71: Into the Fire / Dinner for Schmucks / Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

71: Into the Fire / Dinner for Schmucks / Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Don’t worry fans, my yearlong Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man experiments still continues. It has been over two weeks since my last movie blog post. My personal life has need some extra attention as of late, but not to worry I’ve still been watching movies. So lets get caught up!

Friday July 30th 10am

On the last weekend of July I did a quick 2-movie marathon before my late shift at work. The first movie I saw was Dinner for Schmucks (2010) starring Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Lucy Punch, Bruce Greenwood and Ron Livingston. Its about a rising executive played by Paul Rudd who he finds out that his work superiors host a dinner celebrating the idiocy of their guests, but as he questions it when he’s invited, he befriends a man (played by Steve Carell) who would be the perfect guest. This move was funny, however with the comedic star power of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd I did expect those two guys to be funnier than they were. Most of the laughs for me came from the supporting cast members. The hobby that Steve Carell’s character has with dead mice and taxidermy was interestingly and creepy funny. Lucy Punch nailed the scene stealing parts of the stalking ex-girl friend of Paul Rudd’s character. I believe this movie is a textbook case that shows how the supporting cast can outshined the main stars. Supporting characters played by, Zach Galifianakis and Jemaine Clement confirmed my stance. The actual dinner for the “Schmucks” at the end of the movie is the highlight of the film. Its then you realize who the actual schmucks are.

The second film I saw today was the family film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010) 3D starring Chris O’Donnell and Fred Armisen as the humans and the cat and dog voice talents of James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate, Bette Midler, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, Roger Moore (Tab Lazenby), Michael Clarke Duncan and Katt Williams. This movie is about the ongoing war between the canine and feline species is put on hold when they join forces to thwart a rogue cat spy with her own sinister plans for conquest. I’ll say straight up that this film will appeal mostly to kids. However since most adults are pet owners like myself, there are some funny parts that we can enjoy. The film uses real dog and cat animal actors mixed with computer-generated effects. I saw the film in 3D, and its not a must see in this dimension. A 2D visit to this film will suit you just fine. I did not take notice of the voice talent of this film prior to me seeing this film cause I like to see if I can figure it out during the film. I figured a few out, but some I didn’t get till I read the closing credits. The one humorous notes I thought I would share with you about this film is that Nick Nolte’s voiced the alpha dog “Butch” in this movie. His dog character looked allot like he does. What do you think? He looks better than his old mug shot, that’s for sure.


Monday August 2nd

Today I did a 3-movie marathon. I did intend see more movies today but the last film I saw which is the main reason I came to the movies today, hit me emotionally and I couldn’t stay inside anymore. Before I get to that I’ll mention the two movies I’ve already seen but wanted to see again on the big screen. The first movie I saw today was the converted IMAX theater showing of Inception (2010). I went to the 10am showing. Like I’ve said before although I don’t consider this a “real” IMAX screen I will say I’m impressed with the sound system. Although Inception is visual thrill ride, the sound effects and music really make this movie entertaining. The second film I saw today was Salt (2010). This action thriller starring Angelina Jolie is worth seeing twice. C’mon, hot chick-kicking ass with a great supporting cast? You do the math.


Ok now on to the reason why I came to the movies today. This AMC Theater was only one of two theaters in the state of Georgia playing this movie. Also this movie was only playing in 6-8 cities in the USA. The movie I’m speaking of is the South Korean film 71: Into the Fire (2010) aka: “Into the Gunfire” is based on the true story of 71 South Korean students who fight hundreds of North Korean soldiers in front of a girls middle school on June 25, 1950 during the Korean War. This movie is wonderfully acted by everyone in this film. It showes the horror and heroic actions of the Korean War conflict through great emotion, hurmor, action and drama. The battle scenes were visually and emotionally charged. I remember learning a little about the Korean War when I was a kid, but unfortunatly not enough. It’s a forgotton war in most of the American History books that is not often tought to kids now a days. I found out about this film looking at the movie shedule at this theater online. When I did my research on this film, I knew I had to see it.

When I walked into the theater I scanned the theater to see who was wathing this film too. I saw about seven elderly Korean American movie patrons who had already taken their seats. When I saw this I knew there was a side story here. I sat in front of them a few rows ahead. During the movie I would look back to see their reactions to many of the emotional scenes during the film. I saw many tears being wiped off cheeks. As the film credits begin to roll at the end of the film I was about to stand up. I stayed seated because everyone behind did the same thing. At the end of the credits everyone started to stand up and leave the theater. There were three Korean Americans (two men and one woman) that were sitting nearest me. I decided it was these three I would talk too. I followed them out of the theater and into the lobby hallway and ask them how they found out about this movie. One of the men told me that he read about it in his Korean newspaper. I told them about my movie hobby and my fasination of South Korean films in the last decade. I also asked them about this movie and the historic event it covered. The woman told me this was a very famous story and they they all lived in South Korea during this time. I thanked them for their time and for answering my questions. They were very friendly and bid be farwell. 71: Into the Fire is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Please check it out. For more information on the film and actors check out this link: http://asianmediawiki.com/71:_Into_the_FirDo ye


One of my favorite Korean films of all time is “Shiri”(English title) aka: Swiri (1999). It stars the very beautiful and talented actress Yunjin Kim who also played Sun Kwon on the very popular TV show: “Lost”. This movie is slick, stylish and has great action. Do yourself a favor and check out more Korean action dramas. It is good stuff. Trust me. It’s a nice break from the formulaic American made films.

– Spartan Phoenix


2 Responses to “71: Into the Fire / Dinner for Schmucks / Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”

  1. 1 Bob McDermott
    August 14, 2010 at 5:35 am

    I LOVED Dinner for Shmucks! Mainly, I marveled that a film like that can even get made thesedays. It had a Peter Sellers… 60’s comedy feel in it’s humour and pacing. Rita didn’t really like it as much but I loved it!

  2. August 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    As always, thouroughly enjoy your blog! Great visuals as well. Hopefully, we can see Eat, Pray, Love soon and I’ll get an honerable mention in your next entry ;)

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