Lookout! it’s the ‘Lookout’ review (2007)

Joseph Gordon has made a pretty big name for himself recently, but what about some of his somewhat older material? One of his movies made back in 2007 was “The Lookout”. I have personally never heard of this film before, but I know that Levitt is excellent at his craft, so it’s time to see if he started off the same way.

 Four years ago, Chris Pratt (Levitt) was the victim of a pretty grisly car accident that damaged his memory, debilitating him in an unspeakable manner. Chris has to write things down in a small notebook in order to remember them. He soon gets a job as a janitor at a bank and becomes acquainted with a group of friends that probably weren’t the best influence. He winds up getting stuck in a bank heist job, as “the lookout” obviously. Things take a turn for the worst when he backs down, and has to resort to using his memory to get out alive.

 This movie was pretty good for me, but not phenomenal. I really enjoyed the brain injury part, but I’ve been spoiled too many times before with excellent bank-robber movies, to which this film kind of seems tame in comparison. I don’t believe the movie went into as much detail as it probably should have when dealing with the memory loss. Either I missed it, or they didn’t exactly say how long it takes for Chris to forget something after he has written it down. A day? An hour? Minutes? Seconds? I found myself a little shocked that they didn’t go over that. Instead, it focused primarily on the bank heist, and Chris’s relationship with different people, and how that changed over time when planning the heist.

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 When it comes to acting, I believe Levitt did a pretty good job here, I definitely wouldn’t say he shined as well as he has within the last two years, but he carried his own.  I thought it was pretty interesting that he worked with Jeff Daniels in this film as well as “Looper”. I didn’t know they worked together previously, and it’s good to know they have some believable qualities of friendship going on here. The writing was also pretty interesting. The entire writing things down thing was new and interesting, his relationship with his father seemed emotional and realistic. Finally, how he figures everything out in the end is pretty smart. So I would say the only real issue I had with this was the bank heist itself. There was something missing there, I don’t know what though.

 So did Levitt start off with the same amount of talent? Hard to say, because what if say, Shia Labeouf was offered the same role? For some reason, I could see Shia in this film as an early role as well. I think in either instance, the actor had a ways to go to meet their true potential in film yet. Overall, an interesting watch, you won’t be bored. So the next time you are at the video store, look out for “The Lookout”.

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‘Zodiac’ was killer (2007)

 

I’m not usually a big fan of true story films, but yes…there has been a few out there. I mostly don’t like them because there tends to be a lack in plot…just like real life. Does that mean I’m not open to seeing another true story film? Not at all, because when they are good, they are phenomenal. So next on the list of true-story-films to watch is “Zodiac“. It’s about a serial killer, and one of my all-time favorite genres in film is psychological thrillers, so let’s do this.

 The “Zodiac” in question refers to the real life Zodiac killer of the 1970’s. After we are introduced to his first kill of the movie, which was his second actual murder, the Zodiac sends a cyphered message to three newspapers. Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Paul Avery (Robert Downy Jr.) are a part of one of the newspapers that get on the case, and end up deciphering the message which didn’t lead them any closer to finding Zodiac. Robert Graysmith, by the way, wrote the non-fiction novel of the same name. On the police side of the world, Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) conducts a police investigation to find Zodiac. A majority of the movie is spent  stressing how much Zodiac was one step ahead of the police at all times, until he finally stopped killing, but never caught.

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 Rober Graysmith never gave up though, the next portion of the movie dealt with him leading his own person investigation into the case when no one else would. From the beginning, he was always the one that noticed the small, seemingly irrelevant facts, that turned out important. His obsession on the case tore his family apart. The evidence that he collects is incredibly smart, and even though the Zodiac killer case has technically never been solved due to technicalities, this film lays down every last bit of information that proves it beyond a reasonable doubt.

 Okay, so this movie wasn’t a psychological thriller, it was a mystery film. There are, however, other Zodiac Killer films that are psychological thrillers, but this film has been rated the best out of all of them. I can see why, too. It is pretty lengthy, but that’s only because it is filled to the brim with evidence. This is one of the few movies I have seen that has the events based on reality actually reflect what really happened back then, and was actually very entertaining and thought provoking.

 The acting was brilliant, and writing couldn’t have been any better. This film was incredibly thorough, and I honestly couldn’t ask for more from a true crime story.

 Oh here’s a fun factoid for you, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. both star in this film going after a villain…..just saying.

October Roundup – 58 Movies

October was one heck of a busy month, I’ll give you that. It may have been my busiest month yet. There were so many great films. I had six 5 star ratings, which is crazy for a single month, and I had five 1 star movies. So the fight to find the best/worst movie of the month was a tough one.

Best October Release (Winner and Runner Up)
RUBY SPARKS and SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
other notable greats: Prometheus, Red Lights, & Sound of My Voice

Worst October Release (Winner and Runner Up)
EXCISION
and WRONG TURN 5
other notable turds: Crazy Eyes, Greystone Park, & The Tortured

October DVD Releases: (37)

Theater/Misc: (21)

October Total: (58)   

  1.     247°F
  2.     A Few Good Men
  3.     Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  4.     Airborne
  5.     Barrens, The
  6.     Blade
  7.     Campaign, The
  8.     Catch Me If You Can
  9.     Chained
  10.     Chernobyl Diaries
  11.     Courier, The
  12.     Crazy Eyes
  13.     Dark Shadows
  14.     Disturbia
  15.     Excision
  16.     Failure to Launch
  17.     General Education
  18.     Greystone Park
  19.     Headshot
  20.     Hitch
  21.     Hole, The
  22.     Iron Sky
  23.     Last Ride
  24.     Little Miss Sunshine
  25.     Lookout, The
  26.     Looper
  27.     Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  28.     Madea’s Witness Protection
  29.     Magic Mike
  30.     Miss Congeniality
  31.     Miss Congeniality 2
  32.     Moon
  33.     Moonrise Kingdom
  34.     My Cousin Vinny
  35.     Office Space
  36.     Peace, Love & Understanding
  37.     People Like Us
  38.     Primal Fear
  39.     Prometheus
  40.     Raven, The
  41.     Red Lights
  42.     Ring, The
  43.     Rock of Ages
  44.     Ruby Sparks
  45.     Safety Not Guaranteed
  46.     Séance: The Summoning
  47.     Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  48.     Sideways
  49.     Slumdog Millionaire
  50.     Sound of My Voice
  51.     Take this Waltz
  52.     That’s My Boy
  53.     Titanic 3D
  54.     Tortured, The
  55.     Werewolf: The Beast Among Us
  56.     Wrecked
  57.     Wrong Turn 5
  58.     Zodiac

Also note that some movies that you may have seen posted on the site recently aren’t on the list. That is because my system puts them into the November’s list of movies. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see as many movies as I say I did, because the last week of September, I watched October movies as well. It may seem confusing to you, but I don’t care. That’s how I roll.

Note: Before I created this WordPress, I created a similar post for last month on my personal blog. See it below.

<< September

November >>

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3D’ (2012)

[Click the image for the initial review]

I first reviewed this movie when it came to theaters, but I am revisiting this film in the third dimension, to see how well they did it. When I reviewed “Titanic 3D”, I did so because the movie was post-processed from 2D into 3D and I explained how it’s not a work of magic. “The Amazing Spider-Man” was actually filmed on 3D cameras, which if you didn’t know already, is two cameras made into one. Anyways, I liked this film before, but I had my issues with it, let’s see how it holds up.

Apparently, this is the “untold” story of Spider-Man. I guess Peter moving into Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s is new, and Uncle Ben dying as a result of Peter’s negligence is new, and maybe even Peter deciding with great power comes great responsibility is completely untold as well. People, listen up, this is not the “untold” story of Spider-man, this is the semi-untold story of Peter Parker.

Peter Parker was dropped off at his Uncle and Aunts when he was just a boy, after something serious was going on and his parents had to leave. At his Uncles, Peter finds an old briefcase that his father owned that held scientific research that his father was working on with Dr. Curt Connors.  It would also appear that Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru knew there was something up with his father, like he was Darth Vader….Okay fine, they knew about Dr. Connors, and they just didn’t want to lie to Peter.

Yes, this part of the movie focusses on Peter’s real parents, and how there is some kind of deep story with them, which will be stretched and told over a trilogy of Amazing Spider-Man films. That is very new for a Spider-Man movie, but I really don’t know how I feel about it, I guess it’s interesting, and nice to see something different for a change. Moving on.

Peter stalks out Dr. Connors in order to find out more about his father. He sneaks into a tour of Oscorp labs, and winds up getting stuck in an experimentation room filled with radioactive spiders. Spiders begin raining down on him…and well, you know what happens there. Fast forward through all the “Oh snap, I have powers” stuff, Peter begins to help Dr. Connors in his research to grow his lost arm back. When his Uncle is shot dead, that’s when Peter decides to start the Spider-Man process. From thereon, Dr. Connors tests the serum that he and Parker concocted, and voila, we have The Lizard, our main enemy of the film.

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Every different interpretation of a comic book superhero is allowed to shape it into what they want, but there is something they can’t do, change the very basics of what made that character, that character. There are two parts of the Spider-Man character, Peter Parker and the hero. Back in the early 2000’s, Tobey McGuire did a great job at playing Peter, but not so much with Spider-Man. The same goes vice versa, Andrew Garfield did a great job playing Spider-Man but I could not for the life of me see Peter Parker in there. This guy was pretty smooth, somewhat popular, not a full on geek, as Parker is often seen as, he rode around on a skateboard, and barely ever wore his glasses, even when he couldn’t see properly. He was pretty much Spider-Man on both occasions.

Now part two of what makes Spider-Man who he is, is in my opinion, the other characters. Yes, it had Uncle Ben and Aunt May, but there are two others that I’ve always seen as extremely important to the mythology, Harry Osborne and Mary-Jane Watson. How can you possibly have Spider-Man without Mary-Jane? Yes, they had Gwen Stacy played by the perfect girl for Mary-Jane, and the sequel’s actress for Mary-Jane is probably more perfect for Gwen….and I don’t know, it’s kind of iffy there for me. Let’s also not forget that J. Jonah Jameson doesn’t show his Spider-Man hating face in this film either.

Part three of what makes Spider-Man who he is…is Spider-Man. I won’t go all out and say that the pacing was absolutely wrong, but it was very different.  Peter doesn’t dawn the tights until half the movie is over, which gave time for characterization. The characterization was pretty humorous a lot of the time, which leads me to I think the most important part of this review, the writing.

I think this is the most thought out Spider-Man movie in terms of writing. When looked at deeper, a viewer will recognize several different and important storylines. Somehow, everything tied in together wonderfully, making this the best written Spider-Man movie of all time. That’s only talking about general filmmaking, I still think major elements of the Spider-Man cannon were ignored.

Let’s talk about graphics. The 3D wasn’t overly impressive, but at the same time wasn’t headache inducing. Yes, as any 3D film is bound to have, there were some noticeable pop-out moments, but a majority of the film was more of the pop-in variety. So the 3D was pretty good, but those who like pop-out might find better luck with other films. In general, the graphics were pretty good. I didn’t think I would, but I loved the web shooters, I loved the suit, and the quality of the computer graphics in regards to the Lizard.

So is “The Amazing Spider-Man” amazing? In a sense, yeah it is. However, it is not without it’s faults, Spider-Man movies everywhere still have miles to go to hit that perfection mark, but they are getting closer. “The Amazing Spider-Man” swings its way to DVD and Blu-Ray on Nov. 9!