My loves in life are horror movies, metal, and science fiction. But that's not all I will be reviewing. I'm going to run the gambit on movies, music, books, and maybe a video game or two. Whatever I can get a hold of, I'm going to review, new and old. You can take my opinions if you want, but in the end, it's what you decide.
In another vein, for a different class, I watched Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. I gotta tell ya, this is a completely different pace in comparison to the movies I usually watch. I’m all about movies after 1970, the color films, the 100 minute movies. I’m not usually up for the 2 hour black and white snore fests. But this one was at least a bit different. Hey dad, looks like I’m growing up a bit with a little taste of cultured film.
The Great Dictator is the story of a note so great dictator, Adolph Hitler. Cleverly renamed as Adenoid Hynkel, Charlie Chaplin mirrors the rise of Hitler into power and his subsequent actions in his self appointed office. Parallel to this is an image of Chaplin’s Tramp character, the
It’s just too uncanny…
Jewish barber. After having served during World War I, the barber lost his memory and didn’t realize the war had been lost or that Hynkel had been put into power. The persecution of the Jews is underplayed in this movie (it seems as if they’re not treated that poorly), and Chaplin later apologized after finding out about the concentration camps. A depressing issue indeed.
The parts that make this movie funny is only about half of the film. There’s Chaplin’s speech as Hynkel, accurately mimicking Hitler’s wimpy return salute, and the German language and Hitler’s oratory style is dead on. The short English retorts are perfect and simply explain just what Hitler was up to. The bumbling idiots of Hynkel’s cabinet, characterized by Henry Daniell as “Garbage” and Billy Gilbert as “Herring”, strongly insinuate Himmler and
Goebbels (maybe some Goreing thrown in there). The floating globe is amazing and the slapstick is always good. I had no idea how much of a comedic genius Charlie Chaplin was.
The other half of the movie contains the plot. And I found it to be a very uninteresting one. The Jewish barber falls in love with a Jewish washing woman, and the Nazi Gestapo harass her and the barber all day long. After finding the man whose life he saved in the war, the barber befriends Schultz (Reginald Gardiner) and sets about a coup in order to kill Hynkel (if only they had…). Things go wrong, identities are mistaken, and Chaplin (the barber) gives a profound speech at the end, one I felt was directed right at Hitler. Coming out in 1940, this movie, viewed twice by Hitler, was a plea to stop the war. If only it had succeeded.
A lot of the stuff in older movies like this feel the same to me. The long credits at the beginning, the old time music, the higher pitched male voices and long shots, it’s all a constant. I have to admit I was a bit sleepy after this one. But the subject matter and slapstick are what really saved it for me. It was an
A love made in boredom?
extremely clever spoof of Hitler’s Nazi regime and spoke a lot to the things I’ve been learning about in my Holocaust class. I would recommend this one to history buffs and fans of old films, because this one is one of those classics (if you can’t get a hold of an actual copy, check out YouTube for the whole film). Not exactly my style, but I still appreciate it. 7.3 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: 1940, Adenoid Hynkel, Adolph Hitler, Billy Gilbert, black and white, bumbling idiots, Charlie Chaplin, clever spoof, comedic genius, concentration camps, coup, cultured film, dead accurate, depressing issue, different pace, floating globe scene, Garbage, German language spoof, Goebbels, Goering, good subject matter, half funny, half sad, Henry Daniell, Herring, high pitched male voices, Himmler, history buffs, Hitler, Holocaust class, Jewish barber, Jewish washing woman, kill Hitler, long credits, long shots, memory loss, mistaken identity, Nazi Gestapo, Nazi regime, Nazis, old time music, oratory, persecution of the Jews, plea to stop the war, profound speech, Reginald Gardiner, rise to power, Schultz, slapstick, The Great Dictator, The Tramp, uninteresting plot, World War I, Youtube | posted in Movies
I have to admit, this movie completely missed my radar. And its only come up because of an independent study class on dystopias that I’ve learned about movies like this. And let me tell you, this one’s a doozy. A love story and depressing dystopia all rolled into one characterizes Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.
Let me try to paint a picture for you of the world created in this movie. Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) are three young
An impressive child actor cast.
individuals who live a sheltered life in an alternate reality. It’s the 60’s and all major illnesses have been cured. The last great obstacle is death. And with organs failing, a solution is needed to push people far past their early 100’s.
In what appears at first to be an unrelated issue, young girl Kathy (Isobel Miekle-Small), young girl Ruth (Ella Purnell), and young boy Tommy (Charlie Rowe) are all attending a boarding school that doesn’t seem that odd. Run by Madame (Nathalie Richard) and Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling), these ominous figures keep a tight grasp
Shaggy and bohemian is the way to look in the 70’s I guess.
on the children. They’re not allowed to leave the grounds, not allowed to break the rules, and must always remain healthy. This may seem odd, and the big reveal doesn’t come until maybe 30 or 40 minutes into the film. It may shock you a bit.
What really impressed me about this movie was the cinematography. It was dreary, and at the same time surreal in the way it looked. And coming from Mark Romanek, a usual music video director, this was quite surprising for a slightly different presentation medium. The music was done hauntingly well on the trilling piano, with a British background landscape that made everything seem desolate, from school to farm, farm to beach.
I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot, but I do have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the naivete of all the characters in the film. The child actors were very mature and experienced for
Oh hey, Peter Parker…
as few productions as they’ve done, coupled with great performances by Mulligan, Garfield, and Knightley. You do have to understand that all of these characters are socially isolated and it reflects well in the acting they all deliver. (More Garfield than anyone else.) His painful cries and Knightley’s haunted witchiness makes for a great combo in comparison to Mulligan’s calm and collected motherly figure.
I’ll leave the rest of the film up to you to see for yourselves, but it is worth a watch because of how well Kazuo Ishiguro’s books translate into films (i.e. The Remains of the Day). I wasn’t wholeheartedly into it, but it wasn’t disappointing either. It was simply a movie about love and loss, between innocent characters. A love triangle for the dystopian ages. Worth checking out. 6.8 out of 10.
1 Comment | tags: 1960's, alternate reality, Andrew Garfield, big reveal, boarding school, British background, Charlie Rowe, Charlotte Rampling, child actors, children, death, depressing, dreary, dystopia, Ella Purnell, good cinematography, haunting music, health, innocent characters, Isobel Miekle-Small, Kathy Carey Mulligan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Keira Knightley, love and loss, love story, love triangle, Madame, Mark Romanek, Miss Emily, music video director, naive characters, Nathalie Richard, Never Let Me Go film, odd, organs, piano, Ruth, sheltered life, simple film, socially isolated, surreal, The Remains of the Day, Tommy | posted in Movies
So here’s an up to date review that’s still relevant. Wreck-It Ralph is a wonderful little Disney film about a wrecking villain named Ralph (John C. Reilly) who does nothing but wreck an apartment building. His counterpart and hero, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) fixes the crumbling building around him and gets a medal for all the hard work. What people who play the games don’t know is that Ralph is sick of being the bad guy.
This movie, first and foremost, is extremely original. As most of
Support group for the ages.
Disney’s animated projects go, it captures you with vivid images and great fluidity, and keeps you entranced with great cameos and good voice acting. This movie accomplishes all that and one thing more: it makes you extremely nostalgic. Throughout the entire film, everyone in the theater was pointing out to their friends and family who their favorite video game characters were and how cool it was to see them act on their own. Even some parents can get in on the action with Pac-Man and Q*bert.
How’s your blood sugar level?
Coupled to some original and iconic songs, there’s nothing about this movie that didn’t please me. You get all the stereotypical games (strategy Pac-Man style, Street Fighter button mashing, racing, shoot-em-up, and even some other bizarre appearances). There’s something for everyone in this pick-and-mix arcade, run by one of my favorite actors, Ed O’Neil. The only thing I could’ve wished for in this film was more video game characters. Where’s Master Chief? Where’s Ezio Auditore? You gotta at least get Mario. But yes, I sadly understand that all of those licensed characters would’ve cost the movie a fortune. Oh well…
So the plot of the movie is simple. Wreck-It Ralph gets fed up with his bad guy role in his 8-bit video game and goes to explore other games. He stumbles upon the opportunity to win a medal in Heroe’s Duty (big children’s joke) and does so. But his medal gets used by Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) to enter a race to win back some honor in
Jane Lynch has never looked so sexy.
Sugar Rush the racing game. It’s up to Ralph to make or break the day, and Felix and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun (Jane Lynch) will do anything to get him back. It’s a video game for the ages.
What made this movie so spectacular were all the guest appearances and voice actors that graced the screen. Ever since Tim and Eric, I’ve grown to love John C. Reilly. And it’s nice to see his range as an actor in a kid’s role like this. Sarah Silverman is both cute and verbose as Vinellope, the cute child race car driver. Her poop jokes and tomboyish attitude are much appreciated by me. I’m not usually a fan of Jack McBrayer and his work on 30 Rock, but he was just fine and the perfect voice for Felix in this one. And here’s the big surprise… The Candy King was done by Alan Tudyk! I couldn’t believe my ears! He truly is the master of voices if I ever heard one. First A Knight’s Tale and now this? Wonderful.
How great are those detailed graphics?
Throw in Mindy Kaling of The Office and Joe Lo Truglio, and you have yourself just a sample of what is an entire cast of great voice talent. You also have Roger Craig Smith as the voice of Sonic (and Ezio Auditore of Assassin’s Creed 2), and Kyle Hebert as Ryu of Street Fighter (acclaimed voice actor), and that’s a great addition. I loved the bad guy support group meeting as well. It’s all good in the hood.
I would recommend, if you have kids, taking them to see Wreck-It Ralph. It’s good for all ages (AKA, anyone who has ever played video games) and you’ll enjoy it too, no matter what your preference. So suit up and grab your controller and lay in to some good old fashioned fun. 8.8 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: 30 Rock, 8-bit video game, A Knight's Tale, Alan Tudyk, animated, Assassin's Creed 2, bad guy, button mashing, controller, cute and gross, Disney film, Ed O'Neil, extremely nostalgic, extremely original film, Ezio Auditore, Fix-It Felix, gamer paradise, good for all ages, good guy, good voice acting, great cameos, great fluidity, guest appearances, Heroe's Duty, iconic songs, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Joe Lo Truglio, John C. Reilly, Kyle Hebert, licensed characters, Mario, Master Chief, master of voices, medal, Mindy Kaling, old fashioned fun, Pac-Man, poop jokes, Q*bert, race car driver, racing, Roger Craig Smith, Ryu, Sarah Silverman, Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun, Shoot 'Em Up, Sonic, stereotypical arcade games, strategy, Street Figher, Sugar Rush, support group meeting, The Candy King, The Office, Tim and Eric, tomboy, Vanellope von Schweetz, video game characters, villain, vivid images, voice actors, Wreck-It Ralph | posted in Movies, Video Games
After 10 straight months of watching nothing but, I am completely caught up in the world of Naruto. I’ve started performing Fireball Jutsu’s all over my house, creating Rasengans with my long time friend and avid fan, and even bought a rather expensive and very nice Shino Aburame cosplay for my own personal enjoyment. In a word, obsessed. I can’t get enough of this show, and you already know all I’m gonna do in this post is rant and rave about Naruto: Shippuden. Keep the episodes coming, I want to see Naruto: Shippuden, episode 500.
For those of you who are familiar with Naruto, I don’t need to remind you of the original story. Naruto has lost Sasuke and needs to get
Badass, character clash, as per usual.
stronger to get him back (if he can at all). After 3 years, Naruto returns with a vengeance, a few new Rasengans up his sleeve, and a new unbreakable vow and fervor. Sakura is a bit more badass, but just as useless as before (her battle with Sasori almost leaves something to be desired, Granny Chiyo did most of the work…). The new partner, Sai, is an unlovable bastard with a strange affinity for Japanese ink drawings. Everyone else is pretty legit now in Shippuden. Gotta love my Shikamaru.
So who are the new baddies in this one? Well, you have the Akatsuki. These guys were an outer force in the original Naruto with Kisame and Itachi trying to capture Naruto. The reason? The Nine-Tailed Fox that rests within him. And the other eight tailed beasts (Bijuu) that rest inside their ninjas (Jinchuriki). Sorry for any misspellings. If they get all 9 of the tailed beasts, it’s game over for the world of ninjas. And with 10 badass Akatsuki, the most relentless fighters in all the land, it’s gonna be a fight to the death. And it doesn’t stop there.
What could this be I wonder…
Sasuke has obviously teamed up with Kabuto and Orochimaru, wielding the ways of fire, lightning, and snakes. It’s all very badass, but who (other than fangirls) really likes Sasuke? He’s a bad boy, and he’s kind of a whiny biatch about his brother. (More on that later in the series.) Anyways…
Everybody has powered up and all these new Jutsu’s are being thrown around like hotcakes. Shikamaru is a Jonin, and he’s so damn smart that he’s actually super important in the main plotline. Perfection in a can. Choji is as wonderful as always, his battle with the Sound Ninja in Naruto being one of my favorite fights of all time. Neji lookin’ like a huge master, as per usual. Not a single character has become less cool than they were in Naruto original. Rock Lee, ballin’ and breakin’ hard as well.
And there’s so much I can’t tell you that is just so good to watch! All of the emotions and the brand new soundtrack that makes this one so much more adult and dramatic than anything ever before. The fluid fight scenes and crisp animation make it an enjoyable watch with every episode. I’m learning all the hand signs as we speak.
Here’s a new twist. Does anybody remember my last post on Naruto? I watched that all dubbed. BIG MISTAKE. Maile
Epic and beautiful, all-in-one.
Flanagan ruined it, and the only redeeming qualities for me were Itachi, Shino, Shikamaru, Rock Lee, and Gaara (Liam O’Brien for life). So I watched this one subbed. And let me tell you, Junko Takeuchi is a godsend. She does an amazing job as Naruto and really creates a character that feels and hell, even goes through puberty. Try to pull that off, Male Flapagan. (Every other Japanese voice actor is amazing too. Shino’s deep voice threw me off though…)
What more can I say about this show to rave about it…
There’s a character for everyone in this show. Every character has a unique personality and fighting style that anyone can fall behind. You get what appears to be the precursor and inspiration for Avatar: The
Just for funzies.
Last Airbender with the different element affinities, and plenty of strategic battles that go off so badass like. With so many versions of Naruto and the greatest one-ups-manships of all time, Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden will disappoint no one. At all.
With incredible backstories of a bunch of new characters, great all around presentation, and a fandom that can’t be beat, Naruto: Shippuden gets a well deserved 11 out of 10, my first more than perfect score ever.
Leave a comment | tags: 11 out of 10, 3 year span, adult tone, Akatsuki, amazing new soundtrack, amazing voice acting, Avatar: The Last Airbender, avid fan, bad boy, badass, Bijuu, brother, Choji, cosplay, crisp animation, dramatic, dubbed, elements, emotional, fandom, fangirls, favorite battles, fight to the death, fire, Fireball Jutsu, fluid fight scenes, Gaara, Granny Chiyo, hand signs, incredible back stories, inspiration for, Itachi, Japanese ink drawings, Japanese voice actors, Jinchuriki, Jonin, Junko Takeuchi, Kabuto, KIsame, Liam O'Brien, lightning, Maile Flanagan, master, Naruto Shippuden, Neji, new baddies, new partner, Nine Tailed Fox, ninjas, obsession, Orochimaru, puberty, rant and rave, Rasengan, relentless fighting, Rock Lee, Sai, Sakura, Sasori, Sasuke, Shikamaru, Shino, Shino Aburame, snakes, Sound Ninja, strategic battles, subbed, tailed beasts, unique personality, whiny bitch, world of Naruto | posted in Anime/ T.V.
I have never seen the original Expendables. I had only ever heard vague rumors about how ridiculous these movies were. I had to see it for myself. So we rolled out and hit up the theater hard for this action-packed massacre of bullets and destruction. I was expecting the bloodbath of the newest Rambo. What I got was one of the most ridiculously and classically cliche things I’ve ever seen in my life. And I laughed all the way through my enjoyment.
Sylvester Stallone is back as Barney Ross, a character who is not really a character. More of Sylvester Stallone as his mumbling self with some jacked biceps. He’s got his crew with him, and they’re on some mission
Always fire from the hip, boys.
to kill someone or other in some Middle Eastern looking village. They all roll up in battle jeeps and brandish light machine guns out the ass and wield Gatling guns with one arm, smokin’ fat cigars with the other and whatnot. Just your average C-rated action film.
What makes people see these movies, you may wonder? (Or not…) It’s all about everyone’s favorite action hero. And there’s such a damn long list!:
You got yourself classic Stallone. I’ll never forget the first time I watched Demolition Man, or the first time I left the room when my friends watched Over the Top. His forgetably bad movies are what makes Rocky so good in comparison (and Rambo too, I guess…) He just needs to get his shit together and figure out how to talk correctly though.
This is where everyone lost it.
You got your relatively new newcomer, Jason Statham. Making it big in the Transporter series, this guy has been garishly blowing up the screen with nonsense after nonsense. His Guy Ritchie days were great, but America has loved to cast Statham in weirder and weirder movies. I’m talkin’ In the Name of the King and Crank 1 and 2. I can’t tell you how many nightmares I had over Crank 2…
Then you have Jet Li. There can be no complaints about one of the best action stars/ martial artists the world has ever seen since Bruce Lee. I was so happy to see him get the hell out after the first scene in this movie and no longer associate himself with the Expendables (unless he comes back for the third round…).
You got yourself Terry Crews, star of The Longest Yard remake and Everybody Hates Chris. What he has become known
What’s that hat all about, Stallone?
for is a bit more tragic and bizarre than his acting career. Yay, Old Spice!
There’s Randy Couture! His MMA days must be getting stale! And that cauliflower ear must be rancid! Don’t try to fool us with your book reading and glasses wearing. Your name is this movie is Toll Road. Enough said.
And then you got Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. One I love, one I’ve always despised for the Die Hard series. (I wish they would stop making them…) If I ever hear another Yippie-Kai-Yay again, I may have to go Alan Rickman on his ass. But you can’t go wrong with Arnie. He holds a gun like such a boss in these movies! Firing from the hip, laying waste to countless, faceless minions all over the movie. Looks like the Govenator will never lose his touch.
Absolute kick perfection.
And some new faces! There’s Dolph Lundgren, greatest joke It’s Always Sunny has ever made. Chuck Norris, the biggest and most soft-spoken hardass of them all. He appears every once in a while, and this Walker doesn’t need a walker, you feel me? But what sealed it for me was Jean Claude Van Damme as Jean Vilain (looks like villain right?). His obsession with goats and round house flying kicks is what made this movie badass. Seeya Liam Hemsworth, you got a knife right through the heart from a Jean Claude kick.
So what do all these players equal? One of the most hilariously classic action movies I’ve seen since well… ever. You can’t get more cliche and classic action than with a movie like this plot and characters like these. We were all losing our shit in the movie theater laughing from all the classic one liners and unrealistic gigantic explosions. It was all so great, right down to Liam Hemsworth declaring that he was dying from Jean Claude’s boot stomp. You gotta love movies like this.
So whether you love action, or love satirical action, this movie is a must see. I’m
gonna go back and watch the original ASAP. You gotta love all the mindless destruction and countless body count that comes up with movies like this. So come in with an open mind, because, at first glance, this movie is gonna be awful. But remember, not all bad things are totally bad. Some things that are expendable, are just so damn good. 6.5 out of 10.
1 Comment | tags: action packed, Alan Rickman, America, Arnie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, bad movies, badass, Barney Ross, battle jeeps, bloodbath, body count, Bruce Lee, Bruce Willis, bullets, C-rated action film, cauliflower ear, Chuck Norris, classically cliche, Crank 1 and 2, crew, Demolition Man, destruction, Die Hard series, Dolph Lundgren, Everybody Hates Chris, favorite action hero, Gatling guns, goats, Govenator, Guy Ritchie, hardass, hilariously classic, In the Name of the King, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, jacked, Jason Statham, Jean Claude Van Damme, Jean Vilain, Jet Li, kills, knife through the heart kick, laughable, Liam Hemsworth, light machine guns, marital artist, massacre, Middle Eastern, mindless destruction, MMA, mumbling, Old Spice commerical guy, one liners, open minded, original Expendables, over the top, Rambo, Randy Couture, redonkulous, Rocky, round house kicks, satirical action, Sylvester Stallone, Terry Crews, The Expendables 2, The Longest Yard, Toll Road, Transporter Series, unrealistic violence, Walker Texas Ranger, Yippie Kai Yay | posted in Movies
So, stereotypically, when it comes to Korean films, I watch horror and thrillers. It’s not often I stray from that path and end up watching something unique and beautiful like I did with this. Based on a true story, Silenced is a film about the injustice and legal accusations of a school of deaf children against their abusive and molesting faculty. This movie hits you hard with its brutality and tugs at your heartstrings with the emotions the child actors show in their voiceless anguish. Not what I was expecting, and so wonderfully done I don’t want to forget it. This movie could very well impact your life.
The basic premise of this film. Kang In-Ho (Gong Yoo) is a mild mannered teacher of
The utter grace of sign language, in all languages.
the deaf who comes to a new school. Working for his daughter with severe asthma and his mother (his wife has passed on), Kang In-Ho is forced to pay 50 million Won (50,000 in American dough) in order to work at the school, “without complications”. After noticing some strange activities, including the beating of a young male student, Kang In-Ho must do something.
And do something he shall. Enlisting the help of a civil rights worker named Yoo-Jin (Jung Yu-Mi), the duo brings to court the cases of three students, all tragically tainted by their experiences at school, and without the power to voice their cries. The added element of sign language in this film creates more of an impact when silent tears roll down the children’s faces.
Shocked into silence.
The acting in this film was phenomenal (as might be expected from the film festival reviews) and the dark atmosphere was superbly coupled with the cinematography. The subject matter is heavy and troubling, but you really get a chance to connect to the characters in the film and care about their well being. Hats off to any child actor who can deal with a role like this in a professional context. It has been a while since I’ve seen this, but I always enjoy a courtroom drama, and this one delivered on so many levels. The outcome is surprising as well.
What really sums up this movie is the message at the end. This being about real events, this movie was out to make people aware of the atrocities mankind commits on mankind. The troubling scenes and the feelings of hatred and injustice that spill throughout this movie make it for an emotional watch, but it is well worth it if you care about the issues at hand in this film. (It helps if you like Asian films as well.) Don’t know much else to say about this, other than to watch it ASAP. I’ll give Silenced more than a whisper on my rating scale: 8.4 out of 10.
1 Comment | tags: abusive, anguish, Asian films, atrocity, based on a true story, brutality, child actors, cinematography, civil rights workers, connect to the characters, courtroom drama, dark atmosphere, deaf children, emotional, film festival, Gong Yoo, hatred and injustice, heavy subject matter, hits hard, horror, injustice, Jung Yu-Mi, Kang In-Ho, Korean, Korean films, legal system, molesting, phenomenal acting, real events, school, severe asthma, sign language, Silenced, surprising outcome, teacher, thrillers, tragic, troubling scenes, unique and beautiful, Won, Yoo-Jin | posted in Movies
And now we come to what has become one of my favorite movies of all time. The Raid Redemption is one of the most cohesive, brutal, action driven films I have seen since I first watched The Protector with Tony Jaa. And what makes it better is that a lot of people actually like it. For once, Rotten Tomatoes is right in giving it a 83% fresh rating. This movie is fresh as hell.
What should I start with in talking about this martial arts movie to the extreme? Well, its
Get your shoot on.
basis comes from some of the best. In an interview, I remember Gareth Evans saying he was inspired by Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and earlier films of the time. But when you see this, you know it shoots right into the vein of Muay Thai, no holds barred, stunt fighting with punches hardly pulled. People are getting worked in this movie (on and off camera). And when you introduce guns into the mix, you know things are going to get even more brutal.
And there’s a plot here as well! No running after elephants and single minded goals to be had here. There’s a raid, some character development, and then a twist. Everything you need in a movie like
this. Basically, Iko Uwais, now one of my top 5 favorite martial artists of all time, plays Rama, a passionate SWAT team member with a wife and a baby on the way. His team leader, Jaka (Joe Taslim) is determined to do the mission with no losses and everything in order and justified. But with the sounding of the alarm, a 30 floor slum building crawling with hundreds of crime gangs, everything is going to go off.
Other than the adequate acting in this film, I was really impressed that some martial artists I hadn’t see before showed up in this one. Joe Taslim was quite the throw artist with his specialty in Judo. His fight with Mad Dog was literally redonkulous. And then there’s Mad Dog himself, played by Yayan Ruhian. That little greasy haired monkey absolutely destroys half of the people in this movie, and doesn’t even stop when he gets a light bulb shaft shoved in his neck. Unbelievably badass. Throw in the expertise of Iko Uwais and his Silat, and you have the best 101 minutes of my life.
What I was surprised about in this movie was how much weaponry was used in a classically martial arts movie. Guns,
Mad Dog, unleashed.
assault rifles, knives, police clubs, the environment as well as the weapons available created a more realistic situation than just fists and feet. (Watch out for the Machete Gang though…) People getting thrown into furniture and off of ledges, this movie becomes so brutal everybody is shouting “OH!” while watching it.
Now we come to the soundtrack. For the U.S. and English speaking release (I mean subtitled of course), Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park was recruited to make his own original electronic soundtrack to complement the movie in comparison to the Indonesian release. What is created is what I would consider a throwback to the first two L.P. albums which is far superior to the stuff they’re coming out with now. The drums and bass come in at just the right moments to escalate your emotions and really get your blood pumping. Just like a video game, you have this rising action as you get into unique fight after unique fight. Superb.
30 floors of Hell.
Throw together all these elements and you have a Welsh director in an English speaking country that gets Eastern martial arts cinema. If I could grow up to be like him, I’d do it. The Raid: Redemption just proves that martial arts action films can be explosive, entertaining, and dramatic. 9.8 out of 10.
1 Comment | tags: 30 floor slum building, 83% fresh, action done right, action driven, adequate acting, assault rifles, badass, blood pumping, Bruce Lee, brutal, character development, cohesive, crime gangs, destructive, dramatic, drum and bass, Eastern martial arts, elephants, English speaking country, entertaining, escalates emotions, explosive, favorite movies of all time, fists and feet, Gareth Evans, good plot, greasy haired monkey, guns, Iko Uwais, Indonesian release, Jackie Chan, Jaka, Joe Taslim, Judo, knives, Linkin Park, Machete Gang, Mad Dog, martial artists, martial arts movie, Mike Shinoda, mission, Muay-Thai, no holds barred, original soundtrack, police clubs, raid, Rama, realistic situation, rising action, Rotten Tomatoes, Silat, stunt fighting, superb, SWAT, The Protector, The Raid: Redemption, to the extreme, Tony Jaa, twist, unique fighting, US release, video game, weaponry, Welsh director, wife and child, Yayan Ruhian | posted in Movies
After a long semester of work, homework, and plain more work, I have come back to the world of review blogs. Thanks to those of you out there who come back to check and look forward to reading the inane and ridiculous things I say. And now it’s time for a little movie review. This one (that I watched wayyyyy back in August) is called Margin Call. Based on the events of the 2008 mortgage crisis, this independent film boasts a
Look at Spock and those well defined eyebrows.
star studded cast that focuses more on the characters and their interactions than it does on the action and big picture scheme. If you are looking for car chases and guns, look elsewhere. This movie gets its bite from the dialogue.
So Zachary Quinto (star of Heroes and that almost unrecognizable role as Spock) plays Peter Sullivan, a low level employee that sees the company he has been striving so hard for begin to unexplainably fall apart around him. His boss, Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) is fired for no discernible reason, leaving Sullivan with a program he was working on that show what we have come to know as the great 2000’s recession (I just call it that… but not really). After some late night calculations, Sullivan finds that his company is really in a lot of deep feces. I’m talking mounds of excrement with no rain boots.
A role Spacey was born to play… A lot…
So a whole meeting is called as you see the chain of command called in to this banking company. It starts with Paul Bettany’s character (my favorite of the entire movie. He’s one of those unspoken characters that just gets it.) and works itself all the way up to Jeremy Irons as the company’s CEO. I was really surprised that for an independent film such as this that so many good actors would sign on, but for a role like this that portrays life in its true form, I’m not as surprised.
But could I even say anymore about the star studded cast? I already mentioned Quinto, Tucci, Irons, and Bettany. That’s solid right there. But throw in Kevin Spacey? Now we’re just getting American Beauty high class on this one. And he’s just as brutal as a upper class boss in this one as he was in Horrible Bosses. But he does have a heart, mind
A bit of that trading floor drama.
you. You got Simon Baker as the hardass playboy with an ego issue that wants to keep it all under wraps. Demi Moore as the manipulated female staff member. Her unsure performance keys right in to a cutthroat business that leaves no room for the timid. Throw in Aasif Mandvi (without any comedic relief, unfortunately) and you have your top billed cast right there.
And what’s more, there is some really great dialogue and monologues in this movie. First one that comes to my mind is the one done by Stanley Tucci towards the end of the movie. His reevaluation of his entire life up to the point he gets fired is true and heartfelt, even if he is approaching it from the way in which he helped out a town commute from West Virginia to Ohio over a bridge. Gotta give him his props for memorizing all those numbers. And basically any line out of Paul Bettany’s mouth just sounds like privileged few from New York’s best areas. His snarky attitude and calm assessment of the downfall of banks during the crisis was just spot on. You need characters like him in movies to really gain perspective on the overall plot.
A star studded cast of dramatic proportions.
Combine all of these great interactions with greatly portrayed characters and you have yourself a movie that is character-driven. But it’s not just that. How could a movie about the logistics of the mortgage crisis be so interesting? This movie barely talks in actual economical jargon. Well, there is some, but I was enraptured by the characters to notice too much. What this movie effectively does is put real human faces to the upper management devastated by this terrible crisis in our society, and help people realize that not everyone who later benefited from the liquidations and lay-offs were such terrible people. (Sure Jeremy Irons was, but look at Kevin Spacey in comparison. Perfect contrast.)
So I would encourage fans of John Grisham bo0k-to-movie remakes and real life drama films to check this one out. It’s not that well known, but it’s worth checking out if you’re not all about the comedy and action. Real intellectual shizz. Margin Call gets a 8.4 out of 10 from me. Get at me guys, I’m back into reviewing!
Bring it home, Tucci.
Leave a comment | tags: 2008 mortgage crisis, Aasif Mandvi, amazing monologues, American Beauty, banking company, based on real events, CEO, chain of command, character driven plot, computer program, cutthroat business, Demi Moore, downfall of the banks, economical jargon, ego issue, Eric Dale, femal staff member, firings, focus on characters, gains perspective, good actors, great interactions, greatly portrayed characters, hardass, heroes, Horrible Bosses, independent film, intellectually stimulating, Jeremy Irons, John Grisham, Kevin Spacey, late night calculations, lay-offs, liquidations, logistics, low level employee, Margin Call, movie review, New York, no comedic relief, Paul Bettany, perfect contrast, Peter Sullivan, playboy, portrays live truthfully, quick rapport, real human faces to business, real life dramas, recession, review blogging, Simon Baker, snarky attitude, Spock, Stanley Tucci, star studded cast, top billed cast, upper class boss, upper management, West Virigina to Ohio bridge, Zachary Quinto | posted in Movies
Sorry I’m a bit late on the uptake with reviewing this movie, but I did see it, so I do need to review it. This movie, as the whole series does, holds a lot of mixed feelings with me. People moan and complain about the past Batmans (never had nipples, I get it), and rant and rave about how this series is the end all be all of Batman fandom. That’s great, neat-o. People have all different kinds of preferences when it comes to comic book
Hello there, Mr. Batman (in a Sean Connery voice).
heroes and the types of ways that they’re represented, but get off my back when I say I am a bit more nostalgic and partial to the original Tim Burton films. Jesus…
But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy these movies. We all must remember that these are movies about fictionalized characters from comic books made mostly for the demographic of children to teenagers. Being in college, I can claim, just on the border, that it still applies to me. And hell, these movies only apply to people my age they’re so damn dark these days. I never read The Dark Knight series, and I don’t plan to (not a big comic person). Christopher Nolan can do what he wishes, but just because he made Memento that film kids orgasm over, doesn’t mean he’s the best director and visionary of all time.
A worthy, catlike foe.
And therein lies where my grudge starts. I enjoyed Batman Begins for its iconically classic cheesy action lines and origin story. For a lot of other fans, that movie is shit in comparison to The Dark Knight. Sure, in hindsight, any movie is better than its predecessor (very rarely). But please, respect the originators. The Dark Knight was good as well. Great story, not the best film of all time, because remember, only dramas and artsy films win Oscars, and as much as I would like that to be changed, it won’t. So stop pretending that this movie deserved Oscars, it ain’t gonna happen Nolan.
And then, it all started. Nolan made Inception. The stupid dream within a dream jokes started. This film may be visually pretty, but in lacks when all the hype built around its release left it wanting something. And then, as if to pay homage to a film that has nothing to do with the Batman series, to service the fans, Nolan does something I find strange and deplorable. He puts Marion
The Dark Inception Rises?
Cotillard, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all into the Batman series. With plenty of other candidates out there to try out, he did that whole in-circle movie inclusion thing. All I’m saying is, if I were a director, I would want to work with lots of varying talent and not stick the same old actors into every movie. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Nolan replaced Christian Bale with DiCaprio…
Now that my rants over, let me start a conflicted review about The Dark Knight Rises that people probably won’t read because I’ve already forced out everyone who lives and dies for this series anyways…
So, I gotta say this movie was really hit or miss for me. I love Christian Bale. Plain and simple. His depiction of Batman is
Christian Bale, may you never change.
satisfactory, and one of the only things that keeps me watching these movies. Sure, he does the whole deep voice thing, but isn’t that to entirely mask his identity from other people? He messes up once in the movie by continuing to do the voice although Catwoman knew who he was. But maybe it’s just a mentality thing.
The other thing that made me watch this movie, an amazingly and surprisingly good performance from Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I’ve loved her ever since The Princess Diaries, and this movie solidifies that she is an actress of all genres. She’s witty and sensual in a way I didn’t know she could be, but not a pushover or bimbo as some comic book villainesses are depicted. A perfect counterpart and conflicted villain of Robin Hood status for this movie.
The only other reason I liked this movie? My adoring nature for
She even makes the orange look classy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’m talking Brick, even throwbacks to when I used to watch 3rd Rock From The Sun occasionally. The Lookout, 50/50, his hits just keep rollin’ on. He was one of those sleeper actors that, once given the chance, showed he could do great things. And his twist reveal at the end of this movie was worth waiting for.
Now come the hang-ups I had about this film. First off, it was too long. I don’t know what makes Christopher Nolan pack so much material into a movie I felt could be 2 hrs tops, but he exhausts every single thing he can thing to put in a script and doesn’t understand the meaning of “edit”. Once it hits Batman in the prison of doom, I started to fall asleep. After the last battle, I woke up for the unnecessarily long wrap up ending.
Do you see the likeness, brother?
Bane. Plain and simple, the way Bane is represented in this movie. It’s a big step up from the poison addled Bane of the Clooney times, but it ends up amount to little better than a lackey. I had a friend tell me all about how Bane was so smart and could beat Batman physically as well as mentally in the Dark Knight Series. What do I find out? Bane is a pawn in a much bigger game. And what’s with that voice? Did Sean Connery get a Vader mask and forget to go through puberty? This comically funny voice ruined any chance at making him a legitimate contender for good villain in this movie. Cillian Murphy’s appearance again as Scarecrow in this movie was more entertaining and evil than Bane was. Sad.
Marion Cotillard. Her twist ending as yet another villain biatch in a Christopher Nolan film saddened me. It felt like an unnecessary cop out and exhaustive effort on the writer’s part to make this a cyclical film. Even if this is how the Dark Knight comics went, change it. It sucked.
Throw in a bunch of unnecessary explosions that would make Michael Bay proud and you have a fireworks ending to this
There’s a lot of debris in this movie…
film with a cliffhanger stuck on for good measure. (Seriously, people complain about how explosions take over substance in Bay’s films? Nolan should take a quick peek in the mirror.)
That’s not to say the movie wasn’t entertaining. As most action films for me (and this is nothing more than a “psychological” action film) there are good and bad parts. This was really divided down the middle for me. I would watch it again, and it would become one of those classic movies me and my roommate quote to pass the time. I don’t mean to over emotionally disrespect on anyone who really liked this movie. It may have just hit me at a bad time. Only time truly will tell. But, as for the overall delivery of this movie, in all its components, I’ll give it a 6.6 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: 3rd Rock From The Sun, 50/50, action film, actress of all genres, all the hype, amazing performance by Anne Hathaway, Bane, Batman Begins, Batman fandom, Brick, Catwoman, cheesy action lines, child and teenage demographic, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy, classic movies, cliffhanger, Clooney times, comic book heroes, comically funny voice, conflicted review, cop out, counterpart, cyclical film, Dark Knight series, darker films, deep voice, DiCaprio, disrespect, dramas and artsy films, entertaining overall, fan service, female villain, fictionalized characters, film kids, fireworks ending, good and bad parts, good twists, great story, hang-ups, hit or miss, iconic, in-circle, Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, lackey, last battle, Marion Cotillard, mask identity, Memento, Michael Bay, mixed feelings, no editing, nostalgic, not the best director of all time, origin story, Oscar, past Batmans, pawn in a bigger game, prison of doom, psychological action film, quotes, rant and rave, Robin Hood like, Scarecrow, Sean Connery, sleeper actors, smart and brutal, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Lookout, The Princess Diaries, Tim Burton films, Tom Hardy, too long, too much material, unnecessary explosions, Vader mask, visually pretty, witty and sensual | posted in Movies
I don’t know how much I’m gonna be able to say about this movie without just shitting all over it. This movie, in one and only one sense, is bad. Look, I’m as big of a Kevin Sorbo fan as the next guy (Hercules 2016), but this movie didn’t have enough of that sword wielding hunk. Sure, he can make fun of himself, but there wasn’t enough of him to make fun of.
So there are these three hook- I mean… women. Trixie (Julia Voth) is a stripper, somehow dragged into the events of the two other con
How much does it hurt to push those boobs together?
artist/undercover femme fatales. Hel (Erin Cummings), called this name for her flamboyantly red hair I guess, is the head of the operation, meanwhile Camero (America Olivo) is a hotheaded gun pusher that bends to her lesbian will. (Every woman in this movie is a lesbian of some sort. The odds, right?)
The whole plot of this movie takes place in a desert next to a trailer of some guy who the girls shoot in order to find information but
Sorry Gage… Bang Camero.
obviously hotheaded Camero can’t handle her itchy trigger finger. Too bad Gage (Michael Hurst; this guy played Hercules almost more than Kevin Sorbo…). With in-party fighting and an unnecessary water fight scene with slathered boobage, this movie takes the 1960’s and 70’s sexploitation films to a whole new level. To the point where not even the plot matters, the acting is terrible, and the story is nonsensical.
For the record, I hated the flashbacks throughout the movie that explained what they were doing here. There was no need for that explanation, let alone a twist based on the love relationships of the three women with each other. There is a 7 or 8 minute long lesbian make-out scene in this movie. No joke. Sure, I’m a guy and what guy doesn’t want to see that every once in a while in a film… but I grew bored. Really bored. I’m surprised I didn’t just turn the movie off. Thanks for instant streaming at my fingertips, Netflix.
With no budget and just a bunch of slutty bitch-slapped biatches, Kevin Sorbo literally is the standout in this movie. The
Why couldn’t you two have stolen this movie away?
side characters had more depth and a more interesting look than the main skanks. And I’m not using these words to degrade women. This is literally the dialogue I heard throughout the movie, drivel that entered my ear holes for some reason and stuck there and won’t seem to eek out. But I’m looking at you, William Gregory Lee as Hot
Love always, Kevin Sorbo.
Wire and Minae Noji as Kinki. You should’ve just killed them execution style and stolen the movie. Much better.
So I was bored to tears and embarassed for an over-embellished parody of the exploitation films of a yesteryear. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously, and I wouldn’t wish watching this movie on anyone else. I was expecting Grindhouse quality. I didn’t realize I would get softcore bore. Oh well, lesson learned. 2.3 out of 10, purely for pretty women.
Leave a comment | tags: 1960's, 1970's, America Olivo, bad flashbacks, bad movie, Bitch Slap, boobage, bored to tears, boring, Camero, con artists, degrading to women, desert, doesn't take itself seriously, embarassing, Erin Cummings, execution style killing, exploitation films, femme fatales, fighting, Gage, ghastly dialogue, Grindhouse, guns, Hel, Hercules, hookers, Hot Wire, hotheaded, itchy trigger finger, Julia Voth, Kevin Sorbo, Kinki, lesbians, love relationships, make-out scene, makes fun of itself, Michael Hurst, Minae Noji, Netflix, no budget, no plot, nonsensical story, operation, over the top, over-embellished, parody, pretty women, sexploitation, side characters, skanks, slutty, softcore bore, stripper, sword wielding hunk, terrible acting, terrible twist, trailer, Trixie, undercover, water fight scene, William Greogory Lee, women | posted in Movies