Archive for February, 2012

Movie Review: Act of Valor

Posted in Reviews! with tags , , , on 02/24/2012 by McCutcheon

With Call of Duty and Battlefield and whatever other war games you have nowadays that are pushing realism to it’s fullest extent, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood jumped on board and gave it a go. What follows is a movie that will be hated by the critic in us, but loved by the patriotic side. The film itself, so-so; while the attempt is an admirable one.

Act of Valor is the story of a Navy SEALs team sent to rescue a CIA agent taken hostage by a terrorist cell. The terrorist’s leader is a man not to be taken lightly and always seems to be just out of reach. After the rescue, the team realizes that their mission was just the beginning, as a plot to do far worse damage begins to unravel. Continue reading

Movie Review: This Means War

Posted in Reviews! with tags , , , , , on 02/18/2012 by McCutcheon

When I was a kid, I used to pretend to be a super cool secret agent sometimes. After watching James Bond and the first Mission: Impossible enough, I was pretty sure all you needed was to be cool enough. That’s kind of how the CIA plays out in this movie. Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are grown up kids using all the people and tools their agency has to offer to get the girl. Continue reading

Movie Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Posted in Reviews! with tags , , , , , on 02/17/2012 by McCutcheon

Pictured Above: What Hollywood did on my dreams of a good Ghost Rider Movie.

Ever had a friend that just kept messing up? They really were your friend but it seems like they just can’t make a good decision to save their life. Maybe you grew up with them and maybe a lot of people generally like them, as they seem like they want to do better but when all is said and done, you really keep hanging out with them because of how they were and how you want them to be, hoping that one day they’ll realize they’ve been screwing up and just better themselves. This is exactly how I feel about Marvel movies. Ghost Rider: SOV is maybe the best example of this feeling. Continue reading

This Movie Suuucks: Torque

Posted in This Movie SUUUCKS with tags , , , on 02/14/2012 by McCutcheon

As I sit here in front of this fire, with my feet on this bear skin rug, I think to myself: What’s the movie equivalent to getting punched in the ear? Torque comes to mind. It completes the not-so-easy task of making you want to scream and puke at the same time in hopes that something more interesting will fly out. And I’m sure it will.

Think about that. Soak that image in. You’ll want time back that you can’t have and that’ll just make you even more mad. Puke it out Buddy, puke it out. Continue reading

You Gotta See This: The Frighteners

Posted in You've Gotta See This with tags , , , , on 02/13/2012 by McCutcheon

Rated R for violence, some language, terror throughout, 110 mins, 1996

Compare to: Zombieland, Idle Hands, Evil Dead 2

I really don’t know how popular this movie is. I’ve loved it since it came out in ’96, but a friend recently told me that in his film class, nobody but him could name a Peter Jackson movie before Lord of the Rings. And after he named it, these kids still weren’t familiar with it. What are they teaching kids these days?

The Frighteners is the story of Frank Bannister (played by Michael J. Fox in one of his last roles), an all around strange guy. He’s in the business of ghost busting more or less, barely getting through life by exorcising ghosts/ spectres who just won’t leave suburban homeowners alone. While some think of him as a fraud, the catch is that he is a fraud because he actually works with the ghosts he’s supposed to be getting rid of, making a sweet, albeit rare, paycheck. Trouble starts when familiar murders begin happening around town and Frank might be the only one who can stop them. That is, if he’s not the one who takes the blame first. Continue reading

This Movie Suuucks: The Room

Posted in This Movie SUUUCKS with tags , , , on 02/11/2012 by McCutcheon

To describe The Room is not that disimilar to getting in a car wreck: No matter how much or how well you explain just what it’s like to be in that situation, no one can truly understand until they suffer through it themselves. And Lord, do you suffer. Continue reading

Movie Review: Safe House

Posted in Reviews! with tags , , , , on 02/11/2012 by McCutcheon

I can figure out whether or not you’ll like this movie in a question: Do you like Denzel “I’m Always in Control” Washington? I find it funny when he plays a role that’s supposed to be a “regular guy” more or less (Taking of Pelham 123, 2009, Unstoppable, 2010). He just can’t do it. He’s too cool and has that commanding screen presence, if you will. A friend and I were discussing this before the movie came out and decided that putting him in a role where he’s not the lead investigtor or the guy who just knows everything is like when Clark Kent wears his glasses and suit. Come on man, we know you’re Superman. You’re not fooling anybody. Change into the outfit and be the guy that’s way more fun to watch. Thankfully, this is that movie.

Tobin Frost (Washington) is a rogue CIA agent that is nowhere and everywhere at once. He was the greatest agent in the history of espionage until he decided that doing whatever he wanted with his talents would be a better use. We don’t find this out until he falls into the lap of up-and-coming agent, and safe keeper, Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), who feels as though he’s ready to get into the field and see some action. He soon gets what he wished for and more when rebel fighters interrupt the not-so-legal interrogation to get Frost. The rest of the film is filled with car chasese and fistfights as Weston does his best to keep Frost out of everybody’s reach. What’s worse is that Frost’s specialty seems to be mindgames, as he toys with Weston making him feel as though there’s no one he can really trust.

Critics seem to be confused about this movie, and I understand it to a point. The story isn’t anything too spectacular, and they seem to be especially tired of Ryan Reynolds. I understand this as well, after he helped destroy the onscreen presence of one of my favorite comic book characters, Deadpool, in 2009’s Wolverine movie. They also pan it for it’s use of frentic camera work and all out action with no pauses in between. This is not entirely disagreeable as I had to remind myself two or three times as to what was actually supposed to be happening in this gunfight.

But even with this being a Denzel movie (meaning of course, that’s it’s going to do well), I still don’t see the need to judge it that harshly. When I watch an action movie, I don’t care about the story as much as I do the set-up, which I appreciate here. Everybody plays their part as well as they always do, even if it’s a role we’ve seen time and time again. Brendan Gleeson, Vera Fermiga, and Sam Shepard all do a good job as Reynolds’ superiors who aren’t sure whether or not Reynold’s character has turned adding to the suspense of what will happen even if Reynolds completes his mission of bringing Washington in. Director Daniel Espinosa does a great jobof focusing on Frost psychologically demoralizing Weston in between action scenes, letting us believe the subtitle “no one is safe.” Heck, I’m only security at a movie theater and I don’t trust anyone there, so I can imagine being in the CIA would make a man one paranoid mofo. Is Frost telling Weston the truth of how his bosses really handle things behind the scenes? Or is he just really screwing with him? With Washington’s slick smile, it’s hard to tell.

Fares Fares (Yep, that’s a guy’s name) is also great as the leader of the team that’s killing EVERYONE that stands between him and Frost. I’m not sure if he said more a two words in the entire movie but with his somewhat distant stare, you get the idea that while not a terminator, he feels no sympathy for anyone that gets in his way. Once again, I don’t particularly care for the roles Reynolds usually portrays: cocky and sarcastic. Pow, you’ve got all of his movies. But that’s not the case in this film, as you really do get the feeling he’s not just trying to survive, but prove himself in a world where nobody seems to take him seriously. The fight scenes are done especially well too as gunshots are startling and the hand to hand combat makes the characters seem more like rabid dogs than agents. As for Washington, what do you say? He’s Alonzo Harris’ (Washington’s training day character) morals with Creasy of Man on Fire’s abilities. I dug it, and I’m sure others will too. It’s not going to change the way you look at movies, but it doesn’t have to for you to enjoy it.

Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Fermiga, Brendan Gleeson

Rated R for violence and language, runtime 2 hours, Action/Adventure

Plays Like: 16 Blocks(2006), Training Day (2001)