Archive for movie review

The Secret Life of Bees

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , on October 17, 2008 by funofmovie
The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees

Length: 110 min
Rated: PG-13
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date:  2008-10-17

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Sophie Okonedo Paul Bettany, Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood

Produced by James Lassiter, Ewan Leslie, Joe Pichirallo, Lauren Shuler Donner, Will Smith
Written by Gina Prince-Bythewood

The Secret Life of Bees belongs in part to the troubled genre of “magical Negro” stories, in which a white protagonist is somehow enlightened or rescued by a particularly special black person (Jim in Huck Finn is an early example). But happily, Sue Monk Kidd’s novel and its adaptation by Gina Prince-Bythewood avoids stereotyping and easy answers, presenting a coming-of-age story that goes easy on the life lessons and forced moments of racial understanding.

Crowded with vibrant characters and a wealth of talent, Secret Life of Bees is cuddly enough for Oprah but never cloying, a refreshing take on the more standard, calculated stories of female empowerment.

Dakota Fanning stars as Lily, a 14-year-old who grew up only with her abusive father, T. Ray (Paul Bettany, a surprisingly convincing Southerner), after she accidentally shot her mother at the age of four. When Lily’s nanny Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) is beaten by a white mob one her way to register to vote, Lily takes the opportunity to run away from home.

She and Rosaleen make their way to the nearby town of Tiburon, South Carolina, where Lily’s only remaining mementoes of her mother suggest she’ll find a home.

That’s precisely what Lily finds at the Pepto Bismol-pink home of the Boatwright sisters, a trio of black women who run a beekeeping business on their property. The oldest, August (Queen Latifah), immediately accepts Lily into her maternal embrace, while youngest sister June (Alicia Keys), a burgeoning Black Power activist, is more skeptical of the white runaway. Also in the house is May (Sophie Okonedo), emotionally damaged by the death of her twin sister some years earlier, who forms an immediate bond with Rosaleen.

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The Elephant King movie

Posted in Movies with tags , on October 16, 2008 by funofmovie
The Elephant King movie

The Elephant King movie

Production Status:     In Production/Awaiting Release
Genres:     Drama
Running Time:     1 hr. 32 min.
MPAA Rating:     R for sexual content, drug use, language and some violence.
Distributors:     Unison Films
Production Co.:     Unison Films, De Warrenne Pictures
Filming Locations:     Thailand
Produced in:     United States

Starring:      Tate Ellington, Jonno Roberts, Florence Faivre, Ellen Burstyn, Josef Sommer

Directed by:     Seth Grossman

Produced by:     Ryan Brooks, Emanuel Michael, Tom Waller

The Elephant King” is a provocative and stirring story of two American brothers, Oliver and Jake Hunt, adrift in an exotic world they don’t fully understand. When a domineering mother dispatches her young, introverted son Oliver off to Thailand to do everything he can to lure his reckless, older brother back home to the United States to face pending fraud charges, Oliver finds the intoxication of Thailand hard to resist—especially when it has a face as alluring as Lek’s.

As Oliver falls deeply in love for the first time, Jake slips deeper into despair, and the seams of their relationship begin to come undone. When the true extent of Jake’s decadence and self-destruction is revealed to Oliver, he is forced to decide whether he will save his brother’s life or his own.

Blindness movie

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2008 by funofmovie

When a sudden plague of blindness devastates a city, a small group of the afflicted band together to triumphantly overcome the horrific conditions of their imposed quarantine.

Genres:     Art/Foreign, Drama, Thriller and Adaptation

Running Time:     2 hrs.

Release Date:    October 3rd, 2008 (wide)

MPAA Rating:     R for violence including sexual assaults, language and sexuality/nudity.

Distributors:   Miramax Films

Starring:       Don McKellar, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover, Alice Braga

Directed by:     Fernando Meirelles

Produced by:     Simon Channing-Williams, Gail Egan, Akira Ishii

Blindness – Blindness colors Cannes

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , on October 2, 2008 by funofmovie

The Cannes International Film Festival, the most glamorous event on the festival calendar, returns to celebrate its 61st year from May 14 to 25.

It has kicked off with a bang with Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles’s apocalyptic thriller Blindness, starring and .

It was directed by Fernando Meirelles’s from a novel by Portuguese Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago. The novel of the same name tells the apocalyptic story of a plague of blindness sweeping the world.

Blindness is Fernando Meirelles’ third film after his 2002’s thriller City of God and 2005’s The Constant Gardener.

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Burn After Reading movie release September 12 2008

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by funofmovie

Genre Comedy, Drama
Release Date September 12, 2008
Studio Focus Features


George Clooney as Harry Pfarrer
John Malkovich as Osbourne Cox
Frances McDormand
Brad Pitt as Chad Feldheimer
Tilda Swinton as Katie Cox
Richard Jenkins
Logan Kulick
Lenny Venito

The Coen brothers’ follow-up to their Best Picture-winning No Country for Old Men is — no surprise for this offbeat filmmaking duo — its polar opposite. A sort of Fargo on helium, Burn is a goofball crime caper about two dim-witted gym employees (Pitt and Frances McDormand) who try to extort a curmudgeonly CIA agent (Malkovich) after they come across a CD-ROM containing possibly classified information. A-list names like Clooney and Pitt may sell the most tickets, but it’s the potty-mouthed Malkovich who easily racks up the most laughs. “The first scene I did was a phone call with Brad and Frances,” says Malkovich, whose character drops countless F-bombs throughout the film. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there on the soundstage because I was rehearsing a play. So I did it from an apartment in Paris. It was really late at night and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. God knows what the neighbors thought.”

Also along for the ride is newly minted Academy Award winner Swinton, as Malkovich’s testy wife, while Clooney plays her scheming lover — though that doesn’t mean the former Michael Clayton adversaries, who filmed Burn during last year’s Oscar-campaign season, have the best onscreen relationship this go-around, either. Recalls Swinton: “At the end of the shoot, George said, touchingly, wistfully, ‘Well, maybe one day we’ll get to make a film together when we say one nice thing to each other.'”

Ping Pong Playa-movie release September 5 2008

Posted in Movies with tags , , , on September 5, 2008 by funofmovie

Starring: Jimmy Tsai, Andrew Vo, Khary Payton, Roger Fan, Jim Lau
Directed by: Jessica Yu
Produced by: Jeff Gou, Anne Clements, Michael O. Gallant

Genres: Comedy, Romance and Sports
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Release Date: September 5th, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, including some sexual remarks and drug references.
Distributors: IFC Films

Christopher “C-DUB” Wang is a young Chinese-American man who presents himself with a streetwise, ghetto swagger and dreams of a career as a basketball star. But soon he finds his real gift as a ping-pong player and coach, leading an odd squad of students to a local championship.

Save me Movie review – Release September 5 2008

Posted in Movies with tags on September 5, 2008 by funofmovie

starring: Robert Gant, Chad Allen, Judith Light, Stephen Lang

director: Robert Cary

Release Date: Sep 5, 2008

Running Time: 96 mins.

Country Of Origin: United States

As disagreements continue to heat up between red states and blue states, and liberals and evangelicals during this election season, Save Me makes its debut as a story that may be in search of unlikely middle ground. Filmmaker Robert Cary, who last delved with great wit and warmth into the agony and ecstasy of Jewish relationship debacles in an urban setting with Ira And Abby, goes to nearly opposite extremes with Save Me. Here he veers into highly hot topic territory in a dramatic confrontation between homosexuality and Christian orthodoxy in rural New Mexico.

Chad Allen (St. Elsewhere) is Mark, a young party hard, promiscuous gay coke addict who attempts suicide in a dingy hotel after his latest one night stand bolts and dumps him at dawn. Mark’s distraught family pressures him to check into the males only Genesis House, a born again rehab retreat specializing in a strict regimen of full time faith as the cure for gay ‘sexual brokenness.’

Mark’s initial rebellious resistance to his surroundings slowly smooths over into acceptance and personal reflection under the mixed bag of stern and yet caring support from head matriarch Gayle (Judith Light). Consumed by a ‘warriors for Jesus’ style of Christian doctrine and adhering to the literally straight and narrow road as the only acceptable lifestyle, Gayle bans everything from smoking and cursing, to crossing your legs too daintily and same sex glancing. She also recruits available young women periodically to attend a dance party on the grounds, in order to hopefully keep any potential unapproved sexual urges of the Genesis House occupants in check.

But it turns out that Gayle has some fairly unresolved obsessions of her own, related to the death of her son years ago. And her unhealthy, overly prying attachment to Mark eventually shakes up the deceptive calm of the residence in major ways.

Save Me remarkably manages to find a delicate balance between powerfully opposing points of view around religious devotion and sexual preference. And though the film’s sentiments are clearly pro-gay, they’re not quite crafted as evangelical caricature or an assault against Christian values.

At the same time, each character is fleshed out with uncommon sensitivity, in a story where there are ultimately no true villains. The point of Save Me is that fear, not loathing is the greatest enemy to mutual understanding and acceptance of both difference, and the differently desired. Not a bad notion to convey in these morally divisive times