Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wings of Desire

Wings of Desire is one of the first real art house movies that I have actually sat down to watch to the end. While there is no real main conflict or antagonist in the movie, I was fully engaged the entire time and loved how the story progressed. Wim Wenders is a true visionary and grabs you with the way the movie is shot, as well as the overall story of the film. He uses a new take on angels to bring a fresh and captivating story to the screen.

The angels in the movie are observers of humans and can never really experience emotion and have never been able to physically feel anything before either. The twist is that the angels can renounce their immortality in order to become human and fully experience everything that they have been observing. The mixture of monochrome color and full color is also a great way to shoot the movie. When the main character, Damiel, is in his angel form the screen is in black and white. Later, the movie becomes full color after he becomes human. The use of color is to show how vivid and full of life our world is, even though we might not notice it all the time.

Bruno Ganz is arguably the best part of the film overall. His character, Damiel, is very quiet and reserved when he is an angel but you can see that he longs to experience everything that he has been observing. He longs to love, feel pains, and do things that we find to be arbitrary. For someone who has no idea of what he is going to experience, he is very full of life more so than a lot of the human characters in the movie. His evolution over the course of the film is what really drives the movie and the way he interacts with people after he becomes human is so innocent and sweet. For instance, he stops a man to ask him which colors are which and you can see that he is visibly excited to learn what each color is. Its small moments like this in the movie that let you appreciate the brilliance of both the acting performance and the direction of the movie.

I have only seen two of Wim Wender's catalog of movies, but after seeing this I am really excited to see some of his others. He has a truly unique way of filming a movie and the way he shapes and frames the story is just magnificent. The characters that he creates seem just like normal people and that is what allows the viewers to care about them. They also act rationally and each character is engaging for different reasons. The angel sequences have an almost "dream like" quality to them while the human sequences have really bold and accentuated colors in them. Everything he does in his shots serves a purpose and pushes the narrative forward.

I feel like I should be able to write more about this movie but I feel like it would get a little repetitive. What it comes down to is that this is a magnificent movie and really needs to be seen by everyone. Just keep in mind that 90% of the movie is in German and there are subtitles which might throw some people. Bruno Ganz give an unbelievable performance and his character is one of my favorite movie characters of all time. This is a 9/10 in my opinion and that score will probably go up when I watch it again.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Grey

The Grey is the best survival horror movie since The Thing. That is saying a lot coming from me considering The Thing is my favorite movie of all time. The reason this movie is so effective is that the situations presented in the movie are literally the nightmare scenarios of anyone who has ever been on a plane. Crashing in the wilderness of Alaska is not really on my list of things to do in my life, that is why I don't fly to places in the middle of a frozen wasteland. Bear Grylls would even be shitting in his pants if he was thrust into this situation. The characters are presented with an almost lose-lose situation, either freeze to death, starve to death, or be eaten by wolves. Those are not exactly glamorous options to choose from. The great thing about the movie is that the characters are presented as real people, not stereotypical characters. In the beginning of the movie, it seems like the director was going to be going the stereotypical route then he changes his mind and makes his characters fully fleshed out human beings.I also helps when you have Liam Neeson to anchor your cast.

Liam Neeson, you are one magnificent bastard. He just dominates this movie in every way. This is the movie that really confirmed the fact that Neeson is one of the best actors in Hollywood, in my mind at least. Everything about his performance is spot on and you see his character's evolution as the movie goes on and its a sight to behold. He is ready to kill himself in the opening moments of the movie and you see as he then protects a group of his coworkers and then finds his will to fight and live by the end of the movie. He has the uncanny ability to make you feel for his character even though you know almost nothing about the character. He just does a great job of playing this broken man who is thrust into this hell-like situation and has to help others and really can't worry about himself. His performance is of the highest quality and he should be in contention for some of the major awards for 2012.

Joe Carnahan is the mastermind behind the whole movie and this was one of the best directing performances I have seen in a while. His direction outclassed most of the movies from 2011 with the exception of a small number of films. It is really hard to believe the guy that directed Smokin' Aces could have made a movie this heartfelt and tense. The movie works so well because there are no wasted scenes, everything that is in the movie serves a purpose. His use of sound is also phenomenal, just watch the plane crash scene in the movie and you will know what I mean. His use of quick motion, shadows, and sound really helps to build most of the tension in the movie. I also personally appreciate the realism shown in the movie. These characters are facing a pack of wolves in one of the harshest environments in the world and they act and react just like normal people would. There are no Hollywood "happy" moments in this movie and there is no cliched ending. The movie comes to a natural end and lets you make your own assumptions as to what follows the last few frames of the movie.

This is the first "must see" January movie since the debut of Cloverfield in my opinion. This is a movie that is worth watching for Neeson's performance alone. Joe Carnahan also gives a career defining directorial performance with this movie. Survival horror movies should strive to be more like this movie because of the way it effortlessly build tension and suspense. This is a 9/10 and you need to go see this movie right now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Today, I was bored at work just like usual and I stumbled upon this movie in iTunes. For 99 cents, I figured that I couldn't really go wrong. This is a movie that I heard quite a bit about after Sundance last year and never got around to watching it so it kind of surprised me that it was so cheap. My expectations really weren't high but I can say that this movie was actually pretty great for a low budget love story with apocalyptic overtones. Great way to describe a movie isn't it.

The plot is a fairly simple love story until about halfway through when it becomes something that I would rather not spoil at this moment. The actors in the movie may not be of the highest quality but they are all believable in their roles. The best of the bunch are Evan Glodell (also the writer and director) and Tyler Dawson, who star as Woodrow and Aiden. Each of the actors breathes life into their characters and you feel for each of their situations. Woodrow is a hard luck loser in the movie who has his heart broken and Aiden has to try and piece back together his best friend. It also helps that they are obsessed with Mad Max and are into building flamethrowers and tricking out muscle cars. It is a lot better than I make it sound, I promise.

What also impressed me about the movie was the way that it was filmed, there are dirt flecks on screen at all times and the movie just looks different from anything that I had seen previously. Glodell also happened to make his own camera by piecing together one from other cameras and that is what gives the movie such a unique look to it. If you take the time and actually watch the movie, it is a lot deeper than it is described by people who have seen it. There are also several well planned twists in the movie that are pulled off really well and you really have to watch into the credits to get the entire story.

This is one of those independent movies that is destined to be a cult classic and be played at midnight in a theater down the line. Really well thought out story, believable characters, and above average acting. A very quality film for a newer director/writer/actor. Looking forward to seeing what Glodell could do with a larger budget and better actors. 8/10

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Night of the Comet

This is one of my favorite movies from the 1980's and is one of those movies that when I start watching it I have to finish it no matter what. Night of the Comet is also on of the best Apocalypse movies that has ever been made. There are no gaudy special effects or A-list actors, but the story is engaging and all of the main character are likable. The two main female characters, Regina and Samantha, are sisters who have been trained by their father, who is in the military, to take care of themselves. This comes in really handy when facing the decaying survivors of the disaster that has struck the Earth. Reggie and Sam are two of my favorite characters in any movie from the 1980's because they each have characteristics of a strong female protagonist such as Ripley from the Alien movies. The film also builds a lot of tension by playing on the fact that you and the characters have no idea what is going to be around the corner in any given scene. Also by filming in deserted parts of a city, it gives the appearance that an actual catastrophe happened and its just the two sisters alone until they find a couple of unharmed survivors. The premise of the story is pretty original but that could be said for a lot of B-movies in the 80's and the main problems with the movie is the lack of overall budget. With a higher budget, better set and special effects could have been used, but that is a small gripe I had with an otherwise fantastic movie. If you enjoy silly B-movies, then this one is right up your alley. Watch it and enjoy. 9.5/10

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Night of the Demons (2009)

Night of the Demons is one of the few remakes that is actually better than the original. Not to say that this is an outstanding movie but it is certainly better than the B-movie that it spawned from. Anytime you have Shannon Elizabeth as a leading actress in your movie, you know that tits were more important than acting ability. The original John Connor (Edward Furlong) also stars in the movie and he really hasn't done anything relevant since Judgement Day. Also in keeping with the B-movie theme, the lead actress from Freddy vs. Jason is the main character of the film, just awesome. Just like with the original, the acting in the movie is just below the Twilight films in quality and the story is mildly convoluted.

The thing that saved this movie from being complete and utter shit was the inclusion of Diora Baird. She is by no means a talented actress but she does provide enough to look at (ex. Her boobs) to make the movie bearable. The special effects were also surprisingly good considering the shit quality of the rest of the movie. Almost all of the effects used are made so using practical means which is a welcome surprise from a genre of film that is beating CGI to death lately. The kills are pretty gruesome which adds to the watch-ability of this disaster. The movie is at points so bad that it actually seems good. The original tried to go more of the horror route whereas this movie tried to add a lot of dark humor into the mix, and the results were mixed to say the least. This was a remake that really stood no shot of actually being very good. The actors were mostly talent-less and the story never really grabbed your attention. If you want to see a movie so bad that is laughable then by all means sit down and watch this movie.

Overall, this movie and the original are both terrible movies with the remake being the better of the two. There is really no reason to see this movie other than to see Diora Baird's tits and see Edward Furlong get killed on screen. Other than those two things the movie really has nothing to offer. If you decide to watch this, then good luck to you because you will certainly be wasting 90 minuted of your life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Midnight In Paris

For some strange reason this movie was left off of my best of list of 2011 and I really cannot tell you why. I also left off 50/50 which was my favorite comedy of the year because I failed to think of it when I was making my list. Own Wilson gives a great performance in Woody Allen's return to the top of Hollywood. This is the type of movie that Woody Allen needs to stick to, a light heartfelt comedy with witty dialogue. The dramas he attempted to do over the last decade mostly fell flat because everything in those movies felt very forced. This movie solidifies Wilson's place among the best comedic actors in Hollywood because he is genuinely funny in this movie and carries most of the movie on his back. The guy they got to play Ernest Hemingway had the best scene stealing role of the year, there is a part where he wants to fight someone that had me almost crying in laughter, you really have to see it. On a side note, Adrien Brody gets one of the top bills in this movie for being in the movie for 5 minutes and gives maybe the worst performance that I have ever witnessed. He is just fucking terrible in his role as Dali, he is not a comedic actor and this movie did nothing to help him break into that type of movie. Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams also do a great job of playing the film's antagonists and also play them to their douchiest potential. Their characters are those type of people that feel they know everything and will never listen to anyone else because they are so wrapped up in their own bullshit.

This is the type of light comedy that Hollywood needs from time to time. Woody Allen is the best director for these types of movies because he has extensive experience with them and they come almost natural to him. Owen Wilson should stop doing crap like Marley and Me and focus on making quality films like this from now on. This movie deserves a 8.5/10 or if you are going by the MovieBoozers scale, a 2 Beer Movie.

The Fucking Golden Globes

This is the start of the ass kissing award season and the Golden Globes are by far the worst offender of all of the award shows. I'm sure that Meryl Streep is a "fantastic" actress but all of her movies are forgettable. Her wrinkle-less face just pisses me off and she gets a lot more credit than she deserves. Her movie The Iron Lady hasn't even been mentioned as one of the best movies of the year, so it shows that she couldn't even elevate that movie to greatness on her own. I dare you to name a truly memorable movie of her's off the top of your head, because I know I can't. Viola Davis and Rooney Mara both gave career defining performances and each would have been more deserving than Streep. Michael Fassbender got flat out robbed yesterday at the awards due to the fact that the movie he was nominated for was NC-17. A great movie is a great movie regardless of the MPAA rating. No offense to George Clooney because he gave a great performance in The Descendants but Fassbender's performance took a shit on Clooney's. Shame was one of the best movie of last year and while it may not be the most enjoyable movie to watch, anyone who sees it will agree that Fassbender's performance is masterful. Most of the other awards were mainly tossups and could have gone a variety of ways. The main point of this rant is that Meryl Streep is a grossly overrated actress and won solely on reputation after getting shit on by the performances of at least two other actresses. For the people who voted for her, go suck a bag of dicks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top Ten Movies of 2011

This list consists of the ten best movies that I saw all year. I did not see everything that came out so there are several movie that may be left off of the list that you think are deserving and for that I am sorry.

10. Super 8- This movie slipped some in my opinion after rewatching it. There was a certain mystique associated with seeing this in the theater because it has a Spielberg feel to the movie and it really needed to be seen in a packed summer movie crowd. Don't get me wrong, the movie is still very special and held its own against any sci-fi movie that came out this year. J.J Abrams knows how to craft nostalgic movies with believable characters and I can't wait to see what he does with the second Star Trek movie.

9. Melancholia- It might sound strange but even as I am writing this the overall list is in flux. 2011 was a great year in movies if you were willing to see some of the smaller offerings. I usually don't like really bleak movies but this one was truly special. Generally a movie of this quality would be higher on my list but my pure disdain for the lead character led me to place it towards the bottom of the list. I just couldn't connect with the main character but I really felt for the rest of the characters in the movie. Charlotte Gainsbourg will more than likely get overlooked during awards season and that is a real shame, because she puts on an acting clinic in this movie. You feel every little bit of the dread she feels about the impending disaster and your right there with her until the last moments. Definitely one of the best supporting performances of the year, without a doubt.

8. Warrior- This was a movie that I was anticipating from the first time that I saw the trailer. It delivered on the hype and exceeded it in many cases. The three lead performances were spectacular especially Nick Nolte. He has a very up and down career but this is probably the highest point of his career that I can think of. Easily the second best sports movie of the year behind Moneyball and it stands tall along the other dramas that cam out this year. It will undoubtedly be unfairly labeled as "That MMA movie".

7. Fright Night- This is my guilty pleasure pick of the bunch. While a lot of people might not get why this is on the list, I enjoyed every moment of this movie. The characters were well developed, story was mostly unchanged from the original(a plus), and I love hokey special effects. The humor was great in the movie and the main vampire in this movie provides a great example of what vampires should be as opposed to the Twilight shit.

6. Another Earth- The second of the planet movies on list, the other being Melancholia. I was a trailer for this earlier in the year and it really intrigued me. It asked a very basic question, what would you do if another Earth appeared as a mirror to our own? The only events that are different are the ones that happen after the two planets discovered each other. Brit Marling, the star of the film, shows how truly talented she is by taking the weight of the movie one her shoulders as both the star and the writer.

5. Moneyball- not quite strong enough to knock Tucker & Dale from the top four. Brad Pitt gives a masterful performance and even Jonah Hill gives a great performance. The humor in this movie is hard to explain to people who are not baseball fans but at points I was laughing out loud. Great to see a movie about true life that doesn't try and sway you to one side or another, it simply tells the story of an incredibly driven person.

4. Tucker & Dale vs Evil- My top true "horror" movie of the year and top comedy of the year as well. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk form one of the best on-screen duos of the last decade and you can tell they enjoyed every minute that they were on set. Great gore, hilarious jokes, and great performances made this movie one of the best of the year.

3. Attack the Block- My 2nd and 3rd picks could easily be flip flopped but I am going to put Attack the Block at number 3 because I did not get to see it in a theater. That does make a difference to me because I like to see how a crowd reacts to a movie while they are watching it. This was the best sci-fi movie that I saw all year and beat out Super 8 in that department because it had a slightly better story, more engaging characters and some pretty badass aliens in it. You really need to see this movie. Get it on Blu Ray, DVD, or download it, jut watch it.

2. Drive- This was a movie that I saw opening day by myself in the theater because no one wanted to see it. My friends really missed out on this one, which turned out to be one of the best movies of the year. Ryan Gosling gives a pitch perfect performance in the movie and also has some of the most brutal kills I have ever seen in a movie. Albert Brooks is the real revelation in this movie and he gives the best supporting performance of the year. He plays a magnificent villain and you can see that is having fun and enjoying playing the bad guy for once which only enhanced his performance. If you do not see this movie then you are just dumb.

1. Hanna- This is right up there with The Thing as my favorite movies of all time. It is quite rare for me to instantly rewatch a movie after I have seen it or even within a few days of seeing it. I watched this movie 5 times in one week, once at home and 4 times split between the office and the gym. Everything is great int he movie, even the soundtrack is amazing. I really forgot that the Chemical Brothers were still around until I saw this movie and listened to their near perfect score of the movie. I've already written two reviews for this movie, so I'm not going to write another but just let me tell you that this is the best movie of the year and one of my personal favorites of all time. Watch it, you will thank me later.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Top Five Worst Movies of 2011

This is my hundredth post and this will be my five worst of 2011. This is a list that will be dedicated to the shit that graced the Silver Screen in 2011 that I had the displeasure of seeing. There were a lot of duds this years so it takes an especially rotting piece of shit to show up on my Top 5 Worst Movies of 2011. These are movies that should only be viewed for their unintentional comedic value and shitty acting. I would also like to take the time to say Fuck You to Kevin Smith, who has become a talent-less hack over the last decade. Clerks and Mallrats are your only good movies, stop ruining genres such as horror and action with your crap scripts and atrocious directing.

5. Paranormal Activity 3- This dishonor goes to Paranormal Activity 3 for being a monumental letdown in every department. At what point do you write characters who will react realistically to a situation. If I saw all of the items in my kitchen levitating and then crash to the floor I would grab my family and be out of that house in about 5 minutes or less. This movie had emotionless acting and had predictable scares which is a problem that has plagued the series from the start. When the trailer has effective scares don't cut them completely out of the movie, just make sure you have more effective sequences in the movie so you don't blow your load in the trailer. I hate whomever created this movie because they took a good idea and took a dump on it. 3/10

4. Scream 4- I know it seems like I am bashing horror movies but you have to understand that they are the easiest movies to get wrong. If one aspect of the movie does not work then the rest of the movie suffers to a fatal degree. Wes Craven should go to Miami and just retire. Anything he has done since the first Scream has been utterly worthless and other creators have recreated his movies and bested his originals in every way. All of the actors in this movie are phoning it in for a paycheck and it amazes me that people actually thought this would be the start of a new trilogy. Why would anyone want to watch two more of these pieces of shit, it you want to see a good horror movie go watch Fright Night because that does a great job with the combo of humor and action as well as horror. 2.5/10

3. Green Lantern- I was really trying to convince myself not to put this on the list because I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. But I cannot ignore the fact that this movie destroyed several iconic comic book characters in my opinion. Parallax is a great character in the comics but is transformed into a smoke cloud that looks like "Galactus'" from the Fantastic Four movie's retarded brother. Abin Sur is glossed over and treated as an afterthought. Don't even get me started on Sinestro, I understand this is an origin story but Jesus, he never plays second fiddle to Hal Jordan. Sinestro is one of the deepest characters in comics and a top 10 comic book villain and they did the character an injustice with the way he was written. Perfect actor, just terrible character development. Ryan Reynolds worked as Hal Jordan but the rest of the movie was pretty shitty and for that it gets the #3 worst movie of the year reward. 2/10

2. Apollo 18- I cannot even describe accurately how atrociously horrific this movie was. No character development, unrealistic camera work, nonexistent story line. Not to mention the movie clocks in under 90 minutes and the bulk of the story doesn't start until minute 40 or so. This movie also can enjoy being the only movie that rocked me to sleep this year. I fell asleep for about 20 minutes and missed nothing essential. Are you fucking kidding me? The ending of this movie was maybe the worst ending I have ever seen in a movie outside of The Last Exorcism. How can you recover footage from a space shuttle that exploded in space. the answer is you can't and that is one of the many gaps in logic for this abortion of a movie. 1/10

1. Red State- Gotta save the worst for last, right? This was the most depressing movie I saw all year and I saw movies about a cancer patient, oppressed house maids, and girl who was raped so she could get some food money. There is really no point in setting up main characters if you are going to kill them about halfway through the movie and the rest of the cast is made up of completely unlikable characters. I really wish Kevin Smith understood the mechanics of a good movie because then he could just write his "witty" scripts and let someone who knows how to direct lead the movie. How does someone who has come out and admitted they are a shit director keep get funding from studios. It really amazes me, just give me the $10-$20 million and I'll film a movie. I bet it will be better than anything that Kevin Smith has released in the last 10 years. I hate you Kevin Smith and it amazes me that your presence alone did not ruin Die Hard 4 for me. 0/10, if I could go into the negatives I would that is how much I hated this fucking movie.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fright Night

This movie was just plain fucking awesomeness. Everything about this movie was great. The acting, story, and action were all top notch for a horror movie. I am a fan of the original and this movie outdid it in almost every conceivable way. The cast consisting of Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette, and David Tennant is superb and this is an amazingly talented cast for a horror movie. In a horror movie you may be lucky to get one or two talented actors, not five. If you noticed I did not mention McLovin from Superbad in the cast list because he fucking sucks, alot. I really enjoyed the slight tweaks to the movie to update it for modern times and the differences are subtle enough where if you were a fan of the original it won't effect your opinion of this movie.

I am not going to spoil the plot for this movie and I will instead give you an honest opinion on this movie as a whole. Everything in this movie is spectacular except for the special effects. There are moments where the CG looks like it is from the early 90's and it throws you for a loop at first but you get used to it. Anton Yelchin will be a major Hollywood star, mark my words. He carries each scene that he is even when going up against Colin Farrell and David Tennant on screen. Yelchin easily blends into his characters and I have seen alot of movies with him in it starting with Charlie Bartlett. Can't wait to see him continue as Chekov in the Star Trek franchise. This movie also marks one of the first times that Colin Farrell is tolerable on screen. He kills it in this movie with his performance as Jerry and steals almost every scene that he is in. He really portrays his character as a shark in human form and that is exactly the type of vampire that the silver screen needed to counter the shit nuggets in Twilight. David Tennant also brings a breath of fresh air to the character of Peter Vincent, because in the original he is a lame television host and in this movie he is a Criss Angel ripoff. Everything about the character works, he has the funniest lines in the movie and is probably the most interesting character in the movie once you learn a little about the character's background. I am a huge David Tennant fan from the Doctor Who run he had a few years ago which was incredible. He is a great actor and really deserves to get more roles because people need to see what he brings to the screen. Imogen Poots and Toni Collette provide the eye candy for the movie. Poots is just flawless, unbelievably hot would be a euphemism. She does a good job with her character as well, and Collette plays Yelchin's hot mom that Farrell's character has his eyes on.

It really is a shame that more people did not see this movie and it was pushed to the mid-August death slot for movies. This movie really should have been released in mid to late October to gain a larger audience. This eclipsed my top 5 for 2011 and that's comparing it to some great movies. Watch this movie and you will get equal parts action, humor, and horror. You also get the pleasure of seeing the smoking hot Imogen Poots, who might have one of the worst names ever. This is a 9.5/10 and I don't give a shit what anyone else says.

Gears of War 3

Other than the Uncharted franchise this is the next best franchise in video games in my honest opinion. The characters in the franchise may not be the deepest but they are some of the most engaging and exciting in the industry. Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago are two of the best characters in the XBox'a stable of characters. They are brothers in arms and will fight to the death for each other ad that is showed time and time again over the course of the three games. I am not going to spoil any of the plot but I will say that this game does bring the trilogy to a satisfying close and hopefully they can explore the history of the game's universe in the next series of games in the franchise.

In terms of technical excellence, this game rivals anything else in the market. The graphics have a gritty beauty to them and the violence is visceral. When you perform an execution on another character it is brutal which is just the way it is meant to be. The are explosions on screen, a couple of dozen characters, and massive stalks coming out of the ground without so much as a hiccup in framerate. This allows for an uninterrupted gameplay experience that allows you to be fully immersed in the game without having to worry is the game is going to freeze or slow down for an extended period of time. The sound is also top notch, if you have a home theater system hooked up to your XBox then you will definitely get you moneys worth. The is an epic score that goes along with the game and it really highlights each of the larger action set pieces in the game. The cutscenes are also very high quality. They use similar graphics to the gameplay so it keeps you in the mindset that the game is still occurring. In some games the cutscenes are way too long and really take you out of the action which sometimes hurts the flow of the narrative.

The gameplay is mostly unchanged from the two previous installments and that is a wonderful thing, if it ain't broke don't fix it. The shooting mechanics are top notch and rival any other third person shooter in that category. The objectives are pretty basic with the same get from Point A to Point B or move this item here but the action that take place during the objectives is what makes this a Game of the Year contender.

If you have an XBox then you owe it to yourself to play this game. It is one of the best games for the XBox that will ever come out. The action, graphics, characters and story make this game a must own and the multiplayer is also very good. Not quite Modern Warfare quality but the multiplayer is better than 95% of games out there. This game is a 9.5/10 and is a must play and must own for XBox owners.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


This movie featured my favorite acting performance by a male of 2011. Chris Evans controls the movie every second he was on screen and influences you even when he is not on-screen. The movie itself isn't too shabby either and edged out Crazy, Stupid, Love out of my top ten of 2011. The movie is just really well crafted and tells a story that hits so close to home for so many people just because of the amount of people that work in the medical industry. Evans is the only recognizable star in the entire movie and that works wonders for this movie because a majority of the movie is about his character's struggles with substance abuse and balancing that with his work life. That is another topic that many people can relate to, dealing with addiction. This is highlighted throughout the movie and comes to a head at a point in the movie where you really see how much of a toll the abuse has taken on his character's body. Everything in the movie is awesome and people really need to go and rent or buy this movie even if it just to see Evans' performance.

The only problem I had with the movie was how abrupt the ending was. I am not going to spoil anything but at one point you feel like the movie is going to kick into another gear and then it ends within 5 minutes. After doing some research on the case portrayed in the film the ending does make sense. But if you know nothing about the case then it does end rather abruptly. The movie does tackles some really important issues such as workplace safety, substance abuse, and corporate greed. Each subject is explored in great detail and there are no useless subplots in the movie. The focus of this movie is a great strength because it never deviates from its path and is always engaging. Really sounds like I hate this movie, doesn't it? This was one of my top ten movies of 2011 and it really deserves that honor. A stellar performance from Captain America helped this movie go from being an engaging drama to a fantastic character driven story. Chris Evans is a fantastic actor and it is nice to see him act in smaller movies outside of the Avengers franchise because he is going to be doing those movies for the next 15 year. If you are a Chris Evans fan then you also should check out the movie Sunshine, one of my top ten science fiction movies of all time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Help

The Help is the type of movie that I would traditionally not enjoy very much. A two and a half hour long period drama is not my idea of the best way to enjoy my time. But this movie totally proved me wrong. I enjoyed this movie from beginning to end and this was the best drama that I have seen all year. The sheer amount of talent in the cast warrants a viewing of the film. The cast consists of Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain. Each of the five actresses give amazing performances with Spencer and Chastain stealing each scene that they are in and they are great when they are in scenes together. This is the type of character driven movie that only comes along once and a while and really needs to be seen by everyone.

Jessica Chastain had one of the greatest years in movie history. She was in 5 critically acclaimed movies and has been nominated for almost every type of award that you can think of. She is unbelievably good in this movie and steals every scene that she is in. Her character is an outcast from the group that she so badly wants to be a part of, even though she is a better person than everyone else in that group. She is sweet, kind hearted and amazingly sexy all at the same time. Her energy just flows off of the screen, you feel happy when she is happy and you feel her despair when she is sad as well. It is just a purely amazing performance that stood above most of the other performances in the movie. I am eagerly waiting to see what she does in her upcoming movies, she looks like she is going to be one of the greats.

This is one of the finest dramas that I have ever seen. Each of the main characters are very memorable ad you feel for each one of them over the course of the movie. Viewers will identify with at least one of the major characters and this is a great strength of the movie. When a movie is this character driven each character must have the ability to engage the viewer every time they appear on screen. Emma Stone gives a great performance and she is more of the lens for the viewer to look through. She is the viewer's eyes and ears early on in the movie so the viewer can get acquainted with the setting and the other characters in the movie. This is a movie that deserves to be seen by everyone. It is a historically important film in terms of pointing out a part of our society that mostly goes undiscussed. This is a 9/10 and is really one of the best movies that you will see all year and one of the best dramas of the last few years.