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It is debatable whether The Revenant came out in 2015 or in 2016 depending on which country you live in but in Canada it came out in 2016 so that's why it's on this list.
Character problems bog down what could've been an amazing Torres episode
The bland last episode (What Lies Above) showed us once again the weak side of NCIS. Don't fall into the marketing trap that was that episode. Just because it had a case involving McGee, doesn't mean it was any good. This episode shows us that weak side again, making the same mistake as last episode that stops the show from being impactful.
A weak point of this episode is once again the case. It's another rather predictable cookie cutter case but it does have much better pacing and exposition than last episode. As long as the cases in NCIS episodes keep being weak, I will keep saying this: you need a strong case with M Night Shyamalon twists to keep the audience compelled. Some earlier episodes in the season with great cases are "Shell Game", "Pandora's box part 1", "Non Stop", "Off the Grid" and "The Tie That binds".
But NCIS is not all about the case. It's about the characters. In this episode we have great scenes with Gibbs, Torres, Abby and Duck. The rest are just okay. Torres continues to impress me with his awesome personality. This episode was about him, I'll talk about that later. Bishop and McGee were boring. They were just there. Quinn was absolutely cringeworthy. That Uber scene was just atrocious acting and dialogue from all three actors. Just when Palmer had an amazing break in his character development, he left. That's absolutely the wrong thing to do. They need to make his character progress even more and continue what they started in Keep Going. Same thing goes for Reeves. We saw the start of something with very much potential in Willoughby, and now it's just been abandoned. one could argue that the writers are just letting it sit for a while but like I said in the review of the last episode, character development isn't over the course of two to three DISJOINTED episodes.
Torres stole the scene in this episode and this could've been amazing but the same problem as in A Many Splendored thing and What Lies Above come back. We should've had Torres talking more about Sophia and how much she meant to him in other episodes. This feels like a movie that just half heartedly adds a backstory just for the sake of evolving the character. Once again, this is a TV show and the fact that this is done so quickly (1-2 episodes) shows wasted potential of what could've been longer and more impactful. There is a great scene at the end with Torres and Laura. Once again, something is missing though and this is at the heart of NCIS. The theme of family could've shined throughout this episode as Torres is reminded of a hard loss but instead we get a weak "We good?" from Torres (to Gibbs). One positive in this episode is that Torres is not portrayed as a rookie. He is rather his own character who has worked at NCIS for a long time and is an awesome runner.
NCIS disappoints once again with a boring case, many character problems that I thought had been solved in the beginning of the year, and once again failed potential. This episode could've been great and while I see where the writers were going, the execution really needs to be improved. The writers had really mastered the characters in the following episodes Shell Game, Enemy Combatant, The Tie that binds, Willoughby, Off the Grid, Keep Going , Non stop and Pandora's Box Part 1. What happened?
Missing the key elements of NCIS
What Lies above is missing the key elements of the NCIS episode. It lacks good acting, a solid case, good exposition, good pacing and has too much melodrama. There is still not bad dialogue and a great ending.
First of all, the dialogue was not bad in this episode. There is one awesome scene in McGee's apartment with Torres and the last dialogue scene in the office is alright. Quinn is however terribly annoying with her omission thing.
The ending definitely left us on a high note. Seeing Gibbs look out for his team like that was awesome.
What Lies Above lacks good acting. The normal cast is alright but the serial killer was weak. he tries to be all "Joker like" with his laugh but he's really not at all a menacing serial killer. The witness was also extremely bland.
This is one of the simplest cases I've seen in NCIS. You need a strong case to move the story forward and when the case is solved as easily as in this episode, it's extremely boring to watch, especially with weak pacing.
This episode is also bogged down in heavy melodrama with Vance and his girlfriend. They try to make it all emotional but the writers must understand that no one cares for a relationship that was developed over two episodes! They have lost the meaning of impactful. First with A Many Splendored thing where they try to make us care for the short lived Bishop and Qasim relationship and now they want us to cry over another broken relationship lived over TWO EPISODES! For us to care about this, we need NUMEROUS memorable emotional moments that make us care about the characters over the span of several seasons and years. This feels extremely rushed.
What Lies Above misses the key elements of NCIS, a strong case, good acting and great emotional moments. The case is weak, the pacing and exposition are weak, the acting is weak and nothing is sentimental about this breakup. The writers are just trying to make more emotional episodes like Keep Going but that doesn't work when your relationship is over the span of TWO EPISODES. I'd rather have no emotional moments now but great memorable moments that make me care about the characters than have weak emotional moments that come off as melodramatic.
War Dogs (2016)
War Dogs is disappointing in its mediocrity yet offers a few good performances and some good scenes. In the long run, it's not worth your time though.
Miles Teller is pretty good as the main character. It's not like he gives us a reason to care much but he gives far from a Phantom menace performance. He does have one scene that's pretty good where he finally lashes out against his best friend. Jonah Hill is also pretty good but I'll talk about that more later. Bradley Cooper is pretty good as well. Cooper is definitely the best out of the three because he makes his character intriguing.
There was also some good suspense scenes in the movie. The scenes in Iraq and Albania are entertaining. If the whole movie would've been like that, it would've been a lot better. In that sense it was good but disappointing.
In this movie, Jonah Hill's character is extremely annoying. Normally, cursing is not something that annoys me but he says it in every sentence. Once again it's tolerable in great movies like Logan where it goes with the character developpment and the atmosphere but here it's very annoying. This is not at all helped by his pro American/racist mentality. It may be part of the character but it's just really irritating, not fun to watch. It doesn't help that Miles Teller's character is too dumb to notice that he's being used.
You can argue that he's ignoring the fact that his best friend is using him because he just wants the money but there's not enough emotion. I wouldn't have minded having another 15 minutes of more sentimental scenes if it meant we could see Teller's motivation more clearly but we don't because this movie doesn't elaborate on the emotional aspect enough.
The only thing that made me laugh in this movie is Jonah Hill's laugh. War Dogs was supposed to be funny, it wasn't.
Lastly, at one point in the film, it gets a little too lost in arms dealing procedure that I was confused. They didn't really take time to explain these procedures.
War Dogs tries to be too many things, a comedy, serious, a drama, emotional, and suspenseful but it just ends up being stuck in the middle with not too many pros.
Logan review (8.5)
I was a little over-hyped for this movie and it didn't disappoint.
The best part of the movie is the first hour and a half. This is where the dark atmosphere is best shown off. You get to see how much Wolverine has changed. He's not that sassy young Wolverine from X-men 2 and The Wolverine. Now he's grumpy, pessimistic and rude. Between this movie and the last wolverine movie, The Wolverine, there is such a significant difference in Hugh Jackman's appearance between that you feel like Logan has aged 40 years between the movie (from a 30 year old in shape guy to a 70 year old old man). The only thing that Wolverine is living for is Professor X who is a little unstable and insane. The atmosphere is just really good.
The best scene is when Logan and the group are in their hotel in Las Vegas and Professor X has an attack. This stops time and you can really feel shaken up by the score.
I think they really did a good job of showing an emotional relationship between Wolverine and his daughter. It really reminded me of the Last of Us. We can see this relationship evolve.
This movie has only good acting. Hugh Jackman, I don't think I even have to mention he was great because he is every time he plays Wolverine. Patrick Stewart was great as professor X, he really stole the show. Wolverine's daughter was great as well.
For the negatives, I thought that X-24 was an unnecessary addition. He was indeed the right person to kill Wolverine but his scenes were just excessive. This may not bother you but I found the continuity errors rather annoying as well.
In the end, Logan was very good. It showed us a darker more accurate picture of Wolverine. It was a good send off.
As a fan of dumb comedy movies like Why Him?, The Interview, This is the end, Pineapple Express and Dirty Grandpa, I thought this would be fun to watch with my friend. It wasn't.
As a comedy you have one job and that's to make us laugh. That didn't work out for this movie. The jokes are really not funny. It was just kind of awkward because as I was watching this no one was laughing, we were just kind of making remarks so that it wasn't as awkward.
There was one good thing in this movie and that was Efron's acting. Everyone else was either okay or completely bland and cringeworthy.
This movie isn't funny. Apart from Efron's good acting, this movie is just boring and unfunny. It's one to be forgotten.
X-men 2 is an awesome movie that was way ahead of its time. With awesome characters, an awesome story and awesome action scenes, X-men 2 is my favorite x-men movie.
It starts out with an awesome scene of Nighcrawler attacking the president. This scene really starts off the movie well. It's well shot and awesome. This scene is then followed by a field trip scene which introduces us to another great character, Pyro. This movie contains so many memorable moments such as the following scenes of Stryker going to see Magneto and Wolverine's return from Alkali lake. This movie is just one great scene after another. The next is Storm and Jean catching up with the assassin who tried to kill the president, Kurt Wagner. This scene is awesome because we get to see that Kurt is not just a mindless assassin, but an awesome character. We then get an epic scene where Wolverine defends the mansion. This scene has aged really well. From iceman freezing Logan's Dr Pepper to Wolverine killing all those henchmen, it's an awesome scene. I can't describe the whole movie but pretty much all the scenes are memorable.
This movie really showed Wolverine's origins well. This isn't like the lame X-men Origins Wolverine. It's gritty, bloody and everything that Origins should've been.
The characters are almost all great in this movie (a few exceptions in the next paragraph). what's particularly great is that we got to see these characters show off their skills effectively such as when Nightcrawler rescues everyone and when Storm ices the Cerebro room. Magneto is also awesome in this movie.
While it's definitely over the top, the story about Stryker trying to destroy all mutants with Cerebro is pretty good. There's also a great plot twist with magneto at the end.
This movie is near perfect but there are a few flaws. Rogue is a really bland actress. Jean's powers are vaguely defined and we never really get to know much about them except that she's powerful.
This movie has awesome action scenes, an awesome story and epic characters. I'm going to see Logan tomorrow. Will it take over as my favourite X-men movie? Does it compare to X-men 2?
Dirty Grandpa (2016)
This movie's average rating is 18%. Really Metacritic REALLY! The worst movie I ever saw is Rage and that has 28% on Metacritic. The second worst movie I ever saw, Fantastic 4 2015 has a 27% on metacritc. Norm of the North, the worst animation movie EVER has a 21%. Am I somehow supposed to trust Metacritic EVER again. I know Rotten Tomatoes is trash opionated reviews and now I know Metacritic is the most unreliable movie source. Dirty Grandpa is entertaining as can be and Rage is the trashiest a movie can be. Seriously if you're just looking to have fun with your friends, this movie is perfect for you.
The perfect way to describe this movie is that it's a Seth Rogen and James Franco movie with Zac Efron and Robert DeNiro. It's not hilarious like Pineapple Express or the Interview but it is extremely hilarious. What else is there to say, if you like watching fun road trip movies with immature jokes, this movie is for you. That right there may have sounded like an insult, but it wasn't. This movie is hilarious. Way more so than the mediocre grown ups and the atrocius Grown ups 2.
Part of what makes this movie funny is DeNiro's sassy attitude which is perfect and steals the show. Zac Efron is also pretty hilarious and it's cool to see him playing the opposite role that he usually plays. He's really evolved as an actor.
Like in 95% of comedies, some jokes fall flat. Not many though. There were still some moments where you're just like: no. I'd say 75% of the jokes made my friends and I laugh. Those two cops for example were just really not funny.
This movie actually had a story unlike some comedies these days that really don't (looking at you Grown Ups 2). It's a cliché story but with the jokes it ties in pretty good. What more could you want. Were you really expecting this to have been an M Night Shyamalon movie with intense story lines and plot twists. A moment that wasn't comedy that I actually really liked is when Efron's character discovers who he is while singing karaoke. Something that doesn't exactly work in this movie is that sometimes they joke around a little too much in the serious scenes. A perfect example of how to do this is Pineapple Express, a movie that had a great rupture scene that is at the time sad and also funny. This movie has difficulty with this concept.
While this movie is far from a masterpiece, it's extremely underrated and hilarious. It's extremely entertaining and has a good story that holds up. You can tell from the title of the movie that it's far from perfect but it's FAR from being an epic fail like grown ups 2. it's a funny road trip movie to watch with your friends. I'm not ever trusting Metacritic ever again.
This isn't just another NCIS episode. This isn't just an advancement leading up to a powerful finale. This is an experience. A haunting, emotional and action packed episode with a killer twist. There's literally only two minor, MINOR flaws in the episode. It's a masterpiece.
The episode has Gibbs remembering the moments leading up to Mike Franks' death. It's extremely well put together. The sequences are really well done and there's so much suspense. Throughout the whole episode, you just feel like something is off, something is wrong because of the way it's put together and the context. This makes the episode extremely suspenseful. The fact that you feel off guard really adds something else.
The episode gets disturbing when Trent Kort explains the Port to Port killer's story and who he is. The presentation he shows them is extremely eerie and disturbing. It really sets the tone for what's next. The toys that the port to port killer uses are extremely haunting and he himself is a very eerie individual. The creators really did a good job of showing him as a crazy guy.
Gibbs brings Franks' in for some info on the port to port killer and also to pressure Vance with the CIA. Mike Franks' death scene is legendary. Now here are the flaws. When Jonah kills Mike, the stabbing is not very clear. For a moment there, I thought he just hit him until he stopped moving and I saw the blade in his chest. I also felt like there wasn't enough suspense in the fight because it was pretty short but this could be counter argued by the fact that Jonah is an extremely efficient serial killer. Other than that the battle is legendary and the opening scene of Gibbs just staring into nothingness in the rain ties in perfectly. It's very eerie like the whole episode.
There were many scenes emotional scenes after Franks' death. The scene with Tony and Ziva in the elevator is perfect and right after when they do a group hug, it almost brought a tear to my eye. What a moment. It's just incredible. It's only a hug but it's very powerful.
This episode drops the M Night Shyamalon bomb with an unpredictable twist. It's so unpredictable and awesome that even people who have seen thousands of movies will never have guessed. It's just so incredibly unpredictable and good.
The last scene sent chills down my neck. It is so crazy and disturbing. The toys he uses are really haunting and when Cade and Levin go into the room and see pictures of themselves, it's so haunting. That last frame of Jonah holding up a gun to EJ's head. So haunting.
In conclusion, Swan Song is my favourite NCIS episode. No other episode even comes close to being such an experience. Truth or Consequences and Leap of Faith are also among my favourites but none were as good as this one.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
A quality movie
I was a huge fan of john Wick 1. it is one of my favorite movies ever and when the second was announced I knew it was going to be good. If someone can pull off John Wick 2, it's the people that made John Wick 1. John Wick 2 achieves a perfect continuity of the 1st, a soundtrack that kills, outstanding action scenes and hilarious subtle humor.
Like I mentioned, the soundtrack on this movie is perfection. It's eerie, awesome and very similar to the first movie. It's just extremely well made. It helps set the mood and the atmosphere, which honestly isn't that dark. This movie's mood is most of all intense. With as many action scenes as John Wick, the mood is nothing else then intense. This is a welcome change from the first whose mood was a little more light hearted. The soundtrack ties in perfectly to the mood.
John Wick also has a perfect continuity of the first. It starts off right where the first left off and it's just a really amazing first 30 minutes that ties everything together perfectly. It's a PERFECT continuation of the first. Apart from the kill contract scene, the first 30 minutes are my favorite part of the movie. They set everything up so well and tie everything up so well to the first. The first scene where John goes back to steal his car is a great tie in to the last movie and just an amazing action scene. It's really a well made quality movie.
The action scenes are the heart of the movie. The first John Wick was a perfect example of how to do action scenes right. Chapter 2 is exactly like the first. It's perfectly filmed with long takes that are really well made. The subway scene is outstanding. That whole scene is so well done. Like Chris Stuckmann said, you need to feel the vulnerability of the hero to relate to him sometimes and this is particularly shown in this outstanding scene where he gets stabbed in the thigh and his enemy takes advantage of that. Another great thing about the action scenes is that they don't need exotic locations to work, just great choreography.
John Wick also excels in the humor. It has hilarious low key humor. It's extremely hilarious and works every time (except for one scene I will talk about later).
Chapter 2 expands the world of John Wick so well. It shows us more of the continental. More of the whole underground world. It's really an awesome world that I'm glad they explored more.
In this movie, John Wick feels like more of a character. It's pretty emotional when he goes back to his burnt house to find the picture of him and his wife that he is so fond of. He feels like more of a character and less invincible.
There are also a few negatives in JW2. The movie has so many action scenes that it's a little tiring by the end. If you thought he killed a lot of henchmen in the JW1, he kills about three times that in JW2. It gets a little tiring by the last scene.
A scene that really pulled me out of the movie was when John goes to kill Santino's sister. This scene is really melodramatic and not John Wick. I actually forgot I was watching JW in this scene. A few minutes later John Wick blasts a guy with a shotgun and I was like oh right, I'm watching John Wick and not some other melodramatic movie.
In this movie I felt like John Wick lacked the motivation he had in the first movie. In this one, he's just pulled back into this world and the motivation is little weak. However, that doesn't stop the scene I mentioned earlier from being emotional.
The Laurence Fishburne scene was rather irrelevant in my opinion. They try to make it so funny but it's really not. It's really not funny. The real John Wick doesn't need this guy's help to find Santino.
The following is my opinion. I recently praised the latest NCIS episode Pandora's box Part 1 for being independent from part 2. This is why I personally didn't like the end. It's literally just setting up chapter 3. A movie like JW2 needs to be individual like the first one. Not completely individual obviously. That's why I liked that it tied in perfectly to the first.
The way John kills Santino is completely out of character. The real John Wick wouldn't have shot him in the continental. It felt out of character for him to break the rules like that.
The thing s I just said are minor issues. My biggest issue is that even for John Wick, he takes too many injuries. I know he's supposed to be tough, but there were just too many intense injuries for me to ignore.
All in all, John Wick is a fantastic movie that you should go see.
The Expendables 2 (2012)
His name was Billy
This movie is so fun. It's just a bunch of action scenes. If you like straight action movies with really good action scenes and awesome one liners, this is your movie. It's not a masterpiece like John Wick but it's so fun to watch. The action scenes are really well done and that's what makes this movie so good. I'm young so I don't care much for the reunion of old actors aspect of the movie but those one liners are awesome (except that cringeworthy scene at the airport with Church and Trench).
This scene contains three major action scenes and my favorite is the first. It's extremely over the top and extremely awesome. One issue I had with this scene is that they put the title of the movie right after! I feel like this really brings us out of the movie when they do this especially when the scene is 15 minutes long! It's really annoying. It is an awesome spectacular scene though. The airport fight was also really awesome.
With a movie like this, you would expect no emotion and no suspense but while far from a drama or a suspense thriller, this movie has a bit of both. When Billy dies, it's extremely sad. The final scene where Villain and Barney fight actually has some tension. Barney is really beat up and you kind of feel like he's overpowered by Villain.
This movie gets an 8/10 because it has no story. It's the best you could get from a straight up action movie. It's really far from a masterpiece but I'm going to say this again, it's the best you could possibly want from a straight up action movie with awesome one liners.