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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hollywood's Most Under Appreciated Leading Man

Initially, I was going to write this blog post on hollywoods most recent crack at the super-hero genre, Kick Ass. However, two weeks after it's April 16th release date, I'm pretty sure you're all very much aware of the fact that it is indeed, kick ass. If you're on the fence about seeing it, go see it. It's awesome. If you don't want to go see it, then don't.

I've got bigger fish to fry today.

As the credits rolled to the otherwise very enjoyable movie, I came to an unsettling realization. The vast majority of the movie going public question the prowess of Nicolas Cage.

Now I'm all for people having their own "opinions." I'm hip, I get that we're all different. I understand the fact that just because I like ice cream sandwiches, doesn't mean that everyone likes ice cream sandwiches. But seriously, who the fuck doesn't like ice cream sandwiches?

A couple weeks ago an idiot, who I am currently considering slowly pushing out of my life, said to me, "You think Nicolas Cage is a good actor? I should smack you."

I didn't respond. I smacked him first.

Now before you throw me up on the cross, let me just be clear. I think Nicolas Cage is a great actor. (emphasis on great) Keep your Johnny Depp's and your Sean Penn's. I'll take me some Nick Cage over them any day. The fundamental problem with Nick, and the reason why he is so universally unappreciated, is because Nick Cage has the habit of starring in some AWFUL flicks.

St. Nick acts in two types of movies. On one hand you have your "Nicolas Cage Movies." These movies are not very good. On the other hand you have your "Movies With Nicolas Cage." These movies are generally amazing. His performance hinges on which category the movie falls under.

It's easy to distinguish between the two before ever stepping foot in the theater.

A Nicolas Cage Movie

A Movie With Nicolas Cage

Are we all on the same page? Good.

Now to guide you on your journey to salvation, I've compiled a small list of movies that fall under each category. This is not a list of every movie the man has ever done, just a beginners guide. I'm on a schedule here.

Nicolas Cage Movies:
Snake Eyes
Con Air*
Gone in Sixty Seconds
National Treasure series
Ghost Rider
Bankok Dangerous

*I still love Con Air

Movies With Nicolas Cage:
The Rock
Weather Man
Leaving Las Vegas
Lord of War
Raising Arizona
Family Man*
Matchstick Men

*C'mon it was heartwarming

Cage haters, educate yourselves.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Earlier in the year my good friend shot a silent short film for a school project. Now, here in the present day, I think you should check it out. It's called Perseguido, which is spanish for "my sisters hot friend," and was nominated for best original short at this years Academy Awards. Also, I made up 2/3 of that last sentence. Thanks amigos, strength and honor.

Perseguido from Juan Cilento on Vimeo.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clash of the Titans

When I watch a movie, I don't go into the theater expecting anything other than what the movie claims to be. If it's shooting for greatness, I expect greatness, and anything less than that is a let down. On the other hand, if it's intended to be a popcorn flick, chock full of CGI and adrenaline-spiking action scenes, I can sure as hell get behind that.

If you don't know which category Clash of the Titans was aiming for, feel free to take a break from this review and check out the trailer, which for the record is totally badass. Unfortunately, the film itself is not. *gasp*

No, seriously, it's not.

Let me break down to you the basic premise behind Clash of the Titans.

Our hero, Perseus (Sam Worthington), basically has four people in his life. His dad, his mom, his little sister and a pretty woman portrayed by Gemma Arterton, who secretly follows him around his entire life. She is also cursed by the gods and unable to grow old, which sounds pretty sweet, but she assures us it's awful. In addition to this, his family has no blood relation to him, seeing as they found him in a chest in the middle of the ocean when he was a baby. (cool eh?) Despite how generally bleak this sounds, Perseus is as happy as a clam with the way things are. He lives on a small boat with his foster family, catches a couple fish now and then, has the occasional chest pain every time there's a lightening storm, and spends most of his nights gazing off into the night sky while his foster family take up all the room on what appears to be the only bed. He's living the good life.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world starts to catch an attitude with the gods, and everything goes to shit. Hades (Ralph Fiennes) goes all medieval on Perseus' boat one day, sinking it and killing everyone on board, 'cept Perseus of course. Long story short, he finds out he's in fact the demigod son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), and vows to go on a warpath against the Gods to avenge his fallen family.

And just when everything normally starts becoming awesome, in the realm of action-adventure flicks at least, it doesn't.

Perseus refuses to accept his destiny as a demigod (wah wah wah) and basically spends the majority of the movie getting bailed out of sticky situations by his rag-tag group of warriors, who have deemed him their last hope in the struggle against the gods.

Eventually, after witnessing the very timely demise of Gemma Arterton's character, he gets his shit together, puts his big boy pants on, and starts kicking ass. He takes down a couple baddies, saves a princess, rides a flying horse; ya know, the usual. But in the end it all seems rather pointless. Nothing really gets solved, in fact, nothing really happens at all after the first 20 minutes of plot. The movie ends the same way it began. It takes us on a two hour journey just to leave us at the status-quo. The gods still own the humans, Hades still roams the underworld with a limp, and Perseus still has no family.

But wait.

In the very last scene, just before the credits roll, Zeus feels the need to reward his bastard son. "I can't have you living down here all alone," he triumphantly roars, "after all, you are the son of Zeus!"

Finally, some resolution. His journey wasn't for naught. The god of all gods is gonna give Perseus his family back!


Utilizing his mighty power, Zeus decides to bring back from the grave, none other than, Gemma Arterton. That's right folks, the very same Gemma Arterton whose character's sole problem in life, was her inability to grow old and die. The very same Gemma Arterton whose character directly interacted with our hero for a grand total of three or four days. Happy endings are for suckers, it's the thought that counts. Fuck Darth Vader, Zeus is officially the worst biological father in the history of American Cinema.

Pointless story, cringe-worthy script, poor CGI and inexplicable lack of character development aside, the movie still doesn't deliver. The action scenes are truly, and I sincerely mean this, boring. The big bad Kraken, aka probably the biggest selling point to the movie, has about 6 minutes of screen time, and is defeated by a severed head without much of a fuss. Demigods be damned, I could have done this shit myself.

I know this review ended up sounding like a book report. On the bright side, at least it was free. I can't say the same for your movie ticket.

Final Verdict - 5/10

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Academy Awards

I went 15/24, meaning if my Oscar predictions were a test, I'd have failed by 2 points...It's all political, or whatever.

You can check out the results over at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oscar Predictions

With the Academy Awards happening in two days, I figured I'd go down the list of nominees and with 100% accuracy predict the results. Please don't confuse these for the actual results. I'll post a link to those when they are announced. Here we go!

Best Motion Picture of the Year- The Hurt Locker (2008): Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro

It's not the Golden Globes anymore biatch.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role- Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)

He's been ignored by the Academy for too long, and his performance in this is too good to continue that trend. Bridges is taking it home.

P.S. It should have been you Sam Rockwell

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role- Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

*Shrugs* I just don't want Sandra Bullock to win

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role- Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

You can bet the farm on this one.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role- Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Ugh, I still love you Maggie Gyllenhaal, it's just not gonna happen. What? don't judge me.

Best Achievement in Directing- Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)

Not today James Cameron.

Oh and not to beat a dead horse but seriously, not even a nomination for Duncan Jones? Sigh.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen- Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

This is gonna be one of the more interesting awards. The Coen brothers and Mark Boal are both just as likely to win this one.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published- Up in the Air (2009/I): Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Because, well, I'm tired of neglecting it.

Best Achievement in Cinematography- Avatar (2009): Mauro Fiore

C'mon, just this once let's give credit where credit is due.

Best Achievement in Editing- Avatar (2009): Stephen E. Rivkin, John Refoua, James Cameron

It's easy to notice bad editing, kind of hard to notice great editing. I'm just going with my gut on this one.

Best Achievement in Art Direction- Avatar (2009): Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, Kim Sinclair

Seriously, I'm not an Avatar fanboy. It just smells like Lord of The Rings up in this bitch.

Best Achievement in Costume Design- The Young Victoria (2009): Sandy Powell
Best Achievement in Makeup- Star Trek (2009): Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, Joel Harlow
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score- Sherlock Holmes (2009): Hans Zimmer
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song- Crazy Heart (2009): T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham("The Weary Kind")
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing- Avatar (2009): Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson, Tony Johnson
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
- Avatar (2009): Christopher Boyes, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
Best Achievement in Visual Effects- Avatar (2009): Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andy Jones
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
- Up (2009): Pete Docter
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year- El secreto de sus ojos (2009)(Argentina)
Best Documentary, Features- The Cove (2009): Louie Psihoyos, Fisher Stevens
Best Documentary, Short Subjects- The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (2009) (TV): Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Best Short Film, Animated- Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death' (2008): Nick Park
Best Short Film, Live Action- Miracle Fish (2009): Luke Doolan, Drew Bailey

Summary- (subject to human error)
Avatar- 5
The Hurt Locker- 2
Crazy Heart- 2
Inglourious Basterds- 2
Up in the Air- 1
Up- 1

and a string of other one and done's I just didn't feel like mentioning.

Let's see how I do!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm The Motha Fuckin Police

I just saw Training Day again for the first time in like five years.
King Kong really doesn't have shit on Denzel.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shutter Island

When the credits rolled on my first viewing of Scorsese's latest, Shutter Island, I couldn't help but think to myself, "is that all?"

Don't get me wrong, the movie had me hooked from start to finish. But then, it finished. And then, I was angry.

Are you telling me I sat through two mind-bending hours of build up, and this was the pay off? This was how they were going to leave it? Marty don't do this to me!

I simply could not believe it. I didn't want to believe it.

What I failed to realize at the time, was that that was the point of the movie.

After my initial disappointment faded, I started to question my opinion. Okay it wasn't what I expected, but does that necessarily make it a sub-par effort? C'mon it's Marty and Leo. Let me give this flick another shot.

Watching it for my second time was like watching a different movie. Every shot, every character interaction, every flashback, all serve a purpose.

DiCaprio is on point, as usual, and Kingsley holds his own as the sinister Dr. Cawley. However, I gotta give my Most Valuable Player award to Mark Ruffalo. Maybe I don't keep my ear to the ground as much as I should, but I really don't think this man gets the credit he deserves as an actor (ex. Brothers Bloom, Zodiac, Eternal Sunshine). Sure, it's not the flashy role. And yeah, considering the time of its release, I wouldn't put money down on him being nominated for a statue next year. But the entire movie hinges on his performance, which in less capable hands, could have easily been disastrous. His performance is somehow both subtle, and upon a second viewing, also completely obvious. I realize this sounds stupid, but watch the movie, stupid.

I'm scared to say too much in this review.

Don't listen to your idiot friends, they're not your real friends anyway.

Listen to me. Go see this movie.

Wait no, see it twice.

Final Verdict- 8/10

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day

Okay, in my defense, when a movie with the title Valentines Day is released on Valentines day weekend, it's damn near impossible to tell your girlfriend that you refuse to watch it with her. With that being said, if I had a girlfriend I imagine this inaugural post would be way less embarrassing. However, the dark and scary truth of the matter is, I rather enjoy romantic comedies. I like it when they make me laugh. I like it when they make me cry. I like it when they tell me that I'm the prettiest girl in the whole wide world right before I fall asleep at night... or something like that.

The point is, I am not someone who wrote this movie off because of its subject matter. Quite the contrary, after gazing over the cast list, I was kind of excited. Don't judge me. I mean come on, they assembled the rom-com dream team: The wily veteran: Julia Roberts, the up and coming hot shot: Bradly Cooper, the talent: Jamie Foxx, the looks: Jessica Biel, and the pound for pound champion of the romantic comedy world: Ashton Kutcher. How could this movie not deliver?

Where there's a will there's a way.

The movie tries to do way too much at once, attempting to tell the stories of over twelve different characters, that somehow manage to all intertwine, even if only barely, by the closing credits. I literally found myself forgetting about certain characters mid-movie.

The multiple stories are weak. Really weak. There was absolutely no structure in the jumbled up plot. About an hour and a half into the movie I was certain it had reached its, obligatory airport scene included, climax. I was wrong. We still had another forty-five minutes to go.

The dialogue is weak. Really weak. Even a cast full of savvy actors fail to pull off some of the stuff in this one. (though I do give Mr. Kutcher credit for delivering the line, "she's like sunshine" with a straight face) Seriously, you will cringe. You will cringe a lot. (every single time Taylor Swift is on screen)

Taylor Swift aside, the star power is this romantic disasters only saving grace. Each of the main actors pack enough charisma to keep even the worst of movies afloat. Honestly, I can watch Jessica Biel watch paint dry for two hours and be pretty okay with it. Unfortunately, pretty faces and swagger aren't enough to make a movie work.

It does have its genuine moments, but much like the holiday it pays tribute to, most of it is forced, cheesy, and mildly engaging at best.

I like my women overstated and shallow, not so much my movies.

Final Verdict- 4/10