buzz4893's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Do-Over
The Do-Over(2016)

I'll admit, I am a pretty big apologist for Adam Sandler. Sure Happy Gilmore is still a classic to me. And I admit I still liked stuff like 50 First Dates, Pixels, Funny People, Bedtime Stories, The Cobbler and Click (honourable mentions to That's My Boy where I think I had a better appreciation for the film on a second viewing). I think The Do-Over had potential but ultimately it's wasted in a film that's not really a comedy and not really an action movie. I give kudos to Sandler for pulling off a pretty big twist in the movie, but by the time it's revealed, it is so convoluted that the payoff seems confusing to feel any form of satisfaction. MVP? Probably Kathryn Hahn or the Dr from Funny People who shine in the supporting role. Technically this isn't a Sandler movie either, it's more of a Spade film (did I mention I liked The Benchwarmers too?) and I don't know if I really liked "sappy" Spade over "sarcastic" Spade. Overall I don't know if I'd recommend even to Sandler die-hards.

The Revenant
The Revenant(2015)
½

I like Birdman a lot more than I thought. So does that mean I'm liking The Revenant? I think the movie was powerful and in the vein of a Tarantino revenge flick, but there is just so much unanswered to me that I don't really see how the movie committed to its theme (unlike Birdman where it clearly showed the process of unraveling and narcissism). The other thing that bugs me is Leo's performance. Was it really the best of the year just because he did all of that off camera? Did I really believe he was anyone else beyond Leonardo DiCaprio? The answer is probably a no, but also I am possibly taking this for granted. Tom Hardy I feel transformed in the role of Fitzgerald, but the rest (beyond Hux) I don't think I believed. It's almost as if that effort doesn't always produces reward (a lesson I learned very hard from one high school course) and I can't give it to Leo here.

Kung Fu Panda 3
½

Call me old, but I have to say I felt a bit underwhelmed in part 3. Not that the movie felt bad or anything wrong (it was a brisk 90 minutes and thankfully so), but I feel like the movie could have been more... epic especialy with a 5 year gap? Such a big question in part 2 was knowing who Po's family was and what happened and finding the answer really didn't peak my interest at all. But maybe the movie wasn't about that? I'm not too sure really since the marketing was mostly on that, not the true message about power, self-worth, sacrifice and such. And again Dreamworks does a great job with the mature themes while still keeping it entertaining and goofy. Maybe I'm just too old for these movies now, but I wish it was just a bit more.

Zoolander 2
Zoolander 2(2016)

Did I hate Zoolander 2? No. Do I get why people might dislike it? Yes. Probably in the same vein as Anchorman 2, Zoolander 2 doesn't really do much to differentiate itself but I can see how the message is more muddled. In the original sure Derek Zoolander is an idiot, but you could tell he does just seem to stumble into an action movie and get through it with hilarious effect. In 2, it seems more of an action movie with too many cameos and while that's not the worst thing, it just isn't original as the first. It doesn't feel like the world of modelling matters and everything seems almost like a cartoon, whereas the original still felt somewhat grounded. The death of Matilda also seemed weird, just a lame excuse to make her just "weirder". And what was with Mila disguising as Kristen Wiig? Some odd choices aside, the movie weirdly monologues the problems of Zoolander so much, to a point where, he doesn't really resolve the problem of "being old" either. So really Zoolander 2 is more of a movie saying nothing, but if you were a fan of the original, I think you still could have something to be interested in if low expectations.

American Ultra

The first 30 minutes or so of American Ultra are actually quite captivating. It's almost the mystery that builds is so weird in itself that there is just a good reason to keep watching. But when it's just a reason for Stoner Bourne, the movie just unravels. Not that the implausibility really matters, it just gets boring and looses the zaniness.

Daddy's Home
Daddy's Home(2015)

Uh... I guess it was slightly better than Get Hard? In a way, reflecting on Christmas 2015 this was the most surprising movie to connect with audiences despite the horrible reviews. I mean even the trailers made this seems like this was going to flop. So I'm not sure how this turned around. I laughed at a few jokes, but really the ratio falls flat, and not in the "oh it's just not funny" group, but more in the "it's just too parental of jokes to find funny at this age" group. Maybe this is geared for parents, I mean as a kid who grew up on Ferrell I didn't find it "that" funny. But I just wish Ferrell did more high concept stuff instead of everyday man things. I guess it's the reverse of Seth Rogen.

The Hateful Eight

The best way to sum up The Hateful Eight is said in the movie as "The name of the game is patience.". After an excruciating hour long set up, the film picks up telling the story of John Ruth and his journey to bring Daisy Domergue to hang. For some reason, John suspects someone doesn't want him to get the bounty, so the film unravels into a mystery. And I think at that point the film finally grabbed me. But to take that long is sadly just not worth it to the payoff at the end. Sure, in pure Tarantino style, bodies explode and expletives fly. But also in pure Tarantino style if you hate the "talk before action" type films he is known for, this won't win you over. In fact, there is so much monologuing it is nauseating to the point of almost wanting to cut the film down from it's "slim" 2h47m run time. The actors, nothing really stands out too much beyond maybe Samuel L. Jackson who gets a really meaty monologue and just carries the film. And Tim Roth seems like he screams "let the Christoph out!" Still I wish Tarantino would move away from the historical spaghetti western, especially if he wants to be done after 10 films, 3/10 of his films are now in the genre! For die hards, I'd recommend, but for the average movie goer, I don't know if this is the Tarantino film worth your time.

Fantastic Four

I wrote a review for Terminator Genysis a while back and talked about how sad the movie made me. If that made me sad, then Fantastic 4 just is a colossal failure. Never have I seen a movie so low energy, it's almost shocking like everyone on screen had a lobotomy. Miles Teller, normally full of sass and energy, is just reduced to a soft spoken teenager (...right) who gets somehow disqualified for his science experiment to work at the Baxter organization. There he meets the equally dull Kate Mara who really is just as soft spoken and wearing some odd wig half the time. I could go on and on and spoil the movie, and really I don't mind since nothing happens. But nothing makes really any sense. Why would Doom come back? What does he gain really to come back and ... destroy Earth? What if the humans never went back? Why did Reed run away? I mean the star is really for just a shame of how interesting this movie could have been. The transformation back for the boys was an interesting way to tackle the mythology of the F4, but why was Mara out? Geez. The more I type the more frustrated I get.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man(2015)

If you told me I would go into Ant-Man and expect to like it last year I would have laughed. Marvel has really gotten to a point lately where they believe they are "unstoppable" by releasing one film that really was only sold on concept of "what if we combine characters from previous movies together?" Clearly the magic didn't strike twice with Ultron but enough about my dislike of the MCU practice. Ant-Man was troubled getting rid of Edgar Wright and that was a red flag to me. The guy who spent almost 12 years walking away? This must be a disaster. Maybe I walked in with too low of expectations, maybe I just can't resist the charm of Paul Rudd (I mean I knew he was cool since Knocked Up) but I liked what I got in Ant-Man. It's sure an origin story, a heist movie ripping off of many other films (seems to be a trend with Marvel, but let's just throw superheros! That's the original part!) but I think what makes it work is the parallels between Scott and Hank. That worked perfectly. In a way they got around the lazy "destroy the city" bullshit of the 5000 previous movies by placing it in a child's bedroom. In a way I wish Joe Johnston came back to direct Honey I Shrunk the Ant-Man. Or Judd Apatow/David Wain's This is Ant-Man starring Jason Segel and Rashida Jones.

Ted 2
Ted 2(2015)

I think in my review of Ted 2 I called it a "live action R-rated Disney cartoon" almost similar to the movies of the 90s they don't make anymore (which is a shame since I think the last one I recall You, Again or Old Dogs must have really burnt out Disney). Regardless here is Ted 2, and this time I feel it's more of a live action Family Guy. So much so down to the character of Patrick Meighan and random cutaways. And that is "fine". I really didn't find much to rave or dislike about Ted 2. Like Family Guy it just "exists" to me and really didn't win me over or hate it. The humour? About on Family Guy level. So really, the novelty of the original is gone and nothing really here is showing to push the boundaries further. Am I disappointed? Not really, it's just (odd to say) inoffensive.

Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland(2015)

This is why I dislike rating things, because I think Tomorrowland as a concept is stellar. It was unique and original and I think it deserves to be one of 2015's greatest concepts. But as a film, I think Tomorrowland just doesn't live up to the Brad Bird name. Coming off critical darlings (not all BO hits) The Iron Giant, Incredibles, Ratatouille, Mission Impossible GP, I mean you're basically stacking the odds against you with each at a consistent level of greatness. That's not to say Tomorrowland is bad, it just isn't as good as the movies listed. I'd probably give it the award of most optimistic movie of 2015. But going back to really the film I think it's fine. George Clooney is fine, everyone is "fine". It does fall prey to the "let's confuse people to make us seem smart" ending but it's a shame this film didn't captivate audiences like say Inception did.

Deadpool
Deadpool(2016)
½

I can't really say I'm impressed with Deadpool. I was in a theatre filled with (almost) everyone laughing. Maybe I walked in with the wrong expectations. Essentially, the film boils down to the plot of X-Men Origins which surprisingly isn't a lie. Let's see, origin story, check. Man takes part of underground operation to enhance a "disease" they currently have, check. Man get powers to regenerate quickly, check. Man goes after people who wronged him, check. Man does wrong by girl, check. Um? And this was supposed to be the film to break the superhero mold? I would have maybe liked a bit more self referential than sight gags, because 90% of the jokes here didn't land. In fact, Reynolds just got so annoying that I almost was wishing he got what was coming for him. I can't really say the rest of the cast is that memorable either. The new Collosus was strange and it almost felt weird considering the one in the Singer timeline is younger. I guess if I had to name one person I liked it was Hidebrand, she did something if the performance was just too quick. In a way, this might have been Fox's answer to a more Downey Jr type character and I'm not sure that what I want. But maybe I just don't know enough about Deadpool. The film has it's moment though, with too many slow mo shots that it screamed Wachowski! In a way, I wouldn't say my expectations were too high. I loved the footage that "leaked" but maybe I was expecting too much of a good thing. Or maybe I just wanted something so different it broke our paradigm of what a superhero film was. It does neither even if it was still entertaining.

The Visit
The Visit(2015)

M Night is back! Sort of. But we all need to take steps sometimes to return to form. Adopting the found footage method was a mistake (in that it just added to irritation) but the build up of the first 2/3 of the film was exciting and honestly one of M Night's best in over a decade. When the reveal happens, it isn't that it isn't shocking, but more just eh. Still the message and theme of forgiveness and family is strong and I hope we see more of this M Night rather than "bedtime stories" M Night.

Terminator Genisys

Was I wrong about this turkey. I actually thought the trailers looked fine for this. But wow is this movie a mess. Taking a page from Chris Nolan's "more confusing = smart" theory, the movie creates loopholes in timelines in rifts that don't really make much sense. Emila Clarke is cute and I guess ok. Jai Courtney. oh god is this a horrible casting choice. He just is so doughy and un Kyle Reese like it just made it annoying to follow him. I guess Jason Clarke was ok as John Connor even though he was given a derivative role as villain and I'm not sure why they thought we were stupid to not know the twist was the twist. Sigh. This movie just made me feel really sad since I thought it could come together. But in the end, it's just wasted talent.

Aloha
Aloha(2015)

I can now officially crown another contender for worst film of the year. Without even getting 20 minutes in it this turkey manages to be dreadful. Why does Emma Stone keep defining Hawaiian terms? Why is Bradley Cooper just in The Silver Linings Playbook in Hawaii? Why is the government involved in the private contract? I'll just end here.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
½

After 10 years, Star Wars is finally back. I'm not one of those people who hate on the prequels (well minus Attack of the Clones). I still feel they are not bad movies and are important to history of Star Wars and to cinema (I mean as a kid seeing my first Star Wars and learning about movies and production and the science behind it? I still feel that without Episode I I highly doubt I would even care about writing this today). So how is The Force Awakens?

It's a good movie. I liken it to a good TV pilot, not really something that's strong on it's own but you know that it is setting something up for something special. I tried to avoid almost all the trailers and spoilers online, and that's just a testament to my own patience considering how much I read up on casting and production (which is in itself a detriment to really a film-watching experience, but I'll elaborate on that later). I'll start off with what I like but this will be spoiler filled as a warning.

Rey and Kylo Ren are really good. I think it's fantastic to have a strong character lead the franchise and you can definitely tell Ripley is pulling her all. As an unknown it's so refreshing just to see her come from nowhere and really just have this force and bravado as a character. Kylo Ren, as hammy as he gets, really made me question the reasons behind Anakin in the prequels. It seems as though JJ put thought in why we needed him, where he came from and why the lightsaber was designed in such a fashion. His story also makes sense and really is more meaty than it would suggest. BB-8 is also fun to watch in really replacing R2 throughout the movie. The humour is also something I appreciated. Rare I know right? But the difference here is Star Wars is laughing with you, trying to pull the emotions and nostalgia, knowing itself is really quite silly in the scheme of things. It doesn't feel forced or snarky as much as Marvel in their efforts and it feels nice to have a throwback really to the old style of filmmaking. A lot of the sequences too look fantastic (and I appreciate a lot wasn't spoiled in the trailers, but it's a shame still going in I even knew that much).

As for issues, the biggest one was definitely the problem with how "familiar" it felt. Sure, I can blame the fact a bit in that I follow movie news on the regular so I can expect this, or the fact I understand casting pedigree so if you say cast an "Oscar Issac" you know it's probably an important character (although hiring newcomers like Daisy Ripley and to an extend John Boyega helps avoid this). But the issue was more the fact how beat for beat this was Star Wars. Which made the film entertaining but not revolutionary. (SPOILERS) Rey stranded on the dusty planet of Jakku wanting to leave but just getting by. BB8 is a droid with information that needs to be passed on. Kylo Ren battled Han Solo on a narrow strip on the Starkiller Base. Kylo Ren get an Anakin scar. Starkiller Base explodes planets. I can keep going on but that frustrated me. Lupita N'yongo plays a Yoda like character in a Cantina. NOOOOOOOO said by almost everyone (yet people hating on this line in ROTS???) A lot more was also throwbacks, that didn't bother me, but the beat for beat stuff seemed...off. I don't want to expect a new experience, but simply just multiplying the previous experience didn't seem...revolutionary. Still, I hope in the sequels we can explore the world and characters a bit more.

Second major issue. Captain Phasma. I walked in the store today and I noticed in the pools of merchandise that Captain Phasma was the first out of 7 for cereal boxes to collect. And I thought, why? She never takes off her mask and really is just comic relief in a way how she's dealt. It's a shame hiring based on the name might have been a red herring to her role, but it's just a bit...odd. Same with Max Von Sydow.

Final issue is probably the pacing. The beginning was kind of slow to start, although that changes quickly as they get off Jakku. At times the tone felt like it battled between old school Star Wars and some odd snarky in jokes which was fine and never really got too annoying, but it still made me wonder why they even wanted that beyond serving the lowest common denominator.

I also feel at times the movie really asks more questions than it wants to answer. Who is Snoke, and why is he ruling the First Order? Who are Rey's parents? What is Luke's plan? What happened to Jar Jar? How did Po escape from the crash (and how did both Finn and Po escape the crash)? Did Finn survive a clear lightsaber slash to his spine?

Prequels are never a necessity as really we understood where they would go, but the most exciting thing about The Force Awakens is we don't know how it will. And that's the promise given by the movie, a new new hope. It's a shame a lot of it was derivative, but as for another Star Wars movie maybe that's all we want right now.

The Imitation Game
½

Hmm Benedict Cumberbatch + Kiera Knightley + TIFF People Choice Winner + Math + Thriller = Perfect Storm of Interest? Sadly not so. It's a shame that despite liking everything in the previous equation that really, the movie never caught my interest. It never got to the point of "anxious ridden suspense" that Turing would be wrong as they went through the "Steve Jobs is never wrong" school of biopics. Still, I will say learning about the subject and struggle after the weak first act pulled me in a bit more but never really captivated me beyond that. I just wish they did something a bit less dry, but maybe it was a bit hard to do that. The LGBT stuff just felt forced in the end of it despite trying to weave the story together.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

I almost gave up on the series after Part 1. I think I highlighted the film did have some highs in Lawrence's performance, but overall it was just dull, dreck, grimy and boring. Part 2 is an exponentially better film than the previous installment and further proves why these movies should not be split. But even if it was more thrilling, something still felt empty, almost like Katniss herself.

It's really great how we see Jennifer Lawrence grow as an actress over the four movies. Beyond Harrelson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman (who in his final role, the CGI almost doesn't seem noticeable until the end) and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali this time though I can't really say everyone else (although not really fair to say Effie or Beattie since it was such a small bit role) felt so much more amateur. Case and point is Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth who both are given different and more respectfully this time, but it just doesn't feel elevated like what Lawrence has done and learned. She'll definitely have a long career ahead of this and the movie further shows her solid work.

But like any "Part" movie (Hobbit, Potter, etc) the movie often dragged. This is problematic in the first 20 and last 20. But the middle is still so much of a step up in entertainment value in spectacle (well minus the climax but more on that later) and dramatic gravity of the themes. Sure it may be obvious at an older age the parallels between leader, the rebels and Capital and messages of war, propaganda, leading, and messaging. While Part 1 just felt too heavy handed in these messages, Part 2 managed to elegantly provoke the audience instead and it hits in that more effectively.

And in true "Hunger Games" fashion it never seems to hit a climax. (Spoilers.. but not really). The first movie they both took berries to kill themselves but then Snow called it off. Catching Fire she shoots the dome (which was cool!) but she's just...rescued. Mockingjay Part 1 ended in Peeta attacking Katniss but it just felt like a commercial break. Part 2 builds up the battle, Katniss waits to enter the Captial to slay Snow. Then bombs. And more bombs (it isn't well explained here as in the book). And then wakes up in a hospital. Um ok. Now it could be argued in a hypocritical sense I hate explosions in movies. It's why I'm a huge proponent against The Avengers. But at the same time, nothing is really built here that we were invested for in 4 movies and it hurt the film.

Still, MP2 manages to emotionally resonate, but even if it was on a lesser scale than Harry Potter (which is fair considering those characters we've grown with for 10 years vs 4 years). It's almost worth the admission just to see Jennifer Lawrence's performance to keep you really guessing and seeing how troubled the hero is. She isn't a boy wizard prodigy, but more just someone in the right place at the right time. And I think that's why I loved The Hunger Games books. She wasn't the leader they needed and she knows that. And these themes are what separates HG from other YA dreck (like Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, Maze Runner, Percy Jackson, If I Stay, The 5th Wave, The Host, ugh I am sick of typing).

More of a recommendation to finish off the series if you've committed to see them all. If not, just watch the first two, especially Catching Fire which is the best of the series notes. MP2 reaches some of those highs on a thematic level, but never on a thrill seeking level.

Pixels
Pixels(2015)

There are some actors I defend a lot more than I should and Adam Sandler is one of them. I didn't really start to seriously watch his work until Click, well into stability of his career but as we kept getting Grown Ups and Jack and Jills, the BO prospects diminished drastically over the last 5 years. Now I'm not saying Pixels is the greatest movie of 2015 nor anything genius, but I don't see why people are viciously hating on it because it stars Adam Sandler. In fact, it's probably one of his better recent efforts with much less of the "Grown Up" jokes and is more of an action movie.

Spectre
Spectre(2015)

After Skyfall was entertaining (really only due to Javier Bardem) but still entertained by the world of Bond, I was excited for Spectre. Christoph Waltz is enough to sign me up at the door. And I will admit, I liked the movie more so than the critical or audience perception seems to be.

The film opens with a highly kinetic, upbeat and vibrant chase and fight through Mexico City. And it's a drastic improvement to Skyfall's boring "Bourne Ultimatum" rip-off opening. It doesn't have the same psychosis or weight to it and the feeling really carries through the 2.5 hour film.

Sam Smith, I think you are talented, but the theme song and intro this time after coming from the infectious Skyfall (even though it is repeating the same line over and over) just doesn't do it justice. It sounds like an avant-garde song, but it really doesn't hold up as anything memorable which is a shame (So I guess my ranking there is Skyfall, You Know My Name, Writing on the Wall, and the even more jarring Another Way to Die).

I think the best part of Spectre is the mystery even though if (SPOILER) it really doesn't satisfy in the end. John Harrison is obviously not John Harrison will be my point here, but another revelation is made that is more important that really ties the film together. It's much more cohesive than Skyfall where it honestly didn't gel at all. Monica Bellucci is severely underused, to the point I'm not even sure why she is a Bond Girl. Lťa Seydoux was great although she did give remnants of Christmas Jones with the whole "I'm not going to sleep with you" bs. Still, nothing really shocked me after Skyfall and they killed Bťrťnice Lim Marlohe.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Bautisa from Guardians of the Galaxy, but I think he does a fantastic, if slight job here. Restricting him to his facial emotions and physicality is what Bond needed after the mights of just shooting and taking out enemies. But sadly the fight scene just amounts to one scene on a train which is a shame (the rest are vehicle chases). As for Waltz, he was...good. Not fantastic given his pedigree, but he still was entertaining to laugh at. As for Daniel himself, there really is no internal struggle this time and while it is tried to be placed upon learning of a new secret from old M, it doesn't really him the emotional level.

Q has his moments as well but Moneypenny is severely underused. I know for a series about a guy who hits on women (and in a very...odd pace in this movie for someone who hits on a widow and a kid) Skyfall seemed to be the turning point in the improvement of female figures. Sadly, she's just reduced to an office job. Just like the end of Skyfall. Not really a negative, but going from having Judi Dench and Moneypenny in the field to the boys club seems like a point backwards.

And this is my positive review of the movie until we get to the final 5 minutes. (I will spoil here since this actually makes me retract it from its higher score). After a final fight through London (a la Fast & Furious 6) and escaping a tower (The Raid) and saving a hostage from an explosion (The Dark Knight) in a bulletproof case (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) Bond is about to shoot Waltz when he looks at M and decides to throw his gun away since he didn't want to show Madeleine the killer he truly is or was. I can understand the argument he changed, he now has not lost and wants to change going forward. But as for the character that Craig did thusforward, it frustrated me he decides to change his motive. This is after M does a great speech on killing people and ironically kills himself. This is also a cheap way to keep Christoph in the sequel (and not remove great actors like Mads Mikkelsen or Javier Bardem who were far superior villains). And then it ends abruptly. This is what changed the movie from a 4 or 3.5 to a 3.

Slight note on cinematography. Other than the fantastic and vibrant opening, every other scene in the movie is muddled or blurry. It's a shame the vibrancies from Skyfall is gone as this new scheme just makes it seem so dreadful.

I'll say Spectre is slightly better than Skyfall. It could have been even better if it were not for what I described is the atrocity that is slapped in the final 5 minutes, but if you're into the mystery Bond this is the one. It's not flashy like Casino Royale, angsty like Quantum of Solace or preppy like Skyfall but Spectre does follow its own as a pretty good entry in the Bond franchise.

Get Hard
Get Hard(2015)

I'm a fan of Will Ferrell. I'll admit I'll 99% of the time watch anything with him in it. Kevin Hart...not so much. But thinking about it, Will Ferrell hasn't put out anything entertaining since Blades of Glory...almost 10 years ago! The Wedding Ringer had a few laughs but nothing really to make it a stand out. So here is Get Hard, a movie too late for really both comedians. In 2007, hot off of Talladega Nights and the Mediocre Man Trilogy prospects (speaking of which, we never really got an ending to it, if we still consider the first two films as Anchorman and Talladega Nights). Ferrell again plays an ignorant man who seems to be #1 at his job, but falls this time due to fraud (rather than say sexism or racism in the previous two films) then learns to climb back with the help of The Wedding Ringer.... err prison coach. I mean from that you can tell it's typical Ferrell with more Kevin Hart like jokes. But maybe I'm just getting old but I rarely laughed here. I'll say T.I. and the Krenshaw gang were funny, but like most Will Ferrell movies, everyone is over the top and a caricature and while funny at first, it seems to have warn down the welcome. I can still picture a sequel to this. Kevin Hart actually goes to jail and Will helps him. But this movie also didn't make enough money so I doubt it will happen.

The Age of Adaline
½

The miraculous thing about Adaline Bowman is the fact the movie will completely justify itself in the science but it took me a while to really figure out what the movie is and what it will be. Adaline is not a bad movie, in fact it was probably a surprise, but at the same time it doesn't do much to really shock the viewer as it turns too much into an odd love triangle in the third act. When playing with the mythos is where the film strives and I wish they focused on that. Maybe spin it off into a TV show to show the change in time. But still Adaline showed a lot of promise and while it didn't quite make the mark for me, it still showed potential for an entertainment purpose.

The Danish Girl

If 2013 was the beginning of the transgender revolution with The Dallas Buyer?s Club (although I would argue kind of misleadingly since the movie was more of a ?man vs the government? movie), 2015 is the year it finally had ignition. The topic seems to come up almost too frequently from Orange is the New Black to Caitlyn Jenner to now this movie. The Danish Girl is a movie that maybe felt too personal to me to review, but it also suggests it maybe plays way too close to what I understand.

I think the biggest strength of the movie is I think how sincere and real it feels for those who have these feelings and emotions. Eddie ?No I?m Sorry? Redmayne does great, if predicable work as Lili/Einar Wegener, trying to come to terms with understanding who she is as a person and overcoming what the scientific solutions and societal norms were of the time. The way he tries the clothes on a questions initially if it is just for fun or if this character that she and her wife both create is something more is almost too true. And I think that?s probably the element that made me so mixed.

I think Alicia Vikander does the shining work as Gerda, Lili?s wife. In a way, the movie isn?t so much about Lili as it is about Gerda?s struggles to match males in a male driven society, the fact that she was the ?inception? of the idea to Lili and a lot of the emotion and pain comes from how she stayed strong and continued to support Lili in almost every instance despite temptation.

I think for any ?Oscar Bait? type movie they draw out the film and don?t quite get to the point of what they need and the movie suffered from some scenes that could be cut for a tighter movie. There is such an element of comedy in the movie to which caught me off guard since you felt as though with such a serious and confusing topic the idea to infuse such comedy really grounds and humanized the film in just the right way. The emotional moments do hit (the scene at the end is shot and acted beautifully) but beyond that, I don?t really know what was ?stand out?. I think what bothered me also was this isn?t necessarily a biopic but rather a retelling from the novel of the life of Lili (since a lot of the elements did eventually change). Which is a shame, some of the stuff that happened in the real life story seems a lot more true to how people of the community are as well (but that is really a different topic for another day). Tom Hooper also does his famous ?people walk towards the camera in long hallways? shots so there is lots of that too.

The Danish Girl is probably the closest I felt comfortable watching this subject matter in the theatre (I cringe or try to change the channel when I see stuff like White Chicks or Mrs. Doubtfire on TV) and I think it?s a movie to finally deal with the topic on a mainstream level if it does hit the Oscar success. It isn?t for everyone, and I wish it went more into the mind of Lili at times rather than focusing on the support and struggles of Gerda, but hey the movie is much better than Balem in Jupiter Ascending, Alice in Seventh Son and The King?s Speech. Amber Heard I?m not sure why you showed up to the premiere except to congratulate Johnny Depp for Black Mass, but I guess the most difficult moment was creating the name Lili. I predict probably nominations for both, but I doubt any wins, there isn?t much that ?stands out? or ?blows away?, but I think as a stepping stone between having a clearer idea on what transgender means (beyond today?s foggy ?news? media attention on certain individuals) the film succeeds.

The Gift
The Gift(2015)

The gift is an alright movie. I wouldn't say phenomenal but the semi-Hitchcockian/Shyamalan flavour that the story by Edgerton tries to create pays off in the end but could have reach even higher heights. Edgerton gives a pretty scary (and honestly quite brief) performance as Gordo, the best part of the character is you kept guessing whether he was good or bad intentioned the entire film (similar to Wes Craven's Red Eye). Bateman, who people know I am quite fond of, delivers sadly a simply one note performance. So much so you have to question how Robyn, played by Hall actually would want to marry this guy. She has her own set of problems too, and while stronger than Bateman's character overall, she isn't given much to do with beyond piecing the puzzle together. Maybe the problem is that neither really get redemption in the film or come to any form of resolution which is a stark difference in how the film is carried compared to modern cinema. Regardless, The Gift is a movie that still kept me guessing the entire film (even though SPOILERS it is hinged on one direct line of dialogue one character speaks) and I wish it did have a bit more grey vs deciding the path it dictated (this is why also lately I dislike watching trailers, it doesn't give much away for the entire plot, but it still (and ironically like the movie says) plants an idea in your head that made me come in with some prior knowledge).

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

The question here is more of why? Why wait 6 years and then tell us nothing at all? After a pretty morbid opening (spoilers: his mom gets killed by a milk truck) Blart is invited to a convention in Las Vegas (to get tax credits) only to run into some bumbling thieves. While the first had it's moments, and ultimately redeemed Blart as a hero, Blart really doesn't do much but self redemption, unless that was the point. It just doesn't really amount to anything, just pure Blart.

Exit Through The Gift Shop
½

The best part about this documentary is how it still captivates your interest throughout the entire film.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

I remember seeing the original in theatres and liking it, but 5 years later wonder, why? I think the biggest problem with the sequel (despite the clear amount of effort thrown in) is the time gap, I can't remember at all what happened in the last movie so much so that now probably a lot of in jokes and continuity seems lost. Regardless, the movie strikes a nice tone between the dark and comical elements (I mean how many kids movies have the balls to still kill off main characters these days?). It's much darker than the first, although less focused in meaning. Call me cynical, but I feel the villain straight forward as a man named Drago seemed kind of generic and predictable (I was possibly hoping maybe the mom attacked in retaliation for not believing her about dragons, not sure why I was expecting something that dark but maybe I'm just thinking the plot twist is too predictable (Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Dark Knight Rises, etc.)). Still a lot of the CGI fights are fun if sort of generic. In a way, I'd compare this to Brave but I'm not sure why one has a higher RT score.

Whiplash
Whiplash(2014)

Talk about a movie I wish I saw earlier. I literally had no interest in the film (since I'm not that big a fan of Miles "John Cusack" Teller) but the movie while not really scary when you process it, really gets you on the edge of your seat within it's intensity. Maybe it was a bad idea to watch this and The Spectacular Now back to back (missing parents, car crashes, Miles Teller moping, Miles Teller is bad at relationships, etc) but clearly Whiplash is the stronger film. It celebrates while also berating the love of the music industry and it gives me ever so a slight reminder of my days in music class or even teachers in high school who used such extreme negative reinforcement. It's exaggerated, but Simmons does the scariest J Jonah Jameson you've seen here and it's so mesmerizing you get lost if he really is even so bad at all.

The Spectacular Now

More like the "Spectacular Nah". I like these coming of age stories, most recently The Way, Way Back. And the prospects and the story excited me (even though I'm not the biggest fan of Miles "Shia LaVaughn" Teller or Shailene "Jennifer Lawrence" Woodley). Sadly, I don't feel the movie lives up to "spectacular" but it's just "ok". It took me a while to really understand where it was going (since the trailer kind of did lie that it was about a troubled love, versus well... the story of troubled adolescence and maturity) but I can't quite say it pays off in the end either.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
½

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was such a surprise to me back in 2011. It was a fun and entertaining movie that still had the emotional undertones to carry the movie through even if they weren't always deep. And that's where the problems for me for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes begins. New director, new cast, and the darker focus all just makes it seem so unrelated. I have been a huge proponent in the past of the gritty film genre, but here the setting is so bleak, you wonder why it even was billed as a summer blockbuster. I can't quite figure out still if Malcolm is the best or worst part of the movie. He and his family are really the viewer, they don't do much (since it is Caesar's movie) but the emotional relationship with Caesar is what shines. I feel it has a lot of ups and downs. Like clearly if Oldman's plan to blow up a tower to eliminate all apes were to work, why did like 90% of them survive, and he clearly knew that if the military were to come after. I'll watch part 3, but I hope next time it isn't dreck to watch and the film remembers there is still some fun even if it wants to be moody.

Blackhat
Blackhat(2015)
½

Blackhat plays almost like a computer programmer's wet dream. Hemsworth is a blackHat Hacker named Hathaway who seems to also know how to kill people and give medical advice. The movie, while trying to be brainy and complex, just crumbles under the mumbles of Chris "I think it's a Chicago accept" Hemsworth, Viola Davis, and the rest of the crew. The one saving grace is probably the scenery and cinematography of Hong Kong (...or China as they call it as they speak Mandarin.../Cantonese). It's a shame since the film does captivate, but the payoff and slow burn never satisfies nor does the grey area of the character really excited the entire way.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
½

I used to look at this poster as a kid and think wow this must be something crazy. And maybe it was for 1989, but it never did reach the satirical, slapstick or craziness I really thought it reached. Maybe it's just a Christmas movie (and I need to see the first installment for it), but although it was still fun to watch til the end, it never was fulling entertaining or paid off.

The Usual Suspects

I can't quite say the plot twist or the movie has aged well. The movie is heavily lopsided, with too much exposition in the first half and not really getting to where it wants until the second. The twist while logically satisfying doesn't really seem surprising in today's day in age of M Night Shyamalan and Nolan works. Still it's a fun little movie to watch.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Improving on the original and playing to what Mad Max is defined for, Road Warrior is intense, thought provoking, disturbing and entertaining.

Mad Max
Mad Max(1979)

It's slower, cheesier and really nothing close resembling what you think Mad Max is. It's closer to an indie Grindhouse film, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it does also need to temper expectations.

John Wick
John Wick(2014)

It's well choreographed and it's well intentioned to give Reeves a motivation, but John Wick isn't the definitive "great" movie it wants to be with predictable action and storytelling.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

To compare the resurgence of the Mission: Impossible franchise and Fast and Furious ones is almost parallel. Both sputtered in 2006 with someone at the helm who ultimately turned the series around and made it where it is today. For M:I that force is JJ Abrams who with the smart decision to hire Brad Bird for M:I-4 gave a thrilling, if kind of empty plot wise adventure. It seems though at first glance Christopher McQuarrie, a safe but still more methodical in plot director than the more fantastical Bird gives Rogue Nation an Ethan Hunt that is a bit more grounded and flawed (Rather than a Dom Toretto of the 4th one) and a plot that plays with your mind in a similar fashion to the first. So just don't walk in expecting this to be Ethan jumping across a highway to save people this time. It's much darker and slower a film, which might be tough in a summer crowd to really please, but it still is entertaining, even if the stunts (which minus 1 big setup is all from the trailers) and scale don't quite live up to the last movie (they do go to more locations, but it's more the sense of scope is lost here. a lot of it is in tunnels or in small contained areas). Cruise is just Cruise, goofy and honestly hilarious when he shouldn't be. I will say though what I did like about the original 3 was the fast the team always changed. The sense of a clean slate to always play around with different cast members. But now I feel they want to build some form of continuity (especially with it continuing from the ending of the last movie....sort of) which is a shame since it was always fun to see the sense of a different team in each film. The villain seemed again a step up from the last one, being much more complex than "man is arms dealer" which was good. All Rebecca Ferguson cares about where her shoes though. lol also to the 5 studios who made this. welcome china and alibaba.

7 Days in Hell

As hokey a premise, the film never really lives up to anything satisfying in it's conclusion beyond a few entertaining cameos.

Focus
Focus(2015)

Will Smith used to be the box office king. Nothing could ruin Mr $100 million openings, until 2008 with Seven Pounds, and then disappearing for 4 years (!!!). But he's back now and almost in a weird twist of fate it seems like Will Smith has lost focus. Like the film that even an hour of it's hour and 45 minute runtime doesn't even explain what it is, Smith seems to now not even know what to do, gambling his career away with middling success. This is possibly one of the worst films I've watched this year.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Beyond Thunderdome isn't horrible, but it loses the grit established in the first two movies and instead sacrifices it for a more universal "family-friendly" approach. It doesn't pay off well either. But I will say of the three, for being as corny as it is, it has probably some of the best lines and possibly only lines I remember from any of the films. Still continuity doesn't hold but I guess that's the point of Max, he's a wanderer.

Birdman
Birdman(2014)

Ever since 2009 when I started to predict and calculate the Oscars and the chances of winning I've always picked the runenr ups, or I've at least enjoyed the runner ups much more than the film that Wins. Avatar, Social Network, Descendants, Django Unchained, Gravity and Boyhood in a perfect world you would have won but sadly we have to deal with The Hurt Locker (ugh), The King's Speech, The Artist, Argo (ugh), 12 Years a Slave and Now Birdman. if you look at the common pattern of the movies listed, 3 are about perseverance, 3 are about Americans, and more importantly (especially in the more recent years) 3 are about the arts. And that is why Birdman won. Don't get wrong, out of the bunch listed, Birdman is probably the best winner in years, I just don't think it's my favorite movie of the year. What makes Birdman a good movie is how it almost plays out like a play in a play. Like 30 Rock. Everything from the weird lively soundtrack is awesome. The "one shot" approach is kind of cheesy at times but works well I feel. The satire on America, the need for "blockbusters" and no one wants "the moody films" is so spot on it makes you wonder why this movie is so interesting in being that way against the dreck of summer 2014 of Marvel. Still, Birdman I don't feel follows to it's promise. It doesn't amount to anything substantial (you could argue Boyhood didn't either, but I feel a much more emotional connection to that film). The acting is ok, if quirky, nothing really gets resolved and maybe that's the point. I think the movie is more for the interest if you like the arts versus to watch as a "good" movie.

A Walk Among the Tombstones

In a way as I bitched about Taken 3, A Walk Among the Tombstones actually tries to have a plot and character development. But the slow burn of a movie doesn't really pay off in the end.

Taken 3
Taken 3(2015)

In a weird way, Taken is almost a cheesy modern classic. It's not a great film, but one that still cements how playing against type can have great results. The film also felt kinetic, a nonstop pulse as you watch Brian trying to save his daughter. Taken 2 was not as good because it was the same movie with the dumb hook of Brian and Lenny getting captured. This time it's even worse, no one (technically) gets taken and it turns into a boring "I'm innocent" movie where the twist isn't even that interesting. It's a shame like Nic Cage but Liam Neeson has been typecast and now it's tough to really root for him when he looks like he took a paycheque to do the film.

Horns
Horns(2014)
½

Horns is surprisingly not as bad as it looks. It's not a sappy "Twilight" ripoff, or a scary horror film (which is tricky since it's directed by Alexandre Aja). It's actually a psychological superhero mystery film and in a way the hook of Radcliffe having the powers of the devil, able to expose the truth in people based on their impulses. And it works until the super obvious twist is revealed. Which is a shame since the film built to something really cool. The ending is just nonsensical and it is a shame.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
½

Let's start off with the good because I think people get where I'm going with this already. I think they did a much better job at the team dynamic. It's not Iron Man and the B Team this time it's actually The Avengers. Each member has enough to do and that is good. They also cut down the number of crappy jokes, although there are still too many for my taste. So it's tolerable. Paul Bettany also gets his final time to shine too as Vision!

Ok let's get to the meat of it. I think this is the year the superhero genre is going to fall. There are just too many and all trying to aim for the same space despite them claiming they are different. Whereas the "Fast and Furious" franchise is dumb for being dumb and knows it (especially in the last few installments) Marvel seems to think it wants to take the high road and force themes and deep meaning in their movies when in the end it's all fake looking CGI and one liners. Here's the biggest problem of the movie, there is no problem. Like Iron Man 3, the problem is artificial, (even more so since it's just magic in people's heads) that we're given 15 minutes wasted on them fighting and bruting about problems it's hard to care about it. The film is filled with so much garbage filler (from jokes, to love triangles, to dumb GCI explosions) that it almost feels monotonous and boring. It's the equivalent of a McDonald's hamburger if they added 10x the filling. Where as even the Winter Solider had "some" sort of semblance of element of surprise, the movie is so vanilla, good vs evil that James Spader trying to (I say trying since he also "tried" to save The Office) play it evil just seems so off kilter. Sure he's doing it because he thinks it's right, but it's also just so black and white. The whole movie is based on the twins who are Hydra, previously Shield who hate Stark...so aren't they really after themselves? Geez. The love story is probably one of the worst parts, not because it makes Scarlett Johansson seem like a bitch, but it never really gets further. Also, for a movie not to glorify war, they try to fix the "Man of Steel" problem by also wasting 10 minutes to evacuate people from the city. Thanks, you can tell us you do it, but you don't need to show every person leaving. The lazy ending basically rips off the Man of Steel that every hates but alright. Here is another lesson too. Stop ripping off Christopher Nolan. From the monologuing to bruting, it doesn't work here. Movies can have tragedy without this, look at the original Spider-Man, X-Men I don't get why there needs to be a divide in the tone. And finally, I can't believe we've gone from in 2004 Spider-man 2 his saving a train using what he has, versus Captain America saying, fuck it let's just look to save as many people as we can and destroy the city with it. I wouldn't say this is worse or better than the originals or Thor, but it's still in the bottom of the barrel.

Following
Following(1999)

If you want to watch a good companion piece to Memento this is the film in a way that started it all. It feels almost too amateur, but Nolan's crafted story shines in a weird and somewhat satisfying way that continues to unravel towards the end. More for fans of the director, not really for the general populous.

Pitch Perfect 2

Look, I'm all for female empowerment and showcasing their talents on screen and especially the push for female directors in Hollywood. But that doesn't mean I need to like the movie. Pitch Perfect in 2012 was a sleeper hit, with a different angle, a heavily female skewing cast, and tackling a subject I don't think any film has done before. The story wasn't really riveting beyond the underdogs rising, but to me the unapologetic tone and comedy, mostly performed by Rebel Wilson soured the taste of the film despite some very good vocal performances by Kendrick and the cast (minus Wilson). So here we are, 2015 and why do we need a sequel to this movie (beyond the first one making money?)? The movie's themes focus on the idea of trying to find your legacy and voice, while sadly the film does neither in it's "let's just copy the first film's plot to a tee and ship them to something global" a la Cars 2, or Catching Fire (since these world championships are every 4 years, I guess Effie got bored on THEIR world tour). Here lies the first problem, there is no problem. Like how Iron Man had actually no reason to have PTSD in Iron Man 3, the initial problem of the movie is so stupid (and I'm not talking about the act...sigh... Wilson does but more that because you are disqualified doesn't mean you are going to be branded and lost). Even suspending that belief, the fact someone can just join the team without any organization noticing? The fact the film is about bonding, leading to a team sing off, to more training, to teamwork to the finale? Sound familiar? It's the exact same structure as the last movie. Maybe don't fix what isn't broken but to me that's the problem it offers nothing new here. Even the immature jokes continue to fire on all cylinders and while they try to give Wilson "some" depth to her character (maybe similar to Melissa McCarthy in Identity Thief) it fails because you are just pulled way out of her role. Honestly, the voices are fine, but I wouldn't say any of the songs are stand out. Last time more the novelty of the voices might have leaded me to recommend but this time there isn't much as I don't feel a lot of the songs do fit the apace vibe. In a way, like the movie foretold, it focuses way too much this time on spectacle than substance. Maybe all of this is supposed to be tongue and cheek, but if you don't practice what you preach, what's the point? Maybe I just am being too harsh, maybe I don't get what's funny today, or women or any of it, but don't support this movie. Maybe buy the soundtrack, but this really isn't what female empowerment is. I guess you could say the Snoop Dogg and the guy from Key and Peele and Joe Lo Truglio and the PC guy are funny. Oh Tobias.

Spy
Spy(2015)
½

I honestly dislike (I won't say hate) Melissa McCarthy movies. I can't stand her. I don't understand her appeal and how she even got an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids. Thus follows Identity Thief, The Heat and Tammy to now this summer's Spy. From the trailers I groaned at the "humour" but I could tell at least she wasn't trying to play the same crazy character she has done in the 4 past movies listed (I mean why do people idolize her while Zack Galifiankis is in career hell?). Spy is not a great movie, it definitely is a stronger spy movie than a comedy, but just like how Furious 7 is a great voice for the multicultural (specific Asian) talent in Hollywood, Spy showcases what a strong female voice is in Hollywood. Almost every character with a purpose is female and it is refreshing and unlike say Bridesmaids or Pitch Perfect it's not necessarily that these characters are dumbed down in order to reach an appeal for male status, I feel that the movie actually succeeds in it's own regard in showing that Hollywood can make films with strong female characters. Paul Feig does this well, just as Justin Lin does multicultural casting well. I can't say it's a good movie, but in it's own right both know how to make the best of "visible minorities". It gives me a bit more faith too in the new Ghostbusters since it seems now from kids movies to raunchy comedies to buddy cop films and now the spy genre (and soon the horror genre) Feig can tackle it. He knows how to fit the genre and is a capable director. As for the performances (well...I don't really have much to say about McCarthy beyond...it didn't annoy me as much) that Jason Statham knocks it out of the park, basically making fun of every role he's ever been it. He's never been in a comedy so this is the first time you see him break the chops and it's hilarious. He should be in more stuff (actually... don't or he'll go like Stallone). I would group Byrne and the other supporting women in the strong female category as above, but beyond that Spy isn't much else. it's standard fare I wouldn't really pay to see unless you care to know where Statham disappears during Furious 7, or what happens to Rose Byrne and Bobby Carnivale at the end of Annie.

Annie
Annie(2014)
½

Long ago, this movie was supposed to star Willow Smith and Ryan Murphy (of Glee) was supposed to direct and Justin Timberlake was supposed to be Benjamin Stacks. And then this happened. Quvenzhane Wallis is fine as Annie, but the rest of the movie just feels overly corny. From Diaz's way too ver the top (and somehow having a heart of gold) performance, to Bobby Carnivale's dumb campaign manager (who seems to turn evil for only 5 seconds? They just needed to work in Easy Street for some reason). Even vets who we know can sing like Foxx and Byrne (from Ray, Get Him to the Greek) just seem really out of touch with the work. There also is really heavy cell phone usage too by 10 year old girls. Seriously? Is that what it's like today? it tries to make fun of the old Annie by saying this is not that, this is the modern Annie, but I would have rather had a less meta film where really no child is going to understand it if this is their first Annie experience. Everything from all the autotuning in the new songs is laughable in the wrong ways it's almost too shameful.

Big Eyes
Big Eyes(2014)

In a weird way, this is a very Tim Burton movie but also a not very Tim Burton movie at the same time. From the weird subject, creepy angles and imagery it all screams Burton but the almost delicate focus on character and development of Walter and Margret is actually quite refreshing. I can't quite say I loved Amy Adam's performance. It comes off as whiny at times, and it seems almost one note-ish. Waltz I feel fares much better almost providing an enigma that you don't know if and how you can trust it. Another wasted performance is Jason Schwartzman, given almost 2 minutes of screen time and still equal billing. Seriously? Like Waltz's Water for Elephants, it's more a curiosity to watch to see how it ends more than it is a good film since you know how it will end, but Big Eyes is elevated by that magic, even if the ending and story matter isn't really that exciting.

Dumb and Dumber To

Don't waste your time. There is a joke about how comedy is all about timing. Sadly 20 years is too late, and it's too unfunny even though the idea of them aged and still dumb was a passable idea.

Lucy
Lucy(2014)

Oh Lucy, so pretty but so dumb. Although the trailer makes the film fun and energetic, the movie is, actually kind of boring. Even at a brisk 90 minute run time, Lucy is the worst parts of Transcendence, Limitless and Salt and splices it with random animal footage and the most fake university lecture held by Morgan Freeman who really is just here to explain thing. In fact, they could have cut him completely and saved some money because it doesn't even need explaining. It doesn't reach anything of any important thought like Limitless, you're just following Lucy versus experiencing it with her. Which is a shame.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I'm not hating on this movie because of the title, I enjoyed the book as a kid. But it's also pretty horrible to stretch a 30 minute plot to 90 minutes especially when it's one run on gag.

Furious 7
Furious 7(2015)

It's all about family. Furious 7 might be overshadowed by Paul Walker's unfortunately death, but the movie itself has it's own share of issues. I won't say it's horrible, bad or anything, just more mediocre but entertaining. So really, rating is not based on good or bad here but as an experience it is entertaining. The film again doesn't do much in stunts beyond ripping off things from better films (like the glass office fight of The Dark Knight, jumping out of a plane a la The A-Team, The tower scene from Ghost Protocol I can go on but there are also explosions). And if you're coming for the acting....well actually it's not that horrendous actually. It's one of the bright spots since the chemistry between the cast seems much improved. Usually it seemed like the banter between Walker and Diesel was the only glue holding it together like RDJ only holding the Avengers, but I think they did a much better job here making this more "Mission: Impossible" or "Expendables" type story than the past two heist films that didn't gel well for me. Speaking of Expendables, it employs the same "throw everyone who was ever in an action movie" or "who is too intense for no good" and it's a mixed bag. Tony Jaa is interesting, taking on parkour with Walker('s brothers), and Djmon Honousou is hilarious almost reaching "full Diamond". Kurt Russell is ok, but it seems more gushy and similar to a "Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained" type role that doesn't give much to him. And same could be said for Jason Statham who made it so exciting that he was the villain in the last picture is really just... boring. I get it, he's bald, an action hero. Whatever. I'm calling it it's Bruce Willis in F8. The fights with Dom and him are just so generic even when it does report to more hands on fighting, you almost lose the message of the revenge element when it's also tied to the "rabbit's foot like" "God's Eye" storyline that is almost nonsencial. Why do they need it (beyond manpower) to hunt Shaw when Shaw finds them? The Rock is barely given enough to do, although to talk about his role would spoil the ending and that almost bares on the further nonsensical. Everything in this movie from the titles, the Iggy Azalea cameo are just way too over the top. It makes you wonder if James Wan did this intentionally or not. It makes for an experience, but not a great one which is a shame since he could have made a great revenge thriller. But it's probably better than 5. Still it's great to see that this franchise wants to push Asian American actors and directors into the spotlight. It's hard not to talk about this film without talking about Paul Walker, and I will admit the tribute is pure cheese (among the rest of the dialogue), it's done tastefully. It's sadly pretty clear when the doubles are used though, they make it almost too obvious as if Walker himself never was in the film to begin with. If you told me Furious 7 was the last movie in the series I wouldn't complain, but I think after this, it's clear this series is definitely one of the more dynamic and adaptive and it's good to know Universal knows how to market and keep it fresh. If it were me I would have ended it out of respect for Walker, but I think they do have a clearer idea where they want to go now and it's (sigh) an expanded universe...

Paranoia
Paranoia(2013)

I'll give Liam Hemsworth this, at least he has a more refined American accent than Chris. Now that's out of the way, this movie is atrocious. It's filled with holes galore and it doesn't make any sense. Never have I had to pause a movie (well just because I was busy but also) because there was just too many questions of logic. Why was there no password on a computer? It's almost to the point of infuriating that the movies doesn't pay off and ironically steals all cliches from much better films.

Run All Night
½

Liam Neeson has become the Nicolas Cage of the '10s, and I don't know if that will be a good thing much longer. Within a year we had Non-Stop, A Walk Among the Blah Blah Blah, (A Million Ways To Die in the West?), Taken 3 and now Run All Night, from the director of Non-Stop. Now I've given the benefit of the doubt when he teams with Jaume Collet-Serra, Unknown and Non-Stop despite their flaws were at least interesting and fun due to the mystery and hyperkinetic elements of the two films respectfully. Unfortunately third time isn't the charm. Neeson does a mixture of A Good Day to Die Hard meets After Hours meets The Grey meets every generic final battle scene in a forrest. It's a shame since Neeson's hook this time is he has a conscience. He feels bad he kills the people he does, and it makes him the man he is today. It's also interesting to see the relationship between him and Sean, which the trailer completely botches. It makes it feel like it's another Neeson is a skilled professional badass with nothing to lose against the people who did him wrong. Instead it's a more thoughtful film, showing the grey and consequences to his choice. Sadly the story completely falls apart (I mean...if Neeson just shot his arm instead the whole movie could have been avoided) and the acting beyond Neeson and Harris is just forgettable. Although you're going to laugh whenever anyone says Albanian (sigh...again) or taken or Neeson is on the phone. It's equivalent to Cage making faces or saying something crazy. I worry for Neeson, how many more of these movies can he do before people stop going to watch him and he reaches '10 Cage mode?

Sex Tape
Sex Tape(2014)

I was 15 when I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall and thought it was hilarious. Now I'm 7 years older and seem way too many movies in between and we get this terrible snore fest (albeit, parallelling the film itself). Sex Tape as fun a concept it is, is probably the most boring of the R rated comedies of 2014. As energetic as the trailer made it, nothing too crazy happens, or really what we haven't seen before. Rob Lowe doing cocaine and having Snow White portraits (if you get that joke then ha)... meh. the film also doesn't make much sense. Beyond money, why would a kid (oops spoilers) want to blackmail his ONLY friend's parents who are friends with his parents? It could have played like that Simpsons episode where Marge and Homer are on the run, but there are two run ins and that's it. Not a crazy night at all (I mean if I even made this I would do some Adventures in Babysitting thing but no, the entire film just wants to show how stupid these two are at sex faces).

Locke
Locke(2014)
½

The move should have never worked. It's essentially Gravity or Burried in a car. In it's brisk 90 minutes, Locke doesn't feel claustrophobic, it's more an exercise in patience and understanding how a man can change in 90 minutes and how despite how hard you work, you're true nature will always fight through. Hardy drives the film, his portrayal is almost too Shakespearian (to the point of monologuing gets too silly) and the film is too open ended for my liking, but it is quite mesmerizing a film to watch and is probably my gem of 014.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

In 2010 I was 17 and wow that feels like such a long time even though it really wasn't But so much has changed since then and weirdly Hot Tub Time Machine 2 feels lost. It's too late to be released now to be considered a classic and for people to even remember the first instalment. And it's filled to the brim with way too many meta jokes and winks it's almost sickening, more so than even 22 Jump Street. What's even more shocking is how, given the first film didn't even do well, the budget seems improved (albeit with the main cost in cutting John Cusack who, although his face is still plastered everywhere is weirdly written out of the movie) most just goes to the future setting which in itself isn't as fun as the 80s backdrop of the original. Nor are the songs that good. While the first was a throwback to the 80s classics, here is just a jumble of what is trending on a Twitter feed. It's more of a mystery than an 80s movie, but I drew the line at the logic that was presented when going to the pas was the future. True. the original never really made sense, but at least the linear nature and the consequences were fun to watch. Here it goes against it and just basically tried to reprimend you and make you feel that these characters had souls, lost it and encourage you to believe they have them again and it just doesn't pay off in the end. It's a shame too since Adam Scott usually is awesome, along with Gillian Jacobs. Here's to Hot Tub Time Machine 3 in 2020 where they go back to having a plot with John Cusack.

Kingsman: The Secret Service
½

It's a shame that not many people will see this movie, but that's Matthew Vaughn. Kingman is at it's heart a paint by numbers origin story a la Men in Black meets James Bond meets Harry Potter and it's not much more than that, but it's style and visual flair really is what sells the movie. There isn't much in acting that really makes you invested beyond maybe Samuel L Jackson and his again kooky performance, but the plot is simplistic enough to forget all that and just enjoy the cinematic fights which as Vaughn always does well. It's just a shame that a film that has so much fun with itself forgets to make the audience have fun. We're slogged through this origin story, training montage, and at times the twists seem obvious to the spy tropes, but if you like the British slow mo action and genre, it's well worth a watch. (Also, you'll understand why it's released near Valentine's Day).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
½

If you're walking into TMNT looking for quality filmmaking, just don't even go there. The movie is probably one of the most convenient films of 2014 and while not super terrible, it feels like it doesn't go the full way in what it wants to say. It wants to be for the older crowd (with a lot of Bay-isms) yet dumb enough to sell for kids. It doesn't quite blend properly (even so the Shredder turned out really stupid) but it seems the sequel will go for the more light hearted route. Also, the plot doesn't make sense in why does Sachs care about money if he's screwing everyone over and he's rich? The reshoots are pretty obvious and yeah. It's not the worst movie, but it's bad. Still if you want to waste your time with something mindless it's passable.

22 Jump Street
½

I don't know about you, I'm feeling 22! In possibly one of the most outrageous and meta films put out there to date, 22 Jump Street succeeds as a sequel because it knows what it wants, and that's both a good and bad thing. It knows it's not as fresh as the first (and I honestly didn't laugh as much since well the premise felt stale). But that's the point, it's supposed to feel derivative, almost to the point where you try to plot the plot points of the first to see how it matches to the original (and it does a pretty bang up job). I just wish it amounted to more in the end, but it still is satisfying, especially seeing the chemistry of Hill and Tatum once again.

If I Stay
If I Stay(2014)

If you thought The Fault in Our Stars was bad, boring and sappy wait until you watch this. In almost direct parallel, If I stay is the perfect example of how to draw out a movie without saying much. Which is a shame, I like Chloe Grace Moretz, but she's not given anything to do here but mope, be sad around her weird parents and just make you wish the clichťs ended.

Boyhood
Boyhood(2014)

I don't think 2014 was a great year for movies, but Boyhood is arguable it's most ambitious and most profound film I've seen. In a way, I've been trying to make my own "Boyhood" style films from home movies, I bet most people do, and even more so with the Internet and ease of phone cameras to film and capture every moment. What starts from 2002 to 2013, it's amazing to see how much the story focuses, even changing based on the world around them with almost no effort. Boyhood isn't the most interesting of movies (and it sits at 2.75h long) but for me what makes it great is the fact that these kids are basically my age. In a way it's a viewing glass of really how different and the same life was 10 years ago. From Dragon Ball Z to GBA SP to Harry Potter to Wii to 9/11 to Lady Gaga, Boyhood doesn't emphasize the changes in our lives, but it shows that despite the changes, we still end up falling into similar patterns of behaviour and our lives will continue on this path beyond really our own control. Honestly, I don't get why Ethan Hawke (the actuary?) is getting more attention as Mason's father. He's a man you see is complete garbage in 2002, but learns to be the right man and you wish that he stuck around to care for him as he grew up. Patricia Arquette does great work too as the mom, holding everyone as best she can, despite having her own issues in life. The more fascinating thing is guessing who everyone is in a time jump and seeing just hoe life progresses, it's not about the explosions. It's about understanding relationships with our friends and family and that's what makes the movie pop. I don't think there has been a Best Picture contender (and I'm betting the winner, unless politics get in the way) this ambitious in my "boyhood" so see this movie. You might hate me to think it's boring, but I mean would you really want to sit through another 2.75h of superhero telling dumb jokes?

Closed Circuit

It starts off intriguing, but really doesn't pay off in the end. And it doesn't do a good job explaining why things happen and such. The payoff just doesn't matter as it derides into standard thriller territory and never quite feels resolved.

The Company You Keep

I like a good spy thriller, but this isn't a good one. instead it's a drama that tests morales and it isn't that interesting. It's a shame given the talent (and everyone over the age of 60 getting a supporting role) that the script doesn't really twist or amount to much thrill. Shia Labouef tries legitimate acting but it comes off more as pretentious and sort of stilted. Anna Kendrick is heavily miscast as an informant. Redford tries to give a dimensional character but it never fleshes out and it's a shame.

Cars 2
Cars 2(2011)
½

I was holding off watching this movie given the negative critical reaction, but Cars 2 isn't all terrible, it just isn't the best of animated movies, nor in Pixar's league. 4th billed listed name on Cars Larry The Cable Guy is the real main character (I bet Owen Wilson was still paid more and is still plastered at the front, but his story is not really the main focus). It's not filled with as many dumb jokes as you think, a bit more than the average Pixar movie but it's still tolerable (unlike the trailers which made it seem stupid). Michael Caine does fine voice work and culminates into some worthwhile action sequences, but there isn't much to rave about Cars 2. It's passable entertainment, but it's nowhere in the league of Toy Storys.

Jingle All the Way

It's so bad it's good. It honestly hasn't aged well with many slow patches, but to see Phil Hartman on screen is still great.

The Shawshank Redemption
½

There is something about good storytelling that is lost today. Very rarely would a movie like this exist in modern cinema, from the film nuances to the slow build up to the slow sendoff. It's too slow a movie to exist today, but it's still a good movie. It also falls a bit on too cliche a nature which really the film undid it's self really on the tropes of modern cinema, but it's still a good film that isn't to be missed.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

What goes up must coem down. After the good Hunger Games and the far superior Catching Fire, I didn't really enjoy the Mockingjay books. And sadly the same problem translates to the film. In fact, it's one of the most boring films of the year. Who consciously made this movie and thought it had any heartbeat? It falls pitfall again to the 2- parter where we'll probably get the finally action sequence all in the next movie. But at what cost? The film would have been fine if it ended in one movie. Instead we get this limp no pulse movie where going to districts is equivalent to Harry Potter's "going to campsites to find Horcruxes". Jennifer Lawrence continues her school of "acting is yelling at people", and there isn't much to really stand out here. Julianne Moore sticks out like a sore thumb, and the pieces of (the late) Phillip Seymour Hoffman that were perfect in Catching Fire seem overbloated and just lose the magic of hiring the gifted actor. Part of the issue is the story, but you can't fault the movie fully for that, it still made artisitc choices different but still managed to be dull. The cinematography is muddles as well, I know the movie is supposed to be dark but too many times it's too cloudy or muddy. A shame but maybe Part 2 improves.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I've come to the realization I don't think I like medieval fiction. I don't watch Game of Thrones, even the original LotR trilogy I only watched the 1st and 3rd parts only. While 10 years ago, the sweeping CGI and action sequences seemed marvellous, by today's standards is just overblown, boring and kind of corny. I enjoyed Return of the King, especially because of the action and pure grandeur of scale, but I never felt compelled to read the books (unlike The Hunger Games). It's just not my genre. That being said, I was excited from Hobbit: Part 1 to come, but it took 45 minutes of dwarves singing until I just felt like why am I paying for this? My friend is quoted to telling me "the entire movie is just the dwarves get in trouble and then get saved by Gandalf". And he was right. Luckily Bot5A improves and feels more like Return on the King, drawing back on themes of friendship, ownership, obsession and home. It also is coupled with some great action sequences, even if the CGI is boring and it is apparent. Consumers aren't stupid, no matter how many Avengers you through at them in a battle it's still computer graphics we're all tired of. It's not the 90s where you could pull this bs. The other issue is the film is shot on digital. Say what you will about 48fps, but that's not the issue. The overall clarity of the picture in general still is distracting to make it feel like a live play. Film, like in Interstellar has an aged quality, that really gives an old school flavour. It's sad film wants to move away from this, but it honestly should not be a forgotten medium. You still are sadly paying for half a movie, but at least a more exciting one than Part 1. But really, there is no reason to see it in theatres.

Homefront
Homefront(2013)

Jason Statham movies are funny, in the sense he's always going to do the same schtick. It's why I'd watch them, and this is no different. Hailed from masterpiece writer Sylvestor Stallone, Homefront really doesn't have anything deep, with Franco hamming it up. There really is no need to even feel there is any danger, considering Statham will beat the crap out of anyone. The title is nonsensical, and it moves at a glacial pace, but I guess if you enjoy Jason Statham movies, it's "watchable" but wanting you to wish he went back to his 90s pre-Transporter shit.

Win Win
Win Win(2011)

It's a decent character piece, that really makes Paul Giamatti shine through, but it's topic and nonsensical logic at times makes the film go from good to great.

The Wedding Ringer

I'm not the biggest Kevin Hart (I kind of gave up watching Grudge Match, About Last Night, Ride Along, etc.) or Josh Gad (I disliked Frozen...a lot) or Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (I dislike The Big Bang Theory...and how pretentious her name sounds now) so I don't know what really got me into the theatres to see this. The film surprised me walking in with low expectations that it still was funny but had a heart (unlike Let's Be Cops, another "guy buddy" film where over the top excess narcissism and douchebaggery completely undermined the message of the film) similar to Apatow's films of the last mid decade. It doesn't quite hit it perfectly, but it at least seems like it tries (side note for the plot: this movie could have honestly came out the last decade because, can't anyone look up their Facebook or Twitter friends online? I mean it would have starred Eddie Murphy and Kevin James!). The jokes come at 5000:1 per screen time and barely any register (well the Lost joke at the end was funny.). Also, why did they go to the drug dealer's house? It just seemed so random at that point. Just walk in with low expectations, it's not the worst movie of 2015...I think.

Interstellar
Interstellar(2014)
½

By now, I think people understand I'm a Nolan die-hard. I will admit, I joined late to the party, only really paying attention after watching Batman Begins, and not really delving into his entire library of "white men with issues that no other man would experience" kind of films until Inception hit theatres. In a way, Christopher Nolan is the white knight to M. Night Shayamalan's Dark Knight, in the sense that his public opinion grew as to reach his arguably his own genre (and thanks to Inception, pretty much influence every blockbuster soundtrack), while Shayamlan flounders after his Sixth Sense success to great films like After Earth.

So now, as every 2 years (on average) between his films come, it is now Interstellar. From the get go, it has every recipe ingredient to be great. Nominated director, Oscar winners, the script written by the Nolans, etc. It's not that Interstellar doesn't take off, it just doesn't quite hit the expectation mark (once again I guess after The Dark Knight Rises, but who really could follow and wanted to follow The Dark Knight with something better? ). But that doesn't mean it's bad, it still is one of my favourite films of the year, but it, kind of like ranking Pixar movies, might be in the bottom half.

My issue with the film is the first 30-minute setup. It's as if Nolan lost control of this section to Paramount, where they basically said "let's cram every issue possible from a dystopia into this film" from famine, dust storms, technology takeover, lack of technology (yeah... that was weird). I wouldn't have minded if they just only settled on the food famine, the dust I get is for visual flare and probably an afterthought, but I wish it was a bit more streamlined. The technology thing was weird since it felt like they were banning it, only to be still using drones and stuff...but not MRI machines? Ok?

As much as Casey Affleck and John Lithgow gave good performances, I would have cut them too. Mainly since Murph is the main arc between her and Cooper. I mean she would have been orphaned, but I guess this is another thing that isn't so much a complaint but a weird feeling. There are a lot of A-list actors here given barely enough time to do things. Another, Topher Grace, doing the good ol'Eddie Brock when he was a nice guy routine is here with Jessica Chastain (I guess fake Bryce Dallas Howard), but he just seemed underutilized beyond saying "Murph. Let's go." I wish he had more to do, or at least hired less known and distracting actors to the role.

The only exception to this rule is probably the inclusion of Dr Mann, (SPOILERS: Matt Damon). Geez, this was hands down the best cameo or short performance of the year. It's nothing like we got out of Damon in Elysium, and it was just hilarious at times.

The rest of the acting I wouldn't say is phenomenal. McConaughey and Caine are sometimes hard to understand (I believe that is really the only sound issue of the film. The roaring feeling is great, giving almost a feeling of ignition but I'll get to sound in a bit). I mean the kid actors did a fine job emulating Chastain and Affleck, but I feel what works better is the relationships that the actors have on screen. It's much more powerful than the "Mal is a psychopath who grew old" kind of feeling to it in Inception, or the 5000th Batman's parents died feeling.

Another thing I'm glad about is the soundtrack wasn't the "Hanz Zimmer brrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaa" score. It delicately plays upon strings and piano and silence that just feels great in it's own combination.

Then come the visuals. Don't cheat yourself to see this in regular 2D. Save your money and don't watch those dumb Marvel films and spend the money on something worthwhile like this, true film projection in 70mm. There is such a stark difference that makes film have such a great contract to the IMAX sections, it works much better than it did in The Dark Knight Rises (although it does still do the aspect ratio swap a bit too much for my liking. I wish it was shot all in 70mm, but it's hard since the cameras are so heavy). It's just a shame theatres are moving on from real film because it does add that old school flare to a sci-fi film.

In a weird way, Interstellar is probably Nolan's most constrained and freed movie. I wish the beginning was tighter, and more time was spent on the story than making sure all the science checks out (well I think all movies should be stamped with Neil DeGrasse Tyson). I normally comment on how films copy films, and this one is no exception. There are many visuals similar to 2001: A Space Odyssey (Eh. TARS was awesome), Contact and Gravity, that a year later might be fatigue, but I feel to me, I love space movies. I wish there were more like the 90s. It's a shame they don't do them anymore. Then it basically copies something from every past Nolan film (Insomnia's faking the data, Batman Begins' Ice battle and rebuilding society themes, Inception's trippy visuals, TDKR's theme of hope, etc.). I wish it was a bit more original, but I do feel it's a movie to see more than once, just to catch everything.

Charlie Countryman

Shia LaBoeuf to me and many people of my generation will always be "The kid from Even Stevens or Transformers". He won't ever get past that and he seems to not get the message at all even if he tries his hardest to get into more serious acting work (and well method craziness). But this film might be the one that cements him into this transition. I just wish that Charlie Countryman wasn't so muddled with half baked ideas that it could have been his "After Hours". Instead, the beginning gives off vibes of The Sixth Sense, then it transitions to a European film, then to After Hours, then to a crime film. It never comes together even if it tries to hook you into the weirdness of it all. I guess the main theme of love saves all is the main glue, but it just isn't good glue. It's overcliched and boring. It's a shame since Charlie Countryman is the first LaBoeuf movie in a while to show promise, but instead he gets himself drunk and kicked out of Caberet.

Contact
Contact(1997)

I've never actually seen this movie in it's entirety (it's taken me 8 years to finish it), but what I really love about Contact is how old school it feels even if it is more than 15 years old. There is just such finesse and simplicity, that is so lost in films of this scale if shot today. That said, it does get too preachy and doesn't really end, but still it's a strong acting effort from everyone involved.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Michael Bay should be a politician. Ever since Transformers 2 it's been a cycle of "Transformers x is awesome", "I won't direct Transformers x+1", "Transformers x sucked, sorry", "I will direct Transformers x+1". So as predictable as his chatter, he somehow suckers people into seeing this crap every 2-3 years. That said, I still feel this is probably on par or marginally above 2 and 3 (all are too drawn out and too stupid, but why I might put this about how dull 2 and 3 is because of how unintentionally funny this one felt since Michael Bay looked like he was actually trying to incoporate themes of fear and it backfired). Wahlberg is no LaBoeuf (weird statement), he just doesn't have that innocence and is weird as the "inventor" (god take off those glasses). And you have fake Mikaela and fake "guy pirate from Pirates 4 that was not Orlando Bloom". I feel bad for the latter guy, he's American and had to put on that terrible Irish accent just for one dumb joke in the movie. Sigh.... I mean some of the action choreography was ok (I'm being nice, considering the three are always tossed as rag dolls in every fight). TJ Miller is annoying again as hell, but at least he dies 20 minutes into the movie. And Stanley Tucci does an ok Steve Jobs impression. I mean also, even though many Autobots died, the cast felt more streamlined (which was an issue with the previous movies). The ending is where the film goes further south into shit. It's so long, drawn out, and shows the obvious Chinese influence, but it devoid into this weird half Jason Bourne style thing and half "destruction porn" ripped from Man of Steel (I can't believe they had balls to copy this a year later). It's a bad movie, make no mistake. But I wonder if Bay will really be back for T5.

Muppets Most Wanted

From the atrocious trailer they put out and the overly optimistic and mushy "first" movie, I thought this was going to be a disaster. I was wrong, Muppets Most Wanted is actually a lot of fun! The songs are catchy (but no where as good as Man or Muppet) and the film just has a lot more fun poking holes at itself. Whereas the 2011 film was built on nostalgia and optimism, this film is more about action, adventure, and being self aware which is what the Muppets is all about. The actors are really nothing to rave about (especially the other Muppets beyond Kermit) but the cameos are again fun to look out for.

Under the Skin

This movie gave me faith I can make a movie. Because you can bill filming anything artistically as art and somehow get critics to think it's a good film. Hmmm... It's not really sci-fi....

Chef
Chef(2014)

Who likes optimism? I do! Good because this movie is like someone scooped a heaping of it and forgot to stop adding it in the recipe. Which is a shame because Chef could have been better, even if it is still a good movie. Fever stars as Chef Casper, a chef who decides to go AWOL on Twitter, lose his job and open a food truck. What's interesting is, the trailer makes you feel you know it will be about the food, but the trailer basically told you all the food in the film already. The film is more a cautionary tale of social media (think about what the Chef of 2024 will be hmm...) and a relationship story between son and father. It's well acted (I mean this is the first move where Sfa Vergara isn't a cartoon?) but it's a shame the ending is so fluffy. SPOILERS: Why did Chef need closure from the critic? I mean he could have just judged and said enough, why go through the effort of saying you're going to open a restaurant AND get back together with your ex-wife. Side note: I doubt this came off intentionally but I can really tell that Jon Favreau felt screwed by Marvel in some of the wording in the movie since this is an allegory for what happened with Iron Man 2.

Neighbors
Neighbors(2014)

I like Seth Rogen. There are few actors I'll actually defend their repertoire because they aren't given enough credit for the films they do. Funny People while too long is an underrated film that really pushed him dramatically. And 50/50 is still an amazingly deep film along with Knocked Up and his work on Undeclared and Freaks and Geeks. That said, Neighbours is a mess. It's quite possibly his worst film since Observe and Report (a film I still believe even has more merit of acting than this). The problem here is there is no direction, it just goes everywhere and it just doesn't have any cohesion. Rogen and Byrne complain they can't have a party life. Then complain they aren't fun. Then complain they are disturbing the baby with noise from the frat ... as they come back from a party having sex. Then you have Efron playing the annoying dumb frat who really is just so one-dimensional. There really isn't anyone here to root for and it just feels too long and rambly for an hour and a half movie. It's maybe as good as one of Adam Sandler one liner movies, but it lack any likability of those due to these scenes of just absent torture.

A Million Ways to Die in the West
½

I guess I should be partly ashamed I still watch Family Guy, but Seth MacFarlane does still do one thing right, he knows how to shoot a movie in an old fashion vein. And I don't mean that in a bad way, but he honestly knows how to make a screwball comedy properly and there is obvious attention to his detail in direction the film. The problem is the script drags on too early in the film to really get you interested and a lot of the jokes, aren't that funny. It's as if Seinfeld or Brian Griffin lived in the midwest at times and we all know what that is like so it loses really the appeal unlike Ted. Still, the cameos (partially) make up for this and it is probably some of the weirdest but most logical ones possible. Still, this could have been a 30 minute episode of Family Guy and been just as effective, so it's a bit of a letdown since we do know that MacFarlane can do edgier funnier things.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
½

I rarely agree a movie is good if it has glaring logical flaws and movie cliches, but Edge of Tomorrow is a fun movie. There I said it. It's one movie where the trailer I feel sells for a different movie (sadly, a more Pacific Rim style film, which although similar scenes of mech suits, war, American mentalities not in America, using the sword at wrong times, the final battle underwater (Side: a sin of Skyfall... sigh falling in the water)) and that's a shame since Warner had no idea how to market this. It's unique and fun to try to piece together the logic of the movie, more so than Blunt's own Looper 2 years ago (which relies I guess on somewhat similar logic). Still there is the whole magic blood mumbo jumbo, but the film for better or for worse is saved by Cruise. He really feels miscast as a guy needing to be trained by Blunt, even though really he seems to stand his own anyways (since we know him too well as the guy who is well... invincible). The ending is also wtf. If there was maybe more sacrifice it would have paid off, but it just felt off. Overall, even though there are these problems, it was more interesting to piece how he would solve the issue more and I feel I might have heavily overlooked that, but the point is you're supposed to enjoy yourself at the movies, so since it hit that mark, I feel it succeeds even if it won't be a masterpiece or instant classic.

The Fault In Our Stars

I really wanted to like this movie. But that said I gotta give my criticism on it. It's 20-30 minutes way too long. I get, a lot of it is to build the relationship between Woodley and Elgort, but it slugs the movie. And that's the main issue. It's still watchable because they handle the subject well (similar to how 50/50 did it for comedies, they do it quite well here in a rom com style), but it just feels too slow for it's own good.

Transcendence

If anything, the film falls flat from being better a concept than actually carried out in practice. And probably the fact it was hyped due to the fact of Nolan's involvement that the film just felt "Nolan-lite" even more than Man of Steel. Johnny Depp honestly shouldn't be on the cover, he's not the star of the movie. Rebecca Hall is technically the main character, and really it explores her loss and psych. Or is it Paul Bettany who strangely tries to get Will to do the speech that day and then completely be again his friend Evelyn and Will's work? It's really weird plot holes like this that ruin the movie. Why did Kate Mara threaten to kill Max? Who is this Casey they keep referring to? It's all just assumed for the fun of it, and it gets a bit irritating after the 5th plot hole. But I wonder if I'd have the same reaction to this and Inception if I didn't look at the reviews. Both are confusing and don't make much sense in the grand scheme of things, but both pose philosophical questions that question existence, and that's where I think the film succeeds. Unfortunately, unlike Her, Star Trek: TNG and even Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, it doesn't do much to explore the theme at hand.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

I don't say this often, but I think this movie is fantastic. Not only is it an entertaining 2.5 hours (wellllll... the beginning could have been cut a bit to give us less (500) Days of Summer nostalgia) it mangoes to flip with your brain and not really provide us with the movie we expected from the trailers, but instead something that is much more meaningful and deep. Fincher's detail to perfection is seem in his stained yellows and blues, it's beautiful if almost too dark at times. Within the film's dark and disturbing nature comes a lot of humour from Missi Pyle(?), Tyler Perry, and Casey Wilson, and it works effectively. Unlike Marvel which used the humour for cheap shots, Fincher and Flynn use it to break the tension and make it more relatable and honest to the audience.

Come Oscar time I bet this will be nominated, there is no question. And Rosamund Pike, who honestly has just been a damsel in distress or wallflower in most of her roles is given the "Rooney Mara" treatment and given a much more complex role (without giving much away) than you can imagine. In the end I wish the film tidied up things better, but then I kept thinking maybe this is just enough. Enough of the despicability and unraveling that kept the middle so interesting, it finally just feels like it is complete. With any other director (or even actor, say Liam Neeson) this could have been a generic "shoot em up and find them" thriller. Instead we get a more intimate film that really plays to the relationships we have (similar to the also underrated Side Effects).

Blended
Blended(2014)

I honestly give Sandler the benefit of the doubt more than I should sometimes. Blended isn't dreck like Zohan or has a story unlike Grown-Ups, but it still just feels boring. The scenes in suburbia just should have been cut (even though it gives us Jeff Winger, yes Joel McHale still doing Jeff Winger) and this might be the first movie in a while to feature a chorus. Still Sandler offers funny one liners, if far and fewer than before. it's a shame since 50 First Dates is actually one of my favourite movies. I just wish a bit more effort went into it gelling (forgive the pun if you've seen the movie). Sandler tries to show dramatic chops when dealing with his wife who dies of cancer, but it just feels so out of place in a movie filled with so many boob jokes.

Despicable Me 2
½

I honestly never thought I would see this movie, but I thought if the dentist offers to show it during a teeth cleaning, why not? I know I won't laugh. I'll say I was surprised by the movie. It isn't perfect, but it does have a much better and focused storyline even if it still doesn't do much to differentiate itself from a children's Saturday morning cartoon versus higher caliber work like Pixar. The whole SantaClause 2 feeling of the movie really didn't bother me, but it's not still that imaginative (well at least the minions didn't get on my nerves and serves a purpose to the story this time). It's this generation's Shrek (grump ugly guy), and I don't know what that means about my movie taste 10 years ago.

3 Days To Kill
½

"Return of the Cos". Like Schwarzenegger, Costner seemed to have sit out most of my childhood and seems to have a weird resurgence. And in this movie, he seems to have taken over the "mild passable" Liam Neeson or Nicolas Cage thriller. I guess Luc Besson films will all feature a dad as a "badass" with a daughter now after Taken. Amber Heard, although great to look at, doesn't really make much sense in the movie. Is she rogue? Why does she force Cos to just kill everyone versus acting like a real spy to just catch the Wolf? Why is this movie called 3 Days to Kill? He has 2 months to live, and his wife is gone for 3 days but he kills before and after she leaves. I guess Hailee Steinfeld again shows she still can act even if she isn't as effective as Chloe Grace Moretz. Still it's laughable, but dreck fare that really isn't worth watching unless you have nothing better to laugh at. Trust me, the Nic Cage library is better.

Men, Women & Children

Like father like son? Ivan Reitman was a powerhouse of the 80s and 90s but just went away. Then last decade, Jason his son took by storm to greatness in Juno and (well I think I was a bit hard on it at the time) Up in the Air and (it had it's moments) Young Adult. Labour Day stumbled to get Academy nods, and now we have Men, Women and Children. Another film probably vying for one of the 9 (yup it's that predictable) Oscar slots. Sadly, MWC doesn't feel special enough to really feel like a winner like Juno. It has a lot of good moments, but a lot of moments that just don't seem developed enough. Ansel Elgot and Kaitlyn Dever really drive the film and have the most satisfying arc along with Dean Noris. It's conventional Romeo and Juliet fare, but at least it felt resolved. Judy Greer and Jennifer Garder are also ok as moms who push too far, albeit with different results and motivations, but at least are interesting enough on screen. The problem is the rest of the cast (yes there is still more!). I usually like Sandler's different movie roles from his schtick, and while it's fresh that he doesn't play a dumb schlub with fart jokes (entirely), his arc with his family along with Olivia Crocicchia as (the actress daughter) and Elena Kampouris (the starving girl) never feels finished. It's a shame too since Crocicchia was probably my favourite part of the film. In a way, the film feels necessary since it hits on all of our problems with the Internet compared to showing a film from the early 00s where it was mainly Y2K and "don't open spam emails". Our lives on the internet have evolved and at times Men, Women and Children shows that and the complexities along with the simplicities it has brought us. It's also kind of light humour in the melodramatic score and tone of the film, but never reaches dark enough. The problem is you know these characters won't be punished, even though they know they've done wrong. And when something wrong happens, you don't feel the full gravity of it really unless something truly tragic happened. Regardless, Men, Women and Children is a return to form for Reitman in many ways, a thought provoking piece like Up in the Air and good for all the kids like Juno. I just wish there wasn't so many "white girls just want oral" jokes.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I'm surprised. I didn't hate this movie. But honestly, I don't think I loved it either (so I guess many of you can say "told you so!" but then I'll say "there still are issues with this movie). I think what's actualy refreshing about Guardians is the fact that the trailer is wrong, and in a good way. The movie, still peppered with Marvel's dumb humor, isn't overbearing as it is in Avengers (Chris "I'm too obnoxious for my own good" Pratt actually tones it down a lot from his Lego, Parks and Rec and "trailer" role). And what makes this movie better than say The Avengers is the fact the team is actually vital. I mean each member has a strength and weakness and it's played out like they all are needed, versus The Avengers could have only survived on the flash of lightning named Iron Man. Even the soundtrack, like in The Great Gatsby (but I guess in reverse?) works well to contrast the futuristic feeling of the film.

Surprising I'm giving a Marvel movie such praise right? I tore apart Captain America, but I think I'm probably too high on "believing" because of one crucial point. The fact we don't get movies like this anymore. Firefly, Serenity, Star Trek, Star Wars. In this era, there is so much devoid of the space opera that it just felt like it filled a void. And that's pretty sad when I think about it. Captain America falls into the pratfall (no pun intended) of being just "another thriller". It's so boring because it copies Bourne, (well see the complete list in my review). Guardians copies Star Wars (almost to a tee. Pratt=Solo, Saldana=Leia, Ronan=Vader, Thanos=Emperor, Groot=Chewbacca...), Star Trek (Especially Into Darkness, copying all of the civilian running from ship stuff), Skyfall (sigh.... why does everyone need to fall into water these days?), The Princess Bride (I guess Mandy Patinkin was too busy to play Drax as he boringly repeats how his family dies every minute he speaks. What an "acclaimed" actor you are Dave.), Independence Day, The Iron Giant (I think Vin Diesel was only hired because of this movie so he could do the same thing in it here), Avatar (seriously? The white fluff? And Zoe Saldana being the "last of her species"?), and many more I can't think off the top of my head. A lot of the logic really doesn't make much sense, and like many blockbusters (especially made by Disney) the hammering of the message of friends and family is just irritating and (really the movie is solved too conventiently this way). There is also a HUGE double standard in movies today regarding destruction porn. The movie falls AGAIN to BLOW UP THE CITY FINALE. Seriously? Double Standards. Why does it get away with city destruction porn and is declared as "saving the summer" and Transformers is hated on for doing the exact same thing? The movie is also peppered with that "fun" Marvel humour, but I guess not to the extent we "know and love" (sarcasm). There are also too many characters, not enough to really feel vested caring about and it falls victim to the "John Carter school of naming". Half the time you don't know who or what they are talking about! Also, how does Star Lord "magically" have a fake orb? How did The Collector die when he is clearly exploded?

There always is a "movie of the summer". Since I've barely touched 20% of the summer movies, I 1) can't really decide my winner yet and 2) know this isn't my winner. Just because you're the "freshest" and most "obnoxious" idea, doesn't mean everyone has to like you. I doubt I'll ever watch this film again. But if you will remember anything from the summer of 2014, it will sadly be this movie. This 90+ % movie on Rotten Tomatoes. I just don't get it. The movie isn't unique (especially dancing Groot. Go fucking rent Alvin and the Chipmunks or any CGI talking critter movie), it just hasn't been done a lot these days (it's not really a superhero film) so it's "fresh"?

Sabotage
Sabotage(2014)
½

I kind of enjoy seeing Schwarzenegger on the screen again. it makes me feel like I'm catching up on the childhood where I didn't get to see his face plastered everywhere leading the picture (since I was too young in the 90s and in the 00s well he was in office). I actually enjoyed Escape Plan more than I want to admit, but man is this one bleak. I mean it has a good mystery (since it is very loosely based on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were Fewer) but the movie is ruined by so many idiotic comedic exchanges. It's almost "The Office" style but it's just not fun and enjoyable. And when the subject switches back to the bleak subject matter, it just feels too dark. Overall, Sabotage is a different movie from what was sold in the trailers and this time for the worse.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Dear Sony, is the "Amazing" in the title sarcastic? Spider-Man 3 was bad, but it was so bad it was good. This movie, is too serious that it just is dreadful to sit through. If Captain America: The Winter Soldier pissed me off, I think The Amazing Spider-Man 2 might have made me wickedly irritated. Imagine if someone told you what you imagined as a child was completely wrong and force fed you some truth for 2 hours. I'm not talking about Peter Parker and what he discovers about his family. I'm talking about how I wasted 2 hours and 20 minutes (plus 5 minutes on a deleted scene) on this movie.

I didn't enjoy the first movie, mainly because it was a pale rehash of the first. And Sony knew that. Marc Webb knew that. I can usually forgive reboots of the originals (The Incredible Hulk was actually not that horrible, Batman Begins told the origin story again, X-Men First Class actually had a cool historical twist) because really the limits are endless after setting the first film up. Not much exposition beyond character growth. But TASM2 (the title is too long) hit every note after note wrong.

Let's just go chronologically. I actually thought the coolest part of the "original" was the fact it explored Peter's real parents. Sam Raimi didn't do that. Instead we get this weird James Bond opening that feels really wooden, and when the mystery is revealed to Peter, it just doesn't feel satisfying (beyond weapons = bad, and you are a good person Peter for not fucking up Harry Osborn but you did indirectly?). Other mysteries include, who built the mysterious lab underground? Why did no one find it when people were looking for the mystery Roosevelt station? If Peter met his father (or was supposed to) how did he survive the plane crash (well he could have taken the spider syrum I guess or a parachute)? Why did they not listen to fans to not copy Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and make his father say "with great power comes great responsibility? The last point pissed me off.

Next, the Rhino. Why was he the "Sandman" of the movie? Why does he have only 5 minutes of screentime? Couldn't we shave those minutes and added the better scene of closure between Peter and his father versus more dumb explosions and save him for the next movie. He didn't make sense to be there. Why did they have the "ghost of George Stacy" bothering Peter, wasn't this ALSO in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man?

Foxx wasn't I guess horrible, but he wasn't great. I just kept expecting people to sing the Django song since they kept asking him to sing his name. But how can he be so stupid to think Spider-Man would set him up? He clearly saved his life last time. That said, the most issues comes in the creation of Electro. Why couldn't he shut the power grid off by going downstairs. Hmm the trade off, time or I don't know, YOUR LIFE? Next, who puts a vat of eels in the electric grid, let alone if you watch the movie they say all experiments about this modification were termination. Then next question, how is he alive after drowning and falling from a wire that seems to stretch that far down when water is his weakness later in Ravencroft?

I guess Dean DeHaan is probably the best of the worst even if he was doing the same "I have too much anger bottled up" schtick. I guess they did try to differentiate the Spider-Men here by having him hate his father, and have him have the goblin thing by genetics and tie in why the experiments were done in the first place. But still, James Franco had the corniness to the role. DeHaan plays it so straight. And sigh... the magic blood. I mean why couldn't Spider-Man say, "sure I'll give you a sample to help but I don't know you seem like a smart guy, let's work together to see how it works so it can help you if it doesn't work out." It's this small stuff that kept pissing me off. And for 3/5 movies, we now get a goblin fight.

Emma Stone must be glad she's out. I'm glad. Her scenes with Garfield really slow the movie down. I mean this isn't my biggest complaint if it didn't happen so often (I felt fatigue in Spider-Man 3, but it wasn't beaten the hell of like it is here).

Overall, I'll admit some of the action piece acrobatics were fine (well the ones where building didn't crumble like destruction porn in The Avengers or a Roland Emmerch film were). He didn't use Bing. At least it wasn't filled with dumb jokes like The Avengers beyond distracting from who the character was (because let's face it Peter Parker is a kid, he's no Batman). They also got rid of that terrible first person web view. And it did seem like Garfield was game to act (...in the scene that got cut). But still, we get moments copy and paste from Sam Raimi who did it much lighter and scarier (I mean I was terrified of Willam Defoe, I'm just laughing at Dean Dehaan) and the death wasn't as meaningful, it just seemed cheesy and forced. But probably the biggest blow, JK Simmons was near perfect as J Jonah. But you replace him with a Gmail email. SERIOUSLY??

I normally end with how to fix a movie like this. I don't know. I honestly want the old cast back, but it will never happen especially James Franco and costs (or even risking doing a Spider-Man 1999 thing where he goes to the future?). A reboot wouldn't make sense consider they're in "building a cinematic universe" mode.

The Cobbler
The Cobbler(2015)
½

I'm going to say it. I think people give Adam Sandler too hard a time. The guy doesn't star in the best movies, but Adam Sandler knows how to make films that are dumb and knows when they are dumb. It's not like he's trying to do anything else (cough Marvel cough), you know what you're getting. That said, he's quite witty and sadly the charm is lost in fart jokes at times, but when Sandler takes a risk, it usually works out for the better.

The Cobbler, while not a full departure from a comedy is probably my favourite Sandler film since Funny People and really should deserve a look. I honestly didn't know what to get into when I saw the pictures for the movie (no trailers at TIFF meaning really you're just going on a picture of him holding a shoe). I honestly thought it would be more snarky Sandler and similar to The Delivery Man him learning to be a better person when he "walks in someone elses shoes". But honestly what I saw might be even crazier or better. Sure the movie is tonally a mess (it just from a typical "weird grannies, hot girl product placement Sandler" movie with Midnight in Paris music, to a crime caper, to a superhero film), but honestly Sandler does really well in the emotional scenes. On the superhero note, I didn't get it until the last 5 minutes, the film is essentially a heroic journey in disguise, and it's interesting to see Sandler be a superhero, you'd never guess it (well I guess there is also Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen).

Showing the heavy weight in his eyes at the death of his mother. He gets emotional, but nothing stupid emotional. The rest of the supporting cast beyond Method Man is not that memorable and I wish Tom McCarthy who wrote probably the best Pixar movie since the "drought" (Up, which strangely is also about aging old people) took a bit more focused approach, The Cobbler could have been a film we're saying how Sandler got his groove back (just like the equally underrated Funny People), but seriously beyond Will Ferrel, Adam Sandler has stood the box office test of time from 1990s until now. What other comedian can come close to so many $100 million dollar hits? So really, it's a good film, I don't know why critics are hating on it, there is far worse dreck (like the dumber Let's Be Cops pehaps?) and really you're not supporting the guy to go beyond his comfort zone beyond every 5 years. We'll just keep pumping out more disgusting Chris Pratt vehicles with Marvel plastered with fake praise.
My major complaint though is the constant use of the crossdresser in the movie. Was that really that funny Tom McCarthy? It just felt sort of demeaning and kind of creepy. I think using a whole host of extras might have been a better option showing how they can be a different character, yet still understand Sandler's mannerisms, a stronger view of the acting.

The TIFF experience was a lot better than Foxcatcher. Being Visa Infinite member has it's perks (bring the card). That said, the Q&A was lengthy and was quite engaging. More shockingly, is how everyone was basically asked a question and unlike last year where everyone flooded Bateman and Poheler, they asked everyone there. And Sandler still had his charm on stage, not grumpy like Bateman.

Foxcatcher
Foxcatcher(2014)
½

If Moneyball was about the addiction to succeed, Foxcatcher is the addiction to impress. Brace yourselves, Oscar season has begun. I honestly was shocked I got the chance to see it (well not really considering how many empty seats there still was at the premiere since some company decided to buy the floor but my gripes on this year's TIFF shouldn't reflect my view of the movie so I'll put comments and tips for reference to survive TIFF at the bottom).

I normally can look at a film and tell whether or not it will win the Oscar or not. I did it with Argo, 12 Years a Slave, and I mean 2nd place isn't too bad for The Descendants, The Social Network and Avatar. But Foxcatcher seemed like a winner, or bred a winner from the moment I knew the cast and saw the trailer. Steve Carell and Channing Tatum are highly unconventional. Check. It's a biopic. Check. It's a drama. Check.
What we have here is a good film, that I feel will get the Oscar nods, but ultimately I don't think it will have the momentum to win them. I honestly was really excited to see Steve Carell play John Du Pont, the heir to the Du Pont wealth and is the crux of the story (which took me a while to question since I still don't know who I would bill as the lead, I believe it should be Carell, but why is Tatum front and centre? Are they afraid they'll lose audiences if they plaster Carell? Honestly, Carell would be the draw, especially how much they played him in the first trailer compared to his screen time in the film. Very odd.). That said, Carell looks like a cross between Emperor Palpatine and Gru, and really the drama isn't that far of a stretch which disappointed me. It felt more like Brick Tamland was in a drama and people were taking him as an actual idiot. Tatum is ok as Mark Shultz, you see him go through a psychosis, but it isn't too drastic of a stretch for the guy (sidenote: he plays a wrestler so many times larger than everyone and still gets beat? How does wrestling work?). Honestly I was most impressed surprisingly (yes probably at Jeremy American Hustle level) by Mark Ruffalo's Dave Shultz. He really is the glue between Du Pont and the Shultz and I know he won't get nominated but he should get some recognition from me (after disastrously playing the Hulk).

That said the film has mostly pacing issues. 30 minutes could have been cut, but it's an Oscar film so I mean... it won't. And I didn't even know Du Pont had schizophrenia or really considered Dave to be a friend, it's just implied on screen, but it's amazing that given no context that you can really focus on the three characters. There is just a lot of awkward silence, which really lightens the tone (Carell does a lot of unintentional comedy here, but I don't know if it was intentional or not).

There are also two main themes here. The addiction to impress and the understanding of a mentor figure. The trailer to me really muddles the message (again without fully knowing Du Pont's story) where it makes you believe it's about a good coach who pushes a promising pupil to a psychosis (a la Whiplash or Black Swan). When instead (mild spoiler) it's about clueless men wanting to impress and leave a legacy behind and blindly leading each other towards their goals. It's hard for me really to see why I disliked the movie, I liked the quiet moments, but I wish there was also a bit more pulse at times like the trailer made it out to be.

Non-Stop
Non-Stop(2014)

Liam Neeson might be this decade's Nicolas Cage. I mean how many movies, and how many so similar film can one do (well minus the comedies..). Non-stop requires a lot more thought than Taken, but the twist in the film honestly doesn't pay off. Where Unknown actually "logically" made sense, Non-Stop just decides to pick two random people who were suspects and decide to make them the villains. Also, with this and Jack Ryan, are films of 2014 the ones where we just "give up and just let the bombs go off"?

The LEGO Movie

The first sitting, I almost turned off the movie after 30 minutes.From it's obnoxious rendition of "Everything is Awesome" to the dumb jokes (sigh is this what are decade of films, especially this year is going to be known for) from Chris "I somehow am an action star" Pratt, it just game a disgusting taste in my mouth. But if you stick it through, there are some passably good moments. The film does a really good job at making you feel nostalgic playing with Lego. Honestly, I remember opening sets of famous movie scenes and telling my brother never to break them or change it (which well... results in all of our bundle of LEGO thrown into a junk pile in our basement). I haven't bought a set for almost 10 years (where I guess video games started to take over and the cost started to become more apparent). When the real jig is revealed though, although I felt myself doing the obligatory sin counter, I just felt this doesn't apply. It's just based on the imagination of a child, similar to my own the logic need not applies. It just reminded me of the days practicing with film stop-motion or even just making the stories with all of the great pieces. It would have been nice to see Pepper from Lego Island make an appearance but maybe like Mario in Wreck It Ralph, it just didn't work so it's fine. Just make him in the sequel. I still think Wreck-It Ralph is a better film, actually being nostalgic and funny without being obnoxious versus this movie's "in your face" attitude. It's just a shame everyone needs to incorporate dubstep, dumb jokes with meta feelings to make it seem "good" and "relavant". The movie does look good, blending the elements of stop motion and computer animation in a unique way, to really clense the pallete of all the boring CGI (despicable mes) of late but still again falls victim to the 'dumb explosions' and "every villain dies" in The Avengers.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

This might be the worst film of 2014 that seemed to actually have tried (meaning it wasn't dumb like Let's Be Cops for obvious reasons). Sadly, the film tries to be way overcomplicated to the point where every flaw is way too open, and thus just make it unbearable. Unlike Jack Reacher where Cruise has some charisma, Pine is flat and dull. Knightley just seems really uncomfortable doing her terrible American accent. For a straight thriller it just feels too boring, bogged with so much economics talk, Costner has to remind Pine to talk like an idiot. It rips off too much from Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight Rises (God, who told them to steal the worst part of that movie too? I mean the water? The bomb? NYC? Cops underground?)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I want to start off by saying, I think Wes Anderson produces some of the best trailers for his films. I mean they really sell the quirky concept. That said, I really wanted to like this film. The trailer marketed it as a fast paced caper that just seemed too bent on Anderson-lunacies that it might have worked. It doesn't fully come together, but it's still an entertaining piece thanks to Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori. Even at a slim hour and 40 minutes, the story gets bogged down with too much meandering, side stories and cuteness and it almost becomes too complex for it's own simplicity of the payoff. In the end, it comes off as a Tarantino meets Anderson if told as Life of Pi meets Inception. Not an amazing film, but artistically is probably the best all year.

The Giver
The Giver(2014)
½

I still remember reading The Giver back in Grade 7. In fact, it's probably one of the books that influenced me to watch more movies and consider them seriously for review, especially sci-fi dystopias like The Village, The Fifth Element, etc. So really, without the book, I don't think I'd be reviewing film as I do today.

Jeff Bridges has been trying to get the film adaptation done forever. I remember reading on Wikipedia in 2006 he was trying to get his dad to star, but I guess eventually with a trimmed budget, the film exists. But sadly, like the sameness in the society, beyond Bridges, everyone just feels too boring, bland. Bridges seems game and filled with passion and really holds your attention in the movie by providing the emotion and often the odd and out of place laughter (that really is unintentional). And then at times it feels like an extended Duracell commercial. I just wish the rest of the cast felt more distinct. Jonas especially felt dull, or another boring Hemsworth-cloth clone from a YA "you are different" bin. Holmes is laughable, and Streep again won't win an Oscar for this, playing a discount President Snow/whatever the lady is from Divergent.

Although the book came out in the 90s, the style feels heavily Hunger Games inspired with all the floating screens and white Wall-E uniforms ripped from the sets. Or something from Tron Legacy. If you're also walking into this movie to see the incredible acting of Taylor swift, be disappointed she's in the movie for 2 minutes. That said, this is probably one of the quickest book-to-screen adaptations clocking in at an hour and 40 minutes. It feels almost too rushed, especially how Jonas gets his colour (he gets red....and gets them all...I mean a montage would have worked) even though I will compliment they did the colouring well, which was my main fear going in. Without Jeff Bridges, The Giver would have been probably a massive fail, but at least him coupled with the short run time makes me remember why I love and question the book. It's not the worst film I've seen all year, but maybe it's hard to defend or dislike a film that plays it too safe (well really like the society in the film) just to even be made at TWC.

Let's Be Cops

ICYMI: Congrats Captain America, we have a new contender for worst movie released in 2014. The movie harkens back to the era of really bad Wayans movies. White Chicks? Little Man? Yup if you "liked" those, then this movie is basically up your alley. Even suspending disbelief, it's so hard to like this movie since the leads are just annoying and just pathetic. Look I'm a fan of Jake Johnson, I really am, but the sarcastic dick thing is getting old. There is just way too much tonal mess too in the third act it comes off as a violent and almost joyless movie. 21 Jump Street knew it was a fun movie and even The Heat (which had same problem) had an interesting mystery, but I can't see much redeemable here. This movie is the one you'll end up seeing in the discount DVD bin.

Ghostbusters 2

Honestly, the movie wasn't as original as the original, but the cast chemistry, especially Bill Murray holds the glue together to still make this watchable. It's sad he doesn't want to be involved in another one, so I guess we'll never know what another Ghostbusters (in this form) might be, but maybe it's for the best. Murray maybe knew what was true already and didn't want to further disappoint.

Me, Myself & Irene
½

Wow they don't make movies like this anymore. I feel after the Apatow era began, it just always needed to be an ad-libbed pop culture swearing jokes, versus movies that were slapstick but still sweet. I guess it's also weird to see Jim Carrey lead a movie (has it really been since 2011 he's done one?) and even to see Renee Zellweger in a "Jennifer Aniston" role. I mean if they cut a lot of the disgusting aspects (but they wouldn't, it's a Farrlley Brothers movie) the film could have been a lot better, even if it seemed too convenient.

From Dusk Till Dawn
½

If you've seen 2012's Cabin in the Woods, then you've gotta know about uneven horror comedy. This movie is similar, but at least starts off more like a traditional Tarantino film which for no apparent reason delves into a horror survival movie. It's unapologetic, but I guess who really needs to be when it turns (no pun intended). It's fun to see Clooney out of Oscar mode, but if you can survive the jarring and cartoonish nature of the film without really any level of danger, take a watch before seeing the tv show.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Um....dude..... I left when I realized my brain cells were depleting.

Star Trek - Nemesis

I actually like the Star Trek mysteries the best. But there are problems when the mysteries don't hold up or just don't pay off well here. Ripping off Star Wars Episode I was pretty interesting from the dangling climax to the starship battles, to the trade agreements (ugh). Tom Hardy plays a pretty unique character, Bane (err Shinzon) a man born in a cave raised by the inhabitants of the dark who raise him to rise above and take power. Whoops, sorry that was Bane. Still the action redeems itself unlike Resurrection, but it never holds a light to First Contact.

Star Trek: Insurrection

So you go from directing one of the better Star Treks, to possibly my least favourite one ever made. I read they did market research for the equally corny Star Trek: The Voyage Home saying how it's light nature made it sell more tickets. Well it didn't work here as every member seems played so against type, then bogged down with dumb philosophy and lessons it's to a point so irritating. And sadly, Joss Whedon never learned the lesson, proving dumb movies make money because we all just need a cheap laugh.

Star Trek: First Contact
½

This might be the best Star Trek movie in the original cannon. I mean it's action packed like Into Darkness from the get go, and it knows what it wants to be, a dark scary action film. The Borgs are more fearsome than the tv counterparts, and Picard seems more in tune as the hero. It doesn't really work to an amazing climax, nor does the land stuff making history, the connection to the tv series (well I just have gripes with the entire timeline for TNG of Borg) and the comments on history gets a bit too heavy handed, but for solid action the movie delivers.

Nebraska
Nebraska(2013)

I really wanted to like Nebraska. I loved Alexander Payne's The Descendants (so much I still think it was robbed of the Oscar that year) but I guess sometimes a movie isn't full without it's story. Pandering to the common denominator of "Oscar bait" stories, it's interesting to see Forte, Odenkirk and (probably) Dern play against type, but Dern just comes off as too whiny, when really it is an exercise in showing the last triumph of a man at his age (I guess similar to Benjamin Button, it's also showing the convergence of youth and old age). It's disappointing to meander through the almost 2h screen time, but there were a few genuine chuckles. Sadly, nothing besides the Woody story feels resolved and it just feels a bit of a let down given the sheer absurdness of belief the film makes you expect. Also, June Squibb is a graduate of the "Jennifer Lawrence school of yelling at people to get Oscar Nominations".

Dallas Buyers Club

I definitely liked the movie a lot more than I thought. I still have issues with it, but the movie moves briskly thanks to the charisma of McConaughey even if it trends familiar "man vs government" and Oscar bait themes. I initially thought I had issues with Rayon's performance from the trailers, but I think now it's more an issue of the makeup (which for some reason this movie won the Oscar for) Leto I can say actually deserves to win for the performance so it goes to show you can't judge a movie by it's trailer. Gardner is just...ok as the doctor lady friend, but I feel they could have cast someone else and cut the budget lower or just made it somehow more fleshed out. There are just a lot of weird "Oscar-isms" here like why everyone is a drug addict, how he gets all the medical knowledge (Limitless?), the "Jennifer Lawrence school of yelling at authority" for an Oscar scene, how his strength changes for the scene he needs it, how his money changes for the scenes he needs it. Still it's on the better end spectrum of Oscar bait, even if it isn't my favourite movie of 2013 or ever.

Escape Plan
Escape Plan(2013)
½

Stallone and Schwarzenegger. What could go wrong, right? Well this is actually a better effort from the two in recent "comeback" years, but it's still filled with too many plot holes and random occurrences. Still it's fun to seem them plot to break out and is a slight recommendation as it doesn't feel so horrendous it needed to be direct to DVD.

The Wedding Singer
½

If you go to an Adam Sandler movie, you know what you're getting into. And there usually is the "goofy comedy" or the "rom com" side. It's not as good as 50 First Dates, and it bogs down being too mushy at times or too much like a long music video, but it's passable compared to some of his less desirable work.

Stand by Me
Stand by Me(1986)

It's amazing the chemistry and maturity of the actors in the narrative.

That Awkward Moment

That awkward moment when someone tries to copy the Judd Apatow-Seth Rogen mold with 10x more attractive people and it doesn't work.

Grudge Match
Grudge Match(2013)

It's hard to really know the tone of the movie. Or why it was even made in the first place. Is it a comedy? A drama? A sports film? I like DeNiro and Stalone, but they are just so boring here and nothing peaked my interest in the first 10 minutes.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

"I don't want your future!"... is completely out of context when it is shown in the trailer of X-Men: Days of Futures Past. I think X-Men is probably one of the more stable franchises to hold itself in quality over the past 14 years (well minus Origins Wolverine, or the period from 2006-2011 when the fanbase got reduced...The Last Stand imo is still passable).

DOFP is less Star Trek Generations than it is Inception with the (*sigh*) drumbeats and dream jumping aspects. The story isn't really anything to be blown away (and it really is at times too complex to be understood), nor does it really feel much urgency in it considering every time there is an immediate danger that feels unstoppable, it always somehow gets resolved instantly (Magneto breakout, Professor X's condition, his will, etc).

Strangely, I feel DOFP is the consequence if Captain America didn't stop Hydra in CA2. Both touch on the themes of security and elimination of evil vs freedom. Even though CA2 hammers the message on your head endlessly, DOFP manages to find the right balance to preach but also touch on other problems of isolation and unity the series is known for. Unfortunately, since it is 2014, it does have the occasional "Marvel goof-fuck" and "destruction porn" but surprisingly not as much as the average blockbuster does today. But it's still there.

James McAvoy and Fassbender do great jobs again in the roles of Professor X and Magneto. I mean they're doing the best as their own interpretation of the character and it's fresh (well only since it's pushed to a different decade) unlike Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man or other reboots, even if it could never match Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in the roles. It's also good to see the old gang back, but it's problematic since I felt the entire movie I wanted to see another "original trilogy" movie versus a "First Class" one. I hope they find the right story to do it with, but still the First Class cast is quite capable. Peter Dinklage is alright too, he's a bit more fleshed out, not quite to the level of Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, but a heck lot more than Loki and the band of recent dumb Marvel fare.

My only gripe is maybe Jennifer Lawrence again (as much as it pains me to say it). Just because she won an Oscar means you have to expand her role when her role initially wasn't that huge? I mean I thought this would be my problem with Logan initially, but that at least was explained. I just feel it's really weird to expand her in that way (well maybe since the original trilogy didn't use her much besides a henchman). I do like Jennifer Lawrence as an actress, but lately her role expansions just seem too inorganic. Do I want to see a sequel to The Beaver, where it's about her being mentored by Mel Gibson running a Beaver store? (After reading up a bit on the comic origins, I realize this point isn't really that valid. But again, I just don't feel shoehorning her in felt that organic compared to her role last time)

It might not be the strongest of the X-Men films (nor is it a write-off of the series unlike The Amazing Spider-Man), but DOFP is still entertaining, if 20-30 minutes too long. It's nowhere as disastrous as Origins, but it never reaches the blend of philosophical questioning and action like X2 or even First Class.

PS: Why does Fan Bingbing have three lines? "Ahh", "Let's go!", and "Is everyone ok?", and (I hate to do this) but why did it need to rip off Inception, Wanted, Skyfall? AND WHERE THE HELL WAS STAN LEE.

The Way Way Back

Coming of age is usually difficult to do unless you get the casting right. From Descendants writers Faxon and Rash, Way, Way Back is a great character piece that is equal parts funny and emotional even if the movie is spelled out too much in the trailers and isn't quite that inventive. Still the performances from James, Rockwell, Carrell is mesmerizing.

Drinking Buddies

I gave up when Olivia Wilde slapped bologna to her face. (Further side note, why does her face look pale ghost white compared to her tanned body? Who did the makeup?).

Saving Mr. Banks

I liked Marry Poppins as a child, even the Grade 3 performance of the story was entertaining. But Disney doing an adaptation of making Mary Poppins, is really....just that. Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and the little girl do great work. But Hanks, as likeable as he is, just seems too concerned with "earning that Oscar" that he feels more Hanks than Disney. The same can be said of Emma Thompson's PL Travers, who seems more neurotic than necessary. It's disappointing and overcliched that with a cast like this you expect a bit more pedigree.

Big
Big(1988)
½

It's shocking that in 1988 a movie like this could even open in the summer, considering today we're forced to see CGI dumb explosions with anti-heroes and off-kilter music. Regardless, as cliche (and similar to Forrest Gump) this is, Big isn't really a comedy more than it is a smarter character drama. The story get's too bogged down with many "oh he's such an adult, even though he's a kid doing adult things", but the chemistry and dedication of Hanks is something that is missing from his current on screen resume.

Pain & Gain
Pain & Gain(2013)
½

The first hour of the movie is actually watchable. It sets up some cool stuff. But then it's just moronic to continue watching these guys acting so stupid when they are supposed to come off as funny. But when you root for the "bad guy" in the end since Wahlberg and co are just so unlikable, the movie just drags on. It's no Tarantino heist film.

Mud
Mud(2013)

Well acted especially from The Sheridan, but the story is just not that compelling. Overwraught with too much parallelism and pacing issues. Plus why was Michael Shannon in this? Like he had no point to his character minus saying Neckbone was important to Ellis, but we could have inferred that.

Star Trek Generations

I've only seen one episode of TNG and one episode of the original series, but the movie really does nothing to make me excited for the newer movies. The originals were hokey, but there was something about the chemistry of the cast. The problem here is it becomes Picard/Kirk vs the enemy. The movie also doesn't make much sense. Why do they want to go to the Nexus? How do you escape it? If they were originally beamed out, didn't it work before?

Trance
Trance(2013)
½

The first half of the movie is great. It keep you guessing at every turn and it almost plays out like the British Inception. However, when it's all revealed, it leaved less to be appealed. The mind bender understood by romance should be a sin.

After Hours
After Hours(1985)
½

It's pretty ignorant to think Martin Scorsese is the guy who gives DiCaprio Oscar nominations because if you actually took the time to watch his back catalogue, he has some interesting stuff. After Hours is an alright effort by a younger Scorsese to do a (today's version of) Jason Bateman "everything goes wrong" comedy, but it doesn't build enough of the mystery to be satisfying, nor is it overly funny enough to just feel undisturbed by it. By the end of the film's short runtime, it just feels unsatisfying.

Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country
½

It's interesting to see like Marvel that the Star Trek universe keeps switching genres (probably like the tv series). The mystery was fun to keep guessing, but it sadly is way too obvious and way too unsatisfying.

Star Trek V - The Final Frontier

I actually don't think I hated the movie. It actually raises some interesting philosophical questions. But the rest of the movie seems random, unfunny and just nonsensical worse than the first 4. That said, this is the first one that feels like it was trying to fit the "blockbuster mould".

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

I refer a lot to my dislike of The Avengers because of it's dumb humour, but man I guess it's ancestor is this movie. It's an interesting concept that has a message too heavy handed.

The Master of Disguise

Growing up as a kid in the 2000s, I knew the movie existed (YTV played the turtle club joke too many times), but never actually watched it. I've seen so many bad films where it's mainly a parody of the era, I just normally stopped watching them. So in a way it was "refreshing" to see Shrek, Scooby-Doo and Bush references? I don't know why I said this or actually had the patience to sit through this entire film, but the film seems so lost in trying to be so early 2000s with the over usage of CGI in a movie that doesn't need it, it's soundtrack and its references. Look, I'm a fan of Dana Carvey, he's a pretty good impressionist and they tried to use his hook of ability of being able to play different characters here, but it just feels too dumb and too 0-dimensional to care.

12 Years a Slave

Not really against the movie, I think there are some fine performances here from Ejiofor and Fassbender, but the film just feels way too bogged down in pacing issues.

Star Trek III - The Search for Spock
½

I think I liked this one better than the first movie, but it's still is filled with an insane amount of plot holes.

Out of the Furnace

Christian Bale is one of the best character actors of the past decade, losing himself into almost any role he's given. It's no different here, the only big and glaring issue unfortunately is the story. It's so uneven that it takes an hour to set it up, and really the following 50 minutes to execute. So if you have the patience it's passable, but really there isn't much special here. It should have been much better given the pedigree of the cast. And that amazing title.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street suffers from the same problem Jordan Belfort experiences: Excess. It's a captivating movie that just feels too exhausting to finish. You end up counting the number of minutes that could have been saved (like the Jonah fish scene, many awkward pauses, jokes that don't really need to be drawn out) and expect the film to be a Judd Apatow production, versus really enjoying the story. It also feels way too biased towards portraying Belfort as a hero in the film. It just feels too inorganic. That said, it was interesting to see the story play out, and Leo is pretty good ranging from his different phases (although really people, it's so "Oscar set" but it doesn't feel like it's anything different from DiCaprio before. Why should he win just because he has done work like this in the past, versus doing something bold and interesting?) The rest of the ensemble, while fun (like Hill, Reiner, Favreau, etc) just really doesn't feel more than caricatures, and even worse than American Hustle since it was clear they weren't supposes to be. Then there are the obvious plot problems. If people know they are in a pump and dump scheme, wouldn't they catch on to Belfort? Wouldn't the investors stop investing? I guess it's not a bad movie, it's more an overdrawn, Oscar bait film that feels too biased for it's own good.

Veronica Mars

It's sometimes good seeing old friends again. But for most media, it really isn't. Take Arrested Development. A great show, that ended in a satisfying way that really didn't need it's wounds opened again, other than to provide more satisfying hijinks. Mars, similar to such effect, feels more necessary needed from it's abysmal third season finale (it's a trend here that after two seasons things so sour. Community much?). But it probably wasn't the creative fault of anyone involved, but more The CW finding their footing. But beyond that, Bell has blown up to be a name and with the clear focus, Mars should have fired on all cylinders. But the problem is, nostalgia is a power too strong. It's a great throwback to the earlier seasons, and is great to see most of the characters back, even though in far reduced roles than necessary (even in a 1h 48 min movie). But you never get the sense they mean much, it's more (just like the reunion) an excuse to pop by and see "oh that's what they've been doing". The focus here is Veronica, but with that and an extra hour of screen time, the focus is the eclectic cast that made the series gel so well. Again, the film falls on the sin of "casting" as by knowing the names, you can easily solve the mystery. And that's where the movie's biggest fault is. The first two seasons (and I'll admit even season 3) had some great plot twists of villains and their arcs to solve the mystery. They even do a great job of those red herrings (save for maybe season 2). They try to do a bit of it here with all the characters returning, but it just doesn't feel satisfying in the end. There really isn't any good reason, beyond the triumph of good for her to solve the case which is a bit disappointing. Overall, it's great to revisit these characters again like Arrested Development, and my return on investment I still believe was reached. But you go to Veronica Mars for the mysteries (well...I guess the LoVe triangles too...) and even that just feels a bit drawn out for a movie. I just hope if a sequel is made, maybe it could reach a bit more into the other characters but be a bit more focused in that regard (instead of small snippets of everyone).

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Wars came out in 1977 and changed the blockbuster game. So for Star Trek to come out two years later, there had to be some covered ground the series needs to make. Instead, the movie is filled with weird sweeping visuals of the Enterprise for elongated amounts of time, that just feel odd, awkward and stilted. The story, while doesn't really pick up until the final third, the overall feel of the movie feels more like The Muppets, getting the gang back versus any concern for something new to deliver. And by now, I get Star Trek wasn't all "smoke and mirrors, lens flares and fist fighting". But like Wrath, it's slow tactical approach drones on for almost too long.

Delivery Man
Delivery Man(2013)

Vince Vaughn movies thrive on the other people with him. If they aren't interesting, the film falls. In Delivery Man, you don't really get an Owen Wilson, Jonah Hill, Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller, so it often feels like a much weaker entry (Dodgeball? Anchorman? Starsky and Hutch?), but not totally worthless (Mr and Mrs Smith, Couples Retreat, The Dilemma) in the Vince Vaughan fodder. Chris Pratt, sadly feels stale here, not really given much room to grow, and more plays as comic relief. And similar Cobie Smulders is not really given much room to grow besides say "what the heck" at the end. It's more an Apatow dramedy than a comedy (as really...99.9% of the funny bits are in the trailer), so it drags at times. Sadly, Delivery Man doesn't deliver a surprise hit unlike The Internship.

American Hustle
½

Christian Bale asked David O Russell why most of the movie was improvised and if it would change the story. He replied, "Christian, I hate plots. I am all about characters, that's it." And that is basically David O Russell and really at this point what you have to expect to get from him. Strangely, after The Fighter and The Silver Linings Playbook, Hustle feels the most structured of the three and is probably the most satisfying to me in that way. In a way, it's like Inception of the 70s, with lead man Christian Bale, doing again a fine performance, a hustler who in himself develops such an inner conscience that the audience connects with in the film a lot more deeply (although really, his work in The Fighter was better). I have to say, I was most impressed with Renner as Carmine Polito, you almost lose him in the role the most and it was impressive to finally see him break out of the "I don't give a shit but I'm an action hero" role. The rest give fine work (even Louis CK) but I think Jennifer Lawrence's work was probably the weakest. Why was she nominated for the Academy Award. I mean SLP I get it, it was a good performance, and she stood up to De Niro in that one scene, but here she feels more level or even less (considering she's house bound for 50% of the film), and her pivotal role is really....just to move the plot forward once again (albeit with less emphasis). Her accent slips too, which is just distracting as you don't believe she really is her character, but more of herself. See this movie, it's a fun movie that plays with the mind, even if the first 1/3 is a little slow and disconcerting. It pays off unlike SLP and The Fighter.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

I really wanted to like this movie. Ben Stiller, I feel is a really underrated actor, almost too conveniently type-casted into comedic (Zoolander) or family (Night at the Museum) roles, which are fine, but his more dramatic work is definitely a lot more interesting. As the director, he's able to play a lot more freely with imagination and special effects over the original film, but there just is a feeling of blandness. Sure we get a character development arc of self discovery, but the message is so heavy handed (with forceful quotes plastered on screen) that it ruins the experience. Kristen Wiig is probably the dullest character she's played to date, and there really is a lack of connection between the two that even the trailers could seem to picture. Adam Scott and Patton Oswalt almost hams it up too far that these scenes in all just feel so disjoint from reality. At times, Mitty is beautifully shot, with sweeping cinematography, but plays almost like a giant music video. I hope Stiller takes more risks like this, but it's almost discerning to see him play something at times way too safe (like Along Came Polly?)

Prisoners
Prisoners(2013)

Wow. This might be the best replicant of a Christopher Nolan or early M Night Shyamalan film (more so the religious aspects) in the decade so far (sorry Wally Pfister). Coming to mind, the film is heavily similar to Insomnia, probably one of Nolan's more conventional films, but the ideas and cinematic flair are still present here. Again, the twist isn't too shocking (especially again if you know the pedigree of the casting....) but it's still one that keeps you guessing throughout the entire film. Jackman and Gyllenhaal really carry the movie with decent performances from the supporting. It's sadly way too long. If the movie focused more on Loki vs Jackman's torturing, I think it could had had a slicker feel to it. Instead, you just keep wishing it go back to the story instead of the meaningless red herrings. Overall, it's a strong movie and a recommendation (which I don't say often), but it's more a "one and done" great story like Insomnia was, versus one that needs to be returned to to find everything it offers. There is complexity in their natures, but it overall doesn't fully reach its needed potential.

Captain Phillips

It's one thing to do shaky cam in an action thriller, but on a boat, it just makes you feel seasick. There isn't really anything wrong with the acting here (unless you count Hanks losing his accent multiple times), and the two captains obviously are playing mind games with one another, but the story just feels way too over dramatized. It wasn't as exciting as the true story, which is obviously the case with any adaptation, but it gets almost "Scooby Doo" cartoonish at times. The second half of the film is better than the first half, but it still feels like "A Bourne movie in the control room" placed at sea. I mean if they just took out the one guy, the rest of the others just wanted to negotiate. It's sort of disappointing that it becomes Cast Away in a lifeboat.

A Good Day To Die Hard

There is a line in the movie where John asks his son, "Do you have a plan?" with which Jack replies, "Nope. Just going to run in their and shoot the shit out of things." And that's basically what the movie is. What made the first and third so great with it's twisted riddles and mind games, and the overall sheer corniness of the second is turned into an overall bland film. Building off of the fourth movie's John McClane as a superhero, A Good Day to Die Hard doesn't make much sense (he keeps claiming he's on vacation randomly), the twist is stupid, the action is heavily CGI and dull, and strangely, although being the first Die Hard not adapted from a previous story, feels like the least Die Hard-est of films. Couple that with Russian "non subtitles" to confuse the viewer, it's a mess that even at 90 minutes is feels way to slow for it's own good and really not any fun.

Rush
Rush(2013)

Car racing isn't my thing on TV, it just really is commentary of racers around a looped track. But car movies on film have been slightly more successful from Talladega Nights, the Fast and Furious franchise to now Rush. Smartly focusing on the over-exaggurated story of the Lauda-Hunt rivalry, the two men are out to prove each other wrong in a film that mostly works. There are too many scenes of "grass getting chopped" and heavy handed messaging, but it really is the performance of Bruhl as Lauda that is remarkable. Similar to Christian Bale in The Fighter, you lose Bruhl in the character so effectively. Less can be said about Chris "I don't really know what I'm saying" Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde who really just shows up for 10 minutes. And really by default, it's both of their best movies, even if it's primarily Bruhl's movie. It obviously doesn't attract too much interest from the NA crowd with it's heavy European influences (including the drawn out runtime even in a racing film) but some of the scenes of the action are fantastic to see and fascinating to depict the Lauda mind and character.

Don Jon
Don Jon(2013)
½

Don Jon might be the first movie when I approve the title cut (originally called Don Jon's Addiction) as it now feels more accurate in the way that the story is. Unlike Jason Bateman's Bad Words where you keep expecting him to turn into his normal self, Levitt does a great job convincing you he is Jon, an addict and selfish guy. Scarlett Johansson does a great job hamming it up and acting as a foil to Jon (But (mild spoilers) I bet she is the reason why the movie got a C Cinemascore). Moore is fine too, bringing out the heart and emotion to the piece. Hopefully we'll see more efforts from JGL directing as this is a fun movie. Compared to Tatum's Magic Mike, it's more vibrant, providing a sense of comedy in the melodrama.

Frozen
Frozen(2013)

There is an energy that makes it feel "90s Disney" or "Broadway ready" but like the equally musically talented Pitch Perfect, the story really bogs down Frozen. Musically talented meaning the actors can sing, but man these songs are atrocious. What are they even singing about? Most of them are about doors, inanimate objects, or just "plain irrelevant obvious tongue in cheek things" that a 6 year old might find funny. Oscar Worthy? Not really, and this is now the guy who things Happy from Despicable Me 2 should have won. Plus the moral (well obvious in the movie) is completely dumb. Oh so I learn to love my sister so everything is fine. Well you accidentally froze your sister when you always did love her so what makes this any different than a man wielding a sword after you? Why do you need a love interest if you insist that love thy sister holds? I get it's a movie for kids, but a movie that appeals universally should really reserve higher regard to me. And let's say I'm to believe the character histories that the girls are around 18-20 years old. So no rational adult would go "Hey Anna, I actually have powers. That's why mom and dad locked me up. Please don't ask me to do anything with it. Ok. Done. Didn't these people watch Enchanted?

Carrie
Carrie(2013)

I've never seen the original, but from what I saw in this remake, the story is actually quite substantial, if too slow paced. It's an interesting story tying forgiveness and the supernatural. The problem in the "update for the 21st century" is it focuses too much on the spectacle of "being young" vs the characterization. At an R rating, it is also quite soft, not really going for much gore and instead favouring endless scenes needed to be fast forwarded to still keep it on pace.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
½

I don't think I've been so excited about a concept from Marvel since The Avengers. Sure, the first Captain America was okay, nothing special, but worked well as a period piece (well at least much better than Thor), I had high hopes for the movie. Winter Soldier is probably one of Marvel's best attempts to break free of the superhero mold, but it really doesn't do it well.

I think we finally can agree Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers is kind of bland. He has to be, the everyday American hero. There are similarities with Superman obviously evident with such super strength and what not, but in the end he doesn't do much. Faring much better are Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson who really break away from their boring "just a hired spy" and "let's do paperwork assembling" roles and really sink their teeth into the action this time. It can be said for Anthony Mackie as Falcon, but beyond that the rest of the newcomers just seem unnecessary (Agent 13...I mean if you're really going to flirt, at least amount to it being more than that instead of disappearing afterwards and not end in a fight scene).

As ambitious is the story, it just feels too long, too drawn out and just plain derivative. It's Mission Impossible (Tom Cruise's hoodie fashion was 2011, the motorcycle jump, probably more) meets The Matrix (Men in glasses, lots of green screens) meets The Dark Knight (Ok Marvel, stop trying to make it seem like your villains are cool. This is the second one where he was just a hitman for another, less brawny villain. That said how many "Joker in the road Hit me" scenes are we going to do) meets The Dark Knight Rises (The Winter Soldier's mask. Like was it even necessary? Or did he just put it on for costume?) meets Skyfall (Direct imagery ripped at the end falling into a pool of water. Hey, maybe that's how Bond got saved.) meets Star Wars Episode V (c'mon guys, I hate doing this, I mean why rip off the music to one of the greatest scores (not including Hans Zimmer who I didn't even mention since it's in way too many films today after Inception) and only take two friggen notes from the song. Two.) meets Minority Report (Well. See the movie). I won't get into the "let's fight in a raised hallway" clichť or the "destruction porn" clichť or the "really dumb Joss Whedon jokes" clichťs.

Saying that though, but the movie has big implications for the Marvel universe. But who cares? The movie I get works because people are scared about identity or whatnot surveillance, but is that why we should like a movie? Because it speaks to us that it's that grounded in reality? The film never quite reaches an emotional front at all, instead opting for Cap to just be sort of whiney. The post credit scenes aren't really great. But really, 14 years since X-Men why do we have to believe they are producing movies that are new when it's the same "explosions villain another" repetition? It's sad that superheroes have to force themselves to do expanded universes, trying to find dumb ways to keep them expanding and taking on social issues in a heavily juvenile way. (SPOILER PART) so people aren't mad at the fat of all the distrust in the Marvel universe now? People I know liked Sitwell so I mean, now you're just going to live that he was Hydra the entire time? Too many USB references like The Incredible Hulk. And a lot of the movie could have been solved by talking....not fighting. Or if Shield wasn't dumb enough to hire Hydra in the 40s. Oh yeah throw in Transcendence as a film it rips off. There is also an absurd amount of elevator use in the movie. Also rips off The Bourne Ultimatum in fist combat and well "loss of secrets".

Jobs
Jobs(2013)
½

It's amazing how the movie constantly reiterates that "Steve Jobs was chasing a market that no one was into". The irony here is well.... the movie seemed to be chasing a certain audience and it really failed. Obviously set up as the "Oscar winning performance by Ashton Kutcher" the film insultingly goes as far as to show "wow we did a great job with costume design and makeup so our characters look like the real people in their time" (Sidenote guys, the photo of Jonny Ive was like from 2008....the guy didn't shave his head in like 1996). I wouldn't say Ashton Kutcher does a bad job in the role, at times he does embody Jobs' spirit. But then other times he just comes off as Ashton Kutcher and he just casually slips back into the movie. I mean sure, it's a work of fiction, "based on a true story", but at the same time, there is just so much confusion that it on one end insults the people who know the history of Apple and then those who want to learn more like myself.

The Raid: Redemption
½

When I heard about the remake and the upcoming sequel, I knew it was time I actually had to check out the original. Although the action is top notch and fairly kinetic, the story mulls on too slowly, dragging down the already brisk 100 minute runtime. It's also easy to get the characters mixed up, especially as it starts out in fairly poorly lit set pieces. There really is a nice social twist at the end, but there isn't much to differentiate this from Die Hard meets the Hammer Scene in Oldboy meets 300.

Are You Here
Are You Here(2014)

Blends the comedy and drama well even if it runs 30 minutes too long. Sad that Wilson and Galifiankis didn't come to the panel, but Matthew Weiner was great providing insightful answers to his film intentions.

I really didn't know what to expect when I spontaneously bought tickets to a second film this year at TIFF. With names like Owen Wilson, Zach Galifiankis, and Amy Poehler it seemed like a comedy, but it was directed by the creator of Mad Men. Surprisingly, You Are Here is effective at blending comedy and drama and it provides great performances from Wilson and Galifiankis, even if just like Wilson's "How Do You Know?" it is way too long/drags on for it's own good and it repeats it's title in too many creative manners in the film.

For the first 30 minutes, you really could take Wilson and Galifiankis from most of their past repertoire. Wilson is the fast talking jerk while Galifiankis plays the annoying insane friend.

The film then takes a complete 360 and dives into much darker territory. Galifanakis shines, and basically undergoes a complete transformation (spoiler) where he turns really into someone normal, which will probably be jarring to most since his crazy is normal. Wilson actually shows (slight) dimensionality to his role. Poehler, even if her role was more nasty than cheery like on Parks and Rec was still great to see on screen.

The Q&A with Weiner was probably a highlight, showing the passion for the project and clearly explaining all of his intentions (the themes of avoiding connection and feeling). I hope he continues to direct more projects like this.

Elysium
Elysium(2013)

I'll admit, I don't think I liked District 9. The goofiness, and commitment to the role that Sharlto Copley did was fine, but the movie just felt stale. I was excited about Elysium after reading online about it's process. Matt Damon. But maybe reading up is the true disappointment in Elysium.

The film stars Matt Damon as a latino. I'll end here, but the movie is way too stereotypical of latino culture. Jodie Foster has one of he most obnoxiously weird accepts, and Sharlto Copley is just bizarre. It just becomes almost unbearable to a point of parody. Then, the plotholes are endless. Is Earth really that bad? Frey lives in an ok neighbourhood in LA, so some of Earth must still be ok. Is LA only populated by latinos? Wouldn't Max ext rue radiation to EVERYONE he touches? How can missiles from earth shoot vessels in the atmosphere? If they get bypass codes, what's the point of illegal immigrants to Elysium if they know they will just be deported? Have humans in 2154 evolved to a point where they think shooting humans is just a slap on the wrist? Why is Vickus using a roomba? More dumb questions like this made me hate and laugh at the movie more and more as it progressed. I didn't even finish it, it was so unbearable. Skip. Skip. Skip.

Red 2
Red 2(2013)

Looking back, I liked the original RED. But I can't seem to play why I did. The action, not spectacular. The jokes were not too memorable either, nor the villains. I mean the chemistry was there so that was somewhat entertaining. The film really is more of the same. The first 20 minutes are almost unbearable as you try to figure out what the hell is going on, while trying to remember what happened in the last film 3 years ago. It's goofy, non serious, rips off other action films, but hey I mean what's the point without having fun? The cast seems like the will, as much as Mary Louise Parker is dear in the headlights in most scenes.

Oldboy
Oldboy(2005)
½

Shocking and visually bizarre, Oldboy starts slow and is essentially a slow burn mystery to its twisted finale. Some of the dialogue feels lost in translation (for instance, the Evergreen and Monster introductions were kind of random and the searching for his daughter initially) But the stylish and bizarre imagery along with a unique visual flair to the action makes the movie a worthwhile watch.

Kick-Ass 2
Kick-Ass 2(2013)

It's nowhere as fun or original as the first movie, but as Jim Carrey says "I try to have fun. Otherwise, what's the point?" Comparing to the book, it combines the Hit-Girl and the Kick Ass 2 story lines with heavily mixed results. Hit Girl, the obvious break out from the first, is drowned out in a weird Mean Girls inspired story for the first half which really doesn't do itself justice. It's just not funny or really interesting. The Kick-Ass 2 portion is a bit better, straying a bit from the comic book, but smartly coming up with excuses to explain the missing bits (really to avoid the gore of a "dog head" and "rape". The rape avoidance worked, the dog head was just....awkward). The movie touches the themes a bit better than the comic, but it just feels too slow in the beginning, and when it picks up, it doesn't really do the film much justice. I'll still turn up for Kick-Ass 3, but there isn't really much here (besides trying to find where Toronto fits in. Maybe a mayoral story?). It sucks Nic Cage was too busy to even do a cameo.

Short Term 12

Young female Hollywood is often too cliche despite its breakouts. Jennifer Lawrence? Too crazy. Emma Stone? Too mainstream. Greta Gerwig? Too indie. Brie Larson defies the role from the quiet librarian, the Jonah Hill/Michael Cera (so really a Superbad) love interest here in an uneven, but emotionally thrilling piece about the help we need.

The beginning shows she is the boss, but it isn't as picture perfect as it seems. It makes you believe it will fall into a simple "girl helps all" cliche, but turns itself onto another cliche regarding the "girl has issues of her own". It's not necessarily a bad thing, just not solidifying it as a story piece and more about the characters (a la David O Russell). The supporting cast is fine, providing moments of comedic touch, in an otherwise dark tale about abuse and power.

The camera work is a bit hectic, to symbolize the film's overall spastic nature to shift between tone so unevenly (totally it works, just the shakes cam has been done to death and is annoying). It's not 99% good, but it's a satisfying movie to see raw emotions play out even if not every character is fully fleshed out (I'm looking at you Rosa!)

The To Do List
½

I like Aubrey Plaza. Typically she is funny because she is awkward, sarcastic, unfocused and mean spirited. I like most of the cast from Bill Hader to Donald Glover to Andy Samberg. But this movie is a mess. Plaza comes off as just too boring a protagonist, too ocd, too focused. And the jokes really don't fly as witty as they do in Parks and Recreation or from Safety Not Guarenteed. Blame the writers for the lazy, if boring script with almost 4 jokes regarding circumcision. It's just not a great story either. The guy gets mad because of "x" not happening or because he finds out "y" is doing something. It could have had the potential if the characters were a bit more interesting (a la Superbad) but it's wasted potential all around.

Frances Ha
Frances Ha(2013)

I'll give 1 star for the energetic and fun trailer. I can't really recommend it since it's so slow and meandering.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

I just didn't enjoy it. I liked the first and second ones because it at least tried to develop each character with their own unique problems (well the first maybe is a but of childhood memories too fondly remembered, but the second definitely, even if it not being a memorable movie in general). Here it's all flair with no substance. Colours fly, but why? Why do we need to hear Katy Perry sing Firework so many times? It's not dumb, just sort of empty. And really Alex is the only one with a story, the others are ignored without problems you don't remember until you think about the first two movies. It also just feels...odd going back to NYC so easily. Especially since they went to Monte Carlo so easily. I mean...wtf? It's a kid's movie but Dreamworks has done so much better.

The Great Gatsby

I'll admit, I don't think I remember reading most of the middle part of the book with its onslaught of paragraphs of imagery, so much that I really only remembered the ending. Anyhow, I still respect the book for its portrayal of a man who thinks he has it all and imagines big. The movie I think does a tremendous job focusing on the energy of the roaring 20s. Even at 2+ hours, the film movies at a brisk pace, touching the plot points even if sometimes too briefly, but it isn't a film to complain that slows down. DiCaprio is correctly cast as Gatsby, almost throwing a lot of his Inception and Wolf of Wall St character in there. But the MVP to me is definitely Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan, hitting all the right notes of a man from the 20s and showing the fierce menace upon his face is shocking for a man who really doesn't do these evil kind of roles. Less impressive is Tobey Maguire, who, even as a passive narrator, just doesn't fit. He just feels like Peter Parker walked into a time machine and was just like...oh. The visuals are fun to watch as well, even if the CGI does get a bit hokey and obvious at times. The music, which I thought from the trailers would not work at all seems to blend strangely enough, although it does turn into a weird music video sometimes which is a bit daunting. Overall, it's a solid, strange and unique take on the American classic, but the obvious mixes to the formula don't always provide a clear win.

Her
Her(2013)
½

It's hard in this day and age for really true connection when we're so consumed by electronics at every moment. Spike Jonze's "Her" is a predictable (Robot and Frank +Lost in Translation * Bicentennial Man) but still enjoyable tale thanks in part to the strong acting from Phoenix, Adams, Johansson and Mara. Phoenix hit's all the notes as an introverted individual too scared to move on and grounded into his past. He soon seeks companionship in the AI played by Johansson. The relationship builds and it questions where does love come from? Can it exist between anything? Do we really need a physical barrier to feel intimate? Kudos to the superb acting. Like most of these kinds of films though, the slow moments do drag on a bit, but the juicy emotional examinations are brilliant in themselves, exploring what we may become as humans and how we can evolve. The futuristic setting (The Robot and Frank ingredient to the recipe) is not over the top, simplistic and giving an almost 70s futurista.

The Hangover Part III

I can't really decide if this movie is absolutely terrible or not. When they said they were going to mix up the formula, someone should also mention they completely changed genres here too. In the end, it's really not a comedy and more a revenge thriller with the odd bits of comedy. Not really as zany or interesting as the first two, it's tough sitting through the film, hoping for jokes but just seeing the guys screw up endlessly.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

There isn't much wrong here with the sequel, but it doesn't do much to really expand the mythos. The action, not really that different or groundbreaking to recommend. Maybe it's because I never liked the cartoons in general, but the cast just felt less rate than the original (missing JGL). I'd probably watch the sequel, but really there isn't much here to recommend.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

To me it's shocking a sequel was even made for this. I love the original, it's not untouchable but it's still a classic film people will remember 20, 30 years from now. Anchorman 2 might be the most brilliant or irritating film you might watch. At times the satire is so spot on about the news, its purpose and about America, and many of the jokes, many even from the trailer do land. There really is even some hints of frustration of getting the sequel done 9 years later (synergy much?). But then there are just so many inconsistent patches of time when the film doesn't work. It's either not funny, or it just is so unnecessary that it drags on to death. Hangover 2 in Bangkok this is not but this is just a plain "good" sequel that really expands its universe rather than retread similar waters. In a way, it follows the original's structure closely with random absurdities strung together. It's just not as classic as "Afternoon Delight" or Fred Armisen's jazz club or Fred Willard complaining about his son, but there is some good stuff here. In fact the finale is an expansion of a scene in the original and it is insanely entertaining. Overall it's shocking the value the sequel gets even if it isn't perfect. The film never feels finished, it feels like something was still meant to be said but it just ends.

We're The Millers

If you had to ask me my "SNL era" it would have to be 2005-2013 when Wiig, Samberg, Hader and Sudeikis joined and left. Out of the four, Sudeikis is the one probably with the least amount on niche but I genuinely liked the guy for his characters and quips. In Millers Sudekis shines, in an almost "adam Sandler one liner" kind of way that carried the almost "trailer spoiled movie" through. Aniston is alright, but she really is just for eye candy and despite larger billing isn't the main hero here. The film builds on the awkward situation after another and the formula gets too tired by the end, but the amount of heart later on about this group eventually caring for each other dimensionalizes the characters in an absurdist way. Mild recommendation.

The Heat
The Heat(2013)
½

You know what, I liked The Heat for about 2/3 of the film. It's a lot more focused than Bridesmaids and you genuinely care about the two leads. It's also quite funny initially when the two play off each other. But then The Heat becomes too generic, too obvious and well just not over the top anymore.

The Internship

I liked it. I don't get why many people didn't (Sure it seemed a little heavy on the Google stuff, but seriously if you ever wanted to know the lifestyle, why not?). It has that comrodery that I felt was heavily lacking in Wedding Crashers. True it's more a Vince Vaughn movie (although Crashers could be said to be more a Wilson movie) but this is one of the pair's higher laughs to run time ratio. Throw in some fun cameos (the director?) and it's a minor win for these dinosaurs in an age where their act truly has become stale.

World War Z
World War Z(2013)

Ironically there is a certain deadness is everyone living as the most lively people are the zombies on screen.

Jack the Giant Slayer

In all honesty the film isn't as terrible as many have been making it out to be. It definitely doesn't have the best CGI and the story is predictable (and really with an updated fairy tale how so?) but Nicholas Hoult does hold his own well in the film alongside Eleanor Tomlinson and Ewan McGregor. The sheer fun of the movie allows me to slightly recommend it.

Grown Ups 2
Grown Ups 2(2013)

I have come to the realization that Adam Sandler writes his movies just to go on vacation because the movie makes basically no sense. So suspending that belief, the jokes really don't fly here either (unless you're into 80s nostalgia) but there was a higher laugh to film ratio than the first. Maybe it helped with the increased cameos, but really there is no reason the film should have been made. I mean Chris Rock seems to be trying, but everyone is here for a paycheck and a vacation. It's hard to deny it.

Olympus Has Fallen
½

Ok I just reviewed White House Down since I saw the two back to back. I think I might say I liekd this one better. At least it was more straight forward, "man saves United States from terrorist attack" vs "Man saves...ok I have no fucking idea what happened in White House Down with all the plot twists". Still, it's 30 minutes too long and bogged down with unnecessary "patriotism" visuals that makes it almost sickening to get though. It's also way less fun that White House Down.

White House Down

I like dumb action movies. The Expendables, the Die Hards. But sometimes being too self aware and too dumb doesn't work in its favour. It obviously though it was going to make bajillions with its high end cast and production but you beg the film to end so many times but never does. Jason Clarke, seriously why do you yell every line in every movie you are in? And the plot twists are dumb. They can be detected a mile away. I mena who doesn't suspect James Woods (someone who really has been on Family Guy too long to do any movies lately) to be anything part of a plan?

The Wolverine
½

It's hard to root for this movie after the terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine but something about The Wolverine makes it feel special. Gone are the rest of the X-Men so holding the film together is Hugh Jackman and the band of mutants he meets. Slow and meandering at times, the film builds up an actually impressive character driven story for the mutant himself that rivals any of his past storylines in any of his other films, but the flaky and unfulfilling ending almost detered from the anger and pathos. This very well may be the best superhero film of 2013, actually creating a plausible problem for the hero, building on and not hindered from its initial instalments (cough Iron Man 3 cough), and having thrilling action and visuals of Japan itself. The ending is my main gripe, it comes off as dumb (like Man of Steel) doesn't answer everything, and really just confirms what you knew already. The Viper? Not really that great a villain either. The post credit scene is something to stay forward to though.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)

"I have a lot of apologies to make." Bold statement (especially to me, who completely disliked The Avengers). But why? In a weird way, the movie feels like the most grounded but is still the most preposterous Iron Man film to date. The first still could happen in our lifetime, and to an extent the second film. But here the biological modification of humans? Someone call Hawkeye, cough Aaron Cross, and tell him Oscorp (in the 4th atrocious Spider-Man) did this already. Also, I don't buy the "let's make a problem for Iron Man to connect us on a deeper level". Why does he need to apologize for New York? He's a hero, and really the aliens shouldn't cause him PTSD, it's not like he PHYSICALLY caused it. There are also so many other gaping plot holes here. How did the soldiers find Tony when he went away? How did they know he was still alive? How do the Iron Men fit everyone? If Tony was that smart, why din't he just fix himself like he did at the end of the movie in the beginning? Why didn't Tony call the Iron Men to save the day earlier?

What "somewhat" made this still more enjoyable than films like Thor and The Avengers was 1) Jon Favreau and his extended screen time (is that why he didn't direct this?) 2) Guy Pearce was just having a lot of fun. I mean when was the last time he was this intense since Memento? 3) The Kiss Kiss Bang Bang elements of mystery....that really weren't all that hard to find out (well.........I guess if you read the trades too much). I'm surprised I didn't hate this movie, I probably should have more than I thought considering I never thought the Iron Man movies were stellar, just good but who knows, maybe mixing up the formula (properly) is what superheroes need, but it's not necessarily what I want.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
½

It's amazing how in one year so much can change. An Oscar, 2x the budget, a new director, IMAX and a more polished script elevates Catching Fire to be better than the original on so many levels.

I had problems with Lawrence's performance in the first one. Here, she just seems more honed in on who Katniss really is and is much better at playing the conflict of being the unsung symbol of rebellion. It's a refreshing message, and Lawrence has so much more depth conveying her emotions and struggle. Hutcherson, again doesn't really do much, but he provides the main grounding and humour to Katniss's coldness. The further upgrade in cast from Jena Malone to Jeffrey Wright to Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the supporting from Stanley Tucci to Tobey Jones to Elizabeth Banks makes this less a "Twilight" soap opera, a more along the lines of the modern American Harry Potter era.

It follows the book nicely, but that's where it's main faults lie. It does still omit many things like Bonnie, the Avox, etc. but at times the film drags and loses it's pace, it would have been nice to trim this down a good 15-20 minutes. It also doesn't really elevate the material past the story. Not saying that this is necessarily a bad story or poor cinematography, but it really didn't veer from what I really imagined the novel to be like adapted on screen which is a shame. The IMAX, while not brilliant, is smooth and takes full advantage of the 70mm screen. I don't think I can quite recommend it for IMAX, but it didn't negatively impact the movie. Overall, if the trend continues, the next few movies should knock it out of the park, strangely also along the lines of Francis Lawrence's directing career.

The Kings of Summer

Kings of Summer has a lot going for it in story and themes, but it never quite reaches it as the actors don't feel like they fully reached their potential. The idea of them running away, building a house, suspending disbelief is an interesting premise, but the sort of blandness of the two leads makes it hard to truly connect even if the themes of independence and the return of survival man instinct tries to be shown. Offerman, I love the guy, but he does some strange 180 degree change in character halfway in the film. Alison Brie is alright here, not really doing much but just fill in info for the main characters when missed. If the acting was a bit tighter I think the film would have been a bit better, but still the film resonated with me.

Thor: The Dark World
½

Thor is (unsurprisingly) my least favourite of the Avengers. In fact, I said in my review for the Avengers that really Iron Man is the only thread holding Marvel together. So here lies Thor 2. I disliked the first one, but luckily Alan Taylor gutted most of the things from the first that I disliked, but it still doesn't feel like the superhero film I wanted.

Thankfully, (mostly due to the resume of Taylor) Thor 2 takes on a much more serious tone, an actual conflict for Thor and a surprising ending which isn't "destroy the fuck out of (insert city here)" but tries to manipulate its premise uniquely. Jaimie Alexander was also great given marginally more screen time but unfortunately, that's probably all I have to say that's positive.

Hemsworth still slurs every line he speaks and is almost inaudible in some scenes. Portman seems to do this strange "orgasm face" (at least 10 times!), an indication that she'll probably never do anything as great an acting role again if she keeps yearning for the "Black Swan" era. Hiddleston actually shows some humanity in the film which was completely gone in The Avengers (because really.... what was his plan?). Skarsgard and Dennings come off annoying as they did in the original. The humour wasn't as distracting this time around, actually working more in synergy that it did compared to the original and The Avengers, but still moments of lunacy did pull the story and dragged the film when it could have saved about 10-15 minutes in the editing floor (for instance, did we really need to see two scenes of Stellan Skarsgard running naked? It literally added nothing to the picture). And Chris O'Dowd, wtf? The villain is nothing to rave about, he's just a guy who wants control, meh boring done before. Somehow thinking destroying his race will save that (but then somehow when he reawakens, an entire army of his is alive.) And his "henchman" looks straight of a 90s Batman and Robin (looking at you Bane).

The major problem this time wasn't Thor 2's tone, but it's gaping plot holes (no pun intended...if you see the film). Nothing really makes sense by the third act beyond "oh cool we can show you a bunch of CGI and pretend there is danger". For instance, why did the convergence need to happen on Earth? Why did the bombs and the power juicers look exactly the same? Why does Loki need to live? Aren't gods immortal? Maybe I'm asking too much, or maybe these movies will never be as good as the "X-Men Evolutions", "Teen Titans" or "Justice Leagues" of my childhood of the early 2000s. Anyhow Sif should just have her own movie.

The Royal Tenenbaums
½

As quirky as every bit Wes Anderson, the impressive cast elevates the at times just average yet sweet script.

From Up On Poppy Hill
½

Like the Japanese Pixar, Studio Ghibli is probably the best at churning out quality animation for a universal age group. And similar to Pixar, the studio has had a bit of trouble, stuck in a too familiar rut only developing fantasy based stories after the success of Spirited Away. Poppy Hill is a refresh button, a refreshing film experience which really plays true to honouring the old, while still progressing to the new age. There is a reason Disney didn't distribute this one. It's a coming of age, no Disney Channel stars need to disrupt it's honest message (even though the likes of Emily Osment is here). Leapyears ahead of any animation film this year, I hope this will at least get a shot at this year's Oscars for Animation.

Now You See Me

It's probably the summer "least worst" original idea, but at times, the film seems to try too hard. Filled with more plot holes than imaginable, the film is held together with it's main cast and the belief to watch to see how the distraction leads to the illusion. It's an interesting twist on the thriller that Leterrier has done before in Transporter and even Hulk, but it turns out too silly for it's own good.

But general comments about the film: (trying something new)
1) This is legitly like the first time in a while Morgan Freeman doesn't know everything. But he still narrates like he does.
2) How legitly awesome would it be for Michael Cera and James Franco to replace Eisenberg and Franco halfway?
3) I get bothered by magic movies because it forces you to focus on the illusion and the distraction. But if it's a movie, it's hard to distinguish which is which under heavy loads of CGI.
4) See The Prestige for a more thoughtful piece with equal to slightly less action.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)
½

I think Cuaron's Harry Potter is probably my favourite in the entire franchise. So it shocked me to hear first all the problems in testing the actors for this movie, and then when it got delayed a year I thought that it was over. However, Cuaron is able to make a movie that is more Cast Away meets Alien than Avatar, but still manages to provoke awe. At first glance, I scoffed at the film being no more than the Futurama episode where Bender is stranded in space and continually drifting, but Gravity is more than that (although, it would make for an interesting movie....for (SPOILER) maybe some of the character(s)).

Bullock is fantastic here, basically being our POV as a "Ripley-look alike". Her determination drives the film. Clooney is also quite funny here as a wise crack. At times Gravity substitutes the visuals over the story, and it does drag a bit even though it does clock at a brisk hour and a half. I will say the 3D looks good, it wasn't "Paper Mario cardboard" but it still didn't "wow" me, minus maybe one or two shots. I wish the film was actually shot in IMAX is give the greater and wider range of horror being stranded in the openness of space. Still it's a good movie, not fantastic (take what you will from my verdict) but it should be seen on the big screen to get the true experience.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
½

I've been a big advocate for the dramedy Steve Carell, I liked The 40 Year Old virgin, and Crazy Stupid Love, even if I haven't really enjoyed crazy Steve Carell with Burt Wonderstone, Over The Hedge or Despicable Me (Well I did like Anchorman and Bruce Almighty, but those weren't films he has headlined). Carrell here does his best to express his frustration with the end of the world, but it's absurd first act distracts the overall message. Maybe I just didn't really want to know realisitcally how we would act if the world ended but it's just too tonally unsettling between the two parts of the film. Keira "I've starred in too many historical films" Knightley also comes off as way too annoying, which switching personalities too quickly in it's last act. World could have been much better if it wasn't such an uneven mix of comedy and drama, but I still think Carrell could carry a film like this.

Admission
Admission(2013)
½

I wanted to like this movie more than I did but everything just seems too comfortable. Rudd is playing his normal sarcastic self, and Fey plays her comfortable "woman really not in control" character. A few jokes fly, especially the ones targeting the whole university/application process but nothing here is standout which is a shame.

Bad Words
Bad Words(2014)

Bad Words is not fully your conventional "spelling bee" movie, nor is it totally a "Sour man meets inspiring kid and kid improves man" movie. Instead of it being more Akeelah and the Bee, it is more a strange blend of Bad Teacher meets Young Adult, with no remorse in tact (There is a strange suspicion why Seth Rogen wasn't part of this) and suffering from at times the typical cliches from these types of film (case and point: the climax-ending).

I'll give credit to Bateman to try something new. It doesn't always work what he does (Too many Guy Ritchie "slow-mo movement" scenes), and it's hard to root for this guy he plays. As a fan of Bateman, it's almost too shocking at times to see him play someone so nasty (even to the point of psychotic), which in his many roles as the straight man, scrapes the surface but finally breaks free as if he's finally gone mad from holding it all in.

Still, the laugh ratio is still high enough even if it is mostly for nasty pranks and there are some great moments between him, Hahn, and Rohan Chand, the true star of the film. He really is what sets the film apart from the other aforementioned films and makes the film unique. The spelling bee segments, arguably the most exciting parts, are shot really well. Another complaint is the character Phillip Baker Hall plays. It's not really fleshed out in all the madness.

I think Bateman might have had a good hit, not a home run here, he's hoping he learns from his mistakes and continues to do what he does best.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The most "incredible" thing about Wonderstone is how everyone involved swindled people thinking this is a different movie than Talldega Nights/Anchorman/Blades of Glory, in fact it feels as if Will Ferrell passed on this, and asked for his buddy Steve Carrell to just take his place. Bucemi feels completely out of place, disappearing the entire film, Carrey is irritating, and Carrell is just....doing the Will Ferrell schtick from the previously mentioned movies. Wilde is....at least not an alien, the last of her kind? (Well unless you count she's the only female magician, in the film) If you've seen the above 3 movies you know what happens. Guy is unpopular. Guy becomes popular. Guy becomes a dick. Guy sees competition and becomes #2. Guy finds older mentor. Guy learns lesson. Maybe WB is planning a box set with all 4 movies, but seriously skip this. There are few laughs, but it's more just to see the more interesting David Copperfield documentary on the DVD/Blu-Ray than the film.

Lost In Translation

Maybe I'm just a sucker for the beautiful shots of Japan, but this is another one of those character over plot kind of movies who's themes seem way too obviously presented. What makes it work is definitely the strong chemistry between Murray and Johansson and their off putting, but likeable nature.

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)
½

Normally when I find a film doesn't turn out the way I thought, it typically affects me negatively. Maybe because of my continued cynicism of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, Side Effects won me over and is a great (possible) swan song to Steven Soderbergh's career and his best since Contagion. Top notch acting from Jude Law and Rooney Mara, the film plays out its mystery and unravels perfectly to the end, although it does get quite convoluted past the phenomenal first act.

Bullet to the Head
½

It.s really rancid to see Stallone in this really one note movie. After winning me over in Expendables 2, I thought Stallone would learn his lesson about the way movies are made. Sadly, "Head" is generic, stupid and ultimately a laughable film from beginning to end. Kang looks embarrassed to be here and spoiler alert, how do most people die in this movie?

Red Dawn
Red Dawn(2012)
½

Surprisingly not terrible, Dawn is actually emotionally interesting thanks to the chemistry of its actors, but it is severely hindered by it's sheer stupidity and plot holes. By far Chris Hemsworth's best movie, it falls into the trap of being one of those "I don't know the name of any of the characters, but I know the actors names". Also, can Hemsworth work a little harder on his American accent instead of saying every line like he's in a Shakespeare production?

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Fast 6, you have been spared. This crapfest is so bad, it's almost unforgiving. Making no sense at all, Renner and Arterton slug their way through endless plotholes, mumble dialogue and annoying "Americans in Medieval Times" accents. It's not "so bad it's entertaining", it's "so bad it's horrendous". The CGI, shoddy. How this film made $225 million baffles me.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)
½

I wasn't too excited about Pacific Rim after seeing it's trailers. What was the point of all the robot fights? Why were aliens taking over the planet (for probably the millionth time)? Why did Guillermo del Toro decide to make this over the Mountains of Madness, even though the budget for both films were the same (and he hasn't made a film ever to clear that amount). Why does the film only star people who are usually supporting cast members?

Luckily to report Pacific Rim is better than most of my concerns going in. It does have it's problems, mainly the main fight scenes are basically hard to ever make out due to the rain and too rapid camera shots, confusing you to know really what is even seen. Also, it's quite questionable some of the actions that the rebels took. Why didn't they always start with swords? To show the monsters they didn't have them already? Why does some of their "acid" corrode some things, but other things do not affect them (I'm referring to the after credits here). It borrows heavily, almost too heavily from Avatar, Inception, Transformers among others, but like the jagers in the film itself, it is the combination and the kindled spirits that makes Pacific Rim work.

Pacific Rim works because the cast gels so well. Hunnam, Elba, Day, Kikuchi and Pearlman work well together, making it a fun film, not getting too serious, but still able to show pain and emotion from the characters. The scene that struck me was the "Inception" inspired flashback in memory scene. In fact, the beginning of the movie, obviously inspired by the Japanese WWII era wowed me visually more than any of the robots clanging metal with monsters. Then, for some odd reason, it turns to a weird almost juvenile approach to Asia, painting Hong Kong as a weird scummy Asian nation. Guillermo's monsters are top notch, but again, the weird plot elements never really solved (unlike Oblivion) are still problematic for me. However, Guillermo has managed to better pay tribute and make his own film rather than copy like Oblivion did. The 3D, while not perfect, is still probably better than most conversions out there today.

All About Steve

I hated this movie. Can I give it 0 stars? Please? It was horrible. Sandra Bullock, just shut up. It's not even funny. Bradley Cooper, stop acting smug, it's not funny. Whoever thought this was a good idea is completely stupid.

Green Lantern

While definitely not the worst superhero film I've seen, "Lantern" is still one of the most dopey, stupid, cheezy and safest superhero films to date. With more plot holes than minutes spent on the movie, the real reason I stuck around was just because I enjoy the DC mythos. No interesting characters, the weird hammering of messages, and a lack really of a "Green Lantern" corp, this isn't a total fail, but it isn't an enjoyable movie to sit through if you were hoping for a little more appetite for the brain. Even the "Avengers only want action" junkies will be disappointed here, there's barely any action, just only set up for probably a sequel that won't happen at the same budget level.

Identity Thief
½

I wish Bateman and McCarthy switched roles like the reports initially said, much better for them to play against type. Bateman is alright, trying his best at one liners, but McCarthy is just unbearable, maying I just don't get her comic sensibility.

Wreck-it Ralph
½

It's not one of the most original movies storywise, characterwise or emotionally, but Ralph still seems to combine it's unique premise and create a story interesting enough for its runtime to keep me happy. The unique arcade touches and development of the world of games interested me. It's also fun to see the cameos, but at times it feels like these characters weren't given enough to do and just seemed weird in a world where Ralph really wanted to develop as it's own.

Monsters University
½

Monsters starts off promising, it has that Pixar heart and a unique hook, but then it turns into just an Average Pixar effort, and at best maybe a Dreamworks fare. I chuckled at a few of the jokes about how universities in the Monster world were formed, but the relationships, which is what is needed, doesn't quite live up to Pixar standard. It sacrifices this for a half-crazy (never fully committing) "Old School" type story. The voice work is impressive, but the sum of its parts don't really form an interesting film which is sad as Pixar continues to go to Dreamworks and Dreamworks continues to soar. I just hope Pixar continues to look to their more impressive original work because that is really where they soar. The other thing that bothered me was how logic contradicts the original. I'll forgive the 4th grade thing, but the idea of scaring adults to generate hundreds of canisters means Sully and Mike were on to something. Why not capitalize off the idea? Then when Mike tries to "scare" the girl but she ends up laughing, shouldn't that also give more energy? It's these contradictions that bothered me. The credits aren't as fun as they were in 2001, I wish they did something cool like that again.

The Last Stand
½

Something just feels off here. Arnold just seems too old, the jokes don't fly, the bad guy is sort of stupid, and the plot is kind of dumb.

Shaun of the Dead

Doesn't quite reach the genius level of Hot Fuzz, but still entertaining.

Star Trek Into Darkness

It's the Mission Impossible of Star Trek's. While that might to appeal to everyone's taste, it worked for me as a dumb, big blockbuster. It's not really deep, insightful like Nolan's work but who cares? It's also not so mind-numbingly dumb like The Avengers since there is a greater team dynamic than the original film. Trek is the pure definition of popcorn summer action, while not perfect in 3D, the IMAX looks great when building are blown up.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)
½

PROS: The first two acts, the family dynamic, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe, the Christopher Reeves impression, (somewhat, within comic book realm) logical explanations, builds upon the older material in unique way
CONS: The third act, the product placement, the CGI, the ending

I listed Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" as my worst film of 2011, and I've listed Christopher Nolan's TDKR as my favourite film of 2012 (well... there wasn't much it was up against). So how do the two polar opposites work? Luckily, Man of Steel isn't a total wash, but it's not up to the high caliber of Nolan's past films.

The film begins with dialogue probably stitched out of the Star Wars prequels, with visuals out of the Star Wars prequels. Even more evident is the fact that almost every 30 minutes, someone does an Anakin "NOOOOOOOOOO", which at first is a powerful line, but then just becomes laughable. This follows a montage of Nolan moments, hinting at us better moments in his previous films (Memento- flashbacks, Insomnia- the cold winter, TDK- superheroes, ...)

Besides this, the first two acts of Man of Steel are probably its strong suit. The family dynamic between Kent his father Jor-El and Jonathan Kent is the heart of the film. It's brilliant to humanize Superman; a superhero you never thought had issues minus Kryptonite. This is probably one of the best aspects of the new film, as you never really see a vulnerable side to Superman in any of the previous films. Also interesting is the grounding of reality within the realm of the film. Superman is an alien. The idea works to me. To be honest, Man of Steel is very similar to Thor, two men from different worlds who come to the Southern United States. Unlike Thor, Man of Steel isn't stupid, goofy and retarded when he comes to Earth.

Another interesting aspect to this film is how they tackle the past Superman films. I liked Superman II, but I wouldn't call it a classic. But it's interesting how it is able to take the different concepts from the film, and modernize them and make it still fresh, unlike the new Star Trek. I also agree with the interpretation of Zod more in Man of Steel. Zod to me seemed too evil, too cartoonish in Superman II, but here he is seen as an alternate solution he cannot seem to shake. He believes in survival, but he is not evil.

Ok time for my problems. Henry Cavill isn't really special. I mean, he does a pretty good Reeves impression, but there's nothing that makes him stand out like RDJ or Christian Bale. Michael Shannon is also heavily annoying with him reaching high pitch in almost every line. Although I thought Zod was better, Shannon didn't really do a good job portraying the role even though the story gave him a better role.

My main problem comes into the last act of the film. It's as if Snyder comes in and says to Nolan, "hey man, this is my movie, remember?" The third act is dumb, dull, monotone, repetitive, and basically just a rip of The Avengers finale with aliens attacking a major city. It's sort of sad Man of Steel ended on such a predictable and dull ending, I wish it did more than just resort back to the lowest denominator. The heavy product placement was also distracting, but it's evident that the movie was only made with those sponsors. I mean Zach Snyder never made a movie with that budget, and none of the actors have even made that much in a single movie before.

Steel is not a perfect superhero film that we expect from Nolan, but it's a good one with flaws. I just hope for the sequel, it's not just a dumb battle at the end and I wish the film focused more on Superman's youth and discovery of control, it seems sort of Hulk'd with "I controlled that shit." I'm confident another installment will improve the series.

This Is the End

Maybe Jay is right. The first five minutes of This is the End was exactly the movie I was hoping for when he goes to LA. A movie that doesn't outright mock Hollywood, but more mocks the social interactions between these guys. This is the End is really not what you expect, more a horror action comedy than a smart film, it's funny, but the joke to laugh ratio doesn't quite live up to Knocked Up, Superbad or 21 Jump Street. The cameos, although was cool to reveal in the trailers, it didn't really do much for me to know basically everyone dies by falling into a hole. Could they have come up with better ways to die? It seems like they only had the brainpower to come up with 2 or 3 creative deaths. With that said, the cameos I didn't find that developed. Maybe I was also holding out for some better ones like the ones listed on IMDB, or maybe just throw in a Freaks and Geeks/Undeclared reference? I mean it was shot in New Orleans, you could have gotten Charlie Hunnam.

See I think This is the End sounded like a much better idea on paper. Sure it's gross out, but isn't that funny? Not always. I have a few suggestions that I think might have worked besides my cameo issue. I think Judd Apatow should have played God at the end. It would have really played true to the whole Apatow-universe thing, and it could have played strength to the religion theme, which sadly ends in a weird just "typical movie dance off". Jonah I think seemed to me like the weirdest of the bunch. I mean is he really that pretentious? I see him more as a douchebag but I guess they already had Danny McBride. Also, Franco for every Spider-Man 3 joke, why did we get no Oscars jokes? Seriously, no one could have said, "James Franco? Hosting a party? I thought he was done after the Oscars." This is the End lacks the polish of Rogen's past efforts of comedy and drama, but it does come with some, if few laughs along the way.

Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher(2012)

It's not your conventional Tom Cruise, action movie, but more a political thriller, Reacher actually intrigues the mind by providing a worthwhile plot even if the payoff doesn't quite come and the plot twist isn't overall that shocking. Cruise, although I wouldn't say mismatched for the role (I don't think the height and weight think like many fans of the book was that much of a problem given his resume) but it was more that Cruise isn't menacing, or didn't play it up enough here.

Fast & Furious 6

All roads lead to this huh? (Disclaimer: I'm probably looking for a little more substance than what was given here so if you disagree with my logic argument, probably just go see the movie)

(Fast &) Furious 6 is really stupid. Like not cartoonish stupid where it becomes fun. Really, really stupid. I know in my Star Trek review I claimed that as an asset to the film's enjoyment, but I realized even in Star Trek, you care more about the team and it does subtlety hint on its themes more than Furious 6, which as its title implies, tries to "furiously" throat it's message does your throat every 5 minutes. Dom comes in, "bla blah blah family." 5 minutes later. Dom crosses his arms, " blah blah blah never betray family. " You know how people complained about Shrek getting soft because he's a familyman after #3? Well same rules apply, every character from the original basically has morphed into something different, which I wouldn't define under character development. The most irritating? Tyrese and Ludacris, who are reduced to Skids and Mudflap from Transformers 2.

The one thing I enjoyed was Gina Carino. She at least had an original and refreshing new character, although her story made much sense I the third act and her scene were really the "non medium shots from Haywire". Speaking of which, I response to Slashfilm and its statement about the positive treatment, sure you can say the three leads are doing more than in Star Trek, but there are naked and bikini clad women too in the drag racing scene. So what's the difference between that and Carol Marcus? And it's not like Mia and Dom's girlfriend (forget her name, so memorable) were that big, so not really showcasing all the female talents. I think Fast 6 can learn from Star Trek about positive multiculturalism, considering every character is a blatant stereotype.

Luke Evans, was kind of a let down. Not his adult mind you, but the filmmakers never took him as far as he could have gone. He could have been this great, Jokereske terrorist, but instead he feels way to restrained.

The action? Look In the trailer, it's the same stuff. No joke, nothing different. That's strike one. Strike two is the fact the movie rips off, Goldeneye, The Dark Knight, Haywire, Die Hard 2 and many more.

I will ay this, I enjoyed it more than 5, because 5 felt more like then planning it for the entire movie. But dumb can only be enjoyable up to a point. Dumb can be funny if its really cheesy about it, but Fast 6 is too proud of itself, seeming like its just another "superhero" film, when really it's nowhere on caliber with DC or Marvel (also, the lack of knowledge of physics from these people is jarring, for instance, to jump out of a plane and reach a car, the car must travel at the same speed as the plane, yet if the plane was on liftoff, there would be no physical way to match the speed.). Disappointing? Not really, it was basically what I expected, but I wanted better.

Bachelorette
Bachelorette(2012)
½

Not one of the best comedies I've seen, but it's refreshing to see Dunst play against type. The rest can't be said for the other 3 (Rebel Wilson and Isla Fisher have terrible American accents). Probably Rebel Wilson's best work to date (but comparing really garbage to recycling at this point). It's really the fresh take on the night before the wedding Bridesmaids and Hangover 2 failed to do, but it plays it too safe and too sentimental after the one big blowout scene.

Behind the Candelabra

It's Soderbergh's best movie since Contagion. A standard biopic, the film is really elevated by the dedication of acting from Douglas and Damon. It's good Soderbergh got that "Tatum" out of his system, not sure if that's why his recent theatrical features have sucked. Damon and Douglas I don't think I've ever seen played that deranged. Liberace just creeps me out, considering he sleeps with an underage Damon (who plays 17???) but it strangely works. The movie plays great with neutrality, not blaming either side for fault, and the one scene towards the end with Damon is the most powerful work I've seen him do. It's probably a movie better enjoyed hammered to take a shot whenever Lee says, "Oh Scott." but still, it's a good swan song to both Liberace and Soderbergh (I think).

Safe
Safe(2012)

Probably one of Statham's better efforts, the action never stops but it's overreilance on cliches and a lacklustre ending hinders the film.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

I don't know if this movie is as accessible as the new era Star Treks, but I guess it's a lot more strategic movie, even if the effects are cheezy and sub par compared to Star Wars at the time.

Friends With Kids

In a bizarro Bridesmaids meets This is 40 world, Friends with Kids works because of the strong acting, but the story as in most of these character studies lacks really any substance or interest. Strangely, I wanted more Wiig, it's weird she's from on the poster with Jon Hamm, yet it's Scott and Westfeldt who are the leads. Odd.

Casa de mi padre
½

It's hard not to admire Ferrell for trying something different, and kudos for him to learn Spanish in a month. It's weird but strangely true to its genre, but something just feels a little off. Not really terrible, but not really brilliant.

Safety Not Guaranteed

I'm shocked that this movie didn't get more award recognition over the past year. A hidden gem of 2012, the film works because of its strong characters, especially by Aubrey Plaza. she's funny, but also charming. mark Duplass also is great playing a "Dwight Shrute/Zach Galifiankis" hybrid. the film comes off as the indie sci fi Silver Linings Playbook, but Guaranteed is the strong film as it raises more relatable questions and themes of aging, mortality, and sanity to the audience, see this movie, I don't say that often.

Hit & Run
Hit & Run(2012)

Not a total wash of a film, but the chemistry between Bell and Shepard and the value from its slim production budget are to be admired.

The Guilt Trip

Sweet, maybe too sweet, The Guilt Trip is a heavily predictable movie, but it's core theme rings too true. Like Apatow's "This is 40", "Trip" accurately defines the Americana family and its struggle in today's world. Rogen (playing a more "Undeclared" type role) is (believe it or not) an organic chemist, and surprisingly plays it well (the only thing it seems like he can't play is a superhero). Streisand is predictable but still has chemistry with Rogen. Not a home run like a lot of his comedies before hand, but it plays safe for your mother if you want to introduce her to Rogen and his slight comedic touch here.

Magic Mike
Magic Mike(2012)

I'll say that I'm shocked at how dull the film is. The trailers promise this to be some big, flashy production, but it's so dull. I'll admit I was intrigued about how Tatum would have made such a movie, and if he could bring some character depth to the character. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out that way with Tatum stuttering through his lines. The dance numbers are few and not even that great. Tatum, who wowed me in 21 Jump St, isn't terrible, I mean he's starred in some worse fare, but it's definitely not a performance to rave about. Mike is weirdly stained yellow throughout, and with its dull characters, the "magic" isn't anything ro rave about.

Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows(2012)

It's not one of Tim Burton's best films, but really to me, none of his films have been amazing. The film might lack heart, but it the film makes up for it in pure juicy nostalgia.

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages(2012)

It's almost embarrassing the cast assembled for this is doing this work (well.... not for Julianne Hough, Mary J Blige I guess). But Bryan Cranston? Alec Baldwin? Tom Cruise? Paul Giamatti? These four cannot sing, yet they are paroused through this strange musical adaptation of the broadway play. Don't get my wrong, I like some of the songs that are here, the only problem is these are actors not artists and the singing is atrocious. And not really to the fault of the movie, but the songs come in so randomly, it's almost as if you're just watching a giant joke music video on Funny or Die. Vile.

Oblivion
Oblivion(2013)
½

You can't help but be a bit disappointed in Oblivion. Being Tom Cruise's first film into sci-fi since War of the Worlds is quite a hefty goal to live up to. Surprisingly, Oblivion is a lot less fun then you'd expect from a Tom Cruise movie, and while the visuals do blow you away initially, there really isn't a lot special here. Another problem is Oblivion rips off every film imaginable from the genre. It's one thing to homage, but the completely steal and claim a new and energizing twist is sort of a cop out. When you reach the "twist", it's not that shocking, and although the second twist is a little more gaping, it is a little bit predictable if you have an intense sci-fi knowledge (Sidenote: Duncan Jones' Moon is basically what I'm referring to. If you haven't seen THAT then see that instead). None of the acting is brilliant enough to rave about, and the score is quite irritating at times, unlike what Kosinski did in Tron Legacy where Daft Punk provided a pretty catchy score (they even ripped off Star Wars: Episode I's Duel of the Fates! And I didn't even hate The Phantom Menace). Oblivion is heavily derivative and the payoff isn't quite worth it, despite how pretty the final act looks.

Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie

Every bit as absurd as the original, the "alternate" movie suffers from the immediate knowledge it is just slummed clips together from the original deleted scenes, but it makes for an interesting movie in itself, even if the final product is much better. Still quotable.

Fanboys
Fanboys(2008)
½

I appreciated the humour and references, it's really just a B-starring Apatow film. I just wish the "Star Wars" went a little farther in reference, but I guess it was a licensing issue.

Oz the Great and Powerful

While marginally better than Alice in Wonderland, Oz suffers from a lazy, colourful and bland middle act, but the charm of Michelle Williams and James Franco makes this trip still exciting. Franco has been panned by some as being not fit for the role, but considering I never did watch The Wizard of Oz in its entirety, I think he was fine as the Wizard, bringing his usual charm to the character. I was pretty much impressed with the entire cast, maybe minus Kunis, who just didn't seem to fit. Her "evil", just seemed like Meg from Family Guy on a good day. The story is really just The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, meets Wicked, and the SFX, while beautiful in the beginning, is overwhelming by its 2 hour 11 minute end, and it takes a sacrifice in story quality as so. Oz is not a return to form for Raimi after Spider-Man 3, but it is an entertaining one.

Pitch Perfect
½

If you read my reviews, by now you know I dislike stupid humor in smart movies. I'm not against it, but when you have something strong going for it, why make it seem....dumb? I loved Anna Kendrick's delivery in her lines..... In the beginning, but like most of these, underdog, we're alternative, and smart movies, it just.... Didn't work for me. Call me cynical, but the story is not original at all. It was textbook cookie cutter, which had me rolling my eyes by the time the last fifteen minutes rolled by. The less said about Fat Amy, the better although Rebel Wilson did fare better than she did in Bridesmaids. HOWEVER, the songs are probably what saved the movie from being a total disaster. They picked a great mix of songs which didn't seem like just terrible high school covers, but actual mature pieces sung by adults. Maybe just get the soundtrack?

ParaNorman
ParaNorman(2012)

"Norman"'s concept is probably better than the final product of the movie,vehicle is at times not too scary and slightly too sentimental, but it is still a great effort from Laika. I wish they stuck with the scary and bizzare of Coraline or Tim Burton, which is played out perfectly in the beginning, but lags in the third act when the gushy, sentimental message has to be reached. I'd recommend Frankenweenie over this one, but I still think its worth a rental.

The Watch
The Watch(2012)

I hope The Watch develops into a cult, I think it's heavily misunderstood. 2012 wasn't a great year for R-rated comedies, but this really wasn't one, even considering the stars. It's slick as a sci-fi horror, keeping you guessing the mystery, and it really isn't that obvious. It's also great to see the reunion of Vaughn and Stiller, both of who have really lost their mojo since 2004. Hill, sort of disappointed, well really because 21 Jump St was a similar, better role. The Watch is vulgar, and it gets too vulgar at times, I wish it was just kept on the level of swearing, but the jokes do fly when they do, but just don't expect this to be the next "Ben Stiller" comedy, it's more akin to Ghostbusters.

This is 40
This is 40(2012)

I really wanted to like This is 40, and I did slightly. Paul Rudd, and the Apatow kids really held the film together. But Leslie Mann just annoyed the crap out of me, just like she did in Knocked Up. "40" has it's moments of brilliance, heart, and pop culture reference, but it feels almost like a photocopy of Knocked Up. The characters are there, but except for Pete and Debbie, it feels like a different world. It's more stressful, not fun and carefree. I commend Apatow for taking another risk with another more serious movie, but it just wasn't what I was hoping for. It's more Funny People, than Knocked Up, but if you can stand 2.5h of great one liners, you'll survive. Otherwise, rent the superior Knocked Up.

Stolen
Stolen(2012)
½

I have to say this is probably the first Nic Cage film in a while(where he is the star) where I really just didn't hate him. Season of the Witch was horrific, Drive Angry was boring, Ghost Rider was pathetic, and Seeking Justice...I have no idea about that one. Like Expendables 2, I was actually surprised at how much better this film was from the trailer. Sure, it's generic, there are no twists, but it's the 90s old school "Bruce Willis" flavour that won me over. The film has it's problems, from its hammy dialogue, to the real non crazy Nic Cage acting, but Stolen is actually worth a shot I guess if you're in the mood for an action flick, just walk in with very low expectations.

American Wedding

Winner for probably the nastiest in the franchise, Wedding loses much of the heart of the first two, but compared to the quality of films today, it still holds in its own regard.

Argo
Argo(2012)

Maybe I'm just incompatible with Ben Affleck.... the director. While I loved Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and the last 30 minutes of the film, Argo is just too much of a slow burn to be enjoyable. To me the torture scenes were highly unnecessary. A quick cut with real footage would have been good enough. The ending, really just the same from "The Next Three Days" is probably the best part, considering how cartoonish it is. I really wish the Hollywood aspect was played up more, but I guess people wanted a movie about rescuing Americans. And I get why Americans dig the film. Maybe I'm just not in tune with the history, but I feel it paints Canada with a bad name.

That's My Boy
½

You know what, That's My Boy could have been much worse.... given worse talent. But I guess the small hint of salvation is the fact these actors are still likeable.... somewhat. The beginning half of the film was complete garbage (considering it was a rehash of the trailer) but the second half (when Samberg wasn't treated like that punching bag from Super Smash Bros) was at least watchable. It's very typical, standard Adam Sandler. By now, it seems like all his scripts go through a cookie cutter, except this time they decided to add a bunch of "fuck" to the script, which in my opinion made the film much worse than your typical average "Sandler". I laughed maybe twice, but that's it (I guess Vanilla Ice wasn't THAT bad...). But Sandler, your fanbase is quickly eroding. Stop doing this crap and go back to the Happy Gilmore days.

8 Mile
8 Mile(2002)

Appreciated the performance by Eminem, but it really wasn't that engaging as I would have liked.

Taken 2
Taken 2(2012)

Brutally embarrassing is the best way to describe Taken 2. It's slopping, confusing, and overall just way to bland compared to it's predecessor. The film basically jumps the shark when Liam Neeson types in "US Embassy" into a foreign GPS. The problem here is there is a central villain. In the last one, Neeson was against anyone, and stopped at nothing to be a total badass to save his daughter. Here, you sympathize with the villain a bit, which really dilutes the overall experience of trusting Neeson's character. Coupled with many bizarre plot points (Maggie Grace is still in high school, cell phone service works perfectly in Istanbul, Kim conveniently can't pass her drivers test so Bryan can teach her how to do it IN A GUN FIGHT, you couldn't slow down a car outside the embassy, the more American feeling of the film by adding Alex Claire's "Too Close", the list goes on...) Taken 2 is kind of like The Hangover: Part II if they wasted 30 minutes explaining how everyone was fucked up from the last movie, and just did about 10 minutes of action. I also learned a great camera tip for action films, just set up 20 cameras in a circle, and you don't really have to fight, all you have to do it flash between each camera so fast that it looks like fighting. Wow. Well I'll give the star to the one scene when Neeson teaches Maggie Grace how to find him I guess. That was alright, albiet implausible considering she didn't even do the proper circumference that Neeson asked for.

For a Good Time, Call...
½

I think I liked "Call..." a lot more than I thought I would, but going in with low expectations, I basically just got what I expected. Miller does good work as the "Tina Fey" brunette, while Ari Graynor also surprising didn't suck (no pun intended) as the "Amy Poehler". This movie screams "Fey-Poehler" so loud, they even reference the two in the film! If this was made maybe 10 years I can see them both star in their non-Jewish version and it probably would have been better, but I guess we just have to settle with a predictable, yet never dull "Zack and Miri meets Bridesmaids" type film. It never reaches the "bromantic" level that Rogen has been able to do in many of his films, but the film does achieve the heart that a lot of Rogen's (earlier) films hinge on so it was a nice element added. Overall, it's one of those "we created a problem 10 minutes to the end to make it end excitingly" movies, which bothers me, but still "Call...." has potential, it just didn't reach its climax.

Men in Black III

While not a total fail by any means, Men in Black 3 suffers from the confusing plot and world that it creates. It's fun to see Will Smith back in a movie. No lies. The first act was fun, almost a throwback ot what we loved about the first movie. However, when you get to the final act, it seems to have gotten too much in the way of the Christopher Nolan sci-fi thought that it makes almost no sense. The cameos were also underwhelming (well minus Bill Hader). I'll see Men in Black 4 since 3 was passable, but I wish next time they focused a little more on the script rather than film half of it.

Silver Linings Playbook

The moral of Playbook is that given the right circumstances, everything will fall into place. Although I found the script quite cliche at times, the acting is top notch from all four of the leads. Cooper is probably the one I was most impressed with. Considering he basically slummed his way though The Hangover: Part II, and really didn't show any depth to his previous work despite being likeable, really transforms into Pat. Not as good as Christian Bale in The Fighter, but still believable but still humble. De Niro also does great work as his dad, but we don't see too much of him, which is a shame since he is finally not doing any Focker film. Lawrence's performance I think is a bit overrated. It's really Melissa Leo as a young adult, more than a mentally challenged individual, but I believe that the dance scene (despite their score) was still a phenomenal feat. To me, it felt like an expression of Jennifer Lawrence's own character and spirit which was mesmerizing for the 5 minute routine. Chris Tucker is also impressive, in a smaller role. I guess he only stars in films now if someone named "Jacki" is in it? Based on a book, SLP's first act was probably it's strongest and took a strong nosedive towards the end as it tred towards familiar territory, but because of the strength of the acting, the movie is still mesmerizing to watch.

Looper
Looper(2012)

Looper can be added to the list of most disappointing films of 2012. From the creepy, terrible makeup provided to JGL's face, to the bizarre plot that really was explained by Wikipedia, Rian Johnson makes a film on he verge of greatness, but falls only into the bucket of "mildly intriguing" or "Inception photocopy" where photocopy is defined as basically borrowing heavily many elements from it, but not really using it effectively. I appreciate Johnson tried to do something new to the Sci-Fi genre, but I disliked the payoff and the lack of the use of time travel, which was heavily emphasized in the trailers.

Django Unchained
½

Django is really Tarantino at his best. It's a tale of redemption, a tale of love, a tale of slavery and more which is why I get how it really connects with audiences. Foxx is perfectly cast as Django, as is Waltz as his sidekick. I kept anticipating Waltz to go commando and betray Django, but wow, in a charismatic role, Waltz still can shine. Samuel L Jackson is also entertaining as a freed slave. A misnote is probably Leo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie. He plays it creepy, weird and over the top that really isn't DiCaprio style. I wish they went with someone else for that role. A meandering 2nd act also ruins the pacing and action, but those problems aside, Django is an entertaining movie if you can survive the kidnapping middle plot.

The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges is not as god awful as those trailers make it out to be, in fact I was surprised how old fashioned the film felt despite still having modern day charm and heart. It's really not a great movie overall, but hey, it could have been worse slinging us with 5000 pop culture references, telling us multiple times they are out of water in less creative ways or resorting to childish humor in worse ways.

Moonrise Kingdom

As sweet, funny, innocent and thrilling Moonrise Kingdom is, it isn't quite as likeable as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, the cast from Willis to Norton to McDormand to the children is great, but like most Wes Anderson films, the slow, meandering plot and tone causes a standstill for a good chunk of the film.

American Pie 2

Not as great as the original, (due to the constant persistence to top the gross factor) but it still is enjoyable due to the cast's chemistry.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Chris Hemsworth, you have been officially added to my "worst actor of 2012" list. Lazy and monotone, Huntsman is a perfect example of how Hollywood milks the crap out of classic stories with no appreciation for the source material.

Take This Waltz

Take This Waltz is at times painful to watch. Half because the storyline is so drawn out, but also because the actors know they can do much better. Williams is drawing way too much out of the Zooey Deschanel quirky girl persona which really gets irritating at times. Rogen, although playing closer to an actual character than self this time still is able to get laughs out of his performance. Silverman really isn't in the film and really doesn't contribute much to the ongoing triangle romance. Kirby I guess is okay as the tempter, but I don't see how his performance really progressed the movie enough. All in all, Waltz is disappointing considering if Rogen and Williams didn't avoid the truth and just sat down, talked and just worked it out, the problem would be solved. Instead, the film draws itself out to flip flop so much it really loses it's edge. Toronto never looked better I guess through Instagram filters and the scene at Centre Island is also fantastic by the cinematography work, but Waltz is a film that needs to survive on its characters which it doesn't live up to.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

Just when you think 2012 cannot get more disappointing, Prometheus is released. The trailer, ambitious, mesmerizing and ingenious. But like Elizabeth Shaw says, "I was wrong. I was so wrong." Everything Prometheus does hits all the wrong notes. From the stale acting of Rapace and Marshall-Green, to the lack of an interesting, horrifying, interesting plot, Prometheus bores you through 2 hours waiting for the answers to be reveals, with no payoff. Heck, if they even just answered us without cheaply revealing it's not really an Alien prequel or really stupidly setting up for a sequel maybe I would be less angered, but no. The special effects are alright at times and I guess Fassbender was alright as the android, but the film fails hard on all levels possible.

Total Recall
Total Recall(2012)

I was hoping that at the end, Colin Farrell ripped a mask off and it was Arnold Schwarzenegger saying "Fuck This." It's not horrendous, in fact I think it's a good way to modernize the story, but the problem is Colin Farrell is no Arnold. That's not a bad thing storywise, but entertainment wise, who would you rather have? The CGI is highly inconsistent ranging from "doughnut cars" to intense fight scenes.

Bernie
Bernie(2012)

Bernie is strange, but the performances are fantastic. Never have I ever said Jack Black gave a noteworthy performance. He basically channels all the terrible energy he has used on past projects and creates a character that is morally ambiguous and is completely psychotic. You feel sorry, but angry at the same time for Bernie and it makes me proud to say Black finally made something interesting. McConaughy and MacLaine are also ok in supporting roles, but it's Black who shines. Also, the unconventional approach of a fictional-documentary with real people from the events makes it a tad confusing who is acting, but at the end it's still entertaining to see the verdict.

The Dictator
The Dictator(2012)
½

Sasha Baron Cohen is a genius when he wants to be but this is the first time it feels lazy. Sure, some of the jokes are funny, and the cameos are amusing, but here he seems to stray more into "Mike Meyers/Eddie Murphy" schtick rather than doing something smart and interesting like the past two films.

Frankenweenie
½

It's definitely the most emotionally involved cartoon of the year and probably Tim Burton's best in years. It doesn't play it safe to the Disney house name (although the ending does), but Frankenweenie is entertaining as for all ages.

Robot & Frank
½

Robot and Frank is truly surprising, heartwarming, and funny thanks to the highly unconventional acting from Frank Langella. He basically is Up's Carl Fredrickson in a strange 70s future where Toyota robots exist. It's strange, but it's really organic in its execution. A surprise of 2012.

The Bourne Legacy
½

The Bourne Legacy is a sad attempt to recreate the magic of the Bourne series. Matt Damon said h didn't return since there was no good idea to tell a story and boy he was right. In a lazy plot connection, Renner has big shoes to fill as basically a Bourne copycat but the twist this time is he's technically a superhero. With way too many plot inconsistencies, reliance on understanding the first movies, having knowledge of a five year old reading a biochemistry textbook, and basically removing all cool spy elements, intricate fight scenes and exotic locations to the Damon level, Bourne fails to live up to the name and might have worked better as a stand alone idea rather than a follow up to not force the rigid storyline of related bloodline.

Brave
Brave(2012)
½

I did not hear great things about Brave, with people saying its the first "antiPixar" film with too much comedy and not compelling characters. But I disagree, I think it's probably one of the smarter Pixar films released, with tons of heart, appropriate laughter and peaked my interest in its brisk running time. It's not as serious as the past few (minus Cars 2) Pixar films but really, why punish Pixar for going back to more lighter fair? It might lean more Dreamworks in that regard, but if like Kung Fu Panda, the fun in the film would totally disappear without its sillier element. I don't think the film needs a sequel, bu Brave works and is a stronger Pixar film than Cars, Cars 2, Monsters Inc and Wall-E, even if it doesn't reach genius of Finding Nemo or Toy Story.

Ted
Ted(2012)
½

Ted is probably the closest we'll ever get to a live action Family Guy movie and I'm surprised that it worked so well. The trailers to me just seemed too derivative of the show tat it wouldn't be funny, but surprising it works because of the strong relationship between Wahlberg and MacFarlane. It works almost like those cheezy fantasy Disney films from the 90s but now for an older generation, MacFarlane does have Alena and is too bad he doesn't use it to improve his 3 shows as Ted has edge like 1999 Family Guy. Supporting cast is also great too.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

While not as terrible as Spider-Man 3, Amazing Spider-Man is not "Amazing" since at is roots is a bland origin story we saw from 2002, cut with half ass 3D and strange design effects, and lacklustre acting compared to the original. It almost makes you sad for Dylan Baker, the Curt Connors from the Sam Raimi Spider-Mans. I don't get why also superheroes today have to expose their identity, it almost feels lazy and just asking for trouble. Emma Stone, I basically love her in anything, but here she is just reduced to a sexualities damsel in distress, weak actin compared to Kristen Dunst who at least held her own from Maguire and Franco. (to be fair, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane are different, but still her character serves the same purpose here). the new elements somewhat elevate the film, bu is not enough considering is basically "Rise of the Planen of the Apes" and "Incredible Hulk" mash up. it's sad Sam Raimi made Spider-Man 3, didn't make Spider-Man 4, and wasted the talents of a big name cast, let's hope the sequel is better.

Celeste and Jesse Forever
½

In the strangest way, I wanted to like the movie and like Greenberg, I think I was more fascinated by the character, this time played by Rashida Jones, rather than the lame plot. the acting is top notch, the story just weighed it down.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
½

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is basically what you expect from the title. Although it really isn't a great movie, it's still fun and knows what it is. It doesn't take a comical approach, it's a film that takes itself seriously because it knows the premise is so bogus. The action is really only what to rave about and (possibly) how they tried to tie the idea of Lincoln's life to this absurd story.

The Campaign
The Campaign(2012)

At times, The Campaign has moments of greatness. The satire hits, it's funny. Other times, it falls flat to awkward sexual jokes. It's really in the same mould as Ferrell's "Anchorman", "Talladega Nights", "film where he has everything, loses it, then bounces back as a better person" (He basically plays George Bush in the film) so if you weren't on board with it the first 5 times, it's hard to really recommend. Strong supporting cast, although it isn't used as effectively as it should.

Arthur Christmas

It just didn't work for me. It didn't catch my attention, the animation wasn't there. Sad mess from the once great Aardman.

Savages
Savages(2012)

Savages is saved from being a total fail and terrible film because of its unique angle, but fails to be great by confusing the moviegoer as to what the film is. The acting is strong from everyone surprisingly, even Taylor Kitsch works much better here in a supporting role here (although the trailer make it look more like the starring role.). The problem begins when it has an identity crisis as to what the film is. Is it a love triangle? A family dynamic drama? A heist film? A drug dazed caper? A torture porn? Or a "Tarantino-Ritchie" gangster shoot up? It never really decides until the end, but its sad It didn't really stick to one idea, just confusing the audience further. The ending also leaves no much to be desired, but is passable work from a seemingly terrible film idea.

Prep & Landing
½

It's not going to be a new Christmas classic, but it was passable even if the jokes weren't fresh and the animation was subpar.

Battleship
Battleship(2012)

I thought John Carter was a low for Taylor Kitsch, but man Battleship, you have sunk even lower. Why do you entrust a man with no leading actor talents to headline TWO $200 million films? The film is so hokey, then tries way too hard to be serious for 2 hours and them completely bores the hell out of you. Liam Neeson is embarrassing in his role, obviously taking a paycheck for the role. (Spoiler) but how can you just reactivate a ship that was sitting for 70 years? Are you telling me a ship museum has live ammunition on it? Wow. Just garbage.

Katy Perry: Part of Me

Surprising Katy Perry's movie is much more raw and interesting than the title and trailer have you expect it to be. By no means is it Academy Award material, but the brutal honestly that Perry decides to use in her documentary (not unlike Conan O'Brien in his documentary, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop) makes the film actually watchable unlike "Justin Bieber: I'm A Suckup and Total Sham 3D". The screen is obviously eye candy and the sets are quite nice, but sometimes it's difficult to enjoy when Perry sings songs from an obscure lineup that really only a true diehard would get. I also wish the film went more into her family dynamic as it seemed interesting to see how her parents have dealt with her transformation. But alas, this isn't going for some expose, it really just scraped the surface, but more so than I was expecting. Also strangely added was Russell Brand. He has two words audible in the movie "Hey Sausage." I think it was smart to not paint him as the villain but more describe the relationship as mutually not working so kudos to Katy.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)

Skyfall probably is the biggest structural change to Bond since Die Another Day but it doesn't quite elevate to the level that many people are making the film out to be, but it does have it's moments. At a run time of 2h 23mins, it's always great to see Bond back in action, especially after 4 years of hiatus, but the film did feel 30 minuts too long as the action did drag from time to time. But when the action was there, boy it was quite riveting.

Craig on his own holds a different energy to Bond itself, but at times it plays a bit to repetitive to our current cinema cliches. For instance (minor spoiler alert), the opening? Mission Impossible, Wanted and The Bourne series. The fight scene in a dark building? The Dark Knight. The villain? The Dark Knight and GoldenEye. The training sessions? The Dark Knight Rises (not really a fair comparison since they both came out this year but hey, it seems like a trend this year for people to come out of retirement, randomly). Containment? X2: X-Men United, The Avengers. Even a shot from Men In Black II seems to have inspired Skyfall (replace NYC subway with a train). The major problem with Skyfall is I can't really come up with one original aspect to it. The likes many of the aspects, but it seemed more like a "best of the action genre" rather than a true original Bond story.

I liked the fact that Craig finally put some personality into the role. From his first two outings, he seemed sort of stilted and too serious for the role. (Don't ridicule me for this) In a way, I sort of liked the Pierce Brosnan films because they were never taken too seriously. Sure, have an invisible car. Sure, come back to life with a beard. Sure, have Denise Richards play a Bond girl. Speaking of Bond girls, I was disappointed that really the Bond girl was M (or Mom. Really? Your going to call Voldemort, Mom?). It's great to see M in a more expanded role, but even so, you never really do learn more about her. It's more like Bond just has to protect this MacGriffin, rather than developing a fully realized backstory for M. B√ (C)r√ (C)nice Lim Marlohe, man now that was a Bond girl. But she and Naomie Harris barely had screen time. But B√ (C)r√ (C)nice Lim Marlohe. Wow. Probably the best so far in the Craig era.

Let me also state that the movie is also saved by Javier Bardem. Without him, I think I would have given a lower score. But man, he gave it all he had. He makes this "Joker+Antwon Chugar" like villain so subtle and subdued, that he was really the only trying to push the movie' idea of rebirth, death and loyalty. No one else remotely cared about that until Bardem showed up. I hope he gets an Oscar nod for it (but probably won't).

I guess just minor stuff I had problems with was a bit of the plausibility of the set up of the story. Sometimes it didn't make sense to me how (Spoiler) if he lost his mojo, how could he still kill a room full of people? If he died and came back to life how did he do so? Where was Felix? Also, I didn't like the way the film ended. Sure I predicted ome of it, but it's a huge change for the Bond universe. I might be alright with it later, but it's going to need another film, quicker to convince me. I wish Skyfall was a bit more than what it was, but the film did give what it could. It had great action (when it did), Bardem gave a great performance, and Craig seemed to be a bit more emotionally present. Adele also did a great job on the song which played perfectly as the credits rolled.

Wet Hot American Summer
½

I don't know if I consider the film a favourite cult classic. Sure the actors are all ones we know and love (Rudd, Banks, Cooper....all before they were names) and there were also some nice cameos (the dude from Bob's Burgers) but really reviewing the film 10 years later and showing a lack of appreciation to the film really shows how un-universal the film is in its approach. I got a few laughs from it, but nothing to the level of Apatow today, but maybe to the level of Apatow "Freaks and Geeks" which isn't a bad thing.

Goon
Goon(2012)

I wish Goon had a bit more resolution to it. Just like in the movie, the main climax is really just what the film is working towards, there really isn't much else for it to fall onto. The film is partially saved by Seann William Scott, who really acts nothing like Stiffler (actually, the complete opposite of Stiffler. Weird here is how Eugene Levy also acts the complete opposite of Jim's dad).

Man on a Ledge

Man on a Ledge is predictable as hell. I may have said the same thing as Premium Rush, but this movie is where you can predict the entire film before it even starts! This is mainly because the trailer gave too much away (I mean they could have just left it as he was a convict, guy wants to jump). Sam Worthington again is hard to understand with his Australian accent, and it confuses me because if he is Australian, why does his brother speak perfect American? This is another shitty Sam Worthington film that really is showing his lack of stardom without 3D and James Cameron.

Layer Cake
Layer Cake(2005)

Didn't like it, too confusing.

Premium Rush
Premium Rush(2012)
½

I don't know why I liked Premium Rush as much as I did. The plot was preposterous. It seemed like the board meeting for this went like "let's make an action movie, but the gimmick is it's on bikes". The bicycle fad was really not targeted to the audience the film was trying to target, as the X-Games, cycling sport was popular a decade ago. The weird application of improper phone messaging noises with a weird GPS system. But I think what saves the film is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. JGL has that star quality which makes this normal "summer dump" much better than what it was and really shows that JGL is ready for more solo acts; he's ready to breakout. Oh yeah, Jamie Cheung, that was probably the WORST Chinese accent I have ever seen on film. Worse than even my accent. Premium Rush isn't a premium and the rush is heavily predictable, but that the heavens it stars JGL and not Nicolas Cage because the film has a lot more milage than it should.

Lockout
Lockout(2012)

Here's the problem with Lockout, it's not that interesting despite what the previews tell you. Guy Pearce is that badass likeable guy, but he really isn't given much but one liners throughout. The CGI looked cheap like an XBOX/Gamecube videogame (yes, the ones from 10 years ago) and the evil plan is really, nonexistent nor does it make much sense.

The Raven
The Raven(2012)

Fuck The Raven. If I want to see a movie about ravens again, it better just star Raven Symone. This piece of crap tries way to hard to steal from way better films and bogs us down with the mythos of Edgar Allen Poe. They might as well call this, "Edgar Allen Poe: Serial Killer Hunter".

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Boy was this one boring. It just seemed like a lifeless checklist that tried to be inspiration but missed the mark in so many ways. Sure, you're intrigued to see how it all ends up, but the wishy-washy message of fate and the predictable cartoony characters do not do the film much good.

State of Play
½

It's a nice little thriller, but at times gets caught in it's own web of confusion.

The Ides of March

Given the amazing cast, great previews and posters, I can't say I was thoroughly impressed. The cast doesn't quite work as well as it could (Contagion could do it, why can't it here?) and it could be due to a lack of a truly revolutionary story.

Jeff Who Lives at Home
½

Most films I complain that I wish ended sooner than later. Rarely, do I say that a film needed to be longer in order to convey the message. I believe Segel and Helms probably did their strongest work here, with Segel finally shedding his "manboy" mannerisms.

American Reunion

I'm surprised how much fun the movie is despite the terrible and noninvolving plot mainly because of the strength of the dedication of the actors involved. The jokes work because of the chemistry, but at times the film feels way too excessive. The 1999 film didn't need to really push the envelope (or did it or 1999?) but at times the gags are just gross.

Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2(1990)
½

It's probably the most disturbing film of the four, but the action and CGI work in synergy and the story is still intriguing.

Larry Crowne
Larry Crowne(2011)

Larry Crowne is probably too honest and ernest to be any good. It's two years too late, as the recession story loses its message in 2011.

Moneyball
Moneyball(2011)

Like the story, the first hour is not the best. It's boring and doesn't really provide any interest to me. But when the film cut the crap and focused on the main problem of statistics the film works. Hill and Pitt have great chemistry and Hill is refreshing by not being fully obnoxious as he always is.

The Guard
The Guard(2011)

The Guard just didn't click with me. I was promised an offbeat, cop comedy like hot Fuzz but it fell flat and just felt generic.

Wanderlust
Wanderlust(2012)

I wanted to like Wanderlust more than I did, but a bad premise is a bad premise. The film is saved by Paul Rudd's zingy punch lines and his perfect chemistry with Jennifer Aniston which is rare considering she's failed 3 times with Jason Bateman. The jokes are just too corny and one note to be considered funny but I did get a few chuckles at times from the predictable plot.

Seeking Justice

Another terrible Nic Cage film, but worse it's not even funny. It's dull, there is no twist, and it's a strange film with no real message.

A Thousand Words

The film feels extremely dated (it was on the shelf since 2008) with the use of iPhone 1, Lil'Wayne's Lollipop, and Michael Jackson jokes. I don't think the problem here is Murphy though, it's the script that forces him not to use his best asset, his voice. Eddie is a talker and if you call it a stretch of acting here it's a sad waste and another shitter for Eddie.

Dr Seuss' The Lorax

The lorax is not a terrible film by any means, it actually is surprisingly warm, funny and the songs are catchy. I have a minor quibble with the portrayal of the Lorax as a friend to the onceler and really Zac Efron is not the hero despite first billing, but The lorax is above average family fare from the studio who bought you the terrible Despicable Me.

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)
½

It had some good ideas, but from the talent involved, it's a bit of a disappointment. The trailer had some really strong and interesting ideas that are just wasted here. Theron isn't really a menace, and her psychotic side isn't really truly explored until the latter half of the film. Even so, the ending may leave people angry, as there really isn't anything satisfying. Young Adult lacks the sharp writing of Juno, but it does lay a few laughs from Patton Oswalt.

The Cable Guy
½

I really wish the film pushed the boundary more. It was creepy, but it could have been more creepy. The jokes really aren't that funny and Carrey is annoying as ever.

Anger Management
½

Sandler's done better stuff. He's also done much worse stuff. He got a chuckle out of me a few times, but not as much as Happy Gilmore or Click.

Analyze This
Analyze This(1999)
½

I laughed a few times, but De Niro isn't as funny as he is in Meet The Parents nor is Crystal.

The Rum Diary

I wanted to like it more than I did but theres nothing here. Depp just seems to bumble (as he always does) through nothing. The "Rum" isn't really a factor to the story as much as the other plot elements, and the ones that are, are not explored enough. The locales looked nice though.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

It's a bit dry throughout, but it's fascinating to see the dream of a man making sushi, the production of perfection and the overall images of the sushi. It's a bit overkill to see the sushi thrown down and made for the 500th time, but it's still worth a watch.

The Dark Knight Rises
½

The Dark Knight Rises is quite a difficult movie to rate. How can you compare it to the almost perfect The Dark Knight from 2008? The movie on the most fronts succeeds, but there are a lot of flaws that make the film become less of a classic, and more of a ‚good film‚?.

Let‚(TM)s start with the good. Joseph-Gordon Levitt was great in his role as John Blake. I didn‚(TM)t think much when I heard he was cast as a ‚no name cop‚?, but the elevation of his characterization shows and he truly makes it his own. Also great as always, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman. They all give it their best shot and show their emotional depth so brilliantly that it makes you sad the series is over. Bale and Hardy are just okay as the two, but maybe more on them later.

What I didn‚(TM)t like. The Bat. For me, the Nolan films survived on the fact they are realistic. When The Bay came, it threw that all out of the window. Gone was the sense of truly believing that this was really a city where such things could happen. Anne Hathaway. I don‚(TM)t get why she got so much billing in this. If a character deserves more billing than her, it would be probably Marion Cotillard. I don‚(TM)t hate Hathaway‚(TM)s performance of Catwoman, but at times she is just so annoying with her cat puns that is so anti-Nolan and I really think if it was a Bane-Batman (or if you see the movie, you know what I am missing) story, the story would have been much tighter.

Another glaring problem here is the fact this movie serves as a ‚leftovers cleanup‚?. This means whatever wasn‚(TM)t answered in the first two films is slammed into answer in 30 minutes. It‚(TM)s nice to see Neeson back again but who really remembers what happened back in 2005? The answers aren‚(TM)t as revolutionary or mind-bending as Nolan could make them and it‚(TM) a bit disappointing in that regard.

I think Bale, Hardy and Cotillard gave okay performances. I believe that Bane was at times trying to top the Joker in spectacle, which is achieved, but nothing will ever match the pure genius of the Heath Ledger as the Joker. At times Bane just comes off as silly, but when he is fighting with Bale, the action is solid and fun to watch. The voice is not perfect, but maybe we don‚(TM)t need it to be. Bale cuts the crap by replacing the Batman voice, which I find sort of sad because it was a signature but at least you can hear him better.

So where does this rank among Batmans and superhero films. It‚(TM)s probably my least favourite Batman just because I think there is too much going on. The Occupy movement. A superhero film. Ending the trilogy. It‚(TM)s a bit too messy for me and I wish Nolan cleaned up the script a bit more. In a way, the film feels more like a continuation, unlike The Dark Knight although they are both sequels. It‚(TM)s 100x better that The Avengers, which uses spectacle to waste, but here there is a perfect line of destruction to its methodology, which works. All in all, I‚(TM)m disappointed in the film, it‚(TM)s definitely the weakest of the three Batman films, but in regard to the films of 2012 and superhero films in general, The Dark Knight Rises succeeds as entertainment and spectacle.

The Darkest Hour

Do you know how many times you glance at the screen and ask yourself "God, why did he just say that?" Combined with the cheezy, retarded and pathetic CGI, The Darkest Hour is one of the worst films, and boring films ever produced.

Extract
Extract(2009)

There's a sense of sweetness to Jason Bateman's performance that normally doesn't shine or just gets bogged down in the terrible rut. Here Bateman is cast perfectly and the jokes work flawlessly.

The Artist
The Artist(2011)

The Artist really doesn't deserve to win the Academy Award. So many films nominated or not nominated deserved better. At times, the film is gimicky or just plain silly. But when it's heartfelt, that is where the film shines, providing an interesting look at the era of the past.

The Lincoln Lawyer

Great movie. really surprised about it. The trailer perfectly deceives you to not really know what the true plot is and it keeps you on the edge of your seat most of the time. McConaghey is perfectly cast here, normally he comes off as annoying but here he is perfect as a wiseshot gone wrong. At times the film feels a bit too cookie-cutter, with pieces falling too perfectly in place, but the drama and workings of the mystery are enough for me to give a recommendation.

The Woman in Black

This is probably Daniel Radcliffe's worst movie to date, and really his worst acting job to date. Considering much of the blame cannot be put on him for how Harry Potter turned out, The Woman in Black stumbles by the annoyance of the visual "suspense" gag. It's scary for maybe the first 3 times, but by the 5000th monkey or China doll seen, it's just not scary. Ciaran Hinds is actually okay in this film playing a grieving father, but the story doesn't give enough room for his character to grow. The ending was a bit weak as well. Considering how they ended it, there should be no room for a sequel. Sigh.

Evolution
Evolution(2001)
½

C'mon the film wasn't that bad. The CGI sure looks dated and half of the information regarding college is completely false (who has heard of a prof who is excited to keep the marks at an "A"?). But I mean the sheer corniness is at least somewhat redeemable.

Wrath of the Titans

"Wrath" is an improvement over "Clash" in the story and action, but I can't help but complain this still is not a good movie. The weird part is how disjointed the film feels from the first with so many inaccuracies that sort of annoyed me (Io dying, Rosamund Pike filling in as Andromeda, Hades and Zeus acting different). Sam Worthington is again just too hard to understand as he completely mumbles his way through the predictable story about "family". Neeson is given more here, but you can totally tell he knew the last one sucked too, so he completely just wanted to leave and still act bored. As mentioned above, Fiennes and Neeson both really act differently from the first film which irked me; but at least Hades acted truer to Greek legend. All in all, not a total fail like "Clash" but nothing interesting regardless as a game changer or a recommendation.

Gone
Gone(2012)

Gone actually isn't a horrible film that the actors, trailers, and studio want you to believe. In fact, it is marginally interesting, up to the last 20 minutes when the film's true ending is revealed. Tighter script work, a better actress (Jennifer Lawrence?), and a more interesting plot would have elevated the material.

John Carter
John Carter(2012)

John Carter takes the cake for most absurd film of 2012, so far. First, the film is heavily un-Disney with it's language and some of the action shots (ok, maybe times are changing, this isn't really a big problem). The main problem is just the pure absurdity you are supposed to believe for 1.5h. You literally have no idea when the characters keep mumbling, blah blah blah POWER blah blah blah VIRGINIA. I guess you can't blame the names, since it's based on the novel, but it still does not make sense what each of the people are. Taylor Kitsch is just awful in the role of John Carter. He really gives us no indication for what he believes and is just really eye candy for the film. Same for the Princess. John Carter is a mess that somehow made me intrigued to finish, but in the end, I don't know why I did.

The Grey
The Grey(2012)

The Grey is probably Liam Neeson's most thought provoking film since his resurgence in 2008. We know the guy can make us believe he is the smartest man in the room, but what happens when he truly is against his nature and has to lead a group of men to survival? The movie questions the ideas of life and death, chance, survival and fate. The trailers make you feel it is another "Taken" or "Unknown" but really at the heart, this is a survival, horror film that truly pushes the boundaries of Neeson, especially at the end. The post credit stinger definitely makes the film loses it's overall effectiveness, and the film drags on due to monotony in the middle, but The Grey is still worth a shot.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Spirit of Vengeance is terrible, but it knows it wants to be that bad. At least the film knows that it wanted to be a closer adaptation to the comic book by stylizing the feel of flipping each page, but the weak script is just unforgivable. Sure, it's supposed to stand separate from the first Ghost Rider, but so many questions and plot holes arise from the lack of continuity which makes the film annoying. It's not the worst Cage film made, I mean Season of the Witch was a yawner AND it was horrendously inaccurate. Here, Cage seems to phone it in, as though he believes it is a farce, basically uttering lines like "I want you to lift the curse from me" (you're obviously talking about the deal with the devil Cage made, right, to pay off his debts, so he decided to star in every possible crappy film) and basically looking shit faced every time "the rider" comes out. The action is just ok, but at least they stuck with the tone and didn't try to deviate from the plan.

The Secret World of Arrietty
½

Unfortunately, the studio hits another rough patch here with Arrietty, as it loses the magic and lust of so many of Ghibli's past films and really goes against the studio's main themes or magic, celebration and rebellion. The other problem is the English voice cast, where Disney inserting their "talented" actors from the Disney Channel fuck up the emotion needed for the story to continue. Nothing against Will Arnett and Amy Poehler, but heavily miscast in their roles. Also, why did Disney completely disgrace the studio by putting this awful song by Bridgit Mendler?

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Meh, I'm sort of disappointed with this. The first movie I actually enjoyed thoroughly because of the proper balance of intrigue, action and mystery. The problem starts when Rachel McAdams is killed off. Replacing her, Noomi Rapace is just not that interesting of a character. She just seems too background, and there really is no interesting significance to her character. Then comes the biggest problem of many films of the past 6 months, the humor. The humor, gained through Mycroft and Sherlock is at times, again, annoying. In moderation, it's fine, but seriously again it's overkill, disrupting the tone of the film. Also back (and more annoying) is the typical "Guy Ritchie slow shots" every 5 seconds, and new "Sherlock" vision, which is too overplayed. I will give Sherlock 2 the benefit for not recreating the first movie and for trying to produce a more dimensional movie, but the effort is put to waste as the film really becomes too confusing (and really, only the final act was interesting).

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
½

It's actually pretty funny and strangely interesting due to it's weird and absurd take on the musical and apocalyptic genres. Much better than some of the episodes today.

One for the Money

Katherine Heigl sucks. There. I know it's what everyone thinks and its true. HOW CAN ONE ACTRESS CONTINUE TO DO TERRIBLE MOVIES AND STILL THINK THEY ARE DIMENSIONAL, FLESHED OUT, POWERFUL ROLE MODELS FOR WOMEN? Her roles sicken me, and it continues with the same here. Here, (in this sequel of Katherine's life), she plays ANOTHER stuck up bitch who REFUSES to believe is wrong and falls for the guy she initially thought was scum. There. Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth? Seth Rogen in Knocked Up? Ashton Kutcher in Killers? Josh Duhamel in Life as We Know It? Bon Jovi in New Years Eve? It's all the same scummy characters, and worse is the fact she plays them so uni (or no) dimensionally that she just bores you to death for the hours on camera. Can she even do a New Jersey accent? Half the time she tried, and then seemed to get bored and switch to her normal voice. Jeez. This is a pure vile fucking piece of crap. What even puts the knife further is that with a slightly better actress (Hell even Snooki would be more realistic as this Jersey bimbo), this movie would have been passable.

Red Tails
Red Tails(2012)

The best comparison to another Lucasfilm this would be "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones", mainly because it was hard to know who was who on screen. Not my kind of film.

This Means War

This Means War is just horrendous from it's beginning scene, to the closing credits. Nothing about this movie is stylish, funny, or interesting mainly because the interesting story is subplotted to the last 10 minutes where it really isn't given closure. Regardless, I don't really know who will be burned the hardest from this. Chris Pine (No, he made That's My Luck)? Reese (No, she's made a lot more worse films)? Tom Hardy? Yeah probably, this knocks down my credibility for the guy especially since we know he could do much better. So it's him and the actress who played Aunt May (WHY??? WHY???) who disappointed me. The ending (not spoiling anything) is just beyond retarded as logic is completely thrown out the window (Trust me, it doesn't make sense). The action is scarce (surprisingly, the trailer is more exciting), the actors bland, the script shitty, so this ranks in some of the worst of 2012.

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime)

Princess Mononoke is probably the third best Ghibli film out there after Nausicaa and Castle in the Sky. This is not your Ponyo fluff from Miyazaki, this is a full fledged, deep and moving film regarding environmentalism and temptation. What really struck me was the idea of Ashitaka as this strage voice of reason, instead of the voice of violence, which for many other films often muddles the message. At times, the film gets too preachy, but for the minutes that it is not, the film is heavily thought provoking and definitely demands a second viewing. The action is probably one of the best in a Miyazaki film as well.

Contraband
Contraband(2012)

Contraband is truly a rare treat. It is a highly shitty film, no questions asked. What kept me so entertained was the fact that it was so shitty, it was so funny. Mark Wahlberg is pretty bland in the "last job and I'm out" role and Beckensale really does nothing in her "I'm waiting for you to get out" role, but the true winners here are Giovanni Ribisi and JK Simmons. Every time the two came on, I just laughed so hard. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but this was just plain hilarious.

Chronicle
Chronicle(2012)
½

The beginning, to me almost made me want to turn it off because it was sort of boring and really lacked any direction. But the last third of the movie made up for it to me. The action scenes and drama felt inspired, and it as interesting to take it as a "found footage" approach.

Project Nim
Project Nim(2011)

"NIm" feels like an encyclopedia shoved to your brain for 90 minutes. There is some interesting stuff, like how Nim drank and smoked, but the film is a bit repetitive at times in execution.

Thor
Thor(2011)

Thor is just a mess, and it's really sad because it actually in my opinion had potential. The first 20 minutes, when Thor remains in Asgard it the film's strongest point. Good, it established a setting, a clear understanding of what it was. Then boom, Thor comes to Earth, and paralleled in the movie with fight scenes and explosions, the movie comes to a close this way too. Directed by Kenneth "I love Shakespeare and ripping my shirt off as Dr Frankenstein" Branagh, I will give the film credit for not being a typical origin story. I think the Shakespeare worked in Asgard, not so much on Earth once again (jeez Joss, can't you seriously take notes of MISTAKES.....) Too bad, 80% of the story takes place on Earth. Boring. It then follows through to "The Avengers-shit-a-verse", filled with plot holes galore.

Ok readers, answer me this. To define demigod, it is a being like say Perseus in Clash of the Titans, who is half god, and half human. This means he is not immortal, and thus not human. I can understand why Thor has blood in this film, Odin banished him and made him released of his powers. HOWEVER, I cannot take this as fact for The Avengers under Loki. Hence, by contradiction, either Loki is not a god, or he is not human. My other major problems are the humor again (this time it's minor), but since this is one hero, the context of the humor is controlled and not scattered, a la Avengers. I think Loki did better work here as the villain than in The Avengers as well (since, really, what was his motive in The Avengers? So we, the brainwashed consumer buys tickets to see NYC blown to smithereens? Stupid.) But again, he did not hold up to the true nature of the mythology, as really his motive to "trick" Thor, was not due to trickery, but for revenge.

This goes back to my question of the film "Is this based in the true Norse mythology, or on the Marvel mythology, which is flawed?" The Norse did not have black or Asians, I'm pretty sure. Finally, (yes, sorry this review is just a mass mob), tying this back to The Avengers, there is just so mch that doesn't make sense. What was the cube that Asgard owns? Another tesseract? How did Loki come back to earth (and Thor in The Avengers?) if the portal was destroyed (finding "alternate" routes is a bullshit answer)? Why was Thor not more concerned about finding his brother to save him in The Avengers if he was more distraught at the end of this film? I understand comic books really never have continuity, going from issue to issue, different writers, styles, that's what makes the comics enjoyable for everyone. But my issue of continuity is not one to be ignored, and the lame CGI action ending (yes the ending was WORSE than Iron Man) cannot be forgiven.

Marvel's The Avengers
½

2008, a more innocent time. The era of Barack Obama had not started yet. The iPhone 3G was just released. Blu-Ray had just won the media format. The summer movie season technically began the way it always had, but really 2008 changed the way superheroes were put on film with both Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Both great films, although the impact of Iron Man could be treated as more substancial due to the paving towards The Avengers. 4 years. So how did it go so wrong? (I did not watch Thor, fyi, but I watched the rest). I thought the "Iron Mans" were great (i don't get the backlash to 2, I mean it was more of the same, more on this later), The Incredible Hulk was tolerable (I mean it was fun to see how to manipulate Sam the Record Man and U of T to be NYC!), but Captain America was just not that good (stylistically, yes it was great, but nothing more than a generic origin story). So you have 4 different types of movies (Thor too is different, I can tell based on it's Shakespearian feel, more on this later) and you as a director have to hold it all together. So how?This is where it all goes wrong. You do not simply meld all the different types into a stew and hope for the best. The tone is just so wildly uneven it makes the whole moviegoing experience so confusing. Now back to Thor. I don't really understand a lot of this since I didn't see the movie but how are the gods able to produce blood if they are not mortals (cue fight scene)? How did Cap not know who Loki was if Thor et al, is based on Noorse folklore?Continuing my list of problems is square out of the trailer. The explosions. I literally laughed (more on the laughing later) every time I saw these five walk away from, start, or avoid an explosion. It was pure massacre. I admit, "The Avengers" is a superhero film, it is suposed to be filled with fighting, action, etc, but you can't impress me in 2012 will explosions. It's literally computer graphics doing the work. That is just so lazy. Films like Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, even Iron Man had a finesse to the action that is highly lacking here, it is disgusting.Let's see what's next. Oh right, the humor. When I saw Iron Man back in the day, I thought wow, RDJ killed it. I won't say the joke is old, or RDJ is unfunny here, it's not his fault. It's basically everyone else when they need to catch up to RDJ. Maybe this is because Disney bought Marvel so they needed to include more of this nonsense, but really? Who was the smartass in the writing department who decided Hulk slamming Loki to the ground was hilarious? Who thought Hulk punching Thor was funny? There is probably more references where this "low brow humor" takes over, but it was just so unbearable I really wanted to just go up to these guys and yell YOU ARE IN A FUCKING SUPERHERO MOVIE, AND ARE NOT FUNNY, SHUT THE FUCK UP.Finally, the story. There is no true development of ANY of the character. Joss, who "supposedly" is a genius at writing females characters slightly succeeds as he focuses on Black Widow, but the rest? Stupid origin, wise man mentor, rise from underworld (archetypal hero?) story which completely bored me. The problem is the blending of the genres is though by Joss to be cured by humor, which destroys the overall tone that this film needed. Would Chris Nolan decide to throw in humor every 5 minutes, just because he needed the film to run on the conveyor belt? Hell no, this movie is a disgrace to Marvel, RDJ, the 4 year history and filmgoers alike as this is just another crappy example of Hollywood trying to capitalize money from the consumers based on their stupidity of brand attraction. Sure it didn't work for Battleshit, but seriously, Iron Man 3 better step it's shit up because the golden days of Superhero predicted in 2008 is gone.For a movie to gross $200 million and break records for me needs to be one that changes the game. The Dark Knight did so in 2008. Harry Potter was a beautiful sendoff in 2011. Spider-Man proved the superhero genre in 2002. But what did Avengers accomplish? Nothing. It's not the first to use CGI, 3D (ineffectively), superheros, have a large budget, so why is it special? (Give me a good reason, I'm curious) The film made me reconsider how The Hunger Games might not be the most overrated film of 2012, thus far.So why act so critical if I give it 2.5 stars? I'll give Mark Ruffalo the benefit of the doubt because his portrayal of The Hulk was alright, it seemed most in line with the comic book. RDJ was pretty funny as well, for some lines. Other than that, this is one of those nasty potluck dinners that on one really cared to contribute to properly. (Seriously that shawarma ending scene was just disgusting and retardedly stupid for betraying the loyal Marvel fans who actually expected someone good).

My Neighbor Totoro

It's not the best work from Hayao.

Spirited Away

This is definitely one of Miyazaki's weirdest films. It's not as strong as Castle in the Sky, or Nausicaa, but the shear imagination on screen is worth the watch.

Underworld: Awakening
½

Not watched the first 3, but from this I doubt I want to. Sure Kate Beckinsale looks great, as does much of the film. But the plot is so flimsy and at times boring. A good sequel is one that does not need reintroduction from its previous instalments to understand mythology and this fails the test on that level.

Haywire
Haywire(2012)

Haywire probably leads the list of my "most deceiving trailers". The film, advertised as a revenge film, is nothing like that. Instead, it's a film that spends way too long on the setup, and ends so abruptly, without answering all the questions. With all this talent, why did it go so stale? I'm going to admit, I did like the stunts that were performed, it was different than what we're used to (shaky cam, over dramatic music). The problem is just that it's quite one-note, and nothing in the trailer is different (or arguably better) than the scenes in the film. The film sure is a huge miss, don't go in with Bond/Bourne expectations.

The Descendants

The Descendants is really that rare film under the "Oscar" banner that lived up to my expectations. It delivered on all cylinders and more. Clooney is just brilliant here, as is most of the cast (heck even the guy who played Shaggy in Scooby-Doo is in this). If you told me he was going to play a half-Hawaiian, I would have just written him off, but the mannerisms were dead on and authentic to the Hawaiian people. I thought when I first saw them, the kids (Alex, Scotty and Sid) it would just be them being annoying the entire way through. But the script worked so beautifully to make them seem age appropriate, yet mature regarding the incident. The title, when I saw the trailer I was a bit confused about it, but actually seeing the film, it makes sense and it actually is quite possibly the best title for a film in 2011. The film gets a little slow to start at first, but the humor shines through the depressing mix, this is definitely a recommendation.

Johnny English Reborn
½

You know how Hollywood is a firm believer of "if it's darker, it's better" (ok, maybe not for THE AVENGERS)? That's what happens here, but what's lost in the darkness is the Johnny English we loved(?) from the 2003 hit, that was more akin to The Pink Panther. Sure, the action is upped, and Daniel Kaluuya I think actually held his ground to Atkinson (ok what role has he even been remotely funny in? The Bean series is NOT funny), but that's just microscopic to the generic plot and pathetic acting of Atkinson. Also, the credit stinger is just embarrassing (even more so than THE AVENGERS).

The Sitter
The Sitter(2011)
½

You know what, The Sitter didn't suck. Mind you, do not walk in with "21 Jump St" or "Superbad" expected level hilarity. Hill actually plays sort of a nicer character, more so than the trailer (which Superbad-ifies him). The film just dulls when he gets too nice and the gags never really go too crazy, but just to the border. If Hill really expected this to be a hit, he should have hit it with "21 Jump St" level insanity, which is missing. But alas, we know it could have been better.

The Three Musketeers

It's not a total fail since I really didn't go in with high hopes, but I mean seriously, the Musketeers should be set after the creators of this movie for blatantly ripping The Pirates of the Caribbean stars, action, and SCORE (yes you read right, SCORE) and the annoying actions shots of Guy Ritchie. Walk in with low expectations and it's mildly fun.

Dream House
Dream House(2011)

It's not as bad as the score makes it out to be (going in with low expectations) but man, you can tell Daniel Craig did not give a shit about this, when half the time he looked stoned.

Footloose
Footloose(2011)

You know how you are sometimes served leftovers, but they are dressed up in a certain way to make it seem new? This is that movie, and it ain't pretty. Imagine Footloose, 1984, in 2011 and they just sling together some random rap into each of the songs. Top that off with zombie acting, plot holes and shitting dancing (Kenny Wormald, wtf were you doing in the warehouse with look-alike Miley Cyrus?)

Water for Elephants

I really didn't expect much from "Elephants" but I will say I was surprised with it, albiet I still had some problems with it. The visuals were just phenomenal, the feeling of the 1930s prohibition and the feeling of the circus was remarkable. Too bad the predictable story (ok the "Elephant" hook was stupid, and it was for 5 minutes) and the wooden acting from Pattinson (hey Twihards, his name here is JACOB) really deteriorated the experience. Seriously, Pattinson looked way out of place, right age, but he just did not mesh into the atmosphere that was needed for the setting. I think Waltz and Witherspoon did alright, although nothing revolutionary. If Elephants shaved a good 30 minutes, cut the bullshit and made it slightly more entertaining (more circus!) I think I would have been more respectful to the movie, but unfortunately it pulls the "Twilight angle" and fucks it up.

What's Your Number?

Wow. I should add this to my list of worst of 2011 list for two reasons, waste of story and talent. Anna Faris is just annoying with her voice and her character ( wonder why her RT profile picture has her wearing glasses looking smart, because she is just so stupid in this). What's even worse than Faris? The fact that the likes of Chris Pratt (her actual husband) AND Joel McHale are in this. Seriously, Joel, why do you do these TERRIBLE movie roles? I don't get it. You mock people on The Soup for their actions but seriously, if I hosted Movie Soup, I would totally roast you as a hypocrite. Combined together with a creepy and predictable plot and this is "What's Your Number?" I don't know if McHale is really doing himself a favor (maybe this was before the "Community" boom), but one more dreck like this and I think we can sad Community dies with it's captain.

Our Idiot Brother
½

It's a simple story, but really doesn't amount to much at all. What saves the movie is Paul Rudd's "Forrest Gump"-like character, who was a time just pure bonkers. Idiot Brother is one of those slow simmer comedies that aren't raunchy funny, but is quite sweet, possibly for its own good.

The Thing
The Thing(2011)
½

The Thing was not a horrible "prequel", it was just a blatant rip off that just wasn't that interesting. Sure it's fun to see how stupid the actors are, but none stand out in this bland mess that is not really scary.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

It's sweet, but maybe even a bit too sweet, Being Elmo doesn't really delve too deeply into Elmo, but more into the journey of the puppeteer. I wish a better title could have been made as I felt a little deceived that it didn't really go more into the history of Sesame Street and instead followed a more predictable "rags to riches" story, which was fine, but just not as exciting.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

I have respect for the movie for not being what I thought it would be. The trailer makes it out to be some bubblegum feel-good film about grief. Instead, it is much more detailed and grounded, mainly due to the performances by the actors. I think Horn went a little too far in acting autistic, almost to the point of comical, but it is really disturbing to see him so distraught throughout the film. Max von Sydnow also was highly effective as the mute, traumatized war survivor. I think it dragged a bit too long, but when ELaIC hits, it scores. Too bad its filmed with a lot of depressing cliches.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

It's laughably terrible. Sadly, it's by Guillermo del Toro. Case and point: Why doesn't Guy Pearce just leave the house, move to a hotel and work on the house elsewhere if he really cared about his daughter? Also, why should we not be afraid of the dark if the characters continually use flashlights to avoid the dark. Stupidity like this guide the movie making it a sloppy, boring, unthrilling ride.

The Five-Year Engagement

I enjoyed the movie much more than I thought I would. It's a huge step up from the dreck, Bridesmaids, but I'd say it is about on par with Funny People and Get Him to the Greek, meaning it is not "bad" Apatow (Pineapple Express, Zohan, Drillbit Taylor, Bridesmaids) nor "amazing" Apatow (Virgin, Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Walk Hard, Anchorman, Talladega), but good enough for a chuckle. The main reason it works is because of the insanely addictive chemistry between Segel and Blunt, which is real while also highly funny. The problem with the film, which I actually did not find to be a problem in previous Apatow films is the annoyance of the improv roll. I could literally remember at least 5 scenes where I would have cut out an extra two minutes and the scene would have been 10x funnier. Still, credit has to go to Segel, Pratt, Ifans, Parnell, Hart, Kaling, Brie and most of the supporting cast (that Korean too, wow I sound like Pratt doing the "girlfriend past" song, which should be released as a single I would be willing to buy) for making it hilarious. Blunt I don't think was as funny as she could have been, but then again she didn't need to be. The Blunt-Brie Cookie Monster-Elmo joke was probably the funniest Apatow joke since Sarah Marshall. It's not for everyone, but for those who are patient, Engagement is entertaining.

The Big Year
The Big Year(2011)

I don't think the point of The Big Year is to score laughs, nor it its story overly interesting, but it is just the drive to determine who will win the competition is what made me last the full length of the film. Wilson won't get any brownie points here from me since he has been funnier and more dramatic before, but it is certainly one of his "better" movies. Black on the other hand surprised me at the depth that he could play, as I was highly growing sick of his "manboy is right" behaviour. Like Wilson in Paris, Black is more emotionally grounded, albiet while still comfortable in his familiar role. Overall, don't look for at The Big Year for laughs, see it for the adventure.

Drive
Drive(2011)

Stylistically, it has to be one of my favourite movies of 2011. The shots and the music drive this weird, alternative ambiance that give the film a weird sense of mystery. What I didn't like was being patient for 40 minutes for the story to begin. Too much set up time for the Mulligan-Gosling relationship. But when it got going, the film is quite exhilarating.

Final Destination 5

This is pure vile. I walked out of it because it is just nasty. It's so boring, and unentertaining, just stay away so you make sure you won't die.

Shame
Shame(2011)

I feel a little let down by Shame, just in a way 90% of these girls felt after getting fucked by Magneto. The trailer, by no means spectacular, gave a sense of grandeur and psychological trauma; but the film in general is much more subtle for its own good with too much use of the word "fuck" and "come" inappropriately and the constant jogging and breathing. In a way, I compare this to a "sex-driven" Greenberg, I liked the character more than the movie. The pace was a little slow for my liking, but then I realized that I went into the film with an idea it would be about a man fighting against his problem. Instead, the film relies on a pre-contemplation of Magneto (I can't spell Fassbender's last name, stay with it), and that is where the strength of his characterization of a sex addict plays in. I don't know if it's Oscar worthy (basically same thoughts on Natalie Portman, see Black Swan), but just like Black Swan, I loved the last 20 minutes of the film more than the first hour. To see a man behave in such a gruesome manner is disturbing at times, but it is even more so based on the fact that he cannot relate or express among others. Mulligan again, is.... different. Not a great performance, but hey I guess she held up well? I don't know if I'd recommend Shame to the next person I see, but I will say it is fun to watch the vulnerability of Magneto.

WALL-E
WALL-E(2008)

although I did think it was a good movie, I don't think walle lived up to my expectations I was hoping for. it's supposed to be different as there is no dialogue, it's a love story, and a distopia, but compared to Kung fu panda, I don't think this film would be worth showing to kids as they probably do not understand the deeper meaning of environmental protection and of technologogical abuse. I don't think it's in my pool of favourite pixar films but I will say it's in my top 10 of 2008 and walle is one veryspecial and unique character

A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life(1998)

It was ok becasue it wasnt the worst Pixar, but they could have done way more to make this a Toy Story.

Bolt
Bolt(2008)
½

It's cute, has a good message but it feels too much like the truman show meets the incredibles. still its fun to watch even if the beginning is a bit slow.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)

simply hillarious. its the best r rated film in ages. props to zach galifianakis because without him i think the movie could have been lame

Revenge of the Electric Car

The movie does give us a nice update on the state of the cars, but too bad that it goes for a more "inspirational" approach to the documentary. Gone from the first film is the interesting history of automobiles and centre focus is four people trying to start a revolution, which all in all is not as compelling a topic.

Shark Night 3D

Man what was this garbage. More importantly, why did they even try to justify half of the problems in the film? It's your typical college students on spring break getting killed, and although I found the funny at the beginning, the cheap charm quickly wore off, in this predicable shark mess.

Colombiana
Colombiana(2011)

What does Colombiana mean? It's not the name of Zoe Saldana's character. It's not a city, a code name, or anything. In this highly lackluster thriller, Saldana plays a women seeking revenge from those who killed her parents. How did she and Cliff Curtis lose their accents halfway through? How was she so smart to predict every small event that occurred? None of this is solved and besides some slightly nice action scenes, there is nothing to recommend showing that the "Avatar" stars have failing careers.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

The Muppets would probably win for my least cynical film of 2011. It's really great to see the gang get together. But the script is highly derivative and the laughs are mostly for children. Gone is the foul-mouthed sex obsessed Jason Segel and more of a "well Disney-ized" Jason Segel, still goofy but less funny which is where I think the weak point is. He and Amy Adams are just not that interesting compared to the Muppets which is just sort of sad because I've enjoyed Segel's past work and he seemed so serious to get the project going. Regardless, the film made it up for me in its cameos (Zach Galifankis as a hobo? Priceless.). The songs were also just alright, nothing special but it was enjoyable the way it was put to spectacle.

The Cabin in the Woods
½

Let me start off by saying that the major flaw in the movie is the twist. From the opening credits, you basically know how this turkey is going to go. This would have been forgiven if the characters actually showed any form of life beyond their zombielike imitations of the typical horror movie stereotypes which the film tried to ironically explain logically but failed. There is a very good reason why the film was left on the shelf for 3 years and the age really shows in Hemsworth who is just given nothing to do. The problem with going to meta in this case is that the film is "actually" just the horror film, and besides the weird intercuts to Richard Jenkins (which was slightly amusing) there is nothing left to recommend. Also, why is Sigourney Weaver always cameo-ing as the bitch head of the organization (Paul?). Joss Whedon, you better not pull this fucking bullshit on The Avengers (which also does not look that great in my honest opinion). This weird Truman Show/Scream blend fails and is probably on my list of worst films of 2012 (or is it 2009?) and sadly I cannot recommend a movie that has a great idea but fails.

Puss in Boots
½

It's surprisingly well done despite being from the same director of Shrek the Third and has a marriage subplot. The sad thing is it came out after the bad Shrek so not much good news could have been attracted to it (Shrek 4 I wouldn't call horrible, just awkward). I love how the film really isn't in the Shrek universe, but rather is more a Pirates of the Caribbean style action adventure using the backdrop of fairy tales. Gone is the hokey, one note jokes about pop culture and present is a true homage to the action adventure movie which really revitalizes the movie. Sure, there is really no deep character development like How to Train Your Dragon, but I can say that Boots actually held my attention despite me now getting too old and growing annoyed of these endless animated facades. It's sad Boots didn't come out after Shrek 2 as it would have made a killing instead of Dreck the Third.

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva (Reiton kyŰju to eien no utahime)

take a shot every time Layton says to be a fucking "true gentleman" and you'll enjoy it more. Although I would have preferred a more involved (liek the video game) story, the movie is satisfactory and the animation is as good as the DS cut scenes which is disappointing.

The Hunger Games

From the Rotten Tomatoes summary, I disagree the film is "superbly acted" but I cannot comment on the relation and true dedication to the novel itself. The story, as with In Time seems more interesting as a premise than executed on screen. I was overall sort of disappointed with the pacing (but that might be how it is in the book and thus might be faithful to the adaptation which I cannot comment on) and ending payoff. In regards to the pacing, it seems as though Ross took a scene from the novel and planted it directly on screen, even making it seem as though the description in the book was describes as Lawrence remained silent. Boring. Another problem is the shaky-cam method of filming is often distracting during fights and can get highly confusing. Lawrence herself is alright in the role, but I didn't buy the times she needed the raw emotions she needed to convey as the character. Hutcherson I also had the same problem, sort of just stone faced the entire time. Hemsworth, okay I have no clue why he is even mentioned in the list of names in this movie, consider it a cameo. Harrelson does alright work though as the mentor, but besides that, characters such as Donald Sutherland or Elizabeth Banks' characters could have been given more than the one dimensionality present on screen. This doesn't mean though that the Hunger Games does have some exciting moments, like when the actual killing begins, but the above criticism truly restricted the film from being phenomenal like its box office opening.

Contagion
Contagion(2011)

It's tense, thrilling and just highly effective in execution. Everything from the disturbing shots, to the application of reality to the actors just was a spot on effort. The film did drag on in the middle and the ending really doesn't answer many questions but the strong work from Damon (has he even done anything good since Ultimatum in 2007?) who at least put a little more effort into his grieving character this time compared to We Bought a Zoo. Fishburne is also quite good as a man torn between the job and ethics.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
½

Not as exciting as Snatch, but every bit as gritty and twisted. Ritchie effectively shoots each scene with ease and character.

In Time
In Time(2011)

Andrew Niccol and Sci-Fi dystopias seem to go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. From the original premise idea, the film sounded highly intriguing and with a reputable director, it all made sense. The problem boils down to the fact every actor in the film has to be around their late 20s for the society to be realistic and that is where In Time fails. The fact you have these inexperienced actors slinging off lines of philosophy of living just irritated the hell out of me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all young actors are terrible, I mean you have to start somewhere (this is partially blamed on the bland story) but c'mon Seyfreid looked stoned and lifeless in every shot, Wilde could have been in there for longer (good job with the melodrama), Pettyfer is annoying as always and Timberlake, well let's just say I wish he would just do comedies or go back to music. Maybe if the story wasn't so generic or so boring, In Time could have been saved.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)

I am going to start off my saying, I think Hugo looks stunning. From the shots in the film, I really wish I saw it in 3D, because I think Scorsese did a great job showing Paris, and its depth and magic. But that's not enough for me to recommend this movie. Either the fault of the screenwriter or the story it is based on itself (I didn't read the book), the film adaptation just seems to not really have a central focus on its story. Is it about Hugo trying to solve the mystery his dad and he were trying to solve? Is it about Gerorges (and it is a very stupid reason) trying to regain his love of the movies? Is it about Borat trying to gain love when he strangely puts kids into an orphanage (who knew they had "orphan catchers" in the 1940s)? I will say though I think Kinsley does nice supporting work with what he is given, but the strange tone of joy and happiness shift just seems highly uneven. As for the child actors, Butterfield just annoyed me (similar to Tintin), he would just continually complain, and there would be no payoff. Moretz, who I thought broke out in Kick-Ass definitely regressed back to "child actor" territory here, showing no maturity to her ever smiling performance (it's as if she was just told to smile and know she had no back story or dilemma at all). All in all, I'm disappointed by 1/9 Best Picture nominations for 2012 (let's see how high it goes) but this is only my 3rd one as I thought the other Paris film, Midnight in Paris, dealt with the city and the subject more maturely. But I can see why it was nominated, just not for the right reasons (peripherally).

Super
Super(2011)
½

Let's go back to 2007, a more innocent time. Ellen Page starred in this little film called Juno with Rainn Wilson. Flash to 2010 (or 2011 when it was released actually). Now picture Page trying to have sex with Wilson because she's sleep walking. Idiocy like that, the gaping plot holes, and the inconsistency of character really drove me to hate this film. The actors (including Liv Tyler, who really should have been taken out by the Crimson Bolt by relapsing) all deserved better in this more grounded indie Kick Ass.

The Sweatbox
The Sweatbox(2002)

The beginning of the film really excited me as I really had no idea that one of my favourite films of my childhood, The Emperor's New Groove, started out as something completely different, and arguably possibly even more interesting. It's sad that the project got canned, but in a way the film gives a nice in depth look at the editing, critique and analysis of how a Disney animated film is made. It's not as brutally honest as it could have been (the ending side tracked towards just shameless self promotion of "Groove") and I really wish they showed more of the Kingdom of the Sun, but I guess the Disney execs really did think Atlantis, Home on the Range, and Chicken Little were going to all be great home runs, right?

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street is wickedly hilarious and it really is surprising where the comedy is coming from. Hill, although giving his best performance since Superbad, is not the MVP. I think I'd give it to Tatum, who seems to give a great, silly and surprisingly dimensional performance in a film filled with stereotypes. Also surprising is how funny Ice Cube is, seeing as, has he really done anything great? The strength of the movie relied on story and in-gags to the buddy cop formula which was already exploited in The Other Guys and Cop Out. What the previous two fail to do is make a film that is wickedly funny, give strong character performances and provide a great story to back it up, and slamming pop culture (I loved the jab at Glee when Tatum realized he wasn't popular anymore because of the show) albeit sometimes too obviously. That, and the girls (Brie Lawson? Ellie Kemper?) weren't really given much, I think it would have been nice to turn that formula too. And when I say it's funny, be prepared to hear 500 dick jokes as well, it might have been overkill if the film is replayed but most of the gags make up for it. Dave Franco (or is it really James Franco doing another job?) could have given a bit more to his role instead of sheepishly looking at the camera half asleep (wait, is it really James Franco?). Be prepared also to learn a lot of chemistry.

30 Minutes or Less
½

30 Minutes or Less actually is one of the funnier comedies of 2011. Eisenberg, Ansari, McBride and Swardson actually strike comedic gold many times during the film's brisk 88 minutes. The plot is simple and the jokes are laid out nicely, not overly vulgar, but still have edge, which the Eisenberg and Ansari are known for. It's not quite as inventive as Zombieland, but it still has the jokes to make up for that.

The Change-Up

Maybe I'm just getting older and more mature to know not to fall for every rude joke Hollywood decides to put on a platter for me. Anyways, I like Bateman (not much for Reynolds, but sure he's ok) but the film was a huge letdown for me. I mean some of the jokes were great in the beginning when Reynolds said them, but like Face-Off and Freaky Friday before it, the tone just didn't match properly under it's R-rating. I would have preferred if Lohan did this movie because think of the possibilities for parody. Oh well. Bateman, stop swearing and stick to the dark stuff. Also, how many boob and poop jokes need to be in a film? Seriously, that just was not funny the first time.

Take Me Home Tonight

In the beginning, Take Me Home Tonight started off strong. it's the typical one night 80s movie where the main character basically gets the girl and tries to solve his personal dilemmas. It sadly does not stray too far from the formula that it often gets bogged down in hokey message, and does not come off as fun as it should have been with the great music selection.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)
½

Oh god. I literally took 3 months to finish this movie. Although i think the movie ended on a better, unpredictable note, the film is really tiresome due to Wiig's annoying shtick. Seriously, she's great as a side actor, but as a leading actress this just is a mess. Just like how Russell Brand really shouldn't have blown up after Get Him to the Greek, Wiig really needed to do more for her role to make this a breakout role. As for the other ladies, they really aren't there much (even McCarthy isn't that funny or special)

Project X
Project X(2012)

Where to begin.... Aright, well remember that movie Superbad? Good, because this is basically an exact replica of the film if it was injected with the ecstasy ridden action of The Hangover. It tries to be an original film, but it really falters by really bringing nothing new to the table. I mean, if you are looking for a good time, great dance/party scenes (the director was a previous music video director) this is for you, but if you want something more stimulating, besides a few smart jokes from "Jonah Hill"-bizarro clone, just re-rent Superbad.

Safe House
Safe House(2012)

I wanted to like Safe House. I felt disappointed by Unstoppable, since it was actually so boring. The Safe House trailer convinced me that that would not be a problem this time for Denzel as it had action and his typcial humor. Although this is true for maybe half of the film, the story become generic at the end, and the jokes are never really there. Reynolds is highly annoying, so really not much else redeems the film except Washington and the action scenes. If a better script was in place, I think Safe House would have been a much better film.

Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits is at times exhausting. Timberlake and Kunis just go at it nonstop, from sex to verbal dialogue. It's not bad, per say, it's just excessive to the point where the idea is butchered and therefore not funny anymore. I wish if they did this the jokes could have been funnier. I also did not like the fact the tone in the final third changed so drastically. And there is also really the sad realization that the films it butchers is the film this eventually turns into! Still, FWB is a much better movie than No Strings Attached, as there is more depth and charisma, but I still think Crazy, Stupid, Love was a much better film regarding friendship and relationships.

Face/Off
Face/Off(1997)

Strangely, Face/Off is highly entertaining, despite what the faces tell you on the poster. Sure it is undeniably funny the way Travolta and Cage act, but taking that to an aside, Cage and Travolta actually play convincing characters for once. You actually feel the pain that Archer feels when the face comes off. I would have liked a little more action, but the psychological aspect really paid off, possibly even better than films like Inception. Still griping by John Woo's weird fusion of martial arts for white people -.-

Cowboys & Aliens
½

Cowboys and Aliens is probably going to go down as one of the best Daniel Craig comedies of all time. Sadly, the sum of the actors (Ford, Craig, Rockwell, the list goes on), the director (Favreau), the producers (Howard, Spielberg), and the writers (Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof) really makes for a sadly unconvincing and lackluster action film. Craig is heavily miscast as a cowboy, slipping from his various accents throughout. Wilde isn't much better with her wide eye look and dead dialogue, she seems to have just replicated herself from Tron Legacy (same backstory there too). Faverau hit a stumbling block with Iron Man 2, and now with this might have finally started to fall as a good director.

The Debt
The Debt(2011)
½

I was hoping for so much better than what was present. The Debt had it all going for it, but it stumbled in so many directions. The plot could have given so many different methods for interpretation, that is just comes off as boring and predicable when the credits roll. Worthington is weirdly cast, slipping out of his Israeli accent, while Mirren really should have been given more screen time given the size of her face.

Everything Must Go

Slow at times, Everything Must Go is the painful truth of alcoholism that is powerfully portrayed by Ferrell.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

A solid finish to the star wars series that pushes true destiny. Although not as great as the first trilogy, this really is the best of the new trilogy.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
½

It was ok, I found it relied 2 much on the kid focus for Anikin, so it fell a little flat compared to the orginal start of the series (A New Hope)

Trespass
Trespass(2011)

If I was given a nickel for every movie Nicolas Cage has made I would be a billionaire. If I got a nickel for each GOOD movie he makes, I would be begging on the streets as the Nic Cage fail train continues. Unfortunately for Cage, the movie is not really that interesting as every character is just playing stupid. The story, although tries to throw twists, ends up how you'd predict it, just sadly not a lot of Nicolas Cage scream quipping (although he screams a lot of nonsense, by the third act he really doesn't do much.) Is this retarded? Yes.

The Beaver
The Beaver(2011)

At times The Beaver is way to pretentious. Everything wrong seems to fall on this family and the cliches never stop. The film does not end kindly (actually the climax was hilarious!) but I do give Yechin some credit here because most of the film's drama actually falls on him to pick up rather than Gibson or Foster. Not a great film, but just to see Gibson fight himself? Priceless.

Fright Night
Fright Night(2011)

Fright Night is in fact not really that frightening, nor is it interesting or even funny. I wish they spent more time planning the actual "fright" because most of the kills were generic. Yelchin is just thrown in the typical, wimp hero role that gets annoying. Sadly McLovin is in the film for 5 minutes; he at least was a breath of fresh air in this stale remake.

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
½

Although I don't think the documentary said anything new, or added any fire to the debate of the 2010 Late Night Wars, the film actually peeks interest showing the dark side of O'Brien and his mind, which is equally as enjoyable.

The Adventures of Tintin

I am a bit disappointed by the overall result of the movie due to the talent involved. I will admit it does contain some of the year's best action scenes, but at times the CG looks dated and creepy, and the ending feels highly unfinished and unsatisfying.

Mission: Impossible 2
½

It's respectfully bad, but when you have Tom Cruise do kung fu occurring with random symbolism it just gets muddled.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D

I won't say I loved the Spy Kids trilogy as a child, but it was quite an impact for me when it first hit theatres in 2001 (I got free tickets when they put me in the wrong theatre for it!). I really disliked the previous installment as it just seemed like one long video game, which in comparision makes it look like Avatar. This movie basically bastardizes the franchise it further lows as the kids are highly unfunny, the spy story not that interesting, and did I mention is slumps to fart and barf jokes? Maybe 10 years ago I tolerated this, but Rodriguez could have at least cut the crap (literally). Also, Joel McHale, why are you in this? This seems like a movie you'd mock on Community or The Soup.

Midnight in Paris

I don't know what really attracted me to the film. The perfect filmed ambiance, the tight script, or the actual acting of Owen Wilson. The movie is pieced beautifully as it paints a painful but true message to the audience. Wilson probably does some of his best work on screen and finally hits the balance between comedic and serious. The others (especially those acting in the 1920s) do a fabulous job imitating the art. This is definitely on my list of the best of the year.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance
½

You know what, the story is horrible, Bruce Willis really shows no depth at all in his role but who cares? The sheer stupidity moves the movie along even if it hits a few rough patches.

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil

When peopel typically mention a film is a step below the original, this will be the new definition of that. Poor acting (Especially Panettiere who seems to change Red Riding Hood's personality drastically), coupled with poorer animation compared to the original, Hoodwinked 2 misfires on all cylinders.

Bottle Rocket

Although there is some fine work, the film is overall too long and too convoluted to be enjoyable.

Hobo With a Shotgun

It just disgusted me this movie.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
½

Rise was definitely a surprise for me. The strong emotional performances carried the story, despite the lack of an exciting climax as the definition of the series. I think Franco actually does a great job as Caesar's "father" and Serkis does great work under motion capture. At times though, the CGI seems quite cheap, such as close ups of the chimps just looks terrible and although not disappointed in the ending, I think a much stronger ending could have occurred if they stuck with the original one. But hey, you just need to keep Franco around, right?

Fast Five
Fast Five(2011)
½

I really wasn't a die hard fan of the previous "fast" films, but at least none of them had the nerve to piss me off. This film did. The utter brainlessness of the film made me question "who the fuck wrote this?" since there should be no credit anyone. The story is so flimsy and unrealistic is makes you actually plot the physics questions during the scenes (ie. how much force would Dom and Brian need to drive their cars with the safe, assuming they are accelerating?). The last movie at least was somewhat laughable to take on the mistakes, but for a movie with "fast" in the title, nothing is sleek or speedy, actually the 2 hours feels wasted and ultimately useless for the ultimate goal of the team. Sure it's fun to see the old team back again, but we don't need an Expendables of further stupidity which is the definition of Fast Five.

Scream 4
Scream 4(2011)

To start off, I want to say I predicted the killer from the trailer. Maybe I would hate this more if I saw the previous films but since I did not grow up with this franchise I will take this as a single entity. Anyhow, the film does pose interesting meta messages about the state of film and the horror industry, but it just seems at times too scripted, and too self referential. The killings were nothing special and the acting is just okay.

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

I love Morgan Spurlock's energy towards his previous film, Super Size Me (I wasn't able to see his Osama Bin Laden film since it was not put on DVD). My problem with this movie is that Spurlock again wants to expose the corporate and advertising industry, but really can't unless he says something against them. Sure, the purpose of the film is to sponsor himself under product placement and see how the process goes (albeit unrealistically compared to bigger budget films) it get boring and at times obvious unlike Super Size Me since the expose really can't occur without offense.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)
½

It's remarkable in the sense that it builds up the mystery for much of the movie, but while the first 2/3 were captivating, the final third when it was fully revealed felt lacking due to the heavy similarity to E.T. Still, the child actors impressed me with the maturity to the material. A high step up from Star Trek for Abrams, although it could have been much better if the twist wasn't so obvious.

The Help
The Help(2011)
½

I have to admit I was a bit surprised by this movie and it's powerful performances by the lead actors, especially Viola Davis and Emma Stone. It is a tough watch at times to see the leads deal with the problems in place, and it never reaches that boring cliche feel like The Blind Side or We Bought A Zoo which really gives you a real feel for authenticity. Still, Bryce Dallas Howard once again plays her typical bitch role, which is getting quite annoying and it is quite slow to begin with, but The Help is an important movie to watch.

Captain America: The First Avenger

I have to give points to Captain America for staying faithful to the time, to an extent. The set and costume design is something to "marvel" at. The problem is with the familiar origin story which is tired, and point obvious make the film feel slow and ultimately weak. I miss "human torch" Chris Evans, as Cap just seems too nice, and thus not as exciting as a character compared to Iron Man. It's not a terrible offense to movie or comic book history, but Marvel better step the game up if they ever want to be on par with Christopher Nolan.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
½

Unfortunately for the latest installment of Pirates is that it is still too long and confusing to be entertaining. Once an interesting premise, the film series has fallen way to far, so far that Depp now just seems tired in the role. While not terrible unlike fellow sequel Transformers 3, Pirates 4 is still disturbingly boring even with a fresh slate.

Attack the Block

Attack the Block could have been that weird British action comedy, like Hot Fuzz, that defied the genre and made it truly hilarious while self referential. The film falters by having a slow first act, and horribly thick accents. Although the badassness picks up by the end, it is a bit too late to save the block for me.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

When you watch a Mission :Impossible movie, you go not for plausibility, but for the laughs and the stunts performed by Mr. Cruise. It delivers on that front, and truly mesmerizes the audience. The best scene occurs when Ethan hangs from the building in Dubai and it is just amazing to feel pulled into the ride. Sure, the dialogue is corny, and Tom Cruise really cannot act in his rebirth since 2006 (best line: I WANT MY BRIEFCASE) and it sucks that Luther and Julia only occur for a small cameo. I also had a slight problem with Michael Nyqvist as the villain, who seemed more one dimensional than Hoffman in the previous installment due to the problem of the role being spread among the Slumdog Millionaire host and that other girl, but it wasn't developed at all. Still, if you want something to mesmerize the mind (which is really hard to do after seeing so many terrible films) this is it.

Hanna
Hanna(2011)
½

From the trailer, Hanna looked very interesting. The beginning scene was fantastic and much of the action shots were done beautifully. Unfortunately, that cannot fully defend a movie where the plot makes no sense. Sure, you go along with it for maybe the first 30 minutes, but then you just grow tired, not knowing, watching retched parallels to Grimm's fairy tales, and it just turns dull. Blanchett is especially annoying as the agent out to hunt Hanna. Did anyone actually tell her to act properly with her accent?

We Bought a Zoo
½

We Bought A Zoo had the potential to be the perfect blend of comedy and tragedy, but in the end falters with an overcliched script. I really enjoyed much of the music from the movie, but it was heavily overshadowed by the generic story that was drawn out for way too long. Although I like Damon and he does display "some" depth in his roles, I found he was bored and really not as emotional as he could have been (he said "man" like 5 times during a heated yelling match). Fanning also is just oddly creepy in her role, but I did like the Colin Ford's work as a foil to Damon. If only the plot had been better and not riddled with random tragedies to ensure the fact it was inspirational, We Bought A Zoo would have been in my list of favourites.

Invictus
Invictus(2009)

Although the performance by Freeman is pretty dead on, the film is excessively long and drawn out that there really is no interest towards the end.

Norbit
Norbit(2007)

Could Eddie Murphy make a worse movie?

Disney's A Christmas Carol

Despite good looking animation and Carrey doing work that makes him slightly funny, the film isn't anything new or different from the old tale to recommend watching again.

Extraordinary Measures

Never have I seen a film so boring from likable actors.

Robin Hood
Robin Hood(2010)

Too long a film, that really brings nothing new to the table.

Cyrus
Cyrus(2010)

Cyrus just didn't click with me.

Team America: World Police

Team America is another example of a film trying to defy a genre creatively, but the jokes really do not hit as funny as most South Park episodes do.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Yup it really was that bad. Maybe it would have been better in 3D, but nothing could save this turkey. From the poor editing, to the overdrawn "story" (wasn't really one), to the lack of logic (well they did say they were going to defy the law of physics, hence another complaint of continual rip offs (of Inception)) Transformers is the series that has fallen from greatness from the first one. A film in 2011 can't even look as realistic during it's historic scenes is actually quite sad since Forrest Gump and to an extent even Bay's own Pearl Harbour managed to do that more successfully than the weird cut off in this film. LaBoeuf once again just looks pissed, runs and screams (he also swings from vines again like everyone's favourite Indiana Jones film). Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is not "bad" persay as Carley, but Megan Fox does have some different energy that really makes it worse when she's now absent from the franchise. Worse is the over the top idiocy of social commentary from Bay (c'mon 9/11? Weapons of Mass Destruction? Immigrants?). Points go to Ken Jeong and John Malkovich for at least being funny when summoned to this wreck. Glad Transformers ended....or did it?

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

Maybe because I did not actually "live" the 1990s pop culture phenomena, I didn't understand the injokes, but wow I had no idea what the fuck was going on. Tarantino again sets up nice dialogue, but makes it some unnecessarily bogged down in explanation that it often goes boring quick.

50/50
50/50(2011)
½

50/50 is a good movie, not amazing and probably would not have hooked me into the "Seth Rogen" phase if this was produced in 2007. Rogen is fine as his safe, always reliable character, but that is where the film produces its problems, being too funny. The formula worked in Knocked Up, but at times the film gets too funny and distracts the true overall message of the film. Still when it is funny, the film hits gold, Rogen hasn't been this funny since he "made a porno". Levitt is just okay, doing his simple smiles and frowns as always, but again doesn't really give much depth due dramatics, instead relying on the surprisingly strong Angelica Huston to carry him through his more dramatic parts. Sure, 50/50 is about defying the stereotypes of cancer films, that it is not all drama with the process, but I think the balance was at times distracting, but it's good to see Rogen back in form.

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

Harold and Kumar Christmas could have been a whole wack funnier if it focused on the right parts of the film. It seems as though the idea of a "3D Christmas" movie focusing on the cliches present in both mediums would have been solid gold for the duo to stumble through, similar to the past two films. The problem begins with the cliches actually becoming the central point of the plot, ruining the overall enjoyment. Sure, there were some funny moments, but for every moment of Danny Trejo, Neil Patrick Harris and Wafflebot, we get a tired "child on drugs" gag, tired Russian Mafia, and a tired parallel between Christmas and drug-culture. The film could have been so much more if it stayed towards zainy, not in the spoof-nudge-nudge way (I actually was sick of it when they mentioned Cho as "Sulu" and Penn as "the guy from the White House"), hopefully Part 4 will improve on this.

Tower Heist
Tower Heist(2011)
½

Tower Heist is just barely above average for me. I mean just everything about it is sub par, and sub average that there is nothing really to reccommend at all. Stiller is just, Stiller again and the hijinks ensue as he goes through the trials and tribulations to plan the heist with Broderick, Affleck, Murphy and Pena. Sure Pena, Broderick and Sidibe score laughs at times, and Eddie Murphy has probably been at his funniest since....early 2000? it's sort of sad that with all the talent, it couldn't have been on the level of funny like Horrible Bosses, and instead copped out to a bland and boring comedy.

Bad Teacher
Bad Teacher(2011)

Bad Teacher could be a much better movie if it stuck with what it wanted to be in the beginning: Balls crazy. Diaz is funny in some of her lines, but it really doesn't amount to much as the story goes on. I wish Jason Segel was in the film more, as he actually provided a comical voice that was rarely being heard. Timberlake as well to an extent is funny, but just comes off as creepy.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.
½

Crazy, Stupid, Love is by no means a perfect film, but it is the charm the actors put in, combined with the surprise twist that really packed the punch to make this movie watchable. It's not as exciting as The Forty Year Old Virgin, and at times Carrell is too depressing and too centered on his role, and I wish more emphasis went to Emma Store or Ryan Gosling in their roles, but it is still a surprise to watch.

Horrible Bosses

It's not really as funny as suggested, but the cast tries it's best to pull one liners out of a sometimes stretched one-note concept. Day like Galifianakis get tired in his role with his annoying high pitched voice, and Aniston who FINALLY is trying something different is barely given screen time compared to the other two bosses. Bateman again seems to be depressed and neurotic while Sudeikis again plays his smug character that acts impulsively. Despite Anistion only breaking type, Horrible Bosses does have it's moments, but albeit short ones.

Your Highness

The film is so disappointing as it raises a promising director (from the adequate Pineapple Express), funny lead actors (I actually used to like Danny McBride), to a weird premise that could have worked (and it was seen to somewhat work in the trailer to spoof the typical medieval adventure film), but the film falls apart when it just goes back to lazy cliches and often stupid jokes that are highly unfunny. Franco quotes that "he shouldn't be blamed because he just starred in it." but I disagree, a lot of the problem is Franco, once again playing a slightly gay character (and STILL tries to hide this fact). It's highly irritating, but hey, at least they got accents down properly in the Dark Ages (unlike Season of the Witch). Portman is also just wasted (she comes in only halfway through...how is she even supposed to be advertised here?).

Paul
Paul(2011)
½

Paul doesn't really change the genre, nor is it a standout like Superbad or Hot Fuzz was to their respective genre, but it is still a great movie to watch despite its short comings. The film isn't overly funny, as it is more an excuse for high positioned cameos and references to Spielberg, which isn't a bad thing if you like that sort of thing. For everyone else though, just watch the two above films for more laughs.

It's Kind of a Funny Story

I was actually surprised how much I liked the film. Everyone pulls their parts (surprisingly, even Zach Galifiankis wasn't just playing the stupid bimbo, he actually tried to form a character this time), although the story drags a bit, the smart one line jokes combined with the social comment about overachieving, stressed intelligent people spoke to its message effectively.

How Do You Know
½

How Do You Know is so irritatingly horrible it raises the question "how do you know the film shouldn't end and hour ago?" or "how do you know this film is complete bullshit?". The strong leads are wasted, but the main problem is the studio's trust in Paul Rudd. Rudd, the least paid out of the four leads, is actually the star of the film, problematic since you have Owen Wilson's head plastered on the poster, but he barely is in this. More problematic is that these dilemmas are not even interesting to care about, nor does it seem like it is as big a deal as the characters make it out to be. A sad attempt at making a dramatic comedy.

Greenberg
Greenberg(2010)
½

Greenberg is hard to rate. I loved Ben Stiller;s character and the characterization of Greenberg, the problem is that the story does not challenge him to do anything interesting with the role. I wish Stiller could have pushed the boundaries of what he wanted to do, rather than just mope.

No Strings Attached
½

No Strings Attached could have been a much better movie if the jokes were funny, the acting was better and the chemistry between Portman and Kutcher. Portman just looks uncomfortable in the role while Kutcher tries to act funny but fails. I actually cried during the movie, once when I realized how shitty it was and again when I realzied the requirement for and during med school are going to be painful. Disappointing from the legendary director of Ghostbusters.

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

Fight Club posed a lot of philosophical questions about man, aggression, and chaos, but the only problem was, this did not seem to be the movie advertised to be. Overly violent, creepy and disturbing at times, the movie pushes the boundaries of the actors and the script, sometimes too far for us to enjoy. Still it is entertaining to see the conclusion of an otherwise exciting film.

The Switch
The Switch(2010)
½

The problem with The Switch is that is stars some funny people (Jason Bateman kills most of his lines) but the problem lies in the tire script that plays it as a terrible, boring sitcom-esque film that has been seen too many times already. Aniston I think gives a stronger performance than most of her shitty rom-coms, but despite the effort, it just isn't funny or endearing to care.

The King's Speech
½

The King's Speech is not as bad as I thought it would be, but that is not saying much. The plot does not provoke any excitement, and besides the masterful imitation of stuttering by Colin Firth, the film is hollow and once again shows the lack of merit to the Oscar name (cough Social Network/Inception/Toy Story 3 cough). I will say it's better than The Hurt Locker.

The Informant!
½

The Informant! is difficult to like as it is not entirely interesting, nor is anything a standout but Matt Damon does some of his best character work I have seen in quite a while.

The Dilemma
The Dilemma(2011)
½

The Dilemma has a huge dilemma at being interesting. Sure, Vaughn has the one "gay" joke that works, but the rest is lame and the acting from all four leads falls flat. James and Vaughn act weird dramatically while Connelly is barely present. Just go rent pre-2005 Vince Vaughn for actual laughs.

Windtalkers
Windtalkers(2002)

Have you ever just watched a movie where explosions just go off? Nothing else? Yup that is what Windtalkers is. Despite the nice scenery in HAWAII, the film lacks any interesting moments with endless explosions showing the same continual shots. BORING. At least Nic Cage tried to act (it does really seem like trying today...)

Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids(2011)

Cedar Rapids is not overly funny for it's cast, but hat it loses in over the top gags (a la Hangover) is made up with heart and real dimension of characters that is often lost in movies (especially comedies). There is the right balance between the men and women as Anne Heche does superb work against Helms, Reilly and Whitlock Jr.

True Grit
True Grit(2010)

The problem with True Grit is the same I had with Invictus, the acting is top notch (especially Hailee Steinfeld) but the story is just too slow to care about with the characters not provding any special motivated to stand out from other films (Such as The Social Network). It's disappointing since I did like the past Coen Brothers films, but then again it's a remake.

Waiting for Superman

The movie was quite informative, but the problem is that there are too many heavy facts which bogs down the interest in the almost 2h film. Still powerful stuff that is quite shocking to hear.

Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch(2011)

Can I give this 0 stars? Because this film is a piece of shit. The film plays out as a tired out over long music video that will never end with no meaning. Snyder puts slow motion on overkill, boring the audience to death once again with the same relentless action scenes that really do not amount to anything. Besides this, the acting is below par (like +9 bogey to be exact) and the story really doesn't move in a pleasant manor to make it make any sense at all. I hated this, save your time and life NOT TO WATCH THIS, it is not even funny unintentionally.

Superman Returns

Despite liking Routh and Singer, this is a mess. The story is bogged way too long, no character is interesting and it is a waste of time.

The Da Vinci Code

I liked this a lot more than Angels and Demons back on the day, but it is far from perfect with the odd pacing.

Blood Diamond
½

This movie is amazing. I mean what more can you expect from Djmon Honousou (who in my opinion has the best deliveries with his "diamond" line) and Leo DiCaprio in his many accents. The film is fast paced, smart and emotionally brilliant.

The Adjustment Bureau
½

You know what? I actually liked this more than I thought I would. The trailers were ok but I think the strong casting from Damon and Blunt made it feel like a real romance that was not boring like many other films. On that note, the trailer was deceiving showing the "Bourne" elements because that is not what the film is, it's more a love story which might irritate people looking for Damon to crack people's necks. Still the problem lies (just like Limitless) in it's overly optimistic ending. It's fine that the 'Bureau' is depicted as not overpowerful as in so many other films, but I wish the ending was smarter than what it was because it built to so much more. Still it's fun to watch and is less boring than Invictus, True Grit (still working on both) and Hereafter.

Limitless
Limitless(2011)

Limitless was not a bad movie, in fact it probably is above average compared to many of the 2011 (remember Battle: LA?) or scifi films (remember Battle: LA?). Cooper and De Niro actually try to act in a film (remember Hangover 2 and Little Fockers?) that tries to push the boundaries about power and smarts. The problem is what separates this from Burger's film, The Illusionist. The ending to me seemed too optimistic (I wish they stuck to the alternate ending, made much more sense and was at least humbling towards the message of the film) but overall not a bad crack at it.

I Love You Phillip Morris

The movie is quite disturbing, albeit also not convincingly real at times (despite being based on real events), but it is the strong acting from Carrey an McGregor that makes it funny yet intriguing.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
½

Possibly the best movie in the series (and the year) the final Potter finally finds the proper balance between magic, love, action and timing to ensure the ride is enjoyable for all. Never a dull moment, the film shows the growth of the actors and I was actually impressed with Alan Rickman (unlike before when he just seemed too creepy). My only problem is with the 3D (I saw it in IMAX 3D). The IMAX was ok since it was a larger medium, but the 3D was horrific. It was either nothing came out, or the people just seemed like cut outs (even in the more impressive action scenes such as the final battle).

Arthur
Arthur(2011)

The movie is absurdly hard to watch (I couldn't finish it) and I am probably lucky to not do so. the film is generic, Brand is annoying once again and nothing in the film is pushy or absolutely hillarious.

Season of the Witch

I don't know what was worse. This or Drive Angry. Still, this moving bored the hell out of me. Cage took the paycheque to show no emotional depth or care as he seems to have stumbled off of The Sorcerer's Apprentice set. There is really no twist, or one to even care about, and don't get me started on the historical inaccuracies. WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING AMERICAN, IT'S THE CRUSADES FOR GOD'S SAKE (no pun intended).

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Part 2 lacks the actions which made the first thrilling to watch, however the dialogue makes up for it since it is might tighter and actually answers what we need unlike Part 1.

Unknown
Unknown(2011)
½

It's not a bad film by any means, but it is just too similar to Total Recall and Taken that the story becomes predictable. The action, as in Taken, is top notch, but the over utilization of the theme of identity is annoying at best and wastes the talent of Neeson.

The Uninvited
½

The acting is uninspiring as is the script, the film does not make too much sense when the twist is given. Banks might be the best part, although her oftcomedic timing is weirdly placed.

Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch(2005)
½

It's not one of my favourite Farrelly Brothers movies, because it really isn't a Farrelly Brother film. Barrymore does her same role as she has done before. Fallon is better, at least showing some more comedic talent and heart, but that can't save this movie's predictability.

Taxi
Taxi(2004)

Well I know why Jimmy Fallon isn't a big movie star like Will Ferrell or Tina Fey after this. The star is for the ending which makes up for the lack of any hilarity (does anyone else notice Fallon just does one liners like Sandler?) in this sad picture.

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Kill Bill: Vol 1 is probably better than Inglourious Basterds, but is technically the same movie if it was set in a Japanese samurai ninja setting. However, it makes up it's weird off setting talkative tone (which I don't understand why Tarintino insists on it) by actually providing satisfying action.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

It's wickedly funny due to the charm of Kilmer and Downey Jr although the plot is at times miscontruded.

When in Rome
When in Rome(2010)
½

It's crazier than the even worse and more offense You Again, but Bell and Duhamel star in one heck of a terrible film. Sure there are the occasional chuckles from a "Napoleon Dynamite" reunion and Kristen Schaal, but the flat and predictable script and the same boring acting from the leads makes this a pretty horrible film.

You Again
You Again(2010)

Horrible waste of time and entertainment. Bell is useless, unfunny and at time pathetic in this unfunny comedy.

Drive Angry
Drive Angry(2011)
½

The film asks you just to find 101 ways to kill someone in 3D. It is ultimately lifeless, stupid and a waste of talent. Cage once again just lifelessly delivers his lines for the cheque. The film is not even in the "funny Nic Cage" category as the lifelessness is just so overwhelming it bogs the film.

Hall Pass
Hall Pass(2011)

A pleasant surprise, although not as funny or sincere as Stuck On You or Something About Mary, (due to the wooden performance by Owen Wilson) the film makes up by some clever jokes by Jason and Stephen Merchant.

Sanctum
Sanctum(2011)

Already a contender for the worst film of 2011, there is no majesty or beauty in this cave, the acting is flat and there is absolutely no suspense.

The Next Three Days

The film is too long and too somber to be considered a good film. Crowe mumbles his way through the inconceivable plot as it try to push reality on a scenario that would not seem so. Banks provides a strong performance behind bars but no one else comes to the plate with enough to make this movie a jailbreak home run.

X-Men: First Class
½

Smart script and writing, although it dragged on at times. The film is less a "superhero film" (like Green Lantern) and more a drama about superheroes (like The Incredibles) adding the layers of depth and intrigue, despite the ultimate fates known for the characters (less of a problem here than in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but still present). Still, a fun effort with all parties cooperating.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, although it did lack the suspense and shock of the original.

Battle: Los Angeles

A weak and often stupid attempt at filmmaking, a waste of talent and often brain capacity. It rips off of everything better than it, essentially making it "The Hurt Locker" of alien films, pure terrible. Eckhart follows the "Christian Bale School of Grunts" while the others do not entice the audience to care about them enough for two hours.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)

Not as good as the original, but still suspenseful and interesting to watch. The problem lies in the lack of interaction and chemistry between the two leads which made the first interesting. The film is shorter and less disturbing which makes it continually enjoyable, but the problem lies in a lack of mystery as the villain is too obvious, unlike the original film's villain. Still much more entertaining than most films today.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
½

Great movie, intense and gripping although highly disturbing at times. I thought the Swedish would be annoying, but it added to the authenticity and the suspense which makes the film interesting. Just not for the faint hearted (it's very disturbing).

Just Go with It
½

Despite the heavy use of funny one liners, Sandler fails to show that he is able to provide a plot driven film once again. The film plays as a stand up routine, only the story on the back burner. Aniston once again doesn't do much, although Nick Swardson actually was quite funny in his sheep herder role. Nicole Kidman, are you poor or something?

Devil
Devil(2010)
½

Meh, I mean it wasn't horrible, but it was nothing original. It was bland, generic, typical M. Night. It isn't bad or good. I don't know how else to praise or hate on it.

I Am Number Four
½

I went in with high expectations, and came out with a disappointing adaptation. The film is Percy Jackson and twilight having a retarded baby. It is almost so stupid that even laughing at it is a horrible offence. The acting is flat, the action is repetitive. Teresa Palmer, who was last seem in Agron's role in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is actually the only surprise, as I found her before to be quite a useless character. Maybe Agron will do the same? Still, Bay and Caruso have nothing to get me excited about a sequel.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

The movie is probably the WORST of the year so far as it is just a publicity sham just to ensure the survival of the teen heartthrob continues. (Note: I don't have anything against him, or his music like the HSM cast) Seriously though, the film adds this nonsensical layer of drama which is just beyond stupid as it just further dampers the already lacklustre, and obviously staged past of Beiber. A monumental waste of time for fans and people of this planet, the film is so monumentally terrible that when he kept yelling how important "MSG" (or Madison Square Gardens) was, it kept looking like the world was about to end. Lame cameos didn't even add much (Drake? Wow, just smiling there pretty....)

The Mechanic
The Mechanic(2011)

This horrible schluck mess of a "thriller" is not even close to thrilling as the trailers makes it to be, or as funny as it tries to think it is. Statham is wasted in another lifeless role while Foster is just acting as the "Zach Galifianakis" of the film (ie. annoying). The cliches are terrible and while the ending provides a satisfying action scene, there is nothing logic about training someone out of grief and risking such a career. Disappointing.

Skyline
Skyline(2010)

Horrible film. Whoever thought to rip off better films to make this is completely obnoxious because this is a stinker. The plot is presented to you in a stupid fashion where no element of surprise or likability is present.

Buried
Buried(2010)

The film lacked a certain element of surprise or element of anything different which is troubling for such a different picture. Sure it was funny to see Reynolds in a box, but it needed something more to make it worthwhile.

The Hangover Part II
½

The movie is like a crude drawing of a trace of a greater original painting, although you laugh at it because it is still somewhat funny because it copies the original. The acting from all three shows they did have fun making the film, but what troubled me was the striking similarities down to the single shots placed. Although enjoyable and slightly disturbing, the film provides slight entertainment for an afternoon, but for a third film to come knocking (The Little Hangovers? Hangover The Third? Hangover 3? Hangover: Part III?) I don't think it will come with such a warm welcome.

Insomnia
Insomnia(2002)

Another great film by Nolan, although the same motifs and characters are present in all of Nolan;s other films. It's the same man with a gift with a dark secret preventing him from greatness. Sure it's repetitive, but it is continually perfected by Nolan.

Black Swan
Black Swan(2010)
½

Although i thought the final act was strong with immersive dancing and powerful dialogue spoken by Portman, my problem lies in the beginning two acts where I believe that Portman really just repetitively repeated her traumas nonstop, making the film seem quite suspenseless. The story is based on Swan Lake, so WHY NOT THROW US A TWIST? The "twist" given isn't even shocking, it's obvious. Still given what Portman has it was a "good" performance, but nothing amazing like Bale in The Fighter, but I do believe much effort did go into her role. I do think that Kunis should have been nominated for her role here because she pushed more boundaries.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Another surprising solid effort from Dreamworks Animation who is slowly catching on to creating great films. Despite the generic plot, and oftentimes unfunny jokes, The 3D visuals are phenomenal and the jokes that do hit, are quite funny. The social comment can get a bit too heavy (family issues, industrialization) but it goes to show the closer step and care Dreamworks is doing to get their films more regarded like Pixar. I won't say this is worse than the first one, or better, it's more of the same and what you expect. Lots of action and stunning 3D.

The Tourist
The Tourist(2010)

The film seems as if it was made just for a vacation for the two stars. Depp and Jolie seem uninterested for any character development, and instead just follow a confusing script to ensure the audience will stay. It's sure not as terrible as the critics say, but the plot twist is quite obvious despite its odd execution.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
½

Another franchise gone wrong. The magic of the first film has slowly faded away as this film tries to recreate the magic (after a more action packed part 2) but the slow pacing and the irritation of Eustace (the "Zack Galifianakis" of the voyage) and the lack of an actual villain makes the story weaker and often silly. Aslan barely has any lines, and the push of Christian symbolism is used inappropriately and too heavily. Still I'll give it that some of the action was ok and the sets looked good.

The Green Hornet
½

The movie is unfunny and often times too cliche for any enjoyment. Rogen is miscast into the role, and is often not even funny to fill in the shoes. Chou is ok, but not really given much despite two major action sequences. Same with Diaz, who seems to want to avoid camera time. Waltz once again playing the same character was good, but should try to change it up. Disappointing.

Machete
Machete(2010)

Honest, clean and disgusting, Machete is a fun movie, although nowhere believable. Trejo and the gang look like they have fun along with the great slew of cameos. Be warned of its gruesome nature and heavy message attached, but the Lohan, De Niro, Alba fight at the end was epic!

Dinner for Schmucks
½

The film is so irritating it wants you to pry your eyeballs out at every moment. Although Rudd, Carell and Galifiankis are normally likeable guys, this was just an utter mess and waste of talents. Clement I'll say was ok in his role, although he wasn't given much past his "Russell Brand" esq character.

Gulliver's Travels

A piece of crap and a high waste of time. Any comedy sense is squarely at the actors for taking the role and not at anything witty. Failure on all measures.

Faster
Faster(2010)

At least it's better than The Tooth Fairy. Action does not make up for the slow and flawed script.

Hereafter
Hereafter(2010)
½

The movie was slow, but it was interesting to see the intertwine of the stories, despite it running too long.

Little Fockers

The films isn't horrible, but I mean it isn't anything special. Sure, 90% of the jokes are not funny, and there is a lazy effort to string back the decade of nostalgia from the franchise, but Stiller and De Niro do have chemistry which drives the film to make it somewhat bearable.

Memento
Memento(2000)
½

Thought it was a great movie. Thought provoking although slow at times.

Source Code
Source Code(2011)

Source Code is part Inception, part Moon. It's a great movie despite Gyllenhaal's sometimes creepy performance (how many times did he want to talk to guys?). The movie once again proves Duncan Jones is skilled at his work. Hopefully more will come.

You, Me and Dupree
½

There are a lot more worse films out there, but the film is generic and often creepy.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Why was this even made? It didn't even fit into the Mummy cannon.

The Terminator
½

Surreal and often disturbing, The Terminator is just crazy.

The Happening

Erm ouch. Even Marky Mark hated this.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2)
½

Visuals were nice, but the film lacked emotional core that I would care for.

Burn After Reading
½

The movie is seriously crazy. I did not expect the sheer madness of these characters.

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye(2008)

The twist was ok, but predictable. Laboeuf came off too serious making it laughable at times.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Not a terrible film by any measure, but it just wasn't amazing. Didn't push much.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
½

Horrible movie. How idd it make $146million again?

Paper Heart
Paper Heart(2009)

Could have been way more interesting if the film didn't feel so robotic in the documentary portions andfeel so scripted in the fiction parts.

MacGruber
MacGruber(2010)

Waste of talent from the SNL sketch. The spoof was generic.

Knight & Day
Knight & Day(2010)
½

The movie was pretty funny in the unintentional way. Diaz is too ditzy and Cruise is just too unbelievable as the funny person making it barely watchable.

Due Date
Due Date(2010)

Pretty disappointed with this. From the trailer, the one line quips seemed brilliant and relavent but in the movie, they were exactly the same. From the talent present, there was a waste of their talents as Downey Jr seemed uninterested while Galifinakis wouldn't shut up (sure it sounds ok in words, but seeing it is a disaster). Disappointed.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy(2010)

I expected it to be this terrible. From the dialogue to the CGI (Jeff Bridges just looked creepy), Legacy is just eye candy which tries to entertain us. Bridges is stoned when he repeats "man" in every line of speech and everyone else just doesn't seem interested. I will say due to the scope of the film, 3D i think might have been a good option to view it in and I would have ignored many of my complaints here, man. Oh well, won't save this movie. Maybe Cillian Murphy could have if he wasn't in there for 2 minutes.

The Fighter
The Fighter(2010)

Like most Oscars movies this one is predictable, boring, and filled with too much drama. Act 1 is just too boring but as the movie continues, the action picks up with Bale doing more crazy shit which makes the film watchable. Adams is confusing (?) as she loses her accent towards the end.

Easy A
Easy A(2010)

I'd describe it as the female comedic version of The Social Network. It's relevant, referential (although some of the 80s stuff was just too distant), filled with past Disney Channels Stars (Lalaine?? Miranda from Lizzie McGuire) and clever. Emma Stone is sexy and smart in the role, similar to Eisenberg in The Social Network and proves she can hold her own against Bynes (who was at times even funnier than Stone).

Salt
Salt(2010)
½

Great plot twist and action sequences. Too bad the CGI looked like crap.

Lottery Ticket

Rarely funny (only to laugh AT), a monumental waste of time. Script is weak as it cannot deicide whether to be funny or serious. T-Pain WTF??

The American
The American(2010)

Could have been 10x better but its bogged down with lame scenes that often do not lead to a satisfying conclusion. Also did not realize it was more foreign than "American" of a film so the pacing was awkward.

Takers
Takers(2010)

Mediocre beyond belief. There is nothing to make the characters likable, everyone is on their own planets. WHAT ARE T.I. AND CHRIS BROWN EVEN DOING IN THIS???? They act terribly in this rip off of other better heist films. Waste of talent and money. Plus Walker and Anakin Skywalker get mixed up.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
½

So-mo is exhausting, Gyllenhaal is boring, Arterton plays the EXACT same role in Clash of the Titans. Overall disappointing.

The Social Network
½

The dialogue is borderline brilliant. THIS deserved to win the Academy Award, not the phoney and pure fodder King's Speech. Everyone puts forth their best effort and it is not only satisfying, it is also entertaining despite the constant talking.

Going the Distance

It's not a terrible movie, the jokes are funny, espeically from Sudeikis, Day and the girl who played the dinosaur in Toy Story 3. The problem is in the scripting as it is quite predictable and prolonged, when the movie could be much more simplisitc. It's a shame that the talent going into this was stronger from it's supporting players than by Long and Barrymore.

The A-Team
The A-Team(2010)
½

WTF? the movie is so implausible it's at time exhausting. Still the likabilty of all four actors is present which makes the movie less suck.

Rango
Rango(2011)

Bland films despite it's interesting visual. Surprised Nickelodeon is releasing this with the language and substances used in the film. Depp is wasted in the role, and it is overall not that funny. Still the 2 action scenes were breathtaking, but that's not enough to give my recommendation.

Moon
Moon(2009)

Loved the movie. Brilliant work from Sam Rockwell in the title role as he manages to go insane himself in this. Quite a different movie than what I thought it was going to be. Check this out!

Constantine
Constantine(2005)
½

This movie is pretty terrible, but what it loses in a weak story, it gains in it's amazing cast of Djimon Hounsou, Shia LaBoeuf, Tilda Swinton and Keanu Reeves. Half the time it is beyond confusing to determine what happens.

The Other Guys
½

Sure, it's not Will Ferrell's best movies, but that's really because it's not one of his movies. It's a good movie by it's own right where Will Ferrell really isn't himself. It's his best movie in years (since Blades of Glory) and it's good to know he is still fresh and funny. Wahlberg is also surprisingly funny too as the partner. The satire and social comment sometimes slow the pacing of a semi-quotable film, but still this could have turned out much worse.

Piranha 3-D
Piranha 3-D(2010)
½

Sure it's a terrible film. But if you can get over the nasty stuff, it's quite fun to laugh at.

Shrek 2
Shrek 2(2004)

It's funny, witty, but just not as inventive as the first Shrek. It's better than 3 for sure, but this movie at least mad me laugh at Pinocchio.

Shrek Forever After

Who am I kidding, how did I say the last Shrek was "ok". It was actually so bad I can't believe I was dying to see it. This one I think changed that for me. Sure, it isn't perfect or as smart as the first two Shreks, but I still believe that this one still was impressive as it managed to take the franchise, spin it on what it had and made it at least somewhat entertaining for 90minutes. Although it was quite annoying last time for the product placement, I was sort of shocked that it disappeared this time around (Maybe saved for MegaMind?) I beleive that sadly the movie did not fail due to a terrible idea or script, it failed mainly due to the last film which saddens me since this is no better or worse (talking to you Despicable Me) than the other animated films of 2010.

Red
Red(2010)
½

When the action is there it's fun, same thing with the comedy. Great work from everyone. Too bad it's overly convoluted and confusing at times and the fact Morgan Freeman was killed and Ernest Borgnine was there for a second.

The Town
The Town(2010)

The movie's main problem is its pacing. Half the time you want to see fighting or action occur, but it's overall bogged down is slow meandering scenes that could have been trimmed. Great performances by Affleck, Hamm and Renner. Wish that they showed more of Lively and Hall as they both seemed to disappear halfway through the film.

GoldenEye
GoldenEye(1995)

not the best bond but hey, it's bond.

I'm Still Here
½

its confusing and often sad to see Phoenix spiral into insanity. sadly, we don't even care. kudos for the cameos though (esp ben stiller)

Predators
Predators(2010)

its bad, but campy bad. seriously brody, pick some better roles.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
½

Not as exciting as the posters suggest, but it is still a step up from the uneventful and often silly last instalment. The acting has definitely improved, but it is hindered by unnecessarily slow forest scenes when it could spend time explaining other important aspects.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
½

Not as terrible as people say, but it's definately not the best movie of the year. The overuse of Secrets by OneRepublic makes it completely annoying to sit through baruchel's voice, but it's the overcamp from Molina and Cage that makes the film work overall.

127 Hours
127 Hours(2010)
½

Rich and smart with layers of excellence from the cast. Although running slow until the final scenes, the idea of the flashbacks and tortured experienced by Franco feels real and organic. However, I wish more thought went into the explanation of Franco's character. Nothing ever gets truly explained. Still, it's exciting for the last scene.

Splice
Splice(2010)
½

Interesting premise, but it falls short of interesting when the secrets are revealed

The Expendables
½

Terrible film, great action. Why is this even a team? Heck it's just Statham and Stallone with the occasional Jet Li. Rourke looks like he just walked off of the set of Iron Man 2 and demanded the most boring line in the film.

The Last Airbender
½

Ouch, M Night has hit another low. Although not as bad as his last two (who shall not be named), this is just sloppy, boring, overacted, cheaply CGIed, and a waste. Noah Ringer had potential to buy Aang for me, but seriously, the story is so Americanized that the charm and feel of the cartoon is gone.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Delightfully awkward and still sincere, Cera succeeds to make this his best film since Superbad.

Grown Ups
Grown Ups(2010)

I didn't hate the film, I just think that it went out in the wrong way. The rifts and jokes fly perfectly, but the story (wait, what story?) just didn't make sense or wasn't appealing enough. Seriously, if this was to be truly amazing, make it Sandler and the guys in some sort of danger because this was like just stand up jokes at a camp for kids. Disappointing, but not terrible. 5.5/10

Jonah Hex
Jonah Hex(2010)

pointless, lacks sense.

Unstoppable
Unstoppable(2010)
½

It's not "da bomb" or epic enough for my taste, but the last 30 minutes when the action actually picks up was what is worth it for the movie. I wish the characters had been developed a bit more to make them actually interesting to care about. It's often too serious, in a bad manner as it is not corny enough to laugh at like Pelham 123 was.

Megamind
Megamind(2010)
½

Good movie, not amazing. Ferrell, Fey, Hill predictable in roles, Pitt is also wasted talent. Much better than Despicable Me, which often lacked interest level and sarcastic ploys that the leads can do. Wished Downey Jr stayed for the ride, much more dynamic and interesting performance could have developed.

Killers
Killers(2010)
½

Terrible film. Katherine Hiegl is so unlikeable it sickens me. Action was ok, but it made no sense at all.

The Karate Kid
½

Good movie, bit slow at times. Jackie Chan actually was good for one...same for Jaden too. Fight scenes and China looked amazing, even though story was cliche.

Up in the Air

Smart movie bogged down by the smugness of George Clooney. When it wants to be a satire it succeed and is smart I that regard, and hen it explains the lonliness of man that was also interesting. The cameos were also great to see from Zack Galifinakas, Jason Bateman, Sam Elliot and JK Simmons. Sadly, the film meanders too much on the lovelife. Since I liked 2/3 of it, there.

The Last Song

The weak performances by Cyrus and everyone else (besides Kinnear) makes this laughable, so it's enjoyable for a while.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Good movie, not amazing. Douglas seemed creepy in the role and LaBoeuf did not act his age (HOW WAS HE IN COLLEGE FOR TRANSFORMERS 2??). The business story lacked appeal as it was often too overshadowed by the better family story between Mulligan, LaBoeuf and Douglas. Brolin and Langella are also great, but this much talent doesn't add to the sum of it's parts.

Date Night
Date Night(2010)

Although the chemistry is present, the almost satisfying story (it is quite boring throughout, but it wraps up quite nicely) brings down the interest level for me. Still recommended.

Death at a Funeral
½

Excruciatingly bad. 2 funny jokes, but they were both in the trailer.

It's Complicated
½

it's truly excruciating. it's so sitcom-y that nothing feels real or plausible and was just at times stupid. I did like Steve Martin and John Krasinski's performances, mainly because they were the only ones who seemed in control in this utter mess.

Repo Men
Repo Men(2010)

Horrible. Tries to get preachy, but never really works. Has odd comedic feel to it, but doesn't know how to be serious in the story. Talent wasted. Anyhow, I'd watch it just to see how "UN-FUTURISTIC" Toronto really is.

Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass(2010)

Phenomenal movie, wish it got bigger audience. Mclovin and Cage shine playing different characters that are quite hilarious.

Hot Tub Time Machine
½

I liked it. Although Most people may not due to the endless jokes of the 80s. However, for someone who loathes pop culture, sex jokes, and the 4 characters, you will like this movie.

Red Eye
Red Eye(2005)

If the third act was stronger, I would add this to my list of favourite films. Sadly, the third act falls too conventional to the great build up of the second act.

From Paris with Love

Better than what review said, but it is not satisfying enough to recommend.

The Bounty Hunter

I wish they focussed more on the mystery or the tension rather than both at the same time.

Youth in Revolt

Besides the at times funny cameos (the only one I can think of that was funny was Zach Galifianakis, but he as gone early) Michael Cera falls flat in a film that says he doesn't play his same stale character,....but technically does. It takes no risks, it is overly dark and is a waste of talent...or similar acting from Cera.

Cop Out
Cop Out(2010)

Waste of talent for both leads. Tracy Morgan was funny...to laugh at.

Despicable Me
½

Despicably awful? not quite but not adequate enough to call it a classic on Pixar (or even Dreamworks) level. This is probably better than the onslaught of terrible animated films from 2005-2007, but it is not much better than recent Pixar/Dreamworks (Panda an Dragon) fare. I do say though that while the 3D is nothing special, at least it pushed the boundaries unlike Toy Story 3.

Alice in Wonderland

I didn't think it was anything special but it did hold my interest I guess. I did like Burton's other work better with Depp.

Inception
Inception(2010)

I liked this movie, but I really wish it wasn't that complex. At times, the complexity ruined it for me to be considered a classic, but still it is one of the best films of the year and the summer. Gordon-Levitt steals the show with his witty performance. Although at time the visuals take over as the more entertaining aspect, Inception succeeds as a smart film released in a summer and not as one with "just explosions."

Wayne's World
½

Stupid harmless fun that loses edge today due to much better comedies.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Great movie. wished they showed more tension though butI guess its hard when both of them are still living.

She's Out of My League

Better than what most people say it is. The script has fun pop culture jokes and jabs at sex jokes and Baruchel can lead the movie, but at times the jokes feel repetitive and a knock off feel to the original movies (ie. Knocked Up). Still, She's Out of My League works for its jokes and Baruchel's annoying voice.

500 Days of Summer
½

Good movie. Great script although at times it did drag at times. Impressive dance and acting from Gordon-Levitt.

Election
Election(1999)

Smart movie, although Broaderick at times seemed bored. Witherspoon was fantastic!

Shutter Island

Strong thriller that causes you to think. I do wish that the beginning was possibly changed a bit but still with the performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, it provides a thrill ride that is predicable but engaging.

Green Zone
Green Zone(2010)
½

I did not think this was a terrible film like most people say, but I do see how people might be decieved this is a) as good as the Bourne films and b) is a Bourne film. It is good on its own and stands as an analysis of our decisions. Much better than the Hurt Locker since it did have a story at least.

Snatch
Snatch(2001)

Strong heist film with interesting chaaracters (Brad Pitt espeically) and an interesting plotline.

The Wolfman
The Wolfman(2010)

Makes even Taylor Lautner look scary. THIS IS BORING AS HELL.

Taken
Taken(2009)
½

Good film. Not amazing, go out and see it immediately. Nice action scenes with Liam Neeson. The prostitution was probably necessary but I found too vulgar and could have actually been substituted to make it more realistic.

The Book of Eli

Good enough if your bored, but not good enough to go out and just watch. Cut those scenes where Denzel was walking in the desert and stop making everyone whisper!!

Get Him to the Greek

I liked the idea the movie was going for, but it ultimately fell flat for me. The mild recommendation goes to P Diddy (Sean Combs) and the music which I really wished they'd explore more. On iTunes you have a 20+ album soundtrack, but I wish the movie explored more of a redemption of Aldous, rather than blending the likes of I Love You, Man, Pineapple Express, Knocked Up and Superbad while ripping off the storyline of The Hangover. When Sarah Marshall came out in 2008, I enjoyed it for its fresh take of the dialogue and the spoof of the entertainment business. Here, it does not take the level of spoofing the industry seriously enough and thus, lazily makes its way though. My last problem is with Hill and Brand. They were funny in Marshall, but here they are at times boring and unfunny. Brand possibly says too much, making it lame while Hill is just so out of it he lacks the like-ability he normally gets for playing a douche. As much as I wanted to like Get Him to the Greek, it is a lazy attempt by Apatow and friends to recap the previous films of 2007-2008 that were much better. If only it was as good as the soundtrack.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

it was hillarious...not as funny at knocked up but it was a 100% times better effort than walk hard or drillbit taylor. the jokes were fresh jason segel is goofy, and swearing, and nudity all return. i hope judd apatow brings home more of these...but looking at zohan...:| uh oh.

Four Christmases

Erm waste of time? It's not even funny. Vince vaughan does the same schtick the entire 2 hours of the film.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)
½

Exciting movie. Loved the characters. Well deserved sequel. only complaint: quite dark and is possible step backwards from serious tone of Pixar lately. well maybe that isn't so bad acutally...

The Emperor's Club

WTF?? Jesse Eisenberg was ok but WTF??

The Box
The Box(2009)

its creepy. just pissed me off.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

I say I liked the 2nd act the best, the rest seemed quite slow, and the ending did not seem too satisfying. to name this the best movie of the decade is quite misleading, although in that dream sequence, I was quite intrigued.

Gentlemen Broncos

Terrible iflm. Do not waste your time thiknig it is the next Napoleon Dynamite. Same formula, messy results. Nothing is funny

G-Force
G-Force(2009)

Quite mediocre. Even Zach Galifianakis wasnt funny here! I guess Tracy Morgan was funny but that's pushing it.

9
9(2009)
½

Wanst a great film. ripped basically all off of terminator.

Edge of Darkness
½

Still confused what it is about. Sure it had good intrigue, but theres got to be more on the plate here... Winstone gave good performance though. Mel? no.

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)

Liked it a lot more than I thought I would but it still did not live up to the first one. Although I thought the first one was just "great", this one is just "good". My problem is that it seemed too fun, not serious enough. It had action, but at times the lack of story destroyed the narrative focus. I mean you want a movie with character development, but it seemed confusing when all Stark cares about is him dying and finding a cure. Great work from Rourke and Rockwell but I wish Cheadle wouldn't be so damn serious. I mean it seemed so different than Rhody from the first. Its one thing to make it your own, but completely different?

Couples Retreat

i take baxck i thought this was going to be anything like forgetting sarah marshall, this is more like Adam Sandler's Grown Ups, 4 couples with problems go to an island. Heck they should have kept it R for gods sake, they cut all the "intense" sceens from the trailer even. not worth time or money, although Vaughan and Faverau are funny at times. Just rewatch Wedding Crashers.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
½

slow start, but it was quite entertaining with the wit. not as deep as up or fun as it, but it is ok i guess.

The Invention of Lying

It's a smart movie, but I tihkn the real problem is it often seems like a lie. I like Ricky Gervais, I loved Ghost Town, but I think the main problem is you're not sure when he lies after he discovers it. I think it starts off too slow but eases in nicely with a sweet story similiar to Ghost Town. Although I do not think it is as good, due to the great supporting cast never really fulfilling themselves (Tina Fey?), it could have been a much stronger movie.

Food, Inc.
Food, Inc.(2009)

scary movie. slow at times.

The Blind Side

sweet movie, although i did find it at times to be too sweet. my problem with it was there seemed to be no climax in this 2hour film. comparably, the soloist, another film about the bringing up of someone poor to me felt more emotionally driven than this picture. I did like it for Bullock and the family (I did find the sister falling flat, but the brother made up for it) but I do not believe that it was "Oscar Best Picture" material. A good film, but not "that" good.

Sherlock Holmes
½

Pretty good. Good chemitry ith Downey and Law. Did drag on thought at parts.

The Proposal
The Proposal(2009)
½

Not bad. I liked it. not maybe as much as 50 First Dates, but it was 100x better than The Ugly Truth. ALtohugh both predictable, this one at least tried to care for its characters and did try to provide a sincere storyline that did not always make sense. Props to Bullock and Reynolds for making it work....sorta.

The Losers
The Losers(2010)

Erm it was worse than i expected. It fell flat for me. like a pop on a sumemr day if its out to long. its sorta sweet (the comical stylized action was cool...for 5 minutes) but it just seemed liek it was out of gas. I still don't know what even happened. Just wait til some better summer movies come out. Save your money. Wait isnt this the A Team?

Where the Wild Things Are

erm. didnt liek it. seemed a little uh, depressing for a child's book for me/

The Princess and the Frog

sweet little movie, although it was quite slow at times. but nothing likeold schol disney. still its way better than a lot of the animated fare today.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

erm, could have been better. sort of pointless though.

How to Train Your Dragon

Liked this a lot. Not as good as Kung Fu Panda, but is definately on my high Dreamworks list. Sweet story, actual characters, no gay ass movie references. Just learn from this Dreamworks and you should be good. Oh wait, Shrek's coming out in a month, isn't it.....

Clash of the Titans

Terrible film. I mean its just a lame ass 3D excuse. not fun and it is a serious letdown. Its quite laughable. Liam Neeson (who I liked...somewhat) seemed bored and Sam Worthington just seemed confused thorugh a desert again...just like Terminator Salvation. DONT GET TRICKED TO SEE THIS>

Castle in the Sky

My favourite Hayao Miyazaki film. lots of action and is quite entertaining.

Howl's Moving Castle
½

Didn't really like this one either. felt sorta slow.

Old Dogs
Old Dogs(2009)

this movie is so retarded its funny. I mean it is just utterly ridiculous that it is watchable. Just to see all of these actors loose their credibility here is just plain hilarious. My guilty pleasure of 2009.

Ponyo
Ponyo(2009)

I dont think its the strongest film from Hayao Miyazaki, but I do beleive the feeling of childhood was powerful. still its fluff in comparison to the older work like Castle in the Sky.

Law Abiding Citizen
½

i thought it was ok. had various paragidms that seemed interesting. it didnt make that much sense but i mean it was entertaining for 2h i guess.

Zombieland
Zombieland(2009)
½

i liekd it. same zany humour from superbad. nto to all tastes.

2012
2012(2009)

erm, didnt reallym ake sense but the effects were cool i guess.

The Hurt Locker
½

I hated this movie. idk maybe its just me. maybe its just not my type of film but i mean it had no story (best screenplay?) and it just seemed liek 3 guys dismantling bomb after bomb. no mystery.

Whip It
Whip It(2009)

Erm, maybe I was expecting a little more than wht was there? It was just sort boring. Nothing really happened until the end. It has a positve message but message over interest is not my idea of a film.

Gran Torino
Gran Torino(2009)

Personally, I want to ask Academy voters why this wasnt even nominated. It's a fantastic film, a bit long but it gets the point across of grudges and sadness.

The Break-Up
The Break-Up(2006)

It was ok. I like the twist on the rom-com style but it just didnt feel as tension seeking that I got from the trailers.

The Ugly Truth

Terrible and mean spirited. Its so stereotypical it just bleeds for each eardrum. Go watch Knocked Up for a better relationship film.

The Rock
The Rock(1996)
½

it was ok. slow at first, but it picked up nicely

District 9
District 9(2009)
½

i do not tihnk it is oscar worthy (picturewise) for me as ir seems liek quite a similar type to avatar. Avaatr wowed me with special effects but what was here that made it that special? Maybe its just Sharlto Copley and hsi performance. I guess it was a shocker to me this was what the movie was about, but i guess when watching it wanst too difficult. The same sci fi stuff unexplained but i do liek the documentary way it was shot.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan

its funny for the most part until it turns stupid.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I thought it was just ok. The special effects seemed ok, but personally, I thought the story was a bit thin. Lots of ideas seemed unanswered. Brandon T Jackson was great and the LAs Vegas part was hillarious, but I did not think the rest of the superb supporting cast were utilized properly;

Public Enemies
½

i think it was probably one of 2009's most underrated movies. Johnny Depp was fantasitc in the role and the tension and angst from both sides 9Christian Bale) was great.

50 First Dates

it was funny, but i thuoght it was less an actual adam sandler comedy

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
½

pleaseant suprise asi wasnt expecting much.

Terminator Salvation
½

the plot is as mechanical as a robot. christian bale seems to talk liek batman all the time. sam worthington in hax in this.

The Spy Next Door
½

This was not much better than the Tooth Fiary. The story was duller but what .5 better? Jackie Chan's English was just hillarious. And Billy Ray Cyrus was hillarious. Saldy, its not laughing with, but at them.

The Tooth Fairy

Just plain horrible. Fake messages throughout and The Rock and that other British guy were just plain creepy together. Dear The Rock, do more action films..,.PLEASE

Push
Push(2009)
½

It sort of lost me. I thoughti t was OK, nothing too special (seeing as it is an XMen rip off here) anyways Blood DIamond guy didnt yell enough to be truely evil. And the Asian guys...guys you looked constapated.

Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
½

It's extremely lame and unfunny. I was expecting the same "magic" in this film as the first but all this one had were shapless cameos (although Jay Bruchel and Jonah Hill were funny...somewhat) and a story that made no sense whatsoever. What worse? They techincally canned all the characters from the first film. Rewatch the first one instead of this.

Angels & Demons

Now I thought t5he Da Vinci Code was just ok. The novel was obviously better than the movie, but that movie I thought was satisfying enough to keep me entertained. Now this? This? Ruined my evening. Its pace was way off (Too slow in beginning, too fast when they kill people), Ewan McGregor sounds liek a robot and I just really could'nt beleive all the book changes. They cut out many improtant parts and I was shocked. Skip It.

Year One
Year One(2009)

Horrible. Unfunny. Waste of TIme.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)
½

Thought it waso k. time travelling was confusing but it did have a strong story.

The Soloist
The Soloist(2009)

This was truely a disappointment to me. I thought after such a great year for Rob Downey last year, this would continue (this was supposed to come out in 2008), however it fell flat. The problem? Too predictable (from the trailer) and too flat of a story to tell. I praise the excitement Downey and Foxx were trying to put on but just rent Dreamgirls or Ray for better Jamie Foxx music action.

Land of the Lost

This is horrific. Its terrible on so many levels its not even funny, literally. Will Ferrell, please, just be funny again, because now, your just not. Pawning this off as a kids film??? What were you thinking. Well I guess it all in a learning curve...

Avatar
Avatar(2009)

Superb. amazing. (my first 5 star review!!!) it was so powerful and emotional that it derserves all the respect its getting. Sure, the story wasnt superb, but the effcts and strong performances by Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver really made me liek the film a whole damn lot. watch it in theatres. this is not a dvd film.

Adventureland
½

Erm...this movie is sorta awkward. I thought it be like Superbad but it was more like Funny People. Its more depressing than funny and never reaches that smile properly. I really wish Bill Hader was in it more and also Kirsten Wiig (strangely, I say for her to remove herself from so many SNL skits). Good job Michael Cera clone as well. And Frigo.

Good Luck Chuck
½

too dirty for my type of film. its too slapsticky with too much swearing. it just doesnt work for me.

Lord of War
Lord of War(2005)

bleak and boring. nic cage was funny in his cocaine scenes along with jared leto but thats it.

Monsters vs. Aliens
½

sorta meh. coming off last year's panda, this makes it look bad. seems like all they cared about were the graphics and tried to force feed a story with some emotion (doesn't work if you ain't pixar, buddy) and ya, it doesn't quite work. its just not overly funny as they try to cram every reference possible to monster/alien movies. its liek shrek all over again. (speaking of that, the dreaded shrek forever after is next year. prepare to not go green!)

Michael Jackson's This Is It
½

This is it! Well not really. They decide to make a movie from rehearsal footage elapsing 2 hours. Wow. That's really long. Like the movie was fun and interesting when singing, but when it went on for TOO LONG (Billie Jean) the classic just felt....old. The way to really enjoy the movie is not to see it as a piece that flows, but as a compilation of footage that was pieced together in tribute. So really appreciating the dance moves of Michael Jackson really makes the movie interesting. What backfired for me? Michael's stage direction. Although it was funny to hear him complain about his earpiece, or try to tell us how his jacket will burn when he "beats it" sometimes that even dragged and added to the boredom. And also, Michael you are not in the 70s nor are you a kid. Sing :You Are Not Alone" again, or jsut get your brothers back to sing Jackson 5. It's not the same.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
½

Short strong little film. I liked it. Very colourful and sarcastic and Bill Hader does some nice voice work (interesting they picked him over Samberg for the lead role). Nice to know the smaller (or in this case, bigger) guy is getting recognized!

Capitalism: A Love Story

Good movie with a strong message. Has interesting humour which helps compliment message Moore is trying to get across. My only complaint was it seemed completely biased, similar to Sicko about the fact that Capitalism was all wrong. But then again, I think seeing Moore tape up and citizen arrest the banks made up.

Con Air
Con Air(1997)
½

ROTFLMAO. one of the early nic cage hair-n-action flicks. utterly crazy.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Sweet little movie altohugh it was nothing like I expected it to be. Be warned you sweatshirt wearing, singing geeks, Michael Cera is himself again.

17 Again
17 Again(2009)

Utterly stupid, but its still funny. Zac Efron, playing another singing, dancing douche shines in the roles as its essentially the same as his HSM one, minus the singing (can't say the same about dancing). Ultimately, if you liek creepy films, this one's for you.

Knowing
Knowing(2009)
½

amazingly silly but still enjoyable. nicolas cage is still once again saving the world from shit, altohugh despite his amazing superpower to touch people on fire dies. yup i just ruined it. but whatever that's not important. the movie is quite hillarious when you see him curled on the floor crying for his son, or blinking too many times on a date or how he IS DRUNK WHEN HE FINDS THE PATTERN OF NUMBERS!!!!! just wait, i think the sorcerer's apprentice is just what we're looking for for some diversity with the guy (sarcastic)

Hannah Montana: The Movie

Terrible terrible film. Here are my reasons:

1. cut most of my favourite main characters out. Olver anyone?
2. the plot follows a similar (ok almost IDENTICAL) line to the lizzie mcguire movie. girl goes to another places, hides secret and at the end exposes it. how original.
3. i hate when movies introduce song titles in one lines before it
4. are people really that stupid to not see the difference between miley and hannah? like i mean that british guy was probably so stupid to believe miley when asking for directions.
5. cameos are nice, especially when they sing for 5 minutes a piece (although i'm not necessarily saying taylor swift sucked)
6. would you really lose your middle class job just to make your daughters happy? I wouldn't
7. i hate those movies when the character hides the identity so stupidly between two different scenes... yah if you'll watch it you'll get it
8. everyone falls. likei mean i calculated 1 fall per 5 minutes in this film. more than it transformers 2 i think.

so if you manage to have a peanut for a brain or decide to laugh at the stupidty of the film this would be enjoyable to watch. although it wasnt really.

Pink Panther 2

I guessed the villain 25 minutes in. Nuf said.

Yes Man
Yes Man(2008)

Mildly entertaining. This movie btw is not for kids (Uh, Jim says yes to some dirty" stuff). It had some funny stuff and tried to be somewhat emotional but ultimately wasnt the highest on my list.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Oh, the pain. It's essentially Talladega Nights with no Will Ferrell (technically). Well if you really want to know what it is:

Semi-Pro: ripped heaven scene
The Hangover: ripped Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, etc.
Bruno: Gay theme.
Knocked Up: Lapdance

I could go on but I mean I'd spoil it. It's vulgar and unfunny.

Inglourious Basterds

Do not beleive the ads. This movie only features 50% Pitt, 10% Kruger, and a whole lot more of the nameless Jew girl and hunter. I did find it satisfying, although confusing because it didnt follow history and it was mostly in French but Brad Pitt was hilarious speaking Italian!

Valkyrie
Valkyrie(2008)

sort of confusing. really boring at times. tries to build up too much suspense and then...well you all know what happens it obviously fails!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
½

The film was ok. Nothing great. I think it suffered from its length as the film was way longer than the 5th. I also didn't like how many of the minor characters that were brought to existence were side tracked this time (ie. Cho Chang, Neville, etc.). The love scenes dragged on (not to mention the snitch was gone from Quittich) but I did like the ongoing chemistry between the three main actors and Snape. The film I thought also suffered from too much comedic play throughout when the mood should be serious as the films are supposed to be getting darker and darker. Overall, not the greatest but certainly not the worst film of the year.

Ghost Town
Ghost Town(2008)
½

Smart movie. Kinda dry in parts when he rambles on about nothing, but its very similar to other comedies today.

Funny People
Funny People(2009)

This movie is like Knocked Up if it met Up. It's way too depressing for its own good but they try to squeeze in all the comedy they can in this 2.5h fest. The past Apatow fare also dealt with drama, but not to this extent. I really enjoyed Seth Rogen's character as it seemed so drastic from his usual potty mouth and crass guy. Here is plays the sweeter sarcastic guy (like Michael Cera). Adam Sandler I might be a little disappointed with since he seemed sort of trying too hard (the crying was enough!). Leslie Mann was also quite interesting in her role and the various cameos from old (Jonah Hill) and new (the list will go on if I list it) are fresh. Well my main complaint is it does drag at the end, and the ending isn't the greatest, but Funny People is one of the bets films of 2009. But probably my least favourite Apatow directed film.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
½

reminds me of forrest gump, but i liked it better when it was called forrest gump. still a good movie...minus the fact its friggin 2h40m long :S

Seven Pounds
Seven Pounds(2008)

tries too hard to be emotional (will smith especially). i dont reallu understand the point of the film as its him hitting on sick people and testing them if theyre worthy...weirdo :S anyways the plot is WAY too confusing until u understand at the end what is going on (hence the star) dont wtach it. for a better twist watch the 6th sense or watch pursuit of happyness for sap.

Bedtime Stories

funny and exciting. although its for kids it still has the sweet adam sandler with the hillarity from click. he isnt the over the top sandler, but he maikes the movie funny along with russell brand.

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!
½

its average stuff...morton was funny

Babylon A.D.
Babylon A.D.(2008)

retarded film...interesting rap at begininng

The Rocker
The Rocker(2008)

sorta average.. nothing great

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
½

Not as good as everyone's been telling me (cough cody, u ruined the entire thing)...i really just didnt find it funny nymore...on the plus side tho, its interesting how he pranked so many americans (ie. on the news for the prank at the rodeo)

Bruno
Bruno(2009)

creepiest movie of the year and possibly the decade. it is hilarious though. i especially liked the ending song and the cagematch, and various other smaller scenes not in the trailer. if i had to fault the movie, I'd say it's way over it's head and sortof too :S. Also, I thought this story was even worse than Borat. I think though I may have liked Borat better in the sense it wasnt trying to go higher and higher with disgustingness, but more with wordplay. Bruno is just too "gay" in comparison to Borat.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
½

Ouch. In my list of anticipated movies of 2009 this would be pretty high and this now ranks in the terrible list. The dialogue is crappy, no Jon Voight (strange though, he took Bratz but not this...) and the fun of the orginial is gone. The movie can be summed up as rasict (the two cars, etc.), dirty (not even megan fox is as dirty as humping dogs), a megan fox boob excuse (geezus every scene with explosions the camera focusses on her boobs!), explosion (with no meaning), and comedy from shia laboeuf. the main problem is the film doesnt know whether to be comedic at times or just plain action. Very Disappointed.

Slumdog Millionaire
½

Overrated. Not as interesting as I thought it would be although I didn't fall asleep. Not for familes, not heartwarming. Dark Kn ight is better. I just debunked all the myths.

The Fast and the Furious

I'd say it's about as good as the 4th. Still crappy, but not as bad dialogue. Cars look fake cuz of all the colours.

Austin Powers in Goldmember

Funny. not as good as originals though. still funnier than love guru

Quantum of Solace

I liked it better than Casino (casino felt too long and drabby). but this felt like it's stupid cousin that was trying to be smart. The plot gots more confusing than its title, but I do like the action and the detail they put into it a lot.

Up
Up(2009)
½

Fantastically sweet film. It's incredible. Ranks in my top Pixar list because it's story is amazing, it manages to be emotional with the audience, even better than Wall-E did (didn't really like Wall-E that much). Overall, it provides a great lesson to adults, but my only complaint is I don't think it really is too appropriate for kids. I can see the klittle Asian kid was added for comic releif for kids along with the lush and colour, but I don't understand how kids may get some of the more emotional ideas. The 3D doesn't also add too much to the film, but I think seeing it in 3D before home release is a good idea. Best film of 2009 so far.

There's Something About Mary

Hillarious but very disgusting. its a classic.

Role Models
Role Models(2008)

It was fun but not great. I had a few laughs including the end, but it just didnt seem as fresh as superbad or knocked up.

Just My Luck
Just My Luck(2006)

Just my luck to watch this peice of crap. 1/2 a star becuase it accurately shows Lindsay Lohan's life after this film. Sorta chris pine. he got lucky.

13 Going on 30

pure garbage. not funny. too campy. too fabricated. andy serkis go back to gollum!

Marley & Me
Marley & Me(2008)

It's sweet, but way too depressing. Alan Arkin is the only shed of light throughout. I also find Owen Wilson's emotions really fake and funny. See it if u have a family, although some content is a little mature for the little oness

Hancock
Hancock(2008)
½

It was interesting for what it was for. The twist was interesting but the movie had a lot of unexplained plotholes. It's not your typical superhero film but it does provide enough interest for the audiance to watch. The beginning is predictable though. If you just want a fun time, to watch something not Marvel/DC see Hancock.

The Incredible Hulk
½

I liked toronto in it. I liked the action pace. But idk it felt kinda stup[id :S especially when he eats a usb stick and then uses it later by ...never mind. still watch it its better than 2003

Wanted
Wanted(2008)

it was pretty kick ass..action wise. plot was terrible. sometimes the flashbacks and slowdowns were a bit confusing. the twsit was also interesting. i have no clue how they'd do a sequel though :S

Fast & Furious

3 stars cuz it was hillarious. everything was unrealistic and crappy :)...errr ya hmmm... dialogue is pretty crap too. still if ur a fan check it out

Observe and Report
½

ill say its...awkward funny...? kinda odd...something's not right abgout this movie...its like a retard u meet, it tries to tell u a lesson but it just is so WEIRD. ok let me repeat WEIRD!!!. umm...fine it has the nasty stuff, but the movie just doesnt flow right. anna faris sucks too. seth rogen please make movies like it was 2007 again :'(

I Love You, Man
½

Fun, heartwarming, sweet, the strength here is the characters and its plot although it was sort of predictable. It's relatable and it just a really sweet man movie and date movie. Please check it out, its really a great film, man.