Average User Score: 4.3Mar 23, 2015Remember that time Matthew Fox was in that Roshamon rip-off set in Spain? Or that time that they remade The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 for someRemember that time Matthew Fox was in that Roshamon rip-off set in Spain? Or that time that they remade The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 for some reason? No? That's a shame, because either is more memorable than this late-career paycheck for Sean Penn. In a loving ode to both Safe House and the Constant Gardner (that's what they did, right?...intentionally combined the most boring parts of these movies to cinematic test of fortitude for the casual observer), Sean Penn gallops around the world kicking all sorts of bad-guy-butt like only a 54-year-old can do these days. Somebody done him wrong...and they're about to get theirs once he figures it out.
The positives - the actors are top-notch (and committed to their roles), the scenery is quite lovely, and the film is not (as I suspected about half-way through) 4 hours long. The negatives - boring, derivative, falsely preachy, and saddled with the worst dialog I have seen since Attack of the Clones.
On the bright side, Sean Penn is extra bulked up. Which made me think...if he can look like that at his age, then I definitely can. I'm hitting the gym tonight and my wife will thank me for it in a year or so. So thanks for that, Mr. Penn. Sorry you had to melt your guns for your new lady, since it looks like you must have really missed them after making this movie.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.5Feb 13, 2015This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Awful. I love Michael Mann movies, but this was just terrible. I will summarize as follows - hunky computer geek with insane personal combat skills (???) catches an international cyberterrorist and walks away with enough money to live lavishly forever with his new, hot girlfriend. With that being said, there is a gunfight or two and NOBODY stages a gunfight like Michael Mann. I mean no one...that was a great scene. The rest of the movie? Meh...
Here's the deal - the plot is absolutely braindead. The plot twist (spoiler) is that the earlier hacks are a test run to destroy some tin mines and make a killing on the futures market. BUT...the hacker can apparently manipulate future markets anyway (that's how he got his front money), so why bother with the Tin scheme? Why not just do that Chicago Mercantile Exchange hack over and over again? Because Thor needs to kick some ass, that's why. I guess. I dunno. Just seems like the "surprise" is nothing more than a repeat of the beginning of the movie.
Very disappointing. I suspect Mr. Mann's next one will be great. For every Heat, he makes an Ali. For every Collateral he makes a Blackhat. Next one has to be fantastic, right?… Expand
Average User Score: 4.5Feb 13, 2015This gets my minimum rating for a Wachowski movie. 5 points for visuals and general goofiness, 0 points for everything else. Word to theThis gets my minimum rating for a Wachowski movie. 5 points for visuals and general goofiness, 0 points for everything else. Word to the wise - this movie is EXCEPTIONALLY stupid. Probably on par with Lucy, but in outer space. So if you think Lucy was a thoughtful movie, then this one is for you. Otherwise...
Plot is plodding. Characters development is negligent. Acting is marginal. Dialog is absurd. Creativity is absolutely absent - this is basically a mash-up of Cinderella, Flash Gordon, Star Wars (episode 3...which might not be the best one to crib), Hitchhikers Guide, and Dune, with slight traces of Ice Pirates.
The saving grace is occasional humor, mostly at the expense of civil servants. The February release looks intentional.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Jul 8, 2014This is pure science fiction - an idea supported by a story taking place in an imaginative setting. And when pure scifi works, it reallyThis is pure science fiction - an idea supported by a story taking place in an imaginative setting. And when pure scifi works, it really works well - that is exactly what happens here. As with most science fiction, you will need to let the "science" take a back seat to the "fiction," but if you do you will have a great time.
A welcome break from blockbusters, Snowpiercer is a fairly unique take on both the apocalyptic and the totalitarian. Although it has many elements stitched from prior movies (hints of everything from Old Boy to Soylent Green, to Brazil and everywhere in-between are cribbed here), the overall effect comes off as fresh and more than a little exciting. It is definitely a departure from the standard CGI-Blow-Stuff-Up-Aliens-Robots-and-Stuff-and-Such fair that is served weekly in US cinemas. We are treated to literally-straightforward story line (get to the front of the train), creative battle sequences, tension, humor, social commentary sufficiently removed from the present so as to be bearable, a dash of zaniness, and a satisfying (but not obvious) ending. Overall, a great experience.
More of this, less Transformers 4, please. Unless you want to keep eating your protein blocks...… Expand
Average User Score: 5.4Apr 2, 2014I felt this movie was astounding – flawed, but astounding. It is what it wants to be and it does not bow to convention. It is both a blockI felt this movie was astounding – flawed, but astounding. It is what it wants to be and it does not bow to convention. It is both a block buster and a psychological character study. It is both Biblical and inventive. It is both digital and auteur. It is also, obviously, very thought-provoking…which is more than can be said for most big movies these days.
What this movie is – a VERY loose interpretation of the Biblical flood story, with tiny packets of the Book of Enoch and the Qu’ran to flesh out the back story. As with most Aronofsky films, it is primarily a psychological study. What exactly does faith mean when it requires a man to let ALL OF HUMANITY DIE? If that man is sane, how does he react? Cope? Adjust to change? What are the depths of his despair if he feels that his familial compassion equate to failing his God? These are the questions posed in Noah, and it does a fairly (but not exceedingly) good job working through them.
What this movie is not – a Bible study or lesson in Theology. However, biblical accuracy is not one of my criteria for movie critiques. It would be akin to stating “Dante’s Inferno is HORRIBLE…there is no evidence for nine circles whatsoever in any religious text!” Obviously, such a criticism would miss the point. My suggestion is that if you are looking for Biblical consistency you should probably go see Son of God instead.
There are some slight flaws (e.g. the strength with which Mickey Rourke carries The Wrestler is in a different league than Russel Crowe’s performance; diversions into implied veganism and earth-first philosophy detract from the larger character study, etc.) but the good outweighs the bad. I choose to believe this movie is a step in the evolution of movies as both big and thought-provoking, and I quite liked it.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Jan 23, 2014Absolutely terrible. Overly indulgent at 3 hours - I get it (his life was just so), but that's no excuse for about an hour and a half ofAbsolutely terrible. Overly indulgent at 3 hours - I get it (his life was just so), but that's no excuse for about an hour and a half of extraneous material. Inexcusably sympathetic towards criminals (99% shows their debauchery, 1% shows their justice). Excessively misogynistic. And worst of all (aside from being boring) is that it feeds the ego of a true scumbag...he remains famous, he gets a sympathetic day in the sun, his victims don't even get the recognition of a name. Absolutely atrocious.
This could have been a great piece if...it spent half as much time personalizing Belfort's victim's as it did cataloging his hedonistic excesses...if it gave any insight into the motives and methods of the investigative team...if it treated sympathetic characters with sympathy (his wife, the lead detective who ends up on a subway, etc.)...if it chronicled his fall instead of showing us 2 minutes of a sleazy sales seminar...if it had a coda listing all the people who were ruined as the credits rolled (maybe it did; I didn't stick around)...if it was anything but a free pass for the scumbags involved.
This should be the movie that Scorsese and DiCaprio later tell us they are ashamed of. Instead, it is nominated for an Oscar. Was there no other worthy movie this year?… Expand
Average User Score: 3.5Aug 11, 2013My review is simple I took my three kids (ages 7, 5, and 3) to see it and they all laughed the entire time. That's the target audience, soMy review is simple I took my three kids (ages 7, 5, and 3) to see it and they all laughed the entire time. That's the target audience, so it works. Most adults will not enjoy it, but it's not really for us.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Aug 11, 2013Funny, but not the second coming of the Hangover, Borat, American Pie, or any other gut-busters. The premise is a decent one, the cast isFunny, but not the second coming of the Hangover, Borat, American Pie, or any other gut-busters. The premise is a decent one, the cast is (mostly) easy on the eyes, their comedic rhythm is great, and the set-piece jokes are pretty funny. Jason Sudeikis obviously moves the movie along, but it's a fun flick. Definitely not for kids.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Aug 11, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A swing and a miss...
This movie had a ton of potential (social commentary action superawesome!), but it's just a mess from frame one. In trying to be many things, it fails as social commentary (greed is bad I get it), an action movie (terribly boring), and sci-fi (turbulence on a space station? facial re-construction gets the beard right? the entire population of earth can be healed of all sickness with two shuttles and no one crowding a queue? what?).
The biggest miss here is probably the social commentary. Aside from a few Silkwood-like workers' rights abuses, the portrayal of most Earth citizens is basically drug addicted, cursing, fighting, stealing bums. It's hard to cheer for the whole human race if you don't show their nobility. It's equally hard to cheer against the citizens of Elysium if we don't see any other than the tyrannical defense minister and a calloused (and failed) business owner. All I know is that the rest of the people are in good shape and like to have parties is that evil? Do I hate them for that? I almost think Blomkamp could have lifted some lines from Roger and Me to at least make me dislike the rich folks a little.
I did not expect this to happen, but I believe both Oblivion and After Earth are better than this movie and neither one of those is special.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Jul 26, 2013Absolutely one of my favorite movies of the summer. Probably the best big-budget robot-vs-godzilla (c'mon..you know that's what this is)Absolutely one of my favorite movies of the summer. Probably the best big-budget robot-vs-godzilla (c'mon..you know that's what this is) movie that will ever be made. Every twist and device in the movie is a complete rip-off of something else, but it's so damned FUN that you can't help to like it...unless you are allergic to good times. As someone who enjoyed a little (ok...a lot of) Voltron back in the day, the "sword" scene almost had me jumping out of my seat. If you like robots and giant monsters, you love this movie. If not, I am sure there is some Scandinavian neo-realist retrospective playing somewhere.… Expand