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.
Secretariat, directed by Randall Wallace, opens with Secretariat's owner, Penny Chenery, quoting a Bible verse from Job. In the verse, God speaks of the horse in vivid language that evokes images of power and majesty. He describes His creation as a proud and haughty beast whose stride “swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage” and whose neck is “clothed with thunder.” One could be forgiven for assuming that God was speaking of one horse in particular. With a stride that swallowed the ground at a gluttonous 25 feet and a neck that one Time reporter compared to a buffalo's, no horse epitomizes equinity quite like Secretariat.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is by far one of the better films to be produced in recent years. But viewers beware — the film's melodramatics have a lasting, haunting effect. Yet is has the unique ability to add levity to some heavy, hard-hitting material, making its title a perfect fit.
In early 2004, Mark Zuckerberg founded Thefacebook.com in a dorm room at the not-so-humble nursery of the elite, Harvard University. The world, for better or worse, has not been the same since. Nor is it likely to be for quite some time to come. Flash forward to today. Thefacebook.com is now simply Facebook.com and, with over 500 million members, has permeated nearly every aspect of modern-day life. The only untouched reaches of the 21st century are either rebellious holdouts, grandma and grandpa, clueless parents, or those understandably leery of what the privacy implications of this technological behemoth may be. It was only a matter of time for the site and its founder to receive their very own silver screen treatment.
Watching Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is analogous to viewing James Cameron’s 1997 hit, The Titanic. Both films generate the same sense of impending doom, rendering moviegoers with a feeling of helplessness as they sit and watch a tragedy befall that potentially could have been avoided. Where Wall Street differs from The Titanic, however, is in the realization that the disaster is continuing to unfold today. Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps encapsulates the 2008 market crash and depicts the adage “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Audiences may be surprised that the film does not trash the George W. Bush administration, considering Stone's directorship.
Alpha and Omega features the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panetierre, Danny Glover, and Dennis Hopper (in one of his last performances) and tells the tale of two Canadian wolves, Kate and Humphrey, both of whom are relocated by Fish and Game officials from their home in Jasper National Park to Idaho.
There are two categories of movie-goers: those who love M. Night Shyamalan’s films, and those who despise them. I count myself among those who thoroughly enjoy the works of Shyamalan and would add his newest film, Devil, to his repertoire of great productions. Known for his use of the classic “twist,” Shyamalan deviates slightly from his previous films in that the ending of Devil does not include a twist, but shockingly, a valuable Christian message.
Resident Evil: Afterlife is written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and is the fourth in a series of films based on the concept of the Resident Evil video game series. The franchise follows the exploits of Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, as she attempts to survive a zombie apocalypse while simultaneously trying to destroy The Umbrella Corporation, the evil organization that caused it.
The independent British exposé film Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis released last spring has been made available to Internet viewers on YouTube for free. The documentary provides a valuable warning for Americans that the real estate bubble/bust is small compared with the current bailout bubble being built up with government “stimulus” money and practically zero percent interest rates manipulated by the Federal Reserve Bank.
George Clooney’s newest film, The American, directed by Anton Corbijn, is a sort of combination of Clooney’s past films Up in the Air and Ocean’s Twelve/Thirteen. In one sense, Clooney’s character is deep, profound, and brooding, much like his character in Up in the Air. Yet though detailed and precise he is also an immoral “bad guy,” which is of the same vein as the character he played in the Ocean’s films. Unfortunately, The American deviates from the aforementioned films in that it fails to maintain the audience’s attention, sympathy, or concern for the character’s final outcome.