Tag Archives: Elisabeth Shue

[Review] – Chasing Mavericks

7 Nov

Title: Chasing Mavericks
Year: 2012
Directors: Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted
Writer: Kario Salem, based on a story by Jim Meenaghan and Brandon Hooper
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Leven Rambin, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Taylor Handley
MPAA Rating: PG, thematic elements and some perilous action
Runtime: 116 min
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 34%
Metacritic: 44

The thing that drew me the most to Chasing Mavericks wasn’t it’s real life story or the cast or anything like that, it was actually the rather strange combination of the directors that paired up to bring Jay Moriarty’s story to life. These are two veteran directors, Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted; the former the man responsible for films like L.A. Confidential (he won an Oscar for writing that one) as well as Wonder Boys, and the latter is the director of the DGA responsible for works ranging from episodes of the TV series Rome to a James Bond film to the acclaimed Up Series of documentaries.

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[Review] – House at the End of the Street

5 Oct

Title: House at the End of the Street
Year: 2012
Director: Mark Tonderai
Writers: David Loucka and Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows, Elisabeth Shue
MPAA Rating: PG-13, intense sequences of violence and terror, thematic elements, language, some teen partying and brief drug material
Runtime: 101 min
IMDb Rating: 5.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 12%
Metacritic: 31

I had heard some pretty awful things about House at the End of the Street, the latest generic horror movie offering out in theaters right now, and while it’s certainly far from being anything close to good, I kind of think it’s a slightly more competent feature than most people are making it out to be. Again, this is not to say it’s a good film, it really isn’t, but the sheer fact that the mandatory hot girl running around in a tank top screaming her ass off in this one is Jennifer Lawrence already makes it a better film than most of its horrid contemporaries.

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[Review] – Hope Springs

29 Aug

Title: Hope Springs
Year: 2012
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue
MPAA Rating: PG-13, mature thematic content involving sexuality
Runtime: 100 min
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Metacritic: 66

I have a total and unapologetic love for The Devil Wears Prada. I read and like the book, and then I saw and absolutely loved the movie. Everything about that film was pretty great, the soundtrack, the fashion, Anne Hathaway and, of course, most of all, Meryl Streep as the inimitably ruthless Miranda Priestly. That role got Ms. Streep her 14th Academy Award nomination, and even though it would take her three further tries to finally win her third golden man last year, it really was a terrific performance that only a living legend like her could have played that well.

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[Trailer] – House at the End of the Street

1 Jun

All gorgeous young actresses have a requisitory horror movie to make. And Jennifer Lawrence‘s is House at the End of the Street, and you can watch the second trailer for it after the cut.

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[Trailer] – Hope Springs

25 Apr

In case you thought Meryl Streep was done racking up Oscar nominations, here’s another film that may just get her to expand her own record and get an eighteenth nomination. She is, after all, reteaming with her The Devil Wears Prada director, David Frankel, for Hope Springs (formerly titled Great Hope Springs), for which a trailer hast just been released, and you can watch it after the cut.

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[Trailer] – House At The End Of The Street

31 Mar


Jennifer Lawrence got an Oscar nomination for the impeccable Winter’s Bone, where she proved her chops as an actress in a tremendous indie production. She also, as you may have heard, headlined The Hunger Games, which just scored the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all-time. In between projects, though, she shot House at the End of the Street, which just got a trailer which you can watch above.

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Piranha 3D

6 Sep

Title: Piranha 3D
Year: 2010
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writers: Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Jessica Szohr, Steven R. McQueen, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss
MPAA Rating: R, sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
Runtime: 88 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

Piranha 3D is nowhere near good, but I liked it because this was a film that never intended to be good, it just intended to be a cool hour and a half of campy fun, and as that it does succeed, serving up gore and nudity alike, so at least this one lived up to the expectations surrounding it. I mean, really, as ridiculous as it might have looked, there’s no way any other movie could have a mass dismemberment spree in the middle of a wet t-shirt contest look as cool as this one did.

If you don’t like B-movies, and many people don’t, then Piranha 3D is not for you. But at least this is a film that advertised itself as such, so there’s no chance you’ll go to a theatre to see this one thinking otherwise, this one really wanted to be the sort of film so bad that it’s good. However, what keeps this one from being a really good crappy B-movie is the fact that it seemed, or at least it did to me, to be trying too desperately to get the cheap laughs these sort of films usually get. In most of these campy type of flicks there are some scares, or at least the film tries to go for them, only to afterwards make something look cheesy and get some good laughs. This one seemingly focussed too much on the laughs that it actually forgot to approach the scary part of it all, so there’s that to dislike about this film, though, all in all, it delivers some fun moments.

What I did like about the film, and got much of my fun out of, is the talent of the castmembers. Elisabeth Shue is an Academy Award-nominated actress, Adam Scott is a guy who can seriously act (just look at his turn in two painfully short-lived TV series: Tell Me You Love Me or the recently cancelled Party Down), Christopher Lloyd has three Emmy’s, and that’s not to mention Richard Dreyfuss, who’s kind of revisiting his legendary Jaws character for a cameo in this film. So yes, the talent pool for a movie this ridiculous kind of added this false sense of seriousness that was just fun as hell to watch.

The concept is pretty simple, and is developed in its entirety in the two-minute trailer. There are lots of women dancing around in bikinis, and sometimes not even in that, and then a hungry lot of piranhas come around and there’s a whole lot of blood and breasts and killing. And it’s all in 3D, which of course adds to the amazingness of it all.

That’s why I really can’t say that many bad things about Piranha 3D, other than the already-stated fact that it goes easy on the scares even though B-movies usually try hard to get those, but other than that it’s exactly the film it advertised itself as. And that’s something I appreciate, nowadays films that know they’re a bit bad try and do stuff on their trailers and marketing campaigns to lure audiences into thinking the movie offers something it really doesn’t. Piranha 3D was clear that it would show a lot of naked or severed flesh, and that’s exactly what it served us, and sure, it won’t be for everyone, but at least people that liked the trailer won’t be disappointed. This is your typical R-rated film designed for mid-teens that like boobs and blood and have barely enough facial hair to get into R-rated films in the first place.

I do have to pause for a bit before ending my review to congratulate whoever came up with that Richard Dreyfuss moment I referenced above. The film just starts with him as a guy named Matt fishing and singing the same song his character in Jaws, also named Matt, sang. That has to go down as one of the best cameos in film this year, unfortunately that was also by far the wittiest moment this film had to offer, and it occurred way too early into it.

I won’t go into the “main plot” because, as I said, all you really need to know if you are thinking about seeing this film, is that digitally created swarms of predatory fish go and eat up lots of people, mostly pretty ladies with their breasts uncovered, and there’s a lot of blood and assorted dismembered body parts flying around. That’s seriously all there is to this film, don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. Just go see this one if you think you’ll have a kick out of that or, like me, out of seeing some serious actors in supporting roles doing some ridiculous things. There are some laughs in that, I guess.

Grade: B-