Sunday, July 27, 2008

The X Files: I Want To Believe

I grew up on The X Files, but as the series went on, you have to admit- it got a little campy. In fact; very campy. The alien plot got very over the top, almost to the point of silly. Really, it did, with the alien bounty hunters and the oil and the bees and the syndicate and the Lone Gunmen (if not just for comic relief) and the list goes on and on. The thing I always loved about the series though was the fast paced questioning of moral and ethical issues, ant the episodes with ‘stand alone’ plots. Yes, those were campy too, especially as the series went on. However, the best ones were when they left a lot open, and the supernatural elements were merely tools to examine whatever issue that the two sides could disagree on. All in my opinion of course.

When I heard this movie was going to be a ‘stand alone’ type of plot, I got giddy with excitement. And all of the anticipation had paid off. It had everything I loved about the show, and none of the stuff that I even came close to thinking was campy in any sort of way.

The movie starts off with both of them having left the FBI, and Scully is now a doctor at a Catholic hospital, and Moulder is on the run from the FBI. The two of them get asked to come back by some new agents to assist on a case involving a missing agent. The reason they asked for Moulder specifically is that their only lead in the case is a pedophile priest who is claiming to be a psychic, and leading them to all kinds of gruesome evidence. That is all I am going to tell you. The rest will be up to you to enjoy in this fantastic new adventure.

Here’s a bit of caution: do not go in expecting any aliens, explosions or CGI. Expect a thriller of moderate scale, a fast paced ethical discussion. And when you come out, there are two questions you should ask yourself: Do you believe? And more importantly to the point of the film: what cost would you pay to save a persons life?

Lives up to the pre-views? Above and beyond them.

All in all: Thinker’s Thriller

Worthy sequel? Oh yes. Yes, YES!

Stars (out of five): 4.5


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


If you like Beauty And The Beast fairy tale type movies, then this one is right up your alley. I am not a particular fan of this type, because no matter what, you know how it is going to end. The differences in these types of movies is purely cosmetic. Despite having such great talent, including but not limited to: Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy, it was indeed the average 'what you would expect' type if Disney-esqe barf.

However, even though it is not something I would usually see, I would definitely say that it does indeed deliver what it promises. To really enjoy this and get the most out of it, you must really like this kind of movie, or be a girl under the age of 9. I will grudgingly admit though, I was entertained at some points, and laughed a bit.

All in all: Princess Paradise-ish.

Lives up to the pre-views? Yes. Yes it does.

Stars (out of five): 3.5


Sunday, July 20, 2008


This movie seemed right from the start to be a mix between The Matrix and Fight Club. And that is exactly what it was through out the duration of the movie. Not that that is a bad thing though, it was thoroughly entertaining, fun action and lots of slow motion shots of bullets going through people’s heads. Mostly what you would expect from a graphic novel turned movie, the characters were a little shallow, and I hate to say, but there was not a lot of chemistry between the leading man and Jolie’s character (I don’t think there was supposed to be a lot anyway). It also got a little ‘bizarre’, when you figure out where they get the orders of who to kill from, and pretty much everything in the textile mill. But again, it is a comic book turned movie.

The films saving grace was the tremendous amounts of action- including excellent car chases, lots of guns, physically impossible bullet tricks, good knife fights, a very tense scene on a train, and of course Morgan Freeman in a pretty cool role (he has an absolutely hilarious line at one point).

The message from the main character at the end is worth the price of the ticket alone. It makes you want to get out and do something with your life. That is something that we could all use at one time or another, and in any amount.

All in all: Action and Gore Galore

Lives up to the pre-views? Mostly, it’s a little more ‘odd’ than you would expect.

Stars (out of five): 3


Monday, July 14, 2008

The Dark Knight

I think I will start first with the elephant in the room: every one wants to know about the Joker. I will just say that Heath Ledger is spectacular. He is to The Dark Knight as Anthony Hopkins is to The Silence Of The Lambs. I had my doubts about Heath when he was first cast for the role. He did not disappoint. He has given us a Joker for the ages, and he did not simply expand on Jack Nicholson's role, but made it into something all his own, and it is top notch.

The thing that was my favorite about the first movie was the fact that it was actually about Batman, and not just about the villains. This one has enough of a balance between the two, and enough story and interest on both sides, that you simply do not want this movie to end. It will be the fastest 2.5 hours you will spend in the theatre, and you will wish it was more.

One thing I might suggest: do not go to this movie just for the Joker. Yes, he is spectacular, but there is so much rich talent throughout this movie, even the scenes he is not in are captivating. Christian Bale does the usual Bruce Wayne/Batman from the first movie, and does an excellent job with his character facing the new circumstances. The character of Harvey Dent was much richer than that of the Joker, and could easily carry the film in his absence.

Beware! Even for a comic book movie, this may be too dark and disturbing for children. The PG-13 rating cannot be stressed enough, it can be very brutal and disturbing at times. And if you are not a fan of comic book super hero movies, this one is not to be missed. If you have any doubts, just go see it any way. You will be glad you did (just leave the kiddies at home)!

All in all: Best of the best

Lives up to the pre-views? YES!

Worthy sequel? YES! YES!

Stars (out of five):5


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I loved the first Hellboy. It is one of my favorite movies in this genre. The main reason being the narration and the message at the end of the film. I went into this movie not really expecting much more of that, being that I couldn't see how they could do something similar, and they did not. This film was not as dark and did not have as strong of a message as the first, but this one delivered all of the action that the first one had lacked. Granted- the first one packed a solid punch, but admit it, you got tired of him fighting those dog-monster things all the time. The new one has much more action, and more humor. I won't give anything away, but I was rolling in laughter at one point.

Be prepared however. A lot of movie sequels of this type have a tendency to get much weirder that you might expect (think Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3), I don't know if it's just a temptation that the director can't resist or they are just trying to go above and beyond in some way. This one is no exception. But unlike others of this type, it comes off well. The 'extras' don't get in the way of the story, unlike most others that throw them in there just for the sake of doing it. So, if you want a good ride with all the action that the first may have lacked, this is a must see. Even if you were not a fan of the first, or have never seen the first, this will definitely not disappoint.

Stars (out of five): 4

All in all: Action & comedy smoothie

Lives up to the pre-views? Yup.

Worthy sequel? Oh yes.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


You will go in expecting the story of a superhero that is a bit of a slob and a screw up, and he makes himself into kind of a Superman character (that is what the pre-views lead to). And for the most part, that is what this movie is about. There are a couple of twists however, that make it much more than just that. I do applaud the writers for not going into the ‘origins’ story to great detail, because when watching the movie, it would have distracted from the entire tone of the film. And as the movie goes on, the middle part drags a bit, but the beginning and end are superb, despite being a little predictable. The movie was filmed well enough that you really don’t mind that you see a few of the plot points coming a mile away.

The popcorn rating is high: there is enough action in the beginning and end (especially the end) that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and enough comedy to keep you chuckling there. Charlize Theron’s character is also a surprisingly vital role (she was barely seen in the pre-views) and she does a ‘goood…job…’. But like I said before, the middle part drags a bit, so be prepared for small amounts of boredom. Once again, like I Am Legend, Will Smith is great- the story in this movie just gets ‘love handles’ around the mid-section, and the bad film making is not his fault. For the record: I am usually not a big Will Smith fan because a lot of what you expect when you see him is a Men In Black kind of character, but he is proving himself to be quite a good actor.

All in all: Action & Comedy Smoothie.

Stars (out of five): 3.5

Lives up to the pre-views? Yup.