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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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Movie Review: Shelter

In: Dan, Movies

A while back Kevin wrote an article focusing on gay-themed cinema, and I hate to admit it but outside of the stereotypical films such as the Eating Out franchise, I haven’t exposed myself to this area of our culture. Or at least not in the true cultural art form that I would like. One of the comments to Kevin’s post spoke of an additional film that should be added to his list of brilliant gay flicks; Shelter.

Naturally, I instantly went to YouTube to check out the trailer of the movie to get a better glimpse of what that particular movie was about. I was moved by the trailer so in turn started the hunt to rent (or even purchase – could you imagine) the movie. After searching for it at my gay-friendly movie rental store to no avail I decided to check out our local Vancouver gay-mart, Little Sisters. After browsing the ‘movie section’ and walking out with my jaw on the floor from a few of the adult movie titles/cover art, I asked the guy at the front counter if they sold movies that we’re porn based. I know I’m rambling on this one, but stick with me…

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Movie Review: Life As We Know It

In: Movies, Nic

I’ll admit it. I don’t seek out rom-com’s, and I’m not a connoisseur of the chick flick genre, but when I watch one that’s good, I GET that it’s good. Because really, how hard is it to write a script with such a set formula. You’d think Hollywood would have it down to a science by now. Life As We Know It proved that Hollywood does not, in fact, have the rom-com down to a science.

Katherine Heigl stars as the uptight small business owner not necessarily looking for love, and Josh Duhamel plays the jocky woman’s man always looking for….”love”….

The story goes, they have mutual couple friends (one of which is the epic Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame), and years previous they were set up on a blind date by said couple, and hated each other so much that they didn’t even make it out of the driveway. Fast forward years later and through the magic of a montage during the credits, we find that they’ve had no choice but to tolerate each other. Said couple gets into fatal car crash, and the uptight business woman and womanizing jock are left with couple’s baby girl, and a beautiful house in which they’re told to live in it and try raising the child. It has all the components to be a lovely little 90 minutes of fun.

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Movie Review: Secretariat

In: Movies, Patrick

Although I love Diane Lane, I have to admit I wasn’t overly enthused to see this Disney movie – I’m not a big horse racing fan at all. That being said, I am a sucker for “Based on a True Story,” films so the fact that the events actually happened made me get into it – real quick. The story: “The life story of Penny Chenery, owner of the racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973.” He was the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years!

A little back story, the director, Randall Wallace, also directed The Man in the Iron Mask and We Were Soldiers, as well as wrote the screenplays of Braveheart and Pearl Harbor – so it’s no wonder he was able to get people like Diane Lane and John Malkovich to help tell this story.

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Movie Review: the social network

In: Donovan, Movies

“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” That statement pretty much sums it. If there was one huge massive LIKE button, big enough to declare my love for this movie, I would use it. It’s very rare to go into a movie with high expectations, only to leave the theater feeling even more satisfied than you could’ve imagined.

“the social network” is a motion picture adapted from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book, “The Accidental Billionaires“. The film focuses on the early years of Facebook which was founded in 2004. To say those years were tumultuous is a huge understatement. Funny enough what set the ball in motion, was the heartache co-founder Mark Zuckerberg felt from being dumped by his then girlfriend, Erica.

If you don’t know how Facebook came out of that experience, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Going into the movie, I had a vague idea of the history of Facebook and glad I didn’t know anymore. Within minutes, I was enthralled and curious how this one fateful night changed not only Zuckerberg’s life but all of ours. Facebook has become such an integral part of our daily lives, you would be remiss not to know more about it. I’m not exaggerating when I say, it’s a must-see.

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Movie Review: You Again

In: Movies, Patrick

I had the PLEASURE of watching this movie on Wednesday night and I gotta tell you, it’s a MUST SEE. At first glance, you’re probably like, “Oh wow, Sigorney Weaver, Kristin Bell, Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis…This movie should be pretty good. It has some big names.” Yes, that is true. BUT, I’m here to tell you that these actors (and the others) more than succeed in delivering a stellar performance… and the laughs just don’t stop.

Here’s the premise of the film: “When a young woman realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school, she sets out to expose the fiancée’s true colors.”

In the film, Marni (Kristin Bell) used to be a nerd in high school – and that’s putting it mildly. She was a pizza-faced, clumsy girl with glasses and braces whose life was made a living hell by Queen Bee, JJ. (Odette Yustman). Sidenote: Odette Yustman is engaged to Brothers and Sisters star Dave AnnableIn (who plays Justin Walker). Anyway, at the present day, Marni is a successful advertising executive who has grown into her looks and gained confidence to stand out in the business world. Marni has to fly home for her brother Will’s (Jim Wolk) wedding, to a woman Marni has yet to meet. Their mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) is all for Will’s bride to be. The bride to be’s name? Joanna (AKA JJ)! This is Marni’s biggest nightmare!

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