As a parent I have the pleasure of watching a lot of movies aimed at kids. Sometimes it’s the same movie repeatedly. I don’t mind, most of the time, and I understand. There are movies that to this day I can repeat verbatim because I watched them so much as a kid. The problem I’m finding is that my wife and I like to discuss the movies. We try to rationalize the world they are set in and fill in the holes. It can be fun. There is one movie though that annoys the hell out of me.
For those who don’t know, it’s a movie about a dog who doesn’t know it’s an actor. It thinks that it really is a superpowered dog who has to protect his person. Things go wacky when Bolt escapes to find his person.
Sounds fun right?
Considering the people who made it know how movies work, it isn’t. Ignoring the multiple animal cruelty laws they would break every time the camera rolls and the fact that Bolt somehow survives being locked in a box filled with packing peanuts & shipped from Hollywood to NYC, it is completely it still has plenty of problems. The movie opens with an action scene that spans a city. It’s quickly revealed that it was a set and all the cars were props. Everything about it was setup, even the backdrop is fake. The punchline of the joke is that the shot is ruined by a boom-mic poking into the scene.
My daughter has rediscovered her love of this movie & it’s back in rotation. I’m tempted to steal a page from my parents book & just have it disappear.
Here is a little list I thought I would compile. It’s a set of movies that I’ve enjoyed that don’t get a lot of love.
1. Battle: Los Angeles
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (who is directing the new Ninja Turtle Movie) and filled with a strong cast. The story follows a squad of USMC soldiers as they face an alien invasion. Aaron Eckhart plays a great haunted soldier and the supporting cast is well done. These guys aren’t some super-soldier GI Joe crap, they’re just soldiers, and it works. It’s like Black Hawk Down meets War of the Worlds. Are there some hokey parts? Yeah, the civilians they meet up with are a little tacked on, but I enjoyed the film.
2. Ghosts of Mars
This one is truly a guilty pleasure for me, I know it’s bad, but I can’t help watching it if I can. It’s a B-Movie and I love it, but I can’t go into watching it thinking it’s good. Does that make sense? It’s like if I go in remembering that I enjoy the film then it’s a disappointment, but if I go in with the idea that it’s a hokey 70s action movie in space, then I’m okay with it. Plus Jason Statham as a horn-dog is pretty funny.
3. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
How is this movie not loved by all? Great soundtrack, awesome fight scenes, and it’s funny. I watch this movie once a month or more. Chris Evans and Brandon Routh steal the scenes they’re in, but Michael Cera plays a good lost soul.
4. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
This is how ‘found footage’ movie should be. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil the plot, but it mixes mocumentary style with traditional filming. Watch it, love it. If you liked Cabin in the Woods, you’ll like this one.
Real Steel – Did you like Rocky? You’ll like this, it’s Rocky but with robots. Wait for the TV release.
Dredd – The Raid: Redemption with slow-motion and more gore. Wait for the TV release.
I am Number Four – He’s an alien, honest. Skip it.
The Bourne Legacy – Not as bad as you’d expect. Rent it.
That is all.
An all-star cast written and directed by RZA, a guy who loves Kung Fu movies, what could go wrong? Not much but it wasn’t all that exciting either.
I was really looking forward to this one. I followed it on Facebook, I checked out the updates, and I planned on going to the theater to see it but the closest one was about two hours away. To be perfectly honest, I almost was desperate enough to check out one of those cams they release on torrent sites. No, I stayed strong, I wanted to show my support, I would wait until it came out on DVD.
Everything was there, interesting characters, a nice setup, and plenty of actors who knew what they were doing. They looked like they had fun but it wasn’t anything special, in fact it felt a little over-stuffed. RZA probably should have stayed behind the camera, his passion for the project was clear but his acting is the weakest of the cast and his character is kind of integral to the part. My first thought for a replacement would be Michael Jai White, for one they guy looks like he could be a blacksmith and he’s a martial artist/actor who could pull off the part.
If RZA comes out with another movie I’ll watch that one too. He’s got the passion and for a first film this is a resounding success.
My Verdict: Rent it.
Colin Farrell, this guy can’t really catch a break. He was flying high and then Alexander hit and tanked his career. The movie was slow on fast forward.
He takes a chance on Total Recall and I don’t think it turned out quite as well as he thought. Is it a good movie? Yes, it is. It is better than the one from 1990? Yes, it is. Did people see it? No, they didn’t.
Instead of Mars it’s on Earth in a dystopian future. There aren’t any mutants but there is still a 3-boob chick, which makes so much sense, and there is one cameo that I’m not going to ruin if you haven’t seen it yet.
Do yourself a favor, imagine it’s a completely unattached movie and rent it.
This poor movie has pretty much been tossed to the bargain bin without a second look. It’s a victim of bad timing and uninspired marketing. I’m pretty sure it came out about the time Nicolas Cage went into melt-down so anything he was attached to was avoided.
It is far from a perfect movie but it was better than expected. Jay Baruchel plays his usual awkward lead and Nicolas Cage’s borderline crazy works for the character. The plot is standard fare, the effects are pretty cool, but even with the right marketing and before Cage became a meme, it wouldn’t have done too well. The best part of the movie is Toby Kebbell, his part alone merits one viewing.
My Verdict: If you’re looking for a cheap movie that isn’t part of one of the 10 movie packs, it’s not a bad call but it’s a better rental.
My first introduction to the character of Parker via Mel Gibson in Payback. Other than being a dark movie (literally, I had to turn up the brightness on my TV) it was an interesting character piece before good ol’ Mel went round the bend.
Jason Statham as Parker isn’t something I would have thought would work. He’s an English dude known for The Transporter and a string of action flicks that don’t really make sense. That being said, the character from The Transporter was kind of like Parker Lite.
Do you want car chases, action scenes, and a good brawl or two for your next movie? I’d suggest this one. It’s a heist movie with a nice revenge plot thrown in there to make it interesting. What I thought would be a weak point, the casting, actually worked out well. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t detract from the movie and hearing Statham doing a Texan accent is silly. One thing I found pretty cool was Daniel Bernhardt showing up in the movie. That guy is awesome and it’s great to see him in something other than a B-Movie or bad TV show.