Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review - Argo, Madea's Witness Protection, Magic Mike

Starring Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy and Denise Richards.
Directed by Tyler Perry.

Tyler Perry and his alter ego Madea are at it again. This time dragging Eugene Levy and Denise Richards along the way. So George Needleman (Eugene Levy) is set up in a Ponzi scheme. Facing criminal charges and death threats, George decides to testify against his firm and the mob but will have to be placed under witness protection til the trial is over. Brian (Tyler Perry) is the district attorney and decides to have the Needleman family bunk at the safest place he could think of - Madea's house.
What can I say about Madea's Witness Protection? It's no different from Tyler Perry's other junk. The Madea character has gotten very annoying, even though she may crack one or two funny lines throughout the film. An occurring attribute of Tyler Perry films are that they are poorly written and acted and it was no different in this one. If you've seen one Tyler Perry film, you have basically seen them all. Longer run time meant more forced humor and after watching for awhile, you start to lose interest. Madea's Witness Protection was too predictable and not funny but hey at least it is better than his last film.
Rating: 2.5/10

Argo (2012)
Starring Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston.
Directed by Ben Affleck.

Based on true events that occurred in Iran around 1980, Argo is Ben Affleck's third seat in the director's chair and he has once again shown why he should be taken serious as a director.
Amidst the Iranian revolution of 1979, the US embassy is overrun by rebels and 52 Americans are taken hostage. Luckily six Americans were able to escape the siege through a back exit and escape to the Canadian ambassador's home. Over the next couple of months, the ambassador protects his house guests, doing so at great risk. While the rest of Washington is in a frenzy trying to think of ways to solve the hostage situation,Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), a young CIA agent devises a plan to rescue the six Americans. A plan so genius and risky. Instead of storming into Iran with guns and what not, he decides to orchestrate a fake movie in which he will incorporate the six Americans as part of the cast and crew so as to fly them out of the country.
The movie opens up with a brief history of the Iranian ruling parties and kinda gives us an idea why the US embassy was attacked. The rest of the movie basically shows Mendez, his friend John Chambers (John Goodman) and movie mogul Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) as they put together the fake film. Goodman and Arkin were solid and definitely added some humor to this film. What makes Argo one of the best films of 2012? Very interesting storyline and one of the most tense finishes ever. A mellow start to the film but the second half of Argo will definitely have your heart racing. As the movie went along, the tension slowly builds. People are shot and hanged in the street and security gets tight everywhere so by the time the crew gets to the airport, the feel is crazy. Argo is a solid movie. The pacing was perfect and the acting was well done. Ben Affleck's character was not the most interesting I might add but the tense, thrilling story and direction makes up for everything. The ending credits will even show you how director Ben Affleck was able to capture aspects of the real event beautifully. One of the best political thrillers, Argo will have you on the edge of your seat.
Rating: 9/10

Magic Mike (2012)
Starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.

A story actually inspired by Channing Tatum's past life. We follow the story of Magic Mike (Tatum), a hardworking male stripper. He takes Adam (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and introduce him to life of male stripping, partying and making money.
In Magic Mike, we are basically drawn into the world of male stripping. Not many of these male clubs exist in the real world so we the viewers get an idea of what it is like. The choreographed dance numbers were really well done, sexy and entertaining. It will definitely appease to the female viewers. What I also found enjoyable was the character Dallas, played by Matthew McConaughey. He was pretty slick and teasing in his role similar to that of  a "master of ceremonies". Magic Mike is another fine addition to Steven Soderbergh's resume. The film's saturated cinematography set the mood, along with its soundtrack. The characters were fun and Channing Tatum wasn't too bad. Overall Magic Mike was better than I expected. Great sexy dance numbers and fun characters. Not much of a storyline but overall it is worth the watch.
Rating: 8/10

Other Movies Watched:

Hotel Transylvania (2012)
A fun, fast paced and silly vampire/monsters animation flick voiced by Adam Sandler and the crew. Familiar story and more suitable for kids but Hotel Transylvania will have you entertained nonetheless. - 7/10

North Sea Texas (2012)
A gay-themed coming of age film where a young boy becomes infatuated with his male friend next door. Beautiful film highlighting first love, sexuality and family life. Beautifully acted, North Sea Texas is simple yet heartwarming. - 8/10

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
A nice story about a group of individuals studying a man who wants to back in time. Safety Not Guaranteed is unique, fun and unpredictable film.We get to know each character and the onscreen chemistry was just perfect. Mark Duplass was awesome. - 8.5/10

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The best Science fiction film ever. 2001: A Space Odyssey was way ahead of its time. Beautifully shot with limited dialogue but it kept you engaged and mesmerized as you will be floating in outer space. Not the most audience friendly film as it is open to interpretation. This film entails human evolution, extraterrestrial life and technology. Brilliant. - 10/10

Nekromantik (1988)
Gross and disturbing film about a man's infatuation of human body parts and making love to dead bodies. We basically follow the life of Rob (Daktari Lorentz) and his weird obsession. Utterly disgusting but it was well acted and engaging nonetheless. Surprising ending and enjoyable soundtrack. - 7/10

Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972)
Set in the 16th century, Aguirre The Wrath of God is the story of Don Lope de Aguirre and his drive and determination to conquer lands, even if it means defying everyone else. Tense, creepy and unsettling, Aguirre is an adventure into the Amazon jungle you wont forget. We witness greed and power which transitions into madness. - 10/10

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