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Movie review : The Informant!

The Informant!

Although Matt Damon did a nice job in his role I didn’t care much for the movie. The main reason is that the story was a bit of a letdown. Pardon me but all along I’m expecting some sort of Oceans 11 bizaro ending or something. And that never came. Given that Matt was the star, Steven Soderbergh directed and George Clooney was the Executive Producer – all worked together in Oceans 11/etc – then I’m excused for expecting that. Nor did it have the Silkwood, The Insider, Erin Brockovich, etc. ending which would have been almost as good. Nope, this story is uniquely different from either of those genres and not in a good way.

What did you think about The Informant!? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

This might be the best children’s movie of the summer and I think it will appeal to a lot of adults as well. Visually I think it will appeal to children in the 3-6 range. The action and physical humor will appeal to the 7-10 range and the story will appeal to the 11-15 range. However, your mileage may vary.

As an adult I certainly enjoyed it. And I must confess a weakness for stories that involve nerds finding their place in life. Which is what this movie is all about. So if you have a precocious child who has trouble fitting in then this is for them.

There were at least 5 good LOL moments and many more chuckles from the audience. Plus, the crowd of children that watched the movie with me actually clapped at the end.

What did you think about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : I can do bad all by myself

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I can do bad all by myself

I can do bad all by myself is a well told story filled with a good number of laughs, some amazing song and dance, and wonderful performances from the entire cast.

I noticed that most of the laughs come in the first half of the film. As the film goes on it becomes more and more dramatic. Which is to be expected as the main character has to go through an ordeal to come out the other side a better person.

One of my pet peeves is seeing characters in movies smoking. But as the movie wore on I noticed that the director was putting a positive spin on it by making the characters that we don’t like to be smokers – such as the asshole boyfriend. And the main character – April – only smokes when she is unhappy. That’s a nice touch. It’s also something that Joss Whedon did in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.

While I didn’t think this movie was outstanding I would be surprised if it doesn’t get a number of Oscar nods. Taraji P. Henson – April – is almost a lock for a best actress nomination.

What did you think about I can do bad all by myself? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Whiteout

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Whiteout

Writing reviews for average movies are the most difficult. So this will be a hard review to write. The one thing that inspires me to make this a slightly better than average movie is Kate Beckinsale performance. She did just about everything that could be done with her part. She’s a fine actress and did her job in this movie just right.

The rest of the cast held their own. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tom Skerritt in the movie. He’s a great actor as long as he plays exactly the same role over and over. And he got that role here in Whiteout. This isn’t a knock against Skerritt, there are many actors who can’t do any roles well. But there is hardly any difference between Skerritt’s characters in Alien to Top Gun to Contact to Whiteout. That’s probably why it’s good to see him in a movie because it’s almost like seeing a old friend.

The story itself is just ho-hum. There are twists to be sure. But you know that there are going to be twists and they’re not anything that makes you think, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.” It’s more like, “Yeah, that makes since” sort of twists.

That just about does it for this very average – at best – review. Now hopefully next week there will be either an awesome movie or at the very least a movie that sucks so I can write a better review. 🙂

What did you think about Whiteout? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : 9

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9

[ No Spoilers ]

Although this film drips with Tim Burton’s style he was only the producer and not the writer/director as he is with many of his films. Shane Acker is the director and the creator of the original story. So kudos to Shane for making such a outstanding film on his first try. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what he creates.

The visual appearance of the movie is wonderful. It reminds me of a cross between The Matrix and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. And the similarities with The Matrix don’t end with the visual. The story and characters also seem to have influences from The Matrix while not at all being obvious. It’s easy to understand why since Acker originally developed the story in a short 11 minute film back in 2005.

The movie is PG-13 which seems about right. There are many violent scenes but no blood since there are only a few scenes with humans. But we come to think of the characters as human so some of the film might be a little traumatic to young children. However the ending is moderately happy. As happy as you can really get considering that a handful of characters die and the world is in a post apocalyptic state.

What did you think about 9? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Gamer

Gamer

This movie would certainly have experienced a horrible, bloody, disfiguring death at the box office if it weren’t for Gerard Butler lending a hand to save it. But though he saved it doesn’t mean the movie survives in perfect health. Far from it. If this movie were embodied in human form it would be paralyzed, missing a few fingers, and certainly suffering from extensive brain damage to the point that it couldn’t hold a coherent thought in it’s head.

Even though Gerard Butler saved the movie this isn’t something he’s going to be proud of. No amount of acting talent is going to make a lame role shine. The only fault I can find is that Gerald needs to be more selective of the roles he accepts. He’s a great actor and probably has a buffet of roles that are offered to him. So Gerald, buddy, don’t fill up on stale bread sticks when they’re serving steak and lobster.

If you loved the Crank movies – from the same directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor – then you might be tempted to see this movie just for the action scenes. But then you could see 90% of the action by watching the previews. If you do find yourself watching this movie just for the action scenes then you can leave as soon as Kable escapes from prison.

And now a special note to the directors: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Just because you read a few issues of Discover Magazine doesn’t mean you understand enough to use some future tech as the plot basis for your movie. The ending was lame, lame, lame.

What did you think about Gamer? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : All About Steve

All About Steve

I must confess that one of the reasons I enjoyed All About Steve is that Mary’s character – played by Sandra Bullock – is a lot like my wife. So I’ll admit that I have a bit of a prejudice for the film.

That aside the film was rather bland. There was little or nothing that was outrageously funny but lots of little chuckles throughout. The story isn’t particularly riveting. The best that is offered is the message to not give up on yourself no matter what a freak you are.

As a date movie it might be okay. But there isn’t much depth to the story that would lend itself to a conversation about the dynamics of the story over dinner afterward. Unless you’re really desperate to see a movie let me suggest catching this on DVD.

What did you think about All About Steve? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Extract

Extract

Since Extract billed itself as the funniest movie of the summer I think I have grounds to demand a refund based on false advertising. I think The Hangover wins that title hands down, or is that hands together? 🙂

I’m not saying Extract was a bad movie. It just didn’t quite get over the hump of being a good movie. Throughout the film I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. It finally dawned on me, “This movie would have been much better if the Coen Brothers – Raising Arizona, Burn After Reading, No Country for Old Men, etc. – had rewritten and directed it.” ( Do you agree? )

Now it’s impossible for me to fairly review the movie because I can only think about how much better/funnier it could have been. If you really want to go to the movies and see a comedy this is probably your best option since there isn’t a lot of funny in the theaters right now. Otherwise, wait for it on DVD or better yet wait for the Coen brothers to remake it. 🙂

What did you think about Extract? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Taking Woodstock

Taking Woodstock

To me one of the most important aspects of a film is the pacing. Ang Lee is a masterful director and you can see his handywork here. I can’t think of another film that used pacing as a part of the story so effectively. The movie is very slow to get started. But you know that something huge is going to happen because, well, it’s about Woodstock.

Pacing like this can be dangerous because it depends so much on the mood of each movie goer. If a person is in a hurry to be entertained, they will get bored quickly. But if they trust in the story to deliver something entertaining and meaningful…then it can work. So I can tell you now: if you go into this movie in the mindset that you want to be grabbed by the story right away then you’ll be disappointed. You’ll just have to trust that Ang Lee is going to get you there.

The question is, does the story deliver in the end? This is where I’ll give the movie a B+. I think an A+, home run for the movie would require that I felt, for just a moment, like I had actually been at Woodstock. Which would be a tall order. However, by the end of the movie I did wish that I could have been there . That’s good enough for me and I think that makes the story a success.

Aside from the story the movie performs well as a documentary. I understand a good deal more about the events surrounding Woodstock.

What else do you need to know? The acting, cinematography, etc, were all rock solid. I don’t see anyone getting an award for their role, but that’s mainly because there isn’t all that much to get excited about. If anyone stood out I would say it’s Elliot’s father. I thought he did a marvelous job.

What did you think about Taking Woodstock? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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