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I haven't seen any of these yet, guess I should get out more LOL



NOT ACTUALLY BANNED
Killer Elite (McKendry, 2011)


It's probably not fair, but anytime I see that Jason Statham is in a movie, I know I'm probably in for something other than groundbreaking cinema. I suppose that makes me a cynic.

Killer Elite is the directorial debut of Gary McKendry and adapts the "true story" of Ranulph Fiennes' 1991 book "The Feather Men." I put true story in quotation marks, because there is some dispute as to whether his controversial and revealing look at assassins hired to pick off four British Army soldiers actually happened.

Killer Elite follows the story of Danny Bryce (Played by the aforementioned Statham) a former "assassin-for-hire" that got out of the killing business only to be sucked back in by a wealthy, aging Sheikh that has kidnapped his friend Hunter (Robert De Niro) and will only release him if Danny agrees to extract confessions from, and subsequently kills, three former British soldiers that killed his sons during war in the 1980s.

Danny begrudgingly agrees to the task in order to save his friend and teams up with two other assassins to get the job done. In pursuit of completing the job, they run into resistance in the form of a man who simply goes by Spike (Clive Owen) who runs an off-the-record security force to protect former members of the British Special Air Service.

If you've seen Crank, The Italian Job, Transporter, or any other Jason Statham movie, then you know there are certain things to expect. You know that if something on-screen has the capacity to explode, it will do just that. You know that if Jason Statham has no weapons and a conflict is on the horizon, he will kill his opponents using only his hands and whatever heavy objects are at his fingertips. You also know that his coarse, impenetrable personality will be melted away whenever he gets around a beautiful woman. There is no shortage of these things in Killer Elite.

Much of the first 45 minutes is highly confusing. Gary McKendry either didn't know how to share useful information like "Hey, who's house is this that he's breaking into out of nowhere?" or he didn't think it was any of our business. There are plenty of directors who have been guilty of trying to use confusion as a way of tricking an audience into thinking there is depth to a film that doesn't actually exist, but I think this was more a case of McKendry honestly not realizing that he was leaving out valuable details.

Viewers will be able to put together the missing pieces as the movie goes on, but they're distracting questions that take away from an already thin story.

As a brief side note, I have to say that the later years of Robert De Niro's career continue to depress me. He is in this movie strictly because his name is Robert De Niro. He isn't given much to do and the little he is given doesn't fit him.

Killer Elite is Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Overall, I'll give the movie 1 hilarious Clive Owen mustache out of 5. The movie is just a mess. Explosions and hand-to-hand combat dominate the screen while you're left wondering why you should care about any of these characters and the dilemmas they face.




It's probably not fair, but anytime I see that Jason Statham is in a movie, I know I'm probably in for something other than groundbreaking cinema. I suppose that makes me a cynic.
That's not cynicism, that's life experience. It's that kind of thing that has kept the human race alive.

It also stars Robert De Niro and, as I've said before, he's not exactly been the poster boy for quality cinema over the last 10 or so years. For me, Clive Owen is just another reason not to watch this, but that's a personal dislike. Everyone else seems to think he's great.



That's not cynicism, that's life experience. It's that kind of thing that has kept the human race alive.

It also stars Robert De Niro and, as I've said before, he's not exactly been the poster boy for quality cinema over the last 10 or so years. For me, Clive Owen is just another reason not to watch this, but that's a personal dislike. Everyone else seems to think he's great.
Yeah that
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Sorry Harmonica.......I got to stay here.
Good review on Killer Elite BB, makes me want to see it, although without too much money expenditure... . Still makes me sad that once again, a fine older film is bastardized for profit. Anyone who remembers Burt Young dismantling a bomb under a car knows what I'm talking about....
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We've gone on holiday by mistake
Agree with most of your reviews but Borat was terrible and Casino Royale was simply ok imo.



NOT ACTUALLY BANNED
Got to see Moneyball last night and I'll have a review for that today or tomorrow.

Also was shown an extended 8 minute trailer of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and that blew me away.



NOT ACTUALLY BANNED
Moneyball (Miller, 2011)


As a fan of baseball, Michael Lewisí book Moneyball and Aaron Sorkin screenplays, I had fairly high expectations for Bennett Millerís latest film. It came through.

Billy Beane (Played by Brad Pitt) is the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics. Following their 2001 dismissal from the MLB playoffs at the hands of the New York Yankees, three of the teamís most important players (Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon and Jason Isringhausen) take off in free agency for larger contracts that the cash-strapped Aís simply canít afford.

Oakland was in a pickle. The most talented players by traditional scouting standards were all going to command high salaries well out of the range of Oaklandís budget. So how are you supposed to put a winning product on the field? Beane became determined to put the right 25 players on the field and not necessarily the best 25 players. That left him looking for alternate, forward-thinking methods of evaluating who was a good player.

After a chance encounter with a young Yale economics graduate (Jonah Hill) when attempting to make a trade with the Cleveland Indians, Billy Beane finds his new method of advanced statistics to build a winner on a budget, despite objections from old guard scouts and coaches.

After building his unconventional roster, Beane runs into opposition from all angles. The manager, the scouts, the mediaÖeven his 12-year-old daughter asks if heíll be out of a job soon.

I really enjoyed Moneyball. The difficulty I run into in reviewing it is leaving the baseball fan in me behind and wondering what I would think of it had I not enjoyed the game or known all the little nuances about that 2002 Oakland team that the movie got right.

Outside of baseball, the movie is effective for the themes it explores of self-doubt perpetuated by a shaky inner-circle of close contacts. You walk away from the movie with the distinct impression that Billy Beane is one of the loneliest people on the face of the planet. Itís an interesting case study in the solidarity of the innovative thinker. The mold is fiercely defended from those that attempt to break it.

It is typical Aaron Sorkin. Itís subtly funny, smart and very fast-paced. There is a terrific scene in the movie where Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are working the phones and playing general managers around the league in an attempt to get the ďmissing pieceĒ pitcher they feel they need. The speed of the scene is Sorkin to the fullest.

The best scenes though are when itís Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt alone. The two are a surprisingly good match and play off of each other very well. Both are very good and even in a crowded field this year, itís hard not to see Brad Pitt getting an Oscar nomination for this one. I was pleasantly surprised by Hill and hope this is a sign of more serious things to come from him.

One small complaint from me, that is strictly a baseball fan thing, is how much they downplayed the talent on that Athletics team. They made you feel like this was a team full of misfits, but they fail to mention that Barry Zito won the Cy Young award that year as the leagueís best pitcher and Aís shortstop Miguel Tejada won the MVP award. Tejada is briefly mentioned and Zito isnít seen in the film at all. I understand they were trying to push the ultimate underdog storyline, but I thought that was a little misleading.

Moneyball is rated PG-13 for some strong language.

Overall I would give Moneyball 4 out of 5. It is beautifully filmed, well acted and very entertaining.




I always thought Jonah Hill was a good actor.

I hate sports movies, but I might see this one - it doesn't hurt that Brad Pitt is the star.



Chappie doesn't like the real world
I really enjoyed Moneyball. The difficulty I run into in reviewing it is leaving the baseball fan in me behind and wondering what I would think of it had I not enjoyed the game or known all the little nuances about that 2002 Oakland team that the movie got right.
I'll let you know. I really want to watch this, but I've never seen a baseball game in my life and have no idea who these people are so I'll be watching it from that viewpoint.

Nice review, by the way.