Archive for December, 2010

LivePlanet, Walt Disney Pictures

Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Oliva Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Beau Garrett, Michael Sheen, Anis Cheurfa, Serinda Swan, Yaya DaCosta, Elizabeth Mathis, Kis Yurij

Sam Flynn’s Dad, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappeared years ago when Sam (Garrett Hedlund) was only a kid.  Now he’s 27 and rightfully should be the head of his father’s empire.  But he’s kind of lost his way and though he’s a computer genius, he’s wasting his time away pulling an annual prank on the company.  But a contact from Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) and he’s pulled back into his father’s disappearance.  Finding a secret room in the old Flynn’s Arcade, he is transported into the grid and finds himself looking for allies and trying to locate his father, and fighting off the mistaken programs that were created that are running wild.

TRON was one of my favorite films back in the early days of computing.  Since I’ve been in IT since the mid 80’s I was always fascinated with the concept and vision of the original film.  Then to see Tron: Legacy is going back in time and seeing the world again as it has evolved.  It’s more modern and advanced about as much as the real world technology has advanced.   Everything works a lot the same, but it’s much faster and more dangerous these days.  The visuals and action are stunning, and folks who are fans of the original will probably love to see how it’s aged in these 20 some odd years.  The effects that were done to make Jeff Bridges look 25 years younger got a lot of press too.  It is resonably so, since it is really kind of creepy.  He looks like the characters in CGI films like Polar Express or Jim Carrey in A Christmas Carol last year.  They look sort of real, but sort of fake at the same time and it’s disconcerting.  But it is a computer created character that has not aged since that time, so it makes sense inside the game that Clu is a little different looking (ok, A LOT different looking) than Flynn.  They also made him look young in the real word flashback as well, but it’s short and done in a way that is not near as creepy as Clu is. So I think it’s fine the way they did it, amazing really.  As I said, the action is fantastic, and the graphics are worthy of all the time and money Disney put into it.  There are those who hated the original Tron, and so it’s doubtful that those folks will be impressed with this one either, but for those of us who loved the orignal, it’s wonderful, and I suspect it will pick up lots of new younger fans that cannot remember the original.  I was very impressed and enjoyed every minute.  And at just slightly over 2 hours, it’s EPIC without being a bladder buster!  I am a fan of both Flynns.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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DW Films, DW Studios, Everyman Pictures

Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Ericka Jensen, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Jessica Alba, Laura Dern, Kevin Hart, Daisy Tahan, Colin Baiocchi, Thomas McCarthy, Harvey Keitel

Greg (Ben Stiller) and Pam (Teri Polo) are ready to celebrate the twins 5th birthday.  They want the whole family to gather for the event.  Greg and Pam are planning a move to a new home, and the plan is to hold the party with a bounce house and all in the back yard of the new house.  But contractor Randy (Harvey Keitel) is dragging his feet and everything else he can drag.  Plus Dad Focker (Dustin Hoffman) is in Spain on some kind of mid life crisis learning how to dance the Salsa.  Meanwhile, Teri’s father, Jack Byrnes (Robert DeNiro) who was also a fan of Doctor Bob (Thomas McCarthy) since he was so much better than Greg, but Dr. Bob has cheated on Teri’s sister and now is divorced leaving Greg in line to manage the family.  Meanwhile, Greg and Teri are trying to get the twins into a very expensive private school called “The Early Human School” run by Prudence (Laura Dern).  The only thing that could mess things up worse is if Kevin (Owen Wilson) (who just loves Teri, his ex) would show up, and of course he does.  The final straw is a sexy drug rep name Andi Garcia played by Jessica Alba who seems intent on seducing Greg.

Little Fockers is the third in the series.  It’s much better than the last one (Meet the Fockers), but not near as good as the first (Meet the Parents).  That first entry falls into the category of one of the funniest movies of all times!  The characters were really well developed and played off each other wonderfully. With characters so well developed, the only thing that could really go wrong is if they have nothing to do.  I think that’s what happened here.  After the third movie with the “circle of trust” and Jack misinterpreting what Greg is doing, and Greg’s parents being over sexed and crude, and so on, it’s the same recycled jokes.  That is the problem with this film.  It’s like a comedy series that has already run it’s course and run out of new jokes.  Most everything here has been used before.  But still it’s very funny, as always, and these are the same characters we know from before.  It’s like going home again in a way.  Owen Wilson has a slightly longer part this time around, and we get to know him a little better.  Jessica Alba is a good add, as we haven’t seen Greg tempted before.  Greg is supposed to be the one to carry on the Byrnes family crest as “the Godfocker”, and immediately he gets stressed and starts losing it and proving he’s not worthy.   It’s comfortable around this time, and I think a good deal better than the last go round.  If you don’t want to see it in the theater, watch it on DVD when it comes out. It should make the move to small screen very well.   Oh, and one last thing.  Take note of the PG-13 rating very carefully.  Though nothing is shown, there are quite a few crude and rude jokes and gags that, although not shown, may be tough to explain to a small kid.  I was unhappy to see a lot of 8-10 year olds in the theater which made me very uncomfortable for them.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if perservered in, they must lead, but if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me…..Ebenezer Scrooge

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND


A HAPPY NEW YEAR


from ED and Edsreview.com!!!!!!


……………………God Bless us every one!” said Tiny Tim, the last of all.


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** A Christmas Carol (1951)

George Minter Productions

Alastair Sim, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Michael Hordern, George Cole, Francis De Wolff

The 1951 Alistair Sim Black and White version of A Christmas Carol is the familiar story of  Ebenezer Scrooge who has turned into a miserly miserable old man who won’t budge an inch.  He is visited by the three ghosts who show him his past, present, and future in an attempt to show him the error of his ways and persuade him to change.

Many people swear this is the greatest version of all times of the Dickens story.  I admit, it is a very good film, especially for 1951.  Alistair Sim made a fine Scrooge, no doubt.  But it’s odd that some of the language that was left out of this film from the book, and some of the scenes that were added to the story.  I will discuss a couple of those in a second.  Still, it’s a powerful telling of the story.  I live within a mile of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Ca. and they have (for a while yet I think) a replicate of the famous Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona. For year they ran daily melodrama’s there and many famous people started out there (Steve Martin being one of them).  They do a version of A Christmas Carol (and also a version of “The Gift of the Magi”) which is based directly from the script in this version of the film.  Some of the stuff comes over badly.  For example, this version mentions that Fred’s Mother died giving him birth as Ebenezer’s mom died giving him birth (to explain the reason why Scrooge’s Dad hated him).  The problem is that Scrooge has a younger sister.  So in this version they reversed the ages of Scrooge and his sister.  In other versions, as in the Knott’s version, they include the idea (not in the book) that Scrooge killed his mom during childbirth but still had a miraculous younger sister!  Another strange thing about this version of the film is that one of his most famous lines of the book about “Anyone who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart” is completely missing from this film.  So is this the ultimate version?  I don’t think so, but I do agree that it is very good and defined the visual image of the book forever.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** A Christmas Carol (1984)

Entertainment Partners Limited

George C Scott, Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward, Michael Carter, David Warner, Susannah York,  Anthony Walters, Roger Rees, Caroline Langrishe, Lucy Gutteridge

Ebenezer Scrooge is an grouchy old miser who says humbug to Christmas.  Scrooges partner Jacob Marley has been dead 7 years this Christmas Eve.  Jacob’s ghost comes back to visit Scrooge and warn him of what will happen to him if he does not change his ways.  Jacob is dragging very long and heavy chains and says he cannot rest because of the awful things he has done by putting money first.  He tells Scrooge that he will be visited by 3 ghosts who will show him the errors he has made and what will become of him.  Scrooge unwillingly follows along and sees his past, present, and future.

George C Scott’s version of A Christmas Carol was shot for TV, and in a way is more of the feeling of a play than some of the other versions.  However Mr. Scott can shake you to your bones as the mean and angry Ebenezer, mad at everyone.  This is a very close to the original short story version of this tale that has been done so many times, and in my opinion, one of the best.  This one and the Patrick Stuart version about 15 years later are 2 of the very best modern versions of this story.  The strength of this version rests directly on George C Scott’s acting ability.  It is amazing in the transformation from miserable old miser to joyful little child.  Using very little elaborate sets and special effects, it uses the words of Dickens with the acting ability of the cast to tell a remarkably riveting version of this story.  Well worth watching and one of the 2 or 3 very best versions of Scrooge ever filmed.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

“This is not a preview of the movie, but rather a sample scene from the film”

 

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