Intense WWII drama about German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise) and his involvement in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Fine performances and a good pace can't fully compensate for the fact that the movie brings a foregone conclusion, and thus little suspense.
Good movie. Not overly violent and just about perfect in length. Christian Bale plays a Southern farmer and Civil War amputee (he fought for the North, though) who volunteers to help escort infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the 3:10 to Yuma train, where he will wait in prison and stand trial. Brilliantly designed and filled with great performances by the two leads and the supporting cast.
Just a caution to all you out there: if you are against profanity and violence, don't see this movie. I'm not saying that the movie is full of violence, but there are plenty of f-bombs throughout the film. I know that "Training Day" doesn't have the most f-bombs ever said in a movie, and its violence isn't the most brutal caught on a camera, but there's enough to turn many people away.
For the rest, be forwarned that "Training Day" isn't all about people running around shooting guns at each other. If you were hoping that there would be a lot of shoot-'em ups in this one, sorry.
Instead, we get to know the two main characters, which are Alonzo (Denzel Washington) and Jake (Ethan Hawke). Jake is an ambitious young cop who joins the LA narcotics division as he continues his climb up the ladder. He is partnered for 24 hours with Alonzo, who will ultimately decide whether or not to accept Jake into his squad.
Alonzo turns out to be a dirty cop, one who has his own sense of justice and isn't afraid to break the law. Jake learns more about LA's mean streets than he wants to know, and is ultimately forced to make some tough decisions.
"Training Day" can be tagged as an action movie, but it's also one that explores characters well. We get to know more of who Alonzo is as the film progresses. Jake's character needs less exploration, since we already know that he's an honest, by-the-book cop who suddenly finds himself in a world of drugs and corruption.
Washington is terrific as Alonzo. It would be hard for him to make a bad movie. Another tip to interested viewers: watch this one before any other movie that he made after "Training Day," because you'll appreciate his acting more.
"Antwone Fisher" has a good directing debut for Denzel Washington. An angry sailor with a troubled past is sent to see a navy physchiatrist (Washington, who forces him to come to terms with his past. A bit slow-paced at cliched at times, but the acting is good and the screenplay was actually written by the real Antwone Fisher, on whom the film is based.
Well, if you didn't read the book before watching the movie, it won't be as suspenseful to you, because you know how it ends. I read the book, but the movie was still suspenseful, if a little too long.
The lowdown: the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, captained by Billy Tyne (George Clooney) sets out in October 1991 in the Atlantic Ocean just days before three storms converge together and cause "The Perfect Storm" The acting is good, even if the dialogue is cliched at times, and there's plenty of suspense, peril, and danger, even if you might get tired of seeing the ocean thrash the Andrea Gail over and over again. Still, it's not that bad of a movie, but don't watch it if you can't stand suspense.
'Breach' is a good drama about the greatest U.S. security breach in history. Chris Cooper is good as the spy Robert Hanssen, and Ryan Phillipe is also good as FBI operative Eric O'Neill, who helps bring Hanssen down. Good dialogue and good dramatic moments help to fuel the film. The climactic moment at and near a park in Washington, D.C. is very good as well.
Shot in black and white, Good Night, And Good Luck. takes place in the 1950s during the time of Senator Joseph McCarthy's Communist hunt. David Strathairn plays journalist Edward R. Murrow, who attacks McCarthy's interrogating methods, and in return McCarthy claims that Murrow was/is a Communist sympathizer. Director George Clooney nicely mixes in real footage of McCarthy, and a good cast surrounds Strathairn's character. Overall, it is a solid movie.
In this Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie, Tom Criuse plays John Anderton, chief of Washington, D.C.'s Precrime Unit, whose ability to stop murder before they happen has kept the District of Columbia murder-free for six years. Then Anderton himself is blamed for a murder that will happen in 36 hours, and he has that amount of time to figure out who set him up. An average movie; it's a bit confusing at times, and one particular woman does quite a bit of annoying yelling and screaming. Some of the color was taken out of the picture, which is reminiscent of Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan.'
In terms of an action movie, Collateral is very good. The plot is easy: Tom Cruise plays the contract killer named Vincent, who orders a taxi dramer named Max (played by Jamie Foxx), drive him around Los Angeles to five places so he can knock off five people. In between action scenes and murders, Vincent and Max have interesting conversations and their movie characters are built more and you get to see more sides of their lives. However, the climax on the MTA is kind of weak and unbelievable. Still, overall, for many reasons, Collateral is a good movie.
The plot of Meet Dave is pretty simple: the mini-sized aliens from the planet Nil, captained by Eddie Murphy, come to Earth inside their ship, a robotic Eddie Murphy, to retrieve an wayward orb and to drain the salt from Earth's ocean in order to save Nil. Murphy the robot is funny, and there are many funny moments, but the filmmakers try and add a serious note to the film, which kind of works. Also degrading is the little kid who befriends Murphy the robot, whose acting is pretty weak at times.