(Advance) MOVIE REVIEW: Valkyrie

Red's for the holidays...and Nazis.

Do yourself a favor. DO NOT read up on the true story before you go see the film. Not knowing the outcome will keep you even more glued to your seat like I was.

In short, Valkyrie is intense!

The whole idea behind the operation is an extremely gripping series of events that take place from within the Nazi regime and thus lend an insightful eye into how the army was structured at the time.

Now I'm not much of a WWII buff, but it was pretty fascinating to get to see how such a superpower could be so strong yet so vulnerable at the same time.

And who knew that these events surrounding Operation Valkyrie would actually end up taking place?? I mean, that alone still blows my mind!

It's a shame that we don't actually hear more about the events that transpired in our basic learning of the war in school and whatnot. I suppose that if it had turned out differently, we would have, but I don't want to elaborate too much on the premise here and spoil it for the rest of you ignorant ones ;)

All I'll say is that the act of eliminating Hitler is only the beginning...

The film centers around the character of Col. Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise) who, as you know, is the big cheese assigned to the task of making sure the mission goes through according to plan.

And Cruise does an amazing job I must say. But then again, I've always enjoyed his acting so I might be a bit partial. He may have had his own personal beliefs that got all wrapped up in controversy when they made this movie, but there's no denying the fact that the man can act.

That being said, he had me at hello once again.

But there's a great supporting cast who hold up their own as well. Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, and even Eddie Izzard (yay!) all fill their roles rather well to create a film that's worth the money to see. Even if it is released on Christmas. Don't really understand the marketing behind that one, but oh well. Red's for the holidays...and Nazis.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Four Christmases

Four Christmases I don't wanna spend time with!

Mediocre is the best way to sum it up. Not bad per say, but just not great.

It was like getting socks when you're expecting an Xbox on Christmas. Based on the looks of the trailer, I was expecting much more. It was like they kept building the jokes up and up and then letting the bottom fall out at the punchline.

Now I'm not that big of a Vince Vaughn fan (or Reese Witherspoon for that matter), but I could appreciate their style in this film...IF they had something to work with.

And better on-screen chemistry at that.

Too bad the script had Vaughn saying so much that I would've been much happier to see him simply shut the hell up. Now I know, this is the character he plays in most of his movies; the one who keeps talking and talking, and though quite talented, he's not a lead actor by any means. Yet in this film, he's given that responsibility which I don't see why, given that Witherspoon is much better equipped for this.

But okay, I went with it. And I was disappointed. Okay, I could see Witherspoon taking the reins with the romantic play, but instead Vaughn plays the semi-romantic one here.

I say "semi" romantic because there is a perfect example at the end of why he doesn't work in this role. Right at the defining point of the movie. The potential Jerry Maguire "you complete me" scene. Talk about letting what could've been a classic get cuddly w/your honey type moment go stale~sheesh!

But to add insult to injury, there's a scene that involves a pregnancy test gone sour...or bitter, depending upon what urine tastes like (i.e. a kid steals the test in a game of "keep away" with Witherspoon which eventually winds up IN the child's mouth).

Aaaaand at this point, I was convinced that the movie was definitely NOT what I asked for this christmas. I hope Santa kept the receipt on those socks.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Burn After Reading

Like lukewarm soup...

Surprisingly, I didn't like this film as much as I thought I would.

The acting is superb however, with Brad Pitt and John Malkovich clearly stealing the show. George Clooney was good, but I don't really care for him as much as a "bad guy" which one could argue he was in this movie.

But aside from the acting, the story (though a great concept) just lags behind the performances of this all-star cast. I mainly blame this on part of the directing, as the pace of the film just seems to drag on incredibly S-L-O-W.

At times, I was thinking, okay, this is going to pick up sooner or later, but it just really doesn't. I think the previews make this film out to be a faster-paced flick than it really is...and a much funnier film at that.

I mean, sure there were clever lines here and there (and great dialogue too) but it wasn't nearly as funny as I thought it could be. Some of the scenes are actually quite sad.

So all in all, I guess I was anticipating a different film than what I received. Not a bad film, just not a great film like previous Coen brothers dark comedies such (i.e. "The Big Lebowski" and "Intolerable Cruelty").

It was kind of like eating lukewarm soup. You get the taste you were expecting, just not at the right temperature.
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(Advance) MOVIE REVIEW: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Grows on you like a catchy tune...

So I went to see an advanced screening of this on Tuesday and I have to admit, I really enjoyed this film and I think you will too once it's released. The best way I can describe this film is quirky.

It's really different in it's setup (which at the beginning I didn't really care for) but then as it got going I started to really get into it. And then I thought, "wait, I know what this reminds me of–an 80s cult classic!"

I'm referring to the films of that time that really didn't have a solid one-track plot; they were just kind of all over the place–sorta strange, sorta goofy, but in the end it all came together and made sense somehow...and left you with a slew of memorable scenes and one-liners. This movie is like that.

You can read a synopsis of the movie online, but it won't clue you in entirely. Since there's so many little side stories thrown into this film, it will hold your attention for the duration and leave you satisfied at the end. But what you think is the main plot in the beginning doesn't really become the "main plot" per se.

But, I warn you that just like in some of those cult classics, there are are a few scenes in this picture that are quite repulsive. I won't give anything away, but you won't want to see this film if you can't stomach scenes involving bonding with the toilet when one is drunk.

There is a part in which the repercussions of such an action will carry through subtly throughout the rest of the picture. And each time this action is brought up it will make you cringe collectively with everyone else in the audience.

Without giving too much away, let's just say, don't offer your already chewed piece of gum to anyone in the theater. Not that you would, but, well...you'll see what I mean.

As for Michael Cera and the typical character he plays; this role is not unlike any other. But what I was really surprised by was the performance given by Kat Dennings. I haven't seen this actress in any other film prior to this one, but now I'm going to have to seek her out. Very highly impressed.

For you musical junkies out there, the movie obviously centers around music in which case the soundtrack certainly does it justice. I'm not much of an indie type guy personally so I didn't recognize many of the songs, but I dug the soundtrack as a whole for sure.

So all in all, this film will infinitely grow on you like you were humming a catchy tune you just heard off the radio coming to the theater. Check it out if you enjoy quirky romantic comedies.

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