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Logan (2017)
9/10
An excellent, gritty sci-fi Western
2 March 2017
This is a very, very good, gritty science-fiction road-trip chase movie. Think Terminator 2 or Children of Men, except the child is the opposite of defenseless or helpless.

Don't expect a superhero movie - it definitely is not. Super powers are nearly nonexistent. People expecting cheap laughs, explosions, CGI, and the typical "the good guys will win" movie (e.g. Avengers) may be disappointed. This is a character drama with occasional bouts of violence that demonstrate the brutal reality of being clawed.

This is a movie about aging, mortality, vulnerability, parenting and legacy.

It is not a perfect movie, but its a damn good one that has me still thinking about it now, long after the credits ended. Despite a simple plot, there were plot holes and the villains needed more backstory. However, despite the movie running for over two hours I still wanted more.

This movie demonstrates how famous comic book characters can be presented in standalone movies, without blatantly setting up a sequel.

Lastly, Dafne Keen was excellent. Hopefully her career amounts to more than Edward Furlong's.
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6/10
alright, but bit of a mess
27 March 2016
This movie is slow, long, dark and almost humorless. Superman doesn't talk much and has such a furrowed brow he looks constipated most of the time. We get to relieve the killing of Batman's parents for about the 1000th time in a Batman movie. Batman wants to kill Superman, which seems forced and unbelievable. Obviously later, they'll make up and be friends. Lex Luthor is young, has hair, talks in riddles and is seemingly psychotic. Every time Wonder Woman appears in battle gear a weird tribal melody plays - it's really cheesy. There were plot holes that irked me after the movie. The CGI towards the end of the movie was horrible. This movie I felt was comparable to Avengers Age of Ultron - it could of been a great movie but it ended up a convoluted mess.
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Tracers (2015)
1/10
Shaky camera alert!
17 September 2015
They need to put a health warning on the DVD cover of this movie because I felt like I was going to vomit after 15 minutes. I couldn't take any more.

I'm not a fan of shaky camera, but I can appreciate it if used appropriately, for example in found footage films or certain action scenes.

However, in this movie the camera was constantly bouncing around, and I mean CONSTANTLY. In scenes in which two people are standing still and talking to each other, the camera still bounces and flicks around, as if you are getting the first person view of a bystander with ADHD!

One minute the camera is aimed at someone's face, then suddenly - BAM! it whizzes down and your looking at the ground, then suddenly - BAM! it whizzes back up and your looking at a shaky face, then BAM! You get the point...

Up down, left right, up down, left right, NEVER EVER STILL FOR A SINGLE SECOND. Was there a constant earthquake? Was the cameraman high on ice?

If you want to throw up, go watch this movie.
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4/10
I almost threw up from motion sickness
12 July 2015
This is a found footage movie about a group of friends in their late teens who build a time machine.

The plot for this movie is OK, and focuses on the unintended consequences of time travel when a boy tries to change the past to win the love of a girl.

However, the cinematography is simply awful. I had to close my eyes and just listen to the movie because I found the shaky camera footage so nauseating.

If you can handle the shaky camera, you might enjoy it. Unfortunately I couldn't.
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7/10
Decent sci-fi drama
28 June 2015
Erol (Haley Joel Osment) and his grandfather (Victor Garber) work together using quantum physics to develop the ability to travel back in time, with the aim of repairing a family shattered by the disappearance 12 years earlier of Erol's father (Rufus Sewell).

This is a movie about relationships and the possible selfish impacts of time travel upon them. For example, if Erol travels back in time to prevent his father's disappearance, how can he guarantee his fiancée (Susanna Fournier) that they will still be together in the new version of the present day?

This is not an action movie. There are no special effects. It is essentially a mystery drama with time travel acting as the primary plot device.

I enjoyed the movie. Its definitely not perfect. A little slow in places.

I read several reviewers complain about the casting of Haley Joel Osment. I thought he was fine, though given his physical appearance it is hard to imagine him being the son of Rufus Sewell and Gillian Anderson and the grandson of Victor Garber. However, if you can suspend your disbelief and believe that a couple of men writing mathematical equations on a chalk board can make time travel possible, then anything is possible.
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7/10
Hong Kong crime drama in English in New York
20 May 2015
I watched this with my wife who is from Hong Kong (while I am a whitey who grew up in Australia).

This movie, while based on true events, has a very similar and predictable feel to many of the Hong Kong gang films in Cantonese that we've seen together. The main difference being, despite having dozens of Chinese actors, nearly all the dialog is in English and the film is set in New York.

Anyway, my wife gave it 6/10 because she knew what was going to happen before it happened as she's watched more of these movies than me. I give it 7/10.

However, while the film had this feeling of predictability for the most part, the ending has a plot twist that neither of us saw coming.

There is strong violence in this movie and a torture scene that I found a bit disturbing, so stay clear if you don't like that sort of stuff.
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7/10
Good but not great
26 April 2015
I've seen the movie twice now, once in a near empty theater (first viewing) and once in a packed theater (second viewing). It was definitely a more enjoyable experience with a crowd to create some atmosphere.

This movie is good but not great. I definitely enjoyed the first Avengers movie and Guardians of the Galaxy more. The movie felt a bit flat because plot-wise it was very similar to the first movie - the evil villain messes with the team's minds to break up the team, but the Avengers inevitably regroup and save the day. Furthermore, Loki was a more interesting villain than Ultron.

While the sequel produced a few giggles, it lacks the laugh-out-loud moments of the first (except for one cracker from Hawkeye). There is also a within team romance that seems to have come out of nowhere and with little explanation as to why. Hawkeye gets by far the most character development of any of the Avengers, which made me think he was going to die at some point (no spoilers - I'm not saying he does or doesn't).

Unlike in Avengers 1, Hulk is notably absent from many of the major action sequences which I felt let the movie down, as Hulk was responsible for some of the best moments of the first movie.

In summary, it is a good popcorn movie, but unfortunately not as great as its predecessor.
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John Wick (2014)
8/10
gunfu
13 March 2015
This is a stylized action movie that the director describes as "gunfu" in the DVD extras.

The plot and story for this movie is very light and superficial, and feels like it has been lifted from a comic book. There are clichéd Russian gansters and John Wick is the assassin with seemingly unearthly killing skills.

I found the movie enjoyable, but I can see why some reviewers hate it. If you are after an interesting story, this is not the movie for you. If you like comic book movies and "gunfu" action sequences, you will probably enjoy it.
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The Wolverine (2013)
5/10
Reboot please
29 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The writers of the two Wolverine movies have repeated what the writers of the Wolverine comics succeeded in doing - messing with Wolverine's powers and back-story so much that loyal fans such as myself ended up walking away from the comics and movies.

Wolverine was my favourite comic book character as a kid growing up (I'm now almost 40 years old). I still have a huge pile of the comics.

Originally, Wolverine never had bone claws. He had a healing factor and animal-like senses, but no bone claws. The Weapon X project gave him his skeleton and claws, turning him into the ultimate indestructible super soldier.

I started losing interest and stopped collecting the comics when the comics started messing with Wolvie's powers and back story. For 20 years the comic book writers left Wolvie's powers constant (i.e. adamantium skeleton and claws) and most of his history a mystery, AND IT SHOULD OF STAYED THIS WAY. I stopped collecting at issue 100 when they didn't give Wolverine back his adamantium.

Then, Wolverine movie 1 comes out and spells out scene by scene a stupid back story that had nothing to do with the original comics. No mystique, no mystery - the writers spoon fed a stupid story of adamantium bullets and a bone clawed child to the audience.

Now, Wolverine 2 is even more disappointing. For most of this movie, it was pretty good. Then the climatic end comes in which Wolvie has his ADAMANTIUM CLAWS SNAPPED OFF. Are you kidding writers? Adamantium is INDESTRUCTIBLE. The whole point of ADAMANTIUM CLAWS IS THEY CAN'T BE BROKEN. Adamantium is INDESTRUCTIBLE. You can't shoot adamantium bullets through it. And you can't use adamantium to cut adamantium, otherwise it wouldn't be INDESTRUCTIBLE would it???

The whole point of adamantium claws is THEY CAN'T BE BROKEN.

Way to go script writers. When you run out of ideas for an interesting story, mess with the laws of the Marvel universe and destroy a much loved character.

Thankfully I only paid $1 at the DVD shop to rent this movie.

REBOOT PLEASE.
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8/10
A feel good romantic comedy which made me laugh
17 November 2013
Nerd accountant (Jordan) gets dumped by long-term girlfriend (Rachel) for being terrible in bed, and so the terrible lover tries to win the girlfriend back by learning how to be a better lover (and also by making her jealous). During a drunken night, he meets a stripper (Julia) and a friendship develops. The stripper agrees to teach the nerd accountant how to be a better lover, and this results in many awkward and sometimes hilarious moments.

A secondary side plot involves the accountant's male friend (Dandak, played by Vik Sahay from Chuck) trying to reform and hide his promiscuous ways after meeting his dream girl.

Clichés abound. Fish out of water. Opposites attract. Sex jokes. Morality judgements.

Despite the title of the movie, there is no gratuitous use of nudity or sex scenes.

This movie made me laugh, and had a feel good ending. As I had low expectations for this movie but was pleasantly surprised, I felt compelled to write a short review.
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4/10
Slow, tedious, predictable (and is the IMDb average rating rigged?)
9 April 2012
The main reason I'm writing this review is that I'm regular user of IMDb for assessing the quality of a movie before choosing to watch it. At the time of writing this review The Hunger Games had an average score of 7.7 from over 84,000 "users". I find this score of 7.7 hard to believe after watching the movie, and especially after reading other written IMDb user reviews which all seem to be negative (so is there a bot at work here or some other manipulation going on?). Generally in the past I've found the IMDb average rating a reliable indicator of the quality of a movie, but that is simply not the case for this movie.

I think I being generous in giving this movie a score of 4. This is a long tedious predictable bore of a movie. Sure, I'm 36 years old so perhaps I'm not the target demographic, but I am in no way a movie snob. I enjoy science fiction, but I came out of this movie feeling that this movie was a lost opportunity - it could of been so much better. I've never read the books, but after reading many of the user reviews here I plan to, as it sounds like the books treat this story with a lot more depth. Unfortunately I feel the movie is shallow, superficial and way too predictable.
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Ceremony (2010)
3/10
Unenjoyable
25 December 2011
I watched this movie with my family after viewing the trailer. The trailer depicted the movie as being a road-trip type romantic comedy, and as a group we decided that it looked like a decent movie. Sadly, we were wrong.

Our big problem with the movie was that the main character Sam Davis (Michael Angarano) is such an a-hole that we couldn't engage emotionally with this movie. He's rude. He's a liar. He manipulates people. While he has the emotional intelligence of a 5 year old, its hard to imagine this guy writes children books, as he has no innocence and no heart.

I find it very hard to enjoy a movie where the main character is such an a-hole that you would like to shoot him yourself, and you are hoping throughout the duration of the movie that he does NOT get the girl. There was nothing "feel good" about this movie.
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13 (I) (2010)
Terrible
12 October 2011
This is the worst movie I've seen in a long time. Even though I only paid $1 to rent this movie, I still feel cheated.

Sam Riley's character Vince steals another man's identity in the hope of making some quick cash to pay for his father's medical bills. Unwittingly he is forced to compete in a game of Russian roulette, surrounded by rich mafia types who bet big money on the outcome of the "duel".

For me, this movie was an epic fail for two main reasons: 1. I couldn't come to grips with the main premise of the movie - that big stakes gamblers would gamble on a game of pure chance. 2. I felt no sympathy for Sam Riley's character - I felt he deserved a bullet for his stupidity in getting himself into that situation.

Lastly, the DVD cover is misleading - it gives the appearance of Jason Statham being the lead actor, but his screen time is minimal. The lead actor is Sam Riley, who says little and does his best to look sick and scared all the time.
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Blitz (2011)
An enjoyable British crime drama
9 October 2011
This is not an action movie - it more of a thriller/drama with some realistic and believable action (fighting, foot chases, etc). There is no kung fu, no CGI, no explosions, no car chases, and no American accents (its a British movie).

I'm not sure why so many of the reviewers hate this movie. Both myself and my girlfriend liked it. As I had not seen the trailer for this movie, I was expecting an over-the-top action movie as Jason Statham is the lead actor. Instead we got a "gritty" British crime drama about a serial killer who has a grudge against the police.

Overall it was enjoyable. Not perfect - not even great - but pretty good.
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Rambo (2008)
6/10
Blood, gore, and more blood.
28 February 2010
This is one of the most violent movies I've ever seen. Decapitations. Limbs being blown off. Disembowelment. Countless deaths - probably more than one hundred. Most die from gunfire, but we also see how crossbows, knives, land mines, and bare hands can be used to kill. An unexploded WWII bomb also comes in handy. There are also some scenes of cruel and sadistic torture.

This movie (not surprisingly) is light on plot. Rambo reluctantly agrees to help a group of Christian missionaries travel into Burma. Predictably, they get into trouble and Rambo comes to the rescue, together with a group of mercenaries hired by the missionaries' church. Standing in their way are over 100 Burmese soldiers who inevitably end up dead.

Julie Benz's acting is terribly wooden, and Stallone's Rambo is a man of few words. But if you enjoy bloody, violent action movies, you will enjoy this movie.
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