Hey, MovieDruid fans!
I’m back with yet another astonishing foray into the world of movies through the warped lens of my mind. This week’s crop,while not as interesting as last week, does bear a look. As a production note, I will not be commenting on the release of “X-Games 3D: The Movie” which does release nationally this week. It doesn’t really qualify as a cinematic experience in my humble opinion any more than the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana concerts did earlier in the summer.
Oh, and by the way, for you fans who have not already noticed, I have added a link at the top of the blog called “MovieDruid Reviews.” It is here you will find my reviews of the films I attend. I will update it as often as possible, hopefully at least weekly.
And, now, without any further ado, I turn to this week’s national releases…
Synopsis: Ryden Malby had a plan. Do well in high school, thereby receiving a great college scholarship. Now, that she’s finally graduated college, it’s time for her to find a gorgeous loft apartment and land her dream job at the city’s best publishing house. But when Jessica Bard, Ryden’s college nemesis steals her perfect job, Ryden is forced to move back to her childhood home. Stuck with her eccentric family–a stubborn do-it-yourself dad, an overly thrifty mom, a politically incorrect grandma, a very odd little brother–and a growing stack of rejected job applications, Ryden starts to feel like she’s going nowhere. The only upside is spending time with her best friend, Adam–and running into her hot next-door neighbor, David. But if Ryden’s going to survive life as a post grad, it may be time to come up with a new plan.
MovieDruid Comments: This kind of comedy usually ends up being a bit too cutesy for my taste. That’s not to say it will be a bad movie, but these films invariably end up with saccharine sweet endings that just make me roll my eyes just a little. The cast, however does has enough bright spots to give me hope with Alexis Biedl (TV’s “Gilmore Girls” & “Sin City”), Michael Keaton (“Mr. Mom” & “Pacific Heights”), and Carol Burnett (“Annie” & “Horton Hears a Who”) is prime roles. My biggest concern is the director, Vicky Jensen. The largest body of her work has been in art departments and the like, and almost all of her work is in animated fare. In fact, her only two directorial efforts which have been released besides “Post Grad” were “Shrek” and “Shark Tale.” She definitely has some directorial talent, but it remains to be seen what will happen when she is working with actual people rather than animated characters.
Synopsis: “Shorts” is set in the suburb of Black Falls, where all the houses look the same and everyone works for BLACK BOX Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated, whose Mr. Black’s BLACK BOX is the ultimate communication and do-it-all gadget that’s sweeping the nation. Other than keeping his parents employed, however, Mr. Black’s BLACK BOX has done nothing for 11-year-old Toe Thompson, who just wants to make a few friends. But, then, a mysterious rainbow-colored rock falls from the sky, hits him in the head and changes everything. The Rainbow Rock does Mr. Black’s BLACK BOX one better: it grants wishes to anyone who holds it. Before long, wishes-gone-wrong have left the neighborhood swarming with tiny spaceships, crocodile armies, giant boogers–and outrageous magical mayhem around every corner. But, it’s not until the grown-ups get their hands on the Rock that the trouble really starts. Now, Toe and his newfound friends must join forces to save their town from itself, discovering along the way that what you wish for is not always what you want.
MovieDruid’s Comments: This looks like a pretty good family friendly film. The premise is fairly original, which is a godsend in this day of cookie-cutter kids films, and they seem to have a definite vision for the film that almost looks like one part Willy Wonka and one part Edward Scissorhands. I think the most interesting thins here, though, is the director. I would never have expected a film like this from a director like Robert Rodriguez (“Desperado” & “From Dusk Til Dawn”). Then again, it’s easy to forget he also did the “Spy Kids” movies and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl in 3D.” Rodriguez always brings a unique voice to the screen, and I see no reason to believe it will be any different in this case.
Inglorious Basterds – MovieDruid Pick of the Week
Synopsis: “Inglourious Basterds” begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.
MovieDruid’s Comments: For the sake of fll disclosure I should preface anything I say about this film with two facts: A) I am a dedicated fan of Quentin Tarantino’s work and B) I am a WWII buff and read, view, etc. anything I can that is related to the Great War. That being said, this movie has the makings of a blockbuster. The cast, other than Brad Pitt (“The Strange Case of Benjamin Button” and “12 Monkeys”), is made up of mainly unknowns or character type performers. There aren’t really any other big names here. However, Tarantino has shown a great deal of panache in coaxing fantastic, and sometimes career making, performances out of his cast. The interesting thing about Tarantino is that as his career has gone on the production values have continued to rise because the studios are willing to give him the budget he needs more and more often. The premise alone here is fascinating, but when you put a man with such a polished cinematic vision as Quentin Tarantino behind the camera, and an actor with the range of Brad Pitt in front of it, you truly have the makings of something breathtaking.