Being a big fan of action comedies, I’ve been waiting for this one – “Red“.  Thanks to a whole bunch of trailers on YouTube, I knew pretty early that I’d love this film.  And indeed I did.

It’s exactly what it promised to be, and even a bit more – funny, action packed, with brilliant cast, and so on and so forth.  Even the story is not totally stupid, like in most action films.   And it gives you something to think about.  Even though that’s really not the point of the film.  The point is entertainment, and the movie tackles that in a great way.

Overall, a 5 out of 5.  I had a blast.

The Expendables

The Expendables” – movie that I have been waiting for for so long didn’t disappoint me at all.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  I enjoyed each and every bit of it.  It was everything I wanted it to be – a moderately paced, funny action movie with very simple story and lots of fighting, shooting, chasing, exploding, etc.

It was very well positioned in its genre.  In such a way even that makes it easy to excuse any shortcomings, be they holes in the story or acting or special effects. I’m not saying there were any, if there were any.  I’m just saying that even if you notice something that you don’t like, you’ll probably forget about it within a second.  There’s plenty to enjoy.

Of course I’ll rate this movie as 5 out of 5.  That’s both for nostalgic reasons and for a historical moment of all three superstars – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger – appearing in the same scene together.  And there was so much more …

Alpha Dog

I just watched “Alpha Dog“.  It wasn’t the movie I was looking for, I just grabbed it by accident.  It had a cheesy title, way too many people on the cover, and an overall B-movie feel to it.  I got it anyway, just to have some extra movies to watch over the weekend.  I’m glad I did.

I think there should be more movies like this. And then, hopefully, there will be fewer cases such as the one shown in the film.  Nobody wanted for things to go bad.  But those people who could have kept the situation under control, weren’t near enough.  Then things started spinning down.  Then they continued.  Then nobody knew what to do and how to get out.  The result – dead teenager and a few more broken lives.  Who’s fault?  Everybody’s. The kids themselves are guilty of what happened.  Most of their parents are guilty.  The society as a whole has the part of that guilt…

The film like this, with all its messages, thoughts, and story developments could have easily survived with weaker technical sides.  Gladly, the film was done excellent on all levels.  The cast was very good, and even though Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, and Justin Timberlake are in, they aren’t the highlights of the film. OK, maybe with the exception of Justin.   The photography was very interesting at places, and helped to create the atmosphere (especially that scene with parents waiting for the kidnapped child at home).  The soundtrack was great too.

Overall, a strong 8 out of 10.  A must see for parents with kids, fans of criminal drama, and those who simply like good movies.

Live Free or Die Hard

I just watched “Live Free or Die Hard” DVD, also known as “Die Hard 4.0”.  I was trying to catch it in the cinema, but somehow that didn’t happen.  I’m glad I finally caught up with it.

I was something anxious and worried about this new “Die Hard” episode.  After all, the previous parts were so good, and it’s been more than 10 years since the last one (the last one was “Die Hard: With a Vengeance” dated 1995).  With this new one be as good as those parts?  Isn’t Bruce Willis too old for this?  I had no clue, but follow-ups to some other films of the past proved to be worthy (*cough*Rambo*cough*) – that gave me hope.

“Live Free or Die Hard” turned out to be as good as the previous movies.  And maybe even better.  For one, special effects and the whole visual craft went a long way since John McClane had a gun in his hand.  Even watching it on a 15″ screen gave me shivers sometimes.  I imagine how impressive some of these scenes looked in the cinema!  Sometimes, of course, it goes a bit too far – like in that scene with a fighter jet, truck, and bridge – but in action movies with Bruce, Sylvester, and Arnold it is always better to go a bit too far rather than not come close enough.

Another thing that I was worried about before watching this film was the computer theme.  The 4.0 is the title of the film suggested that there will be a lot about computers.  Plus I saw the trailer, and it was obvious that we are back to square one with graphical user interfaces for searching, tools with progress bars for password breaking, and all sorts of communications, security, and general IT terminology.   Well, the computer side of the film was as bad as you can get it.  But, on the other hand, it was so unrealistic from the very beginning, that I had no problems abstracting it away from the real life.  Meaning that in my mind there was this natural separation of how computers work in real life and how they work in this particular movie.  So that wasn’t a big problem.

Overall, the film was very nicely done, entertaining and in the same mood as the previous ones.  So I got what I expected and even more so.  I’ll give it a firm 7 out of 10.

Planet Terror

Planet Terror

Today I watched an excellent movie “Planet Terror“.   It’s packed with action, zombies, quotes, comedy, and romance.  It has lots of special effects, great photography, and music.  If you ever watched more than three zombie movies which were released in late 1980s or early 1990s, you’ll love this film.

It is Robert Rodriguez’ re-incarnation of “Army of Darkness” in the perspective of bio-chemical accident with military personell involvement and a taste of Desperado.  That’s the best description I can come up with.  But really, you should better see this one.

7 out of 10.

Lucky Number Slevin

Before I had a long break in movie watching, one of my biggest complains about movies was regarding the stories. It seemed back then that there were three of four main story lines, which all films were aligned along.  That was very sad and boring.  Now that I got back to movie watching, I am glad to report that there are many films with original stories.  Twists, surprises, and more twists. I have troubles guessing how the movie will end every other time.  So, it’s either the movies got a little better, or I got so much worse.

I watched “Lucky Number Slevin“, which I expected to be yet another action, considering there were pictures of Bruce Willis with a gun all over the place.  I thought that it would also probably be funny, since Bruce Willis was pictured in a hat.  And that’s about as much as I expected from the film.

But I was wrong.  It was a really twisted story.  With lots of action.  Lots of really great photography.  And fast paced.  Bruce Willis was accompanied by Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, and Ben Kingsley.  There are some really great background characters too.

This film provides good, albeit not family safe,  entertainment, with plenty of good humor and details to look for while watching it for the second, third, or fourth time.  A must see, and a recommend DVD buy.  8 out of 10.

Twelve Monkeys

Today I watched or rather rewatched “Twelve Monkeys“. It’s been a long time since I saw it last time and I practically forgot it. I couldn’t even remember who was playing in it except for Bruce Willis.

Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast: Joseph Melito, Bruce Willis, Jon Seda, Michael Chance, Vernon Campbell, H. Michael Walls, Bob Adrian, Simon Jones, Carol Florence, Bill Raymond, Ernest Abuba, Irma St. Paule, Madeleine Stowe, Joey Perillo, Bruce Kirkpatrick
IMDB raintg: 8.0
My rating: 6.0 ******

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Sin City

As some of you may remember, I had some really high expectations for “Sin City“. I went as far as forecasting it to be a movie of the year. Today I finally got a chance to see it. I spent close to one tenth of a second considering if I should wait for the local cinemas to catch up with the world or to watch a mild quality cinema screener that was in front of me.

Directed by: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
Cast: Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Nick Stahl, Powers Boothe, Rutger Hauer, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Jaime King, Devon Aoki, Brittany Murphy, Michael Clarke Duncan, Carla Gugino
IMDB raintg: 8.3
My rating: 10.0 [rate 10.0]

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Hostage (2005)There were plenty of movies today on TV, but I decided for some reason to watch this really bad copy of “Hostage“.

Directed by: Florent Emilio Siri
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Cast: Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Jimmy Bennett, Michelle Horn, Ben Foster, Jonathan Tucker, Marshall Allman, Serena Scott Thomas, Rumer Willis, Kim Coates, Robert Knepper, Tina Lifford, Ransford Doherty, Marjean Holden, Michael D. Roberts
IMDB raintg: 6.6
My rating: 6.8 ******

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The Siege

Watched “The Siege” on DVD. It is an excellent action film about terrorism vandalizing USA in general and New York in particular. It is interesting how the perspective changed since 1998 when the movie was released. Today we no more about terrorism. Today the WTC towers are gone. Today terrorism is still a hot subject. And people are still afraid.

Apart from an interesting subject, this film has an interesting cast – Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub, Annette Bening and few others. Also, what I liked, is that this film does not leave a good and cosy feeling. It has a kind of happy ending where one does not expect anything bad to happen, but so much of it has already happenned that sadness and insecurity are the two greatest feelings left.

8 out of 10.