Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Saw the Devil (4)

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2010 Korean horror film.

A secret agent finds his wife brutally murdered and swears to revenge her death, but revenge isn't also as easy as it seems.

Min-sik Choi (Lady Vengeance, Old Boy)was scary good in this movie. He played such an awful character and I didn't once not believe it. Not much more I want to say about it because he was good but so disturbing and just...ew. Ya. Also so great to see this guy on screen, he rocks this genre!

Byung-hun Lee ( G.I. Joe) was amazing! This guy can really act! This is one of the main and most important differences between American horror and Asian horror: the people can actually act and act well. Not only that but this guy totally kick ass in this movie, literally. So good.

If you don't already know, Korean horror never holds back. In American movies and most other horror when the camera turns away or is just covered in blood so you can't see what is really happening Korea freeze frames it or zooms in right when it happens. You. See. Everything. While for some that is too much for me it makes it more realistic is. They are the pros at effects in every way. While the scares are a little less than just the gruesome scenes they really perfect thriller/suspense stories and this movie nailed it.

I also like how they don't make the women to be ultra stupid in low cut shirts while walking in the rain. These women fight for their lives and don't just trust random men who ask if they need a ride. Once again, realistic.

A little long but since it was the story was really complete and the holes were filled. I loved this movie and it just feeds my statement that Korea owns when it comes to horror movies.

Don't watch if you can't handle the serious rated R horror.


The Shrine (3)

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2010 horror film about these journalists who try to research a series of missing persons reports in a small town in Poland.

Since I've discovered the awesomeness that is foreign horror I am a lot more harsh on American horror but with that being said it is because they pale in comparison to any Asian made horror film in all aspects. Acting, story, gore, thrill and suspense.

This movie actually had an interesting story, the main core plot was interesting to me so I actually wanted to watch this entire movie so that I could find out what was going on in the town. While the person I was watching with knew what was happening within the first 30 minutes I sat in my ignorance and enjoyed the ride until the end. It was still pretty cheesey but that's what you can expect with American horror.

Acting was pretty terrible. Classic, once again. I mean some of the supporting roles were decent but nothing close to caring to talk about.

The gore was few and far between and they seemed to spend more time building up this story that was already a bit obvious so at times it was boring. also the stupid factor of everyone reaches all time highs during the movie. For instance, STICK TOGETHER PEOPLE. Really, come on, who walks into a forest filled with fog all alone and then when the person goes missing goes in alone again?! That's not horror, that's stupid.

Some scenes were gruesome and scary but mostly it was kind of cool and then lame again. They tried's not the worst horror I've ever seen and was a solid start to a horror movie mini-marathon.


Arthur (1)

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The 2011 re-make starring Russel Brand about a rich man who falls in love with a stranger that his parents don't approve of.

Awful. I laughed once and it was because of something Helen Mirren said and not anyone else.

Russel Brand (Get Him to the Greek)...I respect you in real life but not in the movies. You are funny now and then but nothing that makes me run to your movies to see them but rather wait until I can see them for free. This movie was not entirely your fault because when you were sad I was laughing due to the fact that any spoiled billionaire who cries over some strange girl he barely talked to and he just met makes me laugh. Your sad face is actually pretty funny.

Helen Mirren (RED, The Last Station) is the woMAN and I am sad about her being a part of such garbage. Without her in this movie it actually would've been a no rating from me. Thank you for that M'Lady.

Jennifer Garner (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Invention of Lying). You can go away now. I liked you before, although now that I try to think about it I can't remember why, but now every time I see you in a movie you are the exact same but with different lines and clothing. Least impressive thing about this movie. I think you need something new or move onto something else.

The story wasn't something I was really interested in so that has a lot to do with my "this sucks" review. Honestly, I cannot feel sorry for a grown man who was spoiled his whole life and has all this money and then gets upset when he has to be responsible for his actions and then oh, what's that, 'falls in love with' some slightly nerdy girl who he doesn't know?! And he can't get her! Oh...oh sad. NO! Not sad. Get over yourself you lame man of a person. Jesus!

Sorry. I'll stop. can be funny but you are just awkward physically but I want to like you so I will keep trying. Jennifer was awful but Helen Mirren was the glue that attempted to stick to this crap script on a hot summers day but failed.

...I really did not like this movie and am glad I only slightly paid attention to it when it hit the one hour mark.

I hope other people find it funny because I just don't understand.

1/5 (for Helen)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fright Night (4.5)

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You may have read my review about the 1985 original cult film by the same title but this is the 2011 remake!

I liked this new version even more than the original but if you hadn't seen the original you would probably have no idea that there was one. This movie was very different but they actually succeeded in making it better by changing some key flaws from the first film.

First: More gore. There was WAY more blood and fighting in this movie than the original and the fighting was way less cheesy which made me take it more seriously as a horror film rather than a cult favourite. Second: The change with every character and the role they played was different yet it made more sense this way for some reason. Especially David Tennant's chracter, the fact that he had more of a past made him all the more real. Third: the history and weapons. Someone put a lot of love, time and passion into creating the new back story to this movie. Once again, Tennant's character was a weapons collector and they tied that part of him really well into the movie.

Everything just made sense and was less funny and ridiculous and more scary and meaningful. Loved it.

Anton Yelchin was wicked as the lead in this film. I heart this man. He was more bad ass and far more believable than in the original film. He seemed less panic stricken and more kick ass than ever before...also, he just rocks.

David Tennant made this film (see also the best Hamlet that there ever was). I don't know if it's just because I heart him and all he does especially since being The Doctor in Doctor Who but I really really loved his character and everything about him. The back story was awesome and his general additude was attractive to me as an audience member. I found I was watching him over Yelchin in some scenes. Fantastic. Big hearts David.

Colin Farrell (Horrible Bosses, In Bruges) isn't my favorite but he was great as this mysterious vampire guy. I thought he did a great job of being serious and yet bad and creepy at the same time. Nothing to really complain about here except he wasn't as awesome as the other two. End of discussion.

The only thing I really didn't like about the movie was that they made it a lot more high school like. Meaning more scenes were at the school and near the beginning a lot of the characters they first introduce are high school students who in the end don't matter at all. The chick was pretty annoying but she was in high school and a blonde in a VW bug so you can't really blame the actor there.

Still, solid horror film and a complete surprise. I thought it would be cheese, lame and bad acting but it was gore, thrilling and comepletely entertaining. I don't know, I really liked it and think it's a great addiction to the vampire/horror collection.

See it! It's not just a summer flick.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens (3.5)

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New Jon Favreau sci-fi western film.

Cowboys fight aliens and try to defeat them and get their people back before it's too late.

I had been excited for this movie since the first teaser trailer waaay back in the day. Harrison Ford as a cowboy fighting aliens. Ummm, YUP! Delicious. Sadly with so many amazing movies coming out I had to put off seeing this one until about an hour ago and...

I'm a little disappointed.

Maybe it's the classic case of being so excited and wanting it to be so awesome that it could never amount to the coolness that you wanted it to be or, maybe, it just wasn't so good. I'm gonna go with a little from both sides.

Daniel Craig was his classic self. Not much emotion, no smiles (I don't think) and just walking like a 'real man' around the whole time with tight pants and an unbuttoned shirt. Not really impressed with him this time but then again I haven't really been overly impressed with him to date but he does the action movies and so, that's what he does. Meh.

Harrison Ford (Extrodinary Measures) was not in this as much as I wanted him to be and when he was he never said much and when he did they either made his character a whiney idiot or a way too bad ass to handle life kinda character. It sucked though because he is the man so I wont hold this against him.

Okay. The aliens. I don't know about anyone else but as a sci-fi and general alien movie fan I always look forward to seeing what the aliens look like. They created some cool parts of these aliens but over all I felt like I had seen them before. I've read that the design was a merge of Alien and Predator but I didn't see that either...I saw trolls with stomach arms and weird claws. I guess they seemed more monster than alien to me. Still, some cool effects.

Did not like the ending. They should've just left the ending with the house and not the town, that just seemed like a double ending. Also, where the hell was he going? He had nothing and no one and just rode into the sun. That worked for John Wayne and Eastwood but not Daniel Craig. Just didn't make sense to me.

And the girl that was what she was...sort of lame. Like the humans couldn't have ever figured it out? She didn't even really help at all...useless. But she looked pretty. Can't just have a bunch of guys on horses for 2 hours any more I guess. Sigh.

Anyways, I am complaining because I wanted more from this movie but it was still interesting and there were some good shot-em-up scenes and fights and Daniel Craig wasn't all bad and Harrison Ford can never do no wrong.

Decent and entertaining.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes (4.5)

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The beginning of it all.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this movie. The trailers looked promising and I liked the fact that James Franco was going to be in it but I can't say I'm a huge fan of the original, I mean I really like it, but it was not up in my top 10 movies lists.

I was surprised by how much I liked this film. It was fantastic. The graphics are out of this world and the story was really great. I was into this movie 100% of the time and I was sad when it was over. Cannot wait for another one which I hear whispers that there will be one, they definitely left it wide open for more and I hope that happens.

I like James Franco (Eat Pray Love, 127 Hours) and he was good in this movie but I wasn't as impressed as I normally am. Not sure why, it could've been because all the focus is really on the apes, especially Caeser, and you really start to root for them and want them to break out of their cages...but I think it also had to do with the fact that most of the time he had the same expression on his face. Yes, his character didn't leave a lot of room for growth or screen time to develop to an audience, but it was still less than impressive.

I was shocked by how attached I became to Caesar. They did an astounding job creating him and absorbing you into his life and you legitimately feel compassion and sympathy for him. Andy Serkis, you amaze me. Your face is pure awesome. Crazy. I really was excited when he would escape or learn something new...they had me hooked. Damn you Caesar!

It was strangely a really great action movie. I was right there with every movement and when things really started to go down my heart was racing and I was anticipating the next scene or line or what have you. Fantastic...I was really surprised by that. Happy surprises!

I really don't know what else to say, I enjoyed every minute of this movie and have nothing to really complain about. John Lithgow was a nice extra touch and as usual I enjoyed watching him. Also, Tom Felton aka Draco was in this movie for awhile and it's always exciting to see anyone from Harry Potter in other roles.

Just. Awesome. Solid cinema. One of the best so far this summer.


Hesher (4)

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A boy loses his mother in a car accident and watches as his life falls apart. One day he meets Hesher and his life changes forever.

I am a huge Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan. I have liked him in every movie I have seen, from 500 Days of Summer to Brick to Inception, he is fantastic in every roll and I love what he does. This movie was no exception. He made this movie. I cannot even understand how he can take hold of a character and completely change himself so easily. He is fantastic and I cannot wait to see how far he goes and where his career ends up. I hope he sticks around for a long time. I mean, even his eyes look different as this character. I just...AH! So good. So disturbed. So awesome.

The kid aka Devin Brochu was pretty good. He wasn't one of those child actors who you can tell cannot act yet for some reason it's okay because they are a kid. Not an excuse and he was great and it's not easy to hold your own when you are next to JGL, Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson.

Rainn Wilson wasn't in this movie all that much and to be honest I think he is funny sometimes but I don't really get all the hype. He just always seems to have that same blank face and awkwardness that I can't see past but he showed a different side in this movie and I liked where he was going...just needs a little more.

Natalie Portman was strangely not so impressive in this movie. He character was basically the same physicality than in Garden State but she had different clothes and seemed slightly more messed up. Still, I think is one of the first times that I wasn't stunned by her in a film. Meh.

The story is dark but it's also funny. This is a dark comedy and the drama comes first so don't expect piles of laughs. Disturbing things happen and I feel it borders on the line of thriller/horror at some points but nothing too too crazy. It's deep and dark but also funny at times. Perfect merge of two genres. Hurray!

Ending was weird but made sense. Joseph is the bomb. I loved it and it's one of my new favs. I really liked the grandma and this strange connection you get with everyone yet at the same time not understand them at all. Hard to explain. I liked every moment of it.


Moonstruck (2.5)

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1987 Norman Jewison comedy/romance film.

This movie is about love and all the different ways it can ruin some one's life, in a good or bad way.

This movie was just weird. I honestly can't say whether I liked it or just was. I mean, Nicholas Cage (Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) is the best and young N Cage is just as amazing although I couldn't stop staring at his missing tooth or the awfulness that was his hairstyle. This is the actually first time that I've liked Cher at all in my entire life. I thought she was gorgeous and fantastic and really strong in this movie, but nothing that I can really rant about.

The story was basic and it was easy to tell what was going to happen and I felt that a lot of the time they tried to make things seem deeper or add hidden meanings to things but I missed them entirely and because of that found myself bored sometimes and not connected to anything. It just...was.

But N Cage is awesome. And strange. And Italians are funny. And that was that.

Cher's hair is something that defies science.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fright Night (4)

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The original 1985 Tom Hollard film.

A horror obsessed teenaged boy gets a new neighbour who moves in with what looks like a coffin. It doesn't take him long to realize he is a vampire but with the discovery comes a whole new danger to him and the people he loves.

I love old horror flicks. They didn't have all the computer crap that floods most horror films these days and in a way that makes it all the more believable and enjoyable to watch. In this film the use of make-up on the vampires and the props/puppets made were amazing and made it more real to me. Yes, this was more of a comedy horror type movie, but it was still great to see these things really come alive. Who doesn't love a good monster? And man, that chick was REALLY scary looking. *shiver*

I am not a horror buff but I really enjoy vampire movies, books and what not yet this was the first time I have ever heard of the vampires being able to change into bats AND wolves. Crazy. I'm not sure where that idea came from and it was kind of interesting to see...first time I've heard of that side of the whole 'myth'.

The acting in this is just what you would expect it to be. It's perfect for the tone the movie was going for and I can totally see why this became such a cult horror film. It was fun, funny, scary, sexy and a little bit different. To be honest, I really liked the story and I felt like there wasn't a lot of time wasted with filler like random romance or any of that normal horror movie garabage. It just cuts right to it and doesn't stop until the epic ending. Awesome. Still, this is not supposed to be taken serious. Just so you know.

I heart vampire movies. And fun horror, especially anything from the 80s or early 90s and this one was beyond fantastic!


Note: This movie was recently re-made with Colin Farrel, and my favourite Doctor, David Tennant. It's set for release on August the 19th in Canada and looks promising but definitely different than the original but it's that always the case now...anywho, check out the trailer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Midnight in Paris (4.2)

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A man and his fiance go to Paris to spend time with her parents but when the husband to be decides to wander the streets alone at night he finds himself in an entirely different place and in the life he always dreamt of living.

Finally, I understand the hype behind Woody Allen. Finally, after years and years of trying I have finally watched something that I could relate to, enjoy and connect with. Now I have new reasons to go back and watch some more of his earlier work that got rave reviews. I'm just thankful that I got it because I thought I was going crazy for awhile there...

Owen Wilson, I have always been a fan and when I heard about all the personal stuff he was going through I was worried but he is back and he is better than ever and really rocked the serious role. Just as charming, funny and strangely striking as he always was but with just a little extra spice that I couldn't identify but it was there. Can't wait for more from this man.

Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes, The Time Traveler's Wife)...I enjoy you, most of the time, but I really and honestly feel like you are the same character in every movie. You make the same facial expressions, same reactions, same laugh and physical presence...I'm getting rather bored with you. You were meh and not really in this movie much and that was for the best, do something really new and different already so I don't completely forget why I liked you in the first place.

I am really starting to enjoy Marion Cotillard. She played Leonardo DiCaprio's wife in Inception and I really enjoyed her in that and I really enjoyed her in this film. Hope she keeps popping up in amazing movies because I dig her.

The story starts off a bit rocky and I started to think it was just going to be another boring Woody Allen where nothing happens and you just sit there wondering if you are missing something...then bam! Midnight hits and it all changes. I really think Owen Wilson carried this entire movie, I'm not sure I would've liked it as much if he wasn't in it. The story is interesting and I enjoyed the romance behind it all and the strange sci-fi-ish direction it took now and again. Characters were enjoyable and meeting all the people from the past was cool. I thought the story really supported the cast and vice versa (if that makes sense to you).

I liked the ending but found the break off the be weird (no spoilers) and also the end of the other was just, over. That was it. Strange. Also I felt like the story kept trying to dig too deep at strange times when it should've tried to stay on it's course so you didn't stray away from having full attention on the characters. There were some amazing lines, scenes and character connections that had me glued to the screen and once I was in I was in until the credits rolled. Fantastic.

Bonus: Adrien Brody ( The Brothers Bloom, The Experiment). Yes, please, always, thanks. AND Kathy Bates. Lovely as always, even if your part was small.

I can finally say that I like a Woody Allen movie and if you read my review about my last attempt you will understand why this movie is amazing as it is; I am newly converted.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crazy Stupid Love (4)

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A man goes to a bar after his wife asks for a divorce and he finds a player who is willing to take him under his wing to help him find his manhood again. What they both discover in the end isn't what either of them were expecting. Is there such thing as soul mates?

The Gos. The Gos. The Gos.

Ryan Gosling is the bomb (Blue Valentine). I already knew he was the bomb and love love love him in everything he does but it was really great to see him in a role like this. I thought he was fantastic and stole the show in most of the scenes. I loved everything about his character and the only thing I didn't like is when he wasn't around as much near the end of the movie. Sigh.

Steve Carell, you rock my socks ( Dinner For Schmucks, Despicable Me, Date Night). I wasn't sure how you were going to handle this movie but you nailed it. I really don't know what else to say, because that says it all. You were the perfect choice and you did not let down.

I think this is the first time in awhile that I liked Julianne Moore. I don't know why, I respect her a lot and she has done some great work, but sometimes I just find her too much for me. No idea why or really how to explain it, but regardless I enjoyed her in this movie.

I want to be best friends with Emma Stone ( Easy A). She cracks me up like no other. I have so far liked her in every single movie I have seen her in. She kicks ass and takes names and I would give her mine. Her with Ryan was amazing and I want it to happen in real life too so they make perfect babies. Just sayin.

I liked everything about this movie, especially the cast and how they worked together, up until the climax. I did NOT see that coming and judging by the reaction from the entire audience they didn't either but then it forced the movie to pull out of the tone it was taking up until that point and just got plain silly, more silly than before, and then it couldn't seem to calm back down and settle into the story again. I honestly had a hard time being fully interested in the last 20 minutes of the movie because the climax pulled me so far out of the nice little nest of story, love and character and I just couldn't get back into it.

The ending was cheese but not as bad as the pre-ending monologue which I found strangely uncomfortable and awkward more than heart wrenching and emotional. I don't know, there was no coming back from that climax. It was great and a surprise but then it ruined it all.

If the ending was different I would really love this movie but alas I only loved it up until that point. Every scene with Gosling and Carell was priceless and I thought the comedy verse in depth story was really well balanced and I really enjoyed watching this movie.

Until the end.

The end.


Captain America: The First Avenger (4)

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A boy who never knows when to quit becomes America's final defence and first avenger against the real pending doom during the second World War. Will he be strong enough?

I really liked Chris Evans in this movie. I hadn't paid all that much attention to him before now. I have seen a few of his movies but I wasn't particularly picking him out from the I will. There was definitely something about him and I'm not sure if it is just him as Captain America but I have a funny feeling that that wasn't entirely it. He was great with the comedy, drama and action within this film and I cannot wait to see him in another role and as Captain America in the future.

Hugo Weaving, you do not get enough credit for anything you do. I love this man in every role I see him in and think that he has a real talent. He was great as the villain in this movie and I thought his make-up added the rest that he could not but I thought he was flawless.

I couldn't call myself a Captain America fan so to speak but I do always love comic book films. I'm not sure why, maybe besides sci-fi it is the ultimate escape for me or maybe it's also because comic book to film movies always seem to have a collection of genres bunched together to make them. Sci-fi, comedy, drama, action and even a little romance. Can't complain about a little genre merging for all your entertainment needs.

The action at first left more to be desired in my opinion, but once things got rolling and you pass that one hour bump everything just seems to click and start flowing the the action is amazing. Also, at that point you start really wanting Captain America to win so I found myself really into his every move hoping he makes it through.

I did like how it wasn't all America America Rah-Rah-Rah...well, it was a bit, but he IS Captain America after all, but I thought they did a great job of balancing character to story and really did a great job focusing on the war rather than specific countries.

While the action took awhile to start up and my connection to any one character took the entire length of the film to really formulate, I still really enjoyed myself when watching this movie. I thought the story was way more interesting than I ever thought it could be and that Chris Evans did a great job. That being said, there were obvious gaps here and there and some slow points but it's the start to another series of awesome, hero, action-ness. Woohooo!

Now we just have to wait for The Avengers. *nerd sigh*

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