You shouldn’t complain when you get what you ask for. I had hopes this would be better than it was, but it wasn’t. I expected sophomoric humor and there was plenty. Lots of cursing and penis jokes, but nothing too clever. Jonah Hill has great comic timing, but the script lacks wit and fresh material. We’ve seen it all from Porky’s, American Pie and every buddy cop movie like Rush Hour and Beverly Hills Cop. Making references to the original TV show is cute once or twice, but it can’t carry a motion picture. Cameos by the original stars aren’t enough either. This is a movie for teenage boys and I’m just too old I guess.
Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category
I love horses. They are big beautiful animals and have contributed greatly to human development. But they are not human and projecting human qualities on them won’t get them any closer. Still, Spielberg knows how to work cinematic magic and hit all the right buttons to make us laugh, cry, cringe and even cheer once in a while. Warhorse is pure sentimentality. I guess that was to be expected with a Christmas release. Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan are not in the holiday spirit, in most people’s minds. The audience enjoyed the movie. The visuals are wonderful, the effects adequate and the acting topnotch as you’d expect. But I expected more. The inaccuracies of the war scenes disturbed me, especially after the painstaking detail Spielberg took in Saving Private Ryan. The Great War shaped Europe and set in motion all the bad, ugly and good that came with rest of the 20th century. As the back drop of this story, details are probably not that important, but as the last veterans of WW I die, there will be no more first hand accounts of that horrific conflict. Spielberg, obviously, is following a standard formula for a feel good film and a boy and his horse adventure is a pretty formulaic. The silhouette shots at the end reminded me of Gone with the Wind and scenes from The Searchers. Spielberg hasn’t made a classic, but it will probably make enough to let him make more serious pictures that I’ve come to expect and look forward to.
Forgive me, but I thought bringing a comic book super-hero to the big screen would expose the super-hero to the wonderful mythology some of us grew up with. Thor isn’t a bad movie. Kenneth Branagh couldn’t make a bad movie and giving him about $150 million to work with meant we were going to get a pretty good feature. The acting is fine and the story by itself isn’t bad. The effects are good and some of the visuals are actually stunning. Chris Hemsworth is Australian and this is his first really feature role. Why Natalie Portman is here, I don’t know. There must be a better part for her in the Avengers movie now in production. So, we have a good movie that will entertain almost anyone and I’m not satisfied. What’s the problem? Technically the movie wasn’t shot in 3D. The added 3D isn’t intrusive or really distracting, but you can kind of tell it’s an afterthought. My biggest complaint is that these movies don’t stick to the comic book script. I can accept some changes or things left out, but wouldn’t a good story line be that Thor doesn’t remember he’s Thor? He’s Donald Blake, Surgeon, who is led to a cane that transforms him into Thor, so he can save the day. The mortal life is what we identify with and then we, I mean he, discovers super-powers. I’m getting old, I know. I just don’t like people messing with my super-heroes. Don’t mind me, you’ll enjoy Thor. Just see it in 2D and save a few dollars. Maybe buy a comic or two.
Reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time in high school was an epiphany for me. It told me to be myself and not worry about what all the other kids thought was cool. Logic and rationality could solve almost every problem that comes your way. Now I can look at the work objectively and see many flaws, but the theme still resonates with me. Individual achievement is to be honored and is essential to human growth. Rand was a poor philosopher and only a slightly better novelist, but she had a real influence on me and and what I am today has been shaped by her works. Turning the book into a movie has been talked about for decades now. It would be an epic undertaking and, obviously, the Hollywood system would not get behind a film with such politically incorrect plot lines. So somehow someone got enough financing together to make a 3 part trilogy. Part one condenses a great deal into a two hour picture and introduces the major characters. The movie is simply horrible! I was embarrassed by the screenplay, the acting and even the production values. It was an, evidently, amateur project. You may recognize a couple of nameless character actors, but no one with a real career would touch this film and sitting through the horrid dialog makes me understand why. It seems someone highlighted some key lines from the book and some screen writer was tasked with linking them together. There is no flow or continuity in the dialog and subsequently no interest in it. Ayn Rand had a great deal of influence on folks in the 1950’s and her books were best sellers. This movie does her a disservice. If you can’t do it right, maybe it shouldn’t be done at all. Skip the movie. Read the book!
This is a great film capturing a slice of the legendary Earl Scruggs’ life in 1972 when he was going through a musical change of life. This focuses really on his sons and his family. We see them playing with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Byrds and most amazingly Doc and Merle Watson as well as the Morris Brothers and Bill Monroe. This is a 1970’s low budget documentary that really captures a strange period of time when rednecks and hippies came together to make some great music. The fashions displayed are wonderful too. I remember us all dressed that way.
How do you make a documentary about Led Zeppelin and have no Led Zeppelin music in it? Obviously, someone couldn’t get or couldn’t afford some permissions. What a let down. I’m glad I didn’t pay to rent this. To be fair, there is some interesting content from producers, managers, and groupies that give some insight into the individual personalities of Plant, Page, Bonham and Jones. There is various interview footage of the band members from a variety of sources pieced together to give a sense of credibility, but overall this is a waste of streaming time.
M. Night Shyamalan is avisionary director. Hitting us with smart and memorable films like The Sixth Sense and Signs. He has earned the trust of Hollywood and can make any movie he wants. So, what happened here? He wrote and directed this massive turd. The marketing machine did it’s job with this one. The trailers and commercials promote an adventure in a mystical world. Good versus Evil and all that. Nowhere did I see mention of Nickelodeon Movies. So a kids TV network has a film branch, could it be that bad? Yes it could. I was vaguely aware of the story. The book series is supposed to be pretty good and the animated series is very popular. I don’t get it. This Aang the Avatar kid(Noah Ringer) is fairly good at Wu-shu, but may be a worse actor than Will Smith’s son in The Karate Kid. Dev Patel should have stayed a slumdog. This won’t be on his future screen credits list. I’m sure M. Night told him it would be alright and who could believe Shyamalan would turn out a turkey like this. May be the worst part is the sequels they have set up. Hopefully, this won’t make enough for the producers and they’ll kill any more of this crap. Unfortunately, the kids this is aimed at will probably wring enough money out their parents around the world to pay for the future disasters this film predicts. I feel like a bucket of slime has been poured on my head by seeing this movie.
The spy vs. spy movie is nothing new and Summer action movies have been hit and miss. So. I had rather low expectations going into movie. I actually like Tom Cruise and know he puts a lot of effort into his projects. Cameron Diaz I’m not too fond of and the thought of the two together had me worried. Well, I was pleasantly surprised and rather entertained by the entire production. This is a simple innocent girl bumps into a spy story and we are not supposed to know is really the bad guys until the end. There’s lots of actions and guns (look for the cameo appearance of the Taurus Judge revolver )and explosions and car chases and motorcycle chases and exotic locales. Everything you expect and have seen before. What makes this work is the chemistry between Cruise and Diaz and the humor injected through Cruise taking his character over the top without becoming a parody. This isn’t an Oscar winning movie with Oscar nominating performances. This is simple action/adventure that is entertaining and clever enough to make you smile and chuckle between gun battles and chase scenes. Knight and Day is worth a look.
Josh Brolin is turning into a pretty good actor. I loved him in No Country for Old Men. John Malkovich is one of our greatest actors period. Megan Fox shouldn’t be allowed on film and playing a whore may not be a stretch for her, but she doesn’t do a good job at that. Movies based on cultish comic book characters are all the rage lately and Jonah Hex is not a bad character to start with. However, this movie is just a mess. The opening minutes try to relay the origin of Jonah Hex and it is virtually incomprehensible. The subsequent plot is absurd and really embarrassing. Brolin does his best to sell it and carries the film the best he can. Malkovich gives a lackluster performance and Fox made me almost burst out laughing she is so horrible. Don’t waste your time or money on this cursed movie.
How many Robin Hoods can you name off hand? Douglas Fairbanks, Patrick Bergin, Daffy Duck, Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Cary Elwes to name a few (for extra credit tell me the movies and cartoon) and now Russell Crowe. I like Russell Crowe. I like epic movies. I like medieval warfare. This movie has all the elements for greatness, yet it left me scratching my head wondering why it didn’t work. The Story is simple enough, but not gripping since we know the characters pretty well. The acting is pretty good. The action is not bad. Cate Blanchette and Crowe have some chemistry and they look good together. Maybe the problem is their are too many movies here and not one new one. It seems Ridley Scott, and maybe the producers, thought it would be box office gold to take other successfull movies and “Robin Hood” them. Sort of take from the rich and hope the parts added together will make one big blockbuster. Unfortunately, they stole from the good movies and gave us a poor one. Let’s see…this was Braveheart, Gladiator, and Saving Private Ryan wrapped into a mess. The invasion scene was bizarre with WWII landing craft appearing to be skinned with wood and oars added. I thought Tom Hanks in armor was going to come out of one. The editor had his hands full I’m sure to make some sense out of it all. There were obviously cut scenes/footage waiting for a director’s cut or DVD filler. It was entertaining at times and some will overlook the technical horrors and enjoy a sort of romantic story that is the main interest overall. What might have been we’ll never know. Wait for it on Netflix if you must.