Friday, July 30, 2010

(500) Days of Summer

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

(500) Days of Summer - 5 out of 5

I should have watched this movie a few weeks ago because a girl I was dating broke up with me and this story would have really been therapeutic for me. I tell ya, though, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. I wrote this movie off as a romantic comedy (which I can't stand) when it came out in the theaters but when a friend of mine watched it and enjoyed it, I decided to give it a chance and I found a terrific film that hit very close to home as it discussed love and relationships. I can't tell you how often I've been in the shoes of Joesph Gordon-Levitt's shoes where he meets and falls in love with a woman who, unfortunately turns out to be a selfish person who wants the relationship to be defined on their terms and then go through the heartache and pain that follows. I also found it refreshing that, for once, we have a romantic tale where the guy isn't the douche bag but the woman is. Maybe my own personal experiences with women who want all the fun aspects of being in a relationship without all the work that goes into them jaded me a little to the character of Summer and I personally saw her as a manipulative demon woman but my personal experiences didn't stop me from enjoying the movie. IN FACT, I enjoyed it more because I related 100% to the character of Tom. The only real bad thing I found in this movie was casting Zooey Deschanel as Summer. I am not a fan of Zooey. I know, for some reason I will never understand, the geek community adopted her as the go-to girl that we geeks are supposed to be in love with but I don't like her. First off, I don't find her physically attractive and her inability to act doesn't help either. Don't believe me that she can't act? Watch The Happening and tell me she can deliver a line without her dumbfounded wide eyed empty stare. Finally, she's typecast like crazy. Summer is no different than any other character she's played. You know, the quirky cute girl who doesn't want to be tied down because she's young and just enjoying her life. Way to push the limits of your craft, Zooey! But that aside, I was able to just engross myself entirely in the character of Tom and found I really REALLY liked this movie. It's fun, smart, deep and sweet all at the same time. If you haven't seen it, this scene alone should convince you to take some time and watch it...

The Lost Room

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Lost Room - 5 out of 5

I remember when Lost first came out. Every episode was so interesting and addicting that I couldn't wait for the next episode. Then came season 2 and, although it lacked the magic of the first season, it was still okay. But then season 3 came out and everything went downhill for there. Every season got worse and worse as the writers vainly tried to draw out the story, calling on every scifi cliche you can think of (time travel, restless spirits, etc) all because the higher ups at ABC demanded the show go past its shelf life. This miniseries, The Lost Room, which aired on the SyFy network is what Lost could have been. It doesn't drag it's story out, pointlessly adding new characters (like Lost did in season 3. Seriously?!? Nikki and Paulo were on the plane the whole time, background characters for 2 seasons and NOW they're important. Shenanigans I call on that!). No, The Lost Room is a straight forward mystery of a seemingly lost in time and space motel room which has artifacts that have special powers in the real world. The miniseries is highly addictive and you can sit through the entire story in one afternoon. The acting is just as great as the story as Peter Krause portrays Detective Jim Miller as he tries to unravel the mysteries of the room and find his lost daughter. And to make an already cool story even greater, Kevin Pollak is in this series! The only real downside to the show was Julianna Margulies who, why not terrible in her performance, really doesn't bring much to her scenes. One other downside, and this one has nothing to do with the show itself, the DVD is of poor quality. On the first disc, the episodes will pixelate at times and the Play All feature doesn't seem to work on either disc. And then, for some reason, the subtitles come automatically when you play an episode. Other than the technical problems, the story itself is just awesome, telling a great science fiction tale without dragging out its premise or diving too deep into the scifi cliche well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - 4 out of 5

I've never read the Young Adults Novels that this film is based upon but I found myself enjoying this movie nonetheless. In fact, I'm happy to see my niece enjoyed the movie so much, that she went out and is now reading the books. See, movies can inspire children to read. In fact, that's the only reason I'm glad Harry Potter exists. It gets kids to read. I really enjoyed the modern day melding this movie had with Greek Mythology. This movie has some fantastic special effects and some great older actors (Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnon, Steve Coogan. Katherine Keener, Joey Pants, Uma Thurman, and Kevin McKidd) mixing well with some very talented youths. Logan Lerman seems to have really gotten better at acting after his terrible performance in the terrible movie, Gamer and Brandon T. Jackson is so good at playing a high school kid/satyr that I forget he was Alpa Chino in Tropic Thunder. Overall, this movie just tells a very fun and whimsical story with some great action sequences. Great movie for a night with the family and a big bucket of popcorn.

Hot Tub Time Machine

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Hot Tub Time Machine - 4 out of 5

Overall, not a bad comedy. Sure it has some problems but nothing major. Rob Corddry is at times, hilarious and at others, just plain annoying. There was no happy medium with his character. John Cusack, who I am a big fan of, is just kind of...there, in the movie. His character has some funny moments but, sadly, any actor could have played his part and it probably would have been cheaper for the movie. Chevy Chase is absolutely worthless in this movie. His character is never allowed to really do anything that Chase is good at and that's being funny. I can only imagine that the director owed him a favor and put him in the movie. Honestly, Chevy is hilarious and to waste him. And for those who think Chevy is past his prime...Have you seen him on Community? The big highlights in this movie is Crispin Glover's small, but memorable part and Craig Robinson (The Office) and Clark Duke's roles are just hilarious! Sure the writing isn't Academy Award winning material but at least it's not another American Pie, straight to DVD, release.

Pirate Radio

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Pirate Radio - 5 out of 5

I used to work in the field of radio and hated every living second of it. The pay sucks, the hours are terrible and the powers that be constrict any creativity you try to bring to the dying dinosaur that is called radio. That fact alone is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to see this movie because I longed for the days when radio was relevant and was actually a serious form of entertainment that people enjoyed and not just played in the background while they were at work. This movie is loosely based on the actual events of pirate radio ships in Great Britain when rock was in its heyday before crap like Emo and pop-punk bands and MTV destroyed rock music. The acting and humor is great but that should be expected when you have a terrific cast: Phillip Seymour Hoffman (who many people tell me I look like him and take that as a compliment, now if only I had his talent...), Bill Nighy, the extremely funny Rhys Darby, Nick Frost, Rhys Ifans and two of the greats from one of my favorite television shows, The IT Crowd, Katherine Parkinson and, my boy, Chris O'Dowd. Put all these VERY talented people together and mix it with a great story, you have a recipe for pure, uncut AWESOME! And the garnish on this dish is the great selections of fantastic music from the era. Sure, many of the songs used didn't come out the year the movie took place but am I going to complain when, at the climax of the movie, they use The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" because it didn't exist in the year the movie took place? Hell NO! This movie is just all around great and I highly recommend it...especially if you've ever found yourself turning your radio on in the morning and complaining about the cookie-cutter, lame, cliche morning show with the two talk heads using the same old Monica Lewinski joke in-between fart sound-bytes as they yak in the same old DJ voice.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made - 1 out of 5.

No, I am not telling you what I think is the worst horror movie ever made. That is the actual title of the movie. I'm not one to judge a book by its cover or judge a movie by its title but this movie isn't just a creative title, it's truth in advertising. This movie IS the worst horror movie ever made. Sometimes when you see a title to a movie, you k...now what you're getting like Snakes on a Plane and sometimes you don't. Let's face it, if I didn't see a trailer for Inception, chances were slim I saw it if I judged it by the title alone but when a movie openly claims to be the worst, I have to give it a chance. What I got was one of the most painful experiences I have ever sat through. I love bad movies because there is an entertainment factor in them but that bad movie has to at least have a coherent story. This movie had no story. Just random events poorly edited together. The acting is so bad, I am worried I actually have a tumor from it. And it is filmed with the worst, anti-God, penis and sex jokes I have ever seen. I'm an atheist and I was offended by the attacks this movie made on religion. I could smoke the world's entire stash of marijuana, hang out with my friends and the entire cast of MST3K and make fun of the movie and I STILL couldn't find any entertainment in this piece of crap. I ALWAYS try to find some good in the movies I review but this movie had no redeeming values. In fact, it offends me that this movie even exists because the money used to make it, could have gone to curing cancer.

Open Water 2: Adrift

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Open Water 2: Adrift - 1 out of 5

I hated the first movie. It was poorly made, poorly acted, drawn out unnecessarily into an hour and a half when, in reality, the story is only about 20 minutes long and it tried way to hard to force tension through overly dramatic music. But...since I watched the first one, I decided to give the second a chance. I'm a glutton for punishment apparently because this one was just as bad. The acting is only slightly better than the emotionless delivery of the two main characters of the first film but not by much. Filming wise, this movie looks a lot better than the camcorder/home video look of the first one. It actually looks like a movie. The characters are weak and one dimensional. I don't even remember their names, they were so forgetful. Two guys were complete douchebags, one more than the other. One girl was the odd one out and considered the dumb slut of the group because she flaunts her body in a little bikini. Another girl was, I think, the smart one because she knew some medical trivia and the final couple, a husband and wife with a child, was just that--a generic husband and wife/high school sweethearts. That was it. All the characters were cardboard cutouts with no real dimension to them. Oh, the movie tries to create depth and make you feel something for these characters through cliche character development but it's been seen a million times before in movies and I just couldn't care less. In fact, I WANTED the characters to die because they were all so annoying. All they did was yell at each other. I will say this though, I admire the strength of the filmmakers NOT bringing sharks or other sea life into the equation to create false, cheap tension. Also, gone is the cheap dramatic music that made the first one that made me laugh out loud. And not in the internet way of "LOL" where you actually aren't laughing but a real laugh. Finally, this movie seemingly movies even slower than the first one and it actually made me wish to sit through the snail's pace of a Harry Potter film. And I hate Harry Potter. Overall, not an enjoyable movie.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Child's Play

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Child's Play - 3 out of 5

Child's Play is in no way scary. At least not to me. I've never found it to be frightening but I have found it entertaining. Plus, this movie gave us the great character of Chucky. Sure the story is lame but Brad Dourif is just fantastic as the voice of the killer doll and yeah, there isn't much gore in this one and the death scenes are VERY tame but there is a sense of silliness that keeps me watching it. And, I don't know if it's me, but I think there is some size discrepancies when we see Chucky as a doll and when a midget is doubling for him. This may not be right but it seems that way. Anyway, this movie is a classic that's bad but bad in a good way.

A Serious Man

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

A Serious Man - 4 out of 5

I am a Coen brothers fan. I admit it. I think they are brilliant and that's what I found this movie to be. Other than having the coolest trailer to ever come out, I found one funny movie here. It's not fart and penis jokes here people. This is subtle humor and I found it hilarious. Hell, I even sympathized with the main character with his feelings that the world is closing in around him.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...Remake.

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...Remake - 2 out of 5

I am not a fan of remakes but this movie actually has some good working for it but a lot working against it. The good: This movie has some great camera working and the lighting and music make for a creepy atmosphere and, not to mention, a lot of the original concepts from the original movie are kept intake and this movie only eleborates on some aspect (of course, it changes stuff to but I'll get to that.) The bad: Acting, just like in the first one, isn't the best. R. Lee Ermey is a riot but the rest of the actors are generic, one-dimensional. The male protagonists are flat, lifeless douchebags and the women are either the beautiful whore or the intelligent one...who also dresses like a whore. Jessica Biel is lifeless as usual but we all know she isn't cast for her acting ability but because of her two finer traits that spend half the movie bouncing around in a wet tank top in a barely restraining bra. It's actually amusing how this movie just keeps coming up with new ways to make sure her clothes are wet. I also found it amusing that the movie supposedly is supposed to take place in the 70's but EricBalfour is wearing loose-fit, baggy cargo pants. Unless my years of watching TV shows and movies from the 70's are wrong, nothing was loose-fitting in the 70's. More bad: This movie adds WAY too many family members to Leatherface's cannibal family. They serve no purpose in the movie and are not really needed. I guess, the same could be said of this remake.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...Original.

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 2 out of 5

This movie is a classic piece of horror that drastically veered away from anything that has been seen or has ever been seen since...but even thought it's a classic, that doesn't make it a good movie. At the heart of it all, this movie is just plain annoying. Sure the movie has some creepy elements--mainly that it never once does the lame, cheap scare. You know the type, a guy gropes blindly through a seemingly empty house, opens a door only to find it's a closet and a cat jumps out at him. He jumps, the audience jumps and just as you relax, the killer pops out of the closet and kills the guy. That is never seen. In fact, the first kill is Leatherface just coming out and doing the deed he was meant to do. But, like I said, this movie is annoying. The first half is nothing but terrible acting with the majority of the lines of dialogue coming out of the most annoying of all the characters. The second half is filled with the sounds of a chainsaw revving and a woman screaming. In reality, that's the movie. There's not much here in the form of story. However, this movie did give us one of horror films greatest antagonist (Leatherface) who, sadly, never got the decent franchise he deserved. Unlike his cousins Michael Myers, Freddy and Jason. Yes, this movie is a classic but it just wasn't that well made for me to enjoy it on any level except for the impact it had on the horror genre.

Unthinkable

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Unthinkable - 4 out of 5

I was quite surprised by this movie! I didn't expect to find myself so glued to the TV. Samuel L. Jackson, who is one of my favorite actors and baddest Jedi to ever live, is so amazing in his delivery and he is backed up by the beautiful and talented Carrie-Anne Moss. The conflict and interaction between these two characters as the film progresses is just as awesome as the political and social commentary this movie makes about torture done to terrorist in the name of National Security. And not to give any spoilers but this movie boils into one of the best third acts I have ever seen. Trust me, the last 15 minutes of the movie, I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen!

Shutter Island

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Shutter Island - 4 out of 5

First off, this movie has an INCREDIBLY predictable ending. In fact, I called it before the movie even faded open. But that aside, the movie is incredibly well made. I've never been a Scorsese fan, which is almost criminal in this world but I've just never understood his appeal. He's made some great movies but he's made some really terrible ones as well (The Departed comes to mind). Also, I've never been a fan of Leo either but I found him to be absolutely terrific in this thriller. Scorsese has some great shots in this movie and successfully creates an air of tension through the use of the camera, lighting, acting and sound. They blend perfectly to create a sense of unease. And, despite knowing the ending coming, the story is engaging enough that I found I really didn't care if I accurately called the twist at the end.

The Book of Eli

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Book of Eli - 5 out of 5

I've read the reviews that said this movie was slow moving and boring but I found an VERY entertaining movie. First off, the acting is awesome but that should be expected since you have Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman in it. But what I really loved if how they made the move actually LOOK like a graphic novel. Now, I haven't read the graphic novel this movie is based on...at least not cover to cover but I've glanced at the novel and found the cinematography and camera shots really made every second of the movie look like a panel in the novel. The lighting is just awesome in this movie. The bright light and the deep, rich shadows really help set the feel for the movie. And then there's the action sequences that were just beautifully done. A gorgeous, violent dance they were! The story is engaging and the camera work is second to none. The whole time I watched this, I kept trying to understand why the mainstream critics hated it.

Species

Greetings, and welcome to my movie review blog. First off, a few notes about my blog. Sometimes the movies (or TV shows on DVD) I review are new releases on DVD, sometimes they are old movies I haven't seen in awhile or sometimes they are old and I've never seen them. The only rhyme and reason behind my reviews is, they are whatever I am watching right now. Let me also state that I am not a film expert. I am just a stand up comedian with a degree in Communications and have spent over a decade studying the rhetoric of various entertainment mediums. Basically, I'm just a geek who loves movies and wants to share my outlook on everything I watch. For my maiden voyage, I am reviewing the movie Species, starring Natasha Henstridge.

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Species - 4 out of 5

This movie holds a special place in my heart because when it came out, the internet, although there, still wasn't something everyone had in there home...and for good reason (dial up). So, this movie came out when internet porn was still awhile away, so the only thing an adolescent boy like myself had was dad's hidden porn stash, Victoria's Secret catalogs I was able to steal from the mail when no one was looking and R-rated movies that held the promise of naked women. THIS, was one of those movies. Sure the original reason I saw this was because of the seemingly endless topless shots of Natasha (which are great) but the movie proves to be more than that. The cast is incredible and the acting is great. And, for the time, the special effects were good. (Not that 1995 was that long ago but this movie still has better special effects than some made for TV SyFy movies.) The story is simple and easy to grab onto as it takes you on a pretty darn entertaining ride. No, this movie isn't Academy Award material, it's just a fun movie.