Posted on 12/16/10 08:10 PM
What, at first glance, could have been a huge Oscar contender, turned out to be just an okay piece of silly entertainment. The movie was not a fail on all levels, but it could have (and should have!) been better. Here's the breakdown...
Hollywood's Finest: Say what you will about Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp, but theirs no denying that yeah our one of our generations top actors in the business, and have never been in a movie together until now. So naturally one would think when combining the star power you would strike gold!...right? eeehhh not quite. Depp and Jolie are wonderful actors, but they cant seem to find a connection together on screen. Depp gives a funny and charming performance as an average man who falls in love with Jolie's character, but the problem lies with Jolie herself. I couldn't help but feel that her role was only used for pure eye candy and diversion. In sort Johnny Depp- Thumbs Up, Angelina Jolie- Thumbs Down.
The Overall Plot: Just like the acting, this was a plot that should have been much better than it actually was. It's a tough topic to touch on because I dont want to be a jerk and give away important points and the some-what clever twist. But it seems as though the pacing was off (especially in the beginning) and they took the easy way out with the ending.
The Action and Humor: Actually not bad. Where the movie wins is in its ability to not shove a big plate of "in your face action" right at you. The action scenes are a bit more sophisticated and realistic than one would except from this movie and it was all very exciting to watch. As for the humor, I thought Johnny Depp played a very funny and down to earth (he actual refers to himself as this) character. There was no slapstick humor, but a lot of what was said and done was funny in a subtle way, and it all really pays off!
Bottom Line: While not the amazing star showcase it should have been, Johnny Depp seems to find just enough charm, Venice was a wonderful city to look at through the screen, the action and humor were pleasantly subtle, and a twist that didn't have me in shock but was still somewhat surprising, I'd say The Tourist is a watchable DVD rental that will most likely be a fun and entertaining time in the moment, but wont really be remembered down the road.
Posted on 11/25/10 09:59 PM
What I Liked: The constant humor this movie had. This is a straight up road trip comedy with two likable leads that win a place in our hearts and funny bone. Robert Downey Jr. was a great choice for the role because his sarcastic attitude and subtle sense of humor really works well when playing off of Zach Galifianakis, an equally as funny actor who plays an annoying aspiring actor that always gets into troubling situations but he never seems over the top. The relationship these characters have really develop over the course of the trip and every funny action or line that is delivered works because of it. Funny supporting roles include Danny McBride and Jamie Foxx, who arent in much of the movie, but when they are they really shine bright.
What I Didn't Like: I said the situations and one liners were funny, but that doesnt mean they couldn't have been improved to make them all memorable. This comedy hits more than it misses, unfortunately when it does miss its very noticeable. Half the jokes and situations in the movie I remember laughing at in the moment, but they didn't all leave a lasting memory for me.
Bottom Line: People will talk down about this movie for two reasons. 1) It's not as funny as the Hangover, 2) It steals from Plains, Trains and Automobiles. Both these points may be true, but you cant deny that this is a fun and enjoyable ride with a rhythm all its own. Its not perfect, but its one of the better comedies to come out in 2010.
Posted on 10/14/10 12:51 PM
What I Liked: Ben Affleck has been sort of disappointing as an actor over the past couple years (or at least since Gigli), but as a director he shows a massive amount of talent. The fact that he is from Boston shows us that he knows his stuff when portraying his beloved home city as the bank robbery capital of the world. For the most part, every performance is nicely done. Jeremy Renner comes off his best actor nomination in The Hurt Locker with all barrels blazing as a hot headed, trigger-happy thug (the kind of character he played in The Hurt Locker). Jon Hamm (aka Don Drapper) is pretty much perfect as the head FBI agent on the case. In most cases, the head agent is not anything special in films like this, but in this film, Hamm was special . Of course Ben Affleck should not only be recognized for the directing in this film, but for the acting as well. This truly is one of his best movies ever. Aside from the acting, one of the things to be admired about this film was the scenery of Boston. It was shot beautifully and gave me a sense that the fall season was here. The pacing in the movie should also be recognized, for it didn't just include non-stop brilliant action scenes, but it was also a love story. I was really surprised with how realistic most of the heist and gun battles actually were.
What I Didn't Like: For the most part each character was played very well. However, I felt that Blake Lively's role in this movie was very under used. She had the potential to be a strong actor in the story, but the story did not allow for that. She was used solely for information and not emotion. Also, don't get me wrong, I liked the relationship between Affleck and Rebecka Hall. As the characters first met it seemed to be a little stale for me. She just came right out and said everything that had happened to her instead of Affleck discovering it for himself.
Bottom Line: The Town is a crime drama done well! The kind of movie where the action and drama are perfectly spaced apart and the actors really find a way to get you to care. With exciting action and a deep message on facing our past and the changes we face in life, The Town is truly one of the year's best films.
Posted on 10/14/10 12:43 PM
What I Liked: Can a film about the origin of Facebook really be one of the best movies of the year? The answer is yes. The Social Network follows the life of Mark Zuckerberg as a young college student at Harvard University in 2003. After Zuckerberg gets dumped by his girlfriend, he is inspired to create a website that rates women judging by their "hotness", but later turns into something bigger when Mark thinks to himself "what if we could take the whole experience and put it online"? With the skilled directing of David Fincher (Director of Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and the outstanding acting from Jesse Eisenberg (Zuckerberg), Andrew Garfield (Edurado Saverin, Co-Founder) and Justin Timberlake (Sean Parker, creator of Napster), The Social Network becomes much more then just a "Facebook movie", but it becomes a great story of friendship, business, love and greed, and what can happen when you mix them all together. The style of the movie was a very risky thing to achieve, but the script is written so well that it will keep you interested until the ending credits roll.
What I Didn't Like: The movie did not have much of a climatic ending. The whole story takes place in two different court hearings (which may turn some viewers off already), and when the hearings end there is no real resolution, it manages to leave people hanging without a cliffhanger. I would I have loved to see Zuckerberg's life after the huge worldwide successes of Facebook rather then it ending on a sort of bitter note. But then again, you can't change history.
Bottom Line: Some critics are calling The Social Network "the movie of our generation", and in a lot of ways they are right. whether you have a Facebook account or not, social networking is a topic we can all relate to and the story of the worlds youngest billionaire is a sad one, but one that is told well.
Posted on 9/21/10 11:53 AM
What I Liked: This movie was one big blast of energetic fun. Its written with lots of wit and has a lot of video game style action. This movie is very different from what you've seen, but thats part of the fun. This is not your average adventure movie. The battles between Scott Pilgrim and the seven evil ex's are very cool to watch and make lots of old school video game references that will be a nice touch for many people. This movie also had a very funny supporting cast. This isnt just a movie for one action hero, but a whole cast of characters for you to root for.
What I Didn't Like: Micheal Cera. He has always been a hit or miss for my taste. He can be funny, but most of the time I find him very bland. Also, the humor was funny, but a bit to raunchy at some points.
Bottom Line: Great night out. If you love this kind of butt kicking graphic novel movie, then this is the movie for you. But for those who dont, you will hate it with a passion.
Posted on 9/01/10 08:34 AM
What I Liked: The movie was flat out hilarious. Lots of laughs from start to...almost finish. The movie was written so well with many cop jokes and great quotable one liners that make great Will Ferrell movies what they are. You would also never expect for Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg to make any sort of combo, but Wahlberg proves to everyone that he do be funny and the two play off each other so nicely its almost impossible not to laugh. Also, the films numerous supporting actors including Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, and Eva Mendes were a great touch and added to the fun. In addition to the laughs, it had some pretty cool action stunts that I was pretty impressed with
What I Didn't Like: Like ever comedy, there are some parts or lines that are just plain silly, stupid even, and this film was no exception because i found myself rolling my eyes just a few times. Also, it seemed toward the half way point on that it was getting to tied up in its Business, Cooperation, and money fraud plot that took away from some of the fun the movie seemed to be having in the first half.
Bottom Line: Despite it losing steam toward the end, this is a very entertaining movie with lots of laughs and some pretty cool action packed scenes. Mark Wahlberg has now proven he can be funny and should consider more comedies in the future. As for Ferrell, this is no where near his best work, but it is without a doubt far from his worst. The Other Guys is perfectly recommendable for anyone looking for a light and fun movie.
Posted on 8/31/10 08:04 PM
What I Liked: Well the trailer pretty much sums up everything I love about this movie. In addition to having the best special effects of the summer and to have awesome action sequences, this movie also has a real and structured plot. This delivers the most satisfying use of storytelling all summer (and maybe even all year) and the visual effects help that instead overrule it, which I think is something rare in summer blockbusters today. The zero gravity spinning hallway scene with Joseph Gordon Levitt will literally leave you're jaw dropping and I dare you to find a better action scene in any movie this year. Like always, Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing as the lead character. He shows such emotional range and and reminds us why he's one of the best actors of our generation. Last but certainly not least, Christopher Nolan deserves all the recognition in the world for putting this together. This truly is his masterpiece that brings us into not one, but multiple different breathtaking world.
What I Didn't Like: I understood the movie. But sometimes the movie felt like it was to complex for its own good. But dont let a complex plot stop you from enjoying the fun!
Bottom Line: This is by far the best film of the year and deserves to be seen. This is better then The Matrix or any recent 007 film and should be experienced on the big screen before its to late. DiCaprio and Nolan have struck pure cinematic gold and it will be a crime if this does not win the Oscar.
Posted on 8/28/10 09:52 PM
What I Liked: There is a lot thats good about this above average family movie, but the best thing about it is that the 3-D was actually pretty decent. Just when I was about to write off 3-D for good, this movie showed me that there are still some people who know how to do 3-D the write way. The humor was also very fresh, nothing really recycled or used, just good nature laughs from start to finish (mostly thanks to the little yellow minions) that are laughs all kids, teens and adults can find enjoyment from.
What I Didn't Like: I would have loved for the movie to focus more on the battle between villains rather then having the plot revolve around Gru adopting the three little girls, that way it could have explored new ground, sough more laughs and the heart could have come from the relationship of Gru and his mother. Also, the funny parts this movie did have were mostly just sigh gags, I would have loved for this film to have some funny or memorable lines like the Shrek films did.
Bottom Line: This is a good family movie that will most likely please everyone who goes, I cant imagine anyone not liking it. This wont make my list of best movies of the year, but I still found this a very funny and entertaining summer adventure that is definitely worth checking out.
Posted on 8/26/10 11:11 PM
What I Liked: I loved the chemistry between the two guys. Steve Carrell is one of the funniest actors of our generation and Paul Rudd is also good at playing the mellow straight man that we've come to know and love. So naturally when you put them together you expect them to play off each other nicely, and they do. The humor in the film was a great mix between smart and slap stick and made me laugh out loud a bunch of times. Also, Zach Galifiankis provided a lot of laughs to add to the mix.
What I Didn't Like: Just because I said the humor was a great mix between smart and slap stick, dosent mean everything worked out that way. The script didn't provide any real memorable lines or moments, just brought about some parts that were funny in the moment, but nothing memorable. Also some scenes in this movie just seemed to go a little to over the top with the character of Berry, He was fun for about 85% of the movie, the other 15% he was just an annoying mess that got on you're last nerve.
Bottom Line: This movie is funny, you would have to be a dark cloud not to laugh with and at it. But, there is nothing about that is truly memorable. Berry is a fun character, and if they hadn't stretched him out to the point of pure interpretation Carrell could have struck gold, instead he struck silver. If you're looking for some fun in the moment, then Dinner For Schmucks is a fun time, just don't plan of remembering anything the next day or two.
Posted on 8/26/10 10:37 PM
What I Liked: The action (as if that wasn't obvious enough). After a slow, but informative, first 15 minutes, the film kicks it into hyper-drive and is filled with almost non-stop action. Car chases, gun fights, fist fights, homemade bazookas, you name it, for an action movie this delivers on multiple levels and is all around entertaining. Also, the performance by Angelina Jolie is spot on. In an action movie, it almost seems like the actors dont need to act much, but Jolie shows us how to give a golden performance within a butt kicking action picture.
What I Didn't Like: Some of the actions scenes were just plain silly. I love awesome stunts as much as the next guy, but you really expect me to believe someone like Salt can jump from car to car on a highway or fly off a bridge in a police car and not have a scratch ob her? Thats a little over the top.
Bottom Line: While not being remembered as one of the greatest action movies in years, it still proves to be one of the most entertaining thrill rides of the summer. Breath taking action combined with Angelina Jolie at the top of her game makes this summer blockbuster a winner!