Juck’s Thoughts on the World Is Not Enough

The world is not enough. It is nahht. Oh hi Mark. – Tommy Wiseau.

wold-is-not-enough

It is no secret that Christopher Nolan is a huge Bond fan by his own admission. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if Cobb’s rappel scene from Nolan’s very own Inception was inspired by this movie. A more eerie similarity between this particular Bond film and another one of Nolan’s pictures, The Dark Knight, is between two lines of dialogue. In the World Is Not Enough, a character says, “She could be everywhere” in reference to M’s potential death by bomb. Of course, if the bomb were to have gone off, M’s remains would certainly be “everywhere.” In the Dark Knight, when Batman is interrogating the Joker as to the whereabouts of Harvey Dent, the Joker responds, “Depending on the time, he may in one spot, or several.” Interesting, how the lines of dialogue are so similar under like circumstances.

On the other side of things, this Bond film nods to an older era of Bond and refers to Live and Let Die by flipping a speedboat. Thankfully, because the universe was kind on a particular day in the editing room, there was no slide whistle sound effect include this time around!

The World Is Not Enough features another strong Q scene, one that undoubtedly served as an appropriate sendoff for Desmond Llewelyn, who died shortly after the film’s release. The scene is touching, and it marks the end of a truly spectacular Q. Brosnan brought out the best in Llewelyn, as is palpable on screen. Or perhaps it was Llewelyn who brought out the best in Brosnan. However the chemistry was conjured, the two have the greatest scenes of any Bond-Q pair to date.

I have finally determined that Brosnan handles a gun significantly better than he handles hand-to-hand combat. The manner in which he handles firearms exudes confidence and power, which is fitting, given that this Bond has proven to be more fond of including (and more apt to have) technology in his arsenal.

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I enjoyed seeing Robbie Coltrane’s Zukovsky appear once again, with his first appearance being in GoldenEye. Continuity is a rare element in Bond films, and seeing a recurring supporting character who isn’t from MI6 a pleasant treat.

Though The World Is Not Enough moves along Bond’s evolution quite nicely, the film lost much of its charm and shine as it went on, suffering from a problem possessed by a host of older Bond films. That is, the second half of the film lags. This is a decent Bond film, but it is not a standout for me.

~Juck

Pulp Fiction Movie Review

Pulp Fiction (R)

PULP /’palp/ n. 1. A soft, moist, shapeless mass of matter.

2. A magazine or book containing lurid subject matter, and being characteristically printed on rough, unfinished paper.

This is how Pulp Fiction starts. With the definition of the word: Pulp. Who does that? Only Tarantino. When something this original opens up a film, you know that it’ll be different in its entirety.

 

Pulp Fiction is about the lives of two mobster hit-men, a gangster’s wife, a boxer, and two bandits who intend on robbing a diner. These four stories are told out of order, but they all intertwine by the end.

What drives this legendary crime movie are the characters and dialogue. The characters are very interesting. You wouldn’t expect these characters to be the way they are. In a movie like this, dubbed the greatest crime movie of all time, you would expect these gangsters to be tough and angry. By all means, they are tough, but they aren’t constantly cleaning their guns or reminiscing about their favorite kill or anything of that sort. Instead, they exchange banter about simple things in life, like burgers and foot massages.

Because these gangsters don’t act all tough when they’re not conducting business, you can connect to them. These gangsters are just ordinary, cool guys.

To sum it up, the characters are all believable because the acting is top notch, and the dialogue will leave you cleaning out your ears, thinking, Did I really just hear that? If this part of the review alone has convinced you to watch Pulp Fiction, hold the phone. May I add that this movie includes the dropping of around 256 f-bombs, as well as a ton of other vulgar words? And it features some scenes that would be extremely uncomfortable to watch with a significant other or your mother. Pulp Fiction is definitely not for younger audiences.

The seemingly random twists that the film takes are intriguing, and they make you wonder what could possibly happen next. While you’re watching this film, you feel as if you can expect anything to happen. Perhaps a dragon can swoop down from the sky and devour the main characters. The music, as it is with most if not all Tarantino films, seems to be thrown into the film like a blind artist throws paint on his canvas. And it works.

Pulp Fiction is a Filet that you will need to see at one point or another, as society will exile you if you don’t by the time you’re in your 20’s.

~Ddog

The Breakfast Club Movie Review

The Breakfast Club-(R)

This movie is about five high-school students who are stuck in detention on a Saturday. They are all very different, each with their own problems and personalities. Over the course of the day they learn more about each other, and hilarity ensues.

The three key points to this movie are the characters, humor, and plot.

The characters are all very unique. What makes them great is the fact that you know a kid or two like each and every one of them. They are acted very well, and each bring something dynamic and interesting to the film. These actors did a fantastic job with portraying these kids. You can pick favorites, but it’s difficult, because you come to like these guys so much. Think steak. You have Filets, but you also have Ribeyes and New York Strips and T-Bones, all remarkable cuts of meat, despite being different. The characters carry this movie.

Despite some heavy themes that are explored, there is a ton of humor that comes from each character, and it will have you laughing constantly. The nerd is hilarious, the criminal is such a punk that it’s funny, and the basket case is funny in her own, strange way. All of them will make you laugh.

The plot is driven by relations between characters, and you enjoy learning more about each of them. This movie takes breaks from the humor at times, allowing for deep moments about morals and reminiscing, but there is always humor to get back to the light-hearted mood that resonates from this film. The Breakfast Club is a laid back, fun Filet. You should check it out. Remember…steak gets better with age.

~Ddog

End of Watch Movie Review

If you know me, you know that I’ve lost faith in movies that use the”handheld camera” style of filming. Chronicle was the best execution of the method, but the rest fell flat. But now we have End of Watch, and I’ve added it up there with Chronicle.

The three key points to this movie are the acting, the script, and the filming.

This movie works because we love Gyllenhaal and Peña. Their chemistry is some of the best I’ve seen in any movie in a long time. There is a lot of aggression towards cops nowadays, so making them likable is a tedious tasks. I’m not a cop hater, but if I were, I would be unable to resist these two officers. They work so well together on screen.

The police force as a whole was believable, and meshed well as a squad. On the opposite side of the coin, you loathe the gang members that the officers face. The movie makes you feel that. You seriously loathe them. You want the disgusting criminals to get busted.

I was also blown by Gyllenhaal’s love interest, played by Anna Kendrick. She was a bright light every time she was on screen, and her chemistry with Gyllenhaal felt very real. This woman is gorgeous, by the way. That’s always a plus.

So it’s clear that the acting was top notch, and that is greatly in part due to the script. The way that everybody interacts with one another feels very natural. People don’t simply exchange dialogue to advance the story in an A-B-conversation kind of way. People talk to talk, and that’s exactly how life is. This dialogue and manner of interaction wasn’t stale, however. It was interesting to see these characters exchange words.

The movie is often humorous, true to reality.

The filming was right on. The documentary style worked because it wasn’t the focus of the film. Sure, it’s explained why and how things are being filmed, but after that, the cameras aren’t addressed. Not everything is filmed by characters, and I couldn’t care less. The cameras captured the movie in a very raw way, and it brought us closer to the characters in a way that is hard to do.

Over all, End of Watch is a very strong T-Bone. I highly recommend it.

~Ddog

Rango Movie Review

Rango-(PG)-

I’m not a fan of Johnny Depp. That being said, I surprisingly enjoyed Rango.

The three key points to this movie were the “acting”, animation, and humor. Before I saw the movie, I was infuriated to see critics saying, “Johnny Depp’s performance was amazing.” What performance? He wasn’t in the movie! He provided a voice for an animated lizard! After I saw the movie, however, I understood what the critics meant.

Johnny Depp did at least three different accents and voices as Rango. His voice acting was top notch. The odd actor embodied Rango. The other characters were also well voiced.

Next is the animation. The characters were greatly detailed, and so was the environment, but the main attraction for me were the eyes. Rango’s eyes, Bean’s eyes, Jake’s eyes, EVERYONE’S eyes were so big and colored.

The animation technology we have today was flaunted with this film. It looked great and the lighting was superb.

So the acting and the visuals were great, but what about the humor? An animated film for a younger audience isn’t a success without some humor. Rango had humor, and a lot of it was direct adult humor.

What stood out to me about Rango is that it had a lot of adult elements to it. Cigars, alcohol, guns, “damn,” and “hell” are all present.

Overall, Rango is a very good looking animated film without much fluff or marshmallows. It was a T-Bone, fresh and meaty.

Monsters University Movie Review

Monsters Inc. holds a special place in the “childhood movie” portion of my heart. So does 007: Die Another Day. I had a pretty good childhood.

Mike and the Cookie Monster return for a second film. The three key points to this throwback prequel are the animation, story, and humor.

Monsters are slimy, hairy, and very colorful, apparently, and so animation was crucial for selling a college of monsters. I am happy to say that the animation was very well done. Not only did the monsters look great, but the lighting and scenery was top notch as well.

Any film can have color, but the texture and depth that these characters have visually is impressive.

The story unfolds through Mike’s point-of-view. Choosing him as the anchor with which the viewers experiences Monsters University was a strong and correct move in telling the story.

References to the first film were subtle and done very well. They didn’t feel forced or overbearing. MU could have easily gone the nostalgia route, and there are elements that fans of the first movie will appreciate, but it’s a fresh new film, which is what we paid to see.

The theme of friendship rings loud and true.

The humor was very strong, though it isn’t hilarious right from the start. Once Mike rallies his fraternity, MU gets hilarious. I was laughing constantly after the world was established and the characters were introduced.

Over all, Monsters University was a T-Bone. If the movie had started stronger, I may have knocked it up a rating. Once the Scare Games begin, it’s pure hilarity and outstanding sequences. If you’re looking for a family film, MU is the way to go.

~Ddog

The Prestige Movie Review

Magic is a topic in movies that hasn’t been touched upon very often. Christopher Nolan took on the challenge, however. Two rival magicians take their enmity to the next level. Was I amazed by this film or did I want it to disappear? (See what I did there?)

The three key points to this Nolan film are the acting, the story, and the style.

What makes the characters so interesting is the fact that you and I may be siding with a different magician. One is arguably more in the right than the other, but they are both captivating. The acting was solid all around. Christian Bale is a tough character to crack, and so you desperately want to understand him. Hugh Jackman’s performance was on point as well.

Michael Caine plays Michael Caine as usual, the man who is both loyal and wise. Scarlett Johansson is attractive and magnetic, serving as a story layer. Things ultimately become more complex when a women is thrown into the mix, and she is very much a woman.

The acting was very well done.

The story is what the Prestige will be remembered for, however. It’s very complex and full of turns. Getting a look at magicians and how they operate behind the scenes is intriguing. I can’t help but wonder if real-world magicians were unhappy about this movie showing “magic” as nothing more than mechanical traps and doubles.

The tie between science and the art of illusions is something unexpected, because this movie is set in older times. Add in some history and the Prestige is very impressive. Nolan creates a story that gives away all of its secrets with the first shot and first line, yet it still keeps you wondering and engaged.

My problem with the Prestige lies within its presentation. The execution was solid, but the presentation was lackluster. I didn’t take note of notable cinematography or an individual score. That’s where this movie missed being a Filet. It didn’t feel like the one and only Prestige. It didn’t have its own style. If this film had a notable score or way of being filmed, it would be a Filet, because the story is absorbing. The Prestige is a T-Bone. Are you watching closely?

~Ddog

The Last Airbender Movie Review

I cannot call the Last Airbender a movie. That would be offensive to movies. I can call it trash, however. Wait. That may be offensive to trash.

This movie had no cohesive structure, and in consequence, neither will this review. It doesn’t deserve to be analyzed with order.

The acting in this film is terrible. There is not one actor who stood out. They are all equally bad at portraying other people with valid emotion. Each and every actor brought one another down. Though the source material is readily available, every name and piece of lore was pronounced incorrectly.

Shamalamalan chose to make the fire nation a race of Indians, which would be completely acceptable, except for the fact that it’s completely off from the source material. Completely. This director has no consideration to the source material in which he is basing his movie.

That’s just one ignorant flaw in which Shamalamalan disregards the source material. And to be clear, I’m no fan boy. I haven’t seen every episode or am an expert on Avatar. I’ve simply seen the show, and this idiot decides to disregard it.

The script is barely worthy to be written on a role of toilet paper. These characters are given bones and told to make a Filet. It can’t happen. Read this:

Zuko: [preparing to fight] Who are you?

Katara: My name is Katara. And I’m the only Waterbender left in the Southern Water Tribe.

There is absolutely no reason why Katara would announce her status as a Waterbender to the bad guy, as it is a self-incriminating piece of knowledge. Shamalamalan so clumsily puts character backstory into dialogue in a way that is obvious and empty. The script is garbage.

The plot makes no cohesive sense. It’s a bunch of scenes from the cartoon stitched together by a blind idiot.

The directing and cinematography was so detached and style-less that it hurt. It’s like nobody cared. This pile of garbage was made without passion, and you can feel it.

The visuals were pretty nice, but I don’t want to live in a world where looks can make up for the lack of heart. This slice of crap is Catfood. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

~Ddog

Rio Movie Review

Rio-(G)-

Nobody was interested in flying creatures until Angry Birds, and so producers decided that they should make a bird movie, because it would actually appeal to an audience. I must say, Rio was a success.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Rio

The three key points to this movie are animation, characters, and overall child appeal. The animation was dazzling and bright. The birds looked perfect, from their feathers to their eyes. They had a cartoonish manner about them, but there was enough realism to keep these birds believable. The other animals as well as the the humans were also animated well.

The scenery of Brazil was captivating. It nearly inspired me to take a vacation. All in all, the birds, the humans, and the scenery will make your eyes feel fuzzy inside.

Characters are extremely important in all cases of film, but they are most important in children’s movies. It doesn’t take much to get a kid liking a character, as they always have a new favorite every month, but kids don’t choose to go to the movies. Parents call the shots as to what movie their child sees. The acting talent behind the characters will hook the parents from the trailer. Big names are attached to Rio. Jesse Eisenberg, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch, Jamie Foxx, Will.i.am, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, the list goes on and on.

You fall in like with these characters because you know who is behind their voices. Thankfully, Rio allows you to enjoy and root for the characters.

Lastly is the child appeal. Rio attracts adults because of the actors, but how is the humor? Will the kids get it? The kids get their humor. Guys falling, monkeys getting hit, and the colorful birds will amuse the kids. Thankfully, though there is some adult humor. The adult humor mainly comes from the Brazilian people. It is funny how oblivious or funny some of them can be. Also, the adults will love the animals. The thieving monkeys, the slobbering bull-dog, and the two local birds will crack you up.

Overall, this is a great animated movie. Not only does it appeal to children, but it appeals to adults. Rio was the bomb. Check out this T-Bone ASAP. This isn’t an animated movie that you should groan about watching. Rio is worth your time.

~Ddog

Braveheart Movie Review

Braveheart is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is inspiring, thrilling, and a significant epic.

Mel Gibson plays a character who is likable from the start of the film. He comes off as confident rather than arrogant, and that ultimately makes him easier to like. He acted with passion, embodying the character of William Wallace.  He was charming, passionate with his speech, and a monster on the battlefield. He also had  a sense of humor, which is rare from heroes on this big of a scale.

I cannot pass up mentioning the supporting cast. Wallace’s comrades are hilarious. The Irishman and his childhood friend are well played, and there is not one weak character that weighs the movie down.

The battle sequences are very well done. Whether they be formal battles across a grassy plain or the defense of Wallace’s hometown, all of the fighting was captured in a very engaging way.

The messages that this movie delivers are not only through Wallace’s powerful speeches, but through his actions and the actions of those around him. He has faith not for those around him, but for himself out of his own true belief.

Braveheart is truly a film of epic proportions. It was grand, it was a spectacle, and it was hilarious. Despite the epic qualities of the movie, humor is added into the film, and I laughed with the characters. Go see Braveheart. It’s a grand Scottish Filet.

~Ddog