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Movie 43 (2013)
Such a waste of very talented actors...
The main question is pretty clear to me: was there a reason to shoot Movie 43? I've spent the whole run-time trying to understand what the movie was trying to tell me: Is it trying to make me laugh? Is it trying to surprise me? Is it trying to make me think? I went through the whole movie and I didn't get an answer to all those questions. Despite the fact that the main plot about the forbidden Movie 43 was actually pretty original and intriguing, almost all the sub-plots appeared rather dull and unfunny to me. I was like 'ok, there's a man with balls hanging from hit neck. That man is Hugh Jackman. Is that supposed to be funny? Why am I not getting it??'. I was really trying to give the movie a chance, but, really, almost none of the situations presented made me smile. I am not a serious guy, there are comic movies that made me laugh very hard, but I really didn't find any reason to laugh in this one. The actors involved in this project did a very good job, though. It was a shame that their plays were not supported by a good script.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
There are so many things I'd like to say about this movie that I'm finding it difficult to choose what to begin this review with. Let's start saying that Kick-Ass is my favourite movie ever. A precious jewel of wit and originality, like no other movies. So I was truly worried, I feared that this sequel would disappoint me. Well, I've just come back from theatre and I'm right now feeling the need to review this M-Ass-terpiece before going to bed. Because Kick-Ass 2 is the main reason why I'm freaking enthusiast with life, now.
How could I sum up the whole movie experience? Let's see...to put it in a simple way, Kick- Ass 2 is a dark, ingenious, freaking cinematographic extravaganza. I've seen lots and lots of movies this year, but none of them has stricken my heart so deeply like Kick-Ass 2 did. It's funny, dark, violent, vulgar, moving, surprising. Am I exaggerating, maybe? I can assure you I'm not. Because every freaking minute of this movie touches the chords of your heart and your sensibility in a great way.
Mattew Vaughn was right when he said that the Kick-Ass sequel was in good hands. I personally loved some of his works, Cry Wolf above all, and I was very curious to see what he was able to do. KA 2 is his first super-hero comic movie and, despite the fact that he hadn't experienced this movie field before, he did a very good job. If you're reading this review, Jeff, I want you to know that I am very glad you directed this movie. With his direction, the Kick- Ass atmosphere, differently from what some people might say, remains totally unaltered. This is just one reason why I think KA 2 is a worthy and deserving sequel.
In my opinion, Kick Ass represents one of the rare cases in which a movie is better than the comic it is inspired from. Sorry for Millar, but I found the KA 2 movie far more original and ingenious than the comic. It tells, more or less, the same story of the comic, but in a better way. This is due, above all, to Jeff Wadlow's script-writing efforts. Furthermore, the most violent and disturbing things about the comic have been left out, but, in return, the story is more gripping and the characters are very well developed.
As I said before, the characters in the movie present very deep psychological traits. Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Jim Carrey and, last but not least, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, they all did a great job. Their interpretations in the movie are superb, providing the watcher with a very convincing and fascinating portrayal of the characters. As the movie goes by, you get truly fond of all the characters, even of the MF'ER!!! But I won't spoil anything about it, so go to see the movie.
Kick-Ass 2 is going to be a cult. The movie talks about life, weaknesses, strength, love, in a totally new and different way. It's a beautiful stream of emotions that takes you away. In a 103 minutes run-time you take at heart the noble goals of the Justice Forever, you fall in love with hit-girl, you get to hate (and love) a wicked enemy, you really understand what being an adolescent means.
I loved Kick-Ass 2. Is, without any doubt, the best movie I've seen this year, one of the best movies I've seen in my entire life. Go to see it, you will not regret it.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Wreck me Ralph, please!
Since the release of its very first trailer, a long time ago, Wreck it Ralph has always appeared as one of the most promising animated flicks of the year. Having seen the movie, I have changed my mind: It's not just one of the best animated movies, it's one of the best movies (or maybe the best) of the year.
I don't like to make Disney/Pixar comparisons, but this time Disney has outdone itself. Compared to Brave (which was good enough), Wreck it Ralph is a very strong movie, based on a complex, fresh and original story involving the video games world. I think this is the first step in the process of creating an animated movie: to find a fresh, involving idea. Every small detail, every character seems to perfectly fit in this magical world behind one of the most diffused hobbies in the world. This is undoubtedly Disney at its best.
In Wreck it Ralph there are not boring parts, you can laugh or be scared, be moved or even be thrilled but you will hardly yawn while watching this movie. During the projection, I literally burst out with laughters, as the movies presents many funny situations. It's a real pleasure to follow the story and to enjoy every small detail present in the movie.
The characters are very 'toony' but at the same time they seem to be real and very believable. There are no clichés or stereotypes, everything is fruit of the ingenious minds working at Disney. For example, if you asked me 'who's your favorite character?' I couldn't answer because they're all great and funny. Ranging from Ralph to Vannelope, from Felix to King Candy, every character is perfectly portrayed.
But Wreck it Ralph is not just a way to laugh and pass a couple of entertaining hours: it's far more than that. Not only the film is full of references to the video game world, but it contains lots of references to movies and modern world themes. It's even full of reflections upon life, in the typical Disney style.
The icing on the cake is the ending. I will not spoil anything about it, I will just say that it's astonishing and very unpredictable. To put it in a funny way, I would say that it's one of the best thrillers I've seen this year!
Finally, two words for the soundtrack. Henry Jackman ost is catching and enjoyable. In some cases, it's a mix between music and the sounds of old 8bit video games. In particular, I really appreciated the track 'Arcade Life' and 'Arcade Ending'. The end credits song, 'When can I see you again' by Owl city is also truly enjoyable.
I think Wreck it Ralph is not just one of the best animated flicks of the year, but it's one of the best movies of 2012. Disney has outdone itself, I'm looking for other animated masterpieces like this one, fresh original and entertaining.
John Carter (2012)
How can I help you? A ticket to Mars, please...
I've just come back from tonight's screening, but I already feel the need to turn my excitement into words. Here is a list of the most important points concerning the movie.
I- Book VS Movie
First of all, I'm quite sure you all know that the story behind John Carter is from an Edgar Rice Burrough's novel called 'A Princess of Mars'. Let's be frank, this is one of the best novels ever written in American literature: The precursor of the sci-fi genre, it is remarkably well- written and ingeniously structured. Disney and Pixar had to face, then, an hard task: turning one of the most beloved American classics into a movie it's not what we would define 'easy', for sure. Especially if there are lots and lots of fans striving for a good installment that does not spoil the general atmosphere of Burrough's masterpiece. In my opinion, Disney and Pixar successfully managed to provide us with a modern adaptation of the book: funny, moving and thrilling, perfectly reflects the spirit of 'The Princess of Mars'.
II- Creating a planet
One of the best features of the movie is undoubtedly its setting. The hard work that Pixar put in the creation of the land where the story takes place is highly recognizable: from the deserts to the buildings, everything's represented in every small detail (Will this be the reason for a future Oscar prize?). Another thing that I particularly appreciated is that even all the characters are splendidly recreated, JUST LIKE Burroughs describes them in his book. The one I liked the most is Woola.
Furthermore, to your surprise, you'll find out how amazingly the Martian culture's been reproduced. It was not easy to summarise in a 130 minutes lasting movie the thousands and thousands words that Burroughs spends describing the society of Mars and all its curiosities, but Disney and Pixar made it, with exceptional results.
III- Actors on Mars
In 'John Carter', many well-known actors set foot on Mars, and two of them particularly caught my attention: Taylor Kitsch and Daryl Sabara. Taylor Kitsch is perfect to play the role of a John Carter's modern version: He's not the usual heartless muscled man that too often we see in the movies. His face's fascinating, his expressions and his gestures are captivating. Actually I'm quite happy for this choice. Secondly, there's Daryl Sabara. He provides us with a tender interpretation of Edgar Rice Burroughs, that i deeply enjoyed. I don't know why but I think that no other actor could have played the role of Burroughs better than him. In fact, I loved the first part of the movie, totally dedicated to the famous author. Moreover, a special mention goes to Willem Dafoe, that plays the role of Tar Tarkas.
IV- Music on Mars
Or, in other words, ode to Michael Giacchino, who once again reveals to be one of the best composers ever. If you want to hear my favorite piece of music, you can find it as John Carter's official website's background music (www.johncartermovie.com). I suggest to buy the movie's soundtrack on Amazon, something that I always do with the best soundtracks I listen to.
V- Mars in 3-D?
This is probably the most annoying fact concerning the movie. The movie is in Disney Digital 3-D but...is the 3-D a good reason to spend some bucks more? In my opinion no, it's not. Apart from three or four nice 'pop up effects', during the projection you'll easily forget that you're watching a movie in 3-D. The 3-D technology is not mature enough yet: In all my life, I have never seen a movie (except, maybe, for Avatar and Hugo) in a great 3-D.
VI- Finally, what's new in JC?
Even though John Carter is from a three-centuries-old novel, it represent a fascinating attempt to bring to life one of the most captivating stories ever. Surely there are many sci-fi movies clichés (that's due to the period of time the novel the movie is based on was written), but it doesn't mean the movie is not highly enjoyable. You will laugh, you will cry (actually it depends on your 'sensibility level') and you will jump off your seat. What are you waiting for? Go and watch the sci-fi movie of the year.
The Woman in Black (2012)
Frights that taste like antiquity
The Woman in Black comes from the past, in any sense. From the best selling book by Susan Hill, written in the 80s, it tells a ghost story that accurately respects the ancient tradition of the genre. The attempt to bring to life this kind of novel, about ancient manors and ghastly appearances, might, at a first glance, seem rather risky and unnecessary. This is definitely true if we think of the nature of the movie that, in fact, does not bring any new innovation to the genre. Fortunately, if we focus on the way the movie is made we may find lots and lots of reasons to watch this movie.
First of all, the 19th century atmosphere of the Woman in Black completely swallows you up. Many times, while watching the movie, I totally empathized with the protagonist. I cannot tell whether that's good or bad, as in many cases I was glad I wasn't really in the protagonist shoes. The whole setting (costumed people included) is so well-created that every time manages to make you feel anxious/worried/scared according to the circumstance. This is one of the greatest points of strength of the movie.
Secondly, the movie knows how to scare you. I am not claiming that it will give goose-bumps even to the bravest man on the earth, but that it successfully manages to give you a general sense of sickness by an intelligent use of every detail present in the movie. And here we have scary dolls, frightening toys, spooky objects. All of them accurately created, aimed to make you feel uncomfortable and worried. Of course, this may vary according to the type of watcher but I really appreciated the way the fear was orchestrated.
The most appealing feature of the movie is, undoubtedly, the presence of Daniel Radcliffe. Daniel's interpretation is highly satisfying and provides us with a great expression of his real talent. Along with all the other remarkably capable actors, he's exactly what we expect from a movie like this.
Finally, even if you're not particularly fond of ghost stories, why don't you give it a try?
If you are not a twilight fan you are definitely not gonna like it
To rate this movie I think I should split my opinion in two: The twilighter side and the neutral side. Read the part that better mirrors your attitude.
NEUTRAL: The movie has no cinematographic value at all. Just a lame, slow, in places disgusting report of how a vampire-human marriage could be in the first part, and a badly directed (with some very awkward moments) plot development in the second part. I could not help noticing the derisiveness of some scenes; e.g. the one in which the transformed Jacob addresses his other fellows (I thought the movie was turning into a joke at that very moment!) and the one in which Bella makes the bloodshake fall to the ground and kind of breaks her back. A praise goes to the actors: the acting is not bad, is not bad at all considering that, in my opinion, nothing better could have been done (Kristen Stewart's performance is not bad and I found very convincing the character of Jacob). Another criticize goes to the movie slowness; in fact, those who are not very fond of Ed and Bell's love story might probably find the fully detailed and slow part in which the two get married really annoying. Finally, I would rate this movie, in this case, with 4,5 out of 10.
TWILIGHTER: I do think very few fans will be disappointed by this installment. Let's be onest, I was almost crying during the scene of the wedding (and I'm a male!!!) mainly because of my affection for the series (I was platonically in love with the story when the first Twilight movie came out). That's the truth: this movie's been made just for those who have always followed and liked the Twilight saga. I don't expect anyone to suddenly turn up and say: I've never given a *** about this series but I've found the movie absolutely awesome! This movie is for us Twilighters all around the world. Because all those scenes have an emotional meaning only in case you are very fond of the series. In this case I can and want turn many blind eyes (may I say it? haha) in the name of my affection for the saga. I enjoyed the Ed and Bell's wedding night, all those particulars (they even play chess!) that made me feel good during the projection of this movie. In this case I would rate the movie with 9 out of 10.
That's all, according to my opinion. Thanks for reading.
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
Riding and Remembering the shivers of an adventurous childhood
When about a year ago, at the supermarket, I saw on the Empire magazine's cover the 3D reproduction of one of my childhood's toon-idols my eyes popped out. 'WHO is directing WHAT???' - the question that echoed in my mind: It was a bit of shock finding out that one of my favorite directors was working on a movie from a character I considered buried under the dusts of time. The astonishment was soon replaced by excitement and I made the way back home from the supermarket hopping and smiling.
Today I decided to take an adventurous break from my dull academic life and went to the cinema to watch it. No wonder the room was almost full, despite the fact that the movie will be officially released tomorrow. As soon as the opening credits appeared on the screen I felt a shiver of excitement running through my spine as I was visually meeting an old friend from my childhood again; to my pleasure I felt the same sensations I would feel when I was a child. That's one of the VERY good points of this production: the spirit of Herge's Tintin, in Spielberg's movie, remains UNALTERED. There are some cases, though, in which the characters are even better and more deeply characterized than in the comic strips.
OK, let's release now all the excitement about this movie. If I had just five short seconds to say how I think this movie is I'd chose 7 words: Mesmerising from the beginning to the end. That's quite true if you consider that even the opening credits are little shining pearls of direction and creativity.
The general impression you get from this movie, talking about direction, is that nothing could have been better. Spielberg's direction is, in this case as well, a real warranty of general great quality. Three things I particularly appreciated: -The movie flows perfectly; it is kind of a pleasure for your eyes and for your brain to follow the adventure. -There's literally a STORM of brain-waves (and here comes the Spielberg's touch); especially, in the connection phases between one scene and the other the director totally expresses his genius, turning the open ocean into a pond, making two shaking hands become dunes in the desert and so on (you'll understand what I mean when you'll watch the movie) -The 'camera's movements' literally pull you into the movie and you can't help feeling excited or scared according to the situation.
You can tell it's a Spielberg's movie even just looking at these things.
Although all the things I have listed until now are enough to candidate the movie as the best movie of the year (in my opinion) there's still something I must remember: The quality of animation. I really could not find a proper term to define my astonishment when my eyes approached the beautiful places and landscapes shown in the movie. They look perfect, shining and bursting with emotions, sensations; they almost look like paintings: For instance, there's a sunset in the movie that I will hardly forget. It's the same with the CGI models: you can see the wrinkles on the character's faces, even their sweat.
Furthermore, some words about the actors: Bells and Serkis are maybe the sole two living beings who could have given birth to the cinematographic version of the two main characters. The first succeeds in the hard challenge to provide the audience with a convincing and faithful interpretation of the beloved protagonist (he did A GREAT job indeed), the second is a delightful surprise again, with a funny Scottish accent and a very good interpretation.
One last word goes to one of the best composer alive: Sir John Williams. There's nothing to do, every piece of music he creates is able to touch the deepest strings of our hearts. With a soundtrack (already bought at the HMV store) that ranges from the epic tones to the mysterious ones he gives us another example of his limitless genius, because he still remains one of those composers able to make us cry.
Finally, Tintin - The Secret of the Unicorn, is one of the greatest surprises of the year. Another great adventure in the archive of the most spectacular stories of humanity, told by a MASTER story-teller (Spielberg). A movie you will hardly forget.
Super 8 (2011)
Super 8, the 'format of my childhood'
I cannot even remember for how long I have been waiting for this movie before watching it this morning. It was kinda a dream come true, I could hardly believe that I was finally experiencing the film whose trailers had made me shiver more than just once. I was so keen that I could not wait: I went to the cinema for the first show at midday. The perfect mix (A pinch of Elle Fanning, some good chilling thrill, a mysterious creature and our darling J. J. Abrams) for a 20-year-old guy like me. Just to give you an idea of what impact this movie had to me I can tell you readers that, although several hours have passed since the show, I am still thinking of the plot, the characters and the music. Super 8 will unlikely make no impressions on you: You love it or you hate it. It's not just a matter of having sci-fi thrillers among the favorite movie genres because the film is first of all a cinematic experiment: A J J Abrams attempt to introduce the spectacular way to see the life of the 80s Steven Spielberg and a friend-love-family-destruction plot into the new Millennium generation.
First things first it cannot be said that the movie is not well-directed: Abrams has a great experience, even when he 'copies' from his cine-mate Spielberg (There are some delicious brainwaves: The way in which he indirectly informs us about the incident in the factory, the way in which he avoids to show the creature when it attacks - You'll understand what I am talking about when you'll watch the movie). So, even just for that I'd rate the movie 8 stars.
Secondly, the cast. And when I say 'the cast' I am mostly referring to Elle Fanning: She's stunningly beautiful and she has a face expressiveness I have seldom recognized in a 13- year-old girl. Concerning the other members of the cast I really cannot blame anyone and very surprisingly I really enjoyed the performances of the younger ones. Very well chosen 'faces' make this movie a must-see (And here I MUST praise those who choose the cast: In contrast with a large number of cinematic productions where people choose the actors according to their 'hotness' or 'being cool', NONE of the faces seen in Super 8 seem to be 'dull' and 'banal').
Thirdly, the plot. OK, it's not Agatha Christie, it's not Shamalayan (at least at the time of The Sixth Sense) but it's good and gripping. Maybe a little bit predictable, but I would have blamed the writers if they had chosen to make the movie end in a different way. The plot is quite simple; however, it's all I was expecting from a movie like this: I really have no reason to be disappointed because I felt strongly satisfied at the end of the movie. It's moving, it's thrilling, there are even a lot of jumping-off-the-seat moments and, last but not least, SPECTACULAR.
Fourthly, the Music. Even though we can identify a main theme that is repeated in different ways and tones during the movie, Michael Giacchino did a very very very good job. It's not an anonymous theme, it's a theme that I still keep humming in my mind and that, in my opinion, is far better than many other themes from movies far more popular than Super 8.
Last considerations. Super 8 is a movie I've been waiting for for a very long time. Quite happily I may say, today, that it did not disappoint me, not in a single way. J J Abrams, the cast, the Music Composer did a very good job. It's not perfect for sure but it has everything it needs to be considered a 'cult' and I will probably let it in my 'cinematic'-heart.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
The boy who had the b*lls to challenge the world
I wonder if you remember the short by Pixar named "When day meets night". There was a voice at the radio which said "People are afraid of changements, people fear everything that is not usual". I think this sentence perfectly fits the situation. Why hasn't Scott Pilgrim been a success at the box office? The answer's very simple: Because it's too different. What about a "pee bar" that empties little by little as the protagonist piddles? Mhm...too ingenious for we poor people that think Avatar is the maximum the world of cinema can give us.
I do not care what many people could think (and many reviewers, I outta add), Scott Pilgrim deserves (or maybe deserved) a great success. Because it is something new, something that anybody had never seen before then I'd award it even just for that. We shoulda go watching this kind of movies, because so doing we would show the Hollywood world that we viewers need something more than the usual Blockbuster.
Anyway, I'd give this movie a 10 stars rating. At first for its protagonist, Michael Cera. Oh my God, his performance has stroke me so much that made me think I'd be gay for him (lol). Even all the others characters, so fascinating, original and histerically funny. The character played by Chris Evans, who perfectly fits his role, is in my opinion the best of the seven evil exes. Elizabeth Mary Winstead adds a little drop that doubles the value of the cast.
There are a lot of brainwaves (Do you remember in the first teaser trailer "What are you doing? - I'm getting' a life!") which make this movie pretty precious. Colorful and funny even in its smallest detail, it reminded me of the graphic novel the story comes from, adding some elements we often find in videogames.
Finally, I rally in support of this movie because I think it deserved much more than what it is getting at the box office. Come on, go watching this movie or maybe someday the industrial world of cinema will be still thinking that another Avatar is always better than something new and then risky.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Sayin' goodbye to my best friends. In the best way possible.
I wanna all this stuff to be a part of my own life. Reviewing this title is not a simple thing to do: Toy Story 3 is not just "a movie", it's THE movie. Not just a silly way to spend about two hours of your life like all the other movies but something you won't never forget, something you'll bring with you until being buried. Because are characters like Buzz and Woody who make our lives special. When I'll think of my early life I won't remember stupid things that boys of my own age often do, I won't remember any idiot girlfriend, I won't remember how difficult school could be, but I'll remember the trilogy that made me dream, the trilogy in which I found my real friends.
I think it would be idiot talking about this movie homing in on graphic or plot and so on. Because Toy Story has stopped to be just a movie for me eleven years ago. Then it's like if I'm talking about a friend or even something more. Just a few words to express my thoughts: One of the best things I've ever seen in my whole life. Here is the magic of life. Here life can be surprising. The magic which makes adults become children again. Disney Pixar showed us how magic life can be. I'm proud of acting like a child even if I'm already 19. But who cares...I prefer being a 12 years-old-minded boy rather than being an adult if this is the price to pay.
It's the perfect moment to release this movie for me because this is my last year of high school and next year I'll go to university. Toy Story 3 is for me the metaphor of abandoning all my childish world, that actually I won't never abandon because my heart won't never be able to say g'bye to what changed my life forever.
The movie's perfect in all its aspects, starting from graphics and arriving to screenplay and direction. I think it's not useful to talk about this.
FOUR WORDS: The best movie ever.
Bye Woody, Bye Buzz. I won't ever forget you. I will love you forever. Thank you .