Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

This movie has been eyeing me for awhile now. I saw previews for it when it was originally in theaters, and I thought it would be interesting. But with little advertising, could this star pumping (Denzel Washington and John Travolta, among other stars as: James Gandolfini and John Turturro) action film really be a movie worth seeing. Finally my instincts set in and I had to watch this movie.  It was truly worth it and I probably should have seen it in theaters, but the suspense and script writing were the most impressive.  The main premise is that a group of "train terrorists" (led by John Travolta) hijack the 123 train and hold the passengers hostage for $10 million.  Garber (Washington) is the lucky man on duty when the hijackers begin their control over the NY subway system.  Do they get the money to the hijackers in time? How many passengers will be sacrificed as a cause of ignorance of the officials running the investigation?
Points of Interest: I was surprised to find there was such vulgar language, mostly by John Travolta. Also, the premise behind the robbery is quite impressive. No secrets, but John Travolta is smarter than the Average Joe.  I would recommend you see it if you enjoy a thrill, some action, a fair amount of blood, and a little pick me up at the end of the day.

"The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" was released on DVD November 3, 2009.

The Man in the Mirror

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of seeing the musical-documentary "This Is It". I can say that I was not the biggest MJ fan before the movie, and I went because it got rave reviews from many sources (find the Time magazine article, written by Richard Corliss on November 9, 2009; his analogies are tremendous and he analyzes the film with such descriptive and stimulating truthfulness.) If you are hoping to hear tidbits about Michael's death or cause from inside sources, do not see this movie.  This movie only showcases the positive, intense and final moments MJ had on stage, living his dream.  His passion for the art of music is still very alive on stage, and through this power he showed me his special power with words.
There are many other phenomenal aspects of the film: the dancers and their routines, the technical aspects behind the concerts-to-be (or not to be), Michael's rockin' dance moves, revamped classic MJ songs, and Orianthi's jammin' guitar solos.  I would not be surprised if there was another movie released showcasing the dancers and their intense and short notice auditions (similar to the style of Every Little Step). For time's sake, only the dancers that made the final cuts were allowed to say their praises to be working with Michael and how their love for MJ could only grow from this experience.  The lights, camera work, fire action, forklift rising, (3-D) music video production, and sound enhancement were all remarkable qualities of this experience. The 1100-man video and 3-D "Thriller" video were enough to make my jaw drop right then and there.
One final word on this movie: "This Is It" shows Michael's potential of becoming an even greater music sensation, even after so many years in the business.  I was deeply saddened that his career had already ended, and I secretly hoped that the ending would show clips from his most successful concerts in London.  Wishing for an alternative ending, I know Michael will always influence music. This is NOT it for you, Michael. You will live on.

"This Is It" was released on October 28, 2009 (

The Last House on the Left

So the other night I watched the remake of the 1972 horror flick The Last House on the Left.  LHOL, with many interesting qualities, was pretty slow for the first hour. Most of the hour you watch the daughter stress about her swimming career and learn that the family has a home on a lake far away from civilization. On their way to the lake they pass a creepy sign that you know will play a role later on in the movie. Some disturbing moments follow when Mari, the protagonist, and her friend get abused and raped by a group of 3 crazy murderers.  I don't want to give the movie away, but once the action actually starts, the movie gets better and moves pretty fast.  You just want the moment to come when the parents find out that the people in their house are the ones that raped their daughter. After that, you know they'll be saying bye-bye one by one.
What made me want to watch this movie is that the plotline is a little different than most horror flicks.  The protagonist, the daughter, is actually violated early on in the movie, signaling the audience to fend for her immediately.  For gruesome fans out there, you will be very curious to find out the ways the parents kill the rapists.  The last is quite creative, but I'll leave it for you to decide how realistic it was.

The Last House on the Left was released August 18, 2009