Tuesday, December 27, 2011

J-Man's Top 10 of 2011


My top 10.


OK the rules :


It has to be a 2011 movie that I had seen in the theatre this year. For example True Grit I saw in 2011 BUT it was technically a 2010 movie. Also rentals and bluray purchases don’t count. So Cowboys and Aliens I didn’t see in the theatre, so it’s not counted in this list.


I wont go into each movie on its own as I have reviewed all these on the blog. This is just a list.


1. Sucker Punch
2. Captain America
3. Ra.One
4. Priest
5. Real Steel
6. Immortals
7. In Time
8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
9. Killer Elite
10. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol


Thanks for being with us in 2011 – lots more to come in 2012!

J-Man.

It's impossible to catch ...


Don 2.


If you saw Don part one (which was a remake, but still amazing and 5/5) then you know that Don is on the loose and Interpol is hot on his trail.


The first Don film was an older film where a criminal mastermind named Don was killed and replaced by a look-a-like to impersonate him. Complications arose when the fake Don was getting too deep into the criminal world and Interpol had to get him out before everyone found out he was fake. Now I never saw that movie, but I heard it was great! The remake of Don, starring Shahrukh Khan (SRK) was the same story, only there was a big twist at the end – stop reading if you don’t know it – the ending of the remake showed that the evil Don had killed the fake Don before the authorities could implement the switch. Thus, the real or evil Don was really pretending to be the good one, who was pretending to be the bad one! That was brilliant and I was totally stunned when they revealed that in the end.


This second film has some twists, but I could see them coming, but that doesn’t make it bad. You see if you truly understand the character of Don, then part 2’s twists MUST happen in order for the character to be true. It’s hard to explain unless you see the movie, but in any case, this film has tons of action and its one hell of a fun ride regardless of the twists, or even if you see them coming. Example, I knew Tom Cruise wouldn’t die in MI4 etc.


Continuing 5 years after the first Don, Don is now being hunted by everyone. See you don’t get to the top of the criminal ladder without making enemies. And Don has pissed off every drug lord in the world so he decides to turn himself in before one of his enemies gets to him first. In exchange for immunity, he is willing to rat out every drug lord there is! Interpol turns him down and Priyanka Chopra (from part one) isn’t buying it.


Don is taken in and quickly plans an escape with his former enemy from part one, who was locked up after the first film.


Don’s new plan is highly complex and so intricate you’d think that Professor Moriarty was behind it! I wont get into the details of the plot for fear of ruining something for you, but it’s pretty darn cool. Actually, this whole movie is pretty darn cool.


It’s not as good as the first one, in terms of the twists, but this movie is just kick ass in every other way! It stands up to Hollywood films in terms of production value and action. And for those of you in fear of Bollywood films because of their dance numbers, you’ll be happy to note that this only contains one, and it’s in a nightclub, so it’s not out of place. The running time has also been chopped down for you to just over 2 hours.


So there you have it, SRK strikes again and strikes hard. I cant wait for Don 3.


4/5


J-Man.

Ease on down the road.


Cars 2.


So all Pixar movies are great, that is a standard it seems, and this one is great too! I have to say that I know some people didn’t much like the first Cars movie, not sure why, I thought it was amazing! This second one isn’t as good, but only because it lacks a strong message. Not that it really needs one to be entertaining, but most Pixar films have some kind of lesson, or morale at the end and this one didn’t really have one, or it was very similar to the first one.


But having said that it’s a wicked movie with a lot of details and some really cool ideas. I love the way the story took place in different parts of the world. Japan was really awesome! I also liked how the story was more about Mater now, rather than Mcqueen. I like Mater and think he is a good character. It’s funnier when a “redneck” goes around the world seeing different things and giving his own perspective! See Mcqueen is already used to technology and the way of the world, Mater isn’t. So it’s more interesting to discover stuff through his eyes!


All in all this was an enjoyable movie and even though there wasn’t a message, it was still really cool and fun to watch.


4/5


J-Man.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Game of Nonsense


So, the first Sherlock Holmes movie was alright.  Not great, not anything that will resonate throughout history, not even what you would call a good Sherlock Holmes movie, at least based on the literary character, but next to this assmeat of a movie, the original Sherlock Holmes is an endearing classic that will be handed down from generation to generation.  This movie is frigging terrible.


Where to begin?  The plot.  Good lord, the plot.  It drags like nobody's business.  This movie is over 2 hours long.  Let me repeat, 2 HOURS LONG.  What happens in those 2 hours?  Not 2 hours worth of movie.  In fact, I don't really know what the movie is about.  I can tell you what happens in it and Moriarty's part is simple to the point of ludicrous (more on that later), but this movie is so damned convoluted, I cannot tell you what is going on in this movie.  Basically, you're just following Robert Downey Jr. around.  That's it.  This movie should have been called 'Robert Downey Jr.: A Game of Shadows", because it is not Sherlock Holmes.  It isn't anything!  I don't know what this is!  It's just a mess.  You're just following Downey Jr. as he goes from location to location, with no rhyme or reason, just whatever.  "I'm going here now!"  Oh, okay.  It's all explained, but it's such a confusing mess, that it really doesn't even matter what the explanation is.  It's still crap.


Now, let's go on to Moriarty.  He's supposed to be on par with Sherlock as far as smarts goes (at least, that's what the movie would have you believe).  Yet, his plan is so ridiculously simplistic, so beneath what the character should do, I can't believe they actually filmed this.  It would be the same as not knowing what Darth Vader's plot was in Star Wars.  Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but it's bad.  Like, it's like going through seven locked rooms full of traps to get a cup of tea.  All the supposed machinations and complications of Moriarty, the end result is just insanely not worth the journey.  Not to mention that Moriarty himself shows up only occasionally in the film and made no impression on me as a character whatsoever.  At times I forgot Moriarty was in the movie.  AT TIMES, I FORGOT THAT MORIARTY WAS IN THE MOVIE AND WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE VILLAIN!  I wasn't high or drunk or anything either, but obviously whoever made this film was!


Let's move on to the other characters.  Downey Jr. was alright, but he's charismatic anyway.  Jude Law as Watson...what's the deal with that guy, anyway?  It seems at times he can't stand Holmes and it really seems he doesn't respect Holmes at all.  I don't think that's accurate to the character in a literary sense, I thought Watson was supposed to have deep respect for Holmes' deductive abilities.  That's why he writes about him, for crying out loud!  Watson here, he doesn't seem to even like Holmes?  Why would he waste life and limb for him!  Rachel McAdams shows up briefly in the film (and I'm glad only briefly, I didn't really like her character, either).  Noomi Rapace (the Swedish Girl in the Dragon Tattoo star) is a gypsy and she has something to do with something with the plot, but who knows what the hell's going on anyway, so she's wasted.  The guy who played Moriarty, what an ineffective presence, the times he shows up, he's not impressive in any way, shape or form, your Aunt Sally would have been a better Moriarty.


I am not wasting one more second writing about this piece of garbage.  You can see it if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.


- Stephenstein

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Impossibly Good.


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.


The first film of this series I liked. Only problem for me was that it was a Tom Cruise movie and not a TEAM movie. The team was useless; it was all about Ethan Hunt. But the movie was still well done! The second one was John Woo, and I expected more. The lifelike face masks were overused and the motorcycle part was just a rehash of his earlier HK flicks, so I wasn’t impressed. The third one was terrible, nothing made sense and they didn’t even show the major part of the mission – I came to find out that JJ Abrams made that movie! Of course it sucks!


So I didn’t hold out much hope for this one, but it was bloody amazing! The director of this film is the guy who made Incredibles and Iron Giant – both great movies! This is the best Mission Impossible movie easy.


The plot was good, and complex, without being confusing. The action was epic and all the action scenes were memorable. The suspense was good too; the part on the poster where Cruise is on the glass – I was super nervous! I know Cruise wont die, but still, I would never go out there it was like 100 stories high!


Plus the team in this movie was really useful. They actually did something, and it wasn’t all just about Tom Cruise. There are even parts where he is doing the observing while the someone else is doing the important part of the mission. Well written and well executed!


Good job to all involved!


PS – if you are seeing this, see it in IMAX. There is 30 mins of actual imax footage and it’s amazing! I was on the edge of my seat for some of those sequences and they may not have the same impact in a normal theatre!


4.5/5


J-Man.

The War is On!


War of the Gargantuas.


This is a sequel to Frankenstein Conquers the World (aka Frankenstein vs Baragon). You don’t need to see the other movie to enjoy this one, in fact, if you watch the English dub, there is no mention of the other film anyway.


This movie stands on its own and it’s one of the best Kaiju movies I have ever seen. I absolutely loved it! Right after watching I made a cubee for both Gargantuas and I plan on showing this movie as part of my Kaiju Day this year.


The story is that 2 gargantuas are running around, one good, one bad and they fight each other. That’s it – ok so the story isn’t something new, but the fights in this movie are epic!


I would go so far as to say the fights here are among the best that Toho has to offer period. That’s including all the Godzilla flicks and even the Gamera ones!


This is a must own for all fans of the genre!


5/5


J-Man (and no, this isn’t under the Godzilla rule of being 5 stars, this is 5 on its own!)

Robin Hood Begins.


Robin Hood.


Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe team up for this epic retelling of the legend of Robin Hood.


Coming off the amazing BBC series, I wasn’t too pumped to see this when it came out as the BBC’s RH is among the best versions of Robin Hood ever done period. But time has passed and I decided to see this one, and you know what, it’s pretty damn good!


No it’s not better than the BBC, but it has a lot to offer. The action, scenery, story and acting are all great. Scott is a great director and he’s really good with epic tales and this is a really cool epic take on Robin Hood.


This is about Robin Longstride before he became Robin Hood, but it’s not like Batman before he was Batman, that would just be a billionaire doing nothing, Robin Hood was a soldier in the Crusades and then became a hero to England. So there is still lots of action and all the merry men are in the movie and they are true to their character. And the sheriff of Nottingham is there and Prince John too! So it’s basically Robin Hood anyway! The “prequel” part is really to say how he became an outlaw.


This is a really good movie that I think should’ve done better than it did! I highly recommended this one and I’m glad I got it on bluray!


4/5


J-Man.

Smog is Good.

Godzilla vs The Smog Monster.


This is the weirdest G movie ever! Psychedelic imagery, black and white footage, musical numbers and cartoons are all part of this epic masterpiece/failure. Some love this movie, some hate it. I love it!


Ok it’s very odd and the fight at the end between G and Hedorah (the smog monster) is lame. They don’t even fight, they just kind of walk around. There is of course a message – don’t pollute – this message is hammered into you for 90 mins, but heck, I guess it’s a good enough message.


This was the only other movie besides Gojira (the Japanese version of Godzilla King of the Monsters) that has a message.


All in all this is a fun time if you know what you are getting into. Watching this after Terror of MG is disappointing, but if you take it on its own, then you are gonna have a fun time!


5/5


J-Man (all Godzilla movies get 5/5 except the American one)

Great Terror!


Terror of Mechagodzilla.


This is a direct sequel to Godzilla vs The Cosmic Monster (aka Mechagodzilla). And it’s one hell of a good ride.


Mind you it does start off slow, but the last 45 mins is amazing and it has one of the best G battles ever! Titanosaurus and MG team up to fight G – the usual alien invasion plot, whatever, the story isn’t as good as Astro Monster, or Cosmic Monster, but the action speaks for itself.


Love it!


5/5


J-Man.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A G-Man, A G-Movie.


J. Edgar.


J Edgar Hoover was the man who put the “Federal” in FBI. He was with the FBI for 48 years and he basically made it what it is today. Back in the day when America feared the Communists, J was the man. He busted those guys good. The problem is that he violated a lot of their American rights, but heck, he was right! He caught the bad guys.


After all that died down, people were now safe, and started to think he had no more use, but then the gangsters started up and J was back on track; busting bad guys again with his G-Men, who became famous in Pulps and old movies.


This movie is about everything he did, and also about the man. He was pretty much adhering to strict standards (always in suits, clean-cut, manners) he had high standards for himself and all in his organization (he fires a guy because he has a moustache!). That being said, they say he was a closet gay, we know his best friend Clyde Tolson probably was, and they spent a lot of time together. Also that he would dress in women’s clothing and lived with his mother until she died. All this in the movie, but the movie is never making a judgment call on him, or what he is doing. It’s left up to you to decide what you think of the man, and I really liked that aspect of this film.


Directed by Clint Eastwood (so you know it’s going to be long and slow moving) I believe that J started out as a good guy with good intentions and I agreed with almost everything he did, at least when he was starting out. But later, just like all great men (the road to hell is paved with good intentions) started to lose it a bit. He became a bit paranoid and was so scared of losing what he created that he was forced to blackmail people to keep his power. He kept files on all the presents and their families and he was willing to do anything to make sure the bureau survived.


As for Leo, I thought his performance was amazing. I like Leo and think he is a good actor and he really sold it in this one. At times I forgot it was him, which is a good thing!


This is a really good movie and one I will be buying for sure. I will say that it helps if you know something about J Edgar, BEFORE seeing this film, as a few people ended up walking out of the picture due to sheer stupidity on their part. They were confused as to what was going on, and probably didn’t know any of the people mentioned in the film, so they had no frame of reference and couldn’t take it. This is a heavy drama on a complicated man that is no saint. But I think in the end he did do a lot of great things, so judge him as you like.


And whether you like him or hate him, or just aren’t sure, I think you will agree that the movie is really good!


4/5


J-Man.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Worth your time.



Minutemen.

Disney Family Channel movie – so don’t get all excited or anything! But you know what, this was a fun little movie that your kids may really enjoy.

2 geeks and loner make a time machine that can travel back 48 hours. They decide to use their powers to help nerds who are picked on (are there any other kind?). This one kid who is always teased gets his clothes stolen from gym class and is forced to leave the school naked – although why he wouldn’t just wait until the end of the school day is beyond me, but he is laughed at of course. So the next day the minutemen go back in time and give him new clothes. They just appear out of nowhere wearing skisuits and earn the nickname of “snow guys”. They become known for saving people out of nowhere and then let the montage begin!

The problem is that their jumps in time start to cause a ripple effect and too many ripples in time causes a black hole. Ok so the science in this movie is a bit loose, and the kids are way to smart for their age, but what can you do.

You can predict where the story goes from there, the minutemen having prevented the naked nerd incident end up giving the nerd a lot of confidence and he eventually starts to tease other nerds, so everything they do ends up causing more harm. Of course there is a girl and boy who like each other but don’t say it, there is also the speech about friendship and all the other cheesy stuff that maybe isn’t so cheesy.

The lesson here, maybe you shouldn’t go back to change things in the past and concentrate on being a good person now and making the right choices so you don’t have to go back.

Obvious? Well what do you want for a 75 min Family Channel movie?

3/5

J-Man.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Three’s Company, Deliverance Style.


Tucker & Dale Vs Evil.

So a bunch of dumb-ass college kids decide to camp out in the same woods where 20 years ago there was a massacre. Of course these woods are in hick town USA and all the hillbillies stare at the kids and creep them out.

Sure enough the killing starts, but the killings are not done by Tucker and Dale, the 2 local hillbillies that bought a cabin in the woods for their vacation house, no they are done by the college kids to themselves!

If you don’t know about this movie, then I’ll quickly tell you because it is the most brilliant idea ever! Basically it takes all the horror clich├ęs and spins them. So the hillbillies are actually really nice everyday fellows who just want to fix up their new cabin they just bought. They are not the killers in this film and in fact, they become the victims!

Most would think the cabin is creepy, but Tucker and Dale think its just fine. They start to clean it up, and decide after a long day of work to go fishing at night. The college kids decide to go swimming and one of the hot blonds sees T&D staring at her, and she slips off a rock and bangs her head. Dale saves her from drowning and when her friends see Dale taking her back to his cabin, they assume he is going to kill her.

She wakes up and finds that T&D are nice guys who just want to help. In the meantime the college kids declare war on the hillbillies and try to attack them, and in the process end up killing themselves. For example, Tucker is working the wood chipper and one of the college kids runs towards him, but trips and falls into the wood chipper. Tucker is screaming in horror and tries to pull the kid out, but when the others see this, it appears as though Tucker was shoving him in, instead of trying to pull him out!

This is all pretty funny actually and the movie is a dark comedy but I believe it is more than that. Sure it’s enjoyable on it’s own, it’s gory, and just crazy, and hilarious too, but it has a good message.

See at one point Dale (the guy with the overalls on the poster who is the hero of the movie) falls for the blond they rescue, and we don’t know if she will like him back, and you think to yourself, I bet if this guy cleaned himself up, and shaved, he wouldn’t be so bad. But then he would be Dale would he.

The message in this movie is that you don’t have to change who you are and I thought for sure at the end we would see a made-over Dale, but nope. We don’t. She will either accept him for who he is, or not. And if not, it doesn’t mean he is a bad person, or doesn’t deserve her.

Tucker tells Dale that he is better then he thinks he is, and right before the final action sequence Tucker convinces Dale that he can be a hero if he wants to be, he is just as good as any other pretty boy heroes in movies that usually gets the girl.

Great film, and good job to all involved – I am actually jealous I didn’t come up with this idea and I think the film should’ve been pushed more than it was. Ebert gave it 3 out of 4!

This is a must see for anyone who carries the prejudice that hillbillies are evil and out to get you. And for anyone who wants to see a scruffy guy be a hero! I think this is one of the best and more original horror films to come out in a long time!

5/5

J-Man.

Take that!



Takers.

Great suspenseful action packed crime thriller. It’s basically a heist movie, and with that comes twists and turns and lots of action.
The characters were great, and the there is a parkour action sequence that holds up to the standards (very high standards) of District B13.

Ghost – a former team member of a bank robbing squad is released from prison and he wants his cut from their big heist. They have saved it for him, and are willing to give it too him, but he doesn’t want to wait. He wants his cut and has already planned his next job in 5 days. He wants to rob an armoured truck carrying tons of cash.

Even though it’s short notice he manages to convince his former team to do the job. All this while two hotshot cops are on their trail.

The movie is more than the heist, you actually get into the characters personal lives, which I wasn’t expecting and it was a pleasant surprise. Actually, this entire movie was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much since it didn’t perform well in the theatre, but that should’ve been my first clue.

I say check this movie out – you may find you really enjoy it!

4/5

J-Man.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Striping Evil - Again!


Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City.


Ok, so Zebraman one was a great movie, it was definitely weird, but good. This sequel is twice as weird and twice as - weird. You thought I was gonna say twice as good, didn’t you. Well it’s just as good, maybe better – maybe?


Ok so to recap Zebraman one ended with ZM defeating the aliens – so this continues from that moment where he does his “striping evil” zebra pose. Now he is a celebrity who is constantly followed around by the public and paparazzi.


Then he is captured by this mad scientist who splits him into two beings, one black, one white, white being the good in Zebraman, and black being the bad in Zebraman. The black side ends up becoming the Zebra Queen (the coolest bad chick of all time) and Zebraman is stripped of his memories.


During Zebraman’s missing 15 years (the time he was with the scientist) the city adopts the name of Zebra City (bye bye Tokyo), and a new governor rules the city, and he introduces Zebra Time – which is 5 mins at 5 am and 5 mins at 5 pm where all crimes are legal. This sounds ridiculous but in fact Zebra City is the safest city on Earth since all evil acts only occur during those set times.


See you know that at 5 pm you have to hide and keep yourself safe; where as in other cities crimes happen at any time. The governor, who is also the “father” of the Zebra Queen introduces the Zebra Police and the Zebra Mini-Skirt Police – the latter being a bunch of hot Japanese girls in miniskirts, while the regular police are just wearing Zebra masks.


Are you confused? Well if you aren’t you will be soon. So, Zebraman has no memories and is found almost dead in the streets after a Zebra Time attack perpetrated by the Zebra Police. He is found by his former student (from part one – now grown up) and is nursed back to health.


During his healing process he is befriended by the man who played Zebraman in a live action show based on the real Zebraman – even though the real Zebraman is based on an old TV shows from his era (not the same show, and no, there is no actual Zebraman show in our reality – this is just the movies continuity).


So anyway, the TV ZM shows the real ZM some of the episodes and he starts to get his memory back. Then we find out that not all the aliens were defeated and the Zebra Queen wants to release the alien (there is only one left) so that she can defeat it again in the eyes of the public so she will be worshiped.


Whew – there is more, but I cannot type anymore.


Basically if you liked part one, get part 2. It has lots of fan service and some great music videos too. Oh and how Zebraman defeats the main villain at the end is the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen.


5/5


J-Man.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Super Not Great.


Super 8.

So everyone loves this movie. I didn’t see it in theatres cause JJ Abrams sucks ass. I hate Cloverfield – giant monster movie with no monster, I hate Star Trek (the new one) – Spock has emotions and the story doesn’t make any sense, I hate Lost – long drawn out show that doesn’t conclude or make any sense. So basically I didn’t want to see this.

Everyone is loving it though saying it reminds them of E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, well it doesn’t remind me of those movies.

First off, this movie is 1 hour and 45 mins and there is no alien. You see it for like maybe 2-3 shots, and then only its face. There is no connection made with the characters or the alien – say like in ET, where you really got emotionally involved with the kid and ET and felt bad that the kid was losing a friend when ET went home. The story here doesn’t even involve the alien until the last 15 mins, and then I am supposed to care about what happens?

There is this big music at the end with the alien and I don’t know what I am supposed to feel. In Close Encounters you knew something great was happening and mankind would benefit. In ET, ET goes home, which was the entire goal of the movie. Music cues enhance this feeling in us that something magnificent has happened, but here it’s just in place cause JJ knows it should be, but doesn’t understand WHY it should be there.
Also, you know the movie rule where people in movies have never seen any movies. Like when those idiots in horror flicks always act stupid and search the woods on their own, and you scream at the TV saying “don’t go out alone, you’ll die” see those characters never saw any horror movies so they don’t know not to go out alone, but in this film, the kids are film makers and monster and horror movie lovers, yet they don’t get what is going on – hmmm – if a train derailed due to some nut-job ramming his truck into it, then suddenly 100 million government agents show up, I would suspect some kind of foul play, or something fishy, but no, these kids just want to make their zombie movie.
The kids – well they are not memorable at all, and are just whatever. Their lives don’t fascinate me in any way and I don’t much care about the movie they are making. I care about the ALIEN – but nope, we get nothing about it at all.

BTW – you don’t see it at all. I like suspense and not knowing what will happen next, and when sometimes they don’t show the monster cause its more suspenseful. Take the first Alien movie, I LOVE that movie. It has great suspense and the alien creature keeps changing form. Sure now a days we know what it looks like, but in that original movie we didn’t. It was an egg, then a spider, then a small squirmy slug, then it was a big black monster with two mouths. That is cool! The alien changed forms, so it was always exciting.

This movie gives no such excitement. I am in utter disbelief over people’s love of this movie. I don’t get it.

It’s basically a poorly executed B picture – and it fails at that!

I took a hit for the team and downloaded this, and I am sure as hell glad I didn’t spend money on it.

In closing I’d like to say that this movie isn’t garbage. I came down hard because EVERYONE IS DYING OVER IT FOR NO REASON. If it came and went, I would be ok with it. Just another crappy monster flick, but because people are loving it, I have to expect more, and with JJ’s budget and contacts, this should’ve been much better.

You want a more down to Earth monster/alien flick, then go watch THE HOST – that was done right.

Oh and the only good thing in this movie was the first 15 mins and the end credits where they should the kids super 8 zombie flick – hell the whole movie should’ve been that then.

2/5

J-Man.

Gold is the magic word.


The Man With the Golden Gun.


So basically if a Bond film has “gold” in the title, it will be great. Goldfinger and Goldeneye were both great, with Goldfinger being the best Bond so far, and this one just falls in line with those others.


This movie rocked the house! Christopher Lee as the villain is sick! He is an assassin, and you know he will eventually meet Bond in a duel to the death! Plus his gun is cool, it’s made up of a pen, lighter and cigarette holder, so he can assemble it quickly!


I also have to say that the story here was great too! It was the easiest Bond film to follow. There was lots of cool no reason stuff too, like the secret base located on a half turned over ship! That had to be the coolest base of operations ever! All the rooms are tilted!


Plus the scenery was just amazing! Bangkok was awesome and the islands were great too! The Bond girls here were good looking, best since Thunderball, and they actually had something to do in the plot besides look good.


The only real negative is that stupid sheriff, but he is a very small role, and the fact that I wanted the Scaramanga (Chris Lee) vs Bond fight to be a bit longer, but it was still wicked!


So basically this is a must own Bond flick, one of the best!


5/5


J-Man.

Bond lives and lets die.


Live and Let Die.


Ok so I own every Bond film on bluray – scratch that, I mean I own every Bond film AVAILABLE on bluray.


For some stupid reason they decided to release the Bonds in no order, so I am missing 2 Sean Connery Bonds, and the next one in line to be watched is Live and Let Die – which is the first Roger Moore Bond. So instead of tracking down the last 2 Connery’s I decided to hit the Roger Moore series.


Roger Moore – LOVE HIM! He is a worthy successor to Connery. He is just great in this role, and fits perfectly with the film they were trying to make here. That being said I feel that Connery is better – Moore is suave for sure, maybe even more so than Connery, However, he isn’t as believable when he is pissed off.


See Connery played Bond the best in all forms. He was believable when he was pissed off, when he was suave, when he was sinister, or even sometimes cruel. Moore doesn’t have that, which is why people love Connery the best. But Moore certain delivers in the coolness department, and it works for this movie.


What doesn’t work is the overuse of this Sheriff character who appears in the last act and is supposed to be comic relief – well he is not, and in fact ruins the last part of the film. To my shock and horror the same character re-appears in The Man With The Golden Gun, but thankfully, only in a very minor capacity.


But the movie isn’t all bad, some really good bits near the beginning of the film, and I liked the villains, and their scheme was interesting. For those who don’t know, this is the Bond film that has Voodoo in it. Although voodoo isn’t used at all, and that’s kind of disappointing.


Jane Seymour is a looker for sure, but she doesn’t do much either, so it’s really up to Moore to carry it and he does.


One big plus is that the villain gets a super brutal death – best death of a Bond villain yet! But the movie could due to loose about 30 mins of slow-moving plot.


All in all, it’s not really one of the better Bonds, but Moore makes it pass.


3/5


J-Man.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

You live once, you die once, you love once, but…



Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

I am now convinced that the only love stories I like are made by Bollywood. The last 5 or 6 that I have seen have been amazing.

I have been moved to tears by most of them and this one is no exception. Let it not be said that I don’t admire a romance film. Often people say to me how I am “a guy” and don’t get these stupid love stories like Twilight, or some other lame film.

Bollywood doesn’t just push buttons, they tell stories; stories from the heart, stories that matter. Most Hollywood stuff just exists to make you feel as though love doesn’t need to be worked on. You just see someone and love them. Or they use bottom of the barrel scenarios to FORCE a reaction out of you, instead of letting the characters grow on you like people that you will come to love.

The film here is simple, or so it would seem. Anjali and Rahul are best friends. Anjali is a tomboy though, she is pretty enough, but doesn’t care about dating or trying to look pretty. Rahul (played by Shahrukh Khan – SRK for short) doesn’t see she loves him, but he falls for Tina – the hot new girl in school - and instead of Tina and Anjali fighting for him, Anjali sees that SRK loves Tina so she backs down and leaves.

Tina and SRK get married and have a kid. Tina, knowing how much SRK and Anjali meant to each other (as friends) decides to name her child Anjali as a sign of respect. Tina knew that Anjali loved SRK and her sacrifice would live on in the form of their daughter.

The problem is that Tina had complications at birth and ends up dying shortly after the baby is born. Tina had actually known in advance that her birth would be a tough one and she had wanted the baby to live so she sacrificed herself for the child.

The one thing Tina leaves behind is a series of 8 letters addressed to her daughter to be given to her on each birthday. On Anjali’s 8th birthday she gets a long letter than explains where her name comes from and how the original Anjali gave up her love for SRK so that Tina could have him. But now that Tina is gone she knows that SRK will never be happy and he deserves to be. Her final letter states that her daughter must reunite SRK and Anjali so that SRK and Anjali will be happy. But …

I will leave the “But” for you to find out if you ever decide to see the movie.

I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. And maybe you will even be moved to tears.

5/5

J-Man.

To write or not to write.


Anonymous.

Did Shakespeare write his plays? I thought he did, but some don’t. This movie was made by the people who say he didn’t (or it was made by people who are using that angle to tell a story).

Whether or not you believe he wrote them or didn’t, or whether you even like Shakespeare or not, doesn’t matter, cause this movie was amazing!

The importance is writing. Telling stories, moving people. Getting a reaction. Most of you who read this blog know that I am a writer – having purchased issues of my magazine and all that. And you know that I believe stories and art help shape our world.

Science fact usually starts as science fiction and without these writers, we wouldn’t be where we are today as the human race (granted, we should be further, but alas money, war and racism are the killers of advancement), so I think writing is important. And this movie really shows you the power of the written word.

I wont get into the plot because its pretty complex. Don’t go see this if you think its gonna be all fun and games. You have to pay SUPER attention or you will be lost. 3 people left during the film – they were young people, little less than my age and they couldn’t follow it so they bailed.

Well it’s easy to follow if you pay attention – something today’s audiences don’t think they need to do; they’d rather have 2 hours of exposition.

Well if you want to see a serious and powerful film that deals with not only Shakespeare, but Queen Elizabeth (who is always a fascinating character) then go see this.

Interesting to note that this was made by Roland Emmerich – who made Stargate (love it), Universal Solider (love it), Godzilla (hate it), Day after Tomorrow (meh), 2012 (didn’t see it, don’t care) – so basically this guy is a hit or miss director.

Well this is a hit!

5/5

J-Man.

Always say Never.


Never Say Never Again.

The film is not part of the Bond series. It is a remake of Thunderball. I got to see those two movies back to back, so I can really see the similarities.

This film wasn’t a MGM release. It was made after some time had passed and Sean Connery plays a slightly older Bond here.
One of the problems with this movie is the fact that the music is missing. The theme of Bond was owned by MGM and so his iconic theme music is missing – that’s a big hit for the film. Bond’s music is great and it’s a pity it’s missing here.

Also, it suffers the same negative point of Thunderball – which is that Spectre is the villain again it’s the same plot structure.

Also missing is the elaborate opening credits that made the Bond films different than most action films of that time, or since.

Overall, it’s a cool movie. There are some really great action pieces and Bond isn’t bullshitting around in this movie, he is brutal at times!

I have nothing against this film, and I thought it was pretty good, but for some reason I just cant behind it too much. Thunderball was really good and this is too, but Thunderball came first, had the hotter girls, and had the music and credits I like. It’s like no one is ever going to watch this, if they own Thunderball.

But it’s still a good movie if you just watch it on it’s own terms.

3.5/5

J-Man.

Thunderstruck.


Thunderball.

The fourth Bond was considered to be not as good as the others, where that’s about half true. It’s not better than Goldfinger or Dr. No, but it’s better, or at least equal to Russia, so I don’t know what people were talking about. This movie is pretty fun.

I can see the trend here to the more “fantastical” gadgets – like Bond’s jetpack for example. But this is a solid adventure and the only real problem is that Spectre is the villain again and we don’t get a good villain for Bond to fight. There are some great action pieces though, like the underwater battle at the end, and I have to say that this Bond film has to two best looking women of the series so far.

So what more do people want? This film is wicked and fun, and I also have to say that the marketing for this one was great.

All the posters are amazing and I can see the trend towards making Bond a bit more tough and heightening the level of action.

This was also the first 2.35 widescreen Bond and that really helped the scenery pop out at you.

This is a great film.

4.5/5

J-Man.

Gold is right.


Goldfinger.

The best of the Connery Bonds that I have seen. This is one wicked movie. The villain, Goldfinger, is great, his henchman, Oddjob is fantastic and his goal is BRILLIANT! Of course Connery plays it well, he is totally secure in the role now, and is just playing it perfectly.

This movie just kicks ass in all sorts of ways. I think it was the first Bond to introduce the concept of a good girl and a bad girl. Everyone knows the famous Bond Girls, but this movie had 2 (after this one, they all had 2 – at least from what I saw) and it also features the concept of his Car having tons of gadgets. There were gadgets in the other films, but this one had the best! And the car is so sick too! Ill be getting a model of it for sure!

Also I think this is the first time that Bond says “Shaken not Stirred”. It wasn’t said in Russia, and it wasn’t in Thunderball (the next film in the series). So it’s cool to see where that came from!

Overall the story and characters and situations were just wicked in this. Even the slow scenes, like the golfing one, have a lot of cool stuff going on.

Goldfinger is one of the best of the series and ranks in the top best spy movies ever!

5/5

J-Man.

Love Russia.


From Russia with Love.

The second Connery Bond. A lot to like on this one, but coming after No, it’s a bit slower in pace – that doesn’t mean it’s bad, actually it’s quite good, but I felt that it was slightly less so than No.

The main issue is that villain isn’t as cool as Dr. No. This time around the evil organization known as Spectre are the ones doing the bad stuff and they send out their agents, who really aren’t as cool and No, and don’t seem as threatening.

That being said I did like the main villain that Bond fights in the train at the end, and that whole third act is really enjoyable.

This is a must for all Bond fans, and even though No is slightly better, this is still a great movie.

4/5

J-Man.

Yes to No: Part 2


Dr. No.

If you remember, I was never a Bond fan. Before a year ago, I had only seen the two Timothy Dalton films, and a couple of the Pierce Brosnan ones. But I liked the ones I saw.

I thought Dalton was just great – very serious and kick ass. Apparently those were not qualities that made him the best, in fact, people didn’t like him that much when compared to Roger Moore and Sean Connery. Funny thing is that now those same qualities are what people LIKE about Daniel Craig. Funny how things change – I now want all those guys to send me apology letters for saying I suck for liking the serious Dalton, when now everyone likes the Serious Craig (even though I don’t – but for different reasons).

Anyway, I am getting off topic, after seeing Dr No, I realized that Connery was amazing and could very well be the best of the Bonds, and Dr No was just amazing. At the time of the review I gave it a 4/5, but since that time, I have been really thinking back on it and I have to say that it’s a 5/5 for sure. It’s a great film and Connery was just great as Bond.

So basically I ended up getting all the Bonds on blu-ray (at least the 14 that are on blu-ray) and have been watching them in order, starting with the Connery ones. Now I don’t have all the Connery’s on blu-ray but I have the first 4 and the last one. So I will get to them once I officially say that Dr. No. is a:

5/5

J-Man.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

By the Gods!


Immortals.


So when you go to see this, which you should, you will be reminded of 300 – that is one of my favorite films of all time, and this is just as exciting.


It’s not as good, but it doesn’t have to be. This is a visual masterpiece and it’s just amazing. The story is cool too and it’s nice to see other Greek heroes besides Hercules (Heracles – the Greek way) take their place in movie history.


So this one is about Theseus who has to find the Epirus Bow – which is a cool weapon, and must defeat the evil King Hyperion. The king is very evil and Mickey Rourke plays him a bit over the top, but hey it’s a villain, what do you expect.


There was also a lot more drama in this than I thought and I liked the story and how it was told. Sure it’s simple, but most Greek stories are – but they are rich in plot and details. I like how Theseus finds the bow, I like the oracle (play by Freida Pinto – her career is doing well, both this and Rise of the Apes were hits) and I liked that Stephen Dorff had a good roll too and I loved the visuals.


Ok, now on to the big stuff. The Gods and the Titans.


Ok, these bloody guys are the BEST F-ING THING EVER! They fight in slow-motion and the Titans are so sick! And the Gods too – all in gold, looked amazing. And the fights they had with each other were the best thing in the movie. The finale was a BLOODY (emphasis on BLOODY) amazing spectacle. Best finale of the year, and I cannot wait to get this on Bluray.


I saw it in 3D – the 3D sucked as usual, but man the battles made up for it large. I have never seen such destruction of people!


That being said, this movie is VIOLENT. Blood, guts and a bit of torture and you have one hell of a violent Greek Myth. There was also brief nudity.


On the nudity issue – is it me or are movies so tame now that a bit of nudity makes people chuckle. Freida Pinto showed her behind – that’s it, and there were giggles. Gawd people, go watch an 80s movie where nudity was standard in these types of exploitation films. And the sword and sandal genre (which is what this is) was full of nudity all the time man! Get over it.


Go see this movie!


5/5


J-Man.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great Hospitality

Our Hospitality


Buster Keaton – genius of film and comedy is one of my inspirations and one of the best film makers of all time. If you research him you would see how his love of film created techniques that are equal to anything Lucas did (given his time period of course). That being said, his movies are also fun!


This one isn’t one of the best, but anything Buster Keaton is light-years better than most. The concept here is that 2 feuding families are killing each other. Keaton’s father sends him away when he is a baby and when his father dies, Keaton has to come back home.


On the train ride home he meets a girl and they like each other – a lot of funning things happen here in this first act, but I wont get into them. Once they reach home Keaton is invited to the girls place for dinner. The problem is that the girl is actually the daughter of his family’s enemy and her father and brothers are trying to kill Keaton.


Keaton doesn’t know this, but when he comes to dinner – he quickly learns the truth and that he has a big target on his back. The brothers think this is a good time to kill Keaton, while he is in their home distracted, but their father wont let them. He explains that while he is a guest in their home, they must show him their hospitality. They cannot kill Keaton until he leaves the home.


The majority of the film is now about Keaton trying not to leave the home! His stalling tactics are hilarious and he ends up spending the night, and he just wont leave. Funny things happen, like when the girl loses her sheet music by a gust of wind, and Keaton has to go outside to get it. Her brothers get their guns ready to shoot Keaton the moment he steps out, so he has to be clever in getting the sheet music and returning back alive.


I wont spoil all the jokes, but there are bunch and this is a must see for sheer entertainment value.


I will say that if you have seen some of Keaton’s masterpieces (the General, Sherlock Jr.) then this isn’t as good, but if you haven’t seen any of his work then this a good place to start.


4/5


J-Man.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Twilight - New Moon / Eclipse

I didn’t mind the first Twilight and I have reviewed it on this site – I gave it a 3.5 – looking back I think I was overly generous, but that’s because I thought the movie would suck ass, and when it didn’t I ended up giving it a higher score because of it.

But since I saw it in 2010 I have had no desire to re-watch it (I just re-watched Tim Burton’s Batman for the 30th time, so you know I love it!). My not re-watching it doesn’t mean its bad though and overall it would still get a 3 – just barely mind you.


New Moon

I would say that New Moon is equal to part one, maybe a bit worse. I say worse because its the same damn movie but with Jacob now. He is a werewolf, but don’t worry there is no graphic transformation scene, they just morph into giant-sized wolves. That explains why they don’t wear shirts, it does not explain how they get their pants back, but maybe it’s like the old Incredible Hulk cartoon, where they just morph back.

In any case Bella is torn between Jacob and Edward – this is the killer of the first two films. Every other scene is her trying to decide between them, or asking Edward to just bite her, and he refuses, then says he will do anything for her. Then he says that she is his reason for living, but wont bite her. She wants to be bitten but he wont, then he agrees to bite her if she marries him, but she wont marry him.

This is what is referred to as bad writing. THIS DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE! Why don’t they just get it over with! All this is inter-cut with pointless scenes of Bella talking to her father, who constantly offers no advice and is always trying to find a mysterious killer – but can never find him. I thought he was a good cop?

That all being said there is some cool stuff in these first two films and I feel that I could take them both and make ONE good film, instead of two so-so ones. Part 2 really drags though as we have seen it all before.


Eclipse

Eclipse on the other hand is a really good movie!

I don’t know what happened and why part 3 all of a sudden got interesting. I guess because the love triangle is now only a subplot as Victoria (villain from previous films) is amassing an army to take down the Cullens and Bella. So they have to team up with the wolves and take care o business (TCB).

I liked the team up and thought that this movie was really exciting. Of course it still has dopey love story elements, which if they weren’t so repetitive as the first 2 films would be ok! I don’t mind a love story if it is told well, and part 3 handled it much better. Bella finally makes the only choice she could and we get on with the story here. I like that there is an actual story to follow – figuring out who the killers are, what they plan on doing, and the final battle is pretty darn cool! I actually liked Bella, Jacob and Edward in this one, and Victoria is a kick ass villain! I also liked how we got more back-story for each of the Cullens – this is what the other films should have been! Sure, keep the love triangle, I mean that is Twilight, but have something more in there! If you want simple but well written love stories I can recommend any number of Bollywood flicks that will make you cry your eyes out. I have even teared up during some.

All in all part 3 really picked up the franchise and lets hope that 4 and 5 will be good.

Twilight – 3/5
New Moon – 3/5
Eclipse – 4/5

J-Man.

Romero High.


Highschool of the Dead.

So we have the Japanese take on zombies. This is what Anime was meant for! Good story, cool characters, tons of gore and violence, swearing and nudity all rolled up into 12 episodes of mayhem!
Now I will say that towards the end of the series (or season if you will) things did get a bit weird, when you have 12 mins devoted to a girls bath scene – you start to kind of wonder what this has to do with zombies and surviving the apocalypse, but in the end this is a great series to add to your growing Anime collection.
I realize that not too many people who read this blog collect Anime, but maybe they should! And if you want to start, this is a good one to start with!
Save Akira for when you get more advanced!

4/5

J-Man.

The freedom to learn.


Freedom Writers.

True story based on a teacher that went in and changed students lives. These students were all into gangs, drugs, drive bys etc, and she helped them achieve.
I know its generic, but it’s based on a true story – which, for me, usually means whatever, but I liked this one.

I am actually a sucker for this genre, I love “teachers who make a difference” movies, To Sir With Love and Lean on Me are probably my two favourites, but this one was just as good and Hilary Swank was great as usual! I am a fan of Hilary Swank even though now-a-days she isn’t around as much.

She was believable as the teacher, and the students weren’t too fake either. And the book the students published (of their journals – hence the “writers” part) is actually available to buy!

Good Movie.

3.5/5

J-Man.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Time well spent.


In Time.


You’ve heard that time is money? Well in this movie it really is. In Time is really about immortality and using time as a means of currency. If you are rich you live forever, if you are poor, you die at 25-26. The way that time is transferred and used is not explained too much, something I think is a negative, but it’s not a deal breaker.


The way it works (in very loose terms) is that when you reach 25 your clock begins. You get 1 year of time and then you have to start paying for stuff with the time you have. A cup of coffee is 2 minutes for example, or a bus ride is 1 hour etc. The rich get more time and live forever (never aging past 25) and the poor die quicker. It’s basically a Logan’s Run situation where they want people to die off as a means of population control. You can gain more time, if you win at gambling for example, or you can fight for time – sort of like arm wrestling, but your time is at stake. There are Timekeepers (police men), there are Minutemen, who steal other peoples time and so on.


The movie isn’t as smart as I thought it would be but it is way more exciting than I thought! This was one fun movie! I really enjoyed it and I think the suspense created with the use of time was amazing.


For example there is one part where Justin Timerlake (amazing in this film btw – good job!) is playing Poker and he has gambled all of his time and the clock is counting down seconds as he waits for his opponent to reveal his hand. Another great part was where his mother is running towards him (played by Olivia Wilde) and she only has 10 seconds left to live, but Justin can give her more time if he can only get to her!


Another cool thing is that people with lots of time (decades or even centuries) never run. They have all the time they need so they never run to get somewhere – this is something that plays a part in the story too.


Going into this I was thinking it would be a fun movie, with a neat idea. It reminded me of Gattaca in a way, a less futuristic future (if that makes sense to you). But I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did! Timerlake was just great and really believable – he’s got the beginnings of a good movie career! Amanda Seyfried was great too – not annoying like most young girls and Cillian Murphy was just fantastic as always. Actually all the actors were great!


This is a total package movie for me. Good action, story, acting, suspense, good job to all involved.


I will buying this on bluray large!


4/5


J-Man.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why?


So, in case you're wondering, this isn't a movie review...it's a rant.  It is a movie related though, because I've noticed a disturbing trend recently.  You might laugh and say "recently" because this has been going on for a while now, but it sometimes takes a while for me to composite my thoughts and get everything down in print.  It has to do with cell phones.


Now wait...I know, I know.  It's not about talking on cell phones during movies.  That's been taken care of, at least there seems to be enough courtesy in the world to ensure that's not rampant.  However, there's been multiple usage of cell phones/iphones/blackberry's/whatever other gizmo is on the market, as far was flipping them open and text messaging.  Now, let me take a step back here.


Growing up in the eighties and early nineties, I didn't own a cell phone. The quality of my life wasn't terrible or anything, at least not because of the absence of a cell phone.  I know that cell phones are very useful, especially in case of emergency.  However, what is becoming more of an emergency is people talking on their cell phones at completely inappropriate times: driving and not paying attention to what they're doing, people walking into walls or in one case in Long Island, an open manhole, etc, etc.  Okay, but then you add text messaging, where you have to look down, so you're entire attention is away from what you're doing and it's worse.  This is just the obvious inherent danger of text messaging at inappropriate times. 


However, flipping open your cell phone to check your Facebook or Twitter during a movie is not just rude, it's dumb and it's actually physically dangerous.  I'll tell you why in a little bit, but the thing that really stands out to me immediately is how much of a step back we've all taken in terms of communication, in general.  Way back in the day, people mailed letters to other people as a way of communicating with far-off, long-lost people.  Then, Mr. Bell gave us the telephone, a more immediate form of communication.  Then we had email as a major form of communication, which to me is just another form of letter writing, only a little quicker.  Then cell phones, so we're back to using some sort of phone...and now text messaging.  So now, we're back to writing letters, except we're not necessarily doing it at desk, anymore.  So, how have we moved forward?  To me, we're going backwards, we're if anything, communicating less effectively with all these gadgets.  Which is better, talking someone physically using a phone or sending someone a damned text?


Anyhow, back to the theatre.  So, it's obviously rude.  I mean, I'm sitting behind some teenager who can't keep their phone closed for more than 5 minutes (in the case of the recent Three Musketeers movie) and it's like...a blinding light in your eyes.  It disrupts your attention to the screen, it blinds you, if the angle is right and it annoys the living piss out of you.  So basically, every time you find out what your friend is making for dinner by checking your Facebook in a movie theatre, you are seriously inconveniencing the people around you.  That's one.


How is it stupid?  Think about it.  You're paying $12 for the experience of sitting in a movie and seeing it.  You're then taking time away from this experience to check your text messages, which you can do for free outside the movie theatre.  So, you're basically wasting $12 (more or less, depending on when you're going and what format you're seeing the movie in), but in any case, you're throwing money away.  Now, let's say you see 10 movies a year at an average of $12 a movie.  That's $120 a year you're wasting, for no reason than you're own inherent stupidity.


Now, the dangerous part.  I spoke to a family friend yesterday and the subject of text messaging during movies came up.  He told me that the last 3 or 4 times he's gone to a movie, he's seen altercations between people during a film, with the entire point being people being bothered by the shining light in their face because someone had to check their text messages and then text back.  See, you don't know the person behind you.  You don't know their mindset, their personality.  You don't know if they've had a bad day or not.  You don't know if they're carrying weapons.  That's a lot you don't know to just whip out the cell and see if you're friend is coming over three Saturdays from now.  I've seen altercations as well and I've also heard how one guy is actually suing another movie patron because she told him to stop texting during a movie as it's disrupting her.  See, if you want to text message, do it in your home, while you're big screen television and blu-ray is showing whatever mindless garbage you just bought from Best Buy.  That's fine, it doesn't disrupt me.  But the bottome line is, there's enough rude behaviour in the world, that people are just getting fed up.  That tolerance level isn't there like it used to be.  Do you seriously want to put any of that at risk because you can't control your urge to check your phone for ninety frigging minutes?


So, there you have it.  My view on this latest, annoying trend in theatres.  I know it's not going to stop, no matter how many times I bleat this on the internet.  Sadly, maybe it will take someone shooting someone else in the theatre for people to get a message.  Maybe not.  Who knows.  All I know is, I paid my money to watch the movie, not be constantly reminded you're checking your messages.  So, maybe you should do us all a favour, you text messagers, maybe you should restrict your trips to the theatre to only once or twice a year and hey, maybe you could even leave your little playthings at home or in the car.  It would probably be the first considerate thing you've done in a long, long time.


- Stephenstein

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Still waiting...


Waiting for Superman.


This film isn’t about Superman, but it starts with Geoffrey Canada (educator) talking about how when he was a child growing up he believed in Superman and when his mom told him that Superman wasn’t real, he was horrified. Horrified because there was no one out there that was going to save him, or anyone else.


This documentary is about the educational system in the United States; well “educational” system is more the appropriate term. Most kids in the US go to public school and most of those schools are known as dropout factories; where kids go on to become criminals or just poor with no chance of finding a job.


If you are rich enough your kid can attend private schools and have a better chance but most of the time kids are being screwed out of an education.


Why?


Well for one thing some teachers are just bad, but they cannot be fired. The union is so powerful that a teacher can never be fired, unless they do something really bad. The film gives this stat – 1 out of 2500 teachers are fired for bad teaching skills, where 1 out of 96 lawyers are fired because they suck.


Another interesting point is that some dropouts often become criminals and spend an average of 4 years in prison which costs the government 132 Grand, well for 100 Grand the government could have paid for them to attend a private school and maybe the person would have become something more by contributing back into society.


I wish the film had more facts like this, but there is a lot to cover in 100 minutes.


I recommend seeing this film like the movie Sicko – it’s just interesting to see how other countries deal with education and how the most powerful country in the world (whose educational system was number one until the 70’s) has gone down so much!


3.5/5


J-Man.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rob Zombie completes his vision.

Halloween 2.


Before I get to H2…


Halloween (John Carpenter) is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is also one of the best movies of all time and is considered to be a classic horror film. It’s up there with Psycho, Exorcist, and the Frankenstein series. So when Rob Zombie remade Halloween I wasn’t too happy.


Problem – After the original Halloween 2 the series was very miss or miss worse. Part 3 was just ok, no Myers, but I was ok with it. Part 4 was sloppy and Myers looked silly in that light brown-haired mask. Part 5 was good, but the ending was a cliffhanger that led to part 6 which is the worst of the series. Then H20 came out with Jaime Lee coming back and continuing from the original part 2 again – they just ignored the whole Druid-Thorn-Symbol angle. H20 was just ok, the last act was really cool, but that should’ve been the end of Myers. But then Resurrection came out and actually I thought that overall it was better than H20, with Myers returning to scary mode – however, Busta Rhymes really destroys this movie. He is so awful and the fact he kills Myers in the end is so horrific that I consider Halloween Resurrection to have the worst ending of any horror movie ever made.


Back to the problem – I love Myers but the last 6 movies were very whatever – what else could you do but remake it. I mean if Spiderman 3 wasn’t up to standards, then I would still do Spiderman 4 and make it better – instead of rebooting. But when you have 5 bad movies in a row, it’s time to start over again.


So the first part of the remake is really a prequel and the last half is a remake – the last half is great! Brutal killings and pretty good atmosphere. The first half is all about kid Myers – which I don’t like. Too much swearing, and a too obvious back-story of how he was raised in a white trash home and everyone treated him like crap. What happened to the mysterious Michael Myers that no one knew why he killed? I guess to make it his own (something Carpenter told Zombie to do) Zombie gave us more back-story, which is fine, but now we have a different Myers than in the other films. So I guess in part this movie did its job of keeping it similar yet different. So I don’t think the remake was really as bad as everyone says and you know what, it was better than half the sequels, so there.


However, due to this new angle with Myers, we ended up rooting for him. Even in the second half! The teens are so stupid and obnoxious you end up wanting them dead. So I guess Zombie wants us to side with Myers – which is interesting for sure, since most horror films don’t do that, so I think Zombie identifies more with the villain than heroes.


That brings me to Halloween 2.


Well it continues from the last one – Myers was shot and left for dead, but he really wasn’t. The first act of this film (which totals 2 hours!!!) is a kind of remake of the original Halloween 2. Myers stalks Laurie at the hospital. This part is so amazing and in some ways even better than the original part 2. Myers is really pissed off and he is very brutal in his killings.


In fact, this movie was really harsh and you got a lot of lingering shots at the victims which made you feel really bad for them, especially the innocent ones, like the nurse.
I think Zombie is trying to show the aftermath of death. How it affects lives etc. Laurie is still having mental issues and is seeing a doctor (not Loomis this time, but Margot Kidder!) and everyone who survived the first movie is still trying to get over everything. I kind of like that approach and the film itself is shot really nicely.


It was shot on 16mm most films are done in 35mm or 70mm (for the epics). But this 16mm look makes it really nice and gritty. And I like that the grittiness wasn’t done in post production like it was with Planet Terror and Death Proof. Zombie was committed to the grainy look and it was no turning back!


The problem with this movie is that I am cheering way too much for Myers. Laurie is just a bitch in this and so are ALL her friends! I know she has been through a lot but she could be a bit nicer. Zombie is too blame. I believe that Rob Zombie is a good director. The look of the film and the dream sequences are really good. The pacing is good for a longer movie and I love the brutality. But I don’t think he is a good writer. His female characters especially are really despicable and just annoying. You want them dead so bad that you forget the tragedy of the death.


All in all this movie is a mixed bag with more good than bad – the dream sequences and the white horse motif are defiantly a bit weird, but you know I have to give Zombie this credit, he certainly makes an entertaining horror film and this is one of the better entries. In fact, it’s probably in the top 3-4 of the series.


On a personal note I love the ad campaign for this film and I love the poster above. It just seems really creepy and it tells a good story. I hate posters that have no movement, or are just faces lined up the side (see any modern poster). Oh and one last thing, Myers is without his mask for some of this film and its defiantly weird, but I think it works in Zombies alternate reality Halloween film series.


Just for kicks, this is my order:


Halloween (Orig)
Halloween 2 (Orig)
Halloween 5
Halloween 2 (Zombie)
Halloween (Zombie)
Halloween 4
Halloween Resurrection
Halloween H20
Halloween 6


I am interested to see what happens with Michael Myers next – if there is going to be a next!


4/5


J-Man.