105 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Angry Birds (2016)
4/10
It has its moment but falls short
10 May 2016
When this was first announced, I was very skeptical, but the trailers won me over. So when I got the chance to go to a screening of the movie I couldn't pass. I was very excited to see the film but my excitement depleted as the movie went on.

The film has its moments but it's bad, as bad as I first thought it would be before the trailers. I had a long nap before watching the movie but I still manage to get some shut-eye for a little chunk of it. I got bored, the funniest scenes were in the trailers, so if you want to see the film avoid the trailers at all cost and you might enjoy the movie a little more than I did. Or go check it out high.

By @ericgarcy
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Zootopia (2016)
8/10
The darkish witty funny family movie
3 March 2016
Going in, French celebrities and festivities aside, I didn't know what to expect. Unlike most people I didn't looove Frozen, I actually fell asleep watching it, so I was worried. But Zootopia exceeded my expectations with a compelling story, it's good. The story is interesting and smart. It deals with societal issues in a very witty way because it caters to kids as much as adults, which is probably why there is a certain predictability about the characters but it's not at the cost of the story or the message behind it.

It's a Disney animation movie so of course there're positive teachable messages in the movie, perseverance, tolerance, open-mindedness, all wrapped in a funny and touching movie with characters that you'll root for and love.

Zootopia is a good time at the movies, you'll laugh and be entertain as much as the kids. By @ericgarcy
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8/10
Surprisingly not so bad
2 March 2016
For Starters, the pilot for the show kind of blew me away. In hindsight, it wasn't that hard to achieve I watched The Shannara Chronicles after watching Shadowhunters that night. So I was impressed by the production value, the special effects, the makeups and the acting. I was engaged in the show within the first twenty minutes. To me the show is reminiscent of Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – I'm not that old – with more money thrown in obviously, or the short-lived Legend of the Seeker.

I did not feel like they were filler episodes but some of them had boring parts that made them feel like they were. As show created for MTV it's much better than what I would have expected but sometimes, the MTV trademark can be felt in the dialogues, and that stings a little bit. The other thing is the journey, it took them about seven episodes to get to safe hold but they got back so damn quick that I felt cheated. I need to see a map of the Four Lands because unless they took a massive detour on their way there, their return to the castle should have taken a little longer. If they'd use the guy with the flying beast I would have understood but they rode horses -.-".

The Shannara Chronicles could have taken a Game of Thrones route by being more serious, adult, and complex plot but I think that the Fantasy elements are not subtle enough for that to work as a TV Series. The show is beautiful, entertaining, and engaging I hope they'll have a second season.

By @ericgarcy
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Spotlight (I) (2015)
9/10
A good film about investigative journalism
26 January 2016
I grew up fully aware of priests praying on children, which is probably why I've always seen priests as human beings not gods. They are men who are priests, like other men are writers, teachers, or scientists. But I was still dumbfounded by Spotlight. The scale of it might be small, if you take into account that Boston is just one city, but the size of what was going is impressive. So many people, boys and girls, our cousins, brothers, or aunts were molested as kids and paid off for their trouble. Left to live with a burden and a secret that could eat them alive. Like they've made a point of doing in the movie it's a systemic thing. They protect their own and actually have the guts to cover crimes if that keeps their image clean.

Six years ago, I met two priests who I knew full well were having sex - with adults obviously - and it didn't phase me one bit. I even kept their secrets, heck I'm still keeping their secret. So I'm asking myself if I'd be capable of keeping it secret if I knew of a priest or anyone molesting children? I'd like to think I would never but the truth is I don't know. I haven't been put in that situation. I'm talking about this because in the film they didn't vilify the people who knew but kept it a secret. It could have been easy to tear down those lawyers, cops, and parents who kept their mouth shut. Spotlight basically shows how the church and everyone involved let down, the victims and protecting, while not making an argument against religion. It's a movie about people and their actions, not an anti-religion piece.

Spotlight is a great example of what investigative journalism is. The story and the journalists' work is present in a clear and understandable way, it's a lot of information but nothing is dumb down. You're engaged in the investigation, in the work that goes into it, and on the effects it has on the characters. The performances are on point, as good as the script is, you easily believe the authenticity of each character. You see them as real people. A couple of performances stands out, mainly Mark Ruffalo's because his character has some great moments. He seems to be the most affected by their investigation, whereas the other characters look more impartial in contrast.

Like I've tweeted before, Spotlight is the best 2hours I've spent in a theater in the last 6months.

By @ericgarcy
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The 5th Wave (2016)
6/10
The fifth misopportunity
26 January 2016
The 5th Wave book was a pleasant surprise when I read so I was looking forward to the movie. Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie made sense to me, alleviating any worries I might have had about a silver screen adaptation.

Beat by beat the movie reflected the book. It was nice, at first, to see it take form but that feeling kind of died down. The movie wasn't hitting all the marks. The comedic was off, the the acting wasn't always amazing, but overall the biggest problem was the pacing. They tried to cram a lot in a limited amount of time and failed to time it out perfectly. It's not clear how much time goes by, which makes bonds between the characters look too weak for them to care that much about one another, or the skills these kid soldier have really easy to acquire.

The few changes they made to the story was smart, and some of the action scenes were well done, but these efforts became obsolete with the way the movie was directed and edited. And for some obscure reason I feel like the budget was spent poorly. I don't know why, I guess it looks that way.

The 5th Wave remains an entertaining movie but it feels more like a teen flick for prepubescent tweets than a Young Adult movie.

By @ericgarcy
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6/10
Jane Got a Gun and kind of missed the shot
24 January 2016
I was among the lucky people to have seen the movie premier in Paris tonight. Going in I was mildly excited for the film, wondering how much of an effect the tumultuous development had on the final product.

Jane Got a Gun is interesting for sure but it's slooow. The first two acts are desperately trying to built tension with a slow dead like pace, and long silences, that only puts the audience to sleep. I actually dozed off a few times. It's a shame because I think there's something special about it.

The story is good with a few minor surprises and solid acting. Even in the long silences the actors were engaged and conveyed the adequate emotions. Joel Edgerton and Natalie Portman have some great moments, their performances are riddles by subtleties that make for powerful scenes, ruined by shots a couple of seconds too long. The movie picks up though, it come as a breath of fresh air, after slogging our way through the first two acts.

So after all of the cast and recast of actors and directors what suffered? My guess the editing because some scenes could have been cut short while maintaining the message. Jane Got a Gun could probably be one of those movies that will become a cult classic.

By @ericgarcy
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7/10
Better when marketing is avoided
23 January 2016
There's a few things I feel like I have to say before this review. I always try to be objective when I watch a movie, form my own opinion, before subjecting myself to others' opinion. But with this movie, way back when it was under in its casting stage, I wanted Tatiana Maslany to play Sarah Connor. And then I heard these mixed to negative reviews on the film so I pushed it off because I didn't want to waste my time on it.

I saw today turns out it's not half as bad as I thought it would be. I liked the story, the action looked good, and there were enough questions left unanswered for me to be interested in a sequel. My only problem with the film was that the marketing ruined the film, it revealed way too much, and I probably wouldn't have liked the movie if I had seen it while the Marketing was on. Because it's only when I saw the movie, I remembered seeing some key scenes in the trailers and TV Spots.

By @ericgarcy
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6/10
Memorable performances
20 January 2016
Going in I only new three things about the cast and crew, Les Miserables and The King's Speech Tom Hooper directed it, and that Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander starred in it. So imagine my surprise when I saw the supporting cast, Ben Whishaw that I've loved for a decade now, and crazy talented Matthias Schoenaerts.

The Danish Girl is in the Zeitgeist. The transgender community have been making the news these days and this film tackling this subject matter at a time - the 1930s - when it was even less accepted.

The film got to me, it made me incredibly uncomfortable, I shuddered and even put my sweater's hoodie on, because I couldn't imagine that a man would even consider or dare to go out dressed as woman in the late 1930s no less. It took courage, and for two hours I was scared for Lili's life. It goes to show the realism that exudes from the screen. Like I've also said in my trailer review the movie has a weight to it, it's emotionally charged, and is a great journey to embark on. Tom Hooper tackled the story brilliantly by infusing an elusive shift to the way he filmed Einar and Lili. Some of the shots and cinematography were beautiful and felt very intimate.

The intimacy and bubble like atmosphere of the film is accentuated by the chemistry Vikander and Redmayne have. I never had a doubt that Redmayne could do it, his performances are usually intricate and riddled with subtleties, so it was a pleasure to see in The Danish Girl. But The reel surprise for me was Alicia Vikander, who completely stole the show. She one upped Redmayne's incredible performance and made the story her own. It's Gerda's story and it's a beautiful one. The performances are completed with memorable appearances by Ben Whishaw and Matthias Schoenaerts, who are great, and also Amber Heard who I didn't recognize but liked in this role.

The Danish Girl is a threat, solid performances, nicely directed but it might not be for everybody.

By @ericgarcy
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7/10
The deparment of denfense new add campaign
17 January 2016
I was engaged in the story throughout the film. Chris and how Bradley Cooper portrayed him fascinated me. His resolve and determination were palpable. The subtle shift in his behavior after each tours were obvious to me - which technically does not make them subtle. Then at the end we finally have a glimpse of the cowboy we first met, while at the same time see that he was changed.

But I wasn't as emotionally invested in the film as I thought I'd be. Probably because the movie has a tendency to look like an add campaign for the U.S. Military. It's not promoting war or anything but it kind of looks like a nicely directed action-based commercial. Despite the intensity, the violence, and the drama in some scenes it's the archive footage that got to me. It took me by surprised and I shed a few tears.

American Sniper is a war epic drama that entertains but lacks subtlety. A good movie that you'll probably not going to watch again whether you like or not.

@ericgarcy
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Sicario (2015)
8/10
A tension filled movie with low replay value
17 January 2016
The first thing that struck me with this movie is the score. It draws you in and put you in the mood of the scene that's before you. The score helps to set the tone and it's tense. You can feel the tension in the film but there's also something looming on the edges that you won't be able to get to for the better part of the movie. It can be frustrating but if you're like me, it's the best part of the movie because you're trying to figure out what's really going on.

The film is beautiful in its gore, some scenes are bloody, gritty and very graphic, but they're so masterfully directed that they feel natural. So natural indeed that Sicario also shows that life continues even in the midst of horror, destruction, and violence.

The tension never lets up, and it's mostly due to the charismatic performances in this film. Benecio Del Toro completely steals the movie, he is mysterious, charismatic, and menacing in this movie. There's a glimpse of a softer side to his character that only accentuates the more chilling parts of him. Emily Blunt is also very convincing in this film, she's as lost as the viewers are but her character hangs on and tries to piece together the puzzle that is laid out in front of her. As for Josh Brolin his presence on screen and performance complement Del Toro's.

Sicario a tension filled movie suffers from the trifecta of having a solid script by Taylor Sheridan, incredible performances by the main and supporting cast, and a great execution by Villeneuve. Sicario is the kind of movie you watch after a palate-cleanser type of film.

By @ericgarcy
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5/10
It's a palate cleanser movie
13 January 2016
Home Sweet Hell is a strange but charming movie. I bet it read fantastic but it had some serious pace issues. They may have taken the time to set it up before the "action" began but this 90min movie felt like 120min. It is slooow but not slow enough to loose your mild interest in the movie. To put it nicely Katherine Heigl is stiff, she basically mailed it in. The rest of the cast is....meh, and the characters are just a collage of clichés. Home Sweet Hell definitely has its moments but it doesn't make a good movie. It's mildly entertaining, a good palate cleanser before diving into a riveting story.
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Winter's Bone (2010)
8/10
A gripping documentary-like movie
7 January 2016
Five years ago, when the movie came out, I elected not to watch the film. Despite the buzz and the accolades the trailer seemed far too depressing for me at the time.

My God this movie is no joke, it's the epitome of determination, relentless will, and that's what I loved about it. Ree has her back against the wall but it never shows. No matter what she pushes back and never backs down. It's a plain documentary-like film that draws you in, it feels real because the performances are excellent, natural even. Ree is easy to relate to and to understand, she's though and unyielding. I don't want to say stubborn because anyone in her shoes can't be stubborn, they're just doing what needs to be done. There's an amazing line in the film that any invested viewer would have come up with long before the words are spoken because it's simply true. "But I can't forever carry them kids and my mom, not without that house."

You know a movie is good when you talk more about the characters than the actors.

By @wornoutspines
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5/10
Great idea poor execution
23 December 2015
Max Landis, who wrote chronicles, pens yet another interesting concept, a long-haired stoner living in the middle of nowhere turns out to be a sleeper agent for the CIA but he just doesn't know it. Staring the Twilight chick (Kristen Stewart), and the Facebook guy (Jesse Einsenberg), American Ultra was directed by Project X director Nima Nourizadeh.

I put it on knowing that it wasn't high art so I put my skepticism aside and tried to enjoy the movie. I just didn't. American Ultra doesn't take itself seriously and that's one of the redeeming thing about the film. The film got too weird too quickly for me but then again I'm no stoner, I'm probably not in the target demo. I lost interest after the first 30 minutes. The only thing that kept me watching was the acting, Jesse Eisenberg's quirky blend of acting was on point, he's convincing as a stoner and scary good in the action scenes. Kristen Stewart is also very good in the film and did not mailed in like we've seen her do it in the pass ("You nicknamed my daughter after the Lochness monster!" LMAO).

So American Ultra is a Pineapple Express type of film but less fun, good action, and a lot more awkward. to me it's a case of: Great idea poor execution.

@wornoutspines
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Crimson Peak (2015)
7/10
A visual craftsman at his best
15 October 2015
Crimson Peak is a visually stunning film with a solid-ish story. Going in, I thought it was an horror movie and I was setting myself up to hate, because I don't like horror movies. But Crimson Peak is, like Guillermo Del Toro said it himself it's not a ghost story but a story with ghost in it. The film is frightening but almost comical in its fright. It's a beautiful Gothic romance with stunning set pieces, good performances, and a captivating score. If you put all of that aside the plot is a bit blah. And there was that one scene that got me going "I know adrenaline can do wonders but come on!"

Crimson Peak is a stunning Gothic romance, with a few ghosts in it, that might scare the wimpiest of you but it's still worth your time for the cinematic experience that it is.

By @wornoutspines
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Ashby (2015)
6/10
Interesting attempt
26 September 2015
As coming of age stories go, Ashby is a nice change from what we're used to because it parallels - or at least try - Ed's journey into adulthood and Ashby's coming to terms with his impending death. The film has nice moments. The story has heart, humor, and decent performances, but it lacks characters development. I mean the title character, Ashby, was not fully develop. It really felt like there was more to be said about him. The female characters were cruelly undeserved, they had their moments but it mostly felt like they were optional or added in at the last minute.

To sum it up Ashby was a bit stop and go, probably showcasing McNamara's shortcomings as a director, but the cast sort of makes up for it, which makes a pleasant movie to watch. It's fun, light hearted, quirky, and brutally honest at times.

By wornoutspines
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7/10
It may not be original but it's fun
17 September 2015
The film sounds like a plot that you've heard before but it embraces it and works. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a bit of a surprise for me because I didn't expect it to be as good. The pace of the movie is slow but it's oddly captivating. It doesn't get boring or drop at any point, the film is funny, sexy, and witty. The innuendos in the dialogues are brilliant and priceless, some of them are so subtle that they could go unnoticed. The movie obviously has a James Bond feel to it but it's much more relaxed and simple, while still being fun and entertaining to watch. The cast and Guy Ritchie's brand of directing is probably what makes it work.

by @wornoutspines.
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4/10
Attack on descent movie making
12 September 2015
For a 90min film it felt like a 120min, that's how slow the pace was at time, but when it picked up the action was OK and somewhat engaging despite the slasher-like violence. I was surprise that I got teary-eyed over the Eren-Armin scene because this is not a particularly good movie. It felt more like a parody than a serious film. There was no real connection with and between the characters so I didn't really cared about what happened to them.

The good thing that will come out of this experience is that I am now more than ever interested in the Manga. Watching the film I could tell that the manga was a hell of a lot better.

@wornoutspines
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The Whispers (2015)
7/10
An old recipe that still works?
31 August 2015
The show started innocently, everything seemed normal but then slowly the mystery creeps in and as it does you're getting sucked into the story. The Whispers is definitely not the most original show this year but it is a good one. You sort of know where it goes but you also wanna see how it plays out because the characters are somewhat interesting and the storytelling is satisfying. The history between the Benningans and Lawrences made it a little more interesting because as a viewer you know that it will hinder the progress of the investigation, which is frustrating, but at the same time you know that it's human nature.

The children are the great and I mean the characters as well as the actors. They're innocent and creepy as hell at the same time and not once did they felt like stupid kids for listening to a voice in their head. The Whispers is quite the entertaining show despite using an old formula that we've seen and revisited again and again. I was on a sort of a sugar high as I watched the last seven episodes in one go.

@wornoutspines
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Final Girl (2015)
4/10
A watchable student movie.
16 August 2015
There's no real set up, the trailer basically summed up the movie. You understand the relationship between the characters but beyond that you don't know much about them. It's nicely executed and overall the movie is watchable but it feels more like a student project with an interesting cast than anything else.

Final Girl is not thrilling or frightening, particularly if you've seen the trailer. The good thing about it is the pace, it has a nice pace but not a very exciting one. So if you have 90 minutes to kill why not watch this movie.

@wornoutspines
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9/10
A wonderful surprise, one of the best this year!
16 August 2015
This movie came onto my radar because of the talent involved, I didn't really know what to expect, so I blindly went to see it.

From the start this film pulls you in and pull on your heart- strings. Granted, I was jet-lagged when I saw it, which probably explained why I was teary-eyed for much of the film. The movie, is very much a character film. It tackles every aspect of Nathan's life and that of the people around him. The film manages to be a family drama, a coming of age movie with a dash of romance, and a comedy at the same time. It all seamlessly fit together and keep you captivated.

The cast is out of this world. The group of young actors they chose is simply impressive because they are all so natural that it's easy to believe that they are the characters they're portraying. Asa Butterfield is wickedly talented and morphed into Nathan for the duration of the film.

Morgan Matthews' background in documentary film-making has a huge impact on how realistic and natural the film feels. The film really shows a wide spectrum of teenagers, among the socially awkward, quirky, math prodigy children. He conveys a strong message by showcasing these kids as they are and not falling into common stereotypes.

A Brilliant Young Mind is a gem that I would recommend to every one. I LOVED this film, it's touching and amazingly well made.

@Wornoutspines
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8/10
The best one so far?
16 August 2015
In the last 10 years, I have sit through 4 of the Mission Impossible films and I loved them. Growing up Tom Cruise was The MI guy for me, that's how I knew him before anything else. So when MI:5 was announced I was very excited and I wanted to go back to all of them starting from MI: Ghost Protocol but doing that I realized that these movies were not memorable. I mean, I remembered how they made me feel but I hardly remembered any specifics about the movies. The other crazy thing was that some of them - MI:2 & MI:1 - didn't really hold up, that's when I started to get a bit worried about Rogue Nation.

The storyline did little to subside my worries but I was mostly in, and what a surprise it was. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, is mind-blowing, action packed, and gripping to the end. It managed to make me reevaluating the situation the whole way through. Nothing was exactly as they seemed or as I predicted, no matter how small it was there was always some details that I didn't see coming. I sometime watch movies with a clear ideas of what's coming and that doesn't stop me from enjoying these films - if the execution and the acting is solid - but in this case I only roughly guessed how things would play out. So there was room for surprises and I liked that.

Speaking about surprises, Sean Harris was pretty good in the movie, I'm not saying that I'm shocked, but I was surprised to see him in a role like this and I'm glad he pulled it off. It's almost the same thing with Alec Baldwin, they managed to make his role a little bit more interesting than the stereotypical type these characters usually are. But the biggest surprise is Rebecca Ferguson, I still can't believe that it's the same woman from the mini-series The White Queen. She's fascinating and mysterious in the movie, not that the latest MI films have a bad track record with female leads but this one is probably the best out of all of them.

MI: Rogue nation was a fun, entertaining movie going experience.

@wornoutspines
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4/10
The frustrating one
11 August 2015
I heard the rumors and read the reviews about this film but it only made me want to see it for myself. I know, I'm a bit of a masochist. Turns out Fox's new Fantastic Four is incredibly frustrating.

The movie had a lot of things going for it. The cast is incredible, they might not have been the ones I would have pictures in these roles, but they are still talented and interesting actors. The way they approached the characters and their relationships was also interesting and it sort of made sense to me. The fact that they were all outsiders in their own way, them being wickedly smart and kind of awkward was an idea that I could have lived with. There's also the "scaryish" elements in the movie that I liked. It felt like they were monsters, they were strange, and all of these ideas were potentially good ones but the execution was botched.

The pace was so F-ing slow for two third of the movie, and once there's a little bit of action it ends. At times it was obvious that some scenes were cut short, some bits of dialogues annoyed the hell out me. Fox had all of the right ingredients to make an awesome movie but they sorely missed. If we look at the bright, among other things, you can use this movie showcase the importance of editing.

@wornoutspines
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Admission (2013)
6/10
A quirky little film with a lot of charm and a British feel to it
2 July 2015
Tina Fey's character Portia is very interesting, her life is monotonous and predictable, she's the opposite of her mom, who is brilliantly played by Lily Tomlin. Portia is almost obsessed by the idea of not turning into her free spirited mother, so she has one of those boring, perfectly controlled life, and it made for an interesting journey when everything started to crumble.

The movie is not as predictive as I expected it to be. It's not the best movie ever but it has its charms, and feels very realistic at times. Obviously with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd there is some comic relief but giving the premise it would have been foolish to expect a full on comedy - that would have been a mistake - so the movie is a little bit of both a drama and a comedy with some romance thrown into it. It has a British feel to it but giving that it's an American film it seems a bit off.

Admission is a quirky little film with a lot of charms and a British flair about it. I enjoyed it.

Written By @wornoutspines
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8/10
Mesmerizing and captivating movie
1 July 2015
The simplicity behind the story is almost laughable, it's been done, and it's déjà-vu but The Great Gatsby plays its cards right. It's starts with the execution, the directing, the photography and the acting is impressive. You can see Baz Luhrmann's stamp throughout the film, it's colorful, loud, and a bit in your face but it works because it fits Nick (Tobey Maguire)'s point of view. Nick's the one telling the story, so the excess, the sensory overload, the overwhelming aspect of the fast life of the roaring 20s New York is exactly how a guy like Nick would experience it.

The director knows music and how to use it, and did an interesting job with it. The music of the past and the present are intertwined and it works. The familiarity of the present song are there but the 1920s beats takes you back and deeper into that lavish world.

The film is in its core a human story, with romance, drama, and a hint of mystery. The direction captures the themes and morals of the story really well but the actors' performances bring it home. Tobey Maguire's voice over and performance is nuanced, he's an observer and a participant at the same time in the film. Leonardo DiCaprio is at the peak of his powers, in full command of his acting abilities, he's brilliant in this film. Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, and Isla Fisher should be mentioned because they were very good. Carey Mulligan is the one I wasn't completely sold on the first time around - she looked too young - but watching it again I get it and understand how she could have been cast in this film.

The Great Gatsby is entertaining and quite captivating, Baz Luhrmann knows how to shoot grand epic love stories.

Written by @wornoutspines
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7/10
When started to go awry
24 June 2015
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is probably still my favorite out of the Jurassic Park film series. It's far from perfect but it's still nerve-racking. Back in the day it stressed me out to watch the poor choices these people were making. It would have been completely unbearable to watch if it wasn't for Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). He was and still is the only one that kind of make sense, his cynicism, common sense, and sarcasm contributed to stop this movie becoming a total train-wreck. He was the character the audience could relate to and also the comic relief of the film. I will admit that sometimes he was borderline annoying but he was saying what we were all thinking watching the film.

Unlike the first one it doesn't rely so much on our fear of the unseen. We see a lot of the dinosaurs, they are no longer lurking in bushes off-camera, they are front and center. The special effects looks good but we might have seen too much of them. They could have left a few things to the imagination, it would have been much scarier that way.

This sequel, like many, is riddled with flaws, and I'm only going to name a few. The tiny dinosaurs - the compsognathuses -, they started out strong in the amazing opening scene but then *spoilers* their victim survived so how the F*** can they later on kill a full grown man that fast? To this day it pisses me off, she should have died. It wouldn't have been pretty but it would have made me take them seriously.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park flaws are big but easy to overlook because the film is entertaining. In fact, the big chunk that I didn't like, I sort of disregarded it; as if it was not in this movie. I blocked out the ending completely.

Written by @wornoutspines
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