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30 Minutes Or Less Movie Review

Jesse Eisenberg is Nick.   A guy who hates his job, his boss & probably his life.   What does he do for a living?  He delivers pizzas like a NASCAR Ninja in just 30 Minutes or Less.   Nick’s last delivery is gonna be a doozy.  Two second rate losers (Danny McBride & Nick Swardson) hatch a plan to make quick money.  Instead of robbing a bank themselves, they’ll strap a homemade bomb on a stranger & make him do it.

As you’ve seen in the trailer, once the bomb has been planted on Nick, he seeks help from his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari).  Armed with only knowledge of 80’s action flicks, these two idiots rob the local bank to the tune of 100,00 bucks.

Two familiar faces are scene stealers with limited screen time. First, the hitman (Michael Peña). Very funny.  Also, from TV’s “Rules of Engagement,” is Bianca Kajlich who plays a local stripper. While dancing on Danny McBride, Bianca goes full blown topless. No special digital effects or enhancements. Man, the one time I want 3D & it’s not even there.

The idea of these two numb nuts getting away with this high profile robbery in Grand Rapids, Michigan is certainly a stretch. You’ll just have to go with it.  It’s a straight up rated R stoner comedy.  If you dug “Pineapple Express,” this is your movie.

There’s nothing worse than having a bomb strapped to your chest.  Can you imagine!?!  On the other hand, there’s nothing better than the Film Freak iPhone – iPad App. It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies. Just search Film Freak

I’m not a credible bank robber, but life is fun. Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

If you’re looking to compare 1968’s “Planet of the Apes” with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” don’t even bother.  The former from 43 years ago is a crowning achievement of the Science Fiction genre.  Astronauts from Earth crash land on a planet ruled by apes.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set in present day San Francisco.  Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who’s desperately scrambling to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease through genetic therapy.   The experimental drugs are used on chimp apes & gorillas.

People will remember this movie for Ceasar (Andy Serkis).  The motion capture performance by Serkis adds a dimension of reality never before seen in a film.  This chimp shows every emotion from sorrow, happiness, fear & of course rage. Extremely well done special effects by WETA.

The tone of this film is dark & grows darker with each act.  There’s a spotlight on animal cruelty which automatically puts you on the sides of the apes.  The abuse is simply captivity.  These beasts should be in the wild & not locked up in rusty cages.  As the movie progresses, the friction between humans & apes escalates.

As you see in the movie’s trailer, the apes escape, revolt & run rampant through the streets of San Francisco.  The movie is thought-provoking & well made. It is worth seeing.  But for me personally, I prefer the Charlton Heston version.

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To heighten drama, medical advances are catapulted forward at lightning speed.  Crucial steps are missed & experimental drugs fall prey to corporate greed.

Cowboys and Aliens Movie Review

Director, Jon Favreau took on the toughest job of the summer: Mashing Up two distinct movie genres into one film.  The Old West collides with Alien Invaders.  This was one ride I was ready to take.  For the most part, I was  satisfied with the experience.

One thing that bugged me:  I believe, when the film’s first attached star, Robert Downey Jr. backed out, the casting of Daniel Craig wouldn’t be on my short list of replacement actors.  Daniel Craig simply does not look like a cowboy, (again, my own opinion).  He’s got the cropped haircut & instead of having a little extra padding from eating pork & beans over a open campfire, the guy looks like he spendt endless hours working out on his newfangled P90X machine.

What I liked was the underdog theme.  The humans were clearly on the way out.  The aliens dominated & toyed with the earthlings.  The unique situation forced the cowboys to create an unlikely alliance with the Native Americans. In 1875, the hostilities between the two were unprecedented.   Cynics will tear this movie apart.

Speaking for myself & the sold out midnight crowd, it was simply a fun movie watch.  Go & geek out.  But remember, if you’re gonna go there, try to really go there.  This is what movies are all about, taking us to a place we’ve never been.

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Transformers Dark of the Moon Movie Review

Transformers are such a force in today’s movie market.  Movie Critics can trash these movies all they want.  It just doesn’t matter.  The last Michael Bay Transformers flick, “Revenge of the Fallen” grossed over 400,ooo,ooo dollars in North America alone.  In the 3rd go round, Sam Witwicky, (Shia LaBeouf) has a new squeeze, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley)  I know why Sam can’t keep a steady girl. Instead of putting her in a secure basement, where she might be safe from evil alien robots, he drags her by the hand into the mechanical jaws of death over & over.  I guess some chicks like that from their men.

CAUTION: THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SPOILERS.  SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH TO AVOID, THANKS. As you’ve seen in the trailer, this story originates on the lunar surface of the moon.  The government has covered up the existence of Cybertronian spacecraft since the Apollo 11 mission.  In on the secret were just 35 people. This included iconic astronauts Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin.  The story also offers a twist on history concerning the Russian nuclear meltdown disaster at Chernobyl.

Transformers is the epitome of a really fun summer popcorn movie.  Unless you don’t mind paying an extra four dollars at the box office, I’d still suggest seeing Dark of the Moon in 2D.  My reasoning, the very first Transformer film was presented in 2D & it’s still the best one of the series.  At the end of the day, they’re just movies folks.  Try not to over think it.  It’s Autobots vs. Decepticons. What’s complicated about that?

Optimus Prime has instructed all Autobots to be outfitted with the Film Freak iPhone/iPad App. It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies.  Jest search Film Freak

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The Green Lantern Movie Review

The Green Lantern is a staple in the DC Comics Universe.  If you’re not a fanboy, then The Green Lantern isn’t even on your radar. Case in point, the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds had to brush up on over 60 years of Green Lantern adventures.  Like “Iron Man’s” Robert Downey Jr. once stated, “It’s time to get out your superhero Yah Yahs.”

Reynolds is the obvious choice to play Top Gun Style Aviator Pilot, Hal Jordan AKA. The Green Lantern.  Cutting through clutter, I thought the movie was just, OK.  I was looking for something original.  I should have known better.  To me, just about every scenario seemed played out like I’d already seen it somewhere before.

There was so much computer-generated imagery, it absolutely smothered the film.   Question: Why is it, alien life forms so often speak with a British accent?  Now that’s bizarre.  Blake Lively plays Hal’s girl, Carol Ferris.  We will most like see her transform into Star Sapphire in the sequel. Peter Sarsgaard, a solid actor, added a nice dimension as the bad guy, Hector Hammond. But it was so strange seeing Tim Robbins playing his father, Senator Hammond.  Their respective ages are a mere 13 years apart.  Robbins was too young to play his dad or Sarsgaard was too old to play his son.  I was fighting with that casting decision the whole movie.

In North America alone, The Green Lantern is playing in 3,816 theaters.  Oh, did I tell you, there’s a special on Green Lantern Movie Tickets!!  You can save 3 to 4 bucks immediately by simply watching the movie in 2D.  If you don’t tell the kids, they won’t even notice.

On Planet Oa, by order of the Oracles, The Green Lanterns are all equipped with the Film Freak iPhone/iPad App.  Are you?  Don’t be caught anywhere in the universe without it.  It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies!    Search Film Freak

This is a good sign!  Carol Ferris AKA. Star Sapphire is now following me on Twitter @leoquinones, so can you!

Super 8 Movie Review

“Super 8” is a simple love story.  There’s a 14 year old kid, Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) who’s head-over-heels for Alice. (Elle Fanning)  Their puppy love is just about ready to take flight.  Oh yeah,  there’s a snag.  There’s a sinister creature threatening the residents of the blue-collar town of Lillian, Ohio.

Set your WayBack Machine to 1976.  By now you’ve heard the film focuses on a group of kids making a movie with their Super 8 Camera.  The usual suspects are present & accounted for.  Government Cover Up?  Check.  70’s Soundtrack hits? Check.  Ford Pinto in the foreground? Check.  The look of the film is perfect, especially on a skimpy$50 million dollar budget.

The kid actors are the ones who should get all the credit.  Director J.J. Abrams & his Ment0r Steven Spielberg know how to get the best performance for their cast.  I also love the rudimentary film making jargin.  These kids are under intense pressure and are cranking out amazing performances.  The movie does build very well throughout.  There are twists that I can’t tell you about. NO SPOILERS HERE.  Super 8 is a really good popcorn movie, but does lack surprise.  I’ll give it 3 1/2 stars out of five.

EXCLUSIVE: Isn’t it time you traded in your clunky old Super 8 camera for a shiny new Film Freak iPhone App? Just search Film Freak.  You’ll get every movie Review, podcasts of The Film Freak Movie Talk Show, Twitter updates sent directly to your iPhone!  Get the Film Freak iPhone/iPad App .  It’s the Movie App that saves you money on movies.

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X Men: First Class Movie Review

Hollywood has found a way to re-use popular characters: Origin stories.  Starting with Spiderman, then Batman Begins, Thor, The Green Lantern, next year’s Superman: The Man of Steel and coming to a theater near you in July, Captain America: The First Avenger.

Now is as good a time as ever to tip the cap to Marvel Mastermind, Stan Lee.  His imagination was a stunning 1/2 century ahead of the world.  These comic book characters were created back in the 1960’s.  It has to be rewarding that his passion for larger than life, yet flawed mutant characters would get their due from top filmmakers in 2011.

The swingin’ 60’s is the perfect era to have Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meet his telepathic brethren, Erik Lehnsherr. (Michael Fassbender) These two talented actors anchor the film in reality.  Their emotional impact makes all the mutations, skirmishes & special effects much more believable.

X Men: First Class is set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.   What an amazing fragile  time in the world’s history: The Cold War. Kudos to Bryan Singer & Sheldon Turner for writing a story which integrates Charles & Erik teaming up with the ever steady leadership of  John F. Kennedy, to save the world from Nuclear War. (That’s in the movie trailer) NO SPOILERS HERE.

Now, let’s get to the heavy.  Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Shaw.  All I know about Kevin Bacon is this:  He’s so amazingly on-point with every role he inhabits, and the thing is, he makes it look completely effortless.   January Jones does a fine job as Emma Frost.  Rose Byrne’s having an amazing year playing CIA agent Moira MacTaggert.  This spring, Rose starred in Writer/Director James Wan’s uber clever horror flick, “Insidious,” & she also gave us the best laughs of the summer as one of the “Bridesmaids.”  (Bridesmaids was way funnier than “The Hangover 2. Yeah, I said it!) She’s going to X-plode in popularity.

X Men: First Class gives the audience a clearer understanding. Questions will be answered.  How did they band together? Why did Erik & Charles venture on separate paths?  Why is Charles confined to a wheelchair?  Who actually created Magneto’s helmet?  I applaud the filmmakers for releasing X Men: First Class in 2D.  It’s fine. Looks great. No Gimmicks.  I’d rather have story, story & more story than 3D.  X Men Marks the Spot!  Don’t miss it!

Fact: The Film Freak iPhone/iPad App is used by the entire X Team.  I’m told Professor X never misses a Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcast. I also hear, Emma Frost just digs my Tweets!  Search: Film Freak

If you don’t have the luxury of Cerebro, you can simply follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

Source Code Film Freak Movie Review + 1st 5 Minutes

Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on a mission, only he doesn’t even know it.  He awakens on a morning train commute & quickly discovers he’s taken over another man’s body.  Why is he here? Who are these people?  What the heck is-BOOOOOOM!!! Lights out.  Train explodes.  It’s a tough eight minutes & that’s the essence of  “Source Code.”  It’s a top secret military program allowing soldiers to inhabit a person’s brain & relive the last 8 minutes of their life.

Captain Stevens gets his briefing from his knockout military liasion, Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga).  Now the mission is brutal but clear:  Locate the bomber to prevent further terrorist attacks.  It really is like Groundhog Day, only it’s intensely  Sci-Fi with zero humor.

With every 8-minute failure, Stevens gets closer & closer to preventing this tragedy.  Along for the ride is, (Christina Warren) Michelle Monaghan.  The flirtations become more informative, eight minutes at a time.  But hey, in a parallel reality anything’s possible right?  No spoilers here.

Director Duncan Jones is sure to leave an abundance of clues.  If you’d like to figure it all out, all you have to do is watch seemingly random shots ordinary objects & normal passengers.  There’s mostly information with little disinformation to throw us off track.

In an effort to re-create a different explosion experience on film every time, the special effects grew more & more fake. This type of time-travel film has a polarizing effect on the audience.  I loved “Groundhog Day,” but I could watch Bill Murray be funny all day, that’s just me.  As for “Source Code,” it just seemed like 8-minutes of film spread out & regurgitated over 2 hours.  Not all of  it was nail-biting, there was a lot of looking at my watch thinking one thing: After this is over, should I pick up Chinese take out or pizza?

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Paul Film Freak Movie Review

When Simon Pegg fixates his crosshairs on a specific movie genre, the guy’s dead on target.  He went after Zombies movies & gave us the friggin’ hilarious, “Shaun of the Dead.”  “Hot Fuzz” was an actual cop movie with an actual brain.  This time, Simon Pegg & his buddy Nick Frost are moving at lightspeed with their foul-mouthed alien comedy, “Paul.”

Based on looks only, “Paul” is your typical, average everyday variety alien.  We’ve all see it before, big eyes, bigger head, skinny body with extremely long fingers.  Inside, Paul belts out the voice of burly Seth Rogen. It doesn’t just work, it works perfectly.  Credit to Rogen.

In the alien world, it seems if only in film, that their motto is, ”No Extra Terrestrial gets left behind.”  Enter two British pals, post Comic Con, criss-crossing America visiting any place rumored to have been touched by Alien life forms.  When they have a close encounter Paul, it’s too much for their earthly brains to process.  This is the Mothership Motherlode, blokes!

There’s always a heavy even in a comedy.  Leave that to Jason Bateman who plays it as  The Terminator dressed like one of the “Men In Black.”  No spoilers here.  As always, in their writing style, Pegg & Frost layer in subtle, amazing references to movies we love, like  “Back to the Future,” “Aliens,” “Indiana Jones” (at least twice,) “E.T.,” “Star Wars” and of course, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Tasteless as it me be, I love Creative Cursing.  “Paul” & his human co-hearts cuss their way across the fruited plain.  Not just mere “F” Bombs, but well written smut providing a clear cut edge this type of comedy requires. Some will argue, it’s a less creative way to express yourself.  Maybe this is true.  Anyone offended by funny cursing in an “R” rated comedy will never be invited over to my house for late night obnoxious Karaoke & tequila shots.

“Paul” is the best Science Fiction Comedy since “Galaxy Quest.”  That’s a huge statement, but I have balls the size of Barrilium Spheres to prove it!

Humans & or Aliens are welcome to follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Behind The Scenes!

Savvy Swashbuckler, Captain Jack Sparrow returns to the big screen May 20th 2011.  Fun, Fantastical & a Bit Freaky.  What’s not to like here?  C’mon, take off that cynical pirate hat & set sail for a little sinister silliness.

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