Monday, 29 October 2012

The Day (2012)

A low budget Zombie movie without Zombies. No this more realistic dystopia is full of cannibals. If you have nothing else to do, its not terrible.

Two point 5 two.

Universal Soldier:Day of Reckoning (2012)

This should be the Supersoldiers franchise doubletap. RT gave it a surprising 86%. There were many good elements in this movie. Scott Adkins is a credible action star, the fight scenes were terrific, and old friends Dolf Lungren and Jean Claude Van Damme were along for the ride. Perhaps that was my problem with the movie it seemed like a long silly ride. If your a fan of the franchise, there are many satisfying plot developments, otherwise do not get on board.  A completely opposite review here, that softened my score.

Two point 7 stars.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

Compared to the Toby McGuire movies which were nothing to sniff at, this reboot is better. Its not blowing me away better like the Chistopher Nolan Batman reboot was compared to the others, but its better because it follows the orginal comic more closely and Spiderman in action has never looked more natural. Both the star Andrew Garfield and the Director Mark Webb have their breakthrough movies. Emma Stone on the other hand did herself few favors.

Three Stars
trailer not available

Killer Joe (2012)

Killer Joe stars  Matthew McConaughey an actor I generally like. For accepting the role of Killer Joe in Killer Joe maybe its his agent he should be killing. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 76%, I would give in forty or less. If trailer park Texas is anything like this movie, America  really faces internal challenges beyond repair. There is nothing clever, funny, or engaging about this movie. It is slime on screen from start to finish.

Two Stars
no trailer, its not worth the effort

Friday, 12 October 2012

Taken (2008)

Luc Besson's creative fingerprints are all over this movie. In general if you see his name in the credits its a quality product. Taken was released in Europe a year before it made it to the US. A critical bomb (Rotten Tomatoes 58%) that succeded because the audiences could not get enough of it.($228 million boxoffice) Liam Neeson is a freight train of violence and determination who plows down everyone who stands between him and his loss. Maggie Grace who played Shannon on lost, and Bond Girl Famke Jansson play the family under stress. A must see.
Four Stars

Taken 2 (2012)

Taken 2 picks up where one ended. Liam Neeson owns the role of retired deadly operative on a personal quest to save loved ones from scumbags. Rotten Tomatoes (21% fresh) hates it, says it is no where close to the original. Moviegoers disagree and it is number one at the boxoffice. I am with the movie goers. Sure it does not match the original. However the Taken universe remains a very entertianing place to be immersed for a couple of hours. I hope there is another episode.

Three Stars

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Hostel Three (2011)

A direct to video addition to the Hostel Franchise. The story remains the same, but the action moves to Las Vegas. All new actors and director. Looks better than its low budget roots. If you liked the first two, this one will not disappoint. I hope the franchise does not die with this edition.

Three Stars

Hostel Two (2007)

Hostel 2 picks up where Hostel ends. Its more Texas Chainsaw Massacre type action created by Eli Roth. Lauren German is the only actor you may recognize. Rotten Tomatoes hated it, and the box office was only $20 million, about half the first movie. I would watch them back to back. Very similar but not as good as the first if only because the plot was no longer orginal.

Three Stars

Hostel (2006)

A no name movie. It wins you with smart direction,writing and plot. Eli Roth shows a lot of chops directing this bloody chopper movie. He is better known for Cabin Fever, but Hostel is a better movie. Fans of the genre whose most successful franchise is Saw will be thrilled by Hostel. There are now three Hostel movies. The first experince remains the best. Rotten Tomatoes failed it, but it managed $45 million in boxoffice. It will become a cult classic.

Four Stars

Training Day (2001)

Antoine Fuqua is a name you may not but should recognize. His direction of Training day revealed he is a major talent. His track record shows Training day was no fluke. Denzel Washington won best actor playing an (antagonist) against type a crooked cop with cash flow problems. Ethan Hawke was nominated for best supporting for his (protagonist) portrayal of a naive rookie in way over his head. Eva Mendes's breakout movie. Its one of the top movies of the first decade of the 21st century. Rotten Tomatoes liked but did not love it with 72%, audiences made it a box office smash. A must see.

Five Stars

Bad Lieutenant: New Orleans (2009)

If you like or can stand two hours of Nick Cage at his most cagess, this movie will thoroughly entertain you. Terrence McDonagh is a New Orleans detective who redefines “dirty cop”. His girlfriend Eva Mendes is a prostitute who shares his addictions. Terrence gets into all kinds of trouble in his constant quest for more drugs. Val Kilmer also makes an appearance as his partner. Just when it seems Cage has dug himself into an inescapable hole he walks out on a path of carefully constructed dominoes  Rotten Tomatoes gave it 87% and it was critically acclaimed. Audiences did not agree and it was under $2 million domestic and $10.5 million in total. So it’s a great movie that no one saw.

Four Stars

Monday, 8 October 2012

End of Watch (2012)

Do not waste your money on this one. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 85%. Its recycled TV cop show fare. Cops good, drug lords bad, drug war futile. Very professionally done, works the emotions well, but overall a series of clichés.  Written and directed by the Training Day writer David Ayer. Its disappointing to see him turn to manipulation instead of inspiration. IMHO his directing does not match his great writing to date. If you can see it for free, worth doing.

Two point six stars.

The Expatriate. (2012)

Yet another secret agent betrayed by his agency and left completely burned. No country, no cash and countless former colleagues trying to erase him. The Expatriate adds a twist from Taken in that the former kill team specialist Ben Logan played by Aaron Eckhart  finds the safest place for his estranged daughter Amy is by his side. Amy is represented by Liana Liberato in a barely convincing way. However Eckhart  sells the solid plot.  Former Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko  credibly  fills the role of a former lover who double betrays him.  Jean Reno who was brilliant (Mission Impossible, Ronin) has an unaccredited but critical bit part. Philipp Stölzl is a newish director who leaves a good first impression.

Three stars.