MOVIES I'VE SEEN LATELY...

GET SMART: Me and Marilyn hit a free screening of this update of the classic series, and we were pleasantly surprised. I mean I went in expecting absolutely nothing so that helps, but I was quite entertained. I laughed out loud a few times, and overall, while the movie doesn't exactly break new ground or anything, it wasn't, by any stretch, a bad movie. Steve Carrell was very funny, despite hearing that he was just phoning it in, and the rest of the cast all looked like they had a great time. Ann Hathaway has developed into quite the little number, and the always pleasant Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was charming. Alan Arkin is always great, and look out for a number of fun little cameos. Carrell's Maxwell Smart was abit of a departure from the original, more intelligent and more capable overall, more believable I guess, although this is not a believable movie by any stretch. I liked both of those aspects though. Bigger budget than I expected too, with alot of neat visual action sequences. All in all good stuff, especially for free!

THE MIST: I'll say it right away, you have to see this movie! It took awhile for the DVD to finally get shipped to me from Netflix, being on the Very Long Wait list for a month or so, and then it took me another month to finally watch it, but wow was it worth the wait. This is the latest from highly acclaimed director Frank Darabont, as he adapts another Stephen King story to astounding success. The story revolves around townsfolk trapped in a supermarket after a mysterious, and apparently deadly, mist overtakes the town. Thomas Jane, giving his best turn since 61*, leads a spectacular cast as a famous movie poster artist who takes his kid with him to the store after a violent storm takes out all the power in town. It doesn't take long for chaos to break loose either as people start to realize there is something deadly in the mist. From there the story turns into a survival movie as the paranoid and divided folks try to defend the supermarket from the various creatures coming out of the mist. The story builds to a boiling point with accurate precision from Darabont, and you're left just as exhausted as the remaining cast at the end. Speaking of the end, if that's not the most f'd up moment in recent cinema than I don't know what is! This is a great movie with a hard hitting and true message, and you really have to just see it. Go grab it now, and let me know what you think!

THE ONION MOVIE: The weekly satire newspaper makes an equally satirical movie, but instead of being about a newspaper The Onion is a nightly news broadcast. Good transition I'd say, and maybe this would work better as a half hour show. The movie though is really a parody in the vein of Kentucky Fried Movie. Actually, someone send Zucker and Abrams a check because this movie is basically a rip of KFM, which is like one of my all time favorites. If this movie were better I'd probably be inclined to say it was a homage, but it wasn't. I mean it wasn't all bad and I chuckled a couple of times, but most of the skits don't work. The hands down best segments go to the fake Steven Seagal trailers for his new movie "Cockpuncher!". Now that's the movie I really want to see!

BE KIND REWIND: Michel Gondry's latest flick is an alright movie; not bad, not great, just ok. It stars the fantastic Mos Def and Jack Black star as video store clerks who decide to make their own versions of movies after Black accidentally magnetizes the store's entire inventory. The story is silly, like most of Gondry's, and does have its charms, especially during their remade movie sequences, but it runs a tad long and becomes rather formulaic towards the end. It's entertaining enough for a rental though and I wouldn't hesitate to do so if I were you.

VINCE VAUGHN'S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW: This is a pretty good documentary/slash concert film revolving around Vince Vaughn and his band of comedians as they trek across America in their bus on a nonstop 30 day tour. It's a pretty damn good look into what it takes to be a stand up comedian, much more so that Seinfeld's Comedian. Vaughn is always a joy to watch and is funny, sympathetic, and charming in this. The group he's gathered is up to the task, and each guy has his own interesting story to tell, not mention all of them being pretty damn funny on stage! It's not all fun and games though as Hurricane Katrina hits as the tour is in mid swing, detouring the crew and changing some of their plans. Hate to say it, but the tragedy adds an interesting element to the doc. This is a very funny, emotional, and completely engrossing movie and I recommend it.

ANGEL-A: This movie almost slipped through the cracks for me. That would've sucked since I'm a fan of Luc Besson's movies. He had stepped back after directing The Messenger to write and produce a bunch of action flicks. He was probably a little burnt out after the epics The Fifth Element and The Messenger, so his return to directing was decidedly a much smaller film. Angel-A is about a down on his luck small time crook who owes too many bad people money. When some gangsters threaten his life lest he pay within a day, he decides maybe it's better to end his life, but when he tries to, he instead ends up saving a woman, who was also trying to kill herself, instead. The woman is gorgeous and instantly pledges her life to the crook. She begins helping him sort out his life by very unconventional means, and soon you begin to realize that there is much more to her than initially thought. I won't give more away, but it's a neat little love story. What I love about Besson in general is his ideal of putting love above all else in his films, and thematically every aspect of his stories usually follows a path behind it. It's very prominent in The Fifth Element and it's very prominent here. Overall, it's a good movie, so get to the renting.