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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Here are the movies which were released on Friday, December 18th. James Cameron’s “Avatar” took the box office as expected. Opening weekend take: $72 Million! Not bad, but it’s getting mixed reviews. a friend who is a Pastor saw it and was repelled by the film making humankind the heavies… I have not seen the film yet, but the theme seems a valid one to me. We find a planet with gentle natives, and exploit them, or kill them. Sound familiar anyone?




Writer-director James Cameron’s story of a faraway planet populated by a tribe of peaceful blue creatures that is infiltrated by a human corporation with evil plans.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Unfunny, tone-deaf comedy follows a separated husband and wife who are forced from their upscale urban comfort zones into a witness protection program in rural Wyoming.

The Beaches of Agnès

A captivating autobiographical documentary from French new wave director and artist Agnès Varda. It delights in playing with cinematic form, to the point that Varda’s life becomes a work of art in itself.

The Young Victoria

The story of the teenage princess who was caught in a tug-of-war between her scheming, power-hungry uncles is aided by an excellent ensemble and visual and verbal wit in this costume drama.

More movie reviews


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: The Chipettes join Alvin, Simon and Theodore for what will probably be another hit.


Broken Embraces: This color noir stars director Pedro Almodóvar’s most popular muse, Penélope Cruz.

Crazy Heart: Jeff Bridges plays a down-on-his-luck country singer in this film.

It’s Complicated: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin form a comedic love triangle.

Nine: Daniel Day-Lewis and fellow Oscar winners Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench star in a musical based on Fellini’s 8 1/2.

Sherlock Holmes: Robert Downey Jr. plays the titular detective in this Guy Ritchie film. Jude Law is dear Watson.

A Single Man: Designer (and Texan) Tom Ford’s directorial debut features Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in a movie adapted from the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood.


Getting a life!

It has been a while since I wrote a real post up here. I have gotten fairly busy. Some of you know that I have been writing freelance for a few months now, and that has just gotten busier. That’s actually a good thing. I have gotten a couple more clients. So now I have to get up in the morning and pretend to work.  Sometimes it is hard to get motivated, probably because I have not worked at a real job in a long time.

This is different, however, I am working for me now.I am not making butt-loads of  bucks, but I am making enough that we can actually do some thing now and then.

Add this to the fact that we are beginning to get a life. Sue and I went to Pirate Days here in The Colony a bout three weeks ago.  Pirate Days is a themed activity that was started at a local park two years ago. You show up dressed in pirate garb, there are bands, shows, and booths selling and displaying various things. Sue had recently started at Curves, which is a low impact exercise program for women. They work on several different machines for about 5 minutes each, and do this for 3o minutes a day. Sue goes 3 times a week. Curves had a booth at Pirate Days, and any member that showed up in costume got $30.00 in Curves Cash (Which is not really cash at all, rather money that can be spent on Curves goodies, shirts, and other Curves themed items. )

So that is what prompted us to go to Pirate Days in the first place. We had to show up at the Curves booth with Sue in costume to get the Curves Cash, so we made up some costumes (sort of) and went.

After we went to the Curves booth, we wandered around. There was a booth for The Colony Christmas Spectacular. This is the annual light show that The Colony puts on at one of the fire stations, with the lights timed to music. They were asking people going by to volunteer. We explained to them that we could not get up on ladders, and do a lot of heavy lifting, and they said not a problem. There were plenty of things that could be done that didn’t involve ladders and lifting. So we signed up.

They had a stage set up at one part of the park that had some kids doing gymnastics, so we sat down on some hay bales that were set out for seats, and watched them. The kids were pretty good. Then they had an act come up called “Cut, Thrust, And Run!” These guys did a sword fighting show with a lot of comedy. They got a volunteer out of the audience and did a take off on Treasure Island. They tossed a lot of fruit into the air, and skewered it on their swords. At one point they tossed a pineapple up, and got it. One of the guys commented, “Got him right in the Sponge Bob!”

The next show was called Steel: The Show. This was another comedy stage combat show. This one did a Butchered version of Romeo and Juliet. Sue and I got picked to go up and be Romeo and Juliet.

The show lasts about twenty minutes, is punctuated with sword fights, and a lot of humor. I’m not really sure what the Bard would have to say, but somehow I think he would have laughed his ass off!

When the show was over, as they were leaving the stage, I asked one of the performers if they were looking for any new members. She referred me to their Fearless Leader. He told me they would be willing to have us join. They were not planning to rehearse the following week, but the week after that we would.

So we gave him our information, and when rehearsal time rolled around we were there. Pat, the leader started by showing Sue and I some very basic sword moves, and got us going, and then left us to work, while he worked with the others inside. Periodically he would check on us, and give us other things to do.

He recommended we get some wooden dowels to use for practice, as well as gloves. We got what we needed at Home Depot the next day. Sue and I worked all week in our back yard. (Our ceiling is too low to practice inside!) We were learning the rule of fives. In a nutshell there are five basic attack/parry positions in sword combat. We needed to learn the location for the targeting. According to FL, that is more important than which five you are at.

The following Sunday, we practiced again and worked with most of the troupe. We also learned the beginnings of footwork. All in all we are having a lot of fun, and will end up being folded into the troupe in various roles, so that we can be at more than one location or give people a break so not everyone is doing all four shows at a festival or something like that.

Stay tuned!

Friday Movies

We have suddenly gotten a life, which causes me to sometimes miss a few posts up here. At any rate here are this weeks movies. Comments will be posted eventually!



Disney’s A Christmas Carol

A solid if noisy take on the Dickens classic, enhanced by the ever-improving 3-D Motion capture experience.

The Box

A stranger presents a couple with a mysterious container and a moral dilemma: Press a button on the box, they’ll get $1 million, and someone they don’t know will die.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Odder-than-odd farce follows a small-town reporter who stumbles across the graduates of an Army “psychic” soldier program.

The Fourth Kind

This is a gimmicky, “Yes, this really happened” alien-abduction horror hooey, a film whose writer-director is so heavily invested in making us buy into it as fact, but it still manages a few good frights.


True story of Sandra Laing, a girl born with dark skin to two white parents in Apartheid-era South Africa.


This very funny satire of the art world doesn’t do the easy things that a typical satire might do. It delivers some of the best conversations about art and its function and significance.


Powerful and powerfully upsetting documentary tracks the devastating effects of pollution on Ecuadorian Indians living along the Amazon and the ongoing civil suit filed on behalf of the Indians against Chevron.

More movie reviews



2012: Roland Emmerich gets his apocalyptic mojo working. Among the victims: the Washington Monument.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day: The MacManus brothers are back on the hunt in this sequel to the cult favorite.

Pirate Radio: Philip Seymour Hoffman spins tunes in ’60s England.

Precious: Comedian Mo’Nique burns a hole in the screen as the mother from hell, an abusive monster who drives her daughter (excellent newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) to search for a better life.

Friday Movies

Here we go again. (I know I have not been here for a couple of weeks… Writing my little buns off!)

This week we have another installation of the Saw Franchise. I think they’re up to # 27 (actually this is Saw VI)I mean how many times does Tobin Bell’s character get to come back? What is he Jason, Freddy, and Michael Meyers rolled into one?

Hillary Swank is famed Aviatrix Amelia Earhart in the biopic about one of the most famous disappearances in history.

Also Chris Rock has a new comedy out, and next Wednesday the Michael Jackson love fest resumes with “This is it” I sure as hell hope it is!

Have great week, and don’t forget the popcorn! (You don’t think the theaters make money on the movies didja?)



Saw VI
Special Agent Strahm is dead, and Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw’s legacy. The studio declined to screen this film in advance for critics.

Good Hair

In untangling the issues of identity, sex, culture and commerce surrounding the styling of black hair, Chris Rock has made his funniest film ever.


Director Mira Nair motors through a neatly packaged but mostly disappointing depiction of famed pilot Amelia Earharts lofty but ultimately doomed career.

Astro Boy

This big-screen animated adaptation of the wildly popular Japanese manga and television series from the 1960s tells a complex tale of a robot boy.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Teens deal with issues of eternal life and eternal damnation when a freak show comes to town looking for recruits for a vampire war.


Michelle Monaghan delivers a riveting performance as a struggling single mom and trucker who is forced to reconnect with the 11-year-old son she hasnt seen since he was a baby.

The Damned United

A finely crafted retelling of the feud between English football managers Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) and Don Revie (Colm Meaney) set against the backdrop of early-’70s England.

More movie reviews


This Is It: The late Michael Jackson rehearses before his planned tour.


An Education: A student (Carey Mulligan) in swingin ’60s London falls for an older man (Peter Sarsgaard). Novelist Nick Hornby co-wrote the screenplay, based on Lynn Barbers memoir.

The Canyon: A mysterious guide turns a couples honeymoon in the Grand Canyon into a fight for survival.

Tony Manero: A serial killer is obsessed with Saturday Night Fever.

Somers Town: A black-and-white study of a social environment in London, concentrating on a pair of unlikely new friends and the girl they both fancy.

Fridays Movies

Sorry I have not been here for a couple of weeks with the movie list. We had our ceiling collapse during a rain storm, and had to deal with that mess. The roof had lost some shingles, but that is now taken care of, and or ceiling is fixed.

This week we have Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, a new film by Michael Moore which does to the financial crisis what he did to the health care issue in “Sicko”. Add to that, the film that all the predictions say is going to take the Box office this week; “Zombieland” starring Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin. Director Reuben Fleischer claims he was inspired to make the film by “Shaun of the Dead” another zombie comedy.




Nimble, clever twist on zombie-invasion flicks does just about everything right. The characters are likable, the horror and humor fly at you in equal amounts, andit doesn’t wear out its concept.

Whip It

A teen (Juno‘s Ellen Page) breaks free of her small-town provincialism when she discovers roller derby. Debut director Drew Barrymore has made a movie about growing up and being cool about it as you do.

The Invention of Lying

On an alternate Earth where humans never evolved the ability to lie, Ricky Gervais plays the guy who discovers fibs, fiction, exaggerations, little white lies and whoppers to get what you want.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Director Michael Moore‘s in-your-face documentary is a Woody Guthrie protest song, a righteous call to action and, by the end, the defining moment of Moore’s career.

A Woman in Berlin

Rape by Russian soldiers was so common in 1945 Berlin that “How often?” was a manner of greeting. This stands as a concise summary of the insights provided by this sprawling, powerful film.

Unmistaken Child

Even atheists may find their world rocked by this simple documentary about a Buddhist monk’s search for the reincarnated soul of his beloved teacher.

Lorna’s Silence

A young Albanian woman is involved in a dangerous criminal scheme. Her discovery that she is not as cynical as the criminals around her resonates emotionally in this well-crafted and surprising thriller.

Paranormal Activity
Hoping to capture evidence of the haunting on film, a young couple sets up video cameras in their home, but they are not prepared for the terrifying occurrences which follow. The studio declined to screen this film in advance for critics.

More movie reviews


Couples Retreat: Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are money on a marriage-counseling vacation.

The Boys Are Back: A widowed father (Clive Owen) has an interesting parenting philosophy.

A Serious Man: A physics professor seeks the advice of three rabbis in his quest to become “a serious man.”

Coco Before Chanel: Audrey Tatou plays Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in this biopic.

Beeswax: Twin sisters get through some awkward personal and professional moments in Austin.

Walt & El Grupo: Walt Disney and a group of animators visit South America at the behest of the U.S. government and return with Saludos Amigos.

Friday Movies

Another week of bad movies. Hollyweird has apparently decided that the American movie going public is stupid, or they just don’t give a rat’s butt. I can’t tell which.

Anyway, here is the list of movies opeing this week.




A dead body leads Kate Beckinsale to an abandoned Russian outpost now occupied by a masked killer. Whiteout is one of those mysteries in which every character is a potential murderer.


The animated sci-fi film is a perfect example of a thin idea stuffed and stuffed with filler until it loses much of its charm.

The September Issue

This documentary is an absorbing look at the intricate mix of art, theater and politics involved in putting together 2007’s massive fall kickoff issue of Vogue.

Big Fan

Patton Oswalt is a football fan who needs a life. He gets the wrong kind when his gridiron hero beats him into a coma. A rough-edged drama about what happens when safe rooting distance disappears.

The Horse Boy

This intriguing documentary follows an Austin-based couple struggling with their autistic son who take a horseback journey through Mongolia, meeting with the shamanic healers.

Broken Hill

Musically inclined high school kid in a small Australian Outback town gets caught in an act of vandalism and winds up behind bars, where he organizes his fellow inmates into an orchestra and choir.

I Can Do Bad All by Myself

Tyler Perry directs Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson and Gladys Knight. The studio declined to screen this film in advance for critics.

Sorority Row

Sorority sisters try to cover up a murder. The studio declined to screen this film in advance for critics.

More movie reviews


Jennifer’s Body: Megan Fox is possessed by an evil demon in this dark comedy set in high school.

Love Happens: Aaron Eckharts motivational speaker finds motivation in Jennifer Aniston.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: This animated film in which food falls from the sky is based on the book of the same name.

The Informant!: A whistleblower (Matt Damon) fancies himself a secret agent after he agrees to wear a wire and carry a hidden tape recorder to expose a conspiracy within his company.

The Burning Plain: Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger star in this film with colliding stories directed by Guillermo Arriaga.

Bright Star: This period drama follows the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Jane Campion directs.

Lorna’s Silence: Lorna is caught up in an illegal marriage scheme that could have murderous results if she keeps quiet.

Friday’s New Movies

Here we go again with the list of movies that have opened this week.

Can you tell that Hollyweird has apparently run out of new ideas? It seems that lately all the movies that were good ( and quite a few that sucked) are being remade. This week we get a Bobcat Goldthwaite witten and directed version of ” World’s Greatest Dad” which as far as I can tell is an F-Bomb laden ( with Robin Williams are any of us surprised) remake of “Superdad”(1973)starring Bob Crane. Are there no new ideas out there?



It Might Get Loud

A gathering of three storied fret heads (The Edge, Jack White and Jimmy Page) turns into an expression of love for the electric guitar. This is a premium rock doc.


Jason Bateman shines as Joel, a lone, sane person swimming against a tide of idiots in this comedy by director Mike Judge ( Office Space). The story isn’t much, but the dolts in it are.

All About Steve

This unfunny, annoying, badly written, badly acted comic fiasco may be the worst movie in Sandra Bullock‘s career. She plays a socially inept woman who tries to win the man of her dreams.

Gerard Butler (300) is a prisoner in the near future controlled by a young online game player in this action-thriller. And in this shooting game, everyone plays for keeps. Ludacris and Michael C. Hall also star. The studio declined to screen the film in advance for critics.

My One and Only

Film about actor George Hamilton’s childhood is a grand, colorful coming-of-age story with a candy box color palette and a standout performance by Renée Zellweger.

Soul Power

Out-of-the-vault concert film captures the frantic planning and glorious execution of the three-day music festival “Zaire ’74.”

World’s Greatest Dad

Bobcat Goldthwait wrote and directed this refreshingly sensitive movie about a poetry teacher and frustrated writer (Robin Williams) who, as a single dad, is trying to raise a difficult son all by himself.


Director Martin Provost has created a transcendently beautiful portrait of Séraphine Louis, a briefly celebrated figure in the “modern primitive” school that included Henri Rousseau.

More movie reviews

OPENING FRIDAY, Sept. 9 and 11 From

9: The animated film set in a post-apocalyptic world opens in theaters on Wednesday.

Whiteout: Kate Beckinsale is a U.S. marshal tracking a murderer to Antarctica.

Sorority Row: Sorority sisters try to cover up a murder.

I Can Do Bad All By Myself: Tyler Perry directs Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson and Gladys Knight.

Big Fan: Patton Oswalt is a New York Giants fan who meets his favorite player with violent results.

The September Issue: Documentary chronicles editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and the making of Vogue magazine.

Play the Game: A young man teaches the tricks of dating to his Grandpa Joe, who becomes the toast of the retirement home.

The Horse Boy: A Texas family travels through Outer Mongolia in hopes of finding treatment for their autistic son through horses and shamanic healing.

Friday Movies

Hey Folks. Another edition of Friday Movies here on the blog.

Ang Lees’ take on Woodstock, Rob Zombie continues destroying John Carpenter’s body of work with Halloween II, (what’s next? Rob Zombie’s The Thing?)

More proof that Hollyweird cannot find a new idea if one bit them in the ass. A remake of Final Destination. Oh but it’s in 3D…. So was the remake of My Bloody Valentine for Gods sake!

The summer blockbuster season is officially over!




Chan-wook Park (Old Boy) directs this pulpy, provocative Korean horror flick about a priest who agrees to be a test subject for an experimental vaccine. When things go wrong, he turns into a vampire.

Afghan Star

Documentary exploring Afghanistan’s most popular TV show gives a remarkable glimpse into Afghan life: women risking their lives to be on the show and singers of warring ethnicities competing side by side.

The Final Destination 3D

It’s the first 3-D installment for the series where friends try to cheat death with some gruesome results. The studio declined to screened this film in advance for critics.

Halloween II

Rob Zombie continues his re-imagination of the slasher series. The studio declined to screen this film in advance for critics.

Taking Woodstock

Ang Lee directs this trip down a psychedelic memory lane, which re-creates what life was like for those in the vicinity of the Woodstock concert. It’s a trifle uneasy with its few moments of seriousness.


Taut, German-made thriller serves up a classic triangle: an alluring, unhappy wife; a piggish husband; and a handsome loner who can’t help himself.

More movie reviews


Extract: Jason Bateman deals with bad luck as an owner of a plant that produces flower extract. Mike Judge directs.

Gamer: Gerard Butler (300) is a prisoner in the near future controlled by a young online game player in this action-thriller.

Carriers: Four friends, including Chris Pine (Star Trek), go on the run from a deadly pandemic and right into danger.

All About Steve: Sandra Bullock falls in love with and follows (read: stalks) Bradley Cooper around the world after one date.

It Might Get Loud: Learn about the history of the electric guitar from three generations of guitar gods: the Edge, Jack White and Jimmy Page.

Soul Power: Documentary chronicles the three-nights-long music festival surrounding the “Rumble in the Jungle.”.

My One and Only: Renée Zellweger leaves her cheating husband behind in 1953 and, with her two sons, heads out to find a replacement.

World’s Greatest Dad: Lance (Robin Williams) passes off a journal as that of his dead son’s after a fake suicide note is published.

24 City: Documentary follows the demolition of China’s state-owned Factory 420, set to become luxury apartments.

Seraphine: Based on a true story, Séraphine de Senlis goes from housekeeper to celebrated artist.

Friday Movies

Greetings. Just the usual Friday movie release post here. One of these days I will take time out from my writing to stop here and write a real post. Til then, enjoy reading about these movies opening today, and coming soon.


Inglourious Basterds

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a war movie. It isn’t. It’s a Quentin Tarantino movie, which means lots of smart, stylish fun and action and not much emotional resonance.


Robert Rodriguez directs this collection of short films about kids (and adults) who encounter a magical wishing rock deep in the heart of Texas. It’s a childish but fun fantasy.

Post Grad

This comedy about a college graduate unable to find a job might have been a satirical look into our soured economy. Instead, it’s flat and sitcom-like without any idea of what it wants to be.

Cold Souls

What if you decided you’d be better off without a soul and had it removed? That’s the inspired premise of this surreal film highlighted by dreamlike cinematography.

Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love

Director Chai Vasarhelyi has made a thoughtful and beautifully photographed documentary about Youssou N’Dour, a devout Muslim and Grammy-winning pop music icon.

X Games 3D: The Movie

The X-Games makes a dandy proving ground for 3D film. As a movie, though, it isn’t a movie at all. It’s a 90-minute commercial for the games, lacking drama, compelling characters or story line.

More movie reviews

OPENING FRIDAY, August 28 From

Thirst: A priest becomes a vampire in this movie from Korean director Park Chan-wook (Old Boy).

The Final Destination 3D: It’s the first 3-D installment for the series where friends try to cheat death with some gruesome results.

Halloween II: Rob Zombie continues his re-imagination of the slasher series.

Taking Woodstock: Based on Elliot Tiber’s memoir, this comedy follows his fateful phone call to the producers behind the historic festival.

Jerichow: A series of events affects the relationship between a man, his wife and his employee.

Friday Movies


District 9

When aliens reach Earth in a derelict ship, distruct and disgust arises between humans and aliens. An eye-popping yet cannily intelligent blast of social commentary from director Neill Blomkamp.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Eric Bana plays a guy who jumps around time with no control over where or when he goes. Unfortunately, the time-travel gimmick supersedes any sort of substance, depth or character development.


High School Musical clone tells a well-worn tale about music, high school, guilt and fitting in. If you’re too young to know the original “I Want You to Want Me,” Bandslam might tickle your tweenage heart.


The most broadly accessible anime film to reach these shores. It’s too long, and the ending is abrupt and contrived, but Hayao Miyazaki‘s film has been translated in a way that grasps his playfulness.


A quirky woman (Rose Byrne) meets a quirky man (Hugh Dancy) with Asperger’s syndrome. Rom-com is a tad tasteless in the way it reduces Asperger’s to a cutesy plot device.


A nihilistic man (Ashton Kutcher) seduces older women and then holes up in their luxury LA homes. What could have been a Shampoo for the age of cougars winds up a bungled opportunity.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Comedy about a soulless used-car salesmen strains desperately for raunchy, politically incorrect laughs. Robert Zemeckis covered the same ground in Used Cars, but it was far superior to this clunker.

More movie reviews

OPENING FRIDAY, August 21 From

Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino directs this movie about a group of Jewish-American soldiers whose sole purpose is to kill Nazis.

Post Grad: A college graduate (Alexis Bledel) faces a change of plans as she moves back in with her quirky family.

Shorts: A town is rocked when a rainbow-colored rock falls from the sky, granting the wishes of whoever holds it.

Cold Souls: Paul Giamatti, starring as himself, wants to lose his soul and finds a mysterious lab that can help.

Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love: African pop musician Youssou N’Dour is profiled in this film from Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

Afghan Star: Documentary follows four contestants in the popular American Idol-type show in war-torn Afghanistan.