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DVD Reviews
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Firewall
Rating:
   
Warner Bros. | Rated PG-13 | Action/Adventure, Thriller
Starring: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Jimmy Bennett, Virginia Madsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Computer security specialist Jack Stanfield works for the Seattle-based Landrock Pacific Bank. A trusted top-ranking executive, he has built his career and reputation on designing the most effective anti-theft computer systems in the industry. Jack's position affords a comfortable life for him, his architect wife Beth and their two young children--a standard of living that includes a beautiful home in a residential community just outside the city. But there's a vulnerability in Jack's system that he has not accounted for: himself.

It's a vulnerability that Bill Cox, one very ruthless and resourceful thief, is poised to exploit. Having spent the better part of a year methodically infiltrating every aspect of Jack's identity, Cox is now ready to make good on his investment.Leading a tight team of mercenary accomplices, he seizes control of the Stanfield house, making Beth and the kids terrified hostages in their own home and Jack his unwilling pawn in a scheme to steal $100 million from the Landrock Pacific Bank. Jack is forced to find a breach in his own formidable security system to siphon funds into his captor's offshore account--incriminating himself in the process. Under constant surveillance, he has only hours to accomplish the risky transactions while desperately hunting for a loophole in the thief's own impenetrable wall of subterfuge and false identities to save his family and beat Cox at his own game.

OUR OPINION:
Firewall is a so-so action flick that doesn't measure up to Glory Road -- or any other Good movie in it's genre for that matter -- but with that said, it's still slightly better than Freedomland.

Veteran actor Harrison Ford's performance was marginal at best. In fact, any director who is thinking of casting Ford in another action flick should seriously consider watching this movie, because the sight of him running (or hobbling) through some scenes is proof enough that the Old Pro should hang it up before he seriously pulls a hammy. As far as the movie is concerned, it's worth watching, but only if your first choice is already off the shelf.
 
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Glory Road
Rating:
Walt Disney Pictures | Rated PG | Sports/Drama
Starring: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols, Evan Jones, Mehcad Brooks
MOVIE SUMMARY:
For Don Haskins, the dream was always about winning: winning with guts, heart and grit; winning with self-respect; and winning even when the odds were completely stacked against you. What Haskins didn't know in 1966--when he was just a small-town family man trying to make an indelible mark in his first job as a collegiate basketball coach--is that his underdog team's incredible victory would transcend sport and change not only his life and the lives of his players, but the country itself.

Haskins and his scrappy Texas Western Miners were unwittingly about to revolutionize basketball and the American landscape. It was still a time of innocence in the United States, yet the country was on the verge of major social changes when Haskins decided to play an all-African-American opening lineup at the NCAA championships against the all-white juggernaut of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Haskins did it to win. But his bold decision would help break down barriers of segregation that affected every segment of society and set a new course for the future as his team did the one thing they could to prove themselves to a watching world: the played their hearts out.

OUR OPINION:
Glory Road is more than just a Sports movie, it's an inspiring film about life, friendship, and self-determination. This engaging and emotionally-charged film is one of the best Dramas you'll see this year. Besides it's excellent script, Glory Road boasts an outstanding cast and realistic game sequences. If you can get past the Sports genre, you'll discover that Glory Road is truly an amazing movie.
 
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Freedomland
Rating:
   
Sony Pictures | Rated R | Crime/Drama
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, Ron Eldard, William Forsythe, Aunjanue Ellis
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Late one night in a working class New Jersey suburb, a bloodied woman staggers mute and dazed into the emergency room at the Dempsy Medical Center. After treatment for shock and hysteria, Brenda Martin recounts to Dempsy police detective Lorenzo Council a horrific tale of being carjacked on the isolated strip of undeveloped land that divides Dempsy's urban housing projects from the blue collar town of Gannon, where she lives. She claims she was forced out of her car by a black man, but during the interrogation Council senses he's not getting the whole story. Only after hours of questioning does Brenda finally break down and confess that her four-year-old son, Cody, was asleep in the back seat of the stolen car. Led by activist Karen Collucci, members of the communities of Dempsy and Gannon unite in a search for the missing child, but the criminal investigation into the alleged kidnapping by a suspect who is presumed to be a local from the projects soon ignites long-simmering racial tensions between the two towns.

OUR OPINION:
Freedomland is an average movie with way too much dialog and too little suspense. Co-star Julianne Moore does an excellent job of testing your patience with her whiny, overdramatic psycho-babble. Between her rants and Detective Council's (Samuel Jackson) loyalty issues, the movie's pace is slowed considerably. Waiting for the cable release is not a bad thing!
 
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The Fantastic Four
Rating:
 
Twentieth Century Fox | Rated PG-13 | Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Julian McMahon
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Marvel's first family of comic superheroes take the world by storm as the longest running comic book series in history comes to the big screen. Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, who can elongate his body; Susan Storm/Invisible Woman, who not only can become invisible at will but can render other objects invisible; Johnny Storm/Human Torch, who can shoot fire from his finger tips and bend flame; and Ben Grimm/The Thing,
a hideously misshapen monster with superhuman strength, together battle the evil Doctor Doom.

OUR OPINION:
The Fantastic 4 is easily one of the best movies to hit theatres this Summer. It opened near the top of the box office with an estimated $56 million - almost twice what analysts had predicted; and it placed the third highest opening gross behind Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and War of the Worlds.

The Fantastic 4 is a good movie for the entire family. Most critics slammed it, but the action sequences and special effects alone are worth the price of admission.
 
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War of The Worlds
Rating:
   
Paramount Pictures | Rated R | Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Starring: Tom Cruise, Miranda Otto, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins
MOVIE SUMMARY:
A contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells's seminal classic, the sci-fi adventure thriller reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it.


OUR OPINION:
Although War of the Worlds received alot of attention at the box office -- It reeled in about $21.3 million(US) and $34.6 million (worldwide) on opening day -- it's more of a Special Effects movie than a "thriller".

Director Steven Spielberg's version lacks a complete and interesting storyline, and aside from the underground encounter with the aliens, there aren't too many intense moments in the entire movie.

Mr & Mrs Smith and The Fantastic 4 are slightly better movies because the characters and action sequences are more interesting...

 
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Mr & Mrs Smith
Rating:
 
Twentieth Century Fox | Rated R | Action/Adventure
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Adam Brody, Vince Vaughn, Angela Bassett
MOVIE SUMMARY:
A married couple (Pitt and Jolie) are getting bored with their quiet domestic life. What they don't know, however, is that they're both assassins, secretly hopping the world and killing for hire. But their separate lives are about to collide when each finds out their next target is their own spouse.


OUR OPINION:
Mr & Mrs Smith starts off a little slow, mainly because the bizzare plot deserves some explanation of the couples history, but once the movie gets going, (which is about 15 minutes inward), it's non-stop action throughout. Aside from the occasional stunt that borders on unrealistic, The acting is great; The plot is interesting; and the humor is on target. This movie will not disappoint.

 

 
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Four Brothers
Rating:
   
Paramount Pictures | Rated R | Crime/Drama
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, André Benjamin, Tyrese Gibson, Garrett Hedlund, Sofía Vergara
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Four adopted brothers come together to bury the woman who raised them. At the funeral, the brothers discover that their mother may have been murdered and they want revenge.

OUR OPINION:

Although Paramount's Four Brothers was the film of choice for many moviegoers this weekend -- it took in an estimated $20.7 million -- the movie is not very good.
Most of the actors were less than stellar; the only exceptions were Tyrese and Mark Wahlberg.

What in the heck was director John Singleton thinking?

Without a good supporting cast and a decent storyline, the only thing left to keep your interest are a few wise-cracks, gun fights and over-the-top action sequences -- but sadly, even they wear thin after about 45 minutes.
 
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Diary Of A Mad Black Woman
Rating:
   
Lions Gate Films | Rated PG-13 | Comedy/Romance
Starring: Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Tyler Perry, Shemar Moore, Lisa Marcos
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Over the years, Helen has been a faithful and loving wife, while Charles built a successful and lucrative career as a prominent Atlanta attorney. However, on the eve of their 18th wedding anniversary, Helen's paradise begins to crumble as Charles announces that he wants a divorce.

OUR OPINION:
Diary of a Mad Black Woman is by no means a
dud, but it would have been far more interesting had the lead character, Helen, woke up to smell the roses alot sooner...

The first half is funny, but the second half is (ironically) like a bad relationship that won't end. There's just too much drama and not enough fun!

The most entertaining thing about this movie is Tyler Perry's diversity as an actor, specifically playing the role of grandma Madea -- a no-nonsense, gun-toting senior from the hood.
 
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The Jacket
Rating:
   
Warner Independent Pictures | Rated R | Drama/Suspense
Starring: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kelly Lynch
MOVIE SUMMARY:
A military veteran returns to his native Vermont suffering from bouts of amnesia. When he is accused of murder and lands in an asylum, a well-meaning doctor puts him on a heavy course of experimental drugs, restrains him in a jacket-like device, and locks him away in a body drawer of the basement morgue. The process sends him on a journey into the future, where he can foresee his death...

OUR OPINION:
The Jacket has more "drama" than "suspense"...What ultimately kills this movie (and probably your interest too) is the lead character, John Starks, constant flashbacks. They're essential to the movie (we know) but they happen so frequently, it makes you insane just trying to keep up. Decent movie, but extremely slow...
 
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Assault on Precinct 13
Rating:
   
Rogue Pictures | Rated R | Action/Adventure
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo, Drea de Matteo, JA Rule
MOVIE SUMMARY:
During a snowy New Year's Eve, a mobster is temporarily incarcerated at Precinct 13, the soon-to-close police station. As the sun sets and a long night begins, a motley crew of policemen and prisoners reluctantly captained by a cop must band together to fight off a rogue gang that wants to free the mobster.

OUR OPINION:
Assault on Precinct 13 is very predictable at times, and the action sequences aren't much better than anything you'd see on network television. Considering the cast -- Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo, Drea de Matteo, Ja Rule -- this movie should have been a little better across the board. Waiting for the cable/satellite release is not such a bad idea.
 
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Guess Who
Rating:
     
Lions Gate Films | Rated PG-13 | Comedy/Romance
Starring: Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Hal Williams
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Percy Jones (Bernie Mac) is taking no chances with his daughter Theresa's (Zoe Saldana) future. Even before he meets Simon Green, her latest boyfriend, Percy has him checked out. On paper, he passes with flying colors -- great job, good investments and a promising future. But there's one thing the credit report didn't tell him: Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher) is white. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Unless, of course, Simon wants to marry his daughter. Which he does.

OUR OPINION:
Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher don't mix, literally. Guess Who is a boring, inept love story that is so filled with cliche's, you'd have to be blind not to see the next one creeping around the corner.

Ashton Kutcher is barely funny, and Bernie Mac is just ok. This movie would have been funnier and possibly more effective about 10-20 years ago when interracial dating was still considered a hot topic in some circles. Only buy this DVD if you love Bernie Mac; otherwise check out Hitch, it's much funnier!
 
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Paid In Full
Rating:
   
Dimension Films | Rated R | Drama/Crime
Starring: Wood Harris, Mekhi Phifer, Cam'ron, Kevin Carroll, Chi McBride
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Harlem, NY, 1986. From behind the counter of the dry cleaner where he works, Ace (WOOD HARRIS) longingly covets the expensive cars and flashy clothes of his friends, Mitch (MEKHI PHIFER) and Calvin (KEVIN CARROLL). One day, on a routine laundry drop-off, Ace meets Lulu (ESAI MORALES), whose apartment and elaborate jewelry hint at a life of luxury, Ace is quickly lured into the seductive world of drug dealing.


OUR OPINION:
Paid in Full is a smart crime-drama that offers insight into Harlem's 1980's cocaine underworld. Veteran actors Wood Harris and Mekhi Phifer are good, convincing actors who do an excellent job of drawing you into the mindset of their respected characters. There were a few misses with regards to the "back in the day" references, but all things considered, "Paid in Full" is still a solid DVD.
 
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Hostage
Rating:
   
Miramax Films | Rated R | Thriller
Starring: Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Jimmy Bennett, Jimmy Pinchak, Jonathan Tucker
MOVIE SUMMARY:
A police officer is wracked by guilt from a prior stint as a negotiator. When a mafia accountant is taken hostage on his beat, he must negotiate the standoff, even as his own family is held captive by the mob.

OUR OPINION:
Although sometimes lacking in intelligence, Hostage starring Bruce Willis, has enough action and intensity to make it a great DVD. Bruce Willis fans won't be disappointed.
 
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Blade Trinity
Rating:
   
New Line Cinema | Rated R | Action/Adventure
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey
MOVIE SUMMARY:
For years, Blade has fought against the vampires in the cover of night, with the world above unaware of the brutal ongoing war. But now, after falling into the crosshairs of the FBI, he is forced out into the daylight where he is driven to join forces with a clan of human vampire hunters he never knew existed - The Nightstalkers.

OUR OPINION:
Blade Trinity starring Wesley Snipes, starts off fast and continues on that pace throughout
the entire movie. With the exception of a few corny jokes here and there, and a so-so storyline, Blade Trinity is worth watching. It's cool, hip, and has enough action and special effects to keep the average person interested.
 
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The Pacifier
Rating:
   
Walt Disney | Rated PG | Comedy/Family
Starring: Vin Diesel, Lauren Graham, Brittany Snow, Faith Ford, Carol Kane
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Vin Diesel stars as Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe who, as an elite member of the world's fiercest and most highly trained force, is assigned to protect five out-of-control children of an assassinated scientist working on vital government secrets. Shane is suddenly faced with juggling two outrageously incompatible jobs: fighting the bad guys while keeping house.

OUR OPINION:

The Pacifier starring Vin Diesel is not a very good kids movie and is hardly worth watching
if you are an adult. The movie is too predictable
and aside from the Vin Diesel/Brad Garrett wrestling match, the laughs are too few far and between. Only a true Vin Diesel fan could get excited about this one.
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Hitch
Rating:
 
Columbia Pictures | Rated PG-13 | Comedy/Romance
Starring: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Michael Rapaport, Adam Arkin
MOVIE SUMMARY:
A professional matchmaker's program is threatened by a female gossip columnist who, after a chance meeting with Hitch, finds her professional life and personal life on a collision course. In just a short period of time, she makes Hitch re-evaluate his game and teaches him that love is not a feeling, it's an action.

OUR OPINION:
Hitch starring Will Smith as Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, is a surprisingly good romantic comedy for both men and women.
Despite being a bit mushy, the chemistry between Will Smith and Eva Mendes is fun to watch. And there are enough laughs to make the movie enjoyable from start to finish.
 
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Kings Ranson
Rating:
     
New Line Cinema | Rated PG-13 | Comedy/Crime
Starring: Anthony Anderson, Leila Arcieri, Jay Mohr, Donald Faison, Regina Hall
MOVIE SUMMARY:
Anthony Anderson stars as Malcolm King, a wealthy and arrogant businessman whose ex-wife to be has plans to take him for everything he's worth in their divorce settlement. Determined to avoid losing his fortune to her, Malcolm plans his own kidnapping with the help of his dim-witted mistress and her ex-con brother. Unfortunately for Malcolm, he is not the only one with a kidnapping plot.


OUR OPINION:
Kings Ransom, starring the very talented Anthony
Anderson, is a comedy that seems to get less funnier as time goes on. The first half is hysterical. The second half is full of boring, half-witted humor that screams "turn me off". It's hard to imagine how corny this movie would have been without Anthony Anderson in the lead role.
 
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National Treasure
Rating:
   
Walt Disney| Rated PG | Action/Adventure
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Harvey Keitel, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean
MOVIE SUMMARY:
All his life, Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) has been searching for a treasure no one believed existed: amassed through the ages, moved across continents, to become the greatest treasure the world has ever known. Hidden by our Founding Fathers, they left clues to the treasure's location right before our eyes... from our nation's birthplace, to the nation's capitol, to clues buried within the symbols on the dollar bill. In a race against time, Gates must elude the FBI, stay one step ahead of his ruthless adversary
(Sean Bean), decipher the remaining clues and unlock the 2000 year-old mystery behind our greatest national treasure.

OUR OPINION:
Although National Treasure is no Indiana Jones, it's still a decent movie. Nicholas Cage and friends provide just enough action (and humor) to keep your interest the entire 2 hours and 25 minutes. This movie is very long, predictable and silly, but at the same time it's fun...in a Walt-Disney sort of way.
 
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