2008 - August
I broke a personal record yesterday, managed to watch a whooping twelve movies within the short timespan of 12 hours and still manage to do my daily magazine handouts and go on a long walk with my mother. I’m feeling a bit worn down today, eyes not as wide open as they usually tend to be, brain running a bit slower, maybe due to informational overload from the previous day. If you wonder how I manage to squeeze 12 movies over 2 ours long each into such a small gap of possibility, here’s the answer. I kept two movies running simultaneously.
The Bank Job
A story about one of the most legendary jobs pulled off in British history, based on a true story. One of my favorite actors was in here too, the main character in Crank, among other movies I can’t recall the name of due to my currently overloaded memory. It was a good movie, filled with good actors, an interesting plot and occasional twists of action. Back in this day all the hightech equipment needed to break into a vault wasn’t needed, and the tension isn’t really there all the time, but it’s still a good movie.
Here’s another great poker movie, focusing on a youngster just entering the poker world, of course with lots of hidden talents in store for the future. He meets Sean Connery playing the role of an old expert who went in the wall twenty years back and hasn’t been playing poker ever since. Thanks to his advice he advances, gets better and better, and eventually there’s only the two of them left. I know I’ve watched a movie with the exact same plot before, with such a similar ending as well, shame I can’t remember the name of the other one . . .
I mean 21, I don’t know why I have the number 12 stuck in my head now . . . do you? Might be related to a post a few posts back here. This story is all about a young smart collage student on his journey towards riches, together with his teacher, and friends he makes on the way. Every weekend they go to Vegas to play games, one of which is the very title of the movie (the blacks of jacks). It’s a good movie, entertaining, with good actors, but no favorite. Nothing I’ll remember for decades to come.
A soldier wanders out to an old dusty town in the barren deserts in order to meet up with an old friend of his who called earlier and asked for help. The place he comes to doesn’t seem like a normal place. Sure, the people there are kind and helpful, but they all seem so distant, and they don’t have any of the answers he’s looking for. Overtime he manages to uncover the truth, of what turns out to be just another gigantic conspiracy. Great movie, with the typical Hollywood ending dare I spoil it for you.
A normal underiqued youthly person takes to much pot and consequently enters a state in which he does not “feel comfortable inside his own skin”, nor is he aware of life around him, sometimes just spacing out, feeling unreal. Of course romance is involved too, one of the ingredients that during the course of this movie takes the step towards a healthier he. Overall it’s a semi depressing movie, sometimes with a slight hint of comedy, very well filmed, with good actors, and a really rare plot as well. Good watch, very well recommended, go get, now. That's all.
It is a land where cops are corrupt. One of these cops isn’t as corrupt as the others however, and he battles his way through all evil in search for his true persona. Great movie.
This movie focuses on cop and a serial killer, the constant change, chase and obsession. It’s very wellmade, at times gruesome, always creative and challenging. Great movie.
The other Boleyn Girl
In midevil times life was harsh. Here’s a romantic movie portraying the life of a girl that was destined to be queen, and another one. Very good filmography, and very good actors too.
A girl gets trapped inside a big building, together with a psychotical security guard who keeps her chained and yet is willing to do anything to secure their future together. The building they are in bears a great resemblance to that of the first Die Hard movie, the so called Nakatomi Plaza, and it’s Christmas too. De ja vu.
The four Horsemen
A true story about four soldiers sent to Iraq. Three of them return, and the movie focuses on their thoughts that follow, combined with short flashbacks from the war, which turn out not very interesting at all.
Charlie Wilsons War
Charlie Wilson is they guy you more than doubled the American Cover Ops budget from 5 to 10 million. Then, upon request, he took a trip to Afghanistan and after a tour around the country he realized how little 10 million could achieve, so he ended up adding an extra digit to the cover ops budget number. He wasn’t a president, he was only a congressman, and this is the story about him. Might be mostly just talk and politics, but the actors are great and the conversations are very clever, enjoyed watching it.
A seemingly psychotic randomly killing person puts up on net an untraceable website online on which he streams live feeds on people he kills, very slowly, sometimes devouring their bodies with battery acid, sometimes burning them alive, sometimes using brutal other methods the victims don't seem to like. It is a very well made and a clever movie as well, it has a good morale to it as well and it will leave you thinking about the twisted society and internet culture today that we live in. If this situation appeared in reality, it would probably turn out similar.
You Kill Me
The comical story of an icecold killer with a drinking problem and a lack of friends. Due to a job messed up he has to take a trip to New York, where he starts working as a dressup artist for dead people. He meets people. Things happen to him. And guess what happens? Well I won't tell you, don't want to spoil the fun now, so you better watch it yourself. It's not an insanely funny movie, ordinary, but it's one of those movies you can watch through with a smile on your face the whole time, almost.
Sicko The gigantic American world of medicine and healthcare sure is a very troublesome one. This movie is a great insight in their social services, peoples personal economy and the gigantic medicine companies that control virtually everything, not only medicine. You'll learn a lot from this, especially if you live outside America. It's amazing how big a business this really is, and how much of the government they control and how different medical care is in different countries. Everything is nicely filmed, the narrator tells us everything smoothly, everything is easy to understand.
Return to House on Haunted Hill
The house is back to capture and kill everyone who inhabits it. This time the people visiting the house hunt for hidden treasure, driven by money, just like before. More monsters, and flashbacks into their deaths. The main character is the daughter of one of the survivors in the prequel. The movie isn't as scary as the previous one, at all. The scenes are more gory, the events all take place quickly after one another and the house seems less insane than it did previously, now it's just haunted, and with a good will.
The ghosts aren't ghosts, they're walking corpses. Through the story all the events are explained, the people try to give reasons as to why things happened as they did, and the crazy doctor himself doesn't seem as mad as he did before. Everything is nicely filmed, and sure, it has some horrifying moments in it, but basically it's just the first part once more, with everything different. The creators have been careful to switch all previous styles of murder, methods of escapes and means of intrusion to something new, and it just makes everything so predictable, all except the ending.
The characters have shallow personalities, the storyline is a simple one and it just doesn't have the same amount of suspense as the prequel. In this one it's just all blood, guts and murder. Feels like they made a sequel based simply on popular demand, the new one is just here to sell and generate cash, not to terrify or inspire. No creativity in this one. The atmosphere isn't the same as in the first, it's much brighter, much clearer. If you've seen the prequel, don't expect much of this. If you haven't seen the first one, go watch.
Johnny Depp plays the roll of a rich businessman, one dealing within the business of cocaine, an item that is at this time new and highly requested within America. He gets more money than he can spend, he gets everything he's dreamed of, and he gets a wife, they get a daughter, and that's when things start crumbling apart. He gets tricked by a former friend and quits his job, he stays away from drugs and he and his family live happily for five years. Then, on his birthday, his wife decides to organize a little party and he gets busted.
The DEA decide to storm the birthday party and he is accused of supplying all the drugs they find at a party. But that doesn't matter, he pays the bail and gets out easy, runs away, just another twist in his life. The bank in Panama, in which he has stored his former fortune, has changed nationality and the government has taken care of all his belongings. His wife turns him in and he gets sentenced to three years jail. His wife visits him once, telling him that she's found another and that he'll be in charge of child support.
When he gets out he plans one last job, a quick flight to get drugs, and get enough money to spend the rest of his life in California, with the one good thing in his life, his daughter. He is set up, and this time is sent away for 60 years, until 2015. If he lasts that long he'll be over 100 years when he gets out! It's a true story, and a sad one. The main character is one you feel sympathy for, good person, wrong place.
It's a Korean movie. A nice storyline, welldefined characters, lots of action, all stylishly filmed with exaggerated unrealistic environmental effects for the different events. All the characters mix together, form a plot, and shatter either by death or different motives, and then it ends. The sceneries are beautiful, the technologies in forms of weapons/computers/etc all look very advanced and everything is neat and wellmade. The places are too perfect to be real, so are the people, which might be considered a downside of the movie, but all we want is action, right?
And that we get. We also get romance, drama and lots of emotional outbursts. The good and the bad are clearly defined, the different occupations, the different genders, the everything. It's not a movie you know the ending of from the very first five minutes, it progresses along nicely revealing new things all the time, and it never gets boring. The filming style is very clear, bright and smoothly flowing. It's easy to see that digital effects and real filming are mixed, but it's all well made. If you like action, it is a movie I really recommend!
Epic. Need I say more? Infact, this movie is so epic that I don't even care about the one hundred words this paragraph should contain anymore. Seriously though, it's a great movie. A great parody of many different movie plots. The jokes may be exaggerated and at times so lame you can't laugh, but at times they're not that lame, and everything is nicely put together. It's one of those movies you'll enjoy watching once, but never watching again.
Yet another drama. It starts with police bursting into an apartment, bodies strewn on the ground, gun, blood, uncertain circumstances. After that, ninety percent of the movie is staged in the questioning room, where two suspects are being questioned. One of them seems like a nice person, the other seems like your typical scumbag, dishonest and weak. As they are being interrogated they get flashbacks to what happened earlier, the same events play again and again with different sequences of events. But everything isn't as easy as it seems, and the end invites you to a nice surprise.
There is this cube. Nobody knows where it comes from, all they know is that it was used to fill the world with life. For a moment everyone lived in peace, but like all powerful items some wanted it for evil, some for good, and thus the war began. Then the cube was lost, and where did it land? Earth. Movie starts nicely with a digitally animated object floating around while a deep voice tells us this story. Then the action starts. It's the story of a boy, a girl, and two alien forces struggling over control.
I really was not expecting very much when I first watched this movie. Basically everyone I know has been telling me that it's all just full of crap, but I have never seen anything transformer related before this, except for toy figures and other gadgets in the stores, so I guess that lets me build a whole new different standalone perspective on this, not taking into consideration any of the previous episodes or movies that have been made, if there have been any made, I have no idea. It's by far the best digitally animated film I've seen.
The storyline in this movie is certainly a unique one, the heroes are heroic, the villains are bad, the boundaries are clear, and everything goes as it's expected to. Real film and digitally animated monsters blend in perfectly. The angles of filming are great, the camera changes are great, everything just looks perfect. Lots of action, lots of variation, great music and characters with clearly defined personalities. The transformations and modern technologies displayed in the movie look pretty amazing, and the details even in the most chaotic atmospheres are fantastic.
Even with the robots flying through office buildings you see the people running around inside, moving realistically, running for cover. Explosions are well made, everything sounds realistic, everything looks realistic. It's a alternative vision of this world. The storyline is fastpaced, with comedy, action, drama and romance. Everything looks flawless. I don't want to hype this too much or you'll be disappointed if you watch it, so let me just conclude the summary here. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it, weather you have seen previous related series or not.
Grindhouse: Planet Terror
A friggin masterpiece. Great actors, great action, great plot, great colors, great filming, great music, everything is just perfect. Need I say more? Go watch .
Rocky goes to Russia, this time to meet his toughest opponent yet. As usual, a great deal of fighting, but in difference from previous movies this time with a sense of revenge and patriotism. Russia is certified villain and America the hero, with stereotypical characters and characteristics for both the countries. That's an aspect I don't like about this movie, but other than that, it's filled with nice fights and good filming.
Rocky can't fight. Movie four gave him more than the best fight of his life, it gave him brain damage, and he now risks dying if he steps into the ring again. This time it's not about him, it's about his son, among other things. Of course we get some Rocky action as well, a showdown at the very end, but since Rocky 1 things have basically been heading downhill in this series. They say the 6th isn't worth watching, and having seen the first 5 I agree.
It hasn't been getting better and better, it's been getting worse and worse. Somehow the movie reminds me of the Godfather, in the essence in which it just follows the life of an uncommon person, from start to end, and all the twists inbetween, the ones that connect this uncommon person with common people. Again, if you've seen the previous ones, I recommend this one as well.
The Scorpion King
The Rock is here, in yet another big epic movie starring him, his loyal camel, his untrusted servant, his future bride and the seemingly perfect but apparently overconfident villain.
Also featuring a bunch of soldiers and other victims. It's a great movie, the Rock plays his role perfectly as always, and so do the other characters. Simple, adventurous, happy. It is a movie I recommend.
The Italian Stallion meets Mr. T in a brutal showdown, in my opinion the best match so far. Two great actors, more than two great actions, and another nice twist to Rockys already chaotic career. How they manage to make new spinoffs featuring basically just one simple match in each and still make the movies worth watching baffles me. Another job well done!
Three fellow guys in search for pleasure roam around the world looking for paradise. They get a tip for the perfect place by a newly found friend they thought they could trust. One after another they disappear, their friends disappear and they uncover hidden, horrible truths. It is a good movie. Brutal, disgusting, shocking, gory, bloody, but with good actors, a good story and good filming. It's not your typical Hollywood movie. No happy endings, no expected twists. It is not very scary, but it's intense and disgusting. If you don't have anything against bloodbaths, it's worth a watch.