Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Quick Movie Reviews: Inception, The A-Team, District 9 and more...
I've been watching a lot of movies lately. A lot! And I've been getting behind on my movie reviews. So in an attempt to give reviews to all the movies I've watched lately, I've decided to compile them all into a single post that is the epitome of Quick Movie Reviews (with the exception of Inception which deserves a full review). Enjoy!
Inception: Were do I start with Inception? This movie has so much going for it. With hugely successful movies from the past two years such as the The Dark Knight, Star Trek and Avatar, it's only natural that Hollywood should have a year of half-decent films. Yet, through the darkness and disappointment of movies like The Last Airbender, Robin Hood and Prince of Persia, their lies a few glittering gems; Toy Story 3, The A-Team and Inception have all delivered. However, none have delivered more so then Inception. To put things simply, if you only watch a single movie this year, watch Inception. It will, pardon the corniness, blow your mind!
Its hard to go into detail with Inception without spoiling anything. So if you're opposed to light spoilers, skip ahead to the second half of this post.
You still there? Good! Now I can tell you how much you've missed and how much you need to see this movie!!! Inception follows the exploits of Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his group of Extractors, individuals who enter a person's mind and 'extract' secrets for an employer.
Cobb and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Cobb's longtime partner, are then enlisted into an attempt to plant a thought into the mind of the heir (Cillian Murphy) to a massive banking conglomerate. The process of planting a thought in a person's mind, Inception, is thought to be impossible, however Cobb has faith that it is attainable, all be it very difficult.
Cobb then proceeds to gather a group of individuals who assist both Arthur and himself in attempting to plant a thought into the heir's mind. The group consists of Cobb's employer, (Ken Watanabe), an architect, (Ellen Page), who articulates the dreams inhabited by the Extractors and several other participants of which I won't go into any detail about.
Throughout the group's attempt at planting a thought into the young heir's mind, they are faced with one resounding problem, a mental barrier created by the heir that takes the shape of armed security. This, of course leads to mayhem throughout Inception and provides a sort of James Bondish feel as the heroes narrowly escape the guards, or use high-tech gadgets to combat them.
With all of Inception's creativeness, their was one scene that stood out for me. The scene was were Arthur, while in a dream within a dream, is protecting his accomplices who are in yet another dream within a dream, confusing I know.
While Arthur is trying to protect his partners from a guard, the van that is carrying the entire group in the 'first' dream begins to spin out of control and topple over. As the van roles, so does the entire dream that Arthur is in. Walls quickly become floors as Arthur and the guard duke it out. The entire scene was visually stunning! Mind you, I'm not easily impressed by this sort of thing.
In summary, Inception is THE blockbuster of the summer and at two and a half hours long will leave you with a perfect sense of closure as you leave the theater, knowing that you've just seen the next best film.
Rating: 8.5 (Excellent)
District 9: District 9 has the makings of a great film and seems to have caught on with the sci-fi community. What I found appealing was how even with its blatant sci-finess, District 9 set itself apart from typical 'first encounter' films by having an unlikely protagonist, an unlikely setting, and an unlikely outcome.
Rating: 7 (Close to excellent)
The A-Team: Containing everything that a summer blockbuster should; action, comedy and explosions, The A-Team is a palate cleanser when compared to the summer bombs previously mentioned.
Rating: 7.5 (Close to excellent)
Gamer: Gamer is hands down one of the worst movies I've seen to date. It is littered with pointless attempts to startle the viewers and is clearly aimed at teens looking for a cheap thrill.
Rating: 1.5 (Vomit inducing)
Old Dogs: Surprisingly funny, Old Dogs draws heavily on the comedic talent of its two main actors, Robin Williams and John Travolta, creating a film that succeeds as a family friendly comedy.
Rating: 6.5 (Above average)
Law Abiding Citizen: Should it come as a surprise that Gerard Butler was in leading roles for three of 2009-10's worst films? (Gamer, Law Abiding Citizen, The Bounty Hunter). No, it shouldn't. It seems that whatever he touches seems doomed to be a terrible movie.
Law Abiding Citizen focuses on showing how the United States legal system is flawed. The movie makes its point quite well, but sacrifices realism in the process. Are we really to believe that Butler's character simply dug his way into prison cells and that he waited ten years to do so? Come on Hollywood...
Rating: 4.5 (Poor)
Unthinkable: Unthinkable is an edgy, vicious movie that in hindsight was like watching an hour and a half of torture. Literally. The movie revolves around a professional torturer and his attempts to crack the mind of a convicted terrorist. Those who can sit through the entire movie and all the acts of grotesque violence it presents will find themselves wishing they hadn't due to the empty feeling left at the film's culmination.
Rating: 5 (Average)
Edge of Darkness: Edge of Darkness provides a decent revenge-thriller, boosted by the performance of Mel Gibson, but in the grand scheme of things, is ultimately forgettable.
Rating: 6 (Average)
Invictus: Like all of Clint Eastwood's films, Invictus draws less on action, visuals and cheap thrills but more on the telling of a story in it's rawest sense.
Rating: 7 (Above average)
Karate Kid (1984): I may very well get bashed for saying this, but I found The Karate Kid to be dreadfully dull and loaded down with far too much of the stereotypical story that can be expected from 80s teen heartthrob Ralph Maccio.
Rating: 6 (Average)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The epitome of Spaghetti westerns, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly serves as a decent cowboy film boosted by Clint Eastwood's typically excellent performance.
I've heard many a time about how this film has inspired current producers and directors. The only question I have is, why? The story was fine, but the acting was simply bizarre. Besides, its hard to take the movie seriously when all the Mexican characters were clearly portrayed by Iatlians.
Rating: 5.5 (Average)