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Mockinjay part 2
The final chapter of the Hunger Games was an enjoyable one. Flawed yes, but entertaining and gripping. Definitely an upgrade from part 1, which was lackluster. The one thing that makes Hunger Games so great, is the hunger games. The fight for survival. That's what was missing from the previous one. We do not get one as straight forward here, but it is done in its own way which works perfect for the movie. The action-scene in the sewers is dead right terrifying, but bad*ss.
The one thing that especially appealed to me was the broken down relationship between Peeta and Katniss. To see Peeta struggle as hard as he did and their dynamic together, helping each other was very rewarding to watch. I must say, this won me over to Team-Peeta.
The story-telling was quite inconsistent compared to the first two movies, which in my opinion were superior. The movie was very long, which I did not mind, but it was not as fluid as it could have been. I loved the themes this one addressed in the sense of overthrowing a leader and replacing (him) with a new one and the struggles it poses. Mankind is destructive.
The acting all-in-all was continuously solid all round. But PS Hoffman stands out. As he should. It was a worthy performance and a lovely tribute to send him off was present if you catch it.
A very Spectre Bond
Spectre is a return to form in the sense of a classic Bond film. The previous Bond outings with Daniel Craig have been excellent action thrillers, but lacking a little bit in the usual Bondiness. This one delivers it in bulks. We are getting the quips, the gadgets, the ladies, the cars etc. And we got the big-baddie who is the counterpart to Bond (Mr. Hinx). Dave Bautista captured the essence of a physical yet classy "goon" beautifully. And as when most Bond-movies usually have their finales in foreign exotic locations, here we have Bond saving Britain literally. Protecting Queen and country.
With all that being said, the movie did have its flaws. Mostly it appeared in underdeveloped certain characters, like Christoph Waltz's and Monica Belucci's. They were stellar on screen, but we did not get enough of them. Daniel Craig himself delivered in spades. He is getting better with each Bond-film and hope is alive that he will return for one more (or more preferably). The new Bond-girl (Lea Seydoux) was also an interesting choice. As she was not the classic-looking Bond-girl, but she did have the X-factor and it worked brilliantly.
The style of the movie was near perfect - the cinematography, the music and the editing. Bond-esque in every way possible. Sam Mendes has got the grasp on Bond for sure. Heres to hoping Craig and Mendes return for another successful outing.
Age of Transformers
I feel like I should make myself heard in this case, because of all the hate this movie is getting through reviews. I am a big Michael Bay and Transformers fan. I loved the original characters from the first movie, especially Sam and Mikaela, also Epps and Lennox. I did miss them and think that at some point, they should go back to these characters. That being said, I understand and accept that the franchise had to be taken towards a new direction. I loved the first Transformers movie, which had quite a long introduction to it. It started off with the bond between a man and his car. In AoE they reintroduced this theme, as Cade being a down on his luck robotics engineer and searching for something to sink his teeth into. I loved that in this movie they sort of went back to it and started the movie off slowly and easing in to the transforming part. Cade and Optimus were meant to find and help each other. And when the transformation part finally got there, it was glorious. The CGI was better than ever and even the 3D was amazing. The actors and the characters were not ideal in my opinion, but they did a decent job and I would like to see them return in the sequel. To all the haters out there, I must say this... This is a Transformers movie. Explosions, slow-mo, heavy CGI battles is what makes this our guilty pleasure and why we enjoy it so much. This installation of Transformers was an amazing new take that will definitely broaden the storytelling universe and take us out deeper into the unexplored space (hopefully). All-in-all it was an awesome adventure of a movie with lots of metal clinking CGI battles. I loved it and hope they will make plenty more. It is exactly like Michael Bay said, "People walked out happy, that's what we're trying to do. We're just entertainers." And oh so entertaining it was!
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Pearl of a movie
I'd like to set the record straight for Pearl Harbor. I really don't understand the high rate of bad reviews for this movie.
First of all, it's a Michael Bay blockbuster, why does everyone assume that it HAS to be historically accurate to the point. If what you want is historically accurate, then watch a documentary. Everyone knows that fighter pilots don't't fly bombers and that the Doolittle Raid was much later following the Pearl Harbor bombing. Michael Bay has and always will be an entertainer foremost and his movies will always center around entertaining the audience to the fullest.
That being said I'd like to say that I really enjoyed Pearl Harbor and it has been one of my top war epics for a long time now. The soundtrack is just flawless and that alone makes the movie worth watching. I loved Ben Affleck in this (haters be hating). I do realize most people say it's the worst role he's ever played, but I think he did a very good job. The same can be said to Josh Hartnett and the always beautiful Kate Beckinsale. Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight and Mako, they raise the bar of this movie to a higher level, that goes without saying.
The special effects are magnificent, the Pearl Harbor bombing sequence is breathtaking and Michael Bay's love for explosions finally pays off.
The storyline is one of my favourites. I think there are not enough movies of this magnitude that are able to pull off 180 minutes. And Pearl Harbor makes its mark. I do realize that the love triangle has been done to death, but it just works.
So, all in all I wanted to give this emotionally gripping epic war tale a good review, well because it just deserves it.
Kickstart to summer blockbusters
Independence Day, Top Gun, Transformers and then Battleship. Mixture of them all and actually works well. The storytelling is quite solid, there is a decent introduction to the characters and you feel sympathy towards them immediately. The star-studded cast at first threw me, seeing names like Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker and Taylor Kitsch. But seeing Liam Neeson is already half a victory as he makes any movie worth watching. And I have to mention that Rihanna, despite her lack of acting experience manages to give a solid performance. Her bad-ass attitude makes her character highly likable. Taylor Kitsch pulls of his Maverick-like character with not much depth, but all-in-all he fits into the military setting. As it was directed by Peter Berg I was hoping a little less clichés, but I guess when one is attached to a 200 million dollar budget, he has the obligation to make the movie appealable to as wide a demographic as possible. For that big of a budget you really get your moneys worth. The movie delivers on many aspects. The visuals are great (Hasbro has done it again). The sets and sceneries are great. I really liked the length of the movie. As I was getting ready for a quite regular ending, I was blown away by a great motivational scene which led to a cool ending. Yes, the movie has quite a few plot holes and unrealistic scenes, but you manage to look past them as there are several high-octane action sequences. The soundtrack worked really great. As I was leaving the movie-theater I really just wanted to start singing, "AMEERICA, F*** YEAAH"!
In Time (2011)
In Time - a disappointment
I had quite high expectations for In Time. The story-line seemed solid, the setting was cool and the actors entertaining. The problem with this movie was the details. First of all I found the transfer of time from each other thoroughly ridiculous. Also with this being a science-fiction movie, I was expecting a little more science. Except for the time that was running across people's arms there was nothing sci-fi-like there. If anything, it was retro. The only thing I really liked about this movie was Cillian Murphy, as an actor and as the character he was playing. I have to say I was on his side for the entire movie. So, yeah, to sum it up, In Time was quite a big let down for me, especially story-wise. The overall idea was quite compelling, but the implementation poor.
Johnny English Reborn (2011)
Johnny English Reborn entertaining and amusing
I really liked the first Johnny English movie. The humor, the style, the setting. Having read other reviews I was hoping the second one to be better. But I was a little disappointed. The humor could have had more British wit to it and some high-brow jokes. I did get a few big laughs out of this one. The plot though was way better from the first one. The script of the previous one was a bit flat, but the story now was way more believable and complex. Although there could have been more twists. Everything was a little too predictable. I loved the beginning of the film, him being an outcast and then returning, being reborn" into a skilled agent. Or so you'd think. Also what I found very amusing was one of the chase scenes on the roof, where you can tell it was constructed after Casino Royale's chase scene. One of the best and most hilarious scenes in the movie. Which brings us to sets and locations. They were great! I loved the travelling and different countries they visited and the grand finale fortress. Being a huge Bond fan myself, this scenery was essential to make this a successful parody. The acting was acceptable for this genre. Rowan Atkinson was the same silly (but a wee bit improved) agent, whose comedic effect is always pleasing. I liked the new characters played by Gillian Anderson, Dominic West and his new side-kick played by Daniel Kaluuya. I especially enjoyed ex bond-girl Rosamund Pike. Her style and beauty really added elegance to this satirical secret-agent genre. All-in-all I was hoping for a step further from the first, an improvement, but the lack of it was not the worst thing to happen. An entertaining movie, targeted to all audiences makes it a decent way to spend your Wednesday evening.
Provocative, yet special
To start off I would have to say the movie was completely different of that shown in the trailer. I expected a much more mainstream action-flick out of this one. Instead I got a very provocative, but special experience. The style of the movie was very much like Tarantino's - dark and twisted, yet special in its own way. The dialog was layered and the action gory at times. I liked the editing and the close-ups, which added to the suspense of the movie. The retro-like intro was a cool stylistic nuance and the score carried that style and delivered this movie to a whole new level. The acting was superb. Ryan Gosling goes without saying. His intense and reserved way of acting added great mysticism to his character. Carey Mulligan was sweet and likable and Bryan Cranston continues to get better with each performance. I was also glad to see Ron Perlam being part of this project. He has been miscast too many times and I was happy to see him in his comfort zone. All-in-all this movie has the potential to be a great cult film. The iconic character of "Driver" will be one of Gosling's greatest performances.