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Emperor (2012)


Emperor Poster

Emperor (2012)

I have always wondered what Japan would have been like at the end of WWII when the Japanese surrendered.  It seems to me there would be a lot of chaos and resentment during the rebuilding process.

Emperor is based on the book “His Majesty’s Salvation” by Shiro Okamoto.  When WWII ended and the Japanese had surrendered, General Fellers (Matthew Fox) was given 10 days to weed through the intricate web of power surrounding the Emperor and detain the men responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor.  He was also ordered to figure out whether or not Emperor Hirohito was a war criminal and if he should be hanged.  During his investigation, Fellers was also on a personal quest to find his missing Japanese girlfriend, Aya (Eriko Hatsune).

Emperor Fox Aya

The film was directed by Peter Webber and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Tommy Lee Jones, Colin Moy, Takataro Kataoka, Masato Ibu, Isao Natsuyagi, and Kaori Momoi.

This is the first movie of its kind that I have seen.  The film was not quite the powerful film that it could have been.  However, it was put together nicely, well acted, and well directed.

I thought that the film did an excellent job depicting the ruins of Japan.  It was eerie seeing the aftermath of entire cities that had been obliterated.

Emperor Fox Tommy Lee Jones

The movie felt like it was actually taking place right after WWII.

I feel that Matthew Fox has recently proved himself as a capable actor.  It was the film Alex Cross (2012) that made me take him seriously.  He did a good job in Emperor.

It was yet another no-nonsense role for Tommy Lee Jones and he played the part as well as he always does.

Emperor Tommy Lee Jones

The film did a great job of telling a story that I am sure that a lot of people are not familiar with.  If you are a fan of WWII movies like I am, then you will probably enjoy this one.  It felt a little slow at times because there are a lot of conversations with translators translating back and forth.  They go back and for between that and using subtitles and it makes the film seem longer than it really is.

There is not a whole lot of violence or language and the movie was very tastefully made.

I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

Trailer for The Family (2013)


The Family Poster

The Family (2013)

Robert De Niro returns to his mafia roots in this film where he plays a former mob boss who enters witness protection to protect himself and his family from getting whacked.  Now they all must try to adapt to leading normal, average lives and this proves to be difficult.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays De Niro’s wife and Tommy Lee Jones is the man who put the family in witness protection.  The rest of the notable cast includes Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore, Dianna Agron, Joseph Perrino, and John D’leo.

The film is directed by Luc Besson and produced by Martin Scorsese.

The movie looks like an entertaining dysfunctional drama that could also be good for a few laughs.  It has a great cast and some of the best filmmakers in the business are a part of it.  That’s good enough for me to want to see.

The film is set to release on 9/13/13.

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

Lincoln (2012)


lincoln poster

Lincoln (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.

AFI FEST 2012 Presented By Audi - "Lincoln" Premiere - Red Carpet

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.

lincoln tommy lee jones

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.
lincoln theatre

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.

lincoln lewis