• The Losers (2010)

    I have seen so many of these gunfight style action movies. I usually don't even bother anymore. There is also this new trend of "choose a comic and make a movie out of it" that we keep seeing so much of lately.  Some have been good, others are ridiculous. The Losers is another one to add to the good pile.  It doesn't do a huge amount to set itself apart, but it is still a great ride. 

    The plot is your typical revenge story.  Five special forces soldiers are tasked with a mission in the heart of Borneo.  A kink is thrown into their master plan however, when they discover a group of children being hustled into the camp that they had just recently painted for an air strike.   You can probably guess what happens from here if you have ever seen an action movie before.  Needless to say, the soldiers are now ex-soldiers and their new mission is to take out the guy who refused to cancel the strike. 

    The characters are well done, but you won't see anything new here.  You have the tech geek/comedy relief, the hardass black dude, the silent and ridiculously skilled sniper, the chivalrous leader who's only fault is caring too much, and the love interest that said leader falls for. Top it off with an evil villain who's idea for world piece is micro black holes, and you have yourself all the makings of an action movie! This isn't really a bad thing.  Hundreds of great action movies have followed this formula and been completely successful, and The Losers does a great job of it.  Just don't expect anything new.

    Overall, it's a solid movie with some excellent fight scenes, and more explosions than a day in the life of an Iraqi insurgent.  It should do a great job of entertaining you until (insert action movie #300,000) comes out.

    Losers earns a 3/5
  • Leaving for a few days

    Scratch that. Vacation cancelled!
  • The Experiment (2010)

    This was an interesting one... The Experiment is based off of a real life experiment where psychologists created a mock prison and assigned people to roles as guards and prisoners.  It was pretty infamous for revealing just how far people will go when given enough power with no consequences. 

    This is also a remake of the original German movie Das Experiment, which is considered to be a much more accurate and all around better account of what really went on.  From the very beginning you can tell this one is going to be chock full of Hollywood "improvements".  They cut out some extremely important parts of the original.   The psychologists have a brief cameo at the beginning, but from then on all you see of them is cameras.  The German movie actually had snippets of their responses to what was going on as they observed, which drastically helped the story feel more believable. Without this, the remake constantly leaves you wanting more information.  It's almost frustrating.

    The whole thing gives you an interesting look into the minds of different types of people, but it just feels so inaccurate compared to the far superior Das Experiment.  The acting is excellent, and they definitely get you cheering for the prisoners by the end, but it's still just not worth it.  It's such an obvious cash in, you are really much better off picking up the old one.

    The Experiment gets a 2/5 for being an awful rehash of what was originally an awesome movie.
  • Book of Eli (2010)

    It's not very often that a good post apocalyptic film shows up.  After having to deal with crap like The Road,  it's refreshing to see a quality one like Book of Eli. 

    The movie takes place in the year 2042, and something unmentioned has managed to completely decimate the world.  Eli is crossing the wasteland on a religious journey to deliver one of the last remaining bibles to someone way over on the west coast.  Along the way he runs into gangs, madmen, starvation, and all sorts of other nastyness. A man named Carnegie, the leader of a small settlement of brigands and thieves, discovers what Eli is carrying, and lets lose the hounds.  This leads to some awesome action sequences.  Eli must have been trained by Les Stroud himself, because even after being shot, he still manages to find a way to continue.

    Fans of the Fallout series will feel at home here.  The director really did an awesome job of portraying the wasteland as a horrifically dangrous place where only the most powerful or silver-tonged survive.  Merchants hold each other at gunpoint, and seemingly innocent captives are almost always a trap in disguise.  The action sequences are very well done, but a bit sparse.  The movie can be slow at times, but for the most part these sections do a great job of further detailing the world.    

    At the end of the day, we receive a solid post-apocalyptic action movie that bleeds production quality and crazy presentation all over the place.

    Book of Eli earns a 4/5 for its awesome world, and making Legion look like it came from Kazakhstan.
  • Untitled

    This is one of those movies where I expected something, and got something totally different.  Watching the previews for Shutter Island makes it look like some sort of freaky psych ward horror story;  and the first 30 or so minutes of the movie do a great job of reaffirming just that.  But Shutter Island is far from a ghost story or horror movie.  It is the literal definition of a psychological thriller.

    It is difficult to summarize the movie without ruining anything, so I will make this brief. A US Marshall who goes by the name of "Teddy" accepts a case to locate a missing inmate on an island out beyond Boston harbor where an old military fort has been retrofitted into a mental institution for the criminally insane.  Upon arrival, he meets the warden of the place who shows him around and explains the situation in more depth.  Going any further would screw the entire movie over for you, so I will stop there.

    Shutter Island pulls off an excellent atmosphere.  The Island and its residence are creepy, to the point where you can tell something is way off right from the get go.  It really does pull the setting off perfectly.  The story is a bit convoluted, plagued with random flash backs that force you to think outside the box in order to follow what is actually going on.  This theme carries right up to the end, and for a lot of people leaves them completely confused.  This might be a movie you have to watch twice to fully grasp. 

    If you are in the mood for a psychological thriller that forces your brain to run laps to the point of mental exhaustion, this is the perfect movie.  For everyone else, it might be worth it to check it out if only for the excellent atmosphere, acting, and characters. 

    Shutter Island's unique but slightly confusing story earn it a 3/5
  • Get Him to the Greek (2010)

    This is another movie I really had no clue about.  I almost didn't bother with it at all, but decided to throw caution to the wind and am really glad I did. This is one of those "Alcohol humor" movies, very similar to The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine.  Once again, everyone's favorite beverage causes all sorts of trouble. 

    Get Him to the Greek is about Aaron Green, a lowly talent scout working for a complete psycho of a boss.  Unhappy with how the current trend of music is playing out, he decides to speak up during a company meeting about his plans on resurrecting a legendary rock star (and his musical idol) Aldous Snow, who tanked his career by releasing the single most racist music video in the history of rock.  After flying out to live out his dream of assisting Aldous with his comeback,  he discovers that his favorite musician has almost no interest in returning to work.

    Overall, you might look at that story and think this is a serious business movie; but throw alcohol and drugs into that summary, and suddenly the movie explodes with humor.  If you saw The Hangover, or Superbad, then you probably already know what to expect here.  Aaron is constantly thrown into horrible situations throughout the whole movie.  Some of the scenes are so ridiculous, even someone trying their hardest not to laugh will likely find themselves cracking up.  Some of the comedy is pretty subtle though, making it difficult to tell if the movie is trying to be funny at some points.

    Get Him to the Greek is an excellent option for anyone who even slightly enjoyed some of the other young-adult comedies released in the last few years.  It even pulls off a pretty compelling storyline, which isn't something these movies usually bring to the table.  You will find a bit less humor than The Hangover, but it's still an awesome choice for a night of good laughs.

    Get Him to the Greek grabs a 4/5 for being a solid comedy with a good story.

    Thanks for all the support guys! This blog is really kicking ass so far!

    I'll be making some changes over the next day or so that should make it easier.

    • Changing the rating scale to 1-5 instead of 1-10.  There is no difference between a 3 and a 5 on the 10 scale.  
    • More hyperlinks/color coding everywhere
    • Testing a reply button to the comments section (Why this isn't default with blogger I will never understand...) give it a whirl, the coding is pretty ghetto.
    • Setting up a side page to select movie by picture.  Movie titles are usually pretty vague, so its useless to just list them with text. 
    • Removing some nonsense adspace, and deleting adbrite altogeather.  I don't like ads anyway.  
    • Adding Youtube trailers to each review. (though if this slows the site down at all, it's not happening. I hate all these laggy ass blogger blogs)
    • New banner.  I get to screw around with photoshop for this.  The current one is a placeholder.
    • Same with the background. 
    • Hell yah Breloom
    If anyone has any suggestions, let me know! And thanks again! This blog wouldn't be here without you!
    • Legion (2010)

      How do you make a movie about demons and the end of the world suck?  Legion sets out on a crusade to answer this very question! Very little of this movie has any redeeming qualities.  I really wanted to like it.  The premise is just so awesome... but it's almost like the producers wanted me to hate it.

      Legion is primarily focused on a diner in the middle of the desert.  Here we meet all sorts of terrible characters that want nothing more than to tarnish the movies already awful image.  But why stop there?  Lets throw in a demonic grandmother who spider-crawls up walls and bites people! And lets make the melee combat scenes as obnoxious as possible, with the camera bouncing all over the place. Useless dialogue you say?  Every scene must have at least 10 minutes of this! 

      This movie is just terrible.  I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

      Legion gets a 2/5 for somehow making the apocalypse boring.
    • Frozen (2010)

      Every once in a while, I like to pick up some obscure movie we only recieved a few of.  These movies are always a huge gamble.  Sometimes you hit gold, other times you pick up something so ridiculously stupid, that the disc would have been better off with 10,000 free hours of AoL on it.  Fortunately, Frozen can easily be sorted into former.

      90% of the movie takes place on a chair lift dangling 50 feet off the ground.  Now logic would tell pretty much anyone that a movie like that can't possibly be worth watching; but Frozen finds a way.  The general premise is three cocky young adults who cheat their way into one final ride up the mountain.  Half way up, the chair is shut down due to some confusion at the lift station, and the admiral employees head home.  It also just so happens that the ski resort is open only during the weekend, and it's Sunday night!

      Frozen pulls off some serious thrills, borrowing on such strategies as a wild pack of hungry wolves to a massive frost bite inducing snow storm.  Due to some excellent acting combined with very little CGI and absolutely no Green-screen, the movie really does pull this off without looking corny at all.  There are some parts that will make your stomach do a triple back-flip, as legs are shattered and our brave adventurers are devoured alive.  It is definitely not a movie for the feint of heart.

      If you are into thriller style horror movies that scare via realism as opposed to ghosts and demons, this is one that really can't be ignored.  It's low budget, but manages to pull of some amazing things with such a simple set. I think I have a new fear of chair lifts after viewing it. 

      Frozen gets a 3/5 for making a good amount of high budget thriller/horror movies look awful.
    • City Island (2009)

      Another movie I thought would be lame when I first saw it; but just like with books, you can't judge a movie by it's DVD box.  City Island was one of the few drama movies that really keeps the story flowing.

      The film is all about the convoluted, lie-filled lives of the Rizzos.  Every single family member has a massive secret that no one else knows about.   The daughter is a professional stripper, the dad goes to acting lessons under the guise of playing poker games; and everyone secretly smokes whenever no one else is looking.  When the father discovers that a new in-mate at the jail he works at is his 24 year old son from a wife he ran away from years ago, everything spirals into complete and utter chaos. 

      The movie is primarily drama, but the director did such a good job with pacing it really keeps the ball rolling.  Every 10 minutes another twist or lie is built up or knocked down.  It really is a fascinating look at how quickly lies can overwhelm even a small group of people.  Usually this genre of movie throws a disappointing ending at you, but City Island ends it with a nuclear explosion of theatrics.

      I usually prefer action or sci-fi, but this was definitely worth the watch.  The complex story combined with the really well done characters and crazy web of intrigue should entertain just about anyone.

      City Island earns a 3/5 for an interesting somewhat unique storyline.  
    • The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)

      I usually don't like westerns.  Living in a hot climate where the sun is always out makes me completely uninterested in anything that involves deserts.  I couldn't resist this one though, the cover alone made me want to see it. 

      The movie takes place back in the 1930's, when Asia is in a state of complete and utter chaos.  Don't pick this up expecting a history lesson though!  It pretty much throws all of that out the window.  This movie is a glowing pile of awesome, with amazing characters and some of the best fun fights I have ever seen.  Right from the beginning you meet the klutz of a character Yoon Tae-goo (the Weird) rampaging through a speeding train searching for a treasure map, while Park Chang-yi (the bad) and his band of merry men are riding up to hijack it; and right on his tail is none other than the legendary bounty hunter Park Do-won (the good), who's skill with a rifle would make Clint Eastwood run for the hills.

      Throughout the entire move, these three are constantly at each others throats, and getting into all sorts of awkward situations.  The movie is pretty much a constant bombardment of action with just enough time in between to let your adrenal gland catch up. 

      So if you are looking for a crazy take on the old wild west, and don't mind Korean with English subtitles, this is the perfect movie.  If you are a wild west fan and hate reading, suck it up... you can probably just watch the over the top action and still enjoy it.

      The Good, the Bad, the Weird earns an 4/5 for just being an all around fun movie to watch.
    • Date Night (2010)

      I usually don't like chick flicks.  Sappy romance isn't really my favorite form of entertainment. Every once in a while though, a good one pops up. I saw Steve Carell on the cover of this one and thought I'd give it a shot, and discovered it's not actually a chick flick at all!

      Date Night is about an average couple, living the boring mundane life of marriage.  In an attempt to spice things up a bit, they decide to throw caution to the wind and go out on a date in the big city; and what better way to do that than steal another parties reservation at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the state? From then on the movie is a roller-coaster of wrong-place at the wrong-time situations, turning what would have been another routine date night into complete chaos. 

      I wouldn't call the movie "rolls on the floor laughing" funny, but it has it's own form of comedy that still does a great job of keeping you engaged.  From what people tell me at work, married couples really find something to relate to.

      So if you want a fast paced, near-chick flick style comedy movie, this is great one to check out.

      Date Night earns a 3/5
    • Ip Man (2008)

      I always loved kung fu movies, but when I saw this box and read the caption "Mentor of Iconic Legend, Bruce Lee" I was beyond skeptical.  I threw it in expecting to laugh at horrible dubs and cheesy combat.  I really had no hopes at all!  The title didn't help much either.  Holy crap was I wrong...

      This movie blew me out of the water.  Everything about it is just..epic.  It doesn't pull that ridiculous crouching tiger hidden dragon floaty crap, but at the same time the kung fu is just over the top.  You really feel the power behind every move Grandmaster Ip Man makes.  But on top of amazing fight choreography, the story is actually really well done, which is exceedingly rare in a this style of movie.   The director, Wilson Yip, did a perfect job of balancing action with drama. 

      I am not a professional when it comes to Chinese history, but I'm pretty sure the movie throws all sorts of twists into it.  It does a good job of sticking to the setting regardless though.  You feel sorry for the poor Chinese as Japan ransacks their way of life and throws them into low paying mining jobs.  It gave me a new kind of respect for what these people went through, and even more respect for the grandmaster himself.

      It definitely ranks up there with some of the best movies of the genre.  If you want some awesome action and a twist on the classic Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee formula, this is the perfect movie for you.

      Ip Man deserves its 5/5 for being the best kung fu movie I have seen in years.

      This is growing really quick! Thanks for the support guys!
    • Repo Men (2010)

      I have wanted to rent this one for a few weeks, but we only got 3 Blu-ray versions in and I refuse to watch new sci-fi movies without Blu-ray.  I actually didn't even know it was a sci-fi movie until a few customers started talking about it, and I'm glad they did.  The cover makes it look like your generic action movie...which I'm pretty sick of after seeing so many.

      Repo Men takes place up there in the future where we have unlocked the secrets of manufacturing organs.  Everything from hearts to vocal chords can be rebuilt and inserted as fully functioning copies. However, everything is not so perfect in futureville.  The organs are controlled by a corporation that wants nothing more than to see you fail at your payments so they can send out the hounds.  The organs themselves are worth more than what most people make in their lives.  This is where the Repo Men come in.

      The movie is pretty gory, so those with a weak stomach may want to avoid it.  The Repo Men are far from careful when it comes to removing their merchandise.  Those that aren't put off by people being cut open alive will most likely find something to enjoy here.  The story and plot are both really well done, and the action sequences keep you on your toes.  Medical greed is the real bad guy here, and I think everyone can relate to that.  It's also one of those movies that throws a massive "WTF?" ending at you.

      So if you want a good action/sci-fi movie in an excellent setting, Repo Men is definitely worth the pickup; but if watching the Discovery Health channel gives you nightmares, then avoid it like the plague!

      Repo Men earns a 3/5  for being a good mindless action movie. 
    • Robin Hood (2010)

      I skipped this one in the theater, primarily because people said it was awful. I picked it up hoping it was another Prince of Persia, but sadly ended up disappointed. The critics didn't like it much either, and for once... I finally agree with them. 

      The story is obvious.  If you have ever seen a Robin Hood movie, than you probably already know everything that will happen in this one.  Asshole king goes on a taxes rampage and Ex-royal archer Robin Longstride sets out with his band of vigilantes to help the poor people of England.  There are some variations to the classic tale, but for the most part it sticks to the same formula.

      This movie falls on it's face when it comes to pacing.  There is action, but between each entertaining scene is a Grand Canyon sized crevice of boring.  There are a few parts that pull that whole "feel good" thing, when Robin goes all out with the chivalry and honor, but for the most part they don't make up for the constant and useless blabbering.

      This isn't one I would recommend for anyone looking for action; and it looks like the professional film critics who get a hard-on from The Pianist didn't find anything "deep" and "emotional" in the talking scenes. So if you come from either spectrum, I can't really recommend it.  If you really need your Robin Hood fix, stick with the furry Disney one or any of the good classic ones. 

      For being almost impossible to sit the full 2 hours through, Robin hood gets a whopping 2/5
    • Gattaca (1997)

       I didn't even know this movie existed until a few weeks ago.  It was a dry spell for new releases and I was bored, so I hit that mess of an action section everyone in the store avoids.  I am really glad I did!

      Gattaca takes place in the future, where humans seem to have finally wiped out the army of conservatives crying that genetic engineering is "playing god".  They have done such a good job of it, that pretty much every baby is born engineered to perfection.  Of course there are still those that follow the "old ways", and want a natural birth.  They are also condemning their child to a life of mediocrity and uselessness.  These children become the janitors and sewer cleaners of the future (though they may just have robots do that, I didn't see any robots though).

      However, one natural born decides to fight back against the system.  He dons a fake identity and sneaks into the Gattaca corporation, on a personal mission to head to space to study one of Saturns moons.  As someone who isn't "perfect", he spends every waking moment making sure he isn't leaving any stray DNA around.  The movie is littered with twists and all sorts of good drama (even though we have it in the action section for some reason). 

      So if you are looking for an awesome movie that has tons of neat futuristic crime solving and identity faking, this is the perfect movie.  It isn't often a good science fiction movie is released, but every once in a while you dig up a gem like this.

      Gattaca earns a 4/5 for awesome setting and great story.
    • Kick Ass (2010)

      This one surprised a lot of people, including me.  When I first heard about it, and saw the previews in theaters, I had no interest at all.  It flew under my radar and I forgot about it.  When It arrived in store, I had the same reaction, and it turned into a "maybe after I finish season 5 of lost". But after hearing other employees go on and on about how amazing it is, I decided to give it a shot.

      Kick ass is primarily about a kid who sees all the wrong in the world and decides it's time to take matters into his own hands.  In a vigilante style super hero costume, he heads out to fight crime.  On his very first run, he ends up in the hospital and loses the ability to feel pain. Instead of giving up, he uses his new "gift" to augment his super hero persona and continues his quest to fight the evil plaguing his city.

      When you first pick it up, you probably look at it and see a 12 year old girl in a purple super hero costume, and our main character in his corny looking green suit and think its just going to be another one of those ridiculous teenage movies.  This is just not the case.  Sure it involves teenagers, but the movie is actually...kick ass.  The action is over the top and it has to be the first movie that has ever made a 12 year old karate-kid actually seem authentic.  The story is a bit lacking, but still comes off as original and interesting.

      This is definitely a pickup for just about everyone.  It is the perfect blend of Action, Story, Comedy, and drama and probably one of the best movies of the year.

      Kick ass earns a 4/5 for kicking ass
    • Unthinkable (2010)

      I was bombarded with previews for this movie every single shift, and eventually was able to rent it.  I expected an action movie, but instead got a sort of psychological thriller style movie.  For those who have a weak stomach, this one will probably be something to avoid.

      The plot is pretty simple.  A terrorist has placed bombs in three populated US cities.  Hooray for more movies banking on Islamic terrorists right?  Well as always, a special unpublicized division of the government is called in to "extract" information from the new worst enemy of the United States.  BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY !!!1111!ONE

      Unthinkable delves deep into the subject of torture and what is allowed when millions of lives are at stake.  Suddenly water boarding looks tame, as Samuel L. Jackson employs various methods of data mining on his new favorite subject.

      The movie has some interesting twists and lots of ups and downs, but for the most part takes part in a single room with a few scenes of helicopters rushing around sniffing out bombs.  It's a good movie, but for anyone who has anything against torture, or others looking for action, it probably won't be one to rent.  For those into cheap suspense and thrills, this wasn't a bad movie at all.

      Unthinkable Earns a 3/5 for being slightly ridiculous but still being a good movie.
    • Woot 10 followers!

       Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will this blog! Thanks for checkin it out!
    • Invictus (2009)

       When I first saw this movie come in, I honestly didn't think much of it.  It looked like one of those generic sports movies that are constantly released.  After hearing some customers talk about it though, I started to actually look forward to renting it (I can't rent for 3 weeks after a movie is first released).

      I brought it home thinking it was going to be a soccer movie with political undertones.   I was definitely surprised.  The movie was primarily political, with rugby as the side focus.  The acting was top notch though, with Morgan Freeman playing Malcolm X.  It was a little strange hearing him with an accent, but he did a really good job of it. 

      It's a slower movie.  Don't pick it up expecting a lot of action.  Some of the rugby scenes are pretty amazing, but coming from a stupid American like myself who has never seen a real rugby game, I could just be amazed at nothing special.

      So if you are looking for a good story, this relatively accurate account of the life of Nelson Mandella after his prison time should provide a good hour and a half of entertainment.

      Invictus earns a 3/5 for being an excellent drama movie, but still being a bit slow.
    • Pirate Radio (2009)

      Working at Blockbuster, I get a lot of customer suggestions.  There are movies I never would have bothered with otherwise.  This just happens to be one of those that was way under my radar.  I never really got into the old school rock music scene, so I threw it in the player thinking I'd get bored.  Amazingly that wasn't the case.

      The movie takes place during the 60's in Europe, where the government preferred simple Jazz tunes while a revolution was taking place in the rock music scene.   A group of rebellious music enthusiasts has a ship set up outside of the boarders broadcasting music that wouldn't be allowed normally.  The station is a huge success, and the boat is essentially a 24 hour party for everyone involved.

      I wouldn't call it a "roaring" comedy like the movie poster says, but it still has some good humor.  The characters are probably the best part of the movie.  Each is interesting and stylized in their own way, and they keep the plot flowing.  And for those that are into classic rock, the soundtrack is filled with it.

      Critics  seemed to focus on the fact that it is lacking in historic accuracy, which is true, but If you look past that, Pirate Radio is an excellent movie that will entertain even those not familiar with the history of Rock and Roll.

      Pirate radio and it's quirky humor earn a 4/5
    • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

      I'm sure most of you heard about this recent high budget licensed Disney movie; but if you are like me, you heard the bad feedback and decided to save your nine dollars and wait for a rental.  The critics completely thrashed it, but it still did well in the box office for a video game movie.

      I threw it in my dvd player thinking I would be completely disappointed.  I have been a fan of the Prince of Persia series for years, and seeing one of my favorite video game franchises in movie form always makes me a bit nervous.  I sure was surprised...

      The movie started off with a bang.  The free running of the Dastan (the prince), combined with the huge battle going on in the background was definitely awesome to see.  I thought for sure this kind of pacing would die down as the movie went on, but it stuck with it.   It really did remind me of Pirates of the Caribbean in terms of production quality and character styles.  They even threw in a humorous side character who seems to try his best at emulating Jack Sparrow.

      Overall, the movie doesn't really stay true to the actual games, but on it's own, it did a great job of keeping me entertained. A lot of people didn't like it, but I found a solid action movie deserving of at least a watch.  If you like free running acrobatics and "Epic" feeling movies, Prince of Persia should do something for you.

      Prince of Persia earns a 4/5 for being an excellent action movie but lacking a bit in the story and acting departments