The place for Movie Heads. Several reviews and discussions to choose from with many more to come. Please leave your comments and feedback or just drop me an email. Happy movie going!

The Back-Up Plan (2010)

Jennifer Lopez seems to love the romantic comedy. I think she’s done more of those types of films than any other. Let’s face it; they haven’t really turned out all that great. I will admit, I did take a liking to Angel Eyes, but that wasn’t a romantic comedy, so never mind. Her latest, but not greatest, is The Back-Up Plan.

The premise, although not completely new, is pretty simple. A single woman, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), is finally ready to have kids. One problem, she doesn’t have the other ingredient needed, that essential part being a man in her life in order to do so. So, she decides to have herself artificially inseminated to try to become pregnant and is completely fine with doing the single mom thing. Enter Stan (Alex O’Loughlin) and a chance meeting between him and Zoe when they accidentally get into the same taxi-cab. He asks her out, sparks fly, they begin to date, yadda yadda yadda. The real plot begins when she discovers her doubtful attempt at pregnancy has ended in success. Now, she has to make a decision: tell him or not to tell him? That is the question…that almost no one has ever had to actually do before in real life.

Repo Men (2010)

Blood, guts, on-the-spot surgery, blood, action, and oh yeah some more blood. If you like blood, well I mean seeing it on screen and not in real life, then you will love the bloody Miguel Sapochnik directed film, Repo Men. Powered by other aspects other than just blood, such as the creative story line, Repo Men might have the small beginnings of a becoming a cult favorite.

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker star as the aforementioned repossession specialists, Remy and Jake. After growing up and serving in the military together, the two friends take jobs as repo men for a company known as the Union. A company that provides artificial organs and body parts to the unfortunate who are dying or in need of some kind of transplant in order to stay alive. This, of course, all comes at a price, which can be split into monthly payments at a seemingly low interest rate. If they happen to fall behind on their payments, however, then that’s where Remy and Jake come in. If you see them in your home, then… let’s just say you rather be on the phone arguing with a collections agency.

The Bounty Hunter (2010)

After seeing the trailer for this run-around romantic comedy, I felt like it had potential. Sure the concept of ex’s being forced to sort of work together has been done numerous times before but I figured pairing these two stars together would shed some unused light on the topic. Sadly, I was wrong. Not completely, The Bounty Hunter does entertain in some sense of the word, but doesn’t quite provide the substance needed to really be a full movie. This might be bad because this type of story really doesn’t need much substance to be considered entertaining.

Remember Me (2010)

For those of you who have faithfully followed my film critiques, you might be aware of my struggles with un-bias and giving credit where it is due to certain genres and film styles. Styles that in my pre-critic life I would not have taken a liking to. I felt like I was making wonderful progess in this plight after seeing and giving reviews on certain movies with no favoritism whatsoever. Well, if I made it over a hump with those previous films, then this one surely puts me over the mountain. Remember Me easily fits into the romance-drama category. A category that, although I do possess a “hopeless romantic” side, I don’t usually find myself enthralled in a story that fits within this class of film. Somehow, someway I found myself doing just that with this movie.

The story begins in a part of Brooklyn, NY; which I am very proud to say is my hometown, born and raised. However, the story also begins in tragedy. One of our main characters, Ally (Emilie de Ravin), witnesses firsthand the death of her mother at a very young age. This leaves her father, Neil (Chris Cooper), an NYPD police officer, to raise her alone. Fast forwarding to the future, Ally now attends college in New York City and still lives with her very protective father. Unbeknownst to her, she shares a class with Tyler (Robert Pattison), who also has his own family demons.

Zombieland (2009)

So it seems like the zombie genre might be getting to the point of being run into the ground. There have been countless zombie movies, some good and some bad, that have graced the big screen and either found their way into our hearts or into the realm of forgotten movie lore. I could throw random undead titles out at you but…I’m not. You know which ones you liked and which ones you didn’t so we’ll just leave it at that. Hopefully Zombieland finds its way into the pile that you like.

Taking after such films like Shaun of the Dead, (c’mon, I had to include at least one film reference) Zombieland combines horror and comedy. It takes the meat and potatoes that are used to make scary movies about the wandering undead and dips it into a pastel colored icing and puts a really big exploding candle on top: the funny part. Ok, a disgusting analogy yes, but hopefully you got the point.

Despicable Me (2010)

We all know there have been many films about orphans and the way they fall into some unsuspecting Joe’s life who has never had children before. We also all know that by the end of the story their usual carefree lifestyle has been significantly changed by the presence of unwanted responsibility and the unexpected rewards that raising children can bring. Usually this change and mentality in our new parent’s life is a positive one and everyone lives happily ever after.

Despicable Me proves to be much more than this. Sure, it follows this basic concept and you can almost guess how everything is going to turn out but what is not predictable about the film is how the characters arrive at the end of the story. Therefore it is not your average bachelor meets orphans fairytale.

Our hero… or villain Gru (Steve Carrell), which is actually what he is in the movie, is seen as a disappointment across the “bad guy world”. Although he has the smarts, the evil scientist/inventor sidekick, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), and around a ka-jillion silly childlike, yellow minions who are just waiting to do his every bidding, he still seems to fall short on the super-villain scale. The new kid in town, Vector (Jason Segel), pulls off one of the greatest diabolical plans in the apparent history of evilness and leaves Gru wondering why he didn’t think of it first.

Wolfman (2010)

Man learns of brother’s death. Man returns home in search of brother’s killer. Man finds brother’s killer. Man sees full moon and becomes a killer. The man is Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro), and he has a less than cordial relationship with his father, Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins). He becomes aware that his brother has gone missing and has also left behind a quite beautiful fiancĂ©e, Gwen Coliffe (Emily Blunt). He promises her that he will find her late future husbands murderer but in doing so finds much more than he expected. It is believed by the townspeople where his father and brother resides that a monster is on the loose. A monster feared to be a werewolf. During a scuffle with the creature, he is bitten and learns first hand “the legend of the wolf”.

There were a total of three films with the “wolf man” concept before this modern version. This particular remake is based off of the 1941 version of the classic story. The film, directed by Joe Johnston, is laced with some very well done special effects. In fact, the effects are possibly the best aspect of this movie. Having never seen the original story, I cannot make a personal comparison but read that the second half of the film was altered for the remake.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

The same cast and crew that delivered us the zombie/living dead spoof, Shaun of the Dead, brings us a cop drama/action spin off. Hot Fuzz takes from almost every action adventure movie about the law that you could possibly think of. It, of course, adds its’ own over the top moments to help develop the comedy aspect of it.

Top cop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) of the London Metropolitan Police Force (uh, I mean Police Service) is transferred, against his will, from the high crime streets of the city of London to the peaceful, not much going on, little village of Sanford. He is partnered up with PC (that stands for Police Constable) Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) who, along with the rest of the Sanford Police, hasn’t seen much action due to the quiet and subdued state of the town that they patrol. Angel struggles to fit in until he comes across a few deaths that have been determined to be “accidents” which has his police gut telling him that all may not be what it seems in silent Sanford.

Feardotcom (2002)

I have taken a good ribbing from some friends stating that I am too nice to the movies that I have written reviews about. They feel like I am incapable of writing a straight out bad review and I need to have that experience. It seems like now I will have my chance.

There are horror movies that judging from the cast and storyline that you just expect to be bad. You don’t expect to take them seriously. You don’t expect for them to hold any kind of serious weight in Hollywood, the indie industry or any other market. Some of these types of films surprise you since you don’t expect any positivity to come from them. Some of them hold potential but just don’t go that extra mile to utilize all of it. Then there are some films which add a new spin to an already popular concept. The popular concept is the idea of people dying a specific number of days after something dramatic has happened to them. The new spin is the use of the internet. That’s right, you can not only shop, find love and let everyone know what you’re doing every second of the day but now people can die by simply visiting a certain site.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

The first time The Day the Earth Stood Still was presented to movie goers it fit right in with the science fiction genre. I haven’t seen the original, which is considered a classic that was directed by Robert Wise, but its predecessor won’t be classified under the same file of great movie lore. Many films are trying to resurrect that feel of impending Armageddon by way of an unknown interstellar force that was hugely popular in the sci-fi driven 50s and 60s. War of the Worlds did a wonderful job of having everyone completely paranoid about thoughts of a possible alien invasion. Unlike its remake, the recent Day the Earth Stood Still doesn’t offer that same aura.

Inception (2010)

Since I don’t know him personally, I can’t say what goes on in the mind of Christopher Nolan. All I can do is guess and speculate based upon his work. The writer/director has brought us gems like The Prestige, Batman Begins and one of my personal favorites of all time, The Dark Knight. The screenplays that he has developed are original, creative, sometimes complex, but the best of all, they grab your attention and hold it in their clutches way after the film has ended. They make you think; make you consider and then re-consider any options or possibilities about the plot that you may have been wondering about. Furthermore, since he has had the luxury of having some very good actors in his projects, it makes his films even that much better. His latest work, Inception, follows the same signature blueprint.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is what you would call an Extractor, but what he extracts is contained in people’s dreams. With the help of his partner, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), they enter an individual’s dream and steal, or extract, something of dire importance to that person and relinquish it to whomever they were hired to do it by. For example, if I wanted to get your ATM pin number, they could go in and get you to give it to them or just retrieve it from somewhere in your dream. A businessman, Saito (Ken Watanabe), hires the two to do just the opposite, however. He would like them to create a new idea and implant it into someone’s dream. That act is called, you guessed it, inception. But this procedure is far more difficult than merely taking something out of someone’s head. They would have to get it to stick and seem so real that it would manifest in the persons subconscious and cause them to make real life choices because of it.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

Ok, so yeah, I did it. I actually went to see the third entry in the mega phenomenon that the youngsters and even some adults call The Twilight Saga. For whatever reason it has turned into a colossal revenue grossing blockbuster over the last couple of years. Based on novels that I haven’t decided to actually read at the moment written by Stephenie Meyer, the film versions have every pre-teen, and again even grown people of legal drinking age and beyond, yearning for the films’ releases even way before they are scheduled to be released. Now, I did see the previous two chapters. I was told by a very forceful friend that I had to watch Twilight with her and I was dragged by another to the theater to sit though New Moon.

The first was what I expected, teenage melodrama with a vampiric twist that I thought was stealing straight from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (a show that I actually happened to be a huge fan of). If I was reviewing movies back then, I would have given it a very subtle “2 out of whatever it was”. I felt the second was even worse. Although it had some potential because of the CGI created wolves, the story was boring and slow while the acting was even slower. If felt like one conversation between any two characters took at least 25 minutes to even begin to make any sense at all. I would have given it a very dismal “1.5”. I’m being generous with the “.5”. I remembered referring to it as a “waste of two hours of my life”. With Eclipse on the horizon, I swore my Twilight days were over. But that was before I decided to try to become a film critic. So, since it is a film, I must critique it, and once again do so without bias. So here goes:

Daybreakers (2010)

Question…if you had the chance to become a vampire, would you take it? An age old question stemming from many, wait, no, a rather substantial amount of vampire films throughout the history of horror movies. I think it really became prominent with the release of the cult classic The Lost Boys. I am still a little undecided on my own answer. I mean it would be cool to have super strength and never get sick but living forever might become sort of boring. You get see everyone you care about die around you and when the apocalypse happens, you get to be super strong all by yourself. Plus, you would need a rather lush dental plan and being African American myself, I don’t think the pale look would suit me very well. Michael and Peter Spierig take the vampire craze to a rather new level with Daybreakers.

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

So what would you do if you had the opportunity to travel back in time? I would try to correct so many mistakes I made that by the time I finished with all of them, I would probably be back at the present. And I know it’s not just me, everyone, or almost everyone would take that chance to go back and change something or maybe just to relive a special moment they shared in their life. The sheer idea of time travel, though not yet available in real life, has been the topic of numerous movies so far. The Time Machine (duh), Back to the Future, even Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure capitalized on the fantasy concept and has entertained audiences and readers throughout history. The latest film to use this plot line is the utterly, yes I said utterly, hilarious comedy directed by Steve Pink, Hot Tub Time Machine.


Random Joke:

A man requests for a personal trainer and receives a hot blonde female.  She says, "If you can catch me then you can have me".  Motivated, the man tries catching her and fails.  The next week, a hot brunette is sent over.  She also says, "If you can catch me, you can have me".  He trains for a couple of weeks and awaits the arrival of his new trainer.  When he answers his door, his new trainer is a muscle bound man who says, "If I catch you, you are mine!".

The Voice and The Boss

For the most part sports are sports, we cheer, we scream, we root for our favorite team or player. Sometimes we boo, we heckle, we shout obscenities, we throw things and we are heartbroken over a loss. But sometimes a loss in the sports world means something much more than just one less win. Sometimes it's losing a person and it can feel as if you have lost a family member or a good friend.

Predators (2010)

There are films that are so good that they are created into franchises. Some of these films are well done and the franchise is successful because all of the succeeding films are good as well. There are films that are good that are made into franchises that aren’t successful. Then there are films that are bad that are also made into franchises that turn out to be way more successful than the original movie. Hope that wasn’t too confusing. Everyone still with me? Good. This film is somewhere in-between if there is an in-between. Some films cannot be outdone, remade, revamped or whatever you want to call it. It’s just impossible. Whether it’s because of the story, acting, directing, cinematography, controversy or it may simply hold a special place in your movie heart. The year 1987, governors Schwarzenegger and Ventura, Carl “Action Jackson/Apollo Creed” Weathers and director John McTiernan brought us one of those kinds of films, Predator. A marvel in its own time and a classic that will forever live on in movie lore, I remember watching this with my father as a kid and recall being scared of the alien monster and rooting for “Ahnuld” at the same time. Not to mention the trauma and nightmares I received from seeing the kind of gore that a child should never be subjected to. But, what doesn’t turn us into insane serial killers only makes us into movie critics.

The Summer of Lebron

The summer season has always proven to be the highest grossing period for movies out of the entire year. The primetime, the main event, the go-to era. Those certain number of months ranging between around May and the end of August are the money makers for box offices around the world. For whatever reason, when the weather gets warm, or more realistically a scorching boil, patrons seem to flock to the comfortable air conditioned environment of the inside of a movie theater to catch their most anticipated blockbuster. Although I've gotten into the habit of bringing a sweat shirt with me because that "comfortable air conditioning" can begin to feel like January especially during a two hour film with a large ice cold Sprite. Plus that type of heads up consideration really impresses the ladies. But on to the topic at hand. This summer's most anticipated blockbuster is not on the big screen this year. It has all the specifics you would want in a big budget film as well, in fact, it probably takes the cake, and ice cream, money wise. Suspense, drama, laughs, excitement, thrills and maybe even some horror at the end for some people. This mega event, however, appeals to sports fans especially basketball fans. Especially NBA basketball fans. Yes, my friends I am speaking of the 2010 NBA Free Agency epic that has the entire world entrenched.

9 (2009)

Going into this movie, I thought the dark, apocalyptic atmosphere in it that was inhabited by animated dolls had to be the obvious results straight out of the mind of the imaginative Tim Burton. I was partly right, but mostly wrong. The CGI produced 9 is actually based off of a short film by director Shane Acker as a student project for the UCLA Animation Workshop. The piece, which took roughly four years to complete caught the attention of one Tim Burton and was then made into the feature film that we know today. Burton was one of the producers for the film while Acker was allowed to also direct the full length version of his original project.

9 puts a slightly different spin on films based around the apocalyptic film genre. For one, it’s animated, all CGI, but not necessarily meant for children with a PG-13 rating. Two, its main characters are dolls. Yup, dolls, nine of them to be exact who have the task of hopefully rebuilding the bleak and seemingly doomed present state of the world into a bright one. Machines created by a scientist to bring and maintain peace about the Earth developed minds of their own and instead destroyed all of humanity. Sound familiar? Terminator, I, Robot, The Matrix. These dolls, created by the same scientist are the last parts of humanity left.

Knight and Day (2010)

Ok, so the last time actors named Cruise and Diaz were combined, the final product was a seriously confusing and jumbled story titled Vanilla Sky. The best thing about that tangled web of plotlines was the inclusion of one of Cruise’s ex’s with a similar sounding last name, Penelope. Nine years later, Tom and Cameron have returned but with a different director, James Mangold; different writer, Patrick O’ Neill; and a different genre, action, with some subtle comedy blended in, to bring us Knight and Day.

Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) is a CIA agent who has possibly or possibly not gone rogue due to his knowledge of the whereabouts of a special power source that is wanted by, well, everyone. He “accidentally” bumps into vintage automobile restorer, June Havens (Cameron Diaz), at the airport in order to get the package through security for him, without her knowledge of course. They find themselves on the same flight destined for Boston and get to know each other. During a bathroom trip, June realizes she is smitten with her new airplane buddy and decides to make a go at him while oblivious to the ruckus occurring outside the restroom. A ruckus that includes everyone and everyone, even the pilots, attacking Roy because yes, you guessed it, they are all after that little package I told you about earlier.


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