Monday, August 16, 2010


This movie was absolutely spectacular. It was wonderful because DiCaprio did not hog the spotlight. This movie gave some serious scenes to some other solid actors. An absolute winner, this movie takes the cake, this movies does for dreams like The Matrix did for technology or computers.

The only downside is Ellen Page talking trash about Sarah Palin and other conservatives. If she continues to run her mouth like that, she will go the Jennifer Fox route and lose major roles.

As complex as this movie is, the characters are mesmerizing. The special effects are fascinating and the action is pulsating. I cannot choose one scene that should have been eliminated. If anything, they could have explained a little more about the paradox regarding the endless staircase. That movie brought up some concepts that are worth having an entire dialogue and college course over.

The wife of DiCaprio was not that amazing. I thought they could have had a different actress and when Arthur became that blond in the bar seen, her face looked like plastic.

The Last Samurai's star Japanese actor carried his own in this movie. He performed admirable.

The angles that this movie took regarding dreams, the aspect regarding the mind being a source of theft while you are dreaming is mind blowing. I have seen this movie twice and was able to soak up viewpoints I missed the first time around. This movie tosses much action and innovative ideas to the viewer, once is not enough. This movie is bigger than the world around us. An idea to contemplate, one minute in reality is several minutes in the dream. This formula compounds if one is in a dream within a dream, hence one night of dreaming could be decades in a dream world.

If I made my own world in a dream, unlike DiCaprio and his wife, I would have included more trees, streams, and mountains.

This movie is impeccable.

I allocate this movie five stars.*****

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Prince of Persia

I did not know they had teeth whitener 2600 years ago. This movie was better than the Scorpion King because of the music and constant action. Both movies were about the same on the ridiculous level. This movie is probably as good as The Mummy as well. Primarily because the lead actress is hot in this movie (too bad she is not that attractive at the premier).

Jake Gyllenhaal gets his feet wet in an action movie. He is jumping around roof tops like Matt Damon did in The Bourne Ultimatum. Except that movie was much more realistic which is why Persia will not equal that movie's box office take nor have its staying power. Dastan is the hero and he can fight a little. He just leaps everywhere and seems to have ankles made of iron. In one scene is falling about 40 feet, wow.

Gemma Arterton plays Tamina and she is stunning throughout. Amazing eyes and lips. What happens to her in real life when she puts all that makeup on is anyone's guess? She looks completely opposite, too bad. But she makes this movie shine which is something Rachel Weisz never did in her mummy movies.

Persia had the action, a solid plot and some funny characters. They even allowed another character to completely dominate an action scene. I like that. The director is a team player. This weapons thrower took one for the team.

The good guys win in the end. Why the father did not live when Dastan reversed time is still unclear to me? Much of the fighting was done on movie sets, it was quite easy to detect this which is a detraction. In addition, no way snakes can jump like that. It would have been interesting to see this movie if it was as realistic as Troy or a movie of this caliber. 300 was artificial as well, that was a glorified cartoon but it brought Gerald Butler to the forefront.

Ben Kingsley is still weird looking, he plays a wicked spiritual leader called Nizam. He did not do a good job of defending himself at the end that is for sure and his spies gave him up when they took to the sword.

This movie could have been a little better if it did not look so fake for much of the time. It would have been nice if they mixed in some ancient Persian dialect. The viewer learns nothing about Persia watching this movie. They did mention the Hindu Kush, good for them.

I allocate 3 stars for this film.***

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reputation Management

Do you care about your outside or Online Reputation? Do you want to fight and combat the world wide disease and epidemic of slander? There is a new phenomenon that is prepared for this fight. There are leaders throughout history that would have enjoyed employing this service. Abraham Lincoln, for instance, would have contracted a firm to carry out this crusade to attempt to alter the opinions of the south regarding himself, of course it would not have been online. Online Reputation Management is a system of monitoring and following the actions and opinions of people. The focal point is to recognize the negative and positive opinions.

Reputation Management should have risen at the same time as the paparazzi did. Perhaps it did but it has not been given any credence on a wide scale thus far. This breed of management is the methodical operation of degrading or undercutting negative opinions and transferring these slights and criticisms into affirmative or uplifting ones. This is a heavy ordeal and it is not without its ups and downs. You may have to get your hands dirty because the opposing side is nasty. This does not mean you have to resort to the same tactics though.

The fulcrum of reputation management is to record and chronicle the viewpoints and motions while mimicking what you chronicle to initiate a feedback link. This is sort of a high tech or public dance but the public does not always know who is pulling which strings. It does not matter if this is an international conglomerate or your piano tuner; everyone wants their reputation and name protected. Tom Cruise’s character in Mission Impossible, Ethan Hunt, fought through this same ordeal on a fictional level and prevailed. But this sort of stuff occurs in reality as well. It would behoove Toyota to hire a reputational management company as we speak.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cop Out

Can you laugh at a movie that is ridiculously phony but is supposed to be realistic? This is not as ridiculous as the 1980's law enforcement Police Academy movies but that is not saying much. The latter movies were hysterical at the time though.

Bruce Willis stars as Jimmy Monroe, a broke down police officer trying to pay for his daughter's wedding. He knows she wants an expensive wedding which to me indicates how out of touch she is to her status and the financial troubles so many people are in because of over spending.

Cop Out had its usual bad ass villains. How they took over a church is beyond me. I, and other baseball fans, do like this movie because one of its backdrops is a baseball card in particular and baseball collectibles in general. The charismatic gangster wants to buy a minor league baseball team after he gains lucrative information about this drug dealing opponents.

Ana de la Reguera, from the comedy Nacho Libre, plays the stunning Gabriela who resembles Penelope Cruz but beats her to the finish line. Which says something since Cruz is alluring as well. Gabriela is caught up in this mess somehow, the movie's plot is pretty complicated but like a movies of this caliber it does involve power and avarice. Blockbusters such as Spiderman, all three, or Iron Man cannot claim an actress which equal Reguera’s merit or stature.

Funny man Sean William Scott helps carry this movie. Dave is his character's name and he plays a neighborhood thief who is adept at jumping around things. He turns it into a science and his act is spontaneous and goofy. He is totally oblivious his life is a disaster. He is confident until he slips up and practically breaks his neck on a fence trying to perform a high risk favor for Jimmy.

The main plot is. Dave steals Jimmy's prized baseball card when he is about to sell it for about $80,000. This would more than cover the $48,000 wedding he is supposed to pay for. Dave sells this baseball card or trades it for drugs to the drug dealer who has a fondness for baseball. This is the same criminal consortium who shoots up a storefront and practically mortally wounds Paul. For this recklessness, Paul and Jimmy are suspended for a month without pay. Do they go home and read books and try to find a secondary source of income? No, like Eddie Murphy's Det. Axel Foley character in Beverly Hills Cop and every other detective in Hollywood, they continue to work on the case. Of course they prevail and the villains either flee but the main badass is destroyed.

After they are suspended, Jimmy and Paul are driving in the car together the next morning. This is unrealistic but I guess Paul has nothing else to do but to tag along to see if Jimmy can sell his baseball card.

The ending is enjoyable and hysterical. Jimmy's ex-wife's new husband, who has already proved he is a white collar classless yuppie, gets punked by Paul at the wedding in full view of Jimmy’s ex-wife. The funniest part in the movie is when Paul is in agony after being kicked in his privates by the city's most successful car thief, an 11 year old. Paul retaliates in kind, wow, the audience rolled over during that scene.

This is worth seeing; it is probably the funniest movie of the year. It may not be worth top dollar though nor is it on par with the riveting Brooklyn’s Finest.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Road

If one thought Children of Men was depressing and horrid, this is a movie to avoid like the plague. What is the point of this movie? It is just terrible, but still not as bad as Cage's Wicker Man. This is another apocalyptical movie but what happened to the world? I did not hear that explained but ofcourse I skipped about 15 minutes of this unentertaining movie because it was so slow.

Viggo Mortensen is the Man. He does not have a name accept papa. His Boy calls him that, played by some boy who could be a girl. Kodi Smit-McPhee is the Boy and he is just useless. He cannot even walk for part of the movie which is difficult to ponder. The Man shot a cannibal who somehow grabbed him while he was about 15 feet away from him but then the next scene he was only about 6 feet away from him. So the Man shot the cannibal and the bullet came close to the Boy's head. Scary for the Boy. OK, why does his legs not work after that?

Charlize Theron is the Woman and she has this Boy shortly after the world falls apart. The world falls apart because the earth is just trembling. Earthquakes are happening at a rapid rate, knocking down all of the trees and causing forest fires as well.

The Man and Boy are headed south. The Boy seems to have learned no survival skills at all despite growing up in this sick world.

The man dies at the end, the arrow stuck him in does not help. Lack of nutrition and disenfectant was probably the culprit. The Man is though, none of this seemed to rub off on the boy. But the boy seems to be adopted by a good family at the end. I hope the rebel canibals do not find them. The movie is about 85 minutes too long.

The Mom must have taken her own life, she does not want to face the chance of being captured alive and raped. Atleast she and the movie is realistic about this. To the dismay of her husband, she leaves the Man and her son and I am not sure what becomes of her. She may just take her own life since that is what 95% of the world population seems to have done. I am sure there are tribes in Africa and the Amazon and some Native Americans doing OK. But all the game died too, so that would impact as sure as the sun is bright. But this movie never showed us any sun.

This movie was stark. Void of any music but full of agony and misery. Glad I did not pay to see this decrepid work. I never even thought of laughing at any scene. Most of the movie takes place about 10 years after the main destruction started to occur. I can infer this by the age of the Boy.

I learned nothing from this movie. I took nothing from it either. It was absolutely pointless to see. I would never read the book. Kind of like The Matrix, The Matrix movies never explained why the Earth on the surface was blasted away.

I allocate this movie zero stars.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

I did not know House's great great grandfather was Sherlock Holmes. They have a lot of similarities. Both are very bright, have incredible attention to detail, have pushed everyone away from them, maintain a normal and innocent successful sidekick to speak some rationality to them once in a while. Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. plays this part with poised reckless abandon.

His clever but gullible mini partner is Dr. John Watson. I think they borrowed his character from Wilson from the same show mentioned above. Jude Law from the terribly boring Artificial Intelligence reigns supreme. Law is a fine actor, interesting how his star is now second fiddle to Downey Jr. This would not be the case about 5 years ago.

The plot is about a psychopath who is basically a chemist and magician all wrapped up one. He enjoys killing people and placing their bodies in symbolic alignment. He practices magic but his only trickery is old fashioned bribery. He is hung but lives. I thought he had a twin like the spectacular movie The Prestige but I was mistaken. He was never actually killed, why did Watson proclaim him dead then? I am not sure; he must have taken something to slow down his heart. He had more chemicals in his home than DuPont has in their laboratories.

Body of Lies's Mark Strong is the devil's right hand man, he is the one and only Lord Blackwood. He wants to control England and reclaim America. He asserts America is weak after the devastating Civil War. He is about 30 years late. America was powerful and rising by the 1890's. America was reeling in the late 1860's, a few years after the Civil War but not three decades later. Blackwood wanted to kill off England's Parliament with poison gas, while some blood sucking politicians took a pill that would protect them from the poison fumes emanating from the floor vents.

Blackwood's ploy is determined by Holmes and Holmes outsmarts him in the end. He is properly hung on the new bridge being built by fine English engineers to span the Thames.

The gorgeous Rachel McAdams stars in this entertaining but skippity skip movie. She is a deviant, a seducer, and a thief. Blackwood trusts her but he chose the wrong woman. McAdam's is Irene Adler who is hustler, and a fine one at that. But is not evil like Blackwood, Blackwood miscalculated her character. Deep down, she likes Holmes despite almost betraying him in the end. This movie moves quickly, there are so many scientific points made and ideas tossed out, it is hard to follow. The action scenes bounce all around; tracking what is actually occurring is difficult. Nevertheless, I cannot recall a wasted scene. Several parts were comical. I think the writer's for House wrote many of the sharp and sarcastic lines for Holmes.

Hancock's villain Eddie Marsan plays the predictable Inspector Lestrade. He is manipulated by Blackwood's man and arrests Holmes. Of course Holmes is about 5 chess moves ahead, as always.

This movie is entertaining. It is worth seeing. It is fantastical though; Blackwood's manipulation is just too over the top to me. His character is Adolf Hitler, about 40 years before the actual worldwide beast comes to power. Blackwood wants to push the start button on World War I about 20 years before it actually ignites. It is purely fiction though, I understand this but outstanding movies are magnificently realistic.

Like Ocean 11 and 13, I wish they added another 5-10 minutes to actually explain one of the many scientific explanations they propose in the dialogue. I think the writer's would be surprised; a lot of us enjoy science.

I allocate this movie three stars.***

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Do you like watching grass grow? If not, this may not be the movie for you. This is the opposite of Transformers II, not one attractive girl, very little humor, void of any intrigue, and absence of any suspense. Rugby and history is the centerpoint of this movie. The final rugby match, the closing 20 minutes is eventful.

This is a movie that may appeal to non Americans than us. I thought Gran Tarino was slow, this movie is on the same level as that. Clint Eastwood directed both movies. I think he is interested in making movies that High School teachers would love to show to their students. He is making cultural events, not films worth spending $10 for. Perhaps I would pay to see this movie if free Red Vines and popcorn was included in the ticket.

Morgan Freeman is Nelson Mandela and he has just been released from his island prison. This movie did show some pictures of South Africa that I have seen before. Capetown looks exotic, right there on the coast like that.

Matt Damon stars as the buff Francois Pienaar, team captain of the Springbox. This is the national rugby team in South Africa that has been dominated by white for some time. In South Africa, whites favor rugby and blacks lean on the soccer side. The Springbox are beloved by whites, it is their passion and consumes their solitude. The dramatic scene in the first half of the film is when the black national sport organization was going to strip the Springbox of their colors and uniform colors. These colors have been a symbol of oppression and the terrible system of apartheid for decades. Mandela intervened and persuaded some of these officials to not tear down something that white people in South Africa have been celebrating for so many years. This would split up the country even more than it already is and start a derisive precedent.

Damon performed well with this South African accent. He pumped up for this movie, he was pretty thick. He was a solid captain. This movie had a third minor storyline in it besides Mandela and the rugby team-Mandela's security team. At first, just blacks were guarding Mandela. But they needed additional numbers. The captain of the security team was shocked when five white security guards stepped into the already cramped room. Mandela signed the protocol there. Mandela wanted to unify the country. When the citizens of South Africa see their leader being guarded by white security guards, this is not only a symbolic gesture but an exclamation point. He is saying this is the new path, I am on it, will you follow me? We need to mix, forget the past, and start with fresh sheets.

Mandella surrounds his schedule around the Springbox schedule. They are hosting the Rugby Word Cup in less than a year and supposedly the only reason their team qualifies is for this reason. The South African rugby team only has one black player and I am sure he was a recent addition. I thought Mandela would have tried to persuade the team to take a few more blacks. That would have been huge. I know there is some amazing black athletes and rugby is a strength and speed game more than just a skilled sport. Ofcourse blacks are skilled but it does not take that long to learn rugby and understand the games strategy. I am surprised the sports committee did not compel the Springbox to add some more black members.

Rugby is pretth boring to me but I did learn a little how the game is played in this film. The final episode is a brutal but exhilarating match between New Zealand and South Africa. I am not sure if this was the championship or the first big test for South Africa. It must have been the championship since Francois hoisted and kissed the large cup trophy at the end.

New Zealand was favored to win, South Africa was underdogs. New Zealand an intimidating team dance and song they performed right before the match. This was done right in front of Francois and his team. Eastwood did not show the unique rugby referee hand gestures not how a team substitutes a player. The game was intense and went into overtime. New Zealand, after a hard fought struggle, prevailed against a mighty oppenent.

Eastwood showed how sports can unify a fragmented nation. Two taxi drivers were near the stadium, listening to the game parked on the side of the street with a door open using their car's radio. A young black boy walked by and seemed to be picking up garbage where he can trade for some recycling money. The taxi drivers shouted at him to leave. In the first half, the boy was loitering so one of the taxi drivers looked in the boy's bag just to see what he was doing. In the second half, the boy was sitting on their hood in total astonishiment and joy. He was listening to the competition live. Perhaps he never had this opportunity before. After South Africa overcame their demons and eliminated their foes, the white taxi drivers were picking up this thin black kid and screaming in total pandemonium. Who said sports does not matter?

Mandela's female assistant and political strategist always thought his rugby inclinations and interest was childlike and immature. She did not see the big picture. She thought his priorities were misengaged, she was wrong. But rarely that was the case.

This movie had some decent music. The first half was like watching grass grow. To me, that is a huge damp spot. Having a wonderful final 20 minutes just does not cut it. The movie was barren of any humor. Freeman and Damon performed well. I am glad Freeman was actually in a decent movie unlike a ridiculous movie like that Slevin debacle they sometimes show on TV. Eastwood did not come near his Mystic River film several years ago but this is a pleasant and decent movie.

Mandela is a world wonder but his Charlie Sheen like comment 6 years ago about the US only being in Iraq for oil proved world events may be over his head now. I wish we took some oil from Iraq for compensation of eradicating a brutal dictator and his iniquitous sons. But I guess we will sit back and allow Iran confiscate Iraqi oil.

I allocate this movie two stars.**