Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fast Five

Sure the original was something fresh, new, and somewhat original. But the sequels have been anything but. Yeah i know it's high octane fun, but you can say the same thing about Michael Bay films. Am i saying that these sequels are as bad as Michael Bay films? No, but each one offers nothing new, well, unless you count drifting, and that isn't saying a lot. Hopefull this new installment can bring something fresh to the table.

I never thought i would say this, but i actually enjoyed this movie. I went in with low expectations, and came out pretty damn satisfied. Sure the movie had a lot of the same moving parts, but what really made this one stand out is how it actually changed the pace of how they normally do things.

First, they didn't have a damn drag race every 10 minutes. In fact, they barely had any. Which really is a genius idea, because when the time did come to have an awesome driving sequence, you were begging for it. Finally, someone with brains stepped into this movie and said let's save all of our bullets and unleash them in the end.

So with a series that relies heavily on their driving sequences and less on their script, how do you keep your audience entertained? Well, the first step is to incorporate another major actor, enter The Rock. Next, you really need to buff up your script. Okay, here is where it gets both good and bad. It's good because the movie takes a ton of it's credit from the "Ocean 11" films. Yeah, it's stealing an idea, but it injecting more action into it, which is pretty cool. But the reason why i say it's also bad, is because it's still packed with bad cheesy one-liners, poor acting, and some really tarnished plot outlines. But does that take anything away from the fun.......not really.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Water for Elephants

The film completely fulfilled my expectations. It is a well scripted, meticulously shot and finely acted period drama, the likes of which are increasingly less to come by at the movies these days. A big congratulations to all those involved with the production for having the confidence to delve into this venture. Actually I am very curious about its box-office. Last year was a surprisingly profitable year for adult dramas and if that is any indication, this fine film should continue the same trend.

Water For Elephants really impresses with the production design, atmosphere, costumes and stunts. Most of the time I felt like I was watching a classic film made during the studio era; it looked that authentic and faultless. The three main actors all seem satisfied for having such meaty parts and deliver more than satisfactory performances. Robert Pattinson shines and proves that he is capable as a serious actor. Reese Witherspoon has always been a true professional and here with her stunts demonstrates that again. She also fits surprisingly well to the 1930s platinum blonde beauty type. Christopher Waltz is a wonderful actor and here it becomes very clear that his success in Inglorious Basterds was not a one-off. The story is very emotional and while it touches the heart romantically, it also manages to lay down a heretofore unseen dark aspect of old era circus entertainment in particular and also crowd entertainment as a whole. I almost wished for a three hour epic after it ended; it left me wanting more. The whole thing was really interesting.

All in all a wonderful and deeply satisfying experience at the movies, well worth every dime. Go see it so that adult dramas of this caliber (in terms of star power, production budget and subsequent attention to detail) could continue to be made.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Another outstanding effort, Marvel does it again! It's hard to believe that a movie with this subject matter can make you think and challenge all your movie viewing skills but it does so and more. It's very artistic and you would expect no less from Kenneth Branagh. He presents the entire film in a way that can be savored. Many aspects are classical drama and yet other aspects are just plain old fun kick-butt action scenes. It's a perfect blend and this movie is far deeper then I would've thought. The pacing was perfect as is the link to the Marvel movie Universe... I can't wait to see what Captain America brings us. Overall, a summer movie that's superior to everything else that I've seen in years.

The director's background in Shakespearian themes comes in to play right from the beginning of the film and run throughout. Thor is a super-strong "god" and can travel through space with supernatural powers yet the story is paradoxical and contrary about those elements instead choosing to focus on the human elements. THAT elevates this film far beyond anything I was expecting but I should have known better considering the source material and the director.

The genuine and relatable qualities of these characters are what make it a great film. Sure, the action and fantasy are incredible but the story works so well. The family dynamics between fathers & sons along with sibling rivalry and the price of vanity and lack of humility all resonate. The choices made and the relationships on display are as wonderful as the brawling and action... which are as good as any summer movie that I've seen in years.