Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Devil

Five strangers walk into an office building and get stuck on an elevator. It is soon revealed that this is not an ordinary elevator maintenance issue, but that there are much darker forces at work.

"Devil" is the first film in M. Night Shyamylan's series of films entitled "The Night Chronicles". These are films that he has written the story for, but are not directing. And boy did he start his chronicles out with a bang. This is a thriller that sunk its hooks into me from the beginning and totally drug me around for its entire length. If there were ever a way to re-legitimize himself in the eyes of the public, "Devil" is it. Even though he did not direct it, this feels like some of Shyamylan's best talents at work.

Review: Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin sees things in pictures. Her mind can recall every "picture" it has ever taken and allows her to see the world and solve problems in unconventional and brilliant ways. Her condition is known as autism and Temple used this to help her revolutionize the beef industry and give us the modern method of cattle slaughter.

Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Twenty-two years ago, the great Gordon Gekko was imprisoned for insider trading. Now he is out of prison and looking to repair his damaged relationship with his daughter by taking her soon-to-be husband under his wing and helping him seek revenge on the corrupt broker responsible for the loss of his original mentor.

Review: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

"Lord of the Rings" in the world of "The Lion King" shot like "300".

"Legend of the Guardians" is one of the most paradoxical films I have ever had to review. This is not a particularly entertaining film, but it is absolutely riveting to watch. Similarly, there is almost nothing going on in terms of story, yet there is far too much going on for a viewer to care about.

Review: The Town

Deciding to put his life of crime behind him, Doug MacRay sets out to pull one last job and leave Charlestown forever. However, between maintaining his new relationship with Claire and keeping his loose cannon buddy, James in check, leaving may not be as easy as he would like.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Review: Resident Evil: Afterlife

Project Alice is still mad at the Umbrella Corporation for experimenting on her and presumably for making sure that freaking Rihanna song does NOT die. After taking care of some unfinished business in Tokyo, she travels to Alaska to meet up with Claire and from there they travel to L.A. for no reason only to find out that Alice's business wasn't exactly unfinished. Also, there are supposed to be zombies, but there are none.

Review: Harry Brown

Mourning the loss of his wife and the brutal murder of his best friend and chess partner, 77-year old Harry Brown decides to avenge his friend and take down the street gang responsible for his murder. Meanwhile, the British police begin a search for the man responsible for killing the gang member's murders.

The first thing I have to do in this review is admit two things to my readers: 1. I absolutely love Michael Caine. 2. I absolutely love revenge thrillers like this and "Death Wish". Now that that is out of the way, our review can begin. "Harry Brown" is awesome. I know that all these revenge thrillers offer nothing new and play out exactly the same every time, but these films are about execution (pun not intended). And this is exactly where "Harry Brown" succeeds.

Review: The American

In order to be the best at his job, Jack leads a solitary life that consists of traveling the world, using various aliases and not getting to attached to anyone. After years of bending to the will of his superior Jack decides he is done with the business of killing. He takes one last job building a weapon for a fellow assassin in the hills of Italy, but Jack's descent into paranoia has already begun.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim is your ordinary 22 year old. He spends his days hanging with his roommate Wallace and his nights playing bass with his band, "Sex Bob-omb." Scott Pilgrim's precious little life is soon disrupted when a mysterious pink haired girl blazes through his dream at night, causing more than a little bit of obsession on his part. Soon, he meets the pink haired girl named Ramona and they begin a relationship. What she forgets to tell Scott, is that in order to date her, he has to defeat her seven evil exes. Scott Pilgrim's life just got real.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception: Exiting the Maze

This is the last post of my Christopher Nolan retrospective. I have experienced Inception twice now, and I can honestly think of only a handful of movies that have affected me the way this film has. It needs to be seen and solidified my career path. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for both myself and the film industry as long as Christopher Nolan is involved in some aspect of it.

Review: Inception

Dom Cobb specializes in a very specific form of information theft involving infiltrating the minds of people and "extracting" ideas. However, when a powerful business man asks him to plant an idea into the mind of one of his competitors in exchange for a clear criminal record, Cobb reluctantly agrees and a multi-layered race ensues.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inception: Entering the Maze

Well guys, this is it. In just over twelve hours, I will be experiencing Inception for the first time. I must say, my expectations for this film are through the roof. Going through Nolan's filmography this last week, I've come out with a new respect for the man, his work and film as a whole. These are the films we want to see. He can make visually stunning pictures, but can make you think for days after you've seen it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Dark Knight:: Desperation and Loss in Gotham City

In the last year, Batman has been keeping a quiet, watchful eye over the citizens of Gotham. Out of fear and desperation, the organized crime syndicates turn to a man known only as "The Joker" for help killing the Batman. Being a lunatic and a genius all at the same time, The Joker is only looking out for his best interests and has only one thing on his mind, making the world suffer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Prestige: Magic and Movies

At the turn of the century, rival illusionists Alfred Borden and Robert Angier engage in a competition to out do one another with high personal costs. Their fight leads one of the men to Colorado where, with the aid of Nikola Tesla, he discovers a "real" magic trick that transcends illusion and science.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Batman Begins: Facing the Fear

After his parents are brutally murdered, Bruce Wayne exiles himself to the far reaches of the world, learning a code of honor that will turn him into a symbol of hope in the dark world of Gotham. Also, he's Batman.

In 1997 Joel Schumacher destroyed any good graces the World's Greatest Detective had on celluloid with the atrocious "Batman and Robin". Eight years later Christopher Nolan burst onto the mainstream film market with a re-telling of Batman's origins set in a realistic and gritty world. It was one of the biggest risks any filmmaker has ever taken and the payoff was more than worth it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Insomnia: Literary Filmmaking

On an assignment to solve the murder of an Alaskan teenager, Will Dormer finds himself in an intricate cat and mouse game with Walter Finch that has some rather earth shattering consequences.

Insomnia is the only film Christopher Nolan has directed that wasn't based on a script he wrote, but it doesn't matter. The screenplay feels just like his own films, thick with moody, conflicted characters and an intensity boiling under the surface that only Nolan can bring to the screen. The climactic fog sequence in the middle of the film is one of the most intense scenes Nolan has ever put on celluloid and he exploits every inch of his eerily calm Alaskan setting perfectly. Even the name of the city is a plot device. Nightmute, where it is always daytime.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Memento: Through the Mirror

Memento is Christopher Nolan's second outing and is based off of a short story his brother Jonathan wrote entitled "Memento Mori" At its core, the film is a revenge tale set in Los Angeles. One of those "you took everything I had, so now I will take everything you have" sort of films. With a twist or thirty-seven that alters everything you have ever thought about that genre.

Following: An Emerging Genius

The Young Man writes. Or, at least, he wants to. In order to get inspiration for his work, he takes to following strangers down the street. Sometimes to restaurants, sometimes home, sometimes to work. He never follows them in. His rules won't allow it. But, what happens when his rules are broken?

Following is Christopher Nolan's first film and has one heck of a story behind it. Shooting took place mainly on Saturdays in fifteen minute spurts for about a year and a half. The cast is composed of Nolan's friends and the script was based on an original idea he had in film school. This is the epitome of shoestring budget, but it is probably more intricate and impressive than 90 percent of what Hollywood is putting out today.

The Road to Inception: A Christopher Nolan Retrospective.

This week, I will be taking you on a journey through the films of Christopher Nolan. Nolan has directed 6 films to date and his 7th, Inception, will be out this Friday. The man has talent beyond any out there right now and has never directed a bad or weak film. The reviews for these films will delve heavily into spoiler territory, so if you haven't seen the film, Don't read the blog!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: Jonah Hex

The Outlaw Josey Wales, but with 100% more Will Arnett.

Want to see Jonah Hex? Go watch the trailer. That's pretty much all you need to see of the film. Not that it's a bad film, it's just simple. The entire main story arc is told in the trailer including the film's resolution. And that's not necessarily a bad thing for this type of film. Hex is based off the long running comic about an outlaw who can speak to the dead seeking revenge on the men who killed his family. And that's exactly what this movie is about.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: Knight and Day

On her way back to Boston for her sister's wedding, June Havens bumps into the charming and mysterious Roy Miller. During the flight, Roy kills everyone on board and he and June begin a worldwide cat and mouse game to protect an object known as the "zephyr"

Dear month of June, thank you for restoring my faith in the summer. Pretty much all of May and the first half of June were really lacking in the good movies department. But, Knight and Day really took me by surprise and ended up being my second favorite film of the summer so far.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: Toy Story 3

It's been 11 years for the toys and Andy is now headed off to college. The gang hasn't been played with in years, and has even lost a few members along the way. Andy is forced to make a decision about what to do with his old toys, but through a misunderstanding about where they are supposed to go, the toys end up at Sunnyside Daycare and stage a daring escape plan to get back home to their kid.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review: Splice

In the process of synthesizing a protein capable of curing any genetic ailments, two geneticists engineer a humanoid creature and test the limits of the law and morality in the name of science.

The trailers for Splice were so atmospheric and creepy that they gave me chills, and anyone who knows me knows that I don't dig on horror movies at all, but Splice looked new and different and genuinely terrifying, so I gave it a shot. Oops.

Review: The A-Team

When a mission goes wrong, 4 soldiers are wrongfully accused of killing a general and are sent to prison. After breaking out, they attempt to clear their names and pity fools.

Well, like I said in my review of the Losers, 2010 is the year of the "men on a mission". And no movie could have had more riding on it than this one. The A-Team is based on the iconic 80's T.V. show, so fan expectations were high. I'm a casual fan, but most of my other friends are rabid, and I have to say, A-Team was a ton of ridiculous fun!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Date Night

Phil and Claire Foster are an average American couple living in the suburbs who want a change from their ordinary day to day. So they decide to head into the city to try the newest trendy restaurant that's opened up. After stealing someone else's reservation they are mistaken for the Triplehorns by the local mafia, and hilarious hi-jinks ensue.