SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
I’ll be honest, I saw the first film in segments and thus it hindered my viewing experience, but, this sequel really does up the game. The action scenes are spectacular, the comedy and the mystery are great, and overall the movie is just a ton of fun. Sure, this is not the most intellectual of fare, but for a stylized action flick it still is smart and action packed. Every action set piece was great and I was glued to my seat. I definitely recommend this sequel.

****

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CONTRABAND
I didn’t really know what to expect when I went to see this. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the trailers and ads, but I have to say — this film surprised me in more ways then one. This is a slick, smart, dark caper the likes of which I haven’t seen in awhile. This film hits the right notes so many times it’s not surprising that Kate Beckinsale and Giovanni Ribisi would take small, supporting roles here (when they’re bonified stars, Kate moreso than Giovanni).

If you’re looking for a smart crime film with nice action set pieces thrown in for good measure — Contraband is it. A real surprise, and you likely won’t be disappointed watching this film.

***½

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THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
I’m not really a fan of motion capture films — all of the ones I have seen have generally disappointed me — so when I heard that this film was going to be motion captured, I groaned. However, this movie blew me away. From the opening title credits right until the end, this film had me glued to my seat. It brought me back to when I use to watch the Tintin cartoon as a child and well, it was just good olde fashioned fun.

This film features the single best shot of Spielberg’s career and proves that Spielberg is a master of what he does. This should’ve gotten an Oscar nomination because it is just so much fun. The best motion capture film ever made. I’m looking forward to the sequel. A definite must see for all fans of Spielberg, Tintin, and/or animation fans. It’s just that good.

*****

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Posted on January 25th, 2012 by Quantum | Leave a Comment (3)
Filed Under Entertainment

Release Date: January 20, 2012
Studio: Sony, Screen Gems
Director: Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein (Shelter, Storm)
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, India Eisley, Michael Ealy, Kris Holden-Ried, and Stephen Rea.
Plot: [Underworld Awakening] brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D. 

Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

Thoughts: The Underworld series ranks right up there with the Resident Evil movie series in terms of guilty pleasures. It is awful, yet at the same time strangely addictive and entertaining. Plus, it’ll be great to see Kate Beckinsale return as the vampire who loves squeezing herself into skin tight leather and shooting guns with an endless supply of bullets. It hits theaters at the end of January. It is a little surprising that Scott Speedman’s Michael Corvin isn’t returning along with Beckinsale, but maybe that is just a little surprise that the action flick has in store. We’ll have to wait and see.

Release Date: January 13, 2012
Studio: Anchor Bay
Director: Xavier Gens (Frontier(S), Hitman)
Starring: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Eklund, and Rosanna Arquette.
Plot: In this graphic and violent  post-apocalyptic thriller, nine strangers- all tenants of a New York high rise apartment- escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building’s bunker-like basement.

Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue, and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, the group begins to descend into madness, each turning on one another with physical and psychosexual torment.

As supplies dwindle, and tensions flare, and they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness, each act against one another  becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows themselves to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape even with no proise of salvation on the outside.

Thoughts: This sci-fi flick originally saw release in March via South by Southwest, then also screened at the San Diego Comic Con. I have not yet seen it, but it looks like an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic sub genre. The visuals look awesome and the cast features genre fan favorite Michael Biehn and the underratted Gilmore Girls and Heroes alum Milo Ventimiglia. I’ve always loved the concept of strangers locked in a single location as the world around them ends. The character study of what they might do as things get worse and worse is very interesting. You can check out the opening scene of the film over at its official website.

Release Date: November 23, 2011
Studio: Disney
Director: James Bobin (The Flight of the Conchords, Da Ali G Show)
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, the voices of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, and David Rudman (along with a bunch of cameos!)
Plot: On Vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brothers Gary (Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds.

To stage The Greatest Muppett Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million dollars needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary, and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their seperate ways.

Thoughts: I saw The Muppets earlier today and I’ll start off by saying that I was disappointed in it. I’m not a diehard Muppet fan, but I am a fan. This movie was such a love song to the past that I actually felt alienated because I wasn’t a diehard fan. It was like one long inside joke that I wasn’t a part of. And unlike Pixar’s movies or flicks like Shrek that are made for kids but can be enjoyed by adults, The Muppets is aimed directly at kids and was almost work to sit through. Don’t get me wrong, I did not hate The Muppets. The parts of the movie that actually focused on them was enjoyable and there were a lot of laughs and smiles to be had. The big problem was that the film took too long to get us to the actual Muppets that we came to see, and even still there was too much focus on the human characters and the newest muppet Walter. I usually love both Jason Segel and Amy Adams, but their characters and story just did not work here. They were more distracting than anything else.

If you have kids, I recommend you taking them to see this. The same goes for if you are a huge fan of The Muppet Show. If you are a passing fan like me, wait and watch this on Blu-Ray or Cable.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
Have you ever turned on the SyFy Channel on a lazy Sunday morning to watch one of those creature features it airs so regularly? Did you start watching it and realized it was much more horrible then the old Roger Corman z-movies? Did you make it to the end and find that a production company called “The Asylum” or “The Global Asylum” was behind it? Did you go onto there website and find that they specialize in mockbusters and creature a vs creature b movies?

Well, Zombie Apocalypse aired on the channel and was a The Asylum productio, but guess what, it wasn’t half bad. Really, it’s a standard zombie movie with survivors fighting there way to an island. It’s standard stuff and it had its one standard yesteryear star which was Ving Rhames. Ving plays the tough black dude role with very little emotion. He’s mean, he’s angry, and he gets to wield a chainsaw. This movie had decent effects for a Syfy film and it featured okay performances. The only thing that truly separates this film from other zombie films is the ZOMBIE TIGER at the end. Yes, that’s the big original twist and really, other than that, there’s nothing in this movie that you haven’t seen before.

This movie is better then the Day of the Dead remake (which also starred Ving Rhames) and other low budget zombie films, but it does not meet up to the standards of the great zombie films. In all honesty, this film is best viewed if you want to turn your brain off for 90 minutes and have some fun watching zombies eating humans. With that said, it’s better then the average SyFy film but don’t expect anything truly spectacular here.

**

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