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First things first, Salt definitely does not come close to Bond or Bourne in any aspect, and sometimes, it feels like this movie was intentionally made to copy those films only with a woman protagonist. But there are definitely way worse movies out there. The story is relatively weak but the action scenes are entertaining enough to keep you in your seat, and trust me when I say that there are plenty of them. Salt wasn't expected some huge breakout film, but it's certainly worth a try for spy-lovers and with Angelina at the front, she is sure to give a strong performance.
Stars Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Life of Pi (2012)
Very well-done and wonderful to look at...
Life of Pi is an incredible visual journey with top-of-the-line special effects and a very heart-felt storyline.
A young, Indian boy is moving to a new home in Canada on an Asian transport ship when the ship is destroyed in a violent storm and, being the lone survivor of the wreck due to a lifeboat failure where he was the only one on-board along with a zebra, orangutan, hyena, and a tiger that all lived in the zoo they owned back in India and were whisked aboard with the boy, whose name is Pi, of course. The carnivorous animals quickly kill the other animals until the only one left is the tiger whose name happens to be Richard Parker. Young Pi must learn to co-exist on a small lifeboat and a man-made raft with the man-eating tiger while at the same time coming closer to God and the wonders of nature that help keep them both alive. But really, the tiger may be the only real reason Pi is still alive and the only way the two of them make it alive is if they bond together.
A spectacular job by newcomer Suraj Sharma and stunning visual feats and effects earn this movie an 8 out of 10. (At least to me)
Rocky V (1990)
First things first, the best fights are fought in the ring, not on the street. But the thing is, there are amazingly six Rocky movies and as each movie was made (with the exception of Rocky IV) the story grew worse. There was just not a lot more they could do with the story, even if they did try their best. Avildsen did a good job with the first movie but what he did here left me scratching my head. Stallone was kind of all over the place in this movie and there was a lot of unnecessary scenes in the movies as well, such as the scene where Rocky was in his sons room and saw the picture his son drew of his naked English teacher. I was disappointed because even though the story of Rocky was losing it's touch through Rocky's III, V, and VI, I was still expecting an immensely entertaining, good 'ol fashioned boxing match. But no, they had to ruin it and turn a great sport into a mindless street fight.
The reason I did not rate the movie less than 3 out of 10, is because I am a fan of Sylvester Stallone anyway not just as an actor, but as a person.
Few Come Close......
This spectacular sports drama inspired by the Chuck Webner story easily became the best sports movie I've ever seen. It is a different approach.
An up-and-coming local boxer is challenged by the World Heavyweight Champ Apollo Creed as a charity event that is supposed to be just punching practice for Creed. But Rocky Balboa knows that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and plans to put himself through hell to be a match for the champ. The movie itself is uplifting and inspiring and proves that with a lot of heart and extremely hard work, anything can happen. That you can do anything you want if you are willing to do the work to get to it. The movie also features a killer soundtrack that will live down in history as one of the best movie soundtracks ever and that is a guarantee. It may be all fun and games for Apollo at first, but when he realizes that Balboa can pack a punch, he might then realize that this guy means business.
A terrific story and good acting earn this movie a 9 out of 10 and 3 Oscar Wins.
Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers,and Burgess Meredith star.
The problem with The Revenge of the Sith, is that you know what is going to happen. I just wish that Lucas had made the first three movies before the fourth, fifth, and sixth, because that way, the story might have been given more thought to it. Another problem, is that there are way too many decisions that are made where you're just like "Why?" At the end of the movie, when Yoda and Obi-Wan first discover Anakin's fall to the dark side and plan to take out the Sith, why not just go together to kill Anakin, then come back and kill the Emperor. Obi-Wan may have died but he would be enough of a distraction for Yoda to land a finishing strike. The scene after Anakin kills Mace Windu is laughable. The way Anakin becomes Palpatine's new apprentice is pathetic and not convincing at all. The scene in the Gunship where Obi-Wan explains to Yoda and Mace about Anakin's assignment to spy on the Emperor, Mace makes a comment about not trusting Anakin, to which Obi-Wan replies "Is he not the Chosen One to bring balance to the force?" Where Yoda then says, "The prophecy could have been misread." Mace just nods and they don't discuss it further. That is just silly that they are talking about the most important aspect of the war and just ponder about it instead of trying to do something about it. That really is all the Jedi do in this movie: Ponder, Wonder about, Ponder some more, but never do anything about it. Not only that, but the scenes are quick and not detailed enough. They skip through scenes like a fan blowing pages of a book. They also turn Padme from being a skillful fighter on Geonosis in Episode II, into a small, cowering wimp.
The acting is really disappointing as well. Ewan McGregor is okay but the material he is given makes it not seem that way. Hayden Christensen is a bad actor all around which makes his dialogue not matter in the slightest, Samuel L. Jackson is a good actor but like Ewan, he was given horrible material. Natalie Portman is not bad acting-wise, but she was given the wrong dialogue for certain points sometimes, Ian McDiarmid is really the only OKAY part. He fit the role of the Emperor. Christopher Lee stars as well but his part is so short, that you can't really judge.
The only reason I give Episode III a 5 out of 10, is that the special effects were very stunning and well done. That seems to be Lucas' ace in terms of film-making.
Coach Carter (2005)
It is just as important to be successful off the court as it is on......
A basketball team playing at a high school where education is poor and basketball is all the kids have, Coach Ken Carter applies to become the school's new head coach. After watching the team practice, Carter sees potential, but is not impressed with the team's attitudes or grades. So instead, Carter decides to make an agreement with the team where all the players must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average to be eligible to play. Of course, the Richmond High School staff expect nothing from these players academically which seems to be the reason they do nothing to try and support the boys. So while the team treats everything Carter tries to get across to them as a joke and puts playing their game of basketball ahead of playing Carter's, Carter as you'd expect, loses his patience and benches the whole team for breaking their contract with him about their grades.
Samuel L. Jackson leads a fantastic cast in this lesson-learned-the-hard-way basketball drama that is no doubt up there with Hoosiers as one of the best basketball movies ever made, even if it is based off a true story. The story has all the natural elements in any sports drama; the hothead who acts like a star who has talent but does not know how to apply it, the big, white post player who is the only white on the team of African-Americans, the key player who is also a lover-boy who we discover, has a lot of personal problems other than school. The film is classic and well-written for any die-hard sports fan. But since the high school is in the middle of a ghetto, there are some depictions of how life is on the streets and off the court for each player. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and give it an 8 out of 10.
Samuel L. Jackson, Rick Gonzales, Robert Ri'Chard, Nana Gbewonyo, Antwon Tanner, Channing Tatum, Ashanti, and Texas Battle star.
Very pleased with this movie, watched it several times.....
Princess Mononoke is one of a kind. It takes a very imaginative mind to come up with such a creative and flowing story. There is something about that just made me want to watch it over and over again too. Maybe it was just the way it was laid out.
A young prince of an ancient, near-extinct tribe of warriors called the Amishi People is cursed by a boar-demon from the West and is told by the tribe elder he is doomed to die. He cannot alter his fate but he is told he can rise to meet it if he chooses. So he travels to the land where the boar-demon came from, which is the West. There he comes across two opposing armies one of iron-builders the other of samurai at war and quickly gets involved after he is praised by the iron-builders when he brings back two of their soldiers previously thought dead and is brought into the town ironically called Irontown. After he is told of the wolves that attacked the men and their princess, Mononoke, and the spirit of the forest, he decides that this Mononoke girl might be able to lead him to the spirit of the forest which might cure his curse. But he might encounter something much more important along the way as well.
I hate to repeat myself, but the story is so heart-felt and feel-good and somewhat dark in some areas, that it just becomes irresistible and you just can't turn your head from the screen. The reactions to certain events are appropriate and there is little to question in the film. I truly think this is one of the best, if not the best animated film ever made.
Voice actors in the English version include Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Keith David, Gillian Anderson, John Di Maggio, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
The Avengers (2012)
Done the right way....
When I first heard of Marvel incorporating all the characters into one movie, I was both excited and worried. Excited because this could be one of the greatest film achievements in movie history, and worried because there is a way to do this the "wrong" way.
I'm not gonna spoil everything so I'll just say this: The Avengers was done right. Joss Whedon did not just throw all the heroes in there and hoped for the best results. He gradually brought them together for a reason and expertly created a cohesive story with creative and relentless action scenes, fit acting, and clever humor.
The whole conflict starts when the antagonist of the movie, Loki, who is also Thor's brother, steals the Tasseract, a blue cube made up of enough energy to destroy Earth completely, which is typical enough. But while the story is simple, the way the movie is put together almost makes you forget how typical a story it is since it seems like they are always fighting for something bigger. But back to the preview, what Loki aims to achieve, is to open up a portal using the cube to allow an alien race known as the Chatari to invade and conquer Earth. In return for Loki's war and rule of Earth once it is conquered, the Chatari leader asks for the cube. So naturally, it becomes the Avengers responsibility to come together as a team, put aside their differences and save Earth from Loki and the Chatari.
Robert Downey Junior, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Stellan Skarsgard, and Samuel L. Jackson lead this cast and receive a well-earned 9 out of 10 from me.
Red Tails (2012)
Lacking in parts of the story.....
True, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen is a very inspirational and entertaining story, but Red Tails left out some very crucial details about the Tuskegee Airmen.
The movie depicts the African-American pilots in World War II who are excellent fighter pilots but are still segregated from the Whites which is accurate. But the question is how they got so skilled at flying the planes and what kind of training they went through to get where they are now. There is no story leading up to how they were given the opportunity to join the army even though people may know anyway since Red Tails is based off a true story. There is no supporting back-story to why everything is what it is. How did they get the hand-me-down planes? This is why the HBO series Band of Brothers was so successful, yes it was a great series, but before each episode, the real soldier that is portrayed in the show talks about the actual experience for the real men in the real war. Red Tails is full of clichés and it almost looks like the pilots are having fun when they battle it out with the Germans. I don't think the real Tuskegee Airmen were having fun when they closed that cockpit knowing that this could be the last time they see the ground.
The acting is not bad given the fact they were supplied with not much material to work with. I think Red Tails had some huge potential to be a great inspirational war classic but was written by the wrong person.
But the movie is nonetheless entertaining to watch and the intense, aerial dogfights are well done and are perfect for any surround-sound system with colossal explosions and spectacular visual effects. So to conclude, the movie, in my opinion, deserves a 6 out of 10.
People have problems in high school yes...but this is ridiculous.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was not anything like what I had expected it to be at all. It ended up being very typical and in most cases, well overdone.
Charlie, the main protagonist in the movie, is about to start high school and throughout the movie, we learn that he and his new Senior friends have every type of problem you could think of: -His best friend shot himself.
-His new friend Patrick, whose a senior, is gay.
-His situation with his aunt was unclear but it might have been that she molested him as a child.
-Towards the end of the movie, he has thoughts of suicide.
-He ends up dating a girl who he did not want to date who is friends with his actual crush who is Patrick's sister Sam, and when they played "Spin the Bottle," Charlie was asked to kiss the prettiest girl there, and he kisses Sam in front of his girlfriend, who of course is goth.
-Charlie goes to his first high school party and has trouble with drugs and alcohol.
-His friend and crush Sam is struggling with her ACT scores and is not eligible to get to her college of choice.
-Patrick gets Brad, who he likes as his boyfriend, in trouble when Brad's father finds them together in the basement.
-Charlie has to step in and fight a couple of Brad's cronies when they were encouraged by Brad to beat Patrick up for what happened.
So, my point is, people have trouble in life, yes, but this movie took every little thing and crammed it into one just making the movie way far-fetched and unrealistic.
One good thing about the movie though, is the acting. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller are all very convincing despite the overflowing storyline. Emma did a very good job portraying an American high school student only hinting the fact that she is actually an English actor. Ezra was the least of the three but he fit the role, even though his homosexual storyline was a little disturbing to me. Logan is talented and can no doubt act well, but his choice of this movie, in my opinion, was a waste of potential that could have gone somewhere else. Joan Cusack does star but her screen time is very short and a good actress like her does not change the storyline. The movie may be unreal but that doesn't change the fact that it is very upsetting and depressing since the director (who is also the author of the book) depicted Charlie's low side of life with much intensity and maybe a little too much realism than needed.
But since the idea of the story and acting in the film were not terrible, I can't say that this movie is actually flat-out bad. It is just overflowed. That is why I give it a 5 out of 10.