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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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

Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Green Hornet (2011)

Wished it just kicked more ass.

Seth Rogen plays Britt Reid, the son of the owner of one of LAs major newspapers The Daily Sentinel. After his father’s death he inherits his newspaper and meets his mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) , who is not only his mechanic but also developed weapons for Reid Sr. They then decide to take on LA’s criminal underworld by posing as bad guys while Britt using the moniker The Green Hornet. But the city’s biggest and only crime boss Chudnovski (Christoph Waltz) doesn’t like people assaulting his criminal dominance.

The Green Hornet is a film that has been moved around many times, and even though that would be a bad sign right away for some projects, this one was different. Although, not all that different really.

The film is directed by Michel Gondry who is most known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, and many crazy-cool music videos. This seemed like an odd film for him since it’s kind of different from what he’s used to, and to be honest I don’t think he really does much here although he tries too. I must say that he does a good job here of showing off some really cool action sequences that actually add a lot to the film. Gondry makes the scenes look cool, even though they seem rather pointless, but that distinctive flair he has it what makes it a tad better than other action sequences. I didn’t see this in 3D but I can see why they chose Gondry, cause it looked really cool in 2D, I can only image how cooler it would have looked if it went that one dimension.

However, the script is where the problem lies here. The comedy wasn’t as funny as I was expecting, because it is very inconsistent. Sometimes I found a joke that I chuckled at, other times I found myself feeling very awkward because a joke or one-liner just wouldn’t stick well, and all I could do was sit there and squirm at it. I rarely ever found myself bursting out in laughter, and that’s what disappointed me cause this film looked like it had plenty potential to be hilarious. It also had plenty times to be something new and inventive, instead it just went for the regular super-hero film route, that we have all seen time and time again. By that last act, you almost feel as if there’s too many things going on, and it just gets so wrapped up in itself.

I usually can stand Seth Rogen‘s bumbling, nerd shtick, but here he was just way too unlikable. Britt Reid is this spoiled brat, who doesn’t get all the attention that he wants, so he does mean things, and although Rogen has this signature likability to him that usually works with any character, here he just was such a dick that I couldn’t stand him after awhile. Jay Chou does a pretty good job here although he has that problem that Ken Watanabe had in Inception, and that’s we can’t quite understand what he is saying. He’s adorable (no homo), and looks like he’s got the stunt skills to actually pull all of these moves off, but it’s hard to fall in love with this character when you don’t know what is comedy, and what is not, because he isn’t all that understandable. Christoph Waltz was perfect in Inglorious Basterds playing a villain, and here he’s not so bad playing a less-than noticeable role as a villain. I liked how Waltz played Chudnovski, this hot-tempered yet insecure kingpin and gives him this goofiness that has us not take him as seriously, and I think that works because the film doesn’t really take him seriously also. Cameron Diaz’s character, Lenore, was a character that I think they could have left out, but with her scenes, you can tell she’s trying her hardest and does alright. And who cannot forget cameos from James Franco and Edward Furlong, who plays a meth addict, and actually looks like he’s been trying some as well.

Consensus: The Green Hornet has moments of fun, with good comedy and stylish action, but the script lets down this cast, and promised us a new take on the superhero genre, even though it turns out to be the same as they all are, and you can’t help thinking this could have been so much better given the talent involved.

5.5/10=Rental!!

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Oscar Predictions and Thoughts for 2011

So as everyone among the film community know, it is Oscar time babyyyyy!!! So that means get ready for some of the biggest upsets, wins, and probably tearful moments of the year. It was a great year in the film, and this is what has all come down to it people. The big night, and here are my predictions, I hope I do well.

Best Animated Feature: Will Win: Toy Story 3 Should Win: Toy Story 3 Wild Card: How To Train Your Dragon

Best Documentary Feature: Will Win: Restrepo Should Win: Restrepo Wild Card: Exit Through The Gift Shop

Best Foreign Language Film: Will Win: In a Better World Should Win: Dogtooth Wild Card: Biutiful

Best Documentary Short, Best Live Action Short, Best Animated Short: Will Win: Can’t say I care too much

Best Editing: Will Win: The Social Network Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: Black Swan

Best Cinematography: Will Win: True Grit Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The King’s Speech

Best Visual Effects: Will Win: Inception Should Win: Inception Wild Card: Alice in Wonderland

Best Sound Editing: Will Win: Inception Should Win: Inception Wild Card: Unstoppable

Best Sound Mixing: Will Win: Inception Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The Social Network

Best Art Direction: Will Win: Alice in Wonderland Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The King’s Speech

Best Costume Design: Will Win: Alice in Wonderland Should Win: Alice in Wonderland Wild Card: True Grit

Best Makeup: Will Win: The Wolfman Should Win: The Way Back

Best Original Score: Will Win: The Social Network Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: Inception

Best Original Song: Will Win: We Belong Together (Toy Story 3) Should Win: We Belong Together (Toy Story 3) Wild Card: I See The Light (Tangled)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Will Win: The Social Network Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: 127 Hours

Best Original Screenplay: Will Win: The King’s Speech Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress: Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld Should Win: Melissa Leo Wild Card: Amy Adams

Best Supporting Actor: Will Win: Christian Bale Should Win: Christian Bale Wild Card: Geoffrey Rush

Best Actor: Will Win: Colin Firth Should Win: Jesse Eisenberg Wild Card: James Franco

Best Actress: Will Win: Natalie Portman Should Win: Natalie Portman Wild Card: Annette Bening

Best Director: Will Win: David Fincher Should Win: David Fincher Wild Card: Tom Hooper

Best Picture: Will Win: The King’s Speech Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: Toy Story 3

I must say that this is a pretty solid year for the Oscar’s this year. All the nominees look just about right the only problem is how will the picks turn out? This year, everything seems like it’s coming down to Old School (The King’s Speech) vs. New School (The Social Network). The past couple of years The Academy (I hate that word) has been looking more towards hip, new films to win it’s Oscar Best Picture. Films such as Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, and American Beauty have all been unconventional new films that have seen their taste of Best Picture gold. But there has also been countless period piece wins for films such as Gladiator, Shakespeare In Love, and The English Patient. Also, many other major award shows have already presented the Best Picture win to The King’s Speech which is really chasing up people’s noses, as many other award shows have been choosing The Social Network as theirs. In my opinion, I liked Inception more than both of them, and yeah it’s nominated, but in all honesty it has no chance of winning. When it comes down to it I think that The Social Network should win, because it is an age-defining film, that went from being known as “The Facebook Movie” to being known as the top contender for every Oscar it’s nominated for. I hope that The Academy goes for the new school, because if they had The King’s Speech win, everyone would feel robbed really.

As for Best Actor, I think that Firth deserves to win for all his years dedicate to films, but Eisenberg fully deserves it. I think what the Academy is doing more and more now, is honoring actors & actresses not for just a certain performance they had, but their careers and saying that it’s their time. I don’t mind seeing stars like Jeff Bridges, Kate Winslet, or Colin Firth win an Oscar, because of the career they have but I’d rather see the “best performance of the year award” go to the BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR.

When it comes to the Best Actress category, it seems like Natalie Portman is the sole winner for here, as she has won almost every single Best Actress nomination at every award show. However, there is once again that little idea that it’s Annette Bening’s “time” to win, as she has been nominated twice, and still has not won yet even though her career has been going on for so long. I want Portman to win, and most likely she will, but I still have a feeling that The Academy may pull something out of their pockets and surprise us all with a Bening win.

I’m very disappointed that my main man Christopher Nolan was not nominated for Best Director this year. He was snubbed for The Dark Knight, and now he’s being snubbed again, and it just pisses me off knowing that certain directors that do such a good job with daring material, don’t get the credit they deserve. I think if Nolan was nominated, he should have won, but I know it’s The Oscars, and not everything works out the right way.

This year had great films, and I’m glad to see that the Oscars have turned out to be this way. I loved 2010 as a year, and the films made it awesome. Here’s to 2011, and let’s just hope that the Oscars are awesome.

Thanks everybody for always reading, and keep on checking!!

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

A mobster movie based in Canada. This has got to be interesting.

Just about every person in the neighborhood eventually wants someone dead, even a dull, panic-prone dentist named Oz Ozeransky (Matthew Perry), who is married to monstrous Sophie (Rosanna Arquette) and lives next door to mobster-on-the-run Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski (Bruce Willis). Will Sophie get Jimmy to off Oz for insurance money?

My favorite part, and yet my least favorite part about this film has to be the screenplay. The reason why I liked it is because there are a lot of good lines here that surprisingly work, and some nice little twists, that keep you watching and entertained.

However, it was my least favorite as well because some jokes are just drop dead terrible. I think they were aiming a little bit too high for these jokes, and it just ended up not doing anyone, any good. I didn’t like how there was dumb slapstick involved with this film, because I don’t think any of these stars should have to be reduced to that type of material. I also didn’t realize that this is some pretty dark material as well. People are getting killed left and right at times, and they act as if nothing happens, with a big smile on the face. I understand being a “dark” comedy, but there are certain elements of a dark comedy that are acceptable, and unacceptable. This is the unacceptable one.

The stars are what did save this film for me though. Bruce Willis is perfect as “The Tulip” as he gives that cool-guy charm, we all know and love him for. Matthew Perry is very funny here as the nervous square, Oz, who actually gives off very good slapstick, and proves to be one of the funnier things with this film. It’s a shame that this guy hasn’t done much else lately, cause he really can make comedy work. Amanda Peet is funny here as Oz’s assistant, as well as Rosanna Arquette, as Oz’s crazy wife. Michael Clarke Duncan brings his mean guy persona to the screen and it works with a lot of scenes, and as well as Kevin Pollak‘s performance. But the one miscast person in this film had to be Natasha Henstridge. She doesn’t really bring much to here character other than good looks, and some pretty cheesy lines.

Consensus: It has some nice plot twists, and charming moments mainly due to the cast, but The Whole Nine Yards has problems with some jokes being too flat, and an utterly serious tone that they try to smear down with bad slapstick.

5/10=Rental!!

Winter’s Bone (2010)

Sorry that it took so long, but I have finally watched all of the Best Picture nominees for this year!

Resilient teen Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) goes on the trail of her missing, drug-dealing father when his absence jeopardizes the family’s safety. Her deadbeat dad has a key court date pending, and Ree is determined that he show up — despite the objections of the insular Dolly clan.

It took me so long to finally get down to watching all of the Best Picture nominees of this year, and I must say it’s been pretty impressive overall. Except it’s a shame that this is my least favorite of the 10.

The film does a good job of capturing the look and feel of impoverished life in the Ozarks. It’s cruel, dirty, and almost everyone who inhabits it, has to fend for their own lives and learn how to survive. I liked how the film captured this perfectly, because it seemed like this setting set the tone for the bleak feel of the film, and that’s the part that actually worked.

The problem with that bleak tone, is that the story itself isn’t that compelling. I was following this movie for it’s main mystery, but the slow movement of this film is just what made me lose my interest. The film just kept moving at a snail-pace right along, and it took almost 10 minutes each to get to every little or big plot twist that happened, and by the time something big and crazy happened, I really didn’t care that much.

I thought the way that the film portrayed these Ozark white trash, and how mean and villainous they were, I surely though that this film was going to go somewhere very interesting, but instead it just kind of lags along. Certain scenes did work for me, but others were just sort of bland and really didn’t do much for me.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Ree, and does a very strong job here. She’s got that subtle “tough” presence that actually does make you feel more for her character, and actually have us behind her back throughout the whole film. She does a great job of actually carrying this film, and I think she’s going to be a face to watch in upcoming films. John Hawkes is great as Teardrop, because right from the moment you see him, you have a feeling your just going to hate the hell out of this guy, but Hawkes does a good job of controlling this character well. He’s both menacing and endearing, and yet you love him but you never know if you can trust him, and Hawkes brings out some of the best scenes here. There’s also a lot of little unknowns that show up in this film, and they all do fine with their material.

Consensus: Winter’s Bone has that menacing and dark tone, as well as some great performances from Hawkes and Lawrence that works for it, but the problematic story, slow pace, and overall just bleak outlook on everything, had me wanting more.

7.5/10=Rental!!

Heist (2001)

Almost two hours of trick after trick.

After being caught on security cameras during a robbery at a Manhattan jewelry store, master thief Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) grudgingly agrees to pull off one last job at the behest of his maneuvering fence (Danny DeVito). Trouble is, pinching a shipment of gold ingots from a Swiss cargo plane won’t be easy.

Writer/Director David Mamet has always been known to be a very smooth, stylish director, that always seems to be one step ahead of the audience. And with this film he shows that very well, as he keeps this story interesting more, and more as the film goes on. There are plenty of plot twists mainly because a lot of the film is a bunch of acts created by these guys. What you see, isn’t exactly as it seems, and it was such a joy to see double-cross after double-cross, and how each one plays out.

I liked the old-school vibe to this film as it all played out so cool, and classy. Mamet doesn’t focus on random shoot-out sequences, instead he uses words to describe his actions, and the heist scenes themselves are actually pretty awesome and keep you on the edge of your seat.

My main gripe with this film however is the fact that not all of the double-crosses seem realistic enough to actually be believable. There are some moments where I thought to myself as to whether or not certain events or happenings would pan out the way they did realistically in real life, and some usually they didn’t seem believable. There isn’t also anything incredibly new that’s brought up here, but yet, I don’t think that’s really harming anyone either.

Gene Hackman does a good job as Joe, making him a likable character even though he does seem like sort of a grouch. Danny DeVito may not have the height to pull off a dangerous character such as the one he plays here, but he still makes it worth it, and has you believe that this small, tiny, bastard could really kill your ass. Delroy Lindo is basically the man in everything he does, and it’s nice to see him, playing the bad-ass he always is. Sam Rockwell also shows up, and does an amazing job as Jimmy, and brings a lot more to the screen, than the film had in mind.

Consensus: Not everything is believable, and certainly not different, but Heist offers up some good twists, with a good, old-school direction from Mamet.

6.5/10=Rental!!

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

Talk about a terrible way of being cock blocked.

Due to a genetic disorder, handsome librarian Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) involuntarily zips through time, appearing at various moments in the life of his true love, the beautiful artist Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams).

So from a first glance at this plot your main question, as mine was: Why the hell is this chick getting married to a guy that time travels, and then complaining how he’s never around!??! This question is never really brought up that well, and it has you suspend all disbelief of this actual story.

The story itself is just a bore, but it also does something that I didn’t think was able to happen, and that’s make time-travel boring. I never read the book, but what looks good on paper sometimes doesn’t look so good in a film. There’s a lot of confusion to what exactly is going to happen next, but not because your in suspense, it’s mainly because your confused as to what in the blue hell really is happening. He can’t control his time-changing, and he can’t keep his clothes on while doing it, but he can cheat at the lottery? Plenty of head-aches come around to this one, especially when your trying to figure out the logic to this one.

The romance is somewhat sweet, even though it does seem a bit confusing at times, but there are scenes that do have you a little bit emotionally riveted, but only a little bit. I think the reason why this romance actually does work is because the performances from these two are the strong-point of this film. Eric Bana turns in a performance that has him running around naked, disoriented, and most of all tragic. He can’t help what happens to him so he tries everything he can to be with the people he loves, and you can in a way feel that struggle within this performance. Rachel McAdams is also fine as Clare, and does that usual “sweet one minute, but totally upset another minute” act really good. Ron Livingston is up in herrre as Gomez, and almost every time he’s on screen brings the usual great charm that we all know and respect him for.

The problem with this romance was that this was the only thing that the film actually focused on. Except from the “hello, I’m going” problem, I didn’t really know much about these characters or what held them together, so in all honesty I started to stop caring after awhile. That may sound harsh but hey, they didn’t really give me anything remotely interesting to watch here.

Consensus: Two fine performances can’t save The Time Traveler’s Wife from being a confusing, illogical, and sometimes dumb romance, with a little sci-fi twist that could have been used better.

3.5/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

Rabbit Hole (2010)

I honestly don’t think I can make any silly pun with this movie.

Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) grapple with the realities of life eight months after the death of their 4-year-old son, Danny. Even with Becca’s well-meaning mother (Dianne Wiest) offering comfort and weekly group therapy always available, the couple go about their own secret ways of coping.

The film is directed by John Cameron Mitchell, who has had two efforts in the past (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus). Those two are completely different from this, and that’s why I like it so much more.

The screenplay is what really works here so well. There is a lot of true and honest insight into the world of grief, and suffering which all rings true. I’m not a parent, but I still know what it’s like to have grief over something, and this film portrays that so well. You don’t blame yourself, but you more or less, blame the people that are trying to help you, and you just can’t help it. By watching this film, you see how hard it is to be normal again after something so devastating has just happened to you.

Cameron Mitchell is a fine choice for this film because although he doesn’t do much with this story that we aren’t expecting, he does let it speak for itself, and give us some emotionally raw scenes. This is some of the most upsetting, and sad material I have seen in a film in quite some time, but somehow he lifts it up into something a little more brighter, and has us know who these people are inside and out.

The only problem with this film is that there are moments in this movie, where you sort of can’t really stand sitting through all this pain. It’s almost like the film Revolutionary Road, where the material you have to work with is just so sad, that it’s hard to actually enjoy yourself. The whole film is not like that, but there are moments in the film where I was sort of sad myself.

Nicole Kidman is absolutely terrific in this film. She captures the raw emotion that goes through a grieving mother, as she tries so hard to stay strong, and look positive, but deep down inside she’s hurting more than ever. Her performance is amazing and I’m so glad that she got an Oscar nomination for this, because she does deserve it. Aaron Eckhart is also very good here, and I think should have gotten some sort of nomination, because he is also another great element as well. He tries to keep his cool about it too, but I can’t help but shed a tear when he starts to talk about his son, and when he gets pissed I have to tell you, it was scary. These two work well together as a married couple who I don’t think once shared a kiss throughout the whole movie. We are constantly playing in our heads who’s acting bad about this all, but it goes back and forth so you can never really tell and I liked that. Dianne Wiest is terrific as always, giving off more heart in this film, but I can’t say I didn’t expect it. Sandra Oh is also a delight to have her also.

Consensus: The subject material may not always be the most happy material, but Rabbit Hole benefits from a terrific cast that delivers so well on this raw and honest story about the loss of a child.

9/10=Full Price!!

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Perfectly titled, and that’s why I love it.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels star as the dim-bulb title characters who get more than they bargained for when they try to return a briefcase left at the airport by socialite Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly). Unaware that the case is crammed with cash intended for the baddies who abducted Mary’s husband, the two cretins set out on a cross-country trip to find her — with the kidnappers not far behind.

This is a film I have probably seen about 15 time sin my life, and literally every time I have laughed again, and again. There are certain things like seeing a movie too much, but this is not one of them.

My favorite thing about this film is that it’s humor is down-right the best. It’s dumb and immature, but at the same time it’s kind of smart and hilarious. The plot is pretty ridiculous but that’s not why you came to see the film, the things that happen in it, are what makes it all great. The film is full of memorable one-liners that are just hilarious, and will have you laughing till the ribs are hurting.

The Farrelly Brothers have directed many films like this since then, but it hasn’t really captured the real flavor that is within this film. Yeah, There’s Something About Mary is also really funny too, and Shallow Hal is pretty sweet tasting, but their not killing you with laughter, and this does just that. My only problem with this film is that watching it so many times, certain scenes don’t seem as funny anymore as they once were, and it all does feel a bit too 90′s. But hey, the 90′s were actually pretty bangin’ so I really can’t discriminate too much.

Jim Carrey has always been one of my favorite comedic actors of all-time, cause he literally can make the most bland characters, seem hilarious and likable. He does that just so with Lloyd Christmas, and gives him some of the best scenes with his signature goofiness, as well as his random noises and faces he makes throughout the course of the film. The guy hasn’t done much great in awhile, other than I Love You Phillip Morris and a couple of others, but this is always a reminder that he was the king of goofiness. Jeff Daniels doesn’t get that much love as Carrey does, but he is equally as funny as Harry Dunne. He provides plenty of great one-liners, and a goofiness with his acting that we don’t quite see as much nowadays, but it’s easy to say he does bring out plenty of laughs. Their chemistry as good buddies feels so genuine, and plenty of scenes that rely on them just being goofy with each other, feels real and you can tell by the chemistry that they have been friends for so long. I wish one of these days I can see these guys back on screen together.

Also, don’t ever check out that shit-ass prequel, Dumb and Dumberer. That will make you lose your appetite, and possibly your love f0r this film.

Consensus: It may be too dumb for some viewers, but Dumb and Dumber features hilarious comedy that works, as well as perfect comedic performances from Carrey and Daniels.

8.5/10=Matinee!!

Takers (2010)

Your average heist film, with cooler people.

With their collective eye on a huge payoff, a motley crew of bank robbers (including Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen) get busy planning out their next heist. Their former colleague, Ghost (T.I.), convinces the boys to target an armored car carrying $20 million. But a detective (Matt Dillon) who’s obsessed with his work is just as obsessed with making sure the thieves never pull off their scheme.

This is has been a film that for some reason I have wanted to see for so long, even despite it being terribly reviewed, and basically looking terrible from the start. But I’m actually surprised that I didn’t hate it like everyone else did.

I think the one reason many people had a problem with this movie, was because it wasn’t that original when it came to its plot. There are plenty of shades of other crime films in here such as Dog Day Afternoon, Heat, Point Break, and the list goes on and on, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. For me, I enjoyed this film mostly for it’s action scenes, and how they kept me watching. The action scenes are all filmed in a shaky-cam with very frenetic editing, that works well for this film because it keeps you in this very fast-paced setting. The stunts they use in this film are cool to look at, as well as the heist scenes cause you can tell they put a lot of effort into it.

A problem with this film is that it’s writing is not so good, as well as it’s story. There are obvious, and pretty cliche lines here that you will just sigh after hearing them here, cause you know you have heard them time and time again from other, and better films. There are also some laughable subplots here that involve a crooked cop, a couple that’s about to get married, and a really random one about a drug-addicted sister, do nothing but take away from the action, and focus more on the story which really wasn’t working out. Even though I could tell at times where this film was going, I still was on the edge of my seat, because by the end of the film it does become somewhat unpredictable.

Another problem with this film was that the characters are all pretty two-dimensional. Yeah, we kind of get to know them through their charms, and cool way of saying certain lines, but we never get to know each and every one to the point of where we’re cheering them on till the end. I liked the cast and how they got all these big-budget names and mixed them with some rappers, but they aren’t really put to good use except for a little bit of show.

For the most part, the cast does alright even though I do think some of them could have done better, if given a better script. Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez who play the cops, are the two best here and play off each other very well. Idris Elba is also the one worth noting, since he takes a lot of his scenes and does a very good job with them, as I always expect from him. However, the rest of the cast doesn’t really do much, mainly because the script permits them from really doing anything. Chris Brown, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy, and last, but certainly not least, T.I. Now let’s just savor for a moment that not only does this film have T.I. in this film, but he is the main reason why this story happens, and therefore he is in it a lot and a lot. I would not have a problem that he was in this a whole lot if he was actually good at what he did, but the fact is that he is so annoying here. I don’t know if it was his delivery, or the writing, or just his character, but I really wanted to kill T.I. in this film. Also, the beautiful Zoe Saldana is in this for a total of 10 minutes, while T.I. has half of the movie to himself. Congrats on a waste of talent!

Consensus: Many films are copied from in here, and the characters as well as script are cliche and lame, but the constant energy this film gives off, and some entertaining set pieces had me actually having a relatively good time with Takers. But as always, it could be better.

6/10=Rental!!

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Hot damn Stanley, you really do love showing boobies.

Director Stanley Kubrick’s final film dishes up a chillingly distant examination of carnal desire and obsession ignited by an argument over fidelity between Dr. Bill Hartford (Tom Cruise) and his wife (Nicole Kidman), which sends the physician reeling into the Manhattan night. He soon finds himself in a surreal succession of sexually charged encounters, capped off by a clandestine visit to an upper-crust orgy.

Writer/Producer/Director Stanley Kubrick is a genius. The films he has made in his life, are so insane, but yet so perfect in so many ways. This was sadly his last, and he went out with a bang.

The star of this film is Kubrick himself. His direction is practically flawless. From the lighting, to the camera angles, to the music, to the tone, almost everything feels perfect. This is a very dark, and disturbing movie, and Kubrick builds up the suspense with every second he gets. Some will complain saying how it’s so long, and un-interesting. But for me that wasn’t the case at all, I was more glued in as the film kept trudging along, as slow as it did. There are some really, really tense scenes, and as usual, Kubrick keeps that suspense going through almost every scene has here. The scenes with the cult, are probably the freakiest things I have seen on film in quite some time. The music, the costumes, the lighting, and the overall mood just pulls you in, and you can’t get out so eventually you just fall victim to what is the mind of Stanley Kubrick.

Throughout the film, you feel as if your almost in a dream. You have your reality, your bad dreams, your good dreams, and dreams that almost feel like real life. The whole film plays out like this, and you feel like your walking through a dream-like state with this film. But mainly, the film speaks louder on the study of the human psyche, and how our mind reacts to sex. We feel as if sex itself, is something we need, and we obsess over it. However, as we start to keep searching for more sex, we start to fall into more crimes, and lies, and then our life is practically made up and full of shameful things. This film touches on a lot of ideas about the mind, right when it comes to sex, but the film does pretty well in my opinion of sorting it all out in a reasonable, but psychological way.

My main strife with this film is that I do feel that towards the end there should have been more time devoted to one certain element to this film, and when it comes up, you can tell right away. It was also really disappointing to see some of Kubrick’s main sex scenes, undoubtedly censored. I mean I’m not a perve or anything, but this was the same guy about 30 years ago who showed me rape along to the tune of Singin’ In The Rain, or “heressssss Johnnny”. And to see his material, as sexual as it was, to be censored like it was, sort of took away from the film as a whole I think. When it comes to artistic ability, Stanley Kubrick was all about it showing that he will put whatever he wants on that screen, despite the MPAA, but for this last outing he gave in, and had his ish censored. Poor guy, wish it didn’t have to be like that.

Tom Cruise does a good job as he practically loses himself in this material, and is admirably subtle as he drowns in the film’s indulgences. Nicole Kidman is also very good even though not a lot of the film has her in it, the scenes with her are perfect, and shows that she really can act even with small amount of time given to her on screen. These two were married at the time when this film was completed, and released, and then not soon after they divorced. I guess this type of material really started to mess with their heads, and they couldn’t tell what was reality anymore. But they both have good chemistry in this, and not only is this a film that marks the end of an era, but also a film that marks the end of a marriage that started so bright, and ended so tragically. I guess all good things have to come to an end.

Consensus: Though it may be Kubrick’s last outing as director, Eyes Wide Shut still has some of his best direction, with key performances from Cruise and Kidman, and thought-provoking study on the sexual mind, but it’s just sad cause this was his last film, and with anybody, it’s always sad to see the last great work, of a great artist.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!!

Felon (2008)

Prison is made for ass-kicking.

After accidentally killing a burglar while trying to protect his family, regular guy Wade Porter (Stephen Dorff) finds himself convicted of involuntary manslaughter and thrown into a maximum security prison for three years. Facing a harsh new world — including a notorious mass murderer cellmate (Val Kilmer) and regular beatings organized by the head guard (Harold Perrineau) — Wade soon realizes he’ll have to toughen up if he’s going to survive.

I always like being surprised by a film that I had no idea even existed. Man, you gotta love Netflix sometimes!

I have to praise director Ric Roman Waugh who does a very tense job of keeping this film interesting, but at the same time suspenseful enough as well.  As you watch this film, you can’t help but be on the edge of your seat with every unpredictable thing that happens. It’s plot may look like the same old prison story we see time, and time again, but this film actually keeps its plot expanding into more and more territory we weren’t expecting in the first place.

Take it for granted, this is a very violent film that shows a lot of blood, punching, stabbings, and just a lot of gritty stuff going on. I didn’t mind the grittiness as much as I minded the shaky-cam element that the film used to convey a more sense of realism. In ways, it did, but other times the camera was all over the place, and I found myself sometimes confused as to what was really going on. It’s not terrible shaky-cam, but it’s not good shaky-cam either, if there ever was any such thing.

Stephen Dorff gives a very physically and emotionally challenging performance here as Wade. He shows great, wide range in starting off as your every-day man, who then evolves into a brutalized inmate, and then to a man who just want’s nothing but to have enough of all the crap life has been treating him with. Val Kilmer as John Smith is also good playing a somewhat goofy character to begin with, but still you don’t take him for granted, and all of the best lines come from him. I absolutely despised Harold Perrineau’s character, Lieutenant Jackson. He plays this character so well, because he shows how a normal man can turn into a vicious, and brutal type of monster. Every scene he was in, I just wanted to beat his ass myself, and that is what happens when you got yourself a good prison villain.

Consensus: Though it’s not perfect, Felon still works well as a modest prison-thriller with great performances from the cast, as well as a story that surprisingly expands well as it goes along.

7/10=Rental!!

The Dilemma (2011)

Still don’t know whether this was a c0medy, or a drama.

Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) are best friends and partners in an auto design firm. They are pursuing a project to make their firm famous. Ronny sees Nick’s wife Geneva (Winona Ryder) kissing another man (Channing Tatum). Ronny seeks out answers and has to figure out how to tell Nick about what he saw while working with him to complete their critical presentation.

The Dilemma gained a lot of controversy back when the first trailers came out, because it said the word “gay” in it. Now, the controversy had people wishing this would be some good stuff, but in all honesty I think it was just controversy for an utterly forgettable film.

The film is directed by of all people, Ron Howard. That’s right, A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard. Howard at least makes this a better comedy than your typical Hollywood fare. There are some good smart jokes here and there, and an interesting premise.

But the problem with this film is what they do with that premise, and then everything starts to get very sloppy. I don’t think that the film had any idea of what it wanted to be. There are moments of comedy that sometimes work, and other times don’t. But then there are times where this just steps into very dark dramatic material, that you aren’t expecting at all. I was actually turned away from the sudden tonal change, because I feel like they could have done a lot with this premise, comedy wise, but they chose to go with drama instead. The drama works, but not enough to get us away from the fact that it is all pretty inconsistent and tries too hard to get laughs from random slapstick, and random in-and-out comedy.

In recent comedies, I’ve seen Vince Vaughn fall back on that “guys-guy” persona, but here he really gives it his all with his physical comedy, expressions, and that comedic timing that always makes him a treat. There’s just a certain depth to his character, that Vaughn gives that I enjoyed, and proved that he can actually act. Kevin James surprisingly gives a lot of depth into his character probably playing the least-happy character I have ever seen him play anywhere. Winona Ryder has also started to make a new career for herself, with Black Swan and now this, she is sort of starting a come-back. She is actually pretty good here, giving a lot of depth into her character, and hitting that devious note she always hits so well. Also, I’m sort of getting tired with guys that look like Paul Blart being able to bag hotties like Winona Ryder. I get it, it’s a movie, but really?!? Jennifer Connelly won an Oscar in her last outing with Ron Howard and here she brings a lot more to the table than I was expecting. She doesn’t show up much which was a bummer, but when she does there’s that heart she brings to every scene she’s in, and it’s just what get’s me through her scenes. Channing Tatum is the real surprise here playing, Zip the guy who Ryder is caught with, and he is hilarious. It’s sad to say that CHANNING TATUM is the funniest thing in a comedy starring VINCE VAUGHN AND KEVIN JAMES, but he makes fun of his tough guy persona here, and I could not stop laughing with every scene he had. I hope he can do more comedy in the future, cause it really does seem to work out for him. Queen Latifah also shows up, and her lines are cheesy and terrible which is a shame because she can be awesome given the right material.

Consensus: The Dilemma is messy with it’s constant tone problems, of knowing whether or not it wants to be a comedy or drama, but its performances are good, and there is a certain depth to the story and characters which makes this a cut above your typical male comedy. It has many flaws, but you can still enjoy yourself.

5/10=Rental!!

Paper Moon (1973)

I hope my daughter is this cool.

A con man (Ryan O’Neal) and his precocious “daughter” (Tatum O’Neal, in an Oscar-winning role as Best Supporting Actress) grift their way across the heartland of depression-era America in director Peter Bogdanovich’s nostalgic look at the 1930s. As the two try desperately to scrounge up enough money to live on, their “father/daughter relationship” soon becomes a business partnership when they realize they need each other for survival.

This is one of those great nostalgic films, that captures the total look and feel of the 30s. Peter Bogdanovich makes the smart move of filming this in the perfect black-and-white to give us that depressed feeling, in light of the humor.There’s also a great soundtrack full of great 30′s music, which was a good idea, cause this film doesn’t even have a score, which impressed me.

The movie itself is funny and poignant. Its categorized as a drama, when really it’s a light-hearted comedy at its finest. The little shenanigans that these two get in, with all their crimes and cons, provide plenty of laughs for everyone. But there is also a cute little story that builds up as well, and hits well.

However, that was my main one problem, and that was that I wish they showed a lot more emotional scenes between this pair, and the bond that grows. Every once and awhile we get a scene of it, but never too much to really have us attached.

The performances for this film make this very entertaining. Ryan O’Neal is a very underrated actor, and if anybody questions his acting, can just take a look at this performance, and tell that he has the dramatic chops, as well as the comedic timing for a likable character. Tatum O’Neal, as far as I can tell (I’ve seen no other Oscar films of that year) deserved the Oscar. Petulant and stubborn without being annoying or precocious, she scowls down all patronizing eyes while still managing to turn it into feigning little girl innocence. These two are both actual life father and daughter, and it shows and their chemistry is where the heart of this film lies.

Consensus: Could have went deeper into the heart of the story, however, Paper Moon still provides plenty of laughter, good performances, and a story that is still fresh 30 years later.

8.5/10=Matinee!!!

True Crime (1999)

Not so bad for a film that nobody really knows.

Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood) is on the brink of ruining his marriage and journalism career with his alcoholism and womanizing when he’s assigned to write a human-interest story about a death-row inmate (Isaiah Washington) — and learns the conviction was built on shaky evidence. Now, with 12 hours left until the execution, Everett embarks on a quest to save a man he’s convinced is innocent. James Woods and Denis Leary co-star.

Director Clint Eastwood has always been known to make some very good films, but also, some real stinkers. But he can also make some very average films, and this is one of them.

I liked how this film’s plot was pretty simple, and it was just strictly what it said it was in the plot. There is somewhat a sense of suspense in the air, but the real film works as a study of character. This film has many emotional scenes that surprisingly actually work, giving you a real sense of who these people are, and mostly, they all feel real.

The problem with this film is that there isn’t a lot of suspense in this film, which I think what it was going for. I could already tell where this film was going right from the 30 minute mark, but that didn’t disappoint me as much as I was expecting, since I did have an enjoyable time. I also didn’t like how the film was going for this slow, character piece the whole film, and then out of nowhere turns into a race-against-the-clock action drama.

Clint Eastwood once again, proves he is the shit, no matter what film he is in. His character is actually surprisingly flawed. He’s selfish, a liar, petty, and a venal womanizer. However, he doesn’t piss you off with all these bad factors to the point to where you can’t stand behind him, it’s Clint Eastwood, he’s always the man no matter what he does. Isaiah Washington once again proves he is such an underrated act. He has so many emotional scenes, and his character is trapped in this cell, all because of being wrongly accused, and he hits it home with that. Denis Leary is here, basically playing Denis Leary, which isn’t bad. James Woods is awesome in this bringing a lot of comedy to the film, and the scenes he has with Eastwood, are just spot-on perfect.

Consensus: Predictable, and uneven, True Crime works less of a thriller, and more of a character study, backed by strong performances from the cast.

6/10=Rental!!

Valentine’s Day (2010)

I guess good-looking people can find love on Valentine’s Day too.Very surprised.

In this Los Angeles-set comedy from director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), the tripwires of modern love are exposed in a carousel involving relationships and the single life on the most romantic day of the year: February 14. Proposals, infidelity, loneliness and more are explored.

Valentine’s Day isn’t an actual holiday, I hate to break it to all of you romantics out there. It is a lame excuse for Hallmark to sell more gift cards, flowers, and of course those dark chocolates that the person doesn’t eat. This movie is kind of like those dark chocolates.

The writers of this film have a lot of stories going on here, and in all honesty I think they only care about probably two or three here, the others are just let’s throw random big celebrities in this film. It was probably about 30 minutes into the story and I noticed that they were still introducing characters here. There is also of problems with script because it does hit almost every single rom-com cliche you can think of, but you can’t really hate on the film for that, cause it’s what you expect.

From the beginning, I knew how this was going to start, fizzle, and end. But it does have its moments of likability, and surprising charm. For this type of film you just have to take it for what it is, and that’s just a film that keeps you mildly entertained even though you know what’s going to happen in the end. Yes, some moments are just cheesy and obvious, but it all ends well in a film where you expected it too. If you also need a perfect date movie for you and your girl, just sit, watch, and laugh at this when she laughs, and you are all hers for the taking.

The cast is humongous to say the very least. There is a lot of good people such as Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, and Topher Grace among others. Also you have the funny side performers that aren’t really doing anything but just there to make you laugh: George Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hector Elizondo, and Shirley MacLaine. And then there’s the awfully random: Jamie Foxx, Taylor Lautner, and Taylor Swift, who was actually surprisingly funny. All the performance I guess are good, which is what brings out more likability within the film, but some stories aren’t given enough time to develop so their just kind of left out to dry.

Consensus: Basically what you have here is Hollywood trying to make big bucks by having A-list beautiful people, a simple premise, and a lot of rom-com cliches, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a little bit entertaining and harmless.

5/10=Rental!!

Revolutionary Road (2008)

What would have maybe happened if Jack and Rose actually lived “happily” ever after.

The perfect couple living in the perfect house in a perfect suburb? Not quite. April (Kate Winslet) and Frank’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) marriage unravels when a desperate plan to change their “perfect” lives becomes their last hope to escape lives actually engulfed in emptiness.

When this film was first talked about back in the day, nobody could get over the fact that it reunited two stars, who played Jack and Rose from the biggest movie-seller of all-time (now 2nd), Titanic. Although, I can only imagine the people’s faces when they saw this expecting a sequel to that film.

The thing with this film is that it really is harsh, mainly due to the screenplay. These two are constantly hammering each other with yells, screams, insults, curse words, and of course the usual house object thrown around. The dialogue works so well here cause it shows us the reality that many couples go through, and that’s not wanting to be like every one else, as well as having that internal strive to feel alive and new. The hopes and dreams you once had, may finally get away from you at one point, and you can’t help it. Many times throughout this film, their actual human emotions are tested, and you wonder just how you would feel put in the same position. It’s all about capturing the American Dream, and although you may not always get it, you can’t give up on it.

Now this is not a film that will have you screaming from the mountains: “Go Marriage!”. But it will have you totally and utterly shell-shocked. There’s a lot of suspense with this film, much thanks to the direction of Sam Mendes and he brings a lot out of this material that you wouldn’t be expecting so much on paper. I also liked how the film looked, as I almost felt like I was in this 1950′s suburban America, trapped as well with this couple.

The problem with this film is that the characters are not very likable. Frank and April aren’t the most lovable people in the world, but you can sense their pain of entrapment. However, they don’t do anything nice at all, and almost seem like their constantly trying to fight with each other on purpose just to get somewhere. A simple nice and calm chat over a cup of brew would have been nice, but instead, they just have to go crazy and scream at one another until their lungs are just about lost. I feel like Mendes wanted to just have these people fight, and never actually have anything solved, let alone actually be happy. At times, I felt that this was almost so depressing that at times, I didn’t even want to be watching it because there was no sign of hope at all.

I mainly enjoyed this film the most because of the cast here. Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing as Frank, and although he is a little too pretty to be taken seriously as a man, he doesn’t let you forget that he is the true man of the house. Kate Winslet is equally as amazing as April, where she gives one of her very best performances I have ever seen. She starts off as the beautiful, lovely house-wife, but something triggers in here and the non-stop craziness that comes from her is frightening, but at the same time believable, and Winslet nails it in my book. They both work so well together, and every scene they have together feels perfect, and genuine which really adds to a film when throughout the whole film, all they do is fight and argue. I believed them as young ones in love, and I believed them as a married couple trying to stay in love. However, the most stellar job from this whole film is Michael Shannon, the guy nobody had any idea about before this film came out. He is in this film for about 10 minutes, but he absolutely owns every single one, and brings out the most pain and suffering these two already have. If it wasn’t for him I don’t think this film would have gotten the real “kick-in-the-ass” it needed, and when it’s all said and done with, his performance is the one your still thinking about.

Consensus: Revolutionary Road may not be the most entertaining film you have ever seen, but it features brilliant performances from the cast, and a fearless script that tackles all of the problems that couples go through, even though it may not be all happy in the end.

8.5/10=Matinee!!

In Good Company (2004)

If my boss was honestly Eric, I would probably end up quitting right away.

An ad salesman, Dan (Dennis Quaid), must take a junior position after a corporate shakedown. Worse, he now reports to a much younger boss, Carter (Topher Grace), a business school grad who espouses a sales approach branded Synergy that’s at odds with Dan’s old-school style. Although they don’t see eye to eye, the two must get along, a mandate made more difficult when Carter becomes smitten with Dan’s daughter (Scarlett Johansson).

This is a very unusual film to say the least. In some respects it’s a buddy movie. In others, it’s a romantic comedy. In still others, it’s a drama about the work-place. This was all my problem with the film, cause I don’t think it quite knew what it wanted to be. There’s a lot of romance in here, as well as sad moments of people being “let go”, or these two dudes hating on each other. I thought the film’s constant changing between these ideas annoyed me, cause it never really came out coherent enough.

However the tone is what in the end, won me over. There is just a certain type of charm to this script, because it’s not trying too hard to be likable, it just is. There is a real sense of comedy within this film that works, and brings a lot of smiles to the faces of those watching, but the whole film is just so well-handled that it’s hard not to like this film.

Not only is there a great deal of comedy, but the film also touches on such themes very well like the corporate culture, marriage, people losing their jobs, and a relationship between a father and daughter. They all are touched on so well, and although the film isn’t trying to have you crying in your seats, you can’t help but to have that warm feeling inside.

Dennis Quaid is great in this lead role as Dan, who does what he always does best, and plays the strong man that doesn’t take no for an answer. But he starts to realize that his career may be fading away, and accepts this fact, and we support him as the film goes on. Topher Grace is good at playing Carter, and really does hold his weight in this film much to my surprise. The scenes with him and Quaid work well, cause you can feel a genuine chemistry somewhere underneath all those weird, and awkward looks. Also, let’s not forget to mention Scarlett Johansson who does a good job supporting job as Alex, Dan’s daughter. She’s get a lot of ish talked on her for not being a good actress, but I think she’s very good here and doesn’t try to do anything crazy at all.

Consensus: It’s change of story may bother some, but the overall charming and likable tone, will appeal to others, as well as its great performances from the cast.

6.5/10=Rental!!

Faster (2010)

The Rock kicking ass, like he always should.

On the very day he’s released from a 10-year prison sentence, convicted bank robber Driver (Dwayne Johnson) hits the streets to take revenge on the men who bungled the job that got him busted and his beloved brother killed. But close on Driver’s tail are a driven cop (Billy Bob Thornton) on the one hand and a flamboyant contract killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) on the other.

It’s been awhile since The Rock has actually done something that’s been preserved at as cool. All these non-stop kid “comedies”, can really start to have an effect on someone’s career, however The Rock doesn’t let that kill his career.

It’s your typical revenge movie with action, and of course it’s dumb and stupid, but sometimes that’s not all that bad. I liked the feel of a 70′s B-level film, with the corny music and the sometimes odd happenings, this brought me back to sometimes my favorite movies to watch and have a good time with. The action is also good here as well, because it’s not always in your face, but it does do a good job of keeping you satisfied.

The only problem I had with this film was that the story starts to lose it’s flavor as it goes along. You would think it being such a generic revenge film, it would just focus on The Rock, but somehow it seems to get almost about 3 other different stories in there as well. This creates a kind of annoyance for the audience watching, as in all honesty we don’t really care about the others in this movie, we just care if The Rock is going to blow a whole through one of their heads.

Also, the writing was pretty cheesy, which is what I was expecting but there were literally countless lines where I called them right before they were said. It also tries to bring out a lot of points about forgiveness, the testing of family hood, and drug addiction, but they just seem kind of wrong for material like this.

Dwayne ” The Rock” Johnson finally stepped away from those smiley, cute roles he’s been doing lately, and totally goes the opposite way. He’s grim, pissed, and just one scary ass mofo at the same time. This wasn’t a terrible performance from him, but here he really doesn’t have any of that charm that he always does, and even though we can root behind him, we know that there’s going to be the perfect role for him soon. Billy Bob Thornton does the best he can with this material, and as usual, gives us that sleazy act too well. Oliver Jackson-Cohen‘s character was really annoying too, and brought a lot away from this film, because his story never really actually brought much to this film. Others in this cast are also Maggie Grace, Carla Gugino, and also Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (don’t worry if you can’t pronounce that).

Consensus: Faster provides enough action and fun to satisfy anyone, but the cheesy script, and other random stories really do take this film down from hitting harder than it could have.

6/10=Rental!!

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

I wish there were more swashbucklers, well more swashbucklers like this.

Edmond Dantés’s (Jim Caviezel) life and plans to marry the beautiful Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk) are shattered when his best friend, Fernand (Guy Pearce), deceives him. After spending 13 miserable years in prison, Dantés escapes with the help of a fellow inmate (Richard Harris) and plots his revenge, cleverly insinuating himself into the French nobility.

If you are reading the Alexandre Dumas story this is based on, this could be your ultimate use of a cheat, because not only does this tell the whole story like it really is, but also provides some nice sword-fighting, if your into that sort of thing.

I was totally surprised by how good this film actually was. The story is your same old, same old, revenge story, but the way it moves from one scene to the next will keep you watching. For the most part, the script is pretty good. It’s an old story so you can’t really do much different to it, but there are plenty moments of actual wit, and true messages in the screenplay.

I liked mostly how this film reminded me a lot of the old 1940 swashbucklers that were so good. The many sword-fights were awesome to watch, and even the beautiful 13th century scenery was a sight to look at. I wish there were more swashbucklers in today’s world of cinema, but the latest one we have gotten was Robin Hood, which I have still not seen, and from what I hear, isn’t much of a sight in the first place.

The only problem with this film is that it does start to drag at one point in the middle of the story. It kept its pace nice and breezy throughout the film, but then one little part of this film came up, and it just kind of got a little un-interesting. But that is my only complaint, considering that I wasn’t expecting this film to be a master-piece.

Jim Caviezel is surprisingly good as the script is a little lightweight: he brings Edmond to life such that you always know the torment he suffers. So when you do start to see him develop throughout the film, you cheer for him, as the film goes on. Guy Pearce is such an absolute prick that you wonder how the two were ever friends let alone the best of friends. It’s a shame that both of these guys really haven’t been given much work lately, because I know they both could still knock today’s material out of the park. Richard Harris shows up in this film, in actually one of his last roles, and does a great job as usual.

Consensus: What you get with The Count of Monte Cristo is a good, entertaining, old-fashioned story about people wanting what they don’t deserve and going through hell to try and get it.

8/10=Matinee!!!

The Salton Sea (2002)

Why couldn’t Val Kilmer hang as Batman? He kicks so much ass.

Punk-rocking speed freak Danny Parker (Val Kilmer) freelances as an informant for a pair of brutal narcotics cops (Anthony LaPaglia and Doug Hutchison). But when he’s not assisting the cops on drug busts, Danny gets high and leads a double life as a talented, mild-mannered trumpeter named Tom Van Allen. One personality is in search of his wife’s killer, but reality is evasive.

I’m not going to lie but this film is all over the place. It starts off very quick, fast, and funny which got me ready for a fun-filled, crime comedy, but instead turns out to be something a lot more than that.

The problem I had with this film was that it’s pace is sort of all over the world. It’s quick, and fun in the first 15 minutes, but then you start to notice that it dies down, and gets a lot more serious. I didn’t have much of a problem with this change of pace, as much as I had with it’s genre mixing. This is honestly a crime thriller, with features of neo-noir, and under lining humor. It seems crazy just describing it, and it really is when you see it play out.

However, when the film isn’t being slow, and dramatic, it actually does a good job at creating a entertaining story. The side dealers we meet in this film are funny, and entertaining, providing plenty of humor for this film. And the action, when it happens, works very well and will please any gun-loving maniac.

But that almost seems to be able to cover up for the fact that the story-line can be terribly confusing sometimes. I wasn’t as confused with the story as much as others were, but I will admit that you could get easily confused right away. There are certain twists, here and there that will keep you glued, and explain a lot about the story. But for others it will just mean more confusion, to a already confusing story.

Val Kilmer is the man. He can pretty much play any role you put in front of him, and although it may not be the greatest thing you ever see, it’s still entertaining to watch him play these crazy characters. We cheer on Val Kilmer here, it’s easy to get behind him, with his casual approach to all the craziness happening, and ways of figuring things out right away. But he is only the straight-main in this film, as everybody else is used as even better entertainment. Vincent D’Onofrio does a good job as the crazy drug-dealer Pooh, who brings so much to the film, that it actually takes the film to a different level. Peter Sarsgaard is good here playing a crazed-out “tweeker”, and his act never gets old. You also got other satisfying supporters such as Adam Goldberg, Doug Hutchison, Anthony LaPaglia, and Luis Guzman.

Consensus: It’s entertaining, and does a lot with a story that seems crazy at first, but many will find themselves confused, as well as wondering whether they should laugh or not, by what’s actually happening.

6/10=Rental!!

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