The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Review

The greatest word to describe The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is interesting. I did find myself enjoying the movie very much at times, but it just seemed rushed and forced at times. Its actually a bit hard to describe, but it just didn’t feel well-made. The effects were fun to look at, a avery wonderland-esgue world has been created here and I love that, but I times the whole movie felt a bit under-payed and too flashy.

Also, I didn’t really understand the casting at all here, what you got here is a bunch of amateurs who are difficult to watch act at times surrounded by two great actors (Plummer and Waits) and one of the greatest actors I’ve seen, who also happens to be a cultural icon (Ledger, of course). But then you are saddened because it turns out that the amateurs are the good guys in the story and the cultural icon I mentioned before is actually a terrible person whose character you basically hate from the get go. And I don’t mean his character is the comelling villain, no that role went to Tom Waits and he totally owned that part, he’s the saving grace of the film. I’m saying his character was just a dick. He wasn’t enjoyable to watch.

Don’t get me wrong, Heath Ledger pulled it off perfectly. He was fantastic and I would expect nothing less, but his character was just unentertaining. The entertainment value of this film came from the the idea of the film and the battle between its antagonist and protagonist. This film was essentially a complex look at the devil and angel on your shoulder. It’s a great depiction of choice, I just wish it was made more professionally.

It may seem like I’m trashing this movie to no end, but the best way to descibe my feelings is disappointment. It just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. They’re were certainly a lot of pros to this movie. I did enjoy Heath Ledger going into the Imaginarium and becoming a different person (Depp, Law and Farrell) it really worked. The biggest pro to this movie was its antagonist though. I loved Tom Waits in the role as the gambling, and almost charming devil, or as the movie named him, Mr. Nick. I was highly entertained each time he was on screen which wasn’t enough in my opinion. Christopher Plummer also did a good job as well.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was a film with a fantastic idea behind it, only it wasn’t able to completely follow through as well as I would’ve hoped. Heath Ledger did an incredible job, but I hated his character, while Tom Waits did a great job and I loved his character. Other than that, things were pretty sub-par. There was no consistency here. Oh well, I’ll have to deal with what I got. I was entertained and I see myself re-watching it a couple times in the future.

Grade: B-

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Sherlock Holmes Review

I believe when viewing Sherlock Homes, most are looking at it as the Guy Ritchie selling out. Sure the movie will make money with the A-list actors and the action, but what Guy Ritchie brought us wasn’t your cliche action movie with a few big names. What he brought was his signature brand of fun, fast-paced and clever direction in order to modernize a classic character we all know and well. I don’t believe a better director could’ve been chosen.

Shelock and Watson and their London adventures are an almost perfect match for Guy Ritchie’s wit. I can’t believe it took this long to realize it to tell you the truth. I loved Sherlock Holmes, it was a wonderful time at the movies. You sit down and immediately you’re thrown into the story. A classic technique used by Ritchie, he never wastes your time and certainly doesn’t spoon feed you.

As for the actors. Each was fell perfectly into place. Robert Downey Jr. was a obvious choice. He brought that same arrogance he brought to Tony Stark, while being a bit more intelligent. Robert Downey Jr. is really perfect for the leading roles he’s been getting. Jude Law was brilliant and the  level-headed partner Dr. Watson. The duo was absolutely thrilling to watch, they seemed to have so much chemistry it was impeccably entertaining. I also fell in love with Mark Strong from his performance in Rock N Rolla and it was nice to see another great performance as the menacing Lord Blackwood.

Overall, Sherlock Holmes was certainly a well put together piece of entertainment. Sure their were a few overlong action scenes thrown in for fan boy’s sake, but you get past that and what you have is another Guy Ritchie classic worthy of praise. I’m looking forward to a good trilogy to put onto my shelves, at the very least, I know from the ending that a sequel isn’t far out of reach.

Grade: A-

Drag Me To Hell Review

Just recently netflixed Drag Me To Hell, I was hoping for the best because it had gotten some pretty good reviews. I’m also a fan of Sam Raimi’s best work, The Evil Dead series of course so I went in anticipating a breath of fresh air in the genre of horror, but what I got was a pretty terrible movie with even worse writing, directing and especially acting.

First of all, I could understand early on what Raimi was trying to go for. Corny screwball comedy at times, while attempting to be scary at others. The Evil Dead series worked. It didn’t work at all here. The scary scenes weren’t scary and it wasn’t funny in the way it was trying to be. Of course I laughed at its stupidity, it would be impossible not to, but it was still a god awful movie not worthy of the hour and forty-five minutes I spent watching it.

The acting was obviously terrible, I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it sub-par because it wasn’t. You can never really expect good acting from Raimi movies, other than Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, but I think the reason Evil Dead worked was because you were able to look past the corniness and bad acting because the characters were actually fun and entertaining, that’s not the same story here. What I got was an uninteresting plot with uninteresting characters.

Its very rare to see a good horror movie these days. I was pleased with Paranormal Activity this year because it showed me that great horror movies can still be made today. Drag Me To Hell reminded me how bad horror movies usually are these days.

Grade: D+

Avatar Review

The second Avatar ended in my theater almost every patron began to applaud. I heard multiple comments to the effect of “That was amazing!” or “Best Movie Ever!”. I heard cheers and whistles and I smiled, I turned to the good friend I had seen it with and he turned to me, he too was smiling. We were two of the few moviegoers in the audience who were not applauding. We were smiling because we knew each other well enough to know that we both hated it.

My friend chuckled and asked sarcastically if I was gonna see “that one seven times” knowing I had seen Inglourious Basterds seven times in theaters. I replied with the simple and meaningful sarcastic remark “Oh yeah”, but what I thought was hopefully not in this lifetime. Unfortunately I will have to watch this movie again… and again and again and again. I’ve actually seen this movie many times before because it is the exact same cliche action movie with the same terrible acting and even worse script that we’ve all been watching since we were kids, except this one looked a little bit prettier. Does that make it better? Almost all will say yes. I strongly disagree.

Avatar was as simple and generic as one of those cheap motion simulator rides that try to have a story and characters, but always fail. Avatar was basically the same except you didn’t get the mildly entertaining moving in this ride, it was just the lame story and some colors flying at you and to top it all off it just so happened to be almost 3 hours long. In what way, shape or form can this be considered a good movie.  At a couple points of the movie, I literally almost fell asleep.

Pros of Avatar: visually appealing yes, but not nearly something I’d clap for. I think there are many other movies that were much more visually appealing. Cons: Everything else. So, do the pros outweigh the cons? Not even close. Do visuals make a movie? NO!, but apparently James Cameron and most of the population think otherwise. Was Avatar a terribly acted, badly written, amateur directed and above all just a terrible movie? Indeed.

Grade: D-

P.S. Why did the giant walking robots have giant guns? Extremely unintelligent. Just have the guns built into their arms.

The Hangover Review

I realize that this review is long overdue because The Hangover was released in theaters in June, but I was never very interested. I heard a lot of talk and praise over the past couple of months and I just had to check it out for myself. I must say, I wasn’t whewed. Don’t get me wrong, I found the movie quite hilarious and I plan to watch it many times in the future it was a damn funny comedy, but that’s all it was.

It wasn’t incredibly funny where I found myself laughing louder than some of my favorites. I just couldn’t pick out personally what the big deal was to tell you the truth. It did have a fun innovative idea and they did it well, but all the movie was, was your average comedy that made you laugh and not even as much as you would’ve hoped based on all the praise.

The Hangover is a great comedy, its just overrated. And that’s not necessarily that bad of a thing I’m saying. I find The Godfather overrated. It’s an incredible movie, but there are many better ones. Some highly respectable critics have been putting it on their top ten movies of the year and its just not making much sense to me. Funny People was a better comedy. The Hangover felt forced at times.

You can have a lot of fun while watching, don’t get me wrong. Its really a flawless plot when it comes to a comedy. Its a comical mystery, you can have a blast because it was made pretty well and you grow to love all the main characters and their interactions. Most already have and I’m the one thats behind, but if you haven’t, go watch The Hangover. You won’t regret it.

Grade: B