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Seth MacFarlane sews together a comedy with exhaustingly humorous filling
Director Seth MacFarlane takes a cuddly and innocent-looking teddy bear and sews together the relentlessly hilarious and amusingly feisty- "Ted". With nearly all of Ted's unpredictably raunchy yet ridiculously entertaining lines, a higher expectation for hilarity is set every single time. Sure, many of the scenarios and conversations are utterly nonsensical, but the fun of completely blasting away most of the air in our lungs in sheer laughter quickly waives the need for much logic. Furthermore, Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis prove to be a compatible addition to Ted's uncanny sense of humor. The storyline, unlike most of Ted's comments, is more predictable but even so, the inertial laughter carries the enjoyment and thrill created by him all the way to the end. All in all, "Ted" is a prime example of that laugh-out-loud-until-the-very-end type of film that is a worthwhile watch because of its absurd yet exhaustingly humorous filling.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Vibrant acting poisoned by a wan portrayal of events
Exuding paralyzing malice with every piercing glare, Charlize Theron as Ravenna launches a defining on-screen presence that has us cringing both in sheer horror and endless admiration as she contrasts her praiseworthy nefariousness in the angelically pure yet unwaveringly brave light of Kristen Stewart's elegantly interpreted protagonist- Snow White in "Snow White and the Huntsman". Although both of these actresses shine by delivering vivid performances, the comparatively pallid portrayal of events with rather wan confrontations and weak imaginative prowess showcased during scenes shot in the arcane domains of the dark forest inflict a poisoning effect overall. Such a mystifying background teeming with countless possibilities to exploit is unfortunately squandered by including a few derivative creatures and your run-of-the-mill encounter between humans and an over-sized adversary that, in this film especially, left a considerably bland trail behind. Frequently, in between the talented performances by both Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, "Snow White and the Huntsman" resembles a pale and dormant hybrid between the forbidden forest scenes from the Harry Potter series and the beautifully puissant scenes starring Aslan from the Narnia installments. Ultimately, "Snow White and the Huntsman" is a worthwhile watch considering the astonishingly talented performances by the lead actresses albeit the colorless portrayal of the story.
Project X (2012)
Xplosive, Xplicit and Xuberant
Xplosive, Xplicit and riotously Xuberant, "Project X" invites us to attend an absolutely anarchical party overflowing with nearly all teen mind's most crazed dreams all blown amusingly out of imaginative proportion, but thankfully, without holding us responsible for the incurred havoc. It begins when a close group of high school friends, ranked rather poorly on the scale of social fame, establishes that it will project itself toward the acme of coolness by means of hosting the wildest birthday party possible. With a few comical mishaps along the way, the film reaches its long-awaited climax quickly: the party itself. From here on, "Project X" begins to redefine the common standards of teenage festivities, even in the cinematographic world. One ludicrous feat after another, the climaxing point consistently escalates and guarantees an epic final half for the film. With flying dogs, free-falling teens, sinking cars, flame-throwing lunatics and much, much more, "Project X" is evidently more than well-equipped to thoroughly entertain the audience. After all of the intense uproar subsides and fires are extinguished, there seems to prevail some consensus between the hosts, those who attended and those who watched- a bittersweet feeling within whispers that the destruction brought on by the party was not entirely in vain.
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
"We Bought a Zoo"
Within the Rosemoor Wildlife Park one can find majestic lions guarding their domain with royal poise, tigers patrolling their enclosures with intimidating growls, ostriches frenetically sprinting on their lanky legs and last but not least- and perhaps the most fascinating sight of all- a widower (Benjamin Mee- Matt Damon) attempting to mitigate the irascible growls of his older son (Dylan Mee- Colin Ford) and subdue his wild urge to sprint away from life's hardships all while trying to uphold a controlled poise for his younger daughter (Rosie Mee- Maggie Jones). "We Bought a Zoo" is an amiably tamed yet rawly sentimental dramedy that offers a predominantly mellow panorama of a family that learns how to reconnect under uncanny circumstances. The film incorporates a warm-hearted sense of humor and believable acting displayed especially by Matt Damon, Colin Ford and Scarlett Johansson. Although "We Bought a Zoo" is far from being a crazed safari ride with unforeseeable plot twists, in truth it does not need to be. The familial intricacies and the handful of laughable moments are sufficient to maintain the attention of a patiently observant audience. In sum, "We Bought a Zoo" is a worthwhile and comical visit into the savage hardships of human life juxtaposed by the appropriately wild backdrop of a zoo.
Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Bland of the Titans
Heroically extolled for confronting an army of horripilating and lavishly overpowered brutes, Perseus (Sam Worthington) in "Wrath of the Titans" still wavers in vanquishing his prime nemesis: his inflexibly cemented facial expression of monochromatic anger lingering in nearly all scenes. Although emotionally limited, the film compensates through countless, visually ornate clashes involving a gargantuan lava-spraying monstrosity, a drool-exuding minotaur, a multi-headed fire-breathing beast as well as other more humanly opponents that still impress with their ridiculously potent tridents. The 3D feature of the film is well employed and exploited by showcasing the aforementioned community of garishly astounding characters under this more emphatic perspective. A stable camera-work also ensures that viewers are able to satisfactorily discern the action that takes place without the irksome turbulence that dazes and obfuscates the on-screen happenings in many films. Overall, this stability positively highlights the legion of 3D behemoths but it seems that the protagonist has taken the title too personally by showing us his one-expression-fits-all acting...again.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Pulls us back with its taut drama and shoots us out of our seats with its intense action
Based on the flagitious tradition of condemning 24 youths from all districts to partake in a draconian competition that inevitably engenders a nefarious form of collective annihilation, "The Hunger Games" entrances us in its dramatically taut bow of breathtaking scenes and propels a clever, arrowhead-sharp dissection of an oppressed society. The film adopts the predominantly dramatic direction of depicting the heavy sentiments of the contestants prior to the initiation of such a high-stakes game as well as their nail-bitingly exciting predator- prey hunts and also finds time to contribute further to the emotional dynamism by harvesting the added complications of a well-acted love affair. Although the barbaric games themselves only officially commence a while into the film, the transcending performance of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen builds plenty of momentum to engulf us in her plight. Furthermore, the garishly ostentatious costumery is not only a source of fascination but a well crafted symbolic visualization of how colorless and mendacious the majority of the people of Panem are behind their tawdrily-dyed visages. In sum, "The Hunger Games" pulls us tautly back into our seats with its frightening yet brilliantly acted scenes prior to the ultimate competition and shoots us forward with its even more astounding aim of capturing the breathtaking perils that the protagonist faces during the game itself.
An Innocuous Sightseeing Journey
Set in a land abounding with Lilliputian elephants, Brobdingnagian lizards, blindingly coruscating sea serpents and gold-spewing volcanoes, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" exhibits a visual gasconade of rather derivative, technologically spawned fauna and suscitates rare instances of engaging conflicts with the film's characters, which ultimately renders the arcane and supposedly perilous exploration an innocuous sightseeing experience. In comparison to its previous installment, "Journey to the Center of the Earth", the second one benefits from Dwayne Johnson's rather risible facetiousness but suffers from an ephemerality of suspenseful chases and from a dearth of clever, screen-protruding scenes made possible by the film's 3D component. The storyline itself fails to incorporate any new thrills given its harmlessly hackneyed three-step approach of finding the enigmatical territory, exploring its content and escaping from it unscathed. Overall, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" is a harmless touristic stroll across an intricately designed environment of bizarreness.
The Woman in Black (2012)
Predictably unpredictable scares
"The Woman in Black" succeeds in paralyzing us in a maddening inquietude of anticipating that abrupt scare that congeals our every sense in exciting horror. Admittedly we can easily pinpoint the occurrence of that breath-constricting jolt of a scene well beforehand, but even being prepared the film can break through our guard and deliver a considerably puissant surprise. No matter how many possible continuations we may conjure in our imagination, and regardless of how terrifying these can be, the actual follow-up manages to induce that split-second heart attack of fright. However, in between these unexpectedly expectable terrors, "The Woman in Black" is not as horrifying as other films of the same genre. Cast-wise, Daniel Radcliffe does not seem to represent the ideal candidate to play the more mature role of a father figure, but overall the film carries on rather smoothly in his presence. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, "The Woman in Black" proves to be an efficacious fright fest that alerts us with its dreadfully unpredictable predictability.
Ghost Rider: Entertainment Torrefaction
After blazing through a fusillade of comparatively igneous stunts in "Ghost Rider", the flaming motorcyclist grovels back in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" with an extinguished storyline and spiritless confrontations that defuse the spark of interest ignited by the first installment. The clashes witnessed in this continuation culminate in lifeless chain lashes that obliterate enemies into bright ashes within a few seconds after they have been spawned on screen. The final showdown displays a more creative approach to the vapid fighting sequences initiated erstwhile but unfortunately fulminates into an all too ephemeral explosion given away prematurely in one of the trailers. Additionally, the comical flare that attempts to shine brighter than the dim glint of action sequences is quickly burnt out with Nicolas Cage's rather acerbically torched jokes. Overall, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" torrefies the quality potential it lit previously with tediously charred CG craftsmanship, action scenes and humor.
Albert Nobbs (2011)
An oddity concealing dullness
Purporting a vitreous gaze that congeals those who behold it in sheer bewilderment and projecting a guttural voice heavily straining to conceal a secret, "Albert Nobbs" is an oddity whose life, disappointingly, is far less compelling than meets the eye. The experiences and conflictions of such a visually flabbergasting protagonist contrast drastically in the film's insipid and disjointed portrayal of other characters whose lives and appearances are far more dreary. Some of the lifelong ambitions of Albert Nobbs are merely touched upon and swiftly erased from memory and inevitably rendered void by a heap of bland occurrences that assuage the intended drama. Consequently, the thematic tribulation of existing in a sexist society is hardly accentuated. It seems "Albert Nobbs" is overly self-absorbed in its image and devotes little attention to developing its emotional profundity. On the other hand, Glenn Close skillfully steps into the shoes of an androgynous and awe-inspiring persona and baffles all spectators with her seamless transition into another, completely unrecognizable body. This is done in such flawlessness that when Albert Nobbs does wear a dress, one cannot help but think that he is witnessing someone cross-dress. Overall, "Albert Nobbs" is externally thrilling but internally dull.