Friday, February 29, 2008

Review: Feast of Love (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Robert Benton
Written by: Allison Burnett (screenplay) and Charles Baxter (novel)
Genre: Drama / Romance
MPAA: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language.
Released: 28 September 2007
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell, Billy Burke, Selma Blair, Alexa Davalos, Toby Hemingway, Stana Katic, Erika Marozsán, Jane Alexander, Fred Ward, Margo Martindale, Missi Pyle, Shannon Lucio, Alex Mentzel.

Plot: A meditation on love and its various incarnations, set within a community of friends in Oregon. and is described as an exploration of the magical, mysterious and sometimes painful incarnations of love.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: Director Robert Benton, a man who hasn’t no more than 11 films in his 35 years in Directing movies, but with each and every film he makes (Or at least those I have seen) comes a story being told in a very careful and humanly way that comes out quite nicely, some could even say his work can sometimes be brilliant, well that is exactly what we get in Feast of Love, the film is deeply multi layered that explores the different personalities in people and the meaning of Love and all it’s heartaches and brakes that comes along with it, it shows the intimacies between lovers and the personal insecurities many put themselves through just to be loved, the film also explores the different types of love, from new love to aged love, and even those who have loved and lost so many times you’re surprised at how they can even continue to love, what, now as to what I liked about the film was how it reveals to you the infidelities that so many people commit shows you how imperfect we are, but to do so is a flaw in our nature, and to error is to be human I guess which is why I loved this film, I also must point out that the film’s dozen or so main players are all connected to each other in some way or another and all are ether in love, falling in love or suffering from not being loved, which I found to be beautiful in a way.

Now I also must point out that this is not, I repeat not your everyday run of the mill chick flick, no but a very hard and intelligent film that will hit anyone who’s ever loved on some kind of level, now for the guys this is not entirely going to bore you as there is a lot, and I mean a lot of full frontal nudity by Radha Mitchell, Selma Blair, Alexa Davalos and Stana Katic, I swear there are so many scenes in here that got me by surprise I lost count, not to mention easily half a dozen sex scenes in this film that is so explicit I kid you not I had to check the DVD box just make sure that I was watching a Romance-Drama and not a Porno, which will without a doubt satisfy any red-blooded man on this planet while the ladies will be happy to know the film contains strong multiple love stories that will fill you with joy as well as break your heart. The only problem I had with the film was it’s plot holes that kind of left few things unexplained in the film, but other than that this was great all around.

The story centers around an elderly man named, Harry Stevenson (Freeman) a man who him and his wife, Esther Stevenson (Alexander) has just lost their son to drug overdose and while trying to cope with he observes the many people in his live, as he sees new loves begin and old ones fall apart he leads advise to these individuals hoping to help them make the right dissection while at the same time trying to figure out if he himself made the right dissection with his son, while the story shows his best friend, Bradley Thomas (Kinnear) who just can’t get any luck as his wife, Kathryn (Blair) leaves him for a woman and his new girlfriend, is cheating on him with someone else, and a newly young couple Oscar (Hemingway) and Chloe (Davalos) who have fallen head over heals in love with each other, now they must battle over a great deal of obstacles if they want their relationship to survive, from Oscar’s abusive alcoholic father, to trying to become a full on financially independent.

Now as to the acting, Morgan Freeman is probably one of the most talented actors I’ve ever seen on camera, and he only proves my point in yet another fantastic role, and actor Greg Kinnear gives an outstanding performance, which I must say is kind of sad because he is a great actor that is greatly underappreciated in Hollywood when yet we have horrible actors left and right making more films and getting paid more than him, truly sad, and though Selma Blair’s role in this is greatly small, her acting proves to be a great asset to the story, and Alexa Davalos who does a great performance that equals her beauty and touch your heart. Also Radha Mitchell did a great performance that had me wowing ber acting and her beautiful body, actor Fred Ward did a great job in making the viewer hate his very guts as the no good abusive alcoholic father named, Bat. And last but not least actress Jane Alexander did a wonderful performance playing as Morgan Freeman’s on-screen wife, Esther, there was times during the movie that had me believing they where a loving married couple.

Final Say: Overall I really liked this movie on more than one way, and even though it had that problem with the plot holes and the few unexplained things I still liked it and highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Review: American Gangster (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Steven Zaillian (written by) Mark Jacobson (article)
Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller
MPAA: Rated R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality.
Released: 2 November 2007
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Lymari Nadal, Ted Levine, Roger Guenveur Smith, John Hawkes, RZA, Yul Vazquez, Malcolm Goodwin, Ruby Dee, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Carla Gugino, Skyler Fortgang, Cuba Gooding Jr, Armand Assante, Clarence Williams III.

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: I have been wanting to see American Gangster for sometime now but unfortunately was unlucky to catch in theaters, but like all films I miss on the big screen I always end up reviewing later on DVD, so basically it was just a miner setback but I finally got to see it and I say it has got to be one of the best Gangster flicks I have seen in the last ten years, it is in the same respect as Scarface and The Untouchables showing you the rise of New York cities most naturist Drug kingpin of the 1070’s Frank Lucas, showing his rise to power and how at one point he was more powerful than that of the Italian mafia by controlling the drug triad and bringing in the most pure and strongest drugs into the united states and selling it at less than half the going rate of his competitors, Frank Lucas pretty much embodies the very concept of the American Dream, he started from nothing and rouse to power and fame in both New York and New Jersey earning him friends and enemies in high places, see the reason why I consider this film to be much like Scarface and The Untouchables is because much just like Scarface, you see the rise and downfall of Frank Lucas, which you have to admire in a way, not that I’m saying drugs is a good thing, no far from it, I’m highly against the use of drugs may they be legal or illegal I just don’t like em in any way, but I admire the hole idea of one individual going from nothing and becoming something the next which is what the American Dream is right?, I consider this a lot like The Untouchables because to bring down Frank Lucas’s drug empire detective Richie Roberts assembles a crack team of individuals together who are signifigently to bring him down while at the same time cracking down on the corruption in the police department under Frank’s take and that of others in organized crime.

I also like the film’s runtime, clocking in at 2 hours 37 minutes or at 2 hours 57 minutes if you watch the unrated and extended cut, but whichever cut you see you’ll never loss interest for single moment, I personally prefer the unrated and extended cut to any movie I watch over the theatrical cut because 1. It explains more of the story even though it may drag on a little too ling at times than it should, and 2. It how the director originally intended the film to be, and not the cutup MPAA approved version we all see in theaters, and specking of which, director Ridley Scott did a fantastic job in making this film, now I must worn you guys because I‘ve been debating this over with a few people for the last couple of days so you don‘t get mislead or confused, if you never seen a Ridley Scott film (A Good Year, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien) than you must know his films are 1. Long, and when I mean long I mean his films are always near two hours in length or sometimes nearing the three hour mark, also if you think that his films are filed with nothing but none stop action, than you’ve sadly mistaken him for his bother Tony Scott, no Ridley is more a man who concentrates his full attention on the story rather than the action, now that no to say he doesn’t make a good action flick, it’s just he has the tendency of keeping the viewer in total suspense with his epic storytelling until the end at which point he blows them away with some pretty hardcore action that combined with his epic sense of directing will have you in awe, which he executes quite nicely in this film.

The Story is about after the death of Harlem mop boss, Bumpy Johnson (Williams III) his driver/enforcer, Frank Lucas (Washington) moves in and takes over as the new boss and expands his power on the streets as the drug kingpin with his drug empire expanding over both New York and New Jersey competing with the Italian Mafia and other smaller crime syndicates making him both allies and enemies (more enemies than anything), meanwhile detective Richie Roberts, a man who is looked down on by his own fellow officers in his precinct because during a bust he discovers almost a million dollars in cash and instead of keeping it like most people would do he turns every last dollar of it in, but his good deed does not go undone as he is made head of the special drug enforcement unit in New Jersey, now his job is to find and arrest the main drug suppliers and put an end to the madness.

As for the acting, Denzel Washington does yet again another fantastic performance that met my expectations greatly and as always I forward to what he does next, Russell Crowe manages to hold his own in this and his performance is as good as Washington’s is, and nether of them under or over compensates each other in this, which I liked because the last thing you want is one great actor being overshadowed or outshined by another, but with the two of them they manage to make something worth watching, and in case no one noticed this is the second film they’ve acted together as good guy bad guy, the first was Virtuosity which both of them played the opposite roles as villain and hero, Chiwetel Ejiofor was also great, I’ve like just everything he’s acted in, from Four Brothers, Serenity, Inside Man, Children of Men, Talk to Me, and now this, man does he know how to pick good roles, and also this is the second time he teaming up as Denzel Washington’s partner, the first was Inside Man, Lymari Nadal acting was just dazzling, as a newcomer to acting I sure will love to see her in future films, Ted Levine was pretty good, although I felt at times his acting portrayed his character from the hit TV series Monk, but I’ll let that slid since I thought he was good in this, Armand Assante was fantastic, he’s one of those actors has this natural sinister look to him that says he’s not to be trusted, Cuba Gooding Jr. was also fantastic as always, Carla Gugino performance was quite nice in this even though her runtime was extremely small, Clarence Williams III great, he acted performance as Bumpy Johnson was outstanding.

Final Say: I really had fun watching American Gangster, both director Ridley Scott and the cast was magnificent, and I’d love to give this another go someday, I highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Ben Affleck
Written by: Ben Affleck (screenplay) and Aaron Stockard (screenplay)
Genre: Crime / Drama / Mystery
MPAA: Rated R for violence, drug content and pervasive language.
Released: 19 October 2007
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, Amy Ryan, Amy Madigan, Titus Welliver, Michael K. Williams, Edi Gathegi, Mark Margolis, Madeline O'Brien, Slaine, Trudi Goodman, Matthew Maher.

Plot: Two young private detectives are hired to take a closer look at the mysterious disappearance of a little girl and soon discover that nothing is what it seems. Ultimately, they will have to risk everything -- their relationship, their sanity, and even their lives -- to find a little girl-lost.

Review: 9/10

My Thoughts: When ever I hear the name Ben Affleck. I tend to feel like I’m going to be sick, why you may ask? because as an actor he is horrible, just horrible and everything he‘s done in his career (including Jennifer Lopez) has been one mistake after another, so when I heard about a little known film called ”Gone Baby Gone” I thought oh no hear comes another piece of garbage from a man who doesn’t relies nobody thinks he’s good, but than I heard he wasn’t even starring init but directing with his brother Casey Affleck starring in it so I thought hey this could be interesting, I mean after all Casey hasn‘t disappointed me yet. But after about the first five minutes into the film all the harsh feeling I ever had towards Ben just suddenly melted away, if a single moment can change ones prospective towards one individual, than this was my moment towards actor, or should I say director Ben Affleck, I can see that this movie was filmed with the utmost care, with an almost flawless screenplay which was written by Ben Affleck and his good friend and screenwriter Aaron Stockard, the movie is a high tension adrenaline rush that takes you on a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns that never let up not to the very end, I will say that the film is not your typical everyday run of the mill cop drama, it‘s dark it‘s gritty, and it’s not afraid to tell it like it is even though you may not want to hear it, it also shows you the hard risks some individuals must take to ensure the safety of others, the story alone is emotionally nerve racking and will have you at the edge of your seat the hole way, and will question your morals in life and ask you; if you had the opportunity to kill a bad person knowing that this world would be one less scumbag living init, would you do it? Or better yet, would you be willing to do something wrong knowing it is right?

I also liked the fact that most of the cast is made up of nobodies and has-beens because if the movie had nothing but big name actors it would have been a disaster and another product of the Hollywood machine that only pumps out popcorn flicks for a buck year in year out, but no by casting every part for no names made this great on a magical and person level for both the filmmakers and the moviegoers, not to mention unlike most movies this one takes a more down to earth take with it’s setting, showing you the people of Boston and the streets they walk and the places they live, showing you both the good and the bad, which is more to real life than any other film I’ve seen in a long time, also I loved the cinematography, it was wonderful, simply wonderful, it gives the film this feeling that made it felt real like this really happened and that this wasn’t a movie but we ourselves were voyeurs looking into a real life situation going down, and I promise you’ll have this film still in your mind days after watching it with the constant thought of what if, and what would you have done in the same situation as the characters were put into, and I guarantee you’ll keep re-playing it around and around in your head about it trying to think what would you have done and ultimately you’ll conclude that the answers will always fall into a gray area, also one of the most important things I loved was the score which is done by Harry Gregson-Williams, it is extremely powerful while at the same time remaining humble, I tell you as I write this I am listening to it and never have I been so inspired by a soundtrack since the Crash soundtrack by Mark Isham.

The story is about during the hype of a child kidnapping, a Boston area privet detective named, Patrick Kenzie (Affleck) is hired by the family of the kidnapped child to assist the police in their investigation because he knows the tough neighborhood and the right people who might know who took the kid, but the more and more he looks into it the more he is finding it hard to find this child and he is put in a moral dilemma that is tearing him apart.

As for the acting; Casey Affleck is downright terrific, first he did a fantastic performance as Robert Ford in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and now he does it yet again in Gone Baby Gone, I honestly can say I’m starting to see a pattern here, one I hope he sticks too, Michelle Monaghan’s performance was as stunning as she is beautiful, her performance played out quite perfectly, Morgan Freeman as always does a magnificent pro performance, I swear the man has not disappointed me in any of the films he’s ever acted in, Ed Harris was fantastic, his performance was sinister, and yet touching, it was also nice to see John Ashton acting in this because the last time he was in something I can remember worth watching was the Beverly Hills Cop films so it was nice seeing him do something worth watching for a change, Amy Ryan did an outstanding performance which I agree is very much disserving of the Oscar nomination she has gotten for her role in this film.

Final Say: Gone Baby Gone was truly a worth watching film and I was greatly disappointed to find out the Oscars skipped it for the best picture nomination this year because it deserves it. I highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review: Across the Universe (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Julie Taymor
Written by: Dick Clement (screenplay) and Ian La Frenais (screenplay)
Genre: Drama / Musical / Romance
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language.
Released: 12 October 2007
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio, Spencer Liff, Lisa Hogg, Nicholas Lumley, Michael Ryan, Angela Mounsey, Dylan Baker, Erin Elliott, Robert Clohessy, Curtis Holbrook, Linda Emond, Joe Cocker, Bono, Salma Hayek, and Eddie Izzard.

Plot: A romantic musical told mainly through numerous Beatles songs performed by the characters. A young man from Liverpool comes to America during the Vietnam War to find his father. He winds up in Greenwich Village, where he falls in love with an American girl who has grown up sheltered in the suburbs. Together they experience the sweeping changes of America in the late 60's.

Review: 9/10

My Thoughts: The 60’s was a time of change, it was a time of cultural integration at it‘s purest, it was also a time of love and experiencing new things, but most of all it was a rebellious time of a generation who was fed up with the way their country was being run, because of how the people weren’t being heard, it was a time of opening doors to new frontiers, and the film Across the Universe is a marvelous musicale that pays homage to the Vietnam-war era through the music of The Beatles, and fantastically done if I may say so, and remember I the same guy who doesn’t like musicales okay, so that should show you that if I liked it and it being a musicale than it most be good to some degree, so what I find to be most unique and loved about this film is the fact that most musicale are made as a story first with the music written in later, but this movie is a series of astounding songs that when combined with an amazing screenplay is turned into a psychedelic experience, that will have you flying in it’s wonder drug for hours long after the movie is over, also I love how the music in the film tells the story, rather than the story telling the music like so many other musicale in the pass that has done so, and I will admit that I didn’t think it was going to be a great film, maybe an okay movie at the most, but not the powerful masterpiece that it turned out to be, I was shocked and awed at this movie, because it takes the greatest songs by the greatest band of the planet and makes something on an entirely new level of greatness that will be remembered for many years to come.

Now I will say that this movie isn’t for everyone, it’s more like a Love it or Hate it type of film, so before just running out to the nearest best buy or wherever else you go be sure to look up info on the film first, because the last thing I want is people saying I lied it sucked. [Laughs] so what I loved was the film takes you back to a more innocent time and does so in it’s own authentic way through it’s expressing the hurt young people where feeling during this hard time of war, I also loved the way the movie equally tells the different problems of these individuals like in the closet homosexuality, anti war protesting, trying to survive in a war you never wanted to be a part of, falling out of love, and trying to make dissections between love or fame. Things that people today are still dealing with are presented in such a beautiful way in this film which I normally would say wont work for a two hours and eleven minute film, but in this case it did and in such a way that emotionally moved me, now I’m not saying that all these thing conquer the over all love story between Jude and Lucy, no it in fact helps it bridge the gaps between and makes it all the more magical, I also loved the cameos by Joe Cocker, Bono, Eddie Izzard, and Salma Hayek, oh and all you Salma Hayek lovers out there let me point out that there is this particular song number in the film where Joe Anderson’s character Max is in the hospital and being taken cared by almost a dozen Salma Hayeks in skimpy nurse outfits, yes you read it right I said almost a dozen, have you ever thought you ever see almost a dozen Salma Hayeks at once? No? well just thought I should let you all know in case you might want to check that out, and I can tell you now by the end of this film you will feel a little different from before watching it.

The story is about a young man name, Jude (Sturgess) who lived in Liverpool England his hole life with just his mother and is a dock worker always who always dreamed of one day finding his father and when he gets lucky he decides to jump ship in America to find his father, but to his discovery he learns that his father isn’t everything he thought he’d be, now with nothing to do he befriends a young collage student named, Max Carrigan (Anderson) and his sister Lucy Carrigan (Wood) together Jude and Max travel to New York and live together in a shared apartment with Sadie (Fuchs) a rocking singer, alone with the arrival of Lucy comes new found friends JoJo (Luther) and Prudence (Carpio) the five of them embark of a wonderful adventure of new friendships new experiences new loves and all the hardships that come along with it.

As for the acting; it was simple magnificent, Jim Sturgess was dead on for the part of Jude giving the character great emotional power that matches both his voice and the songs he sings, make simpler he was quite stunning, as for Evan Rachel Wood she was remarkable in the role of Lucy, I first seen her on camera in one 2003’s most controversial films “Thirteen” and than again in in yet another risky role in “Down in the Valley” which was also fantastic and just when I thought she couldn’t be any greater she goes and does “King of California” and now I was blowned away with her magnificent performance in this film, now I can’t wait to see what she makes next. As for Joe Anderson this is the first film I have seen him in and I liked his performance a lot, I’ll sure be looking forward to his work in the near further, Dana Fuchs was quite nice in this though her acting was a off key her wonderful voice however made up for it, Martin Luther also did a quite impressive performance for a newcomer in the movie industry, T.V. Carpio did a pretty good job in both acting and in singing, lastly I also like say that actors Dylan Baker, Robert Clohessy, Linda Emond, Joe Cocker, Bono, Salma Hayek, and Eddie Izzard, all do wonderful jobs and even though they have small roles init they manage making this film just a little more special.

Final Say: This is probably one the best musicals I have ever seen in my life and as I‘ve told you before I don‘t like musicals so for me this was really something, I put this right next to The Sound Of Music in my book. I highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 18, 2008

Review: Jumper (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Doug Liman
Written by: David S. Goyer (screenplay) and Jim Uhls (screenplay) and Simon Kinberg (screenplay) Steven Gould (novel)
Genre: Adventure / Drama / Sci-Fi
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some language and brief sexuality
Released: 14 February 2008
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker, AnnaSophia Robb, Max Thieriot, Jesse James, Tom Hulce, Kristen Stewart, Teddy Dunn, Barbara Garrick, Michael Winther, Massimiliano Pazzaglia.

Plot: A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between "Jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill them.

Review: 7/10

My Thoughts: If you could go anywhere you wanted in the world at the speed of thought, where would you go? Or better yet what would you do with your gift? These are the things that is broth froth in Jumper the movie it’s self is a bit of a mixed bag for me, I’m not saying it’s bad, but I’m not saying it’s good ether, just a mix bag, you see visually it is a spectacle wonder for the all seeing eyes and of course the idea of being able go from one place to the other just by thinking it is down right magnificent, but there is some problems with what director Doug Liman the man who brought us such hits like Swingers, The Bourne Identity and even 2005’s smash hit Mr. & Mrs. Smith. So you’d think with a track record like this he could go no where but up, but what I saw was somewhat of a downgrade from that of his previous works, now again I say this is in no way a bad movie, just not what I hoped it would be, I felt the films origins was rather rushed when there was so much yet to be explored like how are the “Jumpers” capable of teleportation, or how did the paladins learn of people with such gifts and why are they damned in the name of god, you see all of this is left out which should have if not all explained, at least a little.

For starters, we could always learn more in Jumper 2 (If there ever is one) which I do hope there is they do a great deal explaining to do, also there was a bit of holes here and there, like for example; who runs the paladins? Are they still under the command of the Roman Catholic Church? or have they gone rouge and if so who is giving them the orders to continue the killings of such people with special abilities? It’s certainly not Roland (Jackson) he is just a high-ranking commander among the foot solders which was unofficially confirmed in the film itself which obviously means there is a big boss or bosses out there, and yet we don’t see nor even hear of the slightest hint, which if they do make a part two like how it looks like they are trying to do than they better make sense of all this if they do make a sequel.

Another problem I had with the film was the narration at the beginning of the film done by Hayden Christensen, why? Because he lacks the proper vocal capacity to do such of a thing like narrating, it would have been better suiting if someone like Morgan Freeman or even James Earl Jones was the narrator because both of them have a strong and powerful voice that has the ability to move someone in almost any film. But than again having someone like James Earl Jones doing the narration would be a bad idea now that I think of it, why? Well because this movie already stars two Star Wars actors init, and putting another in there would only further the idea that the filmmakers are trying to pay homage to the Star Wars films or something through this film, also I thought there was way to little development for the villains, see what most of these filmmakers like Mr. Liman don’t understand is in this day and age people don’t care about the hero of the story but the villain, I mean yeah sure we all know the villain loses in the end but it’s the bad guy that attracts us to the film because the bad guy goes where we cannot or do the things we only dreamed of doing, so when you look at it most people (I included of course) identify with the wrongdoer more than the do-gooder, so if they are to make a sequel I very much would like to see more on the villains behalf.

The story is about a young man named David Rice (Christensen) who has a near death experiences as a boy, and just moments before he is about to drowns he somehow is teleported into a library away from harm now learning of his new found ability he runs away leaven behind his dad his friends and his long time crush, Millie (Bilson), far from home to start new life with his ability as a bank robber, now fast forward eight years to the present day he is now a young adult with a big penthouse in New York with all the money he could ever want, any woman he’s ever desired and go where ever he wishes at just a thought, but his perfect world soon comes crashing down around him when a man named, Roland (Jackson) tries to kill him, now he comes to realizes that he is not the only Jumper, and that his has stumbled into a holy war that has been going on for centuries, and everyone he’s ever known may very well be in danger including those he left behind.

As for acting, I have been in a debate with a few people over the last day or so about rather or not Hayden Christensen’s acting is somewhat reasonable or not, and in my opinion he isn’t bad but he’s definitely not good ether, some have debated with me that watching a fly fake an orgasm would be somewhat more believable than Hayden Christensen’s acting, seriously though he has got to do better, and it can‘t be blamed on his young age because I have seen much younger and newer stars come to the big screen with better quality in acting (and much less or some even no experience) than what he brings to the table, Now I’m not saying I dislike the guy, no far from it, I think he’s a pretty cool dude, just not cool in the acting department and trust me when I say I have seen a lot of bad performances and his is nearing to be among them if he doesn‘t do something soon, furthermore I would strongly advise Mr. Christensen that he go back to whichever acting school he attended and get more proper acting lessons or at least ask for his money back, because it’s pretty obvious that he did not get his moneys worth,

As Rachel Bilson I honestly have no idea what her part was even in this movie for, other than showing us a little soft-core T&A there was nothing to her character at all, in fact I found every minute she was on camera was a minute wasted when it could have been used to better the plot and the development of the main characters, as for Diane Lane her role was a tad to small to even be called a role, I mean it’s not a cameo, but it’s not a role ether her role should have been worked on more than just four minutes of screen time because that is just an embarrassment for a talented actress such as herself, also Jamie Bell did a nice job in his performance, but lust like Diane Lane his screen time is rather short, especially for someone his has been equally advertised in all the commercials along side Hayden Christensen, and yet he has such a small role which is greatly misleading from that of the ads. Also Michael Rooker did an okay performance, but I’m going to be honest with you here I felt his character didn‘t need all the screen time he was given, and of course last but defiantly not least the man himself, Samuel L. Jackson who was a downright bad motherfucker as the villain (when isn‘t he fantastic) as usual he manages to pull of another stunning performance as the bad but yet cool villain in this movie and can honestly say it was his performance and his alone made this all the more worth wild to watch.

Final Say: Like I’ve said this in no way a bad movie, but it’s not entirely a good one ether because for every good thing there was a bad, I wont recommend this to watch in theaters, but I will however recommend it to see on DVD when it does come out.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Review: Gone Baby Gone [Reviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

Gone Baby Gone
Review By: Kelsey Zukowski
Starring: Casey Affleck, Amy Ryan, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Titus Welliver, Amy Madigan
Directed By: Ben Affleck
Written By: Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard
Released: 2007
Grade: A-

Gone Baby Gone is a very successful film adaptation of the novel by Dennis Lehane, which Ben Affleck says is his favorite novel. This is Ben Afflecks directorial debut in a major motion picture. His ability to take this material and transfer it with great conviction proves himself as a director and his passion of the material is shown. He also shows the Boston atmosphere accurately as he in addition to his brother, the star of the film, Casey Affleck, are both Boston born.

4-year old, Amanda McCready, has been kidnapped. The police, including Captain Jack Doyle (Freeman) are doing all they can to find her. Doyle has lost a daughter through a kidnapping as well that led to death. However, a few days after the investigation begins there are no real answers, Amanda’s aunt, Beatrice (Madigan) along with her hesitant husband, Lionel (Welliver) seek out private investigators, Patrick (Affleck) and his girlfriend, Angie (Monaghan) to help with the case. They are missing persons detectives, but they have never taken on a case this serious before. With every cop in the city looking for Amanda, Angie doubts whether they would be the ones to find her. Beatrice is persistent though, desperate to do anything she can to find her niece and Patrick agrees.

After talking with the mother, Helene (Ryan), they find out that she wasn’t exactly the model parent. She is an essential drug addict and she often took Amanda to the bar, including recently before she was abducted. Patrick and Angie begin questioning some of the people who were at this bar. He does have an edge since he isn’t a cop and therefore, perceived as one of the guys, making it easier to talk to these people. Not everyone sees him this way though. He begins working with Detective Remmy Besant (Harris). They have a suspect, Cheese, who is a local drug dealer. Patrcik says he knows he kidnapped Amanda and offers an exchange of money. He says no one ever has to know what he did. This doesn’t end well though. It takes more investigation and understanding for Patrick to realize that the guilty party may not be so far away, perhaps it is someone right in front of his very eyes.

Casey Affleck did a phenomenal job as Patrick. He does have a boyish quality to him, but that works well as at times he is perceived as young and inexperienced. By the end of the film, he has gone through so much and had to make so many life altering decisions that he loses a part of that innocence that he had. Even though, he wasn’t the main focus Morgan Freeman made for a very sympathetic cop. Even when you question his decisions and mind sets, you completely understand him. Amy Ryan was very convincing as the irresponsible mother of Amanda. There is definite questioning of whether she was deserving of Amanda. She had somewhat of a white trashy persona as someone in a rough neighborhood of Boston, overtaken by the fast life of drugs would when having a young daughter that she was responsible for. Ed Harris did a very good job as well. He had very many stages in the film and when you look at it all, he is very convincing in each one of these stages. It is not until you are able to see him at each point until his character is really clear.

One of the best things about Gone Baby Gone is that it always keeps you guessing. Some of this could be reflected on the novel, but either way it remains to be very refreshing. I would have expected for them to go through a number of struggles and then Amanda would be found. I don’t want to say anything else about the ending, but there were points where I thought it was over before it really was. If it would have ended there, I would have been surprised and it would have made an impression on me. Yet, things began to complicate even further. Situations became stickier and the right conclusion didn’t seem so clear. In the end it was very interesting and really kept your mind going.

A major theme through out the film but particularly towards the end was the moral questioning of what is right and what is wrong. I previously mentioned that Helene may not be the most suitable mother. Is it possible that Amanda may have been better off with a kidnapper? The role of the kidnapper here is complex as well. As the story progresses there is suggestion she was have been taken by someone who may have even known Amanda. It makes you more weary of who you trust. The other side of this role is that we perceive the kidnapper as evil and selfish. In some ways these traits are shown, but in a surprising way. On the other side, there is a kind and caring side that is shown. However, good intentioned, a kidnapper is still a kidnapper right? This exposes that the law may not always be the right thing. There is the question of whether you will abide by it or follow your own sense of right and wrong. Gone Baby Gone does this while still showing that an individual can believe that there are rights in both sides, just as there can be wrongs in the justices you attempt to enforce.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Review: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Andrew Dominik
Written by: Andrew Dominik (screenplay) Ron Hansen (novel)
Genre: Biography / Drama / Western
MPAA: Rated R for some strong violence and brief sexual references.
Released: 21 September 2007
Starring: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary-Louise Parker, Brooklynn Proulx, Dustin Bollinger, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Sam Shepard, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Schneider.

Plot: Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Review: 9/10

My Thoughts: Jesse James, one of the most famous American outlaws is history, to some he was a cold hearted thieving killer, but to others he was known as a modern day robin hood of his time who stole from the rich and did good by is common man and was cowardly assassination by the hand of Robert Ford, but what about the man who killed him? Little is really known to public about him, other than the fact he killed a legend in the most cowardliness of way is the only thing we really remember or at least want to. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford takes a deep look into the man behind the gun, and shows us what kind of man Robert Ford really was, how he wanted to be a somebody in life, and respected by the James Younger gang, and his deep obsession of Jesse James that would soon become bitter resentment and eventually doing something he never thought he would ever do, but to say that would be getting ahead of myself.

The movie is emotionally charged, both Jesse James (Pitt) and his killer Robert Ford (Affleck) are so nicely done portrayed in this that it will make your heart go out to them, and even make you feel a little uneasy at times when you shouldn’t, but strongly enough it works brilliantly, for one thing the film takes off seven months before Jesse James is killed during their last ride as the James Younger Gang and showing Robert Ford first meeting Jesse and befriending him, but it also shows that not long after the gang splits Jesse falls into a deep frame of depression while also suffering from insomnia which slowly puts him into a state of paranoia with unpredictable mood swings, one minute he’s having a good old laugh with you and the other he’s got a knife to you’re throat, while it also shows how a young and bright man like Robert Ford so greatly wanting to be like his idle he ended up killing for it, but with such things also comes regret and for him regret would be something he’d live with for the rest of his life, or at least until his very own assignation of course, which he is forever remembered in history as a coward, this is clearly a message to how the news media spins the evince around to the public by making a simple outlaw a bright and pure hero which he will live on as a legend, and a good man who regrets what he did remembered as a shameful coward, ultimately it’s the antidote or the answer if you will to what comes to all cowboys after they ride into that big sunset, which is a sad story with a statement saying no happy ending to those who are remember, because after all would we even want to remember someone in history who had a happy ending? The answer is no, because none wants (Or at least admit it) to see others have a happy ending, and yet when you look at these sad stories of tragedy and unfortunate lose, it is also beautifully poetic in a way, I also must add that the cinematography was magnificent beautiful, well done if you ask me, and the score which I will say is greatly moving, it matches the film dead on with the same amount of power that equals to the films plot and performance, overall it is truly remarkable score that goes great with a remarkable film.

The story is about a young nineteen year old skittish man named Robert Ford who aims to be great, and during the last train robbery by none other than the James Younger Gang lead by Jesse and Frank James, Robert befriends Jesse and rides with his gang in hopes that he’ll gain fame, and after the last job the gang permanently disband, but soon after Jesse reforms a new gang with Robert and his brother Charley Ford, but as time goes by and Jesse showing signs of becoming somewhat violently unpredictable, Robert soon realizes he will never be nothing more than a lackey, or a joke to that of the great Jesse James, and what once was a harmless obsession, now is a bitterness that runs deep, and if he can’t get fame through being by Jesse side, he’ll kill for it.

Now as for the acting, I most say that Casey Affleck was fantastic as Robert Ford, making his character someone who is quite uneasy to watch and sometimes shy, plus I was shocked when I saw his performance because he has always stayed in the shadows of other actors in pretty much every film he’s been in, but he sure made a believer out of me while watching this, showing he has the determination, the skill, and most of all the heart to be Oscar worthy. As for Brad Pitt, the man can do no wrong, it seems that as an actor is somewhat like a fine wine who’s quality only gets better with age. As for actor Sam Shepard though his role in this film is incredibly short, he still pulled of a fantastic performance, and Paul Schneider, Garret Dillahunt, Sam Rockwell, Mary-Louise Parker just to name a few, all do great jobs in making this film wonderful, but to say only them made this film great would be an understatement, as the hole cast was truly a perfect cast down to the last man and woman.

Final Say: I really enjoyed watching this film much much more than I expected, but I most warn you that this movie is not for everyone, You ether really love it or really hate it, but I personally loved it greatly and I highly recommend it.
Copyright 2008
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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Review: Waitress (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Adrienne Shelly
Written by: Adrienne Shelly
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Romance
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and thematic elements.
Released: 25 May 2007
Starring: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith, Adrienne Shelly, Eddie Jemison, Lew Temple, Darby Stanchfield, Heidi Sulzman, Lauri Johnson, Sarah Hunley, Cindy Drummond, Nathan Dean, Caroline Fogarty.

Plot: Jenna is a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep south. She meets a newcomer to her town and falls into an unlikely relationship as a last attempt at happiness.

Rating: 7/10

My Thoughts: So I heard about this movie earlier this year but decided that I would just wait for it on DVD like so many other movies I review. So the other day I finally sat down to watch it. And I must say it quite enjoyable. The movie was fun, very loving and warmhearted. And it had originality to it which I feel is very impotent theses days as there is very little or no originality left in Hollywood. But this movie was a sure fresh sight for these eyes.

The story is about a young waitress named Jenna (Russell) who works at a southern diner who love what she does best. Making pies and she dreams of one day entering and winning the national pie contest and taking the money to one day leave her good for nothing husband and opening her own bakery/diner, but when her abusive deadbeat of a husband Earl (Sisto) gets her drunk so he can get his five seconds of pleasure from her, (and yes it’s only about five seconds. LOL.) she finds out that she’s pregnant because of him, and she feels that this is it. Her life is over because now she’ll never be able to leave him now. Until she goes to make sure that she’s 100% pregnant she falls head over into one of the most unlikely affairs with her new hot doctor Dr. Pomatter (Fillion). Now Jenna is in a world of mess and doesn’t know what to do.

Now the movies was great, a little too quirky at times but still good, the acting was nice Keri Russell who I must say has come a long way from her days on Felicity. With a background showing movies like The Upside of Anger, and even her small role in Mission: Impossible III, is showing that she is coming into her own light away from the show Felicity, which she’s stereotyped for, and does a wonderful performance. And Nathan Fillion also does a pretty decent job playing Dr. Pomatter. And it was really a pleasure to see Andy Griffith back on the big screen. Also Jeremy Sisto’s performance as Earl was great! He make you want to hate his characters and love watching him get owned in the end, all though I liked this movie a lot, in the end I felt that there was something missing. A movie is like a pie with all it’s essential ingredients needed to make it work, and when one, just one of those ingredients go missing, you’re left with an incomplete product, that’s how I felt until I learned what that missing ingredient was.

Adrienne Shelly who directed and co-stared alongside Keri Russell was killed before the movie was done. If you ask me some people see movies as art, others see them for what they are, a movie. I on the other hand tend to see it as a child, and the director as the parent. From start to finish the movie will go through a transforming from child to adult, with the director as the parent raising it to adulthood. But what happens when the parent isn’t there to raise it? You’re left with something missing. And that how I felt, the movie was just missing that magic someone only Adrienne Shelly could give to make it grand.

Final Say: Even though this movie wasn’t as satisfying as I hoped it would be it’s still worth taking a look at. So it’s still rental fare and I recommend it.

Copyright 2008
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Friday, February 8, 2008

Review: The Brave One (2007) [ReviewReviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

The Brave One
Review By: Kelsey Zukowski
Starring: Jodie Foster, Terrance Howard
Directed By: Neil Jordan
Written By: Roderick Taylor, Bruce A. Taylor
Released: 2007
Grade: B+

The Brave One is a very effective revenge film that doesn’t stick to the norms of the genre. It actually started out as more of a genre film just with a female vigilante rather than the typical male role. Other changes were than made to make this a battle of body and mind. It shows us that revenge doesn’t always have to be directed at one person, it can be towards violence in general. However, when you fight violence with violence you may not like the person you become; the person you are stuck with.

Erica Bain (Foster) is a radio broadcasting on a talk radio show. She is happily anticipating the wedding she is planning with her fiancé. One day they are taking their dog for a walk. The dog runs off and they aren’t the first ones to find it. A group of guys have the dog in custody, taunting it in front of Erica. They are trying to get some money out of the situation, which just leads to further trouble. These strangers attack them until Erica is blacked out. She goes in to a coma and she doesn’t wake up until 3 weeks later. It was assumed that she wasn’t going to come back in to conscious. Erica wakes up to find out that her fiancé didn’t survive, he was beaten to death.

Erica completely breaks done from hearing this news and she is only left with the horrible memories of that attack. The fear, hate, and rage is overloading and she simply can’t handle it anymore. Erica attempts to buy a gun, but needs a license in order to and wouldn’t be able to get it for 30 days anyway. She doubts that she will be alive in 30 days without protection. So she buys one illegally and it isn’t long before she uses it. Erica finds herself at a convenient store robbery. She is spotted and shoots the thief. She than flees the scene scared from what she has just done. Erica begins finding herself in a number of situations like this. She kills two men on a subway who stole a boy’s iPod and threatened her as well as a pervert who had “collected” prostitutes. He had one girl locked in his car for nearly a week and attempted to make Erica a part of this collection as well. Detective Mercer (Howard) finds connections between all of these murders. He is sure the same person is responsible for all of them. When he sees Erica near one of the crime scenes, she says this is because she was looking for an interview for her show. They have the interview and they end up becoming friends. Mercer begins to suspect that Erica might be hiding something and possibly that she is the murderer he is looking for. This becomes even more clear when she kills a murderous man who Mercer was trying convict but was helpless in the situation.

Jodie Foster becomes Erica Bain. She does a wonderful job and makes the movie about more than the violence. It becomes about the inner struggle that she just can’t overcome. Terrance Howard was terrific in the supporting role of Detective Mercer. Howard has given many excellent performances. He goes for movies that mean something and that stick with you. The Brave One is no exception for that. There was something very genuine about his character and performance. Just watching him engaged you so much. Between him and the crazy cycle and uncontrollable violence that Erica was going through, it was really hard to look away.

The Brave One is about fear and what it can do to you. It only takes one terrifying experience, violence exhibited towards you to change your life forever. Erica just wants to feel safe, but it takes very severe measures to get to that safety. From the moment she buys the gun, hope of getting back to normal is gone. She gives that life up. Having that gun gives her a sense of power, something that she wished she had the day of the attack. Erica really doesn’t feel like she has control over her life now. No matter what, her boyfriend is gone forever and he is never coming back. Her dog was kidnapped and she has become a much darker individual. Erica is a very intelligent person. Her voice is heard on the radio, absent of her body. She floats around the city killing others like a wronged ghost haunting those who wreck its’ peace. She still has that intelligence but no matter what she tells herself, her hurt is too strong. Killing becomes a reflex that is triggered over and over again. She knows what she is doing is wrong, but it is something that is stronger than her. Erica wants revenge but not just on those who have harmed her. She wants revenge on all of those causing harm or committing crimes. Erica has the chance to lock up her attacker, but she doesn’t. Being put in jail isn’t enough for her. She wants them to feel what she felt, she wants to take their life herself.

Towards the beginning of the film, New York City, where the film takes place, is shown much more positively. Erica used to love the city, but as she sees all of the wrongs that are happening, she has only fear and hatred for it. There is questioning of the vigilante role as well. Is it simply wrong or does it have some justice in it? Everyone who Erica kills is a violent person harming others’ lives. She feeds on stopping them. Yet not even she can ignore the fact that she is becoming that person she hates so much. This is a person she can never escape. None of her victims were in the right and in most cases she was defending herself. However, she could have just as easily defended herself by showing she had a gun. For all she knows, those people may have been in horrid experience just like she was that turned them to crime. The Brave One shows us that you might not know yourself as well as you think you do. Everyone is capable of terrible things. There are also questions of whether loyalty or duty is more important. Mercer wants to be the best cop he can be, but he wonders if he could turn in someone who was a true friend. When it boils down to it, he sacrifices himself in order to give Erica a piece of mind.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: The Nines (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: John August
Written by: John August
Genre: Drama / Fantasy / Mystery
MPAA: Rated R for language, some drug content and sexuality
Released: 31 August 2007
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy, Hope Davis, Elle Fanning, David Denman, Octavia Spencer, Ben Falcone, Dahlia Salem, John Gatins, Andy Fielder, Greg Baine, Martin Yu.

Plot: A troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: So the other night I had the pleasure of watching The Nines, and I must say I was greatly impressed with what I saw, first off let me say I knew nothing about the film other than funny man Ryan Reynolds stared in it, so my expectations wasn’t too high as I had assumed this was yet another comedy with little or no intelligence, as most of you know Reynolds is not known for serious roles so I did think it to be anything special, but what I saw just blow me away and had me warped into the movie 100%. What got me so into it was the complexity of the film, and how it keeps you guessing until the very end as well as giving you a little puzzle piece to the overall big picture little by little and also the direction the movie takes the viewer, for one thing the movie is made up on three short stories involving the same cast playing different roles, which are much different from the last one while at the same time connected to each other as a bigger story.

The thing that connects these character’s together is the fact that bizarre and strange things are happening to these people and it is all surrounded around the number nine, the question here is what does it mean, and what does it have to do with them, the answer however is not in the story, but behind it, hidden from the viewing eye and you most pay close attention in between the lines to fully understand what is really amiss. also each of the three stories have a significantly different feel and style in it’s cinematography, like for example; the first story has a bright and vibrantly colorful feel to it that seems like you’re watching a nice and easy going film, but as the story continues you slowly see that this is no where near as the happy go lucky film, in fact it will give some light chills and thrills along the way that will ultimately be the set up for you to be sucked into the rest of the story, now the second story has a much different take from the first one with the exact same cast and even a some very similar settings from the last story but the cast now playing different people with a different storyline, and the feel and style to it is in a reality style with some of the cast actually playing their real selves, and again the story gives yet another puzzle piece to the story, than finally the third act comes into play now with a darker and very grim look to it, here is where the viewer will see the story’s final puzzle unveiled which will ultimately conclude to it’s reveling the true answer behind the mystery that is the nines.

The first is about three short stories, first being about a young actor named, Gary (Reynolds) after braking up with his girlfriend and accidentally burning down his own house due to being high at the time, his publicist, Margaret (McCarthy) manages to have all charges dropped under the condition he is put under house arrest in the home of one of her clients, while away for six weeks. While he’s there he encounters strange noises at night and odd phone calls and a next door neighbor that might be a little too friendly, but most of all is everything he encounters around him seems to be connected to the nines, the second story is about a screenwriter named, Gavin (Reynolds) who is being taped for a reality TV show of him working on his new show while he is away from his home for six weeks while trying to get his new show off the ground, he cast longtime friend actress Melissa McCarthy (Herself ) for the lead role, only problem is every turn he make something bad keeps happening and more and more his new show is starting to show signs of never getting off the ground, the third story is about a videogame designer named, Gabriel (Reynolds) who is camping out with his wife, Mary (McCarthy) and daughter, Noelle (Fanning) after camping trip is coming to it’s end and it’s time to back it all up they realize that their care battery is dead and they need help. While trying to hitchhike his way back to the nearest town to get some help, but be doing so he encounters some problems that may very well be the end of the world around him.

As for the acting; well like I’ve said earlier Ryan Reynolds is not an actor I take seriously, manly because as an actor he sticks to the same kind of movies with roles that are way to similar (Van Wilder, Waiting, Just Friends) even his role in ”Blade: Trinity” was somewhat comedic, however I will say that his roles in The “Amityville Horror” and “Smokin' Aces” was fantastic even though I didn’t care for the films all that much, but when you look at his track record you’ll see more comedic roles than serious ones so I thought oh this is going to be just another one of those films where he just acts funny the hole time, but wow, he manages to pull off doing this complex film with fantastic performance, not to mention he acts in each of the three roles significantly from each other, which showed that there’s hope for Mr. Reynolds yet, as for Melissa McCarthy well I can honestly say she did great, she a magnificent actress that is never appreciated manly because of her weight. See for some reason in today’s time that it’s cool to be thin, and un-cool to be on the heavy side, well the thing I mostly respect about Melissa McCarthy is the fact she doesn’t care what other people think about her being overweight, plus if you’ve seen her in “Gilmore Girls” you’ll know she’s great, and also little Elle Fanning was great, I can see she is fallowing in her sister’s (Dakota Fanning) footsteps, who knows she might just become the next big child star, she sure has the talent, and last but not least, actress Hope Davis was magnificent, she pulled off doing all three of her roles fantastically, I loved her acting in this as much as I love her in “American Splendor” and now this.

Final Say: I really enjoyed this movie, which was essentially something I was not expecting, though I will say however that The Nines is not for everyone as some will like it and others will, you get the picture right?, Love it or Hate it I highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Re

Monday, February 4, 2008

Review: The Comebacks (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Tom Brady
Written by: Ed Yeager (screenplay) and Joey Gutierrez (screenplay)
Genre: Comedy / Sport
MPAA: Rated PG-13 on appeal for crude and sexual content throughout and some drug material
Released: 19 October 2007
Starring: David Koechner, Carl Weathers, Matt Lawrence, Brooke Nevin, George Back, Will Arnett, Jermaine Williams, Andy Dick, Dax Shepard, Bradley Cooper.

Plot: This spoof comedy follows an out-of-luck coach, Lambeau Fields, who takes a rag-tag bunch of college misfits and drives them towards the football championships. In the process, this life-long loser discovers that he is a winner after all by redeeming himself, saving his relationship with his family and friends, and finding that there is indeed, no "I" in "team"!

Review: 2/10

My Thoughts: There once was a time when the word “parody” meant something in movies, this was undoubtedly the golden age for spoof comedies known as the 70’s and 80’s. this golden age was made up on films that spoofed other films as well as actual evince and made it work in a very tasteful and some times no so tasteful manner, but all in all it worked fine and made people all around laugh, but than the dawn of the 90’s began and there showed signs of a Genre that was without a doubt slowly dying, films that had more jokes having misses than hits and spoofing that was so idiotic that it made you if anything laugh at it than with it, and of course the new millennium hit and it seems the Genre is now almost completely dead, and yet the same filmmakers who killing this Genre continues to make sad and hopeless attempt after another trying to bring it back to life but by doing this only puts it further into the grave that they have made for it, thinking that if they keep trying eventually it will bounce back, but what they don’t understand is it won’t, it won’t bounce back it’ll just fade away.

The comebacks like other films before it failed horribly to this already dying Genre by trying to hard to be funny than actually being funny, and what I mean by that is back in the day of great parodies a movie didn’t have to be literal when spoofing another film, just hinting it here and there which the audience caught on to no doubt, and if they didn’t they would eventually. But no in today’s film much like this one they overly go into detail in spoofing that the joke is killed by it and what could have been a great laugh ends up being something too embarrassing to look at, like for example; in the movie during the sports montages we see the main character Coach Fields (David Koechner) spoof Kurt Russell’s character from Miracle by wearing the same outfit as he did and even have the same hairdo, than they spoofed the movie Dodgeball when they show him teaching the football team how to dodge a tackle, by this time the character went through a complete transformation from having no hair to having a great hairdo, to having long hair and a light beard and suddenly being in a wheelchair and telling the team if they can dodge a wrench they can dodge a tackle, which is so obviously spoofing Rip Torn’s character, Patches O'Houlihan from Dodgeball.

Honestly I think I’m not alone her when I say this but I could have figured that out by myself without them having to scream it out to me without making it so damn obvious and ridiculously stupid, plus they could have had all these jokes left in and still made it a good movie, all they would have had to do was make other people play the spoofed roles than the same damn actor for Pete’s sake, also the plot seems to center around the coach and his family, however there are so many other things going on in this movie that it takes the viewer continuously away from the main plot, overall it was just downright embarrassing to keep my eyes on the screen the hole time, I mean I even feel embarrassed to dedicate this much amount of my time and life on a movie this bad.

The story is about coach, Lambeau Fields (Koechner) a man who has never won at anything in his life, and after coaching every sport you can think of he give up all sports and works an honest job as a horse massager (He jerks horses off for a living), until one day he old buddy Freddie Wiseman (Weathers) tells him about a collage football team called The Comebacks is looking for a new coach, and that this might be his last first chance at winning, now he must whip these players up and make them the best team in the deviation.

As for the acting, well much like the movie itself I was greatly disappointed with actor David Koechner, I mean after seeing him in such hilarious films like Talladega Nights which was why funnier than this, or his small role in Anchorman and also his cameo in The 40 Year Old Virgin was all fantastic, so you’d think with a career background like that he’d do great being in the lead, right? Wrong! I now know he needs more experience playing side roles before given the solo lead again, I was also disappointed with actor Carl Weathers, for those of you who are too young to remember him, he played as Apollo Creed in Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, and Rocky IV, and than he blow our mind away when he co-stared in Predator, you’d think he can’t do any wrong, but than I saw this horrible film and seen he can. Talk about a career taking a turn for the worst, as for the rest of the cast, well there isn’t anything really to say here as it is made up on B-list and C-list actors and actresses, and plus I don’t desire to waste anymore of your time reading my rant on this movies, so I’ll end it with my finale say.

Final Say: The Comebacks is yet another film that falls into the what could have been category, however though I disliked it I will admit it had it’s moments, but other than that all it is, is an hour half of moments with no intelligence that had me feeling as if I lose some mine in the process. So I do not recommend it, but if you still plan to see it than all I can say is watch at your own risk.

Copyright 2008
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