January 21, 2012

Broken Path

Let me start this one by saying that I was a huge Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) fan. In fact, I still am. I watched some full episodes recently, read the Wikipedia page of the actors involved, and searched for clips and interview articles. I liked the whole MMPR series and I must admit, the following series didn't do much for me. MMPR was the last power rangers franchise I saw.

It might seem weird that I'm starting this off this way, but MMPR has a lot to do with this entry. Johnny Yong Bosch played the role of Adam Park in the MMPR series and he was one of my favorites. While everyone wanted to be Tommy, I wanted to be Adam. While doing some research about the cast of MMPR, i stumbled upon Johnny Yong Bosch's Wikipedia page and saw that he was doing a move called Broken Path (he was also busy with Anime work, but this particular film stood out because it was a live action one). From that point on, I waited for it to be released, and it took some time. I saw the trailer and I knew I wanted to watch it, mostly because it was another opportunity to relive the MMPR days as it starred an MMPR cast member, doing fighting scenes similar to it as well. The plot also appealed to me - having a secret life his wife didn't know about.

Some time later, I found out that it was released and I immediately checked it out. I have to say it was worth the wait. I got exactly what I wanted to see, if not even more. I wished I had seen it in a movie house with the big screen and sound systems. It was full of suspense, action, and drama, and it all went well with the film. The last scene of the film was really intense and a little shocking at times. The choreography of the fight scenes was just what I hoped for. However, aside from all the brilliant fight scenes, another thing that made me like this movie was the cast itself. JYB, Pamela Walworth, and Daniel Southworth were just amazing! I won't go into much detail about it, but I will say that it's worth the time.

I personally liked it because I really like these kinds of films, and it was well-done as well. It wasn't produced by the big shots filmmakers, but it gave me the same viewing experience anyway. There has been a lot of talk of the "90s kids". If you think you are, I recommend that you check this out and feel young again by watching a former power ranger kick ass in this film.You won't be screaming "its morphin time" with Johnny Yong Bosch while watching the film, but his moving action packed performance will still bring you down memory lane and remind you just how awesome he was in MMPR.

Fun facts: Johnny Young Bosch is currently in a band called "Eyeshine" and you can look up some of their music videos online. You can also help them perform at the Grammy's. just visit the Facebook page of the Grammy's (Grammy Live Contest) to vote for them.

January 07, 2012

The Hurt Locker

I've heard a lot of good things about this movie, and after watching it, I knew exactly why. The film revolves around three American soldiers sent to Iraq as members of the EOD. The war in Iraq is quite different from other wars such as the World Wars, which made the film unique from other war films as well. It was more of a bomb squad team although the were shootout scenes depicting the war itself too.

I read it online that the film wanted to cast relatively unknown actors to play the three American soldiers. This was a great idea because there are a lot of talents to be discovered. Also, it allowed these actors to prove their worth in a very competitive industry. All of them showcased their abilities and did their characters, and the story, justice. Their portrayals were very authentic and that's a clear sign that they are good actors. Jeremy Renner didn't disappoint in this film as he took on the role of the team leader. This is the first time I'm really seeing Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty although they have been featured in some popular films. It seems like Mackie is doing well given the projects he had received, and the projects that he'll be doing. To be honest, I found the scene where Mackie was telling Renner how he wanted to quit and start a family just awkward. It was not bad at all, but it just felt a little awkward to me. I am not taking anything away from his performance because other than that his performance was great. Geraghty is not as lucky as the projects he has had is not as grand or huge, which is a shame because he is one talented actor and I think he would kill any role for sure. His performance in The Hurt Locker was one I'm sure people rooted for because of the innocence, fear and overall personality. I hope he finally gets a project where people will notice him. As a whole, the film featured an incredibly talented ensemble, as proven by several awards and nominations they received.

The pace of the movie was slow for me, which is not exactly a bad thing. It might have worked better in this film because the slowness magnified the intensity of the scenes. It's a war film and the pace of the movie showed the stillness of things in the life of a soldier, the wait they go through while thinking if they're gonna make it alive. The desert scene was the slowest scene for me. I'm really not a big fan of scenes that are very still but I didn't mind this at all. I watched, stared and waited with them. I was a little disappointed when it all led up to nothing. I thought the whole scene was a build up for this action-packed scene but it wasn't. However, having said that, I think this scene was the scene that made the film realistic. Majority of the war films feature heavy gunfights, but this movie presented a sense of subtlety.

The film was well-received though it did not do as well in the box-office earning less than 50 million dollars. It isn't a bad value, considering the budget was only 15 million dollars. The film made a considerable profit, though I think it had the capacity to do better because the plot, the screenplay, the actors are worth that few bucks. This is very evident from the responses of movie critics, and the high ratings the film gave. Incidentally, members of the military, or people more knowledgeable about wartime situations criticized the film for its inaccuracies because of several issues like the characters' behaviors, the uniforms, and such. I can't blame them because they are the people who actually went through the process. They know will always know more than the writers, the directors, the actors, and the viewers. However, having said that, I still believe that the filmmakers did all they possibly could to produce a well-thought out authentic depiction of the war. Of course they will never get every single detail right, and I believe they included some scene for the sake of cinematography. However, I still think it was a pretty close portrayal as it made me feel some things I feel when watching about the war on the news. I think, for creativity's sake, we can just enjoy the film the way the filmmakers made it. I'm sure, or at least I greatly hope, despite criticizing the film, the same people felt at least a little sense of appreciation on how the film was formed as it was a truly well-made film.

January 02, 2012


I have always thought of who could be as badass as Angelina Jolie when it comes to action films. I have watched Angelina Jolie's films such as Wanted, Salt, and one of my favorites, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I have always said that no other actress can pull off those kind of roles as well as her. Well, I think I have an answer to that now - Zoe Saldana. This may seem like over patronizing Zoe Saldana but I was just really impressed by her.  To be honest, the only films of her I knew before seeing Columbiana was the box-office success Avatar where she starred alongside Sam Worthington and The Losers. I liked both films a lot, but Columbiana was the movie where she impressed the most, in my honest opinion.

All things changed when I saw Columbiana. I became a huge fan of her after this film - so big a fan that I read her Wikipedia page and searched videos of her other works online. The film revolved around her character, Cataleya, and her journey to avenge the deaths of her parents. It's not a new storyline, and I wish I could say it's something new. However, I will say that with a common storyline, this film can still grab you. I know the film grabbed me. It was full of excitement and it made me want to know what would happen next, how things will turn out. The ending was a little too predictable too, but the last scene was just something I did not expect. The last scene was so well played that I felt depressed after watching it. It had a similar ending to The Town (I wrote a review on The Town a couple of months ago).

Zoe Saldana is a star I look forward to seeing again. I read somewhere that they are making a sequel to Avatar (I think there are two of them) which will be released in 2014 and maybe 2015. She looked stunning in Columbiana yet that was not the most impressive aspect. Her brilliance in her craft is just astounding. She's one outstanding actress and people should start noticing her talent more. She took on the role of Cataleya and made me accompany her through her journey of revenge. I felt her passion and intensity, yet her subtlety and innocence also radiated.

I should say though that she was not the only star of the film. Michael Vartan was outstanding as well. Sure his role was not as prominent, but he made every single second of his screen time count. His portrayal of a lovedrunk artist who has fallen in love with a killer was effective and enjoyable. I felt his desire and heartache. The ending scene was so compelling because of how Zoe Saldana and Michael Vartan acted it out. It was genuine and pure and it made me feel the pain they were going through. Cliff Curtis was also briliiant in his portrayal of Cataleya's uncle. I did not know who he was, and this was his first film I've seen. I'm glad it was though.

I read that the film was not as well received as other films by some of the critics. I am no critic.t. I liked the film a lot, and maybe there were some issues with it. I found it to be the kind of film I would love to watch again. I am no professional but I thought the movie was excellent. I understand the issues the critics presented though, but I liked the film too much I'm willing to let the issues slide.