Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Lone Survivor (2013)

The first great Afghan war movie.  It is based upon the book by Marcus Luttrell who was the Lone Survivor.  In the movie he is played by Mark Whalberg. While he is credible the movie would have been better with a better choice. The supporting actors including Taylor Kitsch were great. Up to the 100 min mark its a fantastic movie. It had total realism almost documentary feel even better than Zero Dark Thirty. Past 100 min the movie falls into saccharine territory which costs this movie one of my stars. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 68% which is in my ballpark. A really good pro war movie that gets a little carried away punching your buttons.

Four Stars

Gravity (2013)

If you do not know who Director Alfonso Cuaron is now,  after watching this movie you will be looking for his name when picking movies to watch. Previous credits were also terrific movies like Children of Men. This movie should be seen on the big screen but I found it fantastic as a DVD. Its a very simple story and barely Sci Fi. Sandra Bullock should hands down win best actress for her portrayal of astronaut Ryan Stone. This role had a whose who of Hollywood brush with the part before Bullock locked it up. It was a critical and box office smash. A very special must see movie.

Five Stars could not be more perfect

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Still some life in the Die Hard Franchise. Jia Courtney a complete unknown plays McLean's son who is all tangled up in Russian Politics. I really liked Die Hard 4 this one was a little tired by comparison. Still an average Die Hard is not to be missed. Rotten Tomatoes was only 14%. Domestic Box also well under a hundred million. I agree with the critics it was the worst of the Die Hards but still well worth watching.

Three Stars

Shooter (2007)

Despite some casting weakness this movie should have been a mega hit.  Its a conspiracy theory story which is a proxy for Blackwater and Dick Cheney. The problem is the real Dick Cheney and Erik Prince are better villains than Ned Beatty and Danny Glover. Marky Mark would not be my first choice to play the lead but he does a credible job. Kate Mara the female lead I liked better now having seen her in House of Cards.  Also Micheal Pena is great as the sidekick. Antonie Fuqua justifiably lauded for Training Day directs this action flick well. The story is great compelling and was ahead of its time. In 2007 we did not have Wikileaks, Edward Snowdon and the collapse of Blackwater and the Bush presidency. Had this movie come out now it would be a much bigger hit.  The screenplay by Jonathan Lemkin was good but naming the lead Bob Lee Swagger did not add gravitas. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 48% with lots of Dixie Chick bashers weighing in. Domestic box was $47 mill with an equal amount overseas. Since the movie had a $61 mil budget, not a huge hit. It also topped the DVD sales charts. I really liked it much better the second time around. If you like conspiracy theories you will love this movie filmed mostly in BC.

Three point nine stars

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Elysium (2013)

The highly anticipated sophomore effort of Neil Bloomkamp. His directorial debut District 9 was water in the desert of contemporary Sci Fi. Elysium looks fantastic, and is more accessible to the mainstream. District 9 made the audience feel racial discrimination. Elysium serves as a proxy for Obamacare. The message is so heavy it distracts slightly from a superior movie in most respects.

The cast and the characters they play are fantastic.  Sharlto Copley a South African treasure who was the protagonist in District 9 plays the central Villain here. Jodi Foster is the power mad big cheese.  Alice Braga who was fantastic in Predators and Repo Men captures your heart in this flick as well. Matt Damon is well Matt Damon. The plot is not original but its a great story.

One of the most satisfying Sci Fi movies in recent memory. Rotten Tomatoes was Meh with a 68%. Box office was in low blockbuster territory about half of what District 9 did. See this one, it will be good for your health.

Three point 9 stars

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bang Bang Club (2010)

The Bang Bang Club was a 2010 joint Canadian South African production. If you never heard of it join the club, it was released in the US (2011) and made a staggering $124,000 before the plug was pulled.  Perhaps the key reason it was not a big success is that was extremely politically incorrect. Is there a more saintly figure in the world than Nelson Mandela? Well Bang Bang pukes all over his carefully constructed story. It was an excellent movie more documentary than drama. Two of the real life photographers upon whom the movie is based won Pulitzer prizes, and two of them died. If you like political intrigue movies you will like this. It is far better than Welcome to Sarajevo or The hunting party.
According to this movie the apartheid regime in South Africa and the ANC were on pretty good terms near the end.

Three Point Five Stars

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Parkland 2013

Only reviewing because its a Kennedy Assassination movie and its the eve of the fifth anniversary. I saw JFK and this movie is no JFK. Its an apology piece for the Warren Commission. Its boring.

1/2 Star

Friday, 4 October 2013

The East (2013)

This move is a collaboration between  director Zal Batmanglij and Writer/producer and Star Brit Marling. Both are on a trajectory to be huge stars.  The East is an Eco terrorism group lead by Eric from True Blood. Ellen Page is also a member of the gang. Sarah a deep cover operative from a very tony private security firm infiltrates the group. Of course she discovers she is in way to deep.
The movie is very preachy but in a good hearted way. There last ten minutes is full of great twists and turns.  It got a well deserved 75% from Rotten Tomatoes, the box office was disappointing at less than $3 million, but hopefully it does well in DVD. Well worth the rental or purchase.

Three point six stars

White House Down

Its a movie by Roland Emmerich of Independence Day fame. He also did Stargate, The Patriot, 2012 and The Day after Tomorrow. This is one of his best.  WHD stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, two actors who I am generally lukewarm on.  Tatum takes on the Bruce Willis role in this Die Hard formula flick and Jamie plays a very Obama like president. What really grabbed me about this movie is how prescient it was about today's headlines. White House Down rocks. I have one little quibble about the basement tunnels and when you see the movie I am sure you will agree. White House Down had the misfortune to come out a few weeks after the very similar but not nearly as good Olympus has Fallen. Rotten Tomatoes piled on giving it only 50%, I say its at least 50% better than that. I strongly recommend this movie.

Three point seven five Stars

The Raid: Redemption (2012)

Its an Indonesian movie but the plot could be a domestic  A SWAT team raids a gangs holdout and gets more than they bargained for. The story is very close to Dredd, and I would be surprised if there were not some copyright infringement by the Dredd creators.
For a foreign film to break through the chatter and have success in North America is rare, those with subtitles jump over a higher bar. The Raid succeeds because its speaks a universal language of highly stylized violence and action. The cover of my DVD says " one minute of romance and 99 minutes of non-stop carnage"  At least half a dozen minutes of that Yayan Ruhian play MAD DOG in some very intense Pencak Silat martial arts fights to the death. He would make a wonderful villain in any movie, and I really hated his character in this one. Rotten Tomates gave it 85% and for a movie that cost about a million to make made $4Mill box office in the USA alone. If action films are your genre this is a sure thing.

Three point eight stars

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

Movie begins with Fast and Furious crew enjoying retirement and living large off the loot from Fast and Furious 5. Of course they are recruited by The Rock to take on a doppelganger of ex military. Michelle Rodriquez who was missing from 5 reappears as Letty, except this time she is working for the bad guys. Will Dom rescue her? Gina Carano continues to impress me as an action star. Her fight scenes are so authentic. Overall I liked 5 better, but the action sequences in this are as good as it gets. If you liked 1 and 5 this is right up your alley. Rotten Tomatoes gave is 69% and that's about where I would place it. It did $238 million domestic, not bad for a franchise I would put not far ahead of Transformers for lightness.Be sure to watch the credits because FF7 is previewed and Justin Statham will be in it.

Three point one Stars

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Iceman (2013)

A movie based upon the 100 plus kills of the hitman/serial killer Richard Kuklinski. The main weakness of the film belongs to director Ariel Vromen. The storytelling gets a little disjointed and it might have been better if they followed the true story more carefully. However I would watch a movie only knowing that he was the director. Micheal Shannon who fans of Boardwalk Empire will recognize, makes a very convincing hit-man. Ray Liotta who I like in everything is a mob boss. David Schwimmer has a nice bit role as a screw up. A barely recognizable  Winnona Ryder has the role of Kuklinski's naive wife. I loved the cinematography, it looked like  I remember the colors of the 70's. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 67% and I would not argue. It was a total bomb at the box office not even $2 million domestic and about the same international. Still for the summer of 2013 one of the better movies out there.

Three Stars

World War Z (2013)

Fundamentally it is a very good movie. There is constant suspense that had me squirming from beginning to end. Marc Forster has made some great movies like Quantum of Silence and the Kite Runner, this may be his best work to date. The effects creating waves of maniacal zombies are fantastic. I am not saying she was terrible but I did not like Mirelle Enos playing the wife to Brad Pitt. I did not like the children either, I found all three really annoying. The Zombies are fast movers, even faster than the 28 days later, and super-strong like the I am legend Zombies. From the time a human is bit until they turn is only 15 sec. I found this prototype of Zombie a little bit of blasphemy. Rotten Tomatoes gave is 67% I would have it close to 80. The movie cost $190 million and brought in $200 domestic. So hopefully the trilogy will be completed. Not as good as 28 day/weeks but better than I am Legend.

Four Stars

Friday, 23 August 2013

Star Trek: Into the Darkness

I saw the original broadcasts of Star Trek. The first Star Trek movie was a huge disappointment but I thought most of the movies have been good to great. The reboot of Star Trek was a magnitude above anything that had come before. Into the Darkness raised the bar even more. The story is better and the action flows faster than the first one. My only regret is that Chris Pine version of "space the final frontier" is a significant downgrade over the William Shantner version. May this version of the franchise live long and prosper.

Five Stars

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Grey Zone (2001)

I generally steer away from Holocaust Movies. I used to think the genre should have ended with Schindler's List. Defiance proved me wrong.  So when I picked up the DVD of The Grey Zone with Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel I was hoping for the same experience. The Grey Zone makes every other Holocaust Movie you have ever seen look like a Disney Film. Its pure unadulterated Holocaust Porn Horror. What makes it so disturbing is that it is the true story of a group of Jewish SonderKommandos. There is no propaganda, no spite, in fact considering the German Commander is a ruthless psychopath he is given a relatively sympathetic portrayal. The movie is based upon a stage play and the direction leans towards stage emoting which initially I found disconcerting. As a movie it was not a finely crafted masterpiece, but as an examination of the human condition it cuts to the soul with surgical precision.  As the biggest not feel good movie of all time not surprisingly it bombed at the box office, taking in just over a half a million. Rotten Tomatoes loved it. If I was king everyone would be compelled to watch this movie when they turned 18, if you only watch one Holocaust Movie, watch this one.

Five Stars

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Purge (2013)

If not for the "Stand your Ground" justified homicide it would be easy to lampoon The Purge as left wing propaganda. Events make it one of those movies that defines its time by accident.  The best way to describe it would be Panic Room meets Funny Games during a 12 hour window of the holocaust. I liked the movie, Ethan Hawke and Lena Hedley carry the movie which raises serious doubts about America's grasp on morality. James DeMonaco adds to his reputation for being a director both the industry and audience can bank on.  Rotten Tomatoes hated it, the public gave it $64 mill domestic on a $3 million budget. If you remotely enjoyed Red State, this movie adds more color to that portrayal of modern day USA.

Three point seven five stars

Friday, 26 July 2013

Oblivion (2013)

The most original pure Sci Fi movie I have seen in a long time. Original is a good way not a art house way like Cloud Atlas. Original like Planet of the Apes was.
Tom Cruise  checks his ego for this one and puts in a compelling believable performance. Olga Kurylenko who we loved in Hit Man and to a lesser extent the Bond Movie is also credible but her role is mostly to look worthy of Tom's affection. Morgan Freeman adds a certain gravitas. Also a shout out to Andrea Risebourgh who makes the whole premise real. But the man mostly responsible for this triumph is the creator/director Joseph Kosinski. Expect him to become a force of cinema.

 I was totally engaged. Usually I have a movie figured out in the first quarter, I did not figure out the big reveal until it was shown. While the ending was predictable it was also satisfying closure.

I really had low expectations for this movie, it had very little buzz, and was a moderate ($89 mil) draw at the box office for a film that cost $120 mill. Rotten Tomatoes was only 54%. Furthermore the things I liked best about the movie, the plot, and great direction were identified by most critics as its weaknesses. Wrong again RT, do not miss what may be the best Sci Fi movie of 2013.

Four Stars
(I strongly recommend you do not watch the trailer, to many reveals revealed)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Olympus has fallen

They had me at the title.  Every character in the movie is a retold version of Under  Siege, except this time its under siege in the White House. In the Stephen Segal role is Gerard Butler. He is both a better actor and better screen fighter than Segal. The rest of the movie not as good as the original, and no where close to meeting the standard set by the early Die Hards. Antonie Fuqua of Training Day glory knows how to direct ,and that's what puts this formula flick into suspend disbelief territory. It also helps that at this current time its one of the best new action movies out there. Rotten Tomatoes was on the fence, the public loved it, expect a sequel.

Notable there is another identical move now in the theaters thats bombing called White House Down. A nice summary of similar twins.

Three Stars

Friday, 7 June 2013

Goon (2011)

I have watched Goon Twice and am ready to hand it the crown as the best hockey movie ever. Is it a better movie than the classic Slapshot, I will have to review Slapshot and find out? Goon is a funny finely crafted movie that will seem totally genuine to both hockey fans and hockey players.

Written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg (Knocked Up), the film follows Doug Glatt, played by Seann William Scott, a bar bouncer turned minor league hockey enforcer.

The film also stars Liev Schreiber, Jay Baruchel, Eugene Levy, Allison Pill, and Marc-André Grondin. Not to mention a cameo by Big George Laraque.

I liked it even better the second time. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 80%, I see conflicting numbers on box office but it was over $3 million, and in Canada it beat out many US comedies on its opening weekend.
Four Stars

Thursday, 6 June 2013

John Dies in the End (2012)

I saw this movie before Upstream Color. Its reminiscent of Upstream Color. Unlike the former eventually everything that happens becomes clear. The movie got 60% from Rotten Tomatoes but did not break 200 grand at the box office. Acting, story and cinematography are all first class. Maybe it was just a little too zany for its own good. I liked it but did not run around saying "check this out"

Two point nine Stars.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Safety Not Guaranteed (2102)

A delightful lark. A screwball comedy played totally straight. There are sci fi elements but its really a Rom Com for everyone. Aubrey Plaza who plays the side kick in Parks and Recreation is terrific as the female lead. Its a movie of no names that just shines  brighter than many star filled efforts. I loved it, its a special movie. Rotten Tomatoes agreed.

Four point two Stars

Rambo (2008)

Rambo is one of the great B movie franchises. The first one came out in 1982.  It was also directed by Ted Kotcheff who was 77 at the time this movie was shot. In some ways it is a tired movie. Stallone at times kills so casually it robs the movie of tension. But hey its Rambo. A very impressive body count in a movie only for Rambo fans.

Two point nine stars.

Fast Five (2011)

I liked the 2009 Fast and Furious. I cant remember if I watched anymore of the franchise. Fast Five is the  cleverly named  fifth in the series. Its a heist movie, with world class action scenes. The story was credible and complex for this genre. It was a huge box office smash. Lots of fun and lots of eye candy.

Three point two stars.

Warm Bodies (2013)

I only lasted 20 min before I was cold, totally brain frozen.

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

A charming interpenetration of the Jack and the Beanstalk Story. I got a real Princess Bride Vibe. Directed by Bryan Singer of X men fame. Lots of familiar faces in this well acted movie. Critics did not like the CG I giants, and thought the whole thing was a little cold. Thus it got a 52% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, and the paying audience was not even that generous. Well worth the time, one of the better adaptations of a  fairy tale in my book.

Three Stars

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Haywire (2011)

Haywire is a 2011 talent laden action-thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas. Rotten Tomato’s gave it 80%, the film going public failed it.
Gina Carano is a MMA fighter and she is great in this movie. I loved realism of the close combat fight scenes. It’s another agent betrayed on her own movie. But the biggest weakness of this movie is the reason for her betrayal is handled poorly. Overall I thought it was a great action flick and I hope to see more of Gina in similar roles with a better story.
Three point two stars

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Upstream Color (2013)

A hallucinatory tale that brilliantly opines on how the worm turns. Observations defying explanations rivet the viewer with a masterful examination of  faith, work, love and eternal legacy. Shane Carruth the genius behind Primer, once again proves he is the odds on favorite to be the 21st century's Orson Wells. Except Carruth operates with total independence and delivers even what the harshest critics would have to admit is a movie that if it were a painting would be a perfect collage of Picasso's best abstracts merged with Salvador Dali's illuminating but confusing narrative.

"In a recent interview with Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment radio show and podcast, Carruth said that he doesn't like to make films that can be easily reduced to synopsis. Films should go to the places that the written word, and other mediums, can't go. Otherwise, what's the point? Not coincidentally, it's a sentiment that can also be applied to science fiction as a genre."

  Although the movie was made on a shoestring budget it looks and feels as big as any blockbuster. Its unbelievable the mind-blowing cinematography was created with a $600  Panasonic DSLM. Carruth served as director, writer, producer, actor, cinematographer, editor, composer, casting director, production designer and sound designer, his romantic partners Oscar worthy performance is portrayed by Amy Seimetz. A cinematic force of nature in her own right. Saying this movie challenges the audience is akin to suggesting the origin of the universe is puzzling. What is art, what is culture, what is the meaning of life, I do not know how to define these things, but I know them when I experience them, Upstream Color is such an experience.
Triumphant total critical acclaim for this movie, do not miss the first movie of the 21st Century.

IO9 picks it as best Sci Fi of 2013, supporting my opinion.

Tens Stars out of Five.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

When We Were Soldiers (2002)

In many ways its a remake of the John Wayne Movie The Green Beret.  The anti war sentiment is there but far on the back burner. Its based upon a book written by Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore. Mel Gibson is terrific as this poet warrior leading a small experimental force in one of the seminal battles of the Vietnam war. I love a  good war movie and this one is a realistic  bookend for the Vietnam war. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a B and it did $80 million box office. Lots of liberties taken with the actual battle of La Drang. However general consensus is that it is a genuine portrayal of Vietnam.

Four Stars

Manborg (2013)

A masterpiece of constraints.  Urban legend is the movie was made for $2000. I can’t believe it.  It’s a comic book movie sometimes literally. Lots of fun here and the dialogue at times killed me. Great carboard characters.  Its only an hour long and that’s another of the great decisions made by Steven Kostanski the director and chief bottle washer who created this charmer.
Four Stars

Dark Skies (2013)

A movie that fails to generate the required energy to make it a big success. It was directed by Scott Stewart who proved he has some chops in the movie Priest.  It plays like a low key documentary about a family who is targeted by alien physiologists.
I liked it better a couple of days later. If you like your slice of life sci fi its worth a look.

Two point eight stars.

The Last Stand (2013)

Vintage Arnold! If you like the brand you will love the movie. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a mere 60% and it was a bomb at the box office. Wrong on both counts. He's back.

Four Stars

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Numbers Stations

One of my favourite books is Cyptonomicon. It should be a movie and I based upon his suburb work on Numbers Station, I nominate Danish newcomer Kasper Barfoed to direct. F Scott Fraizer another rookie did the screenplay and would be a great choice for any movie based upon this effort. The movie stars John Cusack as the prototypical wet worker who loses his edge. The movie is full of moral dilemmas, and Cusack painfully works them out for us. Malin Akerman plays a sweet civilian contractor who broadcasts secret code  for the CIA. After a fall from grace Cusack is assigned to protect her, but more importantly the code. It should be a routine and boring assignment, but of course its not. A terrific movie due to be released in the USA on April 26.
Four Stars

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Jack Reacher (2013)

If you liked Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, you will like this movie. Tom Cruise only plays one character these days but he plays them professionally. The plot is a long way from original, but still strong.  There are a couple of times the writing goes solid cheese and I expect at Cruise's direction. Rosamund Pike played the female non romantic lead. The former Bond girl offset the worst of Cruise. It has been a critical and financial success for good reason.

Three Stars

Monday, 11 March 2013

Alien Armageddon (2011)

Low, low budget, cheesy effects, but a worthwhile timewaster. Neil Johnson is the one man show behind this. For one man its quite an accomplishment. I would love to see him get some serious cash. The Alien invasion story is a combination of everything that has gone before, but its a great twist on same old same old. You will never think about serial killers the same.

Two point seven five stars.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Repo Men (2010)

Miguel Sapochnik directs this obvious message movie about the ridiculous nature of capitalism. It was a huge financial flop ($17 million worldwide), which is likely why I had never heard of it. I would reward him with more opportunities. Jude Law stars as an artificial organ repo man, his partner is Forrest Whittaker. Other notables are Liev Schreiber(Goon, Manchurian Candidate) and Brazilian Alice Braga (Predators, I am Legend).  A well-acted, well told tale. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 24%. Another case where maybe the reviewers should consider a brain transplant. It was a very good entertaining action movie that made you think about the absurdity elements of capitalism impose on society.

Three stars

Monday, 18 February 2013

Tombstone (1993)

Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot better than the Kevin Costner Wyatt Earp. Nice bit play by Dana Delany and what may be the last time Charlton Heston made the big screen in a cameo. A herd of  B stars like Billy Bob Thorton and Powers Boothe are also along for the ride. Apparently this version  of the famous shootout at the OK corral is the closest to being historically accurate. With $55 million box it ranks number 12 boxoffice for Westerns, but did not rustle the critics. As I am a western fan I really enjoyed it, if its not your genre, take a pass pardner.

Three Stars

Company of Heroes (2013)

Yes after the video game, if you liked Band of Brothers you will be in good company.

Red Planet (2003)

carrie anne moss, Val Kilmer 2003 good

RIde with the Devil (1999)

I have been looking for old movies I missed

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Punisher: War Zone (2008)

The Punisher War Zone brings back the charm of the Charles Bronson Death Wish movies. It’s a movie based upon the Marvel Comic of the same name. Dominic West better known as Jimmy McNulty of The Wire is a wonderful bad guy named Jigsaw. Julie Benz who was Dexter’s wife plays the non-romantic female lead. Seinfeld’s Neuman also makes an appearance. Lots of excellent fights and gunplay. I was totally captivated.  I liked it better than the Tom Jane Punisher (2004) Even though Rotten Tomatoes gave it 21%, seek out this vigilante.
Three point seven five stars

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Argo (2012)

Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are movie peers. Both deal with CIA triumphs. Argo is the better movie, and one of the little things I really like was how the why of the Iranian revolution was explained. In Zero Dark Thirty the causes were irrelevant to the story.  While the outcome of both scenarios is well known, Argo builds suspense, and the climax is nail-biting. If you a Canadian the conclusion will bring a tear to your eye, so I cant understand the controversy. Like Zero Dark Thirty I wonder how much light there is between the movie and the reality. Ben Affleck continues his chain of great accomplishments.  Aside from Clint Eastwood, is there another actor alive with a better resume of self-directed hits?

Four Stars

Monday, 7 January 2013

Savages (2012)

Oliver Stone has secured his place as one of the greatest directors of his generation. Still he has never revisted the heights reached with Platoon.  Arguably Savages is one of his best attempt to date. It an interesting story about the ongoing drug war. There is a super cast with Benicio Del Toro putting in a wonderful portrayal of a drug cartel lieutenant.  John Travolta is great as a slimy DEA agent. The male leads are split between Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights and John Carter) and Aaron Taylor Johnson (never heard of him either) who play primo pot farmers, and Blake Lively who is the love interest for both.  Selma Hayek sizzles as the leader of an evil drug cartel.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a measly 51%. Wrong again.
Four Stars

Zero Dark Thrity

The Hurt Locker could have been an excerpt from Zero Dark Thirty. I liked both movies. Zero Dark Thirty has the benefit of being the definitive story documenting the decade long mission to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Anyone expecting an action thriller is going to be disappointed.  It’s much like a season of Homeland condensed. James Gandolfini as CIA director Leon Panetta rocks, and is about the only actor I recognized. If it is a true look at how the CIA operates; it’s both kind of sad, and testament as to how big the task is. This movie is going to win big at the Oscars but more out of patriotism than merit. My predictions: Best Director- Kathryn Bigelow, Best Actress - Jessica Chastain, and likely Best Movie.
Three point eight stars

Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained has earned its place on the podium for best Western ever. Quentin Tarantino’s films are usually good, but of the list only Reservoir Dogs would get my 5 stars. Django has to get at least six stars.

While similar to Inglorious Bastards, this movie moves far faster, travels far deeper, and finishes far higher. Jamie Fox has not been my slice of bread. In this movie he is the perfect hero. The story is fantastic, after beating up the Germans in Inglorious bastards he celebrates them in Django. It’s a portrayal of slavery that has never hit the big screen before. At its heart it’s a refresh of the spaghetti western. By far the best movie I have seen in recent memory.
Six Stars (out of five)