Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick Reviews

I am currently without internet until later next week (I'm switching my service from one company to another, and due to some poor planning on my part along with some incorrect info given to me by my previous company, I have week-long window with no service), so I'm just going to quickly post some comments on what I've done or watched lately as long as I'm at a coffee shop using wi-fi:

The Mechanic
I remember when the trailer for this came out and I thought it looked interesting, but then I never heard about it again and I forgot this movie existed. Then I saw it in my Netflix recommendations (probably because I give every Jason Statham movie five stars), and figured I'd check it out. Long story short... this movie is awesome and has quickly made me realized that when Statham makes a movie, I just need to go see it in the theater no questions asked.

This is an action-packed thriller about a hitman (Statham) who attempts to train the son of one of his victims, played by Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland respectively. But as action-packed as it is, it's pretty slow-paced and thoughtful for a Jason Statham movie. He never shoves a shotgun up some guy's ass or has intercourse with his girlfriend in the middle of the track during a horse race. I don't know if this will make sense, but The Mechanic is kind of a real movie that didn't seem written for Jason Statham, and Robert DeNiro or any other good actor could've been cast. Lucky for us, of course, that it stars Statham, since he's awesome. Oh, and so is his co-star Ben Foster, an actor I've always liked but never took for much of an action star. Would you believe me if I told you that the absolute best fight scene in this movie was Foster's and not Statham's? You'll know it when you see it.

I don't want to say too much about it since the story is full of interested twists and turns, but I will say that it's fantastic, entertaining, and a lot of fun. Check it out.

Super 8
This one probably deserves a longer, full review, if only because it was a huge summer hit and so beloved by critics and audience members alike. Well... I wasn't one of them. I just thought it was ok.

Look, I don't want to spoil anybody's fun by saying I didn't like this movie, since it was slick, clever, and well intentioned, but I also thought it was kind of pointless and boring. As an homage to the early 80s films directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, it works great, but all things considered, I'd rather just rewatch E.T. or The Goonies than some movie that's trying desperately to be like E.T. or The Goonies. I grew up on the movies Super 8 tried to emulate, so I respected what it was doing and did feel a certain kind of nostalgia, but ultimately it just made me want to rewatch the original films that first used these concepts, and to better effect and in more satisfying ways.

And, to be sure, the above paragraph was be being nice and open-minded. If somebody else wanted to comment that Super 8 was less of an homage of Spielberg's films and more of an out-right rip-off, you'd get no argument from me.

But forgetting all that, you might wonder how the movie stands on its own. And, as I said, it's ok. The cast is great, the acting is first-rate (especially by all the kids), and the special effects are about as good as you'll ever seen, but there was no real story or plot to speak of. It was two hours of build up to a five minute finale that felt flat and boring. Toward the end I stop caring about any of these characters and just wanted it to be over already.

But don't take my word for it, since a lot of people loved it. 

I'm not going to say much about this series, since I'm currently in the middle of season 2 and would rather review it after I've finished the entire run that's available on DVD since I have a lot to say about it, but it's so good I had to give it a mention all the same.

Damages, ostensibly a legal thriller starring Glen Close as a lawyer who specializes in class-action lawsuits against giant corporations, is one of the best TV shows I've seen in a long time. Just... go watch it. You'll be glad you did.


Mugato said...

Ok, I also wanted to see The Mechanic. So one day I watched it on Netflix, I was about a half hour in when I realized I was watching The Machinist ... true story.

I thought Super 8 was OK. My 8 year old thought it was awesome. So there you go. I think it will appeal to kids nowadays like ET did for us.

Never watched Damages because I typically get bored by Lawyer shows. Although I almost watched it when I saw John Goodman in the commercial. If it's on Netflix I'll give it a go.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Now you need to see Killer Elite.

Also, I thought the Machinist was a pretty neat movie.

Mugato said...

You know, I did end up watching The Machinist and it was not bad at all. I don't remember that even being in the theaters.

Donald said...

Every person I've told about the Mechanic asked me if it was "That Christian Bale movie."

What's Killer Elite?

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Some Jason Stathan movie that came out a few months ago with Clive Owen and Robert DeNiro. Didn't get very good reviews.

Anonymous said...

First season of Damages is one of the best things I've ever had the pleasure of watching. Unbelievably good. Second season was good, but disappointing after the greatness of the first. It goes downhill fast from there. This past season was all but unwatchable. Sad.