The Reel Opinion: August 2011 - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

The Reel Opinion: August 2011

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August 31st, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

the debt

Rated R        Running time – 114 minutes

     I had only heard about this movie a month or so ago, but I wanted to see it right away. I had only seen one trailer for this less than two weeks ago, but I still couldn't wait to see it. After watching the movie Red, I really liked Helen Mirren. She was funny, cute and deadly all at the same time. I had seen her in other films before, but for me, this was the best role that I had seen her in. It was also announced earlier this year that a sequel to Red is being written, so I am excited about that. Now I know that this is going to be a dead serious role for Mirren, so I shouldn't expect the same character as in Red. I only bring up Red because that was the role that made me notice her acting. I am really looking forward to seeing what she has up her sleeves for this role. I don't know much about this movie going into it, but I have the feeling that is going to be a good thing. I don't want any surprises being ruined.

What I am hoping for

  1. To be surprised by the events of the film

    I really like espionage films that surprise me. I have this bad habit of figuring out a lot of films before they are over. I want this to be like the movie Salt, which tricked me not once, but twice. I want this movie to do the same.

  2. Good writing

    This movie is written by Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman, both who helped write X-Men: First Class & Kick-Ass. These films were both written extremely well, so I expect big things from this film. If they handle the time period as well as they did in X-Men: First Class, this shouldn't be a problem.

What I am afraid of

  1. The film being boring

    There is not much worse than a film that is supposed to keep your attention and it is flat out boring. There should be a good mix of story and action, not too heavy on one or the other. A film like this needs some good action sequences along with good storytelling. Having Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation, Avatar) in your cast almost guarantees good action.

  2. Figuring it out before it is over

    This goes along with being surprised. I want this movie to challenge me and trick me into thinking I have it figured out, then pull the rug from under my feet.

That about covers it. I will have a review of this film tomorrow instead of a debate question.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 30th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast casts...

superman

     I'm probably going to get a lot of boos for this, but I did not think Christopher Reeves was a very good Superman. Don't get me wrong, he was a great Clark Kent.  I will probably get a lot of agreement that Brandon Routh wasn't a very good Superman either. The only reason he was picked was because he kind of looked like Christopher Reeves. I have not been a fan of most of the actors that have stepped into Superman's boots, Tom Welling being the exception. We really didn't get a good look at him in the suit did we? I know that a new Superman has been cast for yet another reboot, but I want to hear what you think. So the Dreamcast this week is, "Who should be the defining Superman?"

The Rules:

  1. There are no rules. It can be any actor from any time, dead or alive.

  2. See rule #1

I look forward to hearing your suggestions. If you want to play along on the Facebook page, Hit this link and like it.

Also, today is Trailer Tuesday. I will post a couple of the trailers that I saw last Friday on the Facebook page as well.

Tomorrow will be the preview for Helen Mirren's new movie, The Debt. The review of it will be on Thursday instead of a debate question.

Friday will be the preview of Apollo 18.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 29th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

colombiana

PG-13            Running time – 107 minutes

MINOR SPOILERS!!!    

     I had a lot of faith that this movie was going to be really good and it was, but not the masterpiece I had hoped for. My biggest problem with the movie was that I felt it could have used some more action. It had good scenes of the main character stalking her targets, but only one, really good shootout. Did it ruin this movie? Not in the least. The movie was still a pretty good Luc Besson written movie. It just wasn't at the caliber that Leon: The Professional or Taken was. I put it in the same boat as The Transporter movies. It was really good, but not great.

     Zoe Saldana (Cataleya Restrepo) was everything I had hoped for in this movie. She was a beautiful, deadly, complicated and vulnerable character all in one. She did some crazy things to get to the people that she was going to assassinate. The jailhouse assassination was pretty impressive. I won't spoil anything about it. It was pretty cool.

     They gave Cataleya a pretty tragic past, which they showed with some detail. She was destined for revenge at a pretty early age. It almost felt like what would happen if Natalie Portman's character from Leon: The Professional had grown up.

     The supporting cast was good, but nothing special. They all did their part and did it well. None of them were really developed enough to judge then too harshly. Cataleya's Uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis) was really the only character they gave a lot of time to besides Cataleya. The writers wanted the audience to feel the relationship between Cataleya and her only family she had left. Even her boyfriend Danny, played by Michael Vartan, wasn't given enough to really establish his character. I felt that was okay, though, because that left their relationship a little mysterious.  It also left room for more later.

     The revenge plot was pretty good. I liked the fact that Cataleya would do or say anything or threaten anyone to get what she wanted. She was determined and ready to go further than even she wanted to go to reach her goals.

     The movie was good, but you could probably make this one a rental. If you see it in the theater, though, you won't be disappointed. I'm glad I did.  If you like Luc Besson written movies like I do, you will like this one.

Actor: The best Zoe Saldana movies are by far this one and The Losers. She was pretty good in Star Trek as well, just not used as much.

Director: Olivier Megaton has only directed one movie that I have seen. That would be The Transporter 3. Of the three Transporter movies, this one is second best only to the original.

Writer: I am adding this to the list because I feel that Luc Besson's movies should be watched if you are a fan of action movies. Leon: The Professional, Taken, The Professional movies and The Fifth Element are just a few of the movies he has written. There are many more. The man has been at it for a while.

Similar movie: Like I mentioned earlier, I almost felt like this was Matilda (Natalie Portman) from Leon: The Professional all grown up. Just watch that movie if you haven't already.  It is awesome!!!

Tomorrow will be the next Reel Opinion Dreamcast. The Hint: "It's a bird, it's a plane"

Wednesday will be the preview of The Debt starring Helen Mirren.  Thursday will be the review.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 26th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

colombiana

PG-13            Running time – 107 minutes

     For me, this movie has a lot going for it. The movie is written by Luc Besson, who has written and/or directed several movies I love. The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional and The Transporter movies are just a few of them. The movie is directed by Olivier Megaton, who directed The Transporter 3. The best reason is the fact that is stars Zoe Saldana. In 2010, I was seeing a lot of movies, more than usual. I had hit a string of bad films and was getting pretty discouraged. I decided at the last minute to go see a movie called The Losers. I knew nothing other than the fact that it was based on a comic book which I had never read. I have to say that after the movie was over, I had a renewed faith that great movies could still be made. It was the most fun I've had at a movie in a long time. Part of the reason for this was Zoe Saldana. I had seen her in Star Trek earlier, but it was The Losers in which she really stood out for me. She was tough, vulnerable and attractive all at the same time. She stood out in that movie and that is a hard thing to do. She was surrounded by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans and Jason Patric just to name a few. Giving her the lead in a movie is the logical next step. A Luc Besson revenge flick is even better.

What I am hoping for:

  1. A deep story

    Some of Luc Besson's movies are a little short on plot. It doesn't ruin his films, but when I know he can write films that have a deep story such as in Leon: The Professional, I sometimes want more than a one trick plot.

  2. Great action

    I have a lot of faith in the writer, stars and director of this film to deliver a great action flick. I will be really surprised if they do not deliver. Anyone that has not seen the apartment shootout scene from Leon: The Professional has missed out on what a great action scene should look and feel like.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. The supporting cast

    I don't know the supporting cast to well, so I can't really comment much on them. Callum Blue is the only one I know and that is because he was General Zod on Smallville. What is good about a Luc Besson movie is that the more unknown the cast, the better the movie. In Leon: The Professional, other than Gary Oldman and Danny Aiello, his cast was unknowns. He made stars of Natalie Portman and Jean Reno.

  2. By the book revenge

    I am a big fan of revenge flicks, but sometimes they seem to follow a play book on how things should happen. I like revenge flicks with a twist. Take Payback for instance. Most of the time, the person getting revenge still has some sense of goodness about them. In Payback, there was no hero. There was only the bad guys and the worse guys.

That about covers it. I will have the review of this film by Monday, August 29th

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 25th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Rant...

rant

     Instead of a debate this week, I wanted to address something I have been thinking about lately. A friend sent me an e-mail in regards to my Titanic review. In it he told me about how many things the movie got right when it came to the history of the tragedy in which over 1,500 people died. He is a huge history buff, so I am sure he is correct in all that he told me. It got me thinking about what really bothered me about that movie. I called it an awful movie. This was not to imply that I do not care that many lost their lives, but that the movie as a work of fiction did not work for me. I felt the lines start to blur, then I realized what was bothering me. I felt that by James Cameron putting the fictional love story over such a tragedy, it overshadowed the horrible event that is the sinking of the Titanic. I had thought I had heard that Cameron had made a documentary about the Titanic, but I could not find it. My friend informed me that it was called Ghosts of the Abyss. I kind of feel that he should have stuck to just making that instead of the fictional story of Titanic. Another way to go would be to just tell the story of what happened over those fateful three days, using only the real people, focusing on them more. I might have found that more interesting.

     A lot of movies based on true events have been done right. The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan is a good example. It's depiction of the Omaha Beach assault is about as real as it gets in film. I actually cried after watching that part of the movie, because I know that what was being showed could have actually happened. I almost felt the pain a family member might feel if I had lost someone close to me. The soldiers crying and calling for their family members, saying things such as "I don't want to die." just hit me right in the chest. Where there fictional characters in that movie? I'm sure there were, but I feel they incorporated them better into the history of the time than Titanic did. The story of trying to find a soldier in the middle of a war was a little more believable than a romance, that according to my friend, could never happen because a first class passenger and a third class passenger would never be allowed to meet.

     Most of the time, I felt that Kate and Leo's love story and characters were out of place. I felt like their story was just tacked on. I had a hard time identifying with the Titanic passengers because so much time was spent with Leo and Kate. Do I feel for the real passengers of that ship? Of course I do, but the movie's writing and acting didn't make me feel it.

     I almost feel that if you are going to use a true event as the basis for your fictional story, you should tread lightly. You could have all the facts in the world incorporated into your film, but attaching the wrong kind of story to a tragedy could end up bad. I almost think that some events should be taboo, but then again, a lot of things that happen in movies could happen in real life. Does that blur the line of what is acceptable and what is not? Is a film that kills thousands of people by, let's say, a nuclear bomb any different than a film about the September 11th attacks? We may not have been devastated here in America by a nuclear bomb, but it could happen. Should any topic be out of bounds?

     To my friend, thank you for helping me to appreciate the history of the tragedy that was the sinking of the Titanic. It may not have changed my mind about the movie, but it did make me think about how I view certain films.  For that you are a good friend.

Let me know what you think about this subject.  You can comment on The Reel Opinion Facebook page.  If you want to join, Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be the preview of Colombiana.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 24th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

twilight

All three films are PG-13

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     Welcome to the last installment of "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". I have finally treaded the waters that is Twilight. It was my original plan to just watch the first film. I knew I was going to have to watch the others anyway because of the next film in the series coming out later this year, but I was not ready for them. I watched the first film and at first I didn't know how I felt. The movie was just weird. I didn't get the appeal. It is not because I am a guy. I know a few guys that really like these movies. I told myself that if I was going to understand Twilight, I would have to go ahead and watch the other two movies. So here we go! The Reel Opinion covers the Twilight Saga thus far.

Twilight:

     The main story line of these movie is the love story. This story is also the main problem I think I had with this movie. Kristen Stewart's character Bella Swan is one of the most unlikable protagonists I have ever seen in a film. She acts depressed and whiny for most of the movie. She wants her way all the time, so it gets tough to watch after a while. She moves to a new school and instantly has five or six best friends within minutes and is asked out countless times by different boys, yet she just isn't happy. Her mom and dad are divorced, but we the viewer are not sure how long they have been apart. Her mother is remarried, so I assume they have been divorced for a while. That being the case, it is hard to imagine that is the source of her depression.

     Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) is someone I was surprised that I kind of liked. He was creepy and acted like a stalker, but that is what vampires are supposed to do. The weird part about this is that Stewart's character liked his stalking of her. She was instantly telling him that she wanted to be a vampire and be with him forever. This was after he told her that he wanted to drink her blood which would result in her death. He doesn't want to change her, so she get pouty about it. By the end of the movie, they are in love. I just didn't buy it.

New Moon:

     It is now time for the love triangle. A minor character from the first film, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), is now a major character that is also in love with Bella, but not for any obvious reason. After the events of the first film, Edward decides that the only way to protect Bella is to be away from her. After he leaves, she goes into a deep depression. In steps Jacob, who is now a werewolf, to fill the void. To be fair, she never really tells him that she wants to be with him romantically, but that doesn't matter to him. She strings him along until she finds out that Edward is going to have himself killed because he thinks Bella is dead. She saves Edward and tells Jacob she doesn't like him that way. Later, Edwards asks Bella to marry him. She won't marry him, but she still wants to be a vampire so she can be with him forever. I just found that weird.

Eclipse:

     The love triangle gets weirder in this movie. Bella actually shows feelings for both men. The plot of this film is that vampires want Bella dead and it is up to Jacob's and Edward's clans to protect her. She bounces back and forth between both men through the whole movie. Remind me again why we are supposed to like her. There is a weird scene where she wants Edward to sleep with her. He says he wants to wait until they are married. She gets kind of upset, but finally agrees to marry him. Is she just marrying him so she could get her way or because she truly loves him. They never really say. She tells both men she loves them, but says she loves Edward more.

     The one thing that I really didn't like about these movies is the music. Every song, and I do mean every song, is really weird. I sometimes turn on the captioning when I watch a DVD, especially if the kids are in bed and I need to keep the sound low. The DVD's showed a lot of the lyrics of the songs when they played. Really weird stuff.

     These movies had some interesting things going on around the love story, but the love story kept me from enjoying anything else. If the love story made more sense, I might change my tune. Bella is too unlikable to care about her well being. I will be watching the other two films because I have to, not because I want to. There are better love stories out there. There are better vampire stories out there. I would not recommend these movies to anybody. I was told by some friends at work that the books make a lot more sense and are more enjoyable than the movies. This is a movie blog, though, so I calls 'em how I sees 'em.

     I want to hear from you who love or hate these movies. Let me know what you think and why. Join in the conversation by joining The Reel Opinion's Facebook fan page. To join, Hit this link and like it.

     That concludes the series "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". Next week on Wednesday, The Debt is being released in theaters I will have a preview of it on Wednesday and the review on Thursday.

     The month of September will be dedicated to football movies in honor of football season starting. "Touchdowns in September" will begin on Wednesday, September 7th. The first film I will cover will be Brian's Song.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 23rd, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast...

joker

     Despite Christian Bale's awful Batman voice, The Dark Knight was great for many things. The characters of Two-Face and Jim Gordon really stood out in this film. Of course the main reason this movie is awesome is the performance of the late Heath Ledger as The Joker. Though I feel they should just let the character go, what if Christopher Nolan had decided to keep the character of The Joker going for The Dark Knight Rises? Who would he get to play The Joker to replace Health Ledger? For added fun, we will cast a Harley Quinn, The Joker's sidekick/girlfriend, as well.

The Rules:

  1. The movie is being filmed now, so the actors that can be used are what is available right now.

  2. They have to be living.

 The Characters:

  1. The Joker – played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

  2. Harley Quinn

Let the casting begin. Tomorrow will be the final installment of "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". The Twilight series is up next.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 22nd, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

one day

PG-13            Running time – 108 minutes

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     The first thing I will say about this movie is they marketed it all wrong. I would not call it a romantic comedy. I heard it being called the next When Harry Met Sally. In a loose sense, I guess that could be true, but When Harry Met Sally was trying to be funny most of the time. This movie was not. This movie lost its similarities to When Harry Met Sally pretty quickly. This movie's humor was a little more subtle and dry, which was actually a good thing. I didn't love this movie, but I didn't really hate it either. In fact, I kind of liked it.

     It took me about halfway into this movie to realize that I cared what happened to these to people. Something bad happens in one of their lives and I found myself invested in what happened next. I started to care about what happened to both Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess). The characters were very well grounded and performed well. For me to say that about Anne Hathaway is big. You discover that no matter what happens to them or which direction they go, they need each other.

     The writing was pretty good and the jokes subtle and funny. They weren't laugh out loud funny, but they didn't need to be. I can't even call this movie a dark comedy. I would almost call it a tragic journey. Following these two characters for twenty years you catch glimpses of what all they go through, good and bad. This is not a happy go lucky story. A lot of bad things happen to them, but together they learn about life and live it the best they can.

     The twenty year coverage was kind of hard to follow at times. Sometimes it felt like they moved through the day too quickly and sometimes it felt too slow. You kind of get over that after a while, though. The way they tie everything up at the end helps you to understand the rest of the movie once you give it some thought.

     This movie was subtly funny, sweet and tragic all at the same time. The script was well written and acted. Though I don't follow awards shows, I could see some awards handed out for this movie, at least to Hathaway and Sturgess. Do you need to see it in the theaters? Probably not, but watch it on date night at home when it comes out on DVD, but stock up on the tissues. Yes I almost shed some tears near the end. I loved the way this movie ended.

Actors: This is probably the best I have seen from Anne Hathaway, but if you need another movie with her in it, I didn't hate Bride Wars. I'm also told The Princess Diaries is pretty good.  Jim Sturgess was pretty good in 21.

Director: I haven't seen any of Lone Scherfig's other films, but she is well known for An Education.

Similar movies: This might be a stretch, but this movie in a way reminded me of Marley and Me without the dog. I am referring to the type of humor and things that happen to the couple. I say stretch because I honestly can't think of another movie like this one.  I just can't attach When Harry Met Sally to it.

Tomorrow is another Reel Opinion Dreamcast. Hint: "It's a funny world we live in. Speaking of which, do you know how I got these scars?"

Next Friday will the preview of Colombiana.

Until next time – Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 19th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

one day

PG-13        Running time – 108 minutes

     Before I get started, I want to give a special thanks to Greg Trumbold.  He has helped to support this blog from the beginning and I appreciate that.  He's a good friend.    

     I am usually not one for romantic comedies. I have see a few that I like and some that I haven't. Some that most people seem to love I really don't like. When Harry Met Sally is one of them. I really like a lot of the people in that movie. It just wasn't that funny or entertaining to me. Don't really know why, but one of the main reasons is that I am not a real big fan of Meg Ryan. I guess for me to enjoy a romantic comedy, I have to really like the couple as actors. I really liked the movie The Ugly Truth with Katherine Hiegl and Gerard Butler. There is am example of two actors I like making a romantic comedy that works for me. The reason I bring this up is that I am not a huge fan of Anne Hathaway. The movies I have seen her in, I just wasn't that impressed. So going into this movie, there is already strike one.

     The premise of this film is interesting. Showing the same day for a number of years could be a good plot, but I have some doubts. If it were a holiday of something like that, it might be more believable. This as far as I know is just a random day, so we will see how it goes.

 What I am hoping for:

  1. To be well written & funny

    Not much to ask, is it? I just want to laugh and be entertained. My track record for liking romantic comedies is not good. If it is good, though, I will be the first to admit it.

  2. Anne Hathaway to impress me

    I want her to be good in this film for one reason and one reason alone. She has been cast as Selina Kyle (Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, though I love them, have had the worst casting choices for their female leads. I want Hathaway to be good in this so she will be good as Catwoman.

 What I am afraid of:

  1. It is going to be uninteresting

    A romantic comedy is at it's worst when it is written poorly, the jokes are unfunny and the plot stinks. The same thing could be said about all movies, but it is worse for romantic comedies for me.

  2. The day being the same day

    I have a feeling they are going to point out that it is the same day too many times. I think that would be a poor choice unless it is a day that has special meaning to the couple. I would attach is to the way the movie Titanic kept telling the viewer that the ship was unsinkable.

 That about covers it.  I will have the preview of this movie by Monday, August 22nd.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 

 


 

 

August 18th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Debates...

remakes

     Remake, re-imagining or waste of time. Call them what you will, but most of the time they are not good for the movie industry. They can work if you make them like The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. They told a new story unlike the others before it. Other remakes honored the original films, such as 12 Angry Men. If you had not seen the original, you would love the film. Remakes such as The Bourne Identity improve on the movie that came before it, but that is pretty rare.

     I feel that Hollywood is dipping into the remake pool just a little too often nowadays. There is two coming out this week alone with Conan and Fright Night.  What do you think? Go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook fan page to voice your opinion. If you are not a part of the page and want to participate, Hit this link and like it.

Let the debate begin. Tomorrow I will be previewing Anne Hathaway's new movie, One Day.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 17th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

avatar

PG-13         Running time – 162 minutes

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     James Cameron. The name brings up good and bad thoughts. I love the Terminator films. He directed the first two of those. He directed Aliens, which I also love. He also directed Titanic, which as of a couple of weeks ago, I discovered I truly do not like at all. When researching for this addition to the blog, I looked at Cameron's body of work. Before Avatar, I had only seen six of the films he had directed. The only one I did not like was Titanic. What I asked myself before I decided to watch this film was "Why do I not want to see this? Is it just because he made Titanic and thought he was 'King of the World' after that? Is it that I thought he let his ego show after winning so many awards for that movie and I wanted him to fail?"

     The more I think about it, the more I wonder why I didn't want to see this movie. It was a big epic flick with lots of action and special effects. So I decided to give it a try. After seeing it, I still don't know how I really feel about this movie. What I do know is that after seeing it, I felt I had seen it before. I really had to think about it for a while. I finally figured it out a few hours after watching it. It was Dances With Wolves with aliens. The stranger wanting to live among a different tribe of people. The stranger learning their ways, falling in love with someone, their ways and then fighting his people along with the tribe. Not that this was a bad thing, but it made me do a little research. Cameron had a script for Avatar pretty much ready in 1995, but could not film it because of limitations in technology. Dances With Wolves came out in 1990. Did Cameron just take the idea and change it up a little bit? I don't know, but the similarities are aplenty. I liked Dances With Wolves, though, so that wasn't what bothered me about this film.

     The first thing that bothered me about the film was the effects. A lot of the time they seemed off, especially when they were slowed down. The way the Na'vi ran and moved seemed a little unnatural at times. When things were moving quickly, the images looked a lot better. For the scale that this movie was going for, things weren't that bad.

     The next thing I did not like was the acting. A lot of the characters seemed to be caricatures or cookie cutter human beings. Not a lot of personalities displayed by many of the characters. The way that Earthlings are portrayed in this film, 99% of us just want to kill and take things away from people just because we want what they have.

     The last thing that I didn't like was the preaching about nature and war. I felt that the similarities between the opinions of some people, in this case James Cameron, about the war in Iraq bled a little too much into this film. The Earthlings were going to this planet to mine a substance worth billions of dollars and would invade anywhere to get it. Sound familiar? The phrase "shock & awe" was used as well. I don't care what your view is, I just want to be entertained when I watch a movie, not preached to.

     I can't say I really say I liked this film, but I can't say I disliked it either. I would say that the things I disliked outweighed the things I liked. I probably won't be revisiting this film unless a sequel comes out. Maybe what bothered me about this film won't show up in later films, but I doubt it.

Next week will be the last installment of the series "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch".  The movie, or should I say movies I will be covering are the Twilight series.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 16th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast casts the remake of...

casablanca

     I know it is probably a sin to remake this masterpiece. I am one of the many people that love this movie, but I just want to have a little fun with it.

     Go to the Facebook fan page to comment on this project. If you haven't yet and want to play along, Hit this link and like it.  You will be able to participate after that.

The Rules:

  1. The actors must be alive and as old as they are right now.

  2. If alive, actors in the original can be used, but not in their same role.

  3. The film takes place in 1941, just like the original.

Here are the parts that need filled:

  1. Rick Blain – Played by Humphrey Bogart in the original

  2. Ilsa Lund – Played by Ingrid Bergman in the original

We will have a new Reel Opinion Dreamcast next week on Tuesday.

Tomorrow will be the next installment of the series "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". Avatar will be the film reviewed.

Until Next Time – Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 15th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated R        Running time – 98 minutes

     I don't even know where to begin with this movie. Some of the jokes on the previews were okay. The premise seemed okay. The movie was not even close to anything resembling a good movie. Have you ever gone to a movie and you knew everything that was going to happen before it happened? Well, that was this movie. Did you ever groan at 98% of the jokes that the movie tells? Again, that was this movie. 30 Minutes or Less was just another shock value gross out film that I ranted about in my preview of the movie. I think I laughed about three or four times, that was it. I can't really say much more about the film. It was slow, unfunny and lousy. Most of the characters were unlikable, especially Jesse Eisenberg's character Nick. He was just kind of a jerk through the whole film. When he tried to gain sympathy with the audience, it just didn't work. The rest of the cast, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari & Nick Swardson, were just as bad. Ansari played Eisenberg's best friend Chet. He got a couple laughs out of me. The other person that made me laugh a couple of times was Michael Pena (Chango), but that was because of the way he talked.

     McBride and Swardson played the villains in this film. The problem with them was that they were just annoying the whole time. It just didn't stop. Have you ever told someone to be quiet over and over again and they just kept talking. Well there you go. My other problem with them is that you didn't know if you were supposed to like them or not. The movie's plot had you hating their guts one minute, then feeling sorry for them the next. In both cases, they were still annoying.

     The only thing I really enjoyed about this movie was the music. It was just good stuff, from the Beastie Boys to Johnny Cash remixes. It didn't save this horrible movie, though.

     If you can't already tell, don't waste your time with this movie all. I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy, let alone people I like. ‘Nuff said.

Actor: See Jesse Eisenburg in Zombieland. Although not a great film, it is much better than this one. A lot of people have told me to watch The Social Network as well.  If you are going to watch Danny McBride in anything he is in for more than a few minutes, make it Tropic Thunder.

Director: The only other Rubin Fleischer film I have seen is Zombieland. He is not doing so well in my book. Instead of seeing this movie, just watch Zombieland again.

Similar movie: The movie this reminded me of was Beavis and Butt-head Do America. Although this movie took place across the country, the plot is kind of similar. I actually kind of like this movie.

August 16th will be the next Reel Opinion Dreamcast. Hint: "Here's looking at you, kid…again?"

August 17th will be the next installment in the series "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". The movie covered will be Avatar.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 


 

August 12th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

30 min

Rated R         Running time – 98 minutes

     I am not much for comedies nowadays. A lot of them seem to use the same formula of "Sex jokes, crude jokes and violence are the only things that people find funny". This has been the formula for many of the movies that have come out in the last few years. Movies such as 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad & two Hangover films are just a few examples of this. What ever happened to other types of straight up comedies? What about the parody? Oh yeah, movie makers haven't made any good ones for a while now. Do we really need to go over the top to get a laugh? I don't mind if sex or violence is used for a laugh, just as long as it is more subtle. I know this isn't a movie, but take the show Community. The show is extremely funny and the humor is over the top. However, it takes the high road with most of it's jokes. Being on network TV, they can't use a lot of topics or images to get laughs, yet it is still really funny. Food for thought, movie makers.

     I have only watched a couple of trailers for this movie. I don't like to watch trailers, especially for comedies, because they usually give up all the good jokes. Given that this film is only a little over an hour and a half, a trailer could possibly show every joke in the movie.

 What I am hoping for:

  1. The movie to truly be funny

    Is it too much for film makes not to use "gross out humor" all of the time. I can't comment about every movie that has come out in the last, let's say, five years. I have not seen them all, but the comedies I have seen for the most part weren't very good. I want to see more than just crude joke after crude joke, but I have a feeling that is just what this movie is going to be.

  2. A decent story

    The director of this film, Ruben Fleischer, has directed only one other film that I have seen, which would be Zombieland. I thought that film was okay, but he was not the writer. The writers of this film, Michael Diliberti & Matthew Sullivan, only have two movies including this one that they have written. They have their work cut out for them to impress me, but stranger things have happened.

 What I am afraid of:

  1. The same ol' same ol'

    I already covered this earlier. I am really afraid that this movie is going to be a one joke pony, vulgar, vulgar, vulgar. If it isn't, I'll be surprised.

  2. The cast

    I have limited exposure to most of this cast. The only movie I remember seeing Jesse Eisenburg (Nick) in is Zombieland. I liked him in that role. I can't really judge him much, yet. Danny McBride (Dwayne) is someone I have seen in a lot of films. It seems the less of him you see, the better he is. In Fanboys, he was barely in the movie, but he was great. In Tropic Thunder, he had a mid level role and was pretty funny. In Pineapple Express, he was in a lot of the film and wasn't very good. I have only really seen Aziz Ansari (Chet) on Parks and Recreation, a show I don't like very much. He does, however, have the ability to be funny from what I have seen. Nick Swardson (Travis), like Danny McBride, seems only to be good in small doses. In the films I have seen him in, if he were to be on screen more, it would be too much. The point is, I don't have a lot of history with the actors in this movie. That could be really bad or really good.

    I will have a review of this movie by the morning of August 15th.  Until next time - Geno

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August 11th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Debate

3d

     3D movies. This is a topic that really gets under my skin. I think that 3D movies are a waste of time and money. In my opinion, I think the only reason they are making them now is to find a new way to raise ticket prices. The few 3D movies I have seen were a waste of money for me. I would like to know what you think about 3D movies.

Go to the Facebook fan page and discuss. If you are not a part of the page yet, Hit this link and like it.

We will have a new debate question next week on August 18th.

Tomorrow will be the preview of the movie 30 Minutes or Less.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 10th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

golden compass

PG-13       Running time – 113 minutes

 SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     Welcome to the second installment of the series "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". There was a lot of reasons that The Golden Compass failed at the U.S. box office. It cost $180 million to make, but only made $70 million in the United States. Worldwide it did a little better, raking in $372 million total. The main reason for this was the controversy surrounding the story. It was argued that the author of the books behind the films, Philip Pullman, was trying to teach children what was wrong about organized religion, especially Catholicism, through his books. Pullman, a self-proclaimed atheist, has said in Time magazine, "I wouldn't want to be a part of any movement that had an agenda. I'm not arguing a case. I'm not preaching a sermon. I'm not giving a lecture. I'm telling a story. Any position I take is that of a storyteller who says, 'Once upon a time, this happened.' ".

     This is not the reason I didn't want to see it, though. My reason was that for a few years after the last The Lord of the Rings film, different movie studios tried to start epic film series after epic film series for the next few years. I can forgive them releasing The Chronicles of Narnia series. These stories are arguably just as popular as The Lord of the Rings. New Line Cinema, the producers behind The Lord of the Rings movies, tried to create a new money making movie series. They chose the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. The problem I had was that they were announcing that this was going to be a trilogy even before the first movie came out. A little ambitious and a little cocky if you ask me. They were not dealing with The Lord of the Rings anymore. This was a series of books a lot less known. The other two stories from the trilogy have yet to be green lighted by New Line.

     I am a fan of fantasy worlds and stories. I hoped going into this that I would be wrong about this film. I can say after watching The Golden Compass, that for the most part, I was wrong. The story of this film is pretty strong. The idea that our souls, or daemons as they are called, are animal companions that can talk to us is interesting. Many of the conversations that the characters have with their daemons seem like conversations we would have with ourselves in our heads. When people die, the daemon disintegrates into nothingness. This is showing that the person's soul dies along with them.

     The cast of this movie is incredible. The standouts being Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Daniel Craig and Sam Elliott. Daniel Craig (Lord Asriel) was a little underused, but if more films were to be made, his character would be involved more. Ian McKellen (Iorek Byrnison) voices an armored polar bear warrior that has fallen on hard times. As always, he brings everything he's got to the performance. Ian McShane (Ragnar Sturlusson) voice behind the polar bear king made for a great villain. The polar bears are treated as a separate race along with humans in this film. Ragnar wanted a daemon of his own and would carry around a doll shaped like a human that was his "daemon". The character was portrayed to be out of his mind. The scenes between McKellen and McShane are awesome. The fact that they can pull great performances with just their voices says a lot about their acting ability. Their last lines to each other as well as the scene in the movie will stick with me because of how great it was. Sam Elliott (Lee Scoresby) is a cowboy airship captain. When Elliott plays a cowboy in a film, it is always good. His acting in this film is no different. He is in his mid 60's and I still would not want that man against me in a fight, nor would I want a better man at my side.  He just has that strong of a presence.

     The thing that hurts this movie the most is the effects. There were a lot of good effects in this movie, but the scenes that were mostly CGI seemed fake. That was surprising because the CGI looked good most of the time with scenes involving human actors. I can applaud their attempt because of the scale of the movie, but the effects just seemed rushed.

     Another thing that hurts this film is that the story is a little hard to follow. Just like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, there is a lot to swallow when it comes to names, places and events that are happening. If you can let that go a little, you can still enjoy the film.

     All in all I would recommend this film. The only problem is that they may not finish the trilogy. If they do, I will invest my time into seeing how the story plays out. This movie had a great cast and a decent story. The effects were so so at times, but I said the same thing about some of the effects in The Lord of the Rings also.

Tomorrow I will post the next Reel Opinion Debate question.

Wednesday will be the next installment of this series.  I will be covering Avatar.

Until Next Time - Geno

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August 9th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast recasts...

terminator

     The movie we are going to recast is the lead for The Terminator. Let's say Arnold had never been cast or had to pull out of playing the part. Go to the Facebook fan page to comment on this project. If you haven't yet and want to play along, Hit this link and like it.

The Rules:

  1. The actors must be alive and as old as they were at that time.

  2. Everything else about the film is the same: actors, places, time period

  3. The movie is still being released in 1984

  4. Stallone can't be picked. The movie Last Action Hero already used that joke to great effect.

Here is the part that need filled:

  1. The Terminator – Replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger

     Let us have some fun with this shall we. Even suggestions for updates to the story will be fun to read. Join me tomorrow for the 2nd installment of "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch" featuring my review of The Golden Compass. It should be entertaining and maybe even a little surprising.

Until Next Time - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 8th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

apes

Rated PG-13 Running time – 105 minutes

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     I will just come out and say it. I was wrong. My assumption of this movie was all wrong. I thought that this was going to just be another remake of a film that they should not have remade in the first place. I was wrong. I thought that there was a lack of originality in Hollywood. I was wrong. I thought we as humans were the good guys. Once again, I was wrong.

     The last statement was a joke of course, but I really did go into this movie all wrong. The way that this movie was handled was incredible. The few clips I saw of this movie before going into it led me to believe that this was going to just be a CG fest with no real story. I was wrong. The "battle" scenes in this movie don't come till late in the movie and the slow burn that leads up to them is some of the best storytelling I have seen in a while. The movie borrows very little from the story it is retelling.

     The real star of this movie is Andy Serkis (Caesar). The man just knows how creatures are supposed to move and act. All of the motions and sounds were spot on. Just as when he portrayed Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, he was the best part of the film. The evolution of his character from the beginning of the film to the end of it was all interpreted by his movements, sounds and body language. I am not a fan of awards shows, but this man should win awards for all of his motion capture acting. He is incredible. If anything, it got me excited that he is going to play Gollum again when The Hobbit movies are released.

     I wouldn't give James Franco (Will Rodman) an award for his acting or anything, but he did pretty well. He showed a lot of emotion in the roles of surrogate father and heartbroken son. Could others have played the role, absolutely, but they didn't need to. This has been the best acting I have ever seen from him and that is a lot coming from me. Maybe I will have to watch 127 Hours now.

     John Lithgow (Charles Rodman) played a father with Alzheimer's disease. His character was the motivation for Franco's character to create a brain healing medicine. I thought he was used perfectly. I would like to see him in more newer movies.

     Brian Cox (John Landon) was underused in this film, but the times he was on scene, he was good as he usually is. His character was in charge of the sanctuary that Caesar (Andy Serkis) was put into during the movie. Tom Felton (Dodge Landon) played his borderline evil son. He had to be the standout of the minor characters. He just plays the rotten characters very well. He is involved in one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

     The CG of the film was pretty good. There were only a few times that some things didn't look right, but not enoug, h to even give it a second thought. Great job WETA, espec, ially with Caesar.

     Whether or not they decide to make another one of these films, it is one to go see in the theaters. It is one that I am glad I did not miss. I am happy to say that I was wrong about it. The emotions that this movie makes you feel are ones that make me love movies. Love, anger, confusion, triumph and sorrow are only some of the emotions I felt while watching this movie. Also, I really loved the ending. See it. You won't regret it. Hail Caesar!!!

Actor: There really isn't a James Franco role I can give you to go see, so see this one. It is by far his best. For Andy Serkis, definitely see The Lord of the Rings films.

Director: I have not seen any other films by Rupert Wyatt. He only has four films to his name. I have heard some good things about a movie he directed called The Escapist.

Similar movie: The movie that this film made me think of is Project X with Matthew Broderick. With the smart chimp that could do sign language and the testing of animals are the key reasons I think of this movie. Of course, there are always the original five Planet of the Apes films as well as the Tim Burton remake.

August 9th will be the next Reel Opinion Dreamcast. Hint: "I'll be back!"

August 10th will be the next installment of the series "Movies I Swore I Would Never See". The Golden Compass is the movie that will be covered.

Until Next Time - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 5th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

apes

PG-13    Running time - 105 minutes

     Here is one of those movies were I say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". There has been an attempt to remake this classic once already. Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes featured great ape characters and lousy human ones. I really like the ending and wanted to see where they were going to take the movies next. It grossed $360 million worldwide, so I was surprised that it did not receive a sequel. Ten years later, the movie is getting another reboot. This time it is to take place in our time and not the future, so at least they are using a somewhat original idea this time around. I will be honest and say my desire to see this movie is about 50/50. I do hope, like all movies, that this one will surprise me.

 

What I am hoping for:

  1. To try to be original

    I know that this is a lot to ask of this film. I know that I don't have a lot of faith that they will succeed in this, but I can hope, can't I?

  2. Good CG

    The apes in the movie are going to be motion captured CG creatures. I do have faith in Andy Serkis (Caesar) to do a great job in this film. He was excellent as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, but that is just one half of the coin. An motion-capture actor can work his or her tail off putting on the performance of their life, but it can be a waste of talent with bad CG. The good news is that WETA, the same company that handled the effects foot the LOTR series is creating the visual effects for this film as well.

  3. James Franco to be a good actor

    I don't want to sound like a hater, but I really don't like James Franco's acting. The only movie he was passable in was the original Spider-Man. Anytime I see him in anything, I can't tell myself that he is that character., I can only see him trying to play a part. To be fair to him, I have not seen 127 Hours. The movie has had a l, ot of great reviews. Also to be fair, I don't agree with a lot of reviewers' opinions. He is okay in very small doses. He did make me laugh in The Green Hornet. I really hope he shows me something new this time.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. A boring story

    I have this feeling that the story will be of the cookie cutter variety. That is the problem with remakes/re imaginings. I already feel I know what is going to happen at the end. One of the problems is that they are already treating this movie like it is going to be a two or three movie series. Have the first movie and see what happens. The originals went for five movies, but the original was based off of one book. Pierre Boulle wrote La Planète des singes, also known as Monkey Planet or Planet of the Apes. The other four movies were original stories.

  2. Too much CG

    I know I harp on CG, but there are good and bad uses for it. Too much can be bad. I love the LOTR movies, but all of them were a bit to heavy on the CG for the battle scenes. The CG of Gollum was great, but in large doses, CG can look really fake. I am afraid of a big battle with the apes looking really bad.

  3. James Franco being the usual James Franco.

    Not much to say that hasn't already been said, but hopefully being surrounded by great actors such as Andy Serkis, Brian Cox and John Lithgow will help to lessen the blow or even make him a better actor.

     

I will have a review of this movie by the morning of Monday, August 8th.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 4th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Debate

star wars

     I am a huge Star Wars fan. What George Lucas is doing to his original films is wrong in my opinion. I feel he should just release the original, untouched films on DVD for the fans of the series. That being said, the debate question this week is "Should George Lucas just go ahead and remake the original Star Wars Trilogy and leave the originals alone?"

     My opinion is that I would rather see this than see him change the originals in any way ever again. Not more deleted scenes added back in, 3D conversion or any other changes. I pick the lesser of two evils here. One good thing about remaking the films would be that they could correct a few things that didn't make sense from film to film. One of these things , is the Luke/Leia relationship. No more uncomfortable kiss in The Empire Strikes Back. Ano, ther is, if he wanted to, Lucas could make Greedo shoot first and it not look like garbage. (Han shot first!)

Go to the Facebook fan page and discuss. If you are not a part of the page yet, Hit this link and like it.

We will have a new debate question next week on Thursday, August 11th.

Tomorrow will be the preview of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 

 


 

August 3rd, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

titanic

PG-13 Running Time – 194 minutes

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     Welcome to the first installment of "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". The love affair with the movie Titanic has always been something I did not understand. How could a movie be so great, that people would go see it in theaters five, six seven plus times? I saw The Dark Knight three times, but that was because different people wanted me to go see it with them. When I would tell people that I had never seen Titanic, they always accused me of just not liking "chick flicks". That is far from the truth. I have liked a lot of "chick flicks" and other romantic type movies. I am a giant sucker for The Notebook. I just didn't buy into the hype of this movie, but I decided that I would watch it with an open mind. I would give it a fair shake. Now that I have seen it, I can say that I t, ruly think it is an awful movie.

     I will give credit where credit is due. The movie lo, oked great, especially for 1997. If there is one thing James Cameron tries to do with his movies is make them epic in scale. The ship, the colors and the sets looked great. Other than Kathy Bates (Molly Brown) & Gloria Stuart (Older Rose), though, I did not like anything else about this movie.

     I remember reading an article or hearing a news story at the time where Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson) was complaining that he was not nominated for an Oscar for his performance when everyone else was getting nominations. The reason that he was not nominated was the fact that his acting was horrible if not borderline laughable. The only part he was good in was near the end of the movie, when he and Kate Winslet (Rose DeWitt Bukater) were in the freezing water waiting for a boat. DiCaprio can be really good in movies. He was great in The Quick and the Dead, Catch Me If You Can and What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Not this film, though.

     Kate Winslet did not impress me either. She seemed to just be following a formula of "the strong woman when women weren't supposed to be strong" character. I have no problem with that character, just as long as it is performed well. Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead is a great example of this type of character.

     I could not buy the love story. DiCaprio and Winslet just did not seem to fit together. He was still at a period in his career where he seemed and looked so young. She seemed older than she was, so the whole thing just felt a little creepy to me. Their only good scene together was, once again, the waiting for the ship in the freezing water part of the movie. The rest of their story made me roll my eyes one too many times. The fact that the Titanic hit an iceberg because the spotters were watching the two make out on the deck of the ship was the worst offender.

     I just could not get into the story. All they could talk about was how unsinkable the ship was. Mention it once that would be okay. One would treat it like a wink to the audience. Mention it ten to twelve times, that is just overkill. The movie also wanted the viewer to care about characters at the last minute. The best example would be the band playing on deck while the ship is sinking. Having the men show their unity while going down with ship just seemed tacked on. There were a few stories like that in the second half of the film. Characters that had not been mentioned before were taking up screen time that could have been used to develop the main characters' story some more. Too little, too late.  I know they were trying to show the scale of the disaster, but all movies have people in the background.  The events of these movies involve those characters as well, but we don't need to hear their stories as well to identify with them.

     Titanic was a great looking film, but nothing else. It was just not written or performed well enough to give it a pass. I feel a little better in the fact that I passed on the film all these years. I will never watch this movie ever again. If you, the reader, loved the movie back then, watch it again. I would like to know if you still feel the same way about the film today now that the hype is gone. Next week, August 10th, will be the next installment review of this series, The Golden Compass.

Tomorrow will the first Reel Opinion Debate. I am looking forward to the feedback on that and the other reviews.

Friday, August 5th will be the preview of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 


 

August 2nd, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast casts the remake of...

rocky

The first movie we are going to cast is a remake of Rocky.  Now I love the original and parts two and Rocky Balboa, but I always wondered if this would happen in the future.  

Go to the Facebook fan page to comment on this project. If you haven't yet and want to play along, Hit this link and like it.  You will be able to participate after that.

The Rules:

  1. The actors must be alive and as old as they are right now.

  2. If alive, actors in the original can be used, but not in their same role.

  3. The story takes place now, not in 1976 when the original was released.

Here are the parts that need filled:

  1. Rocky Balboa – played by Sylvester Stallone in the original

  2. Apollo Creed – played by Carl Weathers in the original

  3. Adrian Pennino – played by Talia Shire in the original

  4. Paulie Pennino – played by Burt young in the original

  5. Mickey Goldmill – played by Burgess Meredith in the original

Let us have some fun with this shall we. Even suggestions for updates to the story will be fun to read. I'll have a new Dreamcast next Tuesday.  Join me tomorrow for the first installment of "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch" featuring my review of (sigh) Titanic. It should be entertaining.

Until next time. - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.
 
 

July 30th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

cowboys aliens

Rated PG-13      Running Time - 118 minutes

     Going into Cowboys and Aliens, the only expectation I had was that I wanted this movie to not take itself too seriously and to just have a lot of fun with the concept. I am happy to say "mission accomplished". Was this one of the greatest movies of all time? Not really, but it was pretty good and a heck of a lot of fun.

     The best thing about this movie was Daniel Craig (Jake Lonergan). Yes, I am a big Daniel Craig fan, but nobody gets a free pass. I call it like I see it. Daniel Craig makes a good cowboy. I want to see him do more westerns, maybe without the aliens next time. The American accent took a little getting used to at first, but I let it go pretty quick. Hollywood, give this guy more work, please.
     The movie had a decent plot. The aliens in this movie had their reasons for being on Earth, and it was kind of a surprise as to what they wanted and why. The movie didn't explain everything, but it didn't need to. Only one character knew why they were on Earth, but even that character didn't know everything. We the audience only knew as much as the characters. I liked that. The only thing that kind of bothered me was that they tried to fit in a revenge plot a little too late into the story. I really liked what they showed of this plot, but they did not , show eno, ugh. I think the movie would have benefited from more of this story arc.
     And now for the aliens. I liked them. They were bigger, stronger and more technologically advanced than the humans were, even by today's standards. The Earthlings had a difficult time fighting the aliens. I was afraid they would find an easy way to kill them, but they didn't. They only found some weaknesses that did not help them very much. I like the way they looked and moved. They were a lot of fun.
     The supporting cast was great. Harrison Ford (Woodrow Dolarhyde) thankfully brought his "A" game to this film. He was tough and bitter, but at the same time, a complicated man. This wasn't his greatest performance, but it was by far not his worst, either. His presence wasn't overpowering and that was good. I was happy to hear the other day that Ford is going to play an older Wyatt Earp in a movie coming out later call Black Hats. More Harrison Ford in westerns is OK by me. Ford being in westerns could really grow on me.
     The highly underrated Sam Rockwell (Doc) played his part of the insecure man finding his inner strength very well. He is one of those actors that I never worry about. Any time he is on screen, he just connects with me with whatever character he is playing.
     Though underused in this film, Clancy Brown (Meacham) was his usual awesome self. Like Rockwell, Brown is someone I can always depend on to put on a good performance.
     At first, Olivia Wilde (Ella Swenson) seemed stiff and unemotional in this role. I felt better about her character when they explained some things. Only then did her approach to the film make sense. I liked her after that.
     The movie had good pacing, decent acting and was a lot fun. Do I feel it is necessary to see this in the theaters. I am going to have to say no. Though I thought it was pretty good, I think it can wait until DVD. When it comes out, though, definitely give it a watch.
                                                                                                                                                  Other movies to see:
                                                                                                                                                      Actor: Daniel Craig's best movies so far have been the Bond films and thankfully they are finally going to have another one next year. That being said, he is also great in two other lesser known films. The first is Defiance, a wartime drama and the second is Layer Cake, a movie about the illegal drug trade.
                                              &n, bsp;   , ;                                         &nb, sp;                                                 Director: Jon Favreau's best movies would have to be Iron Man and Elf. Even Iron Man 2, which I wasn't the biggest fan of, was still decent. He is still fairly new at the directing game. He has done pretty good so far. Cowboys and Aliens only raises his directing stock.
                                                                                                                                                Similar movie: The only movie that Cowboys and Aliens reminded me of was Wild Wild West starring Will Smith, but I would never, ever recommend that garbage to even my worst enemy. Instead, some great westerns to watch would be Tombstone, Young Guns and Unforgiven. Some great alien invasion movies would be The Invasion, which also co-stars Daniel Craig, They Live and one of my new favorites, Battle: Los Angeles.
                                                                                                                                             Tuesday, August 2nd will be the first Reel Opinion Dreamcast. I'll have the movie of choice for you then. Wednesday, August 3rd will be the first installment of "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch" with public enemy number one, Titanic.
                                                                                                                                                   Until next time. - Geno
    
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July 28th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

cowboys aliens

Rated PG-13      Running Time - 118 minutes

     I really like a good western. I really like a good alien invasion film. The first time I saw the trailer for Cowboys and Aliens, I thought that it was a really cool concept...then I saw the title of the movie. I really like Daniel Craig. I really like Harrison Ford. I even like Jon Favreau, the director of the movie. I really don't like the title. I'm not sure what I would call it, but it would not be Cowboys and Aliens. Does that make me not want to see this movie? Not at all. As I said, I am really interested in the concept of the movie. Everything that could be good about this movie outweighs a so so title. The idea of aliens invading Earth at a time when we did not have the technology of today is intriguing to me. I am also a Daniel Craig mark, so I am there. I am going into this movie having only seen one trailer for it. I do not want to know what I am walking into with this film. I think that would ruin the fun.

 What I am hoping for:

  1. For this movie to be REALLY fun

    With a title like Cowboys and Aliens, the movie should be just good, popcorn munching fun. Lots of action, excitement and explosions should fill the screen. If the plot ends up being really good, that would be a bonus.

  2. Daniel Craig to be a good cowboy

    Daniel Craig has the looks of someone that has been through a lot. He has the rugged looks that a man of the old west might have. He has played a great secret agent in the latest James Bond movies. He has played a, great soldier in Defiance. I hope he does well in this so that he can find himself getting, more roles in even more genres.

  3. Cool Aliens

    I like alien movies, but sometimes the threat just doesn't seem like much of a threat in some movies. The perfect example is the movie Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. At the end of the first Aliens vs. Predator movie, there was a tease of a alien/predator hybrid creature. The idea of that was very cool. The actual creature was one of the dumbest looking monsters in the history of movies. After seeing the big reveal, I about fell out of my seat laughing. I am hoping the movie gives us something more original. I miss that about a lot of new movies.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. The movie taking itself too seriously

    Sometimes movies that should just be fun take themselves way too seriously. A perfect example would be Hancock. The idea of a drunk superhero fighting crime could have been entertaining. Instead they tried to put in a story about how the character is some immortal being that can die if he is around the woman he loves. It made the movie lame. Lets just have fun with the concept of cowboys fighting aliens.

  2. We will get the bland Harrison Ford and not the awesome Harrison Ford

    I enjoy a lot of Harrison Ford's work. One of my favorite movies of all time is Clear and Present Danger in which he stars. I have seen a lot of his films. Most lot of the time, I like his acting. When he is on, he is really on. I'm looking at you Indian, a Jones, Han Solo & Jack Ryan. When he is off, he can be very boring. I&, #39;m looking at you Blade Runner's Rick Deckard.

 I will have the review of this film by the morning of Monday, August 1st.

A couple of new features are going to be added to the Facebook page. On Tuesdays starting next week, The Reel Opinion Dreamcast begins. This is where we take movies that have yet to be made, are going to be made or have already been made and create our dream casting for the film. I give you the film, you give me your dream casting. On Thursdays will be The Reel Opinion Debate. I will ask a question and we will have some fun with it. To give an example, the first question for next Thursday is going to be "Should George Lucas just go ahead and remake the original Star Wars films instead of just changing them?" I hope to have a little fun with these features.

 Until next time. - Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 


 

July 27th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

 

usual suspects

Rated R       Running Time - 106 minutes

     The year was 1995. I was just starting my senior year in high school. I had a date coming up. We were going to go to the movies, but we were not sure what we were going to go see. A couple of days before the date, I saw a strange movie trailer on TV. All it kept saying was, "Who is Keyser Soze", over and over again in different voices and all over the place visuals. I was instantly intrigued. I talked my date into going to go see the movie. I tell you, I don't remember a darn thing about the date, but I remember everything about that movie. This is the movie that made me fall in love with watching movies. Nothing I have watched since then has affected me the way this movie did. This is my favorite movie of all time, The Usual Suspects.

     I know the movie is over 15 years old, but because I love this movie so much, I will not spoil a whole lot about it. I would not do this masterpiece justice in doing so. The movie starts on a ship in San Pedro Bay. One man shoots and kills another man before setting the ship ablaze. The ship explodes and we learn that, besides the shooter, there are two survivors: a badly burned, unknown man and a man with cerebral palsy. To give away much more would be a crime. Just know that shortly into the movie is the scene that hooked me for life, the lineup.

     This is where the movie introduces us to our main characters. Five criminals are brought together for a lineup: Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fred Fenster (Benicio del Toro), Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak) & Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey). Those that have seen this scene know why it is so good. It is very short, but we get a good glimpse of who these characters are in that short amount of time. After that, the movie's plot is set into motion and does not stop until the movie ends.

     As a favor to the reader, I will say no more about the plot. There is nothing I dislike about this movie. I have seen it countless times and though the initial shock of what happens, especially at the end, is gone, the movie still holds up as one of the greatest of all time. The casting, the directing, the cinematography, everything is spot on. If you have not seen this movie, where have you been? This is a must see, must own and must at least watch once a year movie.

Would this movie work today?

     Because of technology, if nothi, ng was changed, probably not. This movie definitely has to take place in the nineties. The story would work if it was changed to incorporate the technology, but I think the slow burn that this movie creates would be gone. The pacing of this movie is perfect. , To speed it up with technology would almost be a crime.

Friday, July 29th will be the preview for Cowboys and Aliens.

     Starting on the 3rd, I will be devoting Wednesdays in August to a series I'm calling "Movies I Swore I Would Never Watch". It should be entertaining for you. It will be either painful or eye-opening for me. The first movie on the list is the number one movie I said I would never watch, Titanic.

Until next time.

-Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.


 

 

July 25th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

cap

     Going into this movie, my expectations were very high. I wanted this movie to be one of my favorite films of all time. Captain America is one of my favorite super heroes, so I had a lot of emotions on the line. That was my hope. I am afraid to say that scenario did not occur. I am happy to say, though, that this was a very good film.

     I am happy to report that Chris Evans gets good grades on being Cap. He had the look and attitude down. He handled the complexity of the character well. I forgot I was watching an actor play a part and was invested in what happened to him as Cap, the ups and downs. The film makers handled Cap's origin very well. It went as well as one could hope.

     The special effects were not overused in this film. They seemed a natural fit with the style of filming. The shield throwing was especially good. I was pretty worried about that one. A couple of times, the use of the effect to make him look small and skinny looked fake, but that can be forgiven for all the other 99% of the time that it worked.

     The little continuity that they needed to keep, they handled very well. Most of the movie was set in the past, so they didn't have to line a lot of things up.

     Evans was surrounded by a great supporting cast. Everyone played their part well. The unsung hero of the supporting characters was definitely Tommy Lee Jones. He was always there with the best one liner. I don't know what it is about his delivery of lines, but his timing and tone always make for good comedy. It was not over the top comedy, but subtle and well timed. The actor I was most disappointed in was Hugo Weaving. Not that he did a bad job, but he needed a little more work on the German accent. He did really look the part of the Red Skull, though, so that goes a long way. The only other thing that bothered me about the cast was Bucky (Sabastian Stan). He played the part very well, but he was underused. I felt they needed to establish Captain America and Bucky's friendship a little more. There was a lot of characters put in the movie as a fan service for us comic book geeks, such, as Dum Dum Dugan, so that was a plus.

     The film was about 2 ½ hours lon, g. It did not feel that way, though. The movie felt short. I feel that the film would have benefited with another half hour or so. They needed some more time to establish some of the characters' back stories and relationships. That might be bad for the box office, but good for the movie.

     The look and the feel of the times was spot on, with new technology mixed in. Both sides, Axis and Allies, had groups of scientists and soldiers that nobody knew about. Both were creating new weapons and doing things with genetics that normal society would not believe or would call myth. It was kind of scary to think about there being somebody worse than the Nazis behind the scenes.

     I only had three real disappointments in this film. There was one or two weird edits of video. An example would be Cap swinging on a rope. He is swinging on the rope and all of a sudden he is on the ground running. He didn't get off the rope. Maybe I blinked at that moment, but if I didn't, that moment took me out of the movie for a second. The other thing is that somebody died way too early in the film. I would have liked to see this character survive and be involved in the final battle, but that was not the case. They did tease what could happen in the future when this character died, which was great for this comic book fan. The last thing is they left something unresolved at the end that I feel they should , have covered. It is okay, though, as long as they resolve it in The, Avengers.

     The way we review things here at The Reel Opinion is this: See it, rent it, forget it or please never show this to anyone again. Captain America is definitely a see it movie. It is probably a buy it movie as well. The Incredible Hulk has been my favorite Marvel Studios movie so far, but this is a very close second. It wasn't everything I wanted in a Captain America movie, but it was very close. Also, stay after the credits for something extra.

Other movies to see:

Actor: My favorite Chris Evans movie is by far The Losers. When I went to see it, I had been to a lot of bad movies at the time. The Losers was a movie I was going to pass on, but I am glad I didn't. At that point, it was the most fun I had had at the movies in a long time.

Director: Joe Johnston has a hit or miss list of movies he has directed. The best ones to see would be October Sky, Jumanji and The Rocketeer.

Similar movie: There really isn't another movie like Captain America, but a movie it reminded me of was Enemy at the Gates. The way Cap was used as a symbol for America reminded me of the way Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law) was used to inspire Russia during World War 2.

     Next up is my first classic movie review. By classic, I mean anything that is out on video, not just really old movies. My first review will be of my favorite movie of all time, The Usual Suspects. That will be on July 27th.

That about covers it.  Until next time. -Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

 


 

July 22, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

cap

Rated PG-13 Running Time - 125 minutes

Welcome to the maiden voyage of The Reel Opinion. I am your host Geno Reynolds.

It is fitting that this blog's first entry would be about a movie that I have been waiting to see for a long time. Captain America has had many movies and TV shows over the years, but never anything that really captured the greatness of the character. The worst offender would be the 1990 version. If you can find a copy of this monstrosity, be ready for the most groan inducing ninety-seven minutes of your life. They made this as well as a few other comic book based movies to cash in on the popularity of Tim Burton's Batman, which was released in 1989. It was not released in theaters. After that abomination, I have hoped and prayed that someday they would take the source material seriously and make a great Captain America movie. At least Cap has been portrayed in cartoons and comics very well over the last five to ten years. Today we will find out if Marvel Studios can make right what had been done wrong all these years and make a great Captain America movie.

What I am hoping for:

1. Seriousness of the source material

I know that it is a hard thing to say being that this comes from a comic book, but I feel even those characters deserve to be handled with a lot of thought. A good movie can take a world in which fantastic and unbelievable things can happen and make you believe that these things can truly happen. A good example would be The Lord of the Rings movies. A lot of crazy things happen in those movies, but the actors react to the events like they happen every day. Captain America is set in WW2. When Cap came out in the comics, he was used as a symbol of patriotism in a time of war. One cover of the comic even had him punching Hitler in the face. I would like to see them using Cap as the ultimate patriot fighting the war as well as the true origin story. The makers of the movie did release an updated version of the poster mentioned above, so that is a good start. Also, it was wartime. Cap did use guns and he did kill people. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

2. Chris Evans to be a great Captain America

Chris Evans is most known for playing the funnier comic b, , ook characters. Johnny Storm (Fantastic Four), Lucas Lee (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and Jensen (The Losers) are his best roles in comic movies. The only movie he had a serious role in that I have seen is Street Kings. He was only in about half of that movie, so it is not much to go on to judge his acting ability in a serious role. I have faith that he will do a good job. He seems to take his comic book character roles very seriously. That is a good thing because he at least has to play Cap one more time in The Avengers. It could have been worse. They were considering John Krasinki (Jim Halpert, The Office) for the role. I could imagine Cap mugging for the camera every two minutes. My original pick for the role was Matt Damon. He has done a WW2 movie in Saving Private Ryan and he can do action. Jason Bourne is practically a super hero.

3. Continuity with the other Marvel movies

Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 and Thor have all kept the continuity going between films. All I have to say is keep it up.

What I am afraid will happen:

1. Too much CG

I know that this is supposed to be a fantastic world where anything can happen and people have mystic and special powers. If you overuse the CG, though, I'm afraid it could take one out of the time period. At least the CG for making Chris Evans look skinny and sickly looked impressive in the trailer I saw.

2. Not enough character development

Captain America deserves the right origin story. They need to show and elaborate why he is chosen to be Cap and not just throw him in the uniform and say "Hey buddy, go fight Nazis!". I am not too concerned about this, though. The way Marvel Studios has handled t, heir own source material so far has been pretty good.

That about c, overs it. I will have the review of the movie by 8:00am on Monday, July 25th.

Until next time. -Geno

Questions or comments? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.

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