Archive for Action

Valkyrie

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on August 28, 2009 by ldw

I LOVED this movie.  Even though everyone else hated it!  I even liked it with Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise plays a real life Colonel in Hitler’s SS army.  Claus Von Stauffenburg leads one of the initiatives to kill Hitler and he almost succeeded!  Von Stauffenburg decided during time in Africa (where he lost an eye) during WWII that Hitler was a threat to Germany and needed to be stopped.  He found others like him and helped lead a mission called Valkyrie.  Valkyrie was the code word for the assassination of Hitler.  Von Stauffenburg was to become close to the Fuhrer in order to gain access to special meetings of Hitler’s elite team members so he could plant a bomb to kill the commander of Germany’s army.  On a signal Operation: Valkyrie would be enacted putting all of Von Stauffenburg’s followers in charge of the Nazi army.  However, Hitler was not killed in the blast and Valkyrie was not effected fast enough to work before Hitler made radio connection with his SS.  Von Stauffenburg and his followers were all put to death by firing squad.

I enjoyed this movie because it was historical and entertaining!  Cruise was really good as Col. Von Stauffenburg.  He even worked well with the ensemble cast making the movie less of a TOM CRUISE film and more of a production of great actors.  Others in this wonderful cast are Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighly, Tom Wilkinson, any many others.

I loved the colors used in Valkyrie.  It was greyed with a lot of red to accent Nazi emblems or important items.  There were a lot of bright contrasting colors in women’s dresses or banquet foods but most of the movie had a sinister feel because of the greys and blacks used.

Overall, great movie.  I’d watch it again!

Rating: * * * *

Valkyrie

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Quantum of Solace

Posted in Movie with tags , , on June 12, 2009 by ldw

This is the newest James Bond movie and Daniel Craig is still hot!  In this movie Bond is out for revenge for the death of his lover from Casino Royale.  But he won’t admit that he’s out for revenge and this makes him a little extra volatile.

There’s something about a group called The Quantum and Bond fights a bunch of bad guys and kills even more and drives fast cars and boats and battles a fire or two.  And on and on goes the action but I don’t really remember the point.   Something about M being attacked and terrorists and a cute girl out for revenge against her parents’ deaths.  I don’t know.  I mean Jame Bond movies have never been one for great story lines and depth of character or plot but I thought this installment was even worse than others.

Daniel Craig is a great James Bond and I love Dame Judi Dench as M (not every role she has is good but this one works for her).

It’s a great action movie that keeps you guessing as the hero and baddies are running through the congested streets or racing in boats that probably shouldn’t be able to go that fast.  The action scenes are built well and are done without the need of “shakey cam.”

I’d watch it again but not because it builds up my spunk for life or vocabulary or anything but because it’s a good movie to watch with friends when you want something simple and fun.

Rating: * * 1/2

Quantum of Solace

Taken

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2009 by ldw

Liam Neeson plays the estranged father of a spoiled girl named Kim (Maggie Grace).  Bryan (Neeson) is a retired government secret operative agent (aka spy) who is trying to reconnect with his daughter.  In order to keep her in his life he goes against his better judgment and allows her to travel to Paris with a friend.  Once in Paris Bryan’s greatest fears are realized when Kim and her friend Amanda are kidnapped by sex slave traders.

Bryan has a 96 hour window to find the kidnappers and save his daughter before all traces of her are gone!  He calls in every favor he has and uses all the skills he’s mastered over a life time as a career killer.  He even shoots a good friend’s wife to get answers!

There are some great car chases and fight scenes that keep you on your toes.  The entire concept of being kidnapped to become a sex slave makes my skin crawl and as a woman I watched the movie thinking “Never will I travel overseas!”  But it was a great movie.

I wish Maggie Grace could do a movie where her acting is more than blubbering and awkward standing … I mean I loved her in LOST (still upset Shannon was killed off!).  Liam Neeson once again performed wonderfully as the doting killer father!

Rating: * * * 1/2

taken_ver5

Hotel For Dogs

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by ldw

So this isn’t some extreme movie that will change the world, but it was super cute.

It’s about an orphaned brother and sister who are best friends and refuse to be separated.  This leads to some crappy foster home placements and lots of acting out for them.  They aren’t acting out because they’re “bad kids” but because they have a secret pet dog who they are trying to feed and care for without their foster parents finding out.  This isn’t easy to do – as you can imagine – so they get in trouble a lot for the shenanigans they plan.

During one such romps, their dog sneaks into an abandoned hotel and all their adventures begin!

Bruce (Jake T Austin) is a creative little kid who can make just about anything you may need with a little ingenuity and elbow grease.  He starts building things for Friday (the dog) and the two other dogs living in the hotel.  As his contraptions begin to work, Bruce and Andi (Emma Roberts) – along with new friends Dave (Johnny Simmons), Heather (Kyla Pratt), and Mark (Troy Gentile) – start rescuing stray dogs all over the city.  In the end there are about thirty dogs living at the hotel and the kids feel like a real family for the first time in a long time.  *tear*

But then one of Bruce’s contraptions stops working – and it’s the one that feeds the dogs!  Well, the dogs go crazy and destroy everything in the hotel and alert the dog catchers who round up all the dogs – even Friday – and take them to the pound.  But the kids have a plan to rescue the dogs once and for all!

Watch the movie to see what happens!

The storyline is cheesy but cute and it teaches kids an important lesson about being yourself no matter what others think!  It also teaches them that doing what is right is the most important thing!  And that with a little creativity and good friends you can accomplish anything you’re heart desires.  All of these are messages that our kids aren’t hearing enough!  In fact in many cases they are hearing the opposite of this!

The acting is good – Emma Roberts  is great and I heart her dark hair!  I mean they are kid actors who are just starting out but I didn’t hate the acting.

There is nothing stellar about the cinematography – just another kids’ movie.  But it was cool to see all the contraptions they built and to watch the dogs act!  Dogs are just so cute!

Rating: * * *

Hotel For Dogs

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , on June 4, 2009 by ldw

Brendan Fraser gets a bad rap … mostly because his movie choices are horrible, but this time was different.  I didn’t want to see this movie because of Fraser but I’m glad I did.  Fraser stars as Prof. Trevor Anderson who takes his nephew, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) on the adventure of a life time.  Sean’s dad beleived that Jules Verne’s book “Journey to the Center of the Earth” was not solely a science fiction novel but a map to find the center of the earth.  He spent his entire career and life searching for proof.  Trevor took over the search when his brother never returned from a trip to find the center.

It’s been a few years and Sean is coming to see his uncle when something changes on one of the many readouts Trevor is working on.  The two quickly fly to the location of the change and find another scientist – Hannah Asgeirsson (Anita Briem).  Hannah’s father had been collegues with Trevor’s brother and had also gone missing on the expedition where Sean lost his father.  The three of them start out for the specific location of the temperature change and from there the real adventure begins!

They fall through a hole in the earth and after many miles … are still falling.  They finally come to a stop after riding a river roller coaster.  They find an entire world under the surface of our own!  There are plants and an ocean and animals and bugs and food and everything.  They find the house that the missing scientists built along with their journals and other belongings solidifying once and for all that the men were dead.

Well, after spending a few minutes in this surreal world, they decide to leave.  Oh, and it’s getting hotter by the minute – literally.  They can’t find a way out and are beginning to panic until they decide to sail across the ocean.  They make it but get seperated in the process.  Then there’s a dinosaur (A NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD – T-REX WASN’T THE KING OF THE DINOSAURS.  HE WAS PROBABLY A SAVENGING BEAST … THINK THE VULTURES OF THE DINO WORLD.  STOP MAKING HIM THE BIG BAD DINO!!!  IT’S JUST UNREALISTIC.).

I’ll leave it there – now you’ll only know if they get out by watching the movie! *evil laughter*

Fraser is great in this movie – he really should stop making Mummy remakes and stick to comedic family-friendly films.  He is believeable as the awkward uncle to work ubsessed to care who learns from his ways.  Josh Hutcherson is a great little actor.  I’m excited to see what else he may have to offer outside of the family movie genre.  Anita was even good as the overly beautiful but extremely smart scientist who “saves the boys” and “wins the hearts of all.”

I even enjoyed the crazy CGI.  I mean the Dino looks ridiculously fake but it’s fun.  Some of the CGI was excellent but it didn’t matter because they made it work and it made the story even better!  I love the imagination of Jules Verne as well as the computer geeks who brought it to the silver screen.

It was good clean fun and an enjoyable movie!

Rating: * * * 3/4

Journey to the Center of the Earth

World Trade Center

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by ldw

Everyone complains that this movie should have had “nobodys” in it instead of well known actors.  I disagree.  I think Flight 93 needed unknown actors – it worked for that movie – but this one needed some strong actors to make it work.

Nicholas Cage was better in his role as John McLoughlin than any other role he’s ever played.  I think with A-list actors they understood the severity of the roles they were playing.  I also really enjoyed seeing Michael Pena in his role as Will Jimeno.  The ensemble cast was great too – the casting director did a fantastic job with this one!

Everyone knows what the plot of this movie is – on September 11, 2001 terrorists hijacked four plans.  One crashed into the Pentagon, one crashed into a Pennsylvania field (see Flight 93), and two crashed into the World Trade Center.  The WTC crashed eventually caused the towers to collapse killing 1,000’s more than the initial crashes had.  In the mayhem one team of firefighters (among many) is trapped in the rubble and two of it’s members are the last two victims to be rescued from the collapse – alive.  John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno are heroes and should always be seen that way!

This movie came at a perfect time and was done with such humility and greatness that I have trouble expressing how great it really is!

I loved every moment of it – even when it was hard to watch and even when it was uncomfortable.  It brought back all the feelings I had on 9/11/01 – a date that will live in infamy.   But it did something else  – something greater – it made me remember why I love this country so much.  It reminded me why I fight – in my own way – for our freedoms and why I support our troops and elected leaders and everyone else who is also fighting for our freedoms and safety!

Great movie!

Rating: * * * * *

World Trade Center

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Posted in Movie with tags , , on May 20, 2009 by ldw

This movie was dumb.  It was barely worth the 75 cents I paid to see it.  I mean it had some funny parts but that was it!

Kevin James plays Paul Blart, a single father still living with his mother how has a dream of being a police officer.  Unfortunately he is hypoglycemic and has yet to complete the obstacle course for the academy.  So he works at the mall as a security guard who is treated horribly and without regard.

He eventually gets to save the day and get the girl – not a spoiler because it’s obvious from the start!

There are some funny parts and some fun action sequences but for the most part this movie is … bad.

There is nothing spectacular about the cinematography, the acting, the directing, or the storyline.  It is what it is and it’s a bad comedy B-list movie.

Rating: * 1/2

Paul Blart Mall Cop