Sunday, November 20, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/22 The Devil's Double, Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special, Super 8, Prep & Landing & more

The Devil's Double (2011)Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special (2011)Super 8 (2011)The Family Tree (2010)
The Green (2011)Prep & Landing (2009)Sarah's Key (2010)
The Devil's Double 2011 Biographical Drama Starring: Dominic Cooper (My Week with Marilyn). Directed by: Lee Tamahori (Along Came a Spider). Written by: Michael Thomas ("Crash") based on the novel by Latif Yahia. Plot: Cooper stars as Uday Hussein -- Saddam Hussein's elder son -- and as Latif Yahia, the army lieutenant forcibly drafted to be his body double, in this drama based on Yahia's autobiographical novel. With his family's fate on the line, Yahia surrenders his identity to embody the hated figure but gains a conspirator in Uday's concubine, Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), as he plots his escape. Trailer: Review: This movie looks like it might be an Oscar contender. It's an incredibly fascinating story that I'm really looking forward to watching. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special- 2011 Animated. Voiced by: Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (Chicago), 4X Emmy nom Denis Leary (Recount (TV)), Emmy winner John Leguizamo (Freak (TV)) & 3X Emmy winner Ray Romano ("Everybody Loves Raymond"). Plot: When Sid (Leguizamo) accidentally destroys Manny's (Romano) heirloom Christmas rock and ends up on Santa's "naughty list," he leads a hilarious quest to the North Pole to make things right and ends up making things much worse. Now it's up to Manny and his prehistoric posse to band together and save Christmas for the entire world. Trailer: Review: I loved the first film. The second film was enjoyable. I haven't seen the third. This is a TV special. We'll see if it's good. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Super 8 2011 Sci-Fi Thriller Starring: Gabriel Basso ("The Big C"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Jessica Tuck ("True Blood"), Ron Eldard ("Law & Order: SVU"), Amanda Michalka (Secretariat), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Noah Emmerich ("The Walking Dead"), Richard T. Jones ("Grey's Anatomy"), Amanda Foreman ("Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior"), David Gallagher ("The Deep End"), Indie Spirit winner Bruce Greenwood (I'm Not There), Michael Hitchcock ("Glee") & 2X Saturn nom Greg Grunberg ("Heroes"). Written & Directed by: 2X Emmy winner J.J. Abrams ("Lost"). Plot: With a nod toward producer Spielberg's landmark sci-fi films of the 1970s and '80s, writer-director Abrams crafts a supernatural tale about six kids who witness something incredible while shooting a movie with their Super 8 camera. Trailer: Review: The kids are the stars, and the opening train accident scene is stellar. Other than that, this movie could've been about anything. This film never felt like a sci-fi film, until the very end when the alien is revealed. By that time, I didn't care anymore. With all that waiting, the ending needed to blow me out of the water. It didn't. I'm all for nostalgia, but this movie felt more like a derivative knock-off then a homage. I instantly forgot this movie the second I walked out of the theater. I'm way more interested in seeing the movie the kids were making. Don't waste your time. If you wanna a Spielberg style film, rent the real deal. Rating: Stamped out so why bother. Watch instead: Son of Rambow.

The Family Tree 2011 Indie Comedy Starring: 2X Emmy nom Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), Dermot Mulroney (J.Edgar), Gabrielle Anwar ("Burn Notice"), Britt Robertson (Scream 4), Rachael Leigh Cook ("Ghost Whisperer"), Madeline Zima ("Royal Pains"), Selma Blair ("Web Therapy"), Emmy winner Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Indie Spirit winner Hope Davis (Syecdoche, New York), John Patrick Amedori (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) & Evan Ross ("90210"). Directed by: Vivi Friedman. Written by: Mark Lisson. Plot: Tragic but comic tale of wife and mother Bunnie Burnett (Davis), a woman who loses her memory and conveniently forgets all her problems -- including her interracial affair with a neighbor (Chi McBride). Mulroney plays Bunnie's husband, Jack, with Blair co-starring as a lesbian high school teacher embroiled in an affair with one of her students. Review: The cast is great, and the story seems quirky but intelligent. It's on my queue. I will update after I watch it. Trailer: Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Green 2011 Social Issue Drama Starring: Cheyenne Jackson ("Glee"), Emmy winner Julia Ormond (Temple Grandin (TV)) & Emmy nom Illeana Douglas ("Six Feet Under"). Directed by: Emmy nom Steven Williford ("All My Children"). Written by: Paul Marcarelli. Plot: Michael (Jason Butler Harner), an idealistic drama teacher, moves to Connecticut with his partner, Daniel (Jackson), but their idyllic life is shattered when a troubled high school student accuses Michael of molestation and everyone, including Daniel, assumes that he's guilty. Trailer: Review: The bigoted assumption of many people that homosexuality equals pedophilia is the exact reason this film interests me. The fact of the matter is that the majority of pedophilia cases involve opposite sex victims. A pedophile cannot have sexual interest in someone their own age. That's precisely why the only "cure" is chemical castration. I've read too many stories about gay men, for example, being fired from children's organizations like The Boy Scouts for the notion that they can't be trusted with young boys. That's preposterous. OK I'm off my soapbox, at least until I've seen this film and have garnered many more opinions. I'm glad a film like this is being made. Let's see if it holds up to my ideals. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Prep & Landing 2009 4X Emmy winning animated short Voiced by: 4X Emmy nom Dave Foley ("Kids in the Hall"), Sarah Chalke ("Mad Love"), Mason Vale Cotton ("Desperate Housewives"), David DeLuise ("Gilmore Girls"), Peter Jacobson ("House M.D.") & Derek Richardson ("House M.D."). Written & Directed by: 2X Emmy winner Kevin Deters & 2X Emmy winner Stevie Wermers. Plot: Wayne (Foley) gets a new rookie partner, Lanny (Richardson), after his previous partner got the promotion he wanted. Lanny has to remind Wayne of the Spirit of Christmas and the importance of being an elf in Santa's Prep and Landing elite unit. Trailer: Review: I love the premise of this, and I'm a sucker for Christmas specials. This one looks good. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Carjacked 2011 Crime Thriller Starring: Indie Spirit nom Maria Bello (Downloading Nancy), Stephen Dorff (World Trade Center) & 2X Emmy nom Joanna Cassidy ("Six Feet Under"). Directed by: John Bonito. Written by: Michael & Sherry Compton. Plot: A single mother (Bello) and her son are forced to take a dangerous detour when a bank robber (Dorff) carjacks their vehicle and keeps them as unwilling hostages. But the deadly trip soon pushes each party to fight for their own survival. Trailer: Review: I love these everyman fight for survival movies. It's amazing what people are capable of when they are pushed to the breaking point. Looking forward to this, but Bello's been a little off her game lately in terms of performance level. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Sarah's Key 2010 French Drama Starring: Oscar nom Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) & 2X Emmy nom Aidan Quinn (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (TV)). Directed by: Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Written by: the director & Serge Joncour based on the novel by: Tatiana De Rosnay. Plot: In the midst of researching an article about the roundup of Jews that took place in Paris in 1942, American-born journalist Julia Jarmond (Thomas) uncovers a sobering connection between her story and the home she shares with her boorish French husband (Frederic Pierrot). Inspired by actual events. Trailer: Review: This looks to be a very involved mystery. The film is actually partly in English & partly in French. This looks intriguing. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Commit. 2007 Indie Comedy Written & Directed by: Mickey Blaine. Plot: After spending time chatting with each other on the Internet, cynical part-time teacher Trista (Nicole Blaine) and New York beat cop Perry (Forest Erickson) meet in person to finalize the plans they've hatched to commit suicide together. But when the pair hits it off over a long cup of coffee, they begin to wonder if they can truly carry out their grim scheme. Trailer: Review: The premise seems really dark, but the trailer shows otherwise. It seems quirky. That's right up my alley. I hope these two hit it off and decide there's something to live for. The ending will ultimately determine whether or not I like this film. Will update. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dream A Little Dream of Me

Skipping to :42 to gets you straight to the song. This was a video I sent to my husband when he was deployed in the Middle East last year. I felt like this song had the absolutely perfect lyrics for what I was feeling at the time. It's the perfect deployment love song.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/15 Flypaper & more

Flypaper (2011)The Open Door (2010)Griff the Invisible (2010)

Flypaper 2011 Action Comedy Starring: Emmy nominee Patrick Dempsey ("Once and Again"), Emmy nom Ashley Judd (Norma Jean & Marilyn (TV)), Octavia Spencer ("The Looney Tunes Show"), 6X Emmy nom Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development"), Emmy winner Pruitt Taylor Vince ("Murder One"), Mekhi Phifer ("Torchwood"), Indie Spirit nom Tim Blake Nelson (Eye of God), Curtis Armstrong ("American Dad!") & Matt Ryan ("Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior"). Directed by: rob Minkoff ("Leverage"). Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover) & Scott Moore (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). Plot: Two gangs unwittingly attempt to rob a bank at the same time, catching innocent Tripp Kennedy (Dempsey) in the middle of the action. In the midst of the melee, Tripp saves bank teller Kaitlin (Judd), and together they scheme to stay alive. Trailer: Review: Ashley Judd is my favorite actress. I also love heist films. Those are the two reasons I added this movie to my queue. It looks a bit convoluted. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Open Door 2008 Supernatural Horror Written & Directed by: Doc Duhame. Plot: Mad at the world, a high school beauty (Catherine Munden) vents her frustrations and reveals her secret desires during a phone call to a mysterious radio host claiming to have special powers -- and her wishes soon start coming true in unexpectedly diabolical ways. Trailer: Review: Interesting premise, but I'm not sure about the acting. It's on instant queue now. Will watch soon. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Griff the Invisible 2010 Indie Australian Comedy Starring: Ryan Kwanten ("True Blood"). Written & Directed by: Leon Ford. Plot: Office peon Griff (Kwanten) is mocked by his co-workers, yet at night, his superhero alter ego takes to the air, defending Melbourne against menaces to society. Griff trusts no one with his secret -- that is, until he meets brilliant scientist Melody (Maeve Dermody). Beautiful, strange and a true believer, Melody is one kindred spirit in a million. But can their eccentric connection survive in a cold and unimaginative world? Trailer: Review: A lot of these original superhero movies have come out the last couple of years. Most of them have been good. This looks great by the trailer. It's in my queue. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Glee Audition

Check out my audition for Glee! ...Help me out with your views, likes and comments.

Monday, November 7, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/8 The Change-Up, Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Life in a Day & more

The Change-Up (2011)Atlas Shrugged Part I (2011)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll (2011)
Born Bad (2011)Life in a Day (2011)13 (2011)

The Change-Up 2011 Comedy Starring: Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Emmy nominee Jason Bateman ("Arrested Development"), Leslie Mann ("Allen Gregory"), Olivia Wilde ("House M.D."), Oscar winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Craig Bierko ("Damages") & Orlando Vargas Diaz (Fast Five ). Directed by: David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover) & Scott Moore (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). Plot: In this contemporary reality-warp comedy, single playboy Mitch (Reynolds) and responsible husband-father Dave (Bateman) are best buddies who want each other's life -and they get the chance when they magically swap bodies after a night of drunken revelry. Trailer: Review: Been there done that premise, but I just happen to like that premise coupled with my husband's approval made me add this to me queue. Haven't watched it yet. Will update when I do. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Atlas Shrugged Part 1 2011 Sci-fi Starring: Taylor Schilling ("Mercy"), Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class), Armin Shimerman ("Leverage"), Patrick Fischler ("Criminal Minds") & Annabelle Gurwitch ("Boston Legal"). Directed by: Paul Johansson. Written by: John Aglialoro & Brian Patrick O'Toole based on the novel by Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead). Plot: Dagny Taggart, a fiercely independent railroad tycoon, is determined to use innovative technology and enterprising partners to revive her business, no matter the personal cost. Trailer: Review: This book is apprantly referenced by and treasured by the Tea Party movement nowadays. What interests me is the fact that this movie seems to go against the very popular Liberal political beliefs of Hollywood. It makes me wonder how this movie got made. Not too surprisingly, even though it's gotten rave reviews, it will undoubtedly be overlooked Award season. It's also only gotten limited release, when it could've been a summer blockbuster hit. I'm a big supporter of the underdog in life. I hate it when something is overlooked because it goes against what's deemed popular. Just because it's popular doesn't make it right. I also interested in the Sci-fi aspect of the film. I love a good, intelligent sci-fi film. I'm not a full believer in the author's objectivist ideology from what I've read. There are other aspects, however, that I can agree with. I won't know fully until I watch this film. I will let you know after I watch. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2-Please watch my video review here

The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll 2009 Indie Showbiz Drama Starring: Kevin Zegers ("Gossip Girl"), Jason Ritter ("Mercy"), Taryn Manning (The Speed of Thought), Lukas Haas (Red Riding Hood), Lauren Holly ("Flaspoint"), Indie Spirit nom Kelly Lynch (The Beans of Egypt, Maine), Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4) & OScar nom Ruby Dee (American Gangster). Directed by: Scott D. Rosenbaum. Written by: the director & Jasin Cadic. Plot: After his second album fails, famous rocker Spyder (Zegers) returns to his hometown to lick his wounds. There, he reunites with his former best friend (Ritter), a fellow musician and son of a legendary punk rocker. Soon the two set off on a road trip. As they travel historic Route 66 with a new band, they find themselves confronting their past and the choices they've made. DVD Features: behind-the-scenes featurette; deleted scenes; extended scenes; short film. Trailer: Review: Being a singer, I love music about the biz. I'm wondering if Zegers can sing tho. Manning can. Ritter can't. That will be a mitigating factor in whether or not I like this movie. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Born Bad (V) 2011 Crime Thriller Starring: Meredith Monroe (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) & Michael Welch ("Criminal Minds"). Written & Directed by: Jared Cohn. Plot: A girl (Bonnie Dennison) sticks it to her conservative parents (Monroe & David Chokachi) by hooking up with a handsome stranger (Welch) passing through town. Little does she know that the man is a ferocious predator looking for his next victim. DVD Feature: making-of featurette. Trailer: Review: I always enjoy these "love interest goes crazy" kind of movies. Even when they're bad, they're always entertaining. This one is a Made For TV Lifetime movie so I'm leaning toward bad. I will let you know after I watch it. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

Life in a Day 2011 Documentary Directed by: Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September). Plot: After thousands of people around the world joined together to record banal and remarkable everyday events on July 24, 2010, director MacDonald led a team of editors to condense more than 4,500 hours of video into this picture of life on Earth. Trailer: Review: This docu looks really interesting. It's coming soon to Instant Queue so I will watch it soon and report back. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

13 2010 Violent Crime Thriller Starring: Jason Statham (The Mechanic), Alexander SkarsgÄrd ("True Blood"), Oscar nom Mickey Rourke (The Wrester), Oscar nom Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road), Emmanuelle Chriqui ("Entourage"), 50 Cent (Home of the Brave) & Gaby Hoffmann ("Homeland"). Directed by: Sundance Special Jury prize winner Gela Babluani (L'heritage). Written by: the director & Greg Pruss based on the screenplay "13 Tzameti" by Babluani. Plot: After assuming the identity of a dead person, a callow young man is quickly sucked into a dark and violent underworld where powerful men gamble on human lives in very high-stakes games of Russian roulette. DVD Feature: behind-the-scenes featurette. Trailer: Review: Interesting premise doesn't really seem original, especially given the casting of Statham. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

Sunday, November 6, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/01 Crazy, Stupid, Love. The Nutcracker in 3D, Cars 2, The Craigslist Killer & more

Love stories, Christmas classics, sequels, serial killers, math & tabloid gossip.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)Cars 2 (2011)The Craigslist Killer (2011)
An Invisible Sign (2010)Tabloid (2010)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. 2011 Romantic Comedy Starring: 6X Emmy nominee Steve Carell ("The Office"), 2X Oscar nom Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), 4X Oscar nom Julianne Moore (Far from Heaven), Emma Stone (The Help), Analeigh Tipton ("America's Next Top Model Cycle 11"), Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny), Indie Spirit nom Kevin Bacon (The Woodsman), Josh Groban ("American Dad!"), & Mekia Cox ("90210"). Directed by: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa. Written by: Dan Fogelman (Tangled). Plot: When Cal Weaver (Carell) discovers that his wife (Moore) wants to end their marriage, he reluctantly faces the unwelcome prospect of single life with the counsel of the younger and smoother super-bachelor Jacob Palmer (Gosling). Meanwhile, Cal's adolescent son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has formed an unquenchable crush on his 17-year-old babysitter (Tipton)-but is she more interested in Robbie's recently unwed father? Trailer Review: I've been wanting to see this movie for a while. It's taken soo long for it to come out on DVD. It's at the top of my queue now. Great cast too btw, including Tipton who was a favorite of mine on America's Next Top Model. She seems to have quite a budding acting career. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Nutcracker in 3D (2010) Family Fantasy Starring: Elle Fanning (Super 8), 3x Emmy nom Nathan Lane ("Modern Family"), Emmy winner John Turturro ("Monk") & Shirley Henderson (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day). Directed by: Emmy winner Andrey Konchalovsky (The Lion in Winter (TV)). Written by: the director & Chris Solimine. Plot: Set in 1920's Vienna, this a tale of a little girl (Fanning), whose godfather gives her a special doll one Christmas Eve. Trailer Review: This got nominated for a Razzie, and they were right. I love The Nutcracker. I used to go see it every year as a little girl. I had high hopes for this because of Fanning and the amazing look of the film. It was pretty to watch but that's about it. First of all, it's the not the story we've grown up with. This is the "untold" story. Untold as in made the fuck up. The story was convoluted. They stole from jsut about every fairy tale & Disney movie they could. The songs (yes there were musical numbers) were awful. Is there a need to ruin Tchaikovsky with lyrics? The singing was awful other than the mother. The animation was terrible. This is the 21st century. Other films have CGI characters blending seamlessly with real life. This movie did not do that. It's as if they spent all their budget on the costumes & set design, which were beautiful, that they ran out of money for post-production. To top it off Nathan Lane played Einstein. It was the worst portrayal I've ever seen. This movie isn't even suited for kids. Rating: Rather stab a pen in my eye than ever watch this again. Watch instead: Enchanted & Bedtime Stories.

Cars 2 2011 Family Comedy Voiced by: Larry the Cable Guy, Oscar nom Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums), 2X Oscar winner Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules), Indie Spirit winner Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing), 2X Emmy winner Eddie Izzard (Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill (V)), Emmy winner John Turturro ("Monk"), 3X Emmy nom Joe Mantegna ("The Starter Wife"), Emmy nom Bonnie Hunt ("Life with Bonnie"), 3X Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub ("Monk"), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), Bruce Campbell ("Burn Notice"), Jenifer Lewis ("State of Georgia"), Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia) & Cheech Marin ("Lost"). Directed by: Oscar winner John Lasseter (Toy Story) & Emmy winner Brad Lewis (The Last Halloween (TV)). Written by: Ben Queen ("Drive"). Plot: Sequel to the animated hit Cars. When Lightening McQueen (Wilson) heads off to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix, he also rolls straight into a case of international intrigue. Trailer Review: I still haven't seen the first one. I have to watch that one first before I see this one. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Craigslist Killer 2011 Thriller Starring: Indie Spirit nom Agnes Bruckner (Blue Car), Julia Campbell ("Criminal Minds"), Kevin Kilner ("Damages"), & William Baldwin ("Gossip Girl"). Directed by: Stephen Kay ("My Generation"). Written by: Donald Martin & Stephen Tolkin ("Summerland"). Plot: Based on the harrowing true story, this thriller tells the story of Philip Markoff (Jake McDorman), an engaged medical student in Boston whose seemingly perfect life is a cover for his murderous pursuit of women who advertise erotic services on the Internet. Trailer Review: Haven't seen this yet, but I know a lot about the case. Interested in seeing this, but not expecting much as it is a Made for TV movie. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

An Invisible Sign 2010 Indie Quirky Drama Starring: Jessica Alba ("SNL"), Bailee Madison (Just Go with It), J.K. Simmons ("American Dad!"), Chris Messina ("Damages") & Emmy nom Sonia Braga (The Burning Season (TV)). Directed by: Marilyn Agrelo. Written by: Pamela Faulk (The Wedding Planner) & Michael Ellis (The Wedding Planner) based on the book "An Invisible Sign of My Own" by Aimee Bender. Plot: When a puzzling disease devastates her beloved father, math prodigy Mona Gray (Alba) deals with the pain by isolating herself from the rest of the world and turning for comfort to the reliable world of mathematics. But when she later teaches math to troubled grade school kids, Mona discovers that her gift can be a route back from her long emotional exile. DVD Feature: Trailer. Trailer Review: This movie looks adorable, but I worry that Alba isn't right for the part. She doesn't seem to be a very consistent actor. She goes from being amazing in The Killer Inside Me to being laughably awful in Machete, winning her a Razzie award ha ha. However, I'm willing to give her a shot yet again. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Tabloid 2010 Documentary Directed by: Oscar winner Errol Morris (The Fog of War). Plot: A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary. Trailer Review: I've never heard of this case before watching the trailer for this doc. Interesting case. Actual interviews with the people involved, including Joyce McKinney. Will update when I watch it. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.