Movie Reviews: March / April 2012 - Caleb Jones

2012 is the best year for movies probably in my lifetime…not only lots of movies but lots of good movies.  Here we are only four months into the year and I’m already quite impressed.

I’d love to do an expanded review on some of these like I’ve done for other films, there’s just so many this year this blog would get cluttered with movie reviews. So for the time being, I’ll be doing these occasional mini-summaries instead of full blown reviews.

Here we go:

21 Jump Street – Funny, but that’s about all I can say about it. I could have passed on this movie. Oh well. I was in high school during the original series, so seeing all the actors from the original cast doing cameos was fun.

Wrath of the Titans – The best fantasy movie since the Lord of the Rings films. Not that it’s a very high bar to pass (How many really good fantasy movies have there been since Lord of the Rings? Um…) and I’m sure The Hobbit later this year will kick its ass, but I loved every minute of it. Way better than the first Titans movie (again, not a high bar to leap, but it leaped it). Yeah, Sam Worthington is a pretty plain actor, but all the other actors stole the show. Special effects, action, a plot with real stakes and some nuance, this was a very fun movie to watch. Can’t wait to get the blu-ray so I can really see the special effects up close (I’m a special effects dork if you haven’t noticed). I loved that the female lead wasn’t the typical Female Badass Able To Kick Men’s Asses™ that is usually required in these kinds of movies. Yeah, she tried to fight, but always got her but kicked.  I also tend to like it when the female lead isn’t super hot. In the real world, most women aren’t super hot…they range from ugly to average to cute.  Rosamund Pike has the perfect “realistic cute” look. Not too hot, not ugly. I like realism. Even in fantasy movies about gods and titans and cyclopes.

American Reunion – As I expected, it was a beta-male-fest. It’s about five guys, and four of the five are timid, pussified beta males constantly tiptoeing around their GFs or wives. Then there’s Stifler, the stupidest Alpha you’ve ever seen, who makes me laugh just by saying…anything. Dump the other four guys and make a movie just about him. He’s fuckin’ awesome. The rest of the movie was mildly funny, but like 21 Jump Street, that’s all I can say about it. For men my age there’s a fun cameo at the end of the film that will make you smile.

Lockout – Good god, what a disappointment. Guy Peirce is on my short list of favorite actors. Seeing he was actually going to star in an action movie, moreover a sci-fi action movie, moreover as a muscled-up Alpha badass, I was ready for something special. Instead I got a movie that was very blah, bordering on boring. Guy Peirce was fantastic of course, but the movie sucked ass. What a shame.

The Raid: Redemption – Holy shit. I’m in love. One of the best action movies of the last several years. It’s sad how the best action movies tend to be made outside of the US these days. In this movie, whenever the hero kung-fu fights his enemies, there’s a knife in one of his hands and he uses it. On everyone. He kills people. Everyone. Yeah, let’s see that in an American action movie these days. Loud gun fights, karate, death, destruction, key good-guy characters getting killed unexpectedly, twisted badass villains, amazing editing and choreography, kickass music (by one of the Linkin Park guys)…man, you need to see this movie. It’s made in Indonesia, one of the few Asian countries I know nothing about. Doesn’t matter. This movie is a blessing to men on earth.

Cabin In The Woods – I almost never watch horror moves. They’re just too useless, too dumb. Plus that torture porn crap is extremely bad for your subconscious mind, and you want that thing functioning at peak efficiency if you want to live a success-filled, happy life. However I heard so much about this movie, and how the sci-fi/fantasy aspect was strong as compared to the horror/slasher aspect, I went and saw it. Yep, this movie was awesome, especially the second half. It’s premise is extremely creative. I thought a lot about this movie after I saw it, and that’s always the mark of a fantastic film. The scene where she opens the elevators is one of the most memorable scenes you’ll ever see in your life. (If you’ve seen this movie you know what I mean.)

The Expendables : The Director’s Cut – Lundgren: I want a Viking funeral! Stallone: Like when they put your body on a boat and light it on fire? Lundgren: Yeah. Stallone: You’re not a fucking Viking! Lundgren: Who cares? This wasn’t in theaters obviously, but I finally got around to buying the blu-ray. Stallone went back and added in most of the parts he cut out from the theatrical version, plus changed the music around. The result is an awesome movie made better. God damn…I can’t wait for Expendables 2.

Safe – Jason Statham killing a lot of people, and it was awesome. Combine the other two Statham movies War and Crank, and you get Safe. Highly recommend. The towards the end there’s a clever scene that will really surprise you.

That’s all for now. The summer blockbusters start in now, so over the next few weeks I’ll be seeing heavy hitters like Avengers, Battleship, Prometheus, GI-Joe, Spider-Man, Dark Knight Rises, etc. Gonna be fun.

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