Our Weekly Recommendations (May 24th 2011)

Every week the people of Super Website (Super Blog) will give you a recommendation of a Film, DVD, Bluray, Book, Soundtrack or any other item for you the readers to check out.
Super Marcey Recommend’s:

The Punisher

This year is a pretty big year for comic book characters and stories coming alive in film, it seems every few weeks another adaptation is getting released. This was happening a few years ago, but not with such frequency. Back in 2004 a little film came out based upon a Marvel character called The Punisher. Not the first time this character had received film treatment, back in the late 80’s it was adapted in a film starring Dolph Lundgren, that was not well received. It took them awhile but the character made his return, in one of my favourite comic book films from the 00’s starring Thomas Jane in the title role.
I instantly fell in love with this film from the first time I saw it, I ended up watching it several times later and just loving it even more. I remember sharing my obsession for this film with my close friend Jen who also felt the same way, and I think we both declared it a favourite. I still feel that way, and upon a re-watch all those feelings came back. I like the character of Frank Castle, and his turn into the anti-hero, Thomas Jane for me was absolutely perfect. His performance was bad-ass, when things got crazy he got crazy right back, yet he gave the character some depth as well. John Travolta plays the villain perfectly, I loved his performance (it was very much similar to how he handled Face/Off) and I don’t think I would have wanted anyone else. The rest of the cast did well, I especially loved Kevin Nash in his small but memorable role. If you didn’t like this film, I’d say give it another shot. If you haven’t seen it, well what are you waiting for?
| IMDB| Purchase on Amazon |
Logan J. Fowler Recommend’s:

Jurassic Park

Among all the talk of the world ending, people began posting the internet memes that riffed on Judgment Day, stating “The Raptor is Coming.” Due to this, I got a hankering for Jurassic Park, which oddly enough, I saw playing on the television at my local gym. Best believe I unplugged my iPod and shoved my headphone cord into the volume box instantly.
Jurassic Park tells a tale of a couple paleontologists, Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Stattler (Sam Neill and Laura Dern) who are whisked away to this mystical island where dinosaurs are roaming yet again. The idea for the park was spearheaded by a man named John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) who seems to gain much financially from the park, and wants to show the doctors what he has accomplished. Add in Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), the “chaotician,” Hammond’s grandchildren, and of course, Hammond’s lawyer, and you have the core group of people set to see the park for the first time. In the midst of their tour, a computer hacker known as Nedry (Wayne Knight) seeks to reproduce the formula for creating dinosaurs for financial gain and in order to do so he has to shut down security to escape the island. Well, unfortunately for the people population on Jurassic Park but fortunately for the audience, this is where the film kicks it into high gear.
The movie was released in 1993, and even watching it recently I still cannot believe how great the special effects look. Using a combination of animatronics and CGI, Jurassic Park’s dinos look (not to mention sound) amazing. As a big advocator of practical effects (this is coming from the guy who prefers the cheesy models of the old Star Wars movies as compared to the ones with new coats of paint), I still applaud the fantastic special effects team that brought the dinosaurs to life.
When I was younger, context speaking I didn’t really get the dialogue, but watching it now the lines are extremely brilliant and well written. Having not read the book it was based on (by Michael Crichton), I am wondering how many lines were lifted from the text, but having said that, the movie both works in spectacle and substance, and really, a lot of movies rely more on the former these days rather than the latter, which is why Jurassic Park (2 years short of being 20 years old) is such a gem. It ranks right up there with Spielberg’s other classics, and if you haven’t watched this film yet, you are not a clever girl. Or boy.
| IMDB | Purchase on Amazon |
Pat Torfe Recommend’s:

Tremors

After a week of burnout from work, the nice thing about a long weekend here in Canada is the chance to unwind at camp. My choice of unwinding? Watching a classic B-movie called Tremors. I absolutely loved this film when I first saw it so many years ago, and I still love it to this day. The film centres around a small town in the middle of nowhere in Nevada called Perfection (irony incoming). Two down-on-their-luck handymen named Valentine “Val” McKee (Kevin Bacon being awesome as usual) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward, also being awesome) decide that hauling garbage and pumping septic tanks is for suckers, and decide to seek out the larger town of Bixby for more opportunities. However, a series of gruesome and bizarre attacks on various peoples on the outskirts of Perfection prevent the duo from leaving. Turns out that there are worm-like subterranean creatures (nicknamed Graboids by the local convenience store owner before he’s eaten by the creatures) are roaming around, attacking and eating anything on the surface via vibrations. Soon, a geology grad student named Rhonda becomes involved in combating the worms, along with a pair of heavily armed survivalists named Bert and Heather (Michael Gross and country music star Reba McEntire). Obviously, a film like this screams cheese, and luckily for us, everyone involved knows it and plays it up for our amusement. Bacon is a delight as Val, going off on things at a moment’s notice, while Ward continually threatens a local punk kid for his pranks on Val and himself, pardoning his French the entire time. Michael Gross is another standout as the gun nut. Who knew the guy who played Michael J. Fox’s dad for so many years could turn out to be such a psychotic badass? The entire film can be thought of as a homage to the classic monster movies of the 1950s, and I for one love it. The tense moments where the group are trapped on rockfaces or in a convenience store overrun by the Graboids are just some of the great moments that this film offers. Director Ron Underwood keeps things entertaining and very tongue-in-cheek, which is really the only thing you can do with a film like this. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of it today. Along with Slither and 8 Legged Freaks, this is how a long weekend should be spent.
| IMDB | Purchase On Amazon |
Nick Bosworth Recommend’s:

3:10 To Yuma

For some reason this weekend, I had a strong hankering to watch an awesome Western flick but instead of going to the classics like TOMBSTONE or PALE RIDER, I turned to a fantastic film that I haven’t watched from start to finish since it came out in 2007 which is the re-make of Elmore Leonard’s classic short story 3:10 TO YUMA. After watching the movie once again, I was reminded that sometimes when a director, a script and the cast are so well put together, a remake can work and be very original if the effort is put in. YUMA is definitely in that category as it was commanded by its two incredible lead actors Russell Crowe and Christian Bale along with a supporting cast that leaves you just as breathless. The story itself is very simple and revolves around a wanted bank robber and murderer named Ben Wade (Crowe) who just pulled off a job with his crew but after letting his guard down is captured and is to be escorted to a nearby town to get on a train to Yuma prison. Going along for the ride is down-on-his-luck rancher Dan Evans (Bale) who needs the money desperately for his family and his land to make it through the season so he helps in the escort for a large sum of money.
Things don’t go as planned however when the group escorting him realize that Wade’s gang who are following them now is even more dangerous than he is and they’re now led by a merciless second-in-command named Charlie Prince (Ben Foster). After seeing this film, there’s no question that Ben Foster is the absolute stand-out performance and it was deeply upsetting back in early 2008 when Ben wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe nor an Oscar as he so clearly deserved it. He carried such a mysterious yet ferocious character that might not have worked in the hands of any other young actor and I dare say he was more bad-ass than Crowe. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that there’s an absolutely epic shot featuring Foster’s face close up with a roaring fire burning in the background. It was as if Hell had been unleashed on Earth and Ben Foster was the embodiment of it. There were also some other great performances even if brief by the great Peter Fonda (who was born to play “old-west” characters), Alan Tudyk, Gretchen Mol and many more.
And then of course comes the amazing direction by James Mangold who has also given us Oscar-winning classics like WALK THE LINE and GIRL, INTERRUPTED which undoubtedly gave him the ability to make the characters so three-dimensional in this film. Everyone had a story behind them and an inspiration for why they do what they do which can be very difficult sometimes in a western movie without being too cliched. But then again…this is an Elmore Leonard story…not Akiva Goldsman. The movie also features some amazing shoot-out scenes, beautiful cinematography, locations and just good ole’ plain authenticity. If you love westerns, great acting, big gun battles and a very solid script or just one of those, 3:10 TO YUMA is highly recommended even if you haven’t seen the original.
| IMDB | Purchase On Amazon |

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