Now Showing on Cable: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was the third chapter in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series of films, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.

Based on the series of fantasy books by C.S. Lewis, “The Chronicles of Narnia” series revolves around a group of young brothers and sisters – the Pevensie family – who occasionally get transported to a fantasy realm called Narnia. This particular time, the portal is a magical painting of a ship at sail on the Ocean. The Dawn Treader. During an argument between two of the Pevensie children and the young cousin whose house they’ve been staying at, the painting begins to move and then pour water into the room they’re in. Before they know it, the room is filled with water, and Edmund, Lucy and their cousin Eustace are swimming at sea.

In Narnia.

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Now showing on cable: “Let Me In”

Making its debut this weekend on HBO was last year’s child vampire tale, “Let Me In”.

Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”) and ChloĆ« Moretz (“Kick Ass”), “Let Me In” is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film “Let the Right One In”, which was released here stateside on DVD and Blu, and earned quite a reputation for itself as a great horror movie.

As is Hollywood’s wont to do, they took the original and remade it for American audiences with an English speaking cast.

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Now showing on cable: “The Rite”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was this January’s supernatural thriller, “The Rite”, starring Chris O’Donoghue and Anthony Hopkins.

“The Rite” is the story of a young man who enters into the seminary without a full desire to become a priest – his thinking being, if he decides to opt out, at least he’ll have a four year degree. When the time comes for him to take his vows, however, and he attempts to leave, it’s recommended that he take a class in exorcism. The church, it’s explained, is establishing an increased number of exorcists in order to address the rising number of reported cases throughout the world.

He’s sent to Rome, where the class is being held. When his skepticism is noted by the head priest, the young man is sent to see a practicing exorcist, played by Anthony Hopkins.

Together, they visit a couple of cases… until Hopkins himself succumbs to possession.

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Now showing on cable: “Gulliver’s Travels”

Premiering this last Saturday on HBO was 2010’s “Gulliver’s Travels”, starring Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel Amanda Peet and Chris O’Dowd.

Did you ever prejudge a movie, only to find out you were wrong?

You know, you see the trailers and the commercials or you read the reviews, and you think, “This movie looks terrible,” but then when you actually watch it you find yourself liking it and you have to admit it’s not all that bad?

Well, you don’t have to worry about that here, “Gulliver’s Travels” is every bit the steaming pile of crap you imagine it is.

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Now showing on cable: “Just Go With It”

Premiering this weekend on Starz was this year’s “Just Go With It,” starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker.

“Just Go With It” is the story of a plastic surgeon (Sandler) who wears a wedding ring to pick up girls, even though he’s not married. When he finally meets the woman of his dreams (Decker), she finds the ring he uses, even though he hadn’t used it to pick her up. She mistakenly believes he’s a married man who was cheating on his wife with her. In order to convince her he’s not, he tells her he’s divorced. One lie leads to another and before you know it, he’s backed into saying he has children.

It’s the latest in a long line of reasons why someone needs to stop Adam Sandler from making movies.

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Now showing on cable: “Black Swan”

Premiering… recently… (LOL, I’m sorry, lay off me!!) on Cinemax was last year’s highly acclaimed film, Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”.

“Black Swan” is the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballet dancer who covets the prestigious role of the Swan Queen in her company’s production of “Swan Lake”. The role is demanding, and challenging for her, and not just physically. The performance is a dual role… She needs to be able to portray the virginal, innocent, white swan, but also the seductive, evil, black swan. She is criticized for having the technical proficiency, but lacking the emotional conveyance necessary to perform the black swan portion of the role.

The pressure begins to… get to her.

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Now showing on cable: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was the penultimate movie in the Harry Potter franchise, 2010’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”.

When I think of the final two “Harry Potter” movies, the analogy I can’t resist is the 1998 movie “Twins”.

In it, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito play a couple of genetically engineered twins, separated at birth. The gag is, Ahnuld was spawned from the most desirable elements of the genetic code, and DeVito was created from the residual elements.

To me, that’s how I feel about the final two “Potter” movies. The second part is a nonstop explosion of action, character reveals, battle scenes and resolutions. It’s a phenomenal movie, a genuine big ticket movie.

This one? Not so much.

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Now showing on cable: “Red”

Making its debut on Showtime this weekend was 2010’s “RED”, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Karl Urban and Mary-Louise Parker.

“RED” tells the story of Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), a retired CIA operative. Frank has been spending his time having flirtatious phone calls with a phone operator at the company that administers his pension. When he is suddenly targeted for elimination, he shows up at her apartment unannounced and kidnaps her… ostensibly to keep her from being eliminated due to her association with him. He also gets in contact with his old team, who are all retirees, just as he is.

Hence the title of the movie. Retired, Extremely Dangerous.

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Now showing on cable: “I Am Number Four”

Premiering on Showtime this weekend was this year’s Sci-Fi movie, “I Am Number Four”

“I Am Number Four” is the story of nine alien children who escape to earth in order to hide from a hostile race, the Mogadorians, which have invaded their home planet. The nine of them were “gifted” with special powers which could help them fight back against the invaders. Now, however, the “Mogs” have found them on Earth, and are killing them in sequential order. The first three are dead. “John Smith” is number four.

It’s kind of like an alien assassination game of nine-ball.

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Now showing on cable: “Little Fockers”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was 2010’s “Little Fockers”, starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro.

“Little Fockers” is the third movie in the “Meet the Parents” series. “Meet the Parents” was released in 2000, “Meet the Fockers” in 2004 and “Little Fockers” in 2010. I mention this to bring attention to the fact that this film is a full decade removed from “Meet the Parents”, which may not have been the greatest comedy ever, but it had its moments.

This movie, however, had none. It was excruciatingly unfunny.

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