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Didn't get it
I kind of think they wanted a little bit of Transporter, maybe a bit more of The Professional. What I saw was a main character that spoke so little he seemed mentally handicapped at times (no exaggeration). The driving aspect was shot to minimize the "car chase" theme but in so doing they took an element of excitement away. Good that they stayed away from Gone in 60 Seconds corn, but they didn't have to go quite that far. He hardly speaks to the love interest, so her interest in himis almost confusing. Anyways. not a bad film but this has to be Goslings most wooden performance yet although he didn't write it so I am not blaming him.
Horrible Bosses (2011)
Decent but probably not worthy of the cast.
Having recently watched Hangover 2 and Bad Teacher with mixed feelings I was actually looking forward to this film. Having watched it, I can't quite see where the strong reviews came from. Not as formulaic as Bad Teacher but not particularly clever. Spacey was just okay, Aniston was better, and Farrell was very good(but too little screen time for his contemptible character). I am not sure if Sudeikis wasn't carrying his weight or if it was the writing but he was easily the most replaceable of the leads. His lines just seemed like another SNL bit. I don't remember Charlie Day from any other work but he definitely injected some life into the film. Not bad for sure, but not something I would recommend you pay theatre prices for unless you go every weekend. Not as bizarre as Hangover or as crazy as Bridesmaids, but a few pretty good laughs.
Aging supermodel wins MMA title
I would have given it a 6.5 if there was a way to do it but I rounded up. The action scenes were definitely the weak point because it isn't a cartoon like Lara Croft. Angelina is simply too frail and unathletic to be Ms Jason Bourne. It was like watching adult males being tossed around by a 12 year old and she did it for the entire movie. They could have written around the physical scenes better. Aside from that it was a nice bit of cold war suspense and the strong cast did the best that they could. It wasn't utterly predictable and it is not a copy of the Bourne Identity. The role was written for a male lead but they did a nice job in adapting it for a female. I hope it does well enough in the box office to support a sequel because it was a decent popcorn movie.
I saw this one based on a very positive Rotten Tomatoes review. I usually shy away from SNL cast movies as most are pretty weak but gave it a shot. I actually like the MacGruber skits on SNL. What you will get is closer to the Ladies Man than Ron Burgundy. The character is taken from the skit, but the movie wanders away from even that weak sauce most of the time. The MacGyver spoof concept had some potential but it is more of a bad Naked Gun with Forte's bathroom humour replacing Neilson's Mr McGoo bumbling. Most of the acting with the exception of Wieg was pretty good, but there was just not much worth laughing at, even if you have a crude sense of humour. The is a marginal renter.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Entertaining but not his best
I am a huge QT fan so went expecting a lot. My short take is that if you want something as fresh as Pulp Fiction or as eye popping as Kill Bill you will be disappointed. This film plods painfully along in the first half, setting up the later story but not in a slick way like his earlier work. It almost stumbles through the usual QT violence (although less gratuitously than you might expect from the trailers) before flowing nicely for the last half hour. It is like the first half of the film was edited by a student. Brad Pitt is a caricature and most of his band of merry men are not very well developed. The villain is maybe the best fleshed out and most interesting. Not to say Pitt isn't good because you want to laugh every time he opens his mouth and he looks like he's having fun. Not bad by any means but QT and Brad Pitt together set the bar pretty high and I don't think they quite reach it. Pitt's Italian dialogue is memorable.
Observe and Report (2009)
2nd best mall cop movie this year -mild spoiler
It started out as a comedy and then kind of got weird in the middle as the main character's life unravels. The laughs all but disappeared, and the events began to get unlikely and then completely unbelievable. It starts off as a light comedy and then gets way too awkward and uncomfortable and can't bounce back. Rogan's character should have been in jail for various violent crimes and I think if you want to suspend reality for that, you still need to sew things together in some fashion to explain how he dodged prison time. Also Rogan starts off as a bit funny and likable but that wears off pretty quick sort of coming to a head when he blows up at work and then he is barely tolerable for the rest of the movie. You can't really see anything that would make the love interest want to be with him much less pursue him. Some laugh out loud moments, mostly early on, but not enough. Bad writing wastes a good cast
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Unexpectedly weak compared to CR
I looked forward to this film more than any other this year so maybe my own expectations set me up. From the cacaphonous Jack White theme music through the drudgy first 45 minutes I never got a feel for what the director was trying to do. It felt more lke a straight sequel than a standalone film and may have turned off as many new Bond fans as CR brought in. No issues with Craig, and his female costar was a lot better than I was expecting but looking back it was like an episode of 24, with a slightly more resolved ending. Bad writing or bad directing I am not sure. The fact that he wasn't pronging every woman in sight and remains true to the character established in his first film shows the new Bond is still on the right track but the next flick will be most critical in the franchise. I just can't picture anyone who hadn't seen CR even understanding what was happening in this picture.
Where is all the disapproval coming from?
I went to this show expecting nothing from all the harsh reviews. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't a typical episode but they weren't trying to reinvent it either. Perhaps people were hoping it would be more like the better creature episodes, as had been hinted at long ago. I know I was. A bit more violent police drama and less space invaders. Thank god the mythology was left out(since they killed most of the recurring faces that part was easy.) I bought the entire TV series last winter and powered through it, so I think my head is still close enough to what the TV show was all about. I liked it, more than the first movie for sure, and a lot more than I expected to. I hope they make another!
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
A nice wrap up to the chaos of the first one.
I enjoyed the first one somewhat. Good cast, and Tarentino quirky with over the top villains but a surplus of the red stuff. I went to Vol 2 expecting more of the same and was very surprised. Reduced splatter, plot and actions explained! This really does elevate the total package to near excellence. I could see people who were put off by Vol 1 not seeing 2 at all. That is a real shame, but these were not originally conceived as two separate movies, and the slaughterhouse action of Vol 1, while way too heavy handed, was meant to be tempered by the slower paced exposition of Vol 2. A solid 8 but allow enough time to watch both halves.
The Ruins (2008)
I was trying to identify what made this movie a dud. From the writer of "A Simple Plan" complete with a good looking cast who have enough talent that they are more than just faces(and bodies). Some neat aspects to the horror part. Nothing that has been done too much and not a typical horror theme. But when you get near the end and the climax happens. You know, where Sigourney Weaver is running through the self destructing space ship, or Jamie Lee Curtis character is in a mad dash to escape Michael Myers, or where Naomi Watts is down that strange well and the body appears there? That doesn't happen here. There is no heart in the mouth chase from unspeakable horror. The show doesn't actually have a climax. It's like they ran out of money or accidentally cut it out. I could think of a number of ways the inside of a labyrinth like pyramid might be used to give a film an exciting climactic finish. Apparently the director couldn't. I give it a 6 for the positives noted above, and the fact that with horror the bar is set pretty low. A decent renter though.