MovieMan8877445's Movie Reviews

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Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

This for me was actually sort of like the opposite of Raging Bull I guess you can say, because instead of the last 15 minutes or so being dull, like it is for me in Raging Bull, for this itís the first 15 minutes or so thatís dull to me. I did like it more than the ending to Raging Bull though, because I liked them seeing set up Robert DeNiroís character, Travis Bickle. I loved the build-up to the ending to though, I was glad that it didnít disappoint building up to amazing ending throughout the whole movie, it actually delivered. The ending to this is actually probably my favorite thing about Taxi Driver, aside from DeNiroís acting in it. Right now, I think that it could probably make it into my top 10, Iím not sure if itís going to hold up as well with a re-watch though, I sure hope it does but Iím not sure if it will. Also with a re-watch itíll make it easier for me to find a spot for it in my top 10, which is if itís going to end up in my top 10.


Very good review, kid. Glad you like the film as I also consider it one of the greatest films ever made and is my favourite from the maestro Scorsese. I think it is his darkest film, but then, most of Scorsese's films are dark.

Regarding Raging Bull, it's clear you have a lot of love for it and all and it's a decent film, but I dunno, I still can't take to it the way most people can. It certainly ain't no Taxi Driver as far as i'm concerned. It might be because Jake is such a complete and utter ******* that I just can't get past my hatred for the character. But then, Travis Bickle isn't exactly the nicest bloke in the world either what with him being a bit of a racist, but you can symphatise with his disdain for the atrociousities in the world, and at least he wants to make a difference, so you can't help but kinda root for him. LaMotta by contrast is just too much of a misanthrope for me.


Nice review though, kid.





Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – the IMAX Experience (Michael Bay, 2009)

Contains some spoilers

Maybe it’s because of some of the negative reviews I started hearing before I went to watch this, or maybe it’s just because I enjoyed the first, but I really liked this one myself. Yeah sure, it isn’t going to take home any Oscars, maybe for special effects actually, but I had fun while watching it. I’m sure seeing it in IMAX really helped with that, too, because this is a movie that I think is just meant to be seen on an IMAX screen. The scenes that Bay had shot with special IMAX cameras were completely breathtaking to say the least, namely the shots of Devastor. Seriously though, I think anyone expecting more than it just being a fun movie is sort of stupid, if you ask me. The main thing that this movie has going for it is its action and CGI effects. Bay certainly delivers with his action, though. Even though the entire movie isn’t full blown action, a lot of it certainly was, and the IMAX helped out a lot with it. I’m pretty glad that I did wait for this to be my first IMAX movie, though, because if I had made Watchmen my first IMAX movie, I just wouldn’t have been as pleased as I was after this. I didn’t even see it in a theater sorely dedicated to IMAX either, and the action was still mind-blowing and amazing. People always say how an IMAX theater in a normal theater isn’t as great as the actual ones either, so I still can’t imagine how great those must be.

My main problem with it that took away from how much fun it was, was how anti-climatic it was. I mean after Sam resurrects Optimus I had expected some huge battle between Optimus and the Fallen, yet instead, it was some quick 2 minute battle. Megatron had even taken away some of the focus from the battle, too. Something I did notice is how this didn’t follow what sequels usually do and leave off in a cliff-hanger. I guess in a way it did sort of, with Megatron and Starscream leaving the battle to come back and fight at a later day. I think instead of killing of Prime and resurrecting him in the same movie was a bad idea all together, though. I think it could’ve worked out better had they waited to kill of Prime at the end of the movie and then resurrect him in the third, which everyone knows is coming. I’m not sure how it would’ve worked how they did that, though. Another little thing that I hated was how Devastor got almost completely no screen time and was killed off by some human weapon. I think if they had chosen Prime to fight Devastor, it wouldn’t have been so anti-climatic. Also, whatever happened to the Twins anyways? I guess we’re just left to assume that they got destroyed by Devastor.

Something that I really liked about it, which I haven’t been noticing as much recently, was how great the score was. I have noticed that I haven’t really liked much of any of the scores of the movies that has came out this summer, compared to last summer at least, which I loved a lot of the scores from. Something I’m a little confused at is that are IMAX movies supposed to have black bars on the top and bottom of the screen like a DVD? I thought it was supposed to take up the entire huge screen, but it didn’t. It did some scenes, which I’m thinking are the select scenes that were shot with IMAX cameras. All the effects were top notch, though, easily the best I’ve seen all year so far. I’m not surprised, though, because from an effect driven film I would expect as much.

None of the acting was really all that great, but this goes back to the question about why anyone would expect anything more from this than to just be entertained. I pretty much liked all of the characters, though. They were all pretty likable characters, but I noticed a lot more comic reliefs in this than the first. Between Sam’s Mom, Simmons, and the Twins a lot of the scenes started to make it seem like more of a comedy rather than an action movie. None of it was really childish like the first, though, because it was a lot more adult humor than the first. Now I’m not saying adult humor like some comedies, like the Hangover, but some of the jokes are something you wouldn’t expect to see in a more blockbuster movie. This was still a lot darker than the first, if you ask me, but the jokes did seem to ruin that some. We’re in the age of dark blockbusters, though, so I’m not surprised in the least. I’m beginning to wonder if there will ever be an upbeat blockbuster again, hell even Pixar’s been getting pretty dark with their past few movies.

Megan Fox was pretty hot in this, which I’m surprised about, because ever since the first Transformers came out she became so fake looking. I guess now that once the hype for the first finally died out, she became normal looking again. I hope she doesn’t begin to look fake again now that this one is going to be so popular, though. All in all, I had a hell of a time watching it and it certainly was worth the little bit of extra movie to see it in IMAX. I would advise that you watch this in IMAX if you get the chance to, but then again, what am I saying? By the time I actually get to post this review, most people probably would’ve already seen it by now. Well, I guess people that did get the chance to see it in IMAX just made the right decision before watching it. My only concern is that when I get the chance to re-watch it I won’t like it as much because it I won’t be seeing it in IMAX. It sucks, but it’ll probably end up coming true. This still remains as one of the best movie viewing experiences I’ve ever had.






Public Enemies (Michael Mann, 2009)

From the past Mann films that I’ve seen so far, which is really only three, I’m really not his biggest fan. Collateral was good, but nothing really special and I just plain didn’t like Miami Vice. I can say that this has to be my favorite from him so far, but then again, I haven’t seen Heat yet which most consider to be his best. I will start off by saying that I personally loved it, but I’m not sure if it’s one of those films that I can go back to re-watch it over-and-over again. Something I have noticed from his past three movies I’ve seen so far that he seems to have a distinctive way of filming his movies. He really seems to get in his shots with the camera constantly moving around. I think that it seemed to work from this, even though I didn’t think it really worked with his other movies I’ve seen. My taste on movies has changed quite a bit since I last watched both of them, so maybe I need to go and re-watch them sometime soon. I personally really loved the style in this, though. That just happened to be my favorite thing about this, even though it isn’t one of those style-over-substance types of movies. It certainly had a lot of substance in it, at least enough to keep me hooked for 2 and a half hours. My favorite scene in the movie had to be the entire hotel getting attacked scene. It really showed the turning point in Dillinger’s life.

I know it may sound clichéd saying, but Johny Depp is John Dillinger. I know it may sound a little weird, mainly because I don’t even know what the real Dillinger like, but he totally engrossed his role in this. I still think Depp is a tad overrated and gets a little too much praise, but his role in this has me thinking otherwise just a little bit. I mean in that scene where the cops are taking Billie, I think the only way to describe his acting in that one scene in particular is incredible. His acting in the entire movie is pretty great, but that one scene seems to stand out from the rest. Depp and Marion Cotillard had some amazing chemistry together, even if I didn’t think it was shown as well when the two of them were together. It was shown a lot better when the two of them were apart and Dillinger was trying to be with her. I don’t think Christian Bale did a good job at all, hell I’d even say that his acting seemed plain stale at points during the movie. Maybe because it was the fact that he showed no emotion at all throughout the movie, but I just don’t think it was good acting. I actually seem to tend to like Bale’s acting, too, and this would seem like a movie he could shine in better than all those action movies that he’s been doing recently. I don’t think it was good role for him to take on at all, though.

I know it wasn’t meant to be an effect driven film and all, but one shot that I just plain couldn’t stand was the last gun shot of the movie. It was so bad, probably worse than all the effects in Wolverine, and those were awful. I guess it shouldn’t bother me so much, but it does, and it even took away from the ending for me. I wasn’t too big of a fan of the ending anyways, because it just became depressing in a way. It showed Dillinger’s life just going farther down the toilet and by the end of the movie you’re ultimately ended up left feeling bad for Dillinger. The way he was shown in this, though, he didn’t seem like too bad of a buy, except for the fact that he robbed banks and all. This has me wanting to see some of the previous films about Dillinger, and I think I’ll try and catch them sometime soon. This is probably the best movie of 2009, but I don’t think it’s quite my favorite. My score for this has been jumping around for these past days, because even though I loved it and it was made incredible, I just don’t think I could go back and re-watch it over-and-over again. I want to try and catch it again before it leaves theaters though, so I can really test how well it holds up with re-watches.






Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009)

Contains some spoilers throughout

Having seen the movie twice now, and reading the book last week, I think it’ll be a bit easier to do a review this time. I personally thought the book was really great, even if it didn’t seem to compare to the Deathly Hallows to me, but the movie wasn’t so. I guess as a movie alone, it was pretty good, but it’s weak as an adaption. Maybe 2009 just isn’t the year for book adaption’s, between this and Watchmen. Mentioning Watchmen actually, it reminds me a of similar gripe between the two movies, they both felt extremely rushed to me. This didn’t feel quite as rushed, except the ending, which I feel they pretty much completely butchered. I didn’t even really feel this was rushed the first time around seeing it, but I guess that it is what re-watches are for. My biggest complaint with the movie is not the fact that it was rushed though, rather than the fact that they focused entirely on the wrong thing. In the book, there is barely any focus on the relationships going on at Hogwarts. And frankly, there were just too many subtle changes from the book throughout the movie.

Before I get in too much about what I didn’t like about the movie, I may point out some of the things that I did like. The cinematography for one thing, which has just seems to be improving with each film that passes. The scene where Harry and Dumbledore are standing on the huge bolder before entering the cave with the Horocrux is a really amazing shot, probably the most stand-out of the movie for me. I particularly liked the score at that one shot, too, which I guess is saying something because the rest of the score was rather dull. I guess for a movie the story worked fine, but as I was saying before, it strays too far away from the source material. It was missing too many of my favorite scenes from the novel, most notably the ending. Okay, I can understand why they changed it, because it is very similar to the ending of Deathly Hallows. What happened to the other memory scenes that Dumbledore shows Harry from the book, though? Also, at least if they’re going to change the ending, there are still ways to make it good. The astronomy tower scene happens so fast that you’re left feeling unaffected by Dumbledore’s death. I would say the same thing about Snape’s betrayal, but after the ending of Deathly Hallows, you know that he didn’t really betray them.

Something other than the cinematography that has seemed to been improving throughout the series is the character. With each film the story just gets deeper into the characters, but still, that’s not saying there’s any acting Oscar-worthy. What I find very ironic though, is the fact that the best acting in the movie comes from an actor that doesn’t really show any emotion throughout the movie. Alan Rickman plays the character of Severus Snape perfectly, showing no emotion at all, yet still being comical at times. Not too comical to the fact that his character just gets ridiculous, though he’s still frightening at times. I won’t deny that he did much better in the previous installments of the Harry Potter series. I quite liked Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix as well; she’s truly psychotic and even if I didn’t like the ending that much, her acting really was shown in those particular moments. You could tell that she’s really messed up in the head and quite a bit crazy even.

As far as the other movies go, though, I’d probably rank this about tied with Goblet of Fire near the bottom half. Part of that blame I’m putting on Steve Kloves though, because he wrote all the films except Order of the Phoenix, and Order of the Phoenix just happens to be my favorite of the series. Though it’s been forever since I’ve read the book for Order of the Phoenix, so I have no idea how well of an adaption that is. Sadly he’s writing the final two movies, too, but I have more faith in him for those because they’re getting broke up into two different parts. Seeing as how long the book for Deathly Hallows is, I am completely behind the choice of them breaking it into two different parts. Yeah, maybe it is an attempt at more money, but at least fans of the book are benefitting from this decision as well. I guess if you haven’t seen it by now, you’re really not planning to, at least while it’s in theaters, but it’s still a surprisingly good summer blockbuster. I suspect that people that haven’t read the book will enjoy it a lot more than people have, especially people who have read it rather recently.




This was a very funny movie. I watched last week. Although I think these types of vegas/bachelor related movies are really starting to get played out. Come on producers be more original



Se7en
David Fincher, 1995



This is David Fincher’s masterpiece, to me at least. I know some people could argue about Fight Club being his best, but this is better by a long shot. Watching it just a little while ago again reminded me of how great then movie actually is. I still remember when I saw it for the first time and I thought it was my favorite movie ever. A few re-watches changed that a bit, but I still love it and consider one of the best movies ever made.

I loved Fincher’s earlier style in his movies. His style has changed quite a bit since Se7en, though, seeing that he completely lost it with the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. As far as his style goes, he used the perfect amount in this with no over-doing it. Unlike Fight Club, which I felt heavily relied on Fincher’s style to pull it through and make it as memorable as it today. It still worked with Fight Club, though he did overdo it quite a bit throughout the movie.

I’m not really religious at all, so I didn’t quite understand what all the different sins were. Even after seeing it many times now, but then again, it doesn’t quite get into what they mean in the movie. The tension that Fincher made in the movie is amazing, though. It’s a top quality thriller and it’s pretty tense throughout. The whole movie teases you with tension, though, because it’s not until the ending where it really gets you pumping. The tension throughout the rest of movie doesn’t really last all that long.

I know some people look at Brad Pitt as a bad actor, but I just don’t see it. I think the fact about how popular he is among people clouds the fact that he is a great actor. This is pretty much his breakthrough role, too, and it’s what got him known amongst everyone. It shows as well, especially during the incredibly tense ending. I know some people say that he reacted odd about what just happened, but I thought he reacted perfectly. I don’t know for sure, though, because I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be in that situation. I hope I never have to be in that situation. Kevin Spacey is absolutely perfect as John Doe. He’s incredibly intimidating, and one of the best performances ever. John Doe is one of my favorite antagonists in any movie just because of Spacey. Morgan Freeman is pretty great as well, like most movies he’s in for that matter. He’s completely overshadowed by Pitt and Spacey, though.

The whole movie hooks you in and, even after viewing after many times like I have, it’s incredibly hard to pause it just to go use the restroom while watching it. Of course the movie doesn’t let you down either with some crappy ending. Instead it has one of the best and most well-crafted endings I’ve ever seen in a movie before. Fincher’s style helped a lot, too, especially with not actually showing you what was in the box. Besides it may have the ending too graphic if they did show you.

I guess I don’t really have to recommend you to see this, because I’m sure most people who love movies would have seen this by now. It’s incredibly amazing, and will make it in my top 20 whenever I get around to posting my top 100. You just have to see it to understand. Even if you have seen it before, just go watch it again.






Very nice review, Movieman, but I might remove that last picture and replace it with something else, as it potentially provides a huge spoiler for those who haven't yet seen Se7en.
__________________
"The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven."
John Milton, Paradise Lost

My Movie Review Thread | My Top 100



Fight Club
David Fincher, 1999



I hadnít originally planned on typing up a review for this, but seeing as I didnít make it seem so good in my Se7en review that I ought to. I guess let me start off by saying that I do find this quite a bit overrated, even if it still is a great movie. Iíve seen it numerous times before re-watching it tonight, and it does get a tad bit old after awhile. I found some parts throughout to drag a bit.

I was talking about the style in this earlier, and I still stand by what I said. Maybe it doesnít have the exact same style as Se7en as I had originally thought, but it still relies heavily on its style. Thatís not say itís a style-over-substance kind of film, because there certainly is substance in it. While I'm on that point, though, I want to point out that I liked the odd cinematography. It's very different than what you usually see. Thereís so much actually that I donít even know if I can understand everything in the movie, even after seeing quite a few times.

I keep feeling that thereís some deeper meaning to it that I just havenít gotten about it yet. Maybe I should go read the book or something, I donít know. I just canít help getting the feeling that thereís something about it that I just donít get. Maybe someone could enlighten me with this.

The ending has almost completely worn off, and it just doesnít hold up with repeat viewings. Sure, the first time you watch it youíre left completely blown away, but it doesnít affect me anymore. Itís not like the ending to Se7en, which still amazes me even after seeing it quite a few times now. I noticed a lot more hints on the ending throughout the movie, though. I guess because I already knew the ending and it seemed I was paying a lot closer attention to the movie this time around. There were some points in the movie that I thought they completely gave the ending away.

Watching it after watching Se7en earlier today, I noticed myself comparing the movies to each other. I donít really think this is a good thing either, because I love Se7en a lot more than this. The duo between Ed Norton and Brad Pitt just wasnít as great as the duo of Pitt and Freeman in Se7en. I donít know, but I didnít feel Norton and Pitt just didnít have that certain chemistry together. I couldnít help but feeling that Pitt was distant throughout the whole movie, but once again, this all may be due to me knowing the ending. Ed Norton was pretty good, though he never really got to the point of great acting. I blame his character, though, because it was just a really odd character. Helena Bonham Carter was pretty good, but like Norton, her character just had that odd kind of personality.

I may be overrating this a bit, and I havenít talked particularly high about this, but I still think itís a great movie. I guess the main thing I didnít like about it was that it was a very different kind of film. Usually that doesnít bother me, but something about it this time did. I completely loved the inclusion of the Pixies, ĎWhere is my Mindí, right as the credits started. I just love that song.






District 9
Neil Blomkamp, 2009



Neil Blomkampís directorial debut, and for his first feature length film ever, he did a damn fine job. Now as you may have been able to guess from that first sentence, I didnít think as highly of it as everyone else has seemed to think. Actually, I think the fact that it was so overhyped was a reason why I didnít like it as much as most. I still thought it was pretty good, but definitely overrated.

I loved that it was totally original, though. Originally is becoming harder and harder to find in Hollywood now, and itís good to see something fresh every once in a while. I think the fact that it so original is just a factor in why everyone seems to be praising it so much. Now Iím not saying that itís the only reason why people seem to like it so much, but it is a big reason of it. I like that they chose not to do the entire film in Ďvideo camera formatí. I usually donít mind it, like in Cloverfield or Quarantine, but it was starting it bug me in the beginning. Blomkamp made a good decision to use it the regular style for the second half of the film.

I was hearing a lot of the special effects before seeing the film, with people saying how great they were. The effects were the only thing about the movie that was really great, to me at least. They were the one stand out thing in the movie. I think I have a problem, though, because I seemed to laugh every time someone got blown up. I was the only one actually laughing in the theater, besides my mom, and thatís why it seemed to make me feel weird.

Sharlto Copleyís acting was pretty damn good, too, especially for being his first acting role ever. I wouldnít mind seeing him in some more upcoming films, as long as he keeps it up. Besides him, thereís really no other person that is really worth mentioning because most of the cast was unknownís. Itís not that bad of a thing either, because I didnít find anyone of the cast particularly bad. None of the characters, other than Wikus and Christopher, really had any screen time actually.

Itís not a bad film by any means, but it just isnít as great as people have been making it out to be. There are still plenty of films from 2009 that I find much better than this one. Something else that I thought couldíve been improved was the soundtrack. It wasnít technically bad, but it never really stood-out in any of the scenes. I liked the track that was playing during the credits, but that was only about it.



+



Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino, 2009



After waiting almost a year now, even though itís not as long as some people have been waiting, Iíve finally gotten to see this. I had heard from earlier reviews that Tarantino had finally topped Pulp Fiction. I donít think so, actually, this didnít top Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, or either Kill Billís. This was by far his most fun movie that heís made so far. I can see myself watching this more than any of his previous films.

One of the little things I did have a problem with, though, is that the soundtrack seemed like a bad attempt at copying Ennio Morricone. I know that Tarantino wanted to make this seem like a spaghetti western, but trying to copy Morriconeís score for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly just didnít work. I wish that Ennio Morricone wouldíve came on and did the score, but he didnít, so donít try using a score that sounds incredibly similar to it.

One of the things that I have been hearing, and agree with, is the lack of character development. I think for the filmís runtime it had too many characters with a lot of focus. I think it wouldíve turned out better if Tarantino had added an extra hour on to the movie, or do something like Kill Bill and break it into two different parts. Last I heard, though, Tarantino was working on a prequel for this, and Iíd totally back it up. Brad Pitt was pretty great in it, though he shouldíve been in it much longer. Donnie and Hugo were my two favorite characters; they were badass. They didnít get anywhere near as much screen-time as it was suggested they were going to get, though. I think a better name for the movie shouldíve been chosen, like the original title ĎOnce Upon a TimeÖIn a Nazi Occupied Franceí.

It never really got that serious, which is something I was pretty surprised about. I mean even though Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown were kind of Ďblack comediesí in a way, all of his films, other than Inglourious Basterds, from the past decade have been pretty damn serious. It was great to see Tarantino to go back to the kind of films he started with was refreshing to see, though. There were some scenes that were serious, though, because all of Tarantinoís films have at least three-fourth of the film dialogue filled.

All the action in this really surprised me, because as I said before, usually Tarantinoís films are dialogue filled. The closest that Tarantino has even gotten to an action film was Kill Bill, Vol. 1, and even that was only the last 20 minutes when the Bride fought the crazy eighty-eights. Even though this technically wasnít an action film, it had quite a bit of action throughout. The one scene that Iím particularly talking about is the final chapter in the movie which is an incredibly well-done action scene.

Iím definitely going to try and see it at least one more time before it leaves theaters, but the R rating is going to make that difficult. I wish I wouldíve saw this in a better theater, though, because the sound in the theater I went to seemed to be messed up.






(500) Days of Summer
Marc Webb, 2009



Very rarely is there ever a film that hits me so hard, that has me wanting to see it again immediately after I finish watching it. (500) Days of Summer just happens to be one of those films, because Iíve seen 3 times since I first saw it on Friday. Iím not even sure if Iíll be able to sum up all of my feelings for it in words, but Iíll try my hardest to do so.

First off, I loved the narration for the film. I loved how they actually put in a narrator in the film to explain things in a way. I still think that the movie is more told through all of the song choices for the movie. This is actually the first movie ever for me, which I loved every single song they put in the movie. The soundtrack is incredibly amazing in case anyone was wondering. I usually donít like the type of indie music either, which has surprised me most about this. It was a great mix, with artists like Regina Spektor, Simon and Garfunkel, Wolfmother, and the Smiths.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt shone more than anyone in this, by far. Iíd definitely count this as his breakthrough role, and I canít wait to see him in some more of his upcoming roles he has. He was meant to play Tom Hanson. Like I seriously canít describe in words how amazing he really did. Zooey Deschanel did pretty great as well, but was really overshadowed by Gordon-Levitt throughout the whole movie. Deschanel doesnít usually do too badly in anything Iíve seen her in; though I did think she was a little off in her role in the Happening. Geoffrey Arend did great; too, he played his part as the comic relief pretty great.

I almost never like romantic comedies as much as I loved this one. Even when I do, itís usually an older romantic comedy, before they got really crappy. What I loved most about it was the realism of the movie. I donít really want to give away the ending, but itís a lot different than any other romantic comedy Iíve ever seen. I like how they chose to film it, too, with it not being in chronological order. It reminded me a bit of how Pulp Fiction was told, with the second to last scene of the movie being the first shot of the movie.

I donít know if I did such a great a job at trying to persuade you to go see this, but I pretty much already knew that I wouldnít be able to sum up my thoughts of it into words. Itís just a film that you have to go and experience to understand. Itís by far my favorite movie of the year so far, but itíll more than likely stay that way. Itís actually the best new release that Iíve seen since the Dark Knight came out last summer.






The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Chris Weitz, 2009



Pretty much everyone knew that this was going to be a crappy film before it even came out, but since I was able to get into it for free, I thought I might as well go ahead and check it out. Firstly, I guess I should start off by saying that I was one of the few that didnít the think the first Twilight was all that bad. Iím not saying it was good or anything, but nowhere near as bad as people made it out to be. This, though, is another story entirely. Here I was actually thinking this looked kind of good based off the final trailer, and I was way off.

I was thinking that this might actually have been good because it looked like an improvement from the first. I was completely wrong, it actually went backwards I think. The entire film was so boring, and it had the worst action sequences ever. Arenít action sequences supposed to get your blood pumping, the good ones at least? No, instead it was even slower than the rest of the movie where absolutely nothing was happening. You would think that they would try to add a lot of big action sequences in movies like this to get people in the movie, too, instead of boring them to tears with its bad writing. The movie kept leading up to something that was trying to be big, but instead ended up just as a huge disappointment. And then to top it all off, the Ďcliffhangerí ending that just had me in pure rage once it happened.

The reason it had me in pure rage was that it was an exact rip-off of True Blood. Like I mean it had the exact same ending as the season 2 finale. Not to mention all the other similarities between the two. What pisses me off so much about it that the huge Twilight fans go around and actually try to make it seem like True Blood ripped Twilight off. I mean I personally donít know which one ripped the other off, because both are based off books, and I have no idea when both series of books came out. All I know is that True Blood is amazing, and has extraordinary writing, while New Moon had some of the worst writing that Iíve ever seen.

To top off the bad writing, they decided to add a bunch of bland actors into it as well to make it even worse. Kristen Stewart is such a bad actress, for the most part. None of her acting has ever really been good, but sheís tolerable in most movies that sheís in. Actually you know, Iíll admit that she was kind of a good actress before she got caught up in Twilight. Once Twilight came out, what little acting abilities she used to have disappeared completely. Like in Adventureland, for example, where she seemed to just be standing around for the entire film. At least sheís not Robert Patterson, who seems like the biggest douche-bag ever. Not only does his acting completely suck, but he goes around trying to act like he is so special. The only actor that I actually liked in the entire film was Taylor Lautner, who seems to be the most Ďrealí of the entire cast. He was a lot more tolerable in the first, though, because he seems like heís falling into that same douche-bag category that Patterson is in. I hope he changes in next film.

So basically, in a nutshell, it sucked. If I didnít get into it for free, I wouldíve gone and demanded that I got the money I paid for this back. One shot was pretty much the only redeemable quality in the film. The shot I was referring to is when the werewolf back attack and kill that vampire. There was one bad-ass shot, but even with that, I still feel like I wasted a complete two hours. So yeah, avoid this movie at all costs if you can.






Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson, 2009



When I look back at this year for movies, Iíve noticed that itís been a pretty dry year for movies throughout, with few exceptions. Iím hoping that we get some really amazing movies this next month, which we should with the award season coming up pretty fast. Thereís no doubt about it in my mind, that this will definitely be one of the contenders this year. It may not quite win anything, but itíll sure be nominated for some things. I can definitely see it getting a best screenplay nod by the academy, even though I have a feeling that (500) Days of Summer will take it instead; which it deserves to, in my opinion.

I actually donít think that Iíve ever seen a Wes Anderson film before this, but Iím highly considering it right now. If he has a similar style in all of his films, then I must check them out because I loved the style in this so much. It was something totally unique that I donít think Iíve seen done before. Weíve seen some animation like this before, but none of them were quite as stand-out as this. Maybe itís because this came out in the midst of Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, that it just automatically stands out more.

It has quite an amazing ensemble, though, with actors like George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, and Willem Dafoe. Even if it was only his voice, this has to be one of the best roles that Iíve ever seen Clooney in. I think he should start doing more comedy type films like this, which he has recently with this, Burn After Reading, and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Meryl Streep is pretty much just a hit-and-a-miss for me; I really like her in some films, but just canít stand her in others. I liked her in this one. Jason Schwartzman is such a great comedian, and I have to see him in some more films like this. I absolutely loved him in the HBO show, Bored to Death.

Iíve noticed a lot more that recently, Iíve liked a lot more of the indie type of films coming out. So, Iím considering checking out some more, but Iím still hesitant to do so because I loved (500) Days of Summer, but I still canít stand Juno. It might be the fact that Juno is so overrated that itís been bothering me so much, but I donít know.

You know, when I first saw this I was a tad disappointed, but Iíve noticed that I like it the more I think about it. I may even go see it again if I get the chance to in the coming weeks. Iíll have pretty much every weekday to do so, and maybe I could convince some more people to see it, because it really is something different and special. Check it out if you get the chance to, you wonít be disappointed.






Inception
Christopher Nolan, 2010



Christopher Nolan has done it yet again with his seventh feature film, Inception. Nolan first truly original film might be his greatest yet; maybe he should stick to original ideas in the future. To me this seems as like a cross between the intelligent storytelling of Memento mixed with the look of The Dark Knight. The film really does make you question reality, because it goes so deep into the concept of a dream; and as the film goes on you just go deeper and deeper into the dream. The whole storyline is just so incredibly done. I find it hard to believe that anyone could even think an idea like this up and somehow make it work. There is nothing quite like it.

Of course DiCaprio shines from start to finish, this actually might be one of the most emotionally challenging roles that Iíve seen him. The entire plotline between him and his dead wife, Marion Cotillard, seems like it wouldíve been really challenging for an actor to do. Maybe this role might finally get him his long deserved Oscar win. The real shining star of the film, though, is none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I donít think Iíve made it any real secret that Iím a huge Levitt fan, ever since I saw in (500) Days of Summer just last summer, but he did extraordinarily amazing in Inception. Hopefully thisíll get him the stardom he deserves, with this being his first non-indie film since a decade ago. I hope you all realize that Iím not counting G.I. Joe for a reason. Who I was most surprised about, though was Ellen Page. I hated her, especially in Juno, which may be one of the blandest films Iíve ever seen. I think the fact that her character, Ariadne, was a lot more interesting than all of the other roles Iíve seen her in helped too.

The movieís score is done by Hans Zimmer, whoís now scored three of Nolanís films. Most of it was quite amazing, namely the final track on the soundtrack which plays during the final moments of the film. Some of it just doesnít sound that great to me, but I guess I shouldnít have expected to love the entire score. The filmís climax is extremely well done as well. The fact that Nolan made the climax an hour and a half long and kept everyone entertained was amazing. Which also brings me to the filmís pacing, and Nolan really knows how to pace a film. There wasnít a single moment in the film when I started to get bored at all, and Iíve seen it three times already. I guess at some point Iíd have to bring up the Kubrick-like ending, too. I think Nolan made a great call leaving the ending open to interpretation rather than just giving us the usual happy ending, even if it did end up leaving some people disappointed.

I think there is no doubt in my mind that this will the best film of the year, no matter what else comes out. This might even be Nolanís greatest achievement yet, even though I still prefer Memento and The Dark Knight. Also on one last point, the entire hallway fight scene is probably one of the coolest scenes Iíve ever seen in a movie. Whatís even more spectacular about it is that Levitt did all those stunts by himself. That just shows you heís someone who truly loves what he does in life.




I'm back...with some reviews.

Fast Five
Justin Lin, 2011



Usually, by the time the time you get to the fifth movie in a series you will have gotten sick of it by then. This has been the case with series such as Saw, but surprisingly enough, that isnít the case with the Fast and Furious. Fast Five has been the best out of the series, really making it more than just a car film. They seem to be focusing more now of the action and plot rather than just the cars. When I saw Tokyo Drift for the first time, I thought that it would be the end of the series. I thought they couldnít get any lower, but then they made Fast and Furious, which was my favorite sequel out of the series when it came out. They seemed to realize the mistakes they were making in the early sequels and is trying to improve it now, and itís actually getting better as the series goes on now.

They brought back the entire cast from all the four previous films pretty much, and it worked well. I feel as though it worked better because they all had chemistry from working with each other before, rather than bringing in an entirely new cast. On top of that, they did introduce some new characters as well, like Dwayne Johnsonís character. I really loved the presence he brought to the screen; he really helped get your blood pumping during some of the action scenes.

As I said before, something that I love from these new sequels is that theyíre really taking a lot of the focus away from the cars. This addition is essentially more of a heist film than anything else. They use the cars to carry out the heist, but thereís actually not much focus on the cars at all. I think this really helps with marketing as well, because it brings in a different audience to come see the movie; they already have all of the car fanatics in there because of all the previous films.

They really upped the action, as well. There were times during the movie that made you just want to jump out of your seats and cheer. I think despite there being a decent amount of action in the previous films, you still wonít be expecting how much action there is in this one. The scenes are so over the top, too. At one part, theyíre actually dragging a gigantic vault down a busy street with only two cars, being chased by numerous police cars; nothing in the previous films come even close to it. Itís just something you have to see for yourself.

All in all, I think this along with Scream 4 have been my favorite movies of the year so far. I know there are some people who try to label these movies as bad, but come on, itís just meant to be a fun action film and thatís exactly what it is. I personally canít wait to see the next installment in the series, especially after how that ending caught me off guard.




Thor
Kenneth Branagh, 2011




The beginning of summer pretty much has a new tradition, we get a new Marvel film every year the first weekend of May. This year, we got the start of a new franchise instead of a sequel. They had more than just cause to do this, seeing as how the last two years have pretty much been duds for the start of the summer. Thor is a much-needed improvement from Marvel, as I was beginning to loose faith in Marvel. While it didnít quite ďwowĒ me as much as when I saw Iron Man for the first time, it still ended up being pretty good.

I went into Thor knowing absolutely nothing about him at all, so I had virtually no expectations at all. I hear Hemsworth really captured the arrogance of Thor really well, and he did have quite an arrogant personality throughout the movie. I really canít wait to see Thor again when the Avengers comes out. The Hawkeye cameo got me pretty excited for the Avengers, too. Also, it had the beautiful Natalie Portman in it as well, so you canít completely hate this even if it did turn out horrible, which it didnít.

Thor is really the start of a different kind of origins story though, which I thought they handled really well. Half of the movie takes place on another planet, and he already has his powers at the beginning of the movie unlike the usual origin story where they find their power somewhere towards the middle. Green Lantern is supposed to be doing something similar to that later in the summer, which Iím looking forward to.

I also want to point out that I really liked the 3D; it was done in a similar fashion to Avatar where they didnít send things popping out at your face and instead just added depth to the movie. I only really noticed it at the scenes that took place on Asgard, though, and it actually made the movie look a little darker in the scenes that took place on Earth. I guess there were just some ups-and-downs to it.

So coming from someone who knows nothing about Thor at all: liked it. As far as Marvel origin stories goes, itís not quite as good as Iron Man, but pretty much ranks on level with The Incredible Hulk and the original X-Men. I have a feeling Iím going to like First Class and Captain America more later in the summer, but I know more about each of those.




Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rob Marshall, 2011




Usually, around the time it gets to the fourth movie in a series, you are wondering to yourself why theyíre even trying to continue on with the series. Pirates of the Caribbean was no exception, because I thought they wrapped the series up pretty well with the third. I thought it was pretty pointless when they first announced it, and the trailers werenít really doing much to sway my opinion. But alas, I ended up getting dragged to it by friends. It actually ended up surprising me, because I actually liked it. They actually found a good way to start a new part of the Pirates of The Caribbean series.

I hated it when I found out Depp and Rush were the only two main cast members returning; actually, other than Kevin McNally, the entire cast is brand new. They ended up having some good replacements, though. Ian McShane came in to play Blackbeard, who I love ever since I watched Deadwood, and I thought he did pretty well. It was interesting to see them bring in Blackbeard, though, since I live so close to where the real Blackbeard spent most of his life. Iím really intrigued to see what theyíre going to do with Penelope Cruzís character in future movies, which thereís no doubt theyíre coming.

I was really skeptical on where they were going to take the story, because I had always thought the series was supposed to be over. They ended up thinking of a decent place to take the story, though, and not have it seem repetitive of the other entries in the series. It was just weird to see how everything changed so much, and how everyoneís motives switched. There were some very well done action sequences, the most notable one being the ending. I didnít see it in 3D, so I canít comment on how well they did the post-conversion 3D, but I can imagine some of those scenes looking pretty cool in 3D.

Despite me ending up actually liking it, I still feel that it wasnít needed at all. I was one of the few who enjoyed At Worldís End and felt like it was satisfying conclusion to the series. This is really just Disneyís attempt to make some more money, but if that really was the sole purpose for this, it turned out well for just a profit attempt. Iím not sure if I would suggest to whip out ten bucks on it, unless youíre really looking forward to it, but itís worth it to catch it once it comes out on DVD.




Kung Fu Panda 2
Jennifer Yuh, 2011



Back in 2008, we were given what remains to be one of my favorite animated movies ever, Kung Fu Panda. Knowing the trend of these types of movies, I knew there was going to be a sequel immediately after seeing it. The biggest question about it though, was that whether it was going to live up to the original or not. To be honest, I find them hard to compare at all because I felt the tone in this one was so different than the first. They took a lot of the focus away from the comedy side of it and focused more on the action and visuals.

The first wasnít really trying to impress anyone with its visuals, I felt. They seemed to focus a lot more on it in this one, my guess would be the fact that it was in 3D played a big part in it. In these days, you really canít mess up the 3D because itís the first thing people notice now when they see movies in 3D. I was forced to sit really close to the screen because of it being so busy, so the 3D mightíve actually affected me more because of me sitting so close, but I still thought it was well done.

I liked the development theyíre making with the story; I see myself already excited for the third, which there is no doubt that itís coming. My favorite thing about the first one was that it had me laughing uncontrollably, which is very uncommon for me in a kidís film, but that kind of comedy just wasnít present in this one. I found myself chuckling at a few parts, but that was about it. Though, this still doesnít mean it wasnít enjoyable to watch.

This will undoubtedly be my favorite animated film of the summer Ė the first Cars is one of my least favorite animated movies ever, so I doubt the second will be any better, and Iíve never been the biggest fan of Winnie the Pooh. Even though I did enjoy it, I was somewhat disappointed from the quality of the first one. Yet, Iíll still continue watching the series to see where they take it.