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Jul. 24th, 2014 10:43 am "Jersy Boys" an underrated 4th of July success

Twenty five summers ago, 105.9 WAXY FM sponsored a blockbuster concert at the Sunrise Musical Theater, starring **The Four Tops** and **Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons.** The show was magnificent and the people were dancing in the aisles. Minus **The Four Tops,** the same concert experience can be shared at your local movie theater with the screening of **Jersey Boys** this 4th of July weekend.

Based on a Tony Award winning show, **Jersey Boys** opens in Belleville, New Jersey in 1951. Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) breaks the 4th wall and talks directly to the audience about birth of the band that would eventually become known as **The Four Seasons.** Tommy tells us about young Francesco Stephen Castelluccio (John Lloyd Young), who would grow up to become the legendary Frankie Valli.

Growing up in the streets of Jersey, Frankie, Tommy and two other Jersey Boys sing "Doo Wop" songs on the street corner, which is used as a distraction for their petty criminal activities. While Tommy and the other Jersey boys rotate in and out of the penitentiary, Frankie continues his career as a singer with a unique falsetto voice.

Enter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), the lyricist who penned **The Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Poka Dot Bikini.** Bob Gaudio joins the band and forms a tight friendship with Frankie. As Bob and Frankie become more successful, the egos of the other **Two Seasons** destroy the group.

With Director Clint Eastwood's unfussy direction, **Jersey Boys** is the best musical on the big screen since **Mama Mia.** While his directorial representation rests on violent movies, Eastwood has always been a jazz and musical enthusiast. With **Jersey Boys,** Eastwood is able to direct a project that satisfies his own desires that pays benefits for ticket buyers.

Having originated the role in the Broadway play, John Lloyd Young is able to capture the charisma of Frankie Valli in a subdued medium. With three pivitol scenes, Christopher Walken steals scenes as Gyp DeCarlo, a gangster with a soft spot for Frankie Valli's singing.

A talented dancer in his own right, Walken performs in the final "curtain call" as the closing credits roll. Closing the show on an upnote, **Jersey Boys** is a nice air conditioned distraction this 4th of July weekend.

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Jun. 16th, 2014 10:46 pm "Maleficent" provides a Jolie showcase

When **Pan's Labyrinth** was released seven years ago, fairy tales were allowed to explore the dark side of metaphor if the film was successful. Some of Brothers Grimm fairy tales presented gruesome descriptions of a wicked step sister who sliced off her toes to fit into Cinderella's slipper. **Maleficent** is Walt Disney's attempt to interpret the dark side of **Sleeping Beauty.**

**Maleficent** tells the story of a flying fairy when she confronts the heart of darkness, she is betrayed by "true love's first kiss." Proving that hell hath no fury like a fairy scorned, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) plots revenge upon her lost love, King Stephan (Sharito Copley) who marries a Queen and has a daughter. When Princess Aurora is born, Maleficent places a curse upon the child.

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Jun. 15th, 2014 12:29 pm "Edge of Tomorrow" is deja vu of science fiction from yesterday

In the past nine years, it seems as if Tom Cruise, science fiction and summer are synomous with the release of **War of the Worlds,** **Oblivion** and now **Edge of Tomorrow.** While **Edge of Tomorrow** has proven to be a box office disappointment, it will likely to be remembered fondly as a DVD/Blu Ray release.

Tom Cruise plays a propaganda officer who is drafted to the front lines to combat an alien evil. He is killed in the field of battle. He comes back to life to fight again...and again...and again.

Things go slightly differently each time and the film takes on the tone as a Warner Brothers **Roadrunner** carton, with Tom Cruise as Will E. Coyote. Then **Edge of Tomorrow** tries to get serious again for a climatic moment, but one wonders if the climax is merely an illusion created from a well intentioned dream.

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Jun. 15th, 2014 11:49 am "How to Train Your Dragon 2" follows the dark formula of second sequels

It was the ending of the first movie that I realized "How to Train Your Dragon" was going for something deeper. With the onslaught of animation motion pictures, one felt a sense of diminishing returns, though the visuals, humor and musical score made this "Dragon" film a cut above most offerings at the time. Would "How to Train Your Dragon 2" survive high expectations?

It is the first moments of both brilliant and supple animation that one knows they are going on an epic journey. The first view is that of Nordic water, as the scope expands - one sees the depth of details of the island village of Berk. Our hero Hiccup (voice again by Jay Baruchel) and his best friend Toothless the dragon, are surveying. The two run afoul dragon poachers, who want to enslave dragons to take over Hiccup's hometown.

Hiccup warns his father and tribal chief, Stoick (Gerard Butler) and sidekick Gobber (Craig Ferguson) about the threat. When the name of "Drago" (Djimon Hounsou) is mentioned, Stoick prepares for the worst. As Stoick says earlier, "Men who kill without reason, are men you can not reason with."

**Dragon 2** takes on a darker tone with a touch of Scottish melencholia. Parents be warned, there is a traumatic scene that is as stunning as Lassie getting shot in the paw. Somehow the film ends in triumph that does not seem forced.

**How to Train Your Dragon 2** is a full epic presented in 98 minutes, with a score worthy of an Oscar nomination. Guillermo Del Toro and Drew Suzen are acknowledged in the credits for their contributions, most likely for so many visual Easter eggs.

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Jun. 15th, 2014 11:28 am Films in Review 2010 "How to Train Your Dragon"

"How to Train Your Dragon" made Cinema Dave's Top Ten List of 2010.
Does the Sequel hold up?

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Jun. 9th, 2014 11:30 am "Words and Pictures" leans towards the visual

As a writer, I could not feel that the "Words" people were given short shrift compared to the "Picture" people. After all, the "Words" leader is personified by Professor Jack Marcus (Clive Owen - who looks like he is revisiting "Ernie" from his award winning movie, "Hemingway & Gellhorn"), while "Pictures" is represented by the lovely Professor Dina Delsanto (lovely Juliette Binoche).

Professor Marcus is a scoundrel, but a charming one. Professor Delsanto is the Ice Queen, with a warm heart. The two bicker and defend what is more important, "Words" or "Pictures?" A philosophical war is declared, with the outcome being decided by the student body of an Ivy League prep school.

The head games between Binoche and Owen are a delight to watch and listen too. Being adults, the two strike each other like a fire poker, but know when to cool off in a moment of serious crisis. One sees both professor's professionalism rise to the occasion when two students are involved with harrasssment charges.

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Apr. 20th, 2014 09:12 pm Happy Easter ! ! !

For those who have been following this blog on a regular basis, THANK YOU for staying with Cinema Dave.  Cinema Dave is disappointed that he has not been as current and that he stumbled during the Lenten Season.  One never plans to fail, but when one fails, one must not indulge in the failing.                                     

Easter is the ultimate triumph, a time to get off the matt and continue the fight.  Some might need the 8 count before they can resume, but that is what it takes sometime.

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Apr. 19th, 2014 09:25 pm Holy Saturday "Fright Asylum" has an archive

Check out the latest news from "Fright Asylum" -

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Apr. 18th, 2014 09:36 pm Good Friday - "Heaven is for Real?"

With most films being marketing for Middle School students with disposable income, Cinema Dave found it refreshing to be the youngest member of the audience of the Good Friday screening of "Heaven is for Real."

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Apr. 17th, 2014 11:44 pm Holy Thursday - In the Garden of Gethsemane

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus encountered the Heart of Darkness

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