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Into the Storm (2014)
Worth it just for the Tornado scenes.
Into the Storm was not a movie I had a lot of expectations for. I just wanted to have fun seeing huge tornadoes destroying everything in their path. And that's what I got for the most part in this movie. The first 15 minutes of this movie was so bad, the dialogue was atrocious, the characters were annoying and the writing was completely abysmal. But as the movie starts to show more of the tornadoes, it got really fun really quick. the movie got so much better.
One of the best aspects of this movie is how close you really get into the tornadoes. You go inside it and it looks frightening and beautiful at the same time. The visuals look amazing when you're in the movie theater. This is definitely a movie that should be seen in your nearest theater, because it was such an experience seeing the tornadoes, hearing the train-like noise when a tornadoes comes barreling towards the cities and cars. It's just so awesome.
One of the weakest aspects of this movie are the characters, we just don't care what happens to them in the movie. But the tornadoes are terrific and they keep coming on at you every twenty minutes or so for two hours. Now this can be a little tiresome, but "Into the Storm" does stop itself just in time before it completely overstays its welcome.
In the end, it's not a very good movie by any stretch of the imagination. Again, this is the film that one will either like as a guilty pleasure, like me, or you won't care for it at all. And even if you do like the movie, there is still one big lapse in the whole thing that you realize at the end. If tornadoes really did show up as often as they do in the movie in the same general area, there would be nothing left standing in the Midwest anymore. It would all be leveled.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
A Stunning Surprise
Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing short of an amazing movie. If there's anything I can say, it's that it is the best superhero movie I have seen. Not only does it have the impressive set pieces and enough action to last you a lifetime, it has an emotional core and you actually get to care about each and every single character. Overall this movie is filled with all the required thrills and spills and is a first class action movie. It also has a great mixture of comedic value and a deal of seriousness.
The film's unlikely hero is Quill (Chris Pratt), an eccentric gunfighter in the Han Solo mould who we meet stealing a metal orb coveted by the evil warlord Ronan. When he dispatches his top assassin, the green- skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana), to recover the artifact, the pair find themselves locked up, along with the galaxy's most unlikely bounty hunters a gun-toting raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and his sidekick (Vin Diesel) who just happens to be a walking tree. All the actors do a great job at portraying there characters, they feel real beings. You get to know about them and their struggles and you become attached to them. Every character in the movie got their time to shine, especially Rocket Raccoon who is voiced perfectly by Bradley Cooper. Everyone is pitch perfect in their roles even Batista!
For those that want specifics: effects were top notch, acting was excellent, story lines were compelling, the comedy was perfect 99.5% of the time and surprise there were a lot of one line typical superhero zingers that worked really well. What really can't be stressed enough is just how insanely fun and entertaining Guardians of the Galaxy is for literally its entire two-hour-plus run-time. I still have a hard time wrestling with who was my favorite actor in this. all in all, the film is brilliantly well done, action scenes are engrossing and genuinely done, you genuinely worry about certain characters and I for one was thrilled with it. Go see this.
If you liked the previous Transformers movies, you'll like this.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is the fourth film of the Transformers franchise, a franchise that's known for being explosive and action- packed and kind of dumb. This film is no exception, it follows the other films like in the exact same regard. But I do think this is an improvement from Dark of the Moon and a BIG improvement from the horrid, Revenge of the Fallen. The film takes a bit more serious approach, but don't get me wrong it still has some stupid humor, just not as much as the previous films, which is pretty refreshing.
The action scenes in here are pretty outstanding and it actually has much more wide shots than the previous movies. You can actually see the large scale of these giant robots in breathtaking detail. The visual- effects are fantastic as they usually are with these films, it definitely delivers in that department. However as usual there are numerous problems with the script and story, it's senseless as usual, but not as annoying as "Revenge of the Fallen", the dialogue is weak, but at least it's not mindbogglingly stupid. Also the Autobots and even the Decepticons have more of a personality than they used to. Grimlock is a fantastic addition in this film, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more of him.
For those who didn't care for Michael Bay's past Transformers films, you probably won't like this because it has even more mindless extravaganza action packed scenes, just like the other films did. However audiences who are game to board the extravagance train will find that Age of Extinction hits all the notes that a Transformers movie ought to. So if you didn't like any of the other past Transformers movies, don't bother watching this cause you'll probably won't become fan after this. If you liked the other ones then you'll most likely be in for a fun ride like I was.
An Honest and Emotionally Devastating Film about Life, Love and Sexuality
I just want to start off by saying this is an amazing film about young love that is actually honest with its audience. There are countless of films about people falling in love, but when you see "Blue is the Warmest Colour". You realize just how rare films are that make a sincere attempt to catch what it really is like to fall for someone, without sentimentality, forced cuteness or cheap emotional manipulation. This is the rare love story that has real emotional truth about it. The fact that it is about two women who fall for each other is almost secondary to the way the film catches the universality of what it is like to fall in love and maintain the relationship. "Blue is the Warmest Colour is a naturalistic and touching film, whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever orientation. This is a film that can give you relationship advice and life guidance no matter what your orientation may be. It isn't an indulgent film bringing only a unique gay relationship to light and nothing more, and it isn't an ode to "coming out" and stockpiled clichés of "being different." It shows how an interaction with a person can have a truly provocative impact on you as a person.
The struggles between the two lovers is depicted in breathtaking detail. The director masterfully captures all of the turmoil and hardship going on between Adele's and Emma's relationship. The movie's long running time does not effect the film at all because you are so immersed into their characters. The sexual realization of Adele is perfectly shown in the movie. She is confused and doesn't know what she wants, it is a typical teenage problem. This movie is ultimately about Adele and her struggles to find her true self. The transformation that she experiences is utterly engrossing to watch. The film's nearly three hour running time is devoted to showing the growth of her character and it is absolutely amazing to watch it unfold right in front of your eyes.The intimate scene's between Adele and Emma are nothing short of miraculous in their depth and their honesty. The conversations are heartfelt, and the pain is evident and shared. It's realism of the world we live in is honest and raw.
The movie owes so much of it's emotional power to its two fantastic actresses. They really bring it their all in this. I've never had doubts of these two performances, the characters felt like real people and you felt so much for their relationship. Their emotional hardships feel completely real. The character's flaws and insecurities feel so authentic because you actually believe them as real human beings. We never lose sight of their chemistry and devotion to one another, even in the most difficult of times. The two of them are like fireworks, waiting to explode out. I cannot recommend this film enough to those of you out there who are interested in seeing this. This is one of the wisest and least condescending films I've seen this year. I congratulate the director, Abdellatif Kechiche and the two actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux for an emotional and spiritual journey that had me compelled to the screen for 179 glorious minutes.
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
Blatantly obvious it was made just for the money.
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) is a sequel to the original classic "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974) even though there has been other sequels, reboots, and a prequel, mind you. So to call this a sequel would mean to forget the other 5 films that were made way before this. Oh well, I've seen more offensively manipulative marketing before.
So was the movie good? Of course not, it couldn't even surpass my ridiculously low expectations. The movie is completely unoriginal and filled with more clichés than there are craters on the moon. The plot of the film has been done to death in the horror genre. A group of young hot teenagers go out and encounter a psychotic killer. You already know what's going to happen, who's going to get killed, etc. The movie is completely devoid of suspense and any true scares because it is completely predictable from start to finish. Any movie that relies on cheap jump is a big NO-NO for me, but even those are utterly predictable in the film.
The acting is pretty standard to that of other horror movies, completely and totally unremarkable. Don't even plan on watching the film on 3D because it adds nothing to the film and is a complete waste of money. The movie made no attempt at trying to be original and actually try to genuinely scare me. At the end of the day, the movie had no reason to exist at all, it rehashes the same boring plot lines of countless previous horror movies. Why did they make this movie, there are 5 other sequels (albeit kind of bad) that came before. The answer is because all that Liongate cares about is to make money and that's it, I don't hate them for it, but next time try not to make it so obvious.
Liz & Dick (2012)
It's NOT that bad..............
-------------READ THE REVIEW, BEFORE YOU RATE IT ---------------------- It's just boring as hell. But I've seen much worse Lifetime films, although its nowhere near a great film. Some scenes were quite enjoyable, but the film is too long even though its 88 minutes. The direction is pedestrian and the film itself is filled with so many clichés. The character of Elizabeth Taylor in this film was so unlikeable and a bit all over the place.
Lindsey Lohan was surprisingly not awful, just mediocre. She doesn't look like Liz Taylor, but she's okay in some very emotional scenes. I think she has an opportunity to grow as an actress by accepting more meatier roles in the future. I'm just glad that she is at least trying to give a good performance, even though the outcome can be left to interpretation.
The rest of the cast was highly forgettable, but there were some performances that did not work on any level. Grant Bowler as Richard Burton, Andy Hirsch as Eddie Fischer, were pretty bad. There were too many WTF scenes with them. The whole film was pretty forgettable and a bit too soap-operish for my taste, but it's nowhere near the disaster some are making it out to be.
Anna Karenina (2012)
It's beautiful to look at, but.....
It's ultimately hollow. The art direction, set pieces, cinematography, costume design are all superb, the film is a technical marvel. But my compliments for the most part end right there. Sadly, there were far too many themes for a two-hour film to broach. Unfortunately, "Anna Karenina" never hits any sort of stride where the narrative arc is concerned. The dark side of love is ruminated upon, sure, but there's never any real payoff. The film faces the dilemma of a thousand book adaptations before it it's too small in scale to offer the epic rewards of the written word, but too large on-screen to hide from its glaring shortcomings. Solid visual moments aren't enough to sustain an audience, and Joe Wright's visual style isn't enough to salvage gaping wounds in the story.
In this bizarre version, adapted by Tom Stoppard ("Shakespeare in Love") and directed by Joe Wright ("Pride and Prejudice," "Atonement"), the tragedy unfolds in a huge, magnificent theater. As the curtain rises, the performance commences and various players fall in and out of love with little moral meaning. On-stage, backstage and on catwalks, they change partners and pirouette, always self-consciously aware of the impression they're making. Thus Joe, a filmmaker by trade, sought to preserve the novel's mystique and cultural exclusivity by aping an altogether less inclusive medium; one that remains inaccessible to the hordes, and which, like Tolstoy's oeuvre, is considered to be a retreat, a sanctuary if you will, for the intelligentsia, who must endure the witless prattling and half-bakery of the mass at all other times. The film will undoubtedly be a big competitor in the Oscars in the technical categories. But Best Screenplay, Picture, Director, I don't think so.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
"When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, I see everything that made me flying around in invisible pieces."
What can I say about Beasts of the Southern Wild, that hasn't already been said. It's the most magical and imaginative film of the year, so far. In Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, the wild things are in a place known as the Bathtub, a remote stretch of the Louisiana bayou profoundly cut off from the rest of modern civilization. Beasts of Southern Wild is an unique vision that sweeps viewers away with energy, attitude and a full, vibrant, sense of life. Containing outstanding performances, great cinematography, and a fantastic score, the film is just so engrossing.
Hushpuppy feels her connection not only to nature and animals, but also to the prehistoric era, represented throughout the film by her interest in cave drawings andmore fancifullyprehistoric beasts called aurochs that have been released from the ice caps and make their way toward the Bathtub at least in Hushpuppy's mind. The difference between what's real and what lives in the imagination of our six-year-old heroine is not always clear, but it's all delivered with a beautifully assured sense of wonder.
Beasts of the Southern Wild unfolds through Hushpuppy's eyes, and it's a sight to behold: sometimes wondrous, often disordered and dysfunctional. It's hard not to see the film through a political lens even if you're apolitical. But there's no stridency here: Fantastical moments and a fantastic script manage to juggle so much with grace. As Hushpuppy says, "The entire world depends on everything fitting together just right." But her world is one where wealth and squalor co-exist all too easily, the discrepancy painfully obvious (even though we don't really see the other world), the puzzle pieces not equal in weight or importance. Yet the hardscrabble people of Bathtub still find a way to channel their joy, even though they've been forgotten.
It's all the more impressive that such a confident and resourceful film comes from a first-timer; writer-director Benh Zeitlin previously impressed Sundance audiences with the Hurricane Katrina inspired short "Glory at Sea." He collaborated on the screenplay for "Beasts" with Lucy Alibar and worked with a cast and crew of mostly non-professionals (both Wallis and Henry make genuinely astonishing screen debuts). That freshness may very well be key to the film's creative success. There's a feeling of genuine enthusiasm and ingenuity in their work here, as if everyone involved was truly discovering the power and potential of filmmaking for the first time.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Exceeded my expectations!
The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the best movies of 2012, so far. Great chemistry between the 2 actors, fantastic visual effects, memorable action scenes and a a new level of emotional depth, not seen in a Spider-Man movie. The movie constantly delivers on character development and thrilling action sequences. My low expectations were obliterated, what a surprise! Aside from the 3D animation looking fantastic and the film having a dark, complex feel to it that makes it feel more grown up, the primary reason worth watching is Andrew Garfield.
Andrew Garfield was terrific as Spider-Man, he not only looks like Peter Parker, but he embodies the character. Something only a few actors are able to do. Emma Stone is, as always very charming and effective in her role as Gwen Stacy. The chemistry between them is so well done, and performed. The scenes between them truly elevate the film, as a whole. Uncle Ben, played by the veteran actor Martin Sheen. Sheen brings the intrinsic qualities of family love and togetherness to the movie. Rhys Ifans is great as Dr. Connors, although I felt he was a bit underused. Everyone works so well together, the cast is by far the best out of all the Spidey movies, yet.
In many ways it represents an improvement over the Raimi films, particularly the misbegotten third installment, especially in its emphasis on the adolescent nature of its protagonist. Though Garfield is 28, he makes a credible 17-year-old - although Maguire was a year younger when he first pulled on the tights a decade ago, his Parker seemed conspicuously adult. The action scenes and the visual effects are totally exhilarating, believable and totally engrossing. Even though this reboot may be unnecessary, now I can't wait until The Amazing Spider-man 2.
I sort of hate comparing this to the original trilogy because it is trying to be its own thing, but you can't escape the fact that it's such a recent reboot. However the movie stands on its own, as great reboot and a pleasure to watch! "The Amazing Spider-Man" has everything you could ask from a summer movie. Action, romance, imagination and smart writing.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Best Film of 2012, so far!
I had the honor of watching TDKR during a screening and was completely blown away! Christopher Nolan's third film in his Batman trilogy doesn't disappoint. The movie is incredibly well made, its huge production is quite breathtaking to view. This is a true cinematic experience, to behold. The movie exceeded my expectations in terms of action, and entertainment. The movie's score high-lites many of its incredible scenes, and at times, it takes your breath away.
The film featured excellent performances, by all the cast. Christian Bale, as always is great as Batman. Anne Hathaway was completely engrossing, she became "Catwoman", just like Michele Pfeiffer did, although their interpretations were very different, both were equally effective. Tom Hardy was the main villain "Bane" completely shattered my expectations. One of the best superhero movie villains, I've ever seen. The terror caused by him, is completely believable and quite menacing. Marlion Cotilliard, Michael Cane, Gary Oldman, and others all did well in their respective roles. Now I know most will miss Heath Ledger as the Joker.(I know I do) I hope people don't compare Tom Hardy's performance to Heath Ledger's, its completely unfair and the two characters are very different. Just read the comics.
The colossal size of the film is a spectacle to behold, but surprisingly you don't get lost with all the explosions and extravagant action scenes, like in other films,(AKA Transformers, or POTC.) If one were to gripe, and I suppose there will never be a film made that one cannot find a point at which to grip, it is painfully long running time here. I found myself more worried about the pain in my posterior than the emotional final minutes after almost 3 hours that I had spent in a cramped seat, but that's just how I am. However the ending is just fantastic, so emotional and bring the trilogy to a very satisfying end.
Sorry if I'm being all fan-boyish and kissing this movie's behind, but I really admire it. It may not be among my personal favorites but generally this seems to be the movie event of this year. As a film though, this is amazing. A true lasting legacy in superhero story telling and summer-blockbusters.