Tuesday, September 29, 2009

...say Scott Bakula? (The Informant! review)

Matt Damon, check. Steven Soderberg, check. The guy from Quantum Leap, check. Recipe for success is obvious. Or is it? I listened to a movie review podcast the other day about The Informer! and it had a lot of good things to say about it. So I figured I would give it a try.

This movie is about a price fixing scandal in the early 90s. Based on a true story.

The good: I've mentioned before that I like movies that are based on true stories. I am fully aware that they are only BASED on true stories, not the actual truth. But more times than not, I end up looking up the info to find out the true story. This is how I learn history... There are a few moments that are really funny--unfortunately very few. Damon's character is very interesting...You love him, then you hate him, then you feel sorry for him, then you don't. But I won't say why.

The bad: Don't be tricked like me. This is a semi-comedy. But I found that this had a much more serious tone than I was prepared for. I think I laughed out loud maybe 2 or 3 times. I found the acting to be mediocre at best. It may have been intended, but the FBI agents (Quantum Leap guy and Talk Soup guy) are extremely over dramatic and they ended up being more annoying than anything. Then there is the wife, I know her as the crazy ex-girlfriend in Two and half men, who is supposed to be normal, but carries the same crazy vibe as the sitcom. And finally, I must reiterate...not funny.

DVD rental at best.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Friday, September 11, 2009

...wish they would stop with the WWII movies. (Defiance review)

IMDB: 7.3

Released in 2008, Defiance tried to ride the James Bond train with Daniel Craig. I remember seeing the trailers for this in the theaters and thinking "Oooooh...that should be good!" Silly me.

The good: I think that the acting was good. Daniel Craig and Liev Shreiber (sp?) had a good chemistry, which you would expect out of those 2. Ummm...

The bad: I don't know, I think I've just seen this story too many times. Only this time, it happens in the forest. Good guys hide from Nazis. Nazis come after good guys. Good guys kill Nazis. The end. The trailers made this out to be an action packed movie...not so much. There were a few fire fight scenes, but nothing special.

This is an easily forgetable movie. I'm not saying I hate it, I'm just saying you dont need to waste your time with it.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, September 10, 2009

...like some prawns. (District 9 review)

IMDB score: 8.6

Whats weird is that I didn't hear anything that supported this. I either heard that it was "ok", or it "wasn't bad", or even a "it suuuucked."

Peter Jackson did not direct this. As deceiving as the trailers may be, he only produced it. However, fun fact of the day. The director, Neil Blaumkapmejflaidjfpa (not sure), was supposed to direct the Halo movie that fell through. So, Jackson gave this guy $30 million to make whatever he wanted. This is the movie that resulted.

The good: I love the story. Aliens get stranded on Earth. South Africans restrain the aliens to a certain area but are allowed to colonize and stay. Tensions rise. I think this is was well adapted (I believe it is based on some other story), and as the trend continues, it is a "realistic" view of how it may be handled in present day. And I like how this movie was filmed in the manner of a documentary. It is a quick and interesting way to give all the background information and allowed them to jump quickly into the story. Although not a comedy, there was a fair amount of comedic value...especially as the aliens pick up the habits of the slums. There were a couple of nods to video games in the alien weaponry (Gravity Gun from Half Life 2) which is always fun for us nerds.

The bad: I don't think I'm a fan of the alien design used. Not a fan of the ending.

This was a good movie, stop hating.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

...listen, not hear. (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist review)

I took a class in college called "Music in Film" or "Sound in Film"...I actually forget. But, the lesson was this, many movies use sound or music to drive the film. I have always been a fan of soundtracks to movies, but I figured this would actually be a good time to talk about it.

A couple weeks ago, I watched "I Love You, Man" (I need to write about it), and in the middle of a scene, I told my roommate to stop it and rewind. I then asked what song was playing in the background. I couldn't really make it out, but later looked it up and found it to be "Oxford Comma" by Vampire Weekend--awesome song. I know some of you readers are well versed with this group, but for the rest of us, paying a little attention to the music in a movie will find youself a nice little playlist for yourself.

Anyways, Nick and Norah's Infinite playlist is about 2 high-schoolers that love the underground music scene. They are trying to find some band all night--shenanigans ensue.

The good: As mentioned above, I like the music that is played...and there is a lot of it. Michael Sera (the Arrested Development kid) does his little dorky, witty, routine which he does so well. The story is fairly intriguing--trying to find a band that is supposedly everyones favorite band ever. SPOILER: I can't decide if its a good thing, or a bad thing, but this supposed "best band" called "Where's Fluffy?" never gets to play. You see them take stage at the end of the movie, but get left hanging.

The bad: The rest of the characters aren't very memorable. Kinda lame actually. Although there are hints of comedic genious, I didn't laugh quite as much as would've liked.

Entertaining enough.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Monday, August 24, 2009

...re-read the history books. (Inglourious Basterds review)

So I had 2 texts come to me this weekend that both said "Have you seen District 9? Is it any good?" And to both texts I responded, "No, but I did see Inglourious Basterds. Go watch that...its really good." I'm still waiting on one response, but the other replied "It suuucked."--talking about District 9, of course.

Why do people ask if they aren't going to listen? I also come across many instances where people watch movies that I have clearly said not to watch on this blog...then complain about them. Stupid people.

So finally, after years of waiting, Inglourious Basterds arrives. Quentin Tarantino's story had apparently been written before the Kill Bill movies came out a while back, and originally slated to be called "Once Upon a time in Nazi-Occupied France." I don't know if I have conveyed this before...but I love me some Tarantino.

The good: Tarantino's story-telling and dialogue are far superior to any contemporary director. Every moment is as awkward and intense as the next. This movie isn't full of too much action, but enough satiate that itch we all have. The shock value is great. There oh so many scenes where you can't believe what you just saw. And its funny! Brad Pitt is ridiculous--in a very good way. Every scene that he is in, you will laugh out loud at least once, guaranteed. I also love how this movie is definitely NOT historically accurate. It gives a nice little twist. All other WWII movies you always know how things are gonna end because they try to stay true to history--not the case here.

The bad: Its loooong. Running a little over 2 and half hours. Luckily it doesn't feel that bad when watching. There are not enough Brad Pitt scenes. Although the supposed "main" character, he is probably in less than half of the movie.

Go watch it.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

...say "ooh shhh..."-nap. Say "oh snap", is what I mean. (Punisher: Warzone review)

I only saw bits and pieces of the Punisher with Thomas Jane. And only owned the DVD with Dolph, but never actually watched it. But for some reason unbeknownst to me, despite mediocre reviews, I decided to give this new one a shot.

The Good: Can I say that I said "Oh shh..."-nap out loud more times in this movie than I have in a long time. Meaning that there were more over the top ways to kill people in this movie than any other in while. This movie was entertaining if you are looking for something in the background to look up at every 10 mins to see something crazy. And I like the video game feel of it, with mini-bosses, then major bosses, and lots of goons in between.

The Bad: The bad is what you would expect before going into the movie. Bad story. Bad acting. I also don't like how some of the "mini-bosses" I referred to die so easily. I would've liked to see a little more fight in 'em.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Monday, August 3, 2009

...get a freeze ray. (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog review)

Doogie, Doogie, Doogie...oh how I love your comedic performances.

My friend asked me, "Have you seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog?" Not only had I not seen it, I don't think I had ever heard of it. Yet, he was appalled and surprised that I hadn't. Oddly enough, now I have the same reaction. I find myself asking everyone "Have you seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog?" and then scream at them for not having seen it.

Dr. Horrible is an internet sensation. I was told that it was sort of an experiment--low budget, internet only, and free to watch (www.hulu.com). Its about a 45 minute movie, or should I say musical... I know that turns a lot of people off. I, for one, love musicals, so I may be a little bit biased towards liking it. But I think anyone should be able to watch it.

The good: NPH! He's my fav, thank you HIMYM and Harold and Kumar. The humor is very subtle, but extremely effective. The music is very original and catchy. The story is pretty deep for 45 mins. The rewatchability is very high...I have probably seen it about 6 times now. Moist--the partner in crime.

The bad: None.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (perhaps 10 out of 10 if they had a couple of swordfights and karate)