Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3

I remember when the first Paranormal Activity movie came out. There was so much hype and when I finally saw it I was like, really? Don't get me wrong I liked it a lot. But I was a little disappointed. It certainly wasn't the "scariest movie ever" that people were claiming it to be. There were a few times I remember jumping in my seat, but that's about it.

This third movie however, really creeped me out. I mean that in a good way. I've been really let down by the horror movies that have come out lately. But not this one. I really enjoyed it. It's easily the best movie out of the three.

This movie is a prequel, taking place in 1988. It tells the story of a young Katie & Kristi (sisters, seen as adults in the first two movies) who live with their mom Julie and stepdad Dennis. One day Kristi starts talking to an "imaginary friend" named Toby and from there, all he'll breaks loose. Dennis decides to set up video cameras around the house to try and find out what's going on.

I can't say much more than that without giving away everything. But I thought they did a good job with the story. Much better than the first two.

The acting was pretty good too. Especially the two little girls playing young Katie and Kristi. And I really enjoyed watching the guy who played Dennis. His character was very likable.

This is not a perfect movie however. Far from it. Just like the first two, there's long periods of time where almost nothing happens. A door might creek shut or a picture falls off the wall but that's about it. It's not until you get to the last third of the movie when things really start to get interesting. The ending I wasn't too crazyabout though. Felt a little too much like The Last Exorcism.

Bottom line, if you liked the first two, then you'll love this one.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Film Columbia 2011

This is the second year I've attended and I was not disappointed . The Chatham Film Club runs this and they do a great job. The movies are shown mainly at the Crandell. If you've never been there, you're really missing out. It's a cute old fashioned theater. I remember going there many times as a kid. The prices really haven't changed much since then. Where else can you go these days and see a movie for $5?

Anyway, since the movies I saw technically haven't been released yet, I'm only going to post very brief reviews & my rating so as not to spoil them for you guys.

Beautiful cinematography. Wonderful acting, especially by Rhys Ifans. Was Edward De Vere really the author of all those plays and not William Shakespheare? Who knows. But this was a great mystery/thriller. Really makes you think (a rarity in movies these days). Definitely worth checking out.
My Rating: 8.5/10

Like Crazy:
A really sweet, romantic, low budget movie. Took me a little while to get into it, but it was good. Really good performances by the two leads (Anton Yelchin & Felecity Jones). An honest look at relationships.
My Rating: 7/10

A Dangerous Method:
Great period movie. The kind Academy loves. Brilliant acting by Michael Fassbender & Viggo Mortensen as Carl Jung & Sigmund Freud. Kiera Knightly was amazing as well. I wouldn't be surprised if she got a Best Actress Oscar for this.
My Rating: 8/10

The Descendants:
This was the Saturday Night Sneak movie at the festival. A really good dramedy starring George Clooney. I both laughed & cried. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous (the movie takes place in Hawaii). While I don't know if it'll win Best Picture, I can see George Clooney getting the award for Best Actor.
My Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Thing

I have not seen the original movie from the 80's so bear with me. To be honest, the only reasons I went to see this were I was in the mood for a horror movie and Joel Edgerton is in it. He was in Warrior and if you haven't seen it yet you really should. Anyway...

The plot is pretty simple. An alien spacecraft is discovered in Antartica. A scientist enlist the help of a young paleontologist named Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, probably best known for her role in Scott Pilgrim vs The World) and several other people after they find a creature not too far from the craft. So they go to Antartica and start their experiment on the presumed dead creature. Surprise surprise- it's actually alive and begins infecting people. Once infected, the creature takes on the form of that person without them realizing at first. Let the paranoia begin.

The Thing has been getting mostly horrible reviews and I can understand why. But to be honest, I didn't think it was the worst movie ever. Atleast for me, it was so bad that I had a great time sitting there making fun of it and predicting what would happen next (and most of the time I was right). There were a few moments where I jumped in my seat, but overall the movie was more disturbing than it was scary. The special effects weren't too bad.

And aside from Joel Edgerton and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who are good actors and do the best they can with what they have to work with) the acting was horrible.

Overall I would recommend The Thing to anyone who's into bad horror movies. It was a fun way to spend a Friday night.

My Rating: 6/10

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I'm so happy I finally got to see Warrior. I'm a huge fan of Tom Hardy and believe it or not, I like watching MMA (mixed martial arts). Although I haven't watched it recently.

Yes it's set in the world of MMA, but at the center of the movie is a family drama concerning two brothers Tommy (Tom Hardy) and Brendan (Joel Edgerton) and their alcoholic father Paddy. Years ago, Tommy left with his Mom after Paddy had basically beaten the crap out of her. Brendan, for his own reasons, didn't go with them.

Fourteen years later, Tommy is a former Marine and an Iraq war hero. He still holds a lot of anger towards both his father and brother. But he wants to get into fighting and needs someone to train him, which was really the only thing Paddy was good at. I can't remember the details, but I believe Paddy was involved with boxing at some point in his life.

Meanwhile, Brendan is now married and has two young daughters. He works as a high school physics teacher and to earn extra money, participates in small fights at night in parking lots. Despite this, he and his wife are struggling to make ends meet. Plus the bank is about to take their house. After getting suspended from his job as a teacher when word of his parking lot fights reaches the superentendint, Brendan decides to get back into MMA (at one point he was part of the UFC, but he wasn't exactly the best fighter out there) and compete in a big tournament in Atlantic City where the big prize is five million dollars.

Tommy ends up in the tournament as well. They both have a series of fights that ultimately lead to the championship where they must fight each other.

The fight scenes in the movie were some of the best I've ever seen. They're very brutal and intense. I cringed several times. But I couldn't take my eyes off the screen as they were playing out.

I think the best part of Warrior, for me anyway, was the acting. Tom Hardy was just incredible. You can really feel for his character and understand why he is the way he is. And the amount of training he had to do to prepare for the role... Wow! When you see him, he'll scare the crap out of you. He's huge! There's no doubt in my mind that Tom will make a great Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, which comes out next summer.

Joel Edgerton is really good as well. While he may not be as huge as Tom Hardy, he's just as intense. This is the first movie I've seen Joel in and I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Nick Nolte gives a brilliant performance as a father desperately trying to recconnect with his sons. His character did many horrible things and Tommy and Brendan have every right to hate him. But Nick does such a good job with the role that during one scene in particular, I kinda felt bad for him. I really think he's going to get nominated come award season. This role just screams Oscar.

The movie does have pretty much every cliche you've ever seen in a sports movie. But unlike most sports movies (where one opponent is usually more likable than the other), in Warrior it's really hard to pick a side. I liked both brothers so much and found myself routing for both of them. Warrior is so good that you can look past the minor flaws.

It's almost two and a half hours long but it doesn't feel like it at all. I got so caught up in the story and was on the edge of my seat. I never wanted it to end!

I can defiantly say that Warrior is one of my favorite movies this year. You don't have to be a fan of MMA to enjoy it. PLEASE go and see it if you get a chance. Hopefully you'll love it as much as I do.

My Rating: 10/10

Friday, October 7, 2011

Real Steel

I first saw a trailer for this movie a couple of months ago (I'm pretty sure they played it before Deathly Hallows part 2). I thought, this is either going to be really good or really bad. Turns out... it's really good! :)

Of course, the main reason I went to see this was for Hugh Jackman. What can I say, I have a thing for Australian men ;) Ladies I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is Hugh is shirtless in this movie. The bad news- it's only for about 10 seconds :(

Anyway, Real Steel takes place in the not so distant future where actual human boxing no longer exists. Instead they've been replaced by a high tech version of the Rock Em Sock Em Robots we use to play with when we were kids. Sound ridiculous? Yeah, it is but so what.

Hugh Jackman plays Charlie, a former boxer who now is reduced to a couple of underground robot fights here and there (in this world humans control the robots when they fight) and he owes several people a lot of money. In the midst of it all, he finds out his former girlfriend with whom he had a son (the boy's name is Max. Charlie ran off not long after he was born.) has died. Max's aunt wants to adopt him, but due to certain circumstances, he has to spend the summer with his Dad first.

Charlie basically treats the kid like crap at first. But eventually they start bonding when
Max finds a "sparring bot" named Atom. Atom is a bit smaller when compared to a lot of other robots, but Max thinks it can fight and he and Charlie start "training him". This leads to a couple of small fights that gain a lot of attention and eventually a shot at the world championship.

The movie was not without its flaws. The plot is filled with cliches and the dialog is at times cringeworthy. But unlike a certain other robot movie, Real Steel has an actual story with a lot of heart. Hugh Jackman was great in this. And the little boy who played Max was adorable. The chemistry between them was really believable.

Evangiline Lily was good too. She plays the owner of a gym (taking over for her father who died) and a longtime friend of Charlie's. Her father use to train him as well. And of course, she's eventually Charlie's love intrest.

The action & visuals were amazing. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

I think people of all ages will enjoy this. There's something for everyone :) Go see it if you get the chance.

My Rating: 8/10