Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
October 15, 2012
Max Braden: I did not expect too much from End of Watch because it looked to me like just another cop drama, but I was impressed. Gyllenhaal and Pena have great chemistry, and the best parts of the movie are them just being stupid/funny/macho/flawed/human. It's not quite as plot driven as Ayer's other cop movies like Training Day and S.W.A.T., but I liked it more than Dark Blue.
Looper also surprised me in a few ways. There's more sci-fi in it than appears in the trailer, but this turns out to be one of the best parts of the movie, and the child actor featured in the second half is perfect for the role. There are also a lot of great visual effects in the second half. I was a little let down by JGL because it seems he's trying to hard to look like Bruce Willis, including something under his upper lip? Bruce's character also takes on a mad-scientist type justification for his actions which make him unsympathetic. And of course there are some logic problems. But I liked it overall.
Taken 2 is more of the same in the way that Safe House and The Bourne Legacy are repeats of the first Bourne: good, fine, watchable, but lacking the special spark of the first movie. Neeson is very good at projecting an intimidating presence and confidence, so it's worth watching just to see him work the role.
Recently seen on DVD:
What to Expect When You're Expecting - Kendrick's serious storyline is the highlight, and the husbands are mildly amusing, but the rest is too manufactured.
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - I think I liked one of the rock songs, but I was otherwise unmoved.
6 Bullets - a straight-to-DVD title with Jean-Claude Van Damme basically recreating the Taken plot. And man, Van Damme is good. There's also a nice twist in his first mission that puts a fine point on the reality of taking a guns blazing approach. This is worth renting.
The Cabin in the Woods - Most people I know highly recommended this horror/comedy genre mashup, so I went in with slightly too high expectations, but it's still good. The control room scenes are great and the one where they dance along with the girl in the cabin, no matter how brief, is one of my favorites of the year.
Hysteria - A historical retelling of how the vibrator was invented. I like anything with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Salvation Boulevard - Pierce Brosnan reteams up with Greg Kinnear in religous/accidental-murder plot. I expected good things from them after The Matador, but I fell asleep.
Freelancers - A straight to dvd title with 50 Cent starring as a cop getting corrupted by De Niro. It's better than average.
Darling Companion - Kevin Kline puts up with Diane Keaton's obsession with finding a dog better than I would, and I like dogs.
Life Happens - A straight-to-DVD single-mom comedy drama with Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth, and Rachel Bilson. Whatever faults the movie had I didn't notice because I was too busy taking in the hotness.
Damsels in Distress - A comedy starring Greta Gerwig in college. It's very offbeat, but can be very funny with its deliberate dialogue, as if Woody Allen had remade Clueless.
Red Lights - De Niro plays an intimidating blind psychic and would have made great scenes with Sigourney Weaver's scientist skeptic, but she's out of the movie too soon. The final plot twist should have been the full storyline.
Snow White and the Huntsman - Dull, dreary, miserable, and a waste of time. Does any viewer get to the end credits and actually think "wow, that was a movie worth making"? I couldn't stand Stewart or Theron.
The Babymakers - A straight-to-DVD comedy from the Broken Lizard troupe starring Paul Schneider trying to get his wife Olivia Munn pregnant and resorting to robbing a sperm bank to get it done. They have fun chemistry together. This is worth renting.