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

The Reel Opinion: March 2012 Entries

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March 30th, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated PG-13

     I saw the original remake (that sounds weird) twice when it was in the theaters back in 2010. I ripped on it a little bit because it took a lot of shots at the original 1981 film. Why couldn't they update Bubo to be a war bird or something instead of saying "Leave it." I gave it a lot of flak. I went back and watched it again a few weeks ago. I tried to forget about the little things that bothered me the first time. I liked it a lot better this time around.

     Wrath of the Titans takes place about ten years after the first film. Some things have changed that I am curious about. Io (Gemma Arterton), the woman that Perseus (Sam Worthington) is in love with from the first film is noticeably absent from the trailers. Andromeda is not played by Alexa Davalos this time around, but by Rosamund Pike. Some things are the same. Liam Neeson (Zeus), Ralph Fiennes (Hades) and Danny Huston (Poseidon) return to their roles.

     What I am hoping for is a lot more of the same type of storytelling. I don't want it to be the same thing exactly, but a similar type of adventure story won't bother me. What I am afraid of is the fact that the movie Immortals from last year seemed to tell a similar story. That movie was just okay to me, so there is room for improvement.

     I am hoping to see the diverse range of characters again this time around. The filmmakers have a huge variety of Greek mythological characters and creatures at their disposal and they should not let that go to waste.

     I am curious where the story is going from here since the filmmakers don't have another movie to base a plot off of. Of course, I would rather they come up with something original for a change. All I am looking for in this movie is for it to be entertaining. If it is on par with the first one, I will be happy.

That about does it. I will have the review for this movie by April 2nd.

     Don't forget that next week is another chance to win free movie money. For details, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page by clicking here.

Until next time - Geno

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

 


 

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March 29th, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

 

     Next month I will attend my first EbertFest. Today I am going reveal the movies that are going to be shown at this year's festival. I will also give my thoughts on what I am most excited to see and do at the festival.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

* Joe vs. the Volcano

* The Truth About Beauty and Blogs

* Phunny Business: A Black Comedy

 

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

* Big Fan

* Kinyarwanda

* Terri

* Kind Hearts and Coronets

 

Friday, April 27th, 2012

* On Borrowed Time

* Wild AND Weird: The Alloy Orchestra Plays 10 Fascinating and Innovative Films 1906-1926

* A Separation

 

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

* Higher Ground

* Patang (The Kite)

* Take Shelter

 

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

* Citizen Kane

     So, that is fourteen films in five days. That is a lot even for me. I do, however, look forward to the challenge. I have only heard of four of the movies and of those four, I have only seen one of them. That movie, Joe vs. The Volcano, I have not seen in years. It will feel like new to me.

     I am excited for the chance to meet Roger Ebert. From what I hear, he is easily accessible. I would like to meet Patton Oswalt as well. I am really looking forward to the panels these two and the other guests will take part in.

     This will be a new experience for me, so I hope you enjoy my coverage of it as much as I will enjoy attending and covering it. I am not sure if I will review a new movie the weekend of EbertFest or not. I will let you know.

     Also, your first chance to win a Fandango gift card is this morning after 6:30am on StormCenter 17 Today. For details, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

     Friday will be my preview of Wrath of the Titans. Unlike the first one, this movie does not have a story to rewrite and/or take from. How will the original story do? We will find out this weekend.

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.  I am also on twitter.  You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 


 

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March 28th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated R

     Welcome to the final installment of "Mixed Martial March". This week I will talk about a movie that I had been wanting to see ever since I heard about it. Sony Classics released this movie in 2008. Never Back Down was released the same year. As you know, I judged that movie before watching it and thought in the end it gave a lot of respect to MMA. At the time, I thought that Redbelt would be the respectful movie and Never Back Down would not. I was happy to see that Redbelt was even more respectful to the sport than Never Back Down was.

     This film is about a Jiu-Jitsu trainer named Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor). He is incredibly talented and has an extreme respect for the art. He has so much respect that he will not take part in competitions because he thinks they degrade the art. He and his wife, who's family are fight promoters want to see him compete, but he will not. After Mike helps an actor, played by Tim Allen, not get killed in a bar fight, the actor hires him to teach his art to other actors in a movie. Long story short, his teaching method is stolen and used in a real MMA tournament. After a legal battle in which due to circumstances that will give away too much of the film, Mike has no choice but to compete for the honor of his art.

     One of the things that I didn't like about this movie was the pace. Not that I hated the content, but the pace just seemed a little slow to me. I know that it was supposed to be methodical, but it took me out of the movie sometimes.

     Though he is one of my favorite fighters, Randy Couture's role as a television MMA analyst Dylan Flynn was not as important as it should have been. The problem with using him in the role was that they made it seem like he was going to be a big factor at the end of the film, but he wasn't. He was more of a background player when he could have added a little weight to the end of the movie. I just felt he was wasted talent.

     I was a big fan of the respect and care that the filmmakers gave to the sport of MMA. The biggest point of the film was that respect and honor should come before everything. The movie pits honor and respect versus power and greed. This makes for a compelling contest.

     Though this movie isn't Warrior good, it is still a pretty good MMA flick. I recommend it to MMA and Jui-Jitsu fans alike.

     Just a reminder that Thursday is the first of four Thursdays in the movie ticket giveaway in honor of EbertFest. On StormCenter 17 after 6:30am sometime on Thursday will be your first chance to score a Fandango gift card. For details on the contest, just join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that, just Hit this link and like it.

Thursday will also be my preview of the films that are showing at EbertFest this year.

Friday will be my preview of Wrath of the Titans.

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.  I am also on twitter.  You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 


 

March 27th, 2012

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

Rated PG

     Why shouldn't this be the DVD Release of the Week. I saw this movie for the first time about eight years ago and have loved it ever since. When I was really getting into movies, it took me a while to want to watch the classics. It was this movie that made me appreciate the classics the way that I should. Being that it is getting a 70th Anniversary Edition, this move has stood the test of time.

Other Releases: March 27th, 2012

* Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIII

* Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

* UFC: Best of 2011

* Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

* South Park: The Complete 15th Season

     Starting this Thursday on StormCenter 17 Today sometime after 6:30am, The Reel Opinion and WAND will be giving away Fandango gift certificates.  To get the details on how it is going to work, watch after 6:30 this morning or you can check out The Reel Opinion's Facebook page.  Here is a link to that.    

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for Snow White & the Huntsman and Sleepless Night. 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 final installment of "Mixed Martial March". Redbelt will be the movie covered.

Thursday will be a preview of the EbertFest films for this year's festival.

Friday will be my preview of Wrath of the Titans.

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.  I am also on twitter.  You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 


 

March 26th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Minor Spoilers!!!

Rated PG-13

     So The Hunger Games have finally arrived. Was it good or was it a victim to its own hype? I will say that it was not without its problems, but all in all it was pretty good.

     I will start with what I didn't like. The first thing was that I felt there wasn't enough back story. The viewer was given a short story about am uprising being stopped and the rebels being punished by having to send their children as tribute to kill each other in a contest called The Hunger Games. This is the 74th Hunger Games. Over time, the games have changed from a punishment and a game of honor to a televised bloodsport that is watched by the President and his society of colorful, utopian people. I think a little more on why there was an uprising would have been helpful. Also, and I may not have caught this, but is this our world? I looked it up and this takes place in a future North America. If the movie didn't say that, it should have. Also, if this was just taking place in North America, what about the rest of the world?  Are they living the same way as the former North America?

     The next thing I didn't like was that the villains and by this I mean the behind the scenes villains.  They were not given proper screen time to make you not like them. I'm not saying I was a fan of them, but they could have been given a little more screen time to establish their motives. I will get to the last thing I didn't like in a little bit.

     The first thing I liked was the imagery. From the wastelands of District 12 to the colorful, strange utopia of The Capitol, all of it looked incredible. I especially like The Capitol because it weirded me out a lot, but in a good way.  Not a lot of people will get this reference, but it reminded me of the utopian world in the video game Privateer 2.

     I knew that Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) would be great and she was for most of the film. The person I was most impressed with was Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy). He was just outstanding as District 12's mentor. At first you thought he was going to be a waste of space and not be helpful. He turned himself around later as the children's training went on. He started to believe that they could win. As the winner of a previous Hunger Game, he is a little bitter about the whole process. It did not mention how old he was when he had to fight, but I like to think he was very young and it ruined him. Another great character was Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci). He reminded me of Richard Dawson's character in The Running Man, which is one of my favorite villains in movies. He was the likeable guy for the public, but you know that there is something devious underneath.

     The story was great for about the first two-thirds of the movie. The last third kind of felt rushed. The first two-thirds were filled with some creepy ideas and imagery. The idea of the children having to kill each other wasn't really felt by me until it actually happened. My heart sank the first time an older child killed one of the younger ones. As a father, this part just punched me in the chest. Also, as a father, it killed me to see the lack of concern from the people of the districts most of the time. The games have been going on for seventy-four years. Why haven't they fought back? How can they let their children go through this year after year. It is interesting to see that a lot of the children are more grown up then their parents. They seem to have to be.

     It is hard to know if I didn't like the final third of the movie as much because it had to follow a near tear-inducing scene or if it just felt rushed, but whatever it was, it did hurt the film a little bit. My biggest problem was the forced love story between Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). While watching it, they showed them "falling in love" during the games. Being that the world can see everything that is going on, Katniss's supposed boyfriend sees them kiss and the only thing I could think about was Twilight. My thought exactly was "No, poor Jacob" (in a sarcastic, laughing way). I thought it felt a little goofy and unbelievable.

     Now before I am stoned to death by the fans of these books, let me add something. After having a couple of days to think about it, I have a theory. Since there are two more stories to make movies from, I like to think that Katniss was faking her love for Peeta because she knew that The Capitol was watching. Maybe this happened in the books, I don't know. I won't know until all of the movies are done, unless somebody tells me. If this is the case, I will be a little more forgiving of the rushed love story. I like to think that Katniss was giving them what they wanted and it was her that was playing them and not the other way around. I do, however, think Peeta's feelings for Katniss are real.

     This movie is an interesting ride that is far from perfect, but still worth a watch. I don't regret seeing it and am looking forward to the next one. Being that at the time I am writing this review, The Hunger Games movie has decimated the Box Office, I am sure the next one will probably be here within two years.

     Tomorrow will be The DVD release of the Week as well as Trailer Tuesday. Wednesday will be the final installment of Mixed Martial March". Thursday, I will take a look at the EbertFest movie lineup. Friday will be my preview of Wrath of the Titans.

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.  I am also on twitter.  You can follow me @TheReelGeno 

 

 


 

March 23rd, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated PG-13

     This is probably going to be a really short preview, but that is on purpose. I really know very little about The Hunger Games and I like it that way. All I know is that it is supposed to be the next big franchise based on a popular book series. I want to know little because if it is good, I want to be surprised by it.

     What little I know is that children are forced by adults into a sort of bloodsport, where there is only one survivor. It also would seem that it is broadcast for the entire world to see. To me this sounds a bit like Battle Royale mixed with The Running Man. This also sound to me like it will be awesome. There is something a little disturbing about children having to kill each other for the sport of adults. Why do they have to do it? I don't know, but I am looking forward to finding out.

     I have heard from lot of people that the books are really good and I am looking forward to hearing about the comparisons. I am going to stay away from the books because I review movies, not books.

     One thing I will say is that I have some faith in this movie because the lead is played by Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen). She was one of the biggest surprises for me when I watched X-Men: First Class. She was spot on as Mystique. She is an actress I see getting really big and this movie may be the one that puts her in that spotlight.

     The thing that this movie has going against it is the hype. It is hard to please any fan with a movie adaptation. The bigger the book series, the harder to please the hardcore base. This movie is getting a lot of hype, so hopefully it can pull a Harry Potter or a Lord of the Rings and be successful.

That about does it. I will have a review of this movie by Monday, March 26th.

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.  I am also on twitter.  You can follow me @TheReelGeno 

 

 


 

March 22nd, 2012

The Reel Opinion Thumbstick Thursday presents...

Unrated

Minor Spoilers!!!

     Not too long ago I signed up for Netflix. I was trying to decide what to cover for this article, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. While surfing through Netflix, I ran across a video game movie that I had heard about & wanted to see, but forgot about. I had played the game Postal a couple of times, but I couldn't really remember anything about it. I can tell you that this movie draws more from Postal 2 story wise than it does the first game. So how was the movie? Where do I even start?

     You know you are in for something "interesting" when a film starts in the cockpit of a plane with two terrorists arguing about how many virgins they receive when they die. They decide that it is not enough, so they are going to fly the plane to somewhere tropical. Just then, the passengers break into the cockpit and attack the terrorists. We then see a window washer on the side of one of the Twin Towers. After seeing that, I knew nothing would be left alone.

     Christians, Muslims, Jewish, cults, man, woman, celebrities. It did not matter. Everything was fair game to be insulted in this movie. The movie had a plot about stealing a hard to find toy to save a cult from tax evasion charges, but that really didn't matter. This movie can be described as insensitive mayhem, pure and simple. The main character, known only as Postal Dude (Zack Ward), is having a bad day. He can't get a job, his wife is cheating on him and everything else is going wrong for him. He has had enough and wants to get out of Paradise, Arizona. He teams up with his cult leader Uncle Dave (Dave Foley) to accomplish this. The movie follows Postal Dude as he pretty much goes crazy and takes it out on everybody else.

     The movie is just one big satire. All in all, I found it funny, but in the really uncomfortable kind of way. I would not recommend this movie to anybody that is easily offended. Really, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anybody. Most of the jokes are tasteless and mean spirited.  It is stuff you wouldn't say to someone's face. They do poke fun at Osama bin Laden a lot.  If you can enjoy the stupidity, you might just find this movie to be dumb fun. Postal Dude cracked me up on how he handled different situations.

     One other note about this movie. The director, Uwe Boll, has been involved in eight other video game movie adaptations no including this one. I have only seen some of them, but most of those were not very good. Critics have been letting him have it for years. Of course, he has beaten the crap out of critics as well.  

     That being said, he made a genius move for this movie by making fun of himself and his movies. He is then attacked by the creator of the Postal game, Vince Desiderio, claiming Boll ruined his game by making the movie. If you watch this movie for anything, watch it for this. I loved this part of the movie. Be warned, it is extremely offensive and mean.

Tomorrow will be my preview of The Hunger Games.

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.  I am also on twitter now.  You can follow me @TheReelGeno 

 


 

March 21st, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated PG-13

     This movie came out in 2008. This is the year that many consider the breakout year for MMA, especially the UFC. My question was, "Is this movie's release date just a coincidence or are they just trying to ride the coattails of MMA's new popularity? In the end, I felt that it was trying to ride the coattails, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad flick.

     Okay, it is not without its problems, but all in all I found this movie to be pretty entertaining. I think the main reason was that it reminded me a lot of The Karate Kid. You had a main character that wanted to fight back against a bully, but didn't know how. The bully villain had a slightly unhinged mentor somewhat pulling the strings. You had a family who had to move, even though it affected the kid's life. The list goes on and on. This is not a bad thing. There are enough differences to this movie to make it its own film.

     I do like the fact that they show a lot of respect to the sport of MMA. The main character's MMA instructor does not allow fighting outside of the gym. He also uses MMA to help angry youths with their anger issues. That is one of the main plots of this movie. The main character will get into a fight at the bat of an eye. Throughout the movie, he learns to control his anger.

     If you have seen The Karate Kid, you have pretty much seen this movie. At times it felt a little too much like a teen drama, but it has enough stuff for the guys too. If you like and respect the sport of MMA, you will probably like this film. It was a lot better than I thought it would ever be.

     Thursday is a new Thumbstick Thursday. I will be reviewing what has been called the most offensive video game movie ever.

     Friday will be my preview of The Hunger Games. Will it live up to the fan's hopes or will it be a victim of its own hype?

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.

 

 


 

March 20th, 2012

The Reel Opinion DVD Releases of the Week...

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Rated R

The Muppets – Rated PG

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Rated R

     These are three movies that are going to hurt my wallet today. All three were some of my favorite movies from last year. Two of them won Reel Opinion awards in my year in review. The Muppets won the Most Nostalgic Movie Award and Rooney Mara grabbed the Best Actress Award for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was no slouch either. I had to hold up giving away all of the awards because I had yet to see that one.

     All three of these movies aren't for everyone. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is pretty violent and hard to take if you don't like movies such as Silence of the Lambs or Se7en. If you like those types of movies, you will dig this one. Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy is a slow paced, methodical thriller. There is little action, but it did not matter. Gary Oldman is excellent as George Smiley, a semi-retired CIA agent brought back in to find a mole within the company. The Muppets are, of course, The Muppets. This movie was a return to glory for them and it was wonderful. Old jokes mixed in with more current ones. Old songs along with new ones. I loved this movie. It made me feel like a kid again. Speaking of the music from this movie, The "Wocka, Wocka" Value Pack comes with the Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Copy AND the movie's soundtrack. That's awesome!

Other Releases: March 20th, 2012

* The Sitter

* WWE: Elimination Chamber 2012

* Battle Royale

* Hop

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for Chernobyl Diaries and 4:44 Last Day on Earth. 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 next installment of "Mixed Martial March". Don't Back Down will be the movie reviewed.

     Thursday will be a new Thumbstick Thursday. I will review what has been called the most offensive video game movie ever.

     Friday will be my preview of The Hunger Games.  Do I think it will live up to the hype?  Find out Friday.

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.

 

 


 

March 19th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Both films Rated R

     This last weekend, I saw a couple of films that I was surprised how I felt about them. I thought I was really going to like one of them. I thought the other one, though a toss-up, was going to end up being dumb. Boy was I wrong. Both films had stranger outcomes for me.

21 Jump Street

     I really thought this movie was going to be the funniest of the year so far. I mentioned before that the trailers just kept me laughing. The movie as a whole, though funny at times, seemed to drag a little in the laugh out loud department. Most of the laughs from this film came from awkward jokes and situations. I can't believe I am saying this, but I think this movie would have served itself better to go the PG-13 route. Some of the jokes relied too heavily on the gross out and/or awkward factor.

     Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the film okay. One of the things that worked for this movie is the fact that it made fun of itself. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) both kept thinking things would be like the movies or TV shows. Many of the jokes played off of reality not letting things be like in the movies.

     Another thing I found interesting was the scenes inspired, or at least seemed to be inspired, by the movie Crank. When the characters took drugs to fit in, the way the movie was shot and the effects used reminded me of the insanity of a movie that is Crank. It is hard to explain, but those that have seen that movie would understand.

     The idea that Hill's character was an outcast when he was in high school, but would popular today was interesting. The exact opposite was the case for Tatum's character. I thought that they handled this well. At times, it brought back some bad memories for me of trying to fit in.

     There were two things that I absolutely loved about this movie: The soundtrack and a big cameo. The soundtrack was a lot of old school rap music and was pretty cool. The cameo I won't give away. It is too good.

     All in all, this is a decent, awkwardly funny movie. My advice, however, is to wait for it to come out on DVD.

 

Casa de mi Padre

     This is the one that surprised me on how funny it was. It wasn't funny because it had a great original story or that was written extremely well. The biggest reason it was funny was the fact that it let you know it was a movie. In a way, it kind of reminded me of Death Proof and Planet Terror in the way it had missing or jumping frames, bad editing and horrible effects. There are even times you can see the behind the scenes people making the movie.

     Like I said, the story wasn't really anything original. What was interesting about the story was that you thought that it was in the past until new Chevy pick-up trucks and cell phones show up. It was pretty funny because Armando (Will Ferrell) seemed to mostly stuck in the past while being surrounded by the future. The humor is subtle most of the time, but very effective. I laughed out loud a lot.

     The romance between Armando and Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) was funny and maybe a little disturbing at the same time. Their romance led to one of the most awkward love making scenes I have ever seen. I have now seen more of Will Ferrell than I ever wanted to see.  Honestly, it hurt the film a little bit.  It was not needed and didn't produce the laughs I think it was going for.

     The bad edits, the over the top violence and the fact that they let you know this was a movie made for a very funny experience. I had to go to Creve Coeur, MO to see this movie and that was the closest I could find. I won't tell you to drive that far to see it, but I am glad I did. I now kind of want to check out some of the old films that this movie drew inspiration from.

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

Wednesday will be the third installment of "Mixed Martial March".

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.

 

 


 

March 16th, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Both films Rated R

     One of these films I want to see because every time I see the trailer, I can't stop laughing. The other I am just intrigued by. One is a nation wide release while the other would appear to be a limited one. I will be disappointed if one is not funny. I won't be surprised if the other one isn't.

21 Jump Street:

     This movie is based on a drama series that ran on the FOX network for five seasons. I will never claim to know anything about this show because I never watched it. That is probably a good idea because if somebody made a comedy movie out of my dramatic TV show, I might be a little upset. That being said, I think this movie looks really funny. As I mentioned before, every time I have seen the trailer, I have laughed. I have seen the same jokes and some new ones over and over and I still find them funny. My hope for this movie is that the humor translates to a feature length film. I don't expect this movie to be too serious and I don't want it to be. I want it to make fun of itself the entire time.

     Channing Tatum (Jenko) seems to be the straight man to Jonah Hill's (Schmidt) funny guy. I think that this could work pretty well. Jonah Hill seems to be funnier when he is working with another person than when he is alone. All in all, I just want to have a really good time with this one.

Casa de mi Padre:

     I think Will Ferrell (Armando) is a pretty funny guy. I think he has that "awkward" kind of comedic talent. Sometimes he is laugh out loud funny and sometimes he is just so awkward that it is funny. I have a feeling that the latter kind of comedy will apply to this movie. I would be real surprised is this was anything other than a violent, dark comedy. I am afraid if it tries to be laugh out loud funny, it might feel like Noches de Pasion con Señor O'Brien from Conan O'Brien's show. I really don't find that skit very funny most of the time. I don't know much more about this film. The thing is, I kind of like it that way. I'm going to see this one on a hunch. If this ends up being really good, I want to be surprised by it.

That about does it. I will have reviews for these movies by Monday, March 19th.

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.

 

 

 


 

March 15th, 2012

The Reel Opinion's At First Glance...

Minor Spoilers!!!

     This is an actress who I think will be around for a while. While she has been in such well known films as the Star Trek reboot, Avatar and Colombiana, it was her role in The Losers where I first took notice. This is the first time to my knowledge that I had seen Saldana in a movie and I was instantly hooked. She has the charm, the looks and the acting ability to play any role she wants. The scene where she fights Jeffery Dean Morgan (Clay) in his hotel room showed me that she could be humorous as well as dangerous. The scene when she finds out Clay killed her father showed that she could show a range of emotions. I will say that it wasn't until Colombiana that I thought she could get real emotional. So far so good I say when it comes to this actress. I look forward to seeing her in more movies in the future. My hopes are for The Losers 2.  I'll leave it to Chris Evans as Jensen in the Losers to explain why I like her.

 

Other Roles:

* Star Trek (2009)

* Colombiana

* Avatar

* Takers

* Drumline

* Crossroads

 

Friday will be my previews of 21 Jump Street and Casa de mi Padre.

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.

 


 

March 14th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

PG-13

     Welcome to the second installment of "Mixed Martial March".  This week's movie is a biopic based on former UFC Light-Heavyweight Matt "The Hammer" Hamill (Russell Harvard).  Hamill garnered a lot of attention during the third season of The Ultimate Fighter TV series being that he is a deaf national champion wrestler.  For those that don't know, TUF is the UFC's reality based show where fighters compete for a spot on the UFC roster.  As a follower of the UFC, I was pretty interested in seeing this movie, but I wasn't sure what route it was going to go.  It ended up only mostly showing his time from being a baby until his college wrestling days.  At first I was a little disappointed by this, but then I watched the movie.  After that, I was glad that they didn't do it any other way.

     After the movie starts with Hamill walking to the UFC cage, it shifts to him as a baby getting a hearing test.  Immediately the movie starts to hit home with me.  When my son Andy was born, they thought he wasn't hearing very well.  It turned out he was okay in that aspect.  A little later in the movie, they show Hamill's grandfather, played by the awesome Raymond J. Barry from the show Justified, trying to teach Matt how to talk and read lips.  This is where the movie got me.  Andy has had many delays being that he was born 4-6 weeks early.  The big one is his speech.  He is getting therapy and is doing pretty good, but it has been a struggle.  Watching Hamill as a boy trying to talk really hit me hard.  Yes, I will admit it, I beginning to tear up.  When he finally said his first real word "Water", I couldn't help but cry.  As a father that has dealt with this, it was a very triumphant movie moment for me.

     The movie follows Hamill as he grows up with a grandfather that wants him to feel as normal as possible, but neglects that Hamill needs to learn to sign as well.  When Hamill is accepted into Purdue University on a wrestling scholarship, he can't keep up with his classes because he doesn't know sign language.  The movie follows him to Rochester Institute of Technology where he learns about life as much as he inspires it.

     I really don't want to give away any more than that.  Don't be turned off by the fact that this movie is based on an MMA fighter.  It is an incredibly inspiring story that I am glad I didn't miss.

     Next week will be a movie that was released in theaters in 2008.  That was the year that many fans of MMA would say the sport of MMA really started to get big.  Is Never Back Down Hollywood's way of cashing in or is it just a coincidence?  Find out next week.

Thursday will be a new At First Glance.  Hint: "I want to be a killer.  Can you help me?"

Friday will be previews of both 21 Jump Street and Casa de mi Padre.

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.

 

 

 


March 13th, 2012

 

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

TV-14

     This is a series that I have only watched one episode of. The reason I watched it was because my favorite character from the show Prison Break made an appearance, Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell played by the awesome Robert Knepper.

 

     The creators of this show were involved with the show Prison Break, so that immediately peaks my interest. The show involves cops and criminals tracking down other criminals that have broken out of prison. The one show I watched was pretty good. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the first season.

Other Releases: March 13th, 2012:

* The Descendants

* The Adventures of Tintin

* My Week With Marilyn

* Happy Feet 2

* The Three Musketeers (2011)

* Young Adult

* Xena: Warrior Princess Season 3

* Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Season 3

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for The Cold Light of Day and American Reunion.  To see the trailers, join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page. To do that just Hit this link and like it.

     Wednesday will be the second installment of "Mixed Martial March". The movie reviewed will be the biopic about former UFC fighter Matt "The Hammer" Hamill. I get a little emotional on this one.

     Thursday will be a new At First Glace. Hint: "Here's the deal. I get you and your men back into the states. In exchange, you get Max for me."

Friday will be a preview of two comedies, 21 Jump Street and Casa de mi Padre.

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.

 

 


 

March 12th, 2012

The Reel Opinion reviews...

Rated PG-13

     I had a few fears about this movie when I had heard it was the inspiration behind tons of movies and stories. I thought it would be like watching Tintin. I thought it would be good, but it would suffer because it would have been borrowed from too much. I tried to put that out of my mind when I went to see it, but it was difficult. I could see tons of things that could have been taken to this movie. I am writing this after seeing the weekend's Box Office results. John Carter got second place behind The Lorax. I am disappointed by this not because it got beat, but I think people are missing out on a great adventure story. John Carter brought back feelings to me that I haven't felt since The Lord of the Rings films were in theaters.

     I will mention the one big thing that bothered me.  It was extremely difficult to remember a lot of the character's names.  Is that a huge problem?  Not really, The Lord of the Rings movies are the same way and I still love them.    

     The movie just feels epic in scale. Tons of imaginative aliens, flying ships and weapons grace the screen. Has the story been told before? In a way sure, but I can forgive that since this is where many people got their ideas from in the first place. You can see shades of many stories throughout this movie, from Flash Gordon and Superman to Star Trek and Star Wars. It almost felt like someone added these types of stories into one, yet we know that the reverse is true.

     Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) was an even better lead than I gave him credit for before seeing this. He sort of reminded me of Indiana Jones from The Temple of Doom. All he really cared about was "Fortune and Glory" until he found something else to fight for. He could play it serious really well, but he could be funny when he had to. For a movie that was a majority of CG animation, he held his own in keeping the attention on his character.

     Willem Dafoe (Tars Tarkas) should do voice work more often. His performance reminded me of Andy Serkis's portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. I was doing some reading after seeing the movie and found out that Dafoe acted the scenes the same way as Serkis…but on stilts. His character was very tall.

     Was the movie perfect? No, but it was a lot of fun and I would suggest that any lover of sci-fi go see it in the theater. Interesting characters, a good story and great action made for a fun film. It is just one of those movies that made me feel like a kid again, going to see Return of the Jedi in the theater. Funny how the Star Wars prequels didn't even make me feel that way.

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.

 

 


 

March 9th, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated PG-13

     Here is a movie I really want to see succeed. The source material for this movie is based on books that authors, scientists and filmmakers have been borrowing from and been inspired by for a long time. The first book A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs was published in 1912. Since then, characters such as Superman, Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon have been somewhat based on the character of John Carter. I like that the one of the final trailers for this movie finally expressed that without John Carter, a lot of the stories of today would not exist.

     I myself have not read the books and I am sure a lot of people will probably be in the same boat. My first concern for this movie is that it would fall into the same boat as The Adventures of Tintin. I was afraid that people might get that "Been there, done that" feeling I got when I watched that movie. I liked Tintin, but the source material has been borrowed from so much for other stories and movies that it was hard to not feel like I had already watched it. I did like the film anyway. I hope that John Carter can break this assumption and be its own movie, even though I know I will see things I have seen before.

     I like the idea of someone from Earth having superpowers on Mars, something the Superman creators kind of borrowed for their character. An ordinary man being able to do extraordinary things makes for an interesting story, especially if he doesn't know is limits.

     From what I gather from the trailer, the effects look pretty good. I am always a little scared when CGI is highly relied upon to create large portions of a film, but it can work.

     Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) was one of only three bright spots in X-Men Origins: Wolverine with his portrayal of Gambit (Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson and Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth are the others). I think he can make a pretty good action star, but I am unsure of his acting chops when it comes to serious roles. I hear he was pretty good in the Friday Night Lights TV show, however. One of the villains is played be Mark Strong (Matai Shang). That can only be a good thing. He is one of the best actors going today. Surround them with actors such as Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and Bryan Cranston either doing voice over work or live action and you have a pretty good start.

That about does it. I will have my review of this movie by Monday, March 12th.

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.

 

 


 

March 8th, 2012

The Reel Opinion's Second Chance presents...

Rated PG-13

     When I went to see this movie in theaters, I found it really annoying and bor, i, ng, but I couldn't remember why. That is why I decided to give it a second chance.

     Hanna is the story about a girl raised in the wilderness by her father. He trains her to fight and survive, or as he calls it "Adapt or die." She has to memorize a fake story about where she is from and interests of hers for some unknown reason. When her training is complete, her father tells her to flip a switch that will bring the CIA to their location. This is when the movie gets real interesting. What follows is an intriguing story about where Hanna came from and why the CIA is after her.

     I remembered shortly why I was annoyed with the movie the first time. Some time into the film, Hanna meets a young girl by the name of Sophie (Jessica Barden). This girl's character just irritated me and made me not pay as close attention the first time around. I decided that I would just try to ignore her this time. I have to say that it worked because I really found myself enjoying this movie a lot after that.

     The action is good, the story interesting and most of the characters are intriguing. Hanna especially is interesting because of the awkwardness of her character. She did not grow up with a lot of things, such as electricity. It is kind of funny when she plays with a light switch for the first time.

     One of the things that really kept my interest is the music. A lot of people will probably not know what I am talking about, but it reminded me of an old Nintendo game called Golgo 13. That game had some of the best 8-bit music in it. The Chemical Brothers were in charge of the score for this film.

     This movie reminded me of a couple different movies. If you liked the Bourne films and/or Leon: The Professional, you will really enjoy this movie. One last thing: The opening and closing lines of this movie are really good. The opening line is very sympathetic and the closing line is very cold blooded. Funny thing is, they are the same line.

Friday will be my preview of John Carter.

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.

 

 


 

March 7th, 2012

The Reel Opinion Classics review of...

Rated R

     Hello and welcome to a new series called "Mixed Martial March". This month I will review movies based on MMA, movies with MMA stars in them or both. One of my favorite movies from 2011 was Warrior. Long story short, it did pretty well with using MMA as a background story for an even more compelling drama. I wanted to know if there were any other good MMA films out there. This month I will review four MMA based films to try to answer that question.

     I had a lot to choose from when it came to this first film. It seemed that every other week a new one of these movies would pop up at the video store. Each time, the cover would have different, well known fighters on the front, but none of them were the main star. After looking at a couple of these, I decided on this one for one reason: Danny Trejo. I figured if one of these had a shot at be, , ing good, it would be because he was in it. Boy was I dead wrong.

     Granted, Trejo was good in it and it did have a couple of decent performances, but the technical side of the movie is what ruined it. Strange jump cut edits and filter effect being added to random scenes for no reason. The list goes on and on. I started to get a headache with all that was going on.

     Some of the fighters that are in this movie are Heath Herring, Bobby Lashley and Mike Swick. All are there to pretty much get beat up. To my surprise, Michael "The Count" Bisping was cast as a main character. Normally a fighter I root against, he put on a surprisingly decent performance. I kind of liked his character.

     The movie had sort of a cookie cutter revenge story as well as a cookie cutter romance story thrown in. It wasn't anything special, but it would have been watchable if it weren't for the editing and effects of the movie. I would like to see the other movies that are like this one to see if they are done the same way.

Next week I will cover a bio pic about former UFC Light Heavyweight Matt Hamill called The Hammer.

Thursday will be a new Second Chance. Hanna will be the movie reviewed.

Friday will be my preview of John Carter.

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.

 

 


 

March 6th, 2012

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

     The DVD Release of the Week this week is a show I have been waiting to see ever since I heard about it. I don't have HBO, so I have not been able to watch this yet. I am a big fan of fantasy and science fiction shows and movies if you couldn't already tell by reading this blog. All I have heard about this series and how good it is from friends and co-workers.

     I am a big fan of Sean Bean. I think he is highly underrated as an actor. He was one of my favorite actors from The Lord of the Rings films, so to see him in this could only be a good thing.  I don't really know anything about the book series or the show, but I am looking forward to finding out.

 

Other Releases - March 6th, 2012:

* Immortals

* Blues Brothers – Blu-Ray

* The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride – Blu-Ray

* The Lion King 1 ½ – Blu-Ray

* Reindeer Games: The Director's Cut

* Like Crazy

* Footloose (2011)

* Jack & Jill

* Monty Python & The Holy Grain – Blu-Ray

* Recoil

 

Today is also Trailer Tuesday. Today's trailers are for ParaNorman and Frankenweenie. To see these, 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 classics series called "Mixed Martial March". Warrior was a highly underrated film. My question is "Are there any other good MMA films out there?" As a fan of the sport, I hope so.

Thursday will be a new Second Chance. The movie covered will be a movie that bored me to death in the theater, Hanna.

Friday will be my preview of a movie I have really been looking forward to, John Carter.

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.

 

 


 

March 5th, 2012

The R, eel Opinion reviews...

Rated PG

     I know I am going to get blasted for this review. Some are going to say that I am looking too much into it or I just don't like kid's movies. You would know that is not true if you saw my collection at home. My first problem with this movie is that it is too preachy. Just like the book that it is inspired by, the message of the movie is that of "industry bad, nature good".

     The book, cartoon and movie alike treat industry like it has to be survival of the fittest. It treats it like they just destroy and not replenish. Sure, most corporations are in it for the money. It is called business. Sure some businesses even run themselves into the ground. The problem with the movie is that they portray all businesses as evil entities. There is a song in the movie that takes a pot shot at businesses, called How Bad Can I Be? You can hear it here.  It says things like "I'm only trying to build the economy" and "We give a portion to charity". The problem is the visuals it shows during the song. The one I remember the best is the charity visual. It shows The Once-Ler (Ed Helms) giving only a small amount, a dollar or a cent, to charity, showing the greed of corporations. Unfortunately I can't show you the video. It makes my case more than just listening to the song. You can believe what you want to believe. I just wish movies would just try to entertain us, not preach to us, especially in kid's movies.

     In the books, it mentioned that the trees grew back at a really slow rate. The movie never mentions this, yet the Once-Ler never tries to grow back any trees. If he was really as greedy as the movie make him out to be, he would have realized that he needed to grow more to keep his business going. Or Maybe the Lorax (Danny DeVito) would have mentioned it to him.

     Beyond that, the movie was just downright boring anyway. The humor was not funny, the animation wasn't that great and the voice acting was just okay. The one type of joke I got really tired of in this movie was the stereotype. The Once-Ler's brothers were rednecks and there was a heavy-set bear that they kept making fat jokes about. We get it, he is big.

     The worst thing that the movie changed from the book was the fact that they showed The Once-Ler. The one thing I liked about the book was that the character really had no identity. He could be anybody, any color or any gender. The movie gave him a face and I felt that was the wrong thing to do. What would Dr. Seuss think?

     One last thing. I saw it in 3D. The movie seemed really blurry with the glasses on. Did anybody else have that problem?

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 lin, k and like it.  I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at.  It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.

 

 


 

March 2nd, 2012

The Reel Opinion previews...

Rated PG

     The people have spoken. The Lorax is the winner of the Project LoraX vote. Thank you to all of you that voted on the Facebook question. I may have to another vote again sometime.

     I was unfamiliar with the story of the Lorax until I started doing research for this preview. I read the book and watched the cartoon Thursday night in preparation for this preview. I must say, the book is one of the most depressing things I have ever read. I did not expect that dark of subject matter from a kid's book. The cartoon was only slightly less dark, but that was because the songs helped to lighten the mood. Both were a little bit over the top when it came to pollution and industry ruining the environment message. I found both to be a bit preachy for my taste. At least it had a Grinch type ending.

     I don't know what to expect from this movie. I have seen the live action Dr. Seuss films (The Grinch and Cat in the Hat), both of which I really can't stand. I did not see Horton Hears a Who, so I can't judge that one. I just wonder how much of this movie is going to be original content. The book is only 45 pages long and the cartoon is only about a half an hour. It makes me wonder what more can fill the time. Is it going to be more environmental preaching, some added humor or what? I know that Taylor Swift plays a character named Audrey, so there has to be some original characters in this movie. The book and cartoon only have the main kid, The Once-Ler, The Lorax and the Once-Ler's Family.

     I hope that they just add humor and not more of an environmental message. When I watched the cartoon, I got the same feeling I got when I watched Star Wars Episode One. That movie was supposed to be marketed to the younger crowd, at least that is what George Lucas said, yet they were talking about trade embargoes and politics. These are things young children don't care about. You have Danny DeVito playing The Lorax. He can be hilarious, especially nowadays. If you haven't seen It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you are missing out. Of course, that show is not for the kiddies.

I will have a review of this movie by Monday, March 5th.

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.

 


 

March 1st, 2012

The Reel Opinion's Not Seen In Theaters presents...

Rated R

MINOR SPOILERS!!!

     I had a hard time thinking about what I wanted to say about this movie. , I really lik, ed parts of it and really disliked other parts. One of the major problems this movie had was deciding the story it was trying to tell. At first it was a story about the Army's bomb disposal unit. After a while, I thought it was going to take a U-turn and tell a revenge story. I don't want to give away a big plot detail, but someone close to William James (Jeremy Renner) dies and he goes after those responsible. I thought they would follow this story, but they sort of dropped it after a little bit. I was a little disappointed with this.

     I liked how you weren't sure if SFC James was crazy, had a death wish or was just heroic. He is seen as all of these things throughout the course of the film. Sometimes I found myself rooting for him and other times I could not stand him. Sometimes this is the sign of a good character. When they make you think, it can only improve the film's story.

     I like any movie that has the guts to kill off one or more well know actors after a short time. I won't name names, but two big name actors play pretty good parts and only survive for a short time.

     The last thing I will mention is what I'll call The Sniper Scene. This was my favorite part of the movie. Not since Enemy at the Gates has there been a more intense sniper battle on film. It is one of those scenes that you find yourself holding your breath and not even realize it.

     Dislikes aside, all in all I liked the film. It lets you make the decision on how you feel about the main character. I ultimately thought he was selfish and a little off the deep end, but you may think otherwise. This of course does not make for a bad film, but one that makes you think. Once again, this is the sign of a good movie character. I will say that I now understand why Jeremy Renner has been getting so many acting jobs lately.  He is very good in this.

     Friday will either be a preview of The Lorax or Project X. You the reader will decide. If you join The Reel Opinion's Facebook page, you can vote on what movie I will see this weekend. To do that, 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.

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