Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Salt - Movie Poster - 11 x 17Sony Pictures releases this action/adventure spy thriller starring Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt and Liev Schreiber as Ted Winter, both as CIA agents caught up in a classic Russia vs. US espionage story.
Evelyn Salt tries to live a normal life, or as much as she can for a CIA agent.  A night that was supposed to be her anniversary is interrupted by a Russian nationalist claiming he has information and is attempting to defect.  He insists that there is an uncover agent that has been ordered to kill the Russian President that is traveling to New York City for the funeral of the US Vice President.   During the interview Orlov claims that Salt is a Russian spy.  
Detained for questioning and unable to reach her husband on the phone, Salt is determined to escape, find her husband and prove her innocence.  Trained as a covert operative Salt escapes the CIA building and returns home only to find her husband has been taken.  Now on the run from her former colleagues the chase takes to the highway as Salt jumps from semi to semi in a typical movie chase scene that eventually leads to her escape. 
The movie has everything you’d expect from a spy thriller.  The plot was well conceived and the action was appropriately used to advance the story.  Angelina Jolie has become an excellent choice for the female action star, and her performance as Evelyn Salt does not disappoint. 
Allowing yourself to get immersed into the story you will find Salt to be very enjoyable and entertaining movie.  A few different twists can keep you wondering where the story will end up.  The action was great, and mostly believable.  The story is also well resolved and does leave room for a potential sequel.
Overall I would give this movie a 4 out of 5.  If this is your type of movie, as it is mine, you will be pleased with the money spent.  The visuals, editing, and score were all average, that said, they didn’t add or detract anything from the film.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tech nerds rejoice!

BoxWave Apple iPhone 4 Cyclone Crystal Slip (Smoke Grey)According to Financial Times iPhone users can now legally modify their phones.  The US Copyright office announced rules today allowing users to modify their phones to allow them to switch networks and add applications to the phone that were previously not allowed by Apple. 

This decision is a major blow to AT&T who is currently the exclusive carrier for the iPhone.  This also majorly effects Apple's closed app ecosystem where the company had final say on which apps you were allowed to install.  Apple is known for it's notorious control of it's software and products. 

A free speech advocacy group known as Electronic Frontier Foundation has been lobbying for these changes that had previous allowed too many exemptions and protection. 

Note that any modifications will still void your warranty.

Mad Men Season 4 Premiere Review "Public Relations"

Mad Men: Season FourIt's the middle of summer and that means only one thing, the return of AMC's critically acclaimed show Mad Men for its 4th season.  We were left with a bit of turmoil as we seen the end of the marriage between Don and Betty Draper, as well as the familiar faces of Sterling-Cooper leave to create their own rival ad agency.

This season picks up getting right to business, but this time at Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce.  It is unclear how much time has passed at first, the new ad agency is afloat, but definitely treading water.  Don skills and focus seem to be unraveling as he remains just as stubborn as seasons past.  Don remains vague and distant with whom he is during an interview that was to showcase him and his company, but ultimately ends up doing more harm than good. It is very apparent that both Peggy Olson and Pete Campbell start to really come into their own as Pete matures and becomes more confident in his ability. A stunt, although successful, further sours the professional relationship between Don and Peggy, as it appears his once untouchable persona is being tarnished.  An abrupt outburst to potential clients forces Don to accept Bert Cooper's offer of a second interview, this time with the Wall Street Journal.  He begins his image repair by telling the magazine of the story the forced him into creating this new ad agency.  During this time we find that only a little over a year has passed since the end of season 3. 

During the episode Don goes on his first date, set up by Rodger Sterling with a friend of his wife Jane.  A 25 year old actress interested but is poised to take it slow.  We find that his plans for Thanksgiving are spent with a prostitute that he must have been involved with for some time for her to know what he likes.  We also find that he developed a fetish where he enjoys being slapped in the face.  Such practices are generally a way for men in power at work to have the roles reverse and become submissive in the bedroom. 

Overall it was a good start to the new season as we get to see what kind of storylines will unfold as well as the development of our favorite characters.  I look forward to next week’s episode, as well as the series premiere of Rubicon the next AMC's commitment to original programming.  Rubicon is a serialized political thriller that tells the story of Will Travers an intelligence analyst who cracks codes for a living.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Despicable Me!

Despicable MeBrought to you by Universal Studios Despicable Me stars Steve Carell (The Office) as Gru, an aging, mostly unsuccessful villain, Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother) as a young promising villain and Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly as an orphaned girl forced to peddle cookies for the seeming evil Miss Hattie (Kristen Wiig).
The ads have everything to draw the kids in, and the movie has just enough to keep up the kids’ attention.  In recent years animated movies had just enough adult humor and references to make these “family movies” actually entertaining for the whole family.  Despicable Me has too many tendencies that pander to the children in the theater, rather than try to entertain the broader audience. 
Intended to be cute and funny the minions, employed by Gru, fail to do either.  There were times that I would grin or chuckle at the noises and gestures, but overall I found them to be overused and occasionally annoying.  Some of the bright spots were Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and the three orphans, of which gave the most consistent comedy. 
With Pixar raising the bar to its highest level, it is hard for others to meet such standards.  This film always felt like something was missing, but overall I have to take it for what it is, a children’s movie.
Still entertaining, but only average, I give it a 2.5 out of 5.  Visuals, voice over, and music, a much better 4 out of 5.