Archiv für den Monat: Mai 2012

Act of Valor

A team of Navy SEALs is being dispatched to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent from a jungle camp in Costa Rica. While being successful, this is only the start into a series of missions that will lead the elite team to targets all over the world to uncover a terrorist network.

A short synopsis, but there isn’t that much story to start with, so I could easily spoil the whole movie with a few sentences. I also can’t mention the actors, because the SEALs were played by actual SEALs, meaning that (beside staying anonymous) the acting is mostly poor, the characters are swallow (one of them having a pregnant wife is as deep as it gets) and hard to distinguish (wearing uniforms doesn’t make that easier). So does this movie suck? Well, if you expect story and acting, yes and you can stop reading here. But if you can overlook that, maybe you will enjoy this movie. The photography is really, really nice. Well placed views and angles, making it almost eye-candy, if it wasn’t about shooting people. And of course the action is great and if you love action, you will love this flick. From that point of view, it was a great idea to let SEALs play the SEALs, because it feels natural to them, making the action believable (something you often miss). That also makes it more realistic, since they don’t have to figure out how they would behave in a real life situation, since this is something they do for a living. But of course, there is the obvious downer of it being an very patriotic movie. Not that I hate patriotism, but if it turns into a 110 minute commercial for the armed forces, you can get annoyed a bit. And somehow I do believe this is one of the reasons, why the movie is so successful in the US, beside being a mindless action movie with great pictures. Oh and of course, Tom Clancy had his fingers in this.

Links: IMDB: Act of Valor, IMDB: This review

The Sitter

Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) is a college dropout, who doesn’t do sh*t and lives with his mother. She wants to go on a date, but a problem occurs; her double date partners don’t have a baby sitter. A problem that can be solved with the reluctant Noah. Arriving at the scene, he’s confronted with the timid, but handsome Slater (Max Records), the wannabe it-girl Blithe (Landry Bender) and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), an adoptee with a fell streak. The kids haven’t even started to ruin Noah’s evening, when he gets a call from his “girlfriend”, who’s at a party and needs some coke. Baited with the chance for intercourse, he loads the kids into the family minivan to meet up with Karl (Sam Rockwell), an artistic individual in the narcotics industry.

Mediocre at best. Not a complete waste of time, but still hardly worth it. Let’s have a look at some details, though. My first thought of the movie was: Jonah Hill is getting too old for these roles. Not that those deadbeat character comedies rely on credibility or have an age limit, but still, it’s getting hard to believe. The kids are okay, well they’re kids. And each of them has a small little problem, which gets solved during the course of the movie, to give them reason to be there, aside being part of the main story. But that’s it, every time a small conversation and it’s over. Most of the characters are semi-entertaining, with Sam Rockwell being the one that sticks out the most, even more than Jonah Hill, which is bad for a leading character. Which brings us to the main question of a comedy review: Is it entertaining? Yes, somewhat. You don’t find yourself laughing all the time, but it does mostly have a slightly funny feeling. Then again, it’s lacking originality and you might just smirk, because you knew what was coming.

Deutscher Titel: Bad Sitter
Links: IMDB: The Sitter, IMDB: This Review

Our Idiot Brother

Ned (Ned Rochlin) is an idealistic and all around nice guy. He’s just selling his organic dynamic harvests on a market, when he’s being approached by a cop having a bad day, looking for some weed. Ned offers him some and since the cop won’t accept it for free, takes some money and therefore goes straight to jail. Eight months later, he’s released on parole for good behaviour, but his hippie girlfriend now has a new guy and will even keep his dog. So he needs a new place to live and stays with his mother. But since that’s not working out for him, he goes to crash with his sisters… and messes up their lives.

A comedy drama with several storylines connected through Ned. Now, unlike the mix of comedy and drama I saw a few weeks ago (50/50), this one is focussing more on the comedy part. Actually this is like a romantic comedy, that’s stronger on the funny side and swaps the romantic for drama, while also keeping some of those romantics. Complicated? No, it’s just to show how indifferent I am about this movie. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s not really good either. It’s nice to watch, but doesn’t show anything new. Actually you know the side-stories from many other romantic comedies, just shortened down to the basic stuff. Again, that makes me indifferent, for it makes those stories more bearable, but then again it’s leaving things out and still makes it predictable. So my general recommendation for this movie is: Meh.

Link: IMDB: Our Idiot Brother

Lockout

Snow (Guy Pearce) is a governmental agent, accused of killing another governmental operative and stealing information from him. He actually tried to save that information and passed them on to his partner Mace (Tim Plester). Each one tries to get away on their own, but soon they both are arrested. After futile attempts to squeeze the information from Snow, he’s convicted to 30 years in stasis on MS: One, a maximum security prison in Earth’s lower orbit. Meanwhile, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), the daughter of the president of the United States of America, is paying a visit to MS One. She’s concerned that the stasis is causing mental illness to the prisoners. But the interview with Hydell (Joseph Gilgun), a rapist and murder, goes horribly wrong, leading to a prison-wide breakout. Among the fugitives is Alex (Vincent Regan), who takes on the lead and starts to blackmail the government, threatening to kill the hostages, not knowing who Emilie is. The government on the other hand, knows. That rules out military action, leaving only one plan: To send one man in, to try to rescue her. But who is qualified for this, while also being valiant and/or stupid enough? Snow is. And with the promise to find his partner Mace on MS: One, and with him a lead to the lost information, he’s even willing to do this.

The movie starts out as a spy thriller, at least looks like it, but soon turns into a mixture of Escape from New York and Die Hard in space. The story is about as deep and predictable, but this ain’t the kind of movie you watch for the story. Instead, you watch it for some fun and action. And this is what you get. While the action in the beginning (spy thriller part) is the best of the movie, you can enjoy some shootings and explosions later. The characters on the other hand are very swallow; especially the main protagonist is very one-sided. He’s making up for his lack of emotion with funny comebacks and one-liners, though. And by that I mean about every single line he had in his script. But it’s okay; it’s not turning the movie into a comedy, but still adds a good part of fun to it, just gets a bit annoying every once in a while. I should also mention that this is a Luc Besson movie, which means that it’s quite good for what it is. But a thing that really bugged me was the pace. Things often go fast from one thing to the next, so you get the feeling things are left out or the movie could’ve at least been better with a few more minutes spread over the entire flick, just to slow it down a bit here and there. This is also one of the reasons they actually blow the only semi-deep moment that tries to carry a message. Maybe you have to wait for the Directors Cut to get this. Which brings me to the conclusion: If you like to see a good action flick on the big screen, go for it, it’s really enjoyable. If you just add flicks like that to your time killer list, wait for the DVD and hope there’s a Director’s Cut version of it.

Links: IMDB: Lockout, IMDB: This Review