Push - Wow, this was way better than I thought it would be! I went in only hoping to see some cool telekinetic fights. I was pretty afraid it would be another Jumper, which I went into hoping just to see cool teleporty fights (but it was so bad otherwise, it made it hard to enjoy). This movie makes you wait a loooong time for the fights, almost everything cool comes at the end and you saw part of in the trailer. What surprised me about the movie is I totally bought into the mythos of the world. The different powers, the agency that creates/restricts them, the "free agents", all that, it was pretty cool. It was kind of full of holes, and the plot is not spectactular. It's seriously formulaic, point a to b to c, no surprises. It's also really wordy and there's so much setup and story pushing that you don't get nearly as much action as I had hoped for. The acting was just average superhero movie acting. But between what action there was, decent effects to go with it, and a world I surprisingly was into, I dug it. Seriously, though, nazi origin? Whhhhhyy?
Taken - Heh, Liam Neeson is a bad ass. This movie holds no surprises for you, it is exactly what the trailer sounds like, but it's pretty cool. The first 25 minutes exist solely to introduce you to his badassery, and give him a reason to go ballistic. The rest is beating the living shit out of half of paris to get his daughter back, and it's pretty awesome. It's not that the action is really so cool, or the moves are so great, or the chases are so original, they aren't, they are good, but nothing you haven't seen in Bourne, Bond, or whatever. But there is a level of viscious no holds barred-ness that makes it pretty damn cool. Oh, and I didn't realize that Luc Besson, who did the 5th Element (glee) and who did this, also produced the transporter films. Huh, I guess that's why I liked it.
Stepbrothers - This movie is verrrrry hit and miss. The premise is obviously dumb, and the whole trajectory of the plot is so offputtingly dumb that it's hard to pay attention to the jokes. The jokes are there, though, and pretty funny. I laughed out loud plenty of times, there are moments that are really hilarious. So I can't decide what I feel about it. If you put together a 30-45 minute clip reel of the hilarity, it would be huge. But is it worth watching the rest? Eh, if you are bored on a weekday night, you can defintely have a worse time.
London - Wow, what a piece of crap. The first 75% of this movie is just pothead rambling about god and pain and experience. Except not in a pothead style, more in an angry jacked up coke head style. It's totally obnoxious and amateur. At the end there's a tiny kernel of worthwhileness. A messed up relationship that will always be messed up but that's hard to stay away from. But that's not particularly well done either, it's just the only positive thing I had to say. I got this one cuz Jason Statham was in it, but all he did was scream and yell, completely stupid. Movie sucked.
Turn It Up - Huh, 0 for 2 so far. This, instead, is an amateur gangster movie. The story itself isn't all that bad, if unoriginal, but the acting is atrocious. Seriously painful to watch, espeically by the lead. There's basically nothing worthwhile in this one. Rented this one because of Statham too, and it was a bad choice again. He basically just played his gangster character, but without any of the writing or style or character to his gangster OR action movies, it was pointless.
Akira - Finally a decent movie this weekend! I've never seen this, and it's one of thsoe big classic animes, so I figured I should. It's pretty good, it's pretty japanese. Mystical energies and lots of screaming and surprised faces and hair-blasting explosions. I can't say that if I didn't know it was, that i would have pegged it as a classic. It's pretty good, but it's not amazing, I would have called it a standard japanese epic. It's hard to put it in its context, since its 20 years old, maybe it was different back then, maybe I've played too many final fantasy games. The animation is certainly 80s, looks like it could have been a Voltron cartoon. I don't know, I feel like I should have been more amazed than I was. But maybe it's just one of those transitional movies that if I was paying attention in 1988 I would have been blown away by this new style of storytelling.
Dark City - I actually really liked this movie. It had come up during a rewatch of the Matrix, so I was afraid it would, unfairly or not, seem like a poor repreoduction of its theme which wasn't original even before the matrix and is kind of played out now. But I thought it was a pretty interesting way to do it, a little more focused to excuse its potential lack of broad scope. Despite knowning the twist (and I'm not sure it really ever was one, even originally), it was tense and interesting to watch. The script is good, and everyone does a good job, even keifer sutherland with his weird squinty-eyed funny-breathing half-a-hunchback doctor, even jennifer connely which is the first time I've ever said that. It's pretty cool, I like it.
Bottle Shock - Well that was kinda weird. This is the story of the 1976 France vs. California wine competition in which CA won, pretty much shocking the shit out of everyone. The subject material is great, of course, I didn't know the details of the story (I didn't even know about the story until the movie came out). The movie itself isn't fantastic. It's got a really weird quirkiness to it that seems totally out of place. It's not awful, it's just weird, the opening scene has this plunky little quirky music fand a basically unintelligible conversation both due to its volume and its out of context content. The focus of the movie ends up being on the nasty hippy son and the grumpy crotchety ass father, which turns a good story into an average movie.
High Tension - In the end, this is a pretty average slasher movie. I think the hook was supposed to be a good main character. In that she's not your average dumb dunce blonde, she's kinda buff, kinda ballsy, she generally (say, 75% of the time) doesn't make stupid horror movie choices. And I guess that was good to see, but it didn't make the movie. The slashery gore is pretty normal except for one part that's just stupid. The last part of the movie is something else that I admittedly wasn't expecting, but it doesn't save the movie either. I guess it makes the movie slightly more memorable over an average slasher, but that's it.
Righteous Kill - Man, I thought this was going to be better. I thought the premise was not to play games, I thought it was a situation where the viewer knows the story and the fun is seeing how it got there. Halfway through (maybe I'm slow) it becomes apparent that that's not the point, they do want to play games, and it looks like its going to be a lame one. Then they play another trick that I was defintely not expecting that was very cool. So I'm mixed, I don't like the first trick and I'm worried they think it was clever, but I do like the second trick a lot. De Niro and Pacino do well anyway, so do the ancillary people. I guess, after typing it out, I do like the movie, but it wasn't fantastic. And the end was too long.