Archive for the ‘ Movie Reviewz ’ Category

Movie Reviewz: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

Tonights review is the 2010 American film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring Nicholas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, and Teresa Palmer. Story by Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal & Matt Lopez and written by Matt Lopez, Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard.

During this movie, I happened to notice Mr. Baruchel’s acting. He’s like Jeff Goldblum mixed with co-star Nicholas Cage. The chemistry between the two (Baruchel & Cage) was iffy along with the character development. A lot of unmemorable movies came out this year and this is not much better then the others. The summer movies this year have been light and many unappealing.

So this movie begins with a short history of magic starting at 740 AD. There were three apprentices to the great Merlin – Balthazar Blake (Cage), Maxim Horvath (Molina), and Veronica (Monica Bellucci). After Horvath breaks off of the little group, he joins Morgana le Fay – arch nemesis of Merlin. Morgana eventually battles Merlin and kills him with the help of Horvath just as Balthazar and Veronica break into the room. Veronica uses a spell to suck Morgana inside the body of Veronica, and this  doesn’t end well when Morgana start killing Veronica from the inside. To save Veronica, Balthazar imprisons the possessed woman in a Grimhold, a item not unlike a nesting doll. Horvath escapes. Over the course of history, Balthazar captures more evil wizard (Morganians) in the Grimhold.

Fast forward to New York City circa. 2000 where a nine year old Dave Stutler is going on a school field trip. He passes a note to a girl named Becky asking if she would be his girlfriend. She writes back and set the note next to the bench. When the class begins to disperse, Dave walks toward the note only to have it fly form his hands and get caught on a tire of a cyclist. Dave stupidly chases the note into traffic and follows it all the way to a ominous antique store where it slips through the door. Dave enters and meets Balthazar who is a young as he was in 740 AD. Balthazar gives the boy Merlins ring which will tell Balthazar whether the boy is his succeeder. The ring turns from dragon statue form to ring form and latches onto Dave’s finger. Balthazar runs to the basement to fetch the spellbook and while he is gone, Dave uncovers the mysterious Grimhold. He accidentally opens the first layer and frees Horvath who is promptly attacked by Balthazar and a fight ensues which begins a fire in the store. Balthazar and Horvath are sucked into a old jar and Dave runs from the stop after spilling water on his pants. He runs form the burning store still carrying the Grimhold. He throws the doll to the side and is found by the school group and teacher. The class (except for Becky) begins laughing at him since it appears that he has peed his pants. The teacher enter the store and finds it in perfect shape. End act 1.

Dateline: NYC, ten years later to the day. Dave is now a 20 year old college student studying physics. He leads a “normal” life. When setting up a presentation for a class, his papers blow into the seating area and he meets Becky. After fixing he lightning struck radio tower on the building where she has a radio show, he goes home to find the escaped Horvath who chases Dave through the city via wolf pack. Dave is saved by Balthazar who turns the wolves into puppies and escapes with Dave on a giant iron eagle…..

As I said before, Baruchel’s acting was only OK at best. Molina’s & Cage’s performance’s were as good ask expected. The writing was lacking in some points and the story had a few holes in it. it’s a fun movie and a better kind of fun. I found it enjoyable until you let it sink in and it becomes just another movie. There were also a few laugh out loud moments which make up a lot for the mistakes. It’s worth a matinée price at best. I say this because watching it at home or at a small 2 dollar theater will take away from the great effects and visuals. The costume design was also worth a mention even though Cage looks a lot like “The Undertaker”

See?

It’s a good watch and I’ll suggest a view or two.

3 outta 5

-until later, james

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Movie Reviewz: The Losers (2010)

Tonights review, The Losers directed by Sylvain White. Written by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt. Starring Jeffery Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Jason Patric, Idris Elba, and Chris Evans. Based on the comic by Andy Diggle.

The Losers

Five members of the US Special Forces are sent to Bolivia of a mission. When watching the intended targets base, the group finds out that the man has 25 innocent children working for him. The leader (Clay played by Jeffery Dean Morgan) attempts to call off the bomber heading toward the base, but the call is intercepted by a mysterious man named Max. With something like 10 minutes, the group enters the base, releases the children, and escapes to  the helicopter waiting for them. The group loads the children of board and wait on the ground because the chopper won’t take the weight. As the helicopter takes off, the group hear an odd noise form their walkie-talkies. Next thing they here is the commands of Max telling a nearby airplane to fire of the chopper. the chopper is blown to pieces, children and all. At that moment the group chooses to let people think they were also killed in the “crash” and search for the ominous Max.

After four months undercover in Bolivia, a woman named Aisha finds Clay and tell him that she can help him find Max. The group finally agrees and ships themselves back to America where the search for the elusive Max begins….

Zoe Saldana needs to eat something. With that out of the way, this movie is fantastic. I haven’t read the comic (I’m not a big comic person. I want to be though) and this movie made me want to. Jeffery Dean Morgan and Co. are all great actors. Saldana is really getting around these days. Shes also loaded because of Avatar. Another great thing about this movie is that the one liners expected in a action movie were actually very funny. I don’t know is that humor is from the comic or not, but my point remains the same. Acting was fantastic. It was slightly choppy at the beginning.

Oh, and Jason Patric was amazing. He genuinely seemed not to care about anything. He was as funny is not more so then Chris Evans.

This movie was awesome. Go see it. It didn’t try to be any more then a simple action movie, but it is.

9/10

-james

Movie Reviewz: Date Night

Tonights review, Date Night directed by Shawn Levey. Written by Josh Klausner. Starring Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Ray Liotta.

Phil and Claire Foster are a married couple with two who’s life seems to repeat itself everyday. Phil, a Tax Advisor and Claire, a Realtor, go out once a week on a “Date Night” at a local restaurant. When they both hear about a couple they’ve known for years – played by a bearded Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig – is breaking up, they decide to spice things up and go to New York City on their Date Night. They try to get into a trendy seafood restaurant called Claw where the unhelpful Maître d’ tells them to wait at the bar. When they hear a waitress shouting the name Triplehorn, Phil takes the table after no one answers. Halfway through their meal, two men – named Collins and Armstrong –  come to the table and ask them to step outside. They do so and the men start to accuse the couple of stealing a flash drive of some sort they stole from mobster Joe Milleto play by Ray Liotta. The two men believe they are the Fosters and that they go by the alias Triplehorn. Phil, without think, tells the two men that the flash drive is hidden in Central Park…

I didn’t like this movie. You’d think that the two of the best comedians in the world right now in one movie would be awesome. I wasn’t entertained for the running time 88 minutes more then 3 times. It felt like they wrote a 50 page script and stretched it out as long as they could. Jokes were over used and got old fast. The ending was idiotic also. I really wanted to like this movie. It’s a shame I didn’t.

5/10

-james

EDIT – 4.13.2010

After letting this movie sink in for awhile, I have started to like it much more.

7/10

Movie Reviewz: Clash of The Titans (2010)

Tonights review, the 2010 American film, Clash of The Titans directed by Louis Leterrier. Written by Travis Beacham and Phil Hay. Starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arteron, and Jason Flemyng.

The film begins with a short history of the world. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades – sons of the Titans – fought the Titans and won through the help of the third son, Hades and his extremely deformed “son” The Kraken. So they win and the gods take over. Zeus and Poseidon trick Hades into becoming the lord of the Underworld. Also known as, Hades.

So this fisherman is out… fishing. He sees a coffin-esque thing floating in the middle of the ocean. He hauls it aboard and rips it open to reveal…

A dead lady and a baby. The baby is very alive. So fisherman (Spyros) raises the baby and names him Perseus. Then the father, wife, and sister of Perseus are killed by Hades. Perseus is like 25 when the happens. He is saved by some army men fighting against the Gods. Perseus is taken to the ocean city of Argos by the soldiers. When the Queen compares her daughter to the Goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, Hades appears and kills the Queen and tells the people in the castle that if the Princess is not sacrificed at the eclipse, the Kraken will destroy the city. Hades recognizes Perseus and vice-versa. Hades runs away and Perseus is thrown in jail. He is visited by Io, a not-quite a God woman who has been secretly protecting Perseus all his life. She tells him he is the son of Zeus and that he has to “kill” Hades. He agrees and sets off to find the way to kill the Kraken and stop the Princess from being sacrificed…

It happened again. I quite enjoyed this movie. The again part is that most people didn’t. I’m not sure why I liked it so much. The effects were sometimes great and sometimes horrible. I’m speaking of the Giant Scorpions and  Medusa. The latter was done bad. The Scorpions were fantastic. The makeup was good on the creatures like the Djinn and Calibos. The fight scene with the Scorpions was the best I’ve seen in awhile. Sam Worthington seemed stiff. I think that was the worst part.

I go into movies with no expectations. That’s why I like everything I see. I just sit back and enjoy. Whether it’s campy or just silly. Go see this movie. It’s worth it.

-james

P.S.

Happy Easter!

Movie Reviewz: Alice in Wonderland

Tonights review, Alice In Wonderland directed by Tim Burton written by Linda Woolverton  and starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helana Bonham Carter, and Matt Lucas.

Alice, now nineteen and soon to be betrothed to Hamish, a not-as-revolting-as-he-should-be character, run’s away after a white rabbit during his proposal to her. She chases the rabbit to a hole in the ground and promptly falls into the gaping chasm that is Wonderland. After much deliberation and several growth spurts and reverse growth spurts, she opens one of the many doors belonging to the room she fell into, and finds the Rabbit, a Dodo bird, a Mouse, and two odd looking fat boys played by Matt Lucas named Tweedledum and Tweedledee. She is told by the group that she was brought here to slay the Jabberwocky who can only be killed by the Vorpal Sword.. But as the group fights over whether she is the real Alice (this film is the sequel to the animated film of the same name. And Alice forgot that) or not, they’re attacked by a group of…. Red… Cards? And a scarred man with a heart shaped eye patch. Alice, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, escape. But then a giant bird grabs Tweedledum and Dee, bringing them to the castle of the Red Queen. The Knave of Hearts, the evil sidekick and what – have – you to the Queen tells her that Alice is back, although the Knave has never actually seen the girl. Oh, and the Queen has this huge head. Meanwhile, Alice is lost. But wait! The Cheshire Cat Shows up and leads her to The Mad Hatter, March Hare, and the Mouse from before. The Knave of Hearts shows up with a dog named Bayard who’s family has been imprisoned by the evil Queen. He finds Alice, but The Hatter has made he even smaller so to fit in a teapot. he shoos Bayard and the group of red people leaves. The Hatter quickly runs away with Alice but is caught. He saves her by throwing her across a wide river on his hat. She hides under it but Bayard finds her. She convinces him to help her with her cause and he takes her to the Castle and quickly runs to find the White Queen. Alice is found by the White Rabbit and he gives her a piece of cake that makes her larger. Much larger. After talking to the spastic Queen about how back in her country of Umbridge, people would make fun of her because she was so big. The Queen takes her in because her head is… big. Anyway, The Hatter is presented to the Queen whilst Alice sits by her side. The Hatter persuades the Queen to let him make her a hat. She agrees because her head is a touchy subject. Alice finds out the Vorpal Sword is hidden in the cage of the Bandersnatch. Alice steals the sword and runs for it. When the Queen finds out that the girl was really Alice, she decides to  kill the Hatter. But the Hatter is saved by the Cheshire Cat. Tweedledum, Tweedledee, the Hatter, and The Mouse, escape the place and run toward the White Queens Castle where the March Hare and Alice are waiting. And that’s when trouble starts a-brewing….

Don’t. I wouldn’t again. This just wasn’t a good movie. I speak the truth. I’m a big fan of Burton. Sleepy Hollow was good, Edward Scissorhands was good, Nightmare Before Christmas was good, The Corpse Bride was fantastic. This… this is not as much. I felt no attachment to these characters. The Hatter frickin’ start break dancing at the end. Who does that!? Tim Burton doesn’t! Or, he shouldn’t. Because he obviously went there. Half of the time, I couldn’t tell what the characters were saying. The Red Queen was annoying and unfunny. The short cameo by Christopher Lee was a nice surprise. The art direction was the only good part of this movie. It felt like a painting come to life. Now, I saw this in 3D.  I’m not a fan of 3D. I have thick glasses and very bad eyes so that might be a factor but I didn’t like it.

I don’t think I can say anything else. There was nothing to this movie. It was barely entertaining. It is worth a mattinee but don’t bother with the 3D.

-james

Movie Reviewz: Shutter Island

Tonights review, Shutter Island directed by Martin Scorsese written by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the book on the same name by Dennis Lehane. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and  Michelle Williams.

*due too some problems with the projector at the theater and my mother being late, I missed the first 5 minutes of the film. Also, I have never read the book*

The year is 1954 and U.S. Marshal Andrew “Teddy” Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule sail too an Alcatraz like hospital for the criminally insane on  Shutter Island off the coast of… somewhere…. called Ashecliff to investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando.  Dr. John Crawley explains that she was placed in the mental facility after she drowned her three children. During the search, Teddy points out the caves in the cliff of the island but the deputy warden claims that Solando could never reach them. Teddy also sees a lighthouse and the deputy says that it has been searched. Teddy and Aule ask Crawley for the files on Solando’s attending doctor, Dr. Sheehan but he refuses and says that Sheehan has left the island on vacation just the day before. Later that night, Teddy is plagued by strange dreams about his dead wife. She tells him that Solando is still on the island and that the man who had started the fire that killed her – Andrew Laeddis – is also on the island. Later on, after interrogating all the patients, and receiving a cryptic not telling him to “run”, He explains to Aule why he took the case: to find Andrew Laeddis. Teddy tells Aule that he found a man who “escaped” from the island and told him that they were conducting experiments. When a hurricane hits, it leaves fallen trees and debris all over and knocks out the poswer so that the prisoners are running amok. Teddy, imitating a orderly, meets the man he told Aule about (George Noyce) who had warned him of the experiments, who tells him that this whole place was made for the benefit of him (Teddy) and that he’s afraid of the lighthouse. Teddy attempts to go to the light house, and fails, but his trip back appears more fruitful then he imagines….

Whoa. It was dark, twisty, and great. It was worth the 7 dollars I played and because of the projection screw up, I received a free ticket which is pretty cool. Back on the movie. I enjoyed it, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. Several scenes will scar(e) some viewers. I loved the atmosphere of this movie a lot. I also loved how it was pulled off more of a mystery until the middle part when things go bananas. The cinematography is what hooked it for me. I know some people will not like it, but it’s my kinda thing. The slow moving off-ness was great.  DiCaprio was a amazing actor. Probably the best I’ve seen this year, and when I say this year I mean out of the 4-5 movies I have seen this year. The sound track was obscenely haunting and slightly out of place because it was all previously recorded material from classical musicians. Now, the thing about this movie you should know is there is no twist. Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a movie like this at least. Don’t go in with that on your mind. Go in with greatness in mind. Because it is… greatness…

-james

Movie Reviewz: Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Tonights review: Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief  Directed by Chris Columbus and Written by Craig Titley Starring Logan Lurman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, and Peirce Brosnan based on the book of the same name by Rick Riordan.

The film begins with young Percy Jackson played by Logan Lurman and his crippled friend Grover attending a high school in New York city, New York. Percy’ father abandoned him when he was seven months old to live with his mother and later on, his stepfather Gabe, a crotchety, smelly, pig of a man played with finesse by none other then Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix, Daredevil, Unknown) which was a nice surprise. When on a field trip to a history museum, a substitute teacher pulls him aside and promptly turns into a winged beast and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t give her a lighting bolt of some sort. After being saved by his wheelchair ridden teacher Mr. Brunner and Grover they mutter abut several things that will make sense later. Grover takes Percy back to his (Percy’s) house and crashes Joe’s poker party. They run away with Percy’s mother after Grover beats Joe up and start to drive to a undisclosed location. Percy’s mother explains that his father never wanted to leave and was made to but before she can explain why, a huge monster barrels through the road, throws a cow at the car, and chases the threesome into the nearby forest. The monster in question is a fifteen foot tall minotaur that looked amazing. The three find a arch that leads onto the unsaid Camp Half-Blood, but Mrs. Jackson is apparently not allowed in. She is grabbed by the monster and suddenly turns into golden dust and fades away. Percy, being the righteous fellow that he is, pulls out a pen Mr. Brunner had given him earlier, and thanks to Grover pushes a button on the side and out pops a sword. Queue heroic music. He battles and kills the minotaur, then faints. Three days later, he awakes in a infirmary of some sort and Grover walks in just in time to see him wake up. Grover takes him on a tour of the place (Camp Half-Blood) and at the fighting arena, he spot his love interest, Annabeth, played by Alexandra Daddario. Moving on, he sees his teacher Mr. Brunner, except this time out of the wheel chair and with a extra set of limbs (He’s a centaur). Percy is told that he is the son o’ the sea god Poseidon. After a vicious game of capture the flag, Percy befriends Annabeth daughter o’ Athena and a young man named Luke, son o’ Hermes. They are told by non other then the devil himself (Hades) (played by Steve Coogan who has been brought back from the dead after being impaled upon some spikes at the beginning on Raiders of The Lost Ark) that he (Hades) has Percys mother and will only give her back when a stolen lightning bolt previously owned by king o’ the gods Zeus is delivered to Hades. Oh, Yeah, and if Zeus doesn’t get it back soon he’ll destroy the world or something, I don’t know. And so begins the craziest week of their lives!

BOOM! A surprisingly good movie. For a movie loosely based on a badly written book by Rick Riordan it WAS good. The writer Craig Titley did a good job even having written my least favorite episode of  The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. The flow was good and the actors were also good for a group of youths. But there are some accomplished actors like Pierce Brosnon , Sean Bean, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman, and Rosario Dawson. Jake Abel who played Luke, was my favorite character and actor in the film because he made you STILL like him even when he was attempting to kill Percy at the end. I did miss several things from the book like Dionysus, Ares, and Kronos. It kept with the story, but it simplified it. In the book, it was much more of a mystery when they were trying to figure out who stole the bolt, and Zeus and the gods were much more angry at everyone. People are saying that this is trying to be the new Harry Potter. One, nothing will ever top Potter. Two,  This was nothing like Potter in either the books or movie. On the book part, I HATED the writing in the book(s). I couldn’t stand how whiny all the characters seemed. The movie made them older, maturer, smarter and just downright better. The love story betwixt Annabeth and Percy was horribly done and when Riordan attempted drama, he fail miserably. Now, don’t get me wrong, old Rick had one of the best ideas of…whatever year the first book was released, but he could have pulled it of much better. This is a perfect example of a teen movie. I wish I hadn’t seen this when I had. The theater was packed with young teenagers and children brought by they’re parents. There is a special hell reserved for people who talk in theaters whilst a movie is playing. Sure I don’t give a care if you lean over and whisper a joke to the person sitting next to you, but you have the people who don’t even yell at the screen, just say it in a normal voice. I swear I will laugh if someone just screams “don’t go in there” at the screen at a tense part, but when you say it as if you are talking to a person in front of you in a small room where you are all alone it’s just plain annoying. You know who you are.

That will wrap up tonight boys and girls.

8/10

-james