|At the Movies: New Year's Eve among the reviews this new year|
|Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:44|
New Year's Eve
The tagline for this movie: The One Night Anything Is Possible. A romantic comedy set in New York city about intertwining families, couples and singles as they roam amidst the pulse and promise that accompanies the most dazzling night of the year. A time where potential is at its highest and anticipation is palatable.
Claire Morgan is the vice president of the Times Square Alliance and, with the help of her friend Brandon, is putting the finishing touches for the ball drop. Newly unemployed Ingrid offers bike messenger Paul tickets to her former employer's masquerade ball if he helps her complete a series of New Year's resolutions by midnight. Kim is having trouble with her teenage daughter Hailey who wants to spend the night with her friends and potential boyfriend Seth in Times Square. Randy is a holiday hater after being dumped and is stuck in an elevator with aspiring singer Elise. Stan Harris is a man in the final stages of cancer who just wants to see the ball drop and is kept company by Nurse Aimee and Nurse Mindy.
I was a bit tempted to just re-post the review I wrote of the movie Valentines Day because there ain't much difference between that movie and this one apart from the day being celebrated and some of the cast. I must admit that it does capture some of the excitement that surrounds the preparation for midnight by showing different age groups but that's about it.This is the type of movie with an ensemble cast that lets an up and coming actor or actress know they have arrived, and an established actor or actress know they are still relevant. Gary Marshal knows his stuff and this movie is tolerable but I really can't say its necessary as far as holiday films go. I rate this movie a Rated D. So watch it on dvd like they suggested you do for Valentines Day in the clips during the credits at the end of the movie.Alvin and the Chipmunks : Chipwrecked
This movie has no tagline since the title says it all. While vacationing on a luxury cruise liner, the Chipmunks and Chipettes find themselves marooned on a remote island after one of their antics goes awry. As their adopted father sets out to find them, he finds himself forced to team up with their old manager in the search. What they all soon discover is that they are not alone on the island and it will take all of them working together to escape a fast approaching danger.
The Chipmunks are Alvin, Simon & Theodore, but when they are forced to fend for themselves they find that their individual ways of dealing with problems are quite opposite from the way they expect of each other. The Chipettes are Brittany, Jeanette & Eleanor who find that when they are taken away from the trappings of the modern world that they are able to not just survive, but thrive in the environment they have found themselves living in. Dave Seville is the adopted father of the 'munks and caretaker of the 'ettes and also their manager who wishes they were more manageable but understands that they are young and need some room to grow. Ian Hawke is the ex-manager of both the 'munks and the 'ettes and blames them all for his current position wearing a mascot suit on the cruise ship.
I am of two minds with this movie because is all honesty it is not worthy of a theatrical release in my very humble opinion. I like the Chipmunks and the Chipettes and I do think they have raised the bar in terms of the musical harmonies they pulled of in this film, but the film itself does not necessary. The movie feels like a filler episode of the cartoon and even though it shows a certain amount of personal growth in the characters it lacks a certain amount of forward momentum that the other films had. It feels like this movie was made because they could make it and not because they should make it on the strength of the script. I rate this move a Rated C.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
This movie does not have a tagline as it is mentioned in its title. There is a new criminal mastermind and hs capacity for evil along with his complete lack of conscience may give him the advantage over the renowned detective. As the detective and his partner work to deduce the pieces of the puzzle that is the mastermind's end game, they find themselves and loved ones in the line of fire. The detective and the doctor must stop the professor at all cost because his plan of death and destruction could change the course of history if it is allowed to succeed.
Detective Sherlock Holmes finds himself at a cross-road of sorts as he realizes he may no longer the the smartest man in the room and that his opponent is also driven by an ambition that he has never felt the need to succumb to. Doctor John Watson is Sherlock's partner and on the eve of his marriage to Mary Morstan finds himself dragged into a case he has no wish to be involved in but must as it seems a matter of international importance to the safety of his country. Mycroft Holmes is Sherlock's quirky older brother who may be the founding head of a burgeoning British Intelligence network and could be involved in a matter that could lead the country into war that is capable of engulfing the world. Professor James Moriarty is a man on a mission that could lead him to become the most powerful man in the world and the only obstacle in his path to power & riches is Sherlock & Watson, but he has ways of occupying them as he sees his goal on the horizon.
I was looking forward to the inclusion of Professor Moriarty & Mycroft Holmes in the sequel and I must say that they lived up to by expectations. Guy Ritchie shows that he can make a sequel just as fun as the original and improve on its strengths while lessening its weaknesses by using parts from other movies. Whether is it a plot device at the end used in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey or a musical cue from Two Mules For Sister Sara, this movie is not ashamed of the patchwork it took to create it. Of course Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are absolute perfection in the way they riff off of each other and I can't wait to see what awaits us from them in future installments. It is a joy to see how well this incarnation of Sherlock Holmes has been produced and accepted. I rate this movie a Rated T.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
The tagline for this movie : No Plan. No Backup. No Choice. The entire Impossible Mission Force is shut down under implications of involvement in a global terrorist plot that could lead to a new world war. Ghost Protocol is initiated and a small unit of the disavowed IMF must find away to clear the organization's name and, with limited resources, stop the threat that framed them. If they fail, the landscape of the globe could be changed forever.
Ethan Hunt is the leader of the rogue team of disavowed IMF agents who must put aside his personal demons to take point on a mission that could mean the obliteration of the world's super powers in global nuclear war. Jane Carter is an IMF field agent who must put aside her vendetta against the assassin who killed her fellow agent to help track down missing nuclear missile launch codes. Benji Dunn is a new IMF technical field agent who has just been promoted from technician to field operative and is eager to prove his worth to Ethan in his new working capacity. William Brandt is the IMF Secretary's chief analyst, but it is his skill as a former IMF field agent and the reason for him leaving the field that may hinder the operation. Anatoly Sidorov is the Russian Intelligence operative who has been tasked with bringing in Ethan Hunt and his accomplices for the crimes committed against Russia on Russian soil.
If you noticed in my synopsis, I did not mention the main bad guy of the move or his accomplice. The reason for this is because the characters of the Russian nuclear strategist Kurt Hendricks & his right hand man Wistrom are not as important as you would think. The meat and potatoes of this action spy yarn are the individual members of this rogue team of the Impossible Mission Force and their different motivations for the success of this extremely dangerous assignment. To say that this movie crackles with excitement is to do it a disservice because from the scene on the Burj Khalifa tower to the product placement of the BMW i8 concept vehicle, I have to admit that everything worked. Brad Bird can consider his first effort in directing a live action film a success, but I think everyone will agree that we are still waiting for a sequel to The Incredibles. I rate this movie a Rated T. This must be experienced in the theater because it worth it.
The Adventures of Tintin
The tagline for this move: This Year, Discover How Far Adventure Will Take You. An intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story usually thrusts him into exploits of high risk and danger is caught up in a plot that spans generations. He must team up with an alcoholic sea captain in hopes that together they can uncover the mystery that may cost them both their lives or reward them with a bounty thought lost beneath the bottomless ocean.
Tintin is a young journalist who is always on the look out for a news story with his dog Snowy and he finds himself in a doozy of an adventure when he buys a model of a three-masted sailing ship in an outdoor market of the town he he calls home. Ivan Ivanovitvh Sakharine is the man with plans to get the model from Tintin at any cost so he can decipher a riddle that has plagued his family for generations and could lead to a treasure that he believes he is entitled to possess. Thomson and Thompson are two detectives with the local law enforcement who are hot on the trail of a pickpocket who may have a vital piece to the puzzle in his collection of pilfered wallets. Captain Haddock is the captain of the SS Karaboudjan and completely unaware that he is no longer in charge of his ship because his first mate has kept him in a drunken stupor.
Steven Spielberg can do no wrong as far as I am concerned, but I do think he need to practice a bit on his motion capture directing skills or maybe consult Robert Zemeckis on tricks of the trade. I remember reading the Tintin comics in their original French (back when I had that skill) and the adventure I felt then, was felt again to a certain extent when watching this movie. Spielberg remembered that 3-D is suppose to enhance the experience of 2-D and not obscure, but I did find some of the setups to the action scenes a little telegraphed which made the action seem a bit slow. I can not agree with any criticism mentioning the Uncanny Valley phenomenon that is said to be the bane of mocap movies because I felt that the animated digital world created worked in its own unique way. I think that this is a family film that is tailored to interest every member of the family including the family pet, lol. I rate this a Rated T.
The Darkest Hour
One of the taglines for this movie: Survive The Holidays. Five young people find themselves stranded in Moscow on the eve of an alien invasion. In the wake of the devastating attack, they must fight to survive the occupation of the alien entities that patrol it. These seemingly light based invaders may extinguish the flame of humanity on Earth.
Sean and Ben are in Moscow to talk to investors about a new social networking site which will allow people to find the hottest party spot in any city around the globe, but are in for a rude awakening when they find their meeting hijacked. Skyler is an ambitious webmaster who was to gather enough technical information about the proposed website to pitch it as his own to the Russian investors, but he soon finds his scheming useless after an alien attack leave the area powerless. Natalie and Anne are vacationing in Moscow with the soul purpose of partying, but the party stops dead in its tracks when a light show in the night sky turns out to be an invasion of beings from another world.
I found this movie better than the alien invasion movie Skyline but not really up to the standards of the alien invasion series Falling Skies. I personally thought the special effects were great, but characters came off a bit one dimensional. The story was interesting because its tough enough dealing with catastrophe of epic proportions when you are safe at home, but add to that being in a foreign place where you don't speak the language and let the drama write itself. Hopefully the director and the main members of the cast have other movies lined up because I don't think any of them will be remembered for this one. I rate this movie a Rated B.
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