My rating system:
5 stars = favorite movie
4,5 stars = outstanding, masterpiece
4 stars = great, excellent
3.5 = very good
3 stars = good, decent entertainment
2,5 stars = average, alright
2 = below average, rather meh
1.5 = rather bad
1 = really bad
0.5 = horrid crap
I am mostly here to rate movies I watched and create an archive of everything I've seen, but I'll be glad to talk about movies or anything with people who share a similar taste.
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Anyone else is more than welcome to say Hi, if they have a profile that tells me something about them and their taste.
The film's much discussed and likely inaccuracies aside, when it comes to the portrayal of real occurancs of recent history, it doesn't get much better than this. The direction, the script, the acting all work in favor of a realistic, sobering and terrifying retelling of events. Tom Hanks delivers one of his strongest performances of the last 15 years as regular man getting thrown into events beyond his own control. Especially the last couple of scenes stay with you for a very long time. Sure, the showdown feels a bit like a Navy Seals recruitment video, but even that doesn't take anything away from the film's power and desperate atmosphere. It's the only part that feels even remotely hollywoodized anyway, the rest is as gritty and unpleasant as you imagine the hijacking of a freighter ship to be. Much praise has to go to the amateur actors in the Somali roles too. Not only do they give their characters a threatening face, they also look beyond the veil and ask for the reasons behind such desperate measures.
Let's the honest, the first part of the series had pretty great world-building, albeit with a bit too much shaky cam, but suffered from a hardly believable, unspectacular and sometimes downright silly second half. So while it was easy for the audience to embrace the interesting dystopian future portrayed, the Hunger Games had yet to kick into gear. The sequel gets rid of the dizzying cameras, decides to takes its time getting us back into Panem and gives this world even more depth, as the winners are on propaganda tour through the districts. That sets up the rising level of tension and drama of the second act really nicely. The great news is: this time the games work too. By adding more characters that function as much more than victims and raising the stakes for Katniss and Peeta, the second half of the film is exciting, surprising, sometimes even wonderfully unpleasant, as should be. The new additions to the cast work great, especially Jena Malone, Sam Clafin and Philip Seymour Hoffman in roles that are not that easy to figure out. While Hutcherson manages to give his character much more heart and depth this time, this is still Lawrence's show, once again proving how she already is the leading lady of her acting generation. Top notch special effects, a much more spectacular setting for the game arena and unexpected plot twists make for a breath-taking finale, that ends as abruptly as imaginable. That robs the film some of its standalone merit, but leaves you wanting more and that soon. The pleasant case of a huge success that is warranted on every level.
Marvel goes fantasy. Thor's return under Game of Thrones-director Alan Taylor's command starts out as what looks like a new adventure from Middle Earth. What connects it with the smash hit Avengers is the characters we learned to love. It's a pleasure to see Hiddleston and Hemsworth clash once again as unlikely brothers with so much history, built up by the former films and now giving this franchise its own lore. In a film with a villain's plot that may not always make sense (but at least makes for a wonderfully messy and fun showdown) and in which the bad guy has little depth, it helps a lot that all other characters work so well and their interactions are great fun. While Thor's Asgardian companions remain a tad underused, it's Kate Dennings who pretty much steals every scene set on Earth. Asgard, on the other hand, looks greater and offers more details than before. Thankfully the film works on both ends of the scale because between all the family drama and tragic deaths, it never takes itself too seriously and may very well be the funniest Marvel film that doesn't include Downey Jr. shooting off his mouth.
There are two post-credits scene, one half-way through preparing for one of coming attractions and another at the very end closing this film's storyline nicely.
A few minor bumps aside, Marvel keeps delivering at an exceptionally high level giving its characters and worlds more depth than before and raising the bar once again about what to expect next. Space is probably not even the limit.
This Norwegian found footage film teams up University filmers with a trapper who turns out to hunt trolls for the government, top secret, mind you. Their unlikely adventures in the Norwegian wild are as funny as they are unsettling. The creature effects are not entirely en par with Hollywood standards, which also gives the film a more light-hearted note than probably intended. That doesn't change the fact that the gorgeous landscapes and the wonderfully grumpy main character make for a great combination, a highly entertaining horror film that parodies both found footage films and documentaries, yet works as both. Extremely amusing and a surprisingly fresh take on a genre that should have been dead five minutes after Blair Witch Project ended.
The predecessor in which Hawke and Delpy walked through Vienna talking had an open ending. Now, years later they meet at his book reading telling the story, this time in Paris. Again, the film is little more than two people walking through a city, talking and again it works perfectly, thanks to the great chemistry between the two characters, their topics and dialogs, which hold a lot of ultimate truths about life and love. Surprisingly, Paris is not as charming a background as Vienna used to be. The result is still really charming and entertaining, like a lovely stroll through a beautiful city with someone special.