Alex DeSmall's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Man of Steel
Man of Steel (2013)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Man of Steel shoots hard at us, faces. But being tough and being admirable are two different views entirely. MOS has it all in the first fact, but lacks on the second. Arguably the most anticipated film of the year, MOS could possibly disappoint some of us, movie lovers, a honestly chaotic picture that have failed to be modest and respectable, pretty much suffered from being 'overstuffed'.

MOS first strikes us down with it's pretty mediocre screenplay, imbalanced screenplay. At times it could be personal or relatable, but also at times such writing says to us on things like "Hey, that line is pretty cheesy". Nope, I don't have the pleasure of being offensive, but those discoveries are some of the unfavourable elements I have picked up on upon witnessing. Another disappointment would lie on Henry Cavill's performance. Cavill has all the looks to play a great superhero, but at the same time he is quite not impressive. Cavill is probably a total opposite of what I thought of him, but I don't see that fact in MOS, and our dear Cavill is a lead actor, and when one sees mediocrity in his performance, you will know that the film is not going to go well. I would also not be reluctant to believe that MOS is one hell of showy motion picture. The sane must not deny it's gorgeous, great special effects, but such things are being overused for the picture. As a result, the film's action or fighting sequences turned out to be less focused, and brutally messy and negatively destructive.

MOS has all the letdowns, but it has some fine performances from its supporting cast. Amy Adams fared well playing the beautiful Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne steps to be convincing playing Mr White, Kevin Costner has all the requirements to play a loving father and Michael Shannon played a cold, devoted leader called General Zod, and he played it wonderfully. A fact, fine performances have saved the movie from being truthfully terrible. Also, MOS has some serious moving moments, those could probably be seen from its flashback scenes, especially the ones which involved young Clark Kent and his father. MOS is also well anchored with some sublime images.

MOS is not very bad, but not very good either. Such mediocrity is bad luck for the film, also bad luck for us, movie lovers. One would expect for the most anticipated picture of the year to be solid, or potent, but what we got here is something that is far from that.


The Departed
The Departed (2006)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

When you look in the credits and you discover that a gifted filmmaker named Martin Scorsese is directing a gangster picture, you will know that shits are going to happen. An innovative artist has added another gangster picture in his career - that picture is called The Departed. Apart from being informed that Scorsese is directing the project, I am aware that Departed is a great film from viewing the first thirty minutes of the film. And yes, the work is a masterful act; it is a Scorsese's masterpiece.

Departed features a wholly talented, distinguished cast. Not to mention only Scorsese, the film too benefits from its stars. Leo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin - All bring their A game for this one. I had trouble figuring out on who shines above others. It's like, everyone is in their top form, and everyone gives a near perfect performance. Hands down, The Departed is one of the best acted movies of the decade.

Excellent writing, as a whole, is there. The film never drags and remains to be highly entertaining; all are highly due to its clever writing. Put writing and acting aside, the film would not be as effective without Scorsese tight direction. Scorsese simply chooses to be effective, and the picture turned out to be good. Another treasure of the film would be its brilliant editing being delivered for the work, and too, the film is being superbly shot.

The departed tells us about on how riveting and exciting a film could possibly be. Although the film runs for 151 min, it never gets dry or boring. Simply, The Departed is just another Scorsese's masterpiece.


World War Z
World War Z (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

World War Z kicks in with a story on a pandemic that is building armies of 'zombies' and threatens to destroy humanity. Unlike other zombie movies that are being released earlier, WWZ is set in a very realistic tone, and it depicts a tragedy which occurs across the globe. I refuse to believe that WWZ is solely a zombie or horror picture, it is also a disaster movie.

To me, like many films of the same genre, WWZ is neither brilliant nor horrible. The film is average at it's best. WWZ is being disastrously 'zombified' during the first and the fourth act - few disappointments would be the witness of lazy writing all around, mediocre performances as a whole and also sequences that are not well executed. Surely WWZ's writers are also being infected while writing for the two mentioned acts. I was literally disappointed, not filled with anger, when the delivery of poorly written sets of dialogues is being introduced by the characters, and also, WWZ features one of the most annoying characters in movie history - her name is Constance, I guess. Facepalm-ed.

The turning point occurs when the movie landed in Israel. I concur that the sequences from the "Battle of Jerusalem" are so tensed, well executed and riveting. Also, another highlight of the picture is a monologue which strictly brings us deeper into mother-nature which was being performed by an actor named Elyes Gabel. Despite being given a very short screen-time, he delivers a pretty convincing acting performance.

Despite all that, to me and also to the notions of the majority of film critics, the greatest strength of WWZ lies in Brad Pitt. His soulful eyes in the film reflected on the pain the world encounters, and he ultimately brings heart to the story. Brad Pitt sole effort literally uplifted the film and yes, being a great actor, he has carried another great performance, a sympathetic one, to be precise.

WWZ is decent, but nowhere near the level of brilliance. A company with a marvellous writing would probably bring this movie to another level, and despite being uneven or unfocused, after witnessing a powerful closure that film has, you will know that you have just witnessed an epic picture.


Braveheart (1995)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I could still remember on how reposeful I am while watching this movie. It's music sips through my ear, enters me, moved me, and almost tear me up. 'Braveheart' managed to sweep through with romance, drama and war. An undeniably immense picture, it is one of few epics that could possibly move millions. The film grabbed five academy awards including best picture.

In my personal opinion, the most memorable element of 'Braveheart' is it's music, which was being composed by the talented James Horner. I have to admit that I am slightly puzzled with it; at times it feels like a genuine Scottish music, but also at the same time it feels like a plain modern music, but either way it is beautiful. I am going to put aside any sense of familiarity here, but whenever the music is being played, my love for this film grows. Also, I honestly believe that if this charming music is absent, the picture would not be so memorable.

Acting performances are good, but not outstanding. Patrick McGoohan's work for this film did hold my attention. He played the main villain of the story named King Edward "Longshanks". Surely, what excites me was his approach for the character; a cool, quiet, and methodically behaved, and at the same time, a cold and violent human being. He might be labelled as coward or a hypocrite, but assuredly, this "Longshanks" character is a pretty good villain.

The film has great cinematography too. Shots are so subtle and are near perfection. Hands down, the movie is being effectively photographed. Battle sequences are so well executed, and one fact that I massively admire about this film is that there is no CGI involved. Unlike some modern war films, fighting scenes are so believable and engaging, and yes, realism is there. Absolutely, these mentioned praises would be missing without Mel Gibson's precious direction.

A major let-down would be the inconsistency which lies in the contents of the story. I would be reluctant to mention specifically on which part of the plot is flawed, but they are simply too abrupt, unbelievable and most importantly, overly dramatic. It tastes like it's storyline is being shifted away from the right track.

'Braveheart' is one of those few films that is so ambitious and sets it's bar so high, and delivered. Handsomely mounted, 'Braveheart' is positively one of the most memorable films of 1990s.


The Dark Knight Rises
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


A colossal, non simple minded motion picture, 'The Dark Knight Rises'. This third and final instalment of The Dark Knight trilogy ends off with sincerity and passion, which pushes to the point that is satisfying and fitting, which undoubtedly proves to us that the movie is exceptional at it's level. The film directed by Christopher Nolan and stars gifted talents.

The picture entertains us with mesmerizing shots that are so handsomely composed. To say that one is being glued to the beauty of those shots is actually an understatement, such shots would actually educate us with intelligence, and yes, the film has some serious cinematography, also, it feels like my eyes being pulled out. It's action sequences are well constructed, engaging and solid. Hands down, Nolan opted for some top notch approach on filmmaking here.

The size of the movie is in fact, large, and also, the flaws are unfortunately in existence. I am so offended with disappointments and surprises to discover that the movie is ill, overstuffed and filled with plot-holes. Such discovery would be so rare in Nolan's work. Pacing throughout the second half of the movie is dreadful and also, it's consistency is absent. At times, I feel like I have failed to 'participate' in the movie. Another major flaw of the movie would be the character named Bane. To me, Bane is the least charismatic villain of all the villains in "The Dark Knight" trilogy. If only Nolan could make Bane to be more compelling, then I assume that this movie would fare better. But, despite being flawed, this is still a solid film, and despite being long, the film never drags and still manages to be captivating.

The performances are solid. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne or Batman is genuinely the best so far, and his portrayal for a damaged character is indeed perfect. Tom hardy is excellent too, despite him playing a flawed character; he managed to pull it well. Tom uses only his eyes to express anger and pain and it proved to be brilliant in the latter part, and the rest of the cast members: Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman , all delivered superb performances.

If 'Dark Knight Rises' have lived up to it's size, then a "classic motion picture" would be it's product. It is surely an imperfect piece of work, but still, 'Dark Knight Rises' has a genuine significance to remind us that Nolan's Batman trilogy is one the best movie trilogies of all time. And yes, the film is a stunning and satisfying finale.