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Celeb ID #15: Guess Who?

 

 Salma Hayek Photo

The first person to identify this warped celebrity at SPL!NG on Facebook wins a DVD!
Trivia: This diabetic, dyslexic daughter of an opera singer was nominated for an Oscar.

Unmodified original image will be posted on right once this Celeb ID game is over.

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Nine Movie Review: A Straight Musical?

Nine Movie Poster

There are plenty of musicals that have found their niche on stage and film like Sweeney Todd, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Shop of Horrors and yes, even Grease. However, that doesn't stop me from cringing when I hear the word 'musical'. For heaven's sake, they're meant for Broadway not Hollywood... and if you're not examining the behind-the-scenes gravity like in Hamlet 2 or Every Little Step, then the only point of adapting to film is making the musical more accessible to those that don't live on Broadway.

Now I've seen Cats live and "live" on film. While Andrew Lloyd Webber made prancing felines in a dump yard seem like high-class entertainment, it still relies on full scale dance casts, lighting and musical vibrations that are no comparison on 2D film. The only time an on screen musical compels me, is when the spontaneous eruptions of sing-song are captured in a natural manner without a player looking skyward or into the distant horizon. Referencing Chicago in Nine's marketing campaign did not give me much confidence, it actually lowered my expectations.

Nine had a impressive line-up from the get-go: Fellini's 8 1/2 adaptation gave the material some credibility, Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha elevated the visual component, Daniel Day-Lewis's presence asserted the already strong cast of leading ladies including: Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson and Judi Dench. If there ever was a musical with the right tone and combination, Nine was going to be it. It was right! I was captivated by Nine, from its star line-up...continued.

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Shutter Island Movie Review: Something Borrowed, Something New

Shutter Island Movie Poster

I love a good mystery/thriller… that’s why I just had to catch Shutter Island, a new Scorsese film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and based on the novel of the same title by crime/mystery writer, Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River). DiCaprio and Scorsese are quickly becoming a Hollywood staple as Shutter Island marks the fourth DiCaprio/Scorsese pairing after Oscar contenders, Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed.

The Shutter Island trailer teased us into thinking this was going to be Martin Scorsese’s first horror outing (Cape Fear doesn’t count), but it was just a clever marketing ploy to make us think he’d gone off the rails after his long-awaited Oscar. Lehane’s novels (all three of them) translate into fine films and Shutter Island could easily have been a Stephen King adaptation in the realm of The Green Mile. Scorsese’s film is still firmly planted in the crime genre, but there’s more than meets the eye in this absorbing, entertaining and unpredictable thriller.

We’re cast in the deep end as ex-WWII soldier and FBI agent, Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) investigates the case of a missing patient on Shutter Island. The federal mental health facility is hidden from the public eye and Daniels and his partner, are sent to investigate and track down a violent escapee...continued.

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New Rental Releases This Week (08/03/10)


New DVD rental releases at DVBee this week:

Law Abiding Citizen, Surrogates and Blood: The Last Vampire!

 

 


Law Abiding Citizen Movie PosterLAW ABIDING CITIZEN (2009)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Age Restriction: 16VL

This unconventional Hollywood thriller packs a punch as a man loses his family and plans the ultimate revenge against the justice system that thwarted him. Two solid lead performances, complex characters, a captivating revenge story and ultra-violent action make this thrill ride worth seeing, although you'll have to leave your own sense of reason at the door as the body count stacks up.


Surrogates Movie PosterSURROGATES (2009)
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Age Restriction: 13PG V


Surrogates blends several sci-fi subplots from The Matrix, Strange Days, Terminator and I, Robot quite seamlessly to create an original and intriguing premise. The plastic performances from the solid ensemble are almost as convincing as the real thing as this stylish thriller kicks into overdrive. Bruce Willis takes command, unfortunately the drama and complexity of the film remain skin deep with rapid pacing as it cruises in at 80 minutes.



Blood: The Last Vampire Movie PosterBLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2009)
Director: Chris Nahon
Starring: Gianna Jun, Allison Miller
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Age Restriction: 13 LV

Blood: The Last Vampire is based on an anime horror/thriller in the vein of Vampire Hunter D, making a live-action adaptation similar to Dragonball and Speed Racer. Unfortunately, this blood-thirsty adaptation loses some bite in the transition to the silver screen... remaining visually dynamic with action choreography, yet mediocre to disappointing in all other departments.


 
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