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