I think that this is just as good, if not better than the original. I'm sure a lot of people will just hate this by default because it's a remake, but anyone who gives it a fair chance will have a hard time finding it anything but fun. I guess you have to enjoy Russell Brand in order to find it as funny as I did, but I think this role was perfect for him. Everything about Arthur and his larger than life personality is so easy to accept when it's so well acted. Nearly every joke he makes is hilarious and the whole concept is something that never seems to get old. I think all of the characters are great and a step up from their originals. Helen Mirren is amazing as Hobson and I honestly don't think anyone could play that character better. I also think Greta Gerwig was perfect too; she just has a quality about her that is totally unique and lovable. While this is a remake in terms of structure and basic plot, it's completely different in terms of the comedy and general atmosphere. Some of the little things like Frog and Toad, Batman Forevermobile, and the Gummi Bear suit are what make it so much more fun to me. As a heartwarming comedy, you can't get better than this. It gives you exactly what you need and there's nothing cheap or corny about it. No one should feel bad about liking Arthur because it's just so good at what it wants to be.
Considered something of a hidden treasure for some time, this isn't exactly the holy grail of Polanski, but it's definitely a well made movie and interesting. The performances are all over the place and bizarre, but that's kind've one of the best things about it. It's a pretty simple home invasion plot, but the execution is where it gets interesting. I really like the offbeat style and the fact that it isn't as serious as it could be. The black and white cinematography is flawless and a reason alone to check this out.
I could honestly care less if critics or snooty film aficionados enjoy or respect Michael Bay's final entry in his Transformers Trilogy; I found it to be about as good as it gets. Having Transformers be a part of my life since age six, it's hard for me not to completely fall in love with this live action counterpart. The whole series has been so ridiculously fun to watch. Even if it has its uneven moments and goofy subplots, these are undoubtedly fun movies. Seeing characters from one of your beloved childhood classics in a real environment is just impressive in itself. The idea of making this concept work for a large audience is almost worth an incredible amount of praise. When you think of Michael Bay, most people have images of destruction and expensive stunts coming to mind. Now this has got to be a perfect choice for directing a movie centering around fifty foot robots battling in big cities. Michael Bay might not be a Scorsese or Kubrick, but he does make some of the coolest action movies around. While these movies might be weak in story to those unfamiliar with the show or mythology, it excels at having beautiful action sequences. However, I am one of those people that will defend these movies for having great stories. Sure, it's easy to take the concept and characters for granted due to the longevity of the franchise, but this really is science fiction that I enjoy and have respect for. To have an entire world of thinking, feeling robots and have them crash-land on to earth and become shape shifters is genius. Then you have characters like Optimus Prime; pretty much the coolest robot ever created. It's as if John Wayne was turned into a machine and had an endless supply of great one-liners, fighting skills and ideals. Peter Cullen's commanding voice presence only backs up the visual awesomeness of the character. It doesn't stop there though. You have Megatron, who's pure evil concentrated into metal. There's also the loyal and brave Bumblebee and Starscream; a character who uses deceit as his primary function. The list goes on and on and practically every Autobot and Decepticon has their fun attributes. Now the live action movies have managed to take the core of these characters and show them to the greatest ability. I think they've accomplished by showing the best of the original series. Shia LaBeouf continues to be basically the anchor of this franchise and he's probably at his finest in this one. He plays the character of Sam so well and he's so easy to love. All of the cast additions here work really well and fit into the story pretty easily. While having an absent Megan Fox isn't exactly smooth, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley works fine as a suitable replacement. It's also fun having people like Josh Duhmal and Tyrese Gibson doing solid work at this point in the series. Dark of the Moon has the best of everything when it comes to the franchise. The story has managed to become extremely broad in scope and encapsulates everything that makes for a "popcorn movie" to be worthwhile. However, no one should have to feel ashamed for liking or loving this movie. I almost feel bad for people that only allow themselves to like Transformers on a sarcastic level and make excuses. Dark of the Moon is just a solid movie no matter how you put it. It has just enough of a light tone, extremely high stakes for the characters and just about as much visual beauty as movies can produce. It's been a longstanding judgment that Michael Bay is a moron and all of his movies suck. However, I'm going to always be one of his defenders. He knows exactly what it takes to make a well paced and fun movie. He never steps out of his element and keeps trying to achieve new heights with his projects. Transformers is maybe his most memorable and will undoubtedly survive longer due to it's pre-existing fan base, but I think he's really found a concept and style that works. In this movie, they basically have everything missing from the other movies that any hardcore fan of Transformers could want. We see the addition of Laserbeak, Shockwave, and a more featured Soundwave. Even more, we get exposed to even more mythology from the Transformers universe. The infusion of Space Bridge technology was just way too much of a geek-out moment.Infusing their story with Earth's history is something that I thought worked extremely well and just made the impact more realistic and interesting. When it comes to the advancements of 3D technology and CGI, it's hard to beat Dark of the Moon. These robots look even more realistic than they did before and having a 3D backdrop for them to duke it out is just amazing. The attention to detail and ridiculously well planned out fight scenes is just too much to handle at times. If there was any glorification of the Transformers in previous installments, it was nothing compared to this. Every entrance is carefully planned and all the characters are treated with the utmost respect. The addition of robo-blood and even more detailed robo-slayings just added to the already beautiful representation of The Transformers. Now I'm sure there'll be those that just don't see the point of Dark of the Moon, but as a fan, it's probably the most well made in the series and gives the truest representation of the concept and characters. There's always going to be those who just don't get action movies, childhood nostalgia or just fun period in movies.
Bad Teacher is almost exactly what it promised to be. While it's not the counterpart to Bad Santa or Bad Lieutenant, it definitely has that vibe at times. I was sort've surprised that it wasn't all that vulgar, but that became a strength at times. The ways they found to make Cameron Diaz's character mean and uncaring were creative to say the least. Kid friendly humor from Lucy Punch's Ms. Squirrel was so much more funny than it would've been with profanity. It delivers on having completely nutso characters doing terrible things and scarring children mentally. The main attraction here is obviously Cameron Diaz and her rockin body. She's incredibly talented when it comes to comedy and this has got to be one of my favorite performances from her period. She just seemed to know this character so well and knows exactly how to make situations funnier. What's really cool about Bad Teacher is that it has an ability to actually find meaning and purpose within the comedy. It actually has a lot to say about education, relationships and people in general. While it might not have you dying in your seat, I think it's a genuinely well made movie that will definitely be easy to watch again and still enjoy just as much.
I'll admit that Cowboys and Aliens might have some issues here and there, but I thought it was a lot of fun. This showcases some of the best elements from classic westerns like The Searchers and Rio Bravo, while also having some new things to say. The idea of blending a western with sci-fi has been attempted before with the instant classic known as Wild Wild West, but ultimately doesn't blow over well with audiences and critics alike. I feel like this is basically the same situations. For those who do get it and enjoy the style, it will be a great movie full of great action and genre taboos. Stepping up the game with aliens actually works a lot in my opinion, unlike the lame comic this is based on. Somehow it just works due to the way the story is written and executed. John Favreau did a great job in my opinion at making this look great and have the feeling of a classy action movie and not a cheesy b-movie. Then there's the unstoppable brute force known as Daniel Craig that gives intensity a new meaning. I'm a huge fan of him and this highlights all of his main qualities as an actor. It's also nice to see Harrison Ford in anything really, but his character was completely priceless and unique in terms of the types of people he usually plays. The two together feel like a team up of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne battling bloodthirsty aliens. However, there's no getting around the goddess Olivia Wilde who enters each frame with unparalleled hotness. This also has a great supporting cast that includes The Kurgen and a Windtalker.Overall, this movie is as fun as you allow it to be. If you don't just accept the reality of the movie, you will be a cynic throughout. The intent was not to show why Aliens could have existed in the west, but to show an action-fueled adventure with an incredibly unique feeling. I think people are taking stabs at this for basically no reason. Maybe it's a little outlandish, but that shouldn't distract you from having a good time. The movie doesn't constantly make you aware of the reality, it's easy to lose yourself in the beautiful visuals, fun characters and storytelling. I also like that Cowboys and Aliens doesn't take itself as a joke or some kind of spoof, it really plants itself within a very realistic and serious setting. Most film-makers would've tried to make light of the situation and to me that's a cop out. Jon Favreau is just fine with having a fantastical story and going with it. To me, it worked well in this case and I think this is a really great movie because of that.