Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tôkyô Sonata (Foreign Japanese Drama 2008)

This was an average foreign flick. It pretty much followed around the patriarch of the family as he was let go from his long-time employer and forced to get a jobby as a janitor to get by. Other members of his family all had their own problems, issues, and desires which were all kept secret because of the father.

The film had 3 real lessons: 1) Being unemployed sucks....especially later in life. 2) Having too much dominance within a household is counterproductive towards family unity. 3) Secrets are bad. I'm leaning towards this movie being made strictly as a cultural criticism, for its reception among foreign film buffs has been positive. But I didn't think it was anywhere above average.
Rating - C

Monday, June 29, 2009

Outlander (Action 2008)

LOL well this movie was unexpected. It really didn't suck as bad as the trailer led you to believe. For a Viking action flick, it didn't turn out too bad. There were a lot of fighting scenes, a good amount of blood and gore, and it kinda had a story too.

Try not to confuse this movie with Pathfinder, because even though they have similar qualities, they are a night & day difference in terms of story and refinement. I use the term refinement lightly though. This film won't win any awards, but it was as fun and enjoyable as The Beastmaster or any old school Conan flick.
Rating - B

Angels & Demons (Suspense Drama 2009)

Well not many people on IMDB seem to agree with me, but I thought this movie was pretty good. I barely remember what The Da Vinci Code was about, but I think this one had a speedier and more entertaining plot.

Some might say that it was too predictable and such, but I didn't call it until the way end. Either I'm getting slower so this movie just sucked me in. A few scenes here and there either did not make sense or was poorly done, but there weren't many of 'em. One of the latter scenes had great MI...I'll have to try to find that on the soundtrack someplace. Acting and action were good, but being a part of the adventure was what kept this film going.
Rating - A

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux (Animated Cartoon 2008)

Wanna know what happens when Dreamworks and Pixar have nothing to do with an animated movie? Shit gets created...a lot of it.

This movie blew pretty bad...it had rodents in it so that of course flashed me back to The Secret of NIMH days or even An American Tail. Good memories for those but certainly not for this. The animation was O.K. but the story sucked, even for a kid. The narrator also sucked. Animated, cartoon-like films have to be stimulating in order to be good. This film wasn't. It was gloomy, had boring characters, and a highly uninteresting plot. Nothing was worthwhile in watching this...not even a big-eared mouse.
Rating - D

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks (Book 2003)

Well this was a fun little compendium to World War Z. If zombies did start running amuck though...we'd all pretty much be fucked. I can only picture survivalists with a ton of ammo as the only peeps who would weather the storm. Why you ask? Mainly it's food and water. Most peeps these days can jury-rig something together for boiling water and such, assuming you're near a place that has water, but food is a hard thing to come by when you're "on the run" and being hunted. I suppose you can eat plants like some vegetarian but I doubt that would keep up the energy. Your only hope is to take over a Costco and just set up camp there, but if you're at a Costco, you're probably not next to a running river. Notice the conundrum?

Yeah this book talks about large swaths of time like decades when you're left to your own devices as civilization falls into chaos. After all the grocery stores and food surplus silos have been ransacked is when people would begin starving...at least that's what I picture.
Rating - Mid

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Hurt Locker (Thriller War Drama 2008)

This movie was pretty different. It followed around this Army soldier and his unit as they wandered around Iraq disassembling bombs. It was pretty suspenseful at times but that was about it. The characters were a little too screwy to be believable. Jeremy Renner, the main character was a little too carefree and this sorta threw away the rest of the story. A few scenes were well placed but I can name probably 3 which were very unnecessary and didn't help out the story one bit.

What they did well was getting the viewers into the feel of being in Iraq. Costumes and locales were spot on and the special effects of the bomb scenes were nutty. In the end the story was much too disconnected and it really lacked a real purpose. They tried to explain more about the inner-workings of the main character but I didn't feel that I gained any insight at all.
Rating - C

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Comedy 2009)

As expected this movie wasn't really good. They took a humorous concept and then molded it so that 8 year olds would enjoy it. Yeah having bad guys riding around a mall in skateboards and BMX bikes does not equal a quality comedy.

This was definitely not a shining moment for Kevin James. I've seen him do better...not a lot better (Hitch) but more-so than this. I might've chuckled once or twice throughout the course of this film but yeah...overall it was very stupid and not worth the time.
Rating - D

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gran Torino (Drama 2008)

I really wasn't expecting it, but this movie was pretty darn good. If they would've gotten better actors to play the roles of the two primary Asian adolescents then it would've moved the film up a notch, but yeah....the two kids really sucked and it's hard to overlook that.

Thankfully though, Clint Eastwood still had his stuff and did a fantastic job. I would've liked the ending to be like how things "really should've gone down", but I can accept the subtlety of the film's purpose.
Rating - A

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Role Models (Comedy 2008)

As one could've expected, this movie wasn't very funny. They took the regular dud of Seann William Scott, had him repeat some quick-witted lines, and expected the rest of the film to fall into place. Obviously it didn't work because I think I might've chuckled once.

Yeah the dialogue was pretty piss poor and not very engaging at all. The two kids were way over the top and just not believable. I don't even know if an intoxicated viewer would find this movie funny...
Rating - D