Wednesday, October 24, 2012



So, there are some creepy horror movies made these days after all. I know we have all been disappointed with the state of the horror movie lately.  Even the awesome stereotypes of the past are being taken past their prime, way way back.  Then, of course, there are the remakes.  In the near future, there are remakes planned for The Evil Dead, Poltergeist, Carrie (which just released its trailer), Childs Play, Texas Chainsaw (yes, another one and this time in 3D), and so on and so forth.  In my opinion, there have been some good ones: The Amityville Horror (a remake I did enjoy), Paranormal Activity (1-3), Insidious, The Strangers.  I have to say I am looking forward to Carrie with -two great actresses starring in it:  Chloe Grace-Moretz and the always enchanting Julianne Moore.

Sinister stars Ethan Hawke as true crime writer Ellison Oswalt who had a bit of fame 10 years prior with a best selling book and is looking for his next great work.  Ellison likes to completely immerse himself into the stories he writes, often moving his family to the town where the particular crime occurred.   To investigate the disappearance of a young girl after the rest of her family is brutally murdered, Ellison moves his family to the town where the crime took place.  The girl's disappearance is one of the biggest unsolved crimes where and when Sinister takes place so he believes this will put his writing career back on top. After finding a box in the attic of his new house filled with old super 8 movies and an old projector, his life is turned upside down from a series of creepy supernatural events.

The word sinister is an adjective and is defined as "threatening or portending harm or evil."  I can say that there is plenty of that in this movie. I actually found myself jumping at a few scenes which is definitely a rare occurrence these days especially with the "horror" movies coming out now.  Another aspect of this film I liked was that it didn't take an hour for the story to get going (for example The Possession), it pretty much started within the first frame.  It has a steady eerie flow which I believe will and does keep the audience interested.  Ethan Hawke, who I consider a fine actor, portrayed his tortured novelist character in awesome form with just the right amount of intensity, which in regard to Sinister, a great amount was needed.  This is a solid horror movie in my opinion.  I mean, don't get me wrong, this film should not scare the complete bejeeses out of you, but it is enjoyable nonetheless.  Just keep the sinister feelings you may be experiencing after watching the movie to yourself.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


 3 1/2 STARS

This evening I saw a movie that surprised me and I was proved wrong.  I will be the first to admit, I have never been a fan of the science-fiction, futuristic time-traveling genre.  I don't know why really, it is just a storyline that never really blew my skirt up.  It is the same with those, what me and some of my friends call, mindf#$&@ movies like Inception, which was a fine movie, it filled the void for a couple of hours one night in a movie theater, but I have no desire to make it a part of my DVD collection and watch it over and over again.  I did love the special effects though.

Today I saw Looper, which of course stars Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (see previous blog for entertainer profile), and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada).  I went into this movie with low expectations because of the futuristic storyline shown in the trailer, even with such a stellar cast.  However, a few friends said it was really good so I decided to give it a chance.  I am so glad I did.  Even with the time traveling, there really was very little science fiction.  The plot and the characters were real (well, as much as they can be in these movies), raw, and actually had depth and soul.  The movie does take a little time getting off the ground but once it does, it is interesting and intriguing.

Looper takes place in the year 2044 where there are assassins called loopers who kill people sent to them from 30 years in the future, when time travel is illegal, by the mob.  These loopers are of course, paid handsomely for their job.  However, every once in a while, loopers are involved in a situation called "closing the loop" when the person sent back in time to be killed is the older version of themselves and then they collect a final, larger sum of money and forced to retire.  This happens to a young looper named Joe (Gordon-Levitt) when Old Joe (Willis) arrives unexpectedly.  The rest of the movie is a cat and mouse chase to close the loop but also kill someone who will put the future in danger.

This movie was written and directed by Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Brick).  The dialogue wasn't cheesy at all.  It didn't dwell on all the futuristic crap with conversations that utterly confuse the audience.  I not only could follow this futuristic thriller, I wanted to keep following it all the way through.  Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were awesome and the scene where they are talking face to face is an awe-inspiring act of writing.  The makeup used to make Gordon-Levitt look more like a young Bruce Willis was a primo example of how much detail the makers of this film focused on to make this as believable as possible.  However, his face was a little odd looking and the staring I was doing forced me to look away from the movie more than I should have.  I did read that he studied Bruce Willis mannerisms by watching his films to help him act more like and if you watch closely, you can totally see them in his face.  It also shows the lengths this great actor will go through to master his roles as much as possible.  The stand out in this movie was the lovely Emily Blunt, who was not prim and proper in the least.  She portrays Sara, a single mom running the farm young Joe comes upon because of a map stolen from Old Joe.  She is tough as nails, wielding a Remington like a pro, yet just the right amount of vulnerability when exactly as needed.  This character would probably drown other characters Blunt has portrayed in the past, like her breakout in The Devil Wears Prada, without any remorse.  I was so pleasantly surprised she could play someone so real who could wield a shot gun and an ax.  This movie also brings out a dark and wicked side of Jeff Daniels rarely seen.

I can definitely say go over to the movies and take a chance on this futuristic thrill ride.  It's a strong, original plot like, which all of you know I am really into these days.  You will not be disappointed and if you are, then try not to go back in time to fix the problem, you might get whacked for it.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Entertainer Profile - Joseph Gordon-Levitt


We have watched him grow up over the years and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gone from that skinny,  long-haired Tommy Solomon on 3rd Rock from the Sun to established indie staple to an enigmatic leading man.

2012 has already been an unprecedented year for the actor with a role in the one of the years' (or should I say decades') most anticipated, critically acclaimed blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises.  There is also a starring role in Premium Rush and co-starring in the thriller Looper as the younger Bruce Willis character.  Later this year, Gordon-Levitt co-stars alongside Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones in Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated Lincoln.

He was born in Los Angeles in 1981 and was acting by the age of 6 in commercials and some feature films, like an appearance in A River Runs Through It (1992).  His breakthrough role came in 1996 in the form of a little show called 3rd Rock from the Sun.  The show had a successful 6 year run winning many awards.  After it ended, he co-starred in a string of critically acclaimed independent film roles before moving on to now bigger blockbusters like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.


Angels in the Outfield (1994)
3rd Rock From the Sun  (TV series 1996-2001) - Some may just see this show as another sitcom.  I see it as one of the most imaginative, best-written, smartest sitcoms ever airing on television. 

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Mysterious Skin (2004)
Brick (2005)
The Lookout (2007)
Stop-Loss (2008)
(500) Days of Summer (2009) - The first of his 2 Golden Globe nominated roles.  He played the adorable boyfriend every girl in America wanted in a movie audiences are still eating up even to this day and will for years to come.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (2009) - the movie of course, was not that great which is what many of you would agree but his role was something truly different for the actor and I think he did a fantastic job with it.

Hesher (2010)
Inception (2010)

50/50 (2011) - see my review
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - see my review 

 I definitely see an extremely successful future for this versatile actor and I know audiences and critics see the same thing, it's hard not to.  If he doesn't have an Oscar nomination or three under his belt in the next several years then the people doing the nominating are blind.  I also believe that alien kid will soon be a distant memory, if he hasn't already been swallowed by the amazing roles he has conquered.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.