Friday, September 21, 2012

The Town (2010)

One more hit

When a group of Boston thieves decide to pull one last big job.  That's pretty much it.  But the writers and director make this way more exciting than I did in that sentence.  I like Affleck much better as a director than an actor.  He is a great actor, but I feel like he is best when he is writing and directing.  There is a great story here (based on a novel), great characters, and some great action.  An intelligent, well made film.  I am a Ben Affleck fan.

The Town gets 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Ben Affleck
Writer: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, and Aaron Stockard
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, and Rebecca Hall
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Metacritic: 74 out of 100

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Missing Person (2009)

Who's after who?

A hard drinking private detective is hired to track a man down.  As he follows him across country, the detective realizes something is not quite right.  Michael Shannon (Take Shelter) does a superb bit of acting playing an archetypal PI in this neo-noir flick.  He manages to act either drunk or hungover in a very convincing way.  Amy Ryan does a great job deadpanning as Miss Charlie.  Definitely worth watching. 

The Missing Person gets a respectable 3 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Noah Buschel
Writer: Noah Buschel
Starring: Michael Shannon, Frank Wood and Amy Ryan
Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Metacritic: 57%

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Did we just walk into a video game?

A swat team enters notorious tenement to take down a local crime lord.  They learn very quickly that they have bitten off more then they can chew.  The rest of the film is pure fighting mayhem as the swat team tries to fight their way to the top, then fight desperately to escape.  Gareth Evans (Merantau) returns with a vengeance in this grimy, yet slick, action flick.  And oh yeah, this film is awesome.  I've been foaming at the mouth to see on DVD like a couple of other recent films that I've reviewed.  This film is very easily better than 90% of all Hollywood action films. Even if the story was worthless (which it definitely is not) the fight choreography alone would make this worth watching. 

The Raid: Redemption kicks its way to the top with 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Gareth Evans
Writer: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais (Merantau), Ananda George and Ray Sahetapy
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Battle Royale (2000)

Kill 'em all!

When young people in Japan become virtually uncontrollable, the Japanese government organizes the Battle Royale.  Each year, one class is chosen, taken to a remote location, and is forced to kill each other as punishment.  Sound remotely familiar?  It is a little like the Hunger Games but this film satisfies where the Hunger Games disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the Hunger Games (the book more so than the film), but Battle Royale is like the Hunger Games on speed.  And that is a good thing.  B.R. has lots of action, some humour and a certain band of quirkiness that only the Japanese can manage.

Battle Royale gets 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writer: Koushun Takami (novel), Kenta Fukasaku (screenplay)
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Tarô Yamamoto
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Metacritic: 81 out of 100