Walking Tall


Disclaimer: in fairness, you should know, I loved the Scorpion King. And I really enjoyed The Rundown, (even though Seann William Scott's performance wasn't up to par with any of those he did in the Pie franchise). So, like many, I'm probably becoming a huge fan of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. And in Walking Tall, The Rock does not disappoint. Good guys, bad guys, old-school-action based-on a real-life-events. This summary says it best. Of course, the story is neither new nor profound. It's been thirty years since the original Tall shook theaters. The running time is a little short, and an infant could see the ending coming. There's gratuitous violence and sexual innuendos, wait, this is a great flick! All-in-all, another solid action log on the fire of Dwayne Johnson's career. Good supporting work from John Beasley, Ashley Scott, Kristen Wilson and Johnny Knoxville. Fans of The Rock will enjoy.

Rating: 4/5

Dawn of the Dead


This movie is spectacular. Everything about this film is good. Unlike some franchises that should never be unearthed (Planet of the Apes, anyone?), this flick is rugged, fresh, surprising (for a remake), and captivating. There's conflict, twists, challenges (it's great how all the recent zombie flicks feature running zombies lately), the characters have just enough depth, so that you'll miss them when they're gone. This isn't Shakespeare, people, it's a Classic Zombie Remake, don't look for powerful, bowel-shaking acting. Of course, something like this can only come so close to the original. Surpassing it is a daring feat, and this comes screamingly close. Does the premise make sense? Don't be silly. Are there some holes? Sure, like how does the kid get in the house in the beginning? Some good performances from Sarah Polley, Michael Kelly, Mekhi Phifer. Ving Rhames seemed to be going through the motions at times. Some of his lines sounded cliché in deliverance. Polley's performance gets us by, but isn't everything you might expect. But who cares! This is not some drama on Lifetime, it's a great zombie movie remake! All this from newbie director Zack Snyder's freshmen undertaking. Another disclaimer: Dead may exceed the gore threshold for a lot of people, so if the sight of blood bothers you, think twice. Because there's a lot worse than blood in this puppy. Yay. Running Zombies.

Rating: 4½ out of 5

Matchstick Men


Nicholas Cage's performance in this was so good, it was almost painful to watch, (but in a good way). And if you like having the rug violently ripped out from beneath you during the course of a good story, this one's for you. From director Ridley Scott comes a film about con artist Roy Waller, who is reunited with his long lost daughter. At a pivotal moment, Waller (Cage) can either choose to begin a clean, legitimate life, or allow his 14-year-old kid to begin an apprenticeship. Hilarity ensues. Fans of Cage will appreciate the effort he puts forth in this role. His performance is disturbingly good. Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman are both excellent. It's impressive how Lohman pulls off playing someone a decade younger. I suspect the book by Eric Garcia is equally fascinating.

Rating: 3/5

5/5: Drop everything and go see it today
4/5: Definitely worth seeing in theaters
3/5: Easily worth the price of the matinee
2/5: Last Choice at Blockbuster
1/5: Keep your money, stay home & channel surf


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