Posts filed under ‘Pop-culture’

Movie Review: Catch And Release

I like Kevin Smith. Silent Bob. That is why I ignored all reason and saw yet another “romantic comedy”. The plot of Catch And Release? “A woman struggles to accept the death of her fiance and the secrets he kept from her as she rebuilds her life.” I don’t really know how, but the movie is in fact even MORE boring than the plot outline. Yet, there is Kevin Smith. He is funny. The problem is that pretty much everything else is boring. Garner is decent, as is Sam Jaeger, but really, they should release this in a Kevin Smith edition with only his scenes.
Oh, yeah, there is an annoying kid in the movie. And it is close to two hours long. And the good guy loses. Oh, yeah, the story is perhaps as predictable as can be. But, the characters have potential. It is so sad to see it wasted on a idiotic story such as this.

Verdict: Don’t see.

May 5, 2007 at 19:58 Leave a comment

Movie Review: 300

After waiting for a long time, the local cinema finally choose to show the movie 300. Don’t really know why the wait, but for a while they were considering not showing it at all. But, we do get dozens of crappy Swedish movies, so who am I to complain?

300 is a historic movie based on a comic book. My personal favorite of all history, specifically Greek history, is the battle of Thermopylae. Not only because of the valor of the Spartans, but because of their extreme civilization. It is one of the weirdest societies I’ve ever read about, and probably one of the harshest to live in.

The movie is based on a comic book, rather than history, and the visuals show this clearly. Pretty much everything is computer animated, and it looks really good. The story is one of valor, but, the main story is action. Violence. Massive amounts. In fact, stunningly massive amounts. Among the 120 minutes the movie lasts, at least 90 of them are pure violence. Not that I’m complaining, but even I was surprised. Beneath all the violence, gore, deaths, freaks and naked breasts (yeah, they really don’t care about the American rating) it is a really good movie. I enjoyed it tremendously, and can’t wait for the DVD. This is a wonderful, non-stop, violence fest.

Some words on the political context: Yes, this movie gives a poor image of, well, pretty much anyone else than the Spartans. Especially the Persians, who mostly seem like evil freaks. And, I don’t really believe that Xerxes was a gigantic androgynous man. But, this is a MOVIE, not a documentary. Relax. And do read up on the real history behind the events. The Persian culture is fascinating too!

Verdict: Must see (as long as you like violent movies, otherwise stay away!)

April 25, 2007 at 10:34 1 comment

Movie Review: The Ex

When Scrubs is good it is really good. And Arrested Development is probably the best written show in the history of sit-coms. So, the possibilities when Zach Braff and  Jason Bateman are in the same movie, The Ex, should be awesome. And, there are some funny moments. Like… when making fun of the handicapped. But they are far between, sadly. Braff pretty much plays Dorian, the characters are really the same. Bateman is good as the bad guy, Amanda Peet is, for once, not playing the stuck-up bitch (check her previous parts, she always plays the bitch). But the movie stays far to close to the formula for its own good. Even the “I love you so much” speech in the end is there. Not that the movie is bad, far from it, but the best part is the bloopers in the end.

Verdict: See.

April 23, 2007 at 21:53 Leave a comment

Movie Review: Alpha Dog

In Alpha Dog we follow a gang of young criminals, in an downward spiral of drugs and violence. Based on real events, the movie serves mostly as an interresting insight into the life of well off smalltime crooks in suburbia, smooching of their parents, doing drugs and living the good life. Until they suddenly get involved into serious crimes, especially a kidnapping, where they suddenly find themselves facing real, hard, time. My initial attraction to this movie was Bruce Willis (yeah, I admit I’m a fan) and also curiosity to see whether or not Justin Timberlake could act. No, there weren’t much Bruce Willis in the movie, and yes, Timberland can act. Or, perhaps not. I don’t know if “playing an obnoxious rich kid” is such a stretch for him, actually, but, hey, it works here. The movie is a rather horrifying insight into how violence escalates, and worth seeing.

Verdict: See

April 21, 2007 at 21:47 Leave a comment

Movie Review: The Hoax

In the Hoax we follow the story of an elaborate, if well meaning and at the beginning unwilling, con-man trying to convince his publisher that he is going to write the autobiography of the mysterious and highly private millionaire Howard Hughes. He do, however, not have a single connection to Hughes and makes it all up, but in the process becomes entangled with Hughes personality.

Lasse Hallström has a great talent for telling stories, and this is an interesting one. I, personally, think that Richard Gere always plays the same part, but with different names. Alfred Molina, however, is terrific as the second fiddle. The problem is that I don’t really care about anyone in the story. Hallström simply doesn’t manage to tell the story in such a way that it comes to life. The historic angles are good, of course, but this is the kind of movie you can both see and miss. If you like the historic period, however, you should see it.

Verdict: See (But just barely, and do rent it).

April 21, 2007 at 21:39 Leave a comment

Movie Review: Big Nothing

Once upon a time David Schwimmer was a funny guy. You know, last century when everyone laughed at “Friends”. Watching old “Friends” reruns now is a harsh reminder that not all comedy ages with grace, although there are some exceptions (Seinfeld seems to last, at least when choosing from the current nightly reruns). Schwimmer has had a hard time when picking roles lately, his best was perhaps the small part in “Band of Brothers”, but then, everyone was great in that series… But – to the point. Big Nothing is not a big budget movie. My main attraction for seeing it wasn’t Schwimmer, but instead it was Simon Pegg, who impressed me somewhat in “Shaun of the Dead” and a lot in the brilliant Spaced. Funny guy. I was REALLY surprised, how ever, as it turned out to be a really entertaining black comedy. A very black comedy. Things go really wrong, everyone is at risk, and you’ll probably laugh all the way. At least if you’ve got a dark sense of humor.

Verdict: Must See.

April 15, 2007 at 19:00 1 comment

Movie Review: The Death and Life of Bobby Z

The Death and Life of Bobby Z is an action movie starring Paul Walker. And, that should just about cover it. The story is somewhat contrived (charming criminal gets another chance but lo and behold there is need for ample fighting) but, honestly, it doesn’t matter. This is not a movie about smarts, brains or logic. It is about brawl, fighting and coolness. It is far from as cool as Smokin’ Aces, or as good, but it works. Mainly because the fights are far better looking (borderline realistic) than most movies I’ve seen. And, there are some UFC-cameos, Chuck Liddell, etc. making it even slightly more cool. Paul Walker is, however, extremely improbable as a hard case fighter, but then, this IS the movies, after all.

Verdict: See (for the action, don’t see for… most other things).

April 9, 2007 at 21:01 Leave a comment

Movie Review: 10 Items or Less

Another movie with Morgan Freeman… And this is a rather strange one. In 10 Items or Less he plays… someone we easily can believe is him. An actor. Studying people. He gets fascinated with a store clerk, and follow her around for a day. And, well, things happen. Ordinary things. But, still, interesting. At times the movie is really funny, for instance when Freeman is mimicking a grocery store employee, but mostly it is just a good drama.

Verdict: See.

April 5, 2007 at 22:15 Leave a comment

Movie Review: TMNT

Ah, the nostalgia. Back in the old days, the last millenium, I used to rush home to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Sky TV. In Sweden they were, called Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles, as this would be perceived as less violent. You know, because adults think that kids are all retards. “Hey, these plastic turtles all have swords! Let’s play that they are fighting the evil Schredder!”
“No, violent friend with no name, the turtles are called heroes, lets play that they are giving social welfare to single moms instead!”
“You are right, brave and well indoctrinated kid”. But, I digress.

Yes, I did enjoy the old turtles. The somewhat crude animations, the steadily declining ironic, and satiric, tone. The movies came out well after I’ve lost my interest, but you have to respect actors managing to do any kind of fighting moves in those costumes. Yes, they were done with real actors. This new movie, TMNT, are computer animated. Not very well animated, but decent enough. The turtles looks awesome, the humans look bleak and as if they are from cut scenes in a decent budget video game. The story could have been written by any one of the target audience, but that really doesn’t matter. A movie about mutated turtles are pretty much never going to be Oscar-material anyhow. The movie kind of works. There are a couple of scenes which would have been impressive had they been done by actors, but I don’t really get impressed by stunts done by computer animated characters. And it gets a bit boring at times. And the ironic attitudes of the old turtles are gone. And I saw it dubbed with Swedish voices (the horror!). But… We are talking about ninja turtles here. It’s a decent movie, after all, and it you have any kind of relationship with the old Turtles, you shouldn’t pass on this.

Verdict: See

April 4, 2007 at 21:27 Leave a comment

Movie Review: Smokin’ Aces

Smokin’ Aces is a movie dealing more with slick scenes, cool actors and dialogue, than with brains and and any kind of “message”. It’s all about style. And it does it really, really well. The entire movie is filled with the kind of non stop fun I like in a movie. Sure, it’s filled with kind of strange twists and turns, but it is also filled with really, if not good, then cool, actors. And, action a plenty, so the weak points are easily forgotten. I really enjoyed this movie.

Verdict: Must See.

April 4, 2007 at 10:35 1 comment

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