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.