Monday, April 25, 2011

Scream 4 (3.5)

(Watch the Trailer)

The same thing as before...but different.

You know what these movies are about. I think everyone likes the Scream movies but a lot of people rolled their eyes when they heard there was going to be a 4th one. I did not, I was really pumped about it. I heart these movies so much because they take what is great about the genre and do it so well, but then they also take what's bad about the genre and comment on it. Perfect equation for awesome.

I was really happy with how Neve Campbell was exactly the same as she was in the first 3. She was on her A game and I really have no complaints about her at all...except that I was hoping she would be in the movie more.

David Arquette was the same old, goofy guy but Courteney Cox was way over the top and far too botoxed for me to look at anything but her fake lips and shiver slightly in my seat. I suppose character-wise she was about as dumb as before...yet, some how less annoying, which was less fun for the whole family (figure of speech, this sure as hell is not a family film).

The ending was a surprise but kinda not...I'll leave it at that (no spoilers).

The younger people in this movie were pretty lame, especially the cousin chick. She bugged me. I did like this films version of the nerd/geek team, gotta love that there is a Culkin kid in this movie (they just wont leave).

I was disappointed with the lack of excitement though. I mean, the movie didn't suck at all and it had the same feel as the last 3 movies but there wasn't as much thrill or scare in it for me. Maybe I am watching way more intense horror these days so I'm desensitized, but it wasn't as palm sweaty or heart beat worthy as I remember the other movies being. Still good though.

If you like these movies make sure to head out and watch this one. If you like horror and scary movies you'll find it enjoyable and entertaining. If you don't like any of the above then maybe wait to rent it.


Everyone Says I Love You (1.5)

(Watch a Clip)

The 1996 Woody Allen musical starring himself, Goldie Hawn and Julia Roberts (among others).

"A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a shaky marriage while her half sister gets engaged." (imdb)

The only thing I seem to dislike more than musicals are Woody Allen movies. I really wanted to give this one a shot though, especially since the cover said it was easily in the top ten movies of that year and, well, because there is this whole thing with Woody Allen being awesome that I have yet to understand.

I still don't understand.

The thing that would've made this movie bearable would be if Woody Allen wasn't in it at all, but then he would still have wrote and directed it so it still wouldn't have created interest. Possibly if he just directed it...maybe then. Just maybe I wouldn't have rolled my eyes or sat there complaining to my roommate that I had yet another 45 minutes of movie to go.

The dialogue just rambles on and on and nothing funny, witty, emotional or slightly important ever happens. Don't get me wrong, I love a good conversational film. I happen to love movies where two actors sit across from each other and just discuss life and random, non-inspirational events (example, Before Sunrise)...but there needs to be good characters. And some meaning there; some layers. I need more than nervous, almost seemingly irrational banter and whining that has no context to my life seeing how the characters have no depth and therefore seem completely unrealistic. Just sayin'...

I'm sure a few Woody Allen fans are sweating in anger at me right now but I really did try. I thought the worst thing about the movie would be the music but in all honesty, if the music and dancing hadn't of been there, I probably would've turned the movie off before the half way mark. The music was not very good...I mean, it was kinda funny and slightly cute but seemed ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. Lame.

The cast was amazing though: Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts, Tim Roth, Natalie Portman, etc...and they all tried. There was more than one scene that I could feel the other actors trying so hard to feed off of and help move the scene along while Woody just crushed all hopes of recovery. Hard to watch really...

Nothing happens. I mean, more happens in this movie than some of the other Woody Allen I've seen, but ultimately by the time the credits roll you just feel hopeless and want the last 2 hours of your life back.

If you like Woody Allen I'm sure you'll like this. As a musical and, for me, as a film's stinky.

(enter joke about everyone DOESN'T say I love you)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hanna (4.5)

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A 16 year old girl is trained by her father to be the worlds deadliest assassin. Finally it's her time to go out into the world to fulfill her duty: to kill a women who has been hunting for her her entire life.

I have been looking forward to this movie since the first teaser a long time ago. I had built it up in my mind for months and marked the opening date on my calendar and all that nerdy stuff. You know what, it was just as good if not better than I wanted and hoped it to be. I loved every minute of it.

Saoirse're the coolest chick alive right now. Without any battle, you win, hands down. She owned this movie and her role. This performance is something that I hope people really get the chance to see her. She was first really noticed in The Lovely Bones but watching her in The Way Back and now this amazing movie really made my eyebrows raise. I look forward to her next project...

I hadn't really noticed Eric Bana all that much. He sort of disappeared a little bit, or at least, dropped of my radar for awhile. While his screen time wasn't as much as I wanted later on his few scenes were beyond fantastic. He can really do action. Oh man, some of his fight scenes...I was yelling out in the theatre. I couldn't help it, so good. High five Bana.

Cate Blanchett was sadly not as amazing as I wanted her to be. Not sure if her character just didn't appeal to me this time or something but I didn't really care when she was around.

This is more of a chase movie rather than a shoot 'em up action flick. Oh, trust me, there are guns and blood and that goodness, but mostly it's about escape and hand-to-hand combat. You wont be disappointed though. Really. Some of the fight choreography gave me goosebumps...not just because I'm weird like that, but because it was original and very well done.

Soundtrack...amazing! It really just completed the movie for me. Joe Wright did a great job directing but you really need the music to make a good film. The Chemical Brothers nailed it for sure, I may even buy this soundtrack if I see it in the near future.

If you like action movies at all you should try to make it to the big screen to see this movie. The louder and bigger the better. It had more comedy in it than I was expecting but not enough to take it off track. I also liked all the relationships, either new or old, that they let us in on during the course of the film. Really helped me find some necessary layers to Hanna and her life.

Saoirse words.

Loved it!


A Skanner Darkly (4)

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Based on the amazing novel by Philip K. Dick.

An undercover cop in the near future comes in contact with a new drug and begins to lose himself in the new world and new person he is slowly becoming.

The cast in this movie should be enough to make anyone want to watch it: Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder.

Keanu was actually pretty perfect in this role. I don't care what anyone says about his acting and what not but sometimes the way he does act is exactly the way the character should be and that's probably why he keeps making movies...face it, no one can be Keanu like Keanu. These are facts of life.

Robert Downey Jr. could make a movie of his left nostril and I would like it, because it would be amazing. I don't know how this man does it but I think he has taken over the "actor that can do anything" thrown (sorry Johnny Depp). Really though, this guy can do just about anything and add so many little twitches, nods, habits and looks that full a character up so completely and so smoothly. Outstanding. Love it.

Woody Harrelson is beyond hilarious in this movie. While I don't like Winona Ryder she wasn't around all that much so it didn't really bother me all that much.

I love the look of this movie. The type of animation it was done in was still really new at the time it came out (2006). I remember watching The Waking Life and being mind blown, same thing in this film. Love the style. Adds an extra sense of mystery to the movie.

This is not a simple film, it can get heavy at times and digs into some touchy subjects. Addiction, the government and drugs, personal struggle and loss, alienation and death. Yet, there is enough comedy to keep you alive until the credits roll. Prepare to think...

Definitely one of the better drug related movies in my opinion.


Garden State (5)

(Watch the Trailer)

I cannot believe this movie is already 7 years old! Crazy. I still remember the first time I watched it and, more importantly, the first time it changed me in the way only a good movie can.

After the death of his mother a son returns home for the first time in 9 years and is thrown back into his past and all the things he was trying to stay numb from his entire life.

This movie is easily one of my favourites. I honestly don't feel the need to write a long review here at all because everyone should watch this movie and love their lives all the more because of it.

So many reasons why it is the best: the music, Natalie Portman's character is the best, Zach Braff wrote/directed/acted/and did the soundtrack which is beyond delicious, the soundtrack again (just to be clear), comedy, drama, cute love, references to Medieval Times, Peter Sarsgaard, motorcycle with a sidecar, Ian Holm, Jim Parson (way before The Big Bang Theory)....

I could go on and on.

This script is a once in a lifetime creation and Zach Braff should've won every single award possible because not only did he write it but his performance was amazing...everything about this movie is amazing.

If it doesn't strike some kind of emotion cord somewhere then....I just don't know. That is weird.


Source Code (3)

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A captain awakes in a strangers body but quickly learns that he is part of a crucial mission attempting to find a bomber who is threatening to blow up downtown Chicago.

If you have been reading my blog for even a short amount of time you must have noticed that I am quite the Jake Gyllenhaal fan (Love and Other Drugs, Brothers, Bubble Boy). I think he is fantastic. Yes, he is stunningly handsome, but all looks aside, I really like what he does. He has this energy and this urgency to him in all his movies that I get sucked into completely. I just...believe everything that he says and can't help but listen to every word he says; even the ridiculous words. I think he is really diverse, going from comedy to romance and straight to action and then intense like. Me like a lot.

Michelle Monaghan was good, she just wasn't in the movie all that much and when she was it was just her the same over and over again...well, not entirely, but all the attention is definitely on Jake so it wasn't get fault. I like her though, she hasn't ruined a movie for me yet. I first noticed her in Eagle Eye but, now that I think about it, she was about the same in this movie too. Hmm.

The action is there but it's short lived seeing how it's restricted to 8 minutes over and over again (you'll see what I mean more when/if you watch it).

I liked how they touched base on the whole alternate realities and paradoxes, but they didn't talk about it nearly enough for this movie to be considered sci-fi. Not in my opinion anyways. There also wasn't enough action in it for it to be this serious suspense/action flick. It hovers around the two genres but doesn't have enough meat on either side for it to really jump out and grab hold. I know they were trying to get the best of both worlds but it didn't really work that well.

It was still entertaining though. I liked the over all idea/plot and Jake's character was interesting and they did attempt to add some sci-fi concepts which tickled my nerdy sense and there was pyro and guns so that's a win win. It just, didn't do it for me though.

I liked the ending though, maybe not the very ending, but where they went with it right near the end was when they really got my attention. High five for that. It could've ending really badly...


The Eagle (2)

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In Roman ruled Britain, a Captains son attempts to clear his family's name by finding what his father lost: the eagle.

Oh, right. This movie. The one that you most likely forgot even existed and are now wondering if it even opened in did. Don't fear though, it's nothing to really remember...

I still don't like Channing Tatum. I don't understand how he is still making movies. A strange part of me wants to like him, so I keep watching his movies, only to be disappointed and sometimes angry. This movie was the same thing as G.I. Joe...sad.

I love Jamie Bell though, who is most known for his role in Billy Elliot. I know, that kid! He's all grown oh my he has grown up. *wink* But really, I always love watching him in movies and even though this film was awful it would have been a near 0 rating if Jamie hadn't of tried to make it good. Good show man, but nothing could've saved this movie. Well...maybe an entirely different script and lead...

I am giving it a 2 because there were some pretty okay action/suspense stuff going on. Also, the sword play was decent enough I suppose. I thought this was going to be the worst historical action flick I have seen in awhile so that may be helping the rating a bit too. Maybe I'm feel generous today...

Okay. Here's the deal. If you don't mind watching Channing Tatum, like Roman type stuff but aren't a snob about it (or else you'll cry yourself to death from inaccuracy), if you like swords and obvious endings, then you should watch this movie.

Or, if you were like me and my friend, and you like action movies and wanted to watching something that you could just sit and laugh at the entire time, you should watch this movie.

Ultimately forgettable.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Your Highness (3)

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A younger brother is jealous of his soon-to-be-King older brother but both must work together if they are to save the older brothers love.

I feel like this movie just stole ideas from every serious and well done legend/fantasy and mushed it into a feature film. I saw so many things from Clash of the Titans but because I knew they were ripping it off I will admit that I found it entertaining. I guess the best way to explain it is that this film is the Scary Movie of legends.

I honestly don't know if I've ever noticed Danny McBride before this film but there were times that I was laughing really hardy to this man. He is one of those comedians who's face is their best feature. Some of his expressions just about killed a good way. The beautiful way they snapped to his reaction to things made me burst out laughing more than once.

Other than that though I found Mr. Franco (127 Hours, Eat Pray Love) more entertaining and more hilarious than anyone else. Natalie Portman (Black Swan, No Strings Attached) was meh...that's about it. I still don't know if she can really do comedy all that well but I still heart her. Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer)...I still don't know how I feel about her. She was forgettable in this movie.

The comedy is not smart. It's random and really ridiculous and sometimes so off the charts and, well, gross, that you almost don't want to laugh. If you like those kind of comedies than this is the film for you. It was a fun film and I'm really glad I got to see it.

There were actually some pretty good action scenes. The effects were nothing to talk about but I thought that the sword play and some of the escapes were well done. There were some weird ass characters though that I think I shook my head at instead of giggling over...but you can't win them all.

To me this movie was exactly how you think it will be. Nothing more, nothing less. You watch the trailer and that's what you get.

...except the ending is horrible. Ya, I didn't like the ending at all. The opening credits were awesome though...

Your basic comedy with some 5 headed monsters, boobs, sex jokes, homosexual mentions, hilarious scenarios and a pile of funny faces.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Maria Full of Grace (4)

(Watch the Trailer)

2004 Colombian drama/thriller by Joshua Marston.

A 17 year old girl gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby but she wants to be able to support the child herself. She tries finding work but there is nothing. The only other option is to be a mule: to use her body to carry packets of drugs into the United States. What would you do to create a better life for your unborn child?

This was on my "movies to watch" list for a long time now and I'm glad I got around to watching it.

This movie had a constant flow and intensity that I haven't seen in a long time. Right from the start things are intense and, it's not like it keeps building, but rather it stayed constantly throughout the entire film...right until the end. There was a bit of a climax but it didn't last long. It was almost like this film had several peak moments and then would go right back into being intense and making you full of suspense just as much as you were before the peak. It doesn't let you go. I liked that, it seemed more believable that way. Life doesn't truck along and slowly build up to one singular moment and then it's all smooth sailing after that.

I enjoyed how they kept that fine balance between story and characters. The entire time I wanted to know more about Maria but I never got it and although at the time I was frustrated, after the movie was over I realized that they never faltered from the plot and that was why I was so engrossed in the entire film. Once I started watching, I was in it. If they had spent even an extra 2 minutes on certain scenes or took the time to explain any of the technicalities the story would have lost some of it's power. Really well done, really good.

Characters were awesome, Catalina Sandino Moreno was fantastic, and the story was horrifying and so well written. This movie isn't for the light of heart...that's about all I'll say about that. It's a drama but it's also a thriller and a crime movie and they don't hold back.

If you love a solid story with some remarkable characters and can handle some dark material I highly suggest watching this film.


Astro Boy (4)

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A brilliant scientist loses his son but brings him back in the form of an advanced robot. Once he does he realizes that the robot could never be his son so he tries to deactivate him but the boy runs away. It turns out that this boy may be mankind's only hope against a new evil device that ends up in the wrong hands. Can a half human, half robot boy ever find a place where he'll fit in?

I remember watching this when I was a kid but I really liked the new version, even if it was different. This is a classic sci-fi subject; can a robot be human? Can they feel emotion? What makes us human? This movie visits all of these familiar topics yet I found that it really focused on them so they weren't hidden under unnecessary dialogue. While it is a cute movie and great for families I would be surprised if you didn't find yourself thinking even a little bit about the questions mentioned above.

The voices were pretty awesome although sadly I was a bit let down by Nicholas Cage was the dad in this movie...sometimes his voice just did not have enough emotion in it to match the character I was seeing on the screen.

I was surprised by how entertained I was when watching this movie. I really liked Astro Boy; I thought the boy was a great character. I enjoyed the other little robots and silly friends that he makes along the way to...very cool.

I guess that's what I thought once the credits rolled, very cool. This is a neat little family sci-fi movie and I think everyone will be able to sit back and enjoy some good fights, funny scenes and quick but sweet heart wrenching scenes.

Worth a watch for sure.


Oceans (3.5)

(Watch the Trailer)

A documentary looking at a world we have yet to understand and really appreciate: the oceans.

I grew up watching National Geographic. I pride myself in knowing a lot about nature and the animals and plants on this planet. Just when you think you know it all another movie comes out and as you watch it you find yourself mouth open in awe of the beauty and oddity that exists in this world. This documentary achieved just that; I thought I could see nothing new but they proved me wrong. Even animals that I thought I could write the wikipedia page on them from memory alone left me breathless while watching this movie. I loved every minute of it.

I think I've watched months worth of specials on wild cats and polar bears and rainforests, but it seems like very recently film makers are taking the plunge and focusing more and more on water. Even over the last 5 years there have been groundbreaking and heart wrenching documentaries that have brought outrage and tears to mankind. There doesn't seem to be any sign of filmmakers stopping when it comes to the world below the shore line, and although this movie may not make you want to sign a petition, I thought it was well done (especially good for kids/families).

I'm not going to lie, I laughed a little when I saw that Pierce Brosnan was the narrator, but he did a great job.

I'm a sucker for nature flicks so obviously I liked it but I thought they showed too many things that I had already known. They did dragged me back in when they tossed in shots of animals I have never heard of before but over all I was more entertained than stunned.

The music was really good though, that was a surprise.

And that person swimming with the great white...that shit was CRAZY. I think I gasped and held my hand over my mouth. That was a really cool idea.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jackass 3D (3)

(Watch the Trailer)

You know what this movie is about.

I can't say that I've ever really been a fan of these types of movies. I honestly do not find a lot of it funny, especially any of the bodily fluids things...I just, it's gross. Luckily for me, this movie didn't have as much of that stuff as they usually do. What they did have was disgusting but I felt like there was less of it this time around so I enjoyed myself more.

What I do like is when stupid people harm themselves and each other; therefore I do find some enjoyment in watching this movie. It's even better because the two friends I was watching it with love it and their laughter and shouts got me fired up and into it. This is a great party/drinking/friends watching kind of movie.

Bam is my favourite. I'm not sure why but he made me laugh the most. Even if you feel like a bad person for laughing you have to remind yourself that they are doing it to themselves, this is what they want to do...they think it's great. So sit back and relax and watch these stupid people get hurt and laugh at each other over the silliness.

Some of the stunts are really have to give them that.

It's Jackass. If you don't like it, don't watch it. If you do, you will love it just as much as you always have.


Sucker Punch (3.5)

(Watch the Trailer)

A girl is sent to an mental hospital by her abusive stepfather and escapes into an alternative reality in order to forget her pain and plan for her freedom.

This is a movie for all nerd/fantasy and action movie fans. It's got all you really need: enough of a story to make you pay attention yet riddled with guns, swords, cool outfits and wicked fight scenes. My nerd senses liked this movie more than I thought I would because it had this fantasy/sci-fi side to it that I didn't expect to be there and was happy when it was.

The whole alternate realities thing was really interesting to me although the one with all the action was not there as much as I wanted it to be. When you watch the trailer you expect it to be non-stop thrills and kills, but once it starts you realize there is a much more sinister and dramatic tone to the whole movie that sucks a bit of the fun and carefree awesomeness from even the most badass action scenes; you knew that in 5 minutes you would be back to another, more depressing reality. I found I wasn't sitting back and enjoying the action and fighting as much as I normally do because I knew once it flipped back to what was really happening that it was no longer a game anymore...

Acting was as good as it could be. I did enjoy watching Amy Browning in this movie, she was a good lead. I did like the characters and I liked the slight background given on the more important, key characters, but they left out a lot of back story on some of the other girls and for good reason - they didn't need to. Any more depth to the story and it would have really ruined any hope of it not being masked by the sadness of what the real story was. So, for that, I thank them. Less character more guns. Win for all in this situation.

The visuals were not nearly as amazing as I was hoping for but the fight scenes were still ultimate and amazing. There were a few times that I caught myself saying "Nice!" out loud in the theatre, so that's a good sign. There wasn't that many new moves but I saw a few new things that I liked. Also, there are dragons. I effin' love dragons!

So. If you liked previous Zack Snyder flicks you will most likely enjoy parts of this one. If you like crazy fight scenes and action you will enjoy this as well. Also, there is enough fantasy/sci-fi in it to sooth those needs as well for those of you who enjoy that genre.

Over all enjoyable, don't expect to think about this movie much once you leave the theatre; a nice and well needed escape from life for 2 blissful hours.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Some Like It Hot (4)

This is easily one of the top 10 comedies ever made. It's ridiculous, witty, smart, has cross dressing men who give amazing performances with or without heels on and is also one of the more well known movies starring Marilyn Monroe.

I don't feel like I need a long review about this film, it's a must see for any movie/comedy buff. This black and white classic is anything but slow and dull; it's fast paced, slap stick, pure humour at its finest! While Monroe is obviously important and amazing it's Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon who really make this movie. I have never seen men walk so well in hells before! I especially loved watching Tony Curtis...solid laughs all the way through.

The story is just ridiculous and it keeps building and building until you're laughing at just about everything because you can't believe what they've got themselves into. I think I spent most of the movie just laugh/saying "oh my god!" and slapping my leg.

Even with all the comedy there is this constant feel of an action movie that sneaks in now and again, seeing how they're dressed as women to escape assassination, and that adds an extra level of movement to the whole film. Perfect script and genius story telling with amazing performances and buckets of laughs. I don't think this 1959 classic is going any where any time soon.


What Dreams May Come (3.5)

(Watch the Trailer)

Life is hard after a couple loses their two children but they help one another through the pain. After the husband dies in a car accident just 3 years later the wife commits suicide. Would you leave heaven and suffer hell in order to save your soulmate?

Robin Williams is always enjoyable to watch but Cuba Gooding Jr. was surprisingly great to watch in this movie as well. Especially the scenes he has with Robin...there was something about them that I really like, that I was really drawn too. Annabella Sciorra (who played Robin's wife in the movie) I wasn't impressed with at first but then about half way through the movie I started really watching her and, especially at the end, I found myself become really connected to her character.

This story is main reason to watch this film. The script is amazing. I found myself silently exclaiming out loud to no one during some of the scenes because the dialogue was so real and really hit home for me now and then...even enough to make me pause the movie to write down a few lines to look over later. There is some strong stuff in this film but it could be over looked by the visual appeal.

I suppose in 1998 the effects were groundbreaking, and they are still really cool, but I couldn't find myself being amazed by what I saw. Maybe a decade ago I would have watched with my mouth wide but I couldn't really appreciate it. It was beautiful though, reminded me of so many dreams that I've had myself. I guess that's the's not just a clever name.

At first I wasn't sucked in at all, in fact it took me until about half way through the movie before I found myself really paying attention. Once I did though I was tears and smiles and my mind hurt from some of the amazing lines that were said. While I'm not convinced that the acting in this was anything ground breaking there was something about Robin, Cuba and Annabella. I still don't know if it was them as actors or their characters that hit some chord with me but regardless I found myself really attached to them by the end of this movie. I don't cry for no reason...

This movie isn't anything life changing but there were a few key scenes that really get you thinking. I also like how there were a few times that things would happen that would make me question my own beliefs, not only about death, but about life too. So even if the over all movie wasn't as good as I was hoping to be I know I will be thinking about it for the next few days and that generally means that it's worth a watch. The ending is amazing too which seems to be a rare thing when it comes to movies these days.

I hope I have awesome dreams tonight because of this...


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