Friday, March 30, 2012

In Time 2011 6 out of 10

In Time 2011  6 out of 10

If Logan's Run  ("The sexiest movie ever" --Ross from Friends) can be considered a genre this is the latest installment in that genre.  The last entry in this genre of films was  The Island  from 2005.   In Time  has a fun and interesting concept as a way of showing the increasing real life rift between the rich and the disappearing middle class.   Like Logan's Run the people of this future have a short lifespan --instead of a crystal the turns red in their hands when it is their time to die (for popluation control) they have a clock in their arm.  The whole world is run on time ...Time is your life and the currency by which the world exists...humans stop aging at age 25 but have only been engineered to live one additional year unless they are rich and can then achieve near immortality. The story is interesting ---but the plot is full of holes  (even if you buy into the reality of this future)....Just when the movie should kick into high gear and be a non-stop rollercoaster ride it instead stops and starts and stops again.  It seems like this complex system where your time is your currency is somehow not really that advanced at all. 
 I mean they are able to track down criminals quicker on Hawaii 5-0 than in this futuristic civilization.  You mean to tell me that everyone has a clock implanted in them that they can transfer time back and forth between each other --but there is no GPS...or the people can't be tracked???   Justin Timberlake  does an effective job as lead actor in the role of the main character---unfortunately he has a so so plot to act in.   His character becomes a Robin Hood of Time---stealing from the rich (whose banks apparently have no security what so ever) and giving to the poor.  So although I liked the concept of the movie I kept going  "Yeah like that would happen" over and over to the screen.  I don't think the writers of the film really thought the concept of the society out in their heads.   

Here is the trailer for the film


Here is an interesting link comparing Logan's Run with In Time over at a page called Movie Smackdown

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Muppets vs John Carter (Marketing and thoughts)

The Muppets were a marketing success--which lead to the film doing quite well when compared to its expectations.  With funny movie parodies the Muppets placed themselves as a must see Thanksgiving event.   Clever and with a sense of purpose the Muppets made a comeback in a big way stating to the world through a good promotional effort that they were indeed back.....

Below is my review of The Muppets   2011  now on DVD

John Carter on the other hand misfired in its marketing efforts.  The early trailers and buzz on the film was negative or ho hum at best.  Even the main target audience for the film seemed underwhelmed by its marketing.  I've read numerous good reviews for the fun action movie that basically said --that they had such low expectations for the film and how surprised they were with how much they actually enjoyed the film.   John Carter (Starting with the name of the movie itself) failed to identify itself early enough in the marketing of the film and therefore set itself up for an epic fail.

Below is my review of John Carter  2012  still in theaters  (for now at least)

Brad's Top 10 movies of 2007

Coming in at number 10
Battlestar Gallactica Razor   8 out of 10
Direct to DVD and direct into my top 10 for 2007

Number 9

Blades of Glory 8 out of 10
Will Ferrell is a golden ice skating god.

Coming in at number 8

The Heartbreak Kid 8 out of 10
A great remake of an old Charles Grodin film. Ben Stiller marries the dream of his dreams and finds out she is more like the girl from a nightmare and then falls in love with someone else on his honeymoon.....Good fun stuff

Coming in at number 7

Shoot Em Up 8+ out of 10
A Fun and wild action movie. Clive Owen is great in this over the top film

Coming in at number 6

Planet Terror 8+ out of 10
The good portion of the Grindhouse double feature. Planet Terror was a fun action packed kick ass flick...

Coming in at number 5

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 8+ out of 10
Another fun mystery is unraveled in this sequel. Good pacing and a fun story

Coming in at number 4
Ratatouille 9+ out of 10
Pixar magic works again. The plot didn't sound interesting. A Rat that cooks food in a Paris restaurant. The result= and amazingly fun and wonderfully animated movie. Go Figure....Pixar rocks

Coming in at number 3

Disturbia 9+ out of 10 A fun and thrilling modern day Rear Window.

Coming in at number 2
300 9+ out of 10
A cool a stylish comic book style action movie....

Number 1

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 : At World's End 9+ out of 10.......Captain Jack Sparrow....The Pirate's League. It starts off quite weird and I can see how some may not like this chapter.....But I loved it all the same

Here is the trailer

Here is my movie facebook page

Leprechaun's Revenge 2012 6 out of 10

Syfy Channel Cheese was served up to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the form of Leprechaun movies.
The first 3 in the terrible Warwick Davis Leprechaun series and then the new original Leprechaun's Revenge starring William Devine and Billy Zane.

"Pick the red clover and unleash a green nightmare"  
Here is that green nightmare..  Yikes that looks cheesy...
And cheesy it was -yet I felt like it was in on the joke. 
Dialogue like...."Are you suggesting I pimp slap the Leprechaun"   and  " You need to save your ass from that Leprechaun"  and   "Hey  Lepy........Happy St. Patrick's Day"   led me to this belief.   

The story was a bunch of Irish immigrants came to America with a captured Leprechaun in tow....Got rich off his gold and then he escaped and caused a whole lot of trouble.  They buried him in the woods with Horseshoes around him to keep him in place.   Well he escapes due to the misfortune of the sheriff's daughter accidentally picking a cursed red clover.....And death after death at the hands of the Green nightmare follow.   Just a fun and cheesy Leprechaun killing people movie with blood and guts and a little  (we are in on it humor)---displayed especially in Billy Zane's   (SPOILER ALERT)  ---speech before he is ripped in 2.
A decent Syfy channel movie compared to must of the crud they show....

Here is the trailer

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Top 5 most anticipated movies for 2012 so far

Coming in at number 5     Brave
From Pixar.....Even my least favorite Pixar was good.  Pixar movies are the closest to sure things as you can get. It will look amazing---it will have a good story and it will be a lot of fun.

Coming in at number 4     The Avengers
I'm not the biggest Comic book movie fan and of the Marvel movies starring these characters so far only the first Iron Man movies really impressed me, but this movie is directed by Joss Whedon and I can't wait to see how he brings his sense of humor and fun that I have enjoyed so much in Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse to this collection of Marvel superheroes.

Coming in at number 3   Prometheus
Ridley Scott's return to Sci-Fi....The trailer is intriguing.  A sci-fi Pandora's box of horror and fun.   I'm all in for this sci-fi movie from one of the genres masters.

Coming in at number 2  The Cabin in the Woods
I'm even more excited for this than for Avengers.  Joss Whedon's and Drew Goddard's trippy twist on the typical Cabin in the Woods horror story.  The trailers make it look like an Evil Dead meets The Cube and that I really want to see.

Coming in at number 1   The Hobbit 
Peter Jackson returning to middle earth with The Hobbit......Enough said...

Here is my movie facebook page

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick"s Day ---from Uncle O' Grimacey

Grimace the weird McDonald's character that loves shakes like a crack addict once had a Green Uncle that liked Shamrock Shakes.....Here for your enjoyment is an old commercial with that character.

I wanted a Shamrock shake earlier this week but after seeing the calories in them---It is no wonder the Grimaces are so fat

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Best Laid Plains 1999 6 out of 10

A twisted little mystery that I really can't even talk about without ruining the movie.  Let's just say it is the Hangover movies if you took the comedy out and just made them dark  movies about a bad series of events....A younger Reese Witherspoon stars in this decent story of things gone wrong.  Definitely some twists and surprises if you go into the film cold like I did.  I will not include the trailer --because I feel it may give away too much and it is better to see the movie fresh--without precieved notions.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

G-Force 2009 4 out of 10 (Family Film Review #1)

Who doesn't want to a see a movie about Guinea Pig Spies ---trying to thwart some threat to Earth? Right? Well that is apparently what Jerry Bruickheimer thought when green lighting this film that was literally the idea of one the producers kids.....(I kid you not watch the DVD extras) I found Tracy Morgan was even annoying as a Guinea Pig. The whole CGI talking animal thing doesn't really work for me (unless it is Scooby Doo---I just love that dog) . I'm not rushing out this week to see Zookeeper because a Gorilla talking about wanting to go to TGIF's doesn't really make me laugh. And it is weird because I love cartoons and animated movies as if I was still a child. No Seriously you can catch me on the weekend sitting on the couch watching Spongebob even after the kids have left the room....But Golden Retrievers that wear gold chains and talk like Gangsters and Chihuahua's that aren't selling tacos at Taco Bell just don't.  Zach Galifianakis's talents were wasted in this film --his stand up and roles in The Hangover are brilliant.   The film had some okay CGI action sequences and it had a plot --I guess I just wasn't into it.....I like the Hamsters in that car commercial more than these Guinea Pigs.  I'd much rather watch a TV episode of the Penguins of Madagascar than this  CGI talking animal spy flick.

Here is the trailer for this turkey

The Spiral Staircase 1946 7 out of 10

A nice black and white thriller about a girl who through a tragic event in her past can't speak that is stuck is stuck in a house where she works as a helper to an old dying women while a strangler is on the loose.  I've seen many similar movies to this where it starts to become apparent that the killer my be one of the family members....This particular one was very well done keeping you guessing until nearly the end.  I really enjoy a good old Black and White thriller every once in awhile....AMC and TMC  channels are a great source for old films.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Green Hornet 2011 7 out of 10

I'm not a big comic book fan in general.  So most comic book movies I wait until DVD.   Seeing as many movies as I see--I eventually get around to them.   Green Hornet started out a little slow for me as most comic book origin stories tend to do.   They spend half the movie telling you how they became the Super Hero or in case of some of the early 1990  Batman movies how the villains became the villains.
About 40 minutes into the movie I was getting a little bored with it almost to the point of dosing off.   I was ready to write it off as  like the TV show version ---A Batman wannabe with a cooler sidekick....and then the movie hit a turning point for me.....A good action scene followed by the 2 good guys beating the living daylights out of each other in epic fashion that reminded me of the classic alley fight from They Live.      See  a quick  good guys battling each other Top 5 I threw together off the top of my head here.
And then the rest of the movie from that point on really hit it stride....The action packed conclusion car sequence was original and exciting to watch  really brought the movie from so-so status to pretty cool for me.   Seth Rogan's sense of humor worked well.....( A strange but pleasant casting choice)   and Kato kicked ass............I recommend checking out the old TV show with Bruce Lee

Friday, March 9, 2012

Trailer of the week: Cabin in the Woods:

It had me at  Executive Producer Joss Whedon.   It looks like a cross between Evil Dead and The Cube.....I can't wait for this movie to come out.  Seriously the plot looks bizarre and if it is anything like Buffy, Angel, Firefly or Dollhouse --I will love it.

War 2007 5 out of 10

I was looking forward to this one –Jet Li  vs Jason Statham.   But it was kind of a dud compared to the expectation that I had for the flick.  A convoluted story about Japanese gangs battling each other.  Story twists that I just didn't embrace.   It had some good action sets but the story just didn't flow.  Main characters suddenly just falling out of the story at times.   It was just kind of a mess.

Stardust 2007 6 out of 10

I couldn't figure out what this movie wanted to be from the trailers and I don't think the movie itself ever really figured it out either.  An attempt at finding the magic of  A Princess Bride,  the  movie never quite finds the magic.  Based on a Neil Gaiman story—it almost tried too hard to be whimsical.   Witches and a cross dressing  Robert Deniro as a sky pirate. The movie had its moments –but was still searching for a consistent tone throughout.  

Hunger Games---Haven't we seen this movie before??

The Trailer for The Hunger Games is here

The Hunger Games    2012  opens in just a couple of weeks.  I've never read the books, but I feel like I've already seen this movie before...  Everything in Hollywood is derived from something that came before it.  It would be stupid for me to sit here and complain about the lack of new ideas (which I have before).   As long as you improve on or make your version of an old theme better or different enough then it doesn't matter that if it has been done before.   For every remake that I complain about --there is a Tron sequel that I'm first in line for.  At one point I thought that the proper name for myself as a critic would have been The Hypocritical Critic since I would rush out to see a remake of Conan the Barbarian a week after asking why Hollywood was remaking Footloose for a lack of originality.   So ---even though The Hunger Games seems like a movie that has been made over and over again....I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the Hunger of so many fans to see this film.   I'll probably wait until it hits Netflix myself---but I should stop being surprised by cover articles about this film I feel like I've seen before.   The Hunger Games seems like  a mix of The Running Man/ Battle Royale, and several other  people hunting people stories that probably started as far back as the 1932 movie The Most Dangerous Game   8 out of 10  (which itself has been done over and over again in a series of movies -that I will save for another blog)

Here are some films that came before it with similar themes..

Battle Royale  2001  8 out of 10
This bizarre Japanese  film  that  takes a bunch of  high school kids –places them on an Island and makes them kill each other  until only one person is left..  Battle Royale like the WWE Wrestling event but with your life at stake.  This was a very violent film , but also interesting character moments as you see how the different characters deal with the situation.   I loved this weird movie and twisted film.   
The Trailer for Battle Royale

Speaking of the WWE....The Condemned from 2007 stars  Stone Cold Steve Austin    5  out of 10 .   This was basically the American version of Battle Royale without the interesting character moments.   All brawn and no brain...(well it was produced by the WWE--so what do you expect).  This film was  clearly  influenced  by The Running Man 1987,   which also has criminals competing to the death as part of a televised event.   A theme that is also a big part of The Hunger Games.

The Trailer for the Condemned

Speaking of The Running Man 1987  9 out of 10
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in this Sci-Fi action movie based on a short story by Steven King that places Arnold on a TV show where criminals are forced to compete as "Hunters"  track them down to kill them as entertainment for a TV audience.  This is so far my favorite of the people hunted for sport as part of a TV show genre.   See I'm not complaining  about The Running Man (because I loved it) since it was an interesting twist of the genre.  With elements of Death Race 2000 as probably one of its influences.
Trailer for The Running Man