Transporter 3 * *
Directed by: Olivier Megaton / 2008
If you’re looking for a modern and smart action hero trilogy look for Jason Bourne (“The Bourne Identity”). If you’re shooting to dumb-down your search, then hire Frank Martin. Having not seen more than a handful of butt kicking scenes from “The Transporter” and hearing how awful “Transporter 2” is, I doubt I really missed much by starting off with “Transporter 3”. This is stupid- awesome-action and I knew what I was getting into. Though, extra heavy on the stupid! And of course there is always a broken-English speaking babe with the worst acting ever. Frank Martin is no John McClane (“Die Hard”) and he’s no John Rambo (uh…“Rambo”) but he can kick some butt and you can bet he’ll more than likely be back in a fourth installment, and if not, look no further than every other character that actor Jason Statham portrays.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year * * * *
Directed by: Kenny Ortega / 2008
It didn’t affect me like the original “High School Musical”, but “Senior Year” is my favorite of the trilogy. It’s a joy to watch the maturing take place in acting and production, a fine parallel to that of high school and coming of age. A real man admits he not only watches these movies, but also of his own submission and enjoyment. I can’t help but want some “College Years” now (which, I understand another movie is in the script department)! Surely they can pull off a fourth, as this cast and crew is insanely talented and have tons of heart. I’m also curious as to how far these kids will spring board from Disney. My guess is pretty far.
Nick & Norah's Infinite Play List * * ½
Directed by: Peter Sollett / 2008
“Pitchforkmedia.com: The Movie” might be a better title for this one, a film that ran out of gas way too early for my meager adolescent indie rocker tank, just like most new music does these days. Laughs were cheap and I don’t wish to hang with irresponsible teens and woo-girl drunks in real life, and definitely not in this movie. Some movies of similar slacker sensibilities pull it off well, inviting me in, but this one didn’t. I was left out in the uncool nightclub cold. There is no doubt that Michael Cera and Kat Dennings have silver screen headlight chemistry (with and without each other) that could make them even more bankable in years to come. There is something real to them that I appreciate watching, here and elsewhere and I look forward to watching them grow up in the movies. I finally got into the film when the hip-wading soundtrack finally took a breather, and right before Nick and Norah started making their, uh, own music. Though, even then I was rubbed the wrong way in its oh-so-too-lates-to-win-me-over. And gosh, I would despise watching this movie with somebody who loves to announce to the world that they have “awesome” music taste. The kids were on an all-night search through Manhattan to find themselves as well as an obscure hipster band called Where’s Fluffy? Uh, who cares? What about parents? In a city that never sleeps, I bet their parents couldn’t either, knowing that their babies were running the streets until daylight. Entertaining at times, especially Cera and Dennings, but I don’t wish to play this one again.
Milk * * * * *
Directed by: Gus Van Sant / 2008
I didn’t want “MILK” to run out. Not only because I knew that Harvey Milk’s assassination was impending, but because “MILK” was so absorbing in the master film making and acting unfolding before my eyes and mind. I don’t think the purpose was to have complete fun while watching this, but Gus Van Sant waves his film making wand to create his best movie, and possibly the best picture of 2008. It’s a treat and a fine tribute to a great life. I never thought Sean Penn would morph into this roll, and if you still have doubts about the man’s many great roles and talent look no further than his Harvey Milk. It’s astounding and Penn has definitely cemented himself as his generation’s finest actor with a second Oscar win. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know who Harvey Milk was before this movie came out, but his name should be honored up there with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. No matter your opinion on the issues at hand, please see this movie. -djg