Monday, June 26, 2006

no clue movie review: Nacho Libre

I must admit from the trailers I'd seen, I figured this movie would be a laugh riot. I also just assume that seeing Jack Black on screen will compel me to laugh histerically. Add to this director Jared Hess, of Napoleon Dynamite fame, and I was really expecting to just roar. Unfortunately, this movie didn't live up to expectations. It was fun, funny at times, but not a hilariously funny movie as I expected.

This movie features Jack Black as Nacho, a friar in an orphanage, who also serves as the cook. He is enamored with a new nun and wishes to become one of the famous Luchadores (wrestlers). Nacho goes around for food for the orphans, rarely having any type of ingredients, and then goes off to wrestle at night. He gets money for the orphans and feeds them more than the slop that they've been getting. There are many funny scenes mostly belonging to Black. The other actors do a fine job, but none of them are really breakouts. None of them has the quality of a new actor that I would love to see in another movie either.

The movie has the look of a lower budget movie which is fine. It fit with the locale and the story. But since the cinematography and the acting aren't really what it's for, it needs to be really funny. Many of the funny scenes that you saw in the trailers are there and make you laugh hard. But the movie was missing many of the big belly laughs that I so desperatley needed to be able to recommend this movie. In fact many of the really funny parts are really bathroom type of humor, which wasn't overused I don't think, so it's pretty funny.

To sum it all up, the movie has some funny spots and overall left me with a good feeling. It's not a big laugh fest like I thought, so I would recommend waiting on video for this one. Maybe it will be funnier sitting in my living room, rather than a big movie theater.

For more information, visit the official site

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no clue movie review: Brick

I saw this movie a few weeks back and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and confounded at the same time. It's a different type of movie to watch and it's worth seeing for its original vision. Hats off to the filmmakers, because I would never have thought of this one.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie is essentially a detective story. It's told in that detective style "i met this dame..." sort of way, but it's set in modern times in a high school setting. I think setting it in a high school actually helps to get this story going and bring you into this world of drugs, underworld dealings and the like. It's a familiar setting and high school has its share of clicks. It's also what throws you off, because the language doesn't seem to fit the characters at all. I thought it would be more of a creepy movie, but it's not. It's really just a guy, Brendan, played by Joseph-Gordon Levitt ("3rd Rock from the Sun", Mysterious Skin), looking for this girl who he found was killed. He had cared for her and they had dated previously before the film started. What's really kind of clever though, is that the kids in this world, really function almost without any adults and they are acting like the old time adults like a Humphrey Bogart kind of character.

The movie looks fantastic and was shot really well. The camera work is inventive and serves the story in a great way. I was truly impressed since in a lot of independent films, the camera work or sound isn't that great. This movie really stands out in this respect. The camera work helps to create the aura of the movie and I think complements the movie as a whole. It almost acts as a character at times.

The actors are all respectable and do a fine job. The cast is quite large for an independent movie and Gordon-Levitt has a ton of screen time which must of been demanding. He really carries the movie. Other actors that you may know are Lukas Haas, Emilie De Ravin ("Lost") and Richard Roundtree. A stand out among the newcomers for me was Nora Zehetner. She's a real find and plays the femme fatale character really well. She's sexy, dangerous and also a girl next door at times.

All in all, I found the movie to be uneven. At times, it seemed to drag and just got a bit weird when we found out more about "the pin" and "the brick". But it was entertaining and I feel for the inventiveness alone, it's worth checking out. I'm curious to see what the filmmaker does next.

For more information, visit the official site

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sabres coach wins Coach of the year

Check out these articles for news on Lindy Ruff, the coach of the Buffalo Sabres, who just won the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year at the NHL Awards. Congratulations Lindy!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

no clue movie review: The Da Vinci Code

I know that this movie had a lot of controversy surrounding it, but that part didn't bother me. I was just hoping for a great film. Based on a worldwide best seller, it seems that everyone in the known world has read this book but me. Not sure if that would have made me enjoy this movie more, because I was a little disappointed.

For those of you who aren't yet familiar, The Da Vinci Code is about a secret organization inside the Catholic church that is hiding a religious mystery, and clues are found in Da Vinci paintings. It is based in reality, but it is fiction. Controversy aside, let's take this flick at face value. I will say it has a great beginning. Chilling and exciting at the same time. But for me, it lost steam about halfway through and never recovered.

Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon who is the man seeking out the clues to uncover this mystery. He is joined by Audrey Tatou, Ian McKellan, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany among others. The actors do a fine job. Directed by the masterful, but conservative Ron Howard. I can't say that the movie was bad, poorly directed or boring to watch. At times, I found it to be downright exciting. The problem I had is that the movie has some real slow spots. I just found myself saying "so what" at times and not getting into the movie. Maybe it's me, I just didn't feel transported to a new place enough. I was too aware that I was watching a movie.

The movie is slick and looks fantastic. It runs all over Paris and has some great location shots. The movie for the most part, has a good pace, but like I said at times, it does seem to drag. I found myself looking at my watch quite a bit and I didn't have anywhere to go after I was done. I didn't really feel like I knew the characters very well and I didn't feel like I was connecting with them very much. Maybe some of it has to do with my inability to suspend enough disbelief. Whenever movies involve religion it's tough. People come to the screen looking for holes or just have their own set of beliefs up front that are hard to shake.

It's funny, even though I was disappointed in the movie and I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, I can't put my finger on precisely what is missing in this movie. I can't seem to find a technical flaw that says "oh, that's why I didn't like it". I guess it just happens sometimes. The movie left me blank. It left no real impression on me, except for some harrowing and disturbing scenes with Paul Bettany. You'll know them when you see them. I can't recommend the movie, but I can't say don't see it. I say, if you're interested and you can't get into anything else you have a bigger interest in seeing, then see it. Otherwise, wait for video.

For more information, visit the official site
watch the psp compatible movie trailer

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site updated

check out the updated website.

more to come soon including a new web series and a new short film.

stay tuned....

Monday, June 19, 2006

We have a winner!!!

I think these pictures say it all, but here's the story.

CONGRATULATIONS CAROLINA!!!! You did it. A really great series. I don't normally keep watching hockey once my team is out, but it was so entertaining this year. I really look forward to next season. Oilers did a fantastic job too and it's too bad you didn't come out on top. I was rooting for you, but Carolina was the better team tonight. Now that hockey is over, I guess I have no more excuses, but to get some work done.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

no clue movie review: Cars

First, I need to say that I work for Disney and got to see a free screening of this flick. I am also a huge fan of Pixar's previous films and continue to be impressed with their storytelling techniques. This movie had me worried since last year when I first saw a teaser trailer. I thought, here's the one that ends Pixar's streak and they make a dud. I'm pleased to say that isn't the case and whatever they are feeding their animators and storytellers up in Emeryville, CA, they need to continue to do it.

This movie marked a return to the director's chair for John Lasseter who was the man behind Toy Story. He also had the help of some great voices like Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Paul Newman. These voices helped embody these cars and help to make them more human. The storyline also helps. It shows a kid who is good, but feels destined to do well. He also doesn't think that he needs the help of anyone and can do it alone. Over the course of the movie, he finds himself and discovers that having friends and being kind and helping others is what makes a person great. Sounds simple right? It is. The plot is so simple that I'm sure you've seen hundreds of these types of movies before. It's not the plot in this movie, it's the characters that really get you in this movie. It surprised me. At the beginning of the flick, I'm thinking how cute, this movie is all about cars and they are the only characters in the movie. It's like a world of cars. Then, by the end of the movie, I can easily say that didn't even enter my mind. I was viewing these cartoon characters as living breathing people whom I cared deeply for. I even teared up a bit at the ending.

This movie is touching and is great for kids and adults. There are tons of laughs too. In fact, there is a scene about tractor tipping that is really hilarious. I laughed pretty hard at that one.

The animation in the movie is top notch. The computer animation of Pixar is leaps and bounds ahead of others, or it may be that computer animation is really coming into its own as an art form. But I found the animation striking, the colors fantastic and I didn't even get to see this movie in digital projection where I'm sure it really shines. This movie also begs that you stay behind to watch the entire end credit sequence. It has some great moments and is really hilarious. It really also takes the idea of this world of cars into a whole new realm. I was roaring laughing during it.

All in all, this is a great movie. It's filled with laughs, tears, touching moments and above all great characters. Pixar has done it again with Cars. You really need to rev up your engines and go see this movie. You'll thank me for it.

For more information, visit the official site
watch the trailer

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no clue movie review: X-Men: The Last Stand

I really enjoyed both of the first two movies in this series. I was pretty excited to see this movie and also a little nervous since director Brett Ratner was taking over the reins from Bryan Singer. I wasn't disappointed in the movie at all. I'm not sure it lived up to the first two movies though.

The movie chronicles Jean Grey's rise to the Dark Phoenix. The plot also involves a cure for mutants. You see some mutants enticed by the cure since they are feeling like they're powers are a curse, like Rogue. You also see some who don't want the cure because they feel like that is what makes them special, like Storm. Finally, some see the cure as a way for the government to control and destroy the mutant race, like Magneto. The plot wasn't too involved from what I could tell, but it did make for a jam packed movie. We also got our first looks at new mutants like Angel and Beast. Jean Grey's Dark Phoenix also takes one of the core members of the X-Men team from the first two movies and turns her evil. I really liked that, because it forced characters like Storm and Wolverine to fight against their friend and find a way to help her at the same time. There is a final battle scene that was spectacular to watch, with some out of this world effects.

The movie looked great. The effects were spectacular. It really blends in well with the look and feel of the other two movies. In that respect, I think Ratner did a great job. I do feel like there were so many characters and my one complaint was that with so many characters it was hard to spend much time with any of them, so getting more into character development wasn't possible. But we did get to see Storm taking a larger leadership role and Wolverine conflicted with his feelings for Jean. We got a little information on Angel, but didn't get to spend much time with him. Too bad, I find him a fascinating character.

That being said, I think there was a real emphasis on the part of the filmmakers to make a purely action driven film. In this regard they succeed. It was thrilling to watch, engaging and very action heavy. I feel it was the best popcorn type of movie that I've seen so far this year. I know I've said it already, but I can't help myself. I must say it again. The final showdown in the film is spectacular. It's high octane action between all sorts of mutants and humans. It's huge big screen pleasing effects. For this reason alone, I recommend seeing this flick. The action moments are well worth it.

Finally, just a tip. Stay for the entire end credits. Don't leave the theater until the lights come up. There is an extra scene at the end of the movie that is great and really brings up ideas for future movies. You don't want to miss it. Then you can tell all your friends about what they missed as they were rushing out of the theater just to get to their cars a few minutes earlier.

I know that this movie will make all kinds of money, but I really hope that the filmmakers when trying to make a new X-Men movie will go back to the character driven plots of the first two flicks. This is the bread and butter of this franchise. Yes, the thrilling effects and action are great, but the caring about these characters is what I loved most about the movies. Next up though, I hear they are making a Wolverine movie. That could be really interesting. Getting into detail into one of the more intriguing characters of the first three movies would be a fantastic way to get into new territory. Whatever they decide to do, I hope that they keep the movies coming.

For more information, visit the official site

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no clue movie review: Poseidon

Hmmm....Not sure if anyone was looking forward to this movie or not. I know I didn't much care. But I knew it would have a killer special effect wave since it was being directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the man who brought us The Perfect Storm. What I didn't know is that to fill out the large cast we'd have a group of TV actors, some older more established actors, an ex-Real Worlder and some up and coming Hollywood types. It must have been because the wave and the destruction cost so much money. Too bad no one budgeted for a story and script.

Here's the skinny. I saw this movie in IMAX, which I think added to my enjoyment of the film. That saying, it was bad. I mean the acting was pretty flat, the dialogue was absolutely awful, which made me feel bad for the actors for having to say the crap. Then they were submerged for most of the movie running around in dirty water. I thought you got treated better on a big movie set. Oh well, they got paid. Too bad no one paid me to watch this awful flick.

The thin plot concerns a luxury cruise liner that sets sail for a New Year's Eve cruise. The guests are all decked out and having fun and then BOOM, a massive wave capsizes the ship. This causes mass destruction and then some people try to get out. It's tragic I know. But the flick is far from riveting. I couldn't believe it. I thought that there was no way to make this not riveting. People spend most of the movie trying to escape death. There's a big cool wave, which is well done, the destruction is marvelous. It really is. It's just back to this very bad dialogue and the whole time you just know you are watching a movie. I mean the sets are so extravagant, that they don't feel real. This movie reminded me so much why I really enjoyed Titanic. That movie had heart, it had real characters that I got to know before they were in mortal danger.

The good parts of this movie are definitely the special effects. They are truly spectacular. The other good part is the pace. It moves very fast. I didn't need to look at my watch to see when it would be over, because it moved so fast. The whole time I watched the movie, I felt so bad for the actors. Petersen seems more concerned with all the cool effects that he almost seems to forget to direct these poor actors. Reminding me of the poor players in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

I will say that I saw this in glorious IMAX projection which was out of this world. It did reveal some flaws in some of the opening computer animated sequences, since I felt like I was watching a bad nintendo game. But I attribute this to the enormous size of the screen. It envelops you and didn't hurt my eyes like I thought it would for a long flick. I hope to see more movies this way, since it seems to add to the moviegoing experience for me, and only for a few dollars more than a regular movie.

I don't what else to say. I thought this flick was bad. Really bad. Good special effects. The only reason to go see this movie is to see the big wave and boat capsizing.

for more information, (if you care) visit the official site

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new movie reviews coming very soon: Brick, XMEN 3: The Last Stand & more

Saturday, June 17, 2006

no clue movie review: Mission Impossible III

I haven't been the biggest fan of these movies. They are fun, but that's about it. I will say that I was very excited about JJ Abrams taking over the directing duties on this movie. I thought he would bring a very fresh take on the film, maybe a little more character oriented. I'm a big fan of his TV work like "LOST", "Alias", & even "Felicity" (season 1 at least). I was entertained, so let's start there.

The movie is a big non-stop roller coaster ride. It has twists, turns, and loop de loops. I mean it. There's so much action in fact, that you have a hard time looking away. But with saying that, it always starts to feel a little stale. So much action, so much noise and so many explosions that you know that you are watching a movie. I felt entertained, but not taken away to a new reality like I do with Abrams TV work. There are some nice scenes in the beginning with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) hanging out with family and friends celebrating his engagement. They reminded me of scenes from "Alias". I mean they even include Greg Grunberg who we say in all of Abrams TV shows. But that was another problem. I felt like I was watching a big screen "Alias" at times. "Felicity" star Keri Russell, plays a female agent reminding me of Sydney Bristow too. I felt like many of those action scenes had been done almost shot for shot but on a smaller scale. Maybe there are only so many ways that you can blow stuff up and put secret agents in trouble.

Acting was decent. I mean I don't think anyone did a bad job. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays one of the best villains in this series of movies. I loved his character. So bad ass. My only complaint was that I wanted to see more of his character. I felt like he was on screen for very short periods of time. Keri Russell, whom I mentioned, did a very good job kicking ass as a secret agent holding the keys to a conspiracy. The rest of the cast acquitted themselves nicely as well. Which brings me to mr. big movie star Tom Cruise. He was good, don't get me wrong. He struck me as very committed and it looked like he did many action scenes on his own, because they looked extremely believable and many close ups were shown. But I couldn't shake the idea that I was watching Tom Cruise the movie star and not Ethan Hunt. He's on screen in almost every scene and it was a bit distracting. I mean I realize it's his movie, but I can't help it. I think that some of his off screen antics contributed to my liking of this movie.

All being said and done, the movie looked great. There was tons of action and it was fun to watch. I like secret agent type stuff. But it was popcorn big studio blockbuster fun. Not transport me to another place fun. But it was FUN!

I recommend seeing this movie if you're in the mood for some fun over the top action. Otherwise, maybe you should wait for something else.

for more information visit the official site

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Stanley Cup Finals go to a Game 7

WOW! Who would have thought this would happen huh? Edmonton was down 3-1 in this series against Carolina. Oilers had another great game tonight and beat the Hurricanes 4-0. And they scored 3 goals on the POWER PLAY! Amazing. But, now it goes back to North Carolina for the deciding game 7. Good luck to both teams and thanks for great hockey.

I guess I'm pulling for Edmonton still, but really I don't care. As long as it's a good game and the team that wins deserves it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

edmonton forces another game

I must say that I was impressed to see Edmonton play so well tonight. They were fierce and punishing. It was great to see them score on their anemic power play and my boy Michael Peca and others had their best games of the series so far. I was really assuming Carolina was going to take this game tonight and win the cup on their home ice. I will also say that Carolina has been playing some downright entertaining hockey. As much as I'm still mad at them for beating my Sabres, Stall played amazing. But it was Edmonton tonight. We'll see if Edmonton can pull out another one and push it to a game 7. Regardless, this is still some entertaining hockey this year.

For more Stanley Cup coverage, visit