Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marley & Me

Title: Marley & Me (2008)
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG (for thematic material, some suggestive content and language)
Length of Time: 115 mins

What is it about?: Newlyweds, Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) and John Grogan (Owen Wilson), embark upon a new life together with dreams, aspirations, and apprehensions about their future. In order to postpone having children, John gets a puppy. Marley grows from a terribly undisciplined pup to a full-grown, equally undisciplined dog. The Grogan family grows also. They encounter up and downs and learn how to tackle their problems together.

During the turmoil, John writes about their experiences with Marley in a newspaper column. Although getting through their problems is not easy, Jennifer and John discover unconditional love, forgivenness, and tenacity from their beloved dog.

My Review: 4/5 Stars. Admittedly, comedy is not my favorite genre. You won't even see one listed on my "Top 10 Favorite Movies" list to the right. BUT I did enjoy this movie. Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are masters at comedic timing and it shows here. They are a joy to watch throughout the entire 115 mins.

Then, there's Marley. All the different dogs playing this character are absolutely adorable. Dog-lover or not, it's hard for one to watch and not feel love for Marley. Yes, he gets in to trouble. Yes, he's quite the responsibility. And yes, he's irreplaceable.

"Marley & Me" is narrated by Owen, which makes it a very personable love story between a new family and its dog. As the family finds balance between dreams and family, Marley continues to teach them about unconditional, timeless love. That's a great story, no matter who's teaching the lesson.

I saw myself in this movie, as I often do, not just because the Marley puppy reminded me of my dog, Butchy (from when I was little), or because the older Marley reminded me of my dog, Grizzly (from the not-to-distant past), but because I am a wife and mother with hopes and dreams of my own. Jennifer's characterization of a woman struggling to be fulfilled during each cycle of life ended more positively than Kate Winslet as April in "Revolutionary Road", but it was no less intense and identifiable.

My favorite lines from the movie:
Owen said, "Mend it. Don't end it."
Jennifer said, "I've given up so much of what made me who I am."--I know exactly how she feels!

Some may be excited to see "Grey's Anatomy" star, Eric Dane (Sebastian), as John's best friend. I personally thought his character was dull, immature, and superficial... I guess that was the point.

My Recommendation: I recommend you watch this, preferably with your family. You may want to steal a glance or two in their direction as you watch with a renewed sense of appreciation and love for them. I hope so anyway... then again, I may be asking for too much. Well, at the very least, I suspect you'll get more than you bargained for if you're looking for a few laughs because this is a mult-layered movie with meaning, as well as humor. Don't be fooled by the genre and think you will just laugh throughout. In fact, I recommend keeping a box of tissues nearby... Just saying.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Grindhouse: Planet Terror

Title: "Grindhouse: Planet Terror" (2007)
Genre: Cult Horror
Rating: NR (not rated, not for kids)
Length of Time: 105 mins

What is it about?: Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) quits her place of employment one night and walks right into a biochemical nightmare. After a bout with her own tragedy, she teams up with her ex-boyfriend, El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) to fight the army of zombies that are infected with this experimental weaponry. Cherry and El Wray must also bring down the psychotic leaders responsible for spreading this "Project Terror" before it spreads from Texas to the rest of the world.

My Review: 3/5 Stars. This is quite a step down from "Grindhouse: Death Proof", which I gave 5/5 stars. "Planet Terror" is really a gruesome comedy that was just too doggone absurd for my taste.

It is gross, funny, absurd, over-the-top, shocking... did I say funny? Well, it's laugh-out-loud funny. My husband and I found the remote useful as we kept pausing to get a good laugh without missing the next scene OR rewinding to see the last scene we missed because we were laughing hysterically and missed it OR rewinding to see the last ridiculous scene again because we found it so funny the first time. Even the fake preview of "Machete" was funny. You get my point.

I can't say that I ever saw the "horror" part of this film, unless you include the nasty, gory, bloody, make-you-wanna-vomit scenes. Now, they were horrific, but I traditionally equate "horror" with scary movies.

I was disappointed to see so little of Bruce Willis (Lt. Muldoon) and glad to see more of Rose McGowan. Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson's appearance as Tammy was a nice surprise. Director Robert Rodriguez joins the ranks of directors who make appearances in their movies; however, his appearances are much shorter than Tarrantino, who also has a role.

I'm sure the men folk will be pleased to see the nudity in this film that was absent from "Death Proof", but don't expect much from the sex scene... except more laughs.

I was glad to see the soundtrack was no less wonderful than in "Death Proof", but missed the engaging dialogue that was not present in "Planet Terror". Even without good dialogue, I managed to have a favorite line: "You killed Bin Laden?"

I like that this movie played by no rules and was willing to unapologetically deliver surprises. The whole "missing reel" thing was a bit annoying, but I'm sure we didn't miss anything major. In fact, the director never even filmed anything for that section of the movie and added an artful way to deal with it. While the movie resumes at a funny moment, viewers are so surprised and taken aback by the missing reel message that humor is lost. I happened to have caught it on the second viewing, made possible by my trusty remote.

My Recommendation: Some will like it and others will hate it. Only you know who you will be. If you like seeing blood and guts, zombies and violence... If you usually find mainstream-inappropriate things funny... If the plot isn't as big a deal as director creativity... and you place more weight on shock-value concepts, you will probably like this. So, enjoy! If you find the above list of things offensive, do yourself a favor and skip it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Grindhouse: Death Proof

Title: Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Cult Horror
Rating: NR (not rated, not for kids)
Length of Time: 114 mins

What is it about?: Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) has murder on his mind and an indestructible car as his partner in crime. Just for his enjoyment, he uses his Dodge Charger to terrorize and kill young women on the roads. He manages to do so in Austin, Texas, but runs into (literally) a group of thrill-seeking women who turn the tables on him in Lebanon, Tennessee.

My Review: 5/5 Stars. You can call me weird, crazy, or whatever, but I really enjoyed this movie. It's not perfect, but this is what I liked about it:

1. Kurt Russell earned his salary. What a performance from a versatile actor.
2. The most graphic car crash I have ever seen. Ever.
3. Jungle Julia (played by Sydney Tamiia Poitier, THE Sidney Poitier's daughter) has the most beautiful hair. I know. I know... this doesn't have much to do with the movie itself, but I liked it.
4. A sexy lap dance from Vanessa Ferlito (who also co-starred with Rosario Dawson in "Descent") that would give Demi Moore's dance from "Strip Tease" a run for its money.
5. A highly unusual, shocking, laugh-out-loud funny, and unapologetic plot.
6. Plentiful diaglogue. This may irritate some, but it gives me the welcomed feeling that I'm eavesdropping on someone's private conversation... and I find that very entertaining.
7. One of the best soundtracks I've heard in a movie. I even played the song on the main menu several times.
8. New Zealander, Zoe Bell, appears as herself and does her insane stunt thing.

I said it wasn't perfect, so what didn't I like? I wasn't sure if the setting for the movie was supposed to be 60s, 70s, 80s or modern-day. The movie had spurts of black and white footage, an old-screen feel, and some scenes that went on entirely too long either due to poor editing, over-compensation for splitting from "Grindhouse: Planet Terror", or just more of Tarrantino's usual artsy stunts. Overall, these things and the unrealistic aspect of it all just didn't matter to me because Tarrantino can take a lot of liberties that I'm willing to accept from him as purely entertaining.

On another note, Tarrantino, like directors Spike Lee and Tinto Brass, usually makes an appearance or two in his movies. He does so again, here.

Despite the seemingly randomness of this movie, there's also a worthy message: "What goes around comes around"... and "You reap what you sow".

My Recommendation: Quentin Tarrantino's movies ("Pulp Fiction", "Reservoir Dogs", "Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2", "From Dusk Till Dawn") are an acquired taste, that I have acquired and do not recommend for everyone. If you ARE drawn to movies containing shocking and graphic scenes of violence and death, you SHOULD see this. This kind of movie fits in neatly with my desire to watch different, non-mainstream stuff, but IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Consider yourself forewarned.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quantum of Solace

Title: Quantum of Solace (2008)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content)
Length of Time: 106 mins

What is it about?: Britain MI6 secret agent, James Bond (Daniel Craig), motivated by revenge after the death of his girlfriend, goes after the head of an environmental agency, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). Unbeknownst to MI6, Greene also runs a terrorist organization that has more sinister agendas.

After "M" (Judie Dench) sends Bond on the mission to bring down Greene, she becomes concerned about Bond's motives and take-no-hostages approach. Bond disobeys M's orders to cease and devises his own plan, which involves rescuing Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a revenge-motivated damsel in distress, and uncovering a billion-dollar international corruption scheme. Bond tracks down each power-player and makes them pay.

My Review: 3/5 Stars. It's good, but not great. There are some on-the-edge of your seat action scenes that we have come to expect from Bond movies, such as: chases on foot and in exotic cars and boats, fearless fighters, guns and explosions, and deaths by trained and sadistic assassins. You can also expect the usual sarcasm, expensive suits, hard-working stuntmen, high-tech gadgets, an ever-present feeling of nearby danger, the usual poker-faced "007", and some upbeat music playing in the background to build up each scene... It's just not packaged in the manner we have come to appreciate in previous Bond movies.

This movie has plenty of chases and hard hits by a darker Bond. Others have compared this movie to just another Jason Bourne-type movie; and I agree. I love action heroes-- just look at my "Top 10 Favorite Movie List" on the right--but, that's not what "Bond" is about. Revenge being the motivating factor for the usually suave, intelligent, witty, ruled-by-principle-and-duty James Bond, just doesn't work for me.

Sure, I didn't readily accept Craig as a replacement for Pierce Brosnan, but I thought he did a good job with "Casino Royale". I didn't hold it against him that he didn't quite pull off the usual too-suave-to-get-dirty look because this more muscular Bond delivered some believable performances during the fight scenes... maybe more believable than the other Bonds. BUT, James Bond is not really a fighter. Bond is SMART. He fights when he has to and is very skilled at it, but he uses his mind more than anything. He usually out-smarts his adversaries.

Craig's portrayal of Bond in "Casino Royale" was more hands-on and somehow it was ok to see him a little more rugged and able to whoop some tail. However, in "Quantum of Solace", he just looked like a one-dimensional, action hero mess. The director (Marc Forster) has Craig looking more like a creature from "Dawn of the Dead" than James Bond. The action scenes depict a revengeful action hero, minus the suaveness and irresistible appeal we've grown to love about Bond.

I also didn't like Mathieu playing the villain, Greene. I never once believed he was a bad guy. Furthermore, I thought something was missing from the story. How did Camille get the scars on her back? I thought the movie would have explained this.

On another note-- I think Craig is a great actor who needed better directing for Bond or a revised script. I liked Judie having more camera time as "M" and I loved hearing everyone's British accents. It was also good to see Stana Katic from the new ABC tv show, "Castle", make a short appearance as Corinne Veneau.

My Recommendation: Make sure you watch "Casino Royale" first and let this be a continuation of that movie since it picks up one hour later. I'm afraid if you watch this one by itself, you will be disappointed. If you are a "Bond" buff and loved all the things previous Bonds represented, you may be disappointed with this director's interpretation of Bond. If you felt the previous Bonds were too puny and needed a little muscle, you will probably be pleased with the new Bond... James Bond. Just don't expect too much either way.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fast and Furious

Title: "Fast and Furious" (AKA "The Fast and the Furious 4", 2009)
Genre: Action
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language, and drug references)
Length of Time: 107 mins

What is it about?: Since he is still a fugitive, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) reluctantly leaves his long-time girlfriend, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), in the Dominican Republic, after running successful hijacking schemes on highway fuel tanks. He does so to protect Letty, but finds out he is unable to protect her from so far away.

He returns to Los Angeles, California and teams up with his old friend-turned-nemesis, Agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), to take on a common enemy. Although they have different motivations, Dominic and Brian set aside their differences to infiltrate underground illegal street-racing and drug trafficking operations.

In addition to bringing down a notorious drug lord, Brian has a chance to reconnect with his estranged love, Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), Dominic's sister. He also has the chance to decide whether he's a good guy pretending to be bad or a bad guy pretending to be good.

My Review: 5/5 Stars. I am very pleased to rate this, especially after slamming Vin Diesel's last movie, Babylon A.D. Honestly, "Fast and Furious" met and exceeded my expectations. I don't know if Director Justin Lin had a bigger budget for this movie or what, but he created one heck of a movie this time. Maybe it just finally had the right combination-- the right leading actor with the right director. Lin and the cast accomplished what was not even close in the previous three "Fast and Furious" movies--excellent action sequences, well-developed plot, and believable character development all in one.

Hey, no offense to Tyrese or Lil' Bow Wow, but I was glad to see Vin Diesel back. I mean, seriously! He starred in the first one in 2001 (directed by Rob Cohen) and disappeared for a while. Thankfully, Vin Diesel did not let me down this time. He represented the muscle-bound, no-nonsense, mysterious, loyal-to-a-fault guy that we loved from the first "The Fast and the Furious". And, yes. Paul Walker held up his end again. He is the ever-present cornerstone of these movies, with the exception of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006).

The movie is tragic, but not too sad... romantic, but not too sappy... funny, but not corny... sexy, but not gratuitous... It is complete with fast cars, fearless drivers, and strong personal motivations. What more can one ask of a movie? To top it all off--it has the perfect ending, that teases us with the promise of another sequel. Well done.

My Recommendation: If you like action movies, you will enjoy this one. You don't have to be a big fan of cars or racing in order to appreciate this fast-paced adrenaline rush. Watch it! It is an experience worth living for under two hours.

Revolutionary Road

Title: "Revolutionary Road" (2008)
Genre: Drama, Romantic Drama
Rating: R (for language, sexual content/ nudity)
Length of Time: 119 mins

What is it about?: Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) appear to have a perfect mid-1950s suburban life together. Frank is a 30-year-old man, working at the same company his dad worked for. His wife is a stay-at-home mom, who occasionally works as an actress. They have two children, live in a beautiful home, with nice neighbors... and they feel trapped.

As, they reflect on their lives, they realize they are disappointed with how things have turned out and are desperate to find a way out. Intense emotions surface and indiscretions occur as they deal with failed dreams and an unhappy existence. Even though their communication with each other has suffered through the years, they discuss an escape plan. This plan includes them returning to their dreams and moving to Paris, France. They decide to live for themselves again and not limit themselves to a society-imposed image.

Even though the only other person who thinks this is a good idea is the clinically insane, John (Michael Shannon), that doesn't stop them from pursuing their mission. A job promotion for Frank and other surprising events are what threaten to keep them from reaching their goals.

The movie is based on the novel by Richard Yates.

My Review: 4/5 Stars. I just love Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet separate or together onscreen. They always deliver top-notch performances. After seeing this dynamic duo in "Titanic", I knew their chemistry would be "revolutionary" here also. And, it was.

"Revolutionary Road" presents real-life family and marital issues of ineffective communication, internal hurt and resentment, bad decision-making, unfulfillment, and unwelcomed surprises. How we deal with these situations is what really sets us apart. The way Frank and April cope results in dire consequences, that again, are real-to-life.

I was rooting for the couple to pursue their dreams and passions. I felt their inner emotions of outward disappointments were heart-breaking and well-portrayed. I felt for them... and that's what makes this a good movie.

I would be remiss if I left out two other outstanding performances. The neighbor, Kathy Bates (Helen Givings), and her son, Michael Shannon (John Givings), were absolutely essential to making this movie evolve outside of the main characters. I chuckled plenty with John's excited utterances. He managed to see and explain the world in the most sincerest, uncensored manner possible.

While I enjoyed this multi-layered movie, for some reason, I couldn't give it the full 5 stars. Why? I've pondered on this. Maybe it's because I thought some of the other characters were terribly miscast (like the office chick) or because the ending seemed to have been missing something... or maybe because April seemed to be really in love one moment (which is why it's supposed to be a "romantic" drama, I guess) and willing to do whatever it took to make things work and felt completely ambiguous about Frank later. The shift was just to soon and unsubtle.

Sam Mendes directed this, as well as another award-winning suburban-critical drama, "American Beauty", starring Kevin Spacey. "Revolutionary Road", in its own right, boasts of a several awards and nominations also.

My Recommendation:
Watch it. If you're married or have been before, you may even see yourself in this movie a time or two-- though I hope your story ends differently. I think, outside of just being entertained by this movie, you will reflect on your own life, experiences, and dreams and wonder if you are happily living your dream or unhappily existing in a matter that pleases others and least of all yourself. At least, I hope you will reflect on your life and then do something positive about it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Mambo Kings

Title: "The Mambo Kings" (1992)
Genre: Drama
Rating: R (for sensuality)
Length of Time: 104 mins

What is it about?: Cesar (Armand Assante) and Nestor (Antonio Banderas) are brothers with extraordinary music talent. They dream of coming to America to make it big after being driven from Havana, Cuba due to a conflict with a club owner, who also stole Nestor's girl, Maria.

Once they arrive in New York, they mingle in the hottest club circles and are enticed by beautiful women, money, fame, and their desire to play music. Nestor writes a song about his unforgotten love and it gets them the notoriety they dreamed of, even the opportunity to appear on an episode of "I Love Lucy". Throughout it all, Cesar is afraid of falling into another trap with a greedy club owner and Nestor is unable to get over his love for Maria.

Cesar is also holding onto a secret that unravels Nestor once it is known. They find out the hard way that their love and support for each other are more important than any brotherly feud.

The movie is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning book, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos.

My Review: 3/5 Stars. It's not a great or bad movie... just relatively good. It's ironic that the brothers had dreams of coming to America because the opening scene reminded me of the movie "Coming To America", starring Eddie Murphy. In fact, a few other movies came to mind as I watched-- "The Cotton Club" and "Harlem Nights", just to name a few.

Both Assante and Banderas deliver outstanding performances. It should also be noted that this was Banderas's first American movie and he learned to speak English in order to do it. Although the initial Cuban to English subtitles were imperfect translations, there was nothing lacking in Banderas's English-speaking.

Assante pulled off a witty, high-energy elder brother. My favorite line of his in the movie: "If she cooks like she walks, I'm gonna lick her plate".

What really bothered me about this movie was Maruschka Detmers playing Delores. I had to remind myself that an average-looking and acting woman had to be cast for this role in order for us to believe that Banderas, although with Delores, would still be unable to get his beloved Maria out of his head. BUT, Delores had absolutely no personality and it was unbelievable that he would fall for her in the first place.

The mambo music was entertaining... The appearances of many other well-recognizable actors and musicians (like Desi Arnaz, Jr., and Tito Puente) were interesting... The Cuban accents were sexy... The movie was alitte humorous, a little sad, and little inspirational... Not bad.

My Recommendation: Overall it's a fun movie that should entertain you. So, I say "Watch it" if you have some time to spare, but don't break your neck trying to (unless you are an avid Assante or Banderas fan OR you love mambo music). Just so you know-- my husband thought it deserved 4/5 stars, so you may find it a tad more enjoyable than I did.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Frivolous Lola

Title: "Frivolous Lola" (AKA "Monella", 1998)
Genre: Erotic Comedy
Rating: NR (not rated by MPAA)
Length of Time: 105 mins

What is it about?: Lola (Anna Ammirati), who is engaged to marry Masetto (Mario Parodi), vehemently opposes Masetto's desire to wait until they are married to consummate their relationship. Lola wants to know that he is a good lover before she marries him. She is convinced that he refuses to be physically intimate with her just to make sure she remains a faithful virgin before they are married.

She rebelliously rides around the Italian countryside on her bicycle, exposing her derriere underneath a wind-blown skirt, and flirts with her mother's boyfriend, Andre (Patrick Mower). Although Lola fantasizes about being with him, Andre is hesitant about giving in to her because he is not sure whether she is his daughter. Instead, he dabbles in pornography and toys with the idea of being Lola's lover. Lola continues her seduction strategies to get Masetto jealous enough to succumb to her will and Andre' weak enough to do the same.

My Review: 1/5 Stars--and that's being very generous. Bottom line-- this movie lacks depth. It places heavy emphasis on sex, which I have no problem with ("Lady Chatterley" handles the subject well), and BAD sex, at that. There's nothing erotic about it. There's nothing funny about it (except its absurdity). So, don't be fooled by the genre label.

The men in this movie act like sex-crazed maniacs and the women act like sex-starved nymphos... and for no apparent reason at all. The director brazenly shared his obsession with female buttocks and body hair, but the actual sex scenes were terrible. At some point, I told myself "I'm not even gonna try to understand it".

What did I like about it? The soundtrack wasn't bad, which featured authentic (I think) Italian music (such as "Hey Mambo" by Rosemary Clooney) AND the 1950's setting was breathtakingly stunning. While the plot itself was void of substance, there was a scene that provided a much-appreciated safe-sex message. The actors were also beautiful as they flaunted nude, well-figured bodies.

The version I saw had English voice overs which was more convenient than subtitles, but some of the original emotion of the film was lost.

My Recommendation: Skip it. Simple enough? Unless you are familiar with Director Tinto Brass' work ("Cheeky!", "All Ladies Do It", "Miranda", "Caligula") and you like it, you will probably hate this. If you like porn, go see porn. Although there is an abundance of T & A here, you will probably look at "Frivolous Lola" as BAD porn. Try "Sex and Death 101" if you're looking for a sexy comedy. If you're looking for a movie that has a more developed incest plot, try "Angels and Insects" instead.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Babylon A.D.

Title: Babylon A.D. (2008)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thriller
Rating: PG-13 for violence, action, language, sexuality (there is an unrated version also)
Length of Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (unrated version is 101 minutes)

What is it about?: This is a futuristic story about Toorop (Vin Diesel), a mercenary, who accepts the high-risk job of safely escorting a girl and her nun-guardian from Mongolia to America. He is interested only in delivering the "package" and returning to his home in America, where he has been unable to visit since he was placed on the terrorist list. After receiving a passport injected directly into his neck, Toorop, Aurora (Melanie Thierry), and Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh from "Memoirs of a Geisha") set out on this journey.

As they escape near-death experiences, the girl's irrational behavior and encounters with a group of mercenaries, who claim to be sent by Aurora's supposedly dead father, begin to spark questions within Toorop about Aurora's significance. He begins to wonder if she's carrying a virus, in which case, he would have to kill her.

Toorop goes from being all about business (the girl is just a delivery package) and asking no questions to having a conscience that will drive him to save Aurora at all costs, especially when he discovers what kind of "virus" she is carrying. Toorop completes his mission, but finds that genetic experimentation makes Aurora the key to a religious cult's existence and survival.

This movie is based on Maurice Dantec's novel Babylon Babies.

My Review: 2/5 stars... and that saddens me. I REALLY wanted to like this movie. I loved Vin Diesel and the movie plots in "Pitch Black" and "Chronicles of Riddick". Since "Babylon A.D." looked like it would be similar in action, fantasy, and adventure, and the return of a seemingly reticent actor, I was looking forward to seeing it. Boy, was I wrong... and terribly disappointed to say, "I did not like this movie".

The two stars are given for the choppy, but necessary-to-further-the-story action scenes, Vin Diesel's hypnotically rough and sexy voice, and the futuristic gadgets and environmental imagery.

Unfortunately, the plot was undeveloped and nonsensical. Yes, I am aware that sci-fi/ fantasy movies are afforded some liberties that other genres are not, but it doesn't matter here-- it still just does not work. I'm not sure if the director did not relay the writer's main points of the movie or if the writer took a vacation during the script's development.

This whole movie is centralized around one girl and her safety, yet we, as the viewers, are never compelled to feel anything for her. In fact, for much of the movie, I found her annoying and would not have minded if she disappeared throughout the duration of the movie. This silly little victim needs more character development if we are to care about her at all. The explanations given for her behavior are not sufficient to justify an entire movie dedicated to her existence. At one point, she asked, "You're risking your life for me. Why?" I wanted to know the same thing! Diesel's answer was not convincing enough for me.

Don't be fooled by the uncut version's "raw and uncut" marketing strategy. The extended running scenes and additional swear words add nothing to the story. Speaking of adding nothing to the story-- the latitude and longitude coordinates throughout the story were pointless. Simply naming "Russia", "New York City", and "Mongolia" would have been sufficient enough to give the location. While I enjoyed seeing Diesel shirtless, this part presented another totally pointless and out-of-the-blue scene.

My recommendation: I do not recommend this movie. Not even the welcomed performances from Charlotte Rampling (from "Swimming Pool" and "Basic Instinct 2") and Lambert Wilson (Merovingian from "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions") could save it. If you're in the mood for an action movie and love Diesel, watch "Chronicles of Riddick" or "XXX" instead. If you're interested in a futuristic sci-fi movie showcasing Diesel, watch "Pitch Black". However, if you are drawn to the synopsis of "Babylon A.D.", watch this movie for yourself and decide.