“Giants, ain’t got shit on me!”, says the little kid from About a Boy.
Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a young farmer who ends up taking a bribe from a snarky monk, for some magic beans. Jack doesn’t think much of it, until he goes home, drops some of the beans, and it rains. Yeah, you know what happens next. The beans end-up leading to a land populated by giants with a taste for human flesh, and they have the princess (Eleanor Tomlinson), captured and it’s up to Jack and the King’s royal-men to save her and get rid of those damn giants!
In a way, I can totally see why so many people aren’t looking forward to this movie as much as I was would be expecting. It does seem silly, it does seem stupid, it does see overly-reliant on CG, and does seem like a random-time and place for a movie like this to come out, but that’s all that advertising. That’s why, in another way, I have no idea why so many people aren’t looking forward to this. I mean, first of all, it’s directed by Bryan Singer, it’s written by Christopher McQuarrie (the two did the Usual Suspects together), and it features a new-take, on a classic-tale but told in the type of way that doesn’t alienate older-viewers, but doesn’t cater to the younger-ones either. It’s somewhere in there, slap-dab in the middle and it works perfectly for a movie that could have easily gone South, real quick, had they decided to take the darker-route. Thankfully, they didn’t and stayed straight to the source-material that I’m sure all of us grew-up loving. If not, get off your asses, and read that shit! You haven’t experienced childhood until you have.
Anyway, aside from that point, I have to say that this movie is a huge bag of fun in the sun! Okay, maybe no sun is involved because it is the beginning of March, but nonetheless, it’s still a hell of a wild ride, straight from the imaginative-mind of Bryan Singer. Here’s the thing about this movie: it doesn’t cater to a certain crowd, yet it’s the type of film you can bring your kids to, mainly boys. Why? Because it’s got all of the right-ingredients that a boy at that age should oh so desire: action, fun, humor, giants, fart jokes (not as eye-rolling as it sounds), swords, guys speaking in funny-accents, and a whole lot more where that came from. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect piece of cake to allow your kids to take a bit out of, I don’t know what the hell will!
Some may rag on this flick for not going any-deeper than just being a loosey-goosey, fun, and wild romp about the Jack and the Beanstalk-tale, but who needs that when you have Bryan Singer just playing around with the material that it seems like he actually enjoys? Seriously, the guy is having a ball with this material, and in-return; so are we. He never lets loose of the action and never loses his mind on what type of movie he’s making. He’s always making a wacky and crazy movie that has a bunch of people, hunting-down giants, and sometimes, vice versa. You can’t ask for much more, unless you want the Usual Suspects-Singer. If you go in and expect that type of Singer, then you’re going to come out of this with a huge slap-mark on your face saying, “WRONG!!”. It’s just a fun-as-hell movie. That’s it.
I could beat this horse to death with all of the shit that I’m saying, but it’s the truth: this movie is just fun. Take for instance, the fact that I saw this at a 11 a.m. screening on Saturday, not expecting anything other than a movie that would be okay, so I could sleep my hangover away. However, that’s where the surprise came. The movie woke me up instantly, and didn’t lose me for a single second. Sure, it started-off pretty slow and made me feel like I was in for a ride that I would most likely doze-off for, but as soon as Jack gets those treacherous beans, it’s a total and complete party, right from there. Singer never loses the sense or style of that party, and always kept me alive, awake, happy, and above, entertained. I can’t give this any more credit. Just go see this movie and be ready to see the return of Bryan Singer. The guy knows exactly what he’s doing with a story, how he wants to film it, and how he wants to keep the spirits alive while doing-so. If there is any increment in my mind that the guy can handle the next X-Men, this is the reason why I think so. Now, I just cannot wait!
As for the cast, they all seem to be up-to-pace with all of the fun and wild times that Singer’s having behind-the-camera. Nicholas Hoult is charming as the naive Jack that has to grab his pair, and beat the shit out of some giants. He does do some of that, but not enough to where I was feeling like, “Wow, this character really is a slayer.” Don’t get me wrong, Hoult’s good and all, it’s just that I wish Jack was doing more slaying of giants, like the title promised.
Instead of Jack doing all of that bad-assery business of slaying the fuck out of giants, all of that is left up to Elmont, playued by the awesome Ewan McGregor. Say what you will about the questionable-choices the guy has made in the past, but Ewan McGregor is a very, very likeable presence that always keeps my attention on him whenever anything’s going down, and he just so happens to be located in the same scene. McGregor seems to be having so much fun playing the charming, but bad-ass soldier that doesn’t take “no” for an answer, and never lets his target get away. He’s not as sadistic as I may make him sound, but McGregor does have a cool character that can kick ass, take names, chew bubblegum, and spew-out hilarious one-liners, like nobody’s freakin’ business. Where the hell was that in all of the Star Wars movie, dammit!!?!?
Stanley Tucci is another one that seems to be having a lot of fun in his role, but instead, is more of the bad-guy here and absolutely revels in it. Tucci is a great screen-presence to have on-screen, but to watch him chew the hell out of the scenery and spit it back out, was just a blast to see, and probably an even bigger-blast to perform. Tucci’s good at playing weird-o bad guys (*cough* The Lovely Bones *cough*), but a simple one that’s just evil for the darn-sake of being evil, is even better in my book. The only one who feels like a bit of a waste is Ian McShane, who really seems like he just wants to break-out his shell, get loose with it, and just start being the bad-guy himself. Instead, he’s all wrapped-up in that King’s armor that makes him look more like a freakin’ egg than any type of ruler, but hey, at least we get to see those devil-ish eyes. God, they still scare me to this day.
Consensus: Jack the Giant Slayer is not what you think it to be from the misleading trailers and advertisements It’s not a waste of time, it’s fun, it’s exuberant, it’s made for the whole family, it never loses it sense of joyfulness and even better, just never loses what it’s all about in the first-place: complete and utter entertainment. Don’t bother with the 3D, but if you’re bored and got nothing else better to do with your life than watch highlight clips of the Oscars, then give this bad-boy a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
8 / 10 = Matinee!!
Luckiest freakin’ student ever!
When Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) joins St George’s as the new art teacher, Barbara Covett (Judi Dench) senses a kindred spirit. But Barbara is not the only one drawn to her. Sheba begins an illicit affair and Barbara becomes the keeper of her secret.
Honestly, what could would ever want to pass up on a chance to sleep with their teacher, especially if that teacher was Cate Blanchett?!? I mean come on people, let’s be real here.
Going right into this flick, I was expecting something that was going to be pretty generic with a good cast to elevate it all. However, aside from the cast, it’s also the writing that really works here and keeps everything tight, just when it starts to loosen up a bit. The film starts off with a very normal pace with a chronicle of these two ladies becoming “friends”, but then when the affair is caught by Barb, all hell breaks loose and we have ourselves a psychological thriller that didn’t really stop moving. May get a tad predictable at times, but you’re able to get past that thanks to everything else that’s going on
Everything is very dark and eerie in this flick because it touches on a lot of topics like pedophilia, adultery, and lesbianism but it still somehow maintains a very dry sense of wit that made me laugh at times. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is a dark comedy, but I will say that it catches you off guard sometimes by how witty it can be, but you still can’t get past the fact that this flick continues to go deeper, deeper, and deeper into its story until there’s barely anything left in it. A very fine script and the direction from Richard Eyre, may not be anything special but at least he isn’t trying to get involved with the story too much. He just lets it play-out like it should.
My main problem with this flick was that the whole reasoning as to how this affair started in the first place seemed a bit unbelievable. First of all, Sheba does not seem like the type of older gal that would develop a school girl crush on a boy, and then to start shacking the high hoots with him either. It seemed like Sheba herself, was a little too intelligent and mature for this type of behavior but then again, I can’t say this too much because certain shit like this does happen in real-life. Pissed that it doesn’t happen at my school but teacher-student banging does go down none the less.
What went along with this problem was that the reasoning Sheba gave as to why she wanted this kid in the first place, was because she felt lonely with her husband, who’s 20 years older than her, and the family she had to raise with him. Yeah I get this, but the film barely shows us any of these problems ever happening until later on in the flick when her mind starts to get a little crazier from all of the constant paranoia of being found-out. Maybe if they touched up on this a bit more, I would have been able to believe it all but it came off as a bit of a stretch or a lame excuse for this chick wanting to bone a younger kid. It also didn’t help that the kid was a terrible actor, and I swore to God that if he said the word “miss” in his fake-ass Irish accent, I was going to punch the screen hoping to get a piece of him too. Dreams never do come true!
However, all of those problems are almost forgotten about whenever I think about the performances here from the trio of leads here. Judi Dench is very unglamorous as Barbara because she’s sad, lonely, old, looking for love, but also very, very, very creepy deep-down inside. She’s pretty much playing a crotchety old hag that has a lot more heart and warmth to her that makes you feel some sympathy for her character but then you also start to feel like you can’t trust this chick and neither can any other character in this flick either. Dench definitely takes over the screen every time she gets a chance to, and shows just how creepy of a character she can be.
Cate Blanchett is also a revelation as Sheba, one of her more unsympathetic character roles. Blanchett is constantly on fire with this character because she’s sad, lonely, and in need of love, but in a very different way. Unlike Barbara, Sheba is a character that you can trust in what she’s going to do next and even though Dench gets a lot of crazy material t0 work with, Blanchett is still allowed to let loose as well especially when it’s on each other. I don’t know what it was here, but there’s just something so awesome and perfect about watching two respected actresses like Blanchett and Dench go all-out on each other in a cat fight that features barely any physicality; all verbal baby.You can’t also forget to mention the always perfect, Bill Nighy as Sheba’s husband. Nighy almost steals every scene he has on-screen with each of these two chickies, but it’s by the end when all of the emotions of this character start to pour out is when you realize that this character has a lot more to him than you would expect. After seeing him and Dench try their hardest to be happy and make love in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I think it’s pretty safe to say that they have both regained my respect for them.
Consensus: Notes on a Scandal may have problems with believablity, but where it succeeds in is perfect performances from its cast, an script that continues to go farther down into what it’s trying to explore, and a plot that may be generic and simple at times, ends up being very unpredictable and thrilling.
Hey, at least we got the three-boobed hooker.
Colin Farrell stars as Doug Quaid, a factory worker who decides to turn to undergo a procedure to turn his dream of being a super-spy into real memories to escape his frustrating life. But when the operation goes terribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man and the line between fantasy and reality gets blurred.
The original 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger/Paul Verhoven sci-fi classic Total Recall, was a great movie but it was never screaming “Remake!”. Actually, it holds up pretty well on its own terms but I was able to give this film a try all because of the cool look, awes0me special effects, and two sexy leading ladies involved. The latter one never comes into play unless its with unnecessary remakes like this.
This remake is directed by Len Wiseman and his visual direction, is spectacular. This whole film is one big CGI-trip right from this dude Wiseman’s mind but it looks superb, almost like you’re in this futuristic Earth with these characters. Some people will be bothered by the CGI and special effects and say that it’s there too much, but it never looks goofy and it always makes everything look a whole lot cooler than I expected. Something exactly this film needed in the first place, and thankfully, had.
Other than looking pretty, Wiseman also makes this remake a whole lot of fun that just would not quit it with the action scenes. There’s a lot of mono-e-mono fights that happen here, plenty of shoot-outs, a cool car-chase, and even a chase through an elevator shaft that seems to never end, and they all add a whole bunch of excitement to this film and it never seems boring because of this. Wiseman brings an element of fun to these action set pieces, and because of that, my attention never fully left the screen. Sometimes here and there, it felt like Wiseman was just adding another random scene of action in here just to keep things alive and well, but I can’t really get on his case too much for that since it did so well with what it had and there’s never, ever a problem with just trying to have some fun every once and awhile. It’s not your typical, old Arnie fun, but it’s fun none the less.
Problem is, as fun and exciting as this action may be, there’s always one element that makes it all feel somewhat empty: tension. Seeing the original, knowing everything that happens, and why it does in that movie, I went into this flick expecting no surprises either, which is exactly what I got. There’s only a couple of things that are different from this movie and that movie (no Mars, the explanation of what happens to this guy Quaid and why, etc.) but never was there some sort of twist/turn in the story that I wasn’t already expecting. There was probably only one scene where I actually felt some type of tension in this story as I didn’t really quite know was going to happen next in this situation these characters got caught up in, but sadly, it ended predictably, as this film did. Everything just happened and went by the same exact-formula the original went by and even though not all remakes can just totally change all of their source material just because they want to be different, there still has to be a level of unpredictability to what’s going to happen next and how. But if you don’t have that, then just feast your eyes on plenty, and I do repeat, plenty of eye candy.
It’s also weird that this film is almost exactly like the original, because everybody involved with this film has gone on the record to say that they aren’t going to make this like Arnie’s classic film at all, which is obviously bullshit. The only times that this film actually tries to connect with the original, is when they randomly have the three-boobed hooker show up even though it makes no sense in this story because there are no mutants in this world. Just some very sad and poor people. But what that scene brought, was a certain level of humor to it, the rest of this film has barely any or none of that. It’s a shame too, because as cheesy as some of the humor in the original may be, they still has some classic Arnie lines that are worth reiterating almost 22 years later, but that’s what this film never brings to the table. There’s never any of that wry humor that livens things up quite as well as those classic lines did in the original, and I get it, it would have totally seemed misplaced in a film like this but there could have been something a little light that could have shown up.
I can’t remember the last time that Colin Farrell has ever been the main actor in a mainstream flick, but I can say that I have at least missed him in these types of roles since he’s good here as Douglas Quaid. Let’s face it, Farrell is not as colorful or wild as Arnie, but for what it’s worth, Farrell does a good job at making us like this guy by what he can do with his fists and also at least care for him just a teentsie-tiny bit when the shit starts to hit the fan for him. His character was maybe a little more dull than the original, but then again, I wasn’t expecting to just fall in love with this guy and almost tear up whenever danger came his way. Maybe that’s a little too drastic for a film like this, but you get what I mean.
Jessica Biel cooked some behinds as Melina and may not be as bad ass as I would have liked for her to have been, she still at least had some sympathy to her that made me care for her character and understand why she would do everything in her power to protect this Quaid guy; Bryan Cranston appears in his 200th film this year here with his performance as the evil mofo, Cohaagen, and it’s sad to say that we don’t get enough of him but with what we do get from him, it’s pretty good; and Bill Nighy shows up for about a scene and is good, but just like Cranston, not enough of him either. Still pissed to hear that Ethan Hawke got his cameo cut but hopefully he’ll all show them when it comes time for him and his movie Sinister.
The one high-spot of this whole cast would probably be Kate Beckinsale who plays Quaid’s wife/hunter, Lori. Beckinsale is a chick that I’ve never been too fond of when it comes to her acting, but she’s able to do something great here and that’s play a villain that you can never trust. Beckinsale actually seems like she’s having a ball with this role as the baddy and gets to use a lot of her bad ass fighting skills to show it off and also have that sexy little change in her accent from American to British that always works when it comes to villains. I would like to say that I look forward to seeing Beckinsale in the future, but the fact is, I don’t really care all that much because as good as she may be here, she’s still going to churn out another crappy Underworld movie within the next year or so and I’m going to be sitting there wondering what all of this fascination about her is. Oh wait, she’s really, super-duper hot. Never mind!
Consensus: With plenty of fun action to keep your mind wired and wonderful special effects to keep your eyes glued onto the screen, Total Recall does it’s job in being an entertaining piece of Summer action, but what it does suffer from is barely little or no surprises whatsoever in the story, and just sort of pales in comparison to the original Arnie classic that is still fresh in peoples minds, believe it or not. It’s like re-booting Spider-Man, oh wait….
Made me really want to watch ‘Bad Boys II’. I never want to feel like that again.
Police Constable, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is good at his job, so good in fact, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, his superiors at the Met have decided to sweep him under the carpet. So it is that London’s top cop finds himself in the sleepy West Country village of Sandford, where everything is a little too nice…
That synopsis doesn’t sound like anything too special but trust me, when you have the creative minds of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg working together, special is what you get.
The film is an obvious homage to all of the fun-loving buddy cop films of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today, but it also seems like it has a lot of love for the genre too. What’s so funny about this movie is that almost every scene features something goofy going on whether it’s a slight visual gag, recurring joke that seems to pop up everywhere, and in-jokes that will test your movie geekdom to it’s full limits. You’ll hear somebody utter a phrase or line-for-line dialogue from another flick or you’ll even see a scene from another recreated here and if you don’t get it right away, it’s not that funny, but if you do get it (like I did), you’ll be laughing your ass off the whole time. What was also rare about this comedy was that almost every jokes stays here in this flick and somehow finds it way of popping up later on in the flick and tying altogether with the plot.
Everybody knows how a cop movie goes but this film loves to toy around with that idea and just make it even more fun to actually watch them. Of course they mess around with the cliches and conventions that usually come with these types of films but it’s not all about that, these guys really do love these films and show how much fun they can be even if they are referring to such “classics” as ‘Point Break’ or ‘Bad Boys II’. If you don’t get the joke with that last statement then this surely is not the film for you. Then again though, a lot of this humor is very British in its own way, which I usually don’t understand but other times I do and laugh my ass off at so it’s sort of strange with me.
My only problem with this flick is that when the action comes around here, and it does come around big-time, they over-do the whole “shaky cam” element a little too much. I get that this flick was obviously trying to make a little joke about the constant zooming in-and-out and the shakiness of the action movie cameras, but the action would have been so much better if they didn’t feel the need to resort to this and just give me a head-ache. It’s a minor complaint but a complaint none the less.
Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, but not in a Simon Pegg-ish way though, he’s actually very much the straight guy and let’s everybody else do the humor which was a very smart idea. Pegg does have an occasional few moments where he lets loose just a bit but he’s not the usual, cheeky guy we all know and love him for in other flicks. He may not be the easiest to like here but that provides a lot of love for Nick Frost as his likable cop-buddy, Danny. Frost is such a joy to watch here and brings home the laughs just about every opportunity he gets and the chemistry between the both of them are always great no matter what flick they’re in and that’s no different here. These guys are pure comic gold when they are with each other no matter what it is that they do and I hope they never stop at it either.
The rest of the cast is also a lot of fun and features a lot of familiar faces playing against type. Former 007 Timothy Dalton was absolutely hilarious as the dude who owns the local supermarket, and drops down the lamest but funniest puns I’ve ever heard considering they go so well with everything else that’s going on here; Jim Broadbent is very goofy, as he should be with his performance here as the Sandford’s chief of police; and there are so many others here that make this flick work and I honestly don’t want to spoil them but you’ll see what I’m talking about once they pop-up.
Consensus: Hot Fuzz is a lovable, entertaining, and very funny homage to the buddy-cop genre with plenty of in-jokes and hilarious performances and cameos that will just make the film better and more impressive as it goes along.
Just stay where you are British people. Nobody else needs your wit!
This tells the story of a group of misfit British pensioners who are enticed to retire to a fabulous hotel in Jaipur, India, where they are promised to live a life of luxury for a bargain price. Upon their arrival, they are dismayed to find that restoration of the once elegant Marigold Hotel has stalled.
With ‘The Avengers’ coming out this weekend, it seems like all of the giddy youngsters, action-happy teens, and die-hard nerds will all be flocking to the theaters, so what about the older peeps out there? Well, they get junk like this.
Director John Madden obviously knows what he’s doing with any given material (hell, the guy won an Oscar for it) but for some reason, he kind of loses his touch here. The whole script is pretty much one big message of showing how old people can be young again, and that’s not so bad but the film tries to show that in so many cheesy and obvious ways that it starts to become really eye-rolling after awhile. There are a couple of moments where the film shows some warmth between these characters as they partake in everyday, shoot the shit conversations, but when this film starts to get emotional and trying to have us cry, then it just gets schmaltzy.
There are barely any surprises here whatsoever, and even though I don’t need to see something new or original in every movie I check out, I would still like to see some surprises with this story. However, I barely got any of that and plenty of it just feels like a bunch of bad TV-movie clichés Actually, that’s what bothered me the most about this flick because even though they definitely do have genuinely funny moments here, they are all out-numbered by all of the other times that this movie wants to show us how funny and goofy old people can be. Better yet, how funny and goofy old, BRITISH people can be. Doesn’t work and rather than actually doing something new with its source material, the film just throws us down over-used jokes like old people using Viagra. Really!??! Come on!
Even though the source material itself may fail, it definitely does look pretty. It’s pretty much expected that whenever you film in India, your film is going to look 10 times better than if you were to film in say, Wisconsin. Everything is so bright, everything is so colorful, and everything is always so hectic, where everybody is constantly moving in and around that it almost feels like people are all running away from Udaipur, to survive the fore-coming apocalypse. This film definitely has a lot of beauty to it and may even inspire you to go out there and check everything out for yourself, even though I don’t really think that they would have retirement homes as good as the one they have here.
However, all of those beautiful images are pretty much put to waste once again, when Madden decides to get really, really corny with us. Madden plants a lot of the obvious images like children playing and being happy, or a bird flying in the sky, or even the trees’ leaves, flowing in the wind. It’s all so damn obvious and gets worse and worse just as this film continues to constantly hit us over-the-head with everything here. Dammit Madden! I mean ‘The Debt’ was no classic by any means, but at least it was a lot better than this crappola.
Of course, everybody who wants to see this film, is mainly attracted because of the cast on display here and even as good as some of these all-stars may be, they still can’t seem to get by a shitty script such as this. Judi Dench is lovely as Evelyn, but all of her problems in life are as boring as watching paint dry; Bill Nighy brings a lot of his usual, dry wit to his role here as Douglas, but can’t seem to bring too much character to somebody as dull as this dude; Ronald Pickup is charming as the old, horny dude named Norman, even though he is very under-used; Maggie Smith is pretty much a bitch to everybody around her about 90% of the movie, and the other 10% is some cheesy, emotional arc to her that seems to have come out of nowhere; Celia Imrie plays Jean, and seems like she was totally misplaced in a movie about a bunch of boring, old people; and Penelope Wilton is the most annoying character here as Jean.
The only two performances that I think actually brought something here were the ones given by Tom Wilkinson and Dev Patel. Wilkinson gives this very sweet, charming, and mysterious performance as a dude that always seems up to something but it’s not quite known and he plays that up perfectly. Patel is also very spirited in a role that sees him bringing out a lot of comedic energy in his performance, as well as always bringing me a smile to my face even if his romance seems to get very stupid and non-meaningful. Two good performances still don’t make up for a whole bunch of lousy other ones though.
Consensus: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel looks pretty, but is still one of the cheesiest and schmaltziest stories I have seen in quite some time, with a very talented cast that is pretty much wasted, and a bunch of sappy moments that show us how you can always live young and have fun. Yeah I know how! Go see The Avengers!
The white man always seems to come out on top.
Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a member of the British High Commission based in Africa, launches a quest for the truth and begins his own international investigation when his wife (Rachel Weisz) is murdered. Not even the rumors of his wife’s infidelity will stop him from uncovering what really happened to her — a conspiracy that’s much more dangerous than he ever imagined.
Director Fernando Meirelles (‘City of God’, ‘Blindness’) is a dude who knows how to make dark and intense thriller-like films, even more dark with the way he films everything. With this film, he uses those same techniques with a lot of heavy-shaking, moving, and use of the hand-held camera to have us feel like were there whether we’re running through a village or going through the streets of Britain. This film goes practically all-over-the-world and it’s great how the film keeps that beautiful look of barely any color and color together.
When it comes to the structure of this film it’s a real treat as well because there are so many ways how this story could have gotten all jammed up with it’s several different story-lines, that it could have easily just jumbled through all of the details. This film is a suspense and political thriller, mixed with romance, espionage, and social issues, that are sometimes told in flash-backs and sometimes have the past and present switching back-and-forth many times. If that sounded very confusing for you, I don’t blame you but it surprisingly isn’t as bad as it may sound.
The film handles just about everything in this film with a great deal of care to where we actually feel enough for the romance to root this guy on as he fights to find out what happened to his wife, and we also have enough suspense and mystery to keep our heads in this whole story as its playing out. The flash-backs were used quite a bit in this film but it didn’t bother me to the point of where I actually wish they got on with the actual story because it added a lot more depth to these characters and the story, and without that, this film would have just been another generic thriller.
However, where the problem lies with this film is that without me giving any spoilers away, I must say that there are these notes that come into play with this film, and they seem unbelievable. These letters, that are confidential but you know they don’t stay that way for long, basically blurting out all of the bad things that will put out all of these bad guys’ careers and lives in jeopardy. If my life was in such jeopardy because of a certain thing I did and nobody knew about it, I would not by any means ever write out a note saying to someone what I did. I mean have these people ever heard of a casual conversation.
Also, another problem with this film is that I feel like there were way too many bad guys in the first place. I know this seems like a really silly complaint, but there were so many dudes names who were brought up, that I didn’t know who was good, who was bad, who was doing what, and who was to be blamed for this chicks death. I mean two or three bad guys would have been fine, and judging by just looking at the cast you can already tell who they are, but if you have anymore than three, then it gets a little out-of-hand and confusing.
Ralph Fiennes does a great job as Justin Quayle because this guy does a total 180 in this film, and it seems so believable all because of Fiennes. Justin starts out as a proper gentlemen, who is very soft-spoken and meek, but then when he finds out that his wife was killed in such a nasty way, something within him just changes and he gets very mad very quick. When this guy is pissed, you can tell but there are also some rather emotional scenes that show Fiennes just totally heart-broken over this and doing a great job with everything he’s given.
Rachel Weisz gained an Oscar for her role as Tessa, and I can’t really say that I’m against that. Tessa is a very care-free, peaceful, opinionated, and loving person that really just wants nothing more but the best for all of these African people with AIDS. Weisz plays this up terrifically and it’s easy to see why just somebody would fall in love with her in the first place. Her romance with Fiennes is also believable and loving, which makes it easy to believe that two opposite people would totally fall for each other. Yes people, opposites do attract. Let’s not also forget that Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, and the late and great Pete Postlethwaite are also here as well, and all do great doing what they do. Then again, that was a given.
Consensus: The Constant Gardener combines a dramatic romance story with flash-backs, politics, and social issues but works out perfectly because of the inspired direction from Fernando Meirelles and performances from its lead that make it even easier to believe in this relationship after all.
Who loves Christmas? Almost every single British star apparently does.
I would give this huge plot synopsis but there really is so much here. Basically, everything in a nutshell, a lot of British folks fall in love with one another and Christmas starts to approach, which as everybody knows, means they all have to basically let their hearts out and tell the truth.
When I say there is a lot of stories in this flick, I mean there are a lot but I think director Richard Curtis does a fine job of handling all of these stories at once. He knows how to structure all of these stories together so well that they don’t seem too overwhelming to take in or repetitive for that sake. He doesn’t drop the ball as much as I would have expected him to but when it comes to handling dozens and dozens of love stories in just one flick that runs at 129 minutes, let’s just say that he’s no Robert Altman folk.
Where I think this flick gets messed up on is the fact there are way too many stories in this film and rather than just singling out every tiny story that it had, I’ll just tell you that there are some good bits and other bad ones. Some stories were obviously better than others, however, there were some that seemed unneeded because even though they were all comedies at heart, they also had a lot of downer dramatic elements to them as well.
There were also many moments with this film that seemed so cheesy and schmaltzy that I wanted to punch somebody in the face as soon as I heard another British bloke say, “I love you” to a chick they’ve known for only 2 days. The whole story with Liam Neeson and his step-son is really creepy and the whole fact that he’s telling his son to go and get it like a man, seemed a tad strange to me and almost like the film was trying way too hard to be cute.
The last of my problems with this flick is that it is very uneven. The abundance of stories would have been a little bit more enjoyable if they actually had some evening out with all of the stories but the problem here is that some stories go on for awhile and then you never see the other ones again, until you’ve almost forgotten about them completely. The whole Keira Knightley love-angle seemed very minor in this flick and although that one flash-card scene was cool, the film only has about 3 scenes of this little “romance” brewing up. Too many times I would wonder just where a certain story would have gone, and then when it came up I practically almost forgot about it.
Still, even though I’m ragging on this flick a whole hell of a lot, it still won me over. Despite some of schmaltzy moments there is a lot of heart-warming stuff going on here and each little story in their own right, is original and interesting. Take it for granted, there are some lame ones and others that plain and simply don’t belong because they either take up space or aren’t as interesting when it comes to having you smile when the supposed “love” is supposed to be going on. But not only are there a whole bunch of moments that had me tummy feel are warm and cuddly, there were also plenty of laughs to come along with this flick and even though they start to decrease by the end, I still felt myself happy.
The reason this film also works is because of the huge ensemble cast that Curtis has brought together. Everybody here does a great job with the ones who stand-out such as Hugh Grant as the prime minister, Colin Firth as a writer, Bill Nighy as an aging rock star, and Emma Thompson as a wife that is getting played with. Everybody here was great to watch and it was just awesome how everybody got to play around with their roles for a little bit, even if they weren’t really doing anything ground-breaking. Let’s not to forget that Andrew Lincoln of The Walking Dead is up in herrre and the always lovely Mr. Bean. People should get the notion that you should put Atkinson in every single British film. The damn guy is always funny!
Consensus: Love Actually is very uneven, and has stories that are better than others, but Richard Curtis still handles every story well here with heart-warming and comedic moments that are heightened even more by the charming cast.
Oh more pirates, and so much more sweaty dudes.
Welcome back to the crazy and wild adventures of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), young Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and headstrong beauty Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). As Sparrow works his way out of a blood debt with the ghostly Davey Jones (Bill Nighy), he also attempts to avoid eternal damnation.
After seeing the first one, I realized how much I loved this whole trilogy so I’m going to give it all a try. Surprisingly this one holds up well to the original, which in a way seemed hard to do.
Like the first, director Gore Verbinski knows how to keep a film entertaining even if there is all this havoc going on. There’s a lot more subplots here, sword fights, pirates, and just more everything but I still had a great time through the whole film. Nothing new really happens here that really wasn’t done in the first one, but that doesn’t matter cause Verbinski knows how to make a fun blockbuster even if it is over-stuffed at points. Let’s not also forget to mention that this is so much funnier, in my opinion, than the first probably because the screen-writers wanted to make more people laugh in between all the havoc.
The main problem with this sequel, which other people had was the fact that there was almost way too much going on to the point where you really didn’t have a compelling story-line. I liked the whole Davy Jones angle but then you got Elizabeth and Will’s love, then Jack trying to find the key, then Will finding his dad, then all this havoc back in the home-land with the government, and then there’s probably so much more I’m missing. Just by me listing all those sub-plots that are within this film you can already tell that there is too much going on here but the fact of the matter is, is that I had fun even with all these stories going on at once.
As with all the Pirates films I had a great time with the cast. Johnny Depp is still amazing and his entertaining self as Captain Jack Sparrow. The whole film you see Sparrow basically being a goof throughout the whole thing and almost every time, Depp’s delivery just got me laughing and it almost seems like Depp can practically play this character in his sleep. Orlando Bloom is good as Will Turner and actually has a lot of emotional weight with his story; Keira Knightley is also OK as Elizabeth Swann; and Bill Nighy really is amazing as the evil, Davey Jones. The CGI that they used for him just looks so perfect and they honestly couldn’t have done it any better because every emotion Nighy has, shows up on Davey Jones’ face and works.
Consensus: This one may be a little too all-over-the-place for some to handle, but the action is still fun, the performances are still good, and you still will probably feel exhausted when this film is over, but in a good way.
Either somebody was watching too many Clint Eastwood films, or took a lot of LSD.
A chameleon (Johnny Depp) that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.
I was actually surprised to see an actual good animation film, that wasn’t by Pixar. I was also more surprised by how different than any other animated film this was.
The real reason this whole film is an awesome treat is because of writer/director Gore Verbinski who does a good job of bringing us so much entertainment to our eyes. When he shot this film, it wasn’t just voice actors in a booth, he actually had everybody up and dancing along and doing all the actions that their characters do. This is what I think adds so much more enjoyment to the film because you can tell that all these actors are having a good time, with all that fun being brought onto us watching this film.
The script for me was OK to say the least, although I did feel it was all a bit too in it’s owns ass. The reason I say that is because there’s too many times where it just seems to be a pop-culture reference, after another and it started to become annoying to the point where I just wanted this story to go on. I did find myself actually chuckling at this film, but I couldn’t help thinking that the writers of this film, felt like they were so much more wittier when they wrote it.
The animation here is so finely detailed, but not in a pretty way, because this may actually have you puke if you’re not careful. There is some gross stuff here like reptiles as well as desert critters, and we get to see every scaly, verbally crack in their skin. Some of this may just scare children, but if you want to look at some amazing visuals, this is the film to see. What I like about this film is that it uses cutting-edge technology to take us back to a kid’s story would kill off a character as well as give us nightmares, but we would still have a great time.
Johnny Depp provides the voice of Rango, and really fits him well because Rango is a very theatrical character which is perfect for Depp because it gives him the chance to really goof around, and as always he does it so well here. Isla Fisher voices Beans, and does a funny job here as our main love interest, who sort of looks like Susan Sarandon. Others in this fine voice cast include Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Ned Beatty, Abigail Breslin, Ray Winstone, and Harry Dean Stanton. Must I also add that there are two great cameos, from two very iconic figures but once you see them, you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about.
Consensus: The script may think it’s funnier than it actually is, but Rango features top-notch animation, with an overall fun energy that keeps almost all who watch happy, even though the little ones may not like it as much.
Suck on that, Pirates Of The Carribean!!!!!
In 1966, a group of rogue British DJs set up a radio station on a tiny boat in the North Sea to broadcast generation-defining — and banned — music to millions. The crew includes boss Quentin (Bill Nighy), the Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Gavin (Rhys Ifans) and Dave (Nick Frost). But eager to sink the party is persnickety Sir Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh).
Now this was released in Britain a long time ago entitled The Boat That Rocks. I know they bummed down that film from 135 minutes to now a 115 minutes, and to be truly honest I was glad to know this.
The one thing I liked first about this film going in was that it was directed by Richard Curtis, who did British classics Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually both are great comedies, and this one is a nice add to his resume. He makes sure that all the strong points within this film are brought up and resolved by the end, and make sure every little person on board gets enough face-time.
The film also does have many moments that are genuinely funny, just not hilarious as I would be expecting from a grade-A crew and cast like this. Too many jokes are played out to where they are funny, and then just out of nowhere become annoying. There are also too many jokes about lesbians, since there is a lesbian on board.
Also, I feel like this film could’ve been a lot more daring and raunchier with it’s material. I don’t know if this is weird or not but I was just expecting since this is a film about rock, I would expect a lot more rock stuff to be happening, but hey that’s just me.
The film has a great ensemble cast with some of the best British and notably one of the best American acts in it’s film, but it doesn’t quite capitalize on that. The cast is funny and the chemistry is good between them, but I felt like some of the screen time could have been given to more people like Seymour Hoffman and Nighy. They didn’t quite get a huge chance to show off their comedy, and at times are rarely seen.
The soundtrack to this film is what is the best part of this film. In some cases I would say but the soundtrack forget the movie, but for this I’m saying do both. The soundtrack is electrifying and what really keeps this film entertaining. Some cool elements to this film is that many of the songs actually do fit in with the scenes that are going on, so it did create a good and powerful mood for that one scene.
Consensus: Pirate Radio may be a little uneven at points and at times disappointing, but it has some good funny moments with an exciting soundtrack which makes this film exciting throughout.