Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prince of Persia

I finally saw Prince of Persia yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was pretty entertaining. It was much better than Clash of the Titans which was another action, adventure, fantasy movie that came out around the same time. When I first saw the trailer for Prince of Persia, I was expecting a middle eastern version of pirates of the Caribbean, but it was actually pretty good.

I thought it was strange that the Persians had British accents and were so good at Parkour. I guess with most of the actors being British, it makes sense to have them all speak with the same accent. The movie was somewhat unique (aside from the fact that it is based on a video game). There were several plot twists which kept it from being too predictable. I also appreciated some of the comedic references like the small business owner played by Alfred Molina who doesn't want to pay taxes and believes in conspiracy theories.

Gyllenhall and Arterton worked well together and I thought the entire cast did a good job. The CGI effects were a little over the top, but overall I give it 7.1 stars because I went to it to escape reality and to be entertained and it delivered.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I recently watched Alice in Wonderland on DVD and fell asleep several times during it. I can't blame that on the movie since I was dead tired and it was late at night. I thought it was pretty entertaining and I liked what I remember about it but I do have a bit of a gripe for the special club of Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, and Johnny Depp.

They have an alliance like Steven Spielberg and John Williams, but they have also added actors to their special group. Maybe they should start wearing members only jackets since their movies obviously feature an elite closed group. I have listed some of the movies that all three of them have worked on and have put a star next to the ones that also feature Helena Bonham Carter.

Edward Scissors Hands
Sleepy Hollow
The Corpse Bride
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory *
Sweeney Todd *
Alice in Wonderland *

I think everyone in that group is great and I admire their work, but holy cow Tim Burton! Please give some other actors and composers a shot. We get the fact that you like working with the same people. Sorry about the gripe. I give Alice in Wonderland 6.7 stars.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Other Guys

For our anniversary I took my wife to the movies. There were 3 shows playing at the same time, so I showed her the trailers for Inception, Salt, and The Other Guys and told her to pick one. I was shocked when she picked the third one.

Will Ferrell is a funny guy, but we have all seen our fair share of mediocre to lame movies he has been in recently. I didn't have high expectations, but it was actually better than I expected.

There were many scenes in The Other Guys that made me laugh. One scene that comes to mind was totally idiot as Ferrell and Wahlberg theorize about Tuna fish attacking a pride of lions, but it killed me. Will Ferrell is much funnier in this than he has been in many of his other recent movies and has redeemed himself from recent movies like Land of the Lost.

Mark Wahlberg plays his angry partner and Eva Mendes his wife. This movie contains the usual crude humor and language you'd expect in a PG-13 movie, but it could have been worse. I give it 7.4 stars for making me laugh so much.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

12 Rounds and The Losers

Unless a movie is really good or really bad, I may not take the effort to do a full review. Occasionally I will address multiple movies in the same post if they are only mediocre. Since I am combining 12 Rounds with the Losers, you can probably guess that they weren't that great.

I first saw the premise for 12 Rounds on a Starsky and Hutch episode during the late 70's. The movie was also kind of like Speed because a crazed mad man was forcing the hero to run around town the entire movie. I wanted to like it more, but it was totally fake. I have a hard time taking John Cena seriously, but he can obvious act since he's had a successful career with professional wrestling. There were just too many close ups of his tennis shoes as he put the pedal to the metal in the driving scenes. I give it 5.8 stars.

The Losers was kind of like the rival movie for the A-team this year. A group of military special ops are betrayed and try to clear their name and get revenge. The Losers was not as nearly as fun as the A-Team. Its comic book style was kind of unique and it had some good scenes. The best part of the movie was the villain who was played by Jason Patrick. I give it 6.5 stars.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Karate Kid

I always enjoy a story involving a kid standing up to bullies and I love Jackie Chan so I was looking forward to seeing The Karate Kid remake when it came to the dollar theater. I think anyone who has seen the original knew what to expect. The biggest difference is that this version takes place in China and Kung Fu is the martial art discipline on display.

This movie has some problems, but I was surprised at some of the comments and reviews and how they said it could not compare to the original as if the Pat Morita version was The Godfather. I was also surprised how many Jaden and entire Smith family haters there are out there. I didn't think he's a great actor, but he is just a kid. I'm sure all the people who think he is a bad actor have kids who could do a much better job than him. Not! I also didn't think his character was as nearly as obnoxious as Ralph Machio was in the original.

The movie has quite a bit of scenery in China which provided a new look. I'm critical of movies that are filmed near famous landmarks yet there are no extras or tourists in the movie. It seemed fake to have Smith and Chan training alone at the Great Wall of China or the Forbidden City The movie also seemed long, especially if you see it with little kids. Finally, the final tournament obviously used wire work or CGI and felt more like a video game than a martial arts tournament.

The best part of the movie was Jackie Chan. He only had one fight scene, but it was nice to see him in a more serious role for a change. This movie is obviously aimed at a younger audience and I imagine most kids will enjoy it. I give it 6.7 stars.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Movie Star Egos

I appreciate the art of acting and could probably never do it to save my life. I think it is interesting how many of the geeky kids in high school drama productions eventually develop into famous movie stars. I appreciate their talents, but it's obvious that our society gives too much attention to movie stars. As a result, many gifted actors have developed huge egos over time. We've all heard stories of Lindsay Lohan not showing up for filming on time and making directors and cast members wait for her, but I thought I'd focus on more accomplished actors who's eccentric behavior and pride have turned off many of their fans over time.

My intention is not to make a list of movie stars and their faults with this post. It honestly hurts for me to write this post because I really admire the work of each of the actors below. I'm sure it doesn't help their cause when these guys constantly have paparazzi in their face provoking them and every detail of their personal life is documented and criticized by the public. I guess that's the price you pay for being famous.

Marlon Brando is know for being one of the greatest actors of all time, but after experiencing success he became a demanding prima donna. He was known for demanding large payouts for his later movie rolls. In some cases his contract stated that he not be required to read the script prior to shooting and then he would show up out of shape.

Steve McQueen was the highest paid movie star in the mid 70's. I guess that will play with your ego because he was known for fighting with directors and producers and for arguing about who would get top billing for the movies he acted in. He turned down a starring role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, since he and Paul Newman locked horns over which actor would get top billing.

I really like Russell Crowe as an actor, but we've all seen reports of him losing his temper. He has been in several heated arguments and altercations over the years. I think he is one of today's better actors, but I would be scared to hang out with him in real life.

Mel Gibson gained fame with movies like Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, and The Patriot. I think his directing skills are even better than his acting as you can see in Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, and Apocalypto, but Gibson has been losing fans at a rapid rate over the last 5 years due to his drinking problems, anti-semitic remarks and his more recent sexist remarks towards women.  

Christian Bale is another one of my favorite actors and I was saddened to hear about his Terminator Salvation Tirade when he lost his cool and went off on the lighting engineer because he moved and distracted him during filming. There are also reports of him assaulting his Mom and sister last year which didn't help his reputation either.

On a lighter note, few people can deliver a dramatic line like William Shatner. He is very entertaining, but also has a reputation for not enjoying criticism. There is a line in Mystery Men where Mr. Furious says "don't correct me, it sickens me". This was attributed to a quote Shatner made on the set of Star Trek.

I love most everything these guys have done. It kills me when I hear negative news about them. When I become a famous movie star, I will be totally cool to everyone and directors and other actors will line up to work with me. I will have tons of  fans and they will love me. I will be way cooler than anyone else in Hollywood because I don't have a big ego.

Large Association of Movie Blogs