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The Princess Bride
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Thing (1982)
12 Angry Men
The Shawshank Redemption
The Green Inferno (2013)
Intense, effective, yet I still can't recommend it to anyone
I'll get right to the point. The movie is well done, and highly effective at creating tension and instilling fear in the viewers. Even though there are parts that look and feel fake, even cheesy.
I'm assuming most of you reading this is familiar with Eli Roth, or at least the violent nature of this film. Yes, it's violent. You want carnage, you want gore, it's got it. You cannot see this if you have a weak stomach, I'm telling you straight. It's not loaded with it, but a few scenes are very over-the-top and a few are even terribly realistic. I'm used to this sort of material and still I had to look away during two scenes.
With that out of the way, let's hit some other elements. The acting teeter-totters, some times it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I'm talking about the actual actors, the fact that the villagers are all authentic tribesmen and women, is one of the really cool things about this film. At times it almost feels like a documentary. The plot, basic. And from the start, you get an idea of what Eli Roth thinks about protesters and college students and their tendency to jump aboard the "causes-ship" to support their entitlement. This film is a message, but it's also a way to vicariously blow out some steam.
Movie's a bit predictable, camera's too shaky, and there are times I felt like Eli Roth was trying to hard to stir up audiences' anger towards his characters, but all in all it's a well done movie and CAN be enjoyable, if you can stomach it and if you understand that it's just a movie. I personally felt it was too weak and where it wasn't, it was too strong. There wasn't really an in-between.
If anybody is planning on seeing this, and are not used to extreme graphic content, I suggest skipping this one.
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
This movie is hilarious, for kids AND for adults!
Just got back from seeing it in theaters, and let me tell you, there were several moments when just the kids would laugh, and moments when just the adults would laugh, and even moments when everybody laughed. This is coming from a guy who doesn't watch a lot of "kid" movies, and I can tell Adam Sandler wanted more than just kids to enjoy it, so he threw in child-raising jokes, nipple jokes, and a few other jokes and themes that go right over your average kid's head. And of course there's silliness plentiful for the kiddies to enjoy.
If you're reading reviews, you should already be familiar with the plot, which in a nutshell for those who aren't, is basically the two kids from the first one are older and married and have a kid, who the grandfather, Count Dracula, hopes is a Dracula/monster like his own bloodline, but it doesn't seem to be the case. So family relationships are slightly strained in this movie as Dracula wonders if he'll be helping to raise his vampire grandson, or watching his human grandson and human son-in-law and vampire daughter move away and leaving him behind alone in his hotel, to go live with *gasp* HUMANS.
So on top of it being hilarious for everybody, there's a lot more to it as well. Obviously if you're a fan of the first Hotel Transylvania, it's a guarantee you'll enjoy this sequel. The style of animation is exaggerated, highly sporadic, like a human gas molecule with ADHD and an IV inserted coffee bag. There is a lot going on in almost every scene, and with the characters behaving so hyper, it may take a couple viewings to take in all in. The humor is quick, very in your face, but welcoming. And trust me, humor is a-plenty.
There are a few minor flaws; while tailored to two separate audiences, obviously there will be moments where one side will feel out of place. Either a child will cock their head to the side in puzzlement and maybe laugh but only because the adults are, or an adult will think to themselves "well that was just weird." And yes it's mostly a kid's movie so much of everything is easy to swallow.
Go see it, even if you don't have kids, it's a fun, easy-going flick that's sure to make you jiggle with joy like Blobby. The characters are fun and diverse as before, humor is constant, and for those sticklers out there (you know who you are), the plot exists and it flows sufficiently enough to follow, and at a reasonable pace. So bust out your popcorn and brain juice, and enjoy this light-hearted comedy.
Learn how to be gangsta with Chappie!
Chappie is one of those movies you see with friends for the laughs and finger-pointing moments of awesomeness. The story is that a young programmer has created a successful line of police robots, but wants to go further and more personal than is allowed by his weapons-crazed company. He runs into a small band of gangsters, and together help raise Chappie, a sentient robot with human behaviors and a human personality. Of course the gangsters want him to be gangsta, and Dean wants him to be, well, human. There's bad guys, conflicts, realizations, emotions, explosions, funny moments, cool moments, all you would expect from the director of District 9 and Elysium.
It's a movie about the human condition, when you look at it closely, Chappie is a reflection of human life and its structure. So the movie can be deep, but it can also be highly entertaining on the surface. It's got humor and action and drama that most should find entertaining and yet thoughtful.
It's got its flaws. Not many, and they are trivial. But don't let the film critics fool you, it's got a lot of wit and you find yourself getting attached to some of the characters, especially our new friend Chappie.
Not to mention the duo from Die Antwoord is highly amusing, and add a unique flavor to the film, especially since they practically play themselves. Hard to ignore that bizarre and slightly disturbing Casper-looking tattoo on his right arm though....
If you've been a fan of Neill Blomkamp so far, you WON'T be disappointed. For others, it can still be a great sci-fi action flick.
El espinazo del diablo (2001)
Not scary, but a great and spooky drama
It's a lot like "What Lies Beneath" and "The Orphanage." It's a bit of a mystery, mixed with drama of the war and its effects on a poor orphanage for young boys. One in particular whom we follow, Carlos, is new and begins to suspect that the orphanage is haunted. There isn't a lot to criticize here, yes it may be predictable and dry at times, but it's well put together with an eerie setting. Personally, as a horror fan, I'm a bit disappointed in the movie. But as del Toro fan, and a cinematic fan in general, I was well satisfied with the movie. Its harsh reality and ghost theme helps set the somber mood, and no complaints about the actors either, everybody did a convincing job in their roles.
Great movie, go see it if you like mystery, drama, and yeah, even horror, why not.
American Sniper (2014)
Powerful and thrilling, hits the mark
American Sniper is a film based on the true events that surrounded Chris Kyle, a heavily skilled and determined American SEAL, and his brothers-in-arms in the Middle East during a time of war and crisis. It's a story about a boy who grew up to be a man and yearning to fulfill one specific duty: To protect men, women and children from those who seek to do evil and harm.
The movie takes us through a bit of his early life and training, and then juggles between his 4 tours in Iraq and his life on US soil as he struggled with internal and external dilemmas. It's an accurate portrayal of the life of Chris Kyle, and his confirmed 160 kills that saved many innocent lives.
The film is not perfect, but aside the minor editing flaws, fake babies, and a few sub-par directing decisions, it's a movie well worth seeing for the action, the drama, the laughs (there were some good ones), the cries, the story, the characters, and the patriotic tribute to the men and women who serve. I would also like to mention the respect given to Chris Kyle and his family is well executed in the film, and I've never seen a theater packed with people so silent as they filed out as the end credits rolled, silent save a few sniffles.
There's a lot of controversy regarding the actions and beliefs of Chris Kyle. Do not let this mindless squabble tell you who Chris Kyle was, go and see the movie yourself and learn of the sacrifices he and ALL troops made to keep the US (and others) safe. This isn't a story about a blood-thirsty killer, this is a story about a man who was committed to his God and his country, and who ended blood- thirsty killers.
You can do some protecting for yourself and others in the theater, just bring some tissues to protect those around you against running makeup and wet cheeks.
God bless our troops.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013)
A thrilling, yet far-fetched portrayal of the Dyatlov Incident
The Dyatlov Incident is a rather bizarre mystery that nobody's been able to explain, and it seems like the filmmakers got together to recreate it in the most fantastical way possible.
Take elements from "The Descent," "Frozen (2010), "The Blair Witch Project" and add some Sci-Fi zest, and you have the recipe for "Devil's Pass." It's an effective horror/thriller about the true story of how 9 Russian mountain climbers mysteriously died in Dyatlov Pass, and the movie does explain it fairly well, while mentioning some of the strange true elements of the event, but it takes us on a weird route later on, the explanation of the incident is a little eccentric, even though it's fiction based on non- fiction, it gets a little silly.
It's got good flow, the story, while outrageous, is still entertaining and exciting. The acting is good, and the interactions between the characters is believable and functions as it should. The movie does get intense, and sometimes can even be effectively scary for some viewers. But some scare attempts fall flat on their face, the constant screen distortion effect especially is annoying, and makes no sense to boot. You also have your typical horror dialogue clichés, and predictability.
All in all, it's a fairly good horror movie, I recommend it to any fans of horror or of the movies previously listed. However, I would still like to see another version of this story be told to us without the found-footage effect, and with a more believable explanation.
As a side note, the pictures at the beginning are especially chilling.
Hostel: Part III (2011)
Straight to DVD, and it shows
Lower budget, no Eli Roth directing, not nearly as effective as the first two, but worth watching if you're a fan of the series up to this point, just for the sake of finishing the series.
The movie starts as one would expect, and honestly the first third of the movie really reels you in, with a couple neat little twists and good set-up, only problem is that is goes downhill fast. The gore effects are cheap, and the build-up for each torture scene leads to quite a disappointment. The previous two movies had good tension builds that led to something shocking, whereas this movie leads to something silly, cheesy, or just plain stupid.
The characters are plain (and in one instance, highly annoying), the dialogue is forgettable, the plot is simple. It can be entertaining at parts, but unless you consider yourself a huge fan of the series, skip this one.
You'll like this, only if you're 13 and a big fan of the first three movies
If a 13 year old was given $210,000,000 to make a movie, here's what you'd get. What's cooler than Transformers and explosions? Transformers riding DINO Transformers and explosions!!! Get ready for tedious slow-mo effects, an actor who switches his Irish accent on and off, corny and over-dramatic dialogue, IN-YOUR-FACE product placement (YOU SHOULD BUY THE PILL BY BEATS, AND LOOK AT THE NEW CAMERO! DON'T FORGET TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE), your typical hot girl and hot guy personalities AND relationship, the carefully placed single-allotted F word, and plenty of other little things to annoy the heck out of you!
However, it is still an entertaining film, and it is a sci-fi action film, a 4th Transformers movie from Micheal Bay, so the expectancy of realism is already thrown out the window, and taken with a grain of salt the film isn't terrible, but it's not very good either. I mean yes it's an action film, but no way can those humans be more indestructible than any of those transformers. Which they are apparently.
Really, it's not as bad as the second Transformers movie, but it's far worse than the others. It's everything you would expect from Micheal Bay, so if you love cool action scenes with barrages of explosions and more slow-mo, and even more Micheal Bayness, you'll find it worth seeing in the theaters. If you're becoming more bored with the series, this is not for you.
Not bad, cliché, maybe predictable, but not bad.
Shrooms is one of those movies you should already know everything about before even watching it, just based on the premise. A group of friends experiencing mushrooms trips in the wilderness, turns into a deadly fiasco indistinguishable from reality. A standard run-of-the-mill campy horror flick, complete with a horror movie starter-set cast; the smart and relatable lead female character, the annoying idiot jock, the goofball stoner, the b*tch, the outcast female, and the handsome nice guy (who also is occasionally, like in this case, the foreigner).
The movie has good, maybe even great moments. I especially like the 2 "locals," their characters aren't new to this genre, but they're fun and quite creepy and add an interesting flare to the movie. Some of the effects are well done, and the story is entertaining enough to keep you interested, and the very end gives the movie a nice touch.
However, the movie is riddled with clichés, the predictable jumps scares, and the gore effects aren't as good as they could have been. There's a part towards the end of the movie where they had so many chances to make to good, but it turned out rather boring.
Everything else is pretty standard, nothing special or particularly bad about the acting, directing, or screenplay.
In short, it's an average run-of-the-mill horror flick. If you're looking for something amazing, this isn't it, but if you're bored or are just a horror fan looking to enlarge your viewing collection, it's definitely worth a watch.
My favorite scene: The scene in the home of the two locals, I love the dialogue between them, very unsettling.
Another breathtaking addition to the Hobbit saga!
There was quite a build-up for this movie, and also for the dragon Smaug. And Peter Jackson did NOT disappoint. The movie is everything any Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans could ever want. More adventure, more action, more everything, only with the coolest dragon to ever hit the big screen. Or any screen. The tale of Bilbo Baggins continues as he ventures with his Dwarven companions to reclaim what was once theirs. There is plenty in this movie to satisfy anyone, even those who aren't die-hard Tolkien fans. Director Peter Jackson asked us to put faith in him, especially since he tends to go astray from the events in the book, but I must say that the faith his fans put in him has definitely paid off. The story is intriguing for all, and at the end will have you BURNING for more!!