Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Rated R
96 Minutes
Nicole’s Rating: D+

A law marshal who is stationed out in Antarctica, called out on an investigation of a dead body that’s several hundred miles away in the middle of the cold desert. This happens only days before she retires from law. This dead body leads to a murder investigation and brings out a serial killer in the icy tundra. Yeah my description is bland, but trust me …it was better than the show.

Carrie played by Kate Beckinsale
She’s the only main character in this film and honestly, any unknown actress could have played it better. Carrie is supposed to be this super tough cop that going through many hard times with her previous jobs in Miami. She rarely broke out of her monotone drone of a character except for the first time the killer is after her. I somewhat believed she was scared. Then when she found out who the bad guy was, she barely flinched in surprise. Well, I guess I can’t blame her, because I figured out who the bad guy was from the beginning. Dear Kate, give up on the action films and just stick with the cheesy chick flicks you were born to play in.

The setting: Antarctica just before winter, the coldest and darkest place on Earth at this time. I think the film makers forgot about these two aspects. Yes it was dark some of the time, but it seemed like it was too convenient at some points when they needed day light it was there.

The costumes were great for the most part, except if you’re in -65 degree weather, wouldn’t you want to cover up your face? Yeah, here are characters are bundled to the 9’s in the thermal and fur, but most of their faces are not covered besides goggles. The only smart one of the 200 scientists and researchers down in the cold was the serial killer covering every part of his flesh.

CGI and Special Effects
I’ve seen better effects and green screen work from my local weatherman. The graphics were so poorly done it made it feel cartoonish at times.


+ The ending credits
Not because I was grateful that the show was over but the best landscaping and scenery shots were done here. The views of the sun on the ice and colors were great. They really needed more of this in the movie.

- The typical story line
The story about a busted cop, with trials from previous jobs runs away to someplace small and within only a few days of retiring finds the biggest job of their career. I’ve seen this plot too many times.

+ Soundtrack
The best player in the film was the music. I think it was the main reason this movie kept me somewhat interested in it.

- Long dragged out scenes
This movie is only 96 minutes long and it could have been done with 50 or 60. There are scenes that just take too long to get to the point. For example, Carrie is taking a shower, but don’t get to excited boys nothing is shown. Nothing but 3 minutes of her washing her hair and a steamed up bathroom.

This movie was far from original. There is no plot line I haven’t seen that was in this movie before. I think it was rated “R” for being RIDICULOUS. If it wasn’t for the two senior citizen men sitting behind me making funny comments, kind of like the Muppets Statler & Waldorf, throughout the film, I think I might have fallen asleep. Catch this movie when it comes on Lifetime, because Lifetime likes this kind of crap of a distressed woman with a man out to kill her.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Rated PG-13
79 Minutes
Nicole’s Rating: B

It’s the end of the world. The war was between man and machine and the machines have won. The last man alive has created
life or somewhat transposed it into his nine creations within his last moments on Earth. Now it’s their turn to save what is left of the world ruled by machines.

First off, yes this is an animated film and yes it is rated PG-13 for a reason. Do not take you little kids to see this, I guarantee they’ll have nightmares. I’m sure I’ll be having some after seeing this. I actually think one creature was a part of my nightmares not long ago.

#1 played by
Christopher Plummer
#2 played by
Martin Landau
#3 and #4 (the twins) had no voice acting
#5 played by
John C. Reilly
#6 played by
Crispin Glover
#7 played by
Jennifer Connelly
#8 played by
Fred Tatasciore
#9 played by
Elijah Wood

I’m not going to go through all these characters individually because they need to be grouped together. Each number had their role such as #1 being the overzealous ruler of the group, #2 the old man, #3 and #4 the twins were the researchers, #5 the unlucky hero, #6 the nervous, out of place wall flower, #7 the ultimate heroine, #8 the brawny body guard and #9 the new guy with all the answers. Each character was written well, but I honestly can’t say too much for the voice work. Yes, these big names help bring the crowd into the theater, but just because they’re good “actors” doesn’t mean they are good “voice actors”. There needed to be a little more dramatics and fluctuations in the vocal range. It just seemed to monotone for an animated film.

This movie was beautifully animated! At times it felt so real and lifelike. You can stare at the stitches in the dolls and think to yourself “that has to be real”. But then there were some animation errors that to me, the director and producers should have noticed before releasing. Most of the animation errors come from the light bulb that they used throughout the movie. Next, the animation did felt rush at the end. This seems to be common with Tim Burton films. Everything looks great and in place at the beginning, but the end feels like the production company was getting sick and tired for dealing with these 9 little men. Just like I said, at the beginning it felt so lifelike and real, but at the end you notice that you’re watching animation.

+ The details in the backgrounds and foregrounds. Again animation was greatly lifelike.

- The timeline
I honestly couldn’t comprehend what time this was supposed to be. It was suppose to the apocalyptic era, but at the beginning they’re showing the scientist working as an old man during WWII. Now I can pretend it’s another parallel universe, but they didn’t specify that either.

+ The way that #8 gets an euphoric high if very creative, along with how all of them use everyday objects to go into battle against raging machines.

- Background story
If felt the story was missing something and that was the background story of the individual ragmen. We get the story of #9 but I honestly would like to hear how the others came to be and how they learned.

I can tell this film is going to be a cult classic, but like most cult classics they were never made for the big screen. I did enjoy this film and it gave me a few chills, even made me jump a couple of times, but this is something a group of people should watch a raining night at home, but not with the kiddies.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

(500) Days of Summer

(500) Days of Summer
Rated PG-13
95 Minutes
Nicole’s Rating: A

A story about a love, but this is no love story. It says this at the start of the film and it hold true. Summer is a woman who doesn’t believe in love, but Tom falls in love with her. This is a story that tells about their relationship. How they met, the ups and downs, the humorous funs times and even the tragic times. The film is set up in a non-chronological order of these 500 days and opens up at day 488 which shows our couple sitting on a bench holding hands and the first thing you notice is Summer’s engagement ring. They look so happy! Then the movie rewinds back to day one, when they met.

Tom Hansen played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Tom is your typical mid-20’s man. He’s been to school and studied an area that he had passion for, architecture, but just like life he isn’t using his talent in his field but working for a greeting card company, this is where he meets and falls for Summer. Tom’s character does go through a lot of emotions, but if you’re a guy that’s ever dated a girl, you know these feelings. The feelings of love at first sight, to loving her even to the point where he wants to just slap her for some of the odd and obscure “girly stuff” that Summer does to him. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays this part to a “T”, a complete 160 from his role as Cobra Commander.

Summer Finn played by
Zooey Deschanel
If you seen Zooey in other roles you know she has an unforgettable look about her, but she does play the same type of character. A laid-back but yet quirky girl that doesn’t feel quite right in her own skin. This part isn’t much different, but it was the part needed to play Summer. Summer loves to play the “fishing game” with Tom. What do I mean by fishing game? She makes him get closer and closer to him and then she throws him back into the water, just to do it again. A character that you have a love/hate relationship with.

Because this is a movie house film not much was done with CGI, special effects, wardrobe or make up. At time I think this is what actors will wear and look like in real life. But the thing that was great about this show was the filming itself. There are artistic angles and creative transitions from scene to scene, even a few times of split screens. It reminded me a lot of the style used in Citizen Kane and Ed Wood. This filming style is what makes you feel like you’re a part of the movie, not as a main character but as a fly on the wall watching some of the most personal parts of people’s lives.

Hi – Low
+ Ringo Starr Reference
Throughout the movie there is a reference to Ringo. At one point in the film Tom dresses up similar to the Beatles mop-top days with the suit, skinny tie and boots. Me being a Beatles fan loves this!

- The Paceing
For a summer film the pacing of this movie was a bit slow, but not enough that it makes you want to look at your watch. Even though it was slow at times, you still were entertained by what was going on on the screen.

+ The Day Title
Each sceen starts off with a title screen of what day it is in their relationship and you can see what kind of day it’s going to be by the art of the screen. It all is set up to look like summer day outside, but we all know that summer days can be bright, foggy, rainy or just plain miserable.

- Secondary Characters
I love Tom’s friends and I wish they would have used them more as well as seeing any of Summer’s friends. I know the story isn’t about their friends, but they all seem to have an interesting back story as well.

I encourage anyone that has been in a relationship for longer than 3 months to go this movie. You will find a similar situation that Tom is going through and be dragged into the emotion of this film. This isn’t your typical summer blockbuster film, with loud explosions and a plot that may not go anywhere, there is a true meaning to this film, one I can’t tell you or it’ll ruin the revelation. Men, this is a romance film made for you, the women will enjoy this film but I think that men will enjoy it more.

To see a video review of this movie go to my YouTube channel:

Friday, September 4, 2009

District 9

District 9
Rated R
118 Minutes
Nicole’s Rating: A-

An extraterrestrial race has gotten stranded in Johannesburg, South Africa. Due to lack of resources they cannot leave. It’s been 28 years and they are still here, but put into a small area to take refuge. The area set aside for the “Prawns” (the alien race named because they look like prawns) has become over populated and slum ridden. The South Africans want them out so the Prawns are being evicted and forced to more to area with smaller living areas and looks more like concentration camp. Wikus Van De Merwe is one of these agents that has to go out, have the aliens sign their eviction notice and give feedback on any that are storing weapons, technology or seem hostile. During the raid Wikus becomes contaminated from a fluid. Because of what happened to him afterwards, he finds himself in conflict with which side he should fight for…Alien or Human?


Wikus Van De Merwe played by
Sharlto Copley
This character was very complex, having to go through every emotion and reaction. Hard to believe that the actor has never played in a motion picture before this. Through the entire film you despise him, love him and feel sorry for him…even end up rooting for him. Sharlto is one actor to look forward to seeing in many movies in the future, at least I hope so.

Christopher Anderson
With the name Christopher Anderson, you wouldn’t expect it to be one of the Aliens. Who knew that a being so insect like could bring out emotions and expressions. You also come to know that Christopher is highly intelligent and have been working under ground for years to get back home. You’ll come to enjoy seeing his face on the screen.


First off kudos to Weta Workshop and their great animatronics! The robotic aliens had great movements which included eye expression, torso breathing and believable mandible work.

As for the alien work in CGI and graphic work, for a production of $30 million dollars the graphics were as good as production with twice the budget. The graphics were at times over pixilated, but were hidden well with the biographical shooting style of the film

Shaky cam…again with shaky cam! Yes it annoys me but with this film it worked, it had a purpose. Because of the shooting style of the film it didn’t feel out of place. Plus it was so shaky, that it got distracting. I think there were only two times that I had a hard time picking out details of the scene. The use of the waist camera angle was a great way to get away from the shaky cam but keep it real to the biographical style of the film.

Makeup style was remarkable! Especially at the end where there’s a major transformation of Wikus. They were not overdone and very believable.


+ Baby Prawn
I dare you to come out of this movie without loving this little guy. He did a great supporting role for the adult aliens.

- Cell Phone Charge
At one point in the movie Wikus needs to make a call to his wife but is on the run, so he steals a phone from a person on the street. This phone keeps a charge for days even though he uses it a lot. I really want to know what phone he used.

+ Mechs
Robots controlled by biological entities. I so want one of these!

- Trailer…teasing a bit
The trailer that most people have seen has certain scenes that were not included in the final cut of the film. I understand that this happens but there was one part in the trailer I was so excited to see, but it was never shown. Boo!

I honestly can’t find much fault with this movie. It has a great storyline, a main character in conflict that does a 160, and it brings out emotions that you thought you couldn’t have an alien race. Yes, the story has a hidden and underline meaning of today’s society, but everyone could use a good message. I guess the one thing I can find fault with it, is that I got too emotionally involved with the story myself. I’m a person that honestly cannot take another life. Heck, I catch and release the spiders in my house and too see intelligent beings being sacrificed during the film, pulled at my heart strings a lot. I should mention the violence. Before going to this film I thought it was going to be a gore fest, but the violence was minimal to what I was expecting. Yes there was blood and vomit, but wasn’t near as graphic as some slasher flicks.

I truly enjoyed this show and I can’t wait to see the special features on the DVD. I think the way this movie was produced will be as good as the movie itself.

To see a video review of this go to my YouTube channel:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
Rated: PG-13
118 Minutes
Nicole's Rating: B-

The U.S. Army is in charge of transporting an elite weapon to another location. During the transportation, they are attacked by several men of Cobra. During this battle, the two sides are interrupted by the secret ops, G.I. Joe. The Joes being the heroes end up winning this fight and recruiting a couple more soldiers to their team, those members come to known as Duke and Ripcord. Well, Cobra isn't happy that their scheme was foiled by G.I. Joe and the battle begins.



Duke - played by Channing Tatum
Duke is the cover boy for G.I. Joe, when you see cartoons or play with toys; you're going to see Duke's face, so his role is a very important one. Unfortunately Mr. Tatum couldn't pull off the complete character. What do I mean by complete? He did a great job during the military scenes for the most part, but when there was suppose to be true drama, romance or comedy, he was dull and uncharacteristic.

Baroness - played by
Sienna Miller
This is the character that made me view this film. Growing up Baroness was cold-hearted and ruthless, the type of character that you like to see on film. Overall Baroness was true to her 1980's until the end where she remembers her romantic past with Duke. Then she because like the rest of the Joes...fully of unrememberable personality.

Ripcord - played by
Marlon Wayans
Out of all the G.I. Joes, Ripcord was the only one that I can say had a rememberable role. In all honestly, Marlon Wayans did a great job. Ripcord was filled with puns and jokes and yet can play the hero as well.

The Doctor/Cobra Commander - played by
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
OK, when I first heard that the scrawny boy from 3rd Rock from the Sun was playing the evil Cobra Commander, I literally laughed out loud. This kid is nothing like what I knew Cobra Commander to be like! And frankly, it's the main reason why I did not want to go see this show. Boy was I wrong! He did this part wonderfully and in my opinion the best character in the movie. Yeah, he overacted in many of the parts, but if you think about it, that's what the Commander, was like in the cartoons and comic...over dramatic. Plus, the poor guy did 90% of the role with most of his faced covered up, so he had to use dramatics so you can see all the emotion coming at you with only one eye.

I first want to start off with the score. The score was just as a major part as any of the characters in the movie and it stayed true. Great sound enough to get you into the action but also not to distract what was going on.

If there is one thing I'd like to change about this movie is the costumes. Well, mostly on the G.I. Joes. I would have rather seen more traditional uniforms that the latex, super suits that everyone was sporting. As for the makeup department, they could have spent just a few more minutes getting the texture, locations of the prosthetics and the shading more accurate. During the movie you can see Dukes scar beneath his eye change color, shape and size, as well as Storm Shadow's open wounds at the end, they were a bit too bright and "fleshy". And the one thing that probably most people didn't notice was Scarlett's hair roots. Sometimes it takes more than one dye job during the production of a film. Blonde roots came through a few times.

The CGI aspect...I have a love/hate relationship with the CGI in this film. For a $160 million dollar production the CGI was just ok, it looked to fake at times. But then again, the fakeness worked at times. It made me feel like I was back watching the 80's cartoon and comics, so in a way it really didn't break the film.

But what could hurt the film was the shaky cam. One more aspect that Hollywood should get over. I don't mind the hand held shaky cam once in awhile, but when someone is talking and I'm looking at a knee or chest, it doesn't sit well with me. Especially if it's not the body part of the person talking.

Hi - Low
+ The flashbacks

I enjoyed seeing the back stories of the characters, I just wish there was more of an extended story of the Ninjas.

- Matrix Moves
ARghh...Hollywood, please stop with this! Especially when it has no true meaning to the part of the film. Such as lining up and walking slowly so you can see the handy-dandy suits. No more Matrix Slow Mo!

+ Red/Blue fighting
When the first Joe/Cobra encounter happens in the forest, firepower is exchanged and the good guys are hitting with "red power" and the bad guys "blue power", just like the old cartoons. I just thought this was a great homage to the good ol' days.

- Eye Kills
If you want to survive this movie just cover your eyes. It seems like the way to die, was getting stuck in the eye.

+ Ninjas and Robotic Fish
I don't need to explain this, those are just cool.

- Blatant advertising
Norton Anti-Virus, Hummer, CNN and Cisco Systems were the major supporters of this film and it’s not hard to pick them out. Honestly, don't you think that a super-duper ultra secret military operation uses Norton?! I'm sure they have their own security system. As for Hummer, ughhh again. These vehicles are great, don't get me wrong, but they are not indestructible and I'm pretty sure they get their paint scratched, but not according to this movie. You can should bullet holes and blow it up and it'll still look pretty.

+ Use of Color
The colors used for this film made if feel like you just stepped into the pages of a comic book. Bright and bold during the action scenes and the right shade of darkness for Team Cobra.

- The Love Story
Don't get me wrong, I love a good love story, if it fits. This love story didn't though. I felt like it was pushed in the plot just to get a few things across. Plus, I honestly didn't feel a true attraction between Duke and the Baroness.

+ Cobra Burns
When The Doctor makes up his army of Neo-Vipers he injects them with Nanomites right behind the ear. If you look carefully, you'll notice they're in the shape of the Cobra emblem. A very nice touch.

- The Biggest Negative
NO LADY JAYE! My favorite character growing up, the character I wanted to be was left out of the film. So sad, but maybe in the sequel...and yes you know, there will be a sequel, this is Hollywood after all.

Overall I enjoyed this movie; I thought it was filled with "dumb fun". I went into this film thinking I was going to hate every moment of it, I rarely heard a good thing about it. Maybe it was this low expectation going into the film that made me coming out feeling satisfied. I think most people can enjoy this flick if they go in thinking of what the old shows were like.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm a Tubber!

Well...I did it! I caved in to peer pressure and I'm starting to do movie and book reviews on YouTube. I may even use my channel to do blogs/vlogs. It's been so long since I've wrote about myself and my run-abouts, I hope that the YouTube hobby will help me with it. Any help, constructive criticisms and suggestions are welcomed on what to do with my page. Thanks!

So, here is my introduction to the YouTube Community.