I had such great plans for this installment of "One-Line Movie Reviews." Really, I did. I was going to add information lines that would include standardized listing of director, writer(s), and actors. I was going to make it all pretty. I was going to remove the date information from the title and replace it with an appropriate Roman numeral (oh, wait... I DID do that one).
But, I'm lazy, and I had no intention of watching all of these movies, save for the dog incident that kept me from driving off into the sunset. The bastards.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) - a sequel to 2000's surprising Pitch Black, this film once again stars Vin Diesel as Riddick, but unwisely places Riddick at the forefront of the film (a place Riddick did not enjoy in Pitch Black). The story is convoluted, nonsensical, and completely unnecessary. The parts that are coherent are only such thanks to the heavy overuse of cliche. Verdict: SKIP it.
Cloverfield (2008) - The Blair Witch syndrome hits the monster movie genre and we wind up with, well, a decent film. Yes, the alien was never that believable, and neither was the character-interaction, but it was an enjoyable foray into what Godzilla could've been. Verdict: SEE it.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) - An extremely preachy remake of the 1951 classic, this one stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly and never hesitates to inform that we're killing our planet. Yeah, we know. While most of us don't need a movie to tell us that, I would have to go out on a limb and state that, overall, this remake was a bit better than Spielberg's could-have-been-great-but-wasn't remake of War of the Worlds. Verdict: SKIP it.
Fido (2006) - A Canadian zombie movie that suffers from the "zombie movies are metaphors for capitalist materialism" conclusion. Set up as a campy homage to the 1950s (World War II is replaced by "The Great Zombie War"), Fido features a world in which someone invents a remote control collar for zombies, allowing them to be tamed like pets and utilized as servants. The ending was solid, and the cast was stellar, but... eh. Verdict: Eh...
Mind Hunters (2004) -Directed by the oft-horrible Renny Harlin (Driven, Cutthroat Island), this one of his few movies that I can say "wasn't bad" (along with The Long Kiss Goodnight and Cliffhanger. Sorry, but Die Hard 2: Die Harder sucked donkey balls). It's hard to recommend this one, but it's a decent thriller and good cameos from Val Kilmer and Christian Slater lend it some legitimacy. Verdict: Hmm... ah, screw it. SEE it.
Monsters vs Aliens (2009) - I almost made a huge mistake and avoided this movie. The premise just seemed silly, and Dreamworks doesn't have the greatest record when it comes to animated fare (hit or miss, and much more so than Disney). However, I must say this was the most enjoyable film that Dreamworks Animation has ever put out. Hilarious, even if it at first seems awkward. Verdict: SEE it.
The Sentinel (2006) - Starring Michael Douglas in yet another authoritative role, and Jack Bauer (er... Keifer Sutherland) in yet another Jack Bauer-esque role, this film is actually very, very good. In fact, I'd call it a sleeper hit. Even Eva Longoria was competent in her role. And fans of the Secret Service will dig it. Verdict: SEE it.
Star Trek (2009) - Well, all I can say is that it's about time Paramount decided to follow suit and reboot this beloved franchise. The casting, for the most part, was excellent. The action was, for the most part, excellent. The production design, for the most part... eh. But, all in all, Star Trek was a fun, enjoyable movie. It was NOT, however, "Star Trek." I plan on getting into this point a bit more at a later date, so I'll just leave it at that. Do not misconstrue that statement, because I DID like it. Verdict: SEE it.
Taken (2008) - Liam Neeson as Jason Bourne? No, not really, but that about sums up the aesthetic of the movie. And, guess what? It works. Basically, an overly paranoid and now-retired spy's daughter decides to gallivant around Europe in an attempt to follow U2's latest concert tour. Sure, not a bad goal if you're fan of U2, but gettingd capture by human traffickers is something to avoid, no? Anyway, dad goes nuts, goes "off the reservation," and rescues his daughter. Excellent action film and certainly worthy of a franchise, if the fates will it. Verdict: SEE it.
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) - What's that you say? I'm one-line reviewing this again? Actually, no... I one-line reviewed the original film a while back (which was kind enough to differentiate itself by spelling out the "One Two Three" in the title). This, my dear readers, is the remake. And, like most remakes... well, no... this one rocked. Denzel Washington assumes the role formerly played by Walter Matthau (try to wrap that connection around in your head) and John Travolta takes over the Robert Shaw character. The result? Another excellent movie. Yes, the original is better, but the new subplot of Denzel/Walter having a bit of a smeared record adds more to the film than it takes away. Verdict: SEE it.
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