Kevin Mozulay's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Unbreakable (2000)
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I've never been particularly fond of super hero movies, especially with the endless barrage of Marvel flicks we've been getting over the past decade. Unbreakable takes the concept of hero vs. villain back to the drawing board, giving us an incredibly grounded, human story with little to no special effects. David (played by Bruce Willis) is involved in a massive train derailing and is the sole survivor of over 100 passengers. He's contacted by Elijah (played by Sam L. Jackson), who insists he has powers that he wants to investigate. The story moves at a brisk pace, and it's really interesting to see a different take on the average super hero film. That take is presented to us by the notorious (or even infamous at times) M. Night Shyamalan. Unbreakable was released in 2000, and it was the first movie in his filmography to come after The Sixth Sense. These were his glory days, which are known to have worn off back when he released The Last Airbender in 2010 and After Earth in 2013, respectively. He and Bruce Willis seem to work very well together, because he's fantastic here and in The Sixth Sense as well. Sam L. Jackson brings disability and obsession to the forefront in an engaging way that never gets dull. The ending is perhaps a little predictable, but it's executed in a satisfying way, and the script is thoroughly good. Digging up this 17 year old gem was a big breath of fresh air, taking my mind away from the overly flashy 150+ million dollar CGI festival that is known as modern Hollywood. I was so excited to learn that M. Night's newest film Split had ties to Unbreakable, not to mention that a sequel is in the works! M. Night may have been down, but he's not out for the count.

Detroit (2017)
8 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I knew very little about Detroit before heading to the theater. I knew it was about riots from the 60's, and I knew it was directed by the highly esteemed Kathryn Bigelow; known for masterpieces like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. What I got was a little different. It opens with a very out of place animated short briefly explaining the hardships African Americans faced when making their voyage from Africa to America. The text that followed seemed very political and opinionated, and I was shocked knowing that Bigelow was behind it; in other words, it felt forced and tacked on. What I wasn't expecting was when the focus shifted from several groups scattered throughout the city of Detroit to the same groups converging towards one small motel. It's raided by police after they were targeted by what they thought was a sniper coming from the 2nd floor, and the team of cops that raid it are some of the most racist characters I've ever seen on screen. Will Poulter shows a young but commanding presence as their leader, and he's brutally violent, ruthless, and crazy. His performance will hopefully lead to an Oscar-nomination. John Boyega does a great job as an African American security guard; a man among a huge force of white police officers. We're given the constant lingering anxiety knowing that although he's on the cops' side, he is nonetheless a man of color. But the biggest downside here is the cinematography. They were definitely going for up-close and personal, guerilla-esque camerawork, but it ends up coming out way too shaky and dizzying. Screenwriter Mark Boal is seemingly learned on the subject, but I can't help but wonder how much of it is accurate and how much of it is spiced up for Hollywood's sake. At the end of the lengthy but hearty 143 minute running-time, my friend and I got up to leave the theater. My friend and I, being the only two white guys there, felt a lot of eyes on us as we walked out. This proves that Bigelow has made a huge, horrifying and affecting statement on police brutality, and I have to give her a lot of credit for having pulled it off.

Anger Management
13 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The quality of Adam Sandler's track record dropped considerably after Click. Anger Management was released in the latter half of his glory days, and my god, is it hilarious. Sandler, a notoriously goofy and funny actor is paired with the legendary dramatic actor Jack Nicholson. On paper, they're an unlikely duo, but go incredibly well together on-screen. Dave (Adam Sandler) meets Dr. Buddy (Jack Nicholson) on a plane. Afterwards, circumstances bring the two together and Dave undergoes Buddy's anger management program. What makes it so hilarious is that Dave is always calm while Buddy gets outraged over something as minor as having his eggs cooked the wrong way (followed by him slamming the plate against the wall). It's worth pointing out that almost every single line is memorable and quotable. My favorites include "I do what I want whenever I want you little Spanish fruit topping" and "Might I have your first name Mr. Head, and tell me it isn't Dick." Absent are the Sandler veterans like Steve Buscemi and Rob Schneider, but they're replaced by a huge number of cameos; from Derek Jeter to ex-mayor Rudy Giuliana to Heather Graham and Woody Harrelson, both of whom have the funniest bits in the entire movie. Some may be turned off by the love triangle between Nicholson, Sandler, and his character's girlfriend (played by Marisa Tomei) which is cheesy and cliche. The twist the plot is hinged on is a lazy, easy way out for the writers... but you're not watching it for the plot. You're watching it for the ridiculously profance lines and actions of Jack Nicholson and the ironically innocent way Adam Sandler reacts to them. Over the 13 years since it's 2003 release, I've seen Anger Management countless times and every viewing is funnier than the last. This is easily my favorite Adam Sandler movie.

War for the Planet of the Apes
14 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Matt Reeves, the director of the previous iteration, Dawn, strikes back with War for the Planet of the Apes, a genre-bending journey of personal vengeance. Andy Serkis somehow manages to top his previous performances as Caesar, a now aging but highly intelligent ape with plenty to lose. I cannot possibly stress the need for Andy Serkis to finally be, at the very least, nominated for an Oscar for his incredible performance. The CGI has yet again been improved to a seemingly perfect crossover between human and ape. Between the tears in Caesar's eyes and the water droplets scattered across his wrinkling face, it's easy to say that there isn't much out there that's better looking than this. On the lower end of the spectrum, Woody Harrelson plays the leader of a human army in a campaign against Caesar and his apes; but he tries too hard to be like Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now (Harrelson stated he was inspired by that performance). I recognize Harrelson's capabilities as an actor, but he doesn't utilize them in the proper manner here. Second, there is a particularly odd and poorly written plot mechanism in which the virus has mutated yet again. The explanations behind the evolution of the virus have been twisted around in the previous movies, but this time it feels very awkward in what is mostly a smart script. All in all, War is a very long journey: balancing elements of a revenge Western, blockbuster action, and tearjerking drama can be difficult. Thankfully it's executed pretty smoothly, paving the way towards what is a powerful conclusion: a conclusion which should be the definitive ending to what has been one of the best trilogies in the history of film. However, everyone knows Hollywood loves to dilute a rich and sophisticated French vintage with cheap grape juice to keep thirst quenched and pockets full. Savor it while you can.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
19 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

When the words "blockbuster" and "CGI" are used in the same sentence, it's more than likely that it will be too flashy and lacking in spirit. In Dawn, the CGI is not only improved upon from it's predecessor but plays an even more essential role in the development of the Apes universe. Andy Serkis is back as Caesar, the leader of the apes, and he's better than ever. He is, hands down, the most talented motion-capture actor; in Apes, he and the production team are beginning to blur the line between motion-capture and reality. The film is now three years old and it contains what is still some of the best CGI I've ever seen. What makes this series so engrossing is watching the development of Caesar and his society go from what appear to be simple zoo animals to being almost exactly like the humans they are forced to coincide with; intelligent yet destructive. Howling to see the third.