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Reign Over Me (2007)
If you aren't moved....check your pulse.
It's not very often a movie can literally make the entire audience laugh, and five minutes later fill their eyes with tears. Many movies try to do this, but few can deliver the emotional impact that this film did. Adam Sandler practically drags you in with his heated and often violent outbursts, but also makes you laugh when the shadow of his past isn't pulling him down. I'm not going to ruin anything, but there is one scene in particular that should have your eyes watering and lip quivering. Even the most macho of men would have to be heartless bastards to not feel something while watching this movie. Don Cheadle gives another great performance, but is out-shined by Sandler. Liv Tyler and Jada Pinkett Smith give solid performances, but nothing in the line of the two leading roles. Sandler's humor is still present, which actually saved this film from being border-line depressing. There are several laughs to be had, but don't think you will stay there long, because it gets serious again without much warning.
I could go on and on about how well this movie hit on just about every emotion the human body contains, but I will cut this one short. I feel there is no need to tell you anything more. Do yourself a favor and take the time to see this movie. Even if you have to wait until it comes out on DVD, it's 100% worth the time. A deeply moving film sure to put tears in your eyes and a smile on your face...unless of course...you are a heartless soul.
Silent Hill (2006)
Am I the only one?
"Are you kidding me?" That's all I could think after watching Silent Hill on opening night. I guess I can't complain all that much. I didn't exactly have the highest hopes for this movie. Most movies that are modeled after a popular video game end up sucking in a hardcore kind of way (see Doom,Tomb Raider, Super Mario Brothers, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat,etc). The only thing that fueled me to spend some cash for the viewing of this movie was the fact that I love the Silent Hill games. I was wondering how Christophe Gans would translate the eerie feeling of hearing your radio go off...or the "holy crap" feeling of hearing a siren blast a warning to you that trouble was near. As the lights dimmed and I became engaged in the movie...I quickly learned that the acting was going to be far below par for a major Hollywood Blockbuster. Jodelle Ferland(Sharon) is one of the worst child actors I have ever had the displeasure to watch. Laurie Holden's (Cybil) acting left something to be desired. I could list all of the actors/actresses.....but it would all end up the same. Just poor acting all around.
The only excuse the actors could possibly have for their terrible performances would be to put it on their writers. Never in my day have I laughed so much at the dialogue in a movie. I'm not going to spoil anything for anyone...but just be on the lookout for some of Cybil's ignorant observations. The monsters aren't scary...not at all. I really did laugh out loud at the sight of some of the creatures. Don't worry though...it's not like you are going to care if anyone dies...you might actually cheer. If you are a fan of building up a character for an emotional attachment....you will be depressed at the result in this movie. I can't blame the director or the writers for this...because they had to take a game that took about ten or more hours to beat...and stuff it into a two hour flick. The game allowed you to care about your character because you were the character. The movie didn't have a certain "spark" that would allow you to feel for the people and what happened to them. The movie just felt clunky....as if it had something to say....but just couldn't spit it out.
Now that I've given you the bad part...I will try my best to shine some light on the good. The art design and special effects were very good. I thought at some points it felt a bit cartoonish...but not too much. I would also like to give props to Gans for taking on this task. Silent Hill is a very hard concept to bring over to the silver screen. He took a shot at it....though I felt he came up short of his mark. I would say that's about it on the good content. Sorry guys....it's just not that good.
This movie's overall lack-luster performances and B Flick horror creatures will more than likely leave you disappointed. The writers in this flick made George Lucas look like William Shakespeare. I wouldn't recommend this movie for anyone...UNLESS you are a DIE HARD Silent Hill fan. I still think even the most loyal of fans will be disheartened at the outcome. Let's just pray that someone in the not-so-distant future can take a good video game and make it into a great movie. That being said....don't hold your breath.......
Red Eye (2005)
It keeps the attention well enough
One thing is certain about this movie.....you wont feel it necessary to spend any extra attention on anything but the movie. Although it starts off a bit slow, it does a good job of letting the viewer know that it's setting up for something good. My only qualm with the film was it's almost comedic approach to the whole situation. Without giving anything away, the weapon of choice used from a boat towards the end of the movie was QUITE humorous. Cillian Murphy was almost as funny as he was scary, which may not be a bad thing. Rachel McAdams is beautiful and seems to do a very good job in every movie she does. I gave this film seven stars due to it's lack of audience participation in the act of solving the puzzle. When I saw the previews, I thought that there was going to be some kind of mystery that everyone was going to try and solve. You know....the movie that everyone says "I've got it....she's not the crazy one...HE IS!" Then everyone ends up being wrong and everyone just turns in to vampires and the plot goes straight to Hell.(For those of you who watch movies...I just made reference to "Hide and Seek" and "From Dusk Till Dawn").
Is it worth eight bucks? Yes.
Is it the best movie I've ever experienced? Not even close.
Would I watch it again? Probably not....not to much of a replay value.
To put it simply....GO SEE THE MOVIE....but don't expect to be blown out of the water. Grab a bite to eat afterward, discuss your favorite parts, and forget about it in a week or two.
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
"Fun" movies aren't always good movies....as proved by The Dukes of Hazzard
After everyone gets the chance to see this movie, there will be two very common responses that arise out of the smoke and dust of this bomb.
Response A: "That movie sucked. Any movie that relies on Jessica Simpson in a bikini to carry it through really, really sucks. I've had more fun documenting how paint dries."
Response B: "That movie was FUN. Sometimes, it's FUN to go spend 8 dollars to see Stifler and that guy on MTV ride around in a '69 Dodge Charger for nearly two hours. The best part was when the car flew through the air after a big chase scene....or when Jessica Simpson striped down to her bikini. What a great movie!"
Now, I know that these aren't exactly word-for-word translations of what everyone will think/say, but I'm just ball-parking it for dramatic effect. In my personal opinion, (which to some may be a little harsh) the movie sucked......and sucked hard. I'm the type of guy who likes to sit down and take in a movie for what it's worth. I honestly could not pay attention to the crap-fest in front of me due to a radar I have lodged in my brain. The radar will NOT allow me to disperse any extra attention into a generic Hollywood money maker with no depth, which was the tragic case of this movie.
I would say this movie was a great comedy, or a great action film. Much to my dismay, it was neither. Though it did somehow manage to keep some people's attention, it just didn't set the hook on me. It had a few laughs, but those laughs weren't the kind of laughs you get when you watch something outstanding like "Dumb and Dumber" or "Anchor Man". No, these laughs were the kind of laughs that come only to save your sanity while your brain gets sucked through a media straw and into the box office profit that will make up this film. I bet Jay Chandrasekhar is laughing as he rolls in his fat stack of cash that he made by using MTV'S "cool" image to sell out a movie based on a show that really wasn't that great to start with. Basically....he took a pile of crap....converted it into a "cool" pile of crap...threw in some "hip" celebrities and BAM!.......out comes this....well.....pile of crap.
If you like cheap frills and a chance to sucker punch yourself in the throat for paying money to see a crappy film, then "THE DUKES OF HAZZARD" is the movie for you!
*Note: I gave this film three stars because I had to sit through Air Bud:Spikes Back the other day. I cut out my spleen while watching the movie to see if it was any more painful than the acting was. It wasn't.
Cinderella Man (2005)
One of the greats
Before I went and payed my seven bucks to watch this film....I was hoping that it would measure up to the previous movies that Russell Crowe had taken part in. I shelled out a couple of bucks (and by a couple I mean several) for food and drink before taking a seat in a half full theater....mostly guys with their girl friends. I had no idea what was about to hit me.
The movie starts off a little slow....so I was thinking it was going to be a slow paced.....kindly moving story. However, as the story progressed....so did my urge to see what was going to happen next. Like every good movie, it pushed and pulled and me....made me wonder what it was like to live in the same conditions that James J. Braddock had lived in so long ago. Crowe did a great job at playing his role... grade A acting all the way around. Paul Giamatti stole the show. Renée Zellweger, excluding a couple of stupid lines, did a great job at supporting Crowe....didn't over do it...gave just enough to play her part.
I don't care who you are. I don't care if you hate every movie you've ever seen....I don't even care if you are blind. You MUST see this movie (I know it's impossible to see a movie if you are blind....but science is making progress...)at all costs. The last twenty minutes will have you on the edge of your seat....and the ending wont disappoint. By all means, spend your seven bucks and see one of the greatest movies of recent times...if not ever.