<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/wrestler.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is an aging professional wrestler who's desperately trying to hang on to the fame and glory that once surrounded him. Bruised and battered both inside and outside the ring, Randy tries to piece together his life by attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and pursue a relationship with Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), an exotic dancer who's facing her own challenges.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/youngv.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>A young and fiery queen (Emily Blunt) inherits the throne from her uncle in the early 19th century. Spurning the advice of her mother and advisor, she befriends Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany), a self-serving politician who doesn't have the Queen's best interest at heart. Things turn around for the young monarch when she follows her heart and marries Price Albert (Rupert Friend).
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/blood.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a spellbinding performance as Daniel Plainview, a turn-of-the-century independent oil baron prospecting in California. He is a ruthless man who hates all men, including himself. Plainview manipulates the locals into selling their land to him, and in the process, he makes an enemy of a resident preacher.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/thischristmas.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>For the first time in years, all the Whitfield kids have come home to spend the holiday with their mother Ma'Dere (Loretta Devine) and her boyfriend Joe (Delroy Lindo). Each has brought their own issues with them, and as the family prepares for the holiday festivities, the ties that bind them together are tested. Isn't family wonderful?
At the age of 50, after a decade's absence from the stage, Michael Jackson was in the process of crafting an entirely new concert experience. His only audience was a small group of technicians and dancers who watched him create a show that would have marked his return to the stage. Fortunately, Jackson had a team of videographers on hand recording the proceedings for his personal archive and as original film content for the show. Sadly, on June 25theight days before the first dress rehearsalhe passed away due to an overdose of Propofol administered by his physician.
This Is It gives us a glimpse of what would have been an astounding concert experience, and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack exhibits clarity that I've never heard from his masterful music. Here are a few scenes to check out, but virtually every song is demo-worthy.
Banished from Asgard by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lands on Earth without his all-powerful hammer and must learn humility, compassion, and patience before he's allowed to return home. In his absence, his evil younger brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) ascends to the throne when their father falls into a coma, and he hatches a plan to permanently stay on top. On Earth, Thor must enlist the help of a beautiful scientist (Natalie Portman) and her team to survive as a mere mortal until he finds a way to return home and stop the nefarious plot.
Of the Marvel adaptations I've seen thus far, Iron Man is the best due to Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of the superhero. Hemsworth definitely looks the part with his chiseled physique and rugged good looks, but his acting abilities don't come close to Downey's. Despite his shortcomings, the story has enough action and comedy to keep things interesting, and while it's only average, I did find it enjoyable.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/tinkerbell.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Journey into the world of Pixie Hollow and discover the origins of Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman). Enter a land of adventure and mystery as she and her four best fairy friends turn winter into spring—and with the power of faith, trust, and a little pixie dust, learn the importance of being true to yourself.
Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman) finds herself trapped in the bedroom of Lizzy (Lauren Mote), a polite and lonely nine-year-old in dire need of a friend. While Tink's friends launch a dangerous rescue mission braving the hazards of a summer rainstorm, Tink and the young girl develop a special bond during their time together.
Disney has created quite a franchise around the adorable Tinker Bell with a series of books, apparel and toys, video games, and these Tink-specific films. While my family is older than the intended demographic, the story is heartfelt and the animation is spectacular. Normally I shy away from direct-to-video releases but the house of mouse have given these films the A-list treatment.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/tinklost.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The head of Disney Animation, John Lasseter, once said, "From the beginning, I kept saying it's not the technology that's going to entertain audiences, it's the story. When you go and see a really great live-action film, you don't walk out and say 'that new Panavision camera was staggering; it made the film so good.' The computer is a tool, and it's in the service of the story."
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/tinklost.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>It's autumn, and the fairies are on the mainland changing the colors of the leaves, tending to pumpkin patches, and helping geese fly south for the winter. The rare blue moon will soon rise to pass its light through the magical Fall Scepter so Pixie Hollow's supply of pixie dust will be restored. But when Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman) accidentally puts the community in jeopardy, she must travel across the sea in order to set things right.