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johnnymacbest

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261 reviews in total 
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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The best Mad Max film I've ever seen., 24 May 2015
9/10

I'll keep this straight and to the point. For YEARS I've waited for a film that lives up to the originals. Although Beyond Thunderdome was decent in it's own right, the film lost it's dark and gritty edge due to it's PG-13; a bane on dark, gritty post-apocalyptic films. Well, fear not for I am happy to report that Fury Road, is every bit as dark and gritty as it's predecessors. Tom Hardy does another incredible job as the world weary Max, a man with nothing to lose wandering the arid, desolate Australian wasteland, with little pockets of civilization here and there. Well, the term "civilization" is aptly used loosely here because most of them are anything but "civilized" as these roving band of savages try to eek out a bleak existence by any means necessary and this is the perfect backdrop for the story. With little twists and turns here and there, along with the impressive visuals and riveting action, Fury Road is a crystal clear reminder that CGI and MTV style action does not and should not take the place of a well-written story. Hopefully, a sequel is made. I'm that pumped for it. Best Mad Max film I've ever seen in years. Mad Max is back and he's better than ever.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Chris Nolan outshines himself once again., 23 November 2014
9/10

If there ever was a time that movies can be magical, thought-provoking, emotional, humorous, and at times, dark and disturbing, then this would be it. A work of genius on all levels, Nolan's latest bundle of joy is "Interstellar", one of the best films I've ever seen coming from the impeccable caliber of Nolan's pedigree for bringing out best acting performances against the backdrop of stellar and awe-inspiring visuals.

The plot goes like this. Earth is in a bind and the only way to save what remains of humanity is to travel to the farthest reaches of space, to find the answers to mankind's salvation. But along the way, stunning revelations and deep character emotions are brought to the surface as the fate of humanity hangs in the proverbial and perpetual balance.

I won't say too much about the plot, and although it starts slow(which to some viewers may be off-putting but for me it was perfect)the more it unravels the more exciting and enthralling it is to witness. And all of this wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for Nolan's impeccable directing, sharp and well-written dialog, along with the best performances from Matthew McConaughey, Michael Cain, and of course, Anne Hathaway. With this caliber of acting talent, nothing can go wrong;especially a film of Nolan's making. There is action, but it is not as prevalent in Nolan's earlier films, and for me, that is refreshing; making the audience focus more on the story and characters, rather than the wham-pow theatrics of other films. There's a time and place for such things, but here, it is all the more welcome.

Although I'm sure some will say that this film borrows from other films, and to an extent, I somewhat agree. But this film is something really special to see. Not only do we get discussions on sacrifice, the nature of mortality and morality, heroism, and longing for a more innocent time, but also on many scientific theories on wormholes, interstellar travel, the vast and often, loneliness of space,and hope in the face of despair and anguish, and Nolan handles these themes with style and grace with many heartwarming moments of warmth and love. As a fan of science-fiction, I love this film wholeheartedly. And even I was convinced that some of what's in the film could one day become science fact: What if man can travel much farther in space then we are capable now? What if we can discover 3 to 4 dimensional space? And what if we can achieve time travel? These are questions that this film leaves, and though there are no easy answers, it is nonetheless, absolutely RIVETING to even think about such possibilities as to what can be achieved.

I'd say this film is like a Greek tragedy of man challenging the gods and whether or not they will succeed in such a feat. But after seeing this film and being absolutely BLOWN AWAY by it, I'm just anxious to see what Nolan and co come up with next. "Interstellar" directed by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, is one of the best films I've seen this year and is bound to be a timeless classic.

Godzilla (2014)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Best Godzilla film in years!!!, 25 May 2014
9/10

Wow, what an incredible movie. Granted, the characters are a bit one-dimensional, but the human drama and sense of peril is much more believable than Roland Emmerich's shlock 1998 remake; which despite having some entertaining moments, never captured the dark tone of the 1954 classic monster flick that introduced to the world one of the most beloved and iconic monsters of all time, the G-Man!!! I came in with low expectations, but when all hell breaks loose and the situation becomes more and more dire, that's when things get REALLY exciting. The fight between Godzilla and the Mutos, is nothing short of exhilarating. I only wish that the fights were longer and more intense and not so much focus on the human characters, but in the case of this film, it's justified in getting the audience to have sympathy for the human protagonists, but me personally, I was more enamored with the G-Man, than the humans; mainly stemming from the fact that I'm a HUGE Godzilla fan, and have been wanting to see a film in his original glory for years. Thankfully, it delivered, and by the box-office business this film is doing, we'll be seeing the G-Man in another massive monster mash in the future.

Great film. Best one in the franchise I've seen for a long time.

5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Surpasses the first film in many ways than one., 11 May 2014
9/10

Having just seen ASM 2, I say wholeheartedly that the second film is leagues BETTER than the first film. There's more drama, suspense, some dark moments, but perhaps the same comic-book like feel; something that Sam Raimi's films had, but never really delivered on it's premise. Thankfully however, Mark Webb and co, gave us a film that will be remembered for ages.

Even though there are three villains in this film, they are all superbly developed and well acted, something Sam Raimi's infamous Spiderman 3 SPECTACULARLY FAILED TO DO on SO MANY LEVELS. This film when you watch it gives you the sense that the movie is more understandable and therefore plausible in it's premise and execution. True, there are some rough spots in the film, but that does not in any way, shape, or form, take away from the experience.

One has to feel bad for Shailene Woodley, who was supposed to appear in the film as Mary Jane, Spidey's love interest for the uninitiated, but given how many characters and subplots are in the film, this was a wise decision on the film -makers part; after all, we wouldn't want to suffer through the same fate as Spiderman 3, would we? And unlike James Franco's take on Harry Osborne, Dane DeHaan gives a MUCH better performance. With his menacing stare and cold, blue eyes, he felt really intimidating as Spidey's future foe.

The action scenes are really spectacular and no pun intended, AMAZING!!! Never once was I bored throughout the entire runtime of the film. It's properly paced and intrinsically plotted with hints and bits of pieces for die-hard Spidey fans to discover; with some Easter eggs thrown in for good superhero measure. Tight direction and well choreographed, there's a great sense of tension and excitement to behold the on screen hijinks. I liked some of the slow-motion shots and they highlight the action; giving the film depth in it's perception of character and action-driven scenes and although not everyone will find them to their tastes, I think they work wonderfully in showcasing Spidey's acrobatic abilities which are greatly taken from the awesome source material.

So is The Amazing Spiderman 2 better than the first one? The overall answer is an AMAZINGLY enthusiastic YES!!! Mark Webb has done a really good job on giving us a sequel that goes in-depth of Peter Parker's psyche while also giving ample screen time to the villains and other character's involved in the titular hero's life. If the ending is anything to go by(which I will not spoil by any means) then we can expect more greater things to come in the overall narrative of this rebooted series. For once, three villains on screen are given screen time of character development and to be fair, it was a huge risk, but the risk payed off thanks in part to the well-written(and at times, humorous) plot and screenplay. Best sequel to a beloved superhero I've ever seen and by the impressively AMAZING box-office results, roll on Amazing Spiderman 3!!! Great job everyone!!! Great and AMAZING job!!!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Captain America is back and better than ever!!!, 6 April 2014
9/10

Having just seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I gotta say this sequel surpasses the original in so many ways. In it's place of an adventure yarn filled with WW2 action is a modern day political thriller with a dash of Cold War with superhero theatrics that work wonderfully with it's main cast and well-written and gritty script. I liked that the film touched on themes such as privacy, loyalty, rediscovering your past while also facing the future, and many dangers. So if you liked the first film, you're gonna love this sequel. It's a well made film that really ups the stakes for Cap and his allies and enemies wrapped up in a nice package of political intrigue.

A brief, but fun shooter., 5 March 2014
7/10

The original action-packed FPS "SiN" was a truly groundbreaking game of it's time; featuring real-world locations, tight controls, a damage system that targets specific parts of enemies,a sexy villain and much more. However, it was sadly overshadowed by the critically acclaimed Half-Life. Then came the expansion pack, Wages of SiN, that continues the adventures of John R. Blade, as he fights Gianni Manero, a mob boss that is trying to take over Freeport City with his army of mercenaries and mutants in Elexis Sinclaire's absence. Though, it's only 3 hours long, it at least satisfied the appetites of fans of the series.

Now comes SiN: Episodes. The game was released on the promise of more stories to come in the future. Many plot points are strongly hinted at throughout the game, such as Jessica Cannon's mysterious connection with secondary antagonist Victor Radek, the whereabouts of Elexis Sinclaire, and her plans for Blade, but sadly they are to remain unresolved since Ritual Entertainment, the creators of the series, went bust several years ago. A reboot of the series was planned at some point, but it remains to be seen whether or not to be in progress. With so much potential for a franchise utterly gutted, I was left(among with many fans) cold.

Despite being the only episode released thus far, Emergence has a lot of good things going for it. The controls are tight, gameplay is challenging, the graphics are nice, crisp, and decent, and the sound and voice acting is top-notch; the major gripes being that the SP campaign is too short, not a lot of enemy variety, and only 3 weapons to carry. In one of the later levels, you get to see Freeport City with VERY strong hints that exploration of the city(for the first time in the series) would be possible. But due to Ritual now being a casual games company, sadly such possibilities are dead in the water. As for the story, it's very comic-bookie in nature, with a dash of Robocop and Demolition Man, with some funny social satire jabs at corporatism and big business. Had the series continued, we might've gotten a deeper perspective of Freeport City and the main characters as well. If Lara Croft can get a well-deserved and more refined revival, then so can John R. Blade; a relatively obscured hero of the FPS genre whose presence is strengthened by the charismatic, yet ruthless dark-haired Elexis Sinclaire, a combination of brains and beauty that is without a doubt, a PERFECT match for Blade.

Having played this on PC, I gotta say, for what it is, it's a fun shooter. It's a real shame that it should've been a true sequel to one of my favorite FPS. With a full sequel, the world of John R. Blade, would've been fully fleshed out and more coherent(how Blade was captured by Sinclaire remains unclear)with more variety; especially with the enemies and locations to fight in. I haven't played Half-Life yet, but from what I heard, it's a fantastic game that SiN equally should've gotten the praise and admiration that it deserves. Still, it's cool to play as a bad-ass action hero blasting mutants like nobody's business and SiN fits that role perfectly.

Sin (1998) (VG)
Underrated, but fun shooter., 3 December 2013
8/10

So Half-Life achieved widespread critical acclaim upon release in the late '90s, but SiN received little attention due to the various bugs and no doubt it was overshadowed by the latter, but SiN is a game you should definitely play because it's a fun retro-First Person Shooter, and a really good one at that.

You play as Colonel John R. Blade, a vulgar, trash-talking cop who wants to know who is putting out a DNA-altering mutagen drug called U4, a clever anagram for euphoria(nice to have a game with lots of personality)/ After investigating and tracking down one of her cohorts, Tony Mancini, a mob boss in fictional Freeport City, he soon learns that it was none other than Elexis Sinclair, a rogue geneticist/mad scientist with a sexy allure, with gorgeous looks and a killer body(by '98 PC game standards). But there are many twists and turns in the plot that keep things very interesting.

What's really fascinating about this game is that Elexis Sinclair has both beauty and brains to match; a perfect foil for Blade. And the rest of the cast round out this sci-fi story terrifically, especially J.C., Blade's resident computer hacker who works for Hardcorps, a private security force that has taken over local law enforcement in Freeport City. Their constant banter with each other makes for some interesting and hilarious moments, and it gives this game a sparkle of charm in a sea of serious, modern FPS. The story and writing is great and comic-book like with a dash of Demolition Man and Robocop for atmospheric good measure. The level design is concise and cohesive. In fact many of the locations in the game have a realistic layout, making it seem as if it can take place in our world; a nice touch and the weapons have lots of punch in the sound department.

I recently bought this game along with Sin: Episodes. It's an episodic game series, but sadly only one episode has been released so far due to Ritual Entertainment closing it's doors; leaving the franchise in indefinite limbo. It would be nice to see the series on the next-gen of consoles because the story has a lot of potential to be something really great. An expansion pack, called Sin: Wages of Sin has been released, but it's a bitch to get it working on current PC platforms. So if you're willing to buy this, prepare to do a lot of tweaking in order to get the game to work.

Sin is a great, FPS that is charming in it's characters and plot. Although the graphics are dated by today's standards, they're nevertheless colorful and smooth with lots of nice looking environments that still look good even to this day. If you want a retro First Person Shooter, then look no further than Sin.

128 out of 159 people found the following review useful:
Totally unique., 17 November 2013
8/10

I just seen the first episode and I gotta say I'm really hooked on this show that's filled to the brim with human drama, action, humor, suspense, and mystery. But it's the human interactions between the two leads that makes the show very interesting and really thought provoking as well. Karl Urban(of Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, and of course, the utterly stellar "Dredd" fame) is really great in the role of a hard-as-nails cop who doesn't take too kindly to synthetic androids; one in particular, played by Michael Ealy, who is the complete antithesis of Urban. Ealy's character, Dorian, despite being an android, is very believable and convincing; conveying emotions that are(no pun intended) almost human. It'll be really interesting to see how their relationship plays out in subsequent episodes.

There's a lot of mystery and intrigue going on in this show so much, thankfully kept at the minimum to keep the audience guessing at the true motives of some of the characters while also giving the proceedings a heavy dose of suspense in a fantastically realized world and though it draws heavy inspirations from classic science fiction films, it weaves it's own plot and twists to keep things interesting and fresh. There are some plot points that I felt were rushed, but overall, this was a great episode to kick off the entire series. Be warned, there are some bloody scenes that are really intense, but the special effects, for a TV series, are really good and has a sense of hyper verisimilitude that, ironically enough, isn't too far-fetched. How long will it be before life-like androids begin to roam among humans in everyday life? If you don't think it's possible, then check out Raytheon, or DARPA, which are actively researching and developing this cutting edge technology. More importantly, there are lots of moral issues that should be discussed such as technology being too powerful, being replaced by androids, and as well as finding out what it means to be human and what separates man and machine.

I'd say "Almost Human" is an intelligent and thought-provoking series that within it's narrative, raises lots of questions, and though there's really no easy answers, the journey to find them is an exciting ride for those willing to undertake. I'm already anxious to see what's gonna happen next. Here's hoping that the show is successful for an entire season.

91 out of 182 people found the following review useful:
Well-written, tense, and incredible., 24 September 2013

Whedon has done it again. Not only has he given us the greatest superhero ensemble piece that is The Avengers(among Firefly, Angel, and the excellent Sci-Fi epic Serenity, and other things of this caliber)but also this new and exciting take on an established and soon to be shared "Marvel Universe" known as "Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D".

This new show delves into the lives of the human aspect of the mysterious organization among it's super-powered brethren(watch the earlier Marvel films as well as The Avengers to get up to speed)with lots of thrills and character drama that Mr. Whedon is so lovingly known for as example of his earlier work. The show has a lot of ground to cover as this is the first episode of a series, as more plot and character development will be explored in future episodes, but the premiere episode is really good. Not going overboard, just finding a nice balance between action and story. Other superhero shows have tried and failed; most notably "Heroes" although the first season is simply incredible, but Whedon's new series knows what it is and is building on it tremendously. Keen viewers will notice several Easter eggs pertaining to certain characters in the Marvel universe which I will not spoil, but for those new to this show, will be quite surprised.

I'm impressed with what this show has to offer. With a great foundation to build on, it's really shaping up to be something special. The last moments of this episode will leave you breathless and anxious to see what Whedon and co will come up with next. Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the better superhero shows out there on the airwaves; providing a nice balance of character pathos and movie-caliber action.

Riddick (2013)
6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Riddick is back and better than ever!!, 7 September 2013
8/10

After brushing his shoulders off from the ambitious but critically panned Chronicles of Riddick(though I liked the director's cut)Riddick is back in his prime; more brutal and badass than ever before. Gone is the mythological stuff that was previously present, and in it's place is a tight, well-written storyline that feels similar in tone to the first film, but nevertheless is it's own beast of a film.

Surprisingly, and to some which may be unexpected, Riddick actually has a soft spot. Considering that he's essentially a hardcore convict and murderer, the amount of heart that he shows to the alien dog is fascinating to watch as he explores the desolate planet's ruins to seek shelter from the harsh landscape and the vicious alien creatures that inhabit it. And the villains come off well-developed as well, with loads of humor, but also doesn't let us forget that they are cold-blooded and ruthless, who are more apt to stab you in the back for momentary personal gain.

Also worth mentioning is the small scale of the conflict. Not too OTT action scenes which are well made, personal character studies(one gets the impression that Riddick secretly wants to die, but something is holding him back from doing so, which may be resolved in the sequel)and above all, a much better story with lots of twists thrown in. A far cry from Chronicles of Riddick, which many people were not to kindly off, but to some, has it's merits on it's own terms.

The real question is: What's next for Riddick? Hopefully, this film does good business and gets a sequel that will further flesh out the intergalactic badass's character and universe. Riddick is back and better than ever!!


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