Archive for Anthony Hopkins

Transformers: The Last Knight

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 484 AD, King Arthur’s wizard Merlin forges an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers who have hidden on Earth. The knights give Merlin an alien staff, and combine into a dragon to help Arthur triumph over the Saxons.

In the present day, most of the governments on Earth have declared Transformers illegal, and the multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) has been formed to eliminate the alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime (who left the planet to search for his creator), new Transformers continue to arrive regularly; the newest ship to arrive crash-lands in Chicago, where it is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, and her Transformer companions Sqweeks and Canopy, but Canopy is killed by the TRF in the process. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager arrive and help them escape, but Yeager is unable to save the Transformer, Steelbane, in the ship. Before he dies, Steelbane attaches a metallic talisman to Yeager’s body—an act observed by Decepticon Barricade, who reports to his leader Megatron.

On the far reaches of the Solar System, Optimus Prime discovers that the Transformers’ home world, Cybertron, now disassembled into pieces, is heading directly for Earth. Optimus finds the being in control of Cybertron’s movement, a sorceress named Quintessa, who professes to be the maker he is searching for. The staff which the knights gave to Merlin was stolen from Quintessa, and using her powers, she places Optimus under her control, dubs him “Nemesis Prime,” and charges him with recovering it. Earth, she reveals, is actually Cybertron’s “ancient enemy” Unicron, and she intends to drain his life force so that Cybertron can be restored.

TRF member and former Autobot ally William Lennox brokers a deal between the TRF and Megatron, releasing from their custody a squad of Decepticons who will help Megatron recover the talisman from Yeager. The Decepticons hunt Yeager to his junkyard hideout in South Dakota, where he and many of the surviving Transformers are holed up. During the chaos of the ensuing battle, Yeager is approached by Cogman, the Transformer envoy of British Lord Sir Edmund Burton, who takes him and Bumblebee to England to meet his master. There, Yeager also meets Viviane Wembly, an Oxford professor, who Burton has had the Autobot Hot Rod kidnap. Burton explains that he is the last living member of the “Witwiccan” order, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to guarding the secret history of Transformers on Earth. He also reveals that Viviane is the last descendant of Merlin, and must find and use his staff to prevent the impending destruction of Earth by Cybertron.

Fleeing the TRF, Yeager and Wembly follow clues left by the latter’s father that lead them, Bumblebee, and Cogman to take the submarine HMS Alliance into the sea to find the Cybertronian Knights’ sunken ship, in which they discover the tomb of Merlin and the staff. Wembly activates the staff, and the ship rises to the surface; the TRF arrives to confront the group, but several knights awaken and attack them. The attack is cut short by the arrival of the mind-controlled Optimus, but fortunately, when the normally-mute Bumblebee is finally able to speak, the sound of his voice is enough to break Prime free of Quintessa’s control. A moment later, Megatron arrives to steal the staff; he too has been working for Quintessa all along. As Megatron flees with his prize, the knights attack Optimus for his betrayal, but Yeager, whose talisman becomes the sword Excalibur, stops the fight. Realizing he is the last knight, the knights yield to Yeager, who urges Optimus to protect the Earth once more.

Megatron delivers the staff to Quintessa, who begins draining the life force of Earth/Unicron via Stonehenge. When the military intervenes, Megatron shoots Burton, who dies with Cogman at his side. Using a ship procured by the Autobot Daytrader, the Autobots arrive to join the fight, landing on Cybertron and battling against the Decepticons and Quintessa’s Infernocons. Optimus and his Autobots, backed up by the knights in their dragon form, vanquish their many foes. Optimus defeats Megatron while Bumblebee appears to slay Quintessa. Wembly removes the staff, stopping Cybertron’s destruction of Earth, but leaving the two planets connected. Optimus declares that humans and Transformers must work together to rebuild their worlds, and sends a message calling any surviving Autobots to come home.

In a mid-credits scene, scientists inspect one of the horns of Unicron, which is extending out of the desert. Quintessa, who has survived and is disguised as a human, arrives and offers them a way to destroy Unicron.

REVIEW:

Can you believe it has been 10 yrs since the first Transformers was released? 5 years later, this franchise is still going, though there is some debate about whether it should or not. With this 5th film, Transformers: The Last Knight, the trailers promise something darker and more character driven. Did they tell the truth? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English Lord, and an Oxford Professor.

What did I like?

Continuity. In the first few films, outside of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream and a couple of others, we had a new lineup of Transformers in every picture. Starting with the last picture, Transformers: Age of Extinction, we seem to be keeping with a steady lineup, only bringing in one or two others…at least on the Autobot side. The Decepticons were all new, except for a returning Barricade, who was last seen running away from the climactic battle in the first film.

Tone. The trailers and all the talk leading up to this film led us to believe that this was going to be the darkest, most serious film in the franchise. In the opening scenes, it seems as if that were going to be the case until we meet Merlin. This iteration of history’s greatest wizard sets the tone for the whole film, a tone filled with comedic action, rather than dark drama. Personally, I prefer it this way. For goodness sakes, this is a film about giant robots that transform into cars and jets. Why on Earth would we want it to be serious?

Welcome back. Barricade isn’t the only returnee. Josh Duhamel makes his return, after last being seen in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. His character seems a bit more battle hardened and conflicted this time out, as he is having to work with the TRF, a group that exists to eradicate all the Transformers. The military seems to still be on their side but working with them out of necessity. Tyrese Gibson was also set to return, but there was a schedule conflict with filming The Fate of the Furious.

What didn’t I like?

History lesson. There seems to be a trend lately of putting fantasy characters into historical events. Wonder Woman showed us that she was in World War I, X- Men Origins: Wolverine (as well as The Wolverine) placed Logan in every war in history. Now, it appears as if the Transformers, who we saw arrive in 2007, have been here since the Middle Ages, if not before (according to this film…we won’t go into the convoluted history of the previous films). My question is why? There was no need to put them there, other than to make it convenient for the plot. I mean, seriously, what did they have to do with Frederick Douglass?!?

Human element. I know I said this about the first film, and maybe some of the others, but there is just too much emphasis placed on the humans in a movie called TRANSFORMERS!!! This is no more apparent than in the amount of time spent trying to develop our new female characters, one of which I suspect was chosen based solely on her resemblance to Megan Fox. Also, the final battle should have been an epic confrontation of clashing, twisted metal, but instead, we get humans jumping out of airplanes and trying to get a date. One more thing, when “Nemesis” Prime comes and Bumblebee takes him on, there is no reason for Mark Wahlberg to get involved in the battle. Seriously, what can a human do against one as powerful as Optimus Prime?

Who are you? The only new Autobot introduced is Hot Rod who, though he’s living in England, somehow has a French accent. He has this cool ability to stop time, but we never really get to know him outside of that. He’s not the only one we don’t get to become acquainted with. Megatron has a crew that he asks to be released in exchange for helping the TRF (no clue how it is that these guys are in “jail” and Megatron is just running free). These guys aren’t given anything to do and most are killed in the next 10 minutes! So, instead of giving us a cool new Autobot to get to know and some interesting Decepticons, this time is spent with the schizophrenic C3PO rip-off, Cogman. There is some comedy there, but not worth the trade off. Actually, he reminds me of Alan Tudyk’s character from a previous film, I forgot which one, Dutch.

Final verdict on Transformers: The Last Knight? It makes a valiant attempt to keep this franchise relevant, but truth be told, other than die-hard Transformers fans, no in the US is clamoring for these films. Most people seems to hate them for whatever reason. Personally, I think a new director would do wonders for this franchise. Props to Michael Bay for bringing them to big screen a decade ago, something never thought possible, but now it is time for someone else to take over, preferably a fan of the original cartoon. With that said, this is actually probably the 2nd or 3rd best film in the franchise in my book. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do, but I wouldn’t get in a rush to see it. The theater I was in this afternoon was mostly empty, so I’m sure there will be plenty of seats for you.

4 out of 5 stars

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Noah

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

As a young boy, Noah witnesses his father, Lamech, killed by a young Tubal-cain. Many years later an adult Noah is living with his wife Naameh and their sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After seeing a flower grow instantly from the ground and being haunted by dreams of a great flood, Noah takes them to visit his grandfather Methuselah.

They encounter a group of people recently killed and adopt the lone survivor, a girl named Ila. Noah and his family are chased by the murderers but seek refuge with the fallen angels known as the “Watchers”, confined on Earth as stone golems (nephilim) for helping humans banished from the Garden of Eden. Methuselah gives Noah a seed from Eden and tells Noah that he was chosen for a reason. Returning to his tent that night, Noah plants the seed into the ground. The Watchers arrive the next morning and debate whether they should help Noah until they see water spout from the spot where Noah planted the seed. Once a forest grows quickly, the Watchers agree to help Noah and his family build an ark.

After birds fly to the ark, Tubal-cain arrives with his followers and confronts Noah. Noah defies Tubal-cain and remarks that there is no escape for the line of Cain. Tubal-cain retreats and decides to build weapons to defeat the Watchers and take the ark. As the ark nears completion, animals of various species enter the ark and are put to sleep with incense.

With Ila having become enamored of Shem, Noah goes to a nearby settlement to find wives for Ham and Japheth, but upon witnessing the settlers’ cannibalism, he abandons his effort and begins believing that the creator wants all of humanity dead. Back at the ark, he tells his family that he will not seek wives for his younger sons. After the flood they will be the last humans and there will be no new human generations.

Devastated that he will be alone his entire life, Ham runs into the forest. Naameh begs Noah to reconsider but, when he will not, she goes to Methuselah for help. Later, in the forest, Ila encounters Methuselah who cures her infertility. Meanwhile, Ham, searching for a wife on his own, befriends the refugee Na’el.

After rain starts falling, Tubal-cain becomes angry that he was not chosen to be saved. The followers of Tubal-cain make a run for the ark. Noah finds Ham in the forest and forces Ham to save himself but leave Na’el to die when she is caught in an animal trap. Noah’s family enter the ark except for Methuselah, who remains in the forest and is swept away by the rushing waters. The Watchers hold off Tubal-cain and his followers as long as possible, sacrificing themselves to protect the ark from the mob and ascending to heaven. As the flood drowns the remaining humans, an injured Tubal-cain climbs onto the ark and solicits Ham, playing on anger toward Noah for allowing Na’el to die.

Ila discovers that she is pregnant as the rains stop and begs the creator to let the child live. Noah interprets the ending of the rain to mean he must ensure the extinction of humans and, against his wife’s protests, resolves that, if the child is a girl, he will kill her. Months pass, and Ila and Shem build a raft to escape Noah’s resolve, but Noah discovers and burns it. Ila gives birth to twin girls. Tubal-cain, Ham and Shem attack Noah. As they fight, the ark strikes a mountain and Ham kills Tubal-cain. Noah prepares to stab Ila’s twins, but he spares them upon looking at his granddaughters and only feeling love.

Upon exiting the ark, Noah goes into isolation in a nearby cave and Ham leaves his kin to live alone. Having reconciled at the behest of Ila, Noah blesses the family as the beginning of a new human race and all witness an immense rainbow.

REVIEW:

We all know the story of Noah and the Ark. It is one of the first stories told to us as children, especially if you’re from a church-going family. Noah is the latest attempt by a studio to ride on this growing wave of religious propaganda and dark retellings. Does it work? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

This ambitious adaptation of the story of Noah depicts the visions that led him to voice dire prophesies of apocalypse and to build an ark to survive. As he labors to save his family, Noah asks for help from a band of angels called the Watchers.

What did I like?

Ark. The Ark is one of the artifacts I’m surprised hasn’t been found in some form of another, either in real life or some expedition in the movies. What is even more shocking to me is how few times we’ve seen this massive structure on screen. Counting this film, a couple of other occurrences come to mind, Evan Almighty and the “Pomp and Circumstance” segment from Fantasia 2000. I’m sure someone out there is saying, “what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that while the design isn’t what we have seen in pictures, it is a huge enough vessel to carry every species of animal, as well as Noah and his family quite comfortably for unknown period of time, as per the direction given to Noah.

Flood. We’ve all heard of the great flood and how God used it to basically start over with mankind because they had become so evil and uncaring (not unlike today, if you think about it). In all the tellings, I do not believe I have ever seen one that shows the suffering of the people under all the water. It is quite chilling, especially for what is widely considered a children’s story

Drunk. A character flaw of Noah that is often glossed over is that he was a mean drunk. Well, when you have 2hr + film, you have some time to explore that, even if ever so briefly. No, I am not condoning this behavior, but it does make Noah more human than the superhero we are led to believe he is through Sunday school stories. Seeing him at his low points, watching the anger fester and boil, and then seeing how he handles the repercussions are interesting parts of Russel Crowe’s performance, I’ll give you that.

What didn’t I like?

Watchers. I’m no bible scholar, far from it, as a matter of fact, so correct me if I’m wrong, but the Watchers are not in there. What are the Watchers? Apparently, they are fallen angels who have now taken the form of stone golems that protect the innocent or something like that. I’m not too clear as to what purpose they truly serve is. Now, it would be easy to sit here and say that they aren’t from the source material, but that would be too easy and there is something much bigger that needs to be brought up. These things were created to bring in the young male demographic. The ones that are into all the hardcore action, blow stuff up kind of film. They weren’t introduced to enhance the film or any of that nonsense.

Animals. If you remember nothing from the story of Noah’s Ark, you do know that he had 2 of every animal on the ark. That is like the one thing that was a must. Well, there were other things, but most of us read this in Sunday school and never really went any deeper than what we learned back then. Anyway, I saw some animals get on the boat, but I don’t recall seeing them line up 2 by 2. Granted, I am still under the weather and dozed off in a couple of places, so it is possible this scene missed my gaze, but I don’t think so. This director seemed to want to keep the focus on Noah and his family, which is fine, but one cannot just ignore the animals or how they were supposed to have come on the boat.

Beowulf. If you can believe it or not, there actually is a villain in this film. No, it isn’t the flood or some wild animal causing trouble, but rather some guy that is a descendent of Cain (he of Cain and Abel fame).  Like the Watchers, I believe he was added in to flesh out runtime and create conflict. That being said, Ray Winstone does a masterful job of keeping him just the right amount of insane. I do have issue with his voice. Every time he talked, I couldn’t help but see Beowulf

Noah is another entry into the studios’ attempt to sap all the joy and happiness from everything in our childhood and make it real and depressing. Darren Arronofsky is one of those directors who doesn’t seem to have every been happy, so he shows it in his film. That said, this may actually be one of his lighter performances. No, we’re not going to see dragons, unicorns, etc,. laughing as their fate is sealed, although that would have been better than sitting through this boring excuse for a character piece that we got anyway. Do I recommend it? No, because for all it tries to do, it just adds more useless things that are nothing more than filler for a film that should have bee oct. 07  I’m sure there are those will eat this stuff up, but I am not one of them.

3 out of 5 stars

Revisited: Beowulf

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Beowulf (Ray Winstone) is a legendary Geatish warrior who travels to Denmark with his band of soldiers, including his best friend, Wiglaf (Brendan Gleeson). They travel in response to the call of King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins), who needs a hero to slay a monster called Grendel (Crispin Glover), a hideously disfigured troll-like creature with superhuman strength. Grendel attacks Hrothgar’s mead hall, Heorot, whenever the Danes hold a celebration there, and Hrothgar was forced to close the hall. Upon arriving, Beowulf immediately becomes attracted to Hrothgar’s wife, Queen Wealtheow (Robin Wright Penn), who does not love her husband and reciprocates Beowulf’s interest.

Beowulf and his men celebrate in Heorot to lure Grendel out. When the beast does attack, Beowulf engages him unarmed and naked, determining that since Grendel fights with no weapon or armor he shall face him as equal. During the melee, Beowulf discovers that Grendel has hypersensitive hearing, which is why he interrupts Hrothgar’s celebrations – the noise they make is physically painful to him. After his eardrum is ruptured by Beowulf, he attempts to escape (having shrunk in size due to the injury). Beowulf manages to restrain Grendel and severs his arm using the door. In thanks for freeing his kingdom from the monster, Hrothgar gives Beowulf his golden drinking horn, which commemorates Hrothgar’s victory over the mighty dragon Fafnir.

Returning to his cave, the dying Grendel tells his mother what was done to him and by whom, and she swears revenge. She travels to Heorot in the night and slaughters Beowulf’s men while they were sleeping. Hrothgar tells both Beowulf and Wiglaf, who had been sleeping outside the hall during the attack, that it was the work of Grendel’s mother, the last of the Water Demons, who was thought by Hrothgar to have left the land. Beowulf and Wiglaf travel to the cave of Grendel’s mother to slay her. Only Beowulf enters the cave where he encounters Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie), who takes the form of a beautiful woman. She offers to make him the greatest king who ever lived if he will agree to give her a son to replace Grendel and let her keep the golden drinking horn. Beowulf agrees to the deal and returns, claiming to have killed her. Hrothgar, however, realizes the truth after hearing Beowulf describe her as a “hag” and a “witch.” He tells Beowulf indirectly that, much like Beowulf, he was also seduced by Grendel’s mother; Grendel was the result of their tryst. Hrothgar names Beowulf his successor as king, much to the dismay of his royal advisor, Unferth (John Malkovich), who was hoping to take the throne. Hrothgar then commits suicide by jumping from the castle parapet onto the beach below. A wave momentarily engulfs Hrothgar’s body, there is a golden flash underwater, and the body is gone.

Years later, the elderly Beowulf is married to Wealtheow. Over the years they had grown apart, husband and wife in name alone. Beowulf takes a mistress, Ursula (Alison Lohman) but his tryst with Grendel’s mother has left him sterile. One day, Unferth’s slave Cain (Dominic Keating) finds the golden drinking horn in a swamp near Grendel’s cave and brings it back to the kingdom. That night, a nearby village is destroyed by a dragon, which leaves Unferth alive in order to deliver a message to King Beowulf: the dragon is Beowulf’s son born to Grendel’s mother. Removing the horn has voided the agreement between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother, who has now sent their son, the dragon, to destroy his kingdom.

Beowulf and Wiglaf go to the cave once again and Beowulf goes into the cave alone. When Grendel’s mother appears, Beowulf gives her the golden horn to convince her to stop the attack. Grendel’s mother considers it too late for any kind of agreement. She releases the dragon to attack Beowulf’s kingdom again. Beowulf goes to great lengths to stop the monster, even severing his own arm, and ultimately kills the dragon by ripping its heart out. The dragon’s fall mortally wounds Beowulf, but he lives long enough to watch the carcass of the dragon transform into the humanoid body of his son before it is washed out to sea. Beowulf insists on speaking the truth about his affair with Grendel’s mother but Wiglaf insists on keeping Beowulf’s legacy intact. As the new king, Wiglaf gives Beowulf a Norse funeral and watches as Grendel’s mother appears and gives Beowulf a final kiss before his burning ship sinks into the sea. Wiglaf sees the golden horn in the sand while Grendel’s mother floats in the sea, looking at him seductively. The movie ends ambiguously with Wiglaf holding the horn and staring back at her.

REVIEW:

In high school and college, I was made to study the epic poem Beowulf. While I found it interesting, admittedly, I didn’t do too well in those units. It wasn’t until years later, when this film was released that I developed a real respect and understanding of the material. I almost wished I could go back and take those classes over again…almost.

What is this about?

Robert Zemeckis directs this film adaptation of the longest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem, an epic tale concerning a 6th-century Scandinavian warrior named Beowulf and his mission to slay the manlike ogre Grendel, a descendant of Cain.

What did I like?

Animation. Unlike other films that use this CGI-live action hybrid, the characters in this one actually look alive, as opposed to creepy dead behind the eyes creations of a mad scientist. When your characters actually look alive, then they can do so much more. You can show the pain and heartbreak of a betrayed queen, the lust of a young maiden for her king, the sensual glance of Grendel’s mother (a perfect rendering of Angelina Jolie, btw…circa the Tomb Raider days), etc. On top of all this, the action in this is done almost as well, if not better, than some of the stuff we see in live action today. Just watch the fight with Grendel or Beowulf’s tale of his battle with the sea monster and you’ll see all you need, trust me.

Score. Some of my favorite films are the epic adventures from the late 50s and 60s. Most of these films had two things in common. The genius stop-motion of Ray Herryhausen and brilliant scores, most notably would have to be Jason and the Argonauts. In that same vein, we have here an epic story that is more than worthy of an epic score that fits the tone and scope of what is happening, and that is exactly what our ears are treated to.

A hero’s entrance. Beowulf’s entrance is truly that of a hero. After the initial massacre at Heorot, cut to Beowulf on his ship. The guy is what you would expect him to look like, big, strong, etc. He jokes around with his friend, Wiglaf and then inspires his men to keep rowing, storm or not. While Beowulf didn’t enter the film with his sword a-blazin’, for lack of a better term, it is still a majestic entrance for our titular hero.

What didn’t I like?

Changes. If I’m not mistaken, there is no actual text of the original poem, so at this point, transcribers are changing all sorts of thing in this story. However, even with the changes they make, most things still stay the same. That is not the case with this film, though. Most of the changes I can live with, as they were done for film and time sake, such as Beowulf becoming king of Denmark, rather than his homeland. There are things that just aren’t right, though, such as Grendel’s mother attempting to seduce Wiglaf as the film ends, Unferth being a Christian, Grendel’s mother, etc. Ok, I have no problem with how they portrayed Grendel’s mother on-screen, just her character. HAHA! Seriously, though, these changes were a bit more than what was perhaps necessary, in my opinion.

Queen’s right. Queen Wealthow is a loyal mate to both her cheating husbands, Hrothgar and Beowulf. Hell, Beowulf does it twice, even if the first time is before they were married. This brings to question why she sticks around. A beautiful woman like that deserves better than to be cheated on over and over again.

Just keep swimming. The race that Beowulf has at sea is told through a flashback, but why? This is arguably one of the most beautifully animated and exciting scenes in the film and it is nothing but a flashback. Seems to me that this should have been given more of an actual sequence in the film, perhaps even use it as Beowulf’s entrance, since Unferth had apparently heard talk of the tale.

In theaters, I actually paid to see Beowulf in 3D *GASP* To this day, I have not regretted that decision. 8 years later it still stands as one of the best 3D films that I have seen in theaters, if not THE best. The story is captivating enough to keep audiences interested, and I doubt guys (and girls) will have issue with a naked and golden Angelina Jolie popping up now and then. Do I recommend this film? Yes, very much so. This is one of those films you need to see before you die!

5 out of 5 stars

Red 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

While trying to lead a normal life with girlfriend Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is approached by Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), who is afraid that there are still people after them, but Frank dismisses him. After appealing a second time, Marvin drives off but his car explodes. Although Frank does not believe Marvin is dead, Sarah convinces him to go to Marvin’s funeral where he delivers a teary-eyed eulogy. After the funeral, a group of government agents approach Frank and take him to be interrogated at a Yankee White Facility. During the interrogation, Jack Horton (Neal McDonough) appears, killing most of the facility’s personnel, and tells Frank that he will torture Sarah in order to get information out of Frank. Frank manages to escape with the help of Marvin, who turns out to be alive, and they go on the run with Sarah. Marvin explains that he and Frank are being hunted down because they were listed as participants in a secret operation codenamed Nightshade. The operation was conducted during the Cold War era in order to smuggle a nuclear weapon into Russia piece by piece. Horton has been able to convince the world that Frank and his crew are terrorists and must be stopped. Victoria (Helen Mirren) calls and tells them she has accepted a contract from MI6 to kill Frank. Meanwhile, top contract killer Han Cho-Bai (Lee Byung-hun) is hired by Horton to kill Frank as well.

Frank, Marvin, and Sarah fly to Paris in Han’s stolen plane to find a man nicknamed “The Frog” (David Thewlis) with the Americans and a furious Han in pursuit. As they arrive in Paris, they are stopped by Katya (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Russian secret agent who Frank had a relationship with earlier in his career. Katya is in search of Nightshade as well, and joins them to find the Frog. After the Frog flees, Frank and Katya catch him and bring him back to his house, where Sarah succeeds in wooing him to help them and prove she is a better girlfriend than Katya. The Frog gives them the key to his security box, which Katya attempts to get from Frank after drugging him, but Marvin anticipated this and had planted a fake key on Frank. He, Frank, and Sarah later find documents in the Frog’s security box which point to Dr. Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant physicist, as the creator of the bomb involved with Operation Nightshade.

They find out that Bailey is still alive, having been held in an asylum for the criminally insane in London for thirty-two years. After flying to London, Victoria confronts the trio, but helps to fake their deaths and then feigns insanity in order to gain access to the asylum. Frank and Victoria meet Bailey, who is hyperactive and does not respond to their questions. After a while, Bailey reveals that the bomb is still in Moscow. They go to Moscow, and after a close call with Han, Bailey comes to the conclusion that he hid the bomb in the Kremlin. They break into the Kremlin, and Bailey locates the bomb, but as they are about to leave, Katya stops them. Frank convinces his former lover to switch to their side. As all are celebrating success, Victoria calls Frank from London and tells him that Bailey was locked up specifically because he wanted to detonate the bomb. Bailey holds Frank at gunpoint and confirms Victoria’s message, revealing that he made a deal with Horton and the Americans to leave with the bomb. He then shoots Katya, staging her death at Frank’s hands, and leaves. Horton reneges on his deal with Bailey, intending to question him, but Bailey escapes using a nerve agent he created. Bailey moves to the Iranian embassy in London, and as Frank attempts to follow, Han confronts him; after a fistfight, Frank asks Han to join sides with him and stop the bomb. Han eventually relents, and they enact a plan to recapture Bailey and the bomb.

Sarah first seduces the Iranian ambassador, then takes him hostage on the pretext of women’s rights in Iran. Marvin sets in place a diversion, and the rest come in disguise to “fix” the problem. When they arrive, they discover that Bailey has set the bomb timer off. Bailey kidnaps Sarah and goes to the airport to escape the imminent explosion. Frank, Marvin, Victoria, and Han give chase as they are also chased by embassy guards. After they escape, they arrive at the airport, and Frank saves Sarah from Bailey, but Bailey forces him to take the bomb off the plane. They reunite with Marvin, Victoria, and Han and wait for their imminent deaths, but the bomb explodes far away in the air. Frank reveals that he placed the bomb on the plane in a compartment near the front of the plane. The movie closes with a scene showing Sarah enjoying herself on a mission in Caracas with Frank and Marvin.

REVIEW:

How do you top an exciting, entertaining and somewhat humorous film like Red? Well, you give it a sequel and suck more money out of the public. This is how we get Red 2, but the question on all our minds has got to be can it live up to the original?

What is this about?

Ex-CIA agent Frank Moses and his crew return for another high-stakes mission, scouring the globe for a missing nuclear device. Along the way, they’ll face off against assassins, terrorists and corrupt government officials.

What did I like?

Insanity rules. John Malkovich is every bit as insane as he was in the original. Of course, here of late he has been playing characters along the same line, which works so why complain, right? Marvin is still a conspiracy theorist, but the character has been given the depth of being some kind of women’s expert, or at least he thinks so while giving Bruce Willis’ character advice.

Action. Yep, you guessed it, this is a hardcore action flick above all else. Some of the scenes and stunts are quite unbelievable, which is the selling point of this film. Don’t even get me started on how exciting it is to see Helen Mirren with a gun or Catherine Zeta-Jones scooping up Bruce Willis in her car.

Her majesty. Helen Mirren. The fact that she’s in this should be enough, but in one of the first time we see her, she’s killed a man and is dissolving him in his bathtub. Hired to take out Willis and his crew, who are all her friends, she manages to swerve around that by faking an explosion. My obsession with Mirren aside, I love this character! She is a badass that takes no stuff from no one, but still comes off as feminine. When was the last time we saw someone like that? Can we get her a spinoff film soon, please?!?

What didn’t I like?

Nag. I was telling a friend who will be getting married soon to not turn into a nag the other day. Lo and behold what does Mary-Louise Parker’s character turn out to be? That’s right, an annoying, nagging, shrew of a character that is only worth keeping around because of her looks (can you believe she’s turning 50 this year?!?) I wish they would have done something more interesting with her, such as have her be a typical housewife that has been hiding her skills from Willis’ character, but that wasn’t the case and I just couldn’t do anything but count down the minutes she was on the screen.

Bring it back. The previous film had a feeling of fun about it, whereas this one doesn’t seem to be anything more than some rejected spy plot that never made it into a film, but was too good to be used as a cartoon plot. All the same elements are here, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t quite come off quite enjoyable. I found myself getting impatient hoping for something to bring me a bit of a bright light, and it just didn’t. No, this isn’t a dark, depressing flick like The Dark Knight, but it just lack the enjoyment factor we got from the first film.

Crash and burn. Neal McDonough’s character makes quite the entrance and end up being quite the intriguing character. However, it was a little disappointing that he didn’t get to square off against Willis, but I can let that slide. My problem with him is that he comes in as such a force of nature, only to be slowly, but surely, watered down as the film goes. To me, that just defeated the whole purpose of him being such a great villain.

I was so looking forward to Red 2, but in the end I was very disappointed. There are too many inconsistencies for my taste and, as I said before, the fun has been taken out of this film. I wish I could say that this was better because I really wanted to love this picture. However, it just wasn’t to be. This was nothing more than an average action flick that didn’t need to be made, so it doesn’t warrant a recommendation from me.

3 out of 5 stars

Thor: The Dark World

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Eons ago, Bor, the father of Odin, clashes with the Dark Elf Malekith, who seeks to destroy the universe using a weapon known as the Aether. After conquering Malekith’s forces, including enhanced warriors called the Kursed, on their home world of Svartalfheim, Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column. Unbeknownst to him, Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim, and a handful of Dark Elves escape into suspended animation.

In present-day Asgard, Loki stands imprisoned for his war crimes on Earth. Meanwhile, Thor, alongside warriors Fandral, Volstagg and Sif repel marauders on Vanaheim, home of their comrade Hogun; it is the final battle in a war to pacify the Nine Realms following the reconstruction of Bifröst, the “Rainbow Bridge” between realms, which had been destroyed two years earlier. In London, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster’s intern, Darcy Lewis, now with her own intern, Ian, takes Jane to an abandoned factory where objects have begun to disobey the laws of physics and disappear into thin air. Separating from the group, Jane is teleported to another world, where she is infected by the Aether.

The Asgardians learn that the Convergence, a rare alignment of the Nine Realms, is imminent; as the event approaches, portals linking the worlds appear at random. Heimdall alerts Thor of Jane’s recent disappearance, leading Thor to search for her. When she inadvertently releases an unearthly force, he takes her to Asgard. There, Asgardian healers say they do not know how to treat her. Odin, recognizing the Aether, warns Jane’s infection will kill her given enough time, and that the Aether’s return heralds a catastrophic prophecy.

Malekith, awakened by the Aether’s release, turns Algrim into a Kursed and attacks Asgard. During the battle, Malekith and Algrim search for Jane, knowing she contains the Aether. When they fail to capture her, they escape, killing Thor’s mother, Frigga. Despite Odin’s orders not to leave Asgard, Thor reluctantly teams up with Loki, who knows of a secret portal to Malekith’s world, where they will use Jane to lure and confront Malekith, away from Asgard. In return, Thor promises Loki that he can have his revenge on Malekith for killing their mother. With Volstagg and Sif stalling Asgardian soldiers and Fandral assisting their escape, Thor and Loki commandeer a Dark Elf spaceship and escape to Svartalfheim with Jane.

On Svartalfheim, Loki tricks Malekith into drawing the Aether out of Jane. However, Thor’s attempt to destroy the substance fails, and the Aether-empowered Malekith leaves with his ship as Loki appears to be fatally wounded while killing Algrim. Thor, cradling Loki in his arms, promises to tell their father of his sacrifice. Following Loki’s apparent death, Thor and Jane discover another portal in a nearby cave and reunite in London with Jane’s mentor Dr. Erik Selvig — who was briefly institutionalized due to the mental trauma he suffered during Loki’s attack on Earth — as well as with Darcy and Ian. They learn that Malekith plans to unleash the Aether to destroy the universe, and that he will do this in Greenwich, the center of the Convergence. Thor battles Malekith, but a portal separates them, leaving Malekith unopposed. Thor comes back in time to help his mortal comrades use their scientific equipment to transport Malekith to Svartalfheim, where he is killed before he can destroy the universe.

Thor returns to Asgard, where he declines Odin’s offer to take the throne and tells Odin of Loki’s sacrifice. As he leaves, Odin’s form transforms to that of a grinning Loki.

In a mid-credits scene, Volstagg and Sif visit the Collector and entrust the Aether to his care, commenting that, with the Tesseract already in Asgard, having two Infinity Stones so close together would be dangerous. As they leave, the Collector remarks, “One down, five to go.” In a post-credits scene, Jane and Thor reunite on Earth, while somewhere in London a frost monster from Jotunheim, accidentally transported to Earth during the final battle, continues to run amok.

REVIEW:

One thing that has come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been the increased attention to certain characters that weren’t known as well, such as Iron Man and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man. Also, they have brought respect to characters that has become nothing but a joke, such as Thor (need I remind you of Adventures in Babysitting)? Thor: The Dark World brings the breakout star of the MCU into a darker tale, but an enjoyable one, nonetheless.

What is this about?

The God of Thunder strikes again as he fights to save the Nine Realms from mysterious villain Malekith, who plans to make the entire universe go dark. Meanwhile, Thor must find Jane Foster, who’s been targeted by the evil denizens of Svartalfheim.

What did I like?

Loki. Talk about a breakout star, if you look up that definition in the dictionary, you’re sure to find a picture of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. This summer, there was a clip of him at San Diego Comic-Con where he was hamming it up and the crowd was going wild. He obviously loves this character, but the time will come when audiences will grow weary of him. In preparation for this day, they kept Loki in the film, but pulled him back immensely.

Girls night out. Thor, and pretty much all of the MCU films, can be said to be guy’s films. With that in mind, one should notice that the women get a bit more focus here, particularly Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, and Renee Russo’s characters. I wish we could get a lot more of the beautiful Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, though. Perhaps in the third film, unless the rumors are true and she becomes Wonder Woman.

Portal. Once again, Marvel has outdone themselves with the climactic battle. This time, as a fellow amateur critic put it, they play a game of “Portal Kombat”, which is quite interesting and doesn’t get old. As a matter of fact, I found myself wishing it would go on for another 10-15 minutes, but they way Thor was getting beat up, I doubt that could have lasted.

Learn. It seems like everything that critics were complaining about in the first film, the filmmakers took notice of and fixed. For instance, the biggest complaint was that too much time was spent on Earth, but in this one about 75% of the film is spent on Asgard which is what we all wanted.

What didn’t I like?

Tease. Some of the characters from the last film that had small parts were supposed to have bigger parts, such as Heimdall. True, he does get a slightly increased roll, but other than one scene where he single-handedly brings down an alien ship. Other than that, he just has a few extra lines.

Pacing. I mistakenly listening to a review of this before watching the real thing and I wonder if that inadvertently brainwashed me because this review mentioned that the film slowed down without Loki. Indeed it does seems as if things go a little slower without him, especially when you consider how things pick up when he seems to lift the mood of things and give us some vintage Loki moments upon his release from prison, including allowing a quick cameo from a certain “Star-Spangled Man”.

Thor: The Dark World is darker than its predecessor, but still had laughs and fun to be had, something that couldn’t have been said about its fellow MCU entry this year, Iron Man 3. Now, the question is, does this stack up to its predecessor. Do the Dark Eleves work as a new threat? Should this be seen in theaters? Well, to answer those questions…yes, yes, and most likely. I wasn’t blown away by this, but I haven’t been blow away by anything this year, I still enjoyed it for what it is. I would most definitely check it out ASAP!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Hitchcock

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock opens his latest film, North by Northwest, to considerable success, but is troubled by a reporter’s insinuation that it is time to retire. Seeking to reclaim the artistic daring of his youth, Alfred turns down film proposals like adapting Casino Royale in favor of a horror novel called Psycho by Robert Bloch, which is based on the crimes of serial killer Ed Gein.

Alfred’s wife and artistic collaborator, Alma, is no more enthusiastic about the idea than his appalled colleagues, especially since she is being lobbied by their writer friend, Whitfield Cook, to look at his own screenplay. However, she warms to Alfred’s proposal, suggesting the innovative plot turn of killing the female lead early in the film. The studio heads prove more difficult to persuade, forcing Alfred to finance the film personally and use his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television crew to produce the film.

However, the pressures of this self-financed production, such as dealing with Geoffrey Shurlock of the Motion Picture Production Code, and Hitchcock’s notorious lecherous habits, such as when they confer with the female lead, Janet Leigh, annoy Alma beyond endurance. To find a release, Alma begins a personal writing collaboration with Whitfield on his screenplay at his beach house without Alfred’s knowledge. Alfred eventually discovers what she has been doing, and suspects her of having an affair. This concern affects Alfred’s work on the film, such as giving Psycho’s famous shower scene particularly ferocious ambiance even as he imagines Gein speaking to him.

Despite this tension, Alma’s loyalty is such that she personally takes over production of his film when Alfred is temporarily bedridden after collapsing from overwork. Despite this, Alfred eventually confronts Alma and asks her if she is having an affair. Alma denies it, profoundly insulted at being accused of adultery after all she has done for her husband.

Events take a turn for the worse when Alfred’s rough cut of Psycho is poorly received by the studio executives, while Alma discovers Whitfield philandering with a younger woman at his beach house. With both feeling chastened, Alfred and Alma reconcile and set to work on improving the film. Their renewed collaboration yields results, culminating in Alma convincing Alfred to accept their composer’s suggestion for adding Bernard Hermann’s famous harsh strings score for the shower scene, making it a bracingly effective moment of cinematic horror.

After maneuvering Shurlock into leaving the film’s content largely intact, Alfred learns that the studio is only going to exhibit the film in a handful of theaters with minimal marketing. To compensate, Alfred arranges for special theater instructions to pique the public’s interest in the film such as forbidding admittance after the film begins. At the film’s premiere, Alfred waits in the lobby for the audience’s reaction and is rewarded with a raucously enthusiastic reception.

With the film’s screening being so well received, Alfred publicly thanks his wife afterward for helping make it possible and they affirm their love. At the conclusion at his home, Alfred addresses the audience noting Psycho proved a major high point of his artistic career and he is currently pondering his next project. At that, a crow lands on his shoulder as a reference to his successful follow-up effort, The Birds, before turning to meet with his wife.

REVIEW:

I’m not a die-hard fan of Alfred Hitchcock, but I do enjoy his films. Getting the chance to learn more about the man is something that I have been longing to do for some time now and Hitchcock did accomplish that in some ways.

What is this about?

Iconic filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock struggles with his marriage, the censors and the financiers of his 1960 film Psycho in this biopic. Driven to prove he still has an edge, Hitchcock crafts what would become one of the greatest thrillers of all time

What did I like?

Man, myth, legend. Strangely enough, the film focuses solely on the making of Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho. While there isn’t really anything that is wrong with that per se, I would have liked to have known a bit more about the guy, but more on that later. What we do get to know is how much of an influence his wife Alma was on his career and films. I guess what they say is true, “behind every great man is an even greater woman!” It really doesn’t hurt if that woman is Helen Mirren.

Casting couch. In biopics, I have found that casting directors don’t necessarily look for someone who resembles the person they are playing. I’m not particularly fond of that practice, but sometimes it comes down to the improbability of finding someone who has the look and talent to pull it off. In this case, Scarlett Johansson plays a very believable Janet Leigh. Some may say that she should have been playing Marilyn Monroe at some point in time, and I won’t argue that, but I can see the resemblance between her and Leigh.

Levity. I was listening to a review last night where the reviewer all but called for a boycott of this film because it had a light-hearted, comedic feel in places. More often than not, I appreciate moments like this as they keep the film from going into absolute darkness. Say what you will, but just because Hitchcock created some of the great horror films of all time does not mean that he was always in a dark place, mentally. For that very reason, it is nice that this film realized he was a human who had ups and downs, just like rest of us.

What didn’t I like?

Fat suit. I have an issue with the way they changed Sir Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock. Sticking him in a fat suit seemed to be a good idea, but watching throughout the film, it seemed as if he was very uncomfortable and forced to wobble around like a penguin. I’ve never seen Hitchcock walk, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t wobble!

History. As much as I was interesting in the making of Psycho, I would have been more interesting in seeing a little more about what it was that made Hitchcock tick. To my knowledge the few films about him don’t seem to dwell back there and I’m sure that is was this history that shaped him into the director he turned out to be.

Alma. A short side plot involving Hitchcock’s wife, Alma, didn’t really work for me, but only because they didn’t develop it proper. As it is presented in the picture, randomly we saw her and Danny Huston’s character at this beach house a couple of times and the last time he is having sex with some chick, she gets bent out of shape, goes to help her husband make Psycho become a hit, and that’s the last of it. Surely, they could have done something more with that story if they were going to include it. This is a relatively short film, a few more minutes would not have hurt.

So, Hitchcock…what did I think of it? I really liked it. There were moments here and there that I was left scratching my head about, but for the most part, this was my cup of tea. Could it have been better?  Yes, but it also could have been much worse. Fan of Hitchock, you may or may not like it depending on how hardcore you are, but general movie fans will probably enjoy. Check it out sometime!

4 out of 5 stars

The Silence of the Lambs

Posted in Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Clarice Starling (Foster) is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, by Jack Crawford (Glenn) of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit. He tasks her with interviewing Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), a former psychiatrist and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, believing Lecter’s insight might be useful in the pursuit of a serial killer nicknamed “Buffalo Bill” (Levine), who skins his female victims’ corpses.

Starling travels to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she is led by Dr. Frederick Chilton (Heald) to Lecter’s solitary quarters. Although initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling’s attempts at “dissecting” him and rebuffs her. As she is leaving, one of the prisoners flicks semen at her. Lecter, who considers the discourtesy “unspeakably ugly”, calls Starling back and tells her to seek out an old patient of his. This leads her to a storage shed where she discovers a man’s severed head. She returns to Lecter, who tells her that the man is linked to Buffalo Bill. He offers to profile Buffalo Bill on the condition that he be transferred away from Chilton, whom he detests.

When Buffalo Bill kidnaps a U.S. Senator’s daughter, Catherine Martin, Crawford authorizes Starling to offer Lecter a fake deal promising a prison transfer if he provides information that helps find Buffalo Bill and rescue the abductee. Instead, Lecter begins a game of quid pro quo with Starling, offering comprehensive clues and insights about Buffalo Bill if Starling will give him information about her own past, something she was advised not to do. Chilton secretly records the conversation and reveals Starling’s deal as a sham before offering to transfer Lecter in exchange for a deal of Chilton’s own making. Lecter agrees and is flown to Memphis, Tennessee, where he reveals personal information on Buffalo Bill to federal agents.

As the manhunt begins, Starling visits Lecter at his special cell in a Tennessee courthouse and confronts him with her decryption of the name he provided (“Louis Friend”, an anagram of “iron sulfide”, also known as fool’s gold). Lecter refuses Starling’s pleas for the truth and forces her to recount her traumatic childhood. She tells him how she was orphaned and relocated to a relative’s farm, where she discovered a lamb slaughterhouse and even made a failed attempt to rescue one of them. Lecter gives her back the case files on Buffalo Bill after their conversation is interrupted by Chilton and the police who escort her from the building. Later that evening, Lecter kills his guards, escapes from his cell and disappears.

Starling analyzes Lecter’s annotations to the case files and realizes that Buffalo Bill knew his first victim personally. Starling travels to the victim’s hometown and discovers that Buffalo Bill was a tailor, with dresses and dress patterns identical to the patches of skin removed from each of his victims. She telephones Crawford to inform him that Buffalo Bill is trying to fashion a “woman suit” of real skin, but Crawford is already en route to make an arrest, having cross-referenced Lecter’s notes with hospital archives and finding a man named Jame Gumb, who once applied unsuccessfully for a sex-change operation. Starling continues interviewing friends of Buffalo Bill’s first victim in Ohio while Crawford leads an F.B.I. tactical team to Gumb’s address in Illinois. The house in Illinois is empty and Starling is led to the house of “Jack Gordon”, who she realizes is actually Jame Gumb. She pursues him into his multi-room basement, where she discovers that Catherine is still alive, but trapped in a dry well. After turning off the basement lights, Gumb stalks Starling in the dark with night-vision goggles but gives his position away when he cocks his revolver; Starling turns around just in time and kills him.

Some time later at her FBI Academy graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Lecter, who is at an airport in Bimini. He assures her that he does not plan to pursue her and asks her to return the favor, which she says she cannot do. Lecter then hangs up the phone, saying that he is “having an old friend for dinner” and begins following a newly-arrived Chilton before disappearing into the crowd.

REVIEW:

For as much as I’ve heard about The Silence of the Lambs, it comes as a surprise to me that it was a sleeper hit upon its release. Just goes to show that sometimes films are ahead of their time, at least in terms of audience attraction.

What is this about?

In this adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel, FBI trainee Clarice Starling ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter, hoping the psychiatrist turned homicidal cannibal can help her catch a serial killer.

What did I like?

Impact. You know you have given a good, memorable performance when you are only on the screen for about 15 or so minutes and create a memorable character. A role that goes on to garner an Academy Award win. Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal is both one of those genius level intellectual that seems to know just about everything and a creepy individual, to boot!

Genre splice. It is hard to really pigeon-hole this into one genre. Mostly, it is a thriller/suspense flick, but there are some aspects that tend to lean more toward the horror side of things. There is something to be said about keeping strictly to one genre or the other but, every now and then, mixing and matching can work. Please don’t think that this film suddenly throws ghosts, monsters, and whatnot at you, but a few gory scenes will have you cringing. It is no wonder that Gene Hackman and Michelle Pfeiffer turned it down because of objectionable content.

Hello, Clarice. Last week, Jodie Foster won some kind of lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes. This is the role that is mostly responsible for her career. Sure, Clarice Starling is a the cold, career driven female we’ve seen all too often, but she needs to be, given the vast intellect and psychiatric experience of Hannibal and the random insanity of Buffalo Bill.

What didn’t I like?

Killers. Both Buffalo Bill and Hannibal are barely on-screen. Yes, Hannibal is the subject of 3 or 4 other films that make up for it, and you can say that not having them chewing up scenery makes them better characters. On the hand, you can also say that they aren’t really given enough time to be developed, especially Buffalo Bill. I felt we could have used a bit more, not much, but a bit.

Comic. Buffalo Bill is supposed to be some kind of weird wannabe transvestite killer who was making a suit of his victims (all female). That’s some sick stuff, right? My issue with him, though, is how he seemed to be some sort of comic relief. I won’t deny that this flick sure could’ve used a bit of levity, but it seemed out-of-place, especially coming from your antagonist. It isn’t like this guy is some kind of incompetent supervillain or insane mastermind that was monologing his master plan. It is a small thing, but I just didn’t feel it was necessary.

I am still dumbfounded by the fact that The Silence of the Lambs was not a huge hit when it was released. By all accounts, this should have been a huge success. It surely has been in the years since its release, that’s for sure. This is a really great film, though, that is a must-see for anyone that is into these kind of films, so check it out!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars