Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best Comedy of 2008 - 1st Runner Up: Pineapple Express

Best movie lists are subjective, especially when it comes to Best, or favorite comedy lists. Everyone doesn't have the same tastes in comedies, and you can't convince someone that something is funny, if they don't feel the same way. Two great examples are the television show 'The Office' and the movie 'Napoleon Dynamite'. Either you get it or you don't.
2008 had a lot of great comedies and some not so great (The Love Guru, The Rocker). Comedies can be a weird thing, they have two purposes, to entertain us and make us laugh. I don't own most comedies, because most are disposable, I see them and leave my laughter in the theater. The best example that comes to mind is 'The Animal', is that really worth owning? I see most comedies like this. The last Adam Sandler movie I would consider worth owning is 'The Wedding Singer'. '...Zohan' is his best since his Hollywood prime.
My top five comedies of last year really blew my mind, it's hard to say what was my favorite. The two movies that stand out above the rest were 'Pineapple Express' and 'Tropic Thunder'. Both movies reminded me of my favorite comedy of '07, 'Hot Fuzz'.
The concept behind 'Pineapple Express' alone is comedic genius. Imagine Cheech & Chong in a Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay action movie, that's 'Pineapple Express'!
Lazy court-process clerk and stoner Dale Denton has only one reason to visit his equally lazy dealer Saul Silver: to purchase weed, specifically, a rare new strain called Pineapple Express. But when Dale becomes the only witness to a murder by a crooked cop and the city's most dangerous drug lord, he panics and dumps his roach of Pineapple Express at the scene. Dale now has another reason to visit Saul: to find out if the weed is so rare that it can be traced back to him--and it is. As Dale and Saul run for their lives, they quickly discover that they're not suffering from weed-fueled paranoia: incredibly, the bad guys really are hot on their trail and trying to figure out the fastest way to kill them both.
The cast is so good in this, Seth Rogan who plays Dale is quickly becoming one of my favorite comedic actors these past few years. He has the slacker character down to an art, just watch 'Knocked Up' to see for yourself. Then came Saul Silver, man James Franco rocks in this! I want to see Franco in more comedies, period. He is an amazing actor and his performance in this is a must see. Mentioning the amazing cast would not be complete with out talking about the master of improve himself, Danny R. McBride. This guy will leave you in stitches, he just plays off wonderfully with the other actors. Every time he appeared on the gag reel or line o rama, it had me laughing out loud.
Fun to be had by all, It's an A+ for 'Pineapple Express', and as always Enjoy!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Best Comic Book Movie - Winner: Iron Man

What? Wait a minute, isn't 'The Dark Knight' like the best comic book movie ever made? I will get to 'The Dark Knight' soon, don't worry. 'Iron Man' is my pick for best comic book movie for 2008. This is the first film that I know of in history that was 100% produced by a comic book company, Marvel Enterprises. The studio is Marvel Studios, so what we have is a movie made and produced by comic book people. You can thank the success of the Spider-Man and X-Men movies for this. Hollywood had made some good and even great comic book movies, but at the end of the day it is still a studio movie. 'Iron Man' is still a studio movie, but it was made by a studio that understands and loves the source material. Now here is the icing on the cake, Mr. Robert Downey Jr. as the title character Tony Stark/Iron Man. This choice in casting in my opinion sealed the deal on the success of this movie. Downey Jr. brought charm and appeal that attracted an audience interested in entertaining movies. My mom has zero interest in comic book hero movies, and she loved 'Iron Man'. The things that I liked about 'Iron Man' was an excellent cast, the humor of Downey Jr., classic origin structure, great script, and excellent special effects.

Now I have listed a bunch of great things about this movie, but the thing I love most, well maybe second is that moviegoers are loving it. Yes, finally a superhero movie that can have general appeal and keep true to comic book tone. For those that have been living in a cave, rent or buy this movie now. Tony Stark is a millionaire playboy weapons manufacture that gets kidnapped during a weapons demonstration. He is told to build a missile for a terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings. Mr. Stark does not negotiate with terrorists, so instead he builds a suit of amour to escape his imprisonment. After his success, Tony wants to stop making weapons for defense and get to the bottom of who's selling his weapons to the wrong kind of people. He improves his armor and thus Iron Man is born. That's all that I am willing to tell you,I don't want to ruin it for you. So 'Iron Man' gets an A+. Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Best Comic Book Movie - 1st Runner Up: Hellboy II:The Golden Army

My runner up for best action movie, is one that you may have missed out on, or didn't even know it came out. Hellboy II was one of my favorite films to come out in the jammed packed Summer of movies. It found it's audience, but came and went with barely a mention. As you are reading this, some may be wondering who or what is Hellboy? A demon whose true name is Anung Un Rama (the Beast of the Apocalypse), Hellboy was brought to Earth as an infant by Nazi occultists. He was discovered by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD). In time Hellboy grew to be a large, red-skinned demon with a tail, horns (which he files off, leaving behind the signature circular stumps on his forehead, to make his appearance more "normal"), and an oversized right hand made of stone. He has been described as smelling of dry-roasted peanuts. Although a bit gruff, he shows none of the malevolence thought to be intrinsic to demons, and works with other strange creatures in the BPRD. This is said to be because of his upbringing under Professor Bruttenholm, who raised him as a normal boy and taught him how to behave normally. This is a reference to the nature versus nurture debate. Hellboy has been dubbed the "World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator".

In 2004 Guillermo del Toro co-wrote and directed a film adaptation of Hellboy.
The film starred Ron Perlman as Hellboy (the favorite of both del Toro and Mignola for the role), Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, Rupert Evans as FBI Special Agent John Myers (a character created for the film), John Hurt as Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, Doug Jones as Abe Sapien (voiced by an uncredited David Hyde Pierce), Karel Roden as Grigori Rasputin, and Jeffrey Tambor as FBI Senior Special Agent Tom Manning. The film received generally positive reviews, and a fair performance at the box office. The movie was good but not great; however, Ron Perlman was and still is awesome as Hellboy.

Hellboy II took the myth and imagination from the first film and multiplied it by a thousand. Hellboy II finds our character fighting an evil elf in search of The Golden Army, a deadly group of fighting machines that can destroy the human race. As Hell on Earth is ready to erupt, Hellboy and his crew set out to defeat the evil prince before The Golden Army can destroy humanity's existence.

Del Toro has created a wonderful world of normal and fantastic living together. The production design in the movie is too good to be true. The troll market scene alone will leave you stunned. Every good comic book movie always has a memorable villain and Prince Nuara does not disappoint. Once again our main hero does the job well. Perlman was just born to play Hellboy. Everything about this movie just rocks.

A+ Enjoy and have a blast!

Best Action Movie - Winner: Rambo

My original post says it all why this movie is the Best Action movie of 2008. Enjoy!

Finally got to see this last night. All I can say is Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Rambo has put back the action in action movies. Think about that famous lobby shoot out scene in The Matrix, remember all the gun mayhem going on? Quite the scene wasn't it, only take that gun battle and times it by 100 and throw in real bodies (not computer programs) and that’s the last part of Rambo. Stallone who also directed the movie understands 100% what an action movie needs to be. Bravo Stallone, I only hope Hollywood has taken notes on your film and thrown away the scripts for Bourne 4 and Mr. and Mrs. Smith part deux.

The film starts with footage of terrible, terrible, acts of violence and genocide happening in Burma. Burma is nothing to take lightly; these Burmese soldiers are truly evil nasty men. John Rambo has been living a fairly quiet life somewhere around Burma. One day these missionary folks visit him seeking passage up the river. He tells them he won't take them and suggests they go back home. Rambo has given up hope on humanity; he thinks the opposite what the kind good-hearted missionaries believe. No more does he believe in making a difference, everything he was taught to believe in, as a solider has been a waist. One of the missionaries convinces Rambo, so he takes them where they wish to go. Something bad happens (naturally) and Rambo has to fix it the only way he knows how. This time around Rambo has the help of a rough group of mercs, which adds a nice touch of depth and coolness.

If you see Rambo and you squirm or get all liberal about the violence of the film, pinch yourself because there is nothing PC about war and most importantly you ARE watching a action movie. Rambo gets an A+.
Take a raincoat and Enjoy!!! ~Caleb

Best Action Movie - 1st Runner Up: The Punisher:War Zone

Ranking 'Punisher:War Zone' as a first runner up was a tough decision to make. It's going to be one of those choices where it will be one day 'Rambo' is my favorite, but then the next day I will be thinking that 'Punisher:War Zone' is the best. Ultimately, the .50 cal scene in 'Rambo' will win the argument every time.
The history of Punisher movies is a bumpy one. In 1989 Frank Castle/The Punisher made his movie debut on home video. The result was a cult classic among fans, but not a true representing of the popular Marvel Comics vigilante. It wasn't until the Comic Book movie boom of 2000 that Punisher would get a movie true to it's character. The movie was an improvement and decent comic to movie adaptation. Thomas Jane did not want to reprise his role as Frank Castle, due to the script not meeting his approval. So yet another relaunch was in process. The 3rd installment was set with an awesome actor Ray Stevenson(who's performance is and was the definitive Frank Castle). Met with Internet rumored production problems and Internet movie snobs backlash, Punisher:War Zone was set to fail even before it's box office debut. The critic's hated it(duh) and the movie failed at the box office(if you really care about that). The movie did however find it's audience and that number will continue to grow in DVD and Blu-Ray sales.
For me, Punisher:War Zone is the best Punisher movie ever made. Finally we have an actor and director who understand the who and what this character is. The movie like the comic is no holds barred action. Fans of the comic and action movies in general, are in for a good time.
Fans of comic book movies who take their characters seriously will have a hard time adjusting to what will seem like one of the worst comic book movies ever. My advice to these movie geek snobs is simple, get over it. A+ Enjoy!!!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

COX's Best of 2008

Sadly this is going to be a multi part segment, because I still haven't seen all that I want to see that may or may not effect this list. If everything goes right I will have all my picks posted before the end of the month. I have a few catagories ready to post, and you can expect reviews or comments of my picks in the coming days. Watcher beware, but I always encouage my readers to give these movies a look if they want, heck, they are my favorites of the year. Enjoy!!!

Nominees for Best Action Movie

Punisher: War Zone
Death Race

1st Runner Up: Punisher:War Zone

Winner: Rambo

Nominees for Best Comic Book Movie

The Incredible Hulk
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Punisher: War Zone

1st Runner Up: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Winner: Iron Man

Nominees for Best Comedy

Role Models
Pineapple Express
Step Brothers
The Foot Fist Way
Tropic Thunder

1st Runner Up: Pineapple Express

Winner: Tropic Thunder

2008 Summary

2008 was one of the greatest years for movies in a very, very long time. So many cool movies, there was Cloverfield, which had one if not the best buzz for a movie since The Blair Witch Project. The best part of the craze over the movie Cloverfield, was that the movie rocked and lived up to the famous hype. I will always remember the reaction I had when seeing the 01-18-08 trailer in front of Transformers. When the movie was over and people were exiting out of the theater, the overall chatter was “well, it was better than I thought it would be...yep, that's a Micheal Bay movie...but holy cow, what the heck was that 01-18-08 trailer, that looks awesome.” 01-18-08 later became Cloverfield and wasn't the only coolest movie to bring in the new year? Rambo started the new year off with a bang, and already became my favorite action movie of the year. It had some stiff competition this year but Rambo held strong and remained the action movie of the year.
The Spring movie season had one of the best exploitation movies of the year, Doomsday. The Summer movie season was so great, that it all just seemed to good to be true. Here are some of my favorites, Iron Man, Speed Racer, Indiana Jones: and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Wall-e, The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. This already is a good list of summer movies for the year, but trust me folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The end of the year was hit and miss with the Winter movie season. The winter kicked off with a movie that was a failure at the box office (if you really care about things like that), but was one of the best comic book movies that will ever be made. I did not say that it was one of the best movies ever made, I am saying that it is the best Punisher movie ever made. Punisher: War Zone is the movie that finally got the look and essence of the title character right. Christmas day was a good day for movies. I saw what I thought was going to be my favorite Drama of the year, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. To some the movie is the best of the year, but for me, it fell way short. The Tom Cruise WWII thriller Valkyrie, superseded my expectations and became one of my favorite movies in the last quarter of '08.