Archive for August, 2008

Posted in Adventure, Comedy, Family with tags on August 30, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketWhen her scientist father goes missing, a young girl seeks help from the author of her favorite adventure books. Charmless adventure film may please young children, but for adults it is a demanding exercise in endurance. The story (by 4 screenwriters, no less!) feels as if it was assembled in a factory and is plagued with dull dialogue and embarrassing slapstick. The characters in a Johnny Quest cartoon have more depth that what we are presented with here. The South Pacific island locations are pretty, however.

Peeping Tom

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

PhotobucketPhotobucketUnsettling classic horror film is disturbing study of a serial killer who is compelled to film his victims. So reviled upon its release in 1960, it essentially ended director Michael Powell’s career. Even today, the movie’s attempt to understand, even sympathize, with a sociopath still resonates shock. Creepy.

Hamlet 2

Posted in Comedy with tags on August 29, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketEnglish comedian, Steve Coogan, plays a failed actor who teaches high school drama to a misfit group of kids in this occasionally amusing comedy. His attempt to put on a musical sequel to Hamlet has its funny moments, but unfortunately there isn’t enough story to sustain this 92 minute film.  Waiting for Guffman did this theme much better.

A Very Serious Person

Posted in Drama with tags on August 28, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketCharles Busch wrote and directed this comedy drama about a male nurse who arrives to care for a terminally ill woman and forms a warm friendship with her sensitive 13 year old grandson. Poignant film can be overly precious at times, but ultimately benefits from the engaging and sincere performance of P.J. Verhoest, its young star.

The Red Shoes

Posted in Drama, Music, Romance with tags on August 27, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketYoung ballerina joins an established ballet company and becomes the lead dancer in a new ballet called The Red Shoes. Presented in a stunning 15 minute sequence at the center of the film, the performance is one of the most beautifully filmed in the history of cinema. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s film about betrayal, love and art is a landmark in British film.

The Crime of Padre Amaro

Posted in Drama, Romance with tags on August 26, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketLurid, one-sided assault detailing corruption within the Catholic church. What a fresh idea! Wildly schizophrenic film abruptly changes focus from one story to the next as it recounts various stories of immoral priests in Latin America, who struggle between their religious vows and earthly desires. Ultimately, nothing is resolved and the audience is left with a lot of unanswered questioned in this thoroughly unsatisfying film.

The House Bunny

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

PhotobucketPhotobucketSorority comedy about a Playboy bunny that teaches a group of socially awkward girls how to attract the opposite sex. The writers of Legally Blonde lift from their own premise and throw in the film Revenge of the Nerds for good measure. The contradictory script doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and it IS awfully predicable. However, Anna Faris as Shelley Darlingson, the House Bunny, is a charismatic star. She brings innocence, humor, and a likeability to her role that ultimately makes the movie worth recommending.

Reign of Fire

Posted in Action, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller with tags on August 23, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketDazzling special effects highlight this so-so fantasy adventure about dragons wrecking havoc on England in the year 2020. Movies like this are usually best when they have a sense of irony. Unfortunately this action film lacks a sense of humor and fails to engage.

Dear Frankie

Posted in Drama with tags on August 20, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketUtterly charming, family drama about a mother who, out of love for her 9 year old son, maintains a deception designed to protect him from the truth about his father. Bittersweet and touching, this film tugs at your emotions, not in a manipulative way, but genuinely, with a heartwarming story. British director Shona Auerbach is clearly talented so it’s a puzzle why she has yet to direct another film.


Posted in Action, Adventure, Horror, Thriller with tags on August 18, 2008 by Mark Hobin

PhotobucketPhotobucketAustralian horror film about a killer crocodile is essentially the umpteenth retelling of Jaws. But wait a minute! This suspenseful well-paced version of “When Animals Attack” isn’t half bad. Superior cinematography and music give this horror film the feel of quality.