After watching his family die at the hands of two senseless criminals, Clyde Shelton (Butler) decides to take justice into his own hands when one of the two criminals walks free due to a bungled investigation. Not only does Shelton target the killer, but also others heavily involved in the broken justice system, particularly DA Nick Rice (Foxx) who gave the freed killer a plea bargain. Clever concept and full of quirky dialogue. But it begins to slide down more and more into unrealistic circumstances; as if it wasn't on the verge of being far-fetched in the first place. The movie leaves you in the center of the characters' motives. Not once does the film attempt to make a stand for anything. The entire movie has a 'decide for yourself' logic, pretty much making the existence of the film lack any purpose. The two leads were great; along with a strong supporting cast, especially Colm Meaney as a somewhat comedic relief.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Upon finding a supposed snuff-film in her late-husband's safe, Mrs. Christian (Carter) hires private investigator Tom Welles (Cage), recently garnering praise for his work from the prestigious political circle that Mr. Christian was a part of, to investigate the authenticity of the disturbing S8-film. Unlike a lot of Joel Schumacher's unfair criticism of being passed off as a second class director (the guy isn't trying to make "Chinatown" or "Casablanca" people!), the criticism behind this film has more basis than the typical Schumacher putdown. The film begins very promising, with a creepy and twisted tone that you wouldn't expect Schumacher or Cage to be a part of. When the film nears its second plot-point, it starts to spiral down into a revenge film, praising vigilantism, as if to say, "Don't worry. Our protagonist still isn't as bad as the antagonist." The realism—and insight and/or voyeurism, if you will—of the subject matter, while disturbing, can be commended for its bravery to pull no punches. But the heartbeat of any pros about the film is stopped ¾ of the way through the film by an over-the-top conclusion… and there isn't even a twist in the end! Yes, the ending is that out of place with the rest of the film.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
A series following the personal and professional lives of the two plastic surgeons at McNamara/Troy, played by Walsh/McMahon respectively. Joely Richardson's character is one of the biggest contradictory characters of all-time, as the wife of Walsh. The series begins interestingly, with an almost day-in-the-life feel of two friends in the exact same profession, except their characters are on the total opposite ends of the spectrum from each other. Season 1 does an excellent job of flexing its muscles of creativity, while Season 2 successfully upstages the first season by proving itself to be the peak of the series. Season 3 turned even the traditional viewers into fans by focusing mainly on the unforgettable anonymous rapist The Carver. The fall of the show after Season 3 is amazingly quick, like a plummet off a cliff with no downhill to break any falls, when Season 4 attempts to go back to its roots but fails miserably. The remainder of the series is nothing more than soap-operatic plots, one being less believable than the last; it appears that Ryan Murphy began to embrace the fact that the show had jumped the shark long before the effort level of creativity disappeared. The series ends with no catharsis, however the creators would like to think differently; but the truth of the matter is, unlike "King of the Hill" which also had a not-too-little-not-too-much series finale, the show concluded with closing doors that had already been closed before but reopened. After Season 3, the show resorted to either completely dropping story lines, reopening story lines that were concluded, or creating a new storyline that's strikingly familiar to one already done on the show before. Not the worst of shows, but an embarrassing one to admit you like. Many fans will blame The Carver for the show's plummet; but the truth of the matter is, the show couldn't top The Carver hype. The Carver is the only true reason to recommend this show to anyone.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The critically acclaimed epic story of a Nazi (Neeson) who witnesses the atrocities bestowed upon Polish Jews during the brutal Nazi Reign. Ooh, Spielberg is so genius with his use of coloring and his pulls-no-punches portrayal of WWII! Just the type of film Hollywood loves to pat themselves on the back for and tell themselves that they're edgy and honest. However, the reality is, the use of symbolism in this film is so shallow, even a sixth grader can interpret its meaning. What's the point of symbolism if there's nothing to search for? It seems a bit redundant, because any meaning behind this film, aside from the ugliness the Jewish people endured during WWII and the sacrifices Schindler made, is there on the screen. There's nothing to search for. There's no ambiguity for each individual to take something personal away from it. The symbolism serves no purpose. Not to mention other Spielberg flaws; he underestimates his audience… as usual, and continues the story when its finished… as usual. Keep in mind when watching that not everything in this "masterpiece" is historically accurate. Ralph Fiennes chooses to play Amon Göth as a theatrical villain, rather than a three dimensional evil and twisted man. Christoph Waltz makes Fiennes look like an amateur as Hans Landa in "Inglourious Basterds". That's another thing, why is this in English? Is it so Hollywood doesn't have to read subtitles, while the rest of the world has to? Certainly a movie to judge for yourself.