Archive for October 29th, 2011

Movie Review:  “War Games – The Dead Code”
This is the sequel to the classic 1983 original “WarGames” starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy.  I got it because it was on sale and, unfortunately, it wasn’t worth the sale price.  This updated version is not really a sequel.  It’s more of a reboot, re-run, sequel.  It has one of the original characters (the brilliant inventor) and the original WOPR.  The WOPR is the only thing that really makes the movie interesting – but in the end, it isn’t enough.  This version was made in 2007 but actually was released direct to DVD in 2008 and I’d never heard of it until I saw it on the rack.  It stars Matt Lanter and Amanda Walsh – neither of which I can remember from anything else (deservedly so if this is an indication of their work).  If you’re desperate to see an update of a classic from that time period, go see the new “Footloose” and leave this on the sale rack.
Movie Review:  “The Happening
Another on sale DVD I picked up was “The Happening“, starring Mark Wahlberg and written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.  Basically, I picked this up because I like Mark Wahlberg and some of Shyamalan’s works have been okay, too.  I thought Wahlberg was great in Invincible and Shooter and I’ve enjoyed him in some of his other films, so I thought, what the heck.  This film is about “something” mysteriously starts “happening” to get people to kill themselves.  The story takes place over a couple of days and then the mystery just stops (or does it?).  Anyway, it’s a mildly entertaining film and Wahlberg carries the role and the film.  It’s definitely not a scary film (horror) and definitely not action.  It’s just an okay film to pass an evening watching.  I may screen it again or I may not.  Some of Shyamalan’s work gets better with re-watching a couple of times, so I probably will, but this isn’t a movie you think, “Wow, I’m gonna watch that again next … (month, year, whenever).”  There is one gruesome scene in a zoo with a lion and there’s another scene where a couple of young boys are murdered, so I would not watch this with small kids (or the squeamish) around.

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First have something to say, second say it, third stop when you have said it, and finally give it an accurate title.
     —    John Shaw Billings

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