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Lo imposible (2012)
Juan Antonio Bayona knows how to make a fine film.
Juan Antonio Bayona returns to the screen for the second time, after his first feature, the subtitled "The Orphanage." This time, he still captures a feeling of sheer terror, but from something completely different. Based on the true story of one of many families affected by one the biggest tsunamis to hit Asia in 2004. The consequences of the tsunami, and also the undying hope in a rapidly closing dark hole that they are all still alive.
Bayona really shined in this film. He knows how to direct actors, set up shots and craft a fine film. However, he was unable to salvage realism in the sappy, melodramatic scenes and more importantly the last 20 minutes. But then again, it's hard to find any director who could make those scenes any less than what they were, which is those exactly.
The dialog was gripping, there were a few unexpected developments in the screenplay, which poised a great deal of excitement. It grips you and never lets you go. I would say captivating, but that would be an understatement. Go see this film, it attained the perfect balance between being too exploitive and too childish. Not the best film of the year, due to a few scenes and maybe a bit on the children's acting side, but besides that, it is a great film.
End of Watch (2012)
Great film. But fell apart towards its long and delayed climax.
End of Watch follows two police officers - Brian Taylor(Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala(Michael Pena) - as they cruise around South Central Los Angelas. After a number of encounters with the typical people you'd find in the ghetto among other things, they end up becoming marked for death by the Cartels.
I loved the intro, however contradictory it was, and it attained my interest immediately. As the film progressed, it became more and more of a David Ayer film which is a good thing. His style of filmmaking and writing are instantly recognizable. The film promoted great performances from its two leads as well as its secondary characters and the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Pena was great. It's one of the best buddy-cop films I've seen in a long time. It also puts a spin on the "found footage" type of making film. It doesn't have a cameraman, just Gyllenhaal and Pena's characters recording with their own cameras, more predominately Gyllenhaal. It was pretty authentic and seemed like it didn't listen to anyone. Except the end, where it fell apart.
I enjoyed the first while of it. I understood the film it was trying to be and it achieved that. Now that it was there, it didn't know where to go, it seemed like Ayer lost track of what he wanted to write and just continued on with same thing. It became a bit repetitive. After much deliberation with dragged out scenes and unnecessary scenes really, it got into it. And when it did, it didn't know which way was up. The ending should have been completely changed, the last 20 minutes or so. It didn't keep in tone with the whole rest of the film and just wasn't good. Could have been a bit shorter, and a better ending it would have been in countenance for the best film of 2012. Had so much hope and so much going for it. I'll still go and see the next David Ayer film however, as I did like this.
A modest 7/10.
You're gonna need a script.
Argo is directed by and starring Ben Affleck and is based on the formerly classified mission in which the CIA and the Canadians helped 6 American embassy workers escape from Iran. The film is filled with great, old-school actors like John Goodman and Alan Arkin.
The film itself is good. It is very enjoyable, which is to be expected from this genre of film. There wasn't one weak link in the whole cast if I'm honest. Not that they were great, but they were not all that bad either. The film, at first, grabs our attention and makes us what to know what will happen. However, the characters aren't so well written that we really care all that much. The only characters which I found the most interesting were John Goodman's character John Chambers and Alan Arkin's character Lester Siegel, who aren't in any danger throughout the film.
The film then begins to center on Ben Affleck's character, Tony Mendez, and I don't personally believe he brings enough to him to make us care about his wife and child and also his desperate attempt to get the six men and woman out. Towards the end, the film started to drag out a tad bit, they were delaying the inevitable. And I found the whole last 20 minutes to be quite unnecessary and over the top, which didn't suit the tone of the whole film if I'm honest.
The film is enjoyable and contains decent acting. Pity about the characters and about the last 20 minutes. But, excluding the last 20 minutes and for what it is. I'm giving a 7/10.
A very good film, only held down by very small faults.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie, a friendless freshman with a dark mind and an even darker past. He sits alone and has no one to talk to. Until a group of seniors invite him and let him join their group of outcasts.
The character of Charlie is portrayed by Logan Lerman, who does an extremely great performance as a shy, awkward teenager. Emma Watson and Ezra Miller also give a great performance. The film has quirky comedy elements and captures the essence and thoughts of being an adolescent growing up in a world inhabited by idiots. The music preferences, the friendless and shyness that comes along with being an adolescent is incorporated into the film. Also, the film includes some very serious themes that teenagers deal with. It is a very well portrayed and directed film, with a special nod to the writer and director who also wrote the book Steven Chbosky. I found that the character's all had something which we could relate to, it was accessible to all ages and had a very good ending which makes it situated at the top of the hill in terms of coming-of-age films.
However, with all that great, comes a few faults. A few of the jokes didn't land and a few scenes had a predictable outcome, which made the film feel predictable. I think it could've explored some it's themes a bit more. It felt like it stopped half-way onto something great and the reasoning behind that I'd imagine is that Steve wanted the film to be 15 or PG-13 at most. The performances lacked by the supporting cast, especially in comparison to the mains. A few scenes felt unnecessary and a few scenes also didn't make the transition from the book to film very well. But aside from that, it was a very good film, easily accessible and one of the best coming-of-age film I've ever seen.
One of the best modern horror films I've seen. But obviously cannot compete with the old-school.
I usually hate horror films. Not because they are horror films, but because they are usually clichéd, predictable and just plain bad. There hasn't been a decent horror film since Saw and before that, not since the late 80's. I wanted to give this one a go though because Ethan Hawke was in it and also because the plot was actually somewhat good and put a twist on the whole found footage thing. To my surprise the film was better than I thought it would be. It was good and enjoyable. Not an engrossing film and the characters are somewhat two-dimensional, although they do try to make them more.
The film was a bit predictable at times and had a few stupid horror moments, but I liked it. I like the fact that they created Ethan Hawke's character as a writer looking for his next big hit and that's why he stays on. Because to be honest, the second I saw the villain I'd be gone. But this character is determined to seek the answer to the question: who killed the family? There are a few jumpy bits, but it's because of the sound editing more than anything else. It is one of the best modern horrors I've seen. But obviously cannot compete with the old-school.
Taken 2 (2012)
Does not match up to the greatness of its predecessor
Taken 2 is the sequel the highly successful Taken, and stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen who reprise their roles as Bryan, Kim and Lenore.
Taken was probably one of the best films to release in 2008. It caught everyone off guard in terms of it's rave reviews. Liam Neeson was fantastic in it. But I'm sad to say the sequel is nowhere near as good. Neeson, as much as I hate to say it, wasn't too good in this. A lot of scenes did not make any sense, and even though it is only 90 minutes long it felt longer. It was an unnecessary sequel which shouldn't have even been thought up of. The mere concept of it was stupid. However, that didn't stop me or the flocks of other people to not see it.
There were a few cool scenes, but they were mostly faltered by poor story telling and mindless actions by characters. This film wasn't all bad, it was good for the first while, although there is a lot to complain about. It's not the best thing to come out in 2012. But it's far from the worst.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
It's mindless, unrealistic and horribly written in terms of dialog, but damn it, it looks like a whole bucket load of fun.
Resident Evil: Retribution 3D is the fifth installment in the Resident Evil franchise and written/directed by Paul W.S Anderson, whose had a string of bad films throughout his career.
I haven't seen the original few, the only one I saw was the fourth one and this one. The fourth one was alright, as was this one. I'm not a huge fan of action but this was just pure action. It was sort of like a fancy 80's action film. It had terrible acting, no character or plot development, characters I didn't care about, but it looked amazing. When action is done right, like cool slow-mo shots of one person conquering about 100 people, it looks cool. It's mindless, but looks cool. This whole film was mindless but looked cool. It didn't try and be more than it was, it knew it was cheesy, action and it ran with it. It is a bit predictable at times, but all in all, it is enjoyable. It's mindless, unrealistic and horribly written in terms of dialog, but damn it, it looks like a whole bucket load of fun.
A solid 6/10.
Highly overrated, but a fun time.
Looper is writer-director Rian Johnson's highly rated third film. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. I'm going to start right off the bat here and I say it is overrated. Completely overrated. However, I still do think the film is good. I mean, I'd probably watch it again, but it doesn't deserve the rating it gets. The acting wasn't even that good from everyone, it dragged on a bit and there was tons of stupid and unrealistic crap. Also, the whole film is not memorable.
When you make a film that is mind-bending a lot of people tend to pretend that they like it, even if they didn't understand it, and a lot of people tend to not like it because they didn't understand it. I don't think that is the case here, as this film isn't really mind-bending. It's just action attempting to be logical, and it does so, but I think it thinks that it is smarter than it is and so it tries to bring too much logic to action. The film couldn't decide whether it was action or logical. Because all action is mindless.
I did like the film however, I mean, it was enjoyable, as all action films attain to be. And, as I said, in that aspect it succeeds. But it tires too hard to be more than action and that was the wrong choice. It is highly overrated and a bit predictable with a load of stupid crap thrown in. But then again, the stupid crap comes with action and that's what this is. The acting wasn't too great if I'm honest. But you could tell that they were having fun, along with Rian Johnson, and along with me.
A solid 7/10.
Killing Them Softly (2012)
You can do a whole lot worse than Killing Them Softly.
Killing Them Softly stars Brad Pitt and he's as brilliant as ever. Certainly not his best role, but defiantly a high quality one. The other actors do their part well also, such as James Gondolfini. The acting was great from them two in particular and everyone else was good too.
Killing Them Softly won't sit well with a lot of people. I can understand that, but you have to at least appreciate it. The dialog was fantastically written, the action or shot-em-up scenes were superbly directed, as was the whole film in general, and they were also controlled and kept to a minimum. When it comes to these types of films in that genre you have to compare them to other films within the same genre, and it is no comparison to the likes of Goodfellas. But it does hold its own as a standalone film.
The pacing is a bit slow at times and there are a few dull scenes, but all in all it is an enjoyable film. I liked the characters but I think they could've had a lot more done with them. The message of American economy and democratic society was good and well included. Especially the last few lines said by Brad Pitt, which really wraps up the whole point of the film. I think people felt disappointed because it's not some sort of all-action shoot em up, and it's better not being that way. As a film, which doesn't try and take itself too seriously and doesn't try and be pompous about it. You can do a whole lot worse than Killing Them Softly. It's worth a watch.
A solid 7/10. So close to a 8/10.
Everything in this film is so clichéd that you stood nearly ten feet ahead of it.
House At The End of the Street stars Jennifer Lawrence and is about a daughter and mother who move into a house where the next door neighbor's's daughter killed her parents and fled the scene. She only left one surviving family member which was her brother.
A terrible name, terrible plot. Everything about this film is so clichéd that you stood nearly 10 feet ahead of it. There was no suspense and scenes that made you want to scream at the characters. And, just mentioning the characters, they were VERY one-dimensional. I didn't care about them, what happened to them, or what they will do. They all felt too generic to even listen to sometimes.
I kind of got the impression they were attempting a modernized Psycho- twist for teens. But it didn't come off, at all. The first half or maybe quarter was all right. But it went down-hill way too fast for me to comprehend. I thought the film could have went one direction, but when it came to the intersection, it looked at the right direction, gave it the finger, and went in the wrong one. I really had hopes for this one but it didn't deliver.
All in all, a terrible film. The only good thing about it is the first 20-30 minutes, some well-directed sequences and Jennifer Lawrence. That's all. Best to avoid this one, if you know what's good for you.
A low 4/10.