Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Grave Encounters 2 (2012)
Nice to see that they're letting 6 year olds write scripts nowadays
I would say that this is comparable to something you would catch on the Sci-Fi channel at 3:30am, but that would be giving it a compliment. In most general cases with scripts, people tend to take a step back, review what they have written and say "Now how can we make this better". Where as in this case, they took a step back and said "Let's see how BAD we can make the following sequence" This is seriously one of the WORST films i've ever seen. Oh wait, strike that, they didn't use film. So let me say that this is the WORST piece of digital i've ever seen. Youtube videos have better depth than this tripe. I gave this thing 2 stars because at least it gave some people work in L.A.
21 Jump Street (2012)
Finds a nice ground between entertaining and hysterical
On the surface, this movie looks like it would be somewhat mediocre. But it's actually pretty damn good. When you're not laughing your pants off (and believe me, you will be), you'll have no problem being just plain entertained by it's ability to just have fun. It does a great job of not only avoiding giant cliché's, but making fun of them in the process. Jonah Hill will have you laughing, and Channing Tatum actually did a good job in this movie.......not surprising seeing that the role called for him to be a douche bag. Which once again, is something to chuckle about. Towards the end, the movie does tend to drag on, but has no problem pulling you right back into it's fun. As far as comedies go, this is a pretty good way to start off 2012
Real Steel (2011)
Transformers.......eat your heart out.
Hmmmmm.......the last time Spielberg produced a movie involving robots, was 'Transformers'. And by god, do i hate 'Transformers'. The last thing i need is another Michael Bay wanna-be action flick. Hopefully this is anything but.
The summer of 2011 was missing a lot of fun with their action. Only on maybe 2 occasions did i walk away from a movie feeling like i had a great ass time. I only wish this came out during the summer time, because it would certainly have made up for the giant gap of fun.
Words cannot begin to explain how much fun i had watching this film. It was one of those action movies that made you WANT to be a kid again. Some might call it predictable or cliché'. But it's acting and it's story and it's action tie in so well together that you don't even care. You cannot help but just sit back and enjoy this ride.
The story does start off somewhat slow......well, that's what i gathered at least from the people around me. But for me, i saw nothing but character development. A washed up boxer who doesn't have the ability to make a right decision. I mean hell, the guy abandoned his only child, and when the kid finally comes back, he STILL doesn't want anything to do with him. You never see that in a big budget Hollywood flick......especially one with Spielberg's name attached to it.
Now here's where a bit of the cliché's fall into place. They find a robot in a pile of garbage, pretty much symbolizing Hugh Jackman's character. He's beat up, and nobody wants anything to do with him. Obviously you know where the story is going to go from here........but like i said before........i didn't care ONE BIT.
They did a great job of establishing a certain amount of depth within each of the central characters, sure they did it a cliché' sense. But the acting and direction combined with another amazing score by Danny Elfman really made it shine. I kid you not, i almost cried at the end.........really.......a movie about fighting robots ALMOST made me cry. So to pretty much sum it up......it's a cliché' done right.
However, the majority of this movie REALLY had to rely on the fighting. I mean, if it wasn't intense, then all that character depth is just wasted. But rest assured, you easily get your money's worth with the fights. A lot of the elements they used are somewhat stolen from the 'Rocky' series. But then again, so is Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, and i don't see anyone complaining about that game. If you're a big 'Rocky' fan, you'll easily see some of the similarities. But watching robots act them out......it's hard NOT to like. It's intense, it's fun, and it's easily AND obviously the best part of the movie. And trust me, you get TONS of it too.
Bottom Line........Like i said before, it's one of those action movies that makes you feel like a kid again. You see, this is what 'Transformers' should've been. Well put together, action packed, heart felt, and just plain fun. This is easily one of THE best movies i've seen all year. It's not artistic with it's action like 'Drive'. It's doesn't have the intelligent depth like 'Planet of the Apes'. It's just plain fun. I only wish it came out during the summer time, because it would've fit in perfectly.
An art-house action flick at it's finest
I think we all remember hearing about Ryan Gosling right after 'The Notebook' came out. Most men, including myself, neglected the man on his acting ability. It's not a good reason to not really appreciate an actor. But when it comes to romantic flicks like that, i'm not really keen on the subject, or it's actors for that matter. But film by film, this man is starting to impress the hell out of me. Now it's about time to see what kind of chops this man has when it comes to an action film.
Believe me when i say this.......it is the coolest damn action flick i've seen in quiet some time. It's not your basic shoot em' picture. It has this slight 'noire' edge to it that makes it shine much brighter than the rest.
For starters, let's talk about the pace of the film. Most may call it slow, whereas i call it hypnotic. The lead played by Gosling, is a cold and quiet fellow who barely even speaks, blinks, or give any reference to his emotions. The film is littered with these somewhat awkward pauses by his character........i personally wouldn't call them awkward, because the way the film is presented, it makes them look beautiful. Case in point......in the movie "Heat", you know how Dinero, Kilmer, Sizemore, Trejo barely speak to one another. But the overall feeling is just so entertaining to watch? That's the exact same feeling you get when you watch this picture.
But as the film rolls on, Gosling's character becomes a bit more vibrant. And by that, i mean more gory. It's not the kind of gore you would expect. Not like Tarantino gore, but more like a David Cronenberg gore. (History of Violence, Eastern Promises). You know, the settle, yet explosive gore that you really weren't expecting......which i love. And then the movie does nothing but climb higher and higher with it's level of intensity. It took this stone cold character, and molded him into one cool ass superhero.
But what really sold me on this film was it's overall FEEL. The best example i can give is this........it's a cool mix between "Heat" and "Taxi Driver", with a very artistic edge. I already said that the movie is hypnotic, and i cannot stress that enough. Once the picture starts, your eyes are literally glued to the screen. The cinematography is fantastic, the musical score is hip and awesome, and the acting is top notch. All these elements were executed to perfection.
Bottom Line.......i may go and see this movie again. I rarely ever do that......THAT'S how awesome this was. It's an art-house action flick at it's finest. Both men and women will drool over this movie. If you get the chance, go and see this movie......you will never regret it.
Apollo 18 (2011)
To many damn assumptions....
Most people seem to hate the whole 'hand-held' horror movie. "Blair Witch", "Paranormal Activity". The majority of the people i encounter say they hate em'. I however, love the hell out of em'. They're new and original. They offer something fresh to the horror market, because let's face it, i'm tired of seeing the same damn thing over and over again. I mean for Christ sakes, they have 7 'Saw' movies, and 5 'Final Destinations'. And is that wasn't enough, they're remaking all the classics. No matter how many people hate on the concept, i will STILL go and see every single one.
Unlike the other 'hand held' horror movies i mentioned before, this movie takes a much more different approach with it's style of filming. Since this is 'so-called' recovered footage from 1974, it's very grainy, it's frame rate is very slow, and it's slightly damaged. From a third party perspective, that might sound intriguing, and in a way it is. But there were some portions of the movie that got kind of annoying with their jump cuts and white-out techniques. But once you pass the 30 minute mark of the movie, you start to get use to the style they're using and you don't notice it as much.
But the biggest problem i had with the movie was the story. You see, in 'Blair Witch', they at least gave you a bit of back-story to what was going on. This one is all assumption......which i HATE. You can get by with this technique if you were covering something else like ghost, or evil spirits. Even though we know nothing of the subject, we get an idea of what the main characters are dealing with. But when you're in an unfamiliar place like the moon, and you're dealing with alien creatures, you need to explain a little more, otherwise your audience is left scratching their heads. And in this case, i was scratching pretty damn hard. Mainly because i had no idea why they were there, what they were dealing with, and what the governments intentions were. Like i said, it was nothing but assumptions.
And speaking of assumptions, you're going to have to assume what these creatures actually look like, because you never get that FULL establishing shot of what they actually look like. You either get a quick 1/2 second glance, or the film is so damaged that you can't make out what's on screen.
Not only that, you never get the idea of how these creatures operate. What are their intentions? How do they live? What are they capable of? WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME DAMN ANSWERS FOR THIS MOVIE!!! However, amidst all the confusion, there is one thing i did like, and that was the level of intensity. There were certain sequences that really had me going. Throughout the entire movie, they did nothing build up more and more. So of course, i was expecting this super grand horror finale'. But it ended in a pretty dull and abrupt fashion. And once again, left me with more assumptions.
Bottom Line......i appreciate the movie for it's different style of filmaking. But the overall plot had more holes than the moon has craters. I think if they explained more and brushed up on some of the annoying editing techniques, then this movie would have been something to marvel at. It was alright, i didn't hate it, but it's not the type of movie i'd go raving to my friends about.
Fright Night (2011)
Damn good vampire fun.....
Can a horror remake actually be a good for a change? I mean, how many classic horror flicks does Hollywood have to crap on until they finally give up? "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Amityville Horror", "Nightmare on Elm St.", "Friday the 13th", "House of Wax".......all of these films are examples of why i sometimes HATE Hollywood.
Finally......a horror remake that's WORTH seeing. I must admit, i had some pretty low expectations walking into this, and it did way more than prove me wrong. Initially i thought they were going to make this a straight 'B' movie by incorporating tons of humor with their gore, which would have been fine with me, seeing that i love the genre'. But this movie was more fun than funny. Don't get me wrong, there are some sequences that are funny, but it had more of that 'drive-in' appeal to it's horror. And i loved every bit of it.
It's story is pretty basic, and somewhat cliché'. I mean come on, a vampire living next door. But the weird thing is, it didn't come off as cliché'. And i think the biggest contribution to that was the pace of the film. Once you get past the first 10 to 15 minutes of the film, which are kind of dull, the movie quickly begins to morph into a fast paced gore fest. And now looking back on it......if it were not rated R, then this movie would have been stupid, and it would've fit in with every other crummy horror remake.
But the aspect that i appreciated the most was the writing. For once, they didn't alter any rules to make their film different. They stuck with what already works, and left it up to the actors to make these vampire rules entertaining. And Collin Farrell did just that.
Bottom Line.....Of all the horror movies that come out this year, this will probably be the one you will have the most fun at. It's funny, it's somewhat scary, but most of all, it's pretty damn entertaining. It's one of those movies i would've loved to of seen at the drive-in. If your tired of all this 'Twilight' crap, which they happen to mention in the movie itself, then this is really a breathe of fresh air to all the TRUE vampire fans.
Hands down, the best summer movie of 2011
Of all the movies that can possibly be re-booted......why reboot another movie that's already been re-booted? And of all the projects that the Weta team can possibly tackle, why this one? Well it must be the script, because everyone that's come across it has wanted to be somewhat involved. Hopefully it lives up to the expectations that are already in place, because i don't think i could handle another stink bomb like Burton's version.
Finally......a summer movie that's actually WORTH your summer dollar. Almost every element of this film is pitch perfect. Just what makes this 'oh so' great? Allow me to explain....
Judging from the preview, i thought the movie to be a little too relative to the concept from "Deep Blue Sea". But this movie takes a much more different route with their Alzheimer's approach. Needless to say, they did a much better job than that movie.....obviously.
I know most people may be scratching their heads to this comment, but in my opinion, this is easily the most well written script of the year thus far. It's intelligent, thought provoking, emotional, and damn well entertaining. What makes this so good is the progression of the main ape 'Ceaser' (heh, ironic name), and his journey from a curious and smart ape, into an upset ape that realizes the harsh realities of being treated like an animal. It's now easy to see just why everyone jumped on board when they read this. I kid you not, i actually got goosebumps from this movie, and that rarely happens.
And once again, the Weta team did a phenomenal job with their brilliant special effects. Andy Serkis who has already done work like this before in 'Lord of Rings' and 'King Kong', out preformed most actors in Hollywood without barely saying a word. Is it wrong to say that a man in a blue suit with dots all over him, imitating an ape is so far the best actor i've seen this year? Uh.....not at all. Trust me, see the movie, and you'll understand why.
Bottom Line.......not only is this easily the best movie of the summer, i will go as far as saying it's the best movie i have seen so far this year. Yes, it is THAT good. Like i said earlier, almost every element of this movie is pitch perfect. The writing, the acting, the special effects.....all done to near perfection. It some people's eyes, this is called a reboot. However, it feels more like a prequel. But judging from what i just saw, i hope to god that they make more of these, because it literally just blew my mind.
Friends with Benefits (2011)
First half, funny......second half, giant chick flick cliché' trap.
After seeing that pile of garbage that is "No Strings Attached", why on god's green earth would i see a movie that harbors the same concept. Well, ideas can be crapped on. Case in point, "Batman and Robin". Just because Joel Schumaker took a dump on my childhood doesn't mean the idea of Batman is still in the toilet. But can an idea as simple as this be somehow salvaged? I must admit, the movie did start off quiet entertaining. Both characters are likable, the dialog is witty and at times very funny, and the cameos are great. Needless to say, the direction this movie was taking was VERY different from "No Buttholes Attached". They made the sex portion of the film both hilarious and very sexy. The guys will love watching Mila Kunis strut around in next to nothing, and the girls will love the constant shots of Timberlake's ass. Combine that with the quirky awkward situations that we all encounter with sex, and you got a pretty humorous concept.
However, around the half way point of this film, it took a turn that i was hoping would never come. And that's what happens with the majority of these chick flick traps, they trick you with their humor, and they turn all emotional. And that's exactly what happened with this movie.
I mean come on, how can a film that's really witty and funny turn all serious in a blink of an eye? I mean, one second i'm laughing, and the next, i'm not forced to deal with the sad situation with Timberlake's father having Alzheimer's. Then it trickles down even more when Kunis overhears Timberlake's feelings about her, and of course, the movie gets all emotional and turned into "No Poop Bombs Attached".
By this point of the movie, i gave up all hope. I already knew what was coming. I was bored, and i actually took a phone call in the theater, which is something i never, and i do mean NEVER do.
Bottom Line.....like i already said before, the first half was funny, witty and clever. And the second half is a giant chick flick cliché' trap. I didn't hear one laugh or chuckle in the theater for the remaining hour of the film. But the ladies will probably love it.
Kind of empty if you ask me.....
With all the chips finally falling into place, there's only one left to go. But can the Capt. fit in with the rest of the already awesome group? Ever since "Batman Begins", studios came to realization that an origins story can have an unreal amount of depth and be extremely entertaining at the same time. They have since applied this method to "IronMan" "X-Men: First Class" and so on. However, other movies have failed to miss this mark. And in it's own little way, to me, 'Captain America' kind of missed it as well. Allow me to explain...
For starters, the villain 'Red Skull' played the fantastic Hugo Weaving, was probably the biggest disappointment of the film. No, not by his acting, but by his level of depth, or lack thereof. In my opinion, he is the dullest villain on screen. I guess the writers and director thought that by him being a Nazi, the audience would already buy the fact that he is an evil person, so they just went ahead and explained of his back story, which is summed up in a 15 second flashback sequence. Hmmmm, really......i kind of need more than that.
In fact, Captain America's back story was kind of weak as well. Don't get me wrong, there is a great character within, however, they didn't really shoot the moon on this one, which is kind of upsetting, because you could really sense the potential.
But once Steve Rodgers gains his super human powers, it's just one action sequence after another, with Red Skull occasionally making an appearance. I guess this was an attempt to remind the audience who the villain was, because he's barely on screen for more than 5 minutes.
Don't get me wrong, the movie is slightly entertaining. It was just missing that WOW factor. Marvel tends to do this a lot. They really focus on the 'love' aspect, and they don't pay attention to the battle within both the good and evil characters. You kind of sensed that in "Thor", but they obviously made up for it in the long run.
Bottom Line.....yes, you get your dollar's worth, but i kind of wanted something more. With the whole team coming together next summer, i have to say that the Capt. is probably my least favorite of the bunch.
A very memorable finale'.
Two years ago, i finally sat down and watched all the Potter films. I will admit, they were well put together and pretty entertaining. However, i didn't see why people hold it up like it's the greatest story of all time. So i took their advice and read all the books. Is there a difference? Not really. Sure the movies miss some minor details and leave out a few characters. But the overall essence of the story is captured very well in the movies. But still, i didn't feel this overwhelming sense of joy that everyone else seems to be experiencing. Never the less, they are pretty entertaining to watch.
Even though i thought Part 1 of this was a complete bore fest, i knew what was later to come in this entry. And the movie does exactly what i expected it to do.......hit the ground running. Most of these Potter films give constant build up towards a giant climactic battle of sorts. Whereas this one constantly moves forward with it's action and never let's up.
The special effects and 3D display are absolutely amazing. Everyone already knows that the 'Battle of Hogwarts' is what everyone was waiting for, and let me tell you, it looked pretty damn impressive. But here in lies my only problem with the film. The 'Battle for Hogwarts' was kind of weak.......allow me to explain.
After reading the books and watching all the movies, one would expect that this would be an end all be all battle. In a way, it is.......however, they constantly direct your attention away from this, and focus more on Harry finding these horcruxes. In fact, they focus on that more than the actual battle. Yes, i understand that this IS important......but, i want to see this ultimate good vs evil fight take place, minus the constant cut to's.
I would go into one more thing i didn't like, but for those of you who know nothing of the story, i wouldn't want to ruin it for you. But other than that, the film is pretty damn entertaining.
Bottom Line, would i say that it's my favorite Potter film? No, but it does give an amazing sense of closure to the series. I wasn't emotional.....to tell you the truth, i don't see how i could be since the story didn't really MOVE me. But the entire theater was blubbering throughout the entire third act. So i guess it really hit home with the die-hards. Never the less, WB did an amazing job with this series. They didn't slip up like most, and they gave the audience exactly what they wanted. Job well done.
Green Lantern (2011)
Not as finely polished as the greats, but entertaining never the less
In the realm of superheros, Batman is and will always be my favorite. But in a close second, is Green Lantern. Why Green Lantern? Because there is a major level of depth to his character that doesn't just revolve around earth like most superheros. One might make the argument that Superman does the same. This is true.....but when i mean depth, i'm talking about Green Lantern eventually turning evil.....something no other comic has dared to try. Let's hope this attempt can capture the image i already have planted deep within my brain.
For starters, let's talk about what i did like. The visual effects are what really make this shine. And the 3D certainly is not wasted. Almost every single scene is virtually stunning and very eye catching.
Second would be the acting by Mark Strong as Sinestro, and Peter Sarsgaurd as Hector Hammond. These two really came to play ball, especially Sarsgaurd. Not to knock Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. They weren't bad, but they didn't dazzle me like the others.
The action sequences were pretty rad as well. Yes there were few, but what they did give you was enough to fill your appetite. Could i have used more?.....absolutely. But i feel that if they over did it with the action, then it would have strayed away from the plot, which is what a lot of action movies do, and fail in the long run.
Which leads me to what i didn't like. Okay, the storyline is just fine. It's not bad, it's somewhat solid.......best way i can put it is this. It isn't finely polished like say "The Dark Knight" or "IronMan", but it does it's job as far as being entertaining. I must be honest, i was expecting a giant WOW factor with the story....but i think the problem was that they didn't incorporate that major level of depth that i was referring to earlier. I mean, there is a lot going on in this movie......you have whats happening on Earth, and what's happening on 'Oa', and then there's the love interest with Lively and Reynolds (which is kind of flat), then you got the two villains, one of which is one the other side of the galaxy. It is a lot to take in. They do a good job of pacing it and spreading it out........but i think that if they trimmed a lot of the fat from this movie, like say they only had one villain....maybe that would have opened some more doors of opportunity to let in some more depth. So was the story bad? No.....i liked it.....but i couldn't help but sense that there could have been more. And i'm not saying that because i read the comics.....it's from a movie standpoint.
Bottom Line......i really enjoyed. It's not as deep as the great superhero movies....which to me is a bit of a let down. But overall it was fun. On an entertainment level, which superhero movie would i compare it too?........i would say "Thor". It did a nice job of wetting your beak. But so far this year....."X-Men" still has the crown.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Enlightening, beautiful and funny....all at the same time
Something very surprising about Woody Allen films is that you never even know when they're released......let alone even know he's directing them. The past three Woody Allen movies i have seen have all been great, and it strikes me as odd to see that his movies are not highly publicized. I mean, the guy has been directing movies for almost 30 years now. You would figure that his movies would be everywhere.
Once again, Woody Allen has impressed the hell out of me. He does such an amazing job of taking something so simplistic, and making it beautiful and extraordinary. The main character Gil, played by Owen Wilson (who i normally hate, but actually liked in this movie), is a struggling writer who walks the streets of Paris at night, and is somehow thrown back in time each night and has chance encounters with some of the most notable artist and writers of that time period. I know it may sound somewhat bazaar, but Allen sells it in the most entertaining fashion.
Confronting Dali, Hemmingway, Picaso, Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Elliot.....these are all people who appreciate the arts dream of conversing with. Allen knows this, and creates this romantic yet humorous cloud around each of these chance encounters. If you have any appreciation for the arts or fine literature, you will love the set-up of this movie.
As far as acting, it's pretty damn good. I know earlier i said how i normally hate Owen Wilson but i loved him this picture. But the real bread winner in this movie is Marion Cotillard. In the past, Woody has always done a fine job of making his lead female 'oh so' very seductive and erotic. The writing for her character is there......but Marion took it and did something truly incredible with it. Every frame she was in made my mouth fall flat to the floor. The way she spoke and the way she evoked emotion with her eyes......it was almost too much for me to handle. Im my opinion, she is the front runner for best actress so far this year.
Bottom Line.....it was a very enjoyable piece of work. One of the best i have seen so far this year. Since this movie wasn't heavily publicized, it felt like discovering a little gem that not everyone knows about, and it makes it a little more fun. And in the long run, i think that's why Woody doesn't go for the main stream theater.....he goes for the romance of watching a movie. And this movie definitely proves that point.
Super 8 (2011)
Wish they never stopped making kids movies like this.....
Funny that Abrams is working with Spielberg.....seeing that i consider JJ to be the next Stephen. But has Abrams ever created an idea on his own? Every single movie he has directed has been from someone else's hand. He has proved that he can direct one hell of a movie, but can he create one out of thin air? Remember those old late 70's early 80's kid movies? Ex: "Stand By Me", "Goonies" ext. This movie really strikes a cord with those. Not in the adventure sense, well....that too......but the comparison that i'm trying to make is the overall presence of these main characters and the dialog they exchange with each other. The humorous cussing and funny scenarios....it fits right in with those classic films that we all remember. And it made me think.....Why aren't kids movies like this anymore? It was a nice trip down memory lane for any film geek.
As far as story lines, the movie is pretty damn solid. It has that certain Spielberg vibe to it with a little JJ spice thrown in. I mean come on, a bunch of kids filming an amateur zombie flick and witness a train crash carrying contents from Area 51.....you couldn't ask for a better summer movie set-up. But i know most people walking into this will think that everything is about discovering this creature......much like "Stand By Me" with the body, and the treasure with "The Goonies". But if you understand those movies, you will also know that there is a much deeper subtext. With "Super 8", it's got a lot more heart. I wouldn't say it has more heart that "Stand By Me", but it comes pretty damn close, and that in itself is a big compliment.
But what really sells this story are the characters. The kids in this crack me up like you wouldn't believe. And oh my god.....Elle Fanning just made her sister look stupid with her talent.
But the transitions between the adults and the kids are great. Each one is entertaining, and there is always something physically going on to keep your attention. From beginning to end, the movie does not stop moving.
And next we move onto the alien, which i have been dying to see for over a year now. I won't go into too much detail, but it's really similar to the "Cloverfield" monster, just a smaller version. The back story behind this creature is pretty cool, i really wish they could have gone into more detail. They give you enough to wet your hands, but i wanted a full bath. The cool aspect they did with the creature is to the same effect of "Jaws". You don't really see the entire thing until all hell breaks loose, which comes somewhere in the third act.
I know most nerds like myself will dislike the ending, but i however enjoyed it. It wasn't cheesy or over the top......it fit nice and snug with the rest of the movie.
Bottom Line.....i know it will take a couple of days for this movie to fully sink into my brain, because like i said before, once it starts, it doesn't stop. But judging from what i just experienced, they really don't make summer movies like this anymore. It's a nice trip down memory lane with the nostalgia. The characters are all enjoyable. The Sci-Fi aspect is really cool. The action is top notch. Everything a summer movie should be. I just wish every kids movie was like this......because 20 years ago.....it was.
X: First Class (2011)
Matthew Vaughn just stabbed this series in the heart with an adrenaline needle
The series that started out as MARVELS prize stallion in the film industry, has since been raped in the ass by films such as "Wolverine" and "X-Men: Last Stand". How can you possibly go forward with a series that has been tarnished twice? Well, you do what they did with Batman.....you start from the beginning. Yes, i know that this is truly NOT a reboot, but the studios are hoping that this leap back to the past will create a jump start on a series that was thought to be all but lost.....let's hope they're right for a change.
I can easily say this without feeling any regret.......this is without a doubt the best X-Men movie created. Yes, i know that most of you "X2" fans will be throwing your hands up in the air. But let me explain why.....
First off, the character development in this movie is amazing. Director Mathew Vaughn does an incredible job of making every single good character likable, and every bad character hateable. Watching a young Professor Xavier get drunk and hit on women. Watching a young Magneto cover the globe killing Nazis......uh, i'll watch that any day of the week. And since we're on the topic of Xavier and Magneto.....my god, if you thought the original combination of Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart was amazing......wait until you see the combo of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. No, i'm not saying that this duo is better, but i'm not saying it's worse either. Never in my wildest dreams did i think anyone could compete, but these two are really something special to watch on screen. Even before they cross paths. Their characters alone could make an entire picture. Especially Michael Fassbender as Magneto. In my opinion, he's the one who stole the show.
As far as story lines....it's a bit of the same old stuff, just in a different time period. But this go around seems much fresher. It offers a much more different take and a broader spectrum than the typical 'These are humans, and these are Mutans...now fight'. It delves more into the history aspect, which to any guy, is always cool.
However, the only slight problem i had with the film was towards the end, right before the final battle. You have all these characters who just came together, and you're really ready to watch them finally go crazy after watching this amazing montage of Xavier helping them. And right after this happens, they drop some plot points out of nowhere. I get WHY they had to do it, but the placement felt just a bit off to me. I think if they spread them around the movie instead of having it come out of nowhere towards the end, then maybe it would have been okay. But does it take anything away from the film? Absolutely not.
Bottom Line.....i said it once, and i'll say it again. This is the best X-Men movie i have seen thus far. Everything from the acting to the storyline......it was amazing. And even thought i think a lot of people will give all the credit to the acting, which in a way they're right.....i however, give it all to Director Matthew Vaughn. He took a story which easily could have been crapped on by producers and studio exec's, and he made it his own, and he made it fresh and fun. Even if you disagree with me and say "X2" is still better...you still won't be able to deny the fact that this is certainly the most entertaining of the bunch. Without a doubt the best movie i have seen so far this year. Captain America and Green Lantern.....the bar has been set.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Not as great as the first, but still fun never the less
I have never really liked anything Dreamworks animation had to offer. Call me crazy, but I'm not the biggest fan of Shrek or Ice Age. That is until i saw 'Kung Fu Panda'. Something that was worthy enough to challenge the ranks of PIXAR. I can only expect more great things to come from this series.
What made the first film work was a combination of things. Obviously there's the depth, humor, and amazing character development. But what really sold it for me was the progression. The progression of the main character 'Po', and him discovering that everything can be special. It was a beautiful thing to watch unfold on film, and it really tapped the nerve of Chinese philosophy. My main problem with this film was how it didn't follow the same progression. Sure it had those deep rooted elements. But i felt like it was lacking just a little more heart.
Now i'm not saying that this movie was bad at all. I did enjoy it. But i've already seen what these writers and actors can do with a subject like this. So needless to say, it wasn't as epic as the first.
However, the movie is worth the watch. If you do get the chance, see it in 3D, because this is certainly worth the couple extra bucks. But aside from the visuals, the characters are all still fun, the action sequences are fun, and there are some portions of the story that will damn near break your heart.
Bottom Line....the storyline still does have that deep Chinese element to it, which i really love. But it's not as eye widening as the first. I still had a good time, and the ending did kind of leave me excited. If you loved the first one like i did, i think you'll have a great time watching this one. But in my opinion, the first was way better.
A script so bad that it made Jack Sparrow boring...
Much like the 'Survivor' series, Jerry Bruckheimer just doesn't know when to call it quits with his projects. 'At World's End' is without a doubt one of the worst third installments I've ever seen. One would figure he would stop there. But why? Two of these pirate films are within the top 10 highest grossing pictures of all time. And that's what making movies is all about right?....making money? Well, with two of your main supporting actors gone, (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly), you obviously need to introduce NEW characters for Jack Sparrow to pinball around with on screen. Enter Penelope Cruz.....who i kid you not, contains more wood in her character than Keira Knightly. And no, that was not a sexual reference. I actually dreaded every scene she was in. She could have died halfway through the movie and i would not have cared. And the character who i guess is suppose to replace Orlando Bloom, was even more boring. He had absolutely zero stage presence. He looked more like an extra that they decided to make one of the leads at the last second.
But i do not blame these actors......i blame the terrible writing. Because there is no depth to any of these characters. I remember the first pirates' film, and how fun it was to watch, and how entertaining these characters were. Now it's just a bunch of non sense. Dare i say that the writing is so bad that even Jack Sparrow was boring? Yes, i will say that because it's true. Just because you have him swing from a chandelier, doesn't mean it's the same Jack Sparrow. Where were his funny little comments? His quirky/confident sense of humor? My guess is that it sunk somewhere within the third installment. If you're reading this and shaking your head saying 'That can't be true'.....yes, it is. I didn't think it was possible either.
And speaking of nonsense, the storyline. For starters, the bad guy is a man named 'Blackbeard'. Who has the ability to control stuff with the wave of his hand. Much like a jedi. But what separates him from being a jedi is......in Star Wars, they actually explained how they were able to move stuff. Whereas in this movie, they just did it because it looked cool and didn't even care to explain how he's able to do these things. That's just one example from the laundry list of loose plot outlines this film has.
Bottom Line.....good lord this was boring. This series has gone from "Can't wait to see the next one", to "Oh, they're making another one", to now "Ah, who cares". But knowing Jerry Bruckheimer, this probably won't be the end. And that makes me sad......what a waste of 250 million.
Everything Must Go (2010)
A great blend of humor and drama
I am a firm believer that comedic actors can pull off some of the most convincing dramatic roles, but they're rarely ever given the chance. Adam Sandler with "Punch Drunk Love", Jim Carrey with "The Truman Show", Robin Williams with "Good Will Hunting", and most recently with Will Ferrell in "Stranger Than Fiction". I'm glad to see that he's getting another go about it, because he has certainly earned it with me.
Does something really dramatic happen in your life, something that changes your entire path, and then a couple of days later you see a movie that seems to capture everything you've been thinking about. Well for me, it's this movie. Given my current situation, this movie really struck a cord with me. Now i know i shouldn't be partial to a movie just because of my current status, so i did take a step back and observed the movie for what it really was, and yet i still found a pretty damn good picture.
The storyline sets itself inside your head with great ease, and i think that's because you can identify with the main character really well. And i'm not just saying that because of my own personal account, but because Will Ferrell IS a comedic actor, and we have all laughed at him in the past. So seeing him in such dire straights kind of makes us feel for him, which in turn, makes the plot that much brighter.
Now i know most people may walk into this thing expecting to see a laugh out loud comedy. You may find that, but it's more on the serious side with some deep and dark humor. Somewhat similar to what he already did in "Stranger Than Fiction", and once again, he does a great job of selling the character. But this movie does have the perfect dose of both the humor and drama, and it never gets caught up trying to do both at the same time.
However, the one minor problem i did have with the film was the ending. It wasn't bad, but i was looking for a more epic finale'. I know i can't get that all the time, but this movie was pushing forward with such great momentum, and you just wanted this overwhelming sense of atonement by the end. Sure i got some of that, but i could have used a bit more.
Bottom Line, i liked this movie a lot. If offers something different, yet something so very simple at the same time. It's both funny and dramatic, and for me, it gave me somewhat of a catharsis. Will Ferrell really has served up another one. I know it's early in the year, but so far, this is one of the best films i have seen in 2011.
First half, hilarious.......second half, cheesy chick flick trap
Can women be funny? Sure they can, but only when it's under 30 minutes. I'm sorry, i know that may sound sexist, but seriously, name me a female comedy that is made up only of women that is worthy of remembering? The only thing i can think of is when they roast somebody on Comedy Central.....hence why, because it's under 30 minutes. Anything after that, always tends to fall into the emotional cliché' side. Honestly, i'm rooting for you women....i really am. I want you to turn this tide.
The first half of this movie is comedy at it's best. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. The pace and timing is spot on, very relative to "The Hangover", which is great. However, some of the comedic bits created this strange uncomfortable vibe between the characters. I know it was intended to make the scene even more funny, which in a way it did, but since they did it at almost every turn, after a while it began to loose some of it's luster. But, still funny non the less.
So you got a great first half that has everyone in audience geared up for more laughs.....so you would expect a hilarious finish, right? Well, once again, they fell back into the cheesy emotional not so funny cliché' sequence that i hoped would never come. Case in point, take "The Hangover".....imagine right after Mike Tyson punches Allen, the guys sit around a mope about how much they have messed things up, instead of doing other hilarious tid bits. And that is the route this movie took. Yes, i understand that this is the one for the ladies......but come on gals. If you want a girl to girl movie, i'm sure blockbuster has an entire section dedicated to just that. Let's bring something new to the table. Prove that you can be funny all the time and not so emotional.
Bottom Line......the movie started out with a bang, and looked very promising.....but then it slowly morphed into a giant cliché' trap. I'm sorry, but if you want me to buy your comedy, don't include a sequence where a girl bakes a cake that says 'I'm sorry' on it.....sorry, i know i spoiled a little bit of it, but now you know what to expect, because that's exactly what this movie turns into. It goes from hilarious comedy to cheesy chick flick. So is it bad? No, not really......but, it could have been so much more.
A few years ago, i thought this movie couldn't be pulled off.....i was just proved wrong
When word first broke that they were creating an 'Avengers' movie, my initial thought was "impossible". And the reasoning behind this though revolved around one central hero, and that is Thor. Granted i have only read a few of the Thor comics, and in my honest opinion, they were a little too boring for my taste. But that's not what concerned me. What concerned me, was how in the world they were going to sell this character on screen. I mean, the guy is the freakin god of thunder. How can you introduce that element and have it revolve around other likable hero's such as Hulk and IronMan? Well, judging from the previews i've seen, they seem to know exactly what they're doing.
For starters, the intro is bloody brilliant. It does a great job of establishing the main characters, and immediately encompasses a cloud of likability around Thor. Needless to say, they quickly establish the limitless bounds of his actual power, which is always fun to watch because you have never really seen that in a superhero movie. It always escalates upward to them gaining their power.
After this somewhat of an epic start, the movie maintains a pretty good pace. I honestly could have done without the love interest between Thor and Natalie Portman. Yes, i understand that in this case it was necessary. But it felt really weak to me. And it's nothing to blame on the writing or the acting. It felt weak because there were so many awesome things going on, that the love story was really the least of my concerns on screen. It kept jumping back and forth between two and sometimes three different worlds, and incorporate that with battling awesome creatures, who would want to pay attention to any romance the film has to offer? But the main point is that it doesn't take anything away from the character development, it just felt somewhat un-necessary.
Now comes the end, which left me slightly disappointed. You have this awesome beginning where Thor is just going crazy with his hammer, you would expect something even more epic for the finale' right? Well, they give you a pretty good finale'......but it didn't burn the eyes out of my skull like i wanted it to. Was it bad?....No.......but it could have been slightly better in my opinion.
Bottom Line.......they did a great job of making it fit right in with the other Marvel hero's, which is something that i thought to be 'impossible' a few years ago. It promises a good time, and it gave me just that. Some work could have been in the middle and maybe towards the end, but overall i left the theater feeling very satisfied. Thor has easily established himself as a major badass, and this does nothing but build a bigger bridge towards the Avengers. So, in the realm of Marvel superhero movies, where does this one rank? Well, let's break it down........I didn't like it more than "IronMan", but i liked it more than "Incredible Hulk" and especially "Wolverine". I would rank it up there with maybe the first "Spiderman", which isn't bad at all. In fact, i liked it more than the first Spiderman....but that's just me. Even if you disagree with me on that front, you still wont be able to deny that it was a pretty damn fun ride.
Fast Five (2011)
The first sequel in the series that's actually worth your dollar
Sure the original was something fresh, new, and somewhat original. But the sequels have been anything but. Yeah i know it's high octane fun, but you can say the same thing about Michael Bay films. Am i saying that these sequels are as bad as Michael Bay films? No, but each one offers nothing new, well, unless you count drifting, and that isn't saying a lot. Hopefull this new installment can bring something fresh to the table.
I never thought i would say this, but i actually enjoyed this movie. I went in with low expectations, and came out pretty damn satisfied. Sure the movie had a lot of the same moving parts, but what really made this one stand out is how it actually changed the pace of how they normally do things.
First, they didn't have a damn drag race every 10 minutes. In fact, they barely had any. Which really is a genius idea, because when the time did come to have an awesome driving sequence, you were begging for it. Finally, someone with brains stepped into this movie and said let's save all of our bullets and unleash them in the end.
So with a series that relies heavily on their driving sequences and less on their script, how do you keep your audience entertained? Well, the first step is to incorporate another major actor, enter The Rock. Next, you really need to buff up your script. Okay, here is where it gets both good and bad. It's good because the movie takes a ton of it's credit from the "Ocean 11" films. Yeah, it's stealing an idea, but it injecting more action into it, which is pretty cool. But the reason why i say it's also bad, is because it's still packed with bad cheesy one-liners, poor acting, and some really tarnished plot outlines. But does that take anything away from the fun.......not really.
Bottom Line, okay people, here is your first action movie worth seeing this year. No, i am not one of those people who hold these 'Fast and Furious' films on a high pedestal. Not since the first one have i given anything over a decent review. But i can say with confidence that this one is actually worth your hard earned dollar. Sure it's slightly cheesy, packed with impossible action, and sure it steals some plot outlines from other films, but i like i said earlier, it's still fun to watch. So with that being said, the question remains.....is this the best one in the series? I still say no, but this movie comes damn close. Closer that any of the other ones, thats for damn sure. On a time line, this should have followed up the original
Scream 4 (2011)
It preaches new decade and new rules, but it's the same ol' crap
What happened to you Wes Craven? In the 80's, you were a true pioneer for the thriller genre'. Now, you are at the bottom of the barrel. Not only were your last 3 films utter garbage, but you sold the rights away to your very own classics. You have become the Michael Bay of the thriller department. Yes, i did say that, and try to argue with me otherwise. Try and tell me that "Scream 3" was good. Try and tell me that "Cursed" was worth watching. And i double dog dare you to tell me that "My Soul To Take" is anything past decent. They are the same parlor tricks used over and over again. At least John Carpenter knew when to call it quits. But, i will give the man a second chance.
For starters, the movie preaches up and down how it's 'A new decade with new rules'. They talk about the 'Saw' series and......well, that's all they really talk about because the past 10 years have produced next to nothing in the horror/thriller department. So what new rules have been established? Well i'll tell you right now......the answer is NOTHING. It's the same damn set-up, with the same damn parlor tricks. The only thing that makes it different, is they play another 'who done it' game with different characters.
I think we all can agree that the original "Scream" is a classic. The second one came out, we played along, and were mildly entertained. But by the third, we kind of got tired of the same ol' crap and didn't really care who the killer was. And now with the forth installment, i'm pretty damn annoyed. Just because they waited 10 years to introduce the same concept, doesn't change the fact that they're still knocking on a door to an empty house.
I honestly was hoping for something fresh and original......much like the first "Scream". I will admit, the ending had some potential......but like every other modern day thriller, they gotta take a giant dump on it.
Bottom Line.....i know some and maybe most people will welcome this return with open arms. But i don't. The reason why there has not been a decent horror/thriller movie in the past 10 years, is because they keep repeating the same damn idea over and over again. And this movie just jumps right into the same pool. It's movies like "The Decent" that offer something fresh and different. And if i want to be apart of a mystery 'who done it' game, i'll go into my basement, and find my old "Goosebumps" books. Honestly people, if you want something new and different, go and see "Insidious". Because that will be more remembered that this repeating garbage.
It's not your high octane action movie......but it's certainly one of the most artistic.
Can, and should artistic directors take a crack at action movies? Warner Brothers took a chance and let Christopher Nolan helm the Batman franchise, and look how brilliant that turned out. Before "Batman Begins", Nolan only directed "Memento" and "Insomnia". Two movies that relied more on depth and substance as opposed to action and adrenaline. And i think those two things, depth and substance, are and have been the missing ingredient in this generations action flicks. So with an academy award nominated director Joe Wright taking the wheel behind this one, i can only expect great things.
For starters, the action is not as high octane as one might expect. Nolan had this problem with "Batman Begins" as well. By that i mean the fighting sequences are not as impressive nor filmed as well as most of your big budget action pictures. There are a lot of close in, quick cut hand movements, and then the fight is over. You get the picture that this girl is a bad ass, but you kind of want that establishing shot of her going insane on three guys at once. Instead, the fighting last only a few seconds, and you don't really know how she stuck it to em'. Imagine watching Hit-Girl in "Kick-Ass", but the camera is zoomed in so you can't really tell what's happening.
And as far as the cinematography is concerned, that is only the real flaw in this picture. Everything else is absolutely gorgeous. If you've seen the movie "Atonement", then you already know what your in store for.
The acting is another aspect that was incredible. Both Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett prove their range as actors......but the show stopper is obviously Saoirse Ronan. Even though i think this kid is amazing already, i think she will do nothing but grow into something even greater. She once again does an amazing job of creating this amazing stage presence.
As far as a storyline......it's eh. Don't get me wrong, it did keep my interest, but there really was nothing groundbreaking about it. For example.......when they finally reveal the ultimate plot outline towards the end, your not as blown away as the director would've hoped. It feels like a story that i've already heard before.
So is there really something special here? I would say yes and no. It's special because it's not your typical action picture. It's very artistic, and aside from the action sequences, it's shot very very well. Even if you become somewhat bored by the storyline, the combination of the cinematography and incredible musical score by The Chemical Brothers keep your eyes glued to the screen. But the reason why i would say 'No' is.......it's storyline is not as epic as you want it to be. Sure it starts out great. I mean come on, a little girl being trained by her father to be a mega bad-ass and survive in the wild on her own.......that's freakin' awesome. But after that.......it kind of dwindles off.
Bottom Line......i did enjoy it. But do i think it's the action movie of year? Not really. But one things for sure, it will certainly be the most artistic of the bunch.
I will have trouble sleeping tonight....
Of all the genre's that Hollywood has to offer, the most tattered of the bunch is without a doubt the horror department. I am so sick of these wannabe 'so called' horror flicks that belong on late night lifetime channel. Im sick of the same old parlor tricks and scare tactics that have been used for the past 10 years. And i am even more sickened by the fact that they keep making the same crap year after year. You would figure after great horror flicks like "The Decent" and "Paranormal Activity", studios would start realizing what actually works and what audiences want to see. Hopefully in the coming years, this genre' will come back to life.
When it comes to horror movies, i think the two most crucial elements are the cinematography, and the musical score. Actually, i prefer there to be no music at all. Almost all the great horror movies never use it, because they rely on scaring the audience with disturbing images, not raised music that makes everyone jump. If i want that, I'll go to a haunted house. When i go to see a horror flick, i want it to leave a lasting impression. However, movies like this are the one exception.
This film had such amazing cinematography, that i didn't even care about those 'raised music' sequences. I rarely get creeped out at the theater, and this movie scared the crap out of me. I'm talking' sweaty palms, eyes wide open, my body sunk all the way down in my chair scared. And for those of you who have read my reviews in the past, i hardly ever say that about a horror flick. And what really sold it was the cinematography. This film is packed with tons of really creepy and disturbing images. So much in fact, that you will hate walking into your dark house alone. Yes, they do use the same scare tactics, but since everything in the movie looked so damn creepy and demented, i for once didn't want the lead female to hurry up and open the basement door and get it over with.
The storyline is pretty decent. It's not an amazing concept or genuinely creepy on it's own. But it does a decent enough of a job to keep your interest and sell what your seeing unfold on screen. And it's safe to say that this is a very different take on your typical haunted house.
Bottom Line......holy crap, i just realized that this movie is only PG-13. Is it possible for a movie to be scary as hell and only be rated PG-13? The answer is yes, and this is a prime example of that. You know when a horror movie has done it's job? It's when it scares you both in the theater, and hours later when you try to sleep at night. Tonight, i will have lots of trouble sleeping. I can easily say that this will probably be the best horror movie of the year.
Sucker Punch (2011)
With everything turned up to 11, you kind of wished the delivery of the concept was the same way
What's not to say about director Zach Snyder? So far, he hasn't missed. He pulled off the impossible by remaking a classic horror flick. He revolutionized the film industry with his amazing slo-mo techniques and incredible set designs in "300". And he helped recreate one of the greatest graphic novels of all time on film. Whats left you ask? How about an idea of his own? Sure he has the ability to glorify someone else's....but can his own concept match his eye.
Well one things for sure, this certainly has the look of a Zach Snyder picture. By that of course i mean the action, which is next to flawless. You have your amazing slo-mo fighting sequences with hot baby doll ninja's and dragons and robots and nazi zombies.....it's any living man's virtual dream world. Combine that with beautiful set designs, pitch perfect sound mixing, absolutely amazing visual effects and an epic musical score that will rock the brain out of your skull.....it's almost too much to handle. You literally leave each action sequence as if you just got off a roller coaster.
But Mr. Snyder has done all the action before, we all know it was going to be fantastic. What about the story? Well.....the overall concept really is great. The way they attack it is good.......but that's the thing, with everything running at full throttle, you kind of want the story to be right there with it. It's almost as if they knew they had a great concept, but decided to focus on the action sequences with more precision.
You can also tell that they didn't pour that much heart into developing the story because aside from all the leading ladies being mouth watering, they all seemed at tad flat. There wasn't much depth to any of them, other than the fact that they are all locked in a mental facility and they can kick major ass with awesome weapons.
Bottom Line......to the eyes and ears, the movie really is something to marvel at. It is beyond stunning, a visual wonder. The story is good, but the delivery is not on par with it. It's not an overall disappointment. I thought it was pretty good. But, if you are like me, and you eat your eggs with salt, here's a quick comparison. Imagine you have your eggs for breakfast, but there is no salt. No salt, that's okay, i'll still eat em', they're really good.....but, they would have tasted a lot better if it had salt. Same thing with Sucker Punch.
One of those comedies you would prefer to watch on your couch after a night of heavy drinking
Like it or not, Alien movies are the hot ticket this year. "Mars Needs Moms", "Battle: L.A", "Super 8", and "Area 51". It only seems fitting that a comedic twist on the subject would surface. It happens almost every year, no matter the genre'. Whether it be a superhero flick, or a gangster movie, Hollywood always finds a way of providing a comedic point of view.
Given the previous material that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have given us with "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", one can only expect greatness. Well....they are missing Edgar Wright as a director, which really does add a lot to the table. But i think Greg Mottola is a great fit. Seeing that his last directed comedy "Superbad", is one of the best comedies in the past 10 years. But even though the team behind this seems like it would be brilliant, it really doesn't have an edge to it like one would expect.
The comedic portions of this picture are somewhat funny. I found myself mildly chuckling at every other turn, as opposed to laughing hysterically throughout the entire movie. The humor is good, but not great. You either have to be super stoned, or a mega nerd to understand where most of the comedic 'one-liner' dialog comes from. If neither of which applies to you, then it will probably be waaay over your head and you wont be laughing at anything. I however, like to consider myself a bit of a movie/comic geek, and I understood all of the funny references that they constantly make. But even though i fully grasped everything they were talking about, i still wasn't laughing my head off. It was more cute, than funny....if that makes any sense.
However, i will say that the Christian community will be upset about this. I myself AM a Christian, but i was not offended. I get the jokes, and i don't put up a fuss about it. It's all in good fun. But the other radical 'i complain about everything' Christians, will be up in arms about a lot of it. But i do have one complaint. This movie had the potential to be REALLY funny if it wanted to. I think everyone in the theater could sense it as well. But instead of exploring all these possible elements of humor within the story, they decided to go the religious route. So in a way, i am offended by the religious material. Not as a Christian, but as a movie fan.
Bottom Line.....By no means am i saying that this movie is bad. But then again, I'm not really saying this movie is good either. It falls right in between. It's really one of those comedies that you would enjoy on your couch on a Saturday morning after a night of heavy drinking. It's one of those nice comedies that requires you to not think that much......which is nice. But it's a very forgetful comedy piece.