‘Mirror, Mirror’ is a fun ride

Julia Roberts and Lily Collins co-star in 'Mirror, Mirror'
Julia Roberts and Lily Collins co-star in ‘Mirror, Mirror’

[rating=3]Starring: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham
Director(s): Tarsem Singh
Writer(s): Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller from the Grimm Brothers fairytale

The Brothers Grimm collected fairy tales and one of those they collected was the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, not to be confused with Snow White and Rose Red, a different tale entirely.  It’s been made into a film before, most famously in the 1937 Disney animated version.

Read more‘Mirror, Mirror’ is a fun ride

Pixar’s ‘Brave’ revealed with concept art

Pixar’s 'Brave,' set it Scotland, will be released in 2012
Pixar’s ‘Brave,’ set it Scotland, will be released in 2012

Pixar’s 2012 project journeys to the lush green hills of Scotland, and if the concept art is any indication, could be a stunning production with some unique visuals as far as Pixar films go.

At least, that’s my hope. If the entire movie liked like these paintings, that would be about the coolest thing I could imagine for an animated project.

Read morePixar’s ‘Brave’ revealed with concept art

Forget ‘Twilight,’ ‘The Hunger Games’ is the real deal

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in 'The Hunger Games'
Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in ‘The Hunger Games’

[rating=3]Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland
Director(s): Gary Ross
Writer(s): Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, from the novel by Suzanne Collins

I cringed when I heard that Lionsgate was producing The Hunger Games. Not because they don’t produce good movies – I love their films —  but one in particular came to mind. It was all I could do to scream  “No! Not them! Please don’t let them turn this soon-to-be- classic story into a festival of shirtless teens and bad acting!”

Fear not, Hunger Games fans. This ain’t no Twilight.

Read moreForget ‘Twilight,’ ‘The Hunger Games’ is the real deal

‘The Hunger Games’ is a winner… even if you didn’t read the books

Jennifer Lawrence takes aim in 'The Hunger Games'
Jennifer Lawrence takes aim in ‘The Hunger Games’

[rating=3]Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
Director(s): Gary Ross
Writer(s): Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, from the novel by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is the first novel in a trilogy by author Suzanne Collins.  It was a breakout novel when first published and to give a better idea of its success and of the rest of the trilogy, Ms Collins was recently feted as being the best-selling Kindle author of all time.

Read more‘The Hunger Games’ is a winner… even if you didn’t read the books

‘The Raid: Redemption’ will kick your a$$ – and you’ll like it

Things get close in 'The Raid Redemption'
Things get close in ‘The Raid Redemption’

[rating=4]Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, and Pierre Gruno
Director(s): Gareth Evans
Writer(s): Gareth Evans

“A good martial artist does not become tense but ready.  Not thinking yet not dreaming, ready for whatever may come.”  Bruce Lee as “Lee” in Enter the Dragon.

Read more‘The Raid: Redemption’ will kick your a$$ – and you’ll like it

Jennifer Westfeldt works wonders with ‘Friends With Kids’

Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt in ‘Friends With Kids’

Jennifer Westfeldt is a serious talent.

Writer and star of 2001’s Kissing Jessica Stein and 2006’s Ira & Abby, this time in addition to doing double duty as screenwriter and star, she also steps behind the camera to produce and direct.

I searched the credits for anything else she might have done in the making of this gem, but apparently those four roles were enough to keep her busy.

Read moreJennifer Westfeldt works wonders with ‘Friends With Kids’

‘John Carter’ was a fun meal – but could have used more spice

Lynn Collins in 'John Carter'
Lynn Collins in ‘John Carter’

John Carter is good old family-friendly adventure, which unfortunately is probably just a little too fairy tale for the modern movie-going audience.

By now Disney’s CGI-heavy epic has proven itself to be a box office disappointment. It pulled in just $30 million on its opening weekend, and since has only eked out less than $15 million more domestically. It did slightly better overseas, but not enough to shed the label of being a failure.

Read more‘John Carter’ was a fun meal – but could have used more spice

‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’ is a rare gem

[rating=3]

Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer
Director(s): Jay Durplass and Mark Durplass
Writer(s): Jay Durplass and Mark Durplass

Jason Segel and Ed Helms co-star in 'Jeff, Who Lives at Home'
Jason Segel and Ed Helms co-star in ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’

This is the first film by the Durplass brothers that I’ve seen, something I intend to rectify quickly after watching Jeff, Who Lives at Home.   It is a wonderful film, coming oh so close to the magic that generates a four popcorn rating.

Starring Jason Segel as the titular “Jeff,” who currently resides in the basement of his mother (Susan Sarandon as “Sharon”), and Ed Helms as “Pat,” his somewhat happily married brother, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a film set on Sharon’s birthday.

Read more‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’ is a rare gem