New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
Aug 28, 2012 / 10:28 am
Based on the classic Hasbro naval combat game, Battleship is the story of an international fleet of ships who come across an alien armada while on a Naval war games exercise. An intense battle is fought on sea, land and air in order to thwart their destructive goals.
Directed by Peter Berg (The Rundown, Hancock) and starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker and pop star Rihanna, Battleship is a loud, bombastic film filled with CGI effects and numerous explosions that numb the mind. This is just a really dumb movie that has barely any character development to speak of and a plot that is paper thin at best. It wears its U.S. patriotism proudly on its sleeve to the point where you roll your eyes at the absurdity of it all. Liam Neeson shows up in the film for what amounts to an extended cameo to try and lend the movie some gravitas but his talents are sadly wasted.
If you are a big fan of the Transformers or video games in general then you might enjoy all of the mindless action, but for me Battleship was just an overlong boring mess of a film that I wasn't the least bit entertained by. It's a stinker!
The Lucky One
U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive--a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.
The Lucky One is the seventh and latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Everything about the film is about as subtle as a sack of hammers hitting you over the head. It is so obvious where every beat of the story is going to go and the thinly drawn characters are riddled with one cliché after another. I know this one is strictly for the ladies but would it kill them to make a romance that wasn't just a treacly piece of schmaltz.
Needless to say, this wasn't my cup of tea and I think if you're looking for a quality date movie then I think you can do better than this lazy bit of soap-opera.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.
This hilarious and fun animated romp is brought to us from the fine folks at Aardman and director Peter Lord, who made Chicken Run and created the brilliant Wallace & Gromit series. This wonderful claymation film is fun for the whole family as kids are sure to be enthralled by the visuals and adults will find the witty British humour quite entertaining.
It features a stellar cast of voice talent that includes Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, David Tennant and Imelda Staunton.
I found Pirates! Band of Misfits to be very amusing and a whole boatload of fun.
Also out this week is the urban ensemble romantic comedy Think Like a Man, the Canadian true crime drama Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster, the Norwegian crime thriller Headhunters, the 2nd seasons of both Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead and the 4th season of Sons of Anarchy.
Blast From the Past
Picking up where I left off last week, here are my top ten films of 1993.
10. Army of Darkness - This third installment in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy is a highly entertaining horror comedy. Bruce Campbell is great once again as Ash, this time having to battle the undead in the Middle Ages. The Evil Dead movies have a huge cult following and Army of Darkness is a hilarious and worthy entry in the series. Fun stuff!
9. In the Name of the Father - This is an incredibly powerful true story of a man who is falsely convicted of an IRA bombing. Daniel Day-Lewis gives a brilliantly riveting performance in this multiple Oscar nominated film. He once again joins his My Left Foot director Jim Sheridan to tell this heart wrenching and dramatic tale. It further proves that Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the finest actors in the world. Great film!
8. Manhattan Murder Mystery - This murder mystery comedy is a real gem from writer and director Woody Allen. Allen and Diane Keaton play a married couple who suspect foul play when their neighbour's wife suddenly drops dead. Of course zany hijinks ensue as they investigate on their own also joined by Alan Alda and Anjelica Huston. I thought this was hilarious and definitely one of Woody's best.
7. Dazed and Confused - How could I not love a movie that's named after one of my favourite songs by one of my all-time favourite bands, Led Zeppelin? This funny coming of age film set during one summer night in 1976 follows a group of teenagers around and all the shenanigans they get into. Director Richard Linklater captures the era with pinpoint accuracy and it ends up being a really insightful and heartfelt film. It features early performances from Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich and contains an absolutely killer soundtrack of great 70's tunes.
6. The Fugitive - A pulse pounding thrill ride filled with action and excitement, The Fugitive is one of Harrison Ford's best films. He's great as the man wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife. Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar for portraying the fast talking no nonsense U.S. Marshall who pursues Ford relentlessly. This is just a top notch thriller that is based on an old television series from the 60's and it was clearly one of the best films of the year.
5. True Romance - Directed by the late Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, this twisted crime thriller is a violent yet oddly romantic movie. It contains many unique and memorable characters and features a large ensemble cast led by Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Also featuring the likes of Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken and Brad Pitt, True Romance is a stylish shot of adrenaline that had me enthralled throughout. Awesome show!
4. Schindler's List - This is arguably the best movie of the year but it doesn't make number 1 on my list for the simple fact that it is so gut wrenching to watch and isn't something that demands repeated viewings. Steven Spielberg's portrait of the Holocaust is a masterpiece of filmmaking and one of the most personal films he's ever done. It's beautifully shot in black and white which enhances its austere and stark tone that much better. Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley give fabulous performances amidst this true tale of tragedy and heroism. Schindler's List is a tremendous film that is well deserving of all of its accolades.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Hands down my favourite stop motion animated film ever done, this magical, musical fantasy is a pure delight from start to finish. It's super creative and original in how it combines Halloween and Christmas together and it features some wonderful songs and characters. This joyous film was born from the imagination of Tim Burton and I think it's one of the best things he's ever done. Whenever I put this movie on I can't get the fun music out of my head. It's just so darn catchy. I adore this film!
2. Grumpy Old Men - Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are my all time favourite on screen comedy duo. These guys are just dynamite together. 25 years after the brilliant Odd Couple film, they made this hilarious comedy about a pair of crotchety old codgers who constantly bicker and insult one another. When Ann Margaret moves into town and comes between them, oh boy - look out! This is just a delightfully funny movie that I can watch over and over again. Burgess Meredith steals the show too as Lemmon's horny 90 year-old father. I love the chemistry these guys have with each other. This is pure comedic gold.
1. Jurassic Park - 1993 was a really hard year to do since any one of the top 4 films on my list could have been #1. I decided to go with the one though that made my jaw drop the most when I saw it in the theater. This astounding adventure film involving dinosaurs was absolutely groundbreaking from a visual standpoint but it was also an exciting and colossally entertaining action film. Steven Spielberg once again proved to the world that he was the master of the summer spectacle by creating an awe inspiring achievement in event filmmaking. This is a movie I can probably throw on every year and not get tired of it. Jurassic Park is amazing!
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