Friday, February 24, 2012

The Artist

Going into The Artist, I wasn't sure what to expect. Reviews have been really good and everyone has been talking about how it'll win a lot of Oscars. I was a bit skeptical, but figured I would give it a chance. I'm really glad that I did :) It was a really sweet, fun movie.

As you're probably aware by now, The Artist is a (mostly) silent movie shot in black & white. But don't let that stop you. I don't know how they did it (making a movie like this in todays world), but they pulled it off.

The Artist starts out in the year 1927 and spans about 5 years. George Valentin (played brilliantly by french actor Jean Dujardin) is arguably the biggest silent movie start in Hollywood. At home however, his marriage is obviously an unhappy one. Infact, his only friend seems to be his dog (who is absoluetly adorable and probably has more talent than a lot of actors in Hollywood these days). Despite this, he enjoys his success. One day, at the premiere of his latest movie, he literally runs into aspiring actress Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). There's an instant attraction between them. Eventually, "talking" movies are introduced. George is very skeptical of them, and slowly his career begins to fade. However, Peppy ends up being the fresh face the studio (the same one George works for) uses to launch into talking movies. She becomes an instant success and is in dozen of movies. The two of them see each other at times over the next 5 years as George tries to figure out if he fits into Hollywood anymore.

I give a lot of credit to the actors. Without dialog for 99% of the movie, you really have to be spot on with every move and every facial expression in order to keep the audience attention and get the right emotions across. Everyone did an amazing job. Sorry George Clooney (who was really good in The Descendants and earlier on was my pick for Best Actor), but I have a feeling Jean Dujardin is going to win the Best Actor Oscar this Sunday. He just blew me away with his performance. Berenice Bejo was good as well. Very charming. I think she has a bright future ahead of her.

Is The Artist perfect? No. Is it overhyped? Maybe a little. Some parts of the movie did seem to drag. But I had fun. I walked out of the theater in a good mood and with a smile on my face. It keep me entertained and that's all I can ask for :)

My Rating: 8.5/10

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Means War

After watching This Means War, I am convinced that McG (the director) has some really good dirt on both Tom Hardy and Chris Pine and he's using it as blackmail. That's the only explanation I can come up with for why two such talented actors are in a movie like this.

That being said, it wasn't that shitfest I thought it would be. It wasn't great by any means, but it was fun and it made me laugh. Oh and the eye candy was pretty good as well hehe ;) ;)

The movie is about two best friends/CIA operatives, and I kid you not these are their characters names, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine). Tuck is divorced and has a young son. He's really sweet and a little reserved, but is totally badass when he needs to be. FDR is outgoing and quite the ladies man. They find out they're both seeing a woman named Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). Using their CIA skills, they wage a battle between each other, while trying to win Lauren over. That's really all there is to it. There's a "subplot" about some bad guy (think he was suppose to be Russian) that is after Tuck and FDR for killing his brother, but it's very poorly developed.

Lets start with the good. The only reason I even wanted to see this movie- Tom Hardy and Chris Pine. When I heard these two were going to be in a movie together I was like "Sign me up!" I'm a HUGE fan of both of these actors. Tom is defeinetly one to watch this year. And Chris is very charming and I always enjoy his work. The two of them have amazing chemistry. You can tell they had a lot of fun filming this. But seeing them in a movie like this was just... weird is the best word I can use to describe it. I mean, they've both done comedies before. Infact, Tom was in this little British ensemble comedy a few years back called Scenes of A Sexual Nature. I highly reccommend it (if you interested, you can find it on YouTube). I honestly beleive the movie could've been really amazing if another person had directed it.

Not that McG is a bad director. I'm probably one of the few people who liked Terminator Salvation (although the ending sucked), but that's mostly due to Sam Worthington being in it. McG is really good at action type movies and the action scenes in This Means War were bad ass (although ridiculous at the same time). He should stick to that and stay away from romantic comedies.

Now onto the not so good. I like Reese Witherspoon. Really I do. But it just feels like all she does now are comedies. The main issue with me is she had zero chemistry with both Tom and Chris. I think McG should've left Reese out and just made this a bromance type movie, showing Tom and Chris and all the crazy stuff they get into working for the CIA. That would've been a lot more enjoyable.

Another issue was the editing. It was BAD. Wether that's McG's and/or the editors fault I'm not sure. I know This Means War originally received an R rating, which wasn't that long ago. They were probably under pressure from the studio and had to hurry and edit it in order to get it down to a PG-13. Who knows.

For those that were curious about Chelsea Handler's performance (she plays Lauren's best friend Trish)... she was okay. I like her, but she should defenietly stick to tv.

Bottom line, if you need a good laugh and can ignore some of the cheesieness, go see this. Or if you're a fan of Tom Hardy and/or Chris Pine go see it. As I said before, it was fun.

You might be a little surprised at my rating. But I really like Tom and Chris. And because of that, I can't give this anything lower.

My Rating: 7/10

Monday, February 6, 2012

Texas Killing Fields (dvd)


Since I didn't see a new movie in theaters this weekend (saw Man On A Ledge again of course hehe), I thought I would review another new Sam movie which I received in the mail last week. I don't normally review dvd's on here, but for Sam I always make an exception :p Besides, Texas Killing Fields (sadly) never got a nationwide release and pretty much went right to dvd. It's a shame since this movie was really good.

The movie (which is a mix of crime and a thriller) takes place in Texas and follows two homicide detectives: Mike Souder (Sam), who's from the area, and Brian Heigh (Jeffery Dean Morgan) who's originally from New York. Mike (who can be a bit of a jerk at times, but redeems himself by the end of the movie) doesn't like to get involved in cases outside his jurisdiction but Brian is always willing to help out. They end up tracking a serial killer who has been brutally murdering women and then dumping their bodies in a nearby marsh called the Killing Fields. Eventually a young girl named Anne (Chloe Moretz), who is familiar to both Mike and Brian, also goes missing. From there it's a race against time as they try and save Anne from becoming the killers next victim.

I must admit, I wasn't sure about Sam being able to pull off a Texas accent. He's got the American accent done pretty good. It can't be easy doing an American accent and Texas accent on top of his thick Australian accent. I thought he did well though. Not the greatest attempt, but certainly not as bad as people have claimed it to be. For me, it was just... weird hearing him speak that way. I really don't know how else to describe it. Overall Sam did a great job with the character.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan was really good as well. I always enjoy his work whether it's tv (he played Sam & Dean's dad in Supernatural) or movies. Chloe Moretz (probably best known for playing Hit-Girl in Kick Ass) gives a very powerful performance as Anne. She doesn't really have much dialog but she is quite the scene stealer. She's definitely one actress you'll want to watch in the coming years. Jessica Chastain (who seems to be in everything this year, including another great movie she did with Sam called The Debt) has a small but good role as another cop named Pam, who also happens to be Mike's ex-wife.

While overall this movie was really good, I just wish they had spent a little more time developing the characters. It can also be a little confusing at first since the movie starts out and you're seeing Mike & Brian in the middle of a case. But I was able to figure it out pretty quickly.

As far as the dvd itself, there really aren't any special features other than an audio commentary by the director & writer (which I haven't had a chance to check out yet).

If you're looking for a really interesting crime movie, I would definitely check this out :)

My Rating: 10/10