Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’

This week’s releases include: a journey through a boy’s imagination; a terrifying situation; a family of secret agents; a muscular warrior adventure; a fact or fiction mystery; a cop’s dilemma; two features by a historic director; a twin performance; a family turned upside down; the end to a decade’s long journey; an ‘80s buddy picture; an immoral life path; a quest for morality; a reluctant father embraces his children; and a journey through the past to recover the present. (more…)

Advertisements

This week’s releases span the spectrum: a weapons expert seeks a more serene existence; a couple of tourists fall victim to human trafficking; an international spy lives a complex but hilarious life of luxury and tactlessness; a couple of memorable ne’er-do-wells from Calgary return for their sequel; and Alice once again takes on the Umbrella Corporation. (more…)

A season of thrills and chills calls for the release of equally spine-tingling entertainment. The inclusion of a few laughs, animation and some film classics makes for a well-rounded and notable month of releases. (more…)


There have been numerous serious movies made over the last few years about the Iraq war, many of which have not been very good (with at least one exception being The Hurt Locker released earlier this year). The Men Who Stare at Goats takes a satirical approach to the situation instead and does so quite successfully.

Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is a down on his luck reporter looking for a story that will put him back in the good graces of the wife that just left him. His early lead is on a secret government project that sought to harness the power of psychics for peaceful resolutions to war. Although Bob’s contact sounded somewhat outside of reality, he did reveal the name of the “Jedi project’s” top operative: Lyn Cassady. Having hit a dead end, Bob goes to Iraq in the hopes of displaying the courage of a war correspondent. Stuck in Kuwait awaiting approval, Bob strikes up a conversation with a stranger who turns out to be Cassady (George Clooney). The two embark on a strange adventure while Cassady reveals how the “Jedi warriors” were trained and his real purpose for his trip to Iraq.

The movie opens with: “More of this is true than you would believe.” The fun is in deciding which elements are truths versus fiction. The title comes from an experiment in which a psychic was told to concentrate on a goat in an attempt to stop its heart. The army slogan “Be all you can be” was given a whole new meaning the moment these super soldiers were recruited for the top secret project.

The strong male cast consists of McGregor, Clooney, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. McGregor shows his usual enthusiasm at this new world he is uncovering; his disbelief is quickly replaced by an eager desire to learn the methods of the psychic army. Clooney takes on another peculiar character with Cassady, a man who steadfastly believes in his abilities, which makes him appear slightly crazy most of the time. Spacey is a play by the rules type of soldier that joins a unit that doesn’t have rules, creating tension in the once happy hippie ranks. Bridges is the commanding officer within Project Jedi. He was assigned to explore methods of meditation and the power of the mind, returning a hippie ready for non-combative engagement.

The Men Who Stare at Goats is an offbeat comedy about the side of the war we really didn’t know about. The “New Earth Army Manual” is a bizarre set of instructions that makes references to both Jesus and Disney; and the subliminal message advising soldiers not to use their weapons while intoxicated is hidden in the song “Wishin’ and Hopin’.” This is a movie about the war that is sure to get audiences thinking, but in a totally different way.


The Batman franchise is one of the most successful in comic book-movie history; and it continues to thrive.

The Batman Anthology contains the first four film installments, starring Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney in the title role.

In Batman, the caped crusader (Keaton) faces off against Joker (Jack Nicholson). At the same time, Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne tries to juggle a relationship with psychiatrist Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) while keeping his secret identity under wraps.

In Batman Returns, the dark knight (Keaton) has his hands full dealing with Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). The latter battle is further complicated by an undeniable attraction between the two adversaries.

In Batman Forever, the big bat’s (Kilmer) enemies join forces to put the odds in their favour. Two-face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey) scheme together to uncover Batman’s true identity and prepare a surprise attack. Meanwhile, Wayne tries to mentor a young man (Chris O’Donnell) and prevent him from going down the same path of vigilante justice.

In Batman and Robin, the masked crime fighter (Clooney) and his sidekick (O’Connell) take on Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).

The first two chapters were directed by Tim Burton. His dark sensibility was perfectly suited to the story. The invention of Catwoman in Batman Returns is exceptionally well-done. Under Joel Schumacher’s wing, Batman Forever aimed for a somewhat lighter tone, particularly with the casting of Carrey; and although it wasn’t a complete disaster it was not up to par. The fourth flick is by far the worst episode of the series, with the weakest character development and lamest story arcs.

But this neat little package makes even the worst of the films worth owning. Taking the lid off the box reveals four individually packaged Blu-ray discs and each disc contains more than five hours of special features. The bonus elements explore every facet of the film from start to finish with countless interviews with cast, directors and crew as well clips from each film, arranged in character profiles, documentaries, featurettes and director commentaries. Then there are extras like the Prince music videos for Batman Returns, which add another angle to the Batman experience. The high-def presentations of the pictures, particularly the first two that highlight all the varieties of darkness used, are stunning. Finally, a digital copy of Batman is included in the package.


This is top-notch Coen Brothers and will have you laughing from beginning to end. A must-see and see again flick.

Osborne (John Malkovich) was a C.I.A. analyst until he quit after what he felt was an unfair demotion. Larry (George Clooney) is a U.S. Marshall and married philanderer who is sleeping with Osborne’s wife (Tilda Swinton). He is also dating Linda (Frances McDormand), who along with her can-do best friend Chad (Brad Pitt) is blackmailing Osborne over some “sensitive” information found in the locker room at Hardbodies Fitness Center, where they work.

On the surface this sounds like it could be a political drama but when all the characters are blunderers it tends to go in a different direction. Designers faced a difficult task in making two of People’s sexiest men alive into less attractive fools. For Clooney, it’s thoroughly achieved via a gold chain and high-wasted pants; Pitt has terribly bleached hair and is always bouncing to the beat of an iPod.

While many of the characters’ actions seem ridiculous, they actually have typical worries that plague the middle-aged – they’re just slightly more exaggerated than most people’s experiences.

The Coen Brothers have had their fair share of hits and misses over the years but this one is sure to be a winner. They wrote each part specifically for each actor and the players really step up to the challenge. Fortunately, they are all very strong and competent actors so no one overshadows anyone else. Nonetheless, JK Simmons has some of the best lines in the film as a C.I.A. superior.

As is habit with the Coens’ DVD releases, the bonus features feel insufficient. “Finding the Burn” is a five-minute “making of” featurette that reveals very little regarding the shooting process. “DC Insiders Run Amuck” is 12-minutes and is divided into sections dedicated to the actor and his/her character, with each relating how the costume was significant to their persona. Lastly, “Welcome Back, George” is an amusing, short featurette about the Clooney’s tendency to be cast as a fool by the Coen Brothers. With such an extraordinary and entertaining cast, the lack of special features will only leave you wanting more.

The Coen Brothers were scheduled to shoot Burn After Reading before No Country for Old Men but attempting to bring together a cast of this magnitude requires some shuffling. When it all comes together though, the result is extraordinary.

Osborne (John Malkovich) was a C.I.A. analyst until he quit after what he felt was an unfair demotion. Larry (George Clooney) is a U.S. Marshall and married philanderer who is sleeping with Osborne’s wife (Tilda Swinton). He is also dating Linda (Frances McDormand), who along with her can-do best friend Chad (Brad Pitt) is blackmailing Osborne over some “sensitive” information found in the locker room at Hardbodies Fitness Center, where they work.

On the surface this sounds like it could be a political drama but when all the characters are blunderers it tends to go in a different direction. Designers faced a difficult task in making two of People’s sexiest men alive into less attractive fools. For Clooney, it’s thoroughly achieved via a gold chain and high-wasted pants; Pitt has terribly bleached hair and is always bouncing to the beat of an iPod.

While many of the characters’ actions seem ridiculous, they actually have typical worries that plague the middle-aged – they’re just slightly more exaggerated than most people’s experiences.

The Coen Brothers have had their fair share of hits and misses over the years but this one is sure to be a winner. They wrote each part specifically for each actor and the players really step up to the challenge. Fortunately, they are all very strong and competent actors so no one overshadows anyone else. Nonetheless, JK Simmons has some of the best lines in the film as a C.I.A. superior.