Premonition (2007)


Reviewer: Scott Nehring


Premonition movie poster photo premon_zpsbc455f41.jpgShould I see it?
No.


Director: Mennan Yapo
Written by: Bill Kelly
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon and Peter Stormare


Rated PG-13 for mild violence language



Buy or Rent This Movie HereStream or Rent Premonition


I'll be honest, I am probably the last person who should review this movie. Why? This was almost the last movie I ever watched. I watched this movie about a wife (Sandra Bullock) who kisses her husband (Julian McMahon) goodbye one morning only to have him die later that day. She then wakes up the following day and he is still alive. After that, she wakes up and her world has turned back to normal and he's still dead. You see, I watched this movie with my wife. The next morning she kissed me goodbye, and I'm the one who died. I went out that morning to take some change to the bank and then buy some donuts. I never got my donuts. I had a heart attack in front of the change machine and was spared by the grace of God. Now, from my wife's perspective, this particular movie, with its themes of death, cherishing life, and widowhood - well, it's easy to see how this movie has extra meaning for my family.

Looking critically at this film, I have to say it is a typical Sandra Bullock vehicle. Ever since she's established her post-Speed career, Bullock has clearly picked pieces that suit her personal tastes. From The Lake House, and Infamous, to Miss Congeniality, they all seem to have the same thread running through them. They're well-intentioned, but somewhat monotone works. Bullock has built a resume of films that are drab, forgettable efforts, this outing is no different. The basic premise of the piece is fine, and there are moments of reasonably good film making, but ultimately there was no reason this film had to be made. It is uninspiring (unless you just happen to die the next day) and since that is really the point here, the work winds up just sitting there doing nothing.

Julian McMahon (The Fantastic 4) provides his typical performance, his natural smarmy vibe works as it typically does, and he gets the audience to mistrust him as we typically do. His character never really develops, so his death, and his wife's mourning never have any sincere depth. This is likewise for the other characters and their development. No one rises beyond their initial introduction.

The piece's layered time line - or perceived time line if you will, with Bullock seeing her husband after his death, and then dealing with his loss in a world where he is still dead, is well managed and it maintains some sense. This is the film's best point, since it would be easy to lose track and fumble into a void of confusion. But this technical feat rings hollow when the movie fails to close with a meaningful ending.

Overall, this is a boring and unneeded film. When you're looking for something to watch, you should be able to find a movie more worthy of your time.


Related Reviews:
Sandra Bullock movies
Scott Nehring Good News Film ReviewsThe Blind Side (2009)
Infamous (2006)






The Carnival of Cinema: Episode 63 – Raging Blog

Get your clicking finger ready because you have found the Carnival of Cinema, a weekly roundup of the web’s best film related posts. Come on over and check out our stock this week. We have movie reviews, film news, industry advice and at least one guy talking about Juno.

It’s a great day to be alive and why not celebrate the vibrancy of your existence by rummaging through a list of stuff to read – let’s get started!


Kicking things off for us this week is Dirty Harry. Mr. Harry, or may I call you Dirty? has a couple of posts of note from his site LIBERTAS. First up is his look at the film Definitely, Maybe. Does it Definitely stink? Maybe. Go over and find out.

Next up Dirty talks about Diary of the Dead (no, it’s not a documentary about the Clinton campaign). As a die-hard fan (pun intended) of zombie movies I’ve been waiting for this dumb thing to hit theaters. Click over to LIBERTAS to read more.


Want more zombies? We got more zombies plus one skeleton.

Blue Skeleton celebrates all things undead with some behind the footage scenes video from The Diary of the Dead on his site MEDIA PRODUCTION BLOG.


What’s next? Two tips for all of you screenwriters.

Tip one is from your host. Don’t write crappy movies.


Tip two is from Alex M. of VIDEOS AND WEB TV. Alex’s tip is a bit more constructive than mine. He says “Watch card games in movies”.

Wha?

Head over to Alex’s site to get the context.

Love Italian cinema? If you do, you have a new home. Shlomi Ron site CAFE PELLICOLA is dedicated to celebration of Italian cinema. This week he has a post discussing cinematic uses of trains.


Love Spanish cinema? If you do, you probably already know that The Goya Awards have been given. The Goya Awards are the Spanish equivalent to the Oscars. Maria Fernandez has the winner’s listed on her site LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE BLOG.


And on the subject of the Oscars, MANNY THE MOVIE GUY has his Oscar predictions. See if you agree with Manny or if you think he’s all wet.


Mike joins Maria and Manny and offers you a list.

What’s better than cinematic war? You get all of the blood, guts, bombs and bullets without all of that reality wrecking your fun. Over at MIKE’S TOP TEN LISTS, Mike Diamente has a top ten list of his favorite war films. Click over and see if you agree.


Keeping with the whole “war” thing, The Dirty Dozen is kind of a war movie…well; it’s got soldiers in it. Miss O’Shea has a post this week listing the five reasons why she loves the flick. She has the list and a whole lot more over at her site THE ROADSHOW VERSION.




Is this the Carnival of Cinema or the Carnival of Lists?

Jim Squires brings the lists for this week to a close with his five part compilation of the movies you should have on your ziplist. Go to FJETSAM to read for yourself.


Let’s take a trip back to the 80’s. Ankur Agrawal looks at Children of a Lesser God on his site DEARCINEMA: MOVIEBUFF’S PARADISE.


Moving on to something completely different…

Daniel Lafleche has twin posts dealing with Michael Gondry’s movie about sweding Be Kind Rewind. On his site THE IPEX FILM & VIDEO BLOG, Lafleche gives a brief history of “Sweding” and then looks at the film’s marketing campaign.


From lo-tech to hi-tech.

MARKETSAW - 3D MOVIES AND TECHNOLOGY’S Jim Dorey states “There is no excuse for leading institutions to not 'get' what the public is telling them to be so - that 3D movies are here and doing very well thank you. The Wall Street Journal and Jupiter Research are trying to catch up but failing miserably. They need to read www.marketsaw.com and fill themselves in on all the action!” Okay, you heard him, click on over.


Time for some reviews.

Getting this spate of opinions started is Joe. Joe has a review of The Spiderwick Chronicles. Click to his site INTERMISSION AT WORK to see what he thinks of this new release.


KABOOM REVIEW’S Mike Blitz tackles The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. W e are loaded with chronicles this week.


Moving forward we’ll talk about Pay it Forward. Well, we won’t talk about it but Cheryl St. John will over at her site FROM THE HEART…CHERYL ST. JOHN.


If you don’t want to pay it forward then perhaps you’re more inclined to mow them down in the street. A Fistful of Dollars gets the business over at WESTMINSTER WISDOM. Gracchi also handles one of the best westerns of all time The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


Love westerns or hate them, I know one thing – you ain’t gonna be seeing them on HD DVD.

Paul McElligott of takes his space on CELLULOID HEROES to introduce the painful and shame-laden death of HD DVD. Blu-Ray has dispatched its mortal enemy, burned down its house and cast its remains to the four winds. Oh yeah, he also reviews Elizabeth: The Golden Age, or as he calls it “As Ye Olde World Turneth”.


What would the Carnival be without reference to Cloverfield?


Well…it’d one post short. Luckily for us, JOYOUS FILM REVIEW’S Joe Ewens has kicked in this week and has a post about the monster that ate Manhattan.


Still waiting for that guy talking about Juno?

Andy Gates is that guy. He has a look at the sarcastic pregnant teenage girl flick over at his site THE CONSUMER’S CORNER.


Thanks to everyone for their submissions! The Carnival of Cinema is ongoing with submissions being taken through each Wednesday and posting every Friday. You can submit your work HERE.





The other editions:
The Carnival of Cinema: Episode III
The Carnival of Cinema: Episode IV

The Last Legion (2007)

Should I see it?
Nope.



Entirely lacking in any inventiveness or intelligence, this film is a lethargic bore. The solid cast fronted by Colin Firth, Aishwarya Rai, and Ben Kingsley sleepwalk through the mundane plot about a group of heroes who fight to save a young and exiled Romulus Augustus Caesar. This could have been a wonderful film for boys if there had been a script worth producing. What could have been a spry adventure story ends up being a flat waste of time. Too bad.


Related Reviews:
Ben Kingsley movies
The Assignment (1997)
Oliver Twist (2005)


Other Critic's Reviews:
The Armchair Critic
Reel.com

We Own the Night (2007)

Should I see it?
No.

Short Review: I wish they owned a better story.

This film opens with one of the more gratuitous sex scenes in recent memory. Joaquin Phoenix and Eva Mendes grope on a couch immediately following the opening credits. One expects that with such vivid content being thrust (pun intended) at the audience in the beginning of a film there will be context to follow. Nope. No such context is provided. The two actors are asked by director James Gray to suffer the indignity and embarrassment of a sex scene for nothing other than to satisfy his bad film making impulses. Any time you see a sex scene in a film, it may seem like its fun and exciting. Now, of course, some actors will claim this is the case. If you've ever seen one of these things being shot, its a miserable thing, in particular for many actors. You have to lay there with another person who you may or may not know all that well and if you know them you may or may not even like them all that much. The actors then have to portray two people making "the beast with two backs" while taking direction, reshooting moves and waiting for lighting to get corrected. All of this while being half naked as the crew look on, bored, waiting to get a chance to sneak out for a smoke. When I see a sex scene like the one that opens this movie, its offensive when it is so clearly unneeded not only because the audience is asked to sit and watch but also because the cast and crew had to endure creating it. Perhaps Ms. Mendez and Mr. Phoenix wouldn't complain about having to do the scene but the audience should.

This whole movie is one long bad choice. The story follows Bobby (Phoenix) a successful nightclub owner who gets involved with drug dealers. Bobby's has a secret, his brother (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall) are both cops who are hunting down the aforementioned drug dealers. Following the shooting of his brother, Bobby turns on the dealers and works with the cops. People get shot, there's plenty of yelling and double crossing - all leading to the inevitable big shoot out at the end. Yawn. There is nothing about this story that is compelling, fresh or worthy of an audience's time. The script, also by Gray, is a tone deaf ramble written by someone who not only doesn't understand how to manage dialog but also scene progression. Combined with his timid directing style, this piece whimpers through its nearly two-hour run time.

There is a single sequence which works well in this film and that is a car chase scene. I thought it was well handled and shot. This sequence sticks out however since it is the solitary item of good film making in this whole production. The talents of the cast, all of whom are top-notch, are completely wasted on the listless dialog they're forced to spew. Any personal sacrifices made by anyone in the making of this film are wasted and those who were talked into financing the film should have put their money elsewhere.

I get many complaints that I'm too harsh on movies I don't like. Maybe I can be at times. But a poorly made film that is intended to be serious, like this one wants to be, are wasteful things. They gobble up resources and the efforts of the cast and crew who more often than not are asked to put in long hours and hard work to get a film like this made. Bad movies also consume time from the audience that could have otherwise been spent doing something worthwhile. How would you like it if I were to stop you on the street and tell you a long story only to find out I didn't have a point, I just stopped you to ramble - this is what bad movies do to us each time we sit through them. They put our lives on hold and give us nothing back for the investment. Life is short and bad movies make our precious time here just that less enjoyable. This is why I loathe bad movies and attack them. They are offensive.


Related Reviews:
Joaquin Phoenix movies
The Village (2004)
Walk the Line (2005)


Other Critic's Reviews:
The Critical Critics
eFilmCritic.com



The Carnival of Cinema: Episode 62 – The Day the Blog Stood Still

Welcome to the Carnival of Cinema. Every week this is your one-stop shop for the web’s best in movie reviews, cinema news and commentary. We get posts from around the world and bring the top notch stuff your way.

Kicking things off this week is DotLobby who has a list of the ten best unisexual chick flicks. Guys, if your lady likes to force you to sit through these vacuous movies, try to pull a title from this list to keep yourself sane. Head over to
DOTGIRLFRIEND.COM the see the list.


Let’s have another top ten list.

If you like top ten lists Mike Diamente’s site MIKE'S TOP 10 LISTS is the place you want to be. This week, Mike has a top ten list with videos of the best acting performances.


What? You want more listings? Fine, here you go…

SIBERIANLIGHT’S Andy Young has a list of all of the Russian Bond Girls available for your perusal. He has descriptions of the characters and looks at the actresses.


We move now from Russian chicks to gun totting hicks.

The remake of the classic Western, 3:10 to Yuma is on DVD and now it’s on WESTMINSTER WISDOM. Gracchi gets all cerebral with it and considers its Kantian elements. Go head over to his site, it’s good for your brain.


If you’re not into brainy stuff then you must be a huge fan of Ryan Reynolds’ movies.

MANNY THE MOVIE GUY interviews Ryan Reynolds, Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher, and Abigail Breslin during a press junket for their film Definitely, Maybe. Manny also interviews the cast of Step Up 2 the Streets. Find out what Reynolds think of politics and the Clintons, and why Breslin named her turtle after Manny!


If you like movies that can be described as best being suited for “mostly stoners and retards” as General Disdain puts it, then you may want to look into Strange Wilderness. The General has a review of the new lowbrow comedy over at his site THE CRITICAL CRITICS.



There’s “mostly stoners and retards” and then there’s those people who actually think the Star Wars prequels don’t stink to high heaven.

If you can’t get enough of the team who brought you Jar-Jar Binks and the moping pre-pubescent Darth Vadar then you’re going to love the news that the next line of Star Wars nonsense is coming to us in cheap animated format.


Click over to MARKETSAW: 3D MOVIES AND TECHNOLOGY to read the latest. Over there Jim Dorey breaks the news that “Star Wars: The Clone Wars hits 3D theaters (100 minute movie) and then your television! 30 episodes have already been made for the small screen with many more to come.”


Geez, I hope there’s Ewoks.


If you want to see what Hayden Christensen does when he’s not turning Darth Vadar from the evil overlord of the universe into a mopey loser with girlfriend issues, check out his new film Jumper. Matt Adcock has a review of the flick over at his site DARKMATTERS: THE MIND OF MATT.

Apparently, there is life after turning over to the dark side.


According to Tamika M. Murray, there is also “life after the darkness”

Tamika takes a look at Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple on her site PJSANDAMOVIE. She also tackles the Reinaldo Arenas biopic Before Night Falls.


Since we’re already talking about a film with Johnny Depp (Before Night Falls has him) let’s keep with his work and look to Joe Ewens’ review of Depp’s most recent film Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street over at JOYOUS FILM REVIEW.


Since we’re already talking about a film with Alan Rickman (Sweeny Todd has him), let’s keep with his work and look to Paul McElligott’s review of Rickman’s film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on his site CELLULOID HEROES. Yeah, it's the stupid version with Kevin Costner but Rickman is rather good in his role. McElligott has more over at his site including a review of The Brave One and a poll regarding this year’s Oscars.

Go on, head on over and respond to Paul’s poll.*


And now for something completely different.


Daniel Lafleche runs a site called THE IPEX FILM & VIDEO BLOG. This week said site has a post titled Indie Film Distributor Spotlight: Sony Pictures Classics deserves an Indie Spirit Award. Really. Per Daniel, “No, this article is not trying to sell anyone on SPC. However, SPC's recent Indie Film deals are making it look either, clueless, or like it is gearing up for a future of Video Direct niche markets that the rest of us are not aware of yet.” Click on the link to read more.


And now for something more like what we were talking about before.

Back to the killings. What is The Net Meets Copy Cat? Diane Lane’s latest steaming pile of cinematic poo Untraceable gets the business over at LIVIN' THE DREAM (ONE LOSER AT A TIME). Christina M. Rau reviews the serial killer movie and also provides some insight on movie-going courtesy.


Want a little insight on movie-making courtesy?

Don’t make crappy movies.


Hey, on that note, we turn to The Comebacks. Forgot which movie that is? Well, click over to THE CONSUMER’S CORNER to get reminded. Andy Gates provides a somewhat reluctant redeeming view of the spoof.


Next up, Martin chats about a movie he refers to as “Blair Witch meets Godzilla meets 9/11”. That’s right, it’s Cloverfield. If you want more, you’re going to have to go to MCT IMAGES to get it.


If you’re looking for something different, perhaps you could try a patient drama about a stroke victim who writes his memoir by communicating with his eye, the only part of his body that isn’t paralyzed. The award winning Le Scaphandre et le papillon, (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), is reviewed by Justin on his site DEARCINEMA: MOVIEBUFF'S PARADISE.


Bringing things to a close this week is Newman who has a review of The Bruges. Go to NEWMAN’S OWN CORNER to see if this new release is worth your time.


* - The answer is Michael Clayton.


…and CUT!…and PRINT!


Thanks to everyone for their submissions. Another great set of posts.
Do you have an opinion or article about the film industry? Have you reviewed a film or DVD? Have any tips on breaking into the biz? Send submissions HERE for next week’s edition.

Be the first blog on your street to post in the Carnival of Cinema.




Other carnival editions:
Carnival of Cinema: Episode I
Carnival of Cinema: Episode II
Carnival of Cinema: Episode III
Carnival of Cinema: Episode IV

Five Great Romantic Films

***Originally posted on Nehring the Edge***


Its Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as national “Kick Single People In The Privates Because Life Ain’t Hard Enough, Now I Have To Sit Through Insufferable Conversations About What Other People Are Doing Or Having Done For Them And Feigning Interest Because I Already Know I'm Going Home Alone And Eating A Half Cooked Hot Pocket Over The Sink Instead Of Enjoying The Warm Embrace Of Someone Who Loves Me. Honestly, A Whole Day For This? Why Not A Day Called “I Don’t Have Anyone Weighing Me Down And I Can Do What I Want When I Want Day?" That Would Stick It To Those Snotty Married Types - The Jerks. No, We Have This Day With All Of The Flowers And The Chocolates And Those Stupid Pajamagram Commercials - Don't Even Get Me Started On Those Stupid Vermont Teddy Bears, I Mean Honestly, What Kind of Mouth-Breathing Moron Buys a Grown Woman A Stupid Teddy Bear? That's The Best You Can Do? A $80 Stuffed Doll? Day.”

Personally, for my long-suffering wife, I’ve decided to give her what she’s been asking for all of these years. Today, I will be shutting my yammering mouth and getting out of here. I’m not sure how to wrap it but I know she’ll appreciate it.

For those of you looking to spend some quality time with the one you love in front of the television and not actually interacting, here are some suggestions to some great movies to share.


FOR HER


Casablanca



This is for those of you guys with ladies who enjoy actual good movies. This is the second best film ever made and gets that distinction for good reason. A great tragic romance drives this brilliant work and Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman were never better. Don’t rent, buy this one today.



The Notebook



A great romantic story, a very good romantic film. If she insists on watching a movie she likes, make this your pick. Ladies, this one will be painless for your man. He has enough hassles in his life without having to sit through yet another half-baked chick flick. Let him off easy and enjoy this well made film. You'll be crying by the end, its guaranteed.


Sleepless in Seattle



Not a favorite of mine, but popular with just about everyone else. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make a great on screen couple in this Nora Ephron directed movie. Light and fun, this is a solid pick.



When Harry Met Sally




Even if you've seen it before, it is worth seeing again. Very insightful and clever, this film about friendship and love is a great comedy. If you've never seen this film, you should track it down. Billy Crystal is at the top of his game and very comfortable in his role as Harry who eventually falls for Sally, played to perfection by Meg Ryan.


FOR HIM


Tombstone



This is all you need to do ladies. This is the ultimate guy movie. If you want to make your man's day, put this in and let him enjoy. If your man doesn't like this movie you may want to verify his gender credentials. This is one of the top three greatest Westerns ever made and the best "guy film" ever produced.


Watch a movie, enjoy the show and then do whatever it is you two do.

Happy Valentines Day, and to all of you single folks, be patient the day can't last forever.


Movie Trailer: 28 Days Later

Danny Boyle's zombie movie may be the best horror film since The Exorcist. Well, at least the first half of the film is that good.

As a bone fide zombie movie fan, I have to recommend this great reworking of the genre.

Click here to view the trailer
video

Click here to return to the Movie Trailer Page


Screenwriter: Alex Garland (Sunshine)
Director: Danny Boyle (Millions)
Actors: Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins), Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), Brendan Gleeson (Kingdom of Heaven)


Smokin' Aces (2006)

Should I see it?
Nope.



There are plenty of guns, shooting, blood and cursing - so its a little like hanging out Tom Sizemore on a Friday night.

This film is a well stylized bullet fest with some very clever dialog thrown in for good measure. If hyperbolic, posturing characters and ridiculous gunplay are your thing, you’re in for a ride, but I wouldn't recommend this personally. While inventive, it unashamedly dips into coarse violence for the sake of simply being violent. The smart dialog and sharp filmmaking give the impression there's something more going on than blood and guts, but there isn't. This is all flash and no substance.

Overall, this is a smart person’s version of a dumb shoot ’em up - but if you're smart enough for this movie, you're probably too smart to want to sit through it.

Click below to view the trailer (caution, its violent)


Related Reviews:
Ryan Reynolds movies
Blade: Trinity (2004)
Just Friends (2005)


Other Critic's Reviews:
Movie Patron
Daily Film Dose


Movie Trailer: There Will Be Blood

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) and starring Daniel Day Lewis (Gangs of New York), this film loosely based on Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! has been nominated for eight Oscar Nominations.


Click here to go to the official site

video

Return to the Movie Trailer Page


Screenwriter: Paul Thomas Anderson
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Actors: Daniel Day Lewis, Ciarán Hinds (Amazing Grace), Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), Kevin J. O'Connor (The Mummy)


Sunshine (2007)

***Cross-Posted at Catholic Media Review***


Should I see it?
If you don't mind lousy endings.


Short Review:
The second half doesn't mesh well with the first. Its like having a tilt-a-whirl at an festival that also has a hot dog eating contest. Sure, both on their own are fun but when mixed...



Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Millions, Trainspotting) is one of those directors who can be relied upon to build films that reinvigorate my love for cinema. Unfortunately, he is also one of those directors who can be relied upon to frustrate me by pulling me into a narrative only to fall apart in the final act. His works all begin wonderfully. They are visually engaging, his set ups are perfect and his talents are in full effect. Following the reversal scene in the middle of the film (at the literal middle of all stories there is a reversal where the plot is turned on its ear) Boyle's works all begin to stumble and eventually fall. Like his other works (except Millions which is simply dreadful) Sunshine is mostly brilliant with a touch of lame tossed in - which is a little like a chef spitting in your manicotti florentine for flavor. It does matter how good the cuisine is if the chef botches a part of the plate.

To give this film credit, it is a very smart work and will likely impress most lovers of science fiction. Until the final moments of the film this piece works brilliantly and provides one of the more engrossing science fiction films of recent years. A group of astronauts are sent on a mission to reignite the sun. The sun has begun to dim and the cast must send a payload of explosives into it in order to save all of humanity from dying in darkness. Their ship is the second mission to perform this act, the first group disappeared. As the group approaches the burning globe they slowly descend into insanity, paranoia and fear. Things turn stranger when they come across the first ship drifting in space, sending out a distress signal. This is the makings of a thoughtful character-centered piece and for the most part it delivers. Screenwriter Alex Garland's script is an intelligent and well crafted work and is rich in character and handles the narrative with a masterful hand. The brewing conflicts between the astronauts set against the slowly building stress of their circumstances is a thrill to watch. The elements of insanity and spirituality are likewise interesting. While I hammered home that the ending of this piece is clunky and disappointing, I also want to make certain you understand the piece leading up to it is just as marvelous.

***SPOILER ALERT***
The rest of this review has plot spoilers, consider yourself warned.

The cast is populated with some solid actors who are given meaty scenes to perform. Cillian Murphy (Red Eye), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) and Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider) all flourish in their roles and succeed at bringing this strange story to life. Curtis in particular stands out as the spiritually drifting Dr. Searle. Curtis' performance sets up the film's undertones of insanity and prepares the way for the final acts battle with the ghost (or is he real) of the first ship's captain, Capt. Pinbacker (Mark Strong). Curtis is at once off his nut while also being completely rational and calm. His eventual sacrificial death by exposing himself to the sun is one of the film's better scenes.

The ghostly Captain Pinbacker brings us to the downfall of the piece. As you can guess, the first ship is haunted and the crew of the second ship begins to see strange things and then people start to die. This change in direction throws the film off the trail and it fails to regain its footing as Boyle and company then descend into a pedestrian Alien-esque structure where we wait for the next crew member to get bumped off by the violent Pinbacker. This second half doesn't mesh well with the first. This is reminiscent of Boyle's 28 Days Later which has a first half that is easily the best horror film of the last thirty years but then turns into another lame flick through the introduction of an exterior and unneeded villain (the soldiers in 28 Days Later/Captain Pinbacker in this film). If Garland and Boyle would have relied more on the strength of their story and kept with the pressure cooker they constructed from the beginning they would have made a classic.

To summarize, there is plenty to recommend this film. Even with its faults, it is still heads and shoulders above most science fiction fare.

Click below to view the trailer

***SPOILER ALERT***
Again, I'm gonna ruin the plot

Worldview:There is a serious spiritual side to this film and its not all good. The mystical Dr. Searle fawns over the sun and looks to find spiritual meaning in it. He stands before the sun with eye protection and bathes in its light. His sensual reaction to the light heightens the spiritual tone of these scenes. As the characters approach the sun Searle gets weirder in his thoughts and actions, like a zealot coming closer to holy ground.

In the end of the film, Captain Pinbacker, the ghostly captain of the first ship, is a frightening specter that attacks the crew members. He is a blurry demonic image who rambles about God making statements like "For seven years I spoke with God. He told me to take us all to Heaven." His destructive religious fervor is the main thrust of what he has become. While this may have been an attempt to cast all religious people in a poor light (pun unintended) the handling of this part of the script is so unfocused and inorganic that Pinbacker becomes a mushy stereotype rather than a polemic caricature.

The themes of man's solitary relation with God are touched upon but not investigated except under the shadow of Pinbacker's raging vengeance. In a story where people have been sent out into the vastness of space heading towards their probable doom, the lack of God in the proceedings (other than as a propellant for the villain) is illogical and a let down. People grow more towards God when alone and when under stress. It is interesting that some characters turn to paganism to quench this search for the Almighty but none of them seem to consider God, as he's normally presented, as a viable solution. The wispy references to spiritual matters only serves to undermine the otherwise intellectual flow of the piece. It's not that this movie should have had a never ending stream of Jesus references, but to remove him completely leaves a hole in the works. Ultimately, the work strives to be spiritual without committing to any theological strain and it therefore ends up being completely nonsensical in this regard. In other words, the script is so concerned with being abstract that it doesn't even do us the favor of being wrong - its just senseless.

Cautions:
There's plenty of violence and on-screen death. This is a movie for adults.


Related Reviews:
Cillian Murphy movies
Batman Begins (2005)
Red Eye (2005)


Other Critic's Reviews:
DarkMatters: The Mind of Matt
Cinepinion




Shoot ’Em Up (2007)

Should I see it?
Not even on a dare.



Even you love stupid movies, this film will still probably be too stupid for you to stomach. This uninspired and inept mess makes Uwe Boll movies seem thought out and crafty. It is like cinematic version of binge drinking, it's the ultimate in self indulgence, waste and miserable to witness.

Ladies, as a piece of advice, if you're dating a guy and you see this boxed turd in his DVD collection, you know you've got yourself a loser. Leave him behind, he'll probably not amount to much - he obviously is lacking in taste and self respect. That's right, it's so bad you can actually judge other's characters by their proximity to this product.

Clive Owen (Children of Men), as mumbling and linty as ever, portrays himself portraying some guy named Smith who acts just like very other character Clive Owen has even portrayed. Every once in a while Owen share space with Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water) who chews up the scenery like some bored and angry pit bull. Giamatti is way too good for the script and ends up overacting to compensate for the moronic dialog that spews from his screaming maw. The two, along with Monica Bellucci (Passion of the Christ) seem to enjoy themselves slumming in this over-the-top sophomoric flick about a guy who tries to save a baby - or something like that, the plot increasingly gets less and less relevant and fades into the background.

This is simply a bad movie. It wants to be brutish, and it succeeds at its goal but that is the only this it offers - being abrupt. If you're going to waste your life watching bad movies, there are far superior bad movies to watch than this.


Related Reviews:
Clive Owen movies
Inside Man (2006)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)


Other Critic's Reviews:
Movie Freak
Roger Ebert



The Carnival of Cinema: Episode 61 - The Blogs Must Be Crazy

Welcome once again to the Carnival of Cinema, your weekly display of the web’s best cinema related posts. Want to read great movie reviews, insightful industry advice and interesting film news? You’ve hit the mother lode.

Starting us off this week is Jeet who has a post about multiplexes in Bangalore on his site BANGALOREBEATS.


Next up, Wenchypoo talks about the fact that some goofball women celebs are wearing red dresses to “bring awareness” to women’s heart disease. That works, hmmm Heidi Klum is in a red dress, I better tell my mother to take her Coenzyme Q10." Click over to WISDOM FROM WENCHYPOO'S MENTAL WASTEBASKET for more.


The issue of women’s heart disease? I had a heart attack almost five months ago, I guess since I’m a guy I can just jump off a cliff.


Speaking of throwing oneself off a cliff to their horrible doom, Hannah Montana has given plenty of people just that idea.


Jim Dorey says "Hannah Montana's 3D Movie is setting box office records! Find out more about this teen sensation that is sweeping the nation!” Need to know more? MARKETSAW - 3D MOVIES AND TECHNOLOGY is your place to go.


Hannah Montana’s 3D Movie


…and on he subject of horror movies, what do you think about those times horror films try to make the mundane creepy? MISCGARBAGE.COM’s Blue Sunshine has a post detailing the absurdity of horror flicks trying to exploit everyday activities as being spooky and failing miserably at it.


Sticking with the horror movie thing, a subgenre of horror, the monster movie has made some news as of late with the release of Cloverfield. This week Justin talks about the film on his site DEARCINEMA: A MOVIEBUFF’S PARADISE. He says Cloverfield is akin to The Blair Witch Project but with a traditional structure and higher production values. In this sense it loses its realism as a poorly edited home movie, but gains much in realm of entertainment that Blair Witch lacked.” Head over to his post to see if you agree.


Haven’t seen Blair Witch Project? Well, Chris Coleman has and Chris has the review ready to go. Click over to APPRECIATING GREAT TRASH (one of the best names for a film review site of all time) to see if you should see it.


Another horror film is All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. See if Matt Adcock loves her too. He has a review of the Amber Heard slasher flick on his site DARK MATTERS: FROM THE MIND OF MATT.


Want something else scary?
How about a bunch of old hippies?

Now, that’s downright creepy – the groaning, the creaking bones, the unwashed stink…



AVANT NEWS claims “Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper to Make Easy Rider Two: Cantankerous Old Hippies." Head on over to read more.


Another remake, and one that makes a little more sense, is 3:10 to Yuma. If you haven’t seen this Russell Crowe/Christian Bale film yet, maybe you should go find out if its any good. Paul McElligott has reviewed the film and has his words available to you over at his site CELLULOID HEROES.


From a remake to a movie that should have never of been made.


Adam Sandler’s movie Click is the subject d’jour over at WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. See if Miss Positive lives up to her moniker when she reviews the flick.


Newman of NEWMANS' OWN MOVIE CORNER keeps the reviews comin' with his own review of the Jessica Alba movie The Eye.


Watch the trailer below:


Now watch this scene from the original Japanese version Gin gwai:


They both look stupid.

Next up we turn to WESTMINSTER WISDOM. This week Gracchi tells everyone about Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One) Sticking with his recent trend of reviewing films released within our lifetimes, he gives his informed opinion on this recent French release.


Like to see behind-the-scenes stuff? You’ll love this. Blue Skeleton has behind-the-scenes footage taken from the film Taken. Run over to his site PRODUCTION BLOG to view this interesting footage.


And bringing things to a close this week, we have MANNY THE MOVIE GUY. Manny interviews Colin Farrell, and Martin McDonagh, the writer/director of Farrell's new film In Bruges. They talk about their involvement with the film, and their movie's connection with the Harry Potter franchise. Also, Manny the Movie Guy reviews the film.


...and CUT and PRINT!


Thanks to everyone for their submissions and welcome to all of the new faces this week.


If you have a cinema related post you'd like to submit to next week's edition GO HERE.



Other carnival editions:
Carnival of Cinema: Episode 29
Carnival of Cinema: Episode 39
Carnival of Cinema: Episode 43
Carnival of Cinema: Episode 56

Movie Trailer: Chapter 27


Screenwriter: J. P. Schaefer
Director:
J. P. Schaefer
Actors: Jared Leto (Fight Club), Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)



Click here to return to the Movie Trailer Page

Movie Trailer: Live Free or Die Hard






Movie Trailer: Hancock

Releasing on July 2nd, 2008, this Will Smith vehicle has him playing a down-and-out superhero who takes up with another man's wife. Peter Berg (The Kingdom) is directing the McMovie. I imagine this will be humorous, but not funny - entertaining, but not memorable. Check out the trailer below. Seems like its a one joke movie, but then again Smith has a knack for picking good projects for his image.

video

Visit the film's official page

Head to the Movie Trailer Page


Screenwriters: Vincent Ngo (Hostage) & Vince Gilligan
Director: Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights)
Actors: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman


Carnival of Cinema: Episode 60 – No Country for Old Blogs

Welcome back to the Carnival of Cinema. Every week we bring you the best in film-related posts from around the World Wide Web. If you’re the kind of person who loves movie reviews, industry advice or just the latest in film news, this is the spot you have to be every weekend.

One this we constantly get here in the carnival is lists. People love making them and others love reading them. This week we have three such posts and they will kick things off.


Blue Skeleton of THE PRODUCTION BLOG has a comprehensive list of all the film production links featured on his site. They are switching the focus of their blog over to purely film making and will now strictly work towards being a resource for the indie film industry.


I say, good for you Blue – more power to you. All indies need any help they can get.
And on the subject of indies, we have more on Sundance this week.

Daniel Lafleche’s FILM AND VIDEO MARKETPLACE BLOG has a list of five things to chew on as American movies face what is likely a pivotal year. Perhaps something you want to check out for all of you indie directors and producers.


And on the subject of Sundance – let’s take a look at the future of film.

Matt O’Connor drops in this week with the third part of his list of the films that are set to hit this year. Check out his list over at his site CULT MOVIE NEWS.


Since we’re on this independent streak, let’s turn things over to our pal Gautam Valluri who has an interview with independent filmmaker Scott Cummings. To read the interview head over to Gautam’s site BROKEN PROJECTOR. To see some of Scott Cumming’s work, check out the teaser trailer for his short film Storm Tiger Mountain below.



From behind the camera to right in front of it. Let’s look at things from an actor’s perspective.
Conan Stevens is great for giving us a glimpse at a working actor’s life. This time out he talks about auditioning and keeping the career going during rough times in his post “TVC Audition and Print Ad Audition”. The writer’s strike hurts everywhere. Read what he has to say over at his site ACTION HERO IN ASIA.


If there will be a Carnival then there will be reviews and if there will be reviews then there will be blood.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s critically acclaimed return to the screen There Will Be Blood gets reviewed by Thomas Sweeney over at THINK SOUL MATTER.


Now that there’s been blood let’s get goin’ with the Coens.

MANNY THE MOVIE GUY sat down with the cast of The Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men to talk about the movie. See his reviews with Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Kelly Macdonald, and Oscar nominee, Javier Bardem HERE. Also, take a look at his review of the movie HERE.

Want more Old Men? Who doesn’t? If you do, click on this link, it’s going to take you over to JOYOUS FILM REVIEW where Joe Ewens has a joyous film review of th the flick.


Moving on…


Click over to WESTMINSTER WISDOM to see if the movie In the Valley of Elah is more like the Valley of Ewww Blah. Grachhi has seen the film and has the final word.

When is he going to review Dumb & Dumber?



Or how about reviewing something just plain dumb like Paul does?

Paul McElligott has got The Simpson’s Movie on his blog CELLULOID DREAMS for us this week. What does he have to say about everyone’s favorite yellow, three fingered family? Find out for yourself and click on the link already. Then, once you’re done there click on this link taking you to his podcast “21st Century Fox”.


Not having a transition to speak of, I’ll just push forward onto Andy Gates’ review of Stardust. He has a look at the film over at his site THE CONSUMER’S CORNER.

Still stranded without a proper link between post offerings, I will simply provide you with this easy to follow link to a review of Woody “No, really it’s okay, I’ll babysit the kid” Allen’s Cassandra’s Dreams. Find out if the creepy old guy is still making good movies by reading the review at NEWMAN'S OWN MOVIE CORNER.


Sick of all of these recent movies? Sick of these Oscar nominees and future winners? Sick of movies you’ve heard of?

Well, let’s throw it back to 1994 to Norman Jewison’s romantic comedy Only You. Tamika M. Murray has a defense of the movie over at PJSANDAMOVIE.

To brings things to a close we’re going to get all global and stuff.

World Cinema seems to be in the air this season, while five Indian cities are having a rendezvous with French Cinema, the pioneers of this segment in India, Palador Pictures have releases a DVD set of legendary French director François Truffaut. Visit Moveye’s DEARCINEMA: MOVIEBUFF'S PARADISE for more.


…and CUT!…and PRINT!


Thanks to everyone for their submissions.




Other carnival editions:
Carnival of Cinema: Episode I
Carnival of Cinema: Episode II
Carnival of Cinema: Episode III
Carnival of Cinema: Episode IV
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