Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Max Payne

I do have to admit; I never played the video game. And I know that a video game-to-movie is always going to be a little ‘over the top’. But for a movie like this, the fact that it was a video game had nothing to do with the cinematic train-wreck that was this film. There was a lot to give you hints that this was going to have a chunk of the supernatural in it, and you were even lead to believe that at several points in the movie.

In fact, there were several points in the movie that made you feel as if it could not make up its mind if it wanted to be a supernatural thriller, or a gritty crime drama. And both paths set up for nothing new. What I will give this movie good credit for is having really good cinematography, special effects and great action. But sadly that is all it had going for it. The supernatural ‘hints’ left many more questions to be answered, and lots of illogical plot holes. As a matter of fact, some of the inconsistencies left plot holes so big I actually though about walking out at one point. However, I did decide to stick around for the inevitable and quite gruesome shootings… they always make it worth the ticket price if nothing else does.

Lives up to the pre-views? No.

All-in-all: Holes- of the bullet and plot variety.

Stars (out of five): 2


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I do have to admit; I have never been a huge fan of Western Movies. The most recent ones however, including this one, have pleasantly surprised me. This movie centers around two travelers, one of which is a former soldier, who go from town to town as gunmen for hire. The catch on that is, they are more like ‘sheriffs for hire’. They go to towns with big law problems, and are hired by the town’s leaders to protect the place. And when they finally end up in Appaloosa, New Mexico, to save the city from a murderous rancher on the outskirts of town and his rough brawler ranch help- the movie goes down a predictable and generic ‘trail’.

Even though it has a bit of a standard setup, the acting is excellent- making it much more of a character study that any kind of action film. There are a few twists in it as well, making for a little more action than you would think for a character study, and the action is actually quite suspenseful. In fact, the moments before the shootouts are more tense than the shootouts themselves.

Normally Western movies center around a lone gunman who is brining justice to a lawless town, and therefore bringing about the end of his era. That is the era of the range riding gunslinger who lives by the laws of the land, rather than the government. This movie does that very much as well, setting up those who want a life in a new ‘modern’ era, and those who know they can’t survive in such a change of ‘times’, and with a very pleasant existentialist tone at the end of the film- towards those who the onset of a better era will leave in the dust.

Lives up to the pre-views: Didn’t see any

All in All: Duos and Duels

Stars (out of five): 4