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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Is the third time a charm? I’m Keith Kelly. My review of “Men in Black 3” is coming your way right now. It’s been a long time since we’ve last seen the Men in Black-10 years since the last sequel, and 15 years since the original. Can there be anything more to say about this movie universe that is relevant for today’s audience and that hasn’t already been said in the first two films? I’m happy to say, the answer is “yes”! “Men in Black III” has a few elements that still make it well worth watching. The first is the inventive framework that has been fleshed out in this entry by director Barry Sonnenfeld and screenwriter Etan Cohen-the idea that we are far from alone in the cosmos, and that we need a secret group of enforcers to protect the earth from the scum of the universe. That idea was a lot of fun in the first film-less so in the second. It’s freshened up a bit in number 3 with the addition of a time travelling component. Another element that is key to its success is the pairing of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. There have been many odd couples in buddy films-Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, Steve Martin and John Candy, Woody and Buzz-but Misters Smith and Jones bring a unique chemistry and charm to the series. It’s a great sweet and sour mixture that has brought about some of the best moments of these movies, and makes them one of films’ finest partnerships. Adding a unique twist to this formula is the addition of the brilliant Josh Brolin as a younger version of Agent K. He alone is worth the price of admission, perfectly capturing the cadence, look and feel of the character. It’s not just an impersonation-he really steps into Tommy Lee Jones’ shoes, and brings to life a younger, less embittered version of the character. A big surprise for me was how well this casting worked. It really feels like you went back in time-the chemistry still works-yet in a deeper way. The profoundness is also something I didn’t expect. There is an undercurrent of greater emotion that runs throughout this film that didn’t exist in the others. It’s a richer statement about friendship and love, about longing and regret, about doing the right thing even if it’s going to cost you. Enhancing this more complex feeling is the great new character of Griffin-a spacey space traveller who can see multiple possibilities of reality. Also effective was Jemaine Clement-almost totally unrecognizable as Boris the Animal. Emma Thompson was wasted in the new role as the new head of MIB-Agent O. She had one amusing bit that went on too long, and was mostly included to help the story in the 60s make sense. Possibly they’ll expand her character if they make a fourth film. The film could have been tightened in a few places, such as in the Chinese restaurant scene, but overall moves at a nice pace-especially once they jump to the 60’s. This is a solid entry into what was becoming a tired series, and actually makes me look forward to a fourth outing-if there ever is another. I give “Men In Black 3” a grade of “B+”. I’m Keith Kelly. Connect to your audience, grow sales, motivate your employees and more with Story Films by Innovative Communications. Contact us to get started on YOUR Story. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 30 May 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv On paper, the combo of Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton in a movie version of “Dark Shadows” seems like a perfect fit. In reality-not so much. I’m Keith Kelly, and my thoughts on “Dark Shadows” are coming your way right now. Movies by Tim Burton always have a unique way of looking at the universe. Thru Mr. Burton’s eyes-it’s usually a cooky, creepy weird world full of dysfunctional characters, alienation, outlandish situations and great imagination. “Dark Shadows” has all of that-but it’s still missing something. Based on a gothic soap opera that ran from 1966-1971, “Dark Shadows” has all the ingredients found in a typical Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration, and seemed like it could be another great addition to the partnership which gave us Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka, Sleepy Hollow, and Edward Scissorhands. I was excited when I first heard about this project because I was one of the many kids who ran home from school back in the day to watch it on our black and white TV. It was live TV that featured vampires, witches and werewolves. But being a soap opera, it was also melodramatic, featured lots of bad acting, and had plots that stretched on forever. Still, it had a certain kind of weird magic. The film version almost succeeds in making a watchable full-length feature of the creaky old TV show-it’s got all the elements, but unfortunately very little magic. It’s not slavish to the source material, but instead uses the original as a springboard to unleash the talents of Depp and Burton. If you haven’t seen the previews-the plot involves Barnabas Collins as a man cursed to be a vampire, then buried alive for almost 200 years. He awakes in 1972 as a creature out of time and out of place. “Dark Shadows” never really nails the tone. It’s not quite a remake or a parody, not an all-out comedy or a horror film, but ends up sort of stuck in the middle. The visuals, costumes and sets are all pretty cool and up to par for a Burton movie, but the film feels hollow and, unintentially, a bit lifeless. Characters seem to exist just to conveniently move the plot along. The theme is o.k.-“blood is thicker than water”, but never delivers on the promise. Depp is interesting to watch, but his bad community theater-like make-up is an over-the-top distraction. “Dark Shadows” is not a complete disaster-it’s got solid, interesting actors in all the major roles, great set design and attention to detail, some soap opera like moments and a few decent laughs-it’s just not a 4 star masterpiece. The biggest issue for me was the central character of Barnabas Collins. The original vampire, played by Jonathan Frid, was an iconic character with depth and substance that has grown a legion of fans over decades because of Frid’s magnetic portrayal. The Johnny Depp version is more like a watered-down cartoon version, with a healthy helping of Willy Wonka mixed in. Wait for the DVD on this one folks-I give “Dark Shadows” a grade of “B-“. I’m Keith Kelly. Connect to your audience, grow sales, motivate your employees and more with Story Films by Innovative Communications. Contact us to get started on YOUR Story. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 15 May 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Can anything new be said in a romantic comedy? Do Jason Segel and Emily Blunt make a believable couple? I’m Keith Kelly. Find out next in my review of “The Five-Year Engagement”. When a movie is promoted by the tagline “from the producers of Bridesmaids”-you know you’re probably in for a good, sometimes raunchy ride. You get a bit of that, plus some unexpected surprises, twists and turns in “The Five-Year Engagement”. The title gives you a fair idea of what to expect-even if you haven’t seen the trailers. Starring the big puppy dog of a man Jason Segel, and the beautiful Emily Blunt, we meet a couple that seems perfect for each other-even though Violet is enormously attractive and Tom is, well, Jason Segel . Most romantic comedies take their sweet time getting couples together. It’s not a spoiler to reveal that Tom and Violet get engaged within the first five minutes of the film. But what helps make this movie enjoyable is how they shake up the “boy meets girl” formula. Just when you think you’ve got the plot figured out-it takes a delightful right turn-just like real life sometimes does. And that’s the point of this film. If you ever think you’ve got a handle on life, you’re eventually going to be surprised, sometimes disappointed, and find that relationships are always a “work in progress”. Marriage, and life in general, is more about the journey than the destination. Sometimes you’ve got to grab hold of things right now, instead of waiting for the right moment. The solid chemistry between the two leads goes a long way in carrying this film. You’ve got to like and care for the couple in a romantic comedy for the movie to succeed. But I don’t want you to think that “The Five-Year Engagement” is nothing but a sap fest. Even though there is a lot of sweetness in this film, there are also many laugh out loud moments-some gross, some silly-many of them thanks to the superb supporting cast, including Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation, Chris Parnell from SNL, and Brian Posehn-a strange looking dude whose name probably doesn’t register, but his face will. Lots of good little character bits everywhere you look. It’s not a all fun and laughs-there are some serious relationship moments, but never so many that he film bogs down. It’s a great date movie-especially if you’ve been with your sweetie for a long time-enough wacky stuff for the guys, enough sunsets and long walks for the gals. My quibbles are one too many bare ass shot of Jason Segel, a plot that could use a tiny bit of tightening, and a little too convenient, wrapped up ending. With all that in mind, I give “The Five-Year Engagement”, directed by Nicholas Stoller, and co-written by Stoller and Jason Segel, a grade of “B”. I’m Keith Kelly. Are you an entrepreneur, or business leader that would like to connect more with your audience, sell more product, or motivate your employees? Let Keith Kelly, Business Story Coach of Innovative Communications give you a hand telling YOUR story in a short film. For more info, go to: *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 1 May 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv The Three Stooges have been resurrected for the 21st Century. Is that a good or bad idea? My thoughts coming up right now. The slapstick characters Moe, Larry and Curly are back on the big screen, together again for the first time since their last appearance in the 1940’s. That’s a long stretch of time for a comeback! Only this time, they are not played by the originators-Moe and Curly Howard and Larry Fine, but instead are reincarnated by 3 remarkably similar looking and sounding actors who do a pretty fine job (pun intended) of bringing their characters back to life. The Stooges have always had a polarizing effect on audiences, starting with their early appearances in the 1930’s. Most guys loved them, and most women thought they were stupid. Their highly physical gags involved pokes to the eyes, sledgehammers to the heads, crowbars stretching mouths, and other assorted mayhem. They were masters of their craft and delighted generations of kids–to the horror their moms. So why bring them back? They are discovered daily by new audiences, and are fondly remembered and still watched by old fans-thanks to reruns on local TV shows like Chicago’s Stoogapalooza. The audience I viewed the film with was a mixture of young families, and old farts like myself. Lots of belly laughs from all. Other movies bring in new people for established roles-James Bond, Batman and Superman are just a few-so why not the Stooges? And who better than the writing/directing team of the Farrelly Brothers-the guys most famous for the slapstick filled “Something About Mary”. I know the idea is sacrilegious to some, but the Farrelly Brothers mostly succeed. All the actors, including the pre-teen versions of our knuckleheads, are spot-on in their characterizations. It’s especially fun to watch the younger lame brains. From the cadence of their voices, to their stances, to their distinctive facial expressions and actions, they all bring back strong memories of the original Stooges. Even the sound effects are right on the money. The plot is lifted right from some old episodes-so don’t go in expecting a deep story. Larry, Moe and Curly need to raise money to save an orphanage, and along the way get pulled involuntarily into a plot to knock off the husband of a money hungry wife. The main update to the familiar scenario is that the Stooges we know and love exist not in the 1930’s or 40’s-but in 2012. Other than part of the last act, and a couple of earlier bits, the filmmakers don’t play enough with the absurdity of the Stooges being around in today’s society. Nobody seems to notice that they look, sound and act like they stepped right out of the 1930’s. But that’s o.k. This film is a living, breathing homage to the original Stooges, and includes all the types of bits we grew to love-the play on words, the wacky sight gags, the physical humor, the “nyuk, nyuck nyuks” the woobwoobwoobwoobs, Curly spinning on his belly-they’re all here. Even other chestnuts are onscreen like the funny names of firms-remember the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe from the original shorts? There’s more of the same in this film. The biggest weakness is the supporting cast-especially the nuns. They are not allowed to be outrageous enough-especially Larry David, (yup, you heard me-Larry David is a nun), and Jane Lynch. They are not nearly as funny in this movie as they have been in other performances, and are mostly used to forward the plot. But, the supporting cast were never the standouts in the originals either. The Stooge style of humor is not as fresh or funny as in the initial shorts, but, all in all, this nostalgic yet modern take on one of comedies most enduring teams almost has you believing that the Three Stooges are back in town. Hurray for the Farrelly Brothers having the guts to take on this challenge. I give the new Stooges an “A” for effort, and the film an overall grade of “B-“. I’m Keith Kelly. Let Innovative Communications translate your company’s dreams and vision into a cinematic video that gets results. Contact Keith Kelly to get started. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 17 Apr 2012
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  • 5 Apr 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv “The Hunger Games” was a best selling book-now its breaking box office records. But is the movie any good? I’m Keith Kelly, and my thoughts are coming up right now. I’m not going to be comparing the book version of “The Hunger Games” to the movie version, because I’m one of the few that haven’t yet read any of the books. Instead you’ll get an unbiased look at how this story holds up as a film. Overall, this was an enjoyable, sometimes thrilling, futuristic adventure. It’s got a little bit of everything-a strong yet vulnerable female lead, a love triangle, battles to the death and a dystopian framework. It’s based on the young adult series by author Suzanne Collins, and is set in a messed up war-torn future, where America as we know it is gone-replaced by Panem-a country divided into the Capitol, and 12 other districts. Most of the country outside the Capitol is dirt-poor, with a small fraction of society controlling the wealth and power. Sound familiar? To keep the people in check, there is a yearly televised gladiator contest-a fight to the death, with the participants being chosen in a lottery system. There are 24 contestants-a male and a female from each of the 12 districts, and they fight on live TV until only 1 champion is left alive. The victor gets the spoils-a life of wealth and luxury. The film mostly centers on the two tributes from District 12-Katniss and Peeta, as we follow their grooming, mentoring, and finally, their battles to survive. The strongest part of this film is it’s lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence. She plays Katniss with just the right mixture of toughness and sensitivity, which really helps anchor the story. The believability of her portrayal helps drive the emotions of the film. I’m not sure how she stacks up to the book version, but she nails it in the movie. Also excellent were Stanley Tucci as TV Host and MC Caesar Flickerman and Woody Harrelson as Haymich Abernathy-a hard drinking former District 12 combatant who years earlier survived the Hunger Games. The weakest link was Josh Hutcherson as fellow District 12 Tribute Peeta. I know I’ll probably get a lot of “you’re so stupid!” comments from the young female viewers because of his growing popularity and hunkieness-but hear me out. There was nothing technically wrong with his performance. But Peeta didn’t come off as a fully realized person to me-he seemed more like an actor emoting and forwarding the narrative than a living, multi-faceted human being. I’m not sure if there were more shades of grey to his character in the novel-but in the film I didn’t quite buy the character or the portrayal. Maybe if I were a 12 year old girl I would be head over heels in love with him-but I’m not and I wasn’t. The pacing was well done, moving at a nice clip for a long movie, and the tension and scares were handled well. However the cinematography and editing of the hand to hand action scenes were all “shaky cam” with lots of really fast cuts-which is not my favorite way of viewing fight scenes. Yes, it’s realistic and visceral-but you can never tell who’s stabbing who or who is winning until the victor stands and the vanquished lies dead. Even with all my quibbles, “The Hunger Games”, directed by Gary Ross, is a very solid first entry in the franchise, earning it a grade of “B”. I’m Keith Kelly. Let Innovative Communications translate your company dreams and vision into a cinematic video that gets results. Contact Keith Kelly to get started. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 27 Mar 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv O.K. this John Carter movie looks sorta like a Star Wars rip-off. Why should I spend my money to go see a retread? I’m Keith Kelly. Stick around, and I’ll let you know why “John Carter” is worth a trip to theatre. I’m going to confess right up front that I’ve been a fan of John Carter of Mars for over 40 years. The original novel was written way back in 1911, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whom some of you may know by his more famous creation-Tarzan of the Apes. I instantly fell in love with the swashbuckling adventures of Mr. Carter, his princess Deja Thoris, the landscapes of a dying planet Mars, the 4-armed 15 foot tall Tharks, and all the other great bits of imagination that soaked every page. The film has been in development hell since the 1930’s-first as an animated version, then with stop-motion, then with an ever-increasing list of filmmakers trying to get a handle on the sweeping story. Its influences have been seen in everything from Flash Gordon, to Superman, to Star Wars and Avatar. George Lucas especially borrowed heavily from the series. Maybe “borrowed” is too nice a word. So Walt Disney finally bankrolled Director Andrew Stanton-the guy who brought Wall-E to life, and the end result is the $250 million “John Carter”. I guess they figured naming the film with its original title “A Princess of Mars” might have seemed a bit too wimpy. The end result is a pretty decent movie that the trailers don’t do justice. Not totally spectacular, but a good, solid action-adventure space opera fitting for most members of the family. It’s not slavish to the book-which is not a bad thing since literary and movie tastes have changed a lot in the past hundred years. It does hold true to all the important aspects of the novel. Fighting man John Carter gets transported to a dying planet-Mars, or “Barsoom” as the natives call it. Because of the difference in gravity, he finds he is stronger, faster, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He first meets the savage Tharks, and their noble leader, or “Jeddak”-Tars Tarkas. We follow his adventures as he slowly steps into the role he is destined for-Savior of the planet Barsoom, and as he falls in love with Dejah Thoris. This film is an exotic adventure, with great visuals, realistic and emotive alien creatures, stirring action and even a little romance. It does get a little too “talky” at times, slowing down the pace too much, and it takes awhile to get to the full-out action scenes, but it’s all worth it in the end. Taylor Kitsch was not what I had originally envisioned as John Carter, but he won me over with his quiet brooding charm and a touch of humor-he wasn’t just a hunk with lots of muscles. Lynn Collins makes a luminous modern princess-smart, self-reliant with the ability to kick-ass. Mark Strong is slimy and powerful as the villain Matai Shang. I would have liked some more screen time for Willem Dafoe’s excellent Tars Tarkas, to see a little more of the building friendship that was in the book, but maybe we’ll see more of that in a sequel-if the box office demands one. I give John Carter, directed by Andrew Stanton, a grade of “B”. I’m Keith Kelly. Let Innovative Communications translate your company dreams and vision into a cinematic video that gets results. Contact Keith Kelly to get started. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 14 Mar 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Finally, a female action star who can really kick ass! I’m Keith Kelly, and my review of “Haywire” starring mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano is coming up right now. Imagine James Bond, mixed with Jason Bourne-but only as a woman. Then imagine that character being set-up and on the run. That’s the basic premise of director Steven Soderbergh’s classy retro action flick-“Haywire”. This is a solid, no nonsense espionage thriller with lots of bone crunching action, double and triple crosses, and cool, stylish characters. All the spy stuff in the movie is just an excuse to showcase acting newcomer Carano’s fighting prowess. The plot is a bit confusing and pretty shallow when you break it down-but that doesn’t matter so much-it’s enough to watch Carano as Mallory Kane taking on all the obstacles in her path. The action scenes alone are worth the price of admission. They seem to be fought by real people governed by real laws of physics, and you can actually tell what is going on-blow by blow. My biggest complaint with many modern fight sequences is their rapid fire editing, which often leaves you scratching your head over who is hitting whom. Not so in this film. While not a seasoned actress, Carano brings a solid intensity to her character. Director Soderbergh smartly surrounds her with much more seasoned pros, such as, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and Michael Fassbinder. He lets the powerful ensemble do most of the talking and acting, and leaves Gina to kick their heads in. “Haywire” has a 1970’s look and sound to it, and Soderbergh’s stylistic touches help elevate this generic story into an enjoyable, lightweight piece of globe-trotting espionage, earning it a grade of “B”. I’m Keith Kelly. Like to get your business on the map with online video, but don’t know where to start? Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications-he’ll help effectively tell your story effectively with a video that gets results. Http://www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 26 Jan 2012
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Robert Downey Jr. is back again as Sherlock Holmes, and this time he’s up against his most fiendish challenger, Professor Moriarty. I’m Keith Kelly, and my review is coming up right now. Guy Ritchie is again directing the world’s most famous sleuth-first brought to life in Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, and then on stage and on screen. Just incase you haven’t seen Ritchie’s first film-this is not your grandfather’s consulting detective. In this rendition, the emphasis is first on action, and second on the analytical observations. Like most sequels, just about everything is amped up. More fine-tuned is the relationship between Holmes and Watson-played again by Jude Law. They bicker, fight, insult and support each other with great vigor-in ways only best friends and partners can do. They are one of the best on-screen duos since Redford and Newman, and by themselves make the flick worth watching. Jared Harris is impeccable as Professor Moriarty-an intellectual equal of Holmes who uses his powers of genius for evil instead of good. Some of the best scenes in “A Game of Shadows” involve the mental duels between Downey and Harris, which are played with just the right level of one-upmanship. There are also three women roles, but they are mostly involved to forward the plot, and don’t add much to the story. The film involves Holmes trying to get to the bottom of the world-changing scheme that Moriarty is putting into place. The plot is a bit more coherent and straight- ahead than in the first film, but still has a bit too much nonessential filler, and not enough mystery. It’ s also way too “elementary” for a Sherlock Holmes tale. Sorry-couldn’t resist. In between the detective work is lots-and I mean LOTS of action-fist fights, machine gun and canon battles and more. The clashes are shot with director Ritchie’s signature style, and are a thrill to watch. Once again we are treated to an inside look at the way Sherlock intellectually breaks down a battle. I know this amped up version is an affront to those who enjoy the much more cerebral original books. I’ve read all the stories, and have seen many of the screen adaptations. My all-time favorite Holmes is still Jeremy Brett from the BBC series-in my mind he was the closest in spirit, looks and brilliance. Still, the combination of Robert Downey and Jude Law, gorgeous sets and costumes, and impressive visual flair, make it a fun romp at the theatre. I give “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” the grade of “B”. I’m Keith Kelly. Like to get your business on the map with online video, but don’t know where to start? Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications-he’ll help effectively tell your story effectively with a video that gets results. Http://www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 22 Dec 2011
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Martin Scorsese is not the first name that comes to mind when you think “Family Film”-but his “Hugo” is a masterpiece. I’m Keith Kelly, and my review is coming up right now. “Hugo” follows the adventures of an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station in 1930’s Paris. It’s part Dickens, part mystery, as young Hugo tries to survive on his own, while also attempting to unravel the secret behind an old mechanical man his late dad discovered. In my aim to remain spoiler free I won’t reveal too much more of the plot. “Hugo” was one of my favorite films of the year. It’s beautiful, emotional, artistic and moving. It’s filled with wonderfully intriguing performances from top to bottom, including the deeply expressive Asa Butterfield as the title character, Chloe Grace Moretz as Isabelle, his young adventurous companion, Ben Kingsley as enigmatic papa George, and standout Sacha Baron Cohen as the silly and sad station inspector. The film is literally told from the eyes of a child, and so it’s filled with wonderment, imagination and bewilderment. The world Scorsese created is bigger than life-both magical and scary, and is fully realized in the mechanical set designs brought completely to life with some of the best 3D treatments I’ve seen at the theatre. Hugo is also a film about film, and how a filmmaker can combine technology, dreams and passion to create visual art that moves and inspires people and touches lives for generations. It’s also about finding and holding onto your purpose in life-if you lose your purpose, it’s like you are broken. I could go on and on about how well this film works on so many levels. It’s not just a “family film”-it’s an extraordinary and visually stunning film. Make sure to see it in 3D-as the depth and life given by the artistic use of this device is breathtaking. “Hugo” is a treasure and triumph of filmmaking, and is bound to be a classic for generations to come. I give “Hugo”, based on the book by Brian Selznick, and one of Martin Scorsese’s best efforts, a grade of “A+”. I’m Keith Kelly. Like to get your business on the map with online video, but don’t know where to start? Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications-he’ll help effectively tell your story effectively with a video that gets results. Http://www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 29 Nov 2011
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*******www.innovtivecommunications.tv Will “Immortals” live forever in cinema history as one of the greatest action flicks ever? I don’t think so. I’m Keith Kelly, and my review is coming up right now. Two things intrigued me about “Immortals” a “swords and sandals”/ greek mythology film-one was the trailer, which showed lots of edgy, cool looking ancient battles, and the other was its rising star-Henry Cavill. I especially started to pay more attention once Henry was announced as the new “Man of Steel” in the upcoming Superman reboot. I’m a huge Superman fan-and wanted to see how he might potentially fill those boots in this action epic. Here’s the good news. There are lots of things to admire in this film. The art direction was great-almost every environment and set had an other-worldly, gritty fantasy look to them. The casting was solid with Cavill as Theseus, Mikey Rourke as the bad guy King Hyperion, Luke Evans as Zeus and Frieda Pinto as Phaedra, the love interest. They all looked and sounded like they really belonged in their roles. Much of the action was fun to watch-it reminded me of the bloody battles in the “Spartacus” TV show and from the film “300”-which is a good thing. But then you get to the plot and pacing-which is where things start to fall apart. The storyline deals with Olympic gods and their ancient battle with the Titans-the repercussions of which boil over some centuries later into the time of Theseus. King Hyperion, feeling slighted by the gods-whom he blames for the death of his family-is on a rampage--wiping out everyone in his path. Theseus, a bastard peasant, has been mentored by Zeus-disguised in mortal form as an Old Man. It’s already starting to get a little confusing, isn’t it? It’s not so much that the script has trouble making sense, but it really has issues driving a clear storyline, and moving the pieces forward. There are many threads that go nowhere-relationships set-up that are abandoned, and an ending that leaves you hanging and confused. The pacing is uneven and many times sluggish, especially when it gets into the pseudo greek mythology dialogue scenes. It’s a shame, because with another2 or 3 re-writes, this could have easily been a truly epic fantasy adventure. Henry Cavill shows he’s got what it takes to believably play a hero, and Mikey Rourke is filled with power and menace-but the film never takes full advantage of this potent twosome. I give “Immortals”, directed by Tarsem Singh, a grade of “C+”. I’m Keith Kelly. Like to get your business on the map with online video, but don’t know where to start? Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications-he’ll help effectively tell your story effectively with a video that gets results. Http://www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 15 Nov 2011
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Back for some more stoner laughs, it’s time for “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”. I’m Keith Kelly. My review-coming up right now. We first met odd couple buddies Harold and Kumar in their weed inspired quest to pig out on White Castle hamburgers. It was a hilariously outrageous romp, a sort of multi-cultural Cheech and Chong meets the 21st century, and it helped reinvent Neil Patrick Harris as a comedy bad boy. Next up, they were mistaken for terrorists and sent to Guantanemo Bay. I never got around to seeing that one-but the word on the street was-not as good as the first. Their latest adventure is a raunchy 3D Christmas tale, which tries really hard to be one of the funniest and most shocking holiday films ever made. Unfortunately, it’s a mostly lackluster escapade. Harold and Kumar have both moved on in their lives, and are no longer best buds. Harold is married, hard working and successful-and has laid off the pot. Kumar is fatter, still lazy, and still stoned. A mysterious Christmas gift reunites them, leading to a search for the perfect Christmas tree. Another crazy, madcap night ensues. There are lots of raunchy comedic set-ups in this film-a drugged 2 year old, a spoof on the Claymation holiday classics, a painful parody of a scene from “A Christmas Story”, and a musical number featuring Neal Patrick Harris and the boys-but none of them really deliver the belly laughs as they should. Lots of smiles, one “laugh out loud” moment-but not a continuous laugh riot. It’s a shame, because Cho and Penn have great chemistry together, and the supporting cast is filled with some funny people. But the wacky charm of the first film is just not there. The running gags drag on too long and don’t fully deliver. I’m not saying this is a horrible comedy- but maybe you need to imbibe like Harold and Kumar to fully get the most out of this latest entry. You do need to see the film in 3D to take advantage of some of the sight gags-like pot smoke rings blown into 3D space, or cocaine floating in slow-motion like snow flakes-but otherwise it’s a “wait for the DVD” kind of movie. I give “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, a grade of “C+”. I’m Keith Kelly. Grow your business with online video. Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications to get started. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 7 Nov 2011
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Cancer doesn’t seem like an obvious subject choice for date night at the movies, does it? Well how about a funny, charming, romantic, heartfelt film about cancer? I’m Keith Kelly. My review of “50/50” coming up right now. Cancer is a very tough subject. Just about everybody has been touched by it-directly or indirectly. Cancer is not prejudiced. It devastates the young and the old, the rich and poor, the good and the bad. It’s a horrible way to leave this earthly plane. So why would anyone want to spend an hour and a half in a theatre watching a movie about cancer? Given the main storyline, I don’t think people will be swarming to see this film--but don’t let the topic scare you off-you should give it a viewing. “50/50” (named after the survival chances) is a very sweet film inspired by a true story that’s really about more than just cancer. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt plays Adam- the uptight nice guy that gets the bad news. Seth Rogen is his slacker stoner buddy Kyle that helps him deal with the lousy hand he’s been dealt. The film uses the diagnosis of cancer as an agent of change, and as a source of discovery for the characters individually, and also in their relation to others. It’s a tale about the human condition-not so much about the disease. The characters are all genuine and recognizable, helped especially by the chemistry and acting chops of Rogen and Gordon-Leavitt. Adam and Kyle are longtime best friends, almost an “odd couple” and have a great casual, loose relationship. Both change for the better because of the battle that needs to be fought. There’s lots of humor here-not exactly what you’d expect in a cancer movie, but what you WOULD expect with Seth Rogen being involved. But this time he brings lots of humanity to his role. The laughs come from real places, which makes sense once you learn that Rogen’s buddy Will Reiser wrote the script. It’s his own story that inspired the film. All the leads put in strong and nuanced performances, including a softer than usual Anna Kendrick as the therapist, Bryce Dallas Howard as the emotionally cool girlfriend and Anjelica Huston as the smothering mom. You’ll laugh a little, cry a little and rejoice about life after viewing this film. I give “50/50” directed by Jonathan Levine, a grade of “B+”. I know I’ve been given out a lot of those lately, but that’s one of the things I like about movies that come out in the fall and winter. Many of them are actually exceptional, and not just big and loud popcorn movies. I’m Keith Kelly. Get your business greater visibility, brand awareness and increased sales with online video. Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications to get started. It’s easy! *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 4 Oct 2011
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv I could start out my review of “Moneyball” with a line like “Is it a homerun, or does it strike out?” but that would be clichéd and obvious-two things this film is NOT. I’m Keith Kelly. My thoughts on “Moneyball” coming up right now. “Moneyball” is the story of Billy Beane, the real life general manager of the Oakland A’s, who attempts to put together a winning team on a laughable budget. Outspent by the other big leaguers, he relies on analytical tools instead of deep pockets. Doesn’t sound like the stuff of thrilling cinema, does it? But this is actually a masterful story that goes way past the overcooked clichés of most “sport” films. Brad Pitt heads up the wonderful cast as the radical thinking GM. With the help of young upstart Peter Brand (played by an understated Jonah Hill) he learns that using the modern tools of statistical data can surpass the ancient methods of building a ball club, which rely more on intuition. I’m going to fess up right now that I’m not a huge sports fan, so I’m probably not the target market for this baseball movie. It doesn’t really matter though, because this film works on many levels. If you are a huge sports nut, it’s a great inside look at the building of a winning team, using the tools of sabermetrics. If you’re more like me, a casual observer of sports, you’ll find this tale is about far more than just baseball. It’s about dealing with disappointment and learning to grow past your own disillusionments. It’s about not being afraid to stick your neck out when the whole world is telling you you’re an idiot. It’s also about reaching outside of your comfort zone, past the safe and easy, even though your self-imposed cocoon may be very comfortable. Brad Pitt brings loads of humanity to his role, aided by the sharp and witty dialogue from Aaron Sorkin. It’s not a super-showy part, but Pitt brings just the right level of intensity and frustration. The rest of the cast, including Jonah Hill and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are also superb and restrained in their portrayals. I give “Moneyball”, directed with just the right tone by Bennett Miller, a grade of “B+”. I’m Keith Kelly. Get your business greater visibility, brand awareness and sales with online video. Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications to get started. It’s easy! *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 27 Sep 2011
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*******www.innovativecommunications.tv Hey hey, they're the monkees-and they're not fooling around. I'm Keith Kelly. My review of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" coming up right now. It all started way back in 1968-the first of several Planet of the Apes films where the primates were at the top of the pecking order. The make-up effects were groundbreaking for its day, and even won an Oscar. Jump ahead past 4 decreasingly effective sequels to Tim Burton's remake in 2001. All I can say about that one is Mark Wahlberg was no Charleton Heston. So now we've got a brand new entry-a reboot of sorts to the whole saga, set in modern times-not the far future. Only this time we don't have people wearing prosthetic make-up. All of the various types of chimps, gorillas and orangutans are computer generated. Caeser is the lead ape in this one, and is played with incredible pathos by Andy Serkis-who acted out the whole part wearing sophisticated motion-control gear. He did similar simian duty with another harry character-King Kong, and is probably most famous as Gollum from Lord of the Rings. His performance is key to the success of this surprisingly good film. The story is nothing special-good guy scientist James Franco is working on a cure for Alzheimer's, spurred on by his dad who is affected by the disease. The test subjects are chimps, and little genius baby Caeser is the accidental outcome. The good guys all have hearts of gold, and the bad guys are all heartless bastards. The main theme is yet another variation on "don't fool around with mother nature." But the strength of Serkis's role as Caeser lifts this film above most of the other entries in the series-and many of the movies so far this summer. You really feel for the chimp, as he struggles with his outsider status and growing intelligence-not human, yet more than ape. All of the actors, including Freida Pinto as the love interest, John Lithgow as the dad, Brian Cox and Tom Felton as a couple of the baddies, put in decent performances-hampered only by the limitations of the script. If you're a fan of the series, I think you're really going to enjoy this one. But even if you've never seen any of them-or the TV series, or the cartoons, or the comic books-you're still good, and you might find yourself shedding a tear or two over Caeser's treatment, which makes the ape versus human action scenes even more exciting and plausible. I give "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", directed with lots of emotion by Rupert Wyatt, a grade of "B+". I'm Keith Kelly. Take advantage of the video revolution-get your business noticed with online video. Contact Keith Kelly at Innovative Communications to get started. *******www.innovativecommunications.tv
  • 6 Sep 2011
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