Friday, May 31, 2013

#tbt A Serious Man review

Happy Throwback Thursday!
Also, sorry I didn't get this review up yesterday. Anyway, A Serious Man is a 2009 black comedy directed by the Coen brothers. It's about a physics professor named Larry Gopnik, whose life is falling apart after a series of unrelated incidents. The Coen Brothers are probably one of my favorite directors. They've done so much good stuff like The Big Lebowski (a truly great film) and True Grit (one of the few good westerns made in the past 10 years). I didn't expect anything less from them from this. A Serious Man blends a perfect mix of great direction, a subtly hilarious script, and more than decent acting to create a really good movie that I'd watch again and again. This movie has so many great things about it. It's really no wonder it got nominated for Best Picture back in 2009. This film has all the slow comfort of a Wes Anderson movie with all the funny situations and black comedy of a Coen Brother's movie. The film takes a concept as regular as a divorce and makes a funny series of events that spiral off of that one event. It's terrific. Micheal Stuhlbarg, who I've only seen before in a small part in Seven Psychopaths, did a great job here. He portrayed Larry Gopnik's sheer confusion and sadness that was his reaction to his life so damn well, I honestly think he deserved at least an Oscar nomination for this (although he did get a Golden Globe nod). Fred Melamed, who I don't believe I've seen in anything, did a great job as Stuhlbarg's character's wife's lover. He was very funny in the role. Well written and original scripts are rare today, but Joel and Ethan Coen deliver one not to forget! This great film has a terrific script, some good performances, and is one I'd surely watch again. If you have any recommendations for my next #tbt review, just email me at Also don't forget to follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fast & Furious 6 review

Not furious enough.
I have to say I was looking forward to this. I liked the fifth movie and Fast 6 seemed to be getting decent reviews so I thought hey, it could be good. I was pretty wrong. The sixth installment in the series didn't do anything. While Fast Five refreshed the dying series and made for a cool heist film, Fast and Furious 6 was just a generic action movie. The acting was pretty bad, the script was mediocre, the only good part was the car chases. The plot of this movie is that there is  a group of criminals who are good with cars and have some convoluted plan to steal a computer chip and some stuff like that. So Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), the government agent from the fifth movie, gets Dominic Torretto's (Vin Diesel) team back together to stop that particular group of international criminals from causing bad shit from happening. The acting in this film his really awful. Paul Walker is the most emotionless and stoic actor maybe ever. When he says his lines, it sounds so uncomfortable and rehearsed and he just is generally bad at acting. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is also a fairly bad actor. Some people like him and I am not one of those people. He's just never wowed me in any of his movies. He really only had one facial expression in the whole film. The rest of the cast did alright. Tyrese Gibson was having the most fun out of everyone in the cast and was kind of fun to watch. The plot is generic, the acting is bad, but the car chases are amazing. One of this movie's strong suits is it's action scenes. The car chases are so awesome and eye-popping it actually makes the movie worthwhile. Editing technology really has come along way. The fight scenes are also pretty cool. Gina Carano, who I believe used to be a UFC fighter, had one particularly awesome fight scene in a subway with Michelle Rodriguez. So those scenes were pretty cool. Besides that the movie was just okay, I guess. I suppose if you suspend all your disbelief and just forget anything you know about what makes a movie good, you could really enjoy and even love this movie. So, maybe you'll like this more than me. Personally, I didn't like it. I give Fast & Furious 6 2.5 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at

Thursday, May 23, 2013

#tbt Blood Diamond review

Happy Throwback Thursday!
Today I've decided to review the 2006 Edward Zwick movie, Blood Diamond. This film is about a diamond smuggler and ex-mercenary named Danny Archer, who "teams' up with a fisherman named Solomon Vandy to find a large pink diamond and Solomon's son all during a civil war in Sierra Leone. Blood Diamond's not a great movie. It has a cool plot with good acting and great editing, but instead of subtly a inserting message into the film you get hit over the head with the whole anti-diamond message. After a while the reuse of the message gets tiring but bearable, towards the end it starts to get plain annoying and preachy. Other than that, I actually liked the movie. Djimon Hounsou was kind of annoying and a bit too angry at the beginning but in the middle his performance picked up and he did a more than decent job (he got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role here). Jennifer Connelly gave the one performance I didn't like here. She was fairly emotionless and just dragged the story down. I don't think she's a bad actress in general, but she acted poorly here in my opinion. Leonardo DiCaprio did the best acting job in the whole movie. His accent wasn't great but he delivered his lines with such conviction and he showed emotion so well, it was like he wasn't even acting. It was like the character of Danny Archer was as easy for DiCaprio to slip into as his own clothes. His performance was great, he deserved the Best Actor nomination he got completely. Although the plot occasionally lacks, the editing and camerawork more than make up for it. There are a lot of absolutely stunning aerial shots of Sierra Leone and the forests that surround it. The editing for the action scenes is so fast paced and awesome, you feel like you're there with the characters. In the film The Last King of Scotland, the documentary style "shaky" camera technique was used excessively to the point of anger. Blood Diamond only occasionally uses the technique and when it does, it uses it very well. Blood Diamond is an alright film with some great performances and terrific editing and beautiful shots. Even though it's just okay, it's still quite exciting and DiCaprio is still awesome. I'd recommend it. Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness review

To not watch Star Trek Into Darkness would be highly illogical.
The new Star Trek sequel directed by J.J. Abrams is cool, fast paced, and entertaining. It stars Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Zoe Saldana as Uhura. That's not all. Star Trek 2 has a great cast of actors like Simon Pegg and Alice Eve. The film is about Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise trying to capture a terrorist known only as John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (although you find out his shocking true identity later in the movie). The first Star Trek movie (reboot) reinforced the series and established J.J. Abrams as a good and respectable director.  The second one far bypasses any expectations set by the first movie and makes for an awesome thrill ride that may be the best of the summer. The visual effects in this movie are truly something else. CGI isn't particularly special nowadays but J.J. really makes good use of it, and blends CG with set pieces flawlessly. "Trekkies" will be satisfied with the references to Trek movies like Wrath of Khan and also the sheer awesomeness of the film. I have to say I was expecting to be let down by this movie. With a really good first film, I could hardly expect anything more than mediocrity. Then good reviews started coming in and I got excited. My excitement was confirmed after I saw this sci-fi epic. Science Fiction is a tough genre to make it in, and there have been some true flops in the once noble genre. Such garbage as Alien vs. Predator or that crappy 2001 Planet of the Apes remake. Into Darkness will restore faith in sci-fi fans around the globe. The film runs kind of long at two hours and twelve minutes but it is worth every second and never gets boring. Abrams delivers some interesting camerawork and great scene transitions that keep you interested. The intriguing and awesome story keep you even more interested. The film has it's flaws. It sometimes overuses the whip-pan camera technique and occasionally relies on outer sci-fi elements to get out of tight jams. Overall though, it's an incredibly enjoyable flick that may be the best blockbuster of the season. (Yes, it's better than Iron Man 3) I give Star Trek Into Darkness 4.2 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at
Happy Viewing!      

Thursday, May 16, 2013

#tbt There Will Be Blood review

I didn't know much about this movie back when it came out in 2007. All I knew was it something about Daniel Day-Lewis and milkshakes. I didn't get a chance to see it and forgot about it. I was recently reminded of the film and decided it was my time to finally watch it. So I did, and I was amazed. For today's Throwback Thursday review, I'm reviewing Paul Thomas Anderson's award-winning movie, There Will Be Blood, which was adapted from a 1927 story called Oil! (which have not read.) First off, the movie is pretty fantastic. It gets off to a slow pace but Daniel Day-Lewis' amazing acting job kept me watching. Soon after, the movie picks up and starts getting very intriguing. It's about an oil prospector named Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis), who is successfully trying to get oil from the ground and sell it. Daniel and his (adopted) son, HW, come across a ranch on a piece of land with a lot of oil underneath it. They buy the land and business starts flowing, until an accident and several other events effect Daniel for better or for worse. There Will Be Blood won two Oscars. Best Cinematography and Best Actor. The cinematography was pretty great here. The lighting really set the mood and helped give the film a certain feel. That award was quite worthy. Daniel Day-Lewis gave possibly one of his best performances ever. The way he portrayed the emotion in Daniel Plainview was so raw and awesome it really made you appreciate him as an actor. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of those guys who I never really loved. I saw him in a couple movies and I really didn't understand the hype about him. I knew he was good but there were a lot of actors who I thought were just as good, if not better. After watching him in Gangs of New York and this I truly understand why people think he is so great. He really plays the part. His performance is so genuine it's crazy. He most certainly deserved the Oscar. Paul Thomas Anderson is a director people say is great, but yet I've never seen any of his work. I'd like to see Magnolia and Boogie Nights, but I've never gotten a chance. This is the first film by him that I've seen. It was written very well and the direction was good also. If his other movies are of this caliber (which I'm sure they are) then I'm very excited to see them. So, There Will Be Blood is really good. Not one of my favorite movies, but still really good. I'd recommend it to almost anyone. If want me to review a certain movie next week just message me. You can message me or follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Great Gatsby review

Well old sport, it wasn't as bad as some people are saying.
So as far as I know The Great Gatsby has been made into a movie adaptation about three times. I've heard none of the other times were any good. Now, I haven't seen the others but as far as I know, this one is probably the best and most likely the most faithful to the source material. It's is about an aspiring writer named Nick Carraway, who moves to Long Island in the summer of 1922. He befriends a playboy millionaire named Jay Gatsby and gets thrown into an adventure of a lifetime. The movie was shown in 3D, had some incredibly flashy visuals, and had a lot of rap and pop music played over everything. The 3D was fairly unnecessary but I have to say that the director used the contemporary music to his advantage. I thought putting Jay-Z in this movie would be just plain ridiculous but it worked pretty well. I've never seen anything by Baz Luhrmann so I can't compare this to anything else he's done, but the direction was interesting and almost beautiful. Some things are quite overdone and cheesy. When Gatsby is introduced, he is followed by fireworks and a big swell of music. It seemed a bit much but then again, that's Jay Gatsby. He's extravagant and overdoes things. So maybe that introduction was fitting to the character. Then again, maybe it was not. The acting here is mostly just okay with some exceptions. Joel Edgarton plays the racist, rich, polo player, Tom Buchanan, and he does it fine I guess. Tobey Maguire is the story's narrator, Nick Carraway. His acting is alright but he never really displays too much emotion or really does anything special. Carey Mulligan does great as Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby's love interest, she played the part exactly like you would picture when you read the book. Leonardo DiCaprio does the best out of the whole cast. He plays Gatsby with an unreal perfection. He shows the nervousness, insecurity, and mysteriousness of Jay Gatsby so well it's really incredible. Even if the excessive effects, 3D, and rap music are too much for you, DiCaprio's performance saves the film. The writers of the movie added in a part about how Nick is admitted to a sanitarium after the events of the movie. It wasn't necessary and I don't know why it was added in but they used it well and it didn't interfere with the story. I suppose you can't ask for a perfect adaptation of the book because it's impossible. What makes the book so good isn't what can be truly told on screen. People may try for many years, but I don't think anyone will really capture the beautiful prose of the book for the movies. This current adaptation may be the best we'll ever get. I give The Great Gatsby 3.3 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Happy Viewing!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

#tbt The Aviator review

Can someone please tell me why Leonardo DiCaprio didn't win an Oscar for his role in The Aviator?
He did an awesome job in this movie. Just wanted to get that out of the way before I started my review. So, The Aviator is a 2004 film Directed by Martin Scorsese. It's a biopic about Howard Hughes and his life as a director, aviator, and his slow decent into madness. The movie shows many aspects of Hughes' interesting life from his obsession with making the perfect plane to all the girlfriends he had from Katherine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett, who won an Oscar for her performance) to Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsdale.) It also shows the parts of his life where he made movies. Hughes spent millions upon millions making these films and when people laughed at him, he only went and made more money and more movies. The movie portrays Howard Hughes and his life flawlessly. Scorsese's direction in this film is downright awesome. Some shots are so amazing that I can only stare in awe and wonder how he pulled it off. There is a certain series of shots that show the old-fashioned light bulb cameras taking pictures and those shots are absolutely terrific. I really don't understand why Scorsese didn't win Best Director for this work of art. As I said before, Leonardo DiCaprio's performance is more than award worthy. When he acts it doesn't seem like acting, he is Howard Hughes. When he is in anguish trying not lose himself, you see the pain on his face. His acting in this movie was beyond great. Cate Blanchett won the only acting Oscar for the Aviator. I thought she played Hepburn fine nut it wasn't exactly Oscar worthy. Martin Scorsese, who for a long time seemed to steer away from special effects, used them quite efficiently in a particular crash scene. The crash looked believable and DiCaprio's acting only added to the realism. The film is fairly long, with a 170 minute run time, but it uses that time well and doesn't bore you for a second. Martin Scorsese is becoming one of my favorite directors (next to Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson) and Leonardo DiCaprio is becoming one of my favorite actors. This movie only added to that. So my consensus? Watch it! Happy Viewing! If you have any recommendations for my next Throwback Thursday review you can tweet me @WhitsMovies or message me on Facebook at

Friday, May 3, 2013

Iron Man 3 review

The summer movie season is officially in session.
The release of Marvel's Iron Man 3 pretty much kicks off the start of the summer movie season and almost guarantees a box office domination. I can't say it doesn't deserve the money. Iron Man 3 stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley. That's a mouthful. The movie is about Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) trying to recover from the trauma that was what happened in The Avengers while simultaneously trying to find and terminate a terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). So, first off let me say Iron Man 3 is incredibly fun to watch. The story is just okay but RDJ plays his character with such joy and excitement that you can't help but smile. Besides him the acting is mostly sub-par but all the awesome special effects, CGI, and witty jokes  are able to more than make up for it. The whole thing is fairly predictable. I'm not gonna lie though, I really didn't care. I could analyze the whole movie and pick it apart, but what would be the point? It's a summer popcorn movie. These kinds of movies are designed to make the viewer have fun and forget his worries. Iron Man 3 does what it's supposed to do! Most of the movie was great fun, but the last battle scene sorta annoyed me. The writer's were throwing in so many ridiculous twists and random plot devices that it was overwhelming and excessive. Other than that, I kind of liked it! As I said, Downey Jr. did a great job, but surprisingly Ben Kingsley was hilarious! I won't say how to avoid ruining anything, but he was a joy to watch. It really leaves me in awe about how far CGI and computer effects technology has come. Seriously, some of the scenes looked 100% realistic and 100% awesome. I'm kicking myself because I forgot to stay after the credits for the mini-scene or trailer or whatever Marvel puts at the end of every movie, but I'm guessing that the enormous amount of money Iron Man 3 is gonna make will spur them to make a sequel and I bet the mini-scene would have given me a clue. I suppose I'll have to look that up. So, don't expect American Beauty out of this, but DO expect a fun popcorn film. I give Iron Man 3, 3.6 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and don't forget to like me on Facebook at! Happy Viewing!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

#tbt The Godfather review

In Roger Ebert's review of Casino, he said "If the Mafia didn't exist, we would need to invent it." I completely agree. There so many great classic mobster movies like GoodFellas, L.A. Confidential, Mean Streets, The Departed, and so many more. At the top of almost anyone's best mob movie list is of course, The Godfather films. I feel like The Godfather is one of those universally known "classic" movies. So I figured that I needed to review it at some point. I've heard a decent amount of people bash The Godfather for being pretentious and boring. I thought I would feel the same way before I saw it but I don't. I actually really liked The Godfather. It's not in my top five favorite movies ever but it was still really good. The direction and cinematography is fantastic. (Francis Ford Coppola got a Best Director nod but didn't win. He and Mario Puzo did win Best Adapted Screenplay.) The acting is award worthy. (Marlon Brando won the Best Actor award while Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and James Caan all got Best Supporting Actor nods but didn't win.) The whole movie is kind of beautiful. It's Coppola's masterpiece. The film is about, if you didn't already now, a dying mafia Don (Marlon Brando) deals with a street war while handing over his mafia empire to his straight arrow son (played awesomely by Al Pacino). The movie is very lengthy, almost three hours, but it uses the length to develop the characters nicely and expand on the story. It's no wonder that it won Best Picture in 1972. It's amazing to see all the famous actors in it. Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and James Caan weren't very widely known until after The Godfather movies. It really kick-started their careers. I will admit, The Godfather is not the best film of all time. Although, it is pretty damn good. Happy Throwback Thursday and as always, Happy Viewing. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and you can like me on Facebook by going to