Reviews written by registered user
|59 reviews in total|
Call me old fashioned but I just didn't get the hype surrounding
Guardians of the Galaxy. It took me several times to actually get
through it and while I appreciate a good space adventure and fantasy
movie it just didn't grab me like it grabbed a lot of people.
Praise to the artists who brought it to life and judging by the credits there were a lot of them but either it's the wrong time for me or I am just CGI'd out at this point. It took me out of the movie and with all the superhero movies hitting screens, this one just seemed pretty standard to me.
Some good action scenes, some funny characters and moments but nothing overtly memorable here with the exception of the 80's soundtrack. It's a popcorn movie - the cast did a good job with everything they had and that's all you can ask for. I just wasn't feeling it through Guardians of the Galaxy.
The sequel to Independence Day delivers visually but story or
characters fall flat in what seems like a very rushed and predictable
20 years have passed since the invasion of earth and the human race has been preparing for another ever since using the same alien technology which was used against them to their advantage. But our enemies have also had twenty years to rethink their strategy. Its time for Round 2.
The first film was big for it's time, the shot of the White House being decimated is iconic, and the movie launched Will Smith's career. It was far from a classic in the genre but it was a lot of fun because of Will Smith's character had attitude. "Welcome to Earth!" - Bam! In the sequel there is no Will Smith, there is nothing like him. We get his all-American son all grown up from the first movie with most of the cast (who didn't die) returning for smaller roles to make way for the new, younger and sexier cast who are all good enough in their roles but they needed more moments for me to warm to them which is part of the movie's problem - it all seems way too rushed! The comedy in this film made the whole affair seem a lot more lighthearted than it should have and while the original had it's light moments, one of the characters was simply there to provide comic relief and could have easily been written out to make way for more character care.
The sequel has some good ideas such as humankind's use of the technology they have received at the hands of the invaders. It further adds to the invaders plans and explains more of their history but it's not fleshed out enough and borrows too much from another certain Alien franchise (with a Queen) which really rubbed me the wrong way. It just wasn't very original in the end.
All in all, its a tall task to be completely original. We have seen the destruction of cities so many times now but I thought this could have been a lot better. It leaves the door way, way open for a sequel. The ending practically guarantee's it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a long anticipated sequel and return to
a galaxy far, far away. Return of the Jedi (1983) being the last
installment, J.J Abrams takes the reigns as director and services the
fans well with a generous dose of nostalgia. There are some cliché or
corn-ball moments but there is plenty of new here to be mixed in with
the old and it pays off greatly and only left me wanting more.
Oscaar Isaac plays Poe Dameron, the Resistance's star pilot who is sent on a secret mission while newcomer Daisy Ridley plays Rey - a lonely, self-sufficient scavenger living on the planet, Jakku. She encounters a disillusioned storm-trooper Finn, who has 'nothing to fight for'. Together, along with a mysterious new droid BB-8 embarks on a 'classified' mission to return the droid to the Resistance in the fight against the second coming of the Galactic Empire - The First Order and their new face of evil Kylo-Ren, played by Adam Driver.
A strong script from Empire scribe Laurence Kasdan, J.J Abrams (and Michael Arndt) with an interesting premise concerning our beloved hero Luke Skywalker. The film lets the new cast carry the load early on and happy to say the new cast of heroes and villains does an outstanding job carrying the first act. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Isaac and Driver are all interesting characters in their own right who make them their own. The dynamic and energy between Rey and Finn is kinetic with great dialogue and banter while the atmosphere, sets and locations and craft which has obviously gone into this film is paramount. A far cry from the much-maligned sequels, the realism and grit really shows on screen making everything just that much more authentic in this used galaxy. Blood, sweat, and rust it's back!
The action scenes are top-notch, the dogfights pitting old favorites X-Wing verses Tie Fighters are some of the the best in the franchise yet and the score by legendary John Williams probably isn't his finest work but never fails to amp you up and get the blood pumping though it was the return of Han Solo and Chewbacca which got me feeling emotional. Harrison Ford hasn't missed a step and absolutely owns it. Carrie Fisher returns as Leia, Hamill as Luke, the droids are back in their respective roles and for some moments it's just like old times, only not quite.
Balancing between new and old is tough and there is just no pleasing some expectations while others just have a negative agenda, especially when it comes to the massive juggernaut that is Star Wars. If I had one nit-pick it was the seeming ease of formulating a plan of attack on the First Order in the final act but it's all very minor in the scheme of things. If you weren't into this movie I feel sorry for you.
I see the haters posting their 1/10 ratings which have been hardly objective or fair. J.J Abrams has an impossible task living up to the original classics but he managed to tick all the right boxes for me - and by the sounds of it lots of others in this resounding success of a movie.
He has brought the spirit, emotion and feeling back to the galaxy which had been sorely missing in the prequels. The argument that The Force Awakens is a blatant rehash of A New Hope is weak. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that there are obvious parallels, beats and similarities. A message in a droid. A desert planet character about to embark on their greatest adventure ala Anakin and Luke. A cantina or bar with a band, a 'death star' type weapon with a trench, a villain in a black mask. The same repetition can be said for James Cameron's Aliens (1986) which is considered one of the greatest sequels of all-time - and rightfully so. Let's take a quick look at Aliens spoilers ahead for that movie. We revisit the downed derelict ship from the first movie and a colonist gets attacked by a face-hugger to open things just like the first movie when a crewmember does. We have another artificial human character/ corporate crony working for the evil company with questionable motives. The crew from the first is replaced by marines who are introduced all waking up from a cryogenic sleep just like the first movie. There is a detonation finale against the clock with the same voiced countdown, complete with the rescue of a 'smaller' character. The Alien eventually stows away on the ship again and is subsequently blown out of an airlock by the main character (again) and the movie ends the same way, with the main character going into a cryogenic sleep.
The Force Awakens was an ode to the fans who grew up with the originals, it's a story for a new generation and as promised in the opening line is going to 'begin to make things right'.
This was a big win for Disney and Star Wars fans. The new characters are truly memorable and likable. They give it their all and the story itself is an emotional roller-coaster, full of laughs and tears too for those whole hold dear the originals. The climax of the film left me with chills, especially the final shot. It was probably the most powerful moment for me being such a fan of the original trilogy and only serves the anticipation of what lies ahead.
In Bone Tomahawk, four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group
of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers. A creative script with
well-drawn out characters who are all interesting in their own right.
It's a slow burn story, but its original and it pays off in drama and shocks. The cave-dwellers, the antagonists of this piece aren't seen in their entirety until the third act and they certainly don't disappoint when the blood begins to run. Be warned, this movie is not for the squeamish and doesn't shy away from the gore once the frenzy begins. Patrick Wilson plays the determined Arthur O'Dwyer whose beautiful wife (played by the lovely Lili Simmons from the TV Series, Banshee) has been captured by the mysterious cave-dwellers. Nothing will stand in Mr. O'Dwyers way of him seeing his wife again, not even his broken leg.
Matthew Fox plays John Brooder. A strange, well-spoken gentleman with a dark side --and a story as to how he got it while Richard Jenkins plays the sentimental and babbling old timer, Chicaro. A war veteran and widow who has lived through it all. Sympathetically it seems he has been given the job of deputy of the town of 'Bright Hope' while Kurt Russell masterfully plays his boss, the sheriff and honorable lawman, Franklin Hunt who feels obliged to help husband Arthur O'Dwyer get his wife back.
I was completely shocked to realize that this was a low-budget indie movie (1.8 million) because it's one of the best movies of 2015, and Kurt Russell's best movie of the year. Yes, I said it - Bone Tomahawk is better than the much-hyped 'The Hateful Eight' movie. But being such a 'small movie' in comparison it hasn't gotten the attention it has deserved which is a real shame because this one has cult-following all over it.
I can honestly say this because it doesn't happen often. I had no expectations or hype going into this one and was blown away by most, if not all of it. A great surprise and a great movie with a cast of interesting, well-developed and rounded out characters. Awesome movie and the best western of 2015!
A young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a competition run by Nathan
(Oscar Isaac), a reclusive CEO of the world's largest internet company.
His prize, to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in artificial
intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a stunning female A.I
called Ava (Alicia Vikander).
Ex Machina is a brilliant, through provoking science-fiction thriller with memorable characters and exceptional performances by all. It's a somewhat slow burn but with such beautiful cinematography, locations and intelligent writing Ex Machina excels in keeping you guessing, and had me for the entire duration.
One of the most intelligent but low-key science fictions in years, it's hard to fault anything here. If only it could have gone for longer.
Dredd (2012) is not to be confused with much maligned Sylvester
Stallone film (from 1995) is an unrelenting, faithful and exciting
science fiction actioner complete with a great cast of formidable
villains and interesting characters.
Karl Urban assumes the titular role of title role of (Judge) Dredd. A growling, humorless, pretty-much anti-character whose only three directives are judge, jury and executioner. By saying he is an anti- character isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a completely faithful adaptation from the 2000AD comic books. He doesn't grow through the story, or have a personal life or any emotional arc to speak of. Just a black and white sense of duty and devotion to everything serving the almighty law. It's what he was built for, and the only thing holding civilization together.
Olivia Thirby plays Judge Cassandra Andersen who is the opposite of Dredd and his new rookie sidekick on her first day of the job and her official evaluation. Its sink or swim for her and she's in way over her head it seems but has a few tricks up her sleeve too. She plays the yin to Dredd's yang, a more human and feeling character which is exactly what's needed to balance out our by the book hero.
Lena Headey plays the Ma-Ma. A former prostitute turned brutal drug- lord and the main villain.
The future sees earth as a dystopian wasteland called 'Cursed Earth'. On the east coast lies Mega-City One, a violent metropolis and one of the last remaining cities left. To combat the growing rate of violence and despair the only force for order are the Judges, who act as judge, jury and executioner.
The story revolves around the Peach Trees, just one of the 200- storey slum towers which make up Mega-City One. Three drug dealers are executed, instilled with a new drug called 'Slo-Mo'. Both Dredd and Andersen are sent into investigate and all hell breaks loose. There are so many stories that can be told in the Judge Dredd universe just like Peach Trees being just one slum-tower of many which makes up Mega-City One - it was a great starting point. The story is very well-executed on a budget of only 45 million. The action is top-notch and the filmmakers didn't shy away from the gore and instead focused on a heavy old-school action movie instead of a kid-friendly affair for a change - a brave choice. Unfortunately this could have been where the filmmakers went wrong by not appealing to that larger market because the advertising for this movie was non-existent, hurting the chances for a sequel which is a massive shame.
The movie has so much potential as an appealing franchise. I loved the world created here as said this is just one of the stories inside the metropolis of Mega-City One and I know I am not alone in wanting more. I personally loved this movie and you've got to admire the effort from the designs, characters and action. A completely, unexpected, gem deserving of cult status. Hoping for more!
Forgive me. I am a massive Terminator fan but I was one of the few
which preferred Salvation (2009) over Terminator 3 (2003) because it
was a serious movie which tried to take the franchise in a different
direction. It wasn't a rehash or running gag like Terminator 3 and
while it wasn't successful or great for that matter at least James
Cameron's original material was respected, and not breezed over with a
simple 'Judgment Day is inevitable line', contradicting everything
which came before without any further explanation.
Terminator Genisys a movie with big ideas. It respects the originals yet somehow turns them on their head and that's the hook - resetting the future and the franchise. The movie does its best to early invoke the nostalgia of the first two installments and the fight scene in 1984 between both Schwarzenegger's was a fantastic way to go and my favorite scene by far. The special effects team did an outstanding job which should be commended because the scene really had me in the mood. The timeline being flipped and the future battle scene at the beginning was a perfect introduction and it looked like we were back in James Cameron's apocalyptic future. Thins started out really promising but
It was really apparent that the casting of a clean-cut Jai Courtney for the pivotal role of Kyle Reese was a mistake. His performance and delivery was lacking on every level which hurt the experience. I really wish he'd have reached down deeper for this character and taken his cues from Michael Beihn's performance. I guess it's unfair to blame it all on him as a performer when the material and character development simply wasn't there. The character this time around did seem reduced to one-liners, and forgettable banter between the leads which was a real shame. You just can't help but compare to what came before.
Michael Beihn's portrayal of Kyle Reese was classic. A battle-weary soldier sent from the future to protect the only woman he's ever loved. He was raw, gritty and emotional. That character was scarred, not just his body but his mind. He was vulnerable and we the audience felt that. Sarah Connor felt that and it's why they connected on such an emotional level.
Emilia Clarke on the other hand (as Sarah Connor) was good casting. She was solid and really looks like a young Linda Hamilton which helped her case but the relationship between her and Kyle could have been fleshed out more and again pales in comparison to what came before and that's always going to be the problem here. The characters needed to be fleshed out more.
No such emotion this time around and no 'great love' to speak of between the two which again, is a real shame. The first two movies strived for something deeper and more meaningful, they had a human element but it's a new day, we have a new director, writers and a new timeline. The franchise has become in essence is a parody of itself to appease the multiplex hoards, evidenced by the watered- down content the amount of kids in my showing.
Schwarzenegger has the role down and no matter what he is the Terminator but I'm just not a fan of a cornball Terminator by any means. The atrocious Terminator 3 overdid it to the point I could never watch it again and that's the honest truth. I thought there was too much humor here too but in saying that without his presence to carry the new actors the movie wouldn't have held my interest as long as it did. He carries the load here. "Old, but not obsolete" he says. He may have a point.
Unfortunately it's when the real chase begins and the big twist is revealed, and we jump decades in time the story falls apart and doesn't make a whole lot of sense when thought through to conclusion. If Sarah and Kyle don't do the deed in 1984 as in the original timeline doesn't this essentially wipe out the existence of the messiah John Connor? Without John Connor doesn't this all seem pointless? Terminator Genisys, again, a movie big on ideas and action - but little on logic and execution.
For the record I liked the big twist /reveal. I thought it was a risky but rewarding move and thought it would have been a nice surprise and very impactful to the film but the bad marketing of this film ruined it for me in one of the earlier trailers and the rest was completely predictable. Nobody felt in danger here and for the end of the world the drama is just too 'lite'.
While great action is the hallmark of these films so are the stakes and it became apparent once the story unfolded that it never really had anything new to offer. It's all been done before, only better.
The story truly ended with Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. The first two are classics and nothing can take away from them. Anything coming after is different timeline of whatnot. I have the two classics in my collection and I'll cherish them forever.
Watchable but not memorable.
Automata' (2014) is a critically underrated and atmospheric science-
fiction thriller in the same vein as 'I Robot' and 'Blade Runner'. It
boasts excellent visual effects, as well as an engaging and intelligent
story. While it borrows from other science fiction it does so
successfully, especially the atmospheric and decaying world we're
thrusts into from the beginning.
The story centers around Antonio Banderas's character, Jacq Vaucan - a world-weary insurance agent for a robotics corporation whose job is to investigate robots violating their protocols which are one: harming any form of life, and two: they can neither repair themselves nor alter another robot in any fashion. On the trail of a robot Vaucan discovers a robot stealing parts in an apparent attempt to alter itself. This leads him to the clock master - a fixer who may have just succeeded the second protocol.
Automata is a throwback to thoughtful science fiction. It's not for the feint of heart but if you're engaged and buy into the world and the premise then you'll be rewarded. The film surprised me in a lot of ways - especially for such a relatively small budget but imagery is fantastic and the effects are mostly practical, and built with little computer generated imagery save for some backgrounds and action scenes which make it that much more realistic.
It's slower and probably has less action but if we're comparing it to what it will inevitably be compared to, 'I Robot', Automata is a better movie. More thoughtful, grittier and executed a whole lot better visually. It's not a perfect flick by any means but it's worth watching and deciding for yourself.
X-Men Days of Future Past is an epic, and emotional adventure filmed
with drama and with memorable performances all around, and from so many
characters too. When hearing about the scope of the plot I was a little
hesitant, because the introduction of mutant after mutant didn't work
so well in cases such as X-Men 3: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins:
Wolverine which were jam-packed with action but little to no character
development or weight behind it, it felt rushed and artificial.
But the returning director of X-Men and X2, Bryan Singer doesn't overdo it at all. The characters all have a role to play with the leads going to Wolverine (Jackman) and Xavier (McAvoy). This is not an action movie by any means. But when there is action it's really heavy just like the drama - everything in this movie is heavy and epic. The end of the world, both mutant and humankind is what's at stake here and the future is a horrible, horrible nightmare that could very well become reality if a grief-stricken, young Professor Xavier cannot find hope and pull himself together in time.
Xavier having to find himself, with the help of his older-self (Stewart) as seen in the trailers was a touch of brilliance. An epic scene which sent chills up my body. This is why we go to the movies for this kind of roller-coaster experience.
Robocop (2014) had some interesting ideas behind it but it's hard to
keep the comparisons to the original version out of mind especially
when the original is far superior and that's ultimately the problem
with the new Robocop, not enough new ideas to warrant the remake.
The bad guys aren't as memorable or menacing. A real let down, there. The action isn't as heavy or gore-filled but it's all very contemporary and fast-paced with lots of explosions, fancy gadgets and CGI which keeps it from being boring by any means. The supporting cast in Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson and Michael Keaton are all very good while the younger and main cast just seem to fall flat and just seem to be running through the motions of a very familiar story.
Overall, it had its moments. A well-executed, but by the numbers action movie but ultimately nothing special or memorable here to rave about. Again hard not to compare to the original which has a ton of re-watch value, whereas Robocop (2014) doesn't.
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