Based on Vincent Bugliosi's book, Four Days in November, the film… MoreBased on Vincent Bugliosi's book, Four Days in November, the film Parkland chronicles the events following the assassination of JFK. What I liked about this film was how it tells a part of the story that isn't widely known. From the doctors at the hospital, working on the President, to the acquisition of the Zapruder film, Parkland goes behind the scenes to tell the untold story. I was also impressed with how the film managed to stick to the facts and not dwell on any of the conspiracy theories that surround the case. Zac Efron stars and really wasn't all that great. I think that Efron needs to stick to what he does best, taking his cloths off and making people laugh. While the film is kind of slow, I really enjoyed Paul Giamatti's portrayal of Abraham Zapruder, the man who filmed the assassination. Zapruder really struggled with releasing the tape to the media and the events he witnessed ultimately destroyed his life. Giamatti's portrayal of the man is supposedly spot on and truly deserves an honor mention. Parkland gives us a lot of new information about the events that followed the assassination of President Kennedy, but a lot of it are things the general public really aren't that interested in learning about. For a Kennedy aficionado, this film must of been eye opening, as for the rest of us, it was an interesting, non-bias view of history, albeit a little boring.
Late one night, a young man and a young women are taking the bus home.… MoreLate one night, a young man and a young women are taking the bus home. They are chatting and nothing seems out of the ordinary, until there is a big crash. Following the crash, they both wake up safe and sound in their own beds, but as they begin their day, they realize that they are completely alone in the town, and a dense fog is moving in on them. This film is centered on the premise of solving a mystery, what happened to these people and where is everyone else? The actors run around for an hour and a half trying to figure it out, because they are stupid. I had "the big secret" figured out, five minutes into the movie, and that's the problem. If you genuinely don't realize what's going on, and follow along with these two, you might really enjoy this film. If you're like me, however, you will see these two as dumb, and quickly get bored. Steven Strait and Karolina Wydra star and don't do a bad job, it's difficult to hold the audiences interest, when their are only two stars in the entire film, but they manage to do so admirably. Maybe I didn't like this movie as much as I should have or as much as others will, because I did have it all figured out early on. I didn't find the film to be bad, I just felt that it was very on the nose. The secret should have been revealed sooner and more of the film should have been dedicated to it's resolution, for those of us who did manage to figure it out.
Science Fiction is inherently strange, and it seems like the further… MoreScience Fiction is inherently strange, and it seems like the further back you go, the stranger the movies are, perhaps none stranger than Logan's Run. This film is considered by many to be the one of the best science fiction films of all time, so I decide to watch it for the most recent classics review. My first impression, I've seen weird before, but Logan's Run goes way beyond that, to a point of incomprehensible. After a nuclear war, a group of citizens in what was once Washington D.C., live in a self-sustained domed city. Population control is a big problem, so the builders of the city have convinced the citizen's that at the age of 30, they must enter a device known as carrousel, which will decide if they should be renewed or eliminated, the only thing is, no one has ever been renewed. A group of citizens has figured this out and run from carrousel. They are hunted by a group of officers known as sandmen. Logan 5 (Michael York) is one these sandmen, who goes undercover to try to infiltrate the runners, As his time comes closer, Logan 5 realizes they're right and he joins them, hence the name Logan's Run. The premise here is ingenious and at first I thought I'd enjoy this film, but as it went on, the pace slowed, the quality deteriorated, and the story became ridiculous. For example, after exiting the cave, the worst looking robot I've ever seen, named Box, who looks like a child wearing a box, carries on for fifteen minutes about plankton from the sea, and at that point I almost turned it off. Michael York, better know from his Austin Powers fame, stars and is actually very good, (even though it is never explained why this British guy is in a D.C. city, surrounded by Americans). York was entertaining but the rest of the cast was not, in particular Jenny Agutter, who just complained and carried on the whole time. Farrah Fawcett also makes an appears in the film, in a role that amounts to little more than eye candy. In my opinion, she would have made a much more convincing Jessica. Logan's Run starts out as a terrific futuristic adventure and looks like it's going to earn every bit of acclaim it received, but as the film progresses, it just gets worse and worse to the point of being unwatchable.
When an actor has had a career that spans six decades and includes… MoreWhen an actor has had a career that spans six decades and includes hundreds of films, it's hard to choose a defining role. Even if you can choose just one performance, it's usual from way back when they were in their prime, but at seventy-six years old, Michael Caine proves that some things are just better with age. Caine is portraying Harry Brown, an lonely old man, who has recently lost his wife. All Brown has left is his best friend and a tiny apartment, but that changes when a group of thugs start reeking havoc on the neighborhood and slaughter his best friend. After that, something in Brown just snaps, and he turns to skills he learned in the army a lifetime ago. This isn't a film about some over the hill action star in the CIA, there is no weird twist, or strange background associated with Harry Brown. He is just a real person, dealing with a situation that people have to face every day in lower income neighborhoods. The gangs have taken over and no one is safe, especially the elderly, and that is very apparent in this film. Harry Brown is an action thriller, but it is also one of the realist movies I have ever seen. Every thing from the gangs activity to the way Harry goes about is life is as real as it gets, and it is truly frighting. Michael Caine stars and he doesn't have the moves, temperament, or even style of your typical action hero, yet somehow he's better than all of them combined. For Caine it's never been about brawn, it's about brains, and that's what he uses against a gang that's a third of his age. Critics raved about this film, while I avoided it, because I honestly couldn't see Michael Caine cleaning up his neighborhood and taking out thugs at his age. I was wrong, because Harry Brown is one of the best performances of his career. This film is just so realistic and clever, I never would have expected it to be the amazing experience that it was. This film really got to me and it includes one of the best performances I've ever seen. Harry Brown is a true gem of independent cinema, it is free of any Hollywood bull shit, and it is the reason people still go to the movies. Please take my advice and don't miss this one.
After the biggest drug bust of his career, veteran Detective, Malcolm… MoreAfter the biggest drug bust of his career, veteran Detective, Malcolm Toohey (Joel Edgerton), enjoys a few drinks with friends before driving home. On the way, he barely clips a paperboy on his bike, but what should be a minor incident, becomes big trouble when the boy is badly hurt in the fall. Toohey calls the police, telling his fellow Detective, Carl Summer (Tom Wilkinson), that he was driving home and found the boy laying there. Summer believes him and lets Toohey on his way, but his young partner, Jim Melic (Jai Courtney), doesn't believe the story and despite his bosses orders, refuses to let it go. The story here is pretty solid, the investigation and police work that go into it are very interesting to watch. Unfortunately, the movie isn't focused on that, as its mostly about Malcolm Toohey and his conscience. We watch as the man turns into a shell of his former self, as he struggles with what to do next. This should be an interesting sub-plot, but not the whole premises of the movie, as it slows things down tremendously. This film moves at such a snails pace, that the terrific and unexpected ending, become almost farcical. Joel Egerton is really terrific in his role, showing how one split second can change a persons life forever. The whole cast was really good and it's a shame that such talent was wasted. It's not that Felony is bad, it's just slow, and lacks the action a police drama should have. That being said, if you're into watching people battle their inner demons and fight their conscience, you might enjoy this film, but to me, it was somewhat boring.
I've always said that previews can be deceiving, because it's the job… MoreI've always said that previews can be deceiving, because it's the job of the people who make them, to make any film look good, even something as bad as 88. The story itself had promise, featuring a young woman named Gwen (Katharine Isabelle), who wakes up on the side of the road with amnesia and a gun. In those first five minutes, the film looks decent enough, but it's pretty much all downhill from there. The film is centered on Gwen and utilizes flashbacks, to show her life before the amnesia, and what cased the amnesia, but they don't stop there, as they go from the present to flashbacks on just about every character you meet. If that wasn't confusing enough, that's when the flash forwards begin and once that happen, I was completely lost. Every thing in this movie flashes at the speed of light. and it is impossible to know what the hell is going on! The casting for this film also seemed like a bad joke, as you've got a star, who seems to be a reject from the real housewives of the trailer park, being chased by Christopher Lloyd. At nearly 80 years old, the man who brought Doc Brown to life, is one of the bad ass gangsters this girl works for, is afraid of, is in love with, who knows? And that's the point, no one know because no one can follow this movie! 88 is just one bad trip, that's all over the place and features a cast that is way to old to be believable. I don't say it often, but there is absolutely nothing redeeming about this movie and you should most certainly avoid it!
Joseph Hahn is best known as a musician with the band Linkin Park, and… MoreJoseph Hahn is best known as a musician with the band Linkin Park, and after directing a ton of music videos, he decided to give movies a shot. His first film, Mall, is kind of like a car wreck on the side of the road, in that it's horrible, but for some reason you can't look away. It's a seemingly normal day at a normal mall, and five friends are just hanging out, looking for something to do. Everything is pretty normal until a strung out shooter opens fire, but instead of fleeing, the teens decide to hang out and interact with people caught in the aftermath. This is one really strange movie, and as I said earlier, it's pretty bad, but for some reason I couldn't tear myself away from it. Shameless's Cameron Monaghan stars and was really fun to watch. I've always been a fan of his work and find his character, Ian, to be the most interesting one on Shameless. Mall is a different role and different character, but Monaghan is still able to bring that same charisma to the role and made this film somewhat more enjoyable for me. He really has a gift, at the turn of a switch this kid can go from sweet, to sexy, to evil, thanks to a very unique talent and you heard it hear first, this kid is going places. That being said, I tend to think he would be wise to leave this film off his demo reel, as it is just super strange and anti-climatic. Once you start watching Mall, you won't be able to stop. You'll see a great performance by Cameron Monaghan, while you sit and wait for any number of things to happen, that never do, making the film Mall just another confusing, artistic, independent film, that is really only fully understood by the person who wrote it.
Sometimes, the smallest of twists in the most common of stories, can… MoreSometimes, the smallest of twists in the most common of stories, can make all the difference. Preservation is nothing you haven't seen before, as it features three hikers who get lost in the woods and are then hunted, while trying to find their way out. The real difference in this film is who is hunting them and why. To me, the scariest horror films are the ones that are believable. The events of this film could really happen and that is more terrifying than any ghost or goblin that Hollywood can create. Aside from the trip to the woods, there is a back story that features the hikers, making them seem all the more real to the audience. Unlike many similar film, the innocent hikers are people the audience will feel like it knows and they feel like people one can relate to. Preservation also features differences from other similar films, in the methods that the hunted use. How many times have you watched a film and said, "these people are stupid, I would never do that in a situation like this!?" In Preservation, they don't make those mistakes, in fact, they pretty much do everything a reasonable person would do. Finally, the cast is almost entirely made up of newcomers and they are truly terrific. Wrenn Schmidt is the kind of common hero that people tend to love, while Cody Saintgnue is the baby face who could do no wrong. At first I thought this film would be just like every other romp through the woods, but it's so much better than that. The film is extremely realistic and very well written, making it one of those independent films that you want to tell all your friends about.
They say that a great action star never gets old, someone should have… MoreThey say that a great action star never gets old, someone should have told that to Pierce Brosnan. In the latest spy thriller from Director, Roger Donaldson, Brosnon is playing a retired C.I.A. agent, who is called back to duty after years away from the business. He's supposed to simply rescue a fellow asset in the field, when he gets drawn into a world wide conspiracy. I've never been that crazy about spy movies to begin with, because it seems like it's always the same thing. The story goes back and fourth, with crosses and double-crosses, leading to one fight after another and The November Man isn't much different. Brosnan is supposed to be the best agent there ever was, the deadliest, most intimidating man there ever was. Now I don't know about you, but I don't find a hundred pound British guy in his sixties to be all that intimidating. Given Brosnan's age, the film really didn't have much in the way of fight scenes, just poorly executed car chases and a whole lot of shooting. Even the dialogue in this thing was a joke, with classic Bond lines, and an enemy hiding beyond every door. The bottom line, The November Man is a cliche, with a star who is much too old to be playing the guy all the action is centered around. Luke Bracey, who plays Brosnan's former protege and nemesis, would have been much more believable as The November Man, even still, this film was just poorly written and executed all around. At one time, Pierce Brosnan was one of the best, but The November Man proves that it's time to for him to stop being the man, and start being the one behind the curtain, who controls the man.
Over the years, plenty of bad movies have made millions by simply… MoreOver the years, plenty of bad movies have made millions by simply featuring beautiful women wearing very little, so why not try turning that around? The idea for Magic Mike, actually came from it's star, Channing Tatum, who worked as a male stripper prior to becoming eye candy in some really bad films. The idea was solid, an obvious money maker, but this film really could have been something special, had they added a half way decent story line to it. Magic Mike is about the interactions of three people. You have the eccentric club owner (Matthew McConaughey), his star performer, Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), and the newbie (Alex Pettyfer). The film does take several small breaks from the techno music and dancing strippers, to touch on story lines of regret, romance, corruption, and drug use, but they are so brief and resolved so quickly, that one may ask what was the point? The point of a film like this is to attract people with strippers, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have had a good story to go along with it! The writers could have had just as many dancing scenes and lap dances, but still added something like a rival company or an organized crime connection, something to give this film a little substance, but they didn't. As for the stars, Channing Tatum was his usual robotic self, albeit one that had some pretty sweet dance moves. Alex Pettyfer was fairly entertaining as the newcomer, learning as he goes, but the only true star here was Matthew McConaughey. His jokes and outrageous persona were really pretty good, and the only thing of substance for a true film aficionado to appreciate. Magic Mike was unique and drew large audiences, leading to a sequel due later this year. With a little luck, that film will have a little more substance and a little less dancing, making it appealing to a broader audience.