Welcome to my website!
Have you ever wondered why some critics review films? They don't even seem to like movies that much from what they write. I LOVE movies, and think about them long after the last credits roll across the screen. My reviews are meant to inform, entertain and never have a spoiler.
Enjoy my reviews and please comment and come back frequently! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Slumber Party

I remember hearing about a slumber party my older sister had where some boys allegedly snuck some beer into their tent that was pitched out under the trees in the orchard. The rest of the details of that night are unknown to me, but Slumber Party, a funny little film I was treated to recently, shows just what lengths a group of guys will go to crash a girls only night.

This is the first film written, produced and directed by Jazmine Bizzoco, Crystal Burdette, and Venice Ventresca. It is not rated, but in my judgment it is probably around a PG-13. I think it is amazing that a group of women in their twenties could pull off a production like this. Its humor reminded me vaguely of Booty Call, a very funny R rated film with Jamie Foxx and Tommy Davidson chasing around two women for you can guess what.

In Slumber Party, four friends go to Palm Springs to help one of them house sit. They deem their weekend as No Boys Allowed. A neighbor, Rufus, sees an opportunity has landed in his neighborhood, and he calls a couple of friends to come crash the party. This is where it gets really funny. I have to give these three writers credit for coming up with some very funny scenes of the guys’ journey to get to the party, and what they do to try to enter the house. Will the guys be successful and gain entrance to the slumber party? I’m not going to give it away.

The only thing that really kind of bothered me was the language. Do people in South Central LA really talk to one another like that? I’ll have to trust the filmmakers that it is realistic. I really can’t say living in the middle of New Mexico. The film is available on DVD only. There were parts that really had me laughing out loud. If you just want to experience something different and light for pure entertainment, give Slumber Party a try.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan has written and directed yet another fine film. I have been a fan of his ever since The Sixth Sense, and have carried my admiration for his work through viewing Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. His most recent work, Lady in the Water, proved to be a complex and ambitious film.

Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) is the stuttering maintenance man/superintendent at The Cove, an apartment complex with a unique swimming pool that leads to the Blue World. Cleveland discovers Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) swimming in the pool one night after hours. Story however is from a fairy tale, and has a purpose to fulfill for the benefit of mankind. A Chinese woman in the building slowly reveals to Cleveland the archetypal tale Story inhabits, and he tries to piece together the clues to deliver a happy ending. To finish the tale he enlists the help of a group of diverse residents in the building. That in itself was the part of the movie that was difficult to believe, that these residents would help him and not simply think him crazy, but this is a fantasy after all, and suspension of disbelief is required here.

The film is shot in a Rear Window like fashion (Alfred Hitchcock is one of Shyamalan’s favorite directors; mine too). Shyamalan himself has a more than cameo acting role in his film this time around as Vick, a young writer with a manuscript that will eventually help change the world. This role Shyamalan has chosen to play seems a bit of a grandiose choice, but he is a brilliant filmmaker after all and everything Vick learns about his writing could be applied to Shyamalan’s own works as well. For who among us really knows the impact our life’s work can have on future generations?

If I could distill the subject of this film into one word, it would be purpose. The mystery that is our world is looked at through the eyes of the residents of The Cove who are trying to figure out their purpose in life the same as any of us are doing in our own lives. This I think is what made Lady in the Water so appealing to me. Shyamalan attempted to tell an archetypal tale to inspire us to think about life, and anyone who likes to go to a film to have their mind challenged and stimulated would appreciate his attempt. I liked how I felt when I left the movie that even if I don’t know what exactly my contributions through my work and life have accomplished, they may be part of a process that helps the planet evolve.

The film is rated PG-13 for some frightening sequences (the world Story comes from has some truly scary creatures in it). If you haven’t seen Shyamalan’s other films, I recommend them all. You can easily rent them from Netflix (see link on this site).