Movies I Want Everyone to See: “A Shock to the System” (1990)

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To be fair, I’m about to cheat a little bit because no matter how long this commentary runs, the reason to see this film ultimately comes down to two words “Michael Caine”.

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Movies I Want Everyone to See: The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

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Review by Richard Kirkham

All you film fans out there who were born after 1970 are about to eat your hearts out. You may know that the 70s were the second golden age of Hollywood, after all that’s when “Star Wars”, “The Godfather”, and “Alien” all started. You may even be aware that the greatest adventure film ever made, “Jaws”, was released in the Summer of 1975. It would be a solid argument to make that 1975 was the apex of Hollywood film making in that decade. Here is a partial list of the movies released that year: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dog Day Afternoon, Barry Lyndon, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Rollerball, Three Days of the Condor, Shampoo, Nashville, Seven Beauties, Cousin cousine,The Passenger as well as the aforementioned fish story. ” That is a list of essential films for anyone who loves movies to partake of. Buried in the avalanche of great films from that year, is the one film that stars Michael Caine and Sean Connery together as the leading men (each had a small part in “A Bridge Too Far”) and as a bonus it was directed by John Huston.

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Now You See Me

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Four magicians are assembled by a mysterious benefactor in order to pull of high stakes crimes using their skills of deception and illusion.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers aren’t as good at movie magic. “Now You See Me” is entertaining, but wouldn’t withstand the slightest scrutiny.

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Now Showing on Cable: “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”

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Premiering this weekend on HBO was this year’s “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”.

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman and Michael Caine, this “family friendly” film posits that Jules Verne’s “Mysterious Island” actually exists.

When a young man gets a coded transmission from his adventurer grandfather, he and his stepfather head off in search of the legendary island, only to discover more than they bargained for. Along with the family crew of the downed helicopter they chartered to get them there, they’ll have to find a way not only to survive, but to escape the “Mysterious Island”.

Aimed squarely at kids, this film needs to be given a little bit of slack for its juvenile sensibilities and slight characters.  But not too much…

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The Dark Knight Rises


“The Dark Knight Rises” is the concluding chapter to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the movie series that resurrected the moribund Batman franchise. Having given us the excellent “Batman Begins” and the legendary “The Dark Knight Rises”, the bar was set high for the grand finale, so one can hardly blame Nolan for wanting to give us something grandiose and epic for the final chapter.

And to a large extent, he succeeds. There’s plenty of Batman angst here, a sprawling cast of characters, a worthy adversary, and the city is certainly in peril. Yet the movie is so serious it’s smothering, there’s a dearth of action, and the “epicness” occasionally crosses the line into bloat.

There’s a very well made movie here, but I didn’t enjoy it half as much as I had hoped to.

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Now Showing on Cable: “Gnomeo and Juliet”

Premiering this weekend on Starz was this year’s animated offering, “Gnomeo & Juliet”, featuring the voices of Emily Blunt and James McAvoy.

Two neighboring yards, the Montague’s and the Capulet’s are both littered with Garden Gnomes. The small figurines come to life when no humans are present, and spar with each other over and around the fence which separates the two lawns. The Redbricks and Blueberries are sworn enemies, but Gnomeo, a blue, and Juliet, a red, meet and fall head over heels for each other.

Which leads the movie to explore the time honored question…

“What’s in a Gnome?”

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Cars 2

The original “Cars” has always been unfairly tagged “Pixar’s worst movie”. I dont necessarily think it’s wrong, it probably was the weakest. I just think it’s unfair because, by definition, SOME movie they did had to be the least great. And if you’re talking about a stable of films as awesome as Pixar’s, well, there’s no crime in being the runt of the litter. Seriously? If “Cars” is the worst movie your studio has ever put out? You’ve got a hell of a movie studio.

Well, it doesn’t have to bear that unfair tag any longer, there’s a new king of the Pixar cellar, and this time, the title is rightfully earned.

Cars 2 sucked.

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