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The Bounty Hunter (2010)
Andy Tennant's movies have been hit and miss. He directed Anna and the King and Hitch, but also Fool's Gold and this. He should have a better hand at choosing his scripts by now cause this one is a mess.
It's a hybrid of romantic comedy and action movie. It fails in both categories. The characters are one dimensional and under developed. If it weren't for Butler's natural charm I would've ended up hating his character, a drunken gambler who got thrown out of the police force. The action is cliché for the small amount of time it graces us with its presence, and most of the humor falls flat, maybe because you've already seen/heard the jokes before, from other, better movies.
For all their likability, both Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston seem to be on auto pilot. Gerard is his own charming persona and Aniston is, well, Rachel from Friends, though they exhibit some chemistry. Neither will benefit from starring in this movie. Side note: Christine Baranski is wasted in a role far beneath her talent.
That's not to say this is a bad movie. It has some fun moments, though familiar, and it will not seem a total waste of time. On the other hand it isn't a particularly good movie and you will forget about it as soon as it is over.
Big Stan (2007)
Better than usual for Schneider
Considering he's done The Animal and Deuce Bigalow 1 and 2, I wasn't expecting much from Schneider's Big Stan, especially since this is his directorial debut. I did not know much going into the theatre, except what I saw in the trailer.
Much to my surprise this turned out to be an OK waste of time, but nothing more. It's just another prison comedy, with a small twist. The incarcerated main character has 6 months to prepare for "doin' time".
It's nice to see Carradine pop up here and there parodying his other kung fu related works, and this time sending an anti-smoking message while consuming a life time supply of cigarettes. All through the movie I kept trying to remember where do I know the actress that plays Rob's wife from. Then it hit me. None other than Jennifer Morrison of House M.D.. She looked hot in this movie, but I feel she should make better choices in the future.
All in all a decent comedy, a better than expected, but shaky, direction from Schneider. This should be perfect for a weekend afternoon once it comes out on DVD.
Probably Uwe's best film to date(still misfiring though)
Why is it that when it comes to Uwe, people find it easier to skip the actual analysis of a movie and start throwing adjective like "dumbest", "worst", "terrible" and "horrible" around? From my point of view, I find "In the Name of the King" to be his best movie to date(granted I haven't yet seen House of the Dead).Of course that isn't saying much, considering the caliber of everything else he's done.
I saw somebody complain about the CGI.Well it's better than in some far superior movies I've seen, and definitely above TV standards(I'll try and not think of Dungeons&Dragons:Wrath of the Dragon God).Who cares that the castle in the background is visibly CGI?It's not you would've believed it was a real castle anyway, and I doubt there are many fantasy movies that can actually boast with a realistic CGI medieval castle(not even LOTR managed to pull that off every time).
Sure, the plot is awful, maybe that's even an understatement, but it's Uwe, he surrounds himself with incompetence with a skill unsurpassed by anyone(I truly think, had he found a decent, capable crew of men assisting him with his movies, he would be past the 5 star mark here on IMDb).
Which brings us to the acting.Well, what can you expect from people miscast who've been handed a terrible script?Still, familiar faces sure do help with the viewing of such bad dialogue and intrigue.
Burt Reynolds, why did you do it?Was it worth the money?Was the sum THAT high? Jason Statham and Ray Liotta.Well, Statham is only suited for some roles, this isn't one of them.And Ray, well he fell off the wagon long time ago.This is just another movie in the company of Mr. Chelios that makes me forget why I once liked him(the other being Revolver).
I've never liked Claire Forlani, always seemed wooden to me.Seems miss Sobieski learned something from her.Why is that, I don't know, since Leelee showed some promise early on in her career.
Rhys-Davies and Perlman can be forgiven, they're not at their first mischief of the kind.
I kind of liked Will Sanderson(again) and Brian White in their roles though.
On the other hand, I liked this movie enough to give it a 5.Well to be honest it's more of a 5.5, but IMDb's rating system isn't my cup of coffee.Why did I rate this "insert insult here" movie a 5?Because, unlike the others, it's a little better directed, it's a fun popcorn movie, and looks a lot better.Probably the best looking Boll film to date.Plus it manages to be fantasy, despite the poorly written script.And some of the excesses of Boll's previous films are missing.Which is good(even though the misplaced music is still there, the overly long emotional wannabe scenes also).Thus proving my theory that Boll is learning with every new movie he makes(hopefully, even though he'd need hundreds of movies to breach the decent barrier).
I still don't understand why people are so keen on attacking the guy.Has he reached that kind of cult status?Because that is achieved by overly despised people as well as the overly appreciated.
I wonder why people keep seeing his movies, or at least keep an eye on what he's doing, when they consider him so despicable.If only you wouldn't pay attention to the man, he'd probably think he has nothing else to prove and retire.Then again, why should we care if he continues to do his movies?No one forces us to watch them.
BloodRayne II: Deliverance (2007)
See it with a sense of humor, and a lot of patience...
Recently I've been going on a Boll spree, seeing whatever I can find.Not because I enjoy his films that much, but rather because I wanted to see if he really is THAT bad as I've heard.Haven't yet seen the, as I'm lead to believe, abysmal "House of the Dead".But I've seen Bloodrayne, and a certain review of Bloodrayne:Deliverance I read, made me want to see the second.
You see, the review, while stating that the film isn't that great, it also stated that it was better than the first.I find that statement flawed.While the second sees some improvement, it pretends to be something it's not:a Bloodrayne movie.The first one revolved around her, and though the plot was terrible, you could still see some potential underneath.The second, is just an excuse for Boll to do a "vampire-western".
Let's start off by saying the idea isn't bad, and given the proper director it would've been more than watchable.And in some cases, Boll displays some sort of talent for angles and shooting a scene.Then again, many of these cases are "borrowed" from the western lore.I would've expected some stylizing, given the subject of the film, but I'm pretty sure the up-coming "3:10 to Yuma" is more stylized than this, while mostly sticking to classical western(I should be ashamed for bringing Mangold's film into this comment).No, instead Boll gives us a shaky camera(not that upsetting, but would've been good in a lot of close-ups), bad editing, and less than usual make-up for a vampire-flick.
Vampires now just have fangs, no more face deformity when in a rage.Not that much blood either(which could be a good thing, the first one was terrible at gore-delivery).All in a day's work for keeping the budget down.
The actors in this one do a slightly better job than the big names in the first one.Not commenting on Malthe, since she didn't really have anything at all to work with(few of the others did).But all in all, some less-known, or even unknown actors do what they're paid for:act.
The script is awful, right down to the very core of it.We have the city-slicker, the gun-slinging con-pulling priest, the western cynic, the showdowns on the main street, the Gatling, and the well-dressed villain.Now, to make that villain Billy the Kid(and to somehow bring the whole vampire thing to Wyatt Earp also), a trigger challenged vampire, with a foreign accent, was just outrageous.
The direction:all I can say is Boll.He gets right what he did wrong with the first, but fails in other departments.You could say he's learning as he goes.But it's a really long learning process.There were a few scenes at the climax where the tension was supposed to be high, yet he dissipates it by stretching them to an unbearable length.
So, to conclude...the movie is awful, but still has some enjoyable scenes.If he had made a western with vampires, and not a Bloodrayne movie, he could've passed this as a "worth a check" DVD, but, as it stands it's just an awful example of movie-making.
One last word:I still consider there are worse directors out there than Boll, but I'm sure he will continue trying to prove me wrong with every new movie.Though I am expecting "Postal", he just might pull-off violent comedy, he did it involuntarily so far.
Nacho Libre (2006)
It could've been entertaining...
Instead, we're presented with a weird little comedy that fails to deliver.
The first 10 to 20 minutes I had a smile on my face.It really seemed Jared Hess was able to harness Jack Black's comedic talent(which he has plenty of), toning down the show-man into his own style of offbeat comedy.What started off hinting at a character driven movie(as in Napoleon Dynamite) soon began to rely too much on Black's clowning around, on him making silly faces and trying to get laughs with that ridiculous accent(which is fine by me, but a bit overused as a comedic tool).
The awkwardness of Napoleon Dynamite doesn't go along that well with the script(we don't have usual people in everyday situations anymore, we have unusual heroes in preposterous situations).And, except for little to none use of subtle humour, it's all about physical gags, farts and unusual characters, oh...and of course, Black can't help himself, and has to sing, a couple of times(moments that are pretty close to the highlights of this movie).
All in all, another reason for me to conclude Black's talent is best kept for supporting roles(i.e.Orange County), since he's rarely been able to produce a great movie as a lead.I know some might think of School of Rock, but that also had a good director, good script and good music, not to mention a Jack Black learning restraint as far as a role goes.