**Angels & Demons** is the direct sequel to the movie version of **The DaVinci Code,** which is in opposite order of the books written by Dan Brown. This time Professor Langdon (Tom Hanks) is summoned by the Vatican to investigate a threatening riddle involving the election of a new pope. Four bishops are kidnapped and Professor Langdon is in hot pursuit.
Much like **The DaVinci Code,** if one removed the theological elements of the story, **Angels & Demons** would just be another routine thriller. In fact Professor Langdon lacks the heroics of James Bond and Professor Indiana Jones, this protagonist arrives just late enough to witness gruesome murders. By the 3rd murder, Cinema Dave began to reflect upon a Monty Phython skit, titled "The Bishop."
**Angels & Demons** is a must wait for the DVD featuring all the extras. It is the extras, featuring a tour or Rome and the computer recreation of The Vatican that really need to be studied, not the false heroics of Professor Langdon.
**Terminator Salvation** is a direct sequel to **Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines,** which featured the end of the world as we know it. The last **Terminator** film was also the last real appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sadly **Terminator Salvation** lacks the trademark **Schwarzenegger** humor and **Terminator Salvation** suffers from being overly serious science fiction.
Director McG is a good visual director and he directs three action set pieces with panache. Technically **Termination Salvation** is very good, but human empathy is lacking, symbolized by Christian Bale's one note performance as John Conner. The standout performance comes from Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright, a new character in the **Terminator** mythos. Fresh from his role as Chekov from **Star Trek,** Anton Yelchin portrays Kyle Reese, the father of John Conner, who happens to be younger than his son. Confused? It would be wise to view the previous three **Terminator** movies to understand this **Salvation.**
There is a lesson to be learned from Big Screen Entertainment during hard times, optimism is an easier sell for people who want cinematic escapism.
The first "Terminator" movie was released on the heels
of the "Friday the 13" type slasher movies that
flooded the market in the mid eighties. "The
Terminator" was a suprise box office hit in 1984 and
Arnold Schwarzenegger earned respect as an actor.
Swazzenegger, actress Linda Hamilton and
Writer/Director James Cameron returned for "Terminator
2: Judgement Day," which presented Arnold as a kinder
more gentler Terminator. While lacking the creative
coolness of the first movie, the sequel had some
phenonmenial action sequences, a 100 million dollar
budget and a larger box office gross.
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" had all the
earmarks for being another Summer 2003 flop along the
lines of "The Hulk" and "Hollywood Homicide." James
Cameron did not return to helm the new opus and Linda
Hamilton's character, Sarah Connor, was written out of
the storyline. Musician Marco Beltrami, Swarzenegger
and Earl Boen as the befuddled Doctor Silberman are
the only returning cast members and it has been 12
years since "Judgement Day." New Director Jonathon
Mostov managed to take what was successful with the
first two movies and has found a way to ressurrect the
The new movie is set in the not to distant future.
Sarah Connor's son, John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been
living a nomadic existence. Thanks to his mother's
preparation, John does not have any birth records,
social secruity or credit cards. Despite having
prevented a robotic holocaust in 1994, John is a
rolling stone who gathers no moss and he has
nightmares about his future.
The nightmares turn out to be justified. The most
sophisticated Terminator ever, TX (Kristiana Lokken)
has arrived. TX plans on killing John Connor and his
future security counsel. The old model terminator 800
model (Swarzenegger) arrives in an attempt to save
John Connor and his future wife (Clare Danes). As
the machines engage in a titantic struggle between
destroying and saving humanity, John Connor learns to
accept his destiny.
The new film has some original action sequences laced
with humor. While not in the same league of the car
chase from "The Italian Job," there is a spirited
chase involving a rugged toyota pick-up truck, a
crane and a fire truck. There is some gallows humor
in a cemetery shoot out as the Swarzenegger Terminator
rescues John with a coffin.
Despite his age and revealing a few crows feet around
the eyes, Schwarzengger gives an energized performance
in his signature role. In his 19 years of portraying
this role, there is a twinkle in Swarzenegger's
delivery laced with humor. Kristiana Lokken is a
worthy adversary who lacks humor. Nick Stahl and
Clare Danes are likeable characters who should be in
This new movie does lay the groundwork for future
Terminator movies, with or without Scwarzenegger. Even
with the humor and action packed entertainment,
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is a cautionary
tale about humanity reliance on machinery.
It has been nine months and I am still mourning the closing of the **Adventurers Club** in Disneyworld. This grief was renewed while watching the opening scenes of Disney/Pixar’s latest animation classic, "Up." **Up** opens with newsreel footage of the balderdash days of Zeppelin and dashing aviators like Charles Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer). The newsreel footage inspires Carl Frederickson (Ed Asner) to dream about an adventuresome life with the love of his life, Ellie (Elie Docter). Sadly, Carl loses his Ellie.
The previews for "Up" then reveal that Carl puts some balloons on his house and flies away, only to discover a boy named Russell (Jordan Nagai) is an unwitting passenger. To reveal more would ruin the experience of "Up," except to say this special motion picture will make people laugh, cheer and become misty eyed.
While Ed Asner’s Carl is the grumpy anchor for "Up" and Jordan Nagai’s bewildered wilderness boy is a delight, the meld between Charles Muntz and Christopher Plummer is uncanny. The Pixar animators really captured the nuances of Plummer’s vocal performance with computer technology, making a whole character.
For all of it‘s outrageous drama, "Up" works because director Pete Docter and writer Bob Peterson take the time to logically tell an illogical story. By the film’s conclusion, one accepts the logic of talking dogs and a 78 year old man pulling a house to a Peruvian plateau. There is a spirit of good will that prevails throughout **Up** and one would be silly not to share it.