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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Armored



A new guard in in the armored truck gig is recruited by his co-workers to steal 42 million from the truck. No bad guys, so no one will get hurt, right? Of course things go wrong and the new guard decides to have a conscience and make things right by saving the life of a dying man.

I'll admit that I didn't really have any interest in this film, but I didn't have any interest in Fantastic Mr Fox either, and that film made my top ten of the year. Armored is even more of a disappointment then I thought it would be. As a heist film, it fails to deliver the goods, it's boring and full of plot holes and leaps in logic that one will hurt themselves thinking about it.

Despite this the film somehow has a really great cast, but the film doesn't even use this to it's advantage. Everyone seems wasted in wooden characters that make stupid choices. Columbus Short is an uninteresting lead that is never charismatic and never makes the audience want to give a crap. Matt Dillon is the mastermind behind the heist and he plays Mr. Nice Guy at first, then when things don't go his way he quickly becomes the villain. The rest of the impressive cast include Lawrence Fisburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich, Fred Ward, Amaury Nolasco from Prison Break and Milo Ventimiglia from Heros. Non of them do much and when they actually do something, it's without much reasoning behind it.

The film is relatively short, but even with it's running time under 90 minutes, it felt dragged out. How long can you make a movie about a guy trapped somewhere? Phonebooth did a decent job and it was even more restricted. The leaps of logic concerning the plot here are tragic. 42 million and all the security they have are check ins every hour or so? The entire plan from my understanding was to drive the trucks into an abandoned warehouse and hide the money. Pretend to get hit and burn the trucks. They would then walk away with the money. Of course something goes wrong, or there would be no movie right? Through a series of unfortunate events out so called hero has trapped himself inside the truck with an injured officer. The rest of the movie is Dillion and his crew banging on the doors to get in. How very exciting.

The script calls for our hero to have financial problems, he might lose his house, which would in turn make him lose his brother. You see, both their parents died and it's just the two of them looking out for each other. So now he has a reason to join the heist. At first he didn't want in, but his money problems is just the right push to throw him in the thick of things. How convenient.

Armored's whole spin on the heist genre is that it's from an armored truck, from the guys who drive it. After that basic premise, the film falls flat on it's face. I found myself wanting it to end sooner and sooner each time someone spoke. Speaking of the ending, it sucks.

Skip it.

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

Suspect's Reviews



there's a frog in my snake oil
In a fit of indecision, or possibly steely decision-making, I give these all
...



Apocalypto

The stultifying, terrifying raid on a village is probably the standout achievement of this flick, with its unflinching re-enactment of what such an event might be like. Other aspects are also genuinely unsettling and impressively recreated, such as the eventual destination for our enslaved protagonists, but the conjecture involved takes some of the edge off the evoked sense of realism. Unfortunately (or thankfully given the prior slow-boil horrors) a big slice of serendipity triggers a procedural chase for the rest of the movie. The actors are all engaging, but Gibson's lingering, looping style starts to hurt the flick, and the elongated sub-plot of a troubled wife feels more like a set-piece waiting to become a Disney ride.




Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Despite some freeflowing 70s misogyny, and a truly horrible pan-and-scan viewing, I enjoyed this take on the heist genre. Bridges' carefree cad is a great creation, and balanced well by a grizzled Clint. The other characters are cartoon-like, but I liked some of the naturalistic non-sequitur dialogue and the various oddballs who dropped in from time to time. A simple chunk of familiar landscape maybe, but it carved a bit of an emotional niche for itself by the end.




For Your Consideration

A timely treat for the awards season. Guest and co drop the mockumentary trappings but keep the canny gags and wry character studies coming in this tale of a small flick generating Oscar buzz. It's an easy target, but once they get into their stride the flick rings true with every other beat, creating a musical ripple of giggles and squeaks. Never gonna win an Oscar, but creates a tasty little Raspberry fool.
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When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006, Spike Lee)




It took me a while to be able to watch this... and it will probably be a long time before I'm ever able to again...
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You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.
~William Blake ~

AiSv Nv wa do hi ya do...
(Walk in Peace)




An Education (Lone Scherfig,2009)




Decent, but ultimately too heavy-handed in its moralizing.




Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur,1947)




Great. One of the best film noirs ever.




Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese,2010)




Good. Interesting combination of pulp and b-movies. Mixed on the ending though.



Nice to see you around the forums again, Justin.
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"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969)




Fantastic political mystey-thriller which may seem even better today than it was 40 years ago. Greek expatriate Costa-Gavras directs a story which actually happened near his hometown in a film based on the "novel" by Vasilis Vasilikos which tells of an actual murder of a leftist politician and the cover-up by the military to make it look like an automobile accident. During the opening credits, a disclaimer appears on screen which reads as follows: "Any resemblance to real events, to persons living or dead, is not accidental. It is DELIBERATE." Yves Montand is dynamic as the politician (simply known as "the Deputy") who appeals to the younger generation, but after a rally where he speaks about nuclear pacifism, he exits his hall and finds a surreal situation where the police are present but seem to be doing nothing to control a mob of anti-Communists who are threatening violence. Well, violence ensues and the Deputy is struck by a car but also by what appears to be a stick to the head from someone in the car. This blow ostensibly leaves him brain dead, but a photographic journalist witness (Producer Jacques Perrin) has visual evidence that some of the statements concerning the "accident" which the military are telling are untrue.



The Deputy eventually dies in the hospital, in the presence of his wife (Irene Papas), and a young magistrate (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is assigned to investigate further and get to the bottom of what really happened. There are plenty of lower-end thugs who did the dirty work, such as Yago (Renato Salvatori) who drove the three-wheeled "Kamikaze" which was used during the incident and his ex-con friend Vago (Marcel Bozzuffi) who actually did the striking of the Deputy's head. (These are not spoilers - this all takes place in the first part of the film and it's pretty clear who did what at the time. What makes the film a tense mystery is finding out if the photojournalist and the Magistrate are able to unravel the conspiracy before such overwhelming odds and powerful rivals.) In fact, the scene directly following the attack, where a man chases the Kamikaze, hops onto the flatbed and fights it out with Vago while the car races through the city with Mikos Theodrorakis' percussive musical score as propulsive backbeat is one of the film's highlights. On the other side is stubborn, injured witness Nick (Georges Geret) who remains adamant in telling the truth of what he saw and what happened to him, no matter what happens to him and his family.

There are also plenty of strong supporting characters on both sides of the question. The political supporters of the Deputy have to confront several problems before the rally even begins because their permits were pulled in an attempt to silence the Deputy. These characters certainly come across as passionate and sympathetic. On the other hand, most of the Military Police characters come across as wily and duplicitous, but since we know this is based on a true story, and we know whose side Costa-Gavras and his co-scripter Jorge Semprun are on (they'll say the side of justice), it's OK to see the lines drawn quite strikingly between the two sides. Although the film is very tense and contains bursts of violent movement and more subtle camera movement, it also contains plenty of dialogue. Most of this dialogue is quite satirical and used not only as a way for characters to communicate but also for them to slip up and make mistakes which the honest Magistrate is very capable of deducing throughout the movie.

Although the name of the European country is never specified in the film, we all know that it's meant to be Greece. However, at the time that the film was made, Greece was impossible to use as a shooting location, so most of the filming was done in Algeria. Many of the people involved in the film could not live freely in Greece (the composer was actually imprisoned at the time and had to have his musical score smuggled out to Costa-Gavras). I don't want to give away what the repercussions of the investigation led to or what the title actually means because that's all covered in the latter part of the film and just adds to its overall power. But I will say that Z won Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Editing and that it was also nominated for Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Midnight Cowboy actually won those last three awards.
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
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there's a frog in my snake oil
It's a strange state of affairs where you have to film in Algeria to feel safe. Great write up M, that looks dead interesting. (And accompanied by a very audience-friendly rating too i see )



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Romancing the Stone

Shooting straight into my list of fun comfort movies. Fun, silly, undemanding, a bit of romance and some crocodiles. I confess I have a weakness for this whole 'passion and peril' sub-genre. I've never been a fan of Michael Douglas but he's quite good in this, as is Kathleen Turner. The story and attitudes are somewhat dated but the production values are high and it looks pretty fresh even 25 years later. I imagine this done in the nineties with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage or today with Sandra Bullock and... well, whoever, and I cringe. I know Six Days Seven Nights was a bit of a rip off of this (they even have the abandoned plane) but although that was quite fun too, this is so much better. 4/5 because it cheered me up.




Finished season three of The Wire, probably the weakest of the first three (still a lot better than most of the garbage on tv) but watched the first episode of season four last night and damn it's starting out good. Been hitting up the "Movie Lists" lately, got a hold of a bunch from both the Western and the British lists, seriously low percentages on those two. Really disappointed with Silent Running but the next two I watched were both pretty good so that more than made up for it.


Bullitt (1968, Peter Yates)


Silent Running (1972, Douglas Trumbull)


The Invisible Man (1933, James Whale)


Winchester '73 (1950, Anthony Mann)



The People's Republic of Clogher
In The Loop (2009, Armando Iannucci)

3.5/5

Televisually, I go back with Armando Iannucci to The Friday Night Armistice, then Alan Partridge, his eponymous and underlooked show, The Day Today, The Thick of It and now In The Loop.

He's the brightest comedy writer in Britain. The Ricky Gervais's and Simon Peggs of this world aren't fit to lace his drinks, quite frankly, and they're not exactly bad.

In The Loop is pretty much what we've come to expect from the man - arch satire delicately painted with a brush as broad as Jim Gandolfini's trousers. My, he's piled the lbs on a bit since The Sopranos, hasn't he? Not that he was particularly sylphlike to begin with...

The film's not entirely the Peter Capaldi show but he bestrides it like a colossal, sweary ferret and, of course, gets the lion's share of the best lines, such as:

You say nothing, okay? You stay detached. Otherwise that's what I'll do to your retinas

And that's one of the few that I can print without going asterisk happy!

My favourite as we speak, though, is uttered/hissed by his sidekick Michaelson:

Am I calm? I'm f**king ZEN!

That's the thing about In The Loop, it's so chock full of acerbic one-liners that it's in danger of drowning the viewer in bile and invective. What a calling card, though, for the director.

As someone weaned on In The Loop's gentler but just as well-observed cousin, Yes Minister, I truly believe politics consists of the Civil Service, personal assistants and press officers leading their buffoons of elected 'superiors' around by the nose, constantly firefighting and in a state of panic lest their charge actually say something that wasn't drafted in triplicate days beforehand by a room full of spin doctors.

This film, while not perfect, supports that theory to the hilt.



Oh, and an excellent cameo by Steve Coogan too. Kinda like Paul Calf's uncle...
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"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how the Tatty 100 is done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves." - Brendan Behan



Romancing the Stone

Shooting straight into my list of fun comfort movies. Fun, silly, undemanding, a bit of romance and some crocodiles. I confess I have a weakness for this whole 'passion and peril' sub-genre. I've never been a fan of Michael Douglas but he's quite good in this, as is Kathleen Turner. The story and attitudes are somewhat dated but the production values are high and it looks pretty fresh even 25 years later. I imagine this done in the nineties with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage or today with Sandra Bullock and... well, whoever, and I cringe. I know Six Days Seven Nights was a bit of a rip off of this (they even have the abandoned plane) but although that was quite fun too, this is so much better. 4/5 because it cheered me up.
After watching this some years later I had totally forgetten just how funny this film was great sense of humor glad you enjoyed it.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Stepfather



In this remake we see Dylan Walsh taking over the role of the stepfather. In the original it was my boy John Locke (Terry O'Quinn). This remake is just one of many to come out in recent years and it also succumbs to the PG-13 rating that has been plaguing horror fans since these remakes hit the scene.

The Stepfather is not horrible, but it doesn't try to be memorable either. It's generic and caters to the young teenage crowd. With the exception of Dylan Walsh, who does his best in this creepy role, the film lacks any kind of punch. The characters we are introduced to are poorly written and the choices of actors to portray them doesn't help either. Amber Heard is great to look at, but what use is she here? She spends 90% of the time in a bikini near a pool, or in her underwear in her room. Sela Ward is the mother, who invites a strange man she has never met before to spend time with her and her kids after meeting him in a grocery store. 6 months later, she is getting married, but doesn't bother to ask him about his past life? No pictures, or I.D.?

It was interesting to watch the stepfather (who really isn't the stepfather, more like the mom's boyfriend) try to keep things together, especially when it seemed like his plans were falling apart. Walsh has that sinister look to him and just enough charm to pull off the role. I can't really say the same for anyone else in the film.

The cliches are all here in this film. Cell phones that always have low battery, villains who are mortally wounded, but keep fighting at 100%, pretty young ladies in danger, characters who choose not to believe the truth even though it is right in front of their eyes.

The film is predictable and goes through the motions. All the deaths are boring, but I never expected them to be over exaggerated. I can't really recommend this film, maybe for fans of remakes or the young teenagers who really dig these types of films. It's not horribly bad, but it's not worth the time to go out a grab a copy either.




I absolutely adore CLUE. There’s movies you come across that seem as if no one else likes. Then you come to a place such as movieforums and find so many others having enjoyed the pure entertainment of it all. I’m always please to have found another person who like this movie. The craziest thing about CLUE is the sheer amount of viewing I have under my belt. Nothing comes even remotely close . Shamefully yet truthfully it would be way over the 200 mark of viewing CLUE from beginning to end. Put into account having it on in the background and that number jumps up significantly to the point were it scares me.

I mean the script is so lucid and random. The jokes firing back and fourth. Even to the point were there seems to be no end to the reusage a jokes two, three even four times, then completely bringing the movie to a halt just to tear off another fantastic gag. There’s no really attempt at continuity and if you look at it from that point of view there’s more holes in it then swiss cheese. CLUE overcomes it’s shortcomings by sheer Brava and speed. Like a train not being able to stop when you want it to. There are moments to question in it plotting wise but they’ve already moved on.



I also adore Clue

Col. Mustard: How did you know that?
Wadsworth: Can you keep a secret?
Col. Mustard: Yes.
Wadsworth: So can I.
I'm not shouting! I'm not shouting! alright I'm am shouting!
BONK! a candle stick holder drop from a door ledge smoking him right on the top of the head.



there's a frog in my snake oil


^^^This is not the real Welles. He's on my review thread, starring in F is for Fake... (click to make real )^^^



A system of cells interlinked
Clue kicks much ass, IMO.
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I love Clue! Brilliantly fast-paced farce, great lines, and I love having three different endings. I can't think of many films that would count as proper farce nowadays.
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You cannot have it both ways. A dancer who relies upon the doubtful comforts of human love can never be a great dancer. Never. (The Red Shoes, 1948)