Movie Reviews

The Bourne Ultimatum

Directed by Paul Greengrass, edgy camera work and hard cuts are the signature moves behind this film version of the Robert Ludlum novel. A conditioned operative; Jason Bourne(Matt Damon), toiling for the CIA comes home as do all chickens to claim his identity. A rogue adminstrator; David Strathairn, tries to eliminate him. Damon is strong by being still in the eye of the storm he creates. In the carnage that follows, twisted metal and abandoned morals litter the streets and roof tops of cities across the globe in this game of cat amd mouse. Scott Glenn is always compelling on screen as is Joan Allen in this murky world of counter terrorism, where anything is sanctioned. From the politics of the war room of the CIA to the gritty action on the streets in this post 911 spy versus spy. this film is pure escapism. Any serious geo-political issues that fuel modern intelligence work is mentioned only in passing, acting only as a framework for the fun.

For more Information about Matt Damon and The Bourne Ultimatum click The Bourne Ultimatum

The Cleaner

Starring Samuel Jackson and featuring Ed Harris and Eva Mendez, is a well-acted movie. Moral ambiguity gives the film, bathed in dark blues, a film noire feel. We first see Jackson as Tom Cutler at a highschool reunion telling his old pals what he does now, the job he has. Once a police officer, he now runs a company that cleans bio hazardous waste from houses and some of that waste occurs because of violent crimes. Samuel Jackson's past is stripped away by events that occur when he is called in by the police to clean a house of blood from a murder. Only there is no record of the police having called him in. Jackson is still on camera, economical in expression, worn down by memories he would like to forget. Ed Harris is tremendous as his flawed and very human ex-partner and Eva Mendez is great as the spark that ignites the crime. Nice direction by Renny Harlin and cinematography by Scott Kevan.


James Cameron creates an amazing alien world in Avatar. My favourite scene is the dragons sunning themselves on the rocks. Obviously a parallel to the destruction of aboriginal habitats for Corporate wealth, this movie was considered unamerican by right wing media and personalities. But politics aside, Cameron brings back Signoury Weaver from his Aliens movie in this visually stunning film. Perhaps not since The Wizard of Oz, has an alien world been so perfectly realized. However, unlike the Wizard of Oz, the acting and the script are not so perfectly realized, but that hardly matters to the average movie goer. What Cameron is great at is filming the impossible. Cameron's Titanic was a true-life epic adventure which record-setting audiences went to see. Cameron proves he is still the king of the box office by providing thrilling adventure in a brilliantly imagined world. Absolutely worth the price of admission.

For more Information about James Cameron and the movie click Avatar

Crank 2 High Voltage

James Stathan is Chev Chelios and he needs a jolt to start the day. His heart has been stolen and he wants it back. His surgically installed artificial beater needs some juice. He gets hooked up to car batteries, car cigarette lighters, is revived by tasers, and sucks the volts out of electrical power lines. He is literally on fire as he kicks, punches, shoots, screws and drives his way through this tightly-edited Marc Jakubowic and Fernando Villena The editing reflects the hypertension of this highwire act. He has always only moments to live, so he is always looking for some more health. It is a gamer's paradise, with the adrenalin pumping through his mechanical ticker, and the sex and violence raising our hero's blood pressure. His thirst for electricity, keeps the movie going at a frenetic pace. Dwight Yoakum is the disgraced heart surgeon who is Statham's lifeline. Directed and written by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Oh, was there a script? Who cares? There was an audience.

Drag me to Hell

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Sam Raimi uses a great title to cover up a lacklustre production. When you conjure up visions of hell, an audience expects more than a dead gypsy woman played with panache by Lorna Raver; coughing up fluids over a sweet loans officer from a nice bank. An audience would expect more than some shadowy left-over special effects from 'Ghost'. And while the ending is appreciated, it is not nearly horrific enough. Alison Lohman seems to be in the throes of being dragged to a compulsory visit at her mother-in-law's. Dileep Rao is a treat as the pseudo-liason to the dark forces apparently ready to do the bidding of a homeless gypsy woman. There is a terrific battle to the death between Alison Lohman's character; Christine Brown and the corpse of Lorna Raver's gypsy; Sylvia Ganush. The battle takes place in a grave, where our heroine is almost buried alive. While there are some nice special effects tricks, we wait in vain for the appearance of the fallen angel. Oh, there was some shadow puppet thing, in the window, but, like an Elvis-sighting, it proved to be nothing of substance. If the movie had been called Curse of the Gypsy Woman, I would not have been disappointed. And what does Sam Raimi care? He has and will continue to have a great body of work. From his early murkily-filmed Independent work to his current stamp on a slew of Hollywood films, Raimi makes money, a lot of money as an artist. And what can be wrong with that?

For more Information about Sam Raimi and the movie Drag Me to Hell

30 Days of Night

Great opening shot of a ship in the ice and a lone male on the frozen shore. He makes his way to the very northern town of Barrow Alaska which is about to plunge into 30 days of darkness due to its geographical location. The lone male brings with him some friends of the zombie-vampire variety who see an opportunity to feast on the poor citizens of the town. These creatures cut off all means of escape and power and begin to order take-out. It reminded me of Salem's Lot by Stephen King, where another band of vampire's ravaged a small town. This film is however based on a comic book miniseries by Steve Niles who also co-wrote the screenplay. Josh Hartnett, as the asthmatic Sheriff Eben Oleson and his soon-to-be ex-wife; Stella Oleson, played by Melissa George fight to keep the last few surviving humans out of the clutch of these zombie/vampires. Hartnett is great as his humanity is tested by the awful decisions he is forced to make to keep his small band of humans alive. In fact, the portrayal of the fight for survival of this small human tribe by the actors on this small dark frozen stage, is the strength of this film, because once you've seen one crazed zombie/vampire, you've seen them all. It's the human characters that make the difference. In a world of uncertainty, its the zombies and vampires that provide a kind of stability by following a set of rules, that all film makers follow. Director David Slade is no exception. The human reaction is the x factor and Hartnett's performance shines in the Alaskan gloom.

For more Information about Josh Hartnett and the movie click 30 Days of Night

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. sizzles as a tired, disorganized and self-destructive Sherlock Holmes. Jude Law's Doctor Watson is continually dragging Holmes to his feet and pointing him in the direction of another adventure. Director Guy Ritchie of the brilliant Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels has a lot of money to play with here. Unfortunately it seems to be a case of trying to outdo previous Holmes' movies. There have been approximately 300 movies and television series made about the famed, drug-addicted English detective. In this film the special effects seem not so special. The green screen use is obvious in many places as historic London no longer exists. The CGI seems to have been recovered from electronic games and other recently-done movies. The fight on an uncompleted Tower Bridge seems to be like so many other fights in so many other movies on impossibly dangerous places. The villain almost brings down the English government and is close to taking over the world by the use of; wait for it...magic. Normal criminals will not do. We have to up the ante and make a superhuman for Holmes to fight. Moriarty is no longer enough. I hear he goes against the Dark Knight in the sequel. Yet, the one ingredient of this movie that can rival all the rest, is in Downie's performance. It is a very human exhibition of acting. The rest is distraction.


'We are such stuff as dreams are made on' - Shakespeare

Hollwood is the ultimate dream machine, and Leo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe and Dileep Rao lead a strong crew of actors into the deeper recesses of the mind, dea sea diving into the subconscious. Dreams within dreams. Industrial espionage is the root of an elaborate layered dream world where one is inside a dream inside a dream inside a dream inside a dream. This give Director; Christopher Nolan a good opportunity to use all sorts of special effects. The Matrix is probably the gold standard for a dream within a dream and for special effects as well, but this film is pretty engrossing. An interesting twist is that the dreamer has to die to wake up from a dream and when you have a number of dreams on top of other dreams, it requires a carefully orchestrated cascade of deaths for those involved in the dream to wake up. Unlike The Matrix which commented on society, this film has less scope. Purely adventure for its own sake with some neat morality plays wrapped up inside. Leo Dicaprio is a mercenary spy called Cobb, and his mission to plant false info inside a corporate dreamers mind is threatened by his own subconscious. As in the 1990 film; 'Flatliners'; unresolved guilt leads to nasty consequences. Neat on a personal level, but inconsequential when it comes to anything more substantial.

For more Information about Leo Dicaprio and the movie click Inception

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