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Dark Shadows (2012)

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Dark Shadows


Johnny Depp
Michelle Pfeiffer
Helena Bonham Carter
Eva Green

Directed by Tim Burton

Distributed by Warner Bros

The decision to watch Dark Shadows was not based on the fact that it starred Johnny Depp, although this is a reason for some to go to the cinemas. Now the presence of Michelle Pfeiffer (Who played Catwoman and to me is the best portrayal till date) was an incentive but the main reason I actually opted to see this was because it was done by Tim Burton.

Tim Burton is known for his gothic movies and this is no exception, one of my favourite Tim Burton movie is still The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Other greats by Tim Burton are Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992) and my all time favourite Beetlejuice (I have a lot of Tim Burton favourites).

Well enough of Tim let’s get talking about Dark Shadows, the movie is based on a soap opera of the same name that premiered on ABC between 1966 and 1971. Funny although Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is the main character in this movie in the soap he was introduced in the second season and grew to become one of the main character.

I haven’t seen any of the episodes in the series but if the movie is anything like the series then I wonder if i ever will want to.

This is the Eighth (if am not mistaken) movie that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have made together and it is one of the worst I have seen from both.

The main issue about the movie isn’t the theme, the theme is actually well crafted and I give kudos to the customer designer and the set manager, but the movie is so unevenly paced one time you are excited then next you are dragged into a long conversation.

The Vampire has some tricks up its sleeves other than the fact that he could make you his zombie (which he did enough times in the movie), he could also bore you to death (which he did throughout the movie).

The story goes thus: In the 18th century the Collins built a huge fortune in the fishing industry in Maine. A witch (Eva Green) falls in love with Barnabas (Johnny Depp) the son of Mr. Collins, but he turned her down after some…..

She out of anger and jealousy kills everything Barnabas loves, including his parents his wife and she did the one thing that witches have not been able to do for a while now, she transforms him into a vampire and had him buried alive. (Witches turning men into vampires, where have I heard that before? …Oh! yeah, no where)

We are now in the 70s and Barnabas is dug out. He reunites with his weird descendants and begins plotting his return to power. Also in these 196 years in the ground the witch still was alive.

Will I still watch another Tim Burton movie?

Hell yeah! Alice in Wonderland (which he did with Johnny Depp) is still the eleventh highest grossing, movie in the world, so Tim has got it in him to make a masterpiece just that this movie is 3 stars from being one.

If we point our focus on Depp and rest of the crew, it was a share waste of talent. Having Pfeiffer and Eva Green and making no good use of them is amazing. Depp’s movie before this was The Rum Diary a movie I still don’t get.

All in all I won’t waste a dime on this movie if i were you.

Get the Gringo (2012)

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Get the Gringo (2012)


Mel Gibson
Kevin Hernandez
Dolores Heredia

Directed by Adrian Grunberg

Distributed by 20th Century Fox Home entertainment

Get the gringo is a direct to DVD movie that I had the chance to see this afternoon and ask that all go see it because it is wonderfully done, well directed and the plot is intriguing and will take you by surprise. Starring and produced by Mel Gibson who put out a lovely delivery of his role, the plot matched this with the cultural differences between Mexico and the United States; Adrian Grunberg matched up a masterpiece, with intense cinematography, which I very much enjoyed due to the slum setting.

The fun you get from watching the movie is the story arch, the way the strings are so closely knitted together and one wrong pull, the whole thing will come apart. Making such a complex plot around a story that involves a thief who was caught by corrupt cops and sent to a village like prison. The whole plot idea is something I applaud Mel Gibson for who co-wrote the script with the director, and had the movie produced by his own studio Icon Productions.

Directed by Adrian Grunberg who was the first assistant director in Gibson’s movie Apocalypto, Get the Gringo is one movie I wonder why it didn’t get a full box office release.

The set for the prison was done in Mexico; it was a slum that was being run by another criminal.

The story goes, a man (Mel Gibson) steals money from a drug lord and was chased by the police across the Mexican border. The Mexican police arrested him and took him into custody and the 2 million he stole was kept by the cops who arrested him, they forged a fake charge on him and threw him in the slum like prison.

There in the prison the man (Gibson) put his stealing abilities to play and maintained a life in a prison where money speaks.

Still in the prison he met a kid (Kevin Hernandez) who was being treated specially by the man who ran the prison.

Gibson and the kid teamed up for two different causes, Gibson to get his money back and the kid to kill the man who runs the prison and protect his liver (you will understand this when you get to see the movie).

Mel Gibson has done some grander movies and some mere apologies like The Beaver, but this a good movie, sad it is not a family movie.

All in all it is a nice buy.

Catch 44 (2011)

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Catch 44 (2011)


Bruce Willis
Malin Akerman
Forest Whitaker
Shea Whigham

Directed by Aaron Harvey

Distributed by Anchor Bay Films

While watching I kept asking, what is going on? The idea that a movie will leave you in the dark bringing out twists and trying to make you get the idea that you are not prepared for what is coming ahead, the only thing that I ended up feeling or getting out of the movie was anger and disdain for the actors and the makers.

The movie is directed and the screenplay is done by Aaron Harvey, with Forest Whitaker taking up the lead role. The movie seemed like a Bruce Willis movie as you will assume after seeing the posters where his face is splattered all over it, but it was Whittaker who had the lead with Bruce Wills screen time going as high as 30 minutes.

Whitaker played Ronny, a sadistic character who seems to be off his knockers. The other cast members in the movie just played their role and died.

The movie is supposed to be a twist story with the audience wondering how it will play out, but director allowed so many flash backs that he ended up losing you along the way. The plot is as simple as they come and not as complex as the director would have wanted. The idea of making the audience ache to find out what was going may have looked good on paper but on the silver screen it was just plain stupid. The movie production lasted 20 days and that alone warrants some thought.
20 days of production, that is a sign that not enough thought and work went into this movie, Mel (Bruce Willis), sent his 3 girls (they are not his daughter just his employees) to go handle a pick up involving drugs and money.

Unknown to the girls there was more to the task than it looks, Ronny was madly in love with Tes (Malin Akerman) and Billy (Shea Whigham) could not handle a simple job and in the very end everyone gets shot. As stringy put is this movie description so is the movie itself.

The movie ends abruptly with you the viewer left wondering why Willis and Whitaker took up the roles they played in this movie, as the movie didn’t make use of their individual talents. Whitaker is an Academy award winner (for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland), so it is funny when you see him in such a movie, it makes you wonder whether better roles are not seeking him out.

Armour of God 2 (1991)

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Armour of God 2 (Operation Condor) (1991)


Jackie Chan
Carol Cheng
Eva Cobo de Garcia
Shoko Ikeda

Directed by Jackie Chan

Distributed by Golden Harvest, Media Asia and Dimension Films

After the success of the first movie, a second part was created in 1991 and had a theatrical release in the US in 1997.

The movie was better and more interesting than the previous part, the story line was more basic and straight forward, and the screenplay was humorous and thrilling. There were more stunts and more effects in this one than the first. Armour of God the first part was a hit with one girl on Jackie’s trail and another being saved.

In this part we have two girls on his trail, and another was met along the way, I guess the producers were, “If two girls can make this much money, what will three girls bring…” well they brought in the cash as Armour of God part two was a success.

There is a rumor that a part three was going to be made at one time, but I guess that is what it is a rumor.
The tale of this flick goes thus; Jackie is hired to find World War II Nazi gold hidden in the Sahara desert.

He teams up with three misfit ladies, and they head out to Africa to find it, on their way they stopped over at a hotel where the manager is more interested in cash than anything else, they are followed by two guys who could pass as the three stooges without a Moo.

Then add to the twist mercenaries who are ready to kill anyone who gets in their way as they too want the gold.

The movie is funny as the makers focused more on humor,and the screenplay is one that is worth dipping the hat for.

The cinematography is what kills me in this movie as I keep on wondering how many cameras were being used to shoot the movie many trick angle shots were present. In the desert there are shots that are quite interesting to see, as this movie was shot in 1991 and all I can say is well done Jackie.

All in all, the two sets of Armour of God are movies that any Jackie Chan lover will enjoy, so take a sip of it, and savor the taste.

In December 2012 a Chinese movie starring Jackie Chan CZ12 or better known Chinese Zodiac became a third part in the Armour of God series. It (CZ12)also earned Jackie Chan two Guinness World Records: "Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor" and "Most Credits in One Movie".