The Blind Side is the Hollywood story of NFL player, Michael Oher. It's based on Oher's story from The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game written by Michael Lewis. For those unfamiliar with American football, "the blind side" is the vulnerable side of a quarterback, the offensive player responsible for passing or handing off the football. The most important responsibility of players in Oher's position as tackle is to protect their quarterback. One does not need to be a sports fan to enjoy this film about a neglected kid who is able to maximize his talents thanks to a little luck and the kindness of others.
Ninja Assassin assaults the senses with repetitive action scenes filled with mind-numbing, computer-enhanced violence. It's scary to imagine how much worse the movie would have been had the Wachowski brothers not brought in J. Michael Straczynski to quickly rewrite the script. The film's pace is its primary problem. Lengthy flashbacks to setup the main character's motives, and interludes with EUROPOL investigators who are pursuing him don't make the plot payoffs any bigger in the end.
Enter the Ninja is a campy movie about an American ex-soldier who trains to become a ninja in Japan, and then goes on to help his American war buddy fend off the henchmen of a nefarious American real estate tycoon who wants his buddy's plantation in the Philippines. The film is an awesome example of a cheesy martial arts movie from the 80's directed by Menahem Golan himself (of Golan-Globus and The Cannon Group fame). transient-2 sums up the flick nicely on IMDb with a comment hilariously titled, "ninjas take the elevator..."
Kevin Reynolds' take on The Count of Monte Cristo is an entertaining film having not read Alexandre Dumas' novel. Everyone loves a good story of revenge and this one does not disappoint. The movie features great acting from the likes of James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, and the late Richard Harris. Dagmara Dominczyk is fittingly beautiful as the woman who leads Pearce's character to betray Caviezel's. Ireland and Malta also make for eye catching locations though the former is probably not actually visited in the book, AFAIK.
Drag Me to Hell is vintage Sam Raimi horror: gross, funny, and still a bit scary. Alison Lohman plays a loan officer whose elderly customer on a fixed income begs her for a third mortgage payment extension. The old lady is behind because she's had to pay for unexpected medical expenses—a timely topic. Seeking a promotion to assistant bank manager, Lohman's character declines to help the woman who then places the curse of the Lamia on her. (Note: Macs are immune to Lamia curses. ) The rest of the movie involves increasingly desperate measures to get rid of the bad juju.
Can't watch the Big Game on TV tonight because Comcast is demonstrating why they shouldn't be allowed to purchase a controlling stake in NBC Universal, as they extort DIRECTV over their OLNVersus channel. The public and FCC should be concerned that the largest cable operator in the country is becoming a giant media company too.