Posts Tagged ‘Danny Glover’

This week’s releases include: a bird watching adventure; a Canadian hockey movie; a quality prison drama; a spy thriller; an exceptional haunted house story; a look at crime in L.A., a fantastic sci-fi narrative; a grown-up bully; a cold war documentary; an extraordinary biopic; a mischievous monkey finds a new way to make trouble; a baseball movie; and a band of misfits. (more…)

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Near escapes is what this movie is made of, but the film itself is not going to subtract from your life expectancy as long as you know to expect a cool look with minimal story.

Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a published writer with a failed marriage and two pre-teen kids. Dr. Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a geologist that discovers in 2009 the Earth’s crust is heating at an alarming rate. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is a conspiracy theorist with a pirate radio show. It is the crossing of these characters’ paths that put the story events in motion. In 2012, the world as we know it is destroyed by massive natural disasters and the only hope of survival is a set of arks built in secret by the G8 governments.

The concept of an apocalypse in 2012 is becoming more prevalent as the year grows increasingly nearer. After we survived Y2K, the next countdown to the end began. According to ancient Mayan calendars, a rare aligning of the planets will mark the end of days December 21, 2012.

This movie is definitely king of all disaster movies as it features stunning representations of various fatal acts of nature. It’s captivating to watch as California falls out from beneath everyone’s feet, while the characters escape in a manner ideal for a 3-D motion ride. However, as the disasters continue to fill the screen they begin to lose impact.

The trailer did not do the film credit in regards to the calibre of actors involved, only featuring Cusack and the special effects. In addition to those mentioned, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet and Stephen McHattie are among the cast. And while there are many tearful moments, they all avoid the temptation to overact.

The film anchors itself in contemporary times with an assassination in the same tunnel Princess Diana perished; a speech by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and the unveiling of the new Bentley. The final destination of the new civilization is an interesting choice, but the realism in needing to plan to begin again on Earth and not space is welcome. On the other hand, humanity’s dark side is exposed with the price of tickets for a place on the ark and the accommodations provided.

2012 will not disappoint the disaster movie enthusiast as it really does have it all and director and co-writer Roland Emmerich once again proves he can manipulate our world like no other.

Special features include: commentary with Emmerich and co-writer Harald Kloser; deleted scenes and an alternate ending; “Roland Emmerich: The Master of the Modern Epic”; and the music video for “Time for Miracles” by Adam Lambert.


“Just in the nick of time.” For the number of times you can utter this phrase during 2012, it’s a definite candidate for drinking games once the DVD is released.

Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a published writer with a failed marriage and two pre-teen kids. Dr. Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a geologist that discovers in 2009 the Earth’s crust is heating at an alarming rate. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is a conspiracy theorist with a pirate radio show. It is the crossing of these characters’ paths that put the story events in motion. In 2012, the world as we know it is destroyed by massive natural disasters and the only hope of survival is a set of arks built in secret by the G8 governments.

The concept of an apocalypse in 2012 is becoming more prevalent as the year grows increasingly nearer. Since we survived Y2K, the next countdown to the end began. According to ancient Mayan calendars, a rare aligning of the planets will mark the end of days December 21, 2012.

This movie is definitely king of all disaster movies as it features stunning representations of various fatal acts of nature. It’s captivating to watch as California falls out from beneath everyone’s feet, while the characters escape in a manner ideal for a 3D motion ride. However, as the disasters continue to fill the screen they begin to lose impact, even becoming depressing.

The trailer does not do the film credit in regards to the calibre of actors involved, only featuring Cusack and the special effects. In addition to those mentioned, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet and Stephen McHattie are among the cast. And while there are many tearful moments, they all avoid the temptation to overact.

The film anchors itself in contemporary times with an assassination in the same tunnel Princess Diana perished; a speech by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and the unveiling of the new Bentley. The final destination of the new civilization is an interesting choice, but the realism in needing to plan to begin again on Earth and not space is welcome. On the other hand, humanity’s dark side is exposed with the price of tickets for a place on the ark and the accommodations provided.

Overall, 2012 will not disappoint the disaster movie enthusiast as it really does have it all and director Roland Emmerich once again proves he can manipulate our world like no other.


Blindness deals with a woman who feels exceedingly alone during an epidemic that unites everyone else in their sickness.

An unexplained outbreak of blindness spreads exponentially through the city and in lieu of any other plan, everyone who is infected is placed in quarantine. A doctor (Mark Ruffalo) is one of the first to enter the designated area with his wife (Julianne Moore), who is not affected but unwilling to leave her husband alone and helpless. The tale then becomes one of a woman stretched to her limits and a makeshift society run amok.

In addition to Ruffalo and Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal turns in an impressive performance as the self-proclaimed king of thieves, Danny Glover is the rational older gentleman, Alice Braga is the prostitute with the golden heart, and Don McKeller, who wrote the script and likes to appear in films to which he contributes, plays the belligerent patient.

The one element Blindness has in common with the last man on Earth plot is the total dissolution of effective government. It is an interesting look at one woman’s struggle, often conjuring imagery from zombie and apocalypse films. Unfortunately, the final half-hour slows down so much that you feel each minute drag past. If repetitive details were restricted, the film’s pace would be better. Furthermore, the conclusion feels excessive.

In the end, what could have been a great film based on story, abilities of the director (Fernando Meirelles) and cast, is made mediocre by pacing issues.

The first of the two-disc DVD contains the feature film and “The Seeing Eye,” which is an additional 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage embedded in the film. The second disc holds a 55-minute “making of” featurette titled “Vision of Blindness,” which shows how the cast learned to be blind and Meirelles’ unique style of shooting; and five deleted scenes that were intuitively cut from the film.

The last man on Earth plot has been recycled countless times. Conversely, Blindness deals with a woman who feels exceedingly alone during an epidemic.

An unexplained outbreak of blindness spreads exponentially through the city and in lieu of any other plan, everyone who is infected is placed in quarantine. A doctor (Mark Ruffalo who is also making a TIFF appearance in The Brothers Bloom) is one of the first to enter the designated area with his wife (Julianne Moore), who is not affected but unwilling to leave her husband alone and helpless. The tale then becomes one of a woman stretched to her limits and a makeshift society run amok.

In addition to Ruffalo and Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal turns in an impressive performance as the self-proclaimed king of thieves, Danny Glover is the rational older gentleman, Alice Braga is the prostitute with the golden heart, and Don McKeller, who wrote the script and likes to appear in films to which he contributes, plays the belligerent patient.

The movie is an interesting look at one woman’s struggle, often conjuring imagery from zombie and apocalypse films. Unfortunately, the final half-hour slows down so much that you feel each minute drag past. If repetitive details were restricted, the film’s pace would be better. Furthermore, the ending feels superfluous.

In the end, what could have been a great film based on story and abilities of the director (Fernando Meirelles) and cast is made mediocre by pacing issues.

Music-video-artist-turned-feature-filmmaker Michel Gondry’s follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is similarly unique, odd, amusing and smart.

Mike (Mos Def) and Jerry (Jack Black) are childhood friends from Passaic, New Jersey. Mike works at and lives above the neighbourhood video store with Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). Unfortunately, business is slow and their building is being taken over and torn down. When Mr. Fletcher leaves Mike in charge, his only instruction is “Keep Jerry Out.” Mike fails to follow the rules and every videotape in the store is erased. To keep Mr. Fletcher from discovering the disaster, the boys offer hilarious remakes, or “Sweded” versions, of all the films they carry, creating their own niche market.

Be Kind Rewind does not really come to life until Mike and Jerry begin producing their own versions of rental favourites, like Ghostbusters (with Jerry’s version of the theme music), Rush Hour 2, The Lion King, Robocop, Driving Miss Daisy, and Boyz n the Hood. Thanks to Gondry, their shooting methods are innovative and earnest; and eventually involve the whole community.

The behind-the-scenes featurette is also different from the typical extra, in that it focuses less on the minutiae of the production and more on the location of Passaic; its personalities, structures and history are discussed by residents of the area. Furthermore, as Mike and Jerry employ neighbours for certain shots, so too did Gondry utilize locals for a variety of scenes.

FOIL POWER ACTIVATED: Jack Black (left) and Mos Def in a scene from Be Kind Rewind (Photo courtesy of Alliance Films)When the reel started to roll, I thought I had walked into the wrong movie.

Be Kind Rewind begins with a short history of jazz in Harlem, leading up to the story of local legend Fats Waller. Finally, when you see Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover are relating the story, you know you are in the right place.

Music-video-artist-turned-feature-filmmaker Michel Gondry has finally given audiences a follow-up to the very original and widely successful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Be Kind Rewind is similarly unique and as imaginatively humorous.

Mike (Def) and Jerry (Black) are childhood friends, having grown up in the low-rent neighbourhood of Passaic, New Jersey. Mike works at and lives above the neighbourhood video store with Mr. Fletcher (Glover). Unfortunately, business is slow and a development corporation is going to takeover the building complex and tear it down.

When Mr. Fletcher leaves Mike in charge while he attends a memorial for Waller, his only instruction to Mike is “Keep Jerry Out.” Mike fails to follow the rules and every videotape in the store is mysteriously erased. To keep Mr. Fletcher from discovering the disaster, the boys offer hilarious remakes of all the films they carry. To justify the additional cost and longer wait periods, Jerry suggests the films are imported from Sweden and, therefore, “Sweded.” The term, coined by Gondry, is actually defined as “the practice of re-creating something from scratch using commonly available, everyday materials and technology.”

The first act of the film is somewhat bland and some scenes may leave you wondering if Mike is a little slow. But Academy Award winning writer/director Gondry’s innovative genius really shines through once Mike and Jerry begin filming. The techniques utilized to recreate certain scenes are amusingly inventive, such as a toy cars’ road mat below the characters to imply great distance from ground level. Films that are Sweded include Ghostbusters (with Jerry’s version of the theme music), Rush Hour 2, The Lion King, Robocop, Driving Miss Daisy, and Boyz n the Hood; with the help of the neighbourhood, they also create a period piece chronicling the life of Fats Waller.

Underneath it all, Be Kind Rewind is an exploration of the movie watching experience. The Sweded films are not meant to be exact recreations; we tend not to remember scenes exactly as they were. So instead, they capture the movie moments and feelings as they remember it – hence, a 90-minute film can be summed up in 20 minutes or less.

This film is not likely to become as popular or acclaimed as Eternal Sunshine but it is still a very clever and enjoyable comedy.