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The Core

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Stanley Tucci, Hilary Swank, Tchéky Karyo, Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood and DJ Qualls
Directed by: Jon Amiel
Rated: PG-13


The Core is a smart visually inspiring extraordinary piece of Sci-fi. It's a jazzed up Journey to the Center of the Earth sprinkled with some of the hottest "Indie" stars we've got.

The cast is wildly unstereotypical. There's not a Shwartzeneggerstallonevandamewillis type to be seen. It's full of thespian folks that can not only pronunciate properly but truly seem intelligent. Who you ask? How about Stanley Tucci and Hilary Swank for decidedly non-bimbo realistic and bold casting? The closest they get to blockbuster eye candy is that glorious studmuffin of small films, the top shelf yummitini of the budget conscience, Mr. Aaron Eckhart, who quite frankly just gets more edible with each viewing.

The Core's story goes...

Our loving planet is very sick. Odd and terrible phenomenons are popping up all over the globe in the forms of swarming psychotic birds (in a scene that will have Hitchcock pounding Heaven's lounge table in frustration he didn't have CGI technology in his day), electrical showers that throw 1000 lightening bolts on the defenseless cities below and horrific holes in the atmosphere that allow super potent microwaves to leak in to the land below turning San Francisco into nothing more than a largely populated marshmallow over a campfire.

Very very scary and jaw dropping scientific cause and reaction scenarios theories are properly explained.

So brainiac professor, Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), is commandeered by secret service agents in mid lecture. See Josh is the leading expert on Earth's core and an Einstein when it comes to geological studies. Then they snag his atomic weapons expert buddy from France Serge (Tchéky Karyo). Then a snooty scientific socialite brain named Dr. Zimsky (Stanley Tucci). This elite team decides that indeed the pieces they've organized have created a timeline of the world's end and the scurrying begins.

Apparently for some strange reason (which we get an instant inkling Dr. Zimsky knows all too well) the Earth's core has halted and triggered a reverb effect that will turn our cozy planet into a flaming space trash in about eight months!

Luckily Dr. Zimsky has an ex colleague in the dessert, Dr. Brazzleton (Delroy Lindo). Dr. B is a genius who has created an element he's named Unobtainableium. This substance, though humorously named, may just be the savior of the world. The substance gets stronger as it comes into contact with more heat. And that's a good thing because these folks are about to head into the molten core of the world and needs to be, well, jump-started.

How do they plan on doing it? Simple tunnel 20,000 miles into the center and explode a few atomic warheads. Their Unobtainableium shelled craft will allow the crew to safely burrow in heats of over 9000 degrees. (<- insert dramatic world saving music here)

To complete the motley crew the powers that be call in two elite space shuttle commanders (Hilary Swank and Bruce "JFK" Greenwood) and a wirey computer hacker named appropriately Rat (DJ Quall). Rat will mislead the web and monitor information leaks about the end of days, keeping hysteria in check.

Yeah, I know- it's a tad far fetched and when you start to break it down the eyebrow raises…but it's good old spooky Sci-fi bubbling in its petri dish before you! Let that childlike part of the brain take over and strap in for the visual ride these filmmakers have prepared.

This Aaron Eckhart is of the highest caloric caliber of mansicle! Sure the Earth is about to combust and life as we know it dissipate in a half a year. But when Aaron as "Josh" takes off his little tee-shirt to reveal one of the handsomest chests to blazon across a 60 foot screen in over a year, I for one swooned like a schoolgirl at a bonfire and forgot all about that pesky Armageddon he was facing…On top of Mr. Eckhart being the type of fella a gal wants to go rabid Rhesus money sex on, he's super talented in anything he presents; an evil sexy combo. Purr.

Gorgeous Hilary Swank again serves up the unexpected. Here's a gal so feminine she's listened in the dictionary under girl. And yet she continually plays tough and rough gals. She's one helluva talent. Bravo.

Stanley Tucci is a treasure. Always trust his name in the credits…he picks 'em well. Here he nails the Carl Sagan meets Nathan Lane meets Truman Capote character Dr. Zimsky. In lesser theatrical hands his Commander McBragg -like ass would have been a brash, brassy bastard. Stan molded him into an often hilarious Dr. Zachary Smith of the new millennium.

Wonderful Delroy Lindo plays his "Biggest Brain in the World" aka Dr. Brazzleton role with heart and, as always, delivers an impeccable performance.

DJ Qualls is pristine as " Rat." Rat's that stereo typical introverted multi monitored end of the world computer genius hack geek complete with a Xena fixation.

Bluntly speaking, this is one exciting smart film folks! If you're a Sci-fi buff be there opening day. Not only is the script riddled with genuinely funny (and surprisingly real) quips, lots of scientific mumbo jumbo that sounds legit, some nifty kaleidoscopic visions of our inner planet but this ensemble group of stellar actors bring a new bit of thespian infusion to the tried and true genre of "End of the Earth" saga - class.

Snack recommendation: Deep Dish Chicago Pizza with green peppers, onions, extra mushrooms…and Hotpockets.

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