Thursday, May 28, 2009

Forever Strong

This movie certainly falls under the category of a motivational sports movie. I think is is appropriate to refer you to my prior comments on that genre when I reviewed The Express. I love sports and I love motivational movies, but do they always have to be so predictable and end with a last second slow motion play that wins the game?

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

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

I don't have a lot to say about Paul Blart. I don't think anyone going to see this movie was expecting real action or drama, just some slapstick and humor provided by Kevin James. I'll admit that I laughed several times during the movie and I think James can be a pretty funny guy. He has assumed the John Candy/Chris Farley good hearted heavy set funny man role.

This movie turned out to be more of a kids movie than I expected. The villains were the worst part of the movie. They take over the mall and ride bikes, skateboards, and do ridiculous Parkour stunts as they chase Blart around. This was obviously geared to a very young audience who would think these guys were cool and tough. The lead bad guy reminded me of a young Christian Slater who needed a shave. I could go on with how lame they were, but I need to remind myself this was geared to a young audience.

I should not get off comparing the action scenes in this movie to Die Hard either since it is obviously a comedy spoofing that idea. Was it funny? Pretty much. Was it formulaic and totally predictable? Yes. Is it worth a rental on DVD? I'd say yes, especially if you are tired of trying to find a movie the whole family can watch together. It's rated PG and I was surprised how clean it was since it's a Happy Madison production. I give it 6.5 stars.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time Travel Movies

Ever since I learned about the concept of time I have always wished I could go back in time or see into the future. Apparently I'm not the only one since there have been many movies that address this theme. I have listed some of the more popular time travel movies below.

Somewhere in Time
Back to the Future(s)
The Terminator(s)
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Time Bandits
Deja Vu
Groundhog Day
The Time Machine
13 Going on 30
Time Cop
12 Monkeys
Kate and Leopold
Napoleon Dynomite
Planet of the Apes
Star Trek(s)

Some of these movies are definitely better than others. Feel free to list any good time travel movies I may have missed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Star Trek

I was a little concerned when I saw that Star Trek was getting so many good reviews because I hate having really high expectations and being let down. Despite all the hype it was still great and is obviously the best of any Star Trek movie to date.

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

X Men Origins: Wolverine

Can you believe it? The Movie Guy is actually reviewing a movie on the day it was released. I have been looking forward to seeing Wolverine since I am a simple minded guy who enjoys the superhero genre. I was also excited about its release since this movie represents the ushering in of the big movies of the Summer. I'm hoping some of the big name movies coming out in the next few months are good.

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.
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