Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, July 11, 2010


They'll Be Back
[Adrien Brody, Danny Trejo, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walter Coggins]

RANT: Just when you thought I could not find something to rant about, here I go again! I arrived to a fairly crowded theater for the first matinee of the day. I sat in the first row in front of a group of teenage boys. They were yacking it up before the previews started and continued to tell each other which of the movies they were going to see based on the quality of the trailers. But worse than that, they started their own DVD commentary throughout the movie. I told them to shut up a couple of times, but to no avail. I then started scouting for another seat, but could not find similar as good as the seat I had already claimed before the lights dimmed. Why is it that some people, young or old, believe that courtesy to others in a movie theater is optional?

SYNOPSIS: A group of assorted mercenaries, soldiers and thugs are assembled on a "gaming preserve" planet to serve as prey to the alien race of warrior Predators.

As a fan of all of the "Alien" quadralogy, the first "Predator" movie and the "Aliens vs Predators" films, I was looking forward to the Robert Rodriguez produced and Nimrod Antal directed continuation of the "Predator" franchise.

Going back to its roots, "Predators" pay homage to the original material, as well as bridging Schwarzenegger's Dutch back into the universe's mythology. And any fan of the original will enjoy the almost direct parallels between the singular and plural films, from the gatling gun that Bill Duke's Mac and Oleg Taktarov's Nikolai both carried, to the blade showdown that RIchard Chaves' Poncho and Louis Ozawa Changchien's Hanzo have with the alien species. Even the final showdown in the sequel is tinged with the mud of its predecessor.

Fresh off of "Armored", Antal seems to know his way around an ensemble flick. And it shows. Each member of the newly-formed squad is a warrior-killer in their own right, from ex-military merc Royce to government operative Isabelle to Yakuza enforcer Hanzo to death-row inmate Stans. Throw in a tropical militia death-squad fighter and a Russian special forces soldier for good measure, and the stage is set. The only character out of place in this platoon is Topher's Edwin, a knowledgeable doctor with seemingly no survival skills, although he does serve hos purpose. The tension is palatable as they struggle with their surroundings and each other. The dialogue is short and terse, because talking is for the weak. Talking does not get the job done, action does.

Though the action is not overly-choreographed, it doesn't need to be. A rain of bullets have a dance all their own. Not only do the "good guys" have to contend with the mostly camouflaged trio of Predators, they also have to face predator hell hounds and other quarry series brought to the gaming planet. There are some decent hand-to-hand fights and the heat during the final battles are turned up full. There is even a special cameo for the group that is both a blessing and a curse, to them and himself.

The story both simmers and boils over. Any soldier knows that the waiting is the hardest part. And for the audience, it's all worth while. The Predators stay elusive for the first half of the film, striking and disappearing back into the jungle, picking off their prey one at a time, finding weaknesses, learning and adapting. But Brody and crew also learn and adapt. Our world's monsters and bogeymen against a species dedicated to evolving into relentless and precise killers. Its hard to know sometimes who to root for.

But for fans of the multi-mandible menaces, this film is for you.

Worth: Matinee and a DVD

I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!

out of 5 popcorn buckets

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