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I just hope this year not to cross with any Movie 43... oh, the pain! Hopefully, it'll stay buried in the deep realms of the 2013 memory failures.
Here's my 2013 list: http://www.imdb.com/list/bseU3fR6ilw/
Anyway, let's get to it. I'll try to give my opinion now and then, as I did last year.
Also as a guy who was born on the 1980s, I have a particular way to see media, hence I wasn't that used to this download thing in consoles that we have today, when I buy a product, normally I like to put my hands on it. Anyway, things changed and so was the gaming world. Anyway, I bought some downloadable content on the Windows Live store as well, then, I'll share it here too.
So here they are, my XBox 360 collection.
Hello, I'm a guy born in 1980 and I was a kid back then, today there's a lot of people born in the 90s or the end of the 90s, or even kids from the new century that have that romantic view from that decade I lived and so many others like me who was part of it. Yeah, it was a fun decade, as we had so many awesomeness around us and we didn't worry about the problems that an adult life use to bring to people.
And with that came the movies that we used to see and dream about, movies that made our childhood happier, movies that whether we saw on theaters or television, used to make us go out in the streets and play, share thoughts, roleplay, you got the idea, fun movies that perhaps built our own personalities, movies that built character on us and made us grow as individuals, movies that we still see today and remember of the good ol'days with joy and cheerfulness in our eyes.
So, I compiled a list of these movies that I carefully selected to take part of my personal collection. Of course, they aren't all the 80s movies from my collection, there's more (58 according to my Excel list), but these are the 20 ones that I still remember today with joy every time I see them.
Here they go!
Max Payne 3 (2012)
Pales in comparison with the Remedy games.
Max Payne 3 was kind of a let down to me for the simple fact of losing its identity. The game is awesome as an action piece, but a lot of the elements from the previous 2 games by Remedy that I fell in love with were lost, like the comic book passages, the gritty noir environments, Max's sense of humor, clever irony and poetic narration, the dream sequences and some other awesome things that made me fell in love with the two Remedy games. The only sequence of the third game that comes more close to emulate the feel of the previous ones was the flashback sequence, that's it, but it was only close. For the first game I give a 9/10, great game, for the second game, a straight and glorified 10/10, flawless in every sense, and even if times had changed, playing these two games today didn't reduce my devotion and admiration for them, but for the third game, sorry guys, it gets a 5.5/10, not that good, it lost many of the identity acquired in the first two, it seemed like a different game to me. Hope that they can bring back Max's world as I remember from the first 2 games in a fourth installment.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013)
Finally I saw Lars Von Trier's conclusion to the final segment of his depression trilogy, Nymphomaniac Vol. II.
"Can't wait to see Vol. II coming out on March! Jesus, pardon my pun, but my brain just had an orgasm!"
Those were my own words about Vol. I that you can see in my review of the movie here on the site. As for Vol. II...
Who is genuinely pure and inviolable? And who wouldn't commit a sin under the right circumstances, seeking for self-satisfaction? Who wouldn't fall over the world's pressure and endless promises of pleasure having the right stimulus? How much would you take before finally descend into the abyss? Are you really what you tell people you are? Those and many other issues, including the saga of a really depressive woman that can't stop making out are questioned in this 4 hour saga.
Today I just saw Vol. II, and I must say I was eager to see it considering how great was the first one. Can't say I was overwhelmed, once that I found this Vol. II a little weaker than the first Volume, but nevertheless, it was good and truly engaging. As all the other Trier's movies, this one also find its strenght in clever storytelling and controversy. The audacity of this piece was really something that deserves attention.
As it was labeled Vol. II, I'll give a grade for this alone, it's 8, considering how much I enjoyed the previous one giving it a 9. I thought that second volume lacked some things that made the first volume so great, and in the ending credits, I really think that Trier should've played the Rammstein song again instead of that washed up version of Hey Joe, you know, it would be a perfect fit for an ending. But despite that, it was an honorable conclusion, in the very words of our late Roger Ebert. It was a punctual movie, and it had one or other final surprises like Beethoven, considering we had Bach in Vol. I, but still, the philosophical talk was kinda weaker.
The real surprises in this second part of the story lie in the plot twists, very well thought and I'd like to highlight the final scene that was just unexpected and it blew me out of the water!
But I would be very rude not to consider Vol. I and II together, as they were initially intended to be a 4 hour piece, so I'll give the entire Nymphomaniac experience a solid 8,5. It was an intense, thought provoking and very brave and unique experience with a mind-blowing finale. If you lost Vol. I, wait until you manage to watch it and then, watch both Volumes together as one single movie. It's mostly recommended!
Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013)
Awesome first Volume!
This review I originally made on January, it was on my 2014 movie list, I just added it now to the movie profile to put both Vol. I and II reviews together a single time, so, nevermind the date in the site for this particular one. Anyway, on with my January thoughts...
Wow! Unbelievable movie! I just went expecting something and ended up watching something completely different! Believe me, Lars Von Trier is a crazy bastard!
He associates sex with anything you want! Jesus, I just saw the freakin' Fibonacci sequence, fishing, Bach music, all of it in a movie about someone addicted to sex! It was crazy!
What a ride! And I mean it in a good manner! Can't wait to see Vol. II coming out on March! Jesus, pardon my pun, but my brain just had an orgasm! I mean it! Great one!
Oh, and thanks for the Rammstein tune, Mr. Von Trier! I'll think about using it next time I lay down! Hehehe! Wow, just unbelievable! Go watch it!
American Hustle (2013)
Great con movie, despite one single fatal flaw.
First of all, let me take something out of my chest. WHAT?? You have freakin' Robert De Niro in your cast of actors and you just waste him in a quick apparition? NOOOO!! WROOONG!! You don't freakin' do that!! This is the guy who was Don Corleone on The Godfather II, this is the guy who did HEAT with Pacino, this is the Raging Bull from the Martin Scorcese movie, this is one of the Goodfellas! The guy is a living legend!! How can you waste him on your movie?? How?? That doesn't exist! He's every single movie maker's wet dream! If I had De Niro in my cast I would use him, I would put him in every single solitary key scene I could think for my movie!! Specially because it's a work of fiction!! You don't freakin' waste De Niro like that!! Period!
Now that we took this out of the way, back to the movie. As I said, my only complain with this, is that one, De Niro was wasted here, I'm sorry everyone, this is soooo wrong to me! Apart from that, it's a great con movie, one of the best since the Danny Ocean trilogy or since Now You See Me from last year. I have to congratulate every single actor in it, Bale, Adams, Cooper, Renner, Lawrence, De Niro, and all the rest of the cast for the amazing and mesmerizing performances! I particularly enjoyed the subtlety with that David O. Russel showed in the movie that the three main characters had something to hide, as we see Irving in the beginning trying to set his fake hair, as we find that Amy Adams character had a different identity and as we see that Richie fakes his hair curls, so no one can be really trusted. Every single detail of the story is well thought and the story flows smoothly and even makes us laugh sometimes. Also, great soundtrack as well, going from themes by Duke Ellington to Chicago, Elton John, Paul MacCartney, Santana, George Michael, ELO, Ella Fitzgerald and many others! It's a great movie that, even not earning anything in the Oscars, I strongly recommend that you take a look at!
The only fatal flaw in the movie was wasting a great legend like De Niro, I just can't let that pass! Otherwise, it's worth checking out!
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
What a great animation!! Really engaging and fun! Imagine taking elements from Back to the Future, make Doc Brown look similar to Brian Griffin and give the character some Brain, from Pink and the Brain, characteristics.
I don't know the show it's based on or the characters from it, it's a 1959 animated show that had a short run, I'll check it eventually, so this is a reinterpretation from a probably obscure show from the past, but I dare to say that I really enjoyed and got myself hooked with those characters!
I even dare to say that I think we should have one of these films every year! It was awesome! Kids learn and get curious about things, there are interesting morals, dads also can have fun with all the pop culture references, it's really a great animation! Go check this out and take your kids with you, you'll have fun beyond imagination!
Not that bad, but lacks a lot good things. Verhoeven's movie is still the best.
Well, so this is a remake of an original movie, the 1987 Paul Verhoeven's Rated R flick Robocop. And it's crucial that you have all this information, because then, you'll understand my criticism around the remake. First and foremost, I have to say that I have a lot of respect for the director, José Padilha, once he's the creator of two amazing Brazilian flicks, Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2, that I dare to say you should be watching right now if you didn't. With that said, I thought that this remake of one of Verhoeven's masterpieces of the 80s is at least a respectable attempt of a new look to a famous concept and that's it.
And I say that with a lot of restraint, because I'm the kind of person that avoid remakes, I think that a remake is a good idea only when it surpasses the original movie, if that doesn't happen, then it's nothing but a waste of time and I'm not interested. Unfortunately, this 2014 Robocop falls in that category. It's not as interesting or as engaging as the 1987 flick, but it has good moments and, as I said, it's a respectable try from Padilha, that probably faced a lot of interference from the studio to make it a PG-13, resulting in a movie much less violent, less critical about society and much less adult, even with its moments of brilliance. I only opened an exception this time and saw this remake because José Padilha is that good and I was entitled to give him a try, being this one his first English language flick, hoping him to find the success he deserves.
But, as I said, the movie is not that good. It's definitely not a bad movie either, but, as I said before, given it's a remake and comparing it with the original, it was a waste. If they had it labeled with another name as a totally different character, I would give this a different evaluation, but it's Robocop, I have to compare with the original. You can clearly see, knowing José Padilha, when the movie is playing by Padilha's hands and when it's playing safe by the studio's hands. Robocop's helmet for example... why does it flip, showing his face? Useless! Or the stunt gun, for instance? Isn't this ridiculous? A cop with a stunt gun? That's just silly! This is clearly a studio move to sell toys. And where is the acid humor from the original? The dark jokes and chops? I was expecting it to have at least a little of that humor from the original, and we've got none of it. Lame! With that humor, the social commentary would be so much stronger and addressing! It doesn't cut for us to have only a little of the original theme or some references from the original movie if you can't capture the spirit of social commentary from it! As for that bullcrap of him going back to his family, well, that was so My Little Pony! Give me a break! And where's the big bad villain of this? What, not a memorable villain? C'mon!!
As for the moments of brilliance, we can highlight the man x machine confrontation, the Novak Experience segments and the scenes when they show RoboCop's insides. This last one was really interesting, because it was totally unexpected and twisted, so it was a real good moment; I can only imagine how Padilha pulled this out on a PG-13 flick! I felt uncomfortable seeing his insides and I felt his frustration watching his reaction, I would have the very same reaction knowing that I lost my own body, so yeah, that was bold and I liked it. Also, the scene of the musician trying to play his guitar with mechanical hands and being frustrated because he couldn't use his emotions, that just hit me right into my soul, so it was good!
Having said all that, this remake lacks many things also, compared with the original, the state of suspense, the violence, the more adult approach, that urgency about seeing a society crumbling and giving in on crime, all those things are lacking here.
But even so I can applaud Padilha for trying to do something with the little he had in hands. Again, it had good moments, but it's still inferior and pales in comparison to the original Robocop that I own on DVD, so, bottom line, I wouldn't buy that for a dollar! Finally I wish Padilha all the best and may he manage to do great things outside Brazil after this project, he surely deserves a lot of credit.
I've paid my respects to a fellow Brazilian, now back on ignoring other recent and vicious remakes. Wait for this to show on TV or watch it when it comes out on DVD, don't spend your money on another inferior remake.
The Lego Movie (2014)
Fun and entertaining, but I still prefer Pixar movies.
I used to enjoy a lot of Lego time when I was a child. I used to enjoy most of what was used from pop culture and references in this movie, so this one was basically a gathering of all that was important to me growing up.
Pity that it was kinda generic as a movie... the plot is so convoluted it makes you scratch your head sometimes. Too much references and no time to develop them properly. It was very promising in the trailer, kinda like a mix between Toy Story and Wreck it Ralph, but... those last two, sorry WB, they said it way, way, waaaaaay better the same message you're trying to give us.
As a bunch of isolated references from the 80's, it kinda works in that nostalgic sort of sense, as an adult, I got entertained with all the references and I'm pretty sure that kids will have fun beyond belief, too. As a movie, it turns out to be a convoluted mess. I know that they tried to make like (SPOILERS AHEAD!) the imagination of a little kid, but back then, Andy was so much more creative and more addressing!
Sorry WB, good try, but you're way better with your DC Animated Universe, so stick with that. If you're trying to overcome Pixar, well... better luck next time. Bottom line, it's worth the price of admission once, but just once, like a fireworks show, one viewing it's real fun, a second viewing though, is out of question.
The modern Oedipus!
There are few movies in my huge list that get a straight 10/10. This is certainly one of them. I can't stop watching my Blu-Ray, it's the kind of movie that makes you wonder for days and days! Chan-wook Park here directs the masterpiece of his career.
Beautifully shot, amazingly directed, clever, plotwise, has fantastic acting, it's different from everything you saw before. Some people might find it sick to watch, but it's like a train wreck, once you start watching, you just can't stop, no matter how much you want to turn your head. Yeah, it's that addicting. It gives you mixed feelings. You can think the protagonist as a sick twisted bastard but at the same time you root for him because of his confinement, what he came through, the things he lost in life.
This story, if you really stop for a moment to think of it, it's the modern take on the Oedipus tale. The kind of guy who apparently did nothing wrong but he comes to find out that his actions had a huger outcome than he initially thought. The kind of guy who thought he tricked his destiny, that he can take control of his destiny, but he was double-tricked first by a greater force of nature and in the end he becomes exactly what he mostly despised.
It's really deep. It's very wrong, yet very enjoyable, very twisted yet very delightful. And what makes it delightful is mainly the cast of characters here. Min-sik Choi shows himself an unbelievable actor here, having the ability to navigate from serious to cheesy, from hero to villain, from "normal" (whatever) to nutjob before you even think of blinking. Everything has a meaning, every action, every plot solution, even if you find it meaningless at first in the movie, leads to something and it'll keep you on the edge of your seat until the final showdown, and after that, your first action will be go back to the beginning and watch it again so you can pick up the fragments of the movie you thought it was something at first and re-watch them under a new light.
It's such a great experience with epic proportions that I strongly recommend every movie lover like me to take! Once you get on this train you won't want to leave!
Ender's Game (2013)
Good, not great.
Well, nothing better than starting the new year in the movies with a fresh new sci-fi based on a successful novel. I might say I never read the book that is based on, so I watched the thing as a moviegoer only. I intend to read it later though, as it's very well spoken. And how was it? It was good. It wasn't great, but good. Harrison Ford still kicks, I couldn't help but think about Commander Han Solo during the screening, but that's beside the point. Ben Kinsley and Viola Davis are good too and it's great to see that Asa Butterfield is evolving as an actor, I remember him in Hugo and, wow, the boy did grow fast!
I don't really know what's the ruckus about the harsh criticism to this movie, I personally think that Gavin Hood, despite being director for hire, made up pretty well here after his disastrous Wolverine movie. The story is good, thanks for writer Orson Scott Card who wrote the original book series, I don't really know if it's in the book, but during the Ender and Bonzo fight in the bathroom I couldn't help but think on Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket for some reason. The final twist is kinda predictable, but it brings good development and more depth to Asa's character. The only major mistake here you ask? Well, director Gavin Hood just left a hint for a possible sequel in the end of the movie.
Pffffffff... where do I start?...
It's a flaw because you never know if your movie will earn a sequel, so you have to make the thing stand on it's own. Now they have a film that, because of a weak box office may not continue its story and the story of the movie may never get to a resolution. That's lame. People involved in movie productions should've learned this lesson long ago, but no, they keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. They never consider the possibility of major failure. Expect the best, prepare for the worst, that's a lesson to learn! And if you refer to franchises like Lord of the Rings, well, that's different! Gavin Hood is a mediocre director at best. You don't take that kind of risk with mediocre talents, you have to play safe.
Hell, even Christopher freakin' Nolan, who is one of the top directors today was wise enough to make every single chapter of his Batman trilogy stand on it's own. He didn't do that unpurposedly, he considered the possibility of something going really wrong during the first film because he wasn't famous enough. I guess that settles for a lot of things.
Overall, not a bad movie, but not a great one either, it has interesting ideas (probably not as interesting as the books) but let's see what will they accomplish from this point on.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
The best version of the Dickens book to date!
This movie can be a very underrated one because of the CG factor. Now if CG was the best choice for a movie like this can be a very debatable thing among fans. What I do know is that this is the closest and more accurate interpretation of the Dickens book ever made, and I speak with very much property because I'm just obsessed with this tale and saw every single version existent of this. This one wins because it follows the book in a very close fashion. Still, some things concerning visual decisions, specially for the three spirits received some adaptations and some action scenes and other minor adjustments were made to better suit and enrich storytelling, but to me is, without a shadow of doubt the best and most amazing version of the classic tale. Worth checking out!