Hello to all out there.
Just to let everyone know, I'm taking a week off of posting reviews this week, yet I'll be back next week with at least two maybe three reviews.
Thanks for understanding,
Thursday, June 23, 2011
GREEN LANTERN (2011)
Directed by Martin Campbell
Ryan Reynolds - Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
Blake Lively - Carol Ferris
Peter Sarsgaard - Hector Hammond
A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.
I noticed something as I've been working on this blog. It's nothing really major, more of an observation. I found out when I truly like a movie and I write up the review for it, that review is harder to write. I think the reason for this is that there is just so many points to mention that I have to edit it as I write. Be it from characters, story, or actors or actresses. When a movie hits right I don't want to give too much away and give away the surprises in store for anyone that hasn't watched the movie. On the flip side, when I write a bad review it is infinitely easier due to I don't care if I give anything away as I want to try and keep people from wasting their time.
I should start off by saying that Ryan Reynolds was not bad in this movie. He actually did the best he could with what he was giving. Yet, the one point the movie missed with the character is that Hal Jordan is an asshole. Plain and simple.I'll get more into this later. Trust me it's not a good thing. If there was one actor who stood out the most it was Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond. You could tell he does not like anybody and was jealous of everyone. Even when Hammond goes all ape shit, Sarsgaard still put emotion in his role. But the one actor that nailed his role perfectly it would be Mark Strong as Sinestro. Sinestro is supposed to be a hard ass and believe he is better than anyone else and the actor and script fucking nailed it perfect. The one problem with this though is that there was not enough Sinestro in the movie. Hell, he was Hal's partner and trainer in the comics, also Hal was the one Green Lantern he trusted above all others. None of that was here unfortunately.
Now comes the part I been looking forward to. Did the movie drop the ball? Yes, it did. And hard too. The reason for this is simple. The script got what Hal Jordan is all wrong. I said earlier that Hal is an asshole, brash, and arrogant and the film did get that right up until he got the ring and went to Oa. The reason why he is an asshole, is that Hal knows he's better than almost anybody and he's not afraid to show it. Him whining on Oa after the beating he took would never have happened. He would have gotten up and said "Let's try this again." And what the hell was those scenes on Earth with him bitching and crying. The whole point of the character is that he doesn't let fear affect him, he overcomes fear. and this was not happening. Another complaint I had was the obvious product placement in Hal's first appearance as Green Lantern on Earth. I know that all movie companies want to make money on toys and such, but the giant racetrack construct was just too much, and that was the only reason why it was in the movie to begin with was to sell a toy. I do know that the original script by Geoff Johns was completely different than what was filmed, as Johns has written the character for over six years and is the reason why the character is so popular now, yet I do know that after Johns handed over his script at least 20 other people got there hands on it and re-wrote the movie that we have in theaters now. And those changes are not for the better.
Even though the movie could have been better, one easy way for this to happen theycould have kept away from Earth after Hal got the ring. You could tell that once on Oa the film opened up a amazing world of possibilities that could have been. And that's the main problem with the movie, the could haves. Just Hal's training with Kilowog, Tomar -Re, and Sinestro could have gone on for the rest of the movie and I would have been a happy camper just watching Hal and these three together. While the movie was flawed it still did a good job of setting up the next movie, if it's made, thanks to the end after the first of credits. I cannot say I recommend the movie to everyone as fans of the source material will be up in arms for most of it, but then again I am a fan of the comic so my view on the character is based on that, yet for people that don't know the character they might like it more than I did.
I can't really say there was any that really stood out.So here's a picture of Kilowog instead!
The dialogue between Jordan and Sinestro about power batteries was taken verbatim from the "Green Lantern" comic 'Secret Origin' storyline.
The film's primary antagonist, the fear entity Parallax, was chosen as part of a long-term strategy for successive films: Sinestro would be corrupted by Parallax and form his own Corps with Parallax as their power source, while other entities of emotional power (Ion, the Butcher, Ophidian, Adara, Proselyte, the Predator, Nekron and the Life Entity) and their Corps are planned to make an appearance.
An early draft of the script contained a cameo by Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern (Jordan's predecessor, whose powers were magical rather than cosmic). Scott was going to be the United States President, and near the end would reveal his own past as a Green Lantern to Jordan, and give him his blessing. He was later revised to become an agent of the Checkmate agency (the Checkmate membership stayed true to the comics), who would approach and offer Jordan membership. Later drafts finally wrote him out of the film, and replaced him with Amanda Waller.
The scriptwriters drew inspiration from both Emerald Dawn and Secret Origins storylines for the movie.
In the lineup of the Green Lantern Corp look for something that's not quite like the others.
I SELL THE DEAD (2008)
Directed by Glenn Mcquaid
Dominic Monaghan - Arthur Blake
Larry Fessenden - Willie Grimes
Ron Perlman - Father Duffy
A grave robber reflects on his life of crime.
This movie was another one that I heard about that was playing on festival circuits but was never able to get hold of or go and see. So once I got a copy of it, I had plans to watch it right away. Yet here it is a year later and I finally got around to watching it with JeNee (it was her pick for a movie).
Dominic Monaghan has to be giving credit more than anyone else in the movie cause he's the audiences connection to the film and he does a admirably good job at it. Not to mention him describing sandwiches is one of the best scenes in the film. While the flash back scenes are the true story and are fun to watch, as it's Monaghan and Larry Fessenden's characters making one mistake after another as grave robbers, it's his scenes with Ron Perlman that truly made his character become more fleshed out. But it is Larry Fessenden who draws the most attention when he's on screen. His look is perfect for his role as the senior grave digger Willie Grimes. But to really see the fun he has, wait until the end of the movie. Not going to say what it is, but it is classic! Not much more can be said of Ron Perlman as he does what he does best. That is to say he's just awesome!
The look of the film is truly amazing as you can tell it barely had a budget, but what the filmmakers pulled off, just goes to show how a little ingenuity can go a long way. From old country roads to cemeteries that seem huge, each set piece looks like it belongs in a big budget movie. The plot while it seems disjointed when put all together, as it does jump around a lot, it's that way due to the original script for the movie was as an anthology type of movie. Due to this the movie feels like a couple of episodes of Amazing Stories put together with couple of Tales From The Crypt for good measure. Not that this is a bad thing, but it does make the film lose focus in parts. Or you could say that it slows the movie down more than it should be, mostly in the interview scenes. I'm not going to go into the different scenarios that happen as that's where most of the fun in the movie is, but I will say the third mini-story is just a "what the" type story that it puts levity in the movie that wasn't needed, but yet it just adds to the film.
The only way to describe this movie is that it is a homage to the horror films of Hammer and EC Comics. It has the atmosphere of those classic films down to a science. It has the look of those old films as well, lots of fog from fog machines, backgrounds that aren't really there unless it's of the countryside or a actual location shot. Even the gallows humor is there that was present during those old movies. While it isn't the most original movie ever made, it is fun and a quick way to spend an hour and a half. The only problem I had is that I waited so long to actually watch the movie. All in all I don't have anything I can really complain about in the movie as it doesn't try to be more than it is, but what it does do it does surprisingly well!
Flying knife from out of nowhere.
A graphic novel of the film was released by Image Comics in 2009.
Scareflix has plans a sequel.
Look for a cameo from Angus Scrimm, the Tall Man from the Phantasm movies in the role of Dr. Vernon Quint.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
James McAvoy - Charles Xavier
Michael Fassbender - Erik Lehnsherr/ Magneto
Kevin Bacon - Sebastian Shaw
Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together,. Over time, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-MEN.
By now everyone can pretty much agree that the last two X-Men movies were a let down on a massive scale. Last Stand was to full of itself and broke away from the character molds set by the better first two. While Wolverine had two really good parts in it (Ryan Reynolds at the start of it and Liev Schreiber for every scene he was in) and the rest of the movie was just a big pile of shite. First Class has a lot to live up to, and to put the franchise back to where it should be. So does the movie work?
If there was one thing that this movie needed more than anything else it would have to be more of Micheal Fassbender as Erik Lenhsherr. Or I should say him hunting Nazis. Even though once Fassbender joins up with James McAvoy's Charles Xavier, who have an amazing chemistry on screen together, it cannot compare to the stand alone scenes of Lenhsherr working toward his personal goal and the tension that is on screen during those times. Fassbender is just such fun to watch during this. McAvoy's Xavier though has the largest character change in the whole movie. As Charles Xavier, he starts out as a smarmy, horny well educated graduate who is only at first interested in getting laid, yet changes once he finds out there are more mutants in the world than what he thought. Yet it's his meeting with Lenhsherr that changes him the most, as this is someone that he can openly talk to about his ideas that isn't afraid to disagree with him. This is what changes him from wanting to be a teacher and actually becoming one. Both McAvoy and Fassbender give their characters a human quality that was missing from the previous movies, as you truly care about what happens to them both. Kevin Bacon though seemed like he enjoyed his time as Sebastian Shaw the most, as every scene he was in he stole and for good reason.
The film moves at an amazing pace, as it seems like not line of dialogue or action is out of place or used to show something undue. Even though the main story is to stop the start of a war, the true story is the friendship of Xavier and Lenhsherr and the dissolution of it due to differing views of the human race. Even though it is talked about in the film, a whole hour could have been devoted to just that subject as discussed between the two characters, as the heart of the film is the two of them together. There's only two things I had a problem in with the movie. One was that Shaw's group isn't giving much dialogue or back story as they're just there, and are exceptionally powerful, as is Shaw. The other problem is of the character of Darwin, as he's used as the "token black guy". Enough said about that.
If nothing else, First Class reboots the X-Men franchise as Batman Begins rebooted the Batman franchise. It basically wipes most of the past movies away, though it keeps two characters the same that appeared in the previous films (you'll know who when you see them, as one of them has the best line in the whole movie). As for the team behind the camera for the movie, if Fox is smart they will keep all of them in place as they are the ones that made the film as good as it is. As far as comic book movies go, this is probably my second favorite one after The Dark Knight, as the film is compelling, smart, and actually has a soul to it that was missing from the previous ones and is probably the best movie I've seen so far this year.
Exploratory surgery with a coin!
Go fuck yourself.
Bryan Singer was approached to direct First Class, but declined due to previous commitments. Yet he stayed on as producer.
A telepathic battle between Professor X and Emma Frost was going to be in the film, but upon the release of Inception, the scene was scrapped.
Matthew Vaughn wanted everyone to drop their accents in their performances. James McAvoy was somewhat disappointed in this decision due to none of the main characters would have accents including Moira MacTaggert who is Scottish, due to he, himself, is Scottish.
The filmmakers hired an "X-Men" specialist to help the cast understand their roles.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
MOTHER'S DAY (2010)
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Shawn Ashmore - George Barnum
Lisa Marcos - Julie Ross
Patrick John Flueger (as Patrick Flueger) - Izaak 'Ike' Koffin
The sadistic members of a villainous family return to their childhood home to terrorize the new home owners and their guests.
Anyone that really knows me, knows I bitch about Hollow-wood remaking movies from the 80's and turning what was hard 'R' rated movies into 'PG 13' dreck for the mass audience's overly sensitive brains which I think is pure bullshit on a massive scale. Most of the time the remakes screw the main point of the characters. Let us take the remake of Friday The 13th for example. Since when the FUCK does Jason keep a prisoner? I will say that the first 15 minutes of the movie were good, but after that is was just pure shit plain and simple. Also, when did he have time to build that complex of a underground living quarters? He's supposed to be mentally handicapped, not a fracking genius at building traps and warning systems. Okay, that rant is done. So, as you can tell Mother's Day has a lot to live up to.
I have to mention straight out Rebecca De Morney. She just owned this movie as the mother from hell. She starts off all pleasant and apologetic, then out of nowhere she starts talking about how you have to punish those that misbehave. This is when you find out that her "children" are pretty much all screwed up, specially Ike, who after being slapped by Mother Koffin lightly for hitting one of the hostages starts crying about how he wants to be hit again. This pretty much explains the Koffin family dynamics straight out. Although she's not afraid to use threats and demeaning her family to keep them in line, you can tell she loves her family even with all of their flaws, in which one has more than the other three siblings combined. Yet she seems like the one character out of everyone that understands respect and devotion, though she is a complete psycopath. The only characters in the movie that are decent are Shawn Ashore's George, who Ashmore downplays everything which helps his character be the one grounded character in the film, and Deborah Ann Woll as the timid and afraid Koffin sister.
Director Darren Lynn Bousman is starting to impress me again. I first saw his work with Saw II which freaked me out in one part so bad that I wanted to jump up and down in crowded theater thanks to that damn needle pit. He showed he could build tension and keep a movie moving and interesting. Then Saw 3 and 4 happened. All the abilities he showed in two were gone and I was bored through most of both movies (save for company I was with). I had about giving up on Bousman then he released Repo! The Genetic Opera and I was floored again by what he really can do. With Mother's Day, Bousman is back and more in control than he has been in a movie before. The tension once the Koffins get back to their old home never lets up, the camera knows when it should stay static, and when to move the camera to create unease. Bousman has shown he has matured as a filmmaker.
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by this remake. Everything was pretty much well thought out, as there wasn't any real stupid characters, and it gets more and more violent as it moves along. It can be easily said that this movie truly shows what people are willing to do to survive, and how what can be considered the protagonist can easily become the antagonist giving the right situation, or wrong situation. I will say that I didn't like all the characters as some I felt were there to move the story along at a certain point, but all were fully fleshed out and have flaws. The violence when used, and it is used a lot, is there for a reason, just not for the hell of it, which is what became of the Saw franchise. Yet it's when the characters are one on one, whether it be talking or fighting, that the film becomes it's own entity that stands above what is put mostly in theaters, which it's a shame this one won't be, as it shows what a smart thriller can be without being dumbed down for the mass audiences that goes and sees movies.
The no-look shotgun blast through door brain pan remover.
Let me tell you something, Lady. If you hurt anymore of my friends I'll let your son die right in front of you.
Filming of a post-bank robbery scene was interrupted by the Winnipeg Police Service, who were actually investigating a real-life robbery that occurred in the city earlier in the day. WPS actually pulled their guns on the actors who were filming not far from where the crew was shooting.
Look for cameos by the original director and producer of the 80's version of the film, Charles and Lloyd Kaufman in the movie.
Jamie King fractured her tail bone on her third day of filming.