Archive for Movie Reviews

TNT picks up Southland

Southland, NBC cop drama will get a new lease of life by TNT. This means, starting from January 12, 2010, Southland will air on TNT on Tuesdays at 10pm – keeping in line with the original time slot. This 10pm slot means Southland will also be competing for viewership with the franchise that pushed it off NBC: The Jay Leno Show.

The pickup of the discarded NBC show is part of TNT positioning, which is to expand its original programming strategy as opposed to broadcast webs. Turner programming topper Michael Wright said Southland fit squarely into the channel’s drama-centric brand. Thus, TNT will start its run of Southland with the seven episodes that ran the previous season on the Peacock, followed by airing of the other six episodes produced for NBC.

Based on the response received during this run, if TNT decides to put Southland back into production, the cable company will pay Warner Brothers $1.4-1.5 million an episode.

“After the first few weeks, we’ll know” whether TNT is picking up new episodes, he said. “We won’t belabor it… We enjoy a good relationship with talent. The last thing we want to do is abuse that.”

Ben McKenzie stars in Southand as a rookie cop assigned to a vet on the force played by Michael Cudlitz. Other stars in the series include Regina King, Tom Everett Scott, Michael McGrady, Kevin Alejandro, Shawn Hatosy and Arija Bareikis. TNT changes to the existing episodes will not be much, but they did confirm that they would let some expletives remain uncensored.

‘Lord of War’

A 2005 political crime thriller, Lord of War was written and directed by Andrew Niccol, starring Nicola Cage. It was released in the United States on September 16, 2005. In this movie, Cage plays the illegal arms dealer with similarities to Russian arms dealers Viktor Bout and Leonid Minin. Lord of War was officially endorsed by human rights group Amnesty International for highlighting the trafficking of weapons by the international arms industry.

The movie is told in flashback, starting in 1982 and ending in the completion of the opening scene. The film grossed $9,390,144 on its opening weekend. After its 7-week release it grossed a total of $24,149,632 on the domestic market in the US, and $48,467,436 overseas.

One review stated “…the poison arrows of satire that writer-director Andrew Niccol aims at international arms dealing and the great powers that let it happen for their own gain — the U.S. dangles prominently on Niccol’s hook — are frustratingly scattershot.” Cage, playing Yuri Orlov follows a typical rags-to-riches course, quite similar to that of the drug lord played by Johnny Depp in ‘Blow’ in 2001. According to Niccol, Yuri is based on five actual gunrunners. One reviewer commenting on this says, “Lord knows there’s enough plot here for five movies.”

This movie was not backed by single US studio instead international finances were secured for the making of it. Interestingly, one scene using a line-up of tanks had to be notified to NATO, lest they assumed the start of a real war. The music composed by A.R. Rahman ‘Bombay Theme’ was originally created for ‘Bumbai’ (1995).

“Julie & Julia” Movie Review

Julie & Julia is a movie perfect for a girls’ night out. It’s an eclectic mix of food, relationships and writing. Meryl Streep plays Julia Child and Amy Adams – Julie Powell in writer-director Nora Ephron’s adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Powell’s Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child. The story intertwines the lives of two women, Julie & Julia, though separated by at least half a century, find themselves in limbo, until they discover the joy of cooking – that inimitable combination of passion, fearlessness and of course, butter!

Not a traditional ‘foodie’ movie, this Ephron production is interestingly not about women in desperate pursuit of men. Marriage does figure in the story, but it isn’t the thing, making it refreshing and also fulfilling. Streep’s performance was once again stunning, embodying the immediately recognizable Julia Child. Amy Adams’ Julie, though being a good performance was overshadowed by Streep’s portrayal of Julia. Ephron successfully draws obvious and interesting parallels between a number of passions, be it cooking, writing or making a name for oneself. Julie’s story is the less interesting of the two, with Julia’s character inherently more interesting. However, the film holds it together remarkably well, like any good culinary feat, leaving a sense of satisfaction.

The movie won much praise from film critics with the LA times saluting Nora Ephron for “…whipping up something wonderful in ‘Julie & Julia.’ Bon appétit, indeed.” The USA Today cited the movie as a light and entertaining treat with “winning performances, sharp writing and some happy surprises.”

Twilight Movie Review

Twilight is the story of a teenage girl named Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) who moves from Pheonix Arizona to the small town of Forks, Washington. Once there, Bella becomes interested in a quiet, strange, sometimes stand- offish boy named Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) turning this into a story of star- crossed lovers much like Romeo and Juliet but with fangs. Edward is very secretive and determined to stay away from Bella, but cannot resist her determination, forcing him to reveal his secret to her. He and his family are vampires, some of them more than one hundred years old.

As Bella and Edward grow closer and his family’s true nature is revealed to her, Bella falls completely in love with him. Problems arise however, when a group of three nomadic vampires with superior hunting skills begin tracking Bella across Forks and ultimately across the country. Edward struggles to keep Bella alive and human racing the clock and trying to out- think and out- wit vampires with no conscience and no regard for human life. Struggling to win Bella’s life against vampires he has no idea how to handle, a breed only out for blood, in a contest to prove which vampire is the strongest and most determined to win. Based on the number one bet- selling novel of the same name by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight is a teenage love story with a twist. The cast also includes Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Taylor Lautner, and Rachel LeFevre.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has to be the best Harry Potter movie yet. The third movie had been my favorite movie and book thus far, yet this one kicked it down a notch and stole the top spot. Of course not everything from the book was in it, but the book being over six hundred pages long, it’s kind of hard to fit everything in.

They did change and add a few scenes that didn’t happen in the book; however it, in my opinion, was for the better. The movie was action packed with the perfect mix of humor and seriousness. As soon as the movie started I was hooked, not just because I am an avid fan, but because everything draws you in; I just had a feeling that it was going to be one of the best movies of the year. The cast did very well in their acting, which has improved over their years, particularly the three main actors who play Harry, Hermione, and Ron. With some movies you can take a step back and say It’s only a movie, but this isn’t the case for this film. I felt as if it could all be real as I watched it; that’s how well the director and producers with the help of the actors put it together. The random bits of humor were well placed and heightened the film when the more serious and sadder parts of the film took their place. I would recommend this movie to anyone and long to see it again and again.