justin c.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Thor
Thor (2011)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Originally I was kind of skeptical when I saw that Kenneth Branagh. I really just wasn't sure what I thought about him directing a superhero action movie. Branagh has only directed his Shakespearean stuff and a version of The Magic Flute. Not exactly a the kind of resume that makes me think he can deliver on a high budget, action heavy, special effects smorgasboard. Then it hit me. Branagh is the perfect guy to direct Thor. Thor is Shakespearean. You have father/son issues, you have a jealous brother, you have treachery. Thor really is something like Hamlet with super powers. Lots of directors can get action right, but it takes a special kinda director to see those elements in a film and know how to bring them out WITH the action.

I really liked the Thor movie, despite the fact it had Natalie Portman in it. (just not a fan, I just don't see her as very talented, and I don't think she is attractive either) The casting was excellent. Anthony Hopkins as Odin is just freaking awesome, but where the casting really shines is with Thor and Loki. Chris Hemsworth was perfect for Thor. Much like Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, I just completely bought him lock, stock, and barrel as the god of thunder. He just looks and acts the part. He SHOULD be a huge action star, but he wouldn't have been such a success in this film if the role of Loki wasn't cast just as well. Tom Hiddleston is fantastic. He is everything that Thor is not, dark to his blond, slender to his muscular, crafty and wily to Thor's brute strength. Hiddleston plays this incredibly well. Loki is a reason why Branagh was perfect for this movie. He sells him as a somewhat oily, but not evil character in the beginning that has a tragic twist that plunges him into the throes of despair. He sells Loki as a tragic character, rather than one of pure malignant evil. At times, I felt sorry for him, I could see how he made the decisions he made, even if I didn't agree with them. That is an indication that a villain has been done well, we know why he is the villain, rather than just being told he is the villain.

All in all, I can't recommend Thor enough. It looks great, is well acted, and is as entertaining a summer movie as you will find.

Battle: Los Angeles
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011

Battle:Los Angeles 7/10!
Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day with a little bit of District 9 thrown in. That's exactly what it is. This film was incredibly derivative of those titles. BUT, thats not really such a bad thing. I liked all of these films, and I enjoyed this mashup of the three. Blackhawk Down is one of the few movies I have ever seen that really created a sense of tension in me. It makes me feel like my blood pressure is rising. It's a very tense film. Battle: Los Angeles establishes that same sort of tension in me. It is a very visceral movie, filmed almost exclusive with hand held cameras, and artificially produced news footage. Those of you that get motion sick should probably avoid it however. Because it appears to be almost entirely shot with hand cameras it very shakey, like Cloverfield, or Blair witch project. I myself got a little nauseous during it, just do to the way the camera shook. Thats not a criticism of the film, its just a style choice, just a warning to those that might have trouble with this type of film. I knew several people who had that issue with Cloverfield and Blair Witch, and this one is more action oriented, and more likely to cause a problem in that regard.

This movie doesn't really bring anything knew to the table, pretty standard military drama except for the aliens. It is fairly well acted, Aaron Eckhert is always someone I enjoy, and the rest of the cast was at least competent. The one person I don't understand is Michelle Rodriguez. She routinely gets cast in films, and I really don't think she brings anything to the table. The movies she are in are good sometimes despite her, not because of her. The movie does, however, introduce some interesting concepts about the aliens, but they are really only mentioned in passing. They really show the aliens as a faceless enemy. They are pretty scary though, mostly because their weapons are incendiary based rather than ballistic. It's pretty scary when all the injuries are burns, probably do to our inborn fear of fire as a people.

All in all, this film doesn't really bring anything original or new to the table. However, it was still pretty enjoyable, and if your in the mood for a gritty war movie with a science fiction twist I would say go see this. Just take your motion sickness medication.

See more movie reviews at http://stinkingmovies.blogspot.com

Drive Angry
Drive Angry (2011)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Generally, this is actually the exact type of movie that I like. It's supposed to be a retro style movie, in the vein of what Robert Rodriguez did with Machete. But it's not tongue in cheek cheesy enough to come across as an homage and its not really filmed in a gritty enough style to match the script. Problem number 1 with this film is that it has Nik Cage in it. I used to not be this way towards him, hell, I used to like him quite a bit, but frankly, he has been phoning it in for awhile. He is terrible in this film. He is getting dangerously close to Corey Feldman type laughability at this stage of his career. Seriously, he has ridden bad mullet hair and weird forced laughter for way to many miles.

There actually were a few things about this movie that liked. The Accountant character (apparently the guy who counts the souls in Hell) was actually really funny and well acted. The chase sequences were also really well done. (I guess with the title there has to be good car scenes) The action in general was pretty actually all pretty bad ass. The problem for me in this film basically breaks down like this. First, it was supposed to be a gritty seventies triple feature kind of movie, but their campy stuff fell flat, and it was filmed entirely to smooth for the suspension of disbelief required to not just shake your head in disbelief at the dialogue. Secondly, Cage just can't act any more. Either that or he just doesn't care anymore, one or the other. And in the end there is one other very large problem for me with this film. This doesn't happen very often, but on the whole this movie was just to vulgar for me. It didn't advance the plot, it wasn't funny, it wasn't part of some overall campy charm. It was just disgustingly vulgar. Even though, with all of the crap, I still kind of enjoyed seeing it, but due to that I could never recommend it to anyone, or watch it again.

See more movie reviews at http://stinkingmovies.blogspot.com/

Paul
Paul (2011)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I am unashamedly a huge fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I even follow them on twitter, and actually read what they tweet even. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two of my favorite films, and when you combine that with the fact they were playing a couple of nerds like me in Paul, I was seriously looking forward to this film. I was not disappointed. It's not as brilliant a film as the other aforementioned films, but it was funny, and I enjoyed the nerd moments quite heartily.

This movie is a bit different than their other fair because it is a little more offensive. This guys like satire and spoofing stereotypes and in this one they chose one to make fun off that hits a little to close to home for many people in the bible belt. They chose to poke fun at protestant religious zealotry. I am not convinced the film was completely anti-Christian as much as it was anti-extremist, but, I can see how the argument for either can be made. I think, that, how offended people get by the anti-Christian sentiment depends a little on what kind of Christians you know. The type of Christian made fun of is the Christian that uses by rout arguments to answer anything that doesn't fit into her schema as a perfect fit. To be critical and attack anything that isn't what she believes in, violently and ignorantly. But underneath it all, she is just a superficial hypocrite that desperately wants an excuse to do drugs, swear, and "fornicate" as she puts it. Many people will say that kind of person doesn't exist and they are just trying to label all Christians as this sort of person. Those people, of course, haven't spent much time in NorthEast Arkansas. Perhaps, because I despise seeing this kind of person myself, I took the approach that this film was more that extremes in anything were bad, and there were steps taken to show that a more moderate approach in all views is the better one. The problem is I don't think they made that nearly as clear as they could have. Regardless, I am pretty certain that there isn't much chance that this film is going to piss someone off.

That being said, I still thought the movie was funny, cute, and ended with a feel goody sort of feeling in which every character learned a little more about themselves in the end. The exposure to Seth Rogen was pretty limited, and he didn't have anything to do with the script, which was a good thing. I like him better when he sticks to acting and leaves the writing and directing to someone else. I would recommend this to most any of my nerd friends, but if you have thin skin this one probably isn't for you.

see more movie reviews at http://stinkingmovies.blogspot.com/

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

http://stinkingmovies.blogspot.com/

I decided to wait a week before I wrote my review of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It was a movie I was really excited about, and my knee jerk reaction whilst coming out of the theatre was that it was an incredibly awesome movie and girls with pink and blue hair are really hot. But over the last week I have put a lot of thought in determining rather or not this is a great movie.

This movie is different than a lot of movies, honestly, I don't think I have ever seen a single movie that is so specifically targeted towards a particular sub-group of people. However, as someone who generally tries to rate movies with as little bias as possible, does that make this movie good, great, or bad?

For people in my demographic, this is an undeniably great movie. Its a film based off a comic series and is chock full of references to all those things that people that are "nerds" so to speak, find incredibly enjoyable. In my one and only viewing I counted over 40 direct video game and gamer culture references. Not to mention the fact that the overall style and feel of the movie is based primarily on things such as the Naruto anime and manga series. However, is that all this film was trying to accomplish? In direct comparison this film reminds me off another nerdcentric movie that came out a few years ago, Serenity. This film was an answer to some sort of conclusion for a very rabid fan base of the show Firefly. This film was targeted specifically to these fans, but nevertheless was a quality film regardless and was able to appeal to more than just the fan base. There is a difference in this two films though. Serenity was made for that fan base, and although it was a mainstream release there was not a very much marketing at all, other than the type of marketing that reached the target audience. Scott Pilgrim on the other hand had a main stream marketing campaign, although not expansive and ridiculous like a lot of summer films get. Its pretty obvious that although its a movie targeted for a particular group, it was also trying to attract a wide range of people to the theatre to see it. Did it accomplish its goal?

The reason I gave a dual ranking for this film is because since I fit into the demographic and of course loved the film to a silly level. However, as someone who really believes in giving a fair critique I fell that I have to give an unbiased rating for those that don't fit into the targeted demographic. So how good a movie was it? It was a really quality movie, a good movie, but not really a great movie. It had a few flaws that, although still quality, kept it from being a great film. I spent some time questioning people that went into the film knowing there would be references to things that they would have no chance in heck of ever getting, or understanding even a bit of it. Generally they enjoyed the film but the entirely of the film was spent with a pervasive feeling that they were missing something. That there were so MANY references, homage, easter eggs, etc, that just the shear number they missed out on was a detracting distraction to enjoying the film to its fullest. Also, I would say that this film goes on for about twenty minutes to long. Its so frenetic, random, and aleatoric even, that its kind of exhausting. Its a pretty long film, and frankly with about twenty minutes left I was thinking "you know, I would be ok if this movie would end right now." These two things generally are a relatively minor negative. Overall, its a brilliantly shot, acted, and casted film. Kieran Culkin was actually my absolute favorite as Wallace. But these two negatives brings down the rating just a little bit. So I give it a 9.5 nerd rating and a 7.8 (still a very good rating) for the unbiased.