Archive for December, 2008

The Strangers

Posted in Drama, Horror, Thriller with tags on December 30, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketSlasher film characterized by long stretches of heightened suspense where the biggest fear is the dread of what is about to happen. The ending, as with most horror films, is weak, but there are a few genuine scares and the overall mood is creepy throughout.

Doubt

Posted in Drama, Mystery with tags on December 30, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketFrom American playwright, John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck), comes this austere drama about a feud at St. Nicholas’ parish between a Catholic priest and a nun. Perfect cast is stellar. The riveting verbal sparring between Streep and Hoffman is a marvel to behold. Despite the final scene which lacks impact, an otherwise well-written film.

Fred Claus

Posted in Comedy, Family, Fantasy with tags on December 30, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketIt’s difficult to like a Christmas movie where the Santa is such a feeble pushover. Add an irritating efficiency expert played by Kevin Spacey and you have the cinematic equivalent of a stale Christmas fruitcake no one wants. Shamefully wasted cast boasts three Oscar winners and two nominees!

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Posted in Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller with tags on December 24, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketThe Mummy was a pale imitation of Indiana Jones, so that makes this uninspired sequel a dull copy of itself. The inane script, threadbare plot and excessive digitized effects all add up to a most unenjoyable time at the movies. Oh and there isn’t a single mummy in the whole unfortunate mess of a movie.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Posted in Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller with tags on December 21, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketEndlessly engrossing landmark science fiction about an alien, Klaatu, that comes to Earth with a warning. He is compelled to pose as an ordinary human and takes refuge with a sympathetic widow and her son. These quiet scenes where he interacts with her family and son are quite effective. Intelligent script’s dark outlook regarding human society, heavily influenced by the Cold War of the 1950s, is still relevant. Ambiguous ending could have been more powerful, however.

Mamma Mia!

Posted in Comedy, Musical, Romance with tags on December 20, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketSloppy, poorly acted musical is a testament to how well the original ABBA could sing. As mother-of-the-bride, and her two shrill friends, Streep, Baranski and Walters screech their lines in high pitched squeals. In one credibility stretching number, Christine Baranski prances about in tight spandex while men, young enough to be her grandkids, dance about as if they’re in love with her. If that sounds good, check this out, all others, BEWARE!

Seven Pounds

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

PhotobucketPhotobucketExtremely depressing, somewhat distasteful drama dealing with sacrifice and redemption. Confusing and unrelentingly grim. Audience is pretty much in the dark as to who Ben Thomas, the lead charcater, is and why he acts the way he does, until the very end. A complete waste if not for Rosario Dawson. She’s the best thing in the film.

My Cousin Vinny

Posted in Comedy with tags on December 16, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketPitch perfect courtroom comedy about a lawyer defending his cousins of murder in a backwoods Alabama town. Fish out of water comedy features stellar performances by Pesci, Tomei and Gwynne. Likeable, funny and well written.

In the Valley of Elah

Posted in Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller with tags on December 16, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketPolice detective drama about a veteran father who goes looking for his son who has gone AWOL upon his return from the Iraq war. Film’s exploration on the toll war has on the soldiers that return home, is anchored by Tommy Lee Jones heartfelt and honest performance.

The Counterfeiters

Posted in Crime, Drama, War with tags on December 13, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketPowerful drama about a man who must weigh his desire for self preservation and his guilt at aiding Nazi forces. Dramas involving the Holocaust are always difficult to endure and this is no exception, but the moral dilemmas it raises are thought provoking and the performances are first rate. 2007 Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

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