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13 Hours (2016)
Intense and very entertaining! 7/10
Review: I surprisingly, really enjoyed this film, because it felt like you was one of the soldiers fighting for your life, and the intensity throughout, was brilliant. The director cleverly spent some time to let the audience get to know the various soldiers and he gave an in depth look into there different tactics in combat. I was a bit skeptical when I saw that it was nearly 2 and a half hours long but it really needed to be, and the fact that it was based on true events, made it a truly amazing story. Rone (James Badge Dale), was a true leader, and he pushed his heroic soldiers to the limit to save his fellow Americans. The chemistry between the actors made the movie seem real, and the way that the movie was shot, especially in combat, was great. Jack Silva (John Krasinski), wasn't the most charismatic soldier but he didn't crumble under pressure, mainly because he knew that his squad would die for each other. When I saw the real soldiers at the end, I did find it touching and quite emotional, and it's obvious that the tragic events that happened in Benghazi over those 13 hours, must have been traumatic, because a lot of the soldiers retired afterwards. Anyway, I personally found this film really entertaining and it should have made more money at the box office. Enjoyable!
Round-Up: This epic war movie was directed by Michael Bay, 51, who has made some decent movies like Pain & Gain, which I really enjoyed, The Transformers franchise, The Island, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, The Rock and the Bad Boys franchise. He is due to release the next Transformers movie, The Last Knight, in 2017 with Mark Wahlberg and Josh Duhamel, so he's obviously one to deal with big budgets and working with big stars. Judging by his other movies, he decided to keep this true story extremely raw and he picked the right cast to portray this remarkable story. Budget: $50million Worldwide Gross: $70million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their action/drama/thrillers starring John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, David Denman and Dominic Fumusa. 7/10
Point Break (2015)
Terrible Remake! 3/10
Review: I've always said that some films should definitely not be remade, and this is definitely one of them! Luke Brace (Utah), definitely didn't have the screen charisma as Keanu Reeves had in the original movie and Edgar Ramirez (Bodhi), was not in the same league as Patrick Swayze. The storyline was also pretty poor but I liked Ray Winstone (Pappas) and Delroy Lindo (Instructor Hall), even though they wasn't in the film that much. The director seemed to concentrate on the stunts more than the actual storyline and the film lacked emotion and purpose. As this movie went down well with audiences on it's first release, making nearly $85million at the box office, the director should have used A Class actors, except for these unknown actors, who weren't that great. On the plus side, some of the stunts were original and executed quite well, which did bring some intensity to the project but Bodhi seemed to waffle on most of the time and Utah wasn't a convincing adrenaline junkie. I personally think that most of the money that was made at the box office, was basically due to the popularity of the first movie, and not because this movie was any good. Anyway, I did have high hopes for this film but like many other remakes, it just turned out to be a big let down. Disappointing!
Round-Up: This movie was directed by Ericson Core, whose only other credit for the big screen is Invincible in 2006, starring Mark Wahlberg. You can tell that this movie was made by a director who hasn't had that much experience behind the camera, because he didn't bring important elements to the movie, like suspense, drama and a couple of twists, which this movie certainly needed. He is known for his cinematography skills, in movies like Payback, The Fast and the Furious and Daredevil, and you can't fault the cinematography in this movie but the script needed a lot more work and the actors didn't do it for me.
Budget: $105million Worldwide Gross: $134million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their sport/action/crime movies starring Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Matias Varela and Clemens Schick. 3/10
Wasn't that impressed! 3/10
Review: I really didn't enjoy this film, at all. The acting was pretty bad from the whole cast, especially Jack Black (Stine), who had the worst accent, and all of the annoying teenagers just got on my nerves after a while. No one seemed that surprised that there were loads of ghosts and goblins flying around, and the storyline just went from bad to worse. If the target audience for this film was for kids, then it didn't do too bad in that department but from an adults point of view, the script was awful. On the plus side, the CGI wasn't bad and some of the dolls did freak me out but apart from that, it was a big let down. The actual concept could have made a decent movie, if it was executed well, and I personally wouldn't have chosen Jack Black to play the lead, because we are used to seeing him play outrageous roles, we're he sometimes makes a fool out of himself. Anyway, although the movie didn't look that bad, I did struggle to stay interested throughout, so I won't be rushing to see the sequel. Disappointing!
Round-Up: Although I didn't really enjoy this movie, it did make a decent profit at the box office, mainly because it was released when the kids were on holiday but it seemed to come and go out of people's minds. It was directed by Rob Letterman, who also brought you Shark Tale, the decent Monsters vs. Aliens and the disappointing Gulliver's Travels, which also starred Jack Black, so he's obviously has some experience in this genre. With a Goosebumps sequel in the pipeline along with rumours of a Dungeons & Dragons movie, I haven't been impressed with his live action movies to date but I'm sure that he will be pulling in audiences with his upcoming projects.
Budget: $58million Worldwide Gross: $150million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their adventure/family/comedies starring Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell and Halston Sage. 3/10
Expected Better! 4/10
Review: I first watched this movie on an aeroplane and I must admit, I did find it quite boring and it made the flight to America seem longer than it was, and now that I've watched it again, I still found it quite dull. The subject matter was quite interesting and the bonus material on the DVD was intriguing but I personally don't think that Will Smith was the right choice to play Dr. Omalu. He did bring emotion to the role and and he made the film seem realistic, alongside Baldwin (Dr. Julian Bailes), Albert Brooks (Dr. Cyril Wecht) and David Morse (Mike Webster) but for a two hour movie, the tone that was set from the beginning, didn't switch throughout the movie. Don't get me wrong, Dr. Omalu was a truly remarkable neuropathologist whose determination to discover the truth, was a stroke of genius but from an entertainment point of view, it just didn't do it for me. On the plus side, the chemistry between the actors, who were all top class, did work and when the brain damaged football players were on screen, it did make it slightly watchable but there wasn't any memorable scenes which left me thinking that it was a great film. Anyway, although the movie was interesting, I did find it boring, and it was lucky to make a profit at the box office. Average!
Round-Up: This movie was written and directed by Peter Landesman, who also brought you Parkland in 2013. He also wrote Kill The Messenger in 2014, starring Jeremy Renner, so he hasn't had that much experience in the movie world. As this movie was about such a delicate subject, I personally think that it should have gone to an experienced director who could have got the most out of top actors. I have to give him top marks for bringing an untold story to the public domain but I really don't know how much Dr. Omalu's foundings have changed the game today. Anyway, I'm glad that Smith has gone back to his original acting style, by returning in the movie Suicide Squad, and with a couple of Bad Boys movies in the pipeline, so I'm sure he will bring the dollars back to the box office.
Budget: $35million Worldwide Gross: $49million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their biography/sport/dramas starring Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, David Morse, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Richard T. Jones, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson and Arliss Howard. 4/10
Expected Better from Hopkins! 3/10
Review: This is an average thriller, which I found pretty boring in places, mainly because most of the movie is about 3 people trying to find the towns crime lord. Anthony Hopkins (Lester), plays an ex-cop, who decides to help Lillian (Julia Stiles) to track down Blackway (Ray Liotta), to put a stop to him stalking her. Lesters trusty sidekick, Nate (Alexander Ludwig) decides to help Lester and Lillian but they don't get a lot of help from there fellow town members, because they are all scared of Blackway. Personally, I didn't understand what was so scary about Blackway, because he just seemed like the town bully, who could have been easily been killed if they all pulled together. It basically took the determination of a young girl, and some straight forward investigating from Lester, to stop Blackway from causing anymore harm, which wasn't anything clever from the director but it was watchable. The showdown at the end was also a let down because I was expecting some major twist or a reason for Blackways brutal behaviour. Anyway, it's always good to see Hopkins on the big screen but this movie definitely wasn't his best and the storyline wasn't anything amazing. Average!
Round-Up: Anthony Hopkins isn't one to take on many projects, so my expectations for this film was quite high. By the end of the film, I was pretty disappointed with the outcome and after watching the trio spending an hour and a half trying to track down Blackway, it didn't seem much of a big deal by the end. Anyway, this movie was directed by Daniel Alfredson, 57, who also brought you Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, which was another disappointing movie from Hopkins, Echoes From The Dead, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, The Girl Who Played With Fire and a couple of unheard of movies. His straight-laced directing style isn't the best in the world and I personally find his movies pretty boring. I just hope that Hopkins comes back with something decent, because his last two movies with this director, have been disappointing and after such a successful career, I just hope that he doesn't get remembered for his latest work.
Budget: $8million Worldwide Gross: N/A
I recommend this movie to people who are into their thriller starring Julia Stiles, Anthony Hopkins, Alexander Ludwig, Ray Liotta, Lochlyn Munro and Hal Holbrook. 3/10
The Adderall Diaries (2015)
Quite boring and uninteresting! 2/10
Review: When I first read the plot of this movie, and saw the cast, I had big expectations for this film but it turned out to be a big let down. The pace was really slow and the different elements were far apart. You have this father and son element between Stephen Elliott (James Franco) and Neil Elliott (Ed Harris), about there troubled relationship mixed with drugs and violence, and then you have this murder case, about Hans Reiser (Christian Slater), who was accused of killing his wife. You've also got a love story between Stephen, whose an inspiring writer, and Lana Edmond (Amber Heard) who is a reporter for the murder case but that doesn't really go anywhere. I personally lost interest very early in the film because the plot was all over the place and the director concentrated on trivia matters. The performances wasn't bad from Franco, Harris and Heard but I have seen better from these experienced actors. I didn't really understand what point the director was trying to get across, because the ending was pretty poor and James Franco's character just became uninteresting. Basically the film was a bit let down and I struggled to keep my eyes open through the whole movie. Disappointing!
Round-Up: This movie was directed by Pamela Romanowsky, who also brought you Forever Love in 2012, which was also unheard of. She is due to release a movie starring James Franco, Pamela Anderson, Josh Duhamel, Topher Grace, Eric Roberts, Tim Blake Nelson and Lori Singer, called The Institute, which is due out next year but I haven't got high hopes for the film, because this film was such a big let down. You can tell that she hasn't got much experience behind the camera because the different elements that she was introducing, just didn't gel that well and she didn't get the most out of the actors. There was to much time wasted on sex scenes and flashbacks which the whole project could have done without. Anyway, I expected more from Franco and Harris but I doubt that this will damage there impressive reputations.
I recommend this movie to people who are into their crime/drama/thrillers starring James Franco, Christian Slater, Ed Harris, Amber Heard, Jim Parrack and Cynthia Nixon. 2/10
Surprisingly, quite enjoyable! 4/10
Review: I really wasn't expecting that much from this film, especially when I saw that it had something to do with the Rettendon killings but it actually turned out to be quite entertaining. The raw, intense and gritty storyline was, surprisingly, quite gripping and the Essex backdrop was put together well. The violence, sex and foul language did go a bit over the top but that was expected from this English, gangster type movie, which was based in Essex, at a time when the Rettendon murders were still in people's minds. All of the actors put in a decent performance, and they made the movie seem extremely real but the person that I was most impressed with was Ricci Harnett (Carlton Leach), who was pretty brutal and unlikable at the beginning but he found some redemption towards the end. When Carlton finally decides to "Knock It On The Head", to live the quiet life with his family, he is pushed to limit and his past catches up with him, so I would like to see a 3rd instalment, to finally see if he has turned his bad ways, to the good. The only downfall about this film is that there are a lot of movies in this genre which, are the same in many ways but I still stayed interested throughout, and I found it quite enjoyable.
Round-Up: This movie was also directed by Ricci Harnett, who played the leading role, so he really did give this project his all. The London born actor/writer/director has also starred in movies like 28 Days Later, Vendetta starring Danny Dyer, Top Dog, the impressive Ill Manors, the Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan, and some TV series like the Bill, Buried and Dubplate Drama. He also starred in the first instalment of this movie, so he wasn't new to the project. Anyway, for his directorial debut, I personally think that he done a good job with this movie and his acting was top form but it would be good to see him tackle another genre, because this one has been done to death.
I recommend this movie to people who are into their crime movies starring Ricci Harnett, Steven Berkoff, Luke Mably, Craig Fairbrass, Terry Stone and Tygo Gernandt. 4/10
The Revenant (2015)
Brilliant throughout! 8/10
Review: What a brilliant movie! It did take me some time to watch, because I kept on rewinding the amazing bear fighting scenes, and I was totally gripped throughout. The whole "lost in the wilderness" experience was believable and very well directed. The cinematography was truly amazing and the intensity, right from the beginning, was unique and brilliantly performed from the whole cast. DiCaprio (Hugh Glass), really pushed the boundaries with his realistic performance, and the emotion that he showed, in such an impossible situation, was definitely an Oscar winning achievement. Personally, I think that Tom Hardy should have won an Oscar for his performance, because he was the perfect villain and he sported the rough look well, which reminded me a lot of Barnes (Tom Berenger), in Platoon, who was also was a warrior and turned against his fellow soldier. Anyway, I didn't know anything about this film before I watched it, so I was a bit worried about the length of the film but I personally could have done with an other hour. The whole revenge side of the movie, was totally understandable but I still think that he was able to get back on his feet, a bit too quick. The director also gave the Indians an understandable mission but they were quite creepy and brutal. The showdown at the end, was definitely worth waiting for but I just couldn't get over the beer scene near the beginning, which caused the main problem with Glass right from the start. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and it has to be the best film of this year so far. Brilliant!
Round-Up: With films like Minions, Frozen and Transformers making over a Billion dollars at the box office, it's a shame that a movie like this, doesn't get the returns that it deserves. It certainly won a lot of awards and it has firmly put the Mexican director, Alejandro G. Inarritu, 52, on the map, but I still think that it deserved more. As he also wrote this movie, he certainly gave this project his all, and with all of the location problems, due to weather, it was a miracle that it finally got released. He also directed, the successful Birdman, which also won a lot of awards but I personally don't think it was anywhere near as great, as this movie. Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem was also a well made film, and with 21 Grams and Babel in his filmography, he has a lot to be thankful for. After having 2 successful years on the trot, in terms of awards and box office takings, it will be good to see what he comes up with next, and I'm sure that the pressure to release another successful hit, will make him take a break for a while, and give it much thought.
Budget: $135million Worldwide Gross: $532.5million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their drama/adventure/thrillers starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Paul Anderson, Kristoffer Joner and Joshua Burge. 8/10
The Big Short (2015)
Great acting with a confusing concept. 4/10
Review: I really had high hopes for this movie, mainly because of the brilliant cast but I didn't know what the hell was going on most of the time and the Wall Street jargon, became way too technical for me. There was too many characters that were doing different things and I personally think that it became a bit messy after a while. I deliberately didn't want to know anything about the plot before I watched it but if I knew that it was based around the property crash during 2008, I definitely would have watched it with someone else so they could explain to me what was going on. Out of all of the top stars in this film, Steve Carell and the brash Ryan Gosling, were brilliant but it would have helped if I knew what the hell they were talking about. Don't get me wrong, I get the main concept of the movie and I knew who was good and who was bad but if your not from that world, I really don't know how your supposed to understand there various phrases and different methods of tricking the market to make billions of dollars. Brad Pitt and Christian Bale also put in good performances and they played there roles convincingly but I still was confused most of the time. Basically, it's worth a watch, just for the performances but from an entertainment point of view, it really didn't do it for me. Disappointing but watchable.
Round-Up: With such an enormous cast, the box office takings were pretty disappointing, and I'm sure that a lot of the money was made after getting nominated for a few Oscars. It did win in the Best Writing category, even though I found it quite confusing but it lost out to Spotlight in the Best Movie category. I can understand why this movie is so appealing, because it explains how the stock market crashed and how so many people lost there homes and jobs, so it is a significant movie for this time and age but they will have to release The Big Short for dummies for me to get it. It was written and directed by Adam McKay, 48, who also brought you Anchorman 1 & 2, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys, so this film was definitely a change of genre for a director who had primarily made movies for the comedy market. The script was slightly witty and I liked the way that Ryan Gosling was narrating through the film, which gave it a lighter feel, even though it was dealing with a delicate moment in time. I still would have to watch it again to fully understand it and I'm sure that I'm not alone when it came to the confusing technical jargon.
Budget: $28million Worldwide Gross: $133.3million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their biography/drama/comedies starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Hunter Burke, Rudy Eisenzopf, Casey Groves, Charlie Talbert, Shauna Rappold, Brandon Stacy, Peter Epstein, Melissa Leo and Anthony Marble. 4/10
Our Brand Is Crisis (2015)
Expected better from a decent cast. 3/10
Review: I didn't really think much of this bland, political comedy, because I didn't warm to the characters and the subject matter wasn't that interesting. The "supposed to be" witty script wasn't funny at all and the performances were average. The storyline is pretty straight forward! Basically, Jane Bodice (Sandra Bullock) is hired to help a campaign team, to win an election for a Bolivian candidate. In the cutthroat world of politics, which I find quite boring, Jane has to battle against her arch-enemy, Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), who uses every trick in book to win the election. That's about it! I was hoping that something drastic was going to happen throughout the movie but nothing really did. The only funny scene was when Jane got stoned with some Bolivians but the rest of the film was uninteresting and there wasn't much depth to the characters. The chemistry between Thornton and Bullock was quite good but I honestly don't know what message the director was trying to get across. Everyone knows about the corruption in politics and that campaigners use underarms tactics to belittle the other candidates, so there wasn't anything new in this movie, that people didn't already know. Anyway, I don't think that this is the movie to put Bullock back on the map and I'm not surprised that it made such a lose at the box office. Disappointing!
Round-Up: After starring in big movies like Gravity and the Blind Side, I'm surprised that Sandra Bullock, 51 and still looking good, took on this role after reading the script, because it really wasn't that great. She's not one that stars in any and every movie, so when she makes a bad one, it really does stand out. She does have a habit of coming back with great movies, when he career starts to take a downhill slump, so I'm waiting for her next big budget project. This movie was directed by David Gordon Green, 41, who also brought you, the terrible Manglehorn with Al Pacino, Joe with Nicholas Cage, the funny, The Sitter, Your Highness and the popular Pineapple Express with Seth Rogen and James Franco. I did have high hopes for this film because the cast was half decent. Billy Bob Thornton is another one of those actors that don't make that many movies and with the success of the Avengers, Anthony Mackie has really made a name for himself but there performances wasn't that amazing and I didn't really get the ending.
Budget: $28million Worldwide Gross: $8.6million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their drama/comedies starring Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan and Dominic Flores. 3/10