Sunday, January 31, 2010

So I'm part of this awesome thing....

I'm a member of a team involved in the Kapco Charitable Challenge. We have 20 days and $1000 to do something really cool for the community. The details of what we are doing are not quite here yet, but you can visit our website: or our Facebook page: or follow us on Twitter: I'll let you know more soon, and for now just watch for updates on the website, facebook page, and twitter account!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One of those movie that you're embarrassed to watch with your mom...

About five minutes ago, I finished watching The Hangover (2009) for the first time. This movie wasn't the funniest movie I've seen, but it was one of the best written comedies. It is creative, not generic.

If you haven't seen it, here's a brief summary: 4 guys go to Vegas for a bachelor party, get really drunk/drugged, wake up with a lot of weird stuff, realize the groom is missing, and have to figure it out from there... It was really cleverly written. The acting was really good, especially from Zach Galifianakis (Alan). (You'll know him when you seem him.) There is quite a bit of language and one naked Chinese guy (Ken Jeong, Community), but all in all, this movie was hilarious.

This movie runs 100 minutes and is rated R. DO NOT show this to kids, it will screw them up. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10 for a creative screenplay and because it was really funny.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One of my favorite Christmas movies....

We all make choices, choices that decide our path in life and choices that define us. All of our choices define us. What if we could get a glimpse of what our life would be like if we chose otherwise? The Family Man (2000) explores what Jack Campbell's (Nicolas Cage) life would be like if he changed his mind in college. Jack gets the glimpse of a lifetime.

This film stresses priorities and choosing love over career. It is a wonderful, wholesome message wrapped in a humorous package. This film is brilliantly written and hits me right in the heart. I adore this film and will make a point of watching it every Christmastime.

The Family Man runs 126 minutes and is rate PG-13. Aside from some language (two words) this film is one that the whole family can watch. I give it 10 ramheads out of 10.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Off my bookshelf...

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol (2009), the novel-sequel to the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, is a fast paced, intelligent, and sometimes pretentious novel following around hero Robert Langdon. Just like its predecessor, this book is FICTION and not to be taken as truth. There are some portions of this fictional novel that undermine my faith, and made me uncomfortable. All in all, this book was a great read, but must be taken as fiction. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10.

I don't get it...

I have heard a lot of great reviews of Pulp Fiction (1994) and decided to get it from the library. I started watching, ignoring the obscene language because of the great reviews. As I watched, the language was lessening as the film rolled on, so I was pleased. But about an hour into it, I decided to stop watching. This film was not logical, it was really obscene, and was not at all entertaining. A story was almost nonexistent, and I was done. I have limited experience with Quentin Tarantino films, and Pulp Fiction really let me down. I've heard good things about Inglorious Bastards, but after watching Pulp, I have less interest in seeing it. Whatever Tarantino was trying to do or say in his film...I didn't buy it.

Pulp Fiction runs 154 minutes and is rated R. Definitely DON'T show this to kids. I give it 1 ramhead out of 10.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grab your umbrella!

Like I said in an earlier post, I watched A LOT of movies over my Christmas break. Rain Man (1988) was one of my favorites. This film deserved all the awards it won.

The film is about a selfish foreign car importer, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) and his discovery, upon his father's death, that he had a brother--Raymond (Dustin Hoffman)--and that his brother is an autistic savant (he is extraordinarily with numbers and memory, but lacks the ability to do simple tasks and to have normal relationships). Charlie "kidnaps" his brother, intending to get ransom money from the institution he took Raymond from, but things don't go his way. He ends up traveling across the country all the while growing more and more fond of his brother.

It is a story of transformation for Charlie, and a heartwarming one at that. There is a bit of language, but it is definitely part of Charlie's character and is necessary for the film. Tom Cruise does an excellent job, but Dustin Hoffman gave the performance of a lifetime. He was truly spectacular.

Rain Man runs 133 minutes and is rated R. This is not a film for children. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Elementary....or not?

Just minutes ago I returned from the movie theatre upon seeing Sherlock Holmes (2009). I must say, I was thoroughly entertained! Robert Downy Jr. (Holmes) is spectacular and his Golden Globe was much deserved.

This film did was movies are supposed to do: entertain. The acting was solid. The story was definitely a Sherlock Holmes mystery, very well written. The music (by Hans Zimmer) was spectacular. It was the best music I've heard since Harry Potter 6. Here's a song that's not on the soundtrack, but featured in the end credits:
This film looks really good. London looks great. Great filmography. The only thing missing is the fabled term "Elementary" from Holmes' dialogues with Watson.

If you haven't yet seen it, go ahead!

P.S. They are already planning a sequel, and Brad Pitt is probably going to be the villain.

Sherlock Holmes runs 128 minutes and is rated PG-13. Most kids would be fine watching this one.... 9 ramheads out of 10 for a purely entertaining experience.

It's kinda sad to see a baby die....

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) was very curious indeed, it probably didn't deserve all the nominations it received, but won what it deserved. Confused yet? It was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes, but didn't win any GG's and won Oscars for "Art Direction", "Makeup", and "Visual Effects". These I agree it deserves, but definitely not even a Best Picture nomination.

Sure, the concept is extremely intriguing (originally written as a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald), but the filmmakers didn't do enough with it. The acting was outstanding, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett both shined. The visual effects were really well done. The music was sufficient; it didn't stand out as bad or good. Technically, the parts were there, but I still would have changed a few things.

First, this film was missing morality. Random sexual encounters occurred numerous times and the marriages in this film weren't good examples. The magnet-affected moral compass was troubling to me... Second, this film was really LONG. It wasn't quite 3 hours, but it felt like it. Finally, this film was missing its X-factor. The filmmakers seemed to rely on the concept of reverse aging to drive the entire film. It didn't and I was disappointed.

Benjamin Button runs 166 minutes and is rated PG-13. Sure you can show it to kids, but they would probably be bored. I give it a disappointing 6 ramheads out of 10.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Globe notables...

Avatar won 2 - Best Drama, Best Director=James Cameron

Up won 2 - Best Animated Picture, Best Original Score=Michael Giacchino

Blind Slide - Best Actress in Drama=Sandra Bullock

Sherlock Holmes - Best Actor in Comedy=Robert Downey Jr.

I'll Be Back....

During my Christmas break I watched all four films in the Terminator series. I was actually quite impressed. Here are my reviews:

The Terminator (1984)
This film was noticeably made in the '80s. The music, the special effects, the styles...all '80s. That being said, this movie was not overly cheesy. The film is about a Terminator (Schwarzenegger) sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) to prevent her son (John Conner) from being born and becoming a threat to Skynet's existence. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent to protect her. Arnold was a nearly unstoppable force and the acting overall was sufficient, not great. There was a bit of language, otherwise I generally liked this film.

The Terminator
runs 108 minutes and is rated R. Don't show this to kids, there is a lot of language and a sex scene (with unnecessary nudity). I give this first film of the series 6 ramheads out of 10.Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Arnold's back (as promised), but this time as a reprogrammed (by future John Conner) older model Terminator sent from the future to protect young John Conner (Edward Furlong) from the newer (unrealistic) shape-shifting Terminator (Robert Patrick). The good Terminator and young Conner end up bonding and this film is much more complex and deep than its predecessor. There is still a lot of language--mostly from Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton).

This film runs 137 minutes and is rated R. Again, there is a lot of language and some violence, so I wouldn't show this film to children. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10, because it has a heart.Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)Terminator 3 follows John Conner (Nick Stahl), in his 20s and living off the grid. He was sent another older reprogrammed Terminator (Schwarzenegger) from the future for his protection. This time, for whatever reason, the new Terminator--a female Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken)--does not have the shape-shifting abilities of the terminator in the previous installation, but she can control other machines. This third installment of the series is probably the weakest in terms of acting performances. Stahl doesn't capture the character of John Conner as well as Furlong did in T2, his character doesn't have as much fire, he isn't as memorable. Arnold's Terminator is also a lot weaker than in T2.

I liked this movie, despite some acting issues. Terminator 3 runs 109 minutes and is rated R, but I would be ok with showing this to my younger brother, it is mostly for the action/violence. I give this film 7 ramheads out of 10.Terminator Salvation (2009)I was first introduced to Sam Worthington in Avatar, but I didn't realize he was in Terminator Salvation first. His character, Marcus Wright, is a surprisingly deep character: a rebuilt victim of the death penalty, who meets Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and is determined to save him after he is captured by the machines. The film takes place in 2018, featuring the Resistance and John Conner (Christian Bale) fighting Skynet and the machines. They are determined to find Kyle Reese, because if he is killed Conner will cease to exist (Reese in Conner's father). The plot is interesting, the acting is good, and the action is awesome.

Terminator Salvation runs 115 minutes and is rated PG-13. This is more tame that T3, kids would be ok watching this. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10.

P.S. I heard there is a fifth Terminator installment in the works, starring Christian Bale.

Remember Even Stevens?

I got Disturbia (2007) from the library last week because I've heard good things about it (and I like to watch movies)....also, because it always makes me think of the song Disturbia by Rihanna...

The film focuses on Kale (Shia LaBeouf) and his punching-his-Spanish-teacher-in-the-face invoked house arrest. Upon the realization that his mom canceled his X-Box Live and iTunes and cuts the cord to his TV, he takes to sleeping, making Twinkie towers, and watching his neighbors with binoculars. He ends up learning a lot about his neighbors: some are boring, some are hot (and end up dating you), and some are serial killers.

The story is intriguing, but not complex. There were moments that I was having a hard time watching, because I knew something bad was going to happen. For that, I commend this film. It really made my heart pound. There are some things that I (and most others) would not do that some of the characters in this movie did. For example, I would never sneak into someone's home--who I suspect to be a crazed killer--and poke around trying to figure out if he is one.....especially not at night. And, if I was unable, I would definitely not convince my best friend to do so, putting him in harms way, possibly awaiting his death. For these moments of shear stupidity, I take away ramheads.

The filmography is well done, the music is great, the acting was solid. Disturbia runs 105 minutes and is rated PG-13. This would probably scare kids, so use discretion. I give this film 7 ramheads out of 10.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quick intro to the next few reviews...

Ok, so I just watched a quite a few movies, but I haven't reviewed them yet. I'm working on it...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm breaking the first rule of Fight Club...

Everyone I've talked to whose seen Fight Club (1999)raves about it, so I figured I'd watch it...

I was pleasantly surprised with the complexity and the story, but unimpressed with the language: this film has a lot of strong language.

In brief, Fight Club is an excellent film, one that you can watch more than once, but there is a lot of language. The violence, which is also prevalent, doesn't really bother me, but the language does. I know it is necessary for the story, but still. I've discovered that I like the movies that have limited strong language better than those with it a lot of language. I think it is because of the way I was raised.

The acting is flawless: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter are all great. The filmography is excellent and the music is perfect. 'nuff said.

I acknowledge this films awesomeness, and wouldn't mind seeing it again. Fight Club runs 139 minutes and is rated R. DO NOT show this to kids. Not even close. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10 (one ramhead taken for the language).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Citizen first REAL classic movie review...

While browsing the DVDs at my local library, I came across Citizen Kane, the 1941 Academy Award winning classic, starring Orson Welles. I had heard of it, and knew it was considered a classic. I figured I'd culture myself and watch it.

While this film does not have amazing action scenes, dazzling special effects, or even an exciting story, it does capture the essence of man. Man who was given away for money. Man who could get almost anything he wanted. We journeyed with that man. We saw that man at his best, though he never achieved what he could, and we saw him at his worst.

Charles Foster Kane didn't have God, he never really loved, and he strove for the love of others, to win the hearts of the people. His people.

I thought the film was brilliantly written, with the perfect ending. I would recommend anyone who is mature enough to watch it. It earned the title classic.

Citizen Kane was made before ratings, but I wouldn't show it to kids, they wouldn't get it and would probably be bored. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10.