Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Punisher: War Zone (2008)

The Punisher War Zone brings back the charm of the Charles Bronson Death Wish movies. It’s a movie based upon the Marvel Comic of the same name. Dominic West better known as Jimmy McNulty of The Wire is a wonderful bad guy named Jigsaw. Julie Benz who was Dexter’s wife plays the non-romantic female lead. Seinfeld’s Neuman also makes an appearance. Lots of excellent fights and gunplay. I was totally captivated.  I liked it better than the Tom Jane Punisher (2004) Even though Rotten Tomatoes gave it 21%, seek out this vigilante.
Three point seven five stars

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Argo (2012)

Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are movie peers. Both deal with CIA triumphs. Argo is the better movie, and one of the little things I really like was how the why of the Iranian revolution was explained. In Zero Dark Thirty the causes were irrelevant to the story.  While the outcome of both scenarios is well known, Argo builds suspense, and the climax is nail-biting. If you a Canadian the conclusion will bring a tear to your eye, so I cant understand the controversy. Like Zero Dark Thirty I wonder how much light there is between the movie and the reality. Ben Affleck continues his chain of great accomplishments.  Aside from Clint Eastwood, is there another actor alive with a better resume of self-directed hits?

Four Stars

Monday, 7 January 2013

Savages (2012)

Oliver Stone has secured his place as one of the greatest directors of his generation. Still he has never revisted the heights reached with Platoon.  Arguably Savages is one of his best attempt to date. It an interesting story about the ongoing drug war. There is a super cast with Benicio Del Toro putting in a wonderful portrayal of a drug cartel lieutenant.  John Travolta is great as a slimy DEA agent. The male leads are split between Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights and John Carter) and Aaron Taylor Johnson (never heard of him either) who play primo pot farmers, and Blake Lively who is the love interest for both.  Selma Hayek sizzles as the leader of an evil drug cartel.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a measly 51%. Wrong again.
Four Stars

Zero Dark Thrity

The Hurt Locker could have been an excerpt from Zero Dark Thirty. I liked both movies. Zero Dark Thirty has the benefit of being the definitive story documenting the decade long mission to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Anyone expecting an action thriller is going to be disappointed.  It’s much like a season of Homeland condensed. James Gandolfini as CIA director Leon Panetta rocks, and is about the only actor I recognized. If it is a true look at how the CIA operates; it’s both kind of sad, and testament as to how big the task is. This movie is going to win big at the Oscars but more out of patriotism than merit. My predictions: Best Director- Kathryn Bigelow, Best Actress - Jessica Chastain, and likely Best Movie.
Three point eight stars

Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained has earned its place on the podium for best Western ever. Quentin Tarantino’s films are usually good, but of the list only Reservoir Dogs would get my 5 stars. Django has to get at least six stars.

While similar to Inglorious Bastards, this movie moves far faster, travels far deeper, and finishes far higher. Jamie Fox has not been my slice of bread. In this movie he is the perfect hero. The story is fantastic, after beating up the Germans in Inglorious bastards he celebrates them in Django. It’s a portrayal of slavery that has never hit the big screen before. At its heart it’s a refresh of the spaghetti western. By far the best movie I have seen in recent memory.
Six Stars (out of five)