Act of Valor, Incredibly Courageous

They’re not actors, directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh did not want them to be.  The main characters in the movie Act of Valor are real Navy SEALs and they perform like one of the best freedom fighter units that the United States could ever produce.  The film does more than entertain; it gives Americans a chance to see what the armed forces are doing to protect their freedom up close and personal.

The film puts the audience inside one of the most amazing military units in the world. The Navy SEALs are a specially trained military outfit that gets assignments in various aspects of the defense of our nation.  Whether a secret mission behind enemy lines, capturing enemy targets, or collecting intelligence at impossible odds, this unit of the Navy is always ready.  Read more

Wanderlust, a Wacky Comedy

With not a lot of wacky romance films in theaters Wanderlust may be the right ticket for you and your date.  Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it’s still passable, especially if you aren’t critical of stories that are a bit goofier than the ordinary. The script gets obsessive in a brazen kind of way with some scenes even kicking it up a notch.  But, if it’s an icebreaker you want or just a way to add time to a first date, then you can do worse than Wanderlust.

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) have hit the bottom of the barrel when the two find themselves without an income to support their existence in their New York City environment.  Under great stress due to George’s recent job loss, they head to Atlanta where his brother Rick (Ken Marino) has offered him a job.  Their non-stop 900-mile road trip develops into many sing-a-longs, a testy temperament and then just plain driving fatigue. Read more

This Means War, Action in Your Romance

It’s a lot of fun, but This Means War spins out of control at times and the romance gets sidetracked for some awesome spy thrills. I like the acting by the trio of leads and directing by McG isn’t too bad either.  If you are woman looking for a romantic night out however, your date better be a macho man.

The story goes pretty much like this; Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine) are a couple of CIA operatives who are just coming off a case they botched while killing the brother of a international hit man Heinrich (Til Schweiger).  Grounded to an office in LA, the two best friends are even assigned desks opposite each other.  In the meantime, Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon) a product tester for a large company has hit rock bottom in the dating scene and her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) persuades her to try on-line dating.

Not happy with things and a lot of time on his hands Tuck turns to finding a date on line and Lauren answers his ad.  Tuck tells FDR of his plan to get together with someone he met on the Internet and FDR says as a friend he’ll be nearby just in case there’s need for him.  Following the date, Lauren accidentally runs into FDR at a bookstore and the two hit it off.  Now with two men from which to choose, Lauren has become confused.  Tuck and FDR find out that they are dating the same girl and their spy instincts kick in causing a comedy of errors.   Then when Heinrich turns up, the love affair gets dicey. Read more

Thin Ice, A Slippery Plot

It seems like ages since a movie featuring a good cunning tale unraveled on the big screen and I’m happy to say Thin Ice fits the bill.  A smartly written well-acted story with so many twists and turns I found myself wondering, “How did I not see that coming”?  It’s a deceiving, manipulative and funny film played out in a quick tempo that kept me spellbound throughout.

The story centers on Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) a small-time insurance agent looking for a way to increase his business and escape from the Wisconsin snow. A salesman who can sell as long as he can find someone to believe his smooth tongue delivery and there’s money to be had. At a conference where he gives a speech he meets Bob Egan (David Harbor) who gets hired by Mickey to get leads for his insurance business. Read more

La Rafle “The Roundup”, a Chilling Story

It’ not often enough that we can get reminded in film of some of the more dismal times from the past, especially those that show ‘man’s inhumanity to man.’  This happens to be the case of La Rafle (The Round-Up) a French film that captures a period in history covering the cruel extermination of a helpless people, including children in the 1941-45 France.  The movie has a sorrowful tone that resonates throughout yet a must see to remind us that the world we live in is so fragile.

The film opens with French children already wearing the yellow Jewish identification star sewn to their clothes like some sort of tattoo.  With fear of punishment and death, the Jewish people are scared with the scorns of those who look upon them as a scourge.  Stamped with this awful disparagement they still go on with their daily lives. The Nazi occupied France has put fear in the pathetic Vichy Government to do their bidding and time is running out for all Jews everywhere. Read more

Safe House, an Action Thriller

If you like your movies with constant action from beginning to end, then go and check out Safe House, a thrill a minute.  As a matter of fact, Ryan Reynolds has successfully crossed the line between comedy and drama with a performance like he has never delivered.  If all of a sudden you get an epiphany on where the film’s going, not to worry, the predictability even has some enjoyable twists and turns.

The story centers on CIA employee Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) who has been babysitting a boring job tending an interrogation facility safe house in South Africa. With little chance to become a full-fledged agent, he finds himself deadened.  Just as he gets off the phone with his boss David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson) a tactical team bursts into his safe house with Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) the most notorious rogue intelligence officer in the world.  Feared by the FBI, CIA and even foreign spy agencies, Frost has information that will take hundreds of moles and corrupt agents down. When the tactical team gets killed, Weston makes a run for it with Frost in tow. Read more

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, A Kid Flick

This action adventure aims for the 9 to 12 age group and nails it on the head.  Fueled with wondrous scenes of a quest filled journey and combined with a LOT of 3D special effects, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island should do okay at the box-office. Having Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t hurt either, as they are both very popular with the Tweens and Teens.

Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) has not yet recovered from his last trip to the center of the Earth and the many disasters that confronted him. One day he gets an encrypted message from this grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine), a famous explorer who went missing some time ago.  Never loosing faith that his grandfather is alive, the note has peaked his interest in finding him.  With the help of his new father Hank (Dwayne Johnson) and armed with a map with special coordinates they fly to the South Pacific.  There they meet up with a guide Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his pretty yet uncompromising daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) who agree to take them to the mysterious island. Read more

Shame, Erotically NC-17

Brilliantly written, cunningly directed and very disturbing Shame gives a fly on the wall view of eroticism.  What makes this film a work of art however, comes with the fine acting by Fassbender and Carey Mulligan who give performances worthy of an Oscar.

The story centers on Brandon (Michael Fassbender) a successful businessman in New York’s fast lane that can’t feel love with his women, but still craves them for sex. He frequents places where he can hook up with ladies who either just want a good time or receive money for their services.  His thirst for power over women has driven him nearly insane.  When his outlandish sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) moves in with him on the pretext that she will get a job to be able to go out on her own, Brandon’s troubles start to escalate beyond his mental control.

Amusing and different are the best words I can come up with at this time of writing my review.  Shame is amusing in that it provides a voyeur’s window on Brandon’s erotic world allowing us the audience to judge his way of life.  Totally off the wall, suggestive of incest and a sordid series of romps the film is worthy of a soft porno.  The movie gets sometimes disgusting yet it’s very hard to turn away. Read more