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

  • Bangkok Dangerous (2008) – Movie Review

    Cage, cage.

    Bangkok Dangerous 

    I wanted to start with a witty “Mr. Cage, you are very cagy”, but it doesn’t mean anything, so I’ll skip it. Nicolas Cage just always has that sad expression on his face, and he can’t get very exciting…. Gloomy expression continually? Come on…

    The movie has some reasonably good action scenes in it, but: 

    A. You can’t really ignore the scenes that are taken from other movies, as the long motor boat chase which is very James Bond like (The Man with the Golden Gun) or jumping into the bath tab to avoid the explosion (Lethal Weapon), even the elephant scene reminded me of the James Bond movie…. Won’t spoil, but there’s also one scene brutally ripped from the last “Die Hard”….

    B. Too many yawing parts. Come on. Romantic scenes over stretched and bad editing showing Cage dramatically looking with his Basset Hound face (you know, the Hush Puppies dog).

    So, if you ask me ( J ), you can wait for the DVD. Could’ve been a 4 stars movie with a different actor and better editing – barely makes it to 3 stars as is… If you really like Cage – go and see it now…

    L.

     

     


  • Babylon A.D. – Movie Review

     

    Nah….

    Weak story, mediocre acting, too unclear action scenes,  Blade Runner wannabe city scenes, some light Parkour action, nothing really hits the target.

    Vin Diesel needs a strong movie to shine; he can’t hold a movie on his own. I’m not saying anything bad about him, he’s gone a long way from being a bouncer in NYC to what he is, and had some great films as XXX, Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick, even Find Me Guilty, but they all supported him with a good story – the ones that didn’t, like The Pacifier, even The Fast and the Furious (don’t jump on me, fans) were showing that without a good story it doesn’t hold well with Vin.

    In this movie, even my favorite Michelle Yeoh couldn’t shine…  The action scenes are shot in an “artistic” way that makes it very difficult to follow, and both Michelle and Vin are kinda wasted because of it… they have a group of guys that I’m sure are good at Parkour (the athletic street running we see lately at movies as James Bond Casino Royal and Die Hard 4) but their jumping around is very unclear, instead of giving us some nice group Parkour action. Gérard Depardieu’s part is so small that there’s no need to even mention it…

    So it missed the target, all the way through the ending which I didn’t like either, and some of the scenes that were supposed to be serious moments drew laughter from the audience and I tend to agree – it was a little pretentious for that package to try and bring depth to the story…

    Sorry Vin, and really sorry Michelle, I like you guys but this one just didn’t cut it.

    L.


  • Death Race – Movie Review

     

     I like Jason Statham… you know, Transporter, Crank, Snatch, Lock Stock… yeah, he’s cool.

    The movie starts with what gave me the feeling this is going to be bad… like a cheap bad acting movie… but it becomes a surprisingly entertaining movie.

    Good action, maybe a little confusing at times, cool characters, Jason I already mentioned, Ian McShane definitely building on his HOB’s Deadwood coolness, Natalie  Martinez is hot in a Latino-convict-rough-bimboish way….Joan Allen is doing her job, not much to claim fame there.

    Funny lines, rough action, a few maybe a little too gory scenes, Jason takes off his shirt a few time for you girls (OK, I was impressed too, the man is built nice…) , coolness prevails, bad gets what it was asking for (no spoilers, it’s not a movie that surprise you much)…

    One thing that bothered me (has nothing to do with the movie), as it happens many times, is that there was a mother that brought her son to this movie. He was no more than 10 years old. Come on… this movie is rated R, but also there is no question is you read anything or saw any preview that this movie is violent to the extreme.  He was also 60 pounds overweight. Just great parenting.

    So, fun movie, violent so don’t say I didn’t say so, go and see…

    L.


  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – Movie Review

    Eh…

    This is the third Mummy movie. The first one was great and fun to watch. The second was becoming redundant. For the third, they worked hard to make it different, and they actually did a good job in both preserving the theme and refreshing the content… but…

    To me, everything felt off – Jet Lee’s fighting was not great (did he gain weight? Hmmm…), Brendan Fraser was nothing more than his usual nitwit (but of course they made sure he takes off his shirt and shows us why he was George of the Jungle…), the rest were just as flat… except of course to Michelle Yeoh, who brings class to any movie, even the worst kung-fu ones she was in … she just looks and radiates that… (yeah, I think she’s cool if you missed that).

    The movie’s dialogs are pretty lame, some scenes seems detached from the previous one, but with all that, it is a still a fun movie to watch, with changing locations and a real adventure, some scary-for-kids (in the right amount) scenes that will keep them locked to the screen, good looking animated creatures and some reasonable fighting and action scenes… probably with better editing and improvement on dialogs could’ve been a much better movie…

    So, go and see it as a fun movie to see…. (e.g. Don’t look for the deep meaning of life and immortality and its implications of living in a modern society in a Mummy movie with Brandon Fraser…).

    Yes, just go and have fun…

    L.


  • Tropic Thunder – Movie Review

    Great trailer – not so much the movie… (and the name is Tropic Thunder, not Tropical Thunder…)

    Click For Trailer

    So here’s the skinny on this one. Robert Downey Jr is funny as you can see in the trailer. Tom Cruise’s character is funny mostly because it’s so not Cruise, and once I saw him under all the makeup, I was a little thrown off because his cockiness showed (“I’m so hilarious you’ll all laugh and say I was the star of the movie” in his eyes). Ben Stiller is being Ben Stiller and if you like him in other movies, you’ll like him here. Same goes to Jack Black… Some jokes are funny, many many others are not…

    I don’t argue with its first week success ($40m or so first week are tough to argue with…), but I believe it will crash soon, as it runs out of people who rushed to see it because of the very very funny trailer, and be replaced by people not going because they heard from their friends….

    What I don’t get is how all critics raved about it. I’d say that the main reason is because they are kissing all the stars’ butts – you can’t write a bad review about a movie with such an overwhelming critical mass of mega stars if it’s not cutting it? Chickens. The funny thing is that I didn’t see any of them smart reviewers writing a bad review just to look different…. Mega chickens…

    My bottom line is that you shouldn’t go see it unless you’re a huge Stiller or Black fan. RDJ’s acting can be seen in the trailer, which captures the main takes… the trailer even has a scene that’s not in the movie with Stiller…

    I’d use the PR guys that did the job for this movie if I was doing one and had the budget… it is amazing how they got it to make so much money in the first week/weekend (two days to go as I write this, so a full week is assumed). As my sister like to say “it’s all marketing”.

    L.


  • Journey to the Center of the Earth – Movie Review

     

    A movie theater full of Elvis Costellos.

    I’m not that old, but I did see the old version as a kid, even though it was considered an old movie when I did (hehehe – confusing you with my real age now?). Has nothing to do with this one.

    This movie is all about the 3D. And I must say, the 3D looks great.  It’s a great effect, and fun to watch, and even better since we all look like Elvis Costello with these glasses on:

     

    Brendan Fraser looks his Brendan Frasery as always. His best casting was for George of the Jungle, hitting the trees was exactly what he looks like he’ll do, and I’ll keep it at that. I do admit I really liked his role in Blast from the Past, but I can blame Christopher Walken’s influence on that…

    Josh Hutcherson is doing a good job (which his role in Bridge to Terabithia will always make me sad when thinking of it), Anita Briem (who? Exactly) is OK…

    I find it a far cry from Jules Verne’s spirit of the story if you are looking for it…

    This is a fun movie to watch, action/adventure with good scenes, but I’d say that if it wasn’t in 3D, it would have been a disappointing movie, too flat and kind of predictable… The 3D takes it the one step over the threshold of recommendation… so go see it in the theatre… it is not going to fly with home DVD  in 2D or low level 3D (color glasses) at home, so it’s either now or never…

    L.


  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army – Movie Review

    Hell, boy!

    Fun, fun, fun. I find it a great movie. Any movie that starts with John Hurt gets extra points unconditionally. If it starts with John Hurt reading – pffff, double the points.

    The movie is funny, has good comic-book action, has the charm of Hellboy’s humane characteristics (yes, the red horned Ron Perelman has charm as much as it is hard to believe) which is making it so hilarious. Selma Blair is doing a great job, and her relationship and dialogs with “the boy” are most excellent. Doug Jones is doing a perfect Abe Sapien and has one of the funniest scenes in the movie with Hellboy… will not spoil…  Action scenes, if it is Hellboy’s brute force or the prince’s smooth moves, all done great and are fun to watch. Costumes and scenery are awesome.  Computer graphics are excellent.

    No need to write a long reveiw on this one.  It is a fun movie that you want to see. 

    L.

     

     


  • The Dark Knight- Movie Review

    Oh so dark and never ending …

     

    Why? Why keep me in the theatre for 2.5 hours?

    Overall acting was great. Michael Caine is one and only, Heath Ledger did an amazing job, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, all great actors, each in his own (if somewhat crazy) way… but who casted Eric Roberts? Come on…. Maybe it’s me, but on his first appearance there I flinched, and every time he reappeared or spoke I got goose bumps (in a bad way). Luckily he was kept relatively quiet. And I leave it at that. Next time use Julia.

    So, let me opine on the movie. It is very well made, lots invested in it, very realistic action scenes, even the comic book style ones are believable… but to me it was also very disturbing. It was as they had too much evil put into a comic book movie. Heath (the poor chap) plays his part so well, that it becomes disturbing of how evil he is – first thing that came to mind was Islamic terrorism – being bad with no reason and with no common sense behind it, bad for the sake of being bad. Even Michael Caine’s jokes did not ease up the disturbing feeling I had.

    I want to enjoy a movie, not be disturbed by it. This movie is a llllllllllllllong two and a half hours of disturbing scenes. Without being a spoiler I’ll say that even the “pencil disappear” scene, that could’ve been a funny one with many bad guys, became a disturbing one with Heath’s way too realistic Joker.

    The scene with Oldman’s kid at the end? Come on… this is a comic book movie…

    I guess I made my point about that….

    Visually the movie is excellent. I wonder if The Joker’s makeup resemblance to Blade Runner’s Daryl Hannah’s character, Pris, was intentional. His scars, again, are way too realistic. And they used more close-ups than any British TV show has ever done… did I say disturbing?

    Even when Bruce (Bale) gets beaten by a dog they show the wounds twice, and real close, to make sure you get it… two face’s burns…no place left for imagination… I did say disturbing right?

    Surprisingly, except for very short scenes and no real close-ups, no real hot babes scenes (ok, a little on the yacht and party, but very short). Come on, you got Bale taking off his shirt, what about some balance? A little relief from the neck tightness from the rest of the dark dark scenes…

    To start and wrap this long review – this movie sets a new level in marketing and quality of the product, no doubt. Heath’s tragic death is definitely serving the hype even more. Acting is amazing (even Roberts doesn’t spoil it), picture and action scenes are excellent, so, make sure you go early, drink coffee and make sure you pee before the movie, and go and see it, but be ready to be very… disturbed.

     

    L.


  • The Brave One- Movie Review

    Yawn….

    This is a movie that at the end you think to yourself “Why did they make it”?  “Was there anything original or surprising there? Nah.”.

    It is not a bad movie when you consider  the acting or the way it is made, but… it is slow, predictable, the music can put you to sleep faster than, well, real fast. Yes, there are shooting scenes, they are all technically done well, but it is so predictable and un-climaxy (yes, I take the liberty to abuse the English language) that you will snooze even on the action scenes, and will be snoring in the in-betweens.

    Jodie Foster is paying her regular serious put-me-in-a-bad-situation character that smiles on rare occasions if at all. Terrence Howard is OK playing the cop, and Naveen Andrews as Jodie’s boyfriend looks like he knew the producer so they gave him the part, I felt like it was forced casting. The acting is OK, but just not a good fit.

    Sorry Jodie and the gang, just can’t recommend this one… skip it….

    L.


  • Rambo – Movie Review

    Ah, if only it was played by someone else.

    Look, chapeau to Sly, he’s made a huge franchise(s) and got his undeniable fame and fortune, and the bottom line speaks for itself… The movie is fun…. but….

    I can’t ignore looking at his face and getting the sensation that he “ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed”. And the scenes with shooting the whole Burmese army with the .50 machine gun, and blowing off heads with the Barret .50 sniper gun,  is making it look cheap in my opinion.

    But, taking it as a no-brainer action movie, it is fun to watch. The first Rambo,  First Blood,  was a movie that is a land mark – the first Mad Max, the first Indiana Jones,  The first Rocky, the first Jaws…  so even that his face reflected to me the same brightness in the first movie, it worked OK with the new idea and fresh excitement about the movie.

    As I wrote, take it as a no-brainer… you know that he’ll be alone somewhere, miserable, that he’ll have to save people that got into a situation (probably because they did something special), that he’ll do it because he feels like he’s got to, that someone will speak to his heart to ask him do it,  that he’ll save the people he respect… no spoiler here, because that’s all a prerequisite from a Rambo movie…  yes, they also try to sell us the Burmese situation as a noble cause to create the movie, and push Christianity (ha) as a way to categorize people as good hearted (both the Burmese victims and the people who help them), both I find unwelcomed, but ignored completely as I dumb myself to enjoy it…

    So, if you’re looking for an action movie to enjoy, make sure you leave your wits behind and dive into it with a blank mind with close to zero processing.

    As a side comment – I find School Boy, the sniper character played by Matthew Marsden, I found the coolest of the bunch, and maybe the best character in the movie…

    So, rent and have a fun hour and a half with it….

    L.