doesn't Quite Make Me Believe

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, March 1, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Rite

Directed By: Mikael Håfström

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue, Alice Braga, and Rutger Hauer

I’m just going to say it.  Exorcism flicks are not my thing.  There’s something that’s fundamentally terrifying about demonic possessions.  It’s not some undead boy who drowned at a camp or some elementary school gardener out for revenge after getting burnt alive in a boiler room.  We all know they’re not real.  Demons, on the other hand, are quite real.  As a Christian, ...
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REVIEW: Sucker Punch Wrote a Check With Its Mouth Its Ass Couldn't Cash

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, March 1, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Sucker Punch

Directed By: Zack Snyder

Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, and Scott Glenn

Hot girls and cool action sequences are not always a cool one-two punch combo for decent popcorn fare.  For every Transformers, there are 99 other films that absolutely sucked.  Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch falls into the category of the crappy 99%.  Snyder substitutes sexy women and elaborate visuals for a coherent story and...
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REVIEW: The Mechanic Kicks Ass But Also Kicks Itself

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, February 25, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Mechanic

Directed By: Simon West

Starring: Jason Statham and Ben Foster

Action movies are a dime a dozen, and I'm hardly impressed by most of them these days.  Some decent ass-kicking just doesn't get the job done for me anymore.  We've all seen a million movies about lonely cops, corrupt spies, or betrayed assassins.  We need something fresh and innovative to add a new page to the action movie playbook.  We need to make ass-kicking awesome again.  Unfortunately, Jason Statham's The Mechanic...
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REVIEW: Waiting to Exhale – Shoop, Shoop, Shoop

Posted by Mary Dieng on Monday, February 20, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Waiting to Exhale
Mary Dieng

Directed By: Forest Whitaker

Starring: Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon

In honor of Whitney Houston, STMR is doing a Retro Review series on her trio of films, Waiting to Exhale, The Bodyguard and The Preacher’s Wife.  When I was first asked to do the reviews for the series, I cringed.  Not because I didn’t think it was a good idea, but because I wasn’t enthralled with her entire body of work.  Who wants to be critical under these ...
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REVIEW: The Wolf May Be Big But It Ain't Bad in Red Riding Hood

Posted by James Brown on Monday, February 20, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Red Riding Hood

Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, and Julie Christie

Now that Hollywood has made just about every comic book movie imaginable, studios are in need of a new gravy train.  They need a new genre to kill.  Studio execs have decided in mass to tackle fairy tales, and they've done nothing to hide it.  We've got two "Snow White" movies in the works this year alone.  There's talk...
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REVIEW: Pirates Has Lost a Little Luster, But It Can Still Light Up the Big Screen with Some Swashbuckling Action

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, February 12, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Directed By: Rob Marshall

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, and Kevin McNally

Hollywood has a nasty habit of killing its best franchises.  Releasing sequel after sequel, they keep piling on the movies long after they've run out of worthwhile stories to tell.  In 2011 alone, there were 27 sequels.  Studios' never ending chase of the almighty dollar has programmed viewers to see most sequels these days as crap.  There are...
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REVIEW: Green Lantern is a Little Too Green for the Big Screen

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, February 12, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Green Lantern

Directed By: Martin Campbell

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, and Tim Robbins

Bringing the mythology of comic books to the big screen in live action films is one of the toughest jobs a director can tackle.  Not every hero is easy to bring to theaters like Batman or Spider-Man.  Some of the most popular comic book heroes are just not meant for live action films.  Green Lantern is one of those heroes.  Martin Campbell falls flat on ...
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REVIEW: Bad Teacher Isn't Quite Bad Enough

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, February 12, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Bad Teacher

Directed By: Jake Kasdan

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, and Jason Segel

In the wake of the immensely successful Bridesmaids, it's nice to see another comedy with a leading lady.  Although Cameron Diaz has been out of the comedy game for quite a while, her most notable foray into the genre led to the modern classic There's Something About Mary.  In her latest film Bad Teacher, things are a little different.  The guys aren't chasing her. This time around, she's ...
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REVIEW: Bridesmaids is a Rare Gem That Belongs in the Pantheon of Awesome Comedies

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, February 11, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Directed By: Paul Feig

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Chris O'Dowd, and Jill Clayburgh

When a great comedy is released, there's absolutely no denying it.  Just look at some awesome comedies from the last decade like Old School, Wedding Crashers, and The 40 Year Old Virgin.  These are some of the flicks that make you laugh until it hurts.  These are the movies you will stop and watch on TBS anytime you see them. ...
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REVIEW: 127 Hours Is the James Franco Show Plus a Nasty Little Boulder As the Guest Star

Posted by James Brown on Friday, February 10, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
127 Hours

Directed By: Danny Boyle

Starring: James Franco

Mountain climbing and canyoneering are dangerous hobbies, but the thrill seekers of the world don't seem to mind.  They love to explore the wild, untamed parts of the world.  Going into such isolation though comes with risks, and the life of Aron Ralston can show you a great deal about those.  In his memoirs Between a Rock and a Hard Place, he documents his most horrific experience out in the wild and what he had to do to survive.  Luckil...
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REVIEW: Zookeeper is a Charmingly Crappy Flick

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, February 9, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Directed By: Frank Coraci

Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, Steffiana De La Cruz, Donnie Wahlberg, Thomas Gottschalk, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Maya Rudolph, and Bas Rutten

We all have those bad movies that we just can't help but enjoy.  They're guilty pleasures.  Throughout the film, you're wondering what the hell you're watching.  Strangely enough though, you're enjoying the film at the same time.  These flicks are the ones you watch at hom...
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REVIEW: Bacon and Fassbender Save an Otherwise Mediocre Film in X-Men: First Class

Posted by Zach Davis on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
X-Men: First Class
Zach Davis

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon

X-Men: First Class is Matthew Vaughn’s fourth time out as a director.  After having made Layercake, Stardust, and Kick-Ass, First Class marks the first time he has worked with a budget of more than $100 million.  The problem with First Class is a common one amongst comic book movies.  Vaughn tries to force too much trivia into the film.

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REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace – A Slow Start

Posted by Mary Dieng on Sunday, February 5, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Mary Dieng

Directed By: George Lucas

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, and Frank Oz

In honor of the re-release of the Star Wars movies in 3D, STMR is doing a Retro Review series on the franchise.  When I found out that I was tasked with the honor of reviewing these classics, my inner geek squealed with delight.  What child of the ‘80’s wouldn’t be thrilled...
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REVIEW: The Way Back Delivers With Stunning Cinematography

Posted by Zach Davis on Saturday, February 4, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Way Back
Zach Davis

Directed by: Peter Weir

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Dragos Bucur, Mark Strong, Gustaf Skarsgård, and Alexandru Potocean

Russell Boyd’s cinematography captures the isolation of true wilderness over a vast array of landscapes.  The Way Back beautifully displays scenes of false peace through snow capped forests carpeting rolling hills, expansions of barren desert where the air seems to suck the life out of the gro...
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REVIEW: The Adjustment Bureau Could Use a Few Adjustments

Posted by James Brown on Friday, February 3, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Adjustment Bureau

Directed By: George Nolfi

Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, and Anthony Ruivivar

I'm a huge fan of Matt Damon.  He's one of the great actors of his generation and has given me some of my favorite films including Good Will Hunting, The Departed, and The Bourne Ultimatum.  He's destined for great things and will definitely have his name etched in cinematic history some day.  He just needs to find that career-defini...
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REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right is Just Alright

Posted by James Brown on Friday, February 3, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Kids Are All Right

Directed By: Lisa Cholodenko

Starring: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, and Yaya DaCosta

Family dramas are a dime a dozen.  You don't have to look too long and hard to find a flick that's got some family values.  You come into these flicks knowing what to expect, and you generally get it.  A little creativity can go a long way in a family flick.  That's why I was very curious about Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right.  Wit...
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REVIEW: Inception is Every Movie Lover's Dream Come True

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cilian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine

Every once in a while, a blockbuster comes along that changes everything.  Just think of movies like Star Wars, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, and Avatar.  These films were all game changers that pushed big budget filmmaking to the next level.  In its own way, each film...
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REVIEW: The Eagle Lands, Albeit in a Crash Landing

Posted by Zach Davis on Sunday, January 29, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Eagle
Zach Davis

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong

Kevin Macdonald is mostly known for documentary pieces, and The Eagle marks his third time behind the camera for a non-documentary feature film.  His previous works include The Last King of Scotland and State of Play.  With this in mind, hiring a director that specializes in documentary filmmaking is a mistake that takes away from the story of the film.  Documentarians are no...
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REVIEW: Unknown is Unimpressive

Posted by Zach Davis on Sunday, January 29, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Zach Davis

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, and Frank Langella

Movies are a safe haven for the unbelievable and the impossible, and this should never change.  Some movies can take these two things too far, and Unknown is a guilty party in that respect.  Jaume Collet-Serra’s Unknown works around an interesting premise but delivers a predictable plot that gets quite ridiculous at times.  This Liam Neeson action ve...
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REVIEW: True Grit Proves That the Western is Not Extinct

Posted by James Brown on Friday, January 27, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
True Grit

Directed By: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Barry Pepper, Bruce Green, and Dakin Matthews

The Western genre is an endangered species that hardly graces the big screen any more.  In the last twenty years or so, Western films have become rarer and rarer.  I can probably count the number of good Westerns released over the last couple of decades on one hand.  It's not every day anymore that you get good old fashioned flicks like ...
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REVIEW: We’ve Been to Boston Many Times, But That Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Enjoy The Town

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, January 26, 2012,
The Town

Directed By: Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner

Doug MacRay: “I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people.”
James Coughlin: “...Whose car are we gonna' take?”
-Ben Affleck & Jeremy Renner, The Town

Are movies the only thing that can motivate members of Congress these days?  Before a vote in the House of Representatives on the debt ceiling last year, House Majority Whip...
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REVIEW: Kick-Ass Lives Up To Its Name

Posted by Daneeka Abellard on Thursday, January 26, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Daneeka Abellard

Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mark Strong, and Nicolas Cage

"It didn't take a trauma or cosmic rays or a power ring to make a superhero. It's just a perfect combination of optimism and naïveté."-Dave Lizewski

Kick-Ass helps answer the question ‘what if a completely average guy really tried the superhero thing’. High school student and comic book junkie, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is that guy. I...
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REVIEW: Speed Hits the Brakes A Few Times, But It’s Still a Fun Ride

Posted by Daneeka Abellard on Thursday, January 26, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Daneeka Abellard

Directed By: Jan de Bont

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton, Alan Ruck, and Glenn Plummer

Speed is definitely a classic action film with an interesting premise. After Officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reaves) thwarts expert bomber Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper), Payne decides to get some revenge. He sets up a little game in which a city bus in Los Angeles will explode if Jack loses. Now, there are many ways to lose this game concocted by...
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REVIEW: Paul is a Movie That Shoots for the Stars But Barely Gets Off the Ground

Posted by Zach Davis on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Zach Davis

Directed by: Greg Mottola

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, and Jane Lynch

Paul was penned by British comedy icons Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and it shows.  These men are known lovers of comics and science fiction — two genres that serve as the main backdrop of the story.  Their work comes off as a fanboy screenplay that was somehow green lit into production.

Graeme Willy (S...
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REVIEW: The Social Network Connects On All Levels

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Social Network

Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, and Rooney Mara

David Fincher has never made a bad movie.  Just think about films like Se7en, Fight Club, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  He's one of the few directors whom I completely trust.  If he's making a film, I know it's going to be good.  That's why it's not surprising that he delivers another solid movie in his 2...
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REVIEW: Blue Valentine Is the Story Hollywood Doesn't Tell About Falling Out of Love

Posted by James Brown on Friday, January 20, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Blue Valentine

Directed By: Derek Cianfrance

Starring: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

Indie romance flicks are often so much better than the formulaic, crappy love flicks Hollywood manufactures.  In an indie romance, you'll get a story with real people with real problems.  In a mainstream romance flick on the other hand, you'll get an overly predictable flick starring Katherine Heigl or Sarah Jessica Parker that always has a sappy ending.  If I had to compare them to drinks, a good indie rom...
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REVIEW: A Glass of Wine Will Do Well When Trying to Keep Pace with Arthur

Posted by Zach Davis on Sunday, January 15, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Zach Davis

Directed by: Jason Winer

Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, Geraldine James, Luis Guzman, and Nick Nolte

A remake of the 1981 hit of the same name, Arthur delivers a modern take on high society and New York.  While the 1981 version garnered four Academy Award nominations and two wins, the 2011 remake doesn’t seem to capture the same magic, albeit it does very well on its own.

Arthur (Russell Brand), the playboy son of a rich industrialist (Ger...
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REVIEW: The Real Dilemma Is To Pick Out a Good Beer or Wine For The Dilemma

Posted by Zach Davis on Sunday, January 15, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Dilemma
Zach Davis

Directed by: Ron Howard

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, Channing Tatum, and Queen Latifah

The Dilemma is a departure from Ron Howard’s recent work.  He’s helmed films that have garnered award buzz such as A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon.  He’s also helmed commercially successful films in recent years such as The Da Vinci Code.  While this film offered less of a challenge to Howard, he still delivered an all-around entertaining mo...
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REVIEW: The Fighter Knocks Us Off Our Feet As It Spars With Greatness

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, January 15, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Fighter

Directed By: David O. Russell

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and Amy Adams

It's hard to beat a good sports flick.  There's something about the physicality and intensity of athletic competition on the big screen.  A great sports flick can get you up and shouting just as much as any game or fight could on a Saturday night with the boys and some brewskies.  In the film The Fighter, director David O. Russell brings to life the story of Mickey Ward and his quest to ...
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REVIEW: I Felt Black Swan...It Was Perfect.

Posted by James Brown on Friday, January 13, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Black Swan

Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder

There's a thin line between genius and insanity.  Ultra-talented people are often really screwed up.  In the arts and entertainment, many of these folks are like supernovas.  They briefly shine brighter than anything or anyone before them, but all of a sudden, they're gone too soon.  Their personal issues take center stage, and they get the better of them.  Just think...
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REVIEW: Pray There's an Open Bar During Jumping the Broom

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 7, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Jumping the Broom

Directed By: Salim Akil

Starring: Laz Alonso, Paula Patton, Tasha Smith, Loretta Devine, and Meagan Good

It's nice to see a good black comedy every once in a while.  They've been crowded out so much by crappy Tyler Perry flicks in recent years that I had really begun to miss them.  When I heard about Bishop T.D. Jakes' Jumping the Broom, I got pretty excited.  I thought we had a really good black comedy at hand.  With a cast including Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, ...
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