Zero Dark Thirty is the gripping true life account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and Kathryn Bigelow superbly tells that story through the eyes of our protagonist Maya. [Read more...]
Lauren: Before Pandora became more than the name of a box thanks to a little film called Avatar, before Star Wars became a space opera deserving of more than just cultish, nerd admiration (I’ll include Episodes 1-3 for Zac), there was a man named John Carter who found himself fighting for the inhabitants of Mars. Yep, Mars; just because we’re willing to explore other planets doesn’t mean we’re ready to go gallivanting around the far corners of the universe. [Read more...]
This is an origin story for the DC Comics property and all of the classic tropes will be found here. A talented, young, and attractive Hal Jordan is a top notch fighter pilot with a couple demons to battle and lessons to be learned. When the greatest Green Lantern, Abin Sur, is attacked by the Green Lantern Corps long thought lost enemy, Parallax, Sur rushes to Earth to let his ring select its replacement. The ring selects Jordan and he is thrust into a battle to protect the Universe, a battle between Will and Fear, with Earth possibly being threatened by Parallax next.
The film is not without its problems, and while I enjoyed watching it, I could easily rip it apart in more than a couple areas. First, the score is horrible. The music sounds like it was a reject score from an 80′s fantasy movie with bad guitar and all. The mixing of the score feels really hidden as well, never coming to the forefront and hiding away like it should. The scores from Thor and X-Men helped elevate their material, whereas Lantern’s noticeably distracted me from the film. In other words, never underestimate the effect the score can have on a picture.
As a character the Green Lantern doesn’t have as large of a fan base as the big names like Batman, Superman, and Spider-man. Heck, a lot of people who don’t proudly call themselves nerdy aren’t even aware of him. Luckily for the more obscure superheroes, the film swell for the genre is bringing more attention to the lesser known. Too bad first impressions are everything in this business.
Similar to what feels like at least a fourth of films today, Green Lantern opens in space, presenting just how large of a world this version of the universe is, with an ample mythology in tow. Think on the scale of Star Wars or Mass Effect, if not larger. Long story short, we are not alone and Earth is far from the only inhabited planet in the galaxy, unbeknownst to humanity. What better than a world devouring evildoer to fill the population in on this little fact? Good thing there is a group of intergalactic crime-fighters created long ago to counterbalance this evil. Known as the Green Lantern Corps, these protectors use the harnessed power of will to create anything that their mind can envision. [Read more...]
The Eagle may not be the best film of the year, but for something that I had written off based on the trailer it is definitely far more entertaining and enjoyable than I ever expected. And that’s for reasons far more universal than the pleasure of a brief glimpse of Channing Tatum’s “homewrecking” abs. (Boyfriend’s choice of adjective, not mine).
Though parts of the story have some historical fact and speculation, the story is a work of fiction based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel The Eagle of the Ninth. As many Roman men do, Tatum’s character, Marcus Aquila, is a military man who has just been given command of a small group of soldiers in Britain, for a short while anyway. Short story shorter, his command ends prematurely after receiving wounds worthy of an honorable discharge during a fight to protect the fort from the enemy Britons. Not one to live his life out as a slacker, Aquila decides that if he cannot serve his empire as a military man he will bring back its honor, and that of his father, by finding the golden eagle of the Ninth Legion, which went missing under his father’s protection 20 years prior. [Read more...]
Hey guys! Lauren here with the news that I am going to be changing things up a bit on my end. The majority of the time I try to write a review for any movie that I am watching for the first time, but as I have been going on that has been getting a little taxing. I love movies, so the reviews keep piling up, and then there are so many that I can’t watch any new things for fear that I will forget what I had to say about one of the previous.
So here is the plan: From now on I will continue writing about the stuff that is most relevant. “What does that mean?” the voice in my head asks. “Well I will tell you voice” I respond. From now on I am going to write the usual length reviews for the films that are still in theatres, the films that have recently come out on DVD/bluray (within the last month). “But Lauren! I still want to know what you think about every other movie you watch for the first time!” Well, fear not voice, I will still be writing a little blurb for those, and they will be compiled into one post at the end of the week. Like this post here (“It’s the middle of the week!” “Shut up, voice!”). Oh! And I will still be continuing my posts for comics, books (yes, someday I will start doing those), video games, etc. I figured since I spend so much more time getting through one of the latter as opposed to sitting through a 2 hour film, they might just deserve a little more of a break down. But we will see when the time comes.
Here goes nothing! [Read more...]
Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe reteam yet again for a new spin on the Robin Hood, a grounded origin story, and while I enjoyed much of the film there is a lot of things you catch yourself going; huh?.
We all know the story of Robin Hood, right? Well Scott and Crowe take us on a journey that ends with Robin becoming of the Hood and we see how he got there. An archer in Richard the Lionheart’s army returning from the crusades, Robin and a couple of his friends end up in the position of delivering the crown the young King John. John who begins taxing and abandoning his subjects while inadvertently assisting a French attempt to invade England causes a lot of problems for the country and Robin will end up in a role to right it.
If I have learned anything from all the years of loving superheroes, I know this: it is pretty stupid to even consider emulating your favorite caped crusader. Well, good thing there are certain individuals who ignore their brain’s hazard signs, because it sure makes for a fun and highly entertaining movie.
In Kick-Ass (sorry mom), Dave Lizewski is a dorky, unpopular high school student who decides that he would like to be a superhero rather than just reading about them in comics. Unfortunately for him, he is not so skilled in the beat ’em up department, but what he lacks in superpowers he makes up for in persistence and good intentions. And what that doesn’t accomplish, well, there are others for that. Doing more than their fair share of the crime fighting thanks to their vengeful path of justice, the father/daughter team of Hit-Girl and Big Daddy live up to Kick-Ass’s name. [Read more...]
Kick-Ass is a wannabe super-hero that doesn’t really have any super powers; he is more of a really ambitious Good Samaritan teenage loser named Dave. Dave is a loser, a big spot of nothing in society that reads comics, masturbates, and hangs out with his only two friends. But after getting fed up with being pushed around he decides to suit up and fight crime and the results don’t go as planned. Though when Dave bounces back he is a bit better suited for the role even if he isn’t quite ready for primetime. Dave tries to discover himself as a man and a crime fighter and his follies will be a plenty as he gets mixed up in a plot involving a couple of fellow rouge vigilante fighters Hit Girl and Big Daddy. A father/daughter team, they are well trained, well equipped, and have a motive of revenge.
The Young Victoria continues the trend of successful royalty based period films that feel fresh and cotemporary and historically intact all the same and it is all grounded by a great turn by Emily Blunt as the title character.
The film opens as a political battle of posturing and manipulation surrounds the British thrown as the only heir is in fact and heiress and not of age. Victoria’s mother is being controlled by Sir John who hopes to be the puppet master to Victoria’s crown if and when King William passes on. Victoria though is resilient and will not relinquish her rights as Queen to a Regent (Sir John) and the deadline to her eighteenth birthday becomes on the minds of everyone that hopes to avoid John’s play including Lord Melbourne who lends his aid to the future and her policy making and maybe hopes to be a possible suitor. In league with Sir John is King Leopold of Belgium who hopes to gain influence and alliance with Britain and he sends his sons, and Victoria’s maternal cousins, to swoon her into possibly becoming a suitor for her. Albert and Victoria begin to form a fruitful friendship and political tensions reach a fever pitch as William grows weak and Victoria has yet to become of age. [Read more...]
Guy Ritchie teams up with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law to reboot the classic tale and the end result is an entertaining and well acted effort that fails to ever really be anything but pretty good; not that there is anything wrong with that.
Instead of going straight into traditional origins and reboot territory, I think the film wisely throws us right into the fire and the potential end of an era as Sherlock Holmes trusty companion Watson is about to move on with his life and move out of the two’s flat. Holmes is a bit worked up over this and add the fact that there are no cases worthy of his skills left in London. Luckily a mysterious plot surrounding the dark and possibly sorcerer like Lord Blackwood gives Holmes something to mull over and keeps him and Watson working together for the time being. An old flame, Irene, and a crafty criminal on top of that also re-enters his life and she is working for a mysterious figure as well. All of a sudden Holmes has plenty to do and luckily for us the man stays busy.
The movie never drops a beat, moving along at a whips pace and always holding our attention. The set pieces are elaborate and plentiful with the factory explosion sequence being one of the most impressive cinematic scenes I have seen in some time. All in slow motion and staying right with the actors, this building blows up around them, pieces of rubble and flames flying into people, it was the highlight of the film. [Read more...]
Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the beloved Sherlock Holmes brings about an exciting perspective on what I assumed was only a droll, meticulous British detective. Then again, all I know of the character is what I can remember from watching PBS’s Wishbone as a child.
Following the capture of the black magic practitioner to blame for a string of murders, Holmes and his trusted companion, Dr. John Watson, find themselves disbanding the team as Watson sets out to move in with his soon to be fiancé. However, this is put on hold when they are informed that the recently hanged murderer, Lord Blackwood, is not as stiff in the grave as a buried man ought to be. Curious to the magic that seems to be afoot, Holmes again takes up the case to stop whatever Blackwood has planned.
Being the sleuth that he is, it’s easy to assume that Sherlock Holmes would be nothing more than a slow paced exploration of the man’s methods to solving a mystery, but there is far more action than one might expect. Instead of just giving a squinty-eyed look around a room until the “Oh look! A clue!” moment, Holmes is quite the man of action in the sense that he can take a punch as well as he can give one, and Ritchie is the perfect director to bring out this side of the character.
This sci-fi action flick staring Vin Diesel is a not really good, but not really bad film that has a couple interesting ideas that just didn’t gel together and feels under explained and missing scenes from time to time.
Toorop (Vin Diesel) is a mercenary living somewhere in future central Asia in a bombed out apartment complex when a fellow so called “mercenary” shows up on his door step. Gorsky is this guy’s name, and he hires Toorop to deliver a girl to NYC where Toorop is labeled as a terrorist, for reasons we never really find out, but gives him a new identity/passport to get into the country. Toorop is than whisked away to a convent where a sister of the temple meets him, Sister Rebeka, who informs him that she will be joining their journey while also laying down the ground rules for the girl, Aurora (Mélanie Thierry). A mysterious and kind of odd character, Aurora, is quite the mystery to Toorop; he can’t quite figure out why she is so important. Either way, he is getting paid, and he has a job to do and he begins to lead the trio on there way to the Bering Strait and into North America. Along the way we discover the world has gone through a lot of trials and tribulations, nuclear attacks, biological bombs, and cloning is a common practice. [Read more...]
Guy Ritchie’s return to form in RocknRolla is a crazy, fun, and always cool look at crime in London, and while it might seem like re-tread territory to some, it is so damn entertaining that one should ask, why should we care?
To begin to explain this convoluted and twisting plot from the get go would be a bit of a pain, and Archie (Mark Strong) does a good job of keeping you in the loop as he narrates everyone’s comings and goings, but I will try my best to sum up here. Lenny (Tom Wilkinson) is a big wig crime boss in England that makes his money in property and twisting his connections into his favor. So when One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba) come to him with a lucrative property proposition, he gets in their way of a loan, and gets them to owe him money as well; all while he turns on the fast track to acquiring the property himself. To help fund this property, Lenny turns to Uri (Karel Roden) a Russian entrepreneur who is trying to get in on the property boom of London like many other “immigrants” are, and Lenny offers his contacts and connections at the cost of 7 million Euros. Uri eagerly agrees and offers his lucky painting as a sign of gratitude to Lenny and assures him that his (Uri) accountant (Thandie Newton) will be able to produce the money in little to no time. Well as you can imagine, things don’t go necessarily to plan and things become quite intertwined and a whole mess of trouble for everyone brews before the end. [Read more...]