A must watch film, “End Of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhall and Michael Pena is this week’s feature for our Movie Review of the week. (sort of, movie review for “Judge Dredd” coming this week)
“Premium Rush” is this week’s selection for Movie Review, I happened to check out this movie this past week and have to admit…..It’s pretty good.
Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, Check out our Review on “The Expendables 2” before you decided to see it.
Before you see the movie, check out our review for “The Bourne Legacy” which is this week’s selection of Movie Review for the Week.
An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum’s novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.
The good parts: Renner’s character is an interesting contrast to Damon’s. For a secret spy, he has strong people skills and these, along with his compassion for other people, are on display throughout the movie. For Weisz, her character is slightly underdeveloped but an interesting and spirited person nevertheless. I appreciated how different these two characters were from the original characters; it would have been so easy simply to write a second Bourne into the role. And, as many reviewers have pointed out, Renner and Weisz throw themselves into their roles and flesh the characters out even further.
Moreover, the film raises (and returns to) questions about the ethics of war, of medicine and government interference in an interesting way. Unlike Bourne, Cross remembers his history with the Agency, which makes his character potentially more conflicted than Bourne. Bourne changes quickly around the time of his accident; Cross, more slowly as he gets deeper into his spy work.
The Bad Parts: But, the film fails to live up to its promise thanks to poor pacing. It takes perhaps 30-45 minutes to fully introduce the characters and initiate the conflict between Cross and the agency, then sends the characters running around the world with only a brief explanation of what is at stake or why hunting down Cross is so important. Interrupting these little bursts of action are flashbacks to Cross’s earlier decisions and his moral dilemmas, but the movie never ties up these loose thematic ends. And the ending itself comes very abruptly and unexpectedly. So, the entire movie is stop-and-go; it starts some interesting themes and conflicts but never ties them off.
To give you an idea of how the Legacy plot runs, imagine that Identity ends after the Farmhouse scene: Bourne has made a step towards victory, but he’s not there yet and ultimately takes the offensive confronts the CIA directly. Without that last scene, Bourne wouldn’t win; the ending would be unsatisfying. In Legacy, it’s a different ending (of course) but the same feeling: The movie feels incomplete, unfinished.
I believe that trying to make this a direct sequel to the Jason Bourne trilogy was a backfire and that they tried to make it too much like the trilogy. It would have worked best for them to take Aaron Cross’ story and make it uniquely his without trying to tie him to Bourne. I would be in if there is a sequel, but I would love it if Damon came back to the game.
4 templar crosses out of 5
I gave this film an extra star because of addition of the Philippines into the story, Mad Kudos to Philippines!!!
Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross/Kenneth James Kitsom
Rachel Weisz as Dr. Marta Shearing
Edward Norton as Eric Byer, the film’s primary antagonist
Joan Allen, as Deputy Director Pamela Landy
David Strathairn, as Noah Vosen, the former director of Operation Blackbriar
Albert Finney, as Dr. Albert Hirsch, the doctor responsible for the creation of Treadstone
Louis Ozawa Changchien as LARX-03
Scott Glenn, as Ezra Kramer, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Oscar Isaac as Number Three
Time to dive into Darren Aronofsky’s twisted and powerful “Requiem for a Dream”.
Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr., with whom Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Requiem for a Dream exposes four paralleled individuals and their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). Taking place in Brooklyn amidst the waning Coney Island, the drugs are very easily obtained and keep each main character in its cycle of dependence. The protagonist Harry Goldfarb is your typical heroin junky with an ambitious plan of “Getting off hard knocks,” with help from his cocaine crazed girlfriend Marion and his long time friend Tyrone. Meanwhile his widowed mother is obsessed with the glamor of television and eventually finds her way to a dietitian who pushes her into the cycle of drug induced enslavement.
The look of the film is extremely stylized, but justifiably so. Aronofsky uses surreal imagery as a vehicle for realism, something that really works when done well, and done well it was. By using a combination of slow and fast motion shots, extreme close-ups and more edits than you can shake a stick at, Aronofsky successfully brings the audience into the world and mind of someone with a drug problem. The audience visually experiences first-hand what it is like to be ‘scared’ or ‘high’ – all this in 3rd person; all this in the comfort of the theatre chair.
Of course, all of this effort would be in vain if it didn’t mean anything at the end. The film leads the audience down a spiral of addiction until the grand finale, which features a montage of graphically intense scenes and images with more edits per second than any film. The pacing at the end, when compared to earlier parts of the movie, was so fast I started to find it hard to keep up, and literally took my breath away as the credits came up. All in all, the effect was amazing, and something that I have not personally experienced when watching any film before.
At times, the film seemed more like an acid trip than a feature film. A cry for help is clearly felt throughout the film, from its innocent and promising start, to its hauntingly chilling conclusion. The one scene that really blew me away was the scene where Marion (played by Jennifer Connelley) had just sold her body off for a bag of heroin…As she walks out the door of the apartment, along the corridor, into the elevator, down to the street: one can’t help but feel the characters disgust with herself, filthy to the core, what it must feel like at…”ZERO”(rock bottom). The acting performances, especially by both Ellyn Burstyn and Marlon Wayans are simply breakthrough performances that earned critical acclaim across the board.
As the title indicates, “Requiem for a Dream” does not contain a happy ending. It is in no way optimistic, and only gives the audience faint pieces of hope and happiness. However, It does show what desperate people are willing to do, and how desperation will change someone’s life to its entirety. It is in the recognition of desperation where hope lies.
5 templar crosses out of 5
Ellen Burstyn as Sara Goldfarb
Jared Leto as Harry Goldfarb
Jennifer Connelly as Marion Silver
Marlon Wayans as Tyrone C. Love
Christopher McDonald as Tappy Tibbons
Mark Margolis as Mr. Rabinowitz
Louise Lasser as Ada
Marcia Jean Kurtz as Rae
Sean Gullette as Arnold the shrink
Keith David as Big Tim
Dylan Baker as Southern Doctor
Ajay Naidu as Mailman
Ben Shenkman as Dr. Spencer
Hubert Selby, Jr. as Laughing Guard
Darren Aronofsky as Visitor (Uncredited)
Before you see the movie, Check out our review of “Total Recall”, starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale.
Total Recall is a 2012 American science fiction action film, based on the 1990 film of the same name and by extension the 1966 short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Unlike the original film, the plot for the 2012 film lacks a trip to Mars and contains strongpolitical overtones. In addition, the film takes place in both Western and Eastern settings, due to the fact that the two nation states, United Federation of Britain and the The Colony, are battling for political power.
A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall – a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led – goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
The futuristic science fiction story starts off well, but ends up flattening out by its conclusion. The film runs to about 2 hours; however it isn’t the story that gets it there; it is the action. The plot is what it is, but lacks the mind puzzles and plot of the original.
With that said, the futuristic setting and backdrops are fantastic, creating an atmosphere fit for the story. The action is highly stylized and backed by some excellent cinematography.
Len Wiseman’s remake of the same name replaces Arnold with Colin Farrell, in his first lead action role in years, while eliminating Mars as the backdrop of the action and replacing it with an overpopulated Earth where transportation from one corner to another occurs, literally, straight through the center of the earth. The rugged subterranean mazes of the red planet are replaced with dizzying skyscrapers and lots of sleek, flying cars, not unlike Philip K. Dick’s own “Blade Runner” and “Minority Report”.
Farrell can act and is definitely a strong action lead and it shows here, as per the beautiful ladies Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel who both show off brawn over beauty here. Alas, everything is taken way too seriously in this version. I have fonder memories of the Verhoeven/Arnold version where one-liners come post-Arnie-kill. Gone. Certain characters are trimmed or even cut completely from the original. Bryan Cranston’s Cohaagen makes me miss Ronny Cox even more, and Bill Nighy’s resistance leader doesn’t stand out compared to the 1990 film. The best thing the screenwriters did is to combine Sharon Stone’s and Michael Ironside’s characters from the 1990 film into one, and as portrayed by Kate Beckinsale, she kicks serious ass here.
The script is a near complete rehash of the original, save for the setting and the final act of the film. The scene where Bokeem Woodbine’s character tries to convince Quaid (Farrell) that he’s still in a dream is certainly a standout scene which was very well done. Alas, the majority of the movie is laced with action sequences and sensational special effects (seriously, this is CGI porn) that may get this film a nomination for Best Visual Effects this year. No kidding. While the editing is fast-paced and the cinematography sleek (with a little too much lens flare ala J. J. Abrams), the music score by Harry Gregson- Williams was kind of bland in my opinion. It was just there, does its job, and I didn’t care. Where’s Marco Beltrami; or even for that matter his legendary mentor, the late, great Jerry Goldsmith when you need them?
Director Wiseman has a knack for action sequences (“Underworld”, “Die Hard 4”) and it shows aplenty here. Sadly the script could’ve been a whole lot better, but then again, if they had set it on Mars it would’ve been a shot-for-shot remake with better characters, but still I would’ve loved to see action on the Red planet once again. The PG-13 rating is justified, and there are indeed little homages to the original, but overall this remake is nothing more than a fast-paced, popcorn munching good waste of time, with some really nice CGI to chew on.
3 templar crosses out of 5
Total Recall falls short of story, but exceeds with action. If it were the other way around, this picture would have been better. Nevertheless, it is a good sit through.
Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid, a construction worker suffering from strange violent dreams.
Kate Beckinsale as Lori Quaid, Quaid’s “wife” who’s really a agent
Jessica Biel as Melina, a member of the Resistance and Quiad’s love interest
Bryan Cranston as Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen, the corrupt and ruthless president of the UFB.
Bokeem Woodbine as Harry, Quaid’s “best” friend
Bill Nighy as Matthias Lair, the rebel leader
John Cho as Bob McClane, a rep for Rekall who offers Quaid the chance to experience an imagined adventure
Steve Byers as Henry Reed, only appears on a faked passport of Quaid
Kaitlyn Leeb as The Seductive Woman (aka Three-Breasted Woman
Directed by Len Wiseman
Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe
Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
Story by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon PovillKurt Wimmer
Based on “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84
“The Room” is our ╬D Recommendation of the week, Be Warn…this movie is so bad, its sooo good. We watch it so you don’t have to…but I recommend you should watch it at least once in your life.
An American black comedy about love and passion, betrayal and lies. It depicts the depths of friendship and relationships in one’s life and raises life’s real and most asked question: “Can you ever really trust anyone?…Are you ready to see reflections of your life? A successful banker, Johnny, is madly in love with his fiancé, Lisa, and plans to be married next month. His plans take a horrid turn when he finds the truth about Lisa and the people surrounding him.
Multiple drop off plots, awful diaolague, Horrific acting, but overal immensly entertaining. A massive bust at a dark drama that is terribly done, so bad that it was advertised as a black comedy when Wiseau never intended or wanted to market it as a black comedy. But really, it’s worth a view.
OVERALL: It’s not so much the bad acting, it’s the bizarre script, quirky characters, subplots that are mentioned, then never discussed again, an Incredibly odd and distracting soundtrack, Characters that are never seen again, football being played 3 feet away from each-other, And who can forget the chicken noises? Its a pretty damn hilarious movie, and even if you don’t find it funny, its still undoubtedly 10X more interesting than most films out there today
5 templar crosses out of 5
IT’S SO BAD, IT’S GOOD AND IT’S TEARING ME APART!!!!!!
Tommy Wiseau as Johnny the man with the silver tongue
Juliette Danielle as Lisa
Greg Sestero as Mark
Philip Haldiman as Denny
Carolyn Minnott as Claudette
Robyn Paris as Michelle
Mike Holmes as Mike
Dan Janjigian as Chris-R
Kyle Vogt as Peter
Greg Ellery as Steven
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of “Ted.” In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett, a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish… and has refused to leave his side ever since.
Ted is a 2012 American comedy film, co-written, produced and directed by Seth MacFarlane, who stars in it along with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. The supporting cast includes Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale, Jessica Stroup, and Patrick Warburton. The film is the feature-length directorial debut of MacFarlane, produced by Media Rights Capital, and distributed by Universal Pictures.
The film delivers a laugh a minute. Filled with 80’s references and a side splitting ongoing Flash Gordon joke that’s nostalgic and reliably funny, especially for 30 somethings like me. Ted is the friend I wish I had, funny, perverted and oh so huggable.
The movie is truly about friendship and coming of age and despite it’s shallow plot it executes it’s goal (making you laugh) with a comedic pace that definitely merits the time you’ll spend watching it. It will require some suspension of all reality on your part but then again what did you expect from a movie about a living, walking, talking, beer drinking, pot smoking, cursing, fighting and lady loving teddy bear?
The acting is good and Mark W. is amazing. (This film is definitely not for sheltered kids) and Mila Kunis gets prettier with age and did great as the girlfriend. I had a fun time. No boring parts. Great guest star “Flash Gordon”, (Sam J Jones) still knows how to party. Giovanni Ribisi does a super job as the creepy dad character. Even the narrater (Patrick Stewart) was funny!
If I had to define this movie in two words, they would be hilariously awesome. Ted was just plain great, great story, great acting, hilarious jokes, and just an overally great feel to the film. Unlike many comedies nowadays this one actually gets you to care for the characters. Ted was just a great film. If you don’t enjoy crude humour then you won’t enjoy this at all. Every joke involved is crude, from rascist jokes, to smoking and drinking, to fat jokes, to every kind of crudeness you can think of, but what you have to realize though, is its a joke, nothing more, and frankly i found it absolutely freaking hilarious.
4 templar crosses out of 5
Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett
Mila Kunis as Lori Collins
Seth MacFarlane as Ted (voice and motion capture)
Giovanni Ribisi as Donny
Joel McHale as Rex
Patrick Warburton as Guy
Matt Walsh as Thomas, John’s boss
Jessica Barth as Tami-Lynn
Bill Smitrovich as Frank, Ted’s boss
Ralph Garman as Joe Bennett, John’s Dad
Alex Borstein as Gina Bennett, John’s Mom
Laura Vandervoort as Tanya Terry
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84
This Week’s “On The Go” Movie Reviews selection is “The Dark Knight Rises“, the epic conclusion to the astonishing Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy.
“The Dark Knight Rises” takes a seat at the adults table, while the Marvel franchises sit at the kiddy table. TDKR is dark, captivating, and entertaining to say the least. The action sequences are flawlessly executed, and the acting is in as high a gear as the Batmobile. Amazingly, awesomely, spectacularly, extraordinarily, stupendously mind-blowing splendid job from genius at work Christopher Nolan… everything in the movie is perfect as the Mona Lisa painting… trust me guys.. a must watch… Highly Recommended!!!
5 templar crosses out of 5
MUST WATCH and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Also check out our Character Spotlight on Batman and other stories we done relating to Batman by clicking the Links below:
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Modine, Ben Mendelsohn, Burn Gorman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Chris Ellis, Tom Conti, Nestor Carbonell, Brett Cullen, Aidan Gillen, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenwriters: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan; story by Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer; based on characters created by Bob Kane
Producers: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven
Executive producers: Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy, Thomas Tull
Director of photography: Wally Pfister
Production designers: Nathan Crowley, Kevin Kavanaugh
Costume designer: Lindy Hemming
Editor: Lee Smith
Music: Hans Zimmer
Visual effects supervisor: Paul Franklin
Special effects supervisor: Chris Corbould
Prometheus is Director Ridley Scott‘s return to form. The story takes place before 1979’s revered sci-fi classic ALIEN. Set in 2093, 30 year’s before the Nostromo. It’s written by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof (LOST, Cowboys & Aliens). Prometheus manages to stand on it’s own maintaing a unique look and feel while building worlds on top of the existing Alien mythology with out feeling out of place in terms of technical or creature design. It perfectly balances a strange but familiar atmosphere…
Being a fan of the Alien franchise, I had certain expectations going into this film. I’m happy to say that Ridley Scott took those expectations flipped them on their head and shattered them.
Right from the opening of the film, what I’ve come to call the “Genesis” scene, Ridley Scott makes his intentions clear… what you are about to watch is complex, beautiful, terrifying and facinating.
Prometheus isn’t just a return to form for Ridley Scott but for the sci-fi genre itself. Today, science fiction is more known for it’s lite hearted, brain disengaging story lines and eye popping special effects. Growing up in the late 80’s early 90’s, science fiction was better known for introducing strange new “ideas” and the serious “exploration” of possibilites. Prometheus refreshingly engages this concept.
The movie, besides it’s entertaining value, brilliantly asks the heavy questions. Where do we come from? Are we alone in the universe? Do we have a creator? What happens after we die? The movie explores those questions through the impeccably casted crew of the Prometheus and is the underlying motivation for the principle characters, who’s points of view range from Christianity, Creationism, Darwinism, to Atheistic. Needless to say, the movie doesn’t pretend to know all the answers instead leads our curiosity down a perpetual path of questions.
For example there was a small but interesting scene after the crew discovers the existence of the “Engineers” where Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) is sharing an intimate moment with Charlie Holloway (played by Logan Marshall-Green).
(More or less the way I remembered it)
Charlie (to Elizabeth): “You can take off your fathers cross now.”
Implying that they now have the answer to who created the human race, proving Shaw’s religious beliefs false.
Charlie: “Because we found our creators.”
Elizabeth (unwaveringly): “and who made them?”
Prometheus starts with an overwhelming sense of discovery and wonder but promptly hits a slippery slope of terrifying events that progressively increase in shock and intensity. The “Caesarian” scene comes to mind. Which reminds me, this morning the news reported that in Australia a 13 year old boy suffered a seizure during that scene. So you can add Prometheus to the infamous list of movies that killed/almost killed an audience member (Pulp-Ficiton, Jaws).
The Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger returns to create the new creature designs for the film and as you would expect they’re completely faithful to the Alien-verse. Fresh and new but indicative of what the species will inevitably evolve to.
Supporting that sense of exploration and foreshadowing terror is the films soundtrack composed by German composer Marc Streitenfeld which features two supplemental pieces by English composer Harry Gregson-Williams. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a week now (I’ve been avoiding the song titles until I saw the film lol) and my 3 favorite tracks are “Life”, “Going In” and “Space Jockey”. Symphonically those 3 tracks sum up the movie for me.
The movie has a running time of 124 minutes and I’ve heard complaints about the films pacing, but in all honesty I didn’t find it to be problematic. To the contrary. Once the story takes a turn for the worst the films pacing induces a feeling of falling down a horrifying rabbit hole. Every climatic moment in the story immediately leads you to the next, twisting your expectations along the way. From the Xenomorphic microbes, the phallic shaped creature, to the “Space Jocky’s” exo-suit. It got to the point for me that I just had to stop trying to outthink the movie and let it resolve itself.
The main characters in the film felt hefty and believable. David the synthetic (played by Michael Fassbender) was creepy, cold, but fascinating to watch. Meredith Vickers (played by Charlize Theron) was rigid, authoritarian but alluded to something more. Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) was surprisingly good and well fleshed-out, worthy of being Ripley’s predecessor. Charlie Holloway (played by Logan Marshall-Green) wasn’t the most intriguing of characters but I don’t think he was meant to be. He’s was pretty straight forward in his pursuits throughout the film. Janek (played by Idris Elba) is the Captain of the Prometheus and delivers a calm and cool-headed performance. The rest of the supporting cast do a good job adding to the ambience of the film with some memorable moments sprinkled throughout.
As I was leaving the theater my mind started to run wild with all the numerous questions the film leaves you with and I bantered back and forth with my brother and sister-in-law.
Shortly after I came to the conclusion that Prometheus has to be the best summer movie so far. Few movies manage to get me excited with anticipation and leave me with a renewed sense of excitement afterwards. I’m well aware that The Dark Knight Rises is just around the corner. But I honestly don’t see The Dark Knight Rises being better than Prometheus, not that TDKR will suck, God no. But Nolan has to wrestle with the bar he set with The Dark Knight… so theres a giant Texas-sized hurdle he has to over come.
Ridley Scott proves that he still has his movie making mojo. Prometheus is nothing short of spectacular. It more than succeeds in intriguing, entertaining and scaring you. I’m sure the Bluray/DVD of Prometheus will be one of those discs you watch over and over again, dissecting each scene and discussing minut details with your fellow movie-going friends.
As an Alien fan I give it a perfect 5 Crosses out of 5, it gives you more than what you want and leaves you wanting more. As an average movie-goer I give it 4 out of 5 because it leaves you holding a few loose ends.
Sets the bar for the 2012 summer season! IMAX/3D is highly recommended!