Monthly Archives: May 2010

Shrek Forever After (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Shrek Forever After The Final Chapter 4 (how many names has it gone by now) is typical, summer family entertainment.  Talking animals, enchanted creatures, and the newest staple in animated films, three dimensions worth of action.  All of these elements coalesce into a film that offers fun for kids and adults alike. Read the rest of this entry

Shrek Forever After

They say within every adult there is a kid at heart.  That is definitely true.  When I found out that a new Shrek movie was coming out, there was no question in my mind that I was or wasn’t going to see it.  I admit that I caught onto the ogre bandwagon late.  I ended up seeing the first one as the second one was coming out.  With all the hype going around, I saw the original and then saw the second.  I loved the films and all the characters in them.  I was excited to see the characters I’ve grown to love in another go-around in the fourth theater installment in the series.  I’m still curious about the title change from Shrek Forever After to Shrek The Final Chapter, nonetheless an opening weekend viewing was in order and my thoughts being shared to all of you as well. Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: About Schmidt

I always look forward to watching Jack Nicholson.  Regardless of quality of the film he stars in, Nicholson always gives 110% to each character he portrays.  2002’s About Schmidt is no different.  In fact, Nicholson won the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture and was nominated for best actor by the Oscars and BAFTA for this role.  That right there should tell you what he brought to this film. Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: The Shining

One of Jack Nicholson’s most notable roles is as Jack Torrence in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Jack Nicholson’s role as Jack Torrance starts off as Jack being a former schoolteacher, who finds his calling as a writer. He decides to take a job as a summer resort’s winter caretaker. He uproots his wife and son, and terror ensues as Jack comes down with an extreme and terrifying case of cabin fever. By the time Jack Nicholson played Jack Torrance he had an extensive film and TV resume with a dozen or so credits under his belt. His role in The Shining solidified his place in Hollywood. Read the rest of this entry

MacGruber

Generally, no one should have had high hopes for this movie; it is a feature length film culled from 30-second clips on Saturday Night Live.  And those are usually hit-or-miss.  But I believed, given the ability to stretch beyond post-primetime television into an R-rated, creative medium, that MacGruber would be a spring/summer sleeper comedy.  With an upper-decker joke in the previews, how could it go wrong? Read the rest of this entry

Robin Hood

The story itself is iconic; it is a legend that to this day you will find children pretending to be.  It is about standing up for what is right although society says what you are doing is wrong.  It is a story about sacrifice, true love and what is means to be truely noble.  It is simply Robin Hood.  There are many “legends” that Hollywood has taken on and Robin Hood has been one legend that Hollywood can’t seem to get right.  Maybe it is the concept of taking from the rich and giving to the poor that Hollywood finds subconsiously unappealing that cause their versions to be lacking.  Whatever the root cause, 2010’s Robin Hood directed by Ridley Scott attempts to give us the “true” story behind the legend. Read the rest of this entry

3-2-1: Anniversary Edition (Our Favorites)

To celebrate our anniversary, we decided to share some of our favorite films, movie moments, and quotes.  The selections vary in many ways, as do the writers on the website.  Plus, our choices, I think are very revealing about who and what we are.   Take a look and share some of your favorites.

Ervin Villanueva

3 Favorite Films

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: The Spy Next Door

I admit it; when I see Jackie Chan’s name on anything, I’m instantly curious about what has he gotten himself into this time. In his latest release The Spy Next Door, he plays….wait for it….A Chinese National who has been “loaned” out to the CIA (at this point in time I’d like to point out that the likleyhood that the Chinese government would loan out anyone to the United States is beyond words I can use in a family friendly article). Yeah, raise your hand if you’ve scene a version of this before. Seriously though, Jackie is at home in the film. You get exactly what you expect from him; moments of unbelievable martial arts skill and the predictable slapstick. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Valentine’s Day

Sometimes gimmick movies pay off. In the case of Valentine’s Day, it paid off 52.1 million times opening day weekend. That’s a number surely to drop off dramatically going into week two. I should not need to mention what gimmick here is being a movie called Valentine’s Day that was released on valentine’s day weekend. Oops just did. The obvious target audience here is the romantic types to take their significant others to watch this film. Being that be the case is why Spencer and I are reviewing this film since my wife and his girlfriend desired to see this. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Extraordinary Measures

Extraordinary Measures or, as I like to call it, Indiana Jones and The Lost Enzyme of Pompe is a pretty ordinary film overall. So ordinary that it could have easily been a CBS movie of the week. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 22: Iron Man 2

Recorded live, on location, with more Devil’s Advocates than you could ever need, want, or imagine, we talk about Iron Man 2 this week.  The Devil’s Advocates make their predictions, talk to a small number of fans, and brave the cold and rain to discuss the film’s merits.

Give us a listen and we promise to take a break from comic book movies, for at least a week.

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Actor Spotlight: Ride in the Whirlwind

A little bit of history before I start in:  Ride in the Whirlwind was written by Jack Nicholson, directed by Monte Hellman, and produced by Roger Corman in 1965.  It was made for under 100,000 dollars and was filmed simultaneously with another Nicholson/Hellman/Corman production, The Shooting.   Both films failed to get a U.S. premiere, but rather a premiere in Paris, France four years later.  Neither film saw any real critical or box office success. Read the rest of this entry

Iron Man 2

There isn’t much to say about the plot for Iron Man 2 that isn’t covered in the trailer: a generic Soviet attempting to thwart Tony Stark, Stark fighting the government for control of his suit, and War Machine teaming up for a brawl.  Another unseen plot point is thrown into the mix, but it remains a simple story.  This is the part where many superhero movies go wrong: it is okay to stick with the basics as long as they are done well. Read the rest of this entry

Iron Man 2 (Devil’s Advocate Review)

To say expectations are high for Iron Man 2, two years after the original was a smash hit, would be an understatement.  On most levels it delivers, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t flaws here as Robert Downey Jr. returns as the man in the iron suit.  The common mistake that one makes when making sequels is simply trying too hard to top the predecessor.  Examples can be found in many of movie franchises whether it’s from the 80’s, 90’s, and down to current films being released.  Iron Man 2….no exception. Read the rest of this entry

Kristen Stewart Hits The Road With Jack

Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, a story based in the Jazz era,  is finally getting its big screen debut.  After years of failed attempts, The Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles, will bring his and Kerouac’s vision to the film.  It was recently announced that Twilight actress Kristen Stewart has been cast in the film as a character named Marylou.  

Being that the that the cross country epic is in its early stages, details are sparse.  It is currently scheduled for a 2011 release.   

The Three Musketeers Get Multiple Updates

Bourne Identity director Doug Liman has been tapped to direct an update of the Alexandre Dumas story.  Along with the news of Liman’s involvement, comes the news of another Musketeers project, directed by Death Race director Paul W.S. Anderson. 

No release dates are known, but the Anderson project is said to be in 3D.

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Edge of Darkness

Mel Gibson is back! After a 7 year absence from the big screen, apart from cameo appearances, the man who made being the scary cop cool has returned to us, with Edge of Darkness. Also starring Danny Huston and Ray Winstone, Edge of Darkness is a remake/update of a 1985 British television mini-series by the same name; the original series’ director, Martin Campbell, also directs this new version. (I was not aware this was a film remake until the end credits; possibly a marketing fail?) Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Legion

I am awaiting confirmation, but it seems to me that Hollywood wants the world to end. Okay that may be a little harsh, but for more than a decade now the number of apololiptic or end of the world films has increased. From natural phenomena to biblical prophecy, we have over the years watched this world end, the aftermath and even the salvation of mankind. Sony now introduces their vision of the End of Days in the 2010 release of Legion. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Daybreakers

Brief synopsis of the film goes like this: in the near future of 2019 it seems that a bat carried a mutation that transformed any person bitten to take on the characteristics of a Vampire ( no reflection, burst into flames in sunlight, craves blood, etc.) and the problem isn’t that the vast world’s population are Vampires but the fact that their human “food crops” are placing the human population to zero. Now the vampires look to their Hematology researchers to find an “alternative” food source. Ethan Hawke plays the lead researcher on the quest to “save” the Vampire species. His journey leads him to find more than an alternative but possibly a solution to end all problems. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 21: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy makes his return to the big screen, but is it a triumphant one?  This week Mike and our resident horror expert Rene Alvarado try to separate dream from reality.  Listen as they discuss remaking classic horror films, WB “teen” actors, and what qualifies as disturbing.

Give us a listen or we’ll send Michael Bay to produce a remake of your life.

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Happy Anniversary To Us

That’s right folks, it was one year ago today that our first film reviews went live. We were in our infancy stage and can now consider ourselves in the toddler stage.

To commemorate the event, Naveen had the brilliant idea of going around and taking photos of ourselves in front of movie posters, for films that we’re anticipating (in some cases, not so much). Read the rest of this entry

May Actor Spotlight: Jack Nicholson

Very few actors manage to bring a level of gravitas and insanity to each and every role, but our May actor manages some how.  From his hard boiled detective persona in Chinatown to his out of control inmate in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Jack Nicholson immerses himself into every role completely, which is why he is being honored by the Devil’s in May. Read the rest of this entry

A Nightmare on Elm Street

I know this is unprofessional to admit, but I fell asleep in the theater during the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Maybe it was a popcorn induced coma, who knows, but I fell asleep.  While asleep I dreamt that the new film, featuring Freddy the intrusive dream killer, was pretty dull.  In my dream Freddy was tormenting teens and killing them off one by one, but there were no real surprises, scares, or excitement.  Read the rest of this entry

A Nightmare On Elm Street (Devil’s Advocate Review)

A Nightmare On Elm Street is the latest remake to come out of the “no idea zone” that Hollywood has morphed into during recent years. This movie is one of the most unnecessary remakes ever made. The original is still a horror movie classic. But, this remake is saved by two things. A good performance by Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach from Watchmen) and a very smart and modern story that doesn’t sugar coat what makes Freddy such a unique and truly terrifying movie monster. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 20: The Losers

This week Mike welcomes Joe Wilhelm back to the show where they discuss The Losers, another in a long cavalcade of comic book films coming this season.   In the episode they talk about Chris Evans, the A-Team, and what passes for “over the top” in a comic book film.

Give us a listen or we’ll disavow you and strip you of your military ranking.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Leap Year

Leap Year is typical post-Oscar craze fare. And the truly sad part is that Oscar sweetheart Amy Adams is in this uninspired selection. She will no doubt come out unscathed, because everyone is allowed at least one bomb. Right? Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Tetro

Tetro is the second film of this new millennium from Five-time Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola and marks the first time he has written a screenplay since 1974’s The Conversation.   I have to admit it, when it comes to movies filmed in black and white the nostalgic part of me says; “This is how films were meant to be seen.”  If you happen to be among the lucky few that are able to find Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro playing in a movie theatre, I will tell you that you will not find another movie this year that was shot as beautifully as this one.  Simply put, the use of the black and white medium gives the movie life.  From his use of lighting to visual foreshadowing, Coppola shows us that he has not lost any of the tricks of the trade he has honed over the last half century.  Read the rest of this entry

The Good, The Bad, The Weird

“If you chase something to get something, something else will come to chase you.”

The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a homage to the classic Clint Eastwood spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It’s not a remake. It’s a tribute. And one of the best movies I have seen this year so far. Read the rest of this entry