Reviews – Movies

Movie Review: IRON SKY (2012)

iron_sky (Small)

Starring: Julia Dietze, Götz Otto, Christopher Kirby, Udo Kier

Written by: Michael Kalesniko & Timo Vuorensola

Directed by: Timo Vuorensola

Although I probably should be, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have been waiting with bated breath for Iron Sky ever since it was “the weird Space Nazi movie that probably won’t be made” project floating around the web sites and message boards. And much to my shock, after six long years Timo Vuorensola and company actually did it. Iron Sky is a gosh-darn real-life movie that you can buy or rent (or or watch on Netflix!). But after six years of hype, and six years of anticipation, does the finished product of Iron Sky actually deliver? That’s where things get a little murky. While there is a lot of good to be had (impressive SFX, good casting, high entertainment value, and even some political satire to boot), Iron Sky feels like the product of “too many cooks in the kitchen”, with nonsensical plot twists and jarring tonal shifts. It’s like five different people tried to make five different movies and somehow cram them all together in 90 minutes.

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Documentary Review: WINNEBAGO MAN (2009)

Starring: Jack Rebney, Ben Steinbauer, Keith Gordon

Written by: Malcom Pullinger/Ben Steinbauer

Directed by: Ben Steinbauer

Watch Winnebago Man Insantly

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If you’re a viral video aficionado, you’ve probably already seen “Winnebago Man” at least a thousand times, if not more. The five minute clip, comprised of outtakes from a Winnebago marketing video, featured its host named Jack Rebney seemingly having a meltdown, swearing up a storm and getting angrier as time progressed. If you haven’t seen the clip, then this review will mean nothing, so check it out below. Just as a warning though, it’s VERY NSFW.

Rebney became a sensation thanks to this video, first through tape traders and then eventually on the Internet thanks to YouTube. But who was this man? Could he really be that angry? Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer wanted to find out and the result is the 2009 documentary Winnebago Man which chronicles not only the search for Rebney, but the man himself once he’s found with a little commentary about viral videos in between. It turns out that Rebney essentially dropped off the face of the Earth in the years that followed this video, living in seclusion at a California ranch. When Steinbauer first meets him, Rebney is the complete opposite from what the viral video makes him out to be; in fact, he appears to be a kind old man who finds humor in the fact people loved these outtakes so much. Understandably, Steinbauer is sort of taken aback; apparently Rebney isn’t as interesting as he thought.

Luckily that isn’t the case or Winnebago Man would be ten minutes long; a few weeks later, Rebney calls up Steinbauer and completely lets loose on him. His smiling, quiet old man persona was just a schtick; it turns out Rebney is the Winnebago Man, dropping four letter words every other sentence. He’s also a bit of an eccentric, a well-read man who rails against modern society and the government especially. He doesn’t find humor in the fact people adore him for the Winnebago Man video; in fact, he detests these people. He thinks that his fans are simpletons who wouldn’t understand the real him. As the documentary unfolds, Rebney and Steinbauer go head to head repeatedly and eventually leads to Rebney’s first live appearance since the video became a sensation. Would his face to face interaction with his fans change his mind or would he destroy the legacy he didn’t want in the first place?

[Continue Reading at Man, I Love Films]

Grade: B+

Movie Review: MONEYBALL (2011)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt

Written by: Steve Zaillian/Aaron Sorkin

Directed by: Bennett Miller

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For about 95% of the population, a movie that centers around baseball statistics sounds as appetizing as sticking your hand down a garbage disposal, but Moneyball luckily overcomes those initial feelings to deliver an engaging underdog story with a great script and a tremendous lead performance by Brad Pitt. Yes that’s right, Hollywood made a movie about statistics interesting; what’s next, a movie about that Zuckerberg douche and his privacy-hating website? Heeeeey wait a second…

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Movie Review: CEREMONY (2011)

Starring: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace

Written and Directed by: Max Winkler

Watch Ceremony Instantly

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Ceremony, the first film from writer/director Max Winkler, is a movie that doesn’t give you the chance to breath; moving quickly from scene to scene with its characters speaking what feels like rapid fire dialogue, it initially requires the viewer to adjust to the proceedings. But once you get on board with Winkler’s style and get invested into the story, Ceremony quickly becomes something more than just your run of the mill quirky indie love story; it’s a movie that’s far funnier than anything in recent memory.

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Movie Review: DRIVE (2011)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston

Written by: Hossein Amini

Directed by: Nicholas Winding Refn

Drive is not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination, none of them are, but it’s pretty damn close. Nicholas Winding Refn has crafted a film that is not only beautiful to look at, but is captivating to watch. Filled with interesting characters and exciting and tense action scenes, it’s a movie that walks the line of action flicks that have come before it but brings enough of its own flavor to the table to create an experience that feels wholly unique and ultimately satisfying.

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Movie Review: WARRIOR (2011)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison

Written by: Gavin O’Connor/Anthony Tambakis/Cliff Dorfman

Directed by: Gavin O’ Connor

Similar to last year’s The FighterWarrior is a movie that is more character drama than about actual fighting. And on the whole this works; the three main characters are compelling and devestating, and their story is interesting enough to grab your attention. But unfortunately, what ultimately keeps Warrior from being a really great movie is the fact that, well, it’s not really all that original.

Warrior stars Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy as a pair of estranged brothers living in different areas of Pennsylvania. Brendan (Edgerton) is a retired MMA fighter who has given up the world of fighting to be a science teacher, while Tommy (Hardy) has returned home after a tour in Iraq, scarred and sullen. When TapOut announces a 16 man “best of the best” tournament, dubbed “Sparta”, the two begin training in order to get into the event. Brendan seeks out his old friend/trainer Frank (Frank Grillo) to get him back into fighting shape, while Tommy begrudgingly asks the help of their father Paddy (Nick Nolte), a former alcoholic who the two brothers have much resentment for. And despite the fact that one brother was retired for many years and the other has just started, they get into the tournament which is supposedly for the greatest MMA fighters on the planet (I’m guessing the UFC and other major promotions kept their guys from competing). What follows should not be too entirely shocking, if you’ve seen the trailer.

[Finish the Review Over at Man, I Love Films]

Movie Review: DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (2011)

Starring: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison

Written by: Guillermo del Toro/Matthew Robbins

Directed by: Troy Nixey

A Quick Note: If any of you are parents and are concerned about the R rating of this movie, don’t be. Seriously. At all. There’s little blood, no cursing, and no nudity of any kind. It was given this rating because it was deemed “too scary” to be PG-13 but as you’ll soon realize, I think the MPAA and I saw completely different movies.

Adapted from a 1973 made for TV movie of the same name, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark takes the Insidious route and tries to scare its viewer with atmosphere and suspense, rather than cheap gore and shock value. Unfortunately, it isn’t nearly as successful as the latter; instead of being scary or even creepy, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is so ridiculous, it becomes a movie that inspires laughter rather than guttural screams. I’ve got a feeling that wasn’t what they were going for.

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