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Wonder Woman (2017)
Good superhero spectacle, but overrated
I watched it yesterday. First and foremost, I'll have to say this. I'll warn you that I may be chauvinistic to both sexes here. I was doubtful if female director can successfully pull off a testosterone "male" oriented blockbuster. Point Break is awesome, but Hurt Locker and Punisher:WZ I found to be boring and uninteresting. However, when it as announced that woman will direct WW, I felt they got it as I believe that only a female director can give the character justice. Of course, it if was a guy, it may totally be the same movie, so I digress.
But first before getting on the movie, let me say that I am not much of a fan of WW (neither I read many comics - Perez I love, Azzarello run and Hiketeia I intensely dislike, though I admire what the Finch couple did). About the movie: I think it's very, fair, honest and sympathetic portrayal of the title character, the best it can get and much in vein of Donner Superman IMO. Moreover, Gal is beautiful, sexy and lethal in equal measures (though I am bit nostalgic for Linda Carter:grin:) And this WW is bereft of the superhero antics I find in Nolan/Snyder verse, where are frustrated, confused character with phrases like:"should I do it; who am I; it hurts me being superhero, hurts me when being not...". No, this character is a hero and wants it to be. And I believe, just as the poster for Superman (1978) - "You'll believe a man can fly".
On the other hand, the plot is already chewed-up and clichéd. It didn't engage me much. I am not particularly convinced with Pine's performance (but he did good). Thewlis, though, ruined it for me. His later "reveal"... well, can't say I've seen it coming, but it didn't surprise me, either. Also, I find the main villain fight to be a bit cheap, tedious, and unconvincing, with WW all of suddenly unleash all her fury, before seriously eating dirt.
As for action scenes; the special effects are impressive, but the action itself I find just ostensibly thrilling. Don't know, probably because, I've grown spoiled, petulant and craving for more over the years, so that nothing much can surprise me. And flawed he may be, Snyder knows how to make a glory spectacle. Sorry, Patty.
L.A. Noire (2011)
Great ode to the noir films
What can I add that others didn't already. L.A Noire is IMO currently the best detective game ever created. This game can make you feel like true investigator, with occasional chase and "shoot rm up" sequences. It pays homage to the film noirs of 40s. Visually stunning, highely detailed and atmospheric in evoking post WWII Los Angeles. Characters expressions and motions are incredibly and voice actors have done their job superbly. Lots of older (exotic) cars contemporary to the time and some of them you'll need to find to unlock. Storyline is intriguing, emotional and well written. Cole Phelps is one of the best characters that exist in a video game. For this genre ans style, what can you ask for more? The only flaw is: it's very repetitive. But again, it doesn't spoil the overall experience.
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
Worst in trilogy.
Winning things shouldn't be called for change, eh? So, what the word "worst" stands for? Well, despite what gamers think, I more or less agree with critics. Maybe because people who developed it aren't coming from Rocksteady, but from WB Montreal. Seems to me that they didn't wanted much to toy upon. Game itself isn't really an improvement over AC. In fact, it is very much alike it. Graphic, game mechanic, control system and combat system are very much the same. But, that doesn't necessary mean it's bad. Arkham Origins is far, far from being a lame game. Who played Arkham predecessors, after first cut-scene (in Blackgate prison) will feel at home and breath with full lungs. Storyline of Arkham Origins, takes Batman 5 years (as developers described) before events in AC and his is at the beginning of his crime-fighting career. AO is said to be a "year two" story. Batman is young, cocky, uncertain, argues with Alfred. Those dramatic moments are essential part of the story and saying they're influenced from Nolan's movies is rubbish. Moments "who are you","why are you doing this" would not have much sense in AA and AC, but they are absolutely needed here. Also, developers claimed the game is inspired by several comics (which fans might recognize)such as Year One, The Long Halloween, Turning Points and so on. Batman fights with cops (Year One; also, Lt. Branded and Comissionar Loeb appear). Joker is telling his origins from The Killing Joke, that part we have to play with him. I wish it last a bit longer. As Batman, he is thrown against of new type of threat. Not some new super-enemy, but accomplished eight assassin, been hired and sent by Black Mask (also appears) to take Caped Crusader. Deathstroke, Copperhead, Firefly, Electrocutioner, Deadshot, Shiva, Killer Croc and Bane. Bane here has much bigger role than previous game, however his relationship with Bats is thinly portrayed. Same I cannot say with Joker. Though, I personally think that game lacks some epic confrontation and showdowns, considering it's the first time that Batman faces the villains he will fight throughout his escapades. The game however has few innovations. New type of enemy in combat, martial artist. He is kinda tricky as you have to counter his attacks twice and he can also counter your attack so watch out. Batwing is present, but you can't manually drive it, it serves to transport you on certain points on the map. In order to do so, you need to hack Enigma (Riddler) control towers to unlock them. As you progress, you gain electric gloves (don't wanna spoil how) which makes fights easier, but they can be used for limited periods of time. Glue grenade replaces ice grenade from AC. Sometimes in game, you have to solve particular crime using detective mode; which, as developers stated, is slightly improved. I'd disagree. Just look for the red triangle and scan it and Batman will in CSI manner deduce what happened. Such as angle of shot, point of impact, range of shoot and etc. Not that I did expect something from recent Sherlock Holmes games, but step forward in that manner will help. After all, Batman is considered world's greatest detective. Map in AO is larger than AC, as it expands on souther part of Gotham City. Over Pioneer Bridge intro Coventry, Diamond District and so. It is interesting to see how certain areas from AC look five years prior. Voice acting is great, especially Troy Baker's portrayal of younger Joker. He is definitely imitating Mark Hamill, and he did it splendidly. Enigma's challenges are presented with some variation. Once you go through all pain & sweet to collect them all, game will throw a big letdown on you (don't wanna spoil here). Overall, Batman Arkham Origins is very good and entertaining game, despite not offering much. I felt I am repeating AC, which I played few weeks prior this. So, I had very high expectations for this. Still, it gave me hours of fun. I'd rate it 8/10
Bullet to the Head (2012)
Stallone and Hill team up for big disappointment
This movie is made on ground of respectful reputation of Sly and Mr. Hill, especially during period of 80s (my personal favorite decade). The two each reunite with Hollywood mogul Joel Silver, who by the way, serves as executive producer. They worked together on; with Stallone in "Demolition Man" and with Hill on several titles including 48HRS (not sequel). This movie is some sort of homage to 48HRS and, unfortunately, inferior. Why? Its running time - 91 minute. It gets over quick since plot is shallow. But for Stallone (action) film, that might not be a real flaw. Real flaws come from bad acting and you don't have to be peculiar talent to notice. So, bad acting and even poorer dialog. Awful to listen. That means that script is work of amateur. I wish Mr. Hill had any input, unfortunately he doesn't. In some moments movie look like he came from B-production. What is good? Well... music is good. Combination of blues and jazz since the setting is in New Orleans. It plays very well between the scenes. Action sequences are also higher point and here is obvious where Hill earned his reputation of action director. They're bloody and violent, but relatively tame compared with today's standards. Sarah Shachi is too one of the brighter sides. Christian Slater plays supporting role as one of the villains. He is no better than Stallone and Kang. Stallone might irritate you in the role of professional assassin. He is portrayed as violent character who kills without remorse (similar role he done in similar disaster "Get Carter"). Wears strange tattoos on his back, nerd haircut and his especially mumbling voice like in no way any other film he did. Seriously. So is the movie worth watching? Depends. If you're hardcore Stallone fan and his movies regardless, then buy it, rent it, download it, whatever. However, if you aren't exactly his fan, but you liked to watch his and Hill's earlier film and enjoyed in them, forget on this title. Like it doesn't exist.
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
McClaine's having very bad day
John McClaine once again returns as hard-edged cop after slightly worse Die Hard sequel, in another action-explosive filled pack adventure and reuniting with terrific John McTiernan (directed first 1988 film). This time setting is New York. McClaine is suspended, under divorce and drinking. Mysterious Simon has place several bombs throughout the city and needs for McClaine to co-operate, otherwise he'll blow another location (in opening sequence, he destroys department store). However, Simon holds another plan... and McClaine is only one who can stop him, with the help of black man Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson). And all this sets the mood for frenetic chase through New York and ferocious action sequences. Yes, McTiernan is really fantastic action director. Plot is witty and never gets boring. Willis and Jackson are having great chemistry together, regardless this is not buddy cop movie. Soundtrack is simply memorable. Tasks (or riddles) that Simon provides for McClaine are always imaginative and do well for the overall plot. And, for the conclusion... My choice is still original feature, still remains as seminal action film. But this one is almost as the first one, Willis and Mctiernan are back and movie itself is an vast improvement over two recent entries, which I want to forget as soon as possible.
Welcome to Collinwood (2002)
Underrated comedy heist film
This is one of those "little great movies" made almost by low key approach and as art film. It tells the story of few guys planning to rob the safe in jewelry store. Each one of them has the same reason for it. Money. One character, Toto, leaves poorly in abandoned hangar, other guy, black man Leon, has a sister who is soon to be married and he needs dough for the wedding. Riley is also very poor, his wife is imprisoned and he leaves alone with his baby and so on... However, whole point of the movie is that robbery they looking to execute is doomed since the beginning. Only characters aren't aware of this issue. Movie reminds a bit of "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" in terms of style and setting, but far less violent. Violence happens very rarely or almost never, and when it happens it's played for laughs and when you compare that with running time (86 minutes) you get very lightweight, very easy film. Those two things are only criticism I have. On brighter side, actors did their work tremendously and Sam Rockwell leads. I haven't watched many of his movies, but he is so damn good in this. Very good. Along with George Clooney, who appears in episodic role (3-4 minutes) as safe cracker veteran who teaches our guys how to crack the safe. Of course, it would be unfair if I don't mention late Michael Jetter and Luis Guzman, Patricia Clarkson and Isaiah Washington. Dialogue is well written and locations are realistic. Overall, movie is very enjoyable for anyone who loves crime/black comedy features, except when it ends, it'll leave you wondering why hadn't lasted a bit more.
Bond goes down
Worst movie in Bond franchise. I can't get why people love it so much. Maybe because someone described,unusually human and love story and the fact that Bond is playing by someone anonymous rather than Sean Connery. I strongly believe in mythology and tradition and when I saw it for the first time(I was 15)I shooked my head in disbelief. From the moment he (Bond; Lazenby)introduced himself to Tracy I knew this is not gonna be any good. Lazenby looks dumb and talks numb, it is apparent lack of his acting skills. action sequence look unreal. On lower level than all previous Bond movies. Telly Savalas as Blofeld is very good, but he portrayed his character on lighter tone, opposing to sinister previously done by Donald Pleasance. Much of the film is boring, you'll need to wait an hour to see action. Romance also ruined the film and it's epilogue is sad. This is the only one Bond without happy ending. Many folks say that Connery couldn't pull "we have all the time in world", I wouldn't agree. No gadgets, movie is too long(almost 2 and half hours). In overall, this is not "typical" JB. Different actor, romance, no gadgets, different style of making, lenght and sad ending. Not like Goldfinger, whose first four words are foreshadowing its value and remain to be the best Bond ever. One good thing about OHMSS is its dynamics, owing to unpredictability. Not every Bond has it. And second John Barry's great score. Not best(it'd be unfair toward other films), but one of.
One of John Woo's finest works
Terrific war movie. And very underrated. Great ensemble cast and even better director. This is one of favorite John Woo movies and Nicolas cage too. Story is kinda stiff and movie itself could be little longer. It tells the story about Navaho Indians who use their native language as important code use during WWII on island called Saipan. Two marines (Cage and Slater) are assigned to protected them as the code must not fall into enemy's (Japanese)hands.Action is greatly built, fast-paced, typical John Woo style, lots of explosions and well choreographed ballistic shootouts. Music fades in the movies nicely. Few emotional moments here and there, especially at the end.
One of best WWII and 2002 films.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Unsurpassed science-fiction yet
Should I really put my review with when many other already did that instead? Well... I'm not kinda fan of SF films, especially Blade Runner and Total Recall, but 2001 Odissey is... epic marvelous masterpiece! As Stanley Kubrick's film it some of his trademarks(close-ups on faces, classical music score, etc.)it's surely one of his best. Personally I prefer more "A Clockwork Orange" and "The Shining", but this one... As I fore-mentioned music score, well constructed shots, scientific accuracy, HAL 9000, ambiguous storyline open to every interpretations and outstanding special effects(which brought Kubrick's only Oscar)when character travels through time and space looks so lavish and better than most of other recent movies. But in overall, whole movie is and looks better than most newer SF-s.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Typical Hollywood lemonade
Honestly, I don't think this is the worst movie ever or one of the worst. How movie is critically awful, its box office gross may tell otherwise. 237 millions in globe compared to 125 million budget. Not every movie can do that. Anyway...
I watched this film 2-3 times as a kid and it leaved solid impression on me. Now, I'm 23 and I watched it few days ago, now I understand why critics chopped this version of Batman in half. Schwarzenegger(one of my favorite actors)did his work below average. Still, the dull script poorly developed his characters. It lack some depth. Similar thing with the others. George Clooney-totally wrong choice for the main role. Other actors fit somewhere between them two. Plot is overtly and unnecessary complicated and bleak. Considering who's the writer(Akiva Goldsman)script could be better. Joel Schumacher approach is similar to his previous Batman film called "Forever". Even the opening sequence are the same in both films(Batman prepares for the night). Elliott Goldenthal did marvelous job writing the score, although same as it is in "Forever". Fits with film's dark, grim atmosphere. I couldn't compare it with Danny Elfman's music because it would not be fair since they two wrote equally the same thing, each on their way. Sets are built okay and the effects are nice. But, I must admit that action sequences look a bit childish. Speaking of childish, thing what definitely ruined the potential hit is its "toyetic" approach as Schumacher described in commentary. I'm pretty sure that everybody will know what it means so I'll move to conclusion.
"Batman & Robin could be watchable feature anyway. But as long as you don't take it seriously and do not compare it with 1966 film with Adam West which is self-parody in TV style.