Monthly Archives: December 2012
Lincoln is a very well crafted film. It is Steven Spielberg filmmaking at his best. Even though the film crept along at a snail’s pace, and felt longer than the 2 ½ hours running time, it was definitely worth seeing.
Begin the movie with expectations that it will be slow and long and you will be pleasantly surprised by the Oscar worthy performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and his supporting cast of what seemed like an endless number of major character actors such as Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Jackie Earl Haley, John Hawkes, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Jared Harris, etc., etc., and then some. You probably do not recognize half of those names listed, but you will definitely recognize their faces when you see them in the film. Every couple of scenes, I was surprised to see another familiar face of a very likable character actor.
Because so many people hopped aboard the Steven Spielberg train that is Lincoln, I think that the only ones that could win any awards for their performances would be Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg himself, or maybe Tommy Lee Jones.
There did not seem to be a whole lot of character development for any one supporting character and I believe this is because there were almost too many characters to try to develop.
Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln was amazing. He was the spitting image of Lincoln. Bravo to the makeup crew. It must have taken a couple of hours to make him look like Lincoln every day. If I didn’t know that it was Daniel Day-Lewis acting as Lincoln and you showed me footage from the film, I would have believed it was actually Lincoln.
These days, it is risky to make a film like Lincoln. But without risk there is no reward, and in this case maybe a few awards.
I rate Lincoln an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
It is going to be a busy weekend, but more reviews will be coming soon. There are plenty more where that came from.
Movies That I Would Like to See
Movies in the Theatre and Coming Soon That I would like to see:
Life of Pi
The Silver Linings Playbook
The Man with the Iron Fists
This is 40
Lay the Favorite
A Good Day to Die Hard
The Company You Keep
The Hangover 3
World War Z
Sin City 2 (2013)
Machete Kills (2013)
Runner, Runner (2013)
About Time (2013)
Last Vegas (2013)
47 Ronin (2013)
Jack Ryan (2013)
Grudge Match (2014)
Movies That I would like to see on DVD:
Trouble with the Curve
The Cold Light of Day
The Good Doctor
The Woman in the Fifth
We Bought a Zoo
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Somewhere in the Night
Officer Down The Liability The Street With No Name
The Who Never Was
Woman of The Year
The Babe Ruth Story
Solaris Stand Up Guys
Skyfall is the best movie in the theatre right now. If you are a James Bond fan and have not seen this film, then I suggest you get out there and do so immediately. It is my second favorite Bond film behind Casino Royale (2006). Daniel Craig is not quite as cold blooded in Skyfall as he is in Casino Royale, and the film as a whole is not quite at dark or quite as intense as Casino Royale, but it is a very close second.
If you are looking for a superb action flick that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then this is the movie for you. It is well acted, well directed, and well filmed. The movie is almost 2 ½ hours long, but it felt like it was half that long because it keeps your attention the whole time. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Javier Bardem’s villain is one that you will love to hate. I think that I will hate it when Daniel Craig is no longer Bond. In my opinion, Daniel Craig is the best James Bond. Lucky for me, he has signed on for Bond 24 and Bond 25.
Skyfall seems a little bit more realistic than most other bonds. The action scenes don’t seem as far out as most other Bond films. The gadgets are fewer and also more realistic. It’s these things that I think make the movie more believable and James Bond more human.
Casino Royale was responsible for changing the whole dynamic of the Bond film and making Bond more real. Quantum of Solace (2008) seemed to have elements of that, but there was something missing. Skyfall has resurrected the Casino Royale mentality with a vengeance.
I rate this movie a 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Killing Them Softly (2012)
It was one of the worst movies that I have seen all year and the worst Brad Pitt movie that I have ever seen. It should have been called killing the audience quickly. It was literally that horrible. I almost asked for a refund on my ticket. Thinking about it now, I should have gotten a refund on my ticket. You would have to pay me to watch that movie again.
With as excellent of a cast as this movie had, you would think they could do no wrong. Even if the storyline is bad, the actors will make it better right? Wrong! It was almost as if they tried to make it bad.
Scenes with Brad Pitt were bearable to mediocre. Scenes without Brad Pitt made me almost physically sick.
The movie was successful in portraying drug addicts, alcoholics, and overall skuzzy people in a very realistic way. When you weren’t watching people cussing up a storm, drinking themselves to death, getting stoned out of their minds, getting shot in slow motion, or beaten to a bloody pulp, then all they were doing was blabbering back and forth to one another. The majority of the dialogue of the movie was diarrhea of the mouth except for when Brad Pitt or Ray Liotta was talking.
It was almost as if Brad Pitt was in a different movie than everybody else and they edited him in to their train wreck of a film to try to make it better. Instead of actually making it better, it just gave you a couple moments break from being terrible whenever Pitt was in a scene.
Do yourself a favor and stay far away from this movie. Save your time and money by not seeing it. I wish I had.
I rate this movie a 2 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or, run? Run.
(Nicolas Cage) stars as Will Montgomery, a bank robber who gets left behind by his partner Vincent (Josh Lucas) and the rest of their crew after successfully stealing 10 million dollars from a bank. Before being arrested, Will dumps the money and therefore only goes to jail for 8 years.
When Will gets out of prison, Vincent wants his share of the 10 million dollars and will do anything to get it, including kidnapping and threatening to kill Will’s teenage daughter. Vincent gives Will 12 hours to get him the money or his daughter dies.
It was a pleasure to see Josh Lucas playing a bad guy. He has always been an underrated actor in my opinion. He did a wonderful job being creepy.
Although the storyline is not much different than your standard kidnapping or bank robbery, Nicolas Cage and Josh Lucas bring a certain level of prestige to the film with a couple of unique plot surprises along the way.
There is enough action and chases interspersed throughout the movie to keep you intrigued and wanting to know what will happen next.
Nicolas Cage has been involved in creating a lot of trash in the more recent years. For a while it was one poor excuse for a movie after another. This is unfortunate because he is one of my favorite actors. But I guess that is what happens when you dig yourself way into debt and are forced to take any and all roles offered to you just to break even and keep your head above water. I have always wondered how someone as talented as Cage, with as much fame and fortune, and as many awesome performances in so many excellent movies (for example: Lord of War, The Weather Man, National Treasure, Matchstick Men, The Family Man, Gone in 60 Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas, Kiss of Death) could just flush it all down the toilet.
I won’t pretend to know what caused the downturn of this movie Icon. I heard that he had owed millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS and I’m sure that was a big motivator to accept any garbage role that came his way.
It became about quantity rather than quality (for example: The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, Astro Boy, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Drive Angry, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance); anything to make money to pay his debts. According to imdb.com Cage is involved in 12 more movies that are expected to release in the next couple of years.
Within the pile of rubble that is Cage’s last 7 years of film making, you will find a few glimmers of hope. These are just a few reminders that Nicolas Cage can still make good movies, they are few and far between, but he still has the ability (for example: Next, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, Seeking Justice, Trespass, and Stolen). Arguably none of the movies on that list were fantastic, but they were still solid movies in their own right, and all worth seeing. The only big hit on that list was National Treasure: Book of Secrets and that is because it was the sequel to a much better movie.
Here’s to hoping Cage can get his life together so that he can start making greatness again. Stolen is just another example of hope that better is still to come for Nicolas Cage.I give
Stolen a 7 rating on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
My Top 13 Favorite Christmas Movies
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Home Alone (1990)
A Christmas Story (1983)
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas(1966) The Family Man (2000)
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Lady in the Lake (1947)
Holiday Affair (1949)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Other Christmas Movies
A Christmas Carol (All of the many, many different versions.)
Holiday Inn (1942)
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
White Christmas (1954)
The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
The Santa Clause (1994)
Jingle All the Way (1996)
The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
Bad Santa (2003)
The Polar Express (2004)
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
Four Christmases (2008)
Arthur Christmas (2011)
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
Looking for a movie that has Christmas in it, but is not a Christmas movie?
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Die Hard (1988)
Vice Versa (1988)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Mixed Nuts (1994)
Trapped in Paradise (1994)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Catch Me if You Can (2002)
The Jacket (2005)
Just Friends (2005)
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Is there a Christmas movie that you think I should add to my list?
Is there a movie that has Christmas in it, but is not a Christmas movie that you think I should add to my list?
Red Dawn (2012)
One night the power goes out in Spokane, Washington, and apparently much of the surrounding area of the country.
The following day, the quarterback of the local High School football team Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) is awakened by the walls around him shaking. He and his brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth), who is a veteran of the war in Iraq run out of the house to investigate. They are shocked to discover planes flying overhead, parachutes falling from the sky carrying heavily armed North Korean soldiers, and their city under attack.
They flee in Jed’s old pickup truck. The streets are littered with residents of the city running for their lives. They dodge bullets, explosions, and drive through and around flames as they try to escape to safety. In the midst of it all, they almost collide with their father’s police car. He had been out the night before dealing with security of the city during the power outage.
Their father orders them to get out of the city and to their cabin in the woods. On the way to the cabin they join up with some friends and they witness other friends and their families getting captured or killed.
The cabin becomes one of many different places where they hide out and take refuge. They scrounge up any weapons and food that they can find and come together as a group to fight back against their attackers.
With Jed as the leader, they call themselves the Wolverines and carry out missions to try to weaken the North Koreans and save the city and its captives.
This is an updated remake of the 1984 film of the same name. In the original version, a small town in Colorado was under attack by the Russians. In the 2012 version it is suspected that the North Koreans had help from the Russians to attack the U.S.
This new version is an entertaining action film that keeps your attention throughout. The actors in the movie are mostly younger adults who are more known for the movies that they have been in, rather than being recognized for their acting ability. The most popular actor in the movie is Chris Hemsworth, who is more known for role as Thor in the movie Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012) than he is for his ability to act. With that being said, this is the type of film that relies more on story and action than it does on acting. The actors do not get much of a chance to act before they are thrown into a battle of life and death. It is my opinion that a few of these actors are still developing their craft and may one day have a breakthrough role that boosts them to real stardom.
The story concludes very abruptly and almost too conveniently, leaving the viewer with a few questions unanswered.
Overall it was a fun movie to watch. It was interesting to see which direction the updated version would take in comparison to the original 1984 version.
By keeping the story localized and not showing what was happening all over the country, it made the story more believable and therefore more enjoyable.
The movie is worth seeing in the theatre and will definitely be worth catching on DVD.
I rate Red Dawn (2012) a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.