Tag: Movies

Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Posted by – November 2, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen Movie PosterWhen I first saw the preview for this film I immediately knew I wanted to see it.  This is not a normal occurrence for me, and I’m glad I had that instinct because I really did enjoy this film.  Well, that is until the first half was over.

The premise of the story is that a father gets rushed by two thugs in his home, who kill his wife and daughter in front of him.  The prosecutor offers a plea bargain so that one of them gets the death penalty and the other gets a maximum of five years despite the father’s pleas to send them both to trial.  The prosecutor declines as he wants to keep his conviction-rate high.

The father is understandably upset and decides to dispense his own justice and apparently uses his skills as a government black-ops “brain” to start killing all those that are guilty of dealing with murderers (all the while giving people an out, as to avoid the destruction).  For instance he’ll ask for something, and if it’s not met, he kills more people.

I’m not sure if I was supposed to be on the side of the father or not, but I really was up until about the middle of the movie.  He was trying to force people to look at the injustice of the criminal system and that something needs to be changed and he was prepared to break a few eggs to make an omelette.  I felt it was pretty justified even if extremely vengeful and murderous.

Overall I’d say to definitely watch this movie, while I did have a big problem with the ending and felt a little ripped-off by the plot direction change in the middle of the film, it was worth watching.  The acting was pretty great as I was never distracted at all by any of it and the characters seemed to be able to mingle with each other quite easily.  If for nothing else though this movie is a great film to have a discussion about, as it illustrates how screwed up the system is, and what it will take to fix it.

Now, for what I didn’t like (Really only useful to those who have seen the film):

***SPOILERS BELOW***

So the problem I had with the movie starts when the father kills his cellmate in order to get into solitary confinement.  While I understand that this was required in order to get him into his cell in solitary to continue his acts of destruction I felt that it was a bit out of character and instantly made me dislike the father.

While I’m not sure whether I was supposed to identify with the father at all, I do think he was justified in wanting justice, and I don’t think it’s entirely wrong to act on your conviction to change the system.  Unfortunately not much in history has ever changed without violence and I can’t see this changing anytime soon. So overall I wanted to identify with the father, and wanted the movie to be a film about siding with the bad guy, and realizing that although it was terrorism, it was for the right reasons and partially if not fully justified.  To me it speaks volumes about how war and terrorism is NOT a black and white issue, and would have been quite good social commentary.

So once I was sort of put-off by his blatant murder of a presumably semi-innocent man (they never state what his cellmate did, for all we know it was tax evasion) I started to wonder if I was supposed to want him stopped.  While he did kill someone in cold blood that was totally not related to his plight, he was after-all still trying to change the system.

Once everything was wrapped up and they found out that the father was just tunneling out of prison, he didn’t seem like as much of a genius (except for the judge’s cell phone, that was totally unexpected and quite inventive).  This made me feel even worse about the character as I really did want to side with him even despite murdering his cellmate.  And from there they trick him into committing suicide as he knew he had to take out the officials at the meeting to get anyone to actually start to care about fixing the justice system.

So the father dies, and the lawyer goes to his daughter’s recital and the world is good again.  Except for the fact that the judicial system is still horribly broken, and despite the fact that the prosecutor won’t make deals with murderers anymore, nothing was really resolved.  I would ahve much prefered some alternate ending that would allow the system to be changed, even if it was just a weird emntion of congress discussing judicial branch reform and a massive overhaul of how the justice system works.

I don’t know, I was just really disappointed in the ending, and it seemed that the director and writer wanted to stray from the fact that terrorists have families and motives too.  They aren’t just non-descript people who just hate freedom.  Overall though, I felt that the first half of the movie helped fill that weird craving for brutal justice and revenge.  Sort of like going on a murderous rampage in Grand Theft Auto when you’re angry about something.  Then again maybe I’m just insane and ready to snap any day now.

Anybody else have any opinions on this?  I’d really like to hear them.

My Alternate Ending to Terminator Salvation

Posted by – October 31, 2009

Terminator Salvation Movie Poster

Terminator Salvation Movie Poster

It’s been quite awhile since this film came out so I decided I’d like to let people know how I would have ended it.  I know you were all dieing to know what I felt about it, so I’ll give a tiny review as well.  Keep in mind there are spoilers here, some might say I give away the ending (well duh) but I don’t think it really matters, but READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Alright so at the end of the film, we find out that John Connor’s heart is damaged and needs to replaced so Marcus decides to donate his.  Which to me was completely fucking stupid.

They opt to replace the almost indestructible robot who fights for the humans for some dude who will HOPEFULLY survive the procedure and then have a heart condition and need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his natural life.  I really don’t get what they would be thinking if they were real, but as writers I can see that they wanted to give Marcus the chance to repay his debt to society and what-not, but it’s still a really stupid decision.

So anyway, what I would have liked to see happen was that John Connor dies (nice big dramatic moment and everyone thinks the resistance will fail especially when people lose morale when they find out their leader is dead.  So Marcus decides to take over Connor’s legacy by adopting his name, and through a few procedures (well, firmware updates) change his voice to match John’s so he can take his place as leader.

It would work quite well, Marcus is more than capable now as he had shown, and nobody actually knew what John Connor looked like to begin with and with his voice, he could continue the radio broadcasts.  It’d also add a weird twist to the movie and series because while John Connor helped in the resistance he wasn’t the Jesus they make him out to be, and it would leave Skynet still sending terminators back to kill John Connor when the real target was Marcus all along.

I thought it’d be a great ending, but what do you guys think?

As for the film itself, I’m glad they made it as it’s been wanted for quite awhile.  It was pretty much what I expected, and was somewhat mediocre but defiantly worth a watch especially if you followed the films as a kid.  It is a bit weird to see them practically toss out the whole motif of the previous films “The future cannot be changed, it can be changed, no wait it can’t, oh whatever look robots!”.  I also felt Christian Bale could have easily been replaced as I found his character recycled and bland, and really felt Marcus was the shining star of the movie and makes my ending more the better.

Review: Zombieland

Posted by – October 30, 2009

Zombieland Movie Poster

Zombieland Movie Poster

The wife has been wanting to see this movie for awhile and we finally got our chance.  While I was looking forward to it, this movie didn’t strike me as anything ground breaking or a must-see movie in theatres, and to be honest it really wasn’t.

That isn’t to say that the movie wasn’t entertaining, but it sort of followed a cookie cutter design and nothing really unpredictable occurs.  The most catchy thing about the movie is the humour in the fact that “Rules” appear on the screen which break the fourth wall but provide comedic relief.  This will most likely become an Internet meme though as zombies are really “in” right now.

The movie is about a fellow named Columbus (or at least nicknamed) who has made a habit of making “rules to follow” to survive the zombie invasion.  As I’ve stated these displayed the screen when they’re adhered to such as “Always check the backseat”.  He travels about America which he now deems “the United States of Zombieland” and befriends a dude, and then meets some others.

I can’t really explain much as there really isn’t much to the film, beyond the zombies there are very few characters and the film constantly broke the fourth wall for me.  While I was entertained the movie wasn’t all that spectacular, and I’d probably give this movie a “rent”.  It’s probably worth seeing, but only because of the memes it will spawn.

Sorry if this review seems a bit weak, there isn’t much I can give about the film that doesn’t give it all away.  The sum of the story could easily be fit into a paragraph.

Review: Knowing

Posted by – July 20, 2009

Knowing Movie Poster

Knowing Movie Poster, avoid at all costs.

There are movies that are crap, and then there are movies you regret even watching, this would be in the latter category.

The movie starts well, and is pretty darn interesting up until about 3/4 through.  It’s about a young girl Lucinda who hears voices in her head, she writes down these numbers that they told her and the numbers are put into the school’s time capsule for fifty years.

Fast-forward five decades and Nicholas Cage’s son gets a hold of her note/letter to the future.  Cage soon discovers that the numbers coincide with large scale deaths since Sept 11, 2001.  He then discovers the end of the world, and it’s date.

It’s a pretty good premise and story, which is why it angers me so that it goes downhill so quick.  However I can’t explain why without giving out spoilers, so here is the warning (although I strongly urge everyone to avoid this movie like a plague).

**SPOILERS BELOW**

Alright so Cage uncovers all these clues including that the Earth will be destroyed by a giant solar flare, and finds out the coordinates they’re suppose to be at to be saved!  However his female counter-part ran off with the children as she was panicking about getting to some caves to try and avoid the carnage.

So eventually Cage gains control again and they rush to the spot to find out that only the children can go with the SPACE ALIENS.  They cry and sob for a bit, the kids go off to their new planet.  We then  watch for 15 minutes as Cage cries, drives to his parents, gives his estranged Dad a hug and then watch them (as well as the world’s inhabitants) melt.

Needless to say I was pissed.  I wasted all this time following all these clues just to have them die in the end anyway?  I’m a fan of twist endings where everyone dies (The Myst) but this wasn’t a movie where this should happen.  There was way too much emphasis on clues and finding out what’s going on to just up and die.

Consider for a moment that if in an Indiana Jones movie if you watch him go through all this trouble solving problems and finding clues just to have him shot and die in the end.  It’d be absolute garbage.

And that’s exactly what this movie was.  If you enjoyed Wicker Man, you may enjoy this movie, otherwise they might as well of spit in my face, or played a 30 second short of the film so I at least wouldn’t be so upset that this movie wasted my time.

Burn-E or How Pixar is Awesome

Posted by – March 16, 2009

Whether you’ve seen Wall-E or not, and whether you enjoyed the movie or not you probably agree that some of the best movies of the last two decades came out of Pixar Animation Studios.

When Pixar was bought out by Disney, I among many others were worried that like so many takeovers, the larger less creative company will absorb the smaller one and thus break up the team and thought process and kill all the skills and talent they had.  However Disney did a great thing, they pretty much let Pixar do it’s own thing like they did before, and it’s treated them well because they’ve come out with some great movies since then.

However, I wanted to state how Pixar was awesome, because even after Wall-E was made and ready to ship out Pixar made a few extras including a short which introduced us to BURN-E.  Whether it was intentional marketing move, or whether some employees were just playing around with the renderfarm I don’t know.  The fact that they actually made additional content just for the release is awesome.  It’s a shame you don’t see that more often, and it’s one way to tell that Pixar is going to be around for quite some time.

Without further delay, here’s the BURN-E short on Youtube.