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Showing posts from November, 2012

Hitchcock

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I have seen a few of Hitchcock's movies, but last weekend I revisited Psycho, and I'm glad I did. The period of Hitchcock's life in which Hitchcock focuses is on is when he is filming Psycho, as well as his relationship with his wife in general, and there were a few nods throughout to fans of the movie; the iconic shower scene is, of course, featured, but there were other winks throughout too.

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) has just had a success with North by Northwest, and is looking for a new project to film. The book Psycho somehow gets to him, and he reads it and decides that he wants to make this his next movie; however, he first has to run it by Paramount and also "the censors" (the MPAA) - in one scene, the MPAA says he can film the shower scene but it must be "through a window, which must be frosted." Meanwhile, his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren), is getting more and more annoyed at him, and she takes up writing with a fellow screenwriter, Whit…

GIVEAWAY: Thunderstruck Blu-ray combo pack

Thunderstruck will be out in stores on December 4th, and I have a copy of the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack for you to win! The combo pack also includes an Ultraviolet copy of the movie to download to your computer.

Plot synopsis:
NBA superstar Kevin Durant plays himself in this action-packed family film about a basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian (Taylor Gray) magically switches basketball skills with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high school team... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life! But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner means working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season.



To enter, check out the widget above, and then fill out the Rafflecopter form. The combo pack will be sent via FedEx or UPS, so no P.O. boxes, please. Prize will be sent 2-4 weeks after sponsor receives winner's shi…

Life of Pi

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Life of Pi is based on the 2001 book of the same name, by Yann Martel, which I haven't read but would now like to. In the movie version, I originally thought Pi was trapped at sea for two or three months; however, it ends up being 227 days - roughly seven and a half months! - and the director, Ang Lee, showcases this time in the movie beautifully, even though the situation is dire.

Piscine Molitor Patel (Suraj Sharma, a first-time actor) received his name from a favorite swimming pool, the Piscine Molitor in France. Children are not kind to Piscine, however, given that his name sounds like another word, so during elementary school he decides to reinvent himself one year and go by the name of "Pi" instead; it helps that he's super smart at math, too, and can write down a large amount of the numbers in Pi (3.14). One day, however, his mother (Tabu) and father (Adil Hussain) announce that they are moving from India to Canada, and will be selling the animals in their zoo…

Red Dawn

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Red Dawn seems like a good movie on the surface, but later you realize that the plot actually has more holes than Swiss cheese. On Halloween, for example, you love eating delicious candy, but the next day you have a stomachache; suddenly, you're thinking maybe that candy wasn't that great after all. When you are watching Red Dawn , at first it seems like an awesome action movie; but when you think about what the plot is actually about, you realize that it's very farfetched.

The original Red Dawn was released in 1984, and 2012's version has a similar plot. This version was also filmed in 2009, pre-Hemsworth's Thor and Hutcherson's Hunger Games box office successes, and it was filmed in Michigan. Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) is back home in the Seattle area on leave from Iraq, and his brother, Matt (Josh Peck), a high school football player, isn't really excited to see him. The next day, the boys are awakened to the sound of airplanes in the air: there's some …

Rise of the Guardians

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I wasn't sure what to make of Rise of the Guardians before seeing it, because the only thing I really knew about it from the trailers is that all of the holiday "icons" get together - Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy - in order to save the children of the world. With movies like this, the end result could go either way, but I'm happy to say that this movie was both funny and also will hold the attention of both adults and kids. Pay close attention to who voices each character, too; I was unable to figure out any of them before I got home and looked it up online. Interestingly enough, the movie has a voice cast that in normal circumstances are very recognizable.

North (aka Santa, voiced by Alec Baldwin) is a Guardian, which means he protects children and makes sure they never stop believing in him or the other Guardians, which include the Easter Bunny (aka E. Aster Bunnymund, voiced by Hugh Jackman), Tooth (Fairy, Isla Fisher), and the Sandman. The Man in t…

Silver Linings Playbook

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Silver Linings Playbook is an interesting movie in that it imitates real life more than we care to admit. It's a "slice of life" movie that can move quite slowly at times, but Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have great chemistry that make the movie worth seeing.

Pat (Cooper) has spent the past eight months in a mental hospital in Baltimore, after an incident involving him catching his wife in the act of cheating with one of her teacher colleagues. His mother (Jacki Weaver) checks him out of the hospital, and he returns home to their house, where she and his father, Pat Sr. (Robert DeNiro) live. He has faith that his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), will see how much he's changed (and how fit he's gotten) and come running back to him; he doesn't count on learning that she has moved away, however, and that the restraining order against him is still in place.

One of his good friends (John Ortiz) and his wife, Veronica (Julia Stiles), invite Pat over for dinner, an…

Lincoln

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Lincoln and Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays the title role, have been getting a lot of Oscar buzz. The acting in this film was superb; however, the film moves very, very slowly, and since it's about two and a half hours long, this is what can often kill a film. Although the story in Lincoln is one that is of utmost importance to our nation's history, and is one that should be retold to all generations, the languid pace at which the movie moves proved to be too slow for me.

The film opens in the third year of the Civil War, and we see both black and white soldiers milling about, talking to a very tall seated man, who turns out to be Lincoln (Day-Lewis, looking uncannily like Lincoln incarnate). The soldiers all quote his Gettysburg Address back to him, and the African-American soldiers tell him how they are paid less than their white counterparts. We then meet the characters of the White House, including Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field); his adorable youngest so…

A Late Quartet

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I was interested in seeing A Late Quartet because I am a violinist, and also because the all-star cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, and Catherine Keener. I had also read an article before seeing it that said that none of the actors were familiar with playing classical instruments, so I was also interested in seeing if they would pull that off or not. Although the sounds in the film were dubbed over, the technicalities of holding and playing the instruments on screen were very accurate, and I was impressed in how real their quartet looked.

The quartet of "The Fugue" is approaching their twenty-fifth anniversary, but their cellist, Peter (Walken), has been having difficulties with his hands lately. He goes to see a specialist and she diagnoses him with early Parkinson's disease. Peter tells the quartet that this season will be his last, and that he will find them a replacement that they all like and will be able to work with. Meanwhile, the 2nd vi…

Skyfall

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I've been hearing Adele's song "Skyfall" on the radio for weeks now, and it has that Bond "theme" stamped all over it; the track fits almost perfectly with the "vintage Bond"-style opening sequence and credits of the movie. We last saw Bond back in 2008's Quantum of Solace, which was definitely a fun film, but Skyfall manages to outdo that and all of the recent previous Bond movies as well.

The film blasts us into the action from the very first frame. Bond (Daniel Craig) is in a foreign city - that looks like somewhere in the Middle East - trying to retrieve a list of compromised agents' names. His partner, Eve (Naomie Harris), has his back and is following him on the road, while he is tangling with a man on top of a truck. M (Judi Dench, reprising her role) tells Eve to take the shot, even though she doesn't have a clear view, and she ends up shooting Bond instead of the bad guy, who then plunges into the water many feet below. Cue:…

Review and GIVEAWAY: The Heart of Christmas

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Although The Heart of Christmas doesn't have the best acting, you're going to need Kleenex for this one ... perhaps even a full box. It's based on the true story of Dax Locke, a little boy who was diagnosed with AML M7 leukemia, which is usually common in elderly men. His parents take him to St. Jude's to possibly find a cure, but when it becomes apparent that the chemotherapy is not working for him, and that he may not live until Christmas, his parents and neighborhood decide to throw Christmas early, and they decorate their houses with Christmas trees and lights.

Official synopsis:
Based on a true story of hope and compassion, THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS will touch your heart and bring home the spirit of the holidays. Austin and Julie Locke are devastated when they learn that their young son, Dax, has been diagnosed with cancer. But with courage, determination and faith, they decide to give Dax a one last Christmas, even if it has to be in October. When the community sees…

Wreck-It Ralph

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I wrote a post a while back as a guest blogger about this film, and how I was looking forward to it. I was not disappointed, although the 3D was not great (it would definitely be fine to see in 2D), and the movie wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. However, there's plenty here for both the young and the young at heart, and in typical Disney fashion, there are parts throughout that film that the adults might laugh at but the kids might not.

Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is getting tired of his job. For the past thirty years, he's been the "bad guy" in the video game Fix-It Felix Jr., while Felix (Jack McBrayer), always gets to be the hero who saves the day with with his magic hammer. Ralph would be okay with this if his "regular" life was fine too, but the rest of the townspeople in the game get to live in a nice building while he has to sleep among the bricks in the town dump. When one of the townspeople scornfully remarks that if Ral…

The Sessions

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The Sessions is a unique movie that might not be to everybody's tastes. It's based on the true story of polio survivor Mark O'Brien and his daily life living in an iron lung, which helps him breathe. Although the acting in the film is very good, the subject matter was hard to watch, and there was much nudity throughout as well.

Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) agrees to write an article for a newspaper about sex and the disabled. He is 38 years old and has never had sex; even though his "parts" work well, he is unable to move his arms, hands, or legs, and in fact is confined to his iron lung most of the time - he can journey away from it only in 3 to 4 hour increments. He is referred to Cheryl (Helen Hunt), a sex surrogate who will work with him on becoming comfortable in his own body and with intimacy with women. Mark confides all this to his priest, Father Brendan (William H. Macy), who says that although the church typically frowns on sex before marriage, in th…

Flight

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The story in Flight brings to mind that of Sully Sullenberger, who landed a plane successfully in the Hudson River in 2009, saving all of the passengers on board. Now imagine the story behind the man being darker and more twisted, and you get Whip Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington. Whip likes to live life to excess - drink and do cocaine - but he's also an airline pilot. He has a fine record, until one day, that record becomes severely marred; he's a hero, and yet not.

Whip has a routine flight from Orlando to Atlanta, his home, a quick 50 minute or so trip. He and flight attendant Trina (Nadine Velasquez) wake up hungover from their tryst the night before, in an Orlando hotel room, and Whip does a few lines of cocaine to wake himself up. The crew encounters a bit of turbulence in the beginning of the flight, but then Whip steers them into calmer skies. Suddenly, though, the plane starts to malfunction, and it takes all of Whip's training and concentration to land th…

Friends: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set and GIVEAWAY

In May 2004, the TV show Friends came to an end. I had never watched the series, but at the time everyone in my high school was sad that it was ending. It wasn't until college that a friend got me hooked on the series, and now it is one of my favorites.

Warner Brothers is releasing Friends: The Complete Series Blu-Ray box set on November 13th, and you can win a Friends prize pack from Yes/No Films!

First, check out the widget below. See which "Friend" you are most like, make some Friends memes, and earn badges.



Then, check out these fun clips:


I have a Friends prize pack to give away, including the two mugs shown below and a picture frame like the one on Monica's door.



To enter: fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The contest will end next Thursday, November 8th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email or an alternate winner will be chosen. The prize will be sent via UPS or FedEx; no P.O. boxes, please.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter give…