Thursday, December 10, 2009
There is something appealing about interacting with life forms from other planets. Their appearances often vary from little green creatures scary monsters, normal looking people, to even super heroes. Here are some of the better alien movies that come to mind in this genre.
Invasion of The Body Snatchers
The Fifth Element
Mission to Mars
Star Trek series
Men in Black
Star Wars series
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Godfather 2
The Whole 9 Yards
Friday, November 13, 2009
Christopher Plummer is in A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe is in Gladiator with Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix is in Signs with Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson is in What Women Want with Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt is in Twister with Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton is in True Lies with Arnold Schwarzennegar
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Bigger Stronger Faster 8.0
Rescue Dawn 8.0
Hellboy 2 7.3
Quantum of Solace 7.1
Flash of Genius 7.0
The Express 7.0
Eagle Eye 6.9
7 Pounds 6.9
Forever Strong 6.6
Paul Blart 6.5
Max Payne 6.2
The Golden Compass 5.9
The Transporter 3 5.8
Land of the Lost 5.6
The Day the Earth Stood Still 5.1
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
What impresses me most about the series is the authentic feel it has. From the costumes, to the sets, one gets a feel of how miserable it would be do live in the 12th century. Some episodes are better than others, but I found most to be educational, insightful, and very entertaining. Especially if you enjoy the Middle Ages. Check them out on DVD from Netflix sometime. I give it a rating of 8.1 stars.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
What really surprised me was the casting. This movie is a fruit salad of actors I never would have imagined being together. When I saw the cast I figured this would be Gladiator meets Good Will Hunting meets The Notebook meets Princess Bride meets Arrested Development, meets The Queen, meets Dumb and Dumber. Despite my prejudiced stereotypes, I really like this movie and all of the performances were good.
State of Play has a sense of realism to it that is often lacking in many movies today and I appreciated that. It may be the typical scenario of a journalist coming across clues and solving a mystery quicker than the police, but there were enough twists and turns in the movie that I didn't mind.
It's not a perfect movie, but it is one of the better ones I've seen this year. I give it 7.4 stars.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
This was a good movie. It wasn't particularly enjoyable to watch. Some scenes were actually frustrating and even painful to watch. It kind of felt like doing community service. The message I came away with was more than a particular story. This film created a greater awareness for the issues of mental illness and homelessness.
The performances were good and I was relieved to see Jamie Foxx had his normal hair back while watching the special features afterwards. By the way, how has Downey transformed from a young punk with substance abuse problems who was always in trouble with the law, to a can't miss movie star? Talk about resurrecting your career. I really like him. I also liked the psychedelic Fantasia tribute during one of the concerts and can't believe it went on as long as it did.
If you are looking for a pick me up movie, this is not it, but it is a good movie with an informative message and the makers were successful in creating greater awareness for the plight of the mentally ill and homeless in America. I give it 7.1 stars.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Inherit the Wind
12 Angry Men
On the Waterfront
To Kill A Mockingbird
Judgement at Nuremberg
A Few Good Men
Flash of Genius
A Man for All Seasons
Kramer vs. Kramer
A Time to Kill
Paths of Glory
A Civil Action
Friday, August 21, 2009
There were several elements in this movie that reminded me of other films. It had some Mission Impossible overtones with Ving Rhames bossing everyone around and much of it taking place in the Czec republic. There were some James Bond wanna be scenes in the casino, but the biggest similarity was the nearly exact same plot as Eagle Eye featuring a young guy getting framed for something he didn't do by a rogue computer giving him orders over a cell phone while being chased the whole time by government agents. Everything bothered me in this movie, even the noise his cell phone made each time a new text message appeared.
The main character really bugged me. This was my first exposure to Shane West and I was not impressed. I've seen better acting Hamburger Helper commercials. My favorite scene was when the lead character and a female spy were together in an apartment. A sniper opened fire on them from the rooftops across the street while two other armed attackers broke in to kill them. The lead character took cover in a bathtub and cowered while the wounded lady fought off the bad guys. He finally got out and helped her but I have never seen such role reversal in a movie before.
I'll admit I was tired while watching this and that didn't help my review any. I wish I would have fallen asleep during the opening credits. I'm sorry for being so critical. I'm sure this will come around full circle someday when I make a movie and it gets bad reviews, but I can only give this 4.9 Stars.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I liked the dark serious style to this movie. It kind of reminded me of the bleak feel that The Dark Knight had, but this movie was not nearly as good. I was impressed with the special effects and the battle scenes with the giant machines. I'll admit that a movie can be really crappy but if there are enough cool visual and sound effects I can sometimes still be entertained. At times I was distracted during the movie because I kept wondering "Was this the scene when Christian Bale flipped out during filming?"
I liked the movie overall and I liked Sam Wothington in his role, but towards the end, things just got too hard to take. Overriding a terminator bullet bike with a zip drive, the ease with which he infiltrated Skynet, John Connor being impaled through the chest with a metal pole and surviving, the bad cliches, etc.
Despite the fake parts (most of the movie), I still enjoyed the style, the action, the score, the tribute to Arnold and the special effects. I also give it points for giving me another movie to add to my futuristic time line. I was just looking to relax after a stressful week and didn't have very high expectations so that's probably why I'm not as critical of the movie as others have been. I give Terminator Salvation 7.3 Stars. Seeing all those mean machines ripping the crap out of everything made me want to check Transformers out next week.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I'm such a cool Dad that I not only rented it for my kids, but I also rented the original 1975 Escape to Witch Mountain featuring Tony and Tia and Eddie Albert. We watched the original first and they thought it was kind of lame but they still enjoyed it. I told them we'd watch the new one with better special effects the next night.
The next night we watched Race to Witch Mountain. I knew it was a bad sign when 3 of my kids walked out after 15 minutes into it and said they'd rather go to bed. I fell asleep twenty minutes into the movie so I decided to give the remake a shot again the next day. After watching the movie I thought it was horrible. I really like The Rock, but he was totally wasted in this movie. I know this is a kids movie about aliens but that being said it was still so totally fake and stupid and it made the original look like Schindler's List.
I imagine Disney spent a lot of money on this movie and had plenty of resources at their disposal, but it still seemed like a low budget movie at times. Sorry for being so critical, but it was fake and dumb and I should have known not to rent it. I give it 5.0 stars.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
After watching the entire film, I felt like I has seen a double feature. The first half was an Australian Cowboy/cattle drive movie and the second was an Australian war movie both of them focusing on the plight of the Aboriginal inhabitants. If you are interested in that aspect of the movie I would recommend A Rabbit Proof Fence instead.
I was expecting a different feel from a Baz Luhrmann movie. More along the lines of Strictly Ballroom or Moulin Rouge. I am not into musicals, but there were a few times when I wished someone would break into song and dance to liven it up. I felt this was more of a chick flick than an epic drama. Despite good performances from Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, overall I thought it was only okay and give it 6.8 stars.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Here are some keywords to help you know what to expect when you see it.
I thought it was well done and I actually got drawn in towards the end when Benjamin was getting younger yet dying of old age as a little kid. I give it 7.5 stars
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
It's rated PG-13 and is extremely heavy in the crude humor department. I was surprised to see a notice posted by the movie management indicating that despite the rating they felt it was not appropriate for kids. I would have to agree that this is definitely not a kid or family movie.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
While watching this movie I couldn't help but think that it seemed so familiar. I then realized it was because I had recently seen Sean Faris in a similar role in Never Back Down. A talented yet troubled teen moves to a new area and finds a way to overcome his weaknesses and develop discipline through sports while being mentored by a patient role model.... It's also similar to the premise for Stick It, but at least Stick It didn't take itself so seriously.
I understand that this film is based on a real team and I don't want to take anything away from the accomplishments of Highland Rugby, but I'm just tired of how Hollywood handles sports movies. There are some great values and lessons taught in this movie, the acting was good and there were many things I liked about it, but I'm still only giving it 6.6 stars.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I really enjoyed how the movie gives the background for the Star Trek crew members from the original series. I like prequels if they are done well and this one is. While watching this movie I couldn't help feeling bad for many of the younger viewers. Most of the movie is like an inside joke if you are not familiar with the characters or original series. Even if someone does not have any prior Star Trek background they can still enjoy this movie due to all the action and drama.
Star Trek kind of reminded me of Muppet Babies after seeing cuter younger versions of each character. They did a great job with casting and I was glad they used fresh faces for most of the actors. I think each of the actors did a great job of capturing the personality and mannerisms of the original character. Lieutenant Uhura gets my vote for the best makeover. If there was a week point to this movie it would have to be the villains. The Romulans didn't do much for me but remind me of Mike Tyson.
Overall I really liked Star Trek. It had "beam me up", "set phasers for stun", "I'm a doctor not a physicist", and "I haven't got enough power". It is a well done prequel that neatly puts a lot of prior history together. I give it 8.1 stars. It's cool to be a Star Trek geek again.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wolverine is a prequel to the original X Men movie. I found it interesting how they pieced the story together and gave more information to help better understand Wolverines history. I also enjoyed all the new mutant characters and seeing what kind of powers they had. Many of them had insignificant roles in the story. My least favorite was Gambit. His super power is throwing cards? Whatever. I know better than to start picking apart what seems fake since we are talking about a comic book movie.
I thought Liev Schreiber was a great villain as Victor Creed. And Stryker is as weaselly as ever in this movie. Most guys will like this for the special effects and non stop action. The body count was already in double digits before the opening credits even ended. Women may like it just for the fact that Hugh Jackman has taken a page from the Matthew McConaughey school of shirt removal. He spends a good deal of the movie shirtless or even in the buff.
Wolverine certainly has plenty of holes in the plot and and is no Schlinders List, but I enjoyed it more than the last X Men installment. I'm sure the purist comic book geeks will rip on the inconsistencies with the actual comic book, but I enjoyed it enough to give it 7.2 stars.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Right from the start it came across as being fake and I'm not talking about aliens landing in New York City. I'm referring to the immediate response of thousands of military, scientists, police, and government officials within minutes of the alien landing. It was just overkill.
The acting was very bad. If you want a monotone emotionless lead to play an alien then Keanu Reeves is your guy. He was cast well and had very little to do with this movie's problems. I know that Kathy Bates is an academy award winning actress but her role in this movie was horrible and unbelievable. I also found Jaden Smith to be annoying.
To add insult to injury the movie turned into environmental propaganda like The Day After Tomorrow. I can summarize the message the writers of the remake were trying to achieve in four words. People Bad, Earth Good. It was appropriate that I just happened to see this movie on Earth Day. I give it 5.1 stars. I guess Twilight wasn't so bad after all.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Don Cheadle plays a Muslim American named Samir Horn. He is an ex soldier and we catch up with him after he has spent several years abroad. He is in the Middle East trying to sell detonators to terrorists. They are attacked by the local authorities and he and a few other survivors are sent to a prison in Yemen. After proving his loyalty to the faith, he is befriended by Muslim extremists and when they break out of prison they take him with them.
Once on the outside he works with the terrorists and helps them make explosives for suicide bombers. After seeing him prove his loyalty and assist in several bombings the movie takes a twist and we learn that he is actually secretly working for the US government to help uncover terrorists who are on American soil just awaiting their orders. His mission is so top secret that the FBI does not even know about it and they end up pursuing him the entire movie. Samir is tormented because of the collateral damage that is caused in order to keep his cover. The point of view and the philosophy of the terrorists and the Americans are both depicted which makes it a little more insightful. It also leaves you questioning Samir's loyalties throughout the entire movie. The climax involves a plot to have suicide bombers blow up greyhound buses in every state across the nation on Thanksgiving.
The cast was great and Cheadle gives a great performance as usual. I appreciated the realistic feel to this movie unlike many others that lose their credibility during the first action scene. I enjoyed the movie just for the sake of the story and the suspense, but I'm still not sure what the intended message behind the movie was. Was it a Muslim propaganda film or just your typical spy movie? I imagine that some Muslims may be offended by some of the stereotypes, but if that's the case I invite them to join the crowds of Amish, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, and Evangelicals who have experienced the same thing thanks to Hollywood. I give it 7.4 stars.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Bigger, Stronger, Faster
King of Kong
My Kid Could Paint Like That
If you haven't seen these I would recommend you give them a shot. I'm sure I'm missing many others. Feel free to recommend any documentaries you may have enjoyed in the comments section.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Seven Pounds had my attention from the start. Will Smith finishes up a swim in the ocean, goes into his ocean side home and makes a phone call to a blind telemarketer and proceeds to taunt and belittle him. He then hangs up and is obviously distraught from what he has done. It peaked my curiosity and I wanted to get an explanation for what had just happened. The movie strings you along the whole time with bits and pieces of information that help to explain the storyline.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
First of all I have never seen so many pasty pale complexions in the first 10 minutes of any movie in my life. When I saw Dr. Cullen, all I could see was Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire. I wondered it the makeup artist for this movie intentionally did that. The family baseball game with the sister vampire pitching was too much for me to take. If you are a vampire with superhuman powers you should at least be able to throw a baseball.
I'm sorry but Twilight just didn't work for me. I don't want to be mean or rip on it but it felt more like watching a television episode on the WB than a movie. I'm sure if I was a girl and in Jr. High I would have related to it better. I'm sorry this is so short but that is all I have to say. I give it 5.6 out of 10 stars. At least I was able to add an evil twin to my collection as a result of watching it.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I'm usually unaffected by violence in movies, but I found all the graphic deaths and mass destruction disturbing. I was surprised that the movie was rated PG-13. Maybe it was because the special effects made it appear so realistic. I also found several events in the movie to be frightening, like when the boy was being visited in his room by a whisperer. It's been a long time since I found myself tensing up while watching a movie.
The movie started as a suspense/mystery movie, then progressed to the supernatural/horror genre. It then became a disaster movie before moving to science fiction and finally a religious movie. I was surprised by the ending and some of the religious overtones about families being together forever and the references to Armageddon, angels, Noah's Ark , Adam and Eve, and the tree of life. I'm sure it turned off many viewers and I certainly wasn't expecting this in a big budget Hollywood movie.
There were parts of the movie that had me on the edge of my seat and others when I couldn't believe how dumb it seemed. Despite the detractions the movie may have had it kept my attention the entire time and I'm actually going to credit the movie for playing musical chairs with the various genres. I struggled for a long time trying to come up with a rating but I have finally decided to Knowing 7.2 out of 10 stars.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Kinnear gives a great performance and the movie has an authentic feel for the time period it takes place in. At times it is uncomfortable to watch the pain he brings on himself and his family as a result of his stubborn quest for justice. Flash of Genius may not feature the most exciting subject matter, but I give it 7.0 stars.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I remember when I saw Airplane for the first time. That movie took gags and puns to a whole new level. Leslie Nielsen has since become the poster child of the spoof comedy and is now typecast in that role. I have learned that people are very subjective when it comes to comedy. What some people think is funny, others may just roll their eyes and shake their head at.
One such example is this clip from Hot Shots Part Deaux. I remember when I saw this scene in the theater I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks and I couldn't breathe. I look at this scene with mixed emotions because I knew some of the gags are just plain stupid, but others are hilarious. I understand that people have different tastes and preferences, but if you can't laugh at something in that scene, then you have some issues.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
3. I always get a kick out of Jack when he is about to interrogate a stubborn bad guy who won't talk. I love the look on their face when he turns off all the surveillance monitors in the interrogation room because he is about to get down to business. (I'm no fan of torture, but I am a fan of efficiency and results).
4. He chooses not to participate in political correctness in his world. The show takes stereotyping and profiling to the extreme.