Source Code Review

Source Code

Not the best movie, but not the worst either.

I wish someone would have told me to leave my analytical thinking at home to fully appreciate “Source Code”. I made the mistake of bringing that with me—you know, so that I could pay attention and make sense of the movie—since this was a serious action drama instead of some silly comedy. Big mistake! It resulted in me not fully enjoying the film and that was a shame. Perhaps if I had gone with the same mindset as I went to see “Battle: Los Angeles” I would have loved it.

So is this a bad movie? Okay, it’s not. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s not a great movie either! And if this is the best movie of the year, as some critics have claimed it to be, then I might as well stay home for the rest of the year and not bother with the cinema at all. Sometimes, I wonder what the hell critics are thinking when they open their big yaps?

The story idea IS interesting, I’ll give them that. I thought it was going to be like “Deja Vu”, it wasn’t, quite. I am sure it was some sort of inspiration for the writer of this film. They took the idea from “Deja Vu”, twisted it and made it “unique”. After seeing the movie, I have no real issues with the concept any more. I do however have issues with how they told it.

I thought they made the movie purposely and needlessly confusing to create drama and tension. I saw right through it from the minute the movie started. Because of this, it made me think that they were hiding something on me, and I was right. The movie was so predictable that I lost interest in it.

However, there were instances where the movie would pull me back in and made me interested in it again. Well, it wasn’t a very high interest; more of a mild curiosity than anything. But that was the oddest characteristic of this film. I felt like a ping pong, or a yo-yo, or something. It was like they purposely were messing with my interest level. They pulled me in and out. I was constantly reevaluating the film; one minute it was a 3 out of 5 the next it was a 4 out of 5.

I guess that’s enough for me to recommend the film. Just don’t make the same mistake as I did. Do not try to analyze it. The film just doesn’t make sense! I’ll default to that T-Mobil commercial, “It makes sense if you don’t think about it.” If you really want to see this movie go right ahead, I guess. I won’t stop you, but I would suggest that you at least wait for the DVD. I’ll give this movie a 3.5 out of 5

Categories: 2011 Movie Review

The Adjustment Bureau Review

“The Adjustment Bureau” was very anticlimactic and soooo slow! The story seemed to move at a glacial pace. It was like they tried to build to something amazing that never happened. I liked the chemistry between Emily and Matt, they both had a really nice presence on camera, but their dialog and interactions were almost on the cheesy side.

I also thought the film contradicted itself a lot and I did not appreciate that. You either have control of people’s lives or you don’t. Pick a concept and stick with it! I thought that was a huge flaw in the writing and it took me right out of the movie.

The only thing that saved this movie was the characters. They were very likable. Even the agents in the Bureau were likable. So it was difficult for me to hate the movie entirely, but if it hadn’t been for them, this movie would be totally shit. I’ll give it a 3.5 and I am being generous.

 

Categories: 2010 Movie Reviews

The Schenectady Curling Club Open Bonspiel 2011

February 8, 2011 2 comments

Starting from left to right: Art Merkley, Liz Lansing, and Lisa Nieradka.

At the beginning of this curling season, I made a promise to myself that I was going to focus my time and attention on another project. I have recently befriended two brilliant storytellers and we decided to put our heads together to make a short film. This is something I have always wanted to do. So when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it. Unfortunately, I knew that if I was going to take on this filming project that I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate on my curling as much as I have in the past. I had to make a decision and not curl as much as I would have liked, at least, not for this season.

I decided I would curl for fun only and not be competitive; so no bonspiels and no men’s leagues. I signed up for these new leagues that our board had just approved: The Sovik (an open format Tuesday afternoon league) and the Friday Open. And so far it’s been great! It’s been all about fun games and fun people. Surprisingly, I have had a great run this season. Currently, I am 9-7 and in my opinion that is not too bad for a league. And two of those 7 loses I actually won the game, they just couldn’t be counted because I didn’t have a legal rink; technicalities! So for all intents and purposes, I’ve won more than two thirds of all of my games so far! Not too shabby!

A few months ago my wife tells me that she and Lisa Nieradka had talked about putting a team together for the Schenectady Open Bonspiel. It was their influence and their collective effort that put this team together. They talked to Art Merkley who had sworn a blood oath never to curl mixed again. However, Art is an old friend and I don’t think he even batted an eye when was asked by Liz and Lisa. There was only one problem. They didn’t have a skip. Art wanted to vice and the girls just wanted to have a fun time at downrink. Liz asked me if I wouldn’t mind skipping the team. I remembered my promise to myself; however, since it was winter and our writing team had taken a short recess for the holidays, I agreed to skip the team. I have curled with all of them in the past and I knew what each player had to offer. With that in mind and also that we were all thrilled in our positions; I thought this was going to be a fun team.

There was no pressure. We weren’t going to play to win games, we were going to play to have fun and for the love of the game. We were nervous, sure, and of course we wanted to win, but that wasn’t our goal. Our goal was to play our best, have fun and have a few laughs and we held on to that creed like a long lost relative.

Our first game was on Thursday 6:45 PM. We were to play a good friend, Kathy Brown. One of my writing partners was also on her team. We had a fun time playing against them. I tried my best to keep it fun and not let the fact that Kathy is such a good friend and a sweet person to keep me from treating her like my mortal enemy!

Kathy was great. I loved playing against her, even when she tried to be cute by trying to distract me by dancing around in the house. Nice try Kathy, but I am immune to your evil charm! Unfortunately, she was having some really bad luck! She even started to second guess her curling skills. I had to reassure her, she was playing fine, odd things just kept happening that would ruin perfectly good shots. However, I really admired her for staying so cool and collected on the ice even after so many things went wrong for her.

Kathy was a source of inspiration for me for the rest of the weekend and I used her influence to keep cool when things didn’t go right for us. Kathy is a great curler and a delight to play against. I wish I had an ounce of her courage and enthusiasm.

Our second game on Friday was a little tougher as expected. I was going against my old Skip, Tim Brooks. I have never been able to beat him in league games and to make matters more “interesting”, we were down one player. My wife couldn’t get the time off from work, but I was thankful to Joan Pearson for stepping in and filling in for her. Joan did a great job and gave me some really nice lead rocks that in my opinion I would’ve never been able to defeat Tim without. I owe her a debt of gratitude for it. Unfortunately, she had to leave right after the game, so I never even got a chance to thank her properly! I also forgot to thank her during the presentations of the awards and I feel terrible for that. Thank you so much Joan you were a life saver!

I have always been intimidated by Tim. He is a great curler and a great skip. I must admit, I almost went into that game pre-defeated. I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to overcome my silly mental block. Yes, I almost did that, but I didn’t. I put my faith in my team players. I knew they would have my back and I also knew that they would not be thrilled with me if I went in there with the attitude that we had already lost without even trying. So I recouped and decided put my focus on the game and not on Tim, sorry Tim!

And so I read that ice like I have never done before. I used memory skills that I didn’t know I owned. As a result, I think that I called a great game and used the quirkiness of the ice to my advantage and I was able to execute incredible shots like perfect hit and rolls and great draws. We were on fire and one again thanks to my great team, we won that game too.

Defeating Tim was huge milestone in me conquering a lot of my own personal demons. I still have respect for him and will always consider him a great curler and friend. Thank you Tim for a great game!

Our third game was against yet another old teammate, Dan Navratil. The dreaded Fleetwood Hack! The team was composed of great friends (Dan & Fay, Tom & Paula Lancaster), good curlers and formidable opponents, but I let it all hang out for this one. I was loose and cool and I allowed myself to enjoy the game. I felt that we were both evenly matched. The game really could’ve gone either way.

The only strategy I had was not to get upset if and when I missed a shot or I blew a call. It really was a great game. We all played awesome and if I may say so, it was the best and most fun time I have ever had in my life, on the ice. I love each and every one of those guys. I love to play with them and against them. They just know how to have a great time and they are equally fun on and off the ice. My only regret was that only one of us could win the game.

Our fourth and last game, the game that would decide the winner of the S.O.B., was against a mixed national curling team. These guys eat, drink, think, dream — and possibly go number “2” — curling. They were little curling machines and they seemed to mow right through everyone that got in their way of the finals. I was very intimidated and nervous at first! I had no idea what to do or how to play the game against them. My only thought was: just to do our best, play the game we’ve been playing and see what happens. I honestly had no expectations of winning this one. In my mind we had no chance and even no business playing them. If I was a betting man, I would’ve put all my money on my opponent to beat us to a bloody pulp.

However, I began talking to some of the people that have played them in the past and/or during this spiel and I formed a mental image of my opponent. The picture I drew in my head was that of a team that was right on par with us. They were no longer unattainable, unbeatable machines. In fact the mere thought of them blowing us off of the ice seemed laughable to me now. We had a chance, a real chance! So I slipped on my hoodie (all weekend long I summoned the greatness of Banksy (look him up) to become, not a great artist, but a great curler!) and got ready for war, but in a fun way! I wasn’t going to let them get to me. I was going to get to them first.

Most of the teams that I talked to said that this team was so serious about curling that it really intimidated them. I thought maybe if we didn’t take the game as serious, we could make them relax a bit. When I stepped onto the ice I was having a good time with my team. We brought our good friend “Humphrey the Humping Dog,” we were cracking jokes and laughing it all up. I showed them right away that we weren’t going to take this game seriously and that we weren’t going to be intimidated by them. I was there to have a good time, not to win the game. I really think that by me doing so, it brought them down to our level and even if for just a moment, I was responsible for them having a good and fun game instead of just playing to win. Winning is fun and all, but I much rather lose and have a great time than to win and have it feel like work. Maybe I’m naïve, but that is how I look at things.

Just before the game started, Derek, their Skip, shakes my hand and tells me that I shouldn’t be so serious! Ha ha, my plan was working! Time to play! In the first end of the game they won the coin toss and took the hammer (last rock advantage), but I manage to hold them to one. In the second end we took two. It is at this point that I thought to myself, “Whoa! We have a real chance at winning this!” I made sure that my team knew that and we continued.

In the third end they took two, it happens, no big deal! In the fourth end we took one. I missed the opportunity to take a bigger end. I made a couple of bad calls that cost me, but again, no big deal. I regrouped and tried to play the next end more carefully and with more finesse. In the fifth end we stole two and then stole another in the sixth. It is at this point that I just knew we were going to win this game! But then I made the mistake everyone makes; I got comfortable and it cost me, big!

I had a really nice set up in the 7th, but their vice made a beautiful shot that doubled out my two shot rocks. We went from almost stealing two, to facing a big end against us. When those stones left the house, it was like a flat note sound and it took me out of the game long enough for me to miss two critical shots and that cost me three points. We were now tied going into the 8th and final end.

I thought back to our first game and how Kathy Brown had handled herself during it and I decided to be like her, keep cool and look at the bright side of things: I had the advantage of last rock and we were tied and one of my specialties is stealing, must be the Hispanic in me! This was not a great situation for my opponent, if I may. I switched gears a little and I put on my imaginary “serious cap.” It was the last end and I wanted to play it flawlessly and also give the crowd something to cheer about!

When it came time for the skips to throw their rocks, I had the house set up in such a way that my opponent had to make an incredible shot for them to steal a point. It took my opponent took almost five minutes to device his shot. It was not an easy call. In fact it was a one in a hundred shots. We were like, “There is no way this could work!” But the crazy bastard did it! I don’t know where he pulled this shot out of. Man, what a shot! That was something! I was really impressed, but now I was in big trouble! It was all over for me! Removing that stone from the button was going to take some precision shooting and I was nervous. I congratulated Derek on his great shot and sighed disappointedly!

I stepped in the house to take a look at my options, but when I got closer to the two rocks, I saw something odd. I don’t know if they noticed this or not. If they did, they kept it quiet and to themselves. I guess I would have too. Derek had thrown a beauty of a shot, but had come up short by just over an inch. I looked at the two rocks again even closer just to be sure. I was convinced! It was clear to me that we were closer to that pin by at least an inch. Art wanted to be absolutely certain by having me use my last rock to do a double tap back, a really risky throw, but since I knew ours was shot I decided not to take the risk; I didn’t need to. So, I just throw my last rock away. The vices measured the stones and we won the event.

It was an exciting and amazing game. And my opponents were very sportsmen-like about it and we had a great time after the it sharing a few beers. After the game was over we were told by them that they don’t often lose and that we were a great team. That was very humbling and I am still shocked and thrilled about the whole experience.

The event was one of the best I have ever attended. I was thrilled that it was at my club. I was also thrilled to see some old friends and that I met some new ones. Dan, Johanna, Adam and Tami you guys were the life of the party and you all looked great. It was awesome meeting you all. Sara, Brian and Jim, what can I say, you guys rock! You guys party like no one else and I had one of the best times ever on Friday night! Carol and Paul, you guys were hysterical! You had me in stitches with your outfits and that awful wig! :) Everybody was perfect, they were themselves and they all made this an incredible experience for me.

And to my team! I can honestly say that no one could ask for better teammates, ever! Lisa, Art and my wife, Liz, you guys were incredible, just incredible! If it hadn’t been for you guys: Liz’s awesome weight, Lisa’s machine like sweeping, and Art’s almost inhuman skills to call line, this event would’ve had a different outcome. I have played with some amazing curlers, but you guys are the absolute best! Thank you all for a wonderful weekend!

Categories: Curling

My favorite performances and movies of 2010

The Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow and I am right there with critics and everyone else clutching my arm rests in anticipation of these announcements. However, unlike most of the critics who have had the pleasure of seeing all of the movies from last year, I was only able to see a handful. I have yet to see films like “Animal Kingdom”, “Another Year”, “Biutiful”, “Blue Valentine”, “Rabbit Hole”, “The Town”, and other movies seriously being considered for nomination. Those movies — except for “The Town” — have yet to be released in my area. I love New York’s capital region, but there just isn’t much demand for movies like those around here. As for “The Town”, well, I meant to go see it when it was released here, but I guess I just didn’t make a good enough effort. Now, I’m forced to wait for whenever Netflix feels like sending it to me; it’s all good!

Thankfully, I was lucky enough to watch a lot of the films in contention. With the help of the Internet and websites like InContention.com, ThompsonOnHollywood.com and others like it I was able to bypass a lot of the duds and go for only those movies that were seriously being considered. I did the same last year and they were very much right on the money. It was a big help and it has been a lot of fun too. Especially since 2010 was a really great year for Oscar worthy movies. Luckily for me, this year there weren’t a lot of period pieces that I can’t stand except for “The King’s Speech”, but as luck would have it, it wasn’t your average period piece. No, this movie was about a man/king with a speech impediment, not a pointless Jane Austen romance novel. Because of that, I found it entertaining and I ended up enjoying it a lot.

Like last year, I wanted to write an article predicting the nominations for this year. However, I decided not to do that again. I think the websites I mentioned above already do a good job at it and who am I to try to compete with them? Instead, what I am going to do is make a list of those actors and movies that moved, amazed, shocked or really entertained me like no other actor or movie has. Some of these performances and movies may or may not even be considered for the Oscars. I am just sharing my favorite performances and movies of 2010 of those I had the pleasure of watching:

Best performance in a supporting role by an actor:

  1. Christian Bale – The Fighter
    Bale just blew me out of my seat with his performance. I have never seen anything like it. I was so moved by it that I was literally speechless even 20 minutes after the movie was over. It is my opinion that Bale is a strong contender for the Oscar this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if he walks away with it in February.
  2. Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
    Rush was outstanding! He was funny, witty and just plain incredible. He was a lot of fun to watch in this role and I think he made “The King’s Speech” movie work. Hands down my favorite character in 2010.
  3. Jackie Chan – The Karate Kid
    I understand no one is going to nominate Mr. Chan for any Oscars and I think that is an injustice. I really think that he did an incredible job in this film. He is so much more than just a Kung Fu entertainer and this movie proves that he’s got what it takes to be a serious actor.
  4. John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
    Hawkes scared the shit out of me. Every time he was on screen I wanted to leave. He literally made me nervous. I hope to never meet anyone who is anywhere near as vicious as this character was. Wonderful job!
  5. Bill Murray – Get Low
    Murray was hysterical in this film. The film was very dark; it was after all a movie about a man planning his own funeral. But Murray’s incredibly well timed humor kept the film from going over the depressing edge. He kept the movie grounded and kept the audience interested in the story.
  6. Justin Timberlake – The Social Network
    Timberlake was unbelievable in this role. He brought that character to life and made you both love and hate him at the same time. And incredible performance from a former NSYNC member.

Best performances in a supporting role by an actress:

  1. Chloë Moretz – Kick-Ass
    Moretz is a 13 year old little girl with huge talent. From the moment she came on screen in “Kick-Ass” she stole the show and did nothing but impress me scene after scene. I also hear that her performance in “Let Me In” was outstanding. I expect she is going to be a great actress and I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.
  2. Melissa Leo – The Fighter
    Holly Shit! I wanted to smack her. I hated her so much. Alice Ward was a real bitch and Leo played her flawlessly. I just happened to have seen the real Alice Ward on an HBO special and Leo nailed her character 100%: mannerisms, the way she carried herself, the way she talked. It was an incredible performance!
  3. Amy Adams – The Fighter
    What can I say? I can watch Adams recite bad poetry with her mouth full and she would still be wonderful. It was a little odd to watch a Disney princess stick her head out of a window and litter the audience with expletives galore, but she did it well and without it being awkward for the character. Adams has proven that she is a talented actress not just a type.
  4. Julianne Moore – The Kids are All Right
    I don’t care what people say. And please don’t get me wrong, I love Annette Bening, I think she’s an incredible actress, but the real performance in “The Kids are All Right” was given by Julianne Moore, not Bening. She was a sight to see and she delivered a difficult role flawlessly and effortlessly. Perhaps too effortlessly. It’s too bad people didn’t see that.
  5. Marion Cotillard – Inception
    I’ll admit, I am only including Cotillard in this list because she was HOT! Yeah, yeah, she was good and all, but she was nowhere near the caliber of the women above. She’s not even worthy of licking their shoe soles. But man she was HOT! I wish I had someone else to put in this spot, but I just wasn’t moved or impressed by too many supporting roles by women this year. Or was it that the ladies above set the bar way too high for everyone else? Or maybe I need to see more movies.

Best performance in a lead role by an actor:

  1. James Franco – 127 Hours
    Any time you have to carry a movie by yourself, you have a tough job ahead of you. And I think Franco gave one of the best performances of the year. It’s not easy cutting your own arm off. I saw (no pun intended) and felt the desperation in Franco’s eyes. In my opinion, he delivered the best performance of the year in one of the most difficult roles of the century.
  2. Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
    I can’t imagine how difficult this role must’ve been for Firth. I think it is everybody’s fantasy to be king, so for an actor to elicit sympathy from the audience as a king, I think was incredibly impressive. So why isn’t he at the top? Because I think that Firth depended on Rush. Without Rush “The King’s Speech” would have been in incredibly dull film. His performance was incredible no doubt, but seeing that Franco had the tougher role and delivered marvelously, there is no question that Franco should be the recipient of the Oscar.
  3. Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
    I don’t know what the big deal is with Eisenberg. I have seen four of his movies, including “The Social Network”, and he always gives the same performance in each and every one of them. Except that in “The Social Network”, the performance finally worked. He reminds me a lot of Kevin Costner and his performance in “JFK”. I like that he didn’t try to replicate Zuckerberg. Eisenberg did his own thing here and it was a performance to see and well worth a nomination.
  4. Robert Duvall – Get Low
    Robert Duvall spoke volumes without opening his mouth. That was impressive. I was blown away! I’ve always liked Duvall as an actor. You can always count on him to give a good performance. I just never thought that he would be as awesome as he was in “Get Low”.
  5. George Clooney – The American
    The same with Clooney. A lot of people don’t like his acting, but I think he is an incredibly talented actor. In this movie he hardly said a word, his acting involved machining parts to make weapons and to me he machined those parts like a pro as if he were in that line of work for a life time. Well done!

Best performance in a lead role by an actress:

  1. Natalie Portman – Black Swan
    I have always loved Portman as an actress ever since I first saw her on “Léon: The Professional” 16 years ago playing a 13 year old child being trained as an assassin. She did a great job then, but her role in “Black Swan” was stunning. One can’t help but admire and appreciate her determination and the work that it must’ve taken to take on this role, and to execute the part so perfectly…  I have no doubts that she will take home the Oscar this year.
  2. Hailee Stainfeld – True Grit
    This young girl really impressed me this year. She came out of nowhere and impressed pretty much everyone. I heard the hype before I saw the film and I thought, “How good could it possibly be? She’s just some whippersnapper!” When I saw the film I was ready to hate her performance. Well, I was in for a surprise. Not only was she good, she was outstanding. In fact I find it upsetting that she is only being promoted for a supporting role when I think she should be right here with Portman, Bening and all of the other ladies being considered for lead. It is a real travesty.
  3. Noomi Rapace – The Girl Who Played with Fire
    I was disappointed with the movie, but she was out of this world. I cannot imagine that role being played by anyone else. She was beyond impressive.
  4. Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
    Another young lady and another amazing performance. Jennifer had to play a tough country girl who could not only shoot squirrels, but also had to gut and skin them. One of the best performances of an independent film that I have seen this year.
  5. Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
    I normally can’t stand Nicole Kidman. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it. She’s a good actress, so I don’t know what my problem is. To be honest, I haven’t even seen “Rabbit Hole” yet, but I did see the trailer and a few scenes from the film. And what I have seen has really impressed me. The scene that I saw of her emoting about her dead son was very touching and powerful. I am looking forward to seeing this movie.

Best movies:

I can’t possibly put these movies in any order. They are all different and they are all great in their own ways. To say that one is better than the other just feels wrong.  These were my favorite movies of 2010:

  • 127 Hours
    Is a difficult movie to watch, but Franco’s performance is worth undergoing the agony.
  • Black Swan
    This is one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever seen. Darren Aronofsky is a Dog Gone genius!
  • The Fighter
    This is an amazing film. It’s rare that a film will be liked by both critics and movie goers, this is one of them. And the performances are unparalleled.
  • Inception
    In spite of all of its plot holes, Inception is one of the best rides of 2010. This is a great action flick and the music is out of this world.
  • Kick-Ass
    “Kick-Ass” just kicks ass. This movie is pure mayhem fun from start to finish. Who knew that a potty mouth, adorable, little girl who shreds bad guys with ninja weapons would ever make a great flick?
  • The King’s Speech
    This movie humanizes royalty and brings them down to our level. It is a gorgeous film both visually and verbally.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    Like “Kick-Ass”, this movie is just plain fun and ingenious. It is one of the most unique film I have ever seen. It’s a must see for geeks and nerds and anyone who has ever played video games as a child.
  • The Social Network
    This movie is great dialog at its best. The writing of Aaron Sorkin is in a class by itself. It is like honey dripping from a delicate pastry dessert as you slowly bite into it.
  • True Grit
    Joel and Ethan Cohen do it again. I love their movies. They have such incredible talent for writing dialog and creating great and fun characters and “True Grit” was no exception.
  • Winter’s Bone
    This was one of those movies that it could have gone wrong in so many ways, but Debra Granik, writer and director, did a stupendous job at keeping an eye on the story and keeping things moving so that it would not stagnate. It is an almost flawless movie.

The Last Station Review

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

My rating 5 Stars
The Last Station was wonderful. What a movie! From the moment it starts it grips you firmly and never lets you go until moments after the credits have come and gone. The film is an emotional rollercoaster with flawless acting, great writing and a true emotionally charged story that I loved from start to finish!

Ironically, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this film. If you have been following my reviews you know that I am not a big admirer of period films. I also had heard some negative reviews from other critics. The film was also one of those considered for best picture for the 2010 Academy Awards, but if you follow the Oscars you’d know that the movie wasn’t nominated for many Oscars other than Christopher Plummer’s performance which was superb! So because of the Academy overlooking this film it made me pre-judge it which is something that I really need to stop doing.

Every single actor in the film was outstanding, but I especially loved the performances by both Helen Mirren and Christopher, especially when they interacted with one another. Their relationship, their interesting relationship came through loud clearly through their performance, their words and their demeanor and I loved every single moment they were on screen. There was no doubt in my mind that they loved each other and there was no doubt in my mind that they couldn’t stand each other. I know those two are incredible actors, but this performance was just exceptional even for them. It made me wonder what the Academy was smoking by nominating neither Helen nor Paul Giamatti who was also fabulous in his role.

The Last Station is one of those movies was a real pleasure to watch, especially if you enjoy great acting. It is 2009’s Doubt in my opinion in every possible sense; it is truly an amazing film!

Sherlock Holmes Review

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

My rating 2.5 Stars

I know little of the Sherlock Holmes story and the little I do know comes from brief reenactments of the crew of the starship Enterprise from the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation. I know, I know, that is pretty pathetic, but I never claimed to have been well read. I also have never really been interested in such things like: period criminal investigations. I guess my problem is that I like technology and the primitive methods used to solve crimes back in the days really turn me off. However, as I age and grow tired of the same old drama day in and day out I have developed a thirst for something different. Perhaps in time I will find an interest in the story of Sherlock Holmes, I just won’t hold my breath!

So not knowing much of the character, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Sherlock Holmes movie. I have to be honest and I must confess that the portrayal of Holmes in the Star Trek series didn’t leave me with much desire to get to know the character. I had hoped that the character in the movie be more to my liking; it wasn’t. I hope to God that the character that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created in his writings is nowhere near as boring as the one played by Robert Downey. That’s right, the character of Holmes as portrayed in this movie was as interesting and as exciting as drying cement. I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Downey; I think he is a great and talented actor, however something tells me that maybe he wasn’t the right choice for this role; either that or the screenwriter didn’t do the part justice. I found this Holmes to be two dimensional, dull and predictable and since the movie was all about Sherlock Holmes it took me right out of the movie.

Or maybe, just maybe, the real problem falls on the character of Sherlock Holmes who doesn’t really lend itself to the idea of a good character. Seriously, what is so special about a man who knows everything? What is so special about a person who has all of the answers? Where is the conflict? Where is the mystery? There is none, because we all know that Sherlock Holmes holds the answer. He has the mystery solved before it has a chance to take hold in the audiences mind. While this idea may have been incredibly exotic to the 1880’s audience, I am afraid that with today’s audience we have realized that such concepts are preposterous, unrealistic and boring. In my opinion that sort of nonsense are the makings of children stories or comic books like Superman or any other host of perfect superheroes. A story where there is no chance for the hero to fail is no story at all. It isn’t interesting and it’s not worth seeing. As people often say, “Nobody likes a smart ass!”

However, the film did have some good moments. It is undeniably that it was beautifully shot. It was very artistic and beautiful and enchanting. Unfortunately, like staring at a well painted wall after a few minutes of looking at, you realize that it’s just a wall and it will do nothing for you. So your obvious reaction is to walk away and put the wall behind you never to think about it again; just like this film. While it looks stunning it does absolutely nothing to keep your interests and therefore it’s forgettable and nothing to write home about.

Armored Review

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

My rating 2 Stars
I was bored this morning so I decided to stream this movie for the hell of it. How bad could it be? Well, it wasn’t horrible, but it didn’t do much to help my being bored. This movie did absolutely nothing for me. It was predictable, not all that exciting and a very, very cheesy to be honest with you.

Look, I wasn’t looking for an Academy Award performance here. I wasn’t looking for huge explosions or a life changing story. I was just looking for a fun movie and I didn’t find it here. The story was weak, the car sequences were boring, the action was really slow. Hell, nothing happened in this movie. They could’ve have done it in less than 30 minutes and it would’ve been just as boring.

The big master plan involved spending 30 minutes—which they managed to stretch for 40 minutes—trying to break into an armored truck by hammering off the pegs that held the door hinges together. Which made me question just how realistic this was? And why did that take them so long to remove? If those pegs were so tight in there, would the door even swing open? And if nothing is holding those pegs up other than friction wouldn’t they eventually fall out with all of the bumps and pot holes the truck goes over?

This movie was just plain stupid. The characters were flat and very uninteresting just like the story. There is not much going for this movie so I can’t recommend it to anybody. If you really want to see it, do it at your own risk.

 

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