Inception is really well done, and they merged a lot of weird material into a single, somewhat cohesive film. Strong on visuals and weirdness. I admit, it made more sense watching it the second time. I have some minor issues with the film - why do we dream in fractals? Why are the dreams always synced? Why do we dream 'faster'? etc.. but those things are kind of marginal to the plot as it rips along. If I had a major quibble, I guess I am not really sure who the 'good guys' are here, and Leonardo, while a competent actor, is not likeable. But then, maybe that is what they were going for here.
'Fundamentals' is cute, has funny moments, sad moments, and all the actors are likeable. It is of course, overly cutesy, and despite the poo, it has an overly Hollywood storyline and ending. It is still fun to watch, but I don't think that represents reality. Like for example, in this film, all hitchhikers are hot chicks with NO mental issues whatsoever.
This movie is the perfect example of why the 'Hobbit' series is too long. Bilbo's journey is kind of set off to the side to make room for Middle Earth politics and for Legolas and Tauriel to each shoot about 50 orcs in the eye while doing backflips. It is a great movie and visually impressive, don't get me wrong, but there are some stretches that strain credulity even in Middle Earth. Probably the low point for Jackson's Tolkien films.
It is REALLY HARD to follow Lord of the Rings, and I think that is this film's major flaw. Yes, it is spectacular. Yes, it does a great job with world building and cinematography. Even the acting and plot is well done. But the fatal flaw here is it is trying to set up something that has already happened (Star Wars prequels, anyone?) LoTR was an expansive world-ending extravaganza, whereas the Hobbit (at least the book) was supposed to be one quiet hobbit's experience with the outside world. The movie flips that all around and makes the Hobbit quite a big more expansive (and longer) than maybe it should have been. Doing this movie first, and scoping it (for die hard fans) probably would have helped. But still an excellent film.
The Star Trek reboots all LOOK really good. Action, CGI - all top notch. There is even a story here about friendship and sacrifice which isn't awful. I will say this though - they butchered and wasted Khan, who wasn't even really the baddie here. And when the big reveal came - who cares? Kirk didn't even know who he was - why should he care? And as much as I like Sherlock Holmes, Ricardo was THE KHAN! Quoting classic lit while blowing s**t up.
Hubie is a Sandler rehash from the 90s - slow but loveable dullard overcomes great adversity to save the day and win the girl ala Waterboy. Sandler is getting a bit old for this sort of stuff, but I DID find it a bit nostalgic and charming, even though the plot and ending was BEYOND stupid. Interesting ensemble cast.
Khan is probably the best of the original series of Star Trek films, with a fairly tight plotline, and a bitter rivalry and a bromance at its heart. Effects are pretty dated, but still good enough for what the film is trying to convey. The new films, of course, have MUCH better effects, although lacking perhaps in story (like Star Wars, Abrams pretty much lifts the plot from the original and inverts Spock and Kirk). Lots of nostalgia for Star Trek fans, and you can make a game out of 'what was that character in?' My daughter, a music buff, LOVED the full orchestra sound track.
Imagine someone made the movie 'Fargo', but decided to leave out any trace of humor. Silencing kind of makes you want to keep watching, but it is somewhat overwrought and full of, let's call it, 'bad life decisions'. The usual plot flaws, but not sooo bad as to overwhelm the film. One thing I found very annoying was the constant changing weather - sometimes he has a jacket on and it is snowing, and the next minute it is sunny, he has on a t-shirt, and the leaves are coming out.
Breach is so-so. The filmmakers eschew the standard spy blow-em-up formula for a tense (is he on to me?) character study. I vaguely recall the Hanssen spy case breaking, but didn't know any details. The film covers his life and his deviancies, but not REALLY his reason for treason, other than his job dissatisfaction. The agent assigned to follow him likewise gets his life exposed to the camera, but not really in any significant and deep way. You also know at the beginning who the traitor is - there is no who-dunnit here - I THINK they were going for 'why did he do it', but in the end, the film states explicitly 'it doesn't really matter why you did it.' It felt like only the superficial part of the story is being told here.
This isn't a BAD movie. per se, it is just a less well done knock off of Groundhog Day, a flick they reference multiple times in the film. Even the character arcs are stolen from Bill Murray. The movie writing starts out fairly weak, and the female lead is SUPER annoying, but the film grows and evolves and she becomes a more sympathetic character. However, the writing still never really takes off, and they should have left the sci-fi explanations at the front step like GHD wisely did... it is just cheesy. Since the leads are teens, there is the usual angsty stuff, and angsty soundtrack overlays.
Guy wakes up with amnesia and a dead woman in his trunk. Ruh Roh Raggy! A quiet who dunnit thriller. It's somewhat predictable, but enough surprises to keep it interesting to the end. And it is fairly believable.
There is a lot of potential here - Keanu, Heaven and Hell, kicking daemon ass... and yet the execution came off kinda weak. There is a lot of lore and mythology splashed up on the screen quickly and chaotically. And done in a more style than substance sort of way. Additionally, I don't know what was going on with the film, but the audio was awful... there were whole chunks of dialogue kind of half whispered that I couldn't make out.
It isn't awful. It takes what would otherwise be a tired plot formula and puts a sci-fi twist on it. The twist isn't masterful or anything, but I have to say, I didn't see the doublecrosses coming, so points there.
I had seen this movie before, but didn't realize it until about 1/3 of the way in to it. It must not have been very memorable. Tons of cliches, Lousiana swamp people, and the neo-nazi drug running biker gang comes for Statham and his adorable, but tough, daughter. Franco is an almost pointless appendage and not very scary. All that said, Statham does a decent job gritting his teeth and kicking ass.
Beyond ridiculous plot, but if you can get past that, National Treasure is a blast to watch. The baddie always one step behind was a bit much, and the ending was a little weak, but otherwise awesome mindless entertainment.
Certainly a strange movie that has been remade to poorer effect, Groundhog Day is an understated classic. At heart a morality tale with a brilliant storyline, it is cloaked in actual humor and entertainment, vs some of the more preachy crap out there. I always thought he was overrated, but Bill Murray lives up to his reputation as the loveable asshole here. There are no huge special effects or big budget extravaganzas, but instead we see a jerk get his come-uppance in a very odd sort of way, and everyone is better for it.
I am not a Tom Hanks fan, but he certainly is a decent actor with a knack for getting the right projects. 'Forrest Gump' has become, and remains, almost a household name since this film's release decades ago. It's odd too, since Forrest is a simpleton with no real agenda of his own. His character's only point is to present a fresh lens on America circa 1955-1982. He experiences way more of key points in history and culture than anyone possibly could, and then calls them out for what they are. American Boomer culture is actually the main character here. Does it work? Maybe - as much as any unconventional narrative can. And maybe more so if you are a Boomer.
"Its Kind of a Funny Story" is cliched, but enjoyable to watch. Angsty teen can take it, goes to nut house, meets lots of 'interesting' and colorful folks including the 'wise but disturbed mentor', the 'crazy roommate', and of course, the 'disturbed girl who likes to cut, but is super hot'. The ending is a bit Hollywood too. There are of course better flicks, even about this topic, but this is well done enough for a fun watch, and the main character does a good job. Even Zach Galifianakis, who does his usual bumbling but lovable idiot thing, isn't too painful to watch here.
Perhaps not QUITE as good as the original with a weaker soundtrack, GG2 is still a non-stop CGI spectacular, leavened with comedy. There are some flaws like any blockbuster, but a fun ride overall, and the original characters are still fun to watch develop.