Tag Archives: movie

News Roundup – Sony hacked, Cuba and Colbert

 

So, as I understand it, North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because of the new movie called the Interview. This movie looks very, very stupid with Seth Rogen who specializes in movies that suck IQ points out of your head. Sony has decided not to release the picture.  Sony is basically buckling to threats from North Korea. George Clooney has it right, “The truth is, it’s all new territory and nobody knows how to handle it. I don’t think anyone was prepared for it. So now we’ll be prepared for it, hopefully. Everybody was doing their jobs, but somehow, we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane.”

Obama announced that we would change our policy toward Cuba.  The purpose of sanctions was to force the collapse of the Castro government. After 50 years, the Castro government still stands. Would another 50 years of sanctions do the trick? I doubt it. Yep, I know that many in the GOP are outraged.  Is anyone surprised? Unfortunately, to normalize relations with Cuba, both houses of Congress will have to approve this measure. This is highly unlikely to happen. Maybe Cuban Americans can pressure Congress into action?

From WaPo (I should have some video later):

“If all we achieved over the last nine years was to come into your home each night and help you make a difficult day a little better — man, what a waste,” Colbert said, but offered this: “Nation I want you to know, if i had to do it all again, if I could do it with you, I would do it the same.” The Colbert Report reminds me of the David Letterman Show when it first started. The Letterman Show was described as the world’s biggest inside joke. For those who got the joke, Letterman was funny as hell. Those who didn’t were lost. The same with Colbert. There were jokes on so many levels. Basically, you have Stephen Colbert playing an ultra-conservative talk show host. He constantly pointed out the stupid craziness of Fox News and other conservatives thru this character.  His interview with Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) was classic. Westmoreland was pushing to have the 10 Commandments placed on/in court houses. Stephen asked if there was anywhere more appropriate for the commandments to be posted. Westmoreland responded nope. Of course, the right answer would be in a church or temple. The combination of Colbert’s seriousness and Westmoreland’s cluelessness was priceless. Making liberal points while playing a conservative news anchor: how novel. I’ll miss the Colbert Report.

I’ll add some links later.

Movie Review: the Equalizer

Let me be honest. I’m a sucker for movies in which one person is smarter than everyone else. The first time I recognized my weakness was in a movie called Hopscotch with Walter Matthau. Let’s just say not only was that not even close to Walter Matthau’s best role, nobody else watched the movie but me. In spite of this, I loved it.

If you’re looking for romantic comedy or a movie that’s going to change your life, The Equalizer is not it. The Equalizer is an action movie like any of the Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone movies. These movies are clichéd. The bad guys are really, really bad. There are the good guys and then there are those innocent bystanders who stand around somewhat befuddled in the middle.

The two things that make this movie different from other action movies are Denzel Washington and Antonie Fuqua. Antonie Fuqua was also the director of Training Day. In my opinion, the direction of this movie was masterful. The movie was dark when it needed to be. It was fast-paced when it needed to be. It was also very stylized when it needed to be.

Denzel Washington is simply an actor at the top of his craft. We’ve seen this in Anthony Hopkins, Harrison Ford, Samuel L Jackson, Clint Eastwood and a few others. A real actor can suck you into the character even when the rest of the story is only so-so. Denzel Washington makes this guy believable. By the end of the movie, you wouldn’t be surprised if you walked into a Lowe’s or a Home Depot and found a mild-mannered stock boy who is really a highly trained CIA assassin.

In order to enjoy this movie, you have to sit back and relax. It takes a little while to unfold. Once the movie begins to unfold, you’re going to have to excuse the overused clichés. The good news is that this movie did not fall for the ridiculously stupid one-liners that we see in all of the Schwarzenegger movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger is somehow able to pull off these one-liners almost nobody else can. Denzel Washington has one of those lines and it works fabulously.

Then there is the cliché in which the bad guys are moving in to capture or kill our hero. They’re coming closer and closer. The suspense is growing bigger and bigger. Suddenly, we find out that our hero is not exactly where we thought he was. I gave the director a pass in spite of using this plot element not once but twice in the movie.

Finally, in all of these movies, you have a problem with the bad guys. How real do you want the bad guys to be? Maybe they should be so bad that they’re over the top and bigger than life? Or they could be just a little bit bad and become more realistic. I don’t know what the right answer is. The bad guys in this movie are basically Russian mobsters. This breaks from the recent trend in which everybody has to be an Islamic terrorist. So, I don’t have a problem these Russian mobsters. They are bad. They have no redeeming qualities.

This is a nice movie that came out in the fall because I don’t think it could’ve stood up to the summer blockbusters. All that being said, I think this movie is worth sitting down and enjoying. It’s clearly worth the price of admission. Sit back and enjoy.

Movies – Last Vegas, Gravity, Thor – The Dark World

Last Vegas – Simply a fun movie. This is Hangover meets Grumpy Old Men (need to give my sister credit for that analogy!) There is some great acting, but the script is so predictable it detracts from the movie. Just sit back and enjoy. It was really funny.

Gravity – Much better than I thought it would be. The movie is really, really beautiful to watch. You do need to see the movie in 3-D. Sandra Bullock is outstanding. This is her Cast Away (Tom Hanks). For a lot of the movie, she is by herself in space. If it hasn’t left the theaters, go see this movie if you love movies. If you love action or a complex plot, this movie has neither.

Thor – The Dark World – Marvel has learned how to make Superhero movies. I can’t explain why Iron Man 3 was so mediocre or why SpiderMan the remix with a terrible Peter Parker and Lizard Man was also just so-so. Thor is Thor, but what makes Thor interesting is Loki. He is a very interesting character. Loki has tons of conflict; with his mother and father, with his brother, with himself. The actor Tom Hiddleston somehow plays Loki just perfectly. Yes, for the women, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is great eye candy. Thor – The Dark World is a very enjoyable movie.

Now, I just wanted to add Samuel L Jackson’s new Capital One commercial. He is simply one of the most convincing spokespeople that I have seen in a long time. Heck, I also felt like getting up and getting a Capital One card right then…but, I didn’t.