Archive for September, 2010

29
Sep
10

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, You Again, Devil, The Virginity Hit, Nanny McPhee Returns

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, You Again, Devil, The Virginity Hit, Nanny McPhee Returns.

Wednesday September 29th, 2010 

On my day off from work today I targeted my favorite AMC movie theater. I realized that I had a chance to see up to seven new movies in a one-day movie marathon sitting without seeing a movie I’d already seen. However I knew that I would probably would see less than that today. Today I started to question why the fuck am I still doing this marathon thing. Part of me wants to finish what he started especially since movies are a big hobby of mine. The other part of me is going through a small mid life crises and feels like Q-Bert when he falls of the game board. For those you that know me, you tell me, am I crazy? I have said that this Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Blog is a yearlong experiment. Should I continue it, cut it short? I really want to finish it through to the “year long” time frame at the end of January 2011. I really love movies, especially on the big screen. Somehow I need to turn this into something that pays. In the meantime I’m gonna try to finish what I started. So here it goes.

 

The first movie I saw today was Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) starring Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Susan Sarandon. Its about the disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko who after being released from prison teams up with a young Wall Street hot shot (Shia LaBeouf) who he mentors to get back into the Wall Street game. I’m a big Michael Douglas fan and I was really looking forward to seeing this sequel to the original Wall Street (1987), which was also directed by Oliver Stone. The original Wall Street (1987) earned Michael Douglas an Oscar win for good reason. The sequel’s time frame is what makes this movie interesting. It covers the financial problems following the 9-11 attacks and the beginning of the recession in 2007 & 2008. At first you are not too sure of the motive that Gordon Gekko has. The first hour of the film was a little muddy for me when it came to the financial explanation of the plot. The second part of the film got more interesting when problems arise for Gordon Gekko’s (Michael Douglas) relationship with his estranged daughter (Carey Mulligan) who is engaged to Shia LaBeouf’s character. Gordon Gekko is a bastard; we know this from the first film and through the second half of this sequel. I liked how the movie ended; redemption found its way and it was nice to see this happen for Gordon Gekko. Oh and there is a nice treat for fans, Charlie Sheen, the co-star from of the original movie makes a cameo in this film. Thanks Oliver. One last thing, my favorite Michael Douglas film is Black Rain. I believe its one of Michael Douglas’s best roles.

 

The second film I saw was The Virginity Hit (2010) starring Matt Bennett, Zack Pearlman, Krysta Rodriguez, and Nicole Weaver. It’s about four guys, one camera, and their experience chronicling the exhilarating and terrifying rite of passage: losing your virginity. As these guys help their buddy get laid, they’ll have to survive friends with benefits, Internet hookups, and even porn stars during an adventure that proves why you will always remember your first. This movie is filmed in the low budget one camera gimmick that makes you feel like you are tagging along for the ride. When your watching this film it looks like it’s done in a documentary style reality form. It looks like it’s a bunch of real kids doing their own movie and putting it up on You Tube for everyone to keep tabs on. The movie was funny at times, but also depressing in a reality hits home type of way when you think about the growing pains of being a teenager. This movie is rated R for language and boobies. I guess I was disappointed in it, but as I’m writing this I’m not entirely sure. So whatever I guess.

 

Nanny McPhee Returns (2010) starring Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Smith and Ewan McGregor. Nanny McPhee arrives to help a young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. The Nanny she uses her magic to teach the woman’s children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons. I enjoyed the original Nanny McPhee (2005). I thought it was an enjoyable family film that taught good lessons and family values through humor and magic. This new chapter does the same thing and I found myself liking it more than the original. This movie is not a direct sequel cause the Nanny helps a new family, which is led by Maggie Gyllenhaal who is charming and does a pretty good English accent. Emma Thompson who plays the title character of Nanny McPhee is very entertaining to watch. Not only is she transforming the lives of the children she is helping through her lessons, she herself transforms for each lesson learned. The motto of Nanny McPhee is: “When you need me but do not want me, then I will stay. When you want me but do not need me, then I have to go.” One of the things I liked about this film the most was that it took place in England during World War II. The setting and costumes were very cool and popped on screen. The only thing that bugged me a tiny bit was a piglet synchronized swimming scene that evolved through magic. Dancing animals are hit or miss with me on screen. There is a touchy feely ending that got me a little misty eyed.

 

The next film I saw was You Again (2010) starring Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman and Betty White. Kristen Bell plays a young successful woman who realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school so she sets out to expose the fiancée’s true colors. I recommend this film for everyone because almost everyone can relate to this movie one way or another. The movie was cast perfectly. Kristen Bell is so cute and charming especially in the “nerdy” flashbacks that involved her high school torture. In the trailers you know that Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver’s character share the same high school scars as the younger co-stars do. My only beef with this film is the role of Betty White. You are made to think while watching the trailers of this film that she has a major role in the film. This is not the case, she has a smaller role in the film than you expect. Most of her few scenes are in the actual trailer. My guess is that the film producers thought they would get an extra draw at the theater if they ride the Betty White popularity train that has been chugging along well the past year. Cloris Leachman makes a great cameo at the end of the film that includes Betty White’s character that’s very funny.

 

The last film of my movie marathon today was Devil (2010). It was written and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. It stars Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O’Hara, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend and Jacob Vargas. It’s about a group of people trapped in an elevator who realize that the devil is among them. Because this movie was not directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this movie did not suck like his past few movies like The Happening, Lady in the Water and The Village. The Last Airbender was OK, but my favorite was Unbreakable followed by Signs. I’ll go on record saying that I’m not a fan of most horror films. Horror films have gained much more popularity in the past 10 years, and it’s not because of me. Horror films are one of my least favorite genres. The trailer for this movie Devil (2010) comes off as a horror film, but for me, the movie was more of a thriller “who done it” mystery with a few “jump at you” scenes. I liked the story and the set up of this film. I didn’t get the claustrophobic feeling I thought the movie would give me cause a lot of scenes and plot point’s take part in other sets of the building than the trapped elevator the main cast is in. The movie keeps you guessing and fools you too, which is refreshing. This movie wasn’t great but was more interesting and enjoyable than I thought it would be. The movie is paced well and is a perfect running time under 90 minutes.

My movie nerdness will continue at for your entertainment pleasure!

Peace out, for now peeps! – Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  131

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 17
26
Sep
10

The Town, Easy A, Flipped, Get Low, Alpha And Omega 3D = Death By Spork

The Town, Easy A, Flipped, Get Low, Alpha And Omega 3D = Death By Spork

Tuesday September 21st 2010

It was date night tonight. My girl Jane and I went to the movies tonight. Here is a good example of relationship influence. When I started dating Jane she was not much of a moviegoer. She said she might have gone “out” to the movies only 15 to 20 times before in her lifetime. Well…. Since Jane and I have been dating last year she and I have gone to 26 movies together. Jane hasn’t gone out to the movies with out me too. I’m so proud of her current movie tally. There is more in her near future. Don’t worry I’m keeping tabs of her movie adventures too. More on that later.

For tonight’s date night we went to see Easy A (2010) starring Emma Stone, Dan Byrd, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow and Malcolm McDowell. After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean-cut high school girl (Emma Stone) sees her life paralleling “The Scarlet Letter,” which she is currently studying in school – until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. I think this movie will be Emma Stone’s break movie. After this as an actor she will be in great demand. There are rumors that she is being considered the lead role in the new Spider-Man movie. Emma Stone’s big break came in the movie Superbad (2007) which was hilarious. She then got cool roles in movies like The Rocker (2008), The House Bunny (2008), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) and Zombieland (2009). Not only is this girl cute, she has professional comedic timing. This movie was very funny for many reasons. Not only was Emma Stone’s character a lot of fun to watch, her character’s reference to 80’s John Hughes teen angst films was fun for us fans of that movie era. Also her parents played by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci was funny scene-stealers. This movie was thoroughly enjoyable to see with my girl Jane. Also this flick was a great escape for both of us, which is what we needed at that time.

Wednesday September 22nd 2010

Today I was giving a new AMC theater a “test drive” I went to this theater the night before with Jane when we went to go see Easy A (2010). It’s a little smaller than my favorite AMC 24 screen, but it has a great advantage that most Regal theaters don’t have, early start times in off-season hours. When the summer ends many movie theaters stop the early AM before noon shows. Most shows start around noon. This presents a problem for me when I want to do an all day marathon. This AMC had movies start as early as 9:45am. Nice.

The first movie I saw today was The Town (2010) directed by Ben Affleck. Starring Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper. Its about a bank robber (Ben Affleck) who plans his next job, but struggles to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down. OK, Ben Affleck gets a lot of flack for not being a good actor, which is true in some cases. However he is becoming a good director. This may be his calling. If you doubt me then I suggest you see his earlier turn as a director for the movie Gone Baby Gone (2007) and this new one The Town (2010). Both of these movies are very good dramatic movies. The Town (2010) has more action, and has a great supporting cast including Jeremy Renner who recently won a best actor Academy Award for his role in the movie The Hurt Locker (2008). I was impressed with this movie. I also though Ben Affleck’s acting chops weren’t bad in this movie too. I highly recommend this movie. I had high expectations for this film and it was nice that they were all satisfied. Good job Ben. By the way, your wife is one hot MILF.

Ok, as I have said before during my yearlong experiment adventure known as this Spartan Phoenix Movie marathon Man Blog, I have also pledged to see all 3D movies to be released. Unfortunately that included my next movie called Alpha and Omega (2010) 3D starring the voice talents of Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper and Danny Glover. It’s about two young Canadian wolves at opposite ends of their pack’s social order are captured by the park’s rangers and sent to an Idaho park as part of a wolf repopulation project. They hatch a plan to escape and return home. Kids will enjoy this film but grown-ups will want to poke their eyes out with a plastic Spork. I rolled my eyes back into my skull when the wolves started doing a lame dance sequence that you could see on a reject reel for America’s Got Talent. If you are over 18, avoid this movie and take a nap instead. This is what I wish I did.

The third movie of my marathon today was Flipped (2010) starring Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Penelope Ann Miller andAidan Quinn. Directed by Rob Reiner. This movie takes place during the 1950’s. It’s a fun coming of age flick about two eighth graders who start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites. This movie is a perfect introduction to the adolescent war between the sexes.  This movie was refreshing to see after the kid’s movie torture I went through in the last film I saw. This movie was wonderfully directed by Rob Reiner who is more famously know for helming movies like Sleepless in Seattle (1993), A Few Good Men (1992), When Harry Met Sally… (1989), and my favorites The Princess Bride (1987) and The American President (1995). The two young cast members (Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe) playing the smitten kids were enjoyable to watch. Equally enjoyable were the kids family co-stars. Seeing movies like makes me want to find a DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor and go back in time and start over.

The last movie of today’s movie marathon was Get Low (2009) starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Gerald McRaney and Lucas Black. This movie was based on a true story and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own funeral party… while he was still alive. This movie was the reason I gave this AMC Theater a “test drive” Not many theaters were playing this movie. When I first saw the trailer for this movie the story really intrigued me. This movie was great. It was very funny and charming. Bill Murray very enjoyable as he played the owner of the funeral home that helps Robert Duvall’s character throw his funeral party before he dies. But make no mistakes this movie was all Robert Duvall. Everything I see Robert Duvall in makes me take notice on this American acting legend. I don’t think he gets the props and praise he deserves. The older he gets, the better he gets. And he has always been a great actor. Do yourself a favor and see the movie Open Range (2003), which is one of my favorite westerns of all time. Robert Duvall should have received an Oscar nod for that role. Robert Duvall’s character in Get Low is shrouded in mystery as the town folks recall stories of his rumored past dastardly deeds. The movie suspense builds up to the end when you get the truth at his funeral party that the town attends. Awesome movie and wonderfully acted. Check it out.

By the way, this AMC Theater passed my test drive with flying colors. I will be coming here again.

That’s it for this week; stay tuned for more movie nerdness! – Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  126

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 12
24
Sep
10

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D IMAX / New AMC Soda Machines Rock! / Lindsay Lohan boobage Update!

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D IMAX / New AMC  Coke Soda Machines Rock! / Lindsay Lohan boobage Update!

September 15th, 2010

My Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man yearlong experiment continues to role along. This seems to be the year of 3D. And I have pledged to see all the 3D movies that are to be released during my yearlong mission. Also if a movie is in 3D and in IMAX 3D I will opt to see the IMAX 3D over the regular 3D showing. Also, today was my birthday so I thought I would treat myself the way I know how. Yeah I know, pathetic. But hey it’s what I know. With that said here we go!

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D IMAX (2010) starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Wentworth Miller, Spencer Locke, and Boris Kodjoe. While still out to destroy the evil Umbrella Corporation, Alice (Milla Jovovich) joins a group of survivors who want to relocate to the mysterious but supposedly unharmed safe haven known only as Arcadia. My friend David saw Resident Evil: Afterlife and then posted on his Facebook page “So Milla Jovavich has been hot for like 3 decades now. Discuss.” I have to agree with my friend David here. Not only has she been hot for so long will continue to be. Check out the movie Kuffs (1992) and you will see what I mean. She’s been in cool movies and plays chicks that kick ass too. She’s now done four Resident Evil films, with an obvious fifth one on the way. She also kicked ass in one of my favorite films of all time The Fifth Element (1997). She’s a good actor too. I’m a big fan of these Resident Evil films. They have a lot of action and killin’ zombies! This fourth installment was a lot of fun. Visually it was awesome. I saw this movie in 3D IMAX. There were a few scenes that were very Matrixy, but the 3D special effects added to the action scenes were very entertaining. There was a great fight scene between Milla’s character and a very tall and large zombie with the biggest hammer axe type weapon I have ever seen. The other thing I liked about this film was other returning characters in this film, which included Ali Larter and Spencer Locke. It’s nice when there is a continuity story line in zombie films! Thanks to my friend David again for giving me a heads up on Amazon Blu-Ray box set of the week. And this past week cheap price special was the Resident Evil Trilogy set. A click here and a click there, it’s now mine. Booyah!

Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming (2010) starring Keith David, Collins Pennie, Columbus Short, Kiely Williams and Tika Sumpter. It’s about a kid who looks to find a balance between his school, work, relationships and opportunity to perform at the nationally televised step competition during homecoming weekend at his university. As I’ve said before I’m a closeted fan of these dance movies. I saw the original Stomp the Yard (2007) when it came out. I thought it was ok, not as good as the Step Up films, I would say the same for this sequel. This theater was the only place playing this movie, which I thought was a little weird. During the course of the movie I noticed how dark the movie was, not the subject matter but how dark the lighting was throughout the entire movie. I sat in the back row of the theater and decided to take a closer look at the projector system. I noticed the regular projector wasn’t playing this film. It looked like the machine that was playing movie, was a DVD copy. I could be wrong here but that’s what it looked like to me. There was some great stomp dancing in this film. The best part of this film for me was actor Keith David. Not matter what I see him in (and I’ve seen him in lots of TV and movie roles) he always commands the screen. He’s one of the best-underrated actors out there. He also has a great speaking voice, which is why he has a great career doing voice over roles too. As for this move, if it’s your thing, watch the real dvd at home.

The next and last movie of my marathon today I saw was Machete (2010), again. After seeing it for the first time last week I knew I was gonna see it again. Hey it had too much blood, bombs, bullets, and boobies for one sitting. Oh and for my dude buddies out there Lindsay Lohan may show some side boobage in this film, but the full frontal she shows in the pool scene (The chick on the left in the picture) was not she. It was what we call “stunt boobage”. Sorry guys it’s not her.

New AMC Coke Soda Machines = Awesome!

Recently my favorite AMC multiplex theater installed new soda machines on the front side of the concession stand for the customers to do their own refills. Now these aren’t your regular soda machines. These new machine allow you to make up to 106 drink choices of your own. The first time I saw this type of new soda machine was at a Wendy’s fast food joint across the street from my place of employment. I have to tell you that these new Coke soda machines rock! These machines have your Coke’s, Mr Pibb’s, Fanta’s, Barq’s, Dasani water’s, Hi C, Power Aid, Sprite, and Vault. Since I’m a Diet Coke drinker I can get the flavors of raspberry, orange, vanilla, cherry, lime in my diet coke. My favorite is the raspberry. After my first movie I will refill usually with the orange. The best thing is the convenience of refilling your large soda without having to wait inline at the concession stand. You get free refills on your large soda and popcorn anyways so this is very cool. However I burn through my soda allot faster than my popcorn. If you haven’t tried one of these yet, find one and give it a shot.

Next time I’ll tell you about Easy A, The Town and Get Low. Stay tuned movie nerds!

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  121

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 7
18
Sep
10

The American Machete Takers Going The Distance.

Monday September 6th, 2010, Memorial Day

The American Machete Takers Going The Distance.

Machete (2010) starring Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, and Lindsay Lohan. Machete is betrayed by the organization that hired him, so he launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss. This move gave me everything I wanted in a guy flick. It covered the “Three B’s”: Blood, boobs and bombs! At 66 years old its nice to see that lead star Danny Trejo can still kick butt on the big screen. He was recently seen in Predators (2010). It’s a nice trend of late to see older action stars like Sylvester Stallone (64 years old) in the The Expendables (2010) and Rambo (2008) and Harrison Ford (68 years old) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens (2011). Oh, and don’t forget that Chuck Norris is 70 years old this year. I have always been a fan of bad boy Danny Trejo when I first saw him Desperado (1995) which was directed by Robert Rodriguez who also co-directed Machete (2010). It was nice to see that Robert Rodriguez could assemble a great cast in this parody type action flick. My favorite character in this flick was played by Jeff Fahey. I’ve always liked him as an actor. Lately he’s mostly doing episodic TV and b-movies. Its nice to see him in a plum role like this one. Machete (2010) is a fun campy action flick with a lot of gratuitous violence and funny one-liners. Check it out if this type of thing entertains you like it does me.

Going the Distance (2010) starring Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis. This romantic comedy is centered on a guy and a girl who try to keep their love alive as they shuttle back and forth between New York and San Francisco to see one another. I enjoyed this movie on three counts. I enjoyed the on screen chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. I’m sure they’re off screen relationship helped with this too. The movie was rate R for language, which meant the dialogue was richer and truer to real life. And the supporting cast really had a chance to shine too and provided a lot of extra laughs. However it was Drew Barrymore that really was the best part of this film. She’s a woman now and her role in this movie reflects that. She’s not that teenager that I once smile flirted with back in the early 89/90 at “The Hamburger That Ate LA” burger joint on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles; CA. It’s unfortunately an L.A, landmark that is no more.

A Starbucks is now in its place, go figure. For a neat history lesson go here: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2008/11/burger-building-the-burger-that-ate-la.html. And yes, I did smile flirt with Drew Barrymore. I was too nice and chicken shit to do anything else. Ah well, it’s a good story to tell, another time.

Takers (2010) starring Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Michael Ealy, Idris Elba, T.I., Jay Hernandez and Zoe Saldana. Tight knit teams of bank robbers successfully completes their latest heist and lead a life of luxury while planning their next job. A former member of their team is released from prison and convinces the group to strike an armored car carrying $20 million. This all-star cast was entertaining to see on the big screen. However the acting chops were hit and miss. My favorite on-screen characters were portrayed by Idris Elba, Hayden Christensen who were part of the bank robber team and the cop chasing them played by Matt Dillon. The real life musicians T.I. and Chris Brown were hit and miss with me too. T.I. was a miss, I would have rather seen another musician turned actor play the role than him. It just seemed he was playing himself. Chris Brown was a hit for me and more believable as his role as the youngest member of the robber team. There were some cool action scenes in this flick. However by the end of the movie I felt there was something missing. It didn’t end the way I wanted too. The movie fell short of my expectations, especially with the cool cast that was brought together for this film.

The American (2010) starring George Clooney, Irina Björklund and Thekla Reuten. George Clooney plays an assassin on the run. He has to flee Sweden when a job ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad. He heads to a small town in Italy for one last job and the hope of retirement… I guess. I’ll explain. This movie starts off great. It startles you and grabs you, and you can’t wait to see what happens next. But when the American leaves Sweden (about 5-10 minutes in), the movie starts it down hill slide. It felt like everyone in the theater was forced to opened up that proverbial “can of suck” and sip it slowly over the next hour and a half or so. Here’s the weird thing, you don’t get that feeling until after the movie is done. There was hope for the film for me halfway through it. The small town and countryside was beautiful. But there was plot holes developing and the end of the film wasn’t answering all the questions the movie was presenting. It left me very unsatisfied, especially after how the movie started. I so wanted to like this film, and so did the rest of the movie theatergoers that were seated with me and experiencing the same disappointment I did. I know everyone else thought this movie disappointed too when after the credits started to roll one theater patron yelled out “You gotta be kidding me” and everyone else including myself laugh to his comment in frustration. This movie needs a re-do, and it pissed me off that I couldn’t like this film. The ingredients where there and the chef fucked it up.

Up next: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). Stay tuned my movie peeps!

– Spartan Phoenix

07
Sep
10

Avatar Special Extended Edition 3D IMAX / The Switch / Lottery Ticket

Avatar Special Extended Edition 3D IMAX / The Switch / Lottery Ticket

I’ve been a little late in submitting some recent movie blogs lately. I’ve been preoccupied with Dragon-Con of this past Labor Day weekend. Here is a link to that event: http://www.dragoncon.org/ More on that later as I will share my adventures with you on a future Spartan Phoenix blog. Now lets get caught up.

Wednesday August 25, 2010

The first movie I saw today in my Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon was the comedy The Switch (2010) starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson and Thomas Robinson as the cute neurotic kid Sebastian. Its about an unmarried 40-year-old woman turns to a turkey baster in order to become pregnant. Seven years later, she reunites with her best friend, who has been living with a secret: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own. Although Jennifer Aniston gets top billing here cause she’s the main A-list star of the film, this movie really belongs to Jason Bateman. Jason is very funny in this film and commands every scene he is in. Thomas Robinson who plays the neurotic “is he my son” kid was perfectly cast. This wasn’t a great film, but it was funny enough to keep me entertained. But if it weren’t for, Jason Bateman it would be a failure.

The second movie I saw today was the Lottery Ticket (2010) starring Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Loretta Devine, Ice Cube, Keith David, and Terry Crews.  Kevin Carson is a young man living in the projects who has to survive a three-day weekend after his opportunistic neighbors find out he’s holding a winning lottery ticket worth $370 million. This movie had a great supporting cast of very funny characters. No acting awards here but it was very funny. It was nice to see Ice Cube in a different role. He plays an old retired sparring boxer to plays a wise “Yoda” mentor type to the lead played by Bow Wow. What I also liked about this movie was that it was filmed in my current hometown of Atlanta and it was cool to see the city as a backdrop. This movie was fun, but predictable, it had a moral message and also teaches you of what not to do when you find out you just won the lottery.

Today I was only in the mood for a short marathon of two or three movies. Before I left I decided to see one more, the third of the day. I went to see The Other Guys (2010) again. This movie was so funny the first time around I knew I had to see it again. The whole cast was hilarious. Seeing it again I notices gags I missed the first time around.

Thursday August 26th, 2010 Midnight

When Avatar was released at the end of last year (December) I went to see the midnight premiere with my girlfriend. When it was released hadn’t started my Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Blog yet. When I did start my blog back in February of this year (2010) I mentioned several times I had seen Avatar again. Back then I had heard that Avatar would be released again towards the end summer but with additional new scenes not in the original theatrical release. When Avatar was released on DVD and Blu-ray last March (2010) I had also heard that later in the fall this extended version of Avatar would be released on DVD and Blu-ray. I refused to waste money on the standard original theatrical version DVD / Blu-Ray and wait for the extended one coming this fall. You can read that blog post here:

So on midnight, 12:01am August 26th/27th Avatar Extended Special Edition (2010) was released. For those of you living under a rock the last six months it stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. It’s about a paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. I contacted my work buddy David and see if he wanted to go on this “man date” and see the midnight premiere of the new extended Avatar. He was in. I had bought my tickets the day before when I did my previous movie marathon the day before. I wasn’t sure if it was gonna be crowded or not. When we got there I found the answer. This midnight premiere was pretty dead in crowd capacity if you ask me. There was about 15 to 20 total people that showed for this event. More people showed up for the midnight premiere for The Last Exorcism (2010) in the theater next door.

*Spoiler Alert*

Now, this theater is a “converted” IMAX theater, not a true IMAX theater. However it’s still a great screen with an awesome sound system. It was nice to see the 3D trailers for TRON: Legacy (2010) and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). When the opening scene of Avatar started with the main character awaking from a five yearlong space sleep I have to admit I got a little excited schoolboy tingle. It was visually awesome to see Avatar on the big screen again. It was also cool looking forward to the extra 8 to 9 minutes that were added to this special extended version. There were many tiny extra scene of a few seconds added to previous scenes in the original theatrical version. There were three new scenes that I really liked in this new Special Edition. The first was when Sam Worthington’s character Jake Sully goes on his first mission in his new Avatar body. He and his crew commanded by Sigourney Weaver’s character come across the remains of a school that Sigourney Weaver’s character had taught the indigenous Navi. The second added scene was a Navi hunting scene that Jake Sully takes part in. This scene was cool cause it introduced a new beast of burden animal. The third scene that was a nice addition was after the first skirmish between the Navi and the Earth Marines. You got to see the destruction caused by the Navi on one of the Earth Marines Forest tanks. Overall I thought the additional scenes fit well into the movie and all made sense. They didn’t feel out of place at all. I recommend this extended version over the original theatrical version. I will be buying the extended version on Blu-ray. This does not surprise those of you who know me at all I’m sure. I’m almost certain that Avatar will make my top 10 in my 2011 top 101 movies of all time list.

On a side note August has been a good movie month. I beat my previous monthly movie record from 19 to 21 movies seen.

Stay tuned….  Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  114

  • February        2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21