Movie Review: Man on a Ledge (2012)

I am not very fond of heights. Sure, it could lead to a pretty awesome view or two, but overall I don’t see the purpose of being high up. Especially if shit gets fucked and you fall off that height. Just increases the chance of your death. So I’m gonna stay on the ground, thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Man on a Ledge”.

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is a man on a ledge (hehe). And as people gather to witness this man’s apparent suicide attempt, police psychologist Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) gets brought in to try to talk him down. All while a heist is happening in the building across the street. So now we have our plot. And I’m just gonna say it, the idea behind this movie is actually really good. However the execution on the other hand is not that great. While not the worst execution of a plot ever, it is still really bland and convoluted, not making a lot of sense. It also lacks the tension that so clearly could be achieved from this premise. And the twists throughout are… not great. They often add to the convoluted aspect of the plot that I mentioned earlier, not making too much sense. So overall the plot is… meh.

The characters here are meh… there’s no other way to put it. None of them are particularly interesting. At least I didn’t want to hit them for sucking (so that’s something). Sam Worthington as an actor is the very definition of hit and miss… more often miss than hit. But to give credit where it’s due, his performance here isn’t bad, it’s fine. One of the better performances I’ve seen from him. Elizabeth Banks plays the police psychologist brought in to talk Worthington off the ledge (presumably through the window, rather than off the ledge towards the street). And she’s fine in the role. Jamie Bell plays Worthington’s brother, and he was fine in the role. Genesis Rodriguez plays Jamie Bell’s girlfriend in this and she isn’t very good in the role. Sure, the material she’s given isn’t great, but her delivery isn’t very good either. Edward Burns plays a cop who is on this case, and he’s fine in the role. Anthony Mackie plays a cop who also happens to be an old friend of Worthington’s, and he’s good in the role. Titus Welliver plays another cop who’s a douchebag, and he’s fine in the role. We also get Ed Harris as a businessman that is important to the plot, and while he isn’t in the movie too much, he’s great… he’s Ed fucking Harris… presumably collecting a paycheck. So overall the acting here is… fine.

The score for the movie was composed by Henry Jackman and it was fine (using that word a lot in this review). I am usually a big fan of Jackman’s work, he’s composed a whole bunch of scores that I’ve liked. But the stuff he did here was generic action-thriller stuff that you won’t remember in an hour. It’s just there and it’s… fine.

This movie was directed by Asger Leth who did a fine job. And by fine I don’t mean like a fine wine, but just… fine. His directing here doesn’t build a lot of tension, and it doesn’t give us any awesome shots, but it’s also not offensively bad. It’s just fine, passable directing that works for a bland action-thriller like this. The action scenes too, they’re okay, nothing memorable, but nothing awful.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 31% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Man on a Ledge” is an okay thriller. It has a meh plot, meh characters, okay performances, okay music, and okay directing. The main flaws with this movie is that nothing stands out in this movie… all of it is just passable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Man on a Ledge” is a 6,12. While not great, it is maybe worth a rental.

My review of “Man on a Ledge” is now completed.

Meh…

Movie Review: Jack Reacher (2012)

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Book to film adaptations are one of the biggest gambles in the movie industry. There are always books that some people want to see as movies and/or TV-shows. Personally I am waiting for any type of adaptation of Patricia Cornwell’s book series about Kay Scarpetta. But enough about that. Today we are taking a look at a book to film adaptation that not many saw coming and that got decent reviews when it came out.

Jacks and Jills…”Jack Reacher”.

The story is as follows: Trained military sniper shoots (and kills) five innocent civilians. When he later is captured he requests that a certain man investigates his case. And that man is our main character; Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). So when Reacher comes to start his investigation he runs into the suspect’s lawyer Helen (Rosamund Pike). The two starts investigating the case, they find out a lot more than they would expect. They run into some bad stuff during this. One thing is that there might be more people involved in this. And that is all I can really say without diving into the spoiler end of this pool. This movie is something I expected to be a straight up action film (based on a trailer I saw). But this movie is so much more than that. It is a dark, brutal, smart crime-thriller that always stays on. And you guys know I am a HUGE fan of crime-thrillers. Hell, I even made a Top 5 list about crime thrillers a while back. But anyway, this is a movie that spends a good amount of time with investigations, so it’s not all non stop action. But when there is action in this movie…it is awesome! This movie is a big thrill ride that never let’s go. The only thing that kinda bugged me (a little bit) was the fact that a bunch of conversations between Reacher and Helen are very, how should I put it…expositional. I am not kidding, a lot of their conversations are made for exposition…and that bugs me a little bit. Otherwise…good storytelling in this movie.

The characters are…I don’t know how to put it. They are…complex, I think is the right word to explain them. It is difficult to say. One thing for sure is that they are interesting to watch. I especially got very interested in Cruise’s character Jack Reacher. Sure, he is the main character, but a lot of times the main character in movies is kind of uninteresting. But here he is a complex, brutal guy who you can never really tell what he is thinking. And I love complex characters. So yeah, that is what I can say about the character in this movie. They are complex and have several layers on them.

The music is fucking amazing. It is as dark and cold as…the music in “Prisoners” (2013). That is all I can really say. I did say that the movie was dark and brutal, so I guess the soundtrack fits. Wait…guess? No! I know it fits!

The camera work in this movie is really well done. I think the scenes when the camera swings around the current character of that scene, it looks really good. I do think the direction by Christopher McQuarrie was excellent. And I did some research about the character of Jack Reacher prior to this review…apparently Tom Cruise isn’t Reacher in that sense even though his acting was great. Apparently Reacher is a guy that is like 6 foot 5 inches tall and in general being a real Hulk of a man. And that is something that bothered fans of the books when it comes to this movie. They weren’t happy about Tom Cruise who is only 5 foot 7 inches tall and not overly muscular. And I can see why it would bother them…but I don’t care. Tom Cruise pulled off a great performance and that is all that matters to me.

The reception for “Jack Reacher” was pretty good. Rotten Tomoatoes has a 61% positive rating calling it “Jack Reacher is an above-average crime thriller with a smoothly charismatic performance from Tom Cruise.” Metacritic gave this a 50/100. Roger Ebert has no review or score for it. This movie has a solid 7/10 on imdb.com.

I have spoken about “Jack Reacher” and I am going to hand out a score for this movie. My final score for “Jack Reacher” is an 8,89/10 and a recommendation to buy it. With a few faults it is not worthy of the “SEAL OF APPROVAL”. Mainly due to the expositional conversations. But it is still worth buying. This is a thrilling murder mystery that should be watched by anyone who wants a good movie.

“Jack Reacher” is now reviewed.

I should probably seek out the book…

Movie Review: The Master (2012)

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Back on the drama platform again. Some dramas get universal praise, while some get hated and some are just somewhere inbetween. And no, this is not one of the inbetween movies…at all. This is a movie that got recognized as a great movie pretty damn quick. But is it something that this guy can get behind and love as much as the critics did?

Ladies and gentlemen…”The Master”.

The story of the movie is set in 1950 and follows a man named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix). Freddie isn’t really a completely stable person. First he was kind of traumatized by being in war and then he ended up a bit of a drunk. One night when he is on one of his drunken escapades he ends up one a boat filled with people led by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd is someone who the people pn the boat call “Master” (Roll credits). Basically it is like a cult or organization that Freddie ends up joining. And then he struggles to be in the organization but also having the disadvantage of having the bottle as his best friend. And that is it realyl considering how difficult it is to explain this movie without spoilers. But the premise is kind of interesting and the execution isn’t too shabby. It is just that strangely enough…the story of this movie doesn’t appeal to me. Not saying it’s bad, it just isn’t that kind of super awesome to me. It is kind of good, but not perfect.

The characters are kind of like the story…odd. Okay, I never mentioned odd in the story segment, but it is kind of odd. But the way these characters are is diffcult to say. I could say they are portrayed very realistically, but I am not sure on if what they do is realistic or not. I can at least say that the acting is really good…I mean REALLY GOOD. Joaquin Phoenix is pretty much unrecognizable as this drunken mess of a man. This guy pulls off the role perfectly! I honestly think it is one of the best performances I have seen from any actor. Philip Seymour Hoffman was also great as this leader of the organization. Still, Philip Seymour Hoffman is good in everything. But with characters/acting I was pleased.

The music is fantastic. A good mix of orchestral tracks, both bombastic and calm. Composer Jonny Greenwood did an excellent job making the soundtrack for this movie.

This movie looks better than most movies I have ever seen. Paul Thomas Anderson really shows here that he knows how the camera works and how to make a really good looking scene! Also, when I looked in the cast list for this movie I was surprised to see Swedish actress Lena Endre in there. Not saying seeing here there was a bad thing, just surprising.

The reception for “The Master” was good. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has a 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has 86/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars and said this;

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air. It has rich material and isn’t clear what it thinks about it. It has two performances of Oscar caliber, but do they connect? Its title character is transparently inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, but it sidesteps any firm vision of the cult religion itself — or what it grew into.

On imdb.com this movie has a score 0f 7,1/10. This movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars. Best actor in a leading role (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Actor in a supporting role (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best actress in a supporting role (Amy Adams).

I have given this movie some good words and some less good words. So now I am ready to give it my score. This movie gets my personal 8,43/10 and a recommendation to rent it. This movie has a lot of things going for it, but is still not really worth buying (In my opinion).

“The Master” is now reviewed.

While Philip Seymour Hoffman is cool, he is not as cool as the Master from Doctor Who.