Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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

Tag Archives: Gabriel Macht

The Spirit (2008)

White blood is not cool! Give me red!

Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) was a murdered cop who is mysteriously reborn as the masked crime fighter called the Spirit. The Spirit roams throughout the streets of what he calls, “his city”, loves it’s women, and fights crime whenever it rears it’s ugly head. The only problem is that his arch-enemy, Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), is a bit more than he can handle and as his past continues to come right back at him, he finds it harder and harder to get past what might just be his final battle. Everybody else, except for him, hope it truly is.

In a time before Dan the Man was the esteemed critic he is today, he was just a young lad going to the movies, seeing what he could find, and making up his mind on what he thought. That’s right, it was all in my head before I ever started typing down crazy crap! But during that time, the Christmas season of 2008 was where I single-handedly, self-financed AMC for the sole reason that I was there almost every other day. This was the days before I was able to get into screenings so in ways, I had to pay and in other ways, I just snuck in. I was a bad, bad cat, but not as bad of a cat as I thought I was until I saw this movie. Then, maybe I thought it would just be best to live off of Netflix for awhile.

Even after the 4 or 5 years since I’ve seen this; little of this movie has changed. I still remembering it sucking, even until this day, except now I have a clearer-view on what does and what doesn’t work in a movie. Especially shitty ones like these, where almost nothing works. Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. The only positive-element of this movie that was worth watching and waiting around for this second-go around was Gabriel Macht as the Spirit and the cat that followed him around.

So obviously Gabriel Macht...

So obviously Gabriel Macht…

Macht has never been the type of actor to really knock it out of the park in a role, mostly because he’s never really gotten the spotlight. He’s usually been known as “that guy” in big-budgeted, shit-boxes like Bad Company, Whiteout, Because I Said So, and many, many more that I’m almost too ashamed to admit that I’ve seen him in, let alone actually viewed (the shit I do as a critic). So, this is why his performance as the Spirit is actually pretty good because he gets a chance to take over the film, do his thing, show some wit, have his charm, and be done with it. Is the guy anywhere near spectacular? Hell to the no! But in a movie like this, you need something that keeps you going, and he was exactly that for me in this movie. No wonder why the guy hasn’t really been given center field ever since this, but it’s a damn shame because the guy handled the pressure well. It’s everybody else who screwed him over.

No matter what crap he shows up in, Samuel L. Jackson is always the best part of it all. He’s always loud, crazy, yelling, and finding ways to have fun, even if he is the only one but even his performance here as the Octopus felt like he was parodying himself in a Funny or Die video. Not only is the Octopus a shitty villain to begin with, but this guy is literally all-over-the-place in terms of if he’s trying to be goofy, scary, intimidating, or even worth the fight at all. One second, he’s beating the crap out of the Spirit with a toilet, then the next second, he’s dressed-up as a Nazi talking about lord only knows what. It’s strange to see Jackson in such a role like this and have it not work, considering that he is usually the most entertaining aspect of any movie. ANY MOVIE.

But enough of the man meat, what about the ladies?!? Well, they are probably even worse and that’s not a rift against of their acting-abilities at all, it’s just the hands that they were dealt. Eva Mendes plays the Spirit’s old-squeeze who shows up looking all hot, sexy, and bad-ass, and does nothing with it at all. I mean, she shows her back-side once but if that’s all you got going for you in a role, then you’ve got major problemos. Scarlett Johansson seems like she should have been having the time of her life as the Octopus’ side-kick, Silken Floss, and she might have very well been, but we would have never known since she dead-pans to the point of near-boredom. And I’m talking on her part, not mine, even though, once again, she could have easily been having a ball with this role. Then, sadly, there’s Sarah Paulson as the Spirit’s current gal-pal, Ellen Dolan, the nurse with a heart of gold and the leniency of a nun, and does nothing at all with this character. Sad to say, too, because I love this girl in almost all she pops up in.

The reason why I’m paying so much attention to the cast, right off the bat, is because the main problem with this movie lies solely with them. Not their performances (even if they do suck), it’s more that the script has nothing go for it. It’s not fun, it’s not entertaining, and terribly disjointed. I never knew if whether or not this movie was trying to be funny, tongue-in-cheek, or just a serious, superhero movie with action. Very, small amounts of action. I never knew what the hell Frank Miller was trying to do and from the looks of it: neither did he.

Is it purrty as hell? Damn straight, but it only goes so far as to seem like a distraction to people who care about more meaningful things like plot, character-development, and action. None of that is here and even when it attempts at tackling anything like that; Miller and Co. miss terribly. It was a boring as hell experience that I remember so fondly for boring me to near-tears when I saw it all those years ago as a young guy, and still sucks all of these years later. Whether or not this review will make you want to see it yourself and take out of it what you can, is totally up to you, yourself, and you (I know: close, but no cigar). However, if I am going to advise anything: stay away from this movie. If one of your hardcore, nerdy friends say it was rad, kick them in the ass, slap them ion the face, or do something that has them wake up, smell the roses, and realize that their asses are wrong. DEAD WRONG!!!

Consensus: The Spirit is one of those movies that seems like on-paper, it would have been bucket-loads of fun, but is nowhere near that with a dry-personality, performances from a talented cast that seems as if they are lost in the whirlwind of a storm of confusion, and nothing really fun, exciting, or remotely interesting to stick around for. Just see it for the kitty and let that’d be it.

1 / 10 = Crapola!!

Pictured: the editing room.

Pictured: the editing room.


Middle Men (2010)

Goodfellas; if instead of mobsters, they had naked chicks.

After spotting a big financial opportunity in the future of Internet pornography, straightlaced entrepreneur Jack Harris (Luke Wilson) enlists his pals Buck (Gabriel Macht) and Wayne (Giovanni Ribisi) to help him develop an online billing company specializing in adult entertainment. But as the firm takes off, Jack finds some unexpected kinks in the business of kink — including mobsters, the FBI, con men and terrorists.

Internet porn is something everybody uses, especially in today’s world but it’s funny to see how when internet came about and everything, that porn wasn’t the first thing on everybody’s mind for it.

The best aspect to Middle Men right away is it’s script which really does work. While the script isn’t as quick-witted as some films about a major technology breakthrough like The Social Network, the film still moves at a good pace with enough clever lines of dialogue following each other well. Also, in a time where so many movies want to be about sex and violence but don’t really have the guts to follow through with it, the writing on Middle Men has an edge that keeps it exciting throughout all the laughs.

The problem with this film that it seems a lot of others had was that you may find it the same exact formula that was used in such films as Boogie Nights and Goodfellas, but for me, the formula worked here. The story moved well and it didn’t really leave out any details about what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. The narration from Wilson may seem a bit annoying at first because it does pop-up about every 30 seconds but I thought actually helped turn the plot and keep the naughty bits of this film going. The soundtrack is also bangin’ because songs that you haven’t heard in awhile come out of nowhere here and bring you back to a time like this film portrays.

My problem with this film that I actually had was that some of it feels a lot duller than other parts of the film and by the end for some reason, it becomes more of a suspense film rather than an actual tale of how internet porn all came to be. I get that this is an actual true story, but for some reason it just played like a bad suspense thriller that I already knew how was going to end so therefore all the mystery was lost.

Another problem with the film is that we see Wilson’s character in the beginning as this wholesome, nice-guy Texas family-man but he soon changes as he gets himself caught up in business with these two morons and for a reason why he changed, was not explained. This character transition of character made his character seemed disjointed and unexplained and what the real problem here is that the film tries to show this character in a slimy light, and positive light. For some reason, either way didn’t really work out.

Luke Wilson is here as Jack Harris, who (finally!) lives up to his potential as a leading man, which we haven’t really seen since Bottle Rocket. He brings humility and likability to a ‘smartest-guy-in-the-room’ character that makes you identify with Jack Harris’ succumbing to the chaos surrounding him and  root for him to get out of it. His character may kind of have problems but Wilson knows how to keep this character likable and actually believable.

Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht are OK together as the two moron-savant programmers but nothing really special. They actually started to annoy me by the end of the film because their constant rambling and over-acting didn’t seem funny anymore, as much as it was just trying too hard for laughs. James Caan is brilliant with his turn as the shyster Las Vegas lawyer, Jerry Haggerty. The rest of the cast is backed up by good performances and cameos from the likes of Terry Crews, Kevin Pollack, Kelsey Grammar, and Laura Ramsey.

Consensus: Some of it is a bit messy, and a bit disjointed, but Middle Men also features some very good writing that gives us great detail about internet porn, while still providing good performances from the whole cast, especially Luke Wilson who shows that he can handle a film well too.


Whiteout (2009)

The best thing I love about movies, is when I can see the characters breathing, during the whole freakin’ thing!

The lone U.S. marshal at a research station in Antarctica, Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) stumbles upon the continent’s first murder victim. With only three days left until the sun sets for six months, Carrie races to solve the complex mystery before darkness falls.

Basically, this film sucks. I just thought I’d throw that out there to give you an idea, of the kind of review you should expect.

This film tries to act like it’s different, and inventive, which really pissed me off, cause it’s neither. It’s your ordinary who-done-it thriller, mixed with a bit of slasher elements, that don’t work either. The film tries to keep you on the edge of your seat guessing who the killer is, but in the first 20 minutes I already knew, as well as my mom, who is always clueless to movies.

I also think that filming action sequences in a blizzard aren’t the best idea. I’m pretty sure when one person is wearing a jacket and goggles, everybody else is too, so you can’t really tell who’s who, especially when the film’s cutting from one angle, to another. You literally cannot see anything in this movie, especially in their most crucial moments, and I was just appalled that they actually thought this was going to be a good idea.

I don’t think Kate Beckinsale got the memo that this was a thriller, so be thrilled. She shares just about no emotions, to anything that’s going on, and she is basically piss-poor at everything in this movie, especially with the real shitty dialogue. Gabriel Macht comes out of nowhere as a U.N. detective, and sucks as well. Columbus Short, and Alex O’Loughlin actually made their parts more bearable, but still they can’t help but be taken down by this terrible script.

Consensus: It acts like it’s a new, original thriller, that keeps you guessing forever, considering its awfully predictable, unbearable to even look at, and just terrible performances.


Bad Company (2002)

The two weirdest pairing of two actors I have ever seen.

Gaylord Oakes, a veteran CIA agent must transform sarcastic, street-wise punk Jake Hayes into a sophisticated and savvy spy to replace his murdered identical twin brother. He only has nine days to accomplish this “mission: improbable” before having to negotiate a sensitive nuclear weapons deal.

The concept for Bad Company is an original one if it was made before movies like Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, and other films that feature two racially-separated people who at first hate each other but soon through fate end up becoming very fond of one another. But never has that concept been so destroyed like this film.

The writing is just so pitiful and half of the time I thought that some of this material was supposed to be funny, but it wasn’t it was serious and it made me laugh even longer. The action sequences, if you want to call it that, are just basically two groups of people shooting at each other eventually hitting or missing, but mostly ends up having the cops kill more. The most obvious and biggest cliche that is done in every terrorist thriller film is the red radar count-down numbers. This is such an overused idea that I think they should just retire this and put in a oh I don’t know a green radar count-down.

The biggest most obvious problem with this film is that Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins are way too good for this kind of material. I mean for crying out loud, freaking Hopkins was playing Hannibal Lector and one an Oscar!!! Rock is trying his hardest to be hilarious in a yawn movie, and Hopkins I just don’t think is even trying at all. Half of the scenes that Hopkins has, i you just look at his face you can just see the disgust that he has pouring out his performance for this movie.

This movie is backed up by barely anything I will only give this a non horrible rating is cause this film does try hard, a little too hard, and this film shows Rock and Hopkins totally having a ball considering I wasn’t while watching this. And the funniest thing about this movie is probably that Hopkins actually did sign on to this piece of crap!!

2.5/10=Some Ole Bullshittt!!!