War Movie Mondays: ‘Crimson Tide’

This week’s pick is the post Cold War thriller Crimson Tide which stars Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman as U.S. Submariners who clash over their orders to launch nuclear weapons in this Tony Scott action classic. Crimson Tide begins during a period of political unrest in post Soviet Russia when military forces crush a rebellion in neighboring Chechnya.

Violence begins to spread throughout other republics and ultra nationalists headed by a man named Radchenko criticizes American, British, and French involvement which cuts off aid to Russia as a protest of its hostilities towards its neighboring country. Radchenko’s forces seize a Russian ICBM missile complex and threaten to launch nuclear weapons if either the U.S. or its allies move in to stop him.

After several years of peace, the Cold War begins to heat up once again.

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Review: ‘When In Rome’

Josh Duhamel and Kristen Bell in WHEN IN ROME_jpg

Just because I am a chick, it doesn’t mean I am a champion of the romantic comedy. It’s quite the opposite as you’d be hard pressed to find many I care to crow about. I prefer horror and gore to a rom-com romp. There is so much drivel that tries to pass itself off as entertainment (I’m looking at YOU, Leap Year, and YOU, The Proposal), but I found this movie to be a real breath of fresh air in a genre that has long since gone stagnant.

Kristen Bell plays Beth, an art curator, who is in the middle of planning a large benefit gala. After she experiences a humiliating evening at the hands of her ex, Beth’s little sister shows up, squealing that she is engaged to be married to a man from Italy whom she has only known for two weeks. They are getting married immediately, and Beth must fly to Italy to be the maid of honor. She manages to clear a few days to attend, no thanks to her over-bearing boss played by Anjelica Huston.

During the dress rehearsal, a dashing groomsman (Nick, played by Josh Duhamel) catches her eye. The two flirt the night away, and Beth is obviously being swept off her feet. However, a misunderstanding about another woman derails her magical night, and she ends up having an impromptu pity party in a fountain with a bottle of champagne. Before she leaves, she snags a few coins from the “fountain of love,” just for spite. Continue reading

Review: ‘Surrogates’

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Okay, I think I have the studios figured out. The recent trend toward not screening a movie, or screening it too late for reviewing press to make deadline, must be the studios’ clever attempt at using  reverse-psychology. We (reviewers) are conditioned to believe that any time a movie is not screened or screened last minute, that there must be some horrible problem plaguing the movie, hence their unwillingness to pre-screen it. Such was the case with Surrogates when I saw it last night.

Bracing myself for a stinkbomb, I emerged from the screening and proclaimed to the studio rep: “It was not terrible. I think I kind of liked it.” Hardly a ringing endorsement, to be sure, but I think that is part of their strategy. If they set the expectation bar low, when the movie is not horrible the viewer will be delighted by this welcome surprise. 

Surrogates could have been one hell of a movie had it’s intriguing premise been well executed. Despite the film’s flaws, I found it thought-provoking enough that I would definitely recommend it to fans of the sci-fi genre or Bruce Willis.  I absolutely love a movie that makes me think, and this one had my head swimming with the ethical implications of bio-medical research, the prevalence of electronic media in our lives, and our (as a society) startling retreat from one-on-one human interaction.  Any movie that makes me take pause to analyze the message is worthy of a recommendation.

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New ‘Surrogates’ Featurette: ‘Losing Your Surrogate’

Picture 2We’ve discussed the notion of how cool it would be to see a movie where Bruce Willis takes on an army of robots, and this week, we’ll actually get to see it happen in theaters across the country. This Friday marks the national release of Bruce Willis in Surrogates from Disney and Touchstone pictures.

For those who are unaware of the film’s premise, yet intrigued by the idea of Willis kicking tin butt, the plot is simple. Humans grow lazy and develop a robotics program that allows them to play as robot versions of themselves from the comfort of their own homes. Those robots are able to do all the things that humans could not, without all the risk of…well, risk. This is all good and well until a person gets murdered when his surrogate is killed. FBI agent Bruce Willis is on the job, and in order to do it, he must step outside as himself, not his robotic counterpart.

There’s a brand new featurette hitting the web, which has a few people from the film discussing it. Alongside stars Willis and Radha Mitchell is director Jonathan Mostow, producer Max Handelman and co-writer of the original graphic novel, Robert Venditti.

Check out the video after the jump, and catch Surrogates in theaters this Friday.

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First Poster for ‘Surrogates’ Now Online

surrogates-bruce-willis-poster-smallWhen we first told you about this movie, we gave a bit of info about it including who was going to be in it, Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell, who the director is, the talented Johnathan Mostow, what its all about and when it may be released. This time around, we’ve got the first poster for the upcoming film to share with you.

Brought to us by the folks at Coming Soon, this poster features Bruce Willis flanked by a bunch of what appear to be tubes used to create the surrogates of the title. In fact, they look like other versions of Willis himself, which makes sense. Plus, the poster features a pretty decent tag line that does a good job of encapsulating the story. Willis is the only human in a world filled with artificial people and only he can save mankind from destruction. Sounds like pretty much every other movie featuring Bruce Willis, doesn’t it? But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As with many posters these days, its not particularly innovative or even that interesting. It just shows the required info which, in this case, is a decent tag line and a giant picture of the movie’s star. Plus, he’s sporting that cool goatee. I guess that’s all you really need to get the message across. Of course, this is just the first poster, so I’m sure we’ll see co-star Radha Mitchell in there at some point too.

Surrogates hits theaters on September 25. Click through for a larger version of the poster.

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