The winter of my discontent continues. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a movie review for one simple reason, everything for the last three months has been terrible. Nothing that I liked or disliked enough to write 400 words on. After being on a sugar high from this summer’s amazing crop of summer films, The X-Files brought everything to a screeching halt and the disappointments continue. This time it’s Mark Wahlberg in Max Payne. I’m a gamer, but don’t think I’ve ever played Max Payne. If I remember correctly the thing that made Max Payne fun was it’s John Woo sensibilities with Matrix style bullet time effects thrown in. When first announced, my initial reaction was, why? It isn’t like Payne is one of the most popular game franchises in the world. Like I said, I never played it.
As production progressed, I was getting interested. As a general rule I really like Wahlberg – even though he is a one note actor and never displays much emotional range. He has that "it" factor. The early trailers looked really good and highly stylized. I was thinking, yeah, I can go with this. Video Game movies don’t have the best track record in Hollywood, can’t think of a single one that was any good or even made money. Which is ironic because Video Games based on movies generally suck to. So maybe, we’re lucky Hollywood and the Video Game industry will reach a point when they realize they just shouldn’t cross pollinate.
This movie lost me within the first ten minutes, and I can’t tell you why. I really wanted to like this, but the relentless darkness and graininess of the environments just put a complete damper on everything. I normally complain that films like this should be dark, grimy and relentless, so I feel like a hypocrite when I say that’s why it doesn’t work. The cinematographer only had to worry about lighting one color palet – gray and silver with fake looking snow. It felt like this entire movie was made with the Unreal Engine. Even though director John Moore used mostly all practical SFX. This dark, grey, warehouse look annoys me in games, I certainly don’t want to see it on a big screen. In a theater where the sound system was so loud it was making my ears bleed (not literally – I think).
Between the dark look and loud ass sound system I was getting a headache real fast. So I thought maybe I could get sucked in if I paid attention to the plot. But there wasn’t one. I couldn’t tell you what the heck was going on in this movie if I tried. At least until the last half hour when things finally made sense. But the big plot twist was like, "Really? Are you kidding me? They couldn’t have come up with anything more original?" This movie takes itself way too seriously. All of the gun play was by the numbers and totally uninspired, I would have preferred it if the director just ripped off Woo or the Matrix.
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Final Grade F
EM Review by
Originally posted 10.19.08
When straight arrow FBI agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) heads up the investigation into a dangerous international conspiracy, all clues seem to lead back to former U.S. Special Operations officer, Samir Horn (Don Cheadle). Obsessed with discovering the truth, Clayton tracks Horn across the globe as the elusive ex-soldier burrows deeper and deeper into a world of shadows and intrigue. Traitor, a taut international thriller set against a jigsaw puzzle of covert counter-espionage operations hits theaters this Summer, August 27, 2008. For more information visit: http://www.traitor-themovie.com/ I think Cheadle is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, if I wasn’t going to London this weekend, this would be the movie I see.
Hey, the folks behind Al Pacino’s thriller Righteous Kill have put together a tasty, blood thirsty DVD Collection to give away. The collection includes a copy of The Godfather, Heat, Scarface and a RigheousKill poster. How cool is that?
Kill is about a pair of veteran New York City police detectives are on the trail of a vigilante serial killer. After 30 years as partners in the pressure cooker environment of the NYPD, highly decorated Detectives David Fisk and Thomas Cowan should be ready for retirement, but aren’t. Before they can hang up their badges, they are called in to investigate the murder of a notorious pimp, which appears to have ties to a case they solved years before. Like the original murder, the victim is a suspected criminal whose body is found accompanied by a four line poem justifying the killing. When additional crimes take place, it becomes clear the detectives are looking for a serial killer, one who targets criminals that have fallen through the cracks of the judicial system. His mission is to do what the cops can’t do on their own–take the culprits off the streets for good. The similarities between the recent killings and their earlier case raise a nagging question: Did they put the wrong man behind bars?
The movie opens September 12. We have one copy of this set to give away. To win, leave a comment about your favorite Pacino or De Niro movie. This contest will run August 14th to Monday August 25th. On the 25th, send your User ID, Full Name, Contact info and in the Subject “RIGHTEOUS KILL CONTEST” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your entry MUST be complete and done CORRECTLY.
While I appreciate everyone’s enthusiam. PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Do not email your comments, post it HERE. And don’t send your email until the contest close and INCLUDE YOUR FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. What do you expect me to do with just your email adress? Beem your prize to you?
I’m an ex-Pot head. I used to be obsessed with all things potter. Would spend hours on the message boards reading speculation on what would happen next, but after reading Deathly Hallows, I’ve done a complete 180. The last three Potter books were utterly disappointing. It never got as dark as each book would lead you to believe. There are no big battle sequences, Harry never got properly trained – the supposed Savior of the Wizarding world never gets trained! Ron was never a consistent character and his actions in DH was beyond ridiculous. JKR took the series into non-obvious directions just to screw with the readers. The movies have followed the trend of the books as well and have gotten progressively worse. Order of The Phoenix is a crappy movie, I hated the Half-Blood Prince book, so I had little interest in this year’s installment. And Warner’s news blackout didn’t help matters. With all that said, this trailer almost restores the faith. It’s really strong and that kid is creepy has hell.
I think the James Bond series has to be one of the worst when it comes to triple dipping. But I’ll give them a break this time, because who doesn’t want to see Bond go Blu? Six classic James Bond films are heading to Blu-ray this fall. According to the press release. It’s weird getting this Press Release today, I’m fairly sure I got it a few months ago. So maybe MGM double dipped the press release as well. This initial set is a strong collection – DR. NO, DIE ANOTHER DAY, LIVE AND LET DIE, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and THUNDERBALL. The DVD also includes a ticket to QUANTUM OF SOLACE (man do I hate that title).The only weak link is the un-watchable Thunderball. If you really want this set, I would recommend waiting, I would bet the house on several more package variations. You gotta give it to MGM, triple, quadruple, dip or not, it looks like they are handling these releases with care. At $35 a pop for something I already own 3 different copies of (that I bought with my own money) these better be darn good. Check out the full Press Release after the break.
Continue reading BLU-RAY NEWS: Bond Goes Blu this fall