adamcook135's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Last Temptation of Christ

Martin Scorsese's controversial film about Jesus Christ based on the novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis. This was available through Netflix streaming and with today being Easter I decided to watch it. At the beginning of the film, there is a disclaimer that the story of events is not based on the Gospels, but rather a reinterpretation about the body and spirit. Right away you have to avoid the religious and theological arguments that you will plainly see as you watch the film. You have to watch this film with an open mind. The film shows a more "darker" side of Jesus. In the beginning of the film, he is struggling with the fact that he is God's chosen son and asks himself what does God want from him. He's dealing with anger, fear and nightmares believing that God and Satan are wrestling with his mind, thus torturing him even more as well as dealing with the ongoing ridicule and persecution he receives from the people who don't believe he is the chosen one. Eventually he comes to terms with being the Messiah and understands what his purpose is, and that is to spread the word of God and lead the people back to Jerusalem. The sequences of events in the movie are lifted from the Gospel despite the disclaimer, but they are reinterpreted. Everything from Jesus wandering in the desert being tempted by Satan , to the miracles he performs, the Last Supper and his Crucifixion all have a piece that is left out or has changed. Willem Dafoe plays Jesus, and it is perhaps the best performance I've seen from an actor depicting the Son of God. He plays it with such a raw emotional heart as he deals with internal struggles that we as human beings deal with on a daily basis. The film was shot in Morocco, but has the authoritarian feel that this was shot in the Holy Land with the lavish temples and the breathtaking mountains and grainy deserts. Peter Gabriel provided the score to the film and it fits perfectly with the power and emotion that radiates from the movie. The movie clocks in at 2 hours and 43 minutes but the pacing goes pretty fast as you immerse yourself in the sequence of events that Jesus is going through. It's nice to see Scorsese tackle a different story that doesn't relate to modern day mobs although there are mob elements in the film. After watching this film, it really made me think. I asked myself: Did Jesus really struggle with the idea of being the chosen one? Did he go through all the anger and depression that we all go through? I guess the only way I'll know the true answer is when I get to see him in due time.

Thor: The Dark World

The sequel to the 2011 blockbuster and the last entry in Marvel's film catalog for the year, Thor: The Dark World feels all too familiar while throwing in joke after joke that gets repetitive at times. The time setting of the film takes place after the events of The Avengers. Loki is getting ready to stand trial for crimes against the throne of Asgard until a shadowy dark elf named Malekith awakens from suspended animation and looks to turn the nine realms into total darkness using a force that is hidden on earth. Alan Taylor takes over the director's chair for Shakespearian auteur Kenneth Branagh and replaces the preachy serious tone of the first film with a more laid back, comical and uneven approach. The principal cast from the first movie returns and give strong performances. Chris Hemsworth continues to demonstrate Thor as a strong and fearless protector of his world with cracks seeping of emotion and love for his earthly counterpart, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki and gives the best performance of the film. He is calculated and manipulative that is masked through narcissism and wit. There's so much tension between him and Hemsworth that you never know what's going to happen. There's not a lot of character development in this film. The supporting cast is just there and don't bring a whole lot to the table except to bring humor that feels like it belongs in a Vince Vaughn comedy. Christopher Eccleston plays the dark elf Malekith, the most uninteresting and boring villain to come out of the Marvel universe. He was predictable, unintimidating and lacked emotion. Visually, the movie is on par with the first film as you will be awestruck with the beauty of Asgard, the cold and barren desolate world of Svartalfheim and the cloudy and crowdedness that is our planet earth. Besides the lack of a compelling villain there were other things about this movie that irritated me. For one thing the sound mixing seemed to be off at times. One scene would be filled with surround sound blowing out my eardrums and then next scene it would sound faded. I found the pacing of the film to be unbalanced as there were many scenes that stretched out way too long only to be hit by a special effect laden action sequence which kept me from falling asleep. If you enjoyed the first Thor movie you'll enjoy this one to an extent otherwise you might wait until it comes out on home release as it's not one of the better releases in the Marvel film library.

Wreck-it Ralph
½

Loved this movie. It's a video game nerd's dream come true. An homage to video games dating back to the 8 bit era of the 80s. The story is about a character named Ralph who is a bad guy in the Donkey Kong parody, Fix-It Felix who is tired of being the bad guy and wants to be a good guy for a change. He jumps out of his arcade game via the numerous cables that are hooked from the machine to the outlet to find another game where he could earn a medal and become a hero. Along the way, he gets himself in trouble with the other video game characters and befriends a "glitch" who is looking to be accepted in her game. Pixar is great at making computer animated films that are enjoyable for kids and adults. This is no exception. For me being an avid video gamer, I was mesmerized at the number of iconic characters from the years that appear in the film. From Pac Man and Sonic the Hedgehog to Bowser and the guys in Street Fighter, it was a great nostalgic moment. It was funny to hear an 8 bit character compliment a high definition character on how "realistic" their face is. A fun heartwarming story with a good leading performance by John C. Reilly who voices Ralph. Reilly is a great versatile actor who can do any role in any genre film. The thing that keeps me from giving the film a perfect five stars is the pacing of the story and the structure. As nostalgic as the video game characters, it feels like I've sat through this pacing so many times with other Pixar movies like Toy Story and Monsters Inc. Regardless of that this is another home run Pixar movie that viewers of all ages will enjoy even if they're not into video games, but if they are, it just makes the nostalgia that much sweeter.

Machete Kills

Really over the top even for a "Grindhouse" flick. It certainly doesn't have certain elements that the first one had. There are a lot of what I call "Not possible in the real world" sequences. The grainy footage has been replaced with more polished shots. The kills in this movie put the Mortal Kombat fatalities to shame. And the actors were clearly hamming it up in their roles, especially Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson, which weren't a bad thing since I liked their performances the best. To me, this felt more like an extension of an Expendables film than a grindhouse film. The movie starts at 200 mph but then goes into cruise control a little after the midway point. You get a nice little trailer at the beginning and ending of the movie for the next installment titled Machete Kills Again.Judging by those previews the next installment will be even more outrageous than this film. Overall I was entertained and that's the reason why I went to see this movie, to be entertained.

A History of Violence
½

A stunning masterpiece and still in disbelief that David Cronenberg did this film. Cronenberg known for his "bodily horror" movies pulls a 180 and delivers a dramatic picture that examines the depths of heroism and the potential backlash that comes with it as stunning developments are revealed throughout the course of the film. This movie clocks in around 1 hr and 35 min, but I felt it was fast paced not because of the action, but how intriguing I found these characters to be from their actions and mannerisms. Viggo Mortensen delivers a great performance as the protagonist, but he is overshadowed by the hauntingly scary performance of Ed Harris as a mobster who thinks Mortensen did him "wrong" in the past. Harris' performance would also be overshadowed by a surprisingly chilly and deceitful performance from William Hurt. I won't go into detail about his character because its one of the big reveals in the film. Only gripe I had with the film is how the big reveal is right there in your face near the major plot point of the story, if you're paying attention. I would've like to have seen it slowly build and then hit you when you least expect it. It didn't spoil the rest of the film for me at all. For those of you who are into Cronenberg's perverted innuendos have no fear because his trademark is shown in a couple scenes. This movie is a must see for anyone. A well crafted piece of film making that legitimized David Cronenberg as one of the best filmmakers of his generation.

Elysium
Elysium(2013)
½

Visually identical to District 9, which are both done by director Neil Blomkamp with its use of sets, lighting and showing a polluted overpopulated world, which was really the strong point that I liked about the film. I was expecting a lot of action due to the trailers depicting that this was going to be an action themed movie. Instead its just a movie with concepts that have been done before layered over and over again with major political themes that are going on in our world today such as class separation, illegal immigration, healthcare and the coup going on in Egypt. It was really hard for me to focus on the film without having all these hot button issues slammed in my face. The film also suffers from a good cast. I don't know whose idea it was to cast Matt Damon and Jodie Foster in a movie together, but it just didn't work for me. Foster goes through so many accents in her dialogue I was waiting for her to use her Clarice Starling voice. That would've kept me somewhat intrigued by her character. If you go into this movie with high expectations like I did, you'll find yourself very disappointed.

Starman
Starman(1984)
½

The last John Carpenter movie I've yet to see, and boy was it really good. It's a different film conceptually for Mr. Carpenter who is known as the master of horror. He trades in scary supernatural thrillers for a sci-fi love story. It's very humerous and has plenty of heart to go with it. Jeff Bridges plays an alien that crash lands on earth and takes the form of Karen Allen's deceased husband. At first Allen is shocked to see her "husband" and trying to cope with dealing with a being that doesn't understand human interactions and customs and eventually shows compassion and love for this being. Bridges plays this with a silly childlike nature. He reminds me of Data from Star Trek The Next Generation with his head movements and trying to understand human beings. It was a mesmerizing performance that earned Bridges an Oscar nomination for Best Actor (The only John Carpenter film to get an Oscar nomination in any category). Karen Allen also has a strong performance that reminded me of Winona Ryder's performance in Edward Scissorharnds. She is frightened and tries to distance herself from Starman, but slowly communicates and bonds with him and finding a piece of humanity within him. Carpenter's visual style is clearly demonstrated with the special effects, the lighting and camera shots. The music was not done by him, but it sounded like a traditional Carpenter score. Carpenter took a risk doing this film, but pays off big as he was able to venture into making other genre films other than horror. Now that I've seen every John Carpenter film I need to evaluate what my top 10 films are from him. No doubt about it Starman is in the Top 10.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

An omage to the King of the Monster find, Guillermo Del Toro pulled off a fresh moderate interpretation filled with destruction, action and robots that put the Transformers to shame. Amazing visuals all around from the settings to the flying limbs and organs of the Kaiju, which is what they call the monsters in this film. I also got an Independence Day vibe out of this movie as certain plot details keep calling back to that 1996 blockbuster. I was not disappointed by this at all. I would file this film under the category American Otaku.

Memoirs of an Invisible Man
½

If I had to rank all of John Carpenter's movies, this would be in the bottom five. It's got good special effects but the overall plot is dull and Chevy Chase is good at what he does best, which is not being funny.

Legend
Legend(1985)
½

The beautiful cinematography of Ridley Scott, the adventurous score of Jerry Goldsmith and the never cease to amaze me performance of Tim Curry are completely overshadowed by a weak story, boorish dialogue and the horrible bland script reading performance of Tom Cruise who looked very uncomfortable doing this film from the beginning.

The Score
The Score(2001)

When you see Edward Norton's Rain Man impression, you just want to put your hands up in the air and scream, "I'm done!"

Lock Up
Lock Up(1989)
½

Reminds me a lot of The Shawshank Redemption even though this movie came out way before that. Stallone takes a break from blowing things up and killing bad to do a more dramatic performance although there are some fight scenes and a hint of action. His performance is decent, nothing spectacular. Solid supporting cast includes Tom Sizemore as an inmate that befriends Stallone, John Amos who plays the stiff ass prison captain and Sonny Landham who plays the most feared prisoner in the film who is gunning for Stallone. The movie is slightly predictable and I didn't like Donald Sutherland's performance as the warden. He couldn't seem to keep a straight accent. One minute he does his usual Canadian accent and the next thing he's doing a British accent. The film doesn't go into detail on Stallone and Sutherland's past only that Sutherland is trying to break Stallone down and punish him. Worth a look.

This Is the End

One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Fictional post apocalyptic story featuring actors playing themselves. There are homages to such horror movies as The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby. All the actors do a great job playing themselves. Jonah Hill and Danny McBride were my personal favorites. This is one movie that will have you gasp for oxygen from all the laughing you are doing.

Foxy Brown
Foxy Brown(1974)
½

Early 70s Exploitation film that is filled with action, suspense and spawns a new type of hero in a post Civil Rights era. Director Jack Hill was known for a lot of these movies, and this is his crowning achievement. Pam Grier is full of sexiness and attitude as she breathes life into Foxy Brown and helped establish her as the first female African-American hero in film. This film doesn't skip a beat as it is action packed with great fight scenes, clever escapes and sneaky undercover tactics, all with a musical score that rivals 'Shaft.' Look for Captain Spaulding himself, Sid Haig, in a very late scene in the film.

Identity
Identity(2003)

Well done psychological thriller from director James Mangold (Cop Land, Walk the Line). There are a lot of twists and turns to the film, but if you pay attention from the very beginning, you'll understand what exactly is going on. Otherwise you can easily get lost and spend more time trying to figure out how the film got from Point A to Point B than enjoying the entertainment factor this movie has to offer. Great performances from John Cusack and Ray Liotta as they compliment each other as being the leaders of a group of people stranded in a hotel room with a killer on the loose. But this movie is not all as it seems and that's what makes it dangerous.

The Perfect Host

Been in my Netflix queue for a while and finally got a chance to watch it earlier this evening. This is a clever suspense film with all sorts of twists and turns. The story is about a criminal on the run from the law who charmingly talks his way into coming inside a home that is occupied by a man getting ready to throw a dinner party. It seems like the perfect hideout with some gracious gratitude, but the host is not all that he seems. David Hyde Pierce gives a sadistic and numerous performance as the host, Warwick Wilson. He has the eccentric personality of Niles (his character on Frasier) with his knowledge of wine, fascination of traveling and his squeamish cringes when he sees blood and the isolated schizophrenic mind of Norman Bates. This is a modern day adaptation of 'Psycho' with many nods to the Alfred Hitchcock style of film-making. What's clever about this film is that you don't know if you're seeing the images in the film through the eyes of Pierce's character or through the eyes of the criminal as he is heavily drugged and intoxicated. I strongly recommend giving this movie a chance. It's funny, crazy, diabolical and above all a very enjoyable experience.

Critters 3
Critters 3(1991)

Trivia: This was Leonardo Dicaprio's major film debut

Red Planet
Red Planet(2000)

What's with all the Mars based movies sucking? (With the exception of Rocketman). The plot is as watery thin as Mars' surface itself, the acting is as dry as the planets' atmosphere and above all that this is the most scientifically inaccurate film in the history of science based films. The inaccuracies are so bad NASA refused to be a technical advisor on the film. Do yourself a favor and spend an hour and 46 minutes of your life watching something else instead of this piece of crap created by unintelligent lifeforms.

Timecop
Timecop(1994)

What do you get when you combine elements of the Terminator, Back to the Future and add Jean Claude Van Damme to the mix? You get a mediocre but watchable movie. Visuals are decent although nothing too mindboggling. Van Damme still can't act, but this a better effort from him than most of his acting career. I really liked Ron Silver as the villain in the film. He was cunning and calculating. Other than that it was hard to ignore the numerous plot holes, horrendous dialog and a slight lack of Van Damme's traditional martial art fighting as he trades it in for weapons and a time traveling device. Like I said it's a watchable film, which is rare since there are only a few Van Damme movies that are considered "watchable".

Pan's Labyrinth

Incredible aurora of fantasy, horror and drama that is set in a historical time period. The movie takes place shortly after the Spanish Civil War. A girl and her mother set to live with her new husband, a sadistic captain in the Spanish Army. She discovers a stone labyrinth where she comes across a faun. The faun claims she is the legendary princess foretold in a legendary story. To prove she is the chosen one she must accomplish three tasks before the next full moon. I like to think of this film as a graphic fairy tale not for the pre teens. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles, but it's not bothersome as you'll be paying too much attention to the beautiful set pieces, inventive characters and the vast lighting and composition its cinematography has to offer. This is one of the most technically accomplished films I've seen. Guillermo del Tero who wrote and directed this film has created something very unique and adventurous that keeps you on your feet and unleash your emotions as to what is going on in the film whether its the girl stuck in a dead end during her quests or drawing anger at the cruel punishment her stepfather brings to his people. del Toro has cemented his place among the best filmmakers of today. Everyone who is into fantasy stories such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc. will really enjoy this movie. Pan's Labyrinth is one of the few masterpieces to come out in the last ten years. And it will continue to be a masterpiece as time moves on.

Cannonball
Cannonball(1976)

"Unofficial" sequel to Death Race 2000. Pretty much a duplicate copy of the film with the same director, stars and plot. Only differences are the characters and not as much action or the over the top violence as its predecessor.

Big Trouble in Little China
½

One of the few John Carpenter movies I've yet to see up until now. Carpenter teams up with Kurt Russell again to do an adventure movie based on Chinese mythology. Categorized as an adventure/comedy film, Big Trouble In Little China also throws in Carpenter's signature style of horror and supernatural while getting to play with some intriguing special effects. Right away you can tell this a John Carpenter film by the look of it, the music (performed as always by Carpenter) and its sequential style. Kurt Russell puts in another solid effort as protagonist Jack Burton but didn't care much for the supporting characters including the always dismal Kim Cattrall. This movie is undoubtably filled with cheese, it makes you want to chuckle at the awful one liners to James Hong's Montgomery Burns like appearance and acting. This film is a new venture for Carpenter to do a different genre. Although this film doesn't break him away from the taboo of his horror fame, it's a decent effort and shows he can still create something original even if it was funded by a mainstream studio.

The Long Riders

Enjoyable western which portrays the James-Younger gang who were a group of brothers that robbed banks and trains all through out post Civil War Missouri. The characters in the movie are all portrayed by acting brothers such as David, Keith and Robert Carradine playing the Younger brothers, James and Stacy Keach playing Jesse and Frank James and Dennis and Randy Quaid playing the Ed and Clell Miller. The film is not historically accurate, but gives the audience an idea of what this gang was like. There are some strong performances most notably between David Carradine and James Keach. I'm used to David Carradine playing nothing but kung fu masters, Robert Carradine playing nerds and Randy Quaid playing bumbling idiots, but the roles they played in this show they're more than just typecast. They're all actors who can play a diverse range of characters. I enjoyed the setting, cinematography and the music as it all fit with the time frame of the film. I loved the shoot out scenes and the film doesn't stop for breath when it comes to their interpersonal relationships when it comes to post robbing celebrations. I thought the ending was a little cheesy and the attitudes of the gang turned 180 near the climax. That's all I'll say. I don't watch too many westerns, but I have to say that if I came up with a top 10 Western film list, this movie would be in that category.

Nightbreed
Nightbreed(1990)

Clive Barker's take on horror/fantasy story is as big as a failure as Final Fantasy 14 (For those familiar about the game's reception.) I was expecting a lot of things from Mr. Barker, being a fan of his work. This film suffers from a low budget, unknown cast, frivolous plot and many scenes that didn't make sense. The makeup work on the characters is very shoddy. A lot of the set pieces you can tell are fake, for example when one of the characters is walking in the graveyard, you can in the further distance that the entrance to a tomb is just a wall painting. The dialog is unbearably bad and it shows in the character performances. The only person I recognized in this film was David Cronenberg, and he's not even an actor. His acting is as mono-tonal as Keeanu Reeves' acting. Trust me, he's a better filmmaker than he is an actor. The things he does in the movie in certain plot points make no sense such as killing random people who have nothing to do with his goal throughout the film. This movie was so bad I literally threw the disc in my garbage bin because that's what it was.

Phantasm: Remastered

Cult classic. A great supernatural horror movie with a concept that hadn't been done during its time period. The special effects are very good for its time and the music goes well with the eerie tone of the film. The acting is very hammy and laughable at times. I did enjoy Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man. He was very creepy and sinister and was a force to be reckoned with. There were some scenes that made me cringe my bed pillow and the scene that is most talked about among film critics, nerds, etc. really caught me by surprise. It was definitely an "Oh Shit" moment. Don Coscarelli directed this film. In fact he did the entire Phantasm movie series. He's one of the most underrated directors I've seen. He's also done Bubba Ho-Tep which is one of my favorite Bruce Campbell movies of all time and he recently did John Dies At The End, which I just watched and will review later. He knows how to keep the audience focused on everything going on in his movies. This is a movie I will watch over and over again. I look forward to meeting Angus Scrimm at Days of the Dead in July.

The Toxic Avenger

Cheesy B-Movie goodness. Cheap, crude, and violent filled with stereotypical characters portrayed with some of the worst acting imaginable. The special effects used in this are a lot more creative than a lot of digital effects I've seen. This is a good movie to watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon if you're really bored. Don't think you'll be bored with this movie. I was surprised I was able to watch this all the way through.

Evil Dead
Evil Dead(2013)
½

Huge fan of the original trilogy. Normally I don't watch remakes, but with all the positive press it's been receiving, I went and saw it with a friend. Overall it was a decent remake. I have to admit the blood and gore did get to me at certain times. I can't remember the last time I took a bite out of my own arm just to contain myself from all the grossness that a horror movie had to offer. There's some callbacks to the original trilogy, but you really have to pay attention to know what I'm talking about. There's not much story to the film, and the characters are just there. The main girl in the film, Mia, has a back story but the rest of the characters are just there, or in this case "the victims." I do like the fact that they use different character names instead of someone trying to portray Bruce Campbell's iconic Ash character. In fact, the guy who is supposed to be the Ash-type character doesn't act like Ash at all. He's more of a coward and dubious to the situation that is going on around him. There are some scenes that I didn't understand in the film, but then I thought about it when I got home, I could see the reasoning behind it. The one element that is missing from this remake that was a staple in the original trilogy was the slapstick comedy that weaves into all that blood and gore people love. It just wasn't there. They tried to use some humor in the dialog, but it wasn't something I chuckled at or tickled me pink like the original films did. This is one of the more decent remakes I've seen in a while. But nothing will compare to the greatness that was the original Evil Dead.

Subspecies
Subspecies(1991)

B-side vampire movie with a realistic setting, dark atmosphere and one of the best makeup details I've seen in a film. Been wanting to see this for a long time and had the pleasure of not only buying the trilogy on blu ray at HorrorHound, but met the star of the film, Anders Hove, who gives a creepy seductive performance as Radu the antagonist who fights his half brother for the sacred bloodstone so he could be rightful heir to their family throne. The blu ray version really stands out with quality sound and a clean colorful remaster of the picture. I will enjoy this movie for a long time for the overall experience of watching the film and meeting all those involved with its inception.

Re-Animator
Re-Animator(1985)
½

A twisted yet intellectual horror film. Not for the squeamish as there is a lot of blood and gore. They take a page from the Evil Dead series as throwing in some slapstick humor to its dark nature. I can't remember a horror movie that actually got to me and had me biting my tongue to the very end.

Police Story (Ging chaat goo si) (Police Force)

Great balance of action and humor with a unique and original story. This is movie is as old as I am, but a lot of the action sequences Chan performs are fresh in this viewer's eyes. A lot of people talk about how great this movie is and I concur. This is one of the most entertaining foreign films I've ever seen. An instant classic.

Clash of the Titans

Cheap settings, weak plot with a ton of holes, porous acting and quickly paced with no room to breathe.

Death Race 2000

Fun cheesy flick with over the top violence/gore, attractive women and dark humor. Reminds me of certain video games such as Twisted Metal and Carmageddon. There's some decent performances. I really enjoyed David Carradine's performance as Frankenstein. He plays is straight as an arrow despite his grossly figure. This was also an early performance from Sylvester Stallone who plays rival driver Machine Gun Joe. Stallone's character is a very egotistical and sometimes hot head racer. This film is an early concept on how reality television will be in the future, and they're pretty much dead on. At a running time of an hour and fifteen minutes, Death Race's fast paced tone will keep you entertained all the way down to the finish line.

Sudden Death
Sudden Death(1995)
½

Die Hard on ice with Van Damme. Nuff said.

The Victim
The Victim(2012)

Michael Biehn's writing/directorial debut is a total dud. Very loose concept, poor acting, sequences that drag way too long and pointless flashback scenes. Michael Biehn is one of my favorite actors has built a great reputation. Best known as Kyle Reese in The Terminator, not to mention as Corp. Dwayne Hicks in Aliens and Hiram Coffey in The Abyss, Reese's performance is shockingly deadpan with very little to no emotion. A man of his talents should not be this bad. The supporting cast wasn't great either. Jennifer Blanc (Biehn's wife in real life) plays a stripper trying to hide from some corrupt cops that kill her friend. Her performance is just as bad with the exception of a sex scene between her a Biehn. Hmmm go figure right? There is a moment in the movie where the attitude of the two main characters goes completely 180 which didn't make sense to me at all. I surely hope the next time Michael Biehn does another film, it is a lot more innovative with better actors and a well drawn plot. I truly was a victim in watching this very crummy film.

Apollo 18
Apollo 18(2011)

Poor attempt to make a Blair Witch project in space. The only shocking thing about this film is I actually watched it for 5 min without going to sleep.

Django Unchained
½

Starts out strong with intriguing character developments and over the top humor and gore, but the second half of the movie becomes a borefest. Too much dialog over a stretch of sequences made me fall asleep at times. There are some solid performances in this film. Jamie Foxx was decent as Django as he really has the intimidation factor in his character. Leonardo DiCaprio had a smooth and charismatic performance as a plantation owner and Samuel L. Jackson provided the dose of comedy that was surely needed for this brutish film. The best performance goes to Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz, who purchases Django and teaches him to be a bounty hunter so he could help him take down some wanted criminals. My biggest gripe with the film was how it ended. There are various times throughout the movie where it could've ended, but then another sequence begins and then when I think that's the ending, another sequence begins. Of course Tarantino was working with a new editor after his long time editor passed away, but I'm sure he was thinking when is this going to end. It's a good twist on the spaghetti western genre, but this is far from being the best Tarantino film.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

Not bad, but not great. Still no reason to reboot the series 10 years after the first film came out. I have a conspiracy theory about that, but I won't get into it. Almost a shot for shot comparison to the first film with noticeable differences in the origin of how Spider-Man got his powers and some other details. I think Andrew Garfield did a good job. He's got the look of Peter Parker, but certainly not his persona. Peter Parker is supposed to be a shy, intelligent and lonesome individual. Garfield's Parker is more arrogant, confident and has a passion for skateboarding. I thought the Lizard's design was very cheap and the character traits were similar to the Green Goblin from the first film. I do give this film a little credit being more realistic than Sam Rami's version, but the filmmakers attempted to make this Spider-Man darker which in my opinion can't be done because Spider-Man is not a dark character. It's worth seeing if you love Spider-Man, or love superhero movies. I still prefer the Sam Raimi movies, except for 3. That was atrocious.

The Rookie
The Rookie(1990)
½

Ok movie. Great cast. Film dragged for periods on end and the jazz influenced music did not fit with the overall tone of the picture. Great comedic lines from Mr. Eastwood.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)

Ok Bond film. Not as great as everyone says it is. There are some good action sequences and some great performances as there is more tension in this one between Craig's Bond and Judi Dench's M. I liked Javier Bardem as the villain. He's got the overall creepiness of his most popular role as Anton Chigurh from 'No Country Left Behind' with the look of Christopher Walken from 'A View To A Kill' and a sense of overall normalcy as his plan is carefully crafted from the beginning. The pacing of the film seemed to drag periodically and overall I don't like the direction this franchise is going. Gone are the wacky gadgets which was an elemental piece of the Bond character and it seems the female roles in the films are slowly diminishing as the "Bond girl" in this one is only in it for about 10 minutes and had no role in the overall plot of the film. More of just eye candy. It's an improvement over Quantum of Solace, but I'm scared as to what changes the Bold films will bring next.

Lincoln
Lincoln(2012)

Not really a bio pic, more of a political drama as it portrays the last months of Lincoln's presidency as he tries to end the Civil War by getting the Thirteenth Amendment passed. I've been waiting for this film to come out since it was announced in 2006 and had been in development hell for the longest time. Daniel Day Lewis gives a performance of the ages as he portrays our sixteenth president as a soft spoken, humble and dignified individual who uses stories and teachings to get his message across about equality and freedom for all Americans. Not to mention the fact he has the spot on look. He's hands down favorite to win the Oscar for best pictures. Liam Neeson was originally cast as Lincoln, but dropped out due to the long period of time he waitied. Neverthess, Spielberg found a great method actor. Not only does Lincoln have to deal with the divide of the country, he deals with inner turmoil within his family as he tries to comfort his wife going through a depression phase (wonderfully portrayed by Sally Field) and spending time with his youngest son while alienating his elder son (portrayed by Joseph Gordon Levitt). The film does have its flaws and it over exaggerates in key plot points. The film could've also been cut down in length given the nature of the story, but still keeps you engrossed. I think this film is a just a great reminder of the sacrifices our fore fathers gave to defend freedom and offer a great future for us all. A lot of us take it for granted, but this reviewer certainly does not.

The Social Network

Enjoyed this movie. It's very dark in nature with emotional gripping impacts as it focuses on Mark Zuckerberg's creation of Facebook and how he revolutionized the next era of social media while stepping on some toes. Carefully paced and good performances overall. My standout has to be Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder who ends up getting cast out into the cold. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's musical score has dark brooding electronic harmonies that capture the harsh environment of the film. It's unlike any film score I've heard before. This is a film that could be seen as the Citizen Kang of the next generation with the rapid pace of our technical world, but only time will tell.

Quantum of Solace
½

Got around to watching this last night. Not as good as Casino Royale. Not by a long shot. This film didn't feel like a Bond movie at all. It was missing a lot of pieces of all the other Bond films like his wacky gadgets and his humor. In some scenes he was more Jack Bauer than James Bond. Daniel Craig was decent in this one, but his approach to Bond seemed a little 180 from his portrayal in Casino Royale. I praise the cinematography in this one again as I enjoyed the luscious sights of Italy and other locations, but that alone couldn't support the weak plot, uninteresting supporting cast and an over-editing that this film suffered. I hope Skyfall can rebound from this somewhat disappointing effort.

Casino Royale
½

I finally got around to seeing this 'reboot' of the James Bond franchise. I was thoroughly impressed overall. I was skeptical about Daniel Craig playing the iconic British spy,but he really pulled it off. He portrayed Bond as somewhat of a rookie, trying to find his niche and having a sense of trust with people who are working with him whereas his predecessor Pierce Brosnan had a cold calculated style and not letting his supporting cast interfere with his objectives. Great cinematography and a great supporting cast. Some people thought the poker scenes were too long, but I disagree. It really built the tension between Bond and the antagonist with both of them trying to figure each other out. And of course there were plenty of mouthwatering action scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat. I would have to say Casino Royale ranks up there among the best James Bond films in the series. Now I just need to find some time to watch Quantum of Solace before Skyfall comes out this Friday!

The Ward
The Ward(2011)

Had the potential of being a good movie, but it really lacked originality and the twist was really out there. Amber Heard was definitely a sight for sore eyes and the main reason that kept me entwined. It's shame this wasn't better, especially since John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors. Hopefully he's got some creative juices left in him to make something great.

Sunshine
Sunshine(2007)
½

An incredibly visual and tense science fiction with a taste of a slasher film without having a killer or creature. Directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) the film is about a crew who is sent on a task to reignite the sun as it is dying, thus attempting to save mankind. Sunshine takes the visual landscape of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the psychological terror of Alien and the concept of Event Horizon and molds it into an engaging film that will keep you glued to the screen. The cast has a variety of unknown actors with the exception of Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans. Each of the characters have their own unique personalities and they conflict with each other during moments of dire emergency in order to save their mission. The real fear in this movie is not from a being, but rather everything that could go possibly wrong in a mission. The film uses the environment as the source of fear for the characters to survive and even make harsh decisions that leads one scenario to another. The music fits perfectly with the overall theme. The biggest flaws I would say Sunshine has is its questionable judgement calls during certain turning points in the story. They just happen without a real explanation as to why this character made this decision or that character took matters into their own hand. Nevertheless, Sunshine is one of the best science fiction films I've seen in the last ten years. It's one that takes multiple viewings to truly understand the overall scope, but its a breath of fresh air into the staleness of a genre that was believed to have disappeared at the end of the 80s.

Die Another Day

Worst Bond movie in the franchise. Poorly written and directed and is incredibly over the top for a Bond movie! Halle Berry in multiple bikinis was the only saving grace to this film.

Idiocracy
Idiocracy(2006)
½

Mike Judge makes another comedic and satirical film. Not as good as Office Space, but still has moments that make you die hard laughing. For me, it's definitely a wide open look about how mankind has de-evolved and that if we continue on the course we are on, we won't have an inhabitable planet to live on within the next 50 years. If you like Mike Judge's humor, this is one you can't miss watching.

Virtuosity
Virtuosity(1995)
½

Not a spectacular film, but Russel Crowe's over the top performance keeps you engaged.

Looper
Looper(2012)
½

A very clever and original sci-fi flick with a lot of twist and turns. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis complement each other in dueling roles as the same character.

Dredd
Dredd(2012)
½

Violent, gritty and fun to watch. This blows the 1995 movie out of the water. Karl Urban does a great performance as Judge Dredd. He plays it straight-laced filled will little to no emotion and his authority is presently felt throughout the movie. His performance was much better than Sylvester Stallone's over the top performance. Olivia Thirlby plays Dredd's sidekick who comes in handy with her abilities. Although her character starts out hesitant, Dredd quickly molds her into upholding the law and handing out sentences when the times comes. Thirlby's character brings the emotional element to the film. Although the majority of the film takes place in one setting, it has a very claustrophobic feel and has the hide and defend elements of movies like Assault on Precinct 13 and Dawn of the Dead which keep you on your seat. Although I saw the non-3D version is was clear a lot of the shots were in 3D for that purpose. This is one of the best reboots I've seen since Batman Begins and one that I can watch over and over again.

Memento
Memento(2000)

Christopher Nolan's major film debut is a jigsaw puzzle of a film. It's shot

Lawless
Lawless(2012)

Really enjoyed Lawless. Great western/historical/gangster film taking place in Virginia during the prohibition area. Audiences get their fare share of a dramatic story with loads of violence and humor. Really loved the backwoods setting of the Virginian mountains and the set pieces are appropriate for the times including various vintage Ford cars and jalopies. Performance wise, Tom Hardy never ceases to amaze me as he plays Forest Bondurant, the head brother and ringleader of their bootlegging business. Hardy portrays this character as someone who is as hard as nails and doesn't flinch when he is intimidated by others. His performance is probably my fifth best out of the films he's been in. Shia LaBeouf was surprising good as younger brother Jack. He's the runt of the family as is vary cowardice, but through the course of the film, he steps up as he tries to get approval and respect from Forrest.Not to mention constantly getting flagged by his other brother, Howard, portrayed by Jason Clarke. The villain in this movie is Guy Pearce who plays Charley Rakes, a Chicago deputy who is brought in to stop their business. He is ruthless, cold hearted and he really goes toe to toe with the family. This is one of Pearce's better performances. Look for Gary Oldman playing a rival gangster in this film. His role is very limited. There were some gory scenes that made me cringe, but it comes with the price of the territory as
they say.

Seraphim Falls

A western/survival film that takes places in the western mountains after the Civil War. Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson give great performances on different levels. Brosnan more for his physical performance as he fights for survival and tries to start a new life while Neeson is more dialog heavy and predatory as he pursues Brosnan to seek vengeance for ruining his life during the war. I really loved the cinematography in this film as it really captures the spirit of the west in the wintertime. It sort of has a Dances With Wolves feel. The film is exceptionally violent and gory as Brosnan goes beyond the extreme to do what is necessary to survive. The drawback that I could find is that the film is pretty long for being a simple concept of a cat and mouse chase, but evens out because of its suspense. The true nature of why Neeson's character is pursuing Brosnan's character is not revealed until the climax. Overall I did enjoy this film for its technical aspects. It may not be the best western ever made, but it's nice to see two Irishmen go head to head.

The Bourne Legacy
½

Good performances by Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton, but a rather confusing plot that suddenly ends with more questions to be asked. Certain characters seem unbelievably naive as to what's going on in the film. This film is nothing more than a cat and mouse bore fest.

The Legend of Drunken Master (Jui kuen II) (Drunken Fist II)

Great Jackie Chan movie. Great martial arts scenes and plenty of comedy. How can you not like this film?

The Expendables 2
½

Better than the first one. Great little action flick with a paper thin story. People aren't going to see this for the story. There's plenty of nostalgia in the film: Over the top action, cheesy one liners and just seeing all the big name action stars doing what they know how to do. Chuck Norris really stole the show in my opinion. The audience went crazy when he appeared and the things he did in the movie are reminiscent of his persona. Jean Claude Van Damme still can't act as it shows in this film, but I do think he fit the role of a villain well. I really liked the fight he has with Sly. There's some great trade off moments with Bruce Willis and Arnold which I won't spoil. I was however disappointed with Arnold's delivery of his lines. It seems he timed his lines too late in some cases. I can go on and on about nitpicking, but I'm not going to do that. Good popcorn flick to go to, especially if you go on a rainy day.

Ted
Ted(2012)

Seth MacFarlane's feature length debut had me in stitches. I wanted to see this since I first heard about it being a fan of Family Guy and American Dad. The story starts with an eight year old boy receiving a teddy bear for Christmas, and wishes it would come to life. Sure enough, his wish comes true. They become the best of friends. The story moves into present day where John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (Seth MacFarlane) are grown up, but don't act grown up. John's impatient girlfriend Laurie (Mila Kunis) pretty much gives him an ultimatum, her or Ted.

Great performances from Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis along with a good supporting cast featuring Joel McHale, Patrick Wharburton and some interesting cameos all rounded up with narration from Sir Patrick Stewart in his Shakespearean dignified tone. Of course, Seth MacFarlane does a good job providing the voice of Ted, even though it's essentially him doing his Peter Griffin voice. Ted, the bear himself blends well with the real environment. The CGI is not cheap or crummy looking and everyone in the film treats Ted like an equal human being despite the fact that he is a teddy bear. Another staple in the Family Guy world.

The film was promoted as a raunchy comedy and yes it is raunchy with the jokes and style of humor that seen throughout MacFarlane's work, but it's a lot more than that. It really is a good buddy film. It reminded me the importance of friendship and people will come into your life and you learn to adapt and devote equal time to the people that matter to you the most. Friendship is one of the most important things we have in our lives.

This movie is definitely for fans of Family Guy, but even if you don't like Family Guy, this is an all around great comedy. A lot of people I saw in theaters don;t look like people who watch Family Guy, but they sure as hell were getting a kick out of this film. This is a film that will keep you laughing all the way home.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Reminded me of Ridley Scott's take on Robin Hood. Has the same premise and feel. Take a well known fairy tale and give it a mature spin. Film was great visually. The cinematography was spot on and had well balances of light and dark in appropriate settings. Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman gave a great performance as being a defender to Snow White. He's got to be careful or he'll be typecast-ed. There's a lot of downsides to this film. The pacing of the film is slow and there seems to be no fluidity as the story progresses and Charlize Theron's portrayal of the wicked stepmother was as overdone as a charred steak. Kristen Stewart was more Joan of Arc than she was Snow White. I guess that's what the filmmakers had in mind. Oh well. If you have any interest in seeing this movie, I'd wait until it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, Netflix, however you see movies from your home. This was a film that had potential bringing a new take on a classical tale, but it ends up being the victim of a misfire.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

Prometheus was my second most anticipated film of the year. I knew this film was in the making for the longest time and that the studio decided to go for a Prequel to the first Alien film rather than making another sequel in the franchise. I was extremely ecstatic to hear Ridley Scott was on board, being the genius of creating one of the best if not the best Sci-Fi/Horror film of all time and that he was going back to his Sci-Fi roots that made him a successful filmmaker. So how does Sir Ridley's new adventure favor?

I'll get this out of the way right now. This is not a direct prequel to Alien. It's rather an origin story searching for answer on how mankind was developed that takes place in the Alien universe. The film is about a group of scientists who find clues all around the world which connect to a star map leading to a planet where they believe could have the answers where humanity came from. While they find what they're looking for they realize that there is more than just their beginnings. The film focuses on the origin of the Space Jockey's that the Nostromo crew discovered in the first Alien movie.
A lot of people believed that Prometheus was going to recapture what made Alien successful. A quiet, suspenseful, claustrophobic film that is memorable in every way. Unfortunately the same magic is not in Prometheus. I didn't expect it to have those elements because you can't duplicate what's already been done. Instead the film starts out very slow as the Prometheus crew travels to the planet where the star map leads them and begins their search inside temples finding clues to the dawn of man. One thing Alien fans will see some familiar artwork and atmosphere designed by the organic industrial workings of H.R. Giger which have become a staple in the Alien universe. The second half of the film is where all hell breaks loose and is where the answers to the original questions that were brought up in Alien are revealed.

While Alien had many memorable moments that made you jump out of your seat, Prometheus does not. I found the more suspenseful scenes very predictable and the audience felt the same. No one jumped, shrieked or closed their eyes at the more "gorier" moments of the film. The music in the film is used way too much and it's sound very Star-Trekish in comparison to Jerry Goldsmith's quiet eerie score in Alien. I found the music in some scenes unfitting with what the scene was trying to create as far as an atmosphere.

As far acting goes, Noomi Rapace was very good as the lead character, Elizabeth Shaw. While she is a scientist, she is also religious and she conflicts with these beliefs throughout what she discovers. She has Ripley-esque characteristics but is far from being the female heroine that Sigourney Weaver was. The best performance goes to Michael Fassbender who plays the android David. He controls the Prometheus while the crew is in hyper sleep heading to their destination and reports back to the company that is sponsoring the mission, the Weyland Corporation. Fassbender has a mix of characteristics that made Ian Holm's Ash and Lance Henriksen's Bishop memorable. He is quiet and diabolical as Ash yet has the innocence and childlike qualities of Bishop. The rest of the crew including Charlize Theron was very one-dimensional. They didn't capture the chemistry that the characters of Alien had; especially there are 17 people on the Prometheus in comparison to the seven in Alien. That's too many people for each of them to develop their own characters. The film does answer many questions, but it brings new ones into light. I'm sure they will be answered in the next film (if there is a Prometheus sequel).
Overall I enjoyed this film. It's a good original story, but nothing groundbreaking in the world of Science Fiction. One thing I will say is that watching Prometheus is making me want to watch Alien again for the fifty-millionth time. I think I'm going to do that right now as we speak.

LD 50 Lethal Dose

I checked this out only because Tom Hardy is in it as he is my new favorite actor. It's a Science Fiction film where an activist group which calls themselves L.D. 50 go out to different labs and free animals that are being used for scientific experiments (similar to the whole product testing of chemicals on harmless animals). One of their comrades is left behind after he trips and alarm and is caught in a trap. The rest of the group make a plan to rescue him only to uncover that he is being a guinea pig to a new experiment on human beings. I really didn't expect anything going into this since there were a lot of bad reviews. I was right. The film goes nowhere fast and most of the time the group is bickering with each other and there's a bunch of screaming and silliness. The acting was very dull, especially from Melanie Brown. Does that name sound familiar to any of you? If it doesn't I'll give you a hint. She was a Spice Girl. FAIL!!! Hardy's performance was the only one I like because he actually made an effort. The set designs looked like something from a basement in a Telecommunications lab that I've been to. This is a film I advise everyone to stay away from. You'd be better off doing something else for 97 min than waste your time on this film. It's pure salty garbage!

I'm Still Here

Waste of time. Only reason I watched it because it was streaming instantly on Netflix. Is this supposed to be a documentary or a mockumentary? To me this was Joaquin Phoenix hiding his loneliness and emptiness into a whole new persona. Lot of disgusting and disturbing moments compliled with more than 90 % of the dialog being the F word. He really did a good job killing his career if this was his intention. If this were indeed a mockumentary then the only people that are laughing are the filmmakers.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an Anglo-French mystery/espionage film based on the 1974 book of the same name by John le Carre. The focus of the film is investigating and revealing a high ranking British Intelligent agent who is doubling as a spy for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Don't expect big shoot em ups as this film is a quiet and cautiously paced thriller as you uncover puzzle by puzzle alongside Gary Oldman into finding the spy. The music composed by Alberto Iglesias is a classical piano tribute to many mystery style movies and shows like Sherlock Holmes and is one of the best pieces of the film. Oldman who plays lead investigator George Smiley gives a performance that is a complete 180 of his fiery persona's that were seen in Air Force One, The Fifth Element, The Professional and Dracula. He's very calm and calculated and keeps a poker face throughout the film to not give any suspects the idea that he is looking into them. The supporting cast includes a circle of well respected English actors including John Hurt, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds. Once again Tom Hardy had the standout performance in my opinion as Ricky Tarr, an agent who blows the whistle to British Intelligence about a spy among their mists. Hardy's performance mixes elements of fear, anxiety and paranoia as he struggles to find someone to trust and being an assassination target for anyone looking to cover up the investigation. The pacing of the film is slow so you must be patient as everything will unravel piece by piece. It's an Austere film in its own right and is highly recommended for anyone who likes to watch mysteries or wants to see something different that is not an action/adventure blockbuster or a laugh out loud comedy.

Marvel's The Avengers
½

The ultimate superhero movie. Great cast, well constructed script and plenty of action. The movie clocks in at 2 hr and 22 min, but with everything going on, it goes by fast. The heroes compliment each other very well. They start out battling each other, but then realize the bigger picture. Each heroes abilities don't outshine each others and every character has a balanced amount of screen time. The only thing that kept me from giving this movie 5 stars were some of the Hulk action scenes. Some were a little over the top. I don't remember Hulk being able to fly in the comics. Overall it was worth the $15 Matinee price (I saw it in 3-D that's why). If an Avengers 2 is already in the works, I would like to see a plethora of villains from other universes come together to take the heroes on as depicted in the 90's arcade game. Great movie to kick off the Summer Movie season!

No Escape
No Escape(1994)

Kind of an amalgam of Lord of the Flies mixed in with Escape From Alcatraz and top it off with elements from the Mad Max movies. Pretty good cast including solid performances from Ray Liotta and Lance Henriksen. It's a fun little prison sci-fi flick with some good action sequences. Nothing cutting edge. I really enjoyed the various set locations and fortress designs. It's worth a watch if you like these type of films.

Control
Control(2005)

Classified as a crime drama with sci-fi elements, this film turns into a drama in the second half of the story. It's about a convicted murder who is convicted to death for murder only to find out his execution was staged so he can be a guinea pig for a new experimental drug that suppresses emotions. Ray Liotta who plays the lead character was the best part I liked about the movie. He was able to go from a derranged killer to an emotionless slave looking for contrition. Unfortunately I didn't like the rest of the film. Willem Dafoe plays a one-dimensional scientist who created this drug. At first he seemed liked the sleazy corporate CEO looking for the best subject to experiment on, but then he becomes this sappy individual who is trying to get inside Liotta's head to try to help him with his past. I would give this one star, but I gave it two just because the concept is intersting and raises questions about human testing. Overall it just falls flat with the pacing, plot and the not so climatic ending.

Warrior
Warrior(2011)
½

Definitely the Rocky of this generation. It's more than just an MMA film. It's a film about a broken family coming together after being estranged for a long time. Great cast. Tom Hardy gives a remarkable performance and a man who is determined to get what he wants and doesn't care who he has to go through. Joel Edgerton plays Hardy's brother who is looking to patch things up after being distant for so long. The best performance to come out of this film was Nick Nolte. I'm not a Nick Notle fan but he really nailed his character as the father of the two brothers who is looking for redemption himself. Supposedly he did all his scenes in a single take. If that's true, then that's impressive. No wonder he got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It's a long movie, but it keeps your mouth watering for the big MMA tournament with a lot of skillfully crafted fights. The ending leaves a few questions unanswered, but it's so emotional I got choked up. I highly recommend this film. It's one of the best films I've seen in a while.

4192: The Crowning Of The Hit King

Great documentary on the Hit King himself. Narrated by J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man movies, Law & Order) the film chronicles Rose's beginnings as a young boy developing his talents to signing his first major league contract with the Reds hours before his first appearance, to his numerous awards and World Series titles, all leading up to his major accomplishment. Breaking Ty Cobb's all time hit record. This documentary clocks in at almost 2 hours, but it never skips a beat. Features commentary by Marty Brennaman, Tony Perez, Mike Schmidt and of course Charlie Hustle himself. I learned quite a few things about Rose that I've never heard anyone mention before, especially when Rose states that all of his accomplishments happened on certain dates as other historical events. The film ends with the entire television footage of Rose's magical hit and for one night was on top of the world. The documentary is nothing but a positive tribute to a man who played the game of Baseball with heart and integrity. Nowhere in the documentary they talk about his gambling scandal. I really appreciated them not talking about it. This is a great documentary for not only Reds fans, but all fans of Baseball. There will never be another player like Pete Rose. He truly was one of a kind.

Ironclad
Ironclad(2011)
½

Medieval story that takes place in England in 1205 during the signing of the Magna Carta. The film focuses on a Knight Templar and a group of rebels defending a castle in Rochester from King John and his forces. John dismisses the Magna Carta and tries to take back the castle and punish those responsible for forcing him into signing it. The feeling that I got from this film is that it's a lot like Assault on Precinct 13 as a little group of rebellions defend their stronghold against a gigantic army of soldiers and mercenaries. Great cast including Paul Giamatti as King John in a mesmerizing performance and Brian Cox as the leader of the rebels. Excellent cinematography and the pacing of film keeps you intrigued and doesn't slow down. There is a lot of violence and gore with a lot of hacking, slashing and limbs flying around everywhere. But hey that's what they did in those times right? The only thing I didn't like about the movie was the story. There were some inaccuracies as far as the timeline of events and the fate of some nobles in the castle that were not true. Overall this is an entertaining movie to watch on a Friday or Saturday night if you're into the historical medieval films and is one of the better films relating to this time period that i have seen in a long time.

Black Death
Black Death(2011)

Slow, boring and horrible camerawork. That's all I have to say.

Assault on Precinct 13

John Carpenter's first major film. Fast paced, dark and violent. A western sent in an urban setting with elements taken from Rio Bravo and Night of the Living Dead. This film was made with just a $100,00 budget. What really made the film come to life for me was the music composed by Carpenter. The layers of droning synthesizers add a haunting chill down your spine. The main title song is way ahead of its time and is my favorite Carpenter score out of all his movies. Carpenter is one of my all time favorite filmmakers and this film is easily in my top 5 films he's created. I've seen the remake, and while it has elements of this film, it didn't have the grittiness that this film has. Great films don't have to have large budgets, it's what the director does with his/her tools to shape the vision of the film they're trying to make.

Bronson
Bronson(2009)

A British Film based on the true story of the U.K.'s most notorious prisoner, Michael Peterson, who changed his name to Charles Bronson (based on the actor of the same name). Spent 30 years in solitary confinement and was paroled only to be arrested again for robbery and sent back to prison after 69 days of freedom. This film reminds me of A Clockwork Orange. Disturbing, brutal, funny and moments of defeat. I've heard about this film from word of mouth and the fact that Tom Hardy plays the lead,and it was this performance that convinced Christopher Nolan to cast him as Bane in the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises. Hardy's performance is a taste of what you will see in Rises. He's physically built and has the mind of a savage animal looking to strike at anyone who is in the same room with him . Not to mention he's smart with what he is trying to accomplish. These three characteristics make him a dangerous individual. It took me a while to warm up to the black comedy elements of the film, but it helped even the film out with its over the top bare knuckle brutality that Bronson is best known for. This is a film you should watch if you're into character studies, true stories, or if you just like crazy rage filled violence.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Definitely a faithful adaptation of the novel (which I finished reading not too long ago). I could easily picture the words I read with what I saw on the screen. I liked this version over the Sweedish film. Great cast. I'm not a fan of Daniel Craig but I enjoyed his performance as the male lead. Rooney Mara was brilliant as Lisbeth Salander. She not only had the look but acted in the same manner as the Lisbeth that was portrayed in the book.. Trent Reznor's musical score really help bring an edge to the twist and turns that were around every corner of this dark and sexually driven world that David Fincher brings to life. The movie is clocked in at 2 hours and 40 min, but it really doesn't feel that long. There's so many mesmerizing scenes and scenarios that keep you focused. There was one particular scene that was intensely graphic I literally had to shut my eyes. (Those who've read the book or have already seen this movie or the Sweedish movie know what I'm talking about). This is a movie I recommend to anyone. Even if you haven't read the book, it's still worth checking out if you're a fan of mysteries. Who knows? Maybe you'll end up reading the book and start your journey into Steig Larsson's trilogy as I have.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Really good movie. Enjoyed every moment of it. I admit I was skeptical of Chris Evans playing Captain America b/c I didn't care for him as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, but he really pulled this one off. Tommy Lee Jones was great in a supporting role and of course you got some laughs out of him. The action sequences and special effects are what you expect in a Marvel superhero movie. They keep you on your seat. The only gripes I had with the movie was some scenes in the film were at a slow pace compared to the majority of the film and Hugo Weaving's German accent sounded more like Pierce Brosnan's native Irish accent and the delivery of some of his lines feel forced. But it's made up with the awesome makeup job they did on the Red Skull. This movie ranks up there with all the other Marvel superhero movies and it's worth the price of admission.

Machete
Machete(2010)

It's a campy-gory action flick. Unique story. Little over the top, but keeps you on your seat. Well rounded cast although Lindsay Lohan had absolutely no business being in the film. If you're a fan of Robert Rodriguez films, you'll enjoy this one.

Red
Red(2010)

Great blend of action/comedy. Intriguing cast. Willis, Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren are a great team and get out of some sticky situations in a stylistic and clever way. Great supporting cast. It's one film I can watch over and over again.

Battle: Los Angeles

Liked the action, special effects and sound. No plot whatsoever. The movie drags out and is longer than it needed to be.

Edge of Darkness

Definitely not what was expected. Mel Gibson's Boston accent sounds like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Overbloated and doesn't live up to all the hype. Save your $10.