Month: June 2008
Steve Carell plays Maxwell Smart, a man devoted to his job. He writes long reports and deciphers conversations. Though his reports are actually very important, almost no one reads them. His wish is to be an agent of CONTROL. When he finally gets his wish, he is on a mission to discover where KAOS planted a nuclear bomb. His lovely partner, Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), has looks and skills. She can really kick some butt. The brawn of the equation, Agent 23, is played well by Dwayne Johnson. The chief of CONTROL is played by Alan Arkin. The jokes are excellent and manage not to drag on like in some films. Steve Carell is very funny and always gets the best laughs, just as he does playing the other bumbling idiot he plays on The Office. The film is funny and exciting and perfect for the family. The film is based on the 1960s television series created by Mel Brooks. This is not the first incarnation of Maxwell Smart on the big screen. In 1980, The Nude Bomb was released in theaters. Smart is kind of a James Bond wannabe. He wants the girls, the gadgets, and to defeat the bad guys, but sometimes he can just fall flat on his face. He gets gadgets, which are created by a team of “geeks” named Bruce and Lloyd (Masi Oka and Nate Torrence, who also star in a direct-to-DVD feature film called Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control). The stunts are really wonderful to watch and a little mind boggling. (It is a wonder to me as to how they got Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell up in the air skydiving.) Terrance Stamp, who plays KAOS’s representative Sigfried, is kind of a scary Bond villain. He has a very cold look in his eye and e is always as cool as a cucumber. He also likes classical music, his favorite piece being Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. His plan is to blow the Disney Concert Hall up using his favorite song. I won’t tell you the ending, but it’s a “bang” good movie. With action that will blow you away, jokes that will make you laugh time after time, and a script that doesn’t let down (written by Matt Ember and Tom Astle), it’s Smart and fun film!
It has been almost twenty years since we last joined Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) on an exciting adventure. This adventure is one of the fastest paced and strangest adventures in the series. We begin in Nevada, where Dr. Jones, played by Ford laboriously and quite excellently, has been kidnapped by KGB agents looking for an artifact in a warehouse. One KGB agent in particular, Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), is a mean Ukrainian who is as superstitious as someone who who works with Fox Moulder. In an action packed sequence, our mild mannered teacher dons his fedora and becomes our hero Indy. He escapes and gets back to civilization, only to be investigated by the FBI. After an interrogation about Communism, our hero returns to his college to become, once again, mild mannered Dr. Jones. When requested to search for an old friend by a kid named Mutt Williams (Shia LeBeouf). He brings a letter to Dr. Jones written by an old friend of his by the name of Harold Oxely (John Hurt). In the letter is a riddle revealing the whereabouts of a certain artifact that got him captured by the Russians. When they get to the grave yard of a Spaniard looking for treasure. What they find is a large elongated skull made of crystal. When they come out of the dirty catacomb, they get captured by the Reds…again. They get to the camp and find Mutt’s mother, Marion (Karen Allen), who was Indy’s old flame. What follows is an extremely weird adventure involving aliens, Mayans, and money. The film was enjoyable, but at times it felt as if it were too action packed; scene after scene of things blowing up, brass music of John Williams’s orchestrations, and wh-pshhh!! But it’s nice to have our old hero back for another adventure.
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Showtime’s notorious anthology show Masters of Horror had seemed to be picking up all the nonsense that the show became infamous for (blood, guts, nudity’ all gratuitous). But it was cancelled and moved to NBC under the title Fear Itself. Same premise; less graphic stuff. Apparently, when they switched, they thought that less is gore! Yes, bad pun. We All Scream For Ice Cream was an episode from the second season of MoH. It was directed by Tom Holland (Child’s Play and Fight Night) and it was adapted from a short story by John Farris (Prey). It is about the sins of a child and how years later they will still haunt that child. Buster the clown was a nice man who sold ice cream to kids. He was very sweet and really enjoyed his job. He was also mentally retarded,, which brought some unkind words to him. But when angry, rebellious, pompous, idiotic teens come around to tease the clown, you can say “Bye, Bye, Buster!”. The kids who committed the crime were young and didn’t know what they were doing. thirty years later, Lane moves back to town and all of the members of the junior Wild Bunch start to disappear. Buster (Will Forsythe, The Devil’s Rejects) has come back to get them by giving their kids an ice cream in the shape of the victim. When someone bites into the ice cream, the turns into melted ice cream. Less gory than most of the series and a surprisingly sympathetic villain. One of the best of the MoH series, though some scenes can be as slow as Buster’s ice cream truck.