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Movie Review: This Movie is Broken

In: Dan, Movies

Based on my post of the recent Vancouver show for Broken Social Scene, it was recommended that I check out the recently released movie showcasing the band and their musical talent, as a sort of soundtrack if you will, aptly titled This Movie is Broken directed by Bruce McDonald.

The film itself is an indie version of a boy-loves-girl scenario, where unfortunately the girl doesn’t necessarily feel the same about him. The focus of the film is her love for the Toronto band; Broken Social Scene and wanting to see their concert while she is back home in Ontario for a short visit. The film takes place during the city workers strike that forced the concert to be moved to the Harbour Front Center in Toronto.

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Movie Review: Love & Other Drugs

In: Movies, Patrick

Such a good movie! I really didn’t know much about the film going into it, except for the fact that it had something to do with Viagra going into it, and that Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway were the leads. That was enough to make me see it. Remember when they played a dysfunctional couple in Brokeback Mountain together? Well, here’s a little synopsis of their second project together:

Maggie (Hathaway) is an alluring free spirit who won’t let anyone – or anything – tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie (Gyllenhaal), whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. Maggie and Jamie’s evolving relationship takes them both by surprise, as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug: love. Based on Jamie Reidy’s memoir “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.”

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Movie Review: 127 Hours

In: Movies, Patrick

There may be essentially only one character in the majority of this movie, but unlike Castaway, 127 Hours is based on a true story and the lead is not trapped on an island. He’s trapped under a rock.

James Franco plays mountain climber Aron Ralston who ventures on a routine weekend adventure in the dessert in Utah when, after climbing through a narrow canyon, a boulder crashes on his arm and traps him there, unable to move. Intense right? On top of that, the way this film from Danny Boyle, the Academy Award winning director of 2008′s Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, was shot was incredible. It’s very dynamic and the narrative is amazing.

What starts off as a seemingly normal evening, we watch everything Ralston does (and doesn’t do) in preparation for the trip, then away he goes. He gets to his destination site, where others are camped out, and gets some shut eye before his big day the next morning (Saturday). When the sun comes up, he embarks on his journey by bike, biking for miles and miles until he gets to where he wants to do some climbing.

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This is it Potterheads! The final TWO films in the franchise are being released. After 17 years from start to final films, the Harry Potter story is coming to a full close.

I was EXTREMELY lucky enough to get to see a special screening of Deathly Hallows pt.1 on Monday. After the awful ending of the 6th movie, I put my hand on my stack of Harry Potter novels and prayed to Dumbledore to PLEASE make the last 2 movies as close to the book as possible. If you remember, #6 was a really good movie before the ending. They stayed really true to the story, cut out what didn’t need to be there, the acting was great and then they got to the ending…and just cut out the battle scene. Like, the whole thing vanished. It was SUCH a let down for me. But I had hope! They split the last book into 2 movies, they had tons of time to make it perfect.

And Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt.1 is PERFECT!

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Movie Review: Unstoppable

In: Donovan, Movies

It’s easy to write off “Unstoppable” as your generic action film. On paper it sounds like “Speed” on train tracks for the new millennium. But to do that would not only be a huge disservice to the movie, but more importantly, to yourself. The film is receiving some of the best reviews seen in a long time for an action movie. It’s even garnered an approval rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes earning it “Certified Fresh”. The fact its based on true events only makes it more appealing. Director Tony Scott created a well-crafted film filled with enough drama and action scenes to keep the audience on the edge of your seats. Trust me, I almost fell of mine.

When I first received my invitation to attend the screening, I checked out the trailer online. Immediately, my interest was piqued and looked forward to the screening. Due to a strange random chain of events, I only received two hours of sleep the night before attending the morning screening. I debated bailing, but since I committed I soldiered through. Given how tired I was, I half-expected myself to fall asleep during the film. Boy, was I wrong. Within ten minutes, I was hooked and kept being captivated throughout the movie. I was invested in the characters and the perils they were in.

The premise of the movie is simple enough. A conductorless train with hazardous chemicals is headed to a heavily populated area. Along the way, it picks up even more speed thereby creating huge hurdles for those trying to stop the runaway train. Fortunately for the heroics of railway employees, danger is averted. As mentioned before, the movie is inspired by true events when an unmanned train #8888 with combustible materials ran amuck in Ohio. While I’m sure the real-life events were amped up to create a more dramatic story for film, the foundation of the story is the same.

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Movie Review: Morning Glory

In: Donovan, Movies

If you’ve seen the commercials for “Morning Glory“, you’re very well aware the marketing team is pushing comparisons with “The Devil Wears Prada” down your throat. While there are commonalities between them, its those similarities in both films that, in the end, help and hinder this movie. Both feature a young ingenue trying to impress a difficult well-respected industry figure. Roger Michell (Notting Hill) directed the film based on a script written by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), thus explaining the similarities. While I did enjoy the flick, considering the creative forces behind the film, I expected more.

Rachel McAdams plays Becky Fuller, a recently fired executive producer of a New Jersey daytime show. She receives a second chance to produce another show thanks to IBS executive Jerry Barnes played by Jeff Goldblum. Unfortunately, the job is for fourth-ranked morning show, Daybreak, a joke within the television community. She’s given the task of turning things around within a certain timeframe or the show will be canceled and replaced with *gasp* game shows. While I love my McAdams, she portrays Fuller with so much saccharin and perkiness it would make Mary Tyler Moore want to slit her wrists.

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Movie Review: Fair Game

In: Movies, Patrick

If you’re looking for a good thriller this weekend, then Fair Game is a great choice! Based on a true story, the movie tells the story of how corrupt the people in power can be and consequently what the life of a secret agent is actually like behind the scenes when things go wrong. Imagine having to lie about who you are and what you do to all those closest to you, every single day of your life because it’s your job. Here’s the plot of the movie:

“Valerie Plame is revealed to be a CIA agent by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

With Naomi Watts and Sean Penn as the two leads in the film, how can you go wrong! The two movie powerhouses certainly do not disappoint. Naomi Watts plays CIA agent Valerie Plame, who is married to Joe Wilson, played by Sean Penn. The story follows pretty much exactly what happens and what Valerie recounted in her 2007 book of the same name, which derived from a statement Karl Rove made to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in July of 2003 saying, “Wilson’s wife is fair game.” Little did he know it would turn into a movie…

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Paranormal Activity 2 Succeeds As Super Scary Sequel

In: Movies, Patrick

Well, let me just say that Paranormal Activity 2 succeeded in scaring the pants off the audience just as the first one did. Once the film gets going, you’re on edge the entire time. Day or night. Doesn’t matter. Here’s the general plot of this sequel:

“After experiencing what they think are a series of “break-ins”, a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.”

Despite being about paranormal phenomenon and having camera’s set up everywhere, the film is successful at being quite different from the first. BUT, what I really loved was how the film tied the two together. The first film was made on a budget of I believe less than $20,000, while this one was made with $2,750,000. I’m not really sure what the huge differential was, but you can’t tell and I think that’s a good thing. The film is still all documentary “home camera” and “security camera” style which was great.

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