Movie Review: Jarhead (2005)

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

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Jarhead”.

Anthony Swofford is young man who recently enlisted with the United States marines. And we follow him in the time leading up to and during Operation Desert Storm, and how much damage it does to him psychologically. There’s a lot of interesting scenes throughout that does develop the story, and I was somewhat interested in everything that was going on. But I never really felt as engaged as this type of story should’ve gotten me. There was never that emotional hook that a story like this should be able to get. Now, I’m not saying it needs to make me cry, just that it needs to grab me and hold onto me really tightly… which it never really did. I remember some really well done moments throughout, but never was I fully invested in it all. Overall, a fine story.

The characters in this are all assholes… but in a believable way. I really believe that this is what one would become if going through all of that. And I find them all to be quite interesting. Jake Gyllenhaal (as previously mentioned) plays Anthony Swofford, a smart young man who goes through the ups and downs of marine life. Seeing a good guy like him tested like this is quite interesting, and it makes him a pretty compelling character. And Gyllenhaal is of course fantastic in the role. And throughout the movie we get supporting performances from people like Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, Evan Jones, Brian Geraghty, Lucas Black, Chris Cooper, Dennis Haysbert, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score was composed by Thomas Newman, and it was pretty good. It takes some inspiration from rock and a few middle-eastern influences, all of which comes together to create an interesting atmosphere for the movie. It’s tense, fun, and just overall pretty cool. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout the movie, all of them pleasing to the ear, and all of them working quite well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by Sam Mendes, and I think he did a good job. When he wanted to make me feel uneasy, he made me feel uneasy. When he wanted to build some suspense, he built some suspense. Mendes has a good eye for these things. And speaking of seeing things, the cinematography by Roger Deakins? Absolutely fantastic (what else would you expect from that man?).

This movie has gotten some slightly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 61% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Jarhead” has a lot of good things going for it, but it’s far from perfect. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, it is brought down quite a bit by a lack of a good emotional hook in the story. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Jarhead” is an 8,54/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Jarhead” is now completed.

Bang a gong, get it on…

Movie Review: Baby Driver (2017)

VROOM! VROOM VROOM! What? That’s what cars sound like… don’t fucking judge.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, right now I got to tell you about the fabulous, most groovy… “Baby Driver”!

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a young man who also happens to be one hell of a getaway driver. And after being brought in by his boss (Kevin Spacey) he finds himself having to take part in a heist that is seemingly doomed to fail. So now we have our heist plot. And I thought it was pretty great. Now, it’s not just about this guy pulling heists with a couple other people. It’s really about this guy and how he deals with falling in love, while dealing with this dangerous situation. And it’s so well handled, because it’s presented both as a fun, fast-paced action flick and a tense thriller. There’s also a surprising amount of drama in here that works very well. And it’s just an incredibly well handled plot.

The characters here are fun, unique, and really interesting. Baby, like I said, is a young and highly skilled getaway driver. What I didn’t mention though is that he uses his personal playlists to keep him moving in life. He also has a lot of layers to him, with us getting to see most sides of him. The cold and calculating driver, the traumatized young man, the music loving fun dude… he’s just a really interesting character. And Ansel Elgort is great in the role. Lily James plays Debbie, a waitress that Baby meets and falls in love with. And Lily James is really good in the role. I also have to mention that I actually bought into their romance. It was cute. Kevin spacey plays Baby’s boss, Doc, and he’s great in the role… it’s Kevin fucking Spacey, what else did you expect? Jon Hamm (aside from being unnecessarily handsome) plays Buddy, one of Baby’s colleagues (for lack of a better word), and he’s a tough and charming man. And Hamm was great in the role. Eiza Gonzáles plays Darling, Buddy’s wife and partner in crime (HA!). A tough, fun, and sexy lady. And Gonzáles was really good in the role. Jamie Foxx plays Bats, another one of Baby’s colleagues. He’s kind of a psychotic asshole, and he was quite a cool character. And Jamie Foxx was great in the role. We also got to see Jon Bernthal, CJ Jones, Lanny Joon, and Flea in supporting roles in the movie, and they were all great. It’s overall a really well acted movie.

The score for the movie (yes, there was a score) was composed by Steven Price. It wasn’t too prominent in the movie (as we’ll talk about in a second), but when it was used it was used very well to build up tension and such. Now, onto the real meat of the music. And by that I mean, let’s talk about the soundtrack. ’cause this movie uses a lot of licensed tracks used throughout. Not only are most of those songs fucking great, but they also play very integral parts in the filmmaking itself. Really, they are used absolutely perfectly in the movie.

This movie was written and directed by Edgar Wright and I think he did a fantastic job here. His directing is slick, fast-paced, and really tense, perfectly suiting the plot he wanted to tell. Which brings us to the music. The directing and editing perfectly matches the music. It’s almost like a musical in how the music is used in combination with the directing and editing. I mean, the action scenes here are absolutely fantastic. Not only because they are like 99% practical, but because they are timed to the beats of the songs, which is really fun to see. Gunshots, cars drifting around, jumps, everything is choreographed to match the music. But the quieter moments too are often done to work with the music. The amount of love and care that went into the craft of this is astonishing and gives me hope for the movie industry. Must’ve been a pain if an actor or stunt person missed a beat and had to redo it.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #183 on the “Top 250” list.

“Baby Driver” is one of the coolest and most exciting action movies to come out in recent years. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/choreography/editing. Time for my final score. *Vroom*. My final score for “Baby Driver” is a 9,90/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Baby Driver” is now completed.

Your move, action movies.

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses (2011)

The life of the worker has it’s ups and downs. On the one hand, you get money and you have something to do. But on the other hand, getting up in the morning to go to a job you might hate to begrudgingly kiss the ass of a horrible boss… yeah, that’s life.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Horrible Bosses”.

Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are three friends who have something in common: Their respective bosses are fucking horrible. So during one night at the bar they come up with the plan to kill each other’s bosses. And that’s pretty much the plot of the movie. And it’s quite enjoyable. It’s fun seeing these guys going through this journey to do something that a lot of people have thought about doing. It’s really just a simple and fun crime-comedy plot that doesn’t do anything groundbreaking or fantastic, but it is quite enjoyable and I had fun.

The characters in this are interesting and entertaining. Jason Bateman in this plays pretty much the straight man in all of this craziness, basically the character you’d expec Jason Bateman to play. But he does give a good performance and he is pretty funny. Charlie Day in this plays a really dim-witted guy, and he’s quite good at it… funny too. Jason Sudeikis plays the guy who is kind of the middle ground between Bateman and Day, he’s kind of the straight man, but also kind of an idiot. And he was good in the role, he was funny. Kevin Spacey in this plays Bateman’s boss, a total psychopath asshole, and he is great in the role. Jennifer Aniston plays Day’s boss, a woman that is constantly sexually harassing him, and she was really good in the role. Then we have Colin Farrell who plays Sudeikis’ boss, a sleazy cunt of a man… and he was great in the role. We also get a quick cameo performance from Jamie Foxx as a criminal named Motherfucker Jones (best name ever), and he was really good in the role. Overall it’s a well acted movie filled with plenty of talented people.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Lennertz and it was really good. It was pretty much a mix of various genres to create something unique that fit the movie, mixing stuff from rock, jazz, hip hop, and crime movies (if that makes sense), and it all sound great, fitting the movie very well. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that fit very well. So yeah, this movie has some really good music.

This movie was directed by Seth Gordon and I think he did a good job. While not visually unique in any way, it still looks fine and is directed with a good amount of energy to make sure it never feels dull or boring. And since this is a comedy, we should talk about… the comedy. So how is it? It’s funny. Admittedly, not all jokes land, and the ones that do aren’t really gut-bustingly hilarious. But I did laugh at a good amount of the jokes here, even if it wasn’t a “LOL” moment at any point.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Horrible Bosses” is a fun crime-comedy. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, good directing, and really fun comedy. My only flaws come from the plot just being kind of there, never being as great as it could be (not judging it dramatically, just saying that it could’ve been a bit better). Also, while I did laugh, I never thought the jokes were hilarious (with some not even landing). Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Horrible Bosses” is an 8,78/10. While flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Horrible Bosses” is now completed.

“Motherfucker Jones”… still cracks me up.

We finally have a trailer for “Baby Driver”!

How’s it going guys? Hope you’re weekend’s been nice. So we have a new trailer to talk about… let’s go!

So we finally have a trailer for “Baby Driver”, the newest movie from writer/director Edgar Wright! So what’s this all about then? Well, apparently it’s about a young getaway driver called Baby (Ansel Elgort) who gets pulled into some big heist. And the kid apparently uses the rhythm of the music he listens to in a way that makes him a great driver. I know, it sounds a little silly… but that’s also kind of what Edgar Wright is good at. He makes energetic and fun movies that take their respective genres and flip them on their heads. And what do I think of this trailer? It’s so much fun! The action looks really fun, the cast is great, the way that it’s edited to the music is awesome… yeah, this is a great fuckin’ trailer. Also, if this trailer is an indication of anything, it’s that this movie will have an awesome soundtrack! I’ve been excited for this movie for quite a while, because I love Edgar Wright, and now this trailer has gotten me even more excited. “Baby Driver” is set to come out in August of this year.

So what are your thoughts? Are you excited about “Baby Driver”? And what’s your favorite Edgar Wright movie? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie discussion: Jamie Foxx is the main character in Collateral (2004)

How are you guys doing? Today I felt like starting another “series” here on my blog. In this “series” I will choose a movie related topic that I want to discuss. I will do these every now and then, not just to spit my thoughts out but also to here what you guys think about the situation. I will also be getting into a few spoilers in this “series” about the different movies I will be talking about throughout, so if you haven’t seen that specific movie…then go away, please. And today we are starting off with something that has been pinching me in the back of my head for a while now. And that is about one of my favorite movies; “Collateral”. So let’s begin!

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If you didn’t read the title of this entry, I will be talking about the main character of the fantastic movie “Collateral”. And you might be thinking “But if you say he’s the main character, then he is the main character right?”. Eh, wrong. The story of the movie is about the taxi driver Max (Jamie Foxx) who one night meets the very smart, very smooth hitman Vincent (Tom Cruise). Max is kept at gunpoint by Vincent through the entire movie as he is forced to drive Vincent to all his destinations where he has to kill somebody. Now if you listen to that short (and odd) synopsis of the movie you would automatically assume that Jamie Foxx is the main character, right? But if you go to imdb.com and look at the 2 Oscar nominations this movie got, Foxx was nominated for “Best Supporting Actor”. Do you see now how this is weird to me? Look, I know that Tom Cruise at the time was a slightly more well-known and popular actor…but that doesn’t make him the main guy in this movie. Sure, he is one of the main ones, but if anyone should have gotten the “Best supporting Actor” nod, it should have been Cruise. My guess on this is like I said, Cruise was the more popular actor at the time and therefore he wasn’t the “Supporting actor” in the pair. But I honestly don’t think that is an excuse to put the most prominent actor/character as “Supporting”. Look, I love Tom Cruise as much as the next guy, but I can see who is supporting or not in a movie. In the end, Max is the one still standing out of the two. Let me shortly recap the final(ish) scene of this movie for you. Vincent leaves Max in the street and goes after his final target who is a woman (Jada Pinkett Smith) Max met earlier that very same night. Max goes after him (after Vincent is gone, of course). He goes to the building where she works and Vincent has gone into. Max has gotten hold of a gun, shoots up the glass and gets in. He finds Vincent and Annie in there. Max and Annie escapes and enters the train…Vincent follows. In the end (which is slightly blurry) Vincent dies and Max & Annie lives on. The character you see most in the movie is Max. You see this movie (mostly) from his point of view.  And that makes Max the main character! So why in the hell is Jamie Foxx listed as “Best Supporting Actor”!? If you have a theory, leave it in the comments below and let me know.
Also, since you’ve gotten this far I assume you have seen “Collateral”. And in that case, what did you think of it? Let me know! Like I said, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

I hoped you “enjoyed” this little thing. I will be doing more of these later on, so stay tuned!

Now that I think about it, they kind of did the same thing with “Interview With The Vampire”. Ya know, had Tom Cruise being the most prominent actor on the posters/promotional art/DVD covers…odd.

Movie Review: Collateral (2004)

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Don’t we all just love thrillers? No? Then what kind of person are you if you don’t like thrillers. They usually are suspenseful and just create some really interesting scenarios. And right now I am mainly focusing on crime thrillers. Not like…action-thriller even though a lot of crime thrillers have action in them. And today we are taking a look at one such movie. A movie that a lot of people seem to like. I mean, it has to be liked since it got two Oscar nominations.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the Director of the excellent movie “Heat”…”Collateral”.

This movie follows a cab driver named Max (Jamie Foxx). He has a dream to one day make enough money to start up a luxurious limousine company. And he believes he can achieve this dream since he basically is the best at this job. Even though the traffic of L.A can be a bitch. One night he meets prosecutor Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith). They make a little bet. The bet is that if Max can get her to her destination faster than her originally intended way…that’s it really. But if he’d lose, the cab fare would be free. And he wins…so she appararently gives him her number. Oh, and they had some generally good conversation in the car about the fastest ways around. After he had dropped her off, a business man named Vincent (Tom Cruise) enters the cab and offers Max 600 dollars cash to take him to five different destiantions and wait for him at each. Max agrees to it. What he doesn’t know though is that the “business” Vincent is up to is assassinating some people. When Max finds out about this, Vincent pretty much threatens his life. So their journey of getting these people killed starts. There is also an LAPD cop named Fanning (Mark Ruffalo) getting clues about these murders…without all the details of course. And he is on the pursuit after the killer (A.K.A Vincent). Now the story is something that I adore about this movie! It is not only well written, it’s also incredibly suspenseful. The way all characters interact with each other is just so great. Especially the little relationship between Max and Vincent. They are not just like “Killer and Victim”, they manage to find some kind of respect for one another. This story is airtight. It never gets boring, not at any time…something is always going on! I love it!

The characters are fucking sweet. They have a good amount of layers to them. Most of this comes from the fantastic performances in this movie. I especially love the character of Vincent. Tom Cruise delivers a cold, calculating and develops fantastically through the movie. He is not just this “Do as I say or I’ll fucking kill you!”. He is one of the most complex killers and honestly characters in general in recent media. And most of that is coming from the cold and amazing performance of Tom Cruise. This is probably the best I’ve ever seen from him. Jamie Foxx as Max was also incredibly good…hell, he was Oscar nominated for it. So yeah, great characters.

The soundtrack…oh my god, the soundtrack. It is so damn good. There are a few original tracks, that are incredibly good I have to say. But for the most part the soundtrack is licensed songs, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the songs are good. And here in “Collateral” they are great. They all fit the settings in this movie like downtown L.A, slums, night clubs etc. I really like this soundtrack.

This movie looks like it was filmed in a handheld way. And by that I mean it looks like someone actually held the camera instead of using one of those pole…things. Usually that is not the best idea. But here in “Collateral” it looks fantastic. It really works for everything that this movie is and wants to be. It just fits.

Reception for “Collateral” was overall good. Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie an 86% rating and have given it the “Fresh” ceritfication. Metacritic gave this movie a 71/100 rating. The lovely Roger Ebert gave this a 3,5/4 star rating. Here comes something he said:

This is a rare thriller that’s as much character study as sound and fury.”

Sure, that doesn’t summarize his thoughts all too well, but it works. imdb.com gave this movie the lovely score of 7,6/10.

I have said some things about this movie. And now I will give it my score. “Collateral” gets a 9,6/10. It is a buy and gets the “Seal of Approval”
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This has been my review of “Collateral”.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a cab and attend to some…”business” matters.