I Movies

Illusionist (2006)

IllusionistFour Stars

Who’s in it

Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell

Should you see this movie?

Yes. Sarah thought this movie was predictable, and me being the usual “enjoyer I don’t think too much” at movies didn’t see anything happening before it did, therefore I was surprised. A story about a man that creates amazing illusions, kind of like magic but much more, and the woman he loves. They are childhood lovers but are separated by class, but are reunited later in their lives in different circumstances. The acting here is solid, nothing to win an Oscar for, but you really watch this for the ideas and the suspended belief in the truth of whether something is possible. I think most people may like this, unless you are trying to predict how it will end like Sarah, then pass on this. But truly a different and interesting movie set in an interesting period and place.

Invincible (2006)

InvincibleFour and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks

Should you see this movie?

I enjoyed this movie a lot, and I think most people would regardless of whether they like football or not. It’s about a local guy in Philadelphia who gets the chance for an open tryout with the Eagles and against all odds, makes the team. But is a solid feel good movie from Disney, and it was said best when it was said this is “The Rookie” movie but for football. It would have been perfect except for this short bizarre slow motion mud football scene that really does nothing for me and was really distracting. But seriously, see this, Wahlberg is so fat it’s amazing.

Inside Man (2006)

Inside ManThree and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, William Dafoe, Christopher Plummer, Jody Foster

Should you see this movie?

This was a decent movie with a great cast. The title is interesting, implying something different than it actually is. The movie centers around a bank heist and the demands from a highly intelligent ringleader to the middle of the road cop Denzel Washington. Throw in Foster’s character, you love to hate her, and you have a really interesting push and pull. In the end though, the bad guys aren’t nearly as bad as they seem, and there are motives that date back some 60 years, and you’ll have to watch to find out what they are. If you like any of these actors, it is a good film for all of them.

The Ice Harvest (2005)

The Ice HarvestThree Stars

Who’s in it

Billy Bob Thorton, John Cusak

What was good

John Cusak had some really funny lines, more so than usual in his quirky mannerisms. The first half of the movie, as the twists and turns were maybe not a surprise, but entertaining.

What sucked

The second half of the movie. It got really dark, and it kept twisting and turning too much, and a lot more violence. Cusak steals money from the mob, and then everyone is out to get everyone.

Who should go see this

People who like weird, twisted movies, which is a touch synonymous with John Cusak. This is a darker comedy even for Cusak who has been in Grosse Point Blank. I wouldn’t recommend this is any of my friends though, it just wasn’t an entertaining movie, and didn’t have a real touching story, instead spent most of the movie in strip clubs.

The Island (2005)

Rothe Blog Movies The IslandFour Stars

Starring Scarlett Johansson and Ewan MacGregor, directed by Michael Bay who brought us The Rock and other action packed movies, this one has a little bit more under the advertised surface.

In a Utopian society that is protected under the veil of a larger plague, a population of firmly controlled people believe themselves to be the last surviving members of the human race after a huge plague has swept the earth. Only the Island is the last remaining place that is not infected. Ewan MacGregor is the one person to question this, and many other things, and soon enough learns that The Island is a lie, and witnesses another survivor being dissected on an operating table.

Knowing he must escape, he takes Scarlett with him and on a breathtaking enthralling never ending chase scene, they brake out of the complex into the real world. As the movie progresses, we learn that the people at this facility are clones, paid for by wealthy individuals to prolong their own lives in case something goes wrong. Grown at the same age of life as the wealthy individuals, the clones serve as spare parts if needed.

The action in this movie is awesome, especially the scenes on the highway with the Train wheels. But the movie is kind of a commentary on life, cloning, and the human race and how it would evolve beyond anything science could ever anticipate in a

Because of some of the scenes that make you go, “Ouch! Damn”, I don’t think this is a movie I would watch over and over. But if you have a touch of an open mind, you may check this out. Action packed, different, and a bit philosophical, I think my dad might like it, but my mom would not. Strict conservatives stay away, but generation-x needs to see this one.

The Interpreter (2005)

Rothe Blog Movies The InterpreterFour and a Half Stars

This movie was a great surprise. Starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, this movie shows how sometimes, in the end, no matter how good a person can become, their past can haunt them, or vice versa.

Nicole Kidman was smart and believable as The Interpreter, with an upbringing in southern Africa she is able to speak a tribal dialect that only a few others on the earth can speak as well as English. While returning back to the UN building to get some of her things, she overhears an assassination plot spoken in this language and fears for her life. She has people all around watching and tracking her, most of them wanting her dead.

Sean Penn does a good job as usual, always with emotion right at the surface. Penn is an FBI agent that wants to help, but tries not to get too close, as he investigates the accusations she is making. As he digs deeper into Kidman, he finds a painful and sorted past that includes half of her family killed in the war in Africa and photos of her at rebellion rallies to overthrow the country.

Everyone should see this. You never know how it will turn out, whether she is really evil and hiding it, or if the FBI will find the killer among so many people that happen to be in one city, all at once. Kidman and Penn do excellent jobs, without too much foul language or too much gory violence.

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Rothe Blog I Heart HuckabeesTwo Stars

Oh Boy, where to start. I think it is Jason Schwartzmann. Maybe it is Dustin Hoffman, he has been in a ton of weird roles lately, or maybe it is Naomi Watts, who is in a bunch of oft kilter movies herself. But this movie is philosophical and weird, and will make you laugh if you step back and think about what you just saw. From Lilly Tomlin and Hoffmann running around with their spy equipment looking through garbage cans, or Mark Wahlburg and Jason riding bikes around in a fireman’s suit and suit respectively. About finding deeper meaning to things in life, Schwartzmann hires an agency to help investigate a coincidence he has had, running into a Nigerian man on three separate occasions. The movie kind of takes off into strangeville from there with commentary on capitalism, beauty, and development.

If you like movies Schwartzmann has been in, you will like this. Otherwise, stay away from this unless you are drunk and feel like thinking way too hard about things. This isn’t one of those enjoyable weird movies. Like his breakout role in Rushmore from 98, you wonder why there was any acclaim for this movie, I just was a sucker for a cool graphical marketing campaign.