Saturday, October 16, 2010
Bruce Willis, John Malkovich
October 15, 2010
(2 months from when I first saw this)
Summit Entertainment, DC Comics
(My Screening's Cut/Final Cut)
1 hour 51 minutes
Even though it was a rough cut and has two months to be edited before its official release date, Summit Entertainment was kind enough to provide people with passes to see their newest film, RED. RED is based on the Warren Millis graphic novel and starring A list stars like Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. This very special advance screening, which was secretly held in Philadelphia and in other major cities in the country was shown not one, but two (yes, I said two) months before its official release. I was one of the lucky ones to snag a couple of passes to see it. And all I really need to say about it is, and pardon my french, its a kick-ass movie!
Frank Moses is a retired CIA agent who, after a couple of years of not working is still trying to adjust to it. But since he knows to much about the CIA's secrets, Frank's identity has been compromised, has been targeted as a threat to the agency, and is being hunted for assasination. And even worse, he has put the love of his life, Sarah in grave danger. Now Frank must recruit his old CIA team Joe, Marvin, and Victoria in a last effort to survive before his job finds and kills him.
Who would've thought that A.) Helen Mirren could handle a shotgun so beautifully and B.) John Malkovich could be so insanely funny. This is an action film that doesn't take itself seriously at all and a comedy film that is just funny to begin with. I did also enjoy the supporting actors, including Star Trek's Karl Urban, the sensational Richard Dreyfuss, and old-timer Ernest Borgine. All of the main actors in this movie each have their shine in the comedic side of the film, but the one actor that stole the show was, in fact, John Malkovich. He knows how to kick some serious *ass* and be the cherry on the strawberry ice cream sundae. I would like to point out that the most disappointing thing in this movie to me is that (SPOILER) Morgan Freeman was only in the movie for approxamitely 20 minutes, thus making him the smallest character of all of the A list stars. (END OF SPOILER)
The director of this movie, Robert Schwentke, who has directed movies like Fightplan and the poorly recieved The Time Traveler's Wife certainly seemed like he had a fun time making it, not to mention that this movie was welly made. Any other director probably would've made less comedy and more blowing up. Thank goodness Michael Bay wasn't attached to make this, not that he wouldn't have a decent flick. I would like to admit that the violence in this movie can be pretty brutal for a PG-13 movie. Probably not as brutal as something like 300, but still pretty intense. But with every film, there is a surprise thrown in, but this surprise isn't the one you'd expect from one of my reviews.
The one thing that did surprise me was the fact that I didn't see the final cut of the film. They did announce that some of the special effects weren't complete, but nothing made me surprised when I heard that... the screening I saw was going to be cut down into a 90 minute film, which is taking 40 minutes out of what I saw. Although, I can't believe that because the version I saw was the same print reviewed by the MPAA, whom gave it the well deserved PG-13 rating. So when the movie officially comes out or I get invited to another screening a few days in advance, I'm going to see it and review it again so I can compare the different prints. Who knows, maybe they'll keep it the way I saw it. (hopefully)
UPDATE: After seeing the final cut of the movie, there's only one thing I can say: They didn't change a thing!! They kept everything in tact and added all of the remaining unfinished special effects. I was both surprised and disappointed by this, mainly because I wanted to point out what had been taken out. Also, the only thing that they did add was a slight scene before the credits that's only about 20 seconds long, which kind of made me disappointed. But all in all, my slight disappointments shouldn't stop you from having a worthwile time at the movies, especially if you bring your parents or grandparents to this movie. Believe me, they'll have just as much fun as yourself.
But overall, cut or uncut, RED is a fun time at the movies that'll keep you wanting until the end. If I have to summarize, I'd say that RED is fast, action-packed, and a crap load of fun. Try to remember this movie in October, since it'll be in the competition of films like Saw 3D, Jackass 3D, and The Social Network. These actors, except for Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman are the unusual, but perfect choices for their roles in this. I never read the graphic novel before, but after seeing this, I have to put it on my list of graphic novels to read, behind Watchmen and Kick-Ass. So if you want to have fun on Halloween at the movies, then you might want to paint your car or Jack-O-Lantern RED.
PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:
The Green Hornet
NOTE: * * means highlight in between the stars.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Me and Orson Welles
Zac Efron, Claire Danes
November 25, 2009
1 hour 54 minutes
I'm guessing that you have seen a Broadway show, musical production at school, or even a church play of the life of Jesus. But have you ever wondered what it's like before the curtains come up? Before the final curtain call? Or even before casting takes place? Well thanks to Richard Linklater and the book it's based on, Me and Orson Welles provides the viewer with what goes on before opening night, and also provides a story about love, affairs, and the power of theater. And, like Mr. Linklater's popular movie School of Rock, is surprisingly a well thought out movie with great acting from the well thought out cast.
In 1937 New York, Orson Welles is preparing to put on the stage version of Julius Ceaser, Broadway's first Shakespearean production at the Mercury Theatre. At the same time, an up and coming actor named Richard meets Welles and is offered a role in the play. At the same time, Richard is getting affections for Sonja, a woman who works at the Mercury theatre. Richard soon learns that sometimes one week can change the rest of your life.
I had heard teriffic things about this movie, so I had no choice but to see it. And I am sure as heck glad I did. This is one of the most artistic and literary movies about entertainment I've seen. Orson Welles was probably best known for his movie Citizen Kane and his frequent radio performances. I personally have never seen Citizen Kane or any of his movies. But I do want to now learn more about Mr. Welles' personal life, like the affairs he supposedly had. I also did enjoy the plot of the movie that revolved around the stepping stone in Orson's career.
I would also like to give a shout out to the actors in this movie. Zac Efron, who is best known for his teen comedies and musicals like 17 Again, Hairspray, and of course, the High School Musical series takes a smart but dramatic step into actual acting, and is actually one of the best parts of this movie. He kind of reminds me of a young Leonardo Dicaprio when he made teen hearthrob movies like Romeo+Juliet and the Oscar winning Titanic. I can see Mr. Efron going great places in his career, although I didn't get to see his most recent Charlie St. Cloud. But probably the best performance in the movie comes from newcomer Christian McKay as Orson Welles. He, of all of the performers has the most convincing and most dramatic role in the movie. I do wish he could've gotten a nomination at the Acadamy Awards this past year; He was that good.
Despite having Zac Efron, this movie is not suitable for the younger kids. It's much more suited for the Middle Schoolers, since adolescents my age could both enjoy and understand this movie well. Another reason is because this movie can have some foul language and sexual candor between Efron and some of his friends in the show. So for the parents who Netflix or Redbox this movie thinking it's family friendly, think again.
To summarize, Me and Orson Welles is a must see for both film and theater students, as well as Orson Welles fans. It is just a well made movie from a very talented cast and director. I totally would recommend this movie to theater fans as well as those who grew up in the Orson Welles generation. So to clear up, if you enjoy theater and want a good rental for you and/or lady friend or wife, this is that perfect movie to kill two hours with. Trust me, you will be surprised by the story 0f Me and Orson Welles.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Emma Stone, Penn Badgley
September 17, 2010
Screen Gems (Sony)
1 hour 35 minutes
There are many different types of the well known movie genre "Comedy." These what I call, "genres within genres," can include "rom-coms," "dark comedies," and "raunch-fests." But Emma Stone, who is known for her supporting roles in movies like Zombieland and Superbad, with the help of director Will Gluck, makes the world's first "sexless sex comedy." This new genre is formed into Easy A, a smart, sexy, and often very funny movie filled with heart and talent throughout. It's still hard for me to decide who was the best character or which was the best part.
Olive Penderghast was just a regular unknown teenager with loving parents and a best friend who slightly cared for her. Her life was going peachy keen until she lies about spending a weekend with a college student and supposedly lost her virginity. In case you little kids out there don't know what virginity means and are reading this, don't ask about it until you reach middle school. So as the rumors spread, Olive becomes a bit more noticeable out of all of the social outcasts she used to be a part of. Coincidently, she is studying The Scarlet Letter in school, which is about a woman who has an affair with a minister and is sentenced to wear a red "A" for the remainder of her life. So Olive, knowing the trouble she'll get in, changes her entire look and becomes the school's "slut" and fakes "doing it" with a bunch of social outcasts. You can probably see the outcome of what's going to happen next.
As much as the movie looks like a raunchy sex teen comedy, Easy A is much more than that. I can admit that this movie is pretty raunchy with frequent mention of sex, but in between all of that, Easy A has a heart that can warm you up at times. Also, this movie does teach a lesson to teenagers out there: never attempt to spread rumors, because you never know where they can lead. This is a lesson that kids of all ages should think about, but this movie was just an add on to that message.
Another helping factor to the movie's magic is the casting. Everyone is casted perfectly, as if they were born to play those roles. For example, Amanda Bynes after a 3 year hiatus plays a Christian-strict clasmate that can be either be your best friend or worst enemy at times. Another set of actors I can say were also perfectly cast, and probably the funniest of the ensemble cast were Stanley Tucci and Particia Clarkson as Olive's mellow, cool, and very funny parents. But the one actor in this movie that shines brighter than the rest is none other than Ms. Emma Stone. After this movie, I can see a very teriffic career ahead of her coming really soon. She helps put the spark into the movie, which can really help to a movie. But she's not the type of "spark" Megan Fox was to the Transformers movies; she is an up and coming actress whom, whatever she's in adds something to the movie. Up and coming actors should't try to get into main leads so fast. This girl had to wait a few years to become a main lead. But it was well worth the wait. So I say to Ms. Stone, welcome to the show.
I must say, though that even though this was given a well deserved PG-13 rating, this movie pushes the boundaries at times with talk about sex, high schoolers pretending to have sex, etc. This isn't a kids movie one bit. My little sister really wanted to see this due to seeing the previews and commercials. I told my parents I'd go to see if it is inappropriate at all. As it turns out, it was even inappropriate for my age level, and I'm a mature 13 year old. So for those parents who want to take even their middle school kids, tell them to wait until high school when the candor in this movie is more understandable. So believe it or not, Easy A really is a high schoolers movie.
So overall, Easy A is a well made teen comedy for the teens and the teens at heart. This movie is basically an hour and a half long episode of Degrassi with more comedy, less drama, not to mention this movie is probably better than Degrassi in the first place. It's really hard for myself not to admire of how much people can do with low budgets and a slightly original storyline. After seeing this, I can't wait to read The Scarlett Letter in high school. But to those who want to read the book and know nothing, DON'T see this movie, since it spoils the entirety of the book. So all in all, once you see Easy A, I'll guess that some who read this will give Easy A and "Easy A."