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

The Reel Opinion with Geno Reynolds: April 2013 Archives

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April 30th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Big Wedding


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     These type of romantic comedies are a dime a dozen.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  Most often nowadays, rom-coms seem to be getting worse and worse.  Whether they are too predictable, not funny or just not interesting I still try to enjoy them.  This time it was hard.  I tried really hard to look for something to like in this movie, but there was not much to like.

     The story is about a couple that is about to get married.  The groom is a Colombian who was adopted when he was younger.  His adopted parents are divorced and his adopted father is living with a new woman.  When it turns out the groom's mother from Colombia can make it to the wedding, the groom lies to her and tells her that his adopted parents are still together and happily married.  His mother is a very strong Catholic and he fears that she will not approve if she knew his adoptive parents were divorced.  This is not the only problem.  The rest of the family has their own, different issues as well.  Some important and some not so much.

     First off, the main plot is a little bit too ridiculous.  I know if there isn't conflict, you wouldn't have a plot.  The funny thing is the cast of the movie pretty much say that the groom's idea is stupid and they should just come clean.  The parents faking their marriage leads to some awkward situations that I think are supposed to be funny, but they come off as strange.

     The subplots are mostly not very interesting.  One daughter has just broken up with her boyfriend, cannot get pregnant and has daddy issues.  The son is a virgin (oh no!).  I'm not kidding.  This is one of the plots.  I would be all for it if he stuck to his story of wanting to fall in love, but I don't think he knows what love is.  He goes from wanting to fall in love to wanting to have sex with a girl just because he saw her naked.

     The biggest problem with this movie is that it tried so hard to be funny, but failed most of the time.  While I did find some of the jokes a little funny, like the language miscommunication jokes, most of them fell flat.  They were going for big laughs and missed way more than they hit.

     The movie tries to convince you that all the characters learned something about love and themselves at the end, but I just didn't buy it.  The performances and the script just didn't do enough to really make me care for these characters.  That's pretty sad considering you have Robert DeNiro, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Diane Keaton and Katherine Heigl in your cast.

     I don't think even hardcore rom-com fans would like this one.  It is just kind of boring, unfunny and uninteresting.  I give this one a big pass and given its poor performance at the box office this last weekend, a lot of America gave it a pass too.

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

 

 

 

 

 


April 29th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Pain and Gain


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Michael Bay.  A lot of us hear that name and we think of things like "He is ruining my childhood" or "This guy is a hack" or many other similar things.  There are some things I think he has gotten somewhat right, but not many.  I have to say that with this movie, his usual style of filmmaking may have actually found its home.  Don't get me wrong, I am still not going to give him any more credit than he deserves.  With this movie and its outrageous story and cast, he was just the perfect fit.  This could actually be his best film ever, but I don't think it was really because of him.

     Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) believes in the American dream, at least in his own warped sense of it.  He is an ex-con bodybuilder that works as a personal trainer at a gym.  He regularly watches self-help tapes that he tries to mimic.  After taking on a new, rich client, Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), he decides that Kershaw does not deserve everything that he has.  Kershaw is a self-made man, but he has sort of an f-you attitude about people.  Lugo enlists co-workers Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackey) and Paul Doyle (The Rock) to help him hatch a kidnapping plan to steal Kershaw's money.  Doorbal has a reason he wants to do it, but Doyle does not.  He only joins them because he is a kind of simple man that is somewhat easily manipulated.  The kidnapping is only the beginning.

     Though I could have done without all of the usual Michael Bay slow-mo, in the ridiculousness of this story it kind of fit.  The storyline of this movie is just a bit nuts, but the funny thing is that this is supposed to be a true story.  Now, I'm sure a lot of liberties were taken with the story, but the movie itself tries to keep convincing us that it is all true.

Is getting a "Pump in" really a good stress reliever?

     The characters in this movie seem like either stereotypes or caricatures, but that is typical for a Michael Bay film.  Anybody remember the Twins from Transformers 2?  That being said, the characters are kind of fun to watch in this movie.  Though they only confirmed that one of the characters is on steroids, all three of the main characters had to be.  Another name for this movie could have been "Roid Rage".  When these characters get upset or mad, it gets kind of funny.  The smallest things would set them off or their emotions were all over the place.  One of them even had problems with his equipment, you know, down there.

     Hey, Marky Mark.  If you keep flaring your nostrils like that and making that face it is going to freeze that way.

     The Rock had the definite standout performance of the movie.  His character had complex emotions had The Rock pulled them off really well.  As mentioned earlier, he was kind of easily manipulated into doing things that went against who he was.  He didn't have many friends, so he seemed to trust people just a little too easy.  Mark Wahlberg's character exploits him the entire movie and throws the blame his way when things don't go right.  His character is also a study of how easily a person can be broken by the temptations of the world.

     The story and characters are ridiculous and outrageous.  The nineties music and references, including Marky Mark's Calvin Klein's, are kind of fun.  Shockingly, this is one Michael Bay movie I would actually suggest a fan of strange movies should watch.  It is not necessary to see it in theaters, though.  If you enjoy strange character studies or really odd characters, this one is for you.

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

 

 

 

 


April 26th, 2013

 

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Geno Goes To C2E2 On Saturday


     I am going to C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) on Saturday for a couple of big interviews.  There is another interview I wanted, but Ron Perlman is not doing any interviews this weekend.  I will try to do something similar like I did with Billy Dee Williams and ask him a couple of questions while I am in line getting my stuff signed.

     I do get to interview two people who I have admired for a long time: Bruce Boxleitner (TRON) and Pro Wrestling Legend Diamond Dallas Page (DDP).


Bruce Boxleitner (TRON)

     Being a child of the 80's and a huge video game fan back then, it is no surprise that I would be attracted to a movie like TRON.  Getting to meet the man who played the title role has always been "on my list", but know I don't only get to meet Bruce Boxleitner, I get to interview him.  Of course I will be asking him some TRON questions, but I will also be asking him about his new project called Lantern City.  One cool thing is that Boxleitner is an Illinois native.  He is from Elgin.

 


Diamond Dallas Page (DDP)

     This awesome interview is a little more personal to me, but I will get to that in a minute.  Like many people, I was really into what World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was doing in the mid-nineties.  The nWo, silent Sting, Hogan turning bad.  WCW had some really interesting storylines going then.  One of my favorites was DDP becoming the people's champion.  Sorry Rock, he did it first.  You see, DDP would not join the nWo.  This led to him having a series of matches with the late, great Macho Man Randy Savage.  Their second match took place at The Great American Bash in Moline, IL…and I was there.  To this day, that is still one of my favorite live matches I have ever seen.

     At the first of the nWo thing, like many people, I gravitated to Sting.  Over a short time, I really started to like DDP more.  I liked the story that he went from manager to wrestler.  I liked that he was creative in and out of the ring.  He had great in and out of ring psychology.  I liked that he pretty much stayed the same guy, even though he technically changed from heel to babyface.  One of my favorite moments in wrestling is seeing him win his first World Title against Sting, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.

     Here is where it gets a little personal.  Jump to 2010.  I go to Chicago Comic Con like I always do.  I get to meet DDP and it is every bit as awesome as you would hope.  He told me he really liked fans like me that come to him and are excited to meet him.  Believe me, I was fanboying out a bit.  To set up this next part, I have to mention that I was pushing 380 pounds at the time.  Also remember, DDP Yoga was pretty much in its infancy at the time.  After I got done talking to him, he whispers to me, "You know, on a personal note, you have to do something soon (Referring to my weight).  If you need something let me know."  I told him thank you and went on my way.

     Fast forward to February of 2011.  I wake up one morning at my usual 2:30am time and go to the fridge.  I grab the 2 liter of Dr. Pepper and put it up to my lips.  For some reason, I thought about my talk with DDP.  I put the pop away and say in my mind "What am I doing to myself?"  Over the next 6-7 months, I lost 80 pounds.  After dealing with tons of personal problems over the last year and a half, I did gain the weight back.  I guess I am bringing this up now because I think getting to talk to DDP again might help me get my s*** together again when it comes to getting healthy.  I have a meeting today (Friday) that has something to do with me getting healthier.  I can't reveal anything yet, but I think the blocks are beginning to fall into place for me.  I think getting this interview could not have come at a better time.

     You see, my original plan after dropping the pounds a couple of years ago was to, when I had the chance to meet DDP again, tell him that he was one of my biggest inspirations for doing what I did.  Granted, life kind of fell apart for me for a time, I gained the weight back and I did not get to see him again until now.  I like to think I am getting that chance again to talk to him and get motivated again.  I have to say I am looking forward to it.

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 

 

 


April 25th, 2013

 

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Geno's Soapbox

 

     I wasn't sure what I was going to write about for today, since I have already covered the movies I could go see this week.  I got to thinking about my trip to EbertFest and then that made me think back a bit to when I started this blog.  Though I feel I have become a better writer and am doing alright with the on air stuff, I know that I have a lot to learn still and I am not always the smartest guy in the room.

     Let me explain.  You see, I didn't go to school for any of this stuff.  I did some creative writing in college and still have some plans to pursue that in a way.  I never went to film school to study the history of film or how to make movies.  I had dreams of making movies one day, but who know if that will ever happen.  I guess what I am trying to say is that deep down; I am just a fan like most of you.

     Don't get me wrong, I am a very opinionated fan.  If I don't like a movie, TV show, video game, etc., I am very vocal about it.  I always have been.  You can label me a geek, fanboy or whatever.  I am what I am and I am not going to change.

     Getting to talk to some of the public has been probably my favorite part of the job.  Getting got talk to people at movie theaters and just out in public is a lot of fun for me.  One thing that I have run into is that some people have been afraid to approach me and talk.  I hear things like "I didn't want to bother you" or things like that.  I want you all to know that I want you to "bother" me.  I love talking to anybody and everybody about movies and things.  So please, if you see me and want to talk to me, do so.  I am just a regular guy and a fan of entertainment…just like you.

     Since the beginning of the year, I have been tagging my blogs with the phrase "Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion".  The reason I do this is because it is only my opinion.  The Reel Opinion is just my way of getting MY opinion out to the public.  Just because I am giving my opinion does not mean that I don't want to hear yours.  I love getting into discussions about movies.  I love hearing other people's thoughts about a film.  I love getting into (friendly) debates on why I thought a movie was good or why I thought it sucked.  What I have learned by talking to the public is that sometimes I miss things.  Sometimes I don't catch something that another person does.  Sometimes I am educated on a certain style or some other thing that I didn't learn from the film school classes that I DIDN'T take.  Like I said, I am not always the smartest guy in the room.  

     I think the reason I wrote this is because I don't even know how many people even read this blog.  I do get some feedback about the TV segments, but I don't hear much about this blog.  Whether you like it or not, agree or disagree with it, please take the time to hit me up on The Reel Opinion's Facebook Page or e-mail me at the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com.  Also, let these guys know what you think about everything I am doing:  General Manager Ricky Joseph ricky.joseph@wandtv.com, Sales Manager Clay Koenig clay.koenig@wandtv.com, Programming/Production Director Rob Comerford rob.comerford@wandtv.com and News Director Tai Takahashi tai.takahashi@wandtv.com.  These are the guys that pretty much run the show here at WAND-TV.  Feedback from you, good or bad, influences decisions around here.  Positive feedback from you will do nothing but help me and The Reel Opinion.  I guess what I am saying is "If you like it and what I am doing, please help support it."

     I got some big stuff coming up here soon.  This Saturday I have a couple of big interviews lined up in Chicago.  I will talk more about that here on Friday.  Plus, I have a meeting on Friday that will make a big change for me that I can't wait for.  I'll let you guys know more about that WHEN I can reveal it.  If you remember me mentioning a "Project E" a while back, it has something to do with that.

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 

 

 

 


April 24th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Home Run


Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I thought when I went to see this movie, it was going to just be another sappy, forced loved story like Playing for Keeps was.  To my surprise, this movie was a little more complex than that.  Sure, it had some elements of movies like Playing for keeps, but it added a couple of elements that really worked for the movie.

     Cory Brand is a professional baseball player that has a lot of personal demons.  We learn at the first of the film that he was abused by his alcoholic father.  He himself has a problem with alcoholism as well.  After getting thrown out of a game for arguing a call, he is tested for alcohol and is suspended for eight weeks.  His brother stays with him the night of the suspension and travels with Cory in the morning to his hometown.  On the way, Cory puts alcohol in his fast food cup and drives drunk with his brother in the car.  They get into a pretty bad wreck, but both of them survive.  Cory was supposed to go to Florida for his 12 step program, but his agent decides that he will do it in his hometown.  When he gets back, we learn that he didn't just leave behind his home when he left to play ball.

     The movie deals with a character in Cory Brand that can't seem to get it right even when he tries his best.  Though this movie didn't really bring anything original to the table, it still has decent characters that you end up caring about and want to see succeed.  Cory starts off the movie kind of a big jerk, but for reasons I won't reveal he tries hard to turn his life around.

     Most movies like this have a fairy tale ending, but this one did not.  Yes it has a happy ending, but everything is not magically better in the end.  The movie leaves you with a sense that Cory's life will still be a struggle, but he has found things and people to help him through all of his problems.

     Arby's must have paid some good money to be in this movie…

     Though baseball is the setting for this movie, it really isn't the main focus.  I guess what I am saying is that this movie can be for sports fans, but they may be a little disappointed that there isn't more about the game.  Also, on the other side of the coin, non-sports fans should not be turned off by this movie.  Baseball is just the backdrop for the characters to interact around.

     One thing that might also turn some people off is the faith based message of the movie.  Christianity is one of the main focuses for recovery in this movie.  Even the group that runs the 12 step program in the movie, Celebrate Recovery, is a real group that does what they do in the movie.  I want to let those that might be turned off by the message that they should not be.  Christianity is not forced down your throat with this movie.  This is just a pretty solid movie about a man trying to get his crap together for many a reason that I won't reveal here.

     All in all, this is a pretty decent movie about a guy trying to bury his demons from the past and look forward to the future.  While not an original or perfect movie, it is one that makes you feel good at the end.  I wouldn't rush to the theaters to see it again, but I don't think you would be too disappointed if you did.  

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 

 

 

 

 


April 23rd, 2013

 

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Geno Talks About A Past Interview


     When I went to Anime St. Louis, I wanted to interview a guy name Eric Vale.  Vale is a well-known voice actor who voices many anime characters, the most famous being Trunks in Dragon Ball Z.  If you want to see the interview, just click the link here.

     After the interview, we got to talking about where I was reporting out of.  I told him Decatur, IL and he asks me "Where is that?"  I was able to describe where it is to him and he and his handler began to talk.  He then tells me that at one time he was going to make a film about haunted movie theaters and though he had visited Decatur.  I said "The Avon right?"  He said that was right and that they were going to make this movie, but they didn't have the money to produce it.

     We talked a bit more about our kids and other things and then went our separate ways.  I know this isn't the most exciting story, but I thought it was kind of cool.  It just goes to show that there can be interesting stories anywhere.

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 

 

 

 

 


April 22nd, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Oblivion

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I have been saying pretty much since John Carter last year that Sci-Fi is going to be the next "thing".  Goodbye pretty vampires and zombies, sci-fi is coming back in a big way.  Though I felt that it should have started with John Carter, a lot of people think the comeback will start with this movie.  Is this the case?  Though this movie isn't everything I wanted it to be, it still is a pretty decent sci-fi story.

     The year is 2077.  Sixty years ago an alien race attacked the Earth, but we won the war.  I'll save the invasion details for the movie because it is pretty interesting and I don't want to ruin it.  The problem is we had to use our nukes to defeat them, radiating a lot of the planet.  We have begun a new planet on one of the moons of Saturn, called Titan.  Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are left on the planet for drone maintenance.  Drones protect the machines that are collecting all of the water on the planet for transfer to Titan from the leftover alien invaders or Scavengers (Scavs as they are called.  They have two weeks left before they can leave and join everybody else, but then a strange ship crashes.  Jack goes to investigate and out adventure begins.

     This is the type of movie that, after I see it, I am mad at the trailers that were released.  I figured out most of the plot pretty quickly and wasn't fooled by anything.  That being said, I like the plot of the movie.  It has a lot of borrowed ideas from other sci-fi stories, but they still make for a pretty entertaining movie.  One of the ideas was one I was hoping they would use for the new Superman movie, but I won't go into that.

     Tom Cruise does what Tom Cruise does best in this movie.  He plays the action hero very well as is usually the case in these types of movies.  His performance if nothing special, but is good and gets the job done.  I really like Olga Kurylenko (Julia) as the mysterious survivor of a ship that crashed.  You can figure out who she is pretty quickly, but she still does a good job of helping to keep that part of the story interesting and to keep it moving.  I felt Morgan Freeman (Malcolm Beech) was not really needed here.  You could have put anybody in that role and would have been okay.  I'm sure he got himself a nice paycheck for this one.

     I really dug the designs of the different places and things in this movie.  From the ship designs to the place where Jack and Victoria lived, the stuff just looked really cool.  Throughout the movie, you would see little touches like leftover landmarks that would give this movie a somewhat realistic feel to it.  Yeah, I know it is a movie about an alien invasion, how real could it be?  Seeing these things sort of gave the movie a Planet of the Apes type of feel when it came to what the Earth look like now.

     While not everything I wanted and not as original as I had hoped, this was still a pretty entertaining sci-fi flick.  It is big and loud, so if you like sci-fi, see it in the theater.  I was a little up in the air about the ending, but either way it didn't really hurt the movie at all.  This is a pretty good way to start the unofficial summer movie season.

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 

 

 

 

 

 


April 21st, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews the Movies of EbertFest - Day 5

 

Day five of EbertFest has come and gone, so here is my review of the one movie shown the day of the festival.

Not Yet Begun To Fight – Not Rated

Ebert's Rating: 3 ½ Stars

     This was a short documentary about a Vietnam veteran that needed something to help him find peace after living through hell.  Fly fishing is what helped to calm him down.  He ended up starting a place where other wounded warriors could go to not only learn to fly fish, but also use it to help them through their problems after they have come home.

     Those of us that have not served can only imagine what hell these guys have gone through overseas.  Not all of the problems these guys have are physical, but mental as well.  It was really interesting to hear these soldier's stories of what happened to them over in the different current wars.  My only real complaint about this movie is that it could have been longer to fit in more of these stories.  The movie is only an hour long.

     Watching how these guys triumph with their different problems is something all of us should see.  This is not just some boring movie about fly fishing, but a look into how some of our bravest citizens are trying to deal with what they went through after they have come home.  This movie should be seen by everyone.

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

 

 

 

 

 


April 21st, 2013

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Geno Reviews the Movies from EbertFest - Day 4


     Day four of EbertFest has come and gone, so here are my reviews of the movies shown the day of the festival.  These are going to be short and sweet.

Blancanieves (Snow White) – PG-13

     By far the most beautiful movie if the festival so far.  This is the story of a bull fighter who, after getting gored by a bull is paralyzed from the neck down.  His pregnant wife gives birth on the same day to their daughter, but she dies after giving birth.  The bullfighter's nurse tricks him into loving her over time so she can take over his estate.  The child is sent away, but later returns.  To say more would ruin the story.

     This is a silent film that takes elements from different fairy tales: Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, etc.  It has a little bit of everything: action, comedy, love…something for everybody.  This is a great story with a great cast that only have their bodily and facial expressions to tell the story along with a great soundtrack.  A very beautiful movie.

 

Kumare – Not Rated

Ebert's Rating: 3 Stars

     This is a documentary where the director of the movie creates an Indian Guru character and sees how much he can influence a group of people into believing what he is teaching.  What starts as an experiment for him turns into a look inside of himself.

     This movie has a lot of humor, but it also has a lot of heart.  The character of Kumare is created to help this group of people to stop waiting to be saved by other people and to help themselves with their problems.  The movie is a lot of fun to watch and you might just learn something about yourself as well.

 

Escape From Tomorrow – Not Rated

     This is by far the WTF movie of the festival.  A newly laid of father takes his wife and two kids to Disneyworld, only to take park in one of the strangest movies I have ever seen.  It starts off innocently enough.  The man's wife is kind of a pain, so his eye wanders a bit to a couple of attractive French Tourists.  What happens after that I can't even begin to explain.  I give this movie points for its creativity and an A+ for its insanity.  I think this is one of those movies destined to be a cult classic.  I can't necessarily say I liked it, but I have to give credit where credit is due.

 

The Spectacular Now – Not Rated 

     How can an actor play a similar role in two different movies and be horrible in one and incredible in the other?  Miles Teller, who I could not stand in 21 & Over, is incredible in this movie.  Now it is probably because the subject matter is taken so seriously in this movie.  The stuff that happens in this movie is not sugar coated.  These are teen dealing with real teen problems.  The subject of sex, alcoholism and family problems are treated with all seriousness and not like a punchline.

     This movie almost feels real at times.  You really become invested with the main characters of this film.  You care what happens to them, cheer when they succeed and feel bad when they fail.  The only thing I didn't really care for was the open ending, but it didn't hurt the movie very much.  Watch 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

 

 

 

 


April 20th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Movies of EbertFest - Day 3

     Day three of EbertFest has come and gone, so here are my reviews of the movies shown the day of the festival.

Oslo, August 31st – Unrated

Ebert's Rating: 4 Stars

     This movie is about one day in the life of a recovering drug addict named Anders (Anders Danielson Lie).  He has been in rehab for a while and has earned a release from there.  We learn that he still may be unstable because after waking up in the bed of a strange woman, he leaves and attempts to drown himself in a river.  Only he knows what he is going through, otherwise the rehab probably would not have let him go again.  He goes on another release for a job interview, but after having to tell the interviewer that he had been a drug addict, he leaves and begins what can either be a cry for help or him knowing it could be his last day on Earth.

     This one grabs your attention right away.  The character of Anders is just one of those characters that you don't want to take your eyes off of because you don't know what he is going to do next.  We see him start a decent from his path of sobriety.  It starts with a simple drink of alcohol.  He then goes on what could only be described as his last adventure.  He just goes where the day takes him.  He sees people from his life before he was clean and has to deal with them, whether good or bad.

     Without giving away too much, I would suggest a watch of this one.  I really enjoyed it.  The pacing is a bit slow, but it will keep your attention.

 

The Ballad of Narayama – Unrated

Ebert's Rating: 4 Stars

     The story of this movie is a bit hard to explain.  It is a story about a Japanese village that when you turn 70, you leave the village and travel up a mountain.  The reason you do this is so that you don't burden your village by being another mouth to feed.  The film was very interesting, but kind of hard to watch.  We watch one family's preparation of getting the grandmother ready for her journey.

     The one thing I will comment on about this movie is the way it was made.  It almost felt like a movie mixed with a play.  The way that the backdrops changed by way of curtains and the change of lighting to set mood was incredible.

     I'm not going to say I really liked this one, but it was interesting to watch.

 

Julia – Rated R

Ebert's Rating: 4 Stars

     This was the best movie of the day.  Tilda Swinton is a genius with her role of Julia.  The movie starts out with her just being a hard partying alcoholic.  The movie then twists and turns into a crazy kidnapping story.  Then it changes into a race against time to save someone's life.  All of these events have an effect on the main character and it is just one big and wonderful ride.  I don't want to spoil the details of this one.  Watch it.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


April 19th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Movies Of EbertFest - Day 2


     Day two of EbertFest has come and gone, so here are my reviews of the movies shown the second night.

 

Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh – Not Rated

Ebert's Rating: 4 Stars

     There is not much to say about this one.  It is an interesting look at the life of Vincent Van Gogh by way of his letters that he wrote to his brother Theo.  Van Gogh's letters are narrated beautifully by John Hurt, who just has one of those voices you can listen to for hours.  A great movie about a genius/unstable artist.

 

In The Family – Not Rated

Ebert's Rating: 4 Stars

     This movie is about Joey and Cody, a couple who is raising Cody's son Chip.  After Cody is killed in a car wreck, his sister takes Chip away from Joey.  This movie is about Joey's fight to get Chip back.

     Believe in what you want to believe in, either way this is a wonderful story about a father trying to get his son back.  Though it is a very predictable movie, it is still a beautifully told story.  Though Joey is not Chip's biological father, they love each other as if they were.  The story is about what a father has to learn about himself to get his son back.

     Some people might be turned off from this movie because Joey and Cody are a gay couple.  It does play into the plot a bit, but I don't think it should turn people away from this movie.  These two people love each other plain and simple.  If you are turned off of a movie about this sort of thing, don't watch it.

 

Bernie – Rated R

Ebert's Rating: 3 ½ Stars

     This movie is based on a true story about a lovable man named Bernie (Jack Black).  He works as an assistant funeral director and is very good at his job.  He goes above and beyond to make people happy and/or feel better.  He befriends a newly widowed and wealthy Majorie (Shirley MacLaine), but has nothing but good intentions.  They become great friends, but eventually she begins to treat him worse than she treated the rest of the people of Carthage, Texas.  To say more would ruin the experience that is this movie.

     This story is mostly told like a documentary.  I found this movie to be incredibly funny.  Sometimes you would find yourself laughing at some things that would ordinarily not be funny.  This movie just delivered a lot of lighthearted and darkhearted laughs.  I thought this was an incredibly well done movie that any fan of dark comedies should watch.  It is streaming on NetFlix now for those that are interested.

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

 

 

 

 


April 18th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Movies Of EbertFest - Day 1

     Day one of EbertFest has come and gone, so here is my review of the movie shown the first night.

Days of Heaven (1978) –Rated PG

Ebert's Rating: 4 Stars

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     In the years before World War 1, Bill (Richard Gere) has to run away after killing his boss after an argument at a steel mill near Chicago.  He, his lover Abby (Brook Adams) and his kid sister Linda (Linda Manz) all hop a train and end up in Texas. , One thing to mention is that Bill and Abby claim to be brot, he, r and sister, but I could never really tell why he does this.  Here they all get jobs with a rich wheat farm owner.  The farm owner (Sam Shepherd) ends up seeing Abby and quickly falls in love with her.  After finding out that the farmer only has a short time to live, Bill convinces Abby to "love" him back, so that when he dies, they can live on his wealth.

     I thought this movie looked really good, but kind of took a while to get going.  It all made sense, but the story seemed to be stretched a bit.  The idea of Bill and Abby's con was interesting enough, but it just felt like it took too long to play out.

     I did like that Abby really began to develop feelings for the farmer.  This added to the complicated relationship between the three characters.  You weren't really sure which way she was going to go in the end.

     The narration by Linda was pr, etty funny at times.  A lot of her narration got a laughing reaction from the EbertFest crowd.

     All in all it wasn't a bad movie, but it really wasn't my kind of film.  I thought that the pacing was a bit too slow and we really didn't get to learn a lot about the characters.  I am glad I got to see it, but it is probably one I won't watch again.

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

Gen, o

     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 

 

 

 


April 17th, 2013

 

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Geno's Tips for EbertFest

     Today is the first day of the 15th Annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival.  This article is not to talk about what is going on at the festival, so if you want that information click on this link.  What this article is going to cover is a few things that I learned last year that I thought anybody new to the festival might need to know before coming.  I also have a little news about the future of the festival regarding Roger's passing.  I will share that at the end of t, he article.

Here are a few steps that you might want to follow for your trip to EbertFest:

1. Buy the festival pass and buy it early.  They usually sell out quick, especially this year I am sure.

2. Book your hotel early.  See reason #1.  There aren't any hotels less than a mile away or so from the Virginia Theatre.  In my opinion, the better hotels are south of the theatre down Neil Street.

3. Buy the parking pass from Community Elements, Inc.  Yeah it costs $135, but you are GUARANTEED a parking spot right across from the theatre for the whole festival.  Plus, the purchase counts as a donation, so you can write it off on your taxes.

4. I suggest getting in line for each days movies one hour before the doors open.  The reason for this is that when you get inside, you can claim your seat for the ENTIRE DAY.  Once you pick a seat, it is yours unless you leave without marking it.  Just remember that Section 4, which is the left center section on the floor, is the VIP section.  Unless you have a special badge, you will not be allowed to sit there.

5. Bring a jacket.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that it might get a little chilly waiting in line to get in.  The other is that it can be used as your seat marker for the day.  Lay that jacket on your seat and leave it.  That seat is yours.

6. Bring an umbrella.  This is EbertFest.  IT WILL RAIN.  It doesn't matter if Greg Trumbold says it is going to be 90 degrees and sunny…it will rain, trust me.

7. If you are going to be watching all the movies, buy the large popcorn and drink at the beginning of the day.  Unless they changed the rules, you can refill those all day long.

8. Buy the EbertFest coffee mug.  If you buy the mug, you get to enjoy free coffee and hot tea all festival long.  It usually costs around $12-$15.

9. Bring your camera.  You never know who you will run into.  I ran into comedian Doug Benson up in the balcony last year.

We were high...up in the balcony

 

10. Do not try to sneak in food.  They search every bag.  I made mention that I was with the press and I had a video camera in my bag.  They said they didn't care about that, but they did have to check for food.  I could bring a video camera, but by golly no illegal Twizzlers…

11. Keep your festival badge visible at all times.  They will have ushers checking for those things the whole time.  They work hard, so make things easy on them.

12. You can get food right outside the theatre, but it is usually kind of expensive.  There are some pretty decent restaurants east-ish of the theatre.  Between the last two movies of the day, there is more than enough time to go to one of them.

13. Have fun.  Those of us that go to the festival go to have a good time.  Yeah, it is work for me, but it is the good kind of work.  Most of the people there are pretty friendly.  Talk to people in lines and next to you in the seats.  You never know how cool some people can be till you talk to them.  Strangers can become friends pretty easy at a festival like this.

 

     That about does it for my tips on the festival.  Now for a bit of good news: Roger and his EbertFest Team have been planning for future EbertFests.  From what I understood when talking to The Virginia Theatre's Director, Steven Bentz, EbertFest will not be ending anytime soon.

     I won't go into the multi-million dollar renovation of the theatre.  I think I will let the theatre speak for itself when patrons of the festival new and old see it, but I did want to share one thing that I saw when I was there on Monday.  Roger's recliner was brought in and put in its usual spot.  Though he will not be there with us this year in person, he will be there with us in spirit.  The chair is a kind and simple reminder of that.

It would not have been the same without it

 

I hope to see you all at the festival.

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 

 

 

 

 

 


April 16th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Scary MoVie

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     This movie is horrible and has all but murdered the parody movie.  NEXT!!!

 

Geno Reviews Trance

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I took a trip to Savoy on Monday to see Trance.  I like both James McAvoy (Simon) and Rosario Dawson (Elizabeth), so I was pretty interested in this movie.  I thought the trailer looked interesting and the plot sounded fun.  The movie ended up being a little different than I thought it was going to be, but it was still a pretty interesting flick.

     Simon is an art auctioneer that, for reasons I won't reveal, becomes involved in the theft of a multi-million dollar painting.  He decides to double cross the other involved thieves by hiding the painting.  He tries to knock out one of them and then make his escape, but he ends up being badly struck in the head.  Later, when his partners go to him for the painting, he can't remember where it is.  After all other avenues have been exhausted; the criminals decide to hire a hypnotherapist to try to get him to remember where he hid the painting.

     This is one of those movies that you think you have figured out, but you don't.  You may have gotten bits and pieces right, but you won't be totally correct.  This movie will also try to put your focus on figuring things out, while slipping other things past you.  This does make some of the movie hard to follow, but for the most part, you understand everything in the end.

     This movie has one of the worst kinds of torture I have seen in a movie since Payback's "This little piggy" scene.  Makes my fingers hurt just thinking about it.

     One thing this movie does to help you is that it only really focuses on mainly six characters.  You really only need to remember things about three or four of them.  This helps you to follow everything that is going on with the hypnosis scenes.  These things go from pretty normal to pretty messed up.

     This movie has a lot of references to art and sex.  The way that it puts those together works pretty well, but at times comes off a little creepy.  If you have trouble watching movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you might have a problem with some of this movie as well.  The subject of sex gets a little extreme in the later parts of the movie.

     With lots of twists and turns and a decent cast, this movie puts kind of a new spin on the crime drama.  For those that can handle the subject matter would enjoy the movie, but those that can't would probably not want to see this.  I say that this one is a rental, but a very 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 

 

 

 

 

 


April 15th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews 42

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     The story of Jackie Robinson is not only one of the most important stories about baseball, but of American history.  Yeah, I know it is only baseball but it is also about someone stepping up in the public eye and changing minds.  Does this movie do the story justice?  For the most part, yes it does.

     Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, decides that he want to bring in a black ballplayer into Major League Baseball.  He says that it is all about money and winning the World Series, but you get the feeling that he has other personal reasons for doing it.  His team goes through a list of players and decides that the player they want is Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman).  We get to follow Jackie from his time with the Minor League club of the Dodgers to a short time as a Brooklyn Dodger.

     While I really didn't feel like the performances in this movie were outstanding,, I did feel that the entire cast did a really good job at working together to tell an incredible story.  At times I did feel the acting was a little cheesy, but for the most part the cast did a pretty decent job.  If any performances did stand out, it would be Harrison Ford's and Christopher Meloni as Dodger manager Leo Durocher.

     When I saw the preview of this movie, I thought it was going to sugarcoat the serious issues that this story covers, but trust me it does not.  Any parent that plans on taking their kids to see this movie should probably warn them of the use of certain words from that time period.  That certain "N" word is used more than enough times in the movie.

     Honestly, I thought the movie could have taken the issues a little farther to show the weight of them.  I think they had to watch what was said to keep the PG-13 rating, though.  They do get their point across with the leeway they are given.

     The look of the movie was great.  From the uniforms to the stadiums, everything at the very least felt authentic.

     There really isn't much more to say about the movie.  If you waited for this movie to come out on DVD, that would be alright.  However, if you say it in the theater I don't think you would be too disappointed.

     One final note.  I did wish the movie would have shown a little more focus on some of the players that Brooklyn passed up.  I'm sure they didn't do that to not distract the focus on Robinson.  There was a movie on HBO in 1996 called Soul of the Game that focused on not only Robinson, but Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson.  I could not find a copy anywhere, but was able to find the whole movie in YouTube.  Here is the link to it.  I think this movie would make a decent companion film to 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 

 

 

 

 

 


April 12th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Place Beyond The Pines

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Last weekend I made a trip up to Chi-Town to see the limited release of this movie.  This isn't the first time I have drove a big distance to see a movie.  The problem with this is you run the risk of traveling for a bad movie, which has happened a couple of times.  I am happy to say that this trip was not a total waste.  Would I travel to see it again?  Probably not, but it was still a pretty good movie to go see in theaters.

     This story has three acts: Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) the carnival motorcycle rider, rookie cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) and in a fifteen year time jump, their sons Jason (Dane DeHaan) and AJ (Emory Cohen).  The story first follows Luke as he comes back to Schenectady, NY for the first time in a year.  That was the last time the carnival was in town.  He is approached by Romina (Eva Mendes), who seems to want to tell him something but can't.  He does some digging and finds out that they have a son together.  He instantly quits his job of traveling to stay and help support the child.

     Officer Avery Cross gets into a high speed chase with a bank robber.  This chase will lead to a career changing path in his life.  To say more would ruin the plot.  The same could be said for the story of Jason and AJ.  Things get interesting when they become friends.

     My first bit of praise for this movie is the acting.  Ryan Gosling is on par with his performance in Drive with this movie.  I would have liked a movie just about his character.  He had a decent support from Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelsohn (Robin).  His story is mostly about trying to support his son and be in his life.

     Bradley Cooper's performance is really good as well.  I have said many a time that Cooper's serious acting is underrated and he once again proves me right.  He gets support in his story by none other than Ray Liotta (Deluca) as a higher ranking detective.  His story is about honor, honesty, politics and police corruption.

     Sorry, can't spoil anything about the story of the boys, but I will say one thing.  Emory Cohen's performance as Avery's son is by far the weakest part of this movie.  Dane DeHaan carries him the whole way.  This performance doesn't ruin the movie or the story being told, but it is annoying.

     I love the story beneath the story that is being told in this movie.  As a single father, I know how important it is to be in my sons' lives.  This movie subtly covers this issue.  We get to see how different types of fathers handle the raising, or not raising, of their sons.  This along with the three stories coming together made for a pretty good movie.  If it comes around here, go see it.

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 

 

 

 

 

 


April 11th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Sweeney

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     As many of you know, I am a big fan of detective and police movies.  I saw the trailer for this movie and instantly wanted to see it.  What I didn't know is that it was based on a UK TV show from the 70's.  From what I hear, many of the shows fans did not like this movie.  Me, I have not seen the show, so I went into this movie with a clean slate.  As someone that hasn't seen the show, I kind of enjoyed it.

     The movie follows the activity of the Flying Squad, or The Sweeney, , which are the police task force that inves, tigate armed robberies.  This group, led by Detective Inspector Jack Reagan (Ray Winstone), is known for playing a little dirty to get the job done.  Many times when they go on busts, they take baseball bats and use them on the criminals.  Their unique way of handling the crimes they are investigating keeps getting them into trouble with Internal Affairs, especially Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Lewis (Steven Mackintosh).  Little does DCI Lewis know is that DI Reagan is sleeping with his wife, Detective Constable Nancy Lewis (Hayley Atwell), who is also a member of The Sweeney.  The movie's main plot involves the investigation of a jewelry store robbery gone wrong.  During the robbery, young woman is shot and killed.  It is up to The Sweeney to figure out who is behind the crime and put a stop to it, all while trying to avoid being stopped by Internal Affairs.

     If this movie reminded me of anything, it was the movie Heat.  While not nearly as good, it still had a pretty good story of a hard-nosed cop doing whatever it takes to solve crimes.  Ray Winstone plays a pretty fun character in DI Jack Reagan.  I don't know how he was on the TV show, but he plays kind of an anti-hero in this movie.  Winstone just seemed to know how to have fun with the role.

     Hayley Atwell, 2011's Opie Winner for Best Supporting Actress, is really likeable in this movie.  Cheating during a marriage is wrong, especially if you are on the wrong side of it, but you really root for her and Jack's affair.  That statement is a funny thing for me to say (for personal reasons), but I guess since her husband is kind of an a-hole you find yourself rooting for them to get to be together.

     My biggest complaint about this movie is trying to understand the accents.  While this is a minor complaint, not being British works against somebody who doesn't hear the accent or the lingo all of the time.

     I found this to be a decent crime drama with some pretty fun characters and decent action.  If you liked the movie Heat, you will probably like this one as well.  It is on iTunes already if you want to see it.

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

 

 

 

 

 


April 10th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Emperor

 

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I enjoy movies about the wars of the past, even though I really have never been much of a history buff.  I don't follow the news as much as I should even though I work in it for a living.  What, you thought being a movie critic was my only job?  It isn't…yet.

     This movie is based on the true events that happened after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  General Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) is sent to Japan to help rebuild the country, , but then is given orders to investigate the Japanese Emperor for war crimes, including the attack on Pearl Harbor.  MacArthur gives the assignment to General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox), which Fellers takes.  However, Fellers may have some ulterior motives influencing the decisions he makes.

     I am not sure how much of this movie is true to history, but the story itself is pretty interesting.  You get to see a bit of personal politics play out in the stories of MacArthur and Fellers.  MacArthur has aspirations to be the President of the United States, so he has to tread lightly when it comes to making the decision of accusing the J, apanese Emperor of war crimes.  Fellers, on the other hand, makes some choices because of his search for the woman he loves.  She came back to Japan right before the war started.  We find out about some orders that he makes to protect her during the war.

     The movie is split between the investigation of the Emperor and the search for Feller's love.  I think the movie could have used a little bit less of the love story and more of the investigation, but it did not hurt the movie very much and is a minor complaint.  The ending of the love story made a lot of sense in the end, so having it there is important.

     There are only two real problems with this movie.  The first is that it is kind of hard to keep all of the people Feller's is investigating straight.  There are a lot of characters that you don't get to spend a lot of time with, so it is hard to remember who did w, hat and why they were being investigated.  All of these characters are really just a means to an end, which is whether or not The Emperor will be charged.  The other problem is that I could have used a little more Tommy Lee Jones.  When he is on screen, he is very entertaining, but his character is more of a , supporting role to Fox's character.

     If you are a war history buff, you would probably enjoy this movie more than the regular movie watcher, but either way it is still a pretty decent movie with both a good detective story and love story.  I saw this movie in Springfield, Mattoon has it as w, ell, and since it has been out for a month now, prob, ably will not get a wide release.  I would check it out, but it doesn't need to be in theaters.

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 

 

 


April 9th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The ABC's of Death

 

Not Rated

Minor Spoilers Ahead and Adult Content!!!

     I like it when filmmakers take risks.  Sometimes you can get a really great film because the filmmaker decided to try something outrageous or strange, but it just worked.  The bigger the risk, the better the reward if it succeeds.  If it does not…well then you could end up with a disaster.  The ABC's of Death took a huge risk in having 26 short stories, all told by different directors.  The big risk did not pay off for this one for the most part.

     I will say the idea of this movie is kind of neat.  Each story takes a different letter from the alphabet and goes in order.  Each story also had to have someone die, somehow.  Some of the stories made sense.  I kind of enjoyed a few of them, but most of them were either just dumb, sick or too strange to get into.  The ones I did enjoy did not even come close to making up for the ones I didn't.

     As many of you know, I believe a filmmaker should be able to make the films that they want.  If they want something disturbing in their movie, them the freedom of speech should allow them to do so, but that doesn't mean I have to LIKE the content.  Some of these stories had strange, sexual plots to them which I found to be rather unwatchable.  One in particular dealt with a game involving masturbation.  I will not go into too much detail, but it also involved different "stimulations" for the "contestants".  One of the stimulations was an adult man getting ready to rape a little boy.  Though they did not show it, the idea of it made me sick and I had to turn away.  Sex in most of the short stories of this movie was not exciting or titillating, but strange or disturbing.

     The stories I did like were either simple or kind of funny.  One involved the writers of the short film arguing about what they were going to do the short film about.  Another involved a dog fight where a man fought a dog.  I found myself surprised when a good one would pop up, because they were few and far between.

     There is not much more I can say about this one.  If you have a chance to see this, don't.  It is a major waste of time on a movie that took a massive risk but failed miserably.  I wouldn't even tell you to waste your time in looking up the short films that did work.  The movie is just that bad.

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

 

 


April 8th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Evil Dead (2013)


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

 , ;    When I found out that they were making a remake/reinvisioning of Evil Dead, I got a little worried.  I was pretty sure I know what they were going to do with it and I wasn't happy.  Then I heard that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell w, ere going to be involved, I started to feel a little better.  When I heard they were only going to be producers, I got worried again.  So Raimi is not directing and no Bruce Campbell playing Ash?  I was back to the way I felt at first.  I know that I am probably in the minority here, but I thought this movie was kind of a waste of time and just insults the "charm" of the original.

     This version has a few big differences from the original.  First the cabin inhabitants are not there for a getaway this time, but they are trying to get one of them off of drugs.  Also, the movie shows you the creature that is after them this time and uses the first person shaky cam.  There is actually a short backstory of the main baddie this time around.  The biggest difference is there really is not Ash character…technically.  Without spoiling the story, I can't say anything more about that.

     The ridiculous charm of the original movie is pretty much gone for this one.  Most of the violence in this is more like a Saw movie then anything.  The reason the original was so memorable is that the violence is so dumb.  The first movie was not meant to be funny, but it was.  The second one did embrace the humor and was pretty good too.  This one is just another lame slasher-porn flick.  There is a couple of kills that embrace the originals and these stand out.  There are not enough of them to matter, however.

     The characters are pretty unforgettable.  Only Mia (Jane Levy) stands out some of the time and this is only after she gets possessed.  She overacts a bit and it is kind of funny.

     I really feel this was a wasted effort.  I think maybe Raimi just wanted to see what kind of theatrical interest in his story before he took the time and effort to make another story involving Ash.  I could be wrong, but if he is talking about making another one anyway why waste our time with this one.  I hate to say it, but when the best part of your movie is the credits and the five seconds after, you have got a problem.

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

 

 

 

 


April 5th, 2013

 

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Geno Remembers Roger Ebert

     Roger Ebert was arguably the most famous movie critic of all time.  Along with Gene Siskel, he created the most recognizable movie review show and the most famous way to review a movie: The thumbs up/down.  I won't be giving you a history lesson about this icon in the movie industry.  What I am going to do is tell you what someone like Roger Ebert meant to a movie critic like me.

     I have looked up to Ebert for a long time, even before I decided to start The Reel Opinion.  I may not always have agreed with him on his reviews, but when it came to the business and how movies were made, this man knew his stuff.  This was finally solidified in my head during last year's EbertFest.  Ebert had lost the ability to speak in 2006, so when they screened Citizen Kane, they played the DVD version that had his commentary on it.  Listening to him talk about how the movie was made put any discussion I had ever had about movies to shame.  Granted, we ha, ve different opinions about the movie.  It was Ebert's "Official answer" for when people asked him what his favorite movie is.  I thought it was just okay.  That being said, he gave my favorite movie, The Usual Suspects, a thumbs down and 1 ½ stars.  To each his own.

   ,  Though we didn't always agree, I still had a lot , of respect for the man.  I think I respected the fact that he succeeded on TV even though he didn't fit the stereotypical mold for what a usual TV personality looks like.  His weight had fluctuated up and down over time.  Seeing someone that was a bigger person like me gave me some hope that, as a bigger guy, I could work hard and still get to do something I wanted to do.

     Though Urbana is hardly a small town, it isn't Chicago, New York or Los Angeles.  Even though Ebert ended up in Chicago, he was from a smaller town, which gives small town boys like me a little hope that someone from a town like Illiopolis can make it big.

     I liked the fact that he always stuck to his guns.  If he gave his opinion, that was that.  He meant what he said when he said it and that's the bottom line.

     I almost got to meet him last year at EbertFest.  He was coming out of the bathroom of all places and walked right past me in the hall.  I had my camera and a picture for him to autograph in my hands.  I ended up just letting him pass by me.  The reason I did this was because earlier in the night, his wife had announced that he wasn't feeling very well, so I decided that I wasn't going to bother him and possible start a photo and autograph session in the hallway of the Virginia Theatre.  I had too much respect for him to put a sick man that I admire through that.  Since learning of his passing, I have asked myself "If I could do it over, would I have approached him?"  I would like to have said yes, but I still think I made the right decision that night.

     Roger Ebert will always set the standard for what it is to be a movie critic.  All of are different, but somehow he stood above the rest.  Though I am sad that he is gone, I am happy that he doesn't have to deal with the pain of the cancers that he has had , to fight.  He leaves a legacy of other reviewers that want to be as hard working and successful as he was, just by doing something he loved.  Along with many others, I'll miss you Roger.  

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

Geno

&n, bsp;    Questions, commen, ts 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

 

 

 

 

 


April 4th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Spring Breakers

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I was not very excited to see this movie.  I had my opinions about it even before watching it.  I may have even pre judged it a bit before seeing it.  I am here to tell you that every bad thing you might think about this movie is…absolutely right.

     Four college girls try to pool their money for a year so that they can take a spring break trip.  After a year, they have only saved something like $200.  Three of the girls, all but good girl Faith (Selena Gomez), decide to rob a local restaurant to fund their trip.  They end up with thousands of dollars and are all four able to go.  They tell Faith what they did, but she decides it is more important to get out of town than do the right thing.  After a few days of partying, the girls get arrested and cannot afford the bail money.  Local criminal Alien (James Franco) sees them in court and decides to bail them out.  The girls all get more than they bargained for after this.  Some of them want what Alien has to offer and others don't.

     First of all, at least the first half of the movie is pretty much one big party video.  It would be if a major Hollywood studio gave the Girls Gone Wild people tons of money to make a real movie.  It is loud, shaky and annoying watching the party shots.  Strange filters are used to simulate the use of alcohol and drugs, but it does not work.  This stuff was not really interesting at first and then you realize that this is pretty much the first half of the movie.

     The second half deals with the girls lives changing after Alien bails them out.  James Franco is a little interesting for about ten minutes and then he just gets annoying.  Some of the girls want to join Alien in his illegal activities and some just want to go home.

     The characters in this movie just come off as whiney most of the time.  They wonder why they have only saved $200 for their trip, all while toking up.  I know college kids are usually poor, but come on.  They all complain about how miserable their lives are in their small town, but we get no real evidence of why things are bad for them, other than Faith not being sure how she feels about her religion.  Honestly, they were all pretty generic characters.  Faith is the only one of the four whose name I could remember.  The others I just labeled the two blond girls and the pink haired one.

There is an odd cameo by pro wrestler Jeff Jarrett playing a preacher…odd.

     The editing in this film keeps playing random sound clips of things to come and events out of order.  This editing style got on my nerves real quick.  The most annoying part is the sound clips.  Some things just kept getting repeated over and over and over.  It just got old real quick.

     If I was going to label this movie anything, I would say it is this generation's Crossroads.  Yes, I mean the Britney Spears one.  This is two former Disney Princesses trying to show their edgy side for their "older" fans.  The characters and story are just not , that interesting.  The movie relies too much on awkward moments of violence and sex to tell a real, compelling story.  And like Britney's movie, this one stinks too.  One of the worst movies this year.

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

Geno

&n, bsp;    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

 

 

 

 

 


April 3rd, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Host

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     There are a couple of questions that I have been asked about this new movie based on author Stephanie Meyer's new book series.  The first is "Is this movie trying to be the next Twilight?"  The answer is yes.  The second question is "Is it better than Twilight?"  The answer to that question is yes as well, but that is not saying much.

     An alien life form, The Souls, has taken over our world in the name of peace.  The silently and non-violently have taken over a majority of the people on our world.  Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) and her brother are two people on the run from these invaders.  They meet up with another survivor Max (Jared Howe).  In this world with little hope Max falls for Melanie, well, because she might just be the last uncontrolled girl on Earth.  In Twilight fashion, he tells her that he loves her, but she does not have to love him back.  Also in Twilight fashion, she wants him to, well, you know.  Things turn for the worse when the group is discovered by The Souls and Melanie gets herself captured to save her brother and boyfriend.  She is implanted with a Soul called The Wanderer, but has the ability to strongly resist the takeover of her body.  She escapes her captors and the adventure about learning from one another begins.

     I have to admit, the first time I heard the premise of this movie I was a little interested.  Af, ter seeing the execution o, f this premise, my mind was changed pretty quickly.  This movie keeps talking about love, but really most of it just seems to be the physical kind.  A bit of a SPOILER here, but there is two love stories in this movie.  There is the Melanie/Max love story and the Wanda/Ian love story.  Those wondering about if this movie has a love triangle, the answer is…sort of.  You see, Melanie and Wanda are technically one in the same.  Wanda is The Wanderer that has possessed Melanie.  Melanie loves Max, but Wanda uses Melanie's body to attract Ian (Jake Abel).  Since Melanie still can talk to Wanda inside her head, this leads to a lot of annoying love arguments between the two.

The Souls for some reason really like shiny silver vehicles and all white clothes.

     We do get an interesting concept about The Souls and the humans showing different sides of themselves.  We get to see both The Souls and humans show the really good to the horrific side of their respected races.  This story is drowned out by the ridiculous love story, however.

     The characters are pretty generic and it was hard to keep three of the main male characters separate.  Unlike Twilight, none of them were a vampire or a werewolf, just three blonde human men.

     I am about to talk about the ending, so if you don't want to know anything about it, stop reading now.  This movie keeps talking about how it is wrong for The Souls to enslave the humans and how love is the most important thing ever.  Why then at the end of the movie did they save Wanda by enslaving another human.  Sure they said that the human was dying, but still this person was not dead.  I guess it is okay to enslave someone as long as both male main characters get to share physical love with the one's they want.  I honestly thought this movie might take a spiritual love approach and have Ian let Wanda possess him because he could not let her go, but noooooooooo.  This movie had to take the Twilight approach and make it a physical love thing.  This movie's ending made my head hurt.

     Yes it is better than Twilight, but it still stinks.  Any good ideas are ruined by a pathetic attempt at a "love" story and a lame "villain".  Having Melanie talk to Wanda in her head gets real annoying, real quick.  This annoyance happens very early in the movie, but we have to deal with it pretty much the whole time.  I am not sure if fans of Twilight will eat this one up or not.  It did leave itself up for a sequel, but I think that would be a waste of time.  I know this one was.

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

 

 

 


April 2nd, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

To Tyler Perry:

     Mr. Perry, I really dig the Medea movies and I think you are a decent actor.  I think you are, a talented director, but for the love of God will you please write a story with a different…well, story?

Thanks,

Geno Reynolds - The Reel Opinion

     Look, I dig some of Tyler Perry's work and think the Madea character is genius, but I think his other stories (and even the stories surrounding Madea) have run their course.  It is like he has this chart of certain things that need to be in his movies and he makes sure most or all of it, gets in there.  Rock, y relationship: Check.  New guy or girl gets involved: Check.  Faith based storyline: Check.  Violent relationship: Check.  Need I go on?

     This movie surrounds a marriage counselor telling a female client, who has met another man, a story about her sister, Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), who had the same thing happen to her.  Her sister and husband have sort of just gotten used to each other after six years of marriage.  She wants to leave her dating service job and become a marriage counselor, but her pharmacist husband takes as extremely conservative approach to the plan of accomplishing it.  Life just seems to be bland until Judith meets Harley (Robbie Jones), her jobsite's new possible investor.  He seems charming and seems to be able to offer Judith everything she is missing.  She must decide to work on her relationship with her husband or give in to this new man's charm.

     This movie, in all honesty, should have been a Lifetime movie special and not a major motion film.  The cheesy overacting does not come off serious enough to warrant the audience investing in what should be a serious storyline.  The script and characters are pretty laughable most of the time.  The reactions to the way too obvious plot twists, the cheesy pick-up lines and the ridiculous characters made for a really hard movie to sit through.  It is not even one of those movies that are so bad it's good.

Does anybody really think Kim Kardashian (Ava) would be taken seriously here?

     Judith is a weak main character because she starts off as a really strong willed woman, but at the drop of a hat becomes a subservient weakling.  People can succumb to temptation, but the second she does, she changes instantly.  It is not believable at all.  Harley may have six pack abs and money, but could anybody really fall for this d-bag.  He is a walking cliché of bad pick-up lines an unlucky lady would hear at a bar.  He never comes off as charming at all.  Yes, I know I am a straight man, but I am sure a lot of ladies would agree with me on this one.

Kim Kardashian…really???

     There is a small attempt at humor in this movie, but most of it falls flat.  I hate to say that I laughed more at the acting than I did any of the jokes.  Vanessa Williams (Janice) has this horrific French accent that is hard to listen to, but it does lead to one of the only funny jokes in the movie.  Also, this movie has two "big twists" that you see coming the moment a hint of a clue is introduced.  It is also pretty bad when the title of the movie gives away one of them.  The fact that the characters are so dumb that they can figure them out is pretty insulting.

And The Opie for The Biggest Waste of Space in a Movie goes to…you know who.

     This is just a weak film that has been done and done way better in many other movies.  The characters are mostly unlikable, the script is weak and the story is boring and predictable.  It is laughable for all the wrong reasons and really painful to watch.  Pass, pass, pass.  Oh, well, at least Tyler Perry's next movie is called A Madea Christmas.

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

 

 

 

 


April 1st, 2013

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Geno Reviews G.I. Joe: Retaliation (As A Reboot)

Rated PG-13

MAJOR Spoil, ers Ahead!!! (Meaning if you haven't seen this, don't read this)

     Being the G.I. Joe fan that I am, I decided that I needed to take another look at this weekend's sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.  Because I think about movies WAY too much, I figured out that what made me mad the most about this sequel was the things that they didn't even address from the first movie.  Just scroll down to Friday's blog for an in depth look at my sequel problems.  There is too many to repeat here.

     For my second viewing of this movie, I decided to ignore the fact that this was a sequel and treat it like a reboot.  The stuff that was carried over from the original, I just treated as an established past.  What the movie decided to share from this past, I took into account.  If it didn't mention something from the original, I ignored it.  I found that, while still not as great as it could have been, this is a much more enjoyable way to watch this movie.    Bear with me because it may seem that I am ripping this movie again, but I just want to get the bad stuff out of the way first.

     I still had a problem with the lack of character development in this movie.  I mean, as a G.I. Joe fan, I understand these characters, but that does not mean that they should just be given vague or no development.  Great characters such as Flint and Jinx were barely even used other than to advance the story.  They did touch on the Flint/Lady Jaye relationship but are saving it for later I guess.  Even the main character of Roadblock wasn't given much to go on.  We learned that he had daughters, but never learned their names.  We didn't know if he was even married.  They do mention him being a chef, which is true, but other than that we don't get too much to go on.  Some characters are meant to be mysterious, such as Cobra Commander, Firefly and Zartan, so the lack of story is okay there.

     Other characters are wasted by death.  REMEMBER, SPOILERS HERE!!!  Duke dies in this movie.  The G.I. Joe poster boy bites the dust here.  Granted, he goes out like a hero, but still I felt one of the most famous and most popular Joes is wasted here.  Also, three great villains die in this movie: Zartan, Firefly and (maybe) Destro.  I will explain the last one in a minute.  Yes G.I. Joe has plenty of villains to choose from, but they killed of three (?) of the most popular one's EVER.  Of course, we only see two of them die.  Destro is left to blow up with the prison he is in.  I thought maybe they would show he was alive after the credits, but they didn't.  Still, I didn't see him die, so hopefully they may still bring him back.  He is one of the most interesting villains in the G.I. Joe universe, so that would be good.  Having Destro lead MARS as a second terrorist group would mix things up a bit.

     A good thing about them not mentioning some characters from the first one is that they could bring some of them back.  I'm sure Scarlett and The Baroness would be welcomed back with open arms by a lot of fans.  Marlon Wayans's Ripcord would probably not be as welcome to return.

     Though they mention the nanomites from the first movie, they ignore the fact that Storm Shadow has them in him.  This is a plus and a minus.  The minus is that the story from the comics about him being brainwashed, being freed and joining G.I. Joe probably won't happen.  The plus is that this makes him the damaged soul that must decide his own path in the end.  Storm Shadow is one of the most complex characters in the G.I. Joe mythos.  If they continue this franchise, it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

     The "reboot" can help the, m ignore the whole Duke and The Baroness were a couple and Cobra Commander and The Baroness are brother and , sister thing.

     Though I thought the last action sequence went way too easy for the Joes, the rest of the action in the movie is pretty good.  Cool weapons and vehicles, which are a couple of the things that made G.I. Joe cool, really help the universe stand out.  I still thought the ninjas fighting on the mountain sequence is the best action of the movie.

     By ignoring the first movie, the story of the second movie makes a lot more sense.  If you just imagine there is a set past, but are not privy to the information, that helps you to invest more in what is there than what is missing from the first one.  It is still not everything I wanted, but it is a decent start.  Am I a happier G.I. Joe fan after watching the movie this way?  Maybe a little, but there is still a lot to improve on.

     I hope that they get a chance to, make more of these.  Granted, they have cut off some great c, , haracters, but there are still more great ones they can use.  Being that they had only made the one other movie, I feel that they can get away with this whole reboot/sequel thing as long as they now never bring up the first movie again.  Unlike The Dark Knight Rises, which had two other movies they had to adhere to (but didn't), this one can move forward.  When it comes to future installments, I hope I can raise my fist up in the future and proudly yell "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&, nbsp;@TheReelGeno 


 

 

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