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Here's my 2016 list of movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls031426080/ ...my 2015 list of movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls073610695/ ... ... my 2014 list of movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054820099/ ... ... and my 2013 list as well: http://www.imdb.com/list/bseU3fR6ilw/ .
Anyway, let's get to it. I'll try to give my opinion now and then, as I did in the last four years.
I'll try to give my opinion now and then.
Here's my 10 best list: http://www.imdb.com/list/zLzGJDecaLo/
Here's my 2014 list of movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054820099/ ... ... and my 2013 list as well: http://www.imdb.com/list/bseU3fR6ilw/
Anyway, let's get to it. I'll try to give my opinion now and then, as I did in the last two years.
Here's my 2015 list of movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls073610695/ ... ... my 2014 list of movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054820099/ ... ... and my 2013 list as well: http://www.imdb.com/list/bseU3fR6ilw/ .
Anyway, let's get to it. I'll try to give my opinion now and then, as I did in the last three years.
This movie is one of the best comedies I saw in the last years! Funny as hell, with a great amount of nice jokes that send a generous middle finger to the PC agenda. I just entered the movie theater not knowing exactly what to expect, and during the screening, I couldn't stop laughing the whole time! But this flick has something more: it's a clear and strong commentary directed to the dreadful educational scenario that Brazil holds today. The Brazilian education is going from bad to worse to terrible to beyond dreadful every minute, and Gentili, with his amazing jokes just expose this like an open wound that won't heal. Danilo, Leo Lins, Rogerio Vilela, Spider Consense, Hipocritas and others like these are today some of the best comedians we have. Oh, and as the cherry on top of the cake, we have the illustrious presence of Carlos Villagrán, the Quico from El Chavo Del Ocho in a very special appearance. This is one of the best comedies from modern days and I strongly recommend you take a look at, if you enjoy some good anarchy and transgression in your comedy film!
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Balance slays the demon
Disney and the Pixar team are back again with another gem of animations! What a great one, easily, best animation of the entire year! This one is a keeper even for adults, it has human themes and philosophies that, sooner or later, you have to address to your kid. Oh, by the way, this review is only for those who watched the movie, it contains major spoilers and reveals major plot points of the movie. If you didn't see it yet, read it at your own risk!
OK, so here's what you have: you get two brothers, Hiro and Tadashi, two nerd brothers with a difference, one goes for the muscles, and the other goes for the mind and heart. Hiro is the younger genius who spend his time with robot fights, while Tadashi goes to school and takes part on the annual school science projects. One can't live without the other, and together, they form the perfect balance. They're like Yin and Yang, two opposites of the same perfect circle that can't find balance without the other. If Hiro is alone, you have only the muscles, but if Tadashi is alone, you have only the heart.
Tadashi created a robot balloon for his school project who helps sick people. When a fire kills Tadashi, Hiro gets himself alone and wants to use the robot to help people, in order to honor his late brother. He's a genius like him, but he doesn't have the heart. The whole medicine program and the whole moral compass of Baymax was developed by Tadashi, while Hiro, develops a chip that allows Baymax to fight. At a point in the movie, Hiro removes Tadashi's chip from Baymax, so the balance gets lost. Hiro then, will have to find this balance again, in order to canalize his Yin to merge together with his Yang and overcome his adversities.
What a beautiful movie and what a beautiful message for kids and grown ups! As always, the animation is superb, the plot is great, the story is exciting, the dialogs I can't say, because I could only see a dubbed version of the movie, I didn't listen to the original dialogs, but I guess they might be good too, because the movie is amazing and the story is awesome. Plus, you get some superhero action! The kids, alongside Hiro form a team of superheroes to fight evil with Baymax the robot and they all rock as characters and as a team. Oh, and you also have the illustrious cameo from Stan Lee in the movie to make everything even more awesome and epic after the credits!
Again, the Pixar team excel themselves and deliver another fine animation. The short animation before the movie, Feast, is cute, but I don't see it as their best short. It's fun and the kids will get entertained with the dog with an endless appetite. Overall, Big Hero 6 is, to me, the best animation from 2014 and I'll certainly wait to buy the DVD so I can listen to the original dialog which I only had some minor contact watching the movie trailer. Definitely, a must watch!
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
An OK film, but I rather take the 1956 DeMille version any day!
In 1923, the great cinematographer and director Cecil B. DeMille did his first version of The Ten Commandments. Decades later, in 1956 Mr. DeMille remade his movie into a huge and epic production starring Charlton Heston as Moses, the one version that we remember the most. This way, Mr. DeMille not only became one of the few directors, along with Alfred Hitchcock, to remake his own movie, but also marked his name in movie history forever. Recently, The Ten Commandments earned lots of remakes, including one in 2006, another one in 2007 starring Ben Kinsley (by the way, he's in this movie too) and even a musical version starring Val Kilmer. As many other adaptations from the book of Exodus that were also made time and again getting different titles across the years, but the essence and legacy from DeMille to make those other versions never disappeared and never will. Now, in 2014, Ridley Scott takes the responsibility to again, render this biblical tale to the big screen, this time, known as Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Is it any good? Yes, but not that good either. In fact every other Ridley Scott recent movie venture has been from OK to pathetic, none of them were even good. This movie is his best one since his 2008 Body of Lies. The photography is great, but with the 3D glasses, it gets dark in some scenes and that affects your experience. The other good thing is the cast. Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton were good as Moses and Ramses, but I think they lacked some qualities inherent to those historical figures. The make up was also close to perfect, as it was difficult for me to recognize actors like Sigourney Weaver as Tuya, John Turturro as Seti and Aaron Paul as Joshua. Another thing that called my eye and it doesn't have in the classic DeMille versions was the figure of God as a little boy. I just think this was a great touch to the story! The historical reconstructions from the scenarios to the wardrobe were also beautiful.
But, the movie fails in its edition, which is too cracked at times and too fast, not giving us time to reflect about what we just saw. There's also war right in the beginning, which I thought to be a very displeasing misstep. I think it was one of the most unnecessary scenes that I saw in my life, I got myself thinking, "what? Action and war right in the very beginning? What a ripoff! Couldn't they just wait a little longer to give us the spectacle of flesh and blood? The DeMille remake is so patient, calm and collected, it's just so fluent, and that's because it doesn't rush the action to the beginning of the movie!". I caught myself telling those things to my wife and she also found unnecessary having that action fragment so soon. Plus, I understand that it was to establish that Ramses and Moses were like "blood" brothers and one would do everything to protect the other, but... again, I can think about a thousand other ways to establish all that without that war scene!
I also understand that Scott was entitled to give a different approach to the way things are and happen, in order to not look like he was copying and pasting De Mille's version. For example, Moses didn't have his stick and, instead of the sea being divided, its water amount is just reduced to the bare minimum so the Hebrews could cross it. But still, it looks like it's missing something to this modern translation of the tale.
Bottom line: a good movie, but it could've been much better. I still prefer the unbeatable and close to perfect 1956 version from Cecil B. DeMille. It's bigger, it's better, it's so much more concise, coherent and addressing and it certainly still holds a spot in the heart of every people who watched even to these modern days. Just watch the scene from Charlton Heston holding his stick and opening his arms so God could open the sea to the Hebrews and you'll get the idea of the magnitude of this rendition of the story.
All Is Lost (2013)
Struggle to survive or a prelude to the afterlife?
This is one of the greatest survival movies I've ever seen, PERIOD! It has no dialog and it barely has narration, only in the opening scene. The only actor on screen is Redford, known in the movie credits as "Our Man".
This is one of the most powerful stories about faith and hope that I had the pleasure to witness. In some aspects it reminds me of a Hemingway romance called The Old Man and the Sea. This J. C. Chandor's masterpiece has a lot to address to Hemingway's masterpiece, like the old man seeking solitude and closure from his past, facing so many animosities in an endless struggle to survive, so he can let go of the past and move on.
One of the most interesting thing in the movie is how other ships just get past him without even noticing him, like a ghost or something. This brings the whole story to an ambiguous approach. Is he a ghost and that final hand in the end was God's hand? Or death's hand pulling him out of the ocean? Is he really alive? Wasn't he dead and drifting through limbo all along? Is this a metaphor for how we will reach the afterlife after we die?
One thing I know for sure: this is one absolutely great movie experience that you absolutely should check out. Don't expect old Sundance Kid to deliver some kind of action packed explosive movie here. This is a silent, reflexive movie about the human condition. Unmissable!
A low budget fun!
Being a long time fan of the Nerd, I was thinking on buying it on Vimeo, but due to bad reception, I just rented. Just watched now taking the Christmas holiday.
I was really upset with the bad reception this movie received. Turns out it's not as bad as everyone said it would be. I had lots of fun watching it! Truuue it's an exercise in low budgeting, truuue you can clearly notice the lines, the straps, the miniature vehicles, the puppets and all, and truuue, it's filled with clichés and old references, but... isn't all that part of the fun?
I mean, hell, even the Nerd himself jokes about it!!
There's a scene where he's having a nightmare with an ugly puppet alien, and when he wakes up, he says something like "damn, even my dreams are low budget!" He just said that line and I burst out laughing!! So the movie recognizes itself as a low budget production, and with that, tries to do the best it can with the limited resources it has.
It's not a movie to be taken so seriously, c'mon, guys, lighten up! There's even a scene that references the crappy glass carriers from the BTTF game, there's another where the Nerd tries to land a plane like the Top Gun game and it's funny!! It's so funny!
OK, that's not to say that maybe, just maybe who donated money to the movie doesn't have the right to be disappointed, I mean, maybe. But then again, you, who donated, you, yeah you, you weren't really expecting something like a million dollar Hollywood movie, were you? I don't think you were.
Bottom line, I had fun, I laughed, I showed some bits and fragments of the movie to my wife who isn't a nerd like me and doesn't speak English either and even she laughed! So, I pretty much believe that the movie did its job and did it the best way it could.
I seriously recommend this movie for you to have some laughs and spend some quality time watching a nice comedy, but take my advice pal, face it as a low budget experiment and have some fun with self- references, old and classic videogames and movies references, and I guarantee that you'll have a great time!
O Candidato Honesto (2014)
Jim Carrey's "Liar Liar" got a Brazilian version.
Well, I saw the trailer from this movie and, just out of curiosity, decided to check on a Youtube copy that leaked from a local cinema.
I'll give you guys a little skinny about the plot and I'm pretty sure you'll recognize something in it quite immediately, so here goes: a federal senator is trying to elect himself as president; he's arrogant, obnoxious, and above all, he's a liar, like most politicians in Brazil; then, one day some force of the universe casts a spell on him preventing him from lying and his life starts crumbling.
YEP!! You guessed it! It's "Liar, Liar", one of the most famous Jim Carrey films!
And I fool you not, the plot is the exact same here, the absolute exact same!
He'll lie a lot in the beginning, a spell is cast on him, he starts to tell the truth no matter what, he starts having trouble with his family, his public image gets disfigured, etc, etc; in the end, he realizes that... like Carrey said on the original film, "the truth shall set you free", and so he made a speech in the last campaign debate that causes commotion on everybody and changes himself. The end.
I'm sorry, guys, but apart from the final speech from João Ernesto in the film, "O Candidato Honesto" isn't even nearly as good as the original Jim Carrey film. No memorable characters, no memorable situations, convoluted plot, in the end, we have another generic Brazilian comedy that will cause some commotion on people in general, and even maybe influence the results from the election, but it was nothing special and it'll surely gets dated in some years.
Max Payne 3 (2012)
Pales in comparison with the Remedy games.
Max Payne 3 was kind of a let down to me for the simple fact of losing its identity. The game is awesome as an action piece, but a lot of the elements from the previous 2 games by Remedy that I fell in love with were lost, like the comic book passages, the gritty noir environments, Max's sense of humor, clever irony and poetic narration, the dream sequences and some other awesome things that made me fell in love with the two Remedy games. The only sequence of the third game that comes more close to emulate the feel of the previous ones was the flashback sequence, that's it, but it was only close. For the first game I give a 9/10, great game, for the second game, a straight and glorified 10/10, flawless in every sense, and even if times had changed, playing these two games today didn't reduce my devotion and admiration for them, but for the third game, sorry guys, it gets a 5.5/10, not that good, it lost many of the identity acquired in the first two, it seemed like a different game to me. Hope that they can bring back Max's world as I remember from the first 2 games in a fourth installment.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013)
Awesome first Volume!
This review I originally made on January, it was on my 2014 movie list, I just added it now to the movie profile to put both Vol. I and II reviews together a single time, so, nevermind the date in the site for this particular one. Anyway, on with my January thoughts...
Wow! Unbelievable movie! I just went expecting something and ended up watching something completely different! Believe me, Lars Von Trier is a crazy bastard!
He associates sex with anything you want! Jesus, I just saw the freakin' Fibonacci sequence, fishing, Bach music, all of it in a movie about someone addicted to sex! It was crazy!
What a ride! And I mean it in a good manner! Can't wait to see Vol. II coming out on March! Jesus, pardon my pun, but my brain just had an orgasm! I mean it! Great one!
Oh, and thanks for the Rammstein tune, Mr. Von Trier! I'll think about using it next time I lay down! Hehehe! Wow, just unbelievable! Go watch it!
Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013)
Finally I saw Lars Von Trier's conclusion to the final segment of his depression trilogy, Nymphomaniac Vol. II.
"Can't wait to see Vol. II coming out on March! Jesus, pardon my pun, but my brain just had an orgasm!"
Those were my own words about Vol. I that you can see in my review of the movie here on the site. As for Vol. II...
Who is genuinely pure and inviolable? And who wouldn't commit a sin under the right circumstances, seeking for self-satisfaction? Who wouldn't fall over the world's pressure and endless promises of pleasure having the right stimulus? How much would you take before finally descend into the abyss? Are you really what you tell people you are? Those and many other issues, including the saga of a really depressive woman that can't stop making out are questioned in this 4 hour saga.
Today I just saw Vol. II, and I must say I was eager to see it considering how great was the first one. Can't say I was overwhelmed, once that I found this Vol. II a little weaker than the first Volume, but nevertheless, it was good and truly engaging. As all the other Trier's movies, this one also find its strenght in clever storytelling and controversy. The audacity of this piece was really something that deserves attention.
As it was labeled Vol. II, I'll give a grade for this alone, it's 8, considering how much I enjoyed the previous one giving it a 9. I thought that second volume lacked some things that made the first volume so great, and in the ending credits, I really think that Trier should've played the Rammstein song again instead of that washed up version of Hey Joe, you know, it would be a perfect fit for an ending. But despite that, it was an honorable conclusion, in the very words of our late Roger Ebert. It was a punctual movie, and it had one or other final surprises like Beethoven, considering we had Bach in Vol. I, but still, the philosophical talk was kinda weaker.
The real surprises in this second part of the story lie in the plot twists, very well thought and I'd like to highlight the final scene that was just unexpected and it blew me out of the water!
But I would be very rude not to consider Vol. I and II together, as they were initially intended to be a 4 hour piece, so I'll give the entire Nymphomaniac experience a solid 8,5. It was an intense, thought provoking and very brave and unique experience with a mind-blowing finale. If you lost Vol. I, wait until you manage to watch it and then, watch both Volumes together as one single movie. It's mostly recommended!
American Hustle (2013)
Great con movie, despite one single fatal flaw.
First of all, let me take something out of my chest. WHAT?? You have freakin' Robert De Niro in your cast of actors and you just waste him in a quick apparition? NOOOO!! WROOONG!! You don't freakin' do that!! This is the guy who was Don Corleone on The Godfather II, this is the guy who did HEAT with Pacino, this is the Raging Bull from the Martin Scorcese movie, this is one of the Goodfellas! The guy is a living legend!! How can you waste him on your movie?? How?? That doesn't exist! He's every single movie maker's wet dream! If I had De Niro in my cast I would use him, I would put him in every single solitary key scene I could think for my movie!! Specially because it's a work of fiction!! You don't freakin' waste De Niro like that!! Period!
Now that we took this out of the way, back to the movie. As I said, my only complain with this, is that one, De Niro was wasted here, I'm sorry everyone, this is soooo wrong to me! Apart from that, it's a great con movie, one of the best since the Danny Ocean trilogy or since Now You See Me from last year. I have to congratulate every single actor in it, Bale, Adams, Cooper, Renner, Lawrence, De Niro, and all the rest of the cast for the amazing and mesmerizing performances! I particularly enjoyed the subtlety with that David O. Russel showed in the movie that the three main characters had something to hide, as we see Irving in the beginning trying to set his fake hair, as we find that Amy Adams character had a different identity and as we see that Richie fakes his hair curls, so no one can be really trusted. Every single detail of the story is well thought and the story flows smoothly and even makes us laugh sometimes. Also, great soundtrack as well, going from themes by Duke Ellington to Chicago, Elton John, Paul MacCartney, Santana, George Michael, ELO, Ella Fitzgerald and many others! It's a great movie that, even not earning anything in the Oscars, I strongly recommend that you take a look at!
The only fatal flaw in the movie was wasting a great legend like De Niro, I just can't let that pass! Otherwise, it's worth checking out!
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
What a great animation!! Really engaging and fun! Imagine taking elements from Back to the Future, make Doc Brown look similar to Brian Griffin and give the character some Brain, from Pink and the Brain, characteristics.
I don't know the show it's based on or the characters from it, it's a 1959 animated show that had a short run, I'll check it eventually, so this is a reinterpretation from a probably obscure show from the past, but I dare to say that I really enjoyed and got myself hooked with those characters!
I even dare to say that I think we should have one of these films every year! It was awesome! Kids learn and get curious about things, there are interesting morals, dads also can have fun with all the pop culture references, it's really a great animation! Go check this out and take your kids with you, you'll have fun beyond imagination!
Not that bad, but lacks a lot good things. Verhoeven's movie is still the best.
Well, so this is a remake of an original movie, the 1987 Paul Verhoeven's Rated R flick Robocop. And it's crucial that you have all this information, because then, you'll understand my criticism around the remake. First and foremost, I have to say that I have a lot of respect for the director, José Padilha, once he's the creator of two amazing Brazilian flicks, Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2, that I dare to say you should be watching right now if you didn't. With that said, I thought that this remake of one of Verhoeven's masterpieces of the 80s is at least a respectable attempt of a new look to a famous concept and that's it.
And I say that with a lot of restraint, because I'm the kind of person that avoid remakes, I think that a remake is a good idea only when it surpasses the original movie, if that doesn't happen, then it's nothing but a waste of time and I'm not interested. Unfortunately, this 2014 Robocop falls in that category. It's not as interesting or as engaging as the 1987 flick, but it has good moments and, as I said, it's a respectable try from Padilha, that probably faced a lot of interference from the studio to make it a PG-13, resulting in a movie much less violent, less critical about society and much less adult, even with its moments of brilliance. I only opened an exception this time and saw this remake because José Padilha is that good and I was entitled to give him a try, being this one his first English language flick, hoping him to find the success he deserves.
But, as I said, the movie is not that good. It's definitely not a bad movie either, but, as I said before, given it's a remake and comparing it with the original, it was a waste. If they had it labeled with another name as a totally different character, I would give this a different evaluation, but it's Robocop, I have to compare with the original. You can clearly see, knowing José Padilha, when the movie is playing by Padilha's hands and when it's playing safe by the studio's hands. Robocop's helmet for example... why does it flip, showing his face? Useless! Or the stunt gun, for instance? Isn't this ridiculous? A cop with a stunt gun? That's just silly! This is clearly a studio move to sell toys. And where is the acid humor from the original? The dark jokes and chops? I was expecting it to have at least a little of that humor from the original, and we've got none of it. Lame! With that humor, the social commentary would be so much stronger and addressing! It doesn't cut for us to have only a little of the original theme or some references from the original movie if you can't capture the spirit of social commentary from it! As for that bullcrap of him going back to his family, well, that was so My Little Pony! Give me a break! And where's the big bad villain of this? What, not a memorable villain? C'mon!!
As for the moments of brilliance, we can highlight the man x machine confrontation, the Novak Experience segments and the scenes when they show RoboCop's insides. This last one was really interesting, because it was totally unexpected and twisted, so it was a real good moment; I can only imagine how Padilha pulled this out on a PG-13 flick! I felt uncomfortable seeing his insides and I felt his frustration watching his reaction, I would have the very same reaction knowing that I lost my own body, so yeah, that was bold and I liked it. Also, the scene of the musician trying to play his guitar with mechanical hands and being frustrated because he couldn't use his emotions, that just hit me right into my soul, so it was good!
Having said all that, this remake lacks many things also, compared with the original, the state of suspense, the violence, the more adult approach, that urgency about seeing a society crumbling and giving in on crime, all those things are lacking here.
But even so I can applaud Padilha for trying to do something with the little he had in hands. Again, it had good moments, but it's still inferior and pales in comparison to the original Robocop that I own on DVD, so, bottom line, I wouldn't buy that for a dollar! Finally I wish Padilha all the best and may he manage to do great things outside Brazil after this project, he surely deserves a lot of credit.
I've paid my respects to a fellow Brazilian, now back on ignoring other recent and vicious remakes. Wait for this to show on TV or watch it when it comes out on DVD, don't spend your money on another inferior remake.
The Lego Movie (2014)
Fun and entertaining, but I still prefer Pixar movies.
I used to enjoy a lot of Lego time when I was a child. I used to enjoy most of what was used from pop culture and references in this movie, so this one was basically a gathering of all that was important to me growing up.
Pity that it was kinda generic as a movie... the plot is so convoluted it makes you scratch your head sometimes. Too much references and no time to develop them properly. It was very promising in the trailer, kinda like a mix between Toy Story and Wreck it Ralph, but... those last two, sorry WB, they said it way, way, waaaaaay better the same message you're trying to give us.
As a bunch of isolated references from the 80's, it kinda works in that nostalgic sort of sense, as an adult, I got entertained with all the references and I'm pretty sure that kids will have fun beyond belief, too. As a movie, it turns out to be a convoluted mess. I know that they tried to make like (SPOILERS AHEAD!) the imagination of a little kid, but back then, Andy was so much more creative and more addressing!
Sorry WB, good try, but you're way better with your DC Animated Universe, so stick with that. If you're trying to overcome Pixar, well... better luck next time. Bottom line, it's worth the price of admission once, but just once, like a fireworks show, one viewing it's real fun, a second viewing though, is out of question.
The modern Oedipus!
There are few movies in my huge list that get a straight 10/10. This is certainly one of them. I can't stop watching my Blu-Ray, it's the kind of movie that makes you wonder for days and days! Chan-wook Park here directs the masterpiece of his career.
Beautifully shot, amazingly directed, clever, plotwise, has fantastic acting, it's different from everything you saw before. Some people might find it sick to watch, but it's like a train wreck, once you start watching, you just can't stop, no matter how much you want to turn your head. Yeah, it's that addicting. It gives you mixed feelings. You can think the protagonist as a sick twisted bastard but at the same time you root for him because of his confinement, what he came through, the things he lost in life.
This story, if you really stop for a moment to think of it, it's the modern take on the Oedipus tale. The kind of guy who apparently did nothing wrong but he comes to find out that his actions had a huger outcome than he initially thought. The kind of guy who thought he tricked his destiny, that he can take control of his destiny, but he was double-tricked first by a greater force of nature and in the end he becomes exactly what he mostly despised.
It's really deep. It's very wrong, yet very enjoyable, very twisted yet very delightful. And what makes it delightful is mainly the cast of characters here. Min-sik Choi shows himself an unbelievable actor here, having the ability to navigate from serious to cheesy, from hero to villain, from "normal" (whatever) to nutjob before you even think of blinking. Everything has a meaning, every action, every plot solution, even if you find it meaningless at first in the movie, leads to something and it'll keep you on the edge of your seat until the final showdown, and after that, your first action will be go back to the beginning and watch it again so you can pick up the fragments of the movie you thought it was something at first and re-watch them under a new light.
It's such a great experience with epic proportions that I strongly recommend every movie lover like me to take! Once you get on this train you won't want to leave!
Ender's Game (2013)
Good, not great.
Well, nothing better than starting the new year in the movies with a fresh new sci-fi based on a successful novel. I might say I never read the book that is based on, so I watched the thing as a moviegoer only. I intend to read it later though, as it's very well spoken. And how was it? It was good. It wasn't great, but good. Harrison Ford still kicks, I couldn't help but think about Commander Han Solo during the screening, but that's beside the point. Ben Kinsley and Viola Davis are good too and it's great to see that Asa Butterfield is evolving as an actor, I remember him in Hugo and, wow, the boy did grow fast!
I don't really know what's the ruckus about the harsh criticism to this movie, I personally think that Gavin Hood, despite being director for hire, made up pretty well here after his disastrous Wolverine movie. The story is good, thanks for writer Orson Scott Card who wrote the original book series, I don't really know if it's in the book, but during the Ender and Bonzo fight in the bathroom I couldn't help but think on Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket for some reason. The final twist is kinda predictable, but it brings good development and more depth to Asa's character. The only major mistake here you ask? Well, director Gavin Hood just left a hint for a possible sequel in the end of the movie.
Pffffffff... where do I start?...
It's a flaw because you never know if your movie will earn a sequel, so you have to make the thing stand on it's own. Now they have a film that, because of a weak box office may not continue its story and the story of the movie may never get to a resolution. That's lame. People involved in movie productions should've learned this lesson long ago, but no, they keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. They never consider the possibility of major failure. Expect the best, prepare for the worst, that's a lesson to learn! And if you refer to franchises like Lord of the Rings, well, that's different! Gavin Hood is a mediocre director at best. You don't take that kind of risk with mediocre talents, you have to play safe.
Hell, even Christopher freakin' Nolan, who is one of the top directors today was wise enough to make every single chapter of his Batman trilogy stand on it's own. He didn't do that unpurposedly, he considered the possibility of something going really wrong during the first film because he wasn't famous enough. I guess that settles for a lot of things.
Overall, not a bad movie, but not a great one either, it has interesting ideas (probably not as interesting as the books) but let's see what will they accomplish from this point on.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
The best version of the Dickens book to date!
This movie can be a very underrated one because of the CG factor. Now if CG was the best choice for a movie like this can be a very debatable thing among fans. What I do know is that this is the closest and more accurate interpretation of the Dickens book ever made, and I speak with very much property because I'm just obsessed with this tale and saw every single version existent of this. This one wins because it follows the book in a very close fashion. Still, some things concerning visual decisions, specially for the three spirits received some adaptations and some action scenes and other minor adjustments were made to better suit and enrich storytelling, but to me is, without a shadow of doubt the best and most amazing version of the classic tale. Worth checking out!
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Has it's moments, but overall, it's a wasted opportunity.
I'm sorry, I just can't imagine another Oz version other than the beautiful and cheerful 1939 Wizard of Oz, so I keep dumping and dumping every single movie and serial that keeps popping up. I just decided to check on this one now because of what people said, but still with a huge dose of skepticism. Sadly, my skepticism was warning me.
I mean, really, what's this guys? Does everybody nowadays have to be an obnoxious character? Geez... what horrible people this movie have, horrible, horrible people! Are you expecting me to root for them? No freakin' way, sir! I still remember Dorothy from the 39 movie, you know, that innocent little farm girl, has good intentions, likable, the proverbial born with a heart o'gold. This Oz character is a complete ass, arrogant, expendable, a real douche! The kind of fella that you wouldn't regret to throw off a cliff. What a nuisance! I know that they tried to do as the hero's journey, you know, the kind of everyday fella who goes to a transformation and becomes something else in the end of his journey, but seriously, I just didn't buy it this time. Also, I sensed as they were trying to do a kind of prelude to the 1939 movie, but it went on very bad. And as for the pace, Jesus, it's rushed as hell! The guy just arrived at Oz and all of a sudden he's on the job! I mean, c'mon, spare me a nickel here! Where's the backstory? It's just the bare minimum to make the plot go, that's it!
However, it's not as bad as I thought it'd be. The ending is predictable and some backgrounds just scream "fake" in your face, but despite that, it's heartwarming and nice enough to spend some time. But just because of the metalanguage portions of the film, especially in the end of the movie when the face of Oz goes ginormous with the blue smoke and the cinematographer they built... seriously, how could they built that in the land of Oz and so quickly?? Makes no sense. Alas, there are a lot of plot holes in the movie and moments that you just go ape$ɦǐt with the lack of consistency.
Hence, I consider this an average flick but just for a very short mileage of consistency. Worth to look once and that's it. Then you just return to Kansas with little Dorothy and her dog Toto, in 1939, a year that might not have the advanced special effects of today but still delivered a much better and believable story based in the L. Frank Baum book, loved and cherished by all until today.
Jiao you (2013)
This is a reflexive movie. Probably, it's not for everyone out there. It's one of the most slow paced movies I've ever seen. There are scenes that have a load of anguish and desperation that I never experienced in any other movie recently. This movie makes you stop for a moment and meditate about your very everyday life. The only "friendly" scene in the entire movie is when the kids start to pick up names for the piece of cabbage they have. There are scenes that seemed to take forever and you're invited to come along and enjoy the dark tranquility. Paradoxically, it causes you a feeling of discomfort because we don't really know if we are really relaxed with everything. Sometimes, silence and tranquility can be deceiving.
This movie came to remind us about our loss of serenity in our very everyday lives. It tests you to the point of you feeling uncomfortable before the long, looong, loooooooooong takes. It's not only just a movie, it's a deep experience within our own selves, our sanity, our capacity of taking a seat, stop for a moment and look beyond the environment that surrounds us, for us to enjoy the little simpler things, to ignore the noise, the problems and everything, stop going so fast and face the view, the silence and face our own existence, our moments, to make our peace with our own time again.
And I really hope that I can do this again at some moment in my life. Because life is going in such a hurry and such a speed that we kinda lost track of ourselves. So it was a worthy and rewarding experience. Once again, and this time at last, because it was the last movie, I thank the SESC's "37º Festival International de Cinema de São Paulo" event for an appropriate and decent closure and for another great film.
Family Guy: Life of Brian (2013)
I guess that's Seth trying to send us a message.
There's a thing when a person is being hypnotized. In the middle of the process, if the subject starts to act funny and to talk strange, also if his body language starts to get uncomfortable, it generally means that the person doesn't want to talk anymore, that he wants out, to wake up from his trance.
Well, it's not the first time that Seth's trying to end Family Guy and he certainly tried other times to give it a proper ending. He's been giving us from time to time all sorts of hints that he's done with the series, but the audiences always insisted to keep it on air.
Well, I guess we reached a crucial turning point now. He's not only saying he's done with it, he's saying he's REALLY done with it. We, the audience, we are the hypnotherapists, trying to make our subject keep talking, no matter what. This is the patient giving us all the signs that he wants to wake up.
I'm just sad that it ended that way. I guess it's better we let Seth's out of his trance before somebody else in the series get hurt too. Brian will surely be missed. He was my favorite character along with Stewie.
People, let Seth out. I think this attempt of Seth to sabotage his own show made things pretty clear to us now. Let him out, before it suffers even more.
Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
Disturbing, to say the least. The family story is kinda interesting, but we saw this already, nothing that special. Still the father's misadventures are truly disturbing, specially considering the fact that he didn't even have a job anymore.
As for the Disney commentary, excuse me, but that's debatable. I spent my honeymoon at Disney and Universal Parks in Florida on March 2012 and it was awesome, I had the time of my life, it was one of my best travels ever and I returned to Brazil recommending it to everyone. I don't really know how the dynamics of these things work for couples with kids, but for me and my wife, it worked wonderfully. So I guess it's all about from which angle you look at in the end.
I'm sorry if that upsets you, but I can't make a single complain of the Disney Parks. I know it's a commercial establishment and all and it's not for everybody, but I have always been an admirer of Disney animations, so I guess the commentary will work only with people that had a hard time on such place, or maybe for families in which the woman is an inconsiderate bitch and the father is a half-ass buffoon. Just saying... watch it and make up your own mind about it.
But overall, interesting plot, well developed, kept me guessing, worth checking out, again, nothing special but a very bold attitude from the director to fool people at Disneyland and make his movie there. Just wait for the lawsuits, buddy! I guess you'll have a real hard time with them by now.
Dark Blood (2012)
Unfinished, yet amazing!
What a movie I just saw!! Seriously, it's just an amazing and hypnotic experience! This movie was shot in 1993, mind you! All you see on screen was shot in that year. You can notice that Jonathan Pryce's hair is less gray than it really is today. Also, you got in the movie the strong and mesmerizing presence of the late River Phoenix, coming in a time capsule directly to the future to give us his mesmerizing swan song. Wow... freakin' wow!
Great acting, a script that shines and beautiful backgrounds are the main attractions here. The story is told in the form of a road movie and the characters all goes through changes in their lives. The most powerful thing in the movie is its heart and soul. This is the engine that moves the narrative. As for it's body, it's unfortunately broken, for the lack of a better comparison. As the director George Sluizer states before the movie starts, this movie will always be like a three feet chair. It's slightly unbalanced, it misses something but with care, still stands on it's feet.
With River Phoenix's death before the shooting process finishes, the director summarizes the missing fragments of the movie to us in order to complete the narrative. It works fine that way. In spirit, in heart and soul, this movie deserves a straight 10/10. With its broken, unfinished body, it takes a 8/10. If only they could finish it in time... but that from now on, until the end of times will only belong to our imagination, trying to figure out what it could have been.
For what it is, it perfectly stands on it's feet. Must watch! Once again, thanks to the "37º Festival International de Cinema de São Paulo" in my city by the SESC institution of culture and development, I could enjoy another amazing flick!
What. The. Ƒµ¢ƙ?? Really, Mr. Sheen? Really? Do you really want us to believe that this heinous exercise in self-indulgence is your true artistic expression? Really? I don't believe it... so much as I don't believe that he could also drag people like Bill Murray into this stinkin' little hole of his.
And what's with the Coppola family these days? We once had the great and iconic Francis Ford with his almighty Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, and now we have Sofia that once made Marie Antoinette and Lost in Translation some years ago and this year just got mediocre with Bling Ring... and Roman with this? What the hell?? Was he with a gun being pointed at his head all the time to direct this? Did they make him an irrefutable offer? Was he on a killing spree?? I don't know.
I just laughed twice the whole movie, that's it. It wasn't even real laughter, it was just one of those mouth corner laughter, you know, almost ashamed of laughing, trying to understand what the heck is going on... and the "Garota de Ipanema" version that I have to admit, was good and I just loved to hear it in Portuguese, my mother tongue, I just hate those English versions coming around, so yeah, great job with that!
But again, there was no connection with anything! Terrible movie, terrible, no fun, no joy, just a huge Charlie Sheen commercial, and in case you just forgot that, they just remind you at the end! Simply put: dreadful, almost as dreadful as Movie 43. Avoid it!
Sheer brilliance! A breathtaking experience!
God, I don't even know where to begin... this is simply one of the best space dramas I've ever seen in my life! The script, amazing, the photography, breathtaking, the concepts, mesmerizing!!
It's an experience best taken if you sit down and pay all the attention you can. Don't go to this movie eating popcorn, it's distracting! I did eat something just before I enter the theater and I'm glad I did! Believe me, this movie is enough food for thought alone, and it's just amazing! Suspenseful, tense and at times reflexive, thoughtful.
Sandra Bullock is an astronaut that has her team injured during a mission on the Hubble satellite. With 10% of oxygen in her space suit she's saved by Clooney's character and gets to the space station safely and there she has to face some difficulties. Through her personal journey we come to know her past and her struggle to overcome the difficult path to personal growth, acceptance of her own mortality and building of a new perspective, not like the person she was when she signed for the mission, but as a different person.
And when we finally get in contact with her past and her inner ghosts until the moment of the final climax, the catharsis in the end of the movie goes deeper and I just can't avoid not to give a standing ovation to the final outcome! The final scene (SPOILERS AHEAD) of her, stepping into land again, the shots making her seem like a giant, those were poetic visuals, beautiful, breathtaking and I couldn't applaud enough! It evokes a sense of inner looking of the human soul, a lot of philosophy and it completely blows your mind with the journey. One of the most remarkable scene was the fetus scene. If you saw the movie, you'll get it. It's amazing!!
I can't recommend this movie enough!! Go see it!! Feel it, experience it!
I went to see it twice and I'm still awed by it! It's a real memorable experience!
Director Alfonso Cuarón excels himself and crafts his crowning achievement with this one! Well done!! I went over the final credits with a heavy chin, wondering how to talk, how to debate. If you like Science-Fiction and Space Movies, then this movie is for you! Don't miss it!!
Mato Sem Cachorro (2013)
It's a real winner when it comes to Brazilian comedies!
Wow!! I'm really impressed! I just left the theater and I'm still laughing!! Geez, it's been a long time since I laughed this hard with a Brazilian comedy! This is really good!
OK, OK, there's nothing sooooo new here, it's basically Ted's plot, yeah, I'm completely aware of it. An immature fella, living with his oddball friend left his relationship with a girl after they spend two years together with an animal. Plus, the animal is the reason for their reapproach lately and when the main protagonist loses it, hell breaks loose.
Sound's like Ted, right? Even the very poster from the movie has some resemblance with it. But the gags are really different from Ted and great too, it takes a complete different direction from the McFarlane movie.
The actors are great, three of them in the movie, work or worked in the Brazilian edition of the very popular TV show CQC, so it has a real proximity with it's audience and the idea of a narcoleptic dog just amuses me, making the whole experience really funny! The story is great, funny as hell, the direction is good, this is simply the best Brazilian comedy of the year, I don't know if it's the best comedy of the year, it could really be, but narrowing it only for Brazil, which is the targeted audience, it's truly the top comedy of 2013!!
I guess even if you're not a Brazilian guy you can enjoy it, understand most of the gags and have great fun with it! Of course, it's not flawless, specially being a comedy, but... seriously, must watch!! It's that funny!
Where The Hangover Part III failed with me this year, Mato Sem Cachorro scored big time!
A little curiosity for you that doesn't speak Portuguese: the title of the movie is a joke with the fact that the movie has a dog, but it's also the Brazilian saying to "being up the creek", you know, when you are in a shitty situation, so I guess that the English title "Wolf in the Door" lost the real joke here. In Brazil we use to say "estar em um mato sem cachorro", which literally means "being in a dogless bush".
The Goldbergs (2013)
Wow! This is just amazing!
I just saw the first episode and I can't believe it! I'm in awe, man! I want to follow this show, I want to support it, I want to know everything about it, every single solitary detail!
I know, I know, this is the Wonder Years for us, kids from the 80's, so there's nothing new in the formula, but... I guess that that's the fun of it, I mean, that's the point. To take every single element of a once beloved era and bring it to modern audiences in all it's old fashioned way. I could almost see the grains in the image, typical from movies from the 80's.
It has great characters, I mean, believable characters, the jokes are great, funny as hell, it has good acting and it's loaded with references that someone like me will immediately identify.
Seeing the characters, I was practically getting acquainted with them in lots of ways. And watching the "Kevin Arnold" from this show, the little nerdy kid, I could immediately see me there, because I was a nerd as well, I wasn't the kind of boy who was very popular or used to have many friends; I used to enjoy Star Wars, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, electronic devices, Rock music, etc; while the regular bullies from that era were used to go after hot chicks, I used to be ignored by the hotties. Except that I used to experience most of what I said in Brazilian Portuguese, but other than that, it's the eighties, likewise! I was the boy who struggles to get some attention and has a better relationship with his gobots than with his friends, who's constantly seeking advice from old people.
I hope that they can keep up with this show, this first episode was amazing! I can't wait to see the Goldberg's TV pop out some 80's references, like Family Ties with some cereal commercial with it, or maybe Ferris Bueller screening in the local theaters, some Nintendo, geez, I'm totally looking forward to this!
Great job guys! Great job!!