These reviews are filled to the brim with the dreaded spoilers!
I mean ...why would you read a lengthy review if you wanted to avoid spoilers? Just saying.

REVIEW: In Time (2011)

"ticking away with my sanity"
In all my reviews, have I ever described a movie as "balls?" No? Because In Time is just ... balls.

Let me paint you a picture: it's the future or something, and someone - somehow - Science'd away the part of our genetics that makes us grow old and die, and in its place Science'd in a luminescent countdown clock which grows along the length of your forearm somehow. It's an internal clock, too, not some shackle or elaborate Pip Boy-style watch they're forced to wear. Why? Because here's the twist! At the age of 25 you stop aging and your clock starts ticking down...you now have one year to live.

Time is now the world's currency; people earn, trade, spend and steal their remaining days, hours and minutes like the rest of us do money. The only catch is there's no overdraft protection...if your clock hits zero for any reason you will drop dead where you stand. The rich wander around comfortably with decades to spare while the poor work, steal and fight for extra hours ... and suddenly, the phrase "living day to day" takes on a whole new meaning.

I know, right? Doesn't that sound freaking awesome? It's everything you want in a dystopian future science fiction story! But that's the problem. It's not lacking at least an interesting concept. No, really. The concept is so cool. It's every step of its execution that spoils the fun.

REVIEW: The Woman in Black (2012)

"I know not how she found me"
"Cautiously optimistic" is the only way I can describe my mindset when I decided to see The Woman in Black. Daniel Radcliffe is a decent actor, but following up a ten year stint at a wide-eyed child wizard with playing a much older, somber, almost angry character in a Victorian Edwardian-era thriller is a fairly risky move, I would say. It looks like he's trying to flex his acting credentials by doing something very against-type, which doesn't always work out. They'll attract a Harry Potter audience wanting more Radcliffe, but they run the hard risk of bad word-of-mouth since he's playing a character that isn't Harry Potter, if that makes any sense. What I mean is, sometimes when an actor is incredibly well-known for a certain role or type of performance, it's difficult for audiences to disassociate the actor from the acting.

I was also a little worried about it being a period thriller. I guess I was expecting something to seem a little "off" with the setting or costumes, like they would toss in some more contemporary styles so the aforementioned young audience would be able to relate to it easier. I can't think of any examples but I know I've seen at least a few movies set in a bygone era that didn't "feel" right in its aesthetics and that took me out of it. So, yeah, there were a couple reasonable things to be worried about here.

That being said, this is still one of the best mainstream horror movies I've seen in years.

REVIEW: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

"I took a fish head out to see a movie"
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen sounds like it ought to be fun. There's an element of quirkiness in the title, there's a pretty strong pair of romantic leads. It's a shame we don't get to see any of it.

Now, to be fair, I wasn't exactly expecting a deep, evocative drama with heartfelt observations of the state of the world and matters of the heart or anything. All it's meant to be is some semi-sweet little story, where something probably inspiring happens and everyone goes home happy. Also fishing will be involved, I guess. That's about all I was counting on.

I mean, even if the story skews away from a happy ending and the characters fail at whatever their goals are, everyone involved probably learned something about themselves and grew from the experience. I mean, this movie - literally the whole story - is about someone trying to help someone else put fish where there should be no fish. Sounds like it should be a good time, right?

Man, I wish it was.

REVIEW: Conan the Barbarian (2011)

This movie will always hold a special place in my heart, for the events leading up to seeing it will go down as one of the manliest afternoons we've ever lived.

It was the afternoon my best friend passed his first (and as far as I know, only) kidney stone. I'll spare you most of the details but to put it simply, it was like watching a movie unfold over a couple of hours. The slow build-up as we get together for a normal day of hanging out before he starts to slowly realize something isn't right; the call to action as we - for the sake of caution - rush to the hospital; and the powerful climax as he managed to pass the stone in the waiting area bathroom. He then celebrated by going with us to the movie almost immediately after, and ordering a large popcorn and soda when we got there. Fucking awesome.

There was also a sub-plot where we called our other friend to let them know not to pick us up at his place, but at the emergency room, and forgot to mention why. That lead to a truly entertaining misunderstanding, let me tell you.

True story: I wrote this intro brand-new and special for the repost of this review mostly because I needed to fill the space before the jump, but to be honest the only reason I'm writing about this is because the events of that day were a hell of a lot more memorable than the movie.