Thursday, December 30, 2010

If you don’t believe in Santa – take a ride on…

The Polar Express.

Children who are getting too old to believe in Santa get a chance to ride a magical train to the north pole to meet Santa, yes, he’s the Coke Santa, but what can you do. The ride to the north pole is filled with excitement and danger. It’s actually really cool and this entire movie is really well done. The story is great, the effects are cool and the entire feel of it was very nice. A good Christmas movie that the entire family can watch and enjoy.



Monday, December 20, 2010

Top 10 of 2010.

2010 is over. Seems like only yesterday we were celebrating 2001 – looks like nothing Kubrick/Clarke thought would happen, actually happened – but hey, they figured humanity would’ve have evolved more by now. Next up is 2060 I should still be around then, so Ill let you know!

You all know the rules of the top 10? If not, here they are:

1. It has to be a 2010 movie – not one that came out in December 2009 but that I didn’t see till 2010. I had to see in the THEATRE in 2010 – dvds and rentals don’t count.

2. It has to be a 2010 RELEASE – not some foreign movie that came out in Oct 2009 but North America didn’t get it till April 2010.

So if you think something is missing, then it could fall under one of those rules.

Some that would’ve made top 10 but violated the rules were: Resident Evil Afterlife, Saw 7 or Narnia.

I am seeing Narnia in Jan, so even though it was a 2010 movie, I wont count it this year, and I wont count it next year either cause it wont be a 2011 movie. You get the idea.

Anyway, this year was pretty good, some of the movies that didn’t make the top 10 were actually really really good. So all in all not so bad. I have reviewed all of these movies on the blog, so you can find the details there, Ill just give a brief break down – electric boogaloo style.

My Name is Khan.

I am not numbering this film because it really is the best movie of the year as far as what movies should do. It’s about a man on a mission to tell the president of the United States that his name is Khan and he is NOT a terrorist. Referring to the fact that “Khan” is a Muslim name and the prejudice that all Muslims are terrorists. I have some Muslim friends and they are not terrorists. This film is really inspirational and actually very sad at times. So sad that I will probably not be watching this film again anytime soon. I get too worked up over it. It’s similar to a Schindler’s List (which I haven’t seen, but suspect it to be similar). It’s very emotionally overwhelming but I suggest that all who read this blog (both of you!) should see this remarkable movie.

On with the top ten!

10. Book of Eli.

This is a controversial one – some hate it, some love it. I really like it. I got the blu-ray on this and it looks great. I like the story and Denzel is just great as Eli. He has a sacred book (guess which one) and he has to take it west – he’s not sure where he is heading, but he just knows he has to get there. Gary Oldman is after the book – he wants to use it for power, the two men clash in a few great action sequences and you have yourself a good movie with a twist ending thrown in.

9. The American.

Clooney is an assassin who is on assignment in Italy. But someone is after him and it could be anyone. It could be me! It’s not me, but finding out who it is, is exciting. This movie is a bit slow, but I liked the pacing for the simple reason that the suspense was always present. Every day simple sounds would scare you. This had the most jumps in a non-horror movie ever!

8. Wolfman.

This movie is all about atmosphere and characters. This is a great update to the old universal flick about Lawrence Talbot – who after being bit by a werewolf becomes one. I really enjoyed this a lot and actually thought it was equal to the old one and in some ways better! Good job to the film makers!

7. Inception.

Chris Nolan brings us a non-Batman movie and again it’s a hit. I loved Memento – which is his best movie and I like the 2 Batmans, but this was a nice change back to the old Nolan.

Leo has the ability to enter your dreams and mess with you. The idea is usually to steal someone’s thoughts, or ideas, but in this film they have to plant an idea – inception. Excellent story and good cast make this a really exciting movie! Not as smart as everyone seems to suggest, but smarter than 90% of films that are out now, so there you go. It’s a must buy on DVD for Nolan fans, and film fans!

6. Expendables.

Do I even have to explain this one? Dolph Lundgren is so huge he takes up an entire doorway when he enters a room, and bad guys get mowed down with a gun that turns human beings into mush. If you didn’t like this movie, then you must be someone who pees sitting down.

5. Kick-Ass.

Better than the comic, which is even more gritty and sadistic than the film – if you can believe that! Kick-Ass just wants to help people and I like him for it. I believe in what he is doing and it makes the movie much better than you’d think. Hit Girl is a riot and Big Daddy (Nic Cage doing Adam West) is wicked too. This is just a fun –er- Kick Ass movie!

4. Predators.

I loved Predator and I liked Predator 2 even more, and this third film in the series truly delivers. This has great action, awesome characters and the Predators are just sick. This time around a bunch of humans are dropped on the Predators hunting planet and have to survive. It’s like your average survival movie but with Predators! This is a big big step above the AVP films.

3. Scott Pilgrim VS The World.

Canadian comic book turned movie is a super hit in my eyes and the funniest, most enjoyable film I have seen in years. Scott meets Ramona Flowers (the girl of his dreams) but in order to date her he has to fight and defeat her 7 evil ex-boyfriends. Well the fights are right out of a video game and the humour is the perfect mix of silly and fun – this isn’t for everyone, but I feel it will be a cult hit.

2. Fubar 2

I loved Fubar and I liked this one just as much. Terry and Dean are back along with their buddy Tron – who has dumped his whiney girlfriend from the first movie and is now working on the pipe line in Fort McMurray. Terry and Dean need jobs so Tron offers to get them jobs, little does he know they will actually take him up on the offer.

This continues from the first film and shows the boys getting jobs and learning responsibility. It’s also hilarious and very intelligent in it’s non-intelligent humour, if that makes any sense? While en route to Fort Mc. they pick up a hitchhiker who comments that oil companies ruin the environment and pollute the water, which in turn hurts ducks – Dean replies, in what is the best line of the year – I DON’T NEED A DUCK! It doesn’t get funnier than that!

1. Tron Legacy.

See my review below.

Thanks for reading my 2 cents. Comments are welcome.


The Legacy Continues...

Tron Legacy.

The original Tron is one of my faves of all time. I own all the toys from it (and I own all the figures from legacy too) and I always thought it was a great fantasy adventure film. Tron Legacy is the same. It continues from part one and you are expected to remember what happened in Tron – which I like. You cant go watch Terminator 3 and say it sucks cause you don’t know what happened in Terminator 2. Same here.

You can still enjoy TL if you didn’t see Tron, but you will get very little explanation of the first film.

This is a great action adventure picture! Really exciting from the first moment in the computer world to the last! Some have said the storyline isn’t much. Well first off, there is a story and characters and character development – which is where one character starts off a certain way, then changes by the end. Is the story equal to 12 Angry Men, well not really cause its not about a big story. Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the greatest films ever made and its just Indiana Jones searching for the Ark. Is that a bad movie because it’s an action adventure? NO. Tron Legacy delivers some neat ideas, a lot of nods to the first film, great spectacle and effects and the best soundtrack in a decade. I will be buying this movie on blu-ray in one second and will probably see it a few more times in the theatre!!!

Best movie of the year, NO QUESTION! – yes I am biased cause I love Tron, well I also love Transformers and Superman, and I hated Superman Returns and the Michael Bay movies, so there you go.

NOTE – 3D – I am not a fan of it, and this movie was more about depth perception, than things popping out at you, so that in mind, I don’t think 3D really helped – regular Imax would be perfect for this movie.

And yes, it was better than Avatar – way better.



Chinese Superman.

The Super Inframan.

I don’t even know where to start with this movie. It’s Shaw Brothers (famous for Kung Fu flicks in the 70s – Tarantino used their logo in Kill Bill), so there is super action and great fights and there are monsters (Power Rangers style) and Inframan fights one of these about every 10 mins. There are like 7 or so monsters in this movie and its all action!

I have the region 3 version (soon to be changed when I ordered the region one last night) and I don’t have English subtitles – disappointing – for like a minute – you don’t even need the subs! This movie is all action man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot even review this normally, it’s like it was made on Mars or something.

The sensibilities of the movie are such that anything Inframan attacks or hits explodes! I mean everything. He kicks a monster into the water and there is an explosion. Ok, the monster is just flesh, not a robot, so what part of him exploded? Inframan can shoot lasers from any part of his body and he can grow to Ultraman/Godzilla height – but only does so when needed. He fights endless skeleton guards and at one point cuts off a monsters head 6 times (it keeps growing back) before he tries a different tactic!

This movie is pure entertainment and should be ranked in the top 10 most entertaining films of all time. I am serious. It is ridiculous. I cannot believe that more weren’t made? I’d love to continue the story and make more of these!



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good cop, dumb cop.

Cops and Robbersons.

Chevy Chase is a fan of old cop shows like Hawaii 5-0, Police Woman, Columbo etc. and he gets the chance to meet a real tough cop in Jack Palance who is trying to bust Robert Davi, Chase’s next door neighbour. They set up a stakeout and of course Chase gets in the way with his usual brand of comedy.

I really like Chevy Chase – just in general. I don’t know, I just find him funny. Whenever he has trouble with an object or place I laugh. Like when his head got stuck in the chandelier in Fletch. Here he has trouble scraping off cream cheese from a bagel.

Anyway, this wasn’t as funny as Funny Farm, Fletch or the Vacation films, but it was enjoyable enough.



Monday, December 6, 2010

It Could Have Been Stopped!


I hate movies "based on" or "inspired by" a true story. Most of the type, it's over-dramatized garbage. I'm also not a big fan of disaster movies, man-made disasters, or natural disasters. Usually, you're just waiting around for the disaster to hit, twiddling your thumbs...

So, why did I go see this movie again?

I like Denzel. That's basically it. Oh, and my Dad wanted to go, and my Mother wouldn't go with him, yadda, yadda, yadda. So, I went and saw this flick. Guess what? It's actually, really, really GOOD! I kid you not.

See, the guy behind this, Tony Scott, was smart. He didn't make us wait around for the action to start. Within 10 minutes, that train is barrelling down the track, unmanned, and with no one with any idea how to stop it. Denzel and Chris Pine do go after the train, but they find out about it when we were already about 60 percent into the movie, so you have a lot of the supporting characters trying to stop it.

So okay, the plot is simple, and we know how it's going to end. Why is it good? The editing is really good. It doesn't relent and keeps the focus on that train, and the efforts to stop it. That's all it's about, stop the train, stop the train, STOP THE TRAIN! I also liked the use of news footage style shooting, there was a lot of dynamic angles, and it just really kept you in the excitement of the moment. Then there's the soundtrack. It reminded me a bit of Bangkok Dangerous, it was very fast, very duh-duh-duh-duh duh-duh, it accented the action nicely. You would think that with the ending pretty obvious, and bound to one straight path, the action would not be that exciting, but trust me, the suspense and the action was pretty darned good.

Then there's the suits. In the movie, when the suits for the railway are contacted about the calamity unfolding, they worry about the potential cost of of de-railing it, and how much the stock would drop, not the people. Now, 10 years ago, I would have scoffed at this as being ridiculous. However,'s not only possible, it's likely! I have worked for a major corporation for the last nine years, and trust me friends and folks, they DO NOT care one ounce about you. It is all cost, and stock depreciation, and all that garbage. I actually had something come up that could be harmful to customers, and had a manager say to me "well, it's only going to affect 10 percent of the people, so that's not bad." Only 10 percent. Yeah, only 10 percent of the population will get AIDS, that's not so bad, is it? When it gets to 25, call me. That's why these big telefons and charities tell you 10,000,000 are affected by this disease, or this social problem...if they told you the percentage, you wouldn't care! Also, like in real life, everything the suits try to stop the train doesn't work. Why? Because they know jack about the employees...just like real life. Oh, P.S...I hate suits, so anytime they look stupid, I'm happy.

This movie had a lot of jargon, which is sometimes bad. Bad because the average layman doesn't understand the terms, and the ones who do, call out the inaccuracies. It's also stupid to add too much jargon. This movie had too much jargon in my opinion...and didn't really need all the inside terms stuff. Really, did I need the term "riptrack" thrown at me? It didn't matter, did it? The train's out of the control, that's all that matters! So, half a star off for jargon for jargon's sake.

As for the actors, Denzel was Denzel. I didn't like Chris Pine for the first half of the movie, because he seemed to be channelling Captain Kirk, but after that, he was alright. I'll give him a pass in this one, but I don't think he's going to be nearly as good as they're making him out to be. Everyone else was fine.

All in all, this was one enjoyable ride. Yes it's predictable, and yes, it's nothing new, but it was a tight, well-paced, well-shot, well-scored action/thriller, that kept me engrossed throughout the entire film. At the end of the day, what more could I want?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

- Stephenstein

Who watches the ...

Watchman The Ultimate Cut.

Everyone knows I loved the Watchmen movie. I own all the books, figures, kubricks (tiny figures) and even have the Comedian’s Smiley Button. I also have the limited Rorschach doll and I have all versions of the film on dvd and the extended cut on blu-ray. My shelf/shrine dedicated to watchmen is right beneath my Conan shrine/shelf, so that tells you where I’m at. Watchmen is my third favourite film of all time (after Conan and 2001).

So I finally watched the ultimate cut – for those who came in late, Watchmen (the graphic novel/12 issue series) has a comic within a comic called Tales of the Black Freighter. There is also excerpts from a novel written by one of the characters, the first Nite Owl, included in Watchmen. Well to make the film complete, Zack Synder made Nite Owl’s book into a documentary, which is available on dvd and acts as an intro to the film. The doc is about 30 mins, which if watched before the film would make the entire experience 3.5 hours. However, the Black Freighter stuff wasn’t included – how are you going to make a comic within a comic part of a live action film? Well, make it a cartoon – brilliant. So whenever Bernard (the boy who reads the comic in Watchmen) is shown reading the comic in the film, the film transitions into a cartoon and we get to see what Bernard is reading in an animated short. This cartoon, together with the Documentary “Under the Hood” can be purchased on dvd.

But now, finally, in its full form, you get Watchmen The Ultimate Cut – which has the Black Freighter footage woven into the film making it 3 hours and 35 minutes. The Under the Hood documentary is still separate – because it doesn’t play a big part in the Watchmen story, it was mostly for back-story.

So how does this all go together – very well I should say. At first you may think it makes to the movie too long, I don’t. The characters and story are so amazing that a 5 hour Watchmen movie would be cool with me! I think viewers who know about Black Freighter would welcome it being woven into the film and consider Watchmen not complete without it.

The Black Freighter cartoon/comic was meant to parallel the story of Ozymandias, who believes he is saving the world while committing the worst atrocity of all time. The story in the Black Freighter comic is very disturbing – there is one lone survivor from an attack by the Freighter (a pirate ship made up of evil souls) has to travel back to his home village to save his wife and children from the Freighter, which is heading their way. Along the way his world view becomes skewed and morbid. He eats birds, kill’s sharks, and uses his dead crewmates bodies as a raft. Once he makes it home he believes that Freighter has already taken over the village and he kills a man believing his is a crewman of the Black Freighter. He then makes it home and discovers an intruder in his home and murders him, only to find that it was his wife he killed. When he realizes what he has done, he goes insane and runs to the ocean to find the Black Freighter waiting for him. He was the one they wanted all along and his soul now belongs to them. Thus ending the story.

The story on it’s own is really interesting and the animation is wicked. Plus Gerard Butler provides the voice, which is cool cause he was the lead in 300 – Synder’s previous film. Butler is also added to the opening credits of Watchmen, which is really neat I think, since his Black Freighter role was essentially cut from the theatrical release.

All in all, this is the REAL WATCHMEN MOVIE. It will be the one that I show people who haven’t seen it.

It adds to the story and makes the film complete.

Get it.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Harry Pot---------

I cannot review Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because I haven’t finished watching it yet.

With each Potter movie there was plot that had some kind of closure by the end of it. You didn’t have to read the books to enjoy the films and follow them. I never read the books and I liked them all!

I think I will like this movie too, once I see it. But I cannot review half a book, or half a movie. I cannot read 2 chapters of Dune and then review it.

Even though each Potter movie continues it still has a structure that completes a big portion of the larger story. By the end of the first film they found the Philosopher’s Stone and learned about Harry’s importance. There is something happening in each film that concludes itself before the next one continues.

This didn’t happen here, so I am left being confused and wondering what will happen next – I hope I still care about it by July.

As it is, I find the series hard to recall – which is I guess my problem, not the film makers – or is it. I recalled everything from Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

Oh well, see you in July for my official review.