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Buffalo's This Week in Movies, June 13th, 2009; Pelham 123, Hangover, more

Posted: Jun 13, 2009

In THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 John Travolta turns in one of the finest performances of his career as Ryder - not his real name of course - the brains behind a subway hijacking in New York. Subway traffic controller Denzel Washington is equally impressive, which, let’s face it, he usually is. And Sopranos star James Galdolphini earns an honorable mention for his small but vital role as the Mayor of the Big Apple. The action in this remake of a 1974 film is non-stop. The acting is top drawer to be sure, with great writing and deep insight into the two lead characters. We learn just how well Ryder is walking the fine line between sanity and the alternative, and also that he will not deviate from his plan for any reason whatsoever. If he says “one minute late and I’ll kill a hostage,” he’s not just whistling Dixie. The plot has a few nice twists and turns that even the most skeptical movie goer can appreciate. It’s all that and a half gallon of milk. Five Stars baby, all the was to Coney Island.

THE HANGOVER is the funniest movie I have seen in years, bar none. And the coolest part is that the four stars of the film are not big name movie stars. Well, up until now. That will change. It’s a hilarious story of a man who is about to be married and decides to have his bachelor party in Las Vegas. Just good, innocent fun, right? Was that before or after the spiked Jaeger shots? The story is brilliantly told, and well acted. Great scenes, including one of the guys being so wasted he pulled his own tooth and married a Vegas stripper (the beautiful Heather Graham) who has an infant son. (By the way, the kid really did look like a Carlos.) It’s all put together in such a way that you really don’t find out what happened during their “lost night” until the very end of the movie. They are calling this the sleeper hit of the summer, and I must agree. Great, five star flick.

In LAND OF THE LOST Will Ferrell stars in this one, based on the cheesy seventies live action/animated Saturday morning TV show. Only this time Will and Holly are adults, and Holly is a hottie. All the weirdness is there, the Sleestaks, everything. There are some funny scenes, but there is a lot of just plain goofy and sophomoric material as well. The gorging mosquito and Will be swallowed by a T-rex and pooped out are a couple. If you can suspend your disbelief, I mean really suspend it, you can have a little fun here. If you like Will’s childlike humor in his ice skating and basketball movies - see, i cannot even remember the names of those fine films - you’ll probably like this one as well. Me, I give it about two and a half out of five stars.

Three cheers for DRAG ME TO HELL! Alison Lohman and Justin “I’m a MAC” Long star in this great return to old school horror films. I love it. They don’t rely on bloodworks and slashers or “Saw” style torture devices. No sir. This is all about being cursed by a one eyed gypsy woman, holding a seance and summoning the dead. You know, classic “Shock Theater” stuff. I can’t really say much without giving it away, so I ill just say this - It’s funny at times, but downright spooky at others. Good stuff. Five Stars.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.


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thunderfoot says...

The Hangover was funny as hell Buffalo. Me and my boys were dying laughing. We may take your suggestion and see Pelham123 tonight. I always liked Travolta. Remember Vinnie in Welcome Back Kotter? If you do then you are old loike me! LOL.

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