Jasen LaBorde's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
7 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Forget the critics... I suspect they're all in Disney's (Marvel's) pocket anyway. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is incredible! First let's remember that this is a sequel and the movie that sets up the frame work for the entire forthcoming DC Cinematic Universe, so there's a lot of foundation to lay down like, whats happened in the 2 years since Superman and General Zod destroyed Metropolis, the introduction of Bruce Wayne/ Batman, how he figures into the whole story to date and the rules of the universe. "BvS" is in two parts, the set up and the fight. Needless to say it starts off with lots of character building and tone setting... it's dark, very, very dark. The final hour is full on "fight night" a building-toppling, kryptonite weilding, heat vision splicing, brawl!

Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is the quintessential Batman. It's Frank Miller-ish, he plays it older, more bitter and a lot less concerned with killing bad guys. Superman (Henry Cavil) is brooding and conflicted just like in Man Of Steel, he's misunderstood and feared by many and worshipped like a god and messiah by many others. Batman becomes convinced that Superman is a threat to human existence and that he must be destroyed. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who is kinda the weak link here (he plays it too wacky), launches his own somewhat convoluted scheme to kill Superman and away we go!

If you're familiar with the comics you kinda already know how the battle will play out and who will win the "Fight of the Century" and it's just how I always wanted it to be, intense and fight-y and of course with a twist and a surprise (sort of) bad guy. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is the breakout, with an awesome introduction and an amazing display of power and badass-ed-ness, I can't wait to see more of her. I don't want to give anything away but other superheroes make an appearance and it's pretty great and organic the way its done. I loved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, emotionally and visually it's dark and complex, and ambitious, grand and exciting in scope and story. Bring on The Justice League!

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
10 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I can only review this as a fan. Believe the hype! How much you loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens probably depends greatly on how and when you were introduced to that "Galaxy far far away...". Star Wars and I go back to the mid 80's "A New Hope" via VHS on a rented VCR and then during a Star Wars double play at a Cineplex in my neighbourhood just before the release of Return of the Jedi. So I was there from almost the beginning and have longed for the fun and adventure of the Original Trilogy, something that the generations who came on board during the enhanced re-releases in the 90's and Prequels in the 2000's didn't really get to experience.

The Force Awakens is not only redemption for the travesty that is the prequels, it is respectful of the legacy and nostalgia that so many hold dear. It's also a successful introduction to a new, exciting chapter of the Star Wars Saga... not an easy feat. The movie actually plays out like a retelling of A New Hope; The Dark Side, The Force a Super Weapon, Inner Conflict and group of unlikely heroes fulfilling their destiny. Risky, but it works and succeeds in rebooting the franchise after 32 years. I love that The Force Awakens includes the original trinity Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamil, I love that JJ Abrams went with practical effects over CGI and character development over universe expanding, emotion and acting over rambling dialogue and awkward narrative. It's a cliche to say at this point but "JJ Nailed it" he was able to satisfy my nostalgia, pull on my heart strings and connect me once again to that kid at the Cineplex in Burlington, Ontario all those years ago.

The one thing that stands out for me, and was lacking in the prequels is the fun! The triumphant return of the Millennium Falcon and Han and Chewbacca's camaraderie, a jaw dropping tragedy, a big reveal, Oscar Isaac's Poe at the helm of an X-Wing Fighter in a fire fight against a fleet of TIE fighters, the tormented fury of Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver, and of course our new heroes Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, who just light up the screen with their acting and emotion and filled me with a "new hope" in Star Wars.

It's fun man! It's exciting! It's what I and legions of others have been waiting 32 years for! The Force is Strong with this one!

Spectre (2015)
11 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It's difficult for most to not rank James Bond movies, by actor, era, legacy... whatever. Spectre is obviously no exception, the rumoured final film featuring Daniel Craig as 007 and the film that ties all his previous appearances together.

Since Casino Royale there's been this attempt at realism in the Bond Universe, less womanizing, more feelings, fewer gadgets, more techno-speak and no maniacal super villains with outlandish schemes and threats...that is, up until now.
Spectre really feels like an ode to James Bond of old, think Live and Let Die and You Only Live Twice and for me it really works.

For the first time in the Daniel Craig era it seems like Bond is not trying to compete with Bourne. It's not ridiculous like Moonraker or Die Another Day, but it doesn't seem to take itself as seriously as Skyfall. As always the movie opens with an amazing action sequence, this time director Sam Mendez sets up a beautiful 5 minute tracking shot that is just amazing to watch followed by some heart pounding aerial acrobatics. 007 then uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE who are they? What are they up to? How does this SPECTRE tie all the other films together? So many question?

Car chases, henchmen, a Dr Evil, a watch that does a "thing" at exactly the right time, Spectre has lots of nods to the old school, while still respecting the Craig era and for the first time in 9 years really owning the Bond legacy.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
14 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, stop me when this sounds familiar. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his rag tag team of IMF agents Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames are under the threat of becoming disavowed and must steal a secret file in order to stop a new terrorist threat called, The Syndicate who are hell bent on a New World Order...

Yeah, we've seen this story a million times before, in fact in a few Mission Impossible movies as I recall. The difference here is The new, more likeable Tom Cruise, who has become a sort of American answer to Jackie Chan; doing all his own increasingly stupendous stunts and coming off more genuine and funny thanks in part to director Chris McQuarrie...and I for one love him for it!

Rebecca Ferguson is stunning as disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust and you spend much of the movie trying to figure out her intentions, while like Ethan Hunt trying not to be seduced by her looks. Simon Pegg serves up the laughs and Renner and Rhames round out the reunion.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is full of incredible stunts, motorcycle chases and daring escapes and is really a solid Summer action flick.

Mad Max: Fury Road
17 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A "Beautiful Nightmare", that's my first thought about Mad Max: Fury Road. Full tilt action, this is all momentum! Tom Hardy is Max in this re-boot of the classic post apocalyptic series, but I would argue that Charlize Theron as Furiosa is the star. MMFR is relentless, most of the movie is a chase across the desert and all the mayhem that ensues through out said chase while it's happening. Here's what you need to know; Water and oil are the most valuable commodities in the world... NOW DRIVE! This may be the most action-y action movie ever! It goes long and yes you will be exhausted by the end but I assure you it is beautiful to watch like a dark opera come to life. Thrilling, Frightening, Mesmerizing and it's Rated R! The bar has been raised.