Category: Theatrical Reviews

When in Rome (the new one, not the Olsen Twins movie) Review

When in the movie theater, you do as other movie theater-goers do: buy a ticket and see a film. I tried to follow the masses, but I was thwarted in my efforts by a little sign hanging above the kiosk that said “Dear John 6:55 SOLD OUT.” It seemed a bit like the theater owner was telling someone named John that something called 6:55 was sold out, it was actually telling me I couldn’t see the movie I wanted.

So I abandoned my sheep-like efforts to be part of the in-crowd and blazed a trail to Rome. Or, more accurately, to theater #1, where When in Rome was playing. I’d seen the trailer and had some hope that despite a dumb sounding setup:

A workaholic who doesn’t believe in the magic of love is forced to re-evaluate her position when she takes coins from the fountain of love and ends up with five magically spellbound suitors, one of whom she’s actually interested in.

…it could turn out to be okay. Was it an improvement on what I originally had planned? I don’t know. That will have to wait until after I’ve seen Dear John. It’s probably not, but it was worth a look.

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Leap Year Review

First let me say that I like romantic comedies (I am a girl, after all). I thought The Ugly Truth was cute and I laughed until my face hurt at It’s Complicated. I own DVD copies of Laws of Attraction and 27 Dresses. I only mention this so you know that you can’t blame my subsequent dismembering of Leap Year on a general disdain for the genre.

For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer, here’s the gist:

Anna, an uptight New York decorator, travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on leap day but finds herself falling for Declan, the random Irish pub owner helping her get to Dublin.

For those of you who have seen the trailer, congratulations. Now you don’t need to pay $11 to see the whole movie.

I say this because the trailer basically shows the entire plot with all the lame jokes, pratfalls, and contrived dialogue taken out. For this reason, seeing it is actually better than seeing the film.

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Daybreakers Review


I had been looking forward to seeing Daybreakers ever since I saw the trailer shot of the people plugged into the blood-sucking machine. It reminded me of two other darker sci-fi action-horror type movies: The Matrix before it went all philosophical on me (because the robots had people plugged in too) and 28 Days Later (because it takes place not during the outbreak of the epidemic but after, when horrors dominate).

The basic idea behind the film is this:

In a vampire-dominated world, humans have been hunted to near extinction and a blood substitute is desperately needed to stave off famine.

I thought: an original (and very cool) story idea plus a Matrix-ey feel? Sign me up! After the Avatar letdown I needed something that looked original to actually BE original. I saw Daybreakers the day it came out, and boy was I ever NOT disappointed!

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Avatar Review: the blue one, not the anime one

In my head, I have a list of film professionals (writers, directors, actors, composers, etc) whose involvement in a project triggers my automatic ticket purchase reflex. It won’t surprise you to learn that Avatar warranted a reflex purchase, but you might raise an eyebrow if I told you it was Sam Worthington’s name, not James Cameron’s, that triggered it. (If you’ve ever seen True Lies you know why James Cameron is not on the list).


I wanted to love Avatar. I went into the theater hoping to come out feeling the way I felt when I saw Star Wars for the first time – awestruck and excited. When it was over, I was forced to admit to myself that I was neither, though I couldn’t shake the feeling that if I maybe went to see it again, it would be better, just because I wanted it to so bad. So I did, but it wasn’t.

I can blame some of my disappointment on the hype. I tried to stay away from it. It was pretty easy in Cape Breton (the theater wasn’t even full on opening night) but impossible on the internet, which was teeming with pictures and videos and articles on James Cameron and his blue people. With so much anticipation built up, if Avatar was anything other than the most amazing and moving film ever made it was going to be a disappointment.

For those of you who are cave dwellers and STILL haven’t heard of it even though it’s made over a billion dollars, here are the cliff’s notes:

Avatar, a movie James Cameron has been working on for something like 15 years, is a full 3D film that blends live action with motion-captured CGI to create lush jungle planet called Pandora and the a race of blue natives that inhabit it.

The story follows Jake Sully, a wheelchair bound ex-marine who is recruited by a ruthless mining company to take over his dead twin’s avatar and finds himself caring more about the clan of natives he’s infiltrating than the interests of the company he works for.

Sounds amazing, right? And it is, sort of. Is it an amazing accomplishment? Yes. Should James Cameron quit now to rest on his laurels/money? No.

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A Perfect Getway Review, or Why, if…..

Perfect Getaway poster

The other day, I was looking for a perfect getaway from my normal boring life. Since I couldn’t find one, I opted to watch the movie instead. As you can see, it stars Timothy Olyphant, Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovitch, and three other people I’ve never heard of. If you squint, you might even see that it was written and directed by David Twohy.

A Perfect Getaway, for those of you who found the trailer as forgettable as everyone else I’ve talked to, is a thriller about an ordinary couple who go on a vacation to a secluded beach in Hawaii with two other couples and one of said couples turns out to be a pair of serial killers.

The couples are as follows (referring to the poster):

TOP ROW: Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez)
MIDDLE ROW: Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich)
BOTTOM ROW: Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and Cleo (Marley Shelton)

I will refer to them as Tim and Gina, Steve and Milla, and Kale and Cleo. This is a mixture of real and character names and makes no sense, but just go with it.

While I wouldn’t call it perfect (obviously) I did enjoy myself. Timothy Olyphant was in it, the scenery was pretty, and there were several helicopters. Only one of these factors is required in order to warrant a “not a waste of two hours” rating, so three of them rates a “pretty good.”

the three key elements of a good film
mathematically expressed as follows: Beaches + Timothy Olyphant + Helicopters = Good

And now, on to the questions I would like to pose to this movie. They all start with “why, if” and some of them will spoil you on the ending, so I’m warning you now. You should probably wait to read the rest until after you’ve seen it.

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