Haven’t really written here lately – my bad.
Just been busy working, traveling and spending time with the family. Was in Edmonton early November which was a blast, and was in Montreal last weekend for UFC 124.
Off to Raptors/Lakers this weekend.
Haven’t been in the movies watching mood for awhile but got back into it within the last week. Here’s reviews of movies I’ve watched since the last update:
2012:Boring really sums it up. 1/2*
Sorcerers Apprentice: I really hate Jay Beruchel, and this is at its core a kids movie, but it’s still fun. Lots of awesome FX and shit, and Cage is super into his role and throws in his usual amazing performance. ***
The Final Destination: Ugh. It’s like amateur filmmaker saw the first three years ago, had vague memories of them and decided to just go on that. It’s basically 82 minutes of just one gory death after the other – in 3D. However it does so many things wrong. There’s no subtly to it – it’s “Here’s the people that need do die – lets kill them”.
I wouldn’t mind that too much – if memory serves me right Final Destination 3 was basically the same – but the whole thing is just ugh. A lot of the deaths don’t involve the ripple effect – they involve some invisible force unscrewing screws or moving shit around. Plus before every death they give a preview of what the death is going to be – completely killing the whole “ooooh is this how they are going to die” suspense.
Also woulda been neat to see it in 3D. *1/2
Problem Child: So much is wrong with this movie. I watch it and all I can think about is how goddamn bad everything is in it. The direction, the pacing, the acting, the jokes. Everything. Yet I can’t help but still love it. Must be a nostalgia thing. Plus John Ritter obv. *****
Cats & Dogs / Beverly Hills Chihauaua: I can combine these into one review: they both absolutely fucking suck. You can feel the life draining out of you. Cats & Dogs especially. I think it was less than a 90 minute runtime but it just went ON and ON with no actual humour at all.
Also I have decided I really hate these movies with random celebrities doing voiceovers because unless they spell it out for me, I have absolutely no idea who they are. No joke I spent the whole of Cats & Dogs trying to figure out which one Nick Nolte was. Turns out he was the one with the second most screen(voice?) time.
Mr & Mrs Smith: Fun enough movie. Decent action, some LOL moments, probably ***-***1/2 although I benefited by not seeing the trailer beforehand and not knowing really much about it going in.
High Crimes: Initially a Joseph Finder novel. Decent enough I guess, but doesn’t come close to capturing the awesomeness of the book. Still not a bad way to kill 2 hours. **1/2
Parenthood: Can’t remember the last time I saw this movie but it was a LONG time ago. Was concerned I would have outgrown it or that it didn’t age well – boy was I wrong. Still as awesome as ever, and being a parent just made me appreciate it even better. Sometimes I forget how awesome Rick Moranis could be, then I watch something like this to remind me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll dig out Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Anyway, *****
The Good Shepherd: Very very very very boring. I gave up after about 30 minutes.
Breach: I knew the whole story about Robert Hanssen going in, so this one disappointed me a bit. There’s so much more to the story that could be told, and all the espionage shit that Hanssen did would have been a solid story. Large parts of this movie were pure fiction, and I figure if you are going to go that way you might as well go all out and make one kickass movie loosely based on the true story.
Still, decent enough and good acting performances all round. ***
The Expendables: I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the shaky cam, but in this context I think it worked, as it bounced from cool move to cool move and really brought up the intensity level. If you want to see a horrible example of it watch the final fight scene in the Hitman movie. Ugh.
Although like practically everyone else I do agree it was missing something. I think an ensemble cast would have worked better, when large parts of the movie were just Statham and Stallone. They also never really had fun with the movie and the actors that were in it. The lack of cheesy lines before killing anyone was a disappointment, and the Arnie/Willis cameo part was just AWFUL and a complete waste. ***1/2
Grosse Point Blank: I seen this a LONG time ago and couldn’t remember much about it at all. I think it’s lost a bit over the years, but is still a very solid movie. Must admit I am getting a bit tired of Jon Cusack though. Was good to see Minnie Driver I’ve loved her since her performance in Good Will Hunting. ***1/2
Harry Brown: Good movie, great performance by Caine. Would have liked to have seen more vigilantism and it was a little bit short of being “epic” but still very enjoyable. If you liked Gran Torino this is a must-watch. ***1/2 to ****
History of Violence: Great movie and recommended. Awesome sex scenes too. ***1/2
Flight 93: Fucking epic. *****
Up In The Air: Brilliant. ****
Shutter Island: Felt like it tried too hard to be epic but failed. Mostly stuck with it just to see how it all played out but was never hooked emotionally or anything. I haven’t read the book but it seems like the type of story that would be really awesome in book form(not knowing the story going on). **
The Sentinel: Nothing groundbreaking. Just a solid movie overall, with a solid enough storyline, and solid acting performances, Michael Douglas in particular his usual great self. Also oh boy Kim Basinger is old. ***
Crank 2: REALLY fucking out there in some places, and although large parts of it are hits, there are quite a few misses too. Still, an amazing fucking movie and better than the first one. ****1/2
Four Christmases: I think I remember a lot of people shitting on this movie when it first came out which put me off it, but I watched it and really enjoyed it. The meetup with Vinces mom was the best though – and Favreau stole the whole scene by simply eating chicken wings. Recommended as you’ll get some good lols out of it. ***
Death Wish: Ah, the one that started it all. As a standalone film it’s disappointing that he never did get retribution on the three thugs that started it all, including lol rapist Jeff Goldblum. Thankfully it’s just the beginning of a five chapter story. Watching a 25 year old movie is always awesome, because of shit like the HAIR and the PORN STAR MOUSTACHES. Even better is the complete and utter campiness of a lot of the actors, like the muggers. Apparently to be a mugger in the 70s you had to dance around a lot like a monkey. The opening in the grocery store is so fucking cringeworthy. Thankfully that just makes Charles F’N Bronson all the more awesome. ****1/2
Honey I Shrunk the Kids: God I miss you Rick Moranis. So awesome. *****
Planes, Traines & Automobiles: Will never ever ever ever ever ever ever get even close to tired of this movie. *****
Jackass 3d: Overall – meh. It was good, but not as good as the previous incarnations. I had to piss about halfway through the movie but held it in, and at no point during the movie did I feel like I was even close to pissing myself. 3D really didn’t affect it that much.
It was entertaining, there was some gross shit, but nothing gut-wrenchingly funny. Probs ***1/2 tops.
Jumanji: Hasn’t really passed the test of time, especially when it comes to production values. Still enjoyable tho. **1/2
Aliens In The Attic – surprisingly not awful. For those wondering that’s the movie where the old lady from Everybody Loves Raymond goes all Matrix Karate Kid on peoples asses. **
Get Him To the Greek: Boring with super unlikeable characters. A couple of laughs but that’s it. Did we really have to see Jonah Hill vomit 4 or 5 times on camera? Only good for Puff Daddy and Brands dad. **
Damage: Totally forgettable movie that you wouldn’t even watch it not for the fact that Stone Cold & Shane from the Shield is in it. Usual great performance from Walter Goggins who is always awesome. **
Faster: The Rock is BACK baby. While it wasn’t as awesome as it coulda been it was still a great and fun flick, and The Rock is awesome. ***1/2
Death At A Funeral: The one with all the black people. Short and funny. Worth a watch. Solid performances from all. ***
Death Sentence: Great flick. Kevin Bacon is the happy family man with two kids, until one of them gets murdered by a gang right in front of his very eyes. Bacon has the chance to get one of them put away for 3-5 years, but decides to sort things out HIS way.
Really solid revenge flick, with a lot more depth to it than the usual out-for-vengeance movies. It does have the usual issues in these type of movies where a businessman with no formal gun training becomes Rambo when a shotgun is placed in his hands, but meh what can ya do?
Lot of great camera work and a great job by the director on this one too. Highly recommended. ****
Mission Impossible: Watched this years ago and didn’t like it, but being into the spy novels and shit lately I decided to give it a try again. Enjoyable stuff. Bit crazy with the twists etc but it was fun. ***1/2
The Hot Chick: Oh wow, was this a surprise.
I had it downloaded from fuck knows when – and I was very close to deleting it due to how horrible most Rob Schneider movies are lately, plus this didn’t look good at all.
I’m so glad I didn’t because this was one fucking FUNNY movie. Some real great laughs, with lots of little funny bits thrown in. They didn’t go overboard with the main storyline and obvious jokes which really helped.
Highly recommended. ****
Salt: movie of the year. Non stop action, great story. *****