Nights In Rodanthe

Name: Nights In Rodanthe
Year: 2008
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 97
Description: Adrienne Willis, a woman with her life in chaos, retreats to the tiny coastal town of Rodanthe, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. Here she hopes to find the tranquility she so desperately needs to rethink the conflicts surrounding her — a wayward husband who has asked to come home, and a teen-aged daughter who resents her every decision. Almost as soon as Adrienne gets to Rodanthe, a major storm is forecast and a guest named Dr. Paul Flanner arrive. The only guest at the inn, Flanner is not on a weekend escape but rather is there to face his own crisis of conscience. Now, with the storm closing in, the two turn to each other for comfort and, in one magical weekend, set in motion a life-changing romance that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.
Stars: Diane Lane, Richard Gere and Christopher Meloni
Genres: Drama, Romance

I was first going to write that I really liked it except for the teenage daughter and the letter-writing, but then the ending came, which sort of ruined it. It was touching, but I’d have preferred another conclusion. Diane Lane does have an attractive voice.
The score was rather interesting. One romantic dialogue was scored with a cello solo, which really worked, so I then hoped that their first kiss would receive some grand orchestral music, but that didn’t happen at all. It got percussion. There were nice romantic moments, but they could have been more.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Name: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Year: 2008
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 122
Description: During the Cold War, Soviet agents watch Professor Henry Jones when a young man brings him a coded message from an aged, demented colleague, Henry Oxley. Led by the brilliant Irina Spalko, the Soviets tail Jones and the young man, Mutt, to Peru. With Oxley’s code, they find a legendary skull made of a single piece of quartz. If Jones can deliver the skull to its rightful place, all may be well; but if Irina takes it to its origin, she’ll gain powers that could endanger the West. Aging professor and young buck join forces with a woman from Jones’s past to face the dangers of the jungle, Russia, and the supernatural.
Stars: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf
Genres: Action, Adventure

Uh, well… It was all right, I guess. Not as bad as Temple of Doom, but certainly not better than any of the others either. I really did not like Mutt though, got a problem with that? Always says obvious things. It was nice to see Marion again, Harrison Ford was great, but Mac was just a bit stupid and thank God Cate Capshaw didn’t return. The plot as a whole became too supernatural for me to be believable as well. Oh, and if Irina is Russian, why exactly does she talk to the skull in English at the end? Aren’t we supposed to revert to our native languages when we’re under pressure?

The score had good moments. Mutt’s theme is really nice and hearing the old themes again, especially the father-son theme, was great. Also liked the new variations on the Raiders March at the very end of the credits. I did think that the recording lacked some reverb, but overall the performance was great.

Overall, I think I shouldn’t have watched all the films in a month, it all became a little too repetitive in the end. Nevertheless, my order of preference is: 3, 1, 4, 2.

Yes Man

Name: Yes Man
Year: 2008
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 104
Description: Carl Allen is at a standstill. No future… Until the day he enrolls into a personal development program based on a very simple idea: say yes to everything! Carl discovers with amazement the magical power of “Yes, and sees his professional and romantic life turned upside down overnight: an unexpected promotion and a new girlfriend. But he’ll soon discover that better can be good’s enemy, and that all opportunities shouldn’t be taken.
Stars: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel and Bradley Cooper
Genres: Comedy, Romance

Not… bad. I liked how they used the Harry Potter 1 soundtrack as source music during the Potter party. That’s about it.

Quarantine

Name: Quarantine
Year: 2008
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 89
Description: Television reporter Angela Vidal and her cameraman are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles Fire Station. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartment units. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by something unknown. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape with the news crew in tow, only to find that the CDC has quarantined the building. Phones, internet, televisions and cell phone access have been cut-off, and officials are not relaying information to those locked inside. When the quarantine is finally lifted, the only evidence of what took place is the news crew’s videotape.
Stars: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris and Columbus Short
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Turned it off.

Bolt

Name: Bolt
Year: 2008
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 96
Description: Bolt, an American White Shepherd, has lived his whole life on the set of his action TV show, where he believes he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he meets a female alley cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino. Along the way, he learns that he doesn’t have superpowers and that the show is not real.
Stars: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus and Susie Essman
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family

Fun little movie. And I just love John POwell’s music for these kinds of animation films. Orchestral, unpredictable, heroic, funny… Great composer.

Changeling

Name: Changeling
Year: 2008
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 141
Description: Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he’s her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he’s not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who’s without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There’s redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power?
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore and Amy Ryan
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Sickening. Why did I watch that? It wasn’t bad, but too harrowing. Angelie Jolie is terrific (her ‘Did you kill my son?!’ gave me goosebumps) and it was a nice surprise to see Michael Kelly play such a different role. Colm Feore’s performance was noteworthy as well, while Clint Eastwood’s score is barely functional. Leave composing to composers.

Valkyrie

Name: Valkyrie
Year: 2008
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 121
Description: In Nazi Germany during World War II, as the tide turned in favor of The Allies, a cadre of senior German officers and politicians desperately plot to topple the Nazi regime before the nation is crushed in a near-inevitable defeat. To this end, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, an Army officer convinced he must save Germany from Hitler, is recruited to mastermind a real plan. To do so, he arranges for the internal emergency measure, Operation: Valkyrie, to be changed to enable his fellows to seize control of Berlin after the assassination of the Fuhrer. However, even as the plan is put into action, a combination of bad luck and human failings conspire on their own to create a tragedy that would prolong the greater one gripping Europe.
Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy and Carice van Houten
Genres: Drama, History, Thriller

Good film, bad score until the last ten minutes started. Also, did Hitler really sign everything just like that?

Revolutionary Road

Name: Revolutionary Road
Year: 2008
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 119
Description: It’s 1955. Frank and April Wheeler, in the seventh year of their marriage, have fallen into a life that appears to most as being perfect. They live in the Connecticut suburbs with two young children. Frank commutes to New York City where he works in an office job while April stays at home as a housewife. But they’re not happy. April has forgone her dream of becoming an actress, and Frank hates his job – one where he places little effort – although he has never figured out what his passion in life is. One day, April suggests that they move to Paris – a city where Frank visited during the war and loved, but where April has never been – as a means to rejuvenate their life. April’s plan: she would be the breadwinner, getting a lucrative secretarial job for one of the major international organizations, while Frank would have free time to find himself and whatever his passion. Initially skeptical…
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Christopher Fitzgerald
Genres: Drama, Romance

Oky, that was just weird. I certainly liked the premise, but then it started going downhill. It’d have been so much better if the’d actually GONE to Paris. This was the first DiCaprio movie I watched that I really didn’t like that much. I found seeing him reunited with Kate Winslet rather amusing because of Titanic, though. Kathy Bates was terrible and Michael Shannon was good. But the marital troubles and strife bored me so much after a while. Yes, the ending is tragic, but by that time I was so disinterested that I could only listen with mild interest. The score is simplistic, but perfectly appropriate. The music is stupid.