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Thursday, September 26, 2013





"What in the world did you do?!"

Powerful! Brilliant! Just pure cinema excellence at every curve of this suspense thrill ride.  Honestly…  I don’t remember seeing a better suspense movie since Seven, with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.  I say that with full confidence being three days after watching it and still feel the same way as I felt walking out of the auditorium.  Talking about it on the car ride home, debates about karma vs Irony, water cooler discussions at work… It’s been awhile since we had a great movie that did not include a comic book or cliche-ish superhero.  Definitely a movie you only need to see one time but for some reason I want to add it to the bluray collection when it comes out.

      Hugh Jackman made his case for actor superiority if he hadn't already.  One of the most underrated actors of our time, including by myself.  Terrence Howard was phenomenal as usual and the supporting cast was fantastic to watch.

   I can’t emphasize how paralyzingly awesome the plot twist were.  There is no taking the eyes of the screen once the movie really gets going. Masterfully directed and wrote. Lines between right and wrong are blurred, purposely. You began to question your own set of morals.  It’s one of those films that stays with you.

    Perfect title too! The word Prisoners describes more than you think. The audience really become “prisoners” to the moment.  A moment that you’ll never forget.



 Worth watching. Letter grade: A+

Just a heads up, there's no bonus scene at the end of the credits, believe me! I personally sat there and waited.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Family




        There's this explicit word used all through this film and it starts with an F (hint: It's not 'family').  This word was masterfully used, mostly by the main character, to express a litany of emotion and responses... most times depending on the cadence.  My response after seeing this flick may have included the same word, the only thing is that I can organize my ideas and explain to you why "The Family" sucked in standard English.

       First, there's no identity.  What is it, comedy or mob story? It's hard to be both and successful   Most mob stories are inherently funny because of the sheer gall, the nerve... "the balls"...  as most mob family movies put it.  The antics and sheer disregard for rules and order are more than disbelief, most times we sit in awe.  We had sprinkles of that awe in The Family but surely not enough to satisfy.

    Secondly, I can’t help but think that I've seen this movie before.  The plot is so cliche with not enough or almost no sub plots or twists.

     The only bright spot that was consistent throughout the whole movie was Michelle Pfeiffer!  She was almost unrecognizable without a mask.  He accent and delivery of her lines were spot on.  I can tell she did her research before stepping on set.

    A few chuckles here and there, maybe a laugh depending on your sense of humor. I love Robert De Niro but wouldn't pay full admission price at the theater for this one… It makes a better DVD rental night movie.

letter grade: C+  .  

Monday, September 23, 2013





"Times up."

Having viewed all the “Riddick” movies prior to this one I thought maybe, just maybe this one would ”tie up loose ends” or perhaps provide some closure[expectations from ANY cult classic sequel].  Hardly fulfilling either one of those precepts it became increasingly confusing after the movie referred to older characters… I simply didn’t remember any of them because what we really go to these flicks for isn’t the supporting cast but for Riddick himself… which [this movie]“Riddick” had more than enough of.
     Vin Diesel was the ONLY person we saw for half the movie. Vin Diesel was also the only human we heard  for half the movie… and the parts where Riddick himself wasn’t speaking, he narrated! It’s comical to really reflect about that as I sit here and proofread but that is exactly what happened… up until a flashback and the bounty Hunters arrived.  As narcissistic as it may seem, it wasn’t as bad as I wrote it.  It worked in the sense that I was there to see a testosterone, anti-metro-sexual, kick butt, no-holds barred movie sci fi movie and that’s exactly what I got.
     Yes some of it was ‘dumb’, most of it was over the top, a few shallow lines made for a pretty low score in my book… but one thing was for sure, you wanted to see  everyone that had it coming get theirs and we were satisfied!!!  

   I thought the ending was very weak but still deem it worth watching!

letter grade:  C

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Grandmaster




"If life had no regrets it would be really boring."

I’ve enjoyed all 3 of the original Ip man movies so far.  That is why I became more than anxious to see this new rendition of the legend that trained Bruce Lee.  Not a bad film, but I prefer the original Ip Man movie that is now available for rental.
     The Grandmaster’s cinematography is at it’s best along with the martial arts choreography.  Every movement seemed to have incredible precision.  Masterful camera and editing work just fantastic to watch.  My only gripe is that it was more of a love story than anything else.  Normally, that would be a good thing but not for a martial arts movie.  I want to see fighting.  The threshold for sappiness in a martial Arts film would  be Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and even in there may have been too much artsy, lovey doviness… but  at least we had enough action to compensate for all of that. Here, not so much.
      I think it’s a good movie to watch, but you may want to wait for DVD.
      Worth the price of the admission simply because of the quality of the film. Marginally worth watching because your time is priceless and I feel like the original Ip man movies can suffice your need for Wing Chun/ Kung Fu fighting.

letter grade:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kick-Ass 2




" We're the good guys."

I am rating this movie $$$ [Worth Watching] but ONLY for those that enjoyed the original.  I started to make that note up top but figured it should go without saying… Any sequel on this site is judged by the ability to complement the original first. Then I rate on how well of a stand alone story or movie it is.  It’s rare that a movie can rate high on both criteria… this isn't one of those movies but I just thought of it noteworthy.
         I guess it isn't hard to tell that this might not be the type of movie most would enjoy. A cult film is defined by Wikipedia as a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans.  I consider myself that specific group minus the devotion.  If you don’t feel like the exploits seen in the trailer are your cup of tea then the movie most likely won't be one that you enjoy.  
         Having said all of that I’m not even sure that I know why I like the franchise.  Maybe it has to do with the overall theme of bravery.  Whatever the reason, I will admit that maybe I shouldn't with all the gratuitous language, extreme violence and some crude humor… but I do.  I even laughed out loud at a few times.  Jim Carrey was spectacular as a born again ex-mob hit man.  Just brilliant, and usually cringe when Hollywood tries to depict Christianity… Most times it’
s disappointing or just simply blasphemous.
          Like most sequels, the original barely beats out the second overall but most definitely is Worth Watching.

  letter grade: B

                   There's a bonus scene after the credits... stay put!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013





" It's just a flesh wound! "

Elysium felt like a return of cinematic imagination, a symphony of Science fiction, a just-what-the-doctor-ordered.  Especially in a time of low expectations from big budget flicks.  Yet, so very far from my knee jerk rush to judgment feelings after seeing the first teaser.  Even more so when learning that this movie is from the same minds that brought us the disappointing District 9.  Yes, disappointing because the movie had untapped potential to be great and it wasn't.  Elysium is what District 9 should of been.

    It is a shame that this film won’t go down as a classic because of the warm numbers at the box office.  Not perfect by any definition but you won’t find a better Science Fiction film now-a-days… well, maybe when Star Trek drops another one.

   Beautiful and imaginative imagery.  The year 2154 looked very real and plausible, along with the bio-tech.  The plot was thick and very tense.  The fight scenes were visually crisp and thrilling to watch. The characters were all extremely interesting.  I heard that Eminem was rumored to play the lead character and I can’t help but wonder how much justice that would of done in an already near-perfect film.

    This is definitely a picture that you should see if you haven’t already, move it to the top of your rental queue. 
 Worth the dollar and it gets an A.