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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

(2014)
1 hour ago via Rotten Tomatoes

9/10 I could give this movie a thousand complimentary titles so I'm going to start from the one I think is the most important: this is the best spider-man movie we have ever seen (and I thought its predecessor was actually the best beforehand). Futhermore this is one of the best comic book movies you can find out there. Moreover it is one of the best sequels I can think of (meaning both in quality, both in its ability to build on the first movie). It has one of the best and most credible screen romances I have ever seen in my llife. It is the best movie of 2014 so far and actually beats every single movie I've seen in all of 2013. Finally this movie completes my love for Marc Webb making him one of my favourite working directors at this moment. Ok, lets give a disclaimer here: I am a comic book nerd-geek and Spider-Man is one of my favourite fictional characters ever, so maybe I am inclined to be fully absorbed by this movie very easily, yet this doesn't take away from my film nerd-fan side that genuinely thought of very highly of this film from a simple filmaking point of view. As storytelling goes I could not have asked for more: it never commits the Spider-Man 3 mistake of being over-crowded and maintains a brilliant balance on all the characters flowing naturally with a story that feels perfecly fit to the movie. It never tries to be over intricate but manages to pull of multiple inter-twining storylines in a magnificent way. Never does it leave loose ends and that is something I hadn't seen in a comic-book movie for one full year. Futhermore it isn't a banal plot with cliched moments, it has valid originality (as much as there could possibly be in such a major motion picture) and keeps a core fidelity to the source material that deserves high praise. Just as good is the way in which this sequel builds on its predecessor tying up loose ends, proceeding with minor storylines of the first movie and adding great parts in it. As a director Webb is amazing as his super-hero. The action scenes are complexly put toghether, with visual brillance and continuity in them. Great improvement from the first movie. They really were breathtaking, nail-biting sequences that found me on the edge of my seat continiously. Another visual aspect that is stunning is the swinging sequences of Spider-Man: this is what I always wanted to see but never fully experienced with the other Spider-Man movies; the shots there were fantastic. Yet what I most admire Webb for is the talent he has for character development and coherence (we have seen this in his previous two movies). There just isn't one character in whom I did not belive, I never spotted the steryotypical comic-book person in here. Everybody had there chance to shine. Sure a couple of characters have minor short-comings and I understand if somebody doesn't belive in Electro's personality, but I found that it walked the line between movie acceptability and comic-book campyness in the perfect dose. To this I also have to give credit to the soundtrack which blew me totally away when Electro is intorduce to the public: that was some serious use of music and sounds for storytelling, brialliant, intelligent use! Adding to this is a really powerful score from Hans Zimmer, one of the better ones I have heard from him and generally in recent years. Our introduction to Harry Osborn/Green Goblin was magnificent on the character part, yet from an acting point of view I think Dane Dehaan overacted in some scenes, nevertheless he was good enough. The Cgi wasn't always seemless but great in many moments and anyways it never bothered me beacues the story was always the driving force behind it and what I was most interested in: this also speaks to the fact that the action was used to propel the plot so it never felt out of place, that is something really hard to pull off. There is lots of humor in the film and I can safley say that it actually is very funny and very faithful to who Spider-Man is and how he acts. I was excpeting more gratuitous fan service, but I can't really fault the movie for not satysfing my unsatysfiable thirst for it, that was nevertheless kept at bay. So I have been holding back this for all my review and here it is: what truly is the best part of the movie, the most riveting element, the thing that Webb does best in a really majesticall way, the driving force behind this film and what gives it honest emotional depth is the relationship between Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker. I honestly do not know how Webb is so amazingly good with romance and character interaction but what we have here (and in the previous movie) is something really special. There isn't a conversation to be had on the performances of Garfield and Stone, not to mention their chemistry, beacause you don't even see them as actors here. I can't bring myself to desribe what is going on here because even I don't know what it's really about, what I know is that when Gwen and Peter are interacting I was hooked as I have rarely been in my life. Their love is grounded and realistic, their dialogue belivable and natural, the story behind it fantastic but unfortunately (SPOILERS) tragical, I knew fully well that her death was coming but it still managed to hit me like a stone and I am very sad I will not see them back on screen toghether, that really hurts me. The film ended on a perfect note, I cannot wait to see more from Webb and this saga. I loved this movie very much.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

(2014)
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

8.5/10 My vote will probably become a 9 sooner rather than later, when I see it for the 3rd of 4th time, but for now I'm setteling for a 8.5. If I had to use one word to describe this movie it would be thrilling: it just keeps going on a on without ever slowing down and it is constantly involving, I was genuinely on th edge of my seat for most of the movie. All the cast is doing a great job: highlights apart form Chris Evans for me would be Scarlett Joansson and Sebasian Stan, giving a great presence by using just the eyes. The set-pieces are breathtaking and they are used for great action scenes which always carry on the storytelling with them, never did they feel useless. The story is very intricated yet it never confuses you or takes you out of it, but there is some great stuff left there for multiple viewings that I loved. Special effects are falwless as always from Marvel Studios and the character design for the winter soldier was wonerful. I do think that the first action sequence is very messy and has some poor cinematoraphy, all around the first five to ten minutes of the movie didn't feel like the best opening but anyways it picked up quickly after. I do think the story takes a couple of minor shortcuts that bothered me, but in the end the plot was very well thought out and the storytelling was most definetly successful. I will have to see this movie another one or two times to fully enjoy it and I mean that in a positive way. As comic book geek I cannot thanks Marvel enough for all of the fan service there was in this movie, these are the things that make me happily freak out and that make comic book movies great for me. Post credit scene was good enough but not the best I have ever seen.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

(2014)
4 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

7.5/10 Effortlessly entertaining and agressively likable, the movie has many elements that deserve high praise. Firstly and most importantly the visual coherence and beauty of this movie was flawless. I was constantly looking at the screen trying to take it all in, there's just nothing, not even the most tiny little thing, wrong with the aesthetic aspect. Production design and cinematography complete each other and add up to a simply delcious framing, that is explicitly reflected by the wonderful looking cakes in the story. I wasn't always thrilled with the tension scenes, but there is one in particular in the mountains that was extraordinarily magical: shot is such a stylish, thrilling and original way I was genuinely on the edge of my seat. I really can't speak enough of the visual aspect of this movie. Just as good is the acting here, especially Ralph Finnes' performace, delicate and artificial, yet the standouts are everywhere and there were some truly hilarious characters, watch out for Wiliem Defoes' performance. All in all this was a technically brilliant and stylish movie, but I just think that it fell short of something more because of a slight emotional detachment from the story. I have to admit that the central drama of the film, altouhgh fairly entertaining, isn't just as facinating as the inital scenes in the Hotel. What is missing here is the genuine emotion and sentiment of a "Moonrise Kingdom", not to say that you aren't involved in the turn-out of events, yet I was always feeling the weight of the moive in my head, something that didn't happen with Anderson's previous film and unfortunately with the exception of some iconic scenes the moive is quite forgettable. This speaks to the missing deep sentimental element of the moive that made Moonrise Kingdom so unforgettable. Despite this lack I still had a great time and was actually surprised by some turns the movie made both in the story both in the style.

James' Badges

Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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