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If you haven't seen I and II, this will make you go back and watch them.
Still a somewhat original idea for a horror flic, but this time, there's
a reason for the slashing, shooting, twisting, etc. And the people aren't
killing themselves this time. The ending twist(s) is pretty good too.
By way of a hint, the question the movie asks is how long will a person
live for revenge. Not a buy, well maybe, but definitely a rental.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The Beginning
Please, let this be the end. This is apparently based on true events.
I say let the real perpetrators out of jail and make them watch this flic.
Not a buy, not a rental, not a pick up off the shelf and read the back
Murder, Set, Pieces
What does Hitler and the destruction of the Twin Towers have in common?
No really, I'm asking. Apparently the makers of this film found some link.
The villain spoke in German, dreamed about Hitler and then went on to
dream about the Towers falling. No, I didn't get it either. Then, this
guy kills about 6-8 grown women, and some 13 year old beats his butt and
gets away clean. Go figure. Anyway, pass this one. Or watch it with the
sound off, maybe it'll make sense.
What happens is dumb people breed? I'm talking stupid people. Carlos Mencia's
Dee Dee Dee stupid (if you know who he is, you know what I mean). Anyway,
this one's got an original-esq plot. Luke Wilson ends up "traveling"
to the future where the stupids have taken over. The President is an ex
wrestler who packs heat. 'nuff said. FuddRuckers has a new name (say the
old one 3 times fast and you'll probably figure it out). And I won't even
talk about what Starbuck's sells. This one is kinda funny though, maybe
a buy if you're a Luke Wilson fan.
The fact that they could make a whole movie about a guy trying to find
his elephant friends (and it's NOT a comedy), says something. The fight
scenes are off the hook. One particular 3-4 minute one shot, multiple
fights scene is very good. Like to see Tom Cruise pull that one off. The
movie's not bad though, but every now and then you'll realize this guy
is just trying to get his elephant back.
"Based on a true story" of a woman who still another woman's
unborn baby. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the ending meant.
This tries to be a psychological thriller, but it don't make the cut.
This movie is weird.
A scientist creates a serum that's supposed to bering back the dead, and
he tries it out on his nephew who's got what seems like a minor injury.
Then again, the hospital was pretty much just letting him lie on the gurney
without care. As a result, he comes back to lie (I guess he died) and
wants to eat everybody's brains. Go figure. Don't waste your time.
Snakes on a Plane
Or as Mace Windu - sorry , wrong movie - Samuel L would say, &^%#$!%)(*^&
Snakes on a &^%#$!%)(*^& Plane! First, why can't Airtran, Southwest
and Delta get their planes where these guys shop? This plane was huge.
Spiral staircase huge. Titanic main stairway spiral staircase huge. So
big that the Mile High Club could have gone through most of the Kama Sutra
in the bathroom. I digress. You know the plot (if you don't, reread the
title). Kudos to Hollywood for coming up with a real original thriller.
And a good one too. No real standout acting performances, but most of
the acting was limited to running, screaming, falling and dying. Not real
good Oscar material. It's not a Spielberg production, but it is entertaining.
And the snakes bit people in some of the craziest places. Use your imagination.
There were a few plot holes, like how the person who put the snakes there
knew which plane to put them on. `Overall, it was a good movie, but I
think they let it go on too long between the time that the snakes actually
got loose on the plane and when all the passengers realized there were
&^%#$!%)(*^& Snakes on a &^%#$!%)(*^& Plane. On the DVD
the extended scenes are OK, but the gag reel is kinda pretty funny. Definitely
a rental, possibly a buy if you're a Samuel Jackson fan, who, might I
add, is getting a tad on the meaty side.
OK, I had to see it, just to see what the big deal was. There are about
3-4 seriously funny moments, sourounded by 90 minutes of the most disgusting
(even worse than the infamous "tumbling port-o-potty"), stupid
and downright dangerous stunts (sometimes including their parents and
celebrities) and body mutilations I have ever seen. Unless you were very
into the TV show (and I mean very, very into it), this isn't even a rental.
If you're homey buys it, borrow it, but watch it by yourself. Oh yeah,
it's that bad. OK, the first 5 minutes are kinda funny, but SPOILER ALERT
there's a dance routine for the last 5 minutes that is well, weird. It's
like these guys are starting to believe they are really, really funny
and anything they do is, by definition, funny. They ain't. Their fans
know what to expect and they won't be disappointed. As for the other 99.999%
of us, stay away. Stay far away.
War of The Planets
Saw this on DVD. Haven't yet figured out what planets were at war. This
flic starts out slow, and stays that way for a good 30-40 minutes. But it
has to, given the actual plot. Parts of the story are very creative, and
parts are just straight predictable. But as with so many horror movies,
the cast is picked off one by one because they start separating. This would
have been a much better movie with a more realistic name. The expectation
wasn't set too high or low, just wrong. Part of this felt like is was someone's
film school project. As a "big budget" flic, with a decent director,
this could have been pretty good. OK, maybe just less lame.
This story is about 6 or 7 women (I lost count) who get together and do
macho stuff like white water rafting. After one suffers a tragedy, they
decide to get together and go caving/spurlunking. (I had a roommate in college
who was into spurlunking, basically finding the biggest mountain with the
smallest hole and climbing through it. Yeah, tripped me out too.)
A few rules if you ever decide to do this with your pals:
1. Don't leave the choice of cave and carrying of the map to the super type
A in the group without SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, EVERYBODY double checking to make
sure she/he's not ego tripping.
2. Bring spare batteries. Lots of spare batteries. And those bendy light
thingies too. Pretty much self explanatory.
3. Lesson learned from Friday the 13th thru 23rd, Nightmare on Elm, Broadway
and Main, and Halloween I thru IV, if there is a chance that something/one
may be trying to off you and all your friends, do not, repeat DO NOT all
run around screaming in different directions until you are totally separated
and isolated and have to scream each other's names to find one another,
thus alerting said threat to your isolated and lonely whereabouts where
you are easily picked off.
4. Just 'cause you're trapped in a cave and see light, don't mean it's daylight.
And rest assured, if you go running blindly toward teh light you will fall
in something and break a leg such that a bone is sticking out, and sooner
or later, you're going to wish you could run.
5. If it's an all female group, you must talk as nasty and crudely as you
can possibly imagine, drink beer and get "toe out the frame drunk"
right before going into the cave.
Having said all that, this movie actually wasn't bad. The way the characters
changed during the movie was totally believable, and payback truly is a
mammajamma, as my mom used to say.
The final weak point is, well, the final scene. I actually still am trying
to figure out what the ending meant. Not a good thing. Otherwise, it wasn't
a bad flic at all. It will startle you a few times.
Jet Li says this is his last movie of this type (beating folk down). Too
bad, the dude can fight, 'course, he's no match for me at 10 feet with an
AK47, but I digress. Anyway, as are many of his flics (Hero is awesome),
there is a really good story here. You'd think from the trailers it's a
movie about a match, but it's really a movie about a man. And oh what a
story it is. Based on a true story, the ending is one of the great "oh
snap" movie moments. The fight scenes are great and the "life
changing moment" in the middle of the flic will leave your jaw on the
floor. Bottom line, don't expect a fight movie from beginning to end, so
sit back and enjoy a great story with beat downs sprinkled here and there.
According to the Blockbuster guy, the DVD extras show how they slowed down
many of the fight scenes because his hands are too fast. I recently saw
an A&E special on The Red Trousers, China's Ballet company, where many
of these fighting actors come from. Talk about humbling.
For some first timers (Outkast's Andre 3000 and Big Boi wrote this), pretty
good flic. Some of the song and dance routines were banging (yes, it's a
musical). Some really strong performances by the cast, and some of erebody
in this flic too. Like most "smaller" flics, they pushed the envelope
in plot and script, got people to say and do things in character that big
name stars would never do, and it was all good. Bruce Bruce got 3 minutes,
and his fat@$$ is funny in them three minutes. It reminds me of Eddie Murphy's
"Life", another great flic. Big Boi is a showman, that's for sure.
Bru can act, too. And Andre 3000's love interest was absolutely stunning
(Paula Patton, married to Robin Thicke, whoever the h*ll that is, and yeah,
I looked it up). You know you foine when you upstage Bird from Waiting to
Exhale (yeah, she in it too). And he had a Wesley Snipes scene too, and
you know what I mean.
The down side, the ending stank. OK, let's be real, we like happy endings
and SPOILER ALERT when people get their lives
changed for the better then crapped on, well, that sux. Anyway, it's definitely
worth a rental, maybe a keeper. I hope they do another flic.
You all know the story, the real question is can these producers pull it
off. Put it like this, the crowd applauded when it was over. Really a nice
family movie, even with the one incident of well placed farm flatulence.
No hidden adult stuff, just a really nice movie, and Oprah Winfrey's voice
(not the pig) and no Whoopie Goldberg as a bonus. I give it 3.5/4.0.
Just watched this flic. First, it's long, like 2 and half hours long. Otherwise,
it's actually pretty good. Props to the producers for coming up with a pretty
original and realistic story. It's even got Kumar from Harold and Kumar
Go To White Castle (yeah, that's an actual movie). The music was directly
from Superman I, as were the credits, but it was all good. Overall, I'd
recommend watching this, maybe even buying it.
OK, I gotta call them to task for one thing, no two. First, Lois Lane is
supposed to be a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter. So she picks up her son
from daycare and, investigating a story, takes him onto what turns out to
be Lex Luthor's private yatch AND LEAVES HER CELL PHONE IN THE CAR. What
part of the stupid truck did she actually fall off of?
Second, as near as I can figure, the standard DVD that Blockbuster has is
only the movie. To get the 3 hours of bonus features you have to have a
Blue Ray or HD DVD player. Soooooo, roughly 97.53% of the viewing public
can't see the good stuff. Absolutely brilliant.
A Little Romance
Just saw this flic for about the 8th time. It's a 1979 love story starring
Diane Lane (yeah, that Diane Lane) as a 14 year old in Europe who falls
for this French kid who's name I can't pronounce nor spell, and shows what
they'd do to be in love forever. Blows away that story of Romeo and what's
her name. It also stars Lawrence Olivier (yeah same ODB from Caligula) and
Sally Kellerman as Diane's moms (she's got to be old as dirt now). Anyway,
this is a really nice movie, from back in the day when they made movies
to tell stories instead of as "vehicles" for this or that actor.
There's no sex or excessive swearing (I think I counted one "BS")
and the two stars are very convincing. Some of the subplots are really funny.
As you can imagine, the sets and costumes date this flic, but it really
is worth seeing when you're tired of movies where all the kids are spoiled
horny lil brats. The ending will make you cry, and no, no one dies. Even
27 years later, I'd love to see a sequel to this flic.
Anyway, if you get the chance to catch it on cable, it's definitely worth
The DaVinci Code
You all know the story, what is the Holy Grail? Based on the bestselling
book of the same name, this Ron Howard movie stars Tom Hanks and a bunch
of other famous folks I can't name. The movie pretty much follows the book
as best it can, but the book is still better because it can do more interweaving
of history. That being said, this is a pretty good flic. It goes slow at
times, because things have to be explained carefully. It's up to you to
decide if you believe it or not, but if nothing else, just like the book,
you'll be wondering...
The DVD has some pretty cool extras, including some clues the director and
author put in the movie that were not in the book. Is it a buy? Maybe, but
it's definitely worth a night's rental.
This movie is part of a 3 movie, 2 DVD set called 3 Extremes. The other
disc wouldn't play in my DVD player, so I'll just talk about this one. Asian
film makers have a very different perspective than "the West".
This movie is not for the faint of heart or stomach. I won't go too into
it, but the dumplings in the title refer to those you get in most Chinese
restaurants. No, this isn't a "bash the Chinese restaurants" movie,
but it gets deep into what people will do for everlasting youth. You take
it from there. It stars Bai Ling, and she's looked better. Also, it's in
Mandarin with English subtitles. I can't recommend this because it gets
into too many issues, like China's one child limits and incest. Yeah, this
flic is way out there. But if you have a strong stomach and are curious,
go for it.
As near as I can figure out, this is the result of HBO's Project Greenlight.
It's a horror flic with crazy twists and turns, no big name stars and I
really liked the fact that who lived and died was totally unpredictable.
Yeah, no pretty boy heroes in this one. I don't want to give it up, but
the monsters in this flic do stuff I have never seen monsters do before.
Many "oh snap" moments to be had. I wouldn't buy it, but it's
definitely worth a rental.
This flic stars Wesley Snipes, Cybill Shepard (like you've really never
seen her before) and Mario and Melvin Van Peebles. Somewhat predictable,
but still worth the ride. Snipes is out of jail, with a suitcase full of
money and the cops on his tail. Much comic mayhem ensues. I guess it says
a lot for Snipes and Shepard that this movie came out, went to DVD and no
one noticed. That aside, this is a funny, funny flic. It's that kind of
comedy that "big name" stars wouldn't do. The ending is pretty
predictable from about a half hour away, but it's worth the ride.
This one is pretty funny. Some stuff over the kids heads, but trust me,
they won't catch it. The storyline is pretty good and a bit original. A
couple of scenes will have you laughing out loud. All in all, I'd recommend
Unless you been living under a rock, you know this is a remake of the 1970s
disaster flic The Poseidon Adventure. The plot is simple, a big boat gets
hit by a rogue wave in the middle of the ocean and flips over. Now, because
it's a remake, they're pretty much locked into a story, so I'll excuse some
of the more ridiculous events, like how a huge ship with supercomputers
all over the bridge doesn't notice a 200 foot wave coming at it, or how
Curt Russell's bratty daughter (more on her later) finds a pair of jeans
that fit in the middle of the crisis, or a 12 year old that, even though
the cast is climbing up a ship upside down still wants to "explore"
and almost causes his own and the deaths of 2 others. Anyway, as for Russell's
daughter, homegirl need to meet the fast end of a switch big time, but I
digress. I won't divulge any of the plot twists, the one or two there were.
Anyway, the flic isn't bad. The CG effects are pretty good too. Be sure
to check out the DVD extras. All in all, pretty suspenseful, considering
you know the plot. I'd give it 3 out of 5.
You know the plot, guy robs a bank, Denzel Washington negotiates the crisis.
Good flic, and yes, there's something else besides a bank robbery going
on here. Good to see Darryl Mitchell, the actor who was paralyzed in a car
accident a few years back, is still working. The ending was kinda left up
in the air though. Otherwise, it's worth a rental.
This ain't even worth a rental. It takes place in that same futuristic world
where Aeon Flux happened, looked like the same sets too. In this world,
everyone is young and muscular, the heroine wears a skin tight leather outfit
that changes color, the guards and police all look like Imperial Stormtrooper
rejects. With all the money they spent on costumes, they put the villain
in a Johnny Carson suit. Go figure. As for the plot, well, the DVD jumped
skipped so much I couldn't figure out what was going on, other than the
heroine kept beating up like 20-30 guys at a time, and they had guns. Anyway,
this movie is stupid. 3 thumbs down.
This is a good movie, real funny. No sneaky adult stuff all though it, but
a good story line, and a pretty good message too. The barnyard party will
have you rollin - one song in particular had heads boppin like it was Beverly
Hills Cop all over again. Anyway, go see it, take the kids.
Saw the trailer for this. The Whoopie Goldberg hiatus has officially
ended. She plays a bat in this movie. No comment. OK, one. Whoopie playing
a bat, how appropriate.
11 Ways to Eat Fried Worms
Apparently, this was a children's book, the preview was as gross as the
title. I'll pass.
V for Vendetta
This is a deep flic. It takes place in a "1983"-esque England,
a society very close to 1984 with Big Brother. Anyway, the US is in the
midst of a Civil War and Europeans are slower (actually pretty quickly)
losing their civil rights to a totalitarian gubment. Sounds familiar, but
I digress. Anyway, there's a vigilante who's fighting back for the good
of the people and he enlists the assistance of Darth Vader's moms in his
struggle. The dialogue is pretty interesting. Homey is so cool he could
con a nun out her knickers. This ain't a kid movie, with elements of, to
some, the current US environment, the recent problems of the Catholic Church
as well as the concentration camps of WWII. Like it or hate is, this movie
will give you much to talk about after. And not just momma Vader in an "oh
The Ant Bully
This movie wasn't bad, the story was different and the most of the focus
was from the perspective of the ants. The plot is that a kid gets shrunk
and has to live with an ant colony. It will make you think twice the next
time you kill and insect. Not saying you won't, but you'll think about it
first. The graphics were pretty good. Even though there were a few named
stars for voices, I got the feeling the producers want the movie to sink
or swim on it's merits, not it's "star power". One thing you take
away from it is how well the animal world works together for the greater
good and we, well, we bomb each other back to the stone age, but that's
a whole 'nother story. Anyway, I'd recommend this for anyone with kids 5
and up. No profanity, but a couple butt shots when the main character gets
shrunk down (underwear don't shrink.) It's a little more, but if you can
see it in 3D, I think it's worth the extra few bucks. This ain't Nemo, or
even Cars, but it's better than Shark Tale and smokes The Wild like a Philly
Final Destination 3
Yeah, I watch this stuff too. Anyway, if you don't know what this flic is,
you can stop now. This is the third (duh) of the (hopefully) Final Destination
Trilogy. In a nutshell, a bunch or teens are about to get on some type of
vehicle, one freaks out and they don't get on. Whatever it was they were
getting on crashes and kills every one who did get on. They have cheated
the Grim Reaper and he (or she) spends the next 90 minutes taking them out,
in the same order they would have died had they taken that ride. The original
freak outer has a camera and has taken photos of each survivor, but in each
picture is a clue as to how they'll die. That's basically the plot of all
3 films. What's amazing is how many ways Hollywood figures out how to maim,
burn, stick, drop, choke, slice, dice, slap up, flip and rub down teenagers.
The commercial for the DVD promotes the fact that you can select who's going
to die all through the movie. I got to choose once, but they rest of that
carnage wasn't left up to me. Bummer. Anyway, If you saw the first 2, more
of the same. If you didn't don't bother.
The visuals are great, the story is different, and the voice talent is good
(no Whoopie Goldberg - again!) It's not a bad story overall, very engaging,
you really want to see how it's going to end. As for the ending (last 15-20
minutes), I'll say I sure didn't see that coming. Kudos to the screenwriters
for making the kids seems like normal 10-11 year olds without going overboard,
like the infamous "penisbreath" language in ET. I've recommend
it, but it's not going to break any box office records, especially with
about 4-5 more annimations coming this year.
Most of us are old enough to remember "An Officer and a Gentleman".
The producers of Annapolis are obviously not. Sure, Tyrese looks good singing
about Coca Cola in the back of a bus, but bru just ain't too believable
as a military office. Louis Gossett, Jr. did a better job. The script is
predictable and a virtual copy of the earlier work, down to the boxing scenes
and the lead character's roommate not graduating from Academy, but being
the catalyst that keeps the lead, who really shouldn't be there in the first
place, on the path to success. To everyone who saw it in a theatre @ $10-12
a head, my condolences. The female lead is kinda smokin though. This is
a rental, but only when Dave Chappelle's Block Party is sold out.
They showed 3 hours of the original series plus a scene from the new movie
on NBC tonight. I got a feeling this one is pretty high on the suckometer.
Then again, in retrospect, so was the series.
OK, just tried to watch this, what a mess. I fast forwarded through most
of it, looking for a reason to press play. Didn't find one. Can't say I
can really give it a review, since I didn't watch it.
Mos Def and Bruce Willis, looking like he 'mos dead (don't know if it was
the makeup or just that he ole as dirt. Homey was married to Demi Moore?
He looked like her granpa now. But I digress). Engaging movie. One of them
flics you have to see how it ends. Mos Def is becoming quite the thespian
(he did a excellent job in HBO's "Something the Lord Made"). I
think he's supposed to have a lil dain bramage or something. Anyway, it's
worth a rental.
I caught John Travolta's Battlefield Earth for about the 5th time. It's
like a fine filet mignon, the longer you leave it out, the smellier it gets.
It's horrible, up there with Freddie Got Fingered.
Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
This actually wasn't a bad flic, I think the best part was that it's only
like an hour and 15 minutes long. Jennifer Love Hewit is still smokin, be
she's not blazin like she was in the first one. Maybe it was that whack
wig she was wearing. I digress. Bottom line, this remake of the prince and
the pauper (in case you didn't figure that out from the commercials) ain't
bad. The kids will dig it, as for the adults, you'll be wishing John would
shoot that cat. And I like cats.
I caught this on DVD. Never heard of it, but it stars Paul Walker (Fast
and the Furious, Timeline) and I have to say it's pretty good. Full of plot
twists and curve balls, the lamest of which is the last one or two. But
they don't take away from what is otherwise a pretty interesting story.
Want to know why Disney spent $7.4 billion to buy Pixar? Without Pixar,
Disney gave us The Wild, a broken bat bunt. With Pixar they gave us Cars,
Barry Bonds' 756 grand slam home run. Cars rocks. It's not often you hear
applause in a movie. Sure, it's long like the waistband on Oprah's draws,
but it's worth every one of it's 152 minutes. The graphics are unbelievable.
If you think Dances With Wolves had great scenery, you ain't seent nuthin.
Stay for the credits.
For those interested, here's a brief history of Pixar. In the mid 70s, George
Lucas directed Star Wars, in return for taking a pay cut he was given merchandising
rights to all Star Wars sequels. He became a billionaire. He then founded,
among other companies, Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts, Lucas Film,
THX and Pixar. He did it because there were no companies with the technology
to do what he wanted to do on film. A few years later, he sold Pixar to
Steve Jobs for $10 million (now go back and reread the first line of this
email). Disney, who pretty much owned animation in those years wanted nothing
to do with "computer animation", preferring to stick with traditional
hand drawn animation. So, all the computer animation artists that Disney
wouldn't hire went to Pixar. In the lean years Jobs had to pay the Pixar
payroll out of his own pocket. Under Jobs, Pixar made a marketing deal with
Disney and created both Toy Storys, A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Finding
Nemo and Monsters Inc.
Over The Hedge
This flic is good. Funny as all heck too. You'll never look at opening a
bag of corn chips the same way again. The story's pretty original, well,
for Hollywood. And no Whoopie Goldberg.
Take the best parts of The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Madagascar, and put
in a pinch of Star Wars Ep. 4. Now, take what's left over and you have The
Wild. Ripoff would be a nice thing, this flic blatantly copied those flics,
down to having the heroes run past a theater marquee for The Lion King stage
play. The graphics were great and the lil guy enjoyed it. You have to kinda
suspend reality that no one would notice a lion, giraffe, snake and a koala
walking down the street. The streak continues: No Whoopie Goldberg. Overall,
a nice enjoyable movie, but the copying was a bit over done. Frankly, I'm
amazed it got green lighted. But it is a cute movie.
Ice Age 2
Pretty good flic - AND NO WHOOPIE GOLDBERG!!!!
Seriously, it was pretty good. Very good story but not so simple to insult.
Music's pretty good too.
Hell hath no fury than PIXAR spurned. Just about every animated film is
digital. The difference is that the best movies are good stories. Doogal
is a nice story. The animation looks like veggie tales, which targets a
specific age group. The story seems to target another. It reminds me of
Shark Tale in that respect.
There's a a few questions that never get answered, like WARNING - SPOILERS
AHEAD why do these animals talk, where are the parents of these kids, and
why is Doogal the star, since he really isn't the focus of the movie. It's
like the producers created this magical place and didn't give much thought
to how it would fit in with rest of the world, or if there even is one.
And a farting moose gets old (and smelly) pretty fast.
When the heck are animators going to stop putting Whoopie Goldberg in a
movie every time they want a jive talkin character? It's getting very tired.
On top of that, maybe it's time to get kid actors to be the voices of kid
characters. And if you want to slip in jokes to appeal to the adults but
be overlooked by the kiddies, make sure they're funny jokes. Smaller kids
will like it, then again, that don't usually know what the plot is.
I'd give Doogal a 6/10.
Nice movie, very entertaining. And we find out why the guy wears that yellow
suit and hat! You'll be singing the theme song for a few days too.
Not a bad lil flic at all. A lot better than Corpse Bride, really good 3D.
And the Chicken Little 3D glasses are a fashion statement. Makes you wonder
if they meant the move to only be seen in 3D. I rank it better than Shark
Tales and Madagascar, about even with Robots.
Wallace and Gromit: Attack of the Were-Rabbit
This is a funny flic, start to finish, very imaginative. A lil bit of adult
stuff that the kids will miss but the parents will giggle over.
Pretty good up to the last 3 minutes. The ending sucked. Too many questions
to be answered. Not sequel type questions, what-the-heck-does-that-mean
Nerd Tidbit: In Corpse Bride, Victor played a "HarryHausen" piano.
That was also the name of the restaurant in Monsters, Inc. Yeah, maybe I
have watched too many kid's flics.
SharkBoy & LavaGirl
OK, remember the 1980s Flash Gordon movie? Yeah, it sucked. This one is
kinda in the same vein, but it doesn't suck. My 7 year old was really into
it. It forces you to stretch you imagination a bit, the acting was kinda
lame too. Worth a matinee on a hot day though.
OK, it's not Nemo or The Incredibles, but it's entertaining. A few adult
jokes that go over most kid's heads, and you can see how they've set it
up for a sequel. The penguins are the funniest characters in the movie.
Star Wars Episode III
'sup peeps. Yeah I checked this one out earlier tonight, no, I didn't wear
my Lando Calrissian costume. Anyway, those of you who been following this
saga since jr high pretty much know the story, and more importantly, you
know what loose ends this episode has to tie up so the next 3 (made 25 years
ago) make sense. Having said all that, this one's a 9 piece bucket with
fries on the side and a free drink. I mean, for a 2 and a half hour movie
with no surprises, it's surprisingly entertaining. The only surprise at
the showing I went to was when the sound wasn't on for the first 10-15 seconds
of the movie. You ever see 300 normal people who paid $9 to get in and another
$9 for $.30 worth of popcorn turn into Dark Lords of the Sith at the same
time? Think LA riots but everybody's on the same side. Yoda's still the
baddest phlem ball this side of Tattoine. And peep this, him and Chewbacca
were old friends. Nope, didn't see the coming at all. OK, enough spoilers.
Anyway, go see it. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll say Oh snap.
Robots is pretty good. Lot of adult gags the kids won't get. There was applause
as the credits rolled.
The Polar Express
The graphics are unbelievable, and the story's pretty good too.
First, the short film that accompanies this movie is crazy funny. I'm talking laugh out lo
The film itself it very good. Whatever mojo Pixar has is still in effect even though Disney is running the show. It's a robot love story and then some. You probably have heard that the first 30 minutes have no dialogue. That's true, but you don't notice it. What makes Pixar films so good is the details. And this one has a bunch. Even though most 3D animation looks good, Pixar's rocks. The Steve Jobs' roots are showing when a robot reboots and makes the Mac startup sound. Like I said, there's a whole other story besides the robot romance, but I'm not going to spoil that one. Stay for the credits.
Separately, Regal Cinemas' $17 for popcorn and soda sux.
Yeah, another kid flic. Not bad, not great but not bad. Had some good laughs, kept your interest. They used PIXAR's RenderMan technology, so the images were awesome. Storywise, kinda predictable and some of the scenes made you wonder what age they were going for, but all in all, not bad. As usual, the humans are pretty stupid compared to the apes.You can wait for the DVD if you want. A note on the animation, there's one scene where the girl monkey is walking. Man, is throwin it. The kiddies will miss it, but the grown folks with be thinking "they did some serious research there". 'Nuff said.
In The Valley of Elah
Tommy Lee Jones and Charlise Theron. The story about a father trying to find out how/why his son was killed after returning from a tour in Iraq. Powerful flic. It's not anti-war, it's anti-let soldiers come home and don't do anything to help them cope with being back in the "civilized" world. The saddest part is that it's based on a true story. This is not a movie for movie night with the buds. Like so many other things, it makes you appreciate what our soldiers are doing "over there", but at the same time, you feel sad for so many young lives mentally and physically destroyed for what many consider to be questionable reasons. Anyway, see this flic. Then go hug a soldier.
Think Cloverfield, bu tin the house. This particular type of movie is getting long in the tooth. Blair Witch still is the best at the "behind a camera" style. Anyway, from the trailers you know that some folk are in a building with some other crazy folk, and they can't get out. That's pretty much it. If you're into that, it's worth seeing at a matinee. Full price? Hm, that's a lil iffier. Bottom line, been there, done that.
Body Of Lies
It's not often that one movie can destroy a whole genre. I really can't report on Body of Lies, because I couldn't finish watching it. Not that it was bad, but after trying to follow Syriana last year (and failing miserably), the whole Middle Eastern terrorists storylines kinda get all mixed up and you really, really don't feel like watching long enough to see what the difference might be. Go see this if you want, then tell me what happened.
Starship Troopers 3: Mauraders
Yes, they actually did make a 3rd movie in this series. And it surpassed the suckosity of the first one. Casper Van Diem has obviously had a hard time getting roles. He's older and less buffier in this outing. The cast includes Jolene Blaylock from Star Trek: Enterprise and Boris Kodjoe catching a beat down early on. The better CGI gets, the worse it's implemented. A crayon and wax paper would have made better monsters than they got this time. And what movie about the military of the future would be complete without the obligatory, non-necessary nude scene? Ok, cut to the chase. This was bad. I mean really bad. I mean straight to video bad. If you want to see a good show about these characters, check out the animated series Roughnecks. Two big old snotbubbles for this one.
Madagascar 2: Back To Africa
This is a very funny kid's flic. There's some adult stuff in it that will probably go over a lot of kid's heads, but a few might catch some of it. In this respect they still have some catching up to do to PIXAR. The penguins and monkeys steal the show. Very entertaining and the kids will dig it. It's not a classic by any means, but it does a whole more for sequels than Shrek. I was surprised during the credits to find out who did what voices. I personally don't think famous voices add anything to a cartoon, but I'm weird like that. Bottom line, two triangles up.
First, I'm not necessarily a Will Smith fan, but homey showed up for this one. I don't want to give away the story, but I did tear up during one part in the middle. Let's just say it's the "big monster" part. The plot is kinda "where is this going" for a good while, but it's worth the wait. Rosario Dawson is very good as well. Smokin too, but I digress. As a spoiler, I will say I hated the ending. Not that it wasn't good, I didn't see it coming until about 10 minutes before, and it was, well it just sucked. It's a date movie. I give it 3/4 triangles (can't say thumbs up anymore, Ebert & Roper are suing folk for that.)
Not a big Tom Cruise fan, but am a fan of history. This movie is based on one of the 15-20 actual attempts on Adolph Hitler's life. Considering you pretty much know the ending, it's not a bad film. Mr. Scientology gives a good performance, as does the supporting cast. One thing it would be interesting to have learned exactly why the plot failed (yeah, like you thought it succeeded), although they do allude to a possible cause. For some reason I think this film came out at the wrong time to be very successful. Maybe it's all the financial turmoil we're going through, maybe it's because of the approval rating of our current leadership, I don't know. But I just don't think the timing was right. The film is pretty good though, long as heck might I add. At least I finally know how to pronounce the title.
Not a bad flic. The graphics are pretty good, this one is stop action v. animation. This movie is rated PG and it's pretty obvious why. While it's not in the league of PIXAR flics, it's not the worst kid flic ever. The story is a bit complex and will probably go over some kids heads. Be warned, there's a scene with a woman who resembles the exotic dancer Lotta Topp (Google it) and she's dancing around. A lot. This is definitely not a lil kids movie. It's an interesting way to spend 2 hours, but when it was over everybody pretty much just got up and left. It's not going to set the world on fire.
Anybody who has seen the trailer knows the plot: American girl goes to Paris, against the wishes of her father and gets kidnapped. Father goes to Paris and gets her back (yeah right, you thought he wasn't going to get her). Anyway, Liam Neeson (aka Qui-Gon Jinn) goes all Jedi Master Charles Bronson and beats some folk down, up, left, right and center. And he's hardcore too, capping some innocents in the search for his daughter. And boy did he beat some people down. Even though it's predictable, it's got a few twists and turns and the action keeps it moving. His baby mamma is played by that nutcase superhero from the X-Men movies. I give it 3 out o 4, many adult themes, including slavery.
This is a remake of the original with Jason Voorhees as the guy in the hockey mask. It's not bad, it's a remake of a story we pretty much all know, just new and more interesting victims who die in new and more interesting ways. Not to spoil it, but Jason dies at the end, then again, he died at the end of every movie about him.
Feast II: Sloppy Seconds
This is the sequel to the Project Greenlight Epic Production Feast, which was pretty good by the standards of gory horror flics. The followup is just as gory, funny and pretty much just as out there. What made the original good was the unpredictability over who gets got and the over the top funny scenes. The premise of the original was several people are hold up in a bar while some monsters try to get in and do naughty things to them. The sequel takes place the next day when the monsters have come to a small town out in the middle of nowhere and keep up the wacky mayhem. The characters are just as out there, including 2 midget (sorry little people) wrestlers, their granma, some biker chicks (sorry, female riders) and a used car dealer who's wife cheats on him (I always did wonder what happened to Cole from the Martin Lawrence Show). Stuff just happens. The best in the movie line is "We got Lucky". Warning, this is not for the squeamish, there is one scene that you've probably never seen depicted in a horror flic. But if you like funny, gory horror flics - I think it was better than Friday 13th - and surprises about who lives and dies, this is a good one. Feast III has already been made, and as soon as Netflix gets its act together, I'll see is.
This is a long frickin movie. Like almost 3 hours long. It's based on a comic book - which I never read. So my perspective on this movie is as someone who has no clue what it's about. Two hours in, I was still that same person. It reminded me of Sin City, but with a whole lot more flashbacks. The last 10-15 minutes tie it up and it's actually not too bad a story, if you can "go there" with the writer, to an alternate 1985 where Nixon is still President. Yeah, that Nixon. Even if you don't buy the setting, the full story does make you think - once you really understand what the heck it's about. Jackie Earl Haley - the kid from The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training - is pretty good as the old geezer dude, which, considering that he's only 5 years older than me is depressing.
OK, to the story. The time is 1985 and superheroes (the caped kind) have been walking the earth in public for about 85 years. As a result, earth is a very different place. There's a murder at the beginning, and the rest of the trilogy - I mean movie, is all about the why and "secrets are revealed". And an age old question of "Do superheroes get their freak on?" is finally answered, in case you were curious. Still, it's not a bad movie, I'm not a fan of the comic, so will probably catch a lot of grief from the comic fanboyz and girls out there. For me, this was a been there done that, don't have to do it again. But if you are a fan of the book - I'm assuming it's as far out there as the movie - or are into stories that make you think, and have the patience of Job, this isn't a bad way to spend a day. A whole day.
This flic is about a contagious disease that causes people to go blind. The government, not knowing how to cure it, starts quarantining those afflicted. A sighted woman ends up in the quarantine area and the number of afflicted grows. It then becomes like Lord of the Flies but with blind adults. This movie was not what I expected. Having said that, it is a very good movie. It is interesting to see what we would all do if blinded and locked up. The movie has a few disturbing but believable scenes, but they have to be there. I don't want to go too much into it, but I recommend this one. It's rated R for a lot of reasons. I give it 3.5 out of 4 triangles.
The only reason I'm reviewing this is because I reviewed the first 2. Like the Shrek series, the third is a turd. I can't figure out if they were trying to mimic The Toxic Avenger series or not, but it got really campy. And, as much as some may not like the phrase, this one jumped the shark in the last 15 seconds. That's got to be some kind of record. Too bad, the first one was pretty good. This one was, well, stupid. One triangle. And that's being generous.
This Nicholas Cage "vehicle" is about a letter buried in a time capsule 50 years ago, which appears to have predicted every major world tragedy since then by date, location and the number of lives lost, including one coming soon.... ooooo, spooky.... Cue the Twilight Zone music. I digress.
Anyway, that's pretty much the trailer, the premise and the whole story. Cage is an MIT professor who just happens to not believe in destiny ("Sh*t happens"), who's kid just happens to get this specific letter when his elementary school opens the time capsule, who just happens to possibly be affected by the outcome and who just happens to "see dead people". Yeah, a whole lot of sh*t really does just happen. Without going into spoilers, not that the trailer left many, there's the supernatural "greater power at work" spin that gets sillier as the movie goes on. The special effects are pretty cool though. The last scene is a real "huh?" moment.
I give it 1.5 out of 4 triangles.
Aliens vs. Monsters in 3D
This is Dreamworks' latest salvo in the kid flic war. It's pretty good. The visual is reminiscent of The Incredibles, very realistic. The setting is 4 monsters ( a giant woman, a fish, a bee, jello and a cockroach) have been hidden away by the government because "monsters don't exist". Now an alien attacks earth and they are called into action. There's one scene with the US President (a white guy, how quaint) that references ET, Star Trek, Chariots of Fire (I think) and Beverly Hills Cop and it's funny as heck. Almost as funny as the security procedures for getting into the secret government facility. There's the standard adult storyline going through it that the kids won't catch, but it's not as blatant as "my nuts on a silver platter" ala Madagascar II (yes, that's an actual line from that kid's movie). You can see the setup for a sequel, but I think most of the beauty of this flic was the monster's coming out party and the big chick's relationship with her fiance. I don't see a sequel having the same appeal. See it in 3D if you can. There will be laughs.
A cop captures a bad guy, killing his girlfriend in the process. The bad guy gets out of jail, kidnaps the cop's girlfriend and makes him go through a series of challenges to get her back. Think National Treasure with dead people. Not the most original story, and some things you can see coming a mile away, like the baddie is actually after money, the cop's partner will bet killed, and the cop will get his girlfriend back in a spectacular, albeit unrealistic, explosive ending. The bad guy is smart on the Lex Luther scale of brilliance and the cop is a regular Joe who figures out the whole plot while driving, but the whole police force doesn't. I was waiting for Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock to jump out at any moment. It's not a bad flic, but not high art either.
Last House On The Left
A girl is brutally attacked, escapes and makes it home, only to find that the attackers, having been stranded in the woods, are the overnight guests of her parents. A bit on the gory and violent side, somewhat predictable (one of the attackers tries to hit on mom, dad's a wus who finds his testicular fortitude when his family's in danger, mom gets to shoot people) but it has a few twists - the very last scene being an "oh snap" moment. If this is your cup o tea, go for it. It is what it is.
Yes, I know this is pretty late given that this movie is now on cable, but I wasn't going to pay $11 to see it on "the big screen", and I'm glad I didn't. First, the following may include spoilers, but that's debatable since it's hard to spoil something already spoiled. Still, if you have a huge urge to see this flic without having a clue what happens, long story short, it sucked, not like a Hoover, but like a Kirby. If you're still reading, a few tips to any budding movie makers out there.
First, know your audience. I may be a prude, but I don't subscribe to the idea that "since they can say some bad words on TV it's OK to say them in a kids movie". Maybe this isn't a kids movie, maybe it's more geared to older kids and adults. OK, that would explain Christina Ricci's wardrobe. But if it is an older kids/adult movie, what's with the monkey driving the golf cart down the crowded hallway while the fat kid mimes Guitar Hero 7:The Return of Devo? What's with the purple plane? What's with stopping in the middle of a race to have a fight? What's with the fight in the hotel room straight out of LazyTown (Google it)? What's with the big bus and Racer X shooting it up while chasing each other around a mountain pass at night, and not only nobody getting hurt, but a guy getting literally thrown off the bus and walking away with nary a scratch? What's with rubber tires that make sparks? What's with race tracks that look like glass? OK, I'm going down a rathole.
Second, and maybe this should be called the John Goodman movies based on cartoons rule (he was in The Flintstones too, same hairpiece). The reason the original Speed Racer cartoon looked the way it did, the colors, the animation, etc., is because that was the technology that was available at the time, ie., crayons. Trying to carry that same look into a movie is questionable at best, horrible at worst. Speed Racer is an example of doing it wrong. Really, really wrong. Not to keep painting LazyTown with the Speed Racer brush, but they did a really bad job of copying it. OK, I've digressed enough.
Third, leave computer graphics on the computer. I know that they were trying to animate a world that didn't exist, but their execution sucked. Heck, if JJ Abrams can make Transformers believable, they could have done a lot better with a stupid race car. The flic 300 took place in a warehouse, Speed Racer took place on a desktop (and given the number of crashes, it was probably a Windows desktop.) Using computer graphics is like cologne, applied right and the women are on you like in that Axe commercial. Applied wrong and you just stink. Guess which Speed Racer is.
I won't get into the plot because frankly it was pretty convoluted. Shaft was in it, so was stud doctor from LOST, Season 1 (wearing a pretty bad version of Ben Affleck's DareDevil costume). See it if you're bored.
Apparently there are those who think Hugh Jackman is a hunk. To each his own. Not being an active comic book fan, I wasn't all ga-ga over the news that this flic was coming out. Anyway, it's not bad. Just not all that great. Jackman's the guy who can't pick his nose without piercing himself in the brain due to the 12 inch knives that come out his hands. The story, if you didn't figure it out from the title and the trailers, is about how he came to be Wolverine. The ending is designed pretty much to link into his roles in the later - or is that earlier - X Men movies. Lots of action, good special effects, decent story. Maybe it's because I don't have comic books taped all over the walls that I wasn't over the top on a movie about a comic book character. Naw, that's not it. I thought Iron Man was off the chain. Anyway, it's not a bad movie, if you're into action and Hugh Jackman flexing his muscles (which may be enough for some folk), go for it.
PIXAR's 10th film (after Toy Story I & II, Finding Nemo, Monster's Inc, The Incredibles, WALL-E, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life & Cars, each of which grossed at least $360 million worldwide) has a HUGE pedigree to live up to. Can it? In a phrase, oh heck yes. This is a story about an old man who ties a couple thousand balloons to his house and floats it away, with a Cub Scout stowaway. Could such a setting make for an enjoyable kid's movie? Yup, and then some. I don't want to spoil it, but this movie deals with everything from death, life, love, hate, fear & bravery, wraps it up in a bow, sprinkles pixie dust on it and it comes out smelling like Cinderella's glass slippers. There are parts that will make you laugh, and some that will make you cry. When it's over, the only emotion I had was "Wow". As usual, the animation is stunning as usual. Two stars way, way up.
OK, LVH (L*sbian Vampire Hunters) is not the adult movie it sounds like. There's nowhere near as much nakedness as the title implies, although it does earn it's R Rating. OK, to the movie. It's about a couple of guys who, through some crazy circumstances, find themselves hunting vampires who are, well, you get it. If you liked Shaun of the Dead, you'll love this one. It's funny as heck, in the vein of "what would happen if a couple losers found themselves in the middle of a cemetery with vampires - hot vampires - all around? Would they try to date them or kill them?" Anyway, if you want a night of silliness (and who doesn't?) check this one out.
This flic stars Adam Carolla (unibrow from Dancing with the Stars about 2 years back) as an over the hill boxer in his forties. Wait, I'm in my forties. Scratch that. This flic is about a boxer just approaching his prime fitness age. I just saw it on cable and it's kinda funny. Carolla returns to boxing and has a chance to fight his way the Olympics (he don't make it, but the journey is worth watching).
Battlestar Galactica: Caprica
As some of you may recall, after 4 years of being almost the best show on TV, Battlestar Galactica laid one history's biggest intellectual flatulents and went down in a blaze of glory that still has this reviewer wondering what the heck happened. The producers of that brainfart have since created "Caprica", which takes place 56 years before "the fall", when the Cylons ("Cybernetic Lifeforms" - how they got Cylons out of that is beyond me.) smoked the humans on all 12 planets on the same day in a choreography that rivals the Bejing Olympics Opening Ceremonies. As Bush would say, they bombed us back to the stoneage, b'cept for a few dozen spaceships. Anyway, (and if you think there are spoilers coming, you're wrong, this dingleberry was already spoiled from the opening credits, but I'll say it anyway: SPOILERS) the story is about a rich guy who's spoiled brat daughter invents a virtual world (copied badly from Escape from New York) where life is one huge rave, people doing the two-backed monster, smokin weed, fight club and shooting each other for fun. Yeah, huh? That's the first 5 minutes. Then it just goes bad. Homegirl dies in a terrorist attack carried out by one of her friends, her pappy finds out what kinda genius she was and puts her "chi" into a robot his company is building for the gubment. The robot goes nutty and shuts itself down, and takes her "chi" with it. Dumb@$$ never heard of backing up his data. 10 minutes later he's demo'ing the Cylon with daughter-chi for the defense industry and it's off the chizain, shooting up erebody and nary a miss. Huh? Anyway, the flic ends with the robot calling one of the dead girl's friends on the cellie (they don't have Twitter), speaking in lil girl voice, and fade to black. Yeah, double huh? Esai Morales is in it too, he's a lawyer for the mob, who end up killing some chief administrator. Yeah, stuff just flyin everywhichadangway.
Unless you a real big fan of Battlestar Galactica - and a big fan of stupid - you can skip this one. I wish I had my 90 min back.
The Talking of Pelham 123
John Travolta is a potty mouth. Coincidently, I saw the original about 2 weeks ago. This one, starring potty mouth, Denzel Washington & the Tuturo brother with the jacked up teefis, wasn't bad. They changed just enough so that it wasn't the same film, especially the ending. Plotwise (SPOILER) it's the story of a terrorist who takes hostages on the NYC subway (I kept thinking, nobody else on the NYC subway had a gun???). Denzel is the dispatcher that happens to take the call and gets stuck being the negotiator (hm, didn't he play a hostage negotiator in another flic or 3?) Anyway, the story moves along pretty well, but being a remake is suffers from "been there, seen that" syndrome. If you want to see an action movie, you can do worse.
Land Of The Lost
This remake of the 70s Saturday morning series is, well, lost. It's pretty much Journey to the Center of the Earth in different clothing. Will Ferrell is, well, Will Ferrell. Either his comedy works for you or it doesn't. Or it gets on your freakin nerves. There's some creativity in this, which is kinda wasted on a kinda silly story, and some rather silly acting by Ferrell. It's funny for a minute or 5, but then it's like ok enough already. I think this flic did about $45 at the box office. They lucked out. (SPOILER). Matt Lauer got the funniest part not in the trailer.
King or Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters
This documentary is about the (mostly) guys who have mastered the "classic" video games (Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Q-Bert, Crystal Castles, etc.). When I say mastered, I'm talking jedi-mastered, like 1,000,000+ points. Did you know Donkey Kong has a "kill screen"? Only 3 people are known to have ever reached it, the first guy thought his game was broke and sold it. The kill screen occurs because the original arcade games ran out of memory, so at a certain screen, Mario (that uncontrollable barrel-beating, fire-walker) just dies without being touched by anything killworthy. Yeah, tripped me out too.
At first you'd think these guys are immature and reliving their childhoods. But put in the context of today's xBox, PS3, PC & Wii players, and there's something noble about these players who openly embrace their love of these classic games, but, as crazy at it sounds, have lives. (One is a lawyer, another is a chili selling entrepreneur. The judge is, well, just interesting).
This is a very good documentary. You'd think it would be hard for this subject matter to be interesting or relevant to anyone over 13, but you would be wrong. It reminded me of my days working at Sears in the Newburgh Mall. On our breaks, Tony Coleman and I would go play Time Pilot 84, come back to work and report our scores to each other. Good times, good times.
It's not often a documentary has a plot, a hero and a villain, but this one does and still allows everyone to come out looking pretty good. Except for Mr. Awesome. (SPOILER) This guy is out there, way out there. Like posing for Playgirl and including his phone number - out there. But as crazy as it sounds, you will kinda understand him too when you know his game playing history. The ending will make you cheer out loud.
I won't belabor the point, but after watching this movie, I sat and watched the 46 minutes of extra scenes and even went to YouTube to watch this 3 minute game play video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5YKigExtNA
Brought back some great memories.
Want to spend 90 minutes reliving a time when video games were about skill and memorizing patterns with a few laughs thrown in? Watch this documentary. And watch the DVD extras too. If someone comes up with a Time Pilot 84 iPhone app, I'm in trouble.
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
First, this flic is long. Like well over 2+ hours long. Second, they worked Shia's jacked up hand into the script. The reviews have been all over the place on this one. Personally, I liked it. Was the plot farfetched? Hm, let me think about that, it's a movie about alien robots that can talk. Nope, nothing farfetched there. [SPOILERS COMING] OK, I really liked this flic. It's funny as heck, especially the 2 new Autobots Tweedledum and Tweedledummer. When I say you have to listen to everything these two say, trust me. You will be crackin up. Some of the comedy is over the top like [SPOILER] the autobot dog humping somebody's leg (actually there's a lot of dog humping in this movie), and some of Shia's actions are silly. His girlfriend whatshername is still smokin, even when running in slow motion. Whoda thunk?
There are lots of new characters, including an SR71-Blackbird (Google it) and it takes place all over the world, so the scenery is pretty nice. The plot, given the stretching of reality, is pretty good, even if somewhat predictable, and most of the old friends are back. Mrs. Whitwicky is funny too. Real funny. Basically, they did a pretty good job. If there's any knock that comes to mind now, it's got to do with the MPAA. I'll admit to being an prude, but the language that gets into a PG-13 movie is pretty disappointing. Anyway, it's worth the price of admission.
GI Joe: The Rise of COBRA
SPOILER FREE SECTION
This movie is about the cartoon series in the 80s, based on the doll many of us had in the 70s. Lots of explosions, references to "kung fu grip", and predictable actions. Is it entertaining? Well, yeah, if you like lots of explosions, references to "kung fu grip", and predictable action. COBRA is there, kinda. The story is soso, there's a long chase scene where they are trying to save the Eiffel Tower (as you all saw from the trailer, they didn't, so technically that's not a spoiler), but that chase seen is veeeerrrryyyyy long. And as usual, they destroy the city they are in and it's a while before the gendarmes show up. As you also saw from the trailer, they jump around Matrix-style dodging stuff, running through stuff, and generally screwing up a lot of people's morning commute. Marlon ("the cute") Wayans is Ripcord, the comic relief. Which basically means he'll be the last to master any weapons and will be clumsier than everyone else. Ray Park (Darth Sidious) is Snake Eyes, and he gets his beat down on a few times.
Blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, they made this movie to set up a new franchise. Period. It is entertaining, but they may have gone a tad far with the CG. A tad being measured as 4,827 miles. Don't nobody put on a "supersuit" in the morning and turn into an Olympic gymnast by lunch time. Still, it was entertaining, but don't expect high art.
*****SPOILER FILLED SECTION*****
For those of you who want spoilers, read on. First, the JOE team are punks to the highest magnitude. The Jamaican Bobsled Team could take them out. Scarlett got her booty whupped but good by some chick who had no military training. The "secret" JOE HQ got invaded by a woman, a ninja and about 10 soldiers and they dang near destroyed the place, stole the most important assets and beat down the top commander. Ripcord was acting all Brokeback when Duke got captured. The CG when the booty buddies are running and jumping over, under and through cars, trucks and buses on the streets of Gay Paris was overdone. The bad guys got a Hummer with all kinds of missiles and what not built into it, and they're hitting and flipping cars all over the place and the JOEs are in their supersuits and spinning around cars in mid air. For a "secret" team, they sure ain't camera shy. They're setting Duke up to be the leader, even though he wasn't in the group until like a half hour into the flic. Then there's all the personal angles. Duke used to date the woman who beat down Lady Jay (and of course she still loves him), Snake Eyes grew up with the ninja who broke into the JOE HQ (and used to get beat down on the regular by him, so you know where that's going), and the ultimate villain is Duke's ex-squeeze's bru. Yeah, kinda ridicu-stupid. And not to get all racial, but JOE need some sistuhs. Bad.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs in 3D
As silly as the title sounds, this is a pretty funny & entertaining movie. The plot is, well, food raining out of the sky, but it's got the standard underlying nerd love story, daddy/son coming to terms w/ each other, weird townsfolk type stuff. Not really much I can say about this other than the people doing the voices is an interesting mix that works well (Mr. T??). But they do bite off PIXAR with the "Production Babies List". As I've said before, PIXAR has raised the bar on 3D animation, and a rising tide lifts all boats. Except Shrek III. The 3D is awesome, but the 3D glasses with the anti-theft device suck really bad, very uncomfortable and non-adjustable. Bottom line, go see it if you got kids or want to do a non-conventional adult date.
Ok, I'm biased on this one. A few months back when they were filming this flic in the ATL I drove past the house set every day. Having said that, it's funny. It's pretty much exactly like the trailers, what would you do if zombies could run? You'd run faster. Woody Harrelson finally figured out what character he's supposed to play. It's juvenile humor, but it's humor. Bill Murray has a bit part, even he's funny. Not much else to say about it without spoilers. If you're into gory humor, check it out.
OK, the plot is the same as it's been since Saw: people have to atone for their past sins with a choice they have to make, based on their past actions. The end game usually involves a lot of blood and after some creative and graphic torture (usually) they go meet their maker, or at least parts of them do. The twist this time is that Jigsaw (the jacked up puppet that does the narration) is taking on an insurance company (how timely). Since I work in the healthcare industry, I won't give any opinion on the victims, but if you smoke, I'd suggest you stop. Now.
Anyway, this episode is just like the last 5 and there are a few flashbacks that help tie them together. And in its own weird way, each test makes you ask yourself "what would I do, given that choice?"
Bottom line, you know what you're getting into. If you like this sort of thing, well, you'll like this sort of thing.
From the trailer, you know a couple has received a box from a mysterious stranger with a jacked up burn on his face. Inside the box is a button, if they press the button, they will get $1 million, but someone in the world they don't know will die. Decisions, decisions. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, there is a as you can imagine, another "story" going on that is somewhat creative, but also somewhat "huh?", and somewhat obvious if you think about it. I think the movie, set in the 1970s, is interesting, but the ending made me feel like Swiper from Dora the Explorer: "Awww Man!". It was one of those, gee, interesting lesson, but why? Having said that, I think it's worth seeing at a matinee, or maybe a first date movie, but have more on your agenda, like dinner.
Newsflash, the Mayan Calendar says the world will end in 2012. If you haven't seen the trailer, this is the "plot" of Roland "I like to blow stuff up" Emmerich's latest disaster flic. It's not a bad movie, but it suffers from the "300" effect. If you recall my review of that epic, it suffered from the realization that all the great scenery was on someone's Mac Pro and the actors were all in a warehouse in front of a green screen. 2012 has the same problem. Yes, the visuals are stunning, especially how they create the destruction of many famous global landmarks. But when you see so many "close calls" by the actors it gets old when you know some 24 year old was tweaking the graphics on his desktop to look like the plane was flying under a falling building or the street is falling apart only feet behind their wheels, or, well you get the point. This kind of stuff makes you appreciate the skill of actors like Jackie Chan, who does all his own stunts. But I digress.
The story, though predictable as a Barry Bonds at bat, is not bad. The ending is, well, an ending. One of the funnier scenes is [SPOILER] someone "flipping the bird". It's good to see Chiwetel Ejiofor get a major role in a major picture (Google him). If you are into big epic movies with big epic special effects, this is a should see.
This one is a blood fest. Period. It's like the special effects guys took over and went hogwild. I have to give it to them, the effects are extremely realistic, at least as far as I would imagine someone's head being cut in half would look. Over and over and over. Yeah, it's that kind of party. As for the plot, well, it's kinda sorta there. There's a beautiful woman involved who goes from [SPOILER] saying she's just a simple librarian in one scene, to bustin caps in ninjas like a champ a few scenes later. The scenes are kinda dark and the action takes place so fast that sometimes all you see is the result. It's not high art, the trailers are pretty accurate, just a bunch of ninjas doing what they do. [SPOILER] I will say the "best student ever who is just a step below the master instructor, has a beef with one rival student, is light years ahead of every other student in the school, and decides to go all Sarah Palin" is getting tired. I have to also say that the ending scene was a "huh?" moment. Anyway, it's probably better as a rental, unless you really, really like blood. It's not a date flic, drunk flic or bored flic by any stretch.
Yeah, I know. This isn't in theaters anymore. OK, so I'm late. Anyway, this is a Clint Eastwood produced, directed and starred vehicle about an old white guy living in a neighborhood where he's like the only white guy for miles. Someone tries to steal his car, he ends up befriending and mentoring the would-be thief. This is the kind of movie you don't often see anymore. Clint looks old as dirt. Older. There are no hot young stars or starlets, just some normal looking people doing normal type stuff. This is the kind or movie it takes someone with Eastwood's clout to get made. There's some rough racial language, but it fits the story. Even though you see the ending coming, it's still deep the way it comes about. Since you can't see this in theaters, it's worth renting or catching on cable. I've been an Eastwood fan since The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Still am. A fan, that is.
Avatar (not The Last Airbender)
The Last Airbender is coming out next year, and has nothing to do with this flic. OK, this is James "Titanic" Cameron's opus. Been in his mind for 10-15 years, only now is the technology catching up with his vision. Whatever. Anyway, as you can imagine $300 million buys some banging special effects. The story is sorta new, it's well told and the visuals are pretty stunning, from a "they look real" perspective. But at the end of the day, special effects are not what puts butts in seats, it's good story telling. One thing, this sure is not a pro military movie. There were those who predicted that this movie would change the way films are made. I doubt that. Still, it's pretty good. Worth a look, I can't see getting the dvd when it comes out unless you are trying to show off your new game room.
This flic got some of everybody in it: Matt "Rumble Fish" Dillon, Jean "The DaVinci Code" Reno, Laurence "Cornbread Earl & Me" Fishburn, Fred "Remo Williams" Ward, Columbus "This Christmas" Short. The trailers tell it all, a group of armored car guards decide to steal the money they are transporting. Something goes wrong and one guard changes his mind. Mayhem ensues. This is exactly what it is, there are few plot twists and turns, it's not a bad movie, just very predictable.
The Princess & The Frog
Disney done did it again. This is a good movie. After darn near 100 years Disney finally has a Black princess and homegirl is off the hizook. This is a take-off on the old story of the prince turned into a frog, but with a twist I'm not going to spoil here. The animation is mostly hand drawn, but there's a tad bit of CGI. The story is engagingly funny and the music fits in well. There were complaints that the movie was racist, since some of the characters seem stereotypically Black (nowhere near the crows in Dumbo, but I digress). I will say, there is one lyric in one of songs where the Prince is looking for a blonde, brunette or a red head, not traditional Black princess hair colors. Although, I have seen sisters with all those colors just this month. Yada, yada. This is a good flic, entertaining for all ages. Three snaps up.
Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie: The Squeakquel
OK, this is a movie about 3 singing chipmunks. Once you suspend reality to believe in that, as much as I hate to admit it, this is a pretty entertaining movie. The parts with the other teenagers kinda goes stupid in a High School Musical sort of way, but when it's just on the make-believe chipmunks it's good. The three female chipmunks (seen in the trailers) are quite Bootylicious. Take the kids to this one.
This movie is about a world where vampires have run amok, to the point where they are the norm. But they are running out of their supply of human blood, which they harvest humans for. Kinda like The Matrix. All that I got from the trailers. There's a few other spoilers which I won't reveal. OK, so the vampires have killed most of the humans 'cause they too stupid to ration. Apparently all the good scriptwriters were the first to die. That's not fair, this is an interesting, albeit somewhat predictable movie. It's the kind of movie that was probably made because several kinda medium name actors had nothing else on their plate. It's not bad, just not special.
Remember the flic Crash from a few years back? There were like 4 stories going on, not related, but kinda sorta? That's Brooklyn's Finast, but pretty much all from the cop's side. There's one scene toward the end where all the stories merge on a sidewalk - then just as quickly they go their separate ways. Not a bad move, a few unexpected events. But at the end, I asked, why?
You saw the trailer, you know the plot. [SPOILER WARNING] Folk get organs on credit, then when they can't pay for them, the repo men, well, repo the organs. Yep, right out the body, and not neatly. Until one day one of the repo men needs a new heart, and them suckers go for about a million. No choice, he gets it and, surprise, can't pay for it. Now the Reper is a Repee (Repee, I crack myself up sometimes). This one's the standard chase movie with folk catching all manner of beatdowns all through it, and some family drama to make it interesting. The ending I won't reveal, but it was not what I expected. Kudos to the writers for adding an oh snap moment to a standard shoot em, stab em, beat em up. Forrest Whitaker shines as usual.
Hot Tub Time Machine
This one is pretty much what it sounds like. Four guys jump in a hot tub and end up reliving a night in 1986. This is funny. The humor and jokes are what you'd expect from 4 guys meeting a bunch of hot women from their past. Juvenile and funny. Lots of swearing. Lots. But the laughs are pretty good. The whole "if I do something to my parents before I'm born what will happen to me" comes up. One semi-SPOILER: Never bet on John Elway, even if you think you know the outcome. The ending was a bit of a surprise, but exactly how it should have ended. 3 triangles up.
That guy from 40 Year Old Virgin and Sarah Palin are married and go out to dinner for their weekly date night away from the kids. They end up misidentified as some other folks running from the mob "and mayhem ensues". It's kinda predictable, you know they will clear it up and turn in the bad guys in the process, because, well that's what happens. Even though predictable, there are some good laughs besides those in the commercial. And one f-bomb. OK, I'm old skool. Even though it's PG-13, I don't see why they had to have it in, although it does make sense when it's said. Anyway, this one's funny in a PG way. And Sarah Palin is smokin....
2 triangles up.
It pretty much is just what it looks like, a team of guys shooting up some stuff and people. The plot (no spoilers) is not new ground and it has a few holes, some of which are addressed in the script, but never answered. New Uhurua is there, half naked much of the time too, which is a good thing. But her part is kinda over the top. It's good to see Columbus Short's start still rising. All and all, it's a good shoot 'em up. But you can see "sequel" becoming the goal halfway through it. The ending is sweet.
This is the sequel to Descent, the flic where 7 hotties (apparently fat, unattractive women never go out in bunches, but I digress) go cave exploring with no cell phone coverage and only one knows that the caves have never been explored. They go down a rabbit hole filled with wererabbits and get chewed up. Throw in some cheating spouses and you have a nice soup. OK, that was Descent. In the sequel (spoiler) one woman made it out and back to civilization (I really thought she bought the farm in the first one, still), makes it to a hospital, all the community goes batpoop and, just like in Aliens, they talk her into going back to find her friends. But instead of taking the Galactic Marines, she takes the local fat old sheriff, he's scared crapless deputy (who seems to have never fired her gun) and a few other victims - I mean assistants. Instead of glocs and AKs, they take revolvers. The kind you have to reload one bullet at a time. It's like Tawanna Brawley all over, they think she beat her own behind. Well, you can imagine what happens. The ending was sequel-requesting. And who knows, they just may get it. It, too, will go straight to DVD. OK flic, predictable like a Florida election.
Iron Man 2
Nice special effects. Story was kinda lame. No, very lame. This is a situation where, in my opinion, the producers painted themselves in a crazy corner in the original and now have to live with it (see SPOILERS below for more detail). I kept thinking, where have I seen this character before? Oh, Downey played the same alcoholic don't care about jack character in Sherlock Holmes. I can' really say much about it without revealing spoilers, other than it started slow, then got stupid.
OK, the original ending with Tony Stark saying "I am Iron Man". So, now you a billionaire CEO who runs around in a mechanical suit fighting crime. And dancing. And DJing. And getting drunk. And hitting on women. What's to stop a really smart criminal from taking a head shot when he's not in the suit? Again, he's playing the drunk guy most of the time. Don Cheadle stole one of his costumes. All that technology and no kind of voice or body recognition. Not only that, Mickey Rourke builds a better costume, with whips no less, in a basement. And they have a fight during the French Grand Prix? Yeah, right. And Mickey loses his legs in the fight, nobody talks about it, but he grows them back. Somehow. Then Samuel L Jackson comes in and plays the mysterious team guy. I'm looking at this from the perspective of someone who's not reading the comic books, so maybe some of this makes sense. Still, it was lame.
Toy Story 3 in 3D
At the end of Will Smith's Wild Wild West video he says "I done done it again". That's what PIXAR said after this third installment of the Woody & Buzz show. They found away to breath life, excitement, suspense, romance, friendship, loyalty, comedy, drama and even a few tears into this one. Don't want to give it away, but from the trailers, you know the crew ends up in a daycare, and Barbie meets Ken, the original metrosexual man. There are more obvious cameos by Sid and the Pizza Planet truck, but if you Google "Toy Story 3 Easter Eggs" there's a bunch more. And the burning question is finally answered, is Mr. Potatohead just the sum of his parts. The ending is sweet. Theoretically, they could make another one, and given PIXARs track record, it would be a barn burner too.
But by far, the funniest part was after the movie was over and there's a big plastic bin saying "Be Green - Recycle Your 3D Glasses". I just paid $42 for an adult and a child ticket, sodas and popcorn and you want me to give you back the glasses? Yeah, that's funny as all heck. 4 stars for TS 3.
Knight and Day
OK, the crazy lucky super siller everything always works out is never pressed or scared Secret Agent character is getting played out. I went into this thinking it was Mission Impossible 4. Having said that, I must admit it was pretty entertaining. It's just what the trailers show, Cruise doing Cruise and Cameron Diaz being the scared innocent who grows up during the adventure. Again, it was pretty darn good. Funny and a few twists on the old superagent and the innocent bystander story. I'd give it 3 out of 4. No sequels please. And Cruise is milking the genre for all he can.
The Last Airbender
OK, a few things. First, this movie is based on the Cartoon Network show "Avatar: The Last Airbender" (they had to change the name for the movie). The cartoon was scheduled for, and lasted, 3 years. That was the plan from day one. Each season is a book, the movie is about Book 1: Water. Assuming they don't hump the pooch, there should be 2 more movies, one for each of the other books, Earth and Fire.
The cartoon series was deep, very deep for a cartoon. If you don't know the story, you might think this is a HR Puff'n'weed fantasy, but it isn't. The story is kinda complex, but easy to follow. They had to cut out a lot of the first book to make a 2 hour movie (like my favorites the Kyoshi Warriors). I digress. The simple question, will M. Night Shamalamadingdong, mess this one up so as to shut the door on the next two movies? Well, no. Again, I am biased having watched the cartoon series. He did keep pretty true to the story and did explain a lot of the background of why an 11 year old is really 111 years old and why he must save the world. The scenery is spectacular, but the martial arts are sometimes a little lamer than they were in the cartoon. A bit too much flourish before actually bending water. Still, I thought it was very good. He did a good job of shrinking 6 hours of cartoon into 2 hours of movie. The cast was interesting, there was the star from Slumdog, Dev Patel, the funny Middle Easterner Aasiv Mandvi from the Daily Show (yeah, that guy) plays the heavy and does a pretty good job and the Fire Lord is played by Cliff Curtis. Who he? He was a terrorist in True Lies and the FBI head in Die Hard 4. Mostly everybody else is white. No brown people in the Avatar world. If I can slam dingdong for anything, it's that the footage from the original trailer, where His Airness is being attacked by hundreds of ships from the Fire Nation, is not actually in the movie. Oh, and he changed the pronunciation of The Airbender's name. Kinda like if a cartoon based on Star Wars pronounced Darth Vader Doth Vadder. The music was slammin.
Blah, blah, blah. We saw it in 3D, but 2D is just fine. The real question, how does this compare to "The Karate Kid"? Don't know, didn't see that one. Don't care for Will Smith or his offspring. Don't care for the standard "American goes to a foreign country and learns their skills better than they know them story", but that's my issue. I will say The Last Airbender is a good movie, whether you saw the cartoon or not. If they do make the next 2 books, this is definitely a story worth seeing. Even if they don't, this one was good. If you don't know the story it's not going to be what you expect. But hang in there.... The best is yet to come...
The new trick is they give you glasses that hurt your head, and if you return them you got $1 off your next 3D movie. Yeah, right.
This is a good flic. Funny, suspenseful, did I say funny. The plot is a supervillain ends up with 3 orphans and they change his world. Predictable? Yep. Do you care? Nope. Without revealing spoilers, the music of The Sylvers and Lehman Brothers bank make appearances. The orphans are cute and cuddly, the minions are even cuter and cuddlier. A lot of the funny lines are in the trailers, but luckily there are even funnier lines to come. Seeing it in 3D is pretty good, and maybe worth the few extra dollars. The returnable glasses suck big time. And I'm not so sure they clean them between uses, so bring a wet wipe and do your own maintenance. If Toy Story 3 is a 10, this is a 9. They have captured the PIXAR funny, but not the PIXAR heart. Still, with minor tweaks, this could be a PIXAR film. Very funny and worth seeing.
Lara Croft, Mr and Mrs Smith, Wanted, Salt. This could be a trilo - um qualogy. Seriously, the script is a little different, but Angelina is playing the same part: a stunt woman super conscientious superspy who can beat any group of armed to the teeth highly trained security guards with nothing but her bare hands while she saves the world from the real bad guys who she double crossed as she overrides a multi-million dollar state of the art security system Macgyver style. Seriously, that's the plot. As if you couldn't figure it out from the trailer. It's not a bad movie, but she's playing the same part over and over and over, and it's really getting tired.
Yeah, I know. I'm late on this one. Didn't think it was worth seeing in the theater and, oh snap!, I was right! To paraphrase Original Battlestar Galactica, this was a crock of felgercarb. First, if you gonna have everyone speak in their native tongue and use captions for most of the flic, be sure that the background in EVERY SCENE is conducive to reading yellow text. Second, if you start making stuff up (ie, the very graphic death of Hitler in a movie theater - it didn't happen that way) then you kinda wee wee on the memories of the actual people whose lives you are claiming to portray. It's like doing a movie about Napoleon and having him win at Waterloo. Some movies make you want to go find a book and read about the actual people. Not this one. I'm scared I won't recognize the real story. One problem with this movie is that it came out around the same time as Valkerie, the true story of the German officers who tried to assassinate Hitler. On top that, this thing is pretty boring. A lot of sitting around talking in German, punctuated with moments of high drama and action. Moments. Not minutes, moments. The draw for this flic is that Tarantino directed it. He sucked.
This flic includes Stallone, Stratham (the Transporter/Cranked guy), Schwarzenegger (the governor guy), Jet Lee (the Hero guy), Crews (the OG Old Spice guy), Lundgren (Drago), Steve Austin (Stone Cold), Rourke (the messed up guy), Eric Roberts (yeah, whatever) and some other folk I don't recognize. Usually when you have this many former A-listers in one movie, well, you usually don't have this many ex A-listers in one movie. Anyway, Stallone directed it (and dude is mad buff for 60 yrs old - 'roids I guess) and it's pretty good. Schwarzenegger (SPOILER) is only in it for about 3 minutes (so they could have him in the trailer) and the movie seems to be more of a handoff of the action hero crown from Stallone to Stratham, which is a shame because I think Jet Lee has been overlooked as an action hero for years. The problem you have when so many A-listers are in an action movie on (SPOILER II) different sides, is that some have to die and they all can't be heroic deaths. That said, it's a pretty good movie, lot's of action and the plot is kinda sorta unique. And if you all go see it, there will probably be a sequel. It was good to see Balboa and Drago back together.
First, make no mistake, this is Jaws with smaller fish. Smaller, nastier fish. It stars Elizabeth Shue, Ving Rhaines and a bunch of college kids (AKA meat for the grinder). Now that you know the plot, it's got a few unique moments. I guarantee there's at least 2 scenes you've NEVER seen in 3D, one is awesome, one is, um, not. I will give this spoiler: the last scene in the movie is in the trailer. They might make a sequel. If you want to see nubile coeds get chewed into chum in 3D, this is for you. Otherwise, you can wait for cable.
Remember the gore of the last Rambo movie? Machete is more gore, as if you didn't know that from the title. The first and best reason to support this flic is for Danny Trejo. He's the Mexican actor who has played nothing but goons in every movie he's been in. It's good to see him get a chance to shine. And dude does. On top of that, there are some famous folk in this flic, like Robert DeNiro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Lindsey "I'm a klepto crackhead" Lohan, Cheech Marin plays a, um, priest, a slightly fat Steven Segal and an even fatter Don Johnson (dude so big I didn't recognize him til towards the end of the flic). Homey be slicing and dicing baddies, and he gets the babe. Correction, he gets the babes. Dude is worse than Warren Beatty in Shampoo. Seriously, this is a gory, funky, 60s biker kinda flic. And a lot of fun. Best line: "Machete don't text." Not a date flic. But a good flic.