Category Archives: Howling at the Stars

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing many times, but their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then—for now, the Avengers Assemble!

Why am I a fan? Why does the world of “super heroes” appeal to me so much? Why am I attracted to that which is considered to be childish and immature?

Continue reading Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Public Service Announcement: Safe House – See it to Make Your Car Happy

My car is a 2008 Ford Mustang. Her name is Summer’s Shadow, and she likes to go fast. The only problem with this is that I’ve become more responsible now that I’m in my 30’s (no comments from the peanut gallery about my level of responsibility or age, please). Summer’s Shadow understands this, and is patient with me. The reason she is patient with me is because of movies such as Safe House. You see, after an action packed enjoyable movie, she knows  I’ll let her loose at 1am on the streets of my hometown. She knows she will get to growl and let loose and go fast and all kinds of other things that Mustangs enjoy.

So, in conclusion, see Safe House. Your car will thank you. Oh, and you’ll love the movie too.

***

So in all seriousness, I had high hopes for this movie when I first saw the previews. When I went out tonight, I had a couple of choices of what to see, and asked a couple of friends. I was leaning toward Safe House, and my friends seem to agree. I have smart friends (S-M-R-T). 

Safe House stars Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. To be honest, I will see any movie that has either of these actors in it – and a movie with both is one that I cannot resist.

Washington plays a traitor to his country who has sold out and sold secrets. Clearly the government doesn’t like this. Reynolds is a low-level safe house attendant who spends his days listening to music and doing whatever he wants so long as he picks up the phone when the boss calls. This dynamic duo (sorry for the cliché) are a perfect match.

Washington has secrets. People want secrets. People come after secrets. Boy Scout (ahem Reynolds) decides to save him. 

One thing I’ve learned is that to have a good story and a character you care about, a character that is real, the character has to be dynamic. Static characters tend toward boring, or can be anyway. Reynolds plays an innocent (insomuch that he is still a virgin in the espionage game and has no practical experience). Watching Reynolds’ character struggle with the realities of his career versus his moral compass is great. By the end, he finds a way to balance the two, and emerges a stronger man for it. Granted, he is pretty awesome in the fight scenes – I’m referring to the fact that he becomes stronger as a person.

Throughout, you want Washington to really be a good guy. You want the stories told about him to be just that. At the end of the movie, he is a man dressed in black, and you want him so much to be a man dressed in white. Is he? I don’t want to give it away – go see.

I. Loved. This. Movie.

And Summer’s Shadow is glad I did.

(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1599348/)

Movie Review: Contraband

As much as people grimace when they think of Marky Mark from the 90’s, Mark Wahlberg has grown up to be a great actor in his own right. For me, he has elevated his craft to the point where I am happy to see any new movie has has him attached to it, even when the trailer promises an overused plot. Such is the case with Contraband.

My faith in Wahlberg paid off.

Wahlberg’s recent movie choices have been of high quality (The Fighter comes to mind.) With this in mind, I was hopeful that Contraband would be enjoyable, if predictable. And while it was predictable, there was one twist had surprised both me and the audience. I won’t ruin this for you, as I plan to keep these reviews as free of spoilers as I can.

In this movie, Wahlberg plays a retired smuggler who is drawn back into the life for one final job. I know, I know, this is what had me worried too, but I needn’t have been concerned at all. Wahlberg does a great job of building a real person. His “anti-hero” character of Chris Faraday was one that we could all stand behind and root for, and Wahlberg did a great job of keeping his characterization fresh.

Joining Wahlberg in this movie is John Foster (who plays Faraday’s fellow retired smuggler) and Giovanni Ribisi (the villian of the movie). Foster did a great job supporting Wahlberg’s Faraday, and has the important job of keeping Faraday’s family safe when Fraday takes this one last job.

Ribisi does a great job as the villain Tim Briggs. Briggs plays an up and coming underworld boss who Faraday has to pay off to save his family. As always, Ribisi does a great job of making you feel uncomfortable and maintaining a feeling of instability in his character.

I definately recommend that you see Contraband. For more information about this movie, visit IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1524137/.