The Fry Box: Spud's Reviews

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I found it funny that at times when Danny Glover's character is in the car, he talks as if he's got something in his mouth that is not allowing him to talk right, but when he's out of the car, he talks fine with no hinderence whatsoever.
It seemed all the way through the film that he had either false teeth or something else in his mouth, it was very off putting. I did think the teeth were moving at one point and when he spoke he didnt really open his mouth much. It is very odd what was going on with his teeth it is very annoying.

WARNING: "Shooter" spoilers below

Did you notice when Nick Memphis was being tortured and the guy was pouring water into his mouth, the bottle was half empty then quarter empty due to spillage but in the next frame it was full again.
~In the event of a Zombie Uprising, remember to sever the head or destroy the brain!~

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Fairplay I do love the ending of Shooter
The movie isn't much, but it's one of those I can always watch when I'm not feeling like doing anything else. And yes, the ending isn't bad at all.
"I was walking down the street with my friend and he said, "I hear music", as if there is any other way you can take it in. You're not special, that's how I receive it too. I tried to taste it but it did not work." - Mitch Hedberg

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

One thing I've neglected to do is see the original film, but before you can jump my case about it, I've got it in my Netflix queue.

I think everyone is familiar, in some way, with the premise of TDTESS. We know an alien, by the name of Klaatu, comes to Earth with his "bodyguard" GORT. Then, some soldier with an itchy trigger finger shoots Klaatu and catapults Earth into a struggle to survive.

I'm hesitant to really go into too many details with this simply because I haven't seen the original yet. I will say this, though. The underlying "change to protect the Earth" message, just made me feel that Al Gore directed this movie. Ultimately, yes, I know that we have to change our ways in order for their not to be global warming and whatnot. I'm not totally against change, and I'm doing my part to "go green," but you get the change or we die message anywhere you go these days, why couldn't Fox or even the director for that matter, resist the urge to make this a 2 hour shockumentary?

That's not to say I didn't like the movie. I had a problem with Kathy Bates being the Secretary of Defense, but that was really the only casting problem I had. Keanu Reeves is known for his deadpan acting skills, so he was a perfect match for an alien that shows little to no emotion.

Overall, if you haven't seen this yet, avoid making any conclusions unless you've seen the original. It's worth at least one viewing, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it warrants multiple viewings.

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Mirrors (2008)

I'm not big on the horror or physological thriller genre, but I have to admit that this wasn't too bad. Granted, it wasn't the greatest movie I've ever seen either.

When watching movies like this, I already expect major flaws and plot holes, this movie didn't let me down. Again, that's not to say that I didn't enjoy bits and pieces of it, but for the most part it wasn't "scary" nor did it require much thought on the viewers behalf.

The entire concept that mirrors are creepy is nothing really new. I'll admit, sometimes when the light is just right, I tend to get creeped out by a mirror, but that doesn't happen often.

This movie, being a remake of a Korean movie titled Into the Mirror or Geoul Sokeuro, you almost expect that what made the original story and movie creepy have been stripped away and toned down. Naturally, when given the option of watching a movie in it's original theatrical version or the unrated version, I always choose the latter. Yes, there were a couple of scenes that may cause you to twinge, but this is only two scenes we're talking about here.

I wasn't so impressed by the way the movie ended. The end result of Ben Carson's (Sutherland) efforts to thwart the mirrors' attacks was clever, but the 3-5 minute sequence leading up to the ultimate ending was way out of left field and totally unnecessary.

Overall, not as bad as some recent attempts at scary movies, but nothing special.

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Yes Man (2008)

I've been a on again off again fan of Jim Carrey's over the years. He's done some laugh out loud stuff, ala Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, some dramatic stuff, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and some ho hum stuff, The Mask. Yes Man falls somewhere in there between all of his different characters, but this time, there doesn't seem to be anything that establishes this as a solid Jim Carrey vehicle.

What's more, my wife made this comment before we watched it which I hadn't given much thought to before. She says, "Isn't this a lot like Liar, Liar? He couldn't tell lies in that and in this he has to say yes?" I couldn't help but agree at the similarities between the two. However, where Liar, Liar went over the top in trying to get laughs, Yes Man keeps the comedy light and tries to balance it all out so you're not getting too much of one thing.

Were there flaws, of course there were, but for this type of movie, you can't let those flaws ruin the film. There were a couple of amusing characters, Norman, Carl's (Carrey) boss and Tilly, Carl's neighbor. Those two didn't have a lot of screen time, but they made their scenes count. I've always been a fan of Zooey Deschanel for some reason. From being a distraught wife who ends up running from the wind in The Happening to the lead singer of Munchausen By Proxy in Yes Man, it's safe to say that she has range.

While this is a Carrey film, it's best not to go in expecting a comedy. The trailers are misleading in that aspect. However, if you choose to watch this, know that is at its roots a love story. Those expecting a lot of comedy from Carrey will be let down.

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
The Prestige (2006)

So this isn't a newer movie, but has quickly become a favorite of mine. What I find so great about this film, is not only the cast, but the director. Christopher Nolan, before becoming mainstream with his reboot of the Batman franchise, brought us Memento among some of his other films. Now, I would assume that almost everyone has seen Memento and was blown away by the surprise ending, The Prestige is no different.

The story of two rival magicians vying for the number one trick that will ensure their position as the best magician is one that is very intriguing. The simple fact that all magicians are shrouded in mystery when it comes to how they execute their tricks makes the story that much more believable.

From the set design down to the cast, Nolan really hit the nail on the head when capturing turn of the century London.

Now of course, from time to time, more than one film will come out that covers the same topic. We've seen it with Armageddon and Deep Impact, Volcano and Dante's Peak. The year that The Prestige came out, Edward Norton was starring in The Illusionist. While I have not seen The Illusionist, I can probably bet a lot of money on the fact that The Prestige is ten times better.

While I find it hard to really go into details on this, I will say one thing that should make your mind up, if you haven't seen this yet. The Prestige is a masterpiece in its own right. Whether it be the two magicians struggle to be the best, or the their fight to remain sane while justifying their efforts to sabatoge the others work, The Prestige will leave you wanting more.

To quote a Mr. Fred Fenster, "It'll flip ya, flip ya for real."

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

What can be said about this movie that anyone not living under a rock doesn't already know? Yes, it won for Best Picture this year at the Oscars, but after watching it, it didn't have that "I'm better than you" feeling to it.

Watching the story unfold for Jamal Malik was bittersweet. You, no doubt, laughed when he jumped into the pool of feces in order to obtain an autograph. Your stomach probably churned a little at the "orphanage." When the credits started rolling, you knew without a doubt, Jamal earned his winnings.

As I said before, this didn't have that Best Picture feel to it. That's not to say it wasn't good, but I was expecting just a tad more. I guess what sets Slumdog apart from the rest of the pack, is the simple fact that Danny Boyle was able to pull a little bit of comedy, drama, action, suspense and romance all into one film and have the film still end on a high note.

This isn't one to pass up, but it's certainly not one that will blow your mind. It is, quite honestly, a simple film with extraordinary elements that make it shine when it needs to.

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Flash of Genius (2008)

Here's a movie off the beaten path. Flash of Genius starts out and you would think that this is another movie in the same line as A Beautiful Mind, but what's different is that Dr. Robert Kearns does not suffer from any mental illness, he simply wants recognition for what he created.

The basis for this film comes out of The New Yorker. Back in 1993, John Seabrook wrote an article on a fledgling inventor who had, what was referred to when determining patent eligibility, a flash of genius. This story was about Dr. Robert Kearns, an engineering professor at a university in Detroit, who had devoted his life to demanding the recognition he deserved for inventing what he called the Kearns Blinking Eye Windshield Wiper. You know it today, simply as the Intermittent Wiper.

Although the real Dr. Kearns passed away back in 2005, his struggle to beat the big automotive companies went on much longer than the film actually shows.

True stories are always hit and miss. I'm often left wondering if facts were twisted to make the film sway in one person's favor, or if the facts are left almost untouched. Reading through the article this is based on, I leave that conclusion up to you. In this instance, this film does an incredible job at keeping most of the facts untouched.

Flash of Genius is something of a feel good story. One about the "little guy." A countless number of people tell you that you can't do something, but you defy all odds and succeed. This is, essentially, what Flash of Genius is all about.

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Escape From Alcatraz (1979)

Escape From Alcatraz is a movie based on the only escape to ever occur at the isolated island prison. For those of you who've never seen it, or have never heard about the actual escape, the movie offers a very unique glimpse into the now vacant prison.

Having taken a trip to San Francisco and a tour of the prison, I've seen the cells where Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers dug their way out to freedom. Seeing how it all transpired (based on the director's view) is very interesting.

There are a few slow points throughout, but if anything, they show you just how isolated you were from anything and everything if you were serving time on the rock.

I say this about every film I've reviewed so far, and this is no different. It's not a great film by any means, but for what it's worth, it's another solid Clint Eastwood performance. If anything, the movie teaches you that you can build a raft and a life preserver out of raincoats and weld part of nail clippers to a spoon using only matches.

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

So the summer blockbusters or lacklusters, as some might refer to this as, are here. While I'm not entirely crazy about the title choice they decided to go with, Wolverine does a great job at condensing this origin story, but falters on any other character that's in the film.

Hugh Jackman, reprising his role as the adamantium-clawed X-Man Wolverine, doesn't look any different here than he did in any of the three other X-Men films. He's captured the essence of Wolverine and made it his own, which makes for good translation into his first solo film.

There are new faces throughout, for instance, Sabretooth is played by Liev Schreiber vice Taylor Mane from the first film, X-Men. Also, Colonel William Stryker is played by Danny Huston instead of Brian Cox from X-2. These "subtle" changes don't take away anything from this experience, in my opinion, Schreiber does better at portraying Victor Creed than does Mane. Not to mention, he speaks more.

Other than casting changes, other things one might notice is the cheap looking CGI throughout the film. This is something that you will really only notice if you're looking for it. Some scenes, it's more noticeable than others, but it doesn't kill the film, either.

My biggest complaint with the film is their take on Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). He's got a couple of scenes in the beginning of the film and that's pretty much it. After that, what is referred to as Deadpool might upset you.

For Gavin Hood, he did a mediocre job of bringing the origin of one of the more popular Marvel characters to the screen, his blending of scenes to somewhat match up with flashback scenes in X-2 worked quite well, but sadly a lot of other scenes and characters bring the film down from a joygasm to the levels of say Ghost Rider.

All in all, Hood did a commendable job taking on an X-Men character after Brett Ratner butchered the series with X-3. If you're one of those individuals who hasn't seen the leaked version, take it for what it is as a superhero film. After all, it's worthy of at least a matinee ticket to see.