Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love the 80’s and maybe that’s why I took it easy on the film.

Take Me Home Tonight is a collection of 80’s clichés and that is one my personnel guilty pleasures. Love the 80’s and maybe that’s why I took it easy on the film.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

There is no reason to make nasty sex gags to make people laugh.

Hall Pass is the new directorial effort from The Farrelly Brothers, the same directors who brought us There’s Something About Mary. Hall Pass doesn’t really match up with that better film.

Sadly it just follows the same route towards mediocre PG-13 horror films.

The Rite tries to bring up the topic of exorcism is it real or just a hoax. The film tries to show that and at the same time talk about the faith of a man. Sadly it just follows the same route towards mediocre PG-13 horror films.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A lot of it doesn’t really make any kind of sense

When the news of Sucker Punch started coming out  and as well as the trailer. I was very excited it looked really cool and I was excited about Zack Synder’s first original work. Sadly it’s a major misfire.

The film explores different genres like fantasy, sci-fi, steam punk and you could even say women in prison movies.  So your getting a really mixed bag in this deal. The film begins with a long musical intro, explaining Baby Doll played by Emily Browning loses her mom and her sister and her stepfather admits her into a mental asylum. There she meets other prisoners, females with lot’s of issues. With a very evil orderly played by Oscar Isaacs who torments the girls in the asylum. Then the movie starts going into these music filled sequences of intense action and violence GCI overload. There’s one scene that involves large Japanese samurai with machine guns. A lot of it doesn’t really make any kind of sense.

The film has a extensive cast of females all of them are very talented but it’s not really enough to save the film. Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung and Carla Gigino. I give it to the girls for doing these action scenes they pull it off with style. Everything looks great here visuals, the girls, the action, the music. What the movie bombs is in it’s lack of depth.

The screenplay is very mundane during the scenes with out action. There is not much background for these characters. There all hot woman put up against incredible odds, but if only we care about them more. They have conversations but of nothing really interesting, I admit I wanted them to shut up and get to the action scenes. If you seen enough of Synder’s films his action is very stylized we all saw 300. So you get that pretty much here. The action is well made and it looks great but it just feels like someone else is playing a video game and there not passing controller. They only put it down when the cut scenes come on. There is one scene that I quite enjoyed that involves three females and a lot of robots.

You give actors bad material well they very often shows their disgust through their acting and that what pretty much happens here. There are blank stares, awful delivered lines and it just feels like they really don’t care. How could they, Synder doesn’t give them a chance to really developed or have dialogue that’s worth saying. Synder actually just cares more about the way the film looks then to actually make characters and a plot to resonant on the screen. Two things that I really didn’t get in this film, Scott Glenn a very good actor who’s been in a dozen films is completely wasted here. He plays The Wise Man he just spits out instructions and is basically a walking fortune cookie. The other thing is why is Joe Hamm from Mad Men is here. Did he need money or something oh wait I know what it is *cough* *cough*…studio didn’t trust movie put someone that audiences knows and recognizes *cough*.

Synder says this film is about geek culture’s sexism and objectification of women. I just see as a attempt to get 16 year olds to a movie where it has hot girls, guns, samurai swords and dragons. All that sounds cool but Sucker Punch is not a good example of it.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Best Movie of the Summer

I regret not seeing X Men First Class in the movies because it’s one of the best movies of the summer.

The film tells the story of Magneto who is played by Michael Fassbender and Xavier played by James Macavoy. It shows how their relationship started and eventually ends. It also shows how other characters begin as well that we see in the other X Men films.

The movie is great blockbuster fun, it has great special effects and the movie being set in the 1960’s are extremely well made. It clearly invokes the era. The acting is great as well, especially of Macavoy and Fassbender. The young cast as well brings a charm to the film. Kevin Bacon is very good here as the villain. Few actors can really invoke hatred and Bacon is one of them. He has this style that really gets in your skin.

One of the huge strengths of the film is how it treats the subject material with joy. We all do know this film is pretty ridiculous, but at the same time it treats it very serious when it comes down to the prejudice themes in all the X Men films. The characters have inspirations, goals, faults, they have conversations of how there are different. Yes it does lead to one big action scene at the end but at least we spend the time getting to know to these characters. So when the action starts we can actually care for the characters.

That was the problem with X Men Origins Wolverine they didn’t humanize Wolverine and made him a set piece for excessive special effects.

Matthew Vaughn directed the disappointing Kick Ass, but he redeems himself with X Men First Class where he didn’t go for shock value instead he made a movie.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Exhausting Experience

Insidious is an extremely scary movie and I can safely say the best horror film I’ve seen since the first Paranormal Activity.

Now a day with remakes and reboots it’s good to see filmmakers who try to at least be original. The film is directed by James Wan the same guy who brought us the Saw series, as well as the only good installment in the series.

The film begins with a family of five; Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are the parents. One day one of their sons goes up in the basement and hurts himself. Even though everything looks fine the next day he slips into a coma. Ever since that strange thing starts happening in the house, noises, sightings of people. She wants to move and they do but it follows them and they call in an expert played by Lin Shaye. She tells them it’s not the house it’s their son.

This is one of the most exhausting experiences I had in awhile, the movie is truly scary. What makes it work is the attention of detail that Wan gives to his scares. Yes there are no extreme levels of violence. The simple things are what scare us the most. A certain noise, something we see that maybe it’s not real or is it.
I want to give credit to sound effects and the sound editing guys, because it can get nerve racking in the movie.

The two main problems with the film are that it can get predictable. The scares and creepiness stays throughout the film but you can guess what pretty much happens next. The last fifteen minutes can get kinda  of silly because rather then finishing it with a strong ending it leads to an extreme cliché chase scene.
Other then that hopefully PA3 and the other horror films that come out in October can prove me wrong when I say this.

Insidious is the best mainstream horror film of the year that is actually decent and original, and not a remake or reboot.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

McConaughey is Back.

Matthew McConaughey is back and in top form and I couldn’t wait for that to happen. Having so much critical failures it’s about time he makes something decent.

It’s funny it’s the genre that brought him to the map. The first time people seen him was in Dazed and Confuse, but I saw him in A Time To Kill where he did a great performance alongside some heavy hitters. Sandra Bullock and Samuel Jackson.

He works best in thrillers we all saw Frailty which was a good flick and showed his chops. Even though he had a small role.

Now he returns in The Lincoln Lawyer as Mickey Haller a attorney who works from his black Lincoln and mostly defends criminals. One day a rich kid played by Ryan Philippe gets accused of beating a girl and hires Mickey to defend him. Strangely as the case gets bigger there’s a much bigger web of mystery to be solved.
The acting is the strongest part of the film and it has a great cast. Including Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy. Each actor brings it in this one. Everybody here is strong and charismatic. Ryan Philippe explores some very deep levels in his performance and it was pretty impressive. What bogs down the film though is that it follows formula to the key instead of trying something different. So it makes it very predictable.

Other then that its enjoyable courtroom drama that proves McConaughey still got it in him.


Could Life Just be a Adjustment?

The Adjustment Bureau is a electrifying film that shows a great version of how we question our existence.
Matt Damon stars as David Norris a up and coming politician running for senate. One day a tabloid digs up a embarrassing prank that he did a long time ago and he basically loses the office. He goes to the bathroom and gloats and meets Elise played by Emily Blunt a girl who’s hiding out in the Men’s bathroom. She inspires him to make a speech that changes his image towards the people.

He falls in love with her and they meet again but that was a accident and was not suppose to happen according to these 1950’s clothes wearing people. Who wants them separated because of a higher purpose.
I don’t want to ruin this great film for anybody. This movie makes everything work. Good chemistry between Blunt and Damon, and great conversations about faith, religion and free will. A very smart script and good direction. I love how the fact there is no villain, it’s people with a concern for the greater good. They just don’t agree with each other.

It’s been a long time since there was a movie where two people actually see each other eye to eye and have a conversation. This movie strangely allows that happen and feels great to see that again. The film was directed by George Nolfi this is his film debut and he might be a director to be reckon with in the future.
Some people might not like the ending because it doesn’t fall on the trappings of a cliche ending. Name a religious experience that ended with answers instead of questions. You won’t find much.

One of the best of 2011.


Liam Neeson + Europe= Dustruction...

Unknown is a film the stars Liam Neeson in Europe trying to solve a mystery….but wait hold on…hold on… Didn’t we see this in Taken…

The film starts Neeson a scientist Dr. Harris who’s doing a presentation in Germany and he’s there with his wife played by January Jones. When they get to the hotel he notices he’s missing a bag and goes and grabs another cab to go back to the airport. He gets into a car accident and wakes up four days later in a hospital bed. He’s been in a coma, whats more strangely is that his wife and nobody has came looking for him he’s also lost his memory.

When he goes back to his wife she doesn’t  recognized him and claims that he’s not her husband. There is somebody else who is Dr. Harris. He treks through Germany trying to solve the web of mystery around him.
They should create a new genre called “Liam Neeson kicking ass in Europe” I would watch that everyday no problem!!!

The problem with Unknown is that it’s extremely implausible and the things that happen with Neeson is pretty much hard to believe. Also while watching the film is like watching a knock off The Bourne movies.
The film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra he’s the one behind House of Wax and Orphan. House of Wax is not that great but Orphan is a well made horror film for the genre nothing more and nothing less.
Unknown is well directed and Neeson gives it his all only to make the movie an enjoyable but forgettable thriller.


A Great Cast Epic Fail

How Do You Know is the perfect example of a great cast and a great director coming together and just making a stinker. It’s impressive how they can just screw it up huh.

Reese Witherspoon plays a famous softball player who gets cut and starts a relationship with an other famous athlete, played by Owen Wilson. Happening at the same time Paul Rudd’s character is being sued and its not getting any kinda help from his psycho but eccentric father played by Jack Nicholson.

Of course Rudd and Witherspoon have a cute meet and the film tries to explore their complexities. Relationship and in their careers.

The movie fails by the tedious way this film is being directed. It feels really overblown and it feels very overwritten. Everybody does their best to push through but its not really enough. It tries too hard to to push its themes and its exhausting to watch.

The film is directed by James L. Brooks who brought us films like Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, As Good as it Gets. So this is a huge misfire guys its just not worth it. He can do better.

A great cast helped by not much though.


Could a Roman and a slave get along?

The Eagle brings back classic examples of what the sword and sandals genre doesn’t have today. Although it’s not enough to cover its main fault.

The film is directed by Kevin MacDonald who directed The Last King of Scotland and State of Play. Channing Tatum plays Marcus Aquila the son of the commander who famous 9th Legion disappear somewhere in Britain, along with the Famous Golden Eagle a gold statue. He tries to put his father’s name in honor by being a good solider. One day protecting a outpost he gets injured and returns to his uncle’s villa. He saves the life of a slave named Esca played by Jamie Bell and serves him. One day he learns rumors about the Golden Eagle being spotted somewhere in Europe. He takes Esca with him and he goes over the border to look for the eagle.

The film plays a lot to the classic formula brotherhood and learning from each other, different social classes. However the film’s greatest strength is the location and cinematography. The locations are not made in CGI so we are seeing amazing sights. Esca and Marcus are actually trekking through these places. The action scenes as well brings back fighting scenes where you could real people doing things unlike CGI filled movies like 300 or Troy. Where it appears millions but its actually ten behind a green screen. That’s kind of a fresh air for fans of this particular genre. One strange thing but not in bad way there is no romance subplot oddly enough MacDonald was able to avoid that. This is the kind of movie where it doesn’t need that it would just feel forced.

The downfall of The Eagle is the lead performance of Tatum, I’m not saying he’s a bad actor but this is not his kind of movie. He’s very miscast but I do give him props for trying to humanize his character by not making him over the top or a cliche hero. Jaime Bell although is great and really it’s the strength of the movie.

The Eagle might have a weak central performance and a been there done that feel. It’s still a good adventure movie for anybody who’s a fan.