Elysium

Elysium

“District 9″ director Neill Blomkamp returns with another offering about class warfare and societal segregation, “Elysium”. Only this time, his film is not quite as subtle in its themes, nor as interesting a story.

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The 2013 Summer Movie Preview – Part 2

Ice Cream Truck 2

Ok, everyone, here we go! The second half of the Summer slate for 2013! There’s plenty of big movies in store, and of course, a handful of DOAs.

Click through to check out the second half of this Summer!

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The Bourne Legacy

“The Bourne Legacy” is the fourth chapter in the “Bourne” saga, the series that to date has featured Matt Damon as the titular Jason Bourne, a trained killing machine with amnesia.

Each of the previous three were simple stories. Bourne attempts to elude pursuit and evade capture while simultaneously unraveling the mystery of his past.

In this installment, the camera pulls further back and shows much more of the program which created Bourne. The lead character, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), is a similar Treadstone subject who manages to survive elimination when the government decides to “Burn” the program in the wake of the Jason Bourne scandal, in order to mitigate the potential damage. But by delving so deeply into the background story, this chapter waters down its focus and becomes much broader. It doesn’t help that the action isn’t as plentiful – or as exciting – as prior installments either.

It’s still enjoyable, and I wouldn’t call it unworthy of inclusion in the series… but it’s undoubtedly the weakest chapter of the quadrilogy.

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We Bought a Zoo

“We Bought a Zoo” is the heartwarming story of a father and his two children, who are struggling with the death of their wife/mother. When the boy is expelled from school, the father knows that they need to move, in order to get a fresh start.

The dream home they come across, however, has a unique set of challenges.

It’s a zoo.

In an act of impulse/courage/stupidity/serendipity, the father (played by Matt Damon) decides the place is exactly what they need and makes the purchase, in spite of the fact they know nothing about running a zoo, and the fact that the zoo is in a state of disrepair.

To steal one of Damon’s own lines, “Let the healing begin!”

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Now Showing On Cable: “The Adjustment Bureau”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was this January’s “The Adjustment Bureau”, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.

Based on a short story by famed science fiction author Phillip K Dick, “The Adjustment Bureau” is the tale of a young congressman, played by Matt Damon, who gets crushed in his run for the Senate. The night of his defeat, however, he runs into a free-spirited young woman and falls in love at first sight.

Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t in “the plans”.

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Happy Feet Two

I’ve been trying to think of a way to put this into words… I mean, that IS the trick of this whole thing after all.

“Happy Feet Two” is very pretty to look at, it has the requisite amount of “messages”. There are funny scenes and characters, and a decent enough storyline for an animated film. All the parts SHOULD be adding up to a better movie when I do the movie formula math in my head, but they don’t.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe its too calculated, too formulaic, over-produced.

Whatever it is, it doesn’t connect with me, and as a result it winds up feeling superficial.

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2011 Holiday Movie Season Preview!!

This year, the start of the Holiday Movie season is November 18th. That’s NEXT weekend already folks!! That’s when Hollywood releases “Happy Feet Two” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”, two movies with valid expectations of large takes at the gate. The start of the second blockbuster season of the year!

Here are the movies coming up this Holiday Season that I’m most excited for. Check out Wednesday, December 21st! “The Adventures of Tintin”, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, and “Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol”! That’s going to be a busy day!

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Now showing on cable: “Hereafter”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was Clint Eastwood’s 2010 film, “Hereafter”, starring Matt Damon, Cécile de France and George McLaren.

“Hereafter” tells the story of three people who are touched by death and the afterlife in unique ways. Damon plays a psychic who can connect with the dead if he makes physical contact with a loved one. de France plays a woman who briefly “crosses over”, and McLaren plays a young boy who suddenly loses his twin brother, and has trouble coming to grips.

As one might expect of an Eastwood movie, this film is competently directed. However, it’s also overlong, slow, and frequently dull.

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Contagion

Contagion tells the story of the sudden appearance of a hyper-virulent strain of virus known as MEV-1.

MEV-1 is an airborne virus. If a person passes close enough to someone carrying the virus, and they breathe, they could contract the virus. It can also be contracted through tactile transmission. If a healthy person touches something a carrier touched, they could contract the virus. Between these two methods of transmission, and the fact that ground zero was the highly populated city of Hong Kong and patient zero was an international traveler, you have the recipe for disaster on a global scale.

And “Contagion” serves it all up for us in a stylistic, engrossing, high calibre movie experience.

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