Saturday, October 18, 2008

Max Payne

I was really looking forward to this film as soon as I saw the preview. I enjoyed playing the game Max Payne which the film is based on. It was an XBOX game about a detective whose family is killed over a new drug.

The film, just like the game is dark and gritty. We find Max Payne in the basement of the police station, working the desk of the cold case unit. After three years he is still looking for his wife's killer.

The story is good, the premise is fantastic. (Hey that's why they made a movie!) But I found the film was definitely lacking something. The writing and acting was sub-par. Mark Wahlberg was underwhelming. The scenes were disjointed and forced. I wanted to like the movie, I really wanted to be on board, but it fell a bit flat. I think Beau Bridges was miscast as well.

The sex scenes were not. Max Payne was not bad-a** enough, and the movie therefore was not up to par. I seem to be on a roll here for Netflix recommendations! I say pass on Max Payne for now.

City of Ember

You are kinda just along for the ride on this movie. Based on a book (children's?) it's the tale of an underground city created by scientists during a nuclear holocaust taking place on the surface. They fill the city with babies and a few guardians that will grow up underground for generations over the next 200 years.

It's illegal for anyone to venture out into the darkness surrounding the city, but as the city's generator begins to fail, and food supplies dwindle, two young kids decide to find an exit from the City of Ember.

It's not a bad tale, and they try hard to create suspense, they try hard to develop the characters, but it was lacking overall in drawing me into the world that they have created. I was constantly aware that I was in a movie theater, just watching a story unfold. I never felt a part of it, never felt drawn in.

I enjoyed the performances by Tim Robbins, Martin Landau (I thought he was dead), and even Bill Murray as the mayor, but it wasn't enough for me to recommend rushing to the theater for this one. Check City of Ember out on video or Netflix!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Body of Lies

If you like watching Russell Crowe take his kids to soccer and look over the top of his glasses for two hours, then you'll love Body of Lies. Actually it wasn't that bad. But they would have had a much better film without Crowe's character. Don't get me wrong, I have huge respect for Russell Crowe and he is an amazing actor. But I feel he was miscast for the part.

Dicaprio did a decent job, making me believe he is a hard core CIA field agent, he almost over sold it. But I thought he did a solid job. The film carries the message that the Iraq War was a bad idea, but it doesn't cram that message down your throat, it's more subtle.

The film seems to lose a little steam toward the end, but it picks back up for the grand finish. There's a little cross-cultureal love story thrown which we could have done without but they needed it for the big finish.

Overall the movie accomplished what it set out to do, but you'd be just as satisfied Netflixing this one at home, check out Body of Lies by putting it in your queue in a few months.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Eagle Eye

Shia LaBeouf has been rolling out the hits lately; Transformers, Indy Jones Four, and now Eagle Eye.

Jerry (LaBeouf) and Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situations, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move. (IMDB)

There's no Oscar material here, but the story and acting is solid enough. It never seems to drag and builds enough suspense to keep it interesting. It's slim pickens if you are movie goer coming off the summer blockbusters.

So if you're in the mood for a decent "popcorn" flick, then there is a Porsche Cayenne waiting for you outside. Get in and drive to the nearest theater. You have 15 minutes. Desertion is not an option.