Movie Review The Town 5/5*

Movie poster showing the bank robbers in disguising masks during a robbery.

Ah, there is nothing quite like a really great heist movie! Ben Affleck stars in and directs Hollywood’s latest addition to the genre. Lots of action, cool Bah-ston accents and an excellent storyline gives ‘The Town’ a five star rating. Affleck plays a bank robber who has conflicting emotions about his chosen career and a girl. Very cool edgy movie. I cannot tell you too much, but if you love a good heist, see this one.

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Movie Review: The American 4/5*

After a long summer hiatus, we found ourselves at the movies again. We saw the new George Clooney movie (my “other” movie-star-boyfriend) called The American. It takes place mainly in Italy in a picturesque medieval town. Clooney is a spy/assassin type guy who is growing weary of the work. He meets a hooker with a heart of gold, and considers retirement. The love interest role is played by Violetta Placido, a lovely portrayal and just right for the movie. No other well-known actors are in it but it was really good. I enjoyed it, and expect Clooney to get another Academy Award nomination since he has reached that point in his career.

Other movies coming up this holiday season seem good too, so get out there and go to the movies again. It’s fun.

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Movie Review: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 3.5/5*

I loved the book by Steig Larsson as you have probably read in my other post. I got the movie on Blu-Ray and enjoyed it very well. I had to downgrade the star rating a little because it is in Swedish with subtitles and because I felt that if you had not read the book, it would not have been as good. That being said, the core story to this twisted criminal/police thriller is one of the best yarns I have ever heard spun.

A warning will be given here as to ratings. It is rated an R due to violence, grisly scenes, sex, smoking and other inappropriate things. If you can get past that, you will love the girl with the Dragon tattoo, because she is deliciously vindicitve. Bad guys beware, you are going to suffer. Hard.

The story is about Lisbeth Salander, a 24 year old possibly Asbergers girl with a photographic memory and remarkable computer hacking skills. She has no people skills. I won’t go into the mystery that is the topic of this movie because I do not want to spoil it for you. It is a closed room mystery where the possible murderers were all physically isolated on an island. One of the 20 or so people in a photo taken that day is the bad guy or gal. I like closed room mysteries and this one is good.

The cast is good in this movie version too. Mikael Blomkvist, the investigative journalist who teams up with Lisbeth is a little ordinary looking for a ladies man, but does an OK job of the role. The casting director got Lisbeth spot-on with the Swedish actress who played her sullen stares to perfection. No names from Hollywood, I think they are all European actors. If you like mysteries and a good tale, and can take some squeamish scenes, you will like this movie. Recommended.

Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland 3/5*

Well, I just came home from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which I did not see in 3d.  I think 3D would have added to the experience.  I am going to give this only 3/5 stars due to issues.  I really liked the wild costumes and special effects.  It slightly messed up my enjoyment of the show by making me think about how in the world they did some of these things.  For example, Johnny Depp had big green eyes that seemed to move naturally like regular eyes.  But the eyes were twice as big as other humans in the show.  Very strange.  Anyway, on with the review.

The show was a fairly good adaptation of  Alice in Wonderland by Louis Carroll.  They actually made it a better story by making it a quest storyline.  Alice  sets forth to wield the Vorple sword against the Jabberwocky.  This is more of a plotline than Louis Carroll could come up with.  The real story is a series of drug induced odd occurances to poor Alice.  It has very little point to it.  This script makes a story with a beginning, middle and end to it.  I liked the changes to the original.

I only gave this show a 3 because there was something wrong with the pacing that made my mind wander and not really get into the quest.  The acting was OK, I’m not sure what it was, but it was a little boring in parts.  Also, I think this show is not going to do well commercially.  It is a movie in search of an audience.  The adults will not want to see it because it is perceived as being a children’s story.  But the kids will not want to go because it is basically a dark opium-laced adult dream with quite a bit of violence.   I mostly liked how the filmakers did not sugar coat the story but gave us a grown up mean dragon and scary new beasts at every turn.  It did violate the fantasy genre rule in one place where the Queen of Heart’s minions looked like Cylons with armadillo bodies painted like cards.  Never mix sci-fi with Fantasy; doesn’t work.  Overall a good try and worth seeing for the cool new world down the rabbit hole.  A world not quite as fantastic as Avatar but a really good imaginative one at that.    3*/5*

Movie Review: Shutter Island 5/5*

Matin Scorsece’s ‘Shutter Island’ is the best psychological thriller in years.  Starring Leo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley, it takes place on an island based mental hospital.  Only dangerous insane criminals are housed there.  There is no escape since the island is encircled by sheer rock cliffs. 

DiCaprio is a U.S. Marshal called in to find a runaway patient/prisoner.  Ben Kingsley is the possibly insane psychiatrist running the ward.  I cannot tell you much more than this.  It is great.  Good acting, good story, full of suspense.   Go see it!

Rated R for gory violence and scary scenes but it is NOT a slasher movie.  A horror movie for adults, not teens.

Movie Review: Up in the Air 4.5 Stars

OK, I’ll admit it.  This movie got a bump in the rating because of Clooney.  He is very well dressed in this film.  He plays a businessman who lives, literally, on the road.  He likes the high style of business class everything from airline seats, to hotel rooms.  His home life does not exist.  When he is not traveling he sublets a room from a friend and keeps minimal items there.  His life goal is to try to get Continental airlines’ highest frequent flyer card and all the perks that come with it.

Enter a real person in all the business class madness.  He meets a nice woman who makes him think about entering into a real life.  A charming costar in Vera Farmiga.  I have not seen her in anything else, but she was good.  Also as a kind of comic co-star, Anna Kendrick plays Clooney’s trainee fantastically.  She is a future star, very good.  4.5*/5*

Movie Review: Book of Eli 2 Stars

If you want to see yet another post apocalyptic movie with medium writing, this is the movie for you.  Denzel Washington is Eli, a sojourner heading west with the last copy of the Bible known on Earth.  He meets evil villans and folky nice people.  There is blowing up and gun play.  Eli repairs a point-blank gut shot on his tummy with duct tape and continues on his journey.  Cute girl/woman becomes enamored with him although he is too gentlemanly to do anything about it.  Movie ends with an interesting twist. 

I did like a couple scenes very well.  Eli feeds a piece of roasted cat he is eating to a curious mouse.  I liked the duct tape surgery scene.  Other than that, I would say wait for the video.  It is an OK movie, but not great.  2*/5*

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes 1 star

Worst movie ever=Sherlock Holmes.  A fast paced, confusing, mumbling, British accented Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. romp through 1865-ish London chasing Super villians.  I had a hard time following the story of a vampirish bad guy who was hanged in the first few scenes, only to reappear in the rest of the movie.  He was supposed to be the leader of a secret society that was killing virgins in a sacrificial way in mid 1800’s London.  In a complicated storyline, I think there was a cute girl hot for Holmes??? Or maybe not.  I was totally confused and frustrated by the end where the more ridiculous aspects of the story were explained away.  You stay away, it was terrible.  */*****