Posts Tagged ‘tim robbins

28
Oct
08

Movie Review: City of Ember

 

 

A post-apocalyptic kids movie.

 

Starring Harry Treadaway, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Toby Jones, Tim Robbins and Martin Landau. Directed by Gil Kenan. Based on the book “City of Ember,” by Jeanne Duprau.

 

The story: in a world on the throes of Armageddon, a group of scientists create a city underground (City of Ember) that will last 200 years. The Mayor of the City is instructed to keep a box that counts down the 200 years and gives explicit instructions on how to evacuate Ember and return to the (hopefully) restored Earth above. Problems ensue when the 7th Mayor of Ember has a heart attack and the box is hidden away.

 

Doon (Treadaway) and Lina (Ronan) are school friends. When the power outages become longer and more frequent, Doon and Lina decide to do something about it while others blindly wait for the Builders to return and fix everything. Doon searches through the Pipeworks and finds secret doors and passages. Lina meets with Mayor Cole (Murray) and fins how corrupt he really is. When Doon finds that his father, Loris, and others tried to escape Ember and Lina finds the instructions to leave, they become suspected of treason. They’re only hope is to find the way out of Ember.

 

“City of Ember” could have easily been darker and grittier, but it wasn’t. I would say that’s akin to “The Black Cauldron,” or more serious childrens’ fare. My only real complaint about the movie is that I felt it took a while to get to the heart of the mystery, but that’s pittance compared to what the movie delivered. The overall movie was entertaining, engrossing, fun, and it held my attention the entire way.

 

Most impressive to me had to be the set designs. Ember looked like it had been designed somewhere between the 1940’s and 1950’s. And with the fact that the city would be limited in resources, especially after 200 years, it only seemed right that the characters would be wearing hand-me-down-to-the-nth-generation clothing. The city existed in the basement of the Earth, and thus so had small inventions scrapped together from bits and pieces of other objects. The entire civilization was well thought-out.

 

There’s no doubt that Bill Murray ate-up his role as the corrupt “everything is just fine” Mayor Cole. Tim Robbins stood in as Doon’s father, and did pretty well. Most surprising was Martin Landau as Sul, the narcoleptic engineer at the Pipe Works. He provides comic relief and effectively “saves the day.”

 

Do I recommend this movie? Sure. There’s no language and relatively no violence. The story is engaging enough to keep the attention of kids and adults. As for what ages should see it, I suggest 6 and up.

 

My grade: B+

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26
May
08

Movie News and Views Memorial Day Edition

 

 

 

“The Promotion” – Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly are supermarket managers vying for a managerial position at a new location. Will this inspire other like-wise films? Maybe competition among Wal-Mart employees? Whatever. Opens June 6, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/the-promotion/33211/video/trailer-no-1/2120893

 

“Quid Pro Quo” – Nick Stahl is a guy who is paralyzed and is investigating a world where people get their kicks from becoming disabled. He’s led into this world by none other than Vera Farmiga. It could be worse… Opens June 13, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/quid-pro-quo/32557/video/trailer-no-1/2124402

 

“Finding Amanda” – Matthew Broderick is a compulsive gambler sent to Las Vegas to find his 20-year-old niece Amanda (Britney Snow), who is now a hooker, and take her to rehab. No, no, no. Opens June 27, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/finding-amanda/33831/video/trailer-no-1/2124401

 

“The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” – It’s been years since “Mummy 2” and now Alex O’Connell is grown up and having an adventure, facing a cursed Chinese Emperor named Qin, who had his enemies turned into statues and can use that at his will at any time. This probably sounds cooler than it will end up being. Opens August 1, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=748&item=0

 

“Eagle Eye” – Michelle Monaghan is a single mother and Shia LeBeouf is a slacker. Both are framed as terrorists and are on the run. Opens September 26, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1001&item=0

 

“City of Ember” – 200 years ago a city was built underground with a limited amount of power and resources. Time’s up. Stars Tim Robbins and Bill Murray. Opens October 10, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/city-of-ember/30240/video/trailer-no-1/2128415

 

“Australia” – Word War II period piece with Nicole Kidman inheriting a ranch the size of Maryland and Hugh Jackman as the guy she reluctantly gets to help her drive 2,000 head of cattle across the country. Hugh’s not the only one who would do that for her… Opens November 14, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=8684

 

“Twilight” – The new MTV-produced vampire movie. Stars Kristen Stewart. Opens December 12, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/twilight-2008/31347/video/trailer-no-1/2123869

 

“Bigger, Stronger, Faster” – A new documentary about America’s addiction to being the best, which just so happens to have a little side-effect called Steroid Abuse. Really? That’s what I get for wanting to get “pumped up” like Hans and Franz. Coming soon! View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/bigger-stronger-faster/32516/video/trailer-no-1/2122790

 

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – From director David Fincher (“Seven,” “The Game,” “Fight Club,” “Zodiac”) is a movie based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, where a man is born whose outside age regresses while he grows up and old. The title character is played by Brad Pitt. Coming soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=168&item=0

 

“Noise” – Tim Robbins is an angered-minded citizen by day. By night he’s the Rectifier: a man damaging every car that has its alarm go-off. Also stars Bridget Moynahan and William Hurt. Coming soon! View the trailer at:

http://movies.aol.com//movie/noise-2008/31558/video/trailer-no-1/2123236