Abduction (2011) Trailer

Abduction is a thriller centered on a young man Nathan (Taylor Lautner) who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website and realizing the parents who raised him aren’t his real folks. Directed by John Singleton (Four Brothers, 2 Fast 2 Furious), Abduction stars Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver. The film will be released in movie theaters on September 23, 2011.

Rango (2011) – Movie Review

Rango is an animated western film featuring Johnny Depp who provided the voice of the character Rango. Actors Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Ned Beatty, and Timothy Olyphant provided the voice for the remaining characters.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Rango and Beans in "Rango"
Rango and Beans in "Rango"”

A lonely house pet chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) whose only friends are some toys and a dead cricket accidentally stranded in the Nevada desert when his terrarium falls and shatters on the road. He bumps into an armadillo (voiced by Alfred Molina) who is seeking the mystical Spirit of the West (Timothy Olyphant). After avoiding being eaten by a hawk, he meets a traveling lizard named Beans (voiced by Isla Fisher) who takes him to Dirt, a small Old West town.

The chameleon with a bright red Hawaiian T-shirt (identical to Depp’s character in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas") tries to fit into the town and with great acting skills, he establishes himself as Rango, a tough lizard who has killed seven criminals using just one bullet. When he pisses an outlaw named Bad Bill (Ray Winstone), a shootout is setup but Rango is lucky when the hawk returns, scaring Bill and his accomplices. Rango manages to kill the hawk by accident and is immediately appointed as the new sheriff by Mayor Tortoise John (Ned Beatty).

With water being the highest commodity in Dirt town, Rango is sought to help sort out the town’s mysterious disappearance of the town’s water and along the way, he has to battle moles, a rattlesnake and bats in order to solve the town’s problem. From being a hero to a fraud and back to a hero, Rango is a character who started off as a cowardly lizard with self-doubt and apparently has no idea of who he is, but becomes bold and courageous as he finally finds his true self.

Overall, Rango is a clever animation with witty lines and great cinematography with a desert that is almost real, like a real Paris backdrop in Ratatouille. And despite the ugly desert animals including the scrawny chameleon Rango, the film excels at its best with its creative humor, beautiful slapsticks and amazing action sequences. Still, it is not entirely made for kids.

My ratings: 8 out of 10.

The Tempest (2010) Trailer

The Tempest is a fantasy romantic comedy film based on the play by William Shakespeare. In Julie Taymor’s version of ‘The Tempest,’ the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor’s version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it’s a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect. Starring Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw, Reeve Carney, Felicity Jones, Tom Conti, The Tempest opens on December 10, 2010.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) – Movie Review

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a fantasy adventure film based on the video game of the same name.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"
Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"

Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is framed for the murder of his father, who adopted him when he was a street vagabond. He unwillingly joins forces with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) in order to clear his name. Dastan and Tamina go through desert and sandstorm to protect a powerful dagger and they fall in love along the way.

Using the Sands of Time, Dastan and Tamina overcome Prince Dastan’s mischievous uncle, Nizam (Ben Kingsley) and the Persian armies and dark magic freaks who call themselves "Hassansin" and at the same time, save the world from destruction.

While Jake Gyllenhaal may not be the best action hero there is, he makes up for it with his agility and somersaults. Gemma Arterton is pleasant-looking and ever so desirable and though Gyllenhaal and Arterton do not exactly match each other, Arterton somehow manages to fill in the gap created by Gyllenhaal. Ben Kingsley performs slightly above average as Nizam. Alfred Molina, who plays a dishonest entrepreneur in Sheik Amar, does exceptionally well with some great humors.

Overall, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a fun, knife-throwing, gravity-defying Middle-East adventure which is silly at times but surely entertaining. It is currently the highest rated video game adaption ever in top critic sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

My ratings: 8 out of 10.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) Trailer

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is an action adventure film based on the video game, which follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina, Ben Kingsley, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time opens on May 28, 2010.