3 Films from last year you missed and shouldn’t have

There are so many films that come out in a year, it’s almost impossible to avoid seeing a few that were a waste of your time and missing a few that were worth your time.  While I’m sure you saw the big budget summer films like ‘Iron Man’ and ‘The Dark Knight’, and you probably made it out to a few award winners like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, I can guarantee you missed a few of the more underrated films of 2008.  Don’t worry, I’m here to help.  Below are summaries of three movies you probably didn’t see last year that you can rent and enjoy today.

#1- Transsiberian

If you’re a fan of old school hitchcock films, or just like a good understated thriller, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see ‘Transsiberian’.  Starring Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, and Woody Harrelson, the story follows a couple riding the Transsiberian Railway from China to Moscow, and along the way they get mixed up in a plot involving undercover drug dealings, shady cops, and murder.  The train settting puts you in a claustrophobic state of mind, and as things unfold, the tension continues to mount.  If you’re looking for nonstop action, this probably isn’t for you, the thrill of ‘Transsiberian’ is mostly cerebral.

#2 Traitor

Don Cheadle is one of the best actors in the business, and rarely does he star in a film, but when he does you’re guaranteed quality (See “Hotel Rwanda”).  In ‘Traitor’, Cheadle plays a Sudanese-American who also happens to be a devout Muslim.  From the beginning of the film, you aren’t quite sure whether or not Cheadle’s character is an actual terrorist, or is working to stop terrorism.  The brilliance of ‘Traitor’ comes both within a fabulous twist near the end, as well as the great education it gives on Muslim culture.  Sadly, when Americans think about Muslims, usually their minds go straight to terrorism.  ‘Traitor’ gives you insight into a world that deals with this predisposition and challenges your own belief system.

#3 Ghost Town

Being a married man, every once in a while I’m required to take my wife to a romantic comedy.  I despise most of these films, and it’s because they’re predictable, overly sappy, and just completely ridiculous.  Maybe it’s because of my jaded view of these films that I found ‘Ghost Town’ to be one of the better romantic comedies I’ve ever seen.  It doesn’t hurt that it stars British comedian Ricky Gervais, who is easily one of the funniest actors around.  Also, I’m a fan of a dry, British style humor and ‘Ghost Town’ has a heavy dose of that.  While the premise is ridiculous, a man who can see and talk to ghosts, the film itself is funny, unpredictable, and well made.  This one is more of a love-it-or-hate-it type film, but I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.

Well there you go.  Next time your at Blockbuster or on Netflix, you won’t wonder what to rent.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did…

Transsiberian

[rating:4]

Traitor

[rating:4]

Ghost Town

[rating:3.5]

posted by Daniel

The Life of David Gale

TLODG is one of my all time favorite movies.  First of all, Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor, despite the fact that he generally shows little emotion.  In fact, you could even argue that this movie follows traditional Spacey form:  deep thinking recollections and thoughts, decisions and twisted morality. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent film.

The story follows journalist Bitsey Bloom as she interviews convicted rapist and murderer David Gale on separate days as he awaits his death sentence.  The more he tells her, the less sure she becomes that he is guilty, and she investigates the case herself.  The story is suspenseful, full of twists and turns, and I guarantee you that you won’t guess how it ends.

The funny thing about my fascination with this movie is that I do not agree with its driving point – the claim that capital punishment is bad and should never be used.  It’s still an excellent movie.

[rating:4]

Blair Witch Project

It was horrible. That’s about all there is to say about it. Not once did I get scared, anxious, or care one bit about what would happen next. The girl (Heather) made me want to hit the mute button – like, for real, I could not stand her whining, yelling voice throughout the movie.

To be honest, I can’t believe I’m reviewing this on here, but I do it only to warn people against wasting time with this movie. I had to pick between this and 28 Days Later (I was in a scary movie mood) at Blockbuster. Should’ve gone with 28.

After watching this, I honestly was upset that I had wasted $5 on this.  Don’t watch it.  Had this been a real documentary, or at least based on a true story, it might have been a tad more enjoyable.  But it wasn’t.

[rating:1]

The Office: Season 4

That’s right! Season 4 of one of America’s favorite shows is on DVD! OK, well, this comes a bit late since it was released in September 2008. However, since I’ve just started the video section of the blog, I thought I would begin with one of my favorites.

Season 4 is, in my opinion, a reassurance that all is well in Scranton, PA. I felt that Season 3 was off in places, with the constant movement, overwhelming drama between Jim and Pam, and the increase in the emotional appeal to Dwight and Michael. However, I think Season 4 settles down and returns to the good ol’ days in the office. Jim’s opening cold-opening pranks on Dwight are back and better than ever, and the new Scranton branch employee Andy seems to blend right in with the office quirkiness.

All in all, Season 4 is a hit. I find myself popping in the discs when I’m bored, need background noise, or just plain laughs. My favorite episodes are Survivor Man, Branch Wars, Chair Model, and Goodbye Toby.

[rating:4.5]

New! Video Page

I have decided to start two new pages on the site – Audio & Video. I have excluded these posts from the front page so that RyboMedia users will continue to get only tech related posts.

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