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Check Out - "Top 10 Movies of 2016" Ranked!
Its Technical Achievements Outweigh its Story Elements
* This was South Korea's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar of 2016. There were four, notable SK movies released in 2016 and this movie was the one officials felt was the best to submit....boy were they wrong. Both "The Handmaiden" and "The Wailing" are simply superior in just about every reguard.
* The movie is not bad by any measure, it's technical merits (cinematography, acting, production design, etc) are all great. The movie has a great stoic, 1920s feeling to it. And Song Kang-ho is outstanding (no surprise here). This was clearly well planned and organized by top workers in SK. It just didn't have a strong story behind all the great acting and camera-work.
* It's the story that feels just a tad underwhelming. It ends up going exactly where you expect it to (with a few MINOR surprises along the way). But right from the get go, you know where this one is heading. And it's this predictability and makes the 2 hours and 15 minutes feel a bit long.
* When all's said and done, this is a good movie from South Korea, but not great. It's not among the all time greats (and boy there are a lot), and it's not even the best movie from South Korea in 2016. But if you are a fan of period dramas (this one is light on action), then this is something you should check out.
A Simple Story saved by an Eerie Atmosphere
* TBD is an interesting film that is GUARANTEED to polarize horror lovers. It's a very simple narrative from a story standpoint, but what it lacks in narrative it's saved in spades by atmosphere and mystery. This is more of a psychological-thriller than a splatter-fest or hack-and-slash.
* So let's get the obvious out of the way, yes, it's a slow movie. It's a slow burn and I'd even say the climax is rather tame (not lame) in terms of gore/excitement/reward. Yes, it builds to a somewhat bloody climax but it's not balls to the wall crazy, so I'm afraid some will think the slow burn 70 minute build up isn't worth the wait.
* The movie is a classic case of style over substance. The gray color palette and dreary snow gives the movie its potent atmosphere. Throw in a great soundtrack/score (note: the music isn't like "It Follows" where you can listen to individual tracks). This movie's music perfect compliments specific scenes and builds some tension. It's a great addition even if it's not something I would go to Youtube and listen to compared to other horror soundtracks.
* This is a good slow burn horror movie, it's not perfect (mostly because the story is bare bones), but it's definitely watchable thanks to the three female leads. All of them are fantastic! So if you think you can handle a slow burn (with a more thought provoking climax opposed to a splatter fest) then this is something you should check out!
A Top 5 Movie of 2016
* Disclaimer - If you are familiar with South Korean Cinema you should come to expect some silly/oddball humor thrown into a serious thriller (which this film is). Most will find it off putting and I admit I too at times find it rather off putting. But once you get past those moments early on in the movie (an epic 2.5 hour runtime), you'll be rewarded with one of the year's best films!
* The movie is all about the foreboding sense that something sinister is coming. Numerous scenes tease this feeling and it's simply bliss. Characters interact with the antagonist early on and you know it's a mistake that is sure to have consequences. It's refreshing to see this type of structure.
* "The Wailing" is one of the best movies of the year. Period. It features one of the best exorcism scenes of all time, mostly thanks to a cultural difference (coming from outside the USA). The movie leads you in one direction only to pull the rug out from under your feet and throw you in a new direction. It's a movie that keeps you guessing till the final frame, never letting you get too comfortable trusting any specific character. The deceit and misdirection in the movie is simply brilliant!
*** An impressive 9/10 (only negatives are those 'silly' comedic relief scenes that feel completely out of place at times) ***
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Same Creepy Atmosphere but Ruined by another Derivative Story
The Conjuring 2 is a mixed bag of a movie. It has some unquestionable scary scenes but it also has a ton of unnecessary jump scares where the volume goes from whisper quite to jet engine loud. I'm sure the average Joe or teenager will eat them up and proclaim the movie to be a horror classic, but to me it's not scares that makes a horror movie great. That being said, if you are someone that doesn't mind jump scares, you will most likely eat this movie up!
A lot of the good ideas and moments from the first film are present here in the sequel, the likable Warrens, a standout scare scene (the painting scene), plenty of raising tension, and an eerie score. The problem, however, is that it's all dragged out over the course of two hours and ten minutes. That leaves plenty of time for boredom to set in and room for those less engaging moments (or should I say numerous, cheap jump scare scenes). It seems as though the executives or producers of the movie wanted Wan to through in as many scares as possible, ignoring pacing and runtime. Which leads to many scenes being unnecessarily long and plenty of throw away jump scares.
Not only are some scare scenes tepid, but some are flat out cheesy. Anytime the girl is possessed and the evil, old man 'speaks' it's damn near laughable. Mostly because 'a man's voice coming out of a little girl' isn't anything new nor is it haunting.
When all's said and done, The Conjuring 2 has the same eerie atmosphere from the first film that made it enjoyable, but also the generic storyline that plagued the first film. Amplify that story with an unbearable two hour plus runtime and you get, in my opinion, a failed sequel (even if it does have some scary scenes).
Green Room (2015)
''Green Room'' Cuts to the Bone!
Some movies have over-the-top violence (The Evil Dead), some have excessive violence (Inside), and some have realistic violence, that's 'Green Room'. Following up the out-of-nowhere hit 'Blue Ruin', Saulnier returns with another tension-fueled story with crazy-realistic violence that cuts to the bone. This may not have a complex story like 'Blue Ruin', but it's definitely a step up in terms of tension and trepidation.
'Green Room' isn't just the type of movie that has violence for the sake of violence, this movie earns the violence. It's doled out in small short bursts, but those small bursts are incredibly potent and shocking. Every bit a carnage shown on screen is earned.
Not only does the movie present the audience with the obvious fear of death (specifically by mauling) but it also presents us with the fear of a real, competent antagonist. Patrick Stewart's character is menacing without ever doling out any violence himself, he's smart, calculating, and manipulative. It's not often you see movies where the bad guys actually outsmart the heroes multiple times. And that's the real fear factor here, a formidable bad guy.
The downside of 'Green Room' are the thin characters who receive little-to-no development. I wish we were shown a bit more interactions among the band members to reinforce our emotional connection with them.
Outside of the weak characters, there are plenty of obstacles the characters must go up against which only makes the movie all the more exciting. Saulnier knows exactly what he is doing and creates a ton of tension, which more than makes up for the lack of a complex story.
This is one of the years must see thrillers!
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The Best MCU Movie to Date
Just when you thought they couldn't make a better movie than The Avengers, the Russo brothers go and make something like this. The idea of Civil War is tricky, pitting friends against one another all the while they try to remain 'the good guys'. You might be questioning why the would turn on one another, but the script actually provides some sound reasoning per character. Guilt (and a bit of revenge) consumes those who wish to sign the accords and limit their impunity, while those opposing feel the politics behind it won't solve a thing.
Captain America: Civil War (aka The Avengers 2.5) might just be the best MCU movie to date (I'm sure the general public will label it as such). While that may be up in the air, it without a doubt features the best action sequence of the entire franchise, the airport scene. Not only does it feature some new unseen heroes fighting for the first time, but it also features ample amount of humor (mostly thanks to Spiderman). It is the highlight of the movie and actually the highlight of the franchise so far.
But again, the main fault in my eyes (as usual) is that we are still treading water on a cosmic level. Thanos and his minions are still plotting their schemes and have yet to make their presence known to the Avengers. I'm still hopeful to get more screen time away from Earth and get the feeling the entire universe is in peril. One can only hope.
As a whole though, Civil War is a fantastic blockbuster. It features more avengers than any movie to date and gives us plenty of action pieces to make the two hour and 30 minutes run-time fly by.
From Beyond (1986)
Lacks Charm and Purpose (Inferior to Re-Animator)
It's unfortunate, but From Beyond can't help but be compared to the superior Re-Animator. Both films are directed by Stuart Gordon, star the same two leads, and are influenced by Lovecraft, so it's hard not to make comparisons. While on paper they seem similar, the movies themselves are quite different in terms of quality, unfortunately. From Beyond seemed not to try hard enough to create some type of structure to keep the story afloat, whereas Re-Animator perfectly meshed the horror/comedy genres and created some fantastic scenes with sound structure. Basically, From Beyond felt too silly and campy for its own good, you can attribute that to both the direction and the acting. The slim and ick-factor are both here, but the typical charm and enjoyment factors aren't.
The overall idea is creepy in itself (unknown dimensions), but the execution of the story seemed to be lacking. The opening moments reveal the protagonist, but then the following 80 minutes nothing really comes from it. The story seemed to go absolutely nowhere, and in fact I could hardly tell you what it was trying to accomplish. And, of course, there were all those sexual undertones, where they necessary to the story, who knows? Maybe I failed to grasps the film's overall message of sexual exploration and all that, but what was given was scarce and more importantly lame.
Like I said, it's hard not to compare this film to the vastly superior Re-Animator. While the special effects here are fantastic (I love the 80s gore effects), they can't save From Beyond from being dull and joyless. Not a disastrous movie but the movie doesn't even close to reaching the heights of other 80s sci-fi classics.
The Invitation (2015)
Great Suspense early on and a Solid Climax
The Invitation will certainly go down as a hidden gem in the thriller/horror genre in the coming months. It was recently released on VOD with damn near no publicity so hopefully word-of-mouth will save this movie. So far it is a critical hit (over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes) and was a hit at the numerous film festivals it premiered at months ago.
LMG plays a damaged man who has been through a lot in his life and is still grieving for his past mistakes. He and a few others get invited to a mysterious dinner party where things go from normal to strange very, very quickly. But the interesting thing is only one character (LMG) seems to see the strangeness while everyone else is laughing it up and enjoying the night. It's interesting because he isn't afraid to speak his mind about how he feels the night is going and what he finds 'strange'. But the sad part is, he's seen as a damaged soul so his outbursts are immediately dismissed. It's the subtle clues he notices (something as basic as a drinking game or a bottle of expensive wine) that make The Invitation suspenseful. Tiny clues that leave you guessing that something larger is at play, which may or may not be the case.
To say anything more would be potentially spoiling the movie, and with most movies, it's the ending that makes or breaks a movie and this one is no different. The ending is well worth the wait, so if you are a fan of suspenseful movies, this is one of the years must see thrillers.
Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da (2010)
A Must see for Thrill Seekers! *Incredible*
I'll say this now, as far as thrillers go, I Saw the Devil is one of the best of the millennium. It's heart-wrenching, unpredictable, scary, and oh so tense. The movie is incredibly violent and draws a ton of tension through said imagery and if you can muster the courage to watch, it's incredibly enjoyable.
Devil is not only incredibly bleak from a story standpoint but also, the cinematography takes things to the next level. It's incredibly stylized and vivid (reminiscent of Fincher), it truly looks fantastic. Also, Choi Min-sik is amazing as the serial killer, as well as Lee Byung-hun as the hunter. It always irks me when we see the bad guy as incredibly one dimensional and devoid of emotion. Here, we see a ton of the movie through the killer's perspective so we get to see some great acting from Choi Min-sik. He's a loose cannon ready to go off at any moment.
The story sounds somewhat simplistic, a serial killer murders the wrong women and the husband comes looking for him. But instead of turning him over to the police and having the movie be one long manhunt, the husband slowly and methodically punishes the man for his misdeeds. But what makes the movie so exciting and satisfying is that the serial killer simply does not learn from his mistakes. He goes from one bad decision to the next, all the while he is being hunted down and consistently maimed. It's simply, incredible.
Anyone with a short attention span or someone who needs bloodshed to be entertained should find a lot to like about this movie. It's very fast paced, visually entertaining, and unpredictable (cannibalism may or may not make an appearance). I Saw the Devil is one of the tensest movies I've seen in years. Again, if you can handle extreme violence and can enjoy a very mean-spirited movie, this is a must see.
The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
Way Better than the first movie, but that isn't saying much
While it is certainly better than the first Purge, the second one has plenty of faults to make it very forgettable. Extremely weak characters, whom we couldn't care less about, are the main focus of the film and that's its problem. The studios have yet to harness the true power of having an actual 'purge' and displaying pure chaos and mayhem. The movie then, of course, falls into familiar territory with the whole rich people paying to murder the less fortunate, trying to throw in some social commentary and it falls flat. And then the movie falls back, on the whole, family relationship issues, that conveniently moves the plot along. Another random scene is thrown in the get the characters out of a safe place and back in transition.
The movie is basically a bunch of random ideas thrown together to make the movie look interesting and hectic, but that's its downfall, it's too all over the place for its own good. There are not enough ideas that actually work and are focused enough the be thrilling. Anarchy is one of the worst 'horror' movies of the year but still somehow better than the original film.
You're Next (2011)
Enjoyable Home Invasion Thriller (But not perfect)
If you can get past a terribly forced storyline (troubled family relations), then You're Next will surely be a fun, wild ride. The action scenes are very interesting and the character Erin shines, but the amount of illogical character choices are enough to make you shake your head. Perhaps if the movie featured a bit more comedy (because it clearly wants to be seen as a black comedy) it would have stood a bit taller. But putting the tame, bland characters and weak storyline aside, this is a pretty exciting movie with a few stand out horror scenes and a very strong female lead!
And when there is humor, it's pretty dang funny, but there isn't enough of it to really call this movie a black comedy. There are a bunch of ideas here, but they are blurred/buried by a terrible supporting cast and their characters who are completely useless. Who on Earth would leave their mom upstairs, ALONE, when there is a group of killers hunting you one by one? But the one saving grace in the movie is Erin, she is a one of a kind hero and carries the movie with her innovative ideas. That being said, Erin is a FAR better heroine in her horror movie, than Mia from Evil Dead.
The Conjuring (2013)
James Wan makes a great movie out of a terribly generic script
Even though the exorcism genre is extremely overplayed, The Conjuring stands tall among this overcrowded genre. While it doesn't add anything new to the group, it does a great job building suspense and offers a few genuine scares. The storyline is as bland as they come, a family terrorized by ghosts/demons turns to someone with psychic abilities to fight the demons and ends up needing to perform an exorcism. We've seen this time and time again, but this time James Wan adds some solid nostalgia/style and what I think stood out the most, terrifying sound effects to make the movie something special.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, The Conjuring is the most polished, clichéd, horror movie ever made. It features hardly any original ideas, but it takes a generic storyline and somehow makes it shine, it's crazy to see how effective a movie can be in the hands of a good director. A certain crowd-pleaser, this will probably be the general public's favorite horror movie of recent memory, but certainly not mine.
Brought down trying to balance Horror & Comedy
While I enjoyed the overall concept of the film, the execution by Aja was lacking and sporadic to say the least. Like many people have been saying, the tone is all over the place, at times Horns is a comedy when it should be horror, and other times its horror when it should be more mysterious. It's very inconsistent, had the movie stuck to a solid horror/mystery tone, I think the movie could have been fantastic. Just when the movie starts to get interesting and perplexing, the comedic tones come through and ruins the moment.
However, the 'demon/devil' idea was great, original and chilling though I'm not sure what the point of it was in the end game? And his powers, of course, come off as very interesting and some good comedy bits arise because of it. It's hard to recommend this movie on a more serious note since I think the story was pretty hit or miss, but there certainly were moments in the movie I thought were pretty great/original. But I think that if you are having the main character turning into the devil in the flesh, you should probably avoid a comedic approach and stick to something a bit more sinister. Horns has some interesting moments but ultimately fails to maintain its mystery-narrative and comes off as scattershot.
Hard Candy (2005)
One of the Most Tense Movies of the past Decade! Amazing!
Again, Hard Candy is another movie where it is hard to review without giving too much of the plot away and spoiling some of the surprises. The movie features only the two leads (Patrick Wilson & Ellen Page) for 95% of the movie as they battle one another and they couldn't have been any better! Acting aside, the story is super effective, a child tracking down a pedophile and dishing out her own justice, it's a dark and terrifying tale of vengeance. The movie is great at keeping you in the dark as to whether the main character is guilty or not, establishes sympathy for our tormented hero.
The only downside to the movie would have to be its final 5-6 minutes, where the movie relies heavily on the involvement of Jeff's love interest, Janelle, yet the whole storyline didn't seem to make a ton of sense. I just didn't like how Jeff's decision-making and actions were basically controlled by the outside character of Janelle whom we never truly meet. But other than those final minutes of the film, the 'Hard Candy' is one hell of a thrill ride that will surely get your heart pumping, that is if you can buy into it.
So if you are looking for something shocking and suspenseful, but without the violence and gore of today's horror movies, Hard Candy is definitely something you should consider!
Decent War Movie with Brad Pitt
David Ayer creates what is probably the best war movie of 2014. Fury is a gritty look at the life of a group of men confined in a single tank and their struggle for survival. Clearly a crazy life and for just about anyone it would be a very difficult life to have, but these few men make it work. Brad Pitt is definitely the highlight of the film, bring not only his men together but the garrison of other tanks during battle. While together in the tank they are a solid, fighting unit worthy of your admiration, but outside the tank 3/5 men are complete fools and it's hard to look past how obnoxious they are.
So we are left with only 2 men, the new member, and Don, but Don shows his true colors when he executes an unarmed man (I completely lost faith in his character after that scene). And then the kid, unfortunately, doesn't receive enough backstory to make him seem like the 'innocence' character they want him to be portrayed as. Also, the movie would have been far more effective if it didn't go all out crazy with its climax, becoming too over the top for its own good. But outside of these flaws, the movie feels authentic and real in a sense and totally shows the horrors of war. But in the end, the movie will probably just be remembered as 'that tank movie with Brad Pitt'.
Finding Nemo (2003)
One of the Best Animated Movies of All Time
Finding Nemo is Pixar's crown jewel and one of the best animated movies of all time! They create an entire world under water, it looks beautiful, but it also captures the scarier things below the surface. Together, Dory and Marlin travel the Atlantic ocean in search for Nemo and along they way they run into some of the most bizarre characters imaginable! The audience is in the same position as Marlin, he is exploring the ocean for the first time, just like us as the audience, and it is intoxicating. The ocean to most people is a giant, wonderland full of mystery and you never know what you will run into, and Pixar takes full advantage of that as we meet a variety of characters.
Along the way, we are given the treat of having some amazing comedy bits as characters cultures clash amongst one another. But even as we travel across the ocean and back, the core of the story never leaves us, it's a love story about a father and son and it is an emotional roller-coaster. They brilliantly take the most notorious fish movie, Jaws (which made the ocean seem terrifying), and turns it upside down, making the water now seem like a wonderful land full of amazing creatures. Finding Nemo is the epitome of Pixar's imagination and creative abilities, they have made an eternal classic here.
Let's hope the sequel lives up to the first film!
Evil Dead (2013)
A Solid Horror Remake that is V.I.O.L.E.N.T.
Though Evil Dead has plenty of faults (the sounds the demons make are super lame), it is still one of the better remake/reboots out there (not sure if it's a reboot, considering that means it's becoming a series or spawning more sequels). The practical effects are fantastic and very brutal, they save the film from being another dismissive horror, gore- porn. But the movie doesn't feature any strong characters (like Ash from the original), it does its best to try and make Mia a formidable heroine (still doesn't work, however). That might be a problem with the movie right there, all the characters are quite bland.
But perhaps its biggest downfall is that the movie goes for a more strictly horror approach instead of balancing the tone of the film between horror and comedy. The approach was clearly meant to be a more serious tone, but even that serious tone felt of quilter, maybe the movie would have benefited from a joke or two? So if you are looking for a horror movie with gore and lots of blood, this will definitely do, but if you want a horror movie with an actual storyline and atmosphere.....steer clear of this. Evil Dead is another unnecessary Hollywood remake of a beloved cult classic which only tarnishes the original's reputation!
Deliver Us from Evil (2014)
Police Procedurals & Horror Movies Don't Mix
Let this be a lesson to future filmmakers.....police procedurals and possession movies DO NOT MIX. The movie is suspended in the cop genre for far too long to come off as scary or interesting. There is just too much police drama with skeptical main characters who are hard to root for. The problem is that the police side of things makes it difficult for the viewer to suspend their disbelief. Deliver Us From Evil moves at a snails pace and has no interesting qualities to keep you entertained before leads to its predictable exorcism finale. This is the classic go to ending for these types of movies which clearly shows the writers ran out of ideas here and have nothing new up their sleeves.
And as for the final minutes of Deliver, it leaves us with one of the sappiest endings in recent memory, just down right eye rolling silly. This is another example of a terrible horror movie being released nationwide, proving that most great horror movies these days come from independent movie studios. Deliver Us From Evil is another tired entry into the overly done exorcism genre, instantly forgettable and one of the worst movies of 2014.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
An Extremely Enjoyable Spy-Thriller!
Kingsman may just be the most exciting and fun action movie of the year, just like last year's surprise hit, Guardians of the Galaxy. The brilliance of the movie rests in the hands of the writers and their tongue in cheek jokes poking fun at the James Bond franchise, as well as American culture, it's nothing short of amazing. They basically were saying that can do everything the Americans can do (action/over the top fighting), but also while maintaining a high level of sophistication while doing so.
That being said, the action in the movie looked pretty great, lots of fluid/continuous action shots with some nice choreography. Surprisingly, almost all of the great action choreography comes from the Colin Firth's character! And of course like any spy movie out there, there need to be cool gadgets for our heroes, and Kingsman is no different. Everything in this movie is 'cool', from their clothing to their weapons (bulletproof suits, bulletproof umbrellas, grenade lighters), the Kingsman are basically the new James Bond.
In the end, the movie knows exactly what is is trying to do, poke fun at classic spy thrillers while at the same time maintaining a new hip attitude, something today's younger generation would appreciate. And this is not your typical mind-numbing action thriller either, though not terribly original, Kingsman has a certain amount of style and flair to make it something special (that something special might be its political commentary). Kingsman is sure to be one of the best action movies of the year, no question about it!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Not Terrible but not that good...
Though I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but I find this sequel to be slightly superior to the first, mostly because the love story between Peter and Gwen and a standout villain, Electro. The character development was rich, the action was far better, and the movie 'somewhat' moves away from the horribly overdone origin storyline. The movie gives us more insight into his internal struggle between finding his path as a person and his responsibility as a superhero. That is where the phenomenal chemistry between Stone and Garfield comes into play, they are so believable it's incredible (just might be the best love story in the comic book film genre).
But Amazing 2 does have plenty of faults, most notably it focuses a ton of time on Harry Osborn and in the final climax of the film we get to see him shine......for like 10 minutes (what a waste). All that build up and no payoff.
The movie also carries over the dreaded parent plot line just like the original 3 Sam Raimi films which have completely been beaten dry. I don't understand why they keep attaching this sub-storyline to each film, they want it to be more important than it should be. The only redeeming quality of the film has the be Jamie Foxx's Electro, a standout villain who sadly is not given enough screen time.
There are far better comic book movies out there!
Stake Land (2010)
A True Hidden Gem in the Horror Genre!
A very raw post-apocalyptic vampire film, a hidden gem within the genre really. Reminiscent of Zombie Land, but without the comedy, I am actually one of the few people to actual prefer this to that. This movie focuses on the bond between an unknown hero and an orphaned teen, who band together and end up having to take on vampires, as well as a crazed, religious cult all at once.
The movie moves at a fast pace, stopping only a few times to gather supplies and then quickly moves along to the next obstacle in the way of the heroes. I enjoyed the fact that it tells you hardly anything about how the world came to be and how it doesn't talk about finding some type of cure, the characters are just moving along, trying to survive. The big downfall in the movie is without question the climax at the end of the movie, it really comes out of nowhere, it raises a ton of questions and then before you know it it's over. It is something that I can easily overlook though, considering the movie certainly doesn't take itself too seriously.
Stake Land is one of those horror movies that has no right being as good as it really is, it's nothing original, but it's put together very well and works on almost every level, which is sure to gain a cult following. If you are looking for something more along the lines of a popcorn movie, but with solid story, this is definitely the answer.
Peter Jackson has created a modern day masterpiece that will surely stand the test of time and be labeled one of the great fantasy movies of all time. He has created a world that feels very real and in it, he puts some of the most authentic characters who makes the movie flourish. The use of practical effects is what makes the movie shine, the production design in the movie is perfect, everything looks authentic and magical, it's great to see him shy away from CGI when possible. The movie slowly reveals the diversity of Middle Earth and every new scene brings new wonders, it's astonishing to see the world unfold before our eyes.
Fellowship is also the most personal and heartfelt of the three, seeing the Fellowship weaken and fall apart as the movie is devastating. Though the battles and storyline are the smallest and least 'epic' when compared to the second and third movies, the emotional impact here is the greatest. This is why the movie is the best of the three, the stakes are high for the group of people we care about, we just get to meet them and already they are falling apart. The character interactions between the original Fellowship is the best aspect of the movie, together there are no more than nine characters, but they are given the greatest task of Middle Earth. Not to mention to great comedy bits that take place between the hobbits and the other members of the group (the later movies move away from the comedic tones).
The Lord of The Rings is easy one of the great trilogies of all time, they are all must-see movies! Fellowship>Return of the King>Two Towers.
The Writers ran out of ideas before Jumping the Shark
Luc Besson has a unique idea her in Lucy, but it ultimately gets lost the further the movie goes on, just like with most movies that attempt this type of narrative. With this type of movie (becoming omnipotent), it's hard to have a profound conclusion/3rd act, and this movie is sadly no different. Everything in the first half of the movie is certainly entertaining and thought provoking, but in the end, the writers write themselves into a corner.
It's intriguing to see what type of powers she possesses early in the transformation, slowly gaining new abilities and fighting off her foes. But the movie makes the cardinal sin of making her too power, too soon. Way before the movie reaches its climax, she has to powers to basically stop any type of threat opposed to her, which, of course, ruins the ride too soon. Once Lucy gets to around 60% power level she is undefeatable and all the excitement goes out the window and we just have to sit back and see where the writers want to go with this.
Omnipotence is probably something writers and filmmakers should avoid for the time being, it's a tricky subject that almost never pays off. Try Besson's Leon: The Professional, for a far more enjoyable and action packed thriller!
Koroshiya 1 (2001)
Brought Down by Terrible CGI
Overall, Ichi The Killer is a long and tedious film, the movie would have received a lower score if it was not for its extremely unique plot, which I loved. Though it is a bit grotesque and unusual, it was something that seemed right up my alley (I enjoy high concept horror movies). The main character is as bizarre as they come, which is great, if it weren't for Kakihara, the movie would have been flat out terrible. His growing excitement towards Ichi is great, the more he gets anxious and excited, the more we are pulled in as a viewer.
But a film with so much potential is squandered by the disappointing character known as Ichi, he is so over the top that it completely ruins the character. I hated everything about his character, from the actor who plays him, to his excessive jitteriness, and to his convoluted past. This is where the movie lost me as a viewer, so much relied on this character and I couldn't buy into it. Before the two characters meet, we are given glimpses of Ichi and for me, they were nothing but disappointing.
And as the for the climax where they finally meet, I should have known the movie would throw a curveball (it is Miike after all). But what you can say about the movie is that Miike has a very unique style, which is bittersweet, I can appreciate and admire it, but I don't always enjoy it (like the case with Ichi the Killer).
One of the Greatest Movies of All Time
One of the greatest movies of all time, Steven Spielberg has created another masterpiece with his terrifying ocean thriller, Jaws. Scary and tense throughout the entire movie, this is how a true horror movie should be. The movie builds up its villain perfectly without throwing all of its cards on the table too early, which then makes the reveal so much more harrowing and intense.
Spielberg takes a great, if not potentially real, storyline and spins it in a way that makes his characters shine just as much as the shark itself. The characters are strong & memorable, and add excitement to each scene as we watch them bond together while hunting the maneater. Jaws is so effective that it actually has sparked real life fear in the hearts of millions who are now overly cautious about going into the open water. You know when a movie has the ability to strike actual fear into people's lives, that the movie itself is something special, Jaws is no different. Jaws is one of the greatest movies of all time, from its fantastic acting to a terrifying theme song, this is a movie for the ages!
A Must See!