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Fantastic Four (2015)
Another Faluire in the Fantastic Four Film Franchise
The Fantastic Four is a series that can't get any love from Hollywood. This is the third attempt from 20th century fox and once again they fall flat on their face. I don't know why 20th can't get there act together to make a descent Fantastic Four film but they can't.
Which is sad because I think Chronicle(Josh Trank's first film) was a superhero film classic, I think it's a great example of a super hero film. When I heard of the cast and the director that would be be making this film, I got excited. I think I got blind sided like 20th century fox did when they got this cast and crew together. Because from reports about the production it seems like 20th did nothing as the film was being made and it was quite clear that Josh Trank didn't know or was just overwhelmed by the production of the film. It almost seems like it wasn't even the same director that made Chronicle and this film, because they are the complete opposite in terms of quality.
They were able to get very talented actors, they do their best, but even then they seem lost and feel like they are being directed by a director that doesn't know what to do. The talented cast includes Milles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordon, Jaime Bell, and Reg E. Cathey are cast well but when you are not being directed probably and not given a vision, even the greatest actors can't give a proper performance.
The first question that came in my head when I left this movie was, "They did they even get an editor for this film?" This film has no pacing and editing. It seems like a rough ensemble cut with the studio just cutting out what they didn't like about the film. The film has no character development, scenes just begin and end with no development or the plot being moved forward. You have a great cast and the director just wastes there talent just to fill in exposition or just slightly move the story forward. That's another problem with the film is that it doesn't move forward fast enough or even at all really. It takes forever to get started and the moment the story goes somewhere it ends and all of the studio re-shoots get in the way.
Speaking of re-shoots you can tell the studio destroyed what ever "vision" Josh Trank had for this film. There are some shots that are just beautiful and capture the characters very well. especially with The Thing and Sue Storm. You can see a glimmer of the vision idea almost shine through in the first act but by the time the third act hits the film makes no sense. It seems like even the actors have just given up on the film and so has everyone behind the camera.
I saw the film earlier today and I can tell you that I'm already forgetting what happened in the film. It's just forgettable and bland. Form start to finish the film is one note and it's not a very pleasant note. Hopefully 20th Century Fox gives up the film rights or just shelves any future project because they clearly have no idea to make a Fantastic Four film.
Another Disappointing Effort From Neil Blomkamp
Ever since the release of District 9, Neil Blomkamp has been trying to reluctant the success of that movie. After District 9 Neil made Elysium which was a disappointing film that was to similar to District. Know he has releases Chappie which again falls short to please.
The films stars Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, and Shalto Copley who plays Chappie. One of the few things great about the film is that Chappie is a great character to base this film on. Sadly Neil decides to make this a violent action film rather then really look at the character. It is the same with every character in his film that are interesting. He would rather focus on world building and action rather then focus on what could be really interesting, his characters.
That being said the world building in this film is great. The first hour of this film is spent mostly on the world building but the story and the characters suffer for it. Even though the action in the film gets in the way if everything it was fun to watch. Neil has a great eye for action and he continues to show it with this song.
To me one of the biggest problems of Neil Blomkamp's films is that his antagonist/villain character are just one dimensional and add nothing to the film other then to move the main character. All three of his films have had this same problem and the problem is getting worst and worst. Both Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver are great actors but they are given awful characters and Neil is no help in getting them a better performance.
I hope one day Neil Blomkamp can make another film that is as good as District 9. I think he's biggest problem is that he keeps on trying to recreate the same film over and over when he should try something new. I think he should take a break from Sci-Fi and let a story in his head rather then just jumping to make it. His ideas need time to breath, I hope he's next film doesn't suffer from it.
Sarah Snook Shines in this Intelligently Crafted Film
Time traveling movies are a tough nut to crack. This film is based on the short story "All You Zombies" by Robert A. Heinlein, which for many years was thought to be unfilmable. What the Spierig Brothers, the writers and directors of the film, have done here is tell a story that's faithful to the source material and give their own changes to it that adds to the story rather then takes away.
The film stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, and Noah Tyler who are all great in this film. What's really great about this film is that it's a sci-fi story about time traveling but the filmmakers and actors ground it by making it a character story and that's where Sarah Snook comes in. Sarah Snook plays a character that has had a really troubled life. I don't want to spoil anything but she shines in this movie and I think her performance that was really overlooked last year.
The only big problem about this film is that when it hits the third act the film becomes really hard to follow. A lot of story lines come crashing together in great ways but it's just a lot to take in. I had do some research after watching, usually I hold it against the film but I won't for this one because even though I was lost I still very interested to what was going to happen.
This is a wonderful Sci-Fi time traveler story that will keep you guessing all the way through. If you have a mind for this type of story then you'll have fun guessing what's going to happen next. Highly recommend this film is you are in the mood for a great time travel movie.
Under the Skin (2013)
A Sublime Beautiful Sci FI Film
Under The Skin represents Jonathan Glazer at the top of his game. This is definitely one of the most interesting Sci-Fi films that to me ranks among the greats like 2001 and Alien. The film combines the wonder of 2001 and the horror of Alien.
The film stars Scarlett Johansson is arguably her best role since Lost in Translation. Scarlett gives a very minimalist performance in this film but at the same has so much emotion in it, it is breathtaking. Every scene she is in she brings such weight to it and you see, very subtly, her change from the beginning to the film to the end. I don't want to spoil the journey the character goes one, so you'll have to see the film.
The cinematography and music in this film is just outstanding. The music is straight up terrifying and will have on the edge of the seat. The use of the music would make Stanley Kubrick proud. The way the film is shot and edited is just as profound as Johansson's performance in the film. In one of the very first shots of the film, there is a man riding a motorcycle late at night on highway. The shot is just mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, and scary all at the same time. It's one of my favorites shots of 2014.
The film is a great social commentary in how we see beauty and sex. This film confronts our superficial way we look at beauty forces us to question why our society does this. It's great and the film is just layered with that wonderful commentary.
I will say this film is not for everyone, this one is for the cinephiles. If you don't know if this is the film for you just look at the teaser and if you are intrigued by that, then this is the film for you. If you are not intrigued by it? Then it's probably not for you.
If you do watch this film you will not be sorry. This film will have you pinned to your seat from the second it starts to the final frame of the film.
Could've Been A Great Horror Film
But sadly Kevin Smith had to be the one who made this film. I don't know why Smith tried so hard to inject comedy in a film that is clearly a horror film.
The film stars Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment, and Johnny Depp. I will say I think the acting for the most part is really good, especially Michael Parks and Genesis Rodriguez. I've been a huge fan of Michael Parks even since I saw him in his double role in Kill Bill. Parks is having so much fun with this role and adds a truly terrifying atmosphere to the film. Genesis Rodriguez adds a wonderful level of emotion to the film. You feel her pain all throw out the film and gives a performance that really did move me. The last scene between her and Justin Long where she talks about her grandfather is heartbreaking. Everyone else does fine but those two are the ones that shine.
The biggest problem with this film is the tone control. Kevin Smith has no control over the tone of this film and the constant back in fourth between horror and comedy is very confusing. I will admit that the parts of the film that is horror is actually scary and at times horrifying. But sadly all of that is ruined by the switch to comedy. The comedy in this film is so unfunny and at many times just mean spirited and just made me uncomfortable(and not the good kind of uncomfortable). During the credits we get a audio clip of the "infamous" podcast that lead to this film. Kevin smith is talking about the final scene and laughing all the way throw pitching the movie. He's laughter shows the total misinterpretation of his own script and shoes the mean spirited humor that is laced throughout this film.
"Tusk" could've been a great movie. With a great cast and an interesting plot but Kevin Smith just destroyed it by trying to inject his so called "Humor" in it. If he had just gone and made a straight horror film he could have had something special here. I see Kevin Smith's comedy something along the lines as George Lucas's use of special effects.
It's not needed.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Definitely belongs among Woody's Best and also the best of the year
Woody Allen does what very few filmmakers can do. He makes you fall in love with the characters. All of his movies have been character driven films and they all have a certain flare about them that separates his films from everyone else and in Midnight in Paris it really shows. The films stars just like all of his other films a huge cast of talented actors. Owen Wilson, Rachael Mcadams, Marion Cotillard, Kurt Filler, Alison Pill, and Tom Hiddleston. They all shine in this film and even when some of the actors have small roles they leave a lasting impression.
If you love Paris you will differently love this love letter to the wonderful city. Woody Allen continues to prove why he is considered one of the best filmmakers around with this movie. Also Owen Wilson plays a fantastic Woody Allen and gives the best performance of his career. Alison Pill is wonderful with the southern accent and really shines in her role as does Tom Hiddleston. Also There's the always great Rachael Mcadams who's as talented as beautiful. Woody Allen shot Paris quite wonderfully and makes want to live in Paris in the 20's in the rain. The script which was written in the mid 2000's and Woody Allen tried to get this film made but it was to expensive so he had time to work on this script and it really shows because like some of his recent movies like Cassendra's Dream it probably would have been better with a little more work on the script and here is prime example why.
If this film does not get any accolades by the end of the year it would quite shocking. Especially for the acting which everyone deserves recognition. With its great acting and its wonderful writing and directing this defiantly is one of the best films of the year.
District 9 (2009)
SEE IT TWICE!! A Sci-Fi Masterpiece
This film is great the first time seeing but it is much better a second time. This is a must for Sci-Fi Lovers. This is definitely the best science fiction film of the decade and that is not a joke. Neil Blomkamp has got heck of career ahead. This movie felt like it was being directed by a professional but it was Neils first future length film! The story is thought provoking, the pacing is just right, the special effects are amazing and the films budget was only 30 million dollars.
The final word on this film is its amazing definitely award worthy and a must see. But I must this film is not for everyone this is a very violent movie and very intense SEE IT TWICE!!
The Thing (1982)
There's no other movie like this one
John Carpenter's The Thing Is a great classic that not that many people have seen today and for those how have seen this you know what I mean. What makes this film so great is that its so different from any movie I have ever seen. For the most part horror films have bad story telling, bad acting and is usually just bad. Thats not The Thing, The Thing is really a true masterpiece. Everything about it is just perfect, the acting, the directing, the writing just everything about this movie is perfect. The best thing about this movie would have to be the atmosphere in this movie. It feels like your in the middle of nowhere and this thing is around imitating things. I mean it could be anyone it could be you and you wont even Know that its you infected. The musical score by Ennio Morricone is spectacular and one of the best ever. The main part of the score is just to very low bass notes that just puts you in the awkward feeling that you know something bad is going to happen. The acting by everyone is very well done and is believable by everyone. The directing by John Carpenter is pitch perfect, I had never really like John Carpenter directing in any of his movies Until I saw this.
The Dark Knight (2008)
On of the most mind blowing movies ever and a brilliant performance by Health Ledger
Batman Begins when it was released 4 years ago it set the new bar for superhero movies. It was the first superhero movie I like. What Christopher Nolan did in dark knight was set a new bar for superhero movies and all movies alike. This film was directed superbly, fantastic editing and music, and some of the best acting of this decade. Most of the action scenes were jaw dropping, no other movie wowed more then this movie did. Health Ledger is nothing short of amazing, I thought the bad guy in No Country For Old was scary. This is the best Joker and one of the best performances of all time. The joker on this movie is sadistic and insane I was literally shaking in my seat I was blown away by Health Ledger. His performances is a masterpiece even better than the movie itself. Even though Health Ledger performances did steal the entire show the , Aaron Eckhart did also a fantastic job too and also Oscar worthy too. This is Christopher Nolan best film and has a lot of good ones and this one just better than of all their films and a lot of other films than general. This film well for sure be look on as a classic for many years and definitely influence young film makers for many years.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Pepare For a Truly Awesome Movie
This is a funny awesome movie that thats not only for kids but also for adults and teenagers. This film has one of the biggest all star cast I have ever seen. It stars Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogan and David Cross and the all of the all star cast give great performances. This film also Has very cool bad guy played Ian McShane how gives the best performance of this movie. This is one of the few movies to get me laughing out loud and to keep on making me laugh time after time after time. I will say this is Dreamworks best animated and probably there best film ever. This film is fantastic and there truly nothing bad about this film and I have seen it twice and still can't find nothing bad about this movie and its a must see.