The Grinch Review

Illumination Delivers Another Perfectly Acceptable if not Necessarily Exceptional Animated Diversion in this Re-Telling of the Dr. Suess Classic.

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

This Queen biopic Fails to Transcend the Genre the Way its Subjects Transcended the Music Scene, but at Least the Music is Good.

Overlord Review

Overlord Combines the Terror of War with the Terror of a Zombie Apocalypse and Accomplishes Exactly what it Means To.

The Nutcraker and the Four Realms Review

An All-Star Cast Attempts to Usher The Nutcracker Story to a New Generation Via Disney Blockbuster, but Unfortunately the Results Fall Short of the Ambition.

A Star is Born Review

Bradley Cooper Writes, Directs, Sings, and Stars in this Fourth Incarnation of this Story Alongside Lady Gaga to Rapturous Results.

GROWN UPS Review

'Grown Ups' is probably exactly what you expect it to be. It was for me, and really, this isn't a bad thing. After so many years of retreating to Sandler-land at least once a year and we have become accustomed to the type of movie Sandler likes to make with his buddies and what kind of humor we will get when we purchase the ticket for it. 'Grown Ups' is a Sandler project that is a long-time coming. With three of his fellow SNL alumns joining him and recent collaborator Kevin James it is a feast of comedy heaven for anyone who loves any of these five guys. Given that Sandler is the most famous here, he gets the leader of the group role, which I sometimes wish had been switched up a bit. Rock being as popular as he is didn't get as much screen time (or as many funny things to say) as I expected him too. He did play against his usual character type though and that was rather interesting. His relationship with his wife played by the always funny Maya Rudolph was interesting and made for the best on-screen couple. James was also short on screen time, but garnered as many laughs as he could when given the opportunity. We know James is a funny guy even though most would say he is filling the Chris Farley role here. James is his own man though and with 'The King of Queens' he proved his funnyman status, there is no denying his chemistry with Sandler either. James is paired with Maria Bello, a bit of an odd combination but they make it work and certainly earn the cutest couple in the film. As for Schneider and Spade, they have had the least success after their prime days, but Spade stole the show for me here, his witty sarcasm was non-stop and without it the movie would not have been as funny or entertaining. Spade's character in general livens up the party this movie is supposed to be. On the other hand , Schneider is the weirdo friend that always gets picked on who also has two hot daughters. Its an odd bit of grouping as far as these friends go, but knowing the backstories of these actors we can all imagine how much fun they had making this film together and the best news is that most of that translates to the screen. This is standard Sandler, but he always delivers. It gives a slice of Americana in a time when iPhones and Wii's are more important than family time and the simple pleasures life brings, Sandler reminds us of how much fun we can have without all of that. We don't expect the greatest movie ever, we get the laughs, the cameos from others in Sandlers gang and we get a good moral-a story that doesn't break any molds, but tells us its okay to get back to what really made you smile. We can always count on Adam Sandler for a smile.

GROWN UPS Review

'Grown Ups' is probably exactly what you expect it to be. It was for me, and really, this isn't a bad thing. After so many years of retreating to Sandler-land at least once a year and we have become accustomed to the type of movie Sandler likes to make with his buddies and what kind of humor we will get when we purchase the ticket for it. 'Grown Ups' is a Sandler project that is a long-time coming. With three of his fellow SNL alumns joining him and recent collaborator Kevin James it is a feast of comedy heaven for anyone who loves any of these five guys. Given that Sandler is the most famous here, he gets the leader of the group role, which I sometimes wish had been switched up a bit. Rock being as popular as he is didn't get as much screen time (or as many funny things to say) as I expected him too. He did play against his usual character type though and that was rather interesting. His relationship with his wife played by the always funny Maya Rudolph was interesting and made for the best on-screen couple. James was also short on screen time, but garnered as many laughs as he could when given the opportunity. We know James is a funny guy even though most would say he is filling the Chris Farley role here. James is his own man though and with 'The King of Queens' he proved his funnyman status, there is no denying his chemistry with Sandler either. James is paired with Maria Bello, a bit of an odd combination but they make it work and certainly earn the cutest couple in the film. As for Schneider and Spade, they have had the least success after their prime days, but Spade stole the show for me here, his witty sarcasm was non-stop and without it the movie would not have been as funny or entertaining. Spade's character in general livens up the party this movie is supposed to be. On the other hand , Schneider is the weirdo friend that always gets picked on who also has two hot daughters. Its an odd bit of grouping as far as these friends go, but knowing the backstories of these actors we can all imagine how much fun they had making this film together and the best news is that most of that translates to the screen. This is standard Sandler, but he always delivers. It gives a slice of Americana in a time when iPhones and Wii's are more important than family time and the simple pleasures life brings, Sandler reminds us of how much fun we can have without all of that. We don't expect the greatest movie ever, we get the laughs, the cameos from others in Sandlers gang and we get a good moral-a story that doesn't break any molds, but tells us its okay to get back to what really made you smile. We can always count on Adam Sandler for a smile.

TOY STORY 3 Review

Some people think you can get too wrapped up in movies and taking them as more than just entertainment is a little weird. But once in a while a film comes along that re-enforces the true reasons some people do get so wrapped up in the movies. In this case, we are discussing what is essentially the end to the films that defined mine and many others childhoods. 'Toy Story 3' is visually stunning, with an almost epic scope that takes everything Pixar has done to this point up a notch. They are dealing with a bigger cast of characters than they ever have and not to mention the highest of all possible expectations. If there was any fear in me that this third film would not live up to those expectations they dissapeared the moment the characters I loved appeared on screen in a world that could only be possible within a childs mind. What is most important about creating a sequel to these beloved movies though is having the right balance of humor and sentimentality that appeals to both children and adults as well as the first two did. And,a s weird as it sounds, I have been able to view a new 'Toy Story' movie both as a child and as an adult and though the nostalgia is almost overwhelming for me, I loved this one just the same. I was immediately transported to my childhood and was so happy it lasted nearly two hours. Pixar has given us a story that is truly touching and touches on more than just the cool idea that toys come to life when we're not around. The story of the evolution from childhood to adulthood and how we take for granted those most innocent of years where we can make anything with a few of our favorite toys. I was lucky enough to see 'Toy Story 3' with my entire family, sitting next to my mom who was brought to tears by the completely touching and satisfying ending. My inner child was thankful the theater was still dark when she wouldn't stop hugging me as the credits rolled. I'm glad the summer of 2010 has something to brag about, easily my favorite movie of the year so far.

TOY STORY 3 Review

Some people think you can get too wrapped up in movies and taking them as more than just entertainment is a little weird. But once in a while a film comes along that re-enforces the true reasons some people do get so wrapped up in the movies. In this case, we are discussing what is essentially the end to the films that defined mine and many others childhoods. 'Toy Story 3' is visually stunning, with an almost epic scope that takes everything Pixar has done to this point up a notch. They are dealing with a bigger cast of characters than they ever have and not to mention the highest of all possible expectations. If there was any fear in me that this third film would not live up to those expectations they dissapeared the moment the characters I loved appeared on screen in a world that could only be possible within a childs mind. What is most important about creating a sequel to these beloved movies though is having the right balance of humor and sentimentality that appeals to both children and adults as well as the first two did. And,a s weird as it sounds, I have been able to view a new 'Toy Story' movie both as a child and as an adult and though the nostalgia is almost overwhelming for me, I loved this one just the same. I was immediately transported to my childhood and was so happy it lasted nearly two hours. Pixar has given us a story that is truly touching and touches on more than just the cool idea that toys come to life when we're not around. The story of the evolution from childhood to adulthood and how we take for granted those most innocent of years where we can make anything with a few of our favorite toys. I was lucky enough to see 'Toy Story 3' with my entire family, sitting next to my mom who was brought to tears by the completely touching and satisfying ending. My inner child was thankful the theater was still dark when she wouldn't stop hugging me as the credits rolled. I'm glad the summer of 2010 has something to brag about, easily my favorite movie of the year so far.

JONAH HEX Review

'Jonah Hex' knows what kind of movie it is and isn't all that afraid of flaunting it. It is fast, action oriented and for the most part...pretty fun. While at the same time it represents what is wrong with hollywood at the moment. They are onto something here, a western super hero, a rough and raw climate with a likeable yet non traditional protagonist. Its all good so far and the film looks beautiful, the color palette is especially vibrant, but where it fails is in its story. There could be some grand drama and acting here, you have Josh Brolin and John Malkovich for heavens sake, they know what they are doing and they understand what kind of film they are in, but instead of being a fun summer film with a brain as well this cut of 'Jonah Hex' hits the points of every revenge tale we've ever seen and it sticks with that. As for Megan Fox, she is being over-credited here. Malkovich easily should have made the poster before her, but there is no need to complain, Fox is not in the movie all that much and in my mind could easily be cut from the film entirely. In fact it might have been better for the film, cut Fox and give Hex's backstory more attention. We are cheated and rushed through the process that brought Hex to become the man he is today and that in itself could have been a much better film. If the studio really believed they had a good film and wanted to bank on some sequels they would have gone this route of giving Hex's origin story its own film and making its sequels better versions of what we have been given here. Clearly they dont though, and if they don't why do they expect us to even care about these outlaws? I hate that this could have been so much better, I wish Brolin could have used his pull to upgrade the credibility Jonah Hex might have, instead he is another movie that underwhelms in summer 2010 and a laughing stock at the box office.

JONAH HEX Review

'Jonah Hex' knows what kind of movie it is and isn't all that afraid of flaunting it. It is fast, action oriented and for the most part...pretty fun. While at the same time it represents what is wrong with hollywood at the moment. They are onto something here, a western super hero, a rough and raw climate with a likeable yet non traditional protagonist. Its all good so far and the film looks beautiful, the color palette is especially vibrant, but where it fails is in its story. There could be some grand drama and acting here, you have Josh Brolin and John Malkovich for heavens sake, they know what they are doing and they understand what kind of film they are in, but instead of being a fun summer film with a brain as well this cut of 'Jonah Hex' hits the points of every revenge tale we've ever seen and it sticks with that. As for Megan Fox, she is being over-credited here. Malkovich easily should have made the poster before her, but there is no need to complain, Fox is not in the movie all that much and in my mind could easily be cut from the film entirely. In fact it might have been better for the film, cut Fox and give Hex's backstory more attention. We are cheated and rushed through the process that brought Hex to become the man he is today and that in itself could have been a much better film. If the studio really believed they had a good film and wanted to bank on some sequels they would have gone this route of giving Hex's origin story its own film and making its sequels better versions of what we have been given here. Clearly they dont though, and if they don't why do they expect us to even care about these outlaws? I hate that this could have been so much better, I wish Brolin could have used his pull to upgrade the credibility Jonah Hex might have, instead he is another movie that underwhelms in summer 2010 and a laughing stock at the box office.

THE A-TEAM Review

The 'A-Team' is a strictly fun summer action flick. There is no need for a critic to try and dissect this film or defend why audiences should stay away from such mainstream filmmaking because although this is mindless fun, there is nothing seemingly armful about it. In fact, it is a little deeper than we would usually expect it to be. We get characters with inner dilemmas and a plot that has a better twist than I could have seen coming in a more familiar plot line. It is nice to see a big-budget action flick with a little more depth, but what really keeps this ticking time bomb of a movie fun and exciting is the four main characters and the relationships they have with one another. Neeson knows this isn't one of his academic thinking independent films, he takes his recently earned cred from 'Taken' and gives a performance that hearkens to the kind of performances that were common in this films cheesy source material and time period while on the other hand Cooper uses his reputation outside of his acting to influence the persona he takes on here as Face. Though Neeson's Hannibal isn't given much of a backstory, Face is anchoring the conflict of the film with his-thus bringing in the necessary female to off set all the testosterone. I was afraid of how Ramapge's acting skills would play out on screen, but he is surprisingly likeable and not overly awkward. He uses 'fool' one too many times, but he also gives his character some layers that add dimensions to to his relationships with his teammates that make us warm up to him as well, breaking past his outer-tough guy barrier. And finally we have Sharlto Copley, easily my favorite part of the film. Taking a chance on this guy who has only been in one other major film was risky, but it fully pays off. He is odd and hilarious and the heartbeat of the movie. He takes all the seriousness out of the extremely risky and not all to plausible missions. We get a nice mix of action, laughs and just enough heart to leave you smiling as you walk out of the theater.

THE A-TEAM Review

The 'A-Team' is a strictly fun summer action flick. There is no need for a critic to try and dissect this film or defend why audiences should stay away from such mainstream filmmaking because although this is mindless fun, there is nothing seemingly armful about it. In fact, it is a little deeper than we would usually expect it to be. We get characters with inner dilemmas and a plot that has a better twist than I could have seen coming in a more familiar plot line. It is nice to see a big-budget action flick with a little more depth, but what really keeps this ticking time bomb of a movie fun and exciting is the four main characters and the relationships they have with one another. Neeson knows this isn't one of his academic thinking independent films, he takes his recently earned cred from 'Taken' and gives a performance that hearkens to the kind of performances that were common in this films cheesy source material and time period while on the other hand Cooper uses his reputation outside of his acting to influence the persona he takes on here as Face. Though Neeson's Hannibal isn't given much of a backstory, Face is anchoring the conflict of the film with his-thus bringing in the necessary female to off set all the testosterone. I was afraid of how Ramapge's acting skills would play out on screen, but he is surprisingly likeable and not overly awkward. He uses 'fool' one too many times, but he also gives his character some layers that add dimensions to to his relationships with his teammates that make us warm up to him as well, breaking past his outer-tough guy barrier. And finally we have Sharlto Copley, easily my favorite part of the film. Taking a chance on this guy who has only been in one other major film was risky, but it fully pays off. He is odd and hilarious and the heartbeat of the movie. He takes all the seriousness out of the extremely risky and not all to plausible missions. We get a nice mix of action, laughs and just enough heart to leave you smiling as you walk out of the theater.

THE KARATE KID Review

To be honest, I initially had no interest in seeing this new 'Karate Kid'. Not that I am overly attached to the original, but I just felt it too soon to re-make the film and that the reasons it was being made were wrong. And while this is essentially a film poised to launch the career of little fresh prince, it uses the popular film to garner more interest and more ticket sales. It has worked well, obviously people are going to see it, but what I didn't expect was to hear more good than bad about the film. I had to see for myself. And though there is surely much intention with this film beyond simply making a good quality film, it is carefully made and not as bad as a lover of the original might imagine. The story is a second thought here, as soon as young Dre meets his foe in the first half hour of the film we know how everything will end up. What is nioce though is seeing little Jaden have the comic timing of his father as well as demonstrating a young child learning to listen and adapt to something outside of his comfort zone. It is amazing to see Jackie Chan get down to the knitty-gritty of what he does and why he does it. More than anything I thought the film belonged to Jackie Chan. He showed his acting skills as well as his masterful kung-fu. He is truly a treasure and if there is any purpose for this film really existing it is to demonstrate just how precious he is. The complaints are present though and they are in the forms of its length. The film does give its audience a beautiful tour of China, through many locations and lessons about bits of the culture, and it is good to know kids going to see this are learning as they watch, but the film drags at certain points and almost makes you want to fast forward so they will just get to it. The other major question for me was do kids actually fight like this in China? These are 12 year-olds and they are seriously doing some damage to each other. It certainly elicits the response on film, but in reality it is harsh and cruel. Do boys this young really take beatings like the ones portrayed here? Im not sure, but although I wasa bit skeptical at times you have no choice but to go along with it and I won't lie, at the end, I found myself cheering fro Dre to whoop up on that little kid. It was weird in that the film created the sense of a movie I would have watched over and over as a child. I liked it. Probably more than I want to admit.

THE KARATE KID Review

To be honest, I initially had no interest in seeing this new 'Karate Kid'. Not that I am overly attached to the original, but I just felt it too soon to re-make the film and that the reasons it was being made were wrong. And while this is essentially a film poised to launch the career of little fresh prince, it uses the popular film to garner more interest and more ticket sales. It has worked well, obviously people are going to see it, but what I didn't expect was to hear more good than bad about the film. I had to see for myself. And though there is surely much intention with this film beyond simply making a good quality film, it is carefully made and not as bad as a lover of the original might imagine. The story is a second thought here, as soon as young Dre meets his foe in the first half hour of the film we know how everything will end up. What is nioce though is seeing little Jaden have the comic timing of his father as well as demonstrating a young child learning to listen and adapt to something outside of his comfort zone. It is amazing to see Jackie Chan get down to the knitty-gritty of what he does and why he does it. More than anything I thought the film belonged to Jackie Chan. He showed his acting skills as well as his masterful kung-fu. He is truly a treasure and if there is any purpose for this film really existing it is to demonstrate just how precious he is. The complaints are present though and they are in the forms of its length. The film does give its audience a beautiful tour of China, through many locations and lessons about bits of the culture, and it is good to know kids going to see this are learning as they watch, but the film drags at certain points and almost makes you want to fast forward so they will just get to it. The other major question for me was do kids actually fight like this in China? These are 12 year-olds and they are seriously doing some damage to each other. It certainly elicits the response on film, but in reality it is harsh and cruel. Do boys this young really take beatings like the ones portrayed here? Im not sure, but although I wasa bit skeptical at times you have no choice but to go along with it and I won't lie, at the end, I found myself cheering fro Dre to whoop up on that little kid. It was weird in that the film created the sense of a movie I would have watched over and over as a child. I liked it. Probably more than I want to admit.

SPLICE Review

Usually, I am put off by the weirdness that surrounds the look and vibe of movies such as 'Splice'. Movies that seem so rooted in the cliches of its genre that they seem pleased just to get the tone and look right, no matter how run of the mill the story may be. This isn't the average science fiction or horror film though, and it is anything but run of the mill. In fact, 'Splice' goes places I never imagined it going, places that were not really hinted at for most of the film. I found it oddly disturbing and unappealing. In one sense the film is looking at the outcome of attempted human cloning, and on another, deeper level, the film is exploring the aspects that parenthood brings upon a couple. In doing this, some of the later actions feel simply gross and unnecessary. Sarah Polley, who I haven't seen since the 'Dawn of the Dead' remake never comes off as likeable here and so we find ourselves rooting for Brody, who looks bored here, but still, the end doesn't justify the character we thought we knew and so we really have no one to side with or root for here. This movie is full of bad decisions, both by its characters and creators

SPLICE Review

Usually, I am put off by the weirdness that surrounds the look and vibe of movies such as 'Splice'. Movies that seem so rooted in the cliches of its genre that they seem pleased just to get the tone and look right, no matter how run of the mill the story may be. This isn't the average science fiction or horror film though, and it is anything but run of the mill. In fact, 'Splice' goes places I never imagined it going, places that were not really hinted at for most of the film. I found it oddly disturbing and unappealing. In one sense the film is looking at the outcome of attempted human cloning, and on another, deeper level, the film is exploring the aspects that parenthood brings upon a couple. In doing this, some of the later actions feel simply gross and unnecessary. Sarah Polley, who I haven't seen since the 'Dawn of the Dead' remake never comes off as likeable here and so we find ourselves rooting for Brody, who looks bored here, but still, the end doesn't justify the character we thought we knew and so we really have no one to side with or root for here. This movie is full of bad decisions, both by its characters and creators

YOUTH IN REVOLT Review


I have been impressed with Michael Ceras choices after his success in 'Arrested Development. He was not the cast member I would have initially picked to have one of the bigger movie careers, but with 'Superbad', 'Juno', 'Nick and Norah' and now this little gem, Cera has proven himself the go-to-guy for awkaward teen angst. He plays the role so well and has found several ways to go about portraying this. Especially here where he does double duty as both Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger. nick is the scared, awkward teenage boy and Francois is the little voice inside his head that executes what Nick could never imagine actually going through with. Cera is hilarious to watch as he goes through an absurd amount of trouble to be with a girl, who, in her own right never seems to care too much for Nick but is never not happy to see him when he does manage to show up. It is a weird relationship throughout the film, but we understand Nicks desperation's in that he is after that one thing Cera is always after-a relationship with real meaning, not just the sex. It is outlandish at parts and to be completely honest I was a little shocked at how far they took it, but that didn't stop me from laughing. When they did go that extra, unexpected mile with a joke, it usually paid off. Not to mention a pretty great supporting cast-from Zach Galifianakis to Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard and Justin Long, I was constantly laughing at the little tid bits each actor threw in. If I were to complain about the film it would be that the great Ari Gaynor was criminally under-used and that even though the film had its fair share of exciting scenes it never really took off in a way I expected it too. For what this movie was saying, the stakes never seemed to be higher than Nick getting caught by Sheeni's parents. It stayed on a mountain-less plain, there was no build-up, climax or satisfying denouement, it just seemed to go for a while until it found a good place to stop. No, 'Youth in Revolt' never reached the peak of my expectations its trailer gave me, but it was not a complete disappointment in any sense. I can only hope that Ceras upcoming 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' delivers what its trailer promises.

YOUTH IN REVOLT Review


I have been impressed with Michael Ceras choices after his success in 'Arrested Development. He was not the cast member I would have initially picked to have one of the bigger movie careers, but with 'Superbad', 'Juno', 'Nick and Norah' and now this little gem, Cera has proven himself the go-to-guy for awkaward teen angst. He plays the role so well and has found several ways to go about portraying this. Especially here where he does double duty as both Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger. nick is the scared, awkward teenage boy and Francois is the little voice inside his head that executes what Nick could never imagine actually going through with. Cera is hilarious to watch as he goes through an absurd amount of trouble to be with a girl, who, in her own right never seems to care too much for Nick but is never not happy to see him when he does manage to show up. It is a weird relationship throughout the film, but we understand Nicks desperation's in that he is after that one thing Cera is always after-a relationship with real meaning, not just the sex. It is outlandish at parts and to be completely honest I was a little shocked at how far they took it, but that didn't stop me from laughing. When they did go that extra, unexpected mile with a joke, it usually paid off. Not to mention a pretty great supporting cast-from Zach Galifianakis to Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard and Justin Long, I was constantly laughing at the little tid bits each actor threw in. If I were to complain about the film it would be that the great Ari Gaynor was criminally under-used and that even though the film had its fair share of exciting scenes it never really took off in a way I expected it too. For what this movie was saying, the stakes never seemed to be higher than Nick getting caught by Sheeni's parents. It stayed on a mountain-less plain, there was no build-up, climax or satisfying denouement, it just seemed to go for a while until it found a good place to stop. No, 'Youth in Revolt' never reached the peak of my expectations its trailer gave me, but it was not a complete disappointment in any sense. I can only hope that Ceras upcoming 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' delivers what its trailer promises.

SHUTTER ISLAND Review



I am really excited this movie has finally come to DVD and blu-ray. Scorsese is easily one of the greatest film directors of all time and when he creates a film it should be nothing short of an event. DiCaprio, though still a little shaky as far as leading man goes ( it feels he hasn't truly commanded the screen since 'Catch Me If You Can') does a fine job here on his fourth collabo with Scorsese. DiCaprio is an actor who will go down in history as one of those iconic names and faces. He is a skilled actor who chooses only the roles that he sees extending his talent and testing his skill. It is nothing short of fantastic seeing these two team up again and again. That being said, 'Shutter Island' stands on its own just as well as their other films do. Scorsese hasn't visited the horror/psychological thriller in some time, but doesn't let that show as he expertly crafts a world of tension and nostalgia. The throwback style of 1954 is present even in the way the film was made. The music, the backdrops behind characters who are driving. A mood is created, a confusion and it doesn't let up until the final minutes of the running time. It is hard to discuss much of the story without giving away anything. you can guess where the film may be going, but you will always second guess what you are thinking and I believe that is part of the genius of what Scorsese has crafted here. We never quite know what exactly is going on and with such a great ensemble cast of creepy fellas including Ben Kingsley and Jackie Earle Haley we are never taken over by that fact. It never overrides our sense of tension and fear. There is something to be said for Ruffalo as well. He doesn't have the flashiest role, but he does well with it and creates just the right balance of characteristics that we have no problem buying into the outcome. It is truly sad, the denouement offers answers as well as leaving us hanging with a 'take it as you will' closure. Personally, I thought the ending escalated the film and made me like it much more than I thought I was going to about half-way through the film. It is a tad lengthy, but that is to be expected. It more than makes up for its faults on all accounts though as 'Shutter Island' is both equally moving and frightening.

SHUTTER ISLAND Review



I am really excited this movie has finally come to DVD and blu-ray. Scorsese is easily one of the greatest film directors of all time and when he creates a film it should be nothing short of an event. DiCaprio, though still a little shaky as far as leading man goes ( it feels he hasn't truly commanded the screen since 'Catch Me If You Can') does a fine job here on his fourth collabo with Scorsese. DiCaprio is an actor who will go down in history as one of those iconic names and faces. He is a skilled actor who chooses only the roles that he sees extending his talent and testing his skill. It is nothing short of fantastic seeing these two team up again and again. That being said, 'Shutter Island' stands on its own just as well as their other films do. Scorsese hasn't visited the horror/psychological thriller in some time, but doesn't let that show as he expertly crafts a world of tension and nostalgia. The throwback style of 1954 is present even in the way the film was made. The music, the backdrops behind characters who are driving. A mood is created, a confusion and it doesn't let up until the final minutes of the running time. It is hard to discuss much of the story without giving away anything. you can guess where the film may be going, but you will always second guess what you are thinking and I believe that is part of the genius of what Scorsese has crafted here. We never quite know what exactly is going on and with such a great ensemble cast of creepy fellas including Ben Kingsley and Jackie Earle Haley we are never taken over by that fact. It never overrides our sense of tension and fear. There is something to be said for Ruffalo as well. He doesn't have the flashiest role, but he does well with it and creates just the right balance of characteristics that we have no problem buying into the outcome. It is truly sad, the denouement offers answers as well as leaving us hanging with a 'take it as you will' closure. Personally, I thought the ending escalated the film and made me like it much more than I thought I was going to about half-way through the film. It is a tad lengthy, but that is to be expected. It more than makes up for its faults on all accounts though as 'Shutter Island' is both equally moving and frightening.

GET HIM TO THE GREEK Review

Going into 'Get Him to the Greek' I was rather nervous I wasn't going to like what the makers had done to the story. I absolutely loved 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and when I heard about the spin off and what the story line was going to be I thought it interesting that they were going to work Jonah Hills character in from an obsessed fan to someone who actually gets to work with Aldous Snow. Though Hill isn't playing the same character as he did in 'Marshall' the film as a whole works. It is certainly an Apatow production and returning 'Marshall' director Nick Stoller has composed a nicely paced script that allows for a few days to contain a large if not completely possible amount of antics for Aldous and Hill to get into. What I enjoyed most about the script was the complexity of these characters. Something you don't typically expect from a broad comedy. This isn't simply about some intern getting a famous guy to his concert, the story gives both characters back stories, but more importantly it gives them individual lives and those tie into how they act during this quest the film is actually centered around. It is easy to say a little of Aldous Snow, played brilliantly again by Russell Brand, can go a long way, but the act never tires here and though Hills is the more endearing character, Brand makes Aldous not simply a one dimensional rock star, but someone who is trying to live up to the expectations everyone has set for him and never really had the chance to go after what he would like to do in life. It has its softer sides, especially near the end, but there is no need to fear as the majority of the film is littered with raunchy humor and some very funny physical comedy. If you are wondering at any point during the film if it is actually going to go there the answer is most likely yes and it will make the most out of every moment. The real surprise here is P. Diddy, who not only steals most of the scenes he is in, but is actually really funny. It never comes off as if he is trying too hard to fit in with these comic actors, instead he just does his thing, clearly giving his all though and it pays off. As always, there are a few entertaining cameos and I enjoyed the nod to Sarah Marshall herself, but in the end we are satisfied with 'Get Him to the Greek' because it is funny, slightly heartwarming and delivers a good time. A movie unafraid to be what it is supposed to be. It fulfilled all expectation and requirement and is easily the funniest movie of the year so far.

GET HIM TO THE GREEK Review

Going into 'Get Him to the Greek' I was rather nervous I wasn't going to like what the makers had done to the story. I absolutely loved 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and when I heard about the spin off and what the story line was going to be I thought it interesting that they were going to work Jonah Hills character in from an obsessed fan to someone who actually gets to work with Aldous Snow. Though Hill isn't playing the same character as he did in 'Marshall' the film as a whole works. It is certainly an Apatow production and returning 'Marshall' director Nick Stoller has composed a nicely paced script that allows for a few days to contain a large if not completely possible amount of antics for Aldous and Hill to get into. What I enjoyed most about the script was the complexity of these characters. Something you don't typically expect from a broad comedy. This isn't simply about some intern getting a famous guy to his concert, the story gives both characters back stories, but more importantly it gives them individual lives and those tie into how they act during this quest the film is actually centered around. It is easy to say a little of Aldous Snow, played brilliantly again by Russell Brand, can go a long way, but the act never tires here and though Hills is the more endearing character, Brand makes Aldous not simply a one dimensional rock star, but someone who is trying to live up to the expectations everyone has set for him and never really had the chance to go after what he would like to do in life. It has its softer sides, especially near the end, but there is no need to fear as the majority of the film is littered with raunchy humor and some very funny physical comedy. If you are wondering at any point during the film if it is actually going to go there the answer is most likely yes and it will make the most out of every moment. The real surprise here is P. Diddy, who not only steals most of the scenes he is in, but is actually really funny. It never comes off as if he is trying too hard to fit in with these comic actors, instead he just does his thing, clearly giving his all though and it pays off. As always, there are a few entertaining cameos and I enjoyed the nod to Sarah Marshall herself, but in the end we are satisfied with 'Get Him to the Greek' because it is funny, slightly heartwarming and delivers a good time. A movie unafraid to be what it is supposed to be. It fulfilled all expectation and requirement and is easily the funniest movie of the year so far.

PRINCE OF PERSIA Review

It is safe to say I didn't really expect much from 'Prince of Persia'. What I did expect was an attempt to re-create the fun that the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films brought to the screen, as that is clearly what producer Bruckheimer and the marketing team were hoping for and in retrospect this was a fun movie to watch. AN old school kind of period adventure piece for all ages. I like Mr, Gyllenhaal and think he did a fine job here despite all the complaints about ethnicity and bull. I also thought Mike Newell was an inspired choice to direct this piece, he directed one of my favorite Harry Potter films and his touch of a great pace and tiny quips within the style made for an interesting film all around. The story itself plays into a perfect balance of ancient civilizations and mythical and supernatural happenings. And while the story is fun and the special effects are good and the movie just simply looks great the one thing missing is that character and that connection with characters that really makes us root for our hero and be interested in the villain. This film has a great cast, I love Ben Kingsley and this complaint doesn't apply to Alfred Molina as he is the one character here that stands out above the crowd and brings some much needed laughs to the otherwise serious tone. The film really needed a more main character to have this pull and attraction though. I think this is cause for much of the negative reviews because otherwise I found this a rather entertaining and interesting big budget summer film.

PRINCE OF PERSIA Review

It is safe to say I didn't really expect much from 'Prince of Persia'. What I did expect was an attempt to re-create the fun that the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films brought to the screen, as that is clearly what producer Bruckheimer and the marketing team were hoping for and in retrospect this was a fun movie to watch. AN old school kind of period adventure piece for all ages. I like Mr, Gyllenhaal and think he did a fine job here despite all the complaints about ethnicity and bull. I also thought Mike Newell was an inspired choice to direct this piece, he directed one of my favorite Harry Potter films and his touch of a great pace and tiny quips within the style made for an interesting film all around. The story itself plays into a perfect balance of ancient civilizations and mythical and supernatural happenings. And while the story is fun and the special effects are good and the movie just simply looks great the one thing missing is that character and that connection with characters that really makes us root for our hero and be interested in the villain. This film has a great cast, I love Ben Kingsley and this complaint doesn't apply to Alfred Molina as he is the one character here that stands out above the crowd and brings some much needed laughs to the otherwise serious tone. The film really needed a more main character to have this pull and attraction though. I think this is cause for much of the negative reviews because otherwise I found this a rather entertaining and interesting big budget summer film.