Apparently Cruise can do it all. Yes, even kung-fu.
American and British IMF teams join forces on the hunt to find a stolen virus. However, one by one the members on the teams start ending up dead. Can Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) find out who this assassin is and stop their deadly plans? From the crowded streets of Madrid to the busy harbour of Sydney, the chase is on.
With the first Mission: Impossible movie, I liked it because it was fun but felt like it was a huge disappointment considering that it seemed like the director, Brian De Palma, wasn’t really able to go full-throttle with his direction, and had to ease-in to what Hollywood wanted. Well, if Hollywood has it’s ways, they usually get rid of those types of people and bring in others. John Woo, you’re up next, buddy. Good luck!
Actually, if I was to compare both De Palma and Woo to one another, which is stupid but for the sake of a juicy-review, I would probably have to say De Palma is the better director by-far. However, if I had to compare the two to who is a better-suit for this type of material, I’d have to go with Woo. The guy is known as the go-to-guy when it comes to directing action movies and even if that honor has sort of been passed-down to others over the years, you still can’t deny or forget when this guy was always the person you’d want to direct a loud, stupid, but fun action-movie. That’s why Woo actually makes this film a bit better, however, it doesn’t start-off like that at-first, no sireee.
Where I was really losing my interest with this movie was the first 45 minutes or so, when nothing seemed to be happening. Yeah, the plot was moving-along and setting the grounds for what we would have to know, in order to understand everything more clearly, but it was all so damn boring. People were talking, melodrama was thrown at us, and worst of all, Ethan Hunt was sort of acting like a total-pussy. Like I get it, the guy has fallen for this chick and wants to be with her but can’t because of this high-profile mission, but there is no need to spend literally, 15 minutes on that whole idea. Ethan Hunt is way too cool for that, and doesn’t need his D getting bogged down by some, little sweet who’s off boning another guy. Now, it’s not really her choice but still, stop crying, do your job, and maybe, just maybe in the end, you can have some sweet-old celebration sex for the good of it all. Hey, that’s how I look at things, baby.
I will say, that after those excruciatingly boring, first 45 minutes, the movie does pick-up a little and that’s where I think Woo’s fun-direction really starts to kick-in. What makes this movie so much fun is the fact that Woo knows the type of material he’s working with, and makes no excuses for making it as idiotic and dumb as you can get with an action movie. A lot of stunts and sequences will have you scoffing your asses off at the implausibility of all that’s going on, but to be honest, that’s whats to be expected of these movies by now and it’s just so much fun to watch because Woo adds in his own, little trinkets of style in there every once and awhile. You get a lot of slo-mo, you get a lot of explosions, you get a lot of kung-fu, and most of all, you get a lot of random pigeons flying around certain scenes for more of a dramatic-effect. It’s pretty neat how Woo is able to make a Mission: Impossible movie, but still, not without putting his own stamp on the movie and showing everybody that it’s his own work, and if you don’t like it, then don’t go and give him or Cruise your money. Trust me, everybody did anyway.
And speaking of Tom Cruise, the guy still owns it as Ethan Hunt, which is something that probably comes to nobody’s surprise whatsoever. Hunt is cool, swift, and smart here, and even though I didn’t like the fact of how much time they spent on him and his heart going through a lot of pain, I still couldn’t help but think that the guy was going to pull-it-all together in the end, and come out on-top at the end of the day. Still, Ethan Hunt doesn’t need women, so stay the hell away, gals.
The gal who I keep on ranting and raving about is played by Thandie Newton, and even though she isn’t anything all that special to watch and fall in love with on-screen, she’s still okay and whatnot. I wish that the film made her more of a sly bad-ass in her own right and focused on that element of her character, but too much of that time was just spent-on her being all sad and acting like the damsel in distress that Hunt didn’t need around to get in the way of his shit. Once again, Ethan Hunt doesn’t need women.
What Ethan Hunt does need, however, is a pretty kick-ass villain and that is what he does not get here with Dougray Scott. To be honest, I’ve never seen this guy in anything else before, but I don’t really look forward to seeing that stuff either because the guy’s pretty lame here. I don’t know if it was the crappy-writing, the evil-plan he had in his head (basically, it’s just a bad-guy that has a deadly-virus he’s going to unleash on the rest of humanity, because you know, bad-guys hate everything), or his acting plain and simple, but something was not gelling well with this character at all and I just wanted Hunt to kill him as soon as possible. Actually, maybe that’s a good thing to feel for a villain, but then again, I still feel like some of that hate should be directed towards the actor and what he’s able to do with that role and that is something that Scott didn’t seem like he was all that capable of. Oh well, Ethan Hunt still kicked his ass.
Consensus: Even though it’s just a tad better than it’s predecessor, Mission: Impossible 2 is still stupid, loud, and occasionally boring, but still features some slick style-points from Woo, and the always welcome, return-to-form for Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, once again proving that this guy can kick anybody’s ass. Katie Holmes’ next hubby, you best look-out mofo.
Don’t piss off Gandhi.
Gary “Gal” Dove (Ray Winstone) is enjoying life. That’s why the news of the arrival of Don “Malky” Logan (Ben Kingsley), a man clearly from their long buried pasts, is met with such dread. He wants something from Gal, but no one is sure what.
This is the debut feature from director Jonathan Glazer who has done music videos in the past for big-time British bands such as Radiohead, Blur, and Jamiroquai. So basically you know this guy has got to be the shit when it comes to directing and British bad-asses. Mainly the latter.
What I liked about Glazer’s direction here is that it had sort of a mixture between the look of a David Fincher flick and a feel of a Michael Mann one as well. It sounds like a very cool mixture and it is because his style here works by giving you this slick look. It was also really cool to see how he used the contrast of Spain’s bright, beautiful sunlight and England’s wet, depressing nights because one looks like a happy place to be in, while the other does not. Don’t know why Glazer hasn’t been able to do anything worth mentioning since this but I can easily say that I think it’s time for him to come back up on the big-screen and stop making videos for shitty bands like Massive Attack. Sorry Massive Attack lovers out there!
But I’m going to stop focusing on Glazer now because in all honesty, he isn’t the main reason to see this flick. The main reason is none other than Sir Ben Kingsley himself playing the foul-mouthed, high-strung gangster, Don, who doesn’t seem like he wants to take “no” for an answer no matter what the proposition may be. Kingsley may seem like a very left-field choice to play this type of role but it works so well because not only is he perfect with this role but he gave us a look at what he can do with any character just by looking the same exact way he’s been looking for the past 30 years. To be honest, Ben Kingsley is not a scary looking dude but every time he was on-screen here, I wanted to run away from the movie itself. This guy owns just about every scene, constantly yelling, screaming, and causing all sorts of havoc, and is probably the most memorable aspect of the whole flick.
However, that’s also the problem with this flick because he isn’t what this film is all about, he’s actually a supporting character which means that the parts without him aren’t interesting. Don’t get me wrong Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, and everybody else here do great jobs with their roles but when it’s all said and done, you can’t stop to forget about Kinglsey and all of the crazy shit he does in all of his scenes. It was strange because there was just a time in this flick where I didn’t really seem to care as to what was going to happen next to our main character, and just basically wanted to know what Sir Ben was up to and when he was going to pop-up.
It’s also a shame too because the film does try its hardest to do something new with focusing more on character development here rather than all that other gangster stuff we usually see in these kinds of flicks. This is also what attributed to the fact that the flick was starting to drag by the end and the whole cool factor that this film was originally giving off, was starting to go away by the second and as much as I praised Glazer for his direction, I also have to say that I wish he kept up with himself later on in the game. Basically, it’s another one of the cases where the director is inspired and knows exactly what the hell he wants to do but the script is continuing to let him down. Happens all the time, especially to directors from a music video background.
Consensus: Sexy Beast does have a sleek and cool style to it that matches the good performances here, especially Ben Kingsley, but the film started to drag on a bit and started to lose me when they would focus the story away from Kingsley because he is honestly the most memorable thing about this whole flick.
You can always depend on your doped up brother to bring some shock to your life.
The return of wild brother, Terry (Mark Ruffalo), is an unwelcome surprise to Sammy (Laura Linney), a young mother who is starting to cheat on her fiancé, Bob (Jon Tenney), with her boss, Brian (Matthew Broderick).
Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan is a dude I hear so much about considering he has only done two films in the last decade. Still though, I’m surprised that he isn’t a bigger name, especially after doing something like this.
What I like about his script is how it is a very honest script that shows what real relations between family is like. Every human emotion here doesn’t feel contrived or like they just rehearsed it, everybody reacts to each other the way that they normally would in real-life and it’s that kind of human honesty is what made me react to this flick the most. These are sad people, with sad lives, but they are all trying to get through it with one another and even if it may not work out to the best of their imaginations, they still somehow find ways to make good with what they have. This is a script that has some very smart moments with its drama and its emotions but its also very funny at certain points that you wouldn’t expect right away.
I also liked how Lonergan didn’t try to make us feel more for these characters than we already did by throwing us a bunch of sappy and cheesy moments that all emotional films like this try to snake us into. Since the film also shows the relationship between a long lost bro-bro and sis-sis, you would expect that there would be plenty of key scenes about their past and what happened so that the viewer would know more, however, the film doesn’t show this at all with the exception of the beginning, and it works. It’s quite impressive when films like this can do that because it lets us think about what happened through how they are now and it doesn’t try to spell anything out for us.
Lonergan is very good and skilled as a writer, no doubt about that but as a director, it seems like he may need a little working with. There is a lot of shots in this flick that shows these characters either just sitting, sleeping, watching TV, driving, or just randomly doing something that doesn’t pertain to the story and is just there because Lonergan wants to show us how unhappy these characters really can be. Some of these scenes seem very random and un-needed and one in particular with Broderick’s wife, seemed to go on a little too long for my liking. May sound like a weird complaint but there a couple of random scenes like this that didn’t really need to be here in the first place. As good as the script may be too, everything still plays out the same way you would expect a drama like this to. It’s not as terribly disappointing as I may make it sound but it was still something I noticed right off the bat.
Laura Linney isn’t an actress that I usually like, because I thinks she plays the same character in almost any flick that she does but she’s very good here as Sammy. Sammy is one of those confused but very strong-willed women that just wants to do the right thing no matter what, but always seems to be dragged down by all of these mean people around her. Linney plays this character well because she shows what it’s like to be a woman who’s been through so much and just can’t seem to get a grasp on things but it’s not a one-note performance. Linney takes this character and give her a charming likability that is easy to relate to and understand right off the bat and I’m glad that she was nominated for an Oscar here.
Mark Ruffalo was also amazing in his role as her brother, Terry. Terry is one of those characters who has a lot of obvious problems but always tries to do the right thing no matter what. Problem is, he’s taken down by other people, just like his own sister. Ruffalo plays this role perfectly with just enough anger and heart to give us a full-rounded character that may be a little rough around the edges, but still is a good person no matter what he may mess up with. The scenes with him and Linney are all great and they feel like the an actual brother and sister that haven’t seen each other in so very long. Matthew Broderick is also good as Brian, Sammy’s boss, and he actually has a couple of funny scenes that work here even though his character may be a tad strange. Still, good performances all around here.
Consensus: Though some moments may not work, You Can Count on Me works mainly because of the great script from Lonergan that feels honest, insightful, and emotionally here, as well as the great performances from the whole cast.
A video-game come to life on screen, but in a good way this time.
Set in the year 3028, many years after the planet Earth has been blown to bits by an alien race named the Drej, a young boy named Cale (Matt Damon) is discovered to hold the secret map of the Titan machine inside of his hand. The machine holds the power to unleash another planet for the few surviving humans still roaming around in space, and the opportunity to re-ignite their evolution.
This may seem like a totally random flick to review but for some odd reason I caught this on my Netflix queue and I haven’t seen it ever since it first came out so I thought it would definitely be a great way to get some nostalgia. Being a kid ruled.
One of the best things about watching movies is how they can sometimes take you out of the world that you’re living in at the present and transport you into this different world with all of its inhabitants and beauty. This is one of the main things I liked about this movie because it takes you out into the galaxy above and around us and shows its beauty and sometimes its darkness. The visuals in some cases may be dated, but they still look glorious because they show these little animated sketches but give it this 3-D look that almost makes it seem like a live-action flick. The film does a great job of combining both styles of animation here which works and takes you to this vision of space that I haven’t seen done before. There are so many great sights to see that it’s hard to just put my finger on one and I almost wish it was in 3-D and released again in 2012 because I think it would actually look even better and maybe get a better box office return.
To add on with the visuals too, the action is very fun and there is some sort of great energy that co-directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman both contain that makes this flick so much fun. There is just enough story here to make sense but when the shoot-em-up action scenes pop-up, they bring a lot to the film and make it feel like a lot of fun as if you’re watching ‘Star Wars’ in cartoon version. Let me also not forget to mention that there are some pretty cool rock songs courtesy of Jamiroquai, Lit, and even Fun Lovin’ Criminals. I don’t understand why more animated flicks let alone more movies in general just don’t use a pretty up-beat rock soundtrack to add to their action because it can honestly do wonders like it did here.
However, on the writing front, there is a lot of problems to be had here. First of all, as understanding as the story is in the first place it still doesn’t mean that it’s original by any means. There’s so much here that seems borrowed from plenty of other sci-fi flicks/stories that it can be very annoying at points. I mean there’s no big surprises at the end of the flick, but I was at least asking for some originality for me to get to that point. I also can’t forget to mention that this flick seems very adultish for an animated flick. Sometimes there will be a random sex joke that may seem more subtle than you expect but it’s still random, and there is plenty of other moments where it seemed like this flick really stepped over the whole PG rating, especially when it’s trying to connect with a kids audience but maybe that’s why it didn’t do so well at the box office in the first place anyway.
The characters here are also very bland and they aren’t very interesting, except for maybe one character, who wasn’t even human. Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, and Drew Barrymore, among others, all do their best with their voice jobs it’s just that their characters are so bland that it’s almost way too hard to root for them to save mankind. They all seemed to be written very dry or lifeless and they didn’t stretch my imagination as much as the cool visuals did either. However, the one character that I seemed to like the most was the Caterpillar-looking type named Gune, voiced by John Leguizamo. I don’t know what it is, but it always seems like Leguizamo is able to make any character he is playing, likable beyond belief.
Consensus: The visuals are very pretty to look at and there is a lot of fun to be had here with the energy in the action, but Titan A.E. still suffers from unoriginal writing, characters, and plot devices that seem to be used from so many other sci-fi stories. Still, what stands out from all of those other ones is its great visuals which make it a lot better than it has any right to be in the first place.
Hmmm….so is doing drugs fun?
A widow (Ellen Burstyn)’s growing dependence on amphetamines and a self-help television show parallels the struggles of her heroin-addicted son (Jared Leto), his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) and friend (Marlon Wayans).
Having seen this film already way back when in 2009, I knew that I was in for a Debbie-downer none the less, which is what I got. However, there’s something with age that makes this film better in a way.
This film is absolutely Darren Aronofsky‘s right from the start, all the way till the last credit rolls off the screen. Aronofsky makes this film the psychedelic head-trip that it is with everything he throws at us with all of the powerful and haunting imagery by his one-of-a-kind style. Aronofsky uses editing in the way that it should be used, as in the way to get inside the mind-set of its characters/stories. Whenever these people are popping pills or shootin’ up, we don’t just see them doing it with a slow burn, we just seem them doing it in an ultra-fast mode that’s done in a matter of 2 seconds. It shows the effect it has on the certain person where time sometimes speeds up, slows down, and even may take you into this dream-world where all of the craziest illusions just pop-up out of nowhere. Either way, Aronofsky is a pro at making a dark story even darker just with the right amount of style to give me images that will probably stay in my head for the rest of my life.
It’s not just Aronofsky’s visuals that get this film going, it’s also the sounds and soundtrack done here that really works wonders as well. The soundtrack is done by Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet and every single little piece of music they put in here is as haunting as the last one and it’s one of the very rare times where the songs themselves actually start to build-up and up and up and up along with the actual film itself. The attention to sound is also a big deal here as well because everything sounded so legitimate as if you could hear the pill box poppin’ or the lines being done themselves. This is one of the films that shows how much sound can go a long way, especially if you’re doing a drug film that shows the constant motion people go through, day-in and day-out, when they are on drugs.
Where this film really got me was its message. Yes, it is rather obvious the first time around but once you start thinking about it more and more, and take it into consideration with your own life, then it really hits you. The film talks about how habitual drug use such as pills, cocaine, heroin, etc. will start to disillusion the world you live in and you start to live this imaginary world where almost everything seems to be happening the way you want it, but in reality, it isn’t even close. People in this film start off all happy and high with drugs but then soon start to fall even more and more into the drug world and they start to lose sight of each other and the world they live in. This is very true with real life as I have almost had to go through with some of this myself. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve obviously went through the major shit that these characters go through but drugs came into my life at one point and it really effed me up as well as others around me. Drugs can make you happy, but in the end, drugs always end up doing more harm than good no matter what it may be. Moral of the story is, kids, drugs are bad. Doesn’t get any more simpler than that really.
My only one and main problem with the film was not the film but more of its story. The story is very grim and depressing the whole time but the fact that I couldn’t really feel much for any of these characters, except for the obvious one, was pretty much it. I mean I felt bad for the old lady considering she didn’t know what she was getting herself into with the drugs she was given, other than the fact that she was going to lose some weight, but the others, I couldn’t really feel any sympathy for. I mean they knew what they were getting themselves into right from the moment they did their first “job” and when that all starts to spiral out-of-control and they are basically left with nothing but a couple of hundreds for druggies, I couldn’t feel anything else except for pity. Then again, I don’t think the story is really asking for me to feel anything in the first place so maybe I just wanted somebody to feel for.
I couldn’t go on in this review without mentioning the performance here given by Ellen Burstyn playing that old lady, Sara. This is a very risky role for someone of her age and stature, but she went for it all here and gave one of the memorable performances of the past decade. She’s sad, lonely, troubled, confused, and right when these drugs come into her life, she gets even more crazier by the second and it’s not only sad to watch but also effective as well because there are so many people like her out there in the real world that go through problems as much as she does as well. She definitely deserved that Oscar considering she took a role that I’m guessing not many others went for, and made it her own troubled and depressing character.
Jared Leto has a Brooklyn accent that doesn’t really ring true for me but he actually does very much look the part of the big-time heroin addict that he’s playing here as Harry. Jennifer Connelly play’s his girly-friend and probably has to go through a lot of the more crazier ish that takes over this film within the last act and does a pretty good job with it as I can easily say that I was not that attracted to her as her addiction started going on and on. Let me also not forget to mention that this Marlon Wayans is surprisingly good as Tyrone, and it’s a huge bit of random casting that somehow worked to this guy’s advantage but sad thing was that he didn’t really get much dramatic work after this.
Consensus: Though it’s not for the faint of heart, Requiem for a Dream is an anti-drug film that has a hard-hitting style used by director Darren Aronofsky, a score that will make you terrified, and performances from everyone involved, especially Burstyn, that add so much more to these characters than just a bunch of junkies.
Three stories are connected in one way or another by the life-style of drugs. At the forefront are a U.S. drug czar (Michael Douglas) who learns his daughter is an addict and a Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro in an Oscar-winning role) dealing with a corrupt system. Meanwhile, a wealthy housewife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whose husband is arrested for dealing must choose to carry on the business or sacrifice her lifestyle.
Steven Soderbergh is a guy I never really watched all that much before, but for some odd reason within the past 2 months, I’ve watched about 5 of his flicks already and there’s a lot more to come by now. Keeping the streak going now with probably one of his most underrated flicks.
The idea of telling one subject through different story-lines isn’t a new approach by any means, but the way Soderbergh does it here makes it seem fresh and exciting. Every single story in their own right has a nice look and feel to it, each marked with their own layer of tension as well as insight into the drug world. We get right into these characters stories right away and the attention that Soderbergh grabs us at is what works the most considering that his direction keeps this flick moving.
It also helped that every story had a different color shaded camera to each one so that we could tell which story was which and it added a lot to the stories. The USA stories are all full of washed-out colors that look like they have been in a rain-storm for about 3 days while the stories that take place in Mexico has a very distorted color look that gives it this very yellow and bright color that seems like it came from the “Jesus Walks” video. (Wait a minute, do I hear inspiration?? Damn Kanye!) Soderbergh also uses the hand-held camera style and it’s a lot less annoying here than I thought it was originally going to be in the first place and it adds so much to the stories by giving it this documentary feel. I know it sounds crazy that I’m typing a whole paragraph dedicated to the camera-work in a Soderbergh flick but it can go a long way if you use it correctly.
Perhaps my favorite element about this flick was that as much as it may talk about the war on drugs and how we are sometimes winning and losing it, Soderbergh kind of leaves it up to us to make our own assumptions about how we feel about drugs. I thought this was a very brave and smart thing to do considering everybody is effected by drugs differently and it’s up to us to decide what is right and what is wrong when it comes to drugs, we can’t just depend on the government to save us. The flick never gets preachy and as much as Soderbergh may be showing this flick off like an anti-drug film, it still also shows the fact that drugs are really starting to take over the world, and very quickly I might add. Soderbergh does a great job by not saying anything when he could have easily made this a 2 hour and 30 minute long sermon about how he felt about drugs. Instead, he didn’t which is definitely what won me over for this flick.
My main problem with this film is that the screenplay itself seems to really be uneven. I have to say that the stories are pretty interesting as it is but they all seemed to start-and-stop in their own time and just when one seemed like it was about to get good, the film all of a sudden pops into another one for no reason. This is usually the problem with a lot of films that have multiple story-lines going on like this but for some reason here, it just felt like this film could have balanced out its stories better. I won’t say that some were more interesting than others but they all seemed to go in different paths which was a good thing and bad thing at the same time.
My other problem with this flick was that as interesting as the stories are, I could still never get into the characters that inhibited them which is where I think Soderbergh lost me with this flick. Yes, I understand this film is supposed to be a gritty, dark, and depressing take on the world of drugs that we live in, but after awhile, I just wanted to be able to root someone on let alone feel something for one person, even if it was only for a small second. Every character seems almost in one way or another, corrupt or totally idiotic and it’s a little frustrating when one character can’t seem to see the full picture, when it’s pretty damn clear in the first place. I don’t want to try and give away too much here but there was also a lot of plot twists that started going down at the end as well, that may have been a little too far-fetched but only because the plot is the one thing we were mostly paying attention to rather than the characters themselves.
The only character and performance I could really get into with this flick was actually Benicio Del Toro as Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez. Del Toro is a guy I see from time-to-time and even though I can never really get into the performances that he gives, I still know that there is something special about him and this is the flick that shows me why. Del Toro is the real moral center of this flick and shows a true, real, and compassionate character that seems so trapped, so screwed over, and so messed-up without ever taking drugs, that you can’t help but cheer his ass on. Del Toro has many moments where he just lets loose of the emotions he has wrapped inside and the way he shows it through Javier is what definitely makes this an Oscar-worthy performance even though I’m sure I need to see the other ones from the year 2000 as well.
The rest of the cast is pretty good too, but just not as special as Del Toro. Michael Douglas has his moments as Robert Hudson Wakefield but other than that he’s basically playing the same vain asshole he plays in every film; Don Cheadle is good to watch as the under-cover cop, Montel (a role that I think he’s played about a hundred times before) and his partner, Ray, played by Luis Guzmán, brings a lot of humor as well; Catherine Zeta-Jones is actually very good as Helena Ayala, the vengeful wife that ends up taking over her husband’s duties and her performance is very believable, much to my surprise; Dennis Quaid is just here as Arnie Metzger, but it’s always cool to see him around; and the two crazy kiddies on drugs are played by Topher Grace and Erika Christensen, who are both good and they play up the whole stoned act pretty well. Considering this is a Soderbergh film I’m talking about, there is probably 100 more noticeable faces in this flick that I’m forgetting to mention, but just watch it, and then you can play the “Guess Who That Is!?” game, that I sometimes win, and sometimes lose. Damn Mommy!
Consensus: Traffic does a great job by telling its one subject through three interesting stories that are all featured with great performances, no clear-cut messages on what it’s trying to say, and a bunch tension running through the whole time but there is no real emotional impact that comes together here and instead you just sort of watch a dark flick about drugs, without any people you can care about, except for Del Toro’s character.
‘Inception‘, if only Christopher Nolan was inspired by Bollywood films.
When a serial killer (Vincent D’Onorfio) falls into a coma before his victim can be found, a child therapist (Jennifer Lopez) must use an experimental treatment to enter his mind and learn more about his secrets before it is too late. Now an FBI agent (Vince Vaughn) must rescue her from the killer’s nightmare mind before he too is lost to the twisted world forever
After checking out Tarsem Singh‘s other flick last year, ‘Immortals’, I had a feeling that this was a director that knew how to make anything stylized. That idea I was not wrong to think, but I was wrong to think that this would be any better.
The one great element to this film right away would have to be Singh’s visual direction that shows some pretty disturbing things but also catches your eye right away. Every time that we take a dive into these dreams/nightmares, the lavish and lush images that we get take our breath right away with everything. You feel like you are in a dream-like state with these characters and it is so well done that I think for Singh to actually get so many of these perfect images, was to actually give himself nightmares when he went to sleep. After seeing his latest though, I was not surprised that it looked beautiful and I still can’t decide which one looks better considering they are almost the same-looking film, except one has JLO running around and the other has the soon-to-be Superman doing the same. Hmmmmm…
However, when it comes to the actual plot and characters, there is nothing new here one bit. The plot is the same old mystery-thriller story we have seen done time and time again except this time being with elaborate and crazy dreams to show off. There was some moments of suspense here and there but in the end, I knew what was going to happen which just shows you how lazy Singh was when it came to making this flick, considering he didn’t try to go for anything different or new with his story, he just wanted to focus on being beautiful. I mean focus on the film being beautiful, not him.
Another problem I had with this film is that it also brought up a very good point about how serial killers end up being the way they are through a bad child-hood and by the ways they were raised. The film makes this point but also makes a very good point against it saying that it doesn’t matter if you were sexually assaulted, or had a bad up-bringing, human beings should know what’s right and whats wrong just by living and understanding how the world works. This was a great point that I thought the film brought up perfectly because it’s something we don’t usually get to see in flicks of this nature.
The problem with that is though is that the film screws it all up by just totally contradicting the point it brought up by the end, and made the serial killer out to be the good guy considering he does all of this evil shit. Listen, if the serial killer says that he knows what he did was wrong and he’s sorry, then I will truly forgive him and say that he is a changed person but don’t give me this shit about how he’s not to be blamed because of a bad child-hood. I could have had a bad child-hood but still know not to go off and hack every person I see. It’s all common-sense people and to be honest, I think that this point is one that should be made more in films that concern serial killers.
When it came to the acting, everybody here was pretty good. Jennifer Lopez is pretty good as Catherine Deane who makes you feel safe with her, and I can say that if she was in my head when I was sleeping, it definitely would not be a nightmare. Vince Vaughn is also good in this very straight-guy role that he got in his early days before people know what to do with him, and he actually seems like the voice of reason here as well. Vincent D’Onofrio isn’t on-screen all that much and tends to wander like as if he were a stunt double, but he’s still good with being creepy, something that seems like a perfect recipe that he uses quite frequently. The characters are OK but we aren’t really given anything much to care about them so it just feels like a bunch of one-dimensional people working against the clock, and I really didn’t care for any of them except for maybe the chick in the tank.
Consensus: When it comes to beautiful visuals, The Cell has plenty of them, but when it comes to an original story with characters we care about, it brings nothing new to the table other than the same old generic mystery thriller that is fun and pretty look at but nothing else aside from that.
Grumpy Old Astronauts.
When one of the satellites launched in the 1960s malfunctions, threatening the earth with disaster if it crashes, an astronaut in his sixties (Clint Eastwood) is asked to go up to fix it, as he’s the only one familiar enough with the old technology. He agrees under one condition that three of his pilot buddies from the old days (Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner) who were overlooked by the astronaut training program get to come along for this one last flight.
Right from the beginning, this film already had problems showing with its terrible black-and-white opening prologue in which four young men all speak with these old actor’s voices, that are apparently so obvious. So as you can see, a man who is in a very peak physical condition sounds like a 70-year old who’s been dipping, chewing, and smoking his whole life. However, it got better after this.
Clint Eastwood does a good job here of keeping this film moving at a slow enough pace to have us actually see all of the obstacles you have to go through for such a high-profile mission like this one, and also enough time to have us build characters to where we can actually feel something for these dudes. It’s a relatively slow film, but coming from Eastwood, I’ve seen a lot worse.
Let me also not to forget about how beautiful and amazing the special effects look as well. Thinking that this is an Eastwood film, who is very old at this time and doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to go for a sci-fi film with great special effects, but somehow he ends up making this film look like these guys are actually in space after all. From the stars, to the moon, to the other planets, and even to the spaceship itself, everything looks real and beautiful and makes space this piece of art that you always imagine about but barely ever see in most films.
The problem with this film though is the fact that it’s script is pretty lame. Everything that happens here is all pretty cliche and you know exactly how its going to pan-out, even with the last act. Sometimes this doesn’t matter, as long as the film makes you enjoy yourself and take you away from the cliches, but here, too much of my enjoyment was centered on whether or not I could tell what was going to happen next and judging by the way this film was going, I knew exactly what was to happen. I couldn’t get into this film too much especially the last act where the whole film relies on the suspense element, even though we all know how it’s going to end anyway.
I also feel like the film never knew how to play with this silly plot. The twist of the premise here is that these guys are all old cooks, which could be a lot of fun in a not-so serious way, but the film can’t decide whether or not it wants to take this path or just play the plot straight. The gags were pretty funny but none of it ever seemed like it was genuine enough for the plot, and just used as a way to show us how cooky and goofy these old dudes actually were.
As for Eastwood the actor, he’s pretty good here as Frank Corvin; Tommy Lee Jones is also great at his usual miserable-like character, Hawk Hawkins (what a name); James Garner and Donald Sutherland are both very fun to watch as the other two old dudes as well. The performances aren’t bad and you can tell that they’re all having a lot of fun with these roles but Sutherland and Garner never really get that much attention when it comes to character development, which kind of bothered me. I would have liked to see all of these characters for who they are, so that when it came to a life-or-death situation, I could really root for them except just the two.
Consensus: Space Cowboys has some beautiful special effects, and a cast that looks like their obviously having a whole lot of fun, but there are moments where this film sort of just falls apart due to the predictable plot, and the way the film doesn’t know how to actually approach this plot.
What if…Nic Cage actually took good roles again?
A cutthroat investment banker Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage), who eschews emotional ties, is transported into the prosaic life he might have had if he’d wed his college sweetheart (Téa Leoni). Instead of a Ferrari, Campbell drives a malfunctioning minivan in the suburbs and is saddled with two screaming kids, but he learns to love every minute of it.
Going into this flick, I was expecting some good and some bad. Bad because it’s Brett Ratner directing and he blows but good because I’m a Nic Cage fan and the plot seemed pretty cool. However, the merging of Cage and Ratner did not bone out as well as I would have liked to hope.
What I have to say about this flick that was actually very good was the fact that the plot was a pretty cool twist on the whole ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ plot. It got even better when we started to see how this dude, Jack, reacts to everything he has to deal with now because he is indeed a lower-class citizen than before. Seeing this Wall Street hooligan have to live his day by putting on his own clothes and wearing shoes that are less than 200 dollhairs, actually cracked me up and I think worked for the most part.
The script also showed some very bright moments in about the first 40 minutes where we become comfortable enough with these characters, the story, and the tone and it keeps on going for very well. I mean yeah, there are the cheesy moments we usually get with these kind of flicks, but the script actually made them feel authentic rather than just predictable and generic. To be honest though, I wish the film stopped while it was ahead.
The problem with the script is that after the first hour or so, we start to get the non-stop unoriginal and sentimental moments that usually go down in Christmas films, let alone a riff on a classic story like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. The film had me laughing and feeling some emotions towards the events and the characters but as time went on, I just sort of felt like this film was just using cheesy moment after cheesy moment to make me feel something for these characters and what’s going on.
Also, for a film that is trying so hard to be a film that’s all cheerful and pro-family it sure is awfully mean, especially to the regular blue-collar working families of America. Having Jack Campbell, this big-ass Wall Street dude, you get a lot of “rich people are better than poorer people” sayings a lot and at first, it’s understandable but then after awhile it really started to make me wonder what this film was trying to do or say. That’s where I think Ratner messes up because he spends so much time on Campbell being all self-absorbed that when it actually comes to him being a loving family man (hence the title) I never understood what the film was trying to say.
Is going for a big job like being a Wall Street tycoon bad because you make a lot of money and you don’t have time to be with your family? Or is that you should make more chances with your life, such as marrying a college sweet-heart? I didn’t understand what this film’s message was and what really bothered me was the fact that the ending only added more confusion. Yes, there is a great deal of hope left open in the end but I felt as if the film lost me a bit too much by then I just couldn’t really care all that much considering it felt a bit forced.
Note to Brett Ratner: don’t make fun of the people who usually go out and give money to see your films in the first place.
Where this film really worked for me was the performances by the two lead performers. Nicolas Cage is a guy that I always stand by in no matter what it is, and I think he was great here as Jack Campbell because he gets to show a lot of his talent here. He’s a little goofy, vain, but also a pretty nice dude and through Cage we get to see that nice guy in Campbell. There were some moments where Campbell shows his true emotions and they really rang true because of Cage. Téa Leoni was also a real treat to have on screen as Kate because she’s just the most energetic person on screen the whole time. Leoni always seems like she’s having a fun time whether it’s being sarcastic or a little bit playful, but either way Leoni is just awesome here and it’s easy to see why Campbell would have to review his life after leaving her in the first place. I was also disappointed by how they didn’t use Don Cheadle as much as they did Jeremy Piven. Oh well.
Consensus: Although it may seem like a cheat for me to like The Family Man even though it’s incredibly sentimental, cheesy, and confusing when it comes to what it’s trying to say. However, I think that the performances are great and were able to hold me over along with the overall good-feeling of the tone as well.
The 80s… those were the days. Plastic pop, designer drugs, pretension, fake wealth, bad hair. What a decade.
With a chiseled chin and an iron physique, Patrick Bateman’s looks make him the ideal yuppie — and the ideal serial killer. That’s the joke behind American Psycho, which follows a killer at large during the 1980s junk-bond boom. Bateman (Christian Bale) takes pathological pride in everything from his business card to his Huey Lewis CD collection, all the while plotting his next victim’s vivisection.
Taking a first glance at this film, you would think that it’s a horror film. However, it’s more of satire about all things that weren’t ever cool in the 80′s.
I have not read the book that this film is based off of and to say the least, I really do wish I did, even though this provides a lot of depth for a story and detail for a story about a yuppie who just goes around killing people. But I may have to tell you that it’s more about just the killings, it’s about the person behind the killings.
Director and co-writer Mary Harron puts a new spin on the horror genre and brings a lot of satire here that actually had me laughing. You see all these Wall Street dudes who are so full of themselves, and have so much greed that you just think these are the sickest and most cliche bastards ever, but that’s the whole joke. As Bateman continues with killing these people left-and-right, you may actually find yourself laughing because of the way all of these killings are portrayed, but then you soon realize, he’s laughing with you too.
The film also brings out a lot of great questions about what’s more violent; the fantasies we have in our head about certain amounts of violence, or the actual violence we see in day-to-day life. Bateman has no real reason or inspiration for these killings, and this whole film is not the portrait of an actual serial-killer.
This is more the portrait of a personality and that there are many people out there like this over-achiever, narcissistic, egotistical, and self-centered Patrick Bateman guy here who do whatever they can to satisfy their own needs, and forget everyone else’s. I also liked the fact that you never rarely see any of the killings except for some, and it’s all left to your imagination really and aside all of the chainsaw’s and axes that there’s more of an edge and smarter side to all of these killings because they all have reason.
My problem that I had with this film was actually this random sequence that went on for about 10 minutes and to me just felt totally bogus and not like the whole film at all. There’s a lot of action that goes down, and without giving too much away, just feels like a total fantasy in the end and made no real sense as to why it had to be involved.
Another problem I had which kind of had me confused, was how all of the female characters in this film are practically almost half-human and fall for any type of dumb gag, and it’s funny because you would think that with a film directed and written by a lady, there would be so much more to these lady characters. But for some reason they just seemed stale and very dumb.
Christian Bale really has made himself a house-hold name in Hollywood today, but people almost forget that his role as Patrick Bateman is the real reason. This character is the biggest douche-bag in the whole entire world and walks around like he’s hot shit just hoping that others notice how much his amazing suit cost, and how he just got in so much shape. Bale plays all of this narcissistic act very well in a compelling performance that had me loving this charming, and almost every-day serial killer. Bale really has made a name for himself in today’s world of Hollywood, but if you ask me, this is where people really started to notice.
The rest of the cast is alright even though they don’t really do much compared to Bale. Names such as Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Justin Theroux, and a sweet little performance from Chloe Sevigny. A good cast, but then again, they aren’t really given anything good in the first place.
Consensus: Though parts of it may not work as well as others, American Psycho is a great blend of horror and comedy, that makes the scares into satire, and features an amazing, star-making performance from Christian Bale.
Isn’t fearing for your life the one thing that fishing is not all about?
Veteran fisherman Billy Tyne (George Clooney) has had a run of disappointing catches and is determined to change his luck by going beyond the normal reach of New England fishing boats to the remote Flemish Cap. But in doing so, he risks everything. Once at sea, he hears about a huge storm building up, but is convinced he can beat it back to Gloucester with an enormous catch.
Just looking at that poster on the right makes me just get the willy’s because the sea is always something that has interested me because it’s so huge and just feels so spread-out that if you get lost there, you’ll never be found.
This film gave me those little chills here and there during the film but it was more about the spectacle of this film. The special effects here are very good and a lot of detail to the film such as; how the waves look, what the hurricane looks like, and everything else that has to do with the hurricane. All of it looks good and will definitely keep you loving the eye-candy.
However, I think that’s all this film really wanted to be anyway. The story is pretty generic but isn’t told in any fresh or effective way to actually have us care what happens to these characters. I felt myself not really caring that these crew members get past the hurricane, and rather that just Marky Mark get out of there. In case you don’t know, I love that guy. He’s so cool.
Director Wolfgang Petersen is good with what he does, but he doesn’t really do much to help this film. Every once and awhile we would get a little fishing montage of how happy these guys are that their all catching fish but there’s not much else to them except for maybe one character. All the rest are just cliches, and if their not cliches, then their just characters that don’t really have many other dimensions to them because we never see them actually talking. They just do their work on the ship and then their done. Oh and then there’s huge hurricane that supposed to make me care for them.
Though the drama doesn’t work, I still have to say that I was on the edge of my seat here with plenty of suspense and just an overall fun feeling that this film gave me. I didn’t quite care much for the actual characters themselves, I actually cared about just who would die, where, when, and why. The film doesn’t really give into too many cliches when its starting to come down home-stretch and that at least kept me watching more and more.
The whole cast here is star-studded but kind of lame. George Clooney is the least “George Clooney” I’ve ever see him be here as Captain Billy Tyne; Mark Wahlberg was of course my favorite as Bobby; John C. Reilly had the most heart in this film as Dale; and Diane Lane is sexy but not very good in this role as Christine. The rest of the cast has the likes of William Fichtner, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John Hawkes, and Allen Payne. All of these members do their best but other than that, they aren’t really given much to work with here.
Consensus: The Perfect Storm is nowhere near perfect but has plenty of very good special effects, and tense moments, but doesn’t really have much drama when it comes to it’s story and instead of being a compelling story, it just tells the story and the characters just as they are.
Wanted to totally kick some ass after seeing this.
Tapped for the throne after the death of the emperor, Roman general Maximus (Russell Crowe) instead finds himself condemned to death by the late ruler’s power-hungry son (Joaquin Phoenix). Escaping execution, Maximus becomes a powerful gladiator, bent on exacting revenge in the ring.
Gladiator is that film that basically revived the swords and sandals epics, that come around every once and awhile, and with good reason too, because this film kicks ass.
Director Ridley Scott got inspiration for this film from a beautiful painting, and I have to say he does an amazing job with making a film, just from looking at a painting. The one thing that Scott does best is make this film visually stunning, while not forgetting to show some awesome action. The costumes, arms and armor look plausible, down to their tiny details. The battles are brutal and breathtaking. The city of Rome itself feels alive – dirty, chaotic, gaudy, beautiful, massive, sweltering. Scott is most known for paying too much attention to detail, but here it works, as he totally brings you into ancient Rome.
However, Scott totally takes over this film when the action comes on because he films it with just the right amount of shakiness to have us see everything that’s going on, and create a great tension within every action scene. This film is filled with blood and gore, but there’s nothing like watching swords, arrows, and chariots flying all around a Colosseum. You feel like your in the arena while all this action is going on because you can hear the cheers and chants from the crowd, and the constant clanging of weapons hitting together, and it all just feels so awesome.
People who watch this will love the action scenes, mostly guys, but if you’re looking for some story here, this has that too which separates from it other films of this nature. The good thing here about this story is that the screenplay isn’t all that bad. The story is rich in detail because the themes of revenge and corruptness within politics still ring true today, and do well with this story. The things these characters say aren’t campy or ironic, it all feels realistic and done very well.
My main problem with this film is a little nit-picky, but being very interested in history as I’am, I noticed plenty of historical inaccuracies that kind of bothered me. I understand Scott did this to create a more dramatic effect when the final clashes came around, but I couldn’t help but notice that people die here so much earlier then they actually did in real life. But I can’t give too much away, and I know I’m nit-picky this just kind of bothered me.
Russell Crowe is exactly what a bad-ass should look and act like. His role as Maximus is one of his best and probably most iconic because he does such a great job of combining that total bad-ass look that would make any of those American Gladiators crap their pants, but still has the dramatic skills to pull off the more heart-rendering scenes. Crowe won an Oscar for this, and even though he should have won it for something else, I was glad that he got something for this great performance. because we really do get behind Maximus the whole time. Let’s not also forget to mention Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, who is absolutely perfect as this vindictive and evil little son-of-a-bitch. There are scenes where Commodus character starts to dive into some strange material, but Phoenix keeps it very believable as he shows that he has the range to play some terribly evil characters, even if we have seen this role done time-and-time again. Connie Nielsen is also very good as Lucilla who is torn between doing the right thing, and doing what she can to not get caught by her asshole brother. Djimon Hounsou is here as Juba, and is the man here as well, and Derek Jacobi is good as well. But the real performances here to watch are the ones given by Richard Harris and Oliver Reed who give worthy swan songs, and make us realize just how great they really were.
Consensus: Gladiator may not be as perfect as some may claim, but Ridley Scott’s inspired direction keeps this well-acted, beautifully shot, and tremendously entertaining epic, on its toes by never once diving into cheesy or lame territory.
The beginning of the freaks!
Amid increasing fear and bigotry, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) provides a safe haven for powerful outcasts like Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Storm (Halle Berry), who are genetically gifted mutants — and the world’s newest, most persecuted minority group. In an explosive battle for freedom and honor, the X-Men take on Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his band of evil mutants, who relish the public’s paranoia.
Director Bryan Singer, who also did The Usual Suspects, does a good job with this material because he doesn’t get too chaotic with all of this action. The effects are seamless, not a big thing in these days of CGI, but still a difficult thing when dealing with human beings who keep moving around and talking. It’s good to watch a film where it isn’t always possible to tell which are the fake shots and which ones really happened. Now of course, there are action sequences here that are pretty awesome, but he also allows a lot of down-time for these characters to talk and be developed. However, that’s where my real problem with this film lies.
I liked how this is a film that’s based more on its characters than other superhero films, but there is almost too much time devoted to the characters. These characters were cool but the problem was that the film focuses too much on them and not the story so the big climax at the end, ends up being sort of anti-climactic.
I also felt like there was something missing from this final product because although they show all these different powers that all these different superheros have, it almost never seems to add up. It’s no secret that the studio rushed this film so it could make the summer blockbuster deadline. There are some lovely details that would’ve made this film extraodinary but didn’t make it thanks to the dollar driven movie studio.
Though, the main reason why I enjoyed this a lot is because I love X-Men, and even though the story may be a bit weak, you still can’t help but love all these characters. Hugh Jackman is perfectly cast as Wolverine because he has that total bad-ass look to him, and those funny side-cracks to him that just make him a likable superhero from the beginning. Patrick Stewart is also great as Professor Charles Xavier mainly because he’s just that lovable old man, who is always one step ahead of every one else. Ian McKellen is a perfect villain as Magneto, and brings out the devious attributes within Magneto that make him such a memorable villain. Everybody else here is pretty good too such as Halle Berry as Storm, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, James Marsden as Cyclops, Anna Paquin as Rogue, and the always sexy Rebecca Romijn as Mystique.
Consensus: The action is fun and the ensemble is perfectly acted, but the story is too centered on all these different characters, rather than focusing on a good story, but if you’re a fan of the comics you’ll have a good time.
Makes my first awkward meeting with my ladies parents seem like a walk in the park.
Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is ready to marry his girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo), but before he pops the question, he must win over her formidable father, humorless former CIA agent Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), at the wedding of Pam’s sister. As Greg bends over backward to make a good impression, his visit to the Byrnes home turns into a hilarious series of disasters, and everything that can go wrong does, all under Jack’s critical, hawklike gaze.
The “Meet the…” film series has been going on for about the whole decade with three movies, and probably more coming up. So it’s just really cool to see where it all started off at.
This honestly is a very funny film that uses a lot of these awkward, outrageous, but always hilarious situations where you can’t believe this is actually happening. There are a lot of bad gags, toilet humor, and sometimes painful awkward comedy that will have almost all who watch laughing, and it really works out.
My only gripe with this film is that a lot of the jokes do seem a little too obvious. Something will pop up, and have a bit of significance to the plot, and will pop up later as a joke. I could see all the jokes coming up right before they did them but how they execute them is what had me really laughing in the end.
I think the real extra kick this film get’s is from the cast. Robert De Niro is perfect as Jack Byrnes who is so hard-nosed, and menacing about everything with this poor guy Greg, that you can’t help but laugh at everything he’s doing, or saying for that matter. By just sitting there, De Niro brings out huge laughs and I must say, I’m glad he’s not my girl’s daddy. Ben Stiller is the perfect guy to play Greg. He’s cute enough to be attractive and intelligent enough to be real but has a wonderful airhead quality where you can actually see the smoke rising from his ears when he tries to think. His timing is spot on and his physical stuff is full of energy, which brought me back to his days in There’s Something About Mary. Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, and the always reliable Owen Wilson provide laughs as well here, and add a lot of heart to the whole film.
Consensus: The jokes may be obvious and predictable, but De Niro and Stiller give Meet the Parents the extra kick of comedy that it deserves with hilarious gags, and believable situations that will have anybody laughing.
Jams really are the best way to get over a chick.
When record store owner Rob Gordon (John Cusack) gets dumped by his girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle), because he hasn’t changed since they met, he revisits his top five breakups of all time in an attempt to figure out what went wrong. As Rob seeks out his former lovers to find out why they left, he keeps up his efforts to win Laura back.
The film is based on a British novel by Nick Hornby, and it just so happens to be one of my favorite novels of all-time because it made me look differently at a lot of things. This film didn’t do the same, but that’s OK.
The problem with a lot of romantic comedies is that their sappy, predictable, unfunny, and overall not very original on anything they talk about or do. For the most part, High Fidelity doesn’t have these features as much as you would expect. Basically the premise here is “the one that got away” storyline but the script here is what makes this all a little different from other romantic comedies.
The novel is one of my favorites, and mainly because of the witty and smart pop-culture, and music references that it had, references that this movie either keeps or adds. I loved just listening to these dudes talk like real people about their “top 5 lists” and if “I Just Called To Say I Love You” is a good song for your daughter. The script has many witty lines that will either leave you shaking your head as to what these people are talking about, or either laughing your ass off. I was sort of somewhere in the middle.
I liked how this film had that sort of laid-back feel to it, but for me, the novel was so much better and in ways made more sense. There is this running narrative in the novel that the film uses, however it just seems oddly placed here and doesn’t bring much reality to the film. Also, there were many times where I think they could have done so much more insight to this film, like the novel did, but I guess sometimes novels are better than the films after all.
John Cusack is the one actor that is basically the definitive poster-boy for 80′s romantic comedies, so it was cool to see him play the role as Rob Gordon, a guy who needs to get over his ex-girl as quick as possible. He delivers the lines well, and makes you believe that he really does know all of this crazy music information. Jack Black is a guy that nowadays gets a lot of crap, but this is the film that put him on the map and with good reason. Every time the guy is on screen, he is an absolute riot and I can tell why he’s a household name now because of it. Iben Hjejle is alright as Laura, although other times I do feel that she could have been better at playing the bitchier parts of her. Also, gotta give some love to Tim Robbins here as Ian, Laura’s new boyfriend, and he is just the man in this, as Robbins always is in anything he does. There are also some other funny ones here such as Lisa Bonet, Todd Louiso, and the always awesome Joan Cusack.
Let’s also not forget the soundtrack. I loved how the film relied on a lot of actual licensed music for their mood and scenes, because it felt like it was all happening in real life, and each of us have our own soundtrack. When you have artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, and hell even The Roots, you know this is going to be a keeper.
Consensus: With a rockin’ soundtrack and some very good acting, High Fidelity is fun, breezy romantic comedy, but doesn’t do much to liven up the book, and has less of an effect when it comes to actual insight on relationships than the book did.
I wonder what I would do if I was on an island for a whole year.
After FedEx systems engineer Chuck Noland’s (Tom Hanks) plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean, he finds himself fighting to survive on a deserted island with nothing but a painted volleyball — a silent partner he names Wilson — for company.
Director Robert Zemeckis is known in today’s world as the guy who can’t get enough of that weird-ass CGI with such movies as Beowulf, A Christmas Carol, and most recently Mars Needs Moms. But it’s always great to see what this guy can do when he’s given real-life people, or for this matter, one real-life person.
Zemeckis does a great job with the overall feel and tone of this story. He uses no music whatsoever and uses the sounds of the ocean breeze, to give us this huge sense of alienation that Chuck is going through as well. There are also longs periods of time where there is barely any language spoken at all, and it really does work because you feel like you are right there with him, stranded on this unknown island. The cinematography is also so beautiful to look at, as there are moments where I could not take my eyes off the screen because I was so amazed of what I saw.
However, I think the main problem with this film is that it’s pace will have some viewers checking out their watches many times throughout. There are long strains of time where there is no dialogue, and sometimes people will find themselves a little bored with everything that’s going on. I know moments in this film had me more fascinated than others, but I know this film will have many viewers most likely snoozing.
I liked the fact that the minimalist screenplay does a good job of portraying the human will to survive and how its tone is actually very unique, but my main problem with this script is how it’s resolved. I don’t want to give away too much but there’s a certain element to this story that opens and closes the film which actually is pretty weak compared to what they could have done with the story. Again, I can’t give too much away but when the film is over, I think you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The real show to watch here is the always amazing, Tom Hanks. A lot of the film is spent just watching him go about his days on the island, and all of it is so great because Hanks just is a presence that cannot be taken away no matter who else is around him. Hanks is so familiar to everybody, yet he loses himself in this character and we really do sympathize with him through this long adventure on the island all alone. But let us all not forget everybody’s favorite volleyball, Wilson. I must say watching Hanks having a conversation with this volleyball made me laugh, and at parts had me actually believe that he could actually be having a conversation with this thing. Helen Hunt also shows up and is just OK, but that’s how she usually is in most films.
Consensus: Many moments will put viewers to sleep with it’s slow pace, and bother others with it’s crappy ending, but Cast Away showcases Tom Hank’s amazing skills as an actor, and provides a smart directing job from Zemeckis.
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.
Not the best way to end a great horror trilogy, but an alright way.
Sidney Prescott again battling a crazed killer — only this time it’s on the set of Stab, a movie-within-a-movie based on the original Woodsboro murders. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and the rest of the Scream gang appear, alongside new characters played by Parker Posey, Jenny McCarthy and more.
So the first films, were just as equally good as each other. They had so many things that were just great about them, that made them entertaining to watch, but at the same time, game-changing. The sad thing is, that this one, doesn’t really do much with those two.
I think the main problem with this film is that the writer of the first two, Kevin Williamson, chose not to be on deck for writing this, because he did some crappy short-lived television series. BIG MISTAKE!! I mean the film does have it’s usual tongue-in-cheek appeal to it as usual, with some surprising twists, as well as funny moments, but it doesn’t have enough of that insight into the horror films it’s making fun of. The film sadly, starts to descend into the horror films they made fun of in the first place, cliche, and formulaic, which is really sad, considering the first two films, were always against that.
But I will not lie, I was still entertained by this film. There are plenty of awesome deaths in this film, and the whole time you are on your feet wondering just who the new killer really is. Also, plenty of “homages”, and cameos pop-up, and although their not that great as you would expect, they still are cool to see, if you can spot them.
Neve Campbell is back doing what she does best, playing the scared, but determined, Sidney Prescott, and that charm never seems to lose. Courteney Cox and David Arquette, are also back, and even better than ever, although I thought their best work together was in the second film. I was a little disappointed that the supporting cast wasn’t as memorable as the first two, but they still do shine in ways. My favorite was Parker Posey, who literally steals the screen with everything she does and says, which really worked for this film, even when it was in it’s most driest moments. Patrick Dempsey, Jenny McCarthy, Liev Schreiber, and Deon Richmond all show up in this film, and do the best with what they can do, which isn’t asking much, but I just wish the script had them made out to be better.
I think this film kind of has me a little scared for the next one, but yet, I’m not all that sure. Williamson is back, and I can only hope that Wes Craven can do with that film, like he did with the first two, and not like he did with this one.
Consensus: Still entertaining, and suspenseful, but the weakest part of the trilogy, with a lack-luster writing job, that turns into more cliche, and formulaic, than the first two.
Comic book superheroes do roam the world, I’m telling you I saw Spider-Man yesterday in my neighborhood saving a cat from a tree.
Bruce Willis plays an ordinary man who makes an extraordinary discovery when a train accident leaves his fellow passengers dead — and him unscathed. Is he truly unbreakable? The answer could lie with the mysterious Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a man who suffers from a disease that renders his bones as fragile as glass.
After the huge success of The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan hd to make something as a follow-up that would get more people into him as a director. I think it worked with this one, still I’m not quite sure.
M. Night still uses the creepy atmosphere to convey an emotion the whole film. We don’t quite know what’s going on, until a freak accident occurs then we fully understand it all, kind of. The story moves at a credible pace, and it’s not just about the constant jolts and scares, it’s more about the characters themselves, and how they live with the life they were given. M. Night engages you in the story, and with a couple of twists and turns, the story stays on its feet. I also like how M. Night uses these awkward long shots to show the tension on-screen, and most scenes just have one camera, moving around a room.
I felt bad for this film mostly because the whole film is just an excuse for a huge twist ending. And in reality, the twist ending is kind of silly, and very very weak. I don’t know how they could have done a better one, to convey so many shocks, but what I know is that the ending they have was sort of, stupid to say the least.
The film brings up the question: What if there really was a real-life superhero in this world? That question wasn’t quite brought up enough times to fully have us imagining a world with one. We only get about 3 instances of somebody being a hero, and it didn’t really strike me as real, or anything reasonable. I thought if they focused more on this question, they could have made the ending a lot better than it actually was.
Bruce Willis is once again, the upset husband, but he does play it well. He’s always very good at playing this every-day man character, and adds more substance than just another regular dude, but a guy that is trying to get over the fact that he may have a super power. Samuel L. Jackson is always known for being such a powerful presence in films, but in this one he sort of goes for the creepy role, one that needs restraint, and he does it pretty well. Robin Wright Penn, plays the strong female lead, and has some great scenes where she just lets all of the doubt and anger from her relationship out, and it’s a good performance.
Consensus: It may not be as strong, or shocking as The Sixth Sense, but M. Night Shyamalan’s follow-up is still engaging, with real characters, played realistically by the actors, and great story-telling from Shyamalan himself.
This was not needed at all!!
Dr. Seuss’s much-loved tome about the real meaning of Christmas finally makes it to the big screen, with comic wunderkind Jim Carrey starring in the titular role of a green-faced gnome who plots to rob Whoville of the Yuletide. Several songs from the classic 1966 animated cartoon have also made the transition. Pass that last can of Who Hash, will ya?
So to get in the holiday spirit, I decided I need to start watching some Christmas films. I think after watching this, I’m going to stick to classics.
You would think with such a film that is aimed towards children for Christmas, that it would be full of glee and fun, when really that is not what we get at all. This is at times a strange and grim movie with little bits and pieces of comedy coming in.
The film is marketed towards kids when really I don’t even know if kids will laugh at this, more of like being terrified. I mean just look at The Grinch and don’t tell me when you were a small kid that the face of him made you a little creeped out. There are also these little creepy pedophile underlining themes between The Grinch and the main little girl, that I found myself even more creeped out by.
The set direction and look is pretty good, despite it being out there. But really I didn’t find the look mesmerizing. I found a lot of the colors to be a bit tainted and dragged, and the towns people looked as ugly as The Grinch himself. Now, don’t get me wrong here some of the old cartoons were a tad creepy as well, but these people along with The Grinch just looked very terrifying and very very strange.
Jim Carrey does a greta job as the title character. He really does use everything in his crazy arsenal to fully embody this character that we see from the characters, but make him a lot goofier and silly than what we imagined.
When I think about how bad this movie was too, Ron Howard directed this!! Yes, that Ron Howard!!! Come on man, you can do so much better. To be truly honest I think this was just a total money grab for box office success, and well the devil lives on, as it was #1 for about three weeks.
Consensus: Jim Carrey shines as The Grinch, but cannot save this emotionaless, gloomy, and uninspired tale from just being another terrible remake.