American Gangster

American Gangster

I first saw “American Gangster” in the cinema.  I liked the film so much that I couldn’t wait to get the DVD.  Of course, the 3 hour duration is not a big helper for repeated watching, but even so, I still enjoy it once in a while.

This film is excellent on so many levels, it’s hard to mention them all.  There is moral, there is entertainment, there is an authentic trip back in time, there is plenty of good acting and directing.

This is now definitely one of my favourite films.  5 stars.

State of Play

State of Play

Went to see “State of Play” in the cinema.  I am a fan of conspiracy movies, and the trailer was good too.  And I wasn’t disappointed at all.  In fact, the film was even better than I expected.

While there was some action and some special effects, the core of the film is the dramatic story.  And the story is about people, friendship, ethics, and passion.

When I was watching the trailer, I though that it would be nice to see Ben Affleck and Russel Crowe in the same movie.  However, that wasn’t so nice.  Because there’s way too much contrast.  Ben Affleck, even though a popular actor, has very few things to offer except to his charm.  Russle Crowe on the other hand is an actor.  Who has the charm also.  Putting them next to each other highlights in a very brutal way the huge difference in their acting potential.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed the movie and even now, a few days later, I keep playing back some scenes of it in my mind.  4 stars.

Body of Lies

The other day I went to see “Body of Lies“.  I know that some people just can’t take the same actor playing similar roles in two consequtive films – in this case Leonardo DiCaprio being an undercover agent – but if you can get past that, you are probably to enjoy the film.  At least I did.

Yes, it had enough cliches and stereotypes and all, but it was also somehow fresh.  It wasn’t all that predictable, and it carried a good mix global propaganda with personal drama and plain old action.  Good acting, good shooting and explosion, twisty story, nice character development, nice camera work – all make it into a worthy film.  If you have a chance to catch it on the big screen – use it.  You’ll get some extra.

Overall, a 7 out of 10.

Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man (2005)I rented “Cinderella Man” because it was on of the few new movies available on DVD that had a high rating and a known star in it – Russell Crowe.

Directed by: Ron Howard
Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport
Cast: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill, David Huband, Connor Price, Ariel Waller, Patrick Louis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Linda Kash, Nicholas Campbell, Gene Pyrz, Chuck Shamata
IMDB raintg: 8.0
My rating: 8.5 ********½

Continue reading “Cinderella Man”

Virtuosity

Olga and I just watched “Virtuosity” on DVD. It is a nice action movie back from almost 10 years ago that touches the issues with virtual reality. And so that you are not bored with it, it mixes in Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

I find it interesting how this film brings back the memories of few old and new films, such as “The Matrix“, “The Cell” and “I, Robot“. I have a feeling that “Virtuosity” has it’s share of inspiration for all three of the above movies, and probably some more.

I liked this film. I cannot put it on my favourite shelve, but it does deserve the two hours of your time. It is a good combination of action, computer graphics, drama, and black humour (that part with the crying symphony was really nice). The only mistake that I can point out was putting Kelly Lynch in it. There was no acting what-so-ever on her behalf. Other than that, everything was pretty good.

I’ll give it a rating of 6.5 out of 10, which kind of round me about 7.

No Way Back

Having DVD club as neighboors proves to be worth a while. We’ve just watched “No Way Back“. It is a bit old to cause any major shivering in the crowds these days. And even if it wasn’t, it is a pretty average movie.

Russell Crowe playes main part there even before he became popular, so if you like movies with celebrities before they became celebrities, this is one to watch.

Overall, the film is slow and mostly boring. There are a few nice scenes and a couple of funny jokes, but it lacks color. I’d give it a 5 out of 10 which tries to go into 6 out of 10, but fails. Get something else if you have a choice.