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I, Frankenstein is going to leave a scar

31 Jan


It’s alive! Well, it is happy to be breathing at this point because the newest interpretation of Mary Shelley’s classic character has many noticeable imperfections that are going to leave a scar. At times, the film is entertaining, but then it falls into a familiar sounding story line, “There has been a war…” and basically the Frankenstein monster is going to have to choose a side because his soulless body has the potential to change the face of the conflict. The film is on life support because the acting, directing and story telling falls short of the magic Kevin Grevioux’s created in the Underworld franchise. Aaron Eckhart’s stick wielding becomes repetitive and Yvonne Strahovski’s character is asked to make unrealistic leaps in a short amount of time in order to push the story forward. It just doesn’t work. However, this is NOT the worst Frankenstein film I have seen and maybe Grevioux bring it back to life in a sequel.

Chuck’s Grade: C-

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Van Helsing doesn’t make it to dawn

25 Jul


Writer/Director Stephen Sommers attempts to follow-up his blockbuster success of the Mummy franchise by digging up two of the most famous undead characters, Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh) and Frankenstein (Shuler Hensley) to fight Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman), not to mention a cursed family championed by Anna (Kate Beckinsale) and her werewolf brother Velkan (Will Kemp). I was waiting for Abbot and Costello to show up since it is a Universal Horror film, but unfortunately they did not appear. The script becomes an alphabet soup of characters that are unable to come together and spell out anything that makes sense. There are some cool scenes and well-timed humor, but once the machine gun-like crossbow appears everything starts to go down hill. It would be one thing if Sommers was going for campy Evil Dead 2 humor, but the over-produced action sequences, high-profile cast and long run time kills such an idea from working.


Chuck’s Grade: C-

Adam’s Grade: C-

The Numbers Station does not add up

4 Jun

numbers station

I will refrain from beginning this review with the opening phrase, “For starters” because I try to find more positives than negatives, but the film, The Numbers Station starring John Cusack as a CIA agent protecting a facility used to send out secret codes is pretty hard to imagine. This is a straight forward action-thriller that does not have any good twists. The biggest surprise was that the film never provided one for audiences. Malin Akerman and Cusack have a screen presence, but their chemistry never materializes because both of them are playing characters that audiences could care less whether they live or die. This code is easy to crack and The Number Station does not add up to a good thriller. Most people will watch it because it is on Netflix, but then forget it as quickly as they can type their password.


Chuck’s Grade: C-
Adam’s Grade: N/A

Centurion breaks the chain of command

2 Dec


The film opens with a shirtless Michael Fassbender running through the snow for his life. By the end of the movie I wished he had died in the snow because I did not feel any empathy for him at all. Writer/Director Neil Marshall’s story revolves around a Roman officer that has escaped the deadly clutches of the Picts, only to find himself running back to where he first began, in order to rescue a Roman General. Actually, I was more interested in how the ruthless female Pict tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko) was going to kill the Roman soldiers than hoping these men survived or not. The ironic thing about Kurylenko’s character is that she is mute, which is probably the main reason I enjoyed following her killing spree because she was all business. Although the script is flawed, Marshall does create a visually striking film at times that indicates there are better things to come from him.


Chuck’s Grade: C-

Adam’s Grade: C-

Setup lives up to its name

1 Dec


This direct to DVD movie is a straight forward gangster film that has the double cross happen at the beginning of the story, and then the wronged seeks revenge for the following 80 minutes. I’m not going to lie. Setup kept my interest, but it wasn’t really because the movie was compelling or captivating. I watched the whole film because it was one of the strangest casts I have ever seen assembled for a B-movie. The film features Bruce Willis as a mob boss and MMA’s Randy Couture as his muscle. Ryan Phillippe is the bad guy while 50 CENT is the protagonist seeking retribution and redemption at the same time. Not to mention, James Remar as a psycho convict, Will Yun Lee as a tattoo artist that can remove bullets in 30 seconds, Shaun Toub as an ineffective hitman, and Jenna Dewan-Tatum who is really under utilized. The only person that was setup was me for watching it.


Chuck’s Grade: C-

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Ironclad is a bloody mess

30 Nov

One movie poster reads, “Heavy Metal Goes Medieval” and the another poster reads, “Blood. Will. Run.”  I could only laugh at the marketing genius to entice adolescent audiences to watch a story about 13th century England and its despot King John’s attempt to renege on the signing of the Magna Carta.  This film is mostly fiction, if not fantasy, and its bloody action scenes live up to both posters’ billings. I selected this film from Netflix virtual roll-a-deck because it starred, Paul Giamatti, Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi, Jason Flemyng, and Kate Mara. Could this film be a diamond in the rough that Hollywood ignored to distribute? No. Unfortunately, this film’s poster should of read, Ironclad: A Bloody Mess.  There are so many shortcomings that it is difficult to know where to begin, but the story is the main source of the film’s undoing. I can say that the talent of this cast saved this film from being a complete debacle.


Chuck’s Grade: C-

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Ninja Assassin kills everyone

11 Nov

Martial art enthusiasts knew little about this random film produced by Joel Silver and The Wachowskis, but the opening scene let everyone know this movie meant business. Ninja stars fly through the air at machine gun pace while the “bad guys” lose body parts in a digital gore-fest. Audiences are primed for a wild ride, but this vehicle started at the top of the hill and descends quickly into a weak script, bad acting, and repetition. Raizo (Rain) is a ninja hellbent on revenge from his former master’s tyrannical ways. The ending looks promising with ninjas going head to head, but an unwanted Interpol police force invites themselves to the climatic ending and makes an otherwise exciting series of fight scenes stall out.

American audiences wondered who this ultra ripped ninja could be, but after a little research, he was a Korean pop singer/dancer voted one of the most beautiful people in the world by People magazine in 2007. Enough said.


Chuck’s Grade: C-
Adam’s Grade: C-

Repo Men: Take it Back

10 Aug

I went into this film knowing the basic premises. Man works for a company that sells organs, if you don’t make the payments, they take back what is rightfully theirs.Remy (Jude Law) explains it in short.: “Can’t pay for your house? The bank takes it. Can’t pay for your car? The bank takes it. Can’t pay for your liver? Well, that’s where I come in.” Armed with stun gun and a scalpel, Remy can jack a human organ quicker than a thief can steal your car radio. Pretty Original…Right? Repo Men combines several different elements into one film, using some of Blade Runner, Minority Report, Logan’s Run and even Vanilla Sky. The first act was pretty good, but the rest of the film falls apart at the “stitches”. The dialogue becomes absurd. The acting is mediocre at best. The dark humor is not funny and the soundtrack is annoying. I will stick with my DMV donor card.

Word count: 158

Adam’s grade: F

Chuck’s grade: C-