Category Archives: Movie Reviews

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies…


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Date: December 17, 2014

I did not expect to go see the final Hobbit movie tonight, but I noticed it was playing at a favorite theater of mine…and had one show time left…So, I was out the door.

This is an especially nice theater, as it is something of a theater and restaurant hybrid…You pay out the nose, but you get really, really good food…I love the gourmet flat bread pizzas…

Leather seating…but they also serve alcohol…so, sometimes…loud and obnoxious idiots might be setting in close proximity to you…I’m not sure, but I think two of these giggling idiots [college kids] were talking to each other on their cell phones, for about the last fifth of the movie…Strangely, it wasn’t bothersome enough to complain and get them thrown out…because this movie was primarily one fight/battle scene after the next.

I suppose that’s not a horrible thing, since this is presumably the last Middle Earth movie we are ever going to get…and the battles are something fans love…It’s something to remember, and leave on a bang with.

I still kind of wish there had been more underlying depth and storyline…It wasn’t boring at any point…but it felt like a lot of padding…Like they were just wrapping things up, and didn’t have much left to offer other than the obvious inevitable.

It was neat seeing them set the stage for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, though…I liked the tie in…Now I kind of wish they’d re-release those, and let us watch them on the big screen again…Maybe that’s just me…Heck, I’d go to see various movies again at the theater, if they’d release them again.

Like always…it is sad to see the final movie arrive…because there is nothing left to look forward to.

In terms of the rest of the trilogy, I would put Five Armies as probably my second favorite of the series…following Unexpected Journey…Interestingly, Desolation of Smaug just didn’t quite…I don’t know…I felt like it did too many things that just took you out of a consistent experience, of the Middle Earth world…Maybe that is a dumb comment…I mean, heck…In this movie, Legolas survives an extremely unlikely fight sequence, involving a fallen and crumbling tower…as it is wedged between two cliffs…But then, he was swinging all around on giant war elephants, in Return of the King.

There is a bit of comedy in this movie…and I don’t want to say it feels out of place…but it feels kind of weird…Like you know, it was made up [possibly being made up, as shooting went along], and it just acts as shallow padding…Not terribly funny, but it might get a chuckle.

I don’t know what else to say about this movie…except that I enjoyed it…I was never bored…despite that when you really figure everything out…they dispatched with Smaug early on, and then it was pretty much just a lot of fun to watch padding, on the remainder of a story that probably only needed an hour and a half to wrap up. They did good at making most of this padding effortless to watch…and time passes pretty quickly.

I guess I’ll give this one three stars…I wish I’d come away raving about the movie, but…no.

It’s still a nice way to end the trilogy…even if it wasn’t a necessary movie to be made.

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Real Steel…

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Date: October 17, 2011

…Dakota Goyo…

…Dakota Goyo…

Synopsis:

It’s well into the future, and human boxing is a thing of the past…Now, it’s all large, remote controlled robots, who get into the ring and duke it out. An old boxer has taken up owning/controlling, just such robots. His former wife dies, dropping his [extremely cute] eleven year old son into the picture. They end up spending time together, which centers on finding a new robot [the last one got destroyed], and getting back into the game, in a profitable way…and they end up going, much farther then they ever thought they could.

What a great movie!…

This movie is packed full of great stuff…a cute boy…fighting robots…relationship stories…humor…a heart…a good story…

Dakota is in most scenes…and he’s super cute, in his dancing scenes [yes, plural!]…

I wasn’t sure what to expect, going into this one…because, the previews don’t really give you much of a sense, how deep it’s going to be…It might have turned out to be mindless, shallow fighting action [which was cool as hell, in itself] with little else…but, no…There is a lot of genuine heart in this movie…

There’s a few weak points…but, they’re totally overlookable.

Dakota is mad sexy cute!

I suggest you go see this, before it leaves the theaters!

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Rodrick Rules: It Must Be Said…

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Date: April 19, 2011

I loved the first “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie. It had enough unique, quirky character to make it genuinely funny and enjoyable…It just worked…and it was a pleasant surprise [I wasn’t sure what to expect].

The follow up is “Rodrick Rules”…

….I was prepared to have fun watching this one, and get some good, honest belly laughs [like the first one delivered]…

Unfortunately, this movie appeals to the most uncreative, cliche themes, you could ever imagine. Perhaps the book does also, I don’t know…but, it does not make for a good movie.

Oh sure, there’s one or two points where you get something unexpected…but, there’s nothing really “great” about it.

Probably, one of the saddest commentaries about this movie, is that the funniest scene/performance [in my opinion], is delivered by a transient character…the new guitarist, for Rodrick’s rock band. He got a few honest chuckles out of me, in the scene after he essentially invites himself to stay for dinner. Beyond that, this movie is barren of truly good humor.

After the first movie set the standard, this follow up…it’s like they just didn’t know where to go with it…and it meanders through a string of unimaginative scenes…When they try to be funny, they just come off dumb.

It should also be noted, that I was not alone in the theater…and members of the movies primary target demographic [children] were also in there…and the room, was starkly quiet…barren of laughs…So, I presume even they weren’t getting much out of the movie.

How they managed to get Zachary Gordon nearly naked, at two distinct sections of the movie [one, for a short sequence of scenes, ending with him in a really interesting setting position and angle shot], yet they still could not produce a worthwhile movie, is the biggest question in my mind.

…As a BoyLover who was really looking forward to this movie, that is just a travesty…

In summary, there is too much simple minded, physical and poop/vomit “humor” that this movie tries to rely on, in order to drag it through till the end. Character development is pretty well non-existent…The storyline is just paper thin…The acting was passable, but given who all they had to work with, it could have been much, much better.

Aside from getting to see Zachary Gordon in both speedos and briefs [and nothing else], I am at a loss to cite anything about this movie that made me think it was worth going to see.

Quite disappointed with this one.

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The Road: A Movie Review…

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Date: October 31, 2010

…The Road…

…The Road…

In 2009, “The Road” was released and in theaters. I, however, did not discover this movie, until earlier this year…when I saw it on a display shelf, in a department store. It instantly intrigued me, and I sensed it was fully worth watching…but, I was not willing to pay out the cash at that moment…and several other instances, there after.

I finally got a copy of it the other day, and within 24 hours I watched it…

…Wow…

Every performance in this movie, is amazing…

…and I am officially a Kodi Smit-McPhee fan, now…What a way to make your movie acting debut…I am very impressed.

Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall…everyone in this movie gives a perfect performance.

This movie, is incredibly somber…the sky [and world] is gray…leaving so many of the scenes to be experienced, in the same color…

The world has suffered some type of unspecified, cataclysmic devastation…It could have been nuclear war…a massive meteor striking the planet…some eruption, from within the planet…The implication from the landscape, is that fire was somehow involved…and the planet is now overwhelmingly barren.

In this world, we find the story of a father and son, who are trying to survive…and making their way across America…going south…

The way Mortensen and Smit-McPhee are captured by the camera interacting…you just don’t see this depth of intimacy, emotion and raw dedication in any typical movie…

…Yet, this story is very dark and despairing…with some nice flashbacks…and a few “live” moments of joy and beauty, to break up the horrible things surrounding them. For example…the two have run out of food. They are starving, and not sure how much longer they can go on…when they finally stumble across an underground bunker, stocked with a lot of food…and we get to see the two interact, in a number of intimate ways…where they are happy, and naturally father and son.

Various things about this movie are not fully explained…like the timeline…We get to see the boys mother, in flashbacks…including her giving birth to him, and raising him to about the age he is in the rest of the movie…and, obviously, the three of them did manage to sustain themselves in their home, for what must have been around a decade…but, was the boy born before the world began to die…or did he grow several years, before this devastation? Clearly, he has little [or no] concept of various, normal things within the American culture…which is also alluded to, in a number of scenes…One, he is being given a bath, and apparently introduced to shampoo…In another, he is given an old can of Coke [Coca Cola], to experience for the first time…and there is at least one other reference, also.

I don’t want to say to much about the plot…because, well…the plot is shallow…but the true power in this movie, is the father son connection…and their navigation through a world, where humanity has fallen apart…and gangs of people have taken up cannibalism…and it is about simple survival. They spend most of this movie exploring, running into various things…and running for their lives…

This is a very human movie…and what struck me hardest…is the sobering, even gut wrenching, realness of it…

In some ways, I almost felt the same shock that I had, when I first watched the original Leatherface movie [less the extreme gore, of course]…No matter how bizarre that movie was, it was still created in a very believable manner…and the terrifying consequences of the situation, you could feel them…as if you were honestly watching it take place.

Some of the scenes in this movie are hard to watch…

A hand gun comes into play, several times over…every time, in reference to suicide…and the boy is always involved, even if only implied. They are down to two bullets, and those are reserved for the two of them…in the event that they are trapped and about to be killed…the first for the son, and the second for the father…who wants to spare his son, from a torturous death.

Viggo holds that gun to Kodi’s head, in no less than two different scenes…as they hide from a danger they cannot fight, hoping they are not discovered…This level of acting, is something that lesser actors simply cannot pull off…and these horribly heartbreaking scenes, really bond you to these characters.

I’ve never seen a movie quite like this one…and if you can take seeing a young boy going through all of this, then you will witness a display of superb acting.

This is a movie, which will haunt your mind for some time after you’ve watched it.

I give “The Road”, very high recommendations…and hope that Kodi Smit-McPhee, has a long, bright future ahead of him.

On a side note, I am very disappointed to find out that Kodi is starring in “Let Me In” [a remake of “Let The Right One In”], and it has already been released…early this month…I was looking forward to seeing this one, in the theater…Maybe, I can still catch it at one of the larger theaters…

Obviously, it scampered through my local theater, while I was not paying attention.

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Welcome to Elm Street!…


Date: May 3, 2010

…BC Post…

…BC Post…

aka: “Thank you, Samuel Bayer, for giving Freddy Krueger to us!”

Though it was always something unspoken in the background, that could have easily been imagined into the story plot line…I don’t recall Freddy Krueger having an explicitly sexual motive, in the original movie that started the franchise.

…and even the followups, didn’t really pigeonhole Freddy, as “a pedophile”…I think, he became to popular with his fan base [like Jason Voorhees], to let people assume such an association…This was the guy, the fans came to the theater, to cheer.

This newly released, Samuel Bayer “re-imagining” of the movie, however, does…and lays on the rhetorical propaganda, very thick.

I don’t know if I am more disappointed, that what “new” content got introduced here, merely exposes an utter lack of creative imagination…or that they just went for the very cheap, shallow and easy path…and blatantly associated their trademark “boogieman” character, with pedophiles.

No, even here…they still never say the word “pedophile”…or, directly say that anything sexual ever happened…but, they hit so many cliche points, that it drives the theme home, unmistakably.

For example, at one point…two of the teens find a hidden room…and in a box, pictures of one of them as a child…It is never made clear, what is happening in the pictures, but…she breaks down and cries over them.

…In another scene, that same teen is trapped on a bed [during a dream], and wearing a dress like one she had as a preschooler…and Freddy, while terrorizing her, is telling her how much that dress was his favorite…and even licks the teen…

Director Samuel Bayer did not reach far, at all, in “re-imagining” this movie…

…In fact, I’d say, this new “Nightmare on Elm Street” movie, is little more than memorable bits of the original movie, intertwined with both the “recovered/lost memory syndrome”, and the “satanic ritual [sex] abuse” disasters, of the 80’s and 90’s.

…It even comes with a “hidden dungeon”, underneath a pre-school.

Now look…I’ve tended to enjoy this series, no matter how much it devolved, into a tacky, “wise cracking, murderer slasher” flick…So, I don’t really “want” to speak badly of it…

…but, I am still very disappointed, if that is all they could muster up.

All Bayer did, was fill in blanks, with easy target, cliche answers…

…and the end product, is underwhelming.

But, hey!…Freddy Krueger is “one of us, officially” now!…Though, admittedly, he’s one of the psychologically deranged ones…

…Well, maybe not…He was only acknowledged, as being into the girls that way, after all…[Sorry, Girl-Lovers…Blame Samuel Bayer! ;-)]

Say what you want…Yes, it is a dumb, movie franchise…but, I just feel they could have done better, than this thing they produced.

…I wanted a mindlessly entertaining, slasher movie…not an hour and a half of debunked propaganda, which I am all to familiar with…I feel like I’ve been tricked into paying for manipulative, mental reprogramming.

…and, what is it with Jackie Earle Haley, playing creepy pedophiles, anyway?…

…Does this guy have an axe to grind, or something?

Waterhorse…

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Date: February 14, 2008

I hate coming here and posting about movies…

…because, it just tells you all how uneventful, boring and “going nowhere” my life is…when all I have to post about is a damned movie…

…but, this damned movie is special…

It contains Alex Etel’s nipples (BOTH of them!!!), and a very drool inducing, lusciously bare chest…

If you can get past the fact that he is soon to start drowning (in an imaginary daydream…his character is terrified of the water)…this early movie moment of bliss, is worth every penny of the admission.

For those unaware, Alex Etel is the younger boy from the 2004 movie, “Millions”.

He may not be an amazing actor…but, he does have an amazing body… 🙂

…and, he is very cute. He could easily become the next internationally popular, English boy movie star…I think, anyway (I give my boylove blessing to this).

The movie is “Water Horse”. The previously mentioned scene is brief, but quite long enough to savor…It will seer a beautiful portrait into your mind.

The movie itself, is not bad…Not stellar, but very cute and fun, for the most part…all the stuff you expect to be rolled up into a “family” movie.

The acting is good, though nobody is likely to win an oscar.

Basically, this is the fictional story of the Loc Ness monster. There is some funny and cute stuff that happens…it’s not “rip roaring” laughter material…but, it is enjoyable.

The movie centers around Alex’s character…so, you get to see him in nearly every scene…and the ones where you don’t, only last a short bit.

Of course, there’s the danger elements to make everyone feel sad and afraid…and there’s the required feel good moments…

I would not call it a great movie…but, it is a good movie…one which might be of interest, to movie patrons of the boylove persuasion…

My only gripe, is that it seems a sad sign of the times…when a lifeless and “drown”, child character can be brought ashore…yet the adult character wont perform CPR to revive him…I guess, CPR is to “out of place” in a family movie…

Instead, the adult has the amazing ability to put his hands on the child’s back, and with a consistent, angst riddled nudging, he can magically talk the child back to consciousness…and force air to his lungs, getting the boy to vomit up the water…

I’m being to critical here, I know…It’s a “family” movie, and geared more towards kids, but kept plenty interesting enough for adults…

I just cant help but see this as a sign of the time, though…

If that scene had happened in the seventies…on the television or the movie screen…that man would have locked lips with that boy, and nearly slid him some tongue…

…but, we cant have that, anymore…and besides, the man called upon the magic of the water horse…which was a convenient excuse, not to “kiss” the boy…(damned water horse!)…

Come to think of it…CPR might not have been invented and/or taught, at that point in history (second world war)…hmmmm…

Really, though, it was a good movie, and I hope Alex only gets bigger and better roles…This one was a fine catch for him.

…The monster is pretty cool, too…

All the best…
Steve

[…I’d have performed the mock CPR…even if the director had protested!]

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