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Eagle Eye

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Review spoiler warning: minor plot spoilers

I have a firm belief that every type of movie can be great. Eagle Eye is part of a subgenre of film that has in general, has gotten a bad rap. This is in part due to the major amount of crap that is out there within this subgenre of ‘super-computer becoming too smart and goes crazy starting to destroy everyone and everything.’ In truth, Eagle Eye is the first movie in a long time within this subgenre that I would even consider good. Eagle Eye is a decent, action packed experience that I can honestly say I was not expecting.

After the tragic death of his twin brother, Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) is forced into a deep plot, that brings him into the realization that his brother may not exactly be who he thought he knew him to be, and that he is neck deep in something he could never have imagined. We follow Jerry and his female companion thru an emotional and political whirlwind. With a decent story and decent acting, Eagle Eye was a decent cinematic experience for anyone who loves a car crashing, gun slinging, politically driven, evil super computer containing (who has a GUI any tech-buff will drool over), action packed movie will love. Oh, and there is a pretty good, thick story, and decent acting thrown in there too.

I am consistently impressed by the progression Shia LaBeouf has taken into becoming a good well-rounded actor. It is hard to remember him as the awkward pre-teen he played in Even Stevens, after cranking out good performances in pretty much every movie he has been in sense. Eagle Eye was no exception to this trend, his script seemed very rushed at parts, and he worked with what he had like the great actor he is turning into.

I think it is safe to say I enjoyed this movie, and I think anyone looking for just a decent action flick will too. One thing when you do see it, yes, there is a much simpler way to deal with the main problem of the movie, we all can see this. But hey, where would the fun be in that?

7/10 stars

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language.


What is your dealbreaker movie?

Mike, Movies, Question of the Day 1 Comment

A dealbreaker movie is a movie that you love and that your significant other has to like for the relationship to have a chance. Perhaps knowing which movie (or movies) that is could save a lot of time, money, and trouble.

The first movie that popped into my head was Field of Dreams. Incorporates baseball and a great story.

I like that choice but I feel like I should explore further. I immediately disqualified any sci-fi, fantasy, or action movies. The areas I’ll focus on are sports and comedy. Even sports might be eliminated. Movies like Field of Dreams and Rudy are loved by all. Meaning it doesn’t tell you much about a person. If you don’t like them, there is something wrong to begin with.

I think comedy is the way to go. It’s also the easiest to test. A serious movie someone can sit through silently and then at the end say, ‘Sure, I liked it.’ You have know way of knowing for sure. With a comedy it will be noticed if you are laughing the whole time sitting next to silence. The first movie I cam up with was Christmas Vacation, but that also falls into the category above, any normal person likes that movie.

It has to be something along the lines of Mel Brooks, Farrelly Brothers, or Naked Gun. The King of those movies is Mel Brooks and my favorite of his is Robin Hood: Men In Tights. So I’m going to go with Field of Dreams and Men In Tights to cover my bases.

While looking through my DVDs to figure this out I actually found a TV Show that would do the job better than any of these movies. Arrested Development. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time but a great test. The show doesn’t tell you when to laugh and you really have to know what’s going on and remember what has happened. There’s no way you can cheat on that test.

Or maybe, we just watch Jackass: The Movie and if she still talks to me, it’s meant to be.


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Movies No Comment

If someone were to sum up “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist,” in one word, that word would be mediocre. A mediocre script, with mediocre camera work, with a mediocre story, and mediocre acting. Simply put, this is not a flick with much to it; the kind of flick that requires you to turn your brain off to enjoy.

Everything about this movie could have been so much better, it is obvious to see everything they were planning to do, they just did not execute that plan very well. It felt as if the screenwriter, Lorene Scafaria, was attempting to be the next Diablo Cody (Juno). That was the biggest mistake. Nick and Norah’s needed its own special style, something to make it unique, not something that has already been done, and done well. This created a very fake forced feeling script that caused the cast to act very fake and forced.

Considering the material the cast was given to work with, the acting was alright. It’s still disappointing, because a majority of the cast has proven their skill in other films. They just didn’t handle the lack of script that was given to them. Michael Cera was his usual awkward self, as the character that he has been so horribly typecasted as. Kat Dennings managed to create one of the more convincing roles out of the worst-written character, and the rest of the cast only supported the general mediocrity of the movie.

The best part of the movie was the soundtrack. If the rest of the film had been created with the same focus with which the soundtrack was chosen, this review would have a completely different tone. With bands like Modest Mouse, Tekka Tekka, The Dead 60’s, and The Submarines, an atmosphere was developed that complemented the intended ‘indie’ style perfectly. The soundtrack was used very well within the film, continuously playing as to portray the idea of an infinite playlist. The soundtrack was a great way to tie the whole movie together, and keep the intended flow. Too bad this is the only great part of the movie.

The flick opens nation wide in 3 days, I’m not going to say don’t see it, just don’t expect to get much from it.

5/10 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including teen drinking, sexuality, language, and crude behavior.


Burn After Reading Review

Movies 1 Comment

Review spoiler warning: minor plot spoilers

After finding a disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent, Chad Feldeimer (Pitt) and Linda Litzke (McDormand) begin this quirky quest to return the disk in search of a non-existent cash reward, but not after leaving a trail of destruction behind them. In their funniest farce since the “Big Lebowski,” the Coen brothers grace us with a combination of their masterful screenwriting, film work, and editing with an unforgettable all-star cast.

The Coens’ sense of humor is very unique. They take the darkest of human nature and develop some sick twist around it to fit their nothing but cruel sense of humor. They have a way with shocking humor as well as subtle dark humor that only they have mastered. It is the type of thing that had you witnessed in real life, you would be telling your new shrink about it for years to come. It is without a doubt an acquired taste of humor; witch would explain the recent mixed reviews. “Burn After Reading,” is a screwball comedy, but one tailored for the darkest and cruel sense of humors, making it unlike any screwball comedy in recent times.

“Burn After Reading,” sets itself up with a list of characters that are so simple minded, that the events become nothing but believable. Brad Pitt’s role as Chad Feldeimer has the innocence of a child, and it becomes easy to think, “well, how can you blame him, he didn’t know any better.” This is a trend that is safe to say with any of the characters, from the paranoid misogynist that Clooney plays, to the in-way-over-her-head Linda Litzke as played by Frances McDormand. With the ruined life of John Makovich’s character Osbourne Cox, whose simplicity comes with the single line he repeats for the majority of the film. Finally with the no named CIA superior of J.K. Simmons who is just utterly clueless.

The tagline for this flick sums it up nicely, “intelligence is relative,” in this cruel, dark, hilarious new comedy by the unstoppable director duo the Coen brothers. How the Coen brothers consistently bring such good product to the industry is beyond me, I just hope they continue their momentum.

9/10 Stars

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence


Oscars Pickem on Ice Cream Helmet

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I figured it was time for a new pickem game on Ice Cream Helmet. I’ve been working on the NCAA Tourney and Baseball Pickem, but those don’t start for a few months. I decided to go in a direction other than sports. That leads us to Oscars Pickem.

The game allows you to make picks in each of the 24 televised categories. For the ICH game each category is worth 1 point. Those points will count toward your ICH Score and allow you to see where you rank among your friends who played. You can create your own group and assign your own point values to each of the categories.

Join the Borderline Fantastic group. Anyone can join, no password needed.


New Tuesday

Entertainment, Mike No Comment

Animaniacs Volume 3 and Pinky & the Brain Volume 3 – Animaniacs is my favorite cartoon ever. It was the show I would watch every day when I got home from school. Pinky & the Brain were so good they got their own spin-off. I still think of them all together as one big ball of greatness. A few years ago Toon Disney (I’m pretty sure that was the channel) started showing Animaniacs at 6pm. I caught a few shows and it was as great as I remembered. A lot of the shows I loved when I was younger are horrible to watch now. Saved By the Bell and Alf come to mind first. Animaniacs stands up to time unbelievably well. Freakazoid!, my 2nd favorite cartoon ever, might actually be better. Its been a few years since I’ve seen Freakazoid! In college we were able to track down the show online and it was fantastic. I haven’t had a chance to pick up the first two volumes of these shows, but I might have to grab at least one volume this week.
Reno 911: Miami – I have yet to watch the show. The movie trailer looked funny so I will be checking out the movie. If I like it, then I will start getting the seasons on DVD. If you think I will like it, you can try and persuade me to move it up in the Netflix queue.

Some albums I will be checking out, not necessarily buying but a lot of them have free streams this week.
Lifehouse – Who We Are
Straylight Run – The Needles The Space – I listened to this one and its very slow, which is too be expected. I heard the new single, Soon We’ll be Living in the Future, on Sirius and really like it. With Straylight Run I find that there are handful of songs that I love but the rest of the album I don’t care for.
The Junior Varsity – Cinematographic

SimCity DS – If I was in a position to play my DS a lot this would be a perfect game. I have loved every SimCity game.
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition – I didn’t play this one on GameCube but it got such high praise. This version sounding even better, plus its only $30.


New Tuesday

Entertainment, Mike No Comment

New releases for June 12, 2007.

Paramore – Riot! – I enjoyed their last album and gave the stream of the new album a listen. I enjoyed it as well. However, it won’t make the purchase list this week. There is too much on the list for the next few weeks.
Cauterize – Disguises – I’ve always liked their sound. Take a listen on their MySpace.
Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur – Covers of John Lennon songs. I’m curious to hear the cover by Mick Fleetwood and Jack’s Mannequin.

Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (Wii) – I haven’t played the DS version, I assume its nearly identical to Brain Age. How will this translate to the Wii?
Tenchu Z (Xbox 360) – Any game description that starts with ‘Become the ultimate ninja assasain’ has my instant attention. I checked Game Rankings and so far two reviews gave it an average of 87%. I need a little more than that but things look good so far.

Nothing very exciting this week.
Ghost Rider – I had no desire.
Breach – I don’t even remember it coming out.
Office Seasons 1&2 – Not really new, just selling them together. I think I saw you get a free ticket to Evan Almighty with it. If you don’t have these seasons yet then buy them with or without the free ticket.