Saturday, June 30, 2012

Preview: Ruby Sparks

What is it about movies, writers as the main character and their imagination? Well, actually, I might know a little bit about that. Here's a preview of a new film about this very subject: Ruby Sparks

From the producers of Little Miss Sunshine.

Due out July 25th, 2012 in limited release.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Movies released the year I was born....

Recently, I was approached by a fellow blogger and movie fan, The Movie Waffler, to participate in a blogathon. The purpose of the blogathon is to look at the films that came out the year you were born. I was immediately interested in doing the research and agreed to participate. It was so much fun discovering what films came out that year. The year 1970.

The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Five Easy Pieces
Little Big Man
Love Story
The Aristocats
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace

I found some of the top films of the year of my birth. Except for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, I have seen all of the above. Patton, in fact, is one of my father's favorite movies so I have watched that film many, many times. And being a child of the 70's, I saw the Aristocats many times.

Many of you know I am huge music lover, in addition to my love of movies, and seeing Woodstock on that list gave me a groovy feeling. Some of the best songs of the 20th century were performed on that stage during the famous festival.

But if I had to pick a favorite from the 10 above, M*A*S*H is it. I love that film (and really enjoyed the TV series) and have seen at least a dozen times. Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland were phenomenal as Trapper John and Hawkeye. A funny and touching film. Robert Altman was at his best.

I would like to thank Eric of The Movie Waffler for asking me to join in his blogathon. I had a fun little trip down memory lane, which is always a good time when films are involved. To see the other participants movie and years click here.

What year were you born, and what were some of the films released during that year? Go check and enjoy!

And on a side note: 1970 is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Zodiac and reading about that particular sign brought a smile to my face. I don't believe in that stuff too much but it's fun to read about it. What's your Chinese Zodiac sign? (Had to's so 70's....haha)

Watch Instant videos of your favorite films

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rock of Ages

Question: What was the first album you ever purchased (with your own money)? This goes out to the demographic that actually walked into a record store, picked up the album, turned it over to read the list of songs, etc… and handed cash to the teenager behind the counter. At home, you’d peel off the plastic; slowly and gingerly slide out the vinyl and gently place the record on the turntable. Next you lifted the needle and carefully lowered it, plugged in the headphones that were bigger than your head and slowly allowed the music to take you away from the drudgery of being a teenager. Ahhhhhh…….

So, what was your first album? You might be shocked at mine: Motley Crue’s Shout At the Devil and Madonna’s first album . I will never forget the day going to a record store in downtown Cincinnati and picking those out. It was like obtaining a little bit of freedom. I listened to them for hours. Of course, I had other albums but these were mine bought with my hard-earned babysitting money.

During this time, I went through a little heavy metal stage, even though I did to listen to classic rock and other current pop music as well. However, Def Leppard was my favorite of the genre with On Through the Night , High & Dry and Pyromania albums but they lost me when Hysteria was released in 1987. By then I had moved onto REM, U2 and The Smiths and left my heavy metal stage behind me. But for a brief few years I listened to song after guitar-ladened song of overly melodramatic rock ballads and anthems that spoke to all the emotions I was going through at the time. This all brings me to my review of Rock of Ages .

First and foremost, if you see this movie, please leave your cynic’s cap at home. This film was designed to make you laugh, tap your toes (or put up the universal hand signal for rock n roll) and remember what it was like when music helped you escape. Plus, this was a remake of a Broadway musical. So, if you don’t care for cheesy musical numbers and totally non-realistic scenes, then skip Rock of Ages . But, first finish reading this review before you truly make up your mind.

Usually musicals are not high up on my list to review, but with what I mentioned above, you may see why I had a secret desire to see it. Plus, I kept hearing Tom Cruise was awesome as Stacee Jaxx. A character type he has never played before. I mean, nothing like any other performance to date, so my interest was piqued. Except in Tropic Thunder , Tom Cruise is usually the overly energetic hero that takes up too much of the screen time running, fighting and flying through the air when something explodes behind him. In Rock of Ages, however, he plays an aging heavy metal guy, who is quiet and reserved, and acts as if he is high as a kite, but not in the way you might think. He’s not in the movie a lot but when he is the movie rocked. (And it didn’t hurt he sang my favorite Bon Jovi song). His character made this movie enjoyable…or should I say tolerable?

Most of Rock of Ages shows Diego Boneta, Drew, a wanna-be rock star and Julianne Hough, Sherrie, as a small town girl, living in a lonely…(oh wait, sorry, started breaking into to song there). She had dreams of moving to LA and becoming a singer, so she broke out in song all the time but never for anyone on stage like an audition. And that is exactly what Rock of Ages is like, people constantly breaking into songs and, for me, that is always a bit disconcerting. Plus, Julianne’s helium induced vocals almost gave me a headache. However, I knew every song that was haphazardly placed in between the dialogue and I didn’t mind so much…okay, sometimes I did.

Normally I was laughing at myself because I was singing along with the songs. I also laughed at the characters as the motions, choreography or bizarre song breakouts played out up on the big screen. Some could see that as a good thing or a bad thing and somewhat expected of a musical. But nothing prepared me for the Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand duet. Nothing! My cheeks still hurt from smiling so broadly. That scene is priceless, and I think most will enjoy that part. It was hysterical!

There really isn’t much to say about the plot because there hardly is one, so I won’t summarize it for you all. And the over-the-top acting and boisterous musical renditions could really have made this a bad time. Nonetheless, I rather enjoyed myself while watching Rock of Ages . I am a child of the 80’s and remember those days of loving music that my parents hated and blocking out all the bad thoughts that filled my young mind.

What might also surprise you about this film, everyone really sang. Meaning, no one had a singing double. I will say several of them were not too bad: Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Malin Akerman and Paul Giamatti. However, Mary J. Blige was spectacular, of course. Catherine Zeta-Jones was also good, but I already knew she could sing from Chicago . The leads were decent but I already mentioned Julianne Hough’s voice rubbed me the wrong way. But it was Tom Cruise who was actually pretty good. I was shocked.

Rock of Ages is not a film that I will watch again unlike Shankman’s Hairspray , but it was nice to stroll down memory lane because…I love rock ‘n’ roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby!

Directed by Adam Shankman, New Line Cinema, 2012

Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, et al.

My favorite part: Got to say it, Tom Cruise and his performance.

My least favorite part: I wish it had more of a consistent plot and didn't try so hard to stick a song in every 30 seconds.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 123 minutes

Review: 4 out of 10

Click on film poster to watch instantly or download soundtrack:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Preview: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

I don't do this very often, but I had to share a preview of a film I just saw at the theatre: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World . Stars Steve Carrell Keira Knightley.

The story is unique, touching, funny and inspirational.

 My review will be out soon but don't miss this film.

Updated: My review

Friday, June 22, 2012

Expats Post: Prometheus

Just checking in with you all. I posted my review last week for Prometheus. Here's the link to the review on Expats Post.  Movie Review: Prometheus

Click on film poster to watch instantly (or pre-order):

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Preview: Dogs Lie

Hello Movie Fans:

I am heading out for a couple weeks but no worries, I will be watching and reviewing a lot of films. Starting next week I will post my review for Dogs Lie, a film by Richard Atkinson and Top Movie Productions (Yes, the name is similar to my facebook pages's name). So check out the preview.

 One of the best parts of this job is discovering new talent and supporting indie filmmakers.

Click on poster to order film:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to All Fathers

Hello Movie Fans:


If you know one thing about me, besides how much I love movies, is that my father loves movies and he passed that love on to me. So, in honor of my father today, here is a list of a few of his favorite films:

Shoes of the Fisherman
Captain from Castile
Prince of Foxes
Tomorrow is Forever
Lawrence of Arabia
A Guy Named Joe
Das Boot
The King's Speech
The Duellists

Click on the film posters below to watch films instantly:

Go to my Facebook fanpage and add some of your father's favorite movies or movies you remember watching with your father. Enjoy the day!