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Quantum of Solace

December 3, 2008

quantum-of-solace-poster

Director: Marc Forster

Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric

Alright. So I finally got my ass out to the theater for the first time since Choke was released (a film which I did not review on this site that I might get to someday but not so much right now) to see this new Bond flick that everyone seems to be dissappointed with. My first thought after hearing all of the bad things about this film was basically a thought of disbelief. I couldn’t believe that this movie could be horrible after one of the best bond movies ever in Casino Royale preceded it. And you know what? I was right. 

This movie is not a bad Bond movie like many critics have been saying and it definitely hasn’t lost it’s charm and humor. It presents itself with a more subtle humor that people may not quite understand without first realizing what was done with the franchise in Casino Royale. The previous installment established everything that happened in Quantum of Solace. The lack of humor and charm that many critics are pointing out to be lacking in this current Bond episode is actually something I find confusing, because the charm is there. It may be much more subtle but it does basically the same things as Casino Royale such as not having Money Penny and ignoring the classic Bond drink, the “vodka marini, shaken, not stirred.”

The main problem with the film that I can see is that it does not stand alone very well by itself. If a viewer comes into this movie without having seen Casino Royale they will be confused because the entire plot is based on what happened in the first film. The way I feel about this movie is that it is to Casino Royale what  The Matrix Reloaded  was to The Matrix; that is it is more concerned with the action sequences and kicking ass than plot and the tradition of the Bond franchise. Basically, go see it because it’s a lot of fun to watch, even if it’s not like all the other Bond films.

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Top Five of the Summer

November 5, 2008

The weather is finally starting to turn into a fall-like state here in the great state of Missouri (except actually it’s not. It’s actually 70 degrees and sunny outside as I’m writing this, I just wanted a creative way to say that summer is over.) After that long, almost unnecessary introduction to this post, I would like to apologize for not posting in a really long time, but certain complications arose, i.e. school and the forgetting of the password to this site by both Kyle and myself. But now we’re back, or at least I am, to write on this blog semi-regularly once again. To start of my return, I’d like to reveal my list of the top 5 films that I saw in theaters over the summer. Based on the reviews we posted, I think it’s pretty clear what numbers 1 and 2 will be so I’m not going to bother even counting down from 5 to 1. Instead I’m just going to go down from one to ten. So here it is:

 

1.The Dark Knight – This is the obvious choice for the best movie of the summer season and so far it’s the obvious choice for the best movie of the year.It’s a complete movie that has everything; action, great special effects, wonderful performances by everyone involved, and it made a ton of money. It’s going to be the first superhero movie that will be seriously considered for the best picture award by the academy. 

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The Best part: The much talked about performance of Heath Ledger. He was nothing short of brilliant. The magic trick he performs is quite impressive as well. 

Least talked about thing that should be talked about more: The performance by Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. He was inspiring as Dent and terrifying as Two-Face. 

The Worst Part: Probably Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes but she’s still a huge upgrade from Katie Holmes. 

My original rating: 5 out of 5

My rating now: 5 our of 5

 

2. Wall-E – This may have been a more universally liked film than The Dark Knight (solely because it wasn’t as long, people really need to get over the length thing. I’d very much rather sit through a long good movie than a 90 minute pile of garbage like You Don’t Mess With the Zohan). The bottom line here is that Wall-E is THE BEST THING THAT PIXAR HAS EVER DONE. I think that says it all. I mean it’s pixar. Come on.

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I’d Just like to mention another thing. Look how adorable the robot to the right is. How can you not like this robot? Seriously. 

The Best Part: The well-done commentary on how people are becoming fat slobs. Also the fact that the first 40 minutes or so are completely dialogueless (I completely made that word up) yet the movie still manages to keep the audience captivated. 

The Worst Part: I think that little robot likes “Hello Dolly!” a little bit too much. 

My original rating: 4.5 out of 5

My rating now: 5 out of 5

3. Iron Man – This was a pretty early summer release much like Spiderman 3 was the year before. The difference between this and Spiderman 3 though is that Iron Man was actually a good movie. All of the pieces fit together in this film (even Gwyneth Paltrow is great as Pepper Potts). In a summer loaded with superhero films such as The Dark Knight, Hancock, The Incredible Hulk, and Hellboy II, Iron Man stood out as one of the better ones. Jon Favreau did a great job directing this and not making the action too ridiculous. He brought a lesser known superhero to the bigscreen and made a great film out of it. 


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 The Best Part: Robert Downey Jr. is the what makes this film what it is. His performance as Tony Stark is absolutely awesome. He’s charming, funny, and he plays a rich guy with a big ego very well. I also have to mention Jon Favreau’s direction one more time. This movie could have been very cheesy, but the combination of Downey’s performance and Favreau’s direction made everything seem plausible. 

The Worst Part: Terrence Howard as Rhodey. I didn’t think he really fit into the movie all that well. Terrence Howard is a very solid actor and he does a pretty good job here, but my other choice on this was Jeff Bridges and I’m not making him the worst part of anything

What my rating would have been if I had reviewed it on this site: 3.5 out of 5

My Rating Now: 4 out of 5

4. Tropic Thunder – Robert Downey Jr. gets his second appearance in the top 5 with this bizarre, hilarious, surprisingly clever comedy about actors going into the jungle to film a movie. Only the actors don’t realize the director has actually been killed and they’ve

tropic-thunder-poster been put into a real life survival game. Everyone in the film does there job well, with a possible exception being Jack Black who was a little bit over the top even though that is very hard to do in a movie like this.

The Best Part: Robert Downey Jr.’s character discussing how an actor should “never go full retard”. Also, the fake trailer at the beginning (with the exception of Jack Black’s). 

The Worst Part: Jack Black

What my rating would have been if I had reviewed it on the site: 3 out of 5

My rating now: 3.5 out of 5

 

5. Wanted – I’m getting tired of coming up with this list, and since there are a number of movies I could stick at this 5 spot I’m going to justify this pick by putting up a picture. 

wanted-angelina-jolie-1512Basically any time there is a doubt to which movie I like better I think “which of these movies has Angelina Jolie in it.” Plus, people curve their bullets in this movie. 

Best Part: The curving of Bullets. Morgan Freeman cursing. Angelina Jolie.

Worst Part: It was a little bit cheesy. 

My original rating: 3.5 out of 5

My rating now: 3 out of 5   

So there’s my list, and if anyone wants to argue with me, make a comment (although I probably won’t pay attention to any of them.)

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Step Brothers

July 27, 2008

Director: Adam Mckay

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins

Adam Mckay has directed some very funny movies. He directed Anchorman, a movie that I don’t think many people will argue was not hilariously stupid. He also directed Talladega Nights, a film that I thought was actually superior to Anchorman (I know a lot of people who will wholeheartedly disagree with me on that). Adam Mckay directed this film, Step Brothers.

Will Ferrell has been in some funny movies. Will Ferrell was in the aforementioned films Anchorman and Talladega Nights. Will Ferrell was also in Old School, an instant comedy classic. Will Ferrell was in Elf, which could be a film that ends up replacing A Christmas Story as the must-watch movie during the holidays (remember I said could be not will be so don’t get all pissy about that comment if you have an emotional attachment to A Christmas Story). Will Ferrell was in this film, Step Brothers.

John C. Reilly has been in some funny movies and has also been very funny in some great movies. John C. Reilly was in (and was probably the funniest person) Talladega Nights. John C. Reilly was comedic gold in the wonderful Paul Thomas Anderson films Boogie Nights and Magnolia. John C. Reilly is in this film, Step Brothers.

Is it clear where I’m going with this? If you think this review is about to be positive you probably aren’t too familiar with my writing style (or sarcasm in general).

This movie suffers from thinking the premise is a whole lot funnier than it really is. The material Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have to work with in this film is stretched to its outer limits here. While I will admit that this film isn’t entirely a mess, I did laugh out loud more than a few times, its flaws far outweigh those moments the make you think this thing is actually going somewhere.

Reilly and Ferrell try to carry this movie with their great chemistry and obvious comedic talent, and to some degree they are successful in doing that, but it gets tiresome about halfway through. As I said before, the material just isn’t there. The two leads stretch what would possibly be a great 15 minute sketch on Saturday Night Live  into about 95 minutes. I felt worn out after walking out of this thing because the jokes just started to fall flat time after time and I was getting tired of trying to find a funny moment.

I’m trying to be as delicate as I can with this film because I have definitely seen worse comedies this year and last year with the likes of Semi-Pro and Drillbit Taylor. Dewey Cox was also much worse than this film.

This was very depressing for me because I tend to be partial towards comedies because good ones are far and few between and it’s always refreshing to see a great comedy film. There hasn’t been one of those yet this summer (unless you count Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which was brilliant). I’m hoping Pineapple Express can deliver the goods that Step Brothers failed to.

Kevin’s Rating: 2 out of 5

Ok, so Kevin put together a very nice review, touching on the important aspects and details of what worked (and more so often what didn’t). And in this case, I agree for the most part with his review. John C. Reilly delivers most of my favorite laughs, including the films best laugh in an ode to Good Will Hunting. But since this movie is yet another decline from the great movies Ferrell was once a consitent party of, I feel as though he may be hitting his decline like many comedians before him. I’m going to take a moment to discuss this pattern rather than review this movie. Comedies and comedians seem to thrive in waves, giving us a few good movies and then consistenly poor films after their hype has settled. For example: Eddie Murphey, Mike Meyers, Adam Sandler, and Steve Martin to an extent. There are few exceptions to this rule (Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor [though he was more comedian than actor]) and I feel as though Will Ferrell is simply falling into this trend. We as viewers have tastes that are constantly changing, but tastes that are, more importantly, constantly wanting to see something fresh and new. Comedians tend to stick to their brand of comedy and their successful formula, which means over time, needless of the quality of the film, our response to the brand of humor will deteriorate. Anchorman was a gem, and Talledega Nights and Old School were both great, but I, along with most viewers, am starting to grow weary of Ferrell’s certain style of lavish humor. The man is a great comedian, but he needs to try something new to keep our attention. He was fantastic in Elf and showed some signs of true talent in Stranger Than Fiction. Perhaps a more serious avenue is his way to stick around. It has seemingly worked for Jim Carrey. I am also interested to see how and when the 40 Year Old Virgin bunch begin to feel repetative. I guess only time will tell. That being said, I’m very much looking forward to Pineapple Express.

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The Dark Knight

July 18, 2008

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan

Running Time: 152 minutes (that’s 2 hours 32 minutes, in case you can’t convert)

It would be difficult to find a movie this anticipated in recent years. The overwhelming, somewhat surprising success of Batman Begins, the tragic passing of Heath Ledger, and what I am crowning the (any of the many) greatest trailer of all time have lead to the anticipation and hype for this film being unrivaled by any that I may have ever seen. And the movie strikes gold, dare I say even surpassing the hype and my lofty, seemingly out of reach expectations.

Christopher Nolan is not new to directing spectacular films. Memento (perhaps my favorite movie of the decade so far), Batman Begins and The Prestige are all fantastic, and The Dark Knight will undoubtedly be headlining his career marquee as he moves on. Nolan engages us into the developmental scenes, creating an atmosphere so tense, so unbearable that we cannot look away. The action sequences are gripping and realistic, limiting the use of CGI to enhancement instead of creation (please take note Spielberg). The pacing makes this 2 hour 35 minute movie seemingly take an hour. You long for more, you want to stay in the theater another hour, or two. But only the theater, you don’t dare want to make your way into Nolan’s world. Nolan has created a Gotham that seems so vast and empty, yet so impossible to escape.

The film stems from a screenplay written by the brothers Nolan. After writing the short story that lead to Memento, brother Jonathan has a free pass to do what he pleases in my books. They have succeeded where other movies have failed; the multi-character plot that doomed the Spiderman franchise is worked to perfection, the unworldly gadgetry that makes some Bond movies feel cartoonish is simply another aspect of the world created in The Dark Knight. The script is fairly loyal (from what I’ve researched and read) to the story of Batman. The Nolan’s give us characters that are deep, thoughtful and though-provoking; each is developed well enough to have an entire movie based around. But none of this could have been translated to film if it weren’t for the amazing performances from top to bottom.

The movie revolves around Batman and The Joker, but the film could not have worked without an array of supporting performers to help carry the massive load asked upon them. Morgan Freeman is his usual, solid, mild-mannered self as Lucias Fox. He gives you the impression that he knows more about Batman than even Bruce Wayne himself, and perhaps that is a good thing. Michael Caine is easily the most client-involved butler in the history of cinema, and gives another rock-solid performance as Alfred. Gary Oldman was especially good in transitioning Lt. James Gordon to a larger role than his previous in Batman Begins. If our sympathies are to be directed at one character, it is undoubtedly him. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a nice step (LEAP) up from Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, who was, in my opinion, the largest blemish of Batman Begins.

The only character question mark that I really had going into the film was Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/TwoFace (if this was a spoiler for you, you fail). Eckhart brings a necessary likeability to Harvey Dent, after all, he is the face(s) (<== pun!) of a “new” Gotham. I am a fan of Eckhart, based solely on Thank You For Smoking, and he hits a winner here with Harvey Dent. His true talents emerge as the movie progresses, but this is obvious, because, after all, Harvey does undergo some changes. I look forward to seeing more of TwoFace in the next Batman film (assuming Nolan signs on for another). In Harvey Dent we see a great sense of rightousness, a well-intended man who cannot be corrupted. This quickly and seamlessly shifts to a man driven by vengeance, a twisted, skewed view of his new reality, and most importantly: chance.

I stand by my statement that Christian Bale is the best Bruce Wayne ever put on screen. He singlehandedly revived a failing franchise in Batman Begins, and has now cemented himself as the top Caped Crusader. There is something inherently humorous about Batman’s need to disguise his voice (cue Bale’s deep, intimidating Batman voice here), but while this was a distraction for the other Batmen (?) it is simply another aspect of Bale’s character. Through both Bruce Wayne and Batman we see that Batman is not our common superhero. He is hanging by a thread between his own views of what is right and borderline insanity. Batman has flaws that Bale has brought to the forefront, which is primarily what sets Batman apart from run-of-the-mill superheroes. Bale is able to bring justification and motive to the over-the-top actions of Bruce Wayne and the capers of Batman. There is an inherent struggle for Wayne, and this struggle is exploited to the fullest by The Joker.

Which brings us to the star of the show: The Joker. And let’s just say, he wouldn’t have it any other way. There couldn’t have been more buzz surrounding this character and its (note its, not his) portrayal by (the late, tragically) Heath Ledger. And all skeptics should have been quieted mere minutes into the movie. The Joker gives us what may be the most memorable, haunting entrance of any character in the history of cinema (there I go, throwing that phrase around again); and let’s just say he does a pretty nifty magic trick with a pencil. But this is just the beginning. We have seen other Joker renditions, but this is far and away the greatest. I am as big of a Nicholson fan as you will find, but Ledger’s portrayal makes Jack’s seem downright juvenile. This Joker is undoubtedly insane, twisted, demented, and psychotic, and most terrifying of all, he is the most intellegent man in Gotham. To say he is one step ahead is an understatement. All of this, all of his actions, with no apparent motivation. Chaos, anarchy are his motivation. And that’s the scariest thought of all. With his patented, cynical grin, The Joker creates a parallel between himself and Batman. After all, the Bat is just “a freak! like me…” At points throughout the film, I found myself laughing along with the maniacal joker, becoming a part of his sick, twisted games. The mere fact that I was that enthralled by a character is a nod to Ledger, whose performance will become as, if not more legendary than villains past such as Hannibal Lector. I find that my review cannot do this performance justice at all, and Batman fan or not, Ledger’s performance has brought this film, and perhaps this genre, to a whole different level. It’s not too much to call The Joker dark poetry in motion.


Going along with all from above, credit must be given to James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer as well, for putting together a demonic, melodic score to accompany this movie of just the same.

In summation, this movie does what we all hoped it would do. It transcends the comic book adaptation genre, moving into waters less explored. If lumped into the superhero category, it is hands down the greatest film of its kind, but that would seem to hold it back. The Dark Knight should be included amongst the tops of all time Epic Crime films. I’m thinking Heat, Goodfellas, films of that nature. Also, I’d like to throw my name into the “Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor” ring. Not to commemorate him for his untimely passing, but to honor a performance that will go down in history as one of the most haunting, spectacular of all time. See this movie once, twice, three times. It is the best of the year. But feel free to laugh along with The Joker, why so serious?

5 out of 5 stars

Oh man. I got goosebumps just recalling this film.

 

One of the more prevalent themes in Batman Begins was muttered by Rachel Dawes as she tells Bruce Wayne “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

 In The Dark Knight, the choices that are imposed upon Batman and other characters in some of the most impossible situations bring out their true selves.  The instigator of these choices is the character that is surrounded with Oscar buzz, Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. The truth is that the Oscar considerations are well deserved. Ledger is perfect in his role as a demented genius that is more than just a villain. The Joker is a test for the City of Gotham’s morality. He’s the last thing standing between the city’s belief in good and complete chaos. He is, even as he states in the film “an agent of chaos.”

 Ledger gives this performance not with overacting or plainly going crazy (sorry Jack), but he creates this character that is tortured and obviously has a death wish. The Joker is someone who is actually paralleled to Batman in the film, the only real difference being the Joker’s desire for destruction, wanting to watch the city burn and Batman’s desire to save the city from it’s own destruction.

 While the Joker may be the catalyst for everything that happens in The Dark Knight, the movie is certainly not a one-man show. Everyone appears in this film for the exact right amount of time. The supporting characters such as Michael Caine playing Alfred and Gary Oldman as Lieutenant/Commissioner Gordon receive their moments in the film and they both execute their roles nicely. Of course it has been difficult for those two particular actors to give a bad performance so this wasn’t very surprising.

 One performance that was surprising was that of Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent. His transformation in this film is brought about in a heart-wrenching manner and the violence and anger that appears in Harvey Dent after losing everything is chilling.

 The logical way that the film turns Harvey Dent into two-face is a further display of one of the little things I like about Christopher Nolan’s vision of batman. There’s a reason and an explanation behind every tool that the hero has, behind every character, behind every crime. In the previous Batman films (Forever and Batman and Robin) there would be new suits (fully-equipped with nipples on the outside by the way) for no reason except that the people making the film wanted a different look. In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne gets a new suit because he wanted to be able to turn his head and become more agile. It’s that simple and quick to add an explanation for a new suit. It’s those little things that gave the first film believability to the world of Gotham and it was the little things in The Dark Knight that remained consistent that made it a perfect film.

 Christian Bale remains solid in the roles of both Bruce Wayne and Batman in this edition of the Batman franchise. After this film he is, by far, the best onscreen Batman. This is unlike the argument in the James Bond franchise where Daniel Craig is possibly the best Bond ever but it’s too early to put him ahead of Sean Connery. The earlier carriers of the role of the caped crusader, Adam West and Michael Keaton, aren’t even close to Bale anymore. Every direction he takes with this role makes sense. The way he distinguishes himself between Batman and Bruce Wayne is nothing short of brilliant.

 Ledger and Bale feed off of each other in the film, Ledger’s insanity and corrupted methods of madness as the joker allow the incorruptible Batman/Wayne character to appear truly conflicted as he is force to make decisions about how far he is willing to go in his attempt to clean up Gotham. In contrast Bale’s incorruptible, rather straightforward portrayal of the Wayne/Batman combo allows Ledger’s Joker to remain terrifying yet give of a sense of morality and purpose.

 The Dark Knight had loads of potential and loads of buzz and it’s not very often that a film takes that potential and hype and surpasses it completely. The Dark Knight is one of those films with the combination of the astounding action sequences (when the semi-truck flipped over the audience clapped and gasped in awe) great performances, and excellent storytelling through the direction. It simply had the potential inside to be one of the most memorable films in history and what everyone (actors, directors, producers, etc.) did to make this film defines it as one of the best film experiences in cinematic history. 

Kevin’s Rating: 5 out of 5    

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Hancock

July 18, 2008

Director: Peter Berg

Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman

Another year, another July 4th outing for Will Smith. After being out of the spotlight for last summer with Transformers getting the 4th of July time slot, Will Smith must have felt a little bit left out. In Smith’s current summer vehicle Hancock he plays a troubled superhero. By troubled I mean he’s got a drinking problem and an attitude problem. The basis for this film is very interesting and since Will Smith seems to put his heart and soul into every role he takes it ends up working, even if the execution of the plot wasn’t quite up to par with expectations. The definitive strength of this film is the actors. Will Smith, as stated before, puts his full effort towards everything he does and he’s excellent in this outing. The always stellar Charlize Theron puts together another great performance as well. Last, and maybe the most under-appreciated of the performers, is Jason Bateman. He is always funny and it always surprises me how good his performances actually are. 

Since the flaws don’t come from any of the actors here one may ask where they do come from. The downfall of this movie is in it’s presentation. I didn’t care for the way the action sequences were filmed. I felt myself wishing the action would actually end so the more intriguing part of the film, the family dynamic, would come through more. It was much more interesting to see Hancock trying to fix his public image and being in real life situations than seeing him saving people and fighting bad guys. Granted it’s like that in most of the superhero movies to me, but there is normally a good balance in other more well-executed stories like Spiderman 2 and Batman Begins. I normally don’t find myself not caring at all about fight between the villain and the hero like I did in Hancock partly because the main villain is weak. 

Having said that, the actors do manage to barely save this film. While it is not quite on the level of the other good movies of this summer like Iron Man or even Wanted it is worthy of a recommendation. I also found it to be a little better than the new Indiana Jones movie. After all, it is a Will Smith summer blockbuster. It can’t be all bad.

Kevin’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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The Happening

July 17, 2008

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo

Before I begin this review I want to list some of the possible cheesy headlines that I thought of for a review of this M. Night Shyamalan film. 

1. It’s just not happening. 

2. What the hell happened?

3. What’s happening? 

4. Neither hip nor happening. 

5. The crappening?

Now that I have that off my chest I think most readers will know what kind of review I will be giving the new M. Night Shyamalan flick. The obviously talented director has gotten progressively worse as he keeps making movies. I honestly didn’t think he could make anything worse than The Village until I saw Lady in the Water. He has now surpassed both of those films in badness in The Happening. Seriously, what happened? He had an amazing breakthrough with the Sixth Sense and followed it up with the intriguing Unbreakable, then he took another small step down with Signs, which I still believe was a solid film. Then it was a quick downhill slope and The Happening is the tree with the branch sticking out ready to impale him.

Before getting to the bad let’s go over the good things about this film. There’s not much so this shouldn’t take too long. The mood that Shyamalan develops is good. The entire film has an eerie feel to it which is effective until one realizes how bad the movie is. Another good thing is that this isn’t one of the bad movies that isn’t fun to watch with a few friends and strictly make fun of. It’s on the Showgirls side of the spectrum in that it is so bad that it’s easy to make fun of and laugh at the ridiculous stuff that happens and the horrible dialogue that takes place. (None of that paragraph sounded like the good did it? Oh well. I tried). 

I’ve mentioned the dialogue and I’ve mentioned how silly the film is (although I don’t want to reveal what the happening is because I don’t want to spoil anything, even though they pretty much tell you exactly what is going on pretty early in the movie). So what about the acting? Mark Wahlberg is normally solid right? With the likes of The Departed and Shooter he was on a little roll. In this movie Wahlberg is very disappointing. He raises his voice an octave and sounds like a bit of a wuss throughout the story. How about Zooey Deschanel? I normally enjoy her quirky smaller roles like her role as the sister in Almost Famous and her bizarre role in the TV series Weeds but in this she’s about as animated as a stone and about as monotonous as Al Gore. Seriously, the dialogue in this makes the dialogue in Star Wars look fantastic. I have to stop writing about this movie because I’m getting a little bit upset thinking about it. 

Kevin’s Rating: 1 out of 5

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

July 17, 2008

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia LeBouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen

After loads and loads of rewrites and 20 years of anticipation, the newest installment of the Indiana Jones franchise could not have had any bigger expectations. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were working carefully in an attempt to bring the normal quality of the three previous films with them in the making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Quite frankly, they failed in making this film nearly as good as the others. 

While this edition of the Indie (I hope that’s how you spell the short name for Indiana) does provide plenty of entertainment and Harrison Ford has the same wit and charm as he does in Raiders of the Lost Ark and company, there is something missing to this story. It doesn’t seem like the typical Indiana Jones story since it does deal with (if you actually haven’t seen this yet and don’t want to know this part of the plot skip this paragraph) certain things that Mr. Spielberg has dealt with before in his other alien movies.

In saying that Lucas and Spielberg failed in accomplishing the quality of the previous three films, however, I am not saying that this one is not worth seeing. I am giving this a minor recommendation with this warning: There are some very cheesy moments in this film that I was not really able to get over, one involving an atomic bomb, and another involving Shia LeBouf and monkeys. Yes, I say Shia LeBouf and monkeys. That is not a typo. 

The bottom line is that the new Jones movie did not live up to the expectations it had gathered over the pas 20 years, but who really expected it to. So go see it, ignore the story, and have some fun watching a popcorn movie and Cate Blanchett having a fun time doing her crazy-german-woman role.

Kevin’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5