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Movies with Michael Doherty

Friday, 14 December 2007

It's Friday and that means that Movie buff Michael Doherty is back on the coach with the latest release's and a sneak preview at an Oscar favourite with Irish interests.

Bee Movie (G)   
Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld
Director: Steve Hickner & Simon J. Smith

Verdict: Jerry Seinfeld has been plugging this Christmas movie for all it's worth, which may have something to do with the fact that he wrote, produced and stars in it. The story of a bee who wants to live outside the hive (in New York), it's smart and visually strong without being up there with the Pixar gems. Listen out for some famous voices, including Renee Zellweger, Chris Rock, Sting (no pun intended) and Oprah.

Trivia: It's been nearly a decade since Jerry Seinfeld ended his era-defining namesake show. Since then we've barely seen him, apart from the odd commercial, YouTube short or documentary on stand-up. Many mistook the public 'retiring' of his show for retirement altogether, but the comic did still want to work. Never a fan of his own acting, Seinfeld wanted to a) perform new material, and b) not do it in front of a camera. The answer became obvious, and here we are, with a new animated effort from Dreamworks. (source empire online)

Enchanted (PG)                              
Courtesy: Buena Vista
Starring: Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon
Director: Kevin Lima

Verdict: Amy Adams was terrific and deservedly Oscar-nominated for her performance in the indie hit, Junebug. At the time, we wondered if she had what it takes to mix it with the big girls - Angelina, Julia, Reese, et al. Enchanted answers the question in spades. Adams is terrific as the cartoon princess who finds herself in modern day New York where Prince Charming is waiting in the guise of Patrick ''McDreamy'' Dempsey. Disney has blended animation and live action in the past but never to such winning effect.

In truth, the script could have played more on everybody's in-built knowledge of classic Disney movies but there are still fine moments, strong performances (Timothy Spall and Susan Sarandon co-star) and a winning score from Oscar magnet Alan Menken. And what's not to like about a Christmas movie with magic mirrors, poison apples, dragons, glass slippers and a fine romance?

Trivia: The actresses who provided the voices for three previous animated Disney princesses make appearances in the film: Jodi Benson ('Ariel' in The Little Mermaid (1989)), Paige O'Hara ('Belle' in Beauty and the Beast (1991)), and Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas (1995)). Also, Julie Andrews, who starred as the title character in Disney's live-action Mary Poppins (1964), provides her voice here as the Narrator.
(Source imdb)

We Own The Night (15A)                              
Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Starring: Mark Wahlberg
Director: James Gray

Verdict: This powerful crime drama concerns two Brooklyn brothers who find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Joaquin Phoenix is the drug-using nightclub owner; Mark Wahlberg is the cop, hoping his sibling will inform on his fellow bad guys. Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes co-star in this well shot, well acted thriller.

Trivia: According to an interview with Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix would get into character by hurling insults at Robert Duvall between takes. This upset Duvall greatly and Wahlberg had to restrain him. (source imdb)


Sneak Peak

There Will Be Blood   (opens in the new year)                        
Courtesy: Buena Vista
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Synopsis: An epic tale of family, faith, power and oil set on the incendiary frontier of California's turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview, who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon. When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that there's a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W., to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday, Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But even as the well raises all of their fortunes, nothing will remain the same as conflicts escalate and every human value--love, hope, community, belief, ambition and even the bond between father and son--is imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.