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The Crazies


I was kind of surprised by how much I like The Crazies. Even with the good reviews it was getting, I was just expecting a half-way decent "zombie" flick that wasn't good, but wasn't bad, either.

The characters never do anything that's blatantly stupid. Yes, they take risks, but not completely unnecessary ones and I never thought any of the main characters made any idiotic decisions. I suppose The Crazies represents how rational people would handle the situation.

I prefer the weapons grade biological weapon leak to the traditional zombie stories where the "disease" is contagious and no one really knows what it is or where it came from. The military's attempt to quarantine the outbreak added an interesting element to a story that usually consists a much more clear-cut identification of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.

The Crazies was good. If you dig these kinds of movies, definitely check this one out.

Shutter Island

I wanted to watch Shutter Island again before I wrote this review. Unfortunately, thanks to the stupid snow storm, I've fallen behind on my movies and don't know when I'm going to be able to fit in a second viewing.

So, based on the one viewing? A very mild "yes".

My personal issues with the movie stem from the fact that I already knew, based solely on the trailer (I didn't read the book), what the twist was at the end. Since I knew the basics about how it was going to end, the rest of the movie was kind of like a paint by numbers for how they were getting there. I don't want to give anything away, but there are some VERY obvious clues to what's really going on, just in the first 10 minutes of the movie. I had a hard time focusing on the story since I was on an Easter egg hunt, trying to pick out the evidence of what I knew would happen in the end.

My issues with the movie itself have a lot to do with the unexpected stylization of the film and the rest is (possibly) how the film was adapted from the book. The first thing I said when I walked out of the theater was, "What that a Martin Scorcese movie or a David Lynch movie?" For those that don't know, David Lynch is known for... pretty much just fucking with you... with movies like Twin Peaks, Lost Highway and Mullholand Drive. Scorcese is a much more traditional filmmaker with his own subtle style (which is not even remotely as extreme as Lynch's). Knowing I was going into a Martin Scorcese movie, I was unprepared for and had a hard time dialing in to such a visually bizarre experience.

More so than the "Lynch"ing of the movie, I couldn't help but feel that the majority of the flashbacks were inserted solely to confuse the audience. The majority of them had little to no impact on the outcome of the movie and if they were there strictly for character development, I never made that connection. I was told (by someone who read the book) that the war was supposed to be the reason for his drinking problem. Based on what we saw in the movie, however, DiCaprio's character didn't have a drinking problem, nor did his character need to have a drinking problem for any of the main storyline of the movie to make sense. Since I didn't know, or need to know that he had a drinking problem, all of the war flashbacks were extraneous.

I can't really get into too much more without giving away the ending. Having read over what I just wrote it sounds more like a pretty strong "no" than a mild "yes", but if you go in prepared for an aural and visual feast and can disregard the majority of the flashbacks, you may enjoy the mysteries of Shutter Island.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief


I was told that I would enjoy Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief more if I left my brain at the door. I tried... I popped my brain right out (it has to be easily removable these days with all of the mind-numbing entertainment that's passing for Oscar-worthy films.) It wasn't long before I had to put it back in because there were just sooo many questions. "How shitty of a god does a god have to be to have his power stolen from him?" This question became even more perplexing when I found out who had stolen it. "If a mysterious black cloud begins forming over Europe, how would anyone be able to predict that it's final destination is America?" and the most baffling of them all: "Why do studios keep letting Chris Columbus direct movies when he fairly consistently ruins them?"

The writing and direction leave absolutely NOTHING up to your imagination. Every mysterious aspect of the story and the world they live in is explained immediately after the question is raised.

The kids in this movie were good, as were the special effects and it's for those reasons along with the hope of a new director on future installments that I'm recommending Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Just ask someone who is going to see Shutter Island to hold your brain for you so that you won't be tempted to think at all during the movie... besides, they may need the extra brain power.

Valentine's Day

Actually, if you turn ValentiNe's Day into a game it's not half bad... a game called "Which character is gay?" They did a pretty good job tricking me into thinking that the person I originally thought was gay actually wasn't. It was subtle, but strong... I didn't fall for it though, and ultimately, I won the game.

For those of you who don't like games, however, ValentiNNNNe's Day will be tedious. Don't forget that with so many different story lines, they all still need to be resolved and they do, resolve, every, last, story, line... ... ... ... ... ... At one point they went back to a story line that I thought they had already resolved and resolved it again.

In the entire 2 hours and 5 minutes, there was one, (ONE !) touching moment the rest of it was cotton candy. Too much sugary sweet cotton candy. You know what happens when you eat too much cotton candy? That's right... you get sick. You get sick all over the floor...

... so, no... you should not see ValentiNe's Day.

The Wolfman

Eh, nah.

The Wolfman is just OK. When I go to see a movie about a legend, I expect to see where the legend comes from. When the characters in this movie begin using silver bullets to kill The Wolfman, it shows that we are joining this thing in the middle and that the legend already exists. I was kind of expecting to see them learning how to kill the beast for the first time, but that's now what this film is about.

What the movie is about, is betrayal and lies within a family. So... it's a soap opera. A gory one to be sure, and certainly well made and acted, but still just an oldee time soap opera... with a werewolf.

Dear John

No. Unless you're a girl between the ages of 12 to 25 and you have the need to pay money to see Channing Tatum with his shirt off.

To be fair, the two leads were very good at the first half of the movie while the characters were meeting and falling in love. Unfortunately they never learned how to portray heartbreak and regret because once the shit hits the fan, the two characters start bouncing back and forth from cardboard cut-out to caricature.

The truth is, I didn't actually hate Dear John. It is what it is it's sappy, melodramatic, overly romantic nonsense and isn't trying to be any more or less. As far as I'm concerned, it is the second best movie of 2010. That will change and it will not be anywhere near my top 10 at the end of the year... I'm really hoping it will be out of the top 5 by the end of February (with the help of Wolfman, Shutter Island, Cop Out).