Thursday, August 07, 2008


I know, I haven't stopped talking about this movie, but I really liked it.

And...Let's just get this out of the way. A fraternity of assassins who take a 'nobody', open up his pandora's box of killing, turning him into a 'somebody' with gore all over the place doesn't exactly send a great message to the audience, but we go to the movies to lose ourselves, not judge our psyches. Otherwise, I'd probably be institutionalized by now, and only allowed to read Judy Blume books.

'Wanted' is a movie that is bloody, action-packed and chock full of great performances by both James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. Russian director, Timur Bekmambetov, of both 'Day Watch' and 'Night Watch' fame, makes his first big budget American blockbuster exactly that, a blockbuster movie brimming with amazing special effects, seamless action sequences, a pretty solid story, and big name actors.

James McAvoy stars as your run of the mill office drone who becomes “wanted” when he hooks up with Angelina Jolie’s character, Fox - and in six weeks flat, he’s transformed from a pencil pusher into a deadly assassin - this is every guy's fantasy right? And while it might seem odd that the producers didn’t cast a 6-foot tall, barrel-chested Adonis in the lead role, the movie stays true to the original graphic novel and McAvoy does a bang up job. Watching McAvoy morph physically and mentally on-screen is fascinating. This is also the sexiest and deadliest role I’ve ever seen Angelina Jolie play. Though I could watch her read the yellow pages and be enthralled. And while the film’s plot has a number of twists and turns that make the story compelling, the real stars of the film are its special effects. With bullets bending, rippling through the air, heart-thumping choreographed car chases and fight scenes, this movie surpasses all my expectations.

MOVIE REVIEW - Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D!

Any movie that requires its viewers to wear unflattering eyewear makes me a little suspicious. Which is why I wasn’t expecting to like 'Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D' but I did. ‘Journey’ is a loose adaptation of the Jules Verne novel of the same name.

The story centers around a geologist, played by Brendan Fraser, his nephew and their mountain guide – and they all go off in search of Fraser’s missing brother. After a rockslide, they are thrust into a heart-stopping underground adventure where treacherous falls and prehistoric monsters lurk around every corner. Their only hope for escape is to use Jules Verne’s novel as their roadmap to ascend from the world of mayhem they’ve just plunged into.

No, this isn’t the most inventive storyline and a number of scenes lean towards children’s movie, but if you give it a chance it will surprise you. The acting, led by a boyishly charming Frazer, is solid. Director Eric Brevig, who served as visual effects supervisor on many action films, is a good fit for an effects heavy movie. Plus the plot twists come partnered with 3-D technology, giving this movie it's POP.

As much as I hate the cliché of saying that a movie is a thrill ride, I have to say, this movie is a thrill ride. I was on the edge of my seat and even got a little queasy during the much promoted cart sequence. And just a warning, if you’re afraid of heights, you may want to stick with the 2-D version of this flick. I speak from experience.

Now I'm not saying this film isn't cheesy, but it happily embraces it and has a lot of fun doing so. This movie is surprisingly funny, family friendly, and is an exciting ride into a dark and dangerous fantasy world for adults and kids. Bottom line: I walked out thinking it’s as good or better than any theme park ride. I say see it, especially if you can find it in 3-D. And yes, the 3-D glasses will make you look like a giant dork, but everyone else will too.