Tropic Thunder

I just came back from the movies where I enjoyed an action comedy “Tropic Thunder“.  To be honest, initially I didn’t want to see this movie.  Silly poster, one of my most unfavourite actors and directos Ben Stiller, and a few other minor factors were all pointing to towards “You can safely ignore this movie” sign.  But then I’ve heard a few good reviews and changed my mind.

Gladly, the film turned out to be pretty good.  I think that make-up artists, good cast, and participation of one of the Cohen brothers in the screenplay writing saved this flick.  Ben Stiller wasn’t as bad as he usually is.  Jack Black was pretty good.  Especially in that short little scene where he was tied up to the tree.  Tom Cruise was a surprise – both acting-wise and make-up-wise.  Robert Downey Jr. was really good.  He was as good as his make-up.  Extra make-up point goes for the Japanese-like looking gangster, shooting automatic weapon in the purple haze.  That was aesthetically refreshing.

There is plenty of good action in this film, with gun fights, explosions, helicopters, and so on and so forth. As for the humor – it’s an interesting mix, between the low-level silly Ben Stiller kind of jokes and smart parody and satire Cohen-brothers style.  Done really well.

Overall, 7 out of 10 for good entertainment.

Kung Fu Panda

Being a great of kung fu movies, I aboslutely had to see “Kung Fu Panda“.  Even though it is an animation, it still features Jackie Chan and lots of kung fu training and fights.  I don’t know what it is about kung fu movies that drags me in and occupies my attention, but it’s always the same.  And “Kung Fu Panda” was no exception.

And it wasn’t a disappointment.  Great animation, good humor, and the best of kung fu – it’s all there.  The last dumpling fight is up there with the rest of the best kung fu fights.  And an extra point for choosing the animals for characters and kung fu styles.  Lots of fun.

Overall, a 7 out of 10.  Recommended for any fans of animation, Jack Black, or kung fu movies.

Be Kind Rewind

These days there isn’t much choice of what to watch in the movies. So I ended up at “Be Kind Rewind“.  It’s a comedy with Jack Black and Mos Def, both of who are often funny.  Also, I wanted to see how Danny Glover is doing these days, since the last time I saw him was in “Lethal Weapon 4” or so.

“Be Kind Rewind” is a bit of an akward film.  It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s cheap, and it’s kind.  Some parts of it are so hilarious that I was laughing out loud.  Yet other parsts of it don’t make any sense at all.  Some scenes follow each other naturally, yet some other feel like they were glued together very roughly.

Overall, I’ll give it a 6 out of 10.  Not something that I would strongly recommend, but not your regular movie experience either.

King Kong

King Kong (2005)There’s been a lot of crap released by Hollywood recently. It’s been a while since I watched any movie at all – the motivation is gone. And I don’t even want to go to the cinema no more. No, actually I want to go. It’s just that there isn’t anything to watch there at the moment. Except for “King Kong” of course.

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Evan Parke, Jamie Bell, Lobo Chan, John Sumner, Craig Hall, Kyle Chandler, Mark Hadlow, Geraldine Brophy, David Denis
IMDB raintg: 8.3
My rating: 8.0

Continue reading “King Kong”

Cradle Will Rock

Noone in the shop could tell me anything about “Cradle Will Rock“. I couldn’t remember any trailers or posters either. The list of names on the DVD cover looked impressive, so I rented it.

Directed by: Tim Robbins
Genres: Drama
Cast: Hank Azaria, Rubén Blades, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Cary Elwes, Philip Baker Hall, Cherry Jones, Angus Macfadyen, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Jamey Sheridan, John Turturro, Emily Watson, Bob Balaban
IMDB raintg: 6.8
My rating: 7.0 *******

I wasn’t wrong. The film turned out to be excellent.

I’ve seen several films that show theatrical play in development. As far as I remember, I liked all of them. I don’t know why. Maybe it is a theatre lover inside of me. Or maybe because theatre demands more acting and directing talent attention.

“Cradle Will Rock” is an original movie. It mixes the theatrical play development with pre-Second World War political tension and adds a lot of personal drama to the mix.

With all of that, it is a little bit difficult to follow in the first half of the film. Things get developed slowly and it is not always easy to make sense what is what and why is it there. Excellent casting helps the situation a lot. Actors deliver that personal touch that makes the film interesting to watch even without making much sense.

Towards the second half of the film situation changes. I could suddenly make sense of everything that was happening. All those many characters became clear to me. All story lines started to merge. The more they merged, the more I was sucked into the film. It was an amazing feeling.

Another good side of the film was that it was ver positive. Surely, it touched upon some ugly issues of life in society, but it never lost its huge positive charge. Happy ending was expected from within the first few minutes of the film.

Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. I can’t recommend this film to everyone out there as it is not a simple and easy going one like most of the Hollywood crap these days. But if you are in the mood for a good film, make sure you watch this one.

Shark Tale

I’ve just got disappointed by “Shark Tale“. Despite all the hype around it, it turned out to be pretty boring and badly drawn animation. It had no realism like “Finding Nemo” did. Fish here were walking on two leg-like fins, used another two hand-like fins to do stuff, and had ugly faces on top of their bodies. These all loked nothing like fish. For some reason also, I don’t get it why they moved half the time vertically and half the time horizontally. Oh, and there was no water at all. I mean there was not a second with an ocean surface, and there was only a few bubles to make you beleive some liquid was involved in the environment.

First half of the movie I was thinking that I didn’t like it because I’ve already seen “Finding Nemo”, which is way better. But than I realized that it is not the reason. The real reason is that this movie sucked.

Bad animation on top of the beaten usual story is something that has no entertainment. Ok, there were a couple of jokes that made me smile, but they were by far not enough for the hour and a half. That’s a pity, it could have been funnier.

5 out of 10.

The School of Rock

Went to see “The School of Rock” in the movies. This is above good film. Actually, I cannot remember any other film about rock or rock-and-roll that was this good. Even for a general comedy this film was too good. The main character is played by Jack Black, who is one of the vocalists in the band called “Tencious D”. I’d say he knows about rock from the first hands.

On one side the movie is pretty muh regular and naive. The fraud teacher comes to the high class school to earn some money, but ends up playing some rock music together with students. On the other side, the movie is full of energy, rock spirit, and very excellent music. Soundtrack has all time favourites such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, The Who, and whoever you can remember making impact on rock music.

This movie also while being lots of fun touches on some serious issues, like MTV screwing up the rock music, drugs and rock-and-roll, authoritive certification, children’s psychology, etc. It reminds the viewer in the nice way that rock-and-roll is not about getting wasted/loaded/high and it is not about making lots of money, but about something deeper.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who is, was, or is about to be interested in rock music, it’s history, and it’s atmosphere. It is very entertaining and funny at the very least. :)