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Showing posts from December, 2009

James Cameron Struts His Stuff in “Avatar”

Movie Title: Avatar (2009)
Spoilers: No

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In Avatar, James Cameron has shown that his directorial brilliance is still where it used to be. There is gold to be had in the seemingly empty mines of science fiction. Cameron creates not only a story that will stay true to your heart, but also an entire alien ecosystem that will stay in your mind. With almost the care of an entire team of scientists, Cameron constructs for us an alternate world with new types of aesthetically pleasing life.

In the future, mankind is exploring new worlds. It takes years to reach Earth’s newest planetary find, the planet Pandora. The crew is kept in a cryogenic state until they arrive. Pandora is home to the Na’vi, a tribal race of giant, blue humanoids who become known for their use of a deadly neurotoxin on the tips of their arrows.

With their own language and culture, the Na’vi are intelligent and spiritual, very connected with their planet. And it is their planet that has something that the humans want, a pr…

A Little Too Wholesome

Movie Title: The Blindside (2009)
Spoilers: No

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I feel stupid stating that America (and not just America) has come a long way in race relations. The majority has gone from unleashing packs of dogs and turning fire hoses on African-Americans to welcoming “them” in “our” schools and homes. And if The Blindside is to be imitated, non-blacks should have a production made of this progress.

The Blindside is the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless, African-American boy adopted by a well-off, white family who goes on to become a college football star, and from there, a pro NFL player. The film is based on the 2006 book by Michael Lewis titled: The Blindside: Evolution of a Game.

Once adopted, Oher (Quinton Aaron), whose mother was a drug addict and whose father was a victim of murder, has a whole new set of challenges in his new home. Among them is getting his grades up so that he can play college football. But he has the help of a loving, conservative Christian family at his side…

The Little Ninja's Room

Movie Title: Ninja Assassin (2009)
Spoilers: No

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James McTeigue’s Ninja Assassin, featuring Rain as Raizo and Naomi Harris as Mika, is a 2009 film about…get ready for this…ninjas. If you went ahead and took a wild guess that these ninjas kill people, you’d be right. Have a cookie. But don’t assume Ninja Assassin is a remake of those 80s ninja flicks. It isn’t.

It isn’t any better, either. The plot is more substantive than the action. Instead of having ninjas in attention-getting suits moving around in broad daylight as done in the infamously cheesy-but-still-cool-for-its-time American Ninja series, the story is accurate in identifying what ninjas were—they existed in history as elite assassins that lived in isolated clans. They were infiltrators, fighters who worked under cover of darkness.

In the film, the work of nine ninja clans is uncovered by investigator Mika Coretti (Naomi Harris), an international Europol agent. This secretive society of assassins does not tak…

Look Out for Dad! Look Out for Mom!

Movie Title: Precious: Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire (2009)
Spoilers: No

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Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire is one hell of a movie as it is a title. It's as rich and as meaningful as this fancifully essay-ish title makes it sound. Masterfully directed by Lee Daniels, with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry as executive producers, the film is served up like the finest of gourmet feasts—now if only you have a taste for what’s on the menu.

Originally, it was to be called “Push,” but since the title was taken by another in-production 2009 film, “Precious” was the close-second choice. As it turned out, that title was also taken, which is why the subtitle was added for clarification. Sapphire, the writer of the novel that the movie is based on, tells a confounding story of pain in the life of a sixteen-year-old girl from a poverty-stricken and irreparably broken home.

The story of Clarice “Precious” Jones (Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe) is as moving as it is painful…