BIUTIFUL Movie Review

Javier Bardem movie Biutiful

Director Alejandro Gonzales Iñaritu crossed over to international fame with his gritty action thriller Amores Perros starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. In his new film BIUTIFUL, the Mexican filmmaker returns to that formula with a Spanish language film set in the underbelly of a society with an Oscar worthy performance from Javier Bardem.

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Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro in LITTLE FOCKERS

We have all grown to love the Focker-Byrnes clan with the patriarch Jack Byrnes scaring the the bejeezus out of us. But what happens when that dynamic changes? In Little Fockers Jack Byrnes, Robert de Niro, is disgusted that his favored son-in-law Dr. Bob, Thomas McCarthy, has been caught cheating on his daughter. While he has been watching his other son-in-law Greg, Ben Stiller, his chosen one, Dr. Bob, has let him down. Now Greg looks like the prize son-in-law and everything Jack knows is being tested and challenged. Jack is feeling vulnerable these days, age is catching up with him and his heart is giving him problems. He needs someone strong and reliable to head the family when he dies and now that Dr. Bob is out, that role falls to male nurse Gaylord Focker.

With the coming 5-year-old birthday party of the Focker twins, Jack sees this as an opportunity to mentor his new favorite son. At first Greg is surprised and flattered by the attention but then he becomes suspicious. In trying to please his father-in-law Greg overextends himself financially and takes on a second position as a spokesperson for a new erectile dysfunction drug. The drug rep, Jessica Alba, is all flattery and praise and she even tries to seduce him. When Jack sees Greg in a compromising position he becomes irate at being fooled again. This leads to a confrontation and a comic meltdown which is the best part of the film.

LITTLE FOCKERS movie posterComically this movie felt like it had one bad spark plug. It would be chugging along firing on all cylinders and then bam, there would be a mis-fire. In the attempt to get all of the Focker-Byrnes in one film, some characters felt under-used and some felt out of place entirely. The Focker parents, Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman were practically cameos and the best part of the under-appreciated Blythe Danner was seeing her in pearls trying to bring sexy back.

To crowd the cast even more, Laura Dern plays the director of an exclusive humanistic pre-school, and Harvey Keitel plays a strange ear-ring wearing contractor who tangles with Jack. Owen Wilson is brought back to test the Focker marriage and poor Teri Polo is pretty much relegated into the background and given little to do.

This film feels like it is trying too hard to please every one and therefore it becomes too much and overblown. The parts that really work are the scenes between Jack and Greg. It’s tough for an old lion to pass on the mantle to someone younger. Especially when you have never really appreciated him before. And for Greg, it’s terrifying when you wake up and realize that suddenly “you’re the man”. Our Greg is growing up and Jack is getting old. It’s funny, but sad too. Luckily we still have the original film to cherish. Like a photograph it’s good to remember our glory days.

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Fan Reviews: BLACK SWAN

AFox Searchlight Pictures release by visionary director Darren Aronofsky (THE WRESTLER), BLACK SWAN takes a thrilling and at times terrifying journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the Swan Queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.

Genres:            Drama, Thriller
Starring:           Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, Janet Montgomery, Barbara Hershey
Directed By:    Darren Aronofsky

Black Swan
Fox Searchlight
Release: 12/03/2010

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Movie Review: Natalie Portman Loses It in BLACK SWAN

Natalie Portman IN Black_Swan

CineMovie break downs  Darren Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Winona Ryder in this  quick movie review.

One-Word Reaction:  Trippy

Plot: Natalie Portman is Nina Sayers, a mousy ballerina who wins the coveted lead role of the White and Black Swan in the production of Swan Lake.  Nina is perfect as the graceful White Swan but her innocence and naivity holds her back from becoming the possessed and sexually-charged Black Swan.  Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis try to bring out nina's inner wild side and seductress nature. The pressure to become the Black Swan leads to dangerous consequences for Nina.  

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Movie Review: Disney's TANGLED

Disney's 50th animation film, TANGLED, opens in theaters Thanksgiving weekend starring the voices of Mandy Moore, Chuck's Zachary Levi, and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy).  What do the fans think?  Watch video reviews below.

In TANGLED, Rapuzel (Mandy Moore) is no longer the lady in distress waiting for her Prince Charming to save her from the tower. Prince Charming is a thief named Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) hiding out in a mysterious tower when he is taken hostage by Rapuzel. Rapunzel strikes a deal with the handsome thief to guide her to see the lighted stars in a far away land but she has to be back before her wicked mother discovers her gone.  The unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade.

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Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi Satisfy Their Inner Disney Nerd

Disney's First Real Kiss in TANGLED




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Movie Review: Dwayne Johnson in FASTER

Fans weigh in on Dwayne Johnson's action movie, FASTER also starring Billy Bob Thornton and Carla Gugino (The Watchmen).

After 10 years in prison, Driver (Dwayne Johnson) has a singular focus - to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment.  Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he’s finally on his mission…but with two men on his trail – a veteran cop (Billy Bob Thornton) just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent.

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INTERVIEW: Dwayne Johnson On Returning To Action In FASTER

Movie Trailer: Faster with Dwayne Johnson

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Movie Review: Cher and Christina Don't Disappoint in BURLESQUE

Burlesque movie posterCineMovie sent Cher fan Gil Kaan to see BURLESQUE and below is his review for Christina Aguilera's acting debut. 

The wait is over to the question in every Christina and Cher fans' minds -Burlesque is no Glitter or  Showgirls as first rumored in the press.  

Christina Aguilera fans will be rooting for her Ali, a wide-eyed, small-town aspiring singer who aggressively pursues a position in Cher's burlesque show in Hollywood. Christina's vocal and dancing talents are used to their full advantage in the movie's plot to  audience's enjoyment.

Cher just seems to have fun with the been-there-done-that mentor role as Tess, the club owner. And Cher, er, Tess, gives two crowd-pleasing musical numbers as only Cher can do.  The first, clad in a Bob Mackie ensemble and backed by the burlesque beauties, Cher puts her unique mark on "Welcome to Burlesque" and later in very random performance on her way out the door when asked to rehearse "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me."

Director/writer Steven Antin keeps the script simple and fairly plausible while pacing the plotline smoothly, interspersing the non-musical scenes within many of the musical numbers.

Each of the actors in the supporting ensemble have their moment to shine: Eric Dane as the rich mogul interested in Ali; Alan Cumming as the "Cabaret-esque" emcee; Peter Gallagher as Tess' stressed out ex. Kristen Bell and "Dancing With the Stars" Julianne Hough add as much fun onstage in the musical performances as they do offstage.  Look for Kristen Bell's Nikki in a couple of not-to-be-forgotten bitch-fights!

Everyone should have a gay BBF like Sean, played by Stanley Tucci. He knows when to lie to make Tess feel good and when to tell the truth when things get tough.

Everyone should have a roommate like Jack played by the very handsome Cam Gigandet. Caring, sensitive, considerate, gorgeous-he would be a great partner for either sex! Look out for his Famous Amos cookie box scene!

But ultimately, "Burlesque" is all about the musical numbers, intricately choreographed by Denise Fay and Joey Pizzi, sensuously costumed by Michael Kaplan, and sharply edited by Virginia Katz.

You will leave the theatre humming at least one of the movie's hot, hot, hot numbers! You might even remember of the many great one-liners, like "And you're in my mirror because?" and "Would you like a cookie?"

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MOVIE REVIEWS: Paranormal Activity 2

Spooky hauntings are once again the main course in this Paramount Pictures follow-up to Oren Peli's wildly successful supernatural thriller, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Kip Williams directs from a script by Michael Perry.

Post your movier review or watch fan video reviews below.



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The SAW horror franchise comes to an end with the final chapter SAW 3D.  

As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror...  The film stars Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell and Sean Patrick Flannery.

What did you think of the film?  Post your video review below or watch fans movie reviews.

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Fan Movie Reviews: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Watch fan reviews below.

Twilight's Kellan Lutz and TV's Melrose Place and Supernatural's Katie Cassidy plus Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and the new Freddy Krueger (Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley) star in the re-imagining of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

INTERVIEW: No Funny Business For New Freddy Krueger


CineMovie Reviews Freddy Krueger's Return


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MOVIE REVIEWS: The Company Men

The Company Men movie poster While most Americans have no love for corporate America during the recession, you will be feeling sorry for these company men played by Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper.

In THE COMPANY MEN, Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers.

At first you dislike these men who flaunt their wealth with lavish homes and expensive toys but when they come to face to face with potentially losing the life they were comfortable with, the story becomes interesting. The ensemble cast does a great job of conveying the feelings of their characters and of most Americans. The story will hit home for everyone, even the working class.

After losing his job as a Sales Executive in a ship building corporation, Ben Affleck's Bobby character believes he will rebound with another job with equal pay and thus refuses to cut back on his lavish life when his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) recommends it.  Reality soon hits Bobby when the jobs aren't coming his way and the bills have gone unpaid.  He eventually has to accept a blue-collar job with his brother-in-law's (Kevin Costner) carpenter business and endure the grueling physical work.

Bobby's older co-worker played by Chris Cooper is facing an even harsher reality.  Who is going to hire a 60 year-old man?  They recommend he clean up and dye his hair to look younger.  Tommy Lee Jones' Gene is one of the head honchos at the company fighting to keep his sales execs from being layed off but going head to head with the President of his corporation  (Craig T. Nelson), his best friend, lands him in the unemployment line.  However, he's not worrying about money since he owns stocks in the company, but his guilt over his rich lifestyle and watching the other's lives crumble leaves him feeling powerless.  He also soon butts heads with the head of Human Resources doing the firing who also happens to be his mistress (Maria Bello).

THE COMPANY MEN is a human story done well.  Thanks to Michael Moore and countless other films and documentaries chronicling the crumbling economy and the effects on the working class, THE COMPANY MEN offers a different perspective. Director John Wells, best known for his work as a television producer, writer, and director for ER, West Wing, and Southland, crafts the multiple storylines very well without losing focus and uses the veteran actors to their fullest potential.

Ben Affleck is proving himself a great actor in dramatic roles such as last year's The Town and now with THE COMPANY MEN. As the Bobby character, Affleck clearly transforms from a cocky sales executive loving the good life to a vulnerable husband and father feeling the pressures of reality. Chris Cooper, as always, gives a heartfelt performance exemplified through his expressive facial features which leaves you feeling the pain along with him. Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Kevin Costner and Affleck's on screen wife Rosemarie DeWitt give exceptional performances as well.

The one complaint about THE COMPANY MEN is it's lack of perspective from a female's point of view. While the film's title suggests it's a men's world, you can't help but need that side of the story.  In the background a female executive  in the company joins the rank of unemployed alongside Affleck but her story is not told. The woman's perspective are told from the wives of these company men, some understanding and others selfish.

For some, like Michael Moore, the film will definitely have you feeling angry towards capitalism. In THE COMPANY MEN, Tommy Lee Jones is appalled that the company is showing off their multi-million dollar skyscraper under going construction when they have just cut half their sales staff. His suggestion that they sell the building to guarantee jobs gets him fired. In another instance, the company honchos mention cutting back in other areas such as healthcare but they refuse because that is the one sector making profits. THE COMPANY MEN hits on a personal level.

The finale of the film is a bit romanticized but the message is clear. America has to start with a clean slate and working people must come before profit margins.

THE COMPANY MEN is a must see and relevant to the times. Add a comment


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