The Reel Opinion: January 2012 Entries - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

The Reel Opinion: January 2012 Entries

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January 31, 2012

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

Rated R

     This movie is the victim of its own trailer. The trailer makes this movie feel it should be more like The Fast and the Furious or The Transporter. This movie is more like art in motion. The whole time watching this movie I kept thinking of a quote from Pulp Fiction that talked about uncomfortable silences. There is a lot of implied dialog in this movie. A lot of times the characters aren't saying anything and it is left up to the viewer to think about what might have been said. There is also the main character's demeanor. To use a bad pun, he goes from zero to rage in 1.2 seconds. One minute he is calm, the next he is beating someone to death. This is very intense film.  If you want a big action film, this is not for you. If you want something that will make you think a little bit, check this one out. This movie is stylish and acted very well. This is one of Ryan Gosling's greatest roles.  This also has a great supporting cast in a highly underrated film.

Other Releases: January 31st, 2012

* In Time

* The Thing

* Treasure Buddies

* The Big Year

* Transformers Trilogy Collector's Edition

* Dream House

    

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for the straight to DVD release Recoil and Seeking Justice. If you want to see these trailers, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

     Wednesday will be the start of a new Reel Opinion Classics series called "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". All of February I will be looking at the Die Hard series.

     Thursday will be a new Not Seen In Theaters. This months movie will be Abduction.  Friday will be my preview of Chronicle.

 

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.

 

 


 

January 30, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated R

Like Drive, here is a movie that is going to anger a lot of fans.  Like Drive, this movie's trailer leads you to believe that this movie is something it is not.  Like Drive, the movie far exceeds the expectations of the trailer.  This movie feels very real and visceral.  Anything can happen at any moment.  If you think that Ottway (Liam Neeson) gets out of this movie unscathed, you will be sadly mistaken.

Like another one of Joe Carnahan's movies that I love, The A-Team, there is one extremely short scene that I didn't like.  Like the A-Team, this one short scene didn't ruin anything for me.  All movies have something that will bother you.  It involves a cliff, but I won't give it away.  It was short and over very quickly, so I can forgive that.

Other than that, I got what I wanted out of this movie.  The best thing of course was Neeson, but he had a small supporting cast that made this whole movie more believable.  Each man had their own stories and backgrounds and were not just wolf food.  This movie felt a lot like Alive and even made reference to that film.  Different people from different backgrounds coming together to form a sort of make shift family to survive.  All of the men learn something about themselves and realize what it is to fight for what you love and what you believe in.

This is a hyper-realistic film.  Anything can happen at any time and to anyone.  It is not the superhuman Liam Neeson vs. wolves as the trailer suggests.  I think the trailer does this movie a disservice by showing the part with Neeson taping the broken bottles and knife to his hands.  This movie is so much more than that.  In other words, go see it.  One last thing, stay after the credits.  I was the only one in the theater that did.  I was glad I did.

I am going to do something that I normally wouldn't do.  I am going to discuss the ending.  I am going to put it in inviso-text.  To see it, just highlight the white area below.  If you have not seen the film, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT THE AREA!!!  Trust me, it will ruin everything for you.  If you have seen the movie, by all means, take a look and if you want to discuss the ending, contact me on my Facebook page.  If you have not joined and want to just Hit this link and like it.

Neeson's character ends up being in the wolves' den at the end of the film.  He arms himself with broken bottles and a knife taped to his hands.  The screen goes black as he charges the alpha wolf.  After the credits, you see Neeson with his head rested upon the alpha wolf's side as it grasps for breath.  Did Neeson survive?  It is undetermined, but you know that whether or not he survived, he took the wolves' leader down with him.  This ending is going to anger a lot of people.  I heard a couple of comments from people leaving the theater.  I think this movie earned the ending it got.  This is the poem that Neeson quotes before the fight with the wolf:

Once more into the fray.  Into the last good fight I'll even know.  Live and die on this day.  Live and die on this day.

 

I think that the poem is saying that this was his last battle, but he was going to put up a good fight.  By doing so he may die, but he will have truly lived because he gave it his all.  My interpretation is that Neeson's character died, but he fought his hardest and took the wolves leader down with him.  It was his last good fight, but he truly lived on this day that he died.  This movie is not the action movie that I think a lot of people were expecting.  I think a lot of people wanted to see Neeson punch wolves for two hours.  I got more than I wanted out of this film.  This is a great film about the human spirit and will to fight for what you believe in, even if it means we die fighting.

Actor:  My favorite Liam Neeson films are Unknown, The Narnia films, The A-Team, Chloe, Taken, Batman Begins (He may be returning for The Dark Knight Rises), Les Miserables, Rob Roy, Schindler's List, Darkman, Excalibur.  You have some catching up to do if you have not seen these films.

Director:  Joe Carnahan continues to impress me with his writing and directing.  His best films are this one, The A-Team, Smoking Aces and NARC.

Similar films:  The first film I would compare this to is Alive.  Same concept, but different dangers.  The next film would be The Ghost in the Darkness.  This one is men vs. lions in Africa.  Both are great movies.

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

 

 

 


January 27, 2012

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated R

     I have been hearing the jokes about this movie ever since the first trailer came out. I keep hearing something along the lines of "Is that the movie where Liam Neeson punches a wolf in the face?" Yes this is that movie, but I think it will be a lot more than that. Ever since 2002's NARC, one of my favorite writer/directors has been Joe Carnanhan. The look and style of that movie was gritty and intense. That is one reason why I think this will be a great movie. The other reason is Liam Neeson. Even in the not so great movies , he is usually still good. If anybody can pull of a survival story, it is him. He has really grabbed on to this "tough guy" roll in the last few years. I for one am one of the believers. I also think that this is going to be a movie about "What would you do and how far would you go to survive?"

What I am hoping for:

* Flawed hero

     I want Neeson to be the tough guy, but I want to see flaws in him as well. He is supposed to be a survival expert in this film, but I would like to see things go wrong for him and his crew as well. I want to mistakes being made.  I want to feel like any character, including Neeson, could be killed at any moment.

* Taken seriously

     I know the trailers and the premise of this movie seems a little far fetched, but I feel that if taken seriously, this could be as good of survival film as Alive. That is the kind of seriousness I would like to see out of this film.  What would you do to survive?

 

What I am afraid of:

* Too goofy of action

     The villains in this movie are wolves. I am afraid that the action scenes might get a little too cartoony. I would like to see the action stay as realistic as possible.

* Liam Neeson, Superhero

     I just have this feeling that Liam Neeson will be this invincible hero that will be the only one left alive in the end. I want to see his character get put through the ringer as well so that I can better identify with what his character is fighting for.

 

That about does it. I will have the review for this film by Monday, January 30th.

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.

 

 


 

January 26, 2012

The Reel Opinion's At First Glance focuses on...

     I have been a fan of Angelina Jolie for a long time. She has a huge list of movies that I enjoy. My favorite just came out in 2010, which would be Salt. I appreciate her more as an actress now, but that was not always the case. I have to admit that the first time I watched and liked her in a movie, it was because it was 1995, I was a teenage boy and liked pretty girls and computers. In the movie Hackers, she was every geek's dream come true: Beautiful, smart and was a tech geek herself. This movie is still kind of funny to me to this day, even though the technology is way too old to make much sense to people nowadays. Though I watched her in this movie for far different reasons than why I watch her films today, it was because of this movie that I discovered one of my favorite actresses of all time.

 

Other Projects:

* The Tourist

* Salt

* Wanted

* Mr. & Mrs. Smith

* Alexander

* Original Sin

* Lara Croft series

* Gone in 60 Seconds

* Girl, Interrupted

* The Bone Collector

* Gia

 

Friday will be my preview of Liam Neeson's new film, The Grey.

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.

 

 


 

January 25, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated PG

     Welcome to the final installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?" It is a pretty big feat when a sequel that is released 11 years after the original movie and has a different main cast felt like a natural continuation. I had never heard of this movie until a year or so ago when I ran across it on TV one afternoon. I heard the familiar voice of Jean Shepherd and was confused. The movie looked and sounded like A Christmas Story, but something wasn't right. I watched for a little bit and the next thing I had to do was call my mom, the biggest Christmas Story fan I know. I told her about it and she asked me if the kids were fighting with tops and I said yes. She said she had seen some of the movie and had always wanted to see it. Needless to say, her Christmas present was easy that year.

     The movie only features two original cast members: Jean Shepherd as the Narrator and Tedde Moore as Ralphie's teacher Miss Shields. The Parker family is played by an all new cast, but after a little bit, you seem to forget that. This movie to me had the look and tone of the original. The only thing that could have made it better was to have the original cast, but that would not happen after 11 years time. This movie takes place the summer after A Christmas Story, so the main theme from the original is mentioned and it is hilarious. Let's just say Ralphie doesn't shoot his eye out, but...

     If you can get your hands on this one, it is a great addition to the original. I really enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Give it a chance and enjoy the continuation of the Parker family's story.

Thursday will be a new At First Glance. Angelina Jolie will be actress focused on.

Friday will be my preview for The Grey.

     Next week will start a new theme for the classics portion of the blog. It will be February, so you would think that would mean love stories, but I ain't in the mood. "This time John Wayne doesn't walk off into the sunset with Grace Kelly." "That was Gary Cooper, a**h***".

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.

 

 


 

January 24, 2012

The Reel Opinion's DVD Release of the Week...

     In my review of this movie from late last year, I mentioned that I was in a really bad mood when I went to see this movie. The movie made the day all better with how good it made me feel. This movie has great acting, effects and a heart as big as Atom the fighting robot. This is one that I recommend you pick up or at least rent. If you can get past the fact that it is Rock Em' Sock Em Robots the Movie, this movie will make you feel good too.  While the main story is really nothing new, the way that it tells it makes up for that.

Other releases: January 24th, 2012

* 50/50

* UFC 137/UFC138 Two Pack

* Paranormal Activity 3

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for Resident Evil: Retribution and Jeff, Who Lives At Home. To see them, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

     Wednesday will be the final installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?" The sequel to A Christmas Story, My Summer Story, will be the movie covered.

     Thursday will be a new At First Glance.  Friday will be my preview for The Grey.

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.

 

 


 

January 23, 2012

The Reel Opinion VS. reviews...

Both films Rated R

     The fight is over.  Which film came out on top, Underworld: Awakening or Haywire?  Let's take a look at the criteria and find out.

 

Who is the more believable tough girl?

     The action in both films was pretty cool.  The Underworld fights were a lot better than in the first two films.  Selene (Kate Beckinsale) was allowed to do more hand to hand combat this time around.  However, I am going to give this one to Haywire.  Gina Carano (Mallory) was just insane when it came to the fight scenes.  The best thing about the fights in this movie were the fact that no music was played when they occurred.  This helped you to almost feel every punch, kick and bone breaking.  Another reason I give this one to Haywire is that Mallory took more punishment from the people she was fighting.  Selene was almost too invincible, but she was a supernatural being.  Mallory being only human won her the round.  Underworld – 0   Haywire – 1

 

Better Villain?

     Both films struggled with this one.  Any interesting villains didn't get enough screen time to really cause a lot of impact with the audience.  There were a lot of bad guys in both films, but the two that were most interesting were Haywire's Paul (Michael Fassbender) and Underworld's Quint (Kris Holden-Ried).  Both were pretty interesting characters, but were only around a short time.  I give the point to Haywire because it was Michael Fassbender, and he is awesome.  His character I wanted more of.  Underworld – 0  Haywire – 2

 

Better Supporting Cast?

     I thought this one was going to be easy, but I was let down.  If you have Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Bill Paxton and Ewan McGregor in your cast and they drop the ball, the point is going to go to the other team.  Truth is, most of them just didn't seem like they wanted to be in this movie.  All have done better work.  Point goes to Underworld.  Underworld – 1   Haywire – 2

 

Better Story?

     Again, one of these movies is sort of going to win by default.  I didn't really think Underworld's story was that incredible or anything, but it was a heck of a lot better than Haywire's story.  Other than the music and the awesome fight and chase scenes, Haywire was kind of boring.  Underworld at least tried to have a decent plot to it with a couple of twists.  Point goes to Underworld.  Underworld – 2   Haywire – 2

 

Tiebreaker Question:  Better Director?

     I have a special place in my heart for Steven Soderberg.  I was in one of his movies, The Informant, for about 10-12 seconds as was a lot of Decatur.  I have to put that aside however so I can be impartial.  Underworld looked and felt like the first two.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it has all been done before.  The look and feel of Haywire felt like art in motion, even if the film wasn't the greatest.  The images, sounds and feel of the movie gives the point to Haywire.

 

Your Winner:  Haywire with a tiebreaker.

 

     If you liked the other Underworld films, you will probably like this one as well.  I liked it better than the first two, though I still didn't think it was great.  Haywire is cool for the look and action, but the acting was a little bland.  I don't think Gina Carano was ready for this type of big screen movie.  I think they needed an actress with a little more acting chops to pull off this role.  It might be hard to believe the fight scenes, but her acting needs some work.  Selene from Underworld was given some emotions this time around, which helped me believe her character a little more.  I say rental for both films.

 

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

 

 

 


January 20, 2012

 

The Reel Opinion VS. previews...

Both films Rated R

     Today we have a battle about to happen. Two movies are being released this week that have tough girl lead roles. The first is a returning franchise that I really have no love for. I found the Underworld movies to be kind of overrated. I am willing to give this one a shot, though. After all, the last Twilight movie wasn't as bad as the first three, so anything is possible. The second comes from a pretty good director in Steven Soderbergh and has an outstanding cast. The lead actress, Gina Carano, has never really been the star of any movie. She does have a lot going for her, the best thing being she really knows how to fight being an MMA fighter. This makes her at least a believable action star. These two films face off this week in battle. There will be four points of criteria and a tiebreaker if necessary.

The Criteria:

* Who is a more believable tough girl?

* Better villain?

* Better supporting cast?

* Better story?

Tiebreaker:

* Better Director?

 

I will have the review of both of these films by Monday, January 23rd.

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.

 

 


 

January 19, 2012

The Reel Opinion's Second Chance presents...

Rated R

     The first movie that was released in theaters last year that I gave a bad review for was 30 Minutes or Less. If you want to see my original review, it is in the archives here about halfway down the page. My original mindset was that I was on "vacation" in Chicago and in a pretty good mood. I wasn't in a good mood after watching the film. Could a second viewing sway my judgment? Let's find out.

     I have to admit, even though I still didn't really like the film, the second viewing was a little better. Hearing a couple of the jokes again that I liked the first time were still funny. Jesse Eisenberg's character saying he doesn't use Facebook was a pretty funny inside joke to me.

     I still feel the same way about the villains of the movie. The movie could not decide if you were supposed to like them or hate them. Even after the credits role this changes. I felt the same way about most of the characters. Most of them I found a little annoying. I really only liked a few characters. Before I mentioned that I got a few laughs out of Aziz Ansari and Michael Pena. This time, I also found the father of the main villain, played by Fred Ward, pretty funny.

     All in all, this movie wasn't as bad the second time. I won't go so far as calling it a great comedy, but it was at least mildly entertaining this time around. Will I watch it again? Probably not.

Friday I will preview both Underworld: Awakenings and Haywire.

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.

 

 


 

 

January 18, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated PG

     Welcome to the third installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?" The Wizard of Oz is a magical family adventure about a girl named Dorothy who travels to the magical land of Oz and goes on a grand adventure to find a way home. She meets wonderful characters and defeats an evil witch and her minions to save the land of Oz. When she gets home, she is greeted with loving arms from her family and they live happily ever after...until the sequel.

     It must be noted, like American Psycho 2, this film is an unofficial and unsupported sequel. The story takes place six months after Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) returned from Oz. She can not stop talking about the characters she met and the places she went. This starts to worry her aunt and uncle to the point that they think she is going crazy. They take her to a doctor who experiments with electroshock therapy. Right away this movie sets a different tone from the first film. This movie is just dark from the get go. Not to say this is a bad thing. It actually sets up a more realistic feeling to the real world. It may have went a little overboard, but it was an interesting take on how Dorothy's guardians would react to her insisting this world of Oz existed.

     She does finally make it back to Oz and finds it in ruins. She goes on a journey to find out what has happened to the land and all of her friends. The movie feels a lot like the first one in this aspect. She meets more interesting characters along the way. In fact, you only get to see her old friends mostly at the end of the film.

     If you thought the monkeys and the Wicked Witch were creepy, you haven't seen anything until you see the Wheelers and the witch Mombi. The Wheelers are gangly creatures with wheels for hands and feet. The witch Mombi has a room full of heads that she can interchange with her body. Pretty creepy stuff for a kid's story.

     The movie has some bad claymation, puppetry and effects, but for a movie that was released in 1985, I didn't find it that bad. I liked the story about the people doubting Dorothy and her having to prove herself. It does fall flat in some aspects, but all in all it is a decent story. You have to have an open mind going into this movie, especially if you love the first one.

 

     Next week is the final installment of this series. I covered The Christmas Story in December, but did you know it had a sequel that was released eleven years later?

     Thursday begins a new segment on the blog. It is called Second Chances. I go back and review a movie that I didn't like and give it another shot. The first film up is 30 Minutes of Less.

     Friday I preview both Underworld: Awakening and Haywire.

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.

 

 


 

January 17, 2012

The Reel Opinion's DVD Release of the Week...

PG-13

     When some movies are released in theaters, similar movies will come out on DVD. With the release of Red Tails this week, the 1995 HBO movie The Tuskegee Airmen is out on DVD. Unlike a lot of other "similar" DVD's, this one should be checked out.

     Although only a few of the characters are based on real people, it does not take away from the accomplishments of these brave pilots. Some of the claims the movie makes have been up for debate, but I don't feel it hurts the film. Most historical movies have some fiction in them. Some of the acting is a bit cheesy, but all in all it is a pretty decent film for not being a feature film released in theaters. Lawrence Fishburn, Andre Braugher and Cuba Gooding, Jr. are all pretty good in this movie. I picked up a copy at Wal-Mart for five bucks a couple of years ago. I'm sure that will change with the release of Red Tails. Enjoy this film for what it is: a decent film about extraordinary men.

 

Other Releases: January 17, 2011:

* Abduction

* WWE: TLC 2011

* The Ides of March

* TNA Wrestling: Bound for Glory 2011

* Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

 

Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story and Casa de Mi Padre. To see them, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

     Wednesday will be the next installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?" The film reviewed will be the sequel to The Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz.

     Thursday will be the debut of a new segment called "Second Chances". This is where I go back and rewatch a movie I didn't like and give it another go.  30 Minutes or Less is the first film to get a chance to redeem itself.

     Friday will be the preview for what I'm calling a "Tough Girl Double Feature". Previewed will be Underworld: Awakening and Haywire.

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.

 

 


 

January 16, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated R

     I had a lot of high hopes for this movie.  I didn't expect it to be a masterpiece, but I at least expected it to be fun.  I'm sorry, but this movie was boring.  With some wooden performances, slow story and a plot and director unwilling to take risks, I just didn't like this one.

     Here is what worked for me.  There were a couple of clever twists before the ending.  One of the twists was obvious to me because I studied art in college.  It wouldn't be obvious to everyone, but I got it from square one.  I liked JK Simmons (Captain Camp) in this film.  He was sort of channeling his inner J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man for this one, but the character needed to be a little campy.

     The rest of the acting just didn't have much weight behind it.  The worst offender had to be Kate Beckinsale (Kate Farraday).   She just seemed to just be there.  In the scenes that were supposed to be tense, she just seemed very uninterested and unemotional.

     I at least will give some credit to Ben Foster (Sebastian Abney).  He at least tried to give some weight to his performance as a recovering alcoholic.  The scenes about his struggle with alcohol just did not seem to fit in this movie.

     A few things that could have happened in this film and helped didn't.  The terrorizing of Mark Wahlberg's (Chris Farraday) family could have been better.  Being that I figured out the big twist shortly into the movie made me feel that they were never in danger to begin with.  When Kate Farraday was really in danger, Beckinsale's acting just couldn't sell it.

     There was hardly any action in this movie.  For a movie that has been billed as an action film, you will be highly disappointed.  There are only a couple of action scenes.  The worst part is the main character, who is supposed to be this tough guy, really didn't get too involved in the action.  If this is just supposed to just be a heist film, it is a very poor one as well.

     The director of this movie could have taken a couple of risks that would have helped, but decided to go with the big happy Hollywood ending.  This is a poor choice for this type of film.  You need at least some tragedy to add weight to your plot.

     If you are going to see this one, wait until it comes out on DVD.  I probably will not be watching this one again.  There are better heist films out there that I would rather watch, like The Italian Job.  That is how you make a good heist film, right Mr. Wahlberg?

 

Actors:

Mark Wahlberg:  The Departed, Sniper, Boogie Nights, The Italian Job, Fear.

Kate Beckinsale:  Whiteout.  I am not a fan of the Underworld series and I am not looking forward to the new one next week.

Ben Foster:  The Mechanic, 30 Days of Night, 3:10 to Yuma, The Punisher

 

Director:  This is my first experience with Baltasar Kormakur's work and I was not very impressed.

 

Similar film:  This movie still felt kind of like Gone In 60 Seconds, but in super,duper slow motion.  There are too many good heist movies out there to waste your time with this one.

 

Tuesday will be the DVD Release of the Week as well as Trailer Tuesday.

Wednesday will be the third installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?"  The movie covered will be the sequel to The Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz.

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.

 

 


January 13th, 2012

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated R

     Mark Wahlberg has a pretty good track record with me. One of the stains on his career is Max Payne, a movie based on one of my favorite video games of all time. The movie was just awful, so I give Wahlberg a lot of flak for it. For the most part, I enjoy his work. In this film, his character must go back to a life of crime to save a family member. This sounds a lot like Gone In 60 Seconds without the cars to me. This is not a bad thing, because I really like that movie. This movie just looks like it is going to be a lot of fun.

What I am hoping for:

* Action packed fun

     This movie looks like the type of film I could really enjoy. I want to see lots of explosions, guns and fights. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare, but a good story would be helpful as well.

* Great supporting cast

     Wahlberg is surrounded by some pretty great, talented actors. Giovanni Ribisi, JK Simmons and Kate Beckinsale are all actors that have been involved in films and TV shows that I like. The real gem is Ben Foster, the man I named best supporting actor last year for his role in The Mechanic. I really want this to be a breakout year for him. I hope he can get it started with this movie.

 

What I am afraid of

* Too familiar of a story

     I mentioned earlier that this movie sounded a lot like Gone In 60 Seconds. I won't mind if it is like that film, but I don't want it to be a carbon copy.

* The director

     I am unfamiliar with Baltasar Kormakur's work. He does have a couple of films released in America, but nothing I have seen or heard of before now. I hope he will surprise me with his work on this film.

 

That about does it. I will have the review of this movie by Monday, January 16th.

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.

 

 


 

January 12th, 2012

The Reel Opinion presents Not Seen In Theaters...

Rated PG-13

     This is a new segment on The Reel Opinion where I watch a fairly recent movie that I did not go see in theaters. Sometimes gems can slip through your fingers. My hope for this segment is that I find some of those gems that I let get by me. First up is Moneyball.

     I have been hearing a lot of good things about this movie ever since it came out. I kind of regretted not seeing it in theaters because I usually like baseball movies in general. I have to say that it really didn't disappoint. This is a solid film, but not for any one or two performances like many would have you believe. It was a collective of known and unknown actors that made for a solid ensemble cast. The movie was a little slow, but not so much that it was not interesting.

     The movie was basically about finding diamonds in the rough. The Oakland A's lose their three best players to other organizations and need to replace them. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) at a meeting with the Cleveland Indians and "buys" him from them after seeing the way Peter influences the meeting. Peter believes in a method that looks at stats such as on base percentage to get players that are undervalued to field a winning team. The movie follows this season.

     I have to say that anybody that likes baseball would enjoy this story. The baseball fans that participate in fantasy leagues would probably enjoy it the most. This is not just a story for baseball fans, as I think that anybody could enjoy this movie. I feel that the sports fan would get the most out of it. I would recommend this movie for its realism and attention to detail. Give it a chance and you won't be disappointed.

Friday will be my preview of Mark Wahlberg's new film Contraband.

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.

 

 


 

January 11th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classic's review of...

Rated R

     Welcome to the next installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?" American Psycho, starring Christian Bale, is one of the most complex, brutal and interesting films ever made. I still have to think really hard when discussing that movie with other people. It follows the murder spree of one Patrick Bateman. It is an extremely psychological and disturbing film that takes you into the mind of a serial killer.

     In 2002 a sequel was released straight to video. It had the character of Patrick Bateman, but no Christian Bale. It had an inner monologue of a serial killer, but it is not of Patrick Bateman. You see, Bateman is killed off in the first five or ten minutes by a little girl that breaks free of her bonds. She kills Bateman and decides at that instant she wants to kill serial killers for the rest of her life.

     The movie is about this little girl, Rachel (Mila Kunis), all grown up and going to college to get a position as teaching assistant to Prof. Starkman (William Shatner). This position would help leapfrog her to the FBI, where she could learn to profile and hunt the serial killers she wants to kill.

     The biggest problem with this movie is that it feels way too different from the first. Patrick Bateman was an unpredictable, methodical killer. While Kunis's character is methodical, you can see the way she is going to off her victims right away. Bateman's victims were picked mostly at random and you didn't know who his victim was going to be most of the time. Rachel's victims all served a purpose. They were all in her way of getting the position she wanted. This is just kind of boring most of the time.

     Shatner is Shatner in his role, which is not a bad thing. I found him a little entertaining, but he could not save this movie. I enjoyed a couple of scenes, but I felt the main character had her plan a little too thought for her to be label "psycho". She had already planned the "perfect" crime. Patrick Bateman was too random of a killer to be compared to her.

     I have to say you should pass on this one. If you have any appreciation for the first one, don't waste your time on this movie. Even the author of the American Psycho books, Bret Easton Ellis, has denounced this film.

 

Next week will be the sequel to a beloved classic, The Wizard of Oz.

Thursday will be the introduction of a new segment on The Reel Opinion. It is called "Not Seen In Theaters". This is where I go back and watch a somewhat recent film that I passed on when it was in the theaters and review it. Thursday's movie will be Moneyball.

Friday will be my preview of Contraband.

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.

 

 


 

January 10th, 2012

The Reel Opinion's DVD Release of the Week...

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

Rated PG-13

Release Date: January 10, 2012

     I don't know why I didn't want to see this one in theaters. I usually like baseball movies, but I wasn't interested in this one at the time. I kind of want to see it now, so that is why it is the DVD Release of the Week. I have been hearing nothing but good things about this movie since it came out. My brother read the book and told me it was pretty good, so I am going to give it a shot.

     I also picked Moneyball for another reason. I am debuting a new segment this week on Thursday. It is called "Not Seen In Theaters". Once a month, I will pick a fairly recent movie that I didn't go see in theaters and review it. So on Thursday, the review will be for Moneyball.

 

Other Releases: January 10, 2012

* Boardwalk Empire: Season 1

* What's Your Number

* G.I. Joe: Series 2 – Season 1

* Killer Elite

* Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption

 

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

     Wednesday will be the second installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?" The movie covered this week will be American Psycho 2.

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.

 

 


 

January 9th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated R

Minor Spoilers!!!

     Oh, how the year is getting off to a bad start.  This movie had a chance to be really interesting, but it turned into Apollo 18 at the end.  This movie had me hooked for about the first third of it.  I was really surprised with my interest in it.  It really had an interesting premise at first, but lost it.

     The premise was a science vs. religion debate.  Is the need for exorcisms real or are these people just mentally ill?  It had me hooked, but they debunked the theories too quickly to keep my interest.  If they would have kept the debate going, it might have helped this movie, but it would not have saved it.

     The movie almost became humorous when the demon possessed people were confronted by the priests.  Those that have seen The Exorcist know how they acted and the types of things they said.  This has been overdone and is just kind of a joke now.  It was shocking back then, but not now.

     The imagery was pretty creepy, but was hurt by the overall predictable story.  I knew what was coming way before it happened.  Something was mentioned near the start of the movie and I knew that would be the major plot twist at the end.

     What really ruined this movie was the end.  If you saw Apollo 18, you know what I mean.  That movie and this one want to try to teach us a lesson after the movie is over.  I'm sorry but I have to spoil this a little bit, but a website pops up to try to get us to research it more.  No thank you.  You had a chance to keep my interest movie, but you failed.

     I wouldn't recommend this movie to anybody, even if you are a fan of the genre.  It teases you with an interesting plot and then takes it away.  The movie is predictable and humorous instead of interesting and scary.  Some of the comments I heard as people left the theater were "That was stupid" and "I want my money back".  I couldn't agree more.  This movie is already a candidate for worst movie of the year.  Congratulations!!!

 

Actors:  I have not seen any of these actors in anything before this to my knowledge.

Director:  William Brent Bell directed another film that was interesting at first and failed in the end.  That movie was called Stay Alive.  Great premise and a great start, but fizzled before it was over.  I wouldn't recommend this movie either.

Similar movies:  This movie almost felt like The Blair Witch project meets The Exorcist.  Part of the film also felt like Fallen with Denzel Washington.  I highly recommend that movie.

 

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

Wednesday will be the second installment of "They Made A Sequel To That?"  American Psycho 2 will be the movie reviewed.

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.

 

 

 


January 6th, 2012

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated R

     Do you know one type of movie I am kind of tired of? That would be movies about exorcism. Do you know another type of movie I am tired of? That would be the "found footage" type. This movie seems to bring the two together, so I'm not sure what to think. I know the trailer is pretty creepy, though. A daughter is trying to find out if she might end up like her mother. Her mother allegedly went crazy and killed three people during her own exorcism.

 

What I am hoping for:

* Be really creepy

The trailer had some pretty creepy imagery. I would like it to keep the tone of the trailer throughout most of the movie.

* Keep my interest

I want this to be more than a one trick pony. I want it to go deeper than "The Devil made me do it.".

 

What I am afraid of:

* The trailer

I am afraid that the trailer has given away too much of the plot, as they seem to do nowadays.

* Same ol', same ol'

We have seen tons of films that seem to be quite similar to this. I am afraid that this is going to be a "Been there, done that" film.

 

That about covers it. I will have my review of this film by Monday, January 9th.

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.

 

 


 

January 5th, 2012

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

reel winners

     The winners and losers here are only from movies that I saw last year. First I will have some extra awards that I would like to hand out.

Obscure Awards:

Third Time's A Charm Award - Transformers 3

 

 

Been There, Done That Award - The Adventures of Tintin

 

Limited Release I Wanted To See But Couldn't Award - Machine Gun Preacher

 

Best Movie Quotes of 2011:

"You forgot the first rule of remakes, Jill. Don't f*** with the original!"

Sidney Prescott – Scream 4

 

"He's p***ed." Ironhide about Optimus Prime – Transformers 3

 

"Yeah. I punched out Adolf Hitler 200 times." Steve Rogers - Captain America

 

"Caesar *is* home." Caesar – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

 

"Go f*** yourself." Logan – X-Men: First Class

 

"So you found God, huh? That's awesome. See, Mom kept calling out for him but he wasn't around. I guess Jesus was down at the mill forgiving all the drunks. Who knew?"

Tommy Riordan (Conlin) to Paddy Conlin (his father) – Warrior

 

"Shut Up Crime!" The Crimson Bolt - Super

 

2011 Awards:

 

Funniest Movie: Paul

 

 

Most Nostalgic Movie: The Muppets

 

Best Superhero Movie: X-Men: First Class

 

Best Good Guy:  Chris Evans - Captain America

 

 

Best Bad Guy:  Tom Hiddleston - Loki (Thor)

 

Best Anti-Hero:  Nicholas Cage - Milton (Drive Angry)

 

Biggest Bad A**:  Tom Hardy - Tommy Riordan (Warrior)

 

Worst Actor: Jason Mamoa - Conan

 

Worst Actress: January Jones - Emma Frost (X-Men: First Class)

 

Best Director:  Gavin O'Connor - Warrior

 

Best Supporting Actor:  Ben Foster - The Mechanic

 

Best Supporting Actress:  Hayley Atwell - Captain America

 

Best Actor:  Michael Fassbender - X-Men: First Class

 

Best Actress:  Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

 

Worst Film of 2011:  Apollo 18

 

Best Film of 2011:  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

 

That about does it. Friday will be my preview of The Devil Inside.

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.

 


 

January 4th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classic's review of...

rage carrie 2

Rated R

     Welcome to the first installment of a series I like to call "They Made A Sequel To That?". The first movie that is being covered is the 1999 sequel to the 1976 film Carrie. I will admit, this film is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I actually liked it the first time I watched it years ago. I watched it again the other day and still liked it. Maybe it is because I find Emily Bergl (Rachel Lang) cute. Maybe it is because Zachary Ty Bryan (Eric) plays a completely different character than he did on Home Improvement. Maybe I just like to see the mean, popular kids get what they deserve. I just enjoyed this film.

     The film only has two connections to the original. The first one is the character of Sue Snell played by Amy Irvine. She was the only survivor of the first film. The only other connection between the two movies is that Carrie (Sissy Spacek) from the first film and Rachel Lang share a blood relative. Other than that, it just feels like the same film. They use a lot of the same sound effects such as the "They are all going to laugh at you" line. A lot of it feels the same, but I still like it.

     This movie was actually released in theaters where it bombed and was ripped apart by critics. Most of them said it was too much like the original.

     I had to watch this film on Youtube because I could find no existing cop, y of it, not even on iTunes. To me, this movie almost feels like a remake than a sequel, but a couple of certain elements negates that theory. Is , it a worthy sequel? Not really, but I still had fun with it. I like the characters, the plot about the school boys having sex for points and the revenge that it brings upon them. If you like the original, give this one a look just for the fun of it.

     Next week will be a sequel to a film that should have had a sequel, just not the one it got. American Psycho 2 is the film covered next week.

Thursday will be the results for my Best and Worst of 2011...That I Saw.

Friday will be my preview of The Devil Inside.

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.

 

 


 

January 3rd, 2012

The Reel Opinion's DVD Release of the Week...

justified

     This is a show I have watched from the very beginning and it is one of the best shows out there. This show pulls no punches when it comes to content and season two is no different. Unlike a lot of shows, this show has every character on a short lease. Main characters can die at any moment. I like a show that is unpredictable like that. It kind of reminds me of 24 in that aspect. Timothy Olyphant (Raylan Givens) plays the role he was born to play. This is one of my favorite characters of all time and he is just getting started. The villains this season are more evil than season one's. The problem for Raylan is that he has to deal with some of season one's villains in a way as well. Great characters, stories and an unforgettable attitude are just a few of many reasons to add this set to your collection. I know I am.

 

Other releases: January 2nd, 2011

* Marley and Me: The Puppy Years

* Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

* Spongebob's Frozen Face-Off

* Shark Night

* Contagion

* I Don't Know How She Does It

* Puncture

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday, . Today's trailers are for In The Land of Blood & Hon, ey and The Dictator. To see them, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

Wednesday will be the start of a new series called "They Made A Sequel To That?".

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 th,, , e_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

January 2nd, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

<, p>tinker

Rated R

     The trip to St. Louis was interesting.  I went to a theater called the Landmark Theater.  It was probably the classiest theater I have been to.  They only showed limited release and independent films.  It was a pretty nice place.

     The movie itself was pretty good.  A great cast and interesting story made the trip worth it.  I had a couple of problems with the movie, but nothing that really ruined my experience with it.

     The first problem I had is the jumping around between time periods.  As with J. Edgar, you really had to pay attention because unless a character was telling a story, it was hard to tell when the time shifts occurred.  If you paid attention, you got used to it.

     I would have liked to have more backstory on some of the characters.  I won't give it away, but it was pretty easy to figure out who the mole was if you went by the backstories, or lack thereof.  I thought they pulled a fast one on me at the end, but it turned out to be false.  I was right when it came to the mole.

     The movies pacing was a little slow, but you got used to it after a while.

     The acting is superb.  Gary Oldman (George Smiley) led a great cast of interesting characters.  Oldman's character had this quiet intensity about him that made you wonder what he was capable of.  What I mean is that he was so calm that I thought in one scene he was going to snap on one of the characters to an unknown result.  I really don't want to give it away, but it was intense.  I also liked how his character seemed to have this mundane life without the job, but it seemed to mean something when the job was involved.

     Tom Hardy (Ricki Tarr) and Mark Strong (Jim Prideaux) were excellent as usual.  Both actors played their parts with everything they had.  Both are very capable actors that always absorb themselves into their roles.  It is no different in this movie.

     The look of the films was outstanding.  The theater I went to had it on film, not digital.  I think that this helped to make it feel more like the time period.  The sets, the close and the hairstyles screamed the 70's.

     If you can handle the pacing, this is a great movie.  Great acting, story and look make this film one of the best I have seen this year.  I liked it a lot.  Go see it when it comes out Friday.

 

Actors:

Gary Oldman:  New Batman franchise, Harry Potter franchise, Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, The Book of Eli, Hannibal, Bram Stoker's Dracula

Mark Strong:  Green Lantern (he was good), Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood (2010), Kick-Ass, Rocknrolla

Tom Hardy:  Warrior, Inception (he was about the only thing I liked about this movie), Rocknrolla, Layer Cake, Black Hawk Down

 

Director:  Tomas Alfredson hasn't directed anything else that I have seen.  He did direct Let The Right One In, which was remade as Let Me In here in America

 

Similar movie:  I really can't name a movie that I have seen that is similar to this one.  It was short on action, but heavy on interesting dialog.  It almost felt like a play instead of a movie.

 

Tuesday will be DVD Release of the Week as well as Trailer Tuesday.

Wednesday will start a new series about little known sequels.  Thursday will be the results of my Best and Worst of 2011…That I Saw.

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.

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