Monthly Archives: October 2013
All is Lost (2013)
Usually you cannot go wrong watching a Robert Redford movie. All is Lost is like no other Redford film because he is the only person in the entire movie.
Of Course, the concept of only one person in a movie has been done a few times before. Usually movies like this one give the actor the opportunity to show what they are really made of. Movies like this are risky because one person has to literally carry the whole film on his back. In Redford’s case, it is up to him whether he sinks or swims.
All is Lost is about a lone sailor who rips a hole in his boat after crashing into a shipping container in the middle of the ocean. He is forced to use whatever he has on board to try to stay afloat in order to survive.
The film was written and directed by J.C. Chandor and as I mentioned before, Redford is the only person in the movie.
Redford has been behind the camera more often in recent years than he has been in front of the camera. All is Lost is the second film that he has been in this year. The first one was The Company You Keep (2012). Redford is now 77 years old. It is almost like he has realized that he is not getting any younger and has decided to try to go out with a bang. What better way to do this than to be the only star in a film and showcase all of your acting skills for the world to see. He did exactly that in All is Lost and in my opinion, it was his best performance since the film The Natural (1984). It may also, quite possibly, have been Redford’s best movie overall since The Natural.
All is Lost is not a feel good movie, but it is a movie that might make you feel better about life after watching it. It is definitely a film that will stick with you.
Because the film is a one-man-show, there is not a lot of talking. Not just anyone could have starred in this movie, and to me, it was more meaningful that it was Robert Redford who did. It is a hard story to tell and an even harder part to act.
I think that All is Lost is Redford’s third best movie behind The Sting (1973) and The Natural. It is hard to beat those two films, and given that they were made 29 years ago and 40 years ago, you really can’t compare them.
Fans of Redford will not be disappointed with All is Lost. I think that it is one of the best films of the year. He deserves an Academy Award nomination for best actor and the film should be nominated for best picture.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked All is Lost, then you will most likely enjoy the following films:
127 Hours (2010)
Escape Plan (2013)
During the 80s and 90s, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were action movie kings. However, up until recent years, they had never made a movie together.
I watched Stallone being interviewed by David Letterman the other day, and Stallone revealed that he and Schwarzenegger used to absolutely hate each other. They would always have to one-up each other. Now, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it have been great if at some point when the two actors were enemies, they actually played enemies on screen. People definitely would have paid to see that. I know I would have.
Something must have helped Stallone and Schwarzenegger resolve their differences because Escape Plan is the third movie that they have made together in the last three years, and the fourth one is on the way in 2014.
Escape Plan is about a prison escape artist (Sylvester Stallone) who has made a career breaking out of maximum security prisons all over the US. One day, he gets a job offer that he cannot refuse that lands him in a prison that was built using a book that he had written as a guide to building escape-proof prisons.
The film was directed by Mikael Hafstrom and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, Faran Tahir, Sam Neill, Caitriona Balfe, and 50 Cent.
Earlier this year, Stallone and Schwarzenegger both proved that they can still be action heroes, even in their upper 60s. Stallone did it in Bullet to the Head (2012) and Schwarzenegger did it in The Last Stand (2013). Escape Plan was better than each of those movies. Each actor looked better physically, and they both carried themselves very well. Maybe it was because they were both in the film together and they continued to try to outdo each other again. Whatever it was, it worked.
Escape Plan exceeded my expectations. The movie was a welcome, unpredictable surprise. It had a lot of original ideas mixed with a few classics, for old time sake.
Caviezel and Jones had very fun supporting roles. 50 Cent somehow manages to keep weaseling his way into films, and I swear that he is always trying to ruin them. He was terrible, as usual.
It was delightful to see Sly and Ahnuld cracking skulls in the same movie. If you were ever a fan of their movies in the past, you won’t be able to help but like this movie.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Cop Land (1997)
Cop Land is the first movie that I remember hearing about where an actor or actress severely changed their weight for a part in a film. Sylvester Stallone gained 40 lbs. for his role in the movie. I remember thinking how crazy he was for doing that. 40 lbs. is a lot of weight to gain, and it is a lot more to have to lose again. Now, 16 years later, I realize that it was just Stallone’s awesome dedication to doing what he loves that allowed him to do what was necessary for his role in Cop Land.
The film is about an army of corrupt New York City cops with ties to the mob who buy themselves a chunk of New Jersey. They are virtually untouchable until the sheriff of their little “Cop Land” (Sylvester Stallone) becomes wise to their ways.
The movie was written and directed by James Mangold and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Michael Rapaport, Annabella Sciorra, Janeane Garofalo, Noah Emmerich, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent, John Spencer, Arthur J. Nascarella, Edie Falco, John Ventimiglia, Robert John Burke, Michael Gaston, Bruce Altman, Tony Sirico, Frank Pellegrino, Vincent Laresca, Victor Williams, Paul Calderon, and Malik Yoba.
They brought in all of the big guns to make this film. The cast list is so staggering that I am sure that I left someone out. You couldn’t ask for a better cast in a movie.
Because of the type of movie Cop Land is, and especially because of the cast, you can expect a lot of violence and language, but mostly, powerful performances.
Cop dramas don’t get a whole lot better than this one. Cop Land is one of those movies that gets better every time that I watch it.
It is interesting because a number of actors in the film were cast against type. Guys who usually play bad guys are now playing cops. But, it works out because some of them are corrupt. So, I guess they are just bad guys with a badge.
It is no surprise that the movie has a bit of a Goodfellas (1990) and The Sopranos feel to it, because a number of the cast members were in those shows. A couple of them were also in the film Beautiful Girls (1996).
With so many great actors in the movie, none of them really stood out over another because they were all acting on the same level.
Overall, Cop Land is a unique, underrated cop drama that packs a big bang. Like a fine wine, it gets better with age.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
I, Frankenstein (2014)
If you don’t know the story of Frankenstein, then you have probably been living under a rock your whole life. Frankenstein (1931) is as classic as a movie can be. There have been countless remakes and rip-offs of this legendary film.
I, Frankenstein takes the iconic character, Frankenstein, and throws him into a story that is so different from the original that it is a travesty in filmmaking. Sometimes, I understand the need to remake a film, but when you remake a classic, it is better to pay homage to the original instead of dragging its name through the manure behind your high horse. It appears like this is exactly what Hollywood has done with Frankenstein.
Somehow, the film tells the story of how Frankenstein (Aaron Eckhart) gets caught up in a war between two groups of immortals. Did I mention that the war has gone on for hundreds of years?
The movie was directed by Stuart Beattie and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy, Caitlin Stasey, Jai Courtney, Miranda Otto, Kevin Grevioux, Viginie Le Brun, and Aden Young.
As much as I like Aaron Eckhart and Frankenstein, this movie just looks like a monster that should not be unleashed on the public.
The film is set to release on 1/24/14.
Horror Movie Reviews for Halloween
Are you looking for a good horror movie to watch for Halloween?
Check out the list below for a few ideas of what is a scary movie worth watching and what you probably shouldn’t waste your time on.
Click on each title below for a trailer, poster, pictures, my rating, and my full review of the movie.
Happy Halloween from www.brockingmovies.com
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
To me, old black and white horror movies are much more entertaining than the majority of the horror movies that get made in this day and age. What I like most about the classics is that they rely mostly on the story, how it is told, and where it is taking place in order to try to frighten the viewers. Special effects hardly existed in the days of black and white movies, so filmmakers had to get their thrills with a chilling storyline instead of just blood and guts. House on Haunted Hill is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
The film is about an eccentric millionaire (Vincent Price) who invites 5 people to a spooky overnight party with him and his wife in a rented mansion that is rumored to be haunted. He offers each person ten thousand dollars if they can live through the night in the locked house.
The film sets the mood nicely with a creepy character introduction and narration by Price as the guests are headed to the haunted party on the hill.
It is movies like this one that helped to start the horror movie genre. This is one of the classics. It is one of the originals. How many hundreds of movies have been released in recent years that take place in a haunted house? There are too many to count. Movies like House on Haunted Hill helped to pave the way for what a haunted house movie should be.
The film is full of spooky music, mysterious characters, and wonderful dialogue. There are excellent shadow affects in the movie that you can only get in a black and white film. There are slamming doors, falling chandeliers, and creaky floor boards. There are horrifying visuals and people screaming. The picture is painted so well for us that you can almost smell death in the air. All of these little attributes contribute to making House on Haunted Hill a true horror classic.
The entertainment is in the storytelling. If you enjoy classic films and you like a good ghost story, then this is the movie for you. For its time, it is a great movie.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Only God Forgives (2013)
Before Only God Forgives, the last 5 full-length movies that Ryan Gosling starred in were all high caliber films. That being said, I did not know a whole lot about Only God Forgives before watching it, but I figured that with Gosling’s track record, it had to be good.
Only God Forgives takes place in the slums of Bangkok. Julian (Ryan Gosling) is part of a drug-smuggling family. After Julian’s brother is murdered, Julian’s mother wants him to find and kill the man responsible. Things get more complicated after Julian finds out the reason why his brother was killed.
Let me just say, I figured way wrong!
The film was painstakingly drawn out. It was dark, graphic, weird, awkward, hard to follow, boring, pointless, and just plain bad. It tried way too hard to be something special, but it just turned out to be one of the worst movies that I have seen all year. In fact, it might just be the worst movie of the year. It is certainly Ryan Gosling’s worst movie.
I wanted to turn the movie off halfway through. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. It just got worse, and worse.
I try not to be so blatantly harsh when it comes to reviewing films, but I am going to make an exception with this one. Let me just be blunt, and honest. Overall, Only God Forgives is just crap.
To all of you Ryan Gosling fans out there, he is bad in this movie, but the movie is even worse. I am a big Gosling fan. Do not waste your time with this film.
I rate this movie a 1 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? RUN!
Charlie Countryman (2013)
The movie is about Charlie Countryman (Shia LaBeouf), a man who falls in love with a woman who seems to already be taken by an aggressive criminal.
The movie appears like it will be pretty violent and twisted. The trailer doesn’t give away too much, but It looks like it will be pretty intense throughout. With a cast like this one, I think that it should be good enough to see in theatres.
The film is set to release on 11/15/13.
I have been a fan of Robert Redford ever since I watched the film The Sting (1973) for the first time when I was a little kid. Brubaker is a Redford movie that I had not seen, until now.
The movie is about Henry Brubaker (Robert Redford), the new warden of a prison in Arkansas who initially poses as an inmate to try to figure out just how corrupt the system is before revealing his true identity as the new warden. Brubaker is a hard-nosed man who will stop at nothing to reform the deteriorating prison.
The film was directed by Stuart Rosenberg and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Murray Hamilton, Jane Alexander, David Keith, Matt Clark, Morgan Freeman, Yaphet Kotto, M. Emmet Walsh, Albert Salmi, Everett McGill, Noble Willingham, and Wilford Brimley.
The movie was a little hard to follow in the beginning. It was all over the place showing what it was like inside of the prison. The film took a turn for the better when it started focusing on Redford’s part of the story.
For a prison movie, it was slower than I expected. This turned out to be a good thing because it allowed for plenty of character development.
It was refreshing to watch a movie for the first time that has Robert Redford in his prime. He gave a convincing, solid and powerful performance of a stubborn man trying to do the right thing no matter how much trouble he gets himself into.
Freeman’s part was very minor, but it was fun to see him much younger than he is now. He seemed to have a few less freckles, too. I know that is completely random, but I found it interesting.
Being that the film takes place in a prison and it is rated R, I expected there to be a lot of cussing, and there was a good amount. However, for a movie that was made in 1980, I was surprised at how many F-bombs there actually were. It wouldn’t be considered a lot by today’s standards, but it felt like a lot for a movie that was made 33 years ago. Actually, if the film had been released today, it would only take a little bit of minor tweaking to give it a PG-13 rating. All they would have to do is edit out the 5 seconds of nudity and some of the F words.
Overall, the movie told a unique story of right vs. wrong. If you are a fan of Redford, then you will most likely enjoy Brubaker.
I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Note: I couldn’t help but think of Morgan Freeman’s other prison movie, The Shawshank Redemption (1994). In The Shawshank Redemption, Freeman’s character has been in prison for a long time. Brubaker was made 14 years before The Shawshank Redemption. Each character that Freeman played in those films is not a big stretch from one another, except for the fact that his role was very minor in Brubaker.
InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)
I did not have very high expectations for InAPPropriate Comedy. However, I was a little curious as to why Oscar winner Adrien Brody would have any part in the making of this movie. The fact that Brody was in it was what made me give the film a chance. Lindsay Lohan and Rob Schneider are also both in the movie and that lead me to believe InAPPropriate Comedy was likely doomed.
The movie is not really a movie at all; it is rather a series of skits. There are multiple categories pertaining to the different skits which are displayed as APPs on a computer screen. Most of the skits are parodies of movies, television shows, or famous events. A man on screen cycles through and selects the different APPs on the computer and as he selects them, they are what are shown next in the film. Each APP is either racist, raunchy, out of control, blatantly wrong, or otherwise inappropriate.
The film is obviously meant to be inappropriate and it succeeds in achieving its goal. It is like a glorified dumber, more vulgar version of the television show Saturday Night Live.
Some of the skits have their moments of humor, while others are mostly pretty awful in every possible way.
In Adrien Brody’s defense, the skits that he is in are pretty funny. They are crude, but funny. However, it just goes to show that Brody’s career has plummeted since his success in The Pianist (2002). It is laughable and a little sad that he would even be in a movie like this one.
Given all of the bad media that constantly surrounds Lindsay Lohan, her part in the film was actually okay. Her performance was short and sweet and somewhere in between good and bad.
Overall, InAPPropriate Comedy is just plain bad. There are not enough laughs in the movie to make up for how appalling the rest of the film is. It is inappropriate in almost every way possible. Wasting your time watching this movie would be inappropriate.
I rate this movie a 1 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? RUN!