Beth and Daniel (King and Grillo) have just moved into their new home, and invite a group of friends over for a housewarming party. But things turn nasty very quickly when three crazed criminals burst into the house. The Koffin brothers - ringleader Ike (Flueger), brutal Addley (Kole) and injured baby brother Johnny (O'Leary) - used to live in this house. Soon their Mama (De Mornay) and sister Lydia (Woll) arrive, and they take the partiers hostage, horrifically tormenting them while trying to gather cash to make a run for Canada.
Continue reading: Mother's Day Review
Rebecca De Mornay, Abbie Cornish and Barry Gibb Saturday 22nd January 2011 2011 G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala to honor Barry Gibb, Roy Emerson and Abbie Cornish - Arrivals Los Angeles, California
When Bryce and his family move to a new neighbourhood, his next door neighbour is a girl of the same age called Juli is infatuated with him from the first moment her eyes spotted him. From that moment on, she knows Bryce is the boy for her; the only problem is Bryce isn't convinced that she's the girl for him.
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That said, even the wicked fire shots of Backdraft -- which feature rising towers of flame, backwards-flowing fire, and blankets of flame that slowly ripple across the floor -- are barely able to distract you from the ultimately tiresome family drama that makes up the bulk of Ron Howard's firehouse epic.
Continue reading: Backdraft Review
Raise Your Voice takes a feeble stab at building a feature film around a preconceived pop soundtrack of Duff tunes. It aims for Fame and ends up with famine. Following graduation from Riverdale High - seriously, were Archie and Jughead her classmates? - squeaky-clean Terri Fletcher (Duff) enrolls in the summer program at an elite performing arts academy. Competition is fierce, and so are the backstage stereotypes. Upon arrival, Terri falls for a British songwriter (Oliver James), befriends the hyperactive geek (Johnny K. Lewis), coaxes the talented recluse (Kat Dennings) out of her shell, and locks horns with the resident snob (Lauren C Mayhew). Who has time to sing when the student body is filled with such cardboard caricatures of standoffish overachievers?
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During the height of California's suffocating drought in the mid-1970s, quiet, long-haired Peralta (Elephant's John Robinson), cocky Alva (Raising Victor Vargas' Victor Rasuk), and self-destructive Adams (Emile Hirsch) began transferring their ocean-skimming techniques to the city's blacktop and empty swimming pools, resulting in an almost instantaneous phenomenon that thrust them onto the covers of magazines, into lucrative endorsement contracts, and onto the set of Charlie's Angels. Hardwicke's film (written by Peralta) presents this real-life tale with a mixture of exuberance and cautionary wariness, depicting the benefits (sex, money, fame) and pitfalls (jealousy, clashes over girls, obligations to their less-than-supportive parents) of these adolescents' sudden rise to superstardom. Thanks to Elliot Davis' bleached-out, nostalgically hazy cinematography (which mirrors the pulverizing propulsion of street skating by twirling, spinning and sticking low to the ground) and liberal use of thunderous '70s tunes by Hendrix and Sabbath, Hardwicke's period piece has a groovy, hard-charging dynamism. And as in her last film, the director - via Peralta and Adams' rivalry over Alva's sister Kathy (Nikki Reed) and Adams' difficulties at home with his irresponsible mom (Rebecca De Mornay) - laces such heady, sun-dappled optimism with an undercurrent of looming menace.
Continue reading: Lords Of Dogtown Review
Totally ridiculous (and based on the work of Akira Kurosawa!) but very exciting. And this -- or so it seems -- is really shot on a speeding train. No miniatures. Tons of stunts. Insane.
Continue reading: Runaway Train Review
After spending 90 minutes in a screening during which the highlight was a print that caught on fire and melted halfway through the performance, I'm not terribly closer to knowing myself.
Continue reading: Identity Review