Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Movie”

TRI Screening in Philadelphia

TRI Poster originalThis Wednesday, August 31, TRI, an award-winning indie film, is screening at the Trocadero theatre in Philadelphia. I just finished watching this movie, and I enjoyed it. The film, which recently walked away with the top prize at the Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival, features local talent Jensen Jacobs and Kelly Spitko in starring roles. However, I’d argue that the two most compelling actors were played by Shawn Pelofsky and Kenneth Simmons. Their supporting roles provided TRI with additional layers of emotional depth that were believable and moving.

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Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be?

Michael Des Barres 2Michael Des Barres is one of the most charismatic and fascinating people I’ve ever met, so when I heard a documentary was coming out about his life I was extremely interested in watching it. The film, entitled Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be?, has already appeared at the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival and the Macon Film Festival, where it was universally praised.

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Movie Review: Scooby-Doo! & KISS Rock & Roll Mystery

Scooby-Doo!_and_Kiss-_Rock_and_Roll_MysteryBy now you probably know that I’m a huge KISS fan. And being a KISS fan means hearing about all of the crazy merchandising ideas they get involved in and asking yourself, Is this something worth buying? The band’s latest commercial venture is a direct-to-video movie with Scooby-Doo and the gang, and I’m glad to say it’s actually quite good.

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A Conversation With Mick Foley

Mick FoleyEarlier this year I saw Mick Foley’s one-man show at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia and it exceeded my expectations. After the show my friend Brian and I stuck around to meet Mick, get his autograph and get a photo with him. I also asked Mick if he was open to doing an interview with me, primarily focused on his work as an author, and he obliged. Several months later the interview came to fruition, and once again, Mick exceeded my expectations.

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Boldly Going Where No Mann Has Gone Before

058This past Thursday my girlfriend and I went to go see a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. However, this was no ordinary movie screening. In addition to seeing a terrific film for the first time, we got to hear – and see – the Philadelphia Orchestra perform Michael Giacchino’s phenomenal score as the movie played.

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Movie Review: Jobs

Jobs Movie PosterWhat It’s About

This movie is about the life and career of Steve Jobs.

What I Like

What impressed me most about this film is Ashton Kutcher; he was excellent in his role and I have newfound respect for his dramatic acting capabilities.

I also enjoyed this movie’s soundtrack – it was awesome. Any time a film features music by REO Speedwagon, Cat Stevens and Toad The Wet Sprocket, it’s going to bring a smile to my face.

What I Don’t Like

I wish the film included the last few years of Jobs’ career. The closest we get to that is a scene where Jobs unveils the iPod to Apple employees for the first time. It’s a cool moment, but what about the launch of the iPhone and the iPad? And what about his health struggles at the end of his life? To me, this was a missed opportunity.

Bottom Line

Despite its minor shortcomings, Jobs is a highly entertaining film that almost anyone will enjoy. If you come into it with an open mind about the subject matter and the lead actor, you’ll feel satisfied by the time the final credits role. I highly recommend it.

Movie Review: RoboCop

RobocopGrowing up, I loved the RoboCop movies – even the third one. They were full of action, intrigue, wit, and humor. And they were hard-hitting, especially the first two films – they didn’t pull any punches when it came to violence. When I heard that they were remaking RoboCop, I groaned. Remakes are notorious for being a waste of time and money, so I didn’t have high hopes for the new RoboCop. Despite my initial reservations about seeing the new RoboCop, I decided to take the plunge and go see it last night. I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

The acting was excellent, especially Joel Kinnaman as Patrick Murphy, Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton and Michael Keaton as the OmniCorp CEO, Raymond Sellars. Also worth noting is Samuel L. Jackson, who was very funny in his role as Pat Novak, a TV news anchor.

In addition to the acting, the script was very strong. Instead of trying to remake the original film scene for scene, this reboot had an almost entirely new storyline that was creative and compelling. Despite this new direction, signature quotes (e.g., “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”) and the classic RoboCop theme were peppered throughout to homage to the original 1987 classic. These moments made me smile. Trying to remake a film people love almost never works. It’s always best to just reference it and explore new territory. RoboCop does that and it does it well.

If you liked – or loved – the original RoboCop, check out this movie. While it’s not as exceptional as the 1987 film, it pays respect to it while moving in a bold new direction. The acting is exemplary and the score is memorable. It’s visually stunning and emotionally satisfying. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Die Another Day – Live Tweet

Die Another DayI recently contributed an article about the James Bond film Die Another Day to the 007 fansite www.007hertzrumble.com. You can read the article here.

Wednesday, January 15th at 9 p.m. EST I’m participating in a live tweet about the film, so make sure to stop by and join the discussion by using the hashtag #Bond_age_ on Twitter.

Movie Review – Anchorman 2

Anchorman 2Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the sequel to the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, opened this weekend following what I consider to be one of the most creative advertising campaigns ever for a feature film. The question is, does this sequel live up to the hype? Read on my curious friend.

Unlike the first film, which was set in the 1970s, Anchorman 2 takes place in the 1980s – my favorite decade! Despite the questionable fashion choices in this decade of decadence, the music, movies and TV shows were awesome. Speaking of which, Anchorman 2 has a killer soundtrack. You’ll find everything from John Waite’s “Change” to Neil Diamond’s “Shilo” to “Every 1’s a Winner” by Hot Chocolate. And the obligatory Kenny Loggins’ track is on here too – the terrific “This Is It” featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald. It’s a feast for the ears that compliments the movie’s visuals perfectly.

While the classic one-liners from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy are a tough act to follow, Anchorman 2 does its best to deliver the goods. As a fan of the first film and Will Ferrell, I’m glad to report that the majority of this movie delivers the goods. However, it does drag on longer than it should and it felt as though the plot lacked focus toward the end.

The bottom line is this – if you didn’t see the first movie or don’t like Will Ferrell’s brand of humor, don’t bother seeing Anchorman 2. On the other hand, if you love the first film and can’t get enough of Will Ferrell, give this one a shot. It’s not as good as the first, but it features excellent music, solid performances across the board, countless cameos by Hollywood A-listers, and, most importantly, gut-wrenchingly funny moments.

Movie Review – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Movie PosterUnlike its ho-hum predecessor, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a gripping film that tells a realistic and compelling story that kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Directed by Francis Lawrence, best known for I Am Legend and Water for Elephants, the movie moves along at a brisk pace. By the time I got up to leave I didn’t realize 146 minutes had passed since the opening credits.

As with the first installment in the franchise, Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci are excellent in their roles. I’m  glad that Donald Sutherland, who is deliciously evil as President Snow, has more screen time this go around – he’s terrific!

Also worth noting is the score by James Newton Howard, which is fantastic. As usual, Howard’s emotionally-charged musical compositions elevate the visuals to another level and provide gravitas when appropriate. Below is my favorite track from the album:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a strong film everyone should see. It has romance, action and suspense, as well as dramatic visuals. The acting is top-notch and the dialogue is believable. By the end of the last scene, I was ready for the next sequel. Unfortunately, that novel is being broken into two parts because Hollywood never passes up an opportunity to milk a cash cow for all it’s worth. With Francis Lawrence back at the helm, I’m sure those two films will be equally satisfying. Make sure to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – it’s a great film that’s worth the price of admission.

Official Movie Trailer

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