Reviews from an Ape: Johnny Chimpo

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Hello All.

After writing a few reviews, and rather enjoying it, I've decided to make my own review thread. Some of these will be short and concise, while others will be in detail, depending on what I think the film deserves.

So buckle up and enjoy.

Page 1:
The Hangover

The Taking of Pelham 123

Wrong Turn 2

Creep

Knowing

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Haunting in Connecticut

The Ugly Truth
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Latest Review: The Ugly Truth



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



These first few have been copied from previous posts...

THE HANGOVER 2009


When I first saw the previews for this film I honestly was unimpressed. A few of my friends however thought it looked funny so I decided to give it a try. After all, its from the makers of Old School so it had to be gold, right? WRONG. It turns out I was 100% right. This is the most overhyped comedy in the past few years for sure.

The entire movie is an amalgamation of previously done, cliche jokes and premises. In short, The Hangover is a mixture of Dude Where's My Car, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, and Superbad. The only difference is that it is not funny. It is a Superbad for the 30 year old, and the jokes try too hard to be vulgar, thus voiding its comedy. The soundtrack is MTV's Total Request Live in movie form, and is quite nauseating when mixed with premises that are even more trite. I found myself sitting in the cinema halfway through the movie already wishing it was over. Movies shouldn't make you feel that way - especially comedies!

The movie however does have a shining star in up-and-coming comedian Zach Galifianakis. The movie is held together by his timing and comedic genius. If it is necessary for you to watch The Hangover, he will keep you laughing and entertained. The rest, however, is simply a waste of time.

Only this high because of Galifianakis.



THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 2009


Denzel Washington. John Travolta. Need I say more?

Pelham is your classic summer thriller with enough thrown in to keep you interested through its entirety. Its Speed for the next generation, with a star-studded cast that definitely earned their paychecks. In short, The Taking of Pelham 123 harkens back to action adventure flicks from the past, adding new age elements along the way.

Pelham chronicles the hold up of a New York City subway by a psychotic con-man named Ryder(John Travolta). He and a loyal group of followers cleverly disable a single car full of passengers while demanding a large ransom (that old song and dance). A seemingly honest dispatcher named Garber(Denzel Washington) is charged with saving a traincar full of New Yorkers by satisfying Ryder's insatiable greed. The movie has its share of predictablility, but not without a few surprises as well.

The acting in this movie is excellent, as I would be lying if I said Washington was anything short of stunning. Denzel really has a special ability of depicting an unselfish hero, whilst still sustaining the stature of the everyday man. Travolta is suprising, in that he commands the screen with his assertion and attitude. The character of Ryder is unique in the fact that he generally follows through with his threats (making him a real badass). The supporting cast of John Turturro, James Gandolfini, and Luis Guzman rounds out the bill to make Pelham a true blockbuster. Although the plot is not the most unique, there is a certain quality of this film that makes it fresh.

In essence, you get everything you expect out of a good summer thriller. There is plenty of action, a suspenseful storyline, powerful characters, and even a touch of unexpected emotion between Garber and his wife. With a few suprises thrown into the mix, The Taking of Pelham 123 is one you don't want to miss.




WRONG TURN 2 2007


Pretty, pretty bad. Not a big fan whatsoever. There was a pretty good nude scene, but thats about all. If you're into gore, I would recommend. Henry Rollins was hilarious, but not intentionally. The premise and acting was laughable, but what would you expect from a film like this? Just don't do it.




CREEP 2004


Pretty damn good. Very refreshing and different. Pretty scary, especially a chiling reveal. I really liked Franka Potente (Jason Bourne's girlfriend) in it a lot. Creep was the perfect title, as the movie is just really creepy. It's not like you won't be able to sleep or anything, just one of those enjoyable horror flicks.

-I want to justify this, as to me horror films are not on the same scale as others. So a 4.5 for this film isnt necessarily as good as say Titanic, which I would also give a 4.5 (just keep in mind)



KNOWING 2009


Nicolas Cage was, well he was Nicolas Cage. lol. So the acting was so-so at times and others it was horrible. Cage is again typecast as this smug genius who solves everything (a la National Treasure). The music was decent, although it was sometimes over-dramatic and I hate that this cheapy film used my eternal favorite (Beethoven's 7th Symphony, 2nd Movement) so nonchalantly. The story seemed fresh and sometimes chilling, but then it took an awful turn.

The film itself was pretty interesting the first 2/3 of the movie. The last 1/3 seemed a little watered down and over-dramatic for me though. Also, the ending didnt exactly do it for me:

WARNING: "Knowing" spoilers below
I didn't like the whole alien thing. I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, so this just seemed a little over-the-top for what otherwise was a pretty tame psychological film. I did however like how Cage's character died with his family in the firey uproar of chaos. I didnt really expect that.


First 2/3:

Last 1/3:

Overall: Ill be generous and give it


Pretty good popcorn flick



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO 2002


Ah the Dumas classic resurrected by Hollywood for the 21st century. Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

If you thought so, you would be proven wrong after watching this film. With a cast as lined with craftsmen such as Jim Caviezel, an effervescent Guy Pearce, and the gifted artist that is the late Richard Harris, Monte Cristo would work with even a shotty storyline. But when you pair these fine actors with one of the most renowned stories of modern times, a special film is made. Even the comical Luis Guzman showed some versatility in his performance as the sidekick of Edmond Dantes.

The jailbreak story is a classic one that has been repeated with success by many films (Shawshank, Alcatraz). But there is something about this story that seems timeless. Perhaps it is the classic themes that it employs. Betrayal, love, revenge, and greed are the emotions that really make this plot work, and the actors do a fine job of tying it all together.

The visuals of Monte Cristo are stunning, as you would expect from a period epic. Time period clothing, structures, and scenery really help a viewer get into each character's head, making it quite an experience.

The only qualms I have with this film is the variation it has with the original Dumas work of masterpiece (the thought of a personal encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte by Edmond Dantes is quite ridiculous). Also, the musical score could have been slightly better. This film is one you should seriously consider experiencing




THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO 2002


Nice review... I saw this in the theater and loved it... and bought the DVD when it was released but have only watched it once... so I think I'm overdo for a re-watch...
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
So, Chimpo.maybe you should search out the Robert Donat classic 1934 version of the flick (I like it better, but I like this one too). If you do that, you can also try to catch The Son of Monte Cristo. HA!
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So, Chimpo.maybe you should search out the Robert Donat classic 1934 version of the flick (I like it better, but I like this one too). If you do that, you can also try to catch The Son of Monte Cristo. HA!
I love this story, thanks for the tip, ill probably add it to my queue actually



THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2009


The Haunting in Connecticut is a horror tale that circles around Matthew Campbell, a teenage cancer patient in the late 1980's. Going through a then experimental radiation treatment, Matthew is warned that his new therapy might cause some hallucinations among other painful side effects. Upon moving into a new house, Matthew starts to see terrifying images of the forgotten dead and finds it hard to keep himself together. Matt's family doesn't know how to handle his situation because not only is he deathly ill, but he's seeing things...or is he?

The performances in this film are dismal to say the least, but not as bad as they could have been given such a shaky script. For me, the real abomination came from the casting, as very few of the actors delivered believability to their characters. Erik J. Berg, the child who played Jonah (supposed to be a creepy young medium between realms) could no doubt turn Stanley Kubrick over in his grave. Berg was no more frightening than Keanu Reeves deserves an Academy Award.

At heart, a horror film is supposed to scare; or at the very least be chilling. This picture did not even come close to encompassing these emotions. Just a regular ghost story here, nothing fresh or even creepy. The only innovation of interest employed by Connecticut was the clever depiction of the paranormal substance known as "ectoplasm". And boy did the marketing team let you know it. The trailer, the movie poster (see above), EVERYTHING spoon-fed a flash of Jonah regurgitating the smoky, slithery substance. By the time I actually got around to watching the film, the scene seemed all too old as I had already seen it a dozen times.

As with a wide majority of movies, this film is not without a gem or two. As feminine as it may seem, I rather enjoyed the emotional chaos the family had to endure as a result of Matthew's illness. Watching how each member of the family coped with the horrible events made this film a little more bearable. This film wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very good either. If you're looking for a dark, mediocre drama then this film is for you. If you're like me who likes a good fright with their horror, I would certainly not recommend.




RIP www.moviejustice.com 2002-2010

Denzel Washington. John Travolta. Need I say more?
Old, beyond their prime, mediocre, though somewhat enjoyable to watch actors that usually bring in an audience but who knows for how much more often as they often play the same roles over and over again but won't be able to for much longer and if I was them I think I would just retire, stop eating, and go off someplace far away with lots of bloody marys and 20 year old women preferably on an island lots of wild cats that act tame and sit in your lap.
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THE UGLY TRUTH 2009


New age crass humor meets classic romantic comedy a la How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in this summer feel-good blockbuster. In The Ugly Truth, the stunningly beautiful Katherine Heigl plays an overly uptight producer for an early-morning television program. Her world is turned upside down when a boorish tv-style shock jock (Gerard Butler) is hired to boost the stations ratings. After butting heads, the two call a truce pending Butler's help to relieve his producer's control-freak lifestyle.

I loved this film. The style fuses Judd Apatow style humor with classic romantic-comedy themes to create something fresh. Both Heigl and Butler create very likable characters that an audience can enjoy laughing at. This is definitely something that you would want to see with friends/significant other; I would not recommend viewing it alone. It is interesting to see a film in which the theme examines stereotypical behavior of the sexes and how they collide in a humorous way.

Yes it was crude, yes it was cheesy, yes the ending was predictable, but it was also extremely funny. This is a feel-good romantic comedy, not the Godfather. Don't drag yourself to the cinema expecting an Oscar winner. This film is perfect to sit back and enjoy a few laughs. It even made an ole' "manly man" like me root for Butler and Heigl to fall in love.

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