END OF WATCH
The supernatural soap that was on TV is now a movie and it is not bad. The trailers are very misleading. It is very serious for most of the film and lavished. The story is about Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) imprisoned and turned into a vampire by the jealous witch Angelique (Eva Green). Ms. Green is sexy and evil!! He is set free and wants to rebuild the Collins family back to greatness. Now Angelique has taken over the business and still wants him. Depp’s Baranabas knows how to be weird and has to adjust to the modern world. Director Tim Burton makes great gothic movies and this is no exception. There is comedy in it but nothing like the trailer. If you like the classic Dark Shadows you should see it.
When you mix Transformers, Independence Day and a reason you should join the navy and you have this picture. Plot not much a practice test the ships what they can do in a crisis becomes the real thing when aliens decide to take over. Peter Berg is good director and makes being in the navy like the most patriotic thing in the world. It is good if you like action. The most important thing does anyone say: “You sunk my battleship” is said but not directly.
MEN IN BLACK 3
SC-FI ACTION COMEDY
If you didn’t like MIB2 this one is a little better. J. and K. (Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones) are back but K is in danger from being non-existent by a villain named Boris The Animal (Jermaine Clement) so J has to go back in the past and save K. Plot not really important but the relationship between Smith and Jones is good. Josh Brolin as the younger K is just outstanding!! It is very funny and near the end very touching. If you are looking for a popcorn movie this is it.
Action hounds rejoice Jason Statham is in a movie!!! It is not a summer movie but I finally got to see it. It is not a great movie but it has a huge body count. Story young Asian girl has knowledge that organizes crime wants and is saved by Statham. Lots of action after the first fifteen minutes. It did do well in theaters but it will on video. Has some acting for Statham but it is action we want before Expendables 2.
Six superheroes Iron Man, (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) join forces with S.H.I.E.L.D. run by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to combat Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his evil band of aliens to save the earth. The 2012 summer of movies kick off with a blast with this film!! It is just amazing.
The director Jess Whedon (Serenity, Buffy The Vampire Slayer--the TV series has made a popcorn movie no one thought Hollywood could. The movie may drag to some because they are establishing characters and plot, but the finale is worth the admission!! All the actors are just great!! This is why you go to the movies!! SEE IT BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!! And don’t jump up when the credit rolls--STAY!!!!
CABIN IN THE WOODS
I don’t know what to say about this movie. You will either find it brilliant or bizarre. I found it bizarre!! It gives a new spin on a group of young people in an isolated place. It is funny and gory. It is not your typical slasher film. I can’t believe the person involved with this is the great Joss Whedon who did Buffy the movie and the series and the upcoming superhero movie The Avengers. If you can wait, wait for IFC.
THE THREE STOOGES
This film is not a biography about the three funny men, this is about the guys in the modern world. Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) Larry (Sean Hayes, Will and Grace) and Curly (Will Sasso) born in an orphanage want to save the place from closing go on a slapstick adventure. Plot not really important but the physical comedy is!! The three actors did a good job especially Sasso. It is not great comedy but it is funny. It will do extremely well on video!!!
THINK LIKE A MAN
Wow a black romantic comedy that isn’t a Tyler Perry movie!!! It is based on the bestselling book by Steve Hardy who tells woman how to get men to get and keep the men they want. It is a very good black battle of the sexes. Steve Hardy is a smart man. He is also executive producer. The black people in the film are middle to upper class. The actors are attractive, sexy and professional. It is well done with a happy ending. The film is a success for black audiences are hungry for a movie that shows them as people. Highly recommended!!!
This film is set in the future where it is broken down in twelve districts and two teenagers- a boy and girl must fight to the death with 23 other teens to be played out on television. Katniss Everdeen (played very well by Jennifer Lawrence(X-Men First Class) isn’t chosen but volunteers to be in The Hunger Games instead of her sister. She is taken away from her poverty district and see The Capitol where there is an abundance of everything, woo to the crowd to get endorsements then must be trained then be killed.!!! Thats a mindf*ck to me.
The film is being compared to many other movies including Twilight, The Running Man and Battle Royal. It is all of the above. It is better to read the books by Suzanne Collins because books tell more detail. I didn’t read the books but the movie is very good if you read or not read the books. It is like Twilight for it is a popular book but it has action and the heroine is not waiting to be saved she can save herself. It is like Battle Royal but not as violent. It is good for the fans of the books but if you’re not interested wait for video.
WRATH OF THE TITANS
Director Jonathan Liebesman who did Battle Los Angeles now does this movie and it is action packed. Perseus (Sam Worthington) must save his father Zeus (Liam Neeson) from Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Aries (Edgar Ramirez) who capture him for Kronos. That’s about it for plot. Could have easily been titled Wrath of the Brothers because Zeus and Hades are brothers, Perseus, a demigod fights his godly brother Aries. Acting not really important in this kind of movie but Neeson and Fiennes are good. Special effects are amazing. Not doing very well in the US because of The Hunger Games but overseas doing extremely well. Will there be a next? I have no idea.
The classic tale of Snow White gets a makeover!!! You know the story but it is sooo different. Julia Roberts is good as being the comical yet villainess Queen. Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins) is cute as the title character. You have to believe a lot in this lush looking film. Director Tarsem Singh (The Immortals) is more style than substance and the music by Alan Menken is wonderful. It is great for kids but for everyone else. If you are a fan of Roberts go but if not, wait for cable!!!
Denzel don’t hurt ‘em!! I am talking extraordinary actor Denzel Washington. He can play very noble characters or at least you feel they are noble and he can play bad!! When Washington plays a bad guy look the hell out!! In the trailer you think Washington’s Tobin Frost is a intelligent agent who went rouge and Matt Weston(Ryan Reynolds) wants to move up in the CIA and luck would have they have to keep Frost in safe house where Weston’s works.
It is like the Bourne movies and in spy movies you can’t trust anyone. Reynolds is great he wasn’t as good in Green Lantern will be better in Dead Pool but here he is serious as a heart attack!!! He is determined, fierce but still wants the truth. Washington is always good as with the rest of the cast.
This film is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs, the guy who gave us Tarzan. It is a Civil War vet transported to Mars by a medallion and encounters monsters, a beautiful Martian princess and becomes a hero. Sounds great doesn’t it and the movies aren’t bad but it is not what you think. It is not for action hounds for the action doesn’t start until the end of the movie. It is not very comical but it is funny. It is hard to describe unless you see the film.
The cast is good Taylor Kitsch (Gambit from Wolverine) the star, Lynn Collins (also from Wolverine) as the exotic princess and the best villain in movies today Mark Strong (Green Lantern, Kick Ass). It is not making money for Disney didn’t market it correctly and frankly I don’t know how to market it correctly. Really in one sentence it is good but strange.
DR.SEUSS’ THE LORAX
It is amazing how the writers took a ten minute animated short and made a full animated movie about the title character. He is The Lorax and he speaks for the trees!! It is a very good and faithful to the book about saving the environment. The kids may not get it but the adults do. It has made a lot of money and I can see why. If you have children –TAKE THEM!! It is magical!!
Brother, can you spare a therapist? Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) is a thirty something handsome, successful guy who has a problem: he’s a sex addict!!! He has sex-of any kind, anywhere!! He MUST be satisfied!!! He does however try to have a relationship with Marianne (Nicole Behaire, American Violet) a black employee. He tries to have sex with her but stops for he seems to like her then has sex with a white chick taking her from behind!! This sounds like great porn only he is not enjoying sex very much. He gets worst when his equally needy sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) come to stay with him.
Director Steve McQueen (not the white actor from Bullet but the British and black) wants you to assume a lot. They are naked in front of each other and he hot for this woman on the train in the beginning of the movie and near the end he lust for her but does he act? Michael Fassbender is a great actor. He doesn’t have to talk much to show his feelings. It is sloooow to the average movie audience. If you like artist porn this is for you-if not wait for video!!
An oil-drilling team plane crashes and the survivors left including Liam Neeson have to brave the billowing snow freezing temperatures and a group of wolves. It is very dramatic but it does have comical moments. It is very good and Neeson is a great actor. I will give you a mini-spoiler if you see the poster for the movie that tells a lot and the WTF ending. Action hounds will not like it but video will be better so you can repeat.
GHOST RIDER 2: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE-2012
Nicolas Cage is back as Johnny Blaze in Eastern Europe trying to cope with the Ghost Rider inside him and then Moreau (Idris Elba) a priest who will help him if he can save a boy from Satan. Look, if you didn’t like the first movie woo-hoo this one is more insane than the last one. The action is great and Cage is funnier than the last flick. Elba’s Moreau seems to have fun playing this French character. Video is recommended unless you like Cage and the character he is playing.
JOURNEY 2: MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Sean (Josh Hutcherson Journey to the Center of the Earth 2008) is searching for his grandfather (Michael Caine Alfred in The Dark Knight) and with the help of his stepdad Hank (Dwayne The Rock Johnson Faster), a pilot Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens Sucker Punch) they find him in a mythical island. It is nothing you haven’t seen before only it is in 3D and it is lovely to look at. The three male leads, Caine, Johnson and Guzman are having a great time in the film. The young people Hutcherson and Hudgens act like the adults. It is family oriented but it is cute. See it if you like Johnson, the 3D experience and the action if not wait for video.
UNDERWORLD 4: AWAKENING-2012
Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is back from being frozen for twelve years to find out humans are now the enemy along with mutated lycans (werewolves). She doesn’t take much time kicking anyone who stands in her way. Acting not really important but it is great that Kate has returned. There is a lot of action. If you don’t like the Underworld series you probably won’t like this one but if you do and it is in 3D by all means GO!!!
Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a black op who gets double crossed. Bad idea. This lady can kick MAJOR ASS!! Her story is told in flashback. She is co-starring with the top people in Hollywood such Michael Douglass , Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas. She is not a good actress nor does she have to be. She knows how to fight for real for she is a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and it shows when she defends herself mostly by men!! Lovely and lethal-best kind of female action hero!! It is better to see for video so you can replay a lot!!!
Three guys in high school get superpowers from a rock and all hell breaks loose. It sounds like a routine comic book story-it is but this film is so realistic it is scary!!! When they first get their powers it is fun then slowly it becomes frightening especially for Andrew (Dane DeHaan) whose father abuses him and his mother is sickly. The movie is low-budget but it is well made. New director Josh Trank will have a future in cinema. It is making money and once you see it you will see why. If you can wait see it on video but it is worth a look.
This is an epic film based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo as well as the stage play. The story is about a young man who loves his horse like a dog and his father had to auction him (Joey) to keep his farm to help the solders. It is farfetched, sentimental yet is brilliantly done. If you love animals especially horses you will adore this movie. I didn’t mention any stars of the movie because the horse is the star. The film is slow and it shows war is hell for both man and horses. The lush photography should win an Oscar alone!!! If you don’t cry at some point you are not human!!! It is very good and should be seen on the big screen if you can.
First of all this is another movie where you have to know the history of beginning of film to truly enjoy it. It is about the title character Hugo who lives in a giant clock and after his father dies in a fire the uncle makes him work as a clockmaker and the boy wants to fix a broken automation that leads him to an incredible adventure. It is beautiful to look at and very well acted. The most bizarre is Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat himself) as a handicapped French police officer!! It shows what film really is and it is not about box office, Oscars but how movies can change the world.
A BETTER LIFE--2011
An updated, Mexican version of The Bicycle Thief is about an illegal immigrant Carlos (Demian Bichir) who works hard every day to give his son a better life. Things do get better when he gets a trunk but then stolen. The two search for the trunk to discovery they love and respect each other. Bichir deserves his Oscar nomination. There is a scene close to the end that if you don’t cry you have no heart!! Cast and crew deserve praise of a well made movie. It is getting limited release. You will probably have to watch it when it comes on video but it is worth it.
It took director George (Star Wars) Lucas twenty-three years to make this movie and then he had to use his own money (like he is broke) for Hollywood felt they couldn’t sell the film. What Hollywood really means how to you sell an all black cast in a drama that whites want to see? Well he did a very good job as producer. He hired writers John Ridley and Aaron McGruder yes the same guy who writes the raunchy cartoon Boondocks. He hired Anthony Hemingway to direct which is his film debut.
In the beginning of the film an American War College study in 1925 and I quote “Black men are mentally inferior to the white man.” The movie shows black men as being brave, daring and HERORIC. It is very inspiring. The sky battles are nothing short of AMAZING!!! It drags a little only because they are developing characters. Terrance Howard who plays Colonel A.J. Bullard is good but corny for he always says something very important with the soundtrack booming patriotic. There is one woman in the movie Sofia (Daniela Ruah) a white woman that marries one of the pilots.
Black women won’t like that but the fighters were not in America but in Italy. All the mistakes I still give Mr. Lucas all the praise in the world for trying to show black men in a positive light. I do hope black directors take a hint from Lucas and show black people in general as good, intelligent hard working people.
George Clooney is not only good looking but can act!!! He plays Matt King an everyday man dealing with everyday but tragic problems in of all places Hawaii!!! His wife is in a coma, he finds out she was cheating on him, he has a vast amount of beautiful land many of his family wants to sell and he is clueless how to deal with her rebellious daughters. The daughters played by Alex (Shailene Woodley ) the oldest with a foul mouth and Scottie (Amara Miller) leaning the wrong things from her sister.
The King family has many ways right or wrong to deal with death and it is truly heartbreaking. It is not like typical Lifetime movie. There are no flashbacks of how Elizabeth King (Patricia Hastie) how she was before the accident you find out about her through her husband and kids. Woodley is very good as a hellish teenager but learns her father needs help with the younger sister. If you enjoy excellent acting you should go.
THE IRON LADY -2011
This review is a tough one. I don’t know about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. I read a little bit about her so I am only reviewing as a movie. Meryl Streep is wonderful as the character but they rushed the film about her raise and fall. The best parts are when she is not in power but just a citizen trying to ordinary. To me, it’s a better Lifetime movie with a great actress. Depending on your political views she was amazing or an amazing bitch!!! If you like incredible acting by Streep watch it the film is not very accurate.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO-2011
(AMERICAN VERSION) DRAMA/MYSTERY
If you like this movie you should have read all three bestselling books by Stieg Larsson and watched all three movies –the Swedish version. I haven’t done either but I have watched the English version and it is interesting once you get passed the explicit sex and violence ( the Swedish version is likely much worst) and get to the story of Mikael Blombkist (Daniel Craig) a reporter paid of a rich family to find his daughter from 40 years ago.
He gets an assistant Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) an antisocial gothic lean chick who is a brilliant hacker and together they uncovered a hot bed of corruption. Craig is not James Bond in this movie but he is good. Actress Mara who was briefly in The Social Network is very good but I don’t know is she as good as the original Salander played by Noomi Rapace. This is not a family movie, not a date movie so they release it around Christmas. WARNING: Be prepared to see some kinky stuff!!
Ladies and gentlemen this is a great movie but you really have to enjoy silent movies that are shown on TCM. You can enjoy the film but you will appreciate more if you like silent movies. It is about a silent movie idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who doesn’t do well when talkies come in and a fan Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) in love with him who becomes a sensation. It is a joy to watch. The music is very important to silent films and Ludovic Bource does an excellent job. Everything about cinema silent or otherwise is great. See it if you can.
The movie Red Tails is a true historical drama about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of brave black fighter pilots in 1944 who had to deal with war and segregation. There was also a HBO movie Tuskegee Air Man in 1995. My question is, how do you advertise such a film to the public? Sad to say, it is a hard sell. It is not a blockbuster bit of cinema, but George (Star Wars) Lucas is producing it. It has great action sequences –some say fantastic.
It is set for release in January 2012, the dumping ground for movies. The trouble is no big name black star is in the film so how to sell it, so let's brainstorm. First, it is not a Tyler Perry movie or a black romantic comedy. Now what? How will that make it go over in Leicester Square cinema, or elsewhere? Well, it has Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr., and in it he's finally acting – which he hasn’t done in years. The movie also has Terrence Howard, from Hustle and Flow and Iron Man, and you know he can act.
It is male oriented, so there will be action in it. It's great to show young black men in a good light. Should they use rap in their commercials? Or a catchy dance tune? The director is Anthony Hemingway, who has done a lot of TV shows –Fringe, CSI, ER and The Closer. This is his film debut. On the cover of Ebony for February 2012 they will feature the main actors. As another marketing manuever, they could go the patriotic route, with the song Star Spangled Banner sung by Whitney Houston, or a soulful rendition of God Bless America as they show the battle sequences. A promo could fade out to say: Courage Has No Color.
The trailers must show the men being very heroic, because doggone it, black men can be heroic. I hope the movie makes money or at least break even, but I strongly doubt it. It is the old story of prestige versus popcorn movies, and usually the popcorn film wins. I do hope I am wrong, very wrong this time. Black people go to the movies more than whites, and we should demand better movies. If we don’t go, we'll have the usual urban comedies, no dramas, more maids, more gangster movies, "white folks can only raise black children" white saviors in films, when the fact is we can save ourselves. Hollywood can do better if we make them for remember the bottom line is money, so satisfy the black audience.
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
TinTin is a really old cartoon character. Director Steven Spielberg must have really wanted to make this exciting tale and it starts with the Tintin buying a model ship. He is hunted at every turn and he meets always drunk Captain Haddock voiced by the great actor Andy Serkis (Gollum, from Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and the evil Sakharine voiced by Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond. It is like Indiana Jones only animated. The young kids may love the motion caption and 3D but older people who know the comic might enjoy it. If you don’t want to pay the high price wait for video.
The franchise is so cute you may get a cavity just by watching it. The plot is not really important by the stars Alvin and the Chipmunk and don’t forget the Chipettes are. Alvin gets them in trouble on the cruise and they are accidentally stranded on a tropical island. They have a lot of pop culture but to young kids it is very funny to adults not so much. It is a joy to watch at least for me. If you can wait see it on video if you have children that like them please go!!!
HAPPY FEET 2
If you saw the first one you know Mumble couldn’t sing but could dance now his son Erik is trying to find his way and what his talent is while a threat to the entire penguin nation is in danger. It is a very well made movie-not as good as the first one but the music is pretty good. There is another story along with the penguins that blend together in the end. If you liked the first one and love music you will like this one-you should see it on video just to understand more of it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE
In 2010 a movie made named Valentine’ s Day with lots of star in it and money now they made another star studded film for the last day of the year. The people are all connected with happy to sad results. It is very romantic, very unrealistic situations too but characters are given not much time for development. Should you see it depends of what you like and if you didn’t like Valentine’s Day don’t go wait for video.
SHERLOCK HOLMES 2: GAME OF SHADOWS
In the second installment of this movie Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) meets him nemesis Professor James Moriarty played with ego and menace by Jared Harris. Watson seems to have more common sense than his flamboyant partner. It is like the first one more action and daring situations yet Downey’s Holmes is intelligent as well as reckless and rough. If you like the first please go to this one for it is very good.