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Entries in Zoe Saldana (4)


TAKERS is one shaky mess of a heist (review)

Rating:  (Bad)

I saw Takers with a theater full of rowdy, loud women. Midnight showings often bring out the dedicated and hardcore, but these ladies came to see one man. No, not heartthrob Paul Walker, not Michael Ealy, not T.I. They came to see Chris Brown. The moment Brown hit the screen, all I could hear were "woo"s, "aww yeahs", and "mmm mmm"s. Pretty hilarious, really. The ladies made the same sounds later on when Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire) got out of bed in his underwear. This was not a quiet experience at the theater. 

It's fitting that Takers is about as overblown as its audience. Like all urban heists, all the pieces are in place.

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Hollywood Copies Itself Again: THE EXPENDABLES vs THE A-TEAM vs THE LOSERS

I've been studying the summer movie releases coming up in 2010 and I've noticed that a lot of Hollywood releases are, well, copies of one another. We've seen it time and again. For every original movie, there are a host of copycats. Sometimes, however, we have to put up with more than a few copied scenes and cliche lines. Remember Finding Nemo and Shark Tale? Deep Impact and Armageddon? Hollywood is known to produce formulaic, unoriginal movies, but....come on guys? Did we really need Volcano and Dante's Peak

In this edition, I'll cover one of the biggest trends of the summer: teams of mercenaries exacting vigilante justice. 

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THE LOSERS fails to win my heart

Rating:  (Mediocre)

The Losers is a testosterone-laden "thrill ride" that some moviegoers will get and enjoy. Others will find it somewhat contrived because, well, for a film about a team of exiles presumed dead by the CIA and free to do anything, it unvaryingly sticks to script and plays by the rules. In fact, The Losers is a pretty good template for the comic book action movie. It has everything required of its genre:

  • Insane, physics-denying stunts, developments, and explosions
  • Super men who can accomplish anything and a super villain
  • Stylized editing and cinematography with Matrix slow-mos and quick-cuts
  • A hot chick who plays commando with the boys and sleeps with them
  • A cool MacGuffin to drive the plot forward
  • A slow motion hero shot
  • A witty self-referential sense of humor

Unfortunately, there is a downside: while The Losers represents almost every staple of its genre, it isn't the best movie in its class--not by a stretch. It also fails in one key area: its conclusion. The Losers stumbles to conclude its story no less than three times. Ultimately, it ends as a film we'll remember, less for its whole than its few fun, memorable moments. 

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AVATAR is a truly visceral experience; go see it


I am stunned and awed by Avatar, James Cameron's new epic. It defies the rules. This is a film with little dialogue, a thin plot, and a predictable end. Every fiber of it is constructed for a mass audience, from the cheesy one-liners to the giant battle at the end. Yet somehow Cameron pulls off the impossible. With Avatar, he has made a brilliant science fiction story (or is it fantasy?) palatable for almost anybody and he's done it, not by showing giant transforming robots with gold teeth and wrecking ball gonads, but by creating an alien world so complete and intensely beautiful that you're forced to separate your eyes from your mind and just enjoy the ride.

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