Archive for Dakota Fanning

Man on Fire

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 2003, burnt-out ex-CIA officer and former Force Recon Marine officer John Creasy (Denzel Washington) looks for work and reunites with old friend and comrade Paul Rayburn (Christopher Walken), who runs a security firm in Mexico. Because of the extremely high rate of kidnappings in Mexico City for ransom money, businessman Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) hires Creasy through Rayburn to guard his nine-year-old daughter “Pita” (Dakota Fanning), intending to keep him on for only a short period in order to renew his kidnap and ransom insurance on Pita. Creasy suffers from alcoholism, depression, and severe guilt as a result of his past work as a counterinsurgency fighter and professional assassin, and so works for Samuel at a rate far below what his experience would command. At first Creasy distances himself socially from Pita, but the two soon develop a friendship, which allows Creasy to overcome his demons and to act as a mentor and surrogate father-figure to the girl.

After a piano lesson, Pita is abducted in public; Creasy kills four of the kidnappers, but he is shot multiple times and collapses. The Ramos’ agree to deliver a dead drop ransom of US$10 million per the instructions of “La Voz” (“The Voice”) (Roberto Sosa), the mastermind behind the kidnapping ring. Samuel’s attorney, Jordan Kalfus (Mickey Rourke), arranges for the ransom money to be collected from Samuel’s kidnapping insurance policy, then arranges for it to be delivered to the kidnappers. The drop, however, is ambushed by members of “La Hermandad”, a Mexican crime syndicate composed of corrupt police officers, leading to several of the ring members killed and the money being stolen. The Voice notifies the Ramos’ that Pita will be killed in retribution.

Creasy leaves the hospital before fully recovering from his wounds and vows to Pita’s mother Lisa (Radha Mitchell) that he will kill everyone involved in Pita’s abduction. Rayburn supplies Creasy with firearms and explosives, while Mariana Guerrero (Rachel Ticotin), a journalist investigating the kidnappings, and Miguel Manzano (Giancarlo Giannini), an agent of the Agencia Federal de Investigación (AFI), offer their support. Creasy tortures and murders several targets for their information, and eventually learns from a corrupt high-ranking police officer that the bags stolen from the ransom drop contained only $2.5 million.

Investigating further, Creasy finds Kalfus dead and evidence of Samuel’s desperate financial situation, and he confronts him with Lisa present. Samuel confesses to Creasy and Lisa that he agreed to Kalfus’ plan to stage Pita’s kidnapping, so he could pay off business debts by fraudulently collecting the insurance money. He planned to keep $5 million for himself, and split the rest between Kalfus and the kidnappers. He also confesses to killing Kalfus. Creasy leaves a pistol and one bullet (a faulty round that he had previously used to attempt suicide) for Samuel, who then uses these to commit suicide.

Using the information provided by Creasy, The Voice’s identity is revealed to be Daniel Sánchez, who Mariana exposes in the newspapers. Creasy shows up at Daniel’s ex-wife’s house and is shot by his brother Aurelio (Gero Camilo), who then tries unsuccessfully to escape. Creasy calls Daniel and threatens to kill his family, and Daniel reveals that Pita is still alive; offering to free her if Creasy surrenders himself and brings Aurelio. Creasy agrees and he and Lisa arrive at the exchange site, where he and Pita share a tearful goodbye before he is taken and driven away by the kidnappers. Creasy dies peacefully en route as a result of his gunshot injuries. Daniel Sánchez is later killed by Manzano during an AFI arrest.

REVIEW:

Am I the only who almost burst out into Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” with the title to Man on Fire? Talk about an earworm, right? So, here we have Denzel doing what he does best, but with a cast that is mostly on par with him, even if their material isn’t. Let’s find out if this is worth a watch, shall we?

What is this about?

Jaded ex-CIA operative John Creasy reluctantly accepts a job as the bodyguard for a 10-year-old girl in Mexico City. They clash at first, but eventually bond, and when she’s kidnapped he’s consumed by fury and will stop at nothing to save her life.

What did I like?

Connection. As the film begins and we meet Denzel Washington’s character, we learn that he is more the loner, not wanting to really have a connection to his clients. For a good part of the first half of the picture, we see him hold to that, but all it takes is a sweet little girl and that façade is quickly melted. Once the chemistry between Washington and young Dakota Fanning was ignited, this became a much more enjoyable film. Not to mention, without that connection, the events and motivation for the later parts of the picture would not have happened, I don’t believe.

Kidnap plot. We’ve all seen kidnap plots in television and movies, but the intricate way in which this one was planned and executed was something of interest. First off, the person behind it, who turns out to be a total surprise, is not someone you would expect to be kidnapping young Dakota Fanning. Second, the confusing paper trail, for lack of a better term, that was left behind throws everyone, including the audience off the scent, making for much time on the edge of your seat.

I’m Walken. Who doesn’t love Christopher Walken? I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s comic relief in this role, but he does manage to lighten the mood when he’s on screen, even if he isn’t necessarily cracking jokes. He also comes in handy as an informant and distraction when needed, which is always a plus.

What didn’t I like?

Accent. As usual, I take umbrage with a southern accent. Hey, I’m from and live in the south! I’m pretty sure I know what our accents sound like down here. Radha Mitchell, for some odd reason, is spitting out a horrendous accent that makes the cast of True Blood sound authentic. On top of her accent, I question why there was the decision to make her southern, living in Mexico and, to a lesser extent white. That isn’t a race thing, it just wasn’t explained. She doesn’t seem like the type that would just make random trip south of the border or uproot everything to move there.

Transition. The transition from the “happy” first half of the film to the darker second half was ok, but I felt having Washington laying there in the bed and accused of murdering police officers seemed a bit cliché and cliffhanger-ish. Surely, there had to be some other way to do this so that it didn’t seem so episodic!

Slow. With Denzel Washington films, you can never expect them to be fast-paced, action-packed popcorn flick, 2 Guns being the closest thing to an exception to the rule. However, his films that seems to be more action-based tend to actually pick up near the end. In this one, he goes on a killing spree in an effort to find the kidnapped little girl, and yet the film never speeds up. As a matter of fact, I think it gets slower as it gets darker. I would have liked for it to have picked up, if only for a little bit, during the killing/torture scenes.

I do not believe I have ever seen a bad performance from Denzel Washington. Even if the film is bad, he delivers! Man on Fire was nothing memorable, in my opinion, but it isn’t something that should be forgotten in terms of performances. Washington’s strong presence, as well as the mature way beyond her years Dakota Fanning help make this a film that is worth a watch or two. Then there is the actual plot and story, which are solidly written. Do I recommend this? Yes, while I don’t highly recommend it, I can say that it is worth checking out at least once. Give it a shot, why don’t you?

4 out of 5 stars

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, part II

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Bella awakens from her transformation from human to vampire, not only keenly aware of her new abilities, but also of changes within the coven as Jacob has imprinted on her child, Renesmee. It also appears that Bella’s father, Charlie, has been attempting to contact the Cullens for updates on Bella’s illness. They intend to tell him she didn’t survive, which requires that they move out of Forks, Washington to protect their identities. Jacob, desperate not to lose Renesmee, tells Charlie that his daughter is in fact alive and well, and explains that Bella has had to change in order to survive. He morphs into a wolf, revealing his tribe’s shape-shifting power, but does not tell Charlie about vampires, stating that Bella just had to change into something “other”.

Several months pass uneventfully, with Carlisle monitoring Renesmee’s rapid growth with Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of the Cullen family worrying what will become of her with such a rapid growth rate. On an outing in the woods, a bitter Irina sees Renesmee from a distance, and believes her to be an immortal child. Immortal children were those who were frozen in childhood, and because they could not be trained nor restrained, they destroyed entire villages. They were eventually executed, as were the parents who created them, and the creation of such children outlawed. Irina goes to the Volturi to report what she has seen to them.

Alice sees the Volturi and Irina coming to kill the Cullens, and leaves with Jasper the next day, instructing the others to gather as many witnesses as they can that can testify that Renesmee is not an immortal. They must gather the witnesses before the snow covers the ground, because that is when the Volturi will come. The Cullens begin to summon witnesses, such as the Denali family. One of the Denali, Eleazar, later encounters that Bella has a special ability: a powerful mental shield, which she can extend to protect others from mental attacks like those from Jane and Alec, with practice.

As some of their potential witnesses are attacked and prevented from supporting the Cullens, Carlisle and Edward realize they may have to fight the Volturi, despite their desire to avoid this. Some witnesses hesitate, but ultimately agree to stand with them in battle.

The Volturi arrive, led by Aro, who is eager to obtain the gifted members of the Cullen coven as part of his guard. Aro is allowed to touch Renesmee, and is convinced that she is not an immortal child. Irina is brought forth and she takes full responsibility of her mistake, leading to her immediate death. Her sisters are tempted into picking a fight, but are restrained. Although the blunder has been settled, Aro still insists that Renesmee may pose a risk in the future. Alice and Jasper appear to attest to the existence of other children like Renesmee, and Alice shows Aro a vision of the future. In the vision, Aro refuses to change his decision and a battle ensues, during which both sides undergo heavy casualties, with most of the Volturi dying. The identifiable major characters who die in the vision are (for the Cullens) Carlisle, Jasper, Seth, Leah and (for the Volturi) Aro, Jane, Alec, Caius, Marcus, Demetri and Felix. After the vision ends, Alice reveals to Aro that the vision will come to pass if Aro maintains his pursuit of Renesmee. Two more witnesses then arrive: a fully grown vampire-human hybrid and his aunt who have been living peacefully and undetected for 150 years, proving Renesmee is not a threat. (In a change from the novel, his three hybrid half-sisters and the gender differences in vampiric qualities of hybrids are not mentioned) For the sake of self-preservation, Aro orders his guards to retreat but not without giving one final glance to Alice and Bella.

Back at the Cullen home, Alice glimpses into the future, seeing Edward and Bella together with Jacob and a fully matured Renesmee. Edward reads Alice’s mind and feels happy that Renesmee has Jacob to protect her. Alone in the meadow, Bella finally allows Edward a peek into her thoughts. As the two share a kiss, their story closes as a book revealing the final line, “And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.”

REVIEW:

The Twilight franchise and I have not had the best of times as I am no fan of these films. Why am I watching this, you ask? Well, my OCD wouldn’t let me not finish it, not to mention morbid curiosity about how different The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, part II differs in production value from the original Twilight.

What is this about?

In the epic series’ final chapter, Bella and Edward’s newborn daughter forces the couple into a life-altering confrontation with the Volturi. Meanwhile, Bella’s burgeoning vampiric power makes her the key to the future of her family and their kind.

What did I like?

Action. For a last hurrah, they sure pulled out all the stops. This is a franchise known for sappy looks and bad acting. We get that here, to be sure, but also, the last half of the film is one gigantic fight scene, complete with beheadings, the ground opening up, and everything else you can think of. In other words, someone realized that they need to pull in the male audience if they wanted it to be a success.

They took the hint. All throughout this franchise, audiences have been forced to deal with Edward and Jacob trying to one up each other. Also, with the exception of the first entry, Jacob hasn’t been able to keep his shirt on. It was good to see these two on the same page. There comes a time when enough is enough. I’m sure there are more than a few female viewers out there who wish there were more shirtless Taylor Lautner scene, though.

Had to happen eventually. I’m sure all hell is going to break loose as soon as I type this, but it appears as if Lautner, Pattinson, and Stewart finally took a couple of acting classes. Don’t get me wrong, they still suck, but they are nowhere near as bad as they were previously. Also, does anyone else find it weird that Kristen Stewart’s character has more color and life as a vampire than she did as a human. She actually smiles, for goodness sakes!!!

What didn’t I like?

Cash grab. When they split the last Harry Potter book into two films, I didn’t have too much of a problem with it, because of how the book is written. It made sense to do so. I haven’t read, nor so I plan on reading, these books, but I can’t imagine that there was a need to split the last book into two films other than having the ability to milk a few more bucks out of the fan base. That really is the only reason they did that. Had this been made in the Golden Age of Hollywood, if there was a need to split the films, both would have been made with great care, rather than half-assed it the way these films feel.

Flashback. I appreciate the novelty of going down memory lane at the end of the film, but it was just too much. With the exception of a couple of changed actors, the flashback during the end credits reminded us of every character in all the films. I just didn’t really see the point, especially since most of them are long forgotten.

Vampires or X-Men. So, in this universe, vampires sparkle in the daylight, and have varying superpowers, similar to the X-Men. What kind of weirdness was going through Stephanie Meyers’ head when she came up with this idea. Sure, it is cool, but like most people, vampires to me are only known for having a select set of powers, such as mind control, speed, strength, etc. This whole controlling the elements, electricity, becoming a shade, etc., that just was a bit overboard.

Pie man. This is a personal thing, but Lee Pace, best known as the pie man from the cancelled too soon Pushing Daisies, does not pull off the gruff, long-haired look. I guess I’m so used to seeing him as more of the clean-cut guy, so it didn’t really work.

Finally, or should I say mercifully, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, part II brings the franchise to an end. These films were never meant for my demographic, which is probably why I never got into the, With that said, this was arguably the best of the bunch. After all these years, though, you have to figure they learned a thing or two about making films. Now, I won’t recommend this to anyone that isn’t into this franchise, because, quite frankly, this isn’t for everyone. Make you own decision if this is for you or not.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Riley Biers (Xavier Samuel) is attacked and bitten by Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), in order to begin creating an army of newborns set to destroy Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Back in Forks, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella discuss the complications of becoming an immortal vampire. At 18 years old, one year older than the age Edward was when he became a vampire, Bella expresses her aversion to the idea of marrying so young, though Edward refuses to turn her until they’re married and she’s had various human experiences she would otherwise miss. While Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) investigates the disappearance of Riley Biers, Edward suspects his disappearance was caused by the newborn vampires. Furthering his suspicions is the intrusion of Riley into Bella’s room.

Although Edward fears for her safety, Bella insists that Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and the rest of the werewolf pack would never harm her, but Edward is still not convinced. Bella goes to La Push to see Jacob, and returns home unharmed. During one of her visits, Jacob confesses that he is in love with Bella, and forcefully kisses her. Mad, she punches him and breaks her hand, and Edward later threatens to break Jacob’s jaw. Bella even revokes the invitations of Jacob and his pack members to her graduation party, but when Jacob apologizes for his behavior, she forgives him.

Meanwhile, Alice (Ashley Greene) sees a vision that the newborn army is attacking Forks led by Riley Biers. Jacob, accompanied by Quil (Tyson Houseman) and Embry (Kiowa Gordon) overhear this, which leads to an alliance between the Cullens and Wolf pack. Later, the Cullens and the wolves agree to a meeting place and time to train and discuss strategy. During the training Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) explains to Bella that he was created by a vampire named Maria to control a newborn army. He hated his original existence and upon meeting Alice, joined the Cullens with her. Bella sees the true bond between a mated vampire pair and begins to understand Jasper better. Despite her reluctance to marry, Bella realizes that spending eternity with Edward is more important to her than anything else and agrees to marry him. Edward and Bella camp up in the mountains to hide Bella from the bloodthirsty newborns. During the night, Bella overhears a conversation between Edward and Jacob, in which they temporarily put aside their hatred towards each other. In the morning, Jacob overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement and becomes very upset. Before he can run off to get himself killed in the fight with the newborns, Bella desperately asks him to kiss her, and she realizes that she has fallen in love with him. Edward finds out about the kiss but isn’t angry, as Bella says she loves him more than Jacob.

Victoria eventually finds Bella’s hiding spot, and Edward kills her while Seth kills her partner Riley. The Cullens and the Quileute wolves, meanwhile, destroy her “army”, though Jacob is injured saving Leah Clearwater from a newborn. Several members of the Volturi arrive to deal with the newborn army. They also see that the Cullens are guarding the newborn, Bree Tanner (Jodelle Ferland), who had refused to fight and surrendered to Carlisle. Jane (Dakota Fanning) tortures Bree to get information, then instructs Felix to kill her, despite the Cullens’ efforts to spare her. When Jane notes that Caius will find it interesting that Bella is still human, Bella informs her that the date for her transformation has been set. Bella visits the injured Jacob to tell him that even though she is in love with him, she has chosen to be with Edward. Saddened by her choice, Jacob reluctantly agrees to stop trying to come between her and Edward.

Bella and Edward go to their meadow, where she tells him she has decided to do things his way: get married, make love, then be transformed into a vampire. She also explains that she never has been normal and never will be; she’s felt out of place her entire life, but when she is in Edward’s world she feels stronger and complete. They then decide they need to tell Charlie about their engagement

REVIEW:

 So, here I am once again reviewing a film in the Twilight franchise (I refuse to call it a saga). Admittedly, I did like the first Twilight, or at least was impressed with it. The second one, though, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, was just plain boring. Going into this one, I figured more of the same.

I must say that I was wrong. Yes, there is more of the longings of these talentless actors for each other that permeates through the entire film, but there is actually some action that makes it worth the torture.

I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know how they are written, except that teenage girls seem to love them, which more than likely means there is lots of stuff to please them and no one else.

This film is different though. It is almost as if they realized that they weren’t getting any voluntary male viewers, so they needed to up the ante. Especially if they want to become a legit franchise or “saga” This is the reason, I believe, they brought in a new director who actually knows how direct action.

I’m sure there are those of you out there wondering with all the action, was the plot changed any? As far as I know it wasn’t. There is still plenty of useless staring and whining between the leads, which apparently is what actual fans want to see. Don’t ask me why. Its one of the true mysteries of the cosmos.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner have been playing these characters for 3 films now. You would think they’d have actually gotten better at acting, right? Instead, with the exception of Pattinson, it seems as if they’ve gotten worse. I wonder if they went to the same acting school as Megan Fox. Yes, they are THAT bad.

I found it a bit of a shame that we didn’t get more of Alice Cullen, played by the tasty Ashley Greene this time around, but there was plenty of Jasper, who in the previous films had done nothing but stand in the background looking…odd.

Bryce Dallas Howard takes the mantle of the villanous vampire Victoria. I wish I could say I was impressed with her, but the fact of the matter, there wasn’t enough of her to make an informed decision. I do find it kinda funny that she was initially offered this role for the first film, but turned it down because it was “too small”. From what I recall from the first film, this is notably smaller than that one.

Before I get my man card revoked for actually liking this film, let me make something clear. This is not a great picture. How can it be when your leads have no talent and don’t seem to care about getting any better? There are other flaws here, such as why is it the werewolves can’t keep their shirts on in human form (except for the female..of course), and in the animatistic shape, they’re the size of bears. WTF?!? I still question what kind of vampires these are. They are an insult to all that true cinematic vampires have worked for. Having said that, as a film, the action scenes make this enjoyable, but the lack of talent in the cast cancels that out. If you’re a fan of this drivel, then by all means, watch it. If you’re not, then I suggest not wasting your time. Just looks for the fight scenes on YouTube or something.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Runaways

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film opens with Cherie (Dakota Fanning) and her sister, Marie Currie (Riley Keough), as Cherie has just got her first period. Marie’s boyfriend, Derek (Brendan Sexton III), picks up the sisters from Marie’s job at “Pup n’ Fries” and Marie announces to him that Cherie has gotten her period. Angry at her sister for telling, she informs Derek that Marie is not wearing any underwear. Later, Cherie is seen cutting her hair in a shag and putting on face makeup in an attempt to create a look resembling Bowie on the cover of Aladdin Sane (the cover is shown on her wall as a poster). The scene is accompanied by scenes of Joan huffing marijuana with her girlfriend. Cherie is later seen lip-syncing David Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul at the school talent show and is the target of paper balls, to which Cherie reacts by flipping off the crowd, but wins the talent show.

Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) is making out with a guy outside a club when she sees record producer, Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon). Joan approaches him and talks about starting an all-girl rock band. Kim is interested and introduces Joan to Sandy West (Stella Maeve), a drummer. Joan and Sandy become friends and start jamming when Kim suggests that they recruit a hot blonde in the vein of Brigitte Bardot.

At a club, Kim and Joan look for hot blondes and discover Cherie. They ask if she wants to be in a band and she accepts. Then they tell her to come to auditions in a trailer park in the valley.

Cherie learns the cover song of Suzi Quatro’s “Fever” and goes to audition, however they’re disappointed at the song. Instead, Kim kicks Cherie out of the trailer and with Joan, thinks of a song for Cherie to audition for, thus writing “Cherry Bomb”. Cherie sings it and, after improving, is part of the band.

After moving in with her aunt because her mom moved to Indonesia, Cherie travels to her first gig with the band. Soon, they get signed to Mercury Records and start recording an album. Due to the album’s success, they travel to Japan to play a concert. After their performance, Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton) throws magazines at Cherie that have pictures of her, something Cherie thought was for the whole band.

After an argument with Lita, Cherie, and Joan, crazy Japanese fans break through the window and chase the girls out of the building. Afterward, Cherie overdoses in the hotel, collapses in an elevator and is sent to the hospital. Upon arrival home, Cherie’s alcoholic father is passed out on his bed. Cherie takes his painkillers and her actions are seen by Marie.

At the studio recording their next album, Cherie has a breakdown and refuses to play, followed by Lita trash-talking her and Joan defending Cherie. After a very heated argument, Cherie quits the band and leaves. Joan has a fit, throwing chairs and beer bottles against the glass. Cherie returns home while Joan continues playing and starts her own band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Cherie collapses again in a phone booth in a supermarket parking lot. At the hospital, Marie visits her and tells her to get her stuff straight.

Later at a job, Cherie hears Joan’s cover of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on the radio and calls the station, where Joan is visiting for interviews. After an awkward conversation between Joan, Cherie, and even the radio host, Rodney Bingenheimer (Keir O’Donnell), Cherie says her goodbyes and continues working, smiling when Joan’s next song, “Crimson and Clover”, comes on the radio

REVIEW:

I’m only vaguely familiar with Joan Jett and Lita Ford, so I can’t really get in a huff about any inaccuracies this film may or may not have, however, I cam say that I did not really care for The Runaways.

I know there are a lot of people out there, mostly critics, who love this picture, but I just don’t fall in that category.

First of all, the casting doesn’t work. I’m partially biased, as I don’t particularly care for Kristen Stewart, since she is just a slightly more talented actress than Megan Fox. I guess if you’re not as hot, you have better have some talent, huh? I didn’t buy her as Joan Jett. She just didn’t have the aura, or vibe, if you will, that I expected from whomever would play Jett. Having said that, this is Stewart’s most impressive role.

Dakota Fanning may be growing up in front of our eyes, but she seems to be taking these roles that are solely meant to make her seem like an adult. As Cherie Currie, Fanning didn’t sell me on anything but the fact that she was just a little girl trying to act all grown up, especially in the parts where he character is trying to be all sexy. Unlike with Stewart, Fanning doesn’t shine with this role, for the reasons I just mentioned. She was just a bad choice.

Michael Shannon does a fairly decent job as the sleazy record producer, Kim Fowley, but I think he may have been a bit too over the top for the serious tone of this picture, or that may have been the reason for his characterization. Who knows?

I didn’t know that this film was from a book written by Cherie Currie. I thought it was just a random biopic. Since it was written by Currie, I can understand her being the main focus, otherwise you have to winder, why not focus on the “name” members, Joan Jett and Lita Ford.  I still question why there wasn’t more of Lita, and the rest of the band. It seemed like they wanted this to be a Cherie and Joan movie with Kim Fowley scenes every now and them.

A film about a music group must have the music, right? Believe it or not, they actually got that part right, but I would have liked for there to have been more. It just seemed like there could have been more performances, bu I guess the filmmakers wanted to focus more on the drama, rather than the music. Good call for a film about musicians (not the sarcasm)!

So, what is my verdict for this film. As I said before, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I can see how some people would like it. However, of the handful of people I know that actually took the time to watch this, no one seems to care for it. Let’s face it, this is not the most popular rock band in the world on film here. I think that may have been another reason I didn’t care for it. Either way, my opinion aside, I can recommend this if you’re really into Joan Jett or Kristen Stewart, or the music of The Runaways, but otherwise, this isn’t a must-see.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Posted in Chick Flicks, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2010 by Mystery Man

 

PLOT:

On her 18th birthday, Bella Swan wakes up from a dream in which she sees herself as an old woman. She expresses her distaste with growing older than her boyfriend Edward Cullen, a vampire who stopped aging physically at 17. Despite her lack of enthusiasm, Edward’s adoptive family throws Bella a birthday party. While unwrapping a gift, Bella gets a paper cut, causing Edward’s brother, Jasper, to become overwhelmed by her blood’s scent and attempt to kill her. Realizing the danger that he and his family pose to Bella, Edward ends their relationship, and the Cullens leave Forks, Washington permanently.

Edward’s departure leaves Bella heartbroken and depressed for months. However, when her father, Charlie, decides to send her to live with her mother in Florida, Bella agrees to spend time with her friends. After seeing a movie with Jessica, Bella sees a group of men on motorcycles. This reminds her of when Edward previously rescued her from an assault, and she sees his image warning her to stay away. Bella discovers that thrill-seeking activities evoke Edward’s preserved image. She is also comforted by her deepening friendship with Jacob Black, a cheerful companion who eases her pain over losing Edward. When Jacob is unable to see Bella for weeks, she discovers that he is a werewolf, an age-old enemy of vampires. Jacob’s pack members, the Quileutes, are on constant patrol for Victoria, a vampire searching to kill Bella due to the death of her mate, leaving Jacob little time to spend with her. Alone again, Bella returns to seeking thrill-inducing activities.

Through a series of miscommunications, Edward believes Bella has killed herself. Distraught over her supposed suicide, Edward flees to Italy to provoke the Volturi, a powerful vampire coven capable of killing him, by exposing himself in the sunlight. Alice, Edward’s sister, and Bella rush to Italy to save Edward, and arrive just in time to stop him. However, the Volturi determine that Bella, a human who knows that vampires exist, must either be killed or transformed into a vampire herself. Alice stops them from killing her by sharing her premonition with Aro, a Volturi elder who is able to read thoughts, in which Bella has been transformed. Returning to Forks, Edward tells Bella that he always loved her and only left to protect her. She forgives him, and the Cullens vote in favor of Bella being transformed into a vampire, to Edward and Jacob’s dismay. Edward gives Bella a choice: either she lets Alice change her after their graduation, or, if Bella agrees to marry him, he will change her himself. However, Jacob reminds Edward of the treaty the Cullens made with the Quileutes: they will not attack each other, as long as the Cullens never bite a human.

REVIEW:

I just looked back and realized that it was exactly 1 year ago that I watched and reviewed Twilight, a film that I had no intention of actually enjoying, but somehow did. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, however isn’t os lucky.

Apart from being so overly dramatic and whiny, this film proves that Kristen Stewart can’t act. No wonder her nonTwilight film that was just released, The Messengers, bombed. Stewart spends thew whole time pining for Edward while trying to find comfort in the arms of Jacob. This is all well and good, as that is how it is in the book, from my understanding, but the emotion that she could be showing during these scenes is just not there, and she comes off as robotic.

Edward  isn’t really in this film much, but it is my understanding he isn’t in this book, either, so I can’t fault him for that. However, the scenes he is in, including the ones where he’s just a vision, are all as if he took some Ritalin before the cameras started rolling. Nothing wrong with being calm and all that, but if you’re telling someone who they shouldn’t go do something that could kill then, there should be a little more emphasis in your delivery. Acting aside, though, he doesn’t do half bad in the fight scenes in the Volturi throne room, or what have you. I think we all know they put that scene in there to attract some guys to the otherwise overly chicked-out chick flick.

This thing might as well have been called Taylor Lautner: The Movie. Not only is he the primary focus on the film (and book), but almost all advertising was centered around him and his newly buff bod. As with everyone else in this flick, he turns in a very robotic performance. I hate to judge him by these films, but I’m seriously starting to think that this kid can’t act and folks are just capitalizing on his shirtless scenes.

The Cullens have a drastically reduced part in the film, except for Alice, who actually has about the same. THe Queileute tribe I wonder about since they just walk around all day with no shirts on. Granted if I had abs like that, I’d want to show them off, too, but to walk around all the time with no shirt on? Seriously? I have two theories behind this. The first is that they do it to avoid having to get new shirts everytime they change to and from their wolf forms. The other is that this was for the women to drool over these guys.

With a bigger budget, I expected more from this thing. Comparing the two films, you would think Twilight had the bigger budget. The wolves looked slightly better than a SyFy channel movie and the glitter on the vampires doesn’t look as if they tweaked it at all.

Speaking of keeping things from the first film. All those flashbacks were a bit much. I like to say that flashbacks are a cheap way of filling time, and that’s exactly what these seemed to do. Now, some of them do serve a purpose in that they refresh the audience’s memory, but to keep showing these things the entire flick is a bit much.

  I don’t know, I guess I had a bit lofty expectations after the impressive surprise of Twilight, but this thing just didn’t impress me. What makes it worse is that the trailers do it an injustice in that they are better than the actual film. The Twilight Saga: New Moon comes off as an overly dramatic, overhyped, piece of teen drama that is only missing the head cheerleader dating the captain of the football team and a nerd crushing on one of them. This is just not a good picture. Sure, some out there will chastise me for ripping it a new one, but tis is my opinion, and I stick by it. Maybe next April when I watch the next installment of the franchise, it will be a much better film, but I’m not expecting so. I believe that Twilight will prove to be the best of the bunch.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Coraline

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In a prologue-esque scene, a strange set of metallic hands are seen catching a doll of an African-American girl, changing it into a doll with blue hair, a raincoat, and freckles. They then toss the doll through a window, where it floats off into darkness.

Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) is an active, imaginative girl who moves into the Pink Palace Apartments with her parents Mel and Charlie Jones (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) who are working on a book about gardening despite the fact that Mel is uninterested in dirt and mud, while Charlie has an unenthusiastic outlook on life outside of his writing. Coraline finds herself often neglected by her parents due to their busy schedule and finds entertainment in various other activities. She meets a boy named Wyborne "Wybie" Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.) who immediately irritates her for his bizarre behavior and talkative nature. She also meets her upstairs neighbor, Mr. Bobinsky (Ian McShane), a Russian whose obsession with cheese and using jumping mice in a circus act begins to creep her out. One rainy day while "exploring" her apartment at her father’s request, Coraline happens upon a small door in the living room wall. After irritating her mother with requests to unlock the door, which is somewhat hidden under the wallpaper, she is disappointed to find that it has been bricked over. In Mel’s hurry to return to her work, she neglects to relock the door.

Shortly after, Wybie presents Coraline with a doll which is oddly made in her image. He later explains that his grandmother will not allow him to go to the Pink Palace Apartments due to the fact that her twin sister disappeared there many years ago as a young child.

That night, Coraline is awakened by a strange noise and follows a tiny mouse to the door, discovering that the bricks are removed and a soft blue tunnel leads to another doorway. She encounters an exact replica of her own home when she emerges, though this world she finds is different. Her mother is beautiful, confident and a fantastic cook. Her father is energetic, unpredictable and with a pair of assisting hands works the piano in a singing dedication to her arrival. The major difference is that both the “Other” Mother and Father have buttons for eyes, as do the other creatures that inhabit the land. After a meal that is like a dream and going to bed in a wonderfully decorated room, Coraline awakens in her old bed and becomes disappointed that it was just a dream after all, confirmed when she goes to the door and it is again bricked over.

Coraline goes to meet the downstairs neighbors Ms. Spink (Jennifer Saunders) and Ms. Forcible (Dawn French), two former actresses who have fallen into senility and have become overweight since their prime. They introduce her to tea leaf reading, and state (quite disagreeably) that there is either a clawed hand, or a giraffe in her future.

Leaving cheese out for the mice this time, Coraline again follows them to the doorway and again is allowed to cross into the "Other" world. This time, her Other Father shows her a wonderful and magical garden, and her Other Mother introduces her to the Other Wybie who (to Coraline’s pleasure) is unable to speak. Both Coraline and the Other Wybie go to the upstairs residence of the Other Bobinski, where his jumping mouse circus entertains and amazes the two. After the show, Coraline returns to the house, and is put to bed. When she wakes up, she is sad to find she’s back in the real world. Seeing the cheese crumbs by the bedroom door, she goes downstairs to the little door, only to find that it’s locked.

Later on that day, Mel drops off Charlie to turn in the garden catalogue, while she and Coraline go shopping. Mel becomes irritated when Coraline begins comparing their reality to the dream “Other” world, and things come to an angry standstill when her mother denies Coraline a pair of lovely gloves to help keep her individual from the dress coded school she is going to be attending.

On the trip home, Coraline’s Mom explains that she locked the door when she found some ‘rat crap,’ thinking that the open door was allowing rats into the house. Back home, with nothing to eat in the fridge, Mel decides to go grocery shopping. Coraline refuses to go, and after Mel leaves, Coraline finds the key to the door. Unlocking it, she finds a small feast as well as a new outfit for her on the kitchen table, along with an invitation that Ms. Spink and Ms. Forcible have a performance to show her after her meal.

Coraline leaves the front porch, and encounters the cat (Keith David), who it turns out can talk in this world. He cautions her to be careful, but she shrugs off his concerns. Entering Spink and Forcible’s residence, she meets Wybie and the two are audience to a wonderful (yet somewhat disturbing) theater show.

After the performance, the Other Mother and Other Father greet Coraline, who is still enthralled by the performance. Wybiedejectedly watches as Coraline is led into the house. The Other Mother then explains to Coraline that she could stay forever, but must allow buttons to be sewn into her eyes. Disturbed by this request, Coraline departs for bed, hoping to fall asleep and return to her reality for good. However, she awakens to find that she is still in this other world. She goes downstairs, the house being noticeably gloomier and scary to her. She encounters her other father who tells her that he cannot talk to her while the other mother isn’t there. The helping hands in the piano continually interrupt his conversation, forcing him to remain silent. Running out of the house, Coraline tries to run away from the Other World, only to find that there is nothing beyond the house and nearby wooded area.

Returning to the house, Coraline confronts the Other Mother, and demands to return to the real world. Growing angry at Coraline’s defiance, the Other Mother transforms into a spindly, gaunt version of herself and throws Coraline into a magic mirror until she can "Learn to be a loving daughter" where she encounters the ghosts of three of her past victims. The children call the other mother a "Beldam" and explain that she traps children in her world and force them to sew buttons in their eyes, but when she tires of them she puts them into the mirror. They explain that she must find their eyes in order to free their souls. Other Wybie takes Coraline out of the mirror, and she discovers the Beldam’s punishment, skewing his face into a twisted smile with a pair of hooks. He takes her to the door, then sacrifices his safety to make sure she returns home.

Coraline returns home and discovers her parents are missing. After confronting Wybie about the happenings, he thinks she has gone crazy and flees. With the cat’s help, Coraline discovers that by seeing her parents’ reflection in a mirror that the Beldam had come and taken them away as well. She returns to the Other world, and using the cat’s advice challenges the Beldam to a game, which the Beldamhas a passion for and cannot refuse. She challenges to find the eyes of the children and her parents otherwise she will remain in that reality forever and allow buttons to be sewed into her eyes. Using a trinket given to her by Spinkand Forcible in the real world, she is able to find one in each of the "wonders" that the Beldam presented her, off the knob of a sheering mantis in the garden, which the still-kindly other father sacrifices himself to give her. One in Spink’s ring, and one in one of the circus mouse’s balancing balls. Retrieving them in the nick of time, Coraline has yet to find her parents. When Coraline discovers them in a snowglobe, she throws the cat at the Beldam’s face (whose appearance has changed drastically, with more spider-like moves), grabbing the globe and escaping a web the Beldam had created as the remainder of the illusory world shatters into nothingness. She manages to climb up and out of the world and through the tunnel, returning to find that her parents have no memory of having been kidnapped.

That night in bed, the children’s spirits tell Coraline that as long as she has the key to the Beldam’s world she is in danger. Coraline resolves to throw the key into a deep abandoned well nearby, but the Beldam has one trick up her sleeve, releasing her clawed hand (which was revealed at the start of the film) it attacks her before she can drop the key into the well. Wybie arrives and with his help, they are able to put the hand down, dropping it and the key into the well. Wybie apologizes for thinking that Coraline was crazy, revealing a photograph of his grandmother and great aunt, who is holding a doll that looks just like her. The following afternoon, there is a garden party thrown by the Joneses, with all of the neighbors involved in planting beautiful flowers (or beets in Mr. Bobinsky’s case). Coraline notices Wybiecoming through the gates to the garden with his elderly grandmother, and rushes to greet them, and tell her about her sister’s story. Back at the front of the Pink Palace, we see the cat sitting on the "Pink Palace Apartments" sign. He mysteriously licks his paw and disappears behind the sign.

REVIEW:

I’ve never read the Coraline book, but after watching this, I may go to the library and see if I can locate it.

The first thing that caught my attention about this flick, is the fact that it is not CGI, bit rather stop motion. You remember stop motion, don’t you? That’s where actual people set each character’s movements one at a time. It takes some time, sure, but its a lot more enjoyable to watch than CGI.

Aside from the stop motion, I can’t help but notice how beautifully animated this film is. It should go down in history up there with some of the other visually stunning films.

It is quite obvious that Tim Burton is behind this film. The only things missing ar Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Danny Elfman. True, Burton didn’t direct this film, but his stamp is all over it. The creepy, fun look that almost all of his films have is everpresent.

Something ironic that I found was when the Other mother becomes a spider like entity. Teri Hatcher is known as a skinny, bony, hag these days. I just found it hilarious that the character she played morphed into the Other Mother, they made her so skinny and ugly that she looked like Teri.

What did I think of this film? It is for sure worth a viewing? Most definitetly, unless you’re one of those basket cases that has it in for Tim Burton ot something.

4 out of 5 stars

Push

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

During the opening credits, a narrator (Dakota Fanning) tells us how those with abilities have been involved with the government since 1945. The opening scene shows two Movers, Nick Gant and his father on the run from the “Division”. Realizing that escape is impossible, Nick’s father tells him of a vision he received from a Watcher; a girl will give him a flower and he is to do what she says in order to “save us all.” He then throws him through an air vent as Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) of Division arrives. Nick’s father then fights the Agents, taking out only two (on screen) before he is killed while Nick escapes.

Ten years later, the American Division is testing a potentially deadly augmentation drug on a Pusher named Kira (Camilla Belle). While the test seems like a failure, when the doctor moves in to check Kira’s pulse, she reveals herself to be alive (the one and only to ever live). Knocking the doctor out, Kira steals his card and a syringe which has the drug in it and escapes with the help of her enhanced abilities and interference from a nearly-catatonic Watcher.

Two days later, the scene changes to Hong Kong, where an adult Nick Gant (Chris Evans) is hiding from Division as an expatriate. Though he attempts to use his ability to make a living, he displays a poor skill at “moving” and is not successful at fixing a local dice game, leaving him in debt to a local Triad—which happens to be controlled by Bleeders bred by the now defunct Chinese Division. After making his escape from the gamblers, he returns to his apartment and finds that the American Division has located him. Two Sniff Agents, Mac and Holden (Cory Stoll and Scott Michael Campbell), demand to know if he has seen a certain girl. While Mac sniffs around Nick’s apartment, Holden psychically reads about Nick’s actions in this apartment, and finds out he hasn’t yet met the girl. The two Agents then leave, taking Nick’s toothbrush in case they need to find him again.

Almost immediately following the encounter, a young girl named Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning) comes to Nick’s apartment. Cassie lets herself into his apartment and explains that she is a Watcher and that they are going to find a case containing 6 million dollars. Nick and Cassie then go to a restaurant to further discuss their plans. While Cassie tries to convince him to help her, Cassie has a vision and proceeds to run ahead, claiming that trouble is near. The two are caught by the Triads and subdued. Nick helps Cassie escape and as the Triads’ Bleeders prepare to kill him, they are stopped by their sister, a Watcher (Li Xiaolu), who states that without Nick they find no chance of finding the girl. As Nick lies on the ground, dying, an unknown woman comes and retrieves him. Cassie follows and finds an unconscious Nick lying face-down on a table. The woman who rescued him, a female Stitcher (Maggie Siff), then heals his wounds because of a favor she owed to Cassie’s mother, a prolific Watcher who has been imprisoned by Division. As Nick reawakens, Cassie gives him a lotus flower and he recalls the words of his father, knowing now that he has no other choice than to help Cassie.

Meanwhile, Kira is captured by Agents Mack and Holden, but manages to escape by pushing Mack into shooting his partner. Carver in turn pushes Mack to shoot himself for his mistake. Nick and Cassie go to a nightclub on a hint from Cassie’s predictions. Upon entry, Nick sees an old friend, “Hook” Waters (Cliff Curtis), who happens to be a Shifter and is using his abilities to swoon local ladies and scam the club. He uses his abilities to make a replica of the clue in Cassie’s drawing and he tells them to go to Emily Hu (Ming Na), a highly skilled Sniff who can help them find Kira.

After Nick and Cassie find Kira, who had a former romantic relationship. Kira was apparently captured by Division and Nick failed to find her. They recruit a Shadow named “Pinky” Stein (Nate Mooney) to hide Kira from the Sniffs, knowing that it is merely a stopgap measure; a Shadow cannot hide a subject from a Watcher at all, but from Sniffs for a short time, and Division has several tracking Kira. Later that night, Nick and Kira manage to rekindle their relationship while Cassie walks around town by herself, confronting the Triads’ Watcher and receiving threats from her.

Then in the morning, Cassie awakens suddenly. The team departs from their apartment and is shown that the Triads had located them. While Nick, Cassie, Pinky and Kira find a new hiding place at Emily’s place, Nick decides that it is time to make a stand. With the help of Emily, he finds Agents Henry Carver and his partner, an advanced Mover named Victor Budarin (Neil Jackson) and confronts them. Now with greater control over his abilities, Nick holds both Agents at gunpoint and chats with them where Carver reveals that Kira will die if she does not come with them. Soon, Budarin and Nick battle and despite Nick’s improved skill, he is easily outmatched by Budarin’s superior strength. While Nick and Budarin fight, Carver confronts Cassie. Carver tells Cassie he will not hurt her for if she dies, the future will change to one Carver may not like. Cassie then says that the same will happen if Nick dies. Carver then returns to the Movers’ battle where Nick is being severely beaten. Carver tells Budarin it is time to go and both agents depart.

When Nick returns, he finds that Kira is in bad shape and that Carver was telling the truth about the side-effects of the drug. As he comforts her, Cassie barges in and thanks to one of her drawings, finds the key to a locker in which Kira hid a valuable case. With the aid of Cassie’s visions, they are able to roughly piece together the events that led them to meet; Cassie’s mother used her visions to set a complex plan in motion that will lead to the destruction of Division. Knowing that they are being tracked by Watchers from both Division and the Triad, Nick comes up with an elaborate plan that involves seven envelopes in which he puts instructions in; each person in their group is entrusted one envelope, and none are supposed to open them until the time to act is right.

First, Pinky pretends to sell Kira out, then turns the reward (though he is somewhat disappointed he does not get to keep the money for his efforts) over to Nick. Nick uses the money to pay a Wiper to erase his memories of the plan, ensuring that Watchers from both Division and the Triads will no longer be able to interfere. Meanwhile, after Budarin injects Kira with an immunosuppressant to counteract the adverse effects of the drug, Carver introduces himself to Kira as a friend, saying that her memories are false; she is actually a Division agent volunteered to take the augmentation injection, and suffered memory loss as a side-effect and shows Kira her badge.

During this time, Hook retrieves the case (which doesn’t have 6 million dollars, but instead has the syringe Kira stole) and brings it back to Cassie and Emily. He then shifts another case to look exactly like the case with syringe. Cassie then takes the shifted case to Nick’s apartment as her instructions stated she should do and waits. Meanwhile, Nick regains consciousness, not having any memory of the envelopes or his plan as he had planned. He then opens his own envelope which simply tells him to return home and does so. When he returns home he finds the case in his room, the female Stitcher who healed him returns the injuries he received from the Bleeders earlier and he collapses in agony. The Stitcher then hands the case over to the Bleeder Triads who give her a great deal of money in return. As she prepares to leave, Nick uses his abilities to take the guns Cassie hid (as she was instructed) and holds the Stitcher at gunpoint, forcing her to heal him. As Cassie and Nick leave the Stitcher tied up in his apartment, Cassie fears the worst because all of her drawing which have to do with her death. Nick promises that she will not die and the two depart, Nick telling Cassie to go and find somewhere to hide without even thinking about it.

Cassie finds her hiding place in a large apartment building, but unfortunately, the Triad Watcher finds her and holds her at gunpoint. Prepared to kill Cassie, the Watcher tells Cassie that she made her look like a fool in front of her family. Before she is able to pull the trigger, the Wiper that wiped Kira and Nick jumps out and wipes all of the Watcher’s memories without trouble. It turns out that Cassie had just lured the Watcher out.

Meanwhile, Nick goes to retrieve the augmentation drug himself and confronts Carver, Kira and Budarin. Kira reveals that she has been using Nick the entire time and Nick, defeated, takes the three to the building which holds the lockers and the case. Nick then handcuffed and thrown in the trunk of the car as Kira, Carver and Budarin go to obtain the case. As they do, they are suddenly ambushed by the entire group of Triads. Budarin, Kira and Carver make short-work of most of the Triad’s forces and unintentionally free Nick from the car. He then joins the large battle and commences a rematch with Budarin. As Nick finally overpowers Budarin, both are attacked by a Bleeder Triad. Budarin manages to kill the Bleeder with a bamboo stick thrust through his neck. And as Nick and him try to once again fight, the Leader of the Triads reveals that he too is a Bleeder and kills Budarin. As the Bleeder continues to scream, Nick causes a very large amount of building material to come down on the Bleeder and successfully kills the leader of the Triads.

He then rushes over to Kira and Carver to confront them once more. Carver beats Nick and then pushes him to go and walk off of the roof of the building. Right before Nick walks off, he suddenly turns and knocks Carver to the ground, grabs the case and jams the syringe in his arm. Carver tries to tell Nick it’s a bad idea to use the drug. Despite this, Nick injects himself, falls over and dies. Carver and Kira then depart. Moments later, Cassie walks over to Nick’s body and tells him that she told him bring an umbrella. Nick opens his eyes and stands up, and Cassie retrieves the true case, revealing that Nick really only injected himself with soy sauce as they had planned. The duo then leave, Cassie saying that they’ll meet Kira again soon enough.

On the flight back to America with a sleeping Agent Carver, Kira opens her purse and finds her red envelope. She remembers Nick telling her to open when “she started doubting the truth” and opens it. Inside, she find a picture of her and Nick at Coney Island. Written on the picture is the message “KILL HIM. See you soon, Nick.” Kira then pushes Carver, commanding him to put his gun in his mouth and pull the trigger. The film then fades to black with the sound of a gun shot.

REVIEW:

Audiences did not embrace this film, and I wondered why until I saw it tonight. Don’t get me wrong, it is a pretty good picture, but it’s kinda like not eating for a month and then going to an all-you-can-eat buffet….you pile up your plate and can’t digest it all.

The good parts of this film are that the action scenes, especially the climactic battle, aren’t half bad. The director obviously knew what he was doing when it came to those . Djimon Honshou and Dakota Fanning are the best actors of the film. That’s not to take anything away from Chris Evans, who is the hero of the story, supposedly, but his character seemed rather average and he didn’t do anything with the role.

On the negative side, this film gets in its way. I mean, it goes down one path and then all of a sudden it switches and starts to go down another only to backtrack and go off on yet another tangent. This is very confusing to the average viewer. The Bleeders were just plain annoying, and the fact that their eyes turned into some sort of weird cat-like manifestations weirded me out. It was never explained why they had to wear sunglasses all the time, either. For goodness sakes, it’s not like they’re Cyclops! Evans’ character, I felt, should have gone into some sort of training, especially after getting the hell beat out of him in the restaurant. It’s quite obvious he’s not as adept with his powers as others. You would think this would light a fire under him. All the talk about Cassie’s mother, you would imagine they’d have shown her somewhere, but she’s on;y there in a brief mentions here and there, yet its quite obvious she’s the one behind this all.

Now, while I have my issues with this film, I did enjoy it. Then again, I was in the mood for some action, so I may be a little biased tonight. Still, this was a pretty good film. I didn’t love it and I’m not going to call it a favorite, nor am I going to go out and buy it, but if given the option to watch it again, I would voluntatrily do so. Why not check it out and see what you think.

3 out of 5 stars