Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2012 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

Source Code (2011)

4/10

Promoted similarly as 'Inception', I had to check out 'Source Code'. The story is simple: Jake Gyllenhaal has to relive a bombing on a train through the body of a passenger over and over again in order to figure out who's responsible for the bombing.

There are a lot of problems with this movie; The train where the movie takes place for 70 % of the time looks like a movie set. I dare you to find a train where the top floor has an opening where the walking path would be, only so that the bottom floor can see the passengers on the top floor, making for a nice visual gag but doing this means you only get half as many seats on the top floor (!) I'm digressing here but really. Also, I dare you to find a train that clean. Really.

The movie barrows from "Twelve Monkeys" the most but it doesn't respect it's own set of sci-fi rules. It violates them so blatantly, especially during the ending which ends on a happy note, but in reality Jake Gyllenhaal just took over somebody's body and what happened to that guy? Is he dead? Lost forever in sci fi limbo? And is Jake running off with his girlfriend? Hello?.


My beef was the following:

I liked the idea of the film and even if was unclear about it being alternate universe, time travel, simulation, or a combination of all there, I still went with it...until the end.

It is placed early on that because of the orb in Chicago that it is almost Colter's destiny to stop the bomber and be standing at that final spot and it seemed as the film gives the hero this ending because once the plug is pulled and everything is freeze framed, it is and could be all in Colter's head or his "waking life."

But then we get that ending in the real world and Colter back in the box and it really ruined all of it for me.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2012 - 6:52 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

The Hangover Part 2 - If you have seen the first film, then you have seen this film. Instead of Vegas, the setting is moved to Thailand where the dentist is set to marry his girlfriend who has a father who is less than enthused about the nuptials. Things turn nasty when the guys wake up in a run down motel room with the bride-to-be's brother missing. It's up to the boys to solve the mystery and find the brother before the wedding takes place. The first 20 minutes has some good laughs but the film becomes a carbon copy of the original. Worth it if there's nothing else on. How's that for a recommendation? 5/10

Fast Five - I have not seen any of the other Fast and Furious films so I'll take this on it's own. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson go mano-a-mano in this entertaining actioner. If you can suspend disbelief for 2+ hours you'll enjoy it. Diesel and on screen sister Jordana Brewster use their skills behind the wheel to pull off a heist (or two) while Brewster finds a way to tell boyfriend Paul Walker that she has a bun in the oven. Damn plot complications! All three stay on the run from lawman Johnson while plotting their final big money theft from the local crime czar. The big finale involves cars, trash trucks and a big bank vault being dragged through half the city. Outrageous but fun to watch. Johnson has some amusing dialogue. 8/10

Phone Booth - Colin Farrell steps into a NYC phone booth to call his lady friend without his wife finding out and things just go downhill from that point on. Some guy (voice of Kiefer Sutherland) who knows an awful lot about Farrell calls him on the booth line and tells him to stay on the line or he'll be shot. To make things worse, a couple of hookers and a pimp harass him to get off the phone and when the pimp gets a bullet in the back, Farrell gets blamed for shooting him. Soon police are everywhere and Farrell's face is all over the TV news. The film comes to a somewhat less than satisfying conclusion but it's a briskly paced 90 minute thriller with a good performance from Farrell. 8/10

Air Speed - A teen-aged Elisha Cuthbert stars in this Canadian production that recalls Airport 1975 and Executive Decision. She plays the bratty daughter of a very rich dude (Joe Mantegna) who has his own private jet. While flying home in the jet she must take over flying because the pilots and others have become incapacitated. The smart guy in the control tower must help her set the auto-pilot and figure out a way to get the passengers off the plane before it crashes. Most of the visual effects involve a large model jet flying through puffs of smoke in the dark. Cuthbert grows up real fast and rises to the challenge of trying to control the jet while others attempt to rescue the passengers. Will she survive to play Kim Bauer in the TV series 24 a few years later? Duh! Not a bad time filler. 6/10

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2012 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Devil (2010)

8/10

I generally don't like slick high production conventional horror movies*, but I have to say that "Devil" surprised me quite favorably. I had heard mostly how people disliked it, but it held me entertained; not only the who-dunnit aspect, or better, 'who-dun-be-that-here-devil-in-disguise' and even that was done pretty effective. I liked the way the movie cuts between the elevator and the going on's in the building. The menacing outside shots, the 180 angles. And the cast of largely unknown actors (to me at least) do a good job here. I even liked the ending, which had a twilight zone'ish resolution to it. I didn't bother looking up which episode of TZ Shamma'hammalan ripped off for this movie, but suffice to say I liked it!

*I just read that it only cost 10 million bucks to make, pretty impressive.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2012 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

A Gathering Of Eagles - 8/10

This is a straight-faced movie about the men of the 904th Strategic Aerospace Wing (actually the 456th) doing what needed to be done to maintain the peace way back in the days of the east versus west tug-O-war - without there actually being a war. I have to say I enjoyed watching it in spite of the old fashioned propaganda machine. The depiction of the personalities was altogether direct and not without a touch of class. Hudson's wife, payed by Mary Peach, is as english and well intentioned as they come.

The straight lace tone was briefly interrupted at the start of the movie when Kevin McCarthy's general Kirby arrives unannounced at the base to initiate the dreaded Operation-Readiness-Inspection or plain ORI. Rod Taylor plays the base deputy who, in a moment of nervy reaction, lights up a cigarette wrong way round. That's the introduction to what signifies an ORI and the rest of the film is about the collateral damage to egos and reputations as newly appointed base commander Hudson goes about shoring up loose timbers in his efforts at maintaining said operational readiness.

One interesting scene has Taylor playing and singing The SAC song party piece on piano by Tom Lehrer. Taylor's brief twist is a pretty good take on Lehrer himself. He got the nuances off very nicely. Which brings me to the score by Jerry Goldsmith, whose arrangements appear to be echoing North at this stage (1963), but, what do I know? Varese have the score out right now.

All those B52's spewing oily black smoke out of their tail pipes would come in for alot of flak today, but they look great on film.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2012 - 3:20 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Dinner For Schmucks 2010

4/10

I thought the premise of the movie was interesting, businessmen organizing a dinner where they award the most idiotic guest they bring along. Paul Rudd decides to take along Steve Carrell, but it literally took me up to the dinner itself before there were any laughs. The material leading up to it just wasn't funny but once you do get the wacky characters at that dinner, it almost redeems itself although much too late. Zach Galifianakis steals the scenes he's in, sadly not too many of those. Overall weak comedy.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2012 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Devil (2010)

8/10

I generally don't like slick high production conventional horror movies*, but I have to say that "Devil" surprised me quite favorably. I had heard mostly how people disliked it, but it held me entertained; not only the who-dunnit aspect, or better, 'who-dun-be-that-here-devil-in-disguise' and even that was done pretty effective. I liked the way the movie cuts between the elevator and the going on's in the building. The menacing outside shots, the 180 angles. And the cast of largely unknown actors (to me at least) do a good job here. I even liked the ending, which had a twilight zone'ish resolution to it. I didn't bother looking up which episode of TZ Shamma'hammalan ripped off for this movie, but suffice to say I liked it!

*I just read that it only cost 10 million bucks to make, pretty impressive.


OH I too touted this film when it was first released!! A very good thriller and a nifty WHO'S DOING IT?? And I got the limited release score from Varese as well. I LOVE the main title music. Big, thrilling and sinister.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2012 - 12:03 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

The Dark Knight Rises 2012

4/10

I had good memories of 'The Dark Knight' and watching 'its' sequel last night, it became clear very fast that I had liked Heath Ledger's Joker; This Batman franchise to me never hit home, with its batman more than ever a guy in a suit with a bad accent. Christian Bale has zero charisma and likability to me as Bruce Wayne and again he feels like the fifth wheel in this movie, with the 'inception' cast and Oldman taking up much of the movie.

I still can't buy into the Batman's lame voice. It never worked and it's laughable each time he appears. And though I thought this couldn't be topped, they introduce 'Bane', one of the IMO lesser villains, who seems to be competing for the worst voice contest. Played by yes, mr. Shinzon himself, Tom Hardy, with only his eyes on display as his mouth is covered with a weird apparatus, I wondered if Inception team mate Joseph Gordon Levitt whispered in his ear "Don't pull a Cobra Commander".

Anne Hathaway is cute as the Catwoman, but she isn't Michelle Pfeiffer. I also didn't get her origin story or motivation in this movie, nor did I get Batman's justification of her actions. I guess he has a crush on her?

Once again, New York city is in grave danger (I had hoped to see Gotham city at least one in the franchise), being overthrown by the fascist Bane who leads the occupy Wall street movement, leaving poor Batman without a dime and instead of killing him off, throwing him down a pit into the most cozy prison spa I've seen compared to the tales they made it out to be. Will he regain his strength and escape? Who even cares at this point. I wish Gordon put on the Batman suit (or even Gorden Levitt) and proved that every man can be Batman, leaving Bruce Wayne down that pit. Wayne seems to spend most of the time sobbing and whining in this movie over his lost love, which is what you want to see in a Batman movie really!

Is it mostly all bad? Yes. The action sequences feel more than ever redundant and staged (there is a fight between Batman and Bane in front of Town Hall where the extra's seem to be making out rather than fighting), the new Bat toy, a clunky hoovercraft, is not nearly as cool as the bike was in the previous movie and the action sequences feel so staged and on set, taking place mostly in that one street in the Warner lot that goes down for New York wide lane we've seen used over and over again in the franchise. Seriously I shouldn't be noticing these things in a blockbuster movie!

The score by Zimmer is again a lot of percussion repeating endlessly with some padding and throbbing, a stinger here and there and the blownout brass notes that make the theme... nothing new and thankfully less intrusive than his Inception score. The catwoman theme was cute the first time it played, but worn out the twelfth time it played.

This is a three hour movie that again to me could've easily been cut down to two. Dump the meaningless dialogue scenes that go on forever, dump the gazillion characters I don't care about, including Batman (seriously I wouldn't have noticed)! I'll end with saying that even the twist at the end has been done in at least three movies I could think of, not helping anything.

Oh, and for a movie that's suppose to end the trilogy, I guess they meant Nolan won't be returning.
A letdown finale for me!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2012 - 12:59 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Sexy Beast - 9/10 - Sir Ben is ace. As is everyone and everything in this film.

21 Jump Street - 7.5/10 - Better than i thought it would be

Pathfinder - 2/10 - hm

Lords of Dogtown - 6/10

Dogtown and the Z-Boys - 7/10

Project X - 1/10

Jiro Dreams of Sushi - 9/10 - Ace, and makes you crave sushi



 
 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2012 - 1:51 AM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - 4/5

(Review copied from my blog)

To say I was not a fan of director Christopher Nolan's previous Batman movies would be an understatement. His approach in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight was to abandon any notion of being a comic book movie and instead ground it in the real world, forsaking fantasy for reality to the point that we didn't even get a Batmobile called the Batmobile. It came off feeling like he was much more interested in making character study/social dramas instead of "Batman movies." I simply didn't care for this particular direction, so despite elements that looked appealing to me, it was with some reservation that I decided to see the third and final film in the series on opening day. And maybe it was because I went in with rather low expectations that I walked out of The Dark Knight Rises pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. In many ways, this is the most comic book-feeling of the three movies. And at 165 minutes it's almost fifteen minutes longer than The Dark Knight, but whereas that film dragged slowly this feels closer to two hours. I was really surprised by just how swiftly it moved. I never found myself glancing at my watch or waiting impatiently for it to move forward.

Elements of the film are taken from "Knightfall," a storyline that occupied the Batman comics in the early-90s and also introduced the villain Bane to the Batman mythos. In order to defeat him, Bruce Wayne must be broken -- figuratively and literally -- and fall to the lowest depths of hell in order to rebuild his spirit and will to save Gotham City. Wayne is no longer the young man he once was. His hair is graying, he walks with a limp, and he's withdrawn himself from the outside world. Bale's performance is subdued and his best in the series, and while he still can't quite get Batman's voice right, it's least-annoying here. But the scene stealer for me is Tom Hardy's Bane. The film does an excellent job showing Bane as the superior villain he is, a physically overpowering and destructive force of nature, brilliant in his strategy and tactics. Many will no doubt compare him (unfavorably) to Heath Ledger's Joker but the two are completely different characters, and I personally find Bane much easier to watch. With most of Hardy's face hidden behind a mask, he conveys Bane's menace through the emotion in his eyes, body language, and voice. He is one of my favorite Batman villains, and I really enjoyed watching him come to life in a movie so fantastically. To me, the highlight of the film is Batman's first encounter with Bane. It's a knockdown drag-out fight, bone-crunching in its brutality. It was probably shocking for those unfamiliar with the character to see him so easily hand it to Batman, who normally has no trouble in fights, but it shows how physically superior Bane is. Having loved the "Knightfall" story when I was a kid, it was honestly just a big thrill for me to see that fight translated to the big screen. And yes, we do get the famous breaking of the bat, albeit in a not quite as powerful way.

There was a negative reaction last year to the casting of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle. She's breathtaking in her beauty and looks uh-may-zing in tight leather, but the script never develops her as anything much more than a plot device. She does a good job with what she has, just never gets to really shine. Still, I'd probably rank her as the third best film version of Catwoman after Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns and Lee Merriweather in 1966's Batman. Rounding out the new characters are beautiful French actress Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, a wealthy philanthropist whom Wayne turns to in an effort to save Wayne Enterprises, and John Blake, a young cop who still believes in Batman, well-played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His backstory echoes Wayne's in that he was also an orphan as a child. Gary Oldman is once again great as Commissioner Gordon, especially once he gets out of the hospital after a long stretch and is able to have a bigger part in the story. Morgan Freeman returns as the series' resident Q, providing Wayne with his equipment and snappy back and forth exchanges that, quite frankly, have grown tiresome by now. Michael Caine is really terrific as well. I found his presence in the previous films distracting because I could only see him as Michael Caine, but here I felt he finally became Alfred. Ironically, he has little screen time and disappears entirely for much of the second half of the film.

The film is far from perfect. For starters, the notion that Bruce Wayne would hang up the cape and cowl because of Rachel Dawes' death is completely out-of-character. If anything, the loss of her would have only further fueled his desire to fight crime. Alfred basically abandoning him is also unlikely. Alfred is the man who is always there to help him back up whenever he falls. It's in his nature to remain loyal to Bruce Wayne to the end, and neither are the kind to let a little tiff come between them. We all know the villains in these movies ultimately meet their end, and for as awesome and seemingly-indestructible as Bane was I felt he went out in a really ludicrous way. It was almost as if the filmmakers didn't want to bother with him anymore as they approached the climax of the film and decided just to do him in as quick as possible. He deserved a much grander end befitting of his larger-than-life persona. A last-minute (literally) revelation about one of the new characters feels arbitrary and forced, and the actual end of the film borders on lame. I didn't like it at all, and it doesn't help that it's telegraphed almost from the start. As usual, Hans Zimmer's score drones along and adds nothing. I really miss the music of Danny Elfman from Tim Burton's Batman movies, which lent such a strong musical identity to the Caped Crusader. But in the grand scheme of things, those complaints are minor because they ultimately don't really damper my enjoyment.

Visually, the film is almost colorful compared to the previous movies, and the snowfall in the film's third act adds good atmosphere. The action is nothing special, but it's technically well-staged and fun. Even if she's never called by her famous moniker, I had a fanboy smile on my face as I watched Catwoman and Batman team up for a rooftop fight with some thugs and then make their escape together as police arrived. It's capped by a nice moment where she vanishes on him during a conversation, giving him a taste of his own medicine. There's very little humor in the film at all, but it's the best laugh of the movie and Bale's punchline is well-done. The fights between Batman and Bane are great, although their final encounter is a bit on the anti-climactic side, especially thanks to Bane's too-quick send off. It's not as intimate as Batman Begins, but thankfully it's not as pretentious or showy as The Dark Knight. It really feels like Nolan finally decided to just embrace the material's roots and make a big, fast, fun popcorn flick to make up for us having to slog through the previous film.

With its style and tone, it feels more like a direct continuation of Batman Begins. It makes me wish this had been the second film, because it actually left me wanting more. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a surprisingly solid movie, and it's the only one of these Christopher Nolan Batman films I can see myself wanting to watch again. It's grand in scale and moves much better than its predecessor, and it provides a big final bang in the battle for Gotham City. With The Dark Knight having been raised upon a pedestal so high by fans, many will only be able to see this film as one that fails to live up, even though it's sure to still make a gazillion dollars. But for me, even with its (admittedly minor) flaws, it's a superior film and some of the most fun I've had at the movies this year.

(Wow! Without broken up by pictures as on my blog, I hadn't realized just what a big-ass review that was. LOL!)

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2012 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

I didn't bother looking up which episode of TZ Shamma'hammalan ripped off for this movie

None in this case, I believe.

Ice Age: Continental Drift. So blah I can't even be bothered. 3/10.

 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2012 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Thanks for the detailed reviews guys smile I like to read other views from board members about TDKR.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2012 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Real Steel. While I still wish Steven Spielberg or Robert Zemeckis had directed as well as executive produced, it's one of Shawn Levy's better efforts - a perfectly acceptable mash-up of parental bonding and Rocky-with-robots right down to the hero losing the climactic fight. But if it's far in the future, why are they all still pumping out '00s rap? 7/10.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2012 - 6:58 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Wanderlust (2012) dir. David Wain

Immortals (2011) dir. Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

Mirror Mirror (2012) dir. Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

The Ides of March (2011) dir. George Clooney

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) dir. Eric Brevig

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) dir Brad Peyton

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2012 - 7:49 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Oranges and Sunshine (2010) - 9/10
A powerful film that dramatizes the shocking real-life investigation into the deportation of thousands of young kids from England to Australia dating back to the 50s. The film is engaging from start to finish and highly emotional.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2012 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

The Bourne Legacy (2012) - 1/5

I buy Jeremy Renner as an action star much more than Matt Damon. But oh man, was this movie a chore. I figured it would be sort of a stand alone experience, but it must be intimately connected in some ways to the previous Bourne films, because I had virtually no idea what was going on most of the time. At times it's jumpy and frenetic, other times it's slow and dragged out. And there's apparently something to do with a virus. I don't know. All I could really follow was the action, which was well-done, especially the climactic chase. But then the movie just stops. Not ends (which implies a resolution of sorts to the story you just watched), but stops. As if they chopped off another 20 minutes or so. Terrible movie and the worst I've seen so far this year.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2012 - 7:36 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Bourne Legacy (2012) - 1/5

I buy Jeremy Renner as an action star much more than Matt Damon. But oh man, was this movie a chore. I figured it would be sort of a stand alone experience, but it must be intimately connected in some ways to the previous Bourne films, because I had virtually no idea what was going on most of the time. At times it's jumpy and frenetic, other times it's slow and dragged out. And there's apparently something to do with a virus. I don't know. All I could really follow was the action, which was well-done, especially the climactic chase. But then the movie just stops. Not ends (which implies a resolution of sorts to the story you just watched), but stops. As if they chopped off another 20 minutes or so. Terrible movie and the worst I've seen so far this year.


Man, you make it sound even worse than the reviews I already saw online. I decided to wait until it comes out on Netflix to rent it. I'll be seeing The Expendables 2 in theaters instead. It looks much more interesting.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2012 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

Adaptation : 10

I'm a huge fan of this rarely mentioned movie.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2012 - 8:54 PM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

The Bourne Legacy (2012) - 8/10

excellent movie... easy to follow smile

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2012 - 12:22 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Ted. Any movie that can make Norah Jones tolerable gets my vote. 9/10.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2012 - 12:47 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Edge of Darkness 7/10

Good thriller, bit heavy on accents though, I watched it without subtitles track and the Mel & Ray dialogue I only caught half of it lol.

The Adjustment Bureau 6/10

Interesting sci fi love story with Maaaaaat Daaaa'mon.

The Road 3/10

Too slow, too long, too pointless & predictable.

True Grit 5/10

OK. Not oscar material IMO. Felt like I've seen this story done countless times and better.

Unstoppable 4/10

It's about a runaway train that they need to stop. Supposedly based on true story; an hour long docu on discovery channel would have sufficed really.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2016 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.