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Pulls You In From The Beginning
This movie is a beautiful piece of art from beginning to end. I was anxious to see this film but still nervous in hopes that the result would match the hype. Some of my expectations were not met (Janelle Monae's role) but those minor kinks do not take away from what the film was made to be.
I was curious as to how they'd tell a full story in three parts but it flowed well and each actor who portrayed the main character, Chiron, added so many nuances.. it just pulled you in. But the actors who stole the show are definitely Naomie Harris as the main character's Mother and Ashton Sanders who played the teenager version of the main character. Both commanded the screen in every scene they were in. On the surface, Naomie's character is despicable but she brought such heart that it made you feel for her. Ashton's version of Chiron was a great journey to watch. I was rooting for him the entire time. But I must point out that the entire cast was awesome.
Well written, well paced. The visuals. The music. I was blown away and definitely recommend it.
There were some places I wanted the story to go, as far as character interaction in certain areas. I was looking for some memorable monologues or some gritty drama between certain characters but I had to realize that this movie was more about the internal struggle. The subtlety is what made it unique.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
It's not Bad...but its not Good!
Warning, I will be posting spoilers because I feel I can only review this movie properly by telling talking about everything. So if you don't want spoilers, then please don't read this.
Again...don't read this if you don't want spoilers...
Firstly, the returning cast of McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence and Hoult are cool. They don't really have in depth character journeys but they do well with what they were given. Magneto's reasoning for joining Apocalypse was a bit ham fisted. Taking him back to Auschwitz as a way to manipulate him into getting on board with a human annihilation plan didn't make much sense. I know Magneto is ruthless but that's a kind of dramatic. I like how Raven is saving mutants but I don't understand why she doesn't want to be the "poster child" for mutants. Her entire arc in First Class was being a "mutant and proud", after being insecure over her appearance and now she can spread that message but chooses not to. It kind of contradicts her character. There isn't much to say about Beast and Charles, they are good but don't really shine in this movie. Although, it was great seeing McAvoy with the iconic bald head.
I definitely feel like this movie suffered from having too many characters. Singer just couldn't balance it. I feel like you cant bring iconic character to screen and have them be props, or just there for cool effects and action scene. If you want to do that, its best if you make up characters. My point is Psylocke barely has any lines and just makes the weird face throughout the whole movie. I feel like all her "great" moments are in the trailers, so she was underwhelming. It definitely shows that she was a last minute edition to the movie because her character is terribly under developed. Angel is another prop, although his final fight scene with Nightcrawler is pretty dope. Jubilee did not need to be in this movie. She didn't even use her powers. Not ONCE. But Cyclops introduction was good and a great nod to comics/cartoons. Jean Grey was cool and Storm was wasted as always. She did have her accent, however she didn't have much to do and in the final battle just stood around.
Apocalypse I feel was a wasted villain. Since the comics, he's always had a survival of the fittest mentality but I feel like they needed to elaborate more on his reasoning for wanting to destroy the Earth. And like, what's gonna happen after we destroy the world? Secondly, you can't touch a television in the 1980s and have all of the knowledge of the world for the past 5000 years. Maybe now, with he internet but in the 80s....definitely not, that was stupid. I think this was a wasted villain and the final battle was a bit underwhelming, minus some cool visual moments. I, also, am wondering what would make Mystique think that she could take down Apocalypse? Weird.
I know it seems like I'm ragging on the movie, it definitely had some cool, interesting, funny moments but I feel like the cons outweigh the pros. Quicksilver's scene definitely tops the one from DOFP. But I thought it was so convenient for him to arrive at the school at the moment Apocalypse was destroying the mansion. Also, why the hell did they kill Havok. After, three movies they just didn't let him be great. Total was of a character.
This movie is not a bad movie. Some of the critics are definitely being dramatic, but I feel like this film suffers from trying to top itself and rival other superhero franchises like Superman and Civil War. I'm glad that it contains a lot more action than previous X-Men movies and I'm glad that Fox is trying to embrace the science fiction aspect of these stories, but it just falls short to me. I do have a lot more complaints but I will keep those to myself. Of course, I will never tell anyone to not see a movie. I think you should see for yourself to form your own opinion, this review is just my personal experience in words.
Anyone who gives this movie a 1 is just being dramatic and knit picking. But anyone who rates this movie a 10 is just trying to battle the terrible reviewers instead of being realistic and honest.
Lastly, I don't want the X-Men to go back to Marvel (as great as that would be), I think the X- Men should stay it's own universe. However, I do think the franchise suffers because of the creatives that handle bringing it to life. Kinberg and Singer should just leave this franchise alone and allow some fresh hands/eyes to take these movies to the next level. Even with DOFP erasing some continuity issues, they just bring more issues into the franchise that make your head twirl.
OMG....last thing, i promise. The wolverine sequence was cool and fun to watch. But it just wasn't needed at all. That entire scene should have been the post credits. Speaking of post credits, it's nice to know that Mister Sinister exists in this universe. I guess I'm anxious to see which movie he will be a villain in; Deadpool sequel, New Mutants or the next X-men film.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Russos Brothers are Amazing
Like many, I was excited for this movie. After twelve films, I kind of know what Marvel is giving me and that's why I keep coming back. But, despite my excitement, I was getting anxious to find out if the quality met the hype. It exceeded every expectation. From beginning to end, the movie is very engaging and I think I was more invested because I've seen every movie so I have seen everything unfold to this point.
This is definitely a Captain America film because it's all connected to him but it also feels like a mini-Avengers film and even duals as a Iron Man 4 film, simply because everyone has a time to shine. No one is really in there just to fill space.
I am Team Cap all the way but part of me definitely understood Team Iron Man. You really flip flop because you understand each side's motivation.
Black Panther is the star of this though. He was handled perfectly. People who aren't familiar with him are only getting the surface level amount of what he's capable of in this movie, but he;s relentless, regal and steals every scene he is in. Spider-Man comes in second. He is the Spider-Man I have always wanted. I was a fan of Andrew Garfield's portrayal but Tom Holland is definitely superior in this and his abilities are dope. Ant-Man will surprised many people. I thought Team Iron Man was the superior team but Ant-Man is definitely someone you want on your team.
Overall, the Russo Brother know exactly how to handle a superhero film. They know how to balance every element needed to make it solid and re-watchable. Many have an issue with the villain, but I didn't. Underused but still drove the plot forward.
Airport scene is the best superhero action sequence I have ever witness. The overkill with TV spots and clips don't even do it justice. Go see this film!
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
A Worthy Sequel
Before I say anything, I must say that this film is definitely for those who enjoyed the first movie despite its many flaws (Kristen Stewart). If you haven't seen Snow White and The Huntsman, I suggest you do because some plot points and character interactions may go over your head.
Now for the movie itself, overall it is 100% a love story. So if you're going in expecting a whole bunch of Lord Of The rings type fight scenes you will be disappointed. Once you accept that fact, you can enjoy this movie. The story is pretty surface level. There were times where I really wanted them to delve deeper into certain aspects of a character's life, especially Freye The Ice Queen, just so I can be a little more connected to her transformation from good to evil. But Emily Blunt's performance was Grade A. She's very ruthless and unapologetic on her views but I wish we could have actually SEEN her going to battle with other kingdoms. I wish they would have shown her Huntsman in their element, conquering armies, etc. but we didn't. Some of the subject matter deserved a bigger world but like I said, it's a love story FIRST and everything else afterward.
Charlize Theron didn't get as much screen time as I had hoped because she was soooooo good in the first one but I was okay with that.
All the visuals in this movie are beautiful. The costumes, the special effects are amazing. I was happy that they kind of explored the world a little bit more. Even though the title is The Huntsman, I felt that this was more Freya's movie than Chris' or Jessica Chastain. I'm not sure what else to say...it's not a bad movie, it just wont blow you away. It will definitely be enjoyed more by those who were fans of the first one (as I stated earlier). IT did what it was supposed to do and capitalized off of people's love of villains (Voldemort, Miranda Priestley, Ravenna, Maleficent, etc.)
Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)
Enjoyed it more than I thought
I am never a fan of comedy movies having sequels and three-quels, very few can pull it off and when I saw the first trailer for this I wasn't excited at all. I ended up seeing this movie out of default. I wanted to see Jungle Book (but my friend wanted to take his boyfriend to see it so this was the only option LOL). I, pretty much, had low expectations going. I was very intrigued all the way through. About an hour in, I whispered to my friend "ummm...this is actually a really good movie."
Of course, like most films, it's not without its flaws but those are more subjective based on the individual's taste. But its nothing that cant be forgiven. There are some corny parts and some of the subject matter was a bit surface level but when it's a family film, I know that there not gonna go to in depth into politics, cheating, gang violence, etc.
What I enjoyed the most about it, is that there was an ongoing story line outside of the theme of the Barbershop. Everyone involved got a chance to shine and you didn't feel like many of the characters were just there. A lot of the social topics that were tackled in each Barbershop scene was very surface level (which is one flaw that I stated before) but it kind of had to be because if you delved deeper than it would have turned into the writers/director trying to force their own opinion on the audience. But it was meant to just open the door for the conversation to continue.
The comedy did what it was supposed to do. There were many corny parts, where I felt like the actors were reaching and there were some parts where laughed out loud.
My main gripe was with Nicki Minaj's character. She just played herself. She wasn't bad, it's just I'd be more impressed with her if she took a role that was the complete opposite of her hand as an artist.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this film to anyone. It's a fun, family film that is 100% enjoyable if you watch it with no expectations.
Is it just me or is anyone else getting annoyed with all these studios trying to adapt book series for the dollars. Harry Potter was awesome. Twilight was...meh. Then they attempted to do The Host and that other movie with Lily Collins that was just horrid. So when Divergent came out I just couldn't take it. But I saw it and enjoyed it. The plot was very intriguing, despite Shailene Woodley. I don't know what it is but I feel like Hollywood is trying to make her the new Jennifer Lawrence and I don't endorse that idea.
But....I had to see the sequel and let me say, this movie does not disappoint. I have never read the books and don't follow the blogs or anything and the plot is so interesting, I'm never sure where it's going to go so I was on the edge or my seat the entire. And dare I say it, Shailene Woodley has made a fan out of me because she shines in this movie. She is very convincing when she's vulnerable and emotional but equally as good when she has to be a tough fighter. The haircut grew on me as well.
I'm certain that fans of the book will enjoy this film adaption but I think the general audience will enjoy it just as much. They're also not selfish with the action. I didn't realize how much action would be in this movie but was pleasantly surprised and eager to see more. The ending was definitely not something I expected and because of how it ended, I'm curious as to where the next two installments will go, I have an idea because Four's mother seems like a self-serving, deceitful beotch.
Overall, without giving too much away, this movie will be a treat for everyone who loves science fiction that's not cheesy or predictable. the relationship between Tris and Four is not overdone or cheesy either. It's believable and doesn't annoy like a Bella, Edward and Jacob love triangle would. I would 100% recommend this movie to anybody. You won't be disappointed 4DX is not a bad way to watch a movie. I prefer the regular way and on a good day, 3D will suffice but my friend insisted we see it in 4DX and it added a special something to the overall experience.
Furious Seven (2015)
Enjoyable, But Didn't Live Up To The Hype
We all know that this franchise has a faithful following that has been following this movie since the beginning. I am one of those people. Of course I thought the 4th installment would be the last one, so of course, I was a little annoyed when I heard about Fast Five. Then I was shocked to see the new direction this franchise was going. Fast 6 was no different. It was randomly good and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed. Justin Lin did a good job with the direction he took this franchise. Then, James Wan happened. I'm not saying he's a bad director, but I think he should stick to horror...at least, for now.
While, Furious 7 is huge in spectacle, it lacks in every other area. From beginning to end, the action was Big and Grand. I was on the edge of my seat, (sidenote: Tony Jaa is so amazing) but everything else was just a miss for me. I respect the director and cast for trying to add a layer of emotion to the film but it seemed so forced. The scenes where Michelle Rodriguez or Jordana Brewster had to be vulnerable and cry just made me cringe in my seat. Then that ending scene with Vin and Michelle made me laugh out loud at how cheesy it was. And unfortunately, the banter between Tyrese and Ludicrous was not funny at all to me. It's usually one of the things I look forward to but this time, it was a yawn fest. It's also obvious that the director is a fan of The Rock from the WWF days, which would explain all the terrible one liners Dwayne Johnson was expected to deliver. I'm surprised he didn't bust out laughing in every take. Lastly, Jason Statham was a very weak villain. I understand wanting to get revenge for the people who killed your brother, but his motive still felt empty.
Like I said earlier, the action was great. Hand to hand combat, great. Car scenes, etc. all great but in this day and age, you cant expect for audiences to be satisfied just because the spectacle is big. You need a solid script and actors who can deliver on those emotional scenes that add weight to the story and gets the audience more invested.
This film was definitely "For Paul". I hate to say it, but if it wasn't for Paul's untimely death, I don't think this film would be getting as much attention as it is.
Coming off the of high success of Fast Five and Six, this movie had the opportunity to keep the flame lit but that fire went out when the studio decided to trade in Justin Lin for James Wan. I know a lot of people won't agree with me, but this film just didn't live up to the hype and I wish I had waited to catch it on Redbox. Insurgent is a much better film than this and I hate Shailene Woodley.
I, Frankenstein (2014)
Surprisingly enjoyed this more than I thought.
First off I'd like to say that I'm getting tired of all the wannabe filmmakers coming on IMDb and giving movie reviews based off of standards that they can't even uphold in their own independent, straight to youtube and vimeo short films. So jut cut it out. You're not an expert on film if you have no REAL experience on how big budget films get made and the logistics that go into production and dealing with the big wigs at the top. Secondly, I don't care about your review containing things you would have done differently if YOU were the directed because you weren't and probably never will be.
Now let's get to this movie...
Because of bad reviews and low scores I told myself that I wasn't going to see this movie. The trailer looked pretty cool and I knew what I was going to see, if I did, but I didn't and after watching this movie, I immediately regretted that decision. This movie is not a horror or a psychological thriller, it's a science fiction action flick. These type of movies don't need an overly complicated plot or lots of twists and turns; all it needs is solid acting, a solid script, and great action sequences. That is what I go see these movies for and that's what I was given.
Aaron Eckhart gave a solid performance, although I'm growing a bit weary of all these heroes having to have a raspy voice, it's getting corny now (i.e. Blade, Wolverine, Batman, etc.) I thought the interpretation of the gargoyles was cool. They were on the "good" side but made some choices that weren't always "God-like" if that makes sense. The demons looks was very Van Helsing but I didn't care at all. They were demons.
The action sequences is what I cared about mostly and they delivered for me. I kind of enjoyed the solo fight scenes with Frankenstein and the demons, rather than the big Epic battles between the Gargoyle and Demons because they were cut too short. But I'm sure making those sequences any longer would have caused for more money that the budget probably couldn't sacrifice.
In conclusion, this is a solid action flick to watch with your buddies on a Friday night or wherever. It's not a bad movie and does what it was supposed to do, entertain. I would recommend it to any faithful watchers of sci-fi, action flicks.
White Frog (2012)
Tried To Hard
I actually like Boo Boo Stewart but I didn't like him in this. I understood what the director was trying to do but it seems like he got caught up in trying to create a really dramatic indie film that he didn't know what kind of story he wanted to tell. I realize that each movie has a main plot and many subplots but I had a hard time trying to figure out what the main plot actually was. Some areas of the movie would explore certain topics but then would just skip over them for the rest of the movie. Other points were just unrealistic in my opinion.
I understand the BooBoo Stewart's character has Asperger Syndrome but it seemed like he was just being shy the whole time. Maybe I'm just used to seeing Max Burkholder play a child with asperger's on the TV show "Parenthood" that Boo Boo's portrayal was a bit laughable to me. I didn't empathize, I was just really uncomfortable. Anyways, like I said I was confused about what the movie wanted to be about. Was it about the main character coming to terms with trying to live with his condition? Was it about teen boys struggle to be honest with their families about their sexuality? Was it about a young boy breaking free of the expectations of his religious and strict parents? Was it about a family coming to terms with their son's sudden death? Was it about a struggling art center for kids staying afloat when there main contributor dies? Funny thing about it, this movie was about all these things and it made the movie fill so diluted and rushed.
I will give a huge kudos to Joan Chen for her performance. She had certain scenes that really touched my heart and I enjoyed her portrayal. I wish there would have been more of build up so I could invest in the characters more. I thought the way the three friends found out that the two guys were gay lovers was so whack and laughable. The ending speech Boo Boo gave at the end was corny and tried too hard to be metaphorically deep. I didn't understand the father's relationship with his wife or kids or his motivation for being an ass hole. I hate when people use religion as a scapegoat as an excuse to not be more creative with homophobic topics as well. Also, that seen between Boo Boo and the homeless people was so unrealistic, I was shocked it even made it in the movie.
All in all, this movie had more flaws than I could stand. I watched the whole movie and just wasn't impressed and wanted that last hour back. The director tried to hard to make an emotionally dramatic movie that he forgot to tell a good story, which is usually what a film is supposed to be. Stop worrying about winning film festivals, winning awards and etc. Just tell a good story and everything else will come.
I'm on the fence with this fence!
I definitely can appreciate the original film. Sissy Spacek was amazing as Carrie but I think the remake is definitely better. The performances were definitely elevated, the story was explored more and characters were more defined but I'm still on the fence as to how much I liked this film.
First and foremost, Julianne Moore is so creepy in this film. She was cast perfectly and every time she was in a scene, she commanded the screen. That scene at the laundry mat....oh yes!!! Chloe Grace Moretz is an awesome actress to still be so young in the game. Even when she's not speaking, her expressions and reactions are awesome. I just love her. Also, now that technology has evolved, the effects in the movie were great. It was awesome seeing them let 'Carrie' do more with her powers and explore more of those iconic events that happened in the original. Also, the actress that played the teacher was awesome as well. I wish there were more teachers like her character.
Even though this movie had some good parts, it also had it's flaws. I'm not very big on remakes and reboots. I feel like if you do a remake, don't just shoot it the same way, add some parts and make it your own. There were some new parts in it but I just wanted more from the film. I left feeling kind of empty. I enjoyed everything Kimberly Pierce attempted, but she should have took farther. The climax was too short. This was an opportunity to make the ending scenes at the prom, on the street and at the house more epic and more adrenaline but it was just the same scenes with cooler effects. Nice to look at but I've seen it before. Audiences want more from films like these. You can't build up to this climactic scene and then only allow it to be fifteen to twenty minutes.
Lastly, THIS IS NOT A HORROR FILM! I don't even know why the original movie is considered a horror because nothing about the movie is scary. I have never been scared. It's just suspenseful. If anyone gets scared by the original or the remake, you're a weirdo.
Would I recommend it? Yes but only if you are a fan of the book and original movie because you will definitely appreciate the enhancements and the performances from the actors. But, NO, if you're expecting a horror!