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Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
An advertisement for Vacationing in Spain
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Woody Allen can add another masterpiece to his collection with VCB. Allen is remarkable in catching the beauty of Spain, and the beauty of his characters at the same time. Once again Allen takes on the topic of relationships, but this time he makes his characters even more disoriented with what love really is. Javier Bardem, fresh off his stellar performance in No Country for Old Men, plays Juan Antonio a Spanish painter. Antonio is the prototypical "Don Juan" and he oozes with European masculinity. It takes no time for the friends Vicky and Cristina to both fall under his spell. The perplexing love triangle turns into a "love square" when Antonio's volatile ex-wife (Penelope Cruz) reappears into his life. Allen does such fascinating job at showcasing the culture and landscape of Spain, that it makes every viewer want to jump on a flight to Barcelona tomorrow. Strong acting performances make this the best Allen movie since Match Point. 9/10
An Epic movie for an Epic leader
George Patton was a remarkable icon in American history. Patton the movie is what all war movies should strive to be. In a screenplay written by Francis For Coppola, the times of Patton during WWII
George C. Scott performs one of the greatest leading roles of the 20th century in his portrayal of the controversial US general, in this film by Franklin Schaffner. Scott does a terrific job at showing how brash, ambitious, and rebellious Patton was as a leader. Patton's character was often questioned, but he was a man of honor who took pride in serving in the US Army.
As a war movie, the film holds up to today's standards. There is plenty of action, and the fighting is intense, even though it remains PG-13 during the whole duration of the movie. The strongest point of the movie is that it depicts war as felt by generals and other leaders. It is the perfect example of young men dying for old men who give orders. Names are never mentioned for any non ranking officer, instead they are just shown as honorable sacrifices for the greater good of the world. Karl Malden delivers a fine supporting job as the level headed General Bradley, and Karl Vogler does an equally impressive job playing Patton's respected nemesis Erwin Rommel.
Patton is an extraordinary movie that is more than worthy of being the main source for a biography on the general. At times the general will make you angry, at other times he will make you laugh, but there is not a second that goes by that you don't want to follow him into battle, and make the other bastard die for their country.
Clichés are Everywhere!
Wanted tries extremely hard to be the new defining action movie for the year but it falls far short. Every cliché is present, from the wimpy protagonist that gets tough, to the over the top car chase scenes, and finally to the body count which is still rising as we speak.
James McAvoy's character is a poor man's version of Toby Maguire in the Spiderman series. McAvoy's comedic lines come off silly and seem out of place. His transformation from a nobody into a world famous assassin happens seems very abrupt and happens with about the same adversity as Daniel in the Karate Kid.
The action scenes are eye catching, and the special effects are the strength of the movie. However, many times they scream "yeah right", as opposed to producing "oohs and aahs".
Wanted seems like it was written in a junior high class, which also seems like the audience who would enjoy this movie the most. The problem is that with the amount of gore and violence, the target age won't even be able to see the movie in the theaters.
If you are looking for a deep complex plot or catchy dialog, then Wanted is not for you. If you are looking for a good two hours to waste watching some great CGI special effects and a quick glance at Angelina Jolie naked from behind, then Wanted is a movie to check out. 4/10