Movie Review: High School Musical 3: Senior Year

High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Directed by Kenny Ortega
Starring Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu
Rated G
Release Date: October 24, 2008

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (HSM3-SR) can best be described as an excuse for dancing, singing campiness.

High school basketball superstar Try Bolton (Zac Efron) has to decide what he wants to do with his life when he graduates. His father wants him to follow his basketball talent, but Julliard comes to scout his drama talents. His girlfriend, Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) has been accepted to Stanford University in California. His girlfriend encourages him to join the school play. Also in the play is diva Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), her choreographer brother Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel), basketball buddy Chad Daforth (Corbin Bleu), and talented composer Kelsi Nielsen (Oleysa Rulin). The quirky drama teacher Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) leads the group through their most important play.

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Movie Review: Body of Lies

Body of Lies
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alon Abutbul, Mark Strong
Rated R
Release Date: October 10, 2008

CIA spy Roger Ferris is sent to Jordan to find a Middle Eastern terrorist in Body of Lies. Smart but spent, Body of Lies is an American stereotype done up nice.

Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio), a CIA agent in Iraq, is reassigned to Jordan to find Al-Saleem (Alon Abutbul), a terrorist threatening to commit attacks all over Europe. Contrary to and against the warning of his successors, Ferris decides to include the Head of Jordanian General Intelligence Department, the well dressed and brilliant Hani Salaam (Mark Strong) in the planning to catch this terrorist. Overweight and callous CIA boss Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe), lives in Washington DC and manages Ferris. It is obvious that Hoffman has left a trail of burned relationships in his wake.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe give equally convincing performances. DiCaprio puts his angry face on as he runs around, refreshingly innocent and naive for a spy. Crowe taps into a smarmy quality in a deep, cold sense. Even though both Crowe and DiCaprio are fun to watch, Body of Lies belongs to Mark Strong.

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Movie Review: Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye
Directed by D.J. Caruso
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thorton, Rosario Dawson
Rated PG-13
Release date: September 26, 2008

Boom, Bang, Vroom, Huh?, Crash, Kablam = Eagle Eye. A true escapist movie, Eagle Eye is explosive fun, as long as you don’t think too much and you don’t mind commercials.

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf), an underachieving slacker, is blackmailed into a criminal situation, directed only by a woman over the phone that seems able to access all the electronics connected by some kind of network. Rachel Hollowman (Michelle Monaghan) is driven into the same situation with Jerry when her son is threatened. FBI Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thorton) and Air Force Investigator Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson) are assigned to investigate Shaw, and, as a consequence, Rachael. They all are led by the seat of their pants on the path the woman on the phone decides.

Eagle Eye is a two-hour chase scene. Jerry and Rachael are chased by the FBI, the Air Force, and the woman over the phone. The FBI and Air Force are hampered by the outstanding power of the woman on the phone. The cat and mouse game often drew me to the edge of my seat. There is a particular scene involving luggage that made me laugh and dodge in my seat.

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Movie Review: Sex and the City: The Movie

Sex and the City: The Movie
Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis
Rated R
Release date: May 30, 2008

The much loved HBO show characters Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda come to the big screen in Sex and the City. A cheap, shallow, and annoying waste of film that made me shake my head so often, my neck needs chiropractic adjustment.

This travesty of character and plot development obliterates any chance I would even call Sex and the City a film instead of a TV movie with really good distribution. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) spends the entire TV movie trying to get married to Big (Chris Noth). Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) spends the entire TV movie trying to stay married to Steve (David Eigenberg). Samantha (Kim Cattrall) spends the entire TV movie trying to get laid. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) spends the entire TV movie, er, uhm, hmm, well, with nice hair. All the designers of New York masturbate all over the audience.

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The 3D Technology of ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’

At the Metreon Theater in San Francisco on February 22nd, the world premiere public viewing of new 3D technology featured in the upcoming Journey to the Center of the Earth dazzled its watchers. Present for the unveiling was Journey‘s star Brendan Fraser, producer Charlotte Clay Huggins, and visual effects editor Ed Marsh. The audience was offered the trailer for Journey to the Center of the Earth followed by five scenes from the film to judge the quality of the visuals.

“No film was hurt in the making of this movie,” Fraser informed the audience during a question and answer session after the showing. Journey to the Center of the Earth was shot completely digitally, giving the filmmakers more control over any visual convergence (the way our eyes focus on objects at different distances) problems by getting instant feedback to ensure the proper positioning of cameras. The consensus of the panel was that the new 3D technology is substantially more satisfying to watch because it does not use a mix of digital and analog media as previous classes of 3D. The visual teams and the director, Eric Brevig, could instantly look at what was just shot by the cameras and make horizontal and vertical changes to prevent eye strain and nausea as well as create 3D effects to trick the mind. Fraser touted the new technology as “the pointy end of the spear.”

Journey to the Center of the Earth is being flaunted as the first 3D live-action movie. “There is no cheating in 3D. Every texture has to be believable,” explained Huggins. “The audience is there with them [the characters in the film].” Everything within reach of the actors had to be tangible but everything out of the range of the actors, in most of the movie, was generated by computers.

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