It's not that I didn't WANT to like Warrior. It's that I didn't EXPECT to like it.
As far as I could tell, it was the latest attempt at a sports movie set in the world of mixed martial arts and would simply squeeze the genre's battle-tested tropes and plot twists into a pair of fingerless gloves. The trailer and commercials do little to dispel that notion, pretty much laying out the conceit of the movie ("the two men fighting for the championship tonight...ARE BROTHERS!") and playing up every moderately-clichéd beat from the film as if it's the spiritual successor to Never Back Down, Fighting or the direct-to-DVD Undisputed sequels. When I told a friend I had just come from a preview screening, he said, "You mean the one that's 'The Fighter' but with Nick Nolte?"
It's not The Fighter, but it does treat its subject matter with a level of seriousness that continued to impress and surprise me. Warrior isn't just the best MMA film to date, it just might be one of the best sports movies of the past decade.
While I enjoyed JJ Abrams' Super 8 earlier this summer (with the exception of one nitpicky detail I will only reference with the words "human eyes"), I didn't find it to be the the timeless ode to Steven Spielberg-ian youth that many reviews had declared it. That's because I don't remember seeing those Spielberg movies as a kid. Sure, I've seen Jaws, E.T. and Close Encouters of the Fourth Kind - or at least parts of them - by now, but they didn't create the foundation of my childhood.
The movies I remember seeing back then were the sci-fi flicks that aired on syndicated local stations every weekend. Whether it was the Hanes Furniture Creature Feature or some other sponsored block on our local UPN station (channel 44 in Tampa, also home of daily Full House/Step By Step/Family Matters reruns), I have lots more memories of being glued to the television for Short Circuit, Spaced Invaders, Batteries Not Included, Gremlins or whatever else they were showing on Saturday and Sunday. That's why I loved the hell out of Attack The Block, the first feature from British comedian (and Edgar Wright collaborator) Joe Cornish. It's a really great adult version of those smaller-scale adventure sci-fi films I grew up watching, and an impressive film debut for both the director and his star, 19-year-old John Boyega.
THIS is how you reboot a franchise Tim Burton!
I have been looking forward to 30 Minutes Or Less, the second movie from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, basically since it was announced. Fleischer and Jesse Eisenberg had teamed up for a cool and inventive action-comedy that received near-universal acclaim in 2009, and now they were doing it again for a buddy comedy about a pizza delivery guy who is forced to rob a bank. Oh, and Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson were rounding out the cast. It sounded like it was going to be another fun flick from the former commercial and music video director.
So why didn’t I like it as much as I wanted to?
"Stake Land" pumps new blood into the vampire genre.
It's finally here. The biggest geek weekend of the year, San Diego Comic-Con International, starts tonight.
We've got a four-man crew out in California to deliver as much coverage as we can manage over the next five days. The only thing standing in our way is the 100,000 other fans lining up to get in each panel.
Stay tuned for posts throughout the weekend. You can also follow Bruce, John and Matt on Twitter. Stephe hasn't taken the social media leap yet, but you'll hear from him thi...
Taking a look at the new X-Men movie.
“Hamill” tells the story of UFC fighter Matt Hamill's struggles with hearing impairment, focusing heavily on his first two years of college. It is a boring, ham-handed attempt at making “Deaf Rocky” and ultimately presents the thesis that everyone in the world is an asshole, and being deaf shouldn’t stop you from joining the party.
Sometimes you hear the short pitch for a movie and you're sold right away. For example, "Simon Pegg and Nick Frost find out aliens are real," or "Jeff Bridges in a Coen Brothers movie." Well here's the elevator pitch for Hesher: "Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is a burnout metalhead who inserts himself into a bullied teen's life."
Our resident Thor-phile reviews the Thunder God's cinematic arrival.