Wednesday, December 10, 2008

more movie reviews woot

Tropic Thunder – 7.5
I expect a silly movie and Ben Stiller didn’t disappoint. The story of the movie is pretty bad, but what makes this movie watchable it its set of funny characters full of personalities. Ben Stiller is still funny, Jack Black is as always, the shouting fat guy and Robert Downey Jr is just brilliantly silly; his character is really refreshing if you consider how Ben Stiller likes the characters in his movie to be always the same. I recommend watching Apocalypse Now first though to understand some of the spoof in the movie. The movie also spoofed lots of other famous Hollywood movies, like I am Sam, Forrest Gump, Once Upon A Time In America, Mad Max, Rambo etc. and it makes it easier to understand the jokes if you’ve seen all those movies. Funny movie, but you have to have some decent movie knowledge to fully enjoy it. If you’re a fan of Ben Stiller movies, you probably won’t be blown away by Tropic Thunder, but you’ll surely enjoy the ride.

Taken – 8.2
Liam Neeson is a kick-ass secret agent retiree on a rage to save his daughter who was ‘taken’ by human traffickers. This film reminds me of 24, the Bourne series and a little bit of Hostel. The movie starts slow but once the action starts rolling, it was really worth it. The fighting sequences were fun to watch and the main character didn’t stop to think about whether he should pity him enemies, he just gave them what they deserve: PAIN. This is a popcorn action flick, so the sense of believability is very low but that didn’t bother me because I was on the edge of my seat the whole time to the end. Very entertaining movie and I would recommend this to action movie lovers.

Pineapple Express – 8.0
Seth Rogen is really a screenplay genius; he really knows how to write some seriously funny dialogs. James Franco (the son of Green Goblin in Spiderman) really surprised me with his amazingly brilliant performance as a lazy-ass stoner. The story is pretty silly but the whole cast in the film is funny with their distinct personalities and I just can’t stop laughing through the whole movie. If you like comedies, you’re going to enjoy this. Recommended.

Traitor – 8.0
I don’t want to spoil the storylines but I must say, this is a refreshing take on action movies about religious extremist and their way of doing things. The story about the cat and mouse relationship between a CIA Agent and a high-profile terrorist, seems quite cliché at first, but it got really interesting quite quickly that you’re always at the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. If you like the thinking man’s thriller, you’d probably want to watch this.

The Bank Job - 8.2
Another worth-watching movie about bank robbers, and how they got away with it, with Jason Statham as the lead. The movie starts slow but it get really interesting pretty fast and suddenly you were presented with all sort of small plots that tides up the end very well. I love thrillers about bank robbers, corrupt police and politicians, and I enjoyed watching this movie. And to realize that this movie is based on a true story, I was really impressed by how interesting the events that happened, and how they’re stringed together. Very easy to recommend.

She Cyborg (僕の彼女はサイボーグ) – 6.0
Like a lonely guy’s most desired dream come true, a pretty, genki girl appeared out of no where; turning one guy’s boring life into a fun, exciting one. The film borrows the time traveling cyborg plot very heavily from The Terminator, and made it more unnecessarily confusing and long, especially at the end. The first-half portion of the movie is quite enjoyable, but the second half is not. Thankfully, Haruka Ayase made a pretty good looking female cyborg.

The House Bunny – 6.5
I always liked Anna Faris in all those funny Scary Movies series; she definitely played that ‘stupid blonde’ character so very brilliantly, and she did it again in this movie. It was pretty funny but I think Adam Sandler (the director) is depending too much on Anna Faris to bring ‘life’ to the movie. I know, that’s what main characters do, but it seems a little bit too much. If Anna Faris is not in this movie, it would be unwatchable at all because the story is predictably lame and it was obvious that this is a ‘chick flick’ with all the outfits and themes of sister-bonding. Funny movie, but you’ve probably seen these types of movies before, and they’re better than this one.

Superhero Movies – 7.6
The barrage of parody movies never stops, and this time, it’s the superhero movies’ turn to be parodied, and as a silly and funny movie, you can’t ask for more. The jokes are stupid and fun; just don’t expect to be laughing all the way from start to finish. I enjoyed watching this because I didn’t expect much from these types of movie; it is light, silly and probably worth the watch if you’re bored and got nothing else to do.
Eagle Eyes – 7.2
The story of this movie immediately reminds me of I Robot and maybe a little bit of Die Hard 4; you know, the kinda story about artificial intelligence trying to control our human lives. Yes, it is not the best movie in the ‘computers controlling human’ genre, but the action sequences were done well and the actors did their job. I just hope Shia LeBeouf stop playing the same character that he has been in his previous movies like Constantine, Transformers, Indy 4 etc. This is just another decent Hollywood action thriller; quite entertaining but nothing special.

Sztuczki (Tricks) – 7.0
It’s hard to describe this Polish movie; it seems like the director has no intention to put a proper, normal plot into the narration. Instead, the viewer is left with a cute innocent young boy with his playful ways of spending his free time. The acting in this movie is superb, but the lack of a strong ‘point’ makes it hard to fully appreciate it. This is a good movie, but it’s not for the mainstream.

Pacchigi! – 7.6
This is not just another movie about a Japanese boy who has a crush on a Korean immigrant during the 60’s in Kyoto; it’s more than that. The movie portrays the hardship of Zainichi Koreans, violence between Japanese school gangs vs Korean school gangs, about teen sex and all the good stuff during the 60’s. A lot of Japanese directors put a very huge importance on believability, and this movie has that in buckets full of it. The movie might put some people off because of the ‘realistic’ approach to acting and how slow the movie moves, but this is surely one of the Japanese movies that I am going to remember. The only problem that I got with the movie is that it took the director too much time to get to the point, and this is a very distinct personality of Japanese directors compared to Hollywood. Still worth the watch though.

Get Smart – 8.4
This film is simply hilariously brilliant. It is silly and doesn’t take itself seriously, but the jokes were delivered very well and the action sequences are better than an average action film. There were no boring moments in this film as it was full of funny moments, and of course, Anna Hathaway is freaking hot! Steve Carell is so funny even when he’s not trying to be. I have a good, healthy laugh watching this, so if you love comedy, I’d recommend this movie for sure!

Burn After Reading – 7.5
The directors of No Country For Old Men, the Coen brothers is back with a new film that is very different from their last achievement. You’d be disappointed if you expected a film as violently cool as their previous work, because Burn After Reading is not one of those movies; instead, this movie focuses of how idiots people could be and how paranoia could really mess you up and end up wasting your time without leaving any meaning at all in the end. This is a good movie in its own, but don’t expect to be blown away. And one more thing, don’t expect the film to have any deep meanings; you’d want to burn it after watching.

Star Wars The Clone Wars The Movie – 7.5
I never watched a single episode of the animated Clone Wars series, but that doesn’t stop me from watching the big screen version because I’m a shameless Star Wars fan. The story is pretty much what you would expect from a Star Wars universe. Although not entirely bad, I just wished that they put more crazy, over-the-top, balls to the walls, awesome action scenes in it, because it does feel a little bit ‘empty and hey that's not enough!’. Well, this IS a movie for kids, so I guess I shouldn’t expect more of it.

Sukiyaki Western Django – 8.0
Taking heavy influences from Akira Kurosawa’s classic Yojimbo and also some famous spaghetti-western movies like Django and Fistful of Dollars, this latest film from the Japanese director with a cult status, Takashi Miike is all about visual, over content. This is probably the end result if you mix western, samurai, anime and off the chart, crazy saturated colors in a movie. This film is pretty bizarre in its weirdness, and the action sequences really make it a worth while experience. If you like unconventional movies, you’ll have to watch this. Just don’t expect it to make any sense at all.

JFK – 8.5
This is a very well directed and acted movie about the conspiracy theories behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although it was long (about 3 hours), I was never bored because interesting story elements and information were told in the appropriate pace, making sure the viewer is not overloaded with information, trying to juggle all these set pieces and complete the complicated puzzle that is the JFK assassination. This is a movie about a very complicated investigation, so there were a lot of flash-backs and questions to be asked but everything was tight up pretty well to make it easier for the viewer to understand. If you like investigation movie that involves the secret service society, politics and the American military industrial complex, I’m sure you’re gonna love this one. The film demands you to think and to be able to manage and arrange information, so if you don’t like that, surely you would not enjoy watching this. Highly recommended to those few people who like intricate and detailed story-telling with a lot of information to chew on, but DEFINETELY not for the masses.

Shaolin Girl (少林少女) – 4.0
I love Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer. I hate the Japanese adaptation of it, the Shaolin Girl. Instead of a crazy guy with mad kungfu skills, they replaced it with a normal girl who does lacrosse. The entire movie is boring; the special effects were lame, the acting was bad, the story is terrible and the director even has the nerve to put ‘emotional’ scenes in it to fish for emotions from the viewer. This is a bad Japanese movie. Stay away. Just stick to your 2002’s Shaolin Soccer.

My Sassy Girl (Hollywood Remake) – 5.0
Why does Hollywood constantly remakes good Asian films, ‘Americanizes’ it, and totally messes everything up as a result? The original My Sassy Girl (2001) was one of the early films that got me into Korean movies, by introducing a very sadistic female lead, but still being cute and funny at the same time, and made you want to GET hurt by pretty women. The new Hollywood remake failed to impress me because it was not funny at all, the set-up was so ‘American romantic comedy movie’ –like, and the acting was terrible. Although the storyline on this remake is a lot easier to understand than the original, it really felt like everything was being ‘dumbed down’ for western audiences. If it was not for Elisha Curtbert, I don’t think I would even want to watch this to the end. Forget about this Hollywood remake, watching the original for the 100th times is better than this crap.

Incredible Hulk - 6.5
Don't expect an amazing story because this is a comic-book movie about a guy who turns into a mean green beast of a doofus when he got angry. The action sequences are decent enough and the last fight scene were pretty fun to watch. Other than that, this is just another lifeless comic book movie that is forgettable and so mediocre.

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