Jesse Wilson Movie Reviews
BEOWULF – 3.5/5 This is a very tough movie to try to explain technically. This is a work-in-progress technology. People are uncomfortable with it now, but in time it will be perfected and grow on people just as CG animation has. If you look at some of Pixar's earlier stuff you'll find certain aspects are crude and strange. Now Pixar films are filled with eye popping images that look very realistic while still being animated at the same time. What this film lacks is the emotional connection and personality in the characters we’ve come to expect from good animated films (I know it’s not technically animated). Don’t get me wrong, parts of this film are gorgeous and very captivating, but that doesn’t complete a film. Because this technology hasn't been perfected, it's difficult to get into the characters. In the back of your mind you’re still new and slightly uncomfortable with this style and technology. It creates a distraction from the story. There are certain things Motion Capture cannot replicate. I watched it in digital 3D and regular 35mm film, and there are significant differences in the look and feel of the film. Robert Zemeckis constantly pushes the envelope on growing technology in cinema but this type is still growing. It’s already a great story so you can’t knock off points there, unless they really deviate from the original story. I recommend people go see this with an open mind and try not to be too critical. One day, once perfected, I'm sure people will rave about this technology and how cool it is. Maybe.
WALL•E – 5/5 WOW! What a gorgeous film. Naturally Pixar made this thing look amazing x 1000. I was
really curious and kind of worried about how the dialogue would be handled in this film, but it was very well done. The message behind the movie was heartwarming and rather scary at the same time. As can be expected from Pixar, the story was nothing but spectacular. Wall•E and EVE's relationship was very sweet and you really, really felt for the little guy. Andrew Stanton is the man, what an awesome Director! I definitely picked up on the unique "film" look they tried to give it. Loved it. I was a little thrown by the live action footage (not Hello Dolly, but the stuff with Fred Willard). It was really bizarre to see that in a Pixar film. The opening sequence and the end credits are also worth mentioning. All very well done. I can see where really young kids might have trouble with a few spots here and there, but there are other parts of the film that I think will recapture their attention and keep them entertained. Wall•E is now one of my new favorite characters. His little quirks and personality traits were so well executed. What a GREAT FILM. Practically perfection.
BURN AFTER READING – 4/5 Anything with John Malkovich yelling is typically a winner. Another great Coen brothers film.
BANGKOK DANGEROUS – 1.5/5 Weak! Though there are decent parts in this film and a few unique and cool shots (the end of the boat chase), this film pretty much sucked the big one. It was the obvious lame mistakes that brought this film down. There was a cheesy amount of overdone character development, that at times didn't have shit to do with anything.
Nicolas Cage continues to disappoint lately with more ridiculous movies that match his ridiculous hair. There is nothing special about this movie, and a lot of times I found myself yawning or wishing it would just end already. The action is nothing to talk about as well. It should certainly get an award for worst f-ing movie posters ever. And if somebody could please explain the annoying relationship between Cages character and the deaf Thai chick that would be great.
DAZED AND CONFUSED – 2/5 Mediocre and extremely overrated movie. A solid cast, with solid performances, in a film that is only amusing some of the time. It doesn't really progress in any direction. I may have liked it a bit more if not for all the hype behind it. To its credit though, Matthew McConaughey does deliver a pretty sweet performance. I liked the characters, but it comes down to the fact that the film was simply just a filler as far as teen films go (which Universal favors making), set to a solid soundtrack reflecting that time period. Ho Hum.
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS - 0.5/5 Terrible! If I ever get the chance to meet George Lucas I'll have trouble deciding between going for the hug, or the slap. This movie was a kick in the nuts to the original Star Wars movies, and even the newer ones! You have an M.I.A. Frank Oz, yet you were able to get Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee back to voice their respective parts. The story sucked, hard. This is the Clone Wars! The legendary Clone Wars, and this is what we get? Shitty animation and bullshit excuses for battles laced with horrible humor? Kiss my ass, what a crock of shit. These new characters (Ahsoka and Asajj) don’t die in the film, so where exactly are they in episode 3? Oh,
ok, they just magically disappear, I get it? Lame! The jokes in this movie are more ridiculous than they should be. Let me put it this way; There is a cross dressing homosexual Hut (Like Jabba the Hut if you don't know what a Hut is), and Jabba has a son named Stinky who burps and makes annoying ass noises throughout the film. Funny right? This story was supposed to be a TV show from the start, but apparently George Lucas liked it so much he thought it should be a movie!? Sigh. Yes, the animation is as bad as it looks. No, there is not a classic Star Wars crawl at the beginning. And yes, this movie is terrible and never should have been made. I feel sorry for even more hardcore Star Wars fans than me. A sad day in Star Wars history for sure. This movie is horrible. The End.
EAGLE EYE – 3.5/5 Not bad. Not amazing either. Things were quite far fetched in this flick. I try to ignore it because it’s meant to be a fun movie. There is a point though, where you can go to far and just make the audience feel irritated and dumb. It came close to that a couple times. Shia LaBeof and Michelle Monaghan's characters were solid. They did great. As did Billy Bob Thorton, Roasario (yum yum) Dawson, and Michael Chiklis. The action was solid and entertaining most of the time. I just can't look past some of the obvious, "that wouldn't happen" parts in this film. I liked it, but didn't love it. It certainly is a decent popcorn flick that's worth watching at least once. I'd like to see director D.J. Caruso direct a film with a stronger less cheesy script. As much as I liked this movie it did have its flaws and plot holes. Not too shabby though.
WATCHMEN – 3.5/5 Ok...here we go. Watchmen seems to be getting mixed reviews. I can see why though. This is a highly regarded adaptation of a phenomenal graphic novel/story. As a film, Watchmen stands proud and unique. When comparing the theatrical cut (keep that in mind) there are some issues. This comes with any book-to-film transition. Forrest Gump differed greatly on screen when compared to the book. But trust me, it was for the best in that instance (In the book Forrest goes to space with a monkey and he’s a horny retard). Anyway, Watchmen was certainly a story worth making a film out of. The action in the film is very powerful and appropriately dispersed. Watchmen should not be considered a typical comic adaptation film. There is a real unique substance to the story. The characters in the book and film really show that. Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian), and Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach), were outstanding in their performances. Excellent casting props go out on that one. It was nice to have the characters as they seem in your imagination (after reading the novel) come across so perfect on screen (Yes I'm eyeballing you Harry Potter movies!). I heard a bit about some weak CGI in the film; I would have to say over 90% (that you notice) of the visual effects in the film were well executed. Keep in mind folks, that often on big budget effects heavy movies like this, that more than one SFX company will work on the same film. One company alone could not produce all that crazy CGI shit in such a short amount of time. So maybe one SFX studio sucked a bit? The balance of sex, gore, and violence in the film was great! If you are not into that kind of shit then go watch the Jonas Brothers 3D dingleberry show. The Imax viewing experience (most notably the sound) really helped make the film what it is. Having read the novel, I greatly missed the relationship between the newsstand vendor and his comic reading buddy. Of course that directly leads to The Black Freighter side story, which was a bummer not to see (Although it will be on DVD in a week and in the Directors cut on DVD/Blu-Ray). There were other little bits missing here and there that would have been
nice to see. Most especially some more focus on Rorshach's history and childhood. There is more to the story with the Psychiatrist as well, but I can forgive that for time reasons. Some shit that did bother me though was the goofy ass Richard Nixon character, and Moloch's fucking ears. They made that way to cartoon-ish, thereby making the person look like a caricature. On a more positive note the music in the film was awesome. Most especially the opening slow motion sequence, set to Bob Dylan's "The times they are a changin". Overall, the movie in my opinion was a success. I certainly would have rather watched the 3 hour 30 minute Directors Cut versus this 2 hour 45 minute cut, but I guess I can wait. For those that hold the Watchmen novel sacred you are obviously going to have disappointments. But look at the bright side, this movie doesn't have fuckin Jar Jar Binks in it at least!
VALKYRIE – 3/5 A solid film. Followed the story of the actual event pretty well. Tough to sell a movie though when you know the ending already.
TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN – 1/5 Words like stupid, horrible, retarded, lame, insulting, chaotic, and irritating are the first to come to mind when I think of this film. The only explanation I can come up with on why this film failed so miserably is: 1. One man (Michael Bay) was given too much power after the success of the first and there were no checks and balances. 2. The script for this film (from what I understand) was fast tracked in order to beat out
the writers strike that occurred late 2007 and went into 2008. Now I don't want to totally hate on this flick. So I’ll say the action was superb when it was necessary. The battle sequence within the forest was spectacular. Awesome CGI animation throughout. Though you can’t really credit Bay on that. With the weak and annoying humor, retarded Transformers heaven sequence, annoying old Decepticon turned Autobot with the damn cane, unnecessary and constantly changing locations for no reason, extremely annoying and at times racist twins Mudflap and Skids, horrible writing and execution of some dialogue, horrible flow of the film, bullshit magic dust shit, pathetic relationship between Starscream and Megatron, HORRIBLE terminator/skinbot thing at Sam's college, Sam's college roomate, use of Megan Fox, insulting narration and obvious story point dialogue, Sam's parents at times, lack of Jon Voight, John Tuturro's thong, insulting use of pot brownies and the new symptoms you apparently have when marijuana is in your system, and again, the storyline (blowing up the sun? wtf?), it is easy to understand why this film received such horrible reviews. Now understand, I'm not looking for a masterpiece of a script, or amazing dialogue. But I expect some decency. This film lacked just about all of that. I loved the first film too. I honestly didn't think you could fuck something like this up, and so bad. So what the hell Michael Bay? You know, Pixar has some of the best animation in the world, and they can incorporate all of that into a clever and solid story, and guess what? They typically have a lower budget as well. $250 million is pretty ridiculous for what I saw. Congratulations Mr. Bay, you got away with making a dumb as shit film, and got paid more than anybody else in the world to do it. Sad thing is I was never into Transformers prior to the first film. So I can't imagine how upsetting this is for veteran fans. The only way I can try to compare it in my head, is to imagine if they took the Ninja Turtles, made April O'Neil a hermaphrodite, made Casey Jones a gay father to two kids, and have the turtles become best friends with the Shredder so they could battle a gigantic mega goose with laser vision. Sound ridiculous you say? Want to see something similar? Then go watch Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen!
ZOMBIELAND – 4.5/5 BEST ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER MADE! If I had to give it a "best" anything award, it would be, “Best opening credits/intro sequence, and Best cameo, ever.
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON – 2/5 Crap. And more crap. After watching the first movie and not loathing it as I thought I would, I prepared then to give the next film a chance. Let me first start out by saying that this movie isn't the worst movie. The story and most of the characters are just total crap. These films portray young girls in their worst form. Chris Weitz (Director) actually did a decent job with what he had to work with. It all comes back to the story with this franchise. Which could be solid, but is beaten down with over exaggerated teen melodrama. It's just all kinds of ridiculous. It's so bad it's funny at times. It still really blows my mind that these stories and their transition into film are so popular. I can only connect it to Stephanie Meyer knowing how to play with young teenage girls emotions so well. I think when you are going to play with a scary mega force like that, you should accept the responsibility of not making their ever growing and skewed perception on life any worse. Bella has got to be one of the dumbest, most boring, and annoying characters I've ever seen on screen. I'd rather watch Jar Jar Binks sing in an all Ewok Star Wars musical directed by Uwe Boll than watch her character on screen. Bella is pathetic, weak, and solely dependent on a man (or boy in Jacobs case). She is the all time worst role model for girls. She doesn't do anything but whimper and whine. I really have to agree with my girlfriend as she mentioned, "Why can't a girl be strong or be a hero in a movie?". That, is a great question. There are very few movies in comparison to movies released where girls are shown as strong, independent heroes. I can only
think of 3 off the top of my head; Mulan, Kill Bill, and Whip It. Back to this movie, Chris Weitz is a better director for this type of movie. Hardwicke's style is great but I just don't think it fit real well in the first film. The special effects (for the most part) were crap. Total crap. But a few scenes were watch-able. I did enjoy the sequence with Victoria being chased though. That was really well done. A couple scenes with the werewolves weren't to shabby either. The coolest vampires have the shortest screen time as well. The Voltari (I don't know how to spell it so shutup) were way cooler than the stupid Edward retard and his family of pale bitches. They had more mystique and less middle school drama. I cannot wait for this franchise to end and have the world move on to something else (hopefully of much better quality), because these stories and most of these characters are so damn stupid and they’re really messing with young peoples minds. A great quote by the greatest dude that ever lived reads, "Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood." -Walter Elias Disney That could not be more true. Screw you Stephanie Meyer, one book by J.K. Rowling kicks the ever loving shit out of all four of your stupid stories.
IRON MAN 2 – 4/5 It's extremely difficult to review a movie like this one when you're already biased towards it, because of the people involved, knowing the man who co-created the character, and being at the World Premiere event in Hollywood (not bragging I swear). But I'm going to try to keep the stars out of my eyes and come back down to earth for a second. Iron Man 2 is one helluva film. It's not the best movie ever made, and it shouldn't be reviewed with such standards. Iron Man 2 succeeded at being exactly what it was supposed to be. A really fun, kickass, action packed, Superhero movie. A lot more was going on in this movie and it really worried me (Spider-Man 3
anyone?). But I think Favreau and Theroux juggled it all pretty well. There are so many parts of this movie I loved. All put together they really were a lot fun. "Fun" is the key word here. I can honestly say I left the theater wanting more . So lets break down the newer characters here. I'm going to try to do this without spoiling anything important. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow - Wow. I really think she's overrated as an actress sometimes, but she did a pretty damn good job (action-wise) in this film. Her action scenes were nothing short of amazing and well choreographed. I'm interesting to see what she has to offer in the next. Mickey Rourke as Whiplash/Ivan Vanko Awesome performance! Mickey Rourke was Whiplash. I really wanted to see more of him in the movie. That dude needed more screen time for sure. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury - Can't really say much about Sam Jackson you don't already know. He plays a B.A.M.F. in every movie. It's no surprise he kicked ass in this film as well. It'll be exciting to see more of him as Fury in future films. Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer - Now in the comics Hammer is an older dude (Pacino was considered for the role apparently). I normally don't like when they deviate too much from a characters look from the book (Whiplash being an exception). So this concerned me except for the fact that Sam Rockwell is an amazing actor (please see Confessions of a Dangerous Mind or The Green Mile to understand). I really thought I'd like him more in this movie. It's not that he was bad. I think he was just surrounded by too much of a different kind of awesome for him to really shine in this film. Not to mention his character is meant to be a pathetic prick in the movie. Don Cheadle as War Machine/Rhodey - Dude! Terrance Howard who? Cheadle is always great in everything. He was a different kind of Rhodey than I expected, but he was written into the story very well. That probably made his job easier, but he transitioned into War Machine perfectly. I enjoyed his and Tony's relationship quite a bit. As far as some other other newbies (Gary Shandling, John Slattery, etc...) They all did great. ‘Nuff said. Everybody seemed extremely well casted. And for the veterans (Favreau, Paltrow, Downey Jr.), they really took it a step further with their
characters. Favreau is always entertaining, and his role as Happy Hogan is very comedic. I love watching this guy do anything. There's a lot more of him in this movie. But it's just the right amount. I never thought Happy Hogan would be one of my favorite characters in the film. Paltrow's relationship with Stark is really well executed. You can tell she's a very talented actress, as the believability in her character is so well done you literally just think of her as Pepper Potts. She can really juggle Robert Downey Jr.'s quick witty quips like a champ, and throw it right back at him. Great chemistry. As for Robert Downey Jr., seriously, (Stan Lee said it best) "he IS Tony Stark". There is too much of him in real life that is reminiscent of the character for him to not be Stark. You should have seen how he arrived at the premiere and you'd understand. I don't know who to credit with the action in this movie but they deserve a damn medal/award/hug/something. When action unfolds in the movie it dominates. You can tell they spent a lot of time planning this stuff out. It's not just a battle scene between hero and villain, there is a purpose and it's a very entertaining one. Do not blink during the fight scenes as you might seriously miss something very cool. There are of course a couple "easter eggs" pertaining to future Marvel films. As a fan of the universe it's appreciated and expected. Iâ€™ll be very excited to see it all come together in The Avengers. I also loved the obvious Walt Disney persona that Howard Stark portrayed. And you know that's exactly what they were going for because the Sherman Brothers did a song for it as well. I got really excited during that part of course. Tony Stark and Ivan Vanko's Daddy issues were handled well. They didn't cling to it as a desperate attempt for added drama and emotion. It was just the perfect amount without being "soapy".