Archive for May, 2011

09
May
11

Thor … ehh.

Thor … ehh.

Thor (2011) starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins. The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. So the first of the big budget superhero movies to come out this summer is Thor. You know I will see all of these superhero films, but Thor intrigued me cause I was curious how lead actor Chris Hemsworth would pull it off. Chris had a small put important roll as Kirks father in the last Star Trek film directed by J.J. Abrams. Also, Chris has been cast as Patrick Swayze’ s character Jed in the upcoming Red Dawn(2011) re-make. Here is a peak at the new cast for the new Red Dawn movie:

A bit of trivia, Chris beat out his own brother Liam Hemsworth for the lead role as Thor.

I saw Thor in IMAX 3-D. However this time I saw it on a ”real” IMAX screen, which was cool.  For my thoughts about “real” and “fake” IMAX theaters check out my previous post on the subject here:

https://spartanphoenix.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/is-your-imax-theater-a-real-imax-theater-do-i-feel-guilty-for-what-i-do/

Lead actor Chris Hemsworth was convincing and charming as Thor. But I did find the movie as a whole disappointing. Natalie Portman was a non-factor, as anyone could have done her lamely written role. This was disappointing cause I wanted her to shine in a movie to make up for the craptastic movie Black Swan. I think she phoned this one in. The only thing I really liked about this movie was Thor’s warrior friends that go to battle with him. I didn’t like the bad guy and the story telling had holes. I wont say this movie sucked, but it wasn’t good. Wait for video. If you do see it don’t forget to wait through the end of the credits to see a secret scene.

I’m still high from the awesomeness that was Fast Five (2011), its going to be interesting to see if any of the big summer movies can top it in my opinion.  After the disappointment of Thor I walked right into another showing of Fast Five to cheer me up. It worked. Go see Fast Five instead.

– Spartan Phoenix

08
May
11

Fast Five, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, The Lincoln Lawyer, Hanna, Arthur, Your Highness, Unknown, Source Code, Beastly, African Cats

Fast Five, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, The Lincoln Lawyer, Hanna, Arthur, Your Highness, Unknown, Source Code, Beastly, African Cats

All right, its time for some movie catch up. You must be informed! I just saw Thor, but I wanted to catch you up on other movies I’ve seen in the last month. Thor will be in my next post in a couple of days.

The summer movie season has officially kicked off, well if you’re listening to the hype machine by the people who have brought you Fast Five (2011). And you should listen to them. More on Fast Five in a bit. The summer movie season always kicks off in May. But the movie companies have been trying to get a jump on the season by releasing big budget action films at the end of April. And they have done this successfully this time around.

Fast Five (2011) starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Sung Kang. Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent.  This movie kicked fuckin’ ass! By far, this movie is the best of the franchise. The movie is shot mostly in Rio and the city delivers a great backdrop. This latest installment of the Furious movies has more action, more cars, more hot babes, more gunplay, and is also very funny. The cast brought together from all of the previous films paid off in so many ways. All cast members had a chance to shine in this film including the bad guys and of course the awesome addition to tuff guy action hero Dwayne Johnson. This movie rocked on all levels. This is a fun popcorn movie worth seeing in the theater. I saw it in IMAX and the sound that IMAX delivered was an extra bonus. See this movie bitches! Oh and stay through the credits for an extra secret scene.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010) starring Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington and Taye Diggs. The adventures of supernatural private eye, Dylan Dog, who seeks out the monsters of the Louisiana bayou in his signature red shirt, black jacket, and blue jeans. Instead of sneaking into this movie after I saw Fast Five I actually went to another theater and paid to see this movie. These two movies weren’t playing together in the same theaters, which bugged the shit out of me. But this movie was worth the ticket. I enjoyed the supernatural theme of this movie, which explored vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc in the state of Louisiana. I liked the concept of this story and it was very funny. Brandon Routh was entertaining as the human supernatural private eye. This movie is based on a graphic novel. I know vampire movies are the big thing now, but this movie has its own twist and take of the whole genre that is worth checking out.

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) starring Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe and William H. Macy. A lawyer conducts business from the back of his Lincoln town car while representing a high-profile client in Beverly Hills. This is one of those movies that completely surprised me on how good it turned out to be. It’s not your average Matthew McConaughey movie, and you know what I mean when I say that. He was very good as an actor in this film. This movie had a great cast and great story too. I was riveted to the story and “who done it and who to believe” storyline. I believe this movie is based on a book. You have to check out this movie. Don’t let Matthew McConaughey scare you away from this movie. I believe its his best role to date. I will go on record and say it is one of the best movies I have seen this year so far. Check it out!

Hanna (2011) starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. A 16-year-old who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives. This movie was very cool. The soundtrack done by the Chemical Brothers really added to the tense action and chase scenes in the film. This movie will prove that lead actress Saoirse Ronan is going to be a big star soon. She commands the screen in everything I have watched her in. Cate Blanchett plays the devious agent chasing her and she is fun to watch as her evil side is showcased. Cool story and a cool flick!

Arthur (2011) starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner and Greta Gerwig. A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn’t like. This movie re-make was OK. The best part of this film was Helen Mirren who played the nanny to Russell Brand’s Arthur character. She was very funny. This movie had its funny parts other than her. My problem with the movie was with Russell Brand. He seems to be playing himself. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a funny guy, but he needs to branch out in another comedic role and not look and act the same in every film. Wait for video.

Your Highness (2011) starring Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel. When Prince Fabious’s bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her… accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous. I knew I was gonna get my raunchy comedy out of this film, and trust me they had plenty of boob, dick, fart, and sex jokes in this film. And some of them were very funny. However towards the end of the film some grew tiresome. It didn’t bother me enough not to recommend this movie if this is the type of humor you’re looking for. For you guys, there is plenty of boobies to see, unfortunately they are not from the lead actresses. I’m a big fan of Danny McBride, he is funny in this film. There is some funny sense and characters in this film, but this humor is not for everyone. I get it, so I recommend this film, but wait for video.

 

Unknown (2011) starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn and Bruno Ganz. A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, (not even his wife), believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is. I wanted to see this film because of the success of Taken (2008). Liam Neeson is kind of becoming and older action star in his own rite because of this that, I think this is great. Unknown (2011) is not as good as Taken, but I still recommend it. It’s shot on location in Germany and other parts of Europe. I liked the story and the twist at the end. This movie has a spy who’s who thriller thing going on that is very fun to watch unfold. Check it out on video if you missed it in the theater.

Source Code (2011) starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright. An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. This movie didn’t do it for me. I liked the concept of going back in time several times to stop the terrorist plot especially when each time is a little different. But I didn’t like the ending and how Jake Gyllenhaal’s character was used in this story. I don’t recommend this film, sorry guys, try again.

Beastly (2011) starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris and Mary-Kate Olsen. A modern-day take on the “Beauty and the Beast” tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love. This movie is a modern take on the Beauty and the Beast story. Lead actor Alex Pettyfer is gonna get a lot of attention from young girls and women cause of his good looks and brooding style. That’s why I may have liked it more if I was a 14-year-old girl. It was interesting to see Mary-Kate Olsen as a gothic girl who deals out curses and Neil Patrick Harris has a blind Yoda type. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t a great one either. This is more of a chick flick. My wife may want to see it, which is cool. It’s a rental.

African Cats (2011).  A Disney Nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild. Its not becoming a tradition to take my 5 going on 6-year-old daughter to Earth Day releases of their Disney Nature movies. Last year it was Oceans (2009). This year it was African Cats (2011).  Little C is still trying to not talk through the whole movie. She gets so excited and amerced into the movie she has to be reminded to not talk. She did a good job overall and really enjoyed the movie. Towards the 70-minute mark I could tell she was getting a little restless. The movie was very cool and beautifully shot. The lives of these cats are very harsh yet amazing at the same time. If you have kids I suggest making and Earth Day Disney Nature tradition of your own.

Thor is next! Stay tuned.

– Spartan Phoenix

06
May
11

Spartan Phoenix’s 2011 Top Ten Summer Movie Money Maker Predictions

Spartan Phoenix’s 2011 Top Ten Summer Movie Money Maker Predictions

Before Thor gets it opening weekend movie take in. I thought I would share my predictions of the Top Ten 2011Summer Movie Money Makers. I recently joined a 2011 Summer Movie Pool that has a cash prizes for the winners. The contest Starts the first week in May 2011 and ends the last week of August 2011. I’m bummed that I can’t count Fast Five. Oh well, not my rules. This list is harder than you think cause there is always a surprise box office hit and a dud. I chose to leave out the Hangover 2, and I think Kung Fu Panda 2 is going to be the 2nd best summer moneymaker next to the last installment of the Harry Potter Films. This is my first time doing this, so I don’t expect to do well in my pool. But I took some obvious choices for my picks. Lets see how well I do come September.

Here are my picks for the Top Ten 2011 Summer Movie Money Makers:

01: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

02: Kung Fu Panda 2

03: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

04: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

05: Thor

06: Cars 2

07: Green Lantern

08: X-Men: First Class

09: Captain America: The First Avenger

10: Cowboys and Aliens

Here is a link to the summer movie pool I entered:

http://mcgauley.net/moviepool/index.php

Let the debate begin!

– Spartan Phoenix