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Starsky & Hutch

'S&H ... (a)shining lights in this genre' of TV /movie take offs
Movie versions of ages old television shows is a big trend in the last few years. Some are quite bad but Starsky & Hutch is one of the shining lights in this genre.

Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson play Starsky & Hutch, teaming up yet again, and do it very very well. Some of the sequences in the film are side splittingly funny but the film is guaranteed to entertain throughout, maybe more so to people who have some recollection of the original show. The men who were the titles characters on television make a fitting cameo in the film. The seventies look and feel of the film is recreated well, down to small details of clothes, moustache and hair styles, perms and the like.

Carmen Electra & Holly provide some moments of titillation as has been heavily advertised in the TV ads for the film, two girls kissing ('ooh') and their night out with the guys to a disco club, ala' Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta.

If you are looking for a good giggle then you can't go wrong in seeing this film.

The Salton Sea

...A decent mystery, darkish thriller, some noir, drugs, love lost, and cops...
The Salton Sea is an interesting film. It is a film that looks initially to be about drugs and the people who take them. Val Kilmer is in the lead role as a tweaker of crystal meth, and other substances, as well as a quite good sounding trumpet player. He begins by telling the viewer, via narration, explaining that he does not know who he really is and asks you to decide as we wind back through a recent period of his life to see how he came to where we first meet him.

The movie gets its title from a key event to the film occurred at the Salton Sea and Kilmer's character has a huge tattoo in memory of this.

What unravels is an intricate mystery that holds the viewers' attention but only just. The story is quite good but it is not in your face as one might expect a film of this acting calibre. It sunk at the cinema but maybe due to its art-house feel and advertising did not communicate this.

Vincent D'Onofrio is nearly unrecognizably as unpredictable drug dealer Pooh Bear, named as such because of his flat nose, and Danny Trejo is here as one of his scary henchmen.

If you are looking for a decent mystery, darkish thriller, some noir, drugs, love lost, and cops, then you could not go far wrong renting The Salton Sea.

Shattered Glass

...on the whole a very good film but loses something towards the end.
Set in 1998, Shattered Glass is drama about a journalist set in the offices of highly regarded American journal, 'The New Republican', which boasts that it is the only one read on the Presidents plane Air Force One.

Shattered Glass is a quite entertaining and thought provoking, visceral film which could easily be a dull and boring piece of cinema but these fine actors hone this to be one drama that keeps your interest. Hayden Christensen is Stephen Glass the new 'hot shot' young journalist on the team of a groundbreaking publication. He hits a mark as an actor in this film where you feel he is quite unlike what he did in the Star Wars prequels that disappointed so many fans. Who would of thought this possible? … Here Glass is funny, intelligent, and a popular colleague but possibly becomes what could be a thorn to the team.

Zahn plays journalist Adam Penenberg with an internet magazine whose interest is spiked by his boss editor who finds an article, that was written by Glass, about a hacker which appears in the 'The New Republican'. His editor knows one 1-2 items in the article are untrue and asks Zahn to follow it up. Zahn does and these false items in the article snowball. The 2 magazine editors meet on this point, Azaria is great as Michael Kelly the popular New Republican editor.

I am sure Tom Cruise as an associate producer helped get this film off the ground that possibly would have been a bland story without his backing and attracting the actors Shattered Glass has.

Hank Azaria and Chloe Sveginy are very good here as is Skaarsgaard. Zahn shines also.

There are post-scripts at the end of the film but it was a shame at least the main female character Chloë Sevigny as Caitlin Avey, whom we come to care for in her pivotal role should of at least been honoured. Unfortunately only the 3-4 main male characters get this privilege.

Shattered Glass is on the whole a very good film but loses something towards the end.

Something's Gotta Give

Quite unrealistic but thats drama, Jack & Diane shine
Somethings Gotta Give is a very funny film. It has the style of a Doris Day film but with a modern feel and themes. Nancy Meyers who wrote and directed the Mel Gibson /Helen Hunt film 'What Women Want' brings romance again to the screen once more with her second writer and directing accomplishment with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton.

The track 'Butterfly' that accompanies the opening credits sets the tone for the film and Nicholsons' character Harry Sanborn narration sets it in concrete. This film uses Jack Nicholsons celebrity stereotype as its storyline for 'Something's Gotta Give' that he likes his women young and somethings' gonna happen.

Jack Nicholson plays a successful, and as always… cheeky, entrepreneur who has come with his new young girlfriend Marin, played by Amanda Peet, to her her mums weekender beach house to consummate their relationship. Her mother Erica Barry played by Diane Keaton who, of course, appears & can't believe older Harry is her daughters' new boyfriend. That night Harry has a heart attack and is rushed to hospital. Here we meet Dr Mercer played by Keanu Reeves. Harry told not to travel in his condition is forced to stay at the house with disapproving Keaton.

Keanu taking a shine to mother Erica (Keaton) provides us viewers a polar opposite view to Harry, as Keanu likes his women older and more mature.

All the characters here are successful people, Keaton is a playwright while her sister is a university lecturer, Jack is a music producer and Reeves is doctor.

So '… Gotta Give' is quite unrealistic… That’s drama eh, suspend realism and go with it… But then it could be I suppose.

Yes, mum is disapproving as Jack is her age and is going out with her daughter but things happen so she learns some life lessons. Besides, what is a big American film without life lessons and morals? She does as well as old dog Jack.

There are great character roles in Frances McDormand as Keatons' sister Zoe and Jon Favreau shines as Leo, Harrys assistant.

Somethings Gotta Give is funny, sad and entertaining. Nothing deep but this film is… nice.

The teaming of actors Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton might alone be enough to excite some people to see this film, and that is very well justified because their chemistry is easily seen here as together they shine.


See it at your peril
Five minutes in and Gothika did not feel right, Cruz does not click as a psych patient, her mannerisms, behaviour… And Halle Berry, coincidentally named Miranda Grey - shades of X-Men anyone?, doesn’t do it for me in her role either. Downey Jr. is the bright star in this cloudy sky that is Gothika.

This is French director Mathieu Kassovitz's second American film, first being Assassins with Sharon Stone and 'Sly' Stallone, and first came to international acclaim with La Haine (Hate) in 1995. His last film was Crimson Rivers that starred Jean Reno and was panned widely by critics.

Why is there 3 producers in this film? Joel Silver, Zemeckis and Ms. Was this film in trouble? Halle seems like she wants to steal the B grade queen crown from Jamie Lee Curtis but I think she has a very long way to go before that but I do not think that is possible… See it at your peril

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