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.**

Sunday, December 20, 2009


When law enforcement sends someone undercover they usually or are always confidence their undercover will not flip on them. Why is this? Because they believe morality will win the day. Someone from the right background will never be a gangster since they are not cold hearted like that. It is not in their nature to slash and burn. Well, someone should have told the marines this in this high profile and action packed Avatar. Jake Sully is the marine in this movie, he is the chosen one. The marines should have chosen a Russian gangser to do undercover work for them since they would have no qualms about feeding intel to the marines even if that intelligence would be used against a peaceful, non-threatening and magnetic species.

The disappointing Terminator: Salvation's Sam Worthington plays this Jake Sully. He is a paraplegic who somehow got through marine bootcamp. He is about to have an eventure of a lifetime.

Mankind has found a new source of energy or some raw material that is highly valuable. But the movie sort of contradicts itself. Giovanni Ribisi stars as the corporate pitchman or playmaker named Parker Selfridge. At the outset, Parker says some special rock which floats, he has a sample, is what is financing this extravaganza. He says this to Dr. Grace Augustine who is played by Sigourney Weaver. This is not the first time Weaver has played in a James Cameron film, Aliens was her bigtime screen role. This time she is not shooting the aliens, she is mesmerized by them.

My point is, the final scene, Sully informs us that Earth is dying. Sully is narrating the film for us at certain points. So this is not really consistent.

What also is not accurate is mankind going to another planet purposely inflicting widespread damage and murdering an indigenous people. This is a cold hearted look at the marines. This is not misguided, really cynical. In the contemporary world, we cannot even drill and pump up oil off the coast of my home state of California even if it would help save an economy and give us a spark in our energy supply. So one is telling me that about 200 hundred years in the future, we are acting like we did 200 years from now in the past? I doubt it, I would like to think we have improved a little.

This movie borrows some ideas from Aliens, native Americans, and The Matrix. Mankind has the ability to movie physical bodies with the mind. Like Neo in The Matrix, Sully, who is a crippled marine, is able to manipulate a body which resembles the local aliens. The DNA is mixed with some human DNA and the aliens on this distant planet. I know Sully was asleep for 6 human years moving at the speed of light. His body is weak because of this but his mind recovers like it he just had a wonderful overnight sleep.

The marines do not work for the Federal Govenment in this film. This is where Cameron has borrowed some ideas from himself, his Aliens film. I do not blame him, that was a movie for the ages, far more than this one. Cameron must be Michael Moore's solid friend because this movie paints the marines in a bad light as well as corporate America. Most companies would never hold this strategy and I doubt the US government would rent out the marines to the private sector. A large company could have private contractors on the payroll, that would be credible. Enron or WorldCom could have done this, but so could have Barnie Frank or Bill Clinton. Barnie is still lying about Fannie and Freddie Mae. He does not have a conscious.

Sully loves be an alien. He has legs now, he is ten feet tall and can run 100 meters, I am sure in about 5 seconds. He earns the right to spend time with the alien folks by accident and he comes back to the human base to offer information and intelligence to Augustine. He is not just being monitored by Grace, but by Colonel Miles Quaritch played by Stephen Lang. Is he the quintessential marine? No. He is a cold hearted murderer without any reluctancy to slaughter mother nature on another planet just for the sake of seeing some explosions and exercise his hair trigger finger. Sully respects Lang but sees the wisdom of Augustine.

What really sways Sully is a female counterpart that helps tutor and guide him. We knew they would fall in love. That is not surprising. This aspect is seen in other movies. How about The Last Samurai? It is not a perfect copy but it does involve someone turning against their former side. Sully rides a 6 legged horse, a flying dragon, learns how to live in this hostile jungle, learns a new dialect, takes on a new culture, all in about 3 months. Which I can see. Sully has been hobbled and even though Miles offers him the chance to pick up some fresh legs paid for by the company, human legs ofcourse, Sully is falling for these new humanoids and amazing planet. They have floating mountains and a 3000 foot high tree that is about 300 feet thick. Who would want to destroy that?

The geeky Joel Moore is Norm Spellman who has studied hard to blend into the native alien Indians. He is the jealous one. Sully is the one writing history and telling the fairy tales. But Norm and Trudy have their day in the sun at the end. Michelle Rodriguez plays helicopter fighter pilot Trudy Chacon who turns traitor at the end. I am not sure if she is traitor though since this movie is so unrealistic. Mankind back home would not stand for this type of behavior. What would this say about our character? Lets just steal and rob all over the solar system.

The marines strike first. They blow down that large tree. Sully and Augustine and the small rebel group hijack or steal a marine helicopter to help out the natives. Much to the infuriation Miles, but he was already on to Sully and Augustine's tactics. But he failed to failed to put the screws onto them. Sully uses his intelligence of mankind to spread this knowledge into the biological deity of the natives. Using some fascinating biological chemistry, he transfers this knowledge to this shining array of plants in the middle of the jungle. The natives reach out to other native species for support. Their planet is under fire, strategic and shrewd move. This is what the native Americans should have done if they wanted to stand a better chance against the white man in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The planet gathers 2000 warriors who come with their dragons and horses. They are taking casualties until the diety calls forth their massive 30 ton rhinocerous type creatures, wild dogs, massive flocks of dragons, and 2000 pound cat like predator. The humans are in trouble. They are forced off the planet, atleast until the return and just fire bomb the place from the planet's troposphere or from outer space. With futuristic weapons, even nuclear, the planet could be subdued. This movie never showed mankind with any jet like aircraft after the bigginning which ferried Sully and his battalion to the jungle base. I guess they did not feel like they needed them. The planet seems to be smaller than earth, probably the size of the US, ofcourse as a sphere.

This movie was not an actual picture. It was like 300. This movie crossed between actual humans to a glorified cartoon. So that is a slight to me. It is not Wolverine, it is not even close to Transformers II or even Terminator II. It does not hold any water to this year's Star Trek. The musical score was nothing special. Transformers II's musical score was tremendous. Star Trek's excitement and scientific intrigue is what carried its banner. This movie did not have have an attractive female. Michelle Rodriguez is nothing to brag about. Avatar did have some decent lines but the final action scene was nothing compared to Transformers II. Transformers, brought to us by Michael Bay and his team is amazing because it is so lifelike. Like 300, I can not say the same for Avatar. Atleast Beowulf had an exotic Angelina Jolie and some badass action scenes to promote it.

The dragon scenes in Avatar were cool. When Sully jumped that lethal and ferocious red painted dragon at the end, that was unexpected and clever. It was also borderline lunacy but desperate times call for desperate measures. I did not expect that. He lived up to his charm. His daredevil instincts helped him since to gain face back with the natives he had to do something that would garner him instant respect. That was it.

The creative content in Avatar was stupendous, I will give it that. Floating mountains with waterfalls? Not bad.

I allocate this movie three stars.***

May not make up for the Dark Angel flop though Mr. Cameron.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Old Dogs

Now I know why this movie has done poorly. It is another movie where children receive whatever they want and are spoiled beyond redemption. It will be nice to see John Travolta to return to what made him a massive star: action packed thrillers and intense dramas. But on the flipside, this movie is made for Robin Williams.

Travolta is Charlie and Williams is his sports advertising partner Dan. Both are pretty successful but their 30 year career has reached its culmination and they have made great strides with a Japanese conglomerate that wants to break into the US sports market.

The advent of this movie is rushed. Dan has just got divorced and his buddy Charlie takes him down to Miami where he seems to know like the back of his hand. Rather than offer sound advice to Dan he escorts him around the beach strip, pays for a ridicuous tattoo on his chest which is totally ridiculous. They did not even spell it to the artist, seeing this on William's chest is hilarious though. Charlie gets Dan inebriated and Dan marries this gorgeous woman, knocks her up and divorces her. Charlie is a great friend. Dan is basically a moron but these scenes are rushed past us since they are so absurd, if they were not, the audience would probably just vacate the theatre and inform their friends and family to avoid this movie like the plague.

The only think that Dan did that was right in Miami was spend some time with Vicki played by Kelly Preston. Why did he divorce her? Why did he marry her so quickly? She is a nice person and utterly gorgeous. Travolta chose a winner unlike Will Smith. Preston still shines. Dan conceives twins with Vicki but she never informs him about this. This is folds into the plot of this silly and disturbing movie.

Dan is in the train station or some public venue when Vicki spots him. They decide to have dinner together and Vicki blesses or curses, depends on what your viewpoint, him with the shocking news. Then she guilts him to take on the challenge of taken on these children in a moment's notice since she is an idiotic activist and needs to spend 2 weeks in jail for some asinine reason. Pure emotion, little reason. No company is going to poison the stream but she felt they would.

What is strange is the girl and boy do not come to Dan's home but they all move into Charlie's. Dan spends about $15,000 on child proofing the home which is obscene. Vicki is the most selfish human being around, she cares little for Dan's career even though it is at a critical juncture. Before she departs to serve her time, she informs Dan that the children should not spend any time with a baby sitter. She tells Dan that the children have never had a father. Well, that is her partly her fault, half seems about right. Both were selfish while the children suffered.

Dan and Charlie have a third partner in their advertising firm. The Brazilian Job's Seth Green stars in this movie. He has a touching moment at the end with a gorilla. He gets his best part smashed by a golf ball on a golf course. Ralph White is Seth's character's name and he totally blows it in Japan. He is a large reason the Japanese company cuts ties with them. Ralph acts totally unprofessional and displeasing in Japan when he was supposed to be the face of the enterprise.

How Dan forgets his notes and his power point display at the end to seal the deal with the Japanese firm is pure smoke and mirrors. How does this happen? I am not sure. This movie is funny but pretty unrealistic all they way through. There is few realistic scenarios in this movie's entirety. Charlie smashing pies in his face, Charlie looking like the Joker and Dan getting into the Japanese faces on the golf course because his depth perception was off kilter are all very funny. But those kids are out of control, they should have been smacked atleast twice. But this politically movie distorts reality and tosses another movie for the liberal crowd that business does not matter and lets create a fantasy world for the younger generation.

Dan did not choose Japan over his family. He chose financial security for them all. Seth is funny, there is not a movie he is in where he is not. Though he was pretty stupid in the amazing looking Jennifer Love Hewitt high school movie Can't Hardly Wait.

Dan and Charlie are famous in the behind the scenes sports world. Charlie and Dan make a good team since they are opposites. Charlie is the risk taker, untraditional one. Dan has always been more of a homebody and raising a family is certainly not out of the question for him. The movie ofcourse has a happy ending. Family and career, perfectly balanced in this fictional novelty. Tough times out there, why does Hollywood paint this astonishing picture?

I allocate this movie two stars.**

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is one guy who needs to take his meds. Another guy who should not be driving a car. Former fighter pilot in the cool movie Stealth Josh Lucas stars as Terry. Terry must have been having heart issues since he receives a heart from a dying murder victim. Why Terry needed a new heart is not explained. But things change dramatically for Terry.

Terry's heart seeks revenge. Apparently it pops some images in head and begins to pulpitate rapidly whenever he is around the murder suspects. How does he know who the murder suspects are? Well, the first guy is an ambulance driver who is the first one to trigger this unusual heart tremors. Since Terry is a frequent guest to the hospital he strikes a chance to view his medical forms. He sees the name of the ambulance driver and seeks him out. He does not want fight him, he does not know this person was involved in a home invasion and a murder of an innocent couple. But this ambulance driver goes ballistic. Terry finds him taking a cigarette break in the alley behind the hospital. This man does not like meeting strangers and is certainly not very civil. He breaks a bottle and prepares to attack or defend himself against Terry. He charges Terry but somehow Terry is able to thwart the charge and turn the sharp glass right back against the ambulance driver. One down.

Terry has a daughter who has a debilitating condition. This is how he is able to meet Sarah Connor. Lena Headey is an English doctor named Elizabeth. She is appealing with a successful career but has managed to remain available. She seems to have waiting for Terry to ask her out. He can not even finish the question before she accepts. As their relationship builds, Terry has a dark secret to contain. His heart wants revenge.

The Glimmer Man and The Bourne Supremecy's Brian Cox is relevant here. He is Detective Van Doren who knows all about this murder case. This was not a normal home invasion gone wrong. But which one's are? This was made to look that way but it was really a body organ robbery. They wanted these people's organs but how they profit from this or walk away with the organs is not really explained.

Terry kills two more suspects, with two remaining. But the 3rd victim was the administrator in this sick scheme. But he was the bait, the two remaining suspects, one who is the doctor in this immoral group, watches Terry kill this man. Now they know who Terry is since he must have followed him home after Terry shot this man. Van Doren wants this case solved and knows there is not enough evidence to convict these iniquitous fellows. He gives Terry the gun and some rounds since Terry's second kill was ugly. He is able to track them down since his newly minted heart beats hysterically whenever he is around one of these suspects. It turns out there is five of them. But the final two are going to track down Terry. Atleast he will save some gas money.

The ending is pretty brutal with Terry being slowly taken apart in his bathtub covered in ice. But Van Doren saves the day with Terry regaining his strength. This scene is pretty ridiculous because this psychotic Dr. Giggle's like doctor drains the blood out of one of Terry's leg's veins. But when Terry runs down the hallway after Van Dorn shoots the henchman, the doctor stabs Van Doren in the neck with poison. Terry's heart is pretty much invinciple. One miracle has already been confirmed since this new heart changed his blood type and totally took over his bone marrow. Apparently this is the second time this has occured. Wow.

Did Van Doren make it? I am not sure, Terry could have called 9-11 after he untied Elizabeth. She is a doctor, perhaps there is a quick remedy for the sodium potassium that was injected into him. I am not sure and I am pretty sure that is what this malevolent doctor injected into Terry's heart and Van Doren's neck.

Terry and Elizabeth survive. Elizabeth has been wanting to take over the maternal role of the family. It seems like she is hired for this role at the end after they agree to not hide any secrets. But then she admits she is the one who paid for his heart transplant. He soon realizes she bankrolled that heart heist. She caused two people to be brutally murdered to save his life. He knows his life was not worth this, in addition to the carnage that has ensued. The final sound of this movie is his heart making one loud pumping sound. The job is not over, Elizabeth becomes a marked woman.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

This movie raises some powerful questions. If one hosts someone else's heart, can this affect their emotions and character makeup? What happens when brain's are transplanted? That will be an alarming subject.

Hollywood must be having a difficult time, they are not exempt to the Barnie Frank caused carnage. This movie was less than 90 minutes. I have been noticing that movies have been shrinking in length. Gone are the days when movies were two hours like the action thriller Con Air. This is not unlike when Doritoes stock store shelves with bags of chips that are the same size but with less delicious Cool Ranch chips inside.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

How does a movie with a couple of Hollywood studs and veterans make a movie with this decrepit? I know. Financial despair will force someone to do something they normally would not do. Nicolas Cage is Lt. Terence McDonagh and his real life personality is better off than the character he plays in this sad saga. I have read that Cage borrowed to heavily and spread himself too thin in a real estate spending spree. That can explain why the former Oscar winner chose a role usually beneath his caliber and proclivity.

My blogs are usually in proportion to the quality of movie. This not going to be any different. But this movie was not in the terrible realm.

Ice Man is back. Val Kilmer is not doing much these days. Kilmer is Stevie Pruit who is Terence's unfortunate partner. This movie occurs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in the The Big Lazy. Terence injures his back jumping into some water to help someone escape who was trapped in a jail cell. Though it appeared to be a clean jump to me. It was only about 7 feet before he hit the water. I would have been worried about water moccasins which one was shown to be swimming around. The doctor issued him a virtual or lifetime supply of Vicadin but apparently this was not enough for him. Shortly thereafter, he developes a heroin habit to pacify and soothe his back. He should have taken early retirement which I am sure he was offered. I would think this would be forced upon him.

This movie developes characters that I have no interest in knowing about. Terence's sister just rambles on which is unneccessary in the middle of the movie.

Cage is back with Eva Mendes. This movie is about as good as their previous one where Cage flipped back and forth between a skeleton man on fire and a daredevil. Both of these movies are not worth much. Eva is Frankie Donnenfeld who is basically a high priced call girl who is Terence's girlfriend.

This movie is actually hilarious. Terence's life is in disarray if one could not already infer. His dad is in AA and he can not take care of their full ground labradore. Neither can his sister who seems to live at home still. Without asking what the dog's name is, Terence adopts the dog and the dog is riding in the back seat of a police cruiser with the high profile witness in the front seat. That was funny.

The plot of the movie encircles the murders of five Senegalese. Terence is trying to run down the suspects and determine what happened while he is balancing his psychotic life. He is losing sports gambler. He is a drug addict. How know one in the office knows about this is comical. When he threatens some old woman because she paid for a plain ticket for the young witness to flee the country so he does not have to testify, that is when Internal Affairs starts to scrutinize him. He also threatens some other guy whose dad is a major player in the south, he ties his own noose. He is right in both incidences but his professionalism and tone are contracy to what is expected and appropriate. His lack of tactfullness is actually put on display in the first few moments of this movie.

Terence walks around like a hunch back. There is no way he would be on active duty, not even in a French or Saudi Arabian police department.

Terence's must surrender his weapon and he is put in the evidence room. This is where he has been stealing heroin and jamming up the full time uniform police officer who manages this room. Another humorous scene.

This movie has a lot of elements to it. Terence blackmails a superstar college football player. He goes into business with Big Fate who played by the rapper Xzibit. Fate is a powerful drug dealer in the city who agrees to partner with Terrance. Terrence feeds him information where the police presence will attack the drug trade and Terrence slices him off a little of the cash and heroin.

Strange scene when Fate and his compadres shoot up some organized criminals who invade his house. Terence said shoot them again because their soul's were still dancing. And they had some guy break dancing who obviously could not be seen accept for the delusional and hallucinating Terence. He was dancing right in the middle of the carnage. Weird.

This movie is ridiculous. Terence's bookie delivers his winnings to him in his office at work. In front of all the other law enforcement. Apparently Fate was being played by Terrence. He certainly fooled me but it is too ludicrous to be credible. A police officer with half of this guy's faults and deficiencies would never be allowed to stroll around the community with a loaded weapon. I mean, Terrence is screwing prostitutes and robbing people of their drugs in a club's parking lot. He is corrupt beyond measure.

Fate is arrested and the Senegalese murder case is resolved. The murders occured over a disputed drug territority evidently. It is insinuated that Terrence will seek some drug rehabilitation. That is a start, his gambling addiction should be shortly thereafter.

This movie was actually somewhat clever. It was much better than Cage's Wicker Man. That was despicable.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Harry Brown

This is anoth revenge movie but it is one of the better ones. It is better than Jodie Foster's revenge movie that was made a couple of years ago. Kevin Bacon had one around the same time, they are so easy to make. They attract people since there is so many despicable people that have no regard for the human life. They need to be executed. What is more peculiar to me is how many people vote liberal and allow this villians to reign supreme over districts and provinces around the globe. Pretty pathetic that is for sure.

Michael Caine stars in this movie. He is the hero, he is the one we look to to take us out of this temporarily hell. Harry Brown is the character's name of this person who decides the law works too slow or does not work at law. In this poor ghetto, one of many in London I am sure, someone needs to do something. I sometimes think that our laws help the criminal class as much as they do the law abiding folks. The barriers that the laws enacted in the western world sometimes seem to protect the very people they are supposed to punish.

Harry is a retired man who is in his last few years. He is a man of peace and decency. But like many people in the major cities around the world, he sees society slipping. He sees decay and witnesses an absense of heroes. He killed for his country in a professional manner once before. Now he decides to volunteer his efforts. He is not a man of uniform any more, but the outcome is the same. Evil is eliminated and knocked back. The criminals are not afraid of the empty threats that police point at them, since they know they can not stick and the police are as handi capped by the exact laws that are supposed to protect the innocent.

Harry has one friend that keeps him marching on. But his friend is having trouble with the violent youths in their apartment filled neighborhoods. Neither of them can walk where they want to walk because of the chance of a physical assault. Where is the justice in this? But many people vote liberal, and this is the result. I doubt Harry Brown votes liberal though. So another conservative is here to save the life of the liberals who surrounds him.

His friend's life is taken in a pedestrian underpass by some of these violent and mercurial brigands. Harry Brown is relayed this information by an area detective named Frampton. Emily Mortimer handles this role with ease. She is a public servant and does what she can in this chaotic and unforgiving world where like my dad likes to say, technology changes but people remain the same. Frampton is trying to dig up some proof on these hooligans but Harry Brown has little faith in that from happening.

Harry Brown decides to buy a gun. But unlike America, where one can buy a gun in a civil and reasonable setting, in London, where guns are outlawed for those who obey the law, one has to buy a weapon from the criminal underclass who give them a reason to buy the gun in the first place. Brown buys this weapon from one of the scariest racketeer I have seen in a movie in a while. He is scarred up, it seems like he has been in a hundred knife fights. He and his loser assistant have their marijuana crops growing under incandescent lights. They seem to be making their own porn video with any female they can entice into their disgusting residence. Once the female is inside this horrendous lair, she is drugged up and raped for days on end. These two are a real piece of work. But Harry takes care of both of them, he should be given a medal for this. But the leftist in London would probably lock him more than they would the criminals who are tearing at society's underbelly. One can not blame them, we are soft targets. Easy prey for these apathetic souls.

Harry saves this girl, takes the loot and the weapons. He drops the girl off at the area hospital. Frampton and her assistant are alerted. Frampton is moved by this move. This girl's life is saved a wad of cash to pay for her medical treatment is left with her. Courtesy of Harry.

The man who just wanted peace stokes violence. Harry's agenda and targeting of these pilllagers creates a maelstrom. The police want to charge into the neighborhood and round of these thugs. Frampton suspects Harry is behind this. But her police leutenants and partner do not want to hear this. When her partner agrees with her, he sides with Harry. Harry is eradicating the scum of the earth. He should be encouraged. That is this movie's message. Someone is needed. Where is our white knight? It certainly is not Obama. Obama is a liberal, he has only allowed these thugs to prevail. Where is our Robin Hood? We do not someone stealing for us, we need someone taking names and asking questions later.

The police barnstorm the area and have molotov cocktails thrown at them. Why they are not shooting actual rounds is beyond me. Why would one even be a police officer in a society that allows their uniformed police to be treated like this? It boggles the mind. These morons are only trashing their own neighborhoods while the the few good souls are held in check, held at bay. What can they do? Only the hoodlums have guns. What a wonderful place to be. Hard to believe some Americans envy this society. Oh yeah, they want to take out the gun manufacturers. Only in Sean Penn's fantasy land would that work.

Frampton's partner agrees to investigate this. Perhaps he is just bored. Frampton's superiors do not think too highly of her. Perhaps she asks too many good questions or perhaps her soft approach is not desired. I know this, her intolerance of Harry Brown is unnerving. Her by the book approach has only allowed neighborhoods across the horizon to be held hostage by the criminal order.

While driving into this ruckus, they collide with another car. Harry carries them both practically into his local pub. He thinks it is safe there. He is about to realize he is in the devil's lair. Frampton informs him that the main gangster's uncle is the owner of this establishment. Harry's main buddy. His long time steward. It seems he is the patriarch of these young hoodlums. He is housing this thug in his basement. He ends up killing Frampton's partner. While this young animal goes to work on Frampton, Harry has one gun left, strapped to his ankle. He shoots this punk in the neck, a fatal shot. The bartender is about to murder Harry but snipers devastate him. Good riddance.

When Frampton is being choked to death by this young player, young assasin, a whirlwind of atrocities, I wonder if she realized Harry was right and his mission was just and her orderly ways were not up to par? Did she become a conservative in her hear at that seminal moment?

The final scene of this movie is Harry walking down the usual route and he can freely walk down this pedestrian underpass without a fear of being physically acosted and verbally abused. Ahhh, what a thought. Where are you at Nanci Pilosi?

I allocate this movie 4 stars.****

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This is a movie of two divergent brothers. Two brother that went into opposite directions. One went to fight for his country, the other went to fight against society. One received tax free pay, the other one soaked up tax payer's money while contributing nothing. One started a family, the other one paid for a tattoo on his neck. But the bond between them still remained strong despite these glaring differences.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a semi-tough in this movie. He is a good actor, too bad we had to endure his sister in The Dark Knight. She looks him, she looked as much like the Joker in that movie as Heath Ledger. And he was the Joker. Tommy Cahill is Jake's character. Spiderman turns out to be a punk in this movie. But Tobey Maguire is so plain looking, can we really take this guy serious? He is Capt. Sam Cahill and if there was ever a Marine who could not strike fear in a baby kitten, Uncle Sam found his man.

The difference between the brother is exploited by Hank Cahill. I have been through this before, it is tough to feel and see a parent favor a sibling over oneself. Sam Shepard from many films included the realistic and mesmerizing film called Black Hawk Down. Hank clearly favors Sam over Tommy. This is blatant favortism and only forces a schism that does not have to exist. Who cares if Tommy made a mistake? He knows this, he served his time. The argument at the outset of this movie at the dinner table could have been avoided if Hank was not a total prick. He treats one of his sons like trash when that son has already paid his debt to society and has really damaged his life. Rather than be supportive, he attacks Tommy for past mistakes in the last dinner they would have as a family before Sam departs to the conflict zone. Pretty sad.

Sam's unit is called to return to Afghanistan. He has two cute daughters with Queen Padmé Amidala. Yes, Natalie Portman is here looking as cute as can be. Grace Cahill is the mother of two children and she is faced with the daunting task of raising these two sweeties in this uncertain world all by her lonesome when the terrible news is delivered to her. Yes, Sam offered his life for this country. His life was taken in Afghanistan.

This is what we are lead to believe for about 8 minutes or so. The movie bounces back to the central Asian country and shows Sam and another soldier being marched in procession to their doom. It may as well be, for one it actually is. They are both tortured and treated terribly. They are actually tortured unlike the so called waterboarding torture that the left likes to claim. What is torture? I would say listening to Rosie O' Donnell or Nanci Pilosi speak is torture. This concept of torture is completely subect. Moreover, this movie bounces back and forth from Afghanistan to small town USA where Tommy and Grace are beginning to fall for each other.

In one scene, one of the chief terrorists states to Sam that they should not be there. Meaning the US ofcourse. I would have undermined that reasoning instantly with a retort such as: "We would not be here if you did attack us in New York City, killing many Americans, or if you did not allow a terrorist group save haven on your soil to attack free societies all over the world." Ofcourse, in reality, I would have shortened this up. The terrorist has it all wrong as they usually do. Their delusional frame of mind has manifested itself to wreak world wide havoc.

While Sam and this other soldier are being held hostage, Sam is the resolute one. He is the leader, to the core. He constantly reminds this soldier to remain positive and maintain military discipline. But he is the one that breaks and ends up killing this young man with a pipe while the terrorists filmed it. Who cares if he is at gun point, he should have swung at the terrorist and forced them to kill him. But he punked out and proved how hypocritical he was. He also showed his true character, he was never that tough in first place. He believed all the military hogwash and garbage his marine father filled into his head for many years.

One of the daughters causes a scene at the dinner table in front of a girlfriend of Tommy's. This is well into the descent of Sam. Why she does this is beyond me. Her vulgar language is mind boggling and her rant totally undermines the credibility of her mother. Pretty bizaare, I cannot believe this is accurate. I can see a daughter talking back and being rude but this spitfire was too poignant to root from a small child. This leads to an ugly altercation between Sam and Tommy, but not at their parent's home but at Sam's. Tommy and some friends rebuilt and painted Grace's kitchen while Sam was on the other side of the planet. This is what Sam attacks and lays into. His mind is in an ugly state, the guilt for what he did is showing itself in the worst way.

The police are called, Hank is forced to do this. His mother urges him to do so. They know their son's is being tormented by demons. Hank deserves this a little but not at this magnitude. Sam has a hand gun and almost shoots his brother in the kitchen he chose to completely refurnish to help his wife out. This was a sparkle when she was really sad her husband was away. Sam is irate the police are called and confronts them in the front yard. The police would have probably shot him if it was not for Tommy fighting for his brother's life. Sam almost commits suicide in front of them all. This spectacle is subdued with Sam miraculously drops the weapon. The police engulf him. Sam can now see a doctor which he has been needing to see when he was first rescued in that lawless region.

The movie ends on a positive note. But this movie is troubling. It is based on a true story. There are many themes tied to this movie. Not one person is really guilt free in this movie. For instance, Grace chose to marry this die hard marine who probably was sort of fake from genesis.

This movie is a solid drama. It is worrisome because some people could think any soldier who returns from a war zone could just be nuts. This is not the case. Tommy gets out of prison and chooses to spend money he does not have on alcohol. Pretty stupid. He would have been back in jail if it was not for Grace. He decided to drink more than he could afford. The probation officer was on the verge of getting a call from the bartender/owner. Tommy seems to mature quickly shortly thereafter but the script writers never wanted to inform us if ever obtained a job. How he was affording to pay rent in that destitute apartment, I am not sure.

Tobey McGuire actually was crazy in this movie. He had that glass eye look in him. A straight jacket is what he needed. This movie's characters were not fully developed though. This movie had the big names, it could have been a little longer. For example, there was not one song in this movie. Music helps stimulate a story.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


In contrast to my other blogs, this one is going to be paltry. A movie of this caliber does not deserve that much more time devoted to it. It is not special, in fact, this movie could be understood while someone exercises or plays a 2 on 2 hoop game

Times must be tough when this many credible actors come to terms and agree on a script that seems to be written by a Freshman in High School. One not in HISP at that.

Laurence Fishburne is an actor of immense talent, this movie was a waste of his time. It appears the powerful roles in line with The Matrix and certainly Mission Impossible III are behind him. In this film, he is Baines and like the others, he is an armored car employee. He is surrounded by Matt Dillon who plays Mike Cochrone. The are reinforced by The Professional and Ronin's Jean Reno who plays Quinn. Prison Break and Transformer's Amaury Nolasco is Palmer. They are a tight unit and agree to pull off a heist of extreme proportions. But the viewer already knows this before they even have bought the rip off and calorie loaded pop corn.

The hero of this movie is Ty Hackett. Columbus Short is the actor who was probably the only on the set happy to be there. This is a step up for him and I am sure he liked being surrounded by all this talent. When he was not asking for autographs he was trying to figure out how to get himself out of this mess his character was in. It seemed every character was having financial issues. This monetary quandary made this plan all the more palatable.

They were scheduled to deliver $42 million or so to the bank. They decided to drive the money out to a run down industrial site and make off with the money. But the conscious of Hacket is what makes this a movie. He barricades and locks himself inside one of the armored trucks and tries to operate the technology this new truck is equipped with. But oh what do we do know, they are in a dark zone. Nothing radiates.

What happens for the next 45 minutes falls under the suspense category. But is really under the makeshift, languid, and decrepid one. There is some action, some shooting, mixed in with terrible editing, even worse acting, and a frail musical score.

Hacket eventually is able to notify the police, in the ruckus, his former allies are killed or in one case, kill themselves. Hacket, who was also dealing in a poor economic situation, because of his valor, may be eligible for some time of reward.

The good news is that the characters who once were in a sluggish financial state are no longer in this condition since they were mere mortals. All their problems have been transfered to someone else now while they are on their way to meet their maker. They tried to outsmart the system but were fatally foiled.

It goes without saying this movie does not rank that high in any scoring system.

I allocate this movie one star.*