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Hail, Caesar! (2016)
I'm typically not very enthusiastic about the Coen brothers comedy movies, but I heard this one was about the shenanigans of the film industry in the early days, so I was modestly excited.
So it's unfortunate that Hail Caesar is a bland, unfunny experience with only sporadic chuckles.
The Coen's assembled an A-list cast for this outing: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, etc. And outside of the main characters Brolin and Clooney play, everyone else feels...squandered. Wasted in over glorified cameos. Jonah Hill's only scene in the movie was featured in the trailer. And all other members of the cast are involved in plot lines not directly involved with the main story. Like what Family Guy goes with their non sequiturs.
Scarlett Johansson is definitely the weakest link in the cast, donning a hokey and distracting New York accent as she goes about playing an actress who's pregnant during her movie's filming (oh, the irony). It just seemed like an unnecessary part of the film that could've easily gone without.
Roger Deakins is once again behind the camera and once again delivers a stunning visual palate, but it doesn't do much to help the movie from feeling dull and overall a disappointing effort from the Coen's. Though it isn't on the level of disappointing as The Ladykillers, it is far, FAR from being on the level of Fargo and The Big Lebowski.
Hai, Caesar! 5/10
Dumb. And not in a good way.
Let's get the controversial part of the film out of the way: the science is laughably wrong. We will not gain superpowers by using 100% of our brains. With that said, Lucy isn't even an enjoyable mindless action film. It's actually pretty bad.
Lucy is a hodgepodge of concepts lifted from the likes of The Matrix, Akira, Limitless, etc., and manages to not be awesome. The main flaw of the film has to be the main character. Played by Scarlett Johansson, who by the end of the film seems to just not care about actually acting anymore with the robotic nature of her dialogue delivery, the character is one that is meant to be the person you care about the most. Trouble is, I don't care, as she is basically indestructible, and the antagonists are your run of the mill gangsters. No excitement, so sense of danger, nothing.
A scene that rubbed me the wrong way was when Lucy confronts two taxi drivers and kills the one that doesn't speak English. The guy had nothing to do with her dilemma, and she just killed him. It makes me unable to like the protagonist.
The action was fairly underwhelming, which is shocking considering the director of The Fifth Element, The Professional and Taken was at the helm. But it is what it is.
One upside to this film is that it doesn't outstay it's welcome. It ends and you quickly forget you even saw the film
It's mindless, and probably meant to not be taken seriously, but even then, the only time that audiences could enjoy this is if there is absolutely nothing else to do on the day they see this. Lucy is boring, unoriginal and just plain dumb.
A surprisingly uncool remake
You'd think Samuel L. Jackson starring in a remake of Shaft would be the coolest thing ever. Seeing as Jackson and the character are two badass mother-shut yo mouths. But the end result is disappointing.
The plot revolves around Shaft, played by Jackson, seeking to take down the son of a wealthy and powerful man. The son is played by Christian Bale, and the reason Shaft is after him is because he murdered a black man out of racial hate. But he managed to escape prison time and fled to Switzerland. Shaft gets sick,of the injustice and hands in his badge, taking a vigilante approach. His only hope is finding the lone witness of the murder and convince her to take the stand.
Here's the film's main problem. The actions he takes are not protected by the law. The cops are even helping him, and no consequences are paid. True, you want him to win, but you can't overlook he is breaking the law. The original Shaft was more of a lone wolf. Shaft here can't seem to do anything without help.
The films villains are forgettable. As good as Bale is, he's hardly there and is out of the majority of the action. Jeffrey Wright as a Hispanic gangster emerges as the main villain and is utterly uninteresting. A great villain should make you like him, even if you hate him. I don't even remember the character's name.
But I think the biggest downfall is casting Richard Roundtree in a reprisal of his original Shaft role and waste him. He's pretty much a cameo and the film ends with a promise of the original badass mother-shut yo mouth kicking some ass, but we don't get to see it.
The one thing this film needed was to be cool. It's unfortunately not.
The Next Three Days (2010)
Why didn't he just find the real killer?
Trust me, it's an entertaining two hours, but the main issue here is pretty much the main protagonist taking the illegal and hardest possible way to get back with his wife. It's established Banks didn't do it at the end, and during the middle of the film I asked myself out loud: "Why didn't he just find the real killer?"
Russell Crowe delivers what he can, but as the film goes on, you can't help but feel bad as you know this guy is doing a bad thing, especially when towards the end you wonder why he's sticking his neck out for her. Out of nowhere she's snaky with him and makes the escape more difficult.
So many supporting characters enter and exit unceremoniously. Olivia Wilde's storyline never goes anywhere, she just turns up for a convenient person to put Crowe's son on while he plans. Liam Neeson is featured predominantly, yet his screen time barely scratches 5 minutes. Lennie James appears out of nowhere as the main cop pursuing when the two cops who originally arrested his wife were the most suspicious.
The script seems like something much grander, but entered extensive rewrites. This could explain Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson. They could've probably been cohorts in the escape. Or in Wilde's case, an alternate love interest for Crowe as he realizes the risk is not worth it and his wife tells him to move on. Hell, there was a scene during the admittedly well executed escape where he doesn't go pick up his son from the zoo where Wilde's daughter's birthday was held, making it seem the kid would be in her care. But in the end it didn't happen, and Wilde and Neeson just seem unnecessary.
The Next Three Days is OK, with some good performances and a well done climax. But it's bogged down with a glaring plot hole, and plot points that go nowhere.
The Next Three Days 6/10
Frustratingly straightforward, simplistic and just plain unengaging
When a film doesn't have any form of engaging conflict, its difficult to like it. Chef is your straightforward, feel good, everything works out in the end project that reeks of passion project.
Favreau stars as Carl, a chef who gets the boot from his lofty LA restaurant, and results in him purchasing a food truck to live his dream of cooking his own food his way.
What makes this film so bland and forgettable is that it offers you nothing to view as conflict. If the film was about him getting fired, and opening a rival restaurant, there's a conflict. But here its more of a road trip film, where he travels across the US with his ex- wife, son and best friend.
Chef boasts an impressive cast, most of which is underused or grow irrelevant. Favreau brought in the likes of Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale and Dustin Hoffman to fill supporting roles. You can't help but wonder why? Downey and Hoffman boast high grade talents that feel squandered here in their very minimal roles. Johansson's character was underdeveloped and I feel could easily be edited out.
Films like this hit theatres every year, a feel good film that will make audiences swoon, but in repeated viewing will lose its allure. Chef is a knockout bore.
Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson make this the best Marvel film to date
Captain America: The Winter Soldier isn't just a phenomenal sequel, its the best Marvel movie in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chris Evans is back as Captain America, and I feel we should all give Evans the credit he deserves. He provides the character with a likability that allows you to sympathize with him.
I find the highlight of the entire film is the chemistry between Evans and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. This being their fourth film together, they manage to deliver a believable relationship that evolves from mere partnership to a strong friendship (maybe even romance in future instalments). This is the first Marvel film to have two Avengers actually have a connection between one another depicted fully. Widow is implied to have history with Hawkeye, but we only saw one scene with them actually building in that.
Though the villain kind of serves more as a plot point, The Winter Soldier breaks Marvel's streak of forgettable bad guys (Whiplash, Malekith). He's not even really a villain, but I won't spoil anything.
I'm glad to see more of Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill as she's not been given able time to show off her abilities. She's cunning and quick, and serves more purpose in this film than the trailers would show.
The additions of Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford are welcome ones, with both their characters providing us with a more detailed character arc and plot then we've been receiving in the post Avengers sequels.
If I was to nitpick, I'd say Frank Grillo and Emily VanCamp as Brock Rumlow and Agent 13 were pretty underwhelming. Rumlow appearing as the typical bad guy and Agent 13 only appearing to further the plot and set up the rest of the MCU.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier makes me hopeful that future Marvel movies play out like this one: suspenseful, entertaining, funny at times and overall exciting.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 10/10
Upon repeated viewing, grows into a dull behind the scenes TV movie
I enjoyed this movie when I first saw it in 2012. I'm a fan of the "film about the making of a film" film, as there's a lot of interesting stories in a production.
I saw this again before seeing Saving Mr. Banks, and I didn't enjoy as much as I did. I felt bored. And when I caught it last night, I was asleep come the hour mark.
The main problem I found with this film is it played too much around with the effect the film had on Alfred's life without balancing it out with the making of the film. Besides Psycho being one of the most controversial films for its time, there wasn't anything too interesting about its production cycle that would warrant a movie about it. With Saving Mr. Banks, you see the tug of war between P.L. Travers and Walt Disney over how the film was going to be made, while balancing it out with the childhood of Travers and providing why she held onto Mary Poppins so dearly.
Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren shine as the Hitchcocks, both bringing their talents into this film and making it somewhat worthwhile. But for the rest of the cast, I was never particularly blown away, even when I first saw the film. Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh never felt like a depiction, but rather I always just saw Scarlett Johansson playing Janet Leigh. Same is said for Jessica Biel as Vera Myles. James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins.
There's also a weird and possibly fictional side story where Alfred is seeing visions of Ed Gein, the inspiration behind Psycho. I never understood the purpose of this, it distracted greatly from the main plot and bogged the once meant to be serious biopic into a silly film.
Hitchcock plays with interesting plot points, but never fully fleshes them out. And while the main stars Hopkins and Mirren make the film watchable, its definitely not something that'll blow anyone away.
Don Jon (2013)
A film that muddles it's hard hitting commentary on today's culture with stereotypical rom com fluff
I really wished this would've turned out better. I do. The message it strives to convey is an interesting one on the way people view media, but it unfortunately gets bogged down by corny scenes and underdevelopment.
Levitt, in his directorial debut, plays Joe "Don Jon", a stereotyped version of a New Jersey boy who, after bedding various one night stands, becomes enchanted by Barbara, played, sigh, by a very weak Scarlett Johansson. What is it about her? Her range is just not there. It always seems half assed and never fully committed to any film she does. And though it's cute that she plays a stereotyped version of a Jersey girl, there's no real emotion there to make me connect with the character, and therefore the film suffers. Joe and Barbara begin a relationship, with Joe modelling his love life after the porn he watches and Barbara after the romantic movies she enjoys. Complications arise when their views collide and cause irreparable harm to their relationship.
It spurns Joe to be taught how a relationship truly works by Esther, played by Julianne Moore. The character has a backstory, but there's no real development aside from that. She's just kind of there.
But what really makes Don Jon not work is how, while depicting the exaggerated views people hold, they exaggerate the way people from New Jersey act. A lot of residents from the area were offended when they were depicted as, for males, sex addicted, body building tough guys and for females loud, gum smacking, hoop earring wearing divas. It's inaccurate and unfair towards how life really is in New Jersey.
I once again assure I liked the message it tried to convey, but it's flaws stand out and become too distracting.
Don Jon 5/10
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
Scarlett Johansson headlines a major list of reasons why this movie is terrible
Never have I seen such a melodramatic, boring and insulting adaption of the tale of the Boleyn family. A film that substitutes historical accuracy for soap opera antics and loathsome acting.
The casting of this train wreck is wrong, with numerous better British actresses who could've done a better job. Portman manages to hold firm but Johansson's evident disinterest in even being on the set is off putting and her utter laziness when it comes to speaking dialogue or expressing emotion is frustrating. This is meant to be a period piece, there's a certain calibre of acting you need to bring to the table, and she fails to do so, making it clear she was only cast for her A-List status.
Bana isn't very interesting as Henry, popping in every now and then to say "hey, this is still a film based off a true story", as the focus of the film, to it's very minimal credit, keeps centred on the Boleyn's, even if a majority of it was made up for dramatic plausibility. When you have to make things up to make a film that's supposed to recount a real event, then it's clear that it's not meant to be a film.
Perhaps if they told the story with the actual events, a way better actress than Scarlett Johansson as Mary and a lot more life into this dull, tired flick, maybe it could've worked, but considering the choices they decided to make, The Other Boleyn Girl fails.
The Other Boleyn Girl 1/10
Under the Skin (2013)
Pretentious and boring. Just a flat out flop.
It may only be 107 minutes, but it feels like an eternity for Under the Skin, starring the ever so dull Scarlett Johansson as an alien on the prowl for male victims. The film limps through it's runtime, attempting to justify itself with nice artistic shots of it's Scotland setting. Here, we have "Laura", played by Scarlett Johansson. No detail given as to where she is from, or why she's doing what she's doing as she treks the Scottish lands, scouting for loners and hitchhikers to prey on. The film falls flat when the story begins getting put on the back burner so Glazer can give us a naked Johansson and flashy and stylish imagery. That's nice and all, but I don't care.
I've heard critics declare this the role of Johansson's career. She is notorious for being incredibly mediocre and inferior to her fellow actors in just about everything else that she in. So perhaps what they believe is a good performance is really because she hardly says anything outside a flirtatious pickup line. Long dialogues are her downfall considering her voice sounds like it should belong to a prepubescent boy, so it is a very minimal amount of credit to the film for limiting her word count.
At the end of the day, Under the Skin is definitely not worth the admission price or the 107 minutes of sitting. Should you elect to view it, wait for it on Netflix or VOD. Or for whoever still uses a DVD player. Under the Skin 1/10
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Attempted to be better, but failed.
The Bourne Legacy comes five years after Ultimatum: Bourne has exposed Blackbriar and it starts crumbling at the seems. Enter Aaron Cross, another agent from Operation Outcome attempts to outrun those who created him. Cross is, unfortunately, boring. Jeremy Renner attempts to make do with what he's given, but Bourne would kill Cross if they ever met face to face.
The project attracted big names such as Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton, as well as returning cast Joan Allen and David Strathairn, but they only appear in 5 minute long cameos. The glaring issue is Jason Bourne is not in this, something i knew wouldn't work. With Bourne, it feels forced, and it was.
Another missing attribute was John Powell's power surged score, Oliver Wood's realistic cinematography and Christopher Rouse's sharp editing. Everything about the film feels uninspired, with the only intention being "gotta cash in, gotta cash in."
To it's credit, it maintains it action grit and slick car chases, but outside of that, Legacy falls flat and fails to make people believe Cross is better than Jason Bourne. Then again, that was a crazy idea to begin with.
Perhaps this convinces Greengrass and Damon to return to their respected posts. And maybe squeeze Aaron Cross in.
The Bourne Legacy 5/10
An extraordinary adventure full of great action and flashy visuals.
When someone you know declares that they didn't like Tron: Legacy, be sure to gouge why. If it's because of the story, it's wrong. The main problem of the script is how the dialogue is conveyed. Other than that, this is a faultless film.
The story involves Kevin Flynn's son Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund, struggling to cope with his father being missing for over 20 years. When his father's friend Alan, portrayed by returning actor Bruce Boxleitner, informs Sam he had received a page from his father, he goes to investigate and discover inadvertently the world of the Grid.
Hedlund does a good job of playing the character and the character itself is a likable one. Sam is forced to partake in a series of games, reminiscent of the original, involving the disc wars and light cycle races. These particular scenes really shown the amazing work put into developing the visual aspects of this world.
During the games, he meets the female program Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde. The character is also very likable and is portrayed with the appropriate aggressiveness needed to survive in the Grid and naive innocence when knowledge of the real world is mentioned. It's evident from the get-go she is to serve as a romantic affiliation for Sam, but the filmmakers didn't explore it severely, seeing as they have only known each other inbetween an 8 hour span, so that's a bonus as we get to see it explored in the sequel.
Father and son are soon reunited and we are treated to a great performance from Jeff Bridges, who manages to remind us of his Lebowski days. Bridges pulls double duty as Kevin Flynn and his villainous counterpart Clu. The visuals on it to age Bridges back to his 30's are noticeable, but in a world where a lot of the elements are digital, you are bound to notice this.
All in all, the film was fantastic, with Bridges, Hedlund and Wilde really falling into character and also from a spectacular performance from Michael Sheen as the radical Castor. The visuals are astonishing and the score from Daft Punk fits the atmosphere impeccably. The dialogue is at times faulty, but in fairness that's not the biggest issue in the world. Tron: Legacy 10/10
Corny and at bits quite head scratching, but charming and amusing
When first hearing that Nora Ephron was tackling the classic sitcom Bewitched, I liked the idea, though i admit when Will Ferrell was cast in the lead male role, i was skeptical, but still maintained my interest. I watched the film, and honestly, i enjoyed it. I heard almost everyone hated it, but i couldn't see it. Of course there are some understandable thoughts: Was the show picked up? Did all the hard work put in pay off? That annoyed me because it leaps SIX MONTHS after they wed.
Did Iris and Nigel hit it off? Did Nigel get his confirmation she was a witch? Iris disappears after the party and Nigel also disappears. It would have been cool if the film ended with those two flying past Isabel and Jack's house on a broomstick, then fly past the moon with magic producing "The End".
Plus, for a film about witches, the film didn't really seem to magical and at parts felt like just a typical rom-com.
Overall, enjoyable film with some flaws, but able to look past those. Bewitched 7/10
Rancid, unfunny, juvenile, time consuming and just plain boring
I knew this movie would blow after seeing that dismal trailer. And going into the theatre proved that. The huge problem: Melissa McCarthy. That unfunny hack just added to the crapiness of this film. Who cares about the bridesmaids? Didn't they show what would happen with Made of Honor? The jokes are so old, they were first shown when Fred Savage was still a star. Also what ticks me off is how they tried to pass this off as "The Female Hangover". No. This is no where near as funny as The Hangover, it's closer to Fool's Gold. As soon as those end credits rolled, i was happy. Never was i as close to death by boredom than when i watched Duplicity. Avoid this flick. Go see Thor again or Priest. Go see Fast Five. Hell, you see Madea's Big Happy Family Reunion in any theatres, duck in there. Bridesmaids 1/10
Leaves a "salty" taste in your mouth
As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who Is Salt?" All i have to say about this mess is "Jolie decides to be an action hero and studio executives liked the idea so they blew over 100 million dollars to make Jolie look good". Salt is a sore attempt to re-up the Russian spy action movie genre. What is this, the 80's? Salt 2/10
Sheer awe for this film fills me
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved.
Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming Inception 10/10
The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)
An exhilarating blast that greatly adapts the classic fairy tale
Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE. Though cheesy and a bit pop-cultured, this film proves that classics can be resurrected with the proper people working with it. The Sorcerer's Apprentice 10/10
Furry Vengeance (2010)
What Doctor Dolittle would have been if Uwe Boll directed.
After transplanting his family from Chicago to the Oregon woods for his new job overseeing the construction of a supposedly "eco-friendly" housing development, Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) thinks his biggest problem will be helping his city-loving wife Tammy (Brooke Shields) and nature-phobic teenaged son (Matt Prokop) adjust to their new surroundings while pleasing his demanding boss (Ken Jeong). But Dan's troubles have only begun once the local animals discover his leadership role in the destruction of their habitat. He soon lands atop their Most Wanted list, and realizes how much trouble a few feisty forest creatures can cause! The clever critters bedevil Dan night and day, sabotaging his work, his peace of mind—and even his wardrobe. Under this concerted attack, Dan soon finds his once perfect life in ruins. He completely fails in his efforts to trap, deter or even photograph the animal assault team and without proof of the covert woodland conspiracy against him, no one believes Dan's claims. With his wife and son poised to abandon him, and his construction project in jeopardy, Dan escalates the feud to all-out intra-species war that can only have one winner. Furry Vengeance 1/10
Robin Hood (2010)
The plot slopes at times, but a great addenum to Ridley Scott's career
In 13th century England, Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. And whether thief or hero, one man from humble beginnings will become an eternal symbol of freedom for his people.
Robin Hood chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard's army against the French. Upon Richard's death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.
With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more.
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
2010's answer to The Hangover
Hot Tub Time Machine follows a group of best friends who've become bored with their adult lives: Adam (John Cusack) has been dumped by his girlfriend; Lou (Rob Corddry) is a party guy who can't find the party; Nick's (Craig Robinson) wife controls his every move; and video game-obsessed Jacob (Clark Duke) won't leave his basement. After a crazy night of drinking in a ski resort hot tub, the men wake up, heads pounding, in the year 1986. This is their chance to kick some past and change their futures—one will find a new love life, one will learn to stand up for himself with the ladies, one will find his mojo, and one will make sure he still exists!. Hot Tub Time Machine 10/10
Repo Men (2010)
When you look past the mediorce script and the over-whelming amount of action scenes, this isn't so bad
In the futuristic action-thriller Repo Men, humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called The Union. The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you don't pay your bill, The Union sends its highly skilled repo men to take back its property... with no concern for your comfort or survival.
Remy (Jude Law) is one of the best organ repo men in the business. But when he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company's top-of-the-line heart-replacement... as well as a hefty debt. But a side effect of the procedure is that his heart's no longer in the job. When he can't make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remy's former partner Jake (Forest Whitaker), to track him down.
Now that the hunter has become the hunted, Remy joins Beth (Alice Braga), another debtor who teaches him how to vanish from the system. And as he and Jake embark on a chase across a landscape populated by maniacal friends and foes, one man will become a reluctant champion for thousands on the run. Repo Men 7/10
Edge of Darkness (2010)
It's a give or take
Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran homicide detective for the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, 24-year-old Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life and her killing. His investigation leads him into a dangerous looking-glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder—and to shadowy government operative Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven's solitary search for answers about his daughter's death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption. Edge Of Darkness 8/10
The Book of Eli (2010)
It's difficult to see this film as a western
In the not-too-distant future, some 30 years after the final war, a solitary man walks across the wasteland that was once America. Empty cities, broken highways, seared earth—all around him, the marks of catastrophic destruction. There is no civilization here, no law. The roads belong to gangs that would murder a man for his shoes, an ounce of water... or for nothing at all.
But they're no match for this traveler.
A warrior not by choice but necessity, Eli (Denzel Washington) seeks only peace but, if challenged, will cut his attackers down before they realize their fatal mistake. It's not his life he guards so fiercely but his hope for the future; a hope he has carried and protected for 30 years and is determined to realize. Driven by this commitment and guided by his belief in something greater than himself, Eli does what he must to survive—and continue.
Only one other man in this ruined world understands the power Eli holds, and is determined to make it his own: Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the self-appointed despot of a makeshift town of thieves and gunmen. Meanwhile, Carnegie's adopted daughter Solara (Mila Kunis) is fascinated by Eli for another reason: the glimpse he offers of what may exist beyond her stepfather's domain.
But neither will find it easy to deter him. Nothing—and no one—can stand in his way. Eli must keep moving to fulfill his destiny and bring help to a ravaged humanity. The Book Of Eli 9/10
Youth in Revolt (2009)
Very funny, a must see
Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a sex-obsessed teen who falls hopelessly in love with Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) while on a family vacation. Sheeni is a beautiful, free spirited girl, but family, geography and jealous ex-lovers conspire to keep these two apart.
Inspired by Sheeni's free spirit, Nick abandons his dull, predictable life and develops a rebellious alter ego, Francois. Francois will stop at nothing to be with Sheeni and leads Nick on a path of destruction and on the run from local law enforcement that has uproarious and unpredictable consequences. This is a big step-up for Michael Cera, and it is very good. Youth In Revolt 10/10
Leap Year (2010)
It's too bad leap year didn't leap over this film
When their four-year anniversary passes without a marriage proposal, Anna (Amy Adams) decides to take matters into her own hands. Investing in an Irish tradition that allows women to propose to men on February 29th, Anna decides to follow her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) to Dublin and get down on one knee herself.
But airplanes, weather and fate leave Anna stranded on the other side of Ireland, and she must enlist the help of handsome and surly Declan (Matthew Goode) to get her across the country. As Anna and Declan bicker across the Emerald Isle, they discover that the road to love can take you to very unexpected places. My god. Ireland should have barred the crew from their country. This is god awful. Leap Year 3/10