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Where to begin....
This was supposed to be the movie. I enjoyed Casino Royale (I like poker, shove off), was wowed by Skyfall and managed to forget that there was a movie in between the two. There was buildup. The trailer was awesome. We had Waltz stepping out to become the new super-Bond- Villain Blofeld, we had the reintroduction of the indestructible hit-man cliché. We had Ralph Fiennes as M, we had Moneypenny, we had a new and not quite improved and yet not too bad Q.
How do you go wrong with all of that?
Despite everything, Bond is supposed to be a super-agent that does things that everybody else would be constrained from doing by the laws of physics, and he would do all this simply because he is motherf*cking James Bond. We kinda expect the villains to be the same, ya know? He's not Jason Bourne, whose stamp is credibility, and he's not Ethan Hunt, whose staple is high-tech gadgets. He's Bond. The Womanizing, Martini-drinking secret agent that still introduces himself by his first name.
DON'T MAKE HIM REALISTIC!
Breathe... breathe... okay. A few other notes. Despite the stellar quality of one Monica Belluci, they only have her on scene for the equivalent of one sex scene. Bautista is easily disposed of, and even Blofeld's plan for world domination errs on the side of caution. Your organization's name is Specter. You're supposed to be something more than a motherf*cking intelligence gathering service.
Okay... it's not a terrible movie, despite a long list of small nitpicks and failings, but this was supposed to be it. Bringing the heart of the Sean Connery Bond flicks into the 21st century. They've shown us that they can do it, with Skyfall as my witness. And yet...
Underwhelming. That's the word that describes this film. It's not bad by any means and one of the deepest as far as character development for one James Bond goes, but that's the only good thing I can say about it. The action is shoddy and underdeveloped, and while the acting is okay, you can sense that the actors don't really want to be playing these characters. And the plot is just so... I mean, I would go for it in a Bourne movie, Jack Bauer plot line, or any other intelligence flick, but this is James Bond. He's supposed to be better than this.
Shame on you guys. Shame.
The Librarians (2014)
I'm Cheesy and I know it!
Maybe I'm being nostalgic. Seeing Dean Devlin working together with Christian Kane brings me back to memories of Leverage that have me grinning at the man's lines. You see the same team dynamic as seen in Leverage, the same easy banter between characters. The plot is cheesy, and it doesn't even try to hide it. It's not meant to be taken seriously.
That said, putting aside the rosy glasses of nostalgia, there are plenty of flaws to this. Again, cheesy is cheesy and some of the works have people rolling their eyes. You can't win them all, Dev, sorry. The CGI is remnant of the movies, which is to say, sub-par to say the least. The plot has it's up and downs. In an overhanging perspective, it's spectacular, helped by the character development. Short term? It's hit and miss.
Final determination? I loved it, but I'm not deluded enough to think that it's a masterpiece. It's fun, just edging past the guilty pleasure line. It has it's ups, but it's downs can't be ignored. It needs work, and I look forward to seeing it progress.
Stargate: Atlantis (2004)
Obvious plot holes, sub-par CGI, some problems with continuity, issues with how the military handles their respective positions that had me rolling my eyes and mumbling under my breath.
Whew. In the name of honesty, those are the reasons why I'm not giving the show a 10/10. Incredible acting, and despite the plot holes, the story is built up to perfection, with season finales that have you gripping your seat (And mumbling at the TV). Or netflix, in my case. It's an incredible show. If you haven't watched it, do yourself a favor: Watch it. The lead actors are compelling and likable, the villains are villainous without being cliché. Even though the CGI isn't the best, it isn't bad enough to distract you from the spectacular story.
Need for Speed (2014)
Amazingly... good movie?
I was stunned. No seriously. I started watching this movie with low expectations, as I have been dreadfully disappointed in game based movies in the past. The Fast and Furious syndrome, which I have seen in all other street race movies,further made me wince as I started watching this movie.
I was pleasantly surprised. Aaron Paul has some good screen presence, and his 'sidekicks' bring a lot into the game. The brit lady is incredibly smooth in her interactions with Aaron, and the villain is believable and scum enough for us to not care that he loses the final bout. As most race car movies are, it is predictable when it actually comes to how it ends, but it has enough twists and turns that it has you guessing more than you'd think.
The races are realistic, and exciting, the cop chases a bit less realistic but with the commentary of both the Monarch and Aaron's sidekicks it makes it fun to watch. It was an enjoyable movie that doesn't try to be anything that it isn't. Not a new Citizen Kane, but enjoyable enough to be recommended.
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Think about it. The books were loosely based on the romanticized life and works of Carlos the Jackal. And while a masterpiece in literature, in my opinion, it revolved more around Jason Bourne. It was a Psychological Thriller and remained a classic for that reason.
So, for obvious reasons, they couldn't adapt the movie directly from the book. The several names are there and people are there, but most of it had to be modernized and personally, I loved the way that they did it. The story remained about Bourne and how he is clawing his way out of his mind to try and remember anything and everything about his past life, not only out of sheer curiosity, but because, well, people are hunting him and he has no idea why.
Which is why I give this movie a damn good review. Everything else they could have tossed out of the window, but that psychological part, the part that I think most Bourne fans will agree, was the most crucial and they nailed it to the effing tree. Marie is there to help the damaged killer to find his human side and realize that not everyone in the world is after him. The acting is superb, the fight scenes are gritty, brutal and realistic, the plot, if basic, is strong and to the point. Only a few side plots are added and everything is neatly wrapped up at the end.
2012 meets Spartacus
With too much 2012, and too little Spartacus.
The Story itself is nothing new. This is, after all, one of the oldest stories to be put to screen. I remember finding the black and white version in the Video store, I remember finding the series... somewhere, and I am sure there are a handful of other depictions out there.
But seeing it, I entered the theater with some hope in my heart. It had everything to become an epic, something to launch Harington's career past Game of Thrones. The plot is there, the actors are there, the setting it there.
I mean, how the f*** can you f*** up Gladiators, Roman Empire, disaster love epic? Seriously?
The first impression that I get from it is that it is way too rushed. They are covering too much time in too little time. The work of the Romans over the Celts is instantly forgettable, despite the constant attempt to remind us of it, lighting and editing sucks, acting was just barely average, and the love interest is, again, rushed. You only find out the Main Character's name halfway through the movie, for crying out loud. I get the feeling that it is supposed to make the main character mysterious in some manner, which is half the battle, but it just seems like a oversight. The characters can be likable, and I promise, I tried, but if you have to try to like a character, the movie has already failed.
Of course, this movie wasn't all bad. The acting, again, is average. The sweeping views of the countryside, while suffering with the poor lighting, is neatly done. CGI is well done, and despite my spoiled nature when it comes to fight scenes, either having to be epic, ala 300, Spartacus or Wuxia/Jet Li movies, or Jason Statham types, with quick, brutal and realistic. Pompeii nails that last one to bloody perfection. Some people might complain of them being a little confusing, but it is quick and not always easy to keep up with, having to run your mind back over it once you've seen the effects.
So, Kudos to the stunts and Choreographers.
Another thing that I like about it is the ending. Not what you would expect and, in my humble opinion, how the Titanic should have ended.
So, nothing new, nothing epic, nothing classic. I wouldn't recommend it, but I cannot honestly say that there is nothing good about this film.
4/10, not being skimpy or generous.
Drive Angry (2011)
To Watch When Drunk or in the Mood For Mindless Fun
Let's be honest. We have long stopped expecting Nick Cage to hammer out Oscar nods in movies like this. Drive angry is pure entertainment. If you are religious and easily offended by Religious content in movies, you shouldn't watch this. If you are expecting something that will be a classic to last the ages like Citizen Kane, you shouldn't watch this. If you were expecting the film to take itself seriously.... you probably knowing where I'm going with this right?
Milton (Cage) starts out with a bang, quite literally, hammering up a bunch of crackheads over something we're not quite sure about. I'm sure they mentioned something about a child, and then boom, scene changes.
Milton meets someone in a diner, kisses her, gets information, and leaves. Piper (appropriately named, Head) Is the hot girl of the movie, and with a temper to match her long, tanned legs. She quits her job, gives Milton a ride after the cheesiest meetup/dialogue in the history of cheesy meetup dialogues, and they head off to where Piper is heading.
Piper breaks up with her boyfriend, and Milton steps in to help her escape his wrath.
If you have left the Movie Theater by now, you are missing out in a huge treat.
The Accountant steps in. His lean, gaunt, bored-yet-classy style immediately captures the attention. His lines are shot off quickly and off beat, like he is getting used to his mouth again, not really caring. He has done his job for God knows how long and this is just another run- of-the-mill job for him.
I particularly love his encounter his encounter with Frank (Piper's ex) and subsequently the cops. I think he would have been the best choice as Two-Face of the Batman franchise.
But I digress.
We go back to Milton, with some forgettable conversation, tits, guns, blood gore, etc, and the movie moves on at a good pace, not letting you get bored for a second. I won't put too many spoilers around here, but yeah, that's all you need to know going in so far.
My advice? Stay away from this film if you are looking for anything more meaningful than empty entertainment. If you are braindead from a long day at a mindnumbing job or studies, and all you want to do is watchsome action with some funny, watch this. I smiled and enjoyed the ride.You should too.
Now You See Me (2013)
The movie starts out with an interesting premise and an intriguing cast of characters. I am not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg. His quick talking, over confident jerk does not get me all that much (although the scene where he gets his card is hilarious). I do, however, enjoy the performances of Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher. The interactions of the two are near on perfect, getting me to chuckle more than a few times. Dave Franco is practically nonexistent, for everything that he brings to the film. Melanie Laurant is there to be a pretty face and go oooh and aaaaah over the magic tricks. Mark Ruffalo's character is a bit harder to judge, as the character is acting, after all. The scenes where he is being his normal natural self, like the end, seem a bit more natural, so yeah.
A lot of people are complaining about the character development, but seriously... you are walking into a movie with Eisenberg and Harrelson as the main actors. Were you really expecting something deep and meaningful, with the world rocked over the magic mystery that this film is?
No. I saw those two names among the cast, and I went in knowing that it would be a shallow magic flick. And I was pleasantly surprised. Not about the shallow flick part, but because I found myself actually enjoying how... meaningless it was. They had the chance to make it deep and meaningful with the whole 'Eye' aspect, but they decided not to. This film does not put out any serious message, Oscar-nod-worthy portrayals. It is simply there to make you get lost in this fictional world for about two hours and nothing more.
Of course, there are plot holes and the capability of a watcher to suspend belief is a little stretched at times, but do you seriously go to see a magic show because the magician is a deep and complex character, with a tragic backstory and is capable of change if only the right woman were to step into his life and set him straight through a long and drama filled quest to find out the true meaning of life?
If so... don't you ever talk to me. You sound like a very boring person to be around. This movie, when it comes to pure entertainment value, I give it a ten. Acting I put on an 8. plot comes at an even 6, which makes for an 8 average, and that's what I'll give it. Fun to watch, but don't watch it if you are looking for drama or Nolan-worthy plot twists and character development. That's for other genres.
Unbiased View of this Film
I just have to start out by saying: I loved this film. It had me gripping my seat. It had me chuckling at the one liners. It had me punching my fists in the air at the hand-to-hand action sequences. It had my blood pumping till the very end. I even smiled and felt satisfied when Anderson was finally approved at the end, even though it was obviously how the movie was going to end.
But as I said, an unbiased review is needed, and I shall do my best:
The make of the movie is like a first shot at a FPS game. There's an opening sequence in which you are taught the controls, as well as enough backstory to get you going. The plot isn't something out of a G.R.R. Martin book. It is simple, and to the point. Bad guys introduced promptly, and the way that the plot will go along is hardly rocket science. Bad Guys did a bad thing. Badass character to reach bad guys and kill them with prejudice. A gazillion small-time baddies to kill before we get there. Better get rolling.
Next we introduce Rookie Anderson. A young pretty girl that initially failed the test to become a judge but is given a second chance because well, she's a psychic. Who doesn't want someone like that on their team? Dredd is not amused at being the one to score her performance, but he follows his orders to the letter, and not one step beyond. At first, you think that this movie will succumb to what many others have and make Anderson something of a Love interest for Dredd. I am happy to say that this did not happen, and we can move on.
Ma-ma, played brilliantly by Lina Heady, is a sadistic bitch that rose to control of her area by sheer brutality and intimidation tactics. Beginning her career as a criminal as a hooker that effeminates her pimp while giving the guy a blowjob is street cred anywhere you go.
The special effects were gritty for a reason. The budget was lower than a sci-fi usually gets, so they needed to make it believable without having the money to make something like the Avengers. It 'looks' like a FPS game. The gore is in good amounts but not delayed upon. It cuts short, brutal and quick. The editing on the Psi scenes is brilliant, cutting through unnecessary dilemmas and going straight for the nitty and the gritty. The interrogation sequence between Rookie Anderson and Jay is particularly terrifying. The slo-mo scenes are so good I could talk about them all day.
The morality of the movie, which was what had most liberal critics' panties in a twist is, of course, an issue. Cops that don't need to rely on courts and juries to execute judgement does in fact raise a few questions. But think about it: You are living in a brutal world, where the criminals have taken brutality and violence to the next level. If Police were forced to maintain order under those circumstances, they would quickly lose the battle for the city.
In essence, the plot is simplistic and to the point. Character development is weak, but that s mainly because Dredd has none. The arc for Rookie Anderson is well made though. The bad guys are bad, no questions about it, and you feel no remorse when you see Ma-ma plummeting to her death at the end. The effects were the best that could be made out of a low budget.
To wrap things up, it is not a movie to watch if you are looking for romance, love, touching scenes and plot twists. It is a testosterone packed flick that is to be watched after a long and tear-filled evening of watching 'The Notebook' and Twilight, just to get your manliness reaffirmed. Enter expecting lots of gore, brutality and ruthlessness, and whatever the bad guys have planned. Don't watch it if weak of heart, politics, mind or stomach.
Let's start where all TV Shows should be judged: The Plot.
Wait, let's try again. A bit more detail this time.
Okay, so, Detective Hottie (Let's just call her that) is part of a government police force that hunts down terrorists. Now, lets stop there. The government is purchased by corporations, and is now a totalitarian government, one that does not allow freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of well... anything. And, let's face it, we have seen this stuff in Sci-fi movies before right.
Wait, what? They're the good guys? We are supposed to side with them? Well, apparently, as the hot chick that we are supposed to sympathize with thinks so. Huh. Who'da thunk?
She helps capture a bunch of 'evil' freedom fighters, and sentences them to the future's equivalent of the firing squad, but first they somehow manage to get their hands on some sort of magical time traveling device and travel back in time to today.
I know this was somehow supposed to be a sort of depiction of blurring the lines between who are the good guys and the bad guys, but yeah, one the one side, we have the super woman (Hottie) That has a little boy and has the puppy-dog eyes and the very philosophical and witty one-liners. One the other side... we have a bunch of bloodthirsty psychopaths and rabid killers. Okay...
I don't know if I should be intrigued by this new and obviously risky move by the producers, or if I should be insulted. I keep on watching, and see Det. Hottie easily infiltrating the PD, threatening one of the men she helped capture with the death his innocent ancestors, somehow working with the PD to catch the rest with the help of some hacker teenager that... I guess is gonna be the dictator of her time?
Yeah, I'm going with being insulted.
But let's not stop there. After all, crappy plots can be salvaged by good acting. It has happened before, and can again.
Not a chance. More detail? Okay, allow me:
Rachel Nichols (AKA Det. Hottie) Has never ranked very high in my books. Wooden acting, crappy movies, more wooden acting, cliché characters... yeah, she isn't really good. But hey! Everything is better with nice, skin-tight red clothing that is more for show and tell than use!
I was talking about acting skills here, not cleavage. And she has none. Acting skills that is.
Victor Webster was obviously chosen for his good looks, and that's about all he has going for him. Again, wooden, cliché acting, trying to keep up with his female partner (And yet not his partner) with witty one- liners that make you cringe from how out of place they are, he somehow manages to make Hottie's acting passable.
We don't see much of Eric Knudsen except for him trying to understand the meaning of life and how the hell he, a geek, managed to get Hottie talking to him, but from what we see, he somehow overshadows the other two main characters in this series. It's like Agents Cho and Rigsby from the Mentalist being more entertaining to watch than Jane and Lisbon. Seriously folks.
I would go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on..... but that would be a waste of my time. To those that like this show, get your moral compasses working and the rest should come naturally. To those that haven't watched it here's my warning: Watch Almost Human. Better acting, plot, and everything. You won't be disappointed. To those that didn't like it: Congrats on having something between your ears that isn't cotton. We should totally get a drink later.