Monday, February 28, 2011

Victory is in the wind.

Red Cliff.

You know John Woo was the best action director of all time. Watch Hard Boiled and then tell me which action film is better. Then he came to America and did Hard Target – brilliant, but that’s because JCVD wanted to make a WOO/ASIAN film in the USA and not AMERICANIZE Woo. Then Broken Arrow – good, but you saw a bit of Hollywood creeping its way in. Face/Off next, same thing, good but you can tell there was influence, less action etc. Then every movie after that sucks. All American generic crap. He goes back to Hong Kong and then we get Red Cliff – a bloody masterpiece and the directors best film.

Woo should now just retire, he will never beat this movie. I would go so far as to say its one of the greatest masterpieces of film making. I would say its close to Ben Hur and Lawrence of Arabia! This epic wins on all counts! Acting, story, sets, costumes, effects. Effects – I have this on Blu-ray and with the exception of Speed Racer (which is all cgi) this is the best Blu-ray you can buy. Every shot of this film is awesome and it’s almost 5 hours long.

I know that will turn away some viewers, but if you do turn away then you are missing one of the best films of all time.

Wow, what an epic. The battle sequences in this film are stunning. I have never seen such awesome tactics used in film. Even the armies were distinguishable from each other. Usually you cant tell who is fighting who, but the sequences are filmed so well that you actually figure out what is happening.

This is a great film and a big achievement in visual effects. Even if you think it’s boring (if you do, grow an attention span) you will still appreciate the awesomeness of the visuals. So wicked. The characters too are all excellent and I really liked Zhao Yun – the guy who rescues the baby on the battlefield (see Hard Boiled for a similar scene) and Tony Leung was wicked too – as always.

This is a winner.

Too bad it took me this long to watch it. Ill be watching it again next weekend!



Give me your John -


I am finally seeing this movie. You know I panned this large when it came out, but after seeing it I actually thought it was pretty cool.

One good thing is that it’s not a real comic book hero. That means you can do whatever you want and you wont piss me off, or fans of the comic – since there isn’t one (as far as I know?).

I totally see Hancock’s point – it’s like working in a customer service call center – you get yelled at all day when all you are trying to do is help people. After a while you just stop caring – you still help, but you don’t take pride it in. For Hancock he just stumbles around and does more property damage than good. But hey, he still saves people right!

So then we get to Charlize Theron’s character and she has powers etc, and that story is kinda lame. Something about if they stick together they lose their powers and they are linked to be together – what kind of dumb alien race is that? I don’t know, that part of the story was crappy, but overall it was a fun movie!

I wished there was a villain for him to fight or something and drop that lame love story. Plus Hancock kisses the wife of the guy who was helping him? That too, was kinda glossed over.

Still a cool idea though.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

The all time best.

All-Star Superman.

I cant remember if I had reviewed All-Star Superman the comic – I think I did, but just in case I didn’t, I’ll give you a one line review. It’s the best Superman story I ever read and strongly recommend you get it. Now on to the movie.

So the cartoon movie is about 75 mins long and the comic was 12 issues – to give you a comparison, Watchmen was 12 comics and it’s movie was 3.5 hours and it didn’t cover everything. Same here, but note the 75 mins time! So it only really scratched the surface of this great comic. Well that surface is enough to blow every other Superman movie or cartoon out of the water.

All-Star Superman the cartoon is an exciting adventure for anyone who likes Superman, comics, fantasy, or just movies in general. Even my wife liked it and she doesn’t read comics at all. So it shows you how good the story was!

I wont reveal anything about the story or adventure , the less you know about the movie the better and the more you know about Superman the better. But even if you don’t, it’s still one hell of a great movie. This is a must own and I would get the bluray combo if you can – the bluray is so wicked!

I would say that this movie along with the Christopher Reeve movies are the best representations of Superman outside the comic. The animated series would be up there too.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Almost 4.

I am Number Four.

This is basically like Twilight, but it has monsters and superhero battles that level schools. All in all I liked this one. Small scale movie, but done well. The story is typical – alien planet destroyed by an evil race, the survivors – 9 of them - come to Earth. The bad aliens chase them etc. Timothy Olyphant is in it (my new fave actor from Justified) and he is always cool!

It’s a teen movie for sure, but its better than all the X-Men movies! At least these guys use their powers and they even fight giant monsters too! Not giant as is Kaiju (look it up), but Lord of the Rings size.

Look, it’s not gonna win any awards, but it will win a space on my DVD shelf (or several shelves).

Pretty fun movie – don’t by the negative reviews!



Monday, February 21, 2011

Into the great Unknown...

Alright, now that I have all that bile out of my system, time to review a movie I saw with a bunch of jerks! People are drawing a lot of comparisons between this and Liam Neeson's other action movie, Taken, but it's not the same. Liam in Taken was walking around, "a man with a certain set of skills", that was trying to find his daughter's kidnappers. In this one, he has no special fact, he's not even really sure who he is. He thinks he knows, but who knows?
Well, his wife for one. She's not talking, though. In fact, she's acting like she doesn't even know him...

So, I liked this film. I actually liked it more than Taken. This one had a better mystery. Not a mystery so good that I couldn't figure out the answer to the mystery (or at least have a sneaking good suspicion), but that's me. I've seen a lot of movies, so it's hard to trick me. This one though, it had a lot going for it. Liam Neeson walking around, investigating, acting all confused and pensive is good. It had a lot of good suspense. Even though there wasn't a lot going on some of the time, it was still interesting. It was like part investigation movie, part cold war thriller. If you're into that sort of movie, then it's your cup of tea. Lots of intrigue and what not.

I don't have a lot of negatives. The first fight scene was filmed poorly, quick cuts and zoom-in's, but that's a standard complaint. Strangely enough, the second fight scene was easier to watch...but it was in the dark, and the combatants weren't as skilled? That was weird. This movie also involves some leaps of faith. Either you're willing to take them, or you aren't. They weren't ridiculous leaps of faith (we're not talking Armageddon, here), but leaps nevertheless. There was one thing bugging me for half the movie, but it made sense when all was revealed. That sort of thing. It's a movie, so you either buy it or you don't.

So all in all, if you like good intrigue movies, with investigations and a "what the hell is going on?" sort of feel, then this movie is for you. There's not a lot of action, it's all suspense and finding out what's going on. If you like that, then see this movie, or buy it on DVD when released. I will be, and since I don't have Taken, that looks like a pretty good little 2-pack.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

- Stephenstein

5 things I want to see changed at the theatre

You know, my last forays at the theatre have not been a very satisfying experience. There's been a lot of garbage lately. I'm not talking about the movies either...I'm talking about the behaviour of the people in the theatre. Whispering, standing up during the film, feet on the back of other people's chairs, etc. It's just getting irritating to the point I am seriously contemplating homicide in the theatre. Rather than do this though, I have constructed a list of 5 things I would like to see changed at the theatre. Now, these are changes are not going to happen, but it would be nice if it did. I'm not talking about lower prices, or better concessions. I'm talking about making the entire experience better overall.

5. Fix the screens!
This is a minor problem that doesn't occur that often, but when it does, it's damned annoying. There's a hole in the screen. I've seen it at Imax, I've seen it at regular theatres, hell, I saw it today. It gets really annoying. I start staring at it constantly, to the point of distraction. For the prices I'm paying both at the box office and at the concession stand, I think a little bit of money could be spent to ensure the screens remain in tip top shape.

4. No more 3D!
This is a no-brainer, as my hatred of the 3D format is legend. I hate 3D, I hate looking at it, I hate paying for it, I hate the stupid glasses, I think the effect actually sucks and I hate how everyone is gaga for it, when it's been a technology that's been around since the time of the 3 Stooges. However, there is another reason I hate it: because of the popularity of the format, you now have more brainless imbeciles at the theatre. Even though they're not going to the same show as me, these worthless pieces of trash are in front of me in line at the concession stand, they're in my bathroom, their in front of me at the box office, they're loitering around when I leave...listen, these people are not movie people. Never were, never will be. I'm fine with them being at home, downloading their DVD rips and hanging out with their loser friends. What I'm not okay with is them out in public when I'm around, hanging around and polluting the air I breathe with their gibberish.

3. Headphones option!
This is something I've been championing a while, now. I will gladly give up the DTS 5.1 surround sound, if I have the option of sticking headphones in my ear and listening to the movie instead of the a$$hole sitting behind me, trying to impress his girlfriend or vice versa by acting like a douche. I like the recent trend of movies being so loud, they blast you out of your least it blasts that d!@* out of his or seat as well. In the interest of my own personal hearing though, as I also don't want to be deaf at any point in my life, I would really like this option.

2. Don't let people in after the movie starts!
This has been done. Psycho was one of the ones I remember where Hitchcock asked not to have people let in after the show starts, because he didn't want the surprise in the movie ruined. I think that's great...but how about I don't want the movie ruined, no matter what it is? How about, I don't want some jackass wandering in, fumbling around, LOUDLY asking their fellow assclowns what seat they want to sit in, fumbling around because eventually they choose the seat IN FRONT OF ME and then loudly either pass around foodstuffs or comment on the fact that they are late. You know what? I had the good sense to leave well in advance to ensure I was at the theatre early so I wouldn't have to bumble around in the dark and disturb other people who paid good money to pay the movie. Seeing as how there are so many completely useless idiots in the world today who possess neither watches nor clocks, let's not penalize the people who had the good sense to plan ahead for the little movie excursion, what do you say?

1. Ushers!
Oh me, oh my. Ushers were around in my father's time and obviously due to budgets of theatres, they don't employ them anymore. Apparently, they use to rove up and down, making sure no one was acting up. Well, let's bring 'em back. Please. I want someone I can grab easily to say "look the atrociously disgusting waste of a human life in front of me won't shut up, would you please tell them to shut up before I kill the son-of-a-*^#&@?" Ushers should also have the power to remove people, if they're acting up. No more whispering, no more feet kicking the back of my chair, no more cell phones in my damn face because one rehab is texting another rehab "OMG! Where r u? I'm watching Unknown! LOL!", no more of any of that. The point of me plunking down my cash is to watch the movie, no other purpose. If I wanted to give $11 away, I'll just give it to a homeless person.

So, that's my take on improving the theatre experience. You know, when I was a kid, going to the theatre and seeing a movie was an experience to look forward to. Now, I go dreading it, just thinking about how angry I'm going to get because some inconsiderate schmuck thinks they're in their damned living room, instead of a public place. Don't worry, I know none of these things will happen, but that's okay. If you're ever watching the six o'clock news and there's news of a homicide, you'll know who and why.

- Stephenstein

Seven Heaven.

Seven Samurai.

This is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) Japanese film ever made. Well I own a lot of Japanese films including all the Godzillas, and I have to fully agree that this may in fact be the best film out of Japan.

You ever see a masterpiece of film making? You know it when you see it because you cannot stop thinking about the movie for days afterward, sometimes years, or even a lifetime. Ebert defines it by asking himself a question “Would I be sad if I never got to see this movie again?” If the answer is “Yes” then you love the movie. And the answer is yes on this one.

The story concerns a small village that was raided by bandits in the past. The village is all farmers and they are poor and hungry. One villager overhears some bandits planning a raid the village in the coming months. The villagers are scared and decide to hire Samurai to protect them. They have no money, and all Samurai belong to clans and would never stoop so low as to hire themselves out to farmers. So they need to find some Ronin. Ronin are Samurai that have no masters, they wander the Earth. But as it turns out, it is still difficult to hire them, because they are always looking for money or status, which none can be achieved by helping poor farmers – who can only pay you in rice. The village elder tells his scouts to find “hungry” Samurai that will work for food.

Rice, in that time period, was an acceptable use of currency, so the villages find Seven Samurai to work for them.

I wont give away the rest of the movie, as it is, it takes an entire hour to hire the Samurai. The film is 3.5 hours and it moves fast. But every scene is important, so I wont reveal anything else that happens.

I will say that the ending of the film is possibly the best ending I have ever seen of any film. So powerful and meaningful. This is a must must buy.



I wish I could go back and not watch this.

Hot Tub Time Machine.

Yes, I was dumb enough to get this movie and I watched it and it sucks. This movie was advertised as being a big “80’s” tribute. It takes place in the 80s and I was told that if you love the 80s then you’ll love this. That statement is true for about 1 min of screen time.
When they first go back in time to the 80s you see walkmans, big hear, leg warmers and other 80s stuff. That’s it. That one scene is all the 80s stuff you get. The rest of the movie could have taken place in the 90s, or 70s or whatever.

The time travel stuff was horrid too. Apparently all these guys did in the 80s was swear and have sex. I knew this would suck and I got fooled again by people saying its all in good fun. Chevy Chase and Crispin Glover were the only good things and the Motley Lue video at the end.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Eagle soars.

The Eagle.

This movie was actually really good. You know that Tatum guy didn’t take his shirt off. There was NO love interest – in fact, there wasn’t even a FEMALE cast member! This was all business. Which I really liked. Tatum is trying to be an actor now I think, Fighting and this were both good. And in this one he didn’t try to impress the ladies or teenie-bobbers.

The movie itself is in 2 acts, Tatum is a Roman and Bell is a Brit. Well Tatum wants to find the Eagle to restore his families honour, well not at first. At first he wanted to be a good soldier and earn back his honour through his fighting and commanding of troops. He earns their loyalty by making a few good moves during a battle. He is established as a leader from the beginning, so there’s not a lot of back story – which I like. I like getting to the action. So act one is really him deciding to get the Eagle and taking a slave with him played by Jaime Bell. Bell was saved by Tatum earlier and owes him a debt.

Act 2 begins when Tatum and Bell find some other Brits (I think they are Picts???) and the roles of slave and master get reversed. Bell has to pretend to be the master and Tatum has to be a slave. It was an interesting role reversal and I liked how it was handled.

Overall, a really cool movie – I think ill buy it!

PS: I had to TCB LARGE – worse than dungeons and dragons or stigmata – call me for details.