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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)


A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Poster

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

I had never even heard of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints until I rented Charlie Countryman (2013) at the Redbox.  When you rent Charlie Countryman, you get A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints as a bonus movie.  They give you a two-for-one, a double sided disc for the price of one movie.  It’s a Shia LaBeouf double feature.  They are both indie films.  This was all the more intriguing to me, so I watched each movie the other night.  You can guess what one of my next reviews will be.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Group

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints was based on the book with the same title.  Surprisingly enough, the man who wrote the book, Dito Montiel, also directed the movie.  The movie is a film adaptation of Dito Montiel’s life growing up in Astoria, New York in the 1980s.  The story is a look into a messed up childhood in a rough part of the city.  It follows the struggles of inner city teenagers, Dito (Shia LaBeouf plays young Dito, and Robert Downey Jr. plays grown up Dito) and his friends as they are becoming adults.  The circle of friends are pitted against drugs, violence, sex, love, hate, loss, and hardship.  All the while, Dito wants to escape New York and try to make a better life for himself somewhere else.

The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Channing Tatum, Chazz Palminteri, Dianne Wiest, Rosario Dawson, Melonie Diaz, Martin Compston, Scott Michael Campbell, Anthony DeSando, Adam Scarimbolo, Peter Anthony Tambakis, Laila Liliana Garro, and Eric Roberts.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Downey Jr. Dawson

I’m surprised that this movie got past me 8 years ago, because the cast is excellent.  I should have been aware of this film earlier.  It’s another low-budget independent film that slipped through the cracks.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints was hard to watch, at times, but it was also hard to stop watching.  The film was an excellent depiction of how rundown certain areas of the country can be and how it affects the people living there.  It’s indeed unfortunate, but it’s in-your-face honesty.  Some people won’t be able to handle the honesty of this movie.  The trashy characters, obscene language and other vulgarity, along with the sex, nudity, and mindless violence, among other things, will be too much for some.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints LaBeouf

But, you have to take the sweet from the sour.  There is indeed a silver lining in this story.  The headlining actors in this film are exceptional.  The movie makes you feel like you are in the slums with the characters experiencing it all.  The actors portray a remarkable friendship and camaraderie that helps you come back to the reality that people often try to be good even if they are bad.

The story is rigid and rocky, but the writing and acting make it all worthwhile.  Here is an unknown gem for those who are willing to give it a chance.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Tatum Palminteri

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, you might also enjoy the following movies:

White House Down (2013)

The Company You Keep (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Out of the Furnace (2013)

The Big Wedding (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

Flight (2012)

Prisoners (2013)

Wrecked (2010)

Mud (2012)

The Iceman (2012)

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Redband Trailer for 22 Jump Street (2014)


22 Jump Street Homemade Poster

 

(Poster not yet available.)  (This is a Redband trailer, so viewer discretion is advised.)

22 Jump Street (2014)

 

Without question, 21 Jump Street (2012) was one of the funniest movies of 2012.  The movie was already a reboot of the popular television show from the late 80s and early 90s, 21 Jumpstreet, starring Johnny Depp22 Jump Street is the sequel to the reboot, and it looks like it just might be as funny as its predecessor.

This time, instead of Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) going undercover as students in high school, they have gone on to infiltrate a college campus undercover as college students.

The movie was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Ice Cube, Amber Stevens, Jimmy Tatro, Wyatt Russell, Jillian Bell, Dax Flame, and Johnny Pemberton.

I’m sure that we can expect the same raunchy, outrageous, hilariousness as 21 Jump Street.  It should be a laugh filled adventure.

The film is set to release on 06/13/14.

 

 

 

White House Down (2013)


White House Down Poster 2

White House Down (2013)

I expected White House Down to be basically the same movie as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Besides the actors, almost everything about each film looked very similar.  It is very weird to me that two movies that are so much alike would be released the same year and so close to one another.  For some reason I got it in my mind that White House Down was going to be the ugly cousin of Olympus Has Fallen.

White House Down Tatum Bloody nose

White House Down follows a former military man (Channing Tatum) who brings his daughter with him to the White House where he managed to get a job interview to try to become a Secret Service Agent.  He brings his daughter along with him to the White House because she is a huge fan of the President (Jamie Foxx).  While there, they decide to take a tour.  During the tour the White House is attacked and the man does what he can to protect his daughter and the President.

1183878 - WHITE HOUSE DOWN

The film was directed by Roland Emmerich and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick, Matt Craven, and Kevin Rankin.

This movie surprised me.  It exceeded my expectations.  I liked it a little bit better than Olympus Has Fallen.  It was not quite as predictable as Olympus Has Fallen and I felt that the actors did a better job.  Also, it seemed like White House Down had fewer flaws than Olympus Has Fallen.

White House Down on fire

The film was intense and exciting.  The attack on the White House was eerily realistic.  There was a lot of good action.  As with most action movies, some of the action was a bit unbelievable at times.  But, for the most part, this didn’t take away from the film.

Tatum was likable as he usually is.  Foxx was better than I thought he would be as the President.  When the two teamed up together, they were both pretty entertaining and even funny at times.

White House Down - trailer video

The rest of the actors played their parts well.  Besides Tatum and Foxx, Woods and Jenkins stood out above the rest.

Overall, White House Down is a fun ride worth taking.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked White House Down (2013), then you will probably enjoy the following movies:

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

This is the End (2013)


This is the End Poster

This is the End (2013)

When you get a cast together that includes James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson, you just know that you are in for a raunchfest.  The rest of the cast were basically all cameo appearances and they included Channing Tatum, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Hart, David Krumholtz, Chritopher Mintz-Plasse, Jason Segel, Rihanna and The Backstreet Boys.

This is the End Group

The movie is written and directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, but based on the short film “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse” by Rogen, Goldberg, and Jason Stone.

Seth Rogen basically took a page from Adam Sandler’s book and got all of his buddies together and decided to make a comedy about the end of the world.  Arguably Sandler has been doing this at least once a year, but his movies lately have been making you wish that it was the end of the world.

This is the End room fire

Each actor plays themselves in This Is the End.  They all go over to James Franco’s house for a party.  The rapture crashes their shindig and they are forced to stay holed up in Franco’s house trying to survive.

The film started out a little stale and immediately I was worried that it was going to be a complete disappointment.  Eventually the god of laughter smiled upon me and I found myself convulsing with amusement.  However, it seemed like I was simply having laughing spells.  The movie would be really funny and then it would get too cheesy and stupid and then funny again.  The Comedy seemed to cycle through all types of humor.  Sometimes it was hilarious and other times, not so much.  It was crude, crass, vulgar, stupid, tasteless, and just plain dumb.  Sometimes these things worked and sometimes they didn’t.

This is the end kitchen

Overall the movie was too inconsistent.  After a while, the inconsistency caused the film to drag on.  The humor dissolved and all that remained was tacky stupidity.  I did have a good time laughing while it lasted.

This is the End Party

I rate this movie a 6 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

Trailer for White House Down (2013)


White House Down Poster

White House Down (2013) (click on the title for my full review)

It never ceases to amaze me how often very similar movies release in theatres just a few months apart from each other.  White House Down appears to be basically the same story as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Is it a coincidence how both movies have titles that are so alike?

White House Down is directed by Roland Emmerich who is known for directing The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Patriot (2000), and Independence Day (1996).

White House Down stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Rachelle Lefevre, Jimmi Simpson, Lance Reddick, Garcelle Beauvais, Peter Jacobson, and Matt Craven.

The movie does look good.  I will probably have to check it out in the theatre.

The film is set to release on 6/28/13.

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies


Top 13 Current Redbox Movies

red box

Having trouble deciding which movie to rent at the Redbox?  This list just might help you make a good decision on what to rent.  Hopefully it will save you from wasting your money renting a bad movie.

Along with my list, I have given my rating and a “Quickie” review.

Quickie review = A film review in 13 words or less.  If a title does not have a quickie review then you may click on it for my full review.

I cannot say that I have seen all of the movies that are currently available at the Redbox, but I have seen 62 of them.  Of those 62 titles, here are my top 13 favorite movies that are currently available at the Redbox:

Rank                           Title                             13movies Rating

 

 

1.         What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)          10         

            Quickie: Johnny Depp excellent!  Young Leonardo DiCaprio maybe even better.  Fun, touching, drama.  Great!

2.         The Machinist (2004)                                       10         

3.         Ted (2012)                                                      9         

 

4.         The Dark Knight Rises (2012)                      9         

            Quickie: A grand final chapter in the Christopher Nolan directed Batman Trilogy.  Epic film.

5.         The Raid: Redemption (2011)                       9          

         

6.         Looper (2012)                                                 8.5      

            Quickie: Joseph Gordon-Levitt + = Bruce Willis in a time travel thriller puzzle.

7.         Titanic (1997)                                                            8.5      

            Quickie: Who hasn’t seen this?  Ship sink.  Dreadful historical event.  Well made recreation.  Iceberg.

8.         Frankenweenie (2012)                                   8.5      

           

9.         Flight (2012)                                                  8         

 

10.       Moneyball (2011)                                           8         

            Quickie: Brad Pitt spectacular performance!  Jonah Hill proves acting capable.  Interesting, solid baseball story.

11.       Men in Black 3 (2012)                                   8         

            Quickie: As good as 1.  Josh Brolin as Tommy Lee Jones.  Will Smith reloaded.

12.       Total Recall (2012)                                        8         

            Quickie: Colin Farell in updated Schwarzenegger role.  More fun than original.  Kate Beckinsale badass!

13.       Lawless (2012)                                               8         

            Quickie: Shia LaBeouf gets big.  Tom Hardy tough.  Jessica Chastain shows, proves herself.  Bootleggers.

 

Those are in my opinion the best movies that are currently at the Redbox.

If you would like to read Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 2, click on this link. from 3/14/13

Click on this link for Vol. 3. from 4/21/13

Click on this link for Vol. 4. from 5/9/13

Now that you have seen my recommended Redbox movies, check out my list of movies to stay away from.  Click on the link below:

Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies

Here is how the rest of the movies currently at the Redbox that I have seen rate:

 

 

21 Jump Street (2012)                                                8         

            Quickie: Hilarious Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill buddy cop comedy.  One of funniest movies 2012.

The Grey (2011)                                                         8         

            Quickie: Liam Neeson fighting wolves bare-handed after a plane crash in Alaska.  Period.

Dark Shadows (2012)                                                            8         

            Quickie: Johnny Depp as a vampire in a comedy.  Rarely does he disappoint.

The Dictator (2012)                                                   8         

            Quickie: Sacha Baron Cohen’s funniest movie ever.  All levels of humor and raunch.  Absurdity.

War of the Worlds (2005)                                          8         

            Quickie: Tom Cruise fighting aliens to try to save the world.  Steven Spielberg directs.

.

The Bourne Identity (2002)                                       7.5      

            Quickie: Matt Damon gets amnesia.  He gets chased not knowing why.  He fights back.

           

Seven Psychopaths (2012)                                         7.5                  

            Quickie: Sam Rockwell steals the show.  Witty, dark comedy.  Clever characters.  Great dialogue!

                                  

Trouble with the Curve (2012)                                  7.5      

            Quickie: Amy Adams helps aging father Clint Eastwood try to keep baseball scout job.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)                                        7         

Quickie: Jeremy Renner replaces Matt Damon in the series and is more qualified.

Safe House (2012)                                                      7         

            Quickie: Ryan Reynolds tries to take fugitive Denzel Washington down.  Good action.  Good twists.

Paranorman (2012)                                                    7         

            Quickie: PG Suggested.  Delightful animated story about a kid who sees the dead.  Amusing.

The Watch (2012)                                                      7         

            Quickie: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, hysterical buddy comedy about aliens at Costco.

A Christmas Carol (2009)                                         7         

            Quickie: Amazing animation retelling of a classic story and voiced by Jim Carrey.

 

Alex Cross (2012)                                                       7         

            Quickie: Tyler Perry plays a game of cat and mouse with Matthew Fox.

Arthur Christmas (2011)                                           7         

            Quickie: Family friendly animated Christmas movie.  Fun to watch around the holidays.  Unique.

Seeking Justice (2011)                                               7         

            Quickie: Nicolas Cage wife assaulted.  Guy Pierce help.  Rift after favor not returned.  Solid.

Brake (2012)                                                               7         

            Quickie: Stephen Dorff kidnapped for information about the president.  Won’t give up.  Tense.  Exciting.

Stolen (2012)                                                              7         

Dredd (2012)                                                              6.5      

 

The Words (2012)                                                       6.5      

            Quickie: Bradley Cooper plagiarizes a story and it comes back to haunt him.

The Campaign (2012)                                                6.5      

            Quickie: Will Farrell runs against Zach Galifianakis.  Dirty politics and humor ensue.

The Expendables 2 (2012)                                         6.5      

            Quickie: Sylvester Stallone brings action hero friends back together for round 2 of battle.

Premium Rush (2012)                                                6.5      

            Quickie: Joseph Gordon-Levitt freestyle fast and furious bicycle messenger hide and seek

Wanderlust (2012)                                                     6.5      

            Quickie: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd turn into tree hugging hippies.  Funny moments.  Tacky moments.

The Raven (2012)                                                       6.5      

            Quickie: John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe investigating crimes that he wrote.  Good enough.

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)                         6.5      

            Quickie: Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer try to slay lions while lions slay others.

Why Stop Now (2012)                                                6.5                  

            Quickie: Jesse Eisenberg tries to drug free mother and get into music school.  Laughs.

 

People like us (2012)                                                 6.5      

            Quickie: Dysfunctional drama.  Lost siblings try to find each other after father’s death.

Red Lights (2012)                                          6.5                  

            Quickie: Robert De Niro has mind powers.  Cillian Murphy Disagrees.  Their minds tango.

                                               

American Reunion (2012)                             6.5      

            Quickie: One sequel too many.  Funny parts.  Same old story.  Slight variation.  Decent enough.

A Thousand Words (2012)                             6.5      

            Quickie: Eddie Murphy shares life with tree.  He speaks, leaves fall.  Comical and stupid.

Being Flynn (2012)                                       6.5      

            Quickie: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano bad father son relationship.  They both write.

Spider-Man (2002)                                         6.5      

            Quickie: Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst are unpleasant.  Spiderman is okay.  Other cast helps.

The Avengers (2012)                                      6.5      

            Quickie: Cool Special effects technology.  Robert Downey Jr. carries the movie on his back.

The Expendables (2010)                                6         

            Quickie: Too many action heroes take away from plot.  Fun to watch though.

Officer Down (2013)                                      6         

            Quickie: Stephen Dorff tries to repair his life after being a dirty cop.  Mediocre.

The Three Stooges (2012)                              6         

            Quickie: Great impressions of original stooges.  Especially Curly.  Humorous at times.

Get the Gringo (2012)                                   6         

            Quickie: Mel Gibson goes to Mexican prison.  Trying getting out is the fun part.

Savages (2012)                                               6         

            Quickie: Benicio Del Toro and John Travolta make movie better.

The Liability (2012)                                       5.5      

            Quickie: Tim Roth is fun as a hit man.  Film dwindles halfway through.

That’s My Boy (2012)                                    5         

            Quickie: Bad movie that gets better towards the end.

All about Steve (2009)                                   5         

            Quickie: Sandra Bullock is funny at times.

Tropic Thunder (2008)                                  4.5      

            Quickie: Robert Downey Jr. is a riot as a black guy.

The Possession (2012)                                   4         

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)                    4         

            Quickie: The title says it all and that’s about it.

Fire with Fire (2012)                                     3         

In Bruges (2008)                                            2         

            Quickie: The only thing worse are the 2 movies below this one.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)              2         

 

The Paperboy (2012)                                      2         

Netflix Clouds

Are you a fan of Netflix?  Click on the following links below for Netflix related material:

Netflix Watch Instantly Movie Reviews September 2013

20 Best Drama Movies Based on Real Life Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

20 Best Classics Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Mind-bending Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Romantic Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best War/Military Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Gritty Action/Thriller Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly