Wednesday, March 11, 2009

TnA 2009 Movie Reviews


2012 - Was this a terrible movie!? Of course it was. Can I recommend this movie to anybody!? Of course I cannot. Unfortunately, it is however as good of a terrible movie you can see this year. The spectacle, though mostly insulting to my intelligence, is still kind of striking when seen on the big screen. The connections between the characters could actually carry some weight if they weren’t so buried, but Emmerich decided to show shit blowing up for 3 hours, which believe it or not, can be a little fhaking boring. Just as you start to think that the movie will turn into something decent, it ends up lasting an extra hour, and methodically starts to sell out and drag on. The end of the world wouldn't be all that bad, as long as this movie would end with it.

9 - There is something brilliant in this movie, there definitely is, I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's simply the raw talent and hypnotizing imagination of Shane Acker, which while on display, still feel like they require honing. In this visually stunning movie, the action scenes are some of the most creative you will ever see, and the creatures can stand up to any I've watched this year. But as awesome as they all look, the magic of storytelling is just not there and as a result the connection to the characters is missing. I wish I could have cared more for those zipped-up potato sacks. On a side note, it was the first time I purchased the moving DBOX seats to watch this movie, and while there is some appeal to the vibrations, I mostly just found it harder to hold in my popcorn farts.

500 Days of Summer – Finally... Finally a movie with some balls that doesn't hide away from reality and matters of the heart as they actually happen. This film skillfully gives us a bit of quirky reality, amidst all of the blockbuster bullshit that's lately been piled into theatres. While not a classic romantic comedy, it does provide some laugh out loud moments, as well as the two lead characters that are authentic and adorable. Everyone that's ever loved can associate with some part of the witty script, which is enhanced by the performances that are never over the top despite the out of the box storytelling. A real gem, and unquestionably one of the best films of the summer.

Adventureland - Was highly recommended by many of our friends, so we gave it a looksy. A cute movie about a shaggy teeny-bopper that chases after a girl, who’s all confused, so this other girl comes into play, and then there is this other guy.... oh who fhaken cares.... Though it is billed as a comedy, don’t expect to laugh too much here; this movie is more about sweetness than it is about the chuckles. It’s a good rental, and probably a good date movie that will remind you of the pains of being a teenager. Sigh.

Angels and Demons – I am a big fan of religious conspiracies, and churchy symbols being plastered all over a movie screen. This is why I was pretty excited to see this film, but was unfortunately given a heavy dose of “enh”. The movie is well acted and excellent direction makes you feel like you are in the middle of the Vatican for the entire drama as it unfolds. There are also some cool action sequences, however all this is simply not enough to off-set the drawn out beginning, and the unnecessary twist at the climax. There is nothing new or innovative that happens here, and though not every movie needs to break new ground, this movie gives nothing to get more than an “all right” rating.

AVATAR - I didn't want to write an Avatar review before I saw it at least twice. After a year of anticipation and expectation, the initial opinion could be foggy and clouded by the many articles, blogs and opinions written on the subject, and this movie deserved a clear point of view. Well, now that I've seen it three times, I can finally talk about the matter at hand and give you my purest review.

Let me be perfectly clear about something right from the start. Watching this movie in IMAX 3D is the most exciting thrill-ride I have ever been a part of at the cinema - PERIOD. I remember being awe struck by Star Wars, but nothing has ever been this immersing in the past. The first 45 minutes of this movie literally transport you to Pandora, a planet created by Cameron where the story takes place. As I had the privilege to see Avatar multiple times, I managed to peel my eyes off the screen, and watched for a few seconds the people around me staring at the movie with their jaws literally dropped to the floor. The audience truly participates in the adventure, and whether you think it's an incredible one or not, you don't have a choice but to be physically wrapped up in the epic tale.

So let's talk a little more about the story then. It is a simple one no doubt, some may say even a little too simple, however there a hidden diamonds waiting to be found throughout. There is a spiritual teaching that's very evident, and while it may not start a religious movement, it is clearly there and gives the film purpose. References to American politics are everywhere, so even if there are cheesy lines of patriotism, Cameron at the very least tried to give this thing some meaning, and in many cases he succeeded.

But it all goes somehow beyond that. Each time I saw the movie, I enjoyed it more and felt increasingly satisfied, and that isn't supposed to happen with a simplistic theme. Almost subliminally the characters, the forrest and the creatures get into your heart, and you find yourself inexplicably daydreaming about this distant world. Cameron has created a universe that feels real, and has single handedly brought the crowds back to the theatres. Pirated copies of this movie won't be downloaded, because the experience is on the big screen with the all engulfing 3D. You will be stunned, and you will want to watch it more than once. It is a joy to have seen it, and I can't wait to see it again......

Bruno - Seriously Sacha? That's what you gave us!? After Borat, which was a revolution, Cohen came up with this gutless effort of a movie, that didn't change as much as the basic premise from its predecessor... A guy accompanied by his sidekick goes to America to make it big... sound like your other movie much? Because the film lacks any jokes, Cohen continuously flashes up cocks and gay sex, to distract us from the fact that we're not laughing. Shocking, outrageous and disturbing without a point, this movie is everything but funny or fresh. Give me a break...

Disney’s A Christmas Carol – I won’t hide it, we saw this show at midnight, and I was too tired to stay awake for the whole thing, even if the movie is only a brief 86 minutes long. During my conscious state however, I was quite a keen observer and here is what I noticed. For starters, umm... the movie is boring! British accents piss me off to begin with, so at least talk about something interesting. Secondly, if you saw any of the Avatar clips, you won’t even be that impressed with the CGI. Not even Scrooge can compare to the graphics of the Na’vi, let alone the rest of the Christmas Carol cast, who look like flesh coloured gummy bears. Moments of brilliance, like the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Past, are far too few, and far too fleeting, and in the end they don’t add up to much. Jim Carrey is a virtuoso, and his performance here is downright legendary; it is criminal that it gets lost in a mess.

Coco avant Chanel – Because she’s not from around here, I often forget the kind of remarkable talent Audrey Tautou really is. Rest assured she more than reminded me of her abilities in this sweetly engaging French film. This is a female empowering movie, about a woman that didn’t take shit from anybody, and built an empire in a society that saw women as objects and possessions. A truly inspiring story subtly shows how Coco became the breakthrough designer, as it takes you through her “origins” journey rather than her glory days at the top. Only fearlessness and confidence can bring you to where she ended up, and Tautou sublimely embodies Coco and shows us how it's done.

Coraline - If you are as excited about Avatar as we are, or can't wait to see Disney's Christmas Carol, then Coraline is a good 3D warm-up. The 3D properly enriches the story; clearly the director paid special attention to this. This is a fun movie experience, though the characters and the settings are a little creepy. Just make sure you talk to your kids and let them know you love them, before you put those 3D goggles on their little noses.

Crank 2: High Voltage - "Just juice me.... Aaaaaaaagh!! Aaaaaagh!!!"

Dead Snow – Before the pansy vampires turn the world upside down with New Moon, the Zombies are enjoying a nice renaissance period. Ok, it’s hard to take any movie seriously when the actors are freakin speaking Finnish, and if you add Nazi Zombies to the mix, you might start to wonder why the fhak you are watching this film. That said there are moments of pure fright in this low budget gem, blended with some dry laugh out loud humour. Though the whole thing does feel a little bit like a circus act, the entertainment value and bang for the buck are as high as one can hope for. Just remember, don’t get bitten!

District 9 - From the opening frame I knew I was watching something magical, as I felt myself magnetically sucked into the movie. Although clearly a sci-fi, this film brings so many layers that you simply forget you are watching aliens, and you only end up caring for the characters and their story. And believe me, you cannot imagine, predict or assume anything that will happen next, as the movie takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime journey. There is something for the nerd, as much as there is for a marine, romantic or a scientist in this glorious piece of work. Not a single moment is wasted, as each scene seems to be an unforgettable one. You will witness Wikus van de Merwe instantly become one of sci-fi's classic characters. Run, don't walk to go see this one.

Drag me to Hell - For any fan of the horror genre, this is a gem. Despite the PG-13 rating, Sam Raimi manages to keep the film suspenseful, and though there are several opportunities for the movie to sell out, it never wavers. That douchebag from the Mac commercials does play the lead's boyfriend, so I kept looking for the fat PC guy with glasses to promote Vista or something, though I did enjoy the rest of the perfectly chosen cast. Some parts turn out to be more funny than scary, but I just love the interactive experience of watching a horror film, and this one had me screaming, mocking and swearing at the screen.

Dogtooth (TIFF) – Greek OK! An interesting little movie from Greece tells a story of a father that thinks he knows what’s best for his children, as every other parent normally does. Unfortunately this guy is a little screwed in the head and has had them imprisoned on his estate since they were born. Umm.... wtf is right!! Despite hiding and teaching them not to know the outside world, stories from beyond the property fence find their way through, and soon start to change the dynamic on the inside. Disturbing but surprisingly funny, this movie certainly leaves an impression.

Duplicity - There is something to say about star power; Clive Owen and Julia Roberts certainly bring it. That said, Duplicity is more than that; it's filled with unexpected plot twists, clever flashbacks, sexy style and it has plenty of laughs too. If you get tired of watching Julia and her awkward walk, Giamatti and Wilkinson bring their best in supporting roles. Don't trust those reviews that talk about a complicated script. If you don't "get it", you should think about upgrading your education. This is a fun movie.

Earth (DVD) – Rip-off and disappointment. I don’t know how else to put it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the footage is brilliant, but let’s step back a couple of years and revisit the brilliant BBC series Planet Earth. That was one of the most emotional pieces of film-making I have ever seen. It is one of my dearest series, as it holds some of the best animal footage ever displayed on screen. Now imagine having that butchered, clipped, and sucking the life out of it. Disney basically cut footage directly from the series and tried to make it original. Add to that the voice of James Earl Jones that is not as booming as it once was, and you have a sad comparison to the far superior original.

Extract - I never saw Mike Judge's "legendary" Office Space, but whenever people quote lines from it, I'm always like... "Hmm, maybe it's funny when you see it". Well, don't bother seeing Extract, because if you hear lines from this movie, you can rest assured that nothing is lost from seeing it on the silver screen. I'm not sure where this lame duck was supposed to fly to, but other than a dope smoking sequence they showed you in the preview, there is really nothing to see here. Oh so very bland.

Fantastic Mr. Fox - American cinema is alive and well. This is one movie that goes so far beyond the effects of stop motion animation, that you literally forget you are watching puppets. The creativity is at an absolute peak, as each scene shows you something you haven't seen before. The story is absolutely wonderful and engaging, and this movie should effortlessly get into the hearts of both the young and adult audiences. The laughs are plentiful, but none come at the expense of the powerful messages the movie wants to convey. There are many reasons to see this movie, and the satisfaction you will feel at the conclusion, should be at the top of that list.

Fast and Furious (DVD) - Oh boy, this film simply oozes with fromage! Ridiculous lines delivered with such gusto, only Vin Diesel could pull them off. Speaking of the 'bald eagle', it was the first time I noticed his uncanny resemblance to Adam Sandler, and I half expected him to pull out a guitar and start singing in that annoying voice. On the other hand, this is the first DVD movie I'm reviewing this year, and it is a film that knows where it belongs. Nothing in there is meant to be taken too seriously, so don't look for a golden statue ffs! It's literally just a mindless fun trip, so much so, that even though I didn't see the first three installments, I still understood what was going on... Can you imagine!?

The Final Destination - Even though this is a TnA movie, there is no sugar coating it. The Final Destination is a piece of shit. Not even seeing my first pair of boobies in 3-D could save this horror (and I don't mean the genre). Yeah, there are gory deaths, and the blood comes splattering at you off the screen, but who cares!? Sure it was pretty neat to see live action 3-D, and the CGI in the credits was kinda cool, but the lack of script and acting chops is just so freaking hard to stomach - even for this obvious B-movie. And by B, I mean C...

Funny People - The only reason why Sandler is not my most hated actor in Hollywood is because Seth Rogen is around. I don't know, I just never thought they were very funny... That is... Until Funny People. Not only did I laugh, I actually thought both guys put on world class performances, and it will be criminal if Sandler's work doesn't get noticed. The movie is painfully charming, and though it does feel long near the end, there are moments of the brightest shine in here. Apatow does turn to a lot of swearing to get the laughs, but the jokes between the fellas balance it all out! The blond chick they drag around to every movie kinda gets on my nerves, but each of the other characters will surprise you. It's a damn good one!

G.I.Joe - Omg! The acting! The lines! The situations... It's all a big joke. A G.I. fhaken Joke! Channing Tatum - stop your pouting!! After evey line you deliver, stop pouting! And stop talking like you grew up in the ghetto... You're a fhaken DANCER! You and the rest of 'em are nothing but a collection of B-actors in a ridiculous movie... There's just one thing... I kinda enjoyed this shit. There was a flow to the movie and they didn't bore me with trying to explain a plot that cannot be explained. In fact they didn't talk too much at all. They just blasted, jumped, flew and drove their way through this nonsense and somehow managed to entertain. Oh I'm dumber after seeing this, but at least I had fun.

The Hangover - TnA picked The Hangover in the supplemental draft, but hopes for this movie delivering at the box office were extremely high. Nevertheless, when I finally sat down in front of the silver screen, I forgot all about the competition and just wanted to laugh... And laugh I did... Often! The jokes do not stop pouring in, and I even missed many of them because of a chuckling audience. The mood between the four friends at a Vegas bachelor party is downright viral and you seamlessly become a part of their "wolf-pack". (Un)fortunately they loose the groom-to-be, and treat the viewer to solving a 'great' mystery of where he is. More and more wacky characters appear, and the only predictable thing is the inevitable hilarity. Right down to the funniest closing credits of all time. When I walked out of the theatre, I felt like I just hung out with my best buddies, and now I can't wait to go hang out with them again!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - All right, so maybe I don't really like the Harry Potter movies. Something about bad child actors and shitty British humour, I don't know... Either way, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The trailer promised a dark, action packed movie, but instead the film took forever to get going. Radcliffe and his twichiness started to annoy me after about 15 minutes, and I braced for another summer disapointment. The movie eventually sorts itself out, but since it is so freaking long, that takes nearly two full hours to happen. All together not enough Voldemort, and too much flavourless tweeny romance. Yawn.

Hotel for Dogs - Kids and dogs. This is not a legendary movie by any means, but if you're looking for cuteness and giggles with your little ones, this film will fit the bill. The dogs in this one don't talk, nor can you hear what they are thinking, but they still perform some cute little tricks. The kids sitting beside us in the theatre were both laughing and crying, and even clapped after the somewhat predictable ending. TnA is enjoying the $70 mil that this "puppy" pulled in.

The Hurt Locker - Intensity at its finest. This movie will make you pee your pants. I know, because I peed mine... Umm... Anyway... The intensity doesn't just come in wire clipping scenes; there are numerous other situations that will cause shortness of breath. And they don't let you off the hook - trouble in this movie comes in bunches! There are a few pleasant cameos spread throughout, but the performances of the three leads are what really sets this movie apart. You will really start caring for these young guys and feel for what they are going through. The film at times did feel like a collection of short movies, but this is one flick that you shouldn't miss.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Fox really needed to come up big with this one, and that is exactly what they did. Though very different from its rival Up, IA3 is an excellent movie for the younger audience, and is filled with physical humor, silly gags and characters you will easily fall in love with. The 3D is not the main story here, however some of the visuals are simply stunning. The adorable "herd" goes on a journey to save their own Sid the sloth, who accidentally stumbled upon a world of dinosaurs. Family, friendship, bravery and vulnerability are put to the test as our pals risk their lives to reunite with their buddy. The new characters that join them fill out the story, and help each of our heros grow in their own way. Adults should enjoy this as much as the little ones; we have a great gift here for the long weekend.

Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Oh no no, don’t get me wrong, I had trouble following what the fhak was going on in this movie. I wasn’t bored, I just struggled to keep up with who is who, and why they are there, and "who is this chick again.......??" It wasn’t until later when I started to study the movie, replaying the scenes and remembering the characters that I could sink my teeth into the metaphors and get my own interpretation of the fine art that was playing on the screen. This ain’t a main stream movie by any stretch, and it’s nowhere near the visual spectacle of Avatar, but it is different, and it will please the poet within.

Inglorious Basterds - Fresh off releasing his top 20 films since he became a film maker, Tarantino brings us something he calls "his masterpiece". And one helluva movie it is! There is nobody that can take unknown faces and make them into legitimate actors like Quentin can, so in Basterds he does it again with at least three performances worthy of major awards. Using his signature virtuoso dialogue, he gives us a violent story of WWII fiction, and continues the late summer of freshness at the cinema. A long movie that doesn't feel like it at all, featuring Brad Pitt acting like a r'tard, this is an accessible collector's piece, which you know was created by a master. Exquisite.

The International - This movie is like that girl you had to break up with for no reason. She was great, with a good sense of humour and an eye for fashion; you had fun together, and yet... Something was still missing. The performances in this film are great, the plot is complex, though relatively easy to follow; there is even a near-classic shootout scene! But somehow... in spite of everything, the movie misses the opportunity to steal your heart.

I love you man (DVD) - I was told to be on the lookout for gut-splitting hilarity, but I think the unusually flakey characters with kind of a creepy bromance, just never delivered them. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad movie, but there just wasn't enough of the funny. The DVD offered a lengthy gag reel, which was definitely where I chuckled the most, though the rest of the film did have its share of awkward sweetness. The fact that the characters were Rush fans also pissed me off, coz to say it plainly, those guys are douches. Yeah, it's worth watching this movie, as long as you don't look for any home run swings.

Jennifer’s Body (TIFF) – All right, so maybe Megan Fox is not Meryl Streep when it comes to acting chops, but give me a fhaking break you pathetic hater film critics – This movie is a fun, light hearted ride, which still manages to show a great teenage 'friendship' underneath all the stuff happening on the surface. I’m not sure why such a backlash amongst the movie “experts”; the audience at the festival laughed out loud and provided the creators with a triple applause at the conclusion. A girl heroine, a girl villain, girl script and a girl director pay great homage to the horrors that inspired them, and give us something that’s not quite like any other film in the genre. You go girls!

Julie and Julia - Yep, I was told to go see more chick flicks, so here's one that seemed 'digestible'. Turns out that it was quite delicious actually. For any lover of food, do not go see this one on an empty stomach, because you won't get through it easily. I'm still salivating after watching the intertwining stories of the two lady cooks, that were not only connected by their love of food, but also had sweetheart husbands that prove that behind every great woman, there is a great man! All you feminists, stick that in your pipe and smoke it. I'm not sure how much better Meryl Streep can get, but Amy Adams has some serious skillz in her own right. Way to go girls, I'll look for you in March.

Knowing Yes, of course Nicholas Cage is tough to watch, and this movie drags on in many parts; what else did you expect!? On the other hand, this is a mystery sci-fi movie that doesn’t entirely miss the mark. The methodical storytelling has direction, and despite the acting that's often laughable, I was interested to see where it will all end up. The sci-fi aspect does bother some people, as do Cage’s hair plugs, but if you can suspend disbelief, this movie delivers a decent time at the cinema.

Last house on the left (DVD) – It’s hard for me to classify this movie as a horror. I mean some bad people do terrorize some seemingly good people, but I didn’t have a sense that this was a fright-night kind of a movie. Nevertheless, the film is actually not bad. The suspense is always there, as is the unpredictability. Some scenes are difficult to watch, but the whole thing does eventually come to an “eye-popping” ending!

Management (DVD) – It’s too bad that this movie couldn’t escape the pressure to be cheesy, because there was a lot of pleasant surprises along the way. Steve Zahn is so fhaken goofy, but Aniston seems to balance the whole act somehow that it all mysteriously ends up working (kind of). In spite of itself, the movie is sorta sweet. In the midst of being over the top in so many situations, it stays grounded in the relationships the characters forge, and though it is far from being hilarious, it did make me smile. In the end however, the movie is neither here nor there, so a coin toss is a good way to decide whether you should see it or not.

Monsters vs. Aliens - The main reason we saw this movie was to catch the trailer for Ice Age 3D, but it was unfortunately not shown in IMAX. MvsA on the other hand turned out to be a perfect distraction for an afternoon, as it delivered high quality 3D. The movie itself still felt like it was created to show off technology rather than to tell a good story, despite the fact that there were a few entertaining sequences throughout; the little brats sitting around us seemed to be having fun. The real ending to the experience was a sad one however. We were forced to return the high tech 3D glasses, or the alarm would have sounded at the theatre exit. :(

Moon – Ok... for a low budget indy movie with only 1 actor, about a guy who’s stuck alone on the fhaken moon, this wasn’t bad at all. Basically the dude was sent into space on a mining operation, and when his 3 year contract is about to expire, some very interesting shit starts to go down. BTW... Sam Rockwell brings it! This couldn’t have been a simple movie to perform in and he really shows off his skills as a multi faceted actor. The exact opposite of all the blockbusters that are playing in the theatres right now, if you're feeling like something a little "out there", you might enjoy this piece.

Ninja Assassin - I grew up absolutely obsessed with Ninjas and even had their hand meditation down pat as a little kid. Back in the day "American Ninja" managed to capture the essence of these masked killers, and showcased the training, martial arts and weapons they used in combat. Ninja Assassin, missed the boat on all of these, and also missed on so many other levels as well. You can barely make out who's who in the fight scenes, so you can't even cheer for the hero, though the scenes inevitably slow down to show off the gore. If the combat scenes don't show any emotion, the actors portray even less of it. This is a weak piece of junk.

Obsessed – While you never really find out what Idris Elba’s character does for a living in this movie, he must be very important because he reads a folded newspaper in every scene. No wonder the blondie becomes obsessed with him! There’s just one thing... His wife will have none of it, so the movie slowly but purposefully builds to the final cat-fight at the end. I’m not sure it’s all worth it, but Beyonce and Ali scratching and slapping each other for 15 minutes is certainly the perfect “climax”.

Old Dogs - Oh, I've seen worse movies than Old Dogs this year. A lot worse. Truth of the matter is, I actually laughed out loud a bunch of times at the goofy gags they set up in this film. It is a fact that this movie doesn't have the quality that moviegoers should expect when going to the cinema, but the film does manage entertain. Travolta and Williams clearly had fun making this flick, and I had fun watching it.

The Proposal - I gotta tell ya, I was truly freaking shocked that some people in the theatre actually laughed at the continuum of forced jokes in this film. Not even the lovable Betty White could make me care for her character, and this movie became more and more soul-less as the minutes ticked on. Despite the fact I saw the previews, when the big reveal of "we are getting married" was queued up, I thought Sandra Bullock was actually going to announce "I'm his mom" instead. I found myself cheering against the possibility of Ryan Reynolds kissing any of her four chins, but no matter what, I wasn't going to win anything when I sat down to watch this crap.

Public Enemies - "Oh no! Not another slow moving behemoth that will take forever to make a point, while my ass goes numb in this fhaken seat," is what I thought after the first 15 minutes of this movie. But then, after settling in and accepting the pace, I started to see the payoff... Bale and Depp are spellbinding, as are the frequent shootout scenes that rain bullets on the audience. Yes, this film moves awfully slow, but it does tell an interesting story about some old school cops and robbers, and it gets better as it painstakingly rolls along.

Road - I hate to call this a "post apocalyptic" or "end of the world" movie, because we have been bombarded with feces of "2012", "The Day After Tomorrow" and the like over the last few years. You must throw all your opinions of those films out the window, because the Road reinvents the genre with an emotionally powerful story, that will pierce through your heart like a cold spear. Unlike the mentioned, this movie is ALL about human relationships, the instinct of survival and the love of a father for his son in whom he sees the hope for the world and humanity. The gray scenery adds to the heaviness of each situation, but this movie shows you that there is light even if you cannot see the Sun.

Saw VI - Of course I didn't want to see this movie; I HAD to see it, because after sneaking into Amelia and Astroboy I still didn't see the new Avatar trailer. And then... finally, there it was! Wow this is one trailer worth the price of admission, and at 3:30 minutes long, it is a mini movie all on its own! Guaranteed best trailer ever! Anyway, about Saw.. It wasn't afwul. Again there are 6000 characters you have to keep track of, many from previous installments, but at least the "carrusel of death" is the best Jigsaw game since the 1st movie. Hey I guess they tried to have a plot here, so I suppose the fact that it only kind of works is forgivable. In the end though, after so many gems in the horror genre this year, ulimately this tired series brings us nothing new.

A Serious Man - They say that the Cohen brothers are their own genre, and well, A Serious Man can also fit into that category. Right off the bat, it is shot so beautifully, with such absolutely flawless sets, costumes and makeup, that you are simply thrown back into the period and never really bother noticing how incredible they all are. The brothers then present a crumbling and increasingly depressing world of a man, that can't seem to control any aspect of his life, and somehow make you laugh at his disasters! You sinful son of a bitch, how can you laugh at another man's miserable existance!? The maticulous approach of the Cohens can undoubtedly test the audience's patience, but they certainly shake you up with timely major-league comedy.

Sherlock Holmes - One thing this film shares with Avatar, which is stealing Sherlock's Box Office dollars in the theatre next door, is that how well written the story is doesn't really matter. What matters here is the entertainment value, and when Downey and Law bring it, it is through the roof. Each time Sherlock and Watson appear on the screen, I could feel the faces around me light up, and even I had the same expression as when I saw a bare tit for the first time. The film gives you a perfect blend of action and comedy, and when two hours pass, the closing credits come as a surprise. While McAdams in my mind wasn't used to the full extent, Hans Zimer brings the music which makes you forget about any flaws.

State of play (DVD) - Here is a good little flick. I'm not sure why this film was such a bust at the box office, because it sure does deliver on many levels. The script is smart, but not complicated. The acting is superb, and yes this includes Ben Affleck. The thrills and suspense are palpable, as you follow reporters that are trying to uncover a story which if revealed would send ripples through the nation. Any plot holes are covered up with a great flow, as you work with the news team that's trying to connect the dots. An enjoyable rental for sure.

Star Trek - The Imax experience adds so much to any movie, but Star Trek doesn't need much help at all. A perfect blend of sci-fi, nostalgia, action, humour and effects, this movie is exciting in every minute of its runtime. Actors were perfectly chosen for their roles and deliver performances that remind me of the original series. And yet, there is a freshness about every Starship Enterprise crew member as they are thrown into an epic space battle. Geekiness at its finest is very cool; this movie is clearly the best of the year at the time of its release. A must see.

Surrogates – Man, I love Bruce Willis. He is a guy I will go out of my way to see at the movies, and even though Surrogates is a little hollow, he’s still my boy. Now the movie itself has some good ideas, but in the end it’s just a little too predictable, and you are simply spoon-fed a feel-good story that doesn’t really feel all that good. The notion of robots going out into the world instead me in the flesh might make some sense here and there... like going grocery shopping in the rain for an example. But, to try and tell me that my mechanical robot rubbing against some chick's mechanical coochy would feel just as good as actually bangin her... umm... you might be selling, but I’m not buyin! I’d rather pull the pin for a bit....

Taken - A good little movie. After seeing the preview I went to watch this looking for action, and that is what I got. The director wastes no time; the premise is set up quickly and then the fireworks begin. Don't look for Oscars here; of course there are gaping plot holes. This is just a "sit back and enjoy the ride" film. Not sure it's worth $150 mil that it made, though TnA do wish they had this one in our roster.

Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 – Should you in error end up watching this movie, hopefully your experience will be a bit better due to me shitting all over it with this review and thus setting your expectations as low as possible. The movie is pointless. I have no idea why any of the characters do the things they do in this film, unless the whole thing was somehow created only so Denzel’s character can become a hero. And oh boy, they will make you “love” him... feel for him despite all the mistakes he’s made in the past - gag! Some enjoyable, though awfuly random action does happen, and give credit to the actors who do a very good job (including ‘evil’ Travolta). Nevertheless the best thing about this outing was the Old Dogs trailer and a blur-free preview of District 9. Skip this one.

Terminator Salvation – After this movie was hacked up by the critics from early screenings, the only thing that kept my interest in seeing it was the appearance of Sam Worthington opposite Christian Bale. He is after all the leading man in James Cameron’s Avatar, so TnA had to make sure he is capable of leading a film. Kids, let me tell ya, the guy steals every scene he appears in. Avatar just got that much better! Turns out that Terminator Salvation was pretty good in its own right. The Skynet built machines are pretty cool and kinda scary, and I totally dig the homage to the original movies. The action set pieces are intense, and while the movie sells out with a few stinky cheese parts, stop your whining and enjoy the good stuff. Oh yeah... Christian Bale has to stop using his Batman voice when he’s not wearing the mask.

Thirst - Park Chan-Wook is a unique guy and he makes unique movies. With a storytelling style like no other, he again brings us a bloody tale that is equally twisted, as it is sexy. This movie has an amazing range and though it will be too bizarre for many, it is unquestionably one of a kind. The actors are impeccable and perfectly convey emotions that the transformation they go through brings on. Park uses humor, as well as subtle special effects to present what every film maker should strive for; a movie that follows no rules and doesn't sacrifice uniqueness to try and stay cool, despite what the masses may think.

Toad’s Oil (TIFF) – I really wanted to catch a Japanese film at this year’s TIFF, and Toad’s Oil was certainly that. The Japanese movie audiences bring much respect to the theatre, and though this movie didn’t make much sense to me, nearly the entire crowd stayed behind to blind the popular actor-turned-director with their flash photography. I’m sure a lot is lost in translation when it comes to what he was trying to convey with this film, but honestly I didn’t much care to find out what that may be. Some of the imagery was quite cool, and the performances were decent as well, though I personally couldn’t get too far past that, so I caught a 20 minute snooze near the end.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen - In a word, painful! And not just ordinary pain. Watching this movie made me curl into a fetal position and beg the Lord above to throw thunderbolts at the bullshit that was rolling on the screen. "Make this shit stop, oh Lord!" were my exact words I think. What the fhak was this movie about? I wish I could tell you, but I think the most accurate summary is: it was like being lost in a steel factory from hell, watching a bunch of tossing metal on the screen and wasting precious time from your already short life. You will never get nearly 3 hours back if you go see it; herpes must be more enjoyable than this. Simply, this is the worst movie since Wanted, and easily the biggest pile of crap of 2009. A big, steaming pile of crap I stepped into.

Up - I have to say that this is unquestionably the best 3D movie I have seen to date. The story dominates so much, that I easily forgot I was wearing the special glasses. I don't know how Pixar does it, but they again created an endearing movie that doesn't shy away from real human issues. A bird and a talking dog are perfect companions to an old man and his neighbourhood boy-scout, and together they take on a breath-taking adventure. Kinda like Gran Torino with balloons, the story of a budding friendship touches the heart, and it will have you laughing and enjoying yourself from beginning to end.

Up in the Air (TIFF) – There is a moment in watching every great movie, when you realize you are a part of something special. That feeling will hit you about 10 minutes into this film, and it won’t let go. Wonderful performances and infectious chemistry between Clooney, Kendrick and Farminga, are complimented by memorable supporting cameos and a story which is so carefully orchestrated and presented, it will make your heart flutter. It is a tale that you do not simply watch from your seat, but rather participate in, as the movie will bring out emotions we are all too familiar with. Reitman’s previous movies were magical, and yet Up in the Air seems to soar high above them – It is an unforgettable picture that begs to be seen again.

Watchmen - High on the list for TnA going into the draft, the reason we backed out of picking it was due to the legal issues the film had before it opened. Thankfully. Not only is this movie not making enough money, it's actually not that good. The ink-masked Rorschach steals the show, and the girls look hot in their latex, but otherwise the film is drawn out and lacks the intensity and action of X-Men. (unless you count the rape scenes and shootings of pregnant women) The ending is different than the one in the book, though it doesn't further ruin the experience. Kind of worth seeing on IMAX, but certainly not more than once.

Wolverine - Shut the fhak up fan-boys, I am sick of hearing how the characters in this movie are not exactly like they were in the comic book. If you wanna look at your wolf-man in yellow tights, dust off your old comics and go jerk off in the bathroom. Wolverine the movie is just fine. There is a decent back-story of how he came to be, and all those details that Wolverine cannot remember are laid out with good flow and awesome action sequences. Deadpool and Gambit are show stoppers, and the rest of the mutants provide all the necessary thrills. Though not as good as the original X-men movies, and not a classic by any means, this film is good enough to be seen on the big screen.

Zombieland – The afro sporting lead actor kid in this movie gets on my nerves, I won’t lie to you. How he ended up being the poster boy for a “skinny nerd that gets the girl” is beyond me, but there you have it, so get over it. And you totally should, because Zombieland is freaking awesome. There have been a few very imaginative and original films over the last couple of months, but none was as funny as this one. And who doesn’t like Zombie movies? Especially those with celebrity zombie cameos! When it comes to those, my favourite of all time is definitely the jewel of this film. Worth the price of admission all on its own, but far from the only good thing about Zombieland!

Stay tuned for further reviews...


  1. I can't believe I just read all those reviews. And enjoyed them.

  2. district 9 is shit. you are stupid for liking it.