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33 reviews in total 
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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
not a Halloween costume, 22 October 2011

The Skin I Live In is one of the oddest films I've ever seen. This is definitely suited more towards those who love Art House Cinema and could care less for big explosions and car chases. This is not a fun movie to watch, however it is very intriguing and has one of the more original stories I've seen in a movie. The cast is splendid and nobody overshadows anyone. The script isn't anything special but the director and cinematographer get top marks for this gorgeous looking film. It will disturb you, it'll make you wince and it'll most likely get under your skin as the music doesn't help much with calming your nerves. If you've got guts and want to be shocked by an incredible piece of art, then see it. I'll probably never watch this again but it is worth seeing once.

50/50 (2011)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
50/50 chance of being nominated for best picture, 30 September 2011

This movie has received raves from every critic that I've heard from so going in I had very high expectations. Thankfully they were met. 50/50 is a superb film that tells the story of a man diagnosed with Cancer at an early age and finds out his odds are 50/50. First thing first, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my favorite actors and this is such a tremendous performance. One scene towards the end of the movie brought me to tears because he was so good. Seth Rogen plays the same basic role, however he isn't annoying in this movie. He does go a little over the top at times but it isn't anything overly dramatic. The script written by Seth Rogen's best friend Will Reiser is based on his story of going through the process of learning that he had Cancer and how he dealt with it (Reiser not Rogen just to be clear). This is well directed and extraordinarily paced. The thing that impresses me most about this film besides Joseph is the fact that I never once asked myself how much longer the film was while watching. I was so engaged and into the story that I was just watching the movie and not thinking about anything else. That RARELY happens with me. It will be a crime if this film isn't nominated for Best picture, screenplay, actor, and supporting cast members (not all). I can understand if people are hesitant on seeing this movie for fear of it being too depressing given the subject matter but I assure you that it is a joy to watch. It has great comedy in it and while emotional it's just too good to miss. Please do not deny yourself the pleasure of watching this amazing film. It is worth it.

Drive (2011/I)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Drive is style over substance, 20 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Drive back in 2011 was hyped up beyond the conventional blockbuster. It came from a relatively unknown director but had Ryan Gosling in the leading role. Women everywhere had a substitute for their vibrators the day they saw this. This film unsettles me in a few ways, but first i will give credit where it is due. Winding Refn frames almost every shot with perfection, the cinematography is gorgeous to say the least and the film overall is edited to precision. Now that being said, I'll pour some hot water onto the ice cream cone character Gosling plays. And by ice cream, I mean stiff, and in the need of some licking. Being an aspiring filmmaker, I completely understand the concept of "show, don't tell." Now that being said, there are for sure some areas of this film where I was begging for him to say something. I recommend for anyone who saw this and enjoyed it, to watch Broken Flowers. In that film, Bill Murray plays a character that isn't totally different than this one. Except I liked Bill Murray a lot more. I have nothing against Gosling. He's a great actor, no question; but dude, would it kill you not to look constipated for one scene? Additionally, it would have helped to know what the f**k Cranston's disability was so that when he died, I actually cared. Instead it was more like "yep, saw that one coming." Carey Mulligan is a beautiful woman with a lot of talent, and she and Gosling made a nice couple. But if I was her, I would have steered clear of the guy because he came off as the quiet creepy type that ends up being a sociopath with no life. Gosling is given no backstory so we have absolutely no freaking idea why he does what he does and what motivates him. This doesn't help me when I'm supposed to care about him possibly dying. His character develops in a generic fashion in a generic "it all went wrong" film. I wanted to see him do more stunt car driving for the movies since that was technically his day job. Just one example doesn't cut it. This movie is style over substance as much as Sucker Punch was except there are no special effects in this film. I watched this a second time because I wanted to revisit the film after all the hype had died away and the Oscars were through. I found myself enjoying bits and pieces more than I had the first time, but my overall experience was the same. It is an OK film. And usually in my book, a 2.5/5 means it's forgettable. Well, it's kinda hard to forget a film when everyone's gushing over it like it's a low budget version of "The Dark Knight" (a film I adore). I'm not saying it's bad to like this film since I'm one of the few who enjoyed Transformers 2. I don't now and never will understand what people love so much about this movie. Everyone says "it's different" when it really isn't. It's a generic movie with Refn's touch. A love story in a nutshell. A really creepy love story. Thank you for reading and have a nice day. I'm gonna take a Drive.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A movie made by people who love movies for people who love movies, 16 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Despite not having enough of Christopher Nolan and Tim Roth interview to show and the movie feeling longer than it was this is a pure gem for movie lovers like myself. This docu tells the interesting story of the national film registry and how films are picked as well as showing a variety of clips from those movies that have been picked and have made an impact on other people in the business. We get plenty of great interviews from people in the business such as famous director John Singleton and John Lasseter, as well as studio executives, and people who are part of the committee that votes on the films to be put into the registry. We get insight into the job of someone who works hours on end to help preserve films that are extremely old and were not designed to stand the test of time. Knowing that certain films dating back before the 1950s were neglected due to the studios having no use for them once they did their job in making money is quite disturbing and makes me appreciate those films from a long time ago that are available for our viewing pleasures. If you are someone who is addicted to watching movies and remembers when watching movies didn't mean picking out the good from the bad and just being awed by whatever lay on screen or are interesting in going into the business, this is worth watching and is a sure contender for best documentary if the Academy allows it.

The Beaver (2011)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A fine film that speaks the truth on depression, 12 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Released in May of this year, the Beaver tells the heart breaking story of Walter Black (played brilliantly by Mel Gibson). Walter is severely depressed and sees no reason to continue living. His wife has lost patience with him, his eldest son loathes him and wants to be the complete opposite of his father, and his youngest is just an innocent boy in the middle of it all. When this film was released there was a ton of controversy around it because of Gibson and his history that people won't seem to forget and let him be. Gibson may have had some hiccups in his time and not made the best reputation for himself, but nobody can deny him recognition for an outstanding performance in one of the years best films. Jodie Foster who directs and stars as Walters wife brings this fantastic script to the screen and unleashes a story that is very odd and unique but speaks the truth when it comes to depression. Some people go to drastic measures in order to be happy. Walter attempts to off himself early on in the film and fails miserably. He is saved by a stuffed beaver puppet that he found in a dumpster outside of a liquor store. The beaver has a British accent and talks like a brit. Whether this is a statement towards the British or just smart writing, it works and is extremely effective even in the most dire of situations. Having an actor talk through a puppet can seem comic at first, but throughout the entire film, you never doubt Mel's ability to act once he starts communicating through the beaver. The stuffed puppet essentially is designed for Walter to be able to reject the negative side of himself and see the good that can come out of life. His youngest immediately digs it and loves spending time with the beaver. His wife is resistant at first, but allows him to talk through the beaver as it seems to work and is having a positive effect on her youngest. His eldest played by Anton Yelchin of Fright Night still hates his father and considers him a nut-job for talking through a hand puppet. While Walter happily communicates through his new best mate, we follow the eldest son and what he is going through at school. He is payed by kids to write papers because he is apparently very good at writing them. He encounters Jennifer Lawrence who is a gorgeous cheerleader and valedictorian who is required to write and present a graduation speech at the ceremony. She requests that he write it paying him a handsome amount to do so. The son likes her a lot and gets to know her quite a bit. We get a little side story here that is mentioned only a few times in reference to her dead brother who OD'd and is dead. she likes painting graffiti but has stopped ever since she was caught way back when by the police. As Anton spends time with her he slowly realizes that despite his not liking it, he is becoming more and more like his depressed father, which really bugs him and causes him to continually bash his head into a hidden hole in his room that has gotten deeper over time. By the close, the beaver has essentially taken over Walters life and it becomes more of a threat than a guide to redemption. He then proceeds to completely cut off the section of his arm attached to the beaver and put him to rest in a coffin he made out of wood at home. He survives barely, ending up in a hospital with a prosthetic hand and arm slowly recovering from his injury. By this time, the son has accepted his father, and forgiven him. The end shot is very good and clearly shows a changed man minus the beaver. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with this movie. When I saw the trailer for the very first time I wasn't very interested in seeing it. The movie did not get a wide release, made very little cash and ended up on video rental shelves faster than most films like it. The beaver is a very good movie that hopefully will surprise most people in how good it is. A lot of people will shy away thinking that it'll be very depressing. Thankfully, there are some funny moments in the movie. This is after all a black comedy. I wouldn't be ashamed to buy this on blu-ray, though I would not pay full price. Say what you like about Mel Gibson and all of his problems pertaining to religion and his personal life. All I ask of you is to watch this movie bearing in mind that not every actor can make a convincing depressed individual who turned to a beaver puppet for answers. Mel did and he was outstanding.

Colombiana (2011)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
a generic revenge movie with a beautiful girl, 29 August 2011

This film plays out like if the Jason Bourne trilogy married any of the three Hit-man games. That is pretty much one sentence that perfectly describes this movie. The cast is fine, not impressive and the action is fun but poorly shot and brutally edited to the point that you are confused as to what is going on and you feel very disoriented after a while wondering why they don't slow down and show you each shot instead of cutting every second. A lot of the scenes didn't make sense, there were numerous plot holes that were never explained and things in general that just didn't add up. Script was weak and this movie has one of the most awkward sexual scenes I've seen in a movie. dissatisfying and not worth seeing unless your desperate to see Zoe naked from behind and dressed in skimpy outfits.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great look, cliché story, 28 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on my rating you probably think I didn't like this movie. In all honesty I did like it but there were enough problems to bump my rating down if that makes sense. The positives of this movie were Troy Nixey's directing. He used a lot of moving camera shots to tell the story which were effective and helpful. The cinematography was outstanding as were the sets and the art direction. The creatures were very cool to look at and their design was rather unique. Bailee Madison was the best character in the movie even though at times I found her dis-interesting. Now those compliments normally compile for at least and 8 of a rating. The problems that pulled it back from being an 8 was that Guillermo del Toro and Nixey did nothing original with the story. It's the typical horror movie scenario where there is this big mansion that just spells out trouble, the girl realizes that something is wrong, parents don't believe her, yada yada yada. Neither Guy Pierce nor Katie Holmes really checked in good performances till the last 30 min. There was no character development at all, and the first 40 min. of introduction to the main characters and the house was long and dull. This movie opened itself wide open to the average clichés of pretty much every horror film like this movie. This movie was predictable and the whole architectural story never had any real relevance to the story at all and just gave both Pierce and Holmes something to do besides deny that their little girl is insane. Holmes by the way is the step mom and the script blatantly makes it clear that Madison wants nothing to do with her until of course the creatures end up gobbling her up and she disappears with them at the end of the movie. The end of this movie really pi**ed me off because it suggests a sequel but you know damn good and well that we won't get a sequel. The story around the creatures is never completely clear and questions arise from the first scene of the movie that never get answered. Fine for a Halloween rental.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A mystery worth solving, 21 August 2011

This is the only Kubrick film that I've watched so far that I can say I really enjoyed watching. This movie is unlike any you will ever watch. The thing that I found most interesting is that this movie is very long, feels long and yet I never wanted it to end. This movie is one where you watch it and you never know what is coming next. Predictability goes out the window in this movie. Tom Cruise gives one of his best performances in this movie and I loved watching his character on screen figuring things out as we the audience figure it out. Complaints come down to the score and there are a few scenes where there is a lot of dialogue being swapped between characters and the pace slows. This is a solid film overall and one that I highly recommend for those who are a fan of Kubrick and or Cruise.

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A bump in Steven's career, 21 August 2011

When this movie was first released, I had a very high interest in watching it. Seeing the trailer made me wonder what the hell this movie was about. I was not allowed to view it, and now I think I know why. I am a much older and more mature person and an experienced movie critic; hence why I am writing this review. The history or origin of this movie goes back quite a bit. Stanley Kubrick was working on this idea for decades and collaborated with Steven Spielberg to try and get the storyline straight. He worked tirelessly to develop the ultimate screenplay. Unfortunately, he passed on before he was able to bring his vision to the screen. Steven then decided to take Kubrick's script and completely disregard it. He re-wrote it his way and made this his movie. Apparently the content of Kubrick's script was too vulgar and pretentious. The result was this movie. I have several problems with this movie. For me there were very few redeeming qualities, and I can say now that I have actually seen it, that I would like to see the version Kubrick would have made. Kubrick and Spielberg are vastly different filmmakers so I'm sure the significance would have been impeccable. The movie has an extremely slow pace that drags the movie out to the point that you swear the film is at least another hour in length and that you've been tricked into seeing a longer movie. The story was also taken into the wrong direction in my opinion. A story like this can be told in many different ways, and this was not a very appealing movie to watch. The acting was not good and I felt little sympathy for anyone. The only scene that worked for me was the last scene. The only character I really liked believe it or not was the teddy bear. The movie went from one extreme to the next and the alternate universes that Steven explored made no real logical sense to me. I found several places where this film could have ended. Either way, none of my questions were answered and several characters were more or less left in the dark and never seen or heard from again even though their part could have been extended. I do not plan on ever seeing this movie again simply because I found it a chore to watch the first time around. Steven Spielberg has made a number of films in his career, and sadly this one is not the one he will be remembered for. I do not recommend this movie to anyone, however, if you do find yourself with 2hrs and 30min to spare then by all means watch something, just not this.

Sherlock Reborn, 14 August 2011

Sherlock Holmes is the ideal problem solver. We have been brought many different versions of Holmes over the decades and he has been reinvented in television and film over and over again to the point of exhaustion. Like many great detectives, he has a keen way of doing things and how he does things are rash at times but always gets the job done. When it was first announced that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing the iconic sly detective, my response was instinctively excited, because we all had out doubts about Tony Stark and look how that turned out. Robert has a certain gift for acting that allows him to read a script and know whether he can make good use of the material and bring out the best of whoever is co- starring with him on the silver screen. Guy Ritchie who's career has had its bumps on the road gives us a stylistic, funny and adventurous Sherlock Holmes in this new adaption of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original sketch of the man with unparalleled technique. Among all of the actors who have portrayed Holmes in the last few decades, Robert Downey Jr. is the first to really bring new light to the character and give us a side of Holmes that is true to who he is in the eyes of everyday Americans. Holmes will encounter a crime scene riddled with unseen clues to the audience's eye, but to Holmes, an entire symphony is playing in is brain as ideas and conclusions slowly twirl around his ego. While the audience is in the dark until the last scene in which all is spilt o the floor like a jug of tipped water, it's still fun to watch Robert in these scenes basking in the glory of his written genius and exposes the evil that cascades over the industrialized city. Jude Law steps into the shoes of Watson, one of the most memorable sidekicks in all of literature. Law brings spunk and truth to the character and shows the audience that despite the character not liking Holmes very much, he is still his best friend and would never leave his side even in the face of death. The friendship that builds on screen no doubt never left the set as the chemistry between the two is spot on and you never doubt these two for a second. The plot of this movie isn't the best nor the worst. The plans for world domination fall into the hands of Mark Strong and a machine that isn't foreign to us in our day and age of technology, but still manages to keep us on the track to a sequel that will more or less be better and upscale the first one. Amy Adams plays a dangerous/mysterious love interest to Holmes who knows him quite well and has no problem in outsmarting him in the simplest of ways yet still slinking to the role of damsel in distress in the last half hour. We also get some pretty brutish fist scenes that incorporate a bit of pre planning with the wit of Holmes and some slow motion that without Snyder's hand at directing feels a bit unneeded, yet satisfyingly shows off Sherlocks hand to hand skills in an over dramatized manner. I own this on blu-ray and yet I can't say that everyone will like this or accept this I guess as a true Sherlock Holmes adaption true to the original scripture translated to script. But I can say, that for those who do like the detective and want to see Sherlock in a new light, that this is definitely worth checking out.

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