Posts Tagged ‘James’


(So…..it’s been like a year since I last posted something, what can I say? I’ve been busy.)

With 2013 coming to an end, and insomnia in full effect, I’ve decided to take the path often traveled and do a best/worst movies of 2013. I would usually try to bang out lists of 10, but I haven’t seen that many movies this year. I’ve grown tired of going to the theater unless it’s an big, event type movie and most new movies I see come from Redbox or Netflix. Who needs all the hustle involved with going to the theater? Dealing with the traffic, the high ticket prices and crying babies. I’d rather stay and watch movies in the comfort of my own home while eating cold spaghetti-o’s right out of the can. I’m also not going to do a “worst” list, but rather a “disappointed” list. It makes more sense to me because my life is consumed with learning about movies before they’re released to the point of reading the scripts (I know it’s weird, leave me alone) I actively avoid bad movies and have gotten pretty good at it. A “disappointed” list is much better because we have all dealt with bad movies, but having your hopes crushed by a terrible movie you thought was going to be great? It’s the worst.

Just to let you know, I haven’t seen every movie that’s come out this year so there are quite a few that are missing. Are there movies I’m bummed I haven’t seen and that probably would have made this list if I had? Sure. Movies like “Wolf of Wall Street”, “American Hustle” and “Fast 6” would most likely be near the top of my list, but I’m willing to wait for the DVD release. Also, don’t you dare judge me for putting “Fast 6” in the same category as Scorcese and David O. Russell! The last Fast(?) was god damn brilliant and one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a while, but enough jibber-jabber. Let’s get to the lists.

TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS

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5. World War z
This one really hurt since it was based on one of my favorite books (seriously, here is the link to the Amazon page, buy it now). I could see it coming from a mile away, with all the production issues and re-shoots the movie went thru before it’s release. The special effects were embarrassing for a summer blockbuster and the anti-climactic finale left me unsatisfied (that’s what she said! Hey-o!), but my biggest problem was the plot. They took a genius book, which would work as a movie split into segments, and created a generic “race against the clock” action movie with zombies the infected. In the end, the movie did make tons of money at the box office and was the highest grossing movie of Brad Pitts career, but anyone who has read the book know how much better it could have been.

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4. Iron Man 3
“Iron Man”? I liked it, a bit overrated but decent. “Iron Man 2”? Meh. “Iron Man 3” Not cool, bro, not cool. Listen, I usually love anything Shane Black does, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is on my top 10 off all time and that’s why this movie was so disappointing to me. When I first heard that Black is getting the writing and directing gig I was super excited. As far as writing goes, this is the guy that wrote all the “Lethal Weapon” movies and his resume is filled with action classics. “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, “The Last Boy Scout” and “The Last Action Hero” (which I recently re-watched for the first time as an adult…it’s so f-ing good). So we’re set from the writing perspective and the only movie Black directed was “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” which was great, so what happened? I don’t think Black is a comic book guy and it really came through on the screen. The whole Mandarin thing was a pointless twist, the fact that the Iron Man armors seen to fall apart like Legos was ridiculous and the trope of a kid teaching the hero a life lesson was annoying. Once again, the movie raked in the cash and was the biggest movie of the year, but I prefer Shane Black with a small budget doing grounded, more realistic action movies.

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3. Gangster Squad
I have no idea why this movie didn’t work, everything to make it great was there but something about just wasn’t right. If I look at the movie individually, it’s great. Sean Penn as the psychotic villain is great, Gosling playing young rebel detective is spot on. For christ’s sake, Emma Stone plays a sultry 1940s arm candy! It sounds great on paper, but for some reason when it’s all put together it just falls apart. The movie looks too clean, too polished….it feels too much like a movie if that makes sense. It’s a bummer because the guy that made this movie was one of the guys behind “Zombieland” (I think we might have a 2005 Matt Damon/Ben Affleck or a 2013 Ben Affleck/Matt Damon situation going on here).

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2. Spring Breakers
I loved the concept of this movie: take a couple innocent former Disney girls, hook them up with a redneck rapper/drug dealer and send them on a crime spree during spring break. Sounds awesome, right? This movie could have been awesome except the execution is totally flawed, it’s a perfect example of how a movie could be much better in the hands of another director. This movie is filled with so many needless scenes and monologues that you could cut 30 minutes out of it without missing a beat. The Disney girls are totally wasted (read: no boobies) and are so unlikable that you root against them, the end of the movie takes such a weird turn that it’s hard to make sense out of it. There are good moments in the movie, James Franco’s as Alien doing the improvised “Look at my shit” speech alone is worth the $2 you’ll pay at Redbox, but aside from that there really isn’t anything else that’s worth your time.

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1. The Iceman
I’m pretty sure most people haven’t seen this movie. It never got a wide release and the only reason I heard about it and watched it is because I’m fascinated by the story of Richard Kuklinski (get the book here, it’s a great read). This was the role James Gandolfini (RIP) was born to play, but Michael Shannon already looks like a guy that eats puppies so that wasn’t my issue. My problem with this movie is they tried to make Kuklinski sympathetic which doesn’t work when you’re talking about a serial killer. The most fascinating thing about Kuklinski is that he was a remorseless murderer who had no qualms about shooting a stranger the the face with a crossbow because he wanted to know how efficient it would be to murder someone with a crossbow in the future. The guy was a monster and that’s what I hoped the movie would be about, instead they tried to turn him into a reluctant anti-hero type of guy who moped around at home because of his conscience. The point is the guy beat his wife and had the NYPD thinking there were 7 different serial killers loose in New York City. The movie refused to commit to the real story, which is by far much more interesting, and that’s why it was my biggest disappointment. You’re better of reading the book or watch the HBO interviews with Kuklinski himself.

TOP 5 MOVIES OF 2013

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5. Pacific Rim
I really, really didn’t want to like this movie. As soon as I heard that del Toro is making a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters I wanted it to fail. I don’t have anything against the guy, in fact “Pan’s Labyrinth” is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but there was something about the whole concept that annoyed me. It was like Hollywood was pandering to the geeks, giving us a processed version of what we like, but when I finally saw it I learned that it wasn’t the case at all. This is what a movie about giant robots should be like (looking at you “Transformers”), the characters make logical decisions, they’re likable and you can actually follow what’s going on during action sequences. I only wish I had seen it in the theater because seeing a giant robot rocket punch a hammerhead shark/Godzilla mash-up in IMAX would have been awesome. It’s kind of a bummer that “Pacific Rim” failed to connect with U.S. audiences and tanked at the box office, but luckily it was a huge hit overseas which gave del Toro the green light to start working on a sequel.

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4. We’re The Millers
Holy crap! Did this movie take me by surprise or what?! This was one of the only two movies I’ve seen in the theater this year, and the only reason I went was because it was at one of those dinner & movie places that I’ve never been to. It’s not that I thought it was going to be terrible, I just considered it a generic comedy that would have its moments I’d chuckle at when I saw it a year or two down the line. I couldn’t be more wrong because this is one of those perfect comedies were every joke lands, every joke is hilarious and the actual plot is engaging. In my opinion, too many comedies these days are more like romantic comedies, were there are these 10-15 minute lulls that are all about the love part of the story. This movie, although it does include a romance, never misses a beat and weaves the plot and the comedy so there’s never a dull moment. This is one of those movies that people write off only to see it later and be surprised. Also, Jennifer Aniston does a striptease and god damn that woman is smoking hot! Brad Pitt really made a bad call because these days Jolie looks mannequin with hot dog lips and Anniston looks better then ever.

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3. Man of Steel
This was the Superman movie I’ve always wanted, where he actually shows of how super he is. It’s what I wanted from “Superman Returns” and why I was so disappointed by that movie. Superman is literally the most powerful superhero ever, why would I want to see him get kicked around by a couple puny humans? I wanted to see him the punched through buildings, crash thru mountains, get hit with trains and have it barely phase him. This movie gave me exactly what I asked for on a silver platter, from Henry Cavill looking exactly like Superman to the action sequences, it was spectacular. The plot was interesting and although we got an “origin story” it wasn’t the usual 40 minutes before he actually uses his powers, the cuts back and forth worked great. I also need to point out that aside from James Cameron and Justin Lin, I don’t think there’s a better director at action sequences then Zack Snyder. Say what you say about “Sucker Punch” but the action scenes in that movie were flawless.

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2. Gravity
The best experience I’ve had in a movie theater in my life next to “AVATAR”. It wasn’t just a movie, it was like a theme park ride except it filled you with dread, made you feel scared and alone. It made you feel helpless and small compared to the vastness of space, a movie about a situation where everything that could go wrong does go wrong. This was the only movie I have ever seen where I had to stop myself from yelling at the screen, that’s how invested you become in the characters. If you didn’t see this in the theater, you really missed out.

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1. Evil Dead
Yep. I like “Evil Dead” that much. I never thought I’d be saying this, a horror movie being on my top of the year list, let alone be in top if my top of the year list. See, I have a really hard time connecting with horror movies because in my option they all suck. Yes, even “The Exorcist”. I’ve seen tons of horror flicks, but never considered them “good movies”, they were like a infommercial to me; something you watch because there’s literally nothing better on. They’re usually filled with dumb characters that make stupid decisions and when crazy, super gory over the top violence happens to them you don’t really care. Most horror movies these days are filled with cheap “jump scares” where something very loud happens during a quiet scene, it’s stupid and make akin to shock then fear. It’s like getting pricked by a thorn, your body jerks but you’re not actually scared of the thorn. If they’re not using “jump scares”, it’s gory/gross out violence but it usually happens to douchebag characters so you don’t really care. Once again, being grossed out isn’t the same as being scared. That’s why “Evil Dead” is my favorite movie of this year, because it took those horror movie tropes and used them to perfection. Were there “jump scares”? Yeah, but you knew they were coming and the lead up to them filled you with dread. They literally took the surprise out of a surprise and it still worked. Was there gory/gross out scenes? Yeah, but it was creative. The characters weren’t strapped to some crazy machine that rips their lungs out, the violence was gratuitous but relatable. For example, one of the scenes that made me squirm the most was a character getting a cut on her knee cap with a knife. The knife didn’t go through the knee and tons of blood didn’t pour out, it was a simple cut across, the same kind that happened on your finger countless times only on the knee and a little deeper. Now, I’m guessing reading that previous sentence made your knee tingle a little, didn’t it? That’s not to say “Evil Dead” isn’t gory, it literally rains blood at one point, but it’s creative to the point where it’s different from what you’ve seen countless times. Finally, if the actual horror aspect wasn’t enough, the characters in the movie bring it home. You actually care about these people, they’re not just a bunch if dumb teenagers looking to bang in a cabin. They feel like real people, not just cannon fodder so when they get hurt or die, it’s actually a bummer.

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10. Paul Blart: Mallcop

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Ohhh Kevin James, I loved your show “King of Queens” and I thought your stand up “Sweat the Small Stuff” was very funny, then you sold out. Starring in this piece of crap really turned me off to any of your future films. This movie is so bland, so predictable…..”Hey look! It’s a Fat guy trying to do athletic stuff! That’s hilarious!!”. I really think this movie ruined it for “Observe and Report”, I think people saw this horse turd and when they saw the preview for “O&R” they figured it’s another crappy mall cop movie.

9. Adventureland

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I figured a movie directed by the guy that did “Superbad” and starring the kid who played Columbus in “Zombieland” would be hilarious…..and I figured wrong. This movie is boring, it’s classified as a comedy but I chuckled once or twice through out the whole 107 minute running time. The only reason I didn’t turn this wreck off in the middle of watching it was because I kept looking forward to any scene with Bill Hader, the only saving grace of this dull-fest.

8. G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra

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When you’re planning on having a movie become a summer blockbuster, you better make sure you get these 3 things: Great looking special effects, charismatic lead actor and an awesome final battle. The 3 things you need are the 3 things that are missing from G.I. Joe. The special effects look like they belong in 2005, and Channing Tatum can be out-acted by a dead monkey. The final piece, the final battle, is terrible, first off, one half of it takes place under water and you can’t even see half the action that goes on. The second half is a ninja battle between Snake Eyes and Shadow Storm, and once again, it embarrassingly bad. Snake Eyes, the ninja that was somersaulting over flipping/exploding cars all the while staying on top of a Cobra assault vehicle not 30 mins ago seems to have forgotten how to jump or pretty much do anything ninja-like. It’s a fight that has been building up since the beginning of the movie, and it’s a total disappointment.

7. Angels & Demons

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Yes, you are reading that right. I would rather watch a movie filled with fat jokes, a dull comedy that misplaced all it’s jokes and what looks like a student film with a bigger budget then a movie directed by Ron Howard starring Tom Hanks. Why? I think it’s because I read the book before I saw the movie and it seems like they cut out all the best parts. All the tension that was in the novel is gone, the villain (although pretty cool) is nothing compared to the crazy albino from “The Da Vinci Code”. The plot is riddled with holes, and the puzzles don’t have that “I should have figured that out!” quality to them. For shame, Howard and Hanks, for shame….I expected more from the both of you.

6. Funny People

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Up until a while ago, Judd Apatow was a comedy god, thanks to him we have “40 Year Old Virgin”, “Anchorman”, “Knocked Up” and “Superbad”. That was until I saw “Funny People” and it ruined Apatow for me because of how terribly unbalanced and pointless the movie was. All the jokes, and I repeat ALL THE JOKES, fell flat, through out the 120+ minutes of the movie I never laughed, I never chuckled, I never even smiled. At least with the previous entries, there was a set audience, people the movie was meant for. With “Funny People” you have no idea who the audiance for the movie is.

5. Dance Flick

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The same thing that happened with Aptow, happened to the Wayans brothers, except where Aptow experimented and failed, the Wayans brothers simply stopped being funny. I remember watch “Don’t Be a Menace” and laughing at sharp, witty humor that filled that movie. Hell, even the first two “Scary Movies” were funny, but then “White Chicks” happen and I felt uneasy. A few years later “Little Man” came out, and I asked myself “Did the Wayne’s Brothers loose it?”, finally that question was answered with “Dance Flick” and it was a huge YES. Their satirical comedy was once on par with “The Naked Gun” series, now it’s just moronic and gross.

4. 2012

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How many times can the world be destroyed before audiences finally get sick of it? Apparently never since Ronald Emmerich is still making movies that are making money. 2012 was a hit at the Box Office, but that’s because it was almost an effects reel with some mind numbing dumb story thrown in to glue it all together. In this movie, we’re introduced to characters just to see them die 5 mines later, no character is developed so we never care I they live or die, and seriously, can you get a less charismatic actor then John Cusak? It’s really disappointing that it made so much money since it means we’ll get another end-of-the-world movie from Emmerich in the next few years.

3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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I saw this movie as soon as it leaked online, and I hated it. Then FOX started claiming that the real version is totally different then the leaked version, so I gave it another shot, and I still hated it…. actually, I hated it even more. The pacing, the characters, the plot, and pretty much everything else in this movie is off, and the worst thing it that it doesn’t even seem to focus on Wolverine. Sure, he’s the main character in the movie, but it’s like Gavin Hood decided to fill this movie wig as many mutants as possible. The cool characters don’t get enough screen time, the lame ones out stay their welcome by a mile and o course, Wolverine cries, because the world toughest, almost-psychopathic mutant has to cry at least in once per movie. (I think it’s in his contract)

2. Dragonball Z: Evolution

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I remember watching the final battle of “The Matrix: Revolutions”, Neo and Smith flying around, smashing each other through buildings and I thought “This is Goku vs. Vegeta…this is how it should look.” Finally the announcement: Dragonball Z in theaters in 2009. I was so excited, but then news started leaking: that Goku was a teenager, that it was going to be set in high school, that there was no Krillin. It didn’t look to promising, but I remained hopeful….until I saw it.My fears have been realized, it was terrible, they ruined it by changing the story so much it should have said “inspired by Dragonball Z”. Maybe the casual viewer wasn’t as disappointed by the movie like me, but I was a fan of the original anime, I read all the manga comics, I know how amazing this could have been, instead they turned it into one long episode of Dawson’s Creek with powers.

1. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

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I’d like to think my sister and I are both movie geeks, very different movie geeks but geeks nonetheless. She loves to watch movies, pretty much any kind as long as she has free time to do so, but where she watches movie for the entertainment, I feel the need to nit pick them with a fine toothed comb. Sometimes I sit back and wish I was the kind of geek she is, were I could watch a movie, a bad movie, and just enjoy the ride but I cannot. She LOVED both Transformers movies, we had a discussion once and she told me she saw their faults, looked past them and enjoyed the spectacle. I, on the other hand, kind of liked the first TF movie, it was dumb mindless action but it was OK, I saw it once on the big screen and I’m never planning on seeing it again. The second one though, ohhhhh….I LOATHED the second TF movie, I can literally say it is the worst movie I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some turd burgers. While the previously mentioned “turd burgers” were so cheesy that they were fun to watch (See: Commando), Transformers 2 thinks it a good movie, but it doesn’t even come close. You can polish and gold plate a piece of crap all you want, but after all, it’s still just a polished, gold plated piece of crap. From the 50 plot holes, to the unorganized action to the blatantly racist robots all the way to the magic white pants that Meghan Fox is wearing that never seem to get dirty, no matter how many explosions she’s in (my sis actually pointed that on out). I really want to get my hands of the script for this movie, because I truly believe there were more words describing explosions then actual characters and dialogue. The movie is terrible, from start to finish; it feels like a job watching it.


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Once in a while a movie like “Avatar” comes around. A movie that people will remember for years to come as the movie that brought in a new age of movie making, a new age of cinema. This is the kind of movie you will be watching with your kids 5, 10 or 15 years from now, telling them proudly that you saw it in the theater. This is “Star Wars” of our generation.

(If you’re not really into movies, I suggest you stop reading right now. The above paragraph is all you really need to know)

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James Cameron, the director of “Avatar”, does not have a long resume. He’s done less then 6 movies his entire career, which started in 1978; it’s been 12 years since his last movie (a little flick called “Titanic”).

Now, I know what you might be thinking “Why would I want to see a movie by a guy that made the biggest chick flick of all time?”…well, also on Cameron’s resume is Terminator 1 & 2, Aliens and True Lies. You cannot tell me that there’s even one person on there that didn’t enjoy any of those movies. Me, for instance, loved anything Cameron has ever came up with (yes, even “Titanic”) because he makes great movies, with great stories that invest you in the characters. He’s a storyteller at heart, he cares more bout the story then the special effects.

Another minor detail you might not know is that every time Cameron steps behind a camera, he pushes the envelope. The technology to create the special effects in “Terminator” did not exist before Cameron created it, the technology used to create the T-1000 in Terminator 2 did not exist before Cameron invented it…you see where I’m going with this? Take a look at “Titanic”, look at the special effects in that movie and tell me the CGI (Computer Generated Images) does not hold up to movies being released today. They do, and there’s no question that every time Cameron drops a movie, the effects are way ahead of the competition, but with “Avatar” he really brought it to another level.

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The story of the movie is simple, and like I said before, the less you know about it the better so I won’t reveal too much here. It’s a story that you’ve seen, heard or read a hundred times before. You pretty much know how the movie ends before you’re 15 minutes in, but I believe that was the point. I truly believe that Cameron chose this story because everybody is so familiar with it, and because we already know of this story, we won’t focus too much on it. If the story had twists and turns that the audience didn’t expect, we’d spend too much time focusing on it instead of the true star of the movie, Pandora, the planet the movie is set on.

20111214-003321.jpgOne of the attractions in Pandora? Being eaten by a dragon.

Cameron really went beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined on this one. He created another world, a living, breathing planet that seems like it exists just across the Milky Way. When you leave the theater, you’re going to leave disappointed because you can’t book a vacation to Pandora and you know you won’t get to see it in your lifetime. The movie only spends about 20% of its running time with real actors, besides that, everything is CGI, but not like anything you’ve seen before. You know how you felt the first time you saw “Jurassic Park”, when you saw that huge CGI dinosaur and you knew, even if you weren’t a movie geek, that movies are never going to be the same? That’s how you feel when you first see Pandora, a planet of such great imagination and realism that you really have a hard time believing that what’s on screen is not real.

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The main characters are mostly the Na’Vi (12 foot tall blue aliens) who expresses emotion just like an actor. Up until now, Golem from “Lord of the Rings”, had the cake for being the most realistic CGI character ever in a movie, but he does not hold a candle to the Na’Vi. Where Golem had pretty much 2 emotions that he could display on his face (normal and Anger), the Na’Vi has hundreds. The way their eyes squint, their lips quiver, their body moves…it’s not that you can just tell whether they’re sad, happy, curious or surprised, but you can tell how sad, curious or surprised they are.

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I will tell you this much, you have never seen anything like it, within 20 minutes of watching the movie, I forgot I was watching special effects and I truly started caring whether the Na’Vi live or died. This movie is truly a great experience at the cinema. Although the story is simple, it leaves you to enjoy the beauty that Cameron has created. See it on the biggest screen you can (I’m going back to see it at IMAX 3D, a regular sized 3D screen was good, but you’ll know what I’m talking about once you see it), and that’s another great thing about it, the 3D. The way Cameron uses it here, it’s not a gimmick like it is in so many other movies. You don’t have bullets or arrows flying at you, making you “dodge” them in your seat like you’d think. The 3D is used to bring you into the movie, to make you feel like you’re a part of it.
No matter what I say, word cannot describe the experience, you have to see it for yourself, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. The audience I saw it with gave the movie a standing round of applause when the credits rolled…..I guess I’m not the only one who liked it.


This is the first of the weekly columns about new releases of DVDs. It will include my opinion of the movie/show if I saw it and my recommendation. Enjoy.

Kung-Fu Panda 2

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I’m not sure if I can give you an unbiased opinion on this. For one, I’m not a fan of animated movies unless it’s something that connects me to my childhood. I’ll sit back and watch Disney classics like “Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” all day, but if it’s something that was released after I turned 16 I usually avoid it. I’m not trying to pass these movies off as something that only kids find entertaining, but I just can’t get involved in the story for whatever reason. Its more of a personal preference than any sort of judgement. I thought “Up” was one of the most over rated movies ever and aside from that I haven’t seen any other Pixar movies except for the “Toy Story” ones. This movie also stars Jack Black and I really don’t like him. I’ll never understand how he got famous because I find his comedy annoying and obnoxious. I realize that it’s only his voice acting in this, but I can’t stand to listen to him for 90 minutes. I’m never going to see this, but if you saw the first one and liked it you already know where you stand.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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The first recommendation of this column goes to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, if you haven’t already done so, go see this movie as soon as possible. I saw it in the theater when it first come out and it absolutely blew me away. I went into the theater with low expectations due to the taste Tim Burton’s “Clusterfuck of the Apes” left in my mouth a few years back. This movie is not at all like that one, it is supreme on almost every level. It has a simple, yet interesting storyline, the acting was excellent and the special effects were amazing. The lead ape, Cesar, looked like he was in the room with the human actors and expressed hundreds of subtle emotion just by the way he looked and moved. It was completely mind-blowing and on par with the effects of the Na’vi in “Avatar”. If you’re into collecting DVDs, this is a must have. If not, just make sure this is the next movie you see, be it on Netflix or OnDemand. A must see.

Fright Night

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I really like this movie because it was very viewer friendly. The story about a vampire living next door was good, but what pushed it over the top for me was that the characters in the movie knew about vampires. I love that fact that these guys were brought up on movies, TV and comics about the supernatural and, even though they were still shocked at their existence, they knew how to deal with them. There is nothing I find more annoying that a zombie TV show in which the character have never heard the word “zombie” (you know what show I’m talking about). I already saw this and although I don’t belive it’s worth buying on DVD, it definitely a good rental.

!!!BLU-RAY RE-RELEASE OF THE WEEK!!!

City of God

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First off, if you haven’t seen “City of God” yet, you’re missing out. It’s an incredible crime drama set in the ghettos of Rio de Janeiro that is absolutely beautifully shot and edited. The story of a group of friends growing up surrounded by crime is heartbreaking as you watch them struggle to make it out. It is an amazing movie and a most definite must buy, especially on Blu-Ray. The HD version of the movie is amazing to look at, especially because of all the color distortion the director used. It would be a great addition to your collection and a movie you’d enjoy for years to come.


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While I sit and write this, I can honestly tell you I have never quit a TV show because of a plot line. That’s not to say I have never stopped watching a TV show, but stopping and quitting are two different things. Just like you don’t stop smoking cigarettes, you quit smoking cigarettes. Stoping smoking means that once in a while you forget to buy a pack, sometimes you have something better to do then lighting one up and before you know it, you haven’t smoked in a month and you don’t miss it. That’s stopping, but nobody really ever stops smoking, do they? They quit. They force themselves not to buy a pack, they grind their teeth whenever they get the urge to smoke one and even years down the road, when they see that light blue smoke rising thru the air they miss it like a junkie misses smack.
I said before that I stopped watching TV shows in the past, but last night, for the first time, I quit “Boardwalk Empire”. The reason? If you watch the show, you already know.

20111212-131628.jpgJimmy and his one suit.

James Darmody was one of my two favorite characters in “Boardwalk Empire”. He was the reason I tuned in every week and loved the show for every single episode and yes, that includes the season two finale and the reason I quit the show. Confused? How can I love an episode and loathe it at the very same time? Allow me to explain this double edged sword viewpoint of mine before we get any farther. There is absolute genius in the evil that took place on last nights episode.

20111212-133908.jpgThe camera loves Michael Pitt. Even watching him just sitting there is entertaining.

The way it was written, the way it played out, the dialogue, the performances, the cinematography and the soundtrack was all perfect. It was as good as TV gets, an hour of TV so engrossing I literally didint move for the whole hour. It was all perfect except for the fact that it happened. That was its one flaw, the reason why it’s terrible is because it exists.

I apologize if I’m getting to philosophical, but what I’m trying to say is that this perfection should have never happened, at least not yet. It was to early for Jimmy to die as he was the heart of the show to Nucky’s brain. I’m not a TV writer, but if I was the show runner for this, this would be the series finale, showcasing Nucky’s transformation to a full gangster. Do you remember in the first episode of the series Jimmy says to Nucky “You can’t be half a gangster anymore”? That’s what this show should have been about. Nucky’s transformation from a crooked politician to a full on gangster, getting his hands dirty and taking care of business himself.

*In the same vein, I’d just like to metion that in my opinion the show moved too fast this season. The end of season one left so many possibilities, I would have loved to see Jimmy become a serious competitions to Nucky, and going head to head with him in the liquor trade. That was the setup for season two, but before we even got midway Jimmy’s empire was crumbling.

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I don’t want to sit here and analyze the whole series and get too far off topic so let me bring it back to the point of the article: Jimmy’s death made me quit the show. Why? I said before he was my favorite character but it’s not as simple as that. I’m not quitting because he was my favorite character, I’m quitting because I don’t like any other characters on the show. There is nobody else I really care enough about to keep me tuning in every week and following every single episode. As an example let me use “Game of Thrones”: Ned was my favorite character on that show, but when he was killed the thought of quitting the show never even passed thru my mind. I was most definitely upset that it happened, but what “Game of Thrones” did that “Boardwalk Empire” didn’t is that it created a whole cast of very interesting characters around Ned that I fell in love with. Was I upset that Ned died? Very much so, but I won’t stop watching because I also really like Tyrion, Dany, Jon, Robb and Arya. There’s hardly no character in that show whose story I don’t want to see played out. “Boardwalk Empire” failed to do that, they made one interesting character and they killed him off, and simply put, I hate almost every other character on that show. Allow me to break it down

20111212-132813.jpgPictured Here: Douchebag

Nucky: I originally tuned in to the premiere of the show for Steve Bushemi. I love him as an actor, but before the second episode aired, I was there for Jimmy. Nucky completely lost me this past season for reasons I still can’t pin point, but it think it’s because he was too far over to the dark side. He’s a greedy, spiteful, cocky puppet master, and there was nothing in there for me to like. He was smart and clever, but it wasn’t enough for me to enjoy as a character. What made it worse for my opinion of Nucky was that there was no character development for him. After all the crap he’s been thru this past season, the betrayal, the indictment and trouble at home, he comes out unscathed and completely the same as he was before. He welcomes Eli with open arms and marries Margaret like their life together is perfect. The final nail in the coffin was him killing Jimmy basically cementing himself as the bad guy by killing off a favorite character, and you can’t be a main character and the bad guy in a show like this. That does not work in a drama, this in not a comedy like “Eastbound & Down” where a evil protagonist works.

20111212-133101.jpgYou’re a racist, mean-spirited, coke head Kenny, but I still love you.

It would have worked if before he shot Jimmy, he turned the gun on Manny or Eli and shot them. That way, even if he killed Jimmy the viewer would have a sense of justice and a reason to like Nucky. That didn’t happen and at the end of last nights episode the bad guys won and the hero lost. Nucky is no longer an antihero but a full fledged villain and I’m not going to watch a TV show where I root against the main character.

Margaret: Margaret is a character I did not enjoy watching one bit, going as far as skipping thru some of her scenes if there’s not another major character involved. I don’t love to hate her like I do with Cersei or Joffrey on “Game of Thrones” (Yes, I’m referencing “Game of Thrones” again because that is a new quality programming standard I’ll hold all TV shows up to). Margaret is just a character I have no investment in, a character I hope would be killed off in every episode, a character I neither like or dislike, I just don’t care. I belive it was the wrestler Shawn Michaels that once said “I don’t care if people cheer me or boo me as long as when I go out there they do something.”, when it comes to Margaret all I hear is crickets.

20111212-133226.jpgYou have no idea how much I nothing you, Margaret.

Those are the two major character that I belive HBO thinks viewers will tune in for next season. Of course, there is also Owen who is getting set up to be Jimmy’s replacement but does not have the acting chops of Michael Pitt and his story is uninteresting since he’s already proven himself disloyal. Agent Van Alden has been pretty much written out of the show, moving to Chicago under an assumed name so there goes another character I liked down the drain. That leaves us with the only other character that made me watch this every week, the man with the iron face aka Richard Harrow.

20111212-133443.jpgNo caption can be cool enough for this guy.

Aside from Jimmy, it was Richards story I was most invested in, and week after week Jack Huston knocked his performances out of the park. I would love to see Richard become a masterless samurai next season, dealing out vengeance for the murders of Jimmy and Angela but the show runner for “Boardwalk Empire” already said thats not going to happen. Richard lost his connection to Atlantic City with the deaths of the only two people that understood him, just like I lost my connection to “Boardwalk Empire” with the death of Jimmy. It was just way too soon.

I’ll be the first to admit, it took balls to make a move like that just like it took balls for David Chase to end “The Sopranos” the way he did. When that finale ended and the screen went black, I was just like the majority of the viewers, I thought my cable box went out, but then the credits started rolling and I was in awe. It was perfect, but that was a series finale, not the end of season two. Killing off Jimmy took balls, but was it a smart move? Not at all. From the fan reaction online, it looks like “Boardwalk Empire” will loose at least 40% of their viewers which means it won’t have a season four. It’s sad because I loved the show, but now I have no reason to watch it. Thankfully it did give me two seasons worth of great TV and I enjoyed every second of it.