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departed07

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324 reviews in total 
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We need people like Michael Douglas' character, 9 March 2011
8/10

There is a time in most men's life where they just can't take it anymore; most men lose it at a point when they lose their jobs, question society for treating them like dirt, being treated like the bottom of the food chain, or getting a divorce.

Michael Douglas plays William, or D-FNSE, as he prefers to be called. He's just like any other workingman where they have to put up with the crap they see; budget cuts, being fired or even like what I said in the beginning statement. He's fired from his job as a weapon maker for the military as his character made missiles, bombs, guns, etc. He's laid off from his job and all he wants to do is go see his ex-wife for his kid's birthday party. From the moment we see his character go insane and killing off people left and right, that's where the fun begins.

Robert Duvall plays Detective Pendergrast, a good cop who always went by the law and never said a cuss word in his life (though his captain like profanity). It's his last day as a Los Angeles police officer before he retires in Arizona. If things couldn't get any worse, he hears about D-FNSE going on a rampage from shooting a liquor store, killing a bunch of gang members, holding a burger joint hostage, killing a racist military expert, blowing up a construction site, killing a rich golf member and the only response from most witnesses is that he's a white guy with a shirt and tie.

There are many movies that I recall where it had these male losers who didn't do anything at all. "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" was the early movie of where teens went through different topics, except for Jeff Spicoil who didn't care about anything except for surfing; "The Big Lebowski" was a story about a man who didn't give a crap about anything except smoking grass; "American Splendor" showed the life of Harvey Pekar who wouldn't care if 9/11 happened, and was tired of living with the rules of trying to be like everybody else. "Falling Down" is different. It's a man who is tired of the system and of waiting for somebody to do something about it; D-FENS is just the type of guy we need.

As of 2009, it's still the best Disney Channel Original Movie to watch., 23 September 2009
9/10

After High School Musical 2, Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie, Camp Rock and Princess Protection Program found ways to attract their audience from real life relationships, stereotypical razas, and marketing to rank the ratings, none of these films aren't memorable for me to watch overs again unlike The Cheetah Girls 2 which balances drama, comedy and a musical all in one while in Spain.

Directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), The Cheetah Girls 2 takes place after Galleria (Raven Symone), Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan) and Aqua (Keily Williams) graduate from high school and separation anxiety takes place after Chanel's mother says she wants to take Chanel to Spain to meet with the new fiancé; however fate comes in where the girls look at an ad in a magazine for musical auditions in Spain and that's where the fun begins. Other than the audition itself, the girls are put to the test of friendship, romance and acceptance.

Okay, normally original flicks from Disney aren't supposed to draw everybody's attention since their target audiences are normally tweens and teens; but as an adult, it was interesting to watch a Disney Original movie that is not as dumb like High School Musical 2 or a stereotypical movie for people to be proud of their race like Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, but a bit of everything where people who are and who are not fans of Disney can watch this film with their family without feeling a bit relish or dumb down. The acting of the four leads show more maturity than those of the High School Musical sequels and the music is dynamic with a blend of Latin and pop where mixing two sets has never been so better.

Overall, this is still the best Disney Channel Original Movie to watch.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
For an origin movie, it's pretty cool., 15 September 2009
8/10

After three X-Men installments featuring the popular Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman, Marvel Studios decided to give the raging animal a movie of his own on how the character came to be.

Jackman plays the title character for the fourth time in the franchise as we witness the birth of Logan having claws at a young age along with his brother Victor Creed (a.k.a. Sabertooth), who has the same gift, and go through many wars where Victor enjoys the carnage of killing.

Logan and Victor are picked up by Colonel Stryker (Danny Huston) in a special team for covert operations involving killing people; however Logan wants out and tries to lead a different life before many of his team members are killed off left and right like flies including those who are not like him. So now it's a race against time for Logan (Wolverine) to look for other mutants before they fall upon to Stryker's trap.

Overall, for an origin, it's a cool movie. This is really the type of film where many fans already know how Wolverine came to life from the first films and the comics, but the action scenes will get to you since they're bad-ass. Hugh Jackman still kicks ass as Wolverine and brings the animal rage just like the three installments. Liev Schriber (Scream 2) is the breakout actor as Sabertooth and brings a certain fear and terror to give many fans chills. Look for other characters as Wade Wilson, Gambit, Cyclops, The Blob and many more.

So, go enjoy X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Dirty Harry has a gun in his backyard!, 9 June 2009
9/10

It seems that nothing ever seems to stop Clint Eastwood from making movies as he already made two tragic masterpieces that earned Academy Award nominations for best picture (Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby); a two part war epic showing the point of view during the Iwo Jima battles between the Americans and the Japanese (Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima), and a mother searching for her son (Changling).

This time Eastwood returns to the directing and acting chair in "Gran Torino" about a Korean War veteran (Clint, as Walt Kowalski) who hates people of all races and creed that he barely smiles even in the first scene where his wife has passed away and doesn't show sorrow with the exception of hatred from his family who never visited him; treat him like a used tool only to be thrown away until next time. Walt's worst hatred is his own grandkids who don't show respect for the elders, God, or even offer to help him with anything while pondering about his question with death; his granddaughter, who dresses like a slut, asks if she could have his prized possession: A 1972 Gran Torino, as her reward when he dies.

If Walt's hatred of his family isn't getting worse, it's his new Hmong neighbors next door who move in next door leaving Walt to shame God even more despite the fact that where he lives has Asians. It's not until one day that the son next door tries to break in to steal his car as part of entering his cousin's pathetic gang. Walt lets him escape after a mess up, but it's not until the veteran saves the child and his family's lives when the gang tries to harass them. He's a hero to the community but Walt doesn't want to give in yet. But he does where he thinks of the Hmongs as his own family despite saying slurs and considers them as those he trusts in case something were to ever happen to him.

The film was overlooked at the Oscars for unknown reasons, even though Clint earned a nomination at the Critics Choice Awards. More people seemed to pay attention to "Slumdog Millionaire" where it won the Oscars and the hype of India and the rags to riches story died off later. But then again, the Oscars in Feburary were a big joke, despite the fact that there were better films of 2008 from "The Wrestler," "Wall-E," "Doubt," "The Dark Knight," including this film where Clint Eastwood can't be stopped no matter if he's directing or acting.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Nice concept; few suggestions for possible sequel however, 1 May 2009
7/10

I'll admit it while I'm writing my review that I'm an animal lover. Who isn't, right? Especially where the main characters are dogs.

"Hotel for Dogs" tells the story of two young siblings who are orphans moving from place to place and having foster parents. The siblings are Andi (Emma Roberts from Nancy Drew) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin from Wizards of Waverly Place) who are up to no good as they deceive a pawn shop owner of a box displaying a brand new phone when inside its a rock while their dog, Friday, tries to get something to eat while being tied up. The kids are eventually caught and picked up at the police station by their foster aid Charlie (played by Don Cheadle) who likes them and vouches for their behavior but doesn't know if he can put up with them any more after their stunts.

The kids foster parents are no help either. Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Kevin Dillon (Entourage) play the dead beat foster parents whose dream gig are to be singers and perform in front of a large audience and live off the rock n' roll life instead of worrying about the kids and being like "normal" parents and give them their needs.

Things change for Andi and Bruce after their dog has gone in the streets later to be taken to the pound where the animal control treat both the kids and their dog with disrespect before freeing the animal after Andi bribes the head guard. They later run from the cops in fear of being frame for a crime they didn't commit where their dog hides inside an abandoned hotel building where other dogs occupy the place. And then it hits the siblings that a hotel should be created for the stray animals just before recruiting a few more people including a guy that Andi has a crush on and yet he doesn't know her secret about being an orphan.

I liked the concept of "Hotel for Dogs" where stray dogs can stay inside a hotel without wondering the streets; the innovated gadgets are a riot showing the techniques for dogs to use the restroom along with recreating a dining room for both the humans and dogs to eat. It's harmless fun and something for the family to enjoy. If you're an animal lover, you should love this too.

As I mentioned, if ever a possible sequel were to take place or a spin off, how about "Hotel for the Homeless Humans?" Huh? Sounds catchy where two young siblings use an abandoned hotel to help homeless people find shelter rather than live the streets or having a time limit in other shelters to kick out the old and bring in the new homeless people, and they don't even have to leave where the cities are clean and safe and the kids running the joint might place that in their college application.

Nice suggestion, huh? Just a quick thought.

WALL·E (2008)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
No words can describe how majestic this film is, 12 March 2009
10/10

Just days after the 2008 Academy Awards announced the winners, I had to see the best animation feature winner "Wall-E" in which all of my young cousins and nieces and their parents have seen this film and commented on it being wonderful making me the outcast of the bunch.

"Wall-E" takes place in the distant future where Earth has been destroyed due to the lack of care the people never gave into cleaning the trash making it a pile of ruins. All is left on Earth besides empty stores is a pile of junk rubble made into cubicles and set into buildings while a robot named Wall-E tries to make his "Earth" the way it was before the human population became extinct. There are no other creatures or animals with the exception of a cockroach that Wall-E considers a companion where the robot uses an abandon ship as his home filled with various toys and devices; the small robot uses an I-pod to watch a musical in which Wall-E tries to emulate the scene.

Later in the film, another robot named EVE enters the absent Earth where Wall-E finds contact of his kind for the first time after years of being isolated that he tries his best to win her heart. Even though their only way of communication is by saying their names to one another along with certain one words, the two robots share a relationship where I had tears and a smile on my face. But what Wall-E doesn't know is that EVE was sent to look for a living organism (a plant) and sent it back to space to show that there is life on Earth. So Wall-E follows EVE to space with their adventure just beginning.

"Wall-E" is something for everybody. It may be a Pixar movie for kids and Disney fans to watch, but there's more to this film than just a kids movie or a Disney film. The film is everything for sci-fi fans to talk about, those who care for the environment (a later subplot in the film), or yet, those who love watching romantic movies where Wall-E and EVE are the first screen couple that aren't human and yet, I really felt an attraction to them as I cried during their scenes.

It's that good and so wonderful that it should have deserved the best picture nomination.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Hulk Smash!!!, 7 December 2008
9/10

After a five year absence from the big screen, Hulk is back with more punches and kicks to throw around than a thinking brain which would hurt more movie goers than cramming for a high school exam.

I'll admit that I love Ang Lee's version of the ticked off monster in which it took its time getting to know the characters before getting to the action sequences along with seeing how experiments could have consequences. Plus the cut scenes which resembled a comic book had it's high marks though it can only please those who truly love the atmosphere of comic books. This time around French director Louis Leterrier brings more anger while managing to bring depth to the lost soul of Bruce Banner (Edward Norton).

"The Incredible Hulk" is a reboot of the first movie (note: a third Hulk is in the works) in which it pays homage to the classic 1970's series with Edward Norton (taking over Eric Bana) playing the title character after a failed experiment left him to turn into the Hulk while hurting the love of his life Betty Ross (Liv Tyler taking over the Jennifer Connelly role) and becoming a fugitive as he hides in Brazil working in a soda factory. It's not long when Betty's father, the indestructible General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt taking over for Sam Elliot), finds a report that an elderly man has drinking a piece of gamma radiation and immediately finds the location of Bruce where the general gets a British/Russian import soldier by the name of Blonsky (Tim Roth) to help track down Bruce.

The action doesn't take much long before Bruce is bullied by a few thugs which leads him to turn into the Hulk smashing and throwing his enemies before going after the secret military. Bruce is now on the run as he wants to head back into the states to find the love of his life along with seeking a cure for his disease while Blonsky convinces his boss to give him the same radiation that made Bruce into the monster he is and having a one on one action.

With the film under two hours, The Incredible Hulk is great entertainment and a way of apologizing to those who hated the first Hulk movie in which those who seek mile-a-minute thrill rides will be pleased. The film's got everything from a wild battles, wit humor and while the performances are not Oscar-memorable, I really cared for Norton as the title character where he wanted to rid his curse while remembering from 2003's Hulk that Eric Bana's version actually liked being angry. Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt are good as well along with Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Sterns.

A note to all comic book historians or lovers, make sure to check out for Avenger references along with the last scene in the film when a certain character makes a cameo appearance.

6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
The little engine that could raises the stakes in the third installment, 2 November 2008
7/10

I must confess that I wasn't really sure if I wanted to see the third installment of the High School Musical franchise since there are better movies to see. I wasn't sure at first since the first two movies were free to watch on the Disney Channel and yet I asked myself, "Why does Disney want to make more money when it already created a phenomenal in terms of the actors, music and ideas?" If you get my drift, then you know that High School Musical not only brought out the relationship of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens but at the same time created concerts from ice rinks to national tours where most of the actors performed on stage and a reality show on ABC was created.

But another part of me wanted to see the films because of the characters we can relate to from Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the athlete with a heart of gold and a talent for singing and acting. Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), the smart Latina who's caught in the middle along with choosing what's right in her mind and in her heart. Even the snarley character Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) is someone that most people can relate to in which she isn't a "bad person" but wants everything to herself. Yet, there is a character that most people can relate to. Plus, the music is rockin'.

"High School Musical 3" is the last installment for the original cast members (Efron, Hudgens, Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, etc.) where it's senior year and everything is winding down before graduation as the seniors must do something together as a team one last time. That's when the school's pianist Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) writes down everybody's name on a piece of paper for the upcoming school play where she fears that Sharpay will hog up the fun like usual, but it leaves all the other seniors in an uproar due to the fact that they have big commitments from yearbook editorial, college applications, prom, final exams and other stuff to get out. But it's Gabriella and Troy that convince the others to do so. Speaking of Troy and Gabriella, time is winding down for their relationship since Gabriella has been accepted to Stanford University while Troy has been undecided where he wants to go and do since everybody from his father (Bart Johnson) to Chad (Corbin Bleu) pressure him to be in basketball at the University of Albuquerque; yet Troy has his mind set in theater since he loves to sing. Gabriella is ready to let go, however, it's Troy who doesn't want to say goodbye to the best thing that happened to him at East High.

While the original characters are worried about high school aftermath, new characters are introduced. Jimmie "Rocketman" Zara (Matt Prokop), Donny Dion (Justin Martin) and Tiara Gold (Jemma McKenzie Brown) are the latest additions where they're recycled versions of Troy (Jimmie), Chad (Donny) and Sharpay (Tiara). Jimmie idolizes Troy Bolton like a brother and hero while Donny is Jimmie's best friend and sidekick. Tiara is a transfered student from London, England who serves as a personal assistant to Sharpay and has her eyes on something close to Sharpay's heart that I will not say in this review.

While most people care for the characters, the breakout of any musical is the music. With High School Musical 3 in a bigger production compared to the first two, everything is much more dazzler and wild. Some of the songs from HSM 3 like "Now Or Never," the film's first song at the basketball game; "Right Here, Right Now" is a duet between Troy and Gabriella; "I Want it All" is Sharpay's second bitch anthem theme where it plays in the tradition of a Bob Fosse production with bright lights and high energy; "The Boys are Back" takes place in a junkyard where Troy and Chad sing; The song "A Night To Remember" is probably the funnest song in the film itself where it shows the kids singing about prom.

Yes, I love the songs! In terms of acting, I confess that Zac Efron was better this time around compared to High School Musical 2 where he actually has spoken words to make him convincing rather than a guy that nods and show off his perfect body. Vanessa Hudgens brings the better version of her character unlike the first sequel where all she did was squeal with delight and sounded like a bratty teenager; she sounds like a strong and confident chica (girl). The breakout star in all the High School Musical movies is no other than Ashley Tisdale's as the snobby Sharpay Evans in which despite the fact that her character was less this time around, she manages to make me grin and wonder what will happen next. Unlike most of the other actors from the previous films, Tisdale is the one that never breaks character and will remain my true favorite wildcat.

High School Musical 3 isn't a four star or three and a half star movie to go around, as it was already bashed by moviegoers (fans and non fans of the series) and critics. Most critics such as Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) would rather watch a movie where America should crash and burn while Richard Corliss (Time) would prefer the old musicals such as "Mary Poppins".

I, on the other hand, had fun watching this film. It doesn't beat the original flick, but it is better than HSM 2 as I said that third time would be a charm, and it was. And with this being the last installment for Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Monique Coleman, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Olesya Rulin, KayCee Stroh (Martha Cox), Ryne Sanborn (Jason Cross), and Chris Warren (Zeke Baylor), I congratulate the actors where they will move on to bigger and better things in their entertainment careers.

Go Wildcats!

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Crafted superb acting told in a take its time attitude, 21 October 2008
9/10

Nothing is easy for Michael Clayton. He gambles a lot, owes money after a failed restaurant business, tries to make time for his son after a messy divorce, drives fancy cars, wears suits that come out of a fashion detailed magazine, and yet, works for the highest litigation office in New York City where he's not a lawyer but a "fixer". He's someone that the lawyers can depend on if the clients aren't happy or somebody has a dirty secret that needs to be wiped away fast. He's just a janitor who cleans up the mess that everybody's afraid to touch.

George Clooney plays Michael Clayton in which this time the cards are on the table. He receives news from the head lawyer Marty Bach (Sydney Pollock) that one of their attorneys (Tom Wilkinson) has gone off the brink of insanity after stripping his clothes down to people on the biggest case of bringing down a corrupted organic company that has been killing off their customers. Arthur Edens (Wilkinson) knows the truth about the organic company and will do almost anything in bringing down C.E.O. Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) after a guilty conscience.

The clock is ticking for Clayton as he must do what he can in helping Edens while getting the feeling that Crowder and her people will do what they can in making sure that the guilty conscience lawyer doesn't speak.

With the film at nearly two hours, each of the three principal actors do a good job in their performances. George Clooney has never failed as an actor when he's doing comedy or being serious and he does an excellent job as Michael Clayton. Tom Wilkinson's performance has been compared to Peter Finch's Howard Beale from the movie "Network" in which they're both mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, and yet, Wilkinson steals the spotlight in his finest American film role. Tilda Swinton, who took home the best supporting actress award for her role as the villain, has never had her hands clean or dirty in the film if you get my drift. Her performance will go down as one of the movie's memorable villains in a dramatic role.

A Very Good Flick!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A been there, done that film with different actors, 21 October 2008
7/10

While I was too young to remember the late 1980's, most of the adults would remember one particular movement: The war on drugs. Most people remember that First Lady Nancy Reagen was the one who started the campaign against drugs where she even made public appearances in TV shows trying to get the youth of America about the dangers of the substances of drugs.

In "We Own The Night", drugs are the least worries of Bobby Green.

The film's main character is Bobby Green portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, who owns one of the hottest nightclubs in New York City in the late 1980's and at the same time leads a double life. One side of him is a hot shot bar owner who hangs with his Latin mistress Amada Juarez (Eva Mendes) and hangs with his friends and clients from the drug users, the crazy vatos, including a group of Russian mobsters in which Bobby doesn't know about their illegal drug operation in the bar. The other side of him is a secret since not many of his friends with the exception of Amada knows that Bobby comes from a family of cops out to stop the war on drugs. His brother Joesph (Mark Wahlberg) has just been promoted to captain while Bobby's father Burt (Robert Duvall), the chief of police, disapproves of the life his young son made; Burt wishes that Bobby would follow in Joesph's footsteps and be a cop instead of hanging with a bunch of lowlifes.

Trouble hits the fan for Bobby after his place is raided by Joesph's squad of police officers in which they go after Russian mobster Vadim Nezhinski (Alex Veadov). After Vadim's release, Joesph is attacked by Vadim's gang leaving him in critical condition where Bobby takes things into his own matter.

"We Own The Night" is the type of movie where it's not perfect, but manages to be entertaining in some aspects. The performances aren't exactly Oscar worthy or memorable but proves that every actor tries to take a different direction. Joaquin Phoenix had done better performances (Walk the Line, Gladiator, Parenthood) in his career but doesn't have the action hero quality while managing to deliver drama. Mark Wahlberg probably gives the best performance in the film where it's very similar to his popular role Sgt. Dignam from "The Departed" but without the high energy of profanity. Robert Duvall is okay in the short role, but it's Eva Mendes that's the weakest link where other than having a woman in the cliché peril, she doesn't have much to offer where other than proving how much of a Latina she is by speaking Spanish in certain scenes and dressing up for a Maxim magazine cover, there's really no importance for Eva Mendes's character when it should be just be an all guy action flick with no leading ladies in danger.

Overall, an okay flick to watch when there's nothing else to see.


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