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Passengers (I) (2016)
A beautiful film that got snubbed by politically correct critics.
27 December 2016

The 'critics' are completely off their rockers here and like other audience reviewers have stated-- if the genders were reversed the guy would have been considered LUCKY. Beyond lucky if modern culture is to be taken seriously-- which is always right and never wrong about anything. *SARCASM* for the uninitiated morons who can't understand humour. Get triggered somewhere else!

I had to get that bit out of the way first because this film is an absolutely fantastic watch. Its balanced, takes its time, sets up the characters smoothly, and doesn't jump around to different locations at whim like so many films are doing now.

Speaking of characters there really aren't that many-- and I think it works in the film's advantage. There never is a sense of confusion or the plot tripping over itself trying to stay relevant. Martin Sheen's role is one of comic relief and suave android bartender (not a spoiler, watch the trailer). Loved nearly every second of his screen time. The rest of the roles are obvious-- although I must say Chris Pratt absolutely carries this film and delivers an emotional depth that a lot of A-listers aren't these days. He is truly the next Harrison Ford or Christian Bale. Jennifer is... well... Jennifer. She does her thing, which isn't terrible but I didn't find it particularly inspired. I think the correct word is 'serviceable'.

The visual design is nothing short of post-modern perfection. Sprawling smooth metal textured silver vistas leading to glass windows blanket the ship's interior, giving a view into the beautiful blue hued nebulae of space. The artistic vision of space is not realistic but it certainly is authentic and fantastic to look at-- it doesn't require a suspension of belief to enjoy it unlike many recent space films.

The sound design throughout the film is also excellent. The music throughout is incredibly moving and well composed. Not on the level of Hanz Zimmer but still great.

There are a few technical issues that might stick out to the more scientifically minded but it never disrupts the flow or enjoyment of the film in my opinion. It all simply works.

If you're a sci-fi fantasy fan or just want to escape for a couple hours please support this film-- we need more like it. The critics need to step back and re-evaluate audience responses. They've lost touch.
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Incarnate (2016)
Serviceable, and not as bad as the critics are saying.
3 December 2016
I'm a fan of Aaron Eckhart so that was my main draw to see Incarnate.

The good: The film doesn't insult you by explaining everything at once, it does this through the action and dialogue sequences which are OKAY. Aaron delivers a solid performance here, and so does David Mazouz, the kid that plays Bruce Wayne in the Gotham TV series. The story is moderately interesting and reminds me a bit of Inception.

The Meh/Bad: The directing is often a bit ham-fisted and clunky. The script wasn't particularly brilliant but was OKAY. Didn't care much for the cop-out ending although that's a minor complaint.

Bottom line is, don't expect a masterpiece or above average film. Its a nice film to kill an hour and a half with.
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Starts strong, then falls flat on its face never to rise again.
20 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The first act of this movie is nothing short of brilliant. Its engaging, funny, and promises future action and mystery. Tom is in his element and he's better than ever at delivering those famous cheesy one-liners.

About a third of the way into the film something happens. The focus shifts to a extremely lame sub-plot that wasn't called for, wasn't necessary, and adds nothing to the story. Characters begin acting in a completely different manner and for no apparent reason. I don't want to spoil anything but once you've reached this point (and you will know) the movie is completely predictable and fails to have any clever twists or produce excitement.

What a huge disappointment and its fair to say I will never go back to watch this again.
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Suicide Squad (2016)
Enjoyable but has some notable flaws.
6 August 2016
I'm honestly not sure how I'm supposed to feel about this movie. There are a lot of 'huh' moments and 'why the f*** would they do that'. It seems as if DC wanted us to root for the SS and the villains rather than the 'good guys'. Overall I'd say this is a mixed bag and your priorities when going to see the film will determine whether you enjoy yourself or not.

Pros: Deadshot and Harley Quinn back-stories, overall performances from the cast. Interactions between the characters was great and resulted in some hilarious moments. Villains were pretty decent.

Cons: Cheap looking CGI, some jokes fell through, some corny dialogue. Some characters were sidelined and really underused. Soundtrack got in the way of some scenes-- too loud.

I feel like a broken record saying this again, but I just feel confused. Its a super-mixed bag. What was the point of making this movie only to undermine it later on... ( when you see the end credits you will know what I'm talking about )
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Battlefront: The Movie
17 December 2015
Don't worry-- no spoilers here. If you've never seen any Star Wars films, never read any of the expanded universe, or simply are looking for a fun evening I think you'll have a great time. However...

Disney unceremoniously shafted the EU fans with this movie. The EU was rich in material to choose from-- Grand Admiral Thrawn, Centerpoint Station, Jacen Solo, the Yuuzhan Vong war, need I go on?

Okay okay you say, so what? Is the new material any good? If you enjoy a helping of bland Lima beans with your week old milk that tastes like it came from a bantha's backside, then sure, its great! Sure they bring in our favorite characters to crack jokes and it made me laugh. But the sum total of this film is this: Too much talk, cringe worthy acting, and a boring *** story that makes no **** ******* ***** sense! The *other* characters were so disposable; I didn't even care about them.

Grab a cheap afternoon ticket, cancel your pre-order tickets. Its not worth it.
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Interstellar (2014)
Leave some 'space' in your schedule to see this!
18 November 2014
My first favorite film... never had one before!

Obviously a few sentences can't do this film justice; its a true diamond in the manure pit of remakes that Hollywood just keeps pumping out.

Its a compelling story if you're into sci-fi and space exploration. If you're a fanatic-- then this is wet dream. The film is even more beautiful than the trailer-- unlike many recent releases!

The emotional impact took me by surprise. The emotional range of so many films today is so low its almost like trying to discern a symphony through a tin can. Not so here. I FELT the excitement, grief, anger, of each character quite starkly. The film wraps up beautifully-- no spoilers here. Just want to let you know that I found it very satisfying.

If you go see this in true 70mm IMAX you're going to be in for a treat. Some of the most stunning space sequences are in full IMAX resolution, and it is possibly the most immersive experience available to date.
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I had such high hopes after being blown away by the books. Boy, was I wrong.
19 September 2014
This film is not the Maze Runner. It has the same title, but it is not the same story. Major plot lines and devices are completely changed/and/or missing completely. Entire sections of the story are taken out of context and mutated to fit into the film's limited run-time.

Its a shame because the book (trilogy) is one of the most intense and engrossing experiences I've had in the dystopian genre. I listened to the audiobooks at work over the course of a week-- the hours just flew by and I nearly forgot I was working!

I couldn't believe the amount of cheap CGI sellout here. They could have at least kept some of the defining details about the maze, Thomas, and Teresa faithful to the books. But no, it was absolutely pathetic. If you don't care to read the books this is probably a 6.5-7 for you.
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Prepare your eardrums for madness.
28 June 2014
Lets get the disclaimers out of the way:

-Michael Bay -Non-stop semi-incomprehensible action sequences -CGI Pornfest -Will pummel your eardrums to a pulp -Michael... Oh I already mentioned that one.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The thundering explosions and metallic collisions reverberating up your butt and through your spine straight up to your skull is worth the 2:45 run-time alone. Destruction porn addicts will feel right at home here. Mark W. fans will appreciate this film as well.

This is a high-tech CGI showcase from Hollywood and doesn't offer much of anything else, and doesn't intend to. There is some nice humor in the mix too. I wish reviewers would stop trying to critique these kinds of films for what they DON'T offer and review the content on its own merits.

I generally enjoy longer films and I didn't find this one too long- winded. I definitely felt tired at the end and was glad to leave the theater, but I felt exhilarated, not bored.

Another plus: no Shia LaBeouf!
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Divergent (2014)
Decent, for what its worth... ignore the haters.
22 March 2014
I think this franchise would be better served by being treated to a full budget HBO production 10-13 episode run. The world the books create is highly detailed, gritty, and chock full of emotional depth and events that are just not possible to represent well in a 2-3 hour film.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the film for what it did offer. The mental pictures I developed through reading the books were eerily similar to the ones in the movie. I tend to favor a movie's art style and atmosphere over acting/character development so I may be biased here. The post-apoc world was tastefully done, and didn't go overboard with blue glowing screens and lighting. The overall color tone is well balanced and natural, something that cannot be said for a lot of films that tend to feature over-saturated skies and light sources.

Acting seemed solid to me. I tend to miss certain cues from the book, so if a character was acting differently than in the book, I probably didn't notice. The movie won't shock you or make you cry, but it did make me feel exhilarated at certain points. It was nice to not have unnecessary sex scenes for once. I'm not against sex in film at all, don't get me wrong. I just think the romance was done tastefully done.

Overall, a solid release. (no pun intended)
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Entertaining, but too much too fast. Weak ending ruined the experience as a whole for me.
5 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I really enjoyed the first half of this film. It played well to Tony S's personality, ambition, and overall troubled state of mind coming off the near-disaster of New York city being vaporized. Perhaps that near-death experience gave him some PTSD there!

The villains seemed rather undeveloped-- thrown in like cheap marketing tricks to give the film some much needed fodder for Tony's suits to blow up.

The flying suits were a bit overplayed, and seemed to fall apart WAY TOO EASILY. After the first five times, it seemed like they were held together by mere plastic connectors. They could have slowly introduced us to the concept of the suit being able to dissesemble-- it was too much too fast and used too heavily as a plot device to save the day.

Ah the ending. I had a total WTF moment the second TS decided to blow up the suits. What on earth would trigger such a thought? He had nearly been killed, had his home destroyed-- why scrap the very devices that he had built his legacy on? And really? Getting surgery to have that shrapnel removed? THAT IS JUST PLAIN RIDICULOUS. Anyone in their right mind would have gotten it removed as soon as they got to a hospital! Also 'getting Pepper fixed' was a real cheap move, taking the emotion buildup straight out of the ending. What a disappointing way to go out-- on this film, not to mention the not so subtle James Bond reference. The ending scene after the credits was cheap also, and not worth waiting for. A fun but ultimately disappointing experience. Five out of ten. Go see a manatee showing.
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Enjoyable! Die-hard in the Whitehouse.
27 March 2013
A solid action flick. Gerald Butler is brutal and lives up to his character's reputation-- and manages to be empathetic and show genuine humanity at the same time. The bad guys are BAD and unrelenting. No morality conflicts here, these guys are out for blood. If you were let down by the latest movie masquerading as a 'Die Hard' film, go see this one. You'll be pleasantly entertained, I think. The film is well paced, and won't bore you with any pointless 'non-action', narrative, and flashback scenes that have plagued a lot of recent films. The other characters are believable, and its nice to see Morgan Freeman make and appearance, although his involvement seems a bit muted-- and he doesn't seem as free to stretch his acting muscles as much as he did in the Batman Trilogy and other films. All in all, worth the ticket price of a manatee showing.
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Came with low expectations, left disappointed.
17 February 2013
By God. The movies coming out these days keep getting less and less truly entertaining. We need a film revival, desperately. No CGI, no epilepsy-inducing camera shaking, but a die-hard (pun intended!) return to solid dialogue, epic fights, and actor chemistry. Don't go see this-- I mean-- if you absolutely must, make sure you're in a sufficiently altered state so you won't realize how stupidly idiotic this movie is. I've been a fan of the Die Hard franchise since I saw the first one. This is a travesty. No offense to Bruce Willis-- he managed to make the best of things here. He's a terrific actor and not worthy of this film. That is all.
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A ton of stupid fun
5 February 2013
I seriously enjoyed this film-- it had more gore than Mel Gibson could shake a fist at, some very cute actors, and didn't waste time with excessive back-story and details, and gave me many good laughs.

Its not an intellectually stimulating movie... duh. Its made to a hilariously entertaining popcorn flick with over-the-top action and unrealistic weapons that wouldn't have existed given the 'time period' this movie seems to be set in. So you folks out there giving it bad rap for not meeting your standards, calm down. Its clearly not trying to. :).

This movie's violence reminded me of the Expendables-- but this film never takes itself too seriously like the other film does... I found this much more fun to watch.
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Arnold is back and kicking ass!
20 January 2013
I really didn't expect much from this film going in, but I was pleasantly surprised by a decent movie among the garbage flicks being made these days. God, who needs another f'ing romance story with zombies that looks and quacks like Twilight(a preview before the film).

Great dialogue and humor, the characters were believable and I genuinely felt their pain at times.

The car... was a nice touch. Fast as hell, and really looked like a fun ride. Wish I had the chance to get in something like that.

If you like Arnold, you'll enjoy this flick. Great to see he has some life left!
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Thrilling, Immersive, Delightful.
14 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Technical Execution Words really don't do this film justice when seen in high resolution IMAX format in 3D. The high frame rate, from my perspective, was an incredibly positive aspect to the film. I felt as if I was really there, experiencing everything the characters were feeling. I found myself instinctively dodging rocks, feeling a genuine sense of terror at the Hobbit's few scary moments. I can understand that it might not be for everyone, and that's fine. I'm sure it will rock any screen it graces. That's my nutshell impression of the film's technical side.

Acting/Storyline/Plot The acting of most recent films has been disappointing, to say the least. This a refreshing return to films that thrill and really make you feel "at home" with the characters. Peter Jackson has created a fantastical world of danger and fantasy where the actors are free to act out their characters-- they are some lucky folks! I felt a keen sense of connection with the Dwarfs' plight, the desire to return and take back their home. Many people are saying the "intro" was too long. What intro? Huh? The whole "beginning" section of the movie is necessary to create that emotional connection that really gives the film a weighty feel. I left the theater feeling alive and happy.

Other thoughts. I walked into the theater with very high expectations-- and a bit skeptical that the film would deliver. It surpassed everything I had hoped for and more. Don't listen to the critics this time. Don't waste your time on the reviews. Just go see it!
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Dredd (2012)
Gritty, Dirty, and Bloody. Perfect.
23 September 2012
Pretty awesome film all around for action/gore/post-apocalyptic fans that dream of dirty and dangerous cities shrouded in cgi mist that seems to be a intimate part of nearly every film of its genre.

Atmosphere: Couldn't ask for more here. Its everything you wanted in a film that doesn't hold back from showing you how rough life is within its universe. Judge doesn't give a crap about details: just a sentence. And he delivers, that's for sure.

Characters: This movie type has been done before many times with shallow characters, so I didn't have high expectations when it came to character depth. Typical lack of back-story explaining ( I'm not familiar with the comic ) but that's OK because extra fat on the movie isn't necessarily a good thing. The latest Resident Evil addition is a perfect example of a film explaining itself to death before the action starts. This film was a breath of fresh air. Straight, to the point, and brutally succinct when it came to the characters.

Story: Again, I'm not much of a story guy, I just like to see the bad guys (or woman) get his/her butt kicked or (kicked in!).

Go see it with relatively low expectations and you'll be instantly immersed in the movie's world.
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Real Steel (2011)
Great fun, exciting, feel good metal-crunching action flick.
7 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I loved this movie. It has an original feel to it. I mean, how many movies feature awesome looking robots fighting it out!? I'd take this movie over Transformers any day of the week that ends in Y. Go take your kids to see this movie, they'll love it. Good to see Hugh Jackman, great performance all around. The kid was really great too. I know I'm being vague here but I'm telling y'all, its worth seeing.

I thought the graphics and visuals of the robots were just great. Really inspired me for an art project or two. I loved the redemption theme running throughout, it made for a fun ending where the big guy loses and the small guy wins.
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Excellent film for what it offers: engaging action and emotional scenes
6 August 2011
I thought the movie was very emotionally engaging on many levels. It employed a very high sense of non-verbal communication. As other reviews have said, it lacks depth in dialogue, but is a minuscule flaw compared to its strengths. The quality of the animation is without a doubt, on the level of Avatar. Very realistic. Definitely worth a watch at your local theater. The ending is predictable, however, but not bad. If you're a fan of watching chips climb impossibly fast over the Golden Gate Bridge, then you'll love the ending.

It was nice to see David Hewlett in this film, albeit only briefly. He played the paranoid neighbor quite well.
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