Sunday, April 26, 2009

Movie Reviews

I had the great misfortune of watching 10,000 BC the other day. Let me just suggest that I am now dumber for having watched such a travesty. It's almost like the writer/director got drunk with Mel Gibson one day and then engaged in a little Hollywood style wagering about who could make the worst and most historically inaccurate movie about "civilizations" long lost. Mel went the Central American route, Roland Emmerich went the "location unknown but close enough to walk to an Egyptian civilization that didn't exist" route.

Ah, the travesty. I must say I was totally startled when, after clearly establishing that the story was set in 10,000 BC (the title kind of gave it away, just a little), that there was a sudden appearence of men on horseback (domestication of horses, 4,000 BC) with swords and iron (3500 BC) and things of that nature. Alas, our poor primitive english speaking natives had nothing but spears and gaunt faces with which to fight back. So the race begins. Our hero, who manages to express himself with at least two distinct accents throughout the film, races after these civilized enslaving barbarians only to find that they have giant ass boats (1100 BC) that take them to Egypt (3150 BC) where they are using slaves and wooly mammoths to build the pyramids (3000 BC). Oh, did I mention that on the way they ran into something that looked very much like a velociraptor (85-80 milllion BC)?

I'll stop there. It's apparantly blasé to point out the historical inaccuracies of this film. The producers did issue a blanket cover of "it's not supposed to be historically accurate" so that apparently gets them out of the "god this movie is crap" jail. It doesn't cover up the fact the story is laughably bad, the acting is a joke, and the plot twists are more arduous and droll than interesting. Here's a little suggestion to any future director. When casting a role, don't hire one of the guys that took Ferris Bueller's porsche for a joy ride to play a major part. Also, if your lead actor can't decide on an accent, just tell him to drop all attempts at any accent. Oh, and if you have $75 million to burn, I'm always here.

My Score: 0 out of 50 million stars

Rotten Tomatos: 9%

American Gangster

Apparently, this movie is based on a true story. I had no idea until the very end. That being said Ridley Scott just didn't do a great job with this one. I think it's because he hired two famous and great actors and felt he had to give them equal screen time. The movie should have struck a balance like Catch Me If You Can because it had aspersions of being that type of movie. Unfortunately, the cops' personal life (Russell Crowe) detracts from the plot, is rather dull, and extends the movie into unpleasant length (157 minutes).

Denzel, of course, turns in his usual tour de force, but then, Denzel almost never has a bad performance. I just wish there had been more Denzel and less Crowe. That being said, it's a violent gangster movie that relates a truish tale about heroin and New York City from the late 60s to early 70s. If you're into that sort of thing, you'll probably like it. Just make sure you have a good 2.5 hours to kill.

My grade: 7 of 10

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%



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