Month: October 2012

Final Destination 5 (2011)

If I were to simply say “Yes, it is another Final Destination film” and leave it at that, would one sentence count as an entire review? It both accurately describes the movie, while also telling everyone whether or not they’ll enjoy it. If I add the word “decent” in front of the series’ title, will that be better? Once you reach number 5 in a series, doesn’t the audience pretty much know what they’re getting into? Anyway, this is the fifth iteration of the Final Destination franchise. For those still not on-board or completely unaware about how this thing works, here’s the gist: A character prevents the death of him or herself and a few other people. Death gets angry because of this, as it messes up His plans, so He decides to plan their deaths in the most elaborate way possible. The main cast tries to find a loophole, and He picks them off one by one. That’s how it has worked for four films now, and you can’t expect this one to be any different. The opening sequence is generally a highly complex, massive massacre of practically everyone possible. This time, it happens on a suspension bridge. The bridge breaks, characters try to run for their lives, but almost everyone dies. And then we find out, unsurprisingly, that this scene was actually a vision of Sam (Nicholas...

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Argo

  I was in the army and stationed in Hawaii when the crisis occurred. My family and I had arrived on Oahu in August 1979. Three months later, our already volatile relationship with Iran came to a head when native militants stormed our American embassy in Tehran,creating an even more explosive situation by taking 52 U.S. citizens hostage. A situation which would become major news for well over a year, it would effectively shut down any chance of President Jimmy Carter getting re-elected. Guess they were a trifle unhappy about us giving asylum to the Iranian Shah. For those who may have never heard or read about it, have merely studied it in history class, or (like yours truly) remember the state of affairs, but have forgotten the details surrounding it, actor/director Ben Affleck opens his film Argo with a complete, faithful recap of the events leading up to that rebel take over. It is by far, one of the most accurate depictions of what happened in that region over thirty years ago that you’ll ever see. The end credits aptly confirm this. It took nearly 20 years before this relatively unknown story was finally declassified by former President Bill Clinton in 1997 , chronicling the escape of six embassy workers (3 men and 3 women) during the raid and the utterly audacious plan cooked up by a CIA operative to get them out of Iran before they were tracked...

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The Final Destination (2009)

It’s a bad sign when a movie needs to do one thing right — stage elaborate death sequences — but can’t even do that properly. This is the fourth installment in the Final Destination series, and killing its characters is what it has been based around. The set-up in all of these films, so far, has been that some characters somehow manage to cheat Death thanks a moment of clairvoyance, and Death gets angry so he decides that killing them in as impressive a way as possible will work as a great substitute. The main character this time is Nick (Bobby Campo), whose girlfriend is Lori (Shantel VanSanten). They’re at a race track with some friends, he has a vision that involves a car accident that manages to get into the audience, killing 50+ people. He panics, manages to get his friends to leave before it happens, drags some other people with him, and, low and behold, the accident occurs and he’s called a hero. However, once some of the saved begin dropping dead from “Freak Accidents” it’s up to Nick and Lori to try to prevent them and their friends from suffering a similar fate. This time around, adults are brought into the picture again. The four main teenagers are the only people under the age of thirty, with everyone else being adults who should know better than...

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Movie Review of ‘Licence to Kill’ (1989)

Released in 1989, Licence to Kill denoted the end of the “classic Bond” era. Not only was this the last Bond-buster actively produced by the legendary Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, but it was also the last Bond film directed by series regular John Glen, and it features the franchise’s last opening titles sequence to be designed by Maurice Binder. More notably, it was the final 007 adventure (of only two) for lead star Timothy Dalton, and, unfortunately, it was the first Bond film to disappoint at the American box office. Following Roger Moore’s increasingly campy and goofy 007 outings, Licence to Kill revelled in the conventions of the ’80s action movie movement, pushing for a gritty tone for the first time since the Connery era. Indeed, the film is closer to a brutal R-rated action film than a light-hearted Bond adventure, and it has received a lot of flack due to this. Yet, for this reviewer’s money, the tonal change actually works here. Licence to Kill is a damn good Bond film; a well-constructed actioner with genuine stakes, solid acting and spectacular action. In the Florida Keys, retiring CIA agent Felix Leiter (Hedison) is getting married, and his buddy James Bond is the best man. The happy event is interrupted, however, when Bond and Leiter set off to capture notorious Columbian drug baron Franz Sanchez (Davi), who unexpectedly shows up in the area. But after...

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Final Destination 3 (2006)

It’s easy to call Final Destination 3 a better sequel to Final Destination than installment number 2 was simply based on tone. Before anything had gone wrong, our main character, Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was already looking around eerily at her surroundings. Director James Wong, the man who helmed the first of the franchise, returns for this one and brings with him the same dark tone that made the first film very enjoyable. At this point in the franchise, you probably know what’s going to happen. After getting on a roller coaster, Wendy has a vision involving everyone on the ride dying. She manages to get many of the people off it before it departs, although get boyfriend ends up becoming one of the deceased that she predicted. Seemingly ruining her life, she decides to skip graduation, cut herself off from everyone except for her sister, Julie (Amanda Crew), and her boyfriend’s friend, Kevin (Ryan Merriman). You know what comes next. Someone dies, someone else dies, the main characters find out, realize that the dead people were the ones who were supposed to be on the roller coaster, and soon come to the conclusion that they’re going to be dead soon as well. Death is angry that they ruined His plans, so the next logical course of action is to figure out how to ruin them again. Tangential references...

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