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

The Reel Opinion: November 2012 Entries

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November 30th, 2012

My Interview With Chris Sarandon

My Interview With Keith David

My Interview With Rowdy Roddy Piper

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The Reel Opinion Previews Killing Them Softly

Rated R

     I don't know why, but I like mob movies.  I don't know what it is about the criminal element that gets my attention, but it does.  Killing Them Softly is about a card game that gets robbed.  The problem is this game is a mob protected game.  Mob enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is sent to straighten things out because the robbery has messed up the local criminal economy.

     By the looks of the trailer, I can't tell if this is supposed to be a totally serious movie or not.  Though I like serious mob movies, I wouldn't mind if the film poked fun at the genre a little bit.

     Brad Pitt for the most part is a very capable actor and I usually expect to like him in whatever movie he is in.  The big question about him is going to be "Will this be a breakout role or just another good role?"

     Pitt is joined by James Gandolfini (Mickey) and Ray Liotta (Markie Trattman), both who are no strangers to mob movies and shows.  I am especially a fan of Liotta, who I would like to see have another breakout role.  What I like about him is that he can either play the mobster or the cop.

     I really don't know much more about this movie.  I didn't want to study up on it too much to keep the number of surprises high.  I thought the trailer looked interesting and am looking forward to seeing this one.

     Monday will be a new Monday Quicky Review.  Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for that review.

I will have my review of this movie by Monday, December 3rd.

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

 

 

 


 

November 29th, 2012

My Interview With Keith David

My Interview With Rowdy Roddy Piper

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The Reel Opinion's Thumbstick Thursday Takes A Look At James Bond 007: Blood Stone

Rated T For Teen

     After the bad reviews started pouring in for Quantum of Solace, it was unsure if another Bond movie would be made.  In my opinion, because the future of the movie franchise was uncertain, Daniel Craig's likeness was used in video games to fulfill his contractual obligations to play Bond.  His popularity would carry over into two games.  The first was a remake of the Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye using Daniel Craig instead of Peirce Brosnan, which would later be released on other systems.  The second game that was released was a Bond game with an original title and story, James Bond 007: Blood Stone.

     The story is set a few years after Quantum of Solace.  Bond goes to Athens to stop a planned terrorist attack at the G-20 Summit.  After a successful mission involving a lot of Bond-Style action, he is sent to Istanbul to find a kidnapped professor that is believed dead.  This leads to a plot involving kidnappings, bio-weapons and betrayal…everything a Bond fan could ever want.

     The gameplay for the third person levels is pretty good.  It has a sort of Gears of War feel to it.  While this style is really good, the driving levels are downright frustrating.  The controls are not very good at all.  Does this really ruin the game?  Not really, but it does hurt it a bit.  Thankfully, most of the game is in the third person view.

     Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench reprise their roles as James Bond and M.  Singer Joss Stone plays an MI6 agent named Nicole Hunter.  She is actually a pretty decent "Bond Girl".  She also sings an original into song for the title sequence of the game.

     I felt the story would have been good enough to make into a movie.  There was supposed to be a sequel to this game because it does end on a pretty big cliffhanger, but the company that developed the game went out of business in 2011.  I still hold up hope that another company will pick up where Bizarre Creations left off.  At lease Bond is back in the movies.

Friday will be my preview of Killing Them Softly.

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

 

 

 


 

November 28th, 2012

My Interview With Rowdy Roddy Piper

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The Reel Opinion Takes A Look At "The Men Who Were Bond"

Daniel Craig

Bond Films and Video Games He Has Appeared In:

* Casino Royale (2006)

* Quantum of Solace (2008)

* Skyfall (2012)

* Blood Stone (2010) (VG)

* GoldenEye: Reloaded (2011) (VG)

* 007 Legends (2012) (VG)

 

     Even though he had a lot of support in keeping the role of Bond, it was decided that Pierce Brosnan would be replaced because of his age.  A lot of names came up in who would replace him as the super spy: Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, Henry Cavill, Julian McMahon, Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, Sam Worthington...The list was rumored to have over 200 names on it.

     The producers ended up going with Daniel Craig, an actor who many people really didn't know.  There was an instant backlash from tons of Bond fans who complained that "This was not Bond" for many different reasons.  It seemed that hair color was the most popular gripe.  When I heard that he was going to be Bond, I knew that it would be okay.  If you have seen the movie Road to Perdition you know that Craig can play the cold type.

     When Casino Royale was released, I knew Craig was going to be good, but I didn't think he was going to be as great as he was.  The opening scene of the movie had me hooked on his portrayal of Bond and did not let go.  If you haven't seen it, you can see the opening scene here.

     Though Quantum of Solace was not nearly as good as Craig's first Bond movie, it wasn't really his fault, though he does somewhat blame himself.  After that movie, I thought the franchise was dead.  One of the main reasons was that it seemed they were using Craig's options for Bond to put him in video games.  It was nice to have an original Bond story starring Craig since there wasn't a new movie in our immediate future.  The game was called Blood Stone and I will have more on it tomorrow.

     Finally after four years, Craig was able to return to his role as Bond for Skyfall.  I won't spend too much time on this one because I just reviewed it a few weeks ago.  I will not say it was my favorite Bond movie, but it was pretty darn close.

     Craig has signed on for two more Bond movies, so we will have to see where he is going to take the franchise.  Like Connery before him, whoever they choose is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill.

     Thursday I will take a look at Blood Stone, a Bond game with an original story that would have made a pretty decent movie.

Friday I will have my preview of Killing Them Softly.

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

 

 

 

 


November 27th, 2012

My Interview With Rowdy Roddy Piper

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The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week is Lawless

Rated R

     The critics had mixed reviews of this film, but I liked it a lot.  I even kind of liked Shia LaBeouf in it.  That, my friends, is a really hard thing for me to say.  Tom Hardy was awesome as usual and there is another pretty good performance from Dane DeHaan, who had another break-thru performance in Chronicle.  My only real complaint is that there was not enough Gary Oldman in the movie.  You can never have enough Gary Oldman.

 

Other Releases: November 27th, 2012

* Men In Black 3

* Step Up Revolution

* Apparition

* WWE: Hell in a Cell 2012

* Sparkle

* ParaNorman

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page to see trailers for Epic and Jack the Giant Slayer.

     Wednesday will be the final installment of "The Men Who Were Bond".  Daniel Craig will be discussed.  Thursday sees a special return of Thumbstick Thursday.  007: Blood Stone will be the subject.  Friday will be my preview of Killing Them Softly.

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

 

 

 

 

 


 

November 26th, 2012

My Interview With Rowdy Roddy Piper

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Rated PG

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Last year I mentioned that I was having a really crummy day, but after going to see Real Steel, it kind of turned my day around.  The movie just made me feel good about life even though the day I had was pretty crappy.  Fast forward to last Friday.  It was a similar kind of day.  I am not really in the mood for anything, let alone a movie.  I go to the movies and see Rise of the Guardians.  Who knew that a movie with a pretty ridiculous premise would turn out to be really entertaining, have interesting, funny characters and a pretty decent story?

     Before you go to see this one, if you have problems with suspending your beliefs for films, this movie might not be for you.  Not that they deny the Christian faith when it comes to Christmas and Easter, but in this movie Christmas is Santa's holiday and Easter is The Easter Bunny's, magical colored eggs and all.  If you can let that stuff go and just have fun with it, this is a very fun movie.

     All of the Guardians have their own charm to their character.  Santa, or North (Alec Baldwin), has a ridiculous Russian accent that just for some reason works and dual wields swords.  Sandman is a short, pudgy and silent character that secretly can kick a lot of butt. The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) is the compassionate, motherly type character.  The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) is my favorite character.  He is a tough guy, but his strength relies on the belief of others.  He is extremely funny.  Jack Frost (Chris Pine), who is the main character of the movie, brings his usual brash attitude that he displays in a lot of his movies.  It works really well here.  Pitch, or The Bogey Man (Jude Law) is a returning villain from the stories past that figures out how to manipulate one of the Guardian's powers and goes on the attack.

     Not all of the characters were winners.  The Minions, I mean The Elves, were kind of annoying.  They were a really bad attempt at recreating the humor of the Minions from Despicable Me and they failed miserably.  At lease the movie doesn't use them too much.

     I really liked the message behind the movie.  Keep believing and stay strong.  Learn what makes you special and it will help you figure out who you are supposed to be.  Fight for what you believe in.  All of these are great life lessons to live by.

     The movie is fun, funny and really imaginative.  When it comes to video, I'm going to buy it for my kids.  It is a good substitute since there isn't any superhero movies coming out for a while.

     Take a look at The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for a new Monday Quicky Review of Lincoln.

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

 

 

 


November 23rd, 2012

My Interview With Rowdy Roddy Piper

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The Reel Opinion Previews Rise of the Guardians

Rated PG

     So Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Sandman, Jack Frost and The Tooth Fairy are not just in kid's imaginations?  They are really a super-secret team that protects the world from evil?  You know what?  I might just be in the right mindset to buy this premise.

     This movie is based on a book series called The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce.  The movie is based 200 years after the book series, so for fans of those books, this is probably a real treat.  For those of us that have not read the books, I hope if they use the books as a backstory, that they at least explain it well enough to catch up to the premise.

     I like the main voice cast a lot.  I think I am looking forward to Hugh Jackman (Bunnymund) playing a tough-guy Easter Bunny.  I can just imagine Wolverine as the Easter Bunny.  Alec Baldwin plays Santa, Chris Pine plays Jack Frost and Jude Law plays the villain Pitch Black, aka The Bogeyman.  This is a pretty talented cast.

     I am just hoping that this movie is a lot of fun.  It is a pretty strange premise, but who knows, it might be a really good one.  I mean, for example, who thought that four mutant turtles that are ninjas and named after artists would have been good?

     I will have my review of this movie by Monday, November 26th as well a new Monday Quicky Review as well.  Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for that review.

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

 

 

 

 


 

November 22nd, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews Red Dawn (2012)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     All aboard the remake train.  The newest movie to get the remake treatment is 1984's Red Dawn.  There is something that makes you worry when the credits of your movie say "Inspired by the movie Red Dawn".  I was worried that this would be a complete knockoff of the original, just updated.  While this movie shares a lot with the original, it changes a few things that I did not like about the original.

     The first big change is that the villains are different this time around.  Instead of a Soviet Union led invasion, it is North Korea.  Real news clips that have been modified help to set the mood of the invasion.  The next change is that the original story was based in Colorado, the new one in Washington State.  The new one also tries to give more of a back story behind the Eckert brothers.

     I thought that this movie had some guts when it came to the fate of one of its stars.

     I feel like this movie would be a good way to introduce a new generation to a great classic movie.  While a few issues were forced in this one, some issues were forced in the original as well.  I actually liked that this film changed enough from the original to where if they wanted to go on with another movie, they could.  The original didn't show it, but pretty much said that America fought back and won.  This one leaves things open so that you could stop here or keep going.  I for one would welcome it.

     Is this a perfect movie?  No.  Is this a necessary remake?  Not really.  Why see it then?  I thought it was a fun, familiar story that oddly enough made me think of the Team America theme song.  You could probably wait until DVD for this one, but I think that fans of action movies would be too disappointed with this one in the theaters.

Friday I will have my preview of Rise of the Guardians.

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

 

 

 

 


 

November 21st, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Takes a Look at "The Men Who Were Bond"

 

Timothy Dalton

Bond Films He Appeared In:

* The Living Daylights (1987)

* License to Kill (1989)

     Timothy Dalton was almost destined to play Bond, even though he only lasted for two movies.  He was in line to play the super spy way back in 1968, but at the age of 22, he felt he was too young for the role at the time.  The part ended up going to George Lazenby.  Twelve years later he was considered again to replace Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only, but was passed on again for Moore to return to the role.  Pierce Brosnan was first offered the role of Bond in The Living Daylights, but a contract dispute over his show Remington Steele kept him from playing the role at the time.  Finally Timothy Dalton got his chance.

     In my opinion, other than Daniel Craig, Dalton seemed to be able to grasp the dark side of the Bond character.  I actually liked both of his turns as Bond, but I don't think the world was ready to give up the character that Connery and Moore had "created".

     Dalton was supposed to make a third Bond movie, but behind the scenes drama kept the movie from getting made.  After too much time had passed, Dalton decided that he was done with the role.

Pierce Brosnan

Bond Films (and Video Games) He Has Appeared In:

* GoldenEye (1995)

* Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

* The World is Not Enough (1999)

* Die Another Day (2002)

* Nightfire (video game) (2002)

* Everything or Nothing (video game) (2004)

     Pierce Brosnan finally got his chance to play Bond in GoldenEye.  I always felt that he was one of the best Bonds…with the worst movies.  I really liked GoldenEye, but other than the first part of Die Another Day, the rest of them are not very good.  In the Bond documentary Everything or Nothing, Brosnan said and I paraphrase, "I remember GoldenEye, but I don't remember the other movies".

     Brosnan had the best of both worlds.  He could play the suave, seductive Bond, but also play the believable tough guy Bond as well.

     I honestly would have liked to see how Brosnan would have handled the Dalton movies, or dare I say it, the Daniel Craig ones.  I think he would have done a great job.

Next week I will talk about the current Bond actor, Daniel Craig.

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

 

 

 


 

November 20th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week is WWE: The Attitude Era

Rated TV-14

     Back in the 90's, professional wrestling came back with a huge bang.  What was called the Monday Night Wars began between two rival wrestling organizations, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).  WCW destroyed WWF in the ratings from 1995 to most of 1997 with its New World Order (now) storyline which saw many of WWF's big stars move to WCW.  Desperate to win in the ratings, WWF stopped being a PG company and began to make their product a little edgier.  This was what was known as the "Attitude Era" and it is one of the two major reasons that the WWF won the Monday Night Wars against WCW.  The other reasons are documented on another DVD called WWE: The Monday Night War.

 

Other Releases: November 20th, 2012

* The Expendables 2

* Santa Paws 2

* Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season Premium Edition Box Set

* Tarantino XX: 8 Film Collection

* Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series

 

     Tuesday is also Trailer Tuesday, so go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page to see trailers for Now You See Me and the Red Band trailer for Movie 43.

     Wednesday will be part 3 of "The Men Who Were Bond".  Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan 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. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 


 

November 19th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Rated PG-13

     Well, the Twilight Saga is finally over.  Did it end stronger than it began?  Yes and no.  While this last installment wasn't as bad as the first three, it was not as strong as part one.

     I felt that this movie started okay, but it became just one long movie of introducing new characters and their powers.  I know that the characters were necessary, but they introduced a lot of them.  It was hard to keep some of them straight.

     That is not to say some of them weren't memorable.  Stefan and Vladimir (Guri Weinberg and Noel Fisher), or the Dracula Twins as I like to call them, were almost caricatures of Count Dracula and were pretty entertaining.  I also liked Garrett (Lee Pace) who was turned during the American Revolution.  He had a lot of good humor.

     One thing that really bothered me is that all vampires have some kind of special power.  How come most of the Volturi, except for the main ones, don't seem to have powers.  Not to give anything away, but having powers would have come in handy for them.

Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) continues to be the funniest part of these movies.

     The reason for Jacob's (Taylor Lautner) obsession with Bella (Kristen Stewart) is revealed and it ends up being a little creepy to me in the end.  It does lead to a pretty funny line from Jacob near the end of the movie, though.

     I will give credit where credit is due.  Everything involving the final battle is really good, from start to finish.  I enjoyed the whole last battle.

     The credits were pretty much stolen from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but that is forgivable.  The Lord of the Rings ended so perfectly that it is not a surprise that another sage would copy it.

      This was not a horrible movie, but it started a little slow and did lag a little in the middle.  It did finish pretty strong, though and that helped make up for the rest.  If only the first three movies were as decent as the last two…who knows, maybe I will have to revisit them for a Second Chance segment someday.

Go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page to see a new Monday Quicky Review of Sin City.

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

 

 

 


November 16th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Previews Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Rated PG-13

     It is no secret that I don't like this franchise very much.  The usual jokes are a little old and tired by now aren't they?  I really didn't like the first three movies of this series, but I thought Breaking Dawn Part 1 wasn't all bad.  I thought that they finally gave Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) some real emotions finally and they finally gave Jacob (Taylor Lautner) a real reason for being there other than to pine over Bella.  I thought the movie had a decent sense of humor this time around as well.  I thought that the very last shot was kind of dumb, but all in all not too bad.  That was Part 1.  This is a whole other movie.

     I have to say that I laughed pretty hard at the trailers for this one, but not because I thought it was truly funny.  I laughed because this one looks like it is going to be as cheesy as the first three.  I really hope that they do keep the emotion and "good" humor from Part 1 intact.  I really hope that the trailers are misleading and this one can be as enjoyable as Part 1.

     I hope that Jacob is finally over it and will just protect Bella's daughter like he is supposed to and shut it about being in love with her.  That just got real old, real quick.

     I hope that Bella doesn't go back to the mopey version of herself from the first three movies and stays a decent character like in Part 1.

     Edward (Robert Pattinson) has really been the only character I have liked in all of the movies, so hopefully this stays true here.

     There really isn't much more to say about this one.  Either it can be like Part one and be an alright movie, or it can be like the first three and be a really long day for me.

     I will have my review of this movie on Monday, November 19th.  I will also have a new Monday Quicky Review as well.  Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for that review.

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

 

 


 

November 15th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews Casino Royale (1967)

     When I watch the Bond movies, most of them have at least something in them that I don't like, but I always at least enjoy the movie.  Then there is this one.  I watched this "adaptation" of Casino Royale for the first time not too long ago.  All I have to say about this movie is "What the hell were they thinking?"

     First a little backstory about this movie.  This movie was not produced by Eon Productions, the people behind the majority of the Bond movies.  Eon had already produced for of the Sean Connery Bond films and was just about to release its fifth, You Only Live Twice.  When the producer of Casino Royale, Charles K. Feldman, failed to come to a deal with Eon Productions to make a serious adaptation, he decided to make the film a satire instead.

     The next fun fact is that the man who played "The Real" James Bond in this movie, David Niven, was Ian Fleming's original preference to play James Bond in film.  In my opinion, this would have been a really poor choice for a serious Bond.

     The movie revolves around Sir James Bond (David Niven) being called out of retirement after the death of M (John Huston).  The villains, SMERSH, attempt to first discredit and eventually try to kill Bond.  After he becomes the head of MI6, Bond renames every agent "James Bond 007" to confuse his enemies.  They use different types of agents to foil SMERSH in different types of battlegrounds.  This lead Bond to learn the true identity of the man behind SMERSH and take him down...sort of.

     I found this movie to be really confusing for the most part.  While you kind of knew what was going on, the film throws too many different characters at you to keep them straight.  Also, I think they changed James Bond too much, even for a parody.

     The next thing is that the jokes were just not funny.  I think I only laughed a couple of times throughout the entire movie.  I will say that I can see where the Austin Powers movies got some of their jokes from after watching this.

     With bad jokes, strange takes on Bond characters and even stranger music, I can't really recommend this movie at all.  From what I understand, it got pretty mixed reviews back then so who know, maybe you would enjoy it.  Take the journey if you dare.

Friday I will have my preview of the final movie in the Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn Part 2.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 

 

 


 

November 14th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion takes a look at "The Men Who Were Bond" Part 2

George Lazenby

Bond film he appeared in:

* On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

     When Sean Connery decided that he did not want to play Bond anymore, Eon Films searched for a new Bond. The first actor picked was Timothy Dalton (who would later become Bond), but thought he was too young for the role. Relative unknown George Lazenby was picked after impressing the producers somehow. The funny thing was he had never starred in a major motion picture before this. It was like being handed the keys to a Ferrari and not having a driver's license.

     I did feel he was pretty good with the action scenes, but other than that I thought he was a pretty poor Bond. He just didn't seem to have the right attitude or swagger that Connery brought to the role. You could tell that he didn't have the acting experience in the way he carried himself on film. Could he have gotten better? Maybe, but why take the chance. He did go on to do a lot more acting. He even appeared in one of my favorite TV shows of all time, The Pretender, as the main character Jarrod's father.

     Though I don't think he was horrible, he is by far the bottom of the barrel when it comes to playing James Bond, at least in the Eon produced Bond films (More on that Thursday).

Roger Moore

Bond films he has appeared in:

* Live and Let Die (1973)

* The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

* The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

* Moonraker (1979)

* For Your Eyes Only (1981)

* Octopussy (1983)

* A View to a Kill (1985)

     After Lazenby left and Connery played the role for one film, the producers chose Roger Moore to take over the role of Bond. In one interview, Moore said that he did not want to just imitate Connery, so he chose to play Bond in a more lighthearted and comedic fashion. He also changed the character up a bit. Instead of cigarettes, it was cigars. Vodka martinis were replaced with scotch.

     To me, Moore came of as more of a proper gentleman and charmer than any of the other Bonds. He was pretty good with the action scenes (at least in the earlier films) and is a really believable actor. Though I would rather have the cold and calculated Bond, Moore's portrayal of the character is still very entertaining. He did have a few moments where the old Bond would come out, though.

     One more entertaining fact is that when Octopussy was released in 1983, it was the same year as the non-Eon produced Bond film Never Say Never Again, which saw Sean Connery return to the role. Octopussy ended up making over $187 million worldwide, which was almost $30 million more than Never Say Never Again made.

     Next week I will talk about two more men who have played the iconic role, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.  Thursday I will have my review of the worst Bond movie that I have ever seen, 1967's Casino Royale.  Friday I will have my preview of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

Until next time - Geno

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

 

 

 


 

November 13th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week is With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story

Not Rated

     This is a really good documentary about the best known name in comics, Stan "The Man" Lee.  This movie takes a look at everything from the creation of Marvel Comics, his Marvel movie cameos and the ups and downs of the comic book business.  This film doesn't pull any punches and is a really great look at a really great guy.  Highly recommended.

 

Other Releases: November 13th, 2012

* Brave

* The Watch

* Friends: The Complete Series

* Savages: Unrated

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series

* Scooby-Doo Where Are You?: The Complete Series

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page to see the trailers for World War Z and Nature Calls.

     Wednesday will be a new "The Men That Were Bond".  I will take a look as both George Lazenby's and Roger Moore's take on the iconic character.

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

 

 


 

November 12th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews Flight

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     This is the movie that many are calling Denzel Washington's best role in a long time.  Some are even calling it his best role ever.  While I thought this was a really good performance, I wouldn't call it Washington's best.  I thought his roles in Safe House, The Book of Eli and Man on Fire (My personal favorite of his) were better performances.  Not to take anything away from him, but he is usually leagues above the competition in talent anyway, so you could say he is always good.

     The movie revolves around Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) as a pilot for a commercial airliner.  We first see him still drunk and high from the night before with a woman who ends up being one of the flight attendants one his plane.  He has had no sleep and has to get up and pilot a plane.  Near the plane's destination, something malfunctions and Whip makes a miracle crash landing.  The story then goes into Whip going from a hero to the villain because of his condition while piloting the plane.

     This is a pretty serious movie most of the time.  Watching Whip struggle with his addictions is probably the most fascinating part of it.  He has the "I can quit any time I want to" attitude most of the time.  He struggles with these addictions as well as with the people who survived the crash.  We come to find out that some of them knew of his problems and some knew he wasn't in any shape to fly that plane.

     There were two really great characters in this movie.  The first is Nicole (Kelly Riley), who is a recovering heroin addict and becomes close with Whip.  Riley, who is best known for playing Watson's wife in the new Sherlock Holmes movies, is really believable in this role.  She struggles with similar addictions as Whip and she seems to be the stronger of the two.  The other great role is Harling Mays (John Goodman), who is Whip's dealer.  The two or three times he appears in the movie just gives the film an odd humor to it.  One of the times almost seems inappropriate.

     This is a pretty good movie and is worth your time in the theater.  It is pretty predictable, but still enjoyable.  If you don't see it in the theater, it will make for a great rental.

     Monday will be a new Monday Quicky Review of Wasabi.  Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for that review.

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

 

 

 


 

November 9th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews The Man With The Iron Fists

Rated R

     Because Lincoln isn't opening for wide release until next week (Lame!) and I have already reviewed Skyfall (Awesome!), I had to alter my plans for this weekend's reviews.  I am going to talk about two movies I saw last weekend.  Monday I will have my review of Flight, a movie that is opening in the Decatur area this weekend.  Today I am going to talk about a movie that is not for everybody, but for any fans of the kung-fu genre or grindhouse films this movie is right up your alley.  I am talking about The Man with the Iron Fists.

     For those that listen to rap and hip hop music, it is widely known that RZA, of the Wu Tang Clan, is a huge admirer of kung-fu films and of the culture.  From the way it sounds to me, making this movie was one of his dream projects.

     I have to say that this movie is more fun than I even want to admit.  I liked the simple story, the soundtrack and the characters.

     The story revolves around The Blacksmith (RZA), a freed slave living in19th Century China who is trying to buy the freedom of his favorite prostitute, Lady Silk (Jamie Chung), from Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu).  He also makes weapons for both sides of two warring clans, The Lions and Hyenas.  After an uprising that leads to the death of the head of the Lion Clan, the new leader seeks to steal gold from The Emperor.  This leads to many different characters having many different motives in the movie.  Some want revenge, some want gold and some want, to quote The Blacksmith, "Just get the f*** out of Jungle Village."

     All of the characters have strange names and interesting characteristics.  You have characters with magical powers, such as Brass Body (Dave Bautista) that can turn his body into an indestructible metal.  The best character in the movie, in my opinion, is Russell Crowe's Jack Knife.

"My name is Mr. Knife!  You may call me Jack."

     He plays an overweight, opium and sex addicted cowboy outlaw with one of the coolest weapons I have ever seen EVER.  The first time he uses his weapon is something you will never forget.

     As a big fan of rap music, especially in the 90's, the use of some of the Wu-Tang Clan's "36 Chambers" album was just awesome.  It made me want to break that stuff out again and listen to some old school hip hop.  A lot of reviews for this movie ripped on RZA for this.  I say they are wrong.

     Like I said before, this movie is not for everyone.  It is bloody, vulgar and in your face.  If you like unique movies that try to offer something different and a bloody good time, this is for you.  Don't say I didn't warn you that this is for a very specific audience.

Monday I will have my review of Flight.

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

 

 

 


 

November 8th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews Skyfall

Rated PG-13

     This is going to be a really easy review.  It is hard to know where to begin, but I will start by saying that this is one of the best James Bond films to date.  While I think Casino Royale is still my favorite, this movie did a lot of things right and not much wrong.  If I had anything bad to say, it would be that it took a bit for the action to ramp up, but other than that I loved this movie.

     Daniel Craig (James Bond) seems just a little different in this movie than in his other two.  He seems to be channeling a little bit of Sean Connery this time around, which is not a bad thing.  He seems a little smoother and a lot less total tough guy.  He seems more comfortable playing the older style James Bond with some of the wit returning to the role.  This does not mean he won't bust some heads anymore, but he is a lot more diversified in his actions.

     Javier Bardem (Silva) is just downright creepy as a Bond villain.  Silva definitely seems like a throwback to some of the more eccentric Bond villains of old.  He is flamboyant, intelligent and just a little sick in the head.  This of which makes for a great Bond villain.  He even has a scene with Bond that makes you wonder some of the things Bond has done for Queen and Country.

     The story revolves around the idea of old vs. new.  Is Bond still needed in his line of work or is he obsolete?  Though I won't spoil the quote, I think Q (Ben Whishaw) puts it best why he thinks Bond is still a necessary asset in this world.

     Does anybody else think that it would be a bad idea to tick off Dame Judi Dench (M)?

     One of the best things about this movie is that we get to learn a little about James Bond's past.  We get to learn where he came from, his parent's names and a little bit about his childhood.

     This movie seems to be trying to inch closer to the Bond of old without going the whole way back.  There are a lot of nods to classic Bond things that really work and the movie kind of makes fun of some of the things that didn't.  Like "Q Branch", there are some other things that return that the movies have been missing for a while.  These things are welcomed back with open arms.

     To those of you that have hated on Bond, e, ver since "Blond Bond" Daniel Craig has taken over the role, just give this a watch and tell me this movie doesn't have the right tone of a great Bond film.  Go see it in theaters and enjoy!

     Also, to those of you that scored tickets to the same early screening I attended, I hope you enjoyed the films as much as I did.  There was a great turnout.  I was told that around 200 of the 245 seats were filled and that is awesome.  Let me know what you thought by dropping me a message at The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page.

     Because I can't get out of town to see Lincoln this weekend, Friday I will have my review of The Man with the Iron Fists.

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

 

 

 

 


 

November 7th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Takes A Look At The Men Who Have Become James Bond

Sean Connery

Bond Movies He Appeared In:

* Dr. No

* From Russia With Love

* Goldfinger

* Thunderball

* You Only Live Twice

* Diamonds Are Forever

* Never Say Never Again

     Even though technically not true, Sean Connery will be forever known as the first James Bond.  In many people's eyes, he is the ONLY James Bond.  He starred in seven Bond films:the first five, seventh and then returned to star in the remake of Thunderball called Never Say Never Again, which was not produced by Eon Films.

     What I like about his take on Bond is that he has the suave character down really well.  I can believe he is as charming as he acts.  He is pretty good at being a cold hearted killer as well.  The scene in Dr. No when the assassin runs out of bullets is still one of my favorite Connery moments in film.

     One of the problems I have with his Bond is the action scenes he is in aren't the best.  This really isn't his fault, however, action scenes and hand-to-hand fights back then were not as good as they are today.  I would like to have seen how Connery would have been like playing Bond in this day and age.  I think he would have done a really good job playing the Daniel Craig-Style Bond.

     I don't really have a favorite Connery Bond movie.  With him as Bond, it is more like moments that stand out for me.  The scene mentioned above, the Goldfinger laser scene and the Goldfinger fight with Oddjob are just a few of my favorites.  All in all, these moments along with many others make Connery out to be a really good James Bond.

     Next week I will take a look at two more Bonds, George Lazenby and Roger Moore.  Thursday I will have my advanced review of 007 Skyfall.

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

 

 

 

 


 

November 6th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion DVD Release of the Week is They Live (Blu-Ray)

Rated R

     This is one of those movies that is just a guilty pleasure to me.  "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, yes the wrestler, stars in this movie about a down , on his luck guy just trying to get his life together.  He stumbles upon a box of what seems to be just ordinary sunglasses, but what he sees after putting them on changes his view on what is happening to our world.  I know a lot of you have seen this movie, but I don't want to spoil anything else for those that have not.  This is a pretty cheesy action movie that is a lot of fun.  It also has one of the greatest street fights you will ever see on film.  This is one of those films that I have to watch at least once a year.  Give it a look if you want something not so serious.

 

Other Releases: October 6th, 2012

* The Amazing Spider-Man

* WWE: nWo – The Revolution

* Entourage: The Complete Series

* Patton (Blu-Ray)

 

     Today is also Trailer Tuesday.  Go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page to see the trailers for The Collection and John Dies at the End.

     Wednesday will be the beginning of a new Classics Series, which will be Bond Month.  Each week I will take a look one or two of the actors that have played the super spy.  Sean Connery will be the first Bond profiled.

     Thursday I will have my advanced review of 007 Skyfall.  Friday I will have my preview of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.

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

 

 

 

 


 

November 5th, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Reviews Wreck-It Ralph

Rated PG

     Going into this movie, I pretty much knew what to expect.  I all but predicted how the story was going to go except for one plot point.  Even though I knew what was going to happen, I enjoyed every minute of it.

     I will get my one real complaint out of the way, because it is a small one.  I would have liked to see more of the real game characters in the middle of the movie.  They spent a lot of time in one of the fake games for a while.  Still, maybe they are saving the other game adventures for future movies.  I have a feeling there will be some more of these movies.

     The stories plot was ultra-predictable, but that didn't bother me one bit.  Sometimes you need an "Everybody needs to learn a lesson" type movie.  Not only does Ralph (John C. Reilly) have things to learn about himself, but so do the rest of the main characters.

     There is a lot of respect put into the game lingo and "Easter eggs" for us adult gamers.  The credits are loaded with the movie's characters interacting with other games.  There are sounds that gamers will recognize used in entertaining ways.  Even a certain "30 man code" gets some love in this movie.  There is one other sound that had to have been put in last minute, because it involves the sale of LucasFilms to Disney.

     The movie really did have a Toy Story or even a Who Framed Roger Rabbit feel to it, but it did not just rely on nostalgia to carry the movie.  You actually like most of the main characters and want them to succeed.  Sarah Silverman (Vanellope) got a little annoying at times, but wasn't too bad.  Jane Lynch (Calhoun) is awesome as usual and gets to play her character both tough and vulnerable.

     Though not perfect, this movie is still REALLY good.  I do want to see more from these characters in the future.  Given the weekend that it had, I don't think that is going to be a problem with Disney.  I think it is just their year.

     Check out The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for a new Monday Quicky Review of The Man With The Iron Fists.

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

 

 

 


 

November 2nd, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Previews Wreck-It Ralph

Rated PG

     You'll have to forgive this preview being short, but I am a little under the weather.  I have been looking forward to this movie, , ever since I saw the first trailer for it.  I may not be the avid gamer I used to be, but I used to be one of those kids that you could not pry away from their game system.  I even placed 4th at the Blockbuster World Video Game Championships in 1994 (Super Nintendo) and won in 1995 (Sega Genesis) at the Decatur store.  I will always have a love for video games in one way, shape or form.

     This movie seems to want to give to video gamers what Toy Story did for toys.  Many characters from lots of games, new and old, seem to be involved in this movie.  I want to see them stay true to the characters, but have a lot of fun with them as well.  I am curious to see what characters were not in the previews.

     There is a whole lot of funny talent behind this movie.  John C. Reilly (Wreck-It Ralph) and Jack McBrayer (Fix-It Felix) of 30 Rock fame lead a cast of good and/or funny actors.  Jane Lynch (Calhoun) is one of the funniest women on TV today and lends her voice to this movie as well.

     I am looking for this movie to be a lot of fun and hope that they treat the video games characters with the respect they deserve.  The video gamer community needs a good movie that involves characters from their beloved games.  I hope they don't let us down.

     I will have my review of this movie on Monday, November 5th.  I will also have a new Monday Quicky Review of The Man with the Iron Fists.  Just go to The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page for that review.

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

 

 

 


 

November 1st, 2012

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The Reel Opinion Takes A Look At Video Game Movies

     One of my least favorite types of movie for years has been the attempted adaptation of video games into films.  Though there have been a couple that have been okay, there really hasn't been any that have been great.  Today I am going to discuss why I think that this is the case and also talk about what movie franchise might finally get it right.

     Now there are many types of mediums and many ways for a movie to be released.  I will try to cover the bases, but even I haven't seen everything.  I can only discuss what I have seen.

     The medium that really seems to have had the most success has been animation, mostly Japanese Anime.  Though they are never perfect, they do at least stick to the games' plots and characters pretty well.  Most of the video game movie adaptations I like are anime and I don't really follow anime that much.  The anime companies just seem to know what the fans want and give it to them.

     Live action takes on video games have really been the complete opposite.  Though not great, movies like Mortal Kombat and, I never believed I would say it until I saw it, Postal worked really well as movies, most of them try too hard to be original that it does not work.  One example is Super Mario Bros., which is the movie that Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, said was the worst career mistake of his life.  Here you have an original, imaginative world whic, h, is pretty kid friendly.  It has characters that wear mushroom tops for heads and villains that are walking mushrooms and upright walking turtles.  The imagination goes on and on.  What does the movie companies do?  They turn the Mushroom Kingdom into a post-apocalyptic world ruled by Dennis Hopper.  I will say that this movie does at least fall under the "It's so bad it is kind of fun" category.

     Movies with simple premises are made too complicated to make them enjoyable.  Take Double Dragon for instance.  Two brothers fight to save one brothers girlfriend.  After they save her, other brother takes the opportunity to kills his brother so he can be with the girlfriend because he has always loved her.  That could have made for a pretty good movie, but we get a really weird, post-apocalyptic world (what is it with this premise?) where the two brothers are just really annoying and the girlfriend can defend herself, which kind of defeats the purpose of the movie.  Add in the mystic powers thing and awful script and you have a recipe for disaster.

     There are many examples of these stories being changed to try to be original and then there are the games nowadays that are pretty much movies themselves.  Games like Gears of War, Halo and Metal Gear Solid that have so much story that why should studios even bother making them into movies.  As someone that has played through the Gears of War franchise, I can say it was like an interactive movie for me.  Part of me wishes they would just leave video games alone when it comes to making movies.

     Movie studios try too hard to be original that they change what we love about the games they are ruining.  They say they are trying by shoehorning things into the movie from the games and trying to tell their own story.  Look at the Resident Evil franchise, which is considered the most "successful" of the video game based movies.  They adapt the story the way they want and just cram characters in from the game.  While I didn't think the first one was horrible, they have only gotten worse every time out.

     I really wanted to give up on the chance of there being a really great adaptation…until we go some interesting news this year.  There is a chance that we might get a video game based movie that is true to the vision of the ga, , me studio.  How is this possible, you ask?  Just like the success of the Marvel movies is largely based on the fact that Marvel has its own movie company, a video game company has decided to throw its hat into the ring and try to give the fans what they want.

     Ubisoft, the makers of the incredible Assassin's Creed games, have started their own movie studio.  Though they have partnered with another studio to help produce the movie, they will maintain creative control over the movie.  They will get to make the decisions on what makes it in, what gets cut and what gets changed.  This gets me pretty excited for the future of video game based movies.  Not having the game companies involved in the process has never been a good idea thus far.  I think that this is a step in the right direction.  On a side note, they have gotten Michael Fassbender to play the main role and/or roles in the movie.  Getting a great actor such as him is yet another stop in the right direction.  If taken seriously, which now I think it will, this could be the beginning of a wonderful thing.

Friday I will have my preview of Wreck-It Ralph.

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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