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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of The Justice League!!!
First off, for those "critics" who cut-down this film, I will BOLDLY STATE, you don't know what you're talking about...
I will also state that apparently what most "critics" look for in a super- hero movie is "camp" and over-exaggeration. This film dealt with some very serious contemporary and social issues. When "critics" come across a super- hero film like this, they don't know what to do with themselves...
This is probably why the critics raved about "Dead Pool". In Batman v Superman we see an evolution of characters like A-Lex-ander Luthor, and the introduction of Diana AKA "Wonder Woman".
What I also LOVED about this movie is how several mysterious elements crucial to the stories mythology come to light. The film was filled with plenty of action, intrigue, and relationships which formidably stages things for following DC films to come.
Ben Affleck (with the odds stacked against him in the shadow of Christian Bales Batman) did a very admirable job as the new caped crusader. I also believe that movie-goers will love the new Alfred played by stylishly by Jeremy Irons.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was well worth her characters death in the Fast/Furious 6 film. Gadot plays the WW we've all dreamed about. This WW truly KICKS-ASS like in the comics and the animated series.
From here we should expect DC to thoroughly compete with Marvel in the Cinema. There are 10 more films expected to be released by this production team, and they all should be worth the price of admission.
Long Live The Justice League!!!
The Equalizer (2014)
I was never a big fan of the original TV series with Edward Woodward (RIP), but Denzel Washington in lead here brings a totally new and added dimension.
With enhanced skills and a huge element of mystery, the new Robert McCall is just what this piece needed to give it a formidable "reboot". This movie will either lead to more sequels, and/or updated TV series.
If you're looking for great action with a rich flavoring of character interest, this movie is for you. However there is an element of this character that somewhat reminds me of Denzel's John Creasy in "Man On Fire" (lots of body bags needed here).
This was one of the very few films that I can say that I enjoyed every minute of. What I also really liked was the fact that McCall was involved in helping several people in this film in addition to Chloe Moretz's character.
Denzel was in stellar form, and I hope he can continue with this franchise should it remain on the big screen.
A Magnificent, and Potent Sequel!
This was an action film that delivered on "all" levels. We also got an even closer look at the main characters (namely Steve Rogers, and Nick Fury). The action and fight sequences were even more breath-taking than those of both the first Capt. America film and the Avengers combined.
I was also greatly surprised by the performance of Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson AKA The Falcon. Mackie looked well suited for the role, and put in a great performance as an authentic action hero.
This film was well written, well designed, well directed, and well executed. It's amazing to see how far Marvel Studios have gone from where they started as a small film company. It's also quite obvious that with great writing, casting, and great directorship a small film company can compete and out shine many of the major entities.
The story line of the film is one that not only connected to the first movie, but also effectively introduced new extensions which should lead to a 3rd edition as well.
Captain America II is a story of patriotism, honor, sacrifice, and friendship. For those who've had negative things to say about this film, are simply clueless, and have no understanding of the above mentioned 4 elements that makes this movie a must-see...
The Following (2013)
Hardy vs Carroll, A Psychological Chess Match....
For those who shot down this psychological crime-thriller, obviously have no idea how the genre works. Yes, Joe Carroll and His followers are a group of well twisted, psychotic misfits. Sadly enough however, they are serial killers like him and his clan in real life.
Kevin Bacon jumps in with both feet, and nails-it as Special Agent Ryan Hardy in his first TV series lead role. The surrounding cast also works extremely well as a great compliment to Bacon's presence.
Then, there's James Purefoy (who we've also seen play a twisted psycho in the first "Resident Evil" film). Purefoy provides another chilling performance to a character known for his intellectual charm as well as his depraved outlook on life and death.
What the story does lack is defining what "really" drives Joe Carroll (beyond his addiction to killing). What kind of childhood did this deranged killer have, or what traumatic event propelled him into the life he now resides. Perhaps, season 2 will answer these questions.
In all, the following does keep you on the edge of your seat, and is not seemingly predictable like most crime dramas are. It keeps you guessing, wondering, and even asking many questions which usually sound more like "what-the-f...".
Usually when I appraise a performance (whether it be the lead or one of the main principles) I think hard in determining if the creators could have cast another person in that role. Well, I must say that no one could deliver Joe Carroll in the way James Purefoy does.
The same can be said about Bacon's performance. Ryan Hardy is in fact the hero of the story, but he comes with "many" flaws. Bacon (known for his tremendous character acting) gives you every facet of a very complicated character in Agent Hardy, who is fighting his own demons.
The elements and complexities of both hero and villein in this tale is what sets the landscape for this psychological chess match where moves, and counter-moves are thought out and executed.
If you enjoyed such thrillers as "Silence Of The Lambs", or "Saw", you will love "The Following". It's an on-going mystery of "who can you trust, and/or not trust". Season 2 has already given us the indication that no one as evil as Joe Carroll, can die that easily....
The Plague (2006)
Wholesale Killing, With No Answers....
After 88 minutes of this film, we never learn what force caused the children to become mindless zombies (if you may), and for what purpose did they go about killing any and every adult they could find.
We did learn that they wanted their souls, but for what reason? We learned that a willing victim would be sacrificed without incident, but to whom or what?
The bottom-line here, this film was a complete waste of 88 minutes, and if I were you I'd stay away.
Clive Barker has been known for producing some of the most confusing and myopic thrillers I've ever seen. "Night Breed" was much more entertaining then this film. What made this film even more confusing is the paperback copy of the novel "Grapes Of Wrath" in the back pocket of one of the zombie children (which you see in the very last shot in the film).
If you're looking for another zombie-type thriller, you won't find it here in this film. What will see is a lot of blood, screaming, bad acting, and bad make-up....
A Good Bonus Feature....
This documentary was revealing in many respects in comparison to some of the other features I've seen as bonus features on DVDs. The audio/video quality was very poor which is why I agree that selling this 60 minute piece as a separate video is a waste of money (unless you find it in the value bin).
You do however, get to see many of the stars from NOTLD in a very revealing and different light (such as Judith O'Dea, "Chilly Billy Cardille, George Kosana, Karl Hardman, Bill Hinzman, Russ Streiner, and John Russo). We even see other productions made by the small film company (Latent Image) which brought us the great cult classic (NOTLD).
I viewed this doc on Amazon Prime Video, so it basically cost me nothing to watch. I did enjoy this little feature and was able to endure some of the poor audio/video deficiencies. I definitely recommend it as a must- see (if you may) for fans of Romero and NOTLD and films that followed, but don't spend to much money if need be (catch it on Amazon Prime).
World War Z (2013)
Not A Zombie Film, But What 28 Months Later Could Have Looked Like...
This was not a Zombie movie, plan and simple. If Danny Boyle and the Fox Atomic folks ever got their act together, then we'd have perhaps what was illustrated here, but far more superior than this weak presentation.
There were some things about the film that I liked, but there were a lot of missing elements that would have made it much better. For starters I think they could have used a much better director for this project than Marc Forster (who's only noticeable film was a very forgettable yarn called "Monsters Ball").
Forster has never even seen, much less know what a zombie/pandemic film should look like. This showed in how the zombies became more and more less threatening, and more comical looking as film went on. Max Brooks wrote a masterful piece in the original novel, but this film was less- than faithful to the source material.
The characters were very transparent to almost lifeless in the film. Yes, things got off to a relatively quick start, but there was no character development to speak of. As far as this being a WAR, that lacked considerable punch as well. More attack scenes, and just a "little" gore would not have hurt. Most of the action seen in this film was in the trailer.
Now we know, that whenever we see a so-called zombie film with a PG-13 rating, movie-goer beware. Nonetheless, I did find the film somewhat entertaining, but I still left the theater with a feeling that something was indeed missing.
We never found out where the pandemic originated, or what it really was. The pandemic spread to quickly almost to the point that the film immediately fell into a chaotic frenzy. If something was to spread that fast, we could have at least got the benefit of knowing where it started like in 28 days later. This made the film look even more unrealistic.
To wrap this up in a nutshell, what I saw was a film that suffered from a lack-luster director who had no vision or concept of what a zombie/apocalyptic film should look, or feel like.
Max Brooks should give his money back, remove his name from this film, and reboot the project keeping the cast, but getting another director, perhaps Danny Boyle. This film will have a very brief stint in the theaters, so wait-for-it on video or cable.
Blu-Ray "unrated" edition is much more intense with 7 additional minutes of footage.
Man of Steel (2013)
An Amazing Achievement In Film Making
What Richard Donner wanted to do with his vision of the film (that was split into 2 films by the studio at that time), Nolan, Goyer, and Snyder brought it home.
These comparisons are what stood out the most to me:
- A complete film bringing together the arrival of Superman, and the arrival, and all-out conflict with his most fierce rival General Zod, instead of the first film which got off to a great start, but ended as a sappy love story between Superman and Lois Lane
- A General Zod who's motive appeared to "somewhat" altruistic, verses the other Zod who only cared about his god-like complex in the 1981 film.
- Antje Traue's Faora-Ul made Sarah Douglas's Ursa look like Olive Oil.
- The inevitable "death-match" between Zod and Cal-El which could-not have played out any other way, verses the 1981 confrontation which led to the arrest of the super villains.
- No Kryptonite weakness, but a man of steel who supposed to be virtually invulnerable.
- The realistic approach to mankind's reaction to an extraterrestrial on earth with unlimited powers, verses a society that readily rolled-over to the caped hero.
- An intelligent explanation as to "why" the demise of the planet krypton occurred.
- Why General Zod sought-out to over-throw the kryptonian hierarchy, in opposed to what 1981 film illustrated as a random act treason by the military commander.
- A film score by Hans Zimmerman deserving of a Grammy award.
The list can go on and on. Needless to say, this illustration was much more enjoyable and entertaining than the film series of the late 70s and early 80s, and even the 2006 version. I am also convinced that a sequel is already in the works.
This film has, and will continue to have people talking and debating as to the contrast between this superman, and all the others we've seen along the way. This movie also moved much more efficiently than the 1978 version which went a bit stale after superman emerged from his fortress of solitude.
Lastly, based on the effectiveness of this film, a "Justice League" film is certainly within the realm of possibility. However the studio may find itself in a bit of quagmire due to the fact that they did get the jump on bringing the main characters together in the way marvel did. Marvel cleverly coordinated the assembling of earth's mightiest heroes by bridging together each film from Iron Man, The Hulk, Iron Man II, Thor, and Captain America.
Furious 6 (2013)
The Fastest, and The Most Furious!
This edition "took-it-all". Fast car chases, furious fight scenes, and an engaging story-line with a nice "twist" in the end.
I am convinced that they'll have a "very" difficult time following this act. However, when you see the end, you'll without-a-doubt conclude that a "Fast 7" is already in the works.
The villain in this film has many tentacles, and a family of His own that could lead to even more intrigue in a 7th film. Michelle Rodriguez was amazing in the reprisal her role as Letty, and her fight scene with Gina Carano would make even Chuck Norris smile.
Overall, it was Tyrese Gibson's character that added the most significant amount of laughs. What I did find amazing about this franchise is that each film seems to out-do it's predecessor. Should there be a 7th film (and there will be), the film-makers will have their work cut-out for them, because this movie out-did the others by light years....
Go see it in the biggest screen possible.
[Rec]³: Génesis (2012)
A Pointless Edition To (What Was) A Great Franchise....
Sometimes there are sequels (or so called) that should never be made, and this was one of them. The continuity of a great film franchise was severely lost here, and may not be recovered.
Like "Nightmare On Elm St. 2", this film can't possibly be relevant to any potential 4th film (which is said to be "Rec 4 Apocalypse" due in 2013). At first I was about to concede to giving this film a decent rating as it appeared to "ebb-and-flow" like any other horror film, but the story-line continued to degenerate further into mediocrity.
Although this film indicated that the events at the wedding were happening simultaneously with those at the apartment building, several important elements were missing. Number one; where was a rep from the Vatican? (since they were trying to study and control the outbreak). Two; why did they show Nina Medeiros only as an image, but made no reference to her or follow-up on what happened to her in Rec 2?
This film not only stands alone at a great distance from Rec 1 & Rec 2, but is also one that you should not waist any money on to see. What made things even worse was the way the film ended which made the valiant fight for survival by the main characters go all-for-naught....
For fans of this franchise, I greatly suggest that you forget about this flick, and move-on. Hopefully there will be "worth-while" 4th film coming to us soon in 2013. Otherwise, if this franchise ends here, we can firmly conclude that WE'VE ALL BEEN ROBBED!