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I came for the accent attempts and stayed for the storyline
Had been keen to see this since release, so I could learn about this amazing story and also see Daniel Craig and Liev Screiber talk in a German accent for 2 hours.
"Defiance" is the amazing true story of 3 brothers who aim to provide protection for fellow Jews from the Nazis trying to capture them and force them into concentration camps. The group starts small in the forest but eventually word spreads and they soon have a small army in their hands. Eventually they become a community and form tight bonds, but the cold, uncertainty and frequent struggles just to feed people causes plenty of struggles. As time passes on, the challenges mount and their leader (Craig) faces leadership challenges and excruciating decisions.
An inspiring, amazing story of one of the greatest stories of the second world war. Not overly gripping as a movie, but obviously not too much creative license was taken.
The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
This is the movie you end up getting when you say to wifey "pick something you like tonight, I'll probably just potter around anyway". I ended up getting bored and sat down to watch it.
"The Secret Life Of Bees" is not really about bees at all, more about a young girl called Lily (Dakota Fanning, which i didn't realise until about half way in) who has lived through adversity. As a young child she accidentally shot her own mother, who was in the midst of domestic dispute with her father. Her father raises her, but not very well and causes her heaps of psychological issues. As a teen she one day leaves home with her nanny (played by Jennifer Hudson) and looks to start a new life. She stumbles across a bee farmer called August and her family and is allowed to stay and work with them. They all soon form a lovely bond until more tragedy occurs and many are forced to face up to their fears.
Pretty girly, but an OK story with a decent cast. Covers family issues, racism and facing up to your fears.
The Hammer (2007)
It didn't knock me out
Finally found a copy of this in my local video store, about 2 years after it's release.
"The Hammer" stars Adam Carolla as Jerry, a boxing instructor who gets a chance at appearing in the Olympics after he is seen holding his own against a pro at the local gym. Jerry had promise as a young fighter but never gave his all. Now 40, he gets another shot at boxing glory. It's supposed to be a story of a down-and -outer who gets "one more shot at life" and therefore plays out reasonably predictably.
A bit of a strange choice for Carolla, who obviously didn't have to act his brains out in the movie but the mildness of the content and attempt at pulling the heartstrings seemed weird for a guy who's built his career out of being a loudmouth, sexist, racist funny guy. Some good one liners and a pleasant enough story but just seemed like a strange script for what you would have expected.
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
It took me hostage...for about an hour and twenty
Wifey and I finally got another chance to hit the movies this week, and made "The Taking of Pelham 123" our choice to see. I didn't know much about it going in, but the 30second trailer seemed to lay it out pretty clearly.
The film is about a crazy finance guy called Ryder (Travolta, in his best work since "Look Who's Talking") who takes a train over and therefore a bunch of hostages. He soon gets onto train dispatcher Garber (Washington) and explains the situation and demands. Ryder gets comfortable with Garber and deals with him instead of the traditional hostage negotiator (played by John Turturro, from "Mr Deeds"). Ryder wants $10mil in an hour or he'll kill a hostage every minute they are late. Will Garber and the city save the day? See it to find out.
Reasonably enjoyable, except it dragged a little in the second half due to the confusing end. Some good dialogue and Washington and Travolta are excellent. Shot really well as you'd expect from a Tony Scott movie. Pretty decent as action films go.
*Not a great choice to take a 2 week old baby to as we did, due to the loud noises and potty mouth of Travolta's character.
Perfect Stranger (2007)
So bad I had to take a bath after watching it
That's the only word to sum up this terrible "thriller" which I caught on TV the other night. The film is about investigative reporter Rowena Price (played by Halle Berry), a feisty journalist who uncovers a major story which her paper won't run, so she quits and works on a breaking story involving a lifelong friend who it seems has been murdered by advertising giant Harrison Hill (played by Bruce Willis). Rowena goes undercover as a temp working in Hill's agency and with the help of her colleague Miles (Giovanni Ribisi) works out a scheme involving computers to get him busted. Things go wrong though when her cover is blown and she quickly has to work out how she can still get her story without ruining everything.
Not worth seeing, just a mess of a movie. Even this decent cast can't save this train wreck of a script, with awful dialog, dumb twists and unrealistic events. Too many questions left unanswered, useless scenes and ridiculous twists that just make you want to give up. Don't waste your time.
Point Break (1991)
Decided to buy this when I'd been reminded about it by several of Bill Simmons' podcasts. In the day I thought it was cool- had it held up after 18 years though? Here's my answer.
"Point Break" is based around Johnny Utah (Reeves), a new member of LA's armed robbery division. Johhny is soon put to work on trying to catch the "Ex-Presidents", a group of 4 robbers who are hitting some of the biggest banks and doing it in a very quick, precise and efficient manner. Utah follows the hunch of his new partner Angelo (Busey) who believes the "Ex-Presidents" are surfers in their non-bank robbing time. Soon Johnny finds himself undercover, learning to surf and quickly hooking up with Tyler (Lori Petty), who shows him the ropes and helps him meet some of the local surfers. He comes across some real characters, some he likes such as Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and some he dislikes, like Tone (the lead-singer of the Chilli Peppers). Johhny soon faces danger at every turn. WIll he find his men and bring them in or will he throw away the badge and pursue his new love of surfing? Has aged a little, but the stunts are pretty great, especially the skydiving (so well pulled off they had 2 separate scenes which lead to people needing to skydive.) The ex-president idea was genius at the time and still is cool and parts of the story are great, but others are just plain stupid. Plenty of ham (such as the crazy cop with the right hunch and the other two partners always jerking the main cops' chain) and unbelievable scenes, but pretty good for it's day, especially the stunts. Nothing looked fake. Could have used some more scenes robbing banks and a little more on the budding mancrush between Bodhi and Johnny. Enough good scenes to make it memorable.
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Felt like some cheap laughs and don't think I'd ever sat through the whole movie, so thought I'd give it a go on it's 15th year anniversary.
"Dumb and Dumber" stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as Lloyd and Harry, two complete losers who unwittingly get involved in a major incident when Lloyd tries to return a briefcase he thinks a lady whom he's fallen head over heels in love with has left behind at an airport. With little funds and even less brains, they travel across the country to return the briefcase, getting into many zany adventures and cheating death a couple of times.
Has aged really badly, and has only a couple of laughs for those inclined to this humour, the best being the two diner scenes. The main actors do their bit, but the script is just a little too weak and lame at times and drags badly. Probably a test case for this sort of humour, but this one missed the mark badly, proved by the fact it didn't win any Academy Awards.
Ghost Town (2008)
Generally if Ricky Gervais is in something I'll give it a go, even if it looks like a really average ro-co. Here's my review.
"Ghost Town" as based around Bertram Pincus (Gervais) a dentist who briefly dies during a standard procedure and consequently can now see dead people, whom are strangely just wandering around with the living. The hilarity lies in the fact he's seemingly the only living human who can, meaning a stack of dead people start bothering him asking him to bring closure on some issues that resulted from their death. The main pest to Bertram is Frank (Greg Kinnear, in his finest work since "Stuck On You"), who wants Bertram to get his wife (played by Tea Leoni) to break up with her new love interest. The plan ends up being to get her to fall for Bertram, which seems crazy because Bertram is a real jerk who has no charm at all. Will their crazy plan work? See it to find out.
A strange movie, in that there's some OK jokes but neither the characters or the story contain one ounce of warmth, unusual for a romantic comedy. The cast is strange and the chemistry was non-existent between Gervais and Leoni, although it's his first go at something like this so I guess we should cut him some slack, unless you consider he's not really a proper actor. Some OK jokes but a bit of a let down and a strange choice as a vehicle for Gervais to try to launch into a movie career.
He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
I just wasn't that into this, that's for damn sure
Took one for the team last night and hired one wifey was really keen to see. Here's my review.
"He's Just Not That Into you" is something a bit different based upon the hugely popular book. It's basically supposed to be like a little guide for girls to work out if the guy they are with is really keen on them or not.
The movie follows a bunch of different people in very different relationships and opens them up to see what real love is. The main character is Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin, who is relatively new and has only appeared in one movie to poke fun at- "Mona Lisa Smile"), a girl who is clueless when it comes to guys and comes across as way to desperate. She seeks guidance from a few of her friends (played by Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Connelly), whose relationships we also delve into. Eventually she meets a much better source of counsel, bar owner Alex (played by the Mac guy), who tells her all the signals guys give off and helps her understand men better. There's a bunch of other stories featuring Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and others who feature in story lines about a girl who just meets guys online, a guy who cheats on his wife, a man who won't commit and more. Rather than spell it out, the movie throws up a bunch of situations and leaves us to decide what love is.
Pretty ho-hum, helped by the quality of the cast (except Drew Barrymore, who's storyline was pathetic). Something a bit different with a few OK gags but overall a bit boring for me without any clear message.
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather of movies
Rewatched this for the first time in about 12 years. The last time I saw it I don't think I was ready to appreciate it's brilliance, as it was a tad slow for me back then. Glad I did.
There's no real point reviewing it, basically most people know what's it's about and know it's universally regarded as one of the best movies of all-time. Here's some reasons why.
-Brando as Don Corleone. Brilliant -Pacino as Michael. Brilliant. -The directing of Coppola. Brilliant. Beautifully shot movie with some landmark scenes, most notably Sonny's death and the restaurant scene. -Excellent story
The movie holds up very well, albeit it's a bit slow at times. Here's 3 scenes that could have been improved.
-Michael moving his father in the hospital. Should have been some guys inside who Michael had to fight off. -When Sonny beats up Carlo. Really poorly done. -The restaurant scene. Didn't use the suspense enough, could have drawn out some more.
A brilliant movie, must-see for major movie factors.