Jack Reacher

MV5BMTM1NjUxMDI3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjg1ODM3OA@@__V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_

 

6.5/10

Tom Cruise is back as a special forces soldier who is called upon to investigate an army soldier who he kept dibs on in Iraq. Reacher (Cruise) is basically a ghost to the world. No credit, no identification and no set location. He is a man who travels the world and prefers to stay a mystery. The Reacher character is certainly one of the brightest points of this film. He’s smart, cool and most of all, dangerous. This film starts off great in the first hour as it creates a different kind of film for Tom Cruise. Yes, some of his dialogue is annoying, and he plays the character too cool to ever take a bad guy seriously. But it’s the investigation into the Iraq soldier that makes this film really smart and clever. One of the things it does is look into five shooting victims that happens in the opening scene of the film. Through flashbacks, it shows us the events that led to the victims being in the crime scene area that day. That is something that rarely ever happens in murder mysteries like this. The characters stories usually don’t matter because they are dead at this point, and that is where this film is different. We learn that it was no odd coincidence that anyone was in front of the gun that day. The problem with Jack Reacher is that it peters out in the final 70 minutes of the film. 130 minutes is FAR too long for a film like this. Some scenes drag out way too long with dialogue that is represented just to make for funny scenes. Robert Duvall makes a cameo as a gun store owner who strikes up a friendship with Cruise. Is this friendship needed? Not really. Duvall is wasted here playing the same old man character that he always plays. The ending falls back into that cliche world of Tom Cruise films that some either love or hate. Jack Reacher is the best effort from Tom Cruise in a long time. With that said, it’s safe to give this film a chance by renting it through Redbox. It’s a long film, but i am willing to bet that everyone will find something they like about it. Cruise fans will love that Tom is back to his hip and cool style.

Django Unchained

MV5BMjIyNTQ5NjQ1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODg1MDU4OA@@__V1_SX214_AL_

 

7/10

I had to watch it a 2nd time to decide how i truly felt about this movie. The positives for it are the performances of Leonardo Dicaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson. It also has a lot of Tarrantino dialogue. The negative for me was the running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. I could’ve easily shaved a good hour of this movie and had it still be just as entertaining. My overall opinion is good, but far from Tarrantino’s best.

Parental Guidance

 

MV5BMzkyNDExOTA1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjgzODE4OA@@__V1_SX214_AL_

5.5/10

Not a bad little movie for the family. Billy Crystal brings his status quo of wit and charm to a slapstick movie that is a little different for him. I did only give this film a 5.5 because it does have some problems. This just doesn’t seem like the kind of film Crystal is normally in. It does have it’s wits and charms, but the film seems more along the lines of a Kevin James or Adam Sandler film. I understand Crystal was cast because of the age of the character, but his kind of humor almost seems outdated in a film like this. The casting is also a bit of an issue with Marisa Tomei playing Crystal’s daughter. Billy is 16 years older than Marisa in real life and Tomei looks almost to old to play the daughter in this film. It’s a shame that Thomas Everitt Scott is left with nothing to do in this film. He is someone who i have come to admire a lot in the last 15 years as an actor, but he almost never stars in a film. Parental Guidance had a couple parts that put more of a smile on my face than a laugh. Not sure if that is what the director was going for, but i look at this as more of a cute film than a funny one. The kids were a perfect fit for the movie. Bailee Madison is slowly taking over as one of the better child stars, today. If you have a family night, i recommend giving this a shot. I think it’s a film that the adults and the kids will get a kick out of.

Les Miserables

MV5BMTQ4NDI3NDg4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjY5OTI1OA@@__V1_SX214_AL_

 

8/10

One amazingly beautiful picture with the best cinematography of the year. The sets really created a dark world in which every one of these characters sang of their breakthroughs. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of Jackman and Hathaway, and had it not been for Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln), i would automatically assume that Jackman would take the Oscar. I also fell head over heels for the girl who played Eponine (Samantha Barks). When she sang ‘On my own’, it actually brought a tear to my eyes. I was also very surprised at how good Amanda Seyfried was as Cozette. I really thought that was going to be one of the weaker parts of the movie, but i was wrong. Now for the weaknesses, Russell Crowe did great as Javert, but that man cannot sing to save his life. It’s just my opinion, but his voice carries no rhythm what so ever and i find it hard that this man can inspire any kind of army. Another weakness was the screen time of 2 Hours and 37 Minutes. This movie is good, but it’s not great enough to carry a time like that without lagging in some spots. Luckily, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter kept showing up to give it the little spike it needed. There were also a couple of camera errors and inconsistencies i noticed, but i wont get into those as i feel they aren’t important with a review. Overall, i would recommend this movie to musical fans, but it might lag to anyone who doesn’t have patience to watch a 2 and 1/2 hour movie.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

 

MV5BMzIxOTQyODU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ4Mjg4Nw@@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

8.5/10

The thing that i found the most charming about this movie was that it didn’t go weak on it’s views of teenage life. We have all gone through the same things that these kids go through in this movie and that makes it relatable. A movie on Catcher and the Rye will never be made, but this is the closest that you can get to it. Great performance from Emma Watson. Showing that she has deep acting chops after the Potter franchise has ended.

Top 40 Films of 2011

40.Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows – Nowhere near as good as the first movie, but some of the better things was the way they ended this movie and made you wonder about a 3rd movie. This one also had alot of action, but something was missing with the fights. Rating – 6.5/10

39.Red State – I am still not sure whether to call this a horror movie or an action movie. Neither genre really fits this movie and for that i give Kevin Smith credit. Not only for sticking his neck out there and making a movie that he isn’t known for, but for also creating what might be a new genre. Rating – 6.5/10

38.Bag of bones – Stephen King’s adaptation of the book by the same name has alot of similarities mixed in with some minor differences. The only thing i didn’t like about this adaptation is the fact that the ending was totally changed around. With that aside, it’s a pretty good mini series to watch on a rainy day. Rating – 7/10

37. Children of the Corn : Genesis – Definitely the best “Children of the Corn” movie since the original. This movie sent the saga into a totally different direction and breathed new life into the franchise. I particularly like how we finally get to see the infamous “Man who walks behind the rows”. Rating – 7/10

36. Tower Heist – This movie was supposed to be Eddie Murphy’s comeback into R rated comedies. Instead, it showed us that the supporting characters like Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck stole the movie. I found this movie very surprisingly good despite a drawn out ending. 7/10

35. Scream 4 – I seem to be one of the only people who actually liked this movie. Sure, it wasn’t good enough to make it into my top 20, but it was good enough to be the 2nd best of the series. It also started a new trilogy that i am looking forward to seeing where it goes. My only advice – Kill one of the main three characters. Rating – 7/10

34. 30 Minutes or less – Jesse Eisenburg showed us once again that he is a comedic force to be reckoned with. Throw in Aziz Ansari and Danny Mcbride and you have a non stop comedic action film that kicks so much ass. Rating – 7/10

33. The Thing – The Thing definitely should’ve been made these days with the CGI technology that they did. I believe that this is even better than the original and it sets up as a great prequel heading into the original. Rating – 7/10

32. Harold and Kumar 3D – In my opinion, it’s the greatest 3D movie ever made. This film utilized everything that 3D film is about. I do hope that they make a 4th and final film to close out this great series. Rating – 7/10

31. Hall Pass – Very unrealistic, but very funny at the same time. Owen Wilson stars in a comedy about taking a week off from marriage to do whatever he wants. Only in a Farelly Brothers movie could you come up with an idea this unbelievable. Rating – 7/10

30. Fast five – Best action film of the year. Bringing The Rock on to be the FBI agent chasing Vin Diesel and Paul Walker was a genius move. This was the 2nd best film of the series in my opinion and i think it shows alot of promise for the upcoming 6th film. Rating – 7/10

29. The Mechanic – Lots of action packed thrills in this edge of your seat film starring Jason Statham. Jason stars as a contract killer who goes through all of the methods of killing a person and getting away with it. Great for you action lovers. Rating – 7/10

28. Drive Angry – I don’t usually like many Nicolas Cage movies, but this flick definitely restored pride to his film list. This is an even deeper story than the trailer lets on. Rating – 7/10

27. Horrible Bosses – Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day made such an amazing comedic trio in this film about getting revenge on the people who make our lives a living hell. Colin Ferrell is particularly funny as a douchebag who has no ill will about firing people for personal reasons. Rating – 7/10

26. Hangover 2 – I admit, not as good as the original but funny none the less. They took alot of things from the first movie and made them even better. Early rumor is that a 3rd and final film is coming and i for one welcome it. Rating – 7/10

25. Wrecked – A great film that not too many people know about. Adrian Brody is a man involved in a car crash who wakes up to find that he can’t remember a thing about it. The story started off slow and then picked up. It’s pretty impressive that 90% of the acting in this movie is done by one guy. Rating – 7.5/10

24. Rise of the planet of the apes – This movie was surprisingly done well and shows us how the apes took over. The CGI alone, makes for some of the greatest effects ever seen on film. Great prequel done to the top of the limits. Rating – 7.5/10

23. The change up – I remember seeing this before it even came out to theatres and i have never regretted it since. Ryan Reynolds has shown us that he can do everything, but i wish he would stick to comedy. Jason Bateman is probably the most underrated actor that there is. Rating – 7.5/10

22. The Dilemma – The very first movie that i saw this year and it didn’t disappoint. This shows you how important it is to tell the truth in every facet of life. Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Kevin James and Jennifer Connelly star in this film about a lie gone too far. Rating – 7.5/10

21. Just go with it – The best film that Adam Sandler has done since “Click”. It makes it even easier to forget about “Jack and Jill” when you have a great family comedy like this. I also love the comedic team of Adam with Jennifer Anniston. Rating – 7.5/10

20. Sucker Punch – A virtual mindgame of fun. This movie really made you think about how real everything is that you see. It showed us that we all have a world inside of us that we escape to when things get rough. Plus i am a personal fan of the female costume (wink wink). Rating – 7.5/10

19. Bad Teacher – This film had alot of crude humor that honestly surprised me. Cameron Diaz stars as an immature teacher who does her job all for the paycheck and changes her attitude when she meets a new teacher (Justin Timberlake). Rating – 7.5/10

18. X men first class – I had alot of fears about seeing this film because of how bad they screwed up “Wolverine”. I am glad i saw it however because they did a pretty good job of telling origin of each of the X-Men. They even added a couple of things that were pretty cool. The only thing i didn’t like was “Angel” being a female. Rating – 7.5/10

17. Kill The Irishman – A very good story of a mob-run Cleveland in the 70’s. Danny Greene lives through quite a tale of his rags to riches story. The is one of my highest recommendations for the year as i feel everyone should see it. Rating – 7.5/10

16. Contagion – This movie was probably the biggest scare of the year for me. It shows you just how easily diseases are spread among human contact. This also has one of the biggest all star casts that i have ever seen like Matt Damon, Laurence Fishbourne and Jude Law to name a few. Rating – 8/10

15. 50/50 – I love the characters so much in this movie. From Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a cancer patient who always lived with zero risks to Seth Rogen as the caring but brash best friend. A great flick for anyone who wants to be lifted. Rating – 8/10

14. Insidious – The best horror/suspense movie of the year. This movie had alot of things that messed me up on the inside. It is scary to think that a couple’s child is being suspended in a coma by a demon that wants to take his soul. When you finally see the demon it doesn’t disappoint. Rating – 8/10

13. Limitless – Possibly the most original movie of the year. Bradley Cooper takes a serious turn as a man who takes a pill that lets us use 100% of our mind. The possibilities are endless until he runs into a little trouble with the pills. Rating – 8/10

12. The Muppets – When i heard that The Muppets were making another movie i was psyched. This film totally delivered and brought back that nostalgic feeling that we all had as children. I teared up during the singing of “Rainbow Connection”. Rating – 8/10

11. The Lincoln Lawyer – One of my early favorites for film of the year. The book is a little better because it adds more to the amazing character of Mickey Haller, but the movie did a good representation of making the words come to life. I definitely recommend it for any courtroom thriller fans. Rating – 8/10

10. Take me home tonight – This is one of my favorite comedies of the year. I always love when they come out with an 80’s nostalgic flick like “The Wedding Singer”. Topher Grace has been great in anything he has done (except Venom) and i look forward to see where his career goes from here. Rating – 8/10

9. Thor – This was always one comic movie that i never thought they would make. It was done very impressively and i have to say that it is Tom Hiddleston that is the driving force in this movie as Loki. Rating 8/10

8. Pirates of the Carribean : On Stranger tides – I had little faith in this movie originally because i thought “At worlds End” was the perfect way to end it. However, when i watched this film i quickly fell in love with Jack Sparrow again as he tried to locate The fountain of youth. Rating – 8/10

7. In Time – This was probably one of my biggest surprises of the year. Justin Timberlake is really making a name for himself when it comes to good films. This movie showed us that he can do action just as well as he did comedy. Rating – 8/10

6. Bridesmaids – One of my favorite comedies of the year showed us that girls can rule in comedy. It makes me wonder how much longer Kristen Wiig can last on SNL with great performances like this one as the jealous friend who feels like her best friend is being taken over by another. Rating – 8/10

5. Friends with benefits – A cute little flick that had the same premise as that horrible Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher flick. This film does it so much better with great performances by Justin Timberlake and the always sexy Mila Kunis. However, it is an amazing performance by Woody Harrelson that totally steals this movie. Rating 8.5/10

4. Straw Dogs – It’s funny how many people never gave this movie a chance. I seem to be the only person who saw it and loved it. The thing that was the biggest shock to me was how much gore there was in it. Very well acted with a great story told. Rating – 8.5/10

3. Captain America – The 2nd best comic movie of all time (in my opinion). I had my doubts about Chris Evans playing “The Captain” but i have to admit that i was wrong. This movie is full of action and has one of the biggest shocking endings of the year. CANNOT WAIT for The Avengers. Rating – 9/10

2. Moneyball – I LOVED this film so much. Brad Pitt gives the performance of a lifetime as Oakland A’s manager Billy Beame. A man who is risking everything to create a new system on how baseball prospects are judged. This was easily one of my ten favorite films of the year. Rating – 9/10

1.Warrior – The perfect film in my opinion. Two brothers who come from different sides of the tracks enter an MMA tournament and each have their own reasons for winning the one million dollar purse. Tom Hardy is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. Rating – 10/10