The Reel Opinion with Geno Reynolds: March 2013 Archives - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

The Reel Opinion with Geno Reynolds: March 2013 Archives

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March 29th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

This is going to be a long one, so fasten your seatbelts, kids!

     Those of you that know me know that I am a die-hard G.I. Joe fan.  I collect the toys, watch the cartoons and have read a lot of the comics.  Pretty much I have lived and breathed this franchise since I was a boy.  So to say that I may be a little biased with this review is an understatement.  I have found it hard to just review this as an action movie, but I will try to combine the fanboy with the straight-up critic for this one.

     In 2009, when the first G.I Joe movie came out, I thought it was decent.  Sure it had some problems, but I thought it at least captured the essence of what G.I Joe was.  Yes, most of the costumes were dumb and or just didn't look right.  They did get The Baroness and Storm Shadow right.  Cobra Commander was supposed to be intimidating, but just looked silly.  Snake-Eye's uniform had a weird helmet and looked too bulky.  The Accelerator Suits could have been really cool, but came off as silly.  The Vipers looked okay, but nothing like their cartoon counterparts.  I could go on and on.  The story was decent, even though they called the movie "The Rise of Cobra", Cobra showed up for two minutes and got shut down.  It did set itself up for a sequel in the end.

     I will give credit where credit is due.  The look of the sequel is WAY better than the original.  Gone are the all black uniforms.  Cobra Commander looks like, well, Cobra Commander.  Snake-Eyes looks less bulky and closer to what he is supposed to look like.  The Cobra Troopers looked a little more like Cobra Troopers.  The vehicles they did use looked close to what the toys I grew up with looked like.  In fact, I have no issues whatsoever with the way the movie looked.  They improved upon every aspect of the first movie in the looks department.  It is the movie itself that really hurt this one.

     The first mistake they made was the poor attempt at continuing the story.  They did do a few things right and this movie did start off pretty strong, but they dropped the ball more than a few times in the sequel department.  First off, if you are replacing as many characters as they did, you can't just expect us to not want an explanation to where the missing ones are.  The characters of Scarlett, Ripcord (Okay, this is a good thing), Heavy Duty, Breaker, General Hawk and The Baroness.  Except for General Hawk and The Baroness, who was played perfectly in the first movie by Sienna Miller, I didn't mind the rest being gone.  What I didn't like is that we really get no explanation to where they are.  Did they die?  Did they quit the Joe Team?  Just like in The Dark Knight Rises and the absence of The Joker, this movie really needed to explain what happened to these characters.  On the other hand, the one character they did keep, Destro, is just pretty much thrown away.  Why keep him in the movie if you are not going to use him?

     While they keep the plot twist intact from the end of the first movie, a lot of the details from it are kind of ignored.  In the first movie, G.I. Joe is a multinational force.  While I did not like this change, it was a huge part of the first movie.  For this movie, The Pit, otherwise known as the G.I. Joe base, is not even mentioned.  G.I. Joe is now back to being just the "Real American Hero" team now and not a multinational one.  This would be okay if not for the huge deal the first movie made about the team being from different countries.

     Some of the characters were used well and others where just wasted.  Surprisingly, the stand-out performance has to go to Jonathan Price who played both The President and Zartan impersonating The President.  Arnold Vosloo's time as Zartan is way too short in this movie, just as it was in the first one.

     I thought The Rock made a decent Roadblock, but I thought his character was a little underdeveloped.  We find out he has two daughters, but never really learn anything about them, not even their names.  They are credited as "Roadblock's Daughters" in the credits of the movie.

     Bruce Willis was fine, but way underused.  He was pretty funny when he was on screen, but his time in the movie felt like a glorified cameo.  I did find out that it wasn't even supposed to be the characters of Joe Colton that Roadblock goes to for help, but Sgt. Slaughter.  The only reason Slaughter was not in the movie was because two toy companies, Hasbro and Mattel, couldn't play nice.  That's too bad because having Sgt. Slaughter in the movie would have been a big childhood memory come true.

     They did advance the Snake-Eyes/Storm Shadow story pretty well.  They did not address Storm Shadow having the nanomites in him from the first movie, but did address the murder of Hard Master.  This was by far the strongest plot of the movie.  If they do make another movie, this plot needs to be continued.  I would love to see Storm Shadow join the Joes like he does in the comics.  I honestly think they should have just made a Snake-Eyes movie instead.

     Though Cobra Commander was perfect, he was not used very much.  This is really unfortunate because when he was onscreen, he was really good.  I loved Ray Stevenson as Firefly.  He got the part right and was used very well.  He had one of the better performances to the movie.

     I thought the characters of Duke, Jinx, Flint and somewhat Lady Jaye were kind of wasted in this movie.  This kind of stunk because in the G.I. Joe mythos, these three are really interesting characters.  Flint is especially awesome in the Devil's Due G.I. Joe comics is an awesome character.

     I felt that the build-up for the finale of the movie was huge, but the payoff was weak.  The Joes just win a little too easily in the end.  For all of the struggles they go through throughout the movie, the finale is very short.  And why did this movie have to kill off some of the best characters?

     The action in this movie is mostly good.  The ninja battle in the mountains is probably the best of it.  This scene is a kind of a tribute to the comic book G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #21, which is usually referred to as the "Silent Issue".  I thought the last battle sequence of the movie was alright, but not compared to other action scenes in the movie.

     Sorry this is a bit long, but when you are passionate about something, you know how it goes.  I really wanted to love this movie, but I guess it was not meant to be.  I feel that while the movie improved on some of the things that the first one got wrong, it messed up some of the stuff that the first one got right.  As a fan of G.I. Joe, I would not recommend this movie to other fans.  As a fan of action movies, I think there are a lot better ones out there.  Fans will go see this and some may love it, but not this Joe.  I can only hope they will either reboot the series or at least get another shot at it.  Thought I may not have liked this one, it does not mean that it can't come back stronger.  I remember a little movie called X-Men 3 and that crappy Wolverine Origins movie sucking, the franchise came roaring back with X-Men: First Class.  Hopefully the same thing happens here.  This movie didn't make me love my G.I. Joe any less, but I can hope for a lot better in the future.  Yo Joe!!!

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 28th, 2013

 

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Geno's Time At St. Louis Comic Con

     It was a busy weekend for me last weekend in St. Louis for the inaugural St. Louis Comic Con.  There was a lot to like and a lot to do during the weekend.  Though it was their first time in St. Louis, this was not Wizard World's first rodeo.  As always, they seem to do an outstanding job controlling what could truly be chaotic.

     As I mentioned last week, Comic Con to me is usually a yearly vacation for me.  Starting last year in Chicago, I began covering it for my job.  So for me, this is fun and work.  Not only do I get to meet a lot of the entertainment industry people I want to meet, but I get to interview some of them as well.  I will try to have all of my interviews I did edited and posted by next week.  Those interviews are Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Jason David Frank (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Jarrett Crippen (Who Wants to be a Superhero) and Brad Jones aka The Cinema Snob (Channel Awesome).

 

I didn't want to make Lou angry

     Though I had met him a couple times already, I approached Lou Ferrigno first.  He is always pretty cool when you meet him.  He mentions in my interview with him, getting to meet the people behind the characters is like getting to meet the superhero themselves.  In his case, it is true.  Ferrigno will ALWAYS be The Incredible Hulk to me.

 

Go Go Power Rangers!

     Next up was Jason David Frank.  His fans would know him as the Green Ranger on Might Morphin Power Rangers.  He is by far one of the nicest people I have met at one of these things.  From start to finish, he went out of his way to interact with the fans and keep them having fun.

 

Not Pictured: Me getting RKO'ed right after this was taken

     Near the end of the first night, I go to meet WWE Superstar Randy Orton.  I had heard a lot of bad stories about people meeting him, but I am here to tell you they are not true.  This guy was really cool with everybody and even stayed a little late to make sure everybody got their stuff signed.  One cool moment was right before I got my picture with him, his interaction with a nervous little boy was priceless.  He wanted to do the Randy Orton pose:

The Apex Predator

     He was so nervous when he asked, but Orton said with that Randy Orton smirk "You want to do the pose, buddy?" and that kid lit up like a Christmas tree.  Very cool guy.

 

Pictured: Inara with her favorite Browncoat

     The next day I go to meet one of my crushes: Morena Baccarin.  Those of you that know her know her for her roles on Firefly (& Serenity), the new V and Homeland.  There is not much to say other than she is the sweetheart you would imagine she would be.

 

 

BILLY DEE!!!!

     I was not able to have a formal interview with Billy Dee Williams, but I was able to ask him a couple of questions real quick.  The first one I asked was "If they want you to be Lando again for the new Star Wars movies, would you do it?"  He said yes to that question.  I then asked him "Since you were Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's Batman, was the original plan to have you become Two-Face?"  He said that he thought that was the plan, but there was no contract in place.  Things changed hands and it didn't happen, but he like the idea of playing the part.  Oh, what could have been…

 

I mean, come on!  How awesome would that have been!?

     Like I mentioned earlier, I will hopefully have my interviews edited by sometime next week and put the links up on The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page.  It was a busy weekend on the weekend of St. Louis Comic Con.  Along with the convention, I saw three movies as well.  Work, work, work…

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Admission

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     When I saw the trailer for this movie, I felt that it might be kind of funny, but have a bit of heart too.  This movie was pretty much just that.  It had some pretty decent laughs, but also had a bit of dramatic weight behind it as well.  You can pretty much see where the film is going from the get go, but it is still a decent movie anyway.

     Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is an admissions officer at Princeton who takes her job very seriously.  She finds out she is up for the head of the department when her boss announces that he is going to retire.  She is contacted by John Pressman (Paul Rudd), a former college classmate, who wants her to come and evaluate the school he works at.  He also has ulterior motives as well.  He believes one of his students is the son that Portia gave up for adoption many years ago.  She then begins to question her life and the decisions she has made after she starts to get to know this boy.

     If this movie is anything it is predictable, in the case of this one that is okay.  You still find yourself getting invested in the characters.  I am not really a big Paul Rudd fan, but I even felt myself caring about his character as well.  His character was too busy trying to solve everyone else's problems that he never thought to focus on his own.  Tina Fey does a pretty decent job in this movie as well.  You get to watch her character change from a somewhat uncaring machine to a caring motherly type of person.  She did not have any writing credit toward this movie, but I think the writers did know her strengths as an actress and used them well.  She is funny and real, which was a great combination.

     I really liked the scenes in the movie when they showed the admissions officers judging the different applicants.  It was almost like they were on a game show or something, complete with trap doors in the floor.  They took something that in real life is probably a serious process and took a little liberty to make fun of it, which I thought worked well with the light-heartedness parts of this movie.

     With some decent humor with a dash of heart, this is one of the best dramadies of the year.  You get invested in the characters even though you pretty much know where everything is headed from the start.  This is probably the funniest movie this year so far.  I don't think many people will be too disappointed in this one if they see it in the theater.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Olympus Has Fallen

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Cliché. This is a word that gets attached to a lot of movies. I would not say that this word should be attached to this movie. No, I would say that the word cliché IS this movie. If this sounds like a complaint, it is not. I thought this movie was one big, fun, action packed, walking, talking cliché…and I loved every minute of it.

     Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is a secret service agent that has been put behind a desk because of an accident that involved the death of the first lady, played by Ashley Judd. He did not cause her death, but the President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) survived the snowy crash, while his wife plummeted to her death. Banning's boss just didn't want him around to remind the president of that night.

     18 months later, the president is having Korea's Prime Minister to The White House for talks on how to calm the tensions between North and South Korea. After two America fighter jets are shot down, the president and Korean Prime Minister are taken to The White House's bunker. A short time later, unknown troops come from nowhere and begin to storm The White House gates. Banning sees this from his office and decides to join in The White House defense. Little does he know what he is getting himself into.

     What you see is what you get with this movie. You have a tough guy, smart mouthed hero with Banning. President Asher is a tough willed president, but he is only human. Kang (Rick Yune), the villain of the movie, is a little over the top, but is violently in control. The president's support staff tries to stay strong for him, even when he falters. The characters just worked really for this movie. I thought maybe one or two of the main characters were a little overacted, but it did not hurt the movie at all.

     This movie did not shy away from the violence one bit. It was even a little ridiculous at times, but in the good way. I don't have any recent memory of another action movie with this many head shots. I did like the fact that the hero of the movie was not invincible. Banning takes his fair share of damage. Maybe future Die Hard movies could learn a thing or two from this movie. Come to think of it, maybe this should have been the plot of the last Die Hard movie. I could see John McClane in Banning's position.

     The plot of the movie is pretty clear pretty quick, which is good because it helps the action moving. There is usually something happening in this movie, which I really liked. There wasn't a lot of time to catch your breath before something else was happened.

     Any fan of movies such as Die Hard is going to love this one. It is definitely an R Rated movie to the fullest. The violence and language are not for the kids. This is an adult action movie made for the type of movie fan that likes their action movies brutal and violent…like me.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 25th, 2013

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Geno Reviews The Croods

Rated PG

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I have to admit, I really didn't like the trailer to this movie.  It just didn't resonate with me and seemed like it was trying too hard.  I did want to be wrong about this movie, but was afraid I really wasn't going to like it.  I have to say, even though I didn't love this movie, I still had a pretty good time with it.

     This movie is about the "first modern family", The Croods.  Led by Grug (Nicolas Cage), this family has survived everything by living by one rule: Never NOT be afraid.  They spend days in a dark cave, only to come out a basically starve because they can hunt enough food in the short day they are out.  When it gets dark, they have to return to the cave.  The world is beginning to change, however, and this lead to the destruction or their cave home.  For a family that has never gone anywhere, their first "road trip" becomes and adventure of self-discovery and living life to the fullest.

     I did feel that this movie took a little too much from another film about characters from the past whose world was ending.  That's right, this movie felt like the last couple of Ice Age movies.  While not as funny as those movies, this film had some decent humor to it.  They did go to the well a little too often for some of their jokes, but it was funny in a Looney Tunes kind of way.  Ridiculous violence, used for comedic effect, seemed to work well for these characters.

     The whole "first modern family" thing got a little old, though some of the jokes did work well.  For some reason, I got a kick out of the "shell-phone" jokes.  It did seem that the characters were only advanced when it played into a joke or a plot point.  It worked most of the time, but there were some jokes that fell flat.  I think my favorite jokes were about Grug wanting his mother-in-law to die.

     I don't know if it was just me, but the 3D seemed kind of off.  As most of you know, I don't really like 3D anyway, but my schedule didn't leave me much of a choice.  The 3D seemed blurry at time to me, but like I said, that could have just been my eyes.

     This is a pretty fun movie that I enjoyed more than I thought I would.  I was the ONLY one in the theater at the time, so I can't really comment on the non-existent crowd's reaction.  I would imagine that a crowd of adults and children would have a decent to a good time with this movie.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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, 2013

 

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     There are three movies that I will have reviews for next week here on The Reel Opinion Blog.  In these reviews will be one movie about the first modern family, one about a White House takeover and the third is a comedy about a woman that may have just met her son she gave up years ago.

Olympus Has Fallen - Rated R

     Gerard Butler returns to action films in this movie about a disgraced Secret Service agent that tries to save The President after the White House is taken over.  The previews for this movie look decent and maybe even a little cliché, but in the good action movie kind of way.  Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett and other decent actors join Butler in this action flick.  I am excited to see how Rick Yune does as the villain.  I liked him as The X-Blade in The Man with the Irons Fists as a good guy, but I am excited to see him as the bad guy.

Admission - Rated PG-13

     Tina Fey plays a college admissions officer who meets a potential student that might be the son she gave up for adoption years ago.  This seems like it could be one of those comedies that might actually have a heart behind it.  I don't think it is going to rely too much on cheap laughs and gross out humor, but might actually have some intelligence behind it.  Tina Fey can be a very intelligent comic when she wants to be.  I am also excited to see Wallace Shawn is in this movie as well.  I just hope they don't underuse this brilliant actor.

The Croods - Rated PG

     This is the movie about the first modern family.  A prehistoric family goes on a great adventure after their cave is destroyed.  I really want this to be better than the previews are making it out to be.  The movie's trailer seemed to have a few decent jokes, but really I have not been too impressed with what I have seen so far.  This is the movie that comes out this weekend that I want my first impressions to be wrong about.

     Sorry this is so short, but I am getting ready to leave for St. Louis Comic Con.  Busy, busy, busy weekend this is going to be.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 21st, 2013

 

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Geno's Preview of St. Louis Comic Con

     Since 2007, I have been attending Wizard World's Chicago Comic Con, mostly as a fan.  Last year was the first time I covered the event for the station.  Earlier this year, Wizard announced that they were having a new St. Louis Comic Con.  After a very short debate with myself (both sides agreed), I decided to go.

     This year I am going to meet four people and hopefully interview a few of them.  I am going to meet WWE Superstar Randy Orton, Firefly star Morena Baccarin, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers star Jason David Frank and for the third time Lou Ferrigno.  I am supposed to have interviews set up with Jason David Frank and Lou Ferrigno, so hopefully those still go through.

     For those of you that have not been to a Comic Con and you are any kind of fan of movies, comics, TV etc., you don't know what you are missing.  Sure it can be a little pricey and sometimes the lines are a little long, but how often do you get a chance to meet people you admire or grew up with.  I got to meet CM Punk, Scott Bakula and Stan "The Man" Lee...and that was just last year.  I have had many opportunities to meet many people I admire and look up to over the years.  If it were not for events like Comic Con, a lot of those meetings probably would not have happened.

     If you want information about St. Louis Comic Con, here is a link the event's webpage.  You can also e-mail me at the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com with any questions you might have about these events.  I have been going to them for a while, so trust me when I say there are a few things you might want to know before going to one.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 20th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Quartet

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     The Avon Theater in Decatur is having a one week only showing of the movie Quartet, so I decided to give it a look.  While I have to say it is not a great film, it is a pretty good one.  It's kind of funny, kind of sad and kind of sweet.

     The movie takes place at a home for retired musicians.  Every year they put on a fundraising show to keep their doors open.  The show is supposed to go on as scheduled, but things change when a new resident arrives.  She is retired singer Jean Horton (Maggie Smith), a diva that pretty much gave up on the business.  Three other residents of the home used to be part of a quartet with her, Reginald Paget (Tom Courtenay), Cissy Robson (Pauline Collins) and Wilf Bond (Billy Connolly).  The plan is to get Jean to sing with them at the fundraiser because it would be a sure moneymaker, but personal problems get in the way.  Reginald used to be married to Jean and it ended bitterly, but we don't know why.  The plot of the movie is one of self-discovery and forgiveness.

     One thing that is hard to follow with this movie is the music.  Not knowing who they are talking about when the subject of music comes up make the movie a little hard to follow, but the overall story is not.  It is the overall story that is the most interesting part of the film. We follow four wonderful characters as they try to figure out how to deal with the problems of aging and fixing the problems of the past.

     While I liked the four main characters, Billy Connolly is definitely the stand out star of this movie.  He is vulgar, charming and by far the funniest person in the movie.  He gets serious when he has to, but most of the time he is just really entertaining.

What is it about older people dropping F-bombs that makes it so funny?

     The most interesting plot point is following the story about the failed marriage of Jean and Reginald.  I won't give anything away, but it is a really bitter to sweet plot that I felt worked really well.

     While not great and a little hard to follow, this is still a really good love story and has some fun and interesting characters.  This is a BBC film, so you do have to deal with a lot of dry British humor, but there is something there for fans of a decent love story as well.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 19th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     What do you get when you put together put two great comedic actors, two more great actors and a decent actress?  What we should have gotten was a laugh out loud, non-stop comedy.  What we got was a sometimes really funny, but mostly average comedy.  That is not to say this movie is horrible, but it was a pretty big letdown given the talent involved.

     Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are a stage magic duo that have been friends for a long time.  Ten years after getting their own stage in Las Vegas, their act is starting to get stale.  They have been performing the same tricks for the last ten years, Burt's ego keeps growing and they can't stand each other on or off stage.  When a new street magic act/TV show performed by Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) starts to take away their audience, they finally split.  Burt must learn what it was to love magic again and make up with his friend to stop Steve Gray from ruining magic.

     The characters of Burt and Anton are pretty much caricatures of Siegfried and Roy, while Steve Gray is definitely a character making fun of both Chris Angel and David Blaine.  The stunt parts seem more like Blaine while the a-hole attitude is like Chris Angel…don't get me started on that guy.  While the characters of Burt and Anton are kind of funny at times, the Steve Gray character stands out much more.  Along with Alan Arkin, who is his usual awesome self, Jim Carrey pretty much steals the show.

     One of the problems I had with this movie is that the problems that the characters face seem to solve themselves a little too easy, and then the movie is over.  Not to spoil too much for potential viewers, but the final "contest" isn't really much of a contest at all.

David Copperfield has a pretty funny cameo as…wait for it…David Copperfield.

     A lot of the humor is subtle sprinkled with some laugh out loud humor.  I just felt that this team could have been a lot more laugh out loud funny.  The subtle humor does kind of work, but the movie felt like it needed more.  You could probably save this one for a rental.  If you do go, stay for part of the credits.  You will get to see how they pull off their big end trick.  It is pretty funny.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 18th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Call

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I think WWE Studios has finally figured out the right formula to put their Superstars in the movies.  Now instead of force feeding us their Superstars in lead rolls, they are using them in supporting roles behind better known actors.  This movie is no exception.  This is Halle Berry's movie and for the most part, it is pretty good.

     Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is a LAPD 911 operator.  One night, she takes a call from someone that tells her someone is in her house.  The girl tells Jordan that she thinks the person has left, but then the call is disconnected.  Jordan calls her back, but we find out the intruder has not left the home.  The call gives the girl away and she is found dead a short time later.  Six months pass and Jordan is now the call center teacher, having been taken off the phones.  When an abduction call comes in that a rookie operator can't handle, Jordan takes over.  We soon learn that this may or may not be the same man from six months earlier.

     Except for maybe the ending, this movie is a pretty decent thrill ride.  It sort of felt like an episode of Criminal Minds or a similar show.  It felt like a cat and mouse chase most of the time, which worked pretty well.  This is mostly thanks to two people: Abigail Breslin (Casey Welson) and Michael Eklund (Michael Foster).

     Abigail Breslin is probably best known for her role as the daughter in Signs and as Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine.  I give her a lot of credit for her role in this movie.  She spends most of the movie either tied up or in the trunk of a car.  She plays the role of a person that is scared, but learning to fight pretty convincingly.

     The real gem of this movie is Michael Eklund.  He was truly creepy in his role of the kidnapper.  I will leave the reasons behind his madness for all of you to discover, but I thought that it really worked.  The way he played the character just really made him a convincing bad guy.  The nervousness, the sweating and the putting the blame for the deaths of people on his kidnap victim made his character work really well.  I don't really know if he has played a part like this before, but he is really good at it.  I felt he was comparable to characters such as Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs or Casanova from Kiss the Girls.

     Two kind of funny notes about the movie.  First, I will never think of the song Karma Chameleon EVER AGAIN.  For pro wrestling fans, there is a moment in the movie that would make Al Snow proud.  What does everybody want?…

     Though the ending was a little cheesy and didn't really fit the rest of the movie, this one is a pretty decent thriller that will keep you entertained.  I chuckled a little bit at the ending, but I had fun with this movie nevertheless.  I think most fans of thriller movies will get some enjoyment out of this one.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 15th, 2013

 

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     There are at least two movies that I will have reviews for next week here on The Reel Opinion Blog.  In these reviews will be one movie about a washed up magician trying to reclaim his fame and a 911 operator has to deal with a past mistake when a killer strikes again.


Burt Wonderstone – Rated PG-13

     Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and his partner Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have been one of the top magical acts in Las Vegas, but a strain on their friendship and a new type of magician has made their show stale.  Burt tries to find out what it was that made him love magic in the first place and tries to save his friendship with Anton before it is too late.

     One of the last times Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey (Steve Gray) got together, you got a pretty decent comedy in Bruce Almighty.  This time, Carrell takes the lead with Carrey being more in the supporting role.  I really want this movie to be funny, but the trailers have not impressed me too much.  One silver lining is that there is a decent cast here, especially Alan Arkin, who plays aging magician Rance Holloway.  Adding him to your movie is never a bad thing.


The Call – Rated R

     Halle Berry (Jordan Turner) plays a 911 dispatcher must face her past when a call from an abductee leads to her dealing with a past mistake that got somebody killed.  She realizes that this new abductor could be the same man that committed the crime in her past mistake.

     This is the second movie in two weeks that has been produced by WWE Films.  While I think they got lucky with Dead Man Down, I don't have a lot of faith in this one.  It looks like something I have already seen, but I can't put my finger on it.  That being said, if it turns out good, more power to them.  Maybe they have found the right method in using the WWE Superstars instead of forcing them into the starring roles of their films.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 14th, 2013

 

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I finally got it finished.  The 2012 Opie Awards can be found at this link.  Here are the nominees in order if you want to follow along.

Most Important Film of 2012: Bully

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ian McKellen

Long Overdue Oscar Award: Andy Serkis

 

Best Animated Movie:

* Rise of the Guardians

* Wreck-It Ralph

* Ice Age: Continental Drift

* Hotel Transylvania

* Brave

 

Best Superhero Movie:

* The Avengers

* Dredd

* The Amazing Spider-Man

* The Dark Knight Rises

* Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

 

Biggest Surprise:

* This Means War

* Chronicle

* John Carter

* Dredd

* The Man with the Iron Fists

 

Biggest Letdown:

* The Dark Knight Rises

* Ted

* Amazing Spider-Man

* Prometheus

* Killing Them Softly

 

Funniest Movie:

* One for the Money

* This Means War

* Casa de mi Padre

* The Campaign

* That's My Boy

 

Best Director:

* Joe Carnahan - The Grey

* Joss Whedon – The Avengers

* Rian Johnson – Looper

* Ben Affleck – Argo

* Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

 

Best Anti-Hero:

* Danny Trejo – Bad Ass

* Guy Pierce – Lockout

* Karl Urban – Dredd

* Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Looper

* Russell Crowe – The Man with the Iron Fists

 

Best Bad Guy:

* Benicio del Toro – Savages

* Peter Dinklage – Ice Age 4

* Lena Headey – Dredd

* Byron Mann – The Man with the Iron Fists

* Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained

 

Best Good Guy:

* Ryan Reynolds – Safe House

* Tom Hardy – This Means War

* Chris Pine – This Means War

* Taylor Kitsch – John Carter

* Jamie Foxx – Django Unchained

 

Worst Actress:

* Fernanda Andrade – The Devil Inside

* Gina Carano – Haywire

* Anna Faris – The Dictator

* Cody Horn – Magic Mike

* Maggie Grace – Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

 

Worst Actor:

* Mark Wahlberg – Contraband

* Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

* Johnny Depp – Dark Shadows

* Sacha Baron Cohen – The Dictator

* Christian Bale – The Dark Knight Rises

 

Best Supporting Actress:

* Chelsea Handler – This Means War

* Ann Hathaway – The Dark Knight Rises

* Sally Field - Lincoln

* Olivia Thurlby – Dredd

* Emily Blunt – Looper

 

Best Supporting Actor:

* Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

* Clark Gregg – The Avengers

* John Goodman – Flight & Argo

* Alan Arkin – Argo

* Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

 

Best Actress:

* Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

* Keira Knightley – Seeking a Friend

* Catherine Chan – Safe

* Kara Hayward – Moonrise Kingdom

* Lynn Collins – John Carter

 

Best Actor:

* Liam Neeson – The Grey

* Karl Urban – Dredd

* Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Looper

* Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln

* Dane DeHaan - Chronicle

 

Worst Movie:

* The Devil Inside

* Chernobyl Diaries

* The Dictator

* Magic Mike

* Resident Evil: Retribution

 

Best Movie:

* End of Watch

* Argo

* Lincoln

* The Avengers

* Django Unchained

 

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 13th, 2013

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Geno Reviews Sound City

Not Rated

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) is by far one of the most talented musical geniuses in the history of the business.  He can play, it seems, any instrument.  He can write great songs and he can sing.  But can he make a movie.  I am here to tell you that yes, yes he can.

     Grohl has put together a wonderful documentary about the studio in which he and the other members of Nirvana recorded their mainstream breakout album Nevermind.  This studio, Sound City, was also the studio that recorded and mixed some of the greatest albums from some of the greatest artists of all time.  He takes a look back at what made the studio so great and why it finally went under.

     The movie goes throu, gh some of the artists that recorded at the studio from its incep, tion.  Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rick Springfield and Neil Young are just a few of the many big names that show up in this movie.  Each of them has a story and most of them are pretty interesting.

     The movie talks about the studio having this one of a kind mixing board that made it stand out, the Neve 8028.  One thing this movie has is plenty of stuff for the people that understand the technical side of the industry.  It was a little over my head on a lot of it, but it was still interesting enough to keep my interest.  The movie also talks about how advancing technology ended up bring about the demise of Sound City.

     Most of the movie is about Grohl and other artists telling the story of Sound City, The last third is about Grohl putting together an album with past Sound City artists after he purchased the Neve board and brought it to his studio.  You get to see some of the artists record some of the new music for the album.

     If you are a big fan of music or of audio technology, this movie is definitely for you.  I always enjoy shows like Behind the Music and other music documentary's.  This one is one of the really good ones.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 12th, 2013

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Geno Reviews Dead Man Down

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     What do you get when you take the director of the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, WWE Films and some decent actors?  In my opinion you get a pretty entertaining revenge flick.

     The trailers for this movie are a bit misleading.  There is not one revenge plot going on in this movie, but two.  Alphonse (Terrence Howard) is a mob boss that has someone messing with him by sending cryptic messages and killing his men.  We find out that Alphonse killed this man's family and he wants revenge.  We also follow Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), who wants revenge on the man that scarred her face in a car wreck.  The man was drunk and only got three months in jail for it.  She sees her neighbor, Victor (Colin Farrell), kill a man in his apartment and she blackmails him into killing the man who scarred her.  The two stories end up crossing because Victor works for Alphonse as a mob soldier.

     There were only a couple of things I didn't like about the movie, but neither of these things really hurt it very much.  The first thing is some of the humor, or attempt at it.  There is this running joke about Tupperware that got kind of old, but it was a little funny if you were invested in the Victor/Beatrice love relationship.  The other thing was the fact that almost too many people seemed to treat Beatrice like a monster.  I know it played to her state of mind and people can be cruel, but it almost seemed like too much.

     I really liked the relationship story behind Beatrice and Victor.  This is not a typical love story.  The movie didn't waste time forcing them together in a rushed relationship.  They didn't force the physical side of the relationship either.  I actually found their love story to be kind of sweet.  Two damaged souls find comfort with each other.  It really worked for me.

     It was nice to see F Murray Abraham (Gregor) and Armand Assante (Lon Gordon) working again, if only in smaller roles.

     Another member of Alphonse's crew, Darcy (Dominic Cooper), is slowly figuring out more about the man that is messing with his boss.  This is a fun angle to the movie because it kind of puts a clock on that revenge storyline.  It helped to keep the pace of the movie going.

     The shootout near the end of the movie is pretty awesome.  The whole thing just seemed to be the perfect way to end this movie.  It was pretty stylish and violent.  I loved the way it started and the way it ended.

     The ending of the movie might irk some people, but I loved it.  It is short, sweet and is a perfect ending to the love story that is Beatrice and Victor.

     This movie is not going to be for everybody.  Me, I really enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would.  This movie had action, mystery, revenge and an unorthodox love story.  Ingredients for a good movie for me.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 11th, 2013

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Geno Reviews Oz The Great And Powerful

Rated PG

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I think Disney took a big gamble by releasing this movie when they did.  I was pretty much this time last year that they released another big CG fest of a movie by the name of John Carter.  While I feel that movie will never get the respect (or Box Office bank) that it deserves, Oz The Great & Powerful carried a double edged sword this weekend.  One side of the blade would be fans of the original movie flocking to see another installment of the franchise and possibly more movies (including a remake of the original), while the other side of the blade was the fans of the original ignoring this movie thinking that Disney is making a cheap grab at a beloved franchise.  I think Disney fell on the right blade on this one…for the most part.

     The story begins in Kansas as conman/illusionist Oscar Diggs or Oz (James Franco), uses his great talents to take as much money as he can from the towns he visits, plus uses trinkets to woo as many ladies as he can.  Without ruining a pretty good scene, Oz is booed off stage as a fraud and prepares to leave, but is visited by the only woman he has ever loved, Annie (Michelle Williams, who also plays Glenda).  She is there give him one last shot before moving on with her life.  Soon after, a jealous boyfriend discovers one of Oz's trinkets and goes to, well, kill Oz.  Oz escapes in a hot air balloon and, ends up being swept away by a tornado.  After coming to, he soon discovers he is not in Kansas anymore.

     I will get my gripes out of the way first because there are a few.  This movie is way too CGI heavy.  I don't know if some of this stuff was supposed to look real, but a lot of things came off looking way to cartoony.  The worst was when it came to some of the characters.  For a couple of examples, I thought that China Girl (Joey King) looked pretty good, but Finley the flying monkey (Zach Braff) came of looking fake a lot.  That may have been what director Sam Raimi wanted, but I thought it hurt the feel of the movie some.

     I thought The Wicked Witch of the West was a little ridiculous.  The odd way they seemed to try to make her almost sexy, the overacting and the makeup in general was not real great.  I was scared of Margaret Hamilton (somewhat still to this day), but this rendition came off kind of silly.  And no, I won't reveal who it is.

     I really enjoyed the scale of the adventure.  I didn't feel the journey was too long or too short.  It felt a lot like the original movie in a lot of ways.  The yellow brick road as well as a nice character cameo is there.  The tone of the adventure just worked for me as well.  It was fun, funny and dangerous at all the right times.  While I did feel the movie got a little bit too adult for the kids at times, everything (pretty much) was implied.

     While I thought a lot of the performances in this movie were pretty good, I felt two stood out above everyone else.  The first is Joey King as China Girl.  Her character was just so delicate one minute and would go a little violent the next.  Now her violent streak was used in a comedic sense and was pretty entertaining.  The other standout performance and I can't believe I am saying this, goes to Zach Braff as Finley.  Normally never a huge fan of Braff's, I guess I now have to say "Never say never" with him.  His character has some of the best lines in the movie.  One of my favorite parts of the movie is listening to him talk about the stereotyping of monkeys.

     The final battle of the movie is something to see yourself.  I won't ruin any of it for you, but it is pretty creative and with it being dark, the CG does not look bad at all.

     This is one to go see in the theaters.  It is a decent family film that I felt goes along pretty good in the series.  Granted, Disney will probably remake the original to go along with this, but for now I will twist and rephrase a line from the movie to describe the film.  Oz the Great and Powerful is not a great film, but is a really good one.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 8th, 2013

 

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     There are three movies that I will have reviews for next week here on The Reel Opinion Blog.  In these reviews we return to Oz for the first time, blood demands blood in a revenge flick and musical genius makes a movie.

Oz: The Great and Powerful – Rated PG

     Though the filmmakers won't admit it, I think they are testing the waters for a remake of The Wizard of Oz with this movie.  This movie follows "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (James Franco) before he becomes the leader of the people of Oz.  We learn that he is less than an honorable man before he turns his life around to save the people.

     I really want this movie to be fun, but I have my doubts.  I think it might rely too heavily on the look of the original film and CG.  I know this movie will probably be a little cheesy, but let's hope that it is the good kind of cheese.

Dead Man Down – Rated R

     One of my favorite types of movies is the revenge flick.  Granted, these can be done wrong if not handled correctly.  This movie is directed by Niels Arden Opley, the director of the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  While I prefer the Fincher version, I did like the style in which Opley's was shot in.

     A lot of people are giving this movie flak because it is produced by WWE films.  I think the WWE finally got it right when it comes to involving itself in major motion pictures.  They are not trying to shoehorn there performers, whether a good actor or not, into movies.  Their performers are starring in supporting roles next to better known actors.  My hope for this one is that it is good.  It trailer looks good and the cast is decent, so hopefully those things will help.

     I will also be checking out Foo Fighter's frontman Dave Grohl's Sound City.  The reason I want to check this out is because I think Grohl is a genius.  There isn't much, if anything, he has done in the music business that I have not liked.  If he says he is going to make a movie, then I am on board.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 7th, 2013

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Geno Reviews P, hantom<, /p>

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Having actors play someone from another country can be difficult.  Having a movie based in another country with the actors speaking English can also be tricky.  In this case, most of the time some of the actors try to simulate the accent of the country they are supposed to be from.  Take for instance The Hunt for Red October.  Some of the actors tried to simulate Russian accents, while Sean Connery was just Sean Connery.  While this didn't ruin the movie, it did hurt it a little.  What happens then if the characters are supposed to be from another country and they don't even try to simulate the accent of that country?

     The movie Phantom does just that.  I will come out and say that I really liked this movie, but having your actors, who are supposed to be Russian, speak perfect English really confused me at times.  The biggest and one of the only problems this movie had was having to remind myself that this was a Russian submarine and not an American one.

     This movie is supposed to be based on a true story about a secret Russian submarine mission during the Cold War.  While the task is unclear for a lot of the movie, you know there is something wrong with it because of the possible KGB agents aboard the ship, led by David Duchovny (Bruni).  Ed Harris (Demi) plays a submarine captain that is given the task to fulfill this secret mission by his superior and friend Markov (Lance Henriksen).  Demi also has a health problem with seizures that the Russian Navy does not know about, but this is another small problem with the movie.  They make the seizures seem like an important plot point at first, but that point sort of just goes away after a while.  This is a minor problem, though.  As to what the mission is and why this movie is called Phantom, I will leave that up to the viewer.

     This movie definitely has a Hunt for Red October vibe to it.  It also deals with what it is like to be on a submarine, including the claustrophobia.  There is always a feel of distrust on the sub because you don't know where they are going and what their task is.  We , kept getting fed little bits and pieces by out KGB agents, but that is all we get.  It has a really good buildup that leads to a really satisfying end.

     Once again, the lack of accents kind of hurts this movie, but it doesn't ruin it.  I still really enjoyed the story all of the way through.  It is nice to get to see really good actors such as William Fichtner (Alex) used well in a movie and not have their talents wasted on a bit part.  If you like military movies, especially The Hunt for Red October, this is one that you should watch.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 6th, 2013

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Geno Reviews 21 & Over

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Are you getting as tired of lackluster comedies that rely on gross out humor and vulgar jokes as I am?  What we hav, e here with this movie is more of the same.  I wasn't surprised by anything.  I didn't find a whole lot funny.  The characters were not that interesting or likeable for that matter.  It is getting harder and harder to watch movies like this every day.

     The story revolves around three friends who have drifted apart because of college: Miller (Miles Teller), Casey (Skyler Austin) and Jeff Chang (Justin Chon).  One is trying to cling to his youth.  Another is trying to grow up.&, nbsp; And finally, Jeff Chang is trying to figure out what he wants in life.  Does this sound like another movie, like say, American Pie?  You would be right, but this one is not done near as well as those were…and that is not saying much about American Pie.  Jeff Chang has just turned 21, but he has a big doctor's exam the next day.  One of his friends "convinces" him to go out for one beer, which if you haven't already guessed, turns into many.  This leads to a wild, strange and all too familiar (for us) night for the boys.

     First of all, this movie relies way too much on vulgar and racial humor to get cheap laughs.  I think vulgar comedy can be done right, but it was just too common and unfunny here.  Add in the gross out "humor" and you get a formula of unfunny.

     This movie stole from a lot of movies.  Now I know most if not all movies borrow from other films, but this one relied too much on it.  American Pie, Weekend at Bernie's (somewhat), The Hangover and the list goes on.  You can still borrow from other movies if you are not painfully obvious about it.

     Why did the two main characters feel the need to keep calling Jeff Chang by his full name?  Did we need to be reminded that he was Asian?

     The movie tried to have a serious part involving suicide and growing up, but it just didn't fit well to care too much about.  The main characters are somewhat unlikable, so why invest time in caring about them.

     I will say that the final joke of the movie was set up well and was pretty funny.  It made perfect sense with the tone of the movie.  I only wished it was enough to mak, e me like this movie mo, re.

     Here you have a very average comedy that probably should have been a straight to video release instead of released in theaters.  This one is a definite pass or at least wait for a cheap DVD rental, even if you like movies such as The Hangover.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 5th, 2013

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Geno Reviews The Last Exorcism Part 2

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Do you know what one of the worst things to happen to movies is?  The answer is the sequel.  Don't get me wrong, there are some decent sequels to movies and on very, very, very rare occasions the sequel is better than the original.  What is worse than a bad sequel to a movie?  The answer is a bad sequel that follows a pretty good movie.

     The original Last Exorcism took me a little by surprise.  I normally don't like found footage film, not do I usually care for demon possession films either.  The only reason I watched the first one was because I knew I would be seeing the second.  I have to say, the first one asked a lot of interesting questions, had some decent twists and left some really big questions at the end of it.  For those who have not seen it, I will not spoil it for you.  After watching the first one, I got excited about the idea of a second movie.

     Later I found out that the second one was not a found footage film, but a standard one.  I thought that was pretty clever.  I thought that a change might keep things interesting, unlike movies such as the Paranormal Activity series.  With this sequel, what could have been a pretty good story turned into one of the most unoriginal and boring experiences of my life.

     The sequel follows Nell (Ashley Bell), the possessed girl from the first movie.  Her fate was uncertain at the end of the first movie, so she is a good place to start.  The problem I had is that this movie said that nobody else survived the end of the first movie, but some people did.  I don't know if they just couldn't get the actors or something, but I thought this was a cheap copout.  I was especially mad that we didn't really learn what truly happened to the first film's main character Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian).  Let's just say that the last moments you see him in the first film are pretty interesting.  You don't really get much of an answer about him or anybody else except for Nell.  This was a big disappointment.

     The movie's pacing was horrible.  It is hard to follow a movie that moves slower than a snail's pace the entire time.  Sure a few jump,, scared happen here and there, but when a horror preview before the movie was getting a bigger scare reaction from the audience than the movie you came to watch, you have a bit of a problem.

     The acting was "meh" at best.  Ashley Bell was not as good in this one as she was in the first.  She almost seemed to be overacting this time around.  The movie did have different writers and a different director this time around, so that could have had something to do with it.

     One thing I will give credit to the Paranormal Activity movies is that they know how to finish.  The last 15 minutes or so of those movies seem to deliver a strong end, even if the buildup was or wasn't good.  This movie's buildup led to one of the most boring finishes of a horror movie I have ever seen.  You want to see it, I won't spoil it for you, but I promise you will be disappointed.

     If you couldn't tell already, this one is a major pass.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing entertaining about this movie.  Such a waste of a good story.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 4th, 2013

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Geno Reviews Jack The Giant Slayer

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     One of, if not my favorite, director is Bryan Singer.  The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-Men 1 & 2, Valkyrie, the soon to come X-Men: Days of Future Past and…Superman Returns.  Okay, the last movie in that list is a piece of s***, but the other movies on this list are either really good, at least entertaining or in the case of The Usual Suspects, my favorite movie of all time.

     I was a little worried about Jack the Giant Slayer a little, but I was not sure why.  Maybe I thought the idea of revamping old fairy tales wasn't a good idea.  I have to say, after watching this, I think if the rest of these revamped stories were handled the way this one was, the formula could work more often in the future.

     The story is pretty much the same as the fairy tale for part of the movie, but the filmmakers added a lot of twists to the legend.  We see our two main characters, Jack (Nicholas Houlton) and Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), as children.  Jack's father and Isabelle's mother both read their children the stories about giants and how the monks tried to reach heaven by using the "dark arts", but found hell halfway there.  The giants discovered the monks on their land and ate them, thus developing a hunger for human flesh.  The monks used more dark magic to make a crown for the current king to enslave the giants.  This king sent the giants back to their own land and destroyed the bean stalk.  Now in the current time, a power hungry servant of the current king has discovered the crown and the beans.  He has a plan to take over the world, if it wasn't for a random act of kindness from a young boy named Jack.

     I have to admit, this movie was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be.  I liked the fact that it didn't take itself too, seriously.  I, was afraid that would be a mistake.  The movie kind of reminded me of Disney's The Three Musketeers in its tone.  Even though there were some serious moments, the movie never really let go of its lightheartedness.  Even one of the villains, Roderick (Stanley Tucci) reminded me of Tim Curry's portrayal of Cardinal Richelieu from that movie.  The movie did steal Dustin Hoffman's Captain Hook toothy smile for Tucci, but it was actually for a plot point that kind of worked.  They want you to notice it for good reason.

"Have I ever made a promise, Jack... I ha...oh sorry, wrong Jack, wrong movie."

     The giants were decent in the CG department, but not overly original.  At times, they were played off as the gross out humor of the movie.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it was forgettable.  The main giant, General Fallon, who is voiced by Bill Nighy, was pretty good.  Of course, he sounded just like Nighy's role of Davey Jones from The Pirates of the Caribbean.  This is not a bad thing, but at times it was a distracting one.

     The story is fun and not overly serious.  There is actually a decent plot twist that is not earth shattering, but I didn't see it coming.  The ending lends itself to another movie, but it would not be necessary.  It could work, but not with the same cast.  There were a lot of younger kids in the audience at the showing I attended.  While I think this may be a little violent for the younger viewer, the movie is not overly bloody or anything.  I didn't see this in 3D because, well, 3D is a waste of money.

     I really enjoyed myself with this one.  A decent cast, fun story and lighthearted tone made for a pretty good movie.  I think it would make a fun movie night for the family.  It could also be a cheesy romantic date movie as well.

     And a message to Bryan Singer:  Welcome back, Bryan.  Welcome back.

I knew Superman Returns was a fluke

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

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 1st, 2013

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     There are four movies that I will have reviews for next week here on The Reel Opinion Blog.  This busy next week in movies include a retelling of a classic fairy tale, a continuation of one of the better recent demon possession movies, a movie that seems to be the younger brother of The Hangover and Cold War submarine movie.  There's a lot to do so here we go.

 

The Last Exorcism 2 – Rated PG-13

    , Thou, gh I am surprised that this sequel is even happening, I am kind of happy it is.  I actually enjoyed the found footage Part 1, but it left a lot of questions.  I thought that they would never get answered, until now.  Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell), the possessed girl from the first movie, returns for the sequel.  I don't know if she remembers anything that happened to her in the first movie, but in this one she is trying to make a life for herself.  She discovers, however, that the nightmare is not over.

     I want to talk about the end of the first movie, but I don't want to spoil it for those that have not seen it.  I would say that you should make sure that you watch the first one before seeing this movie.  I think someone that hasn't seen it would be pretty confused about what is going on.  Also, I like that this movie is not a found footage film like the first one.  It makes the story a bit more believable than say, Paranormal Activity

 

Jack the Giant Slayer – Rated PG-13

     Like Hansel & Gretel, we have another reimagining of a long told fairy tale.  I do think that this one has a bit more going for it than the other movie because of the acting, talent and the director behind it.  Bryan Singer is the director of my favorite movie of all time, The Usual Suspects.  He has also directed many other great movies, but has been on kind of been on my "List" ever since he directed Superman Returns.  Before he returns to the X-Men franchise, I would like to see how he handles a full on fantasy film.

     Nicholas Houlton (Jack) leads a pretty decent cast in this one.  He has been on a roll lately with movies like X-Men: First Class and Warm Bodies.  I think he will carry this movie on his shoulders and run with it.  I am hoping that this will be a pretty fun movie.

 

21 & Over – Rated R

  &nb, sp;  Here we have what will probably be a pretty insane party movie.  Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) is a day away from taking his medical exam, but is coaxed by his friends to celebrate his 21st birthday.  What is only supposed to be three guy going out for one beer turns into a night of insanity.

     This film is written and directed by the guys behind The Hangover.  This is there first time directing a movie.  This movie could be funny, but only if they haven't wasted all the good jokes on the trailer.  Not much more I can say about this one.  Like I said earlier, this sounds like a prequel to The Hangover.

 

Phantom – Rated R

     This mov, ie is on limited release.  I am traveling to Springfield to go see it.

     Ed Harris (Demi) plays a Cold War Soviet sub captain that secretly suffers from seizures that alter his perception of reality.  He is rushed away to go on a covert mission that leads to choices that could alter human history.

     This movie is based on actual events, so who knows how many liberties will be taken with history.  I am a pretty big fan of Ed Harris, so any movie with him in it can at least get me to sit down and watch.  I also like the idea of David Duchovny (Bruni) playing a KGB agent.  Talk about switching sides (A little X-Files joke).  I am hoping that this can be an entertaining sub movie like The Hunt For Red October.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

&n, bsp;

&nb, sp; 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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