Friday, February 22, 2013

More movies (4-star system) Aug 09, 2007 5:41AM PST

Boondock Saints~ First of all a big wtf? to rottemtomatos "rotten" rating of this movie at 22%. Well I say it's due to the lack of too many well-known critcis (seriously the internet no-names can be so anal) and feel it deserves its cult-classic status. A Catholic priest's speech at the begginning of the film about good men doing nothing in the face of evil sets the tone for this glorification of vigilantism. In the gang-laden streets of South Boston, two Irish brothers, with the help of their dopey Italian friend "Funnyman" go on a killing spree through the city. Thing is, these killings are the only grave sins these brothers commit and they only kill mafia dons and relatively worse sinners making the city a little less than sympathetic to their victims. A detective played by Willem Dafoe becomes obsessed with the string of murders and how well the assasins have managed to professionally handle the situation (though the audience knows it's partly due to charmingly dimwitted Irish luck). I really love how this movie meshes over-the-top dumb-luck murder sequences with the kind of grittty, dark humor only a true cult film could pull off entertainingly without being too dark while still presenting an underlying moral question of "eye for an eye": is it right? I have to say it was kind of telling for me, as someone who hates the death penalty with a passion to still find myself quite fond of these brothers despite their inability to hold up a certain commandment. Anyway, no matter where you stand on the issue in the undertones, just about everything in the foreground is pure ridiculous entertainment and it's a definite must-see imo. rating: *** 1/2 MPAA: R The Bourne Ultimatum~ It probably wouldn't have been too hard to follow if I payed more attention or bothered rewatching the first two but the good part is I didn't have to pay that much attention: it's supergreat anyway. So to be honest I'm pretty sure I did get most of the plot in, but really the action sequences were so good that the story was really just a fuel for the "stick it to the man Bourne, hell yeah!" fire. It's a bit odd to give even less plot details for this than I did for Boondock Saints but no matter where you come from loud noises and watching a guy go to great lengths to wave the bird at his own government is pure 4-star entertainment when done right. And this movie is definitely done right. rating: **** MPAA: PG-13 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix~ Not a lot of you know this but I'm actually a pretty frequent viewer of I don't have an account there but there have been enough occassions where my tastes match up with Ebert film-wise (case-in-point: War of the Worlds, that scene with the long camera took way too long and what were those aliens on Earth for? Me and Ebert are in the minority of people that didn't like that movie) that I tend to check his reviews if not only for reassurance or to be shocked at how wrong he is. Anyway, when I looked up his review of the 5th installment of the 7 Potter books I saw that his opinion of the films dwindled as they started getting darker. As I read his lament for the downfall in whimsy I couldn't help but think how different I was. My interest in the novels really did not spark until the third when the stories started getting a bit darker. But then there was something about the movie that may have been a little bit too dark. You only see the Sun once in the entire film at the very begginning and though I understand they're trying to hype the Dark Lord's return I couldn't help but think that surely not EVERY day for a year could go without sunshine. I also share his gripe that the kids just seem a bit too old for their roles at this point. In the books, they should be about 15 at this point but it's painfully obvious they're at least a couple years older. It's a minor complaint but you have to wonder how close we are to old copies of Mad magazines' predictions of disheveled overgrown Potter bursting from his robes are to becoming reality. But as for the rest of the movie, I thought it was excellent. Despite the dark surroundings, the subtle humor is still left intact and those fun rebellion moments are still, well, fun. The darker tone also takes on a decidedly more action-oriented approach while still retaining the importance of the character relations. I say that always knowing that my favorite character had to die this time around; although I felt a little miffed at his send-off: I thought he deserved a more badass death than the one he got. Sure he dies under courageous circumstances but the impact wasn't as great as I'd have liked. After all, his death was the main ending detail in the book (or maybe I just liked him that much). That being said the ending duel between the incredibly-agile-for-his age Dumbledore and evil formless thing Voldemort is a great special effects treat that makes you really want to see it in IMAX (I saw it in regular theatres). Also, I'm a sucker for any scene involving flights over a well-lighted city and Potter doesn't dissapoint in that dept. Anyway, despite some characters looking a bit old for 15, and a somewhat disturbing lack of sunsine I still disagree with Ebert about the series turn for the darker: I think it makes it better and love the brooding sense of fear and increasingly heated duels. rating: *** 1/2 MPAA: PG-13 The Number 23~ This movie reminds me a lot of another film called Secret Window in which Johnny Depp played a writer whose life was consumed by a novel and the advent of a real life murderer. Carey's character may not be a writer but the premise is still surprisngly similar: he's a lonely dog catcher whose wife buys him a book called "The Number 23... a Tale of Obsession by Topsy Kretts". Anyway, Carey becomes convinced the author is a murderer and becomes obsessed with the number 23 himself so that he can put together enough clues to find said murderer. Mainly because he finds his life coinciding with many aspects of the author's and wants to make sure he himself is not capable of murder, that the author is the only sicko involved. I was interested simply because my bday is 3/23 but despite that this movie is just a fun rental if you're interested, and not really much to miss if you're not. star rating: I guess *** but the main thing to remember is it's not great or terrible, it's just sort of, harmless. MPAA: R Hostel II~ Basically just here so not everything gets good marks it gets a remarkably generous "I will come to your house and God help me when I get there if you ever claim to enjoy this film". rating: If you pump enough money into this for a 3rd installement I can't promise common decency will prevent me from performing scenes from the film on you. MPAA: R

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