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The Day the Earth Stood Still review
First let me say that I'm NOT a fan of Keanu Reeves. 2nd let me say that I HATE when liberal Hollywood preaches their morals and beliefs on the rest of the world. 3rd, I've never seen the original The Day The Earth Stood Still. Sad, I know, just never had a chance to see it. Saw the movie in beautiful IMAX last night which was good and bad. Good because the movie looked and sounded amazing. Bad because Keanu Reeves was 3 stories tall. However he was perfect in some ways. Wooden, emotionless, and monotone. The movie was Okay, not great, not horrible. But what was really just liberal agenda thinly disguised as entertainment. With the thousands of Hollywood stars that would have done this movie for free, the best they could come up with was Keanu? They could have found someone who can actually ACT. Al Gore should have played the part that Keanu plays. Will Smith even got his kid a part in the movie. (Another problem I have with Hollywood). Of all the talented kid stars, they cast Jaden Smith. To his credit he does have ONE scene that I didn't want to pull his dreads out one by one. (I also can't stand kids with smart mouths and no respect for their parents/guardians) Jennifer Connelly was good and beautiful as she always is. (although in my opinion, she needs to eat a sandwich. She's lost all of her "baby fat" and 90% of her curves which is what drew her to my attention in the first place years ago). Kathy Bates is even sub par in this. She plays the obligatory role of the "big bad government." And of course the military is portrayed as the bumbling kill happy thugs that Hollywood thinks they are. Who's it for? Sci Fi fans, Keanu fans, (really? he HAS fans?) IMAX fans, and finally Al Gore's Kool Aid Drinkers.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Saw it last night. One word....AWESOME. Chris Nolan deserves an award for what he has done to the Batman franchise. Gone are the cartoony colors, the cheesy villains, the bat nipples. The Dark Knight is just that, Dark. in fact, it I have only one criticism it would be that it isn't pretty enough. The photography is gritty, and dark and lit with cold lighting. But its effective. Speaking of awards, Heath Ledger deserves an Academy Award for his re-invention of The Joker. It's really tragic that he won't be around to enjoy the fruits of his labor. This movie will propel him to cult status. His Joker is demented. Twisted. Outright evil. I loved how he made a pencil disappear in his introduction scene. You'll understand when you see it. And you'll love the stories he comes up with on "how he got those scars." Another award should be given for the "makeup" on Two Face. Although it isn't makeup, it's the most horrific and haunting face you will ever see. Very ghastly, yet again, very effective. The movie does an amazing job of telling of his downward spiral. It is long, at 2 hours and 30 minutes, but it does leave you wanting more. (in a good way). It's really two movies in one. At one point when you think things are winding down to a finale, it's just getting warmed up. And when it is finally over, it isn't. There WILL be a sequel. And I'm in line already to see it.
I saw Wanted at a Sneak Preview. First let me say that I went expecting to hate it. Nothing I saw about this movie in trailers or commercials made me want to see it. I WAS WRONG. This movie blew my socks off. I don't go to movies just to watch stuff blow up. I need more, something deeper. Something with thought, and creativity. Wanted delivers all of that and more. Our hero Wesley is reluctantly trained to be an assassin. Don't worry I'm not going to spoil anything, this is not news. I was reminded of Rocky with the training scenes. Only Wesley is the side of beef. I'll not say any more. The movie has twists and turns and mind numbing action, and a little bit of heart. Keep in mind, this is based on a graphic novel, so stretching reality is okay. Angelina Jolie, while I get tired of her holding orphans and wanting to feed the world, she is incredibly beautiful. And she uses it like a weapon in Wanted. Although she could stand to stop feeding the world and eat a sammich. Don't take the kiddies to this one, I sat next to a family with little kids and the mother had to rush and cover the kids eyes when suddenly sex is thrust in their eyes. Not once but twice. Then F Bombs flying everywhere. Not to mention the gore. There's plenty of that. What I expected to be a 1 * movie turns out to be a 3 *** movie. Butter up the popcorn and buckle up, it's going to be a fun ride.
Get Smart (2008)
Liking it. Not loving it.
I was a big fan of the show. The movie does a good job of paying homage to the show in a lot of ways. (even agent 13 makes an appearance, and you'll be shocked to see who plays him if you haven't already heard) I had really low expectations for the movie, but it was better than I expected. It's no Iron Man, but for what it is, a goofball comedy, it messures up. Plenty of gags. Steve Carrell is perfectly cast as Maxwell Smart. My biggest complaint is that Carrells take is too smart. (and not as in Maxwell Smart). The Don Adams character was a bumbling idiot that lucked into anything he did that had a good outcome. Carrell's Smart is way more competent. Ann Hathaway as 99 is gorgeous. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about her character. The previews made it appear that she was some sort of superchick agent ala Tomb Raider or something. But watching the movie, she doesn't come off like that. Still not a direct interpretation of the classic agent 99. Alan Arkin as the chief is also very well cast. But in this movie, agent 86 isn't the thorn in his side as in the TV show. One thing missing was Max's apartment. With all of its weird booby traps and gizmos. I was really hoping to see that, but was sadly lacking. The movie was pretty good, but could have been so much better. Oh, wrestling fans will recognize The Great Kalli (sp) the 7 foot plus giant, as a KAOS henchman. Best henchman since Richard Keal as Jaws in the old Bond movies from the 70's and 80's. And look for Bill Romanowski (future NFL Hall of Famer). I give it **1/2 out of ****.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
I attended a sneak preview of The Incredible Hulk last night. Incredible? No, but Very Good. And it washes the bad taste left in my mouth from Indiana Jones and the Big Letdown. The story is good, the acting is awesome. Ed Norton is the perfect person to play the tormented Bruce Banner. He is more believable in the roll than Eric Bana. Liv Tyler is very good as Betty Ross (formally played by the tasty Jennifer Connelly) William Hurt as General Ross is impressive and makes for a worthy adversary to Bruce Banner. If I had to come up with a negative, it would be Tim Roth. While I really like him, and he always plays great villains, I feel he's just miss cast here. He seems tiny next to General Ross. Instead of coming off like the English bad ass special op he's supposed to be, he comes off more like a jerk with Napoleon Syndrome. Someone more physically imposing like Vinnie Jones (Bullet tooth from Snatch), or Daniel Craig (the new Bond) would have been more convincing for the part. But I'm just picking here. The movie is a joy. Great action. No long boring, dragging development stuff that the first Hulk had in spades. There are some very nice cameos as well. Some were a surprise, some were not. I didn't see Nick Fury anywhere except in a brief headline in a montage. However I did not remain through the credits, so there might have been a scene at the end like Iron Man that I don't know about. I give it ***1/2 out of ****. I also predict it to make 80+million this weekend when it opens to the public and should "Hulk Smash" the competition. The movie received an ovation from the audience at the end which sums it up. A worthy movie made for the fans and everyone else.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
I loved this movie...EXCEPT, the camera work. I get that the shaky hand held stuff is supposed to add to the action. But COME ON. The whole freaking movie?? You couldn't even tell what was going on in the fight and car chase scenes. It got old FAST. A really good movie becomes hard to watch. Too bad. I would rave about the movie if it weren't for the motion sickness induced by the camera work. I have two words to the producers of this movie: STEADY CAM. And one more word: Moderation. The story was good, the action was good (of what you could make out from all that shaky cam crap) The acting was good. It leaves you wanting more. (story, not shaky cam) Have I said how much I hated the camera work? It was like Blair Witch with fights and guns. If you can look beyond that it is really enjoyable. Maybe I won't feel the need to puke watching it on DVD when it comes out.