Have you ever seen a movie that you really wanted to like, but didn't?… MoreHave you ever seen a movie that you really wanted to like, but didn't? Triangle has a really great cast and some very memorable scenes, but the story goes around in circles, to a point that's beyond Groundhog's Day, stopping at frustration. The story follows a group of friends that go sailing on a boat called the Triangle. While they are leaving from Florida, there is never any mention of the Bermuda Triangle. Everything is going well, when a sudden freak storm appears, capsizing the small vessel. As they hang onto the remains of the boat, they find a cruise ship passing by and hop on, but to their dismay, they find the huge ship to be empty. The story here is very cleaver and original, I was really into this film at first, however the Writer/Director, Christopher Smith, goes too far, making it one of those film, you really want to just be over and done with. Melissa George plays the lead and she was terrific. It's George's performance that kept me watching the movie, even after I had become bored with it. In Triangle, she's paired with a very young, Liam Hemsworth, in his first major film role. Even at the young age of 19, you can see just how good he is. Acting seems to come natural to him and after the Hunger Games series, I expect big things from him. Triangle is an extremely interesting idea, but it's not for everybody. It's one of those weird Science Fiction films that tows the line for a while, but ultimately goes too far and becomes weird to a fault.
Assault On Wall Street is nothing like you expect it to be, at least… MoreAssault On Wall Street is nothing like you expect it to be, at least not until the last 15 minutes. Jim Baxford (Dominic Purcell) is a normal, hard working, family man, until his wife gets sick. Through a series of hardships Jim and his family go bankrupt, leading to an unspeakable act, that causes Jim to lose control. This film had all the makings of a terrific action movie, but that's not what we got. For over an hour, we watch the story of Jim's life slowly pass us by. What should have taken 25 minutes, takes up almost the entirety of the film, it was absolutely ridiculous! We meet Jim and his family, see what the issues are, and then, nothing for quite a while. Prison Break's Dominic Purcell stars in this thing and he is one of the best young action stars they could have gotten to star in this movie. It just really drives me crazy to see how obtuse the writers of these films can be. The lead character was cast, almost to perfection, while at the same time, you have a relatively good story to build upon, yet the film goes nowhere! By the time anything actually happened here, I was already fed up and disinterested. Assault On Wall Street looked like it was going to be a can't miss action/thriller. Instead, bad directing and perfectionist writers just completely destroy everything they have going for them and deliver a film that eventually becomes unwatchable.
Since I got into the Harry Potter series a few months ago, I've been… MoreSince I got into the Harry Potter series a few months ago, I've been asking people what they think of it. To my surprise, most of them said they stopped after the Prisoner of Azkaban. Personally, I think Azkaban was the best one so far, so why not continue? The unanimous answer was that they didn't really want to see the kids grow up. In the Goblet of Fire, they aren't quite there yet, as in their 4th year at Hogwarts, the kids are 14. The story this time isn't centered around some mysterious artifact or person, but rather a world wide competition of student wizards. The Goblet of Fire decides who the best of the best are, allowing only one student from each school to participate. This film was special, but also lacked some of the intrigue that got us addicted to Harry Potter in the first place. Finally, a Harry Potter film focuses entirely on Harry and we get to see some of the great things that he is supposedly capable of. In fact, Ron and Hairmony's roles amount to little more than bit parts, where as in the other three films, they were all on equal ground. The fact that this was a competition takes something major away from the film. In the Goblet of Fire we aren't introduced to any new artifacts, games, or spells, there really isn't anything here that will amaze you. While it's a small thing, it's an expected thing, that does take something away from the film. What makes up for it is a terrific ending, that has to be seen in order to continue on with the series. For years, I thought Harry Potter was just overrated, pop culture, bull shit, but once I sat down to actually watch it, I came to realize that this series is as magically as the world it portrays. Every one of the first four films has been fantastic and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for the wizards of Hogwarts.
Between 1964 and 1986, Richard Kuklinski killed as many as 250 people… MoreBetween 1964 and 1986, Richard Kuklinski killed as many as 250 people for the mafia. His cold, callous style and willingness to do anything, earned him the nickname, The Iceman. In 1992, The Iceman granted HBO an exclusive interview, where he talked about his life and described his crimes, the way someone would describe their job. This film is the dramatization of Kuklinski's story, based entirely on what he said during his interview. Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon stars as Kuklinski and was absolutely the perfect choice to play him. Some actors, even ones like Shannon, seem to be destine to play certain characters, it's how they make a name for themselves. Shannon is often knocked for being too cold and emotionless in his other roles, so he was essentially the perfect choice to play the Iceman. Shannon is paired with Winona Ryder and all these years later, she still manages to annoy the hell out of me. I really don't get what people see in her. The cast of this film is rounded out by some terrific cameos, by the likes of Ray Liotta, James Franco, and David Schwimmer, all of whom are terrific and add to the mystique of this film. I really did enjoy this film, but it is confusing and somewhat slow at times, slower than you wouldn't expect a film about a mafia hit-man to be. This films throws so many names at you and jumps from scene to scene and time to time so quickly, that it is a little difficult to keep track of who's who. Other than that, the performances are terrific and it's amazing how they were able to piece together a film from a simple interview, definitely worth checking out.
Fans of the Hunger Games were dissapointed with the first movie and… MoreFans of the Hunger Games were dissapointed with the first movie and rightfully so. The film was pretty good, but didn't do the book justice, as it was extremely toned down and nowhere near as in depth as the book was. With a new director for the second book, they did not make the same mistake twice. As someone who has read all the books, I can tell you that Catching Fire is page for page exactly like the book. It was so amazing how much of the book is captured on the screen, as I actually saw the scenes play out the exact same way they did in my head when I first read Catching Fire. Everything down to the last detail is perfect! Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson return and are both fantastic, so good in fact, that I really wonder if Suzanne Collins had them in mind when she wrote this series. The casting is perfect, the acting is perfect, and the direction is perfect. For those of you who never read the series and didn't really see what was so special about the first film, I really suggest that you give this film a chance. I won't give anything away, but this isn't what you expect, especially the ending, and while there are two more films remaining, this will be your last look inside the arena. After Catching Fire, the series turns into something completely different and that's what I love about it. It would have been simple to have three books about the games, but the games are actually a small part of the second film, and won't take place in the next two films. Rarely do I give a film 5 stars, but the second Hunger Games film is done so much better than the first. They don't hold anything back in this one, and you are introduced to a whole other set of unique characters, that you will be seeing in the other films. The cast is brilliant and new Director, Francis Lawrence, manages to capture essence of the book and bring it to life on the big screen, with unbelievable detail. If you didn't read the books and just don't understand what's so great about this series, go see this movie.
By now, it's no secret that I'll watch anything with Joseph… MoreBy now, it's no secret that I'll watch anything with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it. When I saw he was going to be in an action thriller, about bike messengers in Manhattan, I couldn't wait to see it, but sadly I was very disappointed. It's a normal day for bike messenger Riley (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), as he picks up a package and goes on his way. Everything is fine until a strange man tries to run him down and steal the package. From there its a race through NYC to see who gets the mysterious package first. Premium Rush is Gone In 60 Seconds on bicycles. The plot is weak, the story is predictable, and the whole film is basically one big chase through Manhattan. Yes, Premium Rush is exciting at first, but after a half hour, it gets very tiresome, very quickly. JGL tries his hardest to turn this film into something, but even a star of his caliber can't save this film, because there really isn't anything to save. It's as if the producers said, lets have a car chasing a bike in New York City and develop some kind of story around that. It doesn't work, because seldom I have been this bored and frustrated by an action movie. It stars one of my top 10 favorite actors, but there really isn't much of a role for him to play. I really hate to say it, but this film is a complete loser, don't waste your time on it.
21 & Over is the directorial debut from the writers of the Hangover… More21 & Over is the directorial debut from the writers of the Hangover trilogy, and it could have easily been called The Hangover Jr. It's Jeff Chang's 21st birthday and his High School friends show up to take him out. With a big interview in the morning, the boys are planning on taking it easy, but things don't quite turn out that way. I was expecting this film to be yet another chance to exploit the magic of the first Hangover film, but surprisingly it does not. The story has many similarities, but also a uniqueness about it. 21 & Over does manage to capture that amazing chemistry and magic that made the Hangover legendary. The whole time I was watching this film, I couldn't help but think, why didn't they put this kind of thought into the Hangover sequels? Don't get me wrong, I liked the sequels, but neither one of this is as good as this film was. Justin Chon, unfortunately only known from the Twilight series, stars in a role that was seemingly made for him. This guy was so freaking funny, that I had to be careful not to piss my pants, almost every time he opened his mouth. The other stand out is Project X's Miles Teller, and while he's much better looking than Alan, he does manage to capture that loveable extreme weirdness that Zack Galifinakis had. It's easy to look at 21 & Over and say it's going to be just like the Hangover, and you wouldn't be wrong. Parts of the film are eerily similar, but the youth factor and college atmosphere does give the film a life of it's own and trust me when I tell you, it was absolutely hysterical.
The law of double jeopardy states that once a person is convicted or… MoreThe law of double jeopardy states that once a person is convicted or acquitted of a crime, they may not be tried for the same crime again. So, when Libby Parsons (Ashley Judd), discovers that the husband she's been convicted of killing is actually still alive, she goes on a mission to hunt him down. There is one problem though, her parole officer is determined to stop her. This is one of those films that for some reason you easily forget about. I saw Double Jeopardy when it was in the theaters and totally forgot about it, until it was on TV last week. It's only then that I remembered just how intense it is. Ashley Judd is truly a fantastic actress when she's in the right role, and trust me, a scored, lonely woman is the perfect role for her. Tommy Lee Jones has a somewhat smaller part than we are used too, but he's as amazing as he's always been. The chase for Libby easily brings back memories of Marshall Samuel Gerard. The only knock against this film is that it is unfortunately somewhat predictable, if you're looking for a shocking twist in the story, you won't find it here. The extreme nature of the story and the terrific acting more than make up for the predictability though and the film is perfect for those times where you just want to be entertained without having to think too much.
February 13, 2006, was a normal winter's day in a small suburb of… MoreFebruary 13, 2006, was a normal winter's day in a small suburb of Atlanta. Luke Abbate, a 15 year old High School Lacrosse star, accepts a ride home from a teammate. On the way the new driver decides to show off his driving skills by flying down the street at 90 MPH, when he loses control of the car. The car flies about 70 feet, injuring all the passengers and killing young Luke. It's a nightmare story that all families fear, when their kids start driving, the only difference about Luke's story is that it really happened. The 5th Quarter is a film dedicated to Luke's memory and tells the story of his family in the wake of such tragedy. As the film plays out, it starts to lean away from tragedy and toward triumph, the triumph of the 2006 Wake Forrest Championship Football team. There captain was John Abbate, Luke's brother. The team was supposed to finish dead last, but wound up having a miracle season. It is a story that was so well done, that it couldn't have been anything but a true story. I don't think any writer could have thought of a story like this. Ryan Merriman stars, once again in a sports drama, and of all his performances that I've seen, this had to be the strongest. Not only does he show tremendous athletic ability, but he takes the audience of a roller-coaster ride of emotion. Merriman was so good, that he even had a cold hearted cynic like myself, tearing up. Aidan Quinn and Andie McDowell play the matriarchs of the Abbate family, giving outstanding performances. They made the audience see and feel just what it was like for the Abbate family. Most films are meant to entertain, but the 5th Quarter does more than entertain, it tells a very important story and actually makes you feel something for the tragedies and hardships of other people. I was expecting to see a sports movies, instead I saw something that really made me think. Only the best the big screen has to offer can make you both think and feel for the characters.
Home of The Giants uses a High School Basketball team and it's star to… MoreHome of The Giants uses a High School Basketball team and it's star to tell an amazing story, with one hell of a twist. Matt Morrison (Ryan Merriman) is the king of his High School and the beloved star of his High School Basketball team, but not all is as perfect as it seems. Matt's brother has just been released from prison and needs to pay back some dangerous men. Eric enlists the help of his brother to commit a simple robbery, which doesn't go the way they planned. While Basketball is always a part of the story, and has made Matt a local celebrity, this isn't a movie about Basketball, it's about a boy torn between his dreams and his dysfunctional family. Ryan Merriman stars and he just continues to amaze me with his athletic ability. Merriman started as the loveable pudgy kid in the early 90's TV show, the Mommies. Today, the once chubby child star does almost exclusively sports drama and is really impressive. Whether he's a Basketball player here, a Baseball player in 42, or a Football star in the 5th Quarter, Merriman is skillful and more than believable. Imagine getting to live out your sports fantasies, while acting on the big screen, Merriman clearly loves what he does and it shows. In this film he's assisted by the 25 year old screen veteran, Haley Joel Osment, whose still funny looking. Funny looking, but one terrific actor, Osment gives the film a separate dynamic and whole other back story, that just add to the brilliance of this film. Osment was nominated for an Oscar at age 12, and is still going strong, adding another terrific performance to his resume. Home of The Giants really has something for everyone which includes some great sports drama and an intense background story. This film was released independently and fell below the radar, but it is as well written and exciting as anything you'll see on the big screen, I can't recommend it enough.