Posted on 8/07/13 10:01 PM
Matt Damon stars in the Sci-fi/political thriller Elysium, Neill Blomkamp's follow up to District 9, along with Jodie Foster as Elysium's Secretary Delacourt and Sharlto Copley as the main villain Kruger. Is Elysium on par with Oscar nominated District 9? Absolutely NOT! Not even close but it is still a solid sci/fi entertainment. It is a more conventional film than its predecessor, which I was not expecting from Blomkamp.
The film starts of very cliche and gave me some eye roll moments but it quickly picks itself up from reaching into mediocrity. They way it does this is by evoking political messages through out the film in relevance with today's society. Questioning our handling with immigration, military power, our health care. Which I found to be important in this film. Obviously me and Blomkamp share each others political stance. For anyone else it might seem like its trying to oversell its message.
I felt most of the cast were very under used. Jodie Foster's character really didn't have much to work with. She was just there to move the plot forward. Matt Damon served his purpose as the lead but by no means of the imagination is this one of his best performances. They were all over shadowed by Sharlto Copley. My God, is he great as Kruger! Right away we are introduced into this provocative-sociopath with no regard for human life. The story really needed this kind of menacing character. He is by far the film's best positive. Another negative aspect of this film would be its pacing. When we are given emotional scenes they don't stay long enough to settle and doesn't give that emotional impact you were hoping for.
Like District 9 it delivers on the the beautiful imagery. Using the very best Weta Workshop has to offer. From its big guns to the human-like robots, to the space station of Elysium. The action set pieces were just as exciting as its predecessor. The film really manages to capture all its budget on screen. My biggest issue comes from the excessive use of shaky cam. It was used when the characters were simply walking to the action sequences. I felt ninety percent of this film was shaky cam. Which got me a little dizzy since I ,unfortunately, got to sit in the very front of the theater. That might have something to do with it as well.
Neill Blomkamp has established once again that he can compete with the best Directors of the genre films. Elysium shows more flaws than his first film but they are overwhelmed by its positive aspects, to me at least. It was not a disappointment and it was a solid popcorn entertainment and a smarter than average sci/fi film.
Posted on 7/20/13 10:09 AM
Nicholas Winding Refn returns with Ryan Gosling in another Ultra-violent, Art house film about a respected drug smuggler who runs a Thai boxing club with his brother. When his brother is murdered, his mother comes urging him for vengeance. That's all I can simply describe about this film because everything else was so perplexing to me both in a positive and negative way. This is definitely a flawed film but its also has a lot of fantastic visuals accompanied by another great score.
The narrative was so confounding to me. A revenge story was all I initially got from it. As well as learning the character Chang was in reality the main character not Gosling. That's how I saw it. At first glance there isn't really any character depth at all, but if you look metaphorically at them you could plainly see they are in all fact metaphors. An aspect which could have bothered me but didn't.
There is a ton of violence and sexual imagery, which puts Drive to shame in that aspect, that will definitely sway some movie goers if not most. They didn't bother me either. They were all handled well for the most part as I too am fascinated by violence in film. Though, there are some scenes which I felt were unnecessary. Most of it was stylistically shot with beautiful neon colors. I was really mesmerized by these symbolic shots and not being able to analyze it at the same time. I'm not someone who "studies" these things, for example, Chang was standing there with this certain lighting so this must mean that. This film was filled with that kind of symbolic imagery and it demanded my attention even more. Later on, I was able to understand the way Chang is the "god" character and Gosling is the character who wants to fight "God" and Julian's mother is the Devil.
Nicholas Winding Refn has certainly made another piece of poetic Art which is both polarizing and fascinating, where every violent act has a consequence. I'm sure regular movie goers will hate it. If you're looking for true art. You've got it and Refn is a master at it.
Posted on 7/11/13 11:17 PM
Watched Jul 11, 2013
When alien monstrous creatures ravage the Earth, known as Kaijus, a war begins. Man kind fights for survival by creating monsters of their own, robotic monsters, known as Jaegers. This is a blockbuster popcorn movie at its best, as far as the scale it strives to accomplish. Every shot is done so stylistically well. Despite the rest of the film's flaws it never ever feels like Micheal Bay shoving mindless explosions in your face.
Does it feel like a long anime episode? Yes, but it feels like one of the best anime's you've seen. Those action scenes are so coherent, so jaw-dropping and majestic to watch it forces your inner child to cheer at the screen. The same could be said about the characters but not in a negative sense. You're not going to find complex characters here and you've seen these types of characters before but its never over bearing. They are all fun to watch on screen. Newt (Charlie Day) and Hannibal Chau (Ron Pearlman) are hilarious from their introduction to the end. They are one of the many highlights of the movie.
Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) are our lead focus characters. When Raleigh and Mako drift and share each others memories for the first time and witness Mako's devastating childhood, we are given the most powerful and frightening scene the film has to offer. It is all in favor of Del Toro's brilliant directing. With the backgrounds of these two leads established, I can now care about them and that was all I needed. That being said all the characters are very thin in the end but I could care less with everything that was going on. Personally, I saw Idris Elba as the true lead character of this tale. He is another highlight that isn't overwhelmed by the world. The guy can do anything and it is instantly good.
You could argue it resembles Top Gun or Independence Day but in very minor aspects. Del Toro has created a rich, fantastical, exquisitely detailed world with Kaijus and Jaegers to deliver us a story of teamwork, hope, triumphing above all obstacles and ultimately a ton of fun. It is filled with cheesy moments and cheesy dialogue but it just adds more fun to its vibe. Where Transformers and battleship fail miserably. FINALLY! Someone gets it right. This is one of the perfect summer blockbusters and I can't wait to watch it a second time.
Posted on 5/24/13 02:38 AM
Everything about this movie is generic and obviously predictable. Just by watching the trailer you can automatically predict the plot and the outcome. Thankfully it is fast paced so we can be spared anymore time watching this unbearable movie. The dialogue, the acting, the characters, the story, even the CGI is generic and absolutely boring. They do have good make-up artist and set designers and one or two practical effects and that's about it. There were some "that could have been a good idea" but it wouldn't have been enough to save any aspect. Just don't even think about watching this.
Posted on 5/23/13 06:03 PM
This next Star Trek is a fun, action packed, fast paced, smart blockbuster and the best of this summer so far. Say what you wan't about this Star Trek film but you have to be stupid not to be impressed by the visuals. This is a perfect example of a fun action film with good dialogue, a good story, and good acting. Something we don't get too often.
J.J. Abrams knows how to make great action sequences even if there is CGI, it looks fascinating. I usually never watch a film in 3D because most of them never really offers anything more immersible but the 3D did add greatly to this film. Every scene had a jaw dropping visual. Benedict Cumberbatch really steals the show every time he's on screen. His performance as a villain really stood out with every line he delivers and every action he commits.
There aren't any problems I had with it. I would have preferred Kirk remained dead. There were other moments of predictability but it never became unbearable. Its a fun blockbuster to experience especially in 3D. It has great emotional depth, brilliant interaction between characters and everything was beautifully shot.
Posted on 5/11/13 01:25 AM
The Place Beyond the Pines is Derek Cianfrance second directorial film and it is an amazing piece of cinema. Its also a strong piece of drama that hits you hard. It deals with the consequences, relationships with fathers and sons, about legacy and a story that can reverberate throughout generations.
I was emotionally engaged with this film through all three story acts. Its a powerhouse of a cast that play realistic characters which make you care about them. Every actor/actress is almost flawless. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper make another outstanding performance. Ray Liotta gives a great and an unnerving performance. I connected with each character especially Dane Dehaan's character. The stunt work is also great. It has an incredible raw chase scene between Gosling and Cooper.
A lot of people had problems with the third act of this film. I didn't, I felt it was as great as the first two acts. All the problems I've heard are self explanatory. Both Aj and Jason live in the same city, of course they're eventually going to run into each other. It was complete coincidence and I bought it, as you should and of course I have known these types of people they were portraying. Its an ambitious and beautiful story more than deserving the two full hours of your time. Its the best film I've seen this year so far.
Posted on 5/06/13 02:22 PM
Like most people I was anticipating the next chapter in the Iron Man series. The first one was exceptionally great, as far as superhero films are concerned . The second installment was enjoyable to me even though its universally frowned upon. Now, after The Avengers we finally have the third installment of Iron Man. Is it good? No. Not to me.
There are some fantastic moments in this movie. Tony Stark's home getting demolished by "The Mandarin's" men as Tony saves Pepper Potts in slow motion was visually stunning. At that point it was a five star movie for me, as far as summer-action-blockbuster standards. The fight between Iron Man and "The Mandarin" was really fun. Especially having Pepper Potts save Iron Man in the end. Robert Downy Jr.'s performance was superb yet again. The interaction between Tony and the child has good humor but almost pointless. All the action sequences were great but that was it. Everything else was underdeveloped, confusing, and extremely frustrating.
Once we get to the middle point of this movie we are given the "big plot twist" that gives M. Night Shamalama-ding-dong a run for his money. I have never read a single comic book or have any knowledge of who the Mandarin is. Through out the first hour this villain is brought out to be an extremely heinous terrorist. Then, it turns out he's just an actor, a giant ruse. It was so terribly confounding. It didn't make any sense to me. Yes, it was funny but at the same time I was so frustrated and upset of a cheapened character. I'll admit it was an original plot twist but it just didn't work for this concept. From that point everything was underdeveloped and pointless. Absolutely nothing was explained.
Besides Tony Stark and perhaps Pepper Potts every character was underdeveloped or had no real exact motive to their actions. Rebecca Hall's character was completely pointless everything she did was pointless. Guy Pearce's character had no real motive to create evil superhuman soldiers. The only real motive I could think of was how Tony had left him on the roof by himself. Really? That's the reason why he has to make himself superhuman and make a superhuman army and kill Tony Stark? The "project extremis" was never explained at any point and it was an underwhelming concept in general. Why should I care about these characters or find any antagonist or their actions remotely interesting?
There was a scene where Iron Man had to save thirteen people that were falling from a crashing plane. That sequence was looking to be the best scene in the entire film. Yet again it was cheapened by the following scene. Tony wasn't even in the suite, he was controlling it like some sort of video game. Another baffling scene was during one of the final confrontations. Where Tony and Don Cheadle's character are surrounded by the "super soldiers" . At this point Tony Stark had called in his own army of Iron Men to save them. I was only thinking, "So why didn't he use them before?" There were numerous occasions were he could have used them. If it was explained in a quick line then that was very poorly executed. After its all done, Stark and Potts have an intimate moment and decides to neutralize the Iron man suites in mid air as some sort of fireworks scenery. Why?
The comedy was okay at best. Nothing really made me laugh hysterically. The story and the characters were poorly written, underdeveloped and pointless but the action sequences were very entertaining. The ending montage was even more confusing and unexplained and rushed. I really felt this movie was incomplete and had unfinished writing. This is a kids movie and it was fun but I was expecting at least a good enough story with good enough characters and i didn't even get that. The action is all it has going for it.
Posted on 3/11/13 05:41 AM
This was my first musical I went to. I didn't know if I was going to like it or find it unbearable to watch. It was a little less unbearable most of the time. I know now it is just not my thing. I felt it dragged on for most of the time. The most dragged was when the actors had these long solos and the last forty five minutes. I just wanted it to get it over with. Especially with Russel Crowe. I did not feel the same way with Anne Hathaway, though. I thought she gave the best performance in the entire film.
The way the songs were performed were great to watch. There isn't really much for me to say about this movie other than I liked it overall but I don't think I will ever see it again. I partially enjoyed my experience watching my first musical and the songs were well executed. Even Russel Crowe wasn't that bad.
Posted on 1/23/13 10:12 AM
I had heard this to be the "best action film in decades". For someone to say that just made me wan't to instantly watch it, to see if it does live up to that title. A few minutes into it there was tense in it and I was in suspense. The martial arts are non-stop. There are a lot of scenes where you are in awe and martial art moves you probably have never seen it perform in a movie before. It is satisfying but it never makes you feel as if its repetitive seeing fight after fight. The story is great with a few plot twist, great performances all around. I didn't find a single thing wrong with this movie. Better than a lot of American action movies. It will satisfy any action, martial arts fan. A must watch!
Posted on 1/23/13 10:11 AM
I honestly didn't have the same excitement as everyone else did to go see this. I thought I was going to dislike it. Gladly I ended up really enjoying the hell out of this movie. From the first five minutes you fear for the characters and their current predicament. It perfectly captures every bit of emotion your supposed to feel. This is the first time I've seen Jennifer Lawrence perform, other than X-Men but I had no idea it was her. She's a stunning actress and a great one. Josh Hutcherson was good as well. I thought this was such a good movie I consider it one of the best of the year.