Movies Of The Week–10 June 2013



Action/Thriller/Suspense Flick

Contagion [2011]

With a star cast involving the talents of Kate Winslet (Dr. Erin Mears), Marion Cotillard (Dr. Leonora Orantes), Matt Damon (Mitch Emhoff), Jude Law (Alan Krumwiede), Gwyneth Paltrow (Beth Emhoff), Laurence Fishburne (Dr. Ellis Cheever) and Bryan Cranston (RADM Lyle Haggerty), you’ll probably start by imagining this is either a chick flick or comedy but it’s a dark-action movie with real-life implications. Primarily focusing on disease spreading rampant throughout the globe, and how it does so and how easy it is for everyone to be affected in an incredibly short time-span this movie opens your eyes to a very sinister truth in our world and how governments must make better efforts to create programs that can come into effect if, good fortune forbid, such a thing as what this movie reveals happens for real.

At first, I was doubtful I’ll like this movie. I assumed all those stars playing equally important roles is merely to hype the flick than anything substantial, but I came out of this flick with renewed respect, and not a small amount of fear, for Nature’s immense power over us and how it’s almost always what we as human beings do that impacts Nature (instead of vice versa) and causes a backlash of frightening proportions. All the actors are superb in this movie, I enjoyed seeing them perform a simpler role than what they’d done elsewhere.

[Duration: 1 hr. 46 mins.]

Chick Flick

10 Things I Hate About You [1999]

A high school opens and ushers in new kids, one of whom is Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who soon falls head over heels in love with a girl who’s way out of his league, Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik), who has a sister considered evil when she’s really more intelligent and ambitious than the rest of her class-mates, Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles), and both of whom have a dad who’s too strict for words, Walter Stratford (Larry Miller). When one of the ‘popular kids’, Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) decides to play Bianca and fool her into sleeping with him on prom night, he finds her father wouldn’t let her date until her older sister does, which is well nigh impossible because Kat is against all things conformist, by high school standards; and she has a reason why she is that way too. Enter Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) whose bad-boy attitude means he’ll do most anything for cash. What will happen when he’s paid by Joey to take out Kat Stratford so her younger sister can go to the prom with him? What will Cameron James’s role in winning Bianca’s heart be, using sincerity and revealing Joey’s ill intentions? Worse, what happens when Verona actually falls for Kat and secrets start revealing themselves?

I enjoyed this movie, it’s one of my faves, if for no other reason than because we can all relate to it, every one of us. There’s humor, romance, heartbreak, higher ideals and awesome music, making this flick one of those amazing moments that will stay with you for many years to come. I love Heath and Julia’s performances.

[Duration: 1 hr. 37 mins.]

Animation Flick

Next Avengers — Heroes Of Tomorrow [2008]

With the voice talents of actors you may not have heard about, young and old alike, this animated feature runs like clockwork with some superb voices that suit the roles being played by none other than the children of the Avengers, those heroes we’ve all come to love and adore. Thor, Captain America, the Archer, the Black Widow and others died facing up to a powerful evil which returns to threaten the livelihood of everyone on the planet. The kids are kept safe in a technical marvel of a location by ‘Iron Man’ Tony Stark himself, the only survivor who decided to stay in hiding so he can keep the children of his Avenger buddies safe. He finds that charge at an end as one event after another leads to changes that pit the kids against a villain who defeated their parents—who were by themselves incredibly powerful. The only other Avenger left is the Hulk who’s gone into hiding himself. He enters the fight too and executes the decisive move.

Can’t say I liked watching a movie where all the Avengers are dead but I rather enjoyed the fact that their kids were as badass as their folks. Dialogues did get a bit corny but the animation was stellar and the story, fast paced. I loved the voices behind the characters, they added an sublime sense of authenticity, especially for Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Bruce Banner (The Hulk).

[Duration: 1 hr. 18 mins.]

Comedy Flick

30 Minutes Or Less [2011]

This hilarious movie is all about bad planning when Dwayne (Danny McBride)wants cash real bad and seeing as how he has a father, a Major in the war who later won a ton of cash in the lottery and is now loaded, he wants it all the more. He wants money this bad so he can start his own business because he can’t do anything else in his life right now. His father refuses to give him a penny. This leads to Dwayne hiring a hit-man to do away with his father so he can inherit all that money. However, the hit-man comes with a bill of his own and to get that ‘initial deposit’ is near impossible for Dwayne and his partner in crime, Travis (Nick Swardson). Circumstances carry Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), a simple pizza boy, to their doorstep and the men see a chance to stamp paid on their hit-man-bill. Kidnapping him and placing a bomber-vest on his torso, they send Nick out to rob a bank or die failing. When Nick brings back the cash, they’ll let him go, or so they promise. Enter his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) and they all go through one helluva misadventure.

This movie had me in stitches. Not only was it laugh out loud funny, you can’t quite forget many of the comic scenes that play out I this superbly hilarious flick. I enjoyed Jesse and Aziz, they’re one of the funniest pair-ups I’ve seen in movies. They should definitely make a sequel of this flick or star together in a whole other one.

[Duration: 1 hr. 23 mins.]

Fantasy Flick

Sunshine [2007]

In a ultra-modern Earth of the future, having many a semblance to our present one thrown in, scientists find a new Earth orbiting the same ellipse as our present planet. To go there and colonize it has become the new aim for everyone because the present Earth is purported to die soon due a mathematically certain-to-occur solar flare and the only way to stop that from happening is to deliver a load of raw materials to the sun right in the region of the flare so the energy blast doesn’t spread out and head towards our planet. What happens when one thing after the other goes wrong in space? What about the last crew that went there and the lone survivor left behind who’d since become something other than human, in the normal sense of the word?

Starring Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis and other great actors, this movie was unexpectedly awesome for me. Amidst fast heart-rates, speedy breathing and unblinking moments, this flick gave me much more than I’d bargained for, with lessons I’ll not soon forget concerning a lot of important things and what it means to be human.

[Duration: 1 hr. 47 mins.]

Horror Flick

The Rig [2010]

This well-directed flick takes place on an oil rig which faces an approaching sea-storm. While completing some last-minute routines some of the crew members awake something deep below the ocean which feels threatened by human encroachment on its home turf and comes aboard the rig to eliminate said threat. Thus starts a horrifying experience, filled with suspense, good timing, a bit of b-movie-corniness, and sound editing that’s deserving of a nice high-budget movie.

Don’t be fooled by the giant fanged jaw you might find on the movie cover, the creature is actually human-size, perhaps taller. Come to think of it, I really liked this movie. Yes, it has its usual corny monster design and seen-something-similar plot, but I never expected to feel the thrills I did with this one. It had breathtaking moments, good suspense and realism in large quantities and amazing performances from all the actors stuck aboard that rig to wait out the storm while facing one of their own in the form of a stealthy monster from the Ocean depths. The actors played their roles really well, I thought them very professional to the point that they didn’t at all perform like clichéd b-movie stars.

[Duration: 1 hr. 34 mins.]

Drama Flick

Scarface [1983]

When you have Al Pacino playing a gangster role, you can be sure you have a movie that’s beyond awesome. The man knows his roles including playing Tony Montana, the Cuban drug lord who started small as an immigrant to the States only to grow and occupy the seat of power of a very well established drug cartel. Such an excessive lifestyle comes at a price indeed and things go from bad to worse, ending the movie on a most shocking shot. With the divine beauty of Michelle Pfeiffer (playing Elvira Hancock) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (playing Tony’s sister Gina Montana), and other amazing supporting performances, this movie is incredible beyond imagining.

I think I said everything I need to say in that earlier paragraph. I thought this flick will drag on and on and focus only on drugs and other crazy or boring stuff, but it had so much more than that. Suffice to say I promise never to underestimate Al Pacino’s work again!

[Duration: 2 hrs. 42 mins.]

Classic Flick

A Place In The Sun [1951]

This classic movie follows a rather classic plot, namely a man, George Eastman (played by yester-year Hollywood-heartthrob Montgomery Clift) who finds himself in love with two very different women. George comes to the big city to find employment in his rather rich Uncle’s company, aiming to start from the lower levels and work his way up. That’s where he finds and falls for Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters), a simple woman prone to worrying who seems to be losing George’s affections the moment he laid eyes on Angela Vickers (played by the incredibly beautiful and talented Elizabeth Taylor).

This isn’t your usual romance flick, because the character of George finds himself so desperate and stuck between two women and their distinct affections but knows he’s wrong to cheat either of them that he ends up accidentally killing Alice, leading to a courtroom drama that only adds to the simple charm of this classic. Elizabeth Taylor’s a knockout in this flick, but I found her acting so-so and Shelley Winters did get a bit over-emotional at times, but Montgomery Clift was superb in his role; his character-expressions were well executed.

[Duration: 1 hr. 57 mins.]

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