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Good but not great
Remember those straight-to-video sequels Disney often releases. On Stranger Tides feels like one of them. By itself it may count with a great production and actually not a bad story to bring to film, but it doesn't really live up to the previous films. The original trilogy felt like that. A trilogy. Curse of the Black Pearl's story may not have much to do story-wise with the other two, but at the end, the three felt like a saga. This feels more like a stand alone film, which, have it been the first one to be released, it wouldn't have felt as bad as it does now.
When it comes to the story, it's not all that entertaining. While the first one brought a fresh piece to cinema, and introduced us to beloved characters in an epic adventure, the second and third one brought those characters to develop, finish personal business and get into new adventures. This one leaves everything aside going for a fresh start, not really giving much importance to where the characters were before, and bringing some new ones which don't really grow into us.
The mermaid sequence is the one worth watching in the whole movie. I wish the part with Ponce de Leon's ship would have carried us to a more epic battle, and I feel the same way about the part where Jack and Barbosa steal the silver chalices from the Spaniards. Which, BTW, the Spaniards work as an antagonist to all, Barbosa, Jack Sparrow, and Blackbeard, but in an attempt to reduce screen time and avoid saturating the story, they don't develop those characters (or at least one of them), and don't give them a motivation to go to the fountain, making all their role in the film feel a little off.
Aside from that Angelica and Blackbeard could be characters to look forward to in further films, and so are Philip and Serena. The cast of the fifth film has been announced and none of them are part of it. A film where all the major characters from the franchise have a worth part would be way too heavy, so if i had to choose, between bringing them back, or having more Will and Elizabeth, I would go with Will and Elizabeth any day. So yeah, stick with the original trilogy, but don't give this one the cold shoulder.
What a way of insisting in making a 2 part movie.
I know the tendency initiated by the Harry Potter saga is a way of (1) making the movie more faithful to the book and (2) the production company to make more money. I assume that when Harry Potter did it, they were struggling with a way of resuming too many important details in 2 hours. 3 tops. From then on, screenwriters have done the opposite, which is focusing in the not so important details of the book to make a 6 hour script and 《then》being able to make two separate movies.
In this case it was fairly evident. The scenes were slow at many points, too many longer than necessary dialogs and sequences. (Like Katniss repeatedly singing her symbol song, Katniss and Gale going hunting, and Katniss repeating at least 10 times "President Snow, can you hear me?").
The movie can be resumed in the capitol being a bunch of corrupt mother f***ers and the districts rising against them with Katniss as their symbol.
Most of the most exciting action sequences in the movie didn't even occur around the main characters and the ones that did, were not ones that put them in a difficult enough situation to keep the audience rooting for them on the edge of their seat.
Basically, it becomes just a transition movie, unlike many other movies made out of extracts of a book, it doesn't count with a strong beginning, middle and end. It turns out pretty much flat and the inflection points throughout the film could have come out a lot stronger to keep the audience interested.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Some things went right, some things went wrong.
Let just start by saying, the excessive amount of comic book movie releases lately has set the bar way higher than were it was when Sam Raimi's "Spider Man 2" came out.
I'll try not to make comparisons between both movies unless i feel the need to do so, and just to put you in some context, i like this saga better than the last one mostly based on the fact that Andrew Garfield is a better casting choice for Peter Parker than Toby McGuire.
It was exciting, sure, but like I said, the bar for comic book movies is higher, and we just don't settle for action sequences and cool super powers anymore. Which leads me to the first mistake: the story. Although is not the reason we watch comic book movies, it is what makes them good. Sequels are hard because it's not about the transformation, or obtaining the super powers anymore, which would steal about 45 minutes of the movie. This time we had major plot wholes just for the fact the story wasn't very well written. Harry and Peter were somehow (and I quote Peter) "Best friends" which the only reference we had about said friendship is a 10 minute scene were they share why they have drifted apart (which for me felt like the writers just felt obligated to write it since Harry wasn't on the first movie.) Also Harry is sick, and apparently the very existence of OsCorp is helping that kind of sickness. They never even explain what it is or how they got it, apparently it's just some kind of mutation.
Peter is working taking pictures of Spider-Man (of course we know that is what Peter does) but we never get a glimpse of how he got the job, or how long he's been doing this or J. Jonah Jameson.
Apparently OsCorp is hiding big corporation secrets, but not big enough to stop people who know them. OsCorp staff spends about a 5-10 minute period chasing Gwen, but after that, they must have thought "Meh, she already knows anyway" because we never see what happens with this.
Why this happens?
In my opinion they spent too many time focusing on Peter and Gwen's relationship. It's like the whole movie was written around (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Gwen's death at the end.
There wasn't much story to tell about the villains, Jamie Fox does an excellent job playing a nerdy janitor leading you to think how does HE become such a bad ass later, and when it finally happens, it's just like he decides he's angry so he will become evil. The Office's BJ Novak's only job was just pissing him off and lowering his self stem to give Jamie Fox a reason to become the bad guy.
Also, what a waist of Paul Giamatti, just screaming one liners inside a huge Rhino suit, which really could have resembled any other beast in the animal kingdom, but, you know, the Rhino was a villain in the Spider-man comic books, so even if there's no reason whatsoever OsCorp had a rhino-shaped tank... Well, the suit had to be a rhino.
Probably the best element of the whole movie. Emma Stone is just so freaking enjoyable, and I am probably saying this as one of her biggest fans, but her role in the movie was great. How Gwen deals with Peter being Spiderman, and having to brake up with him, but still wanting to be her friend, it just made the whole story really human. Although the movie as a whole is not as good as the movies from The Avengers Saga (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America), Emma Stone is probably the only element that's at the same level (Comapairing her with Natalie Portman and Gwineth Paltrow). (SPOILER ALERT!!) Casting a Mary Jane to replace her now that she's dead, will be a hell of job (which Shailene Woodly would not be able to pull of, in my opinion).
PETER PARKER Quirky, fun, better than Toby McGuire.
Last year it was Cars 2 and now this? What's wrong with Pixar?
Ever since 2003 when they started having a yearly release (except for the 2005 break), Pixar films were a MUST in summer movie guides. The fact that they started getting a yearly Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Picture, just convinced us that the appeal wasn't just in our minds, and on top of that two consecutive nominations for Best Picture (which makes Pixar the only animation production company that has managed to get those since Disney with Beauty and the Beast). We wouldn't mind whether the trailer was appealing or not; or if the story seemed good... you may have even thought: "meh... I don't think this one's gonna be better than the last one"... However, you would like it. Period.
But after last year's "Cars 2" and this year's "Brave", it seems like we're gonna have to start analyzing whether to go watch a Pixar release or not, which is something you just didn't do. That's a huge fail for Pixar, cause they're gonna start loosing market. It will be just like Dreamworks. Sure they have "Shrek" and "How to train your dragon"... But they also have "Shark Tale", "Flushed Away" and "Over the hedge"... (Not to mention all the other Shrek films)
You get it? Pixar being good is not a 'law' anymore. Whether the film was good or not, used to be a generalized "Two thumbs up"... Now it depends on opinions. (And most of them are just not good)
I'm glad the Academy punished them last year by not giving "Cars 2" a Best Animated Film nomination. I don't think "Brave" deserves one either, and if they give it, it will be based on graphics and animation more than for the film as a whole. (Although it wasn't nearly as bad as Cars 2)
They're gonna have to do some serious changes in the way they're choosing their stories, for us to get back that "Pixar = good" concept we used to have.
I'm pretty sure "Monsters University" wont disappoint us at all! But it's gonna take them more than one good film to get back to the top, plus, since there's only one yearly release, we're gonna spend the rest of the year with that bad flavor. So Pixar, be careful with what you release after that one...
Now I KNOW THIS ISN'T A PIXAR REVIEW, but the expectations most of us had, were base on the fact that it was Pixar. SO LET ME TELL YOU WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE, in my opinion.
First, The lack of comedy. After Hilarious Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. I think it's a Pixar trademark. Up and Ratatoille were not comedy- centered but it wasn't a missing ingredient. As far as I'm concerned, the triplets were the only comedy we saw.
Second, The Characters. Besides Merida's Father, none of the characters were interesting. And if they were, they weren't fun to watch. You would expect a lot of fun from watching the queen dealing with becoming a bear but it really wasn't. The Witch scene was more a WTF moment rather than an interesting, mysterious or funny scene. The villain, in this case the giant bear, just wasn't a good one. You would very little fear it, and almost don't know anything about it. It's intentions against Merida and her mom were basically hunger. And don't even get me started with the leaders of the troops and their boring sons.
Third. The Story. It didn't seem so bad. That was before Merida ran into the woods with Angus. Starting with the way her mother became a bear, to the way she broke the spell. It was pretty lame. I got the feeling it was starting to get good when they went into the other bear's cave and the truth about the bear was revealed, but a few minutes later, that was over and the story was lame again.
Fourth. The Trailer. Everything good about the movie just seemed to be squeezed into the trailer. Not to mention I find it very misleading. You never quite find out what the movie really is about until you're in the movie theater. It's like the production company predicted the whole bear thing was going to repeal the audiences, so they decided to avoid putting it in the trailer to trick everyone into watching it.
I really think the movie wouldn't have been as bad with better directing. But what are you gonna do?
Glee: I Am Unicorn (2011)
Gayest episode yet.
Glee has created some kind of "Gay reputation", which has got us all male fans saying: "It's not that gay", supporting our argument with performances from Aerosmith, ACDC, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Usher, Journey, etc.
But if some guy ever said "Ok, if it's not that gay, I'll give it a shot", and tuned "I am Unicorn" as his first Glee episode, he would definitely prove us wrong and never watch it again.
For starters the plot uses a lot of gay content, having the effeminate Kurt Hummel, trying to act manly to get the lead in McKinley High production of "The West Side Story". Plus Brittany Pierce helping him with his senior class president campaign mostly based on unicorns and rainbows.
Also, the episode futures nothing but Broadway musical songs, which, let's face it, it's not the reason most people watch the show. With Characters like Rachel Berry, Kurt Hummel, April Rhodes, and Will Schuester, Broadway has taken a huge part on the show. But most people who watch the show don't know a lot about Broadway musicals, and even less people have actually seen one.
We have heard Broadway songs before in the show, which for a lot of people wasn't disturbing at all, since, not only did the cast gave a great performance, but after that Broadway song came worldwide favorite. This was not the case in this episode. The performances were good, but Broadway after Broadway turned boring and left us wanting more. Especially being only the second episode of the third season, (and the first one also featuring a lot of Broadway musical numbers. Better ones though.) it makes us wonder if the season will ever get any better, or is it gonna shub Broadway deep into our ears.
Anyways the third episode will feature some Beyonce and Coldplay which will turn it a little more interesting, but we will still be hearing a lot from "The West Side Story".
Which brings me to my third point. Looks like the whole third season is heading towards the Glee cast doing "The West Side Story", which is turning very annoying, since a lot of people (including myself) believe TWSS is not that good of a musical and the writers could have picked a better one. Some also say TWSS storyline is already long enough, and one episode would have been enough. (Like the Rocky Horror Picture Show episode.)
However they're soon gonna run out of WSS songs to fill their episodes and when they do, I hope we get to listen a lot of our favorites we haven't heard yet.
Well musically speaking: The show really left me wanting more.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Honestly as the years pass by, we can start telling which romantic comedies have come to become romantic classics. Last time I saw one, it was "The Holiday", But "Crazy stupid love" has come to become one.
Sofisticated humor, clever script writing, and great story lines, turn this movie into a must see.
A funny-sensitive Steve Carrel, a dazzling Julian Moore, a manly- romantic Ryan Gossling and a smart-cute Emma Stone, make the perfect lead cast; plus a very unique supporting cast spicing it up a little, playing the children, the nanny, the best friends, and some people in between the married couple's relationship.
Plus, be ready to get a few plot surprises, I assure you, you won't be expecting some of those.
Although, if you're expecting to laugh your ass off, and be sitting on the edge of your seat exited about something amazing that's about to happen, you may get disappointed. Just relax, seat back, maybe prepare a few tears, hold your couple tight, and you're all set to enjoy this clever romantic comedy.
How I Met Your Mother (2005)
The best show since Friends!
How I Met Your Mother, is the best comedy I've seen come out ever since Friends vanished from our TV's. The story lines are very creative and the humor is real. First of all we got Ted who's the typical centered dude trying to settle down with a family, but he's eventually goofy and funny. His best friend, Marshal, who's plays the looser-ish roommate, his wife, Lilly, who's voice of wisdom for everybody but never leaving her humor behind. The pretty/funny girl Robin, who's also kind of a tomboy. And Last, but definitely not least the foolish, cool guy, player, Barney, who's kind of the one that increases the comedy level from a 7 to a 10.
There you have it, the typical gang doing one of the greatest shows of the 2000's.
I seriously don't get those who give this show bad reviews. It's original, great comedy, great story lines, great characters, great plot, and it definitely has a way to make you wanna keep watching it.
Plus the eventual special guest star never fails. It has some of the hottest girls from Hollywood doing appearances, for example: Carrie Underwood, Katie Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Amanda Peet, Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger and Mandy Moore to name a few.
Seriously, for those of you who think "Two and a Half Men" is a great show, I really recommend you to watch "How I Met Your Mother", It's way better.
Cars 2 (2011)
Pixar's first disappointment
As time has passed, Pixar has proved us to go one step ahead from other animated production companies, by being our number one choice on the category of "Best Animated Film" at the Oscars, by always giving us more than the expected, (Just like they did with "Wall-e" and "Up!") or by managing into getting animated movies to get an Oscar nomination for "Best Picture". They never settled with an OK-job, they always aimed for excellence. However in Cars 2 they didn't prove it so. I can't complain about the excellent visual effects and the majestic settings, but the script just didn't prove to be Pixar material. It was a risky move taking a supporting character and giving it a leading role, which didn't work as well as I expected. I'm not saying the movie sucked, I just think they could have done a better job, and it was Pixar's worst movie yet. (Not bad, but still the worst).
I think, among their other fascinating animated pictures, they could have made a sequel that created more expectation on the audience like "Monsters, Inc." or "The Incredibles".
I also understand they abandoned a project named "Newt" because of budget trouble, to focus in producing the sequels "Toy Story 3" and "Cars 2". In the case of "Toy Story 3" I completely understand, but in the case "Cars 2" I think it was a stupid decision. However I won't lower my Pixar expectations. I expect them to give us what we want in their next film, "Brave", and to continue making excellent jobs in the future. I'll take "Cars 2" to be a simple mistake on their career.
Sorry Pixar, only one thumb up for this one.