Archive for October, 2008

The Happening

Posted in Drama, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller with tags on October 31, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketApocalyptic cautionary tale: Be nice to Mother Nature or else. Give me a break! What might have worked as a 10 min short does not succeed as a feature length film. A lot of spooky atmospherics marred by bad dialogue and even worse acting does not a story make.  At one point Mark Wahlberg actually says, “Could this really be happening?” I wanted to shout, “Yes it is, and I want those 90 minutes back.”

The Love Guru

Posted in Comedy, Romance, Sports with tags on October 25, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketA career destroying vanity project from “comedian” Mike Meyers. Take away the scatological humor and penis jokes and you’re left with nothing. Unfortunately every actor on screen has been instructed to laugh uproariously at every joke that Meyers tells. AfterThe Cat in the Hat, the audience expects garbage like this from Mr. Meyers, but Ben Kingsley!?? Shame on you!

Eagle Eye

Posted in Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller with tags on October 24, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketLoud. hectic thriller about two strangers who are united by an unidentified woman who gives them directions over the phone. After a good start, this incredibly preposterous thriller deteriorates into a standard chase movie. I shouted “Oh please!” too many times to count.

The Buddy Holly Story

Posted in Biography, Drama, Music with tags on October 22, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketGary Busey not only did his own singing, but even lost 32 lbs to play Buddy Holly in this sensational musical biography of the singer from Lubbock Texas. Despite reportedly playing fast and loose with facts, the film is extremely entertaining. Busey was rightfully nominated for an Oscar for his effective portrayal.

The Good Shepherd

Posted in Drama, Thriller with tags on October 19, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketAt almost 3 hours, this period film about the beginnings of the CIA is an ambitious, but ultimately tedious spy drama. There are moments where the film shows signs of turning into a first rate thriller. It ultimately remains a character study of a very stiff and unemotional man, inspired by the true-life story of CIA founder James J. Angleton. Intelligent and realistic, but not particularly exciting.

In the Company of Men

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on October 15, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketDisturbing corporate tale of two men who decide to toy with a young woman’s affections in an effort to vent their pent up rage against the female sex. An ugly psychological drama that is hard to watch but endlessly captivating. It’s difficult to describe just how vile and depraved a man Chad is. He is a villain you won’t soon forget. Astonishing first film by writer, director Neil LaBute.

Leatherheads

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sports with tags on October 14, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketRomantic comedy set in the 1920s about the early days of the NFL. Film desperately wants to be one of those screwball comedies Hollywood did to perfection in the 30s and 40s. Unfortunately, the story lacks any kind of focus or excitement. Furthermore, the narrative is such a labored exercise in capturing nostalgic details, it all becomes a tedious bore. In a word, it’s joyless.

Quarantine

Posted in Drama, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller with tags on October 14, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketDecent, but derivative horror remake of the Spanish film REC details what happens when a reporter and a cameraman become quarantined in an apartment building. By now the shaky camera horror film has become a such a cliché. On top of that, the audience is subjected to the same tired trick (long silences followed by a loud burst of amplified noise) that have been scaring audiences since the beginning of time. You could do worse, but why bother. Go rentCloverfield instead.

Big Business

Posted in Comedy with tags on October 12, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketAbsolutely hilarious farce about a set of twins who are mixed up at birth. One set is raised in wealthy NYC, the other on a poor southern farm. Well-written comedy of errors is consistently quick and witty throughout its brief 97 min running time. Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler work surprisingly well together under Jim “Airplane!” Abrahams’ skillful direction.

Body of Lies

Posted in Action, Drama, Thriller with tags on October 11, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketSolid spy film about a CIA operative that goes to Jordan to track down a terrorist. After a slow start, the film ultimately becomes a competent and well acted thriller with something interesting to say about how people are manipulated in the so-called War on Terror. English actor Mark Strong, who plays the head of Jordan’s covert operations, is an actor worth watching.

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