I’m not surprised very often by Hollywood and its’ continuing persistence to remake movies and turn TV shows into feature films. I mean, really, how many of those have actually been good, let alone barely watchable? … Turns out, 21 Jump Street is actually pretty funny.
The Hunger Games is an odd title for a movie in which the main character is never hungry. The name doesn’t refer to someone’s appetite, but if you’re a fan of the book, you remember that characters from the poorer districts tended to be hungry fairly frequently. If you’re not familiar with the book or the story, it takes place in a futuristic North America that has been divided into twelve districts. Each year the districts send two volunteers, one boy and one girl between age 12 and 18, to the capitol to compete in “The Hunger Games.”
I want to raid a building full of criminals and fight them with guns and knives. I mean who wouldn’t? I want to have an elite special forces team go on a floor-by-floor ass kicking parade that ends with a bloody stack of bodies. And I want it with amazing martial artists and camera work. Well, looks like The Raid answered my prayers, the newest film from Indonesia and director Gareth Huw Evans.
In a weekend of film releases that vary from broad mainstream comedy to indie drama, and another Nic Cage film of dubious quality, it’s easy for a film to get lost in a weekend of “who cares”. But when the Duplass Brothers make a film, I’m going to seek it out.
Oh, to be a science fiction writer in the 1910’s, without all the science to get in the way of the fiction. Edgar Rice Burroughs was lapping up that luxury when he penned a story of a guy who accidentally teleports to Mars and, because of gravitational differences, can jump really far! Gosh! That’s it. Oh and his punches are harder too, and with those two ‘powers’ he saves the princess of the planet, and by extension stops a war that would wipe out all remaining life. So ONE HUNDRED years later, the movie finally gets made. Talk about turnaround.
I said it before with the film Martha Marcy May Marlene, and I’ll reiterate it here; Elizabeth Olsen is chock full of talent and is going to be one of those truly great actresses. Silent House is a very competent, creepy horror film, and she is a big reason for that. But it’s two of the other actors that hold this back from being great.
When was the last time you saw Robert De Niro in a film where he looked like he was actually trying, let alone exceptional? Off the top of my head, I think it was Stardust.
I love the Yakuza. I mean, who doesn’t? Tattoos and guns combined with complex hierarchy makes for a grand time at the talkies. Beat Takashi is such a solid filmmaker and actor that I will see anything he does. Unless he stars in the Japanese version of Dark Knight where Justin Beiber plays Robin, then maybe I would pass. But put him as a mid-level gangster trying to slug out an existence in modern Tokyo and I am ready to go.
What could be said about Nicolas Cage that hasn’t already been said? Well, I’ll think of something, because when looking at his career, it turns out that he has more misses than hits. It is a career with a fair amount of average films, speckled with some really great ones.
You know, Daniel Radcliffe has his work cut out for him. No more of the gravy train, easy ride of the Harry Potter movies. Now he has to make a solid career for himself as a grown up actor. No magic wand to get him out of trouble, anymore. This film is no Harry Potter and the Cranky Ghost.