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The Frozen Ground (2013)


The Frozen Ground Poster

The Frozen Ground (2013)

 

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack have both been pretty much hit or miss for about the last 6 years.  Oddly enough, their downfall started around the same time.  I have been a huge fan of both actors ever since I can remember.  Even though they are both not consistently in great movies any longer, I still give them the benefit of the doubt every time I watch one of their new movies.  I guess I just hope that one day they will bounce back from whatever funk they got themselves into and start making great movies again.  One can always hope right?

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So, that is the attitude that I had before watching The Frozen Ground.  I would have been less enthusiastic about wanting to see the movie if it was only Cage or Cusack in it.  But, it’s not just Cage or Cusack, it’s both.  If both of these struggling actors are in the same movie then it is bound to be awesome right?

The film is based on actual events that took place in 1983.  It’s about an Alaska State trooper who teams up with a woman who was able to get away from a serial killer named Robert Hansen.  Together the duo works to find Hansen and bring him to justice for the murders that he has committed.

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The movie was written and directed by Scott Walker and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Dean Norris, Kevin Dunn, Radha Mitchell, Michael McGrady, Matt Gerald, and 50 Cent.

The Frozen Ground has an overall dark tone which is fitting because of the dark subject matter.

The movie was missing a lot.  It was hard to follow and full of wasted talent.  There was hardly any character development, so you couldn’t really feel anything for the characters.

The Frozen Ground Cage

It is yet another letdown from Cage and Cusack.  The list of bad movies that each actor continues to make just keeps getting longer.

It really felt like both Cage and Cusack were just going through the motions.  However, the writing and filmmaking overall, really did nothing to help their cause.  Occasionally both actors would show a slight spark that would quickly go out.  I think that if they keep making movies like this one, their careers could be doomed.  It’s a real shame.

The film started out like it could have potential, and then it got boring quickly.  The scenes were choppy and the acting and dialogue all felt forced.

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Don’t waste your time or money with The Frozen Ground.  If you would like to try to preserve the memory of when Nicolas Cage and John Cusack both made good movies, don’t watch this one.

I rate this movie a 3 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

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Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)


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Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

The movie should have just been called The Butler, but director Lee Daniels somehow felt that he had to put his name in the title.  I’m not sure if there is a real reason for his name being in the title, but to me, it just seems a little narcissistic.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler is very, very lightly based on the life of Eugene Allen.  The film changed Allen’s name to Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker).  The film paints a pretty disturbing picture of the struggles and pain that Gaines and his family faced during his childhood and throughout his life as a butler at the White House for 34 years.  The movie showed how the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement had a major impact on his life.

Lee Daniels' The Butler Whitaker serving Williams

The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Cusack, James Marsden, Robin Williams, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Clarence Williams III, John P. Fertitta, Colman Domingo, Yaya Alafia, Minka Kelly, and Nelsan Ellis.

The movie modifies many of the facts about Allen’s life in order to make it more entertaining and therefore less true.

I left the film wondering just how much of it was true.  After doing a little bit of research, I found out a number of things about the movie that are completely fiction.  It’s a little upsetting to me how this film tries to pass itself off as based on a true story.  I don’t want to spoil anything about the movie for anybody, but let me just say that a lot of it is pure fiction.

Lee Daniels' The Butler Whitaker Gooding Jr.

I really felt for the main characters after seeing what they went through, and thinking how terrible things were for them.  After finding out that a lot of the details in the movie are made up, I question just how honest the rest of the movie is.  I feel like I was a little duped.  I felt bad for Cecil Gaines, but that was not even his real name.  I felt bad for some of the things that Gaines went through, but found out that some of those things didn’t even happen.  Because the writers and director played so fast and loose with the facts and tried to pass it all off as truth, they succeeded in ruining the movie for me.

The film was very slow and dragged on at times.

There were so many big names in this movie that a few of them were underused.  A lot of the supporting characters do not get fully developed.  They are in the film in almost cameo-like roles, and then they are gone.

Forest Whitaker is superb in the lead role.  His performance alone is enough to make the film worth watching.  Even at the film’s slowest and almost boring parts when the movie seems like it is unraveling, Whitaker is enough to bring everything back together again.

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Oprah Winfrey was miscast.  Her character hardly seemed believable and this took away from my enjoyment of the film.  The rest of the supporting cast all did a fine job.

Overall, I felt like the movie was too slow at times.  If they had trimmed some of the fat and gotten rid of a few scenes, the film could have been better.  I am a little annoyed at how many facts were changed as they are trying to pass this movie off as inspired by a true story.  Most people read “true story” and think that it is true.  If they dressed this movie up to make it more entertaining, I cannot imagine how slow it would have been if they had stuck more to the facts.

The Butler (2013) Forest Whitaker (Screengrab)

Setting all of the things about this film that I did not like aside, Whitaker and most of the rest of the cast all do a great job.  It’s fun to see all of these big names in the same movie even if some of them are not in it long enough.  The film does an excellent job of showing people overcome hatred and violence and that is always a good shot to the arm for the human spirit.

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies


Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies

redbox box and posters

There are many terrible movies out there.  I have avoided renting movies at the Redbox just because they looked bad.  You know which ones that I’m talking about.  The ones that rip off movies that are actually popular by giving them similar titles and making the cover art look remarkably alike, but are actually knock offs that nobody should have to suffer through.  That being said, there are probably worse movies at the Redbox than what are on my list.  My list however, is a compilation of movies that actually looked like they could be good in one way or another.  Something about these movies made me go to the theatre and watch them, or go to the Redbox and rent them.  I made this list to save you time and money.  Don’t get duped like I did.  They might have a good cast.  They might look funny.  They might look scary.  They might look intense and full of good action.  They might look like they have a nice touching story.  They are none of those things (well, sometimes except for the cast).  They are poor excuses for movies.  Stay far away from these awful creations.

With my list I have included the cover art to the movies, so that you know exactly what to avoid.  I have not posted any trailers, because you don’t even want to waste your time with those.  They will trick you.  I have also listed my ratings of each movie.  My ratings are on a scale of 1-10.  My full review will be available for some of the movies.  If the title is highlighted, then you can click on it for my full review.

I do not claim to have seen all of the movies that are currently available to rent at the Redbox, but I have seen 76 of them.  Of those 76 movies, my Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies are:

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1.  V/H/S (2012)                                                                      My rating: 1

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2.  Killing Them Softly (2012)

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3.  The Paperboy (2012)

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4.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

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5.  Fire with Fire (2012)

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6.  The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)                                   My rating: 3

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7.  Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)                                             My rating: 3

Deadfall poster

8.  Deadfall (2012)                                                                  My rating: 4

The Possession cover pic

9.  The Possession (2012)

The Liability Poster

10.  The Liability (2012)                                                         My rating: 4.5

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11.  Lay the Favorite (2012)                                                   My rating: 4.5

The Cold Light of Day poster

12.  The Cold Light of Day (2012)                                          My rating: 4.5

That's my boy poster

13.  That’s My Boy (2012)                                                      My rating: 5

Now that you know what movies to avoid, Check out my other Redbox related material.  Click on the links below:

Current Redbox Movie Reviews September 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews August 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews July 2013 

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 2

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 3

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 4

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

Happy Movie Watching!

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies


Top 13 Current Redbox Movies

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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.

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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

The Paperboy (2012)


The Paperboy cover

The Paperboy (2012)

The Paperboy delivers a story riddled with nonsense, boredom, trashy characters, gratuitous vulgarity, and wasted talent.  It was amazing the amount of scenes in the movie that were completely unnecessary.

The film is about a newspaper reporter (Matthew McConaughey) who teams up with his brother (Zac Efron) and a work colleague (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a prisoner (John Cusack) who is on death row.  Along the way, they get help from the prisoner’s pen pal girlfriend (Nicole Kidman).

The Paperboy movie

The movie takes it’s time setting the stage for what it is going to be about.  Once you understand the goal that the characters are trying to accomplish, the story takes a left turn and does not come back to the main point until it is no longer relevant.  In other words, the film is left without a purpose and you are left watching characters develop for a story that is hard to follow and no longer matters.

Much of the movie is narrated by Macy Gray.  Gray was an extremely poor choice for a narrator.  She is definitely no Morgan Freeman.  It seemed as if she had trouble reading her lines.  She mumbled her words very slowly and at times, she was hard to understand.  This took even more away from the film and made it harder to follow.

Film Review The Paperboy

Many times I was so bored with the movie that I wanted to turn it off.  Other times I wanted to turn off the movie because of how unnecessarily vulgar and pointless it was becoming.  I should have turned it off.  I wish that I had turned it off, but I wanted to see if it would get any better, and I wanted to be able to tell my readers my honest opinion of the entire film.

The Paperboy had a very capable cast.  They are all mostly good actors, but with the material that they had to work with, they were all doomed.  Nobody had a chance to give a standout performance because the writers had made sure of that with their dreadful dialogue and horrible storyline.

Do not waste your time or money on this worthless excuse for a movie.

I give this movie a 1 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run and hide!

I think that this movie could easily have won the prize for worst movie of 2012.  I was trying to figure out which movie was worse, this one or Killing Them SoftlyThe Paperboy takes the cake.  Beware!

the paperboy group stare