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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Thursday, September 1, 2011


Director: John Madden
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson

It is 1997, Rachel Singer (Mirren) is attending a book release party for her daughter's new book. The book accounts Rachel's history as a Mossad secret agent. When her ex-husband Stephan (Wilkinson) delivers the news that their friend David (Ciarin Hinds) has committed suicide, the two of them must face their past and how to deal with the truth of what happened to them. In 1966, a younger Rachel (Chastain) along with Stephan (Marton Csokas) and David (Worthington) were part of covert mission to capture Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel who is suspected to be the Surgeon of Birkenau. Their mission is to capture Vogel to expose him for the experimental surgeries against children and heinous crimes he committed. When their mission goes terribly wrong, they must take him captive and figure out what to do next.

I saw The Debt with very little knowledge of the movie. Even though I had seen the trailer numerous times, it was months ago. The movie's release date had been pushed back numerous times. With these types of thrillers, it is better to go in not knowing anything. The twists and turns will have you guessing. The movie jumps back and forth between the two time lines. I thought the 1966 time line was more intriguing and fleshed out better. Jessica Chastain is wonderful and her role is completely opposite of her role in The Help. Her career is really taking off this year as she is proving to be very versatile. Sam Worthington also shows a different side of himself that we haven't seen a lot. He offers a gentler and more vulnerable approach with David. Helen Mirren is one of those actresses that is always good no matter what movie she is in. I was very intrigued throughout the movie and was fascinated in the struggles of both of the Rachels.

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


Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

What do you do when you think your neighbor might not be the ideal, innocent man you want him to be? Fright Night is remake of the 1985 horror comedy starring Chris Sarandon. Charley Brewster (Yelchin) is a nerd-at-heart teeanger growing up in Las Vegas. His new friends are a little hipper, and he has a young beautiful girlfriend. He has distanced himself from his childhood friend, Ed (Mintz-Plasse). Ed has noticed that some of their classmates have gone missing at school. Charley doesn't think much about it, but Ed has grown concerned. Ed starts investigating into it and thinks that there is a vampire living in their neighborhood. He puts that theory on Charley's new neighbor, Jerry (Farrell). Jerry is brooding, mysterious, and has started talking to Charley's mom (Collette). At first, Charley thinks Ed is crazy and dismisses him. After some mysterious events, Charley starts to believe Ed. His concerns are confirmed when a hooker steps into Jerry's house and he hears screaming.

Charley turns to Vegas entertainer Peter Vincent (David Tennant) to learn more about vampire lore and to find out any information about Jerry. Peter Vincent performs a goth show about vampires and is supposedly a vampire expert. Charley realizes all too soon that Peter Vincent is basically an act and not the expert he appears to be. Jerry knows that Charley is on to his secret and starts terrorizing him, his mom, and his girlfriend. Charley must learn the truths about vampire lore in order to kill Jerry.

Fright Night was my very first private screening. It was fun to sit in the theater all alone to watch a "horror" movie. I have not seen the original, so I cannot compare it to it's predecessor. It does succeed at feeling like a good '80s horror movie. It is a great mix of humorous one liners and startling moments. There's plenty of blood in it, but it's not an over done gore fest like more recent horror movies think you need to do. Watch for a cameo from original star Chris Sarandon!

Rating: *** (3 out of 5 stars)

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