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About Michael

Hometown:
Melbourne, Australia
Favorite Movies:
Toy Story 3, The Shawshank Redemption, Sin City, Cast Away, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, WALL-E, Edge of Tomorrow, Back to the Future, Dog Day Afternoon, Monsters, Inc., Project Nim, Good Will Hunting, Snowpiercer, The Truman Show
Favorite Actors:
Al Pacino, Tom Hanks, Giovanni Ribisi, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams, Jennifer Connelly, Jack Nicholson
Bio:
So I watch a movie...then...I tell you what I think in a kick back, informal review. Check out my movie review website for more. <a href="http://www.riveroreviews.blogspot.com">http://www.riveroreviews.blogspot.com</a>

Latest Submissions

  1. Dill: Okay, let's 'Bucket List' this bitch!

– Quote from Easy A 2 years ago

  1. Dwight: It's time to prove to your friends that you're worth a damn.

– Quote from Sin City 2 years ago

Movies Michael Wants to See

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Michael's Recent Ratings

Movies | TV seasons
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

(2011)
44 days ago via Flixster

Just in time for the upcoming release of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', I've recently decided to view this film again. First time since originally seeing it in the cinema back in 2011.

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is directed by Rupert Wyatt and it stars James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Tom Felton.
While rewatching this I couldn't help but notice the constant relatable scenes and the similar feeling I had while watching a recent film about an intelligent chimpanzee called 'Project Nim'(click here for review).

There is no doubt that I spotted many familiar scenes and references however the tone is different as well as the story and the aimed outcome.
This film is about a new born chimpanzee named 'Ceasar'. Born from a lab tested primate undergoing tests to increase intelligence Ceasar is born with similar genes. As he gets older he exceeds exponentially in tasks no other human his age can achieve. After being, to what he believes is, abandoned and mistreated he starts a revolution along with his primate buddies to step up where he believes to fit in society.

'Rise' has a strong tone to it. It knows exactly what it is in regards to a summer action packed blockbuster. It can show dangerous, intense scenes and it isn't afraid to take on a direction we hadn't experienced in movies at the time.
The CGI work is incredible, so good its unbelievably good. Every primate character looks superb and completely realistic down the fur, movement and behaviour. Understandably it may not be perfect, I get that we're talking about a movie here but for the time CGI is used to it's greatest potential. It's simply excellent and a joy to watch.

I do however have some problems with it. Most scenes that reinforce the buildup to the revolution might tend to drag on a little. Along with the constant enclosed space of the ape house that kind of resembles a prison there isn't much to show for in regards to entertainment. Sure it's smart and sure it's builds up tension but with what I'm seeing doesn't look visually appealing then I start to doze off, for just a little while.

What I found to be a little lacking were the acting, we have James Franco and Freida Pinto playing average citizens and it's all they are in their acting 'average'. Take the character Dodge Landon for example, played by Tom Felton, you know he's an asshole you can see it too but did I feel it? Not so much, so for the scenes that he was involved in it felt a little wasted. For a film like this I believe that the soft tone acting should've been reserved for something else and giving their role it's absolute all could've left us with a profound and exhilarating effect. Seeing that Ceasar is the main character here it could make sense that he needs to own every scene to represent his strong character but this just leaves other scenes a little weak.

Overall 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' can be seen as a great movie that touches on rising(no pun intended, well maybe) to your worthy spot in society. It an excellent popcorn movie for those who love intense action, bold twists and spectacular CGI apes. In my opinion, if more time was spent on tweeting the other performances then this movie would've owned a higher score.

WALL-E

WALL-E

(2008)
47 days ago via Flixster

Wall-e stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class, just thought you should know.
'Wall-e' is directed by Andrew Stanton and it stars Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver.

You have never met a character so unique and pleasant to watch unlike Wall-e. I'd say that you could
have a lot of fun and feel so much in this subtle film than you would in any recent blockbuster that could be trashing your local cinema today.
'Wall-e' is about a robot named.....well....Wall-e. He is the only living machine that is well and truly alive on Earth. Wall-e lives his life day in and day out collecting rubbish(as that's the reason why he was first created) and turning them into blocks, so much so that he can build buildings with it. When all is well and average in the day of a life of Wall-e, so to speak, a visitor is welcomed to his world that leads him to discover a whole lot more about himself and the world he lives in.

As mentioned before the character Wall-e is nothing like you've seen before. He's adorable and extremely likeable, there's nothing to hate(unless you're just not into that stuff). Movies can go a long way where centralised characters can present an endearing kind of personality, and with any sort of obstacle that affects the protagonists plan can have us feel for them in very strong ways. The connection between our main characters where extremely touching and believable. Every moment spent with each other adds on importance to the plot with the chemistry between them working very well.

I would like to give the movie extra props not simply from the mysterious and well thought out opening we are introduced to but also from the fact it uses the ability to no dialogue to it's greatest advantage. Most of the movie has no dialogue, sure it has people talking but as to support and drive the characters forward it's all reliant on sound effects and actions to keep us interested. Don't know how, but upon first watching it I couldn't grasp and realise how this film was able to draw me so close to these characters. About half way through it just stunned me to how effective this movie really is.

There is no doubt that 'Wall-e' is an excellent movie, it strives with greatness through emotions and your deep connection with the protagonists and the fact that it can attract you even though a word is hardly said is a major plus. It's no surprise Pixar has delivered another gem to their collection of masterpieces. Undoubtedly this is for everyone. Why? Because actions speak louder than words and you feel it in every scene.

The Truman Show

The Truman Show

(1998)
51 days ago via Flixster

Ever seen Jim Carrey play in a compelling movie unlike his eccentric character from Ace Ventura and Liar Liar? Apart from 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'(click here for review) this could've been the one that sparked his interest in dramas.
'The Truman Show' is directed by Peter Weir and it stars Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor and Paul Giamatti.

If at some point in your life you stumbled upon this movie, checked the synopsis or the casing and you thought to yourself that this probably isn't worth your time, then I suggest you reconsider and
give this a chance. You may be surprised.
'The Truman Show' is about Truman Burbank(Jim Carrey) and how his whole life is televised 24 hours a day to the entire world. Truman lives his life like an ecstatic, regular joe working to pay the bills but deep down hides more feelings and needs. Truman is unaware of his private shown globally until certain incidenences make him second guess about the world he lives in.

This drama/comedy I believe is perfect for Jim Carrey, I can't see anyone else playing this character. This movie is a little unusual. Once we get involved and invested in our protagonist not only does it make us wonder what's going to happen next but also add funny moments to it(not forgetting the incredibly, touching moments too). The tone of the film plays a big role in how we should feel about the film. You know and feel that something is not right, it's almost hard to explain by words and the best way I believe you can understand is if you see it. The tone enhances our connection with Truman and boy does it it do a great deal in that, it had me rooting for him, feeling for him and worried for him until the very end.

Though at some points the movie can dip into it's silent moments, whether it's to tell the tale or have characters whispering to each other, there are many positive reinforcements that bounces the energy back up that lear our attention once again. Nothing that shows off in a glamorous or obvious way through imagery or loud noises but more like twists and turns that stuns us out of expectations we had from this movie.
This tale is so original, as well as the direction it takes, and what I love about it most is the bold and courageous message and inspiration it obtains about life and having a dream. For those who read my other reviews, you know that I love movie themes that reflect and relate to life so much it's inspiring. I take movie moments that touch on it really seriously and straight to the heart that I'll carry with me for a very long time(I guess until I die).

'The Truman Show' is undeniably a thought provoking and intelligent film that has you supporting the protagonist in a humane way. As talented as Jim Carrey is, it is evident that he can handle dramas quite easily and effectively. Overall this movie moved me and is listed as one of my all time favourites and a part of my movie collection.

Like Crazy

Like Crazy

(2011)
52 days ago via Flixster

For anyone who has been or is currently in a long distance relationship, this movie will hit home for them. A movie with such raw elements even to a regular relationship.

'Like Crazy' is directed by Drake Doremus and it stars Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Muirhead and Charlie Bewley.

In this beautifully crafted and elegantly made romantic drama we are given a real life taste into a
strong and deep relationship. I would classify this as an indie film as it's evidently shown in it's style and it's isn't Hollywoodized or fancied up in any way.
'Like Crazy' tells the complex story of a couple in a long distance relationship. Jacob(Anton Yelchin) and Anna(Felicity Jones), she being from England, meet at an American school and they hit it off in spectacular fashion. Their love is vibrant, beautiful, young and true. It's only until Anna's spontaneous and regrettable decision to stay in the country while violating her visa agreement begins a rocky and difficult outcome creating their time together being extremely valuable and their futures looking rather unknown.

The movie mainly and only focuses on the couple of Jacob(Anton Yelchin) and Anna(Felicity Jones) and their emotional need for each each other. At the start of their first meeting and progressively through every additional scene they're in together do we see a strong and believable relationship. With the great direction of Drake Doremus we get this realistic approach to how couples feed off each other's jokes, feelings and their nonsense. In the end with true love being existent, forgiveness and each other is all they and anyone needs. I find that the chemistry between these two is excellent, they seemed really cute with each other too and their appearance and role were very fitting to the vision that director Drake Doremus may have been going for. Overall it worked really well.

This story takes on a couple of creative complications. I won't spoil others but the initial complication is the fact that Anna(Felicity Jones) overstayed her visa and that I believe this pushes it to a more urgent need and creates a more serious problem for our characters. In most dramas that involve a couple they would go for something very general and common that we've seen before. Perhaps a boyfriend cheats or the girl is pregnant, we've practically heard of it already. Here the large separation between them allows us to feel something even more for them like there's something missing(I'm sure it'll take someone with a long distance experience to understand).

What I find to be the worrying part is that it could present itself as a little boring and may have audiences looking at their watches or seeing how long of the movie is left. There is no doubt that this film likes to take its time however I also don't see that any scenes are potentially wasted. In regards to the vibrance of most scenes the first act of the movie seems to be the most elegant and heart warming. With the understanding of their relationship on the rocks I get how and why the serious and slow pacing may be simply enhancing the seriousness of the situation. I would not think that most audiences would understand the message or reasoning behind it and will find it a little less interesting than they expected.

'Like Crazy' tells a love tale like no other. Yes it still has it problems but the reality of a young, loving couple is present and you simply can't help but feel for them as they go through this hard moment in their lives.
Having been in a long distance relationship myself, this movie hit me in the right spots and allowed me to understand and appreciate what's important in my own life. In a way it nearly replicates a difficult era of my life, a little personal something I feel like sharing you.

Michael's Badges

Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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