"The best thing anyone can do is SMILE"- Charlie Chaplin
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
"I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this."- "I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver is full of shit."
Come on a cross country trip with Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey), aka Dumb & Dumber. Two friends on a mission to return a briefcase to a beautiful woman named Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly) who left it at the airport. The two set off for Aspen Colorado in a over- sized van which looks like a dog. Running from mobsters and the FBI, only problem is they don't know it, and the briefcase they are carrying is filled with money to be used in a ransom for Mary's husband. The two set off an epic comedy adventure which reinvented the comedy genre and helped create Jim Carrey as the funny man of the 90's.
This movie is just a laugh out loud comedy romp with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels creating such memorable characters. Hands down one of the best movies of the 90's and of the comedy genre. So many one liners and funny scenes you wont forget. Written and Directed by The Farrelly Brothers who's works include "Theres Something About Mary", "Kingpin", and "Me, Myself , and Irene" this is the comedy of all comedies and my personal favorite of Carrey's. "Dumb & Dumber" is anything but. 4.5/5 - tom
"People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch. "
There really isn't much to say about the plot of this one, save that there really isn't one; not for the main character, anyhow. Jack Nicholson plays Melvin Udall, a mean spirited obsessive compulsive who is a successful romance novel author that never leaves his apartment. Whats interesting about the narrative of "As Good As It Gets" is that Melvin is just kind of living his life with little conflict besides his serious case of obsessive compulsive disorder. It is Helen Hunt's character or Simon (Greg Kinnear), Melvin's neighbor, who experience all the plot twists and turns in this delightful film. Ultimately Melvin desires not to be so hated by everyone around him but he has such a hard time controlling himself that merely having a conversation is difficult.
Melvin's angry tirades are what make this movie such a funny comedy and Jack Nicholson is PERFECTLY cast as Melvin. Helen Hunt's career seemed to wane after this film and her performance is fine although underwhelming. Greg Kinnear is wonderful as usual and brings such a vulnerability to the character of Simon. This film is borderline drama or perhaps even romantic comedy but when you hear Melvin go off on Simon about why to never interrupt him, you will understand why I included it here. Multiple Oscar nominations and Oscar wins helped elevate this film to a higher standard though I think many have forgotten it in recent years. Bypass the rental and pick this one up. Besides being one of my favorite comedies, "As Good As It Gets" is one of my favorite movies of all time. 4.5/5 -andy
"Vat Planet? The planet of not wanting to die, by a drive by shooting!"
We return to the world of George Banks (Steve Martin) who after the marriage of his daughter has finally accepted life must go on. Still happily married to his wife Nina(Diane Keaton), George is coasting through life waiting on retirement. Expecting a visit from his daughter Annie(Kimberly Williams Paisley) and her new husband Brian (George Newbern), George receives some unexpected news. He is going to be a grandfather. Putting his mid-life crisis in full go. Not wanting to except that he is getting older he rebels by changing the way he acts and even dying his hair. One night, with the house to themselves George and Nina take advantage of the quality time and weeks later are given one more surprise, they're not only going to be grandparents but they're going to have another baby. Have no fear, Franck (Martin Short) is here; who not only does weddings but also dabbles in taking care of mothers to be.
With the entire cast of the original returning along with a special appearance by "American Pie's" Eugene Levy as Mr. Habib, this is a comedy sequel that is just as good as the original. Good family laughs all around. Steve Martin and Martin Short are back at it again making for some priceless comedy moments. 4/5 -tom
"Drive carefully and don't forget to fasten your condom"
Meet George Banks (Steve Martin), businessman, husband, and father of two children. His oldest Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) has recently returned from overseas after completing college. She is daddy's little girl and what makes the world-go-round for George. There's only one problem. In her travels Annie meets a young man named Brian (George Newbern) who has asked for her hand in marriage. Annie of course being young and in love says yes taking George's world by storm and his wallet. He is forced to do every fathers worst nightmare...letting go of his baby girl. His wife Nina (Diane Keaton) hires an over the top wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer (Martin Short) and George soon realizes he's on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
This is a remake of the 1950 classic of the same name. Steve Martin at his comedy best, this is a sweetheart comedy for all. Filled with unforgettable characters and some of the funniest scenes ever put on film. Martin Short is the perfect polar opposite to Martin's character and as the two go at it the laughs never let up. 4/5 -tom
"Solider, Ive noticed your always last"- "I'm pacing myself"
John Winger (Bill Murray) seems to be going nowhere in life. The older he gets it seems the more he loses. With no other options, John, along with his best friend Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis) decide to join the Army together. They are introduced to a slew of oddball characters and form a rag tag Army unit which seems almost destined for failure led by the almost to serious Sgt Hulka(Warren Oates). While Hulka teaches them survival,courage, and disipline, John introduces the boys to mud wrestling, drinking, and chasing women. The two go head to head in a private war and the Army will never be the same.
Bill Murray and Harold Ramis are at their comedy best here raising the bar for 80s comedies. With a supporting cast including John Candy, Judge Reinhold, John Laroroquette, and Sean Young ,"Stripes" is comedy not to be missed. Directed by Ivan Reitman who has over the years been involved in many comedy favorites including "I Love You, Man", "Road Trip", "Private Parts", and "Old School". "Stripes" is a comedy gem created from the ealry SNL days and one every comedy fan needs to have in their collection. 4/5-tom
Monday, August 9, 2010
"Ugh, I can actually hear you getting fatter."
Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) has just recently graduated college after almost 7 years, narrowly passing his final exam with a D, and is on his way home to Sandusky, Ohio to work at his father's car parts factory. Big Tom Callahan (Brian Dennehy) is pushing hard for his new break parts division saying it will 'revolutionize the auto parts industry'. Having exhausted all possible loans and after being told no, Big Tom the consummate salesman is able convince the bank to loan him more money to get his break parts division up and running. When Tommy gets home Big Tom reveals to him that he is to be married the following weekend to Beverly (Bo Derek) and that Beverly has a son, Paul (Rob Lowe) who will be Tommy's new brother. Unfortunately, Big Tom passes away during the reception and everyones future's are left in question. Tommy must go on his dad's sales trip in an effort to save the company and is accompanied by Richard (David Spade), who can't stand Tommy, to make sure that Tommy doesn't royally screw up.
If you haven't seen "Tommy Boy" then shame on you. One of the best comedies of all time that just gets better and better every time you see it. Chris Farley was at his peak here and the crux of the film is his relationship with David Spade and the insults that fly from either side. The supporting cast turns in performances that are just as funny as the the main cast which makes the entire film such a delight. There is real heart here which I think is what elevates it to something a little more than just being a 'funny' movie. The only downside is the sadness you sometimes feel watching it and realizing that Chris Farley only had a few more years left with which to entertain us. He never quite matched the hilarity of "Tommy Boy" nor the success but he had such a charming personality I would've rather seen him live and make mediocre movies for the rest of his life. 4.5/5 -andy
Ian (Josh Zuckerman) in his senior year still a virgin, working at a Mexican donut shop at a local mall, and has never had a girlfirend. Tormented by his older brother (James Marsden) on how lame he is Ian deicdes to build an online profile claiming to be a buff, sportscar driving, high-school football star. He then sparks the interest of a beautiul blonde named Ms. Tasty via a dating website who invites him to Nashville for some hot and wild sex. Ian throws away the idea of going until his best friend Lance (Clark Duke) pretty much tells him he'd be doing a diservice to all men if he passed this up. With his brother out of town, Ian and Lance along their "girl" friend Feilcia (Amanda Crew) set out on a road trip to Nashville in his brothers prized 69' GTO Judge, taken without permission of course . Along the way the discover its not ok to pick up hitchhikers, the Amish know how to party, and rolling brown-outs are not a good thing.
The sleeper comedy hit of the decade and one of the funniest movies ever made. Raunchy humor taken to the extreme. With alot of heart and some of the funniest moments ever put on screen this is a drive you'll want to make over and over again. Look for an Amish Seth Green as Ezekial in one of his best roles ever. Bottom line you need to see this movie if you haven't, no comedy collection is complete without it. 4.5/5 -tom
Funny scene from the film.
I totally agree with Tom on this one. Definitely one of the funniest movies of the decade, if not ever. It's pretty raunchy so if that's not your thing you may want to pass BUT you'd really be missing out. Clark Duke is eventually going to be a huge comedy star with roles in this, "Kick Ass" and the hilarious "Hot Tub Time Machine". 4.5/5 -andy
" I can see your hoohah"
Peter (Jason Segel) is madly in love with his beautiful girlfriend and TV star Sarah Marshall(Kristen Bell) but unexpectedly she dumps him for a wild and crazy rock star from London(Russell Brand). Trapped in his house feeling sorry for himself and watching Sarah's life being plastered on the news Peter takes advise from his friends and takes a much needed vacation to Hawaii. Once there he arrives at one of the finest resorts and just when things are looking up he discovers Sarah and her new boy toy are staying at the same place, but not only that , they are in the next bungalow. Peter hears everything including the twos wild sex romps. But instead of packing his bags and heading back and decides to stick it out and see if he can make Sarah jealous enough to win her back starting a relationship with the resorts beautiful desk lady Rachel(Mila Kunis). Let the sex games begin.
Filled with non-stop laughs and a delightful young and exciting cast, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is one of the funniest movies of the past ten years. Standout performances by Jason Segal and the always hilarious Russell Brand making this a laugh til you cry comedy...literally. You'll want to watch it over and over again. Also featuring many comedy favorites such Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and Bill Hader making "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" anything but forgettable. In the spirit of "Along Came Polly", "There's Something About Mary" and "I Love You, Man" this comedy is sure to please. 4/5 -tom
Saturday, August 7, 2010
"Don't worry he can't defend himself hes got no head"
Mob boss Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) is the biggest and baddest man in London controlling almost everything including property. He is aided by his henchman Archy (Mark Strong) in creating his empire. One problem. Lenny has a stepson named Johnny (Toby Kebbell), a wild and charismatic lead singer of a huge band who's heavy into drugs and partying and finds ways to make Lenny's life a living hell. While trying to keep Johnny out of sight and mind Lenny continues business as usual making a deal with a Russian mobster for a huge lot of land in downtown London. Wanting the deal to go smoothly the Russian offers Lenny his lucky painting until the deal is completed. One problem the painting is stolen by Johnny who disappears into London and presumed dead. Meanwhile, Lenny's accountant (Thandi Newton) recruits a group of men to heist the money for the deal led by One Two (Gerard Butler) and his gang creating more problems for Lenny. To avoid starting a mob war Lenny sends Archy out to find the missing painting, his step son, and the robbers in this good ole fashioned romp through London.
Guy Ritchie directs and does what he does best in making macho guy films and hes not afraid to point that out as he himself pokes fun at it. The cast is terrific, comedy all around, and I'm sure everyone will find a character they love from Handsome Bob, One Two, or even Mumbles. This movie definitely holds its own next to Ritchie's other projects "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels". Bottom line its an action-comedy you can have fun with and I look forward to the sequel. 3.5/5 -tom
"Life is so fucking good I can taste it in my spit."
Daniel Craig plays a drug dealer who is never named but referred to in the credits as, "XXXX". The plot here is more complicated than it should be making it difficult to explain it in a paragraph as I usually try to do. 'XXXX' isn't the typical drug dealer as he has worked hard to stay out of all the traps that usually claim anyone less clever in a similar occupation. XXXX has wracked up a great deal of money and intends to leave this life of drugs and crime behind when he is suckered back into one more job by major player, Jimmy. Things go all kinds of haywire and XXXX ends up in a kidnapping plot, chased by Serbian Gangsters who are after stolen ecstasy pills that XXXX has been hired to sell for another drug dealer referred to as 'The Duke'.
The movie is often as confusing as that description sounds, so be careful if you are frustrated easily. I did have fun with it mostly because Daniel Craig makes such a likable guy out of his otherwise unlikeable character. Directed by Matthew Vaughn ("Kick Ass") and written by J.J. Connolly, based on his own novel, "Layer Cake" is at its core a sort-of crime thriller. Besides the confusing story, one of the only other drawbacks I could think of was the overwhelming 'English-ness' of it all. With so many thick, cockney accents I could hardly understand a word, wishing I had instead watched it with subtitles. If you've ever seen an episode of "The Osbournes" then you know what every character in this movie sounds like. Also, the plot sounds a lot more exciting that it was. The intense moments were scattered to thinly for me to really be drawn in and kept there until the end. Part of the problem I suppose, is that being such a fan of Daniel Craig's James Bond in "Casino Royal" I was always waiting for him to pull out a gun and just be a bad ass, but alas, that never really happens. A good movie but one that never quite lives up to its hype. 3/5 -andy
"We don't kill people, we destroy demons."
"Frailty" is the story of Fenton and Adam Meiks and the strange relationship they have with their father, played by Bill Paxton (who also directs). In the present, adult Fenton (Matthew McConaughey) visits FBI Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) who is on the trail of the God's Hand killer. Fenton has just stolen the ambulance containing the recently deceased body of his brother Adam so he could keep good on a promise he made long ago to bury Adam in the rose garden next to where they grew up. He tells Agent Doyle that he believes his brother Adam to have been the God's Hand killer and recounts the strange story of their childhood. You see, 20 some odd years ago, Adam and Fenton's Father claims to have been visited by an Angel who reveals to him that there are demons in the world hiding under the guise of normal, everyday people and that it is their duty to eliminate these demons. The Father (who is never named) is given tools to complete this task that include gloves to keep his hands from revealing the demon's identity until the right time, a lead pipe to knock them out with and an axe named 'OTIS' with which to destroy them. Adam immediately believes his father to be right but Fenton doubts the validity of his claims and believes the father to be insane.
I loved "Frailty" when I first saw it almost 10 years ago and I still love it today. I think it's a hidden gem that next to nobody remembers and that's unfortunate. The performances are all strong here, especially in Paxton, McConaughey, Matt O'Leary (Young Fenton) and Jeremy Sumpter (Young Adam) as they carry a concept that can occasionally feel goofy and unbelievable until the movie is over and you know that truth. I'm too desensitized by horror films to be scared by anything anymore but "Frailty" is definitely unsettling for a variety of spoiler-filled reasons. You really feel for the children as their father appears to be descending very quickly into madness. You hear all the time about people who kill because, as they claim, "God told me to do it." but "Frailty" takes this concept and spins it in a way that has you looking at those crazies who claim they murdered righteously in a whole new way. If you're into horror flicks or just something suspenseful to watch on a dark and rainy night, then "Frailty" is the answer you seek. 4.5/5 -andy
"I don't know when my parents began their war against each other- but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children"
Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte) is a southern man with a troubled past filled with an abused childhood now living day to day with his wife (Blythe Danner) and their three children. The life path is laid out for Tom, nothing new or exciting just... life. He is summoned to New York to aid his twin sister Savannah(Melinda Dillon) who has attempted suicide. Unable to speak and recovering from her self-injurious behavior Tom meets with her psychiatrist Dr. Lowenstein (Barbara Steisand), an unhappily married mother of one, in order to find out what has happened with his sister and why now? Why has she tried to take her own life? The doctor then wonders if a certain childhood incident that has been buried for years is the cause. Tom soon finds he is becoming the patient and also he just might be falling in love. Promising to watch over his sister Tom stays in New York and a romance blossoms between the doctor and himself. As time goes on the doctor realizes both Tom and Savannah share the same secret they promised their mother they would never tell involving one stormy night in the deep south.
As a fan of the novel by Pat Conroy I thoroughly enjoyed this picture, mostly because he himself did the screenplay. I read this book once a year mainly because the story is so genuine and heartbreaking. I imagined so many people playing the part of Tom Wingo such as Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, or Robert Redford. But Nolte is Tom Wingo for me now. Portraying him so well I wouldn't even want to think of anyone else other than him in that role. Quiet, well mannered, and when need be outspoken on occasion. I hadn't seen this movie however until just recently due to the fact I didnt think it could hold a candle to the novel and I'm not a Barbara Streisand fan. She also directed the film and I must say I was impressed. Everthing was captured I loved about the book. From the scenic overtones of the south, to heroic landscapes of New York City, and her storytelling between present time and Tom's troubled past make this movie unforgettable as with Conroy's novel. I still prefer the novel and recommend reading it before watching the movie, but it fulfills what I feared could not be captured. Conroy was Nicolas Sparks("Dear John" and "The Notebook") before there was a Nicolas Sparks and I'm almost positive he may have played quite the influence for him. So in meeting my expectations and delivering a powerful film "The Prince of Tides" gets what it deserves. 4/5-tom
A powerful scene from the film
"Hey pretty boy! Wah Wah Wah"
The story focuses on a happily married and very wealthy couple. Brian (David Duchovny) and his wife Audrey(Halle Berry) along with their two children spend everyday loving life and living it to its fullest. Brian puts his family first among all things but cherishes the past with keeping a childhood friendship alive with his best friend and avid heroine user Jerry (Benicio Del Toro), who leads a life of poverty downtown staying in a run down user infected apartment complex. Despite Audrey's feelings towards her husbands friendship Brian continues to check up on his friend. One night Brian is killed while trying to stop a domestic abuse in a parking lot leaving Audrey alone to take care of her children. Unable to deal with the bereavement alone and against better judgement she pulls Jerry out of his user lifestyle and offers him a place to stay. This is a constant battle for Jerry to stay clean but with the help of Audrey and her children Jerry learns that life is more than just getting high and attempts to lead a normal life and Audrey gets some piece of mind in finishing her loving husbands work.
Del Toro once again proves he is a force to be reckoned with creating a character that is so immersed in the world of drugs he disables himself from society. Truly a tour de force performance. Director Susanne Beir comes at this picture with a kind of survivalism and sureal look into users especially where no one is on screen except Del Toro, wether he is sober, alone, or using. I have never seen Halle Berry come at any role as she did here. While her past performances have somewhat campy and over the top she was perfectly cast and was born to play this part and this is the part she should have won an award for. Duchovny is his usual self, likable and charming, making a perfect husband to Berry's character. The chemistry between Del Toro and Duchovny is genuine, you really do feel that they have been friends since childhood and I'd like to see them in more films together. Overall this is a feel good movie and one of the best dramatic movies of 2007. But do to its content I strongly urge that this is not for children. 3.5/5 -tom
Friday, August 6, 2010
*Sigh* Where do I start? I am not even dignifying this review with any sort of quote, besides it would probably just add to the stupidity that is "Tekken". Being a huge fan of the games over the years, I suffered through this pile of garbage knowing full well nothing good would ever come from it. We all know that film adaptations of video games always turn out terrible or as close to terrible as possible without making you want to rip your eyes directly from your skull but the thing is I don't understand why they keep fucking up such a simple premise!! If you watch a movie like "Bloodsport" or "The Quest" with Jean Claude Van Damme then you've seen what movies like this or "Street Fighter" (1994) should've turned out to be: A bunch of excellent fighters come together for a violent and dangerous fighting tournament from all around the world. Pick one main character, don't rewrite the back story for him or anybody else to make it modern or fancy, and let the martial arts drive the story. The biggest issue I have with this dung heap is the ultra-modern, overly-detailed plot it was given. Instead of a simple tournament in the current year, this film takes place in a post-apocalyptic 2039 where after a sort-of World War III large Corporations have taken over the world. The Corporations then battle it out for control eventually dividing the world up into pieces amongst the 8 that are left. These 8 are referred to, collectively, as the "Iron Fist" and every year each Corporation sends its best fighter to compete in the "King of Iron Fist" tournament. If you know anything about the games your probably hanging and shaking your head in shame right now. It's bad...very bad. Terrible dialogue, awful acting and boring martial arts. This movie is based on a fighting game for pete's sake! At least they could've had some bad ass fight scenes but even those suck the life right out of this incredibly poor adaptation. Stay FAR away from this stinker. 0.5/5 -andy
"Dear Lord, please don't let me fuck up"
"The Right Stuff" is based on the book by Tom Wolfe which follows the space race between the US and Russia and the breaking of the sound barrier by Charles Yeager (Sam Shepard). The US wants to win so they send out recruiters to find the best pilots across the country inviting them to be astronauts. Here we are introduced to seven Mercury astronauts including John Glen (Ed Harris), Gordon Cooper (Dennis Quaid), Gus Grissom (Fred Ward), and Alan Shepard(Scott Glenn) who are put through the toughest tests known to man to be the first men in space and to orbit the Earth. Faced with many obstacles and tragedies this is the story of one of man's finest hours.
Hands down one of my favorite movies of all time. Made in 1983 and way ahead of its time you can't help but enjoy this movie. Winner of 4 Academy Awards and nominated for Best Picture this truly is one of the all time feel good movies. At over three hours long it doesn't feel like it. Also starring Jeff Goldblum, Barbara Hershey, Lance Henriksen, Kathy Baker, and a special appearance by the real life Charles Yeager. "The Right Stuff" is one of the greatest movies of all time and a tribute to American cinema and the human spirit. 5/5 -tom
I had to watch this movie for one of my many film classes in college and let me tell you what, despite what Tom said, it most definitely does feel like it is over 3 hours long. Thats over 3 hours of my life I will never get back and I blame "The Right Stuff" for that. I didn't hate this movie I was just incredibly bored by it. Its not really my type of thing much like Dramas, War Films or Romance movies, so I would've have never seen it if it weren't for school. And another thing, no film is perfect. Some can come close and I know I have rated plenty of them 4's or 4.5's but I do that because almost nothing is worth a complete 5 - except for a select few. Tom, I suggest you be careful what you give a full 5 to and consider that everything has atleast some room for improvement. 2.5/5 -andy
"Only the dead have seen the end of war"
Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal) has always been the rebel of the family, going through life without much enthusiasm or motivation. Recently released from prison he returns home prior to his brothers departure back to Afghanistan. Capt. Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) the older of the two, married his high school sweetheart Grace(Natalie Portman) and has two young daughters, and has everything going for him. While fighting in Afghanistan Sam's company comes under fire from the Taliban and he is presumed dead. Wanting redemption in his life Tommy steps in as the "father figure" for the girls and helps Grace overcome the loss of his brother. Months go by and Sam is miraculously found in a Taliban camp and returns home and suspects a romantic relationship has happened between the brother he loves and the wife he thought he trusted.
Gyllenhaal and Maguire are at their best here and are playing polar opposites to a tee. The story itself is intriguing and also shows the gritty side of war and shows one of the most troublesome moments for any prisoner of it. Sam Shepard plays the part of the father who lost what Gyllenhaal's character considers his favorite son. Maguire redeems himself playing somewhat of a broken soul to where he has left the war but the war hasn't left him and struggles with the life he has been away from for so long. The balance in the film between the family at home and Sam overseas keeps the movie at a good pace along with an ending that will leave you speechless. "Brothers" was one of the better dramas of 2009 and one you won't soon forget. 4/5 -tom
"I'm dead seri"
Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler), a bounty hunter who has run a streak of bad luck, gets assigned to hunt own his bail-jumping ex-wife. She is Nicole Hurly (Jennifer Aniston) , a reporter who is on the trail of a murder cover up. Now when married the two didn't exactly get along so this is a dream job for Milo and couldn't come at a worse time for Nicole. When Milo confronts Nicole she runs, and while Nicole runs from Milo, the people involved with the murder are after Nicole. It is a cat and mouse game from there on out.
I had high expectations for this movie because I enjoy these two actors in most of their works but something was off here. Sure there was some good humor but at nearly two hours the story fizzles and your just kind of begging for it to be over. Butler is the stronger of the two but after the first hour he can't save this film and Aniston who I thought had dumped the "Rachel" role persona and finally moved on has picked it back up. Its worth a watch if there is nothing else and its not a terrible comedy, I just expected more. I recommend "The Proposal" with Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock it is a more full-filling couples comedy and a hell of a good time. So "The Bounty Hunter", I wish I could give more but I just can't. 1.5/5 -tom
Thursday, August 5, 2010
"Nothings permanent, not even death"
Director Terry Gilliam invites you into the world of Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer), a former monk who made a deal with the devil thousands of years ago. The two share a secret that comes along with the deal involving the doctor's fifteen year old daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) that states that when she is sixteen she will belong to the devil. The good doctor and his crew of two, including Percy (Verne Troyer) and Anton (Andrew Garfield) travel England with their show and invite people into the world of "The Imaginarium", which is inside the mind of the doctor and takes you to places you couldn't even imagine. Along their travels they find a man named Tony (Heath Ledger) hanging from a bridge, not knowing who he is or where he came from, he is taken in as one of their own and assists with the show. With Valentina's sixteenth birthday approaching the devil approaches the doctor with a kind of competition for souls. First one to get five souls wins. If the doctor wins he keeps his daughter, however if he loses she will be the devil's mistress.
Filled with dazzling effects you'll feel like a kid watching this. Although the material is at sometimes dark and this movie can be somewhat confusing, it is a modern marvel. With an all star cast including Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Tom Waits along with numerous others. This film is a tribute to the late Heath Ledger and was pushed back and rehashed due to his untimely death. For Terry Gilliam who is no stranger to bringing to the screen new and exciting worlds and has delivered such monumental films as "Time Bandits", "The Fisher King", "The Meaning of Life", and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", this is his masterpiece and a wonderful film. 4/5-tom
I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with Tom on this one. I so wanted to see this movie and I really wanted it to be good especially considering the circumstances surrounding it and star Heath Ledgers passing. Unfortunately, the hiring of Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell do not save this mess of a movie. It feels very unfinished and rightly so since its lead died halfway through filming but even the footage with Heath Ledger feels like rough takes; as if there were no time to do reshoots before he died. It all comes across like a bad improv show when he is on screen and that sucks because Heath Ledger is a wonderful actor. The plot is confusing and never makes any real sense and casual viewers will be lost before it is even half over. Perhaps this too is because of Heaths death and the fact that the movie had to be partially rewritten and restructured. Terry Gilliam is at home with this wacky material and it definitely is a sight to see but it just feels bland due to the muddied story. Not only that, but I felt the special effects occasionally looked cheap. It's not without its highpoints though and there are a few. Tom Waits is FANTASTIC as the devil in this movie as is Andrew Garfield as Anton. Watch out for Andrew Garfield because he is going to be a big star, especially in 2012 when he takes on the role of Peter Parker in the "Spider-Man" redo. Watch this only if you are a hardcore Terry Gilliam fan, everybody else will be just end up confused and mad they wasted a slot on their netflix que list. 2/5 -andy
"Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you, KONG! EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!"
If you don't know the story of "King Kong" then shame on you! After the classic 1933 original and two remakes any film aficionado should be well acquainted with the story of the most famous gorilla in movie history. "King Kong" is about Carl Denham (Jack Black) who has come into possession of an ancient map detailing the location of a mysterious island called 'Skull Island'. Denham is on the run from the studio who want to scrap his latest film atrocity and salvage what's left for stock footage. Denham is intent on making his picture and has already chartered a boat to get to the lost island. Of course the ships crew have no idea where it is Denham intends to go and he must keep it a secret from them until it will be to late to turn back. Along on this journey are Jack Driscoll (Adrian Brody) and Anne Darrow (Naomi Watts), screenwriter and actress respectively. Jack has been swindled into coming along and Anne, a willing participant, is the girl Denham recruited at the last second to fill the voided part of his leading lady. The rest is history: the crew make it to the island, Anne is kidnapped at first by the island's inhabitants and secondly by King Kong and the boats crew must rescue her.
It must have been a daunting task for Peter Jackson to follow up his successful "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The expectations were probably ridiculously high to a point at which anything he put out would have been looked at with such scrutiny it would've made even the greatest of film subject to failure. Peter Jackson did what any artist should do and chose a project he genuinely wanted to work on and not something that every one expected. As it turns out, Jackson had already begun work on a "King Kong" remake in the late 90s which was scrapped when he began work on "Lord of the Rings". Jackson's film has everything that the 1933 version had even the time period but the biggest difference has to be the running time and of course the updated special effects. While stop-motion animation can still be very fun it doesn't create the feeling of realism that it did 70 years ago. Unfortunately, "King Kong" pretty much tanked at the box office and I can tell you why: the movie is over 3 hours long when the original clocked in at hardly over an hour and a half. Nobody expected they were going to have to sit through an epically long film especially one that's story has already been told two times before in half the time. Jackson's "King Kong" is a sight to see and if you have the patience you owe this one multiple viewings. King Kong as a character looks amazing and the acting here is top notch (even Jack Black tones his usual manic crack addict-like behavior down for the role of Denham). The detail at which WETA studios put into creating not only Skull Island but all the creatures who inhabit is breathtaking. The film isn't without its faults, however, as once again it really is SUPER long and Jack Black, though likable is still very annoying from time to time. Out of everything I enjoyed I do want to mention once again how much I liked Adrian Brody as reluctant hero Jack Driscoll. Keep an eye out for many homages to the original 1933 "King Kong" through out. 4.5/5 -andy
"Let me tell you something, Jack. If shit was worth something, poor people would be born with no asshole. "
After viewing "48 Hrs" I had such a good time I just had to move on to its one and only sequel, cleverly titled "Another 48 Hrs". This time around Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) is on the trail of a major drug dealer called The Iceman. The Iceman is out trying to kill convict Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) for stealing his money - yes, the money Reggie tried so hard to get back in the first film turns out to have been stolen from this deadly kingpin. The two must again work through their differences to uncover The Iceman's identity before it's too late.
"Another 48 Hrs" may have been released in 1990 but it feels very 80s. It was almost as good as the original and this time they nixed all the racist dialogue. I love Nick Nolte as Jack Cates and his character is a more believable cop than many seen in film during the era. Eddie Murphy is typical Eddie Murphy, much like Robin Williams he is funny in small doses and I find him far more entertaining when he reels it in a bit and plays things a little more straight than usual. Nothing here will blow you away but if you enjoyed the first you should enjoy this one as well. 3/5 -andy
"People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now"
Eli (Denzel Washington) is a lone man wandering what is left of a scorched earth. He carries only what he needs to survive. Most precious of his belongings is a book that he had found years ago, a book that carries with it powers beyond this world, a book that could bring hope back to humanity. Eli is on a mission out west to deliver the book to the right hands and will kill anyone that gets in the way. In his travels he finds himself in a densely populated town run by traders, murderers, and thieves led by a man called Carnegie (Gary Oldman). Carnegie learns of Eli's book and knowing of its powers he tries to barter for it by offering work, water, and even through seduction with a young woman named Solara (Mila Kunis). Eli declines and continues on his way whilst being pursued by Carnegie and his men who will stop at nothing to get his book.
Denzel Washington gives an award worthy performance in this captivating and moving piece of science fiction/post apocalyptic/ action thriller by The Hughes Brothers. This story is simple but carries so much more than anyone will even realize until it is seen. You should walk away from this feeling good inside, not from just a good action movie but the lengths in which Denzel's character goes to protect this book while trying to find the good in man along the way. Quite simply this a masterpiece movie from beginning to end without question. Even if you don't like these sort of movies I feel you owe it to yourself to see it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I don't hand them out often but "Book of Eli" is without a doubt a perfect movie. 5/5 -tom
I have to say I totally agree with Tom on this one. A friend of mine even revealed the ending to me before I saw it and I was still blown away. "The Book of Eli" is more than just some post-apocalyptic film; It's a film that has real meaning if you're willing to believe in it. And there in lies the real meaning of this film: Faith. What amazed me the most about it was that there were all these little genre's encompassed within. It had amazing Action, it had intense drama...and a ton of violence and blood. The cinematography is something to behold giving us perhaps the most hauntingly beautiful Post-Apocalyptic/Action/Drama ever. I have one MAJOR issue with it however but I don't want to tell you about it here because it would mean revealing the ending. I encourage you to watch the film and message me to find out what my problem with it is. Don't let that last little bit make you not watch the movie however, because you would be doing yourself a major disservice. 5/5 -andy
"Don't do it for you. Do it for your family"
Based on the same themes as"Repo:The Genetic Opera"(2008), human organs as we know it are failing quickly, but thanks to a company called The Union, you don't have to worry because they have everything you need from robotic hearts, livers, to lungs. They don't come cheap and if your late on a payment The Union sends out the Repo Men who will cut you open and return the organs back to base. Those who can't pay escape into the city and hide in dark alleyways and abandoned buildings from the Repo Men . Two of The Union's finest are Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker), best friends since they were kids, joined the military together, and now teamed up as surgical assassins. Wanting out Remy decides on one last job then he's going behind a desk at corporate but after an accident he is given a Union heart to survive with payments to be made. Unable to make them working behind a desk he resorts back to Repo with no success. Losing the talent that used to come so easy and forcing him to go into default, making him a man on the run, hiding with the very same people he used to hunt and now being tracked down by his best friend.
This movie bombed at the box-office. I mean like 13 million and change bombed, and for the life of me I cant figure out why. This movie is incredible. From the futuristic landscapes, characters, and even the basic premise for which the story revolves around. I never got tired of watching this. Law and Whitaker along with Liev Schreiber as Frank the Union boss rule this movie and own the screen. It is a breath of fresh air for Sci-Fi fans. In the spirit of "Blade Runner" this film is a work of art and I hope it will receive some love on the dvd and rental shelves. It is a must see for all Sci-Fi fans. 4.5/5 -tom
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
"Tool up, honey bunny. It's time to get bad guys."
"Kick Ass" is based on the comic book of the same name by legends Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. It is a really awesome but ever so slightly unrealistic look at what might happen if someone decided to be a superhero in the real world. The film follows this same logic while occasionally differing in only small amounts. Both comic book and film are over the top, bloody and a ton of fun. "Kick Ass" is directed by Matthew Vaughn who also directed "Layer Cake" and will also direct the upcoming "X-Men" prequel, "X-Men First Class". Many of its stars are unknowns which can hurt a film or make it really work and in this case its the latter. Shall we summarize? Aaron Johnson is Dave Lizewski, comic book nerd extraordinaire. Dave lives alone with his father and wonders what would happen if someone decided to put on a costume and try to be a real superhero. Dave orders a wetsuit off the Internet and does just that except it doesn't go so well...at first. Dave is hospitalized after he tries to save someone and the criminals beat him half to death. After months of recovery he has changed his mind about being a hero until one day decides to give it a second try. This time Dave is successful in saving a man and his exploits are taped by someones cell phone and the clip is uploaded to youtube where it becomes an overnight hit. Dave is now being called on by various citizens to do good deeds and soon finds out that he is not the only superhero when he is rescued by Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage). The rest of the plot involves these three - Dave, the bad-ass ninja girl, her ex-cop father who 'looks like batman' and a really mean mob boss played by Mark Strong.
There is so much I could say about this movie. I loved it. It was so unappreciated during its release and I can only hope it picks up steam as time goes along. I think part of the problem was in its marketing. A lot of people thought it was going to be a typical comic book/super hero movie like "Spider-Man" but it is really so much more. Those that didn't think that, came to the movie expecting it to be only a silly comedy which it IS but it also isn't. Lastly it was rated R and loaded with blood and violence and by many that was certainly unexpected. I highly advise reading the comic book if you can before viewing the film. This requirement is like reading a novel before you see its adaptation: not 100% necessary but a whole lot more fulfilling. For those not willing to take the plunge, the main difference between the two are in the characterization of Big Daddy's origin/relationship with Hit Girl, the outcome of Dave's relationship with Katie and the level of seriousness they treat Dave's implied homosexuality as a result of his mysterious injuries . All of this and Clark Duke from "Sex Drive" and "Hot Tub Time Machine" make for a really REALLY exciting, fun, and hilarious ride. The drama that peeks its little head out on the end is the icing on the cake and adds another level of depth to an already spectacular movie. You need to see this. 4/5 -andy
I too enjoyed this but not as much as my friend here. "Kick-Ass" is a kind of guilty pleasure in the sense of "Spider-Man 2". You get to see real people wanting and becoming superheroes with no special powers but the will to fight back when no one else will. The film has its slow points but for the most part keeps you entertained. Mark Strong as the villian was perfectly cast and gave a command performance."Kick-Ass" is violent, bloody, and action-packed thrill ride that hits the mark where most movies of this genre fail. Yeah "X-Men:The Last Stand " I'm talking to you! I do not recommend this for everyone but if you like comic book movies, this is a sure fire hit. 3.5/5 -tom
"We crossed the line..."
My wife really wanted to see "Splice" when it came out in theaters, but nothing about the movie really interested me all that much initially. Recently I had the opportunity to watch it and I can safely say that if you didn't see it you aren't missing much. Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrian Brody) are geneticists or in this case "splicers" - scientists that work on a cellular level combining the DNA of various creatures. Their mission is to use these slug-like creatures they've created, Fred and Ginger, to harness a particular enzyme that can be used to possibly cure all sorts of human related diseases. Elsa and Clive are hoping to move to the next level and begin using human DNA in their experiments when they are told they must concentrate only on Fred and Ginger and harnessing the enzyme/compound that they have been working on for months. Later that night, in the heat of the moment Elsa locks herself in the lab and combines human DNA with a host of undetermined DNA samples to create a wholly new life form. This life form is Drinn and she has untold evolutionary capabilities...and a long tail that has a huge stinger on the end of it. As you can imagine things don't go well for these two Scientist who crossed the line and sacrificed morality for success.
I sometimes hate giving you these little plot summaries as it is difficult to judge what you need to know versus what you might like to know before you see any film. "Splice" had some really cool moments and at times the story really worked but most of the time it was a lot of science that I didn't understand and a creature who doesn't become scary or interesting until the last 15 or 20 minutes of the film. I also thought Sarah Polley wasn't hardly as good in this as she was in 2004's "Dawn of the Dead" where she carried that film as one of the main leads. Adrian Brody, who for me is pretty consistently good in whatever he is in, carried this picture for me. The special effects are OK but in this day and age its nothing you haven't seen before. The trailer implies this to be more of a horror film and yeah, I guess it is...only because you can't classify it as anything else. If you are curious and feel the need to ignore everything I've told you, I would rent this one before you buy. 2/5 -andy
PS. I always encourage you to read our reviews and then go ahead and see the film (for as cheap as possible) despite what we think and then let us know what you thought. We love your participation and your comments!!
I liked it better the first time around when it was called "Species". Brody is the only thing that holds this movie together. Watch only if you have nothing else. 1/5 -tom
"This is my backyard damnit, and I wanna know what goes on in my backyard...he's my best friend!"
In this complex thriller we find two friends on opposite sides of the law. Dale Mckussic (Mel Gibson) is a somewhat retired drug dealer attempting a normal life for fear that the long arm of the law is fresh on his tracks and his luck may soon run out. Narcotics Lt. Nick Vallenari (Kurt Russell) just so happens to be Dale' s best friend but is also pressured by the department and the government to investigate suspicious activites with Dale's life. These including a love interest with a local restaurant owner (Michelle Pfeiffer), who may have knowledge of a shipment of cocaine coming up through Mexico being handled by Dale and a man named "Carlos" who the Mexican bureau, headed by the fabulous Raul Julia, have been watching for some time now.
Having never seen this movie until now and only recently watching "Chinatown", I have a newfound respect for writer/director Robert Towne who somehow creates a genre out of material that most would say has run its course. As in "Chinatown", the story and the characters blend together so well you cant help but to be pulled into their world. At times it is a dark comedy, especially between Gibson and Raul Julia. Julia is a force to be reckoned with on screen, although I wont give away anything if you havent seen it , both deliver Oscar-worthy performances. "Tequila Sunrise" did however garner an oscar nod for its cinematography. It is a wondeful film and one I would watch again. 4/5-tom
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"Live for nothing or Die for something."
"Rambo" is the fourth film in the franchise about Vietnam vet John J. Rambo. By now we have covered the first three films so if you haven't read our reviews, you should so you can catch up on what's lead Rambo up to this point. This time, we find our hero living in Thailand where he operates a boat and catches snakes for some sort of show being put on along the river. He is visited by a group of missionaries looking to be taken up river to Burma, which Rambo describes as a 'war zone', so they can provide aid for the villagers that are being tortured and killed there. Rambo refuses at first but after the girl in the group, Sarah (Dexter's Julie Benz), returns later that night she is able to convince Rambo to take them. Sometime after that a pastor from the church in Colorado where the missionaries were from seeks out Rambo in Thailand telling him that the group never returned, asking if Rambo will take a group of mercenaries up river to the spot where he dropped of the first group so that they may look for the lost missionaries.
I was never initially into the whole Rambo franchise so I didn't see this movie when it came out in 2008. It was because of this I was asked to review it and fortunately this blog has provided me with motivation to view films I probably never would've seen otherwise. "Rambo" doesn't try to be anything extraordinary. It knows what it is and never really attempts to be too philosophical or intelligent for its own good. It got right to the action and wrapped things up nicely in just under an hour and a half - a rarity in film these days. It was EXTREMELY violent which I saw as a way to not beautify war like some other action films do, including the earlier films of the Rambo series. The dialog and acting was the best of all four films and the jungle locales looked better and more believable than they did in "Rambo: First Blood Pt. 2". After viewing the other films recently, it was nice to see what I felt was a great end to a unique franchise in cinema history. 4/5 -andy
"The world meets nobody half way"
Stallone stars as Lincoln Hawks. Truck driver by day and professional arm wrestler by night. Faced with obstacles in his marriage by his menacing father-in-law played by Robert Loggia, Hawks is forced to leave his wife and two year old son. Now ten years later, his wife who is struggling for her life asks Lincoln to take their son on the road with him and try to give him the father he has never had. Spoiled by his rich grandfather his son is not at all thrilled by his fathers lifestyle as a truck driver. Loggia without knowledge of his daughters decision sends his men after Hawks to reclaim his grandson. Hawks then introduces his son to arm wrestling leading to an all out brawl at the national competitions held in Las Vegas.
Overall this is one of the best characters Stallone has portrayed. While the idea of a professional arm wrestling organization may seem far fetched it actually does exist. The story is original and low key for the most part for being portrayed as an "action film". The competitions are fun to watch with some interesting characters and Loggia as the insane grandfather is a wonderful villain. The film almost feels like it was made in the 70s until mullets and handlebar mustaches are introduced. I enjoyed watching this film but if I had to break it down it was a mix of "Commando", "Rocky 5", and "The Pursuit of Happiness" rolled in one. It is the best arm wrestling movie ever made. Wait... Its the only one. 3.5/5 -tom
Monday, August 2, 2010
"Avenge ME!!! Avenge ME!!!"
Ok, so let's get this annoying plot summary thing over with quickly and move on to the fun stuff. Russia and Cuba invade small, northwestern American town in Colorado. A handful of kids, including Matt Eckert (Charlie Sheen), escape with Matt's older brother Jed Eckert (Patrick Swayze) into the mountains outside of town. They survive for awhile by hunting and eventually return to town to find the Commie's have taken over and turned it into command center numero uno. On the way back to the mountains they visit an old family friend who reveals to them that World War III has begun and they are about 50 miles inside of enemy lines. A few new characters pop up from here to there including Powers Boothe as downed Air Force pilot Andy. The small group, now calling themselves the 'Wolverines' begin a rebellion and strategically attack there Russian/Cuban foes.
Ok...Stop there. "Red Dawn" is very well made and far more of a war film than I thought it would be. I'd never seen it despite the number of people who'd always told me it was a good movie. After a week of 80s Action films I really expected the heroes to come out the other side of this unscathed but not everybody does. Who bites the dust? For those few of you who've never seen it, I will leave you in suspense. However, I really hate it when the good guy you've been rooting for the entire hour and fifty three minutes bites the bleeping dust!! I know that it's more realistic this way but c'mon, we come to the movies for fantasy right? Escapism, RIGHT? My complaints don't stop there, oh no, you should be so lucky!! At times the movie seems to take itself a little too seriously and it occasionally became overly dramatic . Hey, Charlie Sheen's character, your 'friend' betrayed you and sold you out to the Russians and you DON'T want to kill him? You want me to be sympathetic? Somebody's wires got crossed. Anyhow, it was pretty good all in all and most of you would probably dig it minus a few gripes. It drags on a bit and anybody who gets it, gets it in the last 15 minutes. It wasn't terrible though I'll probably never sit through it again...but hey, I've never really liked war movies anyway. 2.5/5 -andy
SECOND OPINION: Well theres no accounting for taste. On that note "Red Dawn", given the time it was made and the material that was being dealt with, which was somewhat contriversal having such an impact on American culture during the Reagan administration. At the time these fears were real just like the Cuban Missile Crisis. The characters are all portrayed well and the story is solid and original. A very young Patrick Swayze delivers the best performance. Keep your eyes out for the remake this year which I hope does the original justice. As one of the best films of the 80s " Red Dawn" deserves more. 3.5/5
Sunday, August 1, 2010
"Jack...tell me story?" - "Fuck You" - "Oh, that's one of my favorites."
"48 Hrs." came out in 1982 which happens to be the year I was born so I was too young to see it when it was first released. Not only that but I'm not the worlds biggest Eddie Murphy fan so I had multiple reasons to not have seen this movie. Well thank goodness for 80s Action week because I have just witnessed one of the most enjoyable cop movies I have ever seen. Nick Nolte plays Jack Cates. A tough cop trying hard to make things work with his girlfriend Elaine when he accidentally gets sucked into plot involving escaped convict Ganz (James Remar) and the Native American man who helped him escape, Billy Bear (Sonny Landham). Jack must enlist the help of the one man from Ganz' gang who is still imprisoned, Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy), to stop the cop-killing Ganz and recover the money he is trying to steal from Reggie. Reggie is in jail with 6 months left on a 3 year sentence but Jack forges an official document that grants Reggie release for 48 hours. Ganz or no Ganz, Reggie must return to jail in that time.
"48 Hrs." works because it is 3 things rolled into one nice little package: An exciting sort-of Buddy Cop movie, a tense 80s Action Thriller and an often hilarious Comedy. The play between Nolte and Murphy is fantastic and although the two couldn't be more opposite they work extremely well together. In the end you'll see that they both put up tough fronts but don't really hate each other nearly as much as they let on. Nolte's tough cop routine is still fresh here and I believe in his character far more than Stallone's Cobra or any of Ah-nuld's half-baked portrayals. Again we have a film that has none of the 80s Action cliche's we keep talking about. Perhaps that is because it came out earlier in the decade before Action movies had the chance to become so ridiculous. It produced on sequel in 1990's "Another 48 Hrs." Word on that one to come later. If you like cop movies that have a even mix of Action and Comedy regardless of the decade the film came from, you will love this movie. 4/5 -andy
"Hey, Dr. Jones, no time for love we've got company"
Prequel...yes. Sequel...yes. In the second of the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg movie franchise we find Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Shanghai at club Obi Wan. Really George? Where he is making a deal with with Chinese gangsters. He then meets the club singer Willie Scott, played by Spielberg's wife (Kate Capshaw), and during a botched deal uses her as cover and the two escape the club after an entertaining romp through the club with guns blazing. Enter Indy's sidekick, a little boy called Short Round. Short Round takes Indy and his newly found lady friend racing through the streets of Shanghai using a piece of wood to reach the gas pedal, the three eluding the gangsters run to the airport to catch a plane out. Only problem the plane is sabotaged by gangster cronies and the three have to use a blow up raft to parachute midway through the trip and land in India. Here the meet villagers who's children have been taken by a evil cult within the mountains using them as slave workers. The Shaman of the village blames the evil presence on three missing stones that were taken out of the village which possess some kind of mystical power. Indy, Shortround, and Willie embark on an adventure through the mountains in an attempt to free the children and retrieve the stones.
Now with "Temple of Doom" you either love it or you hate it. Me I love it. Its fun, fast paced, and a visual treat. While the darker of all the Indy films it still carries an abundance of humor. With great characters created by Lucas and Spielberg and a wonderful set locations, it is none the less awe inspiring. After watching this you want more, which Spielberg and Lucas did in 1989 with "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and once again in 2008 in the very underrated "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Indy is a hallmark of American cinema and one of Harrison Ford's best characters. It is my least favorite of the film franchise but I still love it and enjoy watching it every now and then and I highly recommend it if your in the mood for some good old-fashioned fun. 4/5-tom
Ok, so you may ask yourself, "Is something missing from this review?" You would be correct in that assumption. This movie is so rare and unheard of that there isn't even a trailer for it on Youtube. The strange thing is, however, I found a trailer for its sequel. Moving on... A few days ago I found myself searching for 80s Action films that I could watch and review to finish out the week. One of these lists had "F/X" on it and I remembered seeing it at the video store when I was younger. I asked Tom if he had seen it and he replied that he remembered it slightly and that he felt he didn't like what he remembered of it but to give it a shot and let you all know what I thought. Well, after viewing the movie I can safely say I really enjoyed myself. I'm a little afraid to see the sequel or the TV series that was based on it for fear it would ruin the experience. Bryan Brown plays Roland Tyler, the newest and best make-up effects wizard in Hollywood. Roland is hired by the Witness Relocation Program to fake the death of mob boss Nicholas DeFranco (Law and Order's Jerry Orbach) for $30,000 so DeFranco can in turn safely testify against the mob. Everything goes off without a hitch until immediately afterwards when one of the men Roland was working for tries to kill him. His life is turned upside down he goes on the run, using hits wits and talents as an effects man to learn the truth and clear his name.
A nice supporting cast brings up the rear with a great performance by Brian Dennehy as Lt. McCarthy, the cop who brought in Defranco in the first place. McCarthy has a bad feeling and just can't let this case go. He risks his career to find out what is really going on but his intentions are good and you can't help but like him. The film has this "The Game" meets "Oceans 11" vibe and if that doesn't make sense at first, you'll know what I mean by the end. Its nothing overwhelmingly special, but if you see it in the bargain bin or for a cheap rental you should really check it out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. 3/5 -andy