Sunday, September 25, 2005


Rating: C

Jodie Foster goes nuts on a plane! Or does she? That's the premise behind Flightplan. Foster plays a woman named Kyle Pratt who is travelling back to the good ol USA from Germany with her daughter Julia after the death of her husband. Kyle's some sort of airplane designer/propulsion expert who helped in the design of the plane that she is riding in. The plane, by the way, is one of the biggest I've ever seen.

Anyway, during the flight, Kyle falls asleep and when she wakes up, Julia is missing. A increasingly frantic search insues, with no one ever remembering seeing Julia, which raises the question if Julia even came on the plane in the first place. Kyle has to deal with the possibility that she's going crazy with grief or is something else going on?

A slightly interesting premise evolves into a groaner of a movie. In a post 9-11 world, Kyle's hijinks would not have been put up with as much as they were. She would have been shot, or beaten, or at least sedated and not alowed to run amok on the plance. It gets tiring watching her panic and go through the same thing over and over. You're just waiting to see what happened and when you do, Flightplan decends into just another action movie. It's nothing special.

Sean Bean is great as the weary captian. Peter Sarsgaard is the creepy air marshal that grow tired of Kyle's exploits, but he never really comes down on her. There are overtones of Arab terrorism and a display of "brutish Americans" fearful of said terrorism. The ever hot Erika Christensen is also there, but not given a very large role. Just thought I'd mention it.

Overall, not a great movie. There really isn't that much suspense, and the ending will have you reaching for the air sickness bag for more than one reason. Time to deplane from this one.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lord of War

Rating: C+

I was excited to see this movie, allthough I wasn't entirely sure what it was about it. All I knew was it was about guns and gunrunning, and Nicholas Cage, Jared Leto, and Ethan Hawke were in it. I'm all about guns, so I was there, even though Nick Cage rarely puts on a performance beyond a first year actor.

Lord of War deals with Cage, who plays Yuri, a Russian immigrant who has mysteriously no accent, who becomes a gun runner during the 80's-90's and today. He's followed by his party boy brother (Leto) as he struggles with the moral, ethical, and monetary aspects of supplying the worst of the world with the means to stay the worst. Hawke is the Interpol agent that's hell-bent on stopping Yuri.

The slow moving movie takes you around the world and through nealy 30 years and it seems like it. Cage is relatively lively compared to what he usually does. Leto plays the ne'r do well brother by the book, and Hawke is intense but lost.

It's an ok movie, but one to wait for DVD for.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Rating: B-

Remember when Disney animated movies were released with huge fanfair and were giant hits? Now Pixar is doing the talking for Disney and movies like Valiant get shoved to late in the summer and are released with hardly a whisper, which is sad, because this is a pretty decent little flick.

Valiant is the story of WWII messenger pigeons that travel through the worst of times avoiding the enemy falcon to deliver important data to the allies. Pretty good setting. Valiant, the smallest of the pigeons decides to join up with the Royal Homing Pigeon Air Force to prove that size doesn't matter. That's what I've been saying all along! He gets grouped in with the misfit recruits, and after everybody else is killed by the falcon, his group is called in to save the day.

Ewan McGregor brings the life to Valiant, and voice veterans John Cleese, Tim Curry, and John Hurt round out the cast. The movie is a lightweight, coming in at around 1 hour and 15 minutes, but it's entertaining enough to keep your kids busy. There's not a lot of jokes for us adults, but the kiddies will love it. One more thing, humans are noticably absent from the picture. Weren't we fighting the war?

Anyway, it's worth running the kids to if you've got the time. I'm sure they'll like it. And if you don't have time, it will be on DVD in mere months. I just wish Disney would return the animated movies to glory once again. I miss good old 2-D animation.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Transporter 2

Rating: B-

I was a huge fan of the first Transporter. I loved the way it was shot, the fighting sequences, and of course, my girlfriend at the time's huge crush, Jason Statham. I was very excited to see that there was a sequel coming out, so I was right in line to see it.

This is a sequel in the most sense of the word. Take the first movie, make it bigger, more explosions, more action, different, more flashy location, and hopefully something good will come out of it. Most of the time, this is a bad thing, and in this case, sometimes it's bad, but sometimes it's very good.

Statham returns as Frank Martin, the man who transports with no questions and loads of rules, only now he's in Miami for some reason driving some kid around for a wealthy family. Frank has bonded with the kid, and when he's kidnapped, it's up to him to get him back, and get whoever is responsible.

There are quite a few spots where an extreme suspension of disbelief will come in very handy. Some of the driving stunts drew some groans, but the fight sequences were responded to with cheers. There is one particular fight that reminded me of a Jackie Chan movie, using all sorts of objects to get the job done. The French police guy is back this time, but his role has been dimished to basically Al Powell in Die Hard 2. Very disappointing.

Statham tries, but just can't carry a large movie on his own. He's a little stiff except when he's kicking someone's ass which is often. They've basically dropped the fact that he's a transporter and made a straight action movie instead, which was disappointing. Model Kate Nauta makes her film debut with tons of eye makeup and twin Glock 18's as the bad guy's main henchman, er woman.

The Transporter 2 had been made is very much the same vein as the early James Bond movies with out going too much over the top. It's not Oscar material, but not nearly as weak as most sequels that get this much hype usually are. It's worth a look, and you'll find yourself pressing the gas pedal down just a little more on the way home. Looking forward to the Transporter 3.