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Special-K88

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785 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
After six years, this is what they give us?, 22 September 2013

Witless 'sequel' does a disservice to the much lauded Die Hard series and the iconic John McClane character by bringing him on screen yet again for this boring and generic action flick. McClane, having been informed of the whereabouts of his long estranged son Jack, travels to Russia then teams up with Jack after they get caught up in your typical government conspiracy type plot. The result? Gun fire, explosions, car chases, some occasionally meaningless exposition, but zero tension, excitement, or memorable scenes. For a franchise known for its disparate villains, memorable action set pieces, and witty dialogue, this fails miserably on all accounts. Was this actually meant to be part of the same series? *½

Riddick (2013)
8 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
recalls the original but doesn't live up to it, 8 September 2013

Years after tangling with the deadly Necromongers, the infamous Riddick finds himself marooned on a desolate planet where the dangers are numerous and seemingly endless. With time running short and needing to escape from the hostile world, Riddick must lock horns with a rogue group of bounty hunters, as well as a highly skilled team of mercenaries in order to survive. The only question is…who can he really trust? An improvement over its immediate predecessor the film relies on a fairly straightforward approach with intense, violent action/effects sequences, but it's hampered by routine plotting, leaden pacing, generic characters, over-the-top acting, and some truly awful dialogue. Essentially a reworking of the original Pitch Black only not as good, though Diesel is game as always. **

20 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
not much entertainment value, 12 August 2013

Some time after the events of The Last Stand, this sequel of sorts focuses on Logan/Wolverine as a tortured soul living in isolation and haunted by vivid memories of his lost love. Now, having reached an emotional impasse, he travels to Japan to visit an old comrade. Once there, he quickly gets caught up in a complex political power struggle that, for the first time in his life, makes him truly vulnerable. Jackman, not unexpectedly, is formidable in the lead, and there are lots of visceral action scenes, but that does little to compensate for the faults; film's tone is grim, its characters—sans Jackman—are unappealing, plotting is convoluted, subject matter turns ugly, and the pace lags heavily after a strong start. Jackman effectively spits, scowls, snarls, and flexes his muscles in what has become his go-to role, but he has almost no support; too long, too dark, and too serious to really be fun. **

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
studio recaptures the magic in this snappy prequel, 27 July 2013

Pixar returns to form in this charming, laugh-out loud funny prequel to Monsters, Inc. The film focuses on Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan in their early days at MU when they were two young, ambitious, and fiercely competitive students trying to make their mark as scare majors. Eventually, circumstances force them to put aside their differences so they can try and accomplish their ultimate goal. Despite the familiarity of the characters, and an inevitable resolution, this feels like a fresh studio product with a good setup, clever and original gags, splendid animation, wonderful vocal talents, and an ingratiatingly feel-good tone. ***

a different but effective chapter of the Superman saga, 15 June 2013

On the distant, ill-fated planet of Krypton a devoted scientist jettisons his newborn son across the galaxy in the desperate hope that his life will be the key to preserving the Kryptonian race. Having landed safely on Earth and been adopted by two loving parents, the boy struggles to adapt to human life while always painfully aware of the external limits of his extraordinary abilities. It's not until years later—as a man—that he begins to fully embrace his extraterrestrial heritage with the very fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. Reimagining of sorts of the iconic DC Comics character is much more serious and somber in both its tone and characterizations than previous renditions, but there's still plenty to please with fantastic visual effects, soaring action scenes, and compelling human drama. Film's unremitting climatic action sequences border on superfluous, yet remain exciting and fun to watch. Pumped-up Cavill definitely looks the part, but the real acting highlights are veterans Costner and especially Crowe as his adoptive and biological fathers. ***

we get the point, now please put the pack to rest, 3 June 2013

The Wolfpack has come howling back for more in this unnecessary third installment which—if interested viewers remember—once began with a fresh, clever, and outrageously funny first installment. Phil, Stu, and Doug have gone on with their respected married lives, but are forced to stage an intervention when Alan—the most troublesome member of their notorious crew—has gotten completely out of control as the result of a tragic occurrence. Meanwhile, the infamous Leslie Chow has escaped from prison and has a long list of enemies, including a particularly ruthless one named Marshall (Goodman) who demands the Wolfpack find Chow or else suffer dire consequences. Contrived, protracted, and barely funny, this is only likely to satisfy viewers who enjoy seeing that same zany group of characters from the first two films reunited for more strange shenanigans. A few chuckles here and there, but enough already. **

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
knows what it is and knows what to deliver, 3 June 2013

Having successfully pulled off what was thought to be their last job in Rio, the colorful crew—or family—of street racers, carjackers, et al have gone their separate ways and are living in luxury. They're unexpectedly drawn back into the past when Agent Hobbs tracks them down and offers them a deal: full pardons and a return to their home country if they can help track down Owen Shaw—an elusive mercenary/criminal mastermind/evil genius type whose skills and savvy match their own. Although initially reluctant, the crew reassembles when the job becomes personal. In this type of film it's futile to stop and criticize the far-fetched logic, absurd action sequences, weak acting, and threadbare story which is nothing more than a ploy to pull viewers along a supercharged ride, so if you can turn your brain off for the sufficient running time then the film delivers exactly what you'd expect. Lots of high-octane action scenes, stunts, and fatal escapes, but it's been seen so many times over that it's easily forgettable. **

Iron Man 3 (2013)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
has its flaws but still a lot of fun, 10 May 2013

In a post-Avengers world, billionaire/genius/playboy/philanthropist Tony Stark is deeply troubled; the eye-opening events of New York City have left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and an obsessive, nearly uncontrollable urge to perfect his Iron Man technology. Not only does this put a strain on his blossoming relationship with Pepper Potts, it also makes him that much more vulnerable to his newest foe: The Mandarin, a wily terrorist whose reach knows no bounds. With his world slowly being torn apart, Stark must find it in himself to conquer his demons and put a stop to the latest threat. Much darker than its predecessors, both in story and in presentation, but the film's tone is a frustratingly uneven blend of broad comedy and deeply penetrating human drama. Not quite on target, but still entertaining thanks to a formidable cast, outstanding special effects, and high-octane action scenes that leave you on the edge of your seat. **½

Lincoln (2012)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
an important piece of history vividly brought to life, 10 January 2013

Set toward the conclusion of the U.S. Civil War comes this gripping portrait of a beloved and iconic U.S. President. With his second term underway, Abraham Lincoln is at a crossroads as he attempts to make history by passing the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery. Although assured of support from his own party, he struggles to procure enough votes from the opposition while also balancing out his tumultuous relationships with his wife (Field) and eldest son (Gordon-Levitt). A rich and compelling portrait of a man who sought change, with well-defined characters, an enlightening look into old American politics, and leisure, masterful direction from Spielberg allowing viewers to feel like they were there as it happened. An abundance of speechifying—as one would expect—but compensated for by a magnificently steady, serene Day-Lewis who embodies Lincoln with chilling authenticity. Jones also stands out as the fiery, principled Thaddeus Stevens, but they're both surrounded by an outstanding cast. ***

some shortcomings yet still an engaging experience, 6 January 2013

Respectable, workmanlike adaptation of the acclaimed 19th century French musical headlined by a top-notch cast bringing the all the memorable characters to the screen, with Jackman as the reformed Valjean, Crowe as the dogged Javert, Hathaway as the dispirited Fantine, Seyfried and Redmayne as the star-crossed Cosette and Marius, and Cohen and Bonham Carter as the odious Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. A grandiose visual spectacle featuring some wonderful songs, strong performances—especially Jackman and Hathaway—and a vivid sense of time and place, though some of the emotional impact is muted by the film's long running time. Imperfect, but a nice job overall. ***


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