Archive for Reviews


I’m really enjoying David Wellington’s work.  From his Zombie Island to his 13 Bullets, he’s tackled zombies and vampires in a way I have found refreshing.  With Frostbite, he does the same for werewolves.

Probably not his best work to date, but a solid effort none the less, this is the story of a girl who goes out into the wilderness to find the werewolf that killed her father only to wind up becoming one herself.  I’m eager to see where he takes this when the sequel comes out toward the end of the year.

Movie Round-Up: March 19th, 2010

The Bounty Hunter:

I’ve already said I’m a sucker for romantic comedies.  I’m also a sucker for romantic action comedies.  Plus I’ve already admitted my man-crush on Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston is hot.  I’ve basically got no reason to avoid this movie.  Like the gravity well of a black hole, I feel myself being pulled toward the theater.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

Looks to be a good family/kid friendly movie.  I probably won’t see this in the theater, but I’ll surely catch it on Netflix.

Repo Men:

I want to see this.  I mean, it doesn’t look like it is going to surprise me.  The plot appears to be Minority Report but with organs instead of predicting the future.  The enforcer has the tables turned and suddenly realizes that what he’s been doing isn’t as right as he thought it was.  But it looks gory and fun.  Now if I can just convince the wife…

Movie Round-Up: March 12th, 2010

Remember Me:

If I didn’t know better, I might think this was another Nicolas Sparks book turned into a movie.  I’m pretty sure the movie is going to be entirely unsurprising.  Boy gets in trouble, boy has poor relationship with father, boy decides to get revenge on man who does wrong to him by dating that man’s daughter, boy falls in love with girl, girl finds out about trouble and revenge scheme, they split, boy proves he really does love her even after his own father tells him he’s better off without her.  Roll credits.  It doesn’t look horrible, it just looks typical, and as much of a sucker as I am for romantic comedies, romantic dramas I tend to wait for DVD.

Our Family Wedding:

I watched the trailer for this and I can’t put my finger on it, but I think I’ve seen this movie before.  Mixed marriage, cultures collide.  Eh… I won’t be running to the theater to see this, but I can see myself putting it on Netflix when its there and I’m bored.

Green Zone:

Matt Damon makes good action films.  You know, from the beginnings of his career I wouldn’t have guessed that, but he does.  The Bourne films showcased it, and this movie looks to be following in those footsteps.  I really want to see this one.

She’s Out of My League:

The only movie releasing this week that I managed to see a screening of, and it was awesome.  The story is about a guy who isn’t particularly good looking, with a crappy job and no real ambition, who has been dumped by a girl that treats him poorly but he thinks he loves, and how he begins dating a girl who is smart, successful, and gorgeous.  I think what I loved most about this movie is that while it does have a bit of foul language and some shocking scenes, it never scrapes the bottom of the barrel.  It never goes disgustingly scatological.  Even when it gets close, it handles it in a more mature way, leaving the “worst parts” to be inferred by the audience.  I really enjoyed this film, much more than I thought I would.  And the wife loved it too, so I’d even safely recommend this as a date movie.

Movie Round-Up: March 5th, 2010

Brooklyn’s Finest:

Saw the trailer, looks interesting, has lots of actors I like… but I’ll probably wait and see this on DVD mostly because while it looks very good, it’s not a big action movie or horror or comedy, the three types of films that I think really benefit from being seen on the big screen and/or with an audience.  But, if you want to go to the theater and see a new movie this weekend, I can think of worse ways to spend your hard earned dollars.  Speaking of…

Alice in Wonderland:

I suppose it may be that I am just weary.  Weary of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp working together.  And the Helena Bonham Carter triumvirate too.  I got to see a screening of this and I’m glad I did because it saved me the $20 it would have cost for the wife and I to go see it.  I was bored.  The story is extremely predictable, and the settings are predictably vibrant and odd.  You know what this movie is going to be before you go in and it makes no effort to surprise you.  Alice goes back to Wonderland, she meets all the people you expect her to meet, she fights, she wins, she goes home.  This was the biggest let down to me.  There are a number of good reimaginings of the Alice tale that would make good films (for example: Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars) but instead Burton just rehashed the same old stuff with his penchant for weird by making people have large heads, over-sized eyes or lengthened limbs.  Oh, and like 95% of the people in this movie are pale.  And I don’t mean pale as in “light skin with a pink hue” but instead “pasty powdered makeup white”.  I suppose paleness appeals to some, but it doesn’t to me.  And, this movie is also in 3D.  Now, I’ve seen a bunch of 3D movies over the last few years as digital 3D has become all the rage, and Alice in Wonderland is probably the least effective use of 3D ever.  It doesn’t add much depth to the image at all, and in fact it feels more gimmicky because the only two or three times I noticed the 3D was when they stabbed things at the screen.  Unlike, say, Avatar, where they never did any “Hey look! 3D!” screen stabbing that I recall and instead the world just felt deep, because it was.  I didn’t hate the movie though.  It is probably great for families or die hard fans of Burton’s brand of oddness, but I’m glad I was able to see it for free and I don’t think I’ll ever see it again.

Movie Round-Up: February 26th, 2010

The Crazies:

Remakes. You tend to either love them or hate them, and it largely depends on how you view the original. Sometimes the remakes deviate enough from the original to be able to be held up on their own, at least as long as those deviations don’t totally suck. I can’t comment here as I’ve never seen the original, nor yet seen this remake.  But I can say that I like the look of the trailer and if I get a chance, I’m going to go see it.  Since it is a horror film, however, I doubt it will be in the theater unless I can find some guys to go with because I know the wife won’t go.  I may have to catch this one on DVD or Netflix, but out of necessity not desire.

Cop Out:

I’m a huge Bruce Willis fan.  I’m also a huge Kevin Smith fan (I even like Jersey Girl, which everyone else seems to hate mainly because it was more about romance, drama and family than his usual sex and crude jokes fare).  I’m not much of a Tracy Morgan fan though, so that dragged down my desire to see this movie.  So I jumped at the chance when I managed to snag a free screening pass from gofobo.  I’m so glad I did.  So glad, in fact, that I’m considering going and paying to see this movie again.  This movie is like Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop.  It has comedy and action and is just fun.  This movie deserves a blockbuster opening weekend, so go out and see it.

Movie Round-Up: February 19th, 2010

Shutter Island:

It’s a Scorsese film.  It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earl Haley, Ted Levine, and Elias Koteas.  It’s a horror, thriller, mystery movie.  I’ve just listed a whole mess of reasons why I should want to see this film, but for some reason I’m just not excited.  Perhaps it is because I’m worried it is going to be crap despite all the promise.  Scorsese’s The Departed was the same way, tons of reasons why I should rush out and see it, but I didn’t, and when I finally caught it on DVD I was disappointed.  I mean, I enjoyed the movie, but I thought it fell apart at the end.  So here I am looking at the trailers for Shutter Island and all I can think is “I bet it doesn’t end well.”  I probably won’t see this one this weekend, but I’ll be sure to catch it on DVD when it inevitably comes out later this year.  But who knows… if the reviews are good enough, I might make time to see it next weekend.

Saint John of Las Vegas:

Technically, this movie doesn’t release this week.  It had been making the festival rounds and it had a limited release back at the end of January (probably in two theaters), but if you look around you might find a showing (in LA) or a screening somewhere.  I saw it at a free screening this week thanks to the people at FilmMetro.  Anyway, it is the story of a man (Steve Buscemi) who has a gambling problem (he loses a lot) who works as an insurance claims adjuster in Albuquerque that asks for a raise and gets promoted to fraud investigator and has to head to Las Vegas to look into a claim.  I’ve been told this movie is inspired by the book Dante’s Inferno.  Having never read that book, I can’t be sure.  This movie isn’t splashy or action packed.  It is a slow film about a guy trying to deal with his vices and make his way in the world.  At times it is funny, other times it is sad, and overall I can’t really say the movie is good, but I don’t feel like I wasted my time.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay for this one, but if you can find a free screening or catch it on Netflix at some point in the future, maybe you might enjoy it.

Movie Round-Up: February 12th, 2010

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief:

I can’t be sure, but I think this will be the longest titled movie of the year.  In any event, I’m interested.  I’ve heard good things about the series of books, even been tempted a time or two to pick them up, and I still might.  And from the trailer, the effects look pretty cool.  However, having not read the books I doubt I’m going to catch this at full price.  If it gets great reviews then I might catch this at a half price early morning show or something.  But if it is good, and it does well, they can probably count me in for future installments.

Valentine’s Day:

A chick flick for a chick holiday.  So, yes, I’ll be going to see this.  Plus, I think every actor in Hollywood is in this movie.

The Wolfman:

I’ve heard some comments on Benicio Del Toro’s acting being a bit flat, but even though I’m still wanting to see this.  Hey, I love monsters.  Vampires (that don’t glitter in sunlight), werewolves, zombies, ghosts, etc.  I’ll see them all.  This movie intrigues me because it is more like the classic wolfman films than the newer werewolf movies we’ve seen in the past couple of decades.  If I can convince the wife to go, this movie will get my $10.

The Unnatural Inquirer

After slogging through The Host, I needed something lighter, more throwaway.  Luckily in my reading pile I had book 8 of the Nightside series by Simon R. Green, The Unnatural Inquirer.

When I tell people about these books the only way I’ve found to describe it is that they are like a book version of a film noir movie set in a city of demons and angels and magic and monsters.  It is pulp.  There is no heavy introspection or examination of the human condition.  John Taylor, the main character, fears no evil when he walks through the valley because he is the baddest mutha in the valley.  So to speak.

Anyway, this addition to the series is more of the same, which if you like them is a good thing, and if you don’t like them it isn’t.

Movie Round-Up: February 5th, 2010

It’s communications week at the cinema…

Dear John:

Nicholas Sparks strikes again!  He showed up for a Q&A at another screening I attended once and talked about how he wrote most of his books in around eleven weeks each.  The man has found his niche and he knows how to tug the heartstrings.  That said, of all his books turned to films, this one has got to be the weakest.  After seeing a screening of this, I felt the leads just don’t have much chemistry.  I found that I really didn’t care whether their love survived or not.  On the other hand, the relationship between the titular John and his father was very well done.  Richard Jenkins is a fantastic actor, and the movie is almost worth paying to see just for him.  Almost, but not quite.

From Paris With Love:

I saw the trailer for this film a while back.  Travolta with a shaved head, big earring and that goatee just looked too weird.  And the movie itself just seemed odd.  The only thing that piqued my interest at all was it being the same team that brought us Taken.  I saw a screening of this film last week.  It was far better than I expected.  The first few moments were slow, but once Travolta arrived the movie kicked into high gear and never let up.  This movie was so exciting and so fun, I’d absolutely say it is worth the price of admission.  Buy a ticket, take a seat and hold on.

Movie Round-Up: January 29th, 2010

This week is “three word title” week…

When in Rome:

Since I’ve already admitted to liking chick flicks and romantic comedies, I won’t bother pretending I don’t want to see this.  And Kristin Bell is just all kinds of awesome.  Her performance in Veronica Mars means that I’ll see anything she’s in for decades.  Besides, this looks to be hilarious.  I may not make it to the theater to see this one because of time and money constraints, but I want to.  If you have the means and the desire, go see it.

Edge of Darkness:

I went to a screening of this on Tuesday and just before the show I tweeted and posted on Facebook that I wanted this to be good.  Luckily, it was.  I haven’t seen the original mini-series.  I want to, it is in the Netflix queue.  But word on the street is that it is great.  While I wouldn’t call this movie great, it was intriguing and kept my attention the whole time.  The only real downside to this film is Mel Gibson’s accent and nasally voice.  At times it threatens to ruin the film, but never quite does.  Every other performance here is nearly flawless.  I would warn, however, don’t go in expecting an action thriller.  There is action, but most of the story unfolds slowly over its almost two hour length and is only punctuated by action.  To me, this movie is worth the price of admission.