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Review

Keanu Reeves gives us the best b-action flick in the longest.

Don’t even know the last time I saw a movie like this on the big screen (feels like a Straight-to -Video type of film). Reeves plays John, a grieving widower who days after burying his ill wife gets carjacked by Russians who kill his dog( a gift from his dying wife). This was the event that spark what would be ninety mins of non stop mindless action.

Ironically, Reeves does a great acting performance as a man focus on nothing but vengeance, and he gets it with the best gun play and violence the western cinema could possibly give us, but I expected noting less from the actor who directed The man of Tai Chi just a year ago. His love of Asian action films is reflected in this picture. Keanu is no Chow Young Fat, but he’s an impressive runner up with this film.

The movie had a similar quality to Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer, but since Ted Theodore Logan does not have the acting chops of the great Denzil, the movie has to rely on choreographic style, something that Keanu has been good at since The Matrix. The action flowed like Neo was Fred Astaire

It was an action spectacular, filled with guns, fights, car chases, hot girls (like Adrianne Palicki as a hot girl with a Gun) . Don’t wait for it to come on video, see it on the big screen.

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Review

I’ll give a very honest review- starting with the trailer. The trailer was pretty misleading based off the fact that certain things that happened in the trailer wasn’t in the movie at all, which is kind of okay, since nothing really spoiled the movie. The beginning of the story was alright, and it didn’t catch speed until near the middle to the end – where it got entertaining.

The story itself was decent, it’s not deep (but what horror nowadays is, am I right?) Don’t expect the story to be mind-blowing. I will say, I adore Olivia Cooke, who plays the lead in the movie, but she didn’t meet my expectations in this movie…her acting was, for a lack of a better word, lacking.

IF you enjoy jump scares, this movie is definitely for you. Ouija has jump scares through out the movie, which made it a pretty entertaining watch.

Overall, decent movie, nice jump-scares, okay-acting, but too abrupt of an ending. The movie as a whole was not bad, but the ending was a little disappointing to me. It seemed to end pretty quickly; I wished it was dragged out a little bit longer.

Should you watch in theaters? Yes, if you are into the jump-scares. It’s not the best movie, but it isn’t the worst either. Besides that, wait to rent it.

Ouija had a lot of potential, but I personally thought that it could have been better if they tweaked the ending. There were several unresolved problems, and it’s kind of weird that you barely see these kids’ parents at all besides the beginning of the movie. Like, seriously, where are these kids’ parents?

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Review

Good, but not great, WW2 movie.

Written and directed by David Ayer, who gave us the brilliant End of Watch, plus the reasonably good Harsh Times, and wrote Training Day, you expect good plot, good action and, most of all, character depth. The action scenes are great – pretty much straight out of the Steven Spielberg/Saving Private Ryan/Band of Brothers school of realistic war action. Suitably gory, yet not gratuitously so.

Plot is OK, but not brilliant. Some sub-plots feel contrived and the final scenes seem overly gung ho, sentimental…and very predictable and unoriginal. Furthermore, some scenes are very clumsily done, and/or plain unnecessary. (The tank’s Commander and Assistant Driver in the women’s apartment was the best example of this – has me squirming the whole time and it seemed to last forever).

Moreover, the character depth Ayer built up in End of Watch is lacking here. Yes, there is some character depth, but it seems superficial. In End of Watch you ended up caring so much for both cops and couldn’t imagine anything happening to them. In Fury you hardly get to know them – only the tank commander and assistant driver and then only to a limited extent. Makes you feel less engaged with regard to what happens to them.

In keeping with the lack of dimension to the characters, the performances feel a bit wooden. Brad Pitt is OK in the lead role, but his performance lacked something. Similarly, Shia LaBeouf is OK, but his character is overly stereotyped. Logan Lerman probably gives the most convincing performance of the movie, as the rookie Assistant Driver.

Overall, an exciting and entertaining movie. If more time was spent getting us to care about the characters, and less time on unnecessary, clumsy scenes, this would have been a brilliant movie.

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Review

Gone Girl despite of names like Fincher and Affleck is nothing but a big disappointment. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. But from a technical standpoint it is a poorly written screenplay an even worse movie.

1. First, you don’t have a hero. Ben Afflecks character at first comes across as let’s just say not very nice guy. This is intended but gives us nobody to root for. And since he is portrayed as kind of a coward and cheater when you find out his wife is alive you still do not really care for him. When the movie comes close to the end and she goes completely bananas we finally care a little bit for him, but that leads to problem number 2.

2. Ben Afflecks Performance: I am really an Affleck fan…as a director. Gone baby gone, Argo, good movies. But as actor he is just not good. There is a scene close to the end where is sister is crying because of his predicament. And its kind of funny because you would have expected that from him. I mean his life is living hell, he must live with a killer and he is not able to pull that desperation off.

3. Why is she like she is? She is unhappy with her marriage and decides to fake her death in order to kill her man and than herself. Are we supposed to believe that? 4. The movie never takes anything serious so can’t we. The way the characters are played like the blonde show host, the dumb neigbhour or even Afflecks wife and the the way marriage is portrayed is very exaggerated the whole time which leads to too much comedy and less drama. Rosamund Pike is the best example which leads to my last point.

5. Rosamund Pike is the only good thing in this movie, amazing performance. But that creates a problem. Because she plays it so exaggerated it becomes kind of funny and cool. Which it maybe is supposed to be but till she cuts open poor Neil Patrick Harris with a knife we kind of root for her because she is the cool bad guy. All this planning, and the “switch” she pulls whenever she needs to act innocent is just too cool for the “bad guy”. And this where we have come full circle: We have a movie without a hero who has to overcome a personal conflict. Affleck tries to be that guy but its hard to like him because the first half of the movie he is portrayed otherwise. To have a even more likable hero we need to have a really despicable bad guy. Which we don’t have because when we learn that she is alive the movie shows us how she planned it like the clever planning from oceans eleven. So we have a cool bad guy half a hero and what do we learn? What’s the message? Be always good to your wife or she will frame you for murder?? Which by the way I was wondering the whole time. The writer must have had some bad relationships because this movie goes on and on about how marriage really leads to complety apathy and hate for each other.

And this one of the movies where people who now find it so cool in a few years won’t remember why. It is different but its different because the story and the way the characters behave doesn’t really make sense.

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Review

I found that “The Book of Life” didn’t really work when it came to the humour, but the art direction and the overall design of the film was so bold and so striking that I was easily able to get over it. I’m not at all familiar with Central American/Mexican traditions, but I assume this animated film is based on a traditional fairytale. First thing you need to know is that there are two places where humans go when they die. The first is the Land of the Remembered, where it’s a party all of the time and you go to find all of your loved ones. The second is the land of the forgotten, a place of misery where the people who are no longer remembered/mourned by their families slowly fade away into oblivion. The rulers of these two realms are La Muerte (voiced by Kate del Castillo), who reigns in good place and her husband Xibalba (voiced by Ron Perlman) who rules the gloomy place. They observe a trio of best friends: beautiful María (Zoe Saldana), brave Joaquín (Channing Tatum) and sensitive Manolo (Diego Luna). The two rulers of the dead each back up one of the guys and they place a bet on which one will win María’s heart, with the Land of the Remember as the prize to be won.

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the humour was just aimed at a significantly younger audience than say… 27-year-old amateur movie critics, but I felt that it felt really flat. It’s not that it was cringe-worthy with bad fart jokes or that kind of thing; it’s just that I didn’t laugh or even chuckle very much during the entire runtime. Maybe the writing is just kind of weak, or that I had the additional hindrance of being so distanced from Central American traditions that I don’t even know what a “churro” is, but it didn’t resonate with me at all. Normally that would have probably killed the film, but I actually found that I enjoyed it a lot overall despite this. The main reason is that this film feels totally fresh from a plot and visuals standpoint.

One of the major reasons why I tend to lean towards hand-drawn animation more than CG animation is that at a certain point the films begin to kind of all look the same. There’s no need for the animators to get creative in their renditions of hair for example because the technology is so good they can simply create realistic-looking hair on their characters. There’s no need to come up with creative shortcuts for the backgrounds or costumes anymore because 3-dimensional objects can easily be manipulated to be seen from any angle or to flow across any surface. I’m not saying that computer-generated animation is easy, or even bad. I’m saying that sometimes the lack of limitations makes the films look too similar to each other. This is where BOL comes in. Just look at these characters, with their puppet-like designs, their exaggerated features (the hair for Maria, the torsos for the men) and their unmistakably Mexican look. Is there anyone out there who could ever mistake them for characters from any other film? I sincerely doubt it because the three main characters of this movie are the blandest ones! If you look at the side characters in this film, their designs are absolutely insane! We have people whose faces are 2-dimensional, a fat mariachi who would probably have an easier time rolling around than walking, characters with noses that look like pink, twisted pickles… and then there are the inhabitants of the land of the dead! I can’t give enough praise to the character designs in this film. Even the way they move is so unique. I mentioned how everyone is “sculpted” to look like puppets. That means the characters move in a way that is totally distinctive. Their bodies do not change shape because they’re treated as if they were really made out of wood. You would think, then, that the characters would move awkwardly, but they are fitted with just enough joints to make them very mobile and expressive. I hope they make these characters into real-life figurines because they would be absolutely beautiful to see.

Once again, I have to mention that the film is breathtaking to see. It’s so colourful and so unique. I need to look up art director’s other works and see if any of them are half as good as this film’s. But, there’s more to a movie than just the visuals. What about the story? It’s totally original and filled with characters that are not just stock fairytale heroes and villains. My favourite was probably María. Yes, she’s the love interest that everyone pines for, but she is aware of that and unwilling to become a stereotypical damsel in distress or a prize to be won. She is a real character, as is everyone in this film. Best of all is that this is a story that to my knowledge has never appeared on-screen before; nothing like it has. There’s been surprisingly little of the Mexican culture brought to the big screen and it’s like I was craving to see this spectacle… but I didn’t even know it until now. Yeah, I kind of wish the writing had been better, but the freshness makes up for it.

We have great music (including some original pieces), fantastic visuals, smart characters, an original story and breathtaking art direction. On the negative side, we have jokes that don’t really work. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Even though I wasn’t the target audience for “The Book of Life”, I was really impressed and I give it a high recommendation, particularly if you have an affinity for the culture on display here. It’s a real feast for the eyes.

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Review

OK, the wife and I went because of Steve Carell – frankly the theater only had a handful of people in it on discount night.

The film is formula 60’s Disney – 2 dimensional likable characters, sight gags that are largely slapstick, and a family oriented theme.

SPOILER ALERT

OK, the family consists of 6 folks – father (Carell), mother (Jennifer Garner) and 4 kids, of which Alexander is number 3. He feels he is always on the short end of the stick when it comes to luck and accomplishments especially compared to his family. His family does not seem to relate to this well – so he wishes on his birthday they would have a fall apart day – and TA-DAH, they do.

The characters are 2 dimensional – not difficult to act to but done with competence nonetheless. The gags are largely telegraphed unfortunately – the film opens with the end of the day, and because of how the characters are dressed several of the gags are already set up and largely used. For example, the oldest boy shows up at the beginning of the film in a light blue tux – all we have to do is see how he winds up in this tux for prom night. Incidentally, his girlfriend is incredibly shallow and the boy shows maturity by dumping her when she dishes his family – predictable, done before.

The film has a happy ending – everyone is successful, Alexander gets a good day he wants, all is tied up in a nice little bow and you go home feeling good.

High points are some cameos – Jennifer Coolidge, Megan Mullally and DICK VAN DYKE – one of my favs and it’s good to see him on the screen again in a Disney film, even if its only for about 10 minutes.

So, yeah – it is a safe film to take the kids – it is designed for a younger audience – preteen and young teen. It really IS vintage Disney. I rated it 6 stars only because it is largely formula.

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Review

THE BEST OF ME is every wive’s dream, as long as you overlook Amanda’s pact with the Devil, her crass hypocrisy regarding alcohol, and this flick’s dark incest themes. A geezer named Tuck Not-Quite-So-Everlasting (a blatant stand-in for Beezlebub) pops back into the lives of his favorite two high school troublemakers after 21 years in the form of a box of ashes, which issues marching orders to the married mom and the conscience-plagued best-friend-killer to spread these mortal remains at his joint bequeath to them–a Garden of Eden-like love nest far from the Real World. Since THE BEST OF ME folks hired Hollywood’s top product placement team, the reunited couple’s week-long love tryst is fueled by Budweiser–carefully positioned in the foreground of nearly every frame. This despite the fact that Amanda’s marriage has been dissolved by Demon Rum (check out Hogarth’s Gin and Ale contrasting woodcuts, if you have a fine arts background). Then, in a climax that defines Bathos, Mr. I-send-every-dime-I-make to-my-best-friend’s-fatherless-boy (except-what-I-need-to-keep my-late-model-Corvette-convertible-running) finds out WHY he was saved from certain death for a Week in Paradise: sure enough, Amanda’s only surviving child needs his heart, which Daddy missed by an inch with his rifle blast! Now Mommy’s Man can never stray from Sonny’s chest!

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Review

Directed by newcomer Gary Shore and starring Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper and Charles Dance, Dracula Untold tells the story of Prince Vlad of Transylvania and his transformation into that most recognizable of monsters, Count Dracula.

The events are set in motion when the Sultan of Turkey (Dominic Cooper) requests one thousand boys for his imperial army, including Vlad’s son. After an unsuccessful negotiation with the Sultan, Prince Vlad makes a vow to his beloved wife (Sarah Gadon) to protect his family.

To defend his country, he then turns to the Master Vampire (Charles Dance) who haunts the caves of Transylvania. The Prince bargains with the Master Vampire to become a vampire himself. The movie then takes a fairytale turn in which Vlad must resist the urge to drink human blood for the next three days. Upon his transformation he is reborn as a one-man supernatural force of darkness, ready to singlehandedly take on the Sultan’s army and defend his family and Transylvania.

Luke Evans in the title role gives a brooding yet decent performance, though I did want more character development and not just from the leading role, but also from the rest of an undistinguished cast including the Sultan’s portrayal as a one- dimensional villain. On the other hand, Charles Dance, best known for Game of Thrones, gives a classically sinister performance as the Master Vampire and is the best in the movie.

Like Disney’s recent retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, Meleficant, the film is centered on a classic villainous character. Dracula Untold takes a similar direction and loosely bases Prince Vlad’s dark past on the historical account of the real Vlad the Impaler. When I first heard about this movie being pitched as the origin story of Dracula, I was intrigued. The story delivered on what I anticipated and it didn’t disappoint. It really makes for an interesting blend of legend and history, though I was not fully convinced a character that went from a bloodthirsty murderer to a demonic creature would make a likable hero. The story’s direction later on feels more like a modern superhero film rather than Dracula’s story as traditionally known.

The film’s Transylvanian setting is dark as it should be and is also reminiscent of Game of Thrones. The battle scenes are epic and fast paced but rely too heavily on shaky cam. Ironically, for a vampire movie, there’s not a lot of blood; obviously to achieve its PG-13 rating.

Despite the movie’s lack of character development and a predictable plot, I still recommend it to fans of both the horror and fantasy genres. The ending is left open – sequel perhaps? I’ve heard Universal Pictures is renewing its licensing of other classic monsters such as Frankenstein, The Mummy and the Wolfman. Sounds like an epic monster mash is on the horizon.

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Review

The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival before its theatrical release, where story writer and director David Dobkin was able to make an appearance for a Q&A, which we have transcribed and included below our review. Superb, truly an instant classic and must-see for any film lover or actor; because it truly is a writer’s film and an actor’s film. . Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a fast-talking, win-at-all cost big-city criminal lawyer who travels back to his picturesque hometown of Carlinville, Indiana for his mother’s funeral. But after his father Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), a well-known and respected judge in the small town, is accused of murdering a man he had once sentenced to time in prison; Hank stays back to defend his father in court. Things get more complicated when Dwight Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton), a man disgusted by Hank’s morally questionable methods, steps in as the prosecutor. . While working to prove his father’s innocence, Hank gets reacquainted with his brothers; Glen Palmer (Vincent D’Onofrio), a soft-spoken giant with a once-prominent shot at the Major Leagues; and Dale Palmer (Jeremy Strong), a child in all but age with an 8mm film habit. And long-ago girlfriend Samantha (Vera Farmiga) a self-sufficient small business owner. . Every single element of the film was superb, from the story and writing to the art direction and cinematography to the breathtaking performance of every single actor. And audience member in the Q&A at the festival pointed out that the film feels as if it were based on a classical novel; a staple like To Kill A Mockingbird reimagined for a more contemporary audience. Shockingly, it’s an original screenplay; a collaboration between David Dobkin and screenwriters Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque.

These scenes were made even more powerful with the level of talent present in this film. Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall were simply amazing. The actors went somewhere they haven’t gone before, no better example than the bathroom scene, serving as a perfect tipping point in the story and their relationship. But every major character had their moment in the spotlight. Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton were great supporting characters and we’re quickly becoming Leighton Meester fans after seeing her in Like Sunday Like Rain and now in this film, where her brief appearance is very memorable.

Perfect balance of drama and humor. Plenty of laughs throughout, which all come from the honesty of the characters and their situations. Downy Jr.’s natural sarcasm and ability to make just about anything funny help too. The heavy humor didn’t take away from the intense drama of the story at all. If anything, the funny moments made the dramatic ones even heavier.

Every story element came together so well, with just enough of a resolution for every single subplot; without going too far with the ‘ending’ lasting forever. The very last shot of the film is just subtle enough to be artistic and beautiful, just telling enough to be a satisfying ending.

SPOILER ALERT!!:

This film would be a tough one to find the right ending for; one which will both satisfy the audience and teach the protagonist enough of a lesson. So many well-written films screw it up in the third act, but this one ended so perfectly. The noble man must sacrifice himself to be true to the morals he hopes to pass on. But his son must also be given a chance to make a difference, to use his talents for good.

So many people are able to be virtuous, until something huge goes wrong. Then they’re willing to do anything to make it go away. Downy Jr.’s character didn’t understand why his father wasn’t willing to do anything to stay out of prison. He had to learn that morals are just for show until you’re willing to sacrifice for them. If you abandon them when it finally matters, they’re nothing. Sacrifice makes a more lasting impact on others, even in a small town it’s an impact worth sacrificing for.

His father cared deeply about his impact on others, and on the world he would one day leave behind. His martyrdom was a message to all witnesses, that his virtues of honesty and justice truly matter. And through honesty and the justice system, he was still able to get out long enough to spend his final hours with his son, fishing on a lake and recalling favorite memories. This is one of those few films that deserves nothing less than a 10/10 rating.

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Review

I must admit this movie did have my heart racing a couple of times, It had some pretty genuine scares that were well implemented in my opinion. Every scene with that dark demon crept me out (mostly because I watched it with headphones on in a dark room) even to the point were I accidentally knocked my phone to the ground. It was quite refreshing to watch because of it’s effectiveness in some of it’s scares, yes even the most cheesy ones.

However, it was still one of the most cliché modern horror films I have seen, the random door shuts, the loud noises, the house wife and her hard working husband who at some point will work late…case in point Insidious and The conjuring. It did also have a slow start which made me think it wasn’t going to be a good film. Despite all it’s cheesiness and lack of character development, I still enjoyed watching it. It’s a good film, not great but good, and quite scary :)

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Review

Based on a TV show from the 80’s but with some changes (McCall was a British SAS ex-operative, not an American), comes this remake directed by Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen, 2013). Denzel Washington is Robert McCall, a former CIA operative that is morally compelled to go back into action to help a lady in distress. Though it looks like “The A-Team”, it is surprisingly deep in terms of character motivation, and those characters are way better performed than the standard blockbuster movies.

Fuqua is reunited with Washington after “Training” Day, (2001), the film that got him an Oscar award as best leading actor. Fuqua has made some major blockbusters but all of them very well crafted and full of deep-layered characters that reach you (”King Arthur”, 2004) or “Shooter” (2007), both blockbusters that were also critically acclaimed.

He usually gets to work with solid cast, and this time is no different: Chloë Grace Moretz (Dark Shadows, 2012) or Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings, 2001-2003) or “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) support Washington, and they both deliver (Csokas is great as a crazy Russian operative).

Bottom line, a great action movie, the kind you watch all over again every time is on TV. Let’s not kid ourselves, if we had to choose a film to take with us to an isolated island, we would not choose a David Lynch or a Hitchcock film, but something like this or the Lethal Weapon saga. ‘Nuff said.

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Review

Reading a book right before watching the movie could be a double-edged sword – and the movie version ended up impaled on it this time around. It’s kind of ironic because the trailers for the film got me to pick up the book in the first place. I enjoyed it so much that it took me less than 24h to finish it. Based on the trailer I was already inclined to like the casting choices for the characters and was really excited to finally see the film. And then ended up spending half the film battling with an overwhelming sense of frustration.

I’ve started noticing that the “book adaptation” scripts I often have issues with, are the ones that were not done/written by the book’s author. (as is the case with this film) The part that frustrated me the most was the sense that the director was “dumbing down” the story. Part of the appeal of the book is that they feel just like those boys while reading it – clueless, guessing, emotionally invested, with very little to go on in terms of understanding why they are there and what is going on. Trust the movie version to hand it to the audience on a platter way too early.

The book did resemble Lord of the Flies in many ways – it is not just about the mystery and adventure, it also takes a closer look at human nature and what lies underneath when you take away societal norms and distractions of “normal” life. Characters were insufficiently developed making it harder for audience to connect to them on an emotional level. I’d recommend this movie only to those who haven’t read the book yet, who are usually drawn to this genre and are only looking for a bit of mindless cinematic distraction that will not leave any sort of major impact on their mind or life. Kind of a waste of a great cast in my humble opinion.

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Review

If only the Star Wars prequels were even a tenth of how good this kinda, sorta, updated Star Wars flick.

I was way off on my prediction for this Guardians of the Galaxy film. I thought with the stream of Sci-Fi wannabes from sometimes acclaimed novels and a relatively unknown live cast, this was going to bomb and bomb hard. Unfortunately for me and fortunately for the movie, I couldn’t have been more off. (In my defense and demise, I predicted this 6 months prior to opening. Sheesh! That’s way too early to predict any box office number.)

I didn’t think the movie would necessarily suck, or would be barely watchable, but I’m just not into Sci-Fi and because of which, it took me 30 days to the day of release to finally see this. Poor choice #2 on my part. (Almost 4 months for The Matrix – and I wish I had seen that one sooner, as well.)

While not perfect, way too many predictable lines and twists and slightly longer than it needed to be, the movie worked extremely well overall. Though the highlights were the literal laugh-out-loud humor, killer soundtrack and very good and inventive effects, the best aspect for me were the fantastic and memorable characters.

How they worked on their own, their depth and the comradery between them was simply divine. Too often characters, and especially ego- driven actors portraying them, ruin what could be a fun adventure flick with depth. Everyone’s chemistry was spot-on and I couldn’t help but love everyone individually and definitely together. Heck, even The Avengers dragged too long on the conflicts within.

What was also nice about the bond of our heroes was the reasons of being together. Not a single weak part to everyone’s story line – everything worked splendidly as a whole. To have this many characters – five main and exclusive characters – all feeding off each other while maintaining their own direction isn’t easy and should be praised when it does occur.

I went into this movie with ZERO expectations. I neither really wanted to see it nor did I think it would be bad. What I got was one pleasant surprise after another. For example, the opening nearly had me in tears – and not from laughter.

The movie opens with our future hero and “Han Solo’s nephew,” Peter “Star Lord” Quill’s mother passing and that’s immediately followed by his space abduction and eventually 20+ years later. Now, a full blown Han Solo renegade, he’s trying to steal a sphere, Raiders of the Lost-like and the adventure begins with him being chased, him meeting the rest of the title characters and the rise of heroism.

To be honest, the story is not the newest or freshest out there, but it works beautifully here. Even the negative of occasionally predictable scenes, as mentioned above, was necessary for a movie like this to have. It’s enormously unique on its own, but needed to tone it back to be more accessible to the general audiences while giving homage to the greats like this before it.

The emotional scenes also worked, as in the beginning – that was tough! not to get upset then – and a couple more later. Also, the laughs were plentiful even with the ones absolutely not geared towards me. I appreciated that they spread out the humor so not to just please one audience type. Further, the sometimes ingenious ways of solving problems were fantastic as was the loyalty amongst our crew – something I love to see in movies like this. Yes, I know it’s more realistic to show more conflict than they did here, but I’m certainly not going into a movie like this and trying to find too much realism. And finally, I am HOOKED, as most people are on that dang good soundtrack.

I look forward to more follow-ups and cross-over’s. I am super glad my prediction didn’t come true and happy for a genuine blockbuster in one of the most lackluster box-office summers in many, MANY years.

* * *

Final thoughts: I might need to watch it again – ha, I’m definitely buying this on Blu when it arrives, and I might be wrong, but far too many people survived way too long in space and exposed. I kept saying “NO” out loud as if I were Grumpy Cat when I saw one fly through space with only a secured helmet on. His hair was flowing with the transition and his hands were ungloved, even. Again, I might be mistaken, but this and a few other minor anti-physic-issues I couldn’t get past.

Did this downgrade the movie in any way? Another “NO.” As much as I didn’t like to see such obvious mistakes, it’s still a space- adventure-comedy. Heck, even the very-fun Gravity had its share of issues, and that was supposed to be realistic.

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Review

This movie is terrible, and what is worse, is saying that they are going to make a franchise out of this. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) has NO REASON TO EXIST, NONE WHATSOEVER!!! It’s badly enough that they want to make as movie after a semi-successful series, but it is downright insanity that drove Nick Movie Studio’s Michael Bay, and John whatever his name is who made the crappy sequel to Clash of the Titans, to acquire the movie franchise to dig it up from retirement, only to murder the franchise and then parade it’s body like a F%&*king Parade float.

But surprisingly enough their is some things, in this movie, which gives it higher than a 1/10, and that is the personality of the Turtles themselves, they can be funny, but then they can also have vague humor. Will Arnett is completely miscasted in this film, he sucks in it, he makes this movie worse. And Megan Fox (while having the look of the Character) still did a bad job, she just like her other films, has no emotions, and that is just terrible.

The Villain Shredder, is boring, and Eric Sachs is their for no reason, only to have William Fichner in the credits, but the thing that get’s me the most, the thing that pisses me the F^&k off is saying “we are going to make a franchise out of this” what the *Bleep* this movie made a horrible first impression, for a franchise, are you kidding me, me a big TMNT fan, had no fun watching this piece of S&%t movie at all.

The Foot Soldiers are Soldiers with Machine Guns, did they realize that the swords, cannot stop them, did these foot soldiers watch the original films, and think F&%k this, i don’t want to get beaten to a pulp, let’s use guns, because that is totally what people want in a ninja Turtles movie, foot soldiers with Machine Guns.

No I cannot justify this piece of S*it any longer the Final Score for this Crap fest is a …

2/10!!!!!!!!!! Terrible!!!!! If your a little kid, you might like the movie, if you grew up with the 90’s you will hate it!

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Review

The trailer to this film made it look decent, so I was hoping to enjoy it… But I really didn’t. This film just isn’t good. It has almost all flaws and very few positives to it.

To start off with, the story is an interesting concept, but it’s executed in a way that is extremely cliché. The story has your typical plot points that a lot of cheesy romance films have. The fight, the make up, etc. We really don’t see a lot of the in between dead and alive kind of stuff, and even that isn’t executed. It got so cliché that it started making me incredibly bored. I wanted to yell “STAY OR DON’T, JUST MAKE A DECISION!”. It really just doesn’t work.

What make this story worse is the acting. It can be pretty bad. Chloe Moretz just isn’t very good. I haven’t seen much of her work, but I just don’t see why she would be cast in a lead role. She is cute, but her acting just can’t hold a film together, especially a film with such an emotion driven plot. I didn’t feel for her in the least bit, which completely ruins the film. It was very tough to get through.

Another little detail that I couldn’t get over was the CGI head. I’m sure you’re asking, what does that mean? Let me explain. Chloe plays a character who plays the chello extremely well. I am assuming Chloe doesn’t know how to play it, because in scenes where we see her playing it, they obviously CGI her head onto the body of someone who knows how to play, and the issue is, it’s extremely obvious. Her head floats and bobs and looks so odd. What’s worse is that in shots where it’s from the side, you can tell it’s not even Chloe at all! They don’t attempt to CGI her head from the side, but just leave the different actress who you can tell from the side isn’t Chloe. It was so distracting and I couldn’t help but laugh at how bad that was.

Overall, if you wanna see this film, just watch the trailer and then find out whether she stays or not. The trailer gives you a better emotional journey than the film as a whole does.

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Review

I just got done watching this movie at the theater.

I actually REALLY enjoy the hand-held-horror flicks (”The Blair Witch Project”, “Cloverfield”, “Chernobyl Diaries”, “The Descent”, etc.) so as one would expect, I was fairly excited to see this film. In fact, the hand-held-horror genre are the only films I am willing to pay to go see in theater (to get the full effect). But I have to say, “As Above, So Below” was quite the letdown.

I never have high expectations for these films, for I feel their purpose lies in their cheap thrills and edgy ambiance (which needs to be experienced in a theater), but this movie just struggled to captivate me.

First off, and maybe this has nothing to do with the movie, but I did feel quite nauseous within the first five minutes or so, and I have NEVER had a problem with this in the past. Maybe I am just getting older, or maybe it was the redundant zooming/shakier-than-usual cinematography? Second: the characters. Just about every other film mentioned above had at least 1 or 2 sensible/believable characters… I was chuckling quite frequently at how ridiculously insensible the characters in this film are. Unreal. Where’s the emotion? They seemed more fascinated than terrified. I’m not buying it.

Last, while the plot was somewhat original (2 stars for originality), the characters’ indifferent attitudes combined with the mediocre plot points just made it boring. And while I am all for cheap thrills and pop-out scares, the real thrill of a horror flick is generated via its despair-ambiance; the psychological trauma induced by the eeriness and overwhelming sense of hopelessness and the characters’ vulnerabilities… absent in this film. (The 2009 movie “Triangle” offers a good example of this).

In conclusion, if the idea of venturing deep underground to explore the mysteries of an abyss intrigues you, I recommend watching “The Descent” instead. I feel it is a much more satiable film exploring a very similar idea.

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Review

The moment I saw that trailer for this I knew exactly what to expect. I am honestly mind blown by the “poor” reviews for this film and people calling it crude and unfunny and stupid. Yep! This film reeks of crude and stupid (I won’t say unfunny because I laughed.) I knew immediately this was going to be a brain dead stoner comedy and I actually expected I would hate it. I knew it would be filled with middle aged guys acting like teenagers, sex jokes, drug use and toilet humour and I’m not sure how you could expect anything more. Now all that being said the film actually has a decent plot and some action and its sort of cute with a little bit of heart and decent enough characters to make it entertaining. It isn’t amazing at all but far better than I thought it would or better than it has any right to be. It has a buddy cop vibe, 48 Hours/Another 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon-ish….and although not anywhere near as good as any of those films, it is decent for a modern day spin where brain dead comedy usually goes a long ways. The movie going public lacks a certain amount of brain cells and comedies tend to be dumbed down to appease them (yah I said it.) If you can turn your brain off and just prepare to be goofy then you’ll have fun.

I like Jake Johnson a lot from New Girl and from his role in Safety Not Guaranteed (an amazing indie comedy!) This is sort of his leap to mainstream big screen and he does well. He always sort of plays the same type of role but his character is fun and even has a little bit of depth and he definitely has charisma enough to carry the film. I do think he will find his break out role if this isn’t it. Damon Wayans Jr. does what the Wayans brothers know best…silly comedy. Wayans is decent and has solid chemistry with Johnson (an integral part to a buddy film) and he has some genuinely funny moments and lines. I don’t think he’s quite as good as Johnson but the two of them together are solid. Rob Riggle is actually fantastic in a small but important supporting role as a real cop that they inadvertently end up working with. Riggle is actually more the straight guy to Johnson and Wayan’s comedy and he’s great at it. He was probably one of my favourite performances and worth seeing! One big thing that Let’s Be Cops did right was to give this action/comedy film a really good villain. I love a good villain in any film and they really nailed this. He is sort of stereotypical and monstrous but it works on two different levels. James D’Arcy and Andy Garcia both have terrific roles. Honestly, they really took this up a notch by being completely evil and adding so much to the story. Much like Lethal Weapon who flawlessly perfected action-comedy so many years ago, they gave Let’s Be Cops near perfect villains to give the story some edge. Nina Dobrev who I’ve never been a huge fan of is okay as the lead girl and Wayan’s love interest. She’s not a great actress and they sexualize her too much to have any character depth. When she’s trying to be serious, it seems campy and she doesn’t fit the cast at all.

I assumed after seeing the film that whomever directed it probably didn’t have a lot of experience. As I said before I enjoyed the movie far more than what I expected to but I also saw a lot of flaws in its silly and stupidness and overuse of drugs and sex rather than focusing on the fun angle and more on the action and plot. Director and co-writer Luke Greenfield has been around quite awhile and did direct pseudo-cult classic “The Girl Next Door” but I still think he could have done more to make this work better. Its good but because of the similarities from other films that I have mentioned previously I think it could have been great. Or maybe because it was too similar to things that were done so long ago, it could have never found new ground to tread on. Regardless, you can enjoy this and if you went in thinking you were about to see some masterpiece of cinema then you only have yourself to blame. Even if you saw all the funny parts in the trailer, you should have known exactly what to expect. The trailer did show most of the gags but the action and decent plot and actual character development in some cases are surprising enough to entertain you. I liked it…so sue me. 7.5/10

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Review

When I first viewed the trailer for “The November Man”, I thought it looked average and kind of like a straight to DVD movie. So my girlfriend and I were looking for a movie to watch and I suggested this and went in with low/average expectations. I must say, I was surprised by the movie and how entertaining and thrilling it was.

First things first, Pierce Brosnan proves he still has that charisma and flair which most people seen when he played James Bond, he brings that same level of personality to the role and is just pure bad ass and cool as “The November Man”. I felt the actors all did a wonderful job from Luke Bracey as the cocky, young, and easy to hate protégé to the smoking hot Olga Kurylenko. The story may seem predictable and simple, but is still intriguing,thrilling and provides for some edge of the seat excitement. The action comes fast, bloody and unexpectedly. The scenes are shot with crisp and it will invigorate your adrenaline rush for all the action junkies out there. Like many of the reviews have pointed out, the story takes some twists and turns which may leave the viewer confused. It still provides an above average, edge of your seat, action thriller.

Overall, a decent popcorn flick that will surely entertain. It has a little bit of everything. Action, suspense, thrills, drama, humor and is surprisingly quite entertaining. It will surely make you gasp or jump at least once! Don’t listen to Rotten Tomatoes, go watch and judge for yourself.

6.5/10

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Review

This is my first time ever reviewing a sports movie. Along with that comes the fact that I do not watch very many sports movies… Anyone who is reading this be warned that I understand that the true story was life changing and a huge deal in football history and the coach was one of the greatest of all time. I get that, but I will be directing the negative review towards the film not any of the people that participated in the real life events. So here we go. The acting was not that good. The whole movie was at best some B-string actors that were doing such a terrible jobs of holding focus that it left me wondering how the kid who was trying to get the scoring record (who also played Cato in the Hunger Games) was able to use the same emotion in this movie as The hunger Games. Then the coach was played by the guy from Person of Interest and he was unwilling to show much emotion at all. Since the story was based on real life events I will let the writers have a free pass and not critique them. A major problem I noticed was the jumping back and forth between scenes. It is very difficult to get the timing just right. Too long and you get bored of seeing the same thing, too short and you cannot develop the connection with the characters that is needed to fully enjoy the movie. In this case the scenes were too short. With as many characters as there were I was unable to learn anyones name, let alone any reason to support them over another team in the movie. This mistake dulled the entire movie. The heart crushing scenes were dimmed to a feeling of sadness for the family and the triumphs were reduced to a simple “congratulations you won”. There was not really any of the edge of your chair excitement you look for in a sports movie and there was not great acting or humor to make up for it. The lessons the movie taught you were nothing new either, so it wasn’t like you walked out of there having at least gained some great wisdom to apply to your own life. Definitely no Seal of Approval.

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Review

Everyone is judging this movie based on its accuracy to the book, which is understandable. I re-read the book 2 days ago, so it would be fresh in my head before viewing the movie for the first time. I absolutely love the book, and I had heard varying opinions about the movie (mostly negative), but I wanted to watch it with an open mind and present my own opinion. I must say: this movie is simply amazing. Firstly, the acting is top-notch: Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges were perfect of course, but Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush also brought depth to their characters. I loved seeing Taylor Swift make an appearance in the film, and she gave life to a character who was only mentioned in the book. Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgård showed flawless acting in their supporting roles as well. The movie excelled in more than just its acting. There were so many powerful “chilling” moments, particularly with the portrayal of the memories. The contrast of the sensory-rich memories of the past with the colorless and boring Utopian community is what brought real depth to the film. My favorite aspect was the slow transition from black-and-white to vivid colors. My only true complaint about the movie is that it was too short. I didn’t want it to end. As far as staying true to the book, there were minor changes, such as the ages of the characters and the career assignments, but these made sense. People must understand that when a book is adapted on screen, there are certain things that must change for viewing continuity purposes. I will say that, as always, the characterization was better in the book, and I was able to form a connection with the characters quicker with a written description. The movie jumped right into the plot, which was good for the pacing of the story, but this meant it took longer to really understand the characters. Having already read the book, this was not a problem for me. The overall themes and concepts (such as sameness, colors, emotion, and love), were portrayed ingeniously throughout the movie. As much as I love the amazing use of imagery in the book, being able to actually visualize the transition from a dull community to a vivid, colorful world was breathtaking. Also, without giving spoilers, the movie gives explanations to concepts in the book, especially with the “memory boundary” that separates the society from Elsewhere. The movie doesn’t stray from the book, it just provides more clarity. Finally, I loved the ending of the movie. It gives more closure, and was even more satisfying than the book was. My overall conclusion is that this movie serves as an excellent counterpart to the book. The detailed characterization of the book and the sensory stimulating scenes in the film complement each other nicely to make one cohesive, stunning, and powerful story.

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Review

This is, first and foremost, a really enjoyable film – the prototype for a feel-good comedy, you could say. A certain predictability comes included with such a premise – yeah, it’s pretty formulaic, and no, there are no surprises – so “only” 8/10. On the other hand, such movies live or die with the performances and timing, and everything is in perfect working condition here. Helen Mirren as the iron lady – but with a golden heart, of course, Om Puri as the equally iron patriarch of the newly-arrived culinary competition, Manish Dayal as the self-confident hero and the ridiculously pretty Charlotte LeBon as his competition/love-interest – excellent cast and performances.

Plus there’s nice – very low-key – music, and even some good cinematography – not that typical for your off-the-mill feel-good comedy, but look for that dancing and sweeping camera in the minute-long take during the renovation works in the newly bought restaurant – that’s a shot Cuaron could be proud of. Overall, highly recommended if you can sit through a movie with not a single gunshot (there’s some explosions and fire, at least).

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Review

The first two ‘Expendables’ movies followed pretty much the same format, with a big cast (literally) and a shed-load of explosions filling in for the lack of story line, character development and just about anything else that constitutes a “good film”. This ultimately left the first and second picture falling into the “so bad it’s not good but we love it anyway” category. The same could be said for sequel no. 2, just with the “love it anyway” part left out.

The first was a guilty pleasure because it was fun, the second was a guilty pleasure because we wanted more fun and didn’t really care if the filmmakers couldn’t be arsed with new material, but by the time came for Sly and the gang’s third outing, we’re too exhausted from the last one to care anymore.

What plot there is proves so totally irrelevant that i’m not going to bother boring everyone. While I could go into detail on the numerous flaws this is, as we all know, a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and to enjoy it you simply have to take it at surface level for what it is. The problem however is that you can have too much of a good thing, so you can definitely have too much of a bad thing; even viewers new to the franchise will notice that the film is terribly dragged out.

An array of fresh faces are on-hand to deliver brand new corny one- liners (well, not entirely brand new….GET TO THE CHOPPER!), the only factor that really makes this tired second-sequel worth a watch; Wesley Snipes fits right in as the imprisoned hard-man, Antonio Banderas offers comic relief, but it’s Mel Gibson’s impressive turn as the most memorable bad guy yet that keeps this sinking ship afloat.

To say that you have to be in the right mood to enjoy watching such anarchy (in every sense of the word) would be an understatement; more of the same here, however if you enjoyed the first two then be sure to check it out.

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Review

The Transformers film franchise, which started in 2007, was always highly criticized for its chaotic, messy plot, over-the-top bad acting, the tasteless, offensive and crude humour, cheesy and cliché ridden dialogues, features blatant product placement for many companies and overly long screen time for every instalment. But, why people are still flocking to cinemas to watch them? It is simply because Michael Bay always managed to leave the audience wowed each time with realistic and life-like CGI robots, big action sequences with explosions, beautiful scenery, stylish luxury sports cars and sexy hot stars.

The film takes place 5 years after the events of Dark of the Moon, start fresh by telling a new story with the Yaegers replacing the Witwickys, which got caught up in the battle between man and machine when Cade bought a rundown trailer truck, unaware that it’s actually Optimus Prime himself. This puts him and his family right in the path of ruthless corrupted CIA agents, who seeks to destroy all Transformers and eliminate anyone who’s involved with them. Many of the Autobots or Decepticons who remained on Earth are either hunted down and killed or forced into hiding.

The film takes a serious approach, darker tone compared with the previous trilogy. The story centers around the Yeagers’ father-daughter relationship, which is slightly refreshing and better compared with the unrealistic relationships between Witwicky and his two exceptionally hot girlfriends. For this film, Michael Bay finally managed to clear up the film’s visuals with better action choreography. The slow-motion action sequences actually help the audience to follow what is happening on screen and who’s fighting who. This makes the action sequences more enjoyable for a wider audience. Not to mention, Bay also reduces and removes many of the stupid, offensive, racist jokes that the previous trilogy had.

Another noticeable improvement which never been done in the previous films: developing distinctive personalities for the robot characters by giving them more screen time to interact with each other. This time, Bumblebee shares his screen time with the newly-introduced Autobots (Hound, Drift and Crosshairs) for the audience to really get to know them, instead of big hunks of metal clanging against each other. The film has lesser military combats and focusing more on the robot action. There are more interesting character dynamics between them than before, especially Optimus. Optimus is more compelling than previous films, showing his anger and disappointment towards the humans for their betrayal. He is losing faith in humanity and questions his ideals.

As usual, the visual effects by ILM are absolutely stunning and groundbreaking. The CGI effects actually manage to bring these non- existent mechanical beings to life. The details of the Autobot transformation remains impressive and convincingly realistic. The film still managed to put me in awe at how lifelike these robots are on screen, despite the fact that it’s 7 years after the first Transformers film. It is truly a sight to behold when Optimus rides the fire- breathing Grimlock to war after he swiftly convinces the Dinobot leader to assist his cause. Once again, ILM has proved that they are the best in the visual effects industry.

Mark Wahlberg has proved himself that he’s a better actor and a better lead than Shia LaBeouf. Mark actually involves himself in the action sequences, never overacts, runs and screams “Optimus!!” or “Bee!!” like Shia in the previous trilogy. Stanley Tucci is also better as the tech corp KSI founder Joshua Joyce compared with the annoying stupid Agent Simmons (John Turturro) or Leo Spitz (Ramón Rodríguez) in past films. Kelsey Grammar is perfectly cast as the villainous CIA black-ops head, Attinger as well. Unfortunately, Nicola Peltz’s character as Cade’s daughter and Jack Reynor’s character as her boyfriend falls flat though, with Reynor giving the worst performance among the cast.

Despite the numerous improvements, the film still suffers from numerous plot logic issues, unnecessary cheesy dialogues and scenes, overdone jokes that failed miserably and lots of annoying blatant product placement advertisements to reduce the film’s budget. The film also feels overly long with its 157 minutes of running time (excluding film credits). Dinobots are the main attraction for this film, but sadly there’s not a lot of screen time for them at all. It would be interesting to see more of them in robot mode, speaking and interact with other characters in the film. The film also ends abruptly with many questions left unanswered in the end, which opens for another sequel again.

Overall, this is not a great film by any means, so do not expect deep, meaningful story lines which this film does not have. However, this one actually have its heart at the right place this time compared with the previous two sequels. Age of Extinction is the film that Transformers should have been a long time ago. In my opinion, it’s the best Transformers film so far. A blockbuster entertainment.

Rating:7/10

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Review

In 2012, Steve Harvey had his best selling book, Think Like a Man adapted to the big screen. Even with it not being proclaimed as “the greatest comedy of the year” and having the most recognizable cast, its portrayal of psychological warfare between genders and their personalities were displayed in an accurate manner and still performed well as result. The intertwining connections between each relationship led to a story with solid drama and comedy, along with tight editing that didn’t allow the audience to linger too much on one particular subplot. Thankfully, the majority of these traits are kept in tact, although there are some issues that the first movie did not suffer from.

Starting where the first movie left off, Michael (the mama’s boy) from the dude crew decides that he and Candice should get married in Las Vegas. So to make sure everything goes according to plan, he asks Cedric (Kevin Hart) to take care of the event. Once everyone meets up at Las Vegas, the genders break off in their separate groups again decide how they’re going to enjoy their Bachelor(ette) party. However, like most stories, nothing goes according to plan. Michael’s mom (yes she tags along) begins meddling with both parties, mainly the females. But even with this, Cedric begins to have trouble convincing his male buds that they need to live it up since it’ll be a while before they can be a wild and free crew again. Of course Michael, being the one to refuse going to strip clubs and such. Thus the title, “Think Like a Man Too”. Get it? You know, like the guys now have to think more like men should? Yeah it’s a vague play on the title but I’m pretty sure that was what the concept the producers were going for.

Quite honestly, I’m surprised they didn’t just label it as “Think Like a Man 2″. How do you extend a story beyond its source material anyway? The whole idea behind the first movie was that it flipped the relationship role playing on its head. Now, it’s more like a gimmick; but I digress. Having the guys try do more guy activities is a different thing so kudos to director Tim Story for going that route. The problem however, is that the writing doesn’t stick to this particular plot line and develop it with its established characters. Instead, the execution starts off like its predecessor with initial conflicts, abruptly leaves them to loosely weave them in for the meat of the story and then finally crams them in at last minute so that there’s a sense of closure. This is a bit disappointing considering how effective the first film was when it was defining its characters with such purpose.

What takes control over these character arc subplots are the improvised bachelor(ette) parties. That and Kevin Hart hogged the camera more this time round. The weird thing is, even with more screen time, Hart’s character is lesser defined than before from the last movie. One of his particular subplots were not even finished. Hey Mr. Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, your writing’s getting a little sloppy. In exchange for the important developmental arcs that involve romance AND comedy, the party scenes are used only for comedic purposes. Shockingly, even with the more importantly dramatic scenes being rather absent, the comedy still is effective throughout the movie. Kevin Hart again steals the show, but there are also times where various crewmembers get into some strange and funny situations. Some of which, I’m not sure anyone would be able to see from too far away.

The music, once again composed by Christopher Lennertz made a decent score. Although I’m sure it’ll never be released to the public, the background music was still easygoing – no main title of course. Peter S. Elliot’s editing is still tight and keeps the story going which is good. Christopher Duskin’s cinematography is also well shot for its location. Even though many scenes take place inside a building (and some out), the view always looks grandiose and has an upper class feel. Of course, along with the main cast, who perform well, audiences will get to see a slew of other celebrities. Dennis Haysbert, better known as the “Allstate guy” plays a minor role. Who would’ve thought. Also Adam Brody and David Walton have minor roles too, they should be tolerable although I hope they don’t turn out being apart of the main cast. There’s enough characters already. All in all, it’s a decent sequel, but more character development would’ve been appreciated.

The writing minimizes a lot of the character development and drama in exchange for humor. Although it works, the product of the title doesn’t match its premise. Not that anyone will complain too much. It’s still a fun ride.

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Review

From director Clint Eastwood, comes the cinematic adaption of the Broadway musical, Jersey Boys. The story is based on the real lives of the rock and roll hall of famers, The Four Seasons. The film is about the band’s rise to fame and the speed bumps that they face along the way. With a talented director and some of the cast from the actual Broadway musical who know the material better than anyone else, this had the potential to be a great musical. The music is very catchy and wonderfully performed, also the era in which it is set is well realized. While the musical aspect is great, the rest of the movie falls apart due to a poorly structured and executed storytelling.

Full Review:

Despite not knowing much about The Four Seasons, I usually quite enjoy life stories of famous past artists and their struggles along the way. So considering this was a popular and successful musical, being directed by a legend in Hollywood, Clint Eastwood, I was quite intrigued. In the beginning I saw some promise, but as the movie went on I felt my interest wane.

This is after all a musical, so the one thing that has to be great is the music, and thankfully it is. As I mentioned the songs are indeed catchy. I never listened to The Four Seasons, and I don’t carry that genre of music on my phone to listen to on the road. And yet I really enjoyed all the songs to the point I want to check out more of the band’s discography. So the credit goes to the actors for their amazing voices (and of course The Four Seasons for actually making the songs originally). On the other hand the acting style of the cast felt out of place. Some of them come directly from Broadway, and that is clearly seen in their performance, because everything is very exaggerated. That style is perfect and very much needed for on-stage, but on-screen the acting needs to be more subtle. So there are points where it feels like the cast is over-acting, which can get distracting.

The main problem with the movie is the structure of the story. There are events and situations that occur very abruptly. The reason for this is because there is no coherence in the time-line of the movie. You don’t know whether 5 months or 5 years have passed between scenes, there are no visual cues. So for example, there might be some argument that may break out as a result of tension building up over 10 years. But because you don’t see that build up at all, much less know that 10 years passed in just 3 scenes, the eventual fight breaking out feels like it came out of nowhere. This completely took me out of the movie several times because to me the reactions of the characters made no sense without the much needed proper context. There are times where a character breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience. This would’ve been useful for filling in those gaps, but instead is used to state some obvious things that are happening or about to happen.

In the end, I can’t say that I enjoyed the movie. The unorganized flow of the story can get the motives of the characters confusing. This completely removes any emotional effect of some critical scenes. As a result you have little care for what’s going on. Ultimately this is a slow and boring movie with some good music. I would only recommend this to fans of The Four Seasons, with caution though. At least Jersey Boys got me exposed to some good oldies music **off to Spotify**.

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Review

What I liked about 22 Jump Street was that it was confident. The writers knew it was the same movie, and they address it as often as possible. So yes, it’s the same movie, don’t get all critique about it. But, the jokes are so much better, and they don’t rely on dick jokes as much as they did in the first one. There’s not a lot of build up to the gags also, what happens, happens, and that’s awesome!

The chemistry between Jonah and Channing is brilliant. They bounce off each other perfectly and I just can’t picture anyone else playing the dynamic duo. Ice Cube, who wasn’t in much of the first film, has a lot more screen time here. And his scenes are mainly filled with absolute hilarity! There’s one scene in the middle of the movie that involves him, will make you laugh so hard you might tear up a bit.

The action sequences were well done, a whole lot more exciting than the first movie, the scale was bigger and the locations were better. It’s great movie with lots of laughs and a couple of hearty moments.

I would say this is the funniest movie of the year so far and the funniest R movie this year (I didn’t enjoy Bad Neighbors as much as 22 Jump Street).

8.4/10

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Review

Just watched it today and the anticipation from the last couple of months, weeks, days were all so worth it. The movie will let you bring out all emotions, even those you have not even experienced yet, whatever it is.

I am very much happy I’ve seen this on it’s first showing date and with my siblings. The message about caring and protecting your family and the ones you love and the ones who need it most will hit you right in the heart. The comic reliefs were intelligently placed, especially those that are happening in the background while another scene is being played. TIP: Watch out also for those dragon antics when the humans are interacting. You’ll notice this in the first few scenes where everything in the frame is real busy. You won’t even feel it but you’ll be able to just magically see these until the last part of the movie. Don’t hesitate to point at the dragons. Lol, in the theatre where we watched this, everyone’s seen doing this at least once. Don’t worry, they won’t get annoyed :)

It’s just sad that there was a death in the movie, I didn’t see this coming. Almost everyone, sniffed and brought out tissues in this scene. It was simple, yet there were a lot of emotions that will make you feel sad. One – when you try to shoo a friend, blame a friend, lose a family, and then realize you lost a friend at what you just did.

One very outstanding sequence was the Alpha at Berk. Boy the Night Fury really lived up to his status. The blue luminescence of Toothless was so emotionally uplifting, better than the rendition of the blue atomic breath of Godzilla. Add to that the narration in the background- “He’s protecting Hiccup, He’s protecting the dragons, he’s challenging the Alpha.” (something like that, we were almost at the edge of our seats with this one). Prior to that, we thought there was another death, but lo, a super saiyan type of change happened to Toothless. The battle scene was like classic David and Goliath, but was beautifully interpreted as their own.

Eret (Kit Harrington) was entertaining here. His character was also very beautifully built right from his first appearance. ROFL really on Ruffnut’s interest in him.

Overall, just watch it. The film doesn’t need gimmicky press releases like from Godzilla or X men or any previous movie shown this year. (The prankster in America F’s dress not included.) This is great quality.

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Review

For some reason, during the marketing of ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ this film seemed to have a lot of scepticism surrounding it, but I was excited for this movie from the moment I first heard about it. You know why? Because I really like Tom Cruise. I couldn’t care less about his personal beliefs; he’s a good actor so I can separate who he is from the roles he plays. Unfortunately, there are some people who can’t do that and will refuse to see this movie just because of Tom Cruise. Those people don’t know what they’re missing out on, because ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ is one of the best original sci-fi movies I have ever seen.

It’s abundantly clear that Tom Cruise is passionate about sci-fi movies, and he definitely gives some great performances in them. Last year we saw him in ‘Oblivion’, and now we have him playing Major William Cage, a solider fighting in a war against aliens. Cage soon realises that he’s stuck in a time loop of his last day in battle, and whenever he dies he wakes up at the beginning of the day again. This immediately draws comparisons to ‘Groundhog Day’, but there are also several other movies that ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ seems to take inspiration from, with ‘Aliens’ being one that felt like a huge influence. This film even has Pvt. Hudson himself, Bill Paxton, who gives a very entertaining performance as Master Sergeant Farell. Another reason I was excited for this movie is because of Emily Blunt, and she did not disappoint. I’m always happy to see strong female characters in film, so it’s great to see that Emily Blunt has her fair share of badass moments in this movie.

Even though ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ obviously draws inspiration from many other movies, it never feels like a rip-off. Although its highly generic title may suggest otherwise, ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ is actually a very original movie. It’s incredibly unpredictable, and unlike other movies within the genre I wasn’t picking out plot holes as I was watching. Even though a lot of the movie involves the story going back on itself and repeating events, it never feels boring and is constantly engaging.

Doug Liman gives excellent direction, creating a world that feels alive and interesting. The action scenes are especially well directed, they don’t rely on shaky cam and the mech-like suits that characters wear create interesting new dynamics in the battlefield and they’re a lot of fun to watch. The VFX are stunning as well, there were no moments where there was any noticeable bad CGI.

This year had already been a great year for big summer blockbusters, but ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ just supports that statement even further. It’s an incredibly memorable sci-fi experience that I would strongly recommend.