This movie review is going to be harsh, so hold on. I loved Shawn of the Dead. Hot Fuzz was inspired in its way. But Paul is a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. Oh, not if you are a teenage boy. But it is no Galaxy Quest,
Hancock revolves around a super-hero who has fallen from grace in the form of Will Smith’s character. He drinks too much, has some obvious depression problems, has a bad public image (as super-heroes go) and also has issues with amnesia as he can’t seem to remember much about himself or his past, hence the depression.
Jason Bateman plays Ray, Hancock’s public image counselor who also happens to be in marketing and advertising (natch). Quick question – how many times has Jason Bateman played generic corporate placeholder dude? He was also in Up In The Air with George Clooney as a very similar character, only not as clean shaven. He needs to expand his character repertoire a bit…
But I digress…
Things change for Hancock when he has an exchange with Ray’s wife, played by Charlize Theron, who reveals there’s a bit more to her than meets the eye as well. I need to stop there so as not to spoil the story that unfolds.
Hancock is a fun film, with some great effects (I love when he “saves” a beached whale and dishes out some justice to a neighborhood bully). But it is lacking in some areas as some of the acting seems a bit rushed/forced/phoned in and the overall storyline is ok but not mind-blowing. Peter Berg directs and does a decent job but again, not great. Will Smith’s performance in here is pretty good, but his demeanor and delivery seem a bit generic, same with Charlize Theron.
Overall, the film seems to rely on the effects to supplement what could’ve been better by just putting some extra time into honing the writing and performances. It’s still worth a look see so check it out on DVD!
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Up In The Air centers around George Clooney
When I first heard of this film I got instantly excited due to the lineup. Now, I am 41 and watched a lot of action films during the 80
OK, I am not going to warn you again, take your heart medicine and hold on tight because this is violence porn action madness. Bring eyedrops to get the gunpowder smoke out of your eyes. Leave the women and children at home and hunker down in that movie seat and hold on to the armrests. The Expendables starts in real time and stays in real time, from the opening hostage situation to the final battle, with very little in the way of flashbacks or reveries or any such thing. You will enter a world of make-believe, yes, where the gun is (sadly) the conflict resolution tool of choice and the cops never show up no matter how many clips you empty on the street in the city during rush hour.
Despicable Me tells the story of Gru, a criminal mastermind out to get himself back in the spotlight as the ultimate villain. It turns out Gru has some competition in the form of another villain named Vector who
Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror follows in the serial styled footsteps of the movie Creepshow and the TV show Tales from the Crypt (which gets a nod in the theme song) with 3 stories rolled into 1 collection. Each story is tied together with Snoop serving as the devilish host as well as some anime segments in between to fill in some story gaps. The anime is really nicely done by the way, make sure you don’t go for the bathroom break during those segments.
The individual stories themselves are fun and cheesy as you’d expect from a movie like this with a bit of a tongue in cheek attitude not to be taken too seriously. The first story features revolves around an artist seeking revenge on local gang bangers only to fall victim to her own acts in an ironic twist of fate. The next segment involves a group of veterans that is brutally taken advantage of by a ruthless landlord that gets his just desserts. The final installment features a rapper who’s out of control ego ultimately leads to his demise (Kanye West anyone?).
The writing is average with no surprises and the acting is ok overall but downright bad at times. It seems as some of the actors were phoning this one in or just goofing around having a good time. Then again, they’re not trying to do The Exorcist here – this one is purely for the fun of making a horror film – bad acting, cheesy effects, and some corny story lines are all part of the good times. The cheesy effects are especially fun – I mean c’mon, death by falling on a 40oz. malt that drives through the guy’s head! It doesn’t get any cheesier/better than that, right?
There’s some pretty good names in here acting-wise with the talents of: Snoop Dogg, Ernie Hudson, Billy Dee Williams, Jason Alexander, Method Man and Aries Spears (from MAD TV) included among others.
All-in-all, I wouldn’t bend over backwards to see this but if you happen to be up late at night and there’s nothing else on, it’s worth checking out on Showtime.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
I just caught this again recently and wanted to write it up for the blog, so here we go…
Mark Wahlberg plays Izzy, the singer of a local tribute band that covers his favorite band named Steel Dragon. The story is supposed to be roughly based on Judas Priest, who went through a situation similar with their singer (Rob Halford) when he left the band; they filled the vacated slot with a singer from a Judas Priest tribute band. The story of Rock Star follows the same premise.
Once Wahlberg is in the band, the story turns in more of a sex, drugs and rock and roll direction with a behind the scenes view of the women, the tours and the over the top lifestyle so many people have dreamed of through rock and roll. Of course the ultimate destination of this lifestyle doesn’t turn out so well and drama ensues. The relationship between Wahlberg and his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) is put to the test through the process of them dealing with events that are consequence of the formulaic rock star lifestyle.
All-in-all a pretty well told story and entertaining to watch. It’s a bit typical with no surprises but is still worth checking out. The ending is a bit cliche’ but is pulled off well.
The cast does great in their roles and includes Jennifer Aniston as Izzy’s girlfriend, Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail from the Harry Potter films) and the rest of Steel Dragon including: Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreignor), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy, Black Label Society) and Dominic West (300, HBO’s The Wire), the only other actor in the group next to Wahlberg.
The music is a large part of the experience and includes a healthy dose of heavy metal / hard rock some of it even sung by Mark Wahlberg who does a great job with the vocals surprisingly. I say surprisingly because during some of the behind the scenes footage, Wahlberg complains about metal and mentions how much more he’s about hip-hop. Personally I’d take his vocals in Steel Dragon any day over Marky Mark (seriously dude, Marky Mark? Really? Let it go.).
reviewed by Sean McKnight