Average User Score: 6.8Apr 25, 2013Director Roland Emmerich plus music by John "The Big Schmaltzy" Williams plus screenwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) plus Mel GibsonDirector Roland Emmerich plus music by John "The Big Schmaltzy" Williams plus screenwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) plus Mel Gibson equals Overblown Hollywood Wanna-Be Epic
There was so much slow motion in this film that if the director had shot the scenes in real time, this 2 hour and 45 minutes of torture would have ran (mercifully) about 12 minutes.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Apr 25, 2013This is a movie about bombs. Lots of bombs. Desert bombs.
The End. That's pretty much it. Oh sure, a few other things happened. YouThis is a movie about bombs. Lots of bombs. Desert bombs.
That's pretty much it. Oh sure, a few other things happened. You wanna hear about 'em? OK. I'll provide you with a little more, oh faithful reader.
I'm still not sure what the title The Hurt Locker refers to. It's not about well-secured first aid kits, nor is it about gymnasium facilities for actors William, John, or even Mary Beth.
This celluloid endeavor was directed by Kathryn Bigelow; the deft hand behind such legendary screen classics as Point Break and Blue Steel. It stars Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James, an expert at diffusing bombs. Joining him on the Explosivity Disposaling Unit are Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), and Owen Eldrige (Brian Geraghty)
Renner has been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. I'm not sure why this is. The supporting performances most notably Mackie's were, in my opinion, superior. All Renner did was act "cool". Oh, so "cool". Desert "cool". But if looking "cool" is the only criterion used for award recognition, then David Caruso should be nominated for a Nobel Prize.
The film centers mostly on the antics of Sergeant James. James loves dismantling things that can blow you into a zillion pieces. He'd rather do that than live a peaceful life in a nice home with his beautiful wife. We're shown some of his domestic life, but the movie doesn't show the good stuff. No. Instead we see him cleaning out the eavestrough of his house.
Now I've cleaned out a few roof gutters in my time, but the one depicted here has to be the gunkiest gutter in the history of home maintenance. And he's cleaning it out with his bare hand!!! C'mon, use a scoop, or a trowel, or a toy shovel, a stick, a shoe, anything. I'd rather diffuse bombs in Iraq than have to clean out that gutter in that fashion.
Another scene worth mentioning shows the guys after getting a little snockered engaging in an activity where good judgment and mental acuity would be a distinct disadvantage. The "game" involves taking turns hitting each other as hard as possible in the stomach. My wife, while watching this powerful and touching scene, turned to me and asked, "Why do men do those kind of things?"
You know, we men just have to chuckle when women ask us such questions. It was obvious to me, but I patiently explained it to her that this was a gesture of endearment. Women hug. Men try to smash the bejabers out of each other. It's their way of saying, "You're OK in my book." And nothing says it better than a ruptured spleen.
A word of warning here to those prone to seasickness: the camerawork in this film is of that hand-held style that so many directors are wont to use these days. I suppose they feel it gives their movies that gritty, realistic, documentary look which is ironic, since documentary filmmakers rarely use the technique anymore. Besides, if it's supposed to look realistic, then why don't I see the real world that way through my eyes? Although if I did, I'd be making an appointment and pronto with an ophthalmologist or a brain surgeon.
If you have a tough time watching this film due to that camera style, then avoid The Bourne Ultimatum at all costs. You would not survive. Its visuals are worse than any bone-jarring experience you could imagine
I once took a ride on a gigantically tall roller coaster. Its peak disappeared into the clouds. It was called the Red Ripper, or the Brown Streak, or the Green Puker something like that. Anyway, all I know is that I was smiling after that ride. I wasn't smiling after The Bourne Ultimatum.
In closing, I should say that even though I had some reservations about renting the DVD of The Hurt Locker, I was able to take something positive from it a lesson.
The lesson learned is, pay attention to your reservations.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Apr 25, 2013mawkish
1. Excessively and objectionably sentimental. 2. Sickening or insipid in taste. To describe The Impossible as mawkish ismawkish
1. Excessively and objectionably sentimental.
2. Sickening or insipid in taste.
To describe The Impossible as mawkish is like calling Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas "not nice".
The Impossible is one family's story of survival in the aftermath of the tsunami that struck Thailand on Boxing Day in 2004. The special effects used to recreate the tsunami are very impressive. I was saying "Wow" at that point of the movie. As the film progressed, I found myself saying "Wow" in a different manner; while rolling my eyes in disbelief at the acting and dialog. A better title for this flick would have been The Implausible.
The screenplay is by Sergio G. Sánchez from María Belón's story. Belón is the woman portrayed in the film by Naomi Watts. Since the writers were Spanish, we can only hope that something was lost in translation since I hardly believed any of the characters' words.
Watts does a decent job in the lead role, and it's a credit to her that she succeeds even to that extent, considering the direction and writing. Other actors don't fare as well. Tom Holland, who plays her son Lucas, shows some promise as an actor, but here he mostly comes off as an overly sentimental caricature. The other main character is the father portrayed by Ewan McGregor. McGregor's "acting" consists mainly of looking anguished in blood-smear makeup while screaming out the names of his family members.
Director Juan Antonio Bayona has decided that the best way to convey the hardship and emotions experienced by the poor souls who suffered through this ordeal is to show closeups of their faces to the accompaniment of some Williamsesque music done to the nth degree. I could just imagine John Williams (a.k.a. The Big Schmaltzy) sitting in a theater where this was playing, wincing and saying, "Eww, too much music."
I have to say that I felt a little uncomfortable while watching this movie. Here was a real and devastating tragedy, and I was feeling as much emotion as I do when I watch my computer run a virus scan. Those who suffered through this catastrophe deserve to have their stories told with dignity and gravitas. At the very least they deserve more than this uninspired and maudlin celluloid effort.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Apr 25, 2013The Legend of 1900 is one of the cleverest comedies ever filmed. Director Giuseppe Tornatore manages to get the viewer to believe they areThe Legend of 1900 is one of the cleverest comedies ever filmed. Director Giuseppe Tornatore manages to get the viewer to believe they are watching a serious movie about a boy who grows up (secretly) on an ocean liner. The boy becomes a man (still living on the ship but keeping a low profile). But he becomes not just any man; he emerges as a piano virtuoso the likes of which the ocean blue has never seen.
One particularly chortle-worthy scene depicts Tim Roth's character (the titular 1900 (HA HA HA)) lighting a cigarette off of the "hot" piano strings after his jazz duel with Jelly Roll Morton. HA HA HA HA, HO HO HO... whew! Oh, that is priceless.
The over-the-top script is delivered with hilarious high-school histrionics by a cast that includes the usually serious Pruitt Taylor Vince and Clarence (Linc) Williams III.
Hold on a second. This just in. I've been advised that this is indeed NOT a comedy. Really? Well then, I must remind myself to never watch anything with "Legend(s) of" in the title (e.g. Legend of Bagger Vance, Legends of the Fall, Legend of Zorro, Legend of 1900). I thought those were all comedies.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Apr 25, 2013I recently had the opportunity to see Good Will Hunting for the second time. I had not seen it since its video release in 1997. It's funny howI recently had the opportunity to see Good Will Hunting for the second time. I had not seen it since its video release in 1997. It's funny how 15 years can change your opinion about a movie. I was lukewarm to the film back then, but now 15 years wiser I see it in a new light.
I had initially dismissed this film as a two hour study of a bunch of unlikeable and unbelievable people. But now it is evident that Matt Damon deserved his Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the title character, the good Will Hunting.
Damon does a yeoman's job making us believe in someone who is not only a math genius with a photographic memory, but a barroom-brawler, cynic, janitor, lover, and all-around down-to-earth working-class Joe. Damon and his compadre Ben Affleck also deserved their Oscar screenplay win for creating a character more fantastic than any from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Robin Williams also deserved his Oscar win for having us buy his interpretation of an all-knowing beard-sporting eye-glinting joke-cracking-but-no-nonsense psychologist.
Affleck, director Gus Van Sant, and the rest of the cast merit mention as well for trying to get us to like and accept all the unappealing and implausible characters who populate this fantasy world.
All this leads me to believe that I should revisit films like Showgirls, The River Wild, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and The Greek Tycoon. Maybe I was a little too harsh in my initial assessment of these as well.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Apr 25, 2013Hugo is directed by either Spielberg or Scorsese. I think it's Scorsese, but it felt like Spielberg. The film even had some JohnHugo is directed by either Spielberg or Scorsese. I think it's Scorsese, but it felt like Spielberg. The film even had some John Williams-style big music, composed by Howard Shore (yeah, that's right! the saxophone player from the band Lighthouse!)
This fantasy is about a boy who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. Not since The Legend of 1900 have I heard of anything this screwy. Inside these walls are the guts of the station's clocks. The guts consist of cogs, gears, counterweights, pinions, springs, and inexplicably steam.
During the course of the film, we learn that Hugo is the dude that built C3PO (or some C3PO prototype). C3PO reveals to Hugo that the local old grump (played by Ben Kingsley) is in fact a forerunner to movie wizards like Spielsese or Scorberg.
Anyway, I saw this movie in regular old boring 2D. I didn't realize it was a 3D film until the scene where some pages with drawings go flying from the kids' hands and drift all over the screen. At first I was thinking, "What the hell is this all about? Am I supposed to be mesmerized by fluttering stationery?" Then I realized that this was intended to be seen in super-duper 3D. "Ahh," I thought, "Now I see. Ooooh, that would have been so cool to see all that paper flying around in 3D." We haven't witnessed anything like this in cinematic history since the famous bolo-bat scene in the 1953 film House of Wax.
Hugo does a lot of hiding and running, primarily from a train station cop played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen's character is an amalgam of Inspectors Javert and Clouseau. He and his trusty Doberman Pinscher cannot seem to track down the elusive boy who knows the station and its walls like the inner workings of an automaton. During one climactic scene, Hugo gives the Inspector the slip by doing a Harold Lloyd impression from a clock tower.
Once the Inspector catches up with Hugo, they have a talk. During the conversation, the little urchin makes the Inspector laugh. The Inspector tells him that he's funny. Hugo then says, "I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to f____n' amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny? What the f__k is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny!"
Wait a minute. I might me confused. That dialog might be from a different movie a real Scorcese film.
All in all, Hugo isn't such a bad movie. But in retrospect, I think I would have preferred watching the Harold Lloyd film, Safety Last.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Apr 25, 2013When I heard all the buzz about Sandra Bullock's performance in The Blind Side, I decided that I just had to rent the DVD. When I heard allWhen I heard all the buzz about Sandra Bullock's performance in The Blind Side, I decided that I just had to rent the DVD. When I heard all the buzz about papaya, I decided that I just had to try some. Both decisions left a bad taste in my mouth.
Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a plucky gun-wielding mom with a lot of spunk (remember what Lou Grant said about spunk?) One day, Leigh Anne notices a behemoth named Michael Oher (played well by Quinton Aaron) walking around shivering and homeless. She invites him to stay overnight in her upscale home.
Now, I don't know about most guys, but if some rich woman that looked like Sandra Bullock invited me to stay overnight in her home, I'd be there faster than a Viagra-laden Superman flying to his date with Lois Lane. However, after a few minutes of listening to Tuohy's junior-high psychology as well as enduring her general all-around annoying personality, I'd be out of there faster than Sarah Palin's ouster from a Mensa meeting.
Then there's Bullock's performance itself. I don't know if it suffered from the fact that she was portraying such an irritating person. I was hoping some hulk from the football team would mistake her for a blocking sled and... well, not really. But maybe the fact that the character got under my skin so much says something about Bullock's acting.
I doubt however that this is what was intended by all those involved in making this flick.
And, by the way, I'm still waiting for the first great football film to be made (the best of the bunch, Jerry McGuire and Heaven Can Wait can only marginally be considered football films).… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Apr 24, 2013Flight stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, a pilot who can fly a passenger jet through the eye of a needle even though he's downedFlight stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, a pilot who can fly a passenger jet through the eye of a needle even though he's downed enough alcohol to put Haystacks Calhoun on his keester.
Whitaker is no stranger to other mind-altering substances. He apparently can drink ten gallons of 150 proof hooch, fall asleep, then get himself back on his feet by snorting several lines of cocaine. And with all those drugs swirling around in his liver, he can expertly maneuver a disabled airplane upside-down (to be clear, it's the airplane that's upside-down. Although the Whipster could likely fly it standing on his head). What a stud!
However this is a pretty good movie. You'll really enjoy it if you first dispose of your jaded negativity.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Apr 24, 2013Be careful on the streets of New York. You'll find mayhem, close-calls, accidents, rude behavior, violence, and danger; and that's just fromBe careful on the streets of New York. You'll find mayhem, close-calls, accidents, rude behavior, violence, and danger; and that's just from the bicycle messengers.
Premium Rush is the story of one of those messengers (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who must make an important and urgent delivery through Manhattan rush-hour traffic. Gordon-Levitt's character, Wilee, is such a maniac that he rides a bike without brakes, derailleur gears or de rigueur rails.
Joining Wilee on this thrill ride are Manny (Wolé Parks) and Vanessa (Dania Ramirez). I don't know if this film is supposed to make us feel some sympathy for the plight of the downtrodden bicycle messenger, but I personally was rooting for the bad cop (Michael Shannon) to haul their hazardous hineys to the hoosegow for being the dangerous road jerks that they are.
The acting is uneven at best. Ramirez must have gone to the Scowling-Is-Acting School for Young Thespians. Not that she can't make a career out of a scowl. Bruce Willis has been a show-biz success for nearly 30 years with no discernible asset other than a smirk. Shannon's acting isn't much better. I've enjoyed his previous work in Boardwalk Empire and the excellent Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Here, however, he vacillates between a tough-as-nails Cagney-like bad guy to an exasperated high-pitched whining comic-relief character reminiscent of Curly Howard.
Most of the film's 90 minutes, is spent wheeling on bicycles through traffic. I found it rather tiresome (ha ha! get it? tiresome... tire... you know... bicycle... forget it).
If it's bicycles and a thrilling chase that you have a craving for, watch two movies Breaking Away and Bullitt. You'll get the fix you need and see two infinitely better films in the process.… Expand