Thursday, April 25, 2013

(Movie Review) Oblivion (2013)

Cruise destroys the box office with Oblivion 

Tom Cruise is a machine. I am pretty certain of that at this point. With the exception of the box office stumble that was Rock of Ages, Cruise consistently puts out hit after hit after hit. There are very few actors that are 50+ that are still believable as a legitimate actions star…and he is the best of the best. Yet there are still some people out there that will refuse to see this movie based off of the baseless claim that you can’t enjoy a Tom Cruise movie because “he’s weird” or “I don’t agree with his lifestyle”. Look, I don’t agree with Randy Quaid and his lifestyle choices or his attempt to hide in Canada to escape U.S. prosecution for illegally “squatting” and skipping bail, but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch (and enjoy) him as Cousin Eddie every Christmas in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The point I’m trying to make is that if you don’t watch this movie based off of not liking the actor’s life choices, you are missing out on an amazing Sci-Fi film. 

Storyline: Many years ago Earth was attacked. Humans were victorious in a battle with an invading alien force that left their planet virtually uninhabitable. Jack (Cruise) is part of a two person “clean up” team that is stationed on Earth and must oversee the last extractions of Earth’s resources that will be used to help repopulate a neighboring moon where the remaining Earth survivors are said to be currently living. But when “holes” begin to appear in the logic of their daily orders, and Jack begins to investigate, he finds that there is more to fear than he ever thought possible. 

I have to go on record here and say that this is probably one of my favorite modern Sci-Fi movies. Seriously. I liked it that much. Not only is the film beautifully stylized, and the acting is top notch, but there are two pretty solid twists in the story that make for a REALLY interesting and entertaining journey for the characters and the viewers. While I can’t give away too much without spoiling the little surprises that this movie offers, I can say that one of them was a little telegraphed (if you are really paying attention to the scenes) but one (and maybe one other) is a bit of a shock and I didn’t think that the movie would take that specific route with the story. Obviously, as you can tell, the final product completely worked for me and I absolutely LOVED it. 

Worth the admission? Absolutely! Not only that, but I will be buying it the second that it hits BluRay. It was that good. Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman are both great in their roles and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (from Game of Thrones) gives a small but surprisingly enjoyable performance as Sykes. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

(Movie Review) G.I. Joe Retaliation (2013)

G.I. Joe is made up of 20% Retaliation and 80% of ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

There was a time when I was a big fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From the years that I watched him on WWE Wrestling to the first few movies that he put out (The Rundown being my favorite), he had what appeared to be a promising transition into the acting world. Then he started to pepper in some really horrible movie choices. DOOM (2005), The Game Plan (2007), Tooth Fairy (2010) and Journey 2 (2011) are just a few off of the top of my head. But his return in Fast Five (2011) gave me hope that he was starting to move back into the right direction….and then G.I. Joe Retaliation crushed that hope. Not so much that he was bad in it, just that the movie was so boring and one dimensional that I kind of disapprove  him for ever getting involved in that franchise. 

Storyline: The Joes, just off of a successful mission, find themselves coming under attack by their own backup units. Realizing that this was a “hit” put out on the Joes, coming under the order of the President of the United States, the remaining Joes head out to find answers. Under the leadership of Roadblock (Johnson) the remaining members of the team must put a stop to whatever evil is controlling the President.
When you read the above synopsis it almost tricks you into thinking that this is actually going to be a pretty interesting movie, doesn’t it? The problem is that there is absolutely NO consistency in the movie. There is a little action in the beginning, then a little in the middle, and then a little at the end. If the whole movie would have been paced the way that the final 20 minutes was paced, this review would be much more positive. But as a result of the “herky-jerky” pacing of the film, I can’t very well recommend it to the readers of the review. 

Worth the admission? Nope. I wish that it was, but it isn’t. I would recommend that fans of the G.I. Joe franchise RedBox/Netflix it when it comes out, because as someone who loved the toy line as a kid it is always fun to see those characters come to life on screen. But the movie is not worth the price of admission to go to the local theater. 

One complaint that I had was the inclusion of RZA (a founding member of rap group Wu-Tang Clan and noted kung fu fan) made some brownie points with action/kung fu fans when he made The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), but casting him as the Blind Master in this movie was a really bad decision. The guy can’t act and should stick to rapping. 

 So do yourself a big favor and skip this one.