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

The Reel Opinion: December 2011 Entries

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December 30th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

tinker

Rated R

     This should be a no brainer.  It has Gary Oldman in a spy hunting thriller.  Earlier this month, this movie was released to only a handful of theaters.  I was afraid that I was going to have to wait for a long time to see it.  While checking for this weekend's movie, I discovered that nothing new was going to be released.  I did a search of Chicago and St. Louis theaters and discovered that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is going to be in both a week before it is released nationwide.  I decided that I wanted to scoop it for all of you, so on Saturday I am headed to St. Louis to see it.  I love my job.

 

What I am hoping for:

Gary Oldman to be awesome

     Gary Oldman has really done no wrong with me.  I really enjoy his work because he takes every role seriously.  He knows the fans appreciate his hard work.  He said so himself at the Dark Knight Panel at Wizard World Chicago 2007.  I was there.  They wouldn't allow video, but here is a video of the line to get a ticket to the panel.  I am on the left side of the screen next to a guy wearing a green shirt at :58.  This is where they showed the first ever released Dark Knight footage.  Anyway, he is an incredible actor and I look for him to be great in this one.

An interesting spy thriller

     This is one of those movies that I hope does not get spoiled for me.  I don't want to know who the bad guys are.  That is the fun of movies about spies.

 

What I am afraid of:

Slow pace

     There is a difference between a slow burn and a slow pace.  My fear is that the pacing will be slow in the wrong kind of way.

Tomas Alfredson

     The director of this film has done mostly foreign flicks that I have never heard of.  He is somewhat unproven to the American movie watching public.  He did direct Let The Right One In, which was remade as Let Me In here in America.  He has a great cast for this film.  It is hard to see it failing, but you never know.

 

That about does it.  I am hoping that this trip will be worth it.  I will have the review of this one by Monday, January 2nd.  If you want to see a video preview of this film, click here.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


December 29th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion's Best & Worst Nominees of 2011...That I Saw...

     Here is the list of the best and worst of movies that I saw this year. These are some traditional and some not so traditional categories that I will be deciding on. There will also be some obscure awards I will be handing out as well on Thursday next week. There will be some Wild Card slots for anything I might have forgotten about plus the fact that I am seeing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy before the year is over. I wanted to make sure it had a shot to be added after this is posted. So here we go with the nominees.

 

Funniest Movie:

* The Muppets

* Just Go With It

* Paul

* Wild Card

 

Most Nostalgic Movie

* The Muppets

* Transformers 3

* Real Steel

* Wild Card

 

Best Superhero Movie

* Captain America

* X-Men: First Class

* Thor

* Wild Card

 

Best Good Guy

* Chris Evans – Captain America

* Aaron Eckhart – Battle: Los Angeles

* Hugh Jackman – Real Steel

* Wild Card

 

Best Bad Guy

* Tom Hiddleston – Thor

* Jared Harris – Sherlock Holmes 2

* Chris Cooper – The Muppets

* Wild Card

 

Best Anti-Hero

* Michael Fassbender – X-Men: First Class

* Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

* Nicholas Cage – Drive Angry

* Wild Card

 

Biggest Bad A**

* Tom Hardy – Warrior

* Optimus Prime – Transformers 3

* Zoe Saldana - Colombiana

* Wild Card

 

Worst Actor

* Jason Mamoa – Conan

* Ben Stiller – Tower Heist

* Danny McBride – 30 Minutes or Less

* Wild Card

 

Worst Actress

* January Jones – X-Men: First Class

* Cameron Diaz – The Green Hornet

* Kate Bosworth – Straw Dogs

* Wild Card

 

Best Director

* Gavin O'Connor – Warrior

* David Fincher – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

* Rupert Wyatt – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

* Wild Card

 

Best Supporting Actor

* Nick Nolte – Warrior

* Ben Foster – The Mechanic

* Tommy Lee Jones – Captain America

* Wild Card

 

Best Supporting Actress

* Hayley Atwell – Captain America

* Paula Patton – Mission: Impossible 4

* Ellen Page - Super

* Wild Card

 

Best Actor

* Andy Serkis – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

* Tom Hardy – Warrior

* Michael Fassbender – X-Men: First Class

* Wild Card

 

Best Actress

* Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

* Helen Mirren – The Debt

* Anne Hathaway – One Day

* Wild Card

 

Worst Film

* Conan

* Apollo 18

* Straw Dogs

* Wild Card

 

Best Film

* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

* Warrior

* The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

* Wild Card

 

That about does it. The winner and losers will be announced next Thursday.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

December 28th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

war horse

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoiler Alert!!!

     I like Steven Spielberg, I really do. He has made some of the best movies ever. I don't want to sound like I really hated this movie, but I know it will probably come off that way. Just know off the top that this is an okay, feel good movie. If people see it, they will feel pretty good walking out of the theater. I just had a lot of problems with bits and pieces of the movie. I will cover some of those things here.

     The first problem that I had was the somewhat stereotypical characters. It felt like the only decent people on both sides of the war were a handful of soldiers, farmers and anybody from either side that was a horse handler. A lot of the people surrounding these other characters just seemed mean and heartless most of the time. It was also too coincidental that these "good" characters showed up when they did. They always seemed to be at the right place at the right time to help the horse. Too many coincidences makes for a less believable story.

     That brings up my next problem with the film. It almost had a Forrest Gump feeling too it. Not that the horse met a bunch of famous people, but he just seems to get into too many spectacular situations. It is problem I have when watching films that are set in real life scenarios. Though I know it is not something that really happened, I felt like I had to suspend my disbelief to really enjoy the story. It was hard to believe that the only reason the main character went to war was to find his horse.

     Some of the acting was just not good. Some of the accents coming from the mouths of the actors were just bad. The English accent that Jeremy Irvine (Albert Narracott) used reminded me of Sean Astin when he played Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings. He just sounded like he was trying too hard and it was comical.

     Speaking of comical things, this movie had a few decent funny moments, but one running gag just got old. I won't ruin for you, but it involved a goose.  I felt like I was watching an Aflac commercial.

     The movie looked great as most Spielberg movies do. The visuals were incredible and felt authentic. He just knows how to shoot war scenes. He should, he has done them a bunch of times already.  In my opinion, he needs to stop going back to the well, so to speak.

     If you can suspend disbelief and put up with some bad accents, you might enjoy this film. It is an alright movie, but I probably won't watch it again. I would wait for DVD if you do plan to watch it. I just don't feel like it deserves all of the accolades that it is receiving. It's almost like people feel they need to say it is incredible because it was done by Spielberg. He has had some flops.  Does anybody remember A.I.?  I can only say War Horse was just an okay film.

 

Actors:

Jeremy Irvine: Never seen him in anything else.

Peter Mullan: Braveheart, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 1, Children of Men

Emily Watson: Equilibrium, Red Dragon, Punch-Drunk Love

Tom Hiddleston: Thor and he returns as Loki in The Avengers

 

Director: Steven Spielberg's best films for me are Catch Me If You Can, Hook, The first three Indiana Jones films, ET and The Color Purple

 

Similar films: Though the horse does not talk, it kind of felt like Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey set in wartime.  It also felt a bit like Forrest Gump to me.

 

     Thursday I will reveal my candidates for my best and worst of the year 2011...that I saw. Next week on Thursday will be the winners and losers.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

December 27th, 2011

The Reel Opinion's DVD Release of the Week to AVOID!!!

apollo 18

Rated PG-13

Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Apollo 18 is one of the worst films of the year if not THE worst film. It looked great and kept you interested for about 15 minutes, but fell flat after that. The characters were likeable most of the time, but the plot is what really hurt this film. The big reveal at the end was a joke and the aliens themselves were as well. This movie teases you with some pretty cool political and alien ideas, but either ruins them or drops them altogether. Avoid this one at all costs. If you do decide to watch this, don't say I didn't warn you.

Other Releases: December 27, 2011

* Archer: Season 2

* Jersey Shore: Season 4

* Final Destination 5

* Hostel 3

* Borgias: Season 1

* Looney Tunes Super Stars: Pepe Le Pew – Zee Best of Zee Best

* WWE: Best Pay-Per-View Matches of 2011

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for Bad Ass and because I'm too excited not to show it again, The Hobbit. To see these, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

Tomorrow will be my review of War Horse.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

December 26th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

mi4

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers!!!

     There is always this fear with sequels that they won't live up to or surpass the original.  I am usually happy if they are just as good, but a lot of times that doesn't happen.  When the second Mission: Impossible movie came out, it was a huge disappointment for me.  I finally watched the third one month or so ago to get ready for part four.  The third one was the best of the series.  Now my fear was that the fourth one would not fare as well.  While it wasn't better than the third one, I am happy to say that it was still really good.

     The things that didn't work were not really a big deal for me.  Some of the stunts were hokey, but that is the case for all of the Mission: Impossible films.  Not a big deal.  Some of the jokes were kind of bad, but once again, same for the others.  The ending was a little sappy and cheesy, but it at least covered something that I wondered about going into this one.  Those were my only real gripes about this one.

     This one kind of reminded me of the first film.  It didn't have the emotional weight of the third film, but that was okay.  The story was interesting enough for that not to matter.  It did try to bring the emotions out a few times, but you didn't feel it like the third film.  Thankfully, this was a minor issue.  The rest of the movie dealt with the mechanics of a team that had minimal resources at their disposal.  It made the film more interesting that they didn't have the best or best working equipment.

     The way that Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Simon Pegg (Benji), Paula Patton (Jane) and Jeremy Renner (Brandt) worked as a team was better than expected.  There is a chance that there will be more adventures in the future for this team and this is a good thing.  They had good chemistry together.

     The movie had an interesting story, great characters and the good chance for more.  If you liked the first and third ones, you should go see this one.  These are the movies that Tom Cruise should be making.  To me, it seems that the rumors are untrue.  From the looks of it, he will be back for more.  I know that I am ready.

 

Actors:

Tom Cruise:  First and Third Mission: Impossible movies, Valkyrie, Tropic Thunder, The Last Samurai, Interview with the Vampire, A Few Good Men.

Jeremy Renner:  The Hurt Locker, plus he will be in The Avengers as Hawkeye and he is also taking over the Bourne series.

Simon Pegg:  Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek reboot, The second and third Chronicles of Narnia films, Paul.

Paula Patton:  Déjà vu, Precious

 

Director:  Brad Bird's best film is The Incredibles.  He also directed The Iron Giant and Ratatouille.

 

Similar films:  Of course it was like the two good Mission: Impossible movies, but it also felt like The A-Team and The Losers.  This is because of the fugitive element.  The good guys are on the run in this one.

 

Tuesday 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.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 

 


December 23rd, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion reviews...

tintin

Rated PG

Minor Spoilers!!!

     I had to give this movie a lot of thought about whether or not I liked it. It looked good, had a great voice cast and would be good for kids. The problem was nothing was really original. Though the graphics were really good, this style has been done before. That could have been forgiven if I hadn't seen this type of story tons of times already. On that note, Spielberg has done this type of story before: Indiana Jones. This movie just had a been there, done that feel to it.

     I really liked the rivalry of Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and Sakharine (Daniel Craig). That was the one redeeming quality of this film. Both men have great voices and use them well in this movie. The other characters were decent, but nothing special.

     It makes me wonder how many movies borrowed from the original Tintin comics and cartoons. Was this movie a victim of other movies borrowing its best parts for their own? Who knows, but this is what hurt this film. If you like movies such as Indiana Jones, National Treasure and the like, you will enjoy this one. For me, this film would be a good way to introduce these types of movies to your younger kids. With nothing really original, I feel that this movie came out way past its time. Of course, if it came out long ago, it would have never looked as good as it did.

 

Actors:

Jamie Bell: I really liked him in Billy Elliot

Andy Serkis: Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Daniel Craig: Just about anything he is in, especially Bond films and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

 

Director: Steven Spielberg's best films for me are Catch Me If You Can, Hook, The first three Indiana Jones films, ET and The Color Purple

 

Similar movie: Any world hopping, treasure hunting movie will do: Indiana Jones, National Treasure, the Alan Quatermain films, etc.

 

Monday will be my review of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Until next time – Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

December 22nd, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

dragon tattoo

Rated R

     This year I have seen a lot of movies and that started even before I started this blog.  Some have been good and some have been bad, which is always the case every year.  It is pretty rare that more than one movie stands out above the rest.  So far this year there have been four: Warrior, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, J. Edgar and now The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  This of course doesn't count the last few movies I am going to see this year.

     I knew very little going into this movie other than what I saw in the trailer.  I refused to read the books or watch the Swedish versions of this series.  I feel that this was a good thing.  I had no expectations of what was to come going in.  I will say that this film is not for everyone.  It is a very hard R rating that I am surprised didn't end up being NC-17.  The subject matter will put a lot of people off about this film, but if you like an intriguing story and complex characters, you will really enjoy this one. 

     While not the perfect film, the problems I had with it were mostly technical.  I don't know if it was just the theater I was in, but it was hard to hear the character's voices over the sound effects and music.  With the character's heavy accents this audio problem was hard to get around.

     The next thing was that there were a lot of characters to sort out.  I had a hard time following who was who sometimes when it came to the family that was being investigated.  The film at least weeded them out to let you know who was really important and who was not.

     My last problem was that I don't feel the movie went as far as it could have with the content.  Some parts were brutal and some seemed tamed down.  Maybe this was because the filmmakers didn't want an NC-17 rating, I'm not sure.  I have a feeling an unrated director's cut will be on the way when this movie is released on DVD.  That being said, I feel if the film was willing to go as far as it did with its content, it should have just taken it all the way.

     This movie had great main characters.  Daniel Craig (Mikael Blomkvist) was on his A game for this film.  Though I am a huge fan of him as James Bond, I like it when he plays a character that is not so invincible.  As a journalist that has been blackballed for running a story without enough evidence, he is offered a job to solve a decades old missing persons/murder case.  He is a determined and flawed individual whom I feel we have not seen the last of.

     The real gem of this movie is Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander.  Though I really liked her as Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, it is this film in which she steps into the big leagues.  Lisbeth is an interesting character because of the way she handles situations.  When it seemed she was on the ropes, it turns out she was a step ahead of whatever was in her way.  She is complex, intelligent and mysterious.  You never really know her plans until she pulls them off.  You don't know what she is thinking most of the time, which helps to add to your fascination of the character.  I don't do awards shows, but if she doesn't get recognized for this role, there is no justice in the movie world.   

     The next installments of this series, if they get made, can't get here fast enough.  Like I said, this movie is not for everyone.  If movies like The Silence of the Lambs, Se7en or similar films turn you off, stay away from this movie.  If you like dark, character driven mysteries and can handle the content, this will be an incredible film for you.  Is it the best movie of the year that I have seen?  You can find that out next week on Wednesday when I reveal my list of Best & Worst Movies of 2011...That I Saw.

Friday will be my review for The Adventures of Tintin.  Monday will be my review for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 

 


 

 

December 21st, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

december 3

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Rated R

The Adventures of Tintin – Rated PG

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – Rated PG-13

     This week is going to be insane and this is how it is going to work. Today I will have short previews for the movies listed above. Thursday I will have a review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Friday will be the review of The Adventures of Tintin. Monday I will have the review for Mission: Impossible. Three movies in three days. Here we go.

* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

     This is a movie based on a book series and a trilogy of movies already released in Sweden. I love a good mystery, so I hope that this movie can provide one. Daniel Craig is the star, so that is a plus. I liked Rooney Mara in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake as well. David Fincher is the director of the film. Other films of his that I like are Se7en, The Game & Fight Club. I hope he brings his cerebral vision to this film like he did to those three. I have high hopes for this film to be great.

* The Adventures of Tintin:

     This story is based on a comic strip that started in 1929. It had since been adapted for TV, film and radio. Now behind the direction of Steven Spielberg, it gets a CG adaptation. This movie has a lot of talent behind it, from the voice actors to the motion capture. Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and the king of motion capture Andy Serkis are just a few of the actors lending their talents to this project. I am hoping that this will be a fun and funny swashbuckling style adventure.

* Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol:

     As a big fan of the first and third films of this series, I am excited to see it finally return. I hope that this isn't Tom Cruise's final adventure as Ethan Hunt, but the rumors are that they are going to set up Jeremy Renner to take over the franchise. I am happy to see Simon Pegg return to his role of Benji from the third film. However, I am disappointed that there is no mention of Ving Rhames returning as Luther Stickell. Of course, you never know who could show up. This movies best hope is to be similar to the third one, which in my opinion is the best of the series. If it is like the first one, I won't be too disappointed.  If it is like the second one...sigh.

     If you couldn't already tell, I have high hopes for all three of these films. My hope is that they make for a fun week before Christmas.

Tomorrow will be the review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Until next time - Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

December 20th, 2011

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

warrior

Rated PG-13

     There is a few good movies and TV box sets coming out this week, but this movie stands out above them all. Warrior didn't get the attention that it deserved in the theaters, but hopefully people get a chance to see this awesome story. It is not just an MMA movie and you don't need to be a fan of the sport to like this one. The only downside to this release is that it is not an extended edition like I hoped for. I felt the movie needed a little more resolution at the end. Who knows? Maybe they will come out with one later or better yet, a sequel.

Other Releases: December 20th, 2011:

* One Tree Hill: Season 8

* Dolphin Tale

* Futurama 6

* Midnight in Paris

* WWE: Survivor Series 2011

* Straw Dogs (remake)

* Blackthorn

* Colombiana

* Catch .44 (Bruce Willis/Straight to DVD movie)

* UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Today's trailers are for Wrath of the Titans and The Dark Knight Rises.  To see them, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page.  To do that, just Hit this link and like it.    

     Tomorrow will be a little different. I will have three new previews. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Adventures of Tintin and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol will all be covered with reviews for them on Thursday, Friday and Monday.

Until next time – Geno

Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

December 19th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

sherlock 2

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers!!!

     This has proven to be a real difficult review for me to write.  I am trying to decide if I really like this movie or do I give it too much credit because of my love for the first one.  I will try to dissect it to help make my decision.

     I'll start with what I felt didn't work.  First I felt the story was too complex for its own good.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the overall story, especially Sherlock vs. Moriarty.  I just felt that too many things were going on to really know what I should invest my thoughts in.  Too many characters were added and then they were gone.  One example was a friend of Madam Sizma Heron (Noomi Rapace).  It felt like he was supposed to be an important person to her, but when he died she only showed a little remorse.  Also, it was hard to care about the character because he was only introduced minutes before his death.

     On the same page as the last point, Sherlock loses somebody close to him, but he only shows minimal sadness towards this event.  I would have liked to see the filmmaker examine this loss more instead of literally shrugging it off.  Maybe they will pursue it more later, but it hurt the movie to do this.  Maybe it was Sherlock putting mission before personal feelings, but they could have at least acknowledged it more.  The problem is that it is a major character.  It should have gotten a little more attention.

     Some of the camera work bothered me a little bit.  My main problem was the overuse of strange camera angles and stop motion shots.  The main offender was the chase scene in which Holmes and Watson were running away from heavy gunfire and mortars.  The effects and filters used with the shots reminded me of when in Batman Begins, the Scarecrow's toxin was used.  The problem with that is it was supposed to be strange and mess with your mind.  The scene in this movie was just an escape scene.  I felt that the director got a little effect happy in the editing process.

     One other minor thing I didn't like was some of the comedy.  Unlike the first movie, I felt they tried too hard to make things funny.  The worst offender was Sherlock's brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry).  While I liked the character as a whole, I could have done without the Austin Powers moment of the movie.  I'll let the viewer discover for themselves what this means.

     The best part of the movie was the battle of wits between Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris).  The only way this could have been better was to have more of it.  It was more interesting to have Holmes not be as invincible as he was in the first film.  I never thought Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) was going to win in the first film.  I honestly thought Moriarty might succeed in his plans in the end.  Here's hoping that Moriarty will return if another film is made.

     I liked the way they mixed up and tinkered with what worked in the first film.  Without giving away some of the best parts of the movie, I can't really say much about this.  It has to do with Sherlock's thought process.

     I'll put it like this: what worked really worked well.  What didn't work hurt the film.  It was a little overcomplicated, but still a decent film in the end.  Unfortunately my hopes were too high for this movie.  While I still enjoyed it, it was not the masterpiece I was hoping for.  If you liked the first one, you will still probably like this one as well.  Be ready to get confused a lot when it comes to the plot.  It is worth a watch just to see Sherlock vs. Moriarty.  It was handled very well. 

 

Actors:

Robert Downey Jr.:  Iron Man movies, Tropic Thunder, U.S. Marshals, Natural Born Killers and of course, the first Sherlock Holmes

Jude Law:  Sherlock Holmes, Enemy at the Gates, Road to Perdition

Noomi Rapace:  Though I have not seen them, she is Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  These I am looking forward to.

 

Director:  Guy Ritchie's best films are the first Sherlock Holmes, Rocknrolla, Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.

 

Similar movies:  One scene reminded me of Batman Begins.  One scene almost felt like The Matrix.  Another felt like A Beautiful Mind.  Mostly it still felt like the first one.

 

     This week will be a little different.  Tuesday will still be The DVD Release of the Week and Trailer Tuesday.  Wednesday I will preview three movies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Adventures of Tintin and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  Thursday I will review Dragon Tattoo.  Friday will be Tintin.  Monday will be Mission: Impossible.  What a week!!!

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 

 


December 16th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

sherlock 2

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers!!!

     Have you ever seen a movie and the second it is over, you are ready for the next installment? When I went to see the original Sherlock Holmes, I went because I was bored one night. I figured it might just be okay. I like detective stories and action flicks, but I had no idea what I was in for when I watched this film. You had incredible action, a great detective story and a complex hero. You didn't know whether Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) was insane, a genius or a little bit of both. You had a Dr. Watson (Jude Law) that wasn't a bumbling sidekick, but a butt-kicker. You had formidable villains with the promise of new ones. Then you had Rachel McAdams (Irene Adler), 'nuff said. Needless to say, I am really ready for this one.

 

What I am hoping for:

* More of the same and then some

     There is not a lot of movies that I don't want anything to change. I want more of what was shown the first time around. There was nothing I would have changed in the first movie. I hope this one uses the same methods and give another great story.  I am not saying that they should only rely on what worked the first time, but to change to much would change the way the movie feels. 

* Great villain

     Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) is the greatest foe of Sherlock Holmes. Jared Harris is someone who I'm not to familiar with, but have heard many good things about. I want to see the matching of wits with Holmes that goes down to the final act. The only thing I wish they would have done for this character is not tell the viewer who he is.

 

What I am afraid of:

* Too much of a good thing

     Though I want the movie to use the same methods, I don't want them to overuse them. The perfect example is The Matrix: Reloaded. The original Matrix was incredible. The effects were pretty cutting edge at the time. When the second one came out, it seemed that is all they relied on. That made for a pretty boring film. I am hoping that this movie doesn't overuse its good tricks.

* A plot that falls through

     The first movie had a good plot that was hard to figure out. Parts of it were predictable, but you weren't sure where all the pieces were going to fit. I hope this one is the same way. I want to be surprised by detective stories.

That about covers it. I will have the review for this movie by December 19th.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

December 15th, 2011

The Reel Opinion's At First Glance...

kevin

Major Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I revealed in my first month of writing this blog that my favorite movie of all time is The Usual Suspects and Kevin Spacey is a big part of the reason why. The thing is, he is just part of the big picture of that movie. He as well as any other cast member in that movie would be missed if they were not in the film, but he did not carry the movie all on his own. It was the next film that I saw him in that really made me take notice to his ability to take over a movie.

     When the movie Se7en came out, nobody knew much about it. While Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman & Gwyneth Paltrow were great in it, the movie was missing a little something. The movie even had R. Lee Ermey as the police captain, but something just felt out of place. In a scene I will never forget, Pitt and Freeman are discussing something. Next, you hear a man's voice quietly saying the word "detective" a few times, getting louder and louder until the he screams it at the top of his lungs. The shot goes to Kevin Spacey and his bloody fingers from cutting off his own prints. He quietly says "You're looking for me".

     The movie that is already great takes on a whole new dynamic now that the killer has been revealed. What happens after that I will leave to the viewer. I don't want to ruin one of the best endings in a movie ever.

 

     Kevin Spacey has a great catalog of films under his belt. Here is a list of some of the good ones in no particular order:

* Moon

* 21

* American Beauty

* A Bugs Life

* The Negotiator

* Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

* L.A. Confidential

* A Time to Kill

* Outbreak

* The Usual Suspects

* Se7en

* Swimming with Sharks

* The Ref

* See No Evil, Hear No Evil

 

     Tomorrow will be the preview for a sequel I have been waiting for ever since the first one's credits were rolling. Finally, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows comes out.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

December 14th, 2011

The Reel Opinion Classic's review of...

xmas story

Rated PG

Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Welcome to the second and final installment of the "Naughty & Nice" series. Last week we had the naughty film for this series with Bad Santa. Today we get to be a little nicer with one of the best Christmas movies of all time, A Christmas Story.

     For the few of you out there that have not seen this movie, this is the story about Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and his quest to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. This leads him to hear the dreaded words that many of us heard when we wanted our first BB Gun: "You'll shoot your eye out". The movie follows Ralphie and his family through the Christmas season and many hijinks ensue. This movie is full of classic bits such as "Triple dog dare ya", "Oh, fudge....but I didn't say fudge", "The leg lamp" and many looks in the mind of Ralphie as he dreams of his BB gun.

     This movie has a little bit for everybody. Have you ever been bullied, but finally stood up to them? Covered. Have you ever had you mouth washed out with soap for cursing? Covered. Have you ever stuck your tongue on a flagpole and had it stick? No? I know some people have. This is a movie that so many people love that TNT has shown 24 Hours of A Christmas Story since 1997. I try to catch it at least once each year. This is one of those movies that keeps you smiling from start to finish. It is one of the best.

Tomorrow will be a new installment of At First Glance

Friday will be the preview for a movie sequel I have been waiting impatiently for, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

December 13th, 2011

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

apes

Rated PG-13

     This was an easy one. Unless one of the five new movies I am going to review before the year is done trumps it, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the best film of the year that I have seen. It is incredible for Andy Serkis's (Caesar) performance alone. I don't really do awards shows and even I think he should be best actor. That being said, the movie is also great. It is a slow burn that explodes into an out of control fire. As I said when I reviewed it, just watch it.  You won't be sorry you did.

 

Other releases: December 13th, 2011

* Family Guy vol. 9

* Kung Fu Panda 2

* WWE: The Best of The King of the Ring

* The Rocketeer Blu-Ray

* Fright Night (remake)

* Sid & Nancy Blu-Ray

* Transformers Trilogy Collection

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for Cabin in the Woods & because it is too awesome not to show again, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. To view them, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

     Tomorrow will be the second & final installment of the "Naughty & Nice" series. One of the greatest Christmas films of all time will be reviewed, A Christmas Story.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

December 12th, 2011

The Reel Opinion reviews...

the sitter

Rated R

Minor Spoilers!!!

     To make this simple, the movie was about what I expected it to be.  It may have not been the carbon copy of Adventures in Babysitting that I thought it might be, but it still felt like that movie.  The movie just felt average with a few funny moments, but nothing that was unexpected.

     I'll start with the things I liked.  The kids were the best part of the film.  I don't know what it is about kids trying to act older than they are, but it usually turns out pretty funny.  You just never knew what they were going to do or say next.  The next thing I liked was the villain Karl, played by Sam Rockwell.  It was almost a bipolar performance for him.  One minute he was happy, then he would snap at someone.  A second later he was happy again.  It was kind of funny.

     The rest of the movie was just an average attempt at comedy.  There were some funny jokes, but most of them involved the kids.  Some jokes worked and some didn't.  Jonah Hill (Noah Griffith) was more of a supporting role for the people around him, just as he was in Get Him To The Greek.  I think I would like to see Moneyball just to see how he carries a serious role.

     An average movie that you really don't need to see in the theaters is how I would rate this one.  If you like Jonah Hill, you probably could still wait for it to come out on DVD.  I just thought it was okay, but nothing special.  I would rather have watched Adventures in Babysitting again.

 

Actors:  Jonah Hill is decent in Superbad and Get Him To The Greek.  Sam Rockwell is great in anything he is in.  The Green Mile is my favorite movie that he is in.

Director:  The only other movie of David Gordon Green's that I have seen is Pineapple Express and I wasn't a big fan of that one.  A lot of people seem to like it though.

Similar movie:  It felt like Adventures in Babysitting, but some of the Elements felt like Revenge of the Nerds.

 

Tuesday is The DVD Release of the Week and Trailer Tuesday.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 

 


December 9th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

sitter

Rated R

     It has happened again.  The movie gods have dangled a carrot in front of me then taken it away.  Today, I was going to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with the awesome Gary Oldman.  Just like Machine Gun Preacher, those two dirty words in the movie business popped up: Limited Release.  Here is how my mind reacts to the news.  "So I get to review a comedy this week? That's okay I guess.  Who's in it?  Jonah Hill?  Crap."

     Okay, I don't think he is that horrible, but I think he is better in small doses and not in leading roles.  How does the old saying go?  A little goes a long way.  He is just one of those actors that I feel the movie industry is cramming down our throats.  Is it his fault?  Probably not.  I would cash in the paychecks too.

     So what do I think this movie is going to be like?  It's simple, I think this movie is going to be an R-rated Adventures in Babysitting.  It is as easy as that.

What I am hoping for:

* Not to be annoyed by Jonah Hill

Like I said, I don't really dislike the guy.  I just don't think he should be the lead unless he tones down his comedy a little bit.  I have liked him more in his smaller roles.

* Really funny

With the way things are for me right now, I really need to laugh and laugh hard.  I really hope this movie can deliver in that department.

What I am afraid of:

* Jonah Hill

Did anybody see his hosting job on SNL?  I don't think I have ever laughed less in my life.  I am afraid this will be the same.

* Too much like Adventures in Babysitting

Like Paul Blart, Mall Cop, I think a good idea could go wrong here.  Paul Blart tried to pay homage to Die Hard and failed miserably by being too much of a copy.  You can pay homage to a movie as long as you tip toe the line between homage and copying carefully.  Look at Tropic Thunder for example.  It paid homage to a lot of movies, but you really didn't know it if you didn't really think about it.  It paid homage to everything from Rambo to Brokeback Mountain.  It was very obvious in some cases, but subtle in others.  That is how you pay homage to other movies.

That about covers it.  I will have my review of this movie by December 12th.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


December 8th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion Debate...

santa

     Santa Claus.  A name that children love and parents have to lie to their children about.  He has been portrayed many a times in movies and TV.  It could be Billy Bob Thornton being naughty or Tim Allen being nice.  He could be hanging out on 34th Street or Sesame Street with Elmo saving Christmas.  Trust me, I know.  My sons Andy & Ryan have had me watch Elmo Saves Christmas 9 gazillion times.  The point is Santa gets around.  My question is, "Who is your favorite movie or TV Santa Claus?"  If you want to play along, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page.  To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

That about does it.  I will have my preview for The Sitter tomorrow.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


December 7th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

bad santa

Rated R-Unrated

Minor Spoilers!!!

     I only have two weeks for classic movies here on the blog.  The week of the 18th is going to be a busy one with new movies and the following week is going to be a look back at movies released this year.  I kept thinking about what I could do.  I wanted to do Christmas movies and I knew what one of them would be.  I thought about it and decided to call this month "Naughty & Nice".  Next week will be the nice Christmas film.  This week is the naughty one.

     My original plan was to review The Ref, one of my favorite Christmas movies.  I decided, however, to review a movie I hadn't seen before.  I had always intended to watch Bad Santa, but the idea to watch Christmas films only really comes into your head one time of the year.  I hoped that this movie would be funny, but I never expected what I got from it.  This movie, as vulgar as it is, has a big heart.  Some might think I am crazy for saying that, but those people probably haven't seen it.

     The movie is about Christmastime criminals Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and Marcus (Tony Cox) who pull off a yearly mall scam.  They wait for the mall to close at the end of the Christmas season and rob it blind.  Willie cracks the safe to get cash while Marcus steals a Christmas list full of stuff for he and his wife Lois (Lauren Tom).  After a heist, they split the money and go their separate ways until the next year.  Willie says that he is ready to quit and does for a short time, but he ends up blowing all of his money down in Miami.  He then gets the call to go back to work.

     With Willie's alcoholism and attitude getting worse, his ranting and raving causes suspicion at his new j, ob.  This causes the mall manager played by John Ritter (Bob Chipeska) in his final live action role.  He has mall investigator Gin (Bernie Mac) look into the matte, r.

     To tell you more would give away what I would consider a great Christmas film.  I won't, however, recommend you ever let your kids anywhere near this film.  It is vulgar and rude and doesn't back down from anything.  It pulls no punches, just ask the teenage bully of the film.  Deep down, it is a wonderful story about family, friendship and love.  It will never look that way on the surface, but it is now one of my favorite Christmas movies.  I loved it.

      On a side note, Billy Bob Thornton hinted in 2009 that there might be a sequel to this movie.  In March 2011, Thornton and The Weinstein Company confirmed that negotiations had begun for the sequel.  That's good news for this movie fan.

     Next week will be the nice portion of this month's theme.  By request, I will review one of the best Christmas movies of all time, A Christmas Story.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 

 


December 6th, 2011

 

The DVD Release of the Week...

MI

Minor Spoilers!!!

     Two out of three ain't bad.  That is a phrase that is said a lot.  When it comes to the Mission: Impossible movies, this statement applies.  The first one is awesome.  The second one should have been a marriage made in heaven: John Woo and M:I.  The second movie was just too stylized for its own good.  It was just okay.  It was because of the second one that it took so long for me to watch the third one.  I finally watched it a couple of weeks a, go because of the new one coming , out in a few weeks.  Why did I wait so long to see it?  M:I3 is an incredible movie.  It has one of the best villains in movies.  Philip Seymour Hoffman is insanely evil in this film.  Just for his performance this movie is worth every minute of it.  It also helps that the movie is good as well.  Here is hoping that the new one will be like parts one and three.

 

Other Releases: December 6th, 2011

* The Help

* The Hangover 2

* Cowboys & Aliens: Extended Edition

* Mr. Popper's Penguins

* The Simpsons: Season 14

* The Debt

* UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage

 

      Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Today's trailers are a new one for The Grey and The Artist.  To see them, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page.  To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 

 


December 5th, 2011

 

The Reel Opinion reviews...

answers

Rated R

Minor Spoilers!!!

     I'm back from my trek to Chicago and I have to say that it was an experience.  If you ever get to go to the AMC Theaters near Navy Pier, do it.  The theater is pretty cool.  It had great atmosphere and seats.  Now to the movie.  Have you ever seen one of those movies that had a ton of things happening at once and you wondered how it was all going to come together in the end?  Then everything comes together and it made for a great film?  Well, this wasn't one of them.  Though I did enjoy some of the stories that were being told in the movie, there were some that didn't even need to be there.  Those stories caused a distraction to the interesting ones.

     Some of the characters were just there to be there, at least that is the way it came across.  Most of the characters did intertwine at one point or another in the film and that was fine.  My problem is that a movie needs a main focal point and this one wasn't sure which story was the main focus.  You had a kidnapped child, a couple trying to get pregnant while the husband is cheating, a woman and her crippled brother trying to finish a marathon, a cop that goes to a lot of funerals, an African-American woman who hates a lot of things (especially African-American people) & so on and so on.  I liked the stories about the missing child & the marathon runners.  The other stories did partially fit in, but not well enough to make this an effective film.

     The acting was pretty good.  I didn't really have any problem with the way that the film was acted, just the stories.  It is really hard to put how I felt about this film into words.  I thought the performances were wasted on a mish mash of stories that could have been put together better.  There were not any real surprises either.  I predicted what was going to happen in all but one instance.  Even that one I had an idea what might happen.

     I guess what I am trying to say is that I thought this movie had potential, but failed in the story department.  If the story had been put together better, this might have been a pretty good film.  That being said, it wasn't.  I say don't make a special trip to see it.  If it comes around here and you go check it out, just don't expect enough of a payoff for all the setup to make it worth it. 

     I'm glad I took a chance to go see it, though.  How else do we find diamonds in the rough if we do not search for them?

 

Actors:

Dane Cook:  His stand-up is okay.  I don't like his comedic acting very much.

Elizabeth Mitchell: V , (The series) & Lost.

Julie Benz: The Boondock Saints 2, Dexter, Punisher: War Zone, Rambo, Saw 5.

Barbara Hershey: , Falling Down & Hoosiers.

 

Director:  I have not, seen any ot, he, r work by Matthew Leutwyler.

 

Similar movie:  It really didn't remind me of any other movie.  It was just really spotty and incomplete.

 

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

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 

 


 

 

December 2nd, 2011

The Reel Opinion previews...

answers to nothing

Rated R

     Going into this Friday, I wasn't sure what I was going to review. All the movies coming out this week were limited release films not being re, leased around here. On Wednesday, I found that one of them is showing in Chicago. I decided that I didn't want to do a movie that came out last week. I want to do a new movie every week. That is my goal. So today, I will travel to Chicago to see Answers to Nothing. Why would I do that? Because I love movies. I love and appreciate the fact that I get to do this as part of my job. I love and appreciate that anybody would even want to read anything I have to write. So I get to drive three and a half hours each way to see a two hour movie I really know nothing about other than what I saw in a trailer. I am going to love every minute of it.

 

What I am hoping for:

* Dane Cook to succeed

     I can't say much about Dane Cook (Ryan). I think he is an okay stand up comic, but I have not been impressed with him as an actor. That being said, I have not seen his dramatic roles. I thought about watching them before seeing this movie, but decided to go into it with a clean slate.

* Interesting story

     The trailer made this seem like it could be an interesting film. I hope it can deliver. I am a big fan of both Julie Benz (Frankie) and Elizabeth Mitchell (Kate), so I have some hope for this film to at least be acted well.

 

What I am afraid of:

* Dane Cook to not fit in

     Sometimes an actor has no business doing certain roles. Sometimes they surprise you. If you told me before The Truman Show or Man on the Moon that Jim Carrey was going to do a serious role, I would have called you crazy. I would have said the same if before Meet the Parents I was told that Robert DeNiro was going to try his hand at comedy. What I am trying to say is that a lot of people think Dane Cook has no business even being an actor. I hope that he is one of the good surprises, but I am afraid he won't be.

* Too complicated

     Sometimes movies like this can have too much going on to really appreciate the story. A movie like Traffic is a perfect example. I liked that movie, but was hard to, wra, p my brain around all that was going on. I have a feeling that this movie might be like that one. It wouldn't necessarily make it a bad film, though.

That about does it. I will have a review of this film by December 5th.

Until next time – Geno

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

 

 


 

December 1st, 2011

The Reel Opinion Dreamcast casts...

dracula

     You can't even begin to count the number of movies Dracula or a variation of the character has been in. Bela Lugosi, Gary Oldman and many others have put their own spin on the character. What I want to know is, of any actors who HAVE NOT played him, who would make a great Dracula?

If you want to play along, just join the Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it. 

Tomorrow I head to Chi-Town to see a limited release showing of Answers to Nothing.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 


 

 

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