Movie Review: Arlington Road (1999)

The 90s. Now, while that isn’t the most relevant thing to this movie, I just wanna take a second to mention what a great decade that was for film. Especially thrillers, as we got so many interesting and varied kinds of thrillers out of the decade. Let’s just give a nod or a clap for the thrillers of the 90s.

Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to… “Arlington Road”.

Shortly after history professor Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) starts getting acquainted with his neighbors after an accident involving their son, he starts suspecting that there’s something a bit off with them. And we follow Michael as he investigates them to see what they may be hiding. And I must say that I really enjoyed this plot. Sure, there were a couple moments of “Really, movie?” throughout. You know, those types of conveniences that are a bit more noticeable than others? Yeah, a couple too many here, bringing the plot down a little bit. But other than those moments I thought the plot was great, filled with excellent suspense, highly engaging drama, and just a great sense of intrigue.

The characters in this are layered, flawed, and quite interesting. First up we have Jeff Bridges as Michael Faraday, the aforementioned history teacher who starts suspecting his neighbors. We find out early on that he lost his wife a while before the events of the movie, which still haunts him a little bit, which may or may not add to his paranoia throughout. And he’s quite a complex character. And Bridges is fantastic in the role. Next we have Tim Robbins as Oliver Lang, the father in the family he suspects. He’s a charming, fun, and just overall cool guy… and he may or may not be hiding something. He’s quite an interesting character. And Robbins is great in the role. And that’s all I’ll go in-depth about, since if I say more it could potentially ruin some stuff. But I can mention that in the supporting cast we see people like Joan Cusack, Spencer Treat Clark, Hope Davis, Robert Gossett, and Mason Gamble, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Angelo Badalamenti (with some additional tracks done by musical duo Tomandandy), and it was good. I didn’t notice it too frequently, and when I did it ranged from really good to kinda meh. Not saying any of it’s bad, since I do think all the tracks working fairly well for their respective scenes, just that I won’t find myself listening to it any time soon.

The movie was directed by Mark Pellington, and I think he did a damn good job. His direction is tight and suspenseful, often playing around with the main character’s sense of paranoia. He also plays around a lot with lighting, making for a bit of fun watching. There’s also some excellent use of the Dutch tilt in a couple scenes, perfectly encapsulating what is going on the character’s head. Really well done.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 62% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

While not perfect, “Arlington Road” is still a really solid conspiracy thriller. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, pretty good music, and great directing. A previously mentioned, I do think there are moments throughout the plot that bring it down a little bit. Not enough to ruin it, but enough to bring the score down a little. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Arlington Road” is an 8,90/10. So while flawed, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Arlington Road” is now completed.

One more clap for 90s thrillers, they deserve it.

Movie Review: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

We are finally here, my friends. The final part in my series of reviews leading up to “Mission Impossible: Fallout” in August. As for anyone wondering about “Ghost Protocol”, I already reviewed that one back in the day when my blog was fucking awful… so you’re not getting a review of it now. And after this review, there will be no more “Mission Impossible” content on this blog… until “Fallout” gets released at least. Anyway, let’s get into the final part of this review series.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”!

After the IMF gets disbanded, Ethan (Tom Cruise) and the gang have to go rogue to try to take down a shadowy organization known as The Syndicate. That’s the basic plot, not saying much more about that due to potential spoilers. But what I can say is that while the plot is relatively straight-forward, it still succeeds in feeling like a good spy-thriller plot. Instead of going for convoluted twists and turns, it focuses more on being a fast-paced, suspenseful, and engaging thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for most of it.

The characters int this are colorful, unique, interesting, and overall entertaining. As expected, Tom Cruise of course returns as Ethan Hunt. This is the same Ethan Hunt as in most of the previous ones, but a bit more developed. And seeing the shit he has to endure throughout this (not counting crazy stunts) is just as engrossing as it’s been in the past. And Cruise is of course great in the role. Next we have Simon Pegg reprising his role as techie Benji Dunn. He once again acts as a comic relief, but he also gets a few more dramatic moments this time around, and it just makes the character even more interesting. And Pegg is great in the role. Ving Rhames returns as Luther Stickell, the other techie of the team. He’s once again a charming, caring, (sort of) voice of reason kind of man that is so much fun to watch. And Rhames is really good in the role. Jeremy Renner returns as agent William Brandt, and he once again provides a bit of fun commentary on Ethan’s antics while still being a very important part of the team. And Renner is really good in the role. Newcomer time! First up we have Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa, a mysterious woman who Ethan and the audience can’t be sure to fully trust, and she’s given a good arc in this film. And Ferguson is great in the role. Next we have Sean Harris as Lane, a dangerous hitman who acts as the movie’s main villain. Not gonna say much more because his role is better left experienced rather than explained. But he’s a suitably creepy villain with good enough motivations. And Harris is really good in the role. We also get some supporting work from people like Alec Baldwin, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Simon McBurney, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Joe Kraemer, and I think he did a damn good job with it. Sure, he mostly builds upon sounds established in previous installments, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of it. His score is badass, bombastic, exciting, and suspenseful, often elevating the movie’s many scenes.

“Rogue Nation” was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and I think he did a great job with it. His direction has a good flow, making even the actionless scenes interesting. And then we come to the action scenes, which are beautifully shot. There’s not a shaky-cam in sight, everything is fully visible and shot to be as exciting as possible. Also, minimal CGI. Real vehicle chases, real fights, real Tom Cruise strapped to a big-ass plane like a crazy person. McQuarrie shows here that he has an eye for making compelling and awesome action scenes.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” takes what was good in the previous installments and blends it to make a damn fine action film. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and fantastic directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is a 9,86/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is now completed.

I really enjoyed going through these movies. Love doing review series like this.

Series Review: Bosch – Season 2 (2016)

A long time ago (October 2015) I reviewed the first season of this show, and I liked it a lot. So naturally I was excited to see a second season… which didn’t air here until this year. And I know that you will mention that I could simply stream it last year on Amazon, but this is a show I watched on TV with my parents, and I didn’t wanna break that for season 2. So I patiently waited and it finally came out here weeks ago. And a day or so ago the season finale aired. So, let’s just get into it and see if this follow-up is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Bosch” season 2.

Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) is called back into active duty after a six month absence to investigate the murder of a pornographer. And as Harry, with his partner Jerry (Jamie Hector), investigates this case they find that this guy might’ve had ties to the mob. And as the two continue investigating, they find that this case is a lot more complicated than it might’ve seemed at first glance. So now we have our gritty cop drama. And while this season admittedly lacks some of the tense unpredictability of the first, it’s still a well constructed plot filled with twists, turns, engaging drama, and intrigue. In a world filled with cop dramas, “Bosch” and it’s plot stands out.

The characters here are layered, entertaining, and interesting. Titus Welliver returns as Detective Harry Bosch, the eponymous cop with a less than shiny past. He’s not necessarily a “bad” cop, but he is a bit rough around the edges. We get to see a more vulnerable and emotional side to Harry this season as he learns more about what happened to his mother, and also because of some other stuff that I won’t spoil here. But he’s a really interesting character, and Welliver is great in the role. Jamie Hector is back as Jerry Edgar, Bosch’s partner. He’s funny, he’s cool, he’s interesting, and he’s a good counterpoint to Bosch. And Hector is great in the role. Amy Aquino returns as Grace Billets, Bosch’s friend and superior. She’s still the tough yet charming and lovable woman we got to know in season 1. And Aquino is great in the role. Lance Reddick returns as Irvin Irving (actual name), the highly ranked police that Bosch often works for/with. And without saying too much, he goes through a pretty interesting and even emotional arc this season that made me care a bit more for him. And Reddick is great in the role. Then we have Sarah Clarke and Madison Lintz returning as Bosch’s ex-wife and daughter respectively. And they add some interesting dramatic weight to the season that I won’t go into. But both actresses do a really good job here. Now for newer people worth talking about. We get Jeri Ryan as the widow of the dead pornographer. And she’s an interesting character that gets to go through some stuff this season. And Ryan is great in the role. Then we have Brent Sexton as a security guard that Bosch gets to know through the season, and he gets some interesting things to do here. And Sexton is great in the role. Then in a couple more supporting roles throughout we get actors like Robbie Jones, James Ransone, Matthew Lillard, John Marshall Jones, and more… all doing a great fucking job.

Jesse Voccia returned to do the score for this season, and he once again did a great job. The score is tense, exciting, emotional, and just overall works very well for the show in general, at a lot of times elevating certain scenes. Then there are some licensed tracks used throughout and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, and is based on Connelly’s book series about Bosch. And it was written/directed by a whole bunch of people. And I think they did a great job. This world/show feels fully realized, and they make it feel interesting. The directing here is great, often adding tension and/or energy to a lot of scenes, making sure it never feels dull. The action scenes in this show too are pretty exciting. They don’t do anything unique, but they’re done well enough and they have enough tension so that you can’t help but sit and enjoy them. The first season’s sly and dark sense of humor is back, and it’s just as enjoyable.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

Season 2 of “Bosch” is a great follow-up to the great first season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Bosch” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Bosch” season 2 is now completed.

As far as modern cop shows go, “Bosch” is one of the best.

Series Review: The Punisher – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t really think I need to make an introduction for this. I’ve talked about this show several times on this blog before, every time reminding you of my excitement for the show. So let’s just get into the review and see if this show is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is season 1 of… “The Punisher”!

After he has seemingly killed the people responsible for the death of his family, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) soon uncovers a deep and complex conspiracy that somehow relates back to his past as a soldier. So now Frank has to find out what the hell is going on while a Homeland Security agent (Amber Rose Revah) gets a whiff of him being back in town. So now we have our comic book thriller. And is this plot any good? Yeah, it is. It’s not a fast-paced action/revenge plot, but it’s a slightly slower conspiracy thriller that features Punisher, and I think the plot here is very intriguing. My only gripe with it is in one of the early episodes. It’s not bad, but the pacing at one point dragged a little bit. But overall here we have a surprisingly deep plot that isn’t afraid to tackle dark and socially relevant themes regarding guns, violence, vigilantism, PTSD, black ops, family, and it is all incredibly engaging and intriguing. ’tis a great plot.

The characters here are flawed, damaged, layered, and just really interesting. Jon Bernthal (like in season 2 of “Daredevil”) plays Frank Castle/The Punisher, former soldier turned violent vigilante. Already in “Daredevil” he got a fair amount of development as a character, and they somehow managed to cram in a bit more here. As we follow him through the season we see how the war, death of his family, and the vigilantism has taken a toll on him and how it messes with his mind a bit. And it is all incredibly engaging. He’s of course also a motherfucking badass, but that didn’t need to be mentioned. And Bernthal is once again fantastic in the role. Amber Rose Revah plays Dinah Madani, the Homeland Security agent on Frank’s trail. She’s a tough and determined woman who wants to find Frank and possibly get justice. But she’s not just some brash and unstoppable idiot, as she at times is shown as vulnerable, but in a good way. And Revah is great in the role. Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays David Lieberman (AKA Micro), a skilled hacker and whistleblower that Frank teams up with to try to solve this conspiracy. And he brings a much needed levity to the dark and grim tale of “The Punisher” without coming off as forced or out of place. He is funny, but he is also a serious character with a good dramatic arc. And Moss-Bachrach is great in the role. Then we have Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Frank old best friend that I will not talk too much about since it’s too easy to get a bit spoiler-y with him. But he has somewhat of an arc and Barnes is great in the role. And then (to not ramble or give too many character details here) in various supporting performances we have people like Jamie Ray Newman, Kobi Frumer, Deborah Ann Woll, Paul Schulze, Michael Nathanson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jason R. Moore, Daniel Webber, Kelli Barrett, C. Thomas Howell, and they all are great in this. Really, it’s a great cast.

The score for the show was composed by Tyler Bates, and it was great. What we have here is a tense, exciting, dramatic, emotional, badass, and just overall interesting score that takes heavy influence from rock and blues to create a fairly unique sound for a show like this. It’s not straight-up rock or blues, but there are traces of it in the score and I like that, makes it sound almost a bit western-y at times. And it all works very well for the show. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they all work well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Steve Lightfoot and written/directed by a whole bunch of different people (with Lightfoot having written a couple of episodes). And I think they did a good job here. While it’s not as action-packed as the trailer made it out to be, there is still action here. And when action happens it is exciting, badass, and brutal. Not just brutal as in a lot of blood being spilled, but brutal as in the violence having a real impact here. And it’s not just gunshots penetrating bodies, there’s also close quarters fighting, and knives, and various other things used throughout to create the memorable and brutal as fuck violence. And the directing and such in the less action-based scenes is good too… got a little sidetracked there, I usually save action for after overall directing… oh well, c’est la vie.

This show just came out, but it has already gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 54/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,6/10 (though this is very likely to change).

Season 1 of “The Punisher” is pretty damn great. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/action. My only flaw was the slight pacing problem in one episode, but it doesn’t really bring it down too much for me. Time for my final score. *One batch, two batch, penny and dime*. My final score for “The Punisher” season 1 is a 9,52/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Punisher” season 1 is now completed.

I really want to get into the comics.

“The X-Files” season 11 trailer!

Hello there, my friends! More trailer talk coming your way! So let’s just jump into it!

So thanks to New York Comic Con we have gotten a trailer for season 11 of “The X-Files”. Now, for those unaware (fucking cave dwellers), “The X-Files” is a show created by Chris Carter and was first aired in 1993. It’s about two FBI agents named Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) who investigate a series of weird cases (AKA the titular “X-Files”). It ended in 2002, had two movies released in 1998 and 2008, and was revived for a tenth season which aired in early 2016. Then earlier this year it was announced that the show would come back for an eleventh season. While the tenth season wasn’t one of the show’s strongest, I was still excited about the season 11 announcement. Because one, season 10 ended on a bit of cliffhanger. And two, I will never say no to more “X-Files”. So now we have our season 11 trailer. And how does it look? It looks fine. More conspiracy stuff, the smoking man up to shady shit as always, some creature shit going on. Basically it’s more “X-Files”, but with a seemingly bigger focus on an overarching plot (though I could be slightly wrong about that last part). Am I excited? Like I said, I will never say no to more “X-Files”. The eleventh season of “The X-Files” will air in 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for season 11 of “The X-Files”? And what are your thoughts on season 10 (I’ve seen a lot of mixed thoughts)? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

New “The Punisher” trailer!

Hello there, ladies and gents of the internet! Another interesting trailer has dropped, so let’s talk about it!

So we have a new trailer for “The Punisher”, the next Marvel/Netflix show. When “The Defenders” was released, we got a small teaser for this series, giving us a slight hint at what might occur. But now we have our first full-blown look at the show and holy shit… holy shit. We get a good glimpse at what caused Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) to become what he was, as well as some of the people involved in this conspiracy. We also get a good look at the carnage that will ensue and mother of god, it looks brutally glorious. Blood, bullets, shouting, badassery. This trailer also features the best use of Metallica’s “One” ever. And it’s fitting too, since it’s about a soldier who gets everything taken from him. Really, this trailer is amazing and I am so excited for the show! “The Punisher” is set to be released later this year. No specific date, those cheeky fuckers are keeping that on lockdown.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “The Punisher”? And what’s your favorite Metallica song? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Series Review: Comrade Detective – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t know what kind of intro to make for this. Just the idea and existence of this is a riddle to me. So let’s just get into the review and see if this is any good.

Comrades… “Comrade Detective” season 1.

“Comrade Detective” is set in 1983 and is about Romanian police detective Gregor Anghel (Channing Tatum/Florin Piersic Jr.), a man sworn to stop crime and uphold the communist way of life. But tragedy strikes as his partner one day gets killed during an operation to catch some bad dudes. So Anghel, together with a new partner named Iosif Bacio (Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Corneliu Ulici), starts investigating the case of his former partner’s murder. And as they keep investigating they stumble upon a conspiracy that could endanger not only them, but also their communist way of life. So now we have this weird thing. But it’s not just a cop show randomly set in 1980s Romania, as it’s actually kind of a metanarrative. The show is presented as this really old communist propaganda show that had seemingly been lost forever, until it was found and then dubbed by Americans. So we’re working with a metanarrative cop drama that is also a satire of society and capitalism/communism. Yeah, it’s weird. That said, I found it to quite an interesting narrative. The cop side of things, while not always the most engaging, is actually fairly solid, filled with twists and turns. Then you have the satirical elements of it which adds a bit of a fun edge to it. Then you also have the dubbed aspect of it which is just a fun idea to add to it. So yeah, the plot here is… good.

What is interesting about this whole thing is that on the screen we see some actors, but the voices that come out of their mouths are clearly dubbed over, like in ye olde foreign films. Poorly dubbed with no sync between voice and mouth, which is clearly deliberate and also quite fun. So when you have Florin Piersic Jr. moving around and “talking”, you hear the voice of Channing Tatum come out of him. It’s a little weird at first, but I quickly got used to it and thought it was fun. And Tatum delivered his lines very well, and Piersic Jr. did well with the physical parts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt voiced the partner, Baciu, and he did very well. And Corneliu Ulici was good in the physical role. I don’t have the patience to write down every pairing and giving comments here, so I will just list some of the voice actors you hear in the show, but I will list the physical actors in the tags so I don’t get shit on too much. *Inhale* Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Chloë Sevigny, Jake Johnson, John DiMaggio, Bobby Cannavale, Beck Bennett, Daniel Craig. There are more, but again… I don’t have the time or patience to write every single one. That said, it’s a well acted show.

The score for the show was composed by Joe Kraemer and he did a pretty good job. Some of it is the typical cop drama stuff, which is fine because it works well within the show. There is also some synth pop in here too, because of course there will be synth pop in a show set in the 80s. And alls the music in this show works very well for it.

This show was created by Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka, with the directing being done by Rhys Thomas, who I think did a good job. Nothing feels overly flashy or too current (for lack of a better word). It feels like an 80s cop show, only shot with better cameras. The period detail and directing style is what makes it feels genuinely 1980s. It is a well directed show that flows pretty well. The action scenes especially, they’re quite fun.

This show has been pretty well received (based on few reviews). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Amazon’s “Comrade Detective” is fucking weird, and I’m okay with that. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. The only flaw I have with it is that the plot wasn’t always the most engaging. Time for my final score. *Comrades*. My final score for “Comrade Detective” is an 8,88/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it is worth watching.

My review of “Comrade Detective” is now completed.

I have questions… I don’t know what questions, but I have them.

Movie Review: Street Kings (2008)

I’m all for the police. They’re needed to uphold the law. But then we have some cases of corruption within the department, which makes some people blame the police in it’s entirety, which I think is unfair. Just because you find one spoiled apple in a bunch, do you throw away all of them? If you are, then you’re wasting a bunch of perfectly good apples, you fucking dick. Point is, don’t blame everyone… just the individual.

Ladies and gents… “Street Kings”.

Detective Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) isn’t really what you’d call a good cop, as his methods for taking bad guys down are usually a bit… extreme. And when an old partner of his gets killed, he goes on a quest to find the assholes who did it. And to do this he teams up with a young and less corrupt cop named Diskant (Chris Evans). So now we have a gritty cop story about corruption and death and cover-ups and revenge and such. And is this plot good? Eh. I see a lot of potential in this story, and at times it grasps for the greatness… but doesn’t quite reach it. It feels like they just kind of skimmed the surface of this plot, not quite getting there. Maybe it’s the runtime/pacing? It’s only about an hour and fortyfive minutes long, and it never really takes a break to develop the plot or let moments actually simmer and have any effect. I could definitely see this as a show on HBO or Netflix where it could get some time to develop. But overall it is… fine.

The characters here are for the most part just a bunch of unlikable assholes… so it’s hard to get invested when you don’t really like any of them. They’re not even really that interesting, they’re just… unlikable assholes. Keanu Reeves in this… I usually love Keanu, but here he is one of those previously mentioned unlikable assholes. Though I’ll say this, he gives a really good performance here. Forest Whitaker plays Keanu’s boss in this, and he’s probably one of the more likable characters in this, even if he is a bit of a shady dick. His performance is great though. Chris Evans in this plays one of the less shady cops in this, and he’s also not a total dick, so that’s great. And he gives a really good performance here. Hugh Laurie plays the captain of internal affairs in this, and he is great here. Jay Mohr (first time he’s mentioned on the blog… weird) plays one of Keanu’s colleagues, and he’s also kind of a dick… and he gives a good performance. Amaury Nolasco plays another one of Keanu’s colleagues, and he’s also a dick in this… and he gives a pretty good performance. Then there’s a bunch of good supporting performances in the movie too, including from Naomie Harris, Common, Terry Crews, John Corbett, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Graeme Revell and it was pretty good. It was serious and gritty, fitting the urban style of the movie. Really, there isn’t a lot to say about it. It’s not very original, and it’s not very memorable. It’s just some okay music that worked pretty well for the movie.

This movie was directed by Daivd Ayer and I think he did a pretty good job. While the movie isn’t visually unique, it does actually look good. His direction has (in lack of a better word) grit to it, really capturing the dangerous and unpredictable feel of this world. And the action scenes in this movie are good. They’re badass, brutal, and pretty exciting. Definitely the highlight(s) of the movie.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 36% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 55/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Despite the great idea it presents, “Street Kings” is quite shallow and becomes just… fine. It has an okay plot, meh characters, great performances, okay music, and really good directing. As previously mentioned, my flaws with it comes from the plot not being great and the characters being unlikable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Street Kings” is a 6,98/10. So while flawed, it’s worth renting.

My review of “Street Kings” is now completed.

Who’s coming with me to reboot this as a show?

Movie Review: The Ghost Writer (2010)

Politics. Not much to say about it. Part of me thinks it’s necessary and part of me thinks it’s fucking dumb (mainly because of certain moves by various politicians through the years). Basically politics is the biggest clusterfuck in our world.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Ghost Writer”.

We follow a man (Ewan McGregor) who’s been hired to go out to a remote island and help write the memoirs of former British prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). However as he is writing it and gathering information he starts discovering some interesting secrets from the ministers past. And as he discovers these things, his life may be in danger. So what did I think of the plot? It was really good. The first half of the film is more of a drama that is about the specter author working on the book and such. Then we have the second half which is more like a suspenseful thriller. However, the pacing is still great thanks to an overall solid mystery feel throughout the entire thing.

The characters are all layered and interesting. Ewan McGregor gives a great performance as the poltergeist wordsmith. Pierce Brosnan is great as the slightly shady former prime minister. Olivia Williams plays the wife of the former PM in the movie and she was great in the role. The awesome Jon Bernthal also pops up a bit in the movie, playing McGregor’s friend, and he was really good. Timothy Hutton also shows up briefly and he was really good in it. I’d say that all actors did a really solid job in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Alexandre Desplat and it was pretty great. It’s filled with energy while still being suspenseful and somewhat eerie. It has a very old school feel to it which worked very well for the movie while also being pretty fun to listen to.

This movie was directed by Roman Polanski and he did a terrific job. It’s fantastically shot and it always has an uneasy feel to it as if it’s saying “Trust no one”. And I like that, it kept me on the edge of my seat even when nothing was really happening, which just shows how talented Polanski is behind the camera (Disclaimer: I do not condone any of the criminal acts he committed and he should be held accountable, I’m just saying that he did a great job directing this movie).

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“The Ghost Writer” is a pretty damn good political drama/thriller. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “The Ghost Writer” is a 9,80/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Ghost Writer” is now completed.

Ghost Rider is… “The Ghost Writer”.

Movie Review: Green Zone (2010)

*Ron Perlman voice activated* War… War never changes. *Ron Perlman voice deactivated*.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to enter the… “Green Zone”.

Baghdad, 2003. Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is a US soldier that has been sent to find weapons of mass destruction within the unstable and war-torn city. However, the information he’s been given seems to lead him to jack shit every time. And soon Miller finds himself more or less uncovering a bit of a conspiracy regarding why they are actually in Iraq. Sounds like a really cool plot, kind of “Bourne” meets “Black Hawk Down”. And how is the plot here? Eh. I wouldn’t call it bad, I never sat there going “This is shit”. But it’s easy to see that they are trying to be really deep and have this be an incredibly engaging plot, but I honestly think they missed a bit. Like I said, it’s not bad, but I think that it isn’t as great as it tries to be.

The characters in this movie are bland and not too interesting. Sure, they try to give a few of them some backstory, but I never thought “Wow, this is a great character!”. Matt Damon is great as Miller. He is a somewhat likable badass. And by likable I mean that he’s not a total asshole. And Matt Damon clearly gives it his all. Greg Kinnear plays intelligence agent Clark Poundstone (actual name) and he was really good in the role. Brendan Gleeson plays CIA agent Martin Brown and he’s great in the role. Amy Ryan plays a Wall Street Journal reporter in the movie and she was really good. We also get Jason Isaacs (sporting a bitchin’ mustache) as a soldier and he’s really good. The entire cast is really good even though their characters aren’t the most interesting.

The score for the movie was composed by John Powell and it was really good. It’s very tense and exciting and helps elevate a lot of the scenes in the movie. It’s basically styled in a similar way to Powell’s “Bourne” scores, minus some of the more spy-ish elements. And it’s really good.

This movie was directed by Paul Greengrass and he did a pretty solid job. His signature intense handheld style is alive and well in this movie and it really brings something to certain scenes in the movie… mainly the action scenes. Because even though some of the moer talk-y scenes in the movie ar emore on the meh side of thigns, the action scenes are badass. When the bullets start flying, this movie is really exciting. The action is really intense and badass.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 53% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Green Zone” is a pretty good action-thriller. It has an okay story, meh characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. But since it’s story isn’t the most engaging and the characters not the most interesting, it is brought down a bit. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Green Zone” is a 7,89/10. So even though it’s flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “Green Zone” is now completed.

*Insert clever outro here.*.