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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dead Like Me: Life After Death

This film took a long time to get here but trust me it was worth the wait. Dead Like Me: Life After Death is every bit as funny and quirky as the series that spawned it.

Our merry band of reapers are stunned when their boss Rube finally crosses over. They are assigned to slick business man, Cameron Kane. Under Cameron's tutelage, the gang starts caring less about their destiny's and more about fulfilling their own pleasures.

George is the only one who tries to keep it together but eventually she reveals her identity to her little sister Reggie. As she tries to help Reggie, George realizes that you can't fight destiny, you can only accept it.

The film is just like an episode of the television series. They are great comedic moments, perfectly wrong scenes, and sweet emotional scenes that will make you tear up. Fans of the series will not be disappointed and this movie is guaranteed to attract new fans as well.

Jasmine Guy, Callum Blue, and Ellen Muth reprise their roles from the series. The character of Daisy is played by Sarah Wynter. The original portrayer of Daisy, Laura Harris, could not do the film due to contractual obligations.

The film also stars Lost's Henry Ian Cusick and Degrassi/90210 actress Shenae Grimes.

My Name Is Bruce

My Name Is Bruce is hands down one of the funniest films that I have seen in awhile. Bruce Campbell plays Bruce Campbell, a once respected B movie actor now living in D movie hell. He's single, obnoxious and constantly drunk.

When a young fan comes to beg for his help against evil demons haunting his town, Bruce believes that it's a new movie role. When he finds out that it is all too real, he has to make a choice, save the town or run like Hell.

First off, Bruce Campbell is just awesome. It takes humility and a sense of humor for someone to spoof his own self so perfectly. His sense of comedic timing is spot on and his one liners will have you rolling in the aisles. Actor Ted Raimi also appears in multiple and equally funny cameos.

If you are an Evil Dead fan, rent this film you will not be disappointed. There are a lot of inside jokes in the film that only a fan will get. However these inside jokes do not detract from the films, so it's a pleasant film for non fans as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Satisfaction (A.K.A Girls Of Summer)

This movie is only for '80s movie fans, chick flick lovers, and die hard fans of Julia Roberts. This isn't a bad film, it just suffers from some bad moments.

The film centers around the teenage rock group, Mystery. Remember that name oddly enough for a movie about a rock group that name is hardly mentioned. The band is headed by Jennie Lee (Justine Bateman), a supposedly independent woman who is anything but. Daryl (Julia Roberts) who is referred to as a slut but really just wants to marry and settle down. There is Mooch (Trini Alvarado) the stereotypical bad girl thief. And Billie, a perpetual stoner and klepto. Rounding off the cast are Scott Coffey and Liam Neeson, who are simply there to be the dose of testosterone.

Despite how limited her character is, Julia Roberts is wonderful. She brings a spark to the screen and made even the most lamest lines somehow likable. Liam Neeson just looks bored throughout the film, you almost think that he wandered on the wrong set and is just going through the motions. Sadly he has absolutely no chemistry with Bateman and their great romance is kind of a bore.

There are lots of cheesy 80s montages, I can't believe they wore that outfits, and some pretty decent soundtrack choices. Unfortunately, since this is a movie about a band, we have to put up with the music mostly being by them. Since Justine Bateman's character is the lead singer, we are forced to listen to her dull and monotonic singing.

What is odd is that Britta Phillips actually can sing and play. She was the singing voice of Jem and in the recent years has cut an album. When her character sings, it is awesome but really further showcases the badness of Bateman.

But still the movie has some good points that are make up for the badness and if you are any fan of the aforementioned movies then definitely give this a go.

You can view the trailer here

Mists Of Avalon

Let me start this off by saying that I love Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists Of Avalon novel. Sadly when the miniseries came out I did not have cable and therefore missed it. I wanted to rent it not have to buy it without seeing it first. So when I joined Netflix and saw it there I was thrilled to finally be able to get my hands on it. But to quote the great B.B. King "The thrill is gone."

Let's start with the casting, Igraine is supposed to be a girl of nineteen at the start of the novel. However she is played by 42 year old actress, Jane Goodall. Her sister Morgause, 13 years old at the start of the novel is played by 45 year old actress, Joan Allen. Why couldn't they have cast actresses to portray their younger selves like the did with Morgaine and Arthur.

Maybe people might be uncomfortable at the thought of women marrying and bearing children before they were 18 but that's the way it happen. Being in your mid-forties, in that time period meant you were old. Julianna Marguiles was decent casting, you could accept her as the younger and older Morgaine. Anjelica Huston was awesome, no complaints there. Samantha Mathis is a great actress but as Gwenhwyfar she is simply annoying and not worth the movie's emotional investment.

Then we have the things that were omitted from the novel. Morgaine's affair with Accolon and their plot to overthrow Arthur, gone. Morgaine stealing the enchanted scabbard, her getting lost in fairy country, the quest for the Holy Grail, gone, gone, gone. Characters like Elaine and Accolon are so blink and you'll miss it, one wonders why the film wasted time on them at all. Kevin, Niniane, and Nimue never even make an appearance.

The changes to the ending make me want to tear my hair out. Did the scriptwriters even read the book? I understand that sometimes a film based on a book must make changes but this is just ludicrous.

If you loved the book, don't see the movie. If you see the movie, immediately track down the book and read it, trust me it will make you understand this travesty of a film.