Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Week In Movies - Ladies and Gentlemen, Academy Award Nominated Actor Liam Neeson and Scooby-Doo

Taken (2009) Between the fact that I usually only watch comedies and kids films and that Taken is a really well made action picture, my heart was literally thumping out of my chest watching this fantastically intense thriller. Liam Neeson's daughter gets kidnapped and sold into white slavery while vacationing in France. Luckily, Neeson's character was some sort of top secret government spy trained to kill anyone who gets in his way. So, he hops a plane to France and starts kicking butt left and right on his quest to find his daughter. This movie is tight! And by that I mean there isn't much unnecessary time spent in this film. Once the girl gets nabbed, the rest of the film is about getting her back. Very well done movie that I probably wouldn't have seen if it wasn't for my wife.

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009) Much better than the previous two theatrical Scooby Doo movies, The Mystery Begins is much closer in spirit to the original 1960's cartoon show. In fact, this direct-to-DVD movie nails the transition from beloved cartoon series to live-action motion picture. Directed by Brian Levant, who also directed both of The Flintstones movies, Scooby-Doo meets up with Shaggy and the rest of the gang for their very first mystery. The special effects are kept to a minimum and the focus is on the friendship that forms between these four kids (and one dog.) There's some nice nods to the TV show while bringing the whole Scooby-Doo universe up-to-date in a non-obnoxious way. I was honestly blown away by how much better The Mystery Begins is over Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). If you were let down by the first attempt to bring Mystery Inc. into the real world, rent this movie (or catch it on Cartoon Network) and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Loose Screws (1985) Imagine a film spoken almost entirely in double entendre. It's kind of like a Mad Magazine comic that goes on for 75 minutes. In this Canadian classic, four guys get sent off to a boarding school where they decide to devise a point system for all the girls in the school and then see who can score the most points hooking up with the girls. Yes, it's as tasteless as it sounds. The boys all set their sites on the new French teacher, 100-point Miss Mona Lott. Get it, Mona Lott? Everybody's name in this movie is a pun/entendre...but that's the only one I can publish here at WWoB. None of the guys ever do hook up with Miss Lott, but at the graduation ceremony at the end of the movie a statue comes to life and blows marijuana smoke all over the place causing Mona Lott to do a striptease in front of the whole student body. Oh Canadians, you guys have all the fun!

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