Thursday, July 29, 2010

From Paris With Love

From Paris With Love stars Jonathan Rhys Myers as James Reece as a low-level bureaucrat at a foreign office in Paris who is looking for that jump up the ladder and the accompanying excitement that it will bring.

Without warning, Reece is thrust into an international espionage ring and teamed with lunatic agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta). Reece gets all the excitement he can handle. Meanwhile, people are getting shot-up, drugs are everywhere, and now he finds himself in grave danger.

To complicate matters, there's a mole in the circle and Reece is forced to confront his biggest fears. For entertainment value, Travolta is an absolute nut who just happens to know everything, sort of like a super agent who's totally lucky ALL the time.

From Paris With Love also stars big names such as Kasia Smutnia, François Bredo, and Mostéfa Stit. It's amazing that director Pierre Morel was able to attract such famous actors.

The movie is rated R for violence, drug use, language, violence, and situations that are much too convenient to resemble reality. From Paris With Love is 93 minutes long, 13 minutes long if you watch it on a faster speed.

While the comedic entertainment value is there, this movie is a no-brainer. You're not really contemplating the intellectual complexity of the crimes. There's nothing to think about. It's all given to you. The only thing you're doing is counting bodies and shaking your darn head at the things that Travolta says.

I give From Paris With Love 2.7 stars.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book of Eli

So as I mentioned in my previous movie review, there has been a plethora of dystopian movies lately. And here's another one to add to the flaming pile.

The Book of Eli stars Denzel Washington as Eli. Eli is walking across the county, across a deserted wasteland. Again, we're not sure what the apocalypse was, but something happened and everybody is pissed. Chaos is the government of the land.

Along the way, while fighting roving bands of miscreants, he finds Solara (Mila Kunis), the daughter of a blind woman (Jennifer Beals) in a town run by a thug named Carnegie (Gary Oldman). Together they walk across the land fighting evil, hoping to make it to some promise land at the other end.

After beating up everyone in his path and dodging bullets like he was in The Matrix, Eli gets to his destination where hope is planting it's seed.

Directed by Albert and Allen Hughes, The Book of Eli is rated R for violence and language and literary abuse (retelling a story that's already been told). The movie is about 2 hours long.

I usually like Denzel Washington. However, this film seems a bit too familiar. In fact, I kept expecting him to run into a wayward father and son going in the other direction. And the movie was filmed with the same color filter that all other dystopian movies use.

For the stated reasons, I feel compelled to give this movie no better than 2 stars. Booo!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Road

Apocalyptic movies seem to be all the rage over the last few years. There's Terminator, Cloverfield, I Am Legend, and The Day After Tomorrow. Now we have The Road.

In The Road, a father and son are walking across the country to the blue part of the map where they hear that things are better. We're not sure what the apocalypse was, but it killed nearly everyone and now the survivors are cannibals. Along the way, the father constantly is teaching his son about survival and as the movie progresses, you get the feeling that the father is dying.

Seen through a color filter and nothing but gloomy skies, the movie is very depressing and lacks any hope. There are glimpses of light now and then, but only to be dashed by fate.

Viggo Mortenson stars as father, the unnamed man, Kodi Smit-McPhee as the unnamed son, Charlize Theron as the mother of the son and wife of Viggo as seen through flash-backs throughout the movie. And Robert Duvall makes a cameo appearance as a vagabond homeless person and Guy Pearce as a fellow traveler.

The movie is rated R for disturbing cannibalism, violence, and language, and possibly for lack of color. The Road is 111 minutes long.

The story seemed too similar to the other doomsday movies. The book actually won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. However, the story was long and tired and would probably have difficulty keeping the attention of the average American. I give The Road 2 1/2 stars.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Youth In Revolt

For a while I was a big Michael Cera fan. If you didn't like Arrested Development, then you have no sense of humor. Then there was Juno and Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist.

However, Cera's stock is now going down. Super Bad - too many F-bombs. Paper Heart - stinker. Now we have Youth in Revolt.

I saw the previews from another movie. Seemed like a pretty funny movie. A nerdy young kid named Nick Twisp falls for a girl and his devilish side comes out - only in a real human character. The only problem is - the previews pretty much showed all of the funny parts, a common problem with today's comedies.

Youth in Revolt also stars Portia Doubleday as the attractive young love interest of Nick Twisp. Adding comedic value are Ray Liotta who plays the love interest of Nick's mother, played by Mary Kay Place, and Steve Buscemi as his father, Justin Long as his pot-smoking neighbor, and Fred Willard as the awkward family friend.

Directed by Michael Artera, Youth in Revolt is Rated R for sexual content, language, and drug use. The movie is 90 minutes long.

The movie definitely has its funny parts. Had I not seen the previews I would have been much more entertained. For rating purposes, we'll assume I didn't see the previews. That will get it up to 3 stars.
My Zimbio