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Thursday, 26 April 2012 09:44

Getting together with American Reunion'

Written by Allen Adams
The movies we see and love as young adults often go on defining our cinematic tastes long after we have supposedly 'grown up.' However, the opportunity to see the cast of one of those movies after they too have grown up is pretty rare.
'American Reunion' is that opportunity.
3 out of 5 - Read full review
Thursday, 26 April 2012 09:22

The Unlucky One

Written by Allen Adams
Sparks adaptation overwrought, underdeveloped

There are few writers out there who have mastered the art of emotional manipulation quite like Nicholas Sparks. And Hollywood has taken notice, adapting seven of his books to the big screen. He's responsible for such tearjerkers as 'A Walk To Remember,' 'Dear John,' 'Message in a Bottle' and of course, the Sparksiest of them all, 'The Notebook.' Number seven just hit the big screen with the opening of 'The Lucky One.'

Logan Thibeault (Zac Efron, 'The Lorax') is a Marine sergeant serving in Iraq. One day while standing guard, he catches a glimpse of something half buried in the sand. He goes to retrieve it; it turns out to be a laminated picture of a woman. As he looks at it, a rocket attack hits precisely where he had just been standing. From then on, Logan views it as a sort of lucky charm.

When he gets out of the service, Logan is determined to track down the woman from the photo. His journey takes him from Colorado to Louisiana, where he finally finds Beth Green (Taylor Schilling, 'Atlas Shrugged: Part I'). She runs a pet boarding kennel along with her grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner, 'What's Your Number?'). When Logan arrives, he intends to tell Beth about the picture but instead gets swept into the idyllic small-town life of the Greens.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 13:03

A new take on terror

Written by Allen Adams
The Cabin in the Woods' an atypical horror story

Making a horror movie is a tricky thing. Finding ways to scare people is difficult in and of itself. Considering that there's almost a century of celluloid fear-mongering behind us, coming up with a new way to scare someone at the movies seems almost impossible - right up until some director or another finds one.

This time, it's Joss Whedon. His latest project is 'The Cabin in the Woods.' While the film was directed by first-timer Drew Goddard, Whedon wrote the script and produced the film, in addition to serving as second unit director. His fingerprints are all over this movie in the best way.

Dana (Kristen Connelly, 'Certainty') is a college student getting ready to get out of town for a weekend with some of her friends. There's the smart and athletic Curt (Chris Hemsworth, 'Thor') and his sweet girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchison, TV's 'Wild Boys'). Curt and Jules have invited Curt's new buddy Holden (Jesse Williams, TV's 'Grey's Anatomy') in order to maybe set her up with Dana. Rounding out the crew is the chatty, likable stoner Marty (Fran Kranz, TV's 'Dollhouse'). The quintet piles into an RV and heads off to Curt's cousin's new cabin.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:58

The Three Stooges' surprisingly fun

Written by Allen Adams
Farrelly brothers' effort full of slapstick and sweetness

Watching people get hurt is sad. Watching them get hurt without injury or consequence is hilarious. That's why the Three Stooges were able to become some of the biggest stars of Hollywood's younger days. In real life, poking eyes and thumping heads with hammers ends up with bloodshed and hospital visits, but in the world of the Stooges, no permanent harm is ever done.

Bobby and Peter Farrelly have taken it upon themselves to update that world with 'The Three Stooges.' However, this isn't your typical Farrelly gross-out jam. It's their first-ever foray into the more family-friendly realm of a PG rating.

The story begins at an orphanage where a duffel bag is unceremoniously dumped on the doorstep in a drive-by. The three babies in the bag immediately make a negative impression on the dour Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David, TV's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm') before initially charming the rest of the nuns. However, when we flash forward 10 years, we quickly learn that these boys are far more of a handful than anyone could have guessed.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:48

Getting together with American Reunion'

Written by Allen Adams
The gang from American Pie' grows up

The movies we see and love as young adults often go on defining our cinematic tastes long after we have supposedly 'grown up.' However, the opportunity to see the cast of one of those movies after they too have grown up is pretty rare.

'American Reunion' is that opportunity.

The film, officially fourth in the 'American Pie' canon (though there are a slew of straight-to-video offerings that co-opted the 'American Pie' name), sees the original crew returning to East Great Falls for their high school reunion. Jim (Jason Biggs, TV's 'Mad Love') and Michelle (Alyson Hanigan, TV's 'How I Met Your Mother') are married with a child. They still love each other, but the passion seems to have left their marriage. Oz (Chris Klein, 'Caught in the Crossfire') is a sportscaster and minor celebrity with a model girlfriend. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas, 'InSight') is a work-at-home husband, while Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas, TV's 'How to Make It in America') simply reappears after vanishing for years, telling wild globetrotting stories. Former flames such as Vicky (Tara Reid, 'Last Call') and Heather (Mena Suvari, 'Restitution') are also back.

Thursday, 05 April 2012 12:11

'The Hunger Games' a satisfying meal

Written by Wire Reports
Literature aimed at young adults has served as the basis for two of the most popular (not to mention lucrative) film franchises in history. Both J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series and Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' books have spawned movies that have made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
Suzanne Collins's book 'The Hunger Games,' as well as the two subsequent books in the series, aims to be the next blockbuster in line.
4.5 out of 5 - Read full review
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 14:46

Mirror Mirror' worth a look

Written by Allen Adams
New film offers a reboot of Snow White

In this age of remakes and reboots, it should come as no surprise that Hollywood eventually got down to really raiding the Grimm's Fairy Tales cupboard. It appears that Snow White is the first of those childhood favorites to get a heavy-duty 21st century makeover with the release of 'Mirror Mirror' as well as the imminent summer release of 'Snow White and the Huntsman.'

Be glad this one came first.

'Mirror Mirror' stars Lily Collins ('Abduction') as Snow White. Her father the king was killed by the fabled 'beast' of the forest, leaving her wicked stepmother (Julia Roberts, 'Larry Crowne') as Queen. The Queen keeps Snow White locked away in the castle so that she can mercilessly tax her subjects and fritter away the kingdom's money.

Meanwhile, Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer, 'J. Edgar') is wandering through the forest, months into a search for adventure. He is beset by a band of bandits bandits who ultimately prove to be the seven dwarves we all know and love. The Prince is robbed and left helpless in the woods, to be discovered and freed by Snow White, who has sneaked out of the castle in order to see for herself the state of the kingdom.

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 14:43

'Wrath of the Titans' a myth-fire

Written by Allen Adams
Action film offers little in the way of plot, performance

One of the reasons we go to the movies is to escape. We want to go to a place that is different than the one in which we live. Sometimes, we want to watch someone do something that neither we nor anyone else could ever do. It doesn't need to be challenging. It doesn't need to be inspired. We just want to get away for a while.

Big, dumb and loud will never go out of style.

That's not a value judgment I love getting simple and explode-y as much as the next guy. However, all big action epics are not created alike. Sometimes, they work wonderfully. Other times, something is missing and the film never quite clicks.

Unfortunately, 'Wrath of the Titans' falls mostly into the latter category.

Thursday, 29 March 2012 10:18

The Hunger Games' a satisfying meal

Written by Allen Adams
Film adaptation a well-told tale

Literature aimed at young adults has served as the basis for two of the most popular (not to mention lucrative) film franchises in history. Both J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series and Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' books have spawned movies that have made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Suzanne Collins's book 'The Hunger Games,' as well as the two subsequent books in the series, aims to be the next blockbuster in line.

'The Hunger Games' follows young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, 'X-Men: First Class'), a girl who lives in far-flung District 12 in a dystopian future nation called Panem. This society revolves around a yearly competition known as the Hunger Games, in which two 'tributes' a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected to compete in a battle to the death. When her sister is selected, Katniss offers herself up as a volunteer replacement.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 12:57

Go ahead and Jump'

Written by Allen Adams
'21 Jump Street' shockingly good

One of the things that Hollywood has taught us over the past couple of decades is that with rare exceptions, television properties almost never translate well to the big screen. The cinematic recreations of classic TV shows from 'The Brady Bunch' to 'Bewitched' to 'Starsky & Hutch' tend to have one thing in common they're terrible movies.

So expectations were low walking in to '21 Jump Street' (based on the late 1980s FOX show of the same name), Hollywood's latest attempt to translate television success to the cinema. I was expecting it to be more of the same more warmed over clichs and stale jokes dressed up in the guise of nostalgia. I even thought this movie had the chance to be a special kind of terrible.

I was very, very wrong.

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