Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: The A-Team

I have to ask, how much money did these guys spend on special effects? There was a crazy helicopter rescue set up before the opening title even appeared. The A-Team was better than I expected, but for the most part it was advertised accurately. There were the expected explosions, over the top action scenes and four guys who looked like they were genuinely having fun.

Liam Neeson portrayed Colonel John 'Hannibal' Smith and was as entertaining as ever. He is one of the best actors around. Bradley Cooper, Lt. Templeton 'Faceman' Peck, stood out from the rest and no it wasn't just his abs, although those stood out as well. Cooper is turning into the go-to guy in Hollywood for summer blockbusters. This was a first turn for Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, B.A. Baracus, but he did well overall. On the plus side he didn't say "I pity the fool," a hundred times like I feared, he let his knuckles do the talking. The only down side to his performance was when he was supposedly a changed man after spending 6 months in jail, he didn't quite convince me. Sharlto Copley, Murdock, was a riot from the moment he hit the screen and kept the laughs coming.

The comedy is what makes this movie better than other action movies. I would also like to mention that Jessica Biel didn't sound as though she were reading her lines. There is a first time for everything. I also enjoyed Patrick Wilson's performance. It was a very different role than that of Raoul in Phantom of the Opera.
Good to see on the big screen for the action, but make it a matinee.   B

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: Prince of Persia

Take one part The Mummy and one part Aladdin and you have The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The special effects are good, but not over done. The plot, luckily there is one, is actually deeper than I was expecting. It's nice to be surprised by a movie; either because the plot takes an unexpected turn or because it's better then you expected it to be. Prince of Persia falls into the latter category. Some of that might be because I have never played the video game it was based on, but I like to think it just turned out well.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays moral Prince Dastan, led the movie well and lets just say all those months of training paid off. The accent was nice, among other things, ladies you'll understand. Ben Kingsley was a welcome addition to the cast, as Dastan's uncle Nizam. He is good in every role that he plays and this was no exception. British actress Gemma Arterton played the leading lady Princess Tamina, and based on her performance and her beauty, I would say that this won't be the last we see of her. She has a face made for the big screen.

I don't want to give away plot, I hate it when I know the whole story going in, so I will just touch on it briefly. Three princes, one magic dagger, beautiful princess set to protect the dagger. Dagger falls into the wrong hands and life as they all know it will end. You get the idea. This movie is worth the price of a ticket and I have to admit I was glad it was not in 3-D.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

10 Worst Movies Since 1990

Oh how to choose the worst. Unfortunately there are a lot to choose from. The criteria: no sequels, prequels, spoof movies (i.e. Scary Movie, Meet the Spartans) and nothing that went straight to DVD. Since there will undoubtedly be more to add to this one, let me hear from you.

10. Kazaam (1996) - Shaquille O'Neal stars as a genie in this movie and proves why not all athletes should cross over to acting. Just because you are good at sports does not mean we want to watch you embarrass yourself or appear out of a boom box. Our wish? That you had not made this movie.

9. I Know Who Killed Me (2007) - Dear Lindsay Lohan, how could you? What happened to the long ago days of The Parent Trap? Even though you seem to want to self destruct, why would you sign on for this film? It is a hot mess of pole dancing, limbs being cut off and mistaken identities. In a word, dreadful.

8. Battlefield Earth (2000) - Oh John Travolta how we usually like thee, but not this time. No plot, which is impressive considering it was based on a novel. Usually a novel gives you a built in plot, you don't even have to come up with a new idea for goodness sake! Then there is the bad acting and bad special effects. In this day and age there is no excuse for bad special effects. You know it's bad when people start laughing and it's not meant to be a comedy.

7. Gigli (2003) - Where this film went wrong? Casting Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck as the two main stars. Had this film been made as an independent film and acted out by unknowns maybe it wouldn't rank on almost all worst film lists. Not all main stream studios and actors should try to be deep. Nine times out of ten they can't pull it off.

6. From Justin to Kelly (2003) - There are no words....well actually there are. Just because two people are on American Idol and they happen to be the flavor of the week, that does not mean they should star in a movie. We are not talking about a made for television movie here people, we are talking released in the theater. No acting ability whatsoever. Not to mention no chemistry between the two of them. If you think you are going to watch this movie for a laugh, beware the joke is on you. It is TORTURE!

5. Home Fries (1998) - This movie probably slipped through the cracks for most people, consider yourselves lucky. I can usually find a silver lining in a film with actors that I like even if it's not the best movie ever made, but this one took the cake for me. Drew Barrymore, Luke Wilson and Catherine O'Hara star in this movie about a pregnant fast food restaurant worker who falls for the stepson of the baby's deceased father. I realize it is supposed to be a dark comedy, but it failed. It is a silly mess, not worth the $1 RedBox price tag.

4. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) - H.G.Wells probably turned over in his grave at the release of this gem. Although it had a cast worthy of a decent film, it missed the mark. It starts off well enough as a man is transported to an island to learn that the recluse doctor who lives there is conducting strange experiments on animals, but then it spirals out of control. Part of the issue could be that the original director was fired mid-way through shooting (thank you Val Kilmer), and the film was completed by another director, but that isn't all of it. It's just not that great.

3. Showgirls (1995) - Saved By the Bell was a long time ago, which seemed to be what Elizabeth Berkley was trying to prove to everyone during the entire duration of this stripper disaster. The acting, if you want to call it that, is terrible. This looks like a film someone made in their basement. Shame on you Kyle MacLachlan for stooping so low. I expected this from Berkley and Gina Gershon, but not you.

2. Glitter (2001) - Oh goody a chance to watch Mariah Carey's narcissism on the big screen. Not to mention her insanely bad acting. When you can't say anything nice.....

1. Freddy Got Fingered (2001) - Hate the title, Tom Green is annoying and the entire plot of this film is ridiculous. For the people out there who feel that this film is just over some people's heads, that is fine. To each his own, but even though it is hard to gross me out this film did it tenfold. FYI: It is never okay to cut an umbilical cord with your teeth.