Monday, December 23, 2013

Movie Review 3-Pack: Oblivion, Rust & Bone, and Land of the Dead

I'm waaaaay behind on doing movie reviews, so I'm going to have to group them in 3s today to try and get back on top of things.  They're going to be shorter and I'm probably going to leave out some things that I forgot about since I've seen them, but at least I'm hoping to remember a little something of each and what I liked and/or disliked

Movie: Oblivion (2013)
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writer: Karl Gajdusek (screenplay), Michael Arndt (screenplay), & Joseph Kosinski (graphic novel)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, and Zoe Bell.
One-Line Plot Synopsis: A military veteran assigned to be a drone repairman set on protecting what's left of the Earth's resources, slowly begins to question his duties and the mission at hand.

I was fucking pumped to see Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in this movie since he's probably my favorite character on Game of Thrones (out of many that I like) and was fantastic in the brilliant movie Headhunters.  It's too bad that if you blink while watching this movie that you most likely miss even seeing him on screen.  What a waste of talent for his first big budget American film.  He might have had 5 minutes on screen with a couple throw away lines of dialogue.  The CGI for this movie actually looked very nice and the story was a little different than you might expect from start to finish, although the movie is never particularly compelling at any time.  I wish they would've fleshed out the opposition that Tom Cruise is up against in the film that may have made the antagonist more interesting but this movie is pretty much what you see from Tom Cruise movies these days.  Some action and Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise...this time with some more Sci-Fi thrown in than usual.
Rating: 6/10

Movie: Rust & Bone (2012)
Director: Jacques Audiard
Writer: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Marion Cotillard & Matthias Schoenaerts
One-Line Plot Synopsis: Alain (Schoenaerts) and his son move in with his sister and in trying to get his life together, forms a bond with a killer whaler trainer (Cotillard) after a terrible accident.

I love Marion Cotillard.  Love her.  She is one of my favorite actresses and something about the her voice holds my attention at all time.  It helps that she's a kick-ass actress but the combination of how she talks, her eyes, and her ability to get things across with her reactions to whomever she's in a scene with is mesmerizing to me for some reason.  You'll be able to tell what terrible accident is that happens to Cotillard from the trailer but I'll still let you watch the movie to figure it out if you can't.  The movie is very affecting and has a sincerity and dimension to it that is hard to find in movies like this.  What I mean by that, is a movie were two people bond over some type of tragedy in their lives.  A lot of the times it seems forced in order for to people to have a reason to connect, but here it doesn't at all.  The real surprise of this film is Matthias Schoenaerts.  The Belgian actor is able to pull of a complex role that has you feeling so many different things for him, good and bad.  He is supposed to be superb in the Oscar nominated film Bullhead from 2011, and after seeing him in this performance, made it to the top 10 on my Netflix queue.

Rating: 8/10

Movie: Land of the Dead (2005)

Director: George A. Romero
Writer: George A. Romero
Cast: Simon Baker, John Liguizamo, & Dennis Hopper
One-Line Plot Synopsis: In a time where zombies have taken over the world, the remaining humans live in a walled in city.

I'll just say this nicely, I've definitely seen better zombie movies in my time.  After the success of the Dawn of the Dead remake, George A. Romero, the father of the zombie film, came back with his first 'Dead' movie in 20 years.  Seeing that the viewing public was ripe for some new zombie flicks and trying to capitalize on what's he known for.  Unfortunately for him, a lot of other people saw what we were craving too, and made a lot better movies for us to consume.  The cast has a definite B-Level feel to it and may have actually fared better if it were a Sy-Fy channel movie that embraced that type of B-Movie over-the-top-ness.  If you want to throw this on while you fold some laundry or do some chores, then it might be what you're looking for, but with how saturated the zombie genre market is right now, there are plenty of better options out there to feed your appetite.  

Rating: 3.5/10