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Haven't seen: Filth, August: Osage County, Fifth Estate, Ender's Game.
Note - Movies I haven't seen: Animal House, Ghostbusters, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Jerk, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Raising Arizona, The Naked Gun
Edge of Darkness (2010)
Nothing Really Special - Edge of Darkness Review
The basic plot outline of Edge of Darkness revolves around Craven (Mel Gibson) a Boston police officer investigating the murder of his daughter. His investigation technique relies on kicking ass and asking questions later. This is kind of a tired genre if you ask me. His daughter, Emma Craven, has just arrived home to visit her father when she is gunned down with her father at her side. Craven witnesses his daughter die in his arms. The course for revenge is inevitably set. Initially, it is thought that Craven was the intended target. However, early in his investigation, Craven learns it was his daughter that was targeted because she assisted in the brake in of an evil, weapons manufacturing company called Northmoor. Ooh, spooky name. Any company called Northmoor has got to be evil, right? The group she assisted was planning on exposing the super-evil Northmoor to the public.
The Good: Mel Gibson's performance was very good, he is a likable character and you route for him all the way. Ray Winstone plays Jedburgh, a sort-of-hit-man style character who organizations hire to clean up a mess by any means necessary. Winstone gives a great performance. His characters interaction with Craven provides much of the films intrigue. Jedburgh represents the films Wildcard for an otherwise predictable film. You never know which side he is really on and you get the sense his actions will play a pivotal role. The Cinematography was great and the film had great energy and tempo for a film that was not rich with action. Moviegoers expecting a lot of action should be forewarned.
The Bad: The bad parts of the film all revolve around serious story issues. Northmoor, a secretive weapons manufacture, has this massive, eye-popping, state of the art facility on the banks of a river. Come on get real! This is a company that does not want any attention? Right away I am not taking this film seriously. Everyone helping Craven in the investigation dies. Northmoor is successful at killing everyone except the person that can cause the most threat to the organization; a well respected police officer whose daughter you have just murdered. Of course without Craven you have no movie, but you have to ask yourself why Northmoor didn't arrange to have Craven killed when his daughter was shot. They certainly have no problem getting their hands dirty. And I do not fully understand why they had to shot Emma Craven in the first place. She had already been poisoned with a lethal dose of radiated milk; she was going to die anyway. There are several scenes that serve no purpose, only to add action sequences. There is a car chase scene where Craven is chasing Jack Bennett (Danny Huston), the CEO of Northmoor in his Bentley down a busy highway. He avoids capture from Bennett's thugs/bodyguards and eventually forces his way into the backseat of the car with Bennett. He points a gun at Bennett's head and says "How does it feel?" The scene ends; with Bennett still alive. With all that trouble to catch him, he lets him go? Danny Huston seems to be stuck in the role of the bad guy in his recent roles(Wolverine, 30 Days of Night, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People). I have to say he is very good at getting an audience to hate his guts.
The film strives to not be taken seriously. It's too formulistic and is really quite silly when you think too much. It is two  hours of mild entertainment, some decent action scenes, some good performances, but nothing really more. Not a very ambitious release. 5/10
Quantum of Solace (2008)
An abundance of action with poor story development leaves a bittersweet taste
I went into Quantum of Solace will little expectations. I knew it would be hard to follow up Casino Royale. It is usually tough to make a sequel that stacks up to the predecessor. OK, The Dark Knight is a rare exception.
The movie opens with James Bond in a high speed car chase. What is a James Bond movie without some sort of car chase? And, you're probably wondering: "What could be wrong with that?" This chase scene is filmed with super-fast camera "snapshots". I am guessing Marc Foster was attempting to give viewers a shot of adrenaline and put them in the car with the drivers. It fails miserably. You never really know what you're watching, or who is in what car. For an scene that clearly cost a lot of money to produce, there is very little bang for buck.
There are a countless number of cool action scenes in this movie. I especially loved the scene when James Bond and Camille jump out of what is left of a cargo plane with only one parachute. The chute opens just in the nick of time.
The story Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis created for this sequel was much better than I had been hearing. The only problem is, the story is never fully developed due to an immense amount of non-stop action and the potential is never fully realized. In CasinoRoyale, I found the villain character, Le Chiffre, perfectly developed. An engaged audience member would be able to see through his exceptional intelligence at his character flaws and understand the reasons for his madness. In Quantum of Solace, I thought there was very poor character development for Camille (played by Olga Kurylenko) and Dominic Greene (played extremely well by Mathieu Amalric). Other than the Bolivian President being responsible for her father's death, we know nothing about Camille. We know even less of Dominic Greene, other than is a greedy, rich business man. But why is he the way he is?
There was really no time for any story or character development. After all, the movie runs for only around 90 minutes. I guess this will allow for theaters to have more showings of the movie. Something has to pay for those special effects. Another half hour of story development would have gone along way. There is not enough time to digest what is going on. I was often wondering how James Bond got from one place to another.
Some other notes: You should see Casino Royale before seeing Quantum of Solace. It is almost a must. There is no 2 minute recap before the movie starts like on some of your favorite T.V. shows after a to be continued episode.
My whole family went to see the movie; this includes my mother and sister. Both of them absolutely disliked the movie. They had no idea what was happening. Probably not the best date movie.
It is hard not to be impressed with some of the action sequences. And the movie still has the every important "coolness factor" associated with it. Olga Kurylenko is absolutely stunning. If they are going to keep spending this kind of money on Bond films, it might be a while before we see another one with the current state of the world's economy.
See this movie on the big screen. It will not be as good at home on DVD. Rating: 6/10.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Mulholland Dr. - A test for your mind
I used to consider myself a pretty clever individual. Watching Mulholland Dr. last night absolutely shattered my confidence. I thought there weren't any movies out there that could leave me stupefied. I was wrong! Let me first state, I love mind-bending thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat and make you use your brain to figure out parts of the movie. Memento and The Machinist are two of my favorite movies. I managed to figure those movies out, but not Mulholland Dr. I even read the 10 clues David Lynch provides on the inside cover. Immediately after the movie was done, I had to read all kinds of explanations of what each scene meant on the Internet.
Although I struggled to grasp how most of the scenes came together in the film, I still found it extremely enjoyable. There is a spooky ambiance throughout the entire movie that I loved. I didn't take my eyes off the TV for the entire 2 hrs and 20 minutes.
I strongly recommend Mulholland Dr. I recommend watching it late at night with complete focus. If you fully understand the film and don't go running to your computer afterwards, I applaud you.
A solid action movie, but with a very simple and silly story
If you want to be entertained by some great action sequences, gun fights and explosions, while not having to think too much, I recommend this movie.
When you examine Rambo outside the action sequences there really isn't much else. The script was overly simplistic and predictable.
Rambo is living in a small village along a river in Burma. He is making his living by selling snakes he captures to local entertainers. Rambo seems displeased with his meaningless life. A group of aid workers approach and convince Rambo to transport them up river to parts of Burma that has been devastated by the brutal Burmese Military. Rambo warns them repeatedly that they won't change anything. He urges them to go home. Of course, almost instantly off his boat, they are captured by the military. Rambo, now with a whole different outlook on life feels he must "live for nothing or die for something". He joins up with a group of mercenaries that have been paid to rescue the captured aid workers. They succeed in saving most of the captured. Looks like they didn't change anything, and what did we all learn? I struggle to see any true meaning or message in this movie other it striving to entertain audiences.
To put it nice and simple, Rambo is solely an action movie. It definitely achieves it objective in that particular aspect, but not much else. I found all of the action sequences to be really exciting and intense; exactly what you hope for in an action movie. And boy oh boy were they bloody.