Skyfall (2012) starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem directed by Sam Mendes screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan based on a character by Sir Ian Fleming Almost four years after the release of Quantum of Solace,a film met with scathing review for it’s overall mediocrity, Daniel Craig returns once more to portray film icon James Bond in Skyfall. The film opens right...
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves, based on a comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko directed by Marc Webb The decision to reboot a franchise whose last film came out just 5 years was confusing, and since The Amazing Spider-Man came out of a necessity to retain the rights to the character, the...
21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street (2012) starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and written by Michael Bacall based on a TV series by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell In Channing Tatum’s first real comedy debut he teams up with rising Superbad star Jonah Hill to adapt the crime drama into a comedy. Tatum and Hill star as two childish cops assigned to work...
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods (2012) starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, and Fran Kranz directed by Drew Goddard and written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard Cabin in the Woods starts with a cliché: five college students travel to a secluded cabin for a weekend of debauchery, but when things begin to go awry, the story embarks on a complex journey of twists and turns. The cast is an overall...
The Avengers (2012) starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Chris Hemsworth directed by Joss Whedon story by Zak Penn, screenplay by Joss Whedon, based on a series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby In 2008, Marvel Studios released its first film, Iron Man. Despite the hype surrounding it’s box office success, and overall quality (some go so far as to say it revived the dying genre of...
God Bless America
God Bless America (2011) starring Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait If you are familiar with comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, it should come as no surprise that this film is as wild as his high-pitched antics. The story begins with indifferent divorcee Frank (Murray) who finds out that the source of his frequent migraines is not because of his obnoxious...
Drive (2011) starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and screenplay by Hossein Amini, adapted from a book by James Sallis Though the build-up is slow, when Drive finally kicks it into gear, this crime thriller pulls the audience to the edge of their seats. Drive’s nameless protagonist, played by the perpetually smooth Gosling, is a man of few words,...
Moneyball (2011) starring Brad PItt, Jonah Hill, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman directed by Bennett Miller and screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, based on a novel by Michael Lewis Despite my general reluctance towards the sports genre in general, I do have a soft spot in my heart for baseball, and the reviews pulled me into this one. Moneyball is a lot of things, but what it most...
American Beauty (1999) starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, and Thora Birch directed by Sam Mendes written by Alan Ball For a variety of reasons, American Beauty might just be one of the most beautifully tragic movie ever made. There is something so raw about this 1999 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, that makes it stirring and powerful whether it’s your first time watching,...
Winter’s Bone (2011) starring Jennifer Lawrence directed by Debra Granik written by Debra Grank and Anne Rosellini The subject of high critical praise after its immense success at the Sundance Film Festival, Winter’s Bone is an interestingly composed work of cinema. Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is left taking care of her brother, sister, and debilitated mother after the disappearance...
Super 8 (2011) starring Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle Chandler directed by J.J. Abrams written by J.J. Abrams Say what you want about J.J. Abrams, the man knows how to tell a story. Super 8 is a work of quality cinema for thatvery reason: it tells a story well. As my mother said, the movie is like a mix of Stand by Me and E.T. The story is that of a young group of boys working...
Brick (2005) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Zora Zehetner, and Emilie De Ravin directed by Rian Johnson written by Rian Johnson It’s hard to find a good movie that can modernize the classic noir genre while still keeping it fresh and faithful to the classics, but Brick achieves this amazingly. When wallflower Brendan (Gordon-Levitt) finds his ex-girlfriend dead, he takes...
There has been some dispute over the way I rate the films using the 1 to 10 system I currently have in place, considering everything tends to never dip far below a 6.5 (which is an F based on my scale). Regardless, I can see how a 6 out of 10 might appear to actually be a good score when that isn’t the intent, so I play on revising how my ratings will be presented. Starting with my most...
The Change-Up (2011) starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds directed by David Dobkin and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore The Change-Up is a classic Hollywood formula. Two lives, switched by some freak event, teaches each how valuable their lives are respectively. Playboy Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and working stiff Dave (Jason Bateman) are lifelong friends, who after a night at the bar...
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) starring Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and written by Dan Fogelman The idea of an ensemble cast’s interweaving relationships showing a spectrum of love is not particularly original, and in general a hit or a miss. Crazy, Stupid, Love follows the formula pretty closely. but its lack of...
Arthur (2011) starring Russell Brand and Helen Mirren directed by Jason Winer screenplay by Peter Baynham, based on a story by Steve Gordon Russell’s Brand’s first journey into a lead role was critically eviscerated, torn apart for being idiotic and shallowly written, but Brand’s comedic stylings were fantastic, one of the best executed comic performances I’ve ever...
Horrible Bosses (2011) starring Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, and Jason Bateman directed by Seth Gordon written by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, and Jonathan M. Goldstein. It’s great to see new comedians get a chance in main roles instead of just another Adam Sandler or Kevin James movie. The comic trio of Sudeikis (from Saturday Night Live), Day (It’s Always Sunny in...
5 Great Animated Disney Movies
Childhood epitomized; this list was inevitable. The magic of Disney is that years later, you can still watch these movies and love them. Disney movies are so much more than visual distractions for inattentive kids. Disney movies are insightful analyses of life, beloved for being timeless in their entertainment and moral value. They might be adaptions, but Disney makes all these stories truly...
Bad Teacher (2011) starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segel directed by Jake Kasdan and screenplay by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg I’ll be blunt: Bad Teacher is a big disappointment. I was admittedly pretty excited to see this flick; the teasers were certainly hilarious. Unfortunately, the only truly funny moments are wasted in the trailers, and there are few...
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) starring Chris Evans directed by Joe Johnston screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on a character by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby Coming out only 2 months after Thor, Captain America is the second half of Marvel’s one-two summer blockbuster knockout. The story is that of frail Steven Rogers (Chris Evans), a young Brooklyn boy...
5 Great Movie Scores
One of the greatest tools used in movies is sound. For all there is visually, there must be something auditory that can fulfill the need to create a strong environment for the audience, and one of the best ways to create those atmospheres is with music. Many movie scores are iconic, sometimes more noticeable than the movie itself. In this lists, I pay tribute to my favorites. I’ll also...
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint directed by David Yates and screenplay by Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling I won’t lie: I went to the midnight premiere, and am just so full of energy and excitement that I must write this review; I can’t even sleep. While I have always passionately...
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) starring Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley directed by Michael Bay and written by Ehren Kruger I’ll be honest, I love Transformers; it’s such a simple, but simultaneously awesome concept, that a film adaption totally made sense to me, and yet the series has never fully impressed me. Let’s forget about the previous two chapters...
The Adjustment Bureau
The Adjustment Bureau (2011) starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt directed by George Nolfi screenplay by George Nolfi, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick If you’re wondering why the name Philip K. Dick sounds familiar, you may of heard of other adaptions of his work: Blade Runner, Minority Report, and Total Recall to name a few. Needless to say, the source material comes from a...
Green Lantern (2011) starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively directed by Martin Campbell screenplay by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldenberg, based on a character byJohn Broome The story of the Green Lantern is an excellent one, that of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a reckless test pilot who is endowed with power ring by a dying alien, and is inducted into a...
I’ve always been intrigued by stupid Facebook “challenges” and what not, and admittedly am a victim of the need to do them. Here’s a film based “challenge” I did, with a small photo collage to complement. Enjoy! Day 1: Favorite film: Pulp Fiction Day 2: Least favorite film: Seven Pounds Day 3: Favorite comedy: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Day 4:...
Zombieland (2009) starring Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin directed by Ruben Fleischer written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick Forget about The Social Network, Columbus in Zombieland is the part that Jesse Eisenberg was meant to play. Zombieland follows Columbus’ journey to find his family in a post-apocalyptic world swarming with zombies. His timid,...
Source Code (2011) starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga directed by Duncan Jones written by Ben Ripley Source Code is a modern science-fiction exploration, a shapeless plot that forms as the audience puts together the pieces of a slowly exposed story entrenched in mystery. After Inception it was easy for a film like Source Code to get lost the sci-fi...
The 5 Best Superhero Movies
As the blog will progressively reveal, I’m a huge comic book buff, and lover of all things super-powered, so it only seemed appropriate that I let loose on my favorite superhero movies. So without further ado (in no order as always): 1. Batman Begins (2005) It’s impossible to ignore Nolan’s first try at the Dark Knight. This film is a masterpiece, because it not only...
Thor (2011) starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Natalie Portman directed by Kenneth Branagh screenplay by Ashley Miller, Zach Stentz, and Don Payne, based on a story J. Michael Straczynski, and Mark Protosevich, based on the comic by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby This is (surprisingly!) one of my first comic book movie reviews, so let me place forth a disclaimer right...
Bridesmaids (2011) Starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph directed by Paul Feig and written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo If this movie has proven anything, it’s that Kristen Wiig is the new queen of comedy. SNL veterans Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph spearhead a fantastic cast in this story of two best friends facing the stress of a wedding. The story is that of Annie (Wiig), who...
Five Great Comedies of the Last 10 Years
If there’s one genre that everyone enjoys, it’s comedy. There’s not a single person who doesn’t like to laugh, and despite the variety in comedic taste, you can bet there’s something out there for everyone. As much as I love my dosage of clever comedy, there’s so much idiotic humor that I can’t deny loving. Here are 5 “goofy”...
5 Horrible Movies
In a departure from my normal style of post, this week I’ll be introducing a wild new concept: top 5 lists. I know there’s no shortage of lists on the internet, but these lists will be short and sweet in a typical Films in 5 fashion. I’m starting the new style with a rather cynical topic: Let’s get started: 1. Seven Pounds (2008) I...
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher directed by Milos Forman screenplay by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman based on a novel by Ken Kesey I have to be honest, this is one of the movies that I would’ve really liked to have read the book, because I can see it being much better novelized with the opportunity to get more detailed...
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter (1978) starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep directed by Michael Cimino screenplay by Deric Washburn based on a story by Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker Considered to be one of the most controversial films based on one of the most controversial wars in American history, The Deer Hunter shocks and disturbs strongly...
American History X
American History X (1998) starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong directed by Tony Kaye written by David McKenna American History X has a potent sense of social commentary that resonates long after the movie ends. This film tells the story of Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), a white supremacist who tries to reform from his hateful ways after a prison sentence and save his younger brother...
Well, I realize I haven’t posted in a while, but it isn’t because I have been lazy. The reason is that this past week I have been watching older movies, which I figured weren’t worth reviewing since I focus primarily on recent releases. I decided that I still need my fix though, so for the next week Films in 5 will be having RETRO WEEK! I will be reviewing films that I’ve...
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2010) starring Bill Hader and Anna Faris directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller screenplay by Phil Lord and Chris Miller based on a book by Ron and Judi Barrett It’s becoming more and more clear to me that the world of animation truly is on the rise to joining the ranks of credibility alongside its cinematic peers. Pixar may have started the ball rolling...
The King's Speech
The King’s Speech (2010) starring Colin Firth, Geoffery Rush, Helena Bonham Carter directed by Tom Hooper written by David Seidler Period pieces are ALWAYS dangerous. Historical films perpetually run the serious risk of failing to feel relevant, and detaching themselves from the audience. Part of the reason I think this film won Best Picture is because it not only did it avoid doing...
127 Hours (2010) starring James Franco directed by Danny Boyle and written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy based on a book by Aron Ralston I have to say, this year’s Oscar picks have for the most part been films more than capable of holding their own, and this film is not an exception. In another year, maybe Danny Boyle’s visual epic might have picked up a few wins out of its 6...
My goal every year is to watch all the Oscar movies, but this year I once again found myself falling short due to my nearly empty wallet and over-packed schedule. Not to mention the damn Academy adding 5 more nominees last year. Good news? I did get around to seeing 5 of the 10, and if I have enough time will be able to squeeze in one or two more tonight (which if I do will end up being...
The Matrix (1999) starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fisburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski This movie will indubitably go down in cinema history for its wildly avant-garde tale ushering in the age of computers. The fear of artificial intelligence had been the topic of all sorts of media for years, whether it be 2001: A Space Odyssey or I, Robot, and to...
In Bruges (2008) starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes. written and directed by Martin McDonag You most likely don’t recognize this title; neither did I, but I’m very glad I got the chance to see it. This Oscar nominated black comedy slipped under the radar (Best Original Screenplay) but certainly deserves some recognition. It took me as no surprise that this...
The Social Network
The Social Network (2010) starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake directed by David Fincher written by Aaron Sorkin based on a book by Ben Mezrich This movie has been the subject of lots of hype from film critics and casual viewers alike, in ways both beneficial and detrimental. In the end, though I didn’t find myself disappointed, I also wasn’t overly...
Despicable Me (2010) starring Steve Carell, Jason Segel, and Russell Brand directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud screenplay by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, story by Sergio Pablos This movie is adorable. Okay, now that that is out of the way, let’s actually talk movies. Finally, someone gives Pixar a run for its money in the up-and-coming computer-animation genre. This movie is fun...
The Fighter (2010) starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale directed by David O. Russell written by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson The Fighter, in case you weren’t aware, is currently up for 7 Oscars, with 23 awards already under its belt, and after watching, I certainly agree with the critics who have so fervently praised it. The Fighter does not try to wrangle an overly...
Alright SO, each month, my plan is to post a roundup of all the ratings I’ve done that month. I’m realizing now it might be too hard to do one everyday, and yet I will keep trying to post as often as possible. Here are the ratings for January: Black Swan 9.4 Inglorious Basterds 9.1 American Psycho 9.1 Toy Story 9.0 Youth in Revolt 8.7 Easy A 8.6 Catfish 8.4 Scott Pilgrim vs....
Valentines Day (2010) starring, well, almost everyone, look at IMDB. directed by Garry Marshall written by Katherine Fugate My sister made me watch this. I always go into a movie optimistic for its success, but the star-packed cast of the film fails to save this sinking script. Fugate provides the occasionally witty line, but the attempt at creating a story of interconnecting goes too far....
The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet (2011) starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, and Cameron Diaz directed by Michel Gondry written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, based on the radio series by George W. Trendle Alright I got to get this quick little editorial off my chest: F*** 3D! I went to go see this with some friends and unknowingly bought tickets to the 3D version, the worst $4 bucks I’ve...
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) starring Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Windstead directed by Edgar Wright and screenplay written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright, based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley I definitely have a bias for this movie for two reasons: 1. I’m a HUGE comic book, read all the graphic novels, and loved every volume and 2. I also LOVE video...