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Showing posts from January, 2010

Remember That Movie: First Blood

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Hello and welcome to the first edition of Remember That Movie, wherein I write about an older movie. I am hoping Remember That Movie will be at least a monthly feature on my blog, but (as is the case with all new things) time will tell.


This month, 1982’s First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone as the iconic John Rambo. First Blood is based on the novel by David Morrell and is about a Vietnam vet wandering through a small town in the Pacific Northwest. After discovering the last of his unit died of cancer, he gets picked up by a stubborn sheriff played by Brian Dennehy who doesn’t like wandering outsiders. Rambo gets arrested for vagrancy and quickly pushed around at the police station by Dennehy and his hapless subordinates (look for a very young David Caruso!). We’re not talking about the occasional tough-talk; Rambo is stripped naked, showered by hose and nearly shaven by force. Suffering such unnecessary trauma recalls his experiences being tortured in Vietnam, which makes Rambo…

Moon: A Stone's Throw Away from Classic

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Duncan Jones, previously best known as David Bowie’s son, makes his directorial debut with the brainy sci-fi film, Moon. In Moon, Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) stars alone as a blue-collar employee of a huge energy corporation. His job: to stay on the moon for three years, mining for Earth’s primary clean energy source found on the dark side of the moon. The hitch? He’s alone with the exception of one talking robot and the occasional recorded transmission from his wife and toddler.

We meet Sam (played by Sam) as he’s approaching the end of his three-year stint of isolation on the gray rock; he has two weeks to go. Unfortunately, Sam starts getting headaches and having visions until a near-fatal accident occurs in a lunar rover. He awakes in the infirmary with injuries that delay his ability to complete his contract and return to Earth. Once he’s back at work, something happens that leads Sam to discover another person that looks just like him.

I won’…

An ensemble cast and sharp writing are In the Loop

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In the Loop is yet another gold-star film from 2009 that went under virtually everybody’s radar in the U.S. A political satire based on a BBC series called The Thick of It, the film is about how one man’s public blunder sets a domino-effect of incidents that lead the United States and England coming dangerously close to war with some unnamed country. If Aaron Sorkin was British and The West Wing was a comedy, In the Loop would be the result.

Tom Hollander plays Simon Foster, the Minister for International Development, who is asked during an interview about the possibility of war. His claim that war is “not unforeseeable” kicks off a hurricane of What-does-it-mean and Where-do-we-stand’s amongst those who make the serious decisions in British and American governments. Tom Hollander, a sort of British Peter MacNicol, blunders his way through one public statement after another, making matters worse each time. Very early on he says, “I didn’t get to be where I am by not ever speaking publ…

The Hurt Locker: A Solid Best Picture Contender

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Here's a movie that most people haven't heard enough about - but should've. The Hurt Locker stars the relatively unknown (until now) Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty, with a few cameos by well-known actors sprinkled throughout. The story revolves around a three-man team of bomb disabling soldiers in Iraq. One of them is the new leader, filling the shoes of a blown-away predecessor, who is much more reckless and dangerous than his team would like. The film follows these three as they go from call to call, disabling bombs while watching out for any on-looking bystander who may be waiting to detonate the explosives at any moment.

This film is commonly described as an Iraq War film. It is not any more an Iraq war movie as Waitress is about pie or The Matrix is about New York City. This film could basically take place during any war; the location is not what's important. It is about the dangers that soldiers face each day while doing their jobs during a wa…

Up in the Air is 1st Class, But Doesn't Soar

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What would you do if you have 10 million frequent flyer miles? Would you save them? Would you use them for business travel? Or would you use them to go anywhere in the world for as long as you want? Those are questions, albeit the least important ones, that the movie Up in the Air asks. This is the new movie starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, and Twilight's Anna Kendrick.

George Clooney stars as Ryan Bingham, a man whose job it is to fire people all around the country - and collects air miles in the process. His job is threatened when Anna Kendrick's Natalie, a straight-out-of-college newbie, suggests the company could cut costs significantly by firing people remotely, laptop to laptop, instead of flying people around for face-to-face confrontations. Ryan balks and ends up having Natalie tagging along with him as he shows her there's more to the job of firing than saying "So long!". That's the basic premise of Up in the Air, which it shoul…