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Archive for the ‘Morgan Freeman’ Category

bonfireBoy I must have really done something to Benn to make me watch this film. I mean sure I asked him to do an essay on the Cinema de Stephen Segal, but he never did it.  And I didn’t make him because that is a hell that no one should have to deal with.  But then makes me watch this film, and when I text him and say that he finally has shown me a Tom Hanks movie worse than Joe Versus the Volcano, he laughs and says, yeah I watched and knew it was bad.  Well then why the hell make me watch it then?  Ok, so you just wait until I find something terrible for you to watch, Mr. Farrell.

Sherman McCoy, played by Tom Hanks (Nothing In Common,) is a Wall Street Bond trader who is also married with a kid.  Sherman also has a mistress Maria Ruskin, played by Melanie Griffith (Working Girl,) accidentally runs over a black teenager in the South Bronx while driving his car while in the car.  This sets off a chain of events that causes his life to unravel under the scrutiny of a minister, a district attorney running for mayor, an assistant district attorney trying to score points with his boss, and a down on his luck reporter, named Peter Fallow, played by Bruce Willis (Sin City,) looking for a story.  As Fallow starts to uncover the facts he begins to realize that Sherman is being railroaded by everyone and looks to help him out.

So to begin with we have to talk about the elephant in the room.  What in God’s name is Melanie Griffith doing in this movie?  Better yet, who the hell cast her to act in this film?  Her Southern accent is absolutely atrocious.  She hasn’t got a great voice to begin with because it seems like to me her regular voice is barely above a whisper.  Then you add an uneven and almost unpracticed sounding accent and every time she is on screen I am hating every second of it.  I know at this point in time she was coming off her Academy Award nomination for Working Girl, but that clearly was an anomaly on a otherwise unspectacular career and even Benn said in his review of Working Girl, click here to read it, she wasn’t all that good.  There is only one reason why, in my eyes, she was cast for this role and it can be seen in this picture here.

bonfiremg

While I was watching Tom Hanks in this film I was thinking of his performance in the movie The Man with the One Red Shoe.  For large parts of the film Hanks was playing this part very stiff and by the look in his eyes he wasn’t enjoying participating in this film.  There was nothing to like about his character in the film.  He is cheating on his wife and he is an arrogant tool.  So it’s hard to feel sorry for him when he discovers that everyone has decided to either betray him or frame him or use his situation for political gain.   And I really want to cheer for him because he is Tom Hanks!  Plus the writing was poor in this film, for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that it fails in showing how Hanks’s character Sherman has become estranged from his parents.  We get one back handed compliment from his wife Judy, played by Kim Cattrall (Crossroads,) about how he isn’t his dad, and we get one lunch at the beginning that shows that his father, played by Donald Moffit (Clear and Present Danger,) and his mother are concerned about him.  So this makes one of the final scenes anti-climatic when Sherman’s dad shows up in his empty apartment to tell him he loves him and supports him.  It would have been great if we had seen that they were angry with each other but that wasn’t the case so the reconciliation seemed unnecessary and pointless other than to feel good about the moment.   I will say that because it was Tom Hanks I was at least a little bit happier, so it did work, but only because I like Tom Hanks.

The other main star in this film, Bruce Willis, is also playing an unlikeable character.  He is a drunk and he writes the article based the lies of the people who have the agenda against Sherman.  So when he suddenly realizes the truth that Maria was the one driving, not Sherman, and he is helping to destroy an innocent man, it seems a little out of character for him and also self-serving.  In fact the whole point of the film is to show how one man can fall but still have everything and how a man can come from nothing and have everything, but still have nothing.  Bruce Willis also played the character of Peter Fallow in the same way he played his character on the TV show Moonlighting with one difference in that unlike the character of David Addison on the TV show, Peter Fallon has no “character” what so ever.  He is just a robotic reporter who is unable to convey emotion.

Like the three main characters, the rest of the cast, save one person, are all horrible people and impossible to cheer for in any capacity.  They are all crooked and corrupt and are just not good people and therefore I don’t care about them.  Now I am guessing that this is the point of the movie, as is I would guess the point of the book that it is based on.  The book was written during the 80’s where all the supposed evil in the country was centered in Wall Street and the people who worked in it.  So why a make a movie where you have to try and make one of these likeable?  I don’t get it.  But I did say there was one character who was likeable and that was the Judge in the Brooklyn court, Judge Leonard White, played by Morgan Freeman (Batman Begins.)  He is the one that is constantly yelling at all those who are corrupted and putting them in order, especially at Sherman’s trial.  He has a great speech about telling everyone to be decent.  Of course to me, the only other actor in this movie that has the credibility that Tom Hanks does would be Morgan Freeman.  He is an amazing actor and he had the only decent character in this movie.

This movie has no real redeeming quality because it has no one that you really want to cheer for as a hero.  Then you throw in the incredibly annoying voice and bad acting ability of Melanie Griffith and you have a recipe for disaster.  For some odd reason I remember the hype surrounding this movie back in 1990 before it came out and then the horrid reviews and box office failure of it.  I didn’t see it because of all that and now that I have seen it part of me wants to see some harm befall Benn Farrell.  It’ll pass because I don’t want it to happen, but making me watch movies like this makes me want to think it.

 

 

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I was a comic book fan as a child and into my early teens. I was a DC guy and stayed loyal to my DC heroes with a few exceptions.  I don’t remember how I picked my heroes back then.  I have been and always will be a Green Lantern fan.  I could recite the Green Lantern Oath when I was a kid.  I think I am one of maybe 126 people on the planet the like the Green Lantern film with Ryan Reynolds.  Then I read Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Graphic Novel and it was a wonderful read and I became a Batman fan and have been ever since.  Three years after that discovery of The Dark Knight I watched the wonders of Tim Burton’s Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker and loved it.  Then Joel Schumacher happened and I was lost.  The disgrace that was the movie Batman & Robin pissed me off so bad.  I was a fan of Batman as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Schumacher destroyed both of them.   Fortunately Marvel decided to start making movies and gave us X-Men and Spider-Man which ultimately lead to Iron Man and the Marvel Universe.  While that was happening Christopher Nolan created three masterpieces of Batman lore.  Now we are in this heaven of super hero movies a I have to create a list that will definitely show my favoritism.

This is a tough list to create because it could possibly be a very fluid list. We are still in what can only be considered the Golden Age of this genre of film.  Since 2000 we have been given the X-Men franchise, two Spiderman franchises, the rebirth of the Batman saved from the horrid Joel Schumacher era.  Most importantly of all we have seen the birth of and are in the middle of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Not to be out done, DC will be kicking off its universe this year with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.  So I should say that this is my top 5 as of now, who knows, it may change.

The criteria for me in making this list are pretty straight forward.  Only movies made from 1970 onward, sorry, no campy Batman from the 1960’s with Adam West.  Also there has to be a super hero in the film, so that takes out Frank Miller’s 300 and Sin City.  So without further ado, here is my current list of Top 5 favorite Comic Book Super Hero Films and 5 Honorable Mentions.

 

Number 5: Batman Begins (2005)

batman beginsTruth be told, any of my honorable mentions could have taken the place of #5, but I went with Batman Begins because it gave back to me one of my most beloved characters as I have talked about above.  I was a huge Batman fan as a child and loved what Tim Burton did when he put it to film.  However, if there ever was a line between how a movie can be projected into the real world or in an obvious fantasy one, then Batman Begins gives us a real world Batman as opposed to the fantasy gothic world of Tim Burton.  Christopher Nolan brought realism to the character and it had a negative tone in it that I liked.  I thought Christian Bale was the perfect Batman as a man who must constantly balance his need for revenge with his idealism of justice.  I like to think of this Bruce Wayne as a 51/49 good guy versus bad guy.  The only difference between this Batman and, let’s say Deadpool, is that Batman will not kill but Deadpool would, but both fight for justice.  Or maybe, if I channel my inner 80’s nerd, Bruce Wayne is Chaotic Good while Wade Wilson is Lawful Evil.  Unlike the Michael Keaton Batman, who I thought would never cross the line; I had the feeling that Christian Bale Batman might if pushed in the wrong direction, at least in Batman Begins, we find out in The Dark Knight that he won’t. I also thought the casting of Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman were wonderful choices that only added to the film.  The musical score is probably my favorite movie music not made by John Williams.  The only weakness, if there was any, was the casting of Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes.  She didn’t have the best chemistry with Bale and her personal life was still hellish as she was married to Tom Cruise at the time. My review of the film is here.

 

Number 4: The Avengers

the avengersThe strength in this movie is very similar to the strength in the Thor movies and its because of the same reason, Loki.  Tom Hiddleston has brought as much life to the Loki character as did Heath Ledger to the Joker character in The Dark Knight.  He was a very menacing villain by acting very casual about the entire situation.  Of course he had his playful side throughout the entire film which added to his role as the villain.  I can’t completely dislike the guy because he is so nice and funny, even if he wants take over the world.  Plus I like the whole evil army attack and all the action it created

Another reason why I like this film is that I got to see separate characters from solo films come together and to form one big group and one big movie unlike the Fantastic Four or X-Men that all started out as group movies. There is something very cool about that.  Plus they added in some of the minor characters from the solo films like Pepper Potts, Professor Selvig, Agent Coulson, etc.  It was cool to see all these people from different movies come together for one big one.  I liked how the story put the team together but you get the feeling that they don’t completely trust one another.  This theme pops up over and over in the movies going forward leading to this summer’s release of Captain America: Civil War, but it started here and it made for an enjoyable story to watch.  The only odd thing about this film is that this is the start of the odd love story between Black Widow and The Hulk, but it’s not the worst idea ever.  This is just a fun movie.

Number 3: Captain America: Winter Soldier

CAptain America tws  For me this movie is all about the story.  Despite the one minor plot hole, (If Tony Stark found out about all of the secrets of SHIELD in the Avengers, how did he not know about Hydra,) this story just had me going from beginning to end and left me wanting more.

First off we have the concept of Captain America not sure he wants to fight for SHIELD and having doubts about his life as a super soldier.  Combine that with all of the shady dealings going on within SHIELD and then the sudden murder of Nick Fury only seems to galvanize his desire to not want to work like this anymore.

Then we have the old nemesis HYDRA coming back to haunt Cap in the form of a mad scientist and high level people placed in SHIELD.  Maybe its my love of all things World War II that causes me to love this part of the plot line, even if it’s a fictitious storyline involving WWII, but the nostalgia of it makes me happy.

The action in this movie was particularly fun and I would say that this movie probably has the most action of any of the individual movies outside of the Avengers movies.  There are multiple scenes that have more than one hero fighting the bad guys.  Plus this movie had Black Widow, played by ultra hottie Scarlett Johansson, and she had an even bigger role in this film then she did in The Avengers.  She is an enjoyable kick ass super hero who isn’t a 100% good guy and she isn’t really a super hero in the sense she doesn’t have a suit or something flowing through her veins or is a Norse God.  She just is a super spy who saves the super heroes more than they save her.

Again it’s a fun movie with few issues and memorable characters.  It’s a better sequel to The Avengers then was the actual Avengers sequel.

Number 2: Iron Man

Iron ManI have already done a review of Iron Man and I will link it here.  Why it is currently my second favorite movie is that it is nearly perfect in almost every way.  In fact the things I don’t like about are small.  One of them is that they make the main villain, Obadiah Stane, a one off bad guy and kill him at the end of the film.  Of the many things I do like about the film is that this is all about Robert Downey Jr.  This role was made for him.  Although I have seen other movies with him in them, this will always be the baseline for his performances for me.

The thing that makes this so successful is the mixture of humor and action.  I feel that all of the MCU movies, with a few exceptions, have the right amount of that and that is what makes them so fun to watch.  The scene that had Tony Stark learning to use the Iron Man suit is so fun to watch it makes me giggle all the time.  Especially the first time when he flies into the ceiling falls and then his robot sprays him with fire extinguisher.

Another thing I like about the Iron Man movie is that we get to see some revenge and I like that in my action movies.  The scene where Tony Stark uses his suit for the first battle against the terrorists who are wiping out the town that was the home of the scientist who helped him escape them was satisfying to watch.    The fact that he is willing to dispose of the bad guy is a nice thing to see.

There really is nothing wrong with this movie for me.  As a child Iron Man was my third favorite super hero and fortunately the movie that was made for the character was wonderful.  My favorite super hero, Green Lantern, well we know how that movie went.  My favorite super hero movie goes with my second favorite hero and to me is still the standard bearer for all super hero films.

 

Number 1: The Dark Knight

dark knight I am going to start off telling you why this is my favorite super hero film by telling you what bothers me the most about it, Maggie Gyllenhaal.  As I stated in my number 5 favorite movie, I was not a big fan of Katie Holmes as Rachel because I didn’t feel like there was any chemistry between her and Christian Bale.  That being said every scene the Gyllenhaal is in just is painful for me to watch.  I find her to be obnoxiously confident for no reason, her timing is horrible, and I just don’t think she is a good actress.  The scene where she is interrogating Lau is painful and it lasts for 2 minutes.   At no time was she in charge in that scene, it was totally between Lau and Harvey Dent and there she was running back and forth like a messenger dog.  And this won’t matter for some but I find her highly unattractive as well.  Not that it affects her performance but at least I could have been watching an attractive woman act horribly, alas, that was not the case.

I love this movie for many reasons but the obvious reason is the performance that Heath Ledger gave as The Joker.  His performance, which I argue is the best character performance of all time, is iconic and one that won’t be forgotten.  How many phrases are still in our culture to this day?  There is the big one, “Why so Serious?”  Or maybe I imagine that he had more phrases that are used then and now than really are said.  But I could swear that I heard people say or saw posters of, “Introduce a little anarchy” and “I’m a dog chasing cars.”  At any rate the fact remains that for me almost every entrance he makes is memorable.  When he is still masked in the opening bank robbery scene and the mob bank manager asks, “What do you believe in?” his unmasking and quote “I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stranger.”  At that point I realized we were getting a different Joker than the one Jack Nicholson gave us in Batman.  That’s key for me because I though Nicholson’s Joker was awesome and couldn’t be beat.  His Joker is awesome, but pales in comparison to what Ledger brought.  Anyway, scene after scene Ledger stills it from the other actors or was his to begin with.  His entrance to the mob meeting where he does his magic trick, when he kills Gambol and says his infamous “Why So Serious?” line, his whole speech looking for Harvey Dent at his fundraiser and when Batman tells him to let Rachel go, the Joker says “Very poor choice of words” and he drops off the side of the building.  I could go on and on.  But I won’t because you get the point.  I believe Heath Ledger created the best character performance of all time.

Of course I felt everyone, outside of Gyllenhaal, were magnificent.  In my review, which is here, I was harsh on Christian Bale saying is performance wasn’t as good as his was in Batman Begins, but I now believe that he was just as good in this movie as in that one. it’s just Ledger ran rings around him and the rest of him.  The writing is key as well.  The writing of the characters allowed the actors to bring them to life.  I have talked about humor being important in super hero movies and there was some in this film, but at a much smaller level.  Actors need good lines to deliver and writers need good actors to give them the life they deserve and this film has both.

I also like the character development for Bruce Wayne.  As I mentioned above in Batman Begins I got the feeling that if push came to shove Bruce’s desire for revenge could send him over the edge. In fact it did in a way because he did not save Ras Al Ghul at the end.  In The Dark Knight we see that despite all that The Joker has done, when Batman could have let The Joker fall to his death he made sure to save his life.  I just like the growth of the character between two movies.  I know you can say that he let Two-Face die but Batman didn’t have a chance to save him as he had to save Gordon’s kid.  I felt that these character growths in the movie made it an even better film.

One last thing I will mention that causes me to love this film is the music.  I have always liked motion picture soundtracks.  My dad made me play a musical instrument when I was in elementary school and junior high.  Plus while my friends parents were listening to rock from the 60’s or 70’s disco music, my dad raised me on the big band era music and he had every album from the Boston Pops.  And being a child that loves Star Wars and Indiana Jones, its hard to like those movies and not think about the music by John Williams.  Well for me the soundtracks in all three Batman movies, created by Hans Zimmer, are the next best thing to anything Williams has done.  Not better, and not close, but no one else is close.  But for me, the next in line is this Batman music.  Especially in The Dark Knight, the music provides a sense of foreboding, sadness, melancholy, and hope.  The music that is played at the end of the movie when Batman has taken the blame for all of Harvey’s acts and we are hearing Commissioner Gordon’s speech gives me chills every time.  In fact there are times if I am in the right mood, and I don’t know what that mood is, my eyes will start to water.  Mind you I am not crying because that isn’t manly but I come close.

This is my favorite super hero film.  I don’t see anything surpassing it anytime soon but then again I never imagined what Heath Ledger could do for The Joker.  Now I will get to see what Ben Affleck does for Batman in Batman v Superman and what Jared Leto does for the Joker in Suicide Squad.  Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.

Honorable Mentions in no particular order

The Man of Steel –

Again I feel like I am in the minority in this one because I have seen other people talk negative about the film as a whole.  My review mentions how much people did not like Henry Cavill’s performance.  I liked it all.  I thought the tone was right in going a different direction than the Christopher Reeve era Superman films.  I liked the sense of “realism” in the film in that bad things will happen and while he gives us hope, Superman can keep everyone safe.  I am a big fan of the music as well.  Not a lot of humor in the film which is a little unfortunate but I can live with it.  My review for it is here.

 

Ant-Man

This movie for me is Iron Man light.  The plot in Ant-Man is virtually the same as Iron Man just switch out ex-con for playboy billionaire.   For me this movie is successful for the same reason Iron Man is successful and that is the lead actor in this film, Paul Rudd, is wonderful.   I like the concept of a tiny man kicking ass which is a switch because my childhood is filled with me watching movies of huge men kicking much ass in films.  As I mentioned in the review which you can see here, I wasn’t a fan of the female lead in the film Evangeline Lily and in the review I said that I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it and now I think I have figured it out and it’s going to make me sound like an asshole.  Here it is: her hairstyle in this film is not attractive to her face.  She needs long hair.  Not long like elf long in The Hobbit films but more shoulder length.  The cut she had for Ant Man just didn’t work for me.  Sorry ladies.  But I still love this film and it could have easily been my number five choice but that would be repetitive.

 

Iron Man 2

Speaking of repetitive here is Iron Man 2 in my Honorable Mentions list so that would be two of the three Iron Man movies and Ant-Man i.e. Iron Man Light that are 10 of my favorite super hero movies.  I won’t apologize for this but since I will need your forgiveness later you can say what you will about my having Iron Man 2 here.  I liked this film so very much because they took the Tony Stark character to the next level.  I liked how the biggest villain in this film was probably himself dealing with the fact that he couldn’t solve the problem of his machine that was killing him and keeping him alive.  As I said in the review, which is here, I also thought that Sam Rockwell was incredible as the very douchebag like Justin Hammer.  I also mention that I wasn’t a big fan of the character Whiplash played by the one handsome and now battered Mickey Rourke.  It just was an annoying character and I could barely understand his Russian but that’s because I can barely understand his English.  Boxing is more brutal than football for head injuries but where is the outrage?  Anyway, I also like Iron Man 2 because much like Captain America:  Winter Soldier this movie is a mini Avengers film in that we get to see two more super heroes other than Iron Man, War Machine, and the introduction of Black Widow who is played by ultra-hot Scarlet Johansson.  Ill just leave this here:

So yeah…Iron Man 2 awesome and could be number 5 but I went with Batman Begins instead. Now as you move on to the next Honorable Mention please give me the forgiveness I asked you to not give me for this film.

 

Green Lantern

I liked this film.  I am not going to apologize for it but I still want your forgiveness.  As I said in my review which is here, I thought this film was the best way to set up the lore of the Green Lantern Corp.  It’s an intergalactic police force you are going to need special effects to do a movie about them.  Now it doesn’t make my top 5 because the villains are either poorly chosen, parallax, or poorly portrayed, Hector Hammond.    In order to save the movie from the necessity of giving the background and history of the Corp, the producers should have made Hal Jordan, Green Lantern, go against his biggest enemy first, Sinestro.   Instead they gambled that this film would do well and they could make a second Green Lantern film and have Sinestro as the villain but that didn’t happen.  This film ended up being the last non DC Universe film to be made.  The success of Man of Steel gave the owners of the DC Comics movies the idea to use that as the starting point of the DC Movie Universe.  I understand why they did but because of that we won’t get a Green Lantern film for at least another 4 years and an appearance from a Green Lantern until the proposed Justice League 2 and that may even be John Stewart and not Hal Jordan.  That would annoy me because Hal Jordan is the only Green Lantern.  I mean he isn’t but it’s like fans of Captain America will say Steve Rogers is Captain America and not his replacement.  You can’t replace the defining character of the super hero and expect fans to be happy.  Every time DC has replaced Hal Jordan in its comic book of Green Lantern they book does poorly.  So they have to have Hal Jordan as Green Lantern.  I am getting off track because if you couldn’t tell, Green Lantern is my favorite comic book character.  I like him more than Iron Man and even more than Batman.  This is why this film is in the Honorable Mention list even though the film itself doesn’t really deserve it.  Deal with it, it’s my list.

 

The Crow

This is my only true out of the box super hero comic book movie.  Unlike my friend Benn whose list, which you can find here, has more than me, I went with the traditional ones for all but this one.  To be honest of all of the Honorable Mentions this one was actually Number 5 at one point.  But when there is a tie I go with the movie I have watched the most so I went with Batman Begins.  Another reason was on a recent visit to Best Buy I found the Blu-Ray of The Crow in the $5 bin and bought it and brought it home only to discover I had already done that some time ago and forgot all about it.  That being said I love this movie.  It’s Deadpool light.  The Crow, which I will do a review for someday soon, is about a man who is murdered along with his girlfriend and his spirit will not rest until he has his revenge on those who have murdered him and his girl.  The crow in the film is the living spirit totem, if you will, for the ghost that is the man who is seeking revenge.  Anyway the film came out in 1994 and the look and feel of the film was beautiful, in a bleak dire sort of way.  I was first shown the film by my Ex-wife who, when we were married, was quite the Goth girl, I say girls because she was 18, and lived the music and style of the film.  Now there is much more to that culture but that’s another conversation.  I will say that it was a fun movie and since I like revenge movies anyway this one was right in my wheel house.  The movie became part of Hollywood lore because the star of the film, Brandon Lee, tragically died during filming when a prop gun used in a scene fired a projectile into Lee killing him.  Brandon was the son of former Karate legend Bruce Lee who also died under mysterious circumstances.  Coincidentally Brandon’s death happened around the time where his fathers’ Bio-pic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, had been released and did well at the box office.  The Hollywood lore being that some think Bruce was killed by Chinese Triad and many other things instead of a reaction to the drugs.  The rumor was that Brandon was killed by the Triad for what his father may or may not have done.  All of this is bogus but made for good copy.  What this has to do with the movie is nothing.  The movie is great and I like it.  The backstory is entertaining.

 

 

 

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batman beginsThank you Warner Brothers for saving the Batman franchise. Now all you need to do is to find all copies of the last Batman movie, a movie we do not speak of, and burn them all, and Joel Shumacher while you’re at it.  Batman Begins is a very entertaining movie that resurrects the franchise and a character that, in my opinion, is the best comic book character for movies.

“Batman Begins” begins in Asia where Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale (Reign of Fire,) is in jail fighting criminals in a rampage, vengeance spree to try and ease the pain of the loss of his parents.  He is introduced to man who wants to save him, Ras Al Ghul, played by Liam Neeson (Kingdom of Heaven,) who teaches Wayne everything about turning revenge into justice, including crossing the line into vigilantism. Wayne refuses and destroys Ras Al Ghul’s temple and heads back to Gotham City to fight the crime boss Carmine Falcone and Dr. Crane a.k.a The Scarecrow.

Director/writer Christopher Nolan and writer David S. Goyer reintroduce a much more brooding and believable Bruce Wayne/Batman character that is much closer to Tim Burton’s vision of the original movies, and Bob Kane, the creator of the comic book.  They brought back the pain that is in the Bruce Wayne character that is not apart of what Joel Schumacher did with his disgraceful Batman attempt at telling the Batman story.  It is a character that is suffering because of not only what has happened to his parents but to what happened to him after his choice of being a vigilante on the right side of the law.  Christian Bale does a supper job of embracing the writing and is a very believable Bruce Wayne.

As beautiful side babes go, I thought Katie Holmes (Phone Booth,) who played Rachel Dawes, was quite acceptable.  There was nothing really to her character, so to fault what she did is silly.  Her character was ho-hum, and there is only so much you can do with that.  I will say that I did not like her final scene after she found out that Bruce is Batman.  She says some stuff about waiting until Gotham no longer needs Batman to love Bruce Wayne.  That’s just plain crap, and annoying writing, but again not the fault of Holmes.  The only thing that is her fault is marrying that spoiled man Tom Cruise, but that is for another story.

I was mildly confused by the Ras Al Ghul character only because I thought he was Asian and so in the beginning when he was played by Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai,) I was totally on board.  But when it turned out to be Liam Neeson I was somewhat disappointed but Neeson is so awesome I ended up being ok with it.  Plus I thought he was a good guy, vengeful, but good guy.  I also loved The Scarecrow/Dr. Crane character played by Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later.)  He was a nice level of creepy in and out of costume plus tt was nice to see a new villain in the Batman movie world.  Hell to be honest I loved all the supporting characters from Gary Oldman (Lost in Space,) as Detective James Gordon, and Michael Caine (A Bridge Too Far,) as Alfred, and a character I am unfamiliar with in the Batman world Lucius Fox played by the venerable Morgan Freeman (Bruce Almighty.)  I just loved the cast and the film

I enjoyed this movie and am glad to see the franchise start anew.  I can’t wait to see the sequel, especially if they use Mark Hamill as The Joker.  It is just good that they re-started this great character and brought the franchise back to life.

****Update:  This is an old review that I am uploading to the blog****

 

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“Dreamcatcher” is a movie based on a Stephen King story. So, right away way we know it is going to take place in either in Maine or Colorado. This time it is in Maine, and it’s a story about four friends who meet up in the woods and are forced to deal with an extraterrestrial wanting to take over the world.

As unoriginal as that sounds, the screenplay is just as unoriginal. William Goldman (All the President’s Men, General’s Daughter) and also director Lawrence Kasden (Wyatt Earp, Mumford) do nothing to help an unimaginative story and do not help a good cast with any of the dialogue.

I was going to go into details about the how and the why this movie sucks, but I realized that it isn’t worth it. Do you want to know why this movie sucks? Humans and animals are infected with a virus causing them to grow an alien inside their bodies. Instead of bursting out of the heart, or something cool like in the “Alien” movies or numerous “X-files” TV shows, Stephen King does something original.

The aliens come busting out their ass. That’s right. You become infected. You have lots of gas. You blow an o-ring when the alien comes out, and you die. Wow. What will Stephen King think of next? This movie sucks even though there are lots of good actors like Morgan Freeman (Shawshank Redemption), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), Jason Lee (Chasing Amy) and Thomas Jane (The Punisher). However, it is obvious that these fine men wanted a paycheck, because I can’t imagine any of them thought the script was good.

If you see this, you will have wasted two hours of your life. I did.

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dark knightThe words great performance and Heath Ledger I thought would never come out of my mouth. But after watching him in this film, he truly turned in one of those performances of a lifetime that is greatly unique and quite possibly the best that anyone has ever performed on the screen. While his untimely death is unfortunate, this role will surely live on for as long as there are movies to watch and people to enjoy them.

Batman, played by Christian Bale (3:10 to Yuma,) and Commissioner Gordon, played by Gary Oldman (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,) join forces with new Gotham D. A. Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart (The Black Dahlia,) to fight crime and a particularly menacing and mysterious bank robber known only as the Joker, played by Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain.) As the Joker gets more devious and his attacks more elaborate, it becomes clear that Batman must not only face the evil that is the Joker but the dark side that is in himself in order to slowdown and stop the man who wishes to destroy him.

The movie begins and ends with Heath Ledger. He was quite simply amazing. He had every detail of his acting down in terms of voice, movement, look, and made this comic book villain very, very, real. There were several instances where it was the minute detail of his performance that made him so real and believable. Two that stand out the most was when he was walking out of the hospital in a nurses uniform and he was walking in a sadistic, dainty way moving his fingers, and then grabbing the trigger of the bomb and fumbling with it trying to push it in, and doing it several times, looking at it in a peculiar, almost cute, insane way as it didn’t work initially. The other scene is when he is driving the police car away from the prison during a Batman voice-over. He had this look of freedom, and joy, that is indescribable but both scary and comforting all at once. He didn’t say a word but his face said a thousand. The scene with the Joker when he slowly convinces a disfigured Harvey Dent to become Two-Face is equally as powerful. To be honest, I don’t know a scene in which he wasn’t powerful in his role. I truly cannot compare another character performance to Ledger’s.

The rest of the cast almost pale’s in comparison. Both Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine seem to phone in their performances. Maggie Gyllenhaal was dreadful every time she was speaking and actually made me miss Katie Holmes. Aaron Eckhart did not understand the character of Harvey Dent, even a reinvented one, and was disappointing in the movie. Perhaps most disappointing was Christian Bale. I thought he was the star of Batman Begins and in this one he seriously lost his karma, or aura, or whatever you want to call it. His Batman “voice” was an annoying whispering scream that bordered on ludicrous. As Bruce Wayne, he seemed to forget that he is a womanizing philanthroper who shouldn’t be running around holding a torch for a woman that rejects him because she can’t handle his alter ego. Just not what I expected from him this time around.

The story was very well conceived in every aspect regarding the Joker. No details were given about whom he was, why he became that way and didn’t offer any as the time went by in the movie. He was unknown murder with a hatred for Batman, and left me wondering, happily, whom he was and why he was this way. No explanation, no reasoning, almost pure evil, a Joy to watch. To Ledger’s credit, he embraced the writing and definitely made it his own character. The director could have shortened the movie, as long as he didn’t cut out any of the Joker scenes. But when The Joker wasn’t in the scene, the movie felt long.

I loved this movie. It isn’t the best movie I have seen this year and shouldn’t be nominated for such when it comes Oscar time. But, Ledger should get every award possible between now and then because he truly made a mark in cinema that will not go away in my lifetime.

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Very rarely do movies make me stop and think about things, or make me associate its events with my own personal life. In fact, Benn will tell you most of the movies in my movie collection don’t require thinking at all. I suppose he would be talking about my “Naked Gun” collection, my Arnold Swarzenegger library or my Ace Ventura films. Which brings me to Jim Carrey. I fully believe, within the next 10 years, we will be speaking of Carrey like we speak of Robin Williams. I think he did an exceptional job in this movie, which I like a lot. However, that may be since it hit me on a personal level.

Carrey (The Majestic) stars as Bruce Nolan, reporter for a TV station in Buffalo, NY, who is skipped over for the anchor position for an ass-kisser named Evan played by Steve Carell (The 40 Year Old Virgin.) He learns of this while about to give a live remote report from Niagara Falls and proceeds to go ballistic on the air. He loses his job, obviously, and blames God for all his problems. This causes an argument between him and his girlfriend Grace, played by the ever so beautiful Jennifer Aniston (TV’s Friends).

Well, God, played by one of my favorite actors Morgan Freeman (Shawshank Redemption), gets tired of Bruce blaming him for everything. As a result, he gives Bruce his powers for a time. So, Bruce gets God’s powers and hilarity ensues. However, there is also heartache, for Bruce is not aware of the effect changes he makes have on other people. You will know what I mean when you watch it.

The biggest challenge comes when Grace finds Bruce in the arms of another woman at a party thrown by the station manager. Grace leaves Bruce and moves out and sends her sister over to collect her things. Here Bruce finds out that Grace prays to God every night. So, Bruce goes to the computer–you will see why in the movie, sees Grace starting to pray, and since he is God, goes to where she is and watches, listening to her prayer from outside her window. This is the scene that struck a nerve in me. What Grace prays for is surprising for a male, and probably all to real for women. I wont tell you what she prays for, because you need to see the movie if you haven’t.

The only problem I have with the movie being–I mean a small only, the ending is too Hollywood. Reality would not allow the story to end this way, which is unfortunate for all of us guys who have f**ked up with their girl, hoping for another chance. The acting is great, especially by Freeman and Carey. The writing is believable, and director Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Patch Adams) does another wonderful job. Watch this movie. Its great, funny and a lesson can be learned if you are paying attention. I learned one, and I thought I knew everything.

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I am so confused after watching this movie. This is a movie about a con job, yet everybody gets conned. Everybody wins, and the only person to get the money is the guy who was conned the most. This movie sucks, yet I want people to see it. Maybe they can explain it to me.

“The Big Bounce” is a remake of a 1969 movie, same name, based on a book by Elmore Leonard. The modern version takes place in Hawaii where small time crook Jack Ryan, played by Owen Wilson (Starsky and Hutch), is fired by the foreman of a construction company that is building a hotel on sacred native islander ground. Jack is thrown in jail after breaking the jaw of said foreman and is released by police on the word of a judge, and fellow hotel owner, Walter Crews, played by Morgan Freeman (Bruce Almighty). He then meets the judge and is offered a job as a handyman at his hotel.

During that time, Jack meets Nancy Hayes, played by Sara Foster (D.E.B.S.), who is the abused girlfriend of Ray Ritchie, played by Gary Sinise (Apollo 13), the owner of the hotel that he was working on when he was fired.  Simple, isn’t it? Well, Sara convinces Jack to steal $250,000 of Ray’s money so they can run off together, living happily ever after. Yet, it turns out he is setting up Jack with the help of Walter and Ray’s wife, Alison, played by Bebe Neuwirth (How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days).

In the end Ray gets killed, Walter and Alison live happily ever after, Nancy is wandering around, alone, and Jack gets all of the money as well as some girl in cabana #9 we don’t even know. You see what I mean?

I can’t understand why any of the actors of talent, Sinise and Freeman, would want to do this movie. They have established themselves, and they don’t need to work on crap like this. I can understand Wilson doing it, because he is the main star and not teaming up with someone. This is also Sara Foster’s first movie after coming over from the modeling world, so I can see why she did it too. However, I am starting to get concerned about Freeman. He seems to be picking the crappiest movies to do lately–this and “Dreamchatcher”, and its scary. He is an Academy Award® nominated actor. He doesn’t need to do this.

I would be remised if I did not mention the director George Armitage and screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez. Armitage directed “Grosse Pointe Blank” in 1997, which I liked, so I am hoping this is a mistake. The directing just didn’t seem to be there. The actors seem to be un enthused, and I really couldn’t wait for the movie to be over. Gutierrez has recently written the screenplay for “Gothika,” and since I have heard good things about it, I assume this is also an anomaly. Characters had no depth. I didn’t care about a single one of them, and the plot wondered without making sense, especially the ending.

I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if IT is the problem. I am guessing the producers did not want to spend a lot of money and left a lot of information out, because this film is a complete waist. The book had two movies made based on it.

This is not a good film, but go ahead a see it and explain it too me. Just watch it when you are sick with a cold or stomach flu. That way, you cant feel any worse.

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