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P.S. Rage is always welcome if I end up offending someone else's opinions on a movie, I can understand that feeling.
Not Quite the Best from the Best
I won't even try to beat around the bush with this review, Cosmopolis is definitely not one of Cronenberg's best films. It lacks the brilliant set design shown in 1986's The Fly, the quality of a literary adaptation that we saw from A History of Violence, but what does it have that most people don't recognize? If you can get past some of the hard to follow dialogue and fairly stale acting, you'll find that the dialogue, even when it is somewhat hard to follow, is actually very rich in dark and somewhat sophisticated (borderline pompous)humor. The story structure itself is very unique compared to most of Cronenberg's other works. Borrowing heavily from Don DeLillo's novel, Cronenberg made this film follow a very abstract path of chronological events that offer glimpses into the philosophical decomposition of Eric Packer's personality, wealth, relationships, and strategies towards investment. Even though it's a fairly standard point A to point B plot, the way all of the different scenes connect and starkly contrast from each other with both seamless and blunt transitions, makes it lose some of the obvious traits of an A-B plot and seem almost dream-like in pacing. I definitely would not recommend this to everyone. Much like the novel, this is a piece that needs to be experienced either by the right people, or by people in the right mood. So if you want to see a film with themes that are a little too pompous at times, and delve deeply into philosophical territory that seems pretentious, then this is something for you. If you're an economics student wanting to see game theory played out in a pretty well paced narrative, I'd recommend this for you, however I'd rather recommend you going to one of your professor's lectures because that would most likely help you more on a test. This is the kind of film for those of us that enjoy plays, films, and books that are similar to Death of a Salesman. And although I wouldn't place this as Cronenberg's best film, it's earned a little spot in my heart as an interesting and worthwhile experience. Or maybe I'm just a nihilistic bastard who enjoys characters like Eric Packer as well as the questioning of American capitalism and it's values.
I give it a 6/10 for its positives being the fresh storytelling not seen in most other movies, and the interesting dialogue that I actually found to be quite humorous and intellectual at times, but also the negatives for its stale acting (from nearly the entire cast), dialogue that, at times, is just too pretentious that it loses all philosophical value, and the small fact that this movie cater's to such a small audience.
Green Lantern (2011)
I don't hate this movie, nor should you!
When talking about this film adaptation of the popular DC comic, one can not just bash it because of the obvious, because what makes a movie bad isn't always just the obviously bad traits. Yes Ryan Reynolds is just eye candy to attract female viewers, and yes Blake Lively gives probably one of the worst female lead performances I have seen in a summer blockbuster (I just found her bland, but it's no huge issue), and yes the villain is just an essence of pure evil that has no development whatsoever.
With Green Lantern you have to look beyond all of the obvious things that would make you hate a movie, you have to compromise with it and take it for what it is. Otherwise it'll be a pitiful experience when really it could be something to be enjoyed. In this review I will refuse to name off the bad because it's all already obvious just by seeing the trailer or the cast. I'd rather promote some optimism and support it and show people what really this movie has to offer. (and also my own personal changes that I would have done if I were Martin Campbell and Greg Berlanti) 1. ---Villains---When I previously bashed the villain in the beginning of this review, I was talking about Parallax the giant entity of evil. Aside that point I think the real villain this movie should have stuck with was Peter Sarsgaard's role as Hector Hammond. I mean, MY GOD, I don't think I have ever seen such an interesting and tragic story for such a villain. He starts out as just an everyday man, but when he gets infected by Parallax he goes through his own personal story arc. They make him seem more like a victim of this disease, and society. I love how they play off the idea how he's tortured by the thoughts of others that he can hear. That's a great villain to me, not Parallax (Who's name always makes me giggle because I just think of a giant space laxative). I think Parallax could have been interesting, but he really just needed more character development, I personally would have put him in the second movie, and put Sinestro's story into a third movie. That would make it a great way to round off a trilogy, have three story arcs that move in a grand sweeping manner, rather than having a shabby start, and a sequel that's hopefully going to better.
2. ---Action---This is a bright and flashy DC comic book adaptation, you have to expect seeing some flashy action scenes with interesting elaborate fights. What you get with this movie is most of that. It's bright flashy, but most of the action is almost cartoonish because of the whole idea of the ring holding the power, but honestly it works. The rings work off of the imaginations and wills of those who use them. So it only makes sense that a childish and immature person like Hal Jordan, would construct things like jets, and hammers, and swords, and guns. It's just what he thinks of since he's only human. There's not much I would change with the action, other than I would have made it darker. Yes people burn and die and bleed, but when Hal Jordan fights he doesn't really never physically seemed harmed, he stays clean and bruise free. I think it would have been more interesting if you could just see the pain he was experiencing when he was getting beaten down by Hector...or heck even Kilawog for that matter.
3. ---Drama---This movie was completely advertised as a summer action blockbuster style of movie. Yes it has its fair share of action, but what really drives it is it's characters (despite how bland they might be) and their relationships and how they grow to understand themselves and each other. By the end Hal does learn how to pull through desperate times, he gets the girl (sorta), and stays with being a lantern. He didn't quite in the face of danger, that was what he was supposed to be written as and that's how he was conveyed, which is very good. Hector driven mad eventually gives up and accepts his fate as being this freak of society and he wants to wreak revenge. He gets his revenge in many ways, but he gets what is coming to him like any other revenge based villain. No changes here, just better casting choices for the female lead is really all I can point out. Other than that everything about Hector Hammond was already said.
If you pay attention to all of these little things and try to understand the characters on a personal level, then it's not hard fining at least some enjoyment in this movie. I still can only give it a six, because yes it is a shabby start to the film career of the Green Lantern, but being a fan of the comic books since childhood I personally give this a 7.5 because of nostalgia. Thank you for reading, and remember to always look for what is truly great in a movie, because that is what cinema is about, seeing what you love and accepting it for what it is. -FryeGuy
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy...lots and lots of happy.
At one point all guys have usually had a girlfriend that's begged us to take her to a certain movie. Sometimes it's something that makes you want to hide, like say Twilight? Or you get that instance where she wants you to take her to typical cutsie wootsie date movie full of happiness, and rays of sunshine gleaming down on the faces of the innocent, and at first you buckle down and just say "OK alright not too bad", or maybe you even heard it was an OK movie. Yeah, well We Bought a Zoo is that second kind of movie I mentioned. It's not really something you would want to go see on your own, but it's something that's not really painful to take a girlfriend to. In fact I (a slightly morbid adolescent who's film class projects are influenced by often dark themes) took a liking to this film. The characters were fairly well developed, I didn't find myself hating any of the characters that I was supposed to like. At the bare minimum you can call this movie decent. ---What did I like?--- Well like I said I really did like the characters. Out of all the characters I liked most, I would have to say I liked Dylan the most out of all. He's a true exhibition of how you can make a non-likable character actually likable through the story arc. I felt they really portrayed his emotions in a sequence that an actual teenager would go through them in the situation of moving after a parents death. Loss, remorse, anger, physically portraying the anger in a manifestation (i.e. his dark artworks of decapitations and monsters), depression, and then finally acceptance...although the arguments that he has with Matt Damon that is supposed to make him come around was quite backwards. I felt it should have been Benjamin coming to comfort Dylan, rather than Dylan being sorry and accepting his dad. The way it was done just made it feel like Benjiman was unable to understand his son even after their little fight. ---What did I hate?--- Although I loved the characters I really have to admit...I kinda hate the main character. Matt Damon does OK portraying him I guess, but it's just the way that the character is written. Instead of being a man overcoming uncertain odds, he's just some guy who relies on a never ending supply of optimism to get him through...and let me be honest this guy is optimistic, so optimistic in fact that it's scary. Sometimes you just want to slap him over the head and make him feel a different emotion other than pure optimism induced happiness. Some of you might argue he does have those scenes where he's thinking about his wife and how he's crying...but no you're wrong. He might be sad in that scene, but right afterwords he's back to being some happy optimistic guy with a spring in his step. Other than that I didn't hate much...OH! no actually there is one more thing. It was so annoying how Matt Damon called everyone "Man". He calls his son that in a huge emotional argument when it really would have been better to say "Son" or "Dylan" or something a father really would say, but he doesn't stop there, he call's his own love interest Kelly "Man" at one point too; kinda awkward but I digress. Over all this is a fairly good movie that's worth being enslaved by your girlfriend to take you too. Oh and what about the plot? I'm not going to review that because it's just straight forward inspirational movie plot. You know "Guy does something that puts him in a world with small odds, guy fights through all his obstacles, tons of false climaxes to keep you on your toes, and then finally a mooshy climax that makes your heart collapse from sheer adorability." 7/10 Worth a watch, or a red box rental -FryeGuy
Entertaining movie, but every entertaining movie comes at a price. A price of clichés and stereotypes beyond insanity.
Okay, to start this off I grew up with transformers toys and the whole TV series and i was infatuated with it, but that does not mean i will be biased with this review. My childhood with the series can be put aside (for the most part) for this review. I am going to start by saying that I went into this movie with absolutely no expectations. I had already seen the previous two Michael Bay movies. The first one was alright, and the second one...well lets not be coy here it was crap for the most part. Going into this movie with an open mind allowed me to really breathe in the whole essence. I was able to enjoy the moments that were truly enjoyable, and question what was...not enjoyable. Like many Michael Bay movies this has his trademark stamped all over it -loud action -S**t ton of explosions -hot babes -long drawn out climaxes usually involving you guessed it...more action and hot babes In a short synopsis it's a stereotypical summer blockbuster, and a stereotypical guy movie. It's got all the testosterone induced fight scenes an adrenaline junky could ever ask for. Like all action movies that have great action, this movie does have major set backs. The movie starts off at a good pace delving into the back story of the cybertronian war and what happened off screen to help catch any new comers to the series right up. but then the nice pacing all of a sudden gets interrupted whenever the focus of the scenes change from the focus on the auto-bots trying to get to the moon and what-not. It interrupts the pacing of the movie from something serious that almost delves the viewer into the urgency....to scenes of a total schmuck just trying to get a job and live life as an every day jack off. *WARNING SPOILERS STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT THE MAJOR TWIST OF THE MOVIE RUINDED...well if you can even call it a twist* I felt that when they had Setinel Prime betray the auto-bots it was kind of unnecessary (although it does make for a very tense and blood pumping climax when optimus whoops his ass in the end). Setinel was Optimus's teacher and one of the leader of the auto-bots, he was like a leader to everyone, and obviously almost even a father figure to optimus. I just found it somewhat odd when he betrayed everything that he had just so he could rebuild cybertron, and most importantly rebuild cybertron under the tyrannical rule that he once fought against. But contrary to this stand point, I could always just be over critical of this and be over analyzing something that really doesn't matter, so excuse me if you find that as the case. Another problem with the movie was the length of the film. For a standard action movie you're looking at the film to be around two hours or so (give or take a half hour) as the run time, but for Dark of the Moon it was roughly almost three hours. And none of the action even happens till the last half of the movie, so what you're left is this back story in the beginning constantly interrupted by a dick head looking for a job (btw john malkovich...pretty funny as usual) as the first half, it's all cluttered up and it's confusing as hell. And then for the last half you have literally all action with little to no scenes of relief, it's all just intense action that they expect you to be interested by because of the back story...but you can't really be interested because of all the mixed up change of focus in the introduction. Anyways to sum it up, it's not a great movie, it has a ton of flaws and it has every stereotype an action movie (let alone any movie of the modern era) has to offer......but it's still entertaining as hell. As a normal movie critic i can only give this an 6 out of ten......but contrary to that from my standpoint of loving transformers and having this be one kick ass film this is a 10 out of 10 on the bad ass scale -FryeGuy