Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Vow's real life couple

FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO., February 28 (CNA/EWTN News)— Real-life couple from "The Vow" is at peace with Hollywood film.  Krickitt Carpenter says she and her husband Kim are at peace with the film version of their story, “The Vow,” despite the movie's failure to mention the couple's deep faith in God.  The recent Hollywood film is based on Kim and Krickitt's real-life struggle to stay faithful to their vows after a 1993 car accident just weeks into their marriage left Krickitt with no recollection of meeting, falling in love with, or marrying her husband.  Despite her memory-loss, Carpenter said she chose to love her husband “based on obedience to God” and not her feelings, “because the feelings had been completely wiped away.”
“We made a vow before God,” she told CNA on Feb. 27, “so I chose to love him.”  “I hadn't read in the word of God that you can divorce over a head injury,” Carpenter joked, adding that she decided to make the best of her situation and “get to know this man that I was married to.”  Although their faith in God played an essential role in the Carpenter's marriage, the film version of “The Vow” – released on Feb. 10 by Sony-owned production company Screen Gems – removed any real mention of God or the couple's Christian faith.  “There's a few things that were terribly off that were a little hard to swallow,” Carpenter said of the movie, which stars Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.  Carpenter said that she realized the world is “a much different place” now than it was over 15 years ago when she and her husband first signed the movie deal.
“We thought the movie would be a complete reflection of our story,” Carpenter said, “but Hollywood is Hollywood and...this is how the Lord is having it play out.”Overall, Carpenter said that she and her husband “are at peace” with the film version of their story and trust that it will lead people to their book, which recently topped the New York Times best-seller list.  The movie, despite it's lack of overtly Christian themes, is “definitely putting people towards our book” which is where they will “be able to meet face-to-face with us and the God that did miracles in our lives.”  “When they read the book, they're even more amazed at an awesome story.”
The movie appeals to both “the believer and non-believer” Carpenter said, which is also why she and her husband were mostly pleased with it.At the suggestion of a therapist, the couple worked to rebuild their relationship by starting over and were re-married in 1996. They now have two children who, Carpenter said, would not be here had she and her husband not remained faithful to their vows. 
What CINEMA would like its followers to ponder is the apparent trend among (Hollywood) moviemakers to leave the God element out of the picture, despite its strong presence in the reality of the life the reel version is trying to portray.  Are they afraid that it would offend non-believers, or that it would not sell?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Unofficially Yours

CAST:  John Lloyd Cruz (Macky Galvez), Angel Locsin (Ces), Edgar Allan Guzman, Tetchie Agbayani, Edgar Mortiz, Ian De Leon, K Brosas, Boom Labrusca; DIRECTOR: Cathy Garcia-Molina; PRODUCED BY: Charo Santos-Concio, Malou Santos; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Romantic Drama; CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema; LOCATION: Philippines; RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes    

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 2
Cinema Rating: For viewers 18 years old and above     

SYNOPSIS: The film is the story of a man who falls in love with a woman who is afraid of any commitment due to her trauma of a failed marriage. Through regular romantic engagement their love for each other develops until the man is able to convince his girlfriend.  

This Means War

CAST:  Reese Witherspoon (Lauren Scott), Cris Pine (FDR Foster), Tom Hardy (Tuck Henson), Till Schweiger (Heinrich), Chelsea Handler (Trish), Abegail Spenser (Katie), Angela Basset (Collins); DIRECTOR: McG; SCREENWRITER: Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg; PRODUCED BY: Simon Kinberg, James Lassiter, Robert Simonds, Will Smith; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:  Action & Adventure, Romance, Comedy; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Russell Carpenter; LOCATION: Vancouver, Canada; RUNNING TIME:  120 minutes 

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 1.5
Cinema Rating: For viewers 18 years old and above         

Elite CIA spies FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) mess up an attempt to capture international terrorist Heinrich (Til Schweiger) and are assigned desk jobs.  Missing some action at Spy Central, Tuck decides to return to the dating scene.  By signing up with an on-line agency, he gets a date with Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), a busy-busy career woman in her thirties.  After their first great date Lauren accidentally bumps into FDR (Chris Pine) and soon FDR dates Lauren, too.  One improbable day at the office Tuck and FDR who are the best of friends discover they're after the same woman.  Disappointed at first, the two guys make a pact to keep Lauren unaware of their discovery and their being best friends.  May the best man win, they say as they slam their laptop shut. 
Considering the technical aspect of This means war, it’s as good as any movie goes that’s aimed to entertain and not to challenge viewers intellectually.  It is billed as a romantic-comedy/action movie but comes out half-baked at each count.   The romance aspect is snuffed out by the rivalry between the two guys—why break a friendship over a woman who is so self-absorbed she’s totally clueless about their     The comedy side relies on hurting people which isn’t funny, and the action doesn’t excite as elite spies are supposed to do.  If the story were based on real life we can’t help but say “What a silly love triangle!”  Fortunately it’s but fiction and so we can dismiss the shallowness of the plot and the characters.
This means war redeems itself by trying to uphold fidelity (albeit to a pre-marital sex partner), being a good sport or loser, and familial reconciliation.  It’s a good movie to see if only to tell your teenage children what to avoid in man-woman relationships.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Breaking Wind

CAST:  Heather Ann Davis (Bella), Eric Callero (Edward), Frank Pacheco (Jacob), Michael Adam Hamilton, Alice Rietveld, John Stevenson and Danny Trejo.
DIRECTOR:  Craig Moss; SCREENWRITER: Craig Moss; PRODUCER:  Bernie Gewissler, AmyJarvela, Craig Moss; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:   Comedy; CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR: Pioneer Films; LOCATION: Los Angeles, California, USA; RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes       

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 2
Cinema Rating: For viewers 18 years old and above         

SYNOPSIS: Breaking Wind is the comedic spoof of the world wide phenomenon Twilight series. When Stella's life becomes threatened by the vengeful Victoria and her gang of blood sucking newborns. Edward and Jacob must put aside their differences in order to save her life AGAIN.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Vow

CAST:  Rachel McAdams (Paige Collins), Channing Tatum (Leo Collins), Sam Neill (Paige’s Father ), Jessica Lange (Paige’s Mother), Jessica McNamee (Gwen); DIRECTOR: Michael Sucsy; SCREENWRITER: Jason Katims, Abby Kohn,  Marc Silverstein, Michael Suscy & Stuart Sender; PRODUCER: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Paul Taublieb ; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:  Drama. Romance; CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR Sony Pictures; LOCATION: Toronto, Canada & Chicago, USA; RUNNING TIME:  104 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3.5
Cinema Rating: For viewers 14 years old and above 
SYNOPSIS : A newlywed couple recovers from a car accident that puts the wife in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, her husband endeavors to win her heart again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Descendants

CAST: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster; DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne; SCREENPLAY: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash; PRODUCED BY: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Phedon Papamichae; EDITING: Kevin Tent; LOCATION: United States; RUNNING  TIME: 115 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: For viewers 14 years old and above 

The Descendants is set in Hawaii and follows the unpredictable journey of an American family at a crossroads.  Matt King (George Clooney), a husband and father of two girls, must re-examine his past and navigate his future when his wife goes into coma due to a boating accident off Waikiki.  He awkwardly attempts to repair his relationship with his daughters— perky 10-year-old Scottie (Amara Miller) and rebellious 17-year-old Alexandra (Shailene Woodley)—while wrestling with a decision to sell his family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.  Matt and his King cousins own some of the last priceless virgin parcels of tropical beach in the islands.
When Alexandra drops the bombshell that her mother was cheating on her husband at the time of the accident, Matt has to take a whole new look at his life, not to mention his legacy, during a week of momentous decisions.  With his girls in tow, he embarks on a haphazard search for his wife’s lover.  Along the way, in encounters alternately funny, troublesome and transcendent, he realizes he’s finally on course toward rebuilding his life and family.
  Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants has a snappy screen play by its own director Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash.  Others in the acting ensemble are Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel and Patricia Hastie.  Clooney’s award-winning Matt King is a flawed individual finding his way through a world of lunacy, bittersweet emotion and surprises; he is neither a hero nor anti-hero, not the man he would like to be.  Rather, Matt King is a man grappling with some of the worst news, most difficult people, and most impossible decisions of his life.
  Close family ties are among the values highlighted in this movie.  The bond between the father and his daughters is also emphasized to show that while tragedy, a death in the family,  and the discovery of a betrayal may lead to pain and bitterness, the same suffering may also strengthen the character of those left behind.  In the last scene the characters do no talk but it is pregnant with symbols and body language no words can equal.  A most satisfying film for families to watch.    

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Woman in Black

CAST:  Daniel Radcliffe (Arthur Kipps), Claran Hinds (Samuel Daily), Janet McTeer (Mrs. Daily), Sophie Stucky (Stella Kipps), Liz White (Jennet Humfrye), Misha Handley (Joseph Kipps); DIRECTOR: James Watkins; SCREENWRITER: Susan R. Hill,  Jane Goldman; PRODUCER:  Hammer Film Production; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; Marco Beltrami GENRE:  Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense; CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR; LOCATION:  United Kingdom; RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: For viewers 14 years old and above  

SYNOPSIS: Arthur Kipps, a widowed lawyer whose grief has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric. But upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret. Although the townspeople try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost...and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

CAST:  Dwayne Johnson (Hank), Josh Hutcherson (Sean Anderson), Vanessa Hudgens (Kailani), Michael Caine (Alexander), Luis Guzman (Gabato), Kristin Davis (Liz Anderson); DIRECTOR: Brad Peyton; SCREENWRITER:  Brian Gunn; PRODUCED BY: Charlotte Huggins, Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson; EDITING: David Rennie; GENRE:   Action & Adventure, Kids &Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy; CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR:  New Line Cinema; LOCATION: United States;  RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3.5
Cinema Rating: For viewers 13 years old and below with parental guidance     
Sean (Josh Hutcherson) gets coded messages he suspects have come from his long-lost explorer grandfather (played by Michael Caine).  With the help of his stepfather and legal guardian Hank (Dwayne Johnson) they decode the message and locate its origin, the Mysterious Island which is somewhere off Palau.  Sean is dead set on finding the Mysterious Island; Hank is eager to bond with the young boy and as his legal guardian obliges the latter.  Off they go, renting a rickety four-seater plane to cross the ocean with just the pilot (Luis Guzman) and his strong-willed daughter (played by Vanessa Hudgens).
Like most adventure stories, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, owes its appeal to breathtaking views of a pristine and hidden paradise, definitely out-of-this-world for its beauty.  And what would an exotic island be without its share of monsters and predators?  Here they are birds that in our world would fit snugly in our hands but out there would be as big as pterodactyls that hunt humans for snacks.  In our world elephants would be gigantic creatures one doesn’t fool around with, but in the misty Mysterious Island they are only slightly bigger than poodles and just as cuddly! 
All the elements that make for a wholesome family adventure movie are present in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island: the funny schtick in the person of the bumbling pilot; the tender-hearted muscleman going against all odds to win the trust of his beloved woman’s son; the ingenious 80-year-old adventurer who lives in an enviable treehouse; the chaste and budding teen romance; etc.  There are no pirates and bad people here—the villains are the distressing circumstances the group has to contend with.  But, of course, nature helps, as in the form of giant bumble bees that people can ride as the blue people of Avatar ride flying dragons.
It must been intended by director Brad Peyton to be really one undemanding, wholesome, enjoyable movie where the characters elicit your sympathy and support—you root for them, you want them to be safe, you want them to be happy with one another.  Definitely the whole family may see this—in case the young children tend to get scared of monsters you can quickly tell them they’re only made of cardboard.  But they’ll probably shrug off the monsters and would rather focus on the giant bumble bees—creatures they can cheer for them since they look no more menacing than a hamburger chain mascot.


CAST:  Dane DeHaan (Andrew), Alex Russell (Matt), Michael Jordan (Steve), Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw (Casey); DIRECTOR:  Josh Trank; SCREENWRITER:  Max Landis; PRODUCER: John Davis, Adam Schroeder; Screenplay by: Max Landis; GENRE:  Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense,  Sci Fiction & Fantasy; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Matthew Jensen

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 2
Cinema Rating: For viewers 14 years old and above     

SYNOPSIS: Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.