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The Last Days on Mars (2013)
This movie doesn't provide anything new, but was still solid for what it was worth
My rating is a 6.5/10, with it bumped up to a 7 to weigh the IMDb rating higher. Based on the other reviews I read here, this movie could be a hit or miss depending on the viewer, but it wasn't a miss for me.
In essence, this movie is about zombies on Mars. That's about it. So right now, unless you're open to the idea of zombies being in a space movie, stop now and watch something else; It's not worth your time.
Even if you don't mind zombies, the movie still isn't a spectacle to watch. Simply put, the movie does not introduce anything new that another sci-fi and/or space movie has not introduced already.
You can rest assured that the movie is solid. Actors do their parts great, and the overall setting, CGI, and just about everything else is solid. The only reason why it may bore you is because there isn't a ton of action (as the movie was trying to head for realism), and that there's aren't any major scenes which make you go "Oh wow!".
---------- Regarding the premise, it's quite simple (which shows how the movie itself was simple): A group of scientists are collecting samples and are preparing to finish (leave) their mission on Mars.
One of the scientists near the end of the mission discovers a living organism and attempts to collect it, but instead he gets infected by the organism and turns into a zombie (not exactly a zombie, but basically one). The rest of the movie should be self-explanatory with the follow-up of a generic zombie premise.
---------- All in all, this movie isn't very memorable and doesn't pack any good reasons to justify a deliberate watch. It might be a good watch to pass the time if you don't have anything else to watch, but otherwise, you can safely skip this movie and watch something else.
The Purge (2013)
Initial idea of the movie was great, but was barely used
To begin, I am giving this movie a really nice 6.5 out of 10 just because the actors did a reasonably good job.
I think other reviewers are being too critical on the movie. A lot of the reviews weighed the entire movie on the fact that the original premise was essentially neglected, but didn't realize and/or recognize that the acting itself wasn't bad at all and was quite average to say the least.
The movie, in all honesty, was a solid movie. However, the media and ads shouldn't have heavily publicized the premise of the movie as being the one-day legalized purge system. This misled viewers and built up too much anticipation for an enticing premise that (although was used) was not to the viewer's expectations.
The movie should've just showed more than just the family being hunted down. Too much emphasis was placed on the family trying to survive as opposed to trying to actively promote or go against the idea of purging.
Neutrality was probably the main issue with the movie, since viewers would expect to see the premise being thoroughly portrayed by the protagonists, or the protagonists trying hard to combat that very evil.
All in all, I don't think I wasted my time watching the movie. I'm quite open, and understand when some movies don't quite hit the mark. I don't think I would recommend this movie since it's hard to introduce it, but if somebody asked me what it was about, I would tell them about it.
Riddick was really just a retelling of Pitch Black, but in another setting
I give Riddick a rating of 6.5/10, with it lowered to 6 to weigh on the IMDb rating. This is an honest review of what the movie truly desires, and is not a hyped up review.
When I watched this movie, I was going in expecting it to build onto the last movie and show him ruling as an overlord. What I didn't expect is for him to get thrown onto a random planet for the entire movie.
But well, sure, fine. I'll let that one slide. So at this point, I'm expecting something interesting to happen, if that's what the movie is to be about.
Turns out that it's just a filler movie, meant to earn a bit more revenue and not really serve any other purpose. There's going to be another movie after this, I assure you that (for those who haven't watched this yet).
To keep a long review short: Riddick is essentially a remake of Pitch Black with different characters, setting, and scenes. But the premise and objective remains the exact same: Reluctantly help other people while escaping from the planet. Heck, even the whole idea of darkness-lurking monsters remains the same.
I was relatively disappointed that the movie would just be a double of the original flick. The action felt a bit stale as well, and there weren't really any "OMG" moments added into the movie. There wasn't any truly unique scene to admire.
I think the main problem with this movie is originality. The scriptwriter and planners couldn't think of what they wanted the third flick to be about. It would've probably been a much better idea to watch Riddick be an overlord (as you were led to believe in the last movie), but no, the director decided to bin that idea to make him be a wanted criminal again.
At this point, since wasn't any character development, I'm not exactly sure where the series is headed. Riddick leaves with no friends or personal ties to anyone or anything in particular, and doesn't exactly have any goal in mind but to stay free. We all know that he's not going to be committing a crime anytime soon, so what will he come to? I just feel like the series is going to head downhill, unless the director twists his storyline and makes it head somewhere totally different.
The Conjuring (2013)
I think some reviewers are over-exaggerating on the scariness of the movie
This is a review coming from somebody who is not easily frightened. In an effort not to make a review that's overly long and drawn out (like all the others), I'll just keep my review simple.
First off, the movie does have a solid storyline. A simple one really. A family moves into a house that's haunted, and supernatural hunters are employed to fix it. Nothing really much else happens beyond this premise.
The movie as a whole (for those who have watched it and should take a minute or two to reflect upon the movie after reading this review), isn't really all that scary. That is to say; If you take out all the jump scares put into the movie, there's nothing else to keeping you on your feet and biting your fingernails.
In some ways, if you think about it further, even the jump scares don't fit into the story. Heck, the story might have even been more eerie if the jump scares were replaced with the apparitions slowly coming into view. This would've made a more well-rounded setting as opposed to trying to make a movie half-scary and half-eerie. Horror movies can really either be one or the other, but not both.
In summary, I would say to you that this movie is worth it to watch, but it's not really high priority. The story isn't really original, but the solid acting and nice execution makes for a good watch. My rating is a 7.5 out of 10. I couldn't give it an 8 because there wasn't anything else in the movie to scare you apart from jump scares.
The movie was relatively a good watch, but could've been a lot shorter
My vote is a 7.5/10. The story and plot of Byzantium is well-structured, keeps to the point without straying, and executed solidly, also being very logical. The only issue is the pacing of the movie, which gave me a bit of a bitter aftertaste, as I'm sure it has given the same to many other watchers of this movie.
There's really only one major flaw with the movie. The length of it. Usually, movies are plagued with other issues, but the problem with this one is the sheer length of the movie. Peaking at almost two hours, you're given a story that's realistically enough for the standard 1.5. 30 minutes doesn't seem like much, but when you incorporate the extremely slow pacing of the movie, you feel like an eternity's gone by by the time it's only halfway into the movie. Just think of a movie that's uncut, showing every scene, even if it could be shrunk down.
But moving aside from the slow pacing; This movie is a relatively simple one, with its own unique twists. Usually, most vampire movies either choose one or the other: vampires in the past, or vampires in the present. Byzantium decides to go with both, by having the two main characters live their lives in the present, but you as the watcher constantly receive flashbacks of their lives back 200 years ago.
The story is simple. Clara and Eleanor are vampires well over 200 years old, who have lived their lives over and over again, doing the same things without change. Sometime years ago, they reached a point where they needed to simply survive, and nothing more. The issue starts to come to light when Eleanor desires a life that's not purely monotone.
The rest boils down to this vampire organization set out to apprehend them, and the idea that the two can never let anybody know that they're vampires. These are the two main things that continue to warp the story as it progresses along.
Personally, I would say that this is a watcher. However, if you are expecting ANY form of action whatsoever, don't watch the movie. You won't get any significant action at all. The only thing that keeps you going is the great acting. If you have time for a 2-hour movie and want to watch something different for a change, Byzantium could be on your watchlist. Otherwise, you can safely ignore it, as it isn't really all that memorable.
The Colony (2013)
Actually a 7.5/10, but I'll give it an 8 since it's a B-movie done well
First off, since IMDb doesn't allow half-ratings and the current IMDb average is way below what the movie's truly worth, I decided to up my rating to an 8. I've been giving thought as to whether I should settle on a 7, but knowing that The Colony was a B-movie, I generously gave it an 8.
This movie is surprisingly done well. I have a personal liking for post-apocalyptic settings, and this one hits the nail on the spot, for what they chose. As the plot states, a small colony of survivors attempt to survive an ice age, and some unforeseen circumstances occur.
There isn't much I can say about the movie, apart from the fact that I felt that it was definitely worth the time to watch. It's a really solid movie, and you won't regret watching it. The acting was fine, there were no outrageous moments, and there were no issues with the other details in the movie, such as the CG (which was done pretty good).
The pacing of the movie is relatively nice, and the movie finishes just right. The movie wasn't stretched out, nor cut short. Any post-apocalyptic movie can easily be over- or underdone (trying to cram in too many subplots in a small timeframe, or not putting in enough to take full availability of the setting), but this one has just enough.
There's not much else I can say without spoiling the movie, so I'll just say that if you like post-apocalyptic movies, you're sure to have a kick out of watching this one.
A solid 7 movie, nothing more
My rating for Oblivion is a 7. A solid 7. Compared to Cruise's other movies, there wasn't as much action as I had expected. Once again, you have a sci-fi movie with an original premise (Minority Report was great), and great acting overall, and the CG and other effects were done brilliantly.
However, the reason why I could've give this movie a solid 8 (which means that the movie was done perfectly, without any issues) was because it left me with the whole "What was the point of the movie, anyway?" mindset afterwards. It didn't seem like there was much a point with the movie. Enough that when my mother asked me if I could watch it with my nephew, I replied, "She probably wouldn't like it; It's nothing special.".
The plot isn't defined clearly until halfway into the movie (to allow for a progressive, slow start), but by the time you realize what's happening, it's already ending and there isn't much action to help intensify the severity of the issue at hand.
Your interest is held by you hoping that the movie will get better as it moves along, but with the pace of the movie held constant, you end up just watching it and not really trying to consider which parts of the movie were done well.
If you ask me whether this movie is worth the time, it is, but, only if you're a sci-fi fan and/or a Tom Cruise fan. Freeman isn't a major character, so don't bother looking for some spectacular performance from him.
Du zhan (2012)
Honest review of how disappointed I was with the movie
Sadly, what almost ended as a solid 7 ended up dropping to a 6 because of a really poorly done shootout scene. I really couldn't take it seriously. I had to facepalm the moment I saw that horrendously unrealistic scenario.
I gave some points for Zhang (Sun) doing a great job acting as the captain of the task force and performing his part extremely well. I liked how they had him play as a con artist, pretending to be various different drug lords. He was basically my favourite character throughout the movie.
At the very beginning, I was extremely bothered with the script telling Tian (Koo) to just give in to the police without even a little retaliation. This just isn't realistic at all. What kind of high profile drug dealer just gives in to the police without even trying to feign innocence? This kept bothering me throughout the movie because he continues to do it throughout, selling his colleagues out to the police in the blink of an eye without even trying to fight back.
The director tried to be unique by making about every drug dealer completely different. You have some drivers who are stoned out of their minds when they shouldn't be, you have a group of dealers who are deaf, you have one who constantly laughs hysterically, and you have somebody who talks doubles. The list goes on. I mean really, is every drug lord so radically different? This wasn't very realistic. But whatever.
However, that wasn't really the factor that affected the movie so much. It was the final shootout scene that was a complete failure. It not only stalled time, it had no point, didn't solve any actual problem, and was just plain stupid from start to finish.
It's hard to explain my pain with this scene without explicitly spoiling it, if I haven't spoiled enough already. Hence the spoiler warning. You're plagued with infinite ammo, diehards who don't die even when they're shot many times, and those opposite the diehards who just die in a single random shot. But that's not the worst of it. The worst comes when the main antagonist essentially survives and kills everybody else.
I'm not sure what people liked about the movie. There wasn't even a message to the plot. It was just your average ordinary drug case. A story has a beginning, middle, and end. This movie has the beginning and middle, but no end. This movie just ends as "Everybody dies, the end.". Really, that seriously disappointed me.
You're free to watch the movie if you wish, but from what I've seen of Louis Koo and Johnnie To within the last few years, this is once again another movie you can safely avoid the pain of watching.
Bai xing jiu dian (2013)
Relatively enjoyable comedy that's not too over-the-top like other HK comedies
Generally, I have low hopes whenever I watch HK comedy movies since most of them these days revolve around stale gags or heavily over-the-top jokes. My nephew wanted to watch this movie, so I watched it with her.
In terms of how I felt after watching the movie, I actually thought the movie was fine. The premise is good and original, and the characters are unique and funny. There isn't much development, but you get your bang for your buck for the time you spend watching the movie.
The story revolves around the President of a wannabe five-star hotel that tries to convince her sleazy "four-star" employees to work harder in order to make it happen. A hotel ranking appraiser is due to arrive very soon, so she decides to invite two major actors into the hotel to help endorse it.
The rest of the movie is just fun and games, and a lot of pleasant surprises. The band of employees doesn't like the President for being so egotistic, so they constantly try to indirectly mess with her.
The major twist happens when more characters enter the scene, but I won't spoil it at this point. Just know that you'll certainly go "OMG" once you realize who the appraiser was actually posing as :).
Not that great of a movie, but it's not awfully done
This movie wasn't really that great, and I can't say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story isn't really worth noting, and the action scenes weren't special at all. My suggestion is that you could probably save your time and watch another movie instead.
Story wise, the movie is about two detectives, one from Thailand and one from Malaysia, both Cantonese, who solve the same case together. The case revolves around the Thailand-based detective wanting to find out who murdered his parents 30 years ago. He begins his search in Malaysia after catching wind that he should start his search there, and he hires the Malaysia-based detective for local assistance.
Really, there's not much to say. There weren't any "wow" moments, and all the chase and fighting scenes were average at best. You can find them in any other generic HK crime movie. My nephew couldn't watch past halfway because she found it boring, and I agree that there's really nothing that tries to keep your attention.