Posted Joan Schwartz (Video by Joan and John Schwartz)
The year is 1873. The place…New Mexico…A man (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the middle of nowhere. He has no idea who he is or where he is. All he knows is…there’s a thick metal bracelet on his wrist and he can’t remove it.
After fighting off some would-be robbers with a few swift kicks and punches, the Man wanders into the town of Absolution where he finds…
Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) picking fights with anyone in his path. Percy’s dad is a big cattle baron and Percy is a big bully. But this time Percy goes too far. He winds up accidently shooting the town’s Deputy. Not good…
The Sheriff, John Taggard (Keith Carradine) has no choice but to arrest him.
Meanwhile the Man finds out that his name is Jake Lonergan and he’s wanted for robbery and murder. Well, at least he knows his name.
The Sheriff arrests Jake and handicuffs him to Percy. He’s just about to cart both these men off to the Marshal in Santa Fe, when Percy’s daddy, Cattle Baron aka Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, (Harrison Ford) comes galloping into town to rescue his son.
Story continues after the jump.
But before Dolarhyde can finish saying…‘Sheriff, what the hell do you think you’re doing arresting my boy’...there’s a series of major explosions destroying…well, everything.
To say that the people of Absolution are shocked when they discover that the explosions are coming from…
UFO’S…many, many UFO’s, would be an understatement. The aliens have arrived and they’re not here to sightsee. Oh, besides exploding everything in their path, the aliens have this nasty habit of scooping up the townsfolk (including Percy) using these long, steel harnesses that extend out of their ship…Note: This is a very cool effect.
Anyway, Jake quickly finds out what his metal bracelet is used for.
As the title suggests, ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ is about Cowboys & Aliens…(And some really cool Comanches). There’s also very interesting supporting characters such as Sam Rockwell as Doc who’s wife has been abducted and the mysterious, Oliva Wilde (Ella Swenson) who is not quite what she appears to be.
The aliens in this film are some of the most scariest, ugliest, meanest, aliens I have ever seen…in a film that is. These folks from Outer Space think of us Earthlings as…mere ‘insects’ and they are here for only one thing…Gold…and what better place to find some, than…the old West.
I absolutely loved this film. Jon Favreau did an excellent job directing. Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig created complex, interesting characters who you care about.
The film has great tension, great action, great special effects and yes…there were many writers…five or six…and usually that is not a good sign…But in this case, it definitely paid off.
The ‘Two Jews On Film’ once again disagreed. I gave Cowboys & Aliens five bagels out of five. Check out our video to see how many bagels John awarded this film. It opens in theaters this Friday, July 30, 2011.
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July 21, 2011 | 10:43 am
Posted Joan Schwartz (Video by Joan and John Schwartz)
‘Captain America, The First Avenger’, directed by Joe Johnston (Wolfman) is the latest superhero to come out of the ‘Marvel’ stable.
The year is 1941…Hitler and his merry band of Nazis are storming through Europe.
One particular Nazi, Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) is in Norway searching for an ancient artifact known as Odin’s Tesseract…
This artifact is very, very powerful. We know this, because of the small print written on it… ...not meant for human eyes…Apparently, the Tesseract gives a person unlimited power. And who is the last person on Earth you’d want to have this power…Mr. Red Skull of course. He’s so evil that even Hitler wants him gone.
Anyway, Red Skull finds the Tesseract and I’m sure you can guess the rest.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)a scrawny, asthmatic dude, with enough illnesses to keep his health insurance premiums at an all time high, wants nothing more than to join the Army and defend America against the evil doers. Unfortunately for Rogers, no matter how many times he tries to enlist, the Army keeps rejecting him. That is until…
Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), a kindly German scientist, comes along. He sees something in Steve…an inner goodness. So with Erskine’s pull, Steve becomes a soldier in the United States Army. He also agrees to undergo an experimental procedure that the good doctor and inventor extraordinaire, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) came up with. If this experiment works, Steve will become a ‘Super Soldier’.
Story continues after the jump.
Quick note…Red Skull underwent the same procedure, but things didn’t turn out exactly right…Hint: Schmidt now has a big Red Skull and a face that would scare even his mother.
Luckily for Steve, the procedure turned out differently. Quicker than you can boil water or fry an egg, Rogers goes from being a puny, sickly fellow to having a body that Schwarzenegger, in his body building days, would envy…Plus he can beat up alot of people at the same time, jump really high and leap really far.
The Army considers him a ‘human weapon’ and one that is way too valuable to risk in combat. They decide to use Rogers as a celebrity to sell Bonds in order to raise money for the war. Backed by a chorus line of hot, sexy USO dancers, and dressed in a red, white and blue costume, Steve hits the road. He tours all over the United States and Captain America is a big hit. He’s loved by everyone. Alas, all this attention and fame, doesn’t make him a ‘happy boy’. Steve wants to fight. And what Steve wants, Steve gets.
When his tour takes him to Europe, Rogers finds out that his childhood friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and his men have been captured by Red Skull and his soldiers known as Hydra. Steve disobeys the orders of his Commander in Chief, Col. Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and winds up rescuing not only Bucky but several hundred captured soldiers. Captain America is finally a real hero…And this is just the beginning.
Steve and his men must now stop Red Skull before he uses the Tesseract to wipe out much of the Planet.
That’s alot for any man to handle…even a Super one. It’s a good thing, Steve has someone to flirt with. She’s the tough, no nonsence, beautiful British Agent, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). This being the 1940’s, poor Steve doesn’t even get to first base with Peggy.
‘Captain America’ is shot in 3D and it really didn’t have to be. The special effects aren’t that great and there’s something very simplistic about this film. Maybe you have to be a fan of the ‘Captain America’ comic books to appreciate the movie, but I think a film should stand on its own…and in my opinion, this one didn’t.
John and I actually came pretty close with our ‘bagel rating’. The film opens in theaters, Friday July 22, 2011.
July 14, 2011 | 12:36 am
Posted Joan Alperin Schwartz (Video by Joan and John Schwartz)
‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows-Part 2 is the final adventure in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The film is directed brilliantly by David Yates and cleverly adapted for the screen by Steve Klos.
This is not only the last film in the franchise, but it is the best.
From the first shot…where we see Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) holding his sword up to the darkened sky, followed by Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) staring out into the gloomy courtyard at Hogwarts, you know…you’re in for one great ride.
For those of you who haven’t read the books (if that’s even possible) here’s what’s happening…more or less.
The Dark Lord aka Voldemort, now has the Elder Wand (that’s the mother of all wands) and things are very very bad, for bascially anyone, that’s not an ‘evil doer’.
Voldemort and his Death Eaters (no, they’re not a heavy metal band) are about to take over the entire wizarding world. But luckily for the muggles, Harry (Daniel Ratcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are not going to let that happen.
They set out on a quest to find and destroy the remaining three horcruxes that contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul. Their journey takes them to cavernous deadly vaults, Gringotts Bank, to the halls of Hogwarts…Well basically to a lot of places…where the trio face danger, monsters, and really nasty people.
Voldemort and Harry are in the ultimate battle between good and evil. Every scene is filled with edge of your seat tension, great action, and of course, lots of magic…But in the end, it’s about the characters…Harry, his friends, his classmates and his beloved teachers.
Story continues after the jump.
Yes, there’s epic battles, but what stood out for me the most…is the story comes full circle. Questions are answered. We find out why Harry and Voldemort are connected to each other…and see characters in a new light…Severus Snape for one. Alan Rickman gives a beautiful, complex performance as Snape.
And Ralph Fiennes of course is absolutely amazing. Yes, he’s wearing a lot of makeup, but it’s his brilliant acting that makes Voldemort, absolutely terrifying.
Not to give too much a way, but the ending brought tears to my eyes. Okay, it doesn’t take much to bring tears to my eyes, but it was a beautiful ending…The film ends where it all began…more or less.
All the characters are back…Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Prof. Minerva McGonagall) and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) just to name a few.
I gave ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 five bagels out of five and John almost matched my score…after some arm twisting. The film opens in theaters Friday, July 15, 2011.
July 7, 2011 | 10:38 am
Posted By Joan Alperin Schwartz
Video by Joan and John Schwartz
The main thing I want when I watch a comedy…is to laugh…alot….And that is exactly what happened when I saw, director Seth Gordon’s new film, ‘Horrible Bosses’. This is a very funny comedy.
Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) has been working 12 hour days at Comnidyne Industries and swallowing all the abuse his twisted, sadistic, control freak boss, Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) throws at him. Nick even had to miss his Gam Gam’s funeral because Harken made him work. But Nick’s convinced it’s all worth it. Afterall, he’s next in line to become the Senior Vice President of Sales . Only it doesn’t happen. Dave decides to award the position to…himself. Now, Nick’s boss is not only the President, but also The Senior Veep.
Nick’s buddy, dental assistant, Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) spends every minute of his work-day fighting off the advances of his sex-crazed, nympho boss Dr. Julia Harris (the very funny Jennifer Anniston). Dr. Harris puts the X in X-rated. She’s always feeling everyone up…herself, her unconscious dental patients and especially…Dale. Harris is determined to have sex with Dale. It doesn’t bother her that Dale is engaged. And Dale can’t quit his job because…He happens to be a registered sex offender. One night, long ago, Dale had to pee…really badly…Unfortunately, he picked a local playground to relieve himself. Even though the park was empty, Dale got nailed and he’s now considered a Sexual Deviant.
Last but definitely not least is…Accountant, Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis)...Kurt’s boss, Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland has just died. The new owner of the Pellit Chemical Company is none other than Jack’s coke head, sex crazed, freak of a son…Bobby (the fantastic and unrecognizible Colin Farrell). All Bobby wants to do is bleed the Company dry. He plans on funnelling toxic waste into the ocean so he can save money. It doesn’t matter to Bobby that he’ll wind up poisioning thousands of people. If that’s not bad enough, Bobby orders Kurt to fire all the fat people and that handicap guy that rolls around in that strange, weird chair.
Three friends…Three ‘Horrible Bosses’...What to do? Well, it’s simple. Drive to the worst part of town, walk into a bar filled with African Americans and ask the bartender if he knows any…‘hit-men’. They don’t exactly get a hit man…What they do get is…Dean (‘MF’) Jones (Jamie Foxx) an ex-con and self described…Murder Consultant…who is nice enough to work on a ‘sliding scale’.
The three friends, with Dean’s help, come up with a plan straight out of Alfred Hitchock’s ‘Stranger On A Train’ and…absolutely nothing…goes as planned.
‘Horrible Bosses’ is an outrageous comedy with great characters, wonderful actors with brilliant comic timing and a story that everyone can relate to. The jokes all work and just like John and myself…(Two Jews On Film), I bet you will give this film…a very high bagel score.
‘Horrible Bosses’ opens in theaters, Friday, July 15, 2011.