Archive for September 2012

Bourne Legacy – Film Review   Leave a comment

Bourne Legacy – Review

My high hopes for this movie were met with a gross mishandling of a trilogy that should have been left alone. Seriously, a new brand of ridiculous was invented just for this movie.

Lets start with a couple details just to bring you all up to speed. First off, Matt Damon does not star in any part of the movie. Now that wasn’t an immediate deal breaker because rising A-Lister Jeremy Renner replaced Damon, but it certainly demanded an inspired attempt by director Tony Gilroy. Unfortunately that is where this film fell flat.

One of the first rules of movie reviewing is not to ruin the movie, and that usually is usually a good rule to live by, however in this case you are going to thank me.

Early on in the film Renner is on the lam from an ambiguous government agency that obviously wants him dead. Although a very common premise for a film I was expecting this. What I wasn’t expecting was for the Bourne Trilogy to take on the flavor of a WWE wrestling match. (No disrespect to WWE, love that stuff)

Rather than having Renner simply hide in a cluster of trees or jump into an intimidating looking river like a normal secret agent, someone in Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to take things “to the max”. That was a terrible decision.

While running from an unmanned predator drone Renner found the time to cut out a homing beacon from deep in his leg, and set up a trap for a pack of wolves who also happened to be chasing him at the time. After doing this he single-handedly kills every wolf save one, the predator drone closing in all the while. Renner then proceeds to put the remaining wolf in a head lock and forces it to swallow his homing beacon at which point the wolf takes off into the woods only to be destroyed by a missile.

At this point director Troy Gilroy decided to follow the same line of thought that was made famous by professional baseball in the 90’s…. if you have a good thing, make it do steroids and then it could only get better right?

One of the driving conflicts of the film is that Renner’s character Alex Cross has ran out of “blues and greens”, pills that have made this next generation of Bourne-like agents better than the last one. Without them he will surely die… big surprise. I wasn’t kidding you when I said Troy Gilroy made the entire Bourne franchise do steroids, it was a pathetic layer to add to this saga and I’m glad Matt Damon had the sense to avoid this one entirely.

Either the screenplay was written by a fourteen year old boy who had three red bulls in half an hour or someone made a boo boo.

There is at best a few meager nuggets of enjoyment to be reaped from this movie. Please don’t go see it.

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Posted September 13, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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Lawless – Film Review   Leave a comment

IMDB: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes: 66% 

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Lawless – Film Review

 

First off I’m glad to be back talking to yinz, it truly tickles me that some of you read this column on accident, I’m a jackass

 

Anyways moving right along… Lawless, pretty solid flick. Shia Lebeouf actually plays a character with some depth and Tom Hardy is back to his usual manliness.

 

The movie centers around the exploits of three back county bootleggers and professional hard-asses known as the Bondurant brothers. Immediately viewers are plunged into the Prohibition Era’s “wettest county on earth” (Franklin County, VA), a time and place as savage and genuine as any in U.S history.

 

Despite the initial fiery impression that this film’s trailers impart, the end product more closely resembles a nuanced non-fiction novel (that’s alliteration – stepping it up this year) than an 80’s style action flick.

 

Based on historical events, Lawless boasts an atypical plot progression that simultaneously manages to layer character development with visceral action scenes.

 

Although it may seem a tad dude-oriented, Lawless can indeed mollify even picky audiences of both genders with its engaging historical insights and romantic sub-plots.

 

Deep southern codes of honor clash with the march of progress. Tasty justice is dealt and painful blows are received.

 

Though my review has been glowing up to this point, I will concede that I was a bit peeved at certain points in the film.Stunning character studies and more than photogenic Appalachian setting fell prey on occasion to superfluous shots of Shia just being Shia. Shia flat out wasn’t the most interesting character in the film, he does a good job but he just wasn’t the actor I wanted to see.

 

However, the film more than compensated for that with Guy Pearce’s rejuvenated portrayal of a corrupt and genuinely creepy federal deputy. Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) also proved that his capability as a character actor, bringing surprising depth to his role as the middle brother Howard Bondurant.

 

Indubitably, Tom Hardy steals the show. Hardy’sone of the few actors that I truly feel has the “it-factor”. He is fast approaching the likes of Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in terms of tough guys with acting chops.  

 

I would hesitate to call this movie an out-and-out homerun. But when you cast actors exceptionally well, and you aim as high as director John Hillcoat did with Lawless, it is not a surprise that this one delivered the goods. Totes worth it.

 

Posted September 6, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized