Sunday, August 26, 2012

Movie Review - I AM NUMBER FOUR

This was a very cool movie.  The movie this time is "I am Number Four".  IMDB - Post

I knew it look superheroie but I wasn't really sure what it was about from the previews.  I did however know that I wanted to watch it.  I must say I was not disappointed with the film.

We start this movie almost like a teen drama with the popular kid in a beach town hanging out with his friends.  We quickly change the pace when a strange incident occurs to the main character of the film.  John Smith played by Alex Pettyfer then is told by his guardian Henri that he needs to pack his things they are moving out of town.  Alex does a great job portraying the teen full of angst and energy.

We quickly find out that John is not like other kids his age.  He has a special gift and will one day grow up to be humanity's savior.  Henri as played by Timothy Olyphant is John's protector from the force that wants to kill him.  Timothy is a seasoned actor who typically plays bad guys, but he does a great job as the hard nosed parental figure in this film.

The film really starts to get interesting when they start to get settled into their new place in Paradise, OH.  John transfers to a new school and then meets Sam.  Sam as played by Callan McAuliffe is the odd kid at school that everyone picks on.  A geek that is into UFO's and aliens.  We later learn that his dad went missing when in search of UFO's.

John also meets a mysterious girl with a camera Sara Hart.  Sara as played by Dianna Agron is really quite outgoing but doesn't have very many friends.  She shows John around the school and they have instant chemistry.  

As the movie progresses we start to see some really cool special effects.  Compared to some films these effects blend in well with the story.  There is never a part in the film where you feel like they added an explosion just to kick it up a notch.

The acting in this film is actually quite good, a nod to the actors in the film.  This is the kind of movie that I am a sucker for so perhaps my opinion is a bit skewed.  However I would highly recommend this film to anyone who like action movie and a well laid out and paced story line.

I rate this film five out of five smiley Mike heads.

The movie was simply well written, paced really well and the special effects were amazing.

Movie Review - Wild Target

This film had some of the best music I have heard in a film.  This is not to say that this film has better music than originally scored music in other films.  What I do think however is for having commercial music they did an amazing job is paired it with what was happening in the film.  The film is Wild Target IMDB - Post.

Of course the music is the first thing I noticed, but the film itself is nothing if not quirky.  In the end I have to say that I really liked this film.

Wild Target stars Bill Nighy (Not the science guy) as Victor Maynard infamous hit man.  Bill Nighy is actually one of my favorite actors.  He is perfectly capable of playing the bad guy or the good guy or just another guy.  Perhaps his most memorable role is Davey Jones from the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean.  Another of his roles that I love is Viktor from the Underworld series of films.

Victor Maynard is hired to kill Rose, a thief that is a bit on the crazy side.  Rose is played by Emily Blunt, who brings a really fun and bubbly personality to the part of Rose.  Rose has conned a very important and powerful man out of $900,000 by selling him a fake Rembrandt painting.  The man of course finds out that he has been swindled and takes out a contract on her.

After following Rose and being unable to successfully kill her Victor follows her and finds himself intrigued by her.  He is ultra stuffy and repressed, emotionless killer.  Rose is a carefree, and doesn't play by societies rules.  Victor had never seen anyone like her and gets confused by her.  There is a scene where he is trying to kill her in a parking garage when another party wanders in and attempts the hit instead.

Victor not having figured out his feelings for her jumps into action and kills her would be killers.  While he is trying to do something about the man he just killed he gets jumped by another man with a gun.  He had Victor and Rose up against the wall when out of nowhere he is saved by freaking Ronald Weasley.  Oh wait I meant to say Tony, who is played by Rupert Grint.  Rupert of course is famous for playing Ronald Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

Tony is a bit of a stoner type and not much different than Ronald Weasley.  Tony not really meaning to shoots the would be assailant in the arm.  Victor admiring Tony's great luck and raw skill makes a decision to not kill him.  He ends up in a car with Rose and Tony and people are shooting at him.  It is really quite comical who professional Victor is and how NOT the other two are.

As the three main characters spend more time together they really start to act like a horribly dysfunctional family.  It is truly amusing to watch.

The costumes in the film are very well made and appropriately chosen for each character.  Victor in his professionally tailored suits and Rose in her flamboyant and exciting clothing.  They have really put some serious thought into costumes.

Also as I have hinted at the acting is nothing short of amazing.  Everyone does quite well playing their parts in this film.  The cinematography is excellent as well, there are some really great shots in the film.

This movie while seeming like a serious movie is really quite comical.  It isn't a farcical movie like a Scary Movie or a Hot Shots but it takes the action movie genre and adds quite a bit of humor.

If you like action movies that aren't too serious then this one is for you.

I give this film five out of five smiley mike heads.

The wit coupled with the acting makes this movie great fun to watch.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review - Limitless

This was one of the few movies that I had thought was going to be a certain way but ended up totally different.  The movie is Limitless with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. IMDB - Post

Where to begin, it is one of those movies where a lot of things happen very quickly.  We start in the middle and then work backwards to the start and then progress from there.  If this sounds complicated well, it is.  The movie is however very easy to follow if you are paying attention.

Our star of the film Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a down on his luck writer who just can't seem to get things together.  Until a chance meeting with his ex brother in law Vernon on the street.  A drug dealer who is dealing something extra special, unlimited use of all of your brain.  The drug he gives Eddie as a sample allows him to completely clean his house in hours and still have time to write the first 90 pages of the book he was working on all in one night.

Amazed by this new found ability Eddie goes to find Vernon to obtain more of this wonder drug.  This is when the action really starts to get moving, he comes back from doing a chore for Vernon to find him dead.  While waiting for the police to come he finds the stash of wonder pills.

This is where the movie takes a fun turn.  Eddie, with his new found super power finishes his book and then decides to move on to higher aspirations and start trading stocks.  Needless to say with the ability to remember every minute little detail at a moments notice he does really well at it.

The rise to glory of Eddie Morra is very interesting to watch as he changes careers and really makes something of his life.  It truly is amazing to watch how things just seem to fall into place around him when he is on the drug.

They have a very artistic cinematographic shift to the film when he takes the drug.  They also change the color of his eyes while he is on the drug.  There are little things like this that make this film beautiful to watch.  The acting is of course excellent, Bradley Cooper does a great job of shifting from Eddie to Super enhanced Eddie with wonder brain powers.  We also have another of my favorite actors in this film Robert De Niro.  He does an amazing job playing the blood thirsty Wall St tycoon.

This is the one of the best movies I have seen recently.  There are many twists in the story that are all very well written.  There are many different layers to the story that really keep it interesting.  They actually have very many different and unusual camera angles in the film which I always enjoy watching.  

If you are looking for a film with action, adventure, and your not afraid of a little bit of blood and guts then this is your movie.  It isn't high energy like a Bourne movie is but it has it's moments.

I rate this movie five out of five smiley Mike heads for great writing combined with amazing cinematography and superb acting and casting.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Movie Review - Clash of the Titans (2010)

Boy how times have changed.  No claymation this time around only some really realistic effects.  The movie I speak of is the remake of Clash of the Titans.  IMDB - Post

I grew up watching the original movie from 1981.  I'm sure that I didn't understand half of what was in the movie back then, being that I was eight years old when the movie came out.  I couldn't have been but 10 or 12 when I saw it for the first time.  It was impressive back then but it doesn't hold a candle to this new version.

Clash of the Titans was amazingly well done.  The special effects were epic, the costumes were great, the acting was excellent.  I'm not sure who had to fit the wings on the horse for the Pegasus, but I'm sure that was the worst job ever.  Of course I am kidding, I know it was done digitally.  The effect is completely believable and realistic, which is the reason I made the comment.

The cast is a mix of Hollywood greats and unknowns.  The biggest star in the film is a personal favorite of mine Liam Neeson, known for his role as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace.  Liam portrays Zeus in this film, and he brings his wisdom and experience to bear.  The main character of Perseus is played by Sam Worthington.  Sam is best know from his role as Jake Sully in the movie Avatar.  Sam does a good job portraying the anger of Perseus in this film.  The rest of the actors are relative newcomers but they do a magnificent job.  Prime example is Gemma Arterton as Io, she has a remarkable way of speaking that lends itself well to her roll.

We start the film with a lowly fisherman who finds a crate floating up to his boat seemingly from the sea floor.  In the crate is a baby and his mother, the mother did not survive but the boy is fine.  The fisherman who has no children of his own takes the boy in and raises him as his own.

We then show Mt. Olympus and the gods talking.  We learn how the gods depend on mankind's praise and worship.  We also learn the gods are receiving less and less of mankind worship.  Flash forward and we show a grown up Perseus and his family on their fishing boat coming up to an island with a giant statue of Zeus.  As they pass the statue we see a group of humans tearing down the statue.  This brings upon the wrath of the gods and Perseus family is killed in the act of retribution when Hades sees them.  This sets forth a series of events that helps to shape who Perseus is and why he behaves the way he does.

I really liked the movie, it was updated very well and it felt fresh.  It makes me want to revisit the original now that I'm grown up.

If you really like fantasy movies, or even just epic action movies I think you will like this movie.

I rate this movie four out of five smiley Mike heads.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Movie Review - The Illusionist

This movie represents what I love about movies.  It is great entertainment and it keeps you guessing until the end of the movie.  IMDB - Post  When done right this is an amazing ride through the film.  The Illusionist has most certainly done this right. 

It is set in turn of the century Vienna so as with many other period pieces you have wonderful settings, costumes.  At the start we have a man on stage performing an act of magic who is about to be arrested.  We then turn back the clock and tell his story.  It is perhaps an overdone way of telling a story but I like it nonetheless.  

We have the character of Inspector Uhl as played by Paul Giamatti who narrates the story of Eisenheim's life prior to him being on stage in that moment.  We learn of the young love of two people from different walks of life.  Eisenheim as played by Edward Norton is a traveling Illusionist who happens to meet the Dutchess Sophia VanTeshen.  The Dutchess Sophia VanTeshen is played by Jessica Biel whom performs quite well in this film.  They quickly fall in love but are separated by the caste system, him being a peasant and her being a Dutchess.  Of course the reality sets in when parents and court members work to part them.

Eisenheim then travels the world forgetting about home to learn the secrets of illusion.  When he comes back to Vienna he opens his own show and quickly draws the interest of the Crown Prince Leopold.  The Crown Prince Leopold who is played by Rufus Sewell is a ruthless, dangerous, and power hungry man.

The plot thickens when The Crown Prince sends his escort up to be a volunteer from the audience.  His escort turns out to be none other than the Dutchess Sophia VanTeshen.  Eisenheim then begins to plans on how he can steal her away from him.  This is when the real fun of the movie begins.  We begin to twist our way through this tangled plot we have many fun events that take place.

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this review I really enjoyed this film.  The twists are all fairly original and are very entertaining.  As mentioned the costumes are truly beautiful to behold, I can't speak of their period correctness but they are all wonderfully crafted.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone, for any reason.  I truly had a wonderful time watching it and this review is just as fun to write.

I rate this film five out of five smiley Mike heads.

Movie Review - Issac Asimov's Nightfall

This is a great movie that I'm sure no one saw.  The movie is Issac Asimov's Nightfall.   IMDB - Post

My first impression upon putting the movie in the player was, wow this is going to be cheesy.  The menu music is super, super cheesy.  It really made me think that I was watching a film from the 80's or even the 70's for that matter.  It wasn't until I looked the film up on that I even knew it was made in the current millennium.

This film takes place on an alien world of Aeon.   Aeon has six suns that surround it.  With six suns the world has never known night.  The planet itself seems to be in a strange time limbo though, where we have both swords, blaster pistols, and magic.

The movie has almost no known actors yet the acting is pretty good.  There is one B movie film star in the in this movie, David Carradine.  David Carradine plays Gnomen the head professor of the Scholars.

There are two factions on Aeon that barely coexist on the planet.  First we have the University of Scholars and then the Temple of the Watchers.   The Scholars are a relaxed people that live the lifestyle of a college, where learning is the key point of life.  The Watchers are quasi-religious group that live the lifestyle of monks.

As you can imagine where you have intense faith on one side, and sharp intellect and knowledge on the other side things can be a bit strained.  I see this as a similar argument to creationism vs evolution.  Or pro life vs pro choice, as you can imagine things get a bit heated on both sides.

The film begins at a quarry of the Watchers where they make a strange discovery.  The head of the miners runs off to tell the Watchers of his discovery.  Muttering to himself he runs into Sheerin who overhears that the site could be over 1000 years old.  She then runs back to the University to tell her best friend Illyra so they can go check it out together.

Illyra our main character is a tenacious scholar who is trying to follow in the footsteps of her father Gnomen.  She is trying to bring knowledge and understanding to the people of Aeon.  Illyra is played by Jennifer Burns, a relative unknown in the world of Hollywood.  She brings a certain strength and sensuality to the part of Illyra.

When Illyra and Sheerin arrive at the quarry they are confronted by the workers at the mine.  They however manage to get a peek at the discovery in the quarry before they get forcible removed by the Watchers.  Intrigued they come back later when the workers are all sleeping.  Illyra manages to sneak into the cave of discovery and find a few relics before she realized the cave is full of snakes.  She is then rescued by a strange man with mysterious powers.

The two women just manage to make it out of the Quarry with their newly found artifacts.  This of course helps to increase tension between the Scholars and the Watchers.

The next day Illyra and Sheerin are wandering the streets of the market and happen to find a strange camera.  When Illyra inquires to the source of the camera the merchant points her to the local bar.  A man named Metron sold him the camera.  When Illyra and Sheerin get to the bar they find out that Metron is actually the man who saved Illyra at the quarry.

Illyra convinces Metron to take her into the desert where the camera came from.  Illyra swears Sheerin to a vow or silence as to where she has gone.  While in the desert they encounter the Sand Searchers who are a nomadic people who live in the desert.

The exchange goes badly they run for their lives and end up in a dark cave.  This is where Metron found the camera he sold to the merchant.  In the dark cave Illyra learns what it's like to be enclosed by total darkness when you live in a world of eternal light.

This is also where we learn of the impending doom to the planet.  Illyra and Metron survive to tell everyone else about the impending doom.

At this point the doom falls upon them and all hell breaks loose.  People turn on one another and well if you watch it you'll know what happens.

Overall I really like the message that the movie sent.  It was mostly in a vague sense don't be stupid and burn your house down.  Or perhaps it was don't be one of the sheeple in the street panicking.  Oh, I know, DON'T PANIC, oh wait some other movie already used that one.

I have yet to mention the wonderful costumes.  Illyra and Sheerin's costumes look just like they were taken right off the cover of an Isaac Asimov book.  I found this really interesting and cool that they would honor the cover art in such a way.  It was mostly lame's that are shiny and thin, like I said straight from the cover art.  Apparently in the future no one can afford real fabric so they just use this thin, cheap, lightweight, fabric to make all their clothes.  Although the Watchers had actual robes on, so this theory doesn't work for everyone.

Overall I really liked this movie, it had a good plot, costumes, and effects were adequate for a film of this caliber.  I wish they would have been able to explain a few more things along the way though.  There were a few scenes that they sort of glazed over to keep the movie moving along.  I'm sure the book is much better, as they usually are.

I rate this movie four out of five smiley Mike heads.

I would have rated it higher but it was a bit lacking in story in some places and some of the dialog seemed like it didn't quite fit the situations.

Isaac Asimov By Asimov, Isaac

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Movie Review - Rock Slyde

Cheese, Cheese, Cheesy.  Don't expect anything from this movie and you will get what you expect.  The movie of course is Rock Slyde Private Eye.  IMDB - Post.

The film is worth seeing if for no other reason for the gay musical porn sequence with Patrick Warburton.  Although I'm getting ahead of myself, I must back up.

This movie is patterned after the detective movies of the 30's and 40's.  It starts off in black and white and then quickly moves to color.  I don't typically mention actors in my reviews however Patrick Warburton is amazing in this film.  The character Rock Slyde truly has no redeeming qualities, he is very clueless and awkward, which Patrick Warburton plays exceptionally well.  They really did cast this movie beautifully, of course I'm getting ahead of myself, again.

It seems like an ordinary detective film, we even have a damsel in distress, even if she is a bit on the crazy side.  We find out and Rock is very dim witted but keen on certain details.  The character of Rock Slyde reminds me a bit of Inspector Gadget from the 80's cartoon show.

Rock is very uncoordinated and doesn't work hard to solve the crimes, he just gets lucky.  His arch nemesis of the film Bart, as played by Andy Dick, is the most stereotypical bad spiritual leader you could possibly imagine.  His religion/cult is called Bartology which smacks of Scientology.  I believe they did on purpose though. Andy Dick plays this part very well, the over the top, egotistical, self absorbed, cult leader.  Who is clearly in it for the money and the fame.  He has no ambition to actually make peoples lives better.

Our damsel in distress is Sara, played by Rena Sofer, hires Rock to find out who is following her.  She then falls for Rock and helps him to solve his own mystery of his missing secretary.  Lets just hope that James Spader hasn't gotten a hold of her.  Oh wait that is an entirely different secretary, never mind forget I said anything.

I have to admit that this movie did indeed make me laugh.  I'm not typically much for the cheap, cheesy, humor but something about this film amused me.  It was undoubtedly low budget, but done fairly well for being so.  There are moments when this seems like a serious film but you are reminded it is a satire in the next few moments.  Never quite as poorly written and campy as a movie like Vampires Suck, it is still done in almost this same style.

It is definitely original in its story and execution.  I have never seen anything quite like it before, especially with the gay musical porn sequence.  Patrick plays the captain of the Jolly Roger and he is singing.  The song is about what to do with your man junk, and getting on your knees.  This bit is surprisingly funny and thankfully they share the rest of the bit in its entirety at the end of the movie.

Gay musical porn aside I have to say this film was worth the time it took to watch it.  I would highly recommend this film if you like silly comedies, or even cheesy detective movies.

I rate this three smiley Mike heads for no make that three and a half smiley Mike heads.

Gay musical porn alone is totally worth an half a smiley Mike head.  I just can't rate a movie like this higher since its really just a fluff piece.