Sep 12, 2012

The Expendables 2 - expendable, but fun.

Barely any dialogues, mindless action and too much emphasis on shock value/surprise cameos would, in regards to any other movie, warrant my antagonism but, here, it just passes as pure fun.

Sure, some parts of it are pretty lame, Stallone as the band leader, with that goaty, resembles a porn star rather than an action one, Lundgren's acting leaves much to be desired and Van Damme in his leather coat made me cringe in my seat but, hell, come on! This isn't a deep psychological thriller, it's Stallone! And having in mind that there were a couple of pretty hillarious one-liners (mostly given to Schwarzenegger and Norris), I'd say it's not as bad of a movie as I might have thought it was going to be.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed it - which is more than I can say for a whole load of other crap floating out there at the moment. And even though Couture was vastly underused, Statham's church scene with knives absolutely rocked it!

So, if you've seen the first part, there's no reason why you shouldn't venture into the second (and if you ask me, a better one at that).

7 out of 10 (yes, really)

The Expendables 3: Seagal, Snipes, Hauer, Gibson?

Aug 1, 2012

The Dark Knight has magnificently Risen.

First things first, let's get something straight here. I'm a big Batman fan - yet am a bigger fan of Bale and Hardy. In my movie bible, Batman Begins imprinted itself with 9 (just couldn't/still can't get over that Katie Holmes' debacle) and The Dark Knight with 8.8 (which puts me in a minority, I know). On that note, Heath Ledger was great, but he wasn't that great and let's face it - he died. So, being a bitch and all, would that sequel really be so iconic had he lived? Add to that another miscasting in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal and you bring yourself to another logical conclusion: Nolan's female leads tend to be poor choices and his characterization of them usually proves to be his movies' weakest link.
Therefore, Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway? The conclusion almost writes itself.
Good to know I was wrong...well, at least on one of them.

It may not be a bad idea to revisit the first two movies before you completely dedicate yourself to the third, for the connections are all there and in most cases, certain things that you might have forgotten, tend to bite you on the ass in this final chapter of Nolan's masterful trilogy (minor mistakes included).

Being a supporter of a good, old 1 1/2 hour movie, these recent 2 1/2 hour ones gave me a bit of a stiff neck, a numb butt and a feeling that it could have all been said in a lot less time with a lot less effort and, like a romantic that I am, I kept hoping that one day, one of those long-running blockbusters would prove me wrong.
Boys and girls, that day has arrived.

I could hardly come up with better praise for what I've seen except to say that I shed secret tears from time to time and that my movie-theatre audience erupted into spontaneous ovations when the credits rolled. Sure, I could open a dictionary and find synonyms for awesome, but you get where I'm going with this.
From the opening scene, right till the ending, it grabs you, holds you and never lets you go so that, once you leave, you want to go back. The question here is not have you seen The Dark Knight Rises? It is, rather, how many times have you seen The Dark Knight Rises?
Trust me, the answer will not be once. It shouldn't be.

There were a couple of things I didn't like (ending not being one of them): Cotillard's shitty acting, for one. And Nolan's unexplainable wish to mix her into all of this when, even without her character, it would have led to the same conclusion.
Early on, when Joseph Gordon Levitt's Blake figures out Batman's identity, you can't help but think how the basis for it was above lame. But, you get over it sooner than you might have thought.

Comissioner Gordon, Alfred, Fox are all there, all masterfully portrayed by Oldman, Caine and Freeman. But, that's a standard we learnt to expect. But, then, as the plot enters its climax, so does this review.
Hardy as Bane is breathtaking. Throughout the movie, you only get one glimpse at his face without his mask on and it says quite a lot about Hardy's ability to carry his role via the eyes and his physique. And what a physique that was! The much-debated voice has been tweeked and you get to hear it in all of its glory. Hardy/Bane was one of the baddest bad-asses I've seen in years and he fucking owned his part to perfection. And even though in a DC world you should never compare, hell....I prefered Bane to Joker. There, I said it.

Hathaway's Catwoman was a huge, huuuuuge surprise. Having never particularly liked her style of acting, I had some trepidation when she was cast (as explained earlier on). However, not only does she pull it off, she does it in such a way that you start feeling guilty that you ever questioned it. She packs, seals and delivers wonderfully.

And then you're left with the magnificence of Christian Bale. (Too many positive adjectives here? I said there would be). Look, being a girl, I grew up having a major crush on him ever since his Newsies days and no matter what you might think of him, you can never, ever claim that he's not dedicated to his craft and is not as talented as they get. He was the reason that Batman was a huge hit, let's not forget that. And while he took a step back in the second movie and allowed Ledger to dominate (script-wise), this third installment is through and through a Batman-character movie, or should I say Bale's. And it has so many similarities with the first that I can't help but be grateful (we even get Neeson again).

So, uber-long review is coming to its end. I could rate it 9 point something, above-mentioned flaws and all, but my emotional side gets better of me, from time to time. Without futher ado, and with such ease, I grant it 10 out of 10 and am off to watch it again, as soon as I can.
As should you.

Jul 30, 2012

Safe House is not safe and highly forgettable.

Here's a review for you: I have seen it weeks ago and completely forgot about it.

Should I expand on this? To all of you out there reading our little blog, this should be enough. But, knowing how I get off on talking trash, why stop here?

Mediocre, predictable, action packed to the extreme, lack of dialogue (mind you, I'm not talking about good dialogue here, a couple of connected sentences would have been nice).

This transition of Ryan Reynolds' from comedies to action-hero aspirations is probably going smoothly in his mind and, esthetically, he has the tools to pull it off, the only problem being - I just can't see him as such and am not invested in his acting/physical characteristics to such an extent that I will ever be able to say:"Wow! Can't wait for another Ryan Reynolds' movie!"

Denzel, on the other hand, has seen better days and even though he's supposed to be a bad guy turn good (or whatever), you spend more than half of the movie seriously disliking him. Alas, since you feel exactly the same for Reynolds, there's no point in watching, is there?

In all honesty, now that The Dark Knight Rises is out, why the hell would I even bother recommending/reviewing this? Oh, well...

6 out of 10.

Jul 4, 2012

Dark Shadows should be left in the dark.

Not to be a prude, and a bitch at the same time (I'm usually saving it for later on in the reviews), but here's a short retrospective of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborations:

Edward Scissorhands (lovely in that '80's sort of way), Ed Wood (good), Sleepy Hollow (ok), Corpse Bride (uhm....), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (bullshit), Alice in Wonderland (major bullshit), Sweeney Todd (above bullshit) and Dark Shadows (since the adjectives are given in a descending value, take a guess where this one's rating's at).

Here's what I learnt in life - every good relationship turns into sour one eventually. Burton-Depp has been going on for, what, 22 years? Break up, you two, honeymoon's been long over. Give it a rest, for god's sake. Shouldn't the latest flop be evidence enough?!

I swear, I couldn't figure out if Dark Shadows was aimed at spitting into the audience's face as a Burton's mash of absolutely everything he has ever done, thus plastering it onto the screen and giving the viewers one big, juicy, in your face, fuck off of a lifetime? Or, did he actually think it's all good, all great, all amazing?

Being a remake of a show from the '60's is one thing, but being this fucking bad is another - and what's so awesome about it is that you can't tell who was worse in it: Johnny, Michelle Pfeifer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Lee Miller....and the list goes on and on. The actual highlight of its trashiness, do you even doubt it?, comes at a point when Burton decides to put Alice Cooper in it, just to spice things up - in a bad combo a la John Waters.

I was horrified - and I usually enjoy being horrified. This time, it was the type of horrified that makes you ask for your money back. Too bad that where I live, there are no refunds.

5 out of 10 - and that's being generous.

21 Jump Street - jump towards it.

The original series was way, way before my time and judging by Youtube clips, it was the '80's standard catapulting Depp into stardom. I wasn't too sure about its merits, 20 or so years later, and had a hell of a time trying to figure out the role of Jonah Hill in this one.

No high expectations there, especially since I hold Channing Tatum in no high regard. But, these days, it seems as if he's everywhere and this sudden interest to put him into whatever roles that are out there reminds me of Mark Wahlberg's transition from music to movies and his subsequent ever-presence in almost every genre.

Having said all this, it's not as bad as I initially thought. On the contrary, it gives quite a number of laugh outloud moments and even though the cliches are there and the plot in itself hasn't got too much to offer (I presume the sequel is in the works), it's a decent movie to watch, if you're up for shits and giggles.

Depp's cameo may or may not come as a surprise and once the movie eventually comes to it, nobody really cares that much - that is, if you're a die hard fan of the '80's show, then I suppose you'll be terribly disappointed.

As a comedy, and a stand-alone movie, it's worth your shot - heaven knows, there are a lot worse things out there and if you decide to be picky about it, there's not much you're actually gonna go and see. Convinced you yet?

6.5 out of 10

Jun 18, 2012

Man on a Ledge presents: Genesis Rodriguez's boobs.

Here's what you need to know:

I swar to god, this movie was like a product placement commercial, with her boobs harasisng you whenever possible. It was just crazy how, without any provocation or relevancy to the plotline, the boobs were always front and centre. Sure, if you're a guy, you're not going to see anything wrong in it, and I don't mind, in most cases, but this was verging on absurd and greatly reducing the overall quality of this movie.

Not that there's much quality to start with. As I've said in my earlier review, Sam Worthington can't pick a movie if his erection depended on it. And the newfound ever-presence of Elizabeth Banks (who I liked on 30 Rock but disliked in almost everything else) almost makes a certain balance in favour of mediocrity rather than shittiness. And just when you think it's a decent movie, you get the ending that - always and regularly - shits on the whole thing.

Oh, and the plot is way too predictable, there's no wow, I never expected this! here and the only surprise you're going to get is seeing Ed Harris looking really old.

6 out of 10.

The Woman in Black almost bores you to death.

I mean...I don't....I'm speechless.

What the fuck was this?! It was being presented as a horror-thriller, something that Daniel Radcliffe probably decided to do to get his Harry Potter stigmata off of him.

Dear Daniel, you're always going to be Harry, do us a favour and stop acting. What's the point? Also, he is completely wrong for this role, his physique does not match one of a father to a young child - which is 80% of this movie's plot. He looks absolutely ridiculous. The other 20% belong to "the woman in black" who barely makes an appearance and when she does, with all that screaming, you wished she didn't.

Apparently, the flop of this movie was not great enough to stop them from making a sequel, or as one article claims, "a franchise". Dear god.

There are too many implicitly bad scenes here, stupid, stupid sub-plots and retarded dialogues, but the ending....oh, the ending....makes this whole disaster seem on a level of a radionuclear leak.

Ciaran Hinds, who already had a devastatingly bad experience with Ghost Rider:Vengeance apparently decided it was not enough - self destruction is imminent. I suppose he desperately needs money...or he's mentally unstable. Why, Caesar, why?!!

5 out of 10.

Young Adult disappoints.

Written by Diablo Cody (whose previous literary engagements include Juno and Jennifer's Body).
Directed by Jason Reitman (Juno and Up in the Air).

If you want a slow direction with that low budget feel to it (except it's not) and a story that goes nowhere (even though it has a promising start) be my guest and watch whatever collaboration Cody and Reitman decide to embark on next. I'm opting for no, thanks.

It's great when you have famous fathers, ain't it? You get to infiltrate the system and rape all of us with your artistic inclinations - which is a shame, really, since Young Adult did have an interesting plotline and an amazing Charlize Theron who abso-fucking-lutely nailed this to perfection. Too bad the rest was a blah.

I hoped for comedy but, naturally, it turned out to be drama. But that's not why I dislike it so much. If it were darker, it would have been a whole lot better. If it were lighter, so-so. But, being what it was, it just failed to live up to its trailer potential.

5,5 out of 10.

Jun 17, 2012

This Means War...although, it could also mean Highly Unlikely.

I have two major problems, aside from a hundred minor ones, with this movie:

1. Two hot CIA guys, best friends, fighting over Reese Witherspoon.
Reese the Chin Witherspoon.
Totally plausable.

2. You might consider this a spoiler but......she DOES NOT choose Tom Hardy.
Come on! How could you not?! Tom the Hots Hardy! Are you kidding me?!

Anyhow, Chelsea Handler as Reese's best friend is above irritating, that's a completely new level that she's managed to garner trying to be an actress. Come to think of it, she does not differ much from Reese so there you have it. An absolutely insignificant movie, mimicking Mr and Mrs Smith vibe that manages to be even worse (is it possible?!) than the original.

Too bad for Hardy, I thought he knew better...but, still, I have a feeling he'll recompense for this one as Bane. Fingers crossed.

5 out of 10.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - porn quality.

So.........ummmm..........yeah. Define bad and than add some. This is standard practice for Nicolas Cage now, of course, but seeing Idris Elba (from Luther) and Ciaran Hinds (from Rome and basically everything else) is indeed a shocker. Why, oh why, did they feel the need to ruin their opus with this stinker?

I don't know if this was supposed to be made for TV or some sort of an indie production but it fails on so many levels that, in the end, its crapiness gets to have a certain entertainment value. Or, in other words, if you have a joint nearby, this is the perfect movie to light it to.

You need further nudges? Well, here goes: Christopher Lambert's in this too.

Rating for this would be a bitch. Don't know, between 2 or 3, or maybe even higher, depending on how high you are :) Enjoy.

Wrath of the Titans - whatever.

Well, hello there, friends and foes! I have been awoken from my self-induced blog-writing abstinence by a fellow reader, criticizing us for slacking it off. So, wait, we actually have readers?!

Being in demand, I've ventured on a quest of watching eligible movies only to end up with (just my luck) pure crap. So, what is going to ensue are 9 reviews of surprisingly (or not so much) bad movies which will, surely, as of tonight, put me into the category of a prolific reviewer (Hear that, Deathstroke? GAME ON!)

Before I start, I would like to dedicate my first review to Mr. Nikola Zavisin, who's been instrumental to my return to the literary genre known as destructive criticism. Or, as I like to call it, jerking it off through the keyboard (metaforically, of course, I don't have a dick...alas)

So, Wrath of the Titans proves, yet again, that all-star cast never adds to the quality and that 3D prefix regularly hints at the movie's utter shittiness. Granted, Wrath of the Titans is slightly better than Clash of the Titans and it is safe to say that the third installment is probably already under way, though I really see no point in it, but who's asking me.

I'm getting really tired of all the Gods and Titans and the Immortals, Henry Cavill's Theseus, Sam Worthington's Perseus, maybe it's not politically correct to say it - kudos to Greek mithology and all - but it feels as if I'm watching the same movie over and over and over again.

The already epic lack of Liam Neeson's and Ralph Fiennes' standards in choosing a decent role is not something I'm going to dwell on, but having seen Man on a Ledge I got to ask: is Sam Worthington on a personal quest to destroy his career? Does the man even have 1 (ONE) good movie? And don't tell me - Avatar. Really? REALLY?!

So, yeah, sure, watch it. It's a 6, and compared to my upcoming reviews, it doesn't get better than that.

May 6, 2012

The Avengers - Marvel's praised child of glorious continuity.

Right, so I went to see this not expecting anything. I am pleased and aggravated to say that it delivered greatly, but at the same time, also failed miserably. Before the hateful cringe, please let me elaborate.

First of all, the script. Really? Loki made a BFF? With a Chitauri? How the fuck did that happen? In case you're not familiar with this wonderful race, let me enlighten you. They are a kind of space-wandering aiding puppeteers. They like to infiltrate and mimic things, in order to push some kind of agenda (e.g. helping the Nazis). The invasion type scenario shown in The Avengers is not likely to happen. And I'm not even mentioning what kind of advanced technology they possess that would utterly invalidate their need for an aggressive invasion.

Secondly, why the fuck would a fucking god rely and hang out with Hawkeye or Black Widow? He's a fucking god! I mean, fuck a god who needs help from a dude who shoots arrows. I fail to see how this is a valid scenario: "Greetings, I am Thor, son of Odin, the god of thunder and the strongest of all Asgardians. I wield the mighty mjolnir, can fly, and even travel through time - yet, I'm really in the need of Robin Hood and Mata Hari with guns to help me out." Yeah, valid as fuck.

Thirdly (it's a word), the Hulk. If my knowledge of the character is correct, he is a monster "powered" by rage. Yet, a simple bike ride helped him control this monstrous beast? Plot abyss, anyone?

Fourthly, fifthly... The list of frustration goes on and on. However, this has already been deemed the best superhero movie of all times. When did we stop caring about the story a movie holds? Today it's all about who can create the best looking CGI of Manhattan being reduced to rubble. Wow, how inspiring.

Now, remember how I said that, although the movie failed in so many ways, it also delivered? Well, I'm getting to that. It made out to be quite a good mash-up. Both the heroes and the lesser ones played their part, some flew and others ran around. I even had a few laughs - Iron Man and the Hulk took well care of that. The CGI and the widespread destruction looked beautiful. And the acting was great, minus Scarlett Johansson - she couldn't bare a roll if her life depended on it. Latex and leather are another story. And that's about it.

Summary or tl;dr: Robert Downey Jr. still fucking owns, my girlfriend had an orgasm every time Hemsworth took the stage, CGI destruction was great, the movie itself was a total clusterfuck.

Due to the fun factor and the fun factor only: 8 out of 10 tops!