Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tortilla Heaven

José Zúñiga prevails in this cute comedy that shows the danger of avarice and greed. Taking place in this tiny New Mexico town that does not even have a paved road leading to it.

This movie has Miguel Sandoval from Clear and Present Danger and George Lopez who is nationally recognized now as a major star. There were a couple other recognizable faces from the Latino Hollywood working class that starred in this small budget project.

This movie, to me, does not have a good ending, perhaps only for people who loath capitalism. There was not any reason why some people could not profit off Jesus Christ's face appearing on a tortilla made in the town's small restaurant. This was the plot of this movie and how people would react with their unkown town quickly becoming internationally famous and popular. The mexican restaurant was not fancy but the cooking made me hungry just thinking about it. The tortillas and tacos looked incredibly delicious.

The Catholic church was not shown in a good light in this movie. The priest was as greedy as anyone else. People, or smart ones, can make the cake and eat it too. But selfishness and uncooperation caused long time friends to become enemies. Jose's character can cook the best salsa in the land but he was easily taken by an outside businessman whose grand ambitions were not evil but perhaps too hasty. Jose could have spread his cooking around New Mexico, but this town was overwhelmed by this quick acting and thinking character. They should have ran him out of town or atleast read what they signed. But how many careless folks across America signed papers to buy a home they could not afford? So this movie was not really exagerating that much in that regard. Miguel's character also pitted people against each other which brought the entire plan down, so he was not that bright either if he really wanted to make this work. He must have had a hidden deadline. It did not have to be this way but whoever made this movie was probably a leftist, perhaps Karl Marx's cousin. Or Al Frankens.

My family, atleast my mom's side would enjoy this movie since it takes place in small town New Mexico. That is where my mother was born, in Park View, which is a little bigger than the town which is the foundation of this movie. Besides tortillas which are making me hungry as I type this blog.

How the cities leaders could haul a teenage girl away from her mother and think locking her up in a cage is the right thing to do is just goofy? I can not say this is fantasy since what I have seen government decisions, from large metropolitan areas make real life decisions that are just as absurd. Releasing dangerous criminals onto our streets just being one example that instantly comes to mind.

The movie was deemed a comedy but actually more a economical or political satire. I am not sure I ever laughed real hard. At best, it was amusing. But the food just looked spectacular to me or anyone who just enjoys eating hand crafted tortillas and tacos made by someone who takes pride in what he does.

I allocate this movie one star. *

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rest Stop: Don't Look Back

This movie did not have any major stars. Albeit it did have the prototypical young blond whose actions and ideosynchracies are so predictable. This movie is just a newer version, but just as ridiculous, as Wrong Turn, Hostile, and the Hills Have Eyes films of recent times. This movie was a little different since they tossed in some ghosts and illusions. There is so many ludicrous events, they would match the length of the movie. How a truck, in broad daylight, on flat ground, appears out of no where and smashes someone who has all his senses, is just one example of this movie's absurdity.

One funny part was this loser's facial expression when the deformed midget came out and gave him a popsicle. Weird.

It was not long which is good.

This movie is allocated one star. *

It was still better than Cage's Wicker Man, which would receive -1 star if I was typing and sustaining this blog at the time. That movie simply should have never been made. I hear the original was decent, I have never seen it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lakeview Terrace

This is a pretty wild movie with Samuel L. Jackson. Very similiar to Unlawful Entry with Kurt Russell. Jackson also has a relentless and twisted Robert De Niro Cape Fear syndrome which prevails in this movie.

The clever thing about this movie is Jackson is a police officer and targets his neighbor For some reason, he is friendly with one of his other neighbors who is Asian. Why he targets this man and woman, could be many reasons but none of it make it just, right, or moral.

I do feel sorry for him when he is punished deep into the movie for attempting to talk some sense into a loser who shot at him through his apartment's front door during a violent domestic dispute. When the severly misguided Internal Affairs or sociologoist totally discount all his years in law enforcement service. He has taken violent criminals off the street who would otherwise destroy this woman and/or her family. Funny, how these people do not realize this. This criminal said he had three broken ribs which is absurd and he shot at the police and almost killed Jackson. Jackson could have shot and killed this criminal outside his apartment and it would have been justified since he would not drop the shotgun and was acting irratic. In hindsite, shooting this fool would have been less a headache.

Jackson, was severly troubled by his wife and reacted violently if anyone brought her up. I am not sure why Patrick Wilson's, the actor, did not put down his weapon at the end of the movie. Did he not realize the police would not allow Jackson to shoot him while they were only about 30 feet behind him?

Kerry Washington was solid in this movie but she plays a controversial role. For being an over all good person, she betrays her husband in the movie by neglecting to take her birth control pills. She gets pregnant and ofcourse this infuriates her husband since they were planning on waiting. Why woman think this will bring their husband's closer to them behind scorching them with this news or why they do not think this violates trust or loyalty is strange?

Washington, who plays this liberal, obviously does not believe in corporal punishment since she hollers at Jackson for rightfully slapping his daughter when she just assails him in front of her. Washington is a fool since she believes a parent does not have the right to physically punish their children. Which is striking reason why kids in America are out of control and act ridiculous more and more. Children have little respect for authority any more and do not recognize. I guess Washington thinks parents should be buddies with their children rather than responsible adults.

Jackson is just a violent, rude, and terrible neighbor. He hires a drug dealer to vandalize Wilson's house while he has him over at a day time party. Nice guy. This drug dealer attacks his wife, Washington, which leads to the last few scenes. Jackson is twisted and does not believe in mixed marriages. Where were the other neighbor's in this movie? Who knows?

This was a dark thriller, some action, some decent lines. But unoriginal really and nothing memorable. Jackson made 187 years ago, kind of on the same plain. Nothing spectacular.

I allocate this movie two starts. **

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Family That Preys

Well, I saw my first Tyler Perry movie and it was impressive. Perhaps I should have watched the previous ones when I had a chance in Tempe on Mill Ave at the theatre. I thought this movie was going to have all black people in it and I was glad when it did not. I like to see some diversification. There were many black people in it ofcourse which is just fine and expected. Glad to see the Prison Break stud in this movie since Prison Break gave him a break for a while or forever-Rockmond Dunbar-I am speaking about. I would like to see him alongside Vin Diesel in a movie one day.

I have always enjoyed Cole Hauser in movies, ever since he opposed the super sonic Ice Cube in the mid 1990's tale called Higher Learning. He was solid in this film as Tyler Perry picked an outstanding assemble.

Robin Givens is still magnificent and should be given more roles. Still gorgeous as she played a COO in this movie hired by Cole Hauser's mother and just seems to antagonize him throughout the movie. Ofcourse Cole opens up a gaping door for himself with his egregious behavior.

Kathy Bates starred in this film as one of the top shareholder's and wife of a deceased company CEO. She battles with her son, played by Cole Hauser for the control of the company and the direction. This movie contains some beautiful moments and music. Some powerful characters, some honest, others seeking fame and glory and just ignoring comfort. Some characters forgetting their place and others perfectly happy with theirs.

The plot is full of some twists and deceipt, despair and rejuvenation. Great lines, music, men and woman, religion and temptation, the movie is well balanced. Worth seeing. Tyler Perry was worth the Fortune article that I read about him in a couple of years ago.

I allocate this film four stars. ****

The Foot Fist Way

This is just a low budget comedy I saw, it is not long and nothing to brag about. I just think Danny R. McBride is a funny man and he carried this movie. The other side characters had few lines and I there were only about 3 scenes that he was not in. He was with Owen Wilson in Drillbit Taylor which was hiliarious. He was in Tropic Thunder which I do not really remember him in but according to IMDB he had a role. That movie was not worth the hype and to me, did not match Pineapple Express as a top comedy. The only reason it may have made more money is because it had larger stars and more of them. Oh well, it was not as comical and fun to view.

I allocate this film two stars. **

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Righteous Kill

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up again for a movie but the intensity and adrenaline is palpitating much more when they are opposed rather than on the same side. The movie Heat, where they went full throttle just devastates this movie. This movie was satisfactory kind of like Cage's Bangkok Dangerous.

Carla Gugino was absolutely stunning as she was in one of Cage's worst movie and came out in the late 1990's which was Snake Eyes. She was central to this movie as was 50 Cent. 50 Cent played a role which is not much different to his real life persona and lifestyle.

Righteous Kill tossed out Brian Dennehy who actually saw with my own eyes in a plush hotel in 96 when I was playing baseball at CSUS. He was the Lt. and performed adequately and has been seen so many times now.

This movie was not any better than 15 Minutes which starred De Niro which does not say much. That movie was nothing spectacular and one should not expect any more out of this film. I know I did not. Pacino's Two for the Money and The Recruit both were superior to this movie. This movie stayed in about 6 different locations, it did not go any where. A couple of restaurants, a softball field, 50 Cent's club, their office, a couple of homes, it was like a merry go round. It did have a twist at the end as every movie that is made now a days does. Nothing special there.

The plot is about a serial killer who is killing scum bags who are acquitted of or committing heinous crimes. Should someone take the law into their own hands? It all depends. The people that say no to this are the ones who probably never had one if their loved one's life turned upside down or been a victim of a savage crime themselves. Those people who say no could be construed as selfish and narrow minded. The victims in the movie all spawned more victims because of their nasty deeds. The public was not clamoring for this kind of killer to be caught. Funny, this movie never did have any press or public discussion, forum, or scenes. I would think that the public would be split, most liberals would want this kind of killer to be caught and others would probably offer some support or say good riddance to these terrible people who were being targeted.

The movie was not boring but it was not riveting either. It will probably last two weeks in the theatres. Traitor blows this movie out of the water and Traitor's ending was disappointing. RocknRolla is the best movie out now and the funniest comedy of the year was Pineapple Express. The latter is a film I could watch again with unsuspecting people who have no scene it and just laugh at the movie's many hilarious scenes.

The killer in Righteous Kill messed up at the end. Then he had to go down, why he shot the hip hop star and club owner is not really clear. And he attacked the forensic's expert which apparently was the only one in that part of the city was foolish as well.

Even with this stellar cast, Death Race was superior to this film.

John Leguizamo was tremenous as he always is and I wish he remained in ER longer. It was the second time he has worked with Donnie Wahlberg. They were in a cable TV movie a couple of years ago which was interesting. Donnie's brother, Mark, is just a magnet for top notch and exciting movies now.

The most incredible thing regarding this movie is De Niro actually made an appearance on Letterman's show reading off the top ten list with Pacino. De Niro never gives these shows the time of day, he lets his work speak for him. Is that old school or just being humble, not sure, but it has worked for him. De Niro has remained one of Hollywood's class acts and most splendid actors for decades.

This movie is allotted two stars. **

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ranking System

From now on, I will have star ranking system. Five stars being the strongest contender and most formidable, a must see, like DeJaVu or The Departed. A one star being pretty weak, an absolute waste of time, like Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Wow, I am not sure if Madonna will return to Guy Ritchie after this entertaining and creative movie but it is solid nevertheless. It it equal to Snatch. Yes, I did say that. In fact, I am not sure if Snatch had one hottie in that movie like this one did. I am not sure why this director took such a long time off but he came back with a smash. It was sort of hard to follow with all those English accents but there were a couple of American actors in the movie. The wacky hip hop star Ludacris actually said some things in the movie that made sense. Too bad his realistic self can not imitate a fictional character he portrays.

Gemma Arterton is absolutely stunning. An offshoot of Catherine Belle. It appears her character was killed at the end.

Movie held only about two slow scenes, any other scene which is missed could end up costing a viewer the full understanding of the movie. I am not sure who had the painting stolen from them, the billionaire Russian trying to move in on English soil or a powerful London crime lord? Hey, forgive me, I watched it online on my lap top since I am in South Korea.

The 300 stud was recognizable, Gerard Butler, whose movie name here is One Two plays a London criminal. There was a car theft scene which did not make allot of sense where the victims just allowed their car to be stolen, gave these thieves the keys after they were already inside. I would not have done that at all. This was the most cordial car theft ever and the most apathetic victim. It was only a minor inconvienence to him.

Tom Wilkinson performs well as usual playing the London vice lord, someone who knows the ins and outs of London's high profile public servants and officials. I still remember that horrifying movie The Exorcist of Emily Rose. That was the first movie I have ever scene him in, that movie was terrifying. He was tremendous in Michael Clayton as well. Though, why he sets himself like that or falls for that mugging on the golf course is beyond me. But, the Russians are not afraid to kill someone else on their own soil. Just see former spies who bad mouth Putin on English soil.

Wilkenson plays Lenny Cole who treats his step son like trash for no apparent reason. This sets up the plot and the ending. His step son turns out to have real talent but his thuggish step dad spells perpetual doom and revenge on himself for treating another human like this. Well, his prodigy rock star step son carries this grudge and seeks it. This movie has many characters and Guy Ritchie is starting to out Quentin Tarantino Tarantino. Tarantin has only made one solid movie, Pulp Fiction-which is incredible and skyrocketed about 4 careers which is magnificent in its own right. But Jackie Brown was sort of dull. Richie now has Snatch and RocknRolla to hang on his wall. And Lock,Stock, and Three Smokin Barrels was no slouch either.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bangkok Dangerous

Nicolas Cage carries this movie all by his lonesome. Another assissin movie, it is not unique and has been done several times now. I guess Hollywood has not thought they have glamorized this immoral, precarious, and perilous profession before. The lone rich man, with all of the cool gadgets, what about the hours of work and training it takes to reach this level of proficiency? Cage plays Joe which is a psuedonym ofcourse.

I think Cage should invest about a $1 million or whatever it takes to do something about that hair. What is the deal? It is as terrible as Trumps. The first time I saw it, a while ago, perhaps in his World Trade Center movie, which seemed like it would never end, I thought it was a fluke. And that was a dull movie. I never thought Cage would keep that hair style for this long.

Cage's The Rock, Con Air, and Face Off all devastate this movie.

Anyhow, this movie took place in world famous Thailand. A grown man's Disneyland is what I heard about it when I was in the US Navy. This movie did take us too some wonderful scenery.

Most Assassin movies take us around the world or atleast a few different places. The Matador in 2005 with Pierce Brosnan was much more creative than this flick, therefore superior. It did not have the action but Bangkok's action has been done before in so many other movies. This movie fails to explain anything about the characters, does being an assassin have a 401K plan? The theme that emphasizes a quick out for a livlihood like this has already been presented to us in the highly memorable and ever lasting Deniro and Pacino bombshell known as Heat.

The ending is odd. Why he chooses this route is strange and controversial. Apparently, the guilt and understanding that he will never have anyone close to him makes him not want to continue anymore.

Bangkok does have some attractive actresses in the movie but this movie, with the competition it faces, will last about 2 weeks in US theatres. Traitor is better and so is Death Race. This movie, because it does not go anywhere, can not rise to Babylon A.D.'s level either.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Disaster Movie

This movie was funny. I am not sure if spoofs like this are getting old, they do make fun of other movies and most of those movies deserve this.

It is about time Hollywood tosses in Kimberly Kardashian who is one of the hottest on the planet. Not sure why she was not the one who lasted throughout the film. With females like this on this planet along with others like Natalie Martinez and Eliza Dushku, it is a mystery of mankind how Kirsten Dunst gains roles.

Disaster Movie ripped on 12000 BC which should have torn into since it was over hyped and just slaughtered history. But Cloverfield was solid and so was Boewolf and this movie laid into them. All in good taste. The Alvin in the Chipmunks scene was hilarious.

There is another spoof movie coming forward soon into the spotlight that rips into Michael Moore and his nonsense he peddles. Ofcourse it is not take too much creative talent to find ways to criticize Michael Moore. That movie is highly anticipated. The left has many points they are vulnerable at.

Disaster was not a long movie and there was not any wasted scenes. It was one nasty or creative compenent after the next. They went after the hulk which made sense since the latest hulk incarnation was horrendous. Although Iron Man and Batman were outstanding. Disaster poked fun at Hellboy as well, in a quick scene. Hellboy II was nothing special.

The Crystal Skull from Indiana Jones was the central theme of this movie. There were many side characters in this movie with recognizeable faces. Crystal was decent but nothing special. Disaster Movie has many attractive actresses and they really tear into Juno. She uses allot of words like Dennis Miller but unlike Miller, she is just overly loquacious and uninteresting. Superbad is highlighted in this film, along with Cloverfield which is also one of the dominant focal points of Disaster. I liked both of those projects.

Thus far, Pineapple Express is the funniest movie of this year to me.

Does Disaster Movie top Scary Movie 4? It is hard to say, I am more of a drama or thriller type fan. Flip a coin, both are full of inane comedy but I would rather see this than a ridiculous movie like 12000 BC which was not historically accurate at all. For one, slaves did not build the pyramids and anyone who spreads this fallacious account of history does not deserve anyone's money or respect.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Promotion

Seann William Scott, one of the few of the American Pie actors to excel after that series ended. The rest flamed out, Tara Reid and Shannon Elizabeth, who are stunningly attractive, have just made some appearances here and there along with the other stars of those funny films. The competition is fierce yet it is a mystery of the modern world how Kirsten Dunst gains roles. Tragic as well. Atleast the first two were respectable, regarding the American Pie trilogy. Seann William Scott seems to have a steady career in Hollywood and he is funny. His latest edition is not a block buster but a comedy with the proven comedian now and almost big name: John C. Reilly.

The Promotion does not have any gorgeous actresses but it does have a flashback actor from The Shawshank Redemption who met a fateful end in that all star flick. Gil Bellows is who I am referring to, who plays an executive in this fictional supermarket retailer. The movie takes place in Chicago as Scott and Reilly compete to become a manager of one of the newest stores the company is building. They both rat each other out and treat each badly-behind each other's backs for the most part-while they stumble in their personal lives as well. Reilly is hilarious in the movie as he always is unless he is the star.

No, it is not Pineapple Express, no way, and probably not Step Brothers either, but it is worth renting and seeing one night. It is not that long, it is not mega hit but still better than Adam Sandler's consistently annoying politically correct movies. Atleast his latest one graced us with the presence of Emmanuelle Chriqui.

This latest Sean William Scott funny film is on par with Trainwreck: My Life as an Idoit which I thought was solid mid cap comedy. It is not Mr. Woodcock but it does not present itself to be. Probably will last two weeks in the theatres.

The funniest part to me, when he read that funny little cartoon magazine in his wife's cafeteria, at the hospital, that was hilarious. What was so funny about that scene can not be typed here.

This movie was sort of over the top and politically correct when they had these five ghetto black guys harrass Scott and customers all day, every day seemingly, and no one could do anything about it. The state of America, pitiful.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


This movie was riveting all the way to the end. The climax though, the ending, was a little weak, not the most exciting ending. But the lead and the scenes to the end were impressive. It was a winning movie, was it better than Vantage Point of this year? That is debatable. Vantage Point was unique in the way it was filmed, so perhaps that gets the nod. But the cast here is probably superior.

I have not seen Saïd Taghmaoui since Vantage Point but he had a more memorable role in Four Brothers when he was poring oil down Marky Mark's throat.

Apparently Guy Pearce returned from his two year mission. Just kidding, but I am not sure where he has been. And the presence of Don Cheadle is just a blessing. One of the best actors of our time, not much he can not do. He commands screen time. He had me fooled, this movie really made me think he was the villian that he appeared to be. Misguided or torn matters not, when people are dying because of one's work and actions, it does not matter how many please and thank yous the person uttered that day.

Neal McDonough was a fine supporting actor in this movie. Glad to see him do something rather than harrass The Rock in forgetful movies like Walking Tall. He was solid though in Flags of Our Fathers, but who was not in that movie?

Traitor did not have any super hot woman like Death Race's Natalie Martinez or anything but this movie was unique in it's multiple suicide bombers scenario. The USA has not faced this yet and I am really surprised. Thank God for the Patriot Act. We have not felt pain on our soil since 9-11, atleast from the jihadists. I knew he was putting them all on the same bus at the end though, sorry to spoil it for you.

The Siege was came to mind when watching this film, perhaps a little of The Kingdom. The Kingdom was superior, last year's blockbuster with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner because the ending was action packed and lived up to the hype. The ending in Traitor was not the highlight here but the story line. This movie did bounce around the world like a Bourne flick, I love that. But its culmination sucks the wind from the sails. The momentum fades quickly away.

It is good to see Jeff Daniels back. Wow, I thought Pearce took some time off. Jeff Daniels, his role in Dumb and Dumber will be cherished forever and he should be in the Hall of Fame just on that movie alone. He held is own with the iconic Jim Carrey. But Jeff Daniels had an impressive supporting part in Speed. So this type of movie was not foreign to him.

The FBI should have put a bug in Don Cheadle's character Samir Horn's body when they arrested him with the help of local police in the beginning of the film. I did not think Yemen would ever assist the west, let alone the FBI. I know it was a movie but the thought atleast counts. I thought Yemen was totally apathetic in the war on terrorism. Yemen has not been mentioned by Hollywood since Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones's movie Rules of Engagement and that was 8 years ago. I thought this movie was starting out some where in North Africa, but Yemen foot the bill just nicely.

This movie is worth seeing, not as much action as Death Race or the hit of Batman, but still solid nevertheless. This movie was better though than Death Race. In this climate, it will probably be around for three weeks. Certainly better than watching a cartoon Star Wars movie. Traitor blows The Longshots out of the water and is similiar to Babylon A.D. The latter's acting and cast was weaker but still tremendous throughout, the ending was just disappointing in both. Though Babylon's ending did not follow through on the villian's range of resources which is worse than Traitor's ending. Traitor's final action scene was just not that powerful but it was consistent with all the characters and plot.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Babylond A.D.

Interesting title. I thought it was some odd ball science fiction movie. Well, it is science fiction but it suits more of an action film. Vin Diesel is back and he storms the screen with his usual self but that is good enough. He only has a few cool one liners in this film, it is A Man Apart or even Pitch Black but it may make more money since this movie comes later in his career and the marketing blitz for this film probably exceeds both of those.

This movie is sort of a cross between Children of Men and 12 Monkeys. There is some cool scenes and technology in this film. I like the supersonic futuristic air drone predators in the middle of the movie, the slow but intelligent flying war head shot from a rifle, and nanotechnological map in the back of a trunk of a beater.

This movie was better than the Chronicles of Riddick which was just too ridiculous to take serious. This movie had much more suspence but the villian was a religious over lord. Not a man this time though.

Never seen Melanie Thiery before but she is a cuty, not a Jennifer Love Hewitt or Amber Heard but still brings something to the table.

The ending was weak which undermines this mostly entertaining and thrilling piece of work. Not impressive and that detracts from this film. The villianous has weapons and unlimited firepower in her arsenal and at her disposal and she only sends two SUV's after Vin Diesel and the girl who she drastically seeks? This does not make allot of sense. She blows up a powerful Russian gangster with large caliber powerful war heads in Russia. But she only sends two SUV's after the heroes? That makes little sense. This sad ending just makes one scrath their head. Did the Director have some sort of secret curfew? Or were the stakeholders just demanding closure? Oh well.

This movie portrays Russia as a terrible place to be, a violent wasteland. This movie takes place in the future, about 40 years from now. I did not catch the exact year if it was displayed. Hey, I am watching it online. Cut me some slack!

When Vin Diesel fights the cage fighter, reminiscent of Jet Li in Cradle to the Grave.

This movie was exciting but the weak ending really sinks this new Vin Diesel action flick. Therefore I can not say it is better than Iron Man but it is better than The Incredible Hulk. The latter was just anemic with only three main action scenes and none of them were what they should have been or what we were expecting.

Vin Diesel should have stuck with the XXX roles and not of handed it over to Ice Cube. XXX II was not well done, the hip hop theme was comical and the special effects were not quality.

Vin Diesel could make another Riddick movie and I hope it is as cool and riveting as Pitch Black.