If you are a true fan of Tron my review will not mean much, because to me, it is like the first one, visual arresting but dull. The sequel is about the same, but I love the music by Daft Punk. It is an amazing film for the fans. The story is about Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) who finds out his father Kevin Flynn,(Jeff Bridges) his father might not be missing but locked in a computer game and he plays the games to find out what happened to his father.
Acting really not a major reason to see this movie, but Jeff Bridges is very good. It is beautiful eye candy and action. Should you see it? If you are a loyal fan of this franchise, yes. If you love special effects and not much else, see it. If neither of this interests you, wait for Blu Ray or DVD.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARINA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER
I gotta tell you this movie is cheerful and hopeful compared to ”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.” Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) are living with their annoying cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) as they are summoned back to Narnia, on a new adventure which concerns seven magical swords. The human cast is good but it is Reepicheep, voiced by Simon Pegg (Scotty from Star Trek 2009) is outstanding!!!
The special effects are wonderful and the story is very good. It is not doing well in the US, but booming overseas, and I can’t understand why. Maybe Americans were waiting for “Tron: Legacy,” but if you are into fantasy movies, this is one the one to watch!!!
This movie wasn’t marketed very well. No one knows it is out there, but it is martial arts western!!! It is about Yang (Korean star Dong-gun Jang) who is an expert swordsman. He has to kill a baby girl of a rival clan, but doesn’t. Instead, he takes care of her and joins a bizarre circus, where the people have stories of their own. His clan comes to kill him. You have heard this story a gazillion times but the movie is so stylish, and the action is just amazing!!
I don’t know why Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush is in this, but he is good as a drunk but skilled shooter. Danny Huston (Edge of Darkness) is excellent as the evil Colonel. He is very good at being bad. Your best bet is to wait for Blu-Ray or DVD, unless you are an action hound and you have got to see it!!!
It has been said that when an actor wins an Oscar bad luck follows but that is not the case with Denzel Washington. He won his Oscar for best actor in Training Day in 2001. He has been making hits every since. This movie is about a runaway train with toxic chemicals on board and it is Denzel and Chris Pine (Star Trek--2009) must save the day. The movie is short, yet very, very exciting!! It is not just action packed, but it tells a great back story about the two leads. Yes, you should see it either in the theater, on DVD and/or Blu Ray, for it is great!!!
Disney has done it again!!! It is a fun, entertaining spin on the fairy tale, Rapunzel. Mandy Moore (pop singer) is great as the spunky princess who is trapped in a castle and wants to see the real world. Zachary Levi (TV show Chuck) is good as the prince Flynn Rider, and Donna Murphy as the vain, creepy witch who kidnaps Rapunzel. The movie will make a fantastic Broadway musical. Should you see it? Young girls will love it!!!
NIGHT CATCHES US
This movie has so much going for it, but it has so much going against it as well. The film has the most talented, upcoming black actor and actress in Hollywood Anthony Mackie (Hurt Locker), and Kerry Washington (Fantastic Four, For Color Girls). The director is a black woman, Tanya Hamilton, who took ten years to make it. The rest of the cast is equally good and it is not about drug addicts, pimps or crime---it's REAL, and they are treated like real people.
What it’s got against it, it is not a big budget Hollywood movie, not a comedy, and not a subject average movie fans talks about. The story is about Marcus, who comes back to his home town in 1976. He once belonged to The Black Panthers, and the remaining people left from the group think he snitched on a fellow Panther and was killed by police. Patricia also was a member and her feelings for him complicate things. Should you see it? It is not playing at too many theaters but it is a very good drama. You can also see it on MOVIES ON DEMAND.
ACTION HOUNDS REJOICE!!! Dwayne Johnson is back and bad-ass as ever in this film!!! It is a predictable revenge movie, but Johnson is no wise-cracking guy---he's just angry and ready to kill all the men who killed the brother that he loved. The rest of the cast is good but Johnson shows he can get back in the action genre with no problem. He takes no prisoners. When he gets out of prison he becomes a killing machine!!! I don’t know why this flick is not making money. Last year at Thanksgiving Hollywood gave us ‘Ninja Assassin,’ which was a good action movie but didn’t make any money. I don’t know why Hollywood puts the bloodiest stuff out around the holidays. Should you see it? If you like the Dwayne Johnson and action, yeah, but if not, wait for Blu-ray and DVD.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS-PART 1
Movie franchises fade with each installment, but not this series. It seems to improve!!! Not a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, but this one is the darkest yet and best one. It is like a big budget gothic horror movie!! The wizard world and Hogwarts school is ruled by the evil witches now headed by Voldemort (played with seething creepiness by Ralph Fiennes), and Harry (cute Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione(smart Emma Watson) and his great sidekick Ron (Rupert Grint) are in peril. Ron is not so funny in this movie as in the others, but there are some laughs. Professor Minerva McGonagall (great actress Maggie Smith is missing from this movie.) I hope she is in the last one.
The lead trio are on the run, fleeing for their lives to escape Voldemort and the Deatheaters. If you are a fan of the book you know what will happen, and cannot wait but I am watching the movie having not reading any of the novels by J.K .Rowling. You should read any book before the movie so you can see what they kept in, what they left out. So, I am breaking my own law again!! The movie starts out with action, it slows down then picks back up. Action fans may be disappointed, but I hear in Part 2 there will be LOTS of action. Should you see it? If you are a fan, YES!!! If you like the other movies you should see it but be warned it is intense, sad and morbid. TEASE SPOILER: A beloved character in the movie is killed.
SCI-FI ACTION THRILLER
I read the reviews for this movie and I was reluctant to watch it, but I am so glad that I still went to see it!! It is good!! It is not a great movie and to me it is waaay above a Saturday Syfy movie. It is mix of Cloverfield, War of the Worlds and Independence Day. The cast is a group of people that are unknowns, but you know a few of them Eric Balfour, ( 24, Haven) Donald Faison (Scrubs). The plot is simply a group of friends wake up from a friend’s birthday party and find out there is an alien invasion!! They run, scream and try to survive!!
I heard they are making a sequel and if you see the movie you'll know there MUST be a continuation of the movie!!! Acting is not good but it's not important, and the story, the same way. Special effects, very good. Should you see it in the movie? NO. See it on Blu Ray or DVD. It is a great thriller filler.
This feature animated movie is very good but it is different. Megamind (Will Ferrell) is an inept villain who is constantly kidnapping Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) for Metro Man (Brad Pitt) the hero to save the day. One day he actually takes down the superhero then he gets bored for no one can stop him so he creates a hero, Tighten (Jonah Hill) who really isn’t that good. The 3D is just great and the voices they pick for the movie are just great!!!
Will Ferrell movies I otherwise don’t like too much, but he is perfect here for he is over the top like some villains are. His partner Minion (David Cross) is good as his smarter but neglected servant. I can see why it is making so much money. It is not the typical good vs. bad superhero but it is a wonderful, funny flick.
FOR COLORED GIRLS
The movie is based on a play by Ntozake Shang, and the full title is For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough. Before you see this movie please be WARNED: There is a vicious rape scene and the black actresses speak though poems--it will sound strange, but stay with it. The story is about black women struggling with jobs, men and their lives.
The actresses include Janet Jackson, (the singer) Loretta Devine(Dreamgirls, play and the movie), Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible 2, Crash), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, The Frog Prince, Lottery Ticket), Kerry Washington,(Fantastic Four, Mr.& Mrs. Smith, The Last King of Scotland) Phylicia Rashad ( The Cosby Show, Just Wright), Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost, host The View), Kimberly Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Manchurian Candidate).
ALL of these actresses a reincredible!!!! It is a touching, tragic triumph movie. Director Tyler Perry should be proud of this great work. One bad thing I didn’t like--showing black men at their worst!!! Every man is a dog in this movie, except one!!! If you can deal with that please go--it is rare to see a slew of talented black actress in a movie.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Ever wonder how Facebook got started? If so, this is the movie for you. It wasn’t started by that one guy, Harvard junior Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jessie Eisenberg (Zombieland), but by many, yet he took the credit. It began when he loses his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara, soon to be in the highly anticipated The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and he is angry and vents out to others online. His only friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield, who will be in Spider-Man Reboot) helps him become a billionaire.
The ‘many’ also include Armie Hammer who plays rich twins and Justin Timberlake as co-founder of Napster Sean Parker. The wheeling and and dealing and betrayal make this interesting, but I don’t know how factual the movie really is. The screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (TV series West Wing) is a good writer and even though the cast are young they are not drop outs, so dialogue should be intelligent and witty. Should you see this movie? Only if you are curious about the subject-–if not wait until video.
PARANOMAL ACTIVITY 2
If you liked the first Paranormal Activity movie you will like this one. If you didn’t see the first one you can still follow the story. It tells about how Katie (Katie Featherston) from the first PA and how evil forces surrounded her. It is a pre-quel and sequel. Her sister moves in several months before with her family and her newborn, Hunter in 2006. They think they are a victim of a break-in and they put cameras in the house. The movie is slow like the first but it has scary moments. Gore hounds this movie is not for you. People die, but not in a bloody way. The cast is very good for they are not stars yet, which gives that feeling that they are real people. Should you see it? Not if you like slasher movies, which this is not. It is scarier because you don’t see much--not a body count film.
WALLSTREET 2: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
The best villain in the 80’s was businessman Gordon Gekko, played Michael Douglas who won an Oscar. He is back playing Gordon, only broke. He writes a book titled “Is Greed Good?” and finds out that his only daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) is dating a trader Jake (Shia LaBeouf--NOT my favorite actor). There is also another villain named Bretton Jones (Josh Brolin), a fund manager. There is a lot of double dealing, love and revenge in this movie, yet I couldn’t get into it like the first one. The two bad guys Douglas and Brolin are great being ruthless, cunning and charming. The trailer was better than the movie to me. Wait until Blu-Ray and DVD.
Bank job movies can be very typical, but this movie is NOT. It stars Ben Affleck as Doug MacRay, who was once a good hockey player, but when you are raised by robbers you eventually turn for the worst. He robs banks for a living and doesn’t want to do that last bank job, but villain Fergus (Pete Postlethwaite of Clash of The Titans) forces him to do it. In one of the robberies Claire (played by Rebecca Hall) may have seen the tattoo of friend Jem played great by Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker) and can ID them. He romances her and then wants to leave with her.
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is very good as Adam Frawley, a FBI agent determined to bring the criminals down!!! All the performances are good including Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) as Krista. It did great box office and if you watch you can see why. Action and acting--very rare. If you enjoy good acting go to the movies (while it's still there)--if not, video.
First of all, you have to believe A LOT in this movie, but that's because it is a summer movie placed in the fall. RED means Retired Extremely Dangerous, and Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is receiving Social Security but not fulfillment. He meets a girl Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds) who works at Social Security and is bored as hell, and wants Frank’s exciting life. The group, which included Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich (who is just fantastic as the 'Mad Murdock' of the group), and Helen Mirren. The action is very good and so is the dry humor. The cast seems to enjoy themselves in the craziest situations. It is much fun. You have to see it for the cast, who are over forty and fabulous.
RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE
I am only basing my review on the film--not the video game, since MoviePhat doesn’t do video games. I really enjoyed Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse, but the latest addition I didn't like too much. The action sequences are fantastic!!! Milla Jovovich as Alice is a take charge, kick-butt babe. She is the best thing about the series. The villain who can’t die Shawn Roberts (Edge of Darkness) as Albert Wesker is excellent, and Boris Kodjoe, the handsome black guy in the upcoming TV show Undercovers is good as former basketball player, now leader of the survivors in Los Angeles.
The RE4 plot is simply, Alice is searching for survivors and trying to find the ‘promised land’ called Arcadia in Alaska. I just couldn’t get into it, and that is surprising. The 3D doesn’t help or hurt the franchise. If you love the movie series--watch it, but if you don’t want to pay extra for 3D, wait for Blu-ray or DVD. I hear there will be a Resident Evil 5!!!
ACTIONHOUNDS I GOT ANOTHER FOR YA!!! WOLF, WOLF, WOLF!!! This movie has everything exploitation---blood, babes and action!!! Based on a fake trailer from “Grindhouse” Machete is now a great kick-ass movie. The story is about a federal agent Machete (Danny Trejo), determined to take down Torrez (Steven Segal, who is very good being bad), a gangster. But instead Torrez kills his wife and child. He tries to kill our hero, but Machete won’t stay dead.
He comes a few years later as a non-immigrant day laborer and he gets paid to kill Senator McLaughlin (Robert DeNiro) by Booth (played by Jeff Fahey), McLaughlin’s right hand man(he is greedy, power mad, and lusts for his own daughter) but he is set up!! I saw this movie because of Alex Jones (infowars.com and prisonplanet.com), who thinks it will start a race war because of the unpopular immigrant laws in Arizona. I can see why he is upset!!! They make the Mexicans look like scum yet saintly, and the evil people in power are white, just like in the blaxploitation movies. I hope they make more 'mexploitation' movies like this!!. It is very entertaining!!
Danny Trejo is UGLY, but he is a BAD-ASS!!! The ladies---sexy Jessica Alba is good, but Michelle Rodriguez steals the show as Luz aka She’. Pretty, and pretty tough. Lindsay Lohan is good playing a partying slut. For the guys' information, she goes topless, and some Latina actresses are nude!! Should you see it? If you like excessive violence yes-if not wait for Blu-Ray and DVD.
This movie is true exploitation!!! It has blood, boobs and a monster what needs killing!! Plot is not really important but here it goes. It is Spring Break (for a movie released in late summer???) and the college kids go wild!! Sand, surf and sun abound, but what they don’t know is that a small earthquake hits and opens the lake floor, it brings out small, verrry hungry piranhas. As I said, plot is not essential here. The movie is short, but if you enjoy tons of blood you can’t wait to see the flesh eating fish chomp on the oversexed college students!!
I am trying to figure out why talented stars like Elisabeth Shue, (Leaving Las Vegas, Hollow Man), Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible movie) and Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws) are in this!! Jerry O’Connell as a coked up, annoying director got what he deserves, and the piranhas have more taste than the director Alexandre Aja has. It is a funny, gross gore scene, trust me. The 3D effect doesn’t really help the flick much. James (Avatar) Cameron did a sequel to Piranha--1978 titled Piranha 2. Should you see it? Only if you like creatures in the water. It is a better-grade Saturday night 'Syfy' movie.
Simply stated story--Evelyn Salt (Angelia Jolie) is a CIA agent married to a good man, and has a dog. She is about to celebrate her anniversary when a defector tells her that she is a Russian spy and she is supposed to kill the Russian president when he comes to New York. The people she trusts don’t trust her in an instant, and she has to prove her innocence and stop the assassination. The action sequences are fantastic!!
Angelina Jolie is amazing. She can take a beating and give one as well. She is a very good actress, but when it comes to action movies--she is the BEST. Producers should pair Ms. Jolie and Michelle Rodriguez (Machete) in a female buddy action movie, because these women can pull it off. Liv Schreiber as her friend and boss Ted Winter gives a good performance. The amazing Chiwetel Ejiofor (2012, Four Brothers) is very good trying to capture Salt at all costs, but knows something is not quite right. I do hope there is a sequel and I hope Ms. Jolie keeps doing action movies.
This film is more of an official sequel to the original, than the film Predator 2 made in 1990. It stars Oscar winner Adrien Brody and in this year, Slice as Royce unwillingly become leaders of a bunch of killers, mercenaries and convicts trapped on an island where they are hunted by-–you guessed it--Predators!!! That is basically the story, but it is very action packed and suspenseful. It is amazing how the aliens know the group’s weaknesses and take them out one by one.
People, it is a ‘body count’ movie, which simply means actors are there to be killed off by the monster or slasher to keep the movie going. The cast is very good--Topher Grace (70’s Show and Spiderman 3), Alice Braga (Repo Men) Laurence Fishburne (CSI, Matrix movies), and Danny Trejo (Machete). I don’t know why it didn’t make money--it was very good. Maybe it took too long to make. Watch it when it comes out on Blu-Ray and DVD.
ACTION HOUNDS REJOICE!!!! The Expendables are finally here!!! It has the best all-star action guys you can name!!! A band of mercenaries lead by Barney Ross (!?)(Sylvester Stallone), and his second in command Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) take an assignment by Church (Bruce Willis) to take down a small country in South America and its dictator General Garza (David Zayas)who is really controlled by James Monroe(Eric Roberts).
Plot, dialogue and acting is not the reason to see this movie, it is the action stars of the 80’s 90’s along with wrestling and UFC. Lots of action, lots of kills and lots of big explosions!!! The big three--Schwarzenegger, Willis and Stallone is funny but too brief. The late Brittany Murphy was supposed to be in the movie, but they cut her scenes out. The two females in the movie are Charisma Carpenter (Angel) and Gisele Itie (popular novella actress in Mexico and Brazil).
My only gripe was, I couldn’t see the brutal fights (it was at night) and they needed to be longer!!! This is for guys, girls who love macho men and action and violence, period! Not for kids, not for people who hate violence not for women who like chick flicks. See it in the theaters, see it on Blu-ray and DVD--just see it!!!
I only watched this movie because wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin was in it. He plays John Brickner, an ex-con got out of prison early because the wife of who he killed begged the parole board. She wants him to save her daughter who needs a heart transplant –the insurance bill is costly and Medicaid rejected her so he does underground fighting for a living. It is surprising for a b-movie to have such seriousness for everyone is damage or in debt!! Stone Cold Steve Austin is not the best actor in the world but he’s got a presence!!! He is much laid back compared to his wrestling persona. I can’t wait for the movie ‘Expendables’ to come out later this year-August to be exact. Everyone is very good including Reno (Walter Goggin in the series The Shield and Justified) Frankie (Smallville as Supergirl and updated series V) . They make a very odd loving pair.
PERCY JACKSON &THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTING THIEF
This movie is based on the books by (Rick Riodan). I didn’t know the book existed so I did not read it but you should read before you see the movie for the novel gives more insight. It is a summer blockbuster that was release in February and now release on DVD. It is very well made. I am surprised. All the special effects movies I thought it was another one. Mythology and modern world collide as Percy Jackson(new comer Logan Lerman) has just found out he is a demigod and his father is Poseidon (Kevin McKidd, Journeyman). Zeus (usual bad guy Sean Bean) wants his lightning bolt back or hell on earth as result.
At a school for demigods only he meets pretty Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) daughter of Athena and his protector and comic relief Grover(Brandon T. Jackson). Percy goes on a quest to save his mother Sally Jackson (Catherine Keener-know for independents movies) from Hades (Steven Coogan). Uma Thurman (Kill Bill) is amazing as Medusa!!! It is delightful and it should have been release in the summer but the studio didn’t think it would do well. The cast old and new are fantastic. Director Chris Columbus who directed the first Harry Potter movies is very good at fantasy movies. He should have done “Clash of the Titans.” They will be comparing the two in the future. If you are into mythology and fantasy movies YES see this movie!!!
BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD
First, let me say this is not for kids!!! It is very, very violent!!! It is about Batman with a new villain named Red Hood who is taking over crime by killing one crime boss at a time. Batman is not voiced by Kevin Conroy but Bruce Greenwood (seen in Star Trek-2009) all the voice actors are good but Wade Williams and John Di Maggio Black Mask and Joker are outstanding!! Both are power mad, funny criminals. It is not that long but it says quite a lot. You should see when it arrives on Blu-ray and DVD. Warner Brother’s animation movies are getting better with each film.
TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
The Twilight series is brilliant and baffling. Based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer’s young, white tweens go gaga over the movie!! It is a female 'tween' Star Wars!! I am basing my review on the movie alone. You should read the novels ( to compare) but I heard they are terrible but I doubt that. The other two movies in short were too slooow!!! It is the continuing story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in love with vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob Black, (Taylor Lautner) who can change into a wolf.
Things gets ugly for Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) makes ‘newborns,’ ruthless vampires who wants revenge on Edward for killing her lover James and wants to kill Bella. The two unearthly males have some of the best romantic and bickering dialogue ever in the entire series!! Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg who writes for Dexter finally wrote some interesting dialogue!!! It is well written soap opera. Director David Slade (‘30 Days into Night’) got some very good action in the movie, and that’s why guys are going as well!!
Kristen Stewart is a pretty girl but she can be so bland. Robert Pattinson, I don’t see the attraction at all!!! Taylor Lautner is great when he is topless!!! The rest of the cast is good, but who stands out is Rosalie Hale (Niki Reed) they give her a back-story as she tells Bella why she shouldn’t ‘turn’. In short, this is the best of the series. Should you see it? You don’t have to be a fan for this one--it does drag but not a lot!!
THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE
This movie is based on a segment of Disney’s classic Fantasia!!! The writers took that segment and made a movie. The film is about a wizard Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) finding another wizard Dave Stutler(Jay Baruchel) to destroy the evil witch Morgana (Alice Krige from Borg Queen from Star Trek)but she has an evil assistant Maxim Hovarth (Alfred Molina, Dr. Ock from Spiderman 2). Are you with me so far? Sounds complicated? It is not, it is really fun and dumb at the same time.
Jay Baruchel has had some year. He was in ‘She’s Out Of My League’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and now this. He is very funny but he is sooo NASAL!!! Nicolas Cage is very good as the mentor and Alfred Molina is GREAT as Maxim. He is witty, angry, arrogant, power mad--good traits of a bad guy!! It is not doing well at the box office, so maybe a lot of people think it shouldn’t have been made!!! It is a good summer movie if you have nothing to do--if not, go DVD or Blu-ray.
Let me just say before you see this movie please DO two things: 1-Read as much as you can about the movie and 2-BE ALERT!!! The movie is about dreaming and sleeping and if you’re tired YOU will fall asleep!!! The movie is not bad or boring if you use your brain. You will not understand this movie on the first viewing. Great for the lucky ones that do. The movie is action-packed and thought-provoking. In short--not a typical summer blockbuster. Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman, knows how to keep your attention with action sequences but also keep the intelligence high. All the actors Leonard DiCaprio, underrated Joseph Gordon-Levitt Ellen Page and all the rest of the cast are brilliant. Should you see it in the theaters? Yes, those who are movie lovers and want to see something different, but others should wait to see on Blu-ray and DVD so you can see it repeatedly, in order to 'get it.'
KNIGHT AND DAY
Superstar Tom Cruise stars as a super agent Roy Miller, who has to slip a very important device through the airport, and pretty June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is the mule. The movie is very exciting and Cruise and Diaz are the reason you should see the movie. Cruise seems to have a great time saving Diaz. She seems to have a great time even screaming!! The villain Peter Sarsgaard is okay but they could have a better bad guy. The action is VERY GOOD. It’s a shame it is not doing well in the US, but I think it will do well overseas.
TOY STORY 3
Suspense, romance and drama it is all in this movie!!! Pixar makes the greatest animated studio there is!! The story: Andy is going to college and by accident his toys are given to Sunnyside Daycare. The evil Lotso is cute cuddy bear with a dark side and in charge. Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the other toys must escape!! It is the best movie of 2010 so far!! It should be nominated not only for BEST animation but for BEST PICTURE because that’s how good it is!! It is as terrific as “Up”. This franchise gets better with each film. It is truly amazing how an animated series can be this good. It is for children and children at heart!! SEE IT ON THE BIG SCREEN!!!
This flick is good in a B-movie way. It is based on a DC comic book of the same name, but read the comic because the origin has changed. Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is a Confederate soldier and dislikes the horrors some troops do to other men. He kills the son of Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), so Turnbull is out for revenge---and gets it by killing Hex’s wife, son, and burns one side of Hex's face. Hex becomes a mean bounty hunter who can talk to the dead (don’t ask me why). He thinks that Turnbull is dead, but he is not so, he still goes to get his revenge.
It sounds real good until you see the movie. Josh Brolin is a very good actor and he is good in this movie. Malkovich’s Turnbull is an okay villain, and Megan Fox as Lilah Black a hooker who wants a better life. She is not in the movie very much and she isn’t nude but she poses sexy in a corset. The good thing is DC is trying to branch out with their movie superheroes besides Superman and Batman. Actually, there are only three words for this movie: BluRay or DVD.
I did not see the original movie (yes, I know I should have seen it) so I am just writing about the current film. It is about Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mom (Taraji P. Henson) who gets a job in China and has to move there. At school he is bullied and he ask Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) to help him learn kung-fu to defend himself, and gets involved with a martial arts tournament. It is good and Jackie Chan is great. He plays it straight, and it shows!!! Jaden Smith is Will Smith’s son!! He is charming and has star quality. It is refreshing to see a young black actor in movie not involving drugs or ghetto life. Should you see it? If you like these kinds of movies--yes, but if you can wait--wait.
WOLF,WOLF ACTION HOUNDS REJOICE!!!
I really dislike Hollywood with remakes, reboots and reimagings, but sometimes they actually work, and the 80’s remake of The A-Team is one of them. The story is about the best Special Forces squad there is, but they get framed and have to clear themselves. Plot is not really important here, but action and BIG explosions are!!! The cast is very good. Liam Neeson( Zeus in Clash of Titans)is outstanding as Hannibal Smith, the leader. He is a good replacement for the late George Peppard. Bradley Cooper (Hangover) as “Face” is not only good looking but smart too!! That wasn’t in the series!!
Sharlto Copley (District 9) is an excellent ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock and UFC champion Quntion “Rampage” Jackson is pretty good as B.A. Baracus, but he's nothing like Mr. T. He swears a lot to show his attitude. Jessica Biel is not bad as Captain Charissa Sossa. She is just there to provide a pretty female in the macho movie. The villains are okay. Patrick Wilson (The Owl in Watchman) as Agent Lynch, Brian Bloom (As The World Turns, and co-wrote the movie) as Pike and Gerald McRaney (Simon and Simon) appears as General Morrison. Director Joe Carnahan (Smoking Aces) did an excellent job. I know people and critics say this movie isn’t good. For me it IS a popcorn movie.
This movie is not good as a thriller, because you have seen this before. A science couple (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) mix different DNA to help fight disease, then they create a creature that evolves very quickly with bad results. As humanity tale, it's better because it shows man should be feared more than what it creates. When Dren is small she is cute like a baby, when it grows they treat it like a child, when it becomes a teen and rebels, they cage it, when it becomes sexual the male doctor screws it, and when it becomes dangerous they try to kill it!! It all sounds very good, until you watch it!!! The film reviews have been mixed because (depending on taste, or what you're concentrating on) it is very bad as an executed drama, but too very good (as a concept). This is a movie that is best reserved for DVD or Blu-ray. Why? Because you'll think it is very good, or you wasted your eyes for 90 minutes.
PRINCE OF PERSIA
This movie is based on a video game. I don’t play video games so I think the game is better than the movie, and I'm basing my review on the movie ONLY. It is about a homeless boy who is adopted by a king, takes over a city that has a magical dagger that can turn back time. Plot is otherwise not important for these kinds of movies, but action there is, and there is plenty. It also shows you beautiful, imaginative worlds.
The Prince Jake Gyllehaal is hot as the hero!! He buffed up for the role, and does it show! He could have been topless the entire movie for me. Gemma Arterton is Tamina, a strong-willed princess out to protect the dagger. Guys think she is hot too (but not to me) but she is talented. Sir Ben Kingsley as the evil Nizam is very good, and for comic relief Alfred Molina (Doc Oct in Spider Man 2) shines as Sheik Amar.
Steve Toussaint is great as Amar’s partner Seso. I would like to see more of that actor. I wished they put Arab actors in the major roles, but it is all about money. All the actors seemed to have gotten a tan in the movie. So should you see this movie? If you like action and adventure. YES if not please wait!!
The collaboration of Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott are always interesting. The latest movie is this one. This story is about how Robin Longstride (Crowe) became Robin Hood. There is action, but it is not for action hounds. It is very realistic, authentic at times very slow. It is two hours and twenty minutes. Talented people are in the film besides Crowe. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings, Aviator), Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Rush Hour 3), William Hurt (The Hulk--2008).
The villain should have been Matthew Macfayden (TV show MI5) as Sheriff of Nottingham but Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Kick Ass) as his henchman steals the show as Godrey. You should see this movie, if you like Russell Crowe the actor and director Ridley Scott, if not rent it on Blu-Ray. The film is not doing well in the United States, but very well overseas. Americans are not used to thoughtful entertainment in the summer but mindless, popcorn fluff.
It Is Alright! Tyler Perry is not the only one who makes black romance. Director Sanaa Hamri (Something New, Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2) has directed a fairy tale urban romance. It is about Queen Latifah (Leslie Wright) who is a physical therapist who cannot find love. Guys like her for she loves sports--especially basketball, but don’t find her a hottie. Rapper Common is Scott McKnight who she helps him recover from his injury.
Long live the Queen!! This former rapper acts like a real woman! She said she produced this film because no roles for her size and her color were being made. She was right and she did it right!! Common is okay. Pretty actress Paula Patton (Precious) is good as a gold digging female. Pam Grier (Foxy Brown, Coffy, Jackie Brown) is good as Latifah’s mom and James Pickens Jr. is great as her dad. The story you have seen a thousand times before---just not black version---but it is very well made. Should you see it? Yes, you should see it with your partner or girls night out. It is worth seeing on the big screen, and DVD.
Summer movies are officially here today, and it starts with IronMan 2!!! The plot is Tony (Robert Downey Jr., who is great) Stark is dying, and rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell, Moon) wants to be a pop-idol genius like Tony, but is not able to make an army of super robots. He's helped by a Russian Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler) who is out for revenge. Rourke is appropriately evil as the villain but his accent was too thick. His best buddy is Rhodey/War Machine (Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda, Ocean 11).
Mr. Cheadle does a great job replacing Terrence Howard. The females are Pepper Potts (Gweyneth Paltrow) his witty, smart personal assistant and hot body, kick ass Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) Director Jon Favreau does an excellent job, and the ending is worth the price of admission!!! It is amazing!!! The two Iron Man movies and the Hulk keep hinting at The Avengers. I hope Favreau does The Avengers as well as Iron Man 3!!!
Let me say this movie is totally insane. It has the best cast I have ever seen!!! The movie is based on the graphic novel. You shouldn't read the comics before watching the movie (I broke my own law---I read a few issues), as the movie stands alone by itself. I don’t why it didn’t make a lot of money. The cast is well known to those who know movies. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) is the cool level-headed guy except when it comes to women. He is a scruffy version of Robert Downey Jr. Zoe Saldana (Avatar) is one bad-ass chick as Aisha.
Can’t tell much more about her and her vendetta as that would give the some of the plot away. Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) is hilarious as Jenson, the best comic relief I have ever seen!!! Idris Elba (Obsessed) is Rouge who is tough as hell. Columbus Short as Pooch is funny. The villain Max is the most funny, annoying evil guy EVER!! Some people on line say in the graphic novel he is nothing like the Max in the movies but you must judge for yourself.
The movie is rated PG-13, but it sure looks like a R movie cut back!!! SPOILER: There might be a sequel, but I doubt it unless it goes directly to DVD. Should you see it? If you like loads of action and humor, yes; if not, you can always go Blu-ray or DVD.
You are going to here this phase until you are sick of it but the movie Kick –Ass truly kicks ass!!! KA is about Dave Lizewski (played great by Aaron Johnson) as an ordinary guy who loves comic book superheroes and decides he wants to be one. There is good and bad to his decision but what a ride you will have!!! The movie is based on the comic book by Mark Miller, who also wrote Wanted, so you know his comics are VERY violent!!! Director Matthew Vaughn did an excellent job. The cast is just great!!!
Chole Moretz as Mindy Macredy aka Hit Girl is girl power to the extreme!!! She is a pint-size Punisher with a face of an angel. She uses knives, guns and weapons little girls shouldn’t use. She is just GREAT!!! Nicholas Cage as Mindy’s father Big Daddy is like an insane Mr. Rogers and his low-rent Batman suit!!! Mark Strong (the villain in Sherlock Holmes) is sick as Mafia leader Frank D’Amico. Strong was just born to play bad guys!!! Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin’ in Super Bad) is not too bad as D’Amico’s son. So, should you see this movie? Yes!!! It is like teenage Watchmen but it failed at the box office probably the kids who wanted to view it couldn’t. Be patient to wait for video for it is worth the wait!!!!
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
This movie has been out for awhile, and you know why? It is very good!! The movie is also in 3D which makes it even better. The story is about Vikings killing dragons but the story really is about acceptance and father and son relationships. The voices match the characters which includes Gerald Butler (300) Craig Ferguson (Late, Late Show), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty). The characters in animation recently display more emotion than today’s actors!!! It is just as good as Up!!
It is scary in spots for small children, but some parts of the movie are just breathtakingly beautiful. I don’t remember it being heavily advertised well--and it doesn’t need to. Should you see it? Yes!! Should you see it in 3D? Oh yes!!
This movie was hated by a lot of people. I think because of the subject matter. In the distant future The Union has developed, a hi-tech body parts firm The parts don’t come cheap and if you don’t pay, they rip it out of you and you bleed to death whereever you are. It came out at a time when health care reform talk is at a high pitch and carries a lot of mistrust. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are the Repo Men and they love what they do---until Law gets into an accident, and they put a hi-tech part in him and he can’t pay!!!
What I liked about the movie was Jude Law!!! He is a bad ass action star!!! I never would have guessed. It's got a lot of black humor also. Forest Whitaker, the Oscar winner in ‘Last King of Scotland’ is good but I don’t know why he decided to be in it. Live Schreiber (the brother in Wolverine) is great as the evil CEO of the Union. Alice Braga Law’s love interest character is very tough and very good. The ending is a little strange. Should you see this in theaters? Absolutely not!! Watch this on video so you can try to understand the ending!!! A wild guilty pleasure!!!
GREEN ZONE--ACTION THRILLER
To the American public, movies about war are just too “real” for them. I saw the movie and it is very gritty yet action packed. Matt Damon is very good as an officer who is trying to find out why there are no weapons of mass destruction(WMD), and wants to know why he is on this foolish mission. He gets blocked by many people while searching for the truth and then he wants the reporter Amy Ryan to get it right this time. All the acting was very intense and good. It is up there with Hurt Locker, but not quite and it bombed as well for the same reason---war to Americans is not entertaining!! Should you see it? If you like drama and Matt Damon--if not, wait!!
CLASH OF THE TITANS--FANTASY/ACTION
People, this is a popcorn movie!! I have read people talk on websites about how terrible it is, or how short it is. It is a popcorn movie in April! It is Greek mythology, and it's better than the 1981 version in special affects. The story is changed a bit but, it is about Perseus (played by Sam Worthington, a rugged action star) who is a demi-god going against the gods and saving gods and man. Did you follow all that?!! Plot is not that important, but the action and special effects are great!!! Ralph Fiennes is creepy as Hades, god of the underworld. Liam Neeson is great as Zeus. Mads Mikkelsen (the guy with the scarred bleeding eye in Casino Royale) as Draco, who distrusts Perseus at first then respect him, is also good. I found the movie VERY entertaining filler until the summer movies come out.
VALENTINE’S DAY---ROMANTIC COMEDY
I am a romantic, but I don’t like romantic comedies very much. So when this movie came out, I said "yet another one?"---but I was very surprised. It is like Love Actually (2003), which is to say it's about people falling in and out of love on Valentine’s Day. The cast has Julia Roberts, Queen Latifah, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez and many others. It is like a box of chocolates---you never know what you are going to get!! It is sweet and a guilty pleasure. I don’t think guys will like it for the male actors in the film are very passionate for the women they love. The movie came out along with The Wolfman and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and it was number one at the box office. Why? Women love this stuff including myself. Should you see it---yes for the ladies--–video for the couples.
Fright director George Romero once said the scariest people are your neighbors. Well this update version of his movie Crazies-1973 shows just that. You know the story---toxins in the water, people go nuts, military has to control the town and blow up the town!! The acting is good-Timothy Olyphant (Hit Man) as David the sheriff, his wife Judy Rada Mitchell (Pitch Black), but the one who stands out is an actor I have never seen. His name is Joe Anderson (Ruins, Across The Universe) as Russell, the deputy. He is outstanding!!! Bad-ass one minute, compassionate the next---amazing! The director Breck Esiner is very good setting up suspense. You are not suppose to think in a horror movie, but who are really the ‘crazies’---the victims or the military who mindlessly follow orders? You decide. If you like these kind of movies this is your movie---if not, well there is always video.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND---FANTASY
Let me say before going to see this movie, forget the book by Lewis Carroll and Disney’s earlier version. This movie is very imaginative and you see the beloved characters in a way different light!! In this version Alice is older (19) and her mother wants her to wed. Confused, she runs and falls in the rabbit hole and the adventure begins. At first she thinks she is dreaming then she has to become an action hero!! Does it make sense? No, but it is Tim Burton’s flick and he makes the most of nonsense!! Is it for little kids? Maybe, but it is better for teens and up!!! Johnny Depp is very good as The Mad Hatter. He is not only crazy, he’s clever too. Helena Bonham Carter is excellent as Red Queen. She is mean and controlling!! Ann Hathaway is the White Queen. and she reminds me of the Witch of the North in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Mia Wasikowska as Alice was very good as a sweet but strong heroine.
UP IN THE AIR
Boy, were those trailers misleading!!! The movie is about Ryan Bringham (George Clooney) who makes a living laying off people!!! In these economic times, it is really difficult to watch but he is very charming, but he’s a dog! He does acquire human qualities during the movie and audiences might enjoy that he does get his in the end. The female co-stars Vera Farmiga (his bedroom buddy) and Anna Kendrick (an ambitious, overachiever employee) are very good and at times it is like a romantic comedy. It has good elements going for it. Should you see it? Yes, if you like George Clooney and the non-Hollywood plot. The director Jason Reitman has a track record for making odd subjects likable (such as Juno, Thank You For Not Smoking). At least he is original.
EDGE OF DARKNESS --- MEL GIBSON RETURNS TO THE BIG SCREEN
It has been seven years since actor Mel Gibson been the star of a movie. He probably could have done Lethal Weapon 5 but he chose this picture. It is not a fun action movie, but very serious stuff for his daughter is killed by a shot gun blast in front of him. He thinks they wanted to kill him but he finds out more, that leads to people in power. You feel sorry for him for he truly loved and misses his daughter. There is action, but it is not for action hounds. Should you see it? If you like Mel Gibson, yes---if not, wait for video.
THE WOLFMAN --- GORY GOOD!!
This is the remake of the 1941 classic that made Lon Chaney Jr. famous. It is creepy with lots of bloodshed, and a plot twist at the end. Benicio Del Toro as the hairy beast is good but when he transforms into the monster he is even better!! Anthony Hopkins plays his distant father and you can see why he left him. Should you see it? It is great they made a film about this supernatural creature rather than another vampire movie. It’s bloody, short and sweet. If you do not like werewolves---wait until video.
Jeff Bridges (the villain in Iron Man) proves he is a great actor as Otis “Bad” Blake in Crazy Heart. He plays a very lovable loser-drinking, screwing and smoking country singer. He is like this for most of the movie until he meets a woman with a young child and tries to change his life. In the movies you have seen this a thousand times, but it is Jeff Bridges who gives life to this person you should hate. His supporting cast isn’t bad either, as Maggie Gynenhaal as the woman acts like a real working woman and the problems she faces. Colin Ferrell as Tommy Sweet (a country singer) is actually even good. The cinematography is excellent by Barry Markowitz. Should you see it? If you like good acting: YES!! If you don’t like country---wait.
MICHAEL JACKSON’S THIS IS IT
THE GREATEST CONCERT THAT WASN’T
I just saw ‘This is it,’ and I must say it is so good!!! If Michael Jackson had lived I think it would the most successful, spectacular concert of 2009. The rehearsal footage is fantastic. You see him practice his old songs with special effects, and it is great! My favorite is ‘Billie Jean’ were it’s just him on stage and drums--nothing else is needed. It shows the talent this man had!!! He is the King of Pop!!! I honestly wish I had seen it in the theater, for it is wonderful. In the extras it shows how hi-tech even his designer costumes were, and how they picked the dancers. It is a treat for people who are fans of Michael Jackson--if you’re not a fan rent it to see what a great performer we have lost. The only reason you shouldn’t see if you don’t like Michael Jackson at all!!
Marvel has done it again!!! If you love 2D animation, action and the Hulk-–where he never turns into Bruce Banner--you will like this movie!!! It is based on the comics. The story is about the other superheroes trick Hulk into a spaceship to rid Earth of him. He lands on a planet that makes him a slave but you can’t keep the green man down! It is very action packed and violent for an animated feature, but very good.
If you could be perfect but your mind has to live through a robot, would you? That is the question in the film Surrogates. It is a little confusing because you don’t know whether is Bruce Willis a robot or the real person. After a slow start, all of the sudden it becomes action packed. The movie is only 90 minutes. The premise is interesting and the special effects are not bad but it could have been better, and Bruce Willis did the best he could. It is a better as a DVD movie to me.
Let me say I am used to the old school Sherlock Holmes in the 40’s with Basil Rathbone, but this re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes is just as entertaining. This Holmes is played by Ironman himself, Robert Downey Jr. He is intelligent, good at deduction but he likes to get in fights, look a mess and be an action hero in the 1880s!!! Jude Law is very good as Dr. John Watson. He is more than a side kick; he’s more like his nanny!!! Both of the stars seem to enjoy themselves. The villain is Lord Blackwood, played menacingly by Mark Strong (soon to be in Green Lantern). He is very creepy, but where is Moriarty? In the sequel I heard. If you like Indiana Jones, Wild, Wild West and MacGyver, you will enjoy this movie.
THE BOOK OF ELI:
GRIM BUT INTERESTING
The end of the world movies are always depressing this movie is not different because it has religious implications. Eli (Denzel Washington) is excellent as the protector of the only Bible in existence after doomsday. He walks west killing people who want his prize possession. Gary Oldman (Dark Knight) is very evil and very good at it as he and his henchmen do anything to get the book. A lot of people didn’t like the ending, for it is not the slam-bang finish people are accustomed to. There is action in the movie and the music by Atticus Ross is either amazing or annoying.
Should You See It? If you are an action hound-–wait for video. If you are religious, it is hard to sit through the violence, but it is a sad yet satisfying ending.
Here are some flicks I just got around to:
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS 2: THE SQUEAKQUEL
This movie is so sweet you could get a cavity!!! The movie makes NO SENSE but it is fun to watch. Dave (Jason Lee) wants the chipmunks to live a normal life and that means go to high school!!! He is injured from Alvin’s antics and charges his brother, Tom (Zachary Levi, the guy from NBC series Chuck) to take care of the boys (chipmunks)!! Then there are the Chipettes!! Highlight: ‘Single Ladies’!! It is a kid’s movie but it is a delightful kid’s movie.
THE MESSENGER: DISTURBING JOB
If you decide to see this film, prepare to cry. The Messenger is about soldiers that tell loved ones that they have died in war. The touching moments are in the reactions that the families have. It is just tragic!! The two men are Ben Foster (X-Men 3 and Punisher 2004) and Woody Harrelson (Zombieland). It is hard for them as well, and they let it out in drinking, crying, screwing and telling their stories about their war experiences. Samantha Morton is the love interest in the film. She is not a hot chick, but average women dealing with the death of her husband. This movie is not easy to sit through---that’s why it is not a hit with audiences. All the actors are very good. If there was a sequel to Hurt Locker, this would be it.
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG: BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL
Disney went back to doing 2D animation with this movie and it is wonderful. It also introduces their first black princess, who is voiced by Anika Noni Rose (of Dreamgirls--the Movie). She is a hard working woman who longs to open her own restaurant. She does turn into a princess. The cast is great, but for Disney I love the supporting cast like Ray, a Cajun firefly and Louis and alligator that plays the trumpet and Mama Odie, who is 197 year voodoo witch. It is an excellent movie for kids--especially girls, or for adults who want to feel like a kid again.
Let me say I heard about this movie then I saw the trailer and I wasn’t impressed then I saw the movie! You have to enjoy three things--Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Action. This film is a MOVIE EXPERIENCE!!! You have to see it on IMAX and 3D glasses. The MOVIE EXPERIENCE is costly. IMAX (where I live) is $18.50 +3D Glasses = EXPENSIVE!! Even if you can’t do IMAX, see it on the big screen for if you don’t you're doing your eyes and ears an injustice!!!
Plot is not really important, but the themes are: Mankind always dominating another species. The acting is good. Sam Worthington (T4, soon to be in Clash of Titans) as Jake is an action hero!! Rugged, tough and compassionate. Zoe Salanda (Uhura in Star Trek) as Neytiri is great. She is a talented actress. I hope she gets a lot of work. Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch is the villain but he should be called Colonel Bad-Ass!! He is your stereotypical military person--take charge, take down, and take over!!! If he was in charge of the Iraq war we would win!!
James Cameron is a wonderful director. It took him twelve years to make this movie and it was well worth the wait!!! It is the best Christmas gift a director can give to his audience--hi-tech and humanity!!
BOTTOM LINE: This is a beautiful film to see but if you’re not interested in 12-feet blue people don’t bother but if you are you won’t be disappointed.
MOVIEPHAT: END OF THE YEAR-=2009
It is that time of year when people say what is the best of the year, what is the worst. I am not a critic but a movie fan. I put my movies in two sections prestigious and popcorn films. Here we go:
500 Days of Summer
Wolverine (Yeah I Know)
Terminator Salvation (T4)
Notable Mentions: Watchmen--never have I seen a movie so closely to the graphic novel.
District 9 and Paranormal Activity--low budget but well done movies. A MUST see!!
I haven’t seen ‘Avatar’ yet but I will. I haven’t really seen a really bad movie, some I didn’t like but a movie that really sucked. I hope 2010 is even better.