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The Last Stand (2013)

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The Last Stand (2013)


Arnold Schwarzenegger
Forest Whitaker
Johnny Knoxville
Rodrigo Santoro

Directed by Kim Ji-woon

The Last Stand is very entertaining, and it was fun seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger again in the lead role as an action hero, one role he has mastered through the years. It is most definite that this movie was made for Arnold fans. The movie is much like the oldies, it has a weak script, it’s got plot holes, it is raided with uncalled for one liners not to mention the babyish dialogues and over the top action all over, I loved it and Arnold was amazing. The main antagonist drove a modified Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 car that he used to perform some really impressive car stunts.

The movie is directed by Asian director Kim Ji-woon and this is his first American film, the writing of the movie is very weak and as you watch you kind of become eager for the three seemingly parallel plots/events to meet and finally after 33 minutes into the movie they meet and it was explosive.

The movie plot is about Sheriff Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) a retired LAPD officer who has resigned himself to a life in Sommerton Junction, where the only crimes he has to deal with, is people behaving out of order. His subtle life in Sommerton was disturbed when the most notorious and wanted drug kingpin in America Gabriel Cortez had escaped from the FBI under the watchful eye of Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker). Cortez has to pass through Sommerton to escape from the FBI and cross the border to Mexico.

Owens at the time of Cortez escape and drive towards Sommerton, was busy trying to solve a murder in his town when the men who committed the murder (Cortez men) took down one of his deputy and were ready to take down anyone that gets in their way of a safe passage for their boss who was speeding down in a modified Chevrolet. Owens then decided that such will not be tolerated and he suited up and went all terminator in the town.

The movie cinematography is not that grand, there were scenes where I wished I could see more than what the camera was showing. The last Arnold movies before this were The Expendables (2010) where he had a Cameo appearance and The Expendables 2 (2012) where he had more screen time and even killed some bad guys.

I can say most definitely that this movie is not for those who have a desire for good movie depth, wonderful dialogue and interesting cast. Here is a movie for the Arnold fans and them only.

Robot and Frank (2012)

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Robot & Frank (2012)


Frank Langella
Susan Sarandon
James Marsden
Liv Tyler

Directed by Jake Schreier

The best word to use to describe this movie will be Sweet. Robot & Frank is a beautiful drama that shows the pending attachment we humans will tend to have to technological gadgets and it takes a charming yet sad look at the effects of aging. Exploring in depth human interaction with technology, Robot & Frank is a movie with no true moral undertone, just writer Christopher D. Ford and director Jake Schreier idea of what the future will be like when technology will be close and interwoven with our survival.

The script is one that I have to applaud as totally original and the movie drifts at such a steady playful pace that its twists and turns are not easily missed as they kind of jump at you making you smile, and for this I give credit to the debutant director Schreier and debutant movie writer Ford. Shot in like 20 days the movie was done on a 2.5 million budget and the robot suit was worn by an actor.

The movie plot is about a cat burglar named Frank (Frank Langella) who has become old and out of the game, he does once in a while do some petty shoplifting but his age and his dementia (memory loss) was not helping at all, so for that reason his son Hunter (James Marsden) drives to see him once every week.

Hunter is finding it difficult to cope with the long drive to see his father and his sister Madison (Liv Tyler) is always away on trips, so he gets Frank a robot which has been pre-programmed with all of Frank’s details to help out in taking good care of Frank. The robot first started out as an enemy of a better stress free life for Frank (although his life style was leading him to an earlier grave and was not making his memory loss better), but soon the robot became Frank’s best friend and Frank thought it all he knew and together they became a close pair, till some theft started to happen in the area.

The movie does posses some twist as said before, twists that you will not expect, but they are carefully placed in between the plots. The acting in the case of Frank which was played by Frank Langella is one that deserves recognition, as the movie is not overshadowed with action or intense CGI graphics the actors had to stand out in their roles and from the beginning of the movie Frank’s acting draws you in and gives you the confidence that this is going to be a good movie. Also James Marsden (who plays Frank’s protective and caring son Hunter) did well in his role as a supporting actor.

Robot and Frank is very well out on DVD and I do advise all to take the time to see this drama of how an old man befriends a robot.

The Ultimate Gift (2006)

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The Ultimate Gift (2006)


Drew Fuller
James Garner
Abigail Breslin
Bill Cobbs

Directed by Michael O. Sajbel

The ultimate gift is a subtly movie that plays with the human sensitivity and leaves you wanting more, I did enjoy this movie more than I expected to. After seeing the bad ratings it got, it took me more than 6 years to see this movie but after seeing it I wonder why I waited so long.

The movie had something I did enjoy, which is the beautiful scenery it displayed although the plot is quite predictable, as you can guess from the start how some events were going to end, but the scenery and the shots will take you by storm. The cinematography of the movie was nice enough to make you know that a considerable amount of money went into this movie’s production.

The movie is based on a bestselling novel of the same name written by blind novelist Jim Stovall. The movie was funded by a financial group with the intention of busting customer patronage which actually worked for them.

The movie/book is about 12 gifts that a man wants his grandson to acquire, the gifts were work, friends, money, family, learning, problems, laughter, giving, gratitude, a day, loving and dreams. The aim of this, was because Jason (Drew Fuller) was a spoilt brat, who has never worked a day in his life and doesn’t know the value of the 12 gifts, so his grandfather after his death decided to take him through a life lesson that he will not forget easily, with the hope that at the end Jason will come to value and understand those gifts.

To help him along the way, Jason met a friend named Emily (Abigail Breslin), who helped to achieve his grandfather’s goal.

Drew Fuller plays the lead Jason and to be honest, the moment I saw him was like “isn’t that Chris Halliwell from the television series Charmed” because I have to be honest after Charmed I don’t remember seeing Drew anywhere else. Bill Cobbs is getting old but you can see from the movie that old age has nothing to do with talent because he did deliver and the movie gave him a sweet assistant that was just like the mother to the protagonist, since the protagonist mother was busy with her younger lovers.

Ultimate Gift can be seen as a cheesy film that plays on your emotions, but it is a nice film one many should watch and enjoy.

A Haunted House (2013)

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A Haunted House (2013)


Marlon Wayans
Essence Atkins

Directed by Michael Tiddes

This Marlon Wayans movie is a cheap mistake, it is wrong on so many levels and it tries hard to be like Scary Movie but Wayans just went overboard in the rate of disgust and sexuality in this found footage movie that is meant to be a comedy/horror spoof film. 

It always amaze me when movie makers think perversion and disgust is what you need to make a good spoof movie, I don’t think it is entertaining when a movie shows a girl taking a dump or farting in her sleep; It is disgusting to witness in real life worse to see it on screen. A haunted house has all of this and more. Yes, there are times where I did laugh, but when I was done watching the movie I felt more like I just violated my eyes. The sodomy scene in the movie was the height of it all for me as I almost stopped watching.

The thing is after you are done watching this movie spoof that took ideas from The Exorcist (1973)and others you start to wonder how to rate it, 5/10 for making you laugh sometimes or 4 for making you want to puke. The movie plot is about a couple, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Keisha (Essence Atkins) who decided to move in together. Keisha has for long been haunted by a ghost, so as she moved in with Malcolm so did the ghost too.

Here is where the movie gets a twist (according to Wayans) Malcolm knows that white people are the only ones who stay in the haunted house black people run for their lives, so he tried to convince Keisha that they should run, not knowing that the ghost is actually haunting Keisha, it was when they called in a weird gay psyche before all the truth is exposed.

Another major problem I had with the movie is the way they just violated the whole exorcism thing. I’m no catholic, but I don’t think such should be played with some things should just be left alone. I’m not a fan of horror movies since all they do is bore me, so I haven’t seen any of the popular ones lately but if they are anywhere as similar to what I saw now, I thank God I haven’t taken the time to watch them.

As horrible as this movie was, and as lame a cinematography it had, the movie was a financial success, as it made more than 10 times its production cost of 2.5 million in the box office. Which to me is amazing because after watching the movie I never want to see it again and I can’t advise anyone too either.

Stand Up Guys (2013)

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Stand Up Guys (2013)


Al Pacino
Christopher Walken
Alan Arkin

Directed by Fisher Steven

Stand Up Guys is a movie that as soon as you get over the first 35 minutes of grossness and drama + intro, all that is left is a bag full of laughs and eye brow raising scenes, that made me enjoy watching the movie and even wanting more, because the movie ending is left open for you to fill in the blanks.

The movie is composed of two old stars, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken and its original song is done by Jon Bon Jovi. Both actors delivered an expected combination of finesse and chemistry that you can only get when two veteran actors stand side by side. I have for long been a huge fan of Christopher Walken, one reason being I have not come across an actor that can make me laugh even when the scene involves just reading a book. Another reason for loving Walken is just because he can play any role hero or villain, comic or drama and still deliver a performance that will make you smile at how well it was done.

All this said doesn’t mean Al Pacino is not as good or in the eyes of others better, but in this movie Walken caught my eye, Pacino’s performance is one that makes you accord respect to him. My favorite scene is when Pacino is taken to the emergency room because he popped too many Viagra pills, look out for that scene.

The movie is about Val (Pacino), who just got released from jail after 28 years, all because he refused to rat out his friends Doc (Walken) and Richard Hirsch (Alan Arkin). After his release, Val craved excitement one that he pushed Doc to provide, Doc did his best and that night turned from, just getting Val laid to, breaking into stores, rescuing a rape victim, busting Richard of an old people’s home and out running the cops.

Val’s release also led to a confession and a funeral.

What Stand Up Guys is composed of is good acting, the cinematography is not exceptional, the screenplay on the other hand is masterful and captivating, the moment Alan Arkin is introduced we get to see some cool driving stunts that was meant to make you wonder what these characters were like in their younger days. Fisher Steven (Crazy Love 2007) was the man on the director sit for this movie.

It is a short movie, just like 90 minutes long, but I tell you it was 90 minutes well spent and I did find the movie funny enough to want to go see it again, so when it is out in the cinemas near you, take out time to go see it. Although this is not a date movie, it is a guy movie.