Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Project 2996: A Tribute to Jeremy Glick

In a departure from the normal banter about movies and celebrities, I am participating in a special project, Project 2996. It is a project developed by a fellow blogger to honor the lives of those who perished at the hands of terrorists almost ten years ago. While we all remember the tragic circumstances surrounding their deaths, it is their lives we wish to commemorate. Here is my tribute to one of those fallen Americans, Jeremy Glick.
Though most people were introduced to Jeremy Glick as a result of the heroism that was part of a the most tragic day in history, his courage, fortitude and devotion to family were evident long before that fateful day.
Born September 3, 1970, Jeremy was filled with creativity and talent. At twelve he won the lead role of Curly in the musical play “Oklahoma”, and worked hard to give the best performance he could. He played the violin and loved poetry. His favorite poet was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Such a fan was he that years later he would name his daughter Emerson, Emmy for short, in the poet’s honor.
Jeremy was also an athlete. In addition to his musical and creative talents, Jeremy played lacrosse and soccer. He skied, wrestled and excelled at judo. Studying from the age of 7until he left for college, Glick loved judo. While attending the University of Rochester, Jeremy earned the title of US National Collegiate Judo champion in 1993.
Known for his serious nature, Jeremy favored the 70s television show “Emergency” about the crew of Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Station 51. He always wanted to be a hero when he grew up and favored the character John Gage, a paramedic on the show.
In 1996, Jeremy married his longtime girlfriend Lyzbeth Makely. The pair grew up outside of Upper Saddle River, N.J.  The homecoming king and queen of 1988 went to separate colleges and Jeremy always said he would win the nationals in the judo competition so he could win a trip to visit Lyzbeth in San Francisco. The couple had their daughter, Emerson, on June 18, 2001.
Always devoted to his family, Jeremy took the all night shifts to stay up and provide the hourly feedings his premature daughter needed so his wife could sleep. He would return from work and ask for his turn with baby, and delighted in her smiles. It was his effort to get home from a business trip as soon as possible that put him on Flight 93 and sealed his fate.
Jeremy Glick lived a life worth remembering. Loved, respected and admired by everyone who knew him, Jeremy left an indelible print on those he encountered.

Monday, August 8, 2011

L Is for Long Time Coming

I saw the Original Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the theaters when it came out in 1982. Aside from Arnold’s thick accent making it difficult to understand what little dialogue he had, the movie was a decent action flick, for its time. Almost as soon as the sequel, Conan the Destroyer was out, there was talk of more films and before long rumblings of a remake.
It has been a long time coming but the remake is finally here. Conan the Barbarian in 3D opens August 19th and my husband and teenage sons are anxiously counting the days. This telling deviates somewhat from the original film version though the plotline of revenge for the destruction of Conan’s village and the murder of his father are still the heart and soul of Conan’s motivation.
I have seen several trailers including one showing a young Conan (Leo Howard) as he takes on a band of warriors single-handedly as a preteen. The fight scene is grizzly, chilling and superbly choreographed. The young actor is unbelievable and I found myself wishing the film dealt more with this young man than the adult version of Conan. Still, the movie shows promise.
I have promised my men that we will see this in the theaters so I will share my review in a couple of weeks.

Friday, May 6, 2011

X Is for “X-Men –First Class”

This installment in the successful “X-Men” series is a prequel, taking fans back to the beginning. Charles Xavier, opens a school for humans possessing special abilities. Later, he forms a team from among the school’s student body. Xavier or Professor X as he is known to his students meets Eric Lehnsherr who later becomes Magneto. The pair form a close bond and work to prevent cataclysmic events around the globe until differing opinions cause a rift to form between the two friends.
The film is set in 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The rift between the two men puts their respective groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, at war with one another. Some familiar characters will make an appearance but I hear their will also be a few new ones introduced to fans of the franchise.
Among those I’m looking forward to seeing in this movie are James McAvoy as Xavier. McAvoy stole my heart in “Becoming Jane” when he portrayed the love interest to Anne Hathaway’s Jane Austen. He was also memorable in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Last King of Scotland” and “Atonement.” Watch for him later this summer in “The Conspirator” too.
Michael Fassbender plays Magneto. He has to his film credits “Inglourious Basterds,” Jane Eyre” and “Band of Brothers.”
Kevin Bacon, a perennial favorite, breaks out his bad boy persona as Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club, a group bent on world domination.
Need more? Check out the trailer here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

K Is for ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

Yes, Jack Black is back as Po, the Dragon Warrior in a new Kung Fu Panda flick. This one is coming in 3-D on May 26th.
Po, who has achieved his dream of becoming a kung fu master, lives with his friends, the Furious Five and their master in the Valley of Peace. A new nemesis, the emperor albino peacock Lord Shen with a secret weapon is plotting to rid the world of kung fu and it is up to Po to stop him. In order tofind the strength to defeat him, Po will have to search his past to find out more about his mysterious origins.
The film was set to be released as “Kung Fu 2: Pandamonium” and then as “Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom” but the actual release name will just be “Kung Fu Panda 2.” All the original cast is returning along with Black. New cast members include the voice talents of Victor Garber, Michelle Yeoh, Gary Oldman, Dennis Haysbert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Danny McBride.
Check out the trailer here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J Is for ‘Jumping the Broom’

“Jumping the Broom” is a comedy featuring some of the funniest people around: Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Laz Alonso, Paula Patton, Tasha Smith, Pooch Hall and Meagan Good.
Jumping the broom is both an English tradition practices by Gypsies in Wales and African American communities. The origin of the custom is unknown and its symbolism varies widely. In some cases couples jump over the broom together and the act signifies marriage. In other cases, which ever person jumped higher over the broom was designated the decision maker in the union. In all cases the custom signified the joining of two people in marriage or where circumstance prevented, as close to one as they could get.
In “Jumping the Broom,” the families of two divergent socioeconomic backgrounds come together on Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding and mayhem reigns supreme as you can see in this trailer. The movie opens May 6, 2011.

“I” Is for ‘Immortals’

Mickey Rourke, photo by nicogenin on Wikimeda Commons

Mickey Rourke has been busy in recent history, churning out five films in the last two years. In November, he will be seen as King Hyperion, the Titan Hyperion disguised as the king of Crete. This role finds him playing a villain moving his army across ancient Greece in search of the legendary Bow of Epirus. Should they secure the bow, Hyperion will be able to defeat the Gods of Olympus and rule the world.

Henry Cavill, most recently from the Showtime series, ‘The Tudors,’ and soon to be seen as the new man of Steel in the upcoming 2012 release of “Superman,” plays Theseus, founder and King of Athens. He is the hero in this film bringing Greek mythology to the 3D screen.

For fans of fantasy, this rendition of the battle against the titans should enthrall. Check out the trailer to see what you think.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

“H” Is for “The Hangover 2”

Photo by David Shankbone on Wikimedia Commons
If you saw the first “The Hangover,” then the sequel needs little explanation. If you missed it, you’ll want to rent or download it as soon as you can because it was pretty damned funny.
Four friends, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha), went to Las Vegas for Doug’s bachelor party. Three groomsmen awoke the next morning to a demolished hotel room and a missing bride groom. With 48 hours to find Doug and get him home in time for the nuptials, the friends have to unravel the mysteries of the bachelor party that took place the previous night.
Now it’s Stu’s turn to get married. Wary of a repeat scenario, he wisely arranges a sedate and classic brunch for his bachelor party, this time in Bangkok. The groom isn’t missing but his future bride’s little brother is. They boys brought him along and when they wake up the next morning, they can’t believe it’s all happening again.
Liam Neeson has a role as someone known as ‘Tattoo Man.’ That moniker alone makes me curious to see this version and if you watch the trailer, you’ll have a good idea how he fits in.

“F” Is for ‘Fright Night’ (2011)

“Fright Night” is coming to theaters this summer, August 19th to be precise starring Anton Yelchin as suburbanite teenager Charley Brewster and Colin Farrell as the vampire who moves in next door.
This is the third time a movie with this title has hit the silver screen though the first was 1947 Three Stooges film bearing no resemblance to the latter two films.
The original “Fright Night” was released in 1985 and starred William Ragsdale as the teenager and Chris Sarandon as the vampire. It was billed as a horror film but was laced with comedy and was moderate hit.
With some modifications, the new plotline closely follows the original. Still billed as a horror film filled with scares and plenty of blood, it also promises a few laughs. In this version, no one believes Charley either when he tells them a vampire lives in the neighborhood. Instead of teaming up with a washed-up actor who has just been fired from his job as the host of a late-night horror show (originally played by Roddy McDowell), Charlie must team with a Vegas stage-show magician played by David Tennant. The new story still Charley’s mom (Toni Collette) falling under the vampire’s spell and a pretty high school honey for Charley to protect.
Farrell may be one of Ireland’s national treasures and has quite a filmography to boot. With more than 40 films to his credit, he first caught my eye in the Tom Cruise flick “Minority Report.” He was good in “The Recruit” with Al Pacino but I loved his performance in “The Phone booth.” He started as a busy, self-centered public relations man whom you are loathe to care about until he happens to answer a phone in a public phone booth ona busy New York City corner. There his life unfurls and he transforms into a terrified and desperate person you find yourself rooting for.
Yelchin is young and has only a few films under his belt but what films they are. He started as the little girl’s school friend in “Along Came a Spider”. You might remember him from “Star Trek” as the young Checkov. I next noticed him in “Terminator Salvation” as Kyle Reese.
If you like a good horror film with a little humor, this might be the ticket this summer.

"G" Is for Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler is one of today’s hottest and most talented actors, not to mention he’s pretty easy on the eyes. I thought I first noticed him, like everyone else in “300,” the film about Sparta’s stand against insurmountable numbers. However, once I realized who he was, I was surprised to learn I had also liked him in “Phantom of the Opera.” True, the mask hid most of his face and the character of the phantom is so different from most of the tough-guys roles he plays that I probably would have never connected him to that film.

Butler has starred in several films I have enjoyed. I think my favorite has to be “The Ugly Truth” in which he is the biggest male chauvinist on the planet. The chemistry he creates with Katherine Heigl is amazing and despite his apparent disregard for women, he wins you over in the end.

I also appreciated the tenderer ‘Gerry’ he plays in “P.S. I Love You” opposite a devastated Hilary Swank.

He has great fun chasing down Jennifer Aniston in “The Bounty Hunter.”

If you haven’t watched a Butler film in a while, you can check out his filmography here.

“E” Is for ‘Everybody Loves Whales’

Photo by Caroline Bonarde Ucci at Wikimedia Commons
In my quest to find an “E” title, I had to search in the upcoming projects department to find something suitable. “Everybody Loves Whales” is currently slated for 2012 but just eyeballing the cast got my radar on alert.
Production company Anonymous Content is doing the picture and has already signed on Kristen Bell, Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Dermot Mulroney and Ted Danson.
The plot line follows the efforts of a nonprofit aid worker and a government worker as they join forces to free three California gray whales that have become trapped under the ice of the Arctic circle. The two, naturally become romantically involved.
The movie is currently being listed as a romance/drama but I could find no trailers to share with you at this time. I’ll keep my eye on it as this has potential.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

“D” Is for Drama

What is drama? According to (a favorite reference site of mine),it is “ a composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue or pantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character, especially one intended to be acted on the stage; a play.” Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject.”
Those are the textbook definitions but want makes a good drama? I’m sure the answer varies from person to person. For me, a good drama is one in which I can connect with at least one of the characters on an emotional level. I have seen some outstanding performances such as Tommy Lee Jones in “Cobb” or Jim Carrey in “Man on the Moon” but in both cases, because I could not identify with the characters on the screen, I found it hard to “like” these movies.
Dramas, for me, are often heart-rending affairs. Think along the lines of “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Ordinary People” or “The Bridges of Madison County.”  Others that have moved me without moving me to tears would be “Elizabeth” with Cate Blanchett“,”Pride and Prejudice” with Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen and “The Perfect Storm.”
In all of these cases, I could relate to the emotions and experiences of one or more characters. Not to say that I have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be the Queen of England or captaining a fishing boat. I could relate to the feeling of being alone in an important decision-making situation, feeling unloved or struggling to overcome some catastrophic event in my life.
Movies that make me care about the characters and forget my own troubles for a while are in my book, the best the genre of drama has to offer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

“C” is for ‘The Conspirator’

In keeping with the A-to-Z Challenge, today’s movie entry is about the upcoming Robert Redford-directed flick “The Conspirator.” As a director, Redford has had some success. His first attempt was the critically-acclaimed “Ordinary People” from 198o which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Not bad for a first try. Other directorial efforts that I have personally enjoyed include “A River Runs through It,” “Quiz Show” and “The Horse Whisperer.” With Redford at the helm, I’m already highly interested.

The next thing that appeals to me is the fact that it’s a historical period piece. I love history, particularly American history. This film follows events that took place after the assassination of President Lincoln. Following the assassination, the powers that be believed John Wilkes Booth did not act alone and began rounding up conspirators, including Mary Surratt (Robin Wright). Mary ran a boarding house and was accused of allowing the conspirators which included her son to meet there.

Enter Civil War hero Frederick Aiken, played by James McAvoy whom I loved in another period piece, “Becoming Jane,” where played the love interest of Jane Austen. Aiken wants a career in politics and starts out by becoming a lawyer. He is approached by attorney general Reverdy Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) to defend Mary. Aiken struggles with his conscience as the trial proceeds and begs Mary to disclose the location of her son John before she suffers in the gallows in his place.

Based on the trailer, this film promises intrigue and drama wrapped in the historical data that makes the story remarkable.  The cast and director are more than able of pulling this off and I am looking forward to this one with great anticipation. It opens in theaters April 15th with a PG-13 rating for some violence.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

“B” Is for ‘The Beaver’

Mel Gibson. The name alone brings thoughts of controversy and megalomaniacal egocentric meltdowns. And I’m a Mel Gibson fan. Let me clarify that. I am a fan of the man’s work, not the man whose personal life imploded in the media not so long ago.
“The Beaver” is the latest effort Mel has put out. The premise involves a depressed man with a puppet of a beaver. With the movie’s title and that snippet of information, I was expecting a comedy. This is one is being billed as a drama and further into I delve, the more interesting it begins to sound.
Walter Black was once a successful toy company CEO and a happily married, family man. Depression took over and now Walter can’t seem to do anything right. That is until the puppet enters the picture.
Work holds no appeal; he can’t connect with his wife, played by Jodie Foster, who also directs, or his kids. Then one evening he finds the puppet and it becomes the voice he has lost. It allows him to say the things he needs to with the psychological buffer the beaver provides. Through this coping device, Walter begins to reshape his life and his relationships.
It sounds a bit contrived but when you watch the trailer, you’ll see that it really seems to work. I also saw a spark of the Mel Gibson I came to love in films like “Man without a Face,” ”Conspiracy Theory” and “Forever Young.”
Gibson’s only made four films since 2006 and 2 of them haven’t released yet. This outing reunites Gibson with Foster who worked on “Maverick” together in 1994. It looks as if the long wait may have been worth it.
The film is scheduled to open May 6, 2011. I definitely plan to see it, do you?

Friday, April 1, 2011

“A” Is for Angelina Jolie as “Cleopatra”

I am engaging in a writing challenge that kicks off today known as the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, which you can sign up for here. So today’s blog post is about Angelina Jolie.
People magazine announced on its website March 30th that the one and only Angelina Jolie has been cast to portray Cleopatra in a film set to release in 2013. There is much speculation about who will play Marc Antony, the Roman general whose love affair with her was downfall of each of them. Personally I would like to see Russell Crowe in the role. He has the maturity, the temperament and looks pretty good in the garb of the day (think along the lines of “Gladiator”).

This film version claims to focus more on her shrewd business and political sense than her prowess at seducing men. Whether the role calls for the seductress or the powerful-woman-in-charge, Jolie can handle the demands of the character. No doubt the costuming and make up will make the most of her world renowned beauty but she is more than capable of carrying off the tough-as-nails, leader of the ancient world bit.

I have always loved the Elizabeth Taylor version of the film and now that she’s gone, it seems more appropriate to remake one of her signature roles. Taylor used her looks to convince the world a queen could get whatever she wanted. I think Jolie’s adaptation will show us there more to the woman. Liz’s version will always hold a place in my heart but I’m anxious to see what Angelina does with the part.

Angelina has quite a filmography behind her. With nearly 40 films to her credit, it would be difficult to narrow it down to a list of 5 but I gave it a valiant effort. You can see my picks here. I’m sure the list will change and grow as her career unfolds.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Top Romance Movies of 2010

Which romantic comedies and tear-jerking dramas from 2010 made the top movies list? If sappy or silly love stories are your thing, the top romantic films of 2010 will give you plenty to love.
Movies with a romantic theme are among some of the most popular films every year and 2010 is no different. From hysterical comedies like “The Bounty Hunter” and “The Back Up Plan” to tear-jerkers like “Dear John”, romantic movies abound in 2010. There’s even an entry with a supernatural twist. SO pop the popcorn, snuggle with your cuddle partner or grab the comforter and the box of tissues and sit back with some of the best romantic films of 2010.
“When in Rome” – Kristen Bell of “Heroes” fame stars as a young woman who doesn’t believe in love. She flies to Italy to attend her sister’s wedding and meets someone special (Josh Duhamel). When she sees a woman fawning over him at a fountain purported to grant wishes to the lovelorn, she is crushed and climbs into the fountain. She selects 5 coins from the fountain, declaring she will spare these individuals the disappoint that comes from hoping for love by removing the coins they used to make their wishes. Almost immediately she is inexplicably pursued by all sorts of men, including the man of her dreams. Believing him to be under the fountain’s spell, she rejects him and nearly destroys her chance of happiness.

“Bounty Hunter” - Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston are a divorced couple, she a reporter chasing an explosive story, he a bounty hunter on her tail for failure to appear in court over an assault charge. She tries to outwit and out run him at every turn. His heart was so broken when she left him that turning her in is the perfect justice. Along the way, they learn a few things about one another and see each other in a different light.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top Ten Tear Jerker Romance Movies for Valentine’s Day

Top ten romance movies that are sure to make you reach for the tissues.
When a romantic movie makes you cry, it has touched a place in your heart that holds your dreams, your memories, your most tender thoughts. Valentine’s Day can be a time to reach into that soft, gooey place and get in touch with our feelings and these movies will help you do just that. I picked these because they are my personal favorites, each guaranteed to your tear ducts well up.
Tear Jerker Romance Movie #10: The Horse Whisperer
A terrible accident leaves a teenage girl and the horse she loves traumatized. The girl’s mother, Annie,  takes them to Montana to see the “horse whisperer”, a man who reportedly has a gift for communicating with horses. Annie’s time on the ranch opens her eyes to a different, quieter world where life isn’t all about schedules and cell phones. She falls in love with the horse whisperer, a man with emotional scars of his own and must choose between her husband and family and a life that calls to her from an inner place, a place she longs to share with the horse whisperer. Robert Redford is divinely understated and Kristin Scott Thomas undergoes a brilliant transformation from uptown chic to down home girl. Sam Neill tugs at your heart strings as the devoted husband who comes to realize he may be losing the best thing that’s ever happened to him. A young Scarlett Johansson also stars. PG-13, 1998, 168 mins.

Tear Jerker Romance Movie #9: Ghost
Even more tragic now that the world has lost Patrick Swayze, Ghost tells the story of Sam and Molly, a  young couple deeply in love who are torn apart by Sam’s seemingly random murder. Sam is unwilling to leave Molly and stays in his ghostly form but is unable to communicate with her until he discovers the services of Oda Mae Brown, a psychic. With her help, he works to discover why he was killed and to protect Molly. The final minutes of the movie when the two are briefly reunited is one of the moments that will make you cry no matter how many times you see it. Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, who won her Oscar for the role, round out the cast.  PG-13, 1990, 127

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Mature Romantic Movies for A More Mature Crowd on Valentine’s Day

Movies about older couples in love or finding love are a natural for Valentine's Day viewing.
Older audiences enjoy many of the same things younger audiences do, including a little romance now and then. The difference is mature viewers, like their counterparts in the films, have experienced many of life’s stages and are looking for something with a little deeper meaning or a little levity that pokes fun at life. These are among my favorite romances featuring somewhat older characters or stars.
Mature Romance #5 Murphy’s Romance – Starring James Garner and Sally Field, Murphy’s romance finds Emma relocating to a new town with her son to start life over after a divorce. Shaken and unsure of herself, she starts a horse ranch and wants to work as a horse trainer. She also meets Murphy Jones, the town druggist, an older man with a slow and steady disposition. He takes a liking to her and slowly starts wooing her, until her ex turns up and throws things topsy turvy.

Mature Romance #4 It’s Complicated Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin give knockout performances as three people caught up in an unlikely love triangle. Divorced for many years and brought together by their son’s college graduation, Streep and Baldwin find themselves in bed together and having an affair. The tables are turned and she is now the other woman. Martin plays Streep’s other love interest. This comedy is worth seeing and I won’t spoil the ending for you.

Read More about Mature Romance Movies here.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Top Ten Quirky Romance Movies for Valentine's Day

Romantic Movies for Valentine's Day for the Slightly Tilted Featuring Quirky Characters

Some of my favorite romance movies feature characters that are a little quirky or slightly mismatched. Why is that? I think it's because I can see a bit of myself in each of them. I'm no saint. I have flaws and quirks. There is something reassuring in knowing that even the oddest duck among us can find a soul mate. Here are my top ten picks for quirky romance movies:

Quirky Romance #1: Benny and Joon, 1993 Benny the mechanic and his mentally ill sister Joon live together in a small town, each without a life of their own until Sam arrives. Sam lives in his own world and patterns himself after silent film star Buster Keaton. Joon and Sam are drawn together and Benny fights to protect his sister from the inevitable pain of relationships. All three characters, aptly played by Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson and Aidan Quinn, share qualities with me. I am, by turns, protective, independent and whimsical.

Quirky Romance #2: As Good As It Gets, 1997, Jack Nicholson is not my idea of an attractive or romantic fellow but there are times in this movie when he just tears my heart out with his moments of clarity and truth. Struggling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Melvin Udall lives an organized, patterned life that doesn't allow for change or new people. His gay neighbor Simon Bishop drives him insane and his infatuation with his regular waitress makes him behave completely out of character. The three take a road trip and discover that sometimes what you have is the best life has to offer. Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear are excellent.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Upcoming Horror Movies for 2011

Horror Movies to Look Forward to in 2011

Fans of horror movies have much to look forward to in 2011. Several horror movie franchises have sequels and even a prequel coming out. A remake or two are on the horizon and several new films are poised to scare the pants off of us. Let's take a look at what terror awaits us in 2011

"Season of the Witch" - Nicolas Cage as a medieval Crusader tasked with escorting a witch, believed to have caused the Black Plague which has devastated the country, to an abbey where her powers can be destroyed. The knight, along with several others in his party, battle wilderness and each other over their ideas of what should happen to the girl. What awaits them at the abbey will threaten the knight's pledge to see the girl is treated fairly and facing a foe whose evil could alter the future of the world. Set to open January 7, 2011

"Black Death" - In Hollywood tradition, a second movie is in the works on the theme of the black plague and the supernatural. This horror movie features Sean Bean as Ulric, a monk sent to find out if the rumors of the dead returning to life in a small village are true. Set in England during the onset of the bubonic plague, Ulric discovers the village's ruler may have made a pact with the dark side. Set to open March 11, 2011

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For a review of the best Horror movies of 2010, read this article.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 5 Volcano Movies

Disaster movies allow us to live vicariously though the heroes and heroines as they battle overwhelming odds to survive the worst Mother Nature can throw at them and volcano movies are among the most violent and terrifying.
Most of us don’t live anywhere near a volcano and movies about volcanoes are as close as we will ever get, thankfully. Still, there is something about the sight of an erupting mountaintop and the creeping terror of lava as it engulfs everything it touches in flames, which sets the blood to boiling. These are great popcorn flicks, loaded in most cases with mounting tension and great special effects.
“Volcano” (1997) Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche lend their acting talents to this disaster drama set in Los Angeles. A volcano beneath the La Brea Tar Pits unleashes molten fury on the unsuspecting city. The lave displays an almost evil intelligence as it thwarts efforts to stop its progress by resorting to underground tunnels, causing new problems for those trying to contain its destructive energy. As the lava creeps down streets, swallowing (and melting) everything in its path, Mike Roark (Jones) tries to save the city and its population. In spite of the sometimes unbelievable events, “Volcano” sucks you in. Rated PG-13, “Volcano” runs 1 hour, 45 minutes.
“Dante’s Peak” (1007) As is Hollywood’s custom, why do one disaster movie on a theme when two will do just as well. For me, “Dante’s Peak” is the more believable of the 2 stories. Pierce Brosnan plays Harry Dalton, a volcanologist (and no, he doesn’t study Spock and his fellow Vulcans) has already lost a woman he loved to a volcano for not trusting his instincts and getting out in time. Now he’s sent to the remote idyllic town of Dante’s Peak nestled under the shadow of a sleeping volcano to check out some unusual activity. Here he meets Mayor Rachel Wando played charmingly by Linda Hamilton. The two are pulled into the drama as Harry comes to believe Rachel’s little paradise is about to become the next Vesuvius. Excellent special effects and a decent story make “Dante’s Peak” one great volcano movie. Rated PG-13, “Dante’s Peak runs 1 hour, 49 minutes.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top Romantic New Year’s Eve Movies

Whether you are happily ensconced in a relationship or just want to be, romantic movies featuring New Year’s Eve bring out the romantic side in all of us.
New Year’s Eve is all about romance and new beginnings and so are these top 5 movies. In some cases the promise of romance on New Year’s Eve is a central point of the movies and in others it is simply a poignant moment. But it is the poignant moments that make life as well as movies memorable. So pop open the cork on the  champagne, curl up on the couch, preferably with a loved one and watch a couple of romantic movies featuring New Year’s Eve, this New Year’s Eve!
When Harry Met Sally” (1989) - Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal give memorable performances as the title characters in this film about relationships between men and women. Friends for years, the two find themselves finally drawn to one another but fear having sex together would ruin their friendship. The climactic scene takes place on New Year’s Eve as the clock is ticking down to midnight and is a heart-pounding romantic moment that can convert even the most disbelieving person into a romantic soul
Someone Like You” (2001) Ashley Judd has been jilted by her boyfriend (Greg Kinnear) and her bruised ego wants some answers. Studying the human heart and males in particular, she writes a sex-column and berates the male gender in total. Along the way, she meets the affable Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman) but doesn’t realize until New Year’s Eve that he’s the one.

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