Movie Review- A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

What Worked: Barely anything. When it comes down to it, the best things about this movie were the murders.  Very few parts of the movie were scary.  The other parts were ruined by the predictability of it.

What Didn’t Work: For one, the structure. The second time you really see Krueger it just feels wrong. Like you weren’t supposed to see him yet. Maybe if the origin story was in the beginning of the film rather than the middle, it wouldn’t have been so jarring. The first time you see Freddy, he’s just there making it feel almost like a sequel rather than a remake.

The acting. Let me just say this, all of the actors, except for one do a fine job. And that’s one of the main characters. The lead, Nancy (Rooney Mara), has what I like to call, Hayden Christensen Syndrome. Where the actor or actress come off as bad solely because of their voice. But to be fair, she goes from bad, soulless and boring to just okay. The real standouts are Jackie Earl Haley (Freddy) and Kyle Gallner (Quentin).

Okay, I know Kruger is an alleged pedophile in these movies, but the dialogue really sucks sometimes. But other times it’s really cool and creepy. And by the end, he just came off as a giant perv and not a scary killer. So if this gets a sequel I really hope it goes to a better writer.

Now, about the ending. God, that was a stupid ending. And I’m not even talking about the ending as a whole, I was fine with that. I’m talking about the last 10 seconds. Not only did it not make any sense, but it was so obvious I could have just gotten up and left.

I’m gonna end this by quoting another critic, Robert C. Cargill: “The people who love this, really love it. The people who hate this, really hate this.” I fall some where in the middle. This was not a bad film. But there were too many flaws for this to ever be considered good. If you hate jump-scares, do not see this movie. If you don’t mind them, I say go ahead and judge for yourself. But there’s nothing here for me to ever want to watch it again.

Score: 5.7/10

Review written by: Michael Brawley.  View more of Mike’s thoughts on film on his blog.

Movie Reviews- The Losers


The Losers

After being betrayed and left for dead, members of a CIA black ops team root out those who targeted them for assassination.

expand post to read full review…

What Worked: What this had going for it was how fun it was. It definitely got serious when it needed to but its also very light and funny at times. And let me just say this now: I wanna give a giant hug to whoever cast this movie. You got an awesome group of actors to play these parts.

This is the second week in a row that we have a good live action adaptation of a graphic novel. And the second week in a row you have movie with Zoe Saldana and Columbus Short in it, but that’s a whole other issue. Now, I haven’t read Kick-Ass or The Losers‘ respective source materials but I get a sense that The Losers followed the comic book a bit more than Kick-Ass did. It’s possible, but again, I don’t know. Please don’t kill me fans, for saying that about your precious Kick-Ass. You know how much I love Kick-Ass. The Losers knows it based on a comic and it fully embraces that from beginning to end. This movie is for people who can suspend their disbelief. If you want realism in your action movies then stay away from this one.

Chances for a sequel are at about 10% percent right now. For some reason this movie is poised to make even less money then Kick-Ass which is pretty depressing. I would love to see a sequel, it definitely sets one up, but it looks like we’re only going to get one of The Losers.

What Didn’t Work: Obviously I wont spoil the ending of the film, but I will say this. One of the characters does something that, when I saw it, came completely out of left field. And I couldn’t understand why he or she did it. But now that I have had time to think about it, I’m a bit more okay with it. But it was still pretty jarring.

And while this wasn’t a negative for me, I have been hearing a lot of complaints about the villain, Max. Apparently he’s too over the top for some people. I thought he was a great villain but there was one instance of a “Hey look at me I’m a bad guy” moment. The character was always on the cusp of being too out there but he never crossed that line which was good.

Score: 7.5/10

Review written by: Michael Brawley.  View more of Mike’s thoughts on film on his blog.

Movie Review – Date Night

Date Night

In New York City, a case of mistaken identity turns a bored married couple’s attempt at a glamorous and romantic evening into something more thrilling and dangerous.

What Worked: Based on the trailer, I had low expectations. Based on the two leads, I had high expectations. So this could have gone two ways, either a great script with an awesome cast or just an okay script with an awesome cast. Date Night is the latter. In lesser hands, this would be some throw away forgettable comedy, but Fey and Carell bring something that the screenplay was lacking in. They make you believe they’re married and have this long history together. More jokes work than not and becomes really fun to watch overtime. So I do suggest you see it with an audience but also watching it at home as rental would be just fine.

What Didn’t Work: This is an “all star cast”. So every time you turn your head, its another cameo by an A list actor. It became a, “Oh its that guy”, “Oh crap its her from that show” kind of movie. It seemed like the crew said, “Okay we have an alright script, so lets throw in a bunch of actors that a lot of people know and the audience will buy a ticket”. Also a lot of the scenes seemed straight out of a sitcom. I kept waiting for the laugh track to play. And its predictability is no surprise.

Score: 7/10

Review written by: Michael Brawley.  View more of Mike’s thoughts on film on his blog.

Movie Review- Repo Men

Repo Men

I say see it. Just dont expect a great ending.

Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed.

What Worked: I…you can’t just…I hate when. Sorry. You’ll understand why I’m so mad a little later. Let me just get to the parts that worked. Pretty much everything up until the last 5 minutes. Now, a lot of people are comparing the plot to a movie that came out last year called Repo: The Genetic Opera. A film I haven’t seen. So the idea of repossessing organs was new to me. If you’ve seen Minority Report or any man becomes what he’s against movies you’ve seen Repo Men. While its set in the future, the look of everything is what you’d expect. Blimps everywhere, monorails between buildings, and all the bilboards are video. It does nothing to vary from what its intended to be. The action is good (in this movie you can actually see who’s fighting who) and the score is way better than its expected to be. Jude Law is great, so glad they let him keep his accent, and Forest Whitaker is doing his best Denzel Washington impression. 

What Didn’t Work: Now to the ending. Jesus Christ. It’s like the movie bought a gun, loaded it, then shot itself in the foot. This will always be one of the most unnecessary endings I have ever seen ever seen. Maybe even worse than I Am Legend‘s unnecessary ending. It was like filmmakers said, “Ok we have a normal ending and an alternate ending…you know what, lets go with the stupid alternate ending”. I wish I could go off on it but I can’t spoil it. Even though you’ll probably figure it out anyway. It went from Minority Report to…well I can’t say that either with out spoiling it. But I say see it. Just don’t expect a great ending.

Score: 7/10

Movie Reviews- Green Zone, She’s Out of My League


Green Zone

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

What I Liked: How fast paced it was. This is the movie for those 2 people who thought The Hurt Locker didn’t have enough action in it. Whoever you are. Think The Hurt Locker on meth. It opens with the bombing of Iraq then the very next scene you have Miller (Damon) trying to take down a sniper. No this is not Bourne 4. Not at all. Unfortunately. But its as good as any one of those movies. Ok, no that’s not true. The Bourne Ultimatum is still pretty awesome.  Green Zone is now the third film done with Paul Greengrass directing and Matt Damon starring. After this, I’ll gladly see any thing those too do together. Id love for there next project to be  Bourne 4 but that’s pretty much impossible at this point. Great performances and cinematography. About the cinematography, some might not like it because its very shaky at times. Its not Cloverfield shaky but it does happen.

What I Didn’t Like: Ending could have wrapped up much faster. Theirs a long chase scene towards the end that could have been drastically cut.

Score: 8.6

Read More to check out She’s Out of My League…


She’s Out of My League

An average Joe meets the perfect woman, but his lack of confidence and the influence of his friends and family begin to pick away at the relationship.

What I Liked: How funny it got overtime. Which is kind of a good and bad thing. It took about 15-20 for it to get really interesting and funny. But when it gets there it really works. Now this was written by the guys who wrote Sex Drive, a far under appreciated better comedy, and the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine which people are calling “This years The Hangover“. League sort of falls at the bottom of their list of great comedies, but not by much. A lot of the jokes are fresh and some are very surprising. If you see it you’ll no what I mean. I’ll just say it takes place in a bathroom and its the funniest joke in the movie. This is star Jay Baruchel’s first starring role and he plays it well. But the highlights of the movie are with Kirk (Baruchel) and Molly’s (Eve) friends.

What I Didnt Like: It’s really awkward when your watching a comedy and people dont laugh. For the first 10-15 minutes about a dozen of the 70 people in audience were laughing. Which was a pretty bad sign. But the jokes got better and more an more people started laughing. Oh and the ending. An airport chase? Really???

P.S. To the three girls sitting next to me, talking through out the movie, making fantastic observations: YOU SUCK!

Score: 7.4

Movie Review 3/15 – Alice In Wonderland


Alice In Wonderland

What I Liked: I hate critics. Not them personally but the profession. I honestly think anyone who bases what they watch on what someone else thinks should not be watching movies. ‘Alice’ currently has a 53% on meaning only half of the critics liked it (Good Reviews: 93, Bad 84). I’m saying all this to say, don’t always listen to critics. Always see a movie for yourself. Oh wait. I’m supposed to review this movie….I loved it. Everything I had hoped it would be. Around the middle of the film, I realized I didn’t want it to end. Which is too bad because a sequel is never going to happen. Instead of doing the obvious thing and just doing a modern retelling of ‘Alice’, Burton does a sequel to it which turned out to be one of the reasons I loved it. It had all the references from the old story we all know and but it also got to go wherever it wanted with this film. Oh and not that this needs to be said but Johnny Depp is as awesome as he usually is. And this actress I’ve never seen before, Mia Wasikowska, is just great as Alice. Now, I saw this in IMAX 3D which is how I recommend you see it. The whole movie fantastically weird. Just really fun.

What I Didn’t Like: It had to end? Can I say that? Guess not. Well for a while in the middle, the movie kind of fizzles out for a bit but picks up.

Score: 9/10

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