Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie News and Reviews

DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude has a challenge today – six short excerpts/flash pieces based on a prompt from six different writers. Can you guess which writer wrote which piece based on their ‘voice?’ Let’s just say I already know one of the writers…

Elizabeth Mueller asked if I was some kind of Hollywood Ninja spy since I know so much about films. While I do harbor a lot of movie knowledge and see a ton of movies, there are a couple key sites I hit.

For information, release dates, and reviews, I visit Rotten Tomatoes and the IMDB.

For hot-off-the-press news, I visit JoBlo and Blastr.

Now you too can be a Movie Ninja!

Battlefield Earth was easily the number one Worst Movie Ever in last week’s blogfest. After so many awful films, I thought I’d offer you some good ones:

Drive
Great reviews prompted me to see this one. Ryan Gosling is a stuntman/mechanic by day and a getaway driver by night. A man of few words, he befriends a neighbor and her son. When her husband returns home from prison, Gosling offers to help rob a pawnshop to pay back protection money. Things go wrong, of course…
If you remember my review of Hanna, this movie is similar – an art house action flick. Very slow paced and stylish, with great camera work and lighting, and a unique soundtrack. Think Michael Mann’s Heat and Manhunter. If you like that style of film, I highly recommend Drive.

The Warrior’s Way
I had no idea what to expect from this film but was pleasantly surprised. It begins with a ninja warrior, toting a baby he spared, seeking refuge with a circus group in an isolated Western town. As you can tell by the setup, it’s quirky! The entire film was shot on green screen and looks quite amazing, including a giant Ferris wheel under construction. It was like a comic book come to life and featured some bloody and intense action. Geoffrey Rush is excellent in his small role as a drunken former gunslinger. This movie isn’t for everyone, but I found it quirky and fun.

And this Wednesday Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is the featured film on Direct TV’s HDNet Movies! Last I looked, it was still a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with over thirty reviews.

Seen any good movies lately? Don’t forget to check out Cruising Altitude. And hey – less than three months to Christmas!!

102 comments:

Laila Knight said...

Ah, so that's your secret. Ooh, the ninja movie sounds good. Haven't seen one of those in a while. Hmm, less than 2 months before there's snow on the ground. And I am not looking forward to that. :)

Ciara said...

Okay, as a mom you just completely stressed me out. Loved your post until I got to the line, 'three months to Christmas.' Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, it is just a lot of stress on a mom, daughter-in-law, sister, etc... I'd love to get back to the true meaning of Christmas. Oh, guess you weren't expecting a melt down on your blog today. Okay, have a great day. Don't mind me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Laila, I like snow though!

Ciara, sorry for the added stress. I haven't done any shopping yet either.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard of any of these movies. I tend to read more than watch TV or movies. I don't have time for all of it. But this weekend we did spend some family time checking out a few new TV series and I started one on my own that I like--The Secret Circle.

Jemi Fraser said...

3 months! Yikes - that's not enough time :)

Off to DL's...

Journaling Woman said...

Thanks so much for the calendar check--not. Now I've got to miss work to go Christmas shopping. :)

salarsenッ said...

I love how you notice the camera work and lighting in a film. So often people ignore those elements. I tend to be...picky. :)

iZombie said...

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil!!!
you complete me...
:]

Anne Gallagher said...

Do NOT talk to me about Christmas!! I went to Wal-mart the other day, and then Target and they have Halloween AND Christmas stuff out already, and it's not even the end of September yet. Since when do we combine holidays.

Melissa Bradley said...

Tucker & Dale vs Evil...Hell to the yeah! I've been dithering on Drive, but I think I may have to check it out. Now, I must head over to Cruising Altitude.

Old Kitty said...

Well I have my mistletoe all ready and tastefully positioned! Ahem.

Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Natalie, I haven't seen that one.

Jemi, no it's not!

Salarsen, that can make or break a movie for me.

Jeremy, you made me laught this morning.

Anne, if you see Valentine's stuff, let me know. That would be overkill.

Melissa, I really enjoyed Drive.

Kitty, that doesn's surprise me!

Johanna Garth said...

LOL, Movie Ninja! I have a good friend who is movie obsessed and sees everything! Seriously, everything, documentaries, art house, major releases. She's a great source for interview questions that ask me to cast the major characters in my book. Umm...maybe now I have another source;)

Velvet Over Steel said...

Thanks for sharing those sites with us. My son will use them a lot I am sure! He checks everything out 'thoroughly' before making any visit to the theater or Redbox. :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

I know the author of "Drive," the original book. I definitely want to see the movie.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

I finally watched Seven Pounds this weekend with my son. It's sad, but a well-told story, and of course, excellent acting by Will Smith.

Rusty Webb said...

Tucker and Dale, Tucker and Dale - I have to remember to watch it. Actually, I just have to remember to set my DVR. You wouldn't think that would be so hard. But it is.

I've not seen any movies lately - wait. That isn't true, I saw X-Men: First Class over the weekend. I was so disappointed with X3 and Wolverine that I didn't care that the reviews were so good, I just didn't want to see it. I was wrong to wait so long. It was terrific.

Lynnette Labelle said...

Off topic, but tell me about this support group you started.

Lynnette Labelle
www.labelleseditorialservices.com

Tara said...

Well, this was great...until I got to the Christmas thing. Ack. That's too soon!

Dafeenah said...

But it's not even halloween yet!! I always like Thanksgiving better. Turkey yum!! Those movies sound too "quirky" for me.

Kelly Polark said...

Ahhhh, I better get shopping if it's 3 months til Christmas!
I was wondering what Drive was like. Gosling is in everything these days!

lynnrush said...

Ohhhh. I'm interested in The Warrior's Way! that looks interesting. I haven't seen any movies lately. I'm so lame. LOL.

Clarissa Draper said...

I haven't seen those 'good' movies but I'll check them out. I just loved DL's post! You guess wrong, my friend!

Budd said...

I am on queue at the library for Warrior's Way.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Johanna, be happy to assist!

Charles, I hope they did it justice then.

Rusty, don't forget! And the latest X-Men was excellent.

Lynnette, under my header is a tab titled Insecure Writer's Support Group - that explains it all!

Tara and Dafeenah, sorry, but Christmas is coming...

Clarissa, I'll have to see if you guessed right!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

I used to be a professional driver, so DRIVE looks like a movie I'd enjoy. Thanks for mentioning that. After revisiting Battlefield Earth last week, a good movie will be greatly appreciated.

Bossy Betty said...

Preparing my black bodysuit for my new Movie Ninja role. Thanks Alex, for all your supportive comments on my blog.

julie fedderson said...

I am excited to see Tucker and Dale. I could use a goretastic comedy, and 'tis the season! As in Halloween. I can't think about Christmas yet, I just hung my blinking bat lights for pete's sake.

Tara Tyler said...

warriors way sounds like my quirky kind of movie! i like unique and geoffrey rush!

many thanks for the reviews, oh stealthy movie ninja

M.J. Fifield said...

I've heard great things about Drive. It's not playing at my local theater but I'm considering taking a road trip to a theater that is showing it.

Warrior's Way just sounds cool. Maybe I'll have to find a theater playing both of them and do a double header.

Suze said...

I have not seen any good movies lately but I swallowed whole a GREAT book, this weekend.

Arlee Bird said...

Been hearing good things about Drive. Don't know when I'll see it though at my current rate of film viewing. I'm down to one a week and I'm currently on the films of 1948.
I looked at those choices on D.L.'s site, but I have no idea. I'm not so hot at determining voice. When I read I tend to just absorb the story and don't pay to much attention to style unless the style is so noticeable that it stands out and when that is the case I think it often distracts from the story being told.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Lydia Kang said...

I think I would really like Drive. I'm dying to see Hanna.

Going to DL's now. Thanks Alex!

Nancy Thompson said...

Thanks for the reviews, Alex. I LOVE anything with Ryan Gosling. He's an amazing (& under-rated) actor. I first noted him 10 years ago in The Believer. If you haven't seen that one yet, definitely think about renting it. He was fantastic as an anti-semetic Jew. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Michael Offutt said...

Ryan Gosling is hot. I'd see any movie with him in it. I did see the Warrior's Way...kind of a strange movie. I don't think I liked it in retrospect but the setting was highly unusual for sure.

My friend James loves Battlefield Earth. He even has a copy of the original movie poster in a frame. I raz him about it all the time.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I saw the movie Carriers a few days ago on Netflix. It was your standard zombie fare, good for a viewing, but nothing too out of the ordinary from other post apocalyptic zombie worlds.

~Sia McKye~ said...

A friend who has a video store in town suggested Your Highness. Hmmm. Bit sophomoric. Had some funny moments but I can understand why it was the critics dart board. Thor was one the three of us enjoyed.

Hubs is one of those who has a great deal of movie/actors knowledge. It always amazes me what he knows and he and my son are big movie watchers. Son knows a great deal about movies and actors too.

Me? I've been watching Deep Space 9 from the beginning. I loved the series and Avery Brooks (loved him as Hawk).

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

N. R. Williams said...

Movies are a great way to chill.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Stephen Tremp said...

I visit Rotten Tomatoes and IMBD at least a few times a week. Love those sites! I stopped by DL Hammons site. Nicely done. You know when you're off the town BBQ list its time to leave.

Christopher Hudson said...

I'm a movie junkie too ... but, alas, a poor one, so first-run features a rare treat. Fortunately, I like classic flicks, to, so TCM is on a lot around here.

Birgit said...

I am a film nut as well and, unfortunately, I have not been able to see many new films. i heard good things about Drive and Warrior's Way sounds very intriguing especially since Geoffrey Rush is in it. I will look up Rotten Tomatoes as it sounds like it would state the worst films...I now must feel compelled to watch Battlefield Earth now. It is sounds like Ed Wood would be proud

Carrie said...

I just saw a trailer for Drive and was thinking it looked good.
My mom has already started bugging me about my Christmas list and I am so unprepared for Christmas.

Matthew MacNish said...

That Wrrior's Way sounds crazy! But also fun.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Thanks for throwing some good films at us!

Christine Rains said...

The Warrior's Way surprised both my husband and I. It was really good. I didn't get a chance to watch Trollhunter this weekend, but hopefully this week some time. Not tonight. Terra Nova premieres!

Friko said...

Hi, looks like this is a good place to come to find out about new films.

Mind you, I didn't need to be told about Christmas being within sniffing distance. A bit of autumn first would be nice.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Alex, I was hoping to hear your take on Drive! Our friends talked us into seeing it this weekend, and of course everyone liked it but me. It had a very intense start, and an interesting cast. I enjoyed Albert Brooks' performance
but couldn't get over his bad hairpiece. I even managed to turn away in time for the extremely violent scenes, but I will never look at cowboy boots the same again. Julie

Lindsay said...

i was wondering if Drive was any good. I think I'll have to go see that one :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doralynn, you need to scrub that movie from your mind at once before it does permanent damage!

Betty, you are most welcome.

Julie, I'd like to see a photo of your blinking bat lights...

You're welcome, Tara!

Suze, guess that means it was easy to digest.

Lee, sometimes it does!

Nancy, you'll really dig Drive then.

Michael, don't stop razzing him...

Sia, excellent choice! I've watched the entire Star Trek series, all five, over again through NetFlix.

Stephen, crap, I guess my entry waws really obvious...

Birgit, Ed Wood would've been estactic...

Christine, I'm not missing Terra Nova either!

Friko, I'm hoping for some autumn soon as well...

Well, at least the others liked it Julie...

Copyboy said...

Oooh I liked Heat. Might have to check it out now.

Zade Forrest said...

Last night I watched an interesting movie called Afterlife, with Christina Riccie, Justin Long, and Liam Neeson. I very much recommend you see it, if you haven't already. It's a little dark, and it leaves plenty of things open for your imagination, which is always exciting, especially to discuss with other viewers afterwards.

Huntress said...

Reading your movie reviews is my only reliable source of good and bad films. Thanks for your service.

BTW, how do you like Alphas on ScFi channel? Season finale tonight.

Mark Noce said...

Thanks for the movie site tips:) I like Rotten Tomatoes, and I'm glad Battlefield Earth was rated last...the film wasn't like the book.

L.G.Smith said...

Hadn't heard of either of those films, but The Warrior's Way sounds kind of interesting -- in a quirky way.

I also rely on Dezz a lot for my upcoming movie news.

Monti said...

I saw Avatar Saturday on Direct TV and enjoyed the scenery and the paint jobs on the characters.

Thanks for all the info you send out and for being a faithful visitor to the blog sites of others!!! There should be a special award!!!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I'm glad I never had the (dis)pleasure of watching Battlefield Earth. I'm looking forward to Tucker and Dale, and I like the sound of Warrior's Way. I'll have to give it a shot :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It's beginnign to look like Christmas in the shops already.
Though when I went to Niagara and Boston they both had "Christmas Shops" and many people were buying already for Christmas ......in May/June.

Have a good day.
Yvonne.

M Pax said...

Those both sound very good. Glad you saw good movies.

I was out watching the stars as usual. Friday was perfect. Absolute perfection. Wish all nights were like that one.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Three months to Christmas and I have no idea what anyone wants. Pits!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Zade, I haven't seen that one.

Huntress, I aim to please! Sorry, didn't ever get into it. I watch too much TV anyway.

Mark, I hope the book and movie were different!

LG, I used to.

Thank you, Monti!

Jamie, Tucker & Dale is going to be awesome - I just know it.

Mary, that's great! One more weekend, right?

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

The Warrior's Way does sound intriguing. I like the quirk factor.
I'll go visiting Cruising Altitude but am sure to land below sea level.
Be well, Alex.
xoRobyn

The Golden Eagle said...

I'd wondered how you kept up with so much movie-wise, too.

Thanks for the reviews!

Lynda R Young said...

I love The Warrior’s Way too. I didn't realise it was all shot on green screen. Wow.

Jo Schaffer said...

Shocking lack of men in kilts in the movies lately.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Those look like really interesting movies - I'll have to check them out. :)

DL Hammons said...

I loved HEAT and MANHUNTER, so DRIVE should be right up my alley!

Thanks for the shout out to my post. I'm seeing some real interesting guesses. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, you always land in the clouds.

Golden, my secret it out.

Lynda, yes it was - wild, huh?

Jo, I'll see if I can loacate a Scottish man for you.

DL, you'll dig it. And thanks, it was fun!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Alex: Thanks for checking back. I thought it was a loop, not a blog hop. I have a Yahoo loop for writers, where they can share, cry, celebrate, critique, brainstorm, whatever. If anyone wants to become a member, ask to join: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/writers_on_writing/ I'll post this in your comment section, too.

Lynnette Labelle
www.labelleseditorialservices.com

tfwalsh said...

I really enjoyed Warrior's Way - I call it Cowboys vs Ninjas... the last scene is so cool..

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I thought Drive looks good and I didn't need the comment about Christmas. Now that my children are older, their gifts are all expensive.

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,
Yes, my illustrious, much adored and idolised blogging friend; I saw a really good movie. 'Beware! The Blog.' Not to be confused with that Steve McQueen classic, 'The Blog'.
And hey. Less than three months until 'Boxing Day Eve'!
Take care and happy writing. Kind regards, shy and humble Gary...

Andrew said...

I STRONGLY applaud Battlefield Earth for ranking number one in last week's contest....
A portion of my faith in humanity has been restored by that result. You ROCK, Blogging World!

You know, I actually read the novel of Battlefield Earth because I was so confused by the badness of its film adaptation.

Seriously.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Thanks for the movie reviews. You're cute for mentioning me. I'm flattered. ;)

I saw The Smurfs. I was so dead against watching it because I think it's dumb how Hollywood is digging up old cadavers and bringing them back to life. Oh brother. *eye rolling*

You know what? I laughed so hard--especially the prisonyard scene! ROFL!

Happy Monday!


♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

Donna K. Weaver said...

I use IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, too. Can really tell you a lot.

Is there anything Geoffrey Rush isn't excellent in?

Jon Paul said...

I love good movies--tho we're struggling to see much of interest over here in Italy. Netflix has become our go-to source.

I'll have to check out some of your recommendations!

Happy Tuesday!

Justin said...

Great reviews!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

TF, it was fun, wasn't it?

Susan, but of course!

Andrew, glad your faith is restored. And I heard the book was good.

Elizabeth, you're welcome.

Donna, not that I'm aware of!

Jon, I may soon reach the end of NetFlix...

oceangirl said...

it is a long way down to comment :)

Ever since I saw Gosling in Fracture, I am an ardent fan :)

Laura Eno said...

I don't watch many movies, but when I do I scroll through your blog looking for ones to add to netflix. :)

Liz Fichera said...

DRIVE and HANNA are actually on my list to watch.

I saw WARRIOR last weekend at the theater and absolutely loved it.

Angela Felsted said...

Wow, I cannot believe Christmas is coming so fast. Nor can I believe that you can keep up with so many blogs. Wow. Oh, and Rotten Tomatoes is an awesome reference.

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing the sites you use! I frequent IMDB often, but will have to check out the others.

Might have to check out Drive too, and I agree with your review about The Warrior's Way. That movie was definitely fun! :)

Susan Fields said...

I really like Ryan Gosling - Drive sounds great! Thanks for the recommendations. I'm on my over to DL's...

Talli Roland said...

Good movies, hm... I watched 'Leaving' recently. It's very good, but also very depressing!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen Chandler said...

Movie Ninja...that could be a fun occupation! Now, how does one get paid commissions to "ninja" opening movie nights?

Three months until Christmas?!?! Geez...maybe it will feel more like it when the cool weather "finally" arrives (and stays). As of right now, I'm looking forward to Halloween and won't even consider Christmas until AFTER I've had some turkey!

Cheers!
Jen

Sangu said...

Drive has been getting an awful lot of good reviews lately - I might put aside my innate dislike of Ryan Gosling and watch it! Thanks for the reviews, Alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oceangirl, you'd really like him in Drive then.

Laura, glad I could be of service!

Amy, it was!

Jen, this Ninja won't turn down any cash. And I'm hoping for some cooler weather soon as well.

Sangu, he plays a very different character here, so maybe you'll like him.

Katherines Corner said...

hmmm I was curious about drive ( although I am concerned with he violence) The warriors way is not my cup of tea but I think my sweet hubby might like that one,

Hugs and shhh, no mention of Christmas just yet giggle

Patricia Stoltey said...

I like anything with Geoffrey Rush in it. I'll add this one to my list.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for your great reviews! I was especially interested in Warrior's Way. I wanted to see it in the theatre, but the guy at the ticket counter took one look at my husband and I and said . . ."you probably won't like that one, you should see ___________ instead" and we actually weren't sure, so we went to see the totally unremarkable film about a train moving out of control with special affects that had my engineer husband laughing. Hmmm, another candidate for worst movies that I could have written about, if I actually remembered the name . . which I don't, and I don't want to work at it either.
Why do people look at me and think I would never watch an action flick? So, I'm 40 with kids, I homeschool and lead worship at my church. That just means I'm more inclined to watch good guys kick some bad guys across the screen. Good triumphs, bad guys fall over. Classic Biblical stuff. Forget sappy romance, bring on the swords.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Katherine, there are some intense scenes of violence, but just a few.

Tyrean, you don't mean Unstoppable do you? I liked that one. But Warrior's Way was fun. I know what you mean, but fortunately, there's a group of us from church that get together for all the action flicks. As long as evil doesn't win, I'm usually good with it!

Leovi said...

Yes, you're a great film scanner, though a little ninja.

alexia said...

Drive looks pretty interesting (maybe 'cause Ryan Goslings in it). And now I kinda want to see Warriors Way, too. Thanks for the info!

Hannah Kincade said...

Both of those are on my list! It's good to hear that they're going to be worth the watch. I haven't been to the theater is AGES.

Donna Hole said...

Oh pa-lease - I'm protesting Christmas. Too broke to even attempt it any more.

I did enjoy DL's writing exercise. I hope I guessed your's correctly, but I was never any good at guessing games.

I'm totally in for Warrior's Way.

........dhole

Donna Hole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nebular said...

Still have to see Drive, but it looks quite promising. I thought Warrior's Way was a mixed back - at times it was very impressive, and quite lames at others.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, you'll find out soon...

George, I was surprised I enjoyed it. Very quirky. But Drive was a class act. Very art house though. Slow pace...

Tara Tyler said...

woo! i'm comment 100!
100!? thats why you're on fire!
and you saw before i could even tell you!
were your ninja senses tingling?

Karen Peterson said...

I hadn't been planning to see Drive, but I've heard so many great things about it that I think I'm going to have to.

Julie Dao said...

I've heard really good things about Drive, but mostly from female friends who are in love with Ryan Gosling. Glad the movie itself is good!