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February 25, 2007

Movies: American History X

American History X
Directed by Tony Kaye
Screenplay by David McKenna
Starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Avery Brooks, and Stacey Keach

You can view the trailer here: Trailer 

American History X is a film that exploits the problem of racism in America.   In the film we follow Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) and see his reasons for becoming a neo-nazi skinhead along with his reasons for changing paths. This however is not done in chronological order and through a series of flashbacks we eventually see why Derek chose his white supremacist ways.  He eventually reaches an epiphany while in jail for a grotesque hate crime that he commits.  Unfortunately, however, his younger brother Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) has already been influenced by Derek’s ways and is too on the way of becoming a white supremacist.  After Danny is released from jail a new man, he attempts to change his younger brother and depart with his neo-nazi beliefs before it is too late. 

The best thing about this film is Edward Norton.  He delivers his best performance yet and flawlessly personifies a white supremacist.  His performance is so believable that you actually begin to hate his character and his racist ideologies.  This however is extremely ironic because the whole point of the film is try and deter society from hate and instead move towards rational and tolerance.  Although it may seem infeasible that a hardcore white supremacist can easily turn over a new leaf, Edward Norton makes it possible.  His performance is real, believable, and could not have been done better. 

American History X is not just an excellent film because of the cinematic qualities but also because it addresses an extremely important issue in American society: racism.  It is so powerful that it can truly change ones’ opinions and beliefs about racism.  It is influential and has the potential of changing American society for the better by stopping groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and by instilling a sense of tolerance for other races for anyone who watches the film. 

Posted by vatran at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2007

Movies: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Directed by Adam McKay
Screenplay by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell

The trailer can been seen here: Trailer

Anchorman is another one of Will Ferrell's classic comedy movies. Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, the top rated newsman in San Diego. His dominance as a male news anchor is soon threatened by Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). 

This movie is extremely funny and has so many seasons that will leave you laughing off your seats. Of course it wouldnt be a Will Ferrell comedy without guest appearances from Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Ben Stiller.  Ron's cockiness throughout the entire movie surrounds most of the comedy. This movie has some plot which basically just drives the comedy. This sexist comedy has a stupid plot that will keep you laughing.  Definently a must see comedy.

Posted by diamantj at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2007

Movies: Old School

Old School
Director: Todd Philips
Screenplay: Todd Philips and Scott Armstrong

You can view the trailer here: Trailer

Old School is one of the few comedies today that will have you laughing from start to finish. Will Ferrell delivers his best comedic acting since leaving Saturday Night Live but barely outshines his co-stars Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson. 

In order to help their best friend Mitch (Luke Wilson) recover from his recent and painful divorce, Bernie (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell) develop the genius idea of exploiting Mitch’s location near a college campus by starting a fraternity.  The thirty-something year old men recruit unexpected and awkward pledges, such as a ninety year old former Navy Seal and a scrawny foreign exchange student from India, for their uncanny fraternity.  They party like re-born frat boys and all is well until Gordan Prichard (Jeremy Priven), a former, bullied classmate, who is now dean of the university, attempts to shut down their fraternity.   

Old School does not miss any comedic opportunity.  Whether it is Frank’s awkward wedding, the ridiculous assignment of the pledges, or the extreme tactics pulled to keep the fraternity alive, virtually every scene is filled with laughter, excitement, and fun.  The montage of the fraternity brothers performing ridiculous exercises, such as debating against world renown CNN commentator James “Ragin’ Cajun? Carville, cheerleading, and female gymnastics, to pass the university’s requirement of maintaining the fraternity house on campus is simply hilarious.   

Although only playing a supporting role, Will Ferrell is the leading comedic essence of the film.  He goes to the extreme for the amusement of the audience. Whether it is streaking down a city block or wearing tights in a gymnastic dance routine, Will Ferrell never fails to deliver.  He does the unthinkable and even manages to bring humor to a funeral scene.  While Will Ferrell provides the more extreme laugh-out-loud humor of the film, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson deliver a more subtle humor with their witty remarks and sharp rhetoric made possible by the writing of Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong.  

Today, films are rarely able to make us laugh from start to finish.  Very few films from the 1990s have made the list of the all-time top one-hundred comedy films.  Old School, however, is bound to eventually make that list. Will Ferrell’s performance is just that good to go unnoticed.  After this film, you are bound to imitate the many funny phrases made in the film including “earmuffs? and my personal favorite “Frank the Tank!?  See Will Ferrell and you will be sure to put Old School on your list of top one-hundred comedy classics.  

Posted by vatran at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2007

Movies: The Departed

The Departed
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Screenplay by William Monahan
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Martin Sheen

The trailer can be viewed here: Trailer

The Departed is a spectacular film that brings a new meaning to the word betrayal. The movie takes place in Boston and is about two undercover in the Massachusetts police and Irish mafia.  Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), the Irish mob boss, works with Colin Sullivan (Matt Demon), his rat in the Massachusetts police, to keep himself alive and out of jail.  Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a police academy drop out, is the police's undercover in the Irish mob.  These two characters throughout the movie attempt to find each other before the other one exposes their secret mission.

This movie has amazing lines and acting along with an intricate plot.  Be ready to pay attention to every line in this movie, otherwise you will miss key plot references. Matt Demon, Jack Nicholson, and Leonardo DiCaprio all play their roles perfectly to portray exactly how William Monahan wrote the story. This movie is an instant classic and easily one of my top ten favorite movies. If you are in the mood for a thriller and a drama, this is a perfect match for you. 

Posted by diamantj at 09:32 PM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2007

Movies: Blow

Blow
Directed by Ted Demme
Screenplay by David McKenna
Starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente

The trailer can be viewed here: Trailer

Blow is great movie based on the life of George Jung, one of the biggest cocaine importers during the 1960s.  The movie takes place over George's entire life showing his best and worst times in the game.  His intentions are to make money to support his family, something his father failed at when he was younger.  His plans to smuggle cocaine, however, do not always go to plan and he is in and out of jail throughout the movie.

 

Johnny Depp is the perfect actor for George. He portrays a compassionate man who unfortunately chose a life of crime, which eventually ruins his life. Throughout the movie you understand exactly what Jung is feeling and going through.  Slowly as the movie progresses you notice how Jung's self esteem and drive is slowly eaten away, as he is tired from running from the police and his constant arrests.

This movie runs around three hours so I recommend only watching it when you can dedicate enough time to watch it start to finish.  This movie is a hit that no one should pass up seeing.

Posted by diamantj at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2007

Movies: Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Screenplay by Hubert Selby Jr.
Starring Ellen Burnstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, and Marlon Wayans

You can view the trailer here: Trailer

Let me just start out by saying that I love this movie.  Requiem for a Dream is a film about the realities of drug abuse, from speed pills to heroine.  It is about four characters’, Sara (Ellen Burnstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly), along with Harry’s loyal friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), path to drug addiction along with their downfall.  Each of these characters have reachable dreams and aspirations but are all stopped in their tracks due to their dependence on drugs.  The film takes place in Coney Island, Brooklyn and there could not have been a better place for this film.  Coney Island serves as the perfect backdrop for this drama by acting as enabler for each of the character’s addiction.  The streets of Coney Island are slowly waning along with the lives of the characters. 

Furthermore, the cast is outstanding.  Yes, Marlon Wayans is not known for his serious roles, but in this film he delivers.  It is by far his best performance that I have seen him yet.  And the rest of the cast’s reputations speak for themselves, including two Oscar award winners (Burnstyn and Connelly).  The direction by Arnofsky in this film is nothing like I have ever seen in a film.  It is weird, it is crazy, but it works.  He successfully captures both the blissfulness of the characters when they are high and also more importantly the struggles of their next fix.         

However, the main reason why I love this film is not the stellar cast, the unique and distinct directing of Darren Aronofsky, or the setting, but the blunt and very “in your face? message that the film conveys about drugs.  The filmmakers are very raw and hold nothing back in portraying the struggles, temptations, and obsessions of the character’s drug addiction.  I have yet to see a film with such a blunt message about drugs.  Other filmmakers will tend to steer away from such grotesque topics but Arnofsky and Selby Jr. do not shy away one bit.  They keep it real and I love it.       

Posted by vatran at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2007

Searrch & Discovery Exercise-BlogPulse

Today I used BlogPulse to search for new Motorola cell phones. I first started searching for Motorola+razr. This produced too many results so I limited my search to the new Motorola Razr Maxx by searching for "Motorola Razr Maxx"

By using BlogPulse I was able to find out insider information on the new Razr Maxx that is being released by Motorola in the future. Since I am interested in possibly purchasing this phone in the future, it has helped me with my research.

Posted by diamantj at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2007

Movies: The Negotiator

The Negotiator
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Screenplay by James DeMonaco and Kevin Fox
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse

You can view the trailer here: Trailer

The Negotiator is a great action-drama movie that everyone should see at least once.  Danny Roman, Samuel L. Jackson, is a police negotiator who is framed for his best friend's murder and stealing from the police retirement fund.  Roman is guilty in everyone's eyes, even his close police friends, so he takes an FBI building hostage to attempt to prove his innocence. Chris Sabian, who is played by Kevin Spacey, is a hostage negotiator from another precinct who then attempts to talk down Roman, while also combating who is telling the truth in Roman's own precinct.

The plot to this movie is extremely intricate and suspenseful.  Throughout the movie you are constantly questioning who set up Roman in his own department.  As the movie unfolds small details are revealed, leading to a climactic ending when the true "bad guys" are revealed. Samuel L. Jackson makes this movie amazing through his acting, depicting Roman as a desperate man willing to do anything to clear his name.  After watching this movie you may find yourself repeating many of Danny Romans lines from the movie.  If your ever bored on a Saturday night, I defiantly recommend renting this movie. 

Posted by diamantj at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2007

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to our blog!  Each week we will be talking about some of our favorite movies and even some of the movies that we just hate.  Any movie that has been made is open for our opinion, from classic dramas to new age comedies.  We will be discussing our opinions of both old films that we have seen in the past and also films that we have seen recently.  We hope that you enjoy what we have to say and please feel free to post positive and negative comments.  Enjoy!

Posted by diamantj at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)