Posts by Ben G «
As we wind up for Christmas, it is one of the few times a year that we gather around the TV and force family members to watch holiday themed movies. So we thought that we would give you the guide to the best to watch with the whole family, and those which are best viewed after the kids and grandparents are in bed. Here is our Christmas movie countdown for the family and for the adults.
For the Family:
5 – White Christmas
This is really the one that started it all. Fun for the whole family, especially for the musical lovers. With a cast of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney; it is tough to go wrong with this holiday favorite. True, there are some fifties jokes and references that you might have to explain to kids, but then you can just have them sing along to every song and it won’t matter. All kidding aside, White Christmas is pretty much the standard for all Christmas movies, and it still stands the test of time.
4 – A Christmas Story
This may seem low on the list, but since it has begun to run for 24 hours on Christmas Day, the luster of the jokes are not as sharp as they used to. However, this should be used instead of a fake fire on your TV during the holiday. Thanks to TNT, this has become a part of everyone’s Christmas experience along with egg nog and family bickering. In addition, the best jokes never get old from “NOT A FINGER” to “Fraaa-geeley! Must be Italian.” this movie can never get old.
3 – A Christmas Carol
It seems every five years or so a remake comes out with some twist or all-star cast, so we cannot recommend which one is the best since there are over twenty versions. Whether is be performed by Muppets, Shakespearean Actors, or Mr. Bean; this story is a staple of the holiday season. Dickens’ model holds true to always provide an entertaining story of redemption and the holiday spirit. And lets face it, it is not the Christmas season until you hear, “God Bless Us Everyone.”
2 – Elf
The only recent recommendation on this list, but this contains everything that we have come to love in a family Christmas movie. There are jokes for kids and ones for adults. There is a story of redemption, and a story of acceptance. James Caan sings, and Bob Newhart is a tiny elf. A talking Norwal, and a surly Santa. All of this with Will Ferrell at his comedic height, makes for an original Christmas movie that seems to be inventive for Hollywood even outside the holiday season. If you don’t agree then you are a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.
1 – It’s A Wonderful Life
As if this wouldn’t make out list. This movie is great because it could fall on any day of the year, but it takes on a greater meaning that George Bailey finds out what his life is worth during the Christmas season. This movie is so ingrained in our sub-conscious that it has become the American Christmas Carol, and represents the American ideal greater than Dickens ever could. While it has been imitated several times from film to TV, there is no replacing the original. The fact that it is Jimmy Stewart‘s and Donna Reed‘s most recognizable parts over everything else they have done, shows how widely popular this film has become over the years.
So now that you have seen every hokey holiday film known to man, it is time to kick back and enjoy yourself. Here are our top five R rated, or close to it, movies.
5 – Scrooged
What could be better than a Christmas movie with Bill Murray. One where he is the part of Scrooge. While we admit that many of the jokes are dated, Murray turns in a great performance along with Carol Kane. Not to mention an appearance by David Johansen (apparently taking a break from his alter ego Buster Poindexter). Scrooged provides all of the highlights of A Christmas Carol with a wittiness of someone who is reacting honestly.
4 – The Ref
This forgotten gem is a classic for those with dysfunctional families. While the plot is implausible, the family fighting is priceless. From annoying in laws to the dominerring matriarch, this film shows that resolution can be achieved through fighting. Denis Leary was at his acerbic height, and was supported beautifully by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis. Who all were still awaiting their big film roles, and were still willing to work on an independent film. In addition, it was one of the stronger showings from the late Ted Demme.
3 - Bad Santa
This has to be one of the oddest movies on the list, but it still remains a classic Christmas movie. Billy Bob Thorton pulls off some decent comedic acting with a kid. His frustrated rants are comic gold. Which is what makes the dynamic of the movie so funny. Different from most movies, Thorton treats the kid as an dumber adult not as a child, but the fact that it is a clueless kid makes the relationship so comedic. And in what other movie do you see the gift of a wooden pickle.
2 – Die Hard
Oh yes, this is a Christmas movie. And there is no better way to release stress than to watch Bruce Willis pull glass out of his feet while talking to the dad of Family Matters. While the premise of the Die Hard series is becoming an old one, this was and still is one hell of an action movie. In a way the film does show the Christmas tradition; a family coming together, and a man saving Christmas for a bunch of people to ensure joy for the holiday. Sure it is a stretch, but really think about and yippee ki yay.
1 – Christmas Vacation
This is the best Christmas movie since Bing Crosby tapped danced with Danny f’in Kaye. Leave it to the Griswolds to show us the true meaning of family. From office christmas presents to the Jelly of the month club, this never fails to generate laughs. There is Cousin Eddie, the boxed cat, and the Squirrel! Vacation shows us that no matter how horrible the holidays can be, it is best to laugh and manically drink egg nog. Just try not to get locked in the attic or over cook the turkey. Happy Holidays, and have fun.
So by now we have all read or heard the reviews of the newest Bond film, and we know where Roger Moore ranks this new one. Since this is the 50th anniversary of Bond films, we want to see how the new one stacks up against the previous films. However, one cannot just compare one bond film to another, there is a process that must be followed.
First, we have to look at all of the Bond actors and what their best are. Now for most there are the first three that are the stand outs. For example beginning with the best; Connery’s first three were Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger. After those first three came Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever. While Thunderball was good, it was not up to par with the first three. Moving to Roger Moore; he began with Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, and The Spy Who Loved Me. Moore then followed with Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and A View To A Kill. Again, sub-par efforts after a strong beginning. Unfortunately other actors did not fare as well, George Lazenby had a strong showing, but gave up after just one. Brosnan had a phenomenal freshman effort with Goldeneye, but failed bigger than any other Bond before. And then Dalton was never given a chance and had a good showing with Living Daylights, but Liscence to Kill ended his run.
So where does this leave us? Well, we have to agree with the addition of Craig that the best all time Bonds now look like this: Connery, Craig, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Lazenby. Craig can move down, but Connery will always be the best. Now, Roger Moore has already said Skyfall is the best, so by his word, it comes down to just comes down to Connery’s and Casino Royale. Skyfall already beats out Quantum of Solace. We already know it beats Connery’s last three, so now where does Skyfall fit in with the rest. It is in the opinion of this writer that it falls as is, as the fifth best.
While Skyfall is very good, it does not beat the impact that Casino Royale had re-energizing the series. And it cannot be better than the Connery top three because simply that is where the movie leaves off. From the coat hanger in the receiving room to the leather padded door of the new M office, Bond has come full circle. In addition, this movie did a far better job at honoring the past through small winks and nods to the older movies instead of cheap gimmicks that Die Another Day used. The most important thing is that Bond is strong and still the bad ass he should always be, and that makes me happy.
So before we get to election day, we here thought it might be good to a quick review of political movies. There have been many great movies about politicians and the political process. However, for our purposes here, we will look at two of the best. One a true story while the other is fiction, each showing us the good and the bad that politics has to offer.
Taken from the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from the investigation into Watergate, this movie creates one of the greatest achievements in all of cinema. It makes an investigation into the government exciting and suspenseful. Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden, Hal Holbrook, and Jason Robards turn in incredible performances.
There are two aspects of All The Presidents Men excel at. The first is showing how investigative journalism and the inner workings of a major newspaper work. While much is dramatized, most of the tension is created by the editor Benjamin Bradley being pressured by the Washington political system. The second is how, beyond the two men investigating the Watergate break ins, a politician could become corrupt and those around him that would cover that up.
The investigation, book, and movie shook the confidence of all of America in their political system. In addition, All the Presidents Men stands the test of time and still is a taught political thriller.
The flip side of this coin is Capra’s version of Washington D.C. The simplest way to summarize this movie is imagine a school kids that just finished taking his first U.S. History or Civics lessons. Then put that brain in a grow man who is appointed to become a Senator for his home state. Once in Washington D.C., he is shown the dark side of politics, but instead of giving in, he fights like a true believer would. In turn, he instills faith and patriotism in his secretary and fellow Senator. In the end, freedom triumphs over back door deals, and politicians seeking profit.
Capra gives us the idea of what we all wish out politicians would be in Mr. Smith, and all the while giving a standard view of politicians. However in Capra fashion, one man can change it all. Unlike All the Presidents Men, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington gives the viewer the feeling that everything will be all right because we have people like Mr. Smith out there loving freedom and want to protect it. In addition, you get classic Jimmy Stewart ranting during his filibuster in only the way that Jimmy Stewart can. In addition, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains deliver fantastic performances.
So there you go, one film to shake your faith and one to build it back up. However, these do not compare to the drama of the debates and the coverage on the cable news networks. However, soon we will have a movie about that, I mean there is already a TV show on HBO.
October is upon us and that means that everyone loves to watch horror movies to prepare to stuff themselves on left over candy from those trick or treaters that are getting fewer and fewer every year. So we here would like to guide you in what to watch over the course of the next 31 days to ensure that you have weird dreams and avoid dark hallways.
Over the history of film, Horror has found its way into larger genres and has proven to be a consistent crowd pleaser from mutilated prisoners to people attached at the rectum (you know what movie I mean). So here are our top five horror movies as always this is not fact just preference so disagree as much as you like.
Night of the Living Dead
The are movies that come along and set the standard. From that point on, there are movies before and movies after, this is Night of the Living Dead. George Romero changed all the rules and made film history by making a low budget independent film with an African American Hero and Blonde Bombshell Heroine that scared the crap out of everyone. On top of all of this, Romero showed that Horror can be driven by the visual and not by an actor. Night of the Living Dead is the bible for modern horror, and in particular, one of the flash points that led to inspire some of the best make up artists in all of film history.
Here is our first one that does not seem like a true horror film. True there are no supernatural elements. There are no demented villains murdering people in a flesh suit. But how many people to this day think twice before going into an ocean while thinking of this movie. Jaws and Steven Spielberg scared generations of kids and adults from swimming in the ocean. To further the validity of this movie falling into the horror category, Spielberg used many elements from old horror and suspense films (especially Hitchcock) to further terrify the audience. There is the old trick of not showing the villain until half way through the movie, and Spielberg masterfully used this to the point that on opening weekend of the film when the shark appears people were either fleeing the theater or throwing up in their seats.
For lack of better comparison, this is Jaws in space. However, Alien goes above and beyond that. Alien is a combination of Jaws and 2001 and things exploding out of your body. Ridley Scott amazed everyone with this film, and still creates fear in those who watch (that is possibly before Prometheus). The idea of being trapped in a box with something hunting you is scary enough, but lets add that even if you can harm the hunter its blood will burn and kill you. Oh my god. Then to further complicate your survival, the main computer that communicates with an android have decided that the hunter’s life is more important than yours. To top it all, the thing was given birth out of your buddy’s stomach during dinner the night before, so screw any idea of eating in the future. Ridley Scott delivers all of this with terrifying suspenseful perfection, that can still give anyone nightmares.
How can you turn a great Stephen King book into an astonishing movie? Have Stanley Kubrick adapt it into a movie. If not for our number one, this would be the definition of how to scare people for a year or two after having seen a movie. From an elevator of blood to a creepy kids voice, the Shining incorporates all the best of Stephen King’s novel and improves on the bad parts. The similarities are the supernatural element that tie all the characters together, scenes like the woman in the bathtub, and those freakin twins. However Kubrick was able to create new elements through writing and filmmaking. By driving the cast to the brink of mental break downs, Kubrick ensured the most authentic performances to the point that Shelly Duval did not speak to him after the film for the rest of Kubrick’s life. The scene where the camera follows Danny Torrence on his big wheel through the hotel builds so much suspense resulting in those freakin twins that a seemingly mundane shot becomes on of the most terrifying in film history. The final alteration was the ending. While in King’s book, the supernatural element takes over and goodwill prevails, Kubrick’s ending is that of a man so single minded that a hedge maze becomes his demise. Giving us Jack in his most famous face frozen for all time.
You can sit and say that there are scarier movies, you can say that there are better movies at shocking you, you can say that there are movies with more blood. Shut Up. Hands down this movie scares more people per capita than any other. I have seen the movie over fifty times and certain scenes still keep me up at night. Whether you are a fan of spider walking or heads with no neck muscles, this movie instills fear in all who watch. Hell you don’t have to have religion to find it terrifying. Among all the scary things in the movie, there are always two that stand out. The first being the demon’s face that flashes through the movie (particularly the extended version), and lastly when you see the words “Help Me” rising out of Reagan’s stomach as if she is caught inside. The Exorcist took every note of horror and built upon it. From the supernatural to the desperation to right a wrong brings all of us in. But our challenge is watch multiple times and see all the subtle creepy moments, if you dare.
Well All Star Break is rapidly approaching, and much like baseball, the movie theaters are in their second half of the summer season before the lull that is the beginning of school. So far we have seen hits in the Avengers, Brave, and Men in Black III. We have had big numbers but mixed reviews about Prometheus and Snow White, and of course the failures that are Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy. As we attempt to get the auto-tuned versions of Classic Rock staples, as done by an older cast of Glee, we look … to… the… FUTURE!
The Amazing Spiderman: This reboot, which did not make our redo list previously this year, looks good; has the teen heart throbs that actually look as if they fit the comic mold better than the previous stars. However, while the cast looks decent enough, it is going to be interesting to see if the director can top Sam Rami. That job falling to Marc Webb, most recently known for 500 Days of Summer. However, you know kids and nerds will be talking about it in some way the day after it opens.
The Dark Knight Rises: I would love to launch into a lengthy explanation for this movie, but simply if you have not seen the first two then go watch them and then you will know why I need not say much to hype this up. There has been some debate over the villains and other characters in this last Nolan installment, but Nolan has not failed us so far (please don’t fail us).
The Bourne Legacy: Straight from our reboot list, this is a new take on the Jason Bourne Franchise. This time the hero is played by Jeremy Renner, but he is not playing Jason Bourne, an assassin names Aaron Cross. This is a film that takes place in the universe of Jason Bourne that presumably picks up after the previous three Bourne films. Tony Gilory steps out from behind his writing desk to direct this one, and he should be capable enough. This is a sure thing because Renner is hot right now coming off of the Avengers, and if this works out he could be settling into two movie franchises.
The Watch: This is a dark horse but is a recommended comedy. After all of the action movies you might want to see Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill pretend to be bad asses. If the movie is half as good as the preview, then it will be another hit for Stiller (although the preview dictating success is not a given, but a bad one can secure failure…see Rock of Ages).
Ice Age- Continental Drift: Yes they made another. I know you ask why, but here is the simple truth…kids love these movies. The first one was a nice change of pace from Pixar. However, now this franchise is getting almost as annoying as Shrek. This is a great one that kids will love and you can get out of the heat. And you never know, there might be two or three funny lines.
Total Recall: We are still not sold on this one. Even though the previews look great, there is still doubt that it can match the cult status of the old one. However, all of us will be seeing it to see how it stacks up. Therefore, this could be great or just be ok.
The Campaign: How can you go wrong with Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis in the same movie? On star power you can’t. Galifianakis is becoming the comic go to guy, while Ferrell is the veteran. The only thing that I can see keeping this from a comedy hit is the director Jay Roach. While he is not stranger to hits (Meet the Parents), he can also show his political leanings with his films (Recount and Game Change).
Expendables 2: Liam Hemsworth, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture. If that cast works for you then you will enjoy this love letter to explosions and one liners. If not, have fun with your girlfriends.
Savages: Ah Oliver Stone. Couldn’t stay away. This film about gorgeous twenty somethings that share a model girlfriend that get mixed up in the marijuana/mexico drug trade just reeks of Stone’s ego. While this could be the one that gets him a new audience with some younger viewers, this looks to go the way of Alexander. He gets the casts and has good stories, but something always goes wrong. This best bet is that this movie will go wrong.
As we prepare our Oscar menus and make our picks for our Oscar pools, one of our favorite Oscar past times is less than 24 hours away. That past time is judging the whether Academy made the right decision. So we will take a look at the films that almost were the “Best”. We’ve gone over the best of the best pictures, so now we look at the nominees that did not win. We used the same criteria as before: Must be an Oscar Nominee for Best Picture, must be on AFI’s top 100 Movies list, AMC’s Top 100 list, and must be on Roger Ebert’s Top 100 List (why because he is the best). Out of 337 films we narrowed it down to 10, we picked the top five, in our opinion.
5.It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – This holiday classic is the standard bearer for the phrase Capra-esque. However, it was released in a very good year for the best picture category. In the end, it lost to our favorite The Best Years of Our Lives, but as we all know, it has gone on to be part of everyone’s video library since then, while Best Years faded.
4. Apocalypse Now (1979) – The horror, the horror that this is in fourth place. This epic, that nearly killed Martin Sheen and Francis Ford Coppola, is one of the best films of all time, and is placed here because the following movies just had something a little more. Unfortunately, Apocalypse faced a similar problem during its year, Kramer vs. Kramer won the statue that year appealing to the Academy’s heart strings and not their fear of decapitation.
3. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – This classic gets to number three because of three reasons. One, if you have not seen this movie during your childhood, then we hope you enjoyed growing up in Soviet Russia. Two, the songs for the film are still classics and are still sung to this day. Three, whether it is a story of a crazy munchkin or Dark Side of the Moon matching up, this movie is constantly reemerging into the social consciousness every ten years or so. Unfortunately for the producers, it had to go up against the juggernaut of Gone With the Wind.
2. Citizen Cane (1941) – Regarded as the best movie of all time, this classic was snubbed by the Academy and apparently us as well. There is no denying Orson Welles‘ genius, and this was literally a flip of a coin for us. It’s year or nomination it was in competition with other classics like The Maltese Falcon and Sergeant York, but all lost to How Green Was My Valley.
1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – Stanley Kubrick was one of the most ignored filmmakers by the Academy. Three of his films were nominated for best picture, and none of which were 2001, which he won his only Oscar for best special effects. Strangelove makes the top of our list because it is a classic film and snub by the Academy. It was a black comedy about nuclear annihilation during the Cold War, Peter Sellers give three pitch perfect performances in one film, George C. Scott is unforgettable, one name Slim Pickens, and many more reasons. Perhaps the most annoying though is looking at its fellow nominees. Becket, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady (which won), and Zorba the Greek joined Strangelove. None of which made any of the lists that we used to filter the nominees. Strangelove is regarded as timeless classic, but this is concerning the same organization that did give Crash the Oscar.
It is that time year, OSCAR‘s is soon to be upon us. For us movie lovers, this is the culmination of a year of disappointments and triumphs. So we thought before we hear the winners from this year we look back at the best of the best of Oscar. These are the top five movies that won the Best Picture award since the Academy Awards began back in 1927. We whittled the over all list of 83 winners down to five by using the following criteria: Must be an Oscar winner for Best Picture, must be on AFI’s top 100 Movies list, AMC’s Top 100 list, and must be on Roger Ebert’s Top 100 List (why because he is the best). Then we here at Serious Movie Lover chose from the remaining 10.
5. Annie Hall – (1977) The lone comedy on this list, and maybe one of the best ever. The instant classic that made Woody Allen not just another funny comedy writer also stands as the last comedy to win the statue. Along with Allen’s steady self doubt, Diane Keaton gives her Oscar winning performance.
4. On the Waterfront - (1954) The most analyzed movie on this list gives us the quintessential Brando performance of all time. Elia Kazan‘s anti-Communist film centered around the dock worker who could (everyone say it together) “Have been a contender.” With its win, On the Waterfront became a classic and one of the most divisive Cold War/Black List Era movies of all time.
3. The Godfather 1 & 2 – (1972 & 1974) We know, they are two separate movies, but let face it, you cannot watch one without the other. Go ahead and try. It is like baseball and beer, one should not be enjoyed without the other. So we place this as one movie for right now. Do we really need to describe these to you? No, you know them you love them, and the Michael Corelone in you wants to know why it is not number one.
2. Casablanca – (1943) In some circles this is regarded as the best movie of all time due to its near perfection of movie making. It has one of the best casts in a non-heist type movie. It is tough to top Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Raines, Peter Lorre, just to name a few. Then throw in some Nazi’s long lost romance, a budding friendship, and the oddly appealing acting style of Peter Lorre…you can’t lose.
1. The Best Years of Our Lives – (1946) Sure this can’t beat the star power of Casablanca, but how about a ton of seasoned character actors. The Best Years tells the story of three returning World War II veterans. Each has a different path. One is haunted by his experiences and turns to liquor, another finds the fan fair of a war hero to be non-existent and instead of finding a better life has to return to his job of being a soda jerk, and finally a disabled veteran who survives only to lose his hands and be the object of pity to everyone. This earned an Oscar for the lead actor Fredric March, and a supporting one for Harold Russell who was the living embodiment of his character having lost his hands in a grenade accident during training. This was also a feather in the cap of William Wyler who took home best director. All said this movie is the benchmark by which the Academy should judge best picture nominees by.
The movie that seem to garner the most attention at the Golden Globes was The Artist. This then leads to some interesting movie going news to follow. Apparently in the United Kingdom, moviegoers, upon finding out that the movie is largely a silent movie, walked out. Now, this action surprised us here, mostly due to the fact that the Golden Globes pointed out that it was a silent movie about a thousand times during the broadcast. So our response is to begin an on going list of rules for watching movies. Please feel free to add here on our Facebook page, and then we can finally avoid morons from going to a theater.
Rule #5: Research the movie you are going to go see. There are thousands of websites devoted to critiquing movies. These range from local newspapers to Internet blogs. Use these sources to get a synopsis of the movie you want to see, by doing so then you know you will not be going to see movies that you will not enjoy. For future reference: IMdB, Rotten Tomatoes, Dark Horizons, Google, etc.
Rule #4: Have an open mind. Not every movie is made for those that are stuck in comas and don’t care about what is on the screen. What this means is that once or twice a year, a movie is made that challenges the audience to focus on other parts of the movie making process than how many robots blow up. This is wear we refer you to Turner Classic Movies and the delightfully calming Robert Osborn to educate you in classic movie techniques and backstories. After a few weeks, you will realize that not all movies with booby shots are instant classics.
Rule #3: Shut Up! This is not directed to the sassy woman loudly talking on your phone during the credits, nor to the gentleman making funny wise cracks during horribly awesome movies. This is directed to the person that goes to a movie and has to ask questions although out the movie. Questions like: Who is that? What is he doing? What is going on? What happened while I was in the bathroom? Or statements such as: This does not look good. Ooooooh, I wouldn’t do that. That would never happen in real life. All we can say is shut up. If you cannot go two hours without making a sound then you need to stay at home, just be quiet and let the movie explain it to you. 90% of the time, your question is answered within five seconds.
Rule #2: Stay for the Credits. I know this one is kind of out of place for this article, but is a cardinal rule by our standards. We get it, you just spent the last hour and a half plus sitting in one place (quietly), and you got places to go and people to see. All we ask is that you take the extra five minutes to stay through the credits. There are other people that work on the movies that you see that are not on the screen or get to walk red carpets. All that these people get is their name lumped in a large group of people that goes by rather quickly, and you sometimes get rewards like an extra scene or bloopers. So before you leave your next movie ask this question, “Who was the Best Boy and the Key Grip?” Answer those questions and you may leave.
Rule #1: Just because you love movies doesn’t mean that you should see just any movie. We here at Serious Movie Lover obviously love movies, but we disagree on many films. That doesn’t mean that the movie is bad or not worth watching. What this means is some people have different tastes. For instance with two best picture contenders, as mentioned before, The Artist is mostly a silent movie, so if you sit watching a Charlie Chaplin movie and think to yourself, “This would be better if he only would talk instead of acting out his emotions.” then the Artist is not for you. Another example would be Tree of Life; if watching Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey makes your brain hurt, you don’t get the connection between the bone and technology, or you wish HAL would have a more cheerful tone; then Tree of Life is not for you. If you cannot wrap your mind around ideas like these then stick with what works, the newest Shia La Beouf movie.
A few months ago, we saw an article about the remaking of the classic movie Point Break. This led us to think, why? Why mess with one of the best horribly awesome action movies in the last thirty years. This one gets better with age, and if younger audiences cannot appreciate Keanu Reeves‘ horrendous acting, then they do not deserve a reboot. So we have broken these down into ones that you should look out for, and those you might want to avoid and wait until you can get them with Netflix.
To See: Man of Steel – This is the Superman reboot with Zach Snyder at the helm with Henry Cavill (of Immortals and the Tudors) as Superman. Along with Cavill the cast is rounded out with Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Seeing as Superman was nearly killed by Bryan Singer and Kate Bosworth with the previous attempt, Snyder and an all star cast have no where to go but up, and I am sure it will be in 3D. This is due out in 2013
Dark Shadows – Yes the beloved campy tv series (both incarnations) is coming to the big screen, however this is looking to be one to mark on your calendar. Headed by the hit or miss trio of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter; Dark Shadows looks to be one movie that even if awful could be highly entertaining. The rest of the cast contains Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Lee Miller, Christopher Lee, and Alice Cooper as himself (awesome). Summer 2012.
Snow White and the Huntsman – Of the two live action Snow White movies due out, this one looks to be the better of the two. Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron; this adaptation is more of a dark realistic (for a fantasy movie) version of the fairy tale. Deviating a slight bit from the original story to offer a bit more action than singing dwarves, this version looks to have a shot at being a summer blockbuster. Summer 2012
To Miss: Mirror/Mirror – The flip side of that Snow White coin is this movie geared towards 8 year old girls. Starring Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, and teen heart-throbs from various other movies; this is the one with singing, dancing, and all the little people jokes that your heart desires (if that is your thing). Even with all that wholesome family fun, this is one that we do not recommend seeing. If you want to see a nice sweet happy version of the story then wait till Disney re-releases the original animated movie from its vaults next time they need a boat load of money. Spring 2012
Maybe: The Bourne Legacy - This one that is tough to gauge. The fourth installment of the Bourne franchise sees the spy role go to the rising Jeremy Renner. This time he is not Jason Bourne but associated with the same organizations. Along with a good cast, the film is helmed but the original screenplay writer for the franchise Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton). This is his first hand at directing in the Bourne series, and he has big shoes to fill following Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass. However, this one could prove to be a new starting point for the franchise and launch it into possible early James Bond status. Summer 2012
Total Recall - This one is the toughest. This remake is directed by Len Wisemen (of Underworld fame) and the cast includes Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy (as Kuato), Ethan Hawke, and John Cho. Have to say for myself, this looks pretty awesome. However, this cannot touch the original by Paul Verhoven with Schwarzenegger, which was campy with modest special effects (by today’s standard) and Arnold murdering the English language every line. We cannot cheat on the original, but then again… Summer 2012
Back in 1996, everyone watched in awe as a young exuberant man jumped up and down on the Oscar stage for winning best supporting actor. For a brief time, his future was bright, and he had the world at his feet. However, the dark hand of the Oscar winner began to creep over him before the night was over. The young man was Cuba Gooding Jr.
After paying his dues, Cuba was given a great role and did everything he had with it. Looking back at his role of Rod Tidwell in Jerry McGuire, he deserved his oscar fair and square, but afterwards, dogs have laid better piles of work than Mr. Gooding, Jr has. The pinnacle of this pile of stinky poo is Radio, but first lets see the movies in between: As Good As It Gets, What Dreams May Come, Instinct, Men of Honor, Pearl Harbor, Snow Dogs, and Boat Trip. In the midst of these are several less notable films. As you can see this is not the most impressive list of films. The most notable is As Good As It Gets, but in that movie he had a supporting role that bordered on a cameo. In addition, it is one of those that we all know that he had signed up and filmed well before he earned his Oscar.
Then in 2003, a movie came along that many a great actor has fell victim to…the mentally handicapped role. Dustin Hoffman made his career with one, Sean Penn embarrassed himself with another, and Ben Stiller mocked them all. Cuba was no different. Radio gave him a chance at another Oscar, but as Mr. Stiller pointed out in Tropic Thunder about Sean Penn in I Am Sam, Cuba went to far with the character. In the end, he embarrassed himself and was part of a failed movie. To note, Ed Harris also signed on to this turd, and in the end, it was a failed I Am Sam meets Remember the Titans.
Cuba still continues to make films, but has never come close to his former glory. However, in the middle of a horrible slump, Cuba showed his greatness in a small role in American Gangster. That reminded all of us of how good he could be, but either he or his manger need to be smacked in the face for allowing an Oscar winner go the way of Kevin Spacey and Halle Berry.