Reviews written by registered user

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801 reviews in total 
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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
accept it for what it is and it should be a good time, 19 August 2012

Big, bad, in-your-face sequel chronicles Barney Ross and his motley, roughneck crew as they're reluctantly recruited by the enigmatic Mr. Church to complete their latest assignment. What begins as a routine mission quickly turns into a personal vendetta when a deadly rival intercepts them. Toss logic, character development, and a 'plot' about weapons-grade plutonium aside; this macho, energetic, mindlessly entertaining action flick knows just how to please its target audience with rough and tough action sequences, cheesy one-liners, clever in-jokes, gratuitous casting, and amusingly over-the-top violence. Inevitable climactic showdown is a bit underwhelming, but any concoction that can put Rambo, Lionheart, John McClane, Terminator, and Walker, Texas Ranger all in the same film is sure to be some fun. **½

Total Recall (2012/I)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
not needed but what you'd expect if you care to bother, 12 August 2012

Whether viewed as a remake or reimagining it's easy to cut to the chase: at the end of the 21st century factory worker Douglas Quaid (Farrell, replacing Schwarzenegger) is troubled by a recurring dream about a woman (Biel, replacing Ticotin) and insists on going to Rekall despite warning from his wife (Beckinsale, combining Stone and Ironside which conveniently gives her more screen time). It turns out Quaid is not who he thought he was, and finds himself in the midst of a battle between the Resistance and corrupt megalomaniac Vilos Cohaagen (Cranston, replacing Cox). Unnecessary and overblown, the film does provide some elaborate special effects and big, booming action scenes, but there's little tension or excitement, thin characters, uninspired acting, and after a while you just stop caring. A time filler, nothing more. **

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
unnecessary but worth a look, 12 August 2012

Now pay close attention: despite what the title says this is not a fourth entry that further chronicles the journey of Jason Bourne; instead this is a stand-alone film that exists in the same 'realm' as the original Bourne series and features some of the same characters and circumstances. This time around the protagonist is Aaron Cross (Renner), a member of a CIA black-ops program who becomes a marked man after the program overseer (Norton) decides to eliminate all assets, that is until Cross acquires help from a reluctant scientist (Weisz), thus making them both a target. Not as tense or engaging as you'd like it to be, with a plot that's often too convoluted for its own good, but fairly effective at times thanks to good pacing, inventive action scenes/stunts, and solid work from Renner and Weisz. **½

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
good adaptation elevated by excellent casting, 12 August 2012

Two prominent Supreme Court Justices are assassinated and the FBI is convinced that it was no coincidence. Suspecting that the motive behind the killings was mere greed instead of politics, Tulane University law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) submits a brief speculating who the real culprit may be, but when that same brief makes its way from her classroom all the way to the White House, Darby suddenly finds herself on the run from unknown assailants who want her dead. Her only hope of survival comes from Gray Grantham (Washington), an ambitious investigative journalist who may have the resources she needs to uncover the truth. Suspenseful, well-cast adaptation of John Grisham's novel has enough twists and turns (in addition to solid performances from two strong leads) to keep it from being just a simple chase flick. The plot isn't always easy to follow, but it does entertain. ***

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
familiar formula elevated by good casting and writing, 29 July 2012

Charlie Tuttle is a workaholic lawyer who just made partner at his law firm and is also engaged to his boss's daughter; his best friend Richard Rietti is an out of work actor who throws him a wild bachelor party the night before Charlie has to defend his boss's relative. When Charlie is too incapacitated to appear in court the next morning, Richard assumes his identity but gets in over his head when the case is ordered to proceed. Director Lynn, who employed a similar formula in My Cousin Vinny, avoids turning this into a strained redo thanks to the pairing of Richards and Daniels who play exceptionally well off one another, aided by a script that offers plenty of clever and very funny moments, and a surprisingly effective romantic subplot. Good casting, writing, and laughs make this more fun than it should be. ***

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
a memorable legal comedy, 29 July 2012

Infectiously likable, appropriately foulmouthed, consistently funny fish-out-of-water comedy about two Brooklyn 'youts' traveling through the rural Alabama south when a series of circumstances land them in jail and facing a murder charge. With no other alternatives, one of them (Macchio) calls upon cousin and family attorney Vinny (Pesci) who's never tried a case and took six attempts just to pass the bar exam. A good setup, impeccable casting, plus memorable comedic lines and situations make this enjoyable throughout. Pesci and Tomei are perfectly matched, and Gwynne is also a delight as a stern, condescending judge. ***

1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
a long but rewarding addition to the Batman saga, 20 July 2012

It's been eight years since citizens of Gotham have last seen the Batman. Despite his absence, it's peacetime as police and law enforcement officials have managed to clean up the city streets…that is until the arrival of Bane—a brutal, uncompromising revolutionist determined to bring the city to its knees. With no remaining options, the aggrieved and reclusive Bruce Wayne must once again become Batman to try and save his beloved city from total annihilation, only this time not only is his adversary more fearsome than any other he's ever faced, but he also finds his resolve tested in ways no one—least of all he—could ever foresee. Third and purportedly final entry to Nolan's groundbreaking take on the iconic comic book character takes its time to unfold, but once it does hang on…its emerges as a dark, brooding tale of retribution, redemption, and the very depths of human nature with powerful scenes, stunning revelations, memorable characters, impeccable casting, spectacular visual effects, and breathless action scenes. Long and imperfect, yet still solid entertainment, a fitting and praiseworthy addition indeed. ***

Brave (2012)
nothing spectacular but still good fun, 15 July 2012

The much adored Pixar Studios is back at it again, this time taking audiences into the mythical times of Scottish nobles. The story chronicles Princess Merida, the bold and tomboyish daughter of the brawny King Fergus and traditionalistic Queen Elinor. The time has come for Merida to choose a suitor, but unfortunately for her overbearing mother Merida's only passion in life is archery. In an attempt to decide her own fate the impetuous young princess defies a custom that creates repercussions she could never foresee, and her inherent courage is put to the test as she tries to make amends for her actions. Slow going at first, and certainly not as groundbreaking as previous studio efforts, but once it gets going it's fun. Great voice work, fantastic visuals, and some poignant familial themes help make up for the lulls. **½

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
ignore the obvious familiarities and you'll have a good time, 14 July 2012

As a child, Peter Parker's parents abruptly abandoned him, leaving him in the care of his right-minded aunt and uncle. Years later, Peter has become a highly intelligent high school teenager but is still deeply troubled by the absence of his parents. He uncovers a briefcase that allows him to follow in his father's footsteps in a breakthrough study of biological research, but when Peter is bitten by an unusual spider and the research turns out to be much more radical than he anticipated, his life is quickly turned upside down. Reboot/remake of the series that began with Sam Raimi's 2002 original can't avoid some familiarities, and is let down by a long running time and some thinly developed characters, but it's made worthwhile by good casting, nifty special effects, and intense, edge of your seat action scenes. Fun, even though we've pretty much seen it all before. **½

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
belated sequel that could be better, 27 May 2012

Despite being partners for nearly fourteen years, veteran MIB Agents J and K still don't seem able to communicate. The true value of their partnership is put to the test when K mysteriously vanishes, apparently the victim of a complex time traveling scheme. To save not only his partner, but all of humanity as he once knew it, Agent J must travel back to 1969 to stop a sinister alien from rewriting history. A good setup and some genuinely clever ideas would have worked better without so much forced humor and phony special effects. Straight man Jones is still reliable, comic relief Smith (after a four-year absence) shows some rust, but there is a highlight in Brolin who perfectly embodies the younger, still deadpan version of Agent K. Acceptable, just not as much fun as it could be. **½

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