Posts Tagged ‘films’


Bunch Of Movie Ratings Added

January 21, 2015

I added ratings for every film I saw in 2013 and 2014. You can check those out here and here. Also, if you missed my poker goals for 2015, you can read that post here.


Man Of Steel (2013)

June 21, 2013

Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams
Director: Zack Snyder (Watchmen trilogy, 300, Sucker Punchy)

Quick Thoughts: What a spectacle. That was my first thought leaving the theater after watching Man Of Steel, which was probably my most anticipated film this summer. Director Zack Snyder can handle action. We know that much and those looking for a Superman that finally kicks some real ass, you’ll get it here. There’s plenty of super fights, massive property destruction, and a finale that is almost overwhelmingly heavy on action. It was enough to make me want to go back and see it in IMAX 3D.

Man Of Steel almost feels like you’re watching two films. The first half of the movie feels much like producer Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins while the second half plays out, well, like a Zack Snyder film. Much like Begins the first half of Man Of Steel switches between scenes of Clark Kent dealing with his unnatural abilities as a child and discovering himself as an adult. Unlike Begins, where you become quite invested in Bruce Wayne’s story, Man Of Steel seems a bit slow and I was pretty eager to move along to the Superman stuff. Also, the sequence on Krypton, in particular, is overly long and a bit confusing. The second half of the film feels a lot like an alien invasion movie. I kept thinking of Independence Day during the second act.

It’s interesting that DC took such a realistic approach with Superman right after The Dark Knight trilogy finished. Certainly, Snyder’s Superman would fit comfortably into Nolan’s Batman universe. Nolan has stated that he is finished with Batman, however, and Man Of Steel is supposed to be the first step towards an eventual Justice League movie; one that will likely feature a rebooted Batman. It’s all quite a mess and as a massive fan of DC Comics, I have to say I’m concerned.

Regardless, even with my ridiculous expectations for Man Of Steel, I’m pretty satisfied with the finished product. Henry Cavill is perfect as Superman, General Zod and crew are formidable first opponents, the action is amazing, and Russell Crowe is great as Jor-El. David Goyer took some liberties with the Superman mythos–notably on how Lois Lane and Superman first meet and Superman’s morality–but I thought these were handled delicately and actually made sense for modern (and more realistic) versions of the characters. Lois Lane is an investigative journalist, after all, and it’s always been pretty unbelievable that no one can figure out that Superman and Clark Kent are one in the same. With all the pressure from the crazy success of The Avengers and Marvel’s ridiculously smart blueprint for creating their cinematic universe, I’m nervous about DC trying to match it by rushing into a Justice League movie, but even so, I’m looking forward to Man Of Steel 2

Replay Value: I’m anxious to see it again in IMAX 3D.
Sequel Potential: Release date already announced and this character will eventually show up in a Justice League movie.
Oscar Potential: Maybe some visual effects and sound recognition.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 7/10 (Must See)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 56% Audience: 82%
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Recommendation: The critics are way off on this one. 2006’s Superman Returns is a 75% and sucks. Man Of Steel blows it away and I think even the critics would agree with that. I’ll admit it didn’t meet my expectations, but this is still an above average superhero film and a great reintroduction of the Superman character.


127 Hours (2010)

April 12, 2011

Starring: James Franco
Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, Trainspotting)

Quick Thoughts: Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours is a gripping, claustrophobic film. James Franco plays Aron Ralston, a perpetual outdoorsman that must fight for his survival after his arm gets trapped under a rock while hiking through the mountains and canyons of Utah. It’s a compelling story, as Ralston slowly realizes the severity of his situation: it takes at least 24 hours for the boulder on Ralston’s arm to transform from major inconvenience to a seriously life-threatening object. No sir, that rock’s not going anywhere. 127 Hours makes you squirm in ways that would make a horror auteur jealous; it’s genuinely scary. Take a step outside the film and realize this is something that actually happened to someone and then put yourself in his shoes… it will send shivers down your spine. Due to the nature of the situation, the scope of the film is pretty limited, but Boyle and Co. more than make up for this in the first twenty minutes, most of which features stunning cinematography of the beautiful landscape this crisis takes place in. Franco is great in this movie and well deserving of his Oscar nomination, displaying a wide range of character that goes from cocky to scared to outright delusional. 127 Hours is a haunting, true tale of survival that is thrilling throughout its duration despite the fact that the majority of the story unfolds in a very small space.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Doesn’t strike me as something I’d want to watch repeatedly, but I’d strongly consider buying it.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Six nominations: Best Actor (Franco), Best Director (Boyle), Best Original Song, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Picture. No wins.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 7.5/10 (Must See/Excellent)
Recommendation: 127 Hours is a great story with a fast pace and clocks in at just over 90 minutes, making for a quick watch. I’ve heard complaints about the hallucinations (Scooby Dooby Doo… where are you?)–people calling them silly–but I suggest going five days without food or water… or mobility… and seeing how your brain holds up. Personally, I thought this movie was great, but if you didn’t like Into The Wild or Slumdog Millionaire, you suck… and you should probably skip this.


Revisiting 1990: Jacob’s Ladder

September 10, 2010

Considered For: Top 5

“Mr. Singer. What an appropriate name for a man that can’t shut up.”

Plot: Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is a traumatized Vietnam war vet that finds himself experiencing hallucinations when he returns to “normal” life in New York City.

I think Roger Ebert said it best when he stated that Jacob’s Ladder “was not a pleasant experience, but it was exhilarating in the sense that I was able to observe filmmakers working at the edge of their abilities and inspirations.” This was a tough movie to sit through. Between the swift editing that jumps from one point in time to another with no explanation and Jacob’s increasingly bizarre hallucinations throughout the film, it’s hard to get a grasp on what’s going on. It’s not an easy film to follow and as a result, it’s certainly not for everyone. There’s some good, scary imagery in this movie and Tim Robbins gives a decent performance. There’s a big twist in this movie, but the pay off isn’t that great if you have an idea what it is already before you start watching the movie. I admittedly struggled to get through this one and was thankful when it was over. It’s not a bad movie by any means, but it’s not an easy watch and I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it.

Grade: C
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: I’ll probably never watch it again, but I can see the appeal of multiple viewings.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscars?: No nominations.
Nudity?: Elizabeth Pena plays one of Jacob’s love interests and spends the vast majority of her scenes naked. Probably the best thing about the movie.


The Best Movies Of The Past 20 Years

August 1, 2010

I’m going to start a series of posts highlighting the best movies of the past twenty years. I’ve made some pretty solid lists for the 1990s, but I feel there are a lot of important films that I either haven’t seen in forever or just haven’t ever watched. I was eight in 1990 and I didn’t really get into movies until 1999, so there is a bit of catching up to do. I’m going to start with the year 1990 and over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be watching some of the films from that year that I think should be considered and I’ll be posting mini-reviews for all of them. I’m going to start with the past twenty years and see how that goes, but I ultimately want to expand the series to the Best Movies Of My Life, which would date back to 1982.

For each year, I’m going to pick what I think is the best overall film and also include a list of my top 5. Since certain genres are often overlooked in Best Of lists, I’m also going to include my top comedy, horror, and animated movie for each year. Lastly, we all have a movie that we love but isn’t particularly good; something that holds a special spot in our heart anyways. For each year, I’ll be selecting my top guilty pleasure. Stay tuned. I’ll be starting on 1990 this week.