live!

meant to be a commentary on the evils of reality tv, the film is about a live game show of russian roulette where each contestant may die on live tv.  the whole thing was pretty cheesy and obvious.  clearly the writer thought they were being profound and deep about the evils of where reality tv will end up, but instead its just a preachy and self important chintzy looking movie.

who am i?

a chinese import, poorly dubbed to capitalize on jackie chan's fame in america.  the stunts are great, as always, but the movie itself is pretty lame.

hanna

an intriguing and well told story of a girl raised by her assassin father in the isolated woods.  she has been trained to fight whatever she came across, and when her father is finally hunted down, hanna must use that training to survive.  ronan does an amazing job of being a stoic silent killer.

prometheus

what a disappointment.  this one had so much potential.  the original director returning to the alien franchise to bring us the great story of the xenomorph's origin?  my expectations and excitement was really high.  the movie looks really great- the 3D was incredible, but the story that was told was so scatterbrained and stupid that the whole thing just came up empty.  it went in too many directions, none of which were what anyone wanted.  and the characters just acted in such so stupidly!  its like the writers thought to themselves 'whats the stupidest decision that this character could make right now?' and then proceeded with whatever they came up with.  but it does look amazing, so that keeps it from a one star.

abraham lincoln: vampire hunter

this is not a great movie, but its so ludicrous and so much fun that i forgive it a lot of shortcomings.  a fight on top of wild mustangs stampeding?  yes please!  its just so dumb that is passes into genius!

the change-up

a modern take on freaky friday, this movie plays off the idea of a married man and a swinging bachelor trading places.  needless to say, it doesn't turn out well for either of them!  the film isn't great, but when you've got jason bateman and ryan reynolds as the two leads, their charisma alone is enough to cover a multitude of shortcomings.

the avengers

five movies in the making, this was the culmination of not just the movies before it, but of my entire childhood!  i was an avid comic book reader, so to finally see this team-up on the big screen was the fulfillment of my childhood dreams.  and it was so good that it exceeded all of those expectations?  well, not many movies can have that much expected of it and not crumble, but this one was everything i hoped and dreamed.  five years later its still one of the best comic book movies ever made.

zoolander

this one might not be as good as i think it is, but for some reason the humor in it hits me right in the sweet spot!  ever since i saw it the first time i've been quoting it ever since.  there are so many fantastic bits in it that i smile right now just thinking about the dance off, zoolander's roommates, the vip club, duchovny's hand model, will farrel's mugotu, etc.  i could go on for hours!  what makes this one even better is all the amazing bonus features on the dvd.  there are at least 3 hours of extra stuff on there and all of it is gold! this one is probably a time five comedies of all time for me.

synecdoche new york

a charlie kaufman film that is very strange.  granted, that's all charlie kaufman films, but this one is especially weird.  its the story of a director who wants to put on a play of his life, but he wants to make it as accurate as possible, so he hires people to play himself and everyone in his life.  not just the people he knows and loves, but also everyone in the street that he passes by and everyone in the apartments that go unnoticed.  and he wants it performed in real time, just the day to day events of his life.  on a set that's exactly the same as his real life.  yeah, its every bit as weird as it sounds.  i didn't quite get it myself.  i would probably appreciate it more on a second viewing, but on my first watch i didn't really care for it.

limitless

a very compelling premise: what if a pill could unlock your full potential?  it may not have been the greatest movie ever, but something about it, its acting, style, and direction made it rise above the rest of the films at the time.  i may be grading a little more than it deserves, but the potential for the story is so interesting that it clouded my criticisms of the film.

rise of the planet of the apes

i've never had much love for the original planet of the apes, but i was very curious about the new adaptation.  overall i was pretty impressed- the ape effects were good and the story of where the whole thing began was compelling- even if it did star james franco...

transformers dark of the moon

i have been forbidden from watching transformers movies after i saw this one.  my wife said that it put me in too bad of a mood that it ruined her day because of how much it ruined my day.  apparently when a movie is this god-awful it can have a tangible effect on my mood.  i guess that should tell you all you need to know about my thoughts on this abomination.

the fighter

a great film that follows the career of a boston boxer as he tries to make a name for himself.  the interesting angle of the film is the relationship he had with his brother.  how the brother struggles with living in the shadows of the boxer's glory and tries to keep his addictions at bay is where the film really gets its heart.  an amazing performance by christian bale, and mark wahlberg does and admirable job as well.

unknown

one of the many movies that liam neeson did after his 'taken' success, this is unfortunately one of the lesser entries into the aged action star category.  he plays a man who wakes up and is going in for an important meeting when, for some unknown reason, no one seems to know who he is.  it's kind of anti-amnesia.  he knows who he is and what his life is, but no one else does.  his boss doesn't recognize him, his wife doesn't know who he is.  an interesting premise, but not that well executed.

beetlejuice

i used to love this movie!  actually, i don't think my parents let me see it when it came out, my first contact with it was actually through the terrible cartoon that was on saturday mornings.  eventually as a teen i saw the movie and really liked it, but i'm sorry to inform you- it doesn't hold up.  the biggest problem with the movie is the fact that beetlejuice is hardly even in it!  he's by far the best part of the movie, but he really only interacts with the rest of the cast for all of 7 minutes of the runtime!  michael keaton is fantastic in the role, but the role is a lot smaller than you remember.  i wish i could say it holds up better than it does, but i'm not going to lie just for nostalgia's sake.