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10 - a perfect movie or a movie I don't think I could live without even if it's flawed
9 - almost perfect/really great
8 - a great movie
7 - good/enjoyable
6 - give it a look, see for yourself
5 - take it or leave it
4 - not recommended
3 - only if you have a really good reason to see it, e.g. someone you love worked on it
2 - it really sucks but something in it is good, like the costumes or lighting
1 - I'm not sure why it exists
My Top 10 of all time:
The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition), Rocky, The Godfather, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Outsiders, Doctor Zhivago, The Usual Suspects, Top Secret!, Saturday Night Fever, True Lies
My favorite directors:
Francis Ford Coppola
Brian De Palma
My favorite actors:
Benicio Del Toro
Gael Garcia Bernal
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
I really love this movie
When I was fourteen years old, I watched the Calgary Games and fell in love with the Winter Olympics forever. One of the reasons was all the hope and good feelings that those games brought. Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards had everything to do with that. If you remember those Olympics fondly I can't imagine that you won't love this movie. His is such a cheerful inspiring story. The film captures all of that. Taron Egerton, who looks nothing like the real person, transformed himself into the goofy guy we all came to love. Hugh Jackman is also great playing to type in a supportive father figure-ish role. I also like the way the filmmakers used the music and what I would call bullet time. If done right, the film would have been emotional already but those things really heightened it to make it one of the all-time great movies about believing in yourself. Fans of movies like 'Miracle' or 'Billy Elliot' should love it. I've seen it twice already. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Man of Steel (2013)
I wish I could give it a zero
That's because it should not have been made.
I had no use for another Superman film. The Christopher Reeve films are there for us forever. The filmmakers of Superman Returns made a huge error with their storyline and therefore created what turned out to be a bad experience, but I would have given them a second chance. When they announced MOS as a reboot, I did not understand why anyone would bother. But when I heard Christopher Nolan was involved I figured there must be something good about it, since I love every film of his that I've seen.
Well it's apparent that the only reason for this film was to make money. The ONLY reason. Sears, IHOP, 7-ELeven, and U-Haul logos are shoved into your face during one of the "climactic" action scenes. And I mean you could see the washing machines at Sears. It was that bad. Beyond that those action scenes were just smashing scenes. Smashing buildings, smashing cars, smashing asphalt. The Hulk would have gotten sick of all the smashing. Just debris everywhere for a good half an hour. It literally made me tired. And the effects looked bad. People are tolerating this in movies lately for some reason but nothing about Superman flying or the explosions or the debris looked real. I don't understand how in 2013 the effects are looking faker/worse but they are. I guess to the video game crowd it doesn't matter, but my eyes want to believe what they're seeing even if it's a fantastical story.
The actors can't be blamed. They wanted to be a part of Superman. I get that. The fact is there wasn't anything they could have done to improve or make this movie worse. It was always going to be utter garbage. The story is stupid, the dialog is atrocious. I really sat there for about two hours wanting to slap someone, anyone. I haven't written a comment here in so long, but I had to. It was just that bad.
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
Liked it but not what I expected
Firstly, I love Russell Brand. Secondly, I have seen but pretty much hated My Favorite Year. I thought this was going to be the same thing. It is and then it isn't. It's not as much of a comedy to be honest. And they totally sell it as a comedy, which they do with all Apatow movies and I don't know why. Forgetting Sarah Marshall to me was barely a comedy because it's about a guy who is depressed the whole time. This isn't really that different. Just in this case it's a drug addict rock star who is pretty much headed on the road that many people have taken in recent years and ended up as a breaking news obit at the top of this website. It's another bromance as well, which is fine by me. All these movies are more sentimental than they'd have you believe in the trailers. I personally think that's detrimental to the movie because it makes people expect one thing and get another and then write on the internet how disappointed they are. Problem is, it's not a bad movie. It's actually a good movie about the record industry and people and how they treat each other in such a ridiculous lifestyle with some funny bits thrown in.
I love Russell Brand and Jonah Hill together. I think they have the best chemistry. Their scenes together, pretty much the whole film, were more personal than funny. The more comedic parts usually happen when other people enter the mix. P. Diddy, for example, had a much larger role than I expected and he was okay in it. I probably would have cast an actor with more comedy experience, as well as choosing a different rock star cameo for Jackie Q's other love interest. But apart from that I really have no complaints. Perhaps I would have used more of Aldous' songs throughout the film, but that's because I quite like Brand's voice. I don't know that it was necessary for the plot.
Other stuff. It's an R for a reason. There's sex humor and drug stuff going on. There are some breasts but not much else in the nudity dept. that I can recall. I guess I'd recommend it for people like me who like English rock stars and comedies with warm fuzzies.
Green Zone (2010)
Shake, Shake, Shake
Shake, shake, shake, shake your Damon.
I'm sooooo sick of shaky cam, seriously. I don't know how I haven't gotten literally sick yet. Whoever is telling people this is a really cool way to film movies, STOP IT! This movie was a waste of my time. Now I'm sure there is an audience for this. Probably a big one. Unlike the rest of the free world, I still don't buy Matt Damon as an action star. As far as I'm concerned he seems like someone who should be attacking books at the most. This movie had some running around and shooting, and a hopping translator, and a lot of grainy greenness. What else? I dunno. Some guy who looks like Telly Savalas with a mustache and a message that will make you think. But only if you've never ever thought before. Honestly, it was like a spoof of itself. A lot of people running around spouting lines in very stern ADR work so you'll know that you're supposed to be taking this almost as seriously as they are. And it's how seriously it takes itself that makes it funny. I remember a time when people complained about movies like Rambo for having very little dialogue. This was hardly any better. But that at least was a good movie. This completely wastes Jason Isaacs. And Brendan Gleeson just looks grumpy the whole time. And all you can think is 'when is the next Harry Potter movie?' Matt Damon fans who enjoy shaky camera work might like it. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. But it's up to you.
Cop Out (2010)
Really really funny
I don't know what everyone else is on, but this movie was one of the best comedies I've seen in years. It's a HOMage to 80s buddy cop movies. But this actually improves upon them, imo. It didn't have that serious section that those did. This was wall to wall laughs. It wasn't just me. Everyone in my theater was laughing beginning to end.
The cast was sooooo perfect. He chose really funny people to fill out his cast all the way down to a pretty small role for Adam Brody who I didn't realize was hilarious until I saw him in 'Thank You for Smoking' where he was just great. I didn't like Tracy Morgan for a long time. I don't know maybe I got used to him. But he's seemed okay on "30 Rock". He's hilarious in this. But the funniest of the funny is Seann William Scott. You should see it just for his role. Susie Essman, Guillermo Diaz, the 11 year old kid, everyone really makes it work. In the beginning Willis looked a little bored, he works as often as anyone so maybe that should be expected, but eventually he got with it and then it was all smooth sailing.
I've seen some bad reviews and I don't know why. Maybe you have to be a movie fan, or Gen X or something to get all the references. And there is a doozy that references a cult favorite that I truly and loudly LOL'd at. I'm sure I missed some jokes because I was laughing at other ones. But I'll catch it when I watch this one again. And I know this movie is going to be super rewatchable. Even the songs they used were perfect. I would only not recommend this to people who have a problem with bad language. But why would they even be considering it anyway?
You have to wait for it
but it kinda pays off. For most of this movie, I sat there with a smirk on my face. The dialogue was pretty hard to take and some of the plot was pretty silly in how convenient everything was. But in a reversal of what usually happens in movies it got better and more interesting and was actually saved by the ending. Unfortunately the ending was taken from a very popular song from the 80s which immediately starting blaring in my head. I really don't see how that could be a coincidence.
It's interesting the thoughts that go through your head while watching a film. At one point I was thinking "How much money does Nic Cage have now?" And I got to that point because I realized he's been making action movies for 10+ years and he started off as a really good and quirky actor. But now he just runs around solving puzzles and averting disaster. I'd really like to see him act again. He must have enough money by now.
The movie is more of a horror movie than I was expecting. It's not gory or anything but it's full of horror elements and if you're comparing it to most horror films it's better than most of them. But there are many points where it's unintentionally funny. Still I have to give it credit, because it's trying to say things. It uses familiar elements but isn't like most movies you've seen. And I'll tell you the truth, I did not see this cribbed ending coming at all. Even though I've always hoped that is what will happen in that circumstance.
There is some hammy kid acting and we really need to figure out what to do about Cage's hair. But this movie was watchable. And maybe even rewatchable for genre fans who don't need everything to be too smart. Give it a shot if you're bored with nothing else to watch or if you're interested by the premise, which is solid, but don't expect anything too amazing. It's passable, lots of bad but lots of redeeming stuff too.
I Love You, Man (2009)
It's so different to me
I don't consider this a comedy, and I said the same thing after "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". I think we need a new word for these movies because they're not really dramas and I laughed a lot, but they're just not comedies. For the record I liked this a lot more that FSM, which I thought was alternately brilliant and dull depending on the scene. This movie has a really steady pace and I really enjoyed it. I thought while watching it, "This movie is just like a hug." Seriously it's just a really sweet movie about nice people who are friends and want to be decent to each other and help each other out, except for the one guy (played by Jon Favreau) but he was even cool.
I liked everyone in it. But the movie is mostly about Paul Rudd and Jason Segel who are a great duo. I actually thought that it would be nice if a performance like Rudd's would get attention during awards season. They usually don't, these understated but really genuine performances. This is going to go down and one of his best roles. And Jason Segel, I don't know if he's really like that, but I'm always waiting for him to turn out to be a serial killer or something. (And don't take that the wrong way because he was my favorite on "Freaks and Geeks" back in the day.) He's playing this real oddball and you just don't know what to make of him until almost the end and it's like a surprise that shouldn't have been. I can't explain it without spoiling but and I can't even come up with a movie to compare it to.
Like I said I think it's different. It's so very much it's own movie, and I just want to kiss it. It's so likable. It's like a teddy bear, or hot chocolate or Up with People. So if you like nice things, you should go see it.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Not an original bone in it's body
This movie is an incredibly loud and obnoxious mash up of movies like 'Les Comperes' and 'Ginger and Cinnamon'. Those movies are annoying enough but to combine their strengths is dangerous for humankind. When this movie was coming out I knew it would be huge. It would have to be the worst movie ever created to undo the goodwill of ABBA. It's not that, but it's not good either. Props to Meryl for showing up and still doing her job without retching the whole time. I've heard loads about how bad Pierce Brosnan's singing was but I could deal with it, he's no worse than Gerard Butler. But the lead girl, although not tone deaf, her voice sounds to me like nails on a chalkboard. Otherwise you have good actors having fun.
I can only imagine what the people who paid theater prices to see this on the stage must have thought. At least a movie ticket isn't that much money. I'll clue you in to a better way to spend your money. I bought the CD of ABBA Gold about 15 years ago for probably about $13. It still plays like the day I bought it and I've listened to it a million times. If you have the CD and haven't seen this yet, just listen to that instead. If you've seen the movie and love it, do yourself a favor and purchase some real ABBA.
Seven Pounds (2008)
Really well done
One of the greatest things about this film is that it takes it's time. It was very deliberately paced and I thought that really helped since it tries to keep a secret through most of the film. Not that it's not predictable. There are points in the film when you think 'okay, I know where this is going', 'I know what's going to happen' but I realized that there isn't really anything wrong with knowing where a film is going. In this case the other characters don't, even if you do, so that's what's important.
Will Smith does a great job here. It's one of his movies where he actually acts, which he rarely does unfortunately. I also love that he chose this movie in the first place. You don't see superstars in this kind of picture much nowadays. Rosario Dawson is slowly becoming the huge actress I always thought she would. It mainly centers on them, with supporting performances from Woody Harrelson, Bill Smitrovich, and Barry Pepper amongst others.
I'm not going to tell spoilers but it's not necessarily the kind of movie Will Smith fans will go for. It's more of an Oscar season movie, something you need tissues for. But it's very well done. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes good cinema, but people looking to be "entertained" may want to look elsewhere. I'd hate to think this movie will get a bad reputation because it was marketed to the wrong people just to get good opening weekend numbers.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
I wasn't very impressed with this Bond film. The action sequences were alright. But looking back I think 'Get Smart' had more impressive action sequences. The story was, well, I'm not even sure what the story was. I could barely hear the dialogue and I'm not sure if it was my theater but I did hear all the punches and glass breaking just fine. It seems it was about oil or something, but then not really. I dunno. I'm not sure that the plot really matters much in most Bond films so that's not that big a deal but what really bothered me was how much the focus was not on Bond. I mean it almost seemed at one point that the whole film was revolving around the Bond girl getting revenge. Why in God's name should I care who did what to some Bond girl's relative? And why would I give a rat's patootie if she get's revenge or not? And I'm sorry but why was I watching an old lady take off her makeup and draw a bath? Who cares about that? I want gadgets, menacing bad guys, actiony action. It was pretty much missing here. There was one guy who was prominently portrayed in a photo Bond was carrying around who was on screen for about 2 minutes, and I'm not really sure that he said anything, but he was hot. I would have liked to have seen more of him and exactly what happened to him. But no, our villain was the guy from 'Diving Bell and the Butterfly' and the action sequences in that film were almost as good and numerous as the ones here.
I really don't know why I'm giving this a 6/10. It's probably worse than that, but I like Daniel Craig and I guess for most of it I stopped paying attention and daydreamed a better Bond movie starring Mr. Craig and myself. ;) By all means, see it yourself, especially if you're a Bond fan but I didn't like it. For the record, I liked 'Casino Royale' quite a bit but I didn't enjoy the Eva Green business either. But in that case the rest of the movie was good enough to balance out all the girl power. Not this time.