Posts Tagged ‘ review ’

Ye Olde Picture Show Reveiwz: Murder on The Orient Express

*This is a new segment as you may have noticed but I’m going to go about it the same as a regular review.*

Tonights review, “Murder on The Orient Express” directed by Sydney Lumet. Written by Paul Dehn. Starring Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and Richard Widmark.

The Conclusion

In the year 1930. The place, America. A young girl named Daisy Armstrong is kidnapped from the house of her wealthy parents. After paying the expensive ransom, the girl is found dead and one of her captors is caught, tried, and convicted. He never reveals the name of his co-conspirator, responsible for the young girl death. Five years after, a well known Belgian detective named Hercule Poirot boards a train (The Oriental Express) in Istanbul headed toward England. His friend (owner of the railroad) finds him a seat on the full train. The first night, Poirot witnesses several seemingly unrelated happenings. The next morning, when a man is found drugged and stabbed to death in his compartment, Poirot starts trying to piece together the unusual mystery. The train is suddenly stopped by a large snow drift blocking the railroad, Poirot begins to interview each passenger in the compartment. Different passengers present different clues to the crime, but they only thicken the mystery….

Oh lord. This plot is the most twisty I have ever seen. I enjoyed this film throughly and I think most people will. If you haven’t seen this, see it. One of the best movies I have ever seen. I loved the long shots and takes in. There are 10 minutes scenes where the camera just keeps going. I’m afraid there isn’t much to say about it though. The ensemble cast was brilliant and all acted great. This is almost what I would call a perfect movie. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to see it. That’s about it for now folks.

See you later.

-james

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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

Movie Reviewz: The Wolfman

Tonights review; “The Wolfman” 2010 remake of the 1941 classic of the same name starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving. Directed by Joe Johnston and written by Kevin Walker and David Self.

(Back in the summer of 2009, I watched the trailer for “The Wolfman” online. I could barley wait for this movie.)

The film is set in 1891 unlike the original set in 1941, stars Benicio del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, a troubled young man who, although born in england, lived in America ever since he came upon his dead mother at age 12. Maybe 2o years later, when in London (acting in a play of Hamlet), he receives a letter from his brothers soon to be wife (Blunt), telling him that the brother in question has been missing for several weeks and the family are considering the worst. He travels to the small village of Blackmoor to find his father’s mansion decrepit and falling apart brick-by-brick. After meeting his father (Hopkins) for the first time since Lawrence was sent away, he begins the search for the savage beast who has caused several killings in the past weeks. The trail leads Lawrence to a small gypsy camp in the forest bordering the town, where  the monster strikes when several townspeople venture there blaming the killings on a pet bear of one of the gypsies. After massacring the camp, the beats chases after a young boy into the forest. Lawrence follows the beast and is bitten, but saved when a few of the villagers from the town find him and scare off the monster. After a few weeks or so, Lawrence regains consciousness. He finds his brothers “wife” caring for him. And when a detective from London is called in on the mysterious killings, everything begins to fall apart for Lawrence…

After being pushed back, re-shot, re-edited, and re-scored (then changed back again), I was very happy for the final release of this film. To begin with the pros, It was very well scored and composed. Danny Elfman is one of my favorite composers. The script itself wasn’t horrible I think, but could use some help. It was very atmospheric and an almost perfect Halloween movie even with the badly made gore. Overall, it was a great remake. On to the cons! The main problem with this movie was the acting. Hugo Weaving seemed to be the only person who really put out for this movie. Even Anthony Hopkins was stiff. I’ll give Hopkins credit for his suitably creepy attitude throughout the movie. Benicio was also stiff, but for him the film was more of a passion since he looks so much like Lon Chaney Jr. who played Lawrence in the original film. Emily Blunt could have put more into her role, but I think she wasn’t given that much to work with. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending with the exception of the twist. This movie is definitely worth a matinée price if you are a casual viewer. If you are a classic horror fan like me, I’d pay full price. One more thing great about it – There was no Hollywood spin on it. It kept with the original storyline and feel. I highly recommend it. That’s it for tonight. See you next week!

-james

Movie Reviewz: Gran Torino

As my first movie review, I will be reviewing the 2008 American film “Gran Torino” Directed by Clint Eastwood and Written by Nick Schenk

Gran Torino stars Clint Eastwood as curmudgeon Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Vietnam war veteran angry at the world in general and estranged from his family. Bee Vang portrays Kowalskis Hmong neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, who, on a dare from his cousin, Spider( Doua Moua) tries to steal Kowalskis 1972 Ford Gran Torino for initiation into Spiders gang. After Kowalski catches Thao breaking into his garage, he develops a relationship with Thao and his family.

Where do I start? The film was absolutely superb. I haven’t seen a movie that has touched me like this in very long. Eastwood’s acting and directing was some of the best I’ve seen for a while. Clint Eastwood proves that at 78 he is still at the top of his league when it comes to acting and directing. Eastwood has stated that this will probably be his last acting roll, and he could not have had a better way to go out. As for the actors portraying the Hmong teens, I would not expect anything better from first the time actors. They weren’t horrible, But their acting somewhat took away from the film in many ways. Bee Vang portrays his character in the correct way, from what I believe. His acting was only okay as stated before, but it was rectified by the fact that it fit his character almost seamlessly. The way he carried himself and spoke was that of the timid boy he played.

The setting (Detroit, Michigan) gave the film its real, gritty feel, combined with the grays and blues of the worn suburbs and costume design. The music at the end was beautiful and surreal and fit perfectly with the credits over the long shot of a road on the shores of lake Michigan.

Needless to say, the movie left me with a feeling of satisfaction. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Watch it.

A+

Gran Torino is Rated R for language throughout, and some violence.

Sources

Wikipedia

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes