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Hawaii Five-O: Season 9
Hawaii Five-O: Season 9
DVD ~ Jack Lord
Price: $14.97
15 used & new from $14.32

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long-Running Series Deserves DVD Release, October 2, 2010
This review is from: Hawaii Five-O: Season 9 (DVD)
Nothing lasts 12 years without having something going for it. In the case of Hawaii Five-O, it easy to dismiss it as a typically television crime drama that got lucky by finding its audience and keeping it. The same could be said for Law and Order. Except, in television years, luck usually runs out after two or three years. Gimmicks get old, the formula is figured out, and sharks are jumped so often they don't even complain.

But shows that last five years, much less 12, have to have something besides luck, gimmicks, and great scheduling. Hawaii Five-O had a number of things going for it. First of all, let's be honest. The setting was, and still is so lush and exotic that it is easily intoxicating. Hawaii is beautiful, and most people either live there or want to live there. Filming on location has always been a blessing when it's been done, and probably no more so than on this series.

Next, Jack Lord, playing Five-O chief Steve McGarrett, was one of a long line of no-nonsense law enforcement figures. The strength, integrity, and dedication of these kinds of characters cannot be overstated, and these characters will always have lots of fans rooting them on, not unlike Law and Order's Jack McCoy.

Finally, watching shows like this is always a treat because you see so many stars that were either big stars enjoying a working Hawaiian vacation, or lots of up and coming stars before they got their big break. Hawaii Five-O was a natural draw for both categories, and it's fun to watch them and remember when.

It's also fun to remember when you could look forward to hearing one of the best and most recognizable theme songs in television history. Not a small thing when you add it with the other factors. Hawaii Five-O had a lot going for it then, and it has a lot going for it now.

Iron Man 2 (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Iron Man 2 (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Offered by Clyde Parks
Price: $39.07
8 used & new from $4.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iron Man 2 Doesn't Disappoint, May 8, 2010
"Iron Man 2" is more than a worthy sequel to the original Iron Man film. The majority of the good guys return intact - Robert Downey, Jr as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark and his powerful alter ego, Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark's right hand assistant, Pepper Potts, and Jon Favreau (also the the two films' director) as Stark's bodyguard, Happy Hogan, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, head of the SHIELD intelligence agency. Two new actors join this group - Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard as Stark friend and Air Force officer, James "Rhodey" Rhodes, and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Rushman, Stark's new aide who turns into a lot more.

The bad guys are Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, a son of a former business partner of Stark's father. The elder Vanko dies at the beginning of the film, setting the son on a quest for vengeance that results in a suit much like Stark's, including a powerful electrical whip. Whiplash, as Rourke's character comes to be known, makes a very public attempt to kill Stark. After the attempt fails, Vanko is rescued from prison by Justin Hammer, a business rival of Stark's who wants to use Vanko's expertise to create more powerful armor and sell it to the US military.

Add to this already potent mix several other complications - Stark's deepening relationship with Pepper, who he anoints as his replacement at Stark Industries, his growing egotism and hubris that makes very vulnerable to attack, and his body's rejection of the power cell in his chest that is grdually killing him, and you have a movie with a huge cast, lots of plot entanglements, and lots and lots of action.

But it all works. The cast is terrific, the movie is alternately thrilling, funny, and touching, and the viewer doesn't leave this movie feeling that they don't want to see Iron Man 3. And for the movie studio, Marvel, regular cast members and movie fans, what happens next in the Iron Man franchise promises to be a very, very good thing.

The Losers
The Losers
DVD ~ Zoe Saldana
Price: $4.50
183 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock-Em, Sock-Em Comic Adaptation, April 24, 2010
This review is from: The Losers (DVD)
"The Losers," based on the Vertigo/DC Comic, is a rollicking, fast-paced action-comedy film that seems to enjoy itself as much as it wants others to enjoy. Which is not hard since it's extremely entertaining.

The Losers are a Special Forces team led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, famous from being "The Comedian" in "The Watchmen" movie. His Clay is a tough, no-nonsense type that has a firm grip on his conscience. So when his team is on a CIA-led mission to pinpoint an airstrike location, and children show up unexpected, he puts his and his team's life in jeopardy to rescue them. The ensuing events make the team international scapegoats. Faking their deaths, the team waits to plan its next move when Clay meets Aisha, who knows who they are and offers them revenge on the CIA official named Max responsible for their plight.

The rest of the film follows the team and its twisty, turvy path of vengeance. Morgan channels the roguishness of The Comedian into a decidely more likable and sympathetic character. Zoe Saldana, who plays Aisha, has the appropriate air of toughness, vulnerability, and mystery to fuel her character. The rest of the team rounds out with Idris Elba as Roque, the second-in-command, Chris Evans as Jensen, the silly jokester always coming on to women, Columbus Short as Pooch, who struggles with being thought of as dead as his wife is close to giving birth to their child, and Oscar Jaenada as the taciturn sniper Cougar. Jason Patric makes the most of his villainous turn as Max.

The movie is loud, boisterous, funny, exciting, and silly. It is also quite enjoyable.

Green Zone
Green Zone
DVD ~ Matt Damon
Price: $5.00
203 used & new from $0.01

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Damon/Greengrass Film, April 1, 2010
This review is from: Green Zone (DVD)
"Green Zone" is the latest film starring Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, who worked together in "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Damon plays US Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who leads a team of soldiers tasked with finding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)s in Iraq in 2003. Every site that intelligence sends them to turns out to have no WMDs. Frustration growing, Miller discovers two unlikely allies, a CIA agent played by Brendan Gleason who disapproves of the US's approach in finding the WMDs, and a Wall Street Journal reporter, played by Amy Ryan, who alerts Miller that the intelligence his unit is using is being provided by a top-secret informant named Magellan. Miller soon figures out that a Pentagon official played by Greg Kinnear knows who Magellan is, but Kinnear's character thwarts Miller's effort to get to the truth at every turn. Jason Isaacs plays a Special Forces officer who does Kinner's bidding in concealing the truth.

This is a tense, exhilirating and tough-as-nails thriller with great performances by the entire cast. This is a movie that will grow in appreciation the further we get away from the events in Iraq.

Repo Men
Repo Men
DVD ~ Jude Law
Price: $6.97
120 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Entertaining, But Disappointing Sci-Fi Film, April 1, 2010
This review is from: Repo Men (DVD)
"Repo Men" is a movie with great promise, but only delivers about 60-75% of its potential.

The film is set in a near future where bodily organs are readily available. The catch is that like cars and houses, if you fall behind on payments for your organs, they will be repossessed by repo men, individuals who can legally break into your house or chase you down on the street, cut you open, and take the organs back.

Remy and Jake, played by Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, are two childhood friends/army buddies who also went into the repo business together. They work for the Union Bank, where their smarmy boss talks desperate organ patients into purchasing the organs on one hand, and has Remy, Jake, and others taking the organs back on the other hand. Jake is happy working with his buddy. Remy, on the other hand, is getting pressure from his wife to switch to something that less dangerous, like organ sales. Remy and Jake debate the pros and cons of his leaving the repo live, and he continues to ply his trade until a work accident turns him from not only being a organ repossessor, but an organ owner with a brand new heart.

The accident totally changes Remy's perspective. He sees his the banks clients as human beings, and not just people who no longer deserve to life because they got behind on bank payments. Soon, Remy's heart is targeted to be repossessed. He goes on the run, and runs into a young woman who has lots of organs to be repossessed. Then, they go on the run together...

The performances are very good. That's not the problem. The problem is that in the audience, who has already had to deal with gore related to the organs being reharvested, is subjected to even more gore as Remy fights against his pursuers. But even more disturbing is the ending, which was probably meant to be clever, but ends up pulling the rug out from under the audience.

Repo Men could have been great. It ends up being merely okay.

From Paris with Love
From Paris with Love
DVD ~ John Travolta
Price: $5.00
139 used & new from $0.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unspectacular But Solid Travolta Actioner, April 1, 2010
This review is from: From Paris with Love (DVD)
"From Paris With Love" is a John Travolta film that is not a great action film, but solid and entertaining in its own right.

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is a low-level CIA functionary who is paired with an agency assassin played by Travolta. Immediately, Rhys-Meyers is in danger to his eyeballs as Travolta gets him into one predicament after the other whilw pursuing a terrorist cell planning an assassination.

The movie has Rhys-Meyers as the calm, rational one with Travolta being the crazed death-wish one. Their partnership is pretty standard buddy film fare, but they make it work and are not off-putting. Each plays his role with enough balance that the movie doesn't seem to go off-track.

From Paris With Love is a great popcorn movie - nothing more, nothing less...

The Wolfman
The Wolfman
DVD ~ Anthony Hopkins
Price: $9.96
185 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Retelling of Classic Werewolf Saga, March 30, 2010
This review is from: The Wolfman (DVD)
"The Wolfman" is a welcome remake. That is, it is an excellent version that does not diminish the luster of the original, but is its own story, and one well told.

Benicio del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, who returns to England at the request of his brother's fiance. The brother has gone missing, and the young woman, played by Emily Blunt, has requested Talbot's help in finding him. By the time Talbot returns to his ancestral estate, he finds that his brother is dead, one of several murders committed by some kind of animal or murderous lunatic. He also finds his estranged father, played by Anthony Hopkins. Both Talbots are still devastated over the death of the younger Talbots mother that happened when Lawrence was a little boy. Lawrence sets out to find his brothers murderer, and while visiting a nearby gypsy camp, he survives an attack by a murderous creature. During the next full moon, get the idea.

The Wolfman has very solid performances, particularly by Anthony Hopkins as the elder Talbot, Ms. Blunt as the grieving young woman who begins to fall in love with del Toro, and Hugo Weaving, who plays a Scotland Yard detective investigating the murders, and who is based off of the real-life detective who pursued Jack The Ripper. del Toro also gives a fine performance, and Rick Baker does his normal sensational job with makeup-special effects. This film should be enjoyed by classic horror movie fans.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2010 4:01 PM PDT

Along the Great Divide
Along the Great Divide
DVD ~ Virginia Mayo, John Agar, Walter Brennan Kirk Douglas
Price: $14.99
31 used & new from $9.49

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Kirk Douglas Western, March 19, 2010
This review is from: Along the Great Divide (DVD)
Kirk Douglas made more thna his share of great Westerns, and Along The Great Divide was one of them.

This was his first Western,and he gets off to a rousing start by portraying a US Marshal who saves cattle rustler Walter Brennan from hanging and has to cross the Mojave with him, his deputies, a feisty woman played by Virginia Mayo, and the lyncher's gunmen in tow. There's lot to enjoy here. Action, surprises, and a little psychodrama thrown in for good measure that does not distract or detract from the story. Along The Great Divide is a great movie.

The King and Four Queens
The King and Four Queens
DVD ~ Clark Gable
7 used & new from $15.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Different Western, March 19, 2010
This review is from: The King and Four Queens (DVD)
Raoul Walsh, one of the greatest action movie directors ever, must have decided to turn the Western genre, which he knew well, on its ear. The King and Four Queens is not your typical Western, or your typical Walsh film.
Gable plays fugitive Dan Kehoe, who ends up in a town with only five inhabitants, all women. Four are the wives of a notorious group of outlaw brothers who stole a fortune and hid it out somewhere in the town. The fifth woman is the boys' mother, played by Jo Van Fleet. All of the women are waiting for the boys to show up.

The young women are all fighting over Kehoe, while the mother constantly holds him at gunpoint. Kehoe says he just wants to be on his way, but the mother and one of the wives are very mistrustful. Much comedy and maneuvering ensues.

This is not an action western. Instead, it is one of hijinks, quips, and repartee. Gable and Van Fleet are particularly entertaining. If you want gunplay and fisticuffs, stay away, but if you want a solid western comedy, check this film out.

Brooklyn's Finest
Brooklyn's Finest
DVD ~ Richard Gere
Offered by Media Favorites
Price: $7.22
171 used & new from $0.01

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding NY Police Drama, March 13, 2010
This review is from: Brooklyn's Finest (DVD)
"Brooklyn's Finest" is a remarkably entertaining and well-acted police drama from director Antoine Fuqua, who also directed the also outstanding police drama, "Training Day."

The film focuses on three very different Brooklyn cops over the course of a week. Richard Gere plays Eddie, a hardened veteran just a week away from retirement. He has nightmares, he's separated from his wife, and he's just biding his time until his retirement. Ethan Hawke, the hero of "Training Day, plays a narcotics detective desperate to finance a new home to give a better life to his wife, children, and twins on the way. Don Cheadle plays Tango, an undercover cop, who is so deep undercover that he forgets who he really is, and to make matters worse, he now has to setup a high-level drug dealer who saved his life while he was undercover in prison.

These examples of Brooklyn's Finest are all living on the edge, and they all go over the edge one way or another. The acting from these three is superb. Their performances along with Wesley Snipes as the drug dealer, Brian F. O'Byrne as Hawkes' best friend and partner, Shannon Kane as Eddie's hooker with a heart of gold, and a number of others, make this a very enjoyable, but powerfully sad and tragic film.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2010 8:26 AM PDT

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