My Review of “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”

I was initially reluctant to even see the film “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”.

I kept reading/hearing about how gritty and realistic it was. I heard the scenes of violence were raw and leave you uncomfortable and cold. So of course, why would I even want to hand over my money for an ultimately depressing experience?

Well I ended up seeing the film finally, and when it ended I wondered? Was this the same great and gripping film I kept hearing about?

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My Review of “Quantum of Solace”!

quantumofsolace_galleryposter

“Quantum of Solace” the latest chapter in the Bond franchise featuring Daniel Craig as Bond is a direct sequel to the 007 Reboot “Casino Royale”. I should start my review by saying that I believe Daniel Craig now completely owns the role as James Bond. Even if he plays him here as a somewhat humorless, incredibly vengeful man on a mission in this latest adventure.

With a successful restart of the franchise in “Casino Royale”, does this movie deliver the goods?

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Movie Review: “Bigger Stronger Faster”

Could it be that on Friday night I saw what could be the best movie of the summer? 

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My Review of “Rambo”!

 

Movie reviewers can be total snobs.

Sure I review movies on my blog often, but I never have an inflated sense of self importance about something that is just my opinion. Reviewers are paid big money for their opinion, so why do most of them have this high and mighty attitude about films?

Basically what I am getting at is how the critics savagely trashed “Rambo” last weekend. If you believed them, you would think the movie is “gross”, “savage”, “pointless”. But I’m here to offer up a different perspective.

“Rambo” is one of the most violent and unrelenting films I have ever seen. Sure the plot is thin, and some of the acting is a bit off, but guess what? The movie is called “Rambo” and for anyone expecting anything more than a mindless good time at the theater, this film is not for you. Moreover, you were never a fan of “Rambo” to begin with.

Watching “Rambo” last Friday night in a packed theater was one of the best experiences I have had at the movies.

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My Review of “I Am Legend”!

 

When I first saw the trailer for the new Will Smith film “I Am Legend”, my 10 dollars were already reserved well in advance of the film’s release. To me, Will Smith is like the “Good Housekeeping” Seal of Approval. He rarely chooses a bad film to star in. From “Hitch” to “I Robot” to his acting tour de force in “The Pursuit of Happyness” this is a man who is synonymous with quality popcorn films.  I am glad to report that after seeing “I Am Legend”, his track record for quality movies is still intact. “I Am Legend” is an effective thriller that is carried by the powerhouse acting performance of Will Smith.

Click “READ MORE” For The Entire Review: (MINOR SPOILERS)

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My Review of “The Mist”!

The Mist 

Did you ever walk away from a film unsure of how you feel about what you just saw?

Well for the 1st time today that actually happened to me. I went to see a screening of “The Mist” today. While I can say for sure that I did not LOVE the movie, I didn’t exactly hate it either.

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My Brief Review: “Beowulf”!

Boring?

OK so here are my quick thoughts on the film.

The visuals and voice acting are top notch. The characters look very realistic. But this is a movie to be experienced solely on IMAX 3D. I don’t think this movie would have worked any other way.

As far as the story is concerned, it was the weakest part for me. The titular character of the movie is someone who is so annoyingly arrogant that you want to punch him in the mouth. Unlike King Leonidas in “300” who you instantly liked and rooted for, Beowulf is a dickhead. (Yup I called someone a Dickhead in a review. A new low? Whatever.)

In “Beowulf” during it’s admittedly thrilling last 15 minutes, even though he was doing some heroic stuff to save his people, I didn’t really care. Beowulf was unlikeable from the start and he was stuck in a dangerous situation that was of his own doing. So you kind of have a “Good for him” attitude with regards to his situation.

The few action sequences were pretty good. But again, the IMAX 3D made them what they were. It was cool to see limbs and bodies flying in my direction, which by the way for a PG-13 film it featured a lot of violence.

But once the novelty of the IMAX 3D wears off, I am left with the feeling that this film won’t translate well on DVD.

For the casual moviegoer seeking straight up action thrills, this is how I would break the film down:

The first 35 minutes were good set up, action, and it was fun experiencing the 3D.

The next 60 minutes dragged. I admit I even did some heavy blinking at times. And when you got me looking at my watch to check the time, there is a problem.

And the last 15 minutes featured some of the best action of 2007. So basically if you dont mind waiting an hour and 30 minutes to get your action kicks, then go see this movie. If you have ADD and need to see crazy non-stop action, this is not going to be your movie.

Again, don’t see “Beowulf” unless you see it in IMAX 3D. There just isn’t any other way to see it.

My Grade: C+

I’m going to go ahead and save you the $10 dollars: “Awake” Movie Spoiler!

Asleep... 

In 2005, My friend worked for a film company and she told me about a horror script she had read called “Awake”. “Awake” dealt with the unproven phenomenon of Anesthesia Awareness. Apparently some people during surgery have reported being able to feel what was happening while they were under the knife and immobile.

Scary shit if you ask me. My friend said the script she read was interesting, but the casting was awful. And she was right. The cast is awful. Jessica Alba is the hottest actress who lacks actual acting skills. And Hayden Christiansen is still trying to break out of the Anakin Skywalker typecasting.

They didn’t really have to ruin Sia’s “Breathe Me” by using it for this preview.

Anyhow, in my effort to save you the $10 dollars you would have spent on this mundane and predictable thriller, here is what happens according to my friend. I’m sure they tweaked it a bit since the movie was filmed a while ago, but you get the idea:

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My Review of “American Gangster”!

AG-Denzel & Crowe 

As a rule I do not buy anything bootleg, especially movies. When you buy a bootleg movie, you are stealing from the studios. But why should I care about the greedy studios making less of a profit? It’s rather simple.

When studios start to lose money through piracy, they only become interested in making safer PG13 fare that appeals to wider audiences in order to make the most money possible opening weekend. As a result, R rated fare for us adults starts to suffer and become scarce.

Look at the wussification of a film like the 1st “Alien vs Predator”. All of the “Alien” and “Predator” films were rated R. But this mash up suddenly became a PG13 affair. Why? Because more people can see a PG13 film instead of an R rated one. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed “Live Free or Die Hard”, it was not really the same as the other films in the series because it was a PG13 flick as well. In an effort to appeal to 13 year old kids we get the whole insulting “Yippe Kai Yay Muther(GUNSHOT)!” bullshit.

So as an adult, it saddens me that movies are getting softer and softer with each passing year.  

My cousin came to my house excited that he got a copy of “American Gangster” and wanted to watch with me. And I did not want any part of it. Bootleg movies are usually low quality, have bad visuals, bad sound, and I wasn’t in the mood to watch people go to the bathroom and obscure the screen while Denzel was doing something important.

But when my cousin put the film on, I was in shock. The movie was damn near DVD quality with perfect surround sound. Someone at Universal is going to lose their job over this.

Needless to say, I saw the entire film. How could I not? The opportunity to see a high quality copy of an unreleased film in the comfort of my living room (a week before it was to come out) was an offer I couldn’t pass up. And I must say while the fact that a high quality workprint leaked before it’s released is unfortunate, I think the film has nothing to worry about.

“American Gangster” is probably one of the best gangster films I have ever seen. And I have seen plenty of them. 

Denzel Washington steals nearly every scene he is in as the enigmatic drug kingpin Frank Lucas. A former driver for the notorious Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas makes his own name in the Harlem drug world after the death of Bumpy.

In an effort to provide a spoiler free review, the only thing I will say is that Frank Lucas is no “Scarface” and that is a good thing. “Scarface” is a modern classic because nostalgia factors into it greatly. Many people (mostly men) love the movie. And sure it’s fun to see Tony blow a mountain of coke up his nose and act crazy, but at the end of the day, Tony Montanna was a tacky mutherfucker. Did I just commit a man crime by calling “Scarface” tacky?  

Frank Lucas is the polar opposite. The man has swagger, class, and he is above showboating his wealth and prominence by disavowing the cliched over the top appearance that drug dealers seem to love and live for. This is a man that wears expensive classic suits and mens wear. He also utilizes his brothers and nephews as his hench men. But they are not just expendable henchmen, Frank organizes them all as legitimate businessmen who share in his wealth.

Frank is a man who buys his mother an expensive country home that exudes class. Having his family move into that house is a big “F-You!” to the previous owners because people like Frank’s family were probably working on the property before, not owning it.

Frank also lived a low key non drug dealer lifestyle. He ate at a local diner every morning, spent time with his family, and every Sunday he took his Mother to church. To see how this man operated is almost inspiring in a dangerous way. Because you root for him even when he is flooding the streets with Heroin so potent it is stringing out scores of people in Harlem. And this low key atypical drug dealer life style is what keeps him out of the eye of the law.

But of couse that changes. And this movie also stars a man who can rival Denzel in his starpower, and that is Russell Crowe. “American Gangster” is basically 2 movie in one. One movie is Franks rise to power, while the other is Russel Crowe as Detective Richie Roberts trying to make a name for himself by catching Frank. Both work together well and are equally engaging.  

The movie eventually intertwines and Russell and Denzel finally share a scene about 2 hours and 10 minutes into the movie. Their scenes together are of course what we expect from two of the best actors living right now. Excellent.

The direction by Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”) is pitch perfect. He brings 1970’s New York to life.  And for a film where the titular “Gangster” doesn’t do the typical bang bang, shoot em up stuff seen in other films, there was never a dull moment. 

Cuba Gooding Jr. does a great extended cameo as the uber-flashy Nicky Barnes. Props are also in order for rappers TI, Common, and The RZA for actually doing good acting work. Rappers are usually chastized for trying their hand at acting, but in this movie they brought their A game. This is not a Busta Rhymes “Halloween Resurrection” deal. These guys are good.  

Josh Brolin is also an effective asshole as NYPD Detective Trupo, a man who is so damn crooked you can’t help hating his guts. I must say Ridley Scott has a knack for picking the perfect jackass you enjoy hating as witnessed by Joaquin Phoenix role in Ridley’s other film “Gladiator”.

This movie will be a serious Oscar contender. The direction, writing, and especially acting were all great. I can see both Denzel and Russell getting nominated for Best Actor in the same year again. But this time it would be tricky since it would be for roles in the same film. I don’t know if that ever happened before.

And while I believe that Russell deserved the award in their last head to head for “A Beautiful Mind” (when Denzel won for “Training Day” when he was really a Supporting Actor in that film). I think Denzel has this one hands down. 

Washington’s performance is what brings this film to life. I don’t think any other actor in Hollywood could have portrayed Frank Lucas with the sense of gravitas that Denzel brings to the role.

“American Gangster” opens this Friday November 2nd. You all should go check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

My Review of “Rob Zombie’s Halloween”!

Michael

I was dragging my feet when it came to even writing about this movie. I mean why should I? It wasted my time.

But then I was compelled to share my point of view due to the fact that a lot of idiot fanboys loved the movie. And if you loved this movie, you are lacking some brain cells.  

Here’s my list of reasons as to why I think the “Halloween” remake is diabolically retarded.

After watching the movie it is basically explained that Myers became a serial killer because his step father was verbally abusive and called him a “faggot”, his mom is a stripper, and his sister is a whore who wanted to have sex with her boyfriend instead of taking Michael out Trick or Treating? Gimme a break.

Here is a major flaw with the film. No one cares about Michael’s childhood. No one wants to sympathize with him. He is supposed to be scary. It’s scarier when you dont know anything about the killer. But Zombie makes Michael a hero and in this film you don’t fear him. You almost root for him to kill people because they are all so damn annoying or just plain evil and deserve to die a painful cinematic death.

And by the way, someone would have smacked a rock over young Michael’s head in my old neighborhood if he went around acting the way he did. I’m just saying.  

The “remake” portion of the film: Rob Zombie managed to cram an hour and thirty minutes of the classic original movie into about 40 minutes time. That’s no accomplishment. Its stupid. Why spend the first half of the film with young Michael and decide to introduce Laurie and her friends about an hour into the film? Doing this just makes you wonder why the film is so disjointed. Why didn’t Zombie just do a movie about his childhood leading to Michael’s escape, and then maybe do a sequel which would then be the remake of part 1? Whatever. I’m over thinking it.

And no lie, as soon as Michael breaks out of prison, he automatically knows how to get to Haddonfield and knows who his sister is without even seeing her for 15 years. Please.

Scout Taylor Compton is NO Jamie Lee Curtis. Her version of Laurie Strode is an annoying stupid girl. She’s rude, loud, and jokes with her mother in a way no kid should joke around with their parents. She’s is also a jerk to the kid she babysits.  

Laurie and her equally stupid friends Annie and Lynda speak dialogue straight out of a young girls comments portion of a Myspace Page. “Sup Bitches! Wait for me!” and a lot of faux lesbian butt pinching and loud giggling. It’s annoying and unrealistic. And I swear once we meet the girls, Michael is already killing one of them like 10 minutes later. Annie and Lynda also look college age while Laurie looks like she is a freshman in HS.

Burning Questions:

How do these people not spot a 6 foot 8 man hiding behind a tree?

Was there a gym in the asylum because Michael looks like a bodybuilder. 

Why doesn’t Annie tell her dad (the town sherrif) that a 6 foot 8 man in a dirty mask was watching her and her friends walk home from school.

How does Lynda not realize her boyfriend Bob went from being 5’11 to 6’8 when Michael killed him and put a sheet over his body.

What’s the point of the girls making plans to hang out when Lynda and Bob wind up away from the plans and having sex in the Myers house of all places?

Michael not being able to drive makes it less scary.

And again Laurie Strode is a real jerk to the kid she babysits.

So what about the kills? The deaths in the movie are boring and repetitive and try to hide behind Michael being brutal. It’s like he tackles people, throws them around, then kills them. And it’s boring. This movie actually bored me because I have seen it already. I knew who was going to die and when because Rob Zombie just copied and pasted from the original.

The bottom line is that this movie was pointless and terrible. I’m not a huge fan of the Halloween Sequels. Part 2 was the best sequel and then comes 4 (which was technically a remake). The others suck including this one. Rob Zombie had a chance to reinterpret a classic for a new audience, but insted he feeds us white trash cliches and over the top (yet boring) violent kills, topless braindead girls, and so many horror movie icon cameos that it’s distracting. In real life William Forsythe is too old to be with Sherri Moon Zombie. And when Michael went in to kill Mrs. Strode (played by Dee Wallace Stone) I kept wishing she would turn into a warewolf like she did in the “Howling” and tear Michael’s ass up.

But it didn’t happen.

Avoid this movie at all costs.

B-