Archive for August, 2009

Review: Inglourious Basterds

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

A fictitious WWII movie, which in its own might be a fresh change with all those currently released “based on true facts” movies.
A “typical” Quentin Tarantino flick, as this movie is setup in Chapters, lots of characters fueled by heavy dialogue, bombastic music/sound effects, and on screen weirdness (including visual cues). Story seems original enough, and the expected weird twists are there. It’s a unique movie experience, but still doesn’t move me all the way, and sometimes borders boring during those lengthy dialogue (as it did in his last outing Death Proof).
Even though I don’t think it’s a masterwork, I still recommend everyone to see it at least once.7½.

Review: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The fourth Tony Scott/Denzel Washington collaboration already (there will even be an upmcoming fifth), and most of them were better than good. This one, while the story is a bit more limited and has less character depth, is still gripping from the start. Tension is a thing Tony Scott is good in, and barring the anticlimax, it’s still a good movie.7½.

Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The expectations for another surprise hit movie franchise by toy company Hasbro (Transformer) seems totally crushed, after seeing this high budgeted, but poorly executed CGI fest.
The story is obviously absolutely crap. The fact that the producers tried to makes this movie ultra-serious is another mistake. If you can’t laugh at yourself, being spun-off from a toy product line, you have a serious flawed point of view. Now were stuck with no plot, and no fun to be had at all.
As expected, writer/director Stephen Sommers drops the ball here and there (remember the bad special effects on his Mummy series ?), some unintentionally bad sequences are jaw-droppingly bad.
The serious acting is laughable too, with Dennis Quaid as a stern General Hawk shouting commands around counted as carreer low point.
This movie is only interesting to max. 12 year old boys and even then, you’d probably have to cut 80% to keep them interested throughout.5½.

Review: Crossing Over

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

A Weinstein Company movie that seems to have a limited run only, despite carrying big names (Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd). Very topical, all strands of the story have something to do with immigration, and while heavily dramatised, it looks like it could be the gritty reality.
Spread throughout the film are valid tear-jerkers, while other parts are intended to spark controverisal discussions. And right in the middle of this is a stunning performance by (my guess, up and coming star) Summer Bishil.
All in all, drama-wise, it’s a well made movie.7+.

Review: Public Enemies

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Being a Michael Mann fan, I couldn’t let this one pass. However, it seems he’s either slipping, or it’s the “based on true facts” thingy, but this movie is borderline boring ! Something I wouldn’t expect, as you’d know most of his films are dark and gritty, and very much character driven. While not totally documentary style, it feels flat and fact based. Despite good acting (Johnny Depp, Christian Bale), it’s mostly devoid of in depth drama. All characters are totally uninteresting and dialogue doesn’t provide any depth of character.
If the last few months of the life oof one of the most beloved (???) bank robber in the US history doesn’t interest you, this is one to skip.5½.

Review: The Proposal

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Typical love story comedy, geared towards the ladies. Everyone is in that particular “comedy acting mode”, which might be disturbing sometimes. Still, it’s enjoyable, though somewhat predictable. Mostly a showcase for Ryan Reynolds ability to be funny (excellent timing) and charming at the same time. Pacing makes up a bit for the other flaws.7-.

Review: A Perfect Getaway

Friday, August 14th, 2009

A pretty ordinary thriller, starring Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) but one that hinges too much on the big twist. You could sense that during the movie, but people catching the trailer might already know the outcome too.
Personally, I think they’re just cheating their way through the story, and to cover the big twist, they build in an uncheat mode, but in the end, it’s just not believable anymore, whichever way you look at it. (While reading discussion forums later on, you might see it could all fit, but when you’re sitting there, it just doesn’t do the trick, like the Sixth Sense did).
Also, as a thriller, it’s rather light-hearted, with only a handful of tense scenes. That said, it’s still mildly entertaining (mostly due to Timothy Olyphant role).7-.

Review: Rob Thomas – Cradlesong

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

It’s been 4 yours already since his first venture into his solo career, so expectations were high. Add the fact that he’s proven to be one of the most talented singer/songwriter, and you can imagine how sky-high I was when the wait was finally over.
A whopping full CD (14 tracks, excluding several bonus tracks to be found elsewhere), it’s full of his signature “let’s change the game a bit” style, so it doesn’t resemble anything before. It’s a feat not a lot of artists can replicate (pick up any CD from any artist, and you can either always hear the resemblance with their previous material). But here we have it again, and just after 2 listens, I the wait was all worth it. While the excellently smooth power ballads are mostly gone (Ever The Same, Problem Girl, etc), it’s replaced with some more fast paced rocky attitude songs (including a more predictable layout with clear chorus lines, bridge etc, something I actually don’t fancy that well), but still containing his uniquely soulful voice.
Statistics wise, it’s even better. Even with the best albums, as picky as I am, I usually don’t like a lot. But the percentage of damn good songs, good songs, and acceptable songs are even higher this time around.
Seems this is the gem of this year to cherish. A definitely must-have, regardless of your favorite musical genre.9-.