David Vaughn

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David Vaughn  |  Apr 01, 2011  |  0 comments
During the Labor Day weekend in 1959, a group of friends go in search of a young boy's dead body on the outskirts of a woodsy Oregon town. The two day trek turns into an adventure of self-discovery as Gordy (Wil Wheaton), Chris (River Phoenix), Teddy (Corey Feldman), and Vern (Jerry O'Connell) must overcome some town bullies and find an inner strength they never knew they possessed.

Based on the Steven King novella "The Body," Stand by Me is one of my favorite films from my high school years. Director Rob Reiner takes you on a wonderful journey and reminds me of some of my own adventures (although I never went looking for a dead body). The performances from the young cast showed each had the talent to become Hollywood stars, but Phoenix threw it all away with a drug overdose in 1993.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 30, 2011  |  0 comments
In this beloved Biblical epic, Moses (Charlton Heston), once favored in the household of the Pharaoh (Yul Brynner), turns his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom with the help of God and his Ten Commandments.

Few motion pictures in the history of Hollywood reach the heights of this masterpiece. Cecil B. DeMille's last picture made Charlton Heston a superstar and holds up extremely well 55 years later. Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed, the special effects seem rudimentary today, but they look fabulous when put into the proper historical context.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 28, 2011  |  5 comments
Pursued by the King's troops, Flynn Rider (voice by Zachary Levi) takes refuge in a mysterious tower, but he's not alone. Before he knows it, he's tied to a chair by Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), a spirited teen with 70 feet of magical golden hair. Looking for her ticket out of the tower she's been trapped in for years, she strikes a deal with the handsome thief, and the duo set off on an adventure pursued by a determined horse, a pair of thugs, and an evil woman who doesn't want to lose her fountain of youth.

This is Disney's 50th full-length animated feature, and while I wouldn't consider it to the level of The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, it's very entertaining. There are a lot of laughs, especially from the horse and overprotective chameleon, but the musical numbers are a mixed bag.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 25, 2011  |  2 comments
A birthday weekend in Southern California goes off the tracks when sunrise arrives two hours early while a mysterious light source draws unsuspecting humans outdoors and are swept into massive alien ships that have appeared over the Los Angeles skyline.

There are a lot of bad movies that come out of Hollywood, but Skyline may be the worst I've seen in years. Character development is non-existent, the dialog is cringe-inducing, and the ridiculous twist ending is the cherry on top of a steaming pile—yes, it's that bad.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 23, 2011  |  0 comments
Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is in the emotional dumpster after getting cut from the Olympic softball team and shacks up with a major league baseball player and ladies' man, Matty (Owen Wilson) while she tries to put her life back together. Shortly after their relationship takes root she meets George (Paul Rudd), a business man facing his own personal issues with his father and a pending indictment by the Justice Department, and the two become good friends but could there be more to the relationship than she realizes?

Writer-director James L. Brooks' has quite a resume and I guess every now and then even the best of writers will release a stinker, and this certainly qualifies. The love triangle storyline had possibilities between Rudd, Wilson, and Witherspoon, but there are too many loose ends with Rudd's neurotic secretary (Katheryn Hahn) and his father (Jack Nicholson) that could have been excluded to quicken the pace and make the film more interesting.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 21, 2011  |  0 comments
A childhood illness gave George (Matt Damon) a unique ability to communicate with the deceased and the ability to lead a normal life vanished in the process. A French journalist Marie (Cecile de France) barely survives a horrific tsunami and for a brief moment enters the afterlife and begins to ask questions. Then there's young Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren), who loses his twin brother in an accident and he wonders where he's gone and if he can ever speak to him again. At some point, these three lives will intersect and set their lives on a better path.

Two time Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood has brought us some outstanding films but his last two, Invictus and now Hereafter, haven't measured up to his better projects. While I wouldn't say this is a bad film by any stretch, but it's pacing is too slow and runs about 20 minutes too long. Overall I thought the topic was interesting and I felt for each of the characters.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 18, 2011  |  0 comments
When Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) finds out that Jellystone Park is being sold, tossing him, Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake), and all their friends out of the only home they've ever known, he and Boo Boo join forces with is long-suffering nemesis, Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) in order to save the park from an evil politician.

This one certainly caters to a younger audience and I doubt viewers without kids would want to give it a look. Regardless, it actually isn't that bad and features surprisingly good 3D effects, a decent story, and the cartoon characters of Yogi and Boo Boo blend seamlessly with the live-action actors.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 16, 2011  |  0 comments
With her biological clock running out, Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) decides to take matters into her own hands and have a baby via artificial insemination. Her neurotic best friend, Wally (Jason Bateman), tries to talk her out of it but she ignores him and enlists the help of a sperm donor (Patrick Wilson) to complete the process. On the night of the "event," Wally has one too many drinks and may have tampered with the donation and when he meets Kassie's son seven years later his suspicions start to grow when the two have way too many similarities.

Jennifer Aniston's venture into feature films hasn't been a resounding success thus far, but this may be her best project. The chemistry she and Bateman share is outstanding and there are some serious laugh-out-loud moments starting with the crazy homeless man in the first scene of the movie. When the kid (Thomas Robinson) enters the picture it can get a tad sappy, but that's OK because he's adorable and the relationship he develops with Bateman's character is very touching.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 14, 2011  |  0 comments
The true-life story of "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his triumph in the ring despite the obstacles his fractured family put in his way. Whether it's his drug-addicted older brother (Christian Bale), his overbearing mother (Melissa Leo), or the endless parade of white-trash sisters, Micky must persevere in order to earn a shot at the title.

I expected something along the lines of Rocky, but the story is more in tune with The Wrestler, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ward's rise to the top happened in the mid-1990s, and I remember watching him fight for the title, but I didn't realize how high the mountain was that he had to climb due to his family struggles.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Smooth-talking playboy Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on the fast track to the top of the pharmaceutical-sales industry promoting a new miracle drug called Viagra. However, when he meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway) during one of his sales calls, he falls madly in love with her and is forced to choose between his career and the girl who captured his heart.

The trailers made this look like your typical romantic comedy, but it’s anything but. While it has its funny moments, it takes a very serious tone when tackling the subject of Parkinson’s disease and its effects on relationships. Hathaway and Gyllenhaal display great onscreen chemistry, but the supporting cast can be distracting, especially Gyllenhaal’s onscreen brother (Josh Gad), who’s quite annoying with his sophomoric behavior. If you find Hathaway attractive (I certainly do), then you’ll love the multiple sex scenes as she shows a lot of skin (and looks marvelous)!