Established May 2010.

Gordie: Do you think I'm weird?
Chris: Definitely.
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.

Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

Member of THE LAMB: The Large Association of Movie Blogs LAMB #1588

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Monday, July 18, 2011


Like every great series, whether it be on the page, on television, or on the big screen, it all must come to an end. You spend years invested in the lives of amazing characters and stories as you sit at the edge of your seat waiting impatiently to find out how it all comes together. I've spent the last 10+ years reading the J.K. Rowling books and watching all of the movie adaptations. There have been seven books and eight movies. Here is my review of the last installment in the Harry Potter franchise. WARNING: There may be spoilers...


Director: David Yates
Writer: Steve Kloves
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Smith

As we left off at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry Potter is mourning the death of his house-elf, Dobby. Voldemort has stolen the elderwand from the tomb of Albus Dumbledore. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are off on the hunt to the find and destroy the horcruxes. The horcruxes are objects that when destroyed make Voldemort mortal. Once Voldemort is mortal, he can be killed.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione have determined that the next horcrux must be kept in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault in Gringott's bank. After breaking in and barely escaping, they have destroyed the horcrux. Harry sees visions of Voldemort becoming weaker and realizes that one of the other Horcruxes is hidden within Hogwarts School and another one is Nagini, Voldemort's snake. The three arrive back at Hogwarts to find Professor Snape in charge and on the hunt for Harry. Voldemort has produced a massive army to ascend over Hogwarts and kill Harry. Professor McGonagal, Lupin, Neville Longbottom, and the rest of our heroes must defend Hogwarts and save Harry's life. I hate to give anything more away for people that have only seen the movies and not read the books.

The conclusion to this tale brings an epic battle that leaves you on the edge of your seat. There are plenty of moments where you cheer, holler, and even shed a tear. There is something satisfying and delightful about seeing all of your favorite characters and actors from the past movies together for one last time duke it out. I love watching Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, and Alan Rickman in these movies. I really hope it brings younger audiences to check out their other work as well. Julie Walters has a wonderful moment with Helena Bonham Carter. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. There's something to be said about a series of seven books and eight movies that gets children excited about reading or brings families together as they watch the movies together. It's amazing how diverse the audience is and the age range that has gotten to know the life of Harry Potter and his friends. These are more than just fantasy tales for kids.

Some endings like The Godfather Part III or The Return of the Jedi don't live up to the previous movies in these series. Others like The Return of the King, nail it. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 belongs in the latter category. David Yates has made a sold, gratifying movie that is one the best conclusions to a film series.

RATING: ***** (5 out of 5 stars)

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Last week Warner Bros. released the new teaser poster for The Dark Knight Rises. For anyone living under a rock, The Dark Knight Rises is the latest and final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman series. I was giddy to have a look at the new artwork that finds the Gotham skyline crumbling and falling apart. The image of the bat is seen in the outline of the buildings. I have been looking forward to this movie event since the credits of The Dark Knight ended.

As I sat in the theater for the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the trailers started playing and I gasped for joy and excitement. The moment I saw this teaser trailer start, I knew what it was. Warner Bros. Pictures presented it's first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. The trailer manly consists of images from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Between those images, we find Jim Gordon in a hospital talking to someone, presumably Batman. The best part is that there are a few quick glimpses of Tom Hardy as Bane. AHHHHHH!!!!

Director: Christopher Nolan

Christian Bale- Bruce Wayne/Batman
Tom Hardy- Bane
Anne Hathaway- Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- John Blake
Marion Cotillard- Miranda Tate
Michael Caine- Alfred
Gary Oldman- Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman- Lucius Fox
Liam Neeson- Ra's al Ghul

Matthew Modine
Josh Pence
Juno Temple

In theaters and IMAX screens July 20, 2012. That's 368 days from today. I can't believe I have to wait a whole year from now.


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Monday, July 11, 2011

"Unleash Your Inner Foodie" Guest Blog: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It's time once again for another guest blog for DeeAnn McArdle and her blog, "Unleash Your Inner Foodie".

There’s nothing like spending your summer at the ballpark or in front of your television watching your favorite baseball team. Unfortunately, your favorite team might not be doing so well this season. I’m looking at you, Minnesota Twins. Do you feel like getting your baseball fix in, but you just can’t bear to watch your team lose one more time? Again, I’m looking at you, Minnesota Twins. To read the rest, Click Here

Or here: http://unleashyourinnerfoodie.com/entertaining-articles/take-me-out-to-the-ballgame/
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Fourth of July weekend was going to be a big movie going weekend. We had a list of five or six movies we wanted to see. It was an ambitious task, but we've done double features in the past numerous times. There were some good movies on the list and some that could be questionable. Obviously that ended up being too big of a feat to accomplish. We got two movies in instead of six. We decided to see Beginners, the new Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor movie at Landmark Cinema's Edina 4. I had no idea that the Edina 4 was a retreat for seniors on a Saturday. Maybe it was the dashing Christopher Plummer that brought them in. Our other movie of choice was Green Lantern. This summer is really bringing out the comic book movie adaptations.

Director/Writer: Mike Mills (Thumbsucker)
Starring: Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds)

Oliver (McGregor) is facing a new life after his father, Hal (Plummer) passes away. He takes in his father's dog and clears out the house. He had a new relationship with his dad after his mother died. Hal came out as a gay man to Oliver and had been diagnosed with cancer. Deciding to live life to the fullest, Hal spent his short time living the gay life he never had when he was married. He went to clubs, listened to house music, had a much younger boyfriend (Goran Visnjic), and started building his personal library. While dealing with the death, Oliver meets Anna (Laurent), a French actress, who he starts a love affair with.

Beginners explores three different relationships of Oliver's. Oliver dealing with his dad, Oliver falling in love, and the memories Oliver has of his quirky mother. Mills has written an optimist movie about how you're never too old or too far along in life to start over or try something new. I love that Christopher Plummer is still acting at the age of 81 and is willing to take on a variety of roles like this one or his Oscar-nominated performance of Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station last year. Ewan McGregor is charming, funny, and always easy on the eyes.

Rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

Director: Martin Campbell (Casino Royale)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal), Blake Lively ("Gossip Girl"), Peter Sarsgaard (Boys Don't Cry)

Green Lantern is the latest comic-book adaptation from the DC Comics canon. Hal Jordan is a rebel test pilot. He is expected to live up to his father's reputation, but not die on the job like his father did. Late one night, Hal stumbles upon a pod that has crashed on shore. Being the hero that he is, he goes to rescue whoever is in there. A purple alien name Abin-Sur explains to Hal that he has been chosen by the ring of the green lantern as the protector of the sector now that Abin-Sur is dying. The galaxies are divided up into sectors. Each sector has one ambarassor that has been chosen to protect the galaxy from the evil Parallax. The group of ambassadors make up the Green Lantern Corp. Abin-Sur dies before Hal has a chance to fully understand what happens. Hal quickly drives away as helicoptors and police force start taking over. Hal is left with a green ring and a green lantern and no knowledge of how he's supposed to save the planet. After connecting the ring to the lantern, he is transported to the planet Oa, where he learns more about the Green Lantern Corps and receives his training. Hal must use his training to know how to use will power to conquer fear, which turns out to be a lot harder than he thought.

With every comic-book movie, there must be the evil bad guy out to gain power. Tim Robbins plays senator Robert Hammond who is conducting an top-secret investigation into the alien that was captured. He calls upon his son, Hector (Sarsgaard) to perform an autopsy on the alien. As he performs the autopsy, Hector is stung with a force from Abin-Sur's body. The force turns out to be DNA from the evil alien, Parallax, that killed Abin-Sur. The sting mutates Hector and gives him special telekentic powers.

Green Lantern is a fun summer blockbuster. It's the kind of comic-book movie that knows it's a comic-book movie. It doesn't take itself too serious and pokes fun at the genre at the same time. Ryan Reynolds brings his usual sense of humor to the role, which helps keep the mood light but true to the genre. Peter Sarsgaard tends to play creepier sadistic roles, which is no exception in this movie. Even for a comic-book movie he's creepy and awkward. I was able to see Green Lantern in 3D which looked pretty good in all of the scenes that take place in Oa.

Rating: *** 1/2 (3.5 out of 5)

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