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Terrible On Every Level
Like bad action movies of the past with a big budget but no brain, (Can you say Reloaded? Can you say Revolutions? Can you now say Man of Steel?) This movie pretends to be smart but ultimately there was no thought put into it on any level other then how to make an overall socialist agenda look cool. Even the action scenes were on the weak and flimsy side. The entire movie lacks any real energy. Not only that, but there was zero chemistry between the stars--who have no personality or charisma. Yes, even the normally charismatic Matt Damon spends the film in pouty face with nothing deep to do. I know the characters are facing horribly depressing events but those monotone performances, interrupted by bursts of anger, are terrible. Since the movie tries to put some sort of emphasis on a theme, this was a serious problem. This film had some nice effects that quickly became boring as their setup and overuse flowed for far too long. Just like the Matrix sequels, this movie works as eye candy for a combined 15 minutes of its running time. The rest is crap.
To reiterate, what sinks the movie is that it lacks a sense of wonder and never emotionally connects with us. Sure, the CGI isn't bad but that clearly isn't enough in today's digital day and age. YAWN. Elysium is yet another victim of the spend more and think less way to make movies. You couldn't pay me enough to see it twice.
2 Guns (2013)
Terrible On Many Levels
The overall writing and character beats are quite bad and I seriously wonder what Denzel Washington was thinking when he agreed to do this film. This movie perfectly fits the atrocious run that Mark Wahlberg is on adding to the awful string of Contraband, Broken City and Pain & Gain. They took an intriguing concept of two undercover agents working not knowing either is the law and turned it in to a mindless and moronic mess. This thing screams "bad over-the-top film" at every turn. The ending is as dumb as any I've seen in years. The two leads exhibit nothing but crazed luck and a genuine lack of intelligence throughout the entire running time. Two points for Denzel's always glorious screen presence, one point for some good one liners and one point for the Paula Patton nude scene. That's all this movie has to offer.
The Wolverine (2013)
GREAT FILM! This really is the Wolverine film we should have seen long ago.
The Wolverine is a well-written film with superb performances all around. The script is admirable and develops the character in interesting ways, continuing and exploring themes from the X-Men films. Yet, you need not have seen even one of those films to enjoy this experience. And, this movie truly is an experience. It's thrilling and so very well constructed. Also, when it's time for action...Look out!
The Wolverine deepens, darkens and expands upon the character beautifully. Logan is an outsider, has this tendency towards berserker rage, frequently regrets lashing out and is not able to find much peace in the world and now we know why. Being immortal hurts. The character journey and Japanese subtext is simply wonderful.
Iron Man Three (2013)
THE Movie Of The Year! A pure Home Run!
I really did like Iron Man 2 but at times that film felt like they were finding their way and searching for a way to build towards the possibility of Avengers. It worked because they did indeed find their way and however Avengers managed to hit the screen it hit the screen in style! What's great about Iron Man 3 is that there's no looking forward and certainly no feeling of a stumbling or searching plot. The writers on this film made just exactly the right size sandbox for the whole story. Everything seen on screen has some meaning now or at some point later in this story arc. There is no intention to pay anything off down the line in some other film. It's a very well written movie where most everything speaks to an overall theme of some kind. There's also some fine humor mixed in as everyone comes to expect in these Marvel films.
It really is a masterfully crafted film. That's why I'm so impressed with this movie. You know they could have phoned it in after Avengers. Just give Iron Man some Transformers level CGI action-fest and sit back and count the box office receipts. That really is the very last thing they did. Iron Man 3 is a remarkable movie on every level and would actually be a stand out film with none of that great action. Fortunately, Iron Man 3 delivers story first but it's coupled with the best action of the series. Marvel really did learn a lot from Avengers and those other pre-Avengers films. The lessons learned pays off big.
I'm also do glad they didn't get overindulgent. It's back to Tony and Pepper and their supporting cast. That's how it should be and needed to be. This movie is Tony's journey (mentally and physically) from start to finish chasing the bad guy
and what a bad guy it is!!! The Mandarin is exquisite and he draws Tony out to places that he's obviously never been before. They hit a home run at every turn with this one.
TERRIBLE Writing, Plodding and So Very Uninteresting
The first hour of this film plays out like some bad future rendition of a dysfunctional family's vacation home movies. It's a look at a long trip that is dull, plodding and so very uninteresting. Even the last half of the film offers nothing but nonsensical events that I didn't find entertaining in the least. There's no depth to anyone and the story falls as flat as can be. They totally missed the boat in terms of exploring the origin of life or the nature of faith. They mention each but only as a vehicle for them to get to a few lame horror sequences. The visuals are as touted and are quite well done but that in no way can save a story that is this poorly crafted. What exactly was the purpose of Charlize Theron's character and if you cut her character would it change the story even one bit? I'm actually amazed that a director this accomplished would even try and shoot a script that was this bad.
The Illusionist (2006)
I recently watched this remarkable movie on DVD and all I can say is that I want to apologize to everyone involved who was responsible for the making of this movie. To the director, actors, writers and producers... I'm sorry for not having paid to see this at the cinema and for not supporting it sooner. I now own a copy on DVD and I'm recommending it to everyone I know.
The Illusionist is a heady and heartfelt instant classic in my book. It dabbles with mysticism but never loses sight of character. It tells a wonderful story and keeps you guessing throughout. Marking its true greatness is the fact that the director utilizes every bit of the phenomenal acting talent that he assembled. Norton hits a home run, Giamanti is perfect and Biel displays acting chops to go along with her stellar beauty. The Illusionist is what the cinema is for, too bad I missed the opportunity to view it on the big screen.
War of the Worlds (2005)
This was dull and something we've all seen before
War of the Worlds pretends to be smart and compelling but ultimately there was no thought put into the writing. Even the action scenes are on the weak and flimsy side. The entire movie lacks energy and especially lacks heart. Not only that, but there was zero chemistry between the stars--who have no personality or charisma, and there was no character development at all. Since the movie put way too much emphasis on the characters, this was a serious problem. This film had some nice effects that quickly became boring as their setup and overuse flowed for far too long.
Who does this appeal to? Quite a large audience I guess
video game enthusiasts, people who believe that loud music and fireworks serve the good cause of giving the intellect a rest while feeding into their emotional lives. Death and destruction do not an emotional movie make particularly in the absence of a single character that we care about. Don't waste your money here!!!