Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Love Me (2013)
An interesting story let down by some awful acting
There's not a lot that can be said for Love Me. It's not the worst made for TV movie I've seen but it's far from being stellar. The only surprising grace to the movie was the story line, which was intriguing till it seemed that the writer ran out of steam three quarters of the way in and just hashed up a conclusion in three minutes. It doesn't help that the pacing is slow, loose direction and portrayed by some first class awful acting.
Let's get over the good part first. The missing person angle may not be original and the start was hardly electrifying it does become more interesting. Additional details are slowly fleshed out which indicates that there's more to a simple case of a person going missing. There are some slight turns so as to keep the story going and while it works on a small part and on an overall perspective it's in the detail where things fall apart. There's problems with the so called prime suspect and the police are little more than idiots who have no clue how to conduct an investigation and are best traffic cops with a petty grudge. As the story becomes clearer it gets less interesting and the finale is clichéd and mundane that it's not even worth watching.
The character development is pretty poor. I didn't feel any connection with the main "cast." Sylvia and her friends hardly hang out on screen which lends great credibility to the term BFF and each of them are self centered and rather vapid. What's worse is the bad boy, no one understand me pained look bad news boyfriend who inexplicably attracts the attention of the main lead, Sylvia. Sparks fly but the romance is listless, awkward and painful to watch. There's a side character plot involving Sylvia which was pointless.
The acting is quite abysmal and I blame the director for not having the foresight to detect the lack of emotive quality, nor the decency to hire actors who can actually act. The 3 rating that I have given is for the story...at least for 75% of the plot that was interesting.
I'd like to recommend this but unfortunately the sum of mistakes outweigh positivity of the storyline. Watch if there's no rerun you want to muddle through, or if you just don't care.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Absolutely brilliant, absolutely must see and must own!
Every once in a while a movie will come out of the blue and hit you right between the eyes, in a good way. Wreck-It-Ralph (WIR) is just one of those movies. It is perhaps one of the best movies I've seen this year, and can confidently put in in the top 5 that for the entire year, despite it being a 2012 release.
Normally, I like to be as objective as possible, but I must confess a certain degree of bias for WIR for it has good visuals, good characterization, and most of all an excellent story.
I state the visuals as being good because that's the best word I can use. They're not stunning compared to other animated movies both old and new but it has been aptly rendered to fit with the video game like feel of the characters.
The main strength of the movie is the story, a clever weaving of different video game characters and giving them a more fleshed out and "human" quality. The behind the scenes story was refreshing and highly entertaining. I enjoyed how the story created a link between an arcade player and the character he/she chose. There was also a nice blend of various genres of game styles, appealing a wider viewing audience. The clever part was that pretty much anyone could associate with the characters, across genders and age groups, as we've pretty much encountered similar games over the year. Some of the characters were instantly identifiable, such as the Street Fighter characters or Qbert, but others were play on characters so you did have to stretch your imagination and association.
The story is very well told and moves at a good pace, never stagnating. It's hard to put my finger on it but WIR had an original vibe to it, even without it being a completely new idea. Think of it as a re-imagining of a fairy tale story, only there isn't a dragon, or a chivalrous knight, or a damsel in distress. Again, it's very cleverly done. The range of emotions that movie displays is also staggering. It has everything for everyone- action, humour, romance, drama.
If there is a slight drawback to the movie it would be in the voice over department. I have nothing against John C. Reilly but I felt that his presence took away from Ralph. Every time Ralph spoke I didn't see or hear Ralph. I saw and heard John C. Reilly when I really wanted to see and hear Ralph. A no name but a good voice actor would have been preferable, at least to me. After all in animation movies the characters are promoted, not the actors voicing them. Did mothers and their daughters flock to the cinemas to see Brave because Kelly Macdonald and Emma Thompson were doing the voice overs? I didn't think so either.
All in all this is a movie that everyone should see. The endearing quality of the movie will have you smiling, laughing, tense, frowning and maybe even in tears. I have been recommending this movie to everyone I talk to about movies, and if you read this review and watch the movie I hope you do to. This movie deserves a rating closer to 9.5 than that overall 7.9 that is stated.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
An interesting and a fun experience at the cinema
SLP is one of the few movies that's worth watching on the big screen, not just because you know there won't be any loud and obnoxious people in the cinema with you, but for a seemingly good time that seems to fly so quickly that you feel slightly dazed when the end credits roll.
The story is interesting, if a little bit clichéd in one part, but that doesn't take away from the overall experience. It was fun trying to watch Pat try to sort out his life after being let out of the mental institution and once out he has a host of obstacles to overcome, the least of which happens to be Tiffany, a young unemployed widower.
Bradley Cooper is excellent as the disturbed Pat, so scarily so that you think that Cooper in real life exhibits these problems. He's well supported by Robert DeNiro as his Dad, with one or two loose screws of his own. Jennifer Lawrence is good but for some reason, for me anyway, she didn't quite pull off the role of a crazed or mental person. At least not when you compare her to Cooper.
The pace of the movie moves along quite nicely, the editors doing a good job of moving from scene to scene seamlessly. There's never a drop or a part that doesn't fit in. The humour is funny and helps break the serious flow at the right moments.
All in all it's a good movie, an even better date movie, but one that you'll enjoy at the cinema.
French Immersion (2011)
Neither the best Canadian movie, nor the worst.
Contrary to the other user views French Immersion is definitely NOT the best or worst. Some of my nominees for best would be Good Cop Bon Cop and Starbuck.
What French Immersion does well is introduce and maintain a level of quaint quirkiness throughout the movie. Some of the jokes or least cracks involving the dislike between the English speaking population and the French is tongue in cheek but funny. But other things were handled rather amateurishly, so there was a lot of room for improvement, just as there was scope for development.
The idea of having a group of non french speakers go to a town in Quebec to learn French was good but there was hardly any french spoken when the group was left to its own devices. Most of the English group had their own agendas which were not properly developed. Even the plot about the gay politician learning french so he could use it to strengthen his candidacy for national leadership was stale and didn't really amount to much. The only interesting thing was the burgeoning romance between Julie and Colin.
All this amounts to a silly, somewhat watchable fare. As long as you accept that it's neither the best nor the worst Canadian film you'll be fine.
Sisters & Brothers (2011)
Depth to a simply titled film
I have to admit that I had several reservations before watching this movie but once I got stuck in I enjoyed it. Well, most of it.
There are 4 stories, thankfully not connecting. Of the 4 the least interesting, ironically because I have a brother and it should have struck a more resonant chord with me, is of Justin and Rory. I just found both of them superficial in the beginning and the brotherly relationship just wasn't done well enough by either actor to be believable, which caused me to forward most of their scenes. They felt more like close friends who lost touch than siblings and their "plight" was largely interesting.
The most interesting was that of Sarah, who goes from being a single child to finding out that she has a half sister and then has to deal with that, along with the prickly relationship she has with her mother. I won't reveal anything about this storyline because it's worth watching for the surprise and how it pans out.
Acting wise, it's about average for an indie film. Gabrielle Miller and Ben Ratner are very good and so is Kacey Rohl as Sarah is a standout among the cast. Amanda Crew, arguably the more known cast member, went over the top a bit but was mostly lost in her role.
As I mention in the title there is depth to the movie. It's shows the bonds between siblings, their differences and similarities, their closeness and what they'd do for one another. There's a lesson to be learned from each story and most people would be able to associate with one storyline or another and that association between the fictional character and the viewer is a good touch.
Interesting but a little long in the tooth
First off, whoever made the trailer for Flight should be slapped in the face, and then fired... It certainly would have been nice to have experienced first hand how Denzel Washington's character averts a mega disaster. Even though the trailer ruined the surprise it doesn't reduce the heart thumping moments of the airplane scenes.
Flight is mostly interesting but it is also quite long and if you're one to fidget the time is going to go by slowly. It tells the story of a flight captain averting a major air disaster and concentrates on the consequences afterward.
This movie relies on two things: Denzel Washington and the special effect. Both deliver but it's the effects that get the nod because you can barely tell, if at all, when it's all blue screen. My heart was thumping wildly in the beginning of the movie, as if I was in the plane. Amazing stuff.
Denzel succeeds too, that is if you want to loathe his character, who's essentially a selfish scumbag, and a drug induced alcoholic to boot. It's interesting that Robert Zemeckis went down the path of having a lead in such a negative role. Washington is in great form, as a charmer and as someone in denial.
It's a decent movie to watch, especially if you're in the mood for drama. Action hunters should avoid it, unless you're a Denzel fan. Just beware that it does drag at times.
Strike Back (2010)
A disappointing Second Season
The second season, or technically the first season according to HBO, was interesting if not clichéd, contrite and over the top. At the very least the there was a semblance of a storyline that had a start, middle and and end. The third season, sadly had none of that.
It's hard to imagine what the writers were thinking when they sat down to ink out a story for the new season. But it's not hard to imagine that they were lacking much needed brain cells and a spark of ingenuity. Instead of a thrilling plot what we, as the viewers, ended up with was a jumbled mess and each episode felt more like a movie version of the Call of Duty series. I probably wouldn't be too far off the remark if the writers sat down to write the story AFTER playing Call of Duty for a couple of hours.
The new season tried to be bigger than the previous, in pretty much everything. They succeeded in only one: bigger and better action sequences, which brings to mind extensive studying of the Call of Duty game play. The moves, the explosions and the sound of the guns are very authentic and should be praised. The rest should not.
My main gripe is the storyline. It is AWFUL. The villain is someone who really doesn't need to resort to being the villain. No rhyme or reason to his madness. Then there is the slight tension with the new head of Section 20, which looked as if it could have gotten interesting but it led nowhere. There was no surprise to the way it ended and the final scene was awkward and pointless..as were the soft core porn sex scenes.
In the acting category Winchester and Sullivan return as Stonebridge and Scott and they actually improved on their performances from Season 2. Stonebridge was a little bit more likable. His actions as a elite soldier are precise and brilliantly done. Sullivan, as Scott, is less likable and even more sleazy than before. I don't know if he asked for his character to bang the hot girl in each episode but it was getting irritating. Presumably the only times he didn't have sex in the episode was if the girl refused to get naked...which probably left Sullivan brooding and sulky. The rest of the cast were robotic.
All in all, if there is to be another season I hope that the current writers are fired and that the story is tighter and more importantly...HAS a valid story. Watch the season only if you're a die hard fan of the actors or if there is nothing on on regular TV.
Taken 2 (2012)
Good Action, poor story makes this an unnecessary sequel
There are certain movies that do not require sequels: Cars 2, Wrath of the Titans, Shrek 2. Taken 2 should safely be added to that list.
It's not a terrible movie- had it been a standalone story it would have done very well. But there are so many repetitions that makes it seem as though you're watching a different version of Taken 1, from the chirpy intro, to being abducted and the subsequent actions scenes. Close your eyes as you watch Taken you, visualize Taken 1 in your mind, and you can virtually map the entire movie without opening your eyes.
The action deserves the plaudits as it's choreographed very well. Luc Besson is a veteran of car action stunts and there are some thrilling moments. But it's ruined by the repetitive and predictive story.
Liam Neeson looked bored as he lumbers his way through the movie. He should as he's done the same thing in Taken 1. This time he and his ex-wife, Leonora, are taken and he has to get loose, and beat up all the goons standing between him and freedom. Along the way he has to save his daughter, again! Seems as though she didn't suffer enough in the first movie. The main villain has a poor excuse for attacking Neesom, which looks even more pathetic when Neeson counters with a very valid reason for causing the villain so much anguish.
Maggie Grace has more of presence in this movie and while it's great for girl power that she has a more action oriented role, it really requires a superhuman effort to accept that her character, who can't even pass a road test in USA in an automatic car to boot, somehow becomes an ace stick shift driving hotshot in the crowded streets of Istanbul. More than Neesom kicking everyone's ass I found this quite absurd.
I really hope that this is the end of Taken. As Neeson's character states in the movie "I'm tired of this." I echo that sentiment loudly.
The bottom line is that it is disappointing so much money was spent to essentially make the same film again. If you're looking to satisfy your action thirst before Skyfall comes out this won't be the worst thing to go watch. Just don't pay full price for it.
An excellent Sci-fi mind bender
It's best if you go into the cinema without knowing what the story is about because you'll have a pleasant experience.
The story is interesting and while you need to pay attention in the beginning there's not much in the sense of brow furrowing twists. It's not foolproof, not utterly brilliant, by any means but it serves its purpose in keeping you focused till the end.
The acting is very well done by JGL. Willis is pretty much the same in movies these days so I can't rate his acting. Just chalk it up to Bruce Willis being...Bruce Willis. I'm not a fan of Emily Blunt but she was good here and her accent was flawless. Jeff Daniels was so-so. I felt he had an important role to play in the story but he was just relegated to being a goon, and a pointless goon at that.
While there are questions about the plot and the time travel and the idea of a looper in general it's not enough to deter your experience. It's one of the better movies in an awful and disappointing year in terms of cinematic experience.
Interesting Story that lacked a tighter rein on the script and direction
Had Absentia been handled better the rating would have been a lot higher and number discussion boards created on the aspects of the story. Instead it was a loose hodgepodge mess that highlighted the B movie quality to the storyline.
The movie left me slightly irritated because there were so many questions that went unanswered. Even if it was run on a low budget there was no excuse for not elaborating on the eeriness of the movie. Some of the chills were done well, and without any annoying loud music that a lot of the "A" horror movies employ. Sure, one or two of them you could sense was coming but even when it happened it caused me to jump slightly and I was impressed. But these are few and far in between. Most of the time the movie plods on aimlessly. There's a bleak tone to the movie that's well maintained and while it doesn't go into a Hollywood type ending I certainly was hoping for something better.
The performances are not especially mesmerizing. The two lead girls are adequate but their interaction felt more like that of two best friends rather than sisters. The detectives were useless, especially the one with the glasses. But that's because of the poor character development, direction and the story. Which makes it the director's fault.
If this had been delivered into the hands of a more seasoned director and the story tightened to allow more development on the creepiness of the story it would have been a classic. While I recommend the movie, I do so grudgingly. It's slow and frustrating and the end will leave you shaking your head.