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The Lego Ninjago Movie Trailer


Lloyd is a young ninja still in high school who is trained alongside five other martial arts experts named Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya by the master warrior Master Wu. While by day they are faced with the evils of teenage life, by night they are death-defying heroes whose job it is to take down all manner of enemies with the help of a few state-of-the-art machines. They and the people of their island Ninjago face a terrible threat in the form of the war-mongering villain Garmadon - who also happens to be Lloyd's father. It's safe to say their relationship is a tense one. He wants revenge on Wu, who is actually Lloyd's uncle, but for what we are yet to discover...

Continue: The Lego Ninjago Movie Trailer

Collateral Beauty Review

OK

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in danger of tipping over into extreme sentimentality, and this one very quickly gets bogged down in buckets of syrup. It's a slickly made movie with a first-rate cast, but occasional glimpses of gritty honesty aren't quite enough to counteract sudsy philosophising that sounds profound but is actually rather shallow.

It's set in New York, where advertising company owner Howard (Will Smith) is still lost in grief six months after the death of his 6-year-old daughter. And his business partners are worried that the company is falling apart as a result. In desperation, best pal Whit (Edward Norton), protege Claire (Kate Winslet) and rising-star Simon (Michael Pena) hire a private detective (Ann Dowd) to determine Howard's mental fitness to run the company. They also hire three actors to confront him as Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren), abstract concepts he's obsessed with. But they don't know that Howard is also considering attending a grief counselling meeting run by Madeleine (Naomie Harris).

Directed with a magical sheen by David Frankel (Hope Springs) and written to within an inch of its life by Allan Loeb (The Switch), there's nothing about this film that doesn't feel contrived and controlled. In addition to their scenes with Howard, each of the three actors has an impact on the colleague who needs their specific gifts. And there are a number of revelations and twists that feel annoyingly hokey. Even so, the cast is strong enough to add moments of lightness that lift the movie briefly out of the sludge. Mirren, Knightley and Latimore have a sparky edge as the story's catalysts. While Norton, Winslet and Pena bring some raw, honest emotion to their own personal dramas.

Continue reading: Collateral Beauty Review

Michael Pena Was Kept On His Toes While Making War On Everyone


Michael Pena

The film is a messy crime comedy about criminals and corrupt cops in the American Southwest, and Michael Peña plays a particularly nasty policeman in Alburqueque. He laughs when asked about the dodgy morality of his character. "People will be offended if they don't realise we're taking the p**s," Peña says.

Michael Pena and his co-star Alexander Skarsgard in War On EveryoneMichael Pena Was Kept On His Toes While Making War On Everyone

The actor has enjoyed taking a wide range of movie roles over the past few years, from Fury to Ant-Man to The Martian. "A film has to entertain me, it has to make me see things in a different way," he says. "Or it has to have great dialogue or great set pieces or different gags,or the chance to work with someone."

Continue reading: Michael Pena Was Kept On His Toes While Making War On Everyone

Collateral Beauty Trailer


Love, time and death connect every single human being on earth, we long for love, wish we had more time and we fear death. Howard Inlet was once one of New York's most sought after advertising exec's but after suffering a great personal loss, his life has been left in ruins.

Now all his friends can do is look on and see a man who once loved life now living each day wishing the end would come. To help deal with his grief, Howard writes letters to 'time', 'love' and 'death' in the hope that he'll eventually understand why he has lost so much. With a little help from his friends, Howard finds himself actually receiving answers to some of the questions he asks in his letters and hopefully finds a way to live beyond just existing.

Collateral Beauty is directed by David Frankel with a screenplay written by Allan Loeb.

War On Everyone Trailer


Terry Monroe and Bob Bolaño are cops who seek their own form of justice. If a criminal is making money from some illegal scheme, they the ones who will be taking at least part of the cash. Their boss is used to them coming up against various allegations such as corruption and assault but so far they've always managed to keep their badges.

Their home town of New Mexico is also home to their new target but it quickly becomes apparent that the officers might be out of their league. When the local race track is robbed, three of the robbers are found dead but the driver makes a get away with the substantial loot. Terry and Bob begin their usual undercover lines of questioning and they find out that the heist was arranged by a British man names James Mangan. Now the search is on for them to find Mangan - and more importantly the cash he stole - before he makes a getaway or the straight cops on the force find and arrest him.

War On Everyone is written and directed by John Michael McDonagh

Ant-Man Trailer


An awful lot has happened in the world - A Second World War super soldier has risen from the dead, a billionaire playboy has revealed himself as a costumed superhero, and the Norse God of thunder himself has come to earth on four occasions. So for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a petty criminal entrusted with the secret of his mentor's super-secret substance designed to shrink a person, it should be seen as just another day in the life for a person of planet Earth. Now, with the ability to shrink his down to a minuscule size while increasing his strength, Ant-Man is born.

ConTInue: Ant-Man Trailer

Video - Brad Pitt, Shi Lebouf, Michael Peña And The Stars Of 'Fury' Arrive For The Films New York Premiere - Pt2


The stars of 'Fury' arrived for the New York film premiere to mixed responses from photographers and onlookers. Brad Pitt entered to a tremendous applause and much screaming. Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal both made comparatively modest entrances.

Continue: Video - Brad Pitt, Shi Lebouf, Michael Peña And The Stars Of 'Fury' Arrive For The Films New York Premiere - Pt2

Michael Pena - 2014 NCLR ALMA Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium - Pasadena, California, United States - Friday 10th October 2014

Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes
Michael Pena, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes
Michael Pena, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes

Michael Pena - 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour - FOX All-Star Party at Soho House in West Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 21st July 2014

Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena - Fox Summer TCA All-Star Party - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 20th July 2014

Michael Pena

Can Fox's 'Gracepoint' Grasp The Guile Of BBC's 'Broadchurch'?


David Tennant Anna Gunn Nick Nolte Michael Pena

Despite casting the same lead actor, those behind 'Gracepoint' - a remake of the acclaimed BBC crime drama 'Broadchurch' - insist the show will have differing plotlines to the original, as well as new characters.

GracepointDavid Tennant, Anna Gunn and the cast of 'Gracepoint'

Scottish actor David Tennant, who played troubled DI Alex Hardy so masterfully in Broadchurch returns for the U.S remake, alongside Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn. However, Fox executive producers Dan Futterman and Anya Epstein say they are keen to veer from the original narrative despite wanting to keep the overall aesthetics of Broadchurch intact.

Continue reading: Can Fox's 'Gracepoint' Grasp The Guile Of BBC's 'Broadchurch'?

Fury Trailer


Wardaddy is an army sergeant with years of experience in the horrors and victories of war. He's one of the most effective and most courageous war heroes America has to offer and, now commanding a Sherman tank named Fury with a group of just five soldiers, he must lead his men into a highly risky operation right on their enemies' doorstep. Not only has he and his boys got the threat of serious outnumbering ahead of them, but Wardaddy also has to tutor a terrified new recruit named Norman Ellison, who's less than okay with shooting down hundreds of men in a vehicle he has never used before. It's all about having each other's backs and keeping everyone motivated to keep on fighting, but when a platoon of three-hundred German soldiers strike out, it doesn't look like that will be enough to keep them alive.

Continue: Fury Trailer

Video - Lea Michele Turned Heads With Plunging Neckline At FOX Upfronts - Part 8


'Glee' star Lea Michele turned heads in a very short, green, silky dress with an extremely daring plunging neckline at the FOX Upfronts presentation at The Beacon Theater in New York.

Continue: Video - Lea Michele Turned Heads With Plunging Neckline At FOX Upfronts - Part 8

Virginia Kull and Michael Pena - FOX Upfronts at The Beacon Theater - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 13th May 2014

Virginia Kull and Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena - The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 18th January 2014

Michael Pena

Amy Adams, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Röhm, Jeremy Renner and Robert De Niro - The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium - Press Room - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 18th January 2014

Amy Adams, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Röhm, Jeremy Renner and Robert De Niro
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams
Colleen Camp, Alessandro Nivola, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Pena, Elisabeth Röhm, Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams

David O'Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Pena, Elisabeth Röhm, Jeremy Renner, Paul Herman, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro - Celebrities pose with awards at 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards press room at The Shrine Auditorium. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 18th January 2014

David O'russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Pena, Elisabeth Röhm, Jeremy Renner, Paul Herman, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro

Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Colleen Camp, David O. Russell, Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Michael Pena - California - West Hollywood, California, United States - Saturday 18th January 2014

Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Colleen Camp, David O. Russell, Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Michael Pena
Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Colleen Camp, David O. Russell, Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Michael Pena
Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Colleen Camp, David O. Russell, Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Michael Pena
Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Colleen Camp, David O. Russell, Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Michael Pena, Paul Herman and Robert De Niro
Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Colleen Camp, David O. Russell, Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Michael Pena

Michael Douglas Cast In 'Ant-Man' Movie As Scientist Hank Pym


Michael Douglas Paul Rudd Michael Pena

Michael Douglas has landed himself a role in upcoming superhero movie Ant-Man in which he will reportedly play scientist Hank Pym. The award-winning actor's genius character creates the technology used to shrink people to the size of ants.

Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas Is To Star In The New 'Ant-Man' Movie.

The intriguing news from Marvel comes hot on the heels of Douglas' win at the Golden Globes this week where he won for his portrayal of Liberace in Behind The Candelabra. "I've been dying to do a Marvel picture for so long," said Douglas, via BBC Newsbeat. "The script is really fun, the director is really good. Dylan [the actor's 13-year-old son] will love it. He'll have a picture he can see."

Continue reading: Michael Douglas Cast In 'Ant-Man' Movie As Scientist Hank Pym

A Week In Movies: Wonder Woman Is Coming, Walker's Hours Hits American Cinemas, And A Glimpse Of The Next Spider-man


Gal Gadot Rita Ora Paul Walker Andrew Garfield Emma Stone Michael Pena Simon Pegg Nick Frost Ben Kingsley

Gal Gadot

The big story this week is that Wonder Woman will make her long-awaited big-screen debut in the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. Israeli actress Gal Gadot has nabbed the key role; she's best known as Gisele in the last three Fast & Furious movies. 'Batman vs. Superman' has found its Wonder Woman, but who is Gal Gadot?

It was also announced that Rita Ora has joined the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is currently filming in Vancouver with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in the lead roles, and Sam Taylor-Wood directing. Others joining the cast include Marcia Gay Harden and Jennifer Ehle. We take a closer look at the appointment here.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Wonder Woman Is Coming, Walker's Hours Hits American Cinemas, And A Glimpse Of The Next Spider-man

American Hustle Trailer


Irving Rosenfeld is one of America's most talented con artists but his world of ladies and luxury is hanging in the balance when threatening circumstances force him, along with his temptress business partner and lover Sydney Prosser, to lend his talents to a sting operation set up by the FBI and led by the slightly unbalanced agent Richie DiMaso. Together they set out to uncover the corrupt campaigns behind Carmine Polito, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey and a powerful political operator. However, Irving's wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld is getting more and more suspicious of her husband's business life and, with his lewd extramarital affairs getting more and more daring, it isn't long before she is driven to extreme lengths to uncover her private issues while in the meantime threatening the stability of the whole operation.

This gangster drama features an all-star cast that will keep you gripped from start to finish. It has been directed by the Oscar nominated David O. Russell ('Silver Linings Playbook', 'I Heart Huckabees', 'Three Kings'), who also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Eric Singer ('The International') in his second feature film. 'American Hustle' will be released in cinemas over in the UK on December 20th 2013.

American Hustle Movie Review - Click Here To Read

Video - Michelle Rodriguez And Ken Jeong Were Stars On The Red Carpet At The 'Turbo' NY Premiere - Part 3


Some of the stars from the animated snail film 'Turbo' were seen on the red carpet at the movie's premiere in New York City at AMC Loews Lincoln Square. 'Fast & Furious' star Michelle Rodriguez was among them, in a stunning black cut-out gown.

Continue: Video - Michelle Rodriguez And Ken Jeong Were Stars On The Red Carpet At The 'Turbo' NY Premiere - Part 3

Michael Pena - New York premiere of 'Turbo' shown at AMC Loews Lincoln Square - New York City, NY, United States - Tuesday 9th July 2013

Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena and Roman Peña - Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Despicable Me 2' at the Gibson Amphitheatre - Universal City, California, United States - Saturday 22nd June 2013

Michael Pena and Roman Peña
Michael Pena and Roman Peña
Michael Pena and Roman Peña
Michael Pena and Roman Peña

Michael Pena - The Screen Actors Guild Foundation hosts it's 4th Annual Los Angeles Golf Classic - Burbank, California, United States - Monday 10th June 2013

Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena - 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 24th February 2013

Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena - 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 23rd February 2013

Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater Los Angeles, California, United States The Los Angeles World Premiere of 'Gangster Squad' held at Grauman's Chinese Theater - Arrivals Monday 7th January 2013

Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater
Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater
Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater
Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater
Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater
Michael Pena and Grauman's Chinese Theater

Gangster Squad - Trailer Trailer


Mickey Cohen is a dangerous Mafia boss with power over the police and the people of Los Angeles in 1949. His mob and his world revolves around drugs, firearms, prostitutes and casinos with power and money being the only consequence in their criminal misdeeds. However, it's not long before some members of the LAPD begin to question their own methods and power and start to realise that they must be the ones to take down Mickey and his gang but to do so they must hang up their LAPD badges and go into this war without mercy. All they need is five or seven men willing to put their lives on the line against this ruthless mob of forty. But it's not just their own lives threatened in this conflict.

'Gangster Squad' is based on the true story of the real infamous Mickey Cohen which was put into the novel 'Tales from the Gangster Squad' by Paul Lieberman. The crime flick has been directed by Ruben Fleischer ('Zombieland', '30 Minutes or Less') and written by Will Beall ('Castle') in his feature film screenplay debut. It was originally meant to be released in September 2012 but it was pushed back to January 11th 2013 following the tragedy of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. It was deemed inappropriate for it to be released so soon after given that one scene in the movie was to involve a similar theater massacre.

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Continue: Gangster Squad - Trailer Trailer

Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and LA Live - Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena Monday 17th September 2012 Los Angeles Premiere of "End Of Watch" held at Regal Cinemas - LA Live!

Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and La Live
Jake Gyllenhaal, Shondrella Avery, Michael Pena and La Live
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and La Live
Jake Gyllenhaal and La Live
Jake Gyllenhaal and La Live

Michael Pena Monday 17th September 2012 Los Angeles Premiere of 'End Of Watch' at Regal Cinemas - Outside

Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena - Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena Saturday 8th September 2012 2012 Toronto International Film Festival - 'End of Watch' - Premiere

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena
Jake Gyllenhaal

Michael Pena and Danny Masterson - Michael Pena, Danny Masterson (DJ Momjeans) Saturday 1st September 2012 Azure Pool At The Palazzo Celebrates Labor Day Weekend

Michael Pena and Danny Masterson
Michael Pena

Michael Pena and Danny Masterson - Michael Pena, Danny Masterson Saturday 1st September 2012 ,

Michael Pena and Danny Masterson

Tower Heist Review


Weak
With a high concept and a lazy script, there isn't much to this caper comedy at all. But it does have a few solid laughs scattered here and there, mostly in random one-liners that make up for the lacklustre plotting and strained slapstick.

After billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alda) is sent to prison for fraud, the manager of his insanely posh Manhattan apartment building, Josh (Stiller), is furious that his staff's pensions have been lost. So he teams up with his employees (concierge Affleck, chef Sidibe and lift operator Pena), a disgruntled ex-tenant (Broderick) and a local crook (Murphy) to steal back what they're owed. But they have to be careful, because an FBI agent (Leoni) is poking around Arthur's penthouse. And then there's the question of where all of those stolen millions are hidden.

Continue reading: Tower Heist Review

Michael Pena Monday 8th August 2011 Los Angeles Premiere of 30 Minutes Or Less held at Grauman's Chinese Theater Hollywood, California

Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Everything Must Go Trailer


Nick Halsey was a recovering alcoholic, until his recent relapse. This led his boss to fire him. In his anger, Nick deflated the tires of his boss' car before leaving. While filling up his car, he had a run in with two teenagers about his drinking habits. And when he got home, he found that his belongings were all over the front lawn and the locks had been changed, without his knowing. Nick realises that his wife has left him due to his drinking problem. With no way of getting in the house, he starts to live on his lawn, sleeps on a chair and gets woken up each day by the sprinklers.

Continue: Everything Must Go Trailer

Michael Pena Thursday 12th May 2011 Samsung Infuse 4G For AT&T launch event at Milk Studios - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

Michael Pena
Michael Pena

The Lincoln Lawyer Review


Good
Enjoyably twisty but too shallow to be fully satisfying, this legal thriller lopes along at a pleasing pace through its overlong running time. But it's watchable mainly because we know there will be at least one big twist in the tale.

Mick (McConaughey) runs his successful L.A. law practice from his vintage Lincoln. He has a daughter with his public-prosecutor ex Maggie (Tomei) and works closely with his private-eye pal Frank (Macy). His new case involves the wealthy Louis (Phillippe), who claims he didn't violently assault a prostitute.

But the more Mick and Frank look into things, the fishier they get. And Mick will need to do some unorthodox things to win the case against the tenacious D.A. (Lucas) and achieve real justice.

Continue reading: The Lincoln Lawyer Review

Michael Pena - Thursday 10th March 2011 at Arclight Cineramadome Los Angeles, California

Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Battle Los Angeles Review


Good
So po-faced that it almost feels like a spoof, this energetic action epic is watchable due to its solid cast and visceral tone. And the story and characters are so thin that you almost admire the filmmakers' nerve.

Staff-Sergeant Nantz (Eckhart) is retiring from the Marines on the day of an alien attack on 12 major cities. A shady past means his new troops don't trust him, including the expectant father (Ramon Rodriguez), the shell-shocked guy (Parrack), the buddies (Pesi and Ne-Yo), the bitter one (Hardrict), the bright young thing (Rothhaar), the virgin (Fisher) and the foreigner (M'Cormack). As the assault hits Santa Monica, they're sent to rescue trapped civilians (including Pena and Moynahan). They also team up with an Air Force officer (Michelle Rodriguez) to find a weakness in the alien defence.

Continue reading: Battle Los Angeles Review

Michael Pena Tuesday 8th March 2011 Battle: Los Angeles Los Angeles Premiere held At Regency Village Theatre Westwood, California

Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michael Pena

Michael Pena Monday 7th March 2011 Red carpet screening of 'Battle: Los Angeles' at Regal South Beach Miami Beach Florida

Michael Pena
Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Pena
Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Pena
Michael Pena
Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Pena
Michael Pena

The Lincoln Lawyer Trailer


Mickey Haller might not be one of the top lawyers in LA but the service he provides for his clients is an effective one. Generally Mickey defends bike gangs, prostitutes and drug dealers but when he learns of a case that might just give him a huge break, it's something he can't turn down.

Continue: The Lincoln Lawyer Trailer

Battle: Los Angeles Trailer


How do you defeat an enemy you know nothing about and never planned to fight? When earth is attacked by extraterrestrials, one by one cities begin to fall and the world becomes a very different place to the one we know today.

Continue: Battle: Los Angeles Trailer

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done Review


Extraordinary
There's no way that combining the geniuses of producer David Lynch and director Werner Herzog could result in something that wasn't utterly bonkers. But this film, based on true events, also has a startlingly emotional kick.

In San Diego, two detectives (Dafoe and Pena) converge on a suburban stand-off where a killer, Brad (Shannon), claims to be holding hostages. As the tension builds, Brad's girlfriend Ingrid (Sevigny) and his theatre-director friend Lee (Kier) arrive to help the cops, explaining Brad's somewhat strained relationship with his mother (Zabriskie) and his eccentric Uncle Ted (Dourif).

They also talk about how he has never quite been himself after a mind-opening trip to Peru.

Continue reading: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done Review

Observe And Report Review


OK
Some people take their jobs way too seriously. Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogan), head of security at a local shopping mall, is one of those people. Thus, when management receives reports about illicit activity occurring on the premises, he takes them very personally. Beside the complaints about a pervert exposing himself to women in the parking lot, after-hours robberies are taking place on a regular basis. Ronnie alerts his security staff to be on high alert, but all of their brains put together couldn't solve a three-letter crossword puzzle.

When a cosmetics counter employee named Brandi (Anna Faris) becomes the pervert's latest victim, management calls a police detective (Ray Liotta) to help catch him. Ronnie is livid that his supervisors have outsourced an investigative team. He feels that he's perfectly capable of handing the case, and would love to prove it to Brandi to win her affection. He quickly discovers, however, that Brandi's "affection" isn't difficult to win.

Continue reading: Observe And Report Review

The Lucky Ones Review


Terrible
Soldiers returning home from Iraq deserve a proper narrative feature that addresses the physical discomfort, mental anguish, and emotional hardship they encounter while assimilating into the day-to-day routines of normal life.

The Lucky Ones is not that film. It is, instead, a sloppily executed (though decently acted) road trip picture that manages to do one thing consistently, and that's veer off the path of good intentions and crash.

Continue reading: The Lucky Ones Review

Lions For Lambs Review


Weak
Lions for Lambs is an op-ed piece masquerading as a motion picture, a candid and cynical lecture series that indicts any institution remotely connected to the ongoing Iraqi conflict. The sentiments expressed should trigger discussions, but they don't add up to an interesting movie.

Earlier this year, screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan pressed similar buttons with his Middle East muscle thriller The Kingdom. He uses his current pulpit to chastise the Bush administration for blindly leading America into a winless war; the national media for blindly following our leaders in the weeks, months, and years following September 11; and Generation Y for retreating to its PlayStation consoles as opposed to penning protest letters to local politicians.

Continue reading: Lions For Lambs Review

Michael Pena and MTV - Monday 5th November 2007 at Mtv Trl Studios New York City, USA

Michael Pena and Mtv
Michael Pena and Mtv

Fifty Pills Review


Good
If the movies are any judge, I did not have nearly as much fun in college as I was supposed to. In Fifty Pills, young Darren (Lou Taylor Pucci, a kind of cross between Colin Hanks and DJ Qualls) finds himself on probation on the second day of school! By Christmas he's lost his scholarship, all because he and his jerk roommate Coleman (John Hensley) like to have a little party.

Dad's lost his job, too, and both his parents think he's gay (thanks to what turns out to be the movie's funniest single moment), so Darren scrambles back to the dorms to figure out how to raise another $1000 so he can stay in school. (Naturally, he's also in love with another resident named Gracie (Kristen Bell), but he can't profess him affections to her.)

Continue reading: Fifty Pills Review

Crash (2005) Review


Excellent
In Crash, a simple car accident forms an unyielding foundation for the complex exploration of race and prejudice. Thoroughly repulsive throughout, but incredibly thought provoking long after, Paul Haggis' breathtaking directorial debut succeeds in bringing to the forefront the behaviors that many people keep under their skin. And by thrusting these attitudes toward us with a highly calculated, reckless abandon, Haggis puts racism on the highest pedestal for our review.

There is no better place for this examination than the culturally diverse melting pot of modern-day Los Angeles. In just over 24 hours, Crash brings together people from all walks of life. Two philosophizing black men (Ludacris and Larenz Tate) steal the expensive SUV belonging to the white, L.A. District Attorney (Brendan Fraser), and his high-strung wife (Sandra Bullock). A similar vehicle belonging to a wealthy black television director (Terrence Howard) and his wife (Thandie Newton) is later pulled over by a racist cop (Matt Dillon) and his partner (Ryan Phillippe). Soon, many of these people get mixed up with a Latino locksmith (Michael Peña), a Persian storekeeper (Shaun Toub), and two ethnically diverse, dating police detectives (Don Cheadle and Jennifer Esposito).

Continue reading: Crash (2005) Review

Little Athens Review


Weak
Ensemble comedies featuring interlocking stories seem to be all the rage these days, but boy does it take serious talent to pull off the intricate plotting and careful structure of one of these films. Tom Zuber (whose prior film, Lansdown, was nothing special either) either doesn't have the talent or the patience for such a story. Instead, he turns in a tired retread of umpteen "slackers do drugs, party, have sex, and get in trouble" movies which have grown so popular and so tiresome in the indie filmmaking scene.

Little Athens is no Pulp Fiction. We've got a small-time drug dealing kid (John Patrick Amedori) who steals a stash from his own dealer's dead cousin, a pair of EMTs (Erica Leerhsen and Rachel Miner) each dealing with issues of love and lust, and two slack-jawed losers (DJ Qualls and Jorge Garcia) who have just been evicted.

Continue reading: Little Athens Review

World Trade Center Review


Weak
Oliver Stone's World Trade Center is a victim of bad timing and a blockbuster mindset. The heroism of September 11, 2001 is still fresh in the minds of millions of Americans, but so is the terror and unease of that day. Stone's movie doesn't reflect those feelings. He hasn't made a movie for a 2006 audience; he's made one for 2036.Stone's account of that day sticks to the two Port Authority cops, John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno (Nicolas Cage and Crash's Michael Pena, respectively), who were pinned for hours under the rubble of the World Trade Center. As the men talk to each other and endure cave-ins and unspeakable pain, the movie drifts to how their wives (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Maria Bello) handle the news of the terrorist attacks and of their husbands' uncertain fates.World Trade Center is meant to showcase America's heroism during a truly heinous time, but why does it feel so empty? The reason lies in this year's other notable 9/11 movie, the memorable United 93. That movie focused on one aspect of that terrible day -- the crew and passengers who gave up their lives to prevent a commuter flight from crashing into the White House -- but it gave you the experience without any chaser. There were no big name actors, no storylines featuring cute kids. It was a reminder of the country's capabilities, and it was desperately needed given the United States' wobbly war on terror. The best compliment I can give director Paul Greengrass is that his film felt necessary.Stone's picture doesn't. His film boils down to being about two tough cops trapped. The reminders that we bonded as a nation that day are thrown in bits and pieces: the former Marine who suits up; the cops from Wisconsin who serve bratwurst; the EMT who tells the cop to say goodbye to his wife for him; the 9/11 news accounts and sound bites. It's almost as if the studio execs said, "Hey, those two cops stuck underneath make for a great story, but how can we make it about 9/11 and not about 9/11?" World Trade Center feels like a rescue drama capitalizing on the day's frenzy, paying little heed to that day's incomprehensible heroism. And the frenzy from the home front isn't credible. Bello and Gyllenhaal look too well-preserved to suffer, too toned to be working class housewives. The latter especially applies to Bello's character. How many mothers of four look like they can run a mile in under six minutes?The focus on Jimeno and McLoughlin further takes away from the day's togetherness. What about everyone else who was pinned underneath the rubble, or the cops, firefighters, and office workers who died leading people to safety? (For more on that read Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn's brilliant 102 Minutes.) What about the families who waited in hospitals or by silent phones for good news that never came? September 11 was about a city and a country mourning and pulling together. It wasn't about two people, no matter how brave they were.World Trade Center feels too much like it was made for nostalgia purposes: Hey, do you remember that? How you felt? Well, yeah, all too vividly, actually. The television accounts and newspapers told us plenty about those brave men and women on the ground working all hours, ignoring fatigue. We still have those images swimming in our heads and our hearts, and such a compressed, slick vehicle doesn't serve as a fitting tribute, at least not yet.Off to work.

Crash Review


Good
A meditation on the often unacknowledged undercurrentsof racism in everyday American city life, "Crash" has the kindof broad appeal that can draw large audiences and the kind of lingeringemotional potency that can lead to serious soul-searching.

An impressive ensemble cast lends strong character to acultural cross-section of Los Angeles denizens who are connected to eachother through crime, corruption, obligation, indignation and chance overa two-day period. The most powerful storyline features Matt Dillon andRyan Phillippe as beat cops -- one jaded and abusive, the other fresh andidealistic -- who pull over and harass (much to Phillippe's dismay) a blackyuppie couple (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) because the SUV they'redriving vaguely fits the description of a carjacked vehicle.

Within 24 hours, these characters all cross paths againin separate incidents of incredibly high tension that challenge both theprejudices that have formed between them and the conclusions we've beenled to as an audience.

Although they do not meet again, similarly potent table-turningand judgment-testing events occur in the lives of the actual carjackers(Larenz Tate and rapper Ludacris, whose character is ironically obsessedwith being stereotyped) and their victims, an ambitious district attorneyand his uptight wife (played with depth and conviction by Brendan Fraserand Sandra Bullock).

Continue reading: Crash Review

Buffalo Soldiers Review


Weak

A dark comedy about "soldiers with nothing to kill except time" -- convicted felons, junkies and high school dropouts serving in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall -- "Buffalo Soldiers" has designs on being a incisive satire somewhere between "M*A*S*H," "Catch-22" and "Dr. Strangelove."

But in its cheeky skewering of the U.S. military (which saw the movie much delayed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks and subsequent hawkish patriotism) its provocative ambitions are dragged down by characters as cartoonish as those in lowbrow in-the-army-now laffers like "Stripes" or "Private Benjamin."

Our anti-hero is a battalion clerk named Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) who is serving his country to avoid serving time. Being of a criminal mind, he's found his access to base goods and equipment a lucrative source of extra income on the East-West black market and he's got his fingers in everything from Mop 'n' Glo to guns and drugs to the base commander's bitter, frustrated wife (Elizabeth McGovern).

Continue reading: Buffalo Soldiers Review

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