Suspect's Reviews

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Night Of The Living Dead 3-D (Jeff Broadstreet)

"I Wanted To Be Hit In The Face With A Shovel After Watching This..."

We have yet another remake of the zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, this time with the new addition of being in 3-D. In this version, we have Barbara, who likes to be called "Barb" being attacked by zombies when a white BEN saves her by giving one of the zombies a close line. Ben takes Barb back to the Coopers plant farm. Once there we meet the rest of the victims, as zombies begin to attack the home.

If I hadn't won free tickets to see this film, I probably would never have given it a chance. Aside of it being in 3-D it doesn't really have anything else going for it. Upon first glance it would seem to be a direct to video, armature film student remake of the classic Romero film and that is exactly what the film comes off as. The only thing that made this film slightly enjoyable would be that it was fun to make fun of it. I couldn't tell if the film took itself seriously or not because there were a lot of times when the film was just so bad, that the filmmakers had to of known the cheese factor was through the roof. The thing that rules against this is that there isn't enough comedy in it for it to be considered a cheesy "B" movie.

The horror fans will notice Sid Haig is the one throwing his shovel around hitting the zombies in the face. He delivers an over the top performance, but then again when does he not? If it weren't for his goofy delivery in his lines the film would be rated even lower. The rest of the cast can be completely forgotten because none of them seem to care for what they are doing. Everyone is one-dimensional and half seem to have never been to acting school. There was no conflict between any of the characters that lasted more then one minute. Once there was some conflict it was solved mere seconds later. "I'm going outside!!!", "No you're not!!!", "Okay". Even the zombies didn't act like real zombies, I swear some of them were walking slowly like in the classics and others were as fast as hell, much like those in the remake of Dawn.

The gore in here is lacking as well. Only two scenes showcase any real gore, first is when a zombie is dragging itself to go after the little kid, he has no legs. The second is when Haig thrusts his shovel into a zombies face, it goes through his mouth and he sticks to the wall. The zombie effects were satisfactory for the most part.

I cringe every time I think about the dialogue, which throws in awkward pop culture references that shouldn't really be there...Scarface for example. Whenever I laughed in the film it wasn't with it, it was at it and most the time it was because of these horrible dialogue. More then 75 percent of the dialogue was unintentional humor.

The 3-D was painful, plain and simple. For some reason we're still stuck in the old days of red and blue 3-D glasses for this film. It took so much away from the experience. The red was very distracting and was all over in this film. I had to take the glasses off on five separate occasions because my eyes just couldn't handle it. They could have used the 3-D to their advantage, but dropped the ball here. Only a handful of things really "come at you", which include a bullet, shovel, glass and zombie hands. Nothing to really make the film more enjoyable, although I did get a kick out of the things that actually did come at me from the screen.

For some strange reason the makers of the film felt like they had to put in the original film, for what purpose I still have no idea. We know this is a remake of that film, is it ironic, or comedic in a way? No, it's just pointless and incoherent. They watch the zombie flick and know that these things attacking them are zombies, yet when one gets bitten no one seems to care or even know that he will turn into one. Did they just happen to forget that big plot device from the film that they were just watching? Don't even get me started on the continuity because this can rival the Evil Dead films.

Bottom line is that the 3-D isn't worth your time or money. You'll leave the theatre with a headache, from the glasses and the trash that's on the screen. I wouldn't even recommend this for hardcore horror fans, is just an insult. It doesn't look to good for zombie fans after this film hits theatres, or even when the remake of DAY does.

"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Aeon Flux (Karyn Kusama)

Aeon Flux Simply Put...Sucks

Aeon Flux is a deadly assassin working for the rebels known as Monicans. Flux is sent on a dangerous mission to assassinate the government leader Goodchild, but hesitates when he calls her by a different name. Flux gets imprisoned but later escapes and tries to unravel a mystery that has been going on for 400 years.

I never saw the anime this film was based on, but I can tell you right now it was probably visually stunning. With Aeon Flux, no matter how much it stayed true to the source material, is not visual stunning. In fact it's not a lot of things, good is being the prime example. I must ask this question though, what is it with Best Actress winners doing the most horrible pieces of crap right after their Oscar win? Swank, Berry and here we have Theron. Is it some kind of code they must take?

The film is not as big as it could have been or wanted to be. It has an epic scope written all over it, but comes up really short in it's delivery. The film opens with the usual sci/fi fare, with text written on the screen explaining to us what happened to lead us up to these events. Is this a requirement now for every sci/fi film? It's cool ideas within the plot are neat, but fail to capitalize with anything else, are get dragged down with the rest of this heap.

The film is a short one, clocking in at a whopping 90 some odd minutes. It's as if they just gave up half way through the film and decided to end it as soon as they can, this is evident in the poor acting, directing and overall feel of the film. What should have been a visual extravaganza with high octane martial arts and gunfire left right and centre, ends up being a child's film that takes it easy with the violence. The martial arts are uninspired and lack anything that would make the lead character dangerous. Sure there is a scene or two were the visuals do seem good, but given what the source material is, they could have done so much more.

I found myself rolling my eyes at the horrible dialogue given by the horrible actors. Marton Csokas, who you may remember as "THAT GUY" from xXx, The Bourne Supremacy and Kingdom of Heaven brings the film down so much with his monotone voice projection that you laugh at everything he says and does. Theron seemed to be only interested in the check that came her way and the fact that she got to look good after being uglied up for Monster.

Skip this sci/fi lite film, it takes good talent and wastes them (McDormand, Postlethwaite and yes even Theron). All the action scenes are juvenile, the acting horrendous and the script laughable. Pass this one when you see it sitting on the video stand and thank god that you will never have to watch it.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
BORAT (Larry Charles)

"Borat Is Much Funnier Then Ali G"

Borat is a Kazakhstani television personality who heads to USA, the so called "greastest country in the world". In an attempt to learn more about the country to bring to Kazakhstan, Borat manages to upset almost every single person he encounters. While in America he develops an unhealthy obsession with Pamela Anderson and begins a quest to become her husband.

I have to say this right off the bat, I hate Ali G with a passion. That character is not funny one bit and every time I hear his voice I feel like punching a baby in the face. Now, Borat is another story. I've seen some of his skits on television and guess punching of babies. In fact I smiled every once and while I yes a chuckle did happen. Once I saw the trailer for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, again a smirk or two and a chuckle. Then all these reviews came pouring in: Funniest Comedy of the year, A fearless comedy, Riotously funny, and so on. So does BORAT make it as one of the funniest films of all time? Is it full of side-splitting laughter? Or is it just over-hyped?

Much like Snakes on a Plane, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, has you laughing at the title alone. Without even seeing the film you knew it would be funny and it is, although I do have to say that hype killed it. It is nowhere near the funniest film of all time. Of the last five years maybe? Well, I would put it high on the list, but I still find The 40 Year Old Virgin to be funnier, maybe because it was a smarter comedy.

The one problem with Borat is that while it claims all be set in "reality" it's quite obvious that some scenes are staged, the best example would be the final ten minutes of the film, with Pamela Anderson. While it is indeed funny, it takes away from the rest of the film because it immediately takes you out of it's reality. Yes, it is a film with a story to tell, even if that story is buried deep under it's randomness, but the feel of the film goes all over the place.

It's offensive, but in this day and age almost everything is. At no point did I think anything in the film was over-the-line or in bad taste. The film is on the heels of Jackass II for being crude. It's one more step towards what is excepted in the eyes of the movie going public. Both films contain male nudity, and in both cases they get laughs. In Borat, the nude wrestling match had me on the floor. It was definitely the highlight. Whether or not THAT particular scene was staged is debatable, if it were, you might ask yourself is it still as funny.

I found myself laughing off and on with Borat, more times it was a chuckle that a gut buster. Cohen does a good job at staying in character throughout the entire film, which is a short one by the way and ends faster then you can say the whole title. It does make for an entertaining watch, just don't go in thinking that it is the funniest thing ever cause you will be disappointed.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Belly (Hype Williams)

"I'd Rather See Paris Hilton Win An Oscar, Then Sit Through This Again"

I can't really give you a plot outline for the film, since I was beating myself in the face with a blunt object every ten minutes. Although, I can tell you the little bits that I got from it. Two gang members are living the high life, with sex, booze, drugs and money. Soon they both realize that they are heading down the wrong path, one wants to go back to Africa to get in touch with his roots, and tries to convince his girlfriend to join him, while the other gets all religious.

I was told to watch this film because it was, and I'm quoting, "The Black Scarface". Let me say that this is not anywhere near the calibre of Scarface. The one and only way I can ever see someone making this strange comment would be because in one particular scene, they directly ripoff Scarface. It involves a man who is on drugs seeing on video cameras strangers entering his house. He grabs guns and then goes on a killing spree. Exactly like Pacino in Scarface. he guy doesn't even make it out alive, he dies, like Pacino from behind.

Nothing in this movie is worth commenting on, I'm hurting right now trying to write this review because I have to think about the film. Why is it that rappers think they can have an acting career? LL Cool J can pull it off because he is actually decent at acting. The people involved in Belly give Busta Rhymes a run for his money as worst rapper actor. DMX, who is in random martial art flicks (Cradle to the grave, Exit Woods) is playing the exact same character he does in every other movie. Seen one, seen them all. Nas for some random reason wants to go back to Africa in the film, I found myself on the floor in tears, both fro laughter and sadness. I don't think he raises his voice once in the entire movie.

Hype Williams, is a music video director. He directs rap videos, which is evident here because this movie is just one big overly long rap video. If Williams were to have more films under his belt, he may be able to reach Uwe Boll's credibility. Yes, this movie is worse then House of the Dead, or even Alone in the Dark. I rank Belly as the second worst film I have ever seen, the worst goes to the atrocious Carnivore.

There is no substance to Belly, it tries to be all style. The opening sequence is ALL that bad, but it isn't good either. My entertainment level went from mediocre to negative zero after the first robbery. It never recovered and I'm kind of ashamed to admit I've seen this trash. Belly gives Showgirls and The Matrix Revolutions a run for their money for the worst sex seen in cinema history. It's over before it begins and you can't make out what is even going on.

With a horrible script and director that has no credit to his name, you'd think the movie would be bad...but this goes beyond that. It's as if when the director had nowhere else to go with the movie he would throw in random shootout scene, simply to add more minutes to the already too long running time (which isn't even that long, but it sure as hell seems like it). Nobody in the cast makes an effort to entertain us or even try to be remotely believable. Here's a suggestion for Williams and his future film making, if there is any future film making. Get real actors, not your friends. Also, try filming a movie with a decent script that is easy to follow. Belly goes all over the place with random events. More then once I was sitting there wondering who this person was and why they are on the screen.

So if you happen to see this sitting on the shelf at your local video store, do yourself a favour and rip out your eyeballs for even looking at the box cover. The only thing that this is good for is taking a bat to it, or flushing it down the toilet, maybe even leaving at a friends house in hopes it will never come back. I was haunted in my dreams the week after watching Belly and every now and again I get a headache when someone mentions the film. I'm taking Tylonol Extra Strength right now finishing this review up. Let's just hope the so called sequel never sees the light of day.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Wolf Creek (Greg McLean)

"A Film For Fans Of The Genre"

After visiting Wolf Creek, 3 backpackers get stranded when their car won't start. Luckily a truck comes by and a man offers them his help. The parts needed are back at his camp and they decide to go and stay the night at his place. When they wake up, they find themselves tied up and tortured. Can they escape from the middle of nowhere?

It's no doubt that Wolf Creek doesn't appeal to everyone. It's premise has been done over and over again. Upon first glance it would seem nothing more then a typical horror film that comes and goes quicker then someone's 15 minutes of fame. Well, this is the case with Wolf Creek, but it has some redeeming qualities. Basically it's not that bad of a film. There I said it. Why am I saying it? Well, I'm a fan of the genre that's why and that's who this film will appeal to fans of the genre.

Roger Ebert gave this film a negative review, in fact he gave it the big fat zero, which I think isn't fair. You just have to look at his ratings of other horror films to know that he's not such a big fan of them. In his review he goes on to say that this film has crossed the line. I sit here asking myself, what line is that? Maybe I've seen too many films that are sadistic and cross the line, Cannibal Holocaust for one. This film didn't affect me in any way; in terms of shock or horror. Instead it focuses on tension to grab the viewer and the tension in the film works.

Greg McLean, in his first feature film, does a good job at giving the fans what they want. Never did I think that this guy was an amateur and had no idea what he was doing. McLean comes out with a decent flick, despite the low budget. Which in my opinion gives more of a danger type atmosphere. They are stranded in the middle of nowhere; if it were too clean cut it would lose that atmosphere. Unlike Hostel, who's sole purpose was strictly violence, gore, and making the viewer uneasy; whether or not it worked it up for debate, Wolf Creek does more then that. In Creek we get to know the characters, and for me actually like them (well, the guy anyways, the females were boring).

Sure there are parts that make you roll your eyes, such as the killer being in the exact same car as the female, but you have to expect that from this film; it's part of the genre. Some may be disturbed by this, which I can see, but it doesn't go out of it's way to try and disturb you, unlike Hostel. Creek doesn't try too hard to freak out the viewer, instead it builds up the suspense and tension until the viewer can't take it and for once, actually want the victims to live. John Jarratt, who is clearly the highlight of the film, gives a haunting, comedic performance. Never in a film have a rooted for the bad guy and the victims at the same time.

Creek does have its problems, but it isn't as bad as people are saying. With crappy remakes such as The Grudge, Texas Chainsaw and the upcoming Black Christmas coming up, it's nice to see someone trying to take the genre in another direction. Instead of relying on scares, blood and guts, it relies on tension. Now I'm not saying the film is blood free, it certainly has it's fair share of face cringing scenes. If you like horror films, give Creek a try. Just don't expect the killer to walk around with a machete.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Click (Frank Coraci)

"They Could Have Made It Really Funny, But Went With The Message At The End"

Michael is an architect who works way too hard and can't seem to find time for his family. With too many remotes around the house he decides to pick up a universal remote to try and make his life a little easier. This is where he meets Morty, who works in the way beyond department. He gives Michael a remote that is "beyond" it's time from a technical stand-point. Michael soon finds out that not only can it control the television, but the universe around him.

Frank Coraci and Adam Sandler have worked together before; the results being The Waterboy and The Wedding Singer. Both films were quite funny and let Sandler do his usual yelling at everyone routine. Now they have hooked up for a third time and the result is "Click", a not so overly funny film that tried to jump emotional gears left, right, and centre.

While watching "Click" all I could recall was how everyone cried in the final moments. I'm sitting here asking myself, why? Sure the scenes do tug at your tear ducts, but in this type of film you know exactly what the ending is going to be and guess what, that ending happens. If you know in the end everything is going to be okay, where is the emotional value in that? Sure I felt sad that he couldn't say good-bye to his father and sure I felt sad when he was lying there on the ground dying, but I didn't cry. I don't see where all these tears are coming from. Either I'm missing something, or the audience is just more emotional these days.

In a film that has dogs humping ducks, an obese sandler groping his "****", and flatulence jokes you can't really have the sappy ending this film does. I don't buy it. "Click" needed to stay in one frame of mind and not waver back and forth and teach us a lesson at the end of it. Numerous times I was reminded of Bruce Almighty here, it's basically the same film but one features a remote control. Both films showcase a dog with problems, a hot wife and a comedic actor being able to control everything around him. The difference is Bruce Almighty had so much more fun with what it had. Ask yourself what is funnier, Jim Carrey making Steve Carell look like an idiot on television, or Adam Sandler farting in David Hasselhoff's face? For the record, a dog humping a duck is only funny once, not a dozen times.

It takes a special guy to save a film like this, and luckily for the filmmakers Walken is that man. Christopher Walken steals the show as Morty, the guy who gives Sandler the remote. In every scene that he's in, he has this comedic tone to him that just gets to you, and you can't explain it. As for Kate Beckinsale, sure she is hot and sure she can play the wife role, but did she really do that much? Nope, instead she decides to run off with Sean Astin...speaking of which, is he going to be the next Adam Sandler Cameo Buddy?

I can only recommend this as a rainy day viewing. It's not the best, or the worst Sandler film. It does have some funny moments, Henry Winkler is perfect in the dad role and of course my main man Walken steals every scene he is in. You may even cry at the end, apparently, that's what I've been hearing. In the end, you most likely will end up disappointed with the fact that they didn't really do much with what they had. So much potential in the concept of a universal remote and it's wasted on Sandler's selfish doings. Instead of going outside the box and making a crazy flick, it plays it safe and does exactly what was shown in the trailers. On a side note, if you've seen the trailers, you've seen most of, if not all, of the comedic parts. So enjoy the film as much as you can.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Break-Up (Peyton Reed)

"This Stuff Passes For Comedy These Days?"

After a nasty break-up between Brooke and Gary, the two decide to try and make the other's life miserable, in hopes of keeping the apartment. Gary doesn't see things unless they are blatantly said or put right in front of him, so he can't tell that Brooke still wants to be with him. All she wants is for him to appreciate what she does. Does Gary learn this in time? Or will he lose her forever?

Wow, see how the plot description went from something comedic to something dramatic in a matter of seconds, well that is exactly how the film plays out. After all the controversy surrounding Mr & Mrs. Smith, the so called big guys behind the desks in Hollywood decided to try and score money with the re-bound. Jennifer Aniston has a movie too, and look she is with a new guy too, it's Vince Vaughn...and he was in Mr & Mrs. Smith. Oohhhh, the controversy: Go see the movie. That is what I heard every time I saw something advertised for The Break Up. Still to this day I hear them and after watching the film I can see why. It's because it's a piece of trash.

Why did Vaughn associate himself with this material I will never know, but not even he can save this film from the terrible crash it was heading for from take off. With an awkward opening you can tell immediately what you're in for. A money grab film that if it weren't for the two main actors in it, would probably never see the light of day. Vaughn plays his usual fastball comedic style, but it falls flat a lot of times, especially when he says anything remotely funny, you realize you already saw it in the trailer. Aniston had comedic timing down pat on friends, but that was with the character of Rachel, here she has nothing, does nothing and accomplishes nothing. She is pretty much useless. Aniston does nothing to try to go above and beyond the material, Vaughn at least tries. Here she gives minimum requirements and collects her paycheck, then watches as the media spins everything and then she has a hit on her hands.

Not even the supporting cast can save the film. Other then the one or two times I smirked at Vaughn, arguing with the kid online was decent, the only saving grace would be Jon Favreau. I guess being long time friends with Vaughn paid off in this flick because their chemistry is the only thing that works. Joey Lauren Adams is the best friend and Justin Long is dreadfully annoying as the "is he gay" assistant. Bateman who usually gets a laugh out of me, 95% of the time it was on Arrested Development, again, sorry to say, adds nothing here.

Will you laugh? Probably not, the first half of the film tries to be funny, but guess what, that's right you got it, you've already seen it. The second half is drama and it hits you out of nowhere, much like Click does. This is it's probably and it suffers, just like Click did. It had no idea what type of film it wanted to be. A romantic comedy? comedy/drama? They should have thrown in some kind of horror element and maybe I would have enjoyed myself a bit. If you have Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in your cast, who are both very funny people, you need to use them to their full potential. Hell, if the Break Up used them at even half, or a quarter of their potential, maybe we wouldn't have such a travesty on our hands.

Am I suppose to connect with either of these characters? Are the males suppose to connect with the guy in this war? Ditto for the women? I don't know and nor do I care. When the ending came, which tries to be different but just ends up being a cliché, you see it coming a mile away. Then the final scene jumps on us, to try and tie things up. Guess what, I hate to tell you it, but it really doesn't. They seemed to just rush an ending at us. Hey they meet again say what they've done and walk off. at least it has something in common with the opening scene, it's just awkward.

So in the end, skip on this flick. If you see it on the shelfs in the stores, do someone else a favour and destroy that copy. Yes Jennifer, Baby want twelve lemons, but hey this baby wants his time back.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
United 93 (Paul Greengrass)

"A Film That Is Honest And From The Heart"

United 93 tells the events of September 11th, 2001. It was the only hijacked plane that did not make it's final destination because of it's passengers who decided to take control of the plane. I sat and watch United 93 and Stone's "World Trade Center" in the same session. While both films did tug at the emotional scales, United 93 seemed to be a more heartfelt film.

Greengrass, who's other films include the just as serious "Bloody Sunday" and spy flick "Bourne Surpremacy", takes on the difficult task of retelling the horrific events of that day. With no mainstream actors, a relatively small budget and the controversial topic, it would seem that the film was doomed a failure before it was even finished. Alas, it got the approval from the families and people who said that it was "too soon" actually went to see it. There are many words one may use to describe the film: respectful, powerful, humanistic, but you can't really describe it to anyone, they must see it for themselves.

Why does the film work so well? It chooses to show us the story and not shove it down our throats. We know what happened, but not how it happened. We will never know how it happened, but United 93 gives us a suggestion. Greengrass chose to use a relatively unknown cast and it works. There are no big name distractions here, these people are not being paid big bucks to star in films, which is the sense I got in "World Trade Center". Although, you might recognize a face or two, at one moment I was saying to myself, "Hey, it's that guy from The Mummy". There were only a few moments in the film where the acting was pretty bad, mainly in the military scenes. That one blonde woman was horrible, but this did not ruin the film.

It was interesting to see the intensity of the military personal and flight control centers doing what they do. I can only imagine it was ten times more intense that day then what was depicted. You get the sense of urgency in these scenes, a sense of realism. Everything was pulled off nicely. Seeing the mentions of the other planes was a good way to broaden the drama. I was pleased the film wasn't solely concentrating on United 93, which was another problem for Stone's piece. I was surprised to see actual footage of the planes hitting the towers to be shown and applaud Greengrass for not shying away from it. The use of inexpensive hand-held cameras at to the urgency and realism that was needed. If the production was any bigger, it would have ruined the effectiveness.

The film doesn't show us the heroes from that day, instead it shows us how human they are. In the final chilling moments of the film when the passengers are trying to take over the plane, there is no "hero" shot of one man overcoming evil. Instead it is raw anger from these passengers and their need to save their own lives and the lives of others. The film ends on a perfect and chilling note of what they saw. We are not watching them crash, we are there with them. The heart pounding score increasing the tension and the intensity of the actions. There are no post-dramatic events to show, no air traffic control scenes trying to explain what happened. A beautiful ending to a powerful film.

Here's a film that tells us to look back at that day and remember those who died. It's not one to shy away from a serious topic, instead it confronts it head on. The film was given the go ahead by the families from the passengers on board. No one should watch United 93 as a "film", but more of a look back on that day. It's a respect piece to those who died. Not a tale of survival of any kind, other then the fact that we as people survived that evil and continue to live on.

It's safe to say that United 93 is one of the most important films of 2006 and probably of the last 5 or so years. Not only does it honour the family members of those on the plane, but the rest of the people who experience something that day; everyone experience something that day. There is no character to identify with, they are all equal, all human, all just like us. Everything that happens is in the moment, no one knows what is going on, but audience. Everyone should give this film an honest open minded viewing. It is important and will only grow to be more important with time.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Casino Royale (Martin Campbell)

"The Only Bond Film In Which I Enjoy The Opening Credits"

James Bond has just earned his "00" status and after a mission here and there, finds himself sitting at a high stakes poker table against the villain Le Chiffre. Bond joins the dangerous and sexy Vesper Lynd, who is funding his end of the game and he must come out on top.

After seeing a little film called Layer Cake, I thought to myself, "Wow, this guy would make a great Bond." A few months later they actually announced the new James Bond and guess who got the gig, Daniel Craig. I thought that this was a terrific choice and that the fans would love it, but boy was I wrong. The only feedback I heard was negative, a blonde hair, blue eyed Bond? Could it be? People were so outraged they even created a "craignotbond" web-site. Of course, all of this happened before the film opened and once it did everyone seemed to change their tune. Everywhere I went I heard that, not only was this the best Bond film ever, but the Craig was indeed one of the best Bonds. All I have to say is...I told ya so.

I was never a big fan of the James Bond films. I've seen a few when they would appear on television and I grew up with Brosnan as my Bond. So out of the few Bond films that I have seen, I can say that this tops the list. I would go as far as saying it has sparked my interest in seeing the films because I know that this film decided to go in another direction. I'm thankful it did. Casino Royale is the first Bond film in which I actually enjoy the opening title credits. Usually I'll be sitting their bored out of my mind with the theme song playing, but here I was digging it.

Is it more "real" then previous installments? Well at first I would have said no, since that chase scene, as spectacular as it is, was off the wall in realism. The half man half monkey guy jumping everywhere wasn't too realistic to me, but I'll take that to an invisible car any day. Guess what, Bond makes mistakes too. His ego gets in the way of his goal and takes the audience along for the ride as well. Craig pulls off a convincing Bond, with an attitude unlike the rest of them. His charm and charisma shines throughout and I'm happy to say that my first choice was the right one. Let's hope we see Craig in more installments to the new franchise. With little in side jokes for true Bond fans, and blatant ones for people who just know his name, the film appeals to everyone. It's intense, thrilling and above all enjoyable.

The beautiful and seductive Vesper Lynn is played dangerously and seductively by Eva Green. Playing well of Craig and adding a little bit of ego to herself can hold her own in the scenes. The villain, although not as over the top as almost every other villain is average here. What makes the Bond films so fun is seeing how insane these villains are. There is always that one thing about them that makes them crazy enough to be a Bond villain, here it was missing. Sure he has one eye and the other one cries blood, but what does that do for us? Nothing. As unrealistic as those villains may be, they were one of the main things that made those films so good, and taking that away isn't good for anybody.

One little gripe about it though, would be that is slows done to a halt in the third act, which gave me the signal that it was wrapping up and everything was going to be alright. Then out of nowhere comes this scene with guns blazing and buildings collapsing. I thought the film was over, then it went on for another 30 or so minutes. Although, the last 5 minutes of the film are indeed that damn good.

Bond is low on gadgets this time, and only one short car chase scene, which is fine considering it is his early career. Most of the tense scenes come from Bond sitting in a chair. He's playing poker of course, but sitting in a chair nonetheless. I enjoyed the action scenes and the films really tops the charts as one of the best Bond films and of the year. Much like Batman Begins and Superman Returns, we have a winner on our hands that is taking an old dying series and breathing new and exciting life into it. I'll be sure to see the next film, in which Craig can only better himself as the one they call Bond...James Bond.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)

"Balboa Is Like Remembering The Past With Old Friends"

Rocky Balboa owns a restaurant called Adrians, named after his wife who has passed away. Rocky is old now and lives his life telling old boxing stories to his customers. His son has the unfortunate task of living in his shadow, as everywhere Rocky goes people want his autograph. A computer puts a match between Rocky and Mason, the current undefeated heavyweight champion. This match gets people talking and encourages Rocky to come out of retirement for one last time.

Rocky Balboa has many good things going for it, but it just doesn't have that one spark that the rest of the series has. For one, it isn't the best film in the series, for the other it's a perfect ending to the series and for the Rocky character. Rocky Balboa is a film that takes us back, back to that era when people were chanting that name and running up those stairs. The film feels like your sitting down with a bunch of friends and recounting the fun times you've had and places you've went. We know and love the character and it's sad to see him where he is today, with all his glory in the past. Much like the fun memories that we have, that are in the past.

Balboa feels more gritty and real then the previous films, it has that Million Dollar Baby feel. A little too real if you ask me. The climatic fight scene is short and no where near as suspenseful as one would hope for. Rocky is indeed old and past his prime, this is evident in the fight. Rocky doesn't take a beating and he doesn't give a beating either. The Rocky films were set in an obtuse reality. The fight scenes were so obvious that they would never happen in reality, one only has to watch Rocky fight Drago to know this. But that is what made the films good. The tension is all gone in the final fight because everything happens slowly and it's over sooner then one would think.

Balboa packs the most emotion since the original Rocky film. The film isn't really about boxing, or overcoming great odds, but more of Rocky's life after his success. Whereas the fifth film failed at this, Balboa succeeds with great strides. People will like this movie because it has the exact same feeling as the original. Films 2 through 5 had Rocky at the height of his fame. He was in his prime, had the title shot and has the belt. Now, much like the original where he was no one, Rocky is too old and is considered a joke in the eye of the media.

Fans of the series will not be disappointed. Much like the title character, its audience has also grown older. We are right there with Rocky remembering the good old days with Adrian. Stallone is indeed getting older and it is more evident here then ever before. He was never really a good actor, but here he manages to show some talent. Burt Young gives a good humour supporting role. Although, Everyone else attached seems to be lost. The films so called villain, Mason Dixon, is no where near any other opponent Rocky has faced. With the likes of Apollo Creed, Thunderlips, Clubberlang, Ivan Drago, hell even Tommy Gun, Dixon is the worst. The character has no qualities about him that make him stand out at all. Again, this can only be counted for the "reality" that this film is set in. If you want to see a Rocky film with a Million Dollar Baby undertone, Rocky Balboa is the film you want to see. If you walk in expecting unrealistic fights, vibrant colours and over the top villains, Rocky Balboa will disappoint.

The series was getting tiring and almost dead, Balboa is the perfect ending to it, because it has that same feeling, but at the same time manages to inject some life. Balboa features the classic training scenes and theme song and will give you goose bumps like the old days. Rocky and Stallone have finally let that beast out from within. Stallone can now feel content that the series has a proper ending and if you're the kind of person with an emotional heart, you may even shed a tear. I recommend Balboa for those who want one last match with the 'Italian Stallion'.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Smokin' Aces (Joe Carnahan)

"Smokin' Aces Is A Blender Baby"

Buddy "Aces" Israel is being targeted after snitching on the mob. The amount on his head is a staggering one million dollars. Now every hit-man and woman want a shot at it.

If I were to ever make a film, Smokin' Aces is the type of film I would want to make. Although in my mind, my film is also 100 times better and wins a crazy amount of Oscars. Aces is a film that is not really original, but it does what it sets out to do and that is entertain. Sure it's not the perfect film, but it never tries to be. It suffers from a poor ending, too many characters and it becomes too Hollywood for it's own good. With everything that's wrong with it, it's also good. Carnahan delivers the film with a unique style and the film will definitely entertain. The film is not original, it takes bits a pieces from many other films: Pulp Fiction, Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, any Tony Scott film and last years Lucky Number Slevin. Throw those films into a blender and you get Smokin' Aces. While Aces never reaches the greatness of those films it is good and deserves a chance. Listen to me and not those other uptight critics.

Aces does have too many characters, the film takes a good twenty minutes to introduce everyone, but once you see them and are given that brief back story you don't need anything else. Are you suppose to connect with these characters? Aside from Reynolds and possibly Piven himself, the answer is no. You don't try to get to know these characters, you know they are contract killers and that's all you need to know. Instead you root for one of them, whoever you think is the "coolest" or most "badass". The characters are indeed diverse and over the top, you have: Ben Affleck as a bail bondsman, his two friends who are ex-cops, Bateman as a sleazy lawyer, two femme fatals, three insane Nazi like guys known as The Tremors, a torturer who doesn't torture anyone in the film, a man who changes identity and masks, Buddy Piven Israel and his crew, Reynolds and Liotta as the two FBI agents and their superior Garcia. Seems like a lot of people and it is, but you won't get confused as to who's who at any point.

If I were to cut out some characters, the film could do without the kid and his granny, along with Israel's manager/lawyer. Instead give that screen time to more action. There I said it, the film could use a little bit more action. Don't get me wrong, the film does showcase enough violence to please the usual film goer, but I couldn't help but want a little bit more by the time the film was over. Speaking of which, when the film ended, it seemed like they didn't know what they wanted to do. So they threw in that trying to trick you bit that fails so many times when not done right. Half way through the film you know what the twist is and when they reveal the real reason behind the hit, it kind of ruins the rest of the film. Carnahan and his crew could have ended the film with a wrap up for each character, it would have better suited the film, but we are left with no explanation of what happens to whom.

Now onto the whole "Too Hollywood" bit. You know in films when something happens to a character and you think they are dead? Only to discover they live at the end? Well that kind of happens here. Granted it's not as shocking as the other films, but it does become annoying. In one particular scene, two character shoot the living hell out of one another in an elevator, yet they don't die at the time, instead they live for another twenty minutes. Another character gets shot in the face, yet he lives. Aces also suffers from the "Hollywood Minute". This usually affects films that deal with bombs that are about to explode in 5 seconds, but it last for 2 minutes. Well it kind of happens here with certain characters. For example, one character is in the room with Aces and it's his mission to take his heart, which is what every hit-man must do. Well, he gets in their and kills the one body guard, then the film cuts to every other character. Twenty minutes go by and the same guy in that room is just putting his gun away after killing him.

Everybody in the film does a good job with their characters and it was nice to spot those familiar faces in the cast, such as Matthew Fox from Lost fame and the one hit-man who people will recognize from Suddenly Susan. While the comedy doesn't really last throughout the entire film, it's Bateman who steals the comedy with his sleazy lawyer role. He delivers every line with comedy gold.

Carnahan, who's previous film was Narc, has a unique visual style and it's present here as it was with Narc. Now Aces isn't as good as Narc, but that's only because these films are so diverse. Aces isn't set in any reality, this is evident throughout the entire film. None of this would ever happen in real life, so you know to just sit back and relax and enjoy the mayhem that appears. Piven plays his usual fast talking dirt bag character, only this time he has a few card tricks to flash the audience. Reynolds and Liotta work well together and Reynolds is the real standout in the entire cast. I would recommend this film for anyone who wants a good entertaining flick in which they can just sit back and enjoy the action.


A system of cells interlinked
Great reviews Suspect.. I am going to peg some for the main page!
“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal, and if they are equal, they are not free.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

You ready? You look ready
I didn't like Smokin' Aces at all. I'd have to say the comedy was some of the best stuff in it and the action was pretty decent. Everything else was just kind of like blah. I was going in expecting something better then what I got. Big mistake. Good review though.
"This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined." -Baruch Spinoza

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Letters From Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)

"Humanizes Everyone In The Time Of War"

"Letters From Iwo Jima" tells the story of the Japanese soldiers who fought on that island against the Americans. The story is told from multiple perspectives of the soldiers, all writing letters to their loved ones.

In my review of Flags of Our fathers I claimed it was too formulaic and unfocused. Letters is Eastwoods second time around with the same story, but from the opposite side. This gives us the result of a courageous film that is beautiful and bold, heart-wrenching and honest, and finally an Oscar worthy picture.

Letters out does Flags in every way possible. Not once in flags did I have any emotional connection with anyone, or did I care who lived or died. With Letters I connected with everyone, in their own unique way. The soldier who only wanted to go home to see his wife and baby, the general who wishes he could have washed the kitchen floor before he left, even the Kemeptai soldier who was so desperate3 to go home that he surrendered to the Americans. On that day these soldiers were the enemy, in this film we see who they really are. This film honours the men who fought in that war and not the government of Japan, who was the real enemy.

Truth be told, they were as much the victims of war as we were. Eastwood depicts this perfectly, in one scene the soldiers in one mountain cave were ordered to kill themselves. Imagine being he one to have to do that. In what was probably the most intense scene (of many) the remaining soldiers blow themselves up with their hand grenades as they cry in fear, remembering their loved ones before they die. In letters the Americans are the enemy and the language barrier is evident. After one soldier surrenders to the Americans, who is shot, along side a prisoner, simply because the two soldiers believe they will be sitting ducks with these two beside them. If a soldier was considered a coward, then they would be executed by the sword. The true horror of war is depicted in Letters and not Flags.

The film flows more smoothly then in Flags, where we would have random flashback sequences coming out of nowhere and serving no purpose. Here you can tell when they will flashback and the importance behind each one. Flags had beautiful cinematography and colours, Eastwood brings the exact same feel to Letters and it's just as beautiful. These colours connect the two films and the two opposing sides, they both fought on the same ground. With Eastwoods hand held camera movements in Flags I had no idea what was going on and my head felt like a top, again in Letters he betters himself and let's us actually see the action, while still containing the feel that it's crazy in there.

The film is in Japanese with one or two scenes spoken in English. As with Passion of the Christ, it adds to the experience of the film and puts you there. In films like Enemy At The Gates, where the Russians and Germans all spoke English, you feel like you're watching a movie. In the one of two scenes were English is spoken, a Japanese General reads a letter written by the mother of one of the American soldiers. The Japanese soldiers listen and understand that the Americans are not the ruthless monsters they were told, but in fact human. Just like them and they don't want to be on the battlefield just as much as they do. Everyone in the cast deliver honest and powerful performances. Watanbe, who is more comfortable in his native language; captures the screen in every scene he is in, playing both a strong minded general and a soft hearted human at the same time. He doesn't want to fight, but he wants to honour Japan at the same time.

The film does fault itself though. It is a very long film that kind of dragged itself to the finish line. I did find myself thinking that it was a long movie and when you start thinking that, it takes away from the overall enjoyable experience. Eastwood could have easily cut out one or two moments when the character are "writing their letters" to keep the film at a good running time. The second thing is something I would have liked to have seen added myself. I would have liked to have seen more connection between the two films. Sure in Flags we see that the Japanese in pieces all over the caves and we finally see why, but other then that and a few battle scenes that are used directly in both films there is not much else. Where was that one scene in Flags where the kid disappears from underneath the ground? That would have connected the two films better, to see one of the Japanese solders crawling up a tunnel and kidnapping a soldier. Hearing Phillippe's voice above ground crying out where the other soldier is, this would have connected the two better.

Letters is an excellent film with the message that no matter what side you're on in war, it's hell. That's exactly what I got from this film, and yes even Flags. Letters out does Flags in every way possible and betters its chances for that Oscar gold. It's one of the best war films ever made. It's not a perfect film, but it is the one that Eastwood wanted to make and it is exactly what the title says, it's actually Letter From Iwo Jima.


Nice review Suspect. I saw I believe a twilightzone episode similar to where the American soldier was cursing the otherside and loved to kill the enemy but was instantly transported to look like a Japanese soldier where he actually was able to see the human side of the enemy as his American friends were trying to kill him. I can't swear it was the twilighzone though but one of those types of shows.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck)

"A Gripping And Career Defining Performance From Gosling."

A junior high school teacher who also teaches the basketball team has a problem...a drug problem. Dan Dunne's life is a mess; he lives alone in a crummy apartment and is on the short end of an addiction that has a hold on him. After one of his students finds him in a stall of the girl’s bathroom high on drugs, they form an unlikely friendship that raises a few eyebrows.

Ryan Gosling was the only reason to watch the short lived television show "Breaker High". From there gosling went on to bigger and better things, with supporting roles in both "Remember The Titans" and "Murder By Numbers", he was making a small name for himself. Gosling went under the radar and it was his disturbing turn as a Jewish neo Nazi in "The Believer" that had me thinking that this young actor actually had some acting chops. In the field with other names like Paul Walker, Josh Hartnett and Orlando Bloom, Gosling managed to not be just another pretty face. He become a household name for young females when he and now girlfriend Rachel McAddams both turned in romantic performances in "The Notebook" Now Gosling is under the radar again with "Half Nelson" and receives a much deserved Oscar nomination.

Gosling is a talent to watch, as his hones his craft he will no doubt receive the coveted Oscar in the future. In "Half Nelson", Gosling manages to pull off a complex and gripping performance that is honest and brutal. In the hands of any other actor the character of Dan Dune would fall under the clichéd drug addicted and the film itself would fizzle out amidst the hundreds of other films that came out in 2006. Gosling gives a quite and intense performance all throughout, that gives off a small hint of strung out and on the edge, and this man can erupt at any moment. The emotional connection that Gosling has with young newcomer Shareeka Epps drives the film into an uneasy, yet comfortable feeling. The relationship on the surface would seem inappropriate, yet we go along for the ride as if nothing is wrong at all. We feel comfortable with these characters being together. Gosling drives the film with his powerhouse performance and raises the bar for the rest of the cast in the picture.

Fleck sees a lot of handheld camera movements throughout, grounding the film in reality. The story itself takes place on the streets, thus the viewer feels uneasy. There are few steady camera pans and many close-ups and the characters faces. We get a close relationship with these characters; we see them for who they really are. In the scene where Drey sees that the last drug deal is in fact her teacher, we get a close-up of both their faces; we see that Dunne is at the bottom of the barrel. We also get a close-up of Drey, stunned and disappointed with her supposed friend/teacher. Another scene would be when Drey first discovers Dunne's drug problem in the bathroom stall. Embarrassment, shame, loneliness, compassion, and humility are all evident in Gosling's emotion and you need the close-up of his face to capture this emotion and feel how real it is. As Fleck's first big motion picture, you can see his inexperience, but every shortcoming is overshadowed by how good the film is.

While the film itself has no real plot or direction, it's story is centred around it's characters and that makes for a gripping character drama. Most character driven films tend to stray from being entertaining into complete boredom. Half Nelson is an exception; it keeps the viewer enthralled and brings them along for the ride that is Dan Dunne. He is spiraling down and ending his road. He has to change his life; the only thing that is keeping him from going completely over the edge is the kids. The ambiguous ending leaves the viewer to make up their own mind as to what Dunne's life ends up being. He shaving his face is his rebirth, a new start; Dunne is trying to get his life back on track, but there will be bumps in the road, which is exactly what Drey meant by the statement that he missed a spot.

The film doesn’t keep up to the same pace as Gosling, but it isn’t too far behind either. Half Nelson is one of those films that is under your nose and you have to look around to actually find it, but when you do you will be thankful. Nelson is a film to watch for its honest performances, not so much its directorial features. Don’t let this small gem of a film slip through your fingers.


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
300 (Zack Snyder)

"300 Joins The Matrix, Star Wars, and Citizen Kane As Films That Changed Cinema"

Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300" centres on the 300 Spartans that defended their freedom with their lives against an army of thousands.

What can one say about “300” that hasn’t already been said? One simply has to watch the trailer to know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they go to see “300”, a visually stunning film that piles the bodies high and blood splatter higher. Without a well known cast and a director that only has one film under his belt it would take something impressive to attract people. The “300” trailer did just this, as hype of the film spread like wildfire throughout the internet and months before it’s release was being hailed as the next big thing in cinema. Well, the film has finally arrived and it’s safe to say that you can add it to the list along with: “The Matrix”, “Star Wars”, “LOTR” and “Citizen Kane” as films that have changed the way we look at cinema.

“300” opens with a back-story to a normal starting life of a Spartan, if the baby is born too small or too weak, it’s literally tossed off a cliff. Taught to fight as early as he can walk, the Spartan must learn to be tough and leave no room for weakness. Every Spartan must go through a test, in the film’s case it was against a wolf. This has been done for years and you get the sense that these guys are serious. The film has two different stories, one is the obvious: 300 Spartans vs Persian Army, the other is The Queen back in Sparta dealing with the fact her husband might die. It's her duty to get more soliders out there to his aid, but not everyone in Sparta is supporting her cause. Now, it doesn't take a genius to know that most of the story centres on the battle and everyone will want the story to centre on the Spartans. It seemed to me that the point of the queens story is to take deep breaths so the viewer can regroup themselves.

“300” is the second film based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller. “Sin City” generated the same amount of hype across the globe and has its own unique visual style. If “Sin City” was the first step into the next generation of film, then “300” is a giant leap. Its beautiful colours are enough to draw an audience regardless of the films quality. Lucky for us it’s not just its visual style that makes the film good. Shot entirely on green screen, Snyder is able to create a world full of muscular Spartans, ugly monsters and violent battle scenes, creatively and effectively. The tans/yellows of the battle ground provide a great backdrop for the red coated Spartans. Boy, does that red ever jump out at you too.

Knowing the history of Spartans, the film is not totally accurate, but it gets the basics down. These warriors were born to be fighters and nothing else. The filmmakers intended to not be historically accurate in order to give an entertaining film, and it works like a charm. This is something “Troy” and “Alexander” suffered from greatly. Hearing the story that only 300 men defended themselves against thousands upon thousands could raise a few eyebrows. That’s until you see these warriors and their lifestyles. They don’t have normal professions back home. They’re not blacksmiths or carpenters, as one character says, they’re warriors, that’s their profession. These men were meant to fight and the actors look spot on. Gerard Butler, whom I only recognize fro the Tomb Raider sequel, embodies what a Spartan is. Here’s a guy who made me believe he was an actual Spartan. He has just the right amount of honours and leadership to command the army and the film; he does so with ease. Hidden behind a beard and his helmet for most of the film, Butler pulls off a great performance of a man who is not afraid to be on the front lines in battle. It’s an honest performance that could take some by surprise, if you think the film is only about yelling Sparta every couple of seconds, you’re only half right.

Snyder is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Here is a young guy with obvious talent, who took on two difficult films that had an audience before the film was released. Creating a worthy remake with “Dawn of the Dead”, Snyder tackled this project head on. Working on digital only enhances the creativity this guy can bring to a project. Only time will tell if he can solidify himself in the business with his next undertaking of “The Watchmen”.

Much like Miller’s other work, “300” is a brutal film that doesn’t let up with its content. The film tells you point blank that it’s going to be bloody violent and it actually keeps its promise. Only once or twice does it slow down for some dialogue, to let the viewer settle down after watching an onslaught of violence. The violence is stylized, mixing fast and slow motion left right and centre. The blood is CGI and legs, heads and arms do fly off at every corner. But the violence is stylized so much, that in the end the gore factor doesn’t seem like a lot. You know you’re watching gory images, but it doesn’t send chills down your spine, instead you simply think, “That was cool”. The entire film plays out like a wet dream to every movie aficionado, video game player, comic book reader (sorry graphic novel reader) out there. It’s a shame that Alan Moore hasn’t had as good a time at the movies as Frank Miller has, graphic novel adaptations need visionary directors. Snyder is one of these visonary directors that can only grow with more time and expeirence.

I totally recommend “300”, for anyone looking for a visionary film and who’s not afraid of violence on the screen. It’s a roller-coaster ride that only ends when the screen turns black. The final moments of the film gave me goose bumps and there are too many beautiful scenes to name one as my favourite. “300” earns its R rating; it’s a hard nose slobber-knocker. The body count is in the thousands and the blood is in the gallons. For a fully enjoyable experience, one should see this on IMAX. If you really want to know what “300” is like, it’s basically the trailer, extended past two hours.