OoF Lite: McConnaughay Reviews

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The Bib-iest of Nickels
I will be starting of a YouTube channel sometime in 2015, but before that, I figured that I might as well put my reviews to paper for when the time comes. OoF Lite will be a subsidiary to my eventual writing website, and the idea is for the reviews to be around five or six minutes apiece.

Catch Me If You Can - Very Good
Blood Diamonds - Good
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Good
Cape Fear - Slightly Above Average
In Time - Decent
Hollow Man - Decent
Oldboy (remake) - Passable
The Family - Passable
Kick-Ass 2 - Sub-Par
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - Sub-Par
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Sub-Par
Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo - Mediocre
Chilling Visions: Five Senses of Fear - Mediocre
Lords of Salem - Bad
Hollow Man 2 - Very Bad

The Bib-iest of Nickels

I didn't really know what to expect whenever I discovered Perfume on a shelf at the rental store, but I had heard rumblings about the movie from time to time. Most notably, I remember reading a summary about the plot and being filled with a since of intrigue. I learned that it was based on a 1985 novel written by Patrick Suskind, but I never really noticed that the setting was 18th century France. For those that are unaware, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 German thriller directed by Tom Tykwer. What's funny is while watching this movie, I made this subconscious connection to Cloud Atlas, only to find out that it was actually done by the same director. The movie stars Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Hurd-Wood, and to their credit, everybody is able to bring about an admirable performance by the conclusion of the movie.

The film tells the tale of a boy that grows up at an orphanage, facing numerous hardships while simultaneously honing a peculiar ability that makes him unique, this being his sense of smell. He doesn't take a liking to the deemed normality of life, doesn't take satisfaction in many so-called pleasurable activities, but constantly finds himself infatuated with various smells. He doesn't hold prejudice over good or bad ones, but merely holds the guideline that they have to keep being unique. There were two comparisons that I found myself making with this character, Casey Affleck's performance as Robert Ford in the Assassination of Jesse James and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. I made the comparison to Robert Ford because the character's portrayal isn't one that you are supposed to be rooting for. He's technically the protagonist, but he's not really an antihero, you completely accept that he's a vile human-being that is completely obsessed, but he doesn't necessarily do anything that makes you want to root for him.

Similar to Robert Ford, I think that Ben Whishaw does a terrific job with his performance, coming across as genuinely awkward, bizarre, bewildered, and disinterested in the world around him. And a lot of that leads to why I make the comparison to Frankenstein, like Frankenstein, the character eventually does terrible things, but he never seems to empathize or comprehend that what he is doing is bad. However, that's where the comparisons end because, unlike Frankenstein, this character is only interested in indulging in his own addiction, which is a precise way of describing what this movie is about. I believe that the character alone is enough reason to recommend this movie, but there is more to be said about this movie than merely praising alone.

Perfume has a run-time of one-hundred and forty-seven minutes which doesn't manage to match Cloud Atlas' near three-hours, it does, however, manage to induce a feeling of being dragged out. Given it what is due, there is a fair amount going on within the movie, however, it feels so disproportionate and inconsistent with what the message is meant to be that it's easy to become disinterested. I believe that a lot of the scenes were unneeded or stretched in-such a way that you could probably get across the exact same thing, all of the scenes and everything, in under two hours. There is also a certain ridiculousness to the concept itself that felt unnecessary, for example, there are a lot of scenes where the protagonist is able to smell things from literally miles and miles away. There's a difference between being obsessive and having superpowers. I don't believe that it was necessary, I don't believe that it really added to the in-depth look into obsession, and while it may have made enjoyable scenes from a cinematographic perspective, I don't believe they were needed for the story.

Then, I wonder whether or not I am actually justified for annoyance when it comes to his smelling ability when I am fully aware that the audacity of this film propels itself onward to uncharted territory by the conclusion. There is only one problem about it though, I like what they did in the final thirty or so minutes. I mean, it was an absolute mess of random and mind-jarring happenings that it is likely capable of turning somebody's brain into mush, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it. I thought it was very bizarre, and very different, but the problem is that I never believed that the movie itself could have been capable of such an intricate and bewildering climax. They didn't go together at all whatsoever, something more grimed in-reality, it came off more uneven than it should have, like squeezing a square block into a slot specifically made for circles or two puzzle-pieces that only fit because you make them fit.

In an effort to keep it simple, I'll summarize my thoughts with a final verdict: The movie isn't absent of ambition, and oftentimes, it even has the merit capable to back it up. Ben Whishaw brings a very powerful performance about a despicable and morally repugnant, however, that isn't enough to keep from being undermined by a script and story that don't really have a steady rhythm about them. It feels allover the place, but if you can focus yourself long enough to find reason in the madness, I do believe that there is a lot of enjoyment to be had with Perfume.

Rabies and germs, the word is out on the street, and it was a sneaking suspicion that I have carried ever since seeing Devil's Rejects, but I do believe that Rob Zombie is, in-fact, not a terrible director. I think that it's something that little will agree on because of his music and/or the subject-matter of his movies, but I appreciate a lot of his work. House of 1,000 Corpses was enjoyable, whereas Devil's Rejects merely expanded on that, with an uncanny way of making you root for the serial-killers and feel devastation when they're in jeopardy. He isn't Quentin Tarantino, however, at the very least, I found for him to be a capable director. He eventually transferred over to dangerous territory by reshaping Micheal Myers from Halloween in a remake and a later sequel. I know that the reception from critics about the remake is negative, but I know a lot that enjoyed it, and I thought that it added a different dimension to the Michael Myers character. I don't know for certain whether or not I would call it on-par with the first or fourth movie, but I found it to be a massive improvement over H20 and Resurrection. There is a lot more profanity and vulgarity in the movie, I don't believe that a lot of it is needed, but all in all, the remake got my approval.

The sequel, however, I found to be absolutely terrible on all accounts, and is possibly the worst of the franchise, excluding the intriguing but tedious Season of the Witch, and including Resurrection. With all of this being said, I approve a lot of what Rob Zombie has been doing. However, I do believe that he may very well be regressing as a director with Halloween II and what I will be reviewing now, The Lords of Salem.

For those that aren't aware, The Lords of Salem is a 2012 Canadian-American horror film starring Sheri Moon Zombie, who is featured as a significant character in all of Rob Zombie's films. There is other familiar faces as well, shades of Robert Rodriguez and other directors, Rob Zombie has a handful of individuals that he particularly likes to shoot in movies. As far as the story is concerned, it follows a disillusioned radio-host that awkwardly becomes entangled with a coven of ancient witches. From the beginning, this movie doesn't have a lot of appeal to me considering the fact that horror-movies about witch-trials have already been iterated hundreds of times before. There is a certain psychedelic feeling that comes across in the cinematography and scenery when it comes to how everything tends to unfold. And that is a very friendly way of saying that the movie comes across as an incoherent mess that barely makes a lick of sense that substitutes through deliberately bizarre scenes, which are bizarre for the sake of being bizarre.

If there is anything that I have to praise about this movie, I suppose that it would have to be the camerawork itself. Which, although, is filming an absolute mess, captures it in a such a desolate and bleak way that actually works to add something, even if it doesn't add enough.

There were a lot of critics that argued that this movie wouldn't appeal to mainstream audiences, and I find that to be a scapegoat meant to keep this movie from receiving the criticisms that it deserves. The movie doesn't propel itself through character-development or actual unique intricacies, but rather decides to depend entirely off of nonsensical scene after another. There are moments during the movie where it actually starts achieving a level of atrocity where you start mistaking it for nothing more than a joke that's meant to be laughed at simply because of how stupid it is. Sherri Moon Zombie delivers a performance that isn't anything worth jumping up and down about, however, there isn't any moments where you actually are given a chance to appreciate her as a character, there isn't any development whatsoever. There are shots of her naked once or twice, along with a million or so others that appear naked throughout the movie, but there isn't any actual worthwhile dialogue.

While I would like to rattle on and on about what my problems were, in an effort to keep it simple, I'll wraps things up with a final verdict. Rob Zombie was trying to achieve something that different and unique from everything else that he has already tried thus far in his acting career. However, it feels more like a step backwards than forward, I found it to be an attempt at being symbolic and metaphorical that felt more forced than anything else. There were times where the movie dragged on and on, and I was merely waiting for it to end. It was an attempt that simply didn't work, and I think that a bad movie resulted from it.

Catch Me If You Can had a lot to live up to as far as my expectations went, I can remember my older brother calling it one of the greatest movies that he has ever seen, critics adored it, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks have only gotten more appreciation from me over the years. Tom Hanks' performance wasn't anything particularly amazing, however, he was an applicable adversary to Leonardo DiCaprio's character. He wasn't bad, but I never really connected with his character, he felt like a lovable buffoon before transitioning into what was supposedly a worthy combatant. Their feud didn't necessarily captivate me in the same way that Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon did in The Departed, but Leonardo DiCaprio felt extremely comfortable in his role. Christopher Walken does well in the movie, playing Frank Abagnale's father.

There are a lot of movies that I tend to overlook by Leonardo DiCaprio, merely because their covers don't make me feel as though I am in for an amazing movie. The Aviator was an example of this, looking very, very generic, reminiscent of Jake Gyllenhaal's October Sky, but then, when I watched it, I realized that the movie was actually extremely well put together and DiCaprio did extremely well in his role. This movie was a lot like that at first, which probably explains why it has taken me so long to actually take the time to watch the movie. The cover looked like of a comedy than anything else, and while there are a lot of funny moments, the movie offers a whole lot more in-terms of depth.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a teenage-boy named Frank Abagnale that runs away from his family, encumbered with a cheating mother and shady father, both loving, and he begins to utilize his wits for tax fraud, stealing millions of dollars from the government. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks plays Carl Hanratty, the FBI agent that is desperately trying to catch him. This is, of course, based on a true-story, similar to The Aviator, and while I am certain that there is probably a lot of inaccuracies or modifications done to glamorize the ordeal, a lot of the happenings make for strong entertainment. Leonardo DiCaprio's character is so confident, calm, and quite frankly, he makes it look so easy.

While I believe the movie falls short of other movies including Leonardo DiCaprio like The Departed, Django Unchained, and The Aviator, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had and it can most certainly be seen as another great movie in Leonardo's resume.

I always approach horror anthology films with caution, there are exceptions such as Trick 'r Treat that manage to actually capture something remotely unique or refreshing, but at least when it comes to a compilation of unique stories oftentimes from unique directors, it's a mixed-bag that is leaning more toward negativity when it comes to my perspective. V/H/S wasn't very well-done, and it's sequel was even worse, while Three ... Extremes was only passable. Obviously, this isn't a strong representation of all of the horror anthology films out-there, but I have found that it's usually either terrible or adequate, and there isn't ever a moment whenever I believe I have witnessed something well-done on all accounts. Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear doesn't do much of anything at all whatsoever to change my stance, but I didn't feel the need to grind my teeth from beginning to end.

As the full-name would suggest, the film is an anthology assembled around five senses, these being touch, see, listen, taste, and smell, albeit not in that order. Similar to a lot of other anthology films, Chilling Visions does not have a wraparound story, but rather, it only has occasional connections between all five films, primarily a mysterious company called Watershed is featured throughout. A lot of anthology films tend to bring about known directors, for example, Three ... Extremes had Park Chan-wook, who served as the saving grace for that movie in my opinion. The ABC's of Death also had some known directors contributing, to name a few, I know that the directors of Time Crimes, Shutter, and Sightseers all respectively added their contributions. However, as far as directors known, I couldn't figure out who any of these directors are, and I don't recognize any of the actors for that matter.

However, that doesn't have to be a bad thing as long as the acting and directing both excel, it doesn't make a difference whether or not they are experienced. However, that is where the problem lies, because in this movie, there are a compilation of interesting ideas. All of the ideas are interesting in their own way, however, they aren't flushed out properly without the care necessary to make the ideas function properly. For example, one of them is about a song that carries a melody that is evidently capable of killing whoever hears it. The idea is there, and to a certain extent, the acting is believable, however, how they present the idea on the screen makes it difficult to appreciate. That's one of the biggest problems with anthology films is that it's an idea that is bunched and smashed down in-order to keep it from being a film in its own right. They don't have the opportunity to build suspense, emotion, or get the viewer invested in their idea, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if they weren't trying to build suspense and emotion.

It's bad because they can't build emotion, or at least, they don't, and they don't build suspense, rather, it feels like they are trying to complete a checklist for all of the things necessary to formulate a coherent storyline. In an effort to keep it simple, I'll summarize by saying that the movie has ideas and uniqueness to be found within it that will at least provide a certain novelty or entertainment-value. There will be times where you see scenes and think to yourself, "That could have been cool if they would have done it better," and that's about the extent of it. Whereas, there will also be times where you find yourself having to endure something that feels inorganic or generic meant as a substitute for authenticity and the constructs of immerse storytelling. There's one or two good ideas, but for every good one, there's five or six bad ones that follow, however, the acting isn't bad, and it wasn't what I would call terrible.

I like Rob Zombie as The Devil's Rejects is one of my favorite movies. Like yourself, The Lords of Salem is not really my type of movie, but I enjoyed it. Sheri Moon probably had a lot to do with that though. If it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't have liked it.

I haven't seen the others, but Perfume sounds pretty interesting and I was already planning on seeing Catch me if you Can.

Great reviews!

Love your review of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN...I agree with just about every word and I, too, was curiously unmoved by Hanks' performance. Maybe it's a little surface, but I found the accent he used in that performance extremely distracting.

The Bib-iest of Nickels

Oldboy (remake)
I don't really have enough words to articulate everything that I want to get across in this review, and that isn't just because I already wrote this entire review before but lost it because of a ****** backspace key, but rather, because there's such a vagueness behind the selective words that have been chosen to do my thoughts justice. For those that aren't aware, the movie that I am looking at is a 2013 American remake of Park Chan-wook's 2013 film of the same name. The movie stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley, while Spike Lee takes the reigns as far as directing goes. Both movies have considerable differences to be considered, however, they all center around a character that escapes after having been held hostage for decades in a hotel-room as he seeks revenge toward the person that has held him captive.

I think that it's safe to say that the majority of the viewing public that had seen the original movie was welcoming this remake with the utmost of optimism. Remakes have always carried this stigma about them, and I think a lot of the pessimism is justifiable when you look back at history. There has been countless remakes that have failed to capture the same credibility as the movie in-which they took inspiration, however, I have always tried to approach them with an open-mind. I didn't necessarily jump for joy whenever I heard that they were making an American adaptation of Oldboy, but that's because there is no reason whatsoever to do so. The remake isn't meant to be solely targeting the individuals that enjoyed the original, in-fact, that isn't even to be considered the leading demographic. These are the times when I feel that remakes are understandable and actually have an existence that carries relevance, when it is trying to share its story with an audience that otherwise would never hear it.

I know that one response is, "Well, why don't they watch the original?" And those that say that have allowed the concept behind an American-adaptation fly over their head. While I enjoy foreign-movies, I understand that other individuals may not have the same interests as me. They may not enjoy subtitles, dubs, or they may have simply never cared enough to discover a movie like Oldboy. This isn't a fault against them, and is mere personal preference. Which brings about the relevance of an American-adaptation, and sometimes, they will actually capture the same sentimentality brought about by the original, or at the very least, hit some of the strong notes. For example, Let Me In, while not as good as Let the Right One In, captured a lot of the best scenes and had actors that treated the story with respect.

At the same time, a remake is the equivalent of walking on eggshells, because it's so easy to break what was made special about that film. While Spike Lee's Oldboy doesn't exactly do justice to the original, I do believe that it's at least an average movie with interesting ideas.

I'll start off by saying that the first thing that I noticed about this movie is something that I believe will be significant for those that are fans of the original and are unsure whether or not they want to give this movie a chance. I do believe that this movie carries enough diverseness from the original to offer something that can at least be enjoyed to a certain degree. Similar to The Crow being followed by City of Angels, Salvation, and Wicked Prayer, Spike Lee's film carries the basic-premise but makes moderate tweaks to how everything comes about. (and just like The Crow sequels, all of it isn't exactly for the better.)

The movie has more of a straight-forward narrative behind it, it pieces things together and doesn't really have much in the way of complications. However, the original had something of a nonlinear unpredictability about it that really enabled for it to be delved into like you were entering a spectacle. A lot of that has to do with the performance of the lead, played by Choi Min-sik. He comes across as somebody that feels incredibly deprived, isolated, and as if he has perhaps come to the brink of insanity, whereas while Josh Brolin brings out a decent performance, doesn't really carry any of those traits. He seems more robotic than anything, as if we're dealing with a complete and utter bad-ass. As an example, I'll bring sight over to a scene with a hammer, in-which both characters fight off a group of people. In the original, the protagonist comes off awkward and slow, as if reacting in the way that somebody would actually expect for him to react. Whereas in the remake, Josh Brolin basically dominates, and it feels like a scene from an action-movie more than anything else.

I will say that there's a lot more depth to the characters in the remake, they actually go into more details about each character, and leave somewhat subtle little hints leading to the movie's conclusion. They also incorporate a lot of interesting elements about the protagonist's character, and do something more with him checking off people from a list. However, I don't think that it actually changed anything for the better. While we don't exactly get the most detailed of back-stories regarding the characters, there's a certain whimsical mystique about it, I really enjoyed the cinematography and directing, everything felt grimy, desolate, and everything meshed together nicely. I feel like, while you could technically look at the story of the original and remake and say that the remake checks-off more, it's the way that they did it which really hooked me in.

The biggest criticism that I can offer about the remake is that it doesn't really hammer in end, which is absolutely the best part of the movie. It differentiates considerably, however, whenever it happened in the original, it felt like a big event, whereas in the remake, it doesn't. Obviously, I am not going to have the initial surprise, but I believe that it doesn't have the same result in the remake as it did in the original.

In an effort to wrap this up quickly, I'll conclude with saying that Spike Lee's Oldboy has a lot of what made the original great, in that, it has the basics of the story, and by that alone, somebody experiencing the concept for the first time will probably appreciate it. However, the original had a better performance from the lead, and a director that knew exactly what he was doing.

Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo
Rabies and germs, I absolutely adore animation, it's a phase that started in childhood and never went away, and while adulthood altered some in that regard, adulthood never fazed me. Teen Titans started in 2003, and nobody really knew what to expect, the animation was silly and over-the-top, taking some inspiration from anime, and bringing together a cast of superheroes that never had the spotlight. By the time that it ended in 2006, I can with complete certainty that I enjoyed it every bit as much as Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, the 90's Spider-Man, and X-Men Evolution. A lot of the episodes would either be hit or miss, sometimes they would be ridiculously silly, but whenever they put all their effort into something, it turned out extremely well-done. The chemistry and well-done feud with Slade Wilson and Robin is one of the finest that I have ever seen, and they knocked in out of the park with the episodes with Raven and her father.

Before long, my brother and I discovered a new Teen Titans, a flash-comedy called Teen Titans Go!, and while their cast is great, they have a long way before they are ready to entertain anyone. (REFERENCES!)

All joking aside, they have been doing Teen Titans Go! and aside from the occasion laugh, it offers nothing of relative worth whatsoever especially in-comparison to the actual show. And realizing that, I began looking, besides obviously the comic-books, there has to be more of this dynamic faction, something that I swept under the rug like a lazy janitor, and then, I remembered that there was a TV-movie called Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. For those that are unaware, Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is a 2006 animated film which premiered on Cartoon Network, and features David Slack returning after leaving once finishing the fourth season. Most fans of the series are aware that there is only two ways that Teen Titans seems to be able to go, it can either try to be funny or be serious. If it tries to be funny, it's usually a mess of campy either that is either hit or miss, but usually miss, but if it's serious, we are almost always in for something special. Whether it be Robin reflecting on good and evil, some of the bizarre intricacies of Raven's past, Cyborg's desires to be human, or Beast Boy and Tara's relationship.

In Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, they are trying to be funny, at least for the most part. A Japanese villain that goes by the name of Saico-Tek attacks the Titans, and through some shenanigans, the Teen Titans find themselves heading to Tokyo in his pursuit. The underlying story is the brewing relationship between Starfire and Robin. There's entertainment-value to be found in Trouble in Tokyo, the action-scenes are particularly good, but it doesn't kick it into another gear. It feels as if they took an average episode of the show and ballooned into into an hour long special, while if they would have taken The End: Part 1-3, and turned it into a movie, it would have probably been the best animated-movie that the Warner Bros. have ever made, including Batman: Under the Red-Hood.

However, they didn't, instead, they gave the reigns to silliness and campy humor which basically summarizes just about everything that I have to say about this movie. The scenes with Robin and Starfire don't come across as heartfelt or troublesome, I am not immersed with them, and with that being the only emotion to carry this movie past the humor, it's really difficulty to be entertained. There is something of a whodunnit as well, however, it's something that I am almost certain half the viewing audience will have predicted within the first thirty or forty minutes of the movie. In conclusion, I don't really want to come off as too negative because a lot of the elements that can be found in this movie can actually be found in the Teen Titans show, however, those particular elements are the ones that ultimately held it back. There is no in-depth characters, and it doesn't really feel like anything other than a big, stupid movie for a show that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson & The Olympians is amongst the several young-adult books attempting to capture the same, ahem, lightning in a bottle that Harry Potter was able to seize. I'll open this up with saying that I absolutely adored Harry Potter as a book-series and movie-franchise, and I believe that they have cinematic brilliance on numerous accounts. Ever since Harry Potter's success, there has been a lot that have tried to do something similar, and some of them have even succeeded. For example, while Twilight obviously wasn't able to garner the same critical success, it was able to capture a considerable amount of success. And more recently, The Hunger Games has begun carrying the torch as a money-maker and well-received movie-franchise based on young-adult books. However, for all of these, there are those that don't make strong critical success and those that don't capture the audience as what they were aiming for.

Whether it be Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, or Vampire Academy, there are countless that try to play off of that bewildering formula that made individuals gravitate toward the more popular franchises. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the first step toward a middleman. While the movie hardly got critical acclaim, the movie was followed by a sequel, which is also soon to be followed by a sequel, and made made over two-hundred million dollars in the box-office. And so, where do we begin, where it begins, of course, and so, let's look at this adaptation of the highly beloved Percy Jackson book-series.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a 2010 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus, who, besides discovering America, actually is responsible for directing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as well as Chamber of Secrets. It stars Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, as well as one or two others that I don't feel like naming. I suppose that it's time for a roll-call, we have a director that has already proven himself capable of directing a young-adult movie, and who are the actors? We have the main-girl from the Texas Chainsaw movie, that I wanted to see naked, but they were like, no, and instead gave me a terrible movie. Then, there's Brandon T. Jackson, who I have never heard-of, but last and most important to me, we have Logan Lerman. After making this movie, Logan Lerman would go onto have a tremendous performance in a movie alongside Emma Watson, called The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and so, that's enough for me to go ahead and say, I am sold for this movie! but then, I watched it.

The story incorporates numerous intricacies brought about by Greek mythology, declaring Percy Jackson as the demigod son of Poseidon, and telling us about how Zeus' magical thunderbolt has been stolen, leaving with Percy to take the blame. This leaves for Percy Jackson to come face to face with his destiny, collect some magical orb-things, before delving into the underworld for a reason that he hasn't really thought out. The movie has an extremely fast-pace that doesn't ever take the time to breath at all, not even, not even once, not even once, once, once, and that's a jagged pill to swallow whenever you consider that it actually carries a run-time of almost two-hours. Let's get an understanding here, the movie is two-hours long, and that doesn't stop it from feeling ridiculously high-paced. As I have already said before, there are two other main-characters opposite Percy Jackson, but it doesn't feel as though either of them really has much of a reason for being here.

Neither of them actually feels developed much at all whatsoever, instead, the audience feels as though it's merely supposed to accept that they are friends because the great storyteller in the sky said that this was how it had to be. Then, and this is going to hurt me to say, Logan Lerman felt extremely out of his element in this movie. I think a lot of it has to do with the writing, everything happened way too quick, and not only did it seem like the audience didn't have much of an identity for the character, I don't believe that the actor had much of an identity for the character. There are also a lot of parts in the movie that feel disproportionately childish like whenever they go into Las Vegas, and I feel like a lot of the scenes could have meant more if it felt like the movie actually seemed like it meant for them to mean more.

This movie had enough material to successfully span out as a three-hour movie, and I know that is frowned upon for whatever reason, but the alternative is something that feels premature. Similar to a photograph with a lightened tint because it was underdeveloped, yes, we might have to wait a little bit longer, but the clarity would have been certainly worth it. While the three-main characters themselves seem dangerously underdeveloped, that is nothing compared to the antagonist, and the so-called twist, feels more like the twist you'd expect from a low-budget horror movie meant to surprise you, even though the reason you wouldn't guess it is simply because of how stupid it is. Even still, I will say that the cast is capable enough to keep this from plummeting to the mediocrity of something such as Mortal Instruments, which is just absolutely awful, and there is an entertainment-value to be had with the movie.

I can't figure out whether or not it's the special-effects or the Greek mythology, but there is something about this movie that kept me at least somewhat immersed into the story that they were trying to tell. As a final verdict, I will call this a borderline average movie with entertainment value, but not nearly as enjoyable as what it could have been.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
While Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief wasn't able to reach the pinnacle of success for young-adult book movie-adaptations in the same breath as Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, it wasn't a complete and utter failure. It is certainly an improvement over movies such as Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments, and Eragon, which also yearned to achieve the same successes. At the very least, it had enough going for it that they had enough faith for a sequel, bringing the cast back together, and trying for an adaptation of the positive received novel of the same name. I watched this movie for the first time immediately after watching the Lightning Thief, suggesting that I was at least somewhat entertained and amused by the characters. I went into it expecting gradual improvements from the previous movie, and I can't completely decide whether that is what I got or not.

There were one or two tweaks that were made in-preparation for the sequel, for starters, Chris Columbus left his position as director, still serving as a producer, while Thor Freudenthal took the reigns. He is evidently responsible for Hotel for Dogs and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but I have never seen any of his work. They also added Leven Rambin and Douglas Smith to the cast. The gal known for a small role in The Hunger Games and the guy for his work on a show called Big Love. Sea of Monsters basically picks up where the first movie left off, Percy has more time under his belt with sharpening his claws, and they give us back-story on some of the camp history. I can tell you that there feels to be a gentler and less rushed feeling about the movie. The previous film felt as if it lacked a lot of the confidence that is necessary to be a success, and so, like a lot of others, it wanted to get the colorful eye-candy and visualizations on the screen and give the audience instant gratification.

Conversely, a movie franchise such as Harry Potter didn't really feel as if it made modifications to the story in an effort to have more time for the embroidery of the atmosphere, if that makes sense. Basically, Percy Jackson 2 feels more laid-back and gentle with the approach, and I appreciated that. You immediately meet the Clarisse La Rue character played by Leven Rambin, and honestly, there isn't a lot of depth to her. Honestly, it seems like the character is merely designed to annoy the audience, however, it isn't like Draco Malfoy, where she feels like an antagonist, but more like a character that you want to see killed off. As the minutes progress in the story, you'll be introduced to the new male character named Tyson, Percy Jackson's long-lost brother, who is a cyclops. I found him to be annoying, however, by the end of his movie, I don't completely hate him, which is something that I am thankful for.

After introducing these characters, I was terrified that they were going to regress to the campiest humor conceivable possibly and put the nail in the franchises' coffin before it has a chance to take off. However, barely, I do believe that this movie is an improvement over its predecessor. The movie doesn't feel nearly as allover the place and rushed as Lightning Thief, and while the two new characters are annoying, I believe that the movie is put together with more care than the last one. Sea of Monsters is mediocrity, but acceptable mediocrity because it has entertainment value. And so, as a conclusion, I will say that like the last movie, this is borderline average, however, I will say that they made gradual improvements as far as the structure goes. With this being said, I'll be waiting for The Titan's Curse.

Nice review on Oldboy; I've only seen the original once, and just liked it. I want to watch this one for the hell of it, and also try the original again as I really like that lead actor. When the remake's trailer came out, I thought it looked miscast with the exception of Elizabeth Olsen. You confirmed my feelings on Brolin in this, who I like as an actor; what did you think of Olsen?

I also like what you said about remakes. I was also thinking Hollywood should take another route. Why not remake bad films that had good ideas? I thought of this a couple days ago while watching Blow. I just kept thinking that it would be a great movie in the right hands. I'm sure there's plenty of instances of bad movies with good concepts; just a thought.

The Lords of Salem isn't a good movie, but I don't think it's terrible, either. It's . . . interesting, which is more than I can say about a lot of movies. I thought it contained some great imagery, and the more it flirted with batsh*t-crazy, the more I found myself liking it. Those first 30-to-45 minutes or so were rough, however; and I think Sherri Moon Zombie's marginal acting ability is better suited for over-the-top performances, like in HO1C and The Devil's Rejects, than in something that requires her to play it straight and subtle, as she attempts to do in Lords of Salem.

Still, the visuals in this movie alone make it worth watching, in my opinion.

The Bib-iest of Nickels
The Lords of Salem isn't a good movie, but I don't think it's terrible, either.
It just didn't do it for me. Again, I liked Rob Zombie's work with Halloween,(minus the second one) as well as House of 1,000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects.

Nice review on Oldboy; I've only seen the original once, and just liked it. I want to watch this one for the hell of it, and also try the original again as I really like that lead actor. When the remake's trailer came out, I thought it looked miscast with the exception of Elizabeth Olsen. You confirmed my feelings on Brolin in this, who I like as an actor; what did you think of Olsen?
Ah, I suppose that I neglected a few crucial aspects of critique, I had a nice little review written out before but lost it. As a result, I rewrote the review after watching a movie called Hours and it was around three or so in the morning. I might have rushed, but I'll try to rectify that.

Elizabeth Olsen has been known for taking in a lot of unique roles which is surprising given that her sisters never carried the same array. I wouldn't exactly say that she does a noteworthy effort, however, she's enjoyable. There's added intricacies and wrinkles to the character that some might find enjoyable, in this rendition of Oldboy, she is a doctor or somebody else of significance in the medical field. Unfortunately, the character doesn't have anything that I believe is too worthwhile for an actress to sink her teeth into. Solid performance from a capable actress, but nothing to jump up and down on Oprah's couch about.

Sharlto Copley portrays the antagonist, however, and I thought that he did an interesting performance in his role. I remember whenever I first watched the original movie, half of me was merely blown away and the other half of me was thinking, "This is ****ed up." And to Spike Lee's credit, they crank up the **** in this movie. Copley's rationalization and insanity feels more in-depth than the originals, it's not exactly a mind-blowing performance, but once I finished the movie, I thought to myself, "Huh, I kind-of like what they did there."

The Bib-iest of Nickels

The Family
Once upon a time, there was a movie called The Family, starring the studded cast of Robert Deniro, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pfieffer, as well as actors that I haven't heard of yet, such as Dianna Agron and John D'Leo. The directer was Luc Besson, who did work for Frontier(s) and the Taken movies. I wanted to see this movie, but alas, 'twas not all fairytale and make believe in the land of reality finds framework. Instead, my friends raved and raved about how they wanted to see Insidious: Chapter 2. As much as a horror-fan as I am, I did not want to see this movie, but when came down to it, I parted ways with my endeavors and joined them on theirs. Insidious: Chapter 2 ended up being absolutely terrible, and now, after seeing The Family, I can honestly say that I made a big mistake. I should have blazed a path of my own and let my friends catch flame in the cross-hairs.

The Family was neither adored nor beloved, with negative reviews from critics and mixed reviews from the general public, and not only that, but considering the cast, the movie was a big box-office disappointment. And yet, I enjoyed The Family, more or less, and for better or worse. As you might expect, the story focuses around a family, filled with brutality and violence raining in the crevices and dampening wherever they go with blood. However, after the Mafia is chasing after the family for their previous discrepancies, leaving for Witness Protection agencies to make brash attempts at relocating them every ninety days. They bring elements that we have already witnessed numerous times before, and it's incredibly over-the-top and crass with its delivery, however, there is some humor to be withdrawn from the nonlinear-quality regarding the story itself.

The movie continuously takes elements from classic gangster films, and for that, I think a lot of viewers will be disappointed. This movie doesn't necessarily try to measure up to any of them, but rather, it tries to pay homage, while at the same time exaggerate them. While this movie never really had a chance at winning any Academy Awards, I do believe that it does offer up some entertainment-value, and it's not as if the performances are lacking. The cast is capable and while they don't bring the best performances of their careers, I found for Robert Deniro to be particularly amusing in this movie. There was a lot of silliness to his character, and I thought that he pulled it off well. There are moments that could have been done a lot better if they wanted to crank up the emotion, for example, there's a scene where Robert Deniro's character gives his take on a movie, and it sounds like something worth getting invested in, however, they skip past in before transitioning back to the mindless incoherency that plagues the entirety of the film.

The movie is riddled with illogical happenstances, as well as nonsensical plot-holes, but core-actors kept everything together. What I praised about the movie earlier, this being the nonlinear storytelling, is also the biggest flaw about the film. The pacing feels absolutely allover the place, as if it doesn't know what it wants to get across. This keeps it from being a great movie, but also keeps it as an enjoyable one, simply because of the audacity of some of the things that happened. In an effort to keep it simple, I'll say that the movie isn't anything tremendous. There's a lot of problems with the story that cripple the movie, but the actors and actresses make valiant efforts in keeping the film from falling. And while it still falls. They keep it from crashing and burning. So, alas, this story has no happy ending, but it's still ****ing better than Insidious 2.

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2 is a 2013 British-American superhero action comedy serving as a sequel to the first Kick-Ass, as well as an adaptation of the comic-book of the same name. The film is written and directed by Jeff Wadlow. The director has considerable chops when you consider that he also directed a movie called Cry_Wolf. While I wouldn't say that Cry_Wolf is anything amazing, it was an entertaining whodunnit slasher, especially when you consider that it operated from a budget of only a million-dollars that the director won from the 2002 Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. The movie brings the cast of the first film together, swapping Nicholas Cage in-exchange for a much rougher Jim Carey than what we are used to. While the movie made twice its budget in box-office by nearly grossing sixty-million dollars, the movie failed at match the first film, both financially and critically.

Kick-Ass was something of a wild-card whenever it was first released 2010, because while there have been comedy-superhero movies before such as Superhero Movie and Mystery Men, none of them actually tried to incorporate emotion into the spectrum as well. Since then, there has also been a movie called Alter Egos, which is entertaining, but once again, didn't carry what made Kick-Ass something unique and enjoyable. Kick-Ass actually brought about prominent, relevant, and significant storyline while at the same time carrying an over-the-top audacity that is different from a lot of what we had come to expect. Whether the movie is morally reprehensible is irrelevant to me because I'm not a parent that never took the time out to explain to the kid that it's a ****ing movie. If an individual is crazy enough to shoot-up a school, then, the fact of the matter is that he likely had underlining problems that should have been dealt with, instead of pawning the responsibility off on something else. "Oh, but how were we supposed to know?"

The likelihood of a person leaving a theater while yearning to kill somebody is scarce, and if you as a parent are unable to notice the signs and deal with them, then, while it may not be nice, it's your failures as parents that I cite as the reasoning. I think that I'll steal a line from a movie by saying that movies don't create serial-killers, movies just make serial-killers more creative. However, I am not going to poke and prod over that, but I don't respect or sympathize with the idea at all. Individuals should have the right to distribute their ideas, the fault lies with what the viewer decides to get out of it.


If you don't recognize that sound, it was the sound of me jumping off my soapbox.

The unfortunate fact is that Kick-Ass 2 doesn't succeed at capturing the same effects as the first movie, and a lot of that is due to a lot of the campy-humor that can be found in the film. The first movie isn't exactly perfect, however, it manages to seamlessly combine humor, violence, and emotion into a narrative. This movie makes the same efforts, however, doesn't succeed. While I do believe that there was some entertainment value to be found in the sequel, I believe that there was a lot of things wrong with it as well. The humor itself felt much more childish, and out-of-place, especially the scenes with Hit-Girl trying to fit in with her high-school classmates. While there is logic behind it in the end, the process wasn't entertaining, and in-fact, the humor just swung and missed for me in those scenes. Although, I will admit that I had flashbacks to her performance as Carrie that I saw in theaters.

In Kick-Ass, there was an endgame and a message that was trying to be sent, and for the most part, the narrative focuses on getting that idea across. In Kick-Ass 2, there is an endgame and message that is trying to be sent, but for the most part, the narrative focuses on jumbled incoherent concepts of outrage and mistakes in identity. While the ultra-violence exists, the humor and the heart are missing in this rendition. Jim Carey offers something different than what we are used to from him, however, his character fails as a replacement for Nicholas Cage, and as a character in-general, he fails at getting me invested. I will say that there were a lot of ideas that I thought could have been done well if they capitalized on them. I have noticed with this movie and the previous, that they always take inspiration from what has been suggested about other superheroes. There has always been theories suggested that Batman inadvertently creates his own antagonists by being what he is, and Kick-Ass 2 works a lot with that idea. If they would have stayed consistent with it, then, I think it might have actually had enough emotion to capture the same spark as the original.

In conclusion, while I took enjoyment from this film, at least out of seeing more from the characters, the movie fails at capturing the spark of the original, and fails at offering anything that is truly worthwhile to Kick-Ass' journey.

I'll be waiting for Kick-Ass 3.

I was pretty disappointed by both of those. The Family was dull, and Kick-Ass 2 paled in comparison to its predecessor, which I loved.

Have you seen Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional or Le Femme Nikita? Both films would flirt with a Top 100 if I decided to make a list of my favorites.

The Bib-iest of Nickels
I was pretty disappointed by both of those. The Family was dull, and Kick-Ass 2 paled in comparison to its predecessor, which I loved.

Have you seen Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional or Le Femme Nikita? Both films would flirt with a Top 100 if I decided to make a list of my favorites.
Understandable, I mean, my reviews aren't exactly boasting about their credentials, but I think there was entertainment value in both of them. As if to say that there moments that could have good but simply weren't.

And as for the movies, I can't say that I have actually heard of either of those. I am not really a fan of Luc Besson's work, I mean, I liked Taken, but that basically sums it up. Frontier(s) didn't do it for me at all, feeling like a rehash of things that I have already seen before, done even poorer.

I don't know though, I might check 'em out down the line if I have a chance.

I have been keeping it simple for the last couple of days, but my big "to-do" list includes:

Thirst (directed by Park Chanwook)

Stoker (directed by Park Chanwook)

Goodfellas (directed by Martin Scorsese) - I've seen it before, but not recently, Family kind-of put me in the mood.

The Godfather 2 (directed by Francis Ford Coppola) - I watched the first movie about a year or so ago, and it didn't really do it for me. I know, I know, supposedly the best movie ever and whatnot, but I remain on the fence about it.

Wolf of Wall-Street, Frozen, and American Hustle are all coming out this month as well, so I'll certainly be partaking in them when the opportunity comes. Ultimately, I probably won't plow through all of those movies on that list. I really want more of Park Chanwook's work. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance were both mediocre films, I thought that were incoherent and nonsensical.

However, I thought that his "Cut" story in Three ... Extremes practically saved the film, and the effect caused after seeing the original Oldboy hasn't gone away yet.

I'm surprised you haven't heard of Leon: The Professional. Quite a few members on here have ranked it as one of their favorite movies of all time and it finished 23rd on the 90's Countdown. I highly recommend it. Besson hasn't come close to making a film that good ever since.

I look forward to your reviews for Stoker and Thirst. Despite a few flaws, both are interesting and memorable films.

The Bib-iest of Nickels
I have been having a lot of trouble finding a way to watch the movies though, I can't find Thirst or Stoker at the video-store, they are unlikely to appear on television, and I don't know of a store that has them. The other movies would be as much of a problem, of course.

The Bib-iest of Nickels

Cape Fear
is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and is a remake of the 1962 film of the same name that was directed by J. Lee Thompson. I'll be honest with you, I had absolutely no interest whatsoever going into this movie, I remember discovering it for very cheap about two or three years ago, but I never actually took the time to watch it. I knew that it received positive reception, and I knew that I was being unfair toward the movie, but I didn't care. I knew that I would watch the movie eventually, but I was ready to stubbornly ignore the movie for as long as conceivably possible. I suppose that a lot of the reason that I decided to watch this movie is because having seen The Departed and The Aviator, a lot of me has taught me that I should always be willing to give Martin Scorsese a chance. I have also had this newly found interest in pursuing more work from Robert De Niro.

The film tells the story of a convicted rapist who seeks revenge against a former public defender that he blames for his fourteen year imprisonment for purposefully faulty defense tactics during his trial. Basically, the character really did do a crime, but there was a loophole that could have been seized for him to have gotten off on a technicality, but the lawyer decided against it. He decides to extract his revenge through various form of psychological torment, utilizing his opportunistic intelligence and manipulation to make the man's life a living hell. The special-effects in this movie are immediately something that I found myself inadvertently noticing from the beginning. There is always this saying about an older movie with tremendous special-effects, saying that it still holds up today, but this is the kind-of movie that doesn't have special-effects that hold up well at all whatsoever. A lot of it is because they felt completely unneeded, I disliked the filters that were occasionally used because they brought back flashbacks of things that I could make with Windows Movie Maker. They aren't by any means something that deserves to be held too tightly against the film, but they are something that I noticed, and therefore, I decided to acknowledge them.

The movie stands out predominantly for emphasizing one key-element from Martin Scorsese's capabilities, this being the amount of depth that he manages to make his characters carry, and how good he is at building a rivalry between two characters. While it is absolutely amazing in The Departed, Cape Fear isn't a slouch in that department by any means. Robert De Niro's character is absolutely amazing in this movie, with so many bizarre character traits and features that by the time that the movie ends, you truly begin to appreciate how unique of a performance that you have witnessed. I found myself applauding him, hating him, and all while loving the performance that sparked it all. However, another performance that is less likely to get applauded is Nick Nolte's performance as the lawyer. They position it in such a way that he comes across as an *******, but then, there are more and more layers of development behind him. He feels realistic in his performance, and I can actually sense the desperation that he carries with him in his dialogue.

The movie isn't absolutely perfect, I found for Juliette Lewis' performance to be annoying, which is interesting considering that she was nominated for Academy Award for her performance, but that doesn't change how I felt. It felt as if she was over-the-top and disproportionate the movie itself, which is over-the-top but in such a way that she doesn't mesh very well with it. "She's annoying," is what I am trying to say. The film is also very long, lasting over two-hours which is admittedly refreshing for a film such as this, still has the tendency to drag itself. There are also times where it falls back more into nonsensical horror-territory more than a psychological thriller, especially in the final half. In an effort to keep it simple, I'll conclude by saying that while it certainly isn't the best movie that I have seen from Martin Scorsese, the movie has a tremendous performance from Robert De Niro, as well as a solid performance from Nick Nolte. There are a lot of elements for suspense, a lot of wit and prowess to be discovered with the cleverness behind the plot, and while the movie might have been a little excessive in length, that didn't stop me from enjoying it a lot.

Cape Fear is lower-tier Scorsese, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit, largely because of De Niro's unhinged, over-the-top performance. The scene between him and Juliette Lewis in the school auditorium is phenomenal---- it's creepy, yet enthralling.

The Bib-iest of Nickels

It is no secret that I enjoy the work of Leonardo DiCaprio. Whenever I was younger, I never really respected him, always shamelessly interlinking him with that artsy movie about the boat that sinks, it's an indie movie, no shame if you doesn't ring any bells. As the years rolled by, I realized that there was more to the pretty-boy that wooed audiences. What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Inception, Django Unchained, The Aviator, Catch Me If You Can, The Departed, and many others that I haven't even discovered yet, Leonardo DiCaprio has acting chops that can't be denied, at least in my book, which is the only book worth reading, ... at least in my book. And so, explain to me why there are so many other movies of his that I will put off for months at a time, such as the one that I am watching today? I can actually explain this one, this one I didn't want to watch because it looks like a war-film, and well, that's not where the party's at.

Blood Diamond is a 2006 American-German political war thriller film directed by Edward Zwick, who I know for directing Love & Other Drugs, as well as helping to produce Shakespeare in Love, which made him one of the recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture of that year. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, as well as Djimon Hounsou. Connelly perhaps known most for her award-winning performance in A Beautiful Mind, while Djimon Hounsou received Academy Award nomination for his performance in this movie, as well as his performance in ... In America. The film takes place during the Sierra Leone Civil War sometime in the late-nineties or early 2000s as many atrocities and misfortunes befall many of the citizens in West Africa. The movie derives its name from the diamonds that were mined and sold for financial profit by warlords and diamond companies across the world.

While it's debatable whether or not there was a certain amount of glossy-finished added to the scenery, the film certainly captures feelings of desolation and terror, emphasizing a lot of the dangerous and troubles being faced. They also spread the blame for the travesties by saying that, for every diamond that is found through forced labor, there are citizens from other countries, like the United States, ready and willing to reap the benefits. The scenery and ideology are certainly applied with enough precision to feel powerful in the message that they are trying to portray. Thankfully, the movie itself doesn't come across as a two-hour film meant to make diamond-buyer feel guilty, and there is actually a quality narrative to behold. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of an ******* that happily manipulates the problems to his benefit, Jennifer Connelly plays a reporter that wants to make it better for everyone, and Djimon Hounsou plays somebody that is basically the product of everything that is happening. He loves his family, and is merely doing what he believes is necessary to survive.

Everybody plays their roles particularly well, Djimon Hounsou carrying a lot of believable emotion with his character, Connelly seeming bitter with not being able to do more, and DiCaprio seeming like an opportunist with an inner goodness. The movie isn't filled with impeccable twists or strong psychological complexity. You can practically see where the story is going from a mile away. It doesn't shy away from a lot, but it doesn't introduce very much that we haven't already seen. There's a certain predictability that I think a lot of viewers probably experienced, but at the same time, I was entertained for the entire two-hour experience. There are moments that are meant to be more powerful than what they feel, and I believe a lot of that can be explained by the storytelling itself, however, the performances themselves are worthwhile and very good. The final thirty minutes of the movie are the moments whenever I believe the movie begins to carry a certain form of sentimentality behind the logic that feels disproportionate to some of what came before.

Therefore, the movie itself doesn't always really achieve greatness when it comes to giving a hollowing look at something very dark, but the moments when they are being chased or fleeing, and the moments when it evolves more around upbeat action are where this movie finds its best moments in my opinion. I am not trying to suggest that there the moments of emotion don't have the heart in them, but rather to say that the storytelling itself lessened those moments and they could have been appreciated more than they were. In an effort to keep it simple, I will say that the movie had strong performances from its three main protagonists, as well as riveting action-scenes and a decent. The atmosphere was captured superbly, and I was entertained from the beginning to the end. Unfortunately, somewhere in the predictability and structuring, the movie fell short of amazing. I will say that at its best moments, it is very, very good.

Awesome reviews dude; I love Cape Fear, more than I think it's a great movie. I still need to see Blood Diamond; I've heard a lot of good things about it.

The Bib-iest of Nickels

Hollow Man

Hollow Man is a 2000 American science fiction horror film directed by Paul Verhoeven, known for directing the original RoboCop, Total Recall, and highly coveted, Showgirls. The film stars Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Shue, and Josh Brolin. The story is about a scientist that makes a breakthrough in his experimentation on animals, successfully finding a way to make them invisible, and also change them back. Once this happens, he volunteers himself to be the first human to be experimented on, and the story works from there. In the opening minutes of this movie, I immediately found myself making comparisons to a movie called Darkman, directed by Sam Raimi. They both carry adult-themes and happenings, but find way to make it feel light-heart, for better or for worse, and for the first half, I believe that it's for the better with Hollow Man. Kevin Bacon seems to have found his niche in this movie, playing a narcissistic douche, and he easily carries the film, while all the other performances are decent at best.

However, I think that it is unanimously agreed upon that the special-effects are easily the most delectable part of this balanced breakfast, I went into this movie with disheartened emotions, but I was thoroughly impressed whenever I saw what they did with the transformation. If for no other reason, it legitimately looked kind-of cool. The first half of the movie was actually very well done, they briefly explained some of the logic behind what they were doing, whilst at the same not trying to make sense out of the spectacle itself, and so, we were handed the premise and allowed to behold the aftermath. The movie started off carrying so much more potential than the average horror-movie, and we had a concept put before us that we always thought about. If you were invisible, what would you do?

A lot of critics actually beheld the character's answer to that question as misogynistic, which I find to be peculiar considering what the mere audacity of the situation. Sebastian, the scientist played by Kevin Bacon, has a God-complex and seems so self-absorbed and hateful, he was given the power of anonymity, and the message being sent is the idea of corruption. He's sexist, but in-retrospect, that is one of the more minor things that he did throughout the movie. He's the idea of what a manipulative human-being would do with such a gift, and for that, I think it succeeded with a whimper. The reason that I say it's a whimper is because it only touched the basis for what he could have done with such an ability. This is something that everybody always fantasizes about, I would have liked to see him trying to haunt somebody, or at least take a little bit more of a creative approach to everything that he did.

Even still, for the first hour or so, Hollow Man was actually entertaining. I merely believe that they could have done much more than what they did with the opportunity put before them. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the proceeding half-hour or so as it gradually becomes your standard horror. The very second that Sebastian became transparent, there was a transformation in the character was blatant and poorly executed, however, the transformation excelled to such excess by the end. The idea itself made sense, but they didn't take their time with it, and as a result, the transition didn't seem organic at all whatsoever, rather, it seemed like they got into a hurry to end the movie and decided that they wanted it to be a slasher movie. The movie went way over-the-top and it was almost detrimental to the entire experience, throwing logic out the window, and throwing away this allegedly intelligent character in-exchange for someone you'd expect to see flailing a chainsaw.

In an effort to keep it simple, I'll summarize with a final verdict, the movie has entertainment value propelled by halfway decent performances and stellar special-effects, however, it'll leave a bitter taste in your mouth once it, ahem, loses sight of itself and seeks restitution in all the wrong places.

Hollow Man 2

When Hollow Man in 2000, the reception was negative to say the least, there were redeeming qualities. A lot appreciated the special-effects, in-fact, it received an Academy Award nomination because of them. Kevin Bacon even offered the movie a halfway decent performance, but even still, everybody perhaps rightfully seems to carry the consensus that the movie is one worth remembering. The movie had a ninety-five million dollar budget, which seems astronomical if you ask me because it isn't the kind-of movie you'd expect to have a lot backing it. Obviously, the movie didn't receive a positive critical reception, however, t he movie did manage to make twice its budget with a commendable one-hundred and eighty million. I don't know how much money should be considered for advertising, for example, The Lone Ranger successfully matched its budget, but is considered a box-office flop because over one-hundred million was also attributed to marketing.

Either way, I can't imagine that it was so much to find the logic in there being a sequel released direct-to-video. The film industry does this a lot, even with movies that were technically a success, American Psycho 2 was released direct-to-video, so were Butterfly Effect 2 and 3. The only difference between them and Hollow Man is the fact that Hollow Man's concept actually seemed sufficient for a sequel. The first movie wasn't tremendous, while I loved Butterfly Effect and deeply enjoyed American Psycho, but I could at least see a lot of things that they could do. Nevertheless, and whatever the reason behind it is, they eventually did in-fact make a direct-to-video sequel to Hollow Man. The film was directed by Claudio Fah, perhaps known for his later movie, The Hole, not the one with Keira Knightley, but some other one released in 2009. The movie stars Peter Facinelli, Laura Regan, as well as Christian Slater. I don't know much about Facinelli, however, Laura Regan actually appeared in Dead Silence and How To Be a Serial Killer. While neither of those movies were tremendous, I took enjoyment in both of them. As for Christian Slater, quite frankly, he is known for a lot of things.

The film is based on the very first draft of the first film, and finds itself deciding against everyone of the few redeeming qualities about Hollow Man. For starters, while Kevin Bacon's character wasn't exactly brilliant in-terms of portrayal, there was a certain about of wit and depth to the character in-comparison to what we usually see in horror movies. Hollow Man started out commendably before staggering downward into nonsensical horror territory. Hollow Man 2 starts out in nonsensical horror territory and never really pokes its head out from the hole. The characters come across without much in the way of flushing out, a detective and a female scientist with precious information while the military tries to stop them and a mysterious ghostlike man wandering about wreaking havoc. There isn't a lot of depth behind the characters, they feel cookie-cutter and bland, with the actors feeling as if their heart isn't really into it.

This is certainly to be expected considering the decreased budget, but the special-effects and neat looking transformations and spectacles done by the invisible man have completely been discarded. It isn't even the idea that the special-effects are terrible, those can be worked around through creativity and enthusiasm, rather, the movie finds a way to do even less with the opportunity that they've been given than the original. There is no fun to be had, and it just seems like it's a bad horror film with invisibility factor serving as merely a minor wrinkle to the fabric. In an effort to keep it simple, I'll summarize by saying that not only does Hollow Man 2 fail at fixing some of the problems that were had with the first movie, but it actually takes away all of the redeeming qualities that made me interested in a sequel in the first place.

In Time

In Time is a 2011 American dystopian science fiction film written, directed, as well as produced by Andrew Niccol, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. For those that aren't aware, this movie has without a doubt potentially the best concept that I have ever seen inside of a film. I remember whenever I first saw the trailers for this movie and I was instantly swept away by the sheer audacity of the ideas alone. There is nothing to say except that it's a thought that leaves so many possibilities on the table that it would be impossible to do them all in one movie. Unfortunately, with such concepts, there is always the misfortune of somebody else having done it before. I don't believe there is such thing as an original idea, everything has been done before, most of it comes down to the interpretation. The Hunger Games isn't a rip-off of Battle Royale, Game of Thrones isn't a rip-off of Lord of the Rings, Batman isn't a ripoff of Zorro, all of which may take inspiration, but they all have elements which make them unique, and nobody should be able to hold a vice-grip on an idea that has probably already been had by millions. There are billions of people in this world and if you think you are really that intricate of a snowflake than I have some bad news for you. This is why, the lawsuit that was filed against In Time was ultimately dropped after the person watched the movie.


This would be the mesmeric sound of yours truly getting off of his soapbox. Back on task, this movie had my interest from the beginning from the concept. Justin Timberlake has come along way over the years, he is more than merely a former member of an old boy-band, he is actually a formidable actor. I have appreciated his work in The Social Network, and he has had solid performances in decent or mediocre movies like Friends with Benefits, Runner, Runner, and Southland Tales, as well. Decide for yourself which is decent and which is mediocre out of those three. I haven't seen a lot of Amanda Seyfried's work though, in-fact, this is the first movie of hers that I have seen, and I thought she did a decent supporting character. Aside from those two, Cillian Murphy, known for Inception and his role as Scarecrow in the Dark Knight Trilogy, also played a prominent role.

I found for this movie to be particularly entertaining with the novelty that it carried, I appreciate a lot of what they flushed out from the storyline, obviously thinking about several elements and dimensions to their realm aside from what is standard. The performances were considerable as well, nobody was really earth-shattering in-terms of emotions, the three names that I mentioned all had their moments, but none of them achieved the depth that I believe they were capable of. As the protagonist, it was easy to say that Justin Timberlake got the closest, however. I think the biggest issue that individuals have with movies relying heavily upon the concept is the idea that everything else will take a backseat to it. I enjoy interesting premises like this, and Inception, where they take risks or carry ideology that hasn't been saturated into film already.

While I believe they had enough ideas strewn together to keep everything functioning, I do believe that there was an absence of chemistry between all of the characters in-terms of dialogue or emotion. They said things, and they emphasized them, but I never really appreciated any of it. The narrative itself is fueled by the intricacies and unorthodox styling, for the most part, it carries familiar elements and simple storytelling which happens to work against the enigma of it all. I don't believe that the movie capitalizes on a lot of the talent held by the cast, and as I have already expressed, the concept itself has a large plethora of potential. Even still, the film is easy to find yourself wooed into and taken for an entertaining ride that grows weary, ahem, in time.