There is a time in most men's life where they just can't take it anymore; most men lose it at a point when they lose their jobs, question society for treating them like dirt, being treated like the bottom of the food chain, or getting a divorce.
Michael Douglas plays William, or D-FNSE, as he prefers to be called. He's just like any other workingman where they have to put up with the crap they see; budget cuts, being fired or even like what I said in the beginning statement. He's fired from his job as a weapon maker for the military as his character made missiles, bombs, guns, etc. He's laid off from his job and all he wants to do is go see his ex-wife for his kid's birthday party. From the moment we see his character go insane and killing off people left and right, that's where the fun begins.
Robert Duvall plays Detective Pendergrast, a good cop who always went by the law and never said a cuss word in his life (though his captain like profanity). It's his last day as a Los Angeles police officer before he retires in Arizona. If things couldn't get any worse, he hears about D-FNSE going on a rampage from shooting a liquor store, killing a bunch of gang members, holding a burger joint hostage, killing a racist military expert, blowing up a construction site, killing a rich golf member and the only response from most witnesses is that he's a white guy with a shirt and tie.
There are many movies that I recall where it had these male losers who didn't do anything at all. "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" was the early movie of where teens went through different topics, except for Jeff Spicoil who didn't care about anything except for surfing; "The Big Lebowski" was a story about a man who didn't give a crap about anything except smoking grass; "American Splendor" showed the life of Harvey Pekar who wouldn't care if 9/11 happened, and was tired of living with the rules of trying to be like everybody else. "Falling Down" is different. It's a man who is tired of the system and of waiting for somebody to do something about it; D-FENS is just the type of guy we need.
As of 2009, it's still the best Disney Channel Original Movie to watch.
After High School Musical 2, Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie, Camp Rock and Princess Protection Program found ways to attract their audience from real life relationships, stereotypical razas, and marketing to rank the ratings, none of these films aren't memorable for me to watch overs again unlike The Cheetah Girls 2 which balances drama, comedy and a musical all in one while in Spain.
Directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), The Cheetah Girls 2 takes place after Galleria (Raven Symone), Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan) and Aqua (Keily Williams) graduate from high school and separation anxiety takes place after Chanel's mother says she wants to take Chanel to Spain to meet with the new fiancé; however fate comes in where the girls look at an ad in a magazine for musical auditions in Spain and that's where the fun begins. Other than the audition itself, the girls are put to the test of friendship, romance and acceptance.
Okay, normally original flicks from Disney aren't supposed to draw everybody's attention since their target audiences are normally tweens and teens; but as an adult, it was interesting to watch a Disney Original movie that is not as dumb like High School Musical 2 or a stereotypical movie for people to be proud of their race like Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, but a bit of everything where people who are and who are not fans of Disney can watch this film with their family without feeling a bit relish or dumb down. The acting of the four leads show more maturity than those of the High School Musical sequels and the music is dynamic with a blend of Latin and pop where mixing two sets has never been so better.
Overall, this is still the best Disney Channel Original Movie to watch.
After three X-Men installments featuring the popular Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman, Marvel Studios decided to give the raging animal a movie of his own on how the character came to be.
Jackman plays the title character for the fourth time in the franchise as we witness the birth of Logan having claws at a young age along with his brother Victor Creed (a.k.a. Sabertooth), who has the same gift, and go through many wars where Victor enjoys the carnage of killing.
Logan and Victor are picked up by Colonel Stryker (Danny Huston) in a special team for covert operations involving killing people; however Logan wants out and tries to lead a different life before many of his team members are killed off left and right like flies including those who are not like him. So now it's a race against time for Logan (Wolverine) to look for other mutants before they fall upon to Stryker's trap.
Overall, for an origin, it's a cool movie. This is really the type of film where many fans already know how Wolverine came to life from the first films and the comics, but the action scenes will get to you since they're bad-ass. Hugh Jackman still kicks ass as Wolverine and brings the animal rage just like the three installments. Liev Schriber (Scream 2) is the breakout actor as Sabertooth and brings a certain fear and terror to give many fans chills. Look for other characters as Wade Wilson, Gambit, Cyclops, The Blob and many more.
It seems that nothing ever seems to stop Clint Eastwood from making movies as he already made two tragic masterpieces that earned Academy Award nominations for best picture (Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby); a two part war epic showing the point of view during the Iwo Jima battles between the Americans and the Japanese (Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima), and a mother searching for her son (Changling).
This time Eastwood returns to the directing and acting chair in "Gran Torino" about a Korean War veteran (Clint, as Walt Kowalski) who hates people of all races and creed that he barely smiles even in the first scene where his wife has passed away and doesn't show sorrow with the exception of hatred from his family who never visited him; treat him like a used tool only to be thrown away until next time. Walt's worst hatred is his own grandkids who don't show respect for the elders, God, or even offer to help him with anything while pondering about his question with death; his granddaughter, who dresses like a slut, asks if she could have his prized possession: A 1972 Gran Torino, as her reward when he dies.
If Walt's hatred of his family isn't getting worse, it's his new Hmong neighbors next door who move in next door leaving Walt to shame God even more despite the fact that where he lives has Asians. It's not until one day that the son next door tries to break in to steal his car as part of entering his cousin's pathetic gang. Walt lets him escape after a mess up, but it's not until the veteran saves the child and his family's lives when the gang tries to harass them. He's a hero to the community but Walt doesn't want to give in yet. But he does where he thinks of the Hmongs as his own family despite saying slurs and considers them as those he trusts in case something were to ever happen to him.
The film was overlooked at the Oscars for unknown reasons, even though Clint earned a nomination at the Critics Choice Awards. More people seemed to pay attention to "Slumdog Millionaire" where it won the Oscars and the hype of India and the rags to riches story died off later. But then again, the Oscars in Feburary were a big joke, despite the fact that there were better films of 2008 from "The Wrestler," "Wall-E," "Doubt," "The Dark Knight," including this film where Clint Eastwood can't be stopped no matter if he's directing or acting.
Nice concept; few suggestions for possible sequel however
I'll admit it while I'm writing my review that I'm an animal lover. Who isn't, right? Especially where the main characters are dogs.
"Hotel for Dogs" tells the story of two young siblings who are orphans moving from place to place and having foster parents. The siblings are Andi (Emma Roberts from Nancy Drew) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin from Wizards of Waverly Place) who are up to no good as they deceive a pawn shop owner of a box displaying a brand new phone when inside its a rock while their dog, Friday, tries to get something to eat while being tied up. The kids are eventually caught and picked up at the police station by their foster aid Charlie (played by Don Cheadle) who likes them and vouches for their behavior but doesn't know if he can put up with them any more after their stunts.
The kids foster parents are no help either. Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Kevin Dillon (Entourage) play the dead beat foster parents whose dream gig are to be singers and perform in front of a large audience and live off the rock n' roll life instead of worrying about the kids and being like "normal" parents and give them their needs.
Things change for Andi and Bruce after their dog has gone in the streets later to be taken to the pound where the animal control treat both the kids and their dog with disrespect before freeing the animal after Andi bribes the head guard. They later run from the cops in fear of being frame for a crime they didn't commit where their dog hides inside an abandoned hotel building where other dogs occupy the place. And then it hits the siblings that a hotel should be created for the stray animals just before recruiting a few more people including a guy that Andi has a crush on and yet he doesn't know her secret about being an orphan.
I liked the concept of "Hotel for Dogs" where stray dogs can stay inside a hotel without wondering the streets; the innovated gadgets are a riot showing the techniques for dogs to use the restroom along with recreating a dining room for both the humans and dogs to eat. It's harmless fun and something for the family to enjoy. If you're an animal lover, you should love this too.
As I mentioned, if ever a possible sequel were to take place or a spin off, how about "Hotel for the Homeless Humans?" Huh? Sounds catchy where two young siblings use an abandoned hotel to help homeless people find shelter rather than live the streets or having a time limit in other shelters to kick out the old and bring in the new homeless people, and they don't even have to leave where the cities are clean and safe and the kids running the joint might place that in their college application.
Just days after the 2008 Academy Awards announced the winners, I had to see the best animation feature winner "Wall-E" in which all of my young cousins and nieces and their parents have seen this film and commented on it being wonderful making me the outcast of the bunch.
"Wall-E" takes place in the distant future where Earth has been destroyed due to the lack of care the people never gave into cleaning the trash making it a pile of ruins. All is left on Earth besides empty stores is a pile of junk rubble made into cubicles and set into buildings while a robot named Wall-E tries to make his "Earth" the way it was before the human population became extinct. There are no other creatures or animals with the exception of a cockroach that Wall-E considers a companion where the robot uses an abandon ship as his home filled with various toys and devices; the small robot uses an I-pod to watch a musical in which Wall-E tries to emulate the scene.
Later in the film, another robot named EVE enters the absent Earth where Wall-E finds contact of his kind for the first time after years of being isolated that he tries his best to win her heart. Even though their only way of communication is by saying their names to one another along with certain one words, the two robots share a relationship where I had tears and a smile on my face. But what Wall-E doesn't know is that EVE was sent to look for a living organism (a plant) and sent it back to space to show that there is life on Earth. So Wall-E follows EVE to space with their adventure just beginning.
"Wall-E" is something for everybody. It may be a Pixar movie for kids and Disney fans to watch, but there's more to this film than just a kids movie or a Disney film. The film is everything for sci-fi fans to talk about, those who care for the environment (a later subplot in the film), or yet, those who love watching romantic movies where Wall-E and EVE are the first screen couple that aren't human and yet, I really felt an attraction to them as I cried during their scenes.
It's that good and so wonderful that it should have deserved the best picture nomination.
After a five year absence from the big screen, Hulk is back with more punches and kicks to throw around than a thinking brain which would hurt more movie goers than cramming for a high school exam.
I'll admit that I love Ang Lee's version of the ticked off monster in which it took its time getting to know the characters before getting to the action sequences along with seeing how experiments could have consequences. Plus the cut scenes which resembled a comic book had it's high marks though it can only please those who truly love the atmosphere of comic books. This time around French director Louis Leterrier brings more anger while managing to bring depth to the lost soul of Bruce Banner (Edward Norton).
"The Incredible Hulk" is a reboot of the first movie (note: a third Hulk is in the works) in which it pays homage to the classic 1970's series with Edward Norton (taking over Eric Bana) playing the title character after a failed experiment left him to turn into the Hulk while hurting the love of his life Betty Ross (Liv Tyler taking over the Jennifer Connelly role) and becoming a fugitive as he hides in Brazil working in a soda factory. It's not long when Betty's father, the indestructible General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt taking over for Sam Elliot), finds a report that an elderly man has drinking a piece of gamma radiation and immediately finds the location of Bruce where the general gets a British/Russian import soldier by the name of Blonsky (Tim Roth) to help track down Bruce.
The action doesn't take much long before Bruce is bullied by a few thugs which leads him to turn into the Hulk smashing and throwing his enemies before going after the secret military. Bruce is now on the run as he wants to head back into the states to find the love of his life along with seeking a cure for his disease while Blonsky convinces his boss to give him the same radiation that made Bruce into the monster he is and having a one on one action.
With the film under two hours, The Incredible Hulk is great entertainment and a way of apologizing to those who hated the first Hulk movie in which those who seek mile-a-minute thrill rides will be pleased. The film's got everything from a wild battles, wit humor and while the performances are not Oscar-memorable, I really cared for Norton as the title character where he wanted to rid his curse while remembering from 2003's Hulk that Eric Bana's version actually liked being angry. Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt are good as well along with Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Sterns.
A note to all comic book historians or lovers, make sure to check out for Avenger references along with the last scene in the film when a certain character makes a cameo appearance.
The little engine that could raises the stakes in the third installment
I must confess that I wasn't really sure if I wanted to see the third installment of the High School Musical franchise since there are better movies to see. I wasn't sure at first since the first two movies were free to watch on the Disney Channel and yet I asked myself, "Why does Disney want to make more money when it already created a phenomenal in terms of the actors, music and ideas?" If you get my drift, then you know that High School Musical not only brought out the relationship of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens but at the same time created concerts from ice rinks to national tours where most of the actors performed on stage and a reality show on ABC was created.
But another part of me wanted to see the films because of the characters we can relate to from Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the athlete with a heart of gold and a talent for singing and acting. Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), the smart Latina who's caught in the middle along with choosing what's right in her mind and in her heart. Even the snarley character Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) is someone that most people can relate to in which she isn't a "bad person" but wants everything to herself. Yet, there is a character that most people can relate to. Plus, the music is rockin'.
"High School Musical 3" is the last installment for the original cast members (Efron, Hudgens, Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, etc.) where it's senior year and everything is winding down before graduation as the seniors must do something together as a team one last time. That's when the school's pianist Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) writes down everybody's name on a piece of paper for the upcoming school play where she fears that Sharpay will hog up the fun like usual, but it leaves all the other seniors in an uproar due to the fact that they have big commitments from yearbook editorial, college applications, prom, final exams and other stuff to get out. But it's Gabriella and Troy that convince the others to do so. Speaking of Troy and Gabriella, time is winding down for their relationship since Gabriella has been accepted to Stanford University while Troy has been undecided where he wants to go and do since everybody from his father (Bart Johnson) to Chad (Corbin Bleu) pressure him to be in basketball at the University of Albuquerque; yet Troy has his mind set in theater since he loves to sing. Gabriella is ready to let go, however, it's Troy who doesn't want to say goodbye to the best thing that happened to him at East High.
While the original characters are worried about high school aftermath, new characters are introduced. Jimmie "Rocketman" Zara (Matt Prokop), Donny Dion (Justin Martin) and Tiara Gold (Jemma McKenzie Brown) are the latest additions where they're recycled versions of Troy (Jimmie), Chad (Donny) and Sharpay (Tiara). Jimmie idolizes Troy Bolton like a brother and hero while Donny is Jimmie's best friend and sidekick. Tiara is a transfered student from London, England who serves as a personal assistant to Sharpay and has her eyes on something close to Sharpay's heart that I will not say in this review.
While most people care for the characters, the breakout of any musical is the music. With High School Musical 3 in a bigger production compared to the first two, everything is much more dazzler and wild. Some of the songs from HSM 3 like "Now Or Never," the film's first song at the basketball game; "Right Here, Right Now" is a duet between Troy and Gabriella; "I Want it All" is Sharpay's second bitch anthem theme where it plays in the tradition of a Bob Fosse production with bright lights and high energy; "The Boys are Back" takes place in a junkyard where Troy and Chad sing; The song "A Night To Remember" is probably the funnest song in the film itself where it shows the kids singing about prom.
Yes, I love the songs! In terms of acting, I confess that Zac Efron was better this time around compared to High School Musical 2 where he actually has spoken words to make him convincing rather than a guy that nods and show off his perfect body. Vanessa Hudgens brings the better version of her character unlike the first sequel where all she did was squeal with delight and sounded like a bratty teenager; she sounds like a strong and confident chica (girl). The breakout star in all the High School Musical movies is no other than Ashley Tisdale's as the snobby Sharpay Evans in which despite the fact that her character was less this time around, she manages to make me grin and wonder what will happen next. Unlike most of the other actors from the previous films, Tisdale is the one that never breaks character and will remain my true favorite wildcat.
High School Musical 3 isn't a four star or three and a half star movie to go around, as it was already bashed by moviegoers (fans and non fans of the series) and critics. Most critics such as Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) would rather watch a movie where America should crash and burn while Richard Corliss (Time) would prefer the old musicals such as "Mary Poppins".
I, on the other hand, had fun watching this film. It doesn't beat the original flick, but it is better than HSM 2 as I said that third time would be a charm, and it was. And with this being the last installment for Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Monique Coleman, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Olesya Rulin, KayCee Stroh (Martha Cox), Ryne Sanborn (Jason Cross), and Chris Warren (Zeke Baylor), I congratulate the actors where they will move on to bigger and better things in their entertainment careers.
Crafted superb acting told in a take its time attitude
Nothing is easy for Michael Clayton. He gambles a lot, owes money after a failed restaurant business, tries to make time for his son after a messy divorce, drives fancy cars, wears suits that come out of a fashion detailed magazine, and yet, works for the highest litigation office in New York City where he's not a lawyer but a "fixer". He's someone that the lawyers can depend on if the clients aren't happy or somebody has a dirty secret that needs to be wiped away fast. He's just a janitor who cleans up the mess that everybody's afraid to touch.
George Clooney plays Michael Clayton in which this time the cards are on the table. He receives news from the head lawyer Marty Bach (Sydney Pollock) that one of their attorneys (Tom Wilkinson) has gone off the brink of insanity after stripping his clothes down to people on the biggest case of bringing down a corrupted organic company that has been killing off their customers. Arthur Edens (Wilkinson) knows the truth about the organic company and will do almost anything in bringing down C.E.O. Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) after a guilty conscience.
The clock is ticking for Clayton as he must do what he can in helping Edens while getting the feeling that Crowder and her people will do what they can in making sure that the guilty conscience lawyer doesn't speak.
With the film at nearly two hours, each of the three principal actors do a good job in their performances. George Clooney has never failed as an actor when he's doing comedy or being serious and he does an excellent job as Michael Clayton. Tom Wilkinson's performance has been compared to Peter Finch's Howard Beale from the movie "Network" in which they're both mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, and yet, Wilkinson steals the spotlight in his finest American film role. Tilda Swinton, who took home the best supporting actress award for her role as the villain, has never had her hands clean or dirty in the film if you get my drift. Her performance will go down as one of the movie's memorable villains in a dramatic role.
A been there, done that film with different actors
While I was too young to remember the late 1980's, most of the adults would remember one particular movement: The war on drugs. Most people remember that First Lady Nancy Reagen was the one who started the campaign against drugs where she even made public appearances in TV shows trying to get the youth of America about the dangers of the substances of drugs.
In "We Own The Night", drugs are the least worries of Bobby Green.
The film's main character is Bobby Green portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, who owns one of the hottest nightclubs in New York City in the late 1980's and at the same time leads a double life. One side of him is a hot shot bar owner who hangs with his Latin mistress Amada Juarez (Eva Mendes) and hangs with his friends and clients from the drug users, the crazy vatos, including a group of Russian mobsters in which Bobby doesn't know about their illegal drug operation in the bar. The other side of him is a secret since not many of his friends with the exception of Amada knows that Bobby comes from a family of cops out to stop the war on drugs. His brother Joesph (Mark Wahlberg) has just been promoted to captain while Bobby's father Burt (Robert Duvall), the chief of police, disapproves of the life his young son made; Burt wishes that Bobby would follow in Joesph's footsteps and be a cop instead of hanging with a bunch of lowlifes.
Trouble hits the fan for Bobby after his place is raided by Joesph's squad of police officers in which they go after Russian mobster Vadim Nezhinski (Alex Veadov). After Vadim's release, Joesph is attacked by Vadim's gang leaving him in critical condition where Bobby takes things into his own matter.
"We Own The Night" is the type of movie where it's not perfect, but manages to be entertaining in some aspects. The performances aren't exactly Oscar worthy or memorable but proves that every actor tries to take a different direction. Joaquin Phoenix had done better performances (Walk the Line, Gladiator, Parenthood) in his career but doesn't have the action hero quality while managing to deliver drama. Mark Wahlberg probably gives the best performance in the film where it's very similar to his popular role Sgt. Dignam from "The Departed" but without the high energy of profanity. Robert Duvall is okay in the short role, but it's Eva Mendes that's the weakest link where other than having a woman in the cliché peril, she doesn't have much to offer where other than proving how much of a Latina she is by speaking Spanish in certain scenes and dressing up for a Maxim magazine cover, there's really no importance for Eva Mendes's character when it should be just be an all guy action flick with no leading ladies in danger.
Overall, an okay flick to watch when there's nothing else to see.
Not many horror sequels have what it takes to keep a franchise going without falling flat on their heads. The Nightmare on Elm Street series (with the exception of New Nightmare) were a total waste of time to film buffs. Friday the 13th was just a slice and dice gag. The Halloween sequels after part 2 were a waste (4 and 5 come in third place for trying).
Yet, 28 Weeks Later is the first in many sequels where you don't want to leave your seat when the first noise is made.
The film starts in the country side of London where a group of people are hiding in a cottage house before being invaded by a group of flesh eating monsters killing them off one by one as a lone survivor (Robert Caryle) manages to escape; heading off to downtown London where everything is quarantined thanks to the U.S. Special Forces keeping an eye on things where if the people are infected they must be shot immediately. After all hell breaks loose in the city of London, a group of survivors from two children, a nurse, and a gun sniper must do what they can to survive where this stylish sequel is more gruesome and meaner than "28 Days Later" and shows no mercy on the gore.
Marvel comics has unleashed superhero movies from The Spider-Man Trilogy, The X-Men Trilogy, The Hulk films, The Fantastic Four films, The Punisher, Blade, and Ghost Rider, where now the metallic superhero Iron Man makes his screen debut.
To be honest, I didn't know too much about Anthony Stark and his alter ego Iron Man since I was into Spider-Man, the X-Men and Hulk. But once I slipped on the DVD, I got more than I bargain for.
Robert Downey Jr. portrays smart technician billionaire and media lover Tony Stark who's gone off to Iraq in showing the army the latest weapons he created until being captured by the enemy. While being a prisoner, he must make the weapons or else he'll be killed off; his heart has been transplanted by a ball device where if it's taken off his chest, he'll die instantly. As a prisoner, Tony gets help from another prisoner by creating a metallic suit to shield himself as he escapes from the underground caves and later thinks about how with his inventions he can get rid of evil after learning that his weapons were not only used by the U.S. army but by the Iraq soldiers as well.
It's fun to watch Downey Jr.'s character as Stark trying to reinvent the machine and at the same time learning from his mistakes that nobody's perfect. His performance is a balanced of comedy and serious technique like watching Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. Tony Stark/Iron Man is a good comeback for Robert Downey Jr. who's really had a bit of ups and downs in the past years of his career, but he finally found the right character at last.
Jon Favreau (Swingers) directs the film balancing a sense of reality along with mixing humor, action, a bit of romance, adventure, screw-ups, and thrills along the way. Other than Downey Jr. in the film, Gwyneth Paltrow portrays Stark's assistant Pepper Potts who isn't a damsel in distress compared to most leading ladies but a tough cookie who knows everything about her employer and speaks the truth. Terrance Howard plays Stark's friend Col. James Rhodes who'll back him up in anyway while making sure that the billionaire doesn't do anything to screw up. And there's Jeff Bridges who plays Obidiah Stane, Stark's business partner with a few secrets of his own.
To conclude, Iron Man rocks in every way! Just be sure to stick around after the credits to see Samuel L. Jackson's cameo performance as Nick Fury.
Possibly the best Will Smith movie of the new decade
I'll admit that before the first decade of the new millennium is over, I haven't been a fan of any of Will Smith's movies since he was more of a nineties thing. While some of his action movies from Hancock, Men In Black II and Bad Boys II were rather dead to me and most audience members, he went a different pace in dramatic acting when doing "Ali" and "The Pursuit of Happiness" where he even got two Academy Award nominations.
Here in I, Robot, he mixes drama and action in one hell of a thrill ride.
The premise of "I, Robot" deals with detective John Spooner (Will Smith) in the year 2035 where robots have pretty much taken over the world both personal and economically. They serve to aid the humans who can't help themselves, clean stuff for their loyal owners and at the same pace dominating work in terms of making cars to furniture. The idea of robots is a way for humans not to worry about anything where at the same time shows that maybe the droids will take over the world where in the future nobody will have jobs. All that changes when Detective Spooner is called to investigate the murder of an inventor (James Cromwell), who made the robots.
The robots have laws to obey and one of them is not harming human beings in any way physical.
Somehow Spooner is not sure when one of the robots is hiding in a technician's office from the scene of the crime. It becomes clear to him that even perfect systems such as the robots can have glitches too; a scene when the robot Sonny (the suspect) is interrogated by Spooner proves to the detective that something isn't right when trying to test the robot's emotions, something that the machines don't have. He'll do anything to prove that the robots aren't perfect, even if it means trying to get killed by the things themselves.
"I, Robot" is one great thriller where like "Minority Report", it challenges people to think about the upcoming events that might happen in the future. Even in this decade many machines are replacing human work where maybe there won't be any jobs for people to work. At the same time it shows how much Will Smith can do both action and drama at the same time.
One of those nice comedies that deserves more viewing in the future
If I thought being an uncle was tough, I should be a single dad just like Dan to see what it's like raising a family all by myself.
"Dan In Real Life" is about a newspaper columnist (Dan played by Steve Carell) who writes advice on his columns but doesn't know how to follow them. Dan Burns is a widower where he faces the responsibility of taking care of his three daughters who each want a sense of independence on their own. His eldest wants to drive after getting her permit but is denied; the middle child wants to experience the joys of falling in love, even though Dan's heart has died, he doesn't want his second child to be with somebody she met for three days; the youngest on the other hand loves her father but she wants him to understand that she has a mind of her own rather than listening to her two eldest sisters.
Dan's life starts to begin when he takes his daughters to a family reunion run by his parents where they met the relatives. Despite the fact that Dan's wife is dead, Dan is the joke to most of the family members where they daunt and tease him like bullies to a nerd; but it's just mere child's play since deep down they love him. It isn't when Dan decides to take a trip to a local book store where he meets a lovely woman named Marie played by Juliette Binoche and falls in love with her. The only problem is that when he gets home, Dan sees that Marie is going out with his brother Mitch (Dane Cook) and knows that things have just gotten worse. It'll just be a matter of time when the truth will come out.
Overall, I liked "Dan in Real Life". It reminded me of another dysfunctional family movie "The Family Stone" about a family trying to cope with odd situations and new characters in the family's life. Steve Carell's performance proves that the actor can play any role and yet manages to win us over. It's the type of film that can have second viewings in the future without being offended.
So many horror movies have tried to emulate the Jaws factor that none had came close...until Tremors came out.
"Tremors" is the type of film I was afraid to leave the house as a kid wondering if there were going to be any creatures coming from underneath the soil ground and eat me. It's so scary, that as a grown-up, I still like it.
The film starts off with Valentine (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Basset (Fred Ward), two lazy bums who make ends meet doing favor for the small community of Perfection, Nevada when they decided to leave the town in favor for expanding their lives with riches and fame. It all changes after an incident when the two of them notice that many of the townspeople are missing and killed off by possibly a killer on the loose. Valentine and Earl realize later on during an investigation that what's causing the grizzly deaths of the town is none other than a giant worm with tongues that stick like glue and grab things off the ground. They kill one thinking that it's all over until realizing that more are in town and now it's up to Valentine and Earl to gather the small community in surviving before they end up as lunch.
"Tremors" is nothing but pure B-Movie fun bliss where it follows the patterns of most goof ball horror movies from eccentric characters, innovated attacks, funny one liners and monsters that could possibly give us nightmares.
Watch where you step the next time you're walking.
I'm a fan of the 2001 hit "Ocean's Eleven" where it showed that a case of talented actors such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Bernie Mac, Scott Caan, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and others in the hands of Steven Soderbergh to make an awesome remake that's even better than the 1960's classic.
I'm not sure if a sequel was really an addition.
The film starts as Andy Garcia's character Terry Benedict, ticked off, wants his money back that Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang of misfits stole at the casino; he has his goons go after each of the individuals where they spent the money on luxuries from beach condos, wedding engagements, manicures, investments, and houses. Terry even goes far in planting a car bomb inside of Rusty's (Brad Pitt's) car without Rusty inside.
The gang meets up where Terry wants them to pull a job in Europe to rob a rival as a way of paying the debt. Other characters involved in the story plot involves a detective played by Catherine Zeta Jones, who's Brad Pitt's love interest. Then there's Vincent Cassel (Derailed) as an international thief who's beaten more thieves to the punch in which he's up for a challenge when the Ocean squad arrives in Europe.
Ocean's 12 isn't hip or cool unlike the 2001 classic where it manages to handle a plot very precise while having too many characters in the process; in which, every one of them were used in specific scenes. Here, it's all about the flashy outfits, the bright smiles and the cool scenery of Europe.
In other words, I miss the dazzle of the first movie.
Despite Vin Diesel's absence, the sequel's still solid.
What made the first "The Fast and the Furious" movie attracted fans besides the bad ass cars and competition on the streets was Vin Diesel's appearance as Dominic Toretta, a hotshot race driver who makes his money racing others in the streets; he was a rising star on the fame after doing such flicks such as "Saving Private Ryan", "The Iron Giant" and later doing "XXX".
At the end of the first movie, Vin's character Dominic flees away to Mexico where he wouldn't be in this sequel.
No matter, the series continues on.
"2 Fast 2 Furious" has Paul Walker reprising his role as Brian O'Conner, the one time agent who betrayed the enforcement agency by letting Dominic get away, is now a fugitive and being in a race competitions every night to make money. After being captured by the police, Brian is given a choice in either going to jail or helped the people he once work for in taking down a drug cartel dealer (Cole Hauser). Brian agrees under one condition that he gets his childhood friend Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson, Transformers) involved since he's into cars and knows his ways around tough people. They're also given an ally, the sexy Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) who's not only an undercover agent but also posing as the enemy's mistress. Time will tell when all will be revealed.
"2 Fast 2 Furious" is directed by John Singleton of Boyz in the Hood fame where he manages to bring the same energy and high expectations of the first movie. There's more cars, more chase sequences, more babes and more cameos this time around with a high octane pace.
A different Mel Brooks movie, but manages to make you smile and think
Homelessness (or Houselessness as George Carlin stated) has been an issue for years but never a plan to help those on the street that were once considered human who did everything from going to school, work, or vote for the matter. Most people think of the homeless as just a lost cause while worrying about things such as racism, the war on Iraq, pressuring kids to succeed, technology, the elections, inflation, or worrying if they'll be next to end up on the streets.
But what if you were given a bet to live on the streets for a month without the luxuries you once had from a home, the entertainment sets, a bathroom, pictures on the wall, a computer, and everything you once treasure to see what it's like to be homeless? That is Goddard Bolt's lesson.
Mel Brooks (who directs) who stars as Bolt plays a rich man who has everything in the world until deciding to make a bet with a sissy rival (Jeffery Tambor) to see if he can live in the streets for thirty days without the luxuries; if Bolt succeeds, he can do what he wants with a future project of making more buildings. The bet's on where Bolt is thrown on the street with a bracelet on his leg to monitor his every move where he can't step off the sidewalk. He's given the nickname Pepto by a vagrant after it's written on his forehead where Bolt meets other characters including a woman by the name of Molly (Lesley Ann Warren) an ex-dancer who got divorce before losing her home, and her pals Sailor (Howard Morris) and Fumes (Teddy Wilson) who are already used to the streets. They're survivors. Bolt isn't. He's not used to reaching mutual agreements like he once did when being rich where it's fight or flight, kill or be killed.
While the love connection between Molly and Bolt wasn't necessary to plot, I found "Life Stinks" to be one of Mel Brooks' observant films where prior to being a comedy, it shows a tender side compared to his slapstick work such as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, or Spaceballs for the matter, to show what it's like having something valuable before losing it the next day or on the other hand making a stupid bet like all rich people do when they don't know what to do with their money. Maybe they should give it to the homeless instead of using it like Monopoly money.
Or maybe this film will inspire you to help others.
Okay, somehow everybody wanted to get in on the Harry Potter franchise regardless if people never read the books, seen all the films or having certain issues to make them not to be part of the wizard's such as being a religious fanatic; but Disney found a way to make magic fun without scaring a few target audiences. (Hell, Disney Channel airs the first two Harry Potter films every year twice, so no big deal) "Wizards of Waverly Place" is about the adventures of three young kids with magic powers they inherited from their dad. And yet, each segment has them misusing their powers where they must find a way to make things normal without having others finding out that they are wizards.
The Good: The young cast that includes Selena Gomez as Alex Russo, David Henrie as Justin Russo and Jake T. Austin as Max Russo work together very well. They show a real connection as if being siblings in real life.
The Okay: Some episodes have fun plots while others aren't interesting. What do you expect? It's a kid's show.
The Bad: Despite trying to draw an ethnic audience, the creators didn't have to portray many stereotypes regardless of the characters' heritage or the extra characters (such as the History teacher and his love of western). The special effects themselves are cheesy where most TV shows had better effects than this. Plus the Harry Potter references are obvious.
Overall: Not a bad show; love the young trio, but the show should avoid the usage of Harry Potter references and stereotypes.
Not just a superhero movie, but an accomplishment in cinema history
In 2005, British director Christopher Nolan directed "Batman Begins" a re-birth of the Batman franchise where not only fans get to see the dark side of Gotham City, but also the understanding of how Bruce Wayne came to be.
Here, Christopher Nolan wastes no time with the action...
Batman Begins ended with The Joker being the next villain for the next movie, and he, I repeat, he does not disappoint. The late Heath Ledger goes to extreme as the maniacal clown in the beginning of the movie where him and his thugs are robbing the Gotham City Bank; he shows a mean and sadistic side killing people left and right before leaving with the stolen money.
Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), on the other hand, is bringing down the criminals one by one with the aid of Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) while joining forces of the new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckert). He's also accompanied with his trusted butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) who guides him whether he's Batman or Bruce Wayne and gadgets expert Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) who supplies everything that Batman needs to fight crime while at the same time Bruce is trying to rekindle things with his ex-girlfriend/district attorney Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllanhall replacing Katie Holmes) while she's going out with Harvey Dent.
The film itself is a phenomenal from minute one where you can't keep your eyes off of the screen, even touching scenes will get to you. The premise of "The Dark Knight" has The Joker taking Gotham City hostage where he'll execute and hunt down people one by one unless Batman himself surrenders along with those who want to bring down the criminals. In other words, everybody is a ticking time bomb, including Batman and those around him, where the hero must be everywhere before the menacing clown will strike and not breaking his promise.
The action sequences are promising where Christopher Nolan doesn't use much CGI to make it a true extravaganza. They have the sort of "Holy Crap" moments where your eyes don't want to shield away from the rest of the movie along with seeing if others are okay.
As much as acting goes, there was not one flaw in each of the performances. Christian Bale is dynamic as the hero where not only is he playing two personas, but bringing human emotion as both the human and the savior. Oldman, Caine and Freeman have much larger roles where they're part of the action from secrecy to betrayal; Maggie Gyllanhall wasn't a flaw unlike Katie Holmes, and Aaron Eckhart played a convincing Dent, but the true star in this motion picture is Heath Ledger.
Heath, who died at the age of twenty-eight in the beginning of 2008, plays not only one of the sadistic villains ever made on screen but one scary Joker compared to Romero (1960's) and Nicholson's (1989) campiness of the clown prince of crime and Mark Hamill's (animated Joker) cackling voice where there's no clowning around when it comes to blowing up buildings, using school buses to transport money, killing crime bosses and cops left and right to creating madness all around. Hopefully he'll receive a posthumous Oscar nomination for his work making him the first actor in a comic book movie to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Once again, Christopher Nolan does a fantastic job of making a Batman movie where he steps it up a notch along with making it the top DC comic book movie ever made. Now whether you agree with my review or not, I really love "The Dark Knight".
(Note: This is not a typical comic book movie for the young or weak hearted)
"Life With Derek" is one of the better shows to come from Canada and hit the Disney Channel where for once it doesn't rely on goofiness or "special" segments such as The Suite Life of Zack and Cody or That's So Raven or portray stereotypes such as "Wizards of Waverly Place" to have a descent show.
The show is really a Canadian version of "The Brady Bunch" gone wild with the exception that they're not a catastrophe family unlike The Bundy's from "Married...With Children" where it's about a teenage girl name Casey MacDonald (Ashley Leggat) in which her and her younger sister Lizzie (Jordan Todosey) have to accept their mother's marriage to another man where they realize he's got kids of his own, in fact, three kids. The oldest is Derek Venturi (Michael Seater), a mischievous kid who pulls pranks on everybody from his dad, step mom, his siblings both his own and the step siblings, friends and teachers in which nobody can stop him; but at the same time isn't as mean spirited where he eventually becomes an aid to those he has hurt. He's not only the title character but a good person underneath the pranks. His siblings include his brother Edwin (Daniel Magder) the somewhat clueless middle brother and there's Marti (Ariel Waller of "Cinderella Man") his little sister who's cute, adorable and sometimes very mischievous.
Each episode goes through the young characters just like in real life from driving lessons, prom, first dates, house parties and so forth where each episode isn't as dumbed down unlike the American shows and wouldn't want you to change the station but leave you wanting for more. I also like how the parents play in the show with Joy Tanner as the mom and John Ralston as the dad where they're not much of stereotypical parents but are very similar to Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt from the Cheaper by the Dozen films. They're kind, heartwarming, understanding and make you wish you had parents like them.
Overall, this is one of the few Disney Channel live action shows and one of the better ones that isn't for its target audience of tweens and teens, but for everybody who wants to enjoy a good show without losing a few I.Q. points.
Oh, man did I get done watching "Witless Protection" and let me tell you what, it's a piece of crap! I don't understand why Larry The Cable Guy continues to make crappy movies that nobody cares to watch unless you're a redneck or a total idiot. God, helps us if you're up there not playing poker.
I don't know where to begin.
Basically in "Witless Protection" Larry the Cable Guy plays a law enforcer wannabe who's seen too many programs of "Cops" and other police shows in thinking he can be a law enforcer in which he's nothing but one big joke to the community. He ends up kidnapping a foreign babe who's an actual witness and not someone kidnapped.
Larry The Cable Guy is not even cool enough to have his own sitcom or even start his pathetic movie line up of films from "Health Inspector" to "Delta Farce" and they failed more times than films that became cult classics. This film nor will any film featuring Larry the Cable Guy in live action movies will ever be classics, even when he's dead, they'll be burning in the bonfires.
The Good: Nothing! The OK: Jenny McCarthy's hot body.
The Not: EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS FILM SUCKS!!! Overall, I have better movies to watch. This wasn't even my fault in watching this movie, it was my dad's fault and he even fell asleep where I just walked away and did something else.
"Cory in the House" debuted in 2007 where it marked the first Disney Channel spin-off to the popular "That's so Raven" where Raven Symone (who serves as executive producer to both "Raven" and "Cory") proved that she is the first young woman and African American to have her own TV show succeeding in more than 100 episode breaking the Disney contract along with making her a star on demand. She even wanted a TV show spin-off based on her hit show.
The show's premise deals with Cory Baxter (Kyle Massey) and his father, Victor (Rondell Sheridan) moving to Washington D.C. after getting notice from President Martinez (John D'Aquino). While being in The White House, Cory meets interesting characters from a senator's son, Newt (Jason Dolley), who happens to be a airhead; Meana (Maiara Walsh), who happens to be the ambassador's daughter; Jason Stickler (Jake Thomas of "Lizzie McGuire"), a cheap man's 007 with gadgets to make him want to put a paper bag on his head and Sophie Martinez (Madison Pettis), who is America's angel and the president's daughter. Each episode goes through certain slapsticks with Cory always getting in trouble or not being a man to take responsible for his actions.
Overall, I found it to be one of Disney's weaker shows where the character of Cory used to be a cool guy on "Raven" who cared about money and stood by his friends and family no matter what where in this show he's a cheap man's version of Will Smith acting very slick where he's not even cool to be like Mr. Smith himself. Cory is much a cry-baby with his stupid lines such as "Daddy NO!" and " (insert name), what are we gonna do?" The character of Victor Baxter doesn't do much but has some moments; the breakout stars however are Madison Pettis, Maiara Walsh and Jason Dolley where their characters are much more interesting to look at than Kyle Massey's Cory and feels as if one of them should be the main character and kick Cory out for good.
"Robocop 3" is called the worst sequel in history along with fans calling it the worst Robocop movie ever made where they compared the two first films as classics. I grew up with all three films as a kid where only I'd admire the first two because they had Peter Weller playing the cyborg hero where I was used to him and not anybody else donning the outfit.
It's not a good film, but some parts aren't bad at all.
The film itself is like the first sequel where the city of Detroit is nothing but a big pile of crap with crime on the horizon, but this time around the cops are back on their feet. In the sequel, developers want to kick the people out of the city to make a better Detroit (gee, wasn't this like Robocop 2?) while at the same time killing a bunch of freedom fighters stopping them from the idea. Yet, it's up to Robocop (Robert John Burke) to do what he can with innovated weapons to save the city.
The Good: Only certain action sequences make you want to see the film before changing the station. Trust me, there aren't any good performances nor is there a villain to cheer for. Plus the background music is worth hearing.
The OK: It was nice to see Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis, Robert De'Qui as Sgt. Reed, Mario Machado as the male reporter from the two previous films and Felton Perry as the kiss ass Johnson while seeing a surprise list of celebrity guests from Rip Torn, CCH Pounder, Eve La Rue, Mako, Daniel Von Bargan, Bradley Whitford, Stephen Root, Jeff Garlin and others. I also like the freedom fighter characters. Robert John Burke wasn't that bad as the robot; it was a good thing he was in the suit the entire time without having to see his face, but I was embarrassed by the lines they fed him unlike Peter Weller.
The Bad: Where do I begin? First of all, why did the film had to be PG-13 compared to the R-Rated films? Just because Robocop was liked by both kids and adults, doesn't mean you have to tone down the violence since it was the heart and soul of the franchise with all media, including kids shows making reference to it. I hated the little kid as well since the producers wanted to make it more "family friendly" where her character saved more people than any one else. The villain McDagget was a worthless P.O.S. compared to Cain and Boddicker where their crew would've wiped him out. The Japanese robots were funny and hideous while not being scary.
Overall Review: Music is good, love seeing the cameo appearances, some action sequences were good, but it's not good enough. I prefer the first two movies.
A new director who almost emulates the task with less comic relief
"Robocop 2" is the sequel to the popular 1987 film directed by Paul Verhoeven where the original film was a work of action and comic work where the film itself was a satire with a plot and not offending anybody. The premise of the first film was a homage to Frankenstein with the idea of using the remains of a dead cop to create a crime fighting cyborg where it didn't have sentiments or show emotions except to kick ass.
The sequel leaves off after the first film ended with Robocop (Peter Weller) being a success with Omni Consumer Products (or OCP) paying more for their product than giving the officers in Detroit causing a strike in the city until all demands are met. The city is no better than it was before; prostitution, robbery, rape, homelessness, especially drugs are all on the rise thanks to OCP wanting to sell out its citizens to make ways for a novel city while the only one to do justice is Robocop with his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) at his side.
The new villain in the film is Cain (Tom Noonan) who supplies the popular drug Nuke in the city where he's untouchable. He's a sadistic madman who doesn't leave any witnesses while paying off by politicians and the police. He even orders his goons to dissect a cop in one scene where audience members might be a little more comfortable with Clarence Bodericker (Kurtwood Smith) of the first movie since not only did he give classic punchlines but at the same time wasn't that much of a monster to look at (Ex. He lets a couple of hookers leave before killing the main target).
The subplot of Robocop 2, hence the title, is that while OCP doesn't want to pay the officers their pension or help the citizens of Detroit, they want to use their money to make a Robocop 2 to create competition for the original robot while making the city safe with their new innovation.
Irvin Kershner, who directed "The Empire Strikes Back", brings more darkness than the original where all it's missing was the comic relief, even the commercials themselves looked depressing. On the other hand, it was great seeing Peter Weller playing the role of Robocop one more time before deciding to do other projects. The best parts about the movie are the action sequences including the final standoff between the hero and the villain.
It's good, but nothing will ever beat the first movie.