Ang Lee tried to make the abysmal Hulk look like it was a live comic book and failed miserably; Sin City was the one that did it to near perfection. If you take a decent comic book and a full on gynormous fan as the director, you get something different and engaging on the screen. Robert Rodriguez took Frank Millers popular comic and must have looked up and down from his worn copy to the camera before every shot. He found a cast that matched the books characters and if he didn’t, why then he smacked on loads of makeup and special effects and made it work. Movie sped along and was definite candy for the eyes.
Check out heybuddymovies.com for my list of Top 10 Comic book movies
I had heard of Hellboy before, but had never read a single comic, but when that first magnificent trailer came out, I was looking forward to this one big time. It just had a fantastic look to it and once I finally saw it, it also had a good story to go with that look. Ron Perlman is Hellboy, fantastic casting in this situation. Guillermo Del Toro has a very unique look to his films that are inventive and magnificent. It was funny, engrossing, the cinematography was excellent (Hellboy against a snowy backdrop looks awesome!) and its pace was great. Most like the sequel better, but while it was a great sequel, for me it didn’t overshadow this one.
Check out heybuddymovies.com For my Top 10 Best comic book movies list
Earlier this year I wrote a two part article about those movies coming out in 2011 that I was looking forward to. Unknown was number three in that list and that ended up being way too high. This film is yet another story of how a well made trailer can trick you into thinking it’s going to be a good film. It seemed to be marketed as another Taken type movie, once the end credits started to role; you know it was all a lie. Even the poster tricks you, Neeson’s character never even handles a gun in the film.
Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) has just arrived in Berlin for a botany conference where he will be meeting with a well respected German professor. He has brought along his lovely wife (January Jones) on this trip and after exiting their taxi cab from the ride from the airport to their hotel, he finds that he has left his briefcase at the airport. He leaves his wife at the hotel and hops into another taxi, driven by Gina (Diane Kruger). On the way back to the airport, Gina drives the taxi off the road and into a river, where she saves Martin from drowning but leaves him unconscious with the paramedics.
He awakens in a hospital four days later with a fractured memory, wondering why his wife isn’t there. Once he finally locates her, she has no idea who he is and seemingly has a different husband with the name Dr. Martin Harris (Aiden Quinn), sending the “real” Martin Harris played by Neeson into a spiral of the “who am I’s”. This new Martin Harris has all the things he needs to prove that he’s not the imposter, family photos, passports, websites, etc. For the rest of the film, Neeson’s trying to find out how to expose the imposter and find out if he even really is who he thinks he is.
Just writing that gets confusing, so I’m sure it reads like that also. It’s not overly confusing when you see the film though. It is an interesting idea for a movie; it’s just not well executed. The acting really is off, even for Neeson who can hold his own in any movie. When you decide to put January Jones in your movie, from what I’ve seen so far, you’re not really putting her in your film because you want quality. She goes through four different emotions in the film and she delivers her lines in each of those emotions the same bored way, like someone stole Obama’s teleprompter and put it in front of her. Even Frank Langella is just as wooden and he’s actually a good actor. Diane Kruger was fine, but I couldn’t help continue to hear a horrible accent coming out of her mouth. There was a standout performance by Bruno Ganz, who some will know from the myriad of “Hitler finds out” videos on YouTube sans the mustache. If anything, this movie wins points for making me want to watch Bruno in Downfall again.
It does hit its desired notes well in certain areas. You get frustrated with Neeson’s character as he tries to prove who he is and being unable to do so. The action is good, with a very good car chase in the middle. And a couple of the twists actually do work. The problem is that it never really gets the viewer to engage in the story or the characters and a lot of that had to do with the casting and or acting. When Martin decides to do the “right thing”, it makes no sense…why would his character do that after what he has gone through to try to remember who he is? That was the biggest flaw for me in this film, it’s ending made no real sense and its seeking to give its characters final redemption falls flat, so very flat. They had the chance to do the usual Hollywood thing, and say the people behind a kill plan were either conservatives or Christian fanatics, but didn’t, so kudos on that one. But do watch for the completely lame kumbaya type The Saint ending at the end of this film. Taken was a fantastic film and I can see why this movie would want to try and capitalize on that, but if it had tried to be its own film, I might have enjoyed it more.
2 stars out of 4 (would have gotten less, but Liam Neeson is just too danged cool)
One summer’s afternoon I sat at my wife’s friend’s house for her engagement party. I sat alone, because I knew none of the people there outside of the two celebrating their engagement, listening to everyone talk. Finally, after an hour or so of sitting and stuffing my face with snacks, the subject turned to something I find interesting, movies. Everyone was talking about the newly released Tim Burton movie, Alice in Wonderland. Most everyone their liked it and encouraged others to go and see it. I still was jobless and had been for 7 months prior to this, so money was spent on wiser things (for the most part), so I packed that little recommendation away until it came to the streaming Netflix que on my Xbox 360. What was then spewed out of my 60” screen hurt my brain.
Mother of mercy Tim Burton, what have you unleashed on this world? Not only did this movie hurt my brain, it hurt my eyes. This guy usually does well with visuals strung around a decent story, Big Fish, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow, etc, but he tried to gouge the eyes of his viewers through the screen on this one. I have been able to count on one hand the movies I have stopped watching and never picked up again, this movie makes me add the other hand into the mix. I just couldn’t do it; I was bored, irritated and uninterested.
I knew previously to watching this that there was another needless feminist agenda laced through this movie. It looked like it was definitely going that way, but not having finished it; I will just have to take the reviewers I read words for it. But it was prevalent in the early stages of the movie, but yet again, was not done well. Alice is played to annoyingly bad childish stupidity by Mia Wasikowska. Our heroine is nothing more than a petulant child, who is deserving of nothing even close to what she feels respect is. She is a girl, wanting to be treated like an adult, who throws little hissy fits to get her point across. Way to empower women there Timmy. She is an extremely unlikable main character. Oh, and real shocker on this one, another feminist movie where every guy in the “real” world is a jerk who treats women like props. If I had to decide which is more annoying it would be the tried and true immature lead who thinks she is owed something she has obviously never deserved, respect. Respect is not earned by whining and pouting Alice.
Also, it’s not the typical Alice story most of us are familiar with. As far as I know it looked like it was the after effect of the two books that were written. So right off the bat, if you are unfamiliar with either book or the previous movie incarnations, who knows if you’ll know what’s going on. It’s also annoying that she has no recollection of either experience. She could have remembered somewhere during the course of the movie, but I don’t care that I really don’t know if that happened or not. The story must have been quickly slapped together so that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp could do another movie together, this time with a much bigger emphasis on giving the audience a seizure.
Granted it’s not entirely fair to write an article for this movie only having seen the first excruciating half hour, but it’s my site and I needed an article to write. Don’t see this movie, can’t stress that enough. Definitely not with kids, the scantily clad Alice has no place in family fair and most young kids might be scared by the looks of the film. But if you have seen it and liked it or still plan on seeing it, more power to you.
I married a women that is not only beautiful and awesome, but a traveler as well. I am not at all. I could live in the same city for the rest of my life, never visit another place and be content. If we lived with actual Star Trek beaming technology, that would be another story, but we don’t so I don’t want to. Since our marriage we have been in about nine different countries in different capacities and I only would go back to maybe three. For my thirtieth birthday, my wife planned a trip to Scotland and Northern Ireland, and that was the best trip to me. Scotland was fantastic and Ireland was a close second.
As is the usual when I travel, I was sick for a few days on this trip and had it really bad our first full day in Ireland. I tried my best to walk the city for her to look at the sites, but I had had enough within the first few hours of that. She had mercy on me and we went to the local movie theater and decided to watch the latest release. This movie hadn’t even hit the states yet, so it was pretty cool being able to see a movie before it reached our home country. So we bought our tickets and entered the main entrance of the theater, on our way to see RockNRolla.
Being sick is no fun. Being sick on vacation is doubly so. But when I stepped into the theater that would show our movie my eyes widened. Not only were we the only ones there, but this theater looked like an old school one, but it looked new. It was old-fashioned looking and it had very comfy seats that you sank into. This will always be the look I would want if I ever got to be one of those rich guys that had their own movie theaters. We plopped down and prepared to watch the show.
I like Guy Ritchie as a director, his style and vision for his films. I couldn’t stand his first film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but his sophomore effort, Snatch, was awesome. Then he put his then wife in Swept Away and made it one for two. Then came RockNRolla, which brought him back to his Lock Stockin’ Snatch days and it was fun. His characters are always interesting to watch and that grainy film style is, most of the time, candy for the eyes. Like Tarantino, he has a way with his dialogue that separates him from the rest of his colleagues and always has a cast who seem to have a different accent for every other character.
I love these films from Guy Ritchie, for the most part, because it seems like they are all happening in the same universe he has created, like Marvel is doing with their films currently. Each character could be plopped in and out of the other movies and fit fine. The other thing that I like is how well it seems to capture Europe so well, in my eyes at least. With the exception of Scotland and Ireland, I find Europe very dirty. Graffiti is everywhere and if you’ve seen Trainspotting…the restrooms look like that scene…yeah…gross. I haven’t been to every country in Europe and hopefully I never will, but that’s what I come away with. You can feel the filthy areas of these films and that helps you to enjoy more.
We walked out of the theater and back onto the streets of Belfast, I was still sick, but at least I had an opportunity to sit down and relax and enjoy a good movie. We walked back to our hotel and I took a long nap. This is one of the better movie experiences for me because I got to experience firsthand a European movie in Europe with a gorgeous woman.
Transformer’s is a franchise that was hurt majorly by two things over its 2007-2011 journey. The first was the writers’ strike that made the first sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, fantastically atrocious. The second and most horrendous part of it was bringing Megan Fox into the world of film with her stale acting, conceited attitude and complete mindnumbingly idiotic quotes. The first film was fun, the second made you wish Hasbro never brought these toys into existence and the third one should be seen just for the last half of the film.
Shia Labeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, who is a recent college grad who has saved the world twice with the Autobots but can’t find a job. He has new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), just as beautiful as the last one but who is forever supportive of him in his struggle. He once again gets entangled in a new earth endangering plan by the Decepticons. This time it is because there was a huge cover up during the first manned mission to the moon. There was a crash of an Autobot spacecraft that the US found on the moon and hid from everyone. What was in the ship was the old leader of the Autobots, Sentinal Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) and he had a weapon that the Deceptions want. So starts the story of the new adventures of the Autobots who have become an elite military unit, sent on worldwide missions for the US.
The movie is usual Michael Bay fare, beautiful women, quirky characters and action, action, action. The story, far surpassing the last film, is interesting enough, but will it keep the audience engaged? If not for the great action and effects, it would not. It’s just a story that is written around multiple action scenes. The American military is once again portrayed as true sacrificial heroes in this one, as the films previously did. The theme of freedom over tyranny is always welcome when Hollywood films and players usually don’t make movies like this in a positive light. Michael Bay has never shied away from that. Shia comes back with his usual fast talk, high-pitched scream and quick sarcasm. The addition of Huntington-Whiteley over Megan Fox is a strong improvement. John Malkovich as an oddball character works well for laughs, even though that is a point of contention for most reviews I have read. He does well when just being a goofball, and I found it worked for what we have come to expect in these films. Francis McDormand plays the usual annoying government character, and she annoyed the snot out of me, so she did a good job with that.
The special effects on this film were fantastic. The last half of the film, which demolishes almost an entire city, is done so well, you can’t tell what is real and what isn’t. That last hour was well done, effects wise, camera wise and action wise. The film is definitely not worth the price for 3D though, just wasn’t noticeable really. It was unfortunate though that the effects at the beginning of the movie, trying to pull a Forrest Gump in trying to recreate old footage, were horrible. It was like a really bad moving Photoshop of President Kennedy. To give you an idea, it gave the Photoshop’s on this site look award-winning in comparison.
My biggest gripe about the film was the main characters struggle to find a job. I realize the writers were trying to be relevant in today’s world of 9.2% unemployment, but three months, really? You’re talking to a guy that was out of work for over a year and a half and finally settled for a job below his skill set to provide for his family and there’s many more with the same story. I found it insulting and irritating. Though I did agree with the characters frustration that he helped save the world twice and the government he helped wouldn’t even help him get a job. President Obama did give him a medal and send him on his way without any help, so at least that was more true to life; he had the hard work of the country to work out, like squeezing in another few holes of golf and another vacation. Being President is so haaard.
This latest installment in the Transformers universe is decent enough, but I could have waited to see it at home. Action is great, intense action is even better, but when you can’t connect someway to the film as a viewer, it’s just a time filler. Also, parents, be discerning in which child you might bring to this. This was a violent movie, showing humans dying in droves, as well as very anthropomorphic death scenes from the robots themselves, it was kind of shocking to see. Some youngins might get scared with this one.
With a big name star and a story that comes from the pages of one of Frank Millers best storylines, should have been a great movie, sadly this was not the case. Filled with cheesy dialogue, odd fight scenes involving a teeter totter, the watering down of two great villains and an uninteresting love story, Daredevil was another case of a studio ignoring the source material for a quick buck. The story was never fully fledged out and it was very noticeable. What could have been another good franchise was hindered by stupid decisions throughout the production process. That being said, the R rated version that was released on DVD was a much better film that corrected many mistakes by added story depth to it, making it a completely different and therefore good movie.
Check out heybuddymovies.com for my complete list of The 10 worst comic book movies
I really liked the first Fantastic Four, it had great themes of family and heroism in the midst of struggle. Jessica Alba, like always, was miscast, but I liked the rest of the cast in their roles. It wasn’t a perfect movie at all, but was good summer fair and one my son will be familiar with when he can watch it. The follow-up a few years later was just awful. The cast seemed to have lost all the chemistry they had in the first film and now just seemed to be going through the motions. Although the Silver Surfer effects were great, the story surrounding him took a much loved Marvel character and watered him down. Not only that, they took one of the strongest villains in the Marvel rogues gallery and turned into a very scary, extremely menacing…cloud. This killed off this franchise, but I am sure there is a “reboot” in the making.
My brother recently put this film up on his Facebook status as his favorite animated feature. So wrong…so very…very wrong. While its idea is admirable, taking an obscure comic series and trying to put most of its best stories together in a film that glorifies the days great heavy metal artists, it didn’t work out so well. I was absolutely bored to death with this film. It has animation that is well done in certain areas, making most of its human characters flow on-screen, but that’s the only good thing I can say about this. It is overly sexualized and has a headache inducing soundtrack. If I had a popular website, I am sure this would be the one in the comments people disagreed with most.
Frank Miller is one of the best comic book artists and writers working in the past several decades…I wish he would have never tried to direct a film. He got a taste for it after co-directing Sin City with Robert Rodriguez and brought to us the flop known as The Spirit. This movie may look good, but its story is convoluted, its cast is atrocious, making this movie practically unwatchable. Frank Millers dialogue works well on page, but when delivered by actors under his direction, it assaults the ears. If you like wooden acting that is on par with reading a speech from the paper in front of your eighth grade class, then this is the film for you. There is no other.