Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

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Review: Saw III

January 16, 2008

saw3-poster2.jpgI know it’s been a while since I’ve updated the site, and/or put up a movie review. I keep saying I’ll return to posting more often, but I’m really not sure when that will be.

I finally got around to watching the third installment of the “Saw” film series, aptly titled Saw III. The original Saw is one of my all-time favorite “Thriller/Horror” films, and although I enjoyed the second one, I didn’t think it was nearly as good as the first (but when is this ever not the case with sequels? Only ones I can think of are X-Men and Spiderman at the moment).

I hadn’t heard a lot of great things about Saw III, so I was very pleasantly surprised once I finished it. The film, although a little overly “gross” at times, was much better than I expected. It had a good storyline, good suspense, and I really enjoyed how it linked up and answered a lot of questions from the first film. It almost seems like the Saw films are an extended series, rather than individual installments.

I don’t imagine you would like Saw III if you haven’t seen Saw or Saw II. It would be akin to missing the first two seasons of a TV show then jumping in on the third. This is something you don’t often see with films. They are usually made so that, although it references the previous films, the casual viewer can jump in and the film will still make sense. Saw III would make absolutely no sense to someone who hasn’t seen the original.

I wouldn’t put Saw III up there with the original, but it’s definitely better than the second film, and definitely a film worth seeing. The Saw films are pumped out so quickly, it gives you the impression that there isn’t a lot of thought put into them, and they are done as a cash cow only. As much as they are done for the easy cash, they are also well put together and are entertaining films.

I am looking forward to seeing Saw IV, which is released this Tuesday, January 22nd.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Review: Deadwood – Season 3

August 17, 2007

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This week I finished the third of final season of the incredible HBO historical drama, Deadwood.

Deadwood was critically acclaimed, but was never a huge hit with audiences, however it did have a considerable following.

The show was based on the real town of Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s, before and after its annexation into the Dakota Territory. Several of the characters are named and based on real life people. Among them, Wild Bill Hickok, Seth Bullock, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, George Hearst, Al Swearengen, among others.

The show takes artistic liberties, and much of the storylines are fictional, but most of the major events and occurances are based on historical fact.

You could categorize the show as Western, but that’s almost incorrect. There is an almost modernization of the show, in the fact that it has this gangster welfare feel to it.

The characters are all very unique, and the acting in this show is nearly unmatched. It stars Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane and Molly Parker, among many others. There are also several high profile guest stars on the show as well.

Ian McShane’s character, Al Swearengen, is one of my all time favorite TV characters. There really isn’t any character on television like him. He is an evil tyrant, yet loyal, compassionate and strong-willed. You know you should hate the guy, but you can’t help rooting for him. The way Ian McShane pulls off that role… it just amazes me. The character is just a joy to watch, and it deeply saddens me that I may never see the great Al Swearengen on my TV again.

In my opinion, the writing on Deadwood ranks among the best in television history. You’d be hard pressed to find any show, at any time, that can compare with the amazing dialog that appeared in this great show.

Although it wasn’t the original plan, Season 3 has become the final season of the show. HBO decided against picking up the options on the actors’ contracts for a fourth year. They insist the show was not cancelled, and it seems to me it’s end came because the production costs were too high when compared to the income the show brought in.

HBO made an offer to do 6-episode run for the fourth season, but it was turned down by the show’s creator. Instead, they agreed on doing two 2 hour long HBO movies, in order to finish off the show. The scripts are ready, and at one point it seemed a for sure thing. At this point, HBO says there is about a 50/50 chance the movies will be made. So, we can still hold out hope to see those.

For those of you that either don’t get HBO or haven’t heard of this outstanding television show, I highly recommend picking up the DVD sets. They are available at any Rogers or Blockbuster to rent, if you don’t want to buy them. Either way, this is a show you cannot miss out on.

My Rating: 10/10

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Movie Review: Stomp the Yard

August 2, 2007

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Stomp the Yard is one of the latest dance mixed with high school and/or college relationship drama. Ok, that was a mouthful. But yes, if you’ve seen Step Up, Save the Last Dance, You’ve Been Served, etc etc, you know these movies basically all use the same formula.

Stomp the Yard is about a young man named DJ, who’s brother is killed in a “gang” fight, caused by a team that loses a dance competition. DJ moves in with his aunt and uncle, and gets accepted into a high-class University. The school’s hot “sport” is “stepping”. Why the movie isn’t called “Step the Yard”, I don’t know? I guess because it sounds stupid, which well now that I think about it, would have been a fitting title considering the quality of this film.

DJ is still mourning his brother, and has no interest in participating in any school events. He does, however become interested in the gorgeous April (played by Meagan Good). April, of course, is dating the star “stepper” on one of the school’s dance fraternities.

DJ joins the rival dance team, and you can guess where the movie heads from there.

In most dance films, you expect to see some crazy moves, that regardless of the quality of the film, will still provide some entertainment. That doesn’t happen here. Stepping is about the least interesting kind of dancing you can watch. You just think, “wow, I could probably do that. Big deal”.

The film isn’t completely horrible, as it is at least average. The story is better than most other dance films, but that really isn’t saying much. Overall, the only real good thing about this film is getting to see the beautiful Meagan Good strut around on your screen.

So, should you rent it? I wouldn’t recommend it, but I won’t say completely pass on it either. If you like dance films with relationship love stories, then you might like it.

My Rating: 5.5/10

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Movie Review: Norbit

July 31, 2007

norbit.jpgNorbit is the latest Eddie Murphy as several characters film to be released. I didn’t expect a whole lot anything… maybe something a little similar to the Nutty Professor. As low as my expectations were, the film still didn’t come close to meeting them.

In this one, Murphy plays three characters. The title character, Norbit, a bumbling orphan boy that isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. He meets a beautiful young girl named Kate (Thandie Newton) while living in an orphanage as a young boy. He also plays the orphanage owner Mr. Wong, and his wife, Rasputia.

There are a lot of very immature jokes, and the film seems geared towards the young teen market, although I’m sure even they found it to be pretty horrible.

There are a few funny moments here and there, but overall I felt myself feeling dumber with each passing moment. It’s simply not funny, not entertaining, and I couldn’t help but wonder what type of person would ever agree to filming a movie with this script. I’m sure it was pitched as “a comedy with Eddie Murphy playing multiple roles”. Too bad they forgot to add the comedy part.

Cuba Gooding Jr., Eddie Griffin, Terry Crews and Marlon Wayans also make appearances, which I am sure they are regretting. Wayans’ role was one of the only funny parts of the film. And by funny, I mean “watchable”.

I highly recommend skipping this film, unless you have an urge to waste an hour and forty minutes of your life.

My Rating: 2/10

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Review: Arrested Development Season 1

July 26, 2007

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Although I have owned Arrested Development Season 1 on DVD for probably two years, I finally decided on watching it. I had heard it was pretty good, but I was unsure about giving it a try. Well, am I ever glad I did.

This is easily one of the funniest, well put together comedies I have ever seen. The characters are so unique, interesting, quirky and funny, that each episode is extremely entertaining. This family is about as dysfunctional and odd as it gets. It’s almost like Simpsons comes to life, yet funnier and smarter.

The show lasted for three seasons, so I’m very much looking forward to watching the next two seasons. I’m sure the show will only get better. I cannot believe this show was canceled… what a tragedy that is. Then again, Fox seems to have this strange ability to create amazing shows just to cancel them too early (Freaks and Geeks, Firefly, Fugitive, etc).

It’s hard to pick out who my favorite character is. Michael is the very likable main character, and it’s hard not to root for him, considering the family he has to deal with on a day to day basis. His son, unfortunately named “George Michael”, is such a great character. He’s a very odd young man, yet he’s possibly the most normal character on the show.

I am always laughing at Gob (pronounced Jobe). It is so hilariously delusional. He’s one of the worst magicians ever, yet is convinced he’s one of the best.

The person I may laugh out loud the most from could be their Mother, Lucille. Her facial expressions alone just kill me. She is such a stone cold bitch, and like most of her family, is completely delusional as well.

Tobias is someone I always want to see on screen, and it’s unfortunate he isn’t always in every episode. He’s a non-nude? Where do they come up with such magic? He’s so obviously gay, yet completely unaware of it. In the going trend with these characters, he is so delusional as well, and possibly more-so than any other character. He wants to become an actor, and although he can barely even get an audition, he thinks of himself as the next Hollywood superstar.

There are no weak characters, and the rest of the stars such as Buster, Pop-pop, Lindsey and Maebe are all great in their own ways.

If you, like me, never really thought about giving this show a chance, then you are making a huge mistake. This is easily one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen, and although it may not be for everyone, it’s still most definitely worth giving a shot to.

My Rating: 9.5/10

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Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

July 23, 2007

chuck_and_larry.jpgI Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is the latest film from Adam Sandler. He, along with Kevin James, play New York Firefighters that pretend to be gay in order to get special tax benefits.

The film also has appearances from Jessica Biel, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Ving Rhames and Dan Akroyd.

The plot is a little weak, but that doesn’t really matter. The whole point of the film is to have as much uncomfortable situations as possible. And there are a lot.

I went into the film not really sure what to expect. I am really back and forth on Adam Sandler films. I loved the guy when I was 14 and 15, but lately his type of humor annoys me more than it makes me laugh. I am, however, a big fan of his dramatic work. Chuck & Larry is one of the good Sandler films. As funny as he is, however, I found Kevin James to be the stand-out in this one.

And Jessica Biel? Oh. My. God. I’ve never really found her all that special, but holy crap she is about as perfect as perfect gets in this film. Guys, her three minute bra and panties scene is worth the admission alone.

At times, I found the film seemed a little too much like a gay rights commercial, but it didn’t take away from the movie all that much. They film makers worked with gay rights activist to make sure the film wasn’t offensive to gay people. Of course there are a few jokes here and there, but I don’t think you’ll see any gay people complain about the film whatsoever.

It had it’s cheesy moments, and is not a top-notch film, but it’s entertaining throughout, and not often does even five minutes go by without a few laugh-out-loud moments.

If you’re looking to sit back, relax, and be entertained for a couple hours, then Chuck and Larry is definitely a film to check out.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Movie Review: Turistas

July 23, 2007

turistas-movie-poster.jpgTuristas is about a group of young backpackers that end up stranded in a small town in Brazil after their bus crashes. The film is a horror film, but I’m more tempted to say it fits into the recently popular “gore” category.

I am not a fan of gory films. It all seems so unnecessary, but with the popularity of films like Hostel and the Hills Have Eyes, I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon.

Turistas sounded interesting to me, so I decided to check it out, when in most cases I would pass on a film like this one. It stars Josh Duhamel and Olivia Wilde, both of who I am fans of. It also stars Melissa George, who I cannot stand.

The film starts out with some potential. The idea is pretty good, and for the first half of the film I was pretty entertained. Then, we get into the gore. Complete, unnecessary gore. When you are hung over like I was, gore is not something you want to see.

I made it past that, only to be treated to 10 minutes of near darkness on the screen where I could barely tell what was going on. Then comes an underwater chase scene that lasts about 15 minutes longer than it should have.

If you’re into teen horror movies, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this movie. If not, you’ll probably want to pass on this one.

My Rating: 6/10