Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I totally forgot to review a film that I wasn’t planning to watch at all, but did, and enjoyed quite a bit – “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (by the way, is that the longest movie titles ever or what?).

I saw the trailer and thought that this film would exploit parents’ love for their children and good memories of epic fairy tales, such as Harry Potter & Co.  But my wife wanted to see it too much and I couldn’t say no, and there was no better choice, so we went.

I was surprised as to how much I actually enjoyed it.  There was a rather straight-forward story, but it was wrapped with lots of excellent visual effects, some humor, and an amazing cast.  I think the movie was way under-promoted for all the good work that went into it.  Maybe they ran out of money, who knows.   That’s not important.  The fact that it is solid, light, and provides good entertainment is important on the other hand.

4 out of 5.  Enjoy it on a big screen, but if you missed it – rent or buy a DVD.  You can watch it several times.

Sharpe’s Rifles

Sharpe's Rifles

I spent the weekend watching Sharpe’s movies.  I’ve heard a lot of good words about them, but couldn’t get my hands on the copy.  Finally, I managed to get 14 films.   I’m missing the last two episodes which were done recently, but I’ll get them too eventually.

The series are a collection of full length films – 1 hour 40 minutes each.  It’s a history action set back in 1810’s during the Napoleon invasion of the world.  A soldier by the name of Richard Sharpe (played by Sean Bean) is making a military career, being raised from the ranks (as opposed to being born a gentlemen).  Each episode has some sort of a mission, or a situation to deal with, some romance, and lots of fighting.  The films are also full of moral values, setting good examples.  Except that one situation involving a French woman, which is of course arguable.

Each film is on its own and the series can be watched in random order, but if you do it sequentially, there is a little bit more to enjoy of it.  Also, one thing that I wanted to note is the quality of the films – all of them are done like they are a one really long movie.  No episode is better or worse than any other episode.

Overall, really good stuff – 5 stars.

The Hitcher

The Hitcher

Recently I watched “The Hitcher“.  This film had some potential, but it totally blew it.  It was interesting to see it now, because it reminded me so much of “Death Proof” which I saw just a few days ago, and which has a somewhat similar theme to it.

I think that Sean Bean did very well as a maniac.  He was exactly the type of the killer I like seeing in this type of films.  Sophia Bush provided quality female part.  And the rest of the guys weren’t all that bad.  However, the person who did blood control for this film was completely out of touch.  There was too much blood in a places where none was needed, and there wasn’t enough where it was needed the most.  A huge minus here, which sorts of ruins the movie, considering that it was mostly supposed to be about blood.  It was also supposed to be about roads, and it did have a few car chases and crashes.  Nothing special here though.

Overall, a 6 out of 10.  Watch it on a boring Saturday, if you have nothing else to do.

The Island

The Island” is one of those new movies that everyone has seen except for Olga and me. I rented and watched it, so Olga now is pretty much the only person in the world to miss it.

Directed by: Michael Bay
Genres: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ethan Phillips, Brian Stepanek, Noa Tishby, Siobhan Flynn, Troy Blendell, Jamie McBride, Kevin McCorkle, Gary Nickens, Kathleen Rose Perkins
IMDB raintg: 6.8
My rating: 5.0

But she is not missing a lot. The film is surely overhyped.

This film is very shallow considering the topic it deals with – human cloning. I think that this topic is one of the most philosophical issues of the recent times. There is a lot to discuss. And there are a lot of viewpoints. Also, depending on the point of view, it can be very dramatic. And a very dramatic point of view was chosen for the film – cloning as seen by clones. Those who realise that they are clones that is. But there was no drama. What-so-ever. Ever.

Somehow, the movie managed to be a pure action. There was nothing else – no drama, no romance, no comedy. Nothing. Only action. And while there were some excellent action sequences and special effects in the second part of the film, the first hour or so sucked pretty bad. It was very slow and boring. And I almost fell asleep watching it. Twice.

What made it even worse were all the inconsitences in the film. It looked like those who made this film didn’t believe in what they were showing themselves. Skills and knowledge were appearing and disappearing from people’s and clone’s behaviors. They were swallowing new concepts like they were peanuts. “- You are not humans. You are clones. – Oh, Ok, then. Thanks for telling us.” And stuff like that.

Overall I think that this film is a waste of time and I am glad I didn’t spend my money in the cinema.

Ronin

Ronin (1998)While reading up about Japanese samurai I came across the concept of ronin, that lead me to a movie “Ronin“. It had a good rating and a respectable cast, so I decided to watch it.

Directed by: John Frankenheimer
Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, Skipp Sudduth, Michael Lonsdale, Jan Triska, Jonathan Pryce, Ron Perkins, Féodor Atkine, Katarina Witt, Bernard Bloch, Dominic Gugliametti, Alan Beckworth
IMDB raintg: 7.1
My rating: 8.0 ********

Continue reading “Ronin”

National Treasure

National Treasure (2004)I am a bit slow on catching up big movies lately, but I’m trying my best. Today I finally watched “National Treasure“.

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Genres: Adventure, Action
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Plummer, David Dayan Fisher, Stewart Finlay-McLennan, Oleg Taktarov, Stephen A. Pope, Annie Parisse, Mark Pellegrino, Armando Riesco, Erik King
IMDB raintg: 6.6
My rating: 6.5 ******½

Continue reading “National Treasure”

The Patriot Games

Watched “Patriot Games” on DVD. This is a really good action movie. The old type of action, though. The kind where bad guys piss off the good guy, shoot him, threaten his family, etc, and than this good guy stands up and goes to kick some bad guy’s butt.

Apart from being very predictable and going along the usual lines, this film is very good. It has a good story, wraps everything around CIA and politics, which looks very timely, has a bunch of celebraties (Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones) and it does provide for a good entertainment.

I’ll rate this film as 7 out of 10 as it is everything it was supposed to be. Worth a rent surely.