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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Bedtime Stories (2008)

I think I had better bedtime stories in my own life, then this damn movie.

Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) is a down-on-his-luck guy who’s always telling bedtime stories to his niece and nephew. But his life is turned upside down when the fantastical stories he makes up for entertainment inexplicably turn into reality. Can a bewildered Skeeter manage his own unruly fantasies now that the outrageous characters and situations from his mind have morphed into actual people and events?

Before all of you start judging, I had to watch this with my little 5-year old cousin, because if I did watch it on my own time, GOD, I would need something else to do.

This film is strictly for the family, and mainly younger kids. There is a lot of crazy things going on, like colorful visuals, random action, and the of course occasional little cute spots for the whole family to enjoy. But if you a 17 year old, movie critic, your in the back just about ready to go crazy.

Now I would lie to you, if I didn’t say I didn’t laugh at this. Cause surprisingly I had a chuckle here and there, mainly from Sandler, but other than that, this comedy was just poor. But I can’t be too mean to this film, and it’s little amount of comedy, mainly because it’s centered towards kids, and they will laugh at anything that seems different, or cool. But since this is a Disney movie, i was wondering, where is the heart at??? And I didn’t really find it honestly, and with a film that is centered towards the kids, and the whole family I expected more, but hey, whatever.

Adam Sandler I think is funny, even in his worst movies. And this is where he actually tries something new, and aim his comedy at a younger audience, while also entertaining the older ones as well. For the most part, he does a good job at it, because he’s funny when he wants to be, and brings out some chuckles, mainly because some of the jokes are centered towards adults at times. Russell Brand is randomly in this, and just feels, and looks awkward mainly because he isn’t able to bring his usual, adult laughs to the screen, though he does have some funny moments. Keri Russell is just there not doing much, as well as Courtney Cox. But the funniest, and most random casting of them all, was indeed, Guy Pearce. That’s right, that Guy Pearce. He play’s the main bad guy in this film, and I guess he does a good job, but you can’t be really sinister in a family-oriented film, and actually be believable, so he’s just randomly in this for laughs I guess.

Consensus: Here and there was a couple of chuckles, mainly from the cast, but Bedtime Stories is a great kids movies, that may be too colorful, dull, and little heart, for the whole family to enjoy, especially the adults.

3/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

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A Scanner Darkly (2006)

One of the trippiest movies, about tripping.

Working as an undercover cop in a world where almost everyone is addicted to Substance D — a drug that produces split personalities in its users — Fred Arctor (Keanu Reeves) sets up an elaborate sting to nab a notorious drug runner named Bob. Little does Fred know that “Bob” is his alter ego.

This is not the most easily accessible material I have seen on screen, sometimes there are moments, where we don’t know what the hell is going on, and hell I don’t think the characters do as well, but that’s the whole point of it.

Drugs create illusions in your mind, and it gets so deep into your mind, that soon your just all caught up in it, and you don’t know what’s real, or fiction. This film does a great job of showing how that can affect you, as well as the others around you. You create these ideas in your head, and then you just get paranoid all around, and you can’t control it, cause it has taken over your mind, body, and soul. Then you, know there’s no actual way of turning back.

People criticize director Richard Linklater, cause they say he wasn’t the best suit for this material, but in all honesty, I think he does the best job of keeping this stuff alive. The crazy-ass visuals, may seem like a gimmick at first, but then you start to notice it actually goes along with the film, because it shows you how consumed these people are with the drugs, and the visuals it creates in your mind. I also really did like the script and thought as weird, crazy, and insane as they were, all of them were interesting. You hear these people talk about the craziest crap ever, and you don’t know whether to laugh, or be sad that some people are this far into drugs that they would talk like this, but in reality these are how people talk, especially when they are totally under the influence.

The problem with this film was that i felt the constant political messages, got way too out of hand, especially by that lackluster ending. I wish more of the message was pointed at the drugs, instead of crappy political satire that doesn’t work. There is scene where a former cop harangues people in a street about the war on drugs being itself the real problem. I honestly believe that one in 3 criminal justice professionals already recognize this truth. Drug abuse is a public health issue and should be taken out of criminal justice. That will not happen for the simple reason that market for selling and fighting drugs are both too profitable.

Keanu Reeves is good in this lead role. He doesn’t get too Johnny Utah-like for me, yet he doesn’t get too Neo-y for me either, he’s just the dude that the film revolves around. Winona Ryder surprisingly brings a lot to her role, providing enough details of cool, sexiness, and charm, that had us loving her in the beginning. Woody Harrelson is also in this, playing himself I would presume, basically the guy is always high. But the best here is Robert Downey Jr., who’s character is so taken back by the drugs, that the wildest things, come out of his mind, but he does it so well, that it’s actually believable to the fact that he’s just too real to be true.

Consensus: A Scanner Darkly may rely too much on one message, when it should have on another, but the direction is solid, with the trippy visuals, actually doing a lot for the story, as well as the wonderful acting from the cast.

8/10=Matinee!!!

Mystic Pizza (1988)

Made me crave some pizza.

Reality rudely intrudes on the plans of three blue-collar, New England teens who share their dreams while slinging hash at the local pizzeria. Daisy (Julia Roberts) entertains visions of marrying into the upper crust, while levelheaded sister Kat (Annabeth Gish) wants to go to Yale. Meanwhile, wisecracking Jojo (Lili Taylor) has a man on the hook but finds that commitment cramps her style.

Mystic Pizza, is a really dumb title for a movie, that has me thinking that I’m going too see a movie about some 60’s rock band, but instead it turns out to be a little bit better.

The screenplay is very good. It promises to be funny, and at times, it is quite funny, but its more of a soap-opera to be exact. These three young ladies are growing up, understanding more about love, friendship, and overall, life. It’s nice and heart-warming, and just the overall feel to the movie is what keeps you into it.

I had a problem however with the story about Annabeth Gish. First of all, it was terribly dumb, because it was about her falling in love with her baby sitter, who is married. I knew exactly where that story was going, and when I saw what happened, I just went: “oh, cool”. And, well, since this is a film from the 80’s and all, it’s pretty cheesy, so some of the dialogue, is pretty hard not to laugh at. And, by the end, you’ll start to wonder, if this is a “chick flick”, and your answer will be, yes.

However, the acting is actually very good. Julia Roberts plays in her first role where people started to look at her, as a big-new up and comer. She’s smart, witty, sexy, and overall, just a joy to watch on screen, and you can by this performance, she was bound for glory. Lili Taylor is a joy to watch also, because she’s funny, but she actually has a lot of dramatic scenes, and their actually quite believable. Annabeth Gish, in my opinion, I thought blew. She wasn’t believable at all, mainly cause of her story, but when she’s on screen, the more emotional scenes, she just seems like she’s going through the motions, or just standing there. There’s also some nice performances from Vincent D’Onorfio, Adam Storke, and a funny little, young performance from Matt Damon, where he says one line.

Consensus: Though it’s a chick flick, and a bit dated, Mystic Pizza still delivers with good performances, a fun, and intelligent script, that just gives you a nice, smooth feeling throughout the whole movie.

7/10=Rental!!

K-PAX (2001)

I guess aliens do exist, and look like Kevin Spacey.

Kevin Spacey stars as Prot, an extraterrestrial from the planet K-PAX (or so he’d have us believe), in this science-fiction drama that casts Jeff Bridges as a psychiatrist who doubts Prot’s otherworldly origins. But the doctor begins to question his own instincts when his unusual patient begins talking to dogs — and understanding them — and pulling off other artful tricks that can’t be easily explained.

There are many films that always stretch the truth beyond science fiction, and reality. Some are good, some are bad, this is just right in the middle.

The script is very well-written but some of it just seems overly-familiar. We don’t get reasons for everything, and I liked that, because the more we can make up in our mind is the better, but the film shows too much glimpses of how life is great, and grand. I had no problem with this really, it was just the fact that, I knew where this was going, right before the movie even started, which disappointed me.

The film does do a good job at having us keep on questioning during the film: “is this guy really who he says he is?”. I kept asking myself that too, and I think that’s what actually kept me watching was the fact that I wanted to know badly. The film doesn’t give too many hints away, and by the end, and even after the end, you will keep on questioning, what was real, and what was not.

However, K-PAX is only a excuse for one thing, and that’s to show the acting talents that are Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey. And to be truly honest, their both very good. Every time their on screen together you get this sense of believability, and intensity, that comes directly from their different type of acting styles.

Consensus: Though it is moved too slow, and utterly predictable at times, K-PAX does a great job at keeping us guessing, as well as providing strong performances from its two leads.

5.5/10=Rental!!

Changing Lanes (2002)

Who would actually win in an actual fight to the death???

Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson star in this drama about an egocentric attorney and a recovering alcoholic salesman whose lives dangerously collide when their cars crash on a New York expressway. After the accident, corrupt lawyer Gavin Banek (Affleck) discovers he’s left behind an important file with the other driver, Doyle Gibson (Jackson). But soon anger erupts, and a vengeful game of one-upmanship threatens to ruin them both.

This is a movie that has a point, and it’s point is about ethics. Both men are on two different sides of the food chain, but they still have so much in common despite this. Their both legitimately good people, with obvious flaws, but when their put together to fight, because of one silly incident, there is no limitations to what they can, and will do to each other.

The writing is top-notched because it shows the constant morality with real life. There are several moments where these men do stuff, when they could have acted better, but instead, they go for the most vicious thing, and the effect is always negative. That’s how life is, one bad thing you do to another, will always turn out to be bad for you as well. There is no happy-happy with this film, it’s just two guys trying to find some light in all the darkness, even though their may not be any at all.

I thought the film was directed well, but in a way it had way too much of a big budget. The camera is always flying around all over the place, and for me, I thought it deserved, in order to be even more tense, defiantly a lot calmer. Also, when it comes to their being a better ending, this film could have had it, with all of the other powerful stuff going on, I could have been given something a little bit more challenging, then what I did get in the end.

At the inner core of this film is really its performances. Ben Affleck gives one of his best dramatic performances, playing the kind of deauchy character were so used to seeing him as, but this time it works to his advantage, because we actually can sympathize with him when we need to. Samuel L. Jackson, is even better, playing this tragic character, that in every scene we can feel the anger, and rage within him, and when he snaps, oh we do know he means business. There are other notable supporters in this film such as Richard Jenkins, Sydney Pollack, William Hurt, and Toni Collette. But surprisingly the best of the supporters that has a very emotional and touching scene is Amanda Peet, who comes from out of nowhere and provides us with a true, and utterly brutal scene about love. Always still think her best is Saving Silverman.

Consensus: Changing Lanes has way too big a budget for its material, but its used well, with perfect performances from the cast, and a brutal, yet true screenplay, about the morality we face in life every day.

8/10=Matinee!!

Fletch (1985)

If only I could disguise myself as good as this guy. I would be able to go anywhere.

Chevy Chase enjoys his finest hour playing reporter Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher, a fast-talking master of disguise who poses as a derelict to uncover a story about drug dealers. When a wealthy businessman offers Fletch a fortune to murder him before a terminal illness takes hold, Fletch works the scenario in hilarious style until he gets an exclusive that knocks his editor’s socks off.

Fletch is one of those films, that showed you that Chevy Chase could actually hold a film on his own. I mean just look at that smug on his face, you just know your going to be laughing.

The writing here is very smart, as well as funny. It works mainly because the constant gags and jokes work almost 25 years later. Some of it is a bit dated, but it doesn’t matter, cause all of the other jokes work so well.

But the problem here with this film is that it’s plot is way too serious for the type of material were given. They try to play off this whole mystery like feel to it, when in reality, it’s not very serious with its approach, so why should we?? There are a couple of action sequences, that are like any other 80s action scene, and even though their good to look at, they seem so unnecessary, and only used to spice up the 98 minute time limit.

But the main reason this film is Chevy Chase, who does everything so well. He’s funny, sarcastic, and a total dead-pan which adds so much more on to his character. The camera never leaves him, and it’s a good thing because it gives him reasons to show everybody how great of a comedian he can be. It’s sad now, cause he barely does anything exceptionally well anymore, so watching this just shows, how great he actually once was.

Consensus: Fletch may dive too much into being a serious film, however, Chevy Chase’s perfect comedic performance, combined with a very funny script, make this a fun ride.

7.5/10=Rental!!!

Moonstruck (1987)

As always, Cher going for the younger guys.

Cher’s an independent-minded widow who falls in love with a one-handed, misfit baker (Nicolas Cage), much to the chagrin of her betrothed (Danny Aiello).

The film may have you thinking its just about Cher and her romantic escapades, but its also about her family, and the love they go through as well.

Probably the one thing that attracts people to Moonstruck is that its written so well. There are lines in this that just make you laugh, and at the same time just feel delighted cause it just so cute. The film may seem like its in bad taste, but none of it is. It stays nice and sweet to the point, and has you falling in love with these people, and the things that happen to them.

But it’s not just the comedy that works so well, its the fact that anybody can relate to this film. Anybody that has ever felt like they have been in love, or at least rediscovered it, can feel so close to home with this. Also, anybody that has a crazy family, or even a family, can relate to how true, and genuine this really is, because every family’s silly, not everybody’s just crystal, clear perfect.

Looking at it now, about 23 years later, the film’s plot is a lot more serious then they let it be. Like if my brother was with my fiancee, while I was gone, I think that I would probably beat the hell out of my brother. They don’t really take that seriously, nor do they take the other sub-plots, such as cheating, seriously either. But yet, I guess they do a good job at being funny, and cute, that I guess it really doesn’t matter, but still it just seems dumb to have something like that, be played off as a joke.

Cher is very good in the lead role, actually having you believe her, as somebody else other than Cher, which would be really hard to do. On screen with her most of the movie, is Nic Cage, who is good in a very young role, as he plays insane dude pretty well, and not over-playing it to where he just becomes a joke. They both create a chemistry that is believable, even though they are separated by about 15 years of age. But the real shining stars in this film are Olympia Dukakis, and Vincent Gardenia, who play a married couple for more than 50 years. They are both hilarious in each of their roles, and although by the end they may still have their problems, they still love each other.

Consensus: Moonstruck may be too cute for some serious issues, but it provides plenty of great, and hilarious comedy, with even better performances from the cast, and the timely feel of having a crazy family.

8/10=Matinee!!!

Husbands and Wives (1992)

Breaking up with a person really does take a lot of energy.

Director Woody Allen stars with Mia Farrow in his comedy as a long-married New York couple whose own relationship starts to crumble when their best friends (Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis) announce they’re separating. Smoldering resentments and unexpected jealousies soon rise to the surface, erupting in savage humor and hilariously unpredictable reunions.

When it comes to showing human emotions, basically about anything, Woody Allen is always known for showing it in its best, and brutally honest way. Although he is a huge dirt, I still love his work and can consider this a good one as well.

The one thing about this film that you have to know is that it’s incredibly honest about how relationships really are. We leave them sometimes, and were not exactly sure, until we start to think about it over ourselves and know we made a mistake. Allen brings that up countless times, showing these 4 characters trying to find anyway of expression of love, so they can be happy, as well as their partner. As usual with Allen, there is plenty of dry humor in this, but it’s also very dark. These people are constantly bickering, fighting, betraying, and hurting one another, all over love, and it’s kind of in a way it’s very mean spirited, but we don’t get that because of Allen’s tone.

I did have a couple of problems with this film that kind of did take the effect of this film down for me. I never understood why they were doing a random documentary feel to the film. It was kind of stupid and didn’t really allow many things to happen on its own, it was just telling us. Also, the little sub-plot between Allen and Juliette Lewis starts off good, but after awhile things just start to get dumb, because I knew what was going to happen between these two, everybody else watching this movie did too, his character was the only one who didn’t know, or even think about it, which was pretty stupid.

Woody Allen is as usual good here, playing Woody Allen nothing else. Mia Farrow is also sweet, but good ehre as well, and this was their last film together until the shit hit the fan with Allen and “his adopted daughter” Soon Yi Previn. It’s weird watching this film, cause the whole time it just feels like fore-shadowing between these two. The two best in the cast without a doubt is Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis who just eat up the screen every time their on it. You can see the emotions they feel, through their speech, and through they way they act, which is something great, cause they use their comedic timing to connect with the audience and make their characters all the more realistic. Liam Neeson is in this two before he became a big star, and does pretty good with the material, giving a lot more to his character than we were expecting.

Consensus: It may not be the best thing Allen has ever done, but it is cleverly written, with enough comedy, and dark drama, to keep you watching, as well with the perfect performances backing it all up.

7/10=Rental!!

Drillbit Taylor (2008)

Sounds like a porno, and in ways, I kind of wish it was.

Three high school freshmen devise a novel plan for dealing with the treacherous school bully: They hire a bodyguard. Salvation comes in the form of Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson), a beach bum ex-soldier who teaches the boys some handy life lessons. Leslie Mann co-stars as an English teacher.

What starts off as a fresh, and actually funny idea, then turns into one of the usual, crappy, high-school comedies, that don’t work at all.

The main problem with this film is that it’s tone is way off. There is some funny moments, however, the constant fighting, and bullying, actually starts to get darker, and pretty sad, to the point of where you don’t know whether to laugh, or start to feel bad for these kids, as almost everyday they go into school, and single handedly get raped. The bullying scenes were way over the top. These things would never happen and certainly would never happen now especially the duration of the abuse. Someone would be roughed up by the police and sued at the very least for displaying this level of violence at a public school.

But things get worse, because nothing nothing makes any sense. Owen Wilson just walks into a school, with a shirt and tie, and everybody already thinks hes a teacher. Also, the school in this must be the same ones used in almost every single high school film, where no teacher is around to see any of this.

Owen Wilson I will say got me through most of this, but he is playing the same guy, he does in every movie, but it always works. But we never knew, and understand why this guy turned out to be such a bum. We see that he has the smarts and charm to be something more, but we’re just left with the fact that he still lives on the streets. The three kids here are funny, and almost reminded me of Superbad, mainly because they did look like three high school freshman, but they can’t do much with this script.

It also sucks that this was John Hughes last film before he died, and I just want to say, that although this sucks, it kind of makes me know that, he will always and forever be a legend in the world of cinema, no matter how bad, or good his work was.

Consensus: Though it may have some funny moments, Drillbit Taylor has problems with it script, because it gets too carried away with bullying, and just doesn’t fit well in today’s world.

2/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

The Expendables (2010)

It’s like a family reunion, except with more explosions, and steroids.

Barney (Sylvester Stallone) leads a ragtag band of hired guns charged with overthrowing a South American despot, a job no official military unit is willing to touch. But once on the ground, the team learns there’s more to the mission than they were told. Their next move determines whether they survive — or are, indeed, expendable.

Ever since I heard of this films first being talked about last year, I was instantly already pumped for this to actually come out. I was a big fan of the action films, that took over the 80’s and early 90’s, and seeing all my favorites on the big screen, is like my fantasy (no homo).

The film’s plot is how should I say, just terrible. There is plenty of plot holes that doesn’t quite explain a whole lot about the story, and it does not make any sense as it goes on even longer. Also, the screenplay isn’t terribly written but at times it does feel a bit lazy. The jokes are some what funny, but the film tries to be dramatic at times, and it doesn’t work, and is just pretty weak.

But that’s not what this film is all about, it’s all about guns, killing people, explosions, knives, shootings, more explosions, and by the end of it all, laughing it all off, and having a good time. For the most part, the action was awesome. There was defiantly plenty of action to satisfy all action lovers needs, but I just wish there was more than what I was given. The beginning, and the final 35 minutes deliver on the action very well, but I can’t quite say the same for the middle parts. Overall, the action was great to watch, and for once I could actually see what was going on, instead of having to be totally confused, because of the constant swerving of the camera.

The ensemble cast had me first interested because it has all of my favorites from the era of those action films, as well as some other ones. However, it doesn’t use all of them to their full potential, instead the film is more focused on Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Jet Li, while everybody else is sort of just side characters for the story. However, all three are good and bring a lot to the screen, and when their not killing people, they have great times on screen together. Others in the cast that are good when their on screen is, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The main villain here is portrayed by Eric Roberts, who I think knows that he shouldn’t be taken seriously, cause I really couldn’t with this film as a bad guy, but if that was the type of performance he was channeling, than he does a great job with it. There are also two good cameos from Bruce Willis, and the guy that hasn’t been around forever, that’s right bitches, the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It isn’t the greatest cameo ever in the world of cinema, but it’s always good to see a long lost action hero, back on screen.

Consensus: The Expendables, may have a bad plot, and problems with its script, but it does provide plenty of the action it promised, and the cast still does provide plenty of fun for everybody.

7/10=Rental!!!

Sorry Guys!!

Hey everybody, I’m sorry that the posts haven’t been so up to date lately. Mainly because I’m working on school work, football, and actually trying to keep a steady lady friend, so once again I apologize, reviews will be up sooon! Listen to these jams, I just can’t get out of my head at all!

The Rocker (2008)

If only this film actually rocked as hard as it looked.

“The Rocker” is Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson), the drummer for an eighties hair band. He’s living the rock n’ roll dream… until he is kicked out of the group. Twenty years later, the desperate rocker joins his nephew’s band, ADD, finally reclaiming the rock-god throne he’s always thought he deserved – while taking his much younger band-mates along for the ride of their lives.

This little old film came out back by the end of summer 08, and literally went by, and no one caught it. I have always had a soft spot for films that combine humor with rock (School of Rock, This is Spinal Tap), but this film doesn’t seem to deliver on either ends.

The one thing I did enjoy about this film is that it is a good ride. There is a lot of rockin’ music, and some decent funny moments to hold you down, so if you like movies that will at least hold your attention for a bit, this is the film.

However, it still didn’t seem like anything was right with this film. The whole film had you look at it, as if it was a rock fest, but with enough heart and humor for the whole family. Well, the humor, isn’t quite for the whole family. There are many musical references that I got, cause I love music, but others watching this, 9 times out of 10, won’t, and the humor gets a little too raunchy and dirty. I wasn’t expecting a dick joke, and so much alcohol induced in the film. I mean School of Rock wasn’t the sweetest comedy ever, but it still didn’t throw in all this un-needed sex jokes.

Also, since this film was about rockin’, and rockin’ hard, I was expecting lots, and lots of that. Instead, I only got a mediocre amount of it, and they played the same songs about 3 times each. I was looking for a new fresh song from these people, not just the 3 songs that define them. There was not really insight about rock music, as there was with School of Rock. all I got from this film, was have a good time, but nothing that made me come out of this film, saying: “Yeah, I want to start a band”.

The one thing that just almost saves this film is the cast. Rainn Wilson seems like an un-likely choice for this role, but he does a good job with it, bringing a lot more energy than I expected, and providing us with a likable character. Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad, and a young Emma Stone, all are OK as the rest of the band, ADD (really bad name), but nothing spectacular. You will also spot out funny appearances from Jane Lynch, Bradley Cooper, Will Arnett, Jeff Garlin, Aziz Ansari, and an attractive, but goofy performance from Christina Applegate. They all try their hardest, but the script lets them all down.

Consensus: The Rocker may have some fun stuff with it, as well as a good cast, but it never gets off its feat, with enough rock, and humor, to satisfy all, and just becomes a cheap rip-off of School of Rock, sorry to say.

4/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

A Perfect Getaway (2009)

Staying away from Hawaii for awhile now.

Newlyweds Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich) are enjoying a perfect honeymoon in Hawaii — until they run into a pair of menacing hikers, Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez). As it turns out, the two are dangerous killers who begin stalking the not-so-happy couple.

There is a lot about this film that not many people will actually accept upon first look. This is a suspenseful/psychological thriller, that in ways works.

The first two acts, I will say are very dull. There is some nice camp here and there, but there’s not that much drama to keep you interested with this film, and with its characters. And although the atmosphere kind of works, it never goes the extra mile, to keep your attention fully on the screen.

The film also promises to be so much smarter than your ordinary, thriller pick, but instead, turns into one, that doesn’t do much other than show the over-zealous, bloody violence that we basically see in all films of this nature. As things get all ‘First Blood’ in the end, the cinematography and the editing go hog wild as well, trying out some fancy stuff that works. I admit, I got pumped by the look and the action….and I almost forgot how forgettable the rest of the film was.

Basically, the whole film, your always guessing what is actually going on, and who are the real killers. All of this worked very well, cause we aren’t given many clues as to who is, we’re just left to think ourselves, which I thought was used well. And then when the major plot twist comes in by the last act, you are totally taken back, and shocked, mainly cause it works. The twist is thoroughly explained, and sometimes events that weren’t explained in the first two acts, are then explained by this twist.

The performances from the cast are very good here, which is why your mainly glued to the screen. Timothy Olyphant is perfect here mainly because they just let him get crazy, but at the same time, become a likable, and believable character. Steve Zahn is also good, doing a lot of stuff as a character you wouldn’t expect him to, as far as his acting goes. Milla Jovovich is also good here, and she has one scene where she actually expresses her emotions in a way I haven’t seen her do in a while. Kiele Sanchez also has a lot of fun with her role, and starts to show her dynamic’s as an actress by the end.

Consensus: A Perfect Getaway may have you checking your watch for the first two acts, but the twist comes in, and your entertained, as well as the performances from the cast.

6/10=Rental!!!

Forever Young (1992)

Yes, it’s a Mel Gibson, everybody hates him basically.

In 1939, the love of Daniel’s (Mel Gibson) life, Helen (Isabel Glasser), falls comatose after an accident. Grief-stricken, he agrees to be frozen alive in scientist Harry’s (George Wendt) cryogenics experiment in the hopes that when he’s thawed, Helen will be recovered. Some 50 years later, two kids revive Daniel, leaving him to cope with society’s developments — and having to find Harry and Helen.

This is one of those films that has a pretty interesting plot, but for some reason it just comes out really dumb on film, and no questions are answered. The plot makes no sense at first now that I look at it, his girlfriend gets in a car accident, and he doesn’t want to deal with the guilt, so he freezes himself for 50 years hoping that she’s still alive by then. Why wouldn’t you just wait?? Like that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

Also, the way this guy tracks everything down is dumb, cause he doesn’t even look for these people he once knew, and he’s all upset that some of his old friends are dead, when why wouldn’t they be?? It’s freaking been 50 years, and you think that everybody would just be alive as soon as you woke up!??!

This film was basically used as a star vehicle for Mel Gibson and well he’s good here. His character may not be the nicest guy ever, but he’s at least likable and nice to watch. But Jamie Lee Curtis is in this film, and her talents are showered down by a terrible character, because her and Gibson start to fall in love (who would have ever guessed), but they don’t pounce on it because Gibson is still looking for his lost love. So then Curtis is just there to stand and look pretty as usual.

The film does have its heart in the right place, and for some you may actually enjoy it, but I just couldn’t get past the story at all, and that’s what really fails.

Consensus: Forever Young may have a good Mel Gibson performance, and enjoyable for some, but it’s story is too unbelievable, dumb, and not as smart as it may look on paper.

2/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

Public Enemies (2009)

Finally, Johnny Depp actually plays somebody normal.

Set during the Great Depression, it follows the final years of notorious bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) as he is pursued by Bureau of Investigation agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). It also depicts Dillinger’s relationship with Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), as well as Purvis’s pursuit of Sparrow associates and fellow criminals Homer Van Meter (Stephen Dorff) and Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham).

Michael Mann is known for directing action-packed thrillers such as Heat, and Collateral, but they were always shot in modern times, with less of a story, here he gets to change up the time, and focus on more story. Which was not a very good idea after all.

I think the one problem with this film is that it is kind of bland, mainly because it’s based on a real-story. Everybody knows what happens to these guys, and it just do anything really fun or inventive to change the pace of our minds with the film. Another problem was the use of an HD camera for this film. The shaky camera takes a lot away from the film, and the pixels, and annoying close-ups, do start to run its course by the first hour mark. I also knew it was a bad idea, cause I kept asking myself: they had hand-held cameras back in the 30’s? Nothing looked as realistic as it could have, with a real camera.

Still I got to give it to the Mann(pun intended), he is still the king of action sequences. Since these dudes are robbing banks, Depression style, of course we get a lot of shoot-outs, and to say the least their actually very fun to watch. There is this one sequence where it takes place in the forest, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Not as great as Heat’s bank robbery, but still great none the less. I also thought he did a good job of showing the known hysteria, and panic that was in the depression, as Dillinger and the boys, started to rumble up on the bank robbery’s.

Johnny Depp does a great job at playing an actual real person for once in a long time. He plays Dillinger as sort of an anti-hero, that’s funny, charming, but also very smart, and lethal with what he does, and does a great job at playing this character. I was pretty disappointed by Christian Bale‘s performance here, and I thought his attempt to make a Southern accent, was pretty dumb, and annoying. It sucks but I think he wants this to be his forgotten role. Marion Cotillard is great here as well, and her and Depp create this lovely chemistry that seems so real, that by the end, you can just feel the love between these two. Other actors that do a good job in this are Giovanni Ribisi, Billy Crudup, Stephen Lang, and a random cameo from Channing Tatum.

Consensus: There are obvious faults here within Public Enemies, but they are somehow over-shadowed, by the great action sequences, and wonderful performances from the cast, minus Bale.

7/10=Rental!!!

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Damn I cannot wait till I get married, I can only hope it’s to Cameron Diaz too.

Food writer Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) panics when she receives word that her longtime platonic pal, Michael (Dermot Mulroney), is finally getting hitched, to a debutante named Kimberly (Cameron Diaz). Realizing her true feelings for Michael, Julianne enlists assistance from her gay companion (Rupert Everett) and sets out to sabotage the wedding, making a last-minute play for her man.

This film totally took me by surprise. Here I was expecting, a really cheesy, dumb, and unfunny romantic comedy chick-flick. But as gay as I may sound I actually liked this film.

Alright folks, before you all start calling me gay, because I liked a romantic comedy starring Rupert Everett, and Julia Roberts, go over to my main boys at TalkingFilms. So go on over and check them out, and get the skinny.

http://www.talkingfilms.net/from-the-vault-my-best-friends-wedding-1997

Later everybody!

Philadelphia (1993)

Love how my hometown, is exactly the perfect place for sticking up for equal rights! Love you Philly!

Philadelphia attorney Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks, in an Oscar-winning role) launches a wrongful termination suit against the hand that feeds him when his law firm finds out about his HIV-positive status — and his homosexuality — and fires him. Denzel Washington co-stars as a homophobic lawyer who reluctantly agrees to take Andy’s case in this Jonathan Demme-directed film.

Philadelphia is one of the first mainstream films, to actually tackle such themes like homosexuality, HIV/AIDS, and homophobia, and to be brutally honest about it all. Back in 1993 HIV was known about, and once in awhile talked about, but it was never brought up full in frontal, and you knew every single little detail about it. And that’s where this film’s strong point lies. I like how director Jonathan Demme directed this movie, by showing AIDS up close an personal. He shows the scars, he shows the pain, the weakness, and the overall sorrow that this sickness does to the victim, and as well as the people around them. He shows these people as real human beings, not just some gay freak, who is going to die soon, no, he shows them as person, that just so happens to be effected by something terrible.

The script starts out very, very strong showing us real, and truthful dialogue of how real people speak about homosexuals, the only problem is, by the end of the film it starts to crumble a bit. The courtroom scenes weren’t anything different, and right from the beginning you know how this film is going to end. It blows that all that courtroom stuff is unwieldy, cause everything else works so fine.

Tom Hanks gives one of his most powerful performances ever, as Andy Beckett. He does a great job at playing a very cliched character, that is usually one-sided and just shown as a total mope, but here Hanks does so well showing the happy sides to his character. You see Beckett as a real person, and although things may look bleak, he still looks to the sky for the happiest of thoughts. Denzel Washington gives off his most underrated performance ever, and should have been nominated for some sort of award, cause he does a perfect job at playing this pride-given lawyer, that at first is against this case, cause he’s a total homophobe, but changes his mind and gets to accept gay people, as real people. These two build a chemistry on-screen that is good, and puts the heart where it’s at in this film. Also, need I forget to mention Antonio Banderas, Mary Steenburgen, and Jason Robards are all in this doing well also.

Consensus: The last act may be less powerful than you would expect, but the terrific performances from Hanks and Washington, as well as the sensitive, but realistic direction from Demme, gives Philadelphia the perfect heart it needs.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

Birthday Everybody!!!!!

Yes, it’s the miraculous day, when on September 5th, a legend was born. That’s right everybody, it;s my birthday, and this calls for a celebration, like no other. I just want to say thanks to all of you that have read my reviews, and material, and have at least put up with my teenage grammar misspellings, and just to let you know, your wont have to put up with it anymore. Thanks to all of you!! Here’s to another year gone by, and another one just starting.

Love all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kate & Leopold (2001)

If only Hugh Jackman could actually time travel back to re-do X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

When her scientist ex-boyfriend (Liev Schreiber) discovers a portal to travel through time — and brings back a 19th-century nobleman named Leopold (Hugh Jackman) to prove it — a skeptical Kate (Meg Ryan) reluctantly takes responsibility for showing Leopold the 21st century. The more time Kate spends with Leopold, the harder she falls for him. But if he doesn’t return to his own time, his absence will forever alter history.

There is not much different that this film has, that you haven’t seen in any other romantic comedy. But just somehow it works, mainly to the way everything plays out. The humor here is good, and although it’s not like belly-roll laughs, it still works none the less. And it actually is a pretty cute romance film once you think about it. Yeah, you know how the stories going to be at the end, but just watching it on screen is what makes it fun.

However, my main problem is that it is close to two hours, which it did not need to be at all. And a lot of that time limit is wasted on a lot of sappy stuff going on in the middle of the film. There was no real insight, or anything different with this love story here, just the same old, same old. And the fact that these two are completley from different times, how do they even connect. I never really saw that as much, but I didn’t care mainly because I was too busy being entertained by everything else going on.

Hugh Jackman is great in this role, and shows why he is a great actor. He’s got the look, the charm, and the overall likability to have you watching this guy, while your laughing at this guy, but he doesn’t turn into a fool. Meg Ryan is as charming as ever here again, and although she starts off sour in the beginning, she still brings back that lovable smile, and wit that we all know and love her for. There are also some good side performances from Breckin Meyer, and Liev Schreiber, who bring a lot to their roles and let you have a good time.

Consensus: Kate & Leopold isn’t a great film, but it sure is fun, that will have you charmed by the performances, and entertained by the screenplay.

6.5/10=Rental!!!

The Deer Hunter (1978)

I always thought Russian roulette was a card game???

In this Oscar-winning epic from director Michael Cimino, a group of working-class friends decides to enlist in the Army during the Vietnam War and finds it to be hellish chaos — not the noble venture they imagined. Before they left, Steven (John Savage) married his pregnant girlfriend — and Michael (Robert De Niro) and Nick (Christopher Walken) were in love with the same woman (Meryl Streep). But all three are different men upon their return.

Now let me just point this out that I thought I was going to like this film, cause it won Best Picture, and has got two of my favorite actors, but never did I think I would love it as much as I do.

The most praise goes to director Michael Cimino, who later became one of the worst in the world of cinema, he directs so well here. The film starts out as these guys are all together hanging out, having a good time, then it snaps right to the war zone, where people are being killed left and right. In many films, this kind of stuff has been done, and gone totally wrong, but here, it doesn’t seem wrong at all, it helps the film so much more than you would think. The early moments are perfect, as they show how real guys interact in a small-knit community, in a very realistic way, and then when it turns to the war zone it shows the true horrors of war, and how it can affect everyone involved.

I love how the screenplay was perfectly written to show everything just as it is. This is an anti-war film, that shows the real effects it can have on people after the war. These guys were all nice, happy, and optimistic, but when they get back, their all nuts, depressed, or just down-right delusional to the real world. It’s not so much true as it is heart-breaking to see how the aftermath of war really is. It gets very very violent, but it just realistically shows how the war zone was, and how these soldiers feel when they were out there. We are thrown into hell, and left without a map, therefore we are supposed to fend for ourselves, much like these soldiers had to do.

I was most attached to this film because its characters were pitch-perfect, almost everything about them makes you want to see them live on. Robert De Niro, in one of his most underrated performances, is perfect here as the tough as nails guy before the war, and almost even worse when he comes out. He plays it so perfectly, and you still sympathize with him. Christopher Walken, as always is perfect, and got an Oscar for this, which was totally deserved. There are so many scenes where he’s great, but there’s one scene where he’s asked what his name is, and he is so overcome with emotion, that he can’t even get the words out. A perfect scene, with a perfect actor there to deliver it. John Savage is good, and although I wish I saw more of him, I was still glad with what I saw. Poor John Cazale was on his last limb in this movie, but he’s great, and has a couple of great scenes, and it sucks that he died so early in his career, cause he could have done so much better. Meryl Streep doesn’t have that many lines, but you can always tell what her character is thinking, and by the end she gets better. All characters in one way or another, are effected by the war, and how their lives change was shown so greatly. I liked how from the get-go Cimino introduces us to these characters, and before he gets right to the action, we get to know, and love all these characters before their lives change, which I loved, cause even then, I was more effected. Everything comes together in a last act, and final image that will just have you shaking by just how truly effecting this film really is.

People will complain how its over 3 hours, but in all honesty, I wish it went longer. My only complaint was that they made the film too one-sided-point-of-view, and only showing how De Niro’s character saw everything. I wish we saw all three, but none the less, it was still great.

Consensus: The Deer Hunter deserved all the Oscars it got because of its heart-breaking, but true realities of life, and life after war, with great performances from the cast, stellar direction from Cimino, and ultimately one of the best stories about the war on Vietnam of all-time.

9.5/10=Full Pricee!!!!

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