Tag Archives: Action

Cloverfield (Erin: 4.75 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

You’ll have to forgive us for our lame, half-hearted attempt to replicate the shaky-cam effect from Cloverfield at the beginning of this review.

J.J. Abrams attempt to give the U.S. its own version of Godzilla, however, scored very highly with the usually stingy Erin Rock.

The 4.75 Stars given to Cloverfield marks her fourth-highest review yet through 54 films.

Higher even than the movie that features this impossibly cool screenshot, if you can believe that.

For a movie to beat Center Stage in Erin’s eyes, it must be a high quality film (or, depending on your point-of-view, it must be better than one of the worst movies ever made).

Cloverfield falls short of being a classic horror movie (think Jaws or, if you are Bret, Halloween), but is a solid film that used the found footage concept extremely well before it became incredibly annoying. Every other film nowadays is a found-footage film and Cloverfield has to accept some of the blame for that phenomenon.

An incredible 4.75 Stars from Erin and a respectable 4 Stars from Bret.

An artist’s depiction of Erin and her Stars.

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Casino Royale (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4.75 Stars)

After a brief, Florida Bankers Association Annual Meeting-related hiatus, the RockMovieProject rolls on with Casino Royale.

“And by GREAT I mean every bit as good as About Schmidt!”

In what has become standard operating procedure, Erin gave a glowing review of the film (“It was GREAT. IT. WAS. GREAT.”) only to hit it with a 4 Star review when all was said and done.

Bret, on the other hand, declares Casino Royale to be the point of demarcation between all 5-Star films and any of those beneath that level (a declaration that he will almost certainly back track on in a future review).

Let’s just say that we are prone to hyperbole here at the RockMovieProject.

In the end, we both thoroughly enjoyed Daniel Craig’s turn as a less campy James Bond.

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Captain America: The First Avenger (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4.5 Stars)

In a ten-minute time span toward the beginning of Captain America, Tommy Lee Jones watches Chris Evans go from starving Ethiopian to Mr. Universe; run down a car on foot; swim down a submarine; punch a hole in the glass of said submarine so he can rip the bad guy out; and throw said bad guy from the water onto the dock ten feet above and then declares: “I asked for an army and all I got was you.”

And that’s it.

“Pssh…. who can’t run down a car on foot?”

Really? You can’t find a spot in your current Army for a guy that ran down a car on foot and swam down a submarine?

We guess in the end it all works out for the best, but it seemed short-sighted at the time.

As for the entirety of the movie, we loved it. Neither Erin nor Bret are huge Captain America fans, at least not heading into the film, but it was a really fun origin story that felt very organic when it came to the time period and setting — a credit to Director Joe Johnson who actually has had a pretty underrated career: director of The Rocketeer (a Bret Rock favorite and a definite precursor to Captain America), Jumanji and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; and art director on little films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and the first three Star Wars movies.

Chris Evans is very likable and believable as both Steve Rodgers and Captain America, Stanley Tucci is a lot of fun as a German scientist, Tommy Lee Jones — questionable military tactics aside — is fitting as Colonel Phillips and Hugo Weaving always makes for a solid villain.

Captain America: The First Avenger comes highly recommended by the RockMovieProject, with Erin giving it 4 Stars and Bret giving it a four-and-a-half.

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The Bourne Ultimatum (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

The Bourne Ultimatum is a fun review of ours if only because we both come across as drunk, although we highly doubt that was actually the case.

The film itself is a good ending to the trilogy (at least until the Jeremy Renner version hits theaters later this Summer). Ultimatum has better action sequences, a tighter plot, prettier locations and a more fitting title than Supremacy, but wasn’t quite as good as Identity, at least according to Bret.

Admit it, it’s closer than you thought.

The review, however, tackles the really important questions, like “better looking, Albert Finney or Julia Stiles?” or “is it safe for Bret to yawn while Erin is talking?”

Also, stick around for Erin’s all-out attack on Russia. If Putin sees this, we may be at the dawn of a new Cold War.

The Bourne Ultimatum receives 4 Stars from Erin and 4 Stars from Bret as well.

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The Bourne Supremacy (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

When he asks for a security deposit, just hand it over; it’s for the best.

When last we left Jason Bourne, he had hung up his ninja skills to retreat to a peaceful life of operating a scooter rental service in a tropical paradise with a lady that kind of looks like a guy.

His story continues in The Bourne Supremacy, the second installment of the Bourne series which — SPOILER ALERT — involves some kicking.

The Bourne Supremacy, of course, narrowly beating out other potential nonsensical titles like:

  • The Bourne Absorbency (too dry)
  • The Bourne Complacency (too meh)
  • The Bourne Infancy (too pre-quelly)
  • The Bourne Meteorology (too weathery)
  • The Bourne Intimacy (too creepy)
  • The Bourne Corpulency (too fat)
  • The Bourne Endocrinology (too medical)
  • The Bourne Insolvency (too sad)
  • The Bourne Oceanography (too wet)
  • The Bourne Psuedopregnancy (too weird)
  • The Bourne Supersecrecy (too perfect)
  • The Bourne Immunodeficiency (too ill)

The crazy part? That’s a video, they are just moving too fast for the human eye to perceive it.

The movie was not as good, in our opinions, as its predecessor, but if you like watching fight scenes that move so fast you’ll have no idea who was hitting whom, this is the movie for you. Still a high-quality flick which received 3 Stars from Erin and 3.5 Stars from Bret.

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The Bourne Identity (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 4.25 Stars)

Seen here, incapable of fighting his way out of a wet paper bag.

Years from now, we’ll tell our kids and our grandkids that there was a time when Matt Damon did not appear capable of breaking another man’s neck with his bare hands. All that changed with the amnesiac assassin flick, The Bourne Identity.

Without trampling too much on our video review above, you can make a sufficient case that the Bourne series were some of the most important films of the last 15 years.

Laugh all you want, but without the Bourne series, do we have Casino Royale, a very realistic (at least in film terms) and enjoyable Bond movie? Without them do we have Batman Begins and the Nolan Batman trilogy?

Without Damon being cast as Bourne, does an excellent actor like Liam Neeson (Taken, Unknown, The Grey, etc.) get a chance to be an action hero with a brain? Does Robert Downey, Jr. get to be Iron Man or Sherlock Holmes?

“Darker! Grittier!”

Like it or not, The Bourne Identity introduced words like “gritty” and “dark” into our film lexicon. It’s a bad thing because now EVERYTHING has to be “dark” and “gritty,” but it’s a good thing because some things SHOULD be “dark” and “gritty.”

Along those same lines, The Bourne Identity ushered in an era of films where realism is considered a virtue; where not every car bursts into flames at the slightest touch; and where, even in a film where a man dresses as a bat to fight crime, the makers of the film feel compelled to justify why he does that and how it is possible, if improbable.

It also demonstrated that an action hero doesn’t need to be all brawn and no brains, a fairly amazing revelation and one that actors like Neeson and Downey, Jr. — as well as the audiences watching them — should be grateful for.

In the end, the film industry is better for this movie and, in part for that, Erin gives it 3.5 Stars and Bret gives it 4.25 Stars.

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Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Erin: 2.5 Stars, Bret: 3 Stars)

Beverly Hills Cop 2: Judgier and Reinholdier!

What is there to say about Beverly Hills Cop 2 that hasn’t already been said about Beverly Hills Cop? Not much, as it turns out.

Ummm… Judge Reinhold seems to get more screen time. Oh, plus they added the guy that used to be the Geico Duck.

The plot was better in this one than in the first one, but Sherlock Erin was able to find the plot holes in Beverly Hills Cop 2, if you can believe it. No plot holes escape her laser-like focus. Unless we’re watching Twilight.

Erin gives it 2.5 Stars, Bret gives it 3, but with the “It Makes Me Laugh” stamp of approval.

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Beverly Hills Cop (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

How can you beat a quality action flick with a wise-cracking Eddie Murphy in his prime and the primary villain being an upper-class, white, art gallery owner? You add some Judge Reinhold and just a pinch of Bronson Pinchot, that’s how. Erin gives Beverly Hills Cop 3 Stars on her first-ever viewing, with Bret giving it just 3.5 Stars. He’d probably like a do-over on that one.

And now, an open letter to Eddie Murphy from the RockMovieProject:

Dear Eddie,

Please come back to us, we miss you. Not to go all “Chris Farley Show” on you, but remember that time you made decent movies? For adults? That didn’t involve you dressing up in a fat suit and playing 25 characters?

It’s probably hard for anyone under the age of 20 to believe, but there was a time when you were one of the biggest superstars on the planet. Stand-up, Saturday Night Live, movies; everything you touched seemed to turn to gold.   What happened?

The last movie you starred in that has a Rotten Tomatoes score above 50 was Bowfinger. In 1999. Thirteen years ago! And even that movie wasn’t that good.

Your most recent movie — A Thousand Words — scored a zero. Zero! Only four other movies have ever scored a zero. Jack and Jill scored a three and that movie is a cinematic abortion.

In fact, your IMDB page is so horrifying we’re thinking of projecting it on the side of the house for Halloween next year.

You probably aren’t into taking tips from a quasi-popular movie review blog, but in the off-chance you are, here are a few:

Damn, we just gave him an idea, didn’t we?

  • If you are pitched a movie where “a crew of miniature aliens operate a spaceship that has a human form” or “in the future, a man struggles to keep his lunar nightclub out of the hands of the mafia” or “a single father must journey into his refrigerator and team up with a bottle of ketchup to rescue his son and daughter from an rogue jar of mayonnaise” just say NO. We only made one of those up and our guess is that if you had heard it before, you probably would have starred in it already.
  • Should you feel the need to play more than one character in a movie, turn it down. The days of Coming to America with five different, equally funny Eddie Murphy characters are well behind us, unfortunately. 
  • Stop playing “Donkey.” In 10 of your last 21 roles you played the Donkey from Shrek. Knock it off. You literally are making an ass out of yourself.
  • Start making movies for adults again. You got an Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls and even that Tower Heist movie received some decent reviews. Quit pandering to our youth, Eddie, and start pandering to the rest of us that loved Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places.

In short, we need you to go back to being “Eddie Murphy, Superstar,” not “Eddie Murphy, Male Lead in Every Goofy Child’s Movie That Even Adam Sandler Has the Good Sense to Turn Down.”

Sincerely,

The Rocks

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Armageddon (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

We don’t want you to close your eyes. We don’t want you to fall asleep, cause you’d miss our review and we don’t want you to miss a thing.

Following on the heels of the ultra-realistic Apollo 13, we get another realistic space adventure.

Armageddon is a pure popcorn flick, which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch. Not to steal quotes from other movies, but even the disc smells like pure testosterone, so it comes as no surprise that Erin’s 3 Star grade was a notch lower than Bret’s 3.5 Star review.

Although, will someone or something kill A.J.? Please? The movie should have been called A.J.’s Space Day Off with him jumping over stuff in slow motion at the end… ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhhh.

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Air Force One (Erin: 2.5 Stars, Bret: 3 Stars)

Loosely based on a true story — in that the President has a plane and that plane is called Air Force One — Air Force One is our next film. Erin nitpicked the film to the point that we had to formally apologize to Harrison Ford. Three Stars from Bret, 2.5 Stars from Erin.

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