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Wanted (2008)
7 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
A little balance to IMDb, 30 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm amazed at the reviews of this movie. These reviews are not just "good" reviews. They are "astounding" reviews. Is this what we've come to, really? Perhaps after 3 months of comic book style action movies, people are just happy to see graphic violence and willing to over-hype a movie simply based on the amount of bullets shot through someone's skull. This movie was not "groundbreaking." It sounds like people need to watch more movies.

I'll give a fair criticism of the film now. The acting was all over the place. It was good where you'd expect it to be good, and uncomfortable where you'd expect it to be uncomfortable. James was excellent. His transformation was believable and that is the only reason this film can stand on it's own as a serious movie (as opposed to a graphic B-movie if otherwise led by a horrible actor). Jolie is losing her touch. She's not terrible, but she adds absolutely nothing to the movie. Not even sex appeal, which was their goal, as she is in most of the previews and her character gets way more screen time than necessary for the story. Freeman used to be flawless in his choices, but after Unleashed and now, Wanted, I'm starting to wonder. The guy can obviously act, but I honestly think Rick Moranis could have pulled this role off.

The storyline had potential, but they ruined any credibility with their continuous dialogue, beating us over the head with the reasons their world existed. Tell me this, according to the movie, Freeman's character explains that "fate" is the reason they kill (a slightly more detailed explanation is in the film, but fate seems to cover it). However, a few scenes later, Freeman tells McAvoy that "he is in control" (not in control of the fate factor, that job is left to a large knitting machine) That doesn't follow the "fate" logic very closely, does it? And the real kicker in the movie is another line that Freeman says. While explaining to McAvoy why his character can kill with the best of them, Freeman says something along the lines of, "You can kill because of an extreme amount of adrenaline pumping through your body that only a few people in the world have". Not only that, but what McAvoy thought were panic attacks turned out to be those adrenaline rushes that allow him to kill. (Where to start, right?). First of all, adrenaline rushes do not give you the ability to leap tall buildings. Secondly, if everyone that had panic attacks really suffered from assassin-inducing adrenaline rushes, then wouldn't a LOT of people in the world have it? Don't take this as just tearing the movie apart. And please don't say "It's just a movie idiot, you have to suspend disbelief." I don't like "suspending my disbelief" because I don't think you should have to. If the movie has properly set up the story and creates a world in itself, then the viewer can enter that world created. Then they don't have to suspend their disbelief because the world in the movie explains any disbelief you might have. The last thing I'll say about the storyline is the use of the "bending the bullet" thing. What an arrogant way to popularize your movie. When you hear people say "bending the bullet," they are not simply naming a secret assassination technique from the movie. They are actually quoting the movie. The film itself, in a very cocky way, literally says "Bend the bullet" nearly 10 times. The fact that the movie names its own ploy in their marketing campaign is very unsettling to me.

Now the direction. I just didn't like it. Some shots were good. Some scenes were very well done. Example: the shootout at the end of the movie was exciting and violent and everything you'd expect from a movie like this. But overall, the films pace was annoying and the editing was sloppy in places. Also, a good action movies needs more than two locations for action. In this film, we had 1. A moving train and 2. the fraternity's hideout. That's really not enough.

I don't think this film is horrible by any means. It's a good enough movie to rent when you're bored on a Saturday afternoon and want some action. But I can't stand these rave reviews this film is getting. This new Russian director has a lot of potential, but I feel like he, along with most first-time American movie foreign directors, follows the "American C's of film-making": get as many Cuts and Cusses in there as possible and people will like the movie.

Bottom line - wait until it hits the cheap theaters to see this over-hyped actioner. And please don't fall for these ridiculous reviews that the studios need so badly since Jolie and Freeman both added their names to the cast. The only redeeming quality is James McAvoy, who really will make a great action star if he plays his cards right.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The way brothers should act., 13 August 2005

I went to see this movie last night, and walking out of the theater I told myself I wanted to see it again very soon. There are unexpected scenes in this movie that made me laugh so hard my nose blew my slurpy back in the cup (I did not finish the slurpy after that). The chemistry that all 4 of the brothers had on screen was unmatched. To be honest, I thought the downfall of the movie was going to be Andre 3000. I was wrong. He was actually pretty good in his role. Having two brothers myself, I could relate to a lot of the bickering and arguing that the 4 brothers go through. This movie has great comedy, intense drama, sweet action, and a lot of Mark Wahlberg fighting. And I have now decided that a movie with Mark Wahlberg can not be good unless he punches someone in the face a few times. I mean, let's be honest, he's really good at that. John Singleton deserves a lot of credit too. Considering that the casting was perfect, the story was very interesting, and the acting was far better than I had imagined, I think Singleton did a fine job. Even if you disagree with the above, you cannot disagree that Singleton has a unique way of making innocent faces, like Tyrese and Andre 3000, and making them tough guys with an edge. Don't hold it against him that he worked with Paul Walker in 2 Fast 2 Furious. Remember that he did create Cuba Gooding Jr.'s career. All in all this movie was very entertaining and fun. 4 Brothers is definitely one that you should go see if you like revenge stories and want to see a great mixture of comedy, drama, and action (and who wants to miss Mark pound faces in?).

Cop Land (1997)
Get over your hatred of Sly and watch a terrific movie, 4 April 2005

Cop Land is an experience in and of itself. The small town is so perfectly shot that it feels like the long lost vacation spot you never went to. First off, the cast is incredible in this film. Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert Deniro, just to name a few. Every character in this movie is highly believable. And the shocking thing is that Sly steals the show easily. This is without a doubt one of Sylvester Stallones best roles. He was cast perfectly as the down and out of luck sheriff who gets fed up with the illegal actions going on around him. Harvey Keitel never lets you down, nor does Robert Deniro. Ray Liotta is superb as the rough drug dealer that pushes Sly around. Other than the amazing cast, the story is flawless. This film is the definition of drama. Real life situations of crooked cops, under the table deals, murder, and the power of politics are put together so well to create this world that is Cop Land. I would tell anyone who hasn't seen this movie that they need to sit down and watch it immediately. It will grab you from the beginning and amaze you as the tragic story unfolds and leads to one of the most dramatic endings in film.

Rope (1948)
22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
81 minutes of sheer Hitchcock fear, 28 March 2005

I just saw this movie for the first time this year. I was amazed. Alfred Hitchcock does an absolutely amazing job of making the audience cringe. I read reviews about this movie saying that it wasn't well accepted by the audience when it first came out. But that is understandable because a lot of great classics aren't accepted when first released. One big example is The Shawshank Redemption, which didn't do as well as it should have in the box office. That doesn't make the content or the worth of the film any less. Rope was the twisted story based on the real life murder case of Leopold-Loeb. Two college students commit the "perfect murder" and invite the friends and family of their victim over for dinner. The acting is superb, especially from everyone's favorite, James Stewart. The fear builds slowly as this movie keeps you interested by morbid discussion that everyone has thought at one time or another. This movie really did creep me out, and although it might not be as thrilling as Rear Window or North by Northwest, it will not disappoint. You will be biting your nails for sure waiting to see what happens to the seemingly "perfect murder". I would easily give this movie an 8 out of 10.

3 Ninjas (1992)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Every boy's dream -- to become a ninja!, 28 March 2005

I grew up with this movie. I used to watch it with my two brothers and would immediately start fighting afterwards. Few movies make you get out of your seat and practice martial arts. I have heard bad things about this movie from nearly everyone. Most people shrug this movie off because its lame children's action and even more lame dialogue. But thats the best part about this movie. To get the full appreciation for this film, you must watch it with a 10 year old. Watch how excited the kid gets when the 3 ninjas get into their mischief and fight the bad guys. I will guarantee that if anyone, regardless of age, watches this movie, they will be entertained, if not deeply moved by the Victor Wong's (Grandpa) intense moral lessons he teaches to his grandsons.