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Movie Review: Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” (October, 2009)

Director: Kenny Ortega Date of Release: October 27, pharmacy 2009 I feel cheated. No, esophagitis not because I feel like AEG or Sony put one over me, sildenafil but I feel cheated out of many years of pleasure in watching the greatest performer of our lifetime having been stolen too early from this life. Full disclosure: I am a huge Michael Jackson fan, like many people out there, so this review will be somewhat biased and is written with an outlook that may be different than my other reviews because of this. Michael looked completely agile at the age of 50, playing around as though he was still a child, and dancing and moving the same way he did as though time had never passed. He looked thin, though lively, and most importantly, happy. His band, his backup singers and dancers, were absolutely phenomenal. His band and musical director Michael Brearden mixed up his songs such as “Theatened” and “Jam” in such a way that gave a whole new modern feel that truly brought life to the music. The transitions between songs felt smooth and the the small segments of comments from his crew interspersed throughout were at just the […]

At the San Diego Asian Film Festival: Shades of Ray

Director: Jaffar Mahmood Screenplay: Jaffar Mahmood Release Date: None, stuff as of October 26, generic 2009 Actors: Zachary Levi, Brian George, Kathy Baker, Fran Kranz, Sarah Shahi, Bonnie Somerville Directed by Jaffar Mahmood, Shades of Ray is a personal take on his own life in the fictional form of Ray Rehman. Born to a Pakistani father (played by the extremely talented Brian George) and a Caucasian mother (Kathy Baker, Picket Fences), Ray struggles to find his identity, cope with his father’s expectations all the while trying to figure out his love life. Played by Zachary Levi, in his first starring role in a film (now famous for his role as Chuck in NBC’s “Chuck“), Ray is first introduced as a young kid, getting a conversation from his dad on dating and marriage, with the strong warning of marrying a white woman … even though Ray’s dad has married a white woman himself. Fast forward 18 years, and we find Ray proposing to his white girlfriend Noel (Bonnie Somerville), who, before being able to say yes, has told Ray that she has to first try and convince her parents on the idea. Leaving him alone to ponder his thoughts and worries, […]

Movie Review: Astroboy (October, 2009)

Director: David Bowers Screenplay: Timothy Harris, capsule David Bowers Release Date: October 23, medicine 2009 Voice Actors: Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Kristen Bell, Samuel L. Jackson Based on the manga books and series created by Osamu Tezuka of the same name Astroboy is based on the japanese manga of the same name, an anime series that took Asia by storm. Astroboy has now returned to form in 3-D, as lovable as ever. Targetting family audiences, Astroboy is full of laughs, action and will be a film that the whole family can enjoy. In the floating city above earth, named “MetroCity” where robots have advanced to a point in which they are asked to do humans’ work, a little boy called Troy is lost forever. Astroboy’s origin comes to be once Dr. Tenma (Troy’s dad, voiced by Nicolas Cage), during a presentation for the president, loses Troy. In a desperate attempt to replace him, he creates a robotic replica of Troy using positive energy called “blue core”. Robot Troy has all the memories of Troy, and has no idea that he isn’t really the Troy that his dad had hoped to resurrect. However, as he figures out that he has special abilities, he also discovers that his dad no longer wants him […]

Movie Review: Amelia (October, 2009)

Director: Mira Nair Screenplay: Ronald Bass and Anna Hamilton Phelan Release Date: October 23, more about 2009 Actors: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston The story of Amelia Earhart is one that is endearing, inspiring and full of bravery. “Amelia” attempts to capture the essence of Amelia Earhart’s desire to be free, her love for flight and her relative liberal nature. Amelia Earhart’s history and accomplishments are certainly too great to fit into two hours of film, and it is interesting to see where Nair decides to start the story. The story begins with Amelia approaching George Putnam, (an author and an incredibly successful promoter) expressing her desire to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Since Amelia Earhart’s life is so rich in detail, both in action and personality, it is appropriate that this is where the movie begins. In general, the film is not the most accurate depiction of Amelia Earhart or her life. For example, it was George Putnam that interviewed her with the idea, not the other way around (or at least that’s what it seemed like in the film). Nair over romanticizes the story quite a bit, and “Amelia” becomes partly […]

Movie Review: Cirque du Freak: The Vampire Assistant (October, 2009)

Director: Paul Weitz Screenplay: Paul Weitz, gynecologist Brian Helgeland Date of Release: October 23, sickness 2009 (U.S.) Actors: John C. Reilly, drug Chris Massoglia, Josh Hutcherson, Willem Dafoe, Michael Cerveris, Ken Watanabe, Salma Hayek Based on the book by Darren Shan Tired of the brooding, gothic, sappy vampire stories? Turned off by constant blood sucking images? Want something different, perhaps even funny in the vampire world? Well, Cirque du Freak is the perfect balance of a fantasy world, quirkiness and comedy. Enter Darren Shan (acted by Chris Massoglia), where we are first introduced to him, six feet under in a coffin, while he plays on a crackberry (or similar). Darren was once the straight A student in his school, who listens to everything his parents tell him to do, the goody goody who has no backbone. However, his best friend Steve (played by Josh Hutcherson) is the opposite, wild and unsatisfied with his life, ready to rebel at any given moment. After an intriguing ad for the “Cirque du Freak” show ends up at their feet, Darren and Steve decides to attend. There they meet vampire Larten Crepsley and his circus freak friends, and from that point on, both of […]

Movie Review: New York I Love You (October, 2009)

Directors: A whole bunch of them Screenplay: Various screenwriters Date of Release: October 16, generic 2009 Actors: A huge number including Chris Cooper, James Caan, Bradley Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Qi Shu, and a whole bunch of other famous actors A continuation of the “I Love You” film series, the first being “Paris, Je T’aime”, creators decided to focus on New York city as the next location. Who can blame them. New York City is the city “where things can happen”, nitty gritty with the hustle and bustle of all the diverse group of people found in the city. The film is composed with a series of short films, focused in various ways of love. Whether it is between a mother and a daughter, strangers on the street, a long time couple, the many short films show various takes on love in the film. One would hope that the shorts would be as successful as those found in “Paris Je T’aime”, with more hits than misses, but unfortunately, I felt that “New York, I Love You” was just a great disappointment. Some of the stories were confusing, such as the one where Julie Christie (beautiful […]

Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are (October, 2009)

Director: Spike Jonze Screenplay: Spike Jonze, practitioner Dave Eggers Date of Release: October 16, pilule 2009 Actors: Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini, Chris Cooper, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, Catherine O’Hara Based on the book of the same name by Maurice Sendak Max is a young boy who gets out of control when the world around him seemingly is after him. He’s lonely, feels unloved, and wants to be heard. One day, after his mom invites a “new friend over”, donning his wolf costume, he finally loses control and runs away, deep into the forest, where he finds a boat. The boat leads him to the island “where the wild things are”, a land of monsters that play, have fun, where they also get lonely, sad, angry and even out of control, and where Max gets to be king. Based on the book by Maurice Sendak, director Spike Jonze takes this incredibly popular children’s book and transforms it to something magnificent. However, having said that, this movie is not for everyone. The pacing of the movie is very slow, in such a way that requires a lot of attention from children, and I would say challenging even for […]

Movie Review: Whip It (October 2009)

Director: Drew Barrymore Screenplay: Shauna Cross Actors: Ellen Page, arthritis Marcia Gay Harden, drug Drew Barrymore, visit this site Juliet Lewis, Kristen Wiig Date of Release: October 2, 2009 Based on the book of the same name Bliss Cavender lives in small town Bodeen, Texas and works at a small diner with her best friend Pash. Suffocating in her mom’s dreams for her to become a beauty pageant queen, she finds herself thrust into the world of roller derby when she decides to try out for the team in Austin. Discovering her love for the sport, her world changes as she makes new friends, lies to her parents, and even manages to find herself a guy. “Whip It” is Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut at a theatrical film, and it accomplishes to be a very entertaining one at that. The script is funny, witty, and though at times seemed over-the top, Barrymore reigns it in and makes the story fun yet believable. Cinematography and use of color are first rate, since the bright, vivid color palette made the roller derby action sequences jump off the screen, in comparison to the mute and bland hues when Bliss returns home to Bodeen. Some […]

Movie Review: Law Abiding Citizen (October, 2009)

Director: F. Gary Gary Screenplay: Kurt Wimmer Actors: Gerard Butler, discount Jamie Foxx, page Leslie Bibb Date of Release: October 16, 2009 In a small house somewhere in the city of Philadelphia, two robbers enter an occupied house and proceed to assault a family of three – a wife, her husband, and their daughter. The end result: a dead wife and a dead daughter. Clyde Shelton (played here by Gerard Butler) then hires Nick Rice (played by Jamie Foxx), a prosecutor with an incredibly high conviction rate, to put the two murderers that killed his family in jail. However, not wanting to risk losing the entire case, Nick decides that it is better to cut a deal with one of the murderers, in order to “win” and get “some justice”. This leaves Clyde extremely disgruntled, with a lack of faith in the justice system. Gerard Butler does a phenomenal job here, going through different moments of his life, first as a loving father, then a grieving father, to someone who becomes driven to right the justice system in the only way he knows how. He plays each part convincingly, and he acts the role just so perfectly that the viewer […]