I can’t believe this is a true story but it is. It is about Billy Beane general manager of the Oakland A’s who tries to change old school way of the big and powerful of baseball. Brad Pitt is more than a handsome face-he is ACTING. Another surprise Jonah Hill (Superbad and the The Sitter) is very good as his partner and accountant. No melodramatic clinches thanks to the writing of Aaron Sorkin ( West Wing, The Social Network). You don’t have to know baseball to the enjoy it. It is a drama not much action so if you are into acting go to see it-if not wait for video.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
You think this series would slow down after the fourth movie but it is action packed. I can’t believe this was directed by Brad Bird who directed the animated feature The Incredible. If you’ve seen the trailer you know the film. Mostly all of IMF are killed and the only ones left is Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) Benji (Simon Pegg) Paula Patton (Jane Carter) and Brandt(Jeremy Renner) to stop a nuclear bomb from destroying a major city. James Bond got competition with Ethan Hunt but the difference is he can work alone and work as a team. You should see it on the big screen but if you can’t video is good. If you like lots of action this is for you.
The title tells you what the movie is about but the best part is Eddie Murphy being funny again!! He does well playing Slide, a low rent thief among Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck who rob their boss Alan Alda, a Bernie Madoff type who rob them of their pensions!! It is clever but not what you expected from the trailer. If you like Eddie Murphy see it –if not wait for video.
This is a crazy, cute movie. It is about Gary (Jason Segel Bad Teacher) and Walter a muppet—they are brothers!!! Don’t ask. Walter becomes a fan of the muppets and they go to Hollywood to see them but the gang has gone their separate ways and the evil Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) wants the studio for there is oil beneath. Walter has to get the band back together. Don’t ask. Ask should you see it? Yes!!! It is amazing. If you love these cuddly creatures and they make fun of themselves and pop culture. The highlight is Chris Cooper rappin”!! If you know the actor you know why it is absurd.
In this movie you should know Greek mythology it will help some. There are three reasons you should like this movie 1-Henry Cavill (he will soon be Superman in Man of Steel) 2- Mickey Rourke good actor and 3-the lush visional effects by director by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall). For you action hounds it gets good at the end. Plot is simple Theseus (Cavill) is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead an army against King Hyperion (Rourke)who searches for a magical bow and arrow to enslave humanity. Acting not really important but good but the action is great. If you didn’t enjoy 300 you shouldn’t go but if you did –GO!
TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN
OMG, why does this franchise make so much money!!! I did enjoy the last one a little but this one is boring. You should read the author’s books even if it is bad it does help if you are interested. I am only reviewing as a movie. The Twihards know the story Edward Cullen (Robert Patterson) the vampire is marrying Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) the human much to the objection of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) the werewolf who is in love with her. The odd couple goes to an uncharted island off Brazil and they have bed-wrecking sex and Bella gets pregnant and all hell breaks loose!! It shouldn’t be boring but it is. The director is Bill Condon who directed Dreamgirls and writer Melissa Rosenberg who writes Dexter. I don’t know why it is not good as the last one. I hope the final film is much better. The ONLY thing good about this franchise is young girls and women can make a blockbuster.
This is an excellent fantasy movie!!! Based on Robert E. Howard the same writer for Conan and based on a comic book of the same name. He was a mercenary then a monk then a killer again but to kill evil. He is a Puritan swordsman. It sounds corny and typical for this kind of genre but James Purefoy who plays Kane is not a one note character- he is kind one minute cut-throat the next. He is a very serious Van Hesling!!! The cast and the production are quite good. I don’t think it is on video in the United States and I don’t know why, if you see it you will enjoy it.
Nothing like a direct-to-DVD action movie!!! It is a b film all the way but it is very funny!!! Wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin is Tate, leader of a group of wise-cracking, kick-ass SWAT team that include Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite) Lexa Doig (Andromeda) and Steve Bacic. They botch up a hostage situation at a grocery store which their captain sends them to train without live ammo and of course a real crime is being committed by two rival gangs who want what is in the suitcase. Plenty of action and vile language but at least it is comical. Michael Shanks (Stargate: SG1 ,Hawkman in Smallville) is a foul Russian. If you like action b movies you can’t go wrong!!!
This film is a downer and it is not the typical horror movies you’re used to. It is about three teenage boys who want sex and finds it with grim consequences. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Clerk 2, Jack and Miri Make A Porn, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) made a great movie no one will see. It has the crazy preacher Abin Cooper played very well by Michael Parks .He deserves an Oscar nomination. It is offensive, violent, and exploitative but it is the best, bizarre movie I ever seen!! Mr. Smith couldn’t find distribution for the movie and if you see it you know why. The movie didn’t make much money and it is on video. If you got a strong stomach watch it, if not it should be on IFC.
John Cena is a very popular wrestler in the WWE. He has been trying to be a movie star. He is good-looking but bland. He needs to be a superhero, Captain Cena perhaps? In this film he is one of four siblings who hate each other but will get three million dollars if they can work together in a business. Cena is not funny but Ethan Embry (Freaky Links, Fairly Legal) as one of the brothers. It is good but better on DVD. I really hope Cena gets to be a movie star for he is very successful in everything else.
Nothing like robot action!!! It is a boxing movie, but instead of people it is robots. So if you like the Transformers or are a big kid at heart you will love it. It has all the clichés you see in a sports movie and a father who doesn’t know his kid. The best part and stars of the movie are the 8-foot robots attacking each other!!! Hugh Jackman is in it, but the people are not really interesting (at least) to me. Action hounds, you will love this. I am surprised this didn’t come out in the summer!!!
JOHNNY ENGLISH: REBORN
Rowan Atkinson is back as secret agent, but funny Johnny English. He has to save the Chinese prime minster from getting killed. This time around it is more spy stuff than silly. There are great moments but it really plays like a thriller. Everyone is good including Gillian Anderson (Scully, X Files), Dominic West (Punisher War Zone). But the show stealer is Pik Sen Lim as Killer Cleaner!! She is elderly and deadly!!! It is good if you like Atkinson but if not, wait for video.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
The third installment of this film like all the others---using a hand-held camera to tell a frightening story of Katie and her sister Kristie being haunted by an entity. A lot doesn’t happen in the movie but it has jolts of scares when it does. You don’t need to see the first two movies, but it would help. This one made more money than the last, so I guess there will be another. Get ready!!!
THE THREE MUSKETEERS-2011
Hollywood seems to make this story written by Aleixandre Dumas over and over again, and this time it has lots of special effects. You know the plot, but it’s got that Pirates of the Caribbean films feel going on. The villains are great and Mila Jovovich (Resident Evil) is devious as double agent swordsman Milady DeWinter. Orlando Bloom is very odd but good as the bad Duke of Buckingham, and Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale---the bad guy with the bad eye) shines as Rochefort. Once again he’s got an eye problem!!! Christopher Waltz (Inglorious Bastards, Green Hornet) is great as Cardinal Richelieu. If you like this story with the updated twist you will enjoy it, otherwise please wait for video.
This movie is based on a true story about Danny (Jason Statham, Transporter) who saves his kidnapped mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro) by a sheik who wants vengeance for his sons’ death. It gets more complicated and that is what makes it good!!! The film goes to different countries and you feel you are in a spy movie as well. Before seeming the movies I was wondering why the great actor De Niro was doing in it after watching it I know why. Action hounds will love this for there are great many action sequences. I don’t think it did well in the theaters for it is not the straight forward kick-ass movies Jason Statham fans are used to. It will do MUCH better on video!!!
The film is a grim story of how a disease can cause paranoia, violence and panic!! It is not a popcorn movie; it is meticulous, scary, realistic and frightening. Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law are excellent in the movie but like I said-–it is a good movie, just not a very happy one. It made money the first weekend, then took a dive, and if you’re brave enough to see the movie you’ll see why. What is so scary about it-–it could happen at any time.
First, to truly enjoy this film you have to believe Taylor Lautner star of The Twilight movies as an action hero!!! If you can’t get past that you won’t enjoy it. Direction is by John Singleton, of Boys in the Hood, and is about how Taylor’s great life is lie, as he finds out the truth about his real parents. You have seen it all before but it is nice Lautner is trying to branch out before Twilight ends. The movie is action packed compared to the two Twilight films combined!!! It made more money than his co-stars of the Twilight films but not much. Girls watched the movies more than guys so I guess men don’t see the heartthrob as a badass.
The trailer you see for this film is misleading!!! It is not an action movie!!! It has action in it, but it is far from what you expect. It is not a car chase movie either. What it really is part independent film, part film noir, part crime drama. The acting is great, especially from Ryan Gosling, and even comic Albert Brooks is very good as a gangster!!! The story is simple---a stuntman also does part-time work as a driver. Nicolas Winding Refn directing is as strange as his name. This film is not for everybody, so for many, video is the only way.
SHARK NIGHT 3D
The movie Jaws, the blockbuster in 1976, made us fear sharks, and since then there has been sharkploitation!!! The latest film is this one. It is not really about anything but a bunch of hot teens being lunch for the predators. The sad part the monsters are not always in the ocean. It is slightly better than a Syfy movie. Acting is not a main point of the movie, but two performances stand out. Sinqua Walls (who plays in Friday Night Lights) as a victim, and Donal Logue, who starred in the cancelled series Terriers, as the sheriff. It will be do MUCH better on video than in the theaters.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN
In 1982 a genre was reborn, with a sword and sorcery yarn titled Conan the Barbarian starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, that became a hit. Now this movie was remade with the same title different actor Jason Momoa as Conan. Plot, acting not really the focus of this film but hacking, slashing impaling and slicing is what it is all about. The story is about revenge. Conan was born on the battlefield and saw his father killed by Khalar Zym, played by Avatar’s Stephen Lang who is searching for parts of a mask to make him a god, and bring his dead wife back to life.
Now grown, Conan goes to find his father’s killer and helps Tamara,(Rachel Nichols) a pretty young woman who can make Zym become immortal. Momoa looks fine as Conan--he is big and brutal however Nichols is no Sandahl Bergman, as his love interest. Bergman won a Golden Globe for her role, and her character could be malicious, but she cared for her man. Nichols, not so much. Rose McGown as Zyms’ evil daughter displays some really bizarre outfits and kinky tastes. Very good. Stephen Lang is okay as the villain, but he could have been much more. It didn’t make money, and I don’t know why. It will do better on video.
I don’t know why this movie is called Columbiana, as you think that is the name of the character Zoe Saldana plays, but her name is Cataleya (named after a flower in Colombia). It is a B movie, as Cataleya sees her parents gunned down in front of her and she becomes a slinky hit woman. She is the Latina Kill Bill!! It is typical, dumb, and it’s surely not Oscar stuff, but it is a good popcorn movie. Zoe Saldana is good having emotions despite the fact she is a stone-cold assassin. I can see why the movie was number 2 at the box office. There is room for a sequel but I really doubt it. It will do better on video.
WARNING: If you are not a fan of this film you will think it is very silly!!! However, if you are a fan you will enjoy this cute and funny feature about the Smurfs who accidentally come to New York. Plot really not important, but the voice actors are wonderful. Jonathan Winters is Papa Smurf, Alan Cummings (X-men 2) is Gutsy, singer Katy Perry is Smurfette and tells why she is the only girl in the land.
Funny guy George Lopez is great as Grouchy and Anton Yelchin (Chekov in Star Trek 2009) is Clumsy. The humans are very good too. Hank Azaria as Gargamel is great as the evil guy but whacky. Neil Patrick Harris (on TV show How I Met Your Mother) and Jayma Mays as the couple who helps the little blue people. It is great for kids and people who really like the cartoon series.
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
WOW!! This film took me by surprise!!! I not too fond of “ape” movies but this is very good!!! It is a prequel to Planet of the Apes and how they became intelligent and took over from human beings. James Franco is great as a scientist who has personal problems, who genetically transforms a baby ape named Caesar to a thinking ape. Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) is very good as his girlfriend. John Lithgow is touching as his Alzheimer’s father.
David Oyelowo is evil as the black businessman who wants to sell the genetic drug; Tom Felton (Harry Potter series Draco Malfoy) playing a bad zookeeper. David Hewlett (Dr. McKay from Stargate: Atlantis) plays a small but important part. The best acting of all is Andy Serkis as the grown Caesar (via motion caption) is amazing!!! SPOILERS: Caesar speaks twice and that means two things, sequels and evolution of the apes!!! A good summer movie, and better on video with the extra features.
I love to hate this film for it is about black maids in the 60’s in Jackson, Mississippi and how one young privileged southern girl Skeeter (Emma Stone) wants to tell the side of the housekeeper. The acting by Aibileen (Viola Davis) is on her way to win an Oscar nomination along with her feisty friend Minny (Octavia Spencer). Why I hate it--so many black stories to tell they pick this one!!! This is based on the bestselling book by the same name. It was rejected 60 times, and for good reason!!!
Black women find it damn offensive showing actresses as maids in this day and age while we have a black first lady. I am truly surprised it is making money!!! To boycott this movie would make it more money (from the controversy) so I just don’t know what to say. You have to brace yourself for all the racism in the film. There are bright moments, but Hollywood seems to think black audiences love to see themselves subservient to whites, or as poor, ghetto or gangster. Black life is more than what Hollywood is showing. See this film for good acting and if you’re black, see it at your own risk.
COWBOYS & ALIENS
The title should be called Cowboys, Indians and Outlaws vs. Aliens. Based on a graphic novel, the story is about Jake (Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond) who is out in the desert not knowing who he and has a strange cuff on his wrist. The adventure starts when he has to discover who he really is. The cast is great, as Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) is great as Woodrow Dolarhyde, a powerful rich guy, and Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy) is not just the woman in the movie. She plays an important part. It is a strange hybrid, but with loads of action. If you don’t like your westerns mixed with monsters don’t go, but it is different and good!!
WINNIE THE POOH
The classic Winnie the Pooh is back and is sooo delightful, but the film is too short. The lovable bear who loves 'hunny' with his stuffed friends. The story is simply Eeyore lost his tail and Christopher Robin has a contest who finds his tail gets a reward: hunny!!! The film is lots of fun yet short, but it has musical numbers, comedy, suspense The older people who know the cute bear knows that the narrator is now John Clesse not the late Sebastian Cabot, and the film is old school animation.
Griffin Keyes (Kevin James, King of Queens, Mall Cop) is the zookeeper of Franklin Park Zoo. He is good at his job but his sexy ex-girlfriend Stephanie(Leslie Bibb, Ironman) wants him back to sell hot cars and live the good life. Kate (Rosario Dawson, Men In Black 2, Unstoppable) likes Griffin too and works at the same zoo. The animals like him too and they TALK!!! The voices of the animals are Adam Sandler as Donald the monkey, Sylvester Stallone as Joe the lion, Nick Nolte as Bernie the gorilla and Cher as the lioness. It should be a fantasy with talking animals and chubby James getting attention from two beautiful women, but he is charming and romantic enough to make it work. Kids will love it, adults not so much.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
This character has been done in the movies so many times but this time they got it right!!! Comic book fans may disagree, for there are some changes from the comic. You know the story; Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) a sickly kid tries to go to the serve his country by going in the military. He is rejected every time until Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) sees something good within him and wants to experiment on him, so Rogers agrees and turns into the superhero.
The cast is good but the film is not about acting. You can’t believe that Evans was the Human Torch in Fantastic Four!! Hugo Weaving is just evil at his best portraying Johann Schmidt/Red Skull. STAY AFTER THE CREDITS or you’ll miss a good scene. You'll have to decide for yourself if the film is patriotic or propaganda.
This film has the right title. Elizabeth Halsey is a bad teacher, but the good thing is she is played by Cameron Diaz. I think this is her best part yet!!! She drinks; she smokes, she is selfish, she is self-centered, she swears, she schemes. She should give up teaching and be a politician. Her rival Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) compete for Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), a wealthy but nerdy substitute teacher. They fight for his affections in crazy, funny ways. The acting not important as the raunchiness!!! For the guys she washes a car like she's having sex with it!!! For the women, there is even romance believe it or not!!!
Did you ever fantasize of killing your supervisor? Well in this movie, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis decide to kill their bosses with the help of “murdering consultant” Jamie Fox. Their bosses are egotistical Kevin Spacey, an unrecognizable Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston as a maneater!!!. It is gross and funny at the same time. The acting is good especially Aniston, who is playing waaay against type. Guest stars appear against type too, so get ready for that!! The plot is nothing new but the three leads act like real people in a stressful or drunk situation. Should you go see if only if you like the premise and comedy.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS –PART 2
You know that phrase ‘save the best for last’ applies to this movie. You should read the books (I haven’t), or at least seen most of the movies because they refer to many parts in the movie. If you thought the last movie was grim, it gets worse. Harry, Ron and Emma try to stop the evil Lord Voldermort with sad and tragic results. Severus Snape, played by Alan Rickman, has important role in this film. The production is top-notch even if you are not a fan. Quality and quantity has not lowered. It is an amazing film franchise achievement. Fans of the movie will love it; people who read the book will like it--even if there are changes in the movie. It is good in 2D or 3D.
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS
For those of you who need some more green after Ryan Reynolds: Finally, DC comics and movies are moving on to their other superheroes. This story is about a new recruit Arisia (Elizabeth Moss) and Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion, Firefly, Castle) tells her stories about the famous green lanterns before them. It is very good and the animation is brilliant. It does have some disturbing parts, but it's still worth watching. It has great celebrities who offer their voices such as Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) Kelly Hu (Hawaii 50) and Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy series).
Two things you should know before reading my review. First, I never saw the entire, original movie with iconic John Wayne in 1969 and second, I don’t like westerns--Italian westerns. This remake is very good for it feels like a real western--not a Hollywood western. Story is about a young girl named Mattie Ross (talented Hailee Steinfeld) who wants revenge on the man who killed her father played by Josh Brolin and gets help by Rooster Cogburn played by the great actor Jeff Bridges. Everyone does a fantastic job, and the cinematography by Roger Deakins is amazing. The Coen Brothers did fine jobs as with the movie “No Country for Old Men”. Remakes are usually terrible, but this one is very good.
TRANSFORMERS 3: DARK OF THE MOON
I enjoy the Transformers movies, so I won’t give a bad review. Many people think it is too loud, or inane, but that’s why I like it. To me it is fun to watch. The third movie is the same as it ever was. The story is about Sentinel Prime, Optimus Prime’s mentor, who crashes on the moon escaping Cybertron in the war, and he has to bring him back alive to stop the Desciptions. Let’s face it, plot not really important, and acting is REALLY not important. What IS important are the giant robots beating the hell out of each other in big cities!!! They do that a lot in this film.
I heard it is better in 3D, but I loved it in 2D. This film's visuals, you have to see again, or on video to catch up on what you missed, because there is a lot going on in this movie. If you are an action-hound you will LOVE it. If you saw Battle: Los Angeles, it is something like that. The things that bother me is one, so much is going on, that you can’t tell the Autobots from the Descipticons, and second, Megatron is acting like Starscream!!! He is second to another powerful robot, but he is MEGATRON!!! He is evil, but in the last two movies they don’t show it in full force!!!
Humans are afterthoughts in this film, like Shia and Rosie (a model, of whom the best can be said is that, Megan Fox was a better actress). I have read this is Michael Bay’s last Transformer movie--too bad. Critics and fans say he is a hack. I wish I made a couple of billion dollars for being a hack! Whatever director replaces him, I hope they do a better hack job.
Didn’t think I would see this movie, uh? Well I did. Female driven films are rare, and even rarer in summer blockbuster season. It works because it is very funny. There are gross parts in it, but it is funny and romantic too. The story is about Annie (Saturday Night Live Kristen Wiig) who’s best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph another Saturday Night Live star) is about to get engaged. She wants her to be the maid of honor and she messes up in hilarious ways.
Kristen Wiig is just great as Annie. She is funny and tragic. Maya Rudolph is fun to watch too. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is Annie’s sometimes handsome yet total jerk boyfriend. The late great actress Jill Clayburgh is in it too. I hope this becomes a trend in the summer, because women want to have fun at the movies too.
I am very glad DC is expanding their superheroes besides Superman and Batman. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is an expert pilot who is reckless and aimless is chosen by Lantern Corp after Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison, Jango Fett ,StarWars2 Attack of the Clones) plane crashes on earth after wounded by an evil force called Parallax. Hal is transported to Oa for training, and he feels he is not up to the job. We all know he is and he proves himself in the end.
The movie is expensive and it shows. Some critics say it's cheesy, but I do not see it. It is entertaining as a movie as a comic adapted to the movies, though maybe not to the diehard fanboys and fangirls. Ryan Reynolds is good as Green Lantern but I don’t think Hal Jordan was reckless in the comics. Mark Strong as Sinestro is brilliant!!! He is Green Lantern’s mentor. His voice is eerie and you just know he will be a villain very soon.
Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) is hot as his love interest. DON’T jump up as soon as the credit come on!!! Stay a few minutes for a startling scene!! Some sequels get better, and I do hope this is one of them.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Here we go again. Comic book fans may feel different about the film than just a movie fan. I am judging it as a movie. It is about the beginning of Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Wanted, King of Scotland) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender 300, and the TV show Hex), and how and why they started the X-Men. This is an intelligent version of the X-Men franchise. It has action, but is not action packed!!
There a lot of subtitles like a foreign movies!!! The two actors are amazing especially Fassbender. He is very INTENSE!!! There is a reason he is that way. The guy kills in unique ways and as much as tolerable for a PG-13 movie. Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) is evil as can be, and January Jones as Emma Frost just as wicked, sexy as Shaw’s mutant assistant. Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Houit) looks like a furry toy. Jennifer Lawrence is good as Mystique, a shape-shifter who wants to be “normal.”. She is sometimes when the shapely actress tries to be a teasing teenager.
In the summer of 1979 in Ohio, while teenagers make a movie, a train crashes with something inside that was not meant to get out. The flick is like “The Goonies meet Alien”!!! There is a lot of drama in the popcorn film--very rare indeed, and Elle Fanning (Dakota Fanning’s sister) is very good as Alice, whom two guys have a crush over. Glynn Truman as Dr. Woodward is important to the story and he was excellent, even if he was only in it briefly.
It is not as good as the hype, but it was good as a teen drama that turned into action science fiction flick. J.J. Abrams (Star Trek---the reboot) is a good director and he keeps you guessing, but the payoff was weak. I can see why it made money, but I can also see it drop box office after one week.
HANGOVER PART 2
If any movie advocates for staying sober, this one and the first one is it!!! Each time these guys get drunk outrageousness comedy follows. If you’ve seen “Hangover” you practically saw the sequel, only this time it is in Bangkok. The guys have misplaced someone and they have to remember what they did to find him. It is a lot more vulgar than the first but young guys love this stuff!!! There is a rendition of “Allentown” included that does not go the way singer Billy Joel intended. This movie is R-rated for a reason--not for kids!!! Some freaky situations!!! I hear there may be a third!! Guys, go to rehab!!!
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4: ON STRANGER TIDES
I am not crazy about this franchise but it is well made and it has Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. He is Bugs Bunny – he gets into the incredible trouble and gets out with a smile. The story is about Sparrow who has a map to find the Fountain of Youth. Blackbeard played wickedly by Ian McShane and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) will do anything to find the treasure. Keira Nightley and Orlando Bloom are not in this movie but Penelope Cruz is and she is a sexy con-artist who may or may not be Blackbeard’s daughter. It is a popcorn film for sure.
KUNG FU PANDA 2
I hate sequels especially bad sequels but that is not the case with this movie. It is about Po who has to find ‘inner peace’, finds out who his real parents are and stop the evil peacock Shen. Jack Black is very good voicing Po the Panda. He can be awkward but he eventually gets it right. Gary Oldman as Shen is just perfect. I don’t know how they made such a beautiful creature as a peacock so vicious is genius. The story, the animation is just great but it is a little sadder than the first and their maybe a third!!! This great for kids, teens even adults!!!
This movie is based on a Korean comic book. It is about vampires fighting humans and the war nearly destroyed the world. The “priests” became warriors and killed the vampires and, no longer needed, they went into seclusion. The title character finds out his niece was kidnapped by vampires, asks the church for help and they decline, so he decides to go it alone. The movie is like a supernatural western.
Paul Bettany (the voice of Jarvis in Iron Man) is humorless and intense. Karl Urban (Bones from Star Trek--2009) is a cowboy vampire/human hybrid. He is truly evil!!! It has a lot of religious symbols in the movie, and the music by Christopher Young is heroic, loud and amazing. The film was to be out since 2010. This is summer’s first flop, but it wasn’t bad. It will do much better on video.
The problem when they make movies from comic books is that the true comic book fan knows all the errors--if there are any. Thor is a very good movie, but if you know this character you may find flaws. The fun part is you can read the comics, or the short-cut www.marvel.com. The story is about Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a proud but arrogant young god who is banished to earth for his doing by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). His half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) schemes to be king of Asgard.
On earth he learns to be humble and helpful thanks to the love of a good woman Jane (Natalie Portman). Hemsworth is good as the lead, and Hopkins is great as Odin. Hiddleston as Loki was too 'low key' for me. I think he’s going to get more evil in “The Avengers”. The sets of Asgard are breathtaking and 3D adds more depth to it. If you like superhero movies you will enjoy this!!!
JUMPING THE BROOM
Most black films are funny--as in lots of jokes, but not this one. It is a simple story of a rich girl, Sabrina (Paula Patten) who falls for hard-working guy Jason (Laz Alonso). Neither has met each others' parents, and that’s when the drama and comedy begin. The cast is first rate. Angela Bassett is classy, intelligent and talented. Stage actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is very good as well as the two leads. The film was produced by many people, including Reverend T.D. Jakes and it shows. No profanity and too-sexy content. It was very brave for the studio to release it among summer blockbusters. It also made money, so I hope they make many more.
MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY
If you like the Madea movies you will enjoy this one. It is about Loretta Devine, the matriarch of the family who is dying and tries very hard to get her dysfunctional clan together. She does get help from Madea, and she does as always straighten them all out. It contains a lot stereotypes, especially of black women, but there is a lot of faith, as it shows big women as human beings, good black males, and family is important. Tyler Perry is just one black director and he can’t do it all. He is highly scrutinized, for he is the only black director that seems to make money. It is a funny flick but it also has heart, and that’s why his movies do well at the box office.
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS FIVE
The movie should be called “Fantastic Five” for it is great!! It has what a summer flick should have!! Hot men, sexy women, comic relief and amazing if unbelievable action!!! If you saw the last movie, Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) break out Dominic (Vin Diesel) out of prison and now they are fugitives. Dominic wants to do one last job in Rio and it‘s only to rob the biggest gangster in the country!! Another problem is Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock”Johnson) a no-nonsense, relentless federal agent after them. Plot is not the reason to see this film and the fight between Diesel and Johnson is EPIC!!! It is the best of the series, and there might be another!!
You have to love Scream movies to enjoy this one. It is about Sidney (Neve Campbell) who comes back to her hometown where she is a legend, and they are celebrating the Woodsboro murders. The murders start happening all over again. It is a body count movie. There are only two things that are truly interesting, one, the writer knows horror movies, and two, the killer and the not so far-fetched reason for the brutal massacre. If you enjoy these kinds of movies you will have fun, but if not wait video or cable.
You can’t go in this movie with an adult mind!!! You have to think back as a child, and the wonderment of the Easter Bunny. This is a very funny and cute movie about the Easter Bunny. E.B. (Russell Brand) doesn’t want to be the famous rabbit but a drummer in a rock band. He escapes Easter Island to go to Hollywood and accidentally meets a human, Fred O’ Hare (James Marsden), and a slacker to fulfill his dream. I can’t forget the evil Mexican chick Carlos (Hank Azaria) who wants to take over as the Easter Bunny!! It is very vivid in color and imagination. Kids will love it, and adults would are kids at heart will love it too.
SCIENCE FICTION /COMEDY
This movie is like ET, only the alien is cute but loves to curse and smoke!! He wants to escape Area 51 for they want to take his stem cells for more research after he has told them all the technology that he knows. Paul (Seth Rogen) wasn’t good as The Green Hornet but he was very good as the alien. He accidentally meets two English nerds Simon Peg and Nick Frost who just came from a Comic-con and their adventure begins. It is very good who love popular sci-fi movies of the past. Peg and Frost are not only actors their also wrote the screenplay and it is very good. They are a great comedy team as well which we don’t see much anymore. I don’t think it did well in the theaters but I hope it does very well on Blu-ray and DVD.
First of all Rio is not the name of the lead character, an exotic bird who cannot fly. His name is Blu, voiced by Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network), and he has to be taken to Rio with his owner to mate with Jewel (Anne Hathaway, Get Smart) for their species is almost extinct. You know there's more than that, and there is lots of adventure when the birds meets funny and dangerous characters. The best supporting cast is Pedro (will.i.aim, singer for Black Eyed Peas) and Nico (singer and actor Jamie Foxx) There are musical numbers, and don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go Broadway soon. The computer animation makes the country Rio so beautiful, you would love to go!!! It is a very cute movie.
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN
We have to thank the 2007 movie Grindhouse for the double feature film was great but the fake trailers were even better, and two of the mock movies are now full-length films. One is Machete, and now this one. It is a very simple story. It is about Hobo (Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner) who gets off a train to find he's in a lawless and lustful city. He has to clean it up with what else? A shotgun!!! Movie is short on plot and characterization, but it is loaded with action and mindless, bloody violence!!!
Writers John Davies and Rob Cotterill wrote a gory cartoon movie. Director Jason Eisener, who made the fake trailer did a good job with it as an 87-minute movie. David Brunt, the original Hobo from the trailer, is in the movie as well playing a corrupt cop. This film, believe it or not, was shown at Sundance and other “classy” independent festivals. You can see the movie on VOD-Video On Demand, but it is $10.00 for 2 days before it comes to limited theaters May 6.
This movie is too clever for your typical movie fan for it has action, real science fiction, intelligence and good acting. The story is about Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal, Prince of Persia) who is in a special time travel science program where he has 8 minutes to find out who the bomber of a train is, and he has to repeat this nightmare until he finds out who commits the crime. There is more to it, and it is great. It is not for everyone--not for my action hounds.
The acting is just great--besides Gyllenhall, from Vera Farmiga (Up In the Air) and Jeffrey Wright(Shaft). One flaw is that the villain is a wimp (Michael Arden, as Derek Forest). The director is Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son) who also did Moon. So many people who saw it loved it, but it is not for your typical movie fan either. If you like Inception you will enjoy this--if not, please don’t go!!!
My brother asks me didn’t this film come and go? Well watching it now, I know why. It is a weird hybrid of romance and science fiction. It is a short story written by Phillip Dick, who did Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall. The question epxplored is, is there such a thing as Fate, or are we manipulated into things? David Norris (Matt Damon, Bourne movie series) wants to become Senator, and he is winning until a scandal happens.
Then he meets the love of his life, Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt, Wolfman), but there are men called The Adjustment Bureau who keep them apart. David does have an ally named Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie, Hurt Locker) but it gets rough. This movie is not for everyone but the acting is amazing!!! It should be a series but not on Network TV, better if it's put on cable for it is so odd!!! If you want something different here it is!!!
If you see this movie, read all the reviews good and bad, so you can understand what is going on!!! Story is not important here, but the ACTION is!!! The epic battles are simply AMAZING. Director Zack Snyder, who made sense of the graphic novel Watchmen, couldn’t do it for his own screenplay. His next project is Superman: Man of Steel. This movie didn’t do well at the box-office, which has many insiders worried that he will ruin Superman. No he won’t!! He said he will have more action than most Superman films and it’s not from his screenplay. If you’re into hot chicks who kick butt it is great, but if you want more from your movies, DO NOT GO!!! Wait for video or cable.
RED RIDING HOOD
This movie is a re-imagining of the fairy tale. The director is Catherine Hardwicke, who the first Twilight movie, so be prepared to be bored. The cast is very attractive and the medieval village is colorful and lush, but the film as a whole is dull mush. What is so surprising is that one of the producers of this movie is Leonardo DiCaprio. How did they get him to produce this? If you’re a young girl (12-17) you may like it, but for others it’s worth waiting on video.
Would you take an illegal drug that would make you smarter, stronger or almost superhuman, but you must take every day or you will die? That is what this movie is about. Edward Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a writer looking terrible and has writer’s block. His ex brother-in-law Vernon (Johnny Whitworth) gives him a sample of the potent drug. He changes literally overnight into a playboy and brilliant businessman. Everything is great until he runs out.
The movie is rated PG-13 but it doesn’t feel like it. It seems like an R. Shia LaBouf was supposed to play this role but he had an accident-–thank God--and Bradley Cooper took over. He was in the A-Team as “Face.” He is attractive but he is creepy too. He seems to still be taking the drug to me. He could have had come up with cures for many diseases while on the drug, but he becomes-–what else? A politician. It is an interesting movie that is for sure. Robert De Niro is in the movie too, but I don’t know why. He is too talented to be in something like this. It is a good movie if you like the premise, otherwise wait for video.
You gotta love B-movies to like this!!! It is a story about Milton (Nicholas Cage, Ghost Rider) who escapes from hell to save his granddaughter from a cult. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. There is lots of action and it is the old 3D which means they throw things at the screen unlike Avatar new 3D that surrounds you. The 3D doesn’t help but you pay more. The supporting cast is not bad. Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) is Piper, who joins Milton but she can kick ass all by herself. She should consider being a female action star.
William Fichtner (Armageddon)is The Accountant (I don’t know why they call him that he’s Satan’s assistant to catch Milton) This actor is very good and he is always in the most popular movies. Nicholas Cage is a very talented actor, so why is doing exploitation? Maybe he likes it, I don’t know but I think if he does a remake of The World’s Greatest Sinner, he would get his second Oscar. WARNING: The World’s Greatest Sinner is not a commercial film, it is independent. It is good and STRANGE!!! It is not for everyone. If you love grind house and action movies you will like this. It didn’t do well in theaters but when it hits Blu-ray, woo-hoo!!!
When Liam Neeson does action movies he can do no wrong!!! He plays Dr. Martin Harris and he is missing some luggage and that’s when the trouble begins. He gets in a cab, he gets in an accident resulting in a coma then another man claims he is him!!! He doesn’t give up finding out who is trying to be him and why which leads to startling conclusions!! The movie is exciting and intelligent, but what keeps it together is Neeson who uses his brawn and brains to figure things out. If you like action thrillers this is very good. You do see what kind of happens near the end but what a ride!!! It was the number one movie in February and I know why.
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
ACTION HOUNDS-SEE THIS MOVIE!!! The summer came early for my peeps. If you mix the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, Independence Day and a video game, you got this flick. I have never seen action like this!! It is a simple story--aliens come to take our water by any means necessary and they have torn down everything major city except LA. Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart, Two-face in The Dark Knight) is about to retire and he is needed to help a group of soldiers, which include singer Ne-Yo and Michelle Rodriquez (Fast and Furious, Machete) when the invasion breaks out. It uses hand held cameras so you feel you’re in the movie!!! It is non-stop action.
“Quiet time” is less than ten minutes, if that, in a movie near two hours long!!! The Latino audience will enjoy this movie for they show them as brave people fighting to live; in fact they show most minorities in a good way. For the haters there is not much character development and you have to see the movie again to keep up what is going on, as soldiers are yelling for there are blow outs, shoot outs the entire time!!! If you like the director Jonathan Liebesman get ready: he will also do the sequel to Clash of the Titans 2!!!
I AM NUMBER FOUR
The recent franchises are heading toward the end like Harry Potter, or Twilight, so Hollywood is scrambling for the next hot franchise, and this film has potential. It is based on a book by Pittacus Lore (real name James Frey) about a teenaged guy Four (Alex Pettyfer, Beastly) from planet Lorien trying not to be captured by the evil Mogadorians. He seeks to act human, tries to adjust to his new superpowers and find others like him. His guardian is Henri (Timothy Olyphant Hitman, Justified) is like a dad trying to guide him and protect him. You should read the book before watching the movie, but it could have easily been a graphic novel. It has a young cast and they are very good. It has an exciting ending and you want to see more of them. It is worth seeming both in the theater and Blu-Ray.
Where is my action hounds at!!! For all the fans who are tired of Oscar hype this movie is for you!!! The film is a remake of the 1972 movie starring Charles Bronson. The remake has Jason Statham (The Expendables) in the Bronson role and his “apprentice” is Ben Foster (The Punisher, The Messenger, X-men3) as Jan Michael Vincent was in 1972. You think you are going to watch a psychological study of an assassin but after an hour the violence comes fast and furious!!! Jason Statham is an action star!!!! I am surprised Ben Foster did a movie like this. He is a very talented actor. If you need your B-movie fix this is the film for you. It is R for a reason-mindless killing and sex-gay and straight!!!
Silly old bear!!! This movie is so bad it’s funny in a juvenile way. They couldn’t make the film about a smarter than the average bear, so they put in it is Jellystone Park's 100 Anniversary---but the mayor wants to take it over to make money and get votes. It is up to Yogi and friends to save the park!!! The real voice of Yogi is Daws Butler, who is gone now but people who know Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers and Ghost Busters) knows it is him.
The real surprise is pop singer Justin Timberlake who does BooBoo, Yogi’s sidekick very well. Tom Cavanagh plays Ranger Smith. I heard Will Ferrell was first for the part but he knew a disaster so stayed away. Anna Faris (House Bunny) is pretty and funny as Ranger Smith girlfriend. You have to a fan of Yogi Bear or a little kid or a big kid who likes Yogi Bear to truly enjoy this . It didn’t make money in theaters and it shouldn’t have. Blu-ray or DVD will do better.
THE KING’S SPEECH-2010
This film is a lavish, well done Masterpiece Theater episode. If you don’t know what Masterpiece Theater is, don’t read this review. It is a true story about King George VI (Colin Firth), who had a terrible stuttering problem, and the unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). The action is all in the dialogue so this is NOT for action hounds!!!
The acting is incredible especially by the two lead actors. Both are nominated for Oscars. It is nominated also for Best Screenplay by David Seidler, and should be. The controversy was about should it receive the dreaded rated R or PG-13 and the reason is the f-word is said too many times. There is no nudity or violence in the movie.
I have never seen a flick done so realistically of love gone bad!!! To me this is NOT a date movie at all!! It is about Dean (Ryan Gosling, The Notebook) and Cindy (Michelle Williams--the late, great Heath Ledger’s girlfriend, Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island). They fall in love, something happens and they get married. The performances of the two leads are nothing short of wonderful, but Gosling wasn’t nominated for BEST ACTOR, while she was.
Cindy didn’t seem to be in love with Dean in the first place, but he cared very much about her. She‘s a mess!! Unhappy parents made her start having sex at thirteen and she had twenty-five partners!!! Not qualified for safe sex advocate, now is she? She works hard as a medical assistant but is emotionally cold. Dean is not too bright, but really cares for her and her daughter. He is immature at times but he means well.
The film is monotonous, for it's supposed to be to show that romance is not always a romantic comedy!!! It is an independent movie so it is not for everyone. Should you see it? Yes, if you want to see a good, gritty movie, but see a funny movie afterwards!!! It was given the rating NC-17 for cunnilingus scene (slang--going ‘down south’), but what is so shocking is that (SPOILER) it was done in Black Swan!!! I believe they did cut it to an R.
Boxing movies are usually about one guy who rises above all odds to become champion. This movie is no different, only he is trying to escape his family to make it!!! Mark Wahlberg is Irish-American working class Micky Ward, who has a brother a local legend Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) who tries to train him despite he is a crack head and a loser. His mother Melissa Leo is his manager, who isn’t very good. Micky loses fights but he listens to his family over his own judgment until he meets a girl who works at a bar named Charlene (Amy Adams) and when he loses badly and the family laughs it off.
It is a different boxing movie I’ve ever seen. They acted very real and at times very ghetto. Christian Bale MUST be nominated as Dicky for best supporting actor. He is interesting the moment you see him on screen. The fight scenes are very realistic. It is a good sports drama but it not the Rocky-type movies many fans are used to--that are realistic too.
Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman, Star Wars) is a young dedicated dancer who gets to play the lead in Black Swan. She is so consumed with the part she loses her mind!!! The movie is not for the beer belly crowd. It is an art film with lesbian sex in it!!! Miss Portman is great in the film. She is fragile, determined and in so much agony. YOU feel her pain when she makes mistakes it is frightening!!! You really wish she didn’t take the part.
Mila Kunis (Family Guy and That 70’s Show) is very good as Lily who may or may not want the lead for herself. She is the total opposite of good girl Nina. Vincent Cassel (Ocean Twelve, Eastern Promises) as Thomas Leroy the work-until-you die oversexed trainer is not bad. The director Darren Aronofsky also did The Wrestler in 2008. If you look up his resume he is a unique director--no two movies are the same.
You have seen this plot line a thousand times--talented small time gal wants to go LA to become a star. What makes it great is the great singer Christina Aguilera. She can belt out a song in skimpy, sexy outfits when she becomes the lead singer of the club owned by Cher who won’t sell out if it kills her. It is a happy ending. The story's not original, acting's not great, but the dancing and singing are the stars. It should be a Broadway musical with Bob Fosse-type dance moves. I don’t think it did well in the movies, but YOU should see it on DVD and Blu-ray, or better yet, buy the soundtrack!!!
THE GREEN HORNET -2011
ACTION COMEDY -- TV SHOW VS MOVIE COMPARISON
Now that the movie Green Hornet is out, I must compare the series with the movie. The series was not camp like Batman in the 60’s. It was serious, as is the movie, which is an action comedy. Van Williams (series), and Seth Rogen (movie) star as the Green Hornet. Neither is particularly interesting, but Rogen is more annoying. Bruce Lee was Kato(series), reprised by Jay Cho (movie). Cho is more intelligent and has more lines than Lee -- if you can understand him, and has 'Kato-Vision,' but Bruce Lee is an icon and bought martial arts to the masses.
The car - Black Beauty (series) was limited because of budget, but the big-screen Black Beauty (movie) is AWESOME. More gadgets than a James Bond movie can ever imagine!!! Weapons - Green Hornet in the series had “The Stinger” it is like sonic taser. In the movie, no taser. Lenore Case (Wende Wagner - series) played by Cameron Diaz (movie) - is very smart, and can handle herself. The club The Pony Tail (series) is not in the movie, but Rogen had a lot of women partying and bedding him. Walter Brooke as District attorney Frank P. Scanlon was a good guy (series) David Harbour (movie), not so nice. Green Hornet (series) did not have a nemesis, but Bloodnosfsky (movie) is close.
IF I WROTE THE SCREENPLAY: One version, I would have taken an episode from the old series and made it longer. Second version, in the beginning Green Hornet would be shot and Kato would investigate the shooting and use all his skills to find out the criminals are yakuza and working for Bloodnofsky, for he was a very good villain. He would even pretend to be Green Hornet for a time to confuse the bad guys!!!
I waited to see this animation, for there is glut of them out there, but I must tell you on it is very good!!! It is about Gru (Steve Carell) who is a villain who needs to impress THE BANK OF EVIL to prove he is still bad, and decided to shrink the moon!! Vector (Jason Segal) his nemesis already created the shrink ray, so he steals from him but he needs three adorable orphan girls to get it.
The plot is rather wild to say the least, but it is cute, and in the end he realizes what really is important. Not only are the little girls cute but his "minions" are just funny. It made a lot of money when released in theaters for it is funny, suspenseful and poignant--even a villain can be a hero and a dad. It is terrible when animation has more emotion than live action films!!! It is good family entertainment.
DEATH RACE 2-2010
This direct-to-video movie is not a sequel to Death Race 2008 with Jason Statham, but a prequel on how “Frankenstein” is born. If you saw the first movie you know how good and gory it was. In the prequel it is non-stop car chases, bad-ass beat downs and bosomy babes. This is what action hounds live for. The cast includes Luke Gross, (Blade 2, and Hell Boy 2) and the guy is very talented. I don’t know why he does these great B-movies Danny Trejo (Machete) always delivers. Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, National Treasure) is evil as ever!! It is worth renting and even better, buying.
The question about this movie is, is Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean) Frank Tupleo or Alexander Pearce, an Englishman who robbed a gangster named Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff, Rambo 2) out of billions of dollars? Also enigmatic is Elise (Angelina Jolie, Wanted, Salt), is she who she claims she is? Paul Bettany (the voice of Jarvis in Iron Man 1 and 2, and the upcoming movie Priest) is Inspector John Acheson determined to capture Pearce whoever he is. It is like spy novels that are focused on who can you trust. If you don’t like the two leads you shouldn’t go to the movie, for it is basically about these two dubious characters. It really is good but not action packed. Angelina Jolie is nominated for a Golden Globe award for Actress in a comedy or a musical. People are puzzled why she was chosen for it, as it is not a musical, and to me it wasn’t funny---maybe it was to others.