Posted on 9/29/12 06:25 AM
"Iron Man 2 is fun, but suffered from 'sequelitis'"
Watching Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Iron Man is a treat. He never seems to lose that charm that was established within the first film. His new partner Rhodes, War Machine, who is portrayed by Don Cheadle is not jarring but refreshing. I did enjoy Terrance Howard in the first film but Cheadle is such a great actor and seeing him in this franchise made me squeal with joy. On top of that, the cast includes Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johannson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson and Jon Favreau. Just the cast itself is note worthy. However, there are a few gripes that have to be mentioned.
Gwyneth Paltrow, I adored her character Pepper Potts from the first film. She wasn't just the typical female side character. She actually had a place within the film. She kept Tony Starks grounded. The best thing she did within that film was when she made the gift out of the mini-arc reactor that Tony made while he was held captive. This is clearly out of her own pure will. By doing this, it displayed how much Tony met to her and then watching their relationship unfold became a delightful treat. They completed each other. No doubt about it. In this film, the only thing she had to offer was the kiss. That was it. Now, despite their humorous conversations which are always fun, she didn't really offer much in this film. In fact, she was annoying this time around. I didn't like this at all. In fact, I was rather sad about it. I hope within the next films she redeems herself.
Jon Favreau, who plays the limo driver Happy Hogan, his role was unneeded, to a certain extent. The boxing scene, that was fine. It established another character's presence within the film who needed to be introduced. What did bother me was on the race track and when he and Black Widow broke into the factory to stop the remote controlled War Machine. I will say that these scenes were funny, but at the same time they posed no other value or necessity to the story. On the race track, it didn't create any tension between Whiplash or Iron Man. That seriousness was lost. I am not saying it should of be extremely serious, but serious enough that something terrible could happen and I would be in awe of the situation. Instead, it was slapstick. Just like the factory scene, it was slapstick that wasn't needed. Just let Black Widow have the entire moment for herself and kick some ass.
After reading the reviews about having too many characters, it wasn't necessarily having too many characters it's that each character tried to get their moment to shine.
All the studio needed to do was keep it simple. Having Rockwell and Rourke as two villains, this was fine. Both have a common enemy for their own reasons and they fit well together, despite their personality differences. Rockwell's character, Justin Hammer, he had the resources and the money, where as Rourke, Vanko, had the knowledge and capability to produce an army. I liked it. A pesky little squirt with an uber bad ass.
The movie is really fun. At the same time, I left the theater in "pieces." For example, lets say you break...that glass lamp or some breakable material. You can super glue that sucker back together as carefully as you can and still function. However, it is quite evident that the thing is in pieces. The flaws are obvious. Even with the flaws it still works. That's how Iron Man 2 is. The movie works but it still won't leave the same impact as its predecessor. I would say the "super glue" of this movie would be the cast. They did a phenomenal job. They are the reason why this movie held together. All I can say it's a fun ride, but don't have high expectations. Lets face it, the first film took everyone by surprise. I walked in thinking oh another botched comic book movie and I walked out saying "Holy shit! That was amazing!!"
Iron Man 2 is fun to say the least. Marvel just tried too hard to match the first film's success. The intention was good but the results were fairly good but not as good as should of been.
Posted on 9/29/12 06:24 AM
Edgar Wright, (Spaced, Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz) brings Bryan Lee O'Malley's 6 epic volumes to the big screen in a 2 hour adaptation. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" is heavily induced by the video game culture creating rejoice amongst both comic and video game enthusiasts. This film contains the flash/eye candy that most summer movies lately seem to really offer. Even with its kinetic visuals it never deters from the story. A movie commenting on adolescence and how far will one go for the one they love. It's a simple story to say the least, but simple is good with this humorous, visual, video game cultured ride.
Scott (Michael Cera) is a 22-year old slacker who lives with his gay roommate, Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin), yes, the brother to Macaulay Culkin. Scott is a bassist in the band Sex BoB-Omb, who is lead by Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) and drummer Kim Pine (Alison Pill). Scott is dating a 17 year old high school girl Knives (Ellen Wong) during the course of their relationship he becomes infatuated with another girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He is head over heels for her that it becomes a problem for Scott. He now has to deal with 7 evil ex's who will prevent him from dating Ramona. To solve this issue Scott will have to fight, literally, each ex proving that his love and desire is not just a fling.
With each ex the fight sequences are highly entertaining and well choreographed. Out of the ex's my personal favorite was Todd Ingram(Brandon Routh). The vegan rock jock who has telepathic powers. Apparently, that is what happens when you are vegan? Nice.
The issue I found with the film was that I wasn't fully engrossed with Scott and Ramona's relationship. At the same time I can see this as a positive. How? With the movie commenting on adolescence it makes perfect sense. When one person sees another, we don't fully understand why we are attracted to this person. There is something about her or him that we just go completely crazy about. It is then, as we progress with these characters that they seem to have a lot in common. There becomes more of an understanding. I think the climax happened a little too late into the movie but by the end I still found myself rooting for Scott.
Not only is the video game references are awesome, but the music by Nigel Godrich and additional tracks by Beck is phenomenal. It is both 8-bit and bass fused to create a sensational world of epic proportions. Yeah, it's that good. Check out the tracks "Bye and Stuff" and "We Are Sex Bob-Omb".
"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" is flat-out fun entertaining movie of the year. It is not mind blowing like Inception, but it's probably the most fun I have had in theaters throughout the whole summer. A film that looked promising from the trailers is without a doubt worth the price of admission unlike Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time *convoluted crap*, Predators *cock teaser*, or the A-Team *framed badly*. The A-Team was fun don't get me wrong, but when you can hardly see the action it becomes frustrating. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" is the perfect movie to end the summer. If you're part of the comic and video game demographic then I highly suggest you go see this film.
On a side note, if you own a PS3, I suggest buying the game. If you have ever played River City Ransom on the Nintendo, then I suggest you purchase it. It is $9.99 on the PSN. I highly recommend it.
Posted on 9/29/12 06:13 AM
Guilty of the fact that I contributed to seeing this movie. You want to watch a movie that has action, but yet so boring? This is it.
Posted on 9/29/12 05:55 AM
When it comes to LAIKA, I immediately become overjoyed with the thought of them producing stop-motion films for the audience. Seeing stop-motion alone is just a breath of fresh air and it never fails to put a smile on my face. ParaNorman had wonderful, and I mean WONDERFUL, animation. The attention to detail amongst the set, props, and characters is just delightful. However, despite its technical achievements, I left the theater lukewarm about the film in its entirety. Simply put: the narrative is just not that interesting. I wish LAIKA would have pushed it more with the paranormal aspect of the film because it wasn't captivating or exciting and that seemed to be the big selling point of the movie. In addition, the pacing was slow; there were several moments I about fell asleep during the screening of the movie. However, even though the narrative didn't draw me in, one thing did: Norman. Norman is a charming and lovable character. Watching him embark on an adventure and hoping that he succeeds is the films saving grace. I liked the characters, just not the story as much. All in all, the film isn't bad by any means and I do think the film is worth matinee price. Give it a shot.
Posted on 9/29/12 05:54 AM
Will Forte and Richard Ayoade are the positive aspects about this movie.
Posted on 9/29/12 05:53 AM
Conceptually and visually great. The execution...yeah...not so much, especially the dialog. It's extremely clunky.
Posted on 9/29/12 05:40 AM
SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!
Prometheus, created this overpowering excitement with its trailers. Upon its release, those who had seen it opening weekend came out with a polarizing take on the film - either people loved it or hated it. This made me even more excited for the film. To hear such a division amongst people with no spoilers, piqued my interest. Unfortunately, I hated the movie. I take no joy in saying that whatsoever. This movie provided me questions, not philosophical questions, but more of like "What the fuck" questions. Numerous things did not make sense in this movie in regards to the characters and events that took place. *Sigh* Where do I begin?
The first meeting with the crew, everyone besides Holloway, Shaw, Vickers, seems to be in the dark about the mission. Why would anyone sign up for a mission they don't know anything about? FiField, who flat out said, he was in it for the money. Now, was everyone else in it for the cash? Am I suppose to assume that? That to me didn't make any sense. That would be like joining the Normandy crew in Mass Effect 2, excuse me, Cerberus crew, to find out your mission is referred to as a suicide mission. Great. I just signed up for a mission that I might die on. Fuck my life.
During the expedition one the scientists, Holloway, was willing to risk his life based on the terraform analysis. Despite that it's a breathable environment, they are on an unidentified planet. Our planet is inhabitable, but yet people still get sick. Some times we can't even explain how we get sick. We just do. This doesn't make sense. No scientist would ever do that without considering the other variables that could be at hand. This isn't nitpicking. This is common sense, which no one seems to have.
While exploring the tunnels/caves/ship, the Prometheus crew finds the chamber. Millburn and FiField don't want any part of it. They leave and find out that they are lost. I don't know how they get lost based on what I have seen, but the layout seemed pretty straight forward. Whatever. I'll let that slide. The rest of the crew gets out and those two are stuck. The captain on board the ship was able to pinpoint an unidentified life form within the caves. Why couldn't he help out FiField or Millburn? If he was able to pinpoint that unidentified life form, how come he is unable to guide the other two scientists out? To add insult to injury, guess where those two idiots go? They go back to the chamber where they didn't want to go in the first place. Okay.....while inside the chambers they discover the snake, worm, alien like creature. Millburn decides he wants to play with it. HUH!? This guy was terrified because he was lost. There was nothing chasing or trying to kill him. He was just lost. Now, he wants to play with this alien creature? He deserves to die and rightfully so. FiField gets acid spewed onto his helmet which melts and burns his face leaving me the impression he is dead. TWIST! He isn't.
A body lays outside the Prometheus which is discovered by a crew member via security cam. The crew member goes out and sees the body. The body ascends and you see that it's FiField looking like a damn zombie from 28 Days Later. FiField proceeds to start beating the living piss out of everyone that he sees. Why? Is he angry at the crew? Is he infected? I don't understand why this is happening.
Why did the movie focus a lot on second tier characters? The audience had an idea that they weren't important, so why so much screen time? This isn't Lost, dammit. Focus more on the primary characters like Shaw and Holloway. Let those two guide the audience through the story.
One of my friends brought up an interesting perspective about David's mischievous act towards Holloway. Despite that David might have been curious with the black liquid, what did he gain out of it from poisoning Holloway? Did he know that Shaw and Holloway were going to have sex? My question is, if Holloway and Shaw didn't have sex, what would have come out of it? Perhaps that Holloway would have just died? Well, he did. Tough luck for the Android racist tool.
Why was Weyland presence aboard the ship kept a secret? What exactly did they have to hide? He was useless. He just got his ass handed to him by the Elder Engineer and that was it.
When Shaw was impregnated and performed the C-Section on herself, she went back toward the crew where everyone was gearing up. Why wasn't anyone concerned for her well-being? She was panting, terrified of what has happened, and everyone goes about their business like nothing did happen. Also, since she is the one all about science, why didn't she say anything about the alien life form that she gave birth to? In addition to that, when the tube was decontaminated, I thought the alien was dead. NOPE.
After the Prometheus crashed itself into the alien space craft, Vickers and Shaw were running for their lives. This might of been a point of view, but it seemed like the two ladies were running in a straight line away from the rolling ship. Why didn't they just veer off in another direction from being squashed? I don't get it.
The life/reserve ship that Shaw enters after it crashed landed onto the planet. David contacts her and says that the Elder Engineer is on his way. Did I miss something? How does he know that?
The little alien squid that's aboard the life/reserve ship is now HUGE and impregnates the Elder Engineer. I thought it was dead...I guess not. When I think of decontamination, I think of cleansing, killing foreign particles, etc. I guess my mind set is out of whack for this movie.
The Elder Engineer just attacking the crew members when he is awoken left me scratching my head. Why did he do that? Did he feel threatened? Was he afraid? Are the Elder Engineers always pissed?
Also, for a movie revolving around scientists, they did very little science.
What was the black liquid that was put in Holloway's drink? DNA? Is the DNA compatible with human DNA? It obviously wasn't for Holloway, but when it comes to impregnating a woman, it works like a charm with no side effects. Well, that is if you count bursting out of your abdominal area a side effect? :)
How about studying more artifacts? Drawings? Symbols? DNA?
That is science. It has the opportunity to do science, but it's all a cock tease.
If someone tells me I need to look at an outside source to understand what is going on in this film, here is my polite response: Go fuck yourself. I shouldn't have to go to an outside source to understand this movie. The movie should provide me the context in an efficient manner to convey its meaning.
*Note* For those who enjoyed the movie, I'm happy for you. No, really I am. This movie didn't work for me at all. The screenwriting took me out of the film and left me scratching my head at the turn of events. If I had to explain to someone about this movie, all I can say is, "Shit just happens. It just happens."
In the end, Prometheus disheartened me. I gave it a score of 1.5/5
It gets points for Fassbender's performance, excellent visuals, and a wonderful score. Plus, it's doing something fantastic that movies should initiate. What's that you ask? Conversations. Just like 'Inception', the best thing that this movie is doing is getting people to talk about it. It doesn't matter if you dislike or love the movie. That's a good thing regardless.
These are my thoughts. This is how I feel about the movie. I am sticking by with what I have said.
Thanks for your undivided attention.
Posted on 5/03/11 05:50 PM
This is NOT my full review, but I obviously had more of a positive experience than I originally thought I would. Questions arise on how the two main protagonists are even Detectives? How do they even keep their jobs? How come they are always lucky and not proficient? Even with these questions come to mind, it's fair entertaining, but I can only watch it once in a great while.
Posted on 3/31/11 05:59 PM
Sequels, reboots, and adaptations seem to be the standard for Hollywood films these days. However, after 28 years a sequel is brought into the Tron family, Tron Legacy. From the Comic-Con teaser footage, to the music video provided by Daft Punk and of course the trailers, this installment came off extremely promising to the fanboys alike. Tron created a bench mark in film history not for its narrative, but for technology and rightfully so. Now, CGI has plagued films that it almost becomes the norm to do so. Of all the films that I have seen both Tron and Tron Legacy have done it appropriately. Unlike other movies such as The Star Wars Prequels, Alice In Wonderland or even 300, the Tron universe doesn't provide imagery in the background just for the sake of being there, it breathes personality. Though the visuals are beautiful, Tron Legacy suffers like its predecessor, a mediocre story, plot, and dialog. In addition, the pacing of film can drag from time to time, but even when it does another "5 star" elements reels me back into the movie, the music by Daft Punk.
The film definitely has its issues, even with the absurd amount of problems that are blatantly obvious, the positive still outweighed the negative. The story was comprised of 4 people. Immediately, this can raise a red flag. I like to think of it as "Too many cooks in the kitchen". What caused Tron Legacy to feel disjointed is that each writer seemed to have his own idea and tried to intertwine these ideas into a cohesive story. If anything that was coherent was Sam Flynn's mission, get in, get dad and get out. The numerous plots and exposition did cause some confusion, but still the primary objective was to get out of the world that Kevin Flynn had created, more so by C.L.U., a young digital representation of himself who dictates the actions of The Grid.
The characters came off much more one-dimensional than the original Tron, but even so, what I look for is how involved the actor(s) got into the movie. A film that essentially takes place in front of a blue screen 90%+ of the time, the actor has to make me believe that he or she are in that world. This also credits the Director, Joseph Kosinski. If you look back at The Star Wars Prequels or Alice In Wonderland, I never felt that the characters were ever really involved with the environment. Looking at Tron Legacy, it didn't subject the actors as mere props for the CGI. Now, even though the highlight of the film was the visuals, it never disconnected itself from the characters.
The characters were something left to be desired. There weren't arcs, but that's not to say they were terrible. Unfortunately, the most uninteresting person is the main lead, Garrett Hedlund, who plays Sam Flynn. Hedlund's performance seemed to be genuine as possible, but the script didn't do the guy any justice. He was subjected to being the vessel for the audience, to guide us through the adventure. Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde, brings light to the film. Quorra comes off as a self-sufficient program, who has a mind of an adolescent but beautiful as ever. Of course, how can I forget Kevin Flynn, Jeff Bridges. Kevin Flynn comes off as zen like, but more in the vain of being defeated. In addition to his zen like persona, there were occurrences of "The Dude" throughout the movie. What is this a 2 for 1 deal? Sold!
The visuals were obviously a huge selling point, but another catcher was the wonderfully orchestrated score by the techno duo, Daft Punk. Daft Punk truly embodied and gave more life to this film than the actual core elements of a film should have done. Their dark, minimalistic, electronic and orchestral vibe, Daft Punk made Tron Legacy. Being an avid listener of Daft Punk, they have made a huge stride within the music industry. The majority of their songs consist of being very upbeat, pop, and even disco like. To see them transcend into a different area of musical composition, it was pleasant to hear that they didn't lose themselves in the process of making this music.
Tron Legacy is not perfect. Even with the issues the movie has the Tron Universe is still always a sight to behold. If I had to summarize this, I enjoyed it.
On another note, to think this is the last installment, you would be wrong. Why? To have Cillian Murphy who plays Edward Dillinger, the son of Ed Dillinger from the first Tron movie, to have such a small role leaves me to believe another Tron film is in the works. In addition to that, Cillian Murphy has such a strong presence and is a well-known actor. Yeah, I think it's safe to say there will be a Tron 3.
Posted on 3/24/11 04:28 PM
Battle: Los Angeles is one thee biggest disappoints of 2011. A film that introduces a familiar combo of military versus aliens. Awesome, huh? That's what I thought. The film seemed like a sure win, purely based on "popcorn entertainment". Instead of getting that, the audience received probably one of the poorest scripts written, horrible acting, sub-par cinematography, one-dimensional characters, war movie cliches, no originality, numerous sub-plots, decent visual effects, occasional exciting action sequences, military propaganda and even though the film is 2 hours long, it just seemed like it never stopped.
As someone who aspires to be in the film industry, I think the simplest of stories can be vastly entertaining. It's the matter of execution that does the trick. Within that foundation, characters are highly stressed upon. They are suppose to reel the the viewers into the event(s) of the story and go along for that ride. It is unfortunate that none of the characters within Battle: L.A. were identifiable. The characters were stereotypical military "cardboard" cut-outs. That's it. If memory serves me correct, isn't the U.S. military comprised of volunteered individuals who are willing to put their life at risk? How come in this movie they all have the same personality? Why does every person seem to have this "hoo-rah!" mentality? Where's the "life"? At least Saving Private Ryan allowed the viewers to get a taste of who the men really were. They came off as identifiable people. Are you not suppose to feel something when the characters start to get picked off one by one? I'm not looking for something extremely in-depth, I'm just looking for a connection. Wrong movie.
Amongst the chaos in this film, I found it annoying that there wasn't even the slightest bit of humor. Then again, it makes sense why there isn't any, stereotypical military "cardboard" cut-outs. At least in Independence Day, the hero, Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith), he had charisma and made even the seriousness of the situation much more entertaining. For example:
Capt. Jimmy Wilder: You scared, man?
Captain Steven Hiller: No. You?
Capt. Jimmy Wilder: No. Hold me.
Captain Steven Hiller: Hey, pay attention!
Lt. Colonel Watson: Something you want to add to this briefing, Captain Hiller?
Captain Steven Hiller: No Sir, just a little anxious to get up there and whoop E.T.'s ass, that's all!
Admittedly, Will Smith is a charismatic guy, but even so, there was nothing remotely funny in this movie. None of the "jokes" were funny, this movie was just flat-out serious. Then, I have to ask, why so serious?
The overburdening of sub-plots. Too much of something is never really a good thing. A fellow user and friend of the Rotten Tomato community summed up all the sub-plots and it made sense why the film came off to be extremely cluttered.
Here is the list:
-Defend L.A. from the aliens. L.A. is the last hope apparently.
-Aliens need our water supply...uh...the ocean?
-Evacuate Santa Monica so they can nuke the area. (Precursor to Fallout?)
-Soldiers go on a search and rescue mission
-Protect the Mexican family that the Marines found
-Find and destroy the command ship (which is resolved in the 3rd act in about 15-20 minutes). Fast thinking, huh?
On paper or just in text, this doesn't come off strenuous, but within the film it did become over-bearing.
The script, I don't even know where to begin with it. It's probably one of the worst screenplays of this year. Every ounce of dialog didn't even try to create depth with the characters or the narrative. It's full of cheesy/cliche moments where the viewer just sits back and rolls his or her eyes thinking "What the F***?" Not only that, it comes off as "Black Hawk Down" with aliens. We are not talking homages or references, they are blatantly borrowed/stolen and incorporated into this garbage. Running short on that creative mojo, huh? I think so.
I could go on and on about my dissatisfaction for this movie. It was incredibly frustrating to see film that came off "raw", not an overly polished sci-fi flick, look promising and just fall flat on its face. The trailers reigned awesomeness, but then again so did The Last Airbender. I guess it would be safe to say, we all know how that movie turned out, eh?