|At the Movies: Something for everyone, 7 top movies reviewed|
|Thursday, 25 August 2011 05:33|
Cowboys & Aliens
The tagline for this move: First Contact. Last Stand. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town. What he discovers is that the people of the town don't welcome strangers. It's a town that lives in fear, but they are about to experience fear they can scarcely comprehend as the desolate place is attacked by marauders from the sky. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force.
Jake Longerman is a wanted outlaw with amnesia and a mysterious shackle around one wrist who wants nothing more than to figure out why he is in the predicament he is in and how to get himself out of it quickly and alive. Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde is a a powerful and rich cattleman who controls the town of Absolution with an iron fist which is enforced by his right-hand man Nat Colorado. Ella Swenson is a traveler passing through town with a secret of her own that is somehow linked to the people who have been going missing in the area. Sheriff John Taggart is the lawman for Absolution, but he is only allowed to do his job when it does not interfere with the wishes of the Colonel.
If you like your westerns movies, science fiction movies and comic book adaption movies then this is not the movie for you because it mashes the three together unsuccessfully like a bad Syfy channel movie of the week. Now don't get me wrong, the effects are great in this movie and the acting is top notch because it is played straight the whole way through but this mix is week. It actually feels like a patchwork quilt of western cliches that would work perfectly if not the sci fi elements. Maybe the fact that this is one of the first movies that Jon Favreau directed that he didn't give him self a small role in was a sign that he bit off more then he could chew with this production. All I can say is that you can wait for dvd for this one. I rate this movie a Rated D.
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
The tagline for this movie: This Is Crazy. This Is Stupid. This Is Love. A forty-something man is living the dream id a good job, nice house, great kids and happy marriage to his high school sweetheart. When he finds out that his wife has cheated on him and wants a divorce then his perfect life quickly begins to unravel. Now spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, he is unprepared for today's dating world. When he is taken on as a wing-man and protégé of thirty-something player, he soon learns the ropes of the single life and how to be a successful bachelor.
Cal Weaver is a family man who find himself without a family when he moves out of his house after he finds out about his wife's infidelity and is thrown into the waters of the single world without outdated knowledge of how to navigate it. Jacob Palmer is a professional bachelor who decides to take Carl under his wing and show him the ins and outs of the modern dating scene, but when he meets someone who is immune to his charm and gets to the person behind it he may give up the single life. Emily Weaver is the wife of Cal who had a one night stand with her co-worker and has now decided to get a divorce because she wishes for a change in her life which she feels she can not experience with the father of her children. David Lindhagen is Emily's co-worker who wants to turn a tryst into a relationship with no forethought about his home-wrecking will effect the family he is trying to fir himself into.
I have to admit that this movie is a romantic comedy which actually displays romance in a comedic way with an honesty that speaks to the heart. This is a well balanced film that showing the sanity required for a crazy situation and the intelligence required when dealing with stupid events. This flick tackles the spell is is cast on us with our first loves, the stamina required for lasting loves and the soul required to endure all the loves in between. Glenn Ficarra & John Requa so a great job directing the smart script by Dan Fogelman with a cast that does magical work. The movie is a welcomed change of pace for the over the top movies of Summer and any audience that experiences it is a lucky audience indeed. I rate this film and Rated T.
One of the taglines for this movie: Where The Smurf Are We? An evil wizard chases a community of magical blue creatures out of their village and a small group of them are forced through a portal. Separated from the rest of their family and transported out of their world and landing in the middle of New York's Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before evil wizard tracks them down.
Papa Smurf is the leader of smurf village and also the resident magic user who will do everything within his power to keep the rest of the smurfs safe from harm, but still wants to give them the freedom they require to grow. Gargamel is an alchemist who wants the drain the mystical essence of the smurfs to make his impotent magic more powerful and dangerous, but first he must catch them with the help of his cat Azrael. Patrick Winslow is a marketing director of a major French cosmetics company who is struggling with the right advertisement for a brand the company are about to launch. Grace Winslow is Patrick's pregnant wife who is trying to deal with her husbands anxiety with his shaky footing at work and the prospect of becoming a parent.
I like to think of this type of movie as review proof because no matter what I say about it, it will still be watched by parents looking for an air conditioned place to park their children during a hot Summer. What I do have to say about this movie is that it really has some truly talented actors in it from the live action ones to the ones who are the voices behind the cgi characters. Of course the talent is wasted on a movie that seems to be the product of a calculation to produce the safest possible from of entertainment that could be dubbed or subtitled in different languages and spoon fed to the world at large. There is not much that is memorable about this movie, but it is faithful to the source material of the Peyo comic strips from Belgium (maybe Johan & Peewit will make it into the sequel.) So you can wait for it to come on normal cable where nothing will the lost with the commercials to give you bathroom breaks. I rate this movie a Rated C.
P.S. During the end credits we to see photos that give us updates on the lives of the main characters.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The tagline for this movie: Evolution Becomes Revolution. During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom. A single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other as an epic battle on which rest the upended destinies of man and primate.
Will Rodman is a young scientist who creates ALZ-112 which he believes is the key to ending Alzheimer's disease my adding a synthetic virus that encourages the production and growth of brain cells. Charles Rodman is Will's father who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and may benefit from the retrovirus his son has created if it ever gets beyond the stage of primate testing to human testing. Caesar is the chimpanzee who has inherited the intelligence of his mother who showed the most intelligence of any primate inject with ALZ-112. Steven Jacobs is Will's boss who is looking for the next big pharmaceutical drug that will make the company he works for billions and is willing to go to any lengths to reach that goal.
I was skeptical about this movie when I heard about it, but I am happy to report that it is a great film that sheds new life on the Planet of the Apes franchise. The performance by Andy Serkis as Caesar is phenomenal and the visual effects by Weta Digital in New Zealand can only be described as epic. The score by Patrick Doyle and the Hollywood Studio Symphony touches all the right emotions in each scene it is used in. Ruprt Wyatt is definitely a director to watch since his treatment of the material based on La planète des singes by Pierre Boulle is better than what Tim Burton gave us. This film must be enjoyed in a theater. I rate this movie a Rated T.
P.S. During the end credits we get to see how the ALZ-113 spreads through out the globe.
Final Destination 5
One of the taglines for this movie: This Summer, Death Decides How... Fate Decides When. A group of young people find out that Death is just as omnipresent as ever when cheated of souls. After one man's premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse, they soon learn that Death has been unleashed on them individually. This group of unsuspecting souls was never supposed to survive, and, in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group frantically tries to discover a way to escape Death's sinister agenda.
Sam Lawton dreams of an apprenticeship in Paris where he can take his cooking skills to the next level, but doesn't want to leave his girlfriend. Molly Harper is Sam's girlfriend who works for the same paper company and breaks up with him before the company retreat. Peter Friedkin is Sam's best friend who wants Sam to make the decision to stay at the company or go to Paris and pursue his dream. Nathan Gregory works on the plant side of the paper company and must deal with an antagonistic co-worker who takes offense to the fact that his education makes him his boss and eligible to go on the company retreat.
I am beginning to believe that the same way the old Star Trek series of movies always had better even numbered films, that the best Final Destination films are the odd numbered ones. This movie is a lot better that the one that came before it and the fact that it was filmed with 3 D cameras instead of having 3 D added to it afterward is a mark in its favor. If you like your characters killed in a Rube Goldberg device kind of way then this is the film for you as the simple act of death comes about in the most convoluted way. The beauty of this fifth installment of the series is that the suspense is truly anxiety-filled and has one of the most spectacular opening sequences of the franchise. Steven Quale does a good job orchestrating the chaos and the twist at the end of the movie will make for a satisfying close. I rate this film a Rated B.
P.S. During the end credits you get to see all the best death scenes from the previous films in the franchise.
Conan the Barbarian 3 D
The tagline for this movie: Enter An Age Undreamed Of. A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds. As the warrior soon realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of his world from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.
Conan is a Cimmerian warrior who happens upon the opportunity to kill the warlord who caused the death his father many years ago and was now at the age where he was capable of fulling his dream of revenge. Tamara is a beautiful novitiate of a monastery who has a secret in her bloodline that she is not aware of that could spell the end of the nations of Hyboria. Khalar Zym is a a ruthless warlord who seeks the Acheronian necromancers powers over life and death to resurrect his wife and build and empire that would crush the current society. Marique is Khalar Zym's daughter and a powerful witch with mystic abilities integral to her father's plan to find the pieces of the a sacred mask that would unleash the Acheron's powers.
I really wish had not spent my hard earned money to watch a movie that was so disappointing on so many different levels to me. First off I wish the director had decided the tone he wanted for this film because it seemed like he was not sure exactly what type of film he was making. The script was a mess and the dialogue lacked even the slightest bit of finesse, culture or period because a movie set in this time should sound like modern speech. I get the feeling that as Jason Momoa played this character that he longed for his time on Game of Thrones as Khal Drogo. Please don't get me started on the 3 D special effects which were not neither special or very very effective in any way. I rate this flick a Rated C. Try not to fall asleep as you watch it.
The tagline for this movie: You Can't Run From Evil When It Lives Next Door. A high school senior has all he's ever wanted from running with the popular crowd to dating the hottest girl. Trouble arrives when a stranger moves in next door. the stranger seems to be the perfect neighbor and the only person who seems to notice is the young man's ex best friend. After witnessing some unusual activity the young man must face the fact that the guy next door is a supernatural predator preying on his neighborhood.
Charley Brewster is a young man about to graduate from his high school in Las Vegas, but soon learns that if he wants to graduate he must first survive the evil that has moved in next door to his house and threatening to destroy his life. Jerry Dandrige is a mysterious man who moves in to the house next door to Charley and is somehow connected to the people who have been disappearing around the neighborhood. Ed Lee is Charley's ex-best friend who has had Jerry under surveillance he moved into the neighborhood and has a good idea what he is dealing with but lacks the strength in numbers to confront him. Peter Vincent is a Las Vegas magician who is a supposed expert on vampires and shares a secret past which he is fearful of revealing.
As remakes go this one is quite successful at bringing the structure of the original 1985 movie into the modern world of 2011. They did a great job of giving us vampires as sharks and the suburban community as the ocean they choose to travel in. They give us the old school vampire rules with some new school special effects that add to the slick stylish gore of the story. Craig Gillespie does an awesome job of ratcheting up the tension in every scene of this film to the point where you don't even realize you are holding you breath in anticipation for the horrific reveal. David Tennant shows us that their is life after Doctor Who as he gives us a Peter Vincent more akin to Criss Angel than Roddy Mcdowall's homage to Vincent Price in the original. If there is any complaint I have is that the wrap up sequence at the end is weak almost like the production ran out of money and was not able to afford the type of send off the characters deserved after surviving the truly pulse-pounding climax. I rate this film a Rated T. Enjoy this one in a theater near you.
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