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Buried (2010)

I’m buried in a box. I’m buried in a box!

— Paul Conroy

Buried was one of my most anticipated movies of 2010. I never got the chance to see in theaters, because it was so hard to find it. When I saw it on the shelf, I had to picked it up. I thought the concept of one man onscreen for a 90 minutes movie sounded interesting to me especially if its Ryan Reynolds. The movie is enjoyable but it’s not 127 Hours.

Iraq, 2006. A CRT contractor, Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up in complete blackness. Paul realizes that he is bound and gagged. He manage to get himself free. He pulls out a Zippo lighter to shed light on that he is in a wooden crate. He tries to break the crate open, but he realizes that it is buried underground in the middle of the desert.

Paul hears a cell phone vibrating near him. He picks it up, but the script is in Arabic. He misses the call. He dials 911 and tries to explain to the operator (Kali Rocha) about what happened to him. He was taking kitchen supplies to a community in Baqubah when his convoy was ambushed by insurgents. The rest of the contractors were killed and he is the lone survivor. The operator cannot help, because 911 is US service. No use for the Middle East.

Paul frantically calls his family, but they don’t pick up. Then, he tries his wife, Linda’s (Samantha Mathis) cell. Straight to voicemail. He gets the number to the FBI from 411 and explains his dire situation, but he is constantly being transferred to different people. He finally gets in touch with Dan Brenner (Robert Paterson) that works with the program to help people in Paul’s situation.

There is the problem of him being in the box. Paul calls the missed call and it is from his captor, Jabir (José Luis García Pérez) who thinks that Paul is a soldier. Paul thinks that Jabir is a terrorists. They both have misconceptions of each other. His captor wants to see him suffer and holds another fellow CRT member, Pamela Lutti (Ivana Miño) captive. He has two hours to get 5 million dollars or he will be buried alive. With only a cell phone with half of battery power left, a Zippo, a pencil, a faulty flashlight and a pair of glow sticks, he doesn’t have that much time left.

I thought that it was an interesting concept of all the action happening in a confined space like a makeshift coffin. I felt there was something not right about the way the action went. How could Paul be buried underneath the ground and constantly breathing hard, screaming, yelling? The oxygen would have run out fast by halfway through the movie. There was a moment in the movie where I said, “What the fuck?” The movie lost me for a bit.

Judgment: It was a nice experiment that needs a few tweaks.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Turkey Month Trailers

I haven’t posted any new trailers in a long time. FilmIntel posed this question to me on Formspring  what is the best trailer?

Green Lantern

 

Cowboys & Aliens

 

Your Highness

or Red Riding Hood?

 I am learning towards the Your Highness trailer. Not because it was a red band trailer, but it was hilarious and different. Green Lantern has the Iron Man factor (The coolest thing I ever seen), Cowboys & Aliens has Harrison freakin’ Ford and Red Riding Hood has a dark tone to the tale like a Brothers Grimm version. What do you think is the best?

FB Rant: Are You the Everyman Superhero Type?

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Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Captain Excellent, The Green Lantern and The Flash!

deadpoolFSS_papermanGreenLanternthe-flash

WARNING

The follow rant may contain some  coarse language that is directed to Warner Bros, Martin Campbell, Ryan Reynolds and his representatives. Don’t let the kiddies read any further.


As many of you know from reading my posts over the past couple of months, I love Ryan Reynolds. He is even on the front of my Facebook profile.

Also, there were my numerous tweets about the speculation about who will be Green Lantern; Nathan Fillion, Brian Austin Green, Anton Yelchin, Chris Pine, Sam Witwer, Shawn Roberts, Jard Leto, Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake.

Over the weekend, I heard that Bradley, Ryan and Justin were the finalists. Yesterday, I heard that Ryan snagged the role. He does looks more like Hal Jordan, but isn’t he just type casted as the superhero type?

Earlier this summer, Ryan shined in an otherwise pile of elephant shit, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now, he is in active development on the spinoff for his character, Deadpool aka “The Merc with the Mouth” that is slated to be released in 2011.

Ryan is also playing a superhero is an independent film called Paper Man. A movie that stars Jeff Daniels as a struggling author with writer’s block that has an imaginary childhood friend named Captain Excellent. Nobody knows when that movie is coming out.

Now that Ryan is the new Green Lantern, I have to pose the question. Is he being typecast? He cannot be his smart-alecky self as Hal Jordan. It will not work. What is going to happen with the Green Lantern and Deadpool movies coming out in the same year? Wouldn’t they be tired of Ryan as every superhero to ever exist?

I heard rumors that Ryan is set to play The Flash. It is set to be released 2011 as well.

Is he spreading himself too thin? Maybe he should play Captain America so he could be in The Avengers movie with his wife, Scarlett Johannson. Let him be Ant-Man, The Green Arrow, Aquaman and every other superhero that was ever created.

I’m sorry for the fanboy response here, but isn’t that move going to backfire on Ryan. Him playing multiple superheroes at the same time.

I am looking out for the best interest of Ryan. He is spreading himself out two thin. I am hesitant about the news. I just have to see it to believe it.

The Proposal (2009)

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Do you prefer Margaret or “Satan’s Mistress”?

— Grandma Annie

Back from my Juneteenth out of town engagement, and also being a huge Ryan Reynolds fan, The Proposal was next on my radar. Going into the movie, knowing that the premise would be ridiculous from the get-go. It’s a typical romantic comedy that worse than typical. It’s almost of parody of itself.

Sandra Bullock plays Margaret Tate, a “bitchy ice queen” NYC book publisher that is a cross between a spayed version of Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, and Bullock’s character in the much maligned Crash. She rules the her publishing office with an iron fist? She is running her frazzled assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) ragged.

Margaret is called into Chairman Bergmen’s (Michael Nouri) office that say that her visa has expired and she has to be deported back to Canada. She decides that she and Andrew will get married in order to stay in the country and keep her powerful position in the company.

That’s the ridiculousness of the premise. Canada? Really? She doesn’t want to go back to Canada. What’s so bad about Canada? Shit. Being an natural born American citizen, I would go to Canada. Whatever.

Margaret is shocked that she has to go to Alaska to visit Andrew’s family in order to convince the immigration officer, Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) that they are a “real deal” couple. Spare me, your feigned shock.

When the twosome arrive is Sitka, Alaska, all hell breaks loose. Margret finding out that Andrew family is welathy by small town standards.

The movie was so mind numbing. So dull. I didn’t care about the much talked about “running into each other nude” scene. The setup for that was preposterous. The scenes with Craig T. Nelson who plays the father and Ryan were excruciating to watch. Malin Ackerman’s character is named Gertrude. Let that marinate for a hot minute.

The typical ending did not make sense. Understanding Margret’s intentions to fall for Andrew were displayed, but there was not a moment that Andrew would fall for Margret. Not one instance. What a cop out.

The only laugh out loud moments were Betty White, who plays Grandma Annie and Oscar Nuñez who plays Ramone. That’s it.

Judgment: Another cookie cutter Hollywood rom-com that is not worth the price of admission.

Rating: **

Adventureland (2009)

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Hey, James… you still have anymore of those baby joints?

— Mike Connell

I wanted to familiarized myself with Greg Mattola’s style of filmmaking before watching Adventureland. There are so resemblances from Superbad, but this movie is the polar opposite.

The ad campaign did a disservice to the movie. The trailer was cut together to make it like Superbad, but it couldn’t further from that movie.

Based of Mattola’s real life experiences, the action takes place in 1987 Pennsylvania when James (Jesse Eisenberg) graduates from Oberlin college. He wants to go to grad school at Columbia University. Life throws a wrench on his plans when his father is getting transferred to another job and the family cannot afford to have James move to New York.

His parents, (Jack Gilpin, Wendie Malick) urge him to get a summer job to help him with the move. James eventually settles on a job at the crappy amusement park, Adventureland, being a “Games” person. James wants to be a “Ride” person, but his bosses, Bobby and Paulette (Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig) want him to be a games person.

James quickly strikes up friendships with some of the workers there. There is Joel (Martin Starr), a fellow “Games” person that smokes with a pipe. The busty “Rides” girl, Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva). A childhood bully of James’, Tommy Fringo (Matt Bush), who continually gives him nut shots. The wise mechanic, Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds). Finally, there is the possible love interest, Em (Kirsten Stewart).

He is trying to balance doing his job, trying not fall in love with Em was is in a relationship with Mike, who is married.

The performances were mostly solid . I had some problems with Matt Bush’s character. His running gag was giving James a couple of nut shots.  He was so unlikable. I wish that he got his due. He did. Also, I had a mixed reaction with Ryan Reynolds. At first, I didn’t understand him being a mechanic, but then I understood that he played the forbidden fruit for Emily. He was very good here, despite my hesitation.

This movie had a nice balance of comedic moments with the more poignant instances. The 80s soundtrack with fantastic with tracks from INXS, the Cure and others.

Judgment: I would urge you to see this film before it leaves the theater. It’s a solid effort.

Rating: ****

Definitely, Maybe (2008)

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Dad, I can’t believe you smoked… and drank… and was such a slut… But I still love you.

— Maya Hayes

Being a huge fan of Ryan Reynolds, I wanted to catch up with some of the movies that I missed in the past couple of years. On the recommendation from Laremy Legel at Film.com, I watched Definitely, Maybe. It is a romantic comedy with hidden mystery element in it. It was written and directed by Adam Brooks. This movie is a refreshing take on the genre.

Reynolds plays Will Hayes, an ad agent in New York City that receives divorce papers from his wife, Sarah. When he goes to pick up his child, Maya (Abigail Breslin) on his visitation, he learns that her school introduced a sex ed class that none of the parents knew about it.

On the walk home, Maya bombard Will with questions of sex and pregnancy. Maya questions about her mother and who her mother is. Will doesn’t want to go down that road with her, but Maya insists.

When Maya is about to go to bed, Will begins to tell her about his dating history. The action flashes back to 1992 when he worked at the New York office for Bill Clinton when he was running for president. He leaves his college girlfriend, Emily (Elizabeth Banks) back in Wisconsin. She wanted him to take a package to her old friend, Summer (Rachel Weisz).

His intern friend, Russell (Derek Luke) wants him to open the package. He does and it turns out that it was Summer’s diary. They read the diary to each other and they find out that Emily and Summer hooked up.

Being the “coffee guy” at the office, he finds solace with the copy girl, April (Isla Fisher).

Will recounts that himself being interested in all three of the women.

When the identity of mother is revealed. The movie takes an awkward turn, but I enjoyed myself despite that.

Ryan and Abigail were fantastic. I was so surprised to see Kevin Kline come onscreen wearing only a bathrobe. I was gitty. I don’t know why. Him playing Summer’s older boyfriend, Hampton Roth was so great.

Judgment: If you want to see refreshing take on the typical romantic comedy, I would suggest this movie in a heartbeat.

Rating: ***1/2

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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I’m coming for blood, no code of conduct, no law.

— Logan

Warning: The following review will contain plot points and spoilers for the movie that I am discussing. Be advised.

I was not looking forward to this movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, because I thought it would destroy the mystery surrounding Wolverine in the X-Men trilogy. Why should you tell his origin story? It’s not that interesting watching it in retrospect. Why should it even been told?

I ranted about the behind-the-scenes chaos of the re-shoots, the limitless retcons, Fox wanting to have more mutants in the film, and the work print leaking online on April’s Fool Day on a previous entry. I will not get into that on this review.

I have to clarify that the reason for the re-shoots was that Ryan Reynolds was filming this movie and The Proposal at the same time.

The movie starts off wrong with the action taking place in Northwest Territories in Canada, circa 1840s. (If you have read Roger Ebert’s review of the film then you will know why.) A young Logan aka James Howlett (Troye Sivan) sick in bed. Comic book geeks, help me out here, how could somebody that could heal himself and never die, get sick?

An incident happens that reveals the identity of James’ true father. He discovers that he has jagged bone claws sprouting from between his knuckles. (I will poke a hole in this theory later on in the review.) His brother, young Victor (Michael James Olsen) whisked him away from the home. They spend the next century fighting in the different wars. Why am I getting a “Button” feeling in my gut?

After the two brothers survive a fire squad execution during the Vietnam War, James (Hugh Jackman) and Victor (Liev Schreiber) are approached by Col. William Stryker (Danny Huston) that wants to recruit them into a special team for incorporate their powers.

On a mission in Nigeria, the group consisting of super-strong Fred Dukes (Kevin Durand), the teleporter Wraith (will.i.am), the expert marksman Agent Zero (Daniel Henney), the mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds)– who is doing the same shtick from Blade: Trinity— and one that could manipulate machines, Bolt (Dominic Monaghan) break into a building to find a meteorite. (Wait, this is important later on.)

The group tries to coax a tribe leader to spills information about the meteorite. Stryker order the group to kill the villagers. James doesn’t want to do that and leaves the group.

A couple of years later, we find James– now going by “Logan” — living back in the Canadian Rockies with Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). He works as a lumberjack. Is doesn’t surprise me. His past comes back when Stryker comes back to warn about Victor, now Sabretooth, killing off some members of the team. Kayla is caught in the middle.

After her death, Logan goes back with Stryker to seek revenge on Sabertooth. The rock that the team took from Nigeria was the adamantium, the super-steel that infused to Logan’s skeleton was make him virtually indestructible.

After the procedure is done, Logan now coined himself “Wolverine” overhears Styrker’s plot to inject Logan’s healing ability into Weapon XI, a “super mutant killer” that will have to powers of Wraith, Logan, Bolt and a high schooler, Scott Summers’ (Tim Pocock) optic blast.

Wolverine breaks out of the tank with his new smooth adamantium claws. In the beginning of the movie, his bone claws are jagged. When the adamantium is fused to his bones, the claws are smooth and sharp. Somebody please explain that notion to me.

Agent Zero shoots at him. Dummy, get can’t killed. No matter how many regular bullets you pump into hm. He jumps out, streaking the entire facility and an elderly couple driving by.

Logan goes to Las Vegas to visit his old friend, Dukes who is not “The Blob.” He reconfirms Wolverine’s suspensions about Stryker creating a super mutant on “The Island.” Thank you for the “Lost” reference. Blob tells him about a mutant that escaped from there, Remy LeBeau aka Gambit (Taylor Kitsch). He goes to New Orleans to track him down.

Another action scene happens, Gambit and Wolverine end up in Three Mile Island by a dinky plane of Gambit’s. Wolverine discovers that Victor and Stryker have been working together. He discovers that Kayla is alive. Now, looking back at the scene where Logan discovers Kayla, he didn’t bury her if she was dead. If you loved her so much, he could have had the decency to bury her.

Wolverine fights Sabretooth of the last time in this movie. Blah!Wolverine frees the other trapped mutants including Scott and Kayla’s little sister, Emma Frost (Tahnya Tozzi). Having Professor X show up with whisk the children away was cool.

Then, here’s comes Deadpool aka Weapon XI aka Wade Wilson with his bald head, tattoos, and sewn mouth. It looked so awful that I laughed. They fight. It was quite good, then Sabretooth shows back up to fight alongside Wolverine to defeat Deadpool.

The moments of the movie when Stryker shoots Wolverine with the adamantium bullets to make him lose his memory, Kayla, with her power of persuasion, orders Stryker to walk until his toes bleed. It was so melodramatic. Do we really need that? No.

You heard the news that Fox has attached multiple endings to movie including ones with Stryker, Wolverine, and Deadpool. It was unnecessary. My version was Stryker’s. Whatever.

I was surprised that this movie is rated “PG-13.” This film was pushing it to an “R” with two minute nude scene of Wolverine, the cursing, endless headshots and people’s heads getting chopped off. You allow this movie to be “PG-13”, MPAA? Have you lost your minds?

It is not the director, Gavin Hood’s fault that this movie sucks. It’s the studio’s. They are trying to turn this movie into another “X-Men” like movie, cramming too many characters in here. It doesn’t work. The story is muddled down. The others are barely a blip in the movie. Why waste their time and yours watching this train wreck?

That’s too harsh. The movie is not awful. The actions sequencers were descent and the nude scene with Hugh Jackman were the only good highlights of this hot mess of a film. I did not buy the love story with Logan and Kayla

Judgment: The only reason to enjoy this movie is getting an adamantium bullet shot into your brain to forget that you ever saw it.

Rating: ** 1/2

FB Rant: April Fool’s, Fox Studios!

WARNING

The follow rant contains coarse language that is directed to Fox Studios and it’s subsidiaries. Don’t let the kiddies read any further.

April Fool’s Day has just passed and Fox Studios had the joke pulled on them when their first potential summer cash cow, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was leaked on the Internet. I had to laugh my ass off,  because Fox Studios has been making mind-bogglingly stupid decisions as of late.

When I heard that this movie was being made, I was initially excited for it. It would be Fox’s redemption after the travesty that was X-Men: The Last Stand.

After the next couple of months when the cast was announced, I was eagerly anticipating this film. Then, the train car wheels came off the rails. The main villain of the movie is Sabretooth, who was introduced in the first X-Men movie. First retcon. (If you don’t know what “retcon” is, it retroactive continuity.)

Some birdies told me that the higher-ups at Fox Studios were tampering with Gavin Hood’s original version of the back story of Wolverine. So typical, Fox.

They wanted to add more characters to make it like “X-Men: New Generation”. Why?

Late last year when I heard word that Gavin Hood was doing re-shoots to correct the fucked up scenes that the studio wanted. I was fine with that. Maybe it could a decent movie. This is Fox that we are talking about. I was not holding my breath.

When I saw the teaser for this film, I was underwhelmed that they almost told the entire story of the film in those two and half minutes. Way to go!

The second trailer was released. Then, there was news that Cyclops was in the film. Second retcon. What?

Has Fox not seen the original X-Men trilogy? In the first goddamn movie, Wolverine and Cyclops didn’t know each other. Now, you have them meet up, erase their memories of knowing each other, like with Sabretooth, and everything will be hooky-dory. No, I don’t think so.

Then, there was the question of Deadpool and the melted person fighting Wolverine in the end was Deadpool. The toy of the Deadpool character was leaked to the public. Everyone cried foul that Fox fucked up a great character. Ryan Reynolds confirmed that Deadpool/Weapon XI are the same. What the fuck?

The only saving grace in that the Deadpool movie would forget that this movie existed.

I am wondering. Who the fuck is running this movie studio? A trained monkey? Who is making this idiotic decisions? They should be fired effective immediately.

I bet that your PR people are going into meltdown mode after this latest debacle that was mainly your fault for being complete douche bags. Putting out craptastic flicks like The Happening, 12 Rounds, Bride Wars, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. But, you had a substantial movie like Taken that you released in Europe before FINALLY deciding to release it in the States in late January which grossed over $100 millions dollars. Stupid planning.

People are posting screen images of Hugh Jackman’s nude scene. The movie is being sought after in Bit Torrent sites. Not that I’m surprised.

People were speculating that the visual effects company, Rising Sun Pictures leaked the movie online, which they have denied.

Fox is not commenting on the shit storm that they found themselves in. Are you surprised? I’m not.

Yes, there is a rough cut of the movie that it out there in cyberspace for everyone to ridicule about the bastardization of the X-Men name.

You had it coming, Fox. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

Fuck you infinity, Fox!

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