Gary Oldman

Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Posted by: |

Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

August is typically where the bad movies of the summer go to die. But some rise to the top and stand out among the late summer flops. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is one of those movies. It’s the buddy-cop action-comedy you need, with no cops in it. It’s full of action, all the funny you want, and it’s a real treat spending time with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. This is a great summer movie to end the summer with.

Read On

Movie Issues: Vampire Movies for Halloween

Posted by: |

Movie Issues: Vampire Movies for Halloween

Oh the vampire flicks, ya just can’t escape them. Their one of the oldest themes in cinema history. Beginning with Robert G. Vignola’s 1913 film, The Vampire. The world has been waiting to be seduced by the vampire ever since. As the sink their teeth into movies and TV still to this day, the vampire is a pop culture icon that is ever living. Read On

Review: Dawn of Planet of the Apes

Posted by: |

Review: Dawn of Planet of the Apes

The original Planet of the Apes flicks was my early journey into the world of science fiction. It also was my first look into a dystopian society. It instantly caught my imagination, so it’s no surprise that when Rise of Planet of the Apes came out, I was more then a little excited. With this much-deserved sequel, we are given the second of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, titled Dawn of Planet of the Apes. Promising to continue the events from Rise, it seemed that Dawn could do no wrong. How does Dawn compare to Rise? Is this the Apes sequel you’ve been waiting for?

Read On

[WonderCon 2014] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Posted by: |

[WonderCon 2014] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Arena at WonderCon 2014 was packed with fans waiting to see the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the upcoming sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On hand were director Matt Reeves, and stars Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, and Andy Serkis.

The cast charmed the audience, giving out a lot of information in a very short time. In addition to a trailer, a short scene from the movie was also premiered, giving the audience a little taste of the tension, and one moment of dark humor, they can expect to see in the film.

Read On

Comments Off on Batman Begins

Batman Begins

Posted by: |

It is so satisfying to see a movie that fulfills your hopes and expectations. It is doubly so when the movie is based on a comic book character that is – well, there’s no other way to say it – sacred. After the last two horrifying installments, something even half as good as the 1989 Tim Burton Batman probably would have sufficed; this installment makes that well-loved predecessor look like a farce. Even the cartoonishly cherubic Katie Holmes can’t dampen the delicious, adult tone of this movie.

Filling in the holes in young Bruce Wayne’s transition from terrified (and wealthy) orphan to terrorizing vigilante citizen, posing dramatically on rooftops, Batman Begins expands the myth beyond the well-trod “Well, see, he saw his parents killed. So that messed him up. He’s rich, so you know, he built some bat stuff.” Wayne has more to rage about than a life-altering homicide; more legacy to fulfill than just petty revenge. And training! By the redoubtable Ken Watanabe and Qui-Gon himself, Liam Neeson, no less. Characters in general are not painted black or white, with some clear exceptions, but they make the picture more interesting all around.

What’s fantastic about this movie is how it makes the hyperreal seem real, seem solid. It’s genuinely dark and the action is all justified, and perfectly paced. It seethes and it revs and it truly does rock; it rocks intelligently, but it is still very cool. A particularly effective scene is staged much like a horror movie, but our hero is the lurking, unseen danger. It’s very effective, both at humanizing the bad guys (antithetical to most comic adaptation) and at giving us a sense of Wayne’s power.

Director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) likes cerebral movies that take the audience inside the mind of the cerebrum in question, and this is no exception. As co-screenwriter (with David S. Goyer) he explores fear as a causality rather than a result, and justice versus revenge. What makes a man good, or turns a man bad? Where does madness begin and justified behavior end?

Gotham is envisioned as the biggest, worst city imaginable – it has the depressed elements of Chicago, the impossible density of New York, and the remote selfishness of Los Angeles. Its enhanced reality complements Wayne’s mechanical aids in his batmanism. Even the “bat sports hummer” you have seen in the commercials doesn’t feel creass. It should also be noted that casting talents like Watanabe, Neeson, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Cillian Murphy never hurt any movie; and yet this movie exhibits the hard-won knowledge that the movie is about BATMAN. Not the showy villains (you hear that, Governor Freeze?), but the man under the cape. Christian Bale calls upon his American Psycho gravitas and his Empire of the Sun vulnerability to create a rich, delicious Batman who yes, also looks good posing on a rooftop. Come on, we don’t just love Batman because he’s deep. But he’s so much more gratifying when there is content behind the cape.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 6/15/05
Time in minutes 134
Director Christopher Nolan
Studio Warner Brothers

Comments Off on Lost in Space

Lost in Space

Posted by: |

OK, it *is* better than Batman and Robin – the movie that, wonder of wonders, did not precipitate the deportment of writer Akiva Goldsman. My companion and I wondered on the way home whether Akiva stayed up at night purposefully writing garbage and thinking, “Oh, man, they wouldn’t produce THIS!” and laughing. Then some crackhead in Armani throws $90 million or more at it and suddenly Akiva sees his name pulse at him during the loud techno rave end credits and he must think, “Dammit, why didn’t I change my name?”

It’s lame. It’s not offensive (OK, that stupid F&#@(!$% yellow monkey is more offensive than being mooned by a hemorrhoid clinic) but it is stupid and lame and underwhelming. Heather Graham (Rollergirl) has the best lines in the movie – real zingers too, and Mimi Rogers follows with some slightly more tired but still serviceable quips of her own. I appreciated that Mimi actually looked old enough to be William Hurt’s wife. Oh, William. Ye of such a fine previous career. He was wooden and lame and tired and you people know I don’t like to criticize actor’s performances unless they can’t help themselves. I was never a viewer of the TV show and I understand that the movie is taking a radically different tone than the wacky campy papier mache TV show, BUT shouldn’t we at least want our hero to live? I could not have cared less about anyone except maybe Rollergirl. And even so I was ashamed that she would follow up a wonderful movie like Boogie Nights with the simian star of Ed. With lines like “Detente is a wonderful thing.” Oooh, did you go to film school?

Gary Oldman must have sunk into a wicked cocaine problem since Air Force One, because he wants us to believe Dr. Smith is evil, but we have nothing to base that on. He speaks (as I am sure you have seen in the preview) of his own wicked nature, but really, he’s just the guy with the accent. I was so disappointed to remember reading that he said this character was one of his favorites. The best part with Smith is, sadly, a Jim Henson’s Creature Shop creation voiced by Oldman. Oh woe.

The music is half new school I’m gonna get the Oscar out from John Williams and half old school wah wah Sid and Marty Kroft. Interesting but frightening. The whole movie is just unsatisfying and dull, no more, no less.

I know the Robot was important on the show – but as a standalone movie, what the hell was it doing here? Was it their food prep automaton or their high-colonic administerer? “Destroy! Destroy! Destroy Friday evening!” Oh and did I mention that the whole family is really important bit is hokey, sad, *and* poorly executed? Well, I meant to. After I put ointment on the welts from having been beaten with their goofy priorities message, I will.

As always, I have something nice to say which is that the computer generated stuff at the beginning of the movie is totally lusciously beautiful gorgeous expectations-raising eye candy. Then the stupid yellow monkey comes and I think about how nice cyanide gas must smell. There is literally NO reason for that expensive effect to exist, and did I mention that it was a dreadful, poorly thought out illogical mess too? Oh the shame. And to think THIS of all movies is the one to knock Titanic out of the number one slot. Oh, couldn’t it have been a decent movie? The place was packed! But hopefully word of mouth will kill it and we can all forget it ever happened. Evil may know evil but moviegoers don’t. I knew it would suck and I had to protect you, Dear Readers.

Akiva, start packing.

*Note: this film was originally rated Dollar Movie, which fell between Catch the Network Premiere and Catch It On HBO.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 4/3/98
Time in minutes 131
Director Stephen Hopkins
Studio New Line Cinema