Tag Archives: Dreamworks SKG

The Light Between Oceans Is Second-Rate Nicholas Sparks!

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Maybe it’s because if you’ve seen the trailer you don’t need to see the first 45 minutes of The Light Between Oceans, or maybe it’s just because it’s boring but I could barely keep my eyes open while watching The Light Between Oceans.

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Off The Rails Trailer: The Girl on the Train!

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The Girl on the Train is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. Starring Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux and Rebecca Ferguson, it follows Rachel who, devastated by her recent divorce, finds herself imaging a perfect life for a couple she sees on her daily commute.

When the woman disappears, there seems to be circumstantial evidence that she may have killed the woman and she has to try to find the killer before she winds up in prison.

Based on the novel by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train opens on October 7th. The UK trailer follows the jump.

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Iron Curtain Trailer: Bridge of Spies!

Bridge of Spies - 1-sheet

When an American U-2 pilot is forced to land behind the Iron Curtain, it falls to a Brooklyn attorney to negotiate his release.

Bridge of Spies is the true story of James Donovan – tasked by the CIA to handle this near impossible assignment. Check out the trailer after the jump. Bridge of Spies will be in theaters on October 16th.

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Sheldon Says If You Must See A Spielberg Film This Christmas, Make It War Horse!

WAR HORSE

If there’s a director around who understands both the horrors of war and how to entertain a family, It’s Steven Spielberg. His War Horse is as fine a family film as you’ll find – even as it doesn’t flinch from its darker moments.

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I Am Number Four – A Little Romance, A Lot Of Action!

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There are some producers whose stamp can be seen on a film regardless of who directed it [think Transformers – Steven Spielberg’s influence could be felt throughout, even above Michael Bay’s action sequences]. With I Am Number Four, it is Michael Bay’s influence that overrides D.J. Caruso’s direction in the final act – resulting in a film that may hew close to the novel [I haven’t read it, hence ‘may’] but falls apart, character-wise at the end.

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I Am Number Four trailer

The trailer to I Am Number Four has been released reccently and for those of you that are Sci-Fi fans, this is a
film you’ll want to check out. Here’s the synopsis:  Three are dead. Who is number four? DJ.Caruso (Eagle Eye,
Disturbia) helms an action-packed thriller about an extrordinary teen John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) who is a fugitive
on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his
guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he
now calls home, John encounters unexpected life-changing events–his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new
abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny. I’m personally not a big sci-fi fan but
after watching the trailer, I think this film will be worth seeing.

Smartly Idiotic Dinner for Schmucks is The Funniest Film of the Summer!

DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

Dinner for Schmucks is an American remake of a much darker French farce called Le Diner de Cons [loosely translated, The Dinner Game]. It is built around the idea that Tim Conrad [Paul Rudd] can win a promotion not because of a brilliant idea he pitches at a board meeting of Fender Financial, but by bringing the most spectacular guest to a very special dinner – a dinner where each of the company’s top executives befriends a person of “extraordinary talent” and brings them to said dinner. The catch is that “extraordinary talent” is a euphemism for “idiot.” If Tim can bring the most the spectacularly idiotic person to the dinner, he can gain his promotion.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Soloist Plays Brilliantly!

I don’t know who made the decision to back The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Paramount’s most likely Oscar® candidate, and to shuffle The Soloist to the spring release schedule where it will undoubtedly get lost among the spring blockbusters, but they definitely backed the wrong metaphorical horse. The Soloist is a film of subtlety and intelligence and does not do something that most movies do: manufacture a happy ending.

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Even though changes have been made to make the film a better story, The Soloist shines like the music of Beethoven, the particular favorite of Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Jr. [Jamie Foxx]. Ayers came to national prominence when he was discovered, by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez [Robert Downey Jr.], playing Beethoven’s music in the street. The column Mr. Lopez wrote garnered more attention than anything he’d ever written and sparked a huge amount of interest in Mr. Ayers, who had been a student at Julliard before succumbing to schizophrenia.

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DVD REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda/Secrets of the Furious Five

The story of how Po [Jack Black] becomes the Dragon Warrior – despite the skepticism of the Furious Five Masters, Crane [David Cross], Mantis [Seth Rogen], Monkey [Jackie Chan], Tigress [Angelina Jolie] and Viper [Lucy Liu] – is one of the year’s surprise hits, critically as well as at the box office.

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The film’s DVD release is full of bonus features and, in a special two DVD package, includes The Secrets of the Furious Five. This twenty-five minute tale finds Po facing his greatest challenge – teaching a class of easily distracted young bunnies the art of king fu [Master Shifu, still voiced by Dustin Hoffman, seems particularly tickled by the situation]. To get the class’ attention, Po relates stories of how each of the Five – Crane [David Cross], Monkey [Jaycee Chan], Mantis [Max Koch], Tigress [Tara Strong], and Viper [Jessica Di Ciccio] – had to overcome such flaws as impatience [Mantis], Compassion [Monkey], control [Tigress], and so forth. Even Master Oogway [Randall Duk Kim] puts in an appearance.

Most of Secrets is filmed in the beautiful 2D style seen in the prologue to Kung Fu Panda, with CG used for scenes that feature Po and his class – and the clever cover art from the two DVDs is designed to be one larger picture when placed side by side.

There is a wealth of features on each DVD.

Kung Fu Panda: Audio Commentary by Co-Directors John Stevenson and Mark Osborne; Meet the Cast; Pushing the Boundaries [improvements in CGI]; Sound Design; Kung fu Fighting Music Video by Cee-Lo; Mr. Ping’s Noodle House [watch a master make noodles from a simple ball of dough]; How to Use Chopsticks [this time for sure!]; Conservation International: Help Save Wild Panda; Dragon Warrior Training Academy; Printables and Weblinks [DVD-ROM], and Dreamworks Animation Jukebox.

Secrets of the Furious Five: Po’s Power Play: Learn to Draw [Character animators show how to draw their respective characters]; Dumpling Shuffle [which bowl is the dumpling under]; Pandamonium Activity Kit [DVD-ROM]; The Land of Panda: Learn the Panda Dance; Do You Kung Fu [demonstrations of basic kung fu forms]; Inside the Chinese Zodiac; Animals of Kung Fu Panda [and how they relate to their namesake forms of kung fu], and What Fighting Style Are You?

Grade: Kung Fu Panda – A

Grade: Secrets of the Furious Five – B+

Grade: Features: Kung Fu Panda – A+

Grade: Features: Secrets of the Furious Five – B+

Final Grade: A

MOVIE REVIEW: Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa – Thank You for Flying Penguin Air!

Confession time. I did not see Madagascar. Nope. The trailer did nothing for me – and I was thoroughly penguined out, in any case. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when the trailer to Escape 2 Africa actually caught my attention. Further, you can probably imagine my surprise when I sat through the film and found myself laughing. Not uproariously, mind you, but laughing.

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There’s probably no point in providing a plot description. Other reviewers will have covered that in enough detail that only the ending will be in doubt [though I’m not spoiling anything when I say it’s a happy one].

What you need to know is that Madagascar 2 is funny, frequently very much so. Also that the main characters – Alex the lion [Ben Stiller], Marty the zebra [Chris Rock], Melman the giraffe [David Schwimmer] and Gloria the hippo [Jada Pinkett-Smith] – are only half the story, laugh-wise. The second string – King Julian the lemur [an unrecognizable Sascha Baron Cohen], Mort the squirrel [Andy Richter] and head penguin Skipper [Tom McGrath], among others – more than hold up their end of the comedy tentpole.

There are some scenes that might scare younger kids [a toddler was taken, crying, from the theater when the villainous lion, Alec Baldwin’s Mukunga, was being particularly nasty], but as a whole, this is a film that will thrill kids while not boring parents. Fans of CG animation will also enjoy the film.

Now I’m going to have to rent the first film. Nuts!

Final Grade: B