Legend of the Guardians - Kathryn Lasky's popular children's books are the inspiration for this captivating animated feature about Soren, a barn owl kidnapped from his peaceful forest home. His abductors bring him to an orphanage, where he must train to become a soldier. Despite the toil and hardships, Soren makes friends, and together the young birds attempt to escape. Zack Snyder (The Watchmen, 300) directs this epic adventure.
(rent/buy) Visually, this is an incredible movie, from the animation of the owls, the landscape, and the action sequences. In addition, the voice acting is great and the plot line has great potential. However, certain elements felt a little reused from films such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. While the plot doesn't follow either of those stories, there are similarities in the good vs evil of LotR, and some of the armor definitely harkens to it. This probably wouldn't have bothered me, but in the end there is a scene that feels like it was pulled directly from SW, but with owls instead of people. The overall story wasn't incredibly new and unique, but despite these negatives, it was still an enjoyable movie that is dark without being too dark for children. This is probably best for a younger audience, as older individuals may see the tropes coming.
Is It Just Me? - Although successful writer Blaine (Nicholas Downs) is kind and witty, he can't find true love because he's intimidated by the overt sexuality of guys such as his roommate, Cameron (Adam Huss). But all that changes when he meets the man of his dreams online -- or does it? Shy Texan Xander (David Loren) seems to be Blaine's ideal man, but when Blaine accidentally posts Cameron's picture in his profile, a battle for Xander's affections ensues.
(rent/buy) Pretty much the gay version of The Truth About Cats and Dogs, this was a cute film that some may be enticed to purchase for the same reasons someone would purchase TTACAD (which I do own, because sometimes you want a chick flick). Anyways, while the story wasn't that original, the acting was pretty good, the dialogue was just the right about of cheese (assuming you can handle cheese), and the ending was cute. While this was worth a view, it didn't really bring anything fresh to the table that The Truth About Cats and Dogs didn't already cover; however, if you're unfamiliar with that movie, you may find it more enjoyable.
The String - After returning from France to his mother's (Claudia Cardinale) home in Tunisia following his father's death, 30-year-old gay architect Malik (Antonin Stahly-Vishwanadan) has trouble readjusting to the cultural mores of his homeland and to his mother's expectation that he'll marry a local woman. But when Malik meets hot handyman Bilal (Salim Kechiouche), he embarks on a tender romance that changes everything.
(rent) This was a very strange film, a mix of reality and some type of mental health issue. While I enjoyed the film overall, not much really happens, and the ending leaves you saying, "Oh" as it sort of meanders to a finish. It felt more like a biography than anything, although I don't think it is one. The most interesting part of the film--the main character's psychological issue, felt secondary and was barely addressed, although it obviously played a large part in the film's purpose. Even so, it was played out and--assumedly--found a solution.
Breaking Dawn, part 1 - At last, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are getting married. When Jacob (Taylor Lautner) finds out that Bella wants to spend her honeymoon as a human, he is horrified -- for Edward's passion could accidentally kill her. Bella does indeed survive her honeymoon, but a new complication arises when she discovers that she's pregnant -- and the child is growing at an alarming rate. The pregnancy sets the wolves against Bella and Edward, but Jacob vows to protect his friend.
(???) I can't really give a rating option on this because tastes differ so drastically. Considering I laughed (raucously) through the entire first movie, this one was well done. The werewolves are interesting, all the extra characters bring their humor to the movie, and the birthing scene is pretty well done (and would keep me from wanting to have children, not that I ever wanted to in the first place). Of course, I don't really like whenever Edward and Bella are on screen, but it's bearable and their performances have improved since the first film. Yes, I saw this in theaters, but only for $5 and because we like to get together and laugh at it. I don't think I need to point out all the weaknesses, since they are well known, but this one is pretty good, if you've already gotten this far in the saga anyways.
Clue: The Movie - Director Jonathan Lynn's board game-inspired campfest finds six colorful dinner guests gathered at the mansion of their host, Mr. Boddy -- who turns up dead after his secret is exposed: He was blackmailing all of them. With the killer among them, the guests and Boddy's chatty butler (Tim Curry) must suss out the culprit before the body count rises. Lesley Ann Warren also stars in this hilarious whodunit (filmed with three different endings).
(rent/buy) Whether you rent or purchase this movie will depend on your sense of humor and how cheap you can find it. I'd seen parts of it on TV, but otherwise purchased it unseen for $5. It's from the '80s and stars Tim Curry, which will give you an idea of the humor. It's creative and fun and over the top and cheesy, but it does everything just as it's meant to without pushing the audience too far or ostracizing some viewers. Definitely cute and worth a go.