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They say this blockbuster season was the worst in decade but so far I'm surprised by the quality of films such as the latest X-Men film and this movie. Sure, they won't become classics but they are bonafide blockbusters: 100% epic entertainment from start to finish.
I'm not a Warcraft fan at all. I do play roleplaying games but I found World of Warcraft to be rather mediocre and I was never a fan of strategy games. So I went into this film not being a fan or even very familiar with the Warcraft franchise but still knowing its cultural impact. I can say that I finally understand the obsession of the fans with the lore of Warcraft. It is rather compelling and I'm looking forward to the next film to continue the saga.
Having said that, this film is far from perfect. It is clear they have a lot of great content to work with but somehow it feels half done. Even so, that's still sufficient for a solid score in my opinion. But it feels like the movie could have been better if they had given us a slower introduction to the world and the characters. I only started to care for most of them in the final act of the film.
At the same time I feel the film shouldn't have been longer since I sometimes wasn't fully engaged as it was. Characters make or break a film so I don't endorse simply adding more content but if the film had add 30-45 minutes to better flesh out the characters and story then it would have made for a better film. Particularly the opening felt rushed and was uneasy for me as someone who was new to the franchise.
I advice the creators to look at Lord of the Rings (LOTR). The discovery of the orc invasion and the dark magic behind it could have been revealed at a much slower pace similar to the discovery of the ring in LOTR. They would have made me more engaged in both the characters and the story which would have also made me more interested in the action and effects (which remain topnotch by themselves regardless).
In short, this movie showed a lot of potential and I think the sequel can fully realize it. The great thing about the Warcraft franchise is that it appears to deal with generations and the next could focus on the son of the king and the orc chieftan. So the creators have a change to re-introduce the world and the plot line at a better pace and in a more compelling way in their next outing! Looking forward to it!
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Not the best, but still a worthy addition to the saga!
Perhaps it's because I've been told how bad this movie is supposed to be by every review I've read beforehand, but this was a great (action) flick! Granted, it's not the most profound of the X-Men film. But then again, what can you expect from a film with a premise about defeating the ultimate evil? As it turns out, quite a lot actually. It's a bit more than a straight up battle royal. I won't spoil anything here but there are some scenes and lines that really do forward the plot lines of individual characters as well as the overall universe. It's not much but it is presented in such a nice package that it satisfied me (and I definitely don't like dumb action films).
Having said that, the action in this film is superb. It might be that this does overshadow the plot and character development to some extent but I can't fault a film for having amazing battle scenes. I have rarely been blown away by action scenes in an X-men film. But this film definitely upped the bar. And not just by Quicksilver's amazing scene (which blows the previous out of the water).
I feel this film has gotten an undeserved bad reputation. For instance, I recall critics discussing why Apocalypse was underwhelming, in both dialogue and stature. They said it was strange that he could grow tall (as seen in the trailer) but then didn't do this all the time. That is unfair criticism as there is a great explanation for why that occurred only in that particular instance.
The above is just an example but overall I feel the criticism was undeserved. And it may well be that this is to be the final X-men film. If that is the case then this is the perfect ending. This film's plot development does bring the X-men saga full circle. I'm a sucker for a good origin story and this film tells the origin of all parts of the title: both Apocalypse and The X-Men themselves.
Winter's Tale (2014)
Sometimes we need a better explanation than ''Magic''...
From past experiences I knew I should be cautious when it comes to films with a mysterious element to it. The discovery can be good (Donnie Darko), elegant (Unbreakable) or downright terrible (The Forgotten). The worst part is that these films are usually very good during the ride as they build up the tension as the mystery developers. Only to have it shatter in the final act. Naturally the discovery doesn't have to make total sense but on some level it has to be believable.
Winter's Tale seems to want to avoid this issue by making it very clear everything is 'magic' from the get-go. It was obvious from the start that this wasn't going to offer a 'oh wow, I wasn't expecting that' moment. So if you plan to see this film because you're interested in the mystery seen in the trailer: don't.
If you don't mind something that makes just about zero sense and instead wants to be 'magical' then this might be the movie for you. Unfortunately the romance and other relationships in this film aren't entirely convincing. The film moves too fast for that. Nevertheless there are some nice moments. So if you're okay with ''magic'' as the answer to pretty much any question then this could be an enjoyable two hours.
Worthy of being called Indiana Jones 4
After practically being forced by reviews of angry indy fan to not see this movie I finally got a chance to see it on DVD. As a old starwars fan I knew the destruction George Lucas can do (he made me a fan of starwars and took my love for it away as well) to his old franchises.
Luckily Indy 4 isn't as bad as SW 1-3, it actually felt like an indiana jones movie. With SW 1-3 it just didn't have the appropriate vibe. It was just a bunch of uninteresting characters spread across a CGI universe instead of an interesting group traveling together (SW4-6). Indy 4 doesn't make this mistake and it's another oldschool adventure with Henry Jones and a side kick.
None of the new characters were really as bad as they seemed or were made out to be by the reviews I had read. Blanchett makes Spalko interesting enough as the villain and Shia isn't bad as the side kick either. Plus the CGI effects were really put to good use, I had seen clips and it looked bad but apart from one or two scenes it didn't feel like CGI at all.
It's not all good unfortunately. The ending is a bit over the top, it could have been just as good if not better if there was more mystery left. But that's about the only thing where this movie is different then the previous installment.
Of course being worthy of being an indy movie doesn't immediately make it a good movie. But the story and the puzzles were interesting enough and it certainly was better then the temple of doom. So if you liked that one then you'll like this one as well.