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.

The Last Samurai

I am not a big fan of Tom Cruise.  In fact, I passively try to avoid his movies. He is not a very good actor and there is something negative about the guy.  When I saw the trailer for the “The Last Samurai” in the movies back a few years ago, I didn’t like it, and missed the movie on purpose.  I though it would be some historical non-sense about an American getting into Japan, learning centuries of samurai traditions and skills in a couple of month and then showing them how real people fight.  Or something along those lines.

Today I rented the film because I was really bored, because there weren’t much else to rent, and because I thought the time has come to finally watch it.  Once again it seems I missed watching a really good movie on a big screen.  Boomer!

There are quite a few things that would have made the experience so much better for if I went to see it in the cinema.  First of all, the battle scenes and all the small fights.  Secondly, some really amazing scenery and photography.  The film was shot mostly in New Zealand, which has been proven many times to be one of the most beautiful countries.  At least, on the big screen.  Thirdly, this film has an excellent soundtrack and it would have been a bigger pleasure listening to it in something other than a pair of cheap headphones.

I also really liked the story in the film.  Not that it shows something that I haven’t seen or heard of before, but it rather reminds of quite a few subjects which are very good to be reminded of.  The film has its way around such topics as honor, discipline, loyalty and friendship.  These should be talked about more often in the movies for the sake of making the world a better place. (Yes, the whole world, including yours truly.)

Being a complete moron in history, cultures, and traditions, I can’t judge the historical truth of the film.  However, Wikipedia, as usual, has an excellent article which describes how the story is relevant to the things that took place in real life.

Overall: 9 out of 10.

A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men” is the film that I’ve seen many times, but never blogged about it. Therefor I could never remembered what it was about and had to refresh my memory with yet another watching.

Directed by: Rob Reiner
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pollak, James Marshall, J.T. Walsh, Christopher Guest, J.A. Preston, Matt Craven, Wolfgang Bodison, Xander Berkeley, John M. Jackson, Noah Wyle
IMDB raintg: 7.5
My rating: 7.0 *******

This is one of those predictable Hollywood movies that nicely mixes together law and courtroom them with military and adds a personal drama. The film would have been lost on the shelves of history if it wasn’t for the exceptional cast.

Almost every face in the film is familiar. Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pollak, J.T.Walsh, Noah Wyle… the list goes on. Even Cuba Goodings Jr. appears in a short cameo. These are the people who delivered excellent performance and not only saved the film but made it very capturing. Yes, even Tom Cruise was good. And you don’t here me saying this that often.

War of the Worlds

One of the good things about having a grandma around is that Olga and I can go to the movies again. We wanted to see “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in the K-Cineplex, but they had some power problems (coincidence? I think not), so we made our way back to Rio and watched “War of the Worlds“.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Rick Gonzalez, Yul Vazquez, Lenny Venito, Lisa Ann Walter, Gene Barry, David Alan Basche, Michael Brownlee, Camillia Sanes, Marlon Young, John Eddins, Peter Gerety
IMDB raintg: 6.9
My rating: 5.5 *****½

Continue reading “War of the Worlds”

Born on the Fourth of July

Born on the Fourth of July” was just on TV. It is a rather simple and shallow movie about Vietnam war and its veterans. It is also, supposedly, about how different things make people change. Like losing legs, for example. Or killing babies and stuff.

As I said, the movie is very simplistic. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it is because the film is a bit old (1989). Still. Single story line. Simple relationships. Simple cause-effect kind of happennings. Maybe someone a little bit more experienced than Tom Cruise could make it better. Playboy face and absolute lack of emotions on his behalf does not add anything to the movie.

On the phylosophical part: it is interesting that some people realize that war is bad for humanity without any external influence. Some need to watch a movie about it. Some need to talk to the veteran. Others need to actually go to war to see things for themselves. But that’s not all. There are some people, who need to lose something on the war, like a friend or an arm. These are not that bad. There are those who, even after shooting and sufferring, don’t realize how bad war is for them. They still talk some patriotic bull and everything. And I am not talking about an enemy invading your village. I am talking about American presense in Vietnam. Or Iraq these days. Or Russian presense in Afghanistan. Or Chechnya these days. War is crap. You don’t have to try it to know. Like heroin.

Anyway, the movie sucked pretty much, so I’ll give it 3 out of 10. And an evil smile towards all Cruise’ fans. :)