The Hunger Games
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. — (C) Lionsgate
The Hunger Games was an absolute behemoth at the box office and for good reason. It is exciting and feels relevant in the world we live today. I’m sure you have already seen what is the start of a very promising trilogy, but if you haven’t, check it out this weekend.
I didn’t see The Hunger Games because it just didn’t feel like something that I wanted to see. I also never saw The Matrix. I know, I know. It just was never something I was in to. Maybe for the sake of my many fans I will check this one out this weekend. Maybe.
As a rookie member of an elite special-forces team, Rama (Iko Uwais) is instructed to hang back during a covert mission involving the extraction of a brutal crime lord from a rundown fifteen-story apartment block. But when a spotter blows their cover, boss Tama (Ray Sahetaphy) offers lifelong sanctuary to every every killer, gangster, and thief in the building in exchange fortheir heads. Now Rama must stand in for the team’s fallen leader (Joe Taslim) and use every iota of his fighting strength – winding through every floor and every room to complete the mission and escape with his life. — (C) Sony
The Raid:Redemption is Die Hard with subtitles. The best action movie you will see this year. This is a MUST own.
This one is definitely one to look into. I hear ya, I hate subtitles also, but this one is well worth it.
Based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg’s 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster while frightening millions of moviegoers out of the water. One early summer night on fictional Atlantic resort Amity Island, Chrissie decides to take a moonlight skinny dip while her friends party on the beach. Yanked suddenly below the ocean surface, she never returns. When pieces of her wash ashore, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) suspects the worst, but Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), mindful of the lucrative tourist trade and the approaching July 4th holiday, refuses to put the island on a business-killing shark alert. After the shark dines on a few more victims, the Mayor orders the local fishermen to catch the culprit. Satisfied with the shark they find, the greedy Mayor reopens the beaches, despite the warning from visiting ichthyologist Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) that the attacks were probably caused by a far more formidable Great White. One more fatality later, Brody and Hooper join forces with flinty old salt Quint (Robert Shaw), the only local fisherman willing to take on a Great White–especially since the price is right. The three ride off on Quint’s boat “The Orca,” soon coming face to teeth with the enemy. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
Jaws is one of my favorite movies of all time. This movie took a boy who loved going to the beach and swimming in the ocean and turned him in to an adult that can now only enjoy the swimming pool. Anytime I set foot in the ocean, I hear John Williams score and have to turn around. I can’t wait to watch this one again.
The ride at Universal Studios gets boring after the first time you go on it, but the movie continues to be great to this day! Make sure you add this one to the classic portion of your collection. Plus, it’s Shark Week! What are you waiting for?!?!
The Royal Tenenbaums
Director Wes Anderson and his longtime friend and writing partner Owen Wilson follow up Bottle Rocket (1996) and Rushmore (1998) with this similarly offbeat comedy about a dysfunctional family reunion. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was a successful attorney who had three children with his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston), an archaeologist. Each of the Tenenbaum kids was a precocious genius: Chas (Ben Stiller) made a killing as a child investor. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior tennis champ and three-time U.S. Nationals winner. The adopted Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a playwright who won a 50,000-dollar Braverman Grant in the ninth grade. When Royal abruptly left his family, however, it was the beginning of two decades of betrayal and failure that would scar the Tenenbaums for life. Their past resentments are bitterly held against Royal when he suddenly reappears, claiming to have six weeks to live and a desire to reconnect with his family. Typically, Royal’s story is a sham, but his presence and sincere desire for absolution soon have a profound effect on the Tenenbaums, who are each dealing with thwarted desires and relationships. Among them are Richie’s lifelong love for Margot, who’s unhappily married to Raleigh St.Clair (Bill Murray) and Etheline’s eccentric engagement to Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), who wishes to marry her. The Royal Tenenbaums also co-stars Owen Wilson and features narration provided by Alec Baldwin. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
I love Wes Anderson’s humor. Everything going on onscreen always has a sardonic hint of sarcasm. I get why there are a droves of people who don’t like his films. He is our modern-day Woody Allen. Either you like him or you don’t. Nevertheless, The Royal Tenenbaums is such a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, give it a chance.
Great flick. Worth a shot for anyone with an interest in movies.
New Jack City
The ruthless leader of a New York City drug syndicate battles to maintain his power and avoid imprisonment in this fast-moving action drama. While the film’s heroes are Scotty (Ice-T) and Nick (Judd Nelson), a pair of tough, streetwise cops, the main focus is their target, drug lord Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes). A criminal businessman with no room for pity or emotion, the flashy but severe Brown has built an empire and transformed an abandoned Harlem apartment building into a well-defended fortress. He begins to consider himself invincible, but his lust for power and the unpredictable actions of a former client turned police informer threaten to bring about his potential downfall. First-time director Mario Van Peebles keeps the traditional plot moving at an appropriately rapid pace, with stylish action sequences and energetic performances. The film’s violence was somewhat controversial on its initial release, especially after shooting incidents marred showings in several theaters. However, the film’s moral message is clearly anti-drug and anti-crime, its main intent to provide a high-powered, modern take on the gangster movie. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi
I am my brother’s keeper! I haven’t seen New Jack City in over a decade, but I have no problem entering the world of Nino Brown once again. This movie kicked American Gangster’s ass!
Another great blast from the past! As long as a movie is set in New York City, Steve will probably see it. Go get this now, both because it is a good movie and because Mr. Snipes needs your $12 right about now!
Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear), Fallen is a blend of the police drama and supernatural thriller genres. Homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) narrates, taking the audience back to “the time I almost died.” This sets a flashback in motion, beginning at the prison cell of serial killer Edgar Reese (Elias Koteas), who grabs Hobbes’ hand and sings the Rolling Stones’ “Time Is on My Side.” After Reese is executed, Hobbes and his partner, Jonesy (John Goodman), find a seeming copycat killer, committing murders in a manner not unlike Reese. Hobbes is drawn into the occult after he meets theology professor Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz), the daughter of a dead police officer. Hobbes becomes a suspect himself, but he continues his search for the truth. Co-producer Dawn Steel died just as this film was due for release. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi
Speaking of American Gangster, Denzel Washington is my favorite actor of all time. There is nothing he can’t do. That being said, Fallen is such a horseshit movie. I remember thinking someone had naked pictures of Denzel’s wife. There is no way to explain his participation in such a ridiculous movie.
Can’t say it any better than Scott did. So, I won’t try.
Cradle 2 the Grave
A thief and a lawman join forces to hunt down a common enemy in this action thriller. Tony Fait (DMX) is a master thief who, along with his crew (Gabrielle Union, Anthony Anderson, and Drag-On), pulls off a major score when they steal a cache of highly valuable black diamonds. However, the hard-as-nails Tony has a soft spot for his young daughter Vanessa (Paige Hurd), and Ling (Mark Dacascos), a former detective turned ruthless criminal, kidnaps Vanessa, demanding a ransom from Tony for her return — the stash of black diamonds. The jewels have already been stolen, however, from Tony’s fence Archie (Tom Arnold), and are now in the hands of a powerful underworld boss (Chi McBride). Determined to get back his daughter whatever the cost, Tony and his gang set out to find both Ling and the diamonds, but he soon gets some invaluable help from an unlikely corner — Su (Jet Li), a government agent from Taiwan who was once Ling’s partner, and has an old score to settle with him. Cradle 2 the Grave also features Kelly Hu and Roxana Brusso. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
I hate Cradle 2 the Grave. It is white-hot garbage. We went through a period in Hollywood where every 2 weeks we were getting a movie with Jet Li or Steven Seagal. Don’t get me wrong I like them both, but it got real annoying real quick. Pass on this one.
Cradle 2 the Grave showed a complete disregard for the movie-goers time. Don’t do it to yourself again.
Romeo Must Die
William Shakespeare’s streak as the hottest storyteller in Hollywood continues with this modern-dress variation on Romeo and Juliet. In this loose adaptation, Hang Sing (Jet Li) is a former police officer from Hong Kong who comes to the United States following the death of his brother, the leader of an Asian crime ring. Hang Sing discovers that his brother had become involved in a turf battle with an African-American gang, led by Isaak (Delroy Lindo). But his blood lust begins to subside when he falls in love with Isaak’s daughter Trish (Aaliyah) and finds himself torn between his affection for her and his desire for justice against the men who killed his brother. Romeo Must Die was the directorial debut of noted cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak; the supporting cast includes Russell Wong and Isaiah Washington. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
See Cradle 2 the Grave.
The fact that Amazon doesn’t even have the picture for the bluray should tell you something.
That’s all for this week. For all of you Dexter fans, Season 6 hits shelves this Tuesday. Next week we have The Dictator, Chimpanzee, Bernie, The Aristocats, The Rescuers/TheRescuers Down Under, Pocahontas, Think Like a Man, The Tigger Movie, A Separation, Good Will Hunting, and Stephen King’s Thinner. Have a great week.