Saturday, November 13, 2010

Movie News and a Review

Two big movie releases this weekend.
I chose to see Unstoppable.
I think I made a wise choice.

Staring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine and directed by Tony Scott, Unstoppable is about a runaway train carrying toxic chemicals.

And the title fits perfectly!

This movie is fast, relentless, and never stops moving. It's the ultimate roller coaster ride. One critic called it "Perfect popcorn entertainment."

This movie does not break new ground nor is it perfect as a dramatic film. But you don't go to see Unstoppable expecting Oscar performances and a deep, thought-invoking plot. You go for the action!

Scott does an excellent job with the action - once things begin to roll, about ten minutes into the movie, the pace never lets up. The director maintains a high level of tension until the very end. And despite all of the crashes and explosions in the preview, there's really very little destruction and death. It's presented in a thrilling but realistic manner. Nothing appeared impossible or implausible.

The actors do a good job. Denzel is Denzel, full of charisma, and Chris Pine's character starts out as unlikeable, but grows over the course of the film. Rosario Dawson does a great job as the station manager working with Denzel and Pine.

And with any Tony Scott film, you have amazing visuals. His shots of the countryside, not to mention the trains, are fantastic. You see that speeding train from every angle possible - and from underneath is the wildest!

You want a fast-paced action flick that's not dumb? Go see Unstoppable!


In other movie news, Hollywood Spy posted a trailer for next year's Battle: Los Angeles and it looks both chilling and amazing. Looks like that alien invasion movie might live up to its hype!

Speaking of hype, have you read some of the reviews for Skyline over at Rotten Tomatoes? They're funny! Critics compare it to a SyFy original movie, a trip to Kmart, and just below a Roger Corman film. Said it made Independence Day look like a second coming of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ouch!

If any of you ventured out to see it, let me know - was it really that bad?

Ultimately, I think it's a shame the studios chose to push Skyline instead of Monsters. Guess they felt tons of special effects would do better than a slow-paced, smaller film. I'll say it again - if it's playing near you, check out the sheer genius of Monsters. Critics of Skyline may claim that film making is best left to filmmakers, but the director of Monsters proves them wrong.

Time to write! How's everyone else doing with NaNo? Some new ideas hit me this morning and I'm ready to rock.

49 comments:

Summer Ross said...

Thanks for the reviews- I haven't seen any of these. however i did see Red finally last night- it was a great film! very funny.

NaNo---uummm....yeah....

DEZMOND said...

I think Chris Pine got me hypnotized from that poster for UNSTOPPABLE!

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for the movie reviews!

NaNo's going well for me. Good luck with those new ideas!

Ricky said...

Unstoppable sounds good.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Summer, wasn't RED fun?

Dezz, the dude has some blue eyes, doesn't he?

Thanks, Golden. I see you're kicking butt!

Ricky, it's just a lot of fun.

Melissa said...

Unstoppable sounds good. I definitely want to see this one.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Skyline is like a SyFy original movie? Ouch! Hope it's not all that bad. Ha!

Unstoppable sounds like a good pick...I've been looking for a movie that my husband and I could both enjoy (which can be hard to find!)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I want to see Unstoppable. The guy Denzel is based on lives not far from me. The local TV stations all interviewed him last week about the real incident the film is based upon. He came across as a real everyday, modest hero.

Laura Eno said...

I've ignored movies for like forever, but your reviews have sparked a new interest in them, so thanks. ;)

Jai Joshi said...

I do wanna see Unstoppable, mostly because Denzel doesn't do bad movies. Thanks for the review!

Jai

rogue evolent said...

Because of your review Alex, I now plan on seeing Unstoppable. You've also saved me from possibly wasting some green on Skyline. THANKS! I love Rosario Dawson too, so her role will be a bonus.

Karen Lange said...

I wondered how Unstoppable was. Thanks for the info!

BryStearns said...

I saw Skyline and it wasn't as bad as the critics make it out to be. Do want to see Monsters and Battle L.A. though.

Haleine said...

I've had a not secret crush on Chris Pine ever since Star Trek came out so I was interested in Unstoppable. I'm glad to hear that it's a decent action flick. Something to add to my Netflix list.

Kal said...

I love me some Denzel. Sure like a lot of actors who have been around for awhile he often plays the same roles and characters but he makes me believe it in a way that Tom Cruise never has. Denzel is steady and reliable. In fact if I was on that runaway train (and everyone should see the great movie Runaway Train with John Voigt and Eric Roberts) I would be looking around and asking if we could get Denzel here to handle this problem. I get all stupid around these movies. I can just see myself stuffing my face with popcorn and saying, "Heh, TRAINS".

TS Hendrik said...

But I liked ID4 and always felt 2001 A Space Odyssey overrated and boring.

You're right about Monsters. I caught it last week. Fantastic.

Old Kitty said...

As Mr Washington is my other husband - this film is on my DEFINITELY will watch film!!! And it's got yummy Chris Pine in it too so what's not too like!!

Monsters is there too on that list!! Yay!! Thanks for the reviews!! take care
x

Abby Minard said...

Ooh, I love Chris Pine- I LOVED Star Trek.

Monti said...

Thanks, Alex, for your great reviews. Your review of Unstoppable is as fast paced as the movie must be!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Liza said...

Thanks for the movie review. I saw some press on Unstoppable. It looked intriguing. You confirmed it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, my wife enjoyed it, so I think you'll both have a good time.

Susan, that is really amazing!

Laura, may that interest become a blaze.

Rogue, save Skyline for NetFlix and go enjoy Unstoppable.

Bryan, Monsters is an excellent film!

Haleine, you'll enjoy him in the movie!

Kal, you called it - he's sure and steady. And I remember Runaway Train. Before Roberts got drunk and did Sharktopus.

TS - Excellent!!! And I thought 2001 was boring, too.

Kitty, you will enjoy it then!

Monti and Lisz, I came out of the theater tired!

Karen Peterson said...

Unstoppable is on my radar, but now that I know Chris Pine is in it, it just got bumped up the queue! :-)

Skyline...I have zero interest. I doesn't even look as good as a cheesy 60s B Movie.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Very good reviews Alex. as for Na No I think I will give that a miss possibly because I don't know what it's all about,

Enjoy your Sunday.
Yvonne.

Nebular said...

According to the feedback so far, "Skyline" is a stinker.

I'm gonna watch "Unstoppable" in Thursday and I so can't wait! Nice review, Alex :) Popcorn entertainment is exactly what I expect.

The Words Crafter said...

I'm very happy with your review of Unstoppable. I had wondered if it would be good. I'm disappointed with what I'm hearing of Skyline, it looked promising from the trailers.

You know, I still don't know anything about Monsters! I need to go check it out.

I've taken three days off from nano. Now, I need to get back at it!

Happy writing and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

iZombie said...

i too went to see the film "unstoppable" i found it to be what i needed, something to keep rolling the whole time... i was entertained.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, you're probably right!

Nebular, get a big bag and a drink and enjoy!

Words Crafter, sadly Monsters is only playing in three theaters. Three!! That is so wrong. You may have to catch it on NetFlix.

Jeremy, that's a perfect assessment - it just kept rolling!

Arlee Bird said...

I've loved runaway train movies since I was a kid. Unstoppable sounds like a flim that my wife would enjoy as well so that will definitely be in my Nefflix future.
Skyline will be there as well since it's a genre I like--bad reviews or no.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Liz Fichera said...

Glad to hear about UNSTOPPABLE. I recently saw Denzel Washingtom (whom I love) in THE BOOK OF ELI. I fell asleep. Twice. I need a good Washington fix.

Regarding Nano, I'm woefully behind. Probably shouldn't be commenting on blogs but, oh well.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love a good roller coaster ride!

Charles Gramlich said...

Disappointed to hear about skyline. I had hopes for taht one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, i'll check out Skyline on NetFlix but glad I caught Unstoppable in the theaters.

Liz, Book of Eli was very slow, but the ending made it worthwhile.

Charles, it was one of my top movies for the fall, so I'm bummed as well.

Clarissa Draper said...

I haven't heard of these movies but the first and the last sound really cool. I'm going to check them out. Thanks for voting on my blog.
CD

Patricia Stoltey said...

Can't wait to see Unstoppable. I've never been disappointed by Denzel...

Ellen aka Ella said...

Oh, I think Unstoppable might be my
Thanksgiving treat! I love action paced movies, with a great story line.

Denzel usually doesn't disappoint and I'm enjoying Chris Pine's variety of roles. His Dad was on the TV shop, "Chip's".

Thanks for sharing your view~
Great job on your writing; Keep at it! I'm getting braver with my art work, also working on submitting a 500 word essay for a featured segment. Can't hurt to try~

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, he rarely disappoints.

Ella, I wish you big success with that essay!

Lynda Young said...

Ooo..I like popcorn entertainment! I've also been meaning to see Skyline. I need some wholesome alien pew pew. I don't expect much from it because of the reviews, but I still want to see it.

NaNo is coming along okay. I've hit a difficult bit and I was so busy on the weekend I couldn't do any extra writing as I'd hoped.

WritingNut said...

Great reviews! I'm totally in love with Chris Pine ;)

So, um.. I think I'm finished NaNo... Because I started on October 18th (yeah.. totally not playing by the rules :S)... I gave myself a deadline of November 16th, so I could still adhere to the 30 day rule.

As of this very moment, I'm done my 50K and a bit.

My back hurts--I think it's permanently conformed to this chair...

I hope you're doing well!

Ellie said...

We're off to see Skyline this afternoon - I'll let you know what I thought of it!

baygirl32 said...

unstoppable sounds good! I will add it to my list (now if only I can find time to start following my list)

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

here are my thoughts on skyline.

Through most of the movie, i enjoyed it, even though i had some issues with some plot holes and disliked almost every character.

But then, the last 5-10 minutes of the movie, completely ruined it. It was so disconnected and so ridiculously bad that those few minutes destroyed a movie i would have given a B- or a C

Simon C. Larter said...

We have trouble finding a babysitter for our three kids, so, um, this is the closest I'm coming to seeing those films until they hit Netflix. *sigh*

And I used to be such a film buff, too!

Lisa said...

I saw Unstoppable this weekend, too and really enjoyed it!

Forgive the lateness, but HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on your book publication. What an exciting time in your life. I hope it is hugely successful. I'm not a Sci-Fi fan, but plan to read it just because you wrote it. :)

Nate Wilson said...

I'm a little late checking in, but I did catch Skyline over the weekend. It's about as bad as you'd expect, yet enjoyable because of that fact. That is, until the last few minutes, when it really outdoes itself, and goes from laughable to WTF.

I'd have chosen Unstoppable myself, but it was my brother's birthday. I've been hoping for years my taste in movies would rub off on him, but yeah, not chance.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, we're only halfway - plenty of time to catch up!

Writing Nut, congratulations!!

Falen, I'd heard the ending just really blew it. I'll save it for NetFlix and make fun of it Sharktopus style.

Simon, that sucks.

Thanks, Lisa!

Nate, just keep trying!

Sangu said...

Thanks for the reviews, Alex! I read the plot teaser for Skyline last weekend and thought it sounded awful, so I skipped watching it - might give Unstoppable a try, though!

Pat Tillett said...

thanks for the review Alex! I'm for sure going to see Unstoppable.
I'll wait to see skyline when I can see it for free (or cheaply).

rtm said...

Hi Alex, I'm new to your site. I got your link from Dezmond's Hollywood Spy's blog. Well glad to hear Unstoppable isn't as vapid as the trailer made it seem. I might give it a shot on rental.

Good thing you didn't see Skyline, a friend of mine had been anticipating it and was extremely disappointed. I should check out RT reviews just for laughs :D

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I'm saddened that Skyline didn't live up to the hype. Though I think Monster is showing near me soon so I'll give that a shot :)
I agree that LA2011 looks pretty damn good too.
I wasn't too keen on Unstoppable when looking at the poster/synopsis, but if it's plain popcorn action type stuff then I'll give it a shot.