Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Natural City (2003)

Very life-like actors in less than life-like roles
Mankind has achieved the ability to create cyborgs with souls.  They appear humans, but are more than human.  Natural City is billed by some as one of the top foreign (non-American made) sci-fi films.  Honestly I fell asleep during this one, just for a few minutes, but still...  The rambling plot did not keep my attention.  It wasn't a bad film at all - the effects were good, the action was good, albeit confusing at points.  But Hollywood has already proven many times over that effects and explosions don't make a good movie.

2 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director:  Byung-chun Min
Writer:  Byung-chun Min
Starring:  Ji-tae Yu (Oldboy), Jae-un Lee, Rin Seo
Rotten Tomatoes -  67%
Metacritic - not reviewed

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jackie Chan's new film 1911

Here's the trailer for Jackie Chan's upcoming film 1911.  Wikipedia says, "The film is a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. It is also Jackie Chan's 100th film in his career."  Looks like a good one:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Buried (2010)

Will no one help Ryan Reynolds?
A civilian truck driver delivering supplies in Iraq is kidnapped and Buried alive.  Disoriented, Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) uses every tool at his disposal to free himself from impending doom while his captors try to milk him for ransom money.  I love the idea of imposing limitations on film making as Hitchcock did in Rope.  Spanish Director Rodrigo Cortés limits himself to a coffin and the result is stunning.  It is emotional, funny, thrilling, and just plain good.  I was hanging on every frame of this one.  Bottom line - he might be alone in a box, but Ryan Renolds needs no help.  He puts on an amazing one man show.

5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director:  Rodrigo Cortés
Writer:  Chris Sparling
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Rotten Tomatoes -  86%
Metacritic - 65 out of 100

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Raid trailer

I mentioned Gareth Evans' new film The Raid yesterday.  Here's the trailer and a link to articles at Collider and Twitch.  If it is half as good as the trailer, it is on course to put the majority of action films to shame.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Merantau (2009)

Back to the old school future
The story has been told before - country boy goes to city, has adventures - but not with such force.  The protagonist Yuda, a student of Silat Harimau, one of Indonesia's indigenous martial arts, is on his Merantau, a kind of rite of passage for young men.  Upon reaching the big city, Yuda is propelled into the life of a girl names Astri.  After that, the action is off to the races.  With fight after great fight, the choreography and stunt work are outstanding.  This is the type of old school martial arts flick that I love - a down to earth action film in the style of Bruce Lee and early Jackie Chan.  This is a beautiful fighting style and I can't wait to see more of it in Gareth Evans' next film, The Raid. 

A butt kicking 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Gareth Evans 
Writer: Gareth Evans, Daiwanne Ralie (translation)
Starring: Iko Uwais, Sisca Jessica, Mads Koudal, Laurent Buson
Rotten Tomatoes -  60 (audience score)
Metacritic - no rating

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Intacto (2001)

Feeling Lucky?
Do some people have more luck than others?  Is luck transferable?  The Spanish film Intacto puts these questions to the test.  Players who consider themselves very lucky compete for big stakes in order to find out who has the most luck. This movie was crazy.  Good crazy.

Inatacto lucks out with 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writers: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Andrés M. Koppel
Starring: Max von Sydow, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Eusebio Poncela, Mónica López
Rotten Tomatoes - 72%
Metacritic - 59 of 100

Monday, September 19, 2011

Carriers (2009)

Been there, done that and the second time is not a charm
A super disease has hit the world and there are very few survivors.  The survivors band together to try to stay alive.  Unoriginal, and plain boring, this disease disaster flick falls flat.  This is the 2nd time I've tried watching Carriers.  I got about 20 minutes further than before (only about 1/2 hour into the film).  And I still did not care even one bit what happened to any of the characters.

Unable to carry its own weight, Carriers comes up short with 1 out of 5 Poblanos. 

Directors:  David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Writer:  David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Starring: Chris Pine, etc
Rotten Tomatoes -  60%
Metacritic - no score yet with 2 critics

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Earth (2011)

Out of this world theme, down to earth story
While Earth 2 looms in the background throughout this science-fiction drama, the focus in Another Earth is on this earth, and on Rhoda, played convincingly by Brit Marling.  Rhoda searches out a stranger, John, played by William Mapother (Ethan from Lost) with whom she has a horrific connection.  Bad choices &  their consequences, forgiveness & reconciliation, and penance, play large roles in this human centered drama.  While this story could have been told sans Earth 2, the spector of the 2nd earth adds to the intrigue.

A very watchable and moving film that earns its 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Mike Cahill
Writer: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling
Starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother
Rotten Tomatoes - 62%
Metacritic - 66 out of 100