Jupiter Ascending is the latest from the brother sister duo that brought us the Matrix movies. This again surprised me greatly. When I was much younger I loved the Matrix (well the first one at least) nowadays the film is not bad but not one of my top go to choices either. With that said I was not sure what to expect from this one because while it looked really good I was not sure how the story would be. To my surprise I found myself really enjoying what was a pretty damn good little sci-fi film. The story, while not great, was something different and that to me at least is always a good thing. I think that people have been hard on a good movie that came out almost a year later than it was going to and was released at a crap time of year. Personally I think this film, while not Oscar worthy, is a pretty good distraction that I give 3.5 stars out of 5.
Mortdecai is getting a lot of bad reviews but I for one enjoyed it. I know there are a lot bad movies out there, Blackhat anyone? However I think this one is getting a bad rep for no real reason except for people liking to crap on Johnny Deep just because his last several movies have not done well at the box office. This film feels in many ways like an old comedy out of the pink panther slapstick variety. While there will always only be one Peter Sellers I think that this character would have been someone he might have played some forty years ago. The acting was great the story was a great caper film with aspects of James Bond thrown in at times. Personally the film looks great after the last one I wrote about. I am noticing that a hell of a lot more than I did before. So if you are in the mood for a few laughs check out Mortdecai. Four stars out of five.
Black Hat was the worst of the bunch I saw in January. The film itself was very generic and the cinematography was crap. This film, in the hands of say Paul Greengrass, and not Michael Mann would have been much better. I hate to say that the best Michael Mann film I have seen in years is Collateral from 2004. The man has lost his sense of style and I think his best years are behind him. I personally don’t mind a bad action film but there is a difference between an over the top action film like say the Expendables and the horrible Black Hat. The worst part of this film is seeing good actors doing a bad movie that they should not have been in because they don’t fit the part. Black Hat to me has only one redeemable quality about it and that is that the plot to this, while generic, could be recycled in a few years after the bad taste has gone and make a half decent January release. Black Hat gets 2 stars out of 5.
Taken 3. I, like most people, know that the movies coming out in January are generally lackluster to say the least. While the third Taken film was not as good as the first it was pretty good overall when compared to some of what we normally see this time of year. Neeson gave a great performance in a film well below what he should be doing. The rest of the cast was good, not great, but good and the story was serviceable. Will Taken 3 be a classic action film like the first is becoming, probably not. But will it be a fun action movie to revisit in a few years? I’m going to say yes. Taken 3 gets 3 stars out of five.
Well its catch up time. I have been swamped with school working on my degree so, sorry but I have a lot of reviews coming in February. Starting with The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies. While I thought that the second of The Hobbit movies was good it was still long. This one was not quite as bad and felt like a good length. This film was not bad but like all The Hobbit movies, this isn’t Lord of the Rings. All I mean is that the movies are not as good as they were. Personally the biggest thing these films had going for them were the actors involved. That is definitely the case here because there are some very good scenes that are elevated by the actors. Martin Freeman is a great young Bilbo as he always has been. Ian McKellen is great as Gandalf as usual and while Peter Jackson has a great directing style, let’s hope that he steps outside Middle Earth for his next film. I give the last of The Hobbit films three and a half rings out of five.
Finally my number one favorite Christmas film of all time is a newer one that I didn’t grow up with and I know some people don’t care for, Love Actually. This movie caught me off guard and is not the kind of movie I normally go for because I don’t like lovey dovey chick flicks but this one has got so much going on that I love about it. Like the story line featuring Colin Firth and the one featuring Liam Neeson and the little kid. Really telling you all the reasons I love this film would be really hard because I think that this is the only film of this kind that has really been done right. Love Actually gets five out of five stars.
Number 2 on my top five Christmas Movies is Christmas Vacation. I have been a fan of the Vacation films for years seeing aspects of my family in all of them. I think none more so than Christmas Vacation because while I feel most people can relate to what it is like to deal with our family around the holidays. We see in Clark just how not to react. I love the movie because it’s one I’ve been watching for many years and think it is a must at this time of year. I think if you have younger children you might want to stay away but otherwise if you are an old fan or are watching it for the first time give it a try this holiday season. I give this one five stars out of five.