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

The Reel Opinion: Feb. 2012 Entries

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February 29, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Unrated

     Welcome to the final installment of "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". This is going to be the easiest review I have written. There are three big differences between the theatrical release of this movie and the Unrated Cut of it: More cursing (Especially F bombs), more violence and the "You killed a helicopter with a car" scene was changed. The first two things here just make the movie feel more like Die Hard. The theatrical release was fine, but the additions just made it feel more like the other films. Also, you can hear John McClane (Bruce Willis) say his catchphrase at the end of the film more clearly, which made a lot of fans happier.

     The changed scene actually took out my favorite line in the movie. In the theatrical cut, after destroying the helicopter, McClane says, "I ran out of bullets." In the Unrated cut, he says something about people dying in car crashes every day. The line works, but the other line is way better.

     Now to give a quick preview of what I want to see and not want to see in Die Hard 5. First, I'm not a huge fan of the title: A Good Day to Die Hard. That being said, I wasn't a big fan of the title Live Free or Die Hard either, but it didn't make me like the movie less.

     Another thing I don't want to see is somebody else taking over the franchise. If Bruce Willis isn't going to do it, then just end it when he is done. His son Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) is in this film, so I am afraid that this is what they are going to do. Jai Courtney is on the show Spartacus. I have not seen the show, but a friend told me this guy is a pretty tough guy on it. I kind of hope they have an Indiana Jones moment with this character, where you think they are going to pass on the torch, but John McClane says, "Not yet, kid."

     I would like to see the rumored Patrick Stewart as the villain. If you have watched American Dad, he can be very witty with his comebacks. This would be a good fit for the franchise. McClane is always more effective when the villain can talk back.

     I would like to know what happened between Matt Farrell (Justin Long) and Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) from the last film. The movie teased they would get together. It would be nice to know if that happened.

     I would like them to just release the movie in theaters Rated R, but I think the same thing is going to happen that happened with the last film. It will be PG-13 in theaters and Unrated on DVD.

     That about does it. Thursday will be a new Not Seen In Theaters. The Hurt Locker will be the movie reviewed. Friday will either be a preview of The Lorax or Project X. It is up to you to decide. Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook page and vote on which movie you want me to see this weekend. If you haven't joined the page, 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.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

February 28, 2012

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

PG-13

     This was an easy pick for me because all is right in the world when DC animation gets the voice actors everybody wants them to for one of their animated DVD releases. Top of the food chain is Kevin Conroy as Batman. He pretty much is known as THE voice of The Caped Crusader since Batman: The Animated Series started in 1992. Also, he is a pretty cool guy to meet:

 

     From Tim Daley as Superman and Michael Rosenbaum as The Flash, a lot of the Justice League Animated Series gang is here. That right there is worth my money. Not all of the DC animated films are great, but the ones where DC gives the fans what they want usually are pretty good.

 

Other Releases: February 28th, 2012

* WWE Royal Rumble 2012

* Hugo

* Johnny English Reborn

* Clash of the Titans (1981) Blu-Ray

 

 Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Today's trailers are for Agent Vinod and Brave.  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 final installment for February's Die Hard series. Thursday will be a new Not Seen In Theaters. The Hurt Locker will be the movie reviewed. Friday will be a preview for either Project X or The Lorax. It is up to you guys to decide. Go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook page and vote on which one you want to send me to. Voting ends on Thursday night. If you want to vote, 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.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 


 

February 27, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated R

     I had a couple of fears heading into this movie. Only one of them came to pass. One of them was this movie being a huge recruiting tool for the military. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the military. It is because of them that I have the freedom to do what I love to do. My problem is with anybody preaching a message to me through what is supposed to be entertainment. I don't like movies to try tell me how to vote, what god to pray to or how to live my life. I go to movies to be entertained. I don't mind if a movie challenges my beliefs or makes me think, but movies that force an issue on me get on my nerves. Movies like Green Zone did this. It was all about how the government lied to us about weapons of mass destruction. Why can't they just make an entertaining movie and leave their opinions to themselves? I am happy to say that this movie did not force an issue on the viewer. The only thing this movie pressed was how honorable the Navy Seals are. I have no problem with that. They put everything aside to fight for us, and I salute them for it.

     The other fear I had was that this movie would be too influenced by the Call of Duty video game franchise. I was about 300% right on this one. The movie used way too many first person shooter shots for me to take the movie too seriously. I lost count after about twenty times they used the "first person, heavy breathing shot". This was about a half an hour or so into the movie. I felt like I was watching a friend play the game at times. It turned what could have been a really good movie into just a decent one.

     The movie, though predictable, had a decent plot. This is where I think some people thought this movie was military or conservative propaganda. A terrorist is trying to invade America and blow up bombs. It is how they are trying to get into the country that might raise some people's eyebrows. My opinion is that anything is possible. I never thought terrorists would be able to fly airplanes into buildings, but it happened, didn't it. Anything is possible.

     It was a little hard to get to know the soldiers involved on the Seal team. The movie really only focused on two of them, one with four kids and one with a kid on the way. They also focused on the head of the Seal team a little bit, but not much. He did however have one of the funniest interrogation scenes I have seen in a movie. I think the movie intentionally tried not to focus too much one any one soldier so that the viewer would continually see them as a team or a family. I think this was a smart choice.

     I really wanted to love this movie, but the constant video game look and feel took away from the weight of the subject matter. It is still a decent movie with a good terrorist plot. Active and former military personnel especially will probably want to see this one in theaters. The filmmakers and the military personnel do the armed forces proud. They did have a tribute to fallen soldiers, which I thought was both tasteful and the right way to end the film. This film should have ended no other way.

     Tuesday will be The DVD Release of the Week and Trailer Tuesday. Wednesday will be the final installment of February's Die Hard series. Thursday will be a new Not Seen In Theaters.

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.

 

 

 


 

February 24th, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated R

     When I first heard about this movie, I was a little bit intrigued. Active Navy Seals playing parts in a movie? I thought it might be pretty authentic. After a little research, it turns out that when the development of this film began in 2007 it was to be a Navy recruiting video. The filmmakers decided that the footage they were shooting was good enough to be a feature film instead. The Navy was also on board as well. The equipment, vehicles and weapons are the real deal in this movie. A lot of the footage was shot during real training exercises. This could be interesting and realistic.

 

What I am hoping for:

A real feel

     I like movies like Black Hawk Down because it felt like it was real. It wasn't horribly stylized with out of control explosions and effects. It felt like you were on the mission with those soldiers. I want this movie to feel the same way.

Main "actors" to be good

     I have no doubt that the Seals in this film will pull off the action. In fact, I think it will feel very real. I also want them to pull off the acting part as well. I want to be able to connect with these characters.

 

What I am afraid of:

Too stylized

     In one of the trailers for this movie, they show some slow motion going on during one of the scenes. I won't mind if they use a little stylization. I just hope they don't overdue it.

"Call of Duty: The Movie"

     This is my biggest fear. The Call of Duty video game franchise is huge right now. I just have this feeling that the only reason this movie is being released in theaters is because of the game. Those games are known for having great stories behind them, but that might add to the stylization of the film. I want more of a "real" feel behind this movie.

 

That about does it. I will have the review of this movie by Monday, February 27th.

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.

 

 


 

February 23rd, 2012

The Reel Opinion's Thumbstick Thursday presents...

Rated PG

     One of the greatest video games of all time was released in 1985. That game would be Super Mario Bros., a sequel to Mario Bros. We all know what this game is and what it is about. A lot of us know the theme music in our heads and can hum it note for note. In 1993, a film extremely loosely based on the game was filmed. I'll start with the cast.

     Bob Hoskins was cast to play Mario. He is not Italian, but I can buy it. He is a pretty good actor and kind of looked the part.

     One choice that made me scratch my head was Princess Daisy. Not because she is played by Samantha Mathis, because I've kind of had a crush on her since Pump Up The Volume. Ah, Nora.......sorry lost my train of thought there for a second. It was that they didn't use Princess Peach instead. Princess Daisy had only been in one Mario game at the time, the Gameboy exclusive Super Mario Land. In all the other games it was Princess Peach. I guess they didn't think Mario having the princess as a love interest was a good idea.

 

     Here is where it starts to get weird. They cast John Leguizamo as Luigi. Now, I kind of like him as an actor. He was about the only good thing to come out of the Spawn movie with his portrayal of Clown, but they were way off on the casting here. Luigi is Italian, Leguizamo is Colombian. The accent he tried to use was really bad. Plus, no mustache?

 

     The plot point of this movie is that when a big meteorite hit Earth 65 million years ago, it didn't kill the dinosaurs. Instead the world split into two dimensions. Ours is one and the other is one where dinosaurs evolved into humans as well. This is what is explained for the rest of the characters. First is King Koopa, or President Koopa as he is called in the film. Dennis Hopper plays the role. He is at least a little entertaining.

     Spike and Iggy, played by Richard Edson and Fisher Stevens are somewhat the comedy relief of the film. Their lack of intelligence is the focal point of a lot of jokes.

Spike and Iggy in the movie

 

 

Spike and Iggy in the game

 

 

     Okay, this one I can buy. In the game, Yoshi is a dinosaur type creature that the Mario Bros. can ride on. That is something I kind of would have liked to see in the movie. Instead, Yoshi is the royal pet.

 

     Toad is a major character in the Mario Bros mythos. Here he is from the movie. Not even close.

 

     And last but not least, the goombas. How you get a tall, small headed lizard from a walking mushroom is beyond me, but that is what we got.

     Would it have been hard for them to film some of the stuff that is in the game. At the time yes, but that didn't stop other movies from trying odd effects. I think I would have rather they use really bad effects than what they did. The Mushroom Kingdom is not a run down, almost post apocalyptic place. The choices they used for a lot of the locations and characters were odd. It felt like they tried to cram some of the Super Mario themes into another existing movie. The idea of a villain trying to merge two worlds is not a bad plot. It as the fact that they tried to pass it off as the Mario Bros. that didn't work. Kind of like when Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 2 here in America. Did you know that the American version of Super Mario Bros 2 was really another game called Yume Kôjô: Doki Doki Panic with Mario graphics added?

     I'm going to make this real simple. If you go into this movie wanting a real Super Mario Bros. movie, you are going to be extremely disappointed. If you go into this film and just try to enjoy the stupidity, you might actually have a good time. Watch it when you feel like watching something not that serious. I enjoy watching it from time to time. Is it great? Not by a long shot. I rip on this movie all of the time, but that doesn't stop me from watching it, does it?

I will leave you with what the film's star Bob Hoskins say what he thinks about the film:

     "The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers. It was a f***in' nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F***in' nightmare. F***in' idiots."

And some more from Hoskins:

What is the worst job you've done?  Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?  Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?  I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

 

That about does it. Friday will be my preview for Act of Valor.

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.

 

 

 


 

 

February 22nd, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classic review of...

Rated PG-13

     Welcome to the fourth installment of "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". Today I will be talking about the theatrical cut of the fourth Die Hard movie, Live Free or Die Hard. There was a lot of controversy when the movie was to be PG-13 instead of Rated R. Many wondered if the character of John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be somehow weaker because the movie would be less violent and vulgar. All in all, it is still a pretty good action flick, but it did lose a little bit with the neutering of the rating.

     The premise of the movie is that multiple computer hackers unknowingly help a cyber-terrorist cause what is called a fire sale. A fire sale is a complete assault against the government. They shut down everything from transportation to satellites. All but one of the hackers are killed after they complete their task. A hacker by the name of Matt Farrell (Justin Long) survives only because John McClane is sent to pick him up for the FBI and deliver him to Washington DC. McClane and Farrell proceed to try to figure out who is behind the fire sale and what their real motive is.

     The film is usually ripped on because of a few scenes such as the "You killed a helicopter with a car" scene or the "Standing on a jet" scene. Look, this is DIE HARD. Each of the movies had something that was unbelievable in them. The original had John McClane jump off the roof of a building, swing on a fire hose and shoot his way into a window, while the roof exploded. He also, somehow, didn't bleed to death from walking with bare feet on shattered glass. Part 2 had the scene where McClane ejected himself from a landed plane to escape an explosion. Part 3 had McClane AND Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) jump from a very high distance and both catch a metal cable that probably would have cut them in half in real life. The point I'm trying to make is that to really enjoy these movies, you have to suspend disbelief a little bit. I think people just wanted to protest it because the movie wasn't as bad as they thought it would be.  Besides, I love the one liner after he kills the helicopter with the car.  It is one of McClane's best.

     There is a lot of good action and a pretty good story, but it does feel like "Die Hard Lite".  You know, it is still a can of Whoop-A**, but only half the calories.  Timothy Olyphant (Thomas Gabriel) is not as imposing of a villain as Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) from the first film or Simon from the third one, but he is pretty entertaining. He can trade barbs with John McClane pretty well. All in all, it is still a decent Die Hard flick. It is a lot better than the second one, at least.

     Next week will be the final week of "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". I will be talking about the Unrated Cut of Live Free or Die Hard, plus I will talk a little about what I want to see and not see in Die Hard 5.

Thursday will be a new Thumbstick Thursday. I will be talking about one of the most misinterpreted video game movies of all time, Super Mario Bros.

Friday will be my preview of Act of Valor.

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.

 


 

February 21st, 2012

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

Rated PG

     Like last week, I am going to be a little biased. Last week was MMA and this week is going to be pro wrestling. There is no denying Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's rise to stardom in Hollywood. He is probably the most successful pro wrestler to make the crossover since Hulk Hogan. I feel that he has been even more successful than Hogan. A lot of his movies are certainly better. This DVD collection is all about The Rock's (Yes, he will be forever The Rock with me) career in pro wrestling, matches, plus new interviews. This will probably not be the last Rock DVD release because he is wrestling at Wrestlemania this year, but for any completist like me, this is a must for your collection.

Other Releases: February 21st, 2012:

* Weeds Season 7

* Martha Marcy May Marlene

* Tower Heist

* Nurse Jackie Season 3

* Unforgiven Blu-Ray

* J. Edgar

February 24th, 2012:

* Puss in Boots

    

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for The Hunger Games and Safe. 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 February's Die Hard series.

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.

 

 

 


 

February 20th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated PG-13

     I don't even know where to begin with how bad this movie is. For only the second time in my life, I went to a movie twice just to see if I was wrong the first time. The other movie I did this with was X-Men: The Last Stand. I was pretty tired and sick when I went to the movie on Friday. I left the theater shaking my head, wondering what went wrong. On Sunday, I decided to go see it again and watch the original. Compared to this new one, the original is a masterpiece. One thing I considered doing in this review was to compare the comic to what they tried to do in the movie. There might be some of that in this review, but I won't go into too extensive of detail. I don't think anybody wants to read this geek's comic encyclopedia on this subject. Besides, this is a movie review, not a comic book one.

     First of all, Nic Cage (Johnny Blaze) is not 20 years old. He is in fact 48 years old. Why did this awful script have him spouting the lines of a much younger man. I'm 33 and it makes me worry how I'm going to talk when I get a little older. His acting was just all over the place and strange. I honestly felt like he was on speed for a lot of the movie. When he transformed into Ghost Rider, he just went nuts and it didn't work. In the original film, he could just transform on command after the first time. Now he has to go crazy every time he transforms.

     Speaking of the Ghost Rider character, why all of a sudden does he have no conscience. In the first film, he could tell who was good and who was evil. He talked to a few people and didn't feel like a mindless beast. He all of a sudden will attack anybody that has "Done something that they don't want the Rider to see." This takes away from the character a lot. I missed the attitude of the character from the first film. It was much more entertaining.

     Next subject is "The Devil". In the comic, the character's name is Mephisto. He is not the Devil, but a demon that posed as the Devil and made the deal for Johnny's soul. In the first movie, he is called Mephistopheles, is the Devil and was played by Peter Fonda. Change of name and really the Devil? Okay, I can let that go. For this movie, the same character is now played by Ciaran Hinds and is now called Roarke. Why? It is the SAME CHARACTER!!! I can understand if you couldn't get Peter Fonda again. This isn't the first time an actor has been replaced, but why the name change. The only name change should have been to call him Mephisto. The worst part was that the character was played sort of cheesy now. Peter Fonda was a little creepy and scary. Ciaran Hinds was unforgivingly bad.

     At the end of the first movie, Johnny tells Mephistopheles that he will keep the power of the Ghost Rider so that he can combat him. In this movie, Johnny wants to get rid of it and tries to keep it in check. Can you see a pattern here? Continuity is not this movie's strong point.

     The one thing they tried to get right, but failed on, was the explanation of Johnny's powers. In the comics, he is possessed by a demon named Zarathos. Zarathos is evil, I repeat, evil. In this movie, the spirit was just a good angel that was driven insane and turned evil. Do you see the Star Wars theme here? You could see this plot point coming from a mile away.

     In the original movie, the Ghost Rider could not be out in the daylight. In this movie, he is clearly in the daylight. To be fair, in the comics he is eventually able to travel and change in the daylight.

     I could go on and on, but I will just let it go. If you couldn't tell already, this movie is just bad. A horrible script, cheesy villains and an insane Nic Cage just made for a really bad movie. I didn't hate the first one, but it wasn't great. Compared to this one, the original is The Dark Knight. In the immortal words of fictional movie critic Jay Sherman:

 

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.

 


 

February 17th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews and previews...

Both films Rated PG-13

This Means War review:

     On Valentine's Day, I went to a sneak preview of This Means War. I have to say, it was one of the most intentionally funny films I have seen in a while. The crowd was really into it and so was I. I thought it was a little short on the action, but it had enough for it to be entertaining in that department. It focused more on the love triangle than anything else. Although it was pretty obvious who was going to win Lauren's (Reese Witherspoon) heart early on, it was the ride that was the most entertaining. Both Tom Hardy (Tuck) and Chris Pine (FDR) were very funny and entertaining. Tom Hardy especially keeps getting better and better as he continues to get new kinds of roles. The story about the villain was very short, but help to close out the story. It was like it felt unnecessary, but it also needed to be included. It just didn't get a lot of attention.

     The jokes were both well written and acted. The movie relied on some slapstick humor that really worked well. There was also a decent Star Trek joke aimed towards Chris Pine.

     Though predictable, it is a very fun and funny movie that I would recommend, especially to a couple wanting something different than a movie like The Vow. I enjoyed it by myself, but it would have been nice to have someone to share it with. It was a lot of fun and one to see.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance preview:

     Now here is a film I never saw getting made. The first Ghost Rider film was okay, but felt too much like a video game for me to really enjoy. It also featured fake abs for Nic Cage that were hard to ignore in a really bad CGI way:

 

     I am kind of glad to get a sequel because the first film was left wide open, but still I never thought it would get a chance. The director of the first film, Mark Steven Johnson, does not return for the sequel. However, this could be for the best. They got Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor to direct. These are the guys behind the Crank films. If you haven't seen those films, they are insane. A little light on the story, but nonstop action the whole way through. I am pretty excited to see what kind of action they have cooked up for this movie.

     Nic Cage returns as Johnny Blaze for the sequel. I am glad they did this so that it can be a direct sequel and not a reboot. I don't like it when a film gets rebooted after one film like The Punisher series. I think it will work in the film's advantage because they will not have to tell an origin story again. I do have some hope for this film to use what worked the first time around and fix what didn't. It is not every day a movie that was considered a critical flop gets a chance to redeem itself.

I will have the review for this movie by Monday, February 20th.

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.

 

 


 

February 16th, 2012

The Reel Opinion's At First Glance presents...

     Okay, so this pick might be a little obvious given that this is Die Hard Month on The Reel Opinion, but Bruce Willis also just so happens to be my favorite actor of all time. I find myself being able to watch anything he is in, whether I am interested in it or not. I found it hard to trace back when I really started to like him as an actor.  I would have to say that Die Hard is what put him on my radar, but it was Twelve Monkeys that really made me see his range as an actor.

     I liked him in other movies before this one, but it was this film that really showed me that he was the Everyman. If you have not seen this movie, the premise is that in the future, a virus has made humanity go underground and wild animals have taken over the surface world. Scientists send convicts back in time to try to figure out when and where the virus originated. Willis plays James Cole, a convict sent back in time to complete the task.

     In this role, Willis shows many of emotions that really stuck with me. The emotions of confusion, happiness, love, hate and anger are all played brilliantly by Willis. Like Ryan Gosling's character in Drive, James Cole's emotional state can change in a flash. This makes him a very unpredictable character. While I really enjoy most if not all of his work, this is the movie that made Bruce Willis stick out to me.

Other Movies:

* Red

* The Expendables

* Surrogates

* The Die Hard series

* 16 Blocks

* Sin City

* Hostage

* Whole Nine and Ten Yards

* Tears of the Sun

* Hart's War

* Bandits

* Unbreakable

* The Story of Us

* The Sixth Sense

* The Siege

* The Fifth Element

* Mercury Rising

* The Jackal

* Last Man Standing

* Pulp Fiction

* Striking Distance

* The Last Boy Scout

* Hudson Hawk

* Billy Bathgate

* Look Who's Talking 1 & 2

 

Friday will be my preview of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and my review of This Means War.

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.

 

 


 

February 15th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated R

     Welcome to the third installment of "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". Today I will be talking about my favorite sequel in the Die Hard series, Die Hard with a Vengeance. The reason I think I like this one the most is that it combines John McClane (Bruce Willis) back in New York with his marriage on the rocks again with the return of John McTiernan as director, plus there is a revenge plot added. That may be a lot to handle, but when you add Samuel L. Jackson (Zeus) as a partner for McClane, the movie goes to a whole new level. In the first two films, McClane pretty much had to work alone. Sure he had Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) to talk to, but he hardly got to physically act with him. The addition of Zeus gives McClane someone to bounce ideas and phrases off of. This adds a new dynamic to his character. He doesn't work well with others and it shows.

     The plot involves a terrorist simply known as "Simon".  Simon sets off a bomb in the city. He threatens to set off more if McClane doesn't play his "Simon Says" game. There is no apparent reason why it has to be McClane, but Simon says it has to be him. Along the way, McClane meets Zeus who is pulled into the games by Simon because of his interference in one of them. The main plot revolves around the duo stopping bombs from exploding, finding out who Simon really is and what his real motives are.

     The duo of Jackson and Willis is one of my favorites. The way they play off of each other is both funny and intense. They have appeared in three other films together: Loaded Weapon 1, Pulp Fiction and Unbreakable. Unbreakable is the only film of the three in which they spend a good amount of time on screen together.

     Other than the original, this is my favorite Die Hard film. This is the one I can watch over and over again and not get tired of. There is a Director's Cut out there with a better, more fitting ending than the theatrical release, but both versions are pretty good.

     There is an exclusive quick review of This Means War on The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. If you want to see it and are not a member, just Hit this link and like it.

Next week I will talk about the last of the series so far, Live Free or Die Hard, the theatrical cut.

Thursday will be a new At First Glance. Hint: "Oh wouldn't it be great if I was crazy? Then the world would be okay."

Friday will be my preview of the return of Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.  I will also have a full review of This Means War.

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.

 

 


 

February 14th, 2012

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

Unrated

     I am a huge MMA fan. I am excited about this release because it features two of my favorite fights from last year: Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le and Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson. It was great to see Silva fight like he used to and the Rua/Henderson fight was one of the best fights from last year. I know, this isn't a movie or a TV show, but I could not help myself.

Other Releases: February 14th, 2012:

* Paranormal Activity 3

* Beavis & Butt-Head vol. 4

* The Rum Diary

* The Lorax

* Family Matters: The Complete 2nd Season

* Storage Wars: Season 2

Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for The Bourne Legacy and Unicorn City. To see these trailers, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

Wednesday will be the third installment of February's Die Hard series.

Thursday will be a new installment of At First Glance.

Friday will be my preview for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

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.

 

 


 

February 13th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Safe House – Rated R

The Vow – Rated PG-13

     I am happy to say that the girls and guys alike will have movies that they can enjoy on Valentine's Day. To make it simple, I really didn't find a lot of fault with either of these movies. Predictability was Safe House's weakness, while pacing was The Vow's. These were minor issues for two movies that both set out to do what they accomplished.

Safe House:

     I had a lot of predictable fun with the whole movie. I could predict everything that was going to happen, but that was okay. Denzel Washington (Tobin Frost) and Ryan Reynolds (Matt Weston) were both great in their performances. Denzel was just Denzel, which is never a bad thing. Reynolds ended up being a tough guy like I predicted, but he was at least a less invincible one. He took a pretty good beating in this movie, which helped to make his character more relatable and believable. This movie's action scenes were pretty much right out of the Bourne series. Shaky cam, hard hitting fights with painful finishes. My only real complaint about the action was I wanted more. The movie had a small love story that could have been dropped. It felt a lot like the one from Mission: Impossible 4. It was okay, just not totally necessary. All in all, I liked this movie a lot. If you like the Bourne films, go see this one in theaters.

The Vow:

     The wannabe Nicholas Sparks movie was a very sweet film. It had likable main characters in Rachel McAdams (Paige) and Channing Tatum (Leo). The interesting part of the movie was how many characters tried to take advantage of Paige after she lost part of her memory. Former friends and family both tried to change parts of her life, which made for some interesting side stories. There is a lot of predictability with this film as well, but sometimes you need a movie with a happy ending. The movie never really gets tear inducing or anything, but it is a pretty heartwarming story. This movie is based on a true story, so it might not end as you might like, but it is really good all the same. Definitely a good date movie fellas. It is one of those Brownie Points scoring movies. Truth be told guys, you might like it too. It is okay to admit it guys. You liked The Notebook and you will like this one.

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.

 

 

 


 

February 10th, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Safe House – Rated R

The Vow – PG-13

     I have decided that I would take both sides on this Valentine's Day weekend.  I am going to see both a chick flick and a guy's movie.  The great thing for me is that really I want to see both of them anyway.

Safe House:

     I love Denzel Washington.  When I want to see a man being a real man, I watch one of his movies.  If anybody has captured the unstoppable tough guy role, it is him.  I always look forward to him just being a bada** in films like this.  I like Ryan Reynolds so much that I named my youngest son after him.  Not really, but that is my youngest son's name.  They both have played Green Lantern.  See:

     Anyway, I usually like him in most of the movies he is in, even if the movie is not that great...like Green Lantern.  I think this movie is just going to be a lot of fun to watch.  The only thing is that Ryan Reynolds's character is supposed to be an inexperienced field agent.  I think he is going to end up being an invincible tough guy like Washington's character by the end of the movie.  I can usually suspend disbelief for movie like this, though.  I don't think this movie will take itself too seriously.

The Vow:

     I actually have been really excited for this one for a while.  While one of the reasons has vanished, (I found out it isn't based on a Nicholas Sparks book like I thought) I still think the premise is interesting.  What this movie has done is take the best part of Dear John (Channing Tatum) and the best part of The Notebook (Rachel McAdams) and put them together as a couple.  It has been documented on this blog before that in order for a romance movie to work for me, I have to be able to buy the two actors as a couple.  I can do that with these two.  Both are highly capable actors.  Tatum is extremely underrated and McAdams, as the readers of this blog know, can do no wrong with me (At least so far).  I guess what I am looking for in this movie is the theme "Can love conquer all?".

I will have reviews of both of these films by Monday, February 13th.

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.

 

 


February 9th, 2012

 

The Reel Opinion Second Chance presents...

Rated PG-13

     I have to admit, I had not seen all of this movie. In 1999, I was in college and didn't get a whole lot of sleep. I went with a couple of lady friends to see this movie and kept falling asleep. I remember I kept waking up and things would go from being normal to strange on the screen and I was really lost. I finally just gave up after a while and slept. I probably saw about half of the movie. I wanted to go back and see it for this segment because I wanted to see if I was just too tired for a movie or was it just that boring.

     I have to say that Shakespeare really isn't my thing, but I also have an open mind. I know it was probably just a sign of the times, but Calista Flockhart (Helena) had no business doing Shakespeare. She was at the height of her career with Ally McBeal, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. She just did not fit in.

     I found the story to be rather confusing and boring. I couldn't figure out if the humans could see the otherworldly characters or not. Maybe they could be seen when they chose to. The movie just seemed to drag on and on for me. Maybe this was somebody's cup of tea, but it was not mine. I did think it was funny that there were some actors in it that I didn't know at the time. It was funny to see Christian Bale, David Strathairn, Sam Rockwell, Sophie Marceau and Bill Erwin aka Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street. It didn't really help the movie, but it was fun to see that.

     I did find myself starting to fall asleep while watching this. I guess that answers my question about it. I probably won't be visiting this one ever again.

Friday I will be previewing one love story and one action film. The Vow and Safe House will be covered.

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.

 

 


 

February 8th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated R

     Welcome to the second installment of "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". Today we take a look at the second Die Hard film, Die Hard 2: Die Harder. I will come out and say that this is the worst of the series, but that isn't saying much. I still like to watch this movie, just not as much as the other three. I think the filmmakers tried too hard to replicate the first film so much that it felt too coincidental.

     The movie takes place once again on Christmas Eve, two years after the first film. John McClane (Bruce Willis) is going to pick up his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) at the airport when he notices two men carrying a suspicious package and one of them has a gun. This leads McClane to yet again be at the right place at the right time. Just like the first movie, he deals with authority figures who don't believe him.

     The villains of the film are former US special forces soldiers trying to free a drug lord by threatening to crash planes if their demands are not met. By taking over air traffic control, they will not allow any of the planes to land. McClane realizes that his wife is still on one of the planes and, of course, fights the terrorists.

     All in all, this is still a pretty good action film. It plays out a lot like the first film, maybe a little too much. The villains are not as interesting as the bad guys from the first film, but a decent plot twist helps with that. If you like the first Die Hard, this one fits right in with it. Like I said, it is the weakest of the franchise, but still a lot of fun.

     Next week I will talk about my favorite of the Die Hard sequels, Die Hard With A Vengeance. Thursday will be a new Second Chances. I go back to my college days for my choice this 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.

 

 


 

February 7, 2012

The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week...

Rated R

     This is the story of a diamond heist and what happens after. It has been a while since I have seen this movie, but I remember liking it very well. I picked it for The DVD Release of the Week because I now look forward to seeing it again. This is one of those movies that you kind of forget about until reminded of. I don't know if I would call it a dark comedy, but it is not laugh out loud funny. I just remember finding it rather enjoyable. This movie is over twenty years old, so we will have to see if it holds up. I do look forward to finding out, though.

Other Releases: February 7th, 2012

* Rocko's Modern Life: Season 2

* Lady and the Tramp Blu Ray

* Throw Mama From The Train Blu Ray

* Anonymous

* A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

* Ben Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition

February 11th, 2012

* The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 1

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for The Hunter and Safe House. 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 February's Die Hard series.

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.

 

 


 

February 6, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

     I like surprises.  I like it when a film I want to be good turn out that way.  I was so afraid that this would fall under the category of other "Found footage" films.  This one solved one of the greatest problems of those types of films: the camera.

     How do you solve somebody having to hold the camera all of the time?  Give the person that controls the camera telekinesis.  They should just do that in all these types of films.  I kid of course, but this really took care of that problem and helped me to forget the camera some.  It didn't totally get rid of it, but it helped.  I also like the fact that they didn't treat it like somebody was making a movie after finding the footage.  It was just there.  The only ones shooting were the main character Andrew (Dane DeHaan) & Casey (Ashley Hinshaw).  The only reason Andrew was shooting everything was because of how bad his life was.  Casey shoots video for her blog.  Other characters handle the main camera at one time or another and other cameras such as security camera are shown as well.  It was very well done.

     The movie took a little while to really get going.  I won't say how they got their powers, but I do like the fact that they kept it vague.  I have my theories on how it happened, but I will keep them to myself so that people can come up with their own opinion on it.  I didn't find it very original, but the vagueness of it helped.

     Why can't more superhero and super power movies do as much as this film did and have a good story.  The budget for this movie was only $15 million.  There have been other super power films with 10 times the budget that weren't half as good.  Come on, Hollywood!

     I won't say that the acting was great or anything, but the cast was pretty good.  There were two great performances in this film: Dane DeHaan (Andrew) and Michael Kelly (Andrew's father Richard).  Watching the deconstruction of Andrew's sanity is something to see.  He looked and reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio when he was younger.  I had to tell myself that it wasn't him a couple of times.  His father Richard is an abusive, alcoholic who berates and beats Andrew throughout the movie.  It was like watching two big vehicles coming at each other in slow motion.  You know they are going to collide, but it takes a while to happen.  When it does, it is worth the wait.

     Go see this film if you have any interest in superhero films.  The camera work and effects are great and the story is pretty interesting.  I liked it a lot.  If the director, Josh Trank, ends up making the reboot of The Fantastic Four, I would be thrilled.

 

Actors:  I had not seen any of these actors except for Michael Kelly in anything.  I look forward to more work from Dane DeHaan and Michael Kelly after this movie.

Director:  Josh Trank was new to me as well.  After this, I look forward to more work from him.

Similar movies:  Some of the camera work reminded me of The Truman Show.  The movie it reminded me of the most was Unbreakable.  It felt like a sort of superhero origin story that we will probably not get to see any more of, but should.

 

Tuesday will be The DVD Release of the Week and Trailer Tuesday.  Wednesday will be the next installment of February's Die Hard series.

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.

 


February 3, 2012

 

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated PG-13

     It is we, ll documented that I don't like most found fo, otage films. I think the practice is overdone and stale. How many exorcisms or ghost stories can be told this way before it gets that "Been there, done that" feeling? I have to say that I am intrigued by the idea of this film. It follows three teenagers that somehow gain superpowers. I will at least give it credit for trying a new theme. We will just have to see how well it holds up.

 

What I am hoping for:

* Interesting conflicting themes

     From what I can gather from the trailer, there will be two themes going head to head. These themes are "With great power comes great responsibility" from Spider-Man and "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" from John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, or Lord Acton. If you had the powers of a god, would you use it to help people or rule over them?

* Great special effects

     Some movies about people with superpowers seem to not let themselves go with the effects of the powers. I would like to see this movie go all out with the look of these powers. I want to see end of the world type stuff.

 

What I am afraid of:

* Too convenient of camera angles

     The problem with all found footage movies is that the camera is always just right where it needs to be. I know that it is a movie and that things need to be seen, but sometimes the camera is in just a too perfect of spot to believe.

* Origin of superpowers

     I have this feeling that the origin of the superpowers is going to be something lame like aliens, but you never know. This is only a minor concern, but I would like to see something more original.  I mean, it doesn't need to be a radioactive spider or anything, but some originality would help. 

 

That about covers it. I will have the review for this movie by Monday, February 6th.

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.

 

 


 

February 2, 2012

The Reel Opinion presents Not Seen In Theaters...

Rated PG-13

     This is a movie that I judged too soon. I saw the preview of it and immediately called it a Bourne film knockoff. After watching it, I realized that it was just the marketing of the movie that made it feel that way. I mean, look at the poster for this film and the Bourne poster and tell me they are not going for the exact same audience:

<, p>     Anyway, after watching the movie, I felt that this movie had its own identity (Bad pun, I know). It is not as incredible as the Bourne films, but it does have a decent story and action. I still won't jump on the Taylor Lautner bandwagon after this, but he wasn't that bad.

 

     The movies plot revolves around a kid that feels different than everybody else. He deals with a strict father who is secretly trying to train his son for events that might happen. After discovering that he might have been taken from another family, this leads to him being hunted for unknown reasons. He is being hunted by the CIA as well as a mysterious European man and his gang. The movie follows Nathan (Taylor Lautner) & "girlfriend" Karen (Lily Collins) as they are being chased by both groups.

     My biggest complaint is that, though I know both actors are of age, they are playing teenagers. There is a lot of sexual tension between the two, which in my opinion, comes off as uncomfortable. That is always a weird thing for me in movies. They could have left the near teenager sex scene on the cutting room floor.

     All in all, this is a very entertaining movie. I give it a lot more credit after having seen it. They even left things a little open for a sequel if they choose. I would probably watch it if one was made.

Friday will be my preview of a found footage film I am actually looking f, orward to, 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.

 


 

February 1, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated R

     Welcome to a new classics series entitled "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother February". This month will obviously be Die Hard month here on The Reel Opinion.

     The year was 1988. Imagine you are a New York cop going out to LA to try to be closer to your estranged wife. You are dropped off at your wife's Christmas party and while changing clothes, all hell breaks loose. Terrorists have taken over the building. You escape, barefoot, and go into hiding. What do you do next? Stay hidden until it is all over? Try to escape the building? Not if you are John McClane (Bruce Willis). If you are John McClane, you take the bad guys out with extreme violence and awesome catchphrases.

     The plot of the movie for the few of you that don't already know is that the terrorists are after millions of dollars worth of bearer bonds that are locked away in the building and it is up to John McClane to stop them. This movie has over the top action and even more over the top characters. The movie has spawned catchphrases such as "Now I have a machine gun. Ho, ho, ho!" and "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother F*****!" The latter phrase became the unintentional final line to the main villain before killing him in each of the four films.

     The best surprise out of the whole movie is the main villain played by Alan Rickman (Hans Gruber). He had done some TV work before, but this was his first big movie role and he has not looked back. His dry delivery plays perfectly with Bruce Will, is's humor.

     There really is nothing about this movie I don't like. Some of the action is farfetched, but that is the point of a movie like this. Like other films released around this time, it is one man versus the world. You can add John McClane to a big list of one man wrecking crews from the eighties and e, arly, nineties. He fits right in. If you have never seen this movie, watch it and make it a Christmas tradition after the kids go to bed.

     Next week I'll be covering part two of this series, Die Hard 2: Die Harder. Does it hold up to the original? Check back next week on Wednesday.

     Thursday will be a new Not Seen In Theaters. Abduction will be the film covered.  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.

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