Thursday, December 22, 2011

Faster (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

I love a good action movie. These days I really look for the hand-to-hand combat, any form of chase scene and gun handling. After watching more than my fair share of action flicks I need to see something unique, impressive and ultimately cool to be impressed.

This movie impressed me. More than I thought it would.

To start, Dwayne Johnson (Fast Five, The Other Guys) is a badass in action movies. I think he has a certain way about him that no one else has right now. I, unlike most, love that he can go from playing the Tooth Fairy in a kids movie to being this badass tattoo covered killing machine in movies like Faster. I thought he was great in this role and I saw some extra emotional depth that I haven't seen from Dwayne yet. Thus, hat tip good Sir. Keep it up.

The story has been done a million times and that was going against this movie. He wants to revenge his brother and goes around killing those involved. Been there, seen that.

That being said, the combat and action in this movie had a nice, new spin on it at times. There were some cool moves with hand-to-hand and the car chases were actually pretty interesting. As a plus, I could see everything that was going on. I HATE that about newer action movies, how they blur everything and speed it up so you can't make out what's actually going on (aka the cheap way out). Good action in this movie.

Ultimately, this film surprised me and I liked it a lot more than I thought. I've never liked Billy Bob Thornton though so I didn't like him in this movie. Not sure why, I have never ever liked him, even back in the day. meh.

If you like action, watch this. If not, you probably wont find much to love about it.

3.5/5

Antichrist (4)



(Watch the Trailer)

2009 horror/drama by Lars von Trier.

This movie is messed up. It was really interesting at the start and you think you know what's going on and then shit just explodes and the craziest (and most disturbing) things start happening. I don't want to say too much but you will be verbalizing your discontent and disbelief when things start going down.

Willem Dafoe has impressed me for some time. He is a weird looking dude but he can really act and this movie proves it more than any other. His character is not as complex as he seems at first but this isn't an easy role to play. You'll see what I mean when the last 30 minutes of the movie slaps you across the face.

I have only recently noticed Charlotte Gainsbourg but there is something about her that I like. This performance was beyond amazing. I don't want to give too much away but lets just say that she is the MAN (that's right) for doing this movie. Her character had some many layers and sides and yet still surprises you. She flips emotions more than a pancake and I just couldn't even look at her near the end without feeling sick. Bravo!

I guess I should mention here that this movie is basically a porn. Well, not really, but there is a super up close and personal shot of some serious action within the first 2 minutes of this movie. There are a LOT of sexual scenes and some of them are literally too much to bare. One in particular made me gag for real and made me think twice about ever having sex again (I imagine it is even worse for guys). You are warned.

There seemed to be a lot of background metaphors, symbolism, hidden analogies with deep and dark intellectual thinking throughout this movie. It looks at mankind in a way that I never thought of before. For that I can see why this film is in the Criterion Collection. That and some of the scenes are goddamn beautiful to watch. Some shots actually gave me goosebumps.

Only thing I frowned about was the ending...they lost me there and in a way ruined where they trapped my mind previous to the ending.

This is a whole new take on the thriller/horror scene with an intellectual and dark spin on life and people. This movie is so messed up. You will not forget this film.

4/5

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Top 10 Traditional Christmas Movies

As you may know I occasionally write articles for Amotherworld, a parenting and lifestyle online magazine, and the latest is my personal Top 10 Traditional Christmas Movies List!

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!


See also, last years Top 15 Not so Christmas Movies List.

Morning Glory (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

Harrison Ford makes this movie. That being said his character was kind of boring and isn't even around as much as you would think. Still, he played the stubborn, stuck up old man well.

Rachel McAdams was kind of a let down in this movie. I guess I haven't been overly impressed with her anyways seeing how she really is being herself in every movie but with different lipstick. Meh.

Diane Keaton was actually perfect for this role but she too wasn't in the movie as much as you would think.

I suppose television isn't something I'm overly in to (hence all the movie watching) so this movie didn't have an emotional platform with me nor did it want to take the time to suck me into this unknown world and allow me to grasp any form of understanding. It didn't have to, it's a comedy, they need laughs not tears. I found it hard to laugh though as I didn't get the 'jokes' as I didn't understand. It's a vicious cycle.

I didn't like the first half or more of this movie. It was kind of boring, I wasn't getting anything from the story or most of the characters and it seemed like the movie was losing sight of its purpose. Then the climax kind of hits and it picks up the pace but then drops back down again. Then it picks it up and drops it again. And then, for a solid 15-20 minutes it's an amazing movie and I'm laughing and smiling and having a great time.

It was almost too good and I thought "Wow, is this one of the first movies I have seen in a long time that starts out bad but ends well instead of having a crap ending?" and then it was a crap ending. I mean, really?! Walking into the sunset. Come on. Were you all out of doves or hot air balloons or something? So lame.

The last bit of the movie is awesome. I liked that movie a lot. The rest is watchable and perfect for a rainy, "I'm too tired for a documentary" kind of day.

3/5

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Ides of March (4)



(Watch the Trailer)

An honest staff member working on a presidential campaign gets a real look at just how dirty politics can be.

Ryan Gosling (Drive, Crazy Stupid Love ). Oh, Ryan. You are the man. I actually think you may be my favourite actor right now. That's no mere leap. I watch a lot of movies and have a lot of favourites but I have been watching Gosling since the days of having a school girl crush on him in the television show Breaker High and have never not liked him in anything he has done. That's huge. I heart him. I really, really do. 500 gold stars and dozens of high fives.

George Clooney (The Men Who Stare at Goats, The American) is really growing on me lately. I'm not sure why I didn't like him at first but now I seem to really enjoy his movies. He was great as Morris and I thought he, Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman worked really well together.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Pirate Radio, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) is another favourite of mine. I think this man has a way of captivating people that is hard to find these days. There is just something about him that draws you in and makes you believe what he does. I'm not sure but I find him quite powerful and his performance this time around was right on cue.

One thing I noticed once the credits rolled was that they did suspense strangely well in this film. The music had a part in that but also the way Clooney directed some scenes, especially when everything starts going down near the end, really had my heart racing. The very ending of this film is awesome. I loved how they ended it. SO powerful and I feel like I will remember that more than any other part in this movie which makes this movie memorable to me.

I never thought I would be praising Clooney so much but I really liked what he did with this story. I liked the way he filmed it, I liked the editing and the performances. I thought each actor was perfectly suited to their roles and I was interested from start to finish which is no easy task seeing how I don't really care about American politics and usually don't care for overly political films. Well done Sir.

Great story, it really tests your mind and surprises you with strategies that you didn't see coming. Characters were powerful and the performances even stronger. Gosling is the man and while some may find this movie boring it is anything but if you sit and really allow yourself to be sucked into the story.

4/5

(1 full point is for you Gosling)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In Time (4)




(Watch the Trailer)


In the not so distant future people stop aging at the age of 25 and then have to make time in order to survive. The rich stay young forever and the poor die young.

I REALLY liked the concept for this movie. I loved the whole time is currency thing and how the class differences mean you can live longer and so most people work just to survive. It is a perfect example for how our lives seem these days. I love when sci-fi really nails it when it comes to these concepts and metaphors for how messed up our world has become. I liked the design of the timer and of the whole live free until you're a certain age and then your clock starts ticking down. Awesome.

I keep being so surprised by how much I like Justin Timberlake on the big screen. I really like him as an actor. I think he fit this role really well as he has this sort of energy and sass to him that his character really needed. He handled the action and suspense well too. I thought he was a great choice and I had no problems with his performance.

Amanda Seyfried was less than impressive but I guess the only thing she needed to do was look good while running in 6" heels and make sure her hair never looked messy and she did that well. She just didn't have any layers to her at all. It wasn't her character either, she had a chance to make it something different but maybe the director pointed her in this direction. Anyways, I've liked her a lot better in other movies. Meh.

Liked the story, thought the concept and design of everything was interesting. There were parts of this story that obviously didn't really line up in my mind but there always is, especially with sci-fi/action films. There just isn't enough time to sit down and fully explain everything. Still, the action part of this movie was decent enough.

I liked the concept better than the story and the idea more than the action but over all I liked this movie. I thought it was different than other sci-fi movies and I liked Justin Timberlake. It didn't get great reviews but I really liked it, so you can watch and see for yourself.

4/5

The Life of David Gale (3.8)



(Watch the Trailer)

2003 Crime/Thriller/Drama.

David Gale finds himself on death row after he is charged with the murder of a fellow anti-capital punishment activist.

Kevin Spacey is awesome. I think he is one of those actors that a lot of people forget about but who has had such an amazing and consistent career that you have to be impressed. He is the lead in many of my favourite movies and he was fantastic as David Gale. I thought he really nailed the character and I felt like he helped me feel connected to the character on some sort of personal level.

Kate Winslet has been one of my top 3 fav actresses for a very long time. I like her in real life and as an actor. She always impresses me and I always feel so connected to her in all of her roles. She really gives colour to her characters, mostly because her performances always feel so natural. Great combo with Spacey

I'm not usually one to generally go out of my way to watch activist type movies but I do enjoy one now and again. I was constantly being told by Netflix that I would like this movie and they were right. I didn't feel overly bombarded with opinions, angry rants, unrealistic characters or over bearing facts. It was almost like the activist part of this film was the undertone and the characters were what this movie was really about. I liked that. The facts were still interesting though.

Took a bit of time to get to the climax but I see why they felt the need to show us as much about the characters as they could before the big plot twist. The big surprise was a definitely surprise but it wasn't as big of a shock as I think they were going for. Maybe I knew all along that that was what was going to happen but ultimately I knew that it was something David Gale was capable of so I wasn't shocked. Still, great story.

Spacey and Winslet make this a great film and the puzzle is filled with suspense and the story is something that will make you sit up and pay attention.


3.8/5

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sophie Scholl (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

This 2005 German Biography/crime/drama directed by Marc Rothemund is a true story about Sophie Scholl, a young girl in Germany during WWII who stood up for what she believed in and suffered the consequences.

Netflix had been telling me to watch this movie for a long time saying I would love it. I did like it and it was well paced and generally exciting for a Nazi interrogation/prisoner type film but it wasn't my favourite. The pace and action was good at first but it lost me here and there.

I love based on true story films and this movie was powerful for me because Sophie was in her young twenties and was so strong and I also love powerful female lead dramas so this was great. Julia Jentsch who played Sophie was fantastic and made this movie what it was. The acting in this film in generally was really good.

My only problem with it, and this may come out wrong but, I felt like at times they made all the Nazi characters to be yelling, angry, dramatic people. Yes, maybe they were in real life, but when being shown as such for 2 hours straight in a movie gets old very fast. Everyone is yelling and swearing and after an hour I started to not care as much and therefore my senses were not being affected at the most climatic moments as much as they should be. I just...felt they should've toned it down slightly so that the main court scene would've been even more powerful.

It was still powerful, I understand why it was up for an Oscar. The script is good but I got bored at parts and had to turn the volume down at other times due to yelling and what not but over all this is a great story of a brave girl who fought when everyone else was too scared to.

3.5/5

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2)



(Watch the Trailer)

The saga continues...

This movie was awful. I am a Twilight fan too, I admit to owning all of the movies and I've read all the books twice, but this movie was horrible. Nothing happens. I knew it was going to be bad because the first half of the book is all talking and working up to this big surprise in the story but they stopped the movie just as this surprise happens. Now I am worried that Part 2 will suck as well because they have to fit SO MUCH story into the next part and I'm worried it will seem messy. Bleh.

Kristen Steward and Robert Pattinson seemed far more irritating in this movie than in the past. Before they were kind of cute together and it was funny but this time around it was just painful to watch. Their connection was still there but because the movie was so slow I was looking to the actors to up their performances but that didn't happen either.

I was impressed with Taylor Lautner though. I think his acting has really improved over the last few years and it was GREAT to see some talent in this movie. He was the best part of this film, hands down. He was still Jacob but his performance was stronger than in the past and I was so glad when he would enter a scene. Thank you Taylor, thank you.

This is easily the worst movie of the Twilight Saga so far and maybe one of the worst movies I have seen all year. Which sucks to say because I was looking forward to it for so long and I am a huge fan but it was brutal. Lame. They didn't even get any emotion from me during the damn wedding and the big surprise was a big let down but I guess they couldn't have gone into lots of detail like in the book or it would've turned into more of a horror movie but in the movie it just didn't seem as dramatic as it should've been.

Wait to rent it if you really want to see it.

2/5

(I'm only giving it a 2 because I am a fan so I am still glad I watched it and for Taylor Lautner)

The Change-Up (3.5)




(Watch the Trailer)


This movie was waaaay more hilarious than I thought it would be. I felt like this was a really lame idea for a script and that the whole change-up thing had been already done time and time again, which it has, but some how they figured out a way to make this movie funny.

I think it had a lot to do with Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, The Proposal, Buried) and Jason Batman (Horrible Bosses . These two together are hilarious. They are naturally quite different people and when put into their separate characters they fit the mold perfectly. Without them this movie would've probably sucked hard, they were both equal parts funny.

I was laughing pretty hard for a lot of the scenes. Some of the emotional scenes were really painful, mostly any of the scenes with Leslie Mann. Sorry lady, but you were painful to watch any time you were crying or complaining or anything. Yikes. No idea why but she just really sucked in this movie.

This movie is kind of stupid but I still laughed and found it entertaining. Some of the lines especially had me laughing really hard. If you're looking for a light and slightly ridiculous comedy then this is the movie for you.

3.5/5

Gulliver's Travels (2.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

A mail boy of a company takes a travel job writing about the Bermuda Triangle in order to try and impress a girl from work. He lands on the island of Liliput, an island full of tiny people.

I used to be a huge Jack Black fan (Kung Fu Panda 2). I still find him funny but his tricks are getting old and therefore he is becoming slowly less and less hilarious. I still think he's got talent but I'm not sure he is using it as well as he should. I suppose if I could get away with doing silly little movies to make a buck and just keep on keepin' on then I would too but still, I need more Jack.

Emily Blunt (Gnomeo & Juliet, The Adjustment Bureau) and Jason Segel (The Muppets) were cute but they weren't in the movie enough for me. I was happy to see Jason Segel when he came on and I think he was my favourite in this film. They were sadly both victims of the script and their characters had some really stupid moments but it wasn't their fault.

This was pretty cheesy and also pretty corny at times. I couldn't help but be entertained but some parts of this movie had me rolling my eyes. Most of the time though it had a good pace and made general sense but then they would go and throw in a song or something weird and I would get taken completely out of the movie.

I liked it more than I thought I would but not as much as I wanted too. It was funny now and again but it was over all silly and some times way too weird for me. I wonder if kids would like it better than I did...

Bonus: Billy Connolly and Catherine Tate.

2.5/5

Nell (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

A wild woman is found in the woods and doctors are given 3 months to observe her to see if she can survive on her own.

Jodi Foster's performance as Nell was incredible. I can see why she was up for an Oscar for this movie. She completely became this 'wild woman' and yet at the same time won our hearts. This is one memorable performance.

Liam Neeson (Unknown, The A-Team) can do no wrong. I heart that man. He certainly was an interesting character in this movie and while the movie is called Nell thus is should be more about Nell, I felt like a lot of information about his character was kept from the audience. I needed to know more in order to become connected to him and really understand why he was so obsessed with Nell...guess I'll never know. Still, Liam is awesome.

Natasha Richardson was interesting. I guess it was her character in general that I didn't like. Still, for a doctor, she wasn't that smart. Some of the stuff she did or said seemed ridiculous to me. Not her fault but didn't make me like her performance very much.

I think I was mainly distracted by the way it was filmed because of when it was made. Dramatic movies had a different sort of pace, tone and style to them. While it;s nothing compared to the old black and white days this movie is coming up on its 20th anniversary.

The story is amazing and I think they did a great job of slowly introducing us into Nell's world in a way that brings you closer and closer to this stranger without really knowing it.

I liked the movie and throught Jodi Foster's perfomance was fantastic but the way the movie was written and edited stopped me from being completely sucked into Nell's world.

3/5

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Muppets (5)



(Watch the Trailer)

Muppet fans REJOICE!! This is easily one of the best movies of the year and one of the best family comedies I've ever seen AND a new fav all time movie of yours truly.

This movie is HILARIOUS!! I was bursting with laughter from the very start. This is easily the best comedy of the year. I'm being honest here, I haven't laughed that consistently without having to force myself or without actually laughing AT the awfulness that was a movie in a very long time. Every bit of it was hilarious. Okay okay, you get the point.

Not only was it hilarious but it was heart felt, thoughtful, full of life lessons and great musical numbers.

The songs are beyond amazing, for the first time in a long time I might have to purchase a movie soundtrack. Jason Segel and Amy Adams (Miss Pettigrew Livs for a Day) are FANTASTIC and The Muppets are better than ever. I seriously loved this movie even more as an adult. I liked The Muppets when I was a kid but I never loved them like I do now. It's amazing, I can't get over how good this movie is!

The story is obviously nothing Oscar worthy, of course it's not, it's a family friendly movie after all. That being said, there is nothing wrong with this movie at all.

Thank you Jason Segel, thank you. You were the Walter of this movie in real life, you made it happen and therefore stopped The Muppets from skipping another generation. You deserve 1,000 rainbow hugs and all the ice cream you desire.

The worst part about this movie is when it was over. I could've watched at least another hour of it. When it was over all I wanted to do was watch it again. I will be buying this movie as soon as it comes out. I might need to see it a few more times before it leaves the theatres too.

SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! Especially if you like The Muppets. You will not regret it!!

...I feel like a kid again.

Bonus: ALL THE AMAZING CAMEOS!! There were so many and they were all AMAZING! Ahhh! *runs away*

Bonuseses: Amy Adam's calf muscles. Wow. Just, wow.

5/5

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Puncture (3.8)



(Watch the Trailer)

A druggie lawyer gets a case to fight the big medical companies of America over their use of regular plastic needles instead of buying into a safety needle that is proven to stop accidental needle punctures among medical workers.

Chris Evans (Captain America) has been impressing me a lot lately. Maybe not a lot in terms of me watching all these movies with him in it but in terms of me watching some of his movies and being impressed every time. His performance in this movie was bang on. I thought he really took the form of his character and I was generally concerned and interested in him for the whole movie.

The subject of this movie at first was boring to me. I don't know anything about medical stuff and I also don't know how hospitals and what not work in the States. Regardless, the information that was given me over the course of this movie was intense to say the least. Especially near the end of the movie...I had no idea. I really had no idea that any of that was going on. I wonder if any one does know except for the big medical companies? Insane, that's all I can really say about that.

Not only was this movie informative like a documentary but the characters and performances were well done and the flow of the movie kept me interested and my mind always moving - just like the main character.

The only thing I didn't like about this movie is that I felt some of the time spent on showing us the dark side of Evans character Mike, stuff we were already shown before, seemed a little repetitive. Especially after the big drop of information. After that mind bomb I needed a big story jump or at least for the movie to have no ended the way it did but I suppose that this movie was more about Mike than about the needles. Still, after a certain point I needed more when it came to information instead of more when it came to the characters.

Glad I watched this movie. It's not overly dark or emotional but it is a powerful movie and Chris Evans does a great job.

3.8/5

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

Edmund and Lucy return to Narnia just in time to stop evil from spreading over the land.

I completely forgot about the latest Narnia movie until I was on Netflix and saw it there. I remember being excited last year when I heard it was coming out and then after seeing the first trailers my excitement went away so I put it on the back burner. While it wasn't the best movie ever and my least favourite of these films I still thought it was a good adventure.

The acting in these has never been anything to talk about. While the kids are way older now, and even with Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes, see also Dorian Gray) running around looking all handsome, I found this movie a little dull. There was no great battle but more like an escape. The wonderful adventure filled with danger seemed more like a giant storm and a not-so-close encounter with invisible "beasts". The one plus of this was that there was a dragon but it wasn't a scary dragon.

I gather that because it being PG had something to do with the boringness of it but still, the other movies had sword fights and battles and beasts all over the place. Compared to the first one this movie just doesn't stack up.

The movie is beautiful with it's sunset backdrops and cool looking islands but I didn't find myself being pulled into the fantasy world as much as I would've hoped.

Still good for a family night and/or a sleepy Sunday when you don't really want to pay close attention to anything or over think a movie.

3/5

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Killer Elite (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

Yup, Jason Statham. This guy was made for action movies and for some reason, even after all of his characters being pretty much the same, I am not tired of him. He can do the action well and has at least minor talent which is more than I can say for most action stars. Solid.

I am tired of Clive Owen. I have liked a lot of his movies in the past but I am slowly realizing that he is a very 2-dimensional actor. He has his happy character or his manly/action character and that's about it. Bored with him. Need him to switch it up and make me understand why he is still in so many films.

Robert De Niro is the man (Limitless, Brazil, Everybody's Fine). 'Nough said.

The hand-to-hand comabt was pretty awesome in this movie. You can't deny that Statham was made for action flicks. The big and happy surprise for me was seeing De Niro kick some major ass, he was pretty badass in this movie. Maybe the most badass.

The suspsense for me just wasn't there. Except for the action, I found this movie kind of dull. That being said, most of the movie is action with car chases and hand-to-hand combat but as soon as the music died down and conversations began I lost interest. I guess the story wasn't interesting to me. Too many fingers being pointed with (to me) an obvious ending.

I was happy with the action but not much else. The ending was meh. I'm sure the book that this movie was based on would be a good read. I usually enjoy based on true story type movies but this one didn't do it for me.

Worth the action though it was too long in my opinion.

3/5

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Like Crazy (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

Two people fall in love while in college but there's one catch: she has to go back to England once her VISA expires. Is patience enough to keep love alive?

I thought this was going to be a cute, happy movie with a struggle and a happy ending but instead this movie decided to break my heart and make me sad. It was good though, I loved the characters and how they both seemed very realistic. Their struggle seemed real to me and I'm sure lots of people could relate to this story in some way or another. Love isn't always honey and sunshine and this movie showed that really well.

Anton Yelchin has really grown on my since I first noticed him in the new Star Trek movie. I started to follow his career and so far I have liked everything I have seen. He is a little out of the spotlight but still well known and doing some blockbuster films but he still has this thing about him that I find appealing to watch. Looking forward to more stuff Anton. High five.

Felicity Jones was cute at first but I really felt like I watched her character grow and change during the movie. By the end of the movie I could tell what she was feeling by just watching her eyes...strong performance. Really well matched with Anton. Loved it.

There were some emotional scenes that I felt seemed a bit staged but at times they didn't really know each other so it was like they were strangers but at the same time...

I get the ending, I know that the movie couldn't have gone on further at that point because it was sort of the next chapter type thing but I still hated it ending from an emotional point of view. Now I am kind of sad and feel all emotional instead of filled with love and happiness. Laaaame. Why you gotta hurt my heart film?

The story is realistic and because of that I found myself getting sucked into this movie. It was shaky at first but then I was glued to the screen. The energy between these two comes and goes but like they say in the movie, there is something between them that cannot be explained. Good cast and a good story made for an emotional rollercoaster that I enjoyed.

Just enough to shake my heart but not enough to rip it out. Good thing, I was looking for a light hearted romantic movie. Yeesh.

3.5/5

Monday, November 14, 2011

Immortals (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

Theseus is chosen by the Gods to stop King Hyperion and the end of humanity.

While the movie was stunning and the story strong this movie is sadly forgettable. While watching it I was completely entertained and all my movie needs were met but not that it's been a couple of days I find myself not remembering why it was so enjoyable at the time. The action is pure and the feel of the movie was great but it didn't impress me.

Henry Cavill who played Theseus wasn't my favourite but he grew on me during the film. At first I was disappointed and was worried his performance would distract me but once the action got going I didn't pay too much attention to it. He does the angry face well and the man-in-action face even better. I'll give him that.

I'm sorry to say this, even after The Wrestler was such a good film, I do not get Mickey Rourke. I hear he could act in his day but I found him boring, one dimensional and just over all too comical when it came to being this badass guy. I'm not sure why, his costumes were amazing so it wasn't that...I just, don't really like him.

The costumes in this movie were very cool. Some of them were weird and too abstract for me but most of them were stunning and really matched the characters.

While the story wasn't as amazing as 300, which is one of my all time favourite action films, I found the characters interesting enough. I wanted to know more about the Gods and that whole back story but I didn't get anything so any chance of an emotional connection didn't happen. To be honest, I didn't feel anything towards any character. I just loved the beauty of each shot and the action was wonderful.

That is what this movie is all about and the reason why I was glad to see it on the big screen: the action. All of the scenes with the Gods fighting were beyond fantastic. The basic slow-mo action scenes were great and there was a good amount of gore to action ratio.

Not huge on character development but giant with amazing action, this movie is entertaining and exciting but nothing more. If you like action movies, see it! Just don't expect 300.

3.5/5

The Rite (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

2011 horror film by Mikael Håfström about a young man who is training to be a priest but questioning his faith and attends an exorcism course in Italy.

I thought this movie was going to be really cheesy and lame but I like exorcism movies and Anthony Hopkins so I thought I would give it a shot.

Turns out that not only was this movie scary, interesting and full of Anthony Hopkins but that the cheese factor and lameness I was expecting was not fully there. Yes, there were some funny moments where the movie was flawed but it wasn't near as bad as I thought it was going to be. Also, Hopkins was classic Hopkins and he was awesome as the main exorcist priest guy. He kicks some solid ass. Fact.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Colin O'Donoghue who played the young priest. His character was all right but I didn't feel sold on his performance. Some scenes were better than others but I felt like he was too much of a pretty boy and every emotion was forced. Although, I suppose it was hard to not seem that way next to Hopkins.

This movie isn't terrifying but the scares are more scary images. I liked the story but it's another book to film type movie so the stories are usually bearable. I'd like to read the book to see how American they made it.

While this film was forgotten by most I suggest it to those who enjoy a good exorcism/demon/scary film. It would ruin your sleep but it's interesting and Hopkins is in it. Win.

3/5

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Dangerous Method (4)



(Watch the Trailer)

2011 David Cronenberg film looking at the lives of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud and the time they spent as friends.

I am sure that everyone knows who Jung and Freud are but I doubt they know the story as it is told in this film. I was surprised by their collaborations as I only know a little about either doctors/professors but I found both of them utterly interesting and powerful. No doubt this was because of who they got to portray them.

Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglorious Basterds) is quickly becoming a face that everyone should know and appreciate. There is something magnetic and strong about this man and he is beautiful and talented when he becomes his characters. I found his performance to be powerful and complicated but I think he did a great job being Jung.

Viggo Mortensen as Freud. Yes please. I was looking forward to him in this movie and he nailed it. He really did. Never a disappointment that man, high five to you Viggo. Also, I don't think Freud was as good looking as you with that beard and cigar...just sayin.

This is the first time in a long time that I actually thought Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go) could act/was talented. She owned in this movie. She really did an amazing job and I hate to say it but her character was the most complex but she seemed to flow into the role with ease and power. Really amazing transformation and it was refreshing to see.

If you like psychology/social sciences, the work of Jung and/or Freud or any of the actors mentioned above I high suggest seeing this film. Even if your interests are not peaked by those things I suggest watching this movie when you want a drama with some intelligent conversations and strong performances.

Good movie. A little sidetracked at times I found and it didn't focus on what I really wanted to see but that's not what the script was made for. Still, solid flick.

Bonus: Vincent Cassel (Irreversible)

4/5

Forks Over Knives (5)



(Watch the Trailer)

2011 documentary by Lee Fulkerson about wholefood plant based diets.

This is the most powerful documentary I have seen to date because it is about me and everyone I love. At the same time it didn't make me feel helpless or shameful. It didn't make me feel like an idiot for the way I live (well, kind of, but that's because I'm hard on myself). It just made me realize that I can help myself and others by eating things that are best for me.

I have watched numerous movies about not eating animals and why to be vegan and have read many articles and blogs and talked with vegan/vegetarian friends, yet this movie makes me want to convert more than anything ever has before.

The facts are there. They don't aim for over all shock factors or to dangle things in front of you only to talk about who's right and who's wrong (they do kind of touch on that but not much). They just tell you exactly what is true and from different perspectives with honest case studies and BAM. As a movie the information and interviews could've been edited different and arranged better so the movie flowed better but who cares, it's the information that matters.

Try it or not, you have to agree that what you see in this movie is proven in every way it could've been.

I'm starting right now.

5/5

More info: http://www.forksoverknives.com/

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Season of the Witch (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

Nick Cage as Nick Cage being a knight of the church.

I joke. I actually am one of the few who still really like Nicholas Cage (Moonstruck, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer's Apprentice). I know he is the same in almost every movie but I like him in every movie so I will keep liking him. I find him entertaining and he does fun[ny] and different kind of movies. N. Cage for life.

This movie is not what I thought it was going to be at all. I thought it would be painful, corny and ultra lame but a solid N. Cage flick that I could sit back and be entertained by. It was a little bit of those things but then it also had all this history and THEN the story turned into this crazy paranormal adventure with this creature and what not...cool. Knights, swords, battles, witches, demons, the plague and Nicholas Cage. Win win win. So much win. I liked this movie way more than I should have.

Yes, it was corny at times. Yes, a lot of the history is laughable and they make shit up but who cares it's all about imagination and acceptance. Yes, the ending is hilarious. Yes, sometimes Cage has an accent sort of and sometimes he has blond hair and then not.

Who cares. You knew it wasn't going to be great.

If you like stories like this or Nicholas Cage then you will like this movie. If you watch the trailer and roll your eyes then don't watch it. It's perfect for those of us in the first category.

N. Cage, you rock. I will add a .5 just for you.

3.5/5

Ju-on:The Grudge (4)



(Watch the Trailer)

The 2002 original horror flick by Takashi Shimizu (Japan).

The best thing about this movie is that it isn't just a horror movie. Mind you, it's scary now and again, but I found it more creepy than anything. By not just a horror movie I mean that apart from the scares it's a dramatic, mysterious thriller that involves a murder investigation, teenagers, many families and strangers over a long amount of time. It was so interesting. Then on top of that they decide to scare you...magical. All you ever need in a movie (unless all you watch are comedies...not so many funny parts).

I didn't find it scary but it definitely was really creepy. I bet that most people would pull the blanket up close to their eyes during most of this movie. They really start off with a bang and don't stop until the credits roll. I heart Asian horror, they really know how do to it.

I have to watch the American version now but I'm guessing it's not as scary. The cat-kid alone was creepy enough to cause most people to turn the lights back on.

Not surprised, like I said, Asian horror is the only way to go. It's guaranteed to be good.

4/5

It's Kind of a Funny Story (3.8)



(Watch the Trailer)

2010 comedy/drama by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

A sixteen year old checks himself into a psych ward when his dreams of suicide become too real.

Any movie that says it has Zach Galifianakis (Puss in Boots, The Hangover Part II, Due Date) in it means it will be funny. The one thing I never expected with this movie was how heartfelt and character driven it would be, especially concerning the one and only Galifianakis. He was a really strong character in this movie and really made it worth the watch. He was funny but emotional and magnetic on screen (more than he usually is). Being funny isn't as easy as you would think but being funny and also being able to stay diverse is even harder and I truly believe Zach Galifianakus has the art of awesomeness down. Yup. Like.

The teenaged boy Craig (Keir Gilchrist) was interesting. I didn't like him at first and thus found the start of the movie a little slow and messy but once you get to know the kid and he starts opening up you kind of have to love him. He grew on me.

The other characters are all interesting and some of the scenes are just ridiculous but not in a stupid way, in a "this takes place in a mental institution" kind of way. Hilarious and awkward. I liked it. It was a cute little film about depression and how you can find yourself in the most unusual places.

There was some corny moments and the ending was less than amazing. Still...

Like.

3.8/5

Friday, November 4, 2011

Attack the Block (4)



(Watch the Trailer)

2011 independent sci-fi/action/comedy by Joe Cornish.

A teen gang defend their block from an alien invasion.

I loved this film. I thought it was new, exciting, scary, hilarious and with some really cool aliens.

At first I didn't know what to think of it because the kids are actually dicks and they mug people and just want to beat things up. That's ultimately what the majority of the movie is, angry teenaged boys chasing dog-like aliens around and saying hilarious British slang. Once the action really started it was more than that though. Some of the characters started to develop and the story thickens. They are the unlikely heroes and I liked that about this film. A sci-fi with a thin line between good and evil. Well done.

Some of the effects were awesome, especially the gore. I was surprised by how well done it was. There were times when they didn't show a lot of attacks and other times when they zoomed right in. Because of that the movie had a great pace and even better suspense.

This is one of my new favourite sci-fi action films. I also think it's borderline horror/thriller but nothing too scary.

Loved the look of the aliens. Really liked the plot and the characters (by the end).

Bonus: Nick Frost.

4/5

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Puss in Boots (4.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

I would just like to mention how I do NOT liked the Shrek movies and I have no idea what caused me to watch this movie besides wanting a short, mindless flick. I am happy to confirm my dislike of Shrek but my love of Puss in Boots.

This movie was such an adventure tangled in with fairy tales that make the imagination sore. I can fully understand why every child wants to see this movie and I highly recommend taken them because it is awesome. It's also awesome for parents because they add in some cheeky jokes that are a little more PG-13 but the kids wont know they even happened.

LOVE Puss. The cutest cat ever. Love the story between him and Humpty and LOVE that Zach Galifianakis is the voice of Humpty. Rockin.

I love cats and am a crazy cat lady and love this movie. I want to teach my cat how to fence. I think that would be awesomesauce.

I have nothing more to say except this movie rocked and I loved every minute of it and think you will too.

Heh. Fighting kittens.

4.5/5

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another Year (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

A look at the life of an older couple over the course of a year.

As soon as I saw that Jim Broadbent was in this movie I wanted to see it. I love that guy, he's such a cute, old man. He was the best part of this movie. His facial expressions and side glances were amazing and I felt connected to him more than anyone else even though the story mostly focused on other characters.

This movie was very real. It was just like going home to your own family and hanging out. I did like the way they paced the year (because the movie looks at the lives on people over one year) but I found it slow. Slow because although a lot can happen in a year there are also those days where nothing overly important happens...which doesn't make for a very interesting film.

I found it hard to keep track of characters. They would mention someone in a scene and then 30 minutes later they would just turn up and not explain who they are and you sit there trying to piece it all together. A little bit distracting when the conversation has no relevance because the context isn't there when you have no idea the relationship between them.

Mary was a bit much for me but I think Lesley Manville nailed the character...she just drove me crazy and I felt sorry for her and it was like hitting my head against the wall.

While I was watching the movie I found it depressing and long with hints of cute. When it was over I thought of it a little more and liked it a bit more as I thought of the characters and how they evolved over the year. Really though, it wasn't enough for me.

If you like dramas, British films or slow paced, day to day life sort of films you'll probably like this.

3/5

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

The beginning of the story and bringing a close to this epic trilogy (See also, Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2).

I heart all of these movies and was excited when I heard they were making a third one. I really love that they went back to when the girls were kids, it was really the best idea ever and created a whole other layer to the story. It also made it that much more creepy.

I liked that they added some more research and some history to this one, talking of possession of girls and waiting until puberty yadda yadda...but that is all true (if you believe in the paranormal). That for me got me interested in what was going on and helped me feel sympathy, emotion and additional thrill.

This is, in my opinion, the least scary of them all. I admit that I find the scare level of these films slowly declines for every movie. The first is by far the best and the second held its own but the third is all about the story. I didn't jump once or really feel the suspense I am used to with these movies but I still liked it and thought it was really interesting. Mind you, it takes a lot to scare me sooo, it's probably still scary.

The kids in this film kicked ass. They rocked it.

Best scene: the bloody Mary scene. Awesome and the best part of the movie.

It's worth it to tie it all together. Some crazy stuff still happens though but not enough to make me jump.

Cannot wait to watch all three together now!

3/5

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Real Steel (3)



(Watch the Trailer)

A down-and-out ex-boxer is reconnected with his son after 11 years. His son takes an instant interest in his profession, robot fighting, and the two find the fire to rekindle a long lost bond.

This movie is exactly what you think it is. It's an action movie about fighting robots with the added drama of a father and son bad relationship.

The two together do not really work in this movie. A slow mo fighting Hugh Jackman shot, cut to child brimming with emotional tears, cut to Jackman's love interest brimming with tears, cut back to slow mo robot fight just didn't work. I was laughing during every single emotional scene. That being said, I got exactly what I came for with this movie. I was expecting a masterpiece and knew it wasn't ground breaking cinema so I enjoyed the laughs rather than over think them.

The fights were not so impressive but I thought the robots were really cool. The idea is appealing to me as an action movie lover and I enjoyed all the different robots and the short-but-sweet explanation of how present day boxing became robot fighting. Pretty cool concept. This movie could've been a lot darker, gruesome and not-so-PG but I can see why they wanted this to be a little more family friendly (see also, money).

Hugh Jackman (Australia) is an all time favourite of mine. Ever since the first X-Men movie I have followed his career with bells on. I like how he is so diverse and talented and yet at the same time doesn't take himself too seriously. That's probably why he is still making solid box office rocking flicks while keeping his dignity. Yes, even after this movie (it was #1 at the box office for awhile and is now happy at #2).

The kid was pretty annoying. I like him at first but then after he kept yelling with a breaking voice and running around being all weird smiles and wide eyed I started to get irritated. Sorry buddy, it was a great attempt though and you done good.

I liked the look and personality behind Atom and was generally interested in the outcome of this movie and the robot. I can't say the same for the humans in the movie though, especially most of the side characters. The stereotypes were at an all time high and rather than find it amusing I found it kind of stupid. Meh.

It's a movie about fighting robots. You know if you'll like it or not. This is a movie that you don't really need me to tell you if it's worth while or not. I liked it because I would like a movie about fighting robots. Dig?

3/5

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Tree of Life (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

A film about life.

This movie is quite abstract and could be about many things. While trying to figure out exactly what that was I found myself lost in a reality that hurt like it was real but was surreal like a dream. The story behind the beautiful is something I think most people can relate to. The way it was shown is entirely cut and paste which is confusing at times but once you let the fact that this movie is not linear sink in your heart takes over.

This movie is part amazing drama and part nature video. It was like Baraka meets The Hours or something. A heart wrenching story with images that distract but then multiply into a modern view on life. At least that's what I felt it was. Nature and grace, like the movie says. But why can't there be both? The choice of images made me feel that this was the idea they were trying to get across. It will probably mean something entirely different to everyone.

I found the ending a bit long and repetitive. There was probably an artist reason behind that but I found it took me out of the story that I had accepted over the last hour and a half. Also Sean Penn isn't really even in this movie so I don't know why his name is on all the posters.

Brad Pitt was decent in this film. It's hard to talk about peoples performances because the movie was up and down and all over the place so it was hard to lock down on a scene and really get a feel for any one character. Except the kids, the kids were awesome. Jessica Chastain was beautiful in this movie and really fit the character well which was important.

Terrence Malick, the director of The Thin Red Line makes some great movies and this one is very different yet still had the same tone as most of his movies have.

I liked it but I didn't love it. I can see why it is getting all these awards and is successful with the critics but I also see why it didn't dominate the box office or get high ratings with us non-film student types. As cinema it was stunning, as a movie it lacked in anything solid enough to really grasp. I did like the whole concept and enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. It's a heavy movie though, an epic drama, but I suggest watching it if only to have your own opinion.

It's one interesting drama, that's for sure. Quite different from what I have seen before. I liked some parts more than others but over all it's a good film.

3.5/5

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gogol Bordello Non-Stop (4.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

If you don't already know Eugene Hutz then I feel sorry for you.

Wait. Let's try that again.

If you have never heard of Gogol Bordello or their leader Eugene Hutz then you really should try your hardest to do so so your life can become more complete.

Gogol Bordello, the Gypsy Punks of the world, have been in my top 10 fav bands since I first heard them back in 2004. Their music is new, original, innovative rock with a splash of insanity that makes it impossible to not dance to and utterly possible to become obsessed with.

If their music wasn't enough for you than Eugene Hutz should fill in all blanks. He is smart, beyond talented, poops creativity and energy and eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This guy knows his stuff but has not had an easy life, so while he has a thick skin, his brain hides away pumping the good juices 24/7. Delicious juices. There are so many quotable lines from his lips during this documentary and although he might look goofy to you don't let his outfits fool you.

I have been to a couple Gogol shows and the footage they include is awesome because that's what it looks like. I have never experienced a concert going experience like the one at a Gogol show. The energy is hard to describe. You can see this in the movie.

While being a fan helped in following along and understanding the fast and sometimes randomness that is this movie I think it's a great look at this fast and sometimes random band that is exploding into the world.

They also look at the underground music scene in NYC in the early 2000s and you follow the band as they go from clubs, to stage, to international fame.

I'll end this here because I could go on forever. If you like punk/rock/gypsy/international/new music and don't know them yet I suggest doing so. If you do know them and like them then you will like this documentary. Gogol aside I think this is one of my new fav music docs, next to It Might Get Loud.

Band website: http://gogolbordello.com/

4/5

The Last Exorcism of Emily Rose (4)



(Watch the Trailer)

Following The Last Exorcism I decided to try another exorcism film in hopes of finding something worth watching. I found it. Thank you Netflix.

As I am interested in the paranormal I have read, heard and seen things from the real Emily Rose exorcism back in the day (the real name and audio files can be found on youtube but it's scary as hell, you were warned). So the fact that they made a film about it got me interested because I am a sucker for based on true story movies.

I was surprised when Jennifer Carpenter was Emily Rose. I love Dexter and it's my favourite show on television but Deb is one of my least favourite characters so I could never tell if Jennifer could actually act or not or if I hated her character. She can act. Man can she act. She can also make REALLY scary faces and move her body in weird and wonderful ways. She was awesome as Emily and I thought she nailed this part. While the story focused more on the Rev she was still amazing in her scenes.

I've always liked Tom Wilkinson (Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind) and was happy to see him as Father Moore. He seemed innocent and sweet but at times strong and powerful. So, well, very much like a priest. haha. He just fit the part well and I thought he was a great match for Laura Linney.

I've seen Laura Linney in a couple movies (Love Actually) but nothing huge that made me really notice her. She was good as the lawyer but he character didn't have a lot of intense emotional scenes compared to others so I found myself less interested in her than some of the other actors.

The story was great and while I doubted the direction the film took at first I quickly got sucked into the story and was following every detail. I liked the way they balanced the court scenes with the exorcism and didn't find anything hokey or exaggerated with the horror scenes. It seemed all very real and that probably means they did their research and really wanted this movie to be truthful. Some extra dramatic elements were added but other than that I loved it.

I'll add this my solid horror movies list and is a great exorcism movie. It's more drama/horror than thriller/horror but it scared me and some parts were burnt into my mind which made it hard to fall asleep. Well done.

4/5

The Last Exorcism (1.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

2010 horror/drama by Daniel Stamm.

A fake exorcist brings a film crew to his final exorcism to prove to the world that there are no real demons, just people with troubles. A young girl and her family are about to prove him wrong.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to see this movie. I think it was in theatres and I missed it so it went onto the back burner. Now I wish I had not wasted my time seeing it at all.

It wasn't scary. I was maybe in suspense for the beginning of one scene and then when that ended in nothing I lost interest and this continued for the whole film. The only reason I kept watching is because I kept thinking something would happen but it never did.

The story is interesting because it shows this new form of exorcist but other than that the characters and story were thin. To make up for that some extra blood and cool new exorcism scenes would have worked but they didn't do that. Oh well.

That's the thing I found with this film - it's all been done before. Nothing was new. Creepy girl with weird religious family yadda yadda. Some blood. Some suspense. Weird ending and the entire time you don't really see anything that's happening because people are running with the handy cam. Meh.

Probably my least fav exorcist movie to date. I really wanted this one to be good.

1.5/5

Monday, October 17, 2011

Withnail & I (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

1987 British comedy by Bruce Robinson.

"London 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their squalid Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside, courtesy of Withnail's uncle Monty's country cottage. But when they get there, it rains non-stop, there's no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited. Matters are not helped by the arrival of Uncle Monty, who shows an uncomfortably keen interest in Marwood..." (IMDB)

I had to look to IMDB this time for a synopsis because I'm still not entirely sure what this weird and ridiculous movie is all about.

When it started I was not prepared for, first the characters that were thrown at me, and then the lack of story that I kept waiting for. So what I thought this comedy was going to be quickly changed and instead I found myself trying to keep track of what these British people were saying. Some of the things were so ridiculous that I found myself giggling even before I decided to not care to figure the story out.

And that's the secret to this movie. It is bizarre British humour but almost to the point of being abstract and just weird to be weird. The characters ARE this movie and everything else is just there to support them as they wander around being eccentric, lost and ultimately hopeless in life. At first it's distracting, then it's funny and sometimes unnerving.

I thought I didn't like it at first. Then I started to really get into the characters and some scenes were so out there silly that I was laughing and having a great time. Then there were some awkward tense bits that confused me before being hilarious again.

Richard E. Grant (Penelope) makes this movie as Withnail. His character is almost impossible to define and yet was so magnetic to watch. You never knew what he was going to say or do next.

I still am not sure what this movie is about. Finding yourself? Friendship? Being an actor? Mental illness? Sexuality? Drugs? All of the above?

I think it is just about two friends who live completely strange lives. The story doesn't matter though, it's all about the characters and the mess they make.

The more I think about it the more I like it. I need to watch it again.

3.5/5

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Catfish (4)



(Watch The Trailer)

Nev gets a painting in the mail one day of one of his photographs. The girl who painted it is a 9 year old named Abby. Abby's mom is Angela. Her dad is Vince. Her half-sister is Megan. Megan and Nev start talking on the phone and after 8 months Nev and his friends decide to spring a surprise visit to the family...

I want to continue the summary but I'll give things away. This is definitely way more suspenseful and shocking if you don't know much so bare with me for my review.

I feel like everyone was talking about this film when it came out and everyone was telling me to go see it. I really had no idea what to think of it but everyone claimed that I would never guess the ending and that the story is unbelievable.

I have seen movies like this before. I honestly knew what was happening even before Nev figures it out, but maybe that's because I've always be aware of how much information is online and how easy it is to believe what people tell you. It was because of this that the movie didn't have as harsh an affect on me as it did most people but that doesn't mean it was bad. Not at all, I really enjoyed it.

The edits, the 3 friends together, Nev himself and where the movie does go (and how they keep going) is what kept me glued to the screen. I thought the pace was perfect and it really did feel real and truthful because they didn't leave anything out.

This movie actually broke my heart a little bit. I'm more sad than shocked and more depressed than scared. This story has to be learned though and everyone should see this film. The more people who do, the smarter our society will be and the smarted individuals will (hopefully) become.

I want to say more but it will give the whole thing away so I will have to leave it to that.

Solid documentary. Striking story. Probably not what you were expecting...

4/5

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

50/50 (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

Inspired by true events, this comedy is about a 27 year old who finds out he has cancer and has a 50/50 chance of survival.

I absolutely heart Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Hesher, 500 Days of Summer) and all he does (as you probably know by now). This movie is no exception. This was such a personal look at cancer and what it can do to someone and I thought it played the part quite well. Although at times I wanted a little bit more I quickly realized that that was the way his character was and not until the car scene (you'll know the one) did I really see into this man. That's the thing, you do feel for him and don't want him to suffer but you also don't get a lot out of this character until the movie really gets cooking and I thought that was an interesting approach.

Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet) is someone that I was never sure about until recently and now I know I like him. He is goofy but not ridiculous (see, Will Farrell) and emotional but not stupid. I like his style of comedy and him as a person and the fact that this story was about his friend and his experiences meant that much more when you see him on the screen.

Anna Kendrick is quickly sneaking up to be one of my new favs. Okay, she was really girly like in the Twilight films, but don't hold that against her. She held her own in Up in the Air and the more I see her the more impressed I am. She was really cute in this movie and I liked her character a lot.

I thought the balance between comedy and drama was tipped more towards to drama but the comedy is good and I was laughing a bunch. I thought it was going to be more comedy so I got a bit of a surprise when it tipped the other way but it totally worked and the emotions were running high by the end. Let's just say that I wasn't the only one who was sniffing and trying to hide their tears.

One complaint is that about 3/4 the way through the movie seemed to reeeaally slow down and it was like not much was happening. It was a bit on repeat and I started to get kind of bored but I suppose that needed to happen so the ending was more intense but it brought me out of the movie for a bit which sucked.

A different way to look at the disease and some interesting characters were backed by good scenes and some great laughs. Some parts slowed too much which took away from the strength of the movie at times but I liked it.

Bonus: That damn dog.

3.5/5

Valhalla Rising (2)



(Watch the Trailer)

I had heard that this movie was so gory and awesome and full of vikings and blood goodness. I was really disappointed in this movie. I also was looking forward to it because it was the same director as Drive but that movie was WAY better and actually can't even be compared at all. So lame.

One. All everyone ever does is stare. It's not that there isn't a lot of dialogue, that's not the problem at all. It's literally a lot of shots of guys looking at other guys or mountains or trees or fog and then back to each other. Boring. No expression on any one's face when all you see are faces is boring after, well, 10 minutes and this movie felt like 4 hours.

Two. The story was nothing. I had actually no idea what was going on ever except that they were going from one place to another. I assume it was Canada and Indians and stuff but I'm not sure. Also, I think it's actually Scottish people and not Vikings so the title of the film kind of leads you on. I guess Valhalla has a better ring to it than Hell though. I'll give 'em that.

Three. Anytime there was action it was quick, gross and great. The gore, the few times it happened, came out of nowhere which worked and then was really graphic. If there had been a little more of that the movie would've been way better.

Four. It was beautiful. The movie is all landscapes and arty shots. Really beautiful set ups and backgrounds but when you are still on something for 2 minutes without it moving and no talking or music it is more stationary than needed. Aka, boring.

I wanted to like this movie more than anything and when I saw it on Netflix I was super pumped and turned it on without a second thought. Then I sat there. And sat there. And little things happened. Then I sat. And sat. And people died. And I sat. And it was over.

I didn't like it. I did think the little bit of gore was good and the main guy was good and some of the shots were beautiful but either I missed the point or it never had one.

2/5

Monday, October 3, 2011

Drive (4)





(Watch the Trailer)


2011 action/crime movie directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising).

A stunt driver who acts as a driver for heists when he's not working falls in love with his neighbour and finds himself stuck helping her ex-con husband on a theft. It goes wrong and he finds himself sucked in even further in order to help her and her son stay out of harms way.

Once again, Ryan Gosling is the man (All Good Things, Crazy Stupid Love). His character this time around was the silent, mysterious type but you know deep down he has a secret he is trying to run from. As the movie gets to the meat of things and the first scene that his other side comes out was so powerful. The whole time he sat there barely speaking or moving much and then suddenly he is this tank of action and violence. Once this side of him is out there it's like he can't control it and, in a way that is almost frightening, goes from person to person until it's all over. What a character to play, he did the action scenes really well and he did the pleasant to serial killer transition with ease. So many layers to this character and Gosling nailed them all (no surprise).

While you don't really see much of Carey Mulligan ( Never Let Me Go, An Education) I loved that she was in this movie. There is just something about this girl that I find magnetic and when she smiles I smile. I like her and thought she was a great supporting role for Gosling.

At first the movie is slow and there isn't much dialogue. You sit there and wonder why this was an action movie while not really realizing how sucked into the story you have already become until the first scene when everything starts going down and then you are hooked. I found the drive scenes to be thrilling and filled with suspence. The hand to hand combat had some new moves that had me vocally appreciating them when they happened. Some of them were pretty gorey and it was a happy surprise. The action suited the main character which I found interesting. For example, the fact that he never used a gun really appealed to me and completely fit this mysterious character. Awesome merging of the elements there.

Music was interesting and not what I had expected but not in a bad way and the story was over all decent. When the credits rolled I didn't feel like I missed anything or that I was confused, it was done and the story was complete and that was that. The end.

Liked it. Wouldn't say I loved it but I would definitely watch it again. Solid action flick.

4/5

Zardoz (2.5)




(Watch the Trailer)

Set in the future, humans are controlled by their god Zardoz and one man sets out to find the truth.

Okay. I have no idea why I had never heard of this movie until now. Not only does it have Sean Connery in the most amazing sci-fi outfit known to life but it's Sean Connery as Sean Connery in a 1970s sci-fi movie. B rated sci-fi. Delicious.

The whole movie I spent with my mouth open just laughing and/or thinking WTF is GOING ON?! 105 minutes of confusion, randomness, more confusion and Sean Connery's thighs. This is awful. It really is so bad that it is slightly good. This is the worst movie and yet the best example of 70s sci-fi where everyone must have been tripping out or on something to make the stuff that they did. There were a lot of floating heads...

This movie is only good for one thing: laughs. No wait, two things: laughs and Sean Connery.

I don't have all that much else to say. If you don't like sci-fi don't even bother because I feel like only sci-fi fans can find even the remotest reasons to want to watching this movie. Unless you really like Sean Connery in a Mankini. I have to post a photo of him in full gear so you understand...




Wow. Yes. This. Watch it for this because besides consistent random shots of boobs there isn't a whole lot of other reasons.

2.5/5 (the .5 is for Sean Connery's outfit).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

All Good Things (4)




(Watch the Trailer)


"Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed." (IMDB)

I have no idea why I had never heard of this movie before but it was one of the best crime/drama films I have seen in awhile.

Ryan Gosling (Crazy Stupid Love, Blue Valentine) I am really starting to believe that you are the best thing. Really though, he might be my new favourite. I have yet to see him in something that I didn't like. I have yet to say a single bad thing about him. I like his style. I cannot wait for the next movie with him in it. Just, yes. So good. He freaked the hell out of me in this movie. His character was charming and sweet but you could see this coldness in his eyes that chilled you. I didn't trust his character from the start and that is huge. When one look of the eye convinces you not to trust him. What pure talent. So exciting to see. Okay, I'll stop now. AWESOME!

Kirsten Dunst has always been a tough call for me. I generally do not like her in movies because I felt like she acted the same in every single film but I highly enjoyed her in this movie. I don't know if I haven't been watching the right films with her in them but I thought she did an extra impressive job as this character. I genuinely cared for her and was angry when she was hurting. I like when that happens and now I will look at her with different eyes.

This movie is based on a true story and I'm not sure how much was actually true or not but for some reason I get more into a story if I know it really happened. This is an insane story because it looks at how one incident in this mans childhood shapes him into the man he now is. The evil that can be behind one pair of eyes is something that most people would not see coming and I thought this movie showed that with perfection. The suspense in this movie almost killed me as I drifted into the film and couldn't leave until the credits rolled.

Such a fantastic movie and I'm so glad I decided to watch it. The movie build and build and builds and you are on the edge of your seat and then it all goes down. So well edited and the placement of each scene and every element was so well timed. Love it.

If you like drama/crime films you will like this.

4/5

Gamer (3)




(Watch the Trailer)


In the not so distant future when gaming involves real life people being controlled by real life players in a real environment, a boy controls the life of a convicted murderer in a game called Slayers. The question is, what is real?

I know that in real life Gerard Butler is kind of a dink but I always like him in every film I see him in. Yes, some of the movies are bad, but he is what makes the movie not a total waste of time when I watch it. This movie was no different, while the film itself had potential really all I remember is watching Gerard Butler kick ass and I always like when that happens.

Michael C. Hall played such a weird character. I thought he nailed it though...he was so weird. Dexter is my all time favourite television show and he was nothing like Dexter in this movie. I love when I see that, sometimes actors can't play in different forms and so television actors don't perform as well on stage or on the big screen but this was not the case. Well done.

The story was interesting to me. I enjoy seeing where and how far they will go when movies look into the future. This one seemed rather realistic though as games try to get more and more real and what is more real than someone actually dying when you shoot them. I know that you are thinking that is wrong and how awful but think about it, we aren't that far off from this. Hate to admit it but it is true. Escapism is what our society depends on...but enough of that.

The movie was great and then as they began to try to explain things further they started to lose it. I'm not sure if it was because it was an action flick and then they started to get serious while still keeping the fast pace or if because of that they kept switching from scene to scene way to quickly or maybe I just wasn't grasping it, but they lost me. And didn't get me back because the ending was shitty. It was. They build and build and this guy isn't supposed to be able to die and then he just does and that is that. Like. Really?! Boom. Easy. Dead. Credits. WTF? Hate it.

So the ending ruined the movie and about half way through it got too messy which sucks because it started out so well. Meh. It happens I guess. Still, a good sci-fi action flick. Gerard kicks serious ass.

3/5
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