I have been lacking on my movie reviews lately because I manage to find time to set aside to see the movies but the time after to write up a review can be tricky. But with the extra day off from work I am going to cram 12 reviews into this post by only spending a paragraph to talk about each movie. So I will just jump into in
Martin Donovan’s movie about a struggle playwright that gets caught up as a hostage of a former neighbor/childhood “friend” that just wants to catch up over a beer while he is wanted for a murder. A simple plot but the details are what drives this movie mostly because of the unpredictable Gus played brilliantly by David Morse who perfectly channels this big intimidating con with the mental capacity of a teenager who is still gaga over Olivia Williams character (and who would not be?). Donovan’s performance is a tad on the stale side but you could tell he was more focused on the story and the development of Gus. But to me Collaborator’s ending falls kind of flat and tries to be a little too artsy. I give it a 6/10.
For those looking for a new face in action/martial arts movies may just find one in this movie with Scott Adkins. He seems to be a cross between Jean Claude Van Damme and Jason Statham. The fight scenes are pretty cool but the story is eerily similar to the Mel Gibson flick of a similar name of Get The Gringo which is easily the superior gringo film. It is way too predictable even for the easily pleased action fan and just was nothing worth remembering. I give El Gringo a 5/10.
All I can say if you are a fan of Family Guy there is no way you could not like this movie. Seth MacFarlane sticks to the formula that has given him success and I mean that in a good way. I am not a big fan of Family guy but I have always appreciated those seemingly random segues that are hysterical. Not to be cliché but beneath all the vulgarity there is a pretty heartfelt story. Plus unlike The Other Guys, I actually thought Mark Wahlberg was funny in this movie. I give Ted a 7/10.
The Bourne Legacy
I used to say the Bourne films where one of my favorite trilogies but now with a fourth installment I cannot say that anymore. (WARNING THIS PART CONTATINS SPOILERS) Not that this was a poor movie but it just was missing something to me. It tried to explain something that did not need to be explained. I think before this film we just assumed soldiers like Bourne were expertly trained and now it is revealed they are genetically altered. Lame. Plus my favorite part of the films is always when Bourne would duke it out with a similarly trained killer, but in this film Aaron Cross (played very well by Jeremy Renner) never fights someone of equal caliber. I know my opinion is not shared but this one felt short of the others. I give The Bourne Legacy a 6/10.
I think Will Ferrell’s well of laughs is starting to run dry and in a very distasteful way. He resorts trying to find new ways drop the f-bomb and playing the same character that finds nothing wrong with how arrogant he is. Galifianakis was a pleasant surprise in this one and easily the only funny thing about this movie. I give The Campaign a 4/10.
The Expendables 2
It is easily one of the most fun and dumbest movies I have seen this year. Not only does the film flat out mock itself but so do the actors which you cannot help but applaud. The highlights of the movie were easily Norris, Van Damme, Willis, Schwarzenegger, and Lungren. Stallone got old really fast because most of his jokes were lame and I wish Jet Li was in it more because his opening fight was awesome. Don’t expect much plot going in but easily trumps the predecessor. I give The Expendables 2 a 7/10.
The plot is kind of like The Sixth Sense meets Coraline. A loner tries to prevent the dead from rising by being able to speak with those who have pasted on. You cannot help admiring all the work that must have gone into making this movie because it visually is amazing. Plus laughs are ones for everyone. They are not all dumb-down and simple humor but has some pretty intelligent laughs. ParaNorman earns an 8/10.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
I have never been very good with symbolism whether it is in a movie or in a book. I just do not read too far into things. So this movie had me scratching my head a lot. I get that this movie is through the eyes of Hushpuppy, a child raise by her father in worn down and soon to be flooded neighborhood, but this was a little too artistic for me to follow and enjoy. After leaving the theater I was able to put some things together but I still found myself drawing a blank on what some stuff meant. This movie was way over my head. I can only give Beasts of the Southern Wild a 5/10. Beautifully made, I just had a hard time understanding it.
David Koepp is probably one of the most underappreciated writers in movies in my opinion. I mean he helped write Mission Impossible, Carlito’s Way, and one of my all time favorites Stir of Echoes. So seeing his name and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s attached to this movie, I knew going in it would be enjoyable. The movie has a great pace and never gets dull whether it is the relentless bicycle-stunts or the off the wall dirty cop played by Michael Shannon who stole every scene he was in. I look forward to seeing him in more antagonist roles after this one. My biased rating for Premium Rush is an 8/10.
Absolute ghost garbage is probably the best way to describe The Apparition. The premise had potential. I idea of bringing a spirit into reality through belief is an okay idea; I’ll go along with it. But after that nothing makes sense even for a ghost movie. Stuff molding together, out-of-body experiences, and reach of this unknown entity. Ashley Greene, all be it attractive, was such an irritating lead. I just could not find myself rooting for her or her lovie-dovie boyfriend Ben played by Sebastian Stan. Just a failure of a movie, 3/10.
Leaps and bounds better than The Apparition, but that is not saying much. I liked Jeffery Dean Morgan as a basketball coach striving to make it back to division 1, fighting to earn his marriage back, and now stop a Jewish, demonic entity from consuming one of his two daughters. The two girls were surprisingly not that annoying. The only annoying thing was the inconsistency with the sound it would get really loud and suddenly silence which did not make you jump just cringe for the safety of your hearing. And I was very impressed with the performance from Matisyahu. It is by no means The Exorcist but still a worthy addition to the demonic possession genre. I give The Possession a 7/10.
Hit & Run
I have to give a nod to Dax Shepard on this one, Hit & Run turned out to be a fun ride (no pun intended). It is not too inventive of a story, a con in witness protection hiding what he really did from his girlfriend to keep from losing her and stay safe from a fellow con that he turned on. But you could not deny the chemistry the Shepard and Kristen Bell had together. Their banter seemed natural and not too forced but at times it was a little like “okay we get it, next scene please.” Tom Arnold was hysterical and Bradley Cooper did an alright job. I give it a 7/10.
Okay so there it is. A long post for me but a short wrap up of my thoughts about these 12 movies.