The X-Women

Saturday, December 31, 2011


These are the top ten films I am most anxious about to see in 2012. I'm hyped to see a lot more films but these ten are the ones I am really stoked about. And I think I may have a good shot at breaking my record of movies seen in theaters. I was on pace last year but sputtered out at 28 thanks to a soft fall/winter schedule. The record is 36, set so long ago back in 1992. Anyway, here are my picks for 2012. For a comic book and action enthusiast lover, this year is a dream come true.
Dwayne Johnson looking all bad ass as Roadblock for GI JOE 2

10.) G.I. JOE 2 - I thought the first GI JOE was a good enough action flick, but I think the sequel is poised to be even better. Two words: THE ROCK. And two more: BRUCE WILLIS. 

9. ) THE HUNGER GAMES - Futuristic yarn where young kids must battle each other to the death to stay alive. Oh yeah. count me in for this one.

8.) THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN - OK, so the first trailer was kind of under-whelming. Spidey did not look right, a little too CGI-ish. But I'm still excited for this one. It's Spider-Man for crying out loud. And we finally get to see The Lizard come center stage after being hinted at in Sam Raimi's original trilogy.

7.) THE HOBBIT - Finally the beginnings of Bilbo Baggins can finally be told. The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite film series ever and I'm so ready for some new adventures with hobbits, elves, wizards, and monsters. 
The lovely Rosamund of the reasons why Wrath of the Titans
will be better than Clash of the Titans

6.) WRATH OF THE TITANS - Damn, it just felt like last month when the first Titans movie came out. I liked that first one a lot, but this new one looks ever better. The effects look better and the action seems to be amped up to another level. This should be really good. Plus it has Rosamund Pike in it. She can never hurt a film's appeal.

5.) PROMETHEUS - The unofficial prequel to Alien is eagerly awaited as famed director Ridley Scott is at the helm. I know he has stated that this was in no way a new Alien movie, but the cat has been let out of the bag ever since the trailer premiered weeks ago. And I'm so cool with that. Bring it on Ridley!

4.)  THE BOURNE LEGACY - The action franchise gets a new player in Jeremy Renner who takes over as a different character. Renner who knocked audiences for a loop in the latest Mission Impossible movie and also stars in The Avengers is poised to become a major star.


3.) THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - OK, we all know that Chris Nolan won't be able to top his masterpiece, The Dark Knight. But there's no denying that his third Bat film promises to go out with a bang. Tom Hardy as Bane and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman join the mix as the villains. And Christian Bale returns as Batman. But look at the supporting cast: Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Matthew Modine. Stellar indeed!

2.) SKYFALL - Bond is back. And I'm so primed for this one. Daniel Craig returns for the third time and he's backed by the best cast for a Bond film ever assembled: Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris and the returning Judi Dench. The film is being talked about as a throwback to Goldfinger and From Russia With Love. Color me excited!

1.) THE AVENGERS - I have waited for this movie basically my entire life. A gathering of Marvel's biggest super-heroes in one movie: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk and with good high quality actors like Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner. Oh yeah. I can't wait for this bad boy.
The Dream Team Assembled!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tom Cruise does the Mission Impossible one more time...and hey it's the best one yet!

Tom Cruise returns as superspy Ethan Hunt for the fourth time in what I think may be the best Mission Impossible film yet. The film's opening has Ethan languishing in a Moscow prison before he is sprung by his IMF team of Benji (the returning Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (a kick ass Paula Patton). Hunt gets to flex his muscles quick as he fights prisoners and guards on his way out with a Russian informant in tow. After Hunt is out, he is brought up to speed on the latest mission in which his skills are sorely needed. It appears a Russian extremist named Cobalt plans to launch a nuclear warhead at America once he has stolen the key components needed. It's up to Hunt and his team to stop him.
Jane and Benji waiting on Ethan

The first leg has Ethan and Benji going undercover at the Kremlin but that mission is compromised by Cobalt and a huge explosion is set off and Ethan is blamed for the incident. Now a rogue agent, Hunt is tasked by The Secretary of State (a nice uncredited bit by Tom Wilkinson) to stop Cobalt at any cost. Tagging along is analyst Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner) who gets involved in the action quite quickly. Soon our team has to do the impossible to stop Cobalt. Including a breath-taking sequence which has Hunt scaling the tallest building in the world in Dubai using nothing but suction gloves. It's been awhile since I seen a movie that has a scene where the entire audience is just gasping and looking at the screen in awe. The scene is flawless in execution and looks amazingly real. No CGI or another type of effect, just Cruise doing an unbelievable stunt. This scene is worth the price of admission alone.
Ethan having second thoughts about the whole climbing the world's
tallest building thing

And if MI4 offered nothing else for the entire movie, then that scene would be more than enough. But thankfully there are several more adrenaline pumping action scenes that follow. Including a foot chase which leads to a car chase during an unrelenting sandstorm; brutal fist fights with all team members, including a wicked woman on woman fight between Patton and a blonde assassin. And there is a doozy of a climatic chase and brawl as Hunt pursues Cobalt through a automated parking garage in India. All the time Ethan is pursued by a Russian detective who chases him all over the world. Reminds me of Tommy Lee Jones chasing Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.
Michael Nyqvist as Cobalt..looking to shake things up

What makes this new installment even better than the previous entries is that Cruise gets to show some vulnerability for a change. Gone is the cocky, never get hurt Hunt and now is a more patient and sometimes unsure Hunt, who still sometimes will take the risk. He just has to think about it a little more. Like when Benji tells him he has to climb the building in Dubai and should be a piece of cake. You can see the look in Ethan's face as he thinks..yeah maybe 10 years ago but now I'm a little older. Not as quick and my body has more wear on it. And let me be clear..Ethan gets banged up quite a bit in this one. I'm talking Bruce Willis Die Hard banged up. But he takes the punishment and keeps on coming.
The team in a heated discussion

Mission Impossible is directed with expertise by Brad Bird, who previously helmed the animated flicks The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Here he shows he can play with the big boys with it comes to heavy duty action and adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and now wait news when the next one will be announced. And trust me, there will be another one. I do hope that this entire team comes back as they gelled quite convincingly. Patton and Renner make great additions and Cruise and Pegg work magic once again.
Say something...I dare you!

So to all moviegoers, the mission should you decide to accept to see one of the best films of this or any other year.
Kind of busy right now..have to call you back

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday MILLA JOVOVICH!

The stunning Ukrainian actress Milla has her birthday today and turns 36. The star of the Resident Evil film series along with The Fifth Element, Zoolander, Chaplin, Dazed & Confused and the latest version of The Three Musketeers. Happy Birthday Milla!

Film Review: GONE BABY GONE (2007)

Excellent drama/mystery with a superb directing debut by Ben Affleck. A little girl goes missing in a suburb of Boston and the police are doing all they can to find her. The mother (Amy Ryan giving a stellar performance) is a coke addicted woman who works for the local drug dealer. Her sister hires two local private investigators (Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan) to help with the search. The two cross paths with the Boston police captain (Morgan Freeman) who in turns assigns two veteran detectives (Ed Harris, John Ashton) to work with them. So all the players are in place and the movie quickly takes many twists and turns before reaching the eventful climax. Ben Affleck does a super job in his first time out as director. He manages to use the city of Boston as a character itself and is able to get solid performances from his entire cast. His younger brother Casey shines in his first lead role playing tough and smart and somewhat world weary despite his young age. The veterans Freeman and Harris are of course good. But the standout belongs to Miss Amy Ryan. She takes an unlikable character and makes you understand her and even forgive her for all the bad things she has done. She's got my vote as Best Supporting Actress of the year easily. Gone Baby Gone is one of the best films of 2007.

Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan

Morgan Freeman with Affleck and Monaghan

Casey as private eye Patrick Kenzie

Amy Ryan in a powerhouse of a performance

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ethan Hunt comes out of retirement for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 (2006)

In preparation for the upcoming Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol hitting theaters in 5 days, I am re-watching the first three Impossible films. This is one of my favorite movie series and Tom Cruise is awesome as superspy Ethan Hunt.
Cruise returns for a third time as agent Ethan Hunt

In the third adventure, Ethan has actually retired from the spy game, occasionally teaching trainees how to be the best agent they can be. He has settled down and married a nurse named Julia (a fetching performance by Michelle Monaghan). Life is good until a former student of his, Lindsey (played by Keri Russell, who gets to flex some action skills for a change) is captured by some bad guys and must be rescued.
A rescue mission turns deadly

Hunt comes to her aid with his right hand man Luther (Ving Rhames, the only returning cast member from the first two movies), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). After a thrilling action sequence in Berlin, our team finds Lindsey but don't save her in time. Hunt makes it his mission to find the man responsible for her death. And that would be black marketeer Owen Davian (a super villainous turn by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Hunt and his team abducts Davian from the Vatican, of all places, to persuade him to tell them what the mysterious rabbit's foot is that Davian is trying to sell to a foreign power.
Philip Seymour Hoffman as bad guy Owen Davian

After a tussle or two, Davian escapes and now the tables are turned as he kidnaps Julia, forcing Ethan to return the rabbit's foot to him within 48 hours or Julia will die. Hunt is now a man on a mission.
Ethan and his beautiful wife Julia (played by Michelle Monaghan)

Mission Impossible 3 is my favorite of the series so far as it is loaded with cool action scenes and great performances by the entire cast. Notable action sequences include a super charged shoot-out on a bridge between the IMF team and Davian's men. And a high speed car chase through the streets of Shanghai. Cruise is perfect once again as Ethan, and even gets to show a more tender side as he is now a married man. Hoffman rocks it as the bad guy. A truly memorable performance. Laurence Fisburne is also top notch as IMF's new boss. Also look for Simon Pegg as tech guy Benji. All in all MI3 fires on all cylinders, never making a false step. And now I can't wait for Ghost Protocol when it hits theaters next week.

Shoot out at the bridge

Ethan doing his thing

Maggie Q as Zhen

Ving Rhames as Luther

The IMF team striking a pose

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Film Review: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Still Guy Ritchie's best film. Set in London, 4 guys pool their money together to gain entrance to a high stakes game to with 100,000 grand. Well when the one who plays in the game gets hustled by Harry the Hatchet and now owes half a million pounds in 7 days or all the guys will start losing appendages. So now the boys are desperate to score some cash and end up learning of a robbery of some local drug dealers and decide to rob the robbers. Throw in a cast of wild characters including Harry's own personal collector Big Chris (played by Vinnie Jones), bar owner Sting (who plays one of the guys father), a young Jason Statham, and assorted thieves, gangsters, and dope heads, and you have one of the wildest movies ever made. My favorite characters are drug dealer Rory Breaker, Big Chris, Soap, and Tom. It's one of my favorites. Loaded with tons of cool quotes and followed up by the equally great Snatch.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rory Breaker: If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain't the kinda pussy to drink it.


Soap: A minute ago this was the safest job in the world. Now it's turning into a bad day in Bosnia.


Bacon: What's that?
Samoan Joe's Barman: It's a cocktail. You asked for a cocktail.
Bacon: No. I asked you to give me a refreshing drink. I wasn't expecting a fucking rainforest! You could fall in love with an orangutan in that!
Samoan Joe's Barman: You want a pint, you go to the pub.
Bacon: I thought this was a pub!
Samoan Joes Barman: It's a Samoan pub.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bond daily quote...QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)

M: If you could avoid killing every possible lead, it would be deeply appreciated. 
James Bond: I'll do my best. 
M: I've heard that before.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bond daily quote...(DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER)

James Bond: Weren't you a blonde when I came in?
Tiffany Case: Could be.

James: I tend to notice little things like that - whether a girl is a blonde or a brunette.
Tiffany: Which do you prefer?
James: Well, as long as the collar and cuffs match...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bond daily quote...GOLDENEYE

 Xenia Onatopp: You don't need the gun
James Bond: Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SKYFALL, the newest Bond film is underway

Finally after some legal and money issues, the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, went into production a few weeks ago. Bond fans can now rejoice as we will have a new Bond film for next Thanksgiving. Joining Daniel Craig and Judi Dench is one of the more impressive Bond film casts ever. Javier Bardem has been cast as the villian. Ralph Fiennes is on hand. I think is some official M16 capacity. Naomie Harris is a fellow agent helping Bond. Albert Finney was just added to the cast, which is another plus. And french actress Berenice Marlohe is the latest Bond Girl. The story has something to do with M's past now coming back to haunt her and Bond caught in the middle. Sound very intriguing. Can't wait for next November. Due to hit theaters symbolically on November 007, 2012.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bond daily quote....FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

"Ah, the old game: give a wolf a taste and then leave him hungry. My friend, she's got you dangling." - Kerim Bey (From Russia With Love)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jennifer Lawrence is poised for action as Katniss in THE HUNGER GAMES

A new picture of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the upcoming film, The Hunger Games, which is one of the big films due in 2012.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pierce Brosnan takes over as James Bond in GOLDENEYE

I remember this day like it was yesterday. Back in 1994 when it was announced Pierce Brosnan would be assuming the role of superspy James Bond for the film Goldeneye. I was ecstatic. When they announced it, there was a media blitz rivaling a king or prince coronation. It was that big of a deal. History shows that Pierce was offered the role of Bond a few years ago but could not get out of his contract with NBC for the TV series Remington Steele. Which was a good warm up role for Brosnan as he got to look dapper and be witty. Timothy Dalton ended up getting the role and he lasted just two films. So when the time came again to cast a new Bond, there was no doubt who should play him. Pierce Brosnan. When Goldeneye finally premiered in November of 1995, it was awesome. I saw it three times at the theaters. Loving it more and more each time I saw it. Goldeneye would become my favorite Bond film of all time. Pierce would play Bond in a total of four films. And he would become my 2nd favorite Bond actor. Well I kind of flip flop between him and Roger Moore. Anyway, just thought this would make a cool post describing when Pierce became Bond for the first time. And a new chapter in this long running series was added to this legendary franchise.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bond daily quote...OCTOPUSSY (1983)

Vijay: Is he still there?

Q: You must be joking! Double-0 seven on an island populated exclusively by women? We won't see him till dawn!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bond daily quote...CASINO ROYALE

Casino Royale

Vesper Lynd: It doesn't bother you? Killing all those people?

James Bond: Well I wouldn't be very good at my job if it did.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bond daily quote...(THUNDERBALL)

Fiona: Some men just don't like to be driven.

Bond: No, some men don't like to be taken for a ride.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ranking my favorite Bonds...

So I since I'm doing this James Bond marathon posting all this month, I should begin with ranking my favorite Bonds right? Thought we go.
1. Sean Connery - Even though I didn't start watching Sean's films until after seeing Roger first, he is Bond. Nobody played him better. The right mix of humor and ruthlessness and witty charm made Sean the total Bond package.
Roger as Bond
2. Roger Moore - Now I grew up when Roger was Bond and I thought he was so cool. With the one-liners and his smoothness with the ladies. Towards the end of his run, he lost a little of his edge but watch his early Bond films and you will see why I thought he was the second best Bond ever.
Pierce Brosnan
3. Pierce Brosnan - When it was announced that Pierce was taking over as Bond, I was like hell yeah. Finally Remington Steele gets to play Bond. And he did a damn good job. His Goldeneye is my favorite Bond film ever and that's saying a lot.
Daniel Craig
4. Daniel Craig - is off to a good start but he needs to lighten up just a bit. His Casino Royale takes Bond in a new direction and he was quite good.
Tim as Bond
5. Timonty Dalton - not as bad as everyone remembers. In fact, he did what Daniel Craig is doing now, only Tim did it 20 years ago.
George as Bond
6. George Lazenby - Not fair that George only got to do one Bond film. And not it's fault that he had to follow in the footsteps of Sean. His one film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is actually one of the best Bond films ever made. And George acquits himself quite nicely.

DOG SOLDIERS is one hell of a movie...

Back off kitty....

I have one holdover from Halloween to talk about. I just re-watched 2002's Dog Soldiers and it's even better than I remember. The story has a British squad on a training exercise in the Highlands of Scotland. They're supposed be simulating war games with an elite Special Ops squad but things get deadly when they come across the bloody remains of the ops soldiers save for the wounded captain. Then all hell breaks loose as savage creatures attack. The creatures turn out to be werewolves on the hunt. The British soldiers are rescued by a zoologist named Megan in her jeep and haul ass to a farmhouse. It's here where they will make their last stand. Dog Soldiers mixes action with horror extremely well. Writer/director Neil Marshall would go on to make the even better film, The Descent. But here he borrows a little from Aliens with the plot and situations but then puts his on spin on this creative werewolf tale. And speaking of werewolves, these are some cool looking creatures. Best I've seen in recent memory. The action is fast and furious and the dialogue is crisp and humorous with a British/Scottish accent. The cast are all solid especially Sean Pertwee as Sgt Wells, the leader of the British Squad; Emma Cleasby as Megan; Kevin McKidd as Private Cooper who steps up to take charge; and Darren Morfitt as Private Spoon (the wild soldier who has a memorable one on one fight with one of the beasties in the kitchen). Pure awesomeness! And plus it has a cute little dog too.
Spoon and a werewolf about to go a few rounds...

Cooper and Megan on their first date...

Man, I knew I should have just stayed in bed this morning...

Megan thinking...what the hell am I doing here?