• Category Archives Movies
  • Movie reviews, and whatever about them…

  • Avatar – Movie Review

    Avatar is a technological leap. Cameron got what her wanted. The animation is so real, you don’t think of it as animation. The 3D is so good, you forget about the glasses you wear.  In fact, it is so good, it’s very easy to get used to and forget it’s great. if movies will start using that technique, it would be as sound or color, surround sound or digital projectors were introduced – it takes zero effort to accept, and it becomes the standard instantly.  Sold!

    As a side comment – it doesn’t use any 3D movie cheap “tricks” of a spear popping out to touch your nose, a truck wheel flying at you – it is using the 3D to show you a realistic movie, to the best level possible today, which, short of a holodeck, is pretty much perfect…

    Now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk about the movie as a movie. The story is solid and good, though not amazing. Some parts are predictable, but nothing can be consider obvious or dumb. Some elements are sci-fi givens, as growing the avatars in a liquid, or  the fighting amplified-movement machines Sigourney brought with her from Cameron’s  Aliens, but lots are great and original (as much as I can tell…).

    I felt that some details were left out, as how Miles got his scars, or how Jake lost his legs – but there were quite a lot of details crammed into over two and a half hours, you can’t explain everything.

    I found it great how Cameron managed to make the Na’bi aliens humanly appealing yet very alien. Zoe Saldana’s character Neytiri, mostly naked and looking as hot as an alien can look, though not a match to Zoe Saldana herself, as we saw her mostly naked in the last Star Trek.

    I thought that Sigourney’s avatar was the worse, something about the teeth and mouth shape made it look strange, in my opinion this was the only reminder in the movie that this was animated.

    Sam Worthington is doing a great job portraying his role, and so does Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Land. Giovanni Ribisi is OK, not more than that, and is one of the weak points in the story as a very stereotypic corporate bad man.

    The environment, animals and jungle are all amazingly realistic and nice and reflects the creativity and the amount of details and hard work that was put into designing this ecosystem.

    Recommendation? Run now and see it, in 3D of course.

    L.


  • Where the Wild Things Are – Movie Review

    Where the Wild Things Are movie picture
    Where the Wild Things Are movie picture

    This movie reminds me of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy movie. No, they have almost nothing to do with each other. But to me, it seems that both movies appeal mostly to people who read and loved the book, and seeing it without being someone from the well defined group makes you wonder what’s the big deal about this movie.

    The difference for me was that I read and loved THHGTTG. I knew of but read only a few pages of WTWTA. I have my comments (of course) also about THHGTTG, but this is about WTWTA…

    The movie is visually excellent, and the casting is great – Max Records is doing an amazing job as Max, Catherine Keener is great and the voices are excellent (though for a “Sopranos” watcher like me, I kept thinking about it when I was listening to him…).

    The plot has many layers that can be understand differently by different viewers, demanding on their age – Max’s anger, the Wild Things behavior which is childish but with adults voices and the power of beasts, the depth of sadness, the family situation – can be portray differently as a parent then as a child, which is great.

    The movie has both funny humor and sad emotional scenes, and I’d say is best fit for kids 10 and over – and really best for viewers that read the book.

    L.


  • Zombieland – Movie Review

    Zombieland movie custom poster
    Zombieland movie custom poster

    Zombieland – Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin…

    Ah, Woody, Woody…you’re cool…been a natural born killer before, but not of unnatural zombies…for me it was White Men Can’t Jump that really made him (sure, Cheers was there first, but….). Jesse Eisenberg is doing his nerdish act in an excellent way, Emma Stone is doing her part as being beautiful and mesmerizing with her eyes, and Abigail Breslin is doing a great part, though I kept thinking of Little Miss Sunshine.

    The gory part are pretty graphic, but I didn’t feel they are over done, and don’t feel like they are done for just being gory. The movie is very funny, and even the predictable part comes out good/funny.

    This is a fun movie, and you’ll enjoy it, and laugh, but don’t look for a deep message…and if you come in the right mood, you’ll be laughing even more – and I really like the fact it’s not a long movie, had enough of those 3 hours flicks…

    Go, laugh, enjoy…L.


  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – Movie Review

    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie
    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie

    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. CwaCoMB. Based on a book with the same name, the movie is simply fun to watch.

    Yes, the animation is nice, detailss are great, From Flint’s father’s face to Sam Spark’s pants, it is all done great, but the real charm of this movie is the humor. It is just packed with funny lines, scenes and word play, and casting is just excellent. Bruce Campbell, Bill Hader, Mr. T, Andy Samberg, Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt – all did a great job. I really likes Manny – voiced by Benjamin Bratt – an excellent character.

    A real fun movie for both kids and adults. Go go go!

    L.


  • District 9 – Movie Review

    distrivt 9 movie c
    District 9 movie

    Not bad…

    Half of D-9 is like a documentary. At first, in my opinion (of course…) it is stretching the documentary like part too much, to a point I was thinking “well, where’ s the action part?”.

    The casting of Sharlto Copley is excellent. He plays his character and develop it in an excellent way, in looks and in behavior.

    I find the aliens looks including “the hand” unoriginal and a bit of a cliché – maybe intentionally, trying to create a familiar feeling to it, but I think it was almost like a parody about aliens…but just marginally.

    Other than the alien look (something between a character from “Pirates of the Caribbean and Predator”) and their hands (any 50s sci-fi movie…),  the fighting machine is a “Alien” à la Sigourney Weaver style, “The Fly” like transformation (though less disgusting than Jeff Goldblum’s) and Independence Day spaceships.

    I enjoyed the South Africa location, accent, Afrikaans, Nigerian and  alien language mix and the bureaucratic absurdness 1984/Twelve monkeys/Brazil style in the main character nomination  and his behavior.

    It’s an enjoyable movie, with some “blow ’em up” action, with a refreshing  (if not original) approach. Go and enjoy.

    L.


  • 9 – Movie Review

    The movie 9 photo montage
    The movie 9 photo montage

    9,  Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov animated movie, with voices by Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly and others, to a story and directed by Shane Acker.

    Technically this movie is beautiful. The animation, from facial expressions to body movements in action scenes, expulsions, gasses and lighting effects, the artistic and atmosphere creating scenery is just amazing. To anyone that ever did anything with material, texture and light in graphics or animation, the quality and realism is just so excellent.

    But the visuals are not the only thing we expect from a movie. The story, though it starts excellent, and has many great elements in it, just doesn’t hold through the movie, has too much of unclear elements, (risk of a sort of a spoiler alert here….) and ends in a somewhat lack-of-ending holistic way that leaves you with a “hu?” at the end. To me, it seemed as the story teller couldn’t come up with a good ending, so he left it open-ended with enough unexplained things to make the viewer not admitting to his friends he didn’t understand the ending….

    I was trying to figure out who this movie is aimed at. Small kids are definitely not a good target audience. Teenagers will roll their eyes if they’ll even go (I doubt it). Adults will find parts that will “talk” to them (the “German” nation, the characters etc.), but will be disappointed with the plot – so if you look form a commercial aspect, who is it aimed at?

    So, the only answer I have is the artistic audience, which will definitely enjoy the work. So my take of this – if you want to go and appreciate the art and technique, you’ll really enjoy this movie, otherwise, yes, some good action, some elements of a good plot and a few jokes, but nothing the holds throughout the film, and definitely not to the end, if it can be called an end….but it looks great….

    L.


  • Eagle Eye – Movie Review

     

    Fun action movie with some “borrowed” elements.

    Without putting a spoiler here, I’d just say that the story is about a person (and he’s getting company later) that one day starts to get commands and be controlled by someone to actions he is forced to do with no choice.  Of course there’s much more, but I don’t want to spoil…

    Acting is good, and action scenes are well done.  Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are doing a good job, Rosario Dawson & Michael Chiklis are OK, Billy Bob Thornton is annoying as usual, but his acting is good…

    Some elements in the movie are really taken from other movies/stories, with some modifications of course, but obvious similarities. Some twists and turns are good, and the movie is definitely fun to watch.

    Enjoy!

    L.


  • Righteous Kill – Movie Review

     

     

     

     

    Good acting and OK story, slow at times.

    The story is about a cop who takes the law in his own hands (a “Dexter” if you watch HBO, but without the slice and dice…), with twists and turns.

    Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are being and acting exactly as you can expect, good acting and no surprises, they are just as you know them. 50 Cent is playing good, so are John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg (Marky Mark’s brother), and Carla Gugino stood out here in my opinion as a very talented actress. 

    Do you think Trilby Glover is the lost daughter of Danny Glover? Here’s a picture, you tell me:

    Trilby Glover
    Trilby Glover (No, not nude)

    Her acting was good too….

    At points the story is getting a little too stretched and slow, and even though the movie is not that long, it seemed much longer than it really is.

    The bottom line is it is an OK movie, you can either see it in the theatre or on DVD, no rush…

    L.


  • Burn After Reading – Movie Review

    If you get the Coen brothers,  you’ll dig this movie.

    It’s a story of not so sharp people finding a disk who they believe contain classified info, try to sell it, and creating a whole mixed up story around it.

    Acting is great, from Brad Pitt as the gym instructor, the angry John Malcovich, the annoying George Clooney,  the unstoppable Frances McDormand (which is BTW married to Joel Coen) to Richard Jenkins ( the dead father from “6 feet under”).

    Brad Pitt is really funny, but at some point in the middle it gets a little tiresome, then it picks up again.

    Movie, as a good Coens’ movie, is getting twisted by the minute, with funny scenes and dialogs.

    I definitely recommend, especially if you like other Coens’ movies…

    L.


  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Movie Review

     

    Go and see.

    I’m an action movie macho, comedy and a sci-fi geek, I go to see a movie to have fun, and usually don’t go to movies that are more on the romantic side. But, I did go, and I really enjoyed this one.

    It’s a good story told in a fun way, if a little weird (not a typical Woody Allen, but has some weirdness in it as the narration tone).

    The story is about two NYC friends (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall), who travel to Barcelona for vacation to stay with family friends and get entangled in romantic situations with a local artist (Javier Bardem) and his ex-wife (Penélope Cruz), all in the beautiful countryside of Spain.

    Javier Bardem, who is so ugly and revolting in “No Country for Old Men” looks good here (don’t get any ideas, I’ll get to the ladies next), and acts great.

    Both Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall are beautiful. Penélope Cruz, in her crazy own way, is hot. Acting is great.

    The scenery and houses are as beautiful as can be, a great tourist attraction to Spain, makes you want to go right now. If I am to point out something that bothered me, it is the clothing, especially of Vicky and Cristina (Johansson and Hall) – I think that both, as New Yorkers, would have dressed better. On the other hand, the nerdish clothing of the, well, nerds, was so good it got me annoyed with them.

    There is one scene in the plane, that Cristina (Johansson) talk exactly like Woody Allen, which I found to be very funny, like an Allen cameo only through someone else…

    So – good casting, good acting, good story, beautiful locations, fun music, the Spanish and Spanish accent are fun to listen to. Some nude would’ve been welcome to make it look more natural, and with that I must quote the official rating – “Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexuality, and smoking.”. “and smoking”? Who are you kidding?

    Anyway, go and see, you’ll enjoy it.

    L.