Movie Review: Eastern Promises, The Kingdom and Balls of Fury

December 26, 2007 at 12:01 pm (Movie Reviews)

I’ll start with the good.

Eastern Promises is by the same people who brought us A History of Violence. This movie is violent. Mom probably wouldn’t like it because before the opening credits are over, someone gets whacked in a very realistic way. But the movie does a decent job of showing a small slice of the Russian mafia and the visuals of a true Russian restaurant/feast are worth watching out for. The plot is good, the pacing excellent, and at just shy of 2 hours, edited well. The only complaint I have is that Naomi Watts seemed to have something funny going on with her face. Is it just me or does she have some weird wrinkle around her mouth? Odd. Distracting. And could they have found tighter skinny-jeans for her?!

The Kingdom stars Jamie Foxx and I thought he did a nice job with this movie. Within the first few minutes, both Tom and I commented that it was like watching a young Denzel. His presence is both calming and reassuring, and I thought he gave an understated but assertive performance. The movie was good up until the last bit of the third act when I thought it felt like it was rushing to its conclusion. Lot’s of stuff being blown up but not in a Jerry Bruckheimer way. The jumpy photography may give mom seizures, but I thought it added to the film. Has Chris Cooper, the veteran actor, and the chick from Alias and Jason Bateman. Keep your eye out for the director in the first part of the movie – Peter Berg. I remember him fondly from Chicago Hope. Tim McGraw also has a small part and this is the second Peter Berg film he’s been in, the first being the excellent Friday Night Lights. That’s a good one too.

Lastly, Balls of Fury. What can I say. The best part of this movie was it’s running time – only 90 minutes. It wasn’t funny, wasn’t clever, wasn’t even decent to look at. Thankfully it wasn’t crass or crude, but it was a waste of time.

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