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

The Reel Opinion: September 2011 Entries

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September 30th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

dream house

Rated R

     When does a trailer show you too much? Most of you know that some trailers practically show you most if not all of the movie in order of it's time line. That makes me mad when this happens. Dream House is one of the movies that showed me way too much in the trailer. I was really getting into it when they dropped a big bombshell... IN THE TRAILER!!! I will be posting the trailer on the blog's Facebook page so you can watch it if you want to. I urge you that if you have any interest in seeing this movie and haven't yet seen the trailers, don't watch them. Go into it with a clean slate. My only hope is that there is more to the story that they have not showed. Daniel Craig is in this one, so you know I am going to see it no matter what.

What I am hoping for:

  1. More surprises

    I am hoping I have not gotten the whole story from the trailer. I want to be surprised by this one.

  2. Be really creepy

    From the looks of the trailer, this could be one really messed up film. I kind of want it to be like the new Nightmare on Elm Street, where it just really messes with you mind.

 What I am afraid of:

  1.  
    1. If the trailer gave me the whole story already, I am going to be pretty mad. There is nothing worse than having a movie ruined for you before you watch it. My wife had The Sixth Sense ruined for her. If you have seen it, you know what I am talking about.

    2. Unoriginal premise

      I have this bad feeling that this movie's plot is going to just be that everything is all in the main character's head. Been there, done that Hollywood. Show me something new please.

       

That about does it. I will have a review of this film by Monday, October 3rd.

Until next time – Geno

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

 


 

September 29th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Debate...

theater

     Do you like going to the movies? I do, but with the quality that we can get in our own homes, why should we go? Why shouldn't we just wait for the films to come out on DVD. Better yet, should movie companies just release everything straight to DVD instead of putting the films in theaters?

     Let me know what you think. If you want to respond to these questions, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. It's easy, just Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be my preview of Daniel Craig's new film, Dream House.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 28th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

nec rough

PG-13

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     This movie is one of my favorite football comedies. I feel that it is well written, funny and well acted. It is also full of cliché after cliché and caricatures, but I still love it just the same. It is good old early 90's fun.

     A national title winning college football team is stripped of it's titles and ability to recruit players and give out scholarships after an undercover sting operation catches them in the act of cheating. The school has to put together a team of students already attending the college as well as incoming freshmen. The main focus of this movie is on former high school quarterback standout Paul Blake (Scott Bakula). He was going to attend college and play until his father died. He gave it all up to run his father's farm. He is now in his 30's and brought in by one of the coaches. The movie focuses on him becoming the leader of this team of wannabe and never were football players.

     From the players to the coaches to the dean of the college, everybody brings pretty good humor to this movie. I had not watched it in years and it still made me laugh out loud. The breakout character of this film had to be Coach Wally Rig, played by the great Robert Loggia. He seemed to have all the best punchlines in this film. I enjoyed every character.

     The story is pretty cliché. Misfits learn to play together and learn about themselves. Lots of slow motion on the big plays. The big halftime speech to get the team fired up. I love every minute of it.

     This is just a fun movie that everyone should see. I highly recommend it, if you can find a copy of it. After searching the public library and four video rental stores, I had to rent it on iTunes to watch it again.

That does it for "Touchdowns in September". Join me on Wednesday, October 5th when I start the series "Horror-ible Remakes".  October is a time for cinematic battle.  October's movies will be VS Series installments.

Tomorrow will be The Reel Opinion Debate.  Next month, Thursdays will be changing up just a bit.  I will have more on that later.

Until next time - Geno

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

 


 

September 27th, 2011

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

transformers 3

PG-13      Release Date: September 30th, 2011

     This was almost the Transformers movie I had been waiting for. If only they would have gotten rid of Shia Labeouf, his family & most of their story this would have been the perfect Transformers movie since 1986's animated version. There was no stupid lines from Optimus Prime such as "Ebay" and "My Bad". He was the stoic leader, brilliant strategist and tough guy he was supposed to be. Megatron actually got to be the villain he was supposed to be. Leonard Nemoy voiced Sentinel Prime. The last time he voiced a Transformer, it was in the 1986 version. He voiced Galvatron in that star studded cast. You could actually tell which Transformer was which this time around because of the use of a good color scheme.  Frank Welker voiced Shockwave and Soundwave just as he did on the old cartoon.  Yes, if you couldn't tell, I'm a big geek about these things.

     The problem with the first two films is that they tried to be too funny and/or too sexy the whole time. It was hard to take anything seriously in both films. When both films tried to get serious near the end, they still tried to mix in humor. It just didn't work. This movie still tried to be funny at times, but they set a standard for the Transformers when they were betrayed by there human allies. In the words of Autobot Ironhide about Optimus Prime: "He's p***ed".

     Is it perfect? Well no, but it is the best of the three. It is long and epic with great battles and a decent story. Finally the Transformers has been handled well in the live action realm.

Today is also Trailer Tuesday. On The Reel Opinion's Facebook page, you can find trailers for Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey and Man on a Ledge. To join the Facebook page and see those trailers, Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will the final installment of "Touchdowns in September". The movie covered will be Necessary Roughness.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 26th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

killer elite

Rated R

     This movie had a great story, great look and a great cast. I wanted to love this movie. The only real problem I had with it is that it felt like it was moving so slowly. The pacing almost ruined this movie for me.

     I'll start with the story. It was kind of predictable and all over the place, but it was still pretty good. Nothing happened that surprised me. Not a big deal, but it is usually nice when something happens that you don't expect. It was a typical cat and mouse story times two. Assassins try to kill people while other people try to stop them.  It was good, but it could have been a little more fun.

     The characters were great. Statham (Danny) was Statham, so no real explanation is needed there. It was Jason Statham being Jason Statham.  DeNiro (Hunter) was pretty good, but a little underused until the last third of the movie or so. Clive Owen (Spike) was a good "villain" for Statham. The real breakout actor was Dominic Purcell (Davies). His character in this was a tough guy, but could be really smooth when he needed to be. When smooth didn't work, though, he would usually use violence to get the job done. He was a great character.  And on a side note, I loved the facial hair.  The movie was set in the 80's and it felt like he was stuck in the 70's.

     The look of the film was outstanding, especially in the location department. The movie took place in a lot of different countries. That was a small problem when trying to follow what was going on, but that went away pretty quickly.

     The pacing was this movies greatest problem. I don't know why, but the movie just felt so slow. There is no real explanation I can give, but I think this movie probably could have shaved off some time. It didn't ruin the movie, but it didn't help either.

     If you are a Jason Statham fan, you know how his movies are. This isn't his best movie, but it was still pretty good. Hollywood needs to keep surrounding him with talent such as DeNiro and Owens. If they weren't in the movie, I don't know if it would have been as good. I probably would have still enjoyed it, but not as much. If you are a fan of his, go see it in the theaters. If you are not, you could probably rent this one. I would watch it again, but at home next time.

Actor: Jason Statham's best movies are Chaos, The Bank Job and The Mechanic, but really I enjoy just about anything he has done. My favorite Robert DeNiro movie is by far Heat. My favorite Clive Owen film is The International. I liked him in The Bourne Identity, but he wasn't in that film very much. Dominic Purcell hasn't been utilized in movies as much as he should, but if you want to see him at his best, watch the show Prison Break.

Director: To first time feature film director Gary McKendry: good job. Work on the pacing and you will be pretty good at this.

Similar movies: This movie felt a little like the Bourne films with all the globe hopping. The movie it felt the most like to me was Rambo 3. A guy gets out of the game until his friend is captured. He then reluctantly gets back in.

Tomorrow will be Trailer Tuesday and the DVD Release of the Week.

Wednesday will be the final installment of "Touchdowns in September". The movie covered will be Necessary Roughness.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

September 23rd, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

killer elite

Rated R

     I have this unwritten rule, which I will be about to write, that I go see Jason Statham movies. Whether they look good or not, I usually go see them. I have rarely been disappointed. Even if the movie isn't a masterpiece, at least they are usually fun. I have been looking forward to this movie for a while now. A movie with Statham plus Robert DeNiro, Clive Owen and Dominic Purcell sounds like a winner to me. This hopefully is going to be really fun.

What I am hoping for:

  1. Fun, fun and more fun

    As mentioned before, I like Jason Statham movies. Even the really weird ones like the Crank films are pretty good dumb fun. Add in the other great actors and this should be a treat.

  2. Be like some of the lesser known Statham movies

    Some of my favorite Jason Statham movies are the ones that are not as well known. The Bank Job and Chaos are two of his better films that rely more on his acting than his action skills. In a perfect world, this movie will be like The Mechanic, which was one of his better films.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. Great actors being underused

    Statham is surrounded by actors I really like, but there is nothing worse than those actors not being used to their potential. Take DeNiro in Righteous Kill. I have never seen such a waste of talent before watching him and Al Pacino drudge through that poorly written film. They did the best they could, but when the best actor in your movie is 50 Cent, you have a problem.

  2. First time director

    This is Gary McKendry's first feature length film. He has one short film to his credit as well. That is it. I have never seen his short film Everything In This Country Must, so I can't comment on his work. He was, however, nominated for an academy award for it.

That about covers it. I will have a review of this film by Monday, September 26th.

Until next time – Geno

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

 


 

September 22nd, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast recasts...

dirty harry

     Here I go again, replacing someone who should never be replaced. I am going to assume that someday Dirty Harry will be remade. Who would play the part? Yes, I know Clint Eastwood is The Man and could never be replaced.. I know that he should just be put in another sequel instead of a remake as many thought Gran Torino was going to be. He probably should just play the part in a remake. Hollywood is remaking plenty of movies nowadays, so I feel this one is not far off. Who do you think would be a good candidate for the part?

     Want to play along? "Go ahead, make my day" and join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will the preview of Jason Statham's new movie, Killer Elite.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

September 21st, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

rem titans

PG

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     Welcome to the third week of "Touchdowns in September". Remember the Titans is one of my favorite football films. This is a based on a true story from the early 1970's. One man taught his team how to coexist despite racial divisions. This leads to the whole town learning to accept each other through their hometown team's winning of football games. Is it a stretch from what really happened? Probably, but it makes for an inspiring film.

     What I really like about this film is the domino effect of the accepting of races. It starts with Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) taking over the head coaching job from Coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton). Yoast was hall of fame bound before his job was given to Boone after a federal mandate to segregate schools was passed. This causes instant tension to an already volatile situation. At first Yoast stays on as assistant coach for the Titans, but only so he doesn't abandon his players. The players go to training camp and most of them hate each other at first, but they later learn to trust and respect each other. They then go back to their lives, but they are now different from the community that surrounds them. As they win games, the community starts to support them and their new coach. There are a few tragedies, but all in all it is a pretty happy story.

     The acting in this movie was great. The only characters I didn't really like was the two coaches' daughters. They tried to play them off of each other, but it didn't work for me. All the other characters I liked, so two out of a ton isn't that bad.

     One thing I didn't like is that you only really get to know some of the players, but could you really tell that many stories and not have the movie get confusing? I would have like to know more, but I'm glad they only focused on a few characters. These characters sort of represented all the others in the film.

     The film has a pretty good story, great cast and fun to watch. It is a little cheesy at times, but not so much that it hurt the film. The story is mostly predictable, but that doesn't matter. It still makes me feel good every time I watch it. So if you haven't seen it, see it. If you have seen it, watch it again sometime.

Until next time. - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 20th, 2011

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

dumbo

Rated G            Release Date: 9-20-11

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     I am being a little biased this week. My son, Andy, really loves this movie. Maybe it is because he can say Dumbo, I don't know. He has just really taken a shine to this one. So for Andy, The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week is Dumbo.

     Dumbo to me is a story about learning to not care what others think of you and to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Other than the scenes were Dumbo is drunk, which that scene still puzzles me to this day, I really like this movie. It is short and to the point. I think younger kids that are bullied should watch this film. It is a film of triumph and overcoming one's naysayers and bullies. Plus, it is just one of the cuter Disney animated films.

     So, with a good story, great music and animation that still holds up today, this one will be added to the Reynolds' family collection (again).

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Featured on The Reel Opinion Facebook page are the trailers for Anonymous and Johnny English Reborn.  If you want to see them and are not a member of the Facebook page, it is easy to join.  Just Hit this link and like it.

     Tomorrow will be the next installment of "Touchdowns in September". I will be covering Remember the Titans. Thursday will be The Reel Opinion Dreamcast.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 19th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

in dont know

PG-13

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     After seeing this movie, I was a little underwhelmed. I wouldn't call this a bad movie, but I can't give it too much credit. As a parent, I liked and could identify with some of the things that were happening, but the movie was just kind of boring. It felt long and stretched. Not a lot happened that surprised me. The parts that were funny were very funny. I did enjoy some of the film, but I just was unimpressed.

     The biggest problem was the setup. I felt like I was watching something similar to The Office. The filmmakers put in interviews with friends and coworkers of the main couple. This setup has been used too much in television nowadays, so I really can't welcome it into the movies. The voiceovers by Sarah Jessica Parker (Kate Reddy) got a little stale after a while as well. This is also a technique that has been used a little too often. In my preview, I mentioned that I felt like this was going to be like a sitcom. I was somewhat right, but it felt more like a mash up of the shows The Office and The Middle.

     I did like Parker and Greg Kinnear (Richard Reddy) as a couple. They seemed to have a lot of chemistry together. They pulled off the "married for a while" couple very well. Pierce Brosnan (Jack Abelhammer) reminded me of the character he played in Mrs. Doubtfire. You knew he wasn't a bad guy, but the movie wanted you to root against him anyway. I felt Kelsey Grammer (Clark Cooper) was severely underused. You could have put anybody in the role and it would have been the same. It was a total waste of talent there. Seth Meyers (Chris Bunce) was exactly what he was supposed to be. In the case of this film, he was an opportunity grabbing jerk. He was perfect in this role. He usually comes off this way with me anyway. Maybe I have seen too many SNL Weekend Updates.

     I liked most of the characters in this movie, but it was the setup that hurt it for me. I liked a lot of the big laugh jokes, but they were too few to really enjoy. The movie was cute especially for anybody that is married with kids, but it is not that cute. I say rent it, but I am really in no hurry to see it again.

Actors: I mentioned in my preview that I liked Sarah Jessica Parker in Honeymoon In Vegas and Striking Distance. Greg Kinnear is great in Mystery Men and As Good As It Gets. Pierce Brosnan is good in Goldeneye, The Lawnmower Man, and The Thomas Crowne Affair.

Director: I have never seen any of Douglas McGrath's other work, so really I can't comment on any of it.

Similar movie: The only movie it kind of reminded me of, but just a little bit, was Mr. Mom.  Also, like I mentioned earlier, it also reminded me of a mixture of the TV shows The Office and The Middle.

Tomorrow will be Trailer Tuesday and The DVD Release of the Week.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 16th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

i dont know

PG-13

     I am not sure what to make of this one. I don't have a lot of experience with Sarah Jessica Parker films, which is to say I have seen her in exactly four movies. Two I could not stand: Hocus Pocus and Mars Attacks, and two I really like: Striking Distance and Honeymoon in Vegas. Being that this is a quasi-romantic comedy as Honeymoon in Vegas was, this one might actually be okay. Parker is surrounded by other actors and actresses that I like, such as Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear & Kelsey Grammer, so that is a plus.

     The problem I am having with this one is what I saw in the trailer. It felt more like a sitcom than an actual movie. I almost felt that it should have a laugh track attached to it. Hopefully I will be wrong about this and the movie will be pretty funny. Some of what I saw in the trailer would be funny for a parent such as myself, so I hope that the movie keeps that theme.

 

What I am hoping for:

  1. Feel less like a sitcom

    I'm not the biggest fan of sitcoms, so I hope that I won't feel how I felt watching the trailer.

  2. Good comedy and writing

    Parker is surrounded by a lot of funny people, so hopefully they can keep me laughing.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. Too many monologues

    From the preview I saw, this movie has Sarah Jessica Parker give inner monologues in the film. I just hope that they don't overuse them. I think it would get boring after a while.

  2. Bad chemistry between Parker and Kinnear

    As I have stated about movie romances before, the couple has to have good chemistry for me to buy it. My fear is that Parker and Kinnear won't match up well. That is my fear in all movie romances, so I feel the same as I always do.

That about does it.  I will have the review of this movie by September 19th.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

September 15th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Debate...

machine gun preacher

     Yes, there is a reason for the image above. Have you ever seen a trailer for a movie and you thought, "Man, I can't wait to see that. It comes out on such and such date? Great. I'm ready. Wait, what do you mean limited release?! I have to wait how many months to see it?!" I found myself saying something like that a couple of days ago when I learned that a movie I have been looking forward to, Machine Gun Preacher, was only being released in select theaters on it's release date of September 24th. I ran into that with Warrior as well.  At least it was a few towns over.  This one is only in California and New York on the day it opens.  That just gets on my nerves a little bit.

     What do you think about movie companies only doing limited releases of certain films? If you want to comment on this question, Join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be the preview for I Don't Know How She Does It.

Until next time - Geno

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

 


 

September 14th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

any given sunday

Rated R             Running time – 156 minutes

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     Welcome to the next installment of "Touchdowns in September". The movie covered this week is a raw look at "pro" football. I say it this way because when he went to make the movie, Oliver Stone tried to get the rights to use real NFL logos and stadiums, but was declined. They probably didn't want any bad publicity from this film being gritty and unforgiving about how the owners, coaches and players from different teams act on and off the film. A fake pro league and teams were created so the NFL's toes would not be stepped on.

     From what I have seen, I usually don't like Oliver Stone's movies. It is not that he does not shoot films well, but that I feel he tries to push his views a lot of the time. That just gets on my nerves sometimes when movie creators try to tell me how to think. Let me make up my own mind. That is another rant for another time. Getting back to the movie, I was willing to give this movie a chance because it is not a movie about war or government as many of Stone's movies are, but about football. That is a not too serious subject that can be open to interpretation.

     I have to say that I kind of enjoyed this movie. While not a great film, I liked the fact that it took different sides of many different situations. You the viewer get to decide who you like and dislike. Do you support the old school quarterback or the new school, exciting quarterback? The quarterback battle between Dennis Quaid (Cap Rooney) and Jamie Foxx (Willie Beaman) reminded me of the whole Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers quarterback battle a few years back.

     We get to see what players will do to get performance bonuses. Players taking tons of painkillers from team doctor James Woods (Dr. Harvey Mandrake) with his own views on how the players should take care of themselves. Players enjoying anything they wanted from alcohol, drugs and women and not caring what anyone, including their wives, thinks about it.

     The storyline I enjoyed the most from this movie was the love/hate relationship between Jamie Foxx's character and Al Pacino's character Coach Tony D'Amato. It is the 30 year coach versus the third string quarterback that has obtained instant fame. They butt heads throughout the whole movie only to learn from each other in the end.

     The biggest problem that I had with this movie is that you are asked to follow too many storylines at one time. I can think of seven or eight different plots off the top of my head, but I know there would be more if I really thought about it. I think they should have focused on two or three of the plots and that's it. Also, some weird things happened, such as a player losing an eye during a game. It didn't really fit in even this movie.

     The movie is definitely not for the kids or anyone who can't separate fact from fiction. It has very adult subjects that are covered. Players are shown enjoying their fame and fortune in ways that don't make for a very family friendly film. It is definitely earns a very hard R rating. The movie is very over the top, so I could understand the NFL wanting nothing to do with it. The movie is worth watching once, but I probably would not watch it again. I have to say, I loved the ending of this movie. Al Pacino's character is dumped on the whole movie, but he gets the last laugh in the end. It just made a "Ha!" moment for me. The film also had a lot of happy events happen, which is unusual for an Oliver Stone film. That surprised me more than anything.

Tomorrow will be The Reel Opinion Debate.  Friday will the preview of I Don't Know How She Does It.

Until next time. - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 13th, 2011

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

thor

PG-13          Release Date: 9-13-11

SPOILERS!!!

     I'll just get this out of the way. Yes the Star Wars Blu-Rays come out this week. The reason they are not the DVD Release of the Week is because they are not the original, unaltered versions. If they were, they would be the chosen release hands down. So with that out of the way, I'll move on to the chosen DVD.

     Thor was a movie that I had very little expectations for going into it. I am not really a big fan of the comic character, but I felt I needed to watch the movie in order to get the complete story that Marvel is trying to tell with it's films. That being said, I was in for a shock, no pun intended. This film was one of the few surprises that I got at the theaters this year.

     I really only had one problem with this movie and even it wasn't that bad. I am not a big fan of either Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) or Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), so they were a little annoying, but not enough to ruin the film.

     I actually liked some of the cornier jokes in the film because it played off of Thor's being a "fish out of water" so to speak. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) handled all aspects of the character well. He went from being arrogant and spoiled royalty to a humble hero throughout the course of the movie. He looked and acted the part very well.

     The real treat of the film is Loki (Tom Hiddleston). He was everything a great villain should be: intelligent, manipulative and tough. If anybody was perfect for the role it was Hiddleston. I am happy he will be returning for The Avengers film.

     A great cast and a great story that intertwines with the other Marvel Studios' films that make this one worth it. This is a DVD to pick up for any comic book movie fan. If you like good action films, it also make for a good rental for anybody that is a fan of the genre.

Today is Trailer Tuesday.  The trailers for today are The Three Musketeers and a movie I am REALLY looking to, Machine Gun Preacher.  You can view them on The Reel Opinion Facebook page.  If you are not a member and want to be, Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be the next installment of "Touchdowns in September" with the review of Any Given Sunday.

Until next time - Geno

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

 


 

September 12th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

warrior

PG-13

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     It almost made it. It was almost a great movie. It took an unsatisfying ending to take this from a great movie to just a really good one. I won't knock this movie too much because it was very good. I enjoyed everything up until the end. I didn't hate the ending, but I felt that it left two or three different issues open and that hurt it. Warrior had sort of a Rocky ending in a way. There would not be a problem with that other than the fact that this movie was a lot more serious than Rocky. The issues covered in the film were pretty deep. After the final fight, there needed to be more. If the DVD release of the film is a director's cut with a different ending, this will be one of my favorite films of the year.

     I loved all of the main characters in the film. They were all portrayed in both good and bad lights. They all had flaws and the movie was not afraid to show it. The film gave you the choice on whether or not you would like them. They all did things that made you question what you would have done in their situations. Tom Hardy (Tommy Reardon) was my favorite character in the film because he was the most flawed. Tom Hardy is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. The way he fought in this movie now makes me excited that he is going to be Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

     When it came to the other fighters in the film, I felt they didn't give them enough in the character department. I felt that they could have used a little more character development and screen time before the fights, but that didn't hurt the film too much. Kurt Angle, an Impact Wrestling performer, played Koba, a fighter based on real MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor is one of my favorite fighters, so I thought that was pretty cool. They made him quiet and nearly unstoppable, just like Fedor before his recent losing streak.

     The fights were incredible and diverse in what styles and submissions that were used. The filmmakers really did their homework with the fight scenes. Sometimes they were a bit too much like a montage, but they were still really good. Some of the moves were too stylized, but not enough to take me out of the fights.

     I was happy that they declared a winner in the final fight. My problem with the last fight is you could figure out who was going to win after round three of a five round fight. I loved how it played out, but I didn't like knowing who was going to win. Also, unless there is going to be a sequel, which I'm pretty sure there won't, or a director's cut with a different ending, I was just left the tiniest bit unsatisfied.  A movie like this that carried the weight that it did needed closure.

     This movie was really good. Despite the ending, which I still liked, go see it in theaters. Even if you don't like MMA, it does not matter. This story is more about family with MMA as the setting. It is really good, so don't miss it. And a little message to the Decatur area theaters: "What were you thinking not getting this movie? I mean, you kept crap like Apollo 18, but didn't get this one. I had to go to Champaign to go see it."

Actors: Tom Hardy was the only character I liked in Inception. He was also good in RocknRolla and Layer Cake. I've only seen Joel Edgerton in Star Wars Episodes Two & Three, so this is the best thing I have seen him in. I loved Nick Nolte in the 48 Hours movies, Tropic Thunder and Mulholland Falls.

Director: Pride & Glory and Miracle along with this film are Gavin O'Connor's best work.

Similar movies: Many people are comparing this movie to Rocky, but I would have to disagree. I think it is more like The Fighter. The theme of family comes before the sport in both movies.

Tomorrow will be the DVD release of the week.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

September 9th, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

warrior

PG-13

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     I am a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). I don't claim to be an expert, but I am a pretty knowledgeable fan of the sport. In recent years it has gained in popularity, which I am very happy about. The more exposure, the more fights that can be put on. As a fan, I have noticed lately that a lot of MMA-based straight to DVD movies have been released in the past few years. Most of them have bit parts from real MMA fighters, but are probably not very good. I have yet to be able to bring myself to watch any of them. From what I have heard, they are really bad.

     When I heard that a MMA movie was coming to the theaters, I was not happy about it. I was afraid that the makers of the movie were just trying to cash in on the popularity of the sport. I wasn't going to see it. All of a sudden, I start to hear a little more about the movie, none of it negative. I kept hearing good things about the film. Some were even comparing it to the Rocky films. I started to do a little research on the film. The thing that I was most excited about was that they got Greg Jackson, one of my favorite MMA trainers, to be a consultant on the film. I knew that the filmmakers were at trying to make a somewhat authentic MMA movie and not just a stylized martial arts film. I am now really excited to see this film.

What I am hoping for:

  1. Not too stylized MMA

    I really want to see them use many of the different styles that MMA fighters use in real bouts. I know that they will have to have some flash, but I want them to keep it at a minimum. Even the grappling matches in MMA can be very interesting.

  2. Interesting characters

    I love Rocky, but I don't want to see just a MMA version of it. The movie is being compared to Rocky a lot, but I want it to make an identity of it's own. It can do that with interesting and/or likable characters on all sides, from the two brothers and their opponents.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. Portraying opponents as villains

    My fear is that any opponent of the two brothers in this film will be portrayed as villains and not opponents. I would like to see the reality of the sport and have the opponents just have different personalities that lets the audience decide who they like.

  2. A cop-out ending

    It is already known from the trailers that the two brothers fight at the end. I have this fear that it will come out as a draw and they will split the purse. Let the audience take sides and root for who they want to win. Please movie, have a definite winner of the fight. I think that will better serve the movie and not insult the intelligence of the audience.

That is all for now. I will have the review of this movie by Monday, September 12th.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

September 8th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast recasts...

han

     I had to go here sometime. I have brought up the idea of remaking the original Star Wars trilogy once or twice here on the blog and a lot of times in casual conversation with friends. I have this sinking feeling that George Lucas will eventually remake the original three Star Wars films. I am going to take that concept and touch on one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars mythos.

     We are going to recast the character of Han Solo. Any actor can be used from this generation, as if they were making the movie right now. I may touch on other characters later, but for right now, we need a new Han Solo. In this version, Han will shoot first Mr. Lucas.

     I look forward to hearing your feedback. You can post your feedback on The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. If you have not joined and would like to, Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be the preview of the new MMA based movie, Warrior.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 7th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

brians song

Rated G Running time – 73 minutes

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

     This month of September is being dedicated to football movies. The series is called "Touchdowns in September" in honor of the NFL season getting underway. Four movies will be covered this month, the first being a favorite of many, Brian's Song. This movie is based on two Chicago Bears football players, Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and Brian Piccolo (James Caan), in the late 60's-early 70's. Sayers and Piccolo are up for the same position, so they have to room together. Sayers being black and Piccolo being white, for them to room together was big news in the 60's. Piccolo helps Sayers recover from an injury and they become close friends. After a few years, Piccolo is diagnosed with cancer. The story shows how both men and their families deal with this. It is a pretty sad story in the end, but a good one.

     One of the things I liked about this movie is that most of the Bears played themselves. That made the movie pretty authentic. The movie came out shortly after Brian Piccolo died, so most of the players were just like they were around that time. A lot of the highlight footage showed was the real footage, which helped to add to the realism.

     I also liked how Piccolo help to break Sayers out of his quiet shell. At first, Sayers didn't say much and mumbled a lot, while Piccolo didn't shut up. Piccolo helped to open him up a little.

     One thing I would have liked them to cover more is the racial issue. I know that this really wasn't the point of this movie, but I think it would have made it an even stronger film if they did so. Another film I will be covering this month is also about racial issues, but there will be more on that later.

     The movie had its good moments and its cheesy ones, but all in all it was a pretty good film. I may not have found it as sad as a lot of people, but I also didn't live in that time, living and breathing Chicago Bears' football. It is a movie I would recommend watching.

For "Touchdowns in September", next week I will be covering Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday.

Tomorrow I'm bringing back the often rumored Star Wars remakes for The Reel Opinion Dreamcast.  We will only be filling one part this time, but it is a big one.  The Hint:  "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." 

Until next time. - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 6th, 2011

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

xmen

PG-13             Running time – 132 minutes

     This movie was one of the biggest surprises for me this summer. After two terrible movies in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I was really afraid of the horrible movie trifecta. Thankfully this movie was mostly outstanding. I say mostly because three things hurt it, but not that much.

     The first thing that hurt was January Jones as Emma Frost. I had seen her before in Unknown which all together was a pretty good movie, including her part. In this movie she just seemed stiff. I have seen cardboard cutouts with more life. The next thing was the Beast costume. At times it just looked a little fake, but not too bad. At least it didn't look like Kelsey Grammer's from X-Men: The Last Stand. The last thing was Kevin Bacon. Not that I didn't like him, but that the character he played just didn't fit him. He was good enough to pass, though.

     Now onto what I liked. That would be everything else. To keep this simple, I will just mention a few of the standouts that really impressed me. The first thing is Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. For not knowing who she was before going into this, she really handled the part well. She was everything that I expect from the character. The next was the cameos. There were two that I will not give up, but they involved two established characters from the first four X-men movies.  Even though the series is a reboot and not a prequel, it was nice to see that they might be involved at some point. They were both short and to the point. Both only uttered one line each, but it made up for two horrible movies in X-Men: The Last Stand & X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

     The most impressive thing about this movie was Michael Fassbender as Magneto. He not only showed me everything that I expected, but showed me more. He was Erik Lehnsherr & Magneto to perfection, from his actions down to the look of the character. He got everything right and then some. You as the viewer got to watch the deconstruction of the man that would become Magneto and it was awesome.  Ian McKellen, Magneto in the first three X-Men films, is one of my favorite actors of all time, but there is a new Magneto in town. 

     I will be adding his one to my collection and so should you if you are any kind of comic book fan. In a time where there has been a lot of bad comic book based movies, this one is surprisingly good. Even if you are not a comic book fan, this is at least worth a rental.

It is Trailer Tuesday today.  Today's trailers are for Killer Elite and Dream House.  You can find them on The Reel Opinion Facebook page.  If you are not a member and want to join, Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be the first installment of "Touchdowns in September". The first movie covered will be Brian's Song.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 3rd, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

apollo 18

PG-13

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     I'm just going come out and say it, this movie is not worth your time. The people I thought might enjoy it would be space enthusiasts, but even they would probably tire of the story. There was not much to like, but there were some things.

     One thing I liked was the look of the film. Though the effects they used to make the video seem authentic got old after a while, it still looked really good. The film was supposed to be a documentary put together from found footage and it looked like it. I give it credit for that. The other thing I liked was the characters before I started to lose interest in the movie. The way the movie portrayed them made me like them a lot. When the movie made me lose interest, though, I started to not care. That was too bad because this movie started out pretty strong.

     Now on to the stuff I did not like. First was the pacing. It took forever for something bad to happen. The movie felt like a real documentary. The only thing going on for the longest time was regular space missions. It just felt slow and boring. When things actually started to happen, they were few and far between.

     Next was the creatures. The biggest reason I did not like them was they were just unoriginal. I got excited for a minute when I thought that the creators of this movie pulled the wool over my eyes and this was actually going to be the next Aliens movie. The first real glimpse of the alien kind of suggested that as they kind of looked like the facehuggers from Aliens. I was not, of course, so I was actually kind of mad. That would have made this movie a great reveal for it, but being that they are not even the same production companies, that wouldn't happen anyway. The aliens nor their big reveal was anything spectacular. They were just flat out dumb.

     The story is the next victim. The movie almost had me when it turned political instead of extraterrestrial for a brief time. I think I would have liked that more. The ending was predictable and boring. They tried to make you feel for the astronauts again, but it was too little too late. I also tire of the "Government is bad and they lie to us." cop out that a lot of movies use. Got anything original Hollywood? I would like to see it some time.

     One other thing that kind of got to me was the "found footage". The movie was supposed to be from the website lunartruth.com. Google says that the website actually exists, but I can't get it to come up. I tried to set up a link for it, but it would not work, either.  Anyway, the way that the movie is put together is too perfect. They had home movies from the astronauts just when they got the call to go on their "secret mission". Also, you would think that if NASA was conducting a secret mission for the government, they would not film anything until they went to space, but that was not the case either. The last thing was that the astronauts kept mugging for the camera right when something bad was going to happen. That just didn't help the suspense work when yo saw the bad things coming most of the time.

     If you couldn't already tell, stay far away from this movie. It is a waste of time and money. It isn't even worth a rental. I give the film makers credit for the way that it looked. After that, the movie is just not good.

Director & Actors: I have not seen anything from the director of this film, Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, and after this, I don't want to. The actors in the film, Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen and Ryan Robbins, were pretty good until the story got boring. I haven't really seen them in anything, so I can't really suggest anything. I would probably watch them in other things. It wasn't totally their fault the movie stunk.

Similar movie: Alien & Aliens are what I would suggest being that is what I thought this movie was going to be for a split second. They are far better movies anyway. Also, the movie felt like The Blair Witch Project in space. I like that movie a little better t, han this on, e, but not by much.

Tuesday will be Trailer Tuesdays and The DVD Release of the Week.

Wednesday will be the first installment of "Touchdowns in September". The first movie covered will be Brian's Song.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 2nd, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

apollo 18

PG-13

     It is pretty rare nowadays that a person can't find info on upcoming movies. I tried to find out some things about Apollo 18 and ran into a lot of brick walls. The director Gozalo Lopez-Gallego seemingly hasn't directed anything that isn't a foreign flick. One of the writers, Brian Miller, hasn't written anything that I have ever heard of. The other writer, Corey Goodman, has only written one other movie. That movie is Priest, which I did not like very much. I couldn't even find any actors that are in this film until today (Warren Christie & Lloyd Owen). I ran into that information by accident.  I can't even give you a running time for this movie. From what I can see, the movie will go for the, "We found this footage years later and here is what really happened", formula. This time it is in space.

What I am hoping for:

  1. Really scary

    I know you can't expect much from a PG-13 movie, but one can hope. Show us something we haven't seen before, please.

  2. Breakout actor or director

    My hope is that we get a performance that helps a new star emerge. It is always fun to see a performance from someone that makes it big later.

     

What I am afraid of:

  1. Too many "jump scares"

    I have this feeling that this movie will use too many cheap scares that will make this movie boring. I feel that whatever the creature or alien is will sneak up or just appear behind the astronauts too often.

  2. The found footage

    I am okay with shaky cam when used sparingly, but a lot of these movies use it too much. The found footage movies seem to use it too often because the person using the camera is supposed to be inexperienced. I understand that, but it still gets on my nerves a little bit.

That about covers it. I will have a review of this film by Monday, September 5th.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

September 1st, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

the debt

Rated R    &n, b, sp;          Running time – 114 minutes

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     I am writing this review just one hour after seeing the movie, so hopefully it will be insightful. I usually give the movie some time to sink in, but I wanted to have this review ready by Thursday morning, so here we go. I was a little disappointed by this movie, not because it wasn't good, but because it was predictable. Nothing happened that really surprised me. The acting was solid and the writing good, but I saw most of it coming. That didn't hurt the film, but it took some of the fun out of it for me.

     I would say about two thirds of the film took place in the 1960's while the other third took place in 1997. I was glad that it didn't take place now because the technology would have killed this film. The internet as we know today would have made the story go too fast and it would have been over rather quickly. Good choice on time periods.

     I really don't know how Helen Mirren (Rachel Singer) got top billing for this film. The parts she was in were great and she is a deserving actress, but the film focused more on the past. She was definitely the right person for the role. She is a superb actress and I hope to see her in more roles in the future. She really handled the emotions the character needed to feel through the movie extremely well.

     The film didn't really have a lot of action. It just wasn't that type of film. I think what it did have was pretty good, just not enough for my taste. The film was very cerebral and played with your emotions a little bit. At times you were supposed to feel for the villain and at times you wanted the heroes to kill him. Jesper Christianson (Doktor Bernhardt) played a Nazi war criminal that was to be captured and taken to Israel to stand trial. He was a great villain. For days he would toy with the minds of his captors until the pot boiled over, so to speak. That is all I will say about that.

     At times the pacing was a little sl, ow, but not enough t, o take you out of the film. The story started a little slow, but picked up after some things went wrong for our heroes. It was a predictable film, but good writing and execution helped to make it a good one to watch. I did figure out the ending, but that didn't really ruin it for me.

     I would say wait for DVD on this one. Not a bad movie, but I would not call it theater worthy either. Worth a watch when you are in the mood for something really serious.

Actor: Helen Mirren is great in Red. That is her best role in my opinion. Sam Worthington's best role so far has been Terminator: Salvation.  Both were great in this film as well.

Director: The only film I have seen from John Madden is Shakespeare in Love. The Debt was by far a better movie.

Similar movie: I am going to recommend Apt Pupil on this one. It is a story about someone's past coming back to haunt them and takes on the theme of "Can we really change who we are?". I won't ruin that movie for you because it is one of my favorites.

That is all for now. Tomorrow I will have a preview of Apollo 18.

,

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

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