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An unexpected surprise. One of the best of 2012 for sure.
This is a superhero movie done right. Film comes out of nowhere and will definitely end up being one of the best of 2012. Great performances. The actor that plays Andrew is one to watch. Extremely relatable kid and if you're gone thru the same thing, the very raw scenes with his abusive father will hit close to home. The CGI is fantastic for a $15M production. A very interesting twist on the superhero genre that is fun for the first half and then becomes very dark with a third act that is so absolutely bonkers, it would Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) proud. For a 80- minute movie they could've took their time and fleshed out some characters a bit more but that's irrelevant. Without question one of the most innovative, entertaining films I've seen in years. Go see it!
Laugh-Riot/Tear-Jerker: One of the year's best films.
They did the impossible. They made me laugh hysterically during a cancer film. The performances are fantastic, especially Gordon-Levitt and Kendrick. If there is any justice, these two will become massive stars with this film. Huston was also marvelous. Seth Rogen played the same character he always has but I didn't mind because his character is a crucial part to what makes this movie work so well.
Everyone gives a honest performance and the situations are genuine. There are some great laughs but there are also some heartbreaking moments. This definitely a movie for our time, and being a twenty-something myself, I connected with any aspects of this film, especially the relationship between Gordon-Levitt and Rogen's characters.
This has been a great year for R-rated comedies and I believe this film is head and shoulders above the rest. It's a laugh-riot and a tear- jerker and it's one of the best movies of 2011. My highest recommendation. Go see this movie.
Wow! What a Surprise! Best Sports Movie since Million Dollar Baby!!!
Just left an early screening from "Warrior" and I hate to use puns but this movie is a First-Round TKO. Yes, the fight scenes are incredible but what really surprised me is how emotionally powerful this story and the performances are.
Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte are spellbinding. There is not a dishonest moment in this movie and that is thanks to their fine work here. You heart breaks for both brothers, you understand what they're fighting for and you want them to win.
It is not a spoiler when I write that, unfortunately, there can only be one winner and it is the final outcome that is truly the most heart-wrenching moment that I have seen in a film in a good long time.
This film deserves any success coming to it, I think it will become a word-of-mouth sleeper hit, once people see what is undoubtedly the best sports movie since Million Dollar Baby. What a surprise! This is a must-see film.
Battle Los Angeles (2011)
Nowhere near as good as the trailer was. Disappointed.
This was not the movie I was expecting to watch. Battle:LA had the best trailer I'd seen in forever and it gave me the impression that this would be a much darker movie, a movie where hope was nonexistent and mankind was doomed. This is nowhere near that kind of movie. Unfortunately, it's just 'Black Hawk Down' but with aliens. Actually, it's pretty much a live-action video game. Think 'Call of Duty'. But with aliens. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad movie (the action scenes were fantastic and Aaron Eckhart was surprisingly good) but this was not to movie that was being sold to me. Pretty disappointed. If you thought the trailer was genius like I did, save your $12 and just re watch the trailer.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Killing Nazis never looked so good.
Yep, Tarantino killed it. Killing Nazis never looked so good. Brad Pitt was fantastic, his best performance ever. Cristoph Waltz' Col. Handa is one of the best villains I've seen in a while, he's such a diabolical a-hole. I <3 Eli Roth as the Bear Jew, beside Pitt he was my favorite basterd. I would give this film 5 stars but there is a scene in a bar in the second act that would've made its point in 5 minutes but instead takes 20 MINUTES. There is no point to this and it felt extremely indulgent. Forget runpee.com, if you need to run out on the theater to pee, wait for this scene. Having said that, the first and last act in the movie are frickin insane! The final half hour is so good it's almost unreal. Overall, if you love action and hates Nazis, WATCH THIS FILM!
The Mist (2007)
An Insanely Underrated Horror Masterpiece. Rent It!!!!!!!!
There are many possibilities why 'The Mist' tanked at the box office. Maybe people didn't want to see a horror film during the holidays. Maybe people didn't think Frank 'Green Mile' Darabont could pull off a horror flick. Maybe everyone just thought it was the sequel to the horrible Tom Welling flick 'The Fog'. Whatever the reason may be, I really hope this film gets the attention it deserves.
The performances are top-notch, surprising for a horror flick. Standouts include Thomas Jane as the protagonist and Marcia Gay Harden as the crazy religious lady. I think Harden deserved an Oscar for that film because she's probably the most hated character in a film in the past year (yes, she's even more evil than Anton Chigurh and Daniel Plainwiew).
The CGI wasn't bad. The tentacle scene reminded me of 'Deep Rising'but it was actually scary. That's the other thing about 'The Mist': when you start watching the film, you don't suspect the horrors that will ensue. At. All. And the most terrifying thing about the film is not the monsters but how the characters act when faced with certain doom.
As for the controversial ending, I gotta say it was rough. It wasn't as off-putting as the final scenes of 'Funny Games' but it was unexpected. And the aftermath was even more unsettling.
Overall, I did not expect to like this film as much as I did. If you want to rent a REALLY good horror film you can't do better than 'The Mist'.
American Gangster (2007)
The Black 'Scarface'
"American Gangster" is without one of the best crime epics I have ever seen. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are phenomenal in this film, and the scenes they have together are electric.
The film is 2 hours and 37 minutes long but I promise you they will go by in a flash. You will be enthralled by the story and the performances. The music is also excellent and Ridley Scott did a fantastic job directing. I genuinely think, a decade from now, this film will join "Scarface", "Godfather", "Goodfellas", and "The Departed" (among others) as one of the great crime films in American cinema. And it sure as hell in a contender for the 2008 Oscars.
I have to give a day to let the movie sink in but right now I genuinely think "AG" is the Best Film of 2007. Totally worth your money. See it now. 9.5/10
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
I'm so glad it didn't suck!!!
Let me just say I had my doubts. The last couple of seasons of 'The Simpsons' have been lackluster at best and I genuinely thought that their chance to make a great Simpsons film passed roughly 10 years ago. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! I am a huge Simpsons nerd and it is my privilege to say that "The Simpsons Movie" belongs in the very small group of classic Simpsons episodes ("Bart the Daredevil", "Mr. Plow", etc.) Very funny and very timely. Great animation and some nice cameos.
Really don't want to give any spoilers so I'll just say if you're a Simpsons fan: you will love this movie. And if you agree that the Simpsons lost their edge, you will be pleasantly surprised as was I. 8.5/10
'Hairspray': I cannot stop smiling!
I have to admit going into 'Hairspray', I thought I was going to get a pretentious schmaltzy formulaic musical with so-so performances....BOY WAS I WRONG! This movie was just a joy to watch. From the catchy opening number ('Good Morning Baltimore') to the sensational finale ('You Can't Stop the Beat', my fav) the film just had a wide-eye innocence not seen in movies for a looooong time.
And all the performances were fantastic. Nikki Blonsky is my new favorite young actress, she really blew it out of the park with the infectious Tracy Turnblad. As for Travolta, I so wanted to hate on his performance but I just can't, his/her Edna Turnblad was hilarious and endearing. Queen Latifah was awesome as usual, and Michelle Pfeiffer was devilishly good as the movie's villain. As for the rest: James Marsden turns in his best performance ever as Corny Collins, Amanda Bynes is lovable and funny as Tracy's BFF Penny, Elijah Kelly was ridiculous as Seaweed Tubbs, and I have to admit even Zac Efron was really good here (FYI, I hate 'High School Musical').Also while I'm not a huge fan of musicals, this is the first one that had me toe-tapping. I've never toe-tapped during a movie!
In conclusion, 'Hairspray' is definitely the biggest surprise of the year. It doesn't matter if your male, female, old, young, black, white, latino, Asian, gay, straight, whatever, I can promise you if you give this film a shot, you'll leave the theater with a big ol' smile on your face.
'Hairspray' is without a doubt one of the best of 2007 so far. 9.5/10
4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Screw the critics, this movie's awesome!
Probably to say F4-2 is better than the original ain't saying much but after the massive disappointments that were 'Spider-Man 3', 'Pirates 3' and 'Shrek 3', 'Silver Surfer' was a pleasant surprise and a great time at the movies.
Personally, the only redeeming grace of the original were the Fantastic Four themselves, particularly Evans and Chiklis. But when you put these likable characters with a much better script and amazing special effects you get the first truly enjoyable film of the summer.
Now it wasn't perfect, I hate Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom. I hated him in the first one, and I hated him even more in the second one. And despite the world coming to an end, there wasn't really any tension throughout the entire movie.
But I have to say that Evans (Torch) and Chiklis (Thing) were fantastic, Alba and Groufford were better than the first, also Kerry Washington (I love her) was pretty good too in this one.
As for the Silver Surfer, I thought the effects were amazing and Fishburne was the perfect choice for him. As for the controversial Galactus (a storm cloud?) I thought it wasn't bad. It looked like a Thundercloud had sex with a Kraken, but it looked good.
All in all, I enjoyed myself. I say: catch a matinée (I did, only $4), turn off your brain and have fun. 7.5/10
Freedom Writers (2007)
A truly moving, insanely under-rated film.
It is a shame many people have not seen this film because they believe its just another "goody-two-shoes-teacher-saves-students" film. They do not know what they're missing. Hillary Swank gives a believable and moving performance as Ms. G, and the entire group of students give extraordinary breakthrough performances (particularly April Hernandez as Eva).
There were even scenes that got me choked up (no spoilers here) including a scene where a student reads his diary out loud and when the students meet Miep Gies (yes that Miep Gies, from 'Anne Frank').
Listen, I seen them all from "Dangerous Minds" to "Coach Carter" and yes my expectations were low because of it and i guess it's probably why I enjoyed it all the more. Give this movie a chance. It's an extraordinary true story and more than worthy of a Movie Rental.
'Freedom Writers' is one of the best films of 2007. See it. 9.5/10
Knocked Up (2007)
Best comedy of the year so far
Saw the film today (came out in PR today, USA tomorrow)and I must say I more than pleased with this film. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl are great together on screen and the film has so many great performances from supporting actors, you would it would overshadow the main actors. They don't.
And they are sooooooooo many laughs in this film, I really think I'll have to see this movie again just to get all of them. If you want to see a really funny, raunchy, and genuinely charming film. See 'Knocked Up'. You will not be disappointed, I guarantee it! I must say this, it is raunchy. It's from Judd Apatow, creator of the '40-Year-Old Virgin', so it that offended you be forewarned.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
The best film of its kind since "Hotel Rwanda"
I saw this film last night On Demand, and I was floored. I heard all the praise and recognition Forest Whitaker for his portrayal of Idi Amin, but honestly all the praise he's received still does not do justice to what I believe is one of the most disturbing portrayals of a human being since Hannibal Lecter in 'Silence of the Lambs'. It's that good. And Whitaker more than deserved his Oscar. I mean Amin (Whitaker) genuinely frightened me. Amazing performance.
As for the other standouts, McAvoy's performance was not bad but I found Kerry Washington fascinating as one of Amin's wives. I was also note, I'm a pretty jaded individual. I've seen a lot s#it in my day, but this film has a lot of graphic violence that got to me, including one scene (no spoiler, but it's in a hospital near the end) that made me genuinely feel nauseous, I cannot remember the last time a movie did that! Also, high marks for the tension-drenched final act that surpassed the so-called "thrillers" Hollywood spits out a regular basis.
I would definitely recommend this film if only for Whitaker's astonishing performance. If you haven't seen this film already. SEE IT.
Shrek the Third (2007)
Third time's definitely a charm!
For me, the first 'Shrek' stands as one of the best animated films ever made. Yeah it was satirical but you connected with the characters. The disappointing 'Shrek 2', on the other hand, felt emotionally detached albeit kinda funny. But I honestly think that Dreamworks is back on the ball with 'Shrek the Third'.
Saw it today first showing at the local multiplex (I live in PR, and films debut a day before US, yey!) and I was pleasantly surprised. My expectations were a little low because of S2 but I have to say I laughed...a lot! Eddie Murphy kinda got annoying after a while but Banderas' still got it as Puss-in-Boots.
Mike Myers did okay, nothing amazing. So did Justin TImberlake as King Arthur (aka Artie). Personally it was Eric Idle who stole the show as the mentally imbalanced Merlin. Also John Cleese has a sidesplitting cameo as the Frog Prince.
I smiled through the entire movie (the Disney parodies) as I did through the other two, but this one had some laugh-out-loud moments the second lacked. And the personal dilemmas of Shrek and Artie were well done.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with 'Shrek the 3rd'. I say it's a couple notches below the original but a lot better than the second one.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
One of the funniest, most heartfelt and flat-out awesome movies in a LONG time!
I am putting this very lightly. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this film. The performances were great (especially from Abigail Breslin), the screenplay was excellent (I think it deserves to win the Oscar) and the directing was superb (Music Video veterans Dayton/Faris' first movie).
What surprised me the most is how sincere the characters are. They're not one-note, and although you might kinda have a feeling what they'll do next, they still manage to surprise and delight you. And there are some truly touching moments in this film that don't come across as schmaltzy (as most movies tend to be) and also has one of the most satisfying endings in recent movie history (and I see a LOT of movies) In summary, 'Little Miss Sunshine' is a wonderful surprise. A black comedy/road movie/"family" film that tugs at your heartstrings without jamming any message down your throat and , most importantly, tickles your funny bone to the point of losing consciousness. The best comedy of 2006.
Okay, first off. I can understand why the F&F series have such low ratings on IMDb. They're basically are dumb-as-dirt action/racing movies whose only sole reason is for all the cool cars and great racing scenes. Being that I wasn't expecting "The Godfather" I had to say I enjoyed both F&F and 2F2F.
But I had NO expectations for 'Tokyo Drift'. I thought they can't get Vin Diesel or Paul Walker for #3 and they want to make more money so let's add some mildly-recognizable teen actors and everything should be okay. Basically that's why the film did only half of the second at the BO.
Even though my expectations were near the floor, I rented it last weekend and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, the world and the racing style of the Third movie is way more interesting than either one or two. I enjoyed the cast of characters in this movie more than the second, all for except the female lead.
And the racing...WOW! If you ain't a racing buff like I ain't, then you'll probably not have heard about drifting. I would never do it but DAYMN! Does it kick ass! The cars were awesome and the action scenes were incredible, especially the Final Racing scene that pairs the hero and the villain against each other on a mountain course that only can be described as s#!t-inducing (maybe it's not a more but it's the best to describe it) The film had its weak spots here and there and the dialouge could be considered groan-inducing, but if you lower your expectations and just go for the racing then I promise you will not be disappointed. 8/10 p.s.: I also like the surprise apparance of one of the Main characters from the first. I won't say who it is, but you'll like it.