The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero. — (C) Sony
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I loved The Amazing Spider-Man. I didn’t have high hopes for this film, but it caught me off guard. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have fantastic chemistry and the special effects aren’t too shabby either. If you were afraid of a “too soon” reboot and stayed away from The Amazing Spider-Man, don’t hesitate to grab this one on Blu-ray.
I’m a Spider-Man fanatic so this one is a must buy for me. I have to admit I was a little scared of this one coming up lame and I was especially scared to hear what Scott had to say about it when he went to go see the pre-release screening. Obviously, I was pleasantly surprised. Check out our review from our boy Brian!
Arthur Christmas-The 3D
CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’ The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic – a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns. — (C) Sony Pictures
I have heard nothing but good things about Arthur Christmas. If you don’t have kids, this is the type of film that gets lost in the shuffle. Now is the perfect time to catch up. I will be blind buying this one on Tuesday.
I love this time of the year when there are holiday movies being released on Blu-ray. They will all be must purchases for my little man, Adrian!
After their mother passes away, sisters Nicole (Bruckner) and Annie (Lotz) reluctantly return to their childhood home to pay their last respects. While staying overnight in the house, the sisters sense a mysterious presence in their midst: noises startling them in the night, objects moving about, a fallen picture of an unknown woman posed next to their mother. Annie begins experiencing a series of intense and disturbing dreams visions that lead her to uncover something terrible about her mothers past that is finally revealing itself. — (C) IFC
The Pact is another independent film I watched On Demand. It has plenty of “jump” scares and a nice little twist at the end that makes this small film worth watching. Don’t go out and buy The Pact, but definitely look for it on Netflix and Redbox when the time comes.
Another independent film I left for Scotty to check out. Sounds like one that I will have to take a look at once it hits Netflix.
John Carpenter wrote and directed this science fiction thriller about a group of aliens who try to take over the world by disguising themselves as Young Republicans. Wrestler Roddy Piper stars as John Nada, a drifted who makes his way into an immense encampment for the homeless. There he stumbles upon a conspiracy concerning aliens who have hypnotized the populace through subliminal messages transmitted through television, magazines, posters, and movies. When Nada looks through special Ray-Bans developed by the resistance leaders, the aliens lose their clean-cut “Dan Quayle” looks and resemble crusty-looking reptiles. Nada joins the underground, teaming up with rebel-leader Frank (Keith David) to eradicate the lizard-like aliens from the body politic. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Steve will certainly be buying They Live. He is what you would call a grown ass man and he still can’t get enough of Pro Wrestling. I didn’t want to be the one to break the news to Steven, but I’m going to be a good friend. There are 4 things in life that people learn pretty quickly. 1) There is no such thing a Santa Clause. 2) There is no such thing as the Easter Bunny. 3) The Tooth Fairy is your mom and dad. 4) Wrestling is FAKE. There I did it, on to They Live. Quick review – They live is a great B movie that shouldn’t be taken seriously. That’s it. Have fun with it.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Brian Henson, the son of Muppet founder Jim Henson, took over directing duties after the untimely death of his father for The Muppet Christmas Carol, a sluggish re-telling of the Charles Dickens tale. Michael Caine, surrounded by legions of fuzzy, felt puppets, plays it straight as the crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who could care less about Christmas and the joy the season brings. Working for the skinflint is his faithful employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog), who begs Scrooge for a day off for Christmas. Scrooge reluctantly agrees and goes home on Christmas Eve filled with bile at the holiday merrymakers. But then he is visited by the sprits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and Scrooge, after revisiting his sorrowful past, hate-filled present, and doomed future, turns over a new leaf and becomes the most generous and celebratory person in town. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
There are so many versions of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol that it just wouldn’t feel right without the Muppets getting their chance to shine. Been there done that. Grab this one for the younglings. If you don’t have kids, move on.
Just mention the Muppets to me and I’m all over it. For me son…of course. Come on people.
Planes,Trains and Automobiles
Were it not for its profanity-laden opening scenes, John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles might have been suitable family entertainment: certainly it’s heaps less violent and mean-spirited than Hughes’ Home Alone. En route to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family, easily annoyed businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) finds his first-class plane ticket has been demoted to coach, and he must share his flight with obnoxious salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). A sudden snowstorm in Chicago forces the plane to land in Wichita. Unable to find a room in any of the four-star hotels, Neal is compelled to accept Del’s invitation to share his accommodations in a cheapo-sleazo motel. Driven to distraction by Del’s annoying personal habits, the ungrateful Neal lets forth with a stream of verbal abuse. That’s when Del delivers the anticipated (but always welcome) “I don’t judge, why should you?”-type speech so common to John Hughes flicks. The shamefaced Neal tries to make up to Del, but there’s a bumpy time ahead as the mismatched pair make their way back to Chicago, first in a balky train, then by way of a refrigerator truck. We know from the outset that the oil-and-water Neal and Del will be bosom companions by the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but it’s still a fun ride. The best bit: a half-asleep Del thinking that he’s got his hand tucked between two pillows — until his bedmate, Neal, bellows “Those aren’t pillows!” ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Planes,Trains,and Automobiles is my favorite John Hughes movie and my favorite Steve Martin movie. I have seen it dozens of times and every single time I see it, I laugh as if I’ve never seen it before. “Those aren’t pillows”
Great movie and a classic comedy. Go for it for the classic section of your collection.
Sweet Home Alabama
After establishing herself as a bankable star with the fish out of water comedy Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon returns in what could be described as a “fish back in water” comedy. Melanie Carmichael (Witherspoon) is a successful New York fashion designer who is dating Andrew Hennings (Patrick Dempsey), a wealthy socialite whose mother, Katherine Hennings (Candice Bergen), is the Big Apple’s mayor. One day, Andrew pops the big question and asks Melanie to marry him; Melanie is overjoyed, but unknown to Andrew, Melanie has some unfinished business to take care of first. Despite her polished uptown image, Melanie grew up poor in the deep South, and as a teenager she married her high school sweetheart Jake Perry (Josh Lucas). Things went sour and Melanie moved East, reinventing herself along the way, but Jake never bothered to legally end their marriage. Now Melanie has to return to her hometown of Pigeon Creek, AL, to tell her parents (Fred Ward and Mary Kay Place) the news and convince Jake to grant her a divorce; however, the more time she spends with her old flame, the more she feels sparks flying between them again, while she also learns her Eastern affectations don’t fly with everyone back home. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Sweet Home Alabama took some unjust critical bashing at the time of its release. I don’t see why. It’s everything you want in a romantic comedy. Maybe I should turn in my man card, but I have seen Sweet Home Alabama a few times and seem to walk away smiling every time.
I’ve always liked this movie. Hold on to that man card, Scotty. I refuse to give mine up too.
Based on a novel by Iris Rainer Dart, Beaches traces the 30-year oil-and-water friendship between free-spirited Bronx Jew CC Bloom (Bette Midler) and uptight San Francisco WASP Hillary Essex (Barbara Hershey). The two meet as children in Atlantic City (played by Mayim Bialik and Marcie Leeds) and are reunited in the 1960s, when CC is a struggling singer and Hillary is trying to break free from her staid upbringing by becoming an activist. The two ladies room together, then fall out when both are attracted to off-Broadway producer John Pierce (John Heard). CC wins John, but she quickly outgrows him as she matriculates into a bawdy performer. The recently patched-up friendship between CC and Hillary is torn asunder again when Hillary and her new husband express distaste for CC’s performing style. Comes the 1970s, and CC and Hillary are reunited after shedding their respective spouses. Broke again, they once more become Manhattan roommates. Their bond strengthens, but there is tragedy in store for the duo. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This is where I get my man card back. I hate, hate,hated Beaches. This is a movie made strictly to manipulate women and Scott will not tolerate such insubordination. That being said, I cried like a baby when I saw this movie. When Bette Midler sings Wind Beneath My Wings, it touched emotions inside me that I never knew existed. God bless Bette Midler.
Agreed with Scotty, except for the crying part. Man up!
A sterling cast headed by Oscar-nominated Susan Sarandon makes this slick thriller one of the better adaptations of a John Grisham bestseller. Mark Sway (Brad Renfro) witnesses the suicide of a Mafia lawyer, who confesses that the Mob was behind the murder of a U.S. senator. Mark’s brother is traumatized into a coma by the incident; gangster Barry Muldano (Anthony LaPaglia) is soon on Mark’s trail, and in desperation, he arrives at the office of recovering alcoholic lawyer Reggie Love (Sarandon). With the Mob after them, and a ruthless federal attorney (Tommy Lee Jones) trying to force Mark to reveal what he knows, Love battles to guarantee the safety of her client and his family. The relationship between Reggie Love and Mark Sway is the center of the film, adding considerable character development to plot’s routine elements. Director Joel Schumacher helmed another Grisham adaptation, A Time To Kill, in 1996. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
The Client is a paint by numbers John Grisham flick that is serviceable. If you have already seen it, it’s nothing to own. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look. Definitely not a must own.
I know I saw this one, but I don’t remember much about it. Do what Scotty says.
White Men Can’t Jump
Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) wrote and directed the basketball-oriented seriocomedy White Men Can’t Jump. Woody Harrelson plays Billy Hoyle, a white con artist who hustles basketball games with black players, lulling his victims into the misguided notion that white men can’t match up with black hoopsters. One of his victims, African-American Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes), becomes Hoyle’s “agent,” arranging his various inner city scams. Deane doesn’t feel as though he’s selling out his own people; he goes along with Hoyle to provide a better life for his wife, Rhonda (Tyra Ferrell), and son. The film breezes through several zany sequences, including one liberal-baiting satirical moment set at a black/white “solidarity” basketball game arranged by an ambitious politician. Crooked gamblers intrude upon the last scenes of the film, but Hoyle is rescued by his girlfriend, Gloria (Rosie Perez), a Jeopardy freak who realizes a lifelong dream by winning big on the Alex Trebek-hosted game show. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Great performances by Harrelson ,Snipes,and Perez and a lot of laughs make White Men Can’t Jump a must see. This is the first movie I had to sneak in to because I wasn’t old enough. There was a sense of accomplishment that day and it’s one of the main reasons why White Men Can’t Jump will always hold a special place in my heart.
I think Scotty and I should bring this one to life. We would clean up! This one is a Wal-Mart exclusive so head on over to your neighborhood Wal-Mart and grab it. Great movie to add to the classics!
That’s all we have wide for this week. Our big winners are The Amazing Spider-Man, Arthur Christmas and The Pact for horror buffs. Next week we have Pixar’s Brave, Savages, The Watch, Empire of the Sun, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and much more. Have a great week everyone!