Last night, conservative pundit Glenn Beck regaled audiences across the country in his live performance of Broke: Restarting the Engine of America in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which was streamed to a limited selection of movie theaters. Meant to both promote and explain the content of Beck’s newest best-selling nonfiction book Broke: The Plan to Restore America's Trust, Truth, and Treasure, the performance was classic Beck: educational, humorous, passionate, and intimidating. If you missed out on yesterday’s performance, fear not, for an encore performance is scheduled in movie theaters next Wednesday, December 8.
Tangled is a reasonably entertaining film, with humor that is mildly encumbered by bouts of darker tones. It takes a relatively popular classic story, Rapunzel, and adds some finer elements and plot changes for an overall enjoyable movie that is most definitely oriented for younger female audiences.
The Next Three Days is the "other" film this weekend. You know, the one without teenage wizards running around. This movie, directed by Paul Haggis, features Russell Crowe as community college professor John Brennan, struggling to hold his family together in the face of hope-murdering odds: his wife, Lara, has been accused of murder and sentenced to life in prison; their young son, Luke, is struggling with the absence of his mother; and the legal bills are piling up with bankruptcy looming on the near horizon.
Part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is incredibly entertaining and exciting, but far too mature for younger audiences. The film really proves that the characters (as well as the actors) have grown up, and as they age, the external and internal pressures increase dramatically.
Someone must have forgotten to tell director Tony Scott that the old insult, “You couldn't direct a train wreck,” was never meant to be a challenge because he decided to try it. The result of that decision is Unstoppable, a movie inspired by a real-life runaway train in 2001 and Scott's second outing on the tracks, his first being The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Scott is in his element with Unstoppable. The film is textbook filmmaking with the ante being raised at every hair raising curve.
Morning Glory is not your average chick flick, though it embodies most of the necessary elements in order to be characterized as such. Of course, there is a beautiful and highly capable protagonist in need of a hero, and a handsome man with whom the lovely leading lady becomes enamored, but in a deviation from the standard chick flick, he is not a prince charming who swoops in and saves the day. In fact, our heroine owes much more of her “rescue” to a significantly older gentleman, and above all, to herself.
Due Date begins innocently enough with Robert Downey, Jr.'s character, Pete Highman, leaving his pregnant wife a message on her voice mail consisting mostly of his opinion on various names for their baby. She is due to have a C-section in a few days and the day scheduled for the procedure is where the film gets its title. Of course, if you have seen the trailer, you already know that. In fact, if you have seen the trailer, you probably know how the rest of the film goes as well. It is a fairly straightforward buddy comedy.
Megamind is a fun tale of a struggle between good and evil, unique in that the most important clash is between Megamind and Megamind. When confronted by Metroman (the good guy), Megamind relished his role as the villain. Once Megamind found himself in a greatly different position, however, he had to decide if the path he was to choose would be the road less traveled.
Conviction tells the real-life story of a single mother named Betty Ann Waters, who tended bar while acquiring her GED, bachelor’s degree, and then her law degree, all so that she could represent her brother Kenny, wrongly convicted of murder. Both the film and the true story are accounts of incredible loyalty, courage, and determination.
Hereafter effectively brings spirituality to real-life events, ranging from the now-historic 2004 Indonesian tsunami to the terrorist attacks of a London train station. It highlights the very question nearly every person asks, particularly during the most trying times: What happens after death? Hereafter ventures a guess that will help audiences remember their faith.
Retirement. The word can conjure visions of sweet oases of rest and relaxation between games of golf and lazy morning bouts with crossword puzzles, a permanent wave good-bye to the daily grind. Or it can conjure nightmares of days with nothing more to do than contemplate the cruelty of impending infirmity and reminisce about youthful revelries over jello and re-runs of The Price Is Right.