Menu

5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: THE DESCENDANTS


This is my favorite of all of George Clooney's characters. In The Descendants, Clooney is not awesome. He is not a badass. He doesn't have a charming smile (mostly because I don't think he smiles once in this movie). In The Descendants, George Clooney plays a character. And for The Descendants, he deserves an Oscar.

Review: THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN


Steven Spielberg was born to direct animation. He's easily one of the most cinematically creative people of all time, and The Adventures of Tintin is mind-blowing showcase of what movies would look like if Spielberg was not limited to the restrictions of live-action. The Adventures of Tintin is, if nothing else, Steven Spielberg without limits.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL


The first thing I will point out in my comments about the newest installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise is that the above image is not green-screened. Tom Cruise really did this.

SO THAT'S COOL I GUESS.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is easily the best installment of the franchise and I find it hard to believe any upcoming sequels will top it. Brad Bird - one of my all-time favorite filmmakers - has revived a franchise I would have considered dead with an excellent action movie that I would never have expected to enjoy as much as I did.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE


I knew a guy with much more intense Asperger's Syndrome than the hero of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and he was nowhere near as mean-spirited and horrible as this kid. The guy I knew was one of the most genuine people I ever met. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close uses this character in a failing experiment for the two hours that it runs. This is a movie that wants us to feel much more than we are given.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: YOUNG ADULT


I like Jason Reitman's movies because he tell stories about people. He has never opted to tell great war stories or period pieces, but instead paints a picture of a quirky individual. This is refreshing, interesting, and relatable every single time. Young Adult is no exception. Reitman, once again collaborating with former stripper/Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, has pumped out another hit to stand alongside Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air.

Review: THE MUPPETS


Sometimes, movies are just done right. Everything about this movie is done right. The casting is right. The music is right. The story is right, and the heart is right. The Muppets is just right.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises: An Ominous Disappointment

Here: TDKR trailer

Okay. I’m saying it now. We got some problems.

Years ago, as a big fan of “Batman Begins,” I had to stem my excitement for “The Dark Knight.” I had to keep my expectations low, even though after the teaser and trailer, I knew that TDK was going to be something special. It was actually exhausting to not get carried away. And afterwards? I wanted no more sequels. I felt Nolan’s Batman had run its phenomenal course and that the two films balanced each other just fine. Adding a third film would be gratuitous or, at best, an imbalance. This was like Terminator, not Star Wars. Two can be better than three.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ad Classics: SIMON MCQOID LONG LIVE PLAY, PLAYSTATION 3


             The most interesting part about the latest Playstation advertising campaign was that the original ad said absolutely nothing besides "join the gathering".  However, the pay off in the longer version released a few months afterwards had a great insight to the stories found in videogames; it is YOU the player who is the hero of the story. And the characters here celebrate that exactly. We wish the film industry would celebrate its audience in the same manner.

           The ad itself is incredibly effective piece of storytelling. So far we have been posing ads by great filmmakers. This ad was done by a new-comer, but like every story it has to come from somewhere. Enjoy:

Monday, December 19, 2011

PULGASARI: True Escapism

In honor (?) of the passing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, I would like to present the greatest story ever stolen, er, kidnapped. (written 8/8/11)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review: NEW YEAR'S EVE



The Time’s Square Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve is perhaps to be the most anticlimactic event all year. Thousands of people gather on Time’s Square, many more watch on their TV’s across several time zones (a rather lame thing to be doing on New Year’s Eve in my opinion, go find a party somewhere please), as a medium size ball of light is lowered towards a screen where a Panasonic ad is displayed. The whole thing takes about a minute; and there are no fireworks at the end. So if the last wish of a dying old man (Robert DeNiro) is to see the ball drop one more time from the rooftop of the hospital, I suspect he led a rather boring life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: ANOTHER EARTH




Another Earth presents an interesting experiment; a second Earth suddenly appears in the sky. The mysterious planet is actually another copy of Earth, perhaps one in another universe. Why it suddenly became visible is left unexplained. However for a movie called Another Earth this film has very little to do with this said other Earth and more to do with what this second Earth means to a few individuals in our Earth. No surprise that a second Earth means a second chance to the protagonist Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: HUGO




So, Scorsese decided to direct a kid’s movie… when I first saw the trailer for Hugo I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this fact. It looked like a Spielberg movie, a big budget, techno-family epic, and in 3D!!! What was Marty, the Gangster Priest, the King of Gritty, the man with more four-letter words in his movies than an entire season of South Park combined doing? Was he back on coke perhaps? Amazingly the result was a film very different from any of his previous films, and yet very much like them at the same time; this is not a children’s movie by Scorsese but a Scorsese movie for children.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: J. EDGAR


I never quite understood why those protesters a month back were occupying Wall Street. Wall Street, as a symbol, is a carnivorous monster bent on hoarding money--the most quantitative element of hedonism. Wall Street failed nobody anymore than a shark fails swimmers by taking a bite out of them. We don’t blame sharks though; we blame the lifeguards.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: HAPPY FEET 2



I once argued that Happy Feet was the greatest cinematic achievement of all time. However, I came to the realization that using penguins should be considered cheating; their cuteness can only be rivaled by lol-cats. Nevertheless the original Happy Feet remained a fairly entertaining movie with a positive message. The type of film most people want to see when they go to a family film. Happy Feet 2 builds on that and gives it a shinier polish. It is neither better nor worse than the original, just different enough to be an equal and, despite the trailers, not the huge cliché that you are expecting.
There is still a happy ending. But this is a family film called Happy Feet. Anything else would have been a tremendous folly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: THE ARTIST



I went into The Artist expecting a gimmicky art piece, after all who would dare make a silent film in 2011; it has to be at least 70-something years since the last silent movie, excluding Mel Brooks’ parody Silent Movie. But man was I surprised when The Artist turned out not to be a pretentious piece of art, but a legitimate crowd-pleaser. For all intents and purposes this film could have been any commercial film made in 1929, if it weren’t for its self-reflexivity about the times. It is an innocent tribute to the magic of cinema, one of the best films I’ve seen this year, and a good reminder of why I love movies so much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: IMMORTALS




Not since the 1998 “Godzilla” monstrosity has a movie so brazenly promised a sequel that everyone immediately knows will absolutely not come to fruition. I loved “The Fall,” and at least appreciated “The Cell,” but Tarsem Singh’s latest film, “Immortals,” exhausted all my goodwill within ten minutes. And for the remaining hundred minutes in the auditorium, I found myself counting the virtues of this film’s spiritual predecessors: “Troy” and “300.” These last two films rank among my guilty-pleasures and I would have freely admitted as much for “Immortals” but, frankly, this may be a film with no redeeming qualities and, worse, no earnestly enjoyable moments.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: MARGIN CALL




The film “Margin Call” is marketed as “based on a true story” though the film adamantly, even awkwardly, refuses to be about specific people in a specific place at a specific time. Even terms like “Wall Street,” “New York,” “politicians,” “crash” “2008” and “recession” are erased from the characters’ dialogue even though such distinctions are as clear in the audience’s mind as the filmmakers intended. The movie is not so much based on a true “story,” but rather based on true ideologies and motivations. Yes, people like these character existed—and still exist—but I’d say most movies contain such realistic characters, though other movies have the theatrics to put said characters in extraordinary circumstances. Fortunately, all the dads in America can breathe easily knowing “Margin Call” is not a 109-minute rant on the immorality and un-sustainability of unchecked, rampant capitalism. Nor is this even an Occupy Wall Street-geared movie. This is a re-enactment for those who don’t read books of how and why America’s, and thus the world’s, economic system seems to collapse every ten years. Granted, “Margin Call” may be based on a true story, but at what cost?


Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS



Here is once again another example of a great franchise (yes, the Harold & Kumar franchise is great) ruined by the insistence that it needed one more sequel… even worse a Christmas Special. The previous installments drew their strengths for being desire-driven comedies. In the first movie Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) had the munchies and they desired White Castle sliders; in the second movie they wanted to get to Amsterdam; both times, their weed induced trips and NPH (Neil Patrick Harris) got in the way. This time what they need is a Christmas tree, they are surprisingly sober most of the movie, and NPH actually saves the day (sort of). Is it just me, or are the stakes not high enough this time (no pun intended)?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: THE RUM DIARY


Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) describes his drinking as being on “the upper end of social”, but in full honestly he could rival Captain Jack Sparrow for the rum drinking gold medal. But, despite this film’s misguiding marketing campaign, this is not Pirates of the Caribbean 1960s edition. It still involves, rum, mermaids, partying, and sailing in the Caribbean. But this is also the story of a man with no morals who saw much of the world through the bottom of an empty bottle of rum, and realized there was something very wrong with it. Afterwards, he learned a hangover is not the best state of mind in which to solve them. Will he sober up? Perhaps. But rum is too good to give up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: PUSS IN BOOTS



For a movie that centers on the unlikely friendship between a talking boot-wearing feline and a sentient bank-robbing egg, as they search for a golden egg laying duckling who lives in a castle in the clouds, Puss in Boots is incredibly straight forward in its narrative. You have seen this story before, and if you were born pre-Y2K, you might have heard a few of the nursery rhymes it amalgamates. There are no surprises and it pretty much plays out the way you expected it from beginning to end. But it remains good harmless fun within tradition of DreamWorks’ double entendres.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: THE SKIN I LIVE IN



Let me put it this way; even if you have seen all the films by Pedro Almodovar you will not see this one coming. Like most of Almodovar’s films, The Skin I Live invokes what is perhaps the boldest form storytelling as he slowly unfolds a plot that can only be described as devious and dark perversion of the soul. And I mean that as a compliment. Almodovar likes to play with his audience; he pushes the limits of the viewer until he experiences revolting pleasure.

And we are afraid of feeling this… mostly, because we like it but do not know how to deal with it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS



Boy, oh boy, oh boy! Is this my type of action swashbuckler? Oh yes it is! The newest adaptation of The Three Musketeers by Paul W. S. Anderson, the man behind the Resident Evil movies, incorporates so much swashbuckling, sword fighting, double agents, airships, plotting and plot turns, as well as 17th century fashion, you might mistake it for a an all time classic… that is if it weren’t for the campy use of 3D, Mila Jovovich’s bad acting, modern slang being incorporated into the dialogue, and 75 million dollars worth of special effects.

Critics have been harsh. But they are missing the point. This is the Three Musketeers! AKA the original blockbuster! And like any serial written by Alexander Dumas you would know they are all about the swashbuckling, campy dialogue, and social mischief. And if he had a say on these matters, Dumas would insist in all the adaptations of his novels being filmed with the most candid use of 3D. So before you continue reading, do note that I am not being sarcastic here; I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation of The Three Musketeers, and can argue that it is as good as any other.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: THE IDES OF MARCH



I don’t recall a time when I had been so indifferent about the film I just watched than after watching Ides of March. Perhaps it is because I am already a very cynical person, and thus am quite aware that everybody working in a political campaign has to be just a cynical. After all the experience of running any political campaign, outside county office, has to be so excruciating that any ideal, which existed before hand, is likely to get crushed. So when the public does get to vote they don’t end up voting for the stronger of two ideals but for the evil that survived with less corruption. Ides of March wants this to be the moral of the story. But my guess is that if you are the type of person interested in such story you are already aware of the ending, and if you are not the type of person interested in such a story – well – I would suggest you read some news before you watch this movie or you run the risk of being quite bored by it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: 50/50



Learning that you have a dangerous cancer and that your chances of survival are 50/50 when you are in your late 20s and you haven’t even been to Canada must be the most difficult news to cope with. But Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes it surprisingly well - at first. What seems to bother him more is the way his friends and family seem to handle it. Although he is told that his chances are 50/50, Adam would very much like to keep on living like he used to even if he knows he is going to die. Cancer however might have other plans.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Norman

Needless to say, I am very, very excited for this.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: REAL STEEL




One of the greatest virtues of the original Rocky (the film that won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 1976) was that Rocky did not win at the fight at the end, although he became a better fighter. I am not spoiling much of Real Steel if I were to say this is the Rocky for the CGI generation. A few weeks ago I wrote that the best part of the fall is that movies get smarter; well, I was just proven wrong by Real Steel. While Rocky was a sentimentalist allegory for the great white hope, Real Steel is nothing more than a silly movie about robot boxing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: MONEYBALL



Moneyball totally took me by surprise and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, that’s right. I am declaring a big budget studio feature about baseball starring Brad Pitt a huge, wonderful success. I dare you to tell me you don’t like this movie.

Between Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and the script, this film is rock solid. And what a relief to say that! I don’t need to mention brilliant visuals or alluring starlets. I don’t have to justify recycled excuses for why I enjoyed this film. There aren’t flashy action sequences or dazzling special effects. There is no 3D or IMAX to melt our brains. There are no gimmicks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL




Sometimes all the necessary things for a great movie to come into existence line up; it is the holy alliance or a fresh idea, a great script, and good acting comming together. If you have this it is quite unlikely for any filmmaker to screw it up. Eli Craig was blessed with this trifecta on his directorial debut, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, a warm parody of the teenage slasher classics (if we can call them classics). The film is what the Scream and Scary Movie franchises could have been had they not lacked, a fresh idea, a good script to tie down that idea, and good acting to make that idea come to life. And yet while those movies make millions Tucker & Dale vs Evil has sat on a shelf for two years, mostly because studios increasingly refuse to believe newcomers can be bankable filmmakers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: THE HELP



Some might argue that The Help presents itself as too rosy a movie for a movie about the lives of black maids in the South during the Jim Crow Days. That a movie of its kind should attempt to be painful, and provocative, not, as this movie is, a feel-good dramedy with a white girl as its top billing. But why does it need to be painful? Personally I believe the exaggerated pain drama only help propagate the problem they claim to be fighting against (I am referring of course to Crash, and the like). And that The Help might be just so much more effective a movie because it is not that: it just shows things as they were without caring for exaggerated drama.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: CONTAGION



Contagion is one lazy piece of fiction that banks on the names of numerous stars, pretentious direction, and the general audience’s fear of anything swine flu related. Ironically, several of the characters do point out, how the exaggerated fear over the swine flu made things worse. Would I be spoiling anything if I said the same thing happens in Contagion? Probably not because Contagion is trying to be a realistic film that speculates how a global epidemic could affect our lives.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: APOLLO 18





No, the moon may not be made of cheese, but let me assure you that the latest film about it is.

To the eternal delight of conspiracy theorists, Apollo 18 is sold to us as a found-footage project recovered from a secret mission to the moon, which would have been easier to swallow if it wasn’t so comically serious in its presentation. As it is, I found myself chuckling 10 seconds in and I was not alone.
Apollo 18

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: DRIVE


There is a silent elegance to the way Drive presents itself; there is some clear nostalgia at work, as the film tries to emulate classic noir of the 60s and 70s, which results in a film that is very different from what modern day viewers are used to. But despite the nostalgia, Drive has suffered time’s filter nevertheless. Today all car chases are loud, explosive, and somewhat incoherent. With this background in mind, I welcome a movie like Drive; a movie that takes its time to explore the craft of driving. When you think about it logically car chase should be much more about stealth and avoiding the spotlight than blowing up half of downtown LA.
Drive Poster - Ryan Gosling 2011 Movie Promo Flyer - 11 X 17 - Christina Hendricks J

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: SUMMER 2011



            Labor Day weekend, movie wise this means the summer season has officially ended, even if there are still a few blockbusters to be seen. Over the weekend The Toronto Film Festival will kick up the award movie season, movies will slowly raise their IQ, with an obvious break for Halloween when they tend to plummet into the negatives. But let’s take a look at what the summer of 2011 had to offer.


Kung Fu Panda 2 Poster Movie D (11 x 17 Inches - 28cm x 44cm ) Seth Rogen Angelina Jolie Gary Oldman Jack Black David Cross MasterPoster Print, 11x17 Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Chris Evans Poster Print - 22x34 Poster Print, 22x34Fright Night Poster - 2011 Movie ReMake Promo Flyer 11x17 - Colin Farrell Anton YelchinCrazy Stupid Love Movie Poster Double Sided Original 27x40X-Men: First Class

            Overall summer is the highest grossing times for movies. It is the time the studios bring out the big guns and release their 200 million dollar + movies. It is the time of superheroes, loud explosions, and gross amounts of CGI. It is also the time in which actors and filmmakers get the most exposure, so it is not uncommon to see a capable actor like Neil Patrick Harris in a movie like The Smurfs selling his soul.

            Above all things, summer is the time of the year when money talks.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK



What is it about basements, old manors, and dark corridors that cause the dark side of our imaginations to soar? It would seem that most horrors seem to inhabit these places; common sense would tell you not to go in there, not to go were the light is scarce because there might be something creeping in the shadows. Something you can’t quite explain, and that most people won’t believe is there.
As a rule of thumb, you should not move to an old manor who’s previous resident disappeared after allegedly going insane. But alas, 10-year-old Sally (Bailee Madison) and her father (Guy Pierce) move into such a place. Bad idea.
Don't Be Afraid of The Dark Poster - Teaser Flyer 11 X 17 - 2011 Movie

George Lucas Fixes "Star Wars"

As reported by Moviefone, here.

In the re-re-re-re-re-release of the "Star Wars" trilogy...

Obi-Wan's dragon call has been changed.

Darth Vader screams "No!" when saving Luke Skywalker.



All I can say is, "Finally!" Because, man, I love the original trilogy but those two audio clips are really saving what I always said were the worst parts of any Star Wars film. For some reason, like always, there are talks of boycotting the Blu-Ray releases--so I guess that means I'm going to have to buy multiple copies of the Blu-Ray super 9-disc set to off-set those efforts.

Come on people! If we buy enough Star Wars crap again, Lucas is sure to keep "releasing" the films and we'll finally all get what we really want: a CGI Admiral Akbar!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: FRIGHT NIGHT



Fright Night is a classic horror B-movie done well that restores some much-deprived dignity to the vampire mythos. It might flight under the radar for most but any true horror fan will certainly appreciated.

Set in the outskirts of Vegas in a suburban development, which common sense would tell you shouldn’t live there. It is several square blocks of homes and streets entirely surrounded by desert. Cell phone signal is shoddy at best, and most of its residents work at night. Vegas and its suburbs are as unnatural as the vampires who live there. And because of this it is an ideal location.

Fright Night Poster - 2011 Movie ReMake Promo Flyer 11x17 - Colin Farrell Anton Yelchin
Disclaimer:
Views and comments expressed by readers and guest contributors are not necessarily shared by the consistent team of THE MOVIE WATCH. This is a free speech zone and we will not censor guest bloggers, but ask that you do not hold us accountable for what they proclaim.