Posts Tagged ‘Film


Resident Evil: Retribution

I don’t know why I keep going out to see these movies. They’re so bad. I got over the fact that these films are not going to be accurate representations of the storyline or the atmosphere from the video games, but I always hope that there is going to be more to the story of each film than seeing the director’s wife hyper-stylized into being an action star.

The fight scenes are okay, but it just annoys me how the plot of every single movie has been “we have to get from point A to point B” and then the end of every single film has been “now that we’re at point B we are going to end the movie with a cliffhanger that shows that this is not our final destination and the past ninety minutes that you just spent in the theatre were entirely pointless because nothing was accomplished and there is so much more to the story, but you have to wait until the next film to see that.”

And then the next film rolls around, and there is no story, and nothing ever gets accomplished, ugh. I don’t know why I watched five of these movies. I need to stop.

Paul W.S. Anderson is trying to kill my favorite video game series.

Fuck you and your wife (Milla Jovovich).


The Cabin In The Woods Review

The really neat thing about Cabin in the Woods is how wildly fresh it is. I have yet to see a movie since Scream that has bended the boundaries like this movie has. What Scream 4 could not accomplish last year, Cabin did. And surprisingly enough, Cabin was finished before Scream 4 even had a solid script down. I’m really glad Lionsgate got ahold of this film, because they really know how to market a horror film, and I usually have faith with their choices in modern horror.

When I go into a horror movie, I look for a few things.

1) Does it scare me? Most horror movies now and days don’t really terrify me, so this bullet point is usually missed. Did Cabin in the Woods really scare me? Not really, but I did get that rush that I normally don’t feel in modern American horror. That exciting, on the edge of your seat, what’s going to happen next heart pounding excitement that a horror movie should give you. Cabin works it.

2) Does it surprise me? I’m not talking about those cheap thrills where everything is silent and then there is the loudest noise possible that sends you fleeing from your chair and spilling your popcorn all over the person in front of you. I mean true shock, the shock that gets you looking over at your movie buddy, both mouths open, speechless. Not knowing what’s going to happen next, and then when it happens you realize that deep down it’s the only way it could have happened. Yet again, Cabin gets this element of surprise just right. I didn’t see it coming, and yet the answer seems so simple.

3) Are there buckets of gore? I get serious about my bloody body parts. I am one that will firmly state that Hostel is not as gory as it appears. The camera shakes, it flashes away when anything happens, and the only thing I can say was “gory” was the eyeball scene. Not to rag on Hostel, but this is how a lot of gore goes down now and days in Hollywood so that can get a cushy R rating. Either way, I’d prefer gallons of phony gore than grotesque mutilations I can’t even see. Cabin is fabulously gory. The amount of blood and guts spilled everywhere is intensely fun.

and finally 4) Is it original? The reason I was a such a fan of Insidious last year, was because unlike many phantom paranormal films now and days, it was genuinely scary in the first two acts, and then in the third it did something surprising — it parodied itself. It was very slight, so that the average audience member maybe didn’t realize it, but I had a good laugh as the movie played with the average horror confinements. Cabin does this as well, but even better. It felt so original in its execution. I not once was bored by the plot. I suppose this means if you want to make an original horror movie in Hollywood lately, you have to spruce up the horror genre a bit. Make it entertaining. Tell the audience what they always pay money to watch, but don’t make it so obvious that we’re all getting a lesson in traditional horror themes (ahem Scream 4). I loved Cabin for its original parody of a  story, very much like why I loved Scream when I first saw it. And even more important, I was never, not once, bored.

I really don’t want to spoil anything about this movie.The twists are grander than any horror film I’ve seen in a while, and it was also super entertaining. The first act is fairly average horror set up, but if you’re not watching or listening close enough you’ll miss a lot of information, that once the second act hits make so much sense. The final third act is a drenching blood bath filled with terrors like you’ve never seen before.

There are a few things about this movie that were a little off, but the overall appeal of it makes up for the tiny let downs. Just go see it, spoiler free (I cannot stress that one enough), and sit back, relax, and enjoy the blood soaked ride that is coming your way. There’s really no other way to enjoy this movie. It’s entertainment at its best, for sure.


Cowboys And Aliens Review

At first glance, seeing “Cowboys” and “Aliens” together in the same sentence is a little odd. Make the title of a film “Cowboys & Aliens” and it seems to be a downright awkward joke, especially when describing the western/sci-fi mashup that is due to hit theaters this week. If you’ve watched my interviews from the Cowboys & Aliens red carpet/world premiere event, in particularly the screenwriters (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) interview, you’ve heard the cast and crew describe it as such, at least initially. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Cowboys & Aliens is a western that just happens to have an encounter of the fourth kind smack dab in the middle of it.

The premise is straightforward. Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) finds himself in the middle of the desert without any memory of how he got there, who he is, who shot him, or what the odd device strapped to his wrist is. During his quest to discover his past he runs into a cast of characters, including Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde), who help to piece things together… That is until an alien invasion crashes the party and begins snatching up the townspeople, at times quite violently. Comic fan zealots be warned – Although inspired by the “Cowboys & Aliens” graphic novel, creator Scott Mitchell Rosenberg (you can see my interview with him here) was more than happy to hand over the reins to Favreau and let him run with the story.

Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are magnificent, especially when they appear onscreen together. This is one duo that I’m hoping to see more of in future films. Craig nails the “stranger with no name” from classic western films, and brings the grit that he’s famous for in his previous James Bond films. His fights are brutal, bloody, and to be honest, I loved every minute of them… Some of them actually brought back memories of The Patriot with Mel Gibson…

Harrison Ford may not get as much screen time as Craig, but his character “Woodrow Dolarhyde” is definitely just as memorable as Craig’s “Lonergan”, if not more so. Two particular scenes, one in which Ford shares with Noah Ringer, who plays “Emmett Taggart” in the film, may be one of Ford’s most memorable scenes ever. His scene towards the end of the film with Adam Beach’s character “Nat Colorado” is touching as well. Whether these two scenes in particular caught my attention because of great acting, or because I have four boys of my own, is an entirely different topic. Rest assured that Ford really delivers whenever he’s on screen and the shared scenes between Craig and Ford are not to be missed.

The supporting cast does well in their various roles. Olivia Wilde’s character Ella Swenson is the tough as nails, gun-toting chick with a cowboy hat that you can’t help but want to learn more about (not to mention watch on the big screen). Doc (Sam Rockwell) adds some very well timed humor to the film, which helps to keep it from becoming too serious. Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano), is great as the snotty-nosed brat of Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). Some of the best moments in the earlier parts of the film are when Dano shares the screen with Craig. You can just imagine what happens when the tough-as-nails Lonergan runs into the drunken and spoiled Percy Dolarhyde. Emmett Taggart (Noah Ringer) has a fairly small part, but does very well, especially later in the film. Black Knife (Raoul Trujillo) does well as the leader of the Apaches, but isn’t developed as much as I would have liked.

Although the film has a large ensemble cast, which is handled VERY well by Favreau, Orci, and Kurtzman, I have to mention the beautiful Abigail Spencer who plays “Alice”, Craig’s love interest in the film. If you’ve watched my Cowboys & Aliens red carpet interview with Abigail Spencer, you’ll notice she’s fairly reluctant to speak about her character much. You’ll find out why about halfway through the film, and I have to say I would have loved to see more screen time devoted to her character.

The film’s visual effects are topnotch. As odd as it may seem, they appear perfectly believable in the setting of the Wild West. They don’t overwhelm or dominate the film, as you might expect. Although you don’t see a lot of the aliens until the end of the film, they are superbly done and add the right amount of terror and suspense to the film. Initially they seem to be somewhat flat emotionally, until Jake Lonergan runs into one towards the end that “seems” to know him…

The cinematography by Matthew Libatique captures the grand and gorgeous landscapes you would expect to find in a western, as does the score by Harry Gregson-Williams. Both of which could be, arguably, the best that we’ve seen this summer

The plot is somewhat predictable, but I think that this is because the film is, as many of the cast and crew have stated, a western first. There are just certain things that go along with a western, and most moviegoers are familiar with them (tough and gritty gunslinger, a damsel in distress, etc.). Are there holes in the plot? Yes, one in particular involves the heroes discovering something in the middle of the desert that shouldn’t be there (you’ll know it when you see it). How this “thing” got there, and why, is an absolute mystery… Does any of this mean that the movie isn’t entertaining? Absolutely not! The interaction between the characters, the superbly choreographed fight sequences, and the special effects make this film more than what I could have hoped for as I entered the theater.

Cowboys & Aliens was a VERY unexpected surprise. It has a little of everything for everyone. Favreau manages to mash Wild West and Sci-Fi together like peanut butter and chocolate, and if you’re like me, you won’t be able to get enough. The cast and crew not only made the Wild West/Sci-Fi mashup believable, but enjoyable to watch as it unfolded.

All in all, I left the theater more tired than I was before and disappointed in one of the few movies I had hopes for all summer. The slow, sludge-like story, with the absence of great action, and a lack of real character development made for a movie that would be best suited for home viewing so that you wouldn’t feel bad about falling asleep.

Rating B+


X-Men:First Class Review

X-Men:First Class is a really solid film. The thing I like about X-Men movies is the fact that the storytelling is more focused on the conflicts between Xavier and Erik, their corresponding philosophies, and the metaphor of discrimination. As much as the ads will sell this movie to you as an origin story, there’s slightly more to it.

Since Wolverine is out of the way, the script deals more with the issues of mutants and humans coexisting (or not), without having to explore any specific characters’ past too deeply. It’s actually a fine script, and a nice change of pace for a superhero movie (not that Wolverine wasn’t a change, it was just crappy).

Another change was the setting, and as a period piece you get a sense of atmosphere, but it’s not too strong, and this movie is still unmistakably and X-Men movie. One glance and you wouldn’t decide otherwise.

It wasn’t perfect. You could tell which performances were great, good, or a little on the weak side. Just as well, the CGI showed off a rushed production, of which director Matthew Vaughn once spoke about concerning the movie.

All-in-all though, it’s a good film. The direction is really good, the pacing is smooth, and unlike previous X-Men movies I really had a sense of how the mutant characters truly feel within society. Like the comics, the message is covered up by extreme fantasy, but it’s still there, clear as day.

You know who you are if you want to see this movie or not. Overall it was a fine, fun film. I liked it.

Rating: B+



I have been looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the first trailer. The concept was amazing to me. I have always wondered the concept of our brains only using 20%, and what if we were able to tap into the full 100%. The fact that this movie even exists made me excited to watch it.Plus, Bradley Cooper in anything that’s not “The Hangover” was amazing. This post was supposed to simply state that I had viewed the movie, and not actually develop into a small review. However, it has become long enough so I’ll proceed.

Like I said, concept was brilliant, the whole idea behind it etc. The execution? Good. Not brilliant; as I had hoped it would be, but good. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, just can’t help but feel that more could have been done with it. Ironically, the movie itself could have done with an NZT-48 pill; and allow the idea and concept behind it to take the movie to bigger and more spectacular levels.

The ending was not predictable. I always think the worst thing imaginable happening. I always assume a character that grandeur will get destroyed and I was happily surprised at Eddie’s outcome.Robert De Niro played a small role, but he did it wonderfully.The science of this film is something I’m particularly interested in.It was very interesting to see this played on screen.The screenplay is based of a novel called “The Dark Fields” and I think I might look into it, and see if I want to read it.This has easily become one of my top 10 favorite movies.

Rating: A
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Priest Review

Priest is an average movie that takes a lot of inspiration from Matrix wire-fu, old west post-apocalyptic Mad Max western costuming, even a Blade Runner type city, yeah like I said a lot of inspiration. Paul Bettany as the main character is more like a grizzled voice tough guy but nothing wrong with that in my mind and he looks like complete badass in the action scenes. Some of his best moments are actually with Maggie Q that don’t involve any action whatsoever. Gigandet who I really don’t like does not play his usual douchebag role like in his past films but really does nothing beside push some of the arcs in the story. Maggie Q can play the ass-kicking babe in her sleep by now but does have a pretty cool action scene with a rope dart that’s pretty damn cool, while Collins, in her limited screen time is decent as the damsel in distress. Then comes Karl Urban who  had a very cool moment as Black Hat orchestrating while attacking a city that you briefly see in the trailers.

The movie offers different levels of vampires, from the eyeless CG vampires to “the familiars” (yes like Blade 2) who serve as the vampires’ human acolytes. Action-wise, there’s a sequence set in a vampire lair where Priest and Hicks find themselves in a trap that’s kind of cool and shows off one of Priest cool weapons and while the movie offers enough action and cool bits to probably hold are interest when it’s happening, it is not something groundbreaking that we have not seen before with the movies I have already mentioned.

All in all, Priest was a descent enough action movie that kept entertained for the end and while it did have some long drawn out parts the action scenes picked them up and some interesting twists and turns along the way as well. Priest was not perfect but it was terrible either, the effects in the movie were pretty cool too along with the CG vampires who didn’t look to hard to make (then again I don’t do effects so nevermind the statement).The movie is in 3D but the 3D didn’t really stand out to me so if you have a choice save the extra couple bucks and see it in 2D.

Rating: B-


Your Shittiness

Your Highness is a terrible movie. What a terrible, truly horrendous film. Jesus fucking christ, it was awful. Now, I wasn’t expecting a mature, fully realized, brilliant comedy…I went into the theater expecting cheap jokes and some laughs. What I got was an eleven dollar piece of shit. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie in the theaters that i hated more than this.

But of course it wasn’t good. It starred fucking Danny McBride and he’s never entertained me in anything he was in and the fact that he wrote it doesn’t help either.James Franco and Natalie Portman? Shame on you two.It’s basically a $50M B-movie. Except that half of it seems like it’s trying to be a legitimate comedy.I laughed a bit, but it’s not spectacular by any means. Wait for it to release on Netflix or something.

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