Sunday, October 30, 2011

Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps is an essential cult horror movies for every horror enthusiast. The cast is fantastic and the story is great for being considered a small B-movie from the mid-80s. This is not a zombie movie but is an alien/horror movie which is not directly stated anywhere in the promotion of the movie and most reviews call this a zombie movie. This is a great addition to the horror genre because it actually uses realistic characters and they do things that everyone might do in their given situation.

The plot involves an alien experiment being jettisoned from a spaceship and the experiment land on Earth. This happens in the 1950's, and the body of the man who was infected by the experiment is put "on ice". The plot then skips to the mid 1980s where two friends join a fraternity so one can impress a girl. Their initiation involves finding a cadaver and instead they find the frozen body. Shenanigans ensue and then the experiment, which are alien slugs, is unleashed upon the college town and all of its residents. This is the time when the aliens start taking over co-eds and start reproducing more slug forms and this is when the action really picks up. There is also a side plot that involves a detective who encountered a killer in the 1950s, who killed his high school sweetheart, and the killer is resurrected by the aliens.

This movie is pretty incredible when you factor in that it was probably made with a shoestring budget and a lesser known cast. The acting is believable and the situations that the characters are put in are realistic as they possibly could be in relation to the subject material. The fact that the characters don't just walk into situations like a bunch of idiots is impressive for a horror movie and is really a breath of fresh air. The main hero, Chris, is scared and that is logical but he tries to protect the people he cares about and tries to help others around him as well. His friend, J.C, looks out for Chris the best he can and really acts like a best friend and not a selfish prick like most characters do in these type of movies. As you can tell I really like this movie and feel like it is a really effective movie.

The special effects are great because they are all done as practical effects for the most part. The way the infected characters are shown is very similar to that of a zombie but the heads of the infected will randomly open and reveal more slugs when they are done gestating. Just a really great concept in an exceptional movie. Even the main female character, Cynthia, defies genre conventions. She is cut from the same cloth as Ellen Ripley of the Alien series, she is frightened of the threat at first and then overcomes that fear and starts dealing death to the slug bastards. This is what I mean when I say that the characters act rationally in the situations in the movie, they fight for their lives and the lives of the people around them and that is a great thing to have in a horror movie. Adding elements of reality in a movie about an unbelievable situation really grounds the movie and allows the viewer to connect with the characters and the plot.

I flat out love this movie, and people may rip on it for being a B-movie, but I think that fact only adds to how great this movie is. If all B-movies took the time to develop their plot and character like Night of the Creeps did then they wouldn't be considered B-movies. If you liked the movie Slither or cult horror movies in general, treat yourself to this movie. You will really only find it on Blu-Ray or DVD and it is really worth it. I promise you that you will at least find one entertaining aspect to this movie even if you are not a huge fan of horror movies.

Bad Teacher Review

This is one of the only movies with Cameron Diaz in it that I thought was genuinely good. She isn't the best part of the movie but she is also not the worst. This movie is on the same vein as Bad Santa and takes the notion that all teachers care and it flips that notion on its head. The movie has all of the things that make an R-Rated comedy great, great jokes, good characters, and solid story. Everyone in this movie is very funny in their own way and fits very well into the movie. The director has also made some incredibly funny movies including Orange County and The Dewey Cox Story.

The story revolves around a teacher who does not care about her job at all and is just using this job to get summers off and is about to marry a rich guy who can't tell she doesn't love him. They break up and she needs to go back to being a teacher and she continues to just coast by at her job. Then a handsome, rich substitute (Justin Timberlake) comes to the school and she sets her sights on him. The main plot revolves around her having to earn enough money to get breast implants, so Timberlake's character will want to marry her. A local gym teacher (Jason Segel) is also vying for her attention but she is resistant because he is a gym teacher and makes little to no money. Throughout the course of the movie, Diaz's character comes up with several schemes to get the money to pay for her surgery and each one gets more and more absurd. Her friendship with Segel is hilarious and they each play off of each other so well.

The actors in this movie are very funny and the funniest in my opinion is Jason Segel. He is great in everything I have seen him in and he keeps getting better and better. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is still one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and that is solely because of the fact that Segel has amazing comedic timing and delivery. The sarcastic lines in the movie that they give him are fantastic and his bits are freaking hilarious. He is going to keep getting better with each movie he is in and he has the Muppets Movie coming in November and it looks incredible. Diaz is also surprisingly funny in this movie which is amazing given the terrible string of movies she has been in the last few years. She really needs to pick and choose what she does because she has the ability to be in very good movies but she picks bargain basement crap. Her character is mean spirited, sarcastic, and arrogant which she plays to perfection over the course of the movie.

This is not a movie for people who like nice and heartfelt romantic comedies, this is more for people who like comedies like Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. There is cursing, nudity, drugs, and alcohol in this movie and they take everything to the limit. The movie is sarcastic and mean spirited for most of the movie and it is always funny. Segel and Diaz rise to being the real bright spots of the movie because they never go overboard with their characters and they make their characters believable. Timberlake on the other hand does go overboard with his character and at times he does seem a little cartoonish. Thomas Lennon is in the movie for an extended cameo and is really funny, its a shame that he does not get larger parts in movies because he is usually one of the better aspects of any movie he is in. This is one of the funnier movies that I have seen this year and ranks up there with Bridesmaids as the top comedies of the year.

This is a movie that really embraces the R-Rated philosophy and runs full speed with it. This is the movie that will hopefully catapult Diaz into taking on more selective roles that fit her strengths. This is a movie I can recommend to everyone who like filthy comedy and to anyone who is a fan of either Segel or Diaz. Watch this movie and you will be surprised at how good it actually is.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 Review

When reading this review keep in mind that all of the opinions that are given are mine and mine alone. Paranormal Activity 3 is the latest addition to the budding franchise that seems to enthrall audiences every Halloween season. No name actors, same setups used as always, and "a better script" are the basic elements of this movie. As you can tell, I'm not the biggest fan of this series at all. A lot of gags in the tree movies are sloppy and the story is even sloppier when you fact the third movie into the continuity. The 4th one that is due to release next year has a lot of improving to do before it can be considered a great horror movie.

Paranormal Activity follows the main characters from the first two movies when they were younger living in California with their recently married parents. Over the course of the film the viewer gets an inside look at what is going on with the demon that is stalking the girls and the Dad sets up cameras around the house to make the viewing more convenient. As the movie progresses the supernatural happenings begin to increase in frequency and strength. This one had the best sequences to date but the others seemed to have a better flow to them. The standout sequence in this movie has to be with Randy and Katie playing Bloody Mary in the bathroom. Randy, being the only rational character has some reservations about going into the bedroom that is being torn apart by the demon but has to do it to protect Katie. It is actually a really effective sequence that scared a ton of people in the theater. The other sequence that got gasps was the disappearing kitchen which if you watch you will understand what I am talking about.

This is a movie full of character who do not follow logic in any way at all. Generally if your daughter gets help up in the air by her ponytail by an invisible creature on video then you might want to try and get help from someone. The only people who act rationally are Randy and the babysitter. Randy is the girls' dad's friend, and when him and Katie play Bloody Mary and have a less then favorable encounter with the demon, he splits as soon as Katie's parents get home. He did his job and protected her but then he made the right decision and got as far away as he could from the damned family. The babysitter has an up close and personal meeting with the demon and peaces almost automatically. These are good decisions, not like bringing your whole family to the creepy grandmother's who keeps insisting that you have kids until you have a boy, so she can secretly murder your entire family and put the demon in the child's body.

Another problem I had with this movie is that the end is telegraphed about halfway through the movie. The grandmother keeps making it a point to try and convince Julia to have a boy over and over. Even at the beginning she tries to talk Julia out of staying with Dennis, our main character. As soon as they went to the grandmother's towards the end of the movie, the writing was on the wall and the end was all but certain. Dennis is not a stupid character, he is just inquisitive and wants to find out as much about the situation as he could so he could then act. He tries to warn his wife but she doesn't want to listen and it bites them both in the ass. Also the continuity of this movie does not fit with that of the first movie. The fact that Katie never mention her parents dying in the first movie and then they were brutally murdered in 1988 but this may be due to the "brainwashing" that goes on off screen at the end of the movie. I also don't see how the 4th movie can follow the same setup as the other 3 movies. The camera thing is believable only for so long but having another movie of that may be pushing it a little. The security footage works but not someone actually filming these ridiculous occurrences

This was a pretty mediocre movie that got a lot out of the crowd when I went to go see it. I always heard someone gasping or screaming in the theater. This for a horror movie is essential because you want to get you audience involved in the movie when they are in the theater.If you have seen the other two then you have to see this one just to complete the trilogy. This movie didn't really work for me but if you like scary movies then you might as well take a shot on this movie.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kill Bill Vol.1 Review

Tarantino is one of the only true geniuses in Hollywood anymore. Everything he touches is pure gold, his worst movie is still better than most directors' masterpieces. Kill Bill Vol.1 happens to be one of his best, so that pretty much makes it a classic. He always casts the right people for the characters he has written and has the uncanny ability to write amazing dialogue in all of his movies. Everything is pitch perfect in the movies itself and this is because of the determination of both the director and his cast. When you have a group of people working as hard as they can to make a great movie, it usually pays off in the end.

The movie tells the story of The Bride, who is a highly trained assassin trying to escape the life and become a mother and wife. The rest of her team and her boss are not thrilled about this fact so they attempt to kill her and then slaughter her entire wedding party. This is where the tale of revenge begins and The Bride will not stop until all of the people involved in her attempted murder are dead and in the ground. This movie focuses on her hunting down two of the members of her team, and each fight plays out almost like a boss battle in a video game and each of the assassins she is hunting symbolize what her life could have potentially been. I'll get into that later in the review. The action is pretty constant in the movie and it features some of the best fight sequences in movie history. This movie is worth watching for the Crazy 88s battle sequence alone.

Tarantino has crafted some of the most widely known movies of all time and this is tied with Inglourious Basterds for his best movies in my personal opinion. He just has a way of crafting a story that just draws you in because he take such care with every aspect of the movie he is making. The dialogue is always top notch, casting is on the same level, and while some of his stories have a basic premise he has the ability to mold the stories into something truly special. The only other directors that can challenge him in my opinion are Christopher Nolan and David Fincher. They are all part of the elite in the movie industry but they can't really be directly compared to each other because the movies they make are so different from each others. Tarantino has the ability to combine several genres into a single movie and in turn create a new sub-genre or in some cases a new genre all together. Kill Bill Vol.1 has elements of classic samurai movies, revenge thrillers, exploitation, Kung-fu, and girls with guns movies. He has a way of taking the best aspects of all of these types of movies and fitting them together like pieces of a puzzle to make one beautiful coherent picture.

Uma Thurman really is the glue that holds this movie together. Without her, Tarantino may have had a flop or been unable to even produce this movie at all. She is physically commanding on screen and she really does seem like she would be a legitimate threat as an assassin. She does an amazing job of portraying this woman who is hell bent on revenge and who coldly calculates every movie she must make. Thurman show a great emotional range in this movie going from being scared in the opening scene, having a breakdown later, and then showing unflinching determination in the main bulk of the scenes in the movie. Her physical ability also comes into play in her fight scenes which are also incredible and she handles everything with great fluidity and the scenes play out like you would envision with a skilled assassin and nothing feels forced or fake.

See this movie and then watch Kill Bill Vol. 2 and for the best viewing experience watch them back to back so you get the full story in one shot. Tarantino is a rare film director who actually follows through on everything that he promises. While many consider Pulp Fiction to be his best movie, this is his true masterpiece to date. I am sure he will make many more movies and some may be better than this, but as of this moment this is his best movie in my eyes. Just watch it, it is a perfect combo of some of the best movie genres and every performance is great. If you like movies that don't suck then watch this.

P.S- If you don't like this movie, you are dumb and God can't fix you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Attack the Block

Attack the Block is an incredible directorial debut by Joe Cornish. He wrote and directed this movie and has had a hand in writing some of the most highly anticipated screenplays in the film industry such as The Adventures of Tin Tin. The cast consists of mostly unknown teenage actors and one well known actor in Nick Frost. This allows for the characters in the movie to be believable because the viewer just sees the characters and not the actor playing them if that makes sense. The kids start out as hooligans but they form into a group not unlike that in The Goonies. This movie really bests most alien invasion movies in almost every aspect.

The plot of Attack the Block is simple enough, it deals with an alien invasion that starts in South London in the projects. There is a group of hooligans that are having a busy night mugging people and then an alien crashes to Earth right next to the group. This is where the action begins and they go and hunt down the alien and then parade the body around the block. They then see more and more of these aliens crashing down to Earth and then the group decides to take on the aliens head on. Throughout the movie the group reunites with the mugging victim from the beginning of the movie and has to work with their weed dealer as well. This is a very basic plot description that I am giving and this is really a movie that needs to be seen to get a sense of what I am describing. The last half hour of this movie is really masterful because it injects great humor into a crazy situation that these kids are in and they have to find a way to survive as their friends are being picked off one by one.

Joe Cornish is a great up and coming director in England and I hope he gets a real shot to direct good movies in Hollywood. He has been mentored by what is in my opinion the best team in movies which consists of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. That team has never done anything wrong when they are together, and they are on the verge of making another movie to round out their Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy. I'm interested to see how The Adventures of Tin Tin ends up because Cornish was one of the main writers and it will be interesting how the balance of action and humor ends up.

This was a truly amazing movie in my personal opinion. This beats almost any alien invasion movie I have ever seen and the only other movie that rivals this in terms of quality isn't even an invasion movie and the is District 9. The movies are very different in terms of tone and story but the originality is what makes each so much better than everything they can be compared to. Productions like Battle Los Angeles, Independence Day, and others may have had a bigger budget than Attack the Block but those movies have no heart and their characters are very one note and you as a viewer feel nothing for the characters on screen. Attack the Block really makes you care for characters who don't seem very sympathetic in the beginning but over time you really start to root for the characters and it gives the movie its heart. You want this group of friends to make it through their situation and when one gets killed you really feel like an integral part of the group is being taken away. The creature design in this movie is also really inspired and really simple at the same time. basically they boil down to an alien with the body of a gorilla with a mouth of row after row of razor sharp teeth. Even when there is a close up of the aliens you only see a ball of jet black hair and a mouth full of glowing blue teeth. Really simple and really terrifying at the same time, which is very similar to the Xenomorph in the movie Alien. Just about everything in the movie is great and all of the elements of the movie come together to make an incredible movie.

This is a must own movie on Blu Ray and is a must see movie in general. I will definitely be watching this movie several more times and I am sure I will enjoy it more and more each time. Joe Cornish and the cast of the movie all have a very bright future in the movie industry and that is a wonderful thing because each could do very well when given the right project. Take my advice and go see this movie , watch it on Blu Ray for the best experience.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Doghouse Review

Doghouse is probably the best horror/comedy that you have never seen. I heard about this movie from several websites and I really had to watch this movie after hearing how great it was. This is a very refreshing horror movie because it tries something different and it also has some of the best young actors in England in it. British cinema has produced some of the greatest horror comedies of all time with classics such as Shaun of the Dead, Attack the Block, and now Doghouse. This is the goriest of the bunch and also has the best collection of actors in it. Maybe not the best chemistry (that will always go to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), but it has the funniest action and most solid acting.

The movie starts off with a group of friends trying to bring their friend back to the world of being single after he goes through a difficult divorce. The three main characters are played by Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire), Noel Clarke (Doctor Who), and Danny Dyer (Severance). Them along with four of their friends form a group of friends that have been together for a long time. Each has their own way of dealing with women and that is displayed in a comical montage at the start of the movie. While on their way to a village in England that has a ratio of women to men of 4-1, the group learns that the village is pretty much a dead end and there is nothing exciting there. When they arrive at the village, they discover that it has been seemingly deserted and they start investigating the town. This the point at which the action ramps up and the gore begins. There is an airborne virus that turns all of the women who enter the town into crazy man-hating cannibals or in other words man-eating zombies. This is a great idea because it really shows how this group of friends has to band together to save each other and get out of this terrible situation. Each of the friends has their own relationships with the other and you see their relationships grow through the situation they are in. This movie also has a fantastic effects team and sports some impressive gore effects. Just a quality movie overall.

The tree main actors in the movie really are fantastic. Stephen Graham, who currently plays Al Capone on Boardwalk Empire, is the main focus of the movie. He is the friend that the friends are trying cheer up after he goes through a divorce. Graham has been in some fantastic movies and his role as Capone is Boardwalk Empire is amazing. Danny Dyer is probably the biggest star of the three having starred in some of the best British horror movies in recent memory. He is in one of my favorite British horror movies, Severance, which is probably second to Shaun of the Dead on my list of best British horror movies. Noel Clarke for a time starred in the best show on television, Doctor Who. He is a quality actor and has played mostly supporting roles until this movie.

Everything in this movie works in my opinion. The characters are very strong and each one gets their fair share of screen time and attention through the course of the movie. The three main characters are great and each represents a different attitude towards women and this plays an important role in the overall plot and themes of the movie. I really liked the story because it really altered a plot that had been used to an effect in The Crazies but this one plays it with a seemingly lighter tone and it was really great. The effects in this movie are pretty high quality but I'm reasonably sure the faces of the women were meant to be exaggerated for effect and the gore was pretty spot on. What really made the movie for me was the interaction between the different characters within the movie. Every interaction felt natural and nothing was forced which is a great strength that this movie had. Stephen Graham had the best part in the movie, I feel he represents most men in society because he was simply trying to be a good man for his wife and that was just not enough for her. He is not an asshole and was just doing his best, and he was completely thrown for a loop when she divorced him. He really represents the everyman and that along with the extremes that the other characters in the movie represent make the movie very enjoyable and deep if you take the time to read into it.

This is a very quality movie and one of the funniest of the new wave of British Horror/Comedy movie that have hit the market of the last few years. Strong leads, solid story, and great effects make this a movie that is deserving of a viewing. If you like movies like Shaun of the Dead and Severance then this is your type of movie and you will love it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Aliens Review

This is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time and in my mind there is no argument that could dispute that. This along with Predator and Terminator 2 are probably still the three shining examples of Sci-Fi/Action being a legitimate gene. It is also no coincidence that 2 of the 3 are made by James Cameron who used to be one of the greatest Sci-Fi directors in the industry. His creation of Avatar takes him down a notch in my personal opinion. I have seen the Special Edition of this movie and the regular Theatrical Version as well and the special edition is a much superior film due to the inclusion of a greater amount of back story on Ripley and the other characters in the movie. I was pleased with every aspect of this movie, the characters are awesome, atmosphere is top notch, and the story is just as great as everything in the movie. This is also where the Alien franchise ends in my eyes because the other sequels are atrocities.

The movie deals with the direct aftermath of the first film in terms of the character of Ellen Ripleywho has been in suspended animation for over fifty years after her initial battle with a single "Alien". She wakes to a world that is vastly different than the one she remembers and has to adjust to that in the beginning. There is also a fair amount of doubt cast on her actions of the first film because there is no evidence that the "Alien" ever existed. Not helping matters is that there is a colony on the planet that her crew found the ship housing the "Alien", and the colony has been there for nearly 20 years without a sighting of the creatures. When there is a communications disruption between the colony and the Company, Ripley is recruited along with a group of marines to investigate. That is the set up of the story and I will refrain from going further because if you have not seen this movie then you owe it to yourself to just experience this movie.

James Cameron has to be given the credit that he deserves in terms of legitimizing the Sci-Fi genre in the eyes of many people including the Academy Awards voters. He created two of the greatest science fiction movies of all time and no one can take that away from him. I can resent him for creating the abomination that is Avatar though. I really hate that movie and have had to see it hundreds of times due to the fact it was streamed onto most of the televisions at my last job for the better part of a year and a half.

The cast in this movie is sort of a collection of the best supporting actors in Hollywood and one legitimate star. Sigourney Weaver gives the best performance of her career and carries this movie at times. She is the prototypical strong female character and a lot of characters are written to be like her but she has never really been bested in any movie. She goes from being scared of the creatures in the beginning to going after them full force with everything she has. The other starring roles in the movie are Corporal Hicks played by Michael Biehn, who has makor roles in both the Alien franchise and The Terminator franchise. He plays a grunt marine who evolves from being an order taker to a true hero and commander all within the same movie. The android Bishop is also a personal favorite of mine, his character is amazing and has a deep seeded history within the Alien mythology. Every character plays an important role in this movie and that is what really makes this movie work because every character in the movie is engaging.

Overall, this movie is absolutely a must see for everyone who is a Sci-Fi fan. I'll go as far as to say that this is a must see for every movie viewer. This is a great movie and is in my top 10 of all time and is a movie that has gotten better with every viewing. Watch this movie and thank me later, you won't regret watching this movie.

P.S- This movie has the greatest sound effect in the history of movies, and that sound is that of the Pulse Rifle.

The Perfect Host Review

This was easily one of the best thrillers I have seen in some time. This is a fresh take on the psychotic/serial killer movie genre and it knocked it out of the park. David Hyde Pierce give a truly captivating performance in this movie and I would really like to see him in more movies because he is such a talented actor and is underutilized in Hollywood. Clayne Crawford also kills it in this movie as the bank robber turned hostage, and he is just as commanding on the screen as Pierce on screen but just in a different way. The duo makes this movie very engaging , and there is never a boring moment on screen which is great since the movie on runs a mere 92 minutes. Most thrillers take a very conventional route and this is anything other than conventional, with many genre staples being turned on their heads.

The movie begins following our main character right after he has robbed a bank, the audience does not see the act but we get sense that it didn't go as smoothly as he would have wanted. He then tries to find a place to hide in order to escape police until he can come up with a real escape plan. He meets Pierce's character when he goes up to his in order to try to find a place to hide. He talks his way into Pierce's house and acts as a friend of a friend in order to gain entry. Then as the movie progresses we find out that Pierce is a schizophrenic who has the wildly imaginative delusions of dinner parties with guests and everything that comes along with it. The viewer has just as much knowledge about the situation as the main character does and that really helps the plot move forward because you really want to know what is going to happen as the story progresses. Then the discovery that Pierce is a serial killer really ramps up the tension of the story because you don't know how how his character will react in any given situation due to the fact that he is insane. There are a lot of third act twists that I will not go into because it will ruin most of the movie. Let me just say that the twists in the movie are great and they really don't interfere with the flow of the story.

This is another great addition to the Magnolia Pictures library and easily stands with some of their best movies. The great thing about this movie studio is that they take chances producing and distributing movies that no other movie studio would have the gumption to make. This along with 13 Assassins, Hobo With a Shotgun, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, and Black Death have made it a banner yer for Magnolia. I also forgot to mention Melancholia which has been hailed as one of the best movie of the year. I am looking forward to seeing what the studio brings to theaters in 2012 and beyond.

The studio also has a knack for bringing actors into their movie we have not seen in a while and get them to give amazing performances. David Hyde Pierce is really the best part of this movie and show that he could absolutely carry a movie on his own. This movie also shows his range as an actor because he has to go from being extremely serious and threatening to being funny and elated all with minutes of each other. At points you really do get the sense that he is a very dangerous character and could really pose a threat to any character in the movie. Clayne Crawford also does a great job with his part in the movie, and this role could allow him to be considered for more high profile roles.

Overall, this is a movie that really should be watched. This movie is a high quality serial killer/thriller and has one of the best performances of the year in my personal opinion. Watch this movie if you want to see a movie that has a fresh take on a stale genre and you want to see some truly great performances. Take the time to watch this movie instead of some low quality big budget Hollywood movie and I guarantee you will not regret your decision.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Green Lantern Review

This is the first real attempt at adapting a DC Comics character to the big screen other than Superman and Batman. A lot of people who I know that are fans of the Green Lantern comic were disappointed with this movie, and I being a huge fan of the comic am torn over the movie. On one hand I feel like it was the best they could have possibly done with the material because it needed to be adapted for everyone and not just fans of the comics. On the other side I was disappointed with how some of the characters were portrayed on screen and some of the story elements were weaker than they should have been. Some of the casting was spot on such as Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Blake Lively as Carol Ferris. Mark Strong as Sinestro was probably the best casting of all because he embodies that character just like he does in all of his acting roles. Peter Sarsgaard was a terrible choice to be in the movie because he has almost no screen presence and his portrayal of Hector Hammond was embarrassing. The same goes for Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett who each butcher their characters and should have been left out of the movie.

The movie focuses on the origins of Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern, and showing us how his pat experiences will shape him into becoming a great hero. The movie also shows the origins of Carol Ferris, who will one day become Star Sapphire, and Hector Hammond , who in the comics is one of Hal Jordan's greatest enemies. There is a great amount of time spent on Hal's struggle to overcome the fear that he has been carrying most of his life and when he is able to do this that will allow him to be a great Green Lantern. There is also an emphasis placed on the fact that the Green Lanterns are a police force for the whole universe and that each Lantern not only has a responsibility to protect their home world but to also protect and serve the planets in their sector. The entity known as Parallax is the main villain in the movie and is vastly different then the comic version in that the comic version is literally the true entity of fear and in the movie it is a Green Lantern guardian that was corrupted by the power of fear.

The director of the movie is Martin Campbell who has been at the helm of some over the top action movies in the last 15 years. Some of these movies include Goldeneye, Vertical Limit, Casino Royale, and now Green Lantern. He does a serviceable job with the script he was given and did a decent job with the casting of the characters. The creativity in the special effects department was where the movie really shines and is one of the most visually stunning movies that I have seen in a long time. Even the suits that the Lanterns wear are amazingly detailed, they really do seem to be made of pure energy that has been fitted over the ring bearer. The constructs created by the rings in the movie are also pretty impressive but not as varied as I would have hoped they would have been.

Ryan Reynolds seems to be the best person to play the character of Hal Jordan. He simply has the ability to be cocky, witty, sarcastic, and fearless all at the same time which are huge parts of the character of Hal Jordan. His portrayal of Hal Jordan is about as true you can get to the comic book version, and the same could be said for Mark Strong's Sinestro. I really wished that Sinestro had a larger part in the movie because he is such an interesting and important character in the comic books and you really don't get that sense from the movie. The writers did address Sinestro's willingness to do anything to make the Green Lantern's stronger by him suggesting that they try and harness fear in order to fight fear. This is a nod to the Sinestro Corps storyline that ran in the comics a few years ago. All of the other characters in the movie in my personal opinion felt kind of superfluous excluding Carol Ferris because she is essential to Hal Jordan's development as a character.

Overall this a pretty solid adaptation of a comic that really could only should have been adapted in animated form. The main attractions of this movie are Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong who each excel in their roles as the most prominent Green Lanterns from the comic series. Do not come into this movie expecting to see something of the same quality as The Dark Knight. This is more in the quality range of Captain America because it takes huge liberties with the source material but keeps the main characters fairly intact. I enjoyed it and you may as well give it a shot.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Manhunter Review

For everyone's information this is Hannibal Lecter's original appearance in a movie. This is the "original" in a series that is most times forgotten due to it being made without any of the same cast as the following films. This was not a hit when it first debuted but it sports a cadt that would be considered in today's terms to be star studded. It stars William Petersen fresh off the success of To Live and Die in LA and years before his success in CSI. The cast also consists of Brian Cox, who is the original Lecter, Stephen Lang, Joan Allen, and Dennis Farina. This movie feels slightly less Hollywood than the remake of it that stars Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins. There is a gritty feel to the movie that you just don't get with today's movies, its just the way that movies were shot in the 80's.

The movie follows Will Graham (Petersen), a former FBI investigator, who is thrust back into service when there is a series of serial murders that seem to have almost no motive when looked at from afar. Graham has a history with Lecter being the man who finally captured him but at the cost of being stabbed and cut multiple time by Lecter in the process leaving him both scarred mentally and physically. He is on the hunt for the new killer dubbed "The Tooth Fairy" because he leaves bite marks on the older females victims and then kills them and then their entire family. At the start of the movie he had killed two houses worth of families. Graham tries to protect others and his family from the killer while trying to find out what fuels "The Tooth Fairy" to kill and mutilate. The whole movie is a cat and mouse game to see how Graham can flush "The Tooth Fairy " into the open and make any type of mistake at all.

This movie also marks one of Michael Mann's first theatrical productions and in my mind does a very good job with the material he is given. He has gone on to make some of my favorite movies and has established himself in Hollywood as both a successful director and producer. Mann has a certain style to his camerawork that is not overly apparent in this production. In this movie there is a certain grittiness to this movie and that is apparent in most of the scenes. The movie also does not overuse music as a lot of movies in the 80's tended to do.

William Petersen in my opinion was the best person to play Will Graham considering the other actors that could have been cast in the 80's. He really knows how to do the hard boiled grizzled veteran cop, who is coming back from one more case. I've seen several reviews that say his acting is wooden and feels forced but I just don't see it. Of course not every line of dialogue is going to necessarily hit the mark all of the time, but there isn't anyone who could really pay this part any better. Edward Norton certainly couldn't do it, and Red Dragon was hailed as a superior version of this movie. Cox as Lecter is a little jarring at first but he is used so sparingly that it really doesn't have a great effect on the movie overall. Anthony Hopkins will always be Dr. Hannibal Lecter no matter what anyone says. Cox does an effective job with the role but people also have to remember that this was made prior to Silence of the Lambs. Stephen Lang also plays a dirtbag photographer/reporter who has one of the most deserved deaths in any movie. It is truly spectacular when you see it on screen.

Overall this is one of the better crime movies that I have seen from the 80's and in my several viewings of the movie I have liked more and more about it each time. This is a well acted and smart thriller and has achieved cult status in the years since its initial release. This movie had great casting as opposed to the remake which was miscast in many of the supporting roles which ultimately doomed the movie to mediocrity. Gives this movie a shot is you like older CSI and have an interest in what spawned the Silence of the Lambs franchise.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cape Fear Review

Scorsese may not be my favorite director in Hollywood but he destroys a majority of Hollywood directors in terms of quality and storytelling. I have seen a lot of Scorsese's movies and this was one of the bigger ones that I have not seen yet. The symbolism in the movie right from the start is very effective, such as in the opening of the movie when De Niro's character is released from jail and as he exits the jail there is a brewing thunderstorm in the background. Signifying that there is a storm brewing with in him, a mix of vengeance and odd evil.

De Niro's character Max Cady is really a disturbed individual, a pervert and an extremely smart and motivated individual. He is creepy in almost every scene that he is in, there is just an air about him that exudes creepiness. He does things in a manner that make everyone around him feel uncomfortable, such as lighting a cigar and laughing at the top of his lungs in a movie theater. He watches Nick Nolte's character's family from outside of their house and even goes as far as raping a work flirt of Nolte's character. Nolte and De Niro really hit the mark in each of their respective roles. This is Nolte before he was a drunk and really crazy and De Niro really embodies the character of Max Cady and truly becomes the character while on screen. Nolte really does a good job as a defense lawyer who is trying to protect his family any way that he can from the threat that De Niro's character presents to them on a constant basis. Cady is a pedophile and becomes infatuated with Nolte's daughter played by Juliette Lewis. She also does a very good job with portraying a young girl trying to become a woman. Cady does everything that a pedophile would stereotypically do, he stakes out the local high school, watches young girls from a far, and even gives cigarettes to Nolte's daughter. He even sneaks a kiss with the daughter while making believe to be the school's drama teacher. Scorsese does an amazing job at setting the tone in this movie.

There is always tension in the air and that is ultimately why this movie works so effectively. Cady is in my mind a completely unsympathetic character in my eyes, while his defense attorney may not have done everything to defend him, he did still brutally assault and rape a young woman. Not exactly the most forgivable of offenses and then he assaults and rapes a close work friend of Nolte's character. Scenes such as Cady waiting outside of the ice cream shop the family is at also adds needed tension to the movie. What I am describing really needs to be seen to be fully understood. This is one of the better movies that I have seen from Scorsese and is really the best performances I have seen from De Niro and Nolte. The way they each become the characters they are playing is really something that needs to be witnessed. This is what acting is supposed to be, getting the audience to believe that you are actually the characters that you are playing and not just pretending to be the characters.

Scorsese really knocked it out of the park with this movie. The combination of great characters, deep story, interesting characters, and unbearable tension make this a movie of unbelievable quality. This is a must see movie and needs to be seen even if you are only a casual fan of Scorsese.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Descent Part 1 and 2 Review

The Descent movies are some solid horror movies. The first is an instant classic in my mind because it has realistic characters, great monster and some of the best scares in any horror movies. The story is original and the direction is fantastic. This is what horror movies need to start aiming to be, smart and visceral. The sequel is not as good as the original but it is still better than 90% of the horror movies that come out on a regular basis. One of the great things about this series is the fact that they do not shy away from extreme violence. The creatures in the movie are nasty and the pain they inflict is just as nasty. People get their throats ripped out, they get gutted and the monsters get crushed by rocks and battered in multiple ways. I'm trying to keep details limited because I do not want to spoil the plot at all. Overall I would recommend watching these movies. They need to be watched back to back because the second movie picks up right where the first leaves off. This is what more horror movies need to be like and if you watch it then you will know what I mean.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Thing (Prequel) Review

The Thing is a hard movie for me to review, because the original is one of my favorite movies of all time. I'm not saying that the new version is terrible, it is far from that. It just does not have the same tension filled experience that the other had and the acting was considerably better in the original. It is kind of like comparing Jaws and Jaws II. Jaws is an amazing movie and while Jaws II is a great movie on its own, it just does not have the effectiveness of the original. The aspect that really took The Thing 2011 down a couple of notches was the CGI graphics. The original is hailed for its effects and I believe it has some of best effects of any movie ever made. The creativeness and workmanship that went into the effects of the original outmatch just about any movie other than Alien in my mind. The CGI in the 2011 version is sometimes really effective but it really takes away from the movie sometimes because the creature in the movie is supposed to be this organism that is supposed to be incredibly terrifying. Screw zombies and vampires, The Thing is the most frightening movie monster out there. It puts everything else to shame and shits on the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Everything in the new version is solid, I just can't get past the effects. It really hurts the movie and they should have just hired the old effects team or a team that could put together a team that could do great practical effects. I hope that this is the last Thing movie because it was really not necessary at all. One of the things that made the original so effective was that you knew as much as the characters did and you were trying to figure out their situation along with them. Overall I would recommend seeing The Thing 2011 because it is a solid sci-fi horror movie. If you have seen the original and are looking for more of the same movie, lower your expectations.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alice (1988) Review

When reading this review please keep in mind that I wrote it as I was watching the movie and it is really a stream of conscience review. This is definitely not a movie for the casual viewer. Also for a movie based on a classic children's story it is pretty disturbing. The imagery in the movie is very surreal and mildly disturbing at least in my opinion. This is even more out there than Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and the original animated movie combined. The use of stop motion animation while a very effective technique it also makes everything in the movie very creepy. Stop motion is creepy normally and when you combine it with a live action movie it takes the creepiness to a whole different level. In this movie there is an anthropomorphic rabbit who constantly has to sew himself together and has bug eyes, and he is creepy 100% of the time he is on screen. Creepy does not even do it justice. This movie looks like an actual nightmare ripped from a child's mind that was then filmed. Everything in the movie has a bleak and desolate feeling to it and it really gives you the feeling that this poor girl is trapped in a nightmare and not the somewhat happy world from the other versions. Everything I have just described is what I have taken in from the first 20 minutes of the movie so far. At one point Alice turns into a doll with no explanation and the motions of the doll are really weird. It kind of reminds me of the spider doll from the movie Night Watch. If you haven't seen that movie, please go watch it as it is a truly amazing Russian movie. The world the director creates is one that a very depressed or psychotic individual would imagine when visualizing the story itself. The director's vision takes the strangeness of the original story and cranks it up to 11 and he just runs with his ideas at full speed never holding anything back. While this is commendable it also hinders the enjoyment factor for the viewer. At this point in the movie there are sock worms that carve up the floor and make it like swiss cheese. Adding to the creep factor of the movie, the worms also have a mouth full of human teeth which does not help. I really can't believe how strange this movie is getting at this point and I am really continuing to watch solely to see what other strange stuff pops up. I also find it weird that nothing is really explained through the course of the movie, the little girl looks confused in every scene and she just moves from one confusing situation to another though the course of the movie so far. All of the dialogue is spoken though one voice from a mouth where you never see the person's entire face and is a confusing aspect of the movie. There are fish wearing wigs that cry like babies and toy houses that also cry, just a little disturbing. The plot really isn't confusing at this point, the thing that confuses me is why someone would even decide to make a movie like this. The Mad Hatter is a nutcracker who may have pedophile tendencies because he keeps offering Alice wine and the crazy rabbit at the table needs a wheelchair to get around. Keep in mind that this is all in stop motion animation which had a jerky effect to it. The rabbit keeps buttering watches and the nutcracker keeps drinking tea. I kind of feel uncomfortable watching this movie at this point. And I'm just going to try and power through the last 10 minutes. This is definitely an hour and a half of my life that I can never get back and I wish I could un-watch this movie. I appreciate the effort that the director and animators put into this movie but it had no entertainment value for me. I would recommend this movie to art house enthusiasts and people who like dark and disturbing art. If you don't run in these crowds you will not enjoy this movie. This is what happens when you pick a random movie from a book of cult movies, I got burned with this one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Horrible Bosses Review

I just wanted to say this is a hilarious movie. Every part of the movie is hilarious and that is a testament to both the director and the amazing cast that was put together. This could stand up to some of the best comedies of all time in terms of laugh for laugh comparisons. This will eventually be considered a cult comedy classic due to the amount of laughs in this movie and the re-watchability of the movie. This is on par with Bridesmaids and The Hangover as the best comedies of the last 5 years.

All of the leads in this movie are fantastic and each has the potential to carry a movie on their own. Charlie Day is probably the breakout star of this movie and is having a career upswing due to this movie and his starring role on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He brings a kind of manic energy that is very captivating on screen. It also happens that he is extremely funny because he can deliver both physical comedy and standard jokes. Jason Sudeikis comes in a close second in the movie and he is most likely going to go on and star in a lot more high profile comedies in the next few years. The other leads are also great and Jennifer Aniston finally decided to try in a movie and is amazing in her role. If she actually put this effort into any of the other movies she is in, it will make the movies that much better. I really hope she starts to take on more non romantic comedy roles in the future because she has amazing potential. This is a movie that I feel pretty much hit every joke they aimed for, given that I watched the unrated version and I haven't seen the standard version so I am not exactly sure of the differences in the versions of the movies. This is one of those movies that is really laugh out loud funny, and there are parts in this movie that made me laugh harder than most movie I have ever seen. There is a part towards the beginning of the movie that involves the proposition of handjobs in the bathroom of a bar and it may be one of the funniest things I have ever heard in my life.

It is also great that there might be a sequel to this movie but I hope it does not turn out like the Hangover II which means it would essentially be a remake of the first film with the same actors but in a different location. Overall, I would say this is a must watch film if you like raunchy comedies. This will leave you smiling long after you finish the movie

Monday, October 10, 2011

True Lies Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the greatest action star that Hollywood and the world has ever seen. Please tell me another action star with the portfolio of this man. He is an icon and makes iconic motion pictures. The team of Arnold and James Cameron was made in Hollywood heaven and did not disappoint in this movie at all. True Lies is easily one of Arnold's best movies and ranks pretty high up there in Cameron's catalog as well. While the movie is kind of long for an action movie, clocking in at 2 hours and 20 minutes, it never drags and is action packed and engaging for the entire run time.

The plot is kind of standard but Cameron and the cast do such a great job that you kind of forget that the plot is rather simplistic. The action in the movie is great and some of the sequences are unforgettable, such as the Harrier jet fight sequence. This is the kind of over the top action movie that we are really missing from Hollywood these days. A fun popcorn action movie with great characters and good story is what we need more of. I mean even Tom Arnold is good in this movie and he was in Soul Plane (almost unforgivable). I also must say that the guy they got to play the main terrorist in the movie may just be the most generic looking terrorist in the history of man. If this guy walked into any public place today, he would instantly be cavity searched and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

These are the types of movies that got people into theaters because they were loud action packed and fun. I really want to know what happened in Hollywood that made this change because the industry had been on the decline lately and needs an injection of something to get it going again. I also cannot wait unit Arnold is back making movies again. He is currently filming a movie that is due out next year, and I have high hopes for this. I have liked almost every movie he has ever been in except for his comedic roles which weren't exceptional. This movie really does deserve a sequel, and I feel that Cameron being involved really slowed the process and killed any hope that this movie had of becoming a franchise. He is just too slow in developing movies to push them out on a consistent basis. Avatar 2 might be out by 2014, and that is 4 years after the release of the 1st movie. That is does not inspire confidence in me that that will be a worthwhile franchise because the actors in the movie are not getting any younger even if most of the time they are CG.

As for True Lies, this is a must see movie for just about everyone. This is a great movie and can get the attention of even the most stuck up viewer. This is a pure action movie do not watch this movie expecting an Oscar award winner, expect to see one of the most over-the-top action movies you will ever see. Watch this and if you do not, then you are just dumb. And on a related note Arnold is a total BOSS.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pee Wee's Big Adventure Review

This is a movie that is near and dear to my heart. I saw this movie when I was very young and have loved it ever since. For those who are not familiar with Pee Wee Herman, he is a man-child who is very eccentric and at least in the movies goes on these over the top adventures. In the television show he has this over the top house that serves as the basis of a children's television show. This is also one of Tim Burton's first feature films and led to him creating Beetlejuice and the first Batman movie for Warner Bros. Paul Reubens stars as Pee Wee Herman and in essence he is Pee Wee Herman. He developed the character, developed the television and stage shows, and also helped with the creation of the movies. This is one of the best examples of a children's movie that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. I have seen this movie about 10 times and I can say that I love it just as much now as the first time I watched it. This is a wonderful movie even if it does seem a little dated. If you want to watch a movie that is feel good and a great adventure then you should watch this movie.

On another note, I'm not sure how some kids handled watching this movie when they were younger. There are some images in this movie that could freak grown ups out. The clown hospital scene is really weird and moderately disturbing . Also the dinosaur scenes are creepy due to the animation more than anything. At points this movie has a really dark tone and is a very well rounded movie because it dances between tones with amazing grace.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Scream 4 Review

This is going to be a very short review. If you have seen and liked any of the first three Scream movies then you will see this one no matter what I say. This is essentially the same movie as the first Scream except with a slightly larger cast. I am pretty sure Wes Craven is working on auto pilot and no longer tries to be creative in any way whatsoever. His effort in his lat few movie has been pathetic and that is putting it lightly. The only two actors trying in the movie are Courtney Cox and David Arquette, and their acting performances are only believable because they play husband and wife and while they were filming this movie they were husband and wife. Actually when I think about it, Neve Cmpbell was also good in this movie. She always gives a solid performance in movies she is in. Her character has really bad luck because she is essentially a serial killer magnet and that cannot be good for her mentally.

If they wanted to do something original with the series they would show the whole movie from the killer's perspective. Everyone else in this movie is simply phoning in their performances which is a shame because there was a good amount of talent in the cast but Craven could not get very good performances out of them. I'm not sure why this would be hard to do given that this series is in need of a reboot desperately because it became stale after the second movie. I feel like each movie was able to have a good cast of characters but they were just used very ineffectively except for the first one which is still awesome.

The plot is standard, the acting is wooden, and the direction is mediocre. This is simply an okay horror movie that throws way to many red herrings at the viewers without enough substance in the movie. See this if you have seen the others because this is going to most likely be the last Scream movie or at least I hope it is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Real Steel Review

I want to start off by saying that I was completely wrong about this movie based on the impression I got from watching the first trailer. The trailer made the movie seem like a Rock'em Sock'em Robots movie but I am glad that this is not what it was. This is a futuristic sports movie based around a developing father and son relationship. I have seen reviews that state this movie has no idea what it wants to be and other that call it a wonderful surprise. This movie is a father and son story with a sci-fi sports twist. Hugh Jackman is much better in this movie than he has been in his last several movies. This ranks up there with his performance in The Prestige and as Wolverine in the first two X-Men movies. The kid in the movie, Dakota Goyo, is the real star of the film. He commands your attention every time he is on screen. At points the duo of Jackman and Goyo is hilarious and heartwarming. The action in the movie is great and the boxing element adds another level to the robot on robot violence. I am also happy to mention that we finally have a big budget robot movie where you can actually tell which robots are actually fighting on screen. Transformers was unable to accomplish this in three movie where Real Steel did it in its first battle on screen.

The cast of this movie is also solid, and it is also a smaller cast which helps out a lot. As I mentioned before Jackman and Goyo are fantastic in the film. Evangeline Lily is also in this movie, and for people who do not recognize the name she played Kate in the show Lost. She plays Jackman's love interest in the movie and his trainer's daughter, and she happens to be really goo in this movie. This made up for the seasons of Lost I had to suffer through watching her terrible story arch. Anthony Mackie from the Hurt Locker makes an appearance, as does Kevin Durand. Durand has been cast as a douche bag in every single movie I have ever seen him in. He is never the nice guy he always plays the "dick" and always turns the dial up to eleven. Altogether the "small" cast does a fantastic job of making the movie believable and really entertaining.

The effects in the movie are also something to make note of. The robots in the movie look incredible and it really seems like this could actually become a sport in the not so distant future. Nothing about the robots looks fake, they are controlled by remotes and are made out of steel. They do not do things on their own and have no artificial intelligence. There will be no robot apocalypse in this movie universe. The sci-fi elements in the movie are very limited other than the robots. The cell phones in the movie are a little more advanced and the design of the vehicles in the movie are a little different than what we see on a day to day basis. Overall the society and environments in this movie are almost identical to our own.

If you liked any of the Rocky movies, Karate Kid movies, or just like good movies then you owe it to yourself to give this movie a try. I promise that this movie will not disappoint you and it is one of the more enjoyable movie I have seen in the last few months. The combo of drama, action, and humor in a futuristic "sports" movie was very welcome change from the more somber movie that have been making their way into theaters lately.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Troll Hunter Review

The Troll Hunter is a movie that is not really for everyone. The best way to describe this movie would be a European variation of Cloverfield. This is a found footage movie and it never really breaks from that concept. The cameraman in this movie plays a huge part in the movie and controls how well the movie flows. There is an abundance of shots of the environments in the movie that could have been cut from the movie to reduce the running time. The actors do a good enough job with the material they were given but there are no true standout performances. The trolls in the movie are pretty impressive and they are the real stars of the film. Each troll in the movie is very different and has their own "personality" and each has a different environment they are in. All of the troll encounters play out like a boss battle in a video game, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and challenges they present to the group in the movie. This is a hard movie to recommend to everyone, the fact that is in Norwegian and is very slow paced may throw some people off. Having to read subtitles while trying to focus on the action on screen is also something that will turn people away from this movie. I thought that this was an okay movie that suffered from a lack of budget and a simplistic screenplay. There is a US remake in the works and I'm not sure how effective that will truly be overall. This as a big budget movie in my opinion will not really work, it just needs to have a more effective screenplay with better actors.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dead Alive Review

This is definitely one of the greatest horror comedies to ever be made. Everything is great in the movie, the story, characters, and effects make this movie a special one. All of the actors are unknowns but the real stars of the movie are the director and the special effects coordinator. For people who don't know, the director of the movie is Peter Jackson. That's right, the guy who brought you the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Meet the Feebles. Jackson really puts everything he has into each movie that he makes. The LOTR trilogy is a great accomplishment and he also made some other great movies such as Bad Taste, The Frighteners, and others. He makes special movies no matter what genre he is producing. Dead Alive is a combination of coming of age story, gory horror, zombie, and comedy. If you like comedy horror movie then you owe it to yourself to watch this movie.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fast Five Review

This is what a big time action blockbuster should be. Respectable story, great characters, amazing action sequences, and awesome locations. Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Jordana Brewster all return to make the fifth installment of the series the best one by far. By this point in the series each of these actors truly embody the characters that they are playing because they have so much experience with them. The family atmosphere that these three create in the movie is really the center of the movie. They are in it for each other and will do whatever it takes to keep each other alive and safe. Walker and Diesel are each very good in this movie and the addition of The Rock was a great call by the producers and director. All of the supporting players are also pretty solid and each play an important roll in the movie.

There is not a lot of subtext in this movie and therefore this review may not be as long as some of the others. The action in the movie is off the charts crazy. There is almost no CGI in the movie and that makes this movie superior to most action movies by default, add all of the other elements together and this is a great action movie. The vault scene is worth the price of admission alone along with the flavela chase scene. The action sequences are really well done and you can tell the director and stunt coordinator took their time in mapping out every detail of the sequences and that makes everything in the movie more genuine.

All in all just see the movie. It is big, over the top, and fantastic. This is a fun action movie that has a solid story, interesting character, and some of the best action filmed to date. If you only like serious movie then you will not like this movie but if you are an action movie fan then this is right up your alley.

FearDotCom Review

FearDotCom is not an easy movie to watch. I will review this movie in 10 words or less. I hate you, Stephen Dorff. You suck.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Collateral Damage in Movies

Does anyone but me actually take the time and think about the scale of destruction represented in some movies? What are the mental ramifications of see events like that unfold in real life? Also the needless collateral damage that seems to be inflicted in a lot of action movies. I love it when movies casually say that 99% of the world's population were killed or an entire city was destroyed, and the characters in the movie just casually brush that fact to the side. Are you kidding me, if I saw that a major city was completely destroyed or the world was being consumed by the zombie virus I would be losing my shit mentally.

 It would take a sane person a while to process that information. It took me a while to fully process what happened on 9/11, I can't even imagine how long it would take me to process New York City being completely destroyed. Hollywood writers need to start injecting some reality into some of these movie. 2012, not realistic, and even worse than that movie is just about every zombie movie that has ever been made. I'm not saying that the zombie apocalypse won't happen, because it will, but the way the characters handle the situation is ridiculous. I mean survival mode can only last so long before you mentally breakdown from the stress. The most accurate portrayals of these situations are 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, Stake Land, and unfortunately I Am Legend (that movie is more useless than Will Smith's son). I am fully aware that by taking a realistic approach with these movies it would be really depressing but I've seen a lot of boring depressing movies and these can still be action filled depressing movies with a lot of entertainment value. I have gotten off track the last few sentences and for that I am sorry, and back to the reason why I am writing this article. Transformers has to be the most noticeable perpetrator of unmentioned on screen collateral damage in the history of movies. Robots throwing each other though buildings during business hours, do viewers think that there are just sections of entire cites with uninhabited buildings. People are dying in those buildings and in those movies it is kind of ridiculous. In the second Transformers movie they just seem to ignore the entire set of consequences of the first movie. So I guess no one's relatives died in the first movie due to robot on robot violence. Optimus Prime alone had to have had 50 confirmed kills from getting his shit kicked around the city. They are not puppy dogs they are robots that weigh several tons rolling around the streets of the city during broad daylight, someone got run over. Independence Day does the same thing with an alien invasion. A couple of billion people wiped out instantly and Bill Pullman is holding it together, screw that.

It is a sad day when I can say that War of the World was a decent portrayal of what would happen if aliens invaded. Hollywood just needs to grow some balls and inject some real emotion into their productions. If I have to see another generic zombie, vampire, or alien movie I am going to snap. My last real hope is Darkest Hour (it looks good) but I am still skeptical because I have not seen it for myself. Action movies are also pretty bad with this overall. By the body count the two main characters in Bad Boys would probably be considered mass murderers and Kiefer Sutherland in 24 would be convicted of genocide. Hollywood, get your shit together and try making a realistic movie. Take some lessons from The Hurt Locker, 28 Days Later, and The Thing, solid story+great characters+realistic setting= potentially fantastic movie.

On a side note, watch The Thing and tell me how you would react in that situation. I think I would be like MacReady, trying to stay strong but kind of freaking out inside. I for one would be really paranoid in that given situation.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon Review

This is more like it, after having to sit through Hellbound I popped this movie in and instantly felt better. This is not going to be a long review because there is not much to look into with this movie. It is a fun, bombastic, and over the top. Everything you want from a great summer movie and nothing more. The acting is serviceable with Shia, Rosie, and the rest of the cast doing their jobs. The special effects are incredible and the story does its job. Michael Bay does not get the credit he deserves, he knows exactly the type of movie he is making and does it better than just about anyone in Hollywood. He does not pretend to be making an Oscar contender, he knows that he is making a mindless action movie and he goes as big as he can with it. The effects sequences are just phenomenal, and my favorite scene in the movie is when Soundwave is cutting a skyscraper in half with most of the cast inside. It is hard to describe and should be seen to get the best experience. This is the go big or go home movie of the summer and it passed with flying colors and I wish they would continue with the series. But is this is the final chapter then they went out with a bang.

Hellbound Review

This is easily the worst movie I have ever seen. Everything is horrible about this movie, the story, acting, special effects, and the casting. The casting is ridiculously terrible, Chuck Norris as a tough as nails cop fighting a demon with kung-fu. That statement alone is tragic. Norris is really, really bad in this movie. His acting is at best atrocious, and at worst embarrassing. Also the Rick James look alike that was hired to be his partner in the movie is pretty bad as well. He is better than Norris because he actually makes you laugh at points and actually shows emotion through the course of the movie. I really hope the director of this movie never directed a movie again. The villain in this movie is also incredibly corny and gets the shit kicked out of him by Norris' kung-fu which makes no sense because he is super strong and is invulnerable. Fucking terrible is the best way to describe every aspect of this movie or atrocious would be a nicer way of describing it. I really don't want to keep writing about this movie because it keeps making me think of it and I never want to think of this movie ever again. Save yourself the trouble and never watch this piece of crap.

50/50 Review

This was a movie after hearing early reviews that I was a little down on. I still wanted to see it but had to turn my expectations down a bit when walking into the theater. I have no idea what some critic were thinking but this is a special movie and the performances are some of the best I have seen this year. Joseph Gordon Levitt is easily on of the best young actors in Hollywood these days and carries the weight of the movie effortlessly. Seth Rogen is also very good on this movie playing JGL's best friend from childhood and he provides some of the best lines in the movie. Anna Kendrick is also believable as a young therapist trying to help people the best way she can.

Levitt's performance in this movie is truly great and ranks up there with the best of the year, he portrays the evolution of his character on screen to perfection. The viewer gets to see his character go through the process of going from timid introvert to trying to live in the moment because of his believed doom. I'm not going to spoil the movie, so just watch it. I will state that if you are not the one to like a movie full of emotional scenes then do not see this movie. This is one that had me shed a tear on more than one occasion and I'm not ashamed to say that. Great stories and movies are supposed to bring about emotional responses in the viewer and this is one that really got to me. The relationship between Levitt and Rogen as best friends is one of the most prominently showcased relationships in the movie and it is great. Rogen's character tries to get Levitt to live life in the moment and enjoy every moment. This is Rogen's way of dealing with the situation that his friend could potentially die in a short time. Anna Kendrick's character tries to get him to express what he is going through and say what he really feels about his situation. His mother is played by Anjelica Huston and all she want to do is take care of her son albeit by smothering him with attention and affection. This is a movie about how one would react to having cancer and how the people close to that individual try to deal with it as well. I have seen a lot of movies in my time and this is one of the only ones that I can say that really had me "care" about the characters in the movie. Everyone in the movie is easy to relate and are sympathetic because you can see yourself potentially going through the same situation that they are going through.

The last thing I want to say is that Hollywood needs people to see this movie because it will inspire people to actually write original movies and have really good casts to lead them. This is a great independent movie and deserves to be seen by a lot more people than it will be. Go see this movie, it has great laughs and great emotional moments in the movie. You'll laugh, you will cry, and you'll have the pleasure of seeing a great movie. This is easily the best drama I have seen all year and a top 10 movie movie contender as well.