Welcome! I'm MovieKnight

Movies are my passion. Movies are my life. If you can't talk about movies, I can't talk to you.
I don't have a "5 Stars" or "two thumbs up" rating system of my own. I rarely see a rating I agree with, and I'm not about to make the same mistake myself.
I do my best to make this blog interesting, useful, and informative.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm Still Here (September 16, 2010) R

Funniest comedy of 2010. Will be blogged soon.

Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Her)
Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Out of the Furnace)

January 22, 2014:
I figure I should say something about this movie.  It's been years since I've seen it, but I still remember laughing really, really hard.

Joaquin Phoenix during his famous 2009 interview
with David Letterman
(Photo taken from nydailynews.com)
This was that "Is it real?  Is he really quitting acting to be an actor?" documentary movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, directed by his good friend Casey Affleck.

This film also contains that famous interview with Phoenix when he was on Letterman.  Best. Interview. Ever.

This movie is ridiculous, and only see it if you are a huge Joaquin Phoenix fan or else you'll be bored, even though it's histerical.

Factoid: This was Casey Affleck's directorial debut.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Salt (July 23, 2010) PG-13

Angelina Jolie (Wanted 2008, Cleopatra 2013)
Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009)

There were original elements in this movie, yes, but the entire plot was enabled only by the incompitance of the entire government body and the complete lack of self-defense skills of every single Secret Service agent that Salt came in contact with. Government incompetence, sure I can get behind that, but are men who are so highly trained really so helpless?

Overall, I did not enjoy this movie. There were one or two "wow" moments, but there wasn't enough good stuff to compensate for where the movie lacked.

This is NOT a must see. Ever, even on DVD.

Factoid: Angelina Jolie actually had a "Spy Advisor" (click here http://morrisonworldnews.com/?p=22021 for the complete story) named Melissa Mahle who educated Jolie about disguises, adopting multiple personae, and living the act...

Charlie St. Cloud (July 30, 2010) PG

Zach Efron (17 Again 2009, The Lucky One 2012)
Charlie Tahan (Nights in Rodanthe 2009)
Amanda Crew (She's the Man 2006, Repeaters 2011)
Ray Liotta (Smokin' Aces 2006, The Son of No One 2011)

I hate to admit, I liked this movie.

Now, I'm not saying I liked this movie, cause I didn't. But I liked it. I enjoyed it.

Now I'm not saying I enjoyed it, but it was pleasant and enjoyable.

Pleasant, but immature in its simplicity. I thought the story would be original...

Basically, Amanda Crew is hot, and I hope to see more of her.

My favorite part, however, was the new kid on the block: Charlie Tahan. He plays Charlie's little brother, and he's histerical.

Factoid: Zach Efron and Charlie Tahan had to learn how to sail in order to do the opening scene of the movie.

The Expendables (August 13, 2010) R

Sylvester Stallone (Judge Dredd 1995, The Zookeeper 2011)
Jason Statham (Crank 2006, Pretty, Baby, Machine 2011)
Randy Coutor (Invincible 2006)
Steve Austin (The Condemned 2007, The Boxer and the Kid 2011)
Jet Li (Hero 2002, New Dragon Gate Inn 2011)
Dolph Lundgren (Masters of the Universe 1987, Universal Soldier: The New Dimension 2011)
Charisma Carpenter (Angel 1999-2004, The Human Factor 2011)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight 2008, The Wayshower 2011)
Giselle Itei (The Mystery of Sintra 2007)
Terry Crews (Gamer 2009, Lottery Ticket 2010)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler 2008, Pretty, Baby, Machine 2011)

I hoped for something incredible and unbelievable. I got EXACTLY what I wanted.

And how could you go wrong with the above-mentioned cast?! Terry Crews must be counting his blessings for having landed the role he got with the cast he worked with. He had the coolest gun of all, too... That gun freaked me out the first time. I was out of my seat.

And the action was like nothing I'd ever seen before.

Jet Li wore heavy combat boots that, I believe, slowed him down so he wasn't his usual quick, nimble self. Watching him fight was like watching a short white martial arts expert--it almost wasn't Jet Li. I liked seeing something different (for once) from Li.

And Stallone has still got it. Still ripped, still grabs your attention, and still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

The plot? Perhaps it's the simplicity of the plot that I loved so much.

This is a MUST SEE in theaters, and is NOT FOR THE FEINT OF HEART...

Factoid: Stallone is talking about a sequel...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Other Guys (August 6, 2010) PG-13

Will Ferrell (Stepbrothers 2008, Everything Must Go 2010)
Mark Wahlberg (We Own the Night 2007, The Fighter 2010)
Eva Mendes (We Own the Night 2007, Southbound 2010)

While Will Ferrell was his usual hilarious, predictably unpredictable self, it was Wahlberg who got the hard laughs out of me in The Other Guys. His anger and impatience made for histerical chemistry with Ferrell. It was new and unique.

Also, Eva Mendes was WAY hot.

Factoid: Rob Riggle gives tazers to school children in this movie. He did the same thing in The Hangover.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Predators (July 9, 2010) R

Adrien Brody (The Jacket 2005, Midnight in Paris 2011)
Topher Grace (In Good Company 2004, The Double 2011)
Alice Braga (I Am Legend 2007, The Rite 2011)
Walter Goggins ("Justified" 2010, Cowboys & Aliens 2011)
Oleg Taktarov (Righteous Kill 2008, Ultimate Champion 2010)
Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix 1999, Contagion 2011)
Danny Trejo (The Devil's Rejects 2005, Machete 2010)

With Robert Rodriguez directing, I didn't know where this movie was going to go. That's one of the benefits of being a totally unpredictable director.

My roommate, Jason, and I agree that Predators is totally comparable to Predator and Predator 2.

The action was great.

The actors and characters were all perfect, totally perfect.

Lawrence Fishburne was freaking awesome.

And Topher Grace didn't ruin the movie like I though he might. He actually filled his role perfectly. That was my biggest peeve about this movie was that I thought they'd try to make Topher Grace out to be some kind of hardcore killer. I'm glad they didn't, cause Topher Grace is a pansy who ruined Spiderman 3 single-handedly.

The Predators in this movie were awesome, too. Not to be tangled with.

As seen in previews, the film also gives a much-desired insight into the Predator home world. Loved it. I want to see more.

I want a sequel. I want Robert Rodriguez to do another Predators movie.

Oh wait, he wants that too!!!

Not bad for a Twilight-sized budget...

Factoid: Rodriguez wrote this movie back in 1994, but 20th Century Fox denied it for budgeting reasons. The story presented in Predators is the same story Rodriguez wrote in 1994.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The A-Team (June 11, 2010) PG-13

Liam Neeson (Taken 2008, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 2010)
Bradley Cooper (The Hangover 2009, The Hangover 2 2011)
Sharlto Copley (District 9 2009)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (Death Warrior 2009, Duel of Legends 2011)
Jessica Biel (The Illusionist 2006, Nailed 2010)
Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera 2004, Morning Glory 2010)

Sharlto Copley (Howling Mad Murdock) is completely histerical! He was to The A-Team what James Franco was to Pineapple Express. The film would have been average without him.

Liam Neeson (Hannibal Smith) did a fantastic job (as expected) as well. His performance was matched by that of Bradley Cooper (Faceman) and Quinton Jackson ("B.A." Baracus).

I must confess also that I've never watched an episode of "The A-Team". I can't say whether or not this movie stayed true to the traditions of the 80s TV show.

The entire movie was filled with unique action and comedy.

For a remake, it was totally original.

Factoid: Filming The A-Team got Liam Neeson hooked on cigars again, after having abstained from them for 17 years. He said in an interview that the only preparation for this role he had to do involved preparing himself to smoke cigars again.

Inception (July 16, 2010) PG-13

Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo + Juliet 1996, Hoover 2012)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick 2005, Live With It 2010)
Tom Hardy (Eddie and the Cruisers 1983, Last Will 2010)
Ken Watanabe (Batman Begins 2005, Shanghai 2010)
Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins 2005, At Swim-Two-Birds 2010)
Dileep Rao (Drag Me To Hell 2009, Avatar 2009)
Ellen Page (Hard Candy 2005, Super 2010)
Marion Cotillard (Nine 2009, Little White Lies 2010)
Pete Postlethwaite (Romeo + Juliet 1996, The Town 2010)
Michael Caine (Batman Begins 2005, Gnomeo and Juliet 2011)
Lukas Haas (Brick 2005, Crazy Eyes 2010)

Even though the previews made this movie seem too good to be true, I STILL was not disappointed. In fact, this movie was even better than expected, and my expectations were high. I entered the theater with NO idea what I was really in for, and left the theater raving and wanting to see Inception a second and third time while still in theaters.

The film features a few of Director Christopher Nolan's personal favorite people (Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, and Ken Watanabe). It was cool to see this Batman Begins cast together again.

The film was extremely modern as well, and took the "heist" movie genre to an entire new level.

In order to understand what this movie is about (because the trailers may be ambiguous) you must understand two words/ideas. The first is "extraction."

Extraction is the idea of entering a person's mind through their dreams with the intent and purpose of taking information from the person's mind--information that they would never divulge in the waking world.

Inception is the idea of entering a person's mind through their dreams with the intent and purpose of planting an idea in a person's mind--an idea that will take and remain in the waking world. An idea that the person will act upon.

What surprised me about this movie was the amount of action in it. I went into the theater expecting an intellectually intriguing film (which it was), but I was not expecting it to be so completely action-packed.

I love this movie.

Factoid: In both Shutter Island and Inception, DiCaprio plays a man who's wife haunts his mind.
Also, this is Michael Caine's fourth film he's done with Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception).

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Last Airbender (July 1, 2010) PG-13

Noah Ringer (Cowboys and Aliens 2011)
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire 2008)
Nicola Peltz (Deck the Halls 2006, Unbound Captives 2011)
Jackson Rathbone (Twilight 2008, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 2011)
Sychelle Gabriel (The Spirit 2008, Falling Skies 2010)

It's like this movie exists only for its own sake. I walked out of the theater with a feeling of "so what?" I'm sure if I was a fan of the anime TV show "Avatar: The Last Airbender", I'd be singing a different tune. But I shouldn't have to watch the show to enjoy the movie. This isn't Twilight.

The special effects were nothing to look away from, don't get me wrong, but the story and feel of the overall movie was nothing new.

I was especially disappointed that this movie was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I expected this to be one of the best movies this year simply because Night Wrote, Directed, and Produced it. It was not one of the best movies; not by a long-shot.

I made the mistake of watching this movie in 3-D also. All that did was screw up my peripheral view, and made the movie less enjoyable. There's no need to see this movie in 3-D. I think the 3-D thing was an after-thought...

Factoid: Me and Sychelle Gabriel share the same birthday, but not the same birth year.
Factoid: The casting of this film (in Philly) was met with severe criticism from fans who believed white actors should not be playing the traditionally Asian characters.
Factoid: This film's production budget was $150 million, and had a marketing budget of $130 million.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grown Ups (June 25, 2010) PG-13

Adam Sandler (Reign Over Me 2007, The Zookeeper 2011)
Kevin James (Hitch 2005, The Zookeeper 2011)
Chris Rock (The Longest Yard 2005, Death at a Funeral 2010)
Rob Schneider (The Animal 2001, The Chosen One 2010)
David Spade (Black Sheep 1996, Hollywood and Wine 2010)
Maria Bello (A History of Violence 2005, Abduction 2011)
Salma Hayek (Bandidas 2006, Puss in Boots 2011)
Madison Riley (Fired Up! 2009, The Prankster 2010)

This movie is my facebook status. It's completely histerical.

I wondered, before, if so many comedians in a movie would be funny or overkill. They were hilarious, and had great chemistry.

Probably my favorite part was when David Spade was passed out drunk, then Adam Sandler and Kevin James started messing with him. I almost fell forward out of my chair.

I wouldn't necessarily say this is a "theater" movie, except that you don't want to watch Madison Riley work on her car on anything smaller than a big screen...

Great movie, check it out.

Factoid: The scene in the movie where David Spade mentions getting "wasted" in front of everyone's kids is based on real life times where Spade visited Adam Sandler's family.

Knight and Day (June 23, 2010) PG-13

Cameron Diaz (The Holiday 2006, The Green Hornet 2011)
Tom Cruise (Valkyrie 2008, Mission: Impossible IV 2011)
Peter Sarsgaard (Flightplan 2005, Green Lantern 2011)
Marc Blucas ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer" 1999-2002, "True Blue" 2010)

I really liked watching Tom Cruise being a crazy, rogue secret agent. The movie is really about him. This movie is to Tom what From Paris With Love was to John Travolta.

Cameron Diaz was great too, of course. She and Tom had great chemistry.

I don't have much to say about the film. Even with Tom's hilarious performance, this movie doesn't make an enormous contribution to the cinema world, and will most likely be forgotten in the coming years.

It was fun to watch though.

Factoid: In an interview, Tom Cruise refers to Knight and Day as a "story of boy meets girl."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Toy Story 3 (June 18, 2010) G

Tom Hanks (Big 1988, The Lost Symbol 2012)
Tim Allen (Galazy Quest 1999, Brothers 2011)
Joan Cusack (War, Inc. 2008, Hitman 2 2012)
Ned Beatty (Captain America 1990, Shooter 2003)
Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice 1988, The Other Guys 2010)

This is definitely Disney's best movie since, well, Toy Story 2! I laughed, I weeped, and I sat on the edge of my seat in anticipation the whole movie. What a great, creative plot! What hilarious characters!

The creators and actors of this movie didn't miss a beat since the last one. The movie takes place with Andy about to leave for college, and his favorite childhood toys are wondering where their fate lies... The attic, or the dump?!?!

But, as usual, there's no predicting what these toys will do and what measures they're willing to take to show their devotion to their true owner.

I seriously laughed so hard in this movie I was embarrassed... I laughed harder than my date, Ashlee, even though the movie was her choice not mine...

Factoid: Toy Story 3 made $110 million its first weekend; Pixar's best opening weekend ever.
Factoid: Sid, from the first Toy Story, appears as a garbage man in this movie.
Factoid: The plot and story for Toy Story 3 was 2-1/2 years in the making.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (May 28, 2010) PG-13

Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead 2005, Love and Other Drugs 2010)
Gemma Arterton (Quantom of Solace 2008, Tamara Drewe 2010)
Ben Kingsley (Lucky Number Sleven 2006, Number 13 2011)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2 2004, Poe 2011)

Despite the predictable plot, steriotypical villians, and the fact that Prince of Persia was a video game adaption, this was a very entertaining and enjoyable movie.

Gyllenhaal delivered a great performance. The 29-year-old actor has shown me nothing but outstanding performances (and no, I've not seen Brokeback Mountain) since October Sky in '99, and I was concerned to see a serious actor stoop to the level of a video game movie. However, my worries were unconfirmed as I saw Gyllenhaal give the movie just the amount of performance it needed to be good.

The movie takes place in a fictional 6th century Persia ruled by white people who travel around conquering fictional cities. The plot picks up when Dastan, an adopted price of Persia, breaks orders and leads an invasion of a peaceful city that contains a powerful secret and a SERIOUS Bond-girl hotty.

Dastan, being smart, decides that a hotty would make his scenes more enjoyable, and decides to drag her through the entire movie. Thank you, writers.

Overall, it's not fair that such a good movie would be released right after 2010's heaviest hitters--Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood--but Prince of Persia is still a good movie.

Factoid: Gyllenhaal confessed, in an E.T. interview, that he "over-prepared" for his role physically because he didn't know what they were going to ask him to do, and he wanted to make sure he'd "hopefully be able to do anything."
Regarding all the muscle he gained for the film, Gyllenhaal says that after filming is done his muscle will "turn into fat, and I'm going to be happy."

Robin Hood (April 9, 2010) PG-13

Russell Crowe (Gladiator 2000, Westworld 2012)
Cate Blanchett (The Aviator 2004, Indian Summer 2011)
Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes 2009, Green Lantern 2011)
Kevin Durand (3:10 to Yuma 2007, Real Steel 2011)
Oscar Isaac (The Nativity Story 2006, Sucker Punch 2011)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night 2007, The Warrior's Way 2010)
Matthew Macfayden (Pride and Prejudice 2005, The Three Muskateers 2011)
Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist 1973, Truth and Reason 2011)
William Hurt (The Village 2004, Shadows 2010)

I knew, as soon as I saw that Danny Huston (Who's vampiric performance in 30 Days of Night made Salem's Lot look like a Twilight prequel) was going to play King Richard (typically a character who inspires hope) I knew that Ridley Scott's version of Robin Hood wasn't going to be wearing TIGHT tights!

Russell Crowe, who's delivered outstanding performances for the past decade since Gladiator, played history's famous quasi-fictional character Robin Hood. He brought the character in both a traditional, but, also, totally different direction as other Robin Hood films. They stayed true to his ever-famous archery abilities, and his persuit of the Lady Marion, but also surprised me with much of the plot and story.

Mark Strong played the new Robin Hood villian, Sir Godfrey (at least I never heard of him before) with skill, and I would have been impressed had his performance in Sherlock Holmes not been so much better.

I could go on about Danny Huston, Cate Blanchett, and William Hurt's dramatic performances, but it would get redundant after a while and you REALLY should experience this movie for yourself in theaters. I'm sure, since it's good, that it won't be in theaters much longer...

Robin Hood shot a bulls-eye. Did I seriously just write that?

And did I mention it's a prequel?

Factoid: True to his record, Russell Crowe recently stormed and cursed his way out of a BBC radio interview when the interviewer accused Crowe of having an Irish accent in Robin Hood. I love Russell Crowe. He and Christian Bale need to freak out on people more.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010) PG-13

Robert Downey, Jr. (Sherlock Holmes 2009, The Avengers 2012)
Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda 2004, The Avengers 2012)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Two Lovers 2008, Don't Let Me Down 2010)
Scarlett Johansson (The Prestige 2006, The Avengers 2012)
Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile 1999, Cowboys and Aliens 2011)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane 2006, The Avengers 2012)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler 2008, The Expendables 2010)

I liked the first one better, but Iron Man 2 definitely can hold its own against other super-hero movies.

Downey, Jr. reprised his "born-to-play" role with more attitude and cavalier than in the first movie. He once again contributed something new and welcomed to the Iron Man legacy.

Different from the first movie, Iron Man 2 wasn't the expected battle against terrorism. This one seemed more "Hancock-ish", with our hero battling himself as much as villians.

And what awesome villians there were! The United States Gov't (Garry Shandling never had a chance), Sam Rockwell (sort of a Lex Luther's witty cousin type), and the ever-impressive and show-stealing Mickey Rourke as he plays Whiplash--the smaller-time Iron Man villian who is the primary villian in this story.
Whenever Rourke was on screen I was enthralled. After seeing The Wrestler I'll never doubt Rourke's abilities as an actor (not to mention Killshot and Sin City).

Overall, I liked this movie a LOT.

Factoid: Terrence Howard was slotted to reprise his role as Tony Stark's best friend and ally Rhodey, a.k.a. "War Machine." However, after demanding pay equivalent to Downey, Jr.'s, the film-makers replaced him with Academy Award-winner Don Cheadle. Cheadle was happy to play the role for less money than Terrence Howard (who'd only claim to fame is Iron man) had demanded.
In short, this is the worst case of an actor "blowing it" that I've ever heard of. His short-sightedness, however, didn't stop him from landing the role of Nelson Mandela (A politician ranked among legends like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Winston Churchill) in the 2011 film Winnie.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kick-Ass (April 16, 2010) R

Aaron Johnson (The Illusionist 2006, Chatroom 2010)
Lyndsy Fonseca ("How I Met Your Mother" 2005-2010, The Ward 2010)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad 2007, Marmaduke 2010)
Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes 2009, Robin Hood 2010)
Chloe Moretz ((500) Days of Summer 2009, Jack and the Beanstalk 2010)
Nicolas Cage (Matchstick Men 2003, Drive Angry 2011)

I wasn't prepared for how good Kick-Ass was! I thoroughly enjoyed this entire movie. I had to pee 10 minutes into it, but couldn't bring myself to leave and miss one minute of this film.

The movie follows Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) who decides to become a "super-hero" named Kick-Ass so that he can fight crime. His motivation: To see if being a super-hero can really be accomplished.
His easy-going, mild, crime-fighting side-life is escalated into something much more dangerous and serious, however, when the destructive, disruptive, and heroic actions of Big Daddy and Hit Girl (played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz respectively) are mistaken for the actions of small-timer, Kick-Ass. The ameteur quickly finds himself in the cross-hairs of big-time, no-nonsense villians.

This isn't your typical comic-book movie by any means. There are no super-powers, there are no "death-rays" or plots to destroy earth. It's just a bunch of people; some good, some bad, some who do bad things to good people, and some who do bad things to BAD people.

I must also point out that Hit Girl is my favorite. The the best movie character of this decade so far.

Movies this good are going to give me bladder problems later in life...

Factoid: Before dropping a very articulated C-word in Kick-Ass, Chloe Moretz had a very extensive acting career, including (500) Days of Summer (2009), The Amityville Horror (2005), The Poker House (2008), and voice work on numerous Winnie the Pooh cartoons as the character "Darby". Chloe actually did have to learn to be very skilled with butterfly knives for her part in this film. Not bad for a 13-year-old...

Factoid: Kick-Ass the movie is based off a comic book series of the same name.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Up in the Air (December 23, 2009) R

George Clooney (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? 2000, The American 2010)
Vera Formiga (The Departed 2006, Source Code 2011)
Anna Kendrick (Twilight 2008, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World 2010)
Jason Bateman (Extract 2009, Arrested Development 2011)

I can see from this film why it was nominated for 6 Oscars. But naturally, since the film was really good, it didn't win any.

The story itself is so relevent to current events and modern society. It really spoke to our time.

The acting was wonderful too. Even though I'm completely head-over-heels in love with Vera Formiga, I found myself liking Anna Kendrick's performance more. She was beautiful and real. Her character was a unique and called-for addition to an already original movie.

Clooney's performance was nothing deserving an Oscar, but he did do a good job.

And I can't say enough about Vera Formiga. I LOVE that woman. I truly hope she gets cast in "The Walking Dead" TV show.

Factoid: Vera Formiga grew up in Jersey, but spoke only Ukrainian until she went to school.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Clash of the Titans (April 2, 2010) PG-13

A great cast I don't feel like listing right now.

This movie sucked. It's 1:13 am and I'm tired and I don't feel like getting into the nitty gritty.

Don't bother with this movie.

Don't waste your $8 on this movie.

Here is a list of movies that were better than Clash of the Titans:

The Mummy Returns
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Spiderman 3

Believe it, it's true.

The plot was the worst part of all, but almost as bad was the acting and lame characters. There were attempts at comic relief that failed throughout the movie. There were overly dramatic characters. There was computer animation when real people could have been used.

Plus (and I say this having not seen the original) there were no Titans "clashing".

Oh, and Zeus was naive and bipolar. First time ever I'm complaining about Liam Neeson...

It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO LAME!!!! And I HATE using all caps so you KNOW I mean it.

Factoid: This movie was a remake, and a bad one.
I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO disappointed. I thought it would at least be GOOD.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shutter Island (February 19, 2010) R

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed 2006, Inception 2010)
Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004, Margaret 2010)
Ben Kingsley (War, Inc. 2008, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 2010)
Michelle Williams (I'm Not There 2007, Meek's Cutoff 2010)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen 2009, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010)

This movie followed District 9 right onto my unofficial Top 10 List.

I thought I'd already seen all of Leo's tricks, the best he had to offer, after seeing The Departed, Blood Diamond, and Basketball Diaries, but he still impresses and shows me things I've never seen before. He was fantastic.

The story, also, was so great it would have been enormously successful even without Leo, but the combination of a totally unique story, Scorsese's directing, and Leo made for an totally successful, original, bar-raising thriller/drama.

The music deserves recognition as well, as it was very uniquely utilized. The music road shotgun for a number of scenes, and was different and contributed much to the moods and intensities.

And, of course, the exchange between Leo and Jackie Earle Haley totally rocked my world and broke my heart. It was amazing to see Haley go from Rorschach (emotionally unbreakable and borderline murderous) to George Noyce (meek but apparently still murderous). His performance in Shutter Island is one of the best movie moments (however short) I've ever seen.

Factoid: Leo himself admits that sometimes he'd be filming a scene and wasn't sure if it was a dream sequence or "reality" in the film.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Crazies (February 26, 2010) R

Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard 2007, Elektra Luxx 2010)
Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill 2006)
Joe Anderson (Across the Universe 2007, Flutter 2010)
Danielle Panabaker (Mr. Brooks 2007, Weakness 2010)
Glenn Morshower ("24" 2001-2009, Walking Distance 2010)
Brett Rickaby (On the Doll 2007, Bereavement 2010)

This movie was DISTURBING, just like I'd hoped.

Timoty Olyphant delivered a great performance, as expected, as did everyone else in the cast. Joe Anderson disappeared into his role, as always, and was a point of interest throughout most of the film. Of course it's also always good to see Glenn Morshower, gotta love him.

I was surprised how easy to follow the plot was though. The whole time you pretty much knew exactly what was going on, versus other George A. Romero films that are plagued with deadly viruses and lots of questions that start with the word "How...?"

I must conclude by saying that this film was INTENSE. It was GROTESQUE. It was HORRID and SICK and I enjoyed the whole thing.

Not for the faint of heart.

Factoid: This film was a remake of the 1973 film by George A. Romero of the same name.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Edge of Darkness (January 29, 2010) R

Mel Gibson (Braveheart 1995, The Beaver 2010)
Ray Winstone (Beowolf 2007, Red Snow 2011)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night 2007, Robin Hood 2010)
Bojana Nokanovic (Drag Me to Hell 2009, Devil 2011)

I love Mel. Always will, no matter what stupid, ignorant stuff he says. He's always been a brilliant actor, and I've loved everything I've seen him in. Including Edge of Darkness.

But not all I have to say about Edge of Darkness is good. The film did have a lot of heart. Mel really pulled me into the pain he felt at the sudden, horrid loss of his only daughter--the only woman in his life. I felt his pain right along with him, and I don't even have kids!

The film also had an originality to it that is strange considering it really was, in a lot of ways, just another conspiracy movie. It was an unpredictable conspiracy movie, and one that I liked a lot.

And, of course, Ray Winstone is in it along with Danny Huston, so there was no lack of legitimate actors doing great jobs contributing to the whole dark, foreboding mood.

Factoid: Part of the purpose of this movie, according to Mel and the Director, was to show what a man can do when he has nothing left to lose and doesn't care if he lives or dies.
Also, the film is a remake of a BBC mini-series television show of the same name, with the same character names, and a similar political/conspiracy plot-line.

From Paris With Love (February 5, 2010) R

John Travolta (Face/Off 1997, Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride 2011)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Mission: Impossible III 2006, At Swim-Two-Birds 2010)
Kasia Smutniak (Carnera: The Walking Mountain 2008, La passione 2010)

What an awesome movie. I have a renewed respect for John Travolta. Rhys Meyers was alright, but this was definitely Travolta's show.

I half expected this to be another Rush Hour type movie, with lots of laughs and enough plot to get by. As it turns out, the plot wasn't the best part of this film. It was Travolta, and the great things he says and does throughout the story.

I mean (sort of a spoiler-alert here...) Travolta makes Rhys Meyers carry around a big vase full of crack for half the movie! How often do you see stuff like that?!

And, as in the previews, Travolta enjoys a "Royale with cheese." It was great to hear/see that, being the enormous Tarantino fan I am...

And, I swear, Travolta must've lifted like crazy to look how he did. I've never seen him like this.

Factoid: Travolta enjoyed acting with Rhys Meyers, and describes him as "agreeable", punctual, and intelligent.

The Wolfman (February 12, 2010) R

Benicio Del Toro (Sin City 2005, The Three Stooges 2010)
Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria 2009, Gulliver's Travels 2010)
Anthony Hopkins (The Mask of Zorro 1998, Thor 2011)
Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta 2005, The Hobbit: Part 1 2012)

I had high hopes for The Wolfman, I really did. Some of my hopes were met, like my hope that the movie would surprise me here and there, that the film would be extreme and grotesque, and that the film would have great acting and shed an artistic light to the mindlessly bloody story of the wolfman. The film did all of these things, but it also failed in some important regards.

The plot was supposed to be deep and maybe even meaningful, but the film all felt too self-contained and predictable. It felt like this film exists for its own sake.

If you're not looking for anything deep or philisophical though, this is still a great movie. Blood, guts, jump-scenes, great special effects, action, and the creepiest ferrel boy you've ever seen.

I liked this movie, but it was disappointingly predictable and unoriginal.

Factoid: Today is Emily Blunt's 27th birthday.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief (PG) February 12, 2010

Logan Lerman (3:10 to Yuma 2007, Gamer 2009, Untitled Spiderman Movie 2012 rumored as Peter Parker...)
Brandon T. Jackson (Fast and Furious 2009, Lottery Ticket 2010)
Alexandra Dadario ("All My Children" 2002-2003, "White Collar" 2009-2010, Bereavement 2010)
Sean Bean (Troy 2004, The Magnificent Eleven 2010)
Pierce Brosnan (The Tailer of Panama 2001, The Ghost Writer 2010)
Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds 2008, The Zookeeper 2010)
Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin 2005, Nailed 2010)
Uma Thurman (Kill Bill: Vol. 1 2003, Kill Bill: Vol. 3 2014)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix 1999, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore 2010)

Alexandra Dadario is hot, and in real life she's 24 even though she plays a 17-year-old in this movie. Very hot. That's the most important thing in this blog posting.

The movie would be entertaining if I was much younger, but overall it had little to offer by way of originality or thrills. The story was rushed like the movie Eragon was. Also, it was predictable and childish.

Not even Sean Bean could save it with his depiction of Zeus. I thought he'd show me something new, but he breezed through the role only managing to take away from the movie.

It's a movie for kids, though it does hold some entertainment value for grown-ups. It's a good theater experience too, as parts of the movie are epic in scale.

Factoid: Alexandra Daddario trained at a sort of "boot camp" for three weeks for her action roles. Also, she's very hot.

Legion (January 22, 2010) R

Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code 2006, Priest 2011)
Lucas Black (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 2006)
Dennis Quaid (Pandorum 2009, Soul Surger 2011)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers 2007, Transformers 3 2011)
Adrianne Palicki (Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II 2008, Red Dawn 2010)
Charles S. Dutton (Secret Window 2004, The Obama Effect 2010)
Willa Holland ("The O. C." 2006-2007, Straw Dogs 2011)
Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009, Robin Hood 2010)

Going into the theater I didn't expect much in the way of creativity or "film art" from Legion. I've seen Paul Bettany play the same character in so many other movies--dramatic, serious, and breathy. Part of what drew me to this movie was Kevin Durand, the rest was knowing that if the movie was terrible, it would at least be entertaining.

The film wasn't completely terrible, though. It had a few moments. It touched on the psychological as well as the Biblical--in a very non-Biblical way of course.

The plot lays out exactly as the trailer explains: God has lost faith in mankind, but he already promised not to flood the earth again. So to wipe out mankind, he's sending angels. Paul Bettany is an angel, but he doesn't want to kill mankind, so he comes to Paradise Falls (coincidental town name?) to rescue a pregnant girl whose child is the only hope humanity has of survival.

Sounds lame? Yeah, it pretty well is, but the film-makers did a lot with what crap they had to work with. I'm sure an ensemble cast helped a little... I have yet to see a Bettany or Durand movie I didn't love.

And what was very grabbing was the enchanges between Bettany and Durand. I'd love to see them do more movies together. I can't wait to see Durand play Little John, fictional histories favorite side-kick.

The film also had cool fighting and action scenes. Lots of guns.

Factoid: Paul Bettany went on record saying that the reason he accepted his role was because it was a kind of role he's never played before. Lots of guns.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (January 8, 2010) PG-13

Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight 2008)
Christopher Plummer (The New World 2005, Priest 2010)
Andrew Garfield (Lions for Lambs 2007, I'm Here 2010)
Lily Cole (Rage 2009, There Be Dragons 2010)
Johnny Depp (Public Enemies 2009, Alice in Wonderland 2010)
Colin Farrell (The New World 2005, The Way Back 2010)
Jude Law (Rage 2009, Repo Men 2010)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 1999, War of the Dragon 2010)
Tom Waits (Domino 2005, The Book of Eli 2010)

Beautifully weird, deranged, and TOTALLY original.

What if you made a deal with the devil, and you had the ability to transport people into yours/their imagination where they chose between selling their soul to the devil or not without knowing it?!?! What kind of movie would that be?

And I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to see Heath back in action. My heart truly broke with his passing. It hurt, so seeing him again in a film really made me happy.

If you miss Heath, you MUST see this.

Regardless of my love for Heath, though, I must say there were plot holes just I just couldn't ignore. It took away from the film slightly, but I still loved this movie. It was great acting on the parts of all the characters--ALL OF THEM. The whole cast listed above did fantastic, and Andrew Garfield and Lily Cole made a great first impression on me. They are very talented.

Factoid: Heath had only finished filming two thirds of his role when he passed. The remainder of his important role had to played by others once the decision to finish the film was made. The condition was that the three men who played Heath's character had to be his friends--hence, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp were chosen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Lovely Bones (January 15, 2009) PG-13

Saoirse Ronan (City of Ember 2008, The Way Back 2010)
Mark Wahlberg (Max Payne 2008, The Fighter 2010)
Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada 2006, Easy A 2010)
Rachel Weisz (The Fountain 2006, The Whistleblower 2010)
Susan Sarandon (Elizabethtown 2005, Peacock 2010)
Rose McIver ("Maddigan's Quest" 2006, "Power Rangers: R.P.M." 2009)

It's rare to see a film with such a polar contrast between beauty and hideousness. Only Peter Jackson could pull it off so perfectly.

The acting was great all around, but of course the performance that stood out most was Stanley Tucci's rendition of a sick murderer. I've never seen Tucci in such a horrific role before, and he did it so well.

I honestly thought I was prepared for what The Lovely Bones had to offer, but even after seeing every trailer/commercial for this film 100 times I still was blown away, surprised, and impressed throughout the film.

I loved it, and think it's something everyone should see (in theaters).

Factoid: Rose McIver plays Saoirse Ronan's younger sister, even though in real life McIver is 22 and Ronan is 15.

The Book of Eli (January 15, 2010) R

Denzel Washington (Man on Fire 2004, Unstoppable 2010)
Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight 2008, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II 2011)
Mila Kunis (Max Payne 2008, Black Swan 2010)
Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone 2008, Thor 2011)
Jennifer Beals (Runaway Jury 2003, "Lie to Me" 2009)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005, Ivan the Fool 2012)

If not for the incredible acting on the parts of the entire cast, The Book of Eli would have not been worth watching.

Truly, Eli is not your typical hero, and Carnegie (Oldman) isn't your typical villian. Both are obsessed with this book, and both will kill anyone to keep/get it.

What the movie failed to do was elaborate on the post-apocolyptic world the characters live in. It was pretty bad, but it all seemed a little too Mad Max-ish for me. I didn't see much there I hadn't seen before.

What stood out most in the film (besides the numerous, distracting product-placements?) was how beautiful Mila Kunis was. Everyone in the film had cracked lips, dirty faces, ratty clothes, and had a generally post-apocolyptic look to them. Ms. Kunis, however, seemed to have hired a professional make-up artist... did she pay her with canteens of water?

The film started cool, though somewhat irrelevantly, and ended on a corny, overly dramatic note. I liked it, but I was very disappointed. Worst part is I'll bet the film-makers think they're clever.

Factoid: The distance from New York City to Los Angeles is ~2,800 miles. Walking around 10 miles a day it would take less than a year to get from the east coast to the west coast. In the film, Eli claims to have been heading west for the last 30 years... That's enough time to have walked the circumference of Earth (25,000 miles) roughly four or five times. How many times did Eli cross the same spot?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Adam (August 7, 2009) PG-13

Hugh Dancy (King Arthur 2004, Down and Dirty Pictures 2010)
Rose Byrne (28 Weeks Later 2007, Get Him to the Greek 2010)
Peter Gallagher (The Man Who Knew Too Little 2007, Burlesque 2010)

A beautiful, real, heart-felt, artistic film about a subject most people don't even know exists: aspergers syndrome.

You'd have to Google aspergers syndrome to understand why a movie about it would be interesting. It really is. I loved this movie.

It's a movie about love, overcoming difficulty, and humanity.

It's an Indie film so, yeah, it's actually good.

Factoid: Hugh Dancy didn't know much at all about aspergers syndrome when he accepted his starring role in Adam.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Daybreakers (January 8, 2010) R

Ethan Hawke (Training Day 2001, "Moby Dick" 2010)
Willem Dafoe (Spiderman 2002, John Carter of Mars 2012)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park 1993, Ice 2010)
Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 2009, Red Dawn 2010)
Claudia Karvan (Footy Legends 2006, "Spirited" 2010)

2010 has started on a very strong note: Daybreakers. A bloody, gorey, hardcore, intense, suspenseful, vampiric note.

This film depicts the unhappy ending so many other vampire movies have fought to avoid. What if the vampires won? What if there were billions of vampires populating earth and only a few million humans? How would it change things? How would priorities change? What would America's new moral battles be over? How much blood can one fight scene contain?

Daybreakers is about as realistic (and bloody) as a vampire movie can be... almost.
I wasn't impressed with a few things. Like how this film made leaps and bounds to be a "realistic" vampire movie, and yet the vamps had no reflection... hasn't Hollywood abandoned that old wive's tale/myth. And I thought Buffy held the patent on vampires bursting into flames upon receipt of a stake to the heart...

Corniness aside, Daybreakers is a film for theaters. The volume needs to be loud, the room has to be dark, and no TV has room for all that blood.

Did I mention it's bloody?

Factoid: Daybreakers was filmed in summer 2007.
Also, director Michael Spierig believes that overpopulation is "ultimately what's going to kill us" (http://www.shockya.com/).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nine (December 25, 2009) PG-13

Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown 1989, The Last of the Mohicans 1992, The Crucible 1996, Gangs of New York 2002, There Will Be Blood 2007)
Marion Cotillard (A Good Year 2006, Public Enemies 2009, Inception 2010)
Penelope Cruz (Captain Corelli's Mandolin 2001, Sex and the City 2 2010)
Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge 2001, Rabbit Hole 2010)
Judi Dench (Casino Royale 2006, Untitled 23rd Bond Film 2011)
Kate Hudson (Four Feathers 2002, The Killer Inside Me 2010)
Stacy Ferguson (Planet Terror 2007, Marmaduke 2010)
Sophia Loren (La ciociara 1960, Matrimonio all'italiana 1964)

Being the enormous Daniel Day-Lewis fan that I am, I really looked forward to seeing Nine in theaters. This is the first Day-Lewis film I've had the pleasure of seeing in theaters, and I loved it.

The songs were original, relevant, strong, and beautifully delivered. I especially enjoyed Fergie's performance.

Even Judi Dench had a fantastic solo that put her in a different light than I'm used to seeing her in...

Maybe the only performance I wasn't impressed with was Kate Hudson's. She looked and acted like Brittany Spears (the Brittany Spears of 2008 not 2001...), if Brit was an entertainment news reporter...

Factoid: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Contillard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, and Sophia Loren have all won Oscars.
Sophia Loren has received over 68 rewards and/or nominations, including an Oscar win, an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, and 4 Golden Globe wins.