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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dredd 3D

Dredd 3D: Girl-Power

Its another Dredd film and its just another day. I went into this film thinking it would be nothing short of crap. It's been a long time I went to the movies, so maybe I just enjoyed going out with friends or maybe it was just a okay film.

Is it good? No

Is it bad? Nope

The issue with the film is constant. So the whole time I watched the film I kept thinking of these issues...

The size of Dredd's helmet.
Why is Anderson the better character?
Ma-Ma could be a good villain but it is missing something?
The drug in the film
The slow mo scenes

Lets start with the helmet. It was too big on Dredd. The problem is Karl Urban's head isn't big enough for the helmet and so the helmet on his head just looked odd and bad. It just doesn't work for me. I say cut the difference and make the helmet a bit smaller that way his head looks on par with other male judges or if anything, a bit bigger.

Next is Anderson. She owed that film. Stole every scene and yes caused some plot holes. She is a mutant with psychic powers. She can read peoples minds. So why in one scene does the guy they arrested escape from the handcuffs and take her gun as well as her hostage? Everyone I went with had a problem with that scene too, so it's not just me.

Ma-Ma. Sure she is a kickass villain  The actress they got, I love her acting i.e. Terminator and Game of Thrones, but that damn stupid costume. The whole damn time I kept thinking she should have something like a oversized pea coat or really anything interesting  The costume should scream badass gang leader, not gang leader who wears her sisters hammy downs (slang for "hand me downs" where I'm from ;)

The drug is stupid, there I said it. Nothing like seeing badass gang members sucking on a inhaler. Man everyone has asthma in Mega City 1? That sucks :0

The slow mo. Too much of a good thing can be bad. The slow mo looked good, for a sec, not the 20 mins it played. Another issue everyone I went with said those scenes went way too long.

What did I like?

Anderson
Mega City 1 looked neat, right?
Anderson
The sound (shitty theater, surprised with the awesome sound thou)
Anderson again?
Karl did a okay job as Dredd, but his body size just didn't work for me.

Listen Im not a Dredd fan, but I did enjoy watching the film even though it wasn't that good, but I won't go buy a DVD because my enjoyment came and went. I guess wait till its on TV and its raining out, hey it might not be good but its 100% better then Underworld: Awakening


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pusher

REMINISCENT
I'm a child of the 80s.  I grew up with Michael Mann's Miami Vice.  I watched movies like Scarface and To Live And Die In LA religiously.  I lived through the end of the Cocaine Cowboys era.  I called it the time of "colorful crime".  Pink and green neon lights shining over crooked drug deals in night club parking lots.  Rhythmic synthesizer beats blaring out of passing car speakers.  That stuff just screams 80s.  Its why I love the film Drive.  It speaks to my youth.  Director Nicolas Winding Refn shot it like a film that could slide right into that era or universe.  Some people didn't understand or appreciate its minimalistic nature and sudden brutal violence.   But it was a depiction and/or nod to the lifestyle of that time more than an intricately plotted crime drama.  A loner trying to make better of himself is unwittingly forced into a situation that brings it all down.  A simple formula that fits perfectly with 80s sheik.  After Drive, Refn produced a remake of his first film with that same formula and style.  That film is Pusher.

Pusher comes to us from Spanish director Luis Prieto.  Set in England, Pusher tells us the story of Frank.  A loner trying to make better of himself but is unwittingly forced into a situation that brings it all down.  See?  From the opening sequence you can feel the British crime vibe as Guy Ritchie like title cards flash over character's faces.  British crime films like this are a little more frenetically paced than films like...Heat lets say.  Pusher, however, still feels very REMINISCENT of the 80s style.  The neon is there.  The rhythmic synthesizer beats are there.  The amazingly photographed night shots are there.  And boy, are the crooked drug deals there.

Prieto's visual style does tend to teeter back and forth between 80s art piece and British gangster film.  From Manhunter to Long Good Friday and back again.  However, when he sticks to the neon and naked city aspects, the film really sets itself apart.  Less so than Refn's original but still enough for you to take notice. 

Whenever Brad Pitt or George Clooney or Tom Cruise play a role, you have the sense that no matter what's happening, they'll be okay.  You don't really worry for their characters the way you should.  They just present themselves as the inevitable winner in most of their films.  That works out well when they aren't, but it only serves as a benefit for the end of that film.  You never experience the growing peril or dread fully.  In Pusher, Richard Coyle plays Frank with a rich and realistic feel.  He's not a stereotypical hero.  He's not amazingly smart or an amazing fighter or a nut case.  He's real.  This makes you concerned for his safety and feel his desperation more than if they'd gone with a more recognizable star. 

Pusher is not groundbreaking or a classic.  However, it is a very visually interesting watch and does hold itself up as a worthy remake.  Blag some gear....give it a propah butcher's....then tell me I'm Pete Tong.



Friday, September 28, 2012

The Master

The Master - Comeback

I was sitting in the theater Friday morning/afternoon watching "The Master."
.........that's it.  No funny little story, I was just literally watching "The Master."  However, I will say; Welcome back Joaquin Phoenix.  My word, you're good you!

In case you haven't heard, both Paul Thomas Anderson (or P.T. Anderson for the mod set) and Joaquin Phoenix are back.  For Anderson this is his first film since "There Will Be Blood" in 2008, and for Phoenix, well, he started a rap career and "documented" himself in 2010's "I'm Still Here" with the help of Casey Affleck, but this is his first "film" since 2008, where he appeared in "Two Lovers" (?)  But forget about the past, let's discuss "The Master", simply.

The basic idea of "The Master" is control and fervent belief.  The setting is just right (the film spans approximately from 1942-1950), and it makes complete sense.  After World War II, and the pre-Red Scare era, many people were looking for guidance and someone to believe in, and Lancaster Dodd (played brilliantly by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is probably on his way to another Oscar) is that man.  He takes in a disturbed Naval vet, played by Joaquin Phoenix (who WILL win the Oscar this year) as his protege, while Dodd's son has become suspect of his father's practices and teachings to his followers.

The film also stars Amy Adams as Dodd's wife, and Rami Malek as Clark, Dodd's new son-in law, who looks shockingly like Bruno Mars.  But this film is all about Phoenix, who gives the performance of his life, and I really didn't think he had it in him.  Sure, he was great in "Gladiator" and "Walk the Line" but to create a character like Freddie Quell from the ground up is something to behold.  This is his comeback.

While movies by Anderson ("Boogie Nights" and "Punch Drunk Love") have always been critically acclaimed they all seem to have a veil of inaccessibility and being a little too art house.  But do yourself a favor, if you like film and really enjoy acting, "The Master" is top-notch in all aspects, and hey, making fun of Scientology and cults is fun.

Fact Fact:  This is the fifth collaboration between Anderson and Hoffman, starting with "Hard Eight" in 1996.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Easy Money

Easy Money: Joy
(1983)

Here's a film that I've always liked, why because it always brought me joy. Rodney Dangerfield is funny as hell. The story about Rodney who drinks, gambles and does drugs. His best friend is Joe Pesci...Yeah sounds good right?...It really is! His daughter is about to get married to a guy Rodney doesn't like. Rodney also doesn't like his mother in law, who pops in for the wedding. She is very rich and her and Rodney DON'T like each other! One night he gets a call saying the mother in law died. In the will, she states Rodney gets nothing unless he STOPS drinking, loses weight, gambling and doing drugs. Rodney must pick between the life he only knows or all the money a person could want.

"Yeah, well you where the inspiration for twin beds." 

Im gonna stop there, because some great surprises in the plot come up that you need to see and not read. 

"Why dont you two put your heads together and make an ass outta yourselves." 

The ending is one of my top 10 endings in movies. As a viewer it hits you and it just works. That's all I will say on that, watch it because its a good film! Have a Rodney Dangerfield weekend you won't be disappointed.



                   

Monday, September 24, 2012

Schindler's List

Schindler's List - Remember

With the Jewish High Holy Days under way, I felt it only appropriate to include a movie that I not only find amazing, but in a way, a birth rite of sorts for the Jewish religion.  Move over "Hebrew Hammer," step aside "Fiddler on the Roof," that film would be "Schindler's List."

Let me start with this; I'm in no way a religious person, you might even call be a very poor example of what a Jew should be. I eat cheeseburgers, I enjoy baby back ribs, and I do not actively attend temple on either Friday, Saturday, or any day for that matter. However, I respect a religion that doesn't push it's ideology all the way down your throat, maybe just the tip (as long as it's circumcised).

Just in case you haven't seen, or heard of "Schindler's List" I'll give you the rundown; Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson, or the bad-ass in "Taken 1 and 2") is a factory owner, and Nazi Party member, who hobnobs with the Reich in the evening to keep up good relations in the lead up to Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution."  As the German war effort ramps up, and the Krakow ghetto is liquidated, Schindler begins to see his Jewish workers as more then just workers, but victims in a senseless crime committed by the party he is affiliated with, and he tries to save as many of his "workers" as he can with his "list."

Along with Neeson, the cast is aces, with Ralph Fiennes starring as SS guard Amon Goeth and Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern, but it would be nothing without the direction of Steven Spielberg.  Spielberg captures Poland in the late 1930's and 40's perfectly, and shooting the film in black and white adds to the stark backdrop of the era.  The film only features two scenes with color as Schindler sees a young girl in a red coat being lead away from the ghetto, and later that same girl, in her red coat, seen by Schindler again as just another dead body.  The color usage is supposed to be the point where Schindler starts to see the Jewish people as not only his workers, and/or property, but as human beings, and we begin to see his transformation from factory owner to savior.

Some people might see "Schindler's List" as exploitative, or narrow-minded in its view of World War II, but it's a film that shows people the horrors of the Holocaust (sure, it's a movie made in America, by the man behind "Indiana Jones" and "Jaws") and you have to merit a film that just about anyone can relate to.  There are themes of redemption, perseverance, faith, sacrifice, and love, and seeing where Oskar Schindler started, a well-to-do Nazi Party member, to where he ends up, on his knees wondering why he couldn't save more people, is as beautiful as it is tragic.

Fun Fact:  "Schindler's List" was based on "Schindler's Ark" the 1982 novel by Thomas Keneally.

Mulholland Falls

Mulholland Falls: Falls
(1996)


(Story from IMDB)
In 1950's Los Angeles, a special crime squad of the LAPD investigates the murder of a young woman.
"This isn't America, Jack. This is L.A."
Listen, yes there are many issues with this film, but its watchable. I say Falls because it seems to make so many promises to the viewer in the beginning and then Falls as the story unveils. The story could work, but I don't think it does here. Far fetched? Maybe. The story seems like it wants to be about a group of badass guys who kickass to get their job done in the LAPD. But the director Lee Tamahori seems not to understand where he wants to go with this. It feels like the story would last this long yet the script hinders it and therefor makes the story expire shorter then it would normally. What I mean is its two different films. One in the beginning and one at the end. I don't know, seems like that, then again I've always had a issue with Lee. As a Bond fan all I must say is Die Another Day.
More on that on another day.
But
"A hundred die so that a thousand may live." 
the cast is pretty great. I enjoy Nick Nolte's Max Hoover. Chazz Palminteri is always a joy to watch. Jennifer Connelly is...Well Google Mulholland Falls under images, it comes up "Mulholland Falls Jennifer Connelly"... and you will see what I mean. Acting is good, but I feel it tries to be the 1950's then it being the 1950's. L.A. Confidential in my opinion is the 1950's then as opposed to trying to feel like it. L.A also utilizing their characters the right way. Mulholland had Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Daniel Baldwin for no reason. They needed to be used the right way, not have the viewer ask during the film, "Where are those guys?"...Then at the end, boom! They pop up. If you first state in the beginning of a film these guys as a team are badass and can solve problems, then utilizes them. Let them solve this problem as a team. Perfect example of throwing too many people into a film without utilizing what you promise to the viewer.
L.A. works better in this field.
"She was spectacular, wasn't she?"
The big question between these two films are, if you had to pick? 
L.A. Confidential or Mulholland Falls

Well the two are smilier in many ways. Mulholland Falls came first, L.A. a year later. You will notice there are many times that certain films that come out close together, are the same, story and look wise. The reason this happens a lot in the movie business is during the script selling stage. When you try and sell a script to a studio you sign a piece of paper stating, you will not sue them if they come out with a film like the one you are trying to sell. If the studio passes on the script, they can still make "their own version". You will notice this happening a lot i.e. (2012's) Snow White and the Huntsman/Mirror Mirror or (2006's) The Prestige/The Illusionist.

So maybe L.A. Confidential and Mulholland Falls took part in this stage of Hollywood, not sure maybe they didn't, thou I find it hard to believe...I pick L.A. Confidential.

Why?

Better Story.

Better Acting.

and it looks and feel's that of the 1950's.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simplistic TV: Last Resort

SHORT
I'm a big fan of submarine movies.  Das Boot.  The Hunt For Red October.  Crimson Tide.  Hell, even U-571 has it's moments.  There is something about the claustrophobia of a sub.  Something about the danger you can only hear and not see.  Something about the strange terminology.  Down Bubble.  Up Periscope.  Level the planes.  Prepare the firing solution.  It just appeals to me.  So when I heard that ABC had a television show based on a submarine premiering this month, I was interested.  When I heard later it came from the mind of The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, I was psyched.  And when I heard it had the great Andre Braugher as the captain, I was in.  But after watching Last Resort, I felt the show falls just a bit SHORT.

I'm only basing this review on the pilot, directed by Martin "Yes, I did Green Lantern.  But Also GoldenEye & Casino Royale, So Back Off" Campbell.  Shows sometimes use criticism they receive from a pilot and make changes for the better.  My hope is that Last Resort is one of these shows.  As the pilot starts, it seems that all the pieces are in the right place.   We open on the sub and briefly meet the crew through the rounds of XO Sam Kendal, played by Scott Speedman.  Yes, I thought he went missing too.  We meet the crew chief played by an old T-1000.  And finally, we meet Braugher.  And boy, is he quintessential Braugher.  No nonsense.  Fiery.  Super serious as though he was performing Macbeth for he Queen of England.  He's great.  I'm in the groove of the show and I'm enjoying it.  But, when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, the show makes it's biggest mistake in my eyes.  It takes us off the ship back to Washington D.C. and then over to some Dharma Initiative looking island.  Why?  To introduce the other players of the show.  I understand that.  However, submarine stories, in my opinion, benefit greatly when they stick to the perspective of the crew at all times.  When they follow their perspective.  When they let the audience discover things when the crew discovers them.  In doing so, you heighten the tension and the mystery.  You really start to feel the danger and begin questioning everything and everyone.  When you leave the people you actually have been led to care about and essentially restart the narrative just to see Autumn Reeser jump the bones of some congressman, you release the all the built up tension of the show faster than cracking open a bottle of champagne.  When you come back to the crew, you have to start all over again in building up that tension.  Imagine if in Wrath of Khan after the Enterprise's first exchange with the Reliant we decided to shoot over to Starfleet for a few minutes to meet some hot Starfleet lab tech who designed the Reliant.  The entire time her scene was going on, all you'd be screaming is "GO BACK TO THE ENTERPRISE DAMN IT!" and miss any information the scene would be giving you anyway.

There is a good show inside Last Resort.  The potential it has is high.  It just has to brush away some of the fluff and stick to it's great premise of physical and psychological pressure put on sailors who are now without a country.  It may take time.  Time Shawn Ryan's previously well done but low rated show Chicago Code didn't have on Fox.  Let's hope ABC is willing to give it.  Watch it...And after you come up for air....tell me I'm wrong.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beginners

Beginners: Beautiful
(2010)

Put simply, Beginners is one of the most beautiful films I have seen in years.

It has been a long time since I have seen a film that hit a 10 on every level.

Directing ✔

Acting ✔

Story ✔

are all absolutely Beautiful.

The story is a unique one, which is nice to say. It has been a long time since a unique story like this has popped up on my "To watch list".  As well as a story that has character development!

So what is this story about? Well a son (Ewan McGregor) is told by his father that he is gay and has stage 4 cancer. A lot to take in for his son, who's own look on relationships has been stain by his fathers treatment of his own mother. The scenes between his mother and him, when he was young are heartfelt. Ewan also meets a girl at a party and is taken by her. She herself also has some parental problems. She also reminds Ewan of his own mother, in many different ways. The story of his struggle with life and its relationships to me are just flat out fascinating. Christopher Plummers performance is a joy to watch, as well as that dog that steals every scene he shows up in.

I tip my hat to Mike Mills. His writing and directing is simply beautiful. I look forward to his future projects.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cosmopolis

TOUGH
Cosmopolis is TOUGH to get through.  Cosmopolis is TOUGH to understand.  Cosmopolis is TOUGH to review.  But ultimately, Cosmopolis is TOUGH to dismiss.  The story of a twenty something billionaire asset manager journeying into the city in search of a haircut presents itself as anything but that.  This is something that did not bother me initially.  At first glance, I thought Cosmopolis would be this generation’s American Psycho.  A controversial film that seems to be about one thing, but actually touches on deeper and unexpected subject matter.  However, where American Psycho veils its messages to allow them to spring naturally into the viewer’s minds, Cosmopolis beats you over the head with it.  This does not necessarily make Cosmopolis a bad film.  It is just doing it's own thing and doesn't give a damn if people have a TOUGH time getting it.

Here is a drinking game you can play.  Take a shot whenever someone in this film answers a question or makes a statement in a drawn out pseudo intellectual/overly metaphorical response.  You’ll be passed out drunk before your popcorn is done popping.  No one talks to each other the way people do in this film.  That criticism should fall mostly on the novel Cosmopolis is based on.  A 224 page maniphesto-like tale by Dan DeLillo that must have been an extremely TOUGH enterprise to translate to film.

At the center of this world is Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson.  If I haven’t stated it before, my opinion on all things Twilight has been…ahem…less than kind.  However, for some reason I always thought that Pattinson was the only one of the three leads that could rise up as a true actor if given the right vehicle.  Now, the right vehicle to prove one’s acting ability, more often than not, is the risky vehicle.  So, kudos should go to Pattinson for taking on a role that all but eliminates his huge built in fan base.  Lets be honest.  The concepts of a piggy bank would probably be lost on the Teen Beat crowd.  Let alone, a film that rambles on incessantly about leveraging exchange rates of the yuan, funny ideas for new monetary units and stock depreciation for two hours.  Suffice to say, Pattinson is actually pretty good here.  So good that director David Cronenberg has cast him again in his next film.  The role of Eric Packer could have easily gone to Leo.  However, we would still see some warmth behind those eyes no matter how cold he’d play it.  Pattinson, on the other hand, can do cold.  His New York accented stoic delivery is perfect for Eric Packer, just as Bale’s almost infomercial style manner of speaking was perfect for Patrick Bateman.  In both cases, you don’t know what either character will say or do next.

I’ve grown to appreciate David Cronenberg.  His always peculiar framing.  His "don't look away" tension building long takes.  But more famously, his knack for inserting into rather normal scenes amazingly visceral moments of sex and/or violence, then moving on as though nothing has happened.  It worked well in The Fly and History of Violence and Eastern Promises.  However, it feels somewhat out of place here.  But everything feels out of place in Cosmopolis.  There is this feeling throughout that something is off.  If the argument is that this is on purpose, then mission accomplished.  But it still lends to the point that the film isn’t an easy sit.

Some critics have labeled Cosmopolis as pretentious.  And it may very well be.  Though, I get the feeling that five or six years from now, it will become a cult success just like American Psycho did.  Put on a suit…get a haircut…watch it…then tell me I’m wrong.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Raid: Redemption (Matt's Take)

The Raid: Redemption - Overkill

 The days are pretty much over where you get old-school action movies that say "Screw the story, we don't need a plot, let's just kick people in the face, shoot them in the head, and break necks!"  Sure, we have "The Expendables" but there hasn't been a good foreign action flick in quite a while.....OW!!!.....geez.....sorry, I just got kicked in the face by "The Raid: Redemption."

The premise is simple; an elite group of Indonesian cops are sent to a building in the slums of Jakarta where a vicious drug dealer resides and shit hits the fan, and by shit hitting the fan I mean, in honor of Joe Bob Briggs, Glock-fu, Baton-fu, Army Knife-fu, sniper rifle-fu, fluorescent light-fu, machete-fu, and hammer-fu.  The action is non-stop, except when the director decides to slow things down and try and incorporate an extremely thin plot.  Just throwing it out there but the director, Gareth Evans, is also Welsh (take that for what its worth).

The fight choreography is great (the film uses Pencak Silat as the main fighting technique).  Yayan Ruhian, who portrays "Mad Dog," acts as the choreographer of all the fights in the film and there are plenty of "Oh Shit!" moments.  The one issue I do have is the liberal use of CG blood.  It's not as bad as some movies (The Devil's Rejects comes to mind) and its hidden pretty well, but it does show up from time to time.

All in all, "The Raid: Redemption" is a fine "film" and an excellent exercise in the resurrection of the modern kung-fu movie.......owwwww......stop kicking my face!!!

Fun Fact:  The roots of the martial art Pencak Silat can be traced back to Java and Sumatra in the 7th Century.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sleuth

SLICK
Sleuth is SLICK.  Sleuth is stylish.  Sleuth is surprising on many levels.  It is the ultimate game of cat and mouse with stakes that are always fun to explore cinematically.  Adultery.  Revenge.  Murder.  You know, the classics.

The first thing that grabs you when watching Sleuth is the look.  Director Kenneth Branagh does a marvelous job structuring the set ups and set pieces.  He's more the directer of Hamlet here than the director of Thor.  Haris Zambarloukos's cinematography is very clever, with specific visual elements that make every shot interesting.  This is a huge treat for the avid cinephile, and a huge help for the antsy.  I say this because Sleuth is based on a play.  And that means that it is a very dialogue heavy film.  However, the dialogue between stars Michael Caine and Jude Law is excellent.  Sorkinesque.  The late great Harold Pinter's words and conversations form a maze of clues, hints, and misdirections that always lead us to fun places.  

Branagh can be given a pat on the bum for getting great performances from the aforementioned Caine and Law.  Michael Caine has never been better.  Those of you who only know him as Chris Nolan's Alfred....SHAME ON YOU!  You should have known him first as Alfie....or Carter...or Lawrence.  He gives those that did a reminder of how great an actor he is.  And is there anyone out there who can legitimately question the talents of Jude Law?  Love him or hate him, his ranging body of work and performances in them are undeniably solid.  A fact that doesn't change here.

I would be remiss in not mentioning a comparison to the original 1972 Sleuth with Sir Laurence Olivier and a younger Michael Caine in the Jude Law role.  The easy answer is that the original is better.  Of course its better.  It has Sir Laurence F*#KING Olivier for Christ sakes!  However, watching Caine swap roles in the newer version and seeing what he does with it gives the newer film value.  Not to mention, seeing modern day filmmaking techniques used to do things the original could not.

I'm sure people were aware when Sleuth came out in theaters, but few went to see it.  That is a real shame because films with style AND substance need to be seen more in Hollywood so they can be made more in Hollywood.  Give it a butcher's...then tell me I'm wrong.


The Raid: Redemption (DJ's Take)


OUCH
I'll be brief.  The Raid: Redemption isn't a movie.  Okay, it's a movie strictly in the technical sense.  It was shot on a camera, there are actors in it and it was shown in a theater. However, the The Raid really can be best described as an experience.  A hyper violent experience of biblical proportions.  It's bodies and bullets and blood by the buckets.   Battered bones and broken bulbs used as bayonets.  I'm sure there was a plot in it somewhere, but I didn't follow it.   Not because I couldn't.  But because I realized early on that I shouldn't.  The story is merely a vehicle to legitimize watching an hour and a half long brutal martial arts display.  There are nearly fifty cast members in this film that are credited no higher than AK-47 Gunman #16 or Swat Member #11.  Names aren't important.  Motivations are made pretty clear.  It's visceral eye candy at its finest.  And I enjoyed the hell of it.

And I do mean visceral.   I don't think that I'm going out on a limb here by saying that it may be one of the most violent films ever.   The Matrix? Old Boy? Kill Bill? Ong Bak?  Pikers compared to The Raid.  It is written(HA! HA!), directed, and edited by Gareth Evans.  You don't care about that.  It features music by Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park.  You won't care about that.  All you'll be able to take from The Raid is that Indonesian stunt men need to be paid more.  You'll cringe.  You'll grimace.  You'll gasp.  And then you'll watch it all over again.   It is a must have for any true action film fan.  Go ahead...watch it...finish blurting out an awe inspired obscenity....then tell me I'm wrong.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Mechanic

The Mechanic: Works
(The 2011 remake)

Cheesy Acting, Cheesy Directing with a few plot holes.

Well listen it was on Showtime and it was late. I thought hey what the hell, lets give it a shot.
It Works, I did enjoyed the film but it is far from perfect.
It's a film I usually call a throwaway. A film possibly not intended to be discarded after being watched once but in my world it is.

If you like a nice little action film and there is nothing on TV, go for it.
Otherwise that's it.
Will I buy this film on DVD or Blu-ray, nay Im good.

What I really did like about this film is the hits they do. It kinda felt like the Hitman video game series that I love so dearly. The actors I thought fit perfect in those scenes and the way they killed them I thought was enjoyable.

NOTES:

I'm getting sick of Jason Statham doing the same, "I'm always pissed off, but I'm a Badass".
It works on Crank yes, It works on the Transporters yes. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Bank Job yes, and it kinda works in this film but I am getting sick of it. I still like the guy, but enough is enough.

Ben Foster on the other hand stole the film. I really enjoyed him in this. The guys acting is really underrated.

How come they left finger prints everywhere? I know its a film, but that got on my nerves. They are Hitmen right? Don't Hitmen know about finger prints? Man it got on my nerves too much!

When a Hitman uses Ask.com, Really Ask.com. Don't know how good of a Hitman he really is if he uses Ask.com.

Why can't Donald Sutherland do more films and not be a throwaway side piece. I love seeing this guy on the screen, need more of that these days.

And a NOTE for all action films these days, STOP with the CG Blood! It looks horrible, its so bad it makes the film less respectful.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Simplistic TV: Revolution

UNDERWHELMING
Revolution comes to us from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.  The new captain of the Star Trek franchise and television veteran J.J. Abrams executive produces.  The father of the Iron Man films, Jon Favreau, even directs the pilot.  The concept, a world thrown into chaos from a technological blackout, isn’t entirely original, but still interesting.  So, how do I feel after watching it?  Completely and utterly UNDERWHELMED.  I am sadly short on whelm.  Totally in need of more whelm.  And the fault of this lies mainly with the cast. 

Besides a brief appearance by the consistently good Giancarlo Esposito, the cast is a laundry list of no named actors.  Now, I know the casts of shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Lost were relative unknowns at the start.  However, those actors put out award winning efforts while tackling very original concepts.  The cast of Revolution seems to be phoning in their performances as though they were aged Hollywood superstars….or direct to DVD Wesley Snipes. 

Tracy Spiridakos, who serves as the show’s lead, (Obvious Hunger Games Cash In Attempt By The Way) is as stock as they come.  She doesn’t have enough acting ability to carry a scene, let alone an entire series.  Graham Rogers, who plays her brother, comes off more like a speaking extra than a costar.  The character with the most potential on the show is Uncle Miles, played by Billy Burke of...ugh...Twilight fame.  He’s a mysterious ex soldier who we know little about, other than he’s good at killing.  An actor with some range and charisma could bring a lot to this type of role.  However, Burke sleepwalks through every line he delivers and even parts of his fight scenes. 

In this attention deficit disorder world we live in now, it is hard to have a show that can captivate and keep viewers.  Especially, if the actors don’t convince us to care about the characters they’re playing.  The performances of Revolution’s cast do little to convince me to care.  Watch it…better yet, DVR it…do your laundry…play with your kids…take up stamp collecting…then if you get bored…really bored…watch it…then tell me I’m wrong. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (DJ's Take)

UNFLINCHING
Lets face it.  Despite Nolan's Batman run, when it comes to bringing their creations to the silver screen, WB/DC Comics sucks.  This is a company that owns the rights to ALL of their creations, unlike Marvel....can cross over WHOEVER they want with WHOEVER they want without legal obstacles....unlike Marvel...has a roster of A-list heroes nearly double the size of Marvel's.  But the only movie they can manage to make that isn't a failure lately is Batman.  Singer's Superman...sucked and underperformed.  Watchmen...though great....underperformed.  Flash movie...in development hell for years.  Wonder Woman movie....in development hell for years.  Wonder Woman TV series....cancelled in the pilot stage.  Jonah Hex...blew chunks.  Catwoman...a joke.  Green Lantern...set up to be WB/DC's new tent pole but subsequently shoved a tent pole right back up their ass.  Its gotten so bad that their third attempt at Superman seems to be copying the tone of Nolan's Batman Begins, in the obtuse thinking that it is the ONLY way to do a superhero movie right.  However, the real puzzle of the matter is that the WB/DC direct to dvd animation films seem to always be amazing.  Sometimes even better than their motion picture counter parts.  I'm talking to you Green Lantern.  That brings us to The Dark Knight Returns Part 1.

Before comic book writer Frank Miller went crazy and did The Spirit (Boy, I got to stop bringing this film up), he had a pretty good track record of awesome.  Sin City, 300, Big Guy and Rusty.  But before those was perhaps his crowning achievement, The Dark Knight Returns.  It was the story of an older retired Batman putting on the cape and cowl once more to take back the streets of Gotham.  It was gritty.  It was gruff.  It was great.  Now over a quarter of a century later, DC animation brings it to life.  And the results are amazing.  Director Jay Oliva, who has done previous work on other great DC animated films like Under The Red Hood and Batman: Year One, really gets the feel of Miller's graphic novel.  The dark tone and the brutal violence in it is so UNFLINCHING and raw, I found myself several times checking the rating on it.  In live action, this film would be rated R without question.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the performances in this as well.  There has always been one quintessential Batman for me.  Its not Bale, or Clooney, or Kilmer, or even Keaton.  It is Kevin Conroy.  His portrail is the first one that pops into my mind when I hear someone mention Batman.  Bruce Greenwood has done a great job recently with a very similar voice.   However, Peter Weller's grizzled old Batman in The Dark Knight Returns fits the material like a glove.  His use of "Son" will put a smile on your face for sure.  David Selby also turns in a strong performance as Commissioner Gordon.  They both hit all the familiar beats and add some new ones as well.  The credit should go to long time casting and voice director Andrea Romano.  If you ever want to be wowed, take a look at her filmography.

The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 delivers in every way a Batman fan would want and gives WB/DC's animation department another homerun project.  WB/DC might want to consider using the braintrust over there (Executive Producer Bruce Timm Especially) to help get their meandering motion pictures off the ground.  Turn out the lights...watch it...then tell me I'm wrong.

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods - Tribute

*There could be some spoilers in the links, so tread with care*

The 2012 Summer movie season is over and I saw all the big ones; The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Amazing Spider-Man (even though some people wouldn't agree that Spidey was a "big" Summer movie) and Prometheus.  Sure, you had The Bourne Legacy and a few other hyped movies, but my best experience came before Summer even started when "The Cabin in the Woods" FINALLY was unleashed to unsuspecting audiences in April.

Love letters are always nice when you get them from people that mean it, and people like Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard must really have a crush on me.  I feel like a mobster in "Goodfellas" and this is their Tribute to not only me, but everything they love as well.
 
The premise is simple; five stereotypes (including the nerd, jock, and stoner) are headed for a secluded cabin, are menaced by a "prophet of doom" and are attacked by monsters.  Like I said, simple.......WRONG.  Contrary to what people might think, this is a very self-aware tribute to genre films, and it's pulled off perfectly.

Due to this movie being delayed, its a tad funny to see Chris Hemsworth, you might have seen him in a few low-budget movies like "Thor" and "The Avengers," in one of his first roles.  You also get a few Whedon favorites like Amy Acker (Dollhouse) and Tom Lenk (Buffy and Angel)

Sprinkle some Evil Dead, a dash of Lovecraft, a sprinkle of '50s giant monster movies, and good dose of splatter/slasher films, and you have "The Cabin in the Woods."  This is definitely a trip you'd like to take, sure, you might end up tied up, gagged, and set on fire by people in white cherub masks, but at least you'll finally be able to see the "merman"

Fun Fact:  Please see "The White Board."  It's a magical experience.

 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wire, Wrap-Up

*Spoilers Ahead*

The case is closed on "The Wire."  Some of the good guys won, some of the bad guys won, and there were plenty of people caught in the cross-fire, but it was a ride that everyone should be willing to take if you enjoy story and character-driven dramas.

While this is not so much a review, as a wrap-up, I will be detailing characters, plot lines, and a few top ten lists, including; Top 10 Characters, Top 10 Tragic/Offing Moments. (Just to clarify, an offing is a death or murder of a character)  Now allow me to drop you back into"The Wire."
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Cheese: "This is some shameless shit!"
Omar Little: "Oh, ain't no shame in my game, doe.  I'm here about my business, ain't dat right Joe!"
- Season Four
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It's a little difficult to pick just ten characters that I would classify as the best from the entire series.  In such a character-driven show all your characters should be great, and trust me they're all great.  So here goes nothing as I unveil MY Top 10 characters on "The Wire."

10.  Det. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski:  The funny thing about Prez is that he went from an asshole detective who was messing up left and right to someone who I truly respected come the end of the show.  Once he started his new career as a middle school teacher, the character became a tragic reminder of someone who continues to have hope in a hopeless situation.

9.  Dennis "Cutty" Wise:  Cutty, a former Barksdale enforcer, has been recently paroled when we first meet him.  He tries to get back into the drug game when he leaves prison but realizes that the life isn't meant for him anymore and decides to open a boxing gym for the troubled youth of West Baltimore.  He is one of the lone bright spots in the show as he not only saves his own life, but indirectly saves the life of Namon Brice, the son of incarcerated Barksdale enforcer, Roland "Wee-Bey" Brice.

8.  Brother Mouzone:  While he only appeared in a few episodes, the suit, glasses and bow-tie of Brother Mouzone left a lasting impression.  Essentially Mouzone was a mirror image of Omar Little, only Brother wore a smart suit and sported a pistol while Omar preferred a brown duster and a shotgun.  The duo also supplied one of the more surprising deaths in the series when they gunned down Stringer Bell at the end of Season Three.
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Omar Little: "I knew you'd come back."
Brother Mouzone:  "I trust you didn't lose much sleep over it?"
Omar Little:  "Worryin' about you would be like worryin' if the sun gonna come up."
-Season Three
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7.  Michael Lee:  During Season Four we were introduced to the youth of West Baltimore and the one character that really stood out from the rest of the pack was Michael.  From a broken home, Michael tried his best to walk the line between right and wrong while trying to protect his friends and his younger brother, Bug.  In the most poignant moment of Season Five, Michael, now on the run from Marlow, Chris, and Snoop, has to say goodbye to both his friend Duquan and Bug and disappear from Baltimore.

6.  Chris and Snoop:  I consider both Chris Partlow and Snoop pretty much the same character, just one male and one female.  They are both extremely loyal, and similar to Omar and Brother Mouzone, they both have a "code."  Chris is the more calculating of the two, and while it's not said directly, seems to be a victim of childhood abuse.  Snoop is the colder of the two and would do anything to protect the reputation of Marlo Stanfield.

5.  Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins:  With a show so grim, it was great to see how one character in particular went from a hopeless drug addict to a reformed member of society.  That character was Bubbles, a police informant, heroin addict, and just maybe, the lone bright spot on "The Wire."  In the series finale, Bubbles finally opens up at an NA Meeting about losing a friend, and it always brings a tear to my eye.  It's truly a beautiful moment in the series.
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Bubbles: "Ain't no shame in holdin' on to grief.  As long as you make room for other things too."
-Season Five
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 4.  Russell "Stringer" Bell:  If anyone knows anything about "The Wire" you know Stringer Bell, portrayed by Idris Elba.  Stringer was the brains, while Avon was the brawn of the Barksdale Crew, and when Avon went away to prison he took over the crew and tried to steer them in a different direction.  Unfortunately, Stringer thought that drug dealers could be rationalized with and "trained" but the one thing he forgot about was the fact that he was still a drug dealer trying to move past his station in life, and that is pretty much what finished him off in the game.

3.  Marlo Stanfield:  Marlo was a different breed of drug dealer then what we had seen from Avon Barksdale, Stringer Bell, or Proposition Joe.  He was ruthless, had enforcers that would do all of his bidding, and he got to the kids early, looking for the next generation of hopper even in middle school.  But not even money mattered in the grand scheme for him, it was knowing that people feared him.

2.  Preston "Bodie" Broadus:  Bodie was one of those characters that I didn't think much of when I first started watching "The Wire."  I personally just thought he was some low-level drug dealing prick that would get killed early in the series, but as time went on, Bodie really fleshed out and became my 2nd favorite character on the show.  After Avon's arrest, and Stringer's death in Season Three, Bodie pretty much became all the Barksdale Crew had left and was the only dealer on the street that wasn't scared of Marlo, and eventually, it cost him.
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Omar: "You got the briefcase......I got the shotgun.....It's all in the game tho'."
-Season Two
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1.  Omar Little:  I can pretty much sum Omar up in a few words.  "Omar don't scare." 

It is difficult to pick just ten characters as the best of the bunch on "The Wire" because they are all so damn good.  Moving on to the tragic/offing moments.

*Warning, there will be spoilers ahead*

10.Chris and Snoop torturing and killing Butchie for information on Omar.
9.  Seeing Duquan succumb to drugs.
8.  Bodie being gunned down by the Stanfield Crew while defending his corner.
7.  The death of Wallace by Bodie and Poot.
6.  Cheese being shot and killed by "Slim" Charles.  Probably the most "satisfying" death in the entire series.
5.  Frank Sobotka murdered by "The Greek"
4.  Stringer Bell gunned down by Brother Mouzone and Omar in his own building.
3.  Michael saying goodbye to Duquan and Bug
2.  Seeing Bubbles' revenge plan backfire and kill Sherrod.
1.  Omar being gunned down by Kenard.

Underworld: Awakening

Underworld: Awakening: BORING

bor·ing
adj.
Uninteresting and tiresome; dull.

Sums it up!


Well...


Yep I finally got around to watching this damn film.

This was the 5th time I started the film and finished it...It will be the last time too.

First the story sucked.

Acting was stale.

Ending was soooo bad.

What a boring film. It was nothing but boring.

When it ended I said, "That's it? That was the film?"

Not a good thing when someone says that toward a film.

Apparently since the movie went nowhere, there will be a sequel. Thanks guys for wasting my time that got nothing accomplished!

Funny thing: When the 3rd film came out everyone said it sucked because Kate Beckinsale wasn't in it. Well she's in this one and it's clearly worse then the 3rd one!

Kate Beckinsale is the only reason to watch!

and if I can be honest for a sec...



It was the only reason I watched it!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Simplistic TV: Longmire

GENERIC
Do you want to see a terrific cable television show that is a modern day western starring a cowboy hat wearing, no nonsense lawman who is based on a character from a best selling novel?  Yeah?  Then watch Justified on FX.  Do you want to see a cable television show that has all those same attributes, but only manages to come off as a cheaper alternative?  Yeah?  Really??  Then watch Longmire.  Longmire, a freshman show on A&E, just exudes that feeling you had when you were 10 years old and your parents bought you the GENERIC Apple Dapples instead of the name brand Apple Jacks.  And while I admit to having a personal bias of favoritism toward Justified, there is no question that Longmire, as a whole, is simply just plain.

The cast and their performances are pretty plain as well.  Katee Sackhoff, most known from Fox's 24 and SyFy's Battlestar Galactica, is the lone bright spot on the show.  Sackhoff seems to always bring to her characters something captivating and real.  However, she is only a costar here.  The titular role of Longmire is played by Robert Taylor.  You know, the guy from that thing with the other guy...no?  Okay, yeah, I don't know him from anything other than his role as Agent Jones in The Matrix.  And his personality is about the same here.  To be a star of a western your main character has to be a little fun.  He can be dry and badass but still wink at the camera a bit with his coolness.  Eastwood got this.  Timothy Olyphant gets this.  Taylor doesn't.

What makes a western feel like a western is not just that it takes place out west.  As I've said before, westerns are mythical.  They are fairy tales about rich characters stuck in extraordinary situations facing off with one another.  They possess style and fun and don't ever take themselves completely seriously.  That's why Inglourious Basterds feels like a western.  Why The Way Of The Gun feels like a western.  Serenity, No Country For Old Men, Justified...they all give off that air of western.  But Longmire lacks style, rich characters, and the friction of a great face off.  Its just a very dry police procedural based in a western town.  It tries to copy the atmosphere and the gimmick of Justified, but forgets it's most important quality.  The magic.  Kick your boots up, watch it...then tell me I'm wrong.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Simplistic TV: The Wire, Season Five

The Wire, Season Five - Bravo

*Spoilers Ahead*

After watching four seasons of "The Wire" in about the span of three weeks not only was I heavily invested with what would happen to the Barksdale Crew, Jimmy McNulty, Bunk Moreland, the New Day Co-Op, and Omar Little, but I was getting mentally exhausted.  All the shows run a full hour (more on the season openers and finales) and the show-runners pack so much in each episode that I hit information overload at certain points.  However, regardless of how much is is crammed into each show, I couldn't get enough and needed closure, and I really wanted some good to come out of the whole shitty mess that is West Baltimore (I got some, but I mostly got kicked in the nuts).  This brings me to Season Five of "The Wire," the final season, and an excellent conclusion to a series that you could call "The Standard for all crime dramas."

Released in 2008, (season four finished up in 2006, so for those who were watching season-to-season, there was almost a 14 month waiting period between the end of four and the start of five) we shift to the magical land of journalism and the offices of the Baltimore Sun.  As in real life, the written word is on the ropes and newspapers are slowly becoming obsolete so writers are becoming more desperate and trying anything to cling onto their jobs, similar to the drug trade in Baltimore, which is shrinking as crews are falling and the Stanfield Crew has monopolized the market.  Desperation is a major theme for this fifth season as McNulty starts a new "crusade" to finally put an end to Marlo Stanfield's crew, newly-elected Mayor, Tommy Carcetti, wants a "serial killer" who is targeting the homeless caught, and the clock is ticking as job cuts at the Baltimore Sun are starting to affecting employee morale.  If people weren't desperate in Baltimore before, they certainly are now.

The one gripe I could find with this season are how the plot lines are tied up. You could tell that HBO was ready for the show to end (not because the show was bad, but when it comes to business, its all about ratings, and during the original run of the show the ratings were lacking), and the plot lines had to be cleaned up as best they could.  Season Five was also the shortest season (ten episodes).  However, I will say everything came to a satisfying end and watching the ending montage made me feel happy, mad, frustrated, hopeful, but most of all, in awe.

Watching "The Wire" made me realize that TV isn't dead.  To be honest with you, it took me watching this show to really get back into watching TV and wanting to see if I could find something that could really top "The Wire."  There are a few shows (funny enough, most of them are on HBO) that can really hang, but I will include "Justified" and "The Shield" in that grouping (funny enough, both on FX), but I think I'll be hard-pressed to find another show on TV that really gave me everything I wanted (and ironically, didn't want) from a TV show.  "The Wire"......bravo......

Fun Fact:  Dominic West, who plays Det. Jimmy McNulty, directed the 8th episode of Season Five, "Took."

Monday, September 3, 2012

J. Edgar

J. Edgar: Solid

This movie is fine, and thats it.

I would say it's a weak Clint Eastwood film.

Leonardo DiCaprio is good, like usual.

His make up was good. Clyde Tolson's wasn't. Really got on my nervers every time I saw it.

I would like to see a story about someone's life that doesn't use the standard, "I'm writing a book so let's now go back and show you everything that I talk about".

If you have time to kill then okay watch this, if not I'm sure you can find something a bit better.


Simplistic TV: The Wire, Season Four

The Wire, Season Four - Chilling

*Spoilers Ahead*

Through three seasons of "The Wire" we have gone from the streets, to the docks, and back to the streets so it was only natural that we visited somewhere that we would think would be safe and would give us a break from the chaos of West Baltimore.  Unfortunately, that isn't the case when we visit the School District of West Baltimore in Season Four of "The Wire."

So far we've seen junkies, gangsters, murderers, pimps, mobsters, crooked cops and politicians, and you can make the case that they're all scourges, blights on society, but it's all the more tragic when you see the neglect the school system faces and with the "robbing Peter to pay Paul" mindset you understand why West Baltimore is in such disrepair.

This season we meet more new characters and the re-invention of a few old ones.  The most prominent ones include Michael Lee, a street smart kid that catches the eye of the Stanfield Crew, Duquan Weems aka "Dukie", and Randy Wagstaff, two extremely tragic figures of how the school system fails and bureaucracy blocks enhancement for West Baltimore's youth, and we see the new career direction of former Detective Roland Pryzbylewski, now a math teacher for the West Baltimore School District.

As we have come to expect from "The Wire," we have a fair share of "offings" of well liked characters, and some interesting twists from others.  I would have to say that Season Four is the strongest season of "The Wire" so far as it keeps close to the streets but it also explores the failures of the local government, how criminals take advantage of the local youth, and why hope in a hopeless situation is so dangerous.

Fun Fact:  Felicia Pearson, who portrays Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, is an actual convicted felon from East Baltimore who was discovered by Michael Williams, who portrays Omar Little in "The Wire".


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Snow White And The Huntsman

YAWN

More like SLOW White And The Huntsman...am I right? (Cheap Rimshot)  Sorry.  I'm sorry.  God I really don't want to lay into this movie.  I really don't.  The concept, the idea, the attempt to try and make something different inside the cookie cutter constant cliched world of Hollywood should be applauded.  Its hard to find films that have balls anymore.  Films that strive to be unflinchingly different no matter what the studio execs say.  When done right, when left alone, those cojones carrying films shine like a beacon through the forest of monotony.  The reason different, interesting concept films aren't a plenty in Hollywood is because for every Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass, there is a Frank Miller's The Spirit.  For every Timur Bekmambetov's Wanted there is a Timur Bekmambetov's Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.  Slow...I mean...Snow White And The Huntsman has cojones but just doesn't know what to do with them.

So what do we got on paper?  Lets take the tale of Snow White and make it a dark and edgy (Sigh...Thanks Nolan) action filled visual masterpiece circa The Lord Of The Rings.  Awesome!  I want to see that.  Lets make it PG-13. Ummm...kinda goes against your desire to make it edgy but...fine.  Lets cast Charlize Theron And Chris Hemsworth in it.  Terrific!  Lets only use them for a tenth of the runtime.  What?  That seems stupid.  You usually want to have your best actors in your movies MORE not less.  Unless you've got a really good actress to play Snow White.  Who do you got?  We got Kristen--Bell?  That could be cool.  Veronica Mars.  I like her.  No.  Kristen--Wiig?  She's a little old for the role.  But at least she's funny.  No.  Kristen Stewart.  What?  Kristen Stewart.  The Twilight chic?  Yep!  The lip biting Twilight chic?  Yep!  Pumped yet?

I knew all of this going in but still anticipated watching the edgy action filled movie that I was sold on.  And the problem is...the action takes FOREVER to come.  Oh its there, in spurts.  But man, if there weren't several 25 minutes segments where NOTHING HAPPENS.  A large majority of this film is scenes of Theron gazing into space or Stewart walking through the woods.  If you're going to promote your film to be this action slash adventure re-imagining, you have to give me some action SLASH adventure.  All that seems to have been accomplished by this re-imagining is making a fairy tale look as dreary as possible.  Its like someone poured black mud over the entire film.  The dreariness seems to bash you over the head to the point where you don't even recognize ANYTHING that is supposed to be action, adventure, or Snow White.  If that was the point, then the point is stupid.

I only pepped up from my head nodding drowsiness while watching this movie twice. First is when Hemsworth appears.  And that takes a good thirty minutes.  Second was when the dwarves arrive.  Hemsworth and the dwarves are the only source of levity, fun, or entertainment in this entire film.  And as I've mentioned before...THEY ARE HARDLY IN IT.  You have the great Ian McShane and Ray Winstone,  the hilarious Nick Frost, the always interesting Toby Jones and the legendary but sadly retired Bob Hoskins and you barely use them?  Instead, you force-feed us Stewart's STILL NOT CUTE blandness and wooden delivery for two hours.  Stewart's YAWN inducing acting might have been correctable if the director of the film wasn't so busy sleeping with her on the set.  Hmmm....Perhaps I've gone too far.

Snow White And The Huntsman does have some amazing effects.  The performances from the supporting cast are really good...probably due to the better actors being forced into supporting roles.  Theron does a good wicked queen, which could have been a great wicked queen if the "preoccupied" director asked her to reel it in a little bit.  But at the end of the day, its just boring.  An action film that makes you sleepy IS NOT A GOOD THING.  Snow White And The Huntsman is a swing and a miss that only gives unimaginative Hollywood execs ammunition against films that go against the grain.  And for that, I can not forgive it.  Take a handfull of NoDoze...watch it...then tell me I'm wrong.

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