TheAngryAsian's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Beginners
Beginners(2011)
½

Well-paced and well-acted, the film is just an insight on an one of the many aspects of life. There is really nothing to dislike. Everything about the film isn't trying to be in your face the way "The Tree of Life" may have been. Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer give incredible performances. Congrats on Plummer's deserved Oscar nomination.

The Woman in Black
½

Harry Potter...I mean Daniel Radcliffe can't use his magic anymore and must stop this lady another way. The film does come off as your typical jump scare movie, but it was back up with a rather impressive performance by Radcliffe, who is really starting to shine as an actor. Plus, the film does have a few tension-filled moments, and the bleak imagery couldn't be better. I was rather surprised of the amount of creepy, but engaging tone it gives off. I have to say, I was a little thwarted by its PG-13 rating, because those horror films don't turn out very good. But this one was a little more than another horror film, and I have to say, it had enough good aspects to make it a watchable film.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)

Considered to be one of the most disappointing films of all time, the movie fatally misinterprets the concept of Venom. In the comics, this alien shit tortured Eddie Brock or even Peter Parker. It was like a drug that they kept getting addicted to. This concept alone could have created a dark and interesting film. But it had to be butchered with pointless side characters. Plus, the plot holes in this film are immense. But, of course, Emo Peter is what pretty much killed the movie. Plus, that awkward dance sequence that looked like an outtake from "Chicago" was so out of place and boring, you forgot you were supposed to be watching the "epic" finale of the Spider-Man trilogy. I was hyped. This was going to tie up all the Green Goblin drama (as corny as it was), Venom's torture towards Peter, and this is why I think Dark Knight Rises will do this concept better. The third and most anticipated of a comic-book movie trilogy both involving the hero's most dangerous enemy, Spider-man failed, hopefully Batman will succeed. Also, the film is full of the romance and seemed to be about Mary Jane. The whole movie was a mess.

Man on a Ledge

While appearing to be original, I never got any sense of worry or suspense from the film. The entire event just seemed random and the aspects that describe the characters unfold as the climax and conclusions begin. Odd way to make a film, but in no way unique. The action scenes, like most of January's flicks, aren't all that impressive. Plus, I could care less about most of the characters. Ed Harris is under-used and the reporter girl is made of focus point. Worthington does his best, but his character's motivations take so long to be made clear that it's both pointless and boring. When they do explain it, he literally says it in words. We can' experience it. So, just like its title, the movie is rather stale.

The Grey
The Grey(2012)
½

Liam Neeson is back in another action movie of sorts, only this, time he's fighting wolves. As condensed as the film is, I could never become emotionally attached to these characters. This kind of an aspect is probably the most important thing to establish when making a survival flick. While the film does have a few interesting aspects and some cool action, much of the emotion comes off as forced. As if they just had to throw in the fact that Neeson has a wife of sorts that he misses so that you will ultimately care for him. I guess you end up caring for him just because he's Liam Neeson, but I truly had no concern for any of the other men; of which had the most clique of backstories. 5.9/10

Dungeons & Dragons

This is a movie that is so bad, that it's fun to watch. I mean, the film is butchered with cliques, annoying characters, terrible acting, subliminally obvious rip-offs, poor visuals, and basically everything else that makes a truly terrible film. There is no emotion in anything. Although, let me say right off the bat, Jeremy Irons is just joyfully hammy. Also, the only reason he did this role was because he had recently purchased a castle, and needed the money to pay for it. So, of course, he picked the first film that came to him. Every other actor is pretty terrible, and the secondary villain who talks slowly and has toothpaste all over his lips is just stupid. The FOUR Indiana Jones rip-offs in the maze are just so obvious, it's hilarious. The dragons look like a training program for a visual effects artist's first day on the job. Plus, you can tell that Thora Birch isn't even trying. She's is probably the worst actor in this movie. At least Irons was somewhat fun to watch, and he was doing it on purpose. But Birch, that egghead doesn't even make an effort. If this movie couldn't get any worse, they add an eccentric, racist sidekick played by Marlon Wayans. Oh, and the dwarf is racist to. Don't watch it. The End.

EPILOGUE:
WTF!!!! There's a sequel to this film?

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

This movie is full of stale and dumb characters. I can't begin to say all the flaws in this film. IN FACT, ALL THE PREQUELS ARE TERRIBLE. WATCH THESE PREQUEL REVIEWS: http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/
THE MOST ENLIGHTENING THING YOU'LL EVER SEE!!!

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

This movie has the MOST FORCED ROMANCE in cinema history. Every character was just a stale and emotionless card board cut out. Unlike "Empire", the film's characters don't feel or grow like real people. Lucas fails to convey everything: WATCH THESE PREQUEL REVIEWS NOW!!!: http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/
THE MOST ENLIGHTENING THING YOU'LL EVER SEE!!!

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

While slightly more entertaining than the last two installments, the film is just shot with such bland efficiency, that the camera work make the film boring. In fact this film is plagued with problems. In fact, ALL OF THEM ARE TERRIBLE!!! I'd like to link you to a friend of mine who made videos reviewing these films: WATCH THESE PREQUEL REVIEWS: http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/
THE MOST ENLIGHTENING THING YOU'LL EVER SEE!!!

Carnage
Carnage(2011)
½

Roman Polanski creates a realistic story that stirs the events of two boys and the parents reactions into a comedically witty film. It is at this point that we see a movie that shares the story of two boys who fight in school, and how each of their parents collide with each other. Making the statement that adults can be just like kids sometimes. The four leads of this film are fantastic, and Kate Winslet was a bitterly joyful character to watch. John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, and Christoph Waltz all have their moments and it's really their approach to the situation presented to their characters that drive the whole film. The comedy is the result of the characters rather different mind sets on the contradiction that we grow to love every sequence of confrontation. Although, it does wear thin after awhile, and you could almost say it should have been a play rather than a movie. In fact, it was a play! That explains the rather basic camera work and bland settings that the film offered as a side factor. Nothing but the internal conditions of the characters seemed interesting. But, at the same time, the characters are the real movie, and if you divert most of your attention on them, then you will have a good time with its comedic whit and balanced personality trends.

Moneyball
Moneyball(2011)

From the writer of "The Social Network" a similar film about the behind the scenes of baseball are conveyed with a well-placed tone and some great acting. Let's talk about the films style. Back when the Facebook movie was made, people seemed thrown off by its rather bleak tone. The lighting was dark and the music was slow and the movie was rather long. "Moneyball" is very similar, with the same aspects as above. But again, for both films, the acting and dialogue are just pure fun to watch. Brad Pitt meets Jonah Hill, who informs him teams can be conceived based on statistics. Hill has really become prominent with his stance on acting and delivers a great performance; fast and witty, he was a pleasure to watch. Pitt was different. While seemingly predictable about everything, there was something about him that didn't catch my care for him. You see, the real backstory behind Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network was the idea of having real friends as apposed to just people online to make your status look good. We really don't get much emotional emphasize for Pitt's character. Pitt delivers a fine performance though, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is also good. The film is just so immersive and interesting, it sort of makes you wish you were good at math. (Not saying you aren't.) This is NOT your typical baseball movie, nor sports movie. The background behind the sport is brilliantly portrayed by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and I consider it to be one of the best films of the year.

Red Tails
Red Tails(2012)
½

I am not surprised George Lucas had something to do with this film. Not only is the film unoriginal, but it is butchered with cliches to the point where it isn't even funny. The acting here is so over-the-top and corny that it takes you completely out of the movie. It comes off as a Bugs Bunny WWII cartoon. And when I say cartoon, I mean cartoon. You see, war is a gritty and unpleasant image. But the planes in these films are colorful and animated. The explosions are so perfect. Everything is so clean, that it was both ridiculous and obviously CGI. Wether on the ground, on water, or in air, war is in no way this clean. The way this film was produced was just the exact opposite of how a war film should be made. Oh, and did I mention that the film is stabbed to death with annoying cliches and terrible acting. If you want to watch a movie about a black pair of soldiers finally getting their shot at the enemy, watch "Glory."

Haywire
Haywire(2012)
½

The film is decent, but there are many flaws. Let's begin with the negatives. First off, Michael Fassbender is barely in this film. It's almost like a cameo. He's a really good actor and Soderberg should have put him to much more interesting use. Then, we have our main character. Played by former kick boxing star, Gina Carano. I think her voice was actually dubbed in the film, because something was a little off. Anyway, she had the right mood for the film but her voice was completely missing. Maybe she just didn't know how to deliver lines very well, so they had to get a recording put over her speech. I don't know? But, the film still has some entertaining qualities. The fight scenes are pretty gritty, and since there's no music playing during them, it makes it look that much more real. While the film does have many realistic aspects, I feel Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender definitely needed more to do. The film just came off as messy. It is definitely worth a matinee viewing, but don't rush out to see it. You will be disappointed under your own enthusiasm.

Underworld Awakening
½

I am not a huge fan of the series, but this film was completely irrelevant to the last movie. In the last movie, Beckinsale becomes a Daywalker and the film ends. So we are all hyped to see her use her new powers and kick ass as a Daywalker. But, no. The film instead decides to have Beckinsale protect a little girl from the Lycans. What? That has been done before and it's no where near as entertaining as killing lycans with your Daywalker powers. Plus, as a film in general, it is an absolute mess. The action is just like a video game. There are boss battles and all the effects look fake. I mean, really. It has always been easy for me to catch glimpses of pixels in these films. This one is no exception. The camera work is bad and the acting was never that great. But that's not the point. The point is how this film managed to be so disappointing. But, the again, maybe I shouldn't have expected so much. It's like the fourth or fifth movie and, wait? I'm getting confused between Underworld and Resident Evil. Whatever, they're both technically the same thing. A hot chick killing monsters in a needlessly long franchise. Believe me when I say, the film is no joy ride.

50/50
50/50(2011)
½

While the film does stretch the whole therapy romance just a bit, it does still deliver a good comedy. The topic of having cancer can't be called funny, but the film surprisingly gets away with having many comedic moments and not be offensive. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great in this film, and that smile of his, you gotta love. Seth Rogen playing himself again is still funny and his character was really genuine. While he was sleazy, he did care about his friend and the film really does convey the worry behind those who love a victim of the disease. Angelica Huston is great as the mother, and while the film is a comedy, it still adds a great deal a drama and depth to the characters and to the whole predicament. I was a little thwarted by the predictable relationship between Levitt and his therapist (Kendrick). I would think she'd get in trouble for getting that involved with a patient. But, she was young and only started dating him after...wait, that's spoiler. You should see this film, because it is a genuine story and is pretty funny. Great performances, Levitt will go far. "50/50" is as good as a cancer comedy can get.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This film has been widely regarded as boring and confusing. But, I digress. The film is just so derived in its fantastic art direction and set pieces that it's hard not to enthrall in the settings, as bleak as they may be. The film really distinguishes the stale environment the country grew to during the severe days of the Cold War. Espionage and moles and whatnot are everywhere and one is in the "Circus" or the high point of British Intelligence. George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced out of retirement to help catch the mole. The film is in no way meant to be suspenseful as much as enthralling, driving itself with the characters and mystery behind the conventional plot trends it progressively builds in to. I'm saying that it wasn't so much about the thriller aspect, but how things and what things were like during the time period. This is the Cold War; there aren't any fancy gadgets or super-human spies. I found it interesting how the film conveys these layers of old age techniques and keep it interesting. Definitely not intended for a young audience; say 1-25 years of age. Appreciation, and knowledge of how good films are made need to mature over a certain experience with a number of acclaimed films. "Paths of Glory" is a good place to start. Anyway, the art direction, music, and set pieces are chilling, and correspond with the movies tone on a perfectly synchronized scale. Unable to tell when it flashbacks? Try this: Whenever Mark Strong's character is not in a hospital bed, it's a flashback. Whenever George Smiley is not investigating, and is at home, it is a flashback. Whenever Tom Hardy's character is not a major piece to the event on the screen, it is most likely a flashback; because Ricki Tarr (Hardy) was the one who claimed to have valuable information about the shooting of the agent at the beginning of the film, Mark Strong's character. So Hardy wouldn't become pivotal until the current events, and is only in the flashbacks when the shooting occurs. To complex? Well, I'm sorry you're still stuck in "Transformers Syndrome." The cinematography and overall design of the film were very well-done, and from a filmmaking stand point, it's perfect. The acting is incredible, with Gary Oldman being the obvious stand out and a sure contender for Academy recognition. (Finally.) "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is very well done film and definitely worth checking out if you know what you're getting into.

The Dark Knight

Batman is taken to places he's never been, and the movie perfectly combines the aspects of reality with the aspects of Batman, not so much on his comic-book theme, but more of what in his world makes him what he is, and also who. This person would be the Joker, who is a maniacal anarchist looking to push Gotham and its heroes to their limits, mirroring his goals in the DC publication, "The Killing Joke", where it only takes one bad day to turn the sanest man alive to lunacy. The cinematography, music, and action are heart-pounding. The suspense is never-ending and not one moment of the film is wasted. Fantastic editing creates a fast-paced thriller along with brilliant direction by Christopher Nolan, who again, refuses CGI and goes out and shoots a real movie. The IMAX sequences are stunning and the set pieces are full of tension, very creative, and project specific themes that build up the Joker's character. I also like how Batman isn't just fighting the super villain in a show-off battle. Lots of people are involved in Joker's crimes and there is a puzzle to put together. Batman must go after and actually investigate the way a real detective would. The character conclusions and plot trends all build in a complex yet real world predicament of insanity, chaos, and what one must do. The acting is incredible. Aaron Eckhart really shines as Harvey Dent, and Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne the exact way he was intended in the comics. (For those who think he was stale.) Heath Ledger delivers an unforgettable and brilliant performance as the Joker, for which he won an Academy Award for after his unfortunate death. Grand, action-packed, drama infused, thrilling, and ultimately realistic genius, "The Dark Knight" succeeds way beyond a comic-book movie, but as a rich and almost original crime drama.

There Will Be Blood

Sprawling epic and digital masterpiece, this character study is the greatest of its kind since Citizen Kane. The themes of production on vacant lot to the staggering ideas of religion collide with an ecstatic young preacher and sleazy, yet charming oil man. The worlds are brought to life with cinematic force by Paul Thomas Anderson. The social dealings of the community are tested in a battle of whits when up against the exact opposition of everything it stands for. Typically, these thoughts of healing and self-preservation and the bets against universal salvation are all tormented by Daniel Plainview, who will do anything for the land of oil he has acquired, even if it means getting rid of Eli Sunday, his overwhelming rival. Paul Dano holds his own along with a mind-blowing performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, where he received an Oscar for his portrayal; and Dano a SAG nomination. Truly an epic masterpiece, the plot and the character trends are flawless and the dialogue couldn't be better, matching the very soul of mankind to the radicals of religion, There Will Be Blood is a modern-day classic.

Miss Bala
Miss Bala(2012)
½

The film holds a good story, but the set pieces are conventional, and the cinematography can be pretty messy at times. The political ideals that the film takes grasp on aren't very familiar to a widespread audience, and the movie never seems to make it clear as to what is going on in this country. There's war. A lot of countries are at war. Plus, the concluding predicament of our character is rather empty and almost not believable. I was rather skeptical about the whole approach, and wondering if this was a character study, given the films attention to her mental state after the gang wars and whatnot, or a call out to others, expressing the violence of the area. The themes seem muddled, and I guess it could be both, but as far as story-telling and filmmaking goes, it's a foreign matinee.

The Ides of March
½

Ryan Gosling has become a treasure to behold in the film industry, and this film marks him at the top for me. George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti support this "political epic." The film is a little gloomy, and the set pieces can be over-exaggerated by the liberal views of its director, Clooney, but the ensemble cast and the fast dialogue is witty and fun for adults to work with. The character trends aren't near decent people, but the side of politics that we don't see is vividly brought to life and I enjoyed the film for what it was. I can't say the film is completely accurate, but in the end it doesn't really matter. The calm tension to it all makes it that much more surreal.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

What a pretentious and frustrating film! I keep having to re-review this film because I can never seem to make it clear as to why I dislike it so much. First, the main character is a selfish, unrealistic, and pretentious little boy who's father is killed in the 9/11 attack. Instead of the film making us understand him, the kid just goes on about how it's not fair and then wishes his mother had been in the towers instead. What? You know, a lot of people suffered during 9/11 and this kid is just completely screwing that idea up. He was just annoying and frustrating to watch. Thomas Horn does his best, but I never really bought him. The acting rather exaggerated as well. The film is so melodramatic and is desperately trying to get the audience to weep, which is never a good thing, especially when it fails with such ease. The only good thing about this film is Max Von Sydow's performance. Everyone and everything else was a corny, exaggerated, melodramatic, pretentious, and frustrating cluster of forced emotion.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)
½

I feel that I should recap on the now top-grossing animated film of all-time, Toy Story 3. It was so long since the last film, people weren't so sure it would be good. But all that time was actually a positive thing. They didn't have to rush into it and could write an enthralling story. When you look at it, Toy Story 3 is pretty simple, and has a few cliches itself, but it all doesn't matter. What really matters and is the positive of this film are the emotional dilemmas of the characters and how they deal with problems. The whole movie flawlessly set up to the theme of letting go, eventually making the audience have to let go. Toy Story 4 is in the works, which is a complete rape to the whole point of #3, but oh well. Toy Story 3 is so fun and so great and is definitely the best of the trilogy. By the way, it has the best movie villain freak out ever!

We Need to Talk About Kevin

This film is considered by some to be "art", and while I can't disagree, it is a little preachy. However, the film is driven with powerful performances and a rather odd story, mixing drama and horror in an all-out dilemma. I do agree with some that the visual style is a little stubborn at times, it's no reason to not enjoy this film. Tilda Swinton is great, and its good to see her finally doing something worth remembering.

The Iron Lady

Meryl Streeps' performance is what really keeps this movie alive. In fact, she's the only lively thing about this movie. It's just that the film was so boring, and nothing seemed to go anywhere. All the other characters (other than Jim Broadbent) were pretty stale to me and just get crushed by Streep, which doesn't really add any kind of development for drama, that the film required. No characters got a say, which maybe was the point, but I digress. The slow moving plot line just doesn't compare. The King's Speech could have easily suffered like this, but they kept a certain fast pace going, that you wanted to see the characters unfold in their predicaments. This film has only one real character and therefore, only one positive.

Contraband
Contraband(2012)

In what fashion Mark Whalberg appears in, this typical heist film has an needlessly convoluted plot and just stale characters. Whalberg seemed like a forced bad ass, and the story sounds all too familiar, "Gone in Sixty Seconds", anyone? I couldn't help laughing at the whole duck-tape mask thing, and the film itself wasn't very impressive. I know I've been ripping on it, but I will admit that the film had some cool action, but that's really it. The story is just "complex" for no real reason but to make it into a feature. The characters are rather stale, and I really didn't care about any of them. It's the typical January release. The visuals weren't that impressive and the acting wasn't that great. There isn't much more to say. It's just a stale movie that won't be remembered.

Inception
Inception(2010)

Nothing needs to be said. Great story, acting, direction, originality, writing, dialogue, music, action, drama, art direction, visual effects, and cinematography. Christopher Nolan goes all-out with this epic masterpiece. The great thing about Nolan is that he's one of the only directors who makes movies the way they're supposed to be made. He doesn't believe in 3D and he always goes on location or builds actual sets. Rarely does he use blue screens and CGI. You'd probably think the Batwing in the new Dark Knight Rises tailer was CGI. It wasn't. It was real and a helicopter hung it over the ground and moved around the streets. I bet you if Michael Bay did it, it would all be animated. Plus, Inception's spinning hallway scene was all real as well. They built a hallway and had it turn around as the actor's moved inside of it. Using digital rendering and expert editing, they made it look as if the actors were really climbing up on walls and ceilings. This is what's so great about this movie and all Nolan films. He doesn't use computers or CGI to make visuals. He uses illusions. That is really hard to do and you've got to respect him for that. Nolan is the Steve Jobs of movies. Genius, and super rich because of it. The film is so brilliant, and for those who were confused, I guarantee you, it all does make sense. You were either not listening or your just dumb. Is that not fair? Nolan makes fast-paced movies, and refuses to dumb things down for people who can't keep up. Either get it or get out. You see the second someone understands something perfectly, while many others don't, than you can't say that the film made no sense, because it did make sense to someone. Proving instantly that you are just not capable and probably shouldn't watch movies like it anymore. People who call this film "pretentious" are definitely drug addicts and seal-clubbers. Do they even know what that word means. It means obviously trying to be important than it actually is. Inception is just a sci-fi action drama that happens to have a complex storyline. Just because something is complex and you don't understand it doesn't mean it's trying to be important. Usually films that are pretentious are films with worldly messages. That means films like "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close", "Avatar", and "The Blind Side" are pretentious films. "Inception" is genius.

The Artist
The Artist(2011)
½

I was incredibly surprised to hear about the amount of attention this film was getting, and I'd like to start this review off by saying that it's fascinating. When I first heard that they were going to make a "silent film," I said, "good luck with that." But, it turned out be a really good movie and I suck. The great thing about this film is just its pure joy. Movie goers definitely need to see this, because it brings you back to the time-period and really makes you connect with it. While, it may be hard to follow with the consistent lack of audio, it's something you have to get used to in order to accept it. The film is so rich in its entertainment value and the characters are perfectly conveyed, that the film had way more depth to it than the biggest CGI film. "The Artist" has a well-dawned cast. Jean Dujardin is wildly fun and creative with the role of a suffering silent-film actor, who must cope with the sudden spawn of talking pictures. Berenice Bejo plays the young dancer set for a big break. Their relationship in the movie is so innocently put together, that it draws you back to the film-noir of the 30's and 40's. John Goodman is great as the studio head, and somehow doesn't feel out of place. The film itself is a filmmaking achievement, with great art direction, fantastic make-up, and glaring costume design. Everything felt real and in place with its time period. The pacing of the storytelling is also very well done, and I'm happy to say that this movie is one of the best of the year.

Joyful Noise
Joyful Noise(2012)

The past has offered very similar films like this, and "Dream Girls" is probably as decent as they're going to get. With horrible films like the "Hairspray" remake and "Fame", I wasn't expecting much from this. The film introduces the typical main character. A young girl with a hidden talent. In this case, singing. I want to take this time to talk about the music industry. While all music has been essentially ruined by auto-tune and ridiculous lyrics, this film tries to offer up a different kind of music that requires you to actually use your voice instead of rely on Soundtrack Pro all the time. But, then again, if this kind of music isn't your taste, you won't like the film. I don't know who the film was directed towards, but I'm just going to say what I think. African-American teenagers. Come one, you know I'm right! I can't imagine an Asian liking this. I mean, I'm Asian and my taste in music is more instrumental. The film is just so cliched that all the plot points just seem staged. I guess America likes watching fresh minds achieve greatness, but really; do we actually need another singer? I mean, all music sounds the same these days anyway, so what's the point? The fact that these people call themselves, "artists" is just sickening. Art has nothing to do with auto-tune and sound software and talking along with a beat. Art is beyond all that, and if conveyed correctly, you can make something good and enthralling. But this? This is just a bunch of shlock. The characters are stale, the film is butchered with corny dialogue, and is full of music-industry stereotypes. "I'm gonna give this kid her big shot" kind of thing. Overall, a bad movie.

Beauty and the Beast

The second 3D re-release by Disney isn't as good as "The Lion King" but still holds up. Where "The Lion King" had a great number of sequences that were perfect for 3D, this film doesn't. There weren't really any points in the film where 3D would make it look more spectacular; except, maybe the elaborate song scenes. Anyway, the 3D was alright. Now, let's talk about the movie. "Beauty and the Beast" is considered a classic and is beloved by people all around. I think you can tell that I'm not a sensitive type and probably wouldn't like a movie like this. But, the film is still a nice break from all the action and drama films this year. But, there isn't much I can say. The animation is really good and the characters are somewhat interesting, but I just didn't feel anything. This is not intended for adults. Maybe, some adults. But the whole point was to get kids to drag their parents there. The songs are good and well-performed. The voice acting is alright, I guess. In the end the film is a good movie, but nothing that sparked any true feelings the way, "The Lion King" did. It's a kids movie.

Attack the Block

The British invasion film has many creative ideas, although the aliens seem all too familiar and the characters of this movie seem forced. Let me explain. So, most alien or monster films start out with a teenage couple or a group of jerk friends who are out alone at night, doing something. This is where most of these movies like to start, with these people getting killed by the monster. It would then become morning and the detective, our main character, will be already investigating the crime scene. You can see this in man-eater films and slasher flicks. A similar thing happened in "Men in Black" and another in this film. So, the film opens and we see a woman, who you begin to assume is going to die. But, instead she gets mugged by a group of incredibly young teenagers. Then, some alien thing crashes into a car from the sky and runs off. The teens go after it, and at this point, it feels pretty obvious that they're all going to die. Right? But, the film just keeps following them around, and you begin to get confused on who we're supposed to like. The teens are all assholes, so you assume they're going to die. But, they don't and we actually follow them for the whole film. It takes awhile for us to realize that these are the main characters because we're never actually introduced to them until far into the movie. But, the film does eventually does highlight that these kids aren't as bad as they seem and the plot trends are rather unique being it an alien film. On top of that, the film is actually pretty well-done and the alien creatures and every sequence them has a great seal tension. I guess I like how the film unfolds its characters as the invasion gets serious rather than just opening them up in the beginning. The film is very entertaining. But, is this a parody or a comedic take on the genre? Either way, the film has a few flaws and clichés, but still holds has a decent comedy/action flick.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Adapted from a play by David Mamet, the film is so richly enthralled in its dialogue and the characters are perfectly cast. Alec Baldwin's speech has become on of the most famous dialogue pieces in cinematic history. Jack Lemmon is perfect as the loser salesman trying to survive. Al Pacino is at his best, as the smart-mouthed and incredibly eccentric main character who isn't even aware of the conflicts around him. Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Kevin Spacey are all fantastic. This ensemble cast has so much chemistry, that the fast and hilariously entertaining dialogue becomes so natural. They feel like real people, or real salesman trying to buy their way to safety from a failing company. The sequence where Ed Harris and Alan Arkin are talking about the importance of having good "leads," is one of the greatest scenes in movie history. The amount of takes it must have taken. If you watch this scene, you'll have a new found respect for those two actors. The film is really just about an inconvenience, and it doesn't unfold into a thriller or into dramatic cinema. It just feels the way something would happen in real life. And the conclusion or ending to this movie is just perfect. Every actor brings their all and the screenplay is brilliantly written by Mamet, who captures you with every word spoken on the screen. "Glengarry Glen Ross" is an unforgettable classic that's so good, it makes you want to write your own screenplay like Mamet.

Win Win
Win Win(2011)
½

Although the film has a few cliches, the comedic whit and the characters are just so fun to watch that it all doesn't really matter. Life is full of cliches. "Win Win" is the story of a struggling lawyer (Giamatti) and volunteer wrestling coach's chicanery that comes back to haunt him when the teenage grandson of the client he's double-crossed enters his life. The film is richly told and has great comedic timing. Thomas McCarthy, known for "The Station Agent" and "The Visitor" continues his streak by creating such a natural environment. The characters are all ready to burst because each of them is dealing with something that they are trying to hide. The actors and direction of characters really expresses that, and realistically portrays human behavior. Paul Giamatti is great as always, giving such a natural and believable performance. Also check him out in "Barney's Version," good movie. The characters are rich and funny and the overall premise is humorous. Though, I was a little thwarted by the kid in the film (Alex Shaffer) mainly because his story was rather cliched and very "independent film" like. This film actually didn't feel like an independent film until the kids backstory was told. Anyway, the film was still a well-written and well-acted movie, with Giamatti at the helm.

The Devil Inside
½

Like all things in life, if it's used too much, it becomes boring. We've all seen many exorcism films, and the only good one was "The Exorcist." Of course. You see, the death of many franchises are due to the fact that they're remade all the time. This happened to "The Three Musketeers", "A Christmas Carol," etc. It comes to the point where all the films just start looking exactly the same. This film is no exception. The concept of exorcisms film has now been down-graded to a first person video camera (which must have a lot of battery power) in just messy and shaky shot after shot. All the characters are stale and boring. I'm aware that films like this are not concerned with acting and basic filmmaking; but if not, then you'd think they'd put a lot into making the film actually scary. Oh, right; screenwriting is also part of making a good film. Oh. This film just borrows and recycles images from past exorcism films and hopes it will be scary. Show us something new. A possessed girl playing Twister with herself on a bed in a basement ins't scary or original. That stuff has been done before. Plus, the whole ending to this film is just an utterly frustrating mess that makes absolutely no sense at all. In fact, the ending concludes all of our characters in a completely irrelevant way to what the film is about. Exorcisms. The film is just bad and not interesting and just boring. Not worth YOUR hard earned money. Go see "Shame".

Shame
Shame(2011)
½

Probably the most popular NC-17 rated film since "Requiem for a Dream" and "American Psycho", the film is a dynamic character study of a man dealing with a sex addiction. While the concept is rather diverse among audiences, this film's passion is so bold and intense that it's hard not to realize the cinematic achievement. The interesting, yet bleak character Michael Fassbender plays, lives up to such an odd and almost un-relatable contradiction that it actually helps us stay invested in the character. We want to learn more about him and his problem and see how it all unfolds. Then, his sister, Carey Mulligan show up and completely impedes his private life, which is what allows him to indulge in his addiction. There for indefinite stay, Fassbender must cope with the emotional ideals that led him to the addiction in the first place and learn to control himself. While not a happy story, it is still an interesting story. Michael Fassbender is incredible. His chemistry with Carey Mulligan in this film really makes the relationship between him and his sister seem more realistic and believable. The shooting locations are also very interesting and the shot composition couldn't be better. It's dynamic and film you just want to keep watching on. Though, not recommended for certain viewers, the film is so perfect ally directed by Steven McQueen, who carries every scene with a never-ending focus on the internal contradictions of our leads, continuously reminding us of what the movie is, and what exactly is trying to say. "Shame" is a definite win.

The Help
The Help(2011)

The film, based on a book about a book, is decent enough to carry an audience, especially due to the large fan base for the book, but does grow over subdued with its racial themes and doesn't really offer much we haven't already seen. It seems that most successful movies consisting of African-Americans seem to always be about this time period of racial issues. But as weak as I thought the story was, the real carry for the film is the characters and the actresses who portray them. Viola Davis is great as the maid who is ultimately scared to accept an interview involving her viewpoints on the treatment of maids and on society as a whole. So is everyone else, but the idea is carried to a point where it becomes obvious they're going to agree anyway. They have to. Davis treats her character carefully, creating care for her without us even knowing that much about her. And while its good as an actress to achieve, it doesn't help the story. It seems that these characters had to be automatically cared about since they were black people in the South. This is why I found Octavia Spencer's character to have a little more to her than what Davis had. Davis did have to deal with the fact that even since she raised the white children and grow to care for them, she'd have to let go and then face the same awful treatment from the child grown up. This gave more substance to the maids, and Spencer's character is also dealing with an abusive husband and an awful secret, that is eventually used to their rather dangerous advantage. Emma Stone is good, but she seemed to be the weakest link. I didn't buy her character and the fact that she just happens to be the one out of all to not be racist; we never got a sense of why, except that she had a loving bond with a maid of her own while she was growing up. But, if everyone else grows up to have to be racist, why didn't she. Was there something special the maid she grow up with? We don't know, but from what I saw of all the amides, they seemed like generally nice people. This is all just nit-picking, but there was never really anything special about the way it was made. It seemed like another on of those films. Although, it was very well executed by the director and very well performed by its leads. I liked how the film went into flashback and explained things that we didn't get earlier. I thought it was a neat way to set up the movie and it almost sounded like a reading of the book. Bryce Dallas Howard gets a lot of hate for always playing "b-tchs". But she really does a good job in this film and you just end up hating her and love it when she gets embarrassed or humiliated. There's a certain satisfaction in the air. And Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote was the best performance in the movie! Here's why. The women assume that she's a whore who just lives off her husband. Her attempts to be accepted are so pitiful that she just gets to you. You feel so bad for her and the relationship between Spencer and Chastain becomes the most interesting aspect of the movie. "The Help" has its flaws, but the pros outweigh the cons and the film is definitely worth checking out.

Drive
Drive(2011)

Gritty fun and interesting cinematography, "Drive" is ultimately art-house filmmaking, yet it's actually good. Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of "Bronson," delivers a cunning portrait of a driver with a specific set of rules. As surreal as the opening is based on its subject matter, the film begins to slow down and doesn't speed up for awhile. But if you fall into the characterization of our leads, it's pretty well-written material. But, the film seems to lead all this up to a job that is ultimately irrelevant to what the movie is about. Ryan Gosling meets Carey Mulligan and her son and discovers they're being harassed by a gangster because of the husbands debts. Gosling helps out the husband by assisting in a job they mouse complete for the gangster to leave the family alone. But it turns out that everyone involved in this is part of a bigger story, or is it? (SPOILER!!!) The father is shot and the job is failed. Gosling finds out they were robbing money from the mob or "the Family." Albert Brooks who authorized the job must now kill everyone involved; the Driver, his friend, and the gangster. But, Gosling doesn't take that crap, and goes out and kills everyone threatening him. If he was going to do that, why didn't he do it before? Was it because he was attached to some kind of an arrangement with Albert Brooks? What was the arrangement, exactly? Driving? It doesn't go into detail about the apparent arrangement he had with Albert Brooks. Anyway, the film is very well-made and when the action hits, it really hits. The graphic art of it all is just really cool in some ways. Directors have been often avoiding making art-house films, worrying that they would seem deliberately trying to be cool. But Drive is a much more calm story, that tones the action down to a more believable contradiction. Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan are great, but Albert Brooks really shines. As awkward as the role is for him, since he's a comedian, he played really intensely. Going from a sleazy gangster to a complete psychopath; murder by fork. Drive is so rich in its art direction that it's hard not to enjoy it.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
½

The final installment to the billion-dollar franchise is a marvel for movies in general. Every aspect of this film is beautifully executed. First, the soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat is magical; delivering a homage to John William's original score for the first film, only boosting it to a level of maturity and dark tone that we have seen in the last few films, while also adding in his own scores was amazing. "Lily's Theme" and "Severus and Lily" are two that I enjoyed because of the pure brilliance and understanding of the films dramatic themes, the music fit perfectly. The action and visuals are just stunning. They went all-out in this without getting infected with creativity overload. Everything seemed reasonable. The action is heart-pounding, with the last hour of the film being exactly what everyone has been waiting for. A wizard war. The great thing is, is that they still maintain the character's emotional predicaments as everything is being blown up. The final sequence between Voldemort and Harry Potter is shockingly under-played, after such a flashy battle. But, I ended up loving how they handled the final duel and created a concluding tone with such sedulity. Now, the acting. Daniel Radcliffe brings everything he has to the role. The emotional weight he carries is so well-performed and he never looks generic or over-played. The suffering in his heart was conveyed simply with emotion and we understood exactly how he felt without him having to say it. Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes are all good. Everyone but that Luna girl is good. She just had an obnoxious attitude towards everything. That monotone and that she always has a half-assed smile on her face was irritating and I didn't even care about her. The character conclusions are just so enthralling and immersive. But, the show-stealer here was Alan Rickman as Severus Snape. Snape's conclusion was so beautifully handled by David Yates and Rickman performed with Oscar-winning material. He showed a side of Snape and concluded him in under twelve minutes of screen time, without it seeming rushed. He was brilliant and the wonderfully edited memories of Snape that reveal all the secrets about Harry and Snape was just epic. The film really succeeded in wrapping everything up in just a pure an epic experience. The cinematography and art direction was great and everything was perfect. This is the best and final installment of the Harry Potter franchise.

The Tree of Life

I completely understand why this movie was confusing to so many people. It's a non-narrative film, that goes on and off between science/evolution and a disjointed family. If you understand what kind of a filmmaker Terrence Malik is, then you shouldn't have been to disappointed with this movie. But the whole mystic meaning behind it is basically growing. By switching to evolution and the unknown mystery of life itself (space, annual spectacles, etc.) and then going back to the family, he was conveying that everything grows, either positively of negatively, everything has life; and also, that life is beyond the understanding of its minions (us) and that's probably exactly why many were confused. If you ask me, this film actually conveys what true cinema is. Now, the technological aspects of this film were just incredible. The cinematography is beautiful. What Malik captures of the world and life itself is just so enthralling and makes you feel that there is so much more than yourself, or humans, or whatever items you may own. You are so small and just a part of something so much larger that the film even caused people to question their own morality. Some people were reported to be depressed by the film. The film is just unknown reality, and Malik is trying to explain it by artistically comparing it to the growth and contradictions of a family, trying to be normal. Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt, and Sean Penn have small roles here, further expressing the theme. Hunter McCracken, playing the young Jack (Sean Penn), is enthralling and is the focus of the reality aspects that most people will want to see. The constant switches to the visuals of life from beginning to end kept throwing people off. What many didn't realize was that the people were connected to life, and that by switching back and forth wasn't irrelevant at all. If this film is carefully examined, than it is a good film. Malik knew that people would be confused, and he didn't care. He came to the conclusion that there will be people who like it and people who don't. He understood what he was conveying and made an art out of it. In the end, "The Tree of Life" is a complex yet simple look on life and what's beyond us and our knowledge.

The Darkest Hour

Wow...the apocalypse has started! This film is so poorly acted, so horribly written, and just so bad that time itself may have halted when I was watching this movie. If you can call it a movie. This is just such a boring, un-suspenseful horror flick. I don't get it. So, there is some invisible thing that disintegrates people. While that would probably be really scary in reality, this movie fails to convey that. You don't care about anyone and the threat just comes off as super lame and stupid. You're almost laughing at how the characters are running from this kind of threat; even though it is technically scary, the film makes it look like a joke! The horror is completely under-played and nothing was believable. I don't think there's much more you can say about the film. It's just badly made movie that some how failed to convey the slightest bit of fear in something that is generally scary. "Man fear what they cannot see." -Ras Al Ghul. You see, Batman Begins understood this. This film should have tried to go for a gritty concept on what you cannot see is what you most fear. Things people don't understand scares them, so they make up stuff to explain it and after awhile, make it their belief. Kind of like the Bible. When a critic can completely rework your movie to the point where it sounds interesting and not just plain silly, you know you've made a low quality film.

Terri
Terri(2011)

Where do I start? "Terri" is one of the worst movies I have seen this year, maybe three years. Let's begin with an extensive review of why this movie sucks so bad. "Terri" makes absolutely no sense at all; I would like to start off by saying that I really dislike those "life" movies or independent films because they're all just absolute bull and are pretty much the same thing every time. Some person and their problems. Even though, half the time, they have no problems at all. This is one of those films. Terri is an obese kid who pretty much is the laziest f*uck-up you'll ever see. He goes to school in his pajamas and exerts no effort because he feels distant from everyone else. Maybe he wouldn't feel so distant if he wore normal clothes and tried to make some friends. But the film just completely blows off why Terri is the way he is and just wants to focus on his misery, which we have no real emphasize for. Just to get it out of the way, there is one kid in it who is a disgusting, future rapist kid who just is annoying to watch. That doesn't mean the kid was a good actor. What I'm saying is that he was just completely made-up. Nothing about him seemed realistic or believable. The film seemed to make this school look like it's full of slutty girls and creepy boys, even though the facility isn't that bad looking. Plus, Terri acts like he's just a struggling teen who is leading a very depressing life, but no where does this movie make me care for him. Reason number one was because there was no emphasize to why he's this way. If we could just see some family tragedy or teens making fun of him, then we'd care more about him. But no. All we got were perverted, creepy, and completely over-exaggerated teenagers. This wasn't some depressing, city area; it actually looked like a nice place where normal, everyday things could occur. But the characters completely mis-match with the setting, and therefore the tone becomes muddled. I'm not saying that all stories like this have to be in a depressing setting, but just that it isn't as convincing when it isn't. Terri lived in a fairly sized house and we never saw a scene where he was over-eating, so why the hell is he fat and miserable? We're never told. I guess we just assume that all obese people are sad, challenged, and living depressing lives, even at childhood. While I guess that could possibly be true, it's not exactly a kind-hearted thing to force the audience to have to assume for themselves. Next problem is when they try to make us like Terri a different way. So the film introduces this girl who gets caught by her classmates getting fingered by that perverted, future-rapist boy and is now the embarrassment of the entire school. So I guess we're to assume that this girl is a slut since she'd let a boy do that in the f"cking classroom. I assume; since this movie apparently expects us to just assume the worst in people. The film does try to highlight the fact that the boy kind of forced her. Which is bull. When it was happening, she enjoyed it and the only reason she cried was because everyone saw it. Yeah, she's a slut. But, of course, the film insists that Terri create some kind of bond with her, and the excuse is because Terri thinks now that she's an outcast, he can be with her. What? First, we don't even know exactly why Terri is an outcast and the girl we don't care about because we just assume she's just a slut. Her emphasize just revolves around the fact that she was caught! So I guess the moral here is that you should feel bad for the people who get caught masterbating? Anyway, I let it slide just a bit, assuming maybe we'll see why she's a slut in the first place and that she's actually just a nice, but "screwed-up-life" kind of girl. But no. The movie's biggest flaw is what happens next. A scene involving her, Terri, and Terri's also perverted and completely meaningless friend is just the most boring, un-character involved, completely over-exaggerated, irrelevant scene I have ever seen! The stupid kids, for NO REASON at all; it's not even said why; decide to drink and do pills in the garage. Why? There's no reason for it! And don't you even say it's because they're depressed. The film doesn't even tell us why they're depressed. This is another thing I hate about Indie life movies, that seem like they were made by a college student. They're all R-Rated for reasons that have no point. It's like the writer deliberately wanted the film R-Rated so he just threw in needless profanity and sexual/drug-related events. I'm no Mormon or super Christian; don't get me wrong; I love R-Rated movies, but when there's no reason to put in the stuff that makes it R-Rated, it all just feels staged and deliberate, and nothing real. "Terri" is a perfect example. So, they do drugs, the friend goes unconscious, and now for the huge flaw. So, Terri and the girl are talking and the girl starts getting a little sexual and then takes all of her clothes off and starts begging for Terri to come to her. He doesn't, they fall asleep, and that morning the friend and the girl are gone and the whole event is over. What!? So as pointless as it was, the only thing it said was that the girl was actually a slut all along. HOLD ON! The film didn't mean to say this, it's what I interpreted because of the film's lazy stupidity. We never see the girl again after this scene. So, the whole time we were supposed to connect with a character or the relationship between Terri and the girl, yet they completely blow it off again with the girl just being a slut the whole time. A "time-filler." I mean, seriously? You can't just introduce a character and FORCE us to assume she's a slut, and then assume that she might not be as bad as everyone in the, (FOR NO REASON), creepy school thinks she is. But then just have it where she is a slut and the movies over. There is no emphasize for anything. When they try, it completely fails under it's own stupidity. All the plot details about what teens are like and what makes people miserable is just so over-exagerrated and completely flawed in tone. It's like this film was just trying to win independent awards. It was stupid, boring, severely flawed, uninteresting and the characters were boring and stupid; making this one of the worst movies I have ever seen!

War Horse
War Horse(2011)

What is it about horses that emotionally grab the audience? I don't know. But, whenever they die, it's really sad. "War Horse" is Steven Spielberg's latest epic and it really is a decent film. The visuals, of course, are terrific, mirroring the gritty images of war that were presented in "Saving Private Ryan." Spielberg is able to capture the actual use of the horse in battle rather than focus completely on the opposite of what the film is about. The relationship between multiple people and most notably the boy can be rather cheesy at times, but still offers up a satisfying deal. The music by John Williams is great as always, and it really fit the tone of the film, wether cliched or epic war. But, the film has a few downfalls. While the editing and story are good, characters become disconnected from the plot continuously in the film, and we never really see any of the relationships fully grow. Spielberg did want to try to attract a wider audience, but did it in a matter where some of the subject material seemed forced in there, so that more diverse demographics would show up. The film is beautifully shot but the sequences are so dense and keep switching back and forth between cheesy, to light-hearted, to epic war, and back to drama. The war sequences are very well-done and if there's one thing Spielberg is good at, it's setting up a sequence.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
½

Brutal and dark, Fincher's latest exploration of this rather unique mythos isn't a happy one, but certainly isn't a bad one. Truly the best thing about the film is Rooney Mara's performance. What she embraces in the role is rather mature and I think better than the Swedish version. Her role just seemed to capture the grit and personality that was conveyed in the books. Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer co-star and of course are good, but not pivotal. And this is where one of the flaws comes in. Craig had no real reason to want to solve this murder except that Plummer would help him out with his damaged career of he did. In the book and the Swedish version, the victim was actually Craig's character's former baby-sitter. It might be a stretch to assume that he had an emotional connection with his baby-sitter, but he could have and it at least it landed him a reason to want to do the case. It seems the more emotion falls under Rooney Mara, who herself deals with personal problems. The study of her character seems to drive away from the mystery, which by the way, ends the way those mysteries on TV in the 50's end. The most "least expected" character who actually is the most suspected by the audience turns out to be the killer. But still, the film is very well-made and intense. Again, not recommended to squeamish viewers, but definitely a film worth watching.

Seven (Se7en)
½

David Fincher's acclaimed thriller could have easily been a bad movie, cliched with the typical rookie meets veteran and grow to respect one another set-up. Although, the gritty reality and strong character trends are what keep the film intact. Morgan Freeman warns Brad Pitt of the dangers involved in becoming a homicide detective in this unidentifiable city. A case pears up when a serial killer, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), murders his victims based on the seven deadly sins. Not suggested for squeamish viewers, but a great approach to the horror that is this case. The great thing about the film is its gritty realism and how the trends unfold on to our main characters. You see, these two are trying to catch this guy, and the killer hasn't planned everything out. It is only when he comes in contact with the detectives' personalities that he moves his plan to a much more complex level, further proving his point. The suspense and even the drama are horrifying, and while the ending is depressing, it is truly a stand point on how things really are. The closing line is just perfect and the film itself is a favorite. Although, I didn't feel we got to see enough of Brad Pitt's relationship with his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow), and when they come to a conclusion, it hits the character emotionally, but not the audience. Either way, this is a great mystery/thriller and has made its mark as one of the greatest serial killer film ever made, right up with "Silence of the Lambs" and "Zodiac," also by Fincher.

We Bought a Zoo
½

This is a movie I simply don't get. First off, is it necessarily a good thing to save a zoo? I swear that these animals absolutely hate seeing a bunch of fat Americans snobbing around their cages all day. I just never bought the significance of saving this zoo. Just let the animals go back to where they belong. Just because humans happen to be smarter, that doesn't mean you can treat animals like their second beings. This film exploits all the cliches and the performances are very weak. Matt Damon just looks wrong and I don't get why every true story needs to be a movie. I mean, this is a ridiculous notion for a feature film. The movie obviously tries to put a unique spin on the whole subject matter ( in which we've seen a thousand times before) but fails in every way possible. I didn't care about these characters or their goal because they were just random people who happen to have a failing zoo. You know, a failing zoo is actually a positive thing. What's the big deal? The animals will just be sent to a different zoo or hopefully released back into the wild. I'm no tree hugger, but the captivity of animals who are actually superior to any stupid human being is just sickening and I have a hard time rooting for these people. They attempt to rationalize it by making it appear that the animals have some kind of emotional connection to the family. Which is just a bunch of Hollywood bull. I'm willing to bet money that no animal in a zoo is ever going to emotionally connect with a human. In fact, lions and wild cats probably want to eat all the visitors and the apes probably want to rip all of our limbs off. I know there are stories about animal connections with humans that are all sappy and cliched; but those connections are made outside of zoos and this film rapes all of that. It was just a boring and frustrating film that tried to be important but failed in every way possible because of its bad acting, and very questionable morals.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
½

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as the ultimately lovable and witty friends, one of which is the world's greatest deceptive and the other, a doctor. The best moments of the film are dialogue pieces between Holmes, Watson, and the villain, Moriarty; played exceptionally by Jared Harris. The film offers some interesting twists and some great visuals, but the slow-motion deforestation isn't enough to compensate for the obvious lack of story-telling. The first film actually offered some unique sequences, and although heavily cliched, it made up for all of it with its unique visual style; something Guy Ritchie is notoriously good at. But this film seems to borrow and recycle from the first film, and the story seems needlessly complex, where as in the first film, it was, but at least the villain was just like that with his planning. This villain isn't as cliched and predictable as Blackwood was, but just seemed ultimately like the same character, squaring off with Holmes in a battle of whits and putting him and Watson through some twists and too-offs. The acting is enjoyable yet again, but the film uses gimmick after gimmick with its dialogue and character traits, coming off as a "Transformers Comedy" infused type of screenplay set-up, using it as filler before the slow-mo and action scenes. Plus, the opening sequences isn't all that impressive and the film seems to drag on after awhile. I can't say this film is horrible, but it certainly isn't good.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Officially one of the worst films ever made, this terrible installment to an already worn-out franchise is one of the biggest flops of the year. The film is butchered with bad songs made worse by the obviously CGI chipmunks that sing them. The plot is so simplistic to the point where it doesn't even have a plot. The whole film relies on the fact that there are cute, little animals singing modern-day songs. They must have tried to attract kids and teens, which is never a good thing. Just ask George Lucas. The main character's voices are so obnoxious that you begin to be unable to take it anymore. The film finally does try to further Alvin as a character, by making him start realizing how much of a screw-up he is. But, in the end, it all doesn't matter. The concept of everything is just so utterly annoying and unbearable that you could care less about Alvin in the first place or his feelings. The set pieces are in no way entertaining, and come off as a cartoony farce. People will argue that it's made for kids, but let me say that not even kids should be watching this junk. Parents reading: This movie will make your kid very, very stupid and completely empty-minded for anything genuine, original, or of good taste. This film is a waste of YOUR money and a child's potential brain. I was forced to go see this film by my boss because I was the one who picked the short straw. He even prayed for me; but luckily I got out alive.

The Lion King
½

Truly one of the greatest animated films of all-time, "The Lion King" succeeds in every movie aspect possible, and offers something for everyone. First off, the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is simply epic. "The Stampede" and "The Return" are the most notable themes of the soundtrack. The music is so intense and identifies with the occurring events of the film, creating beautifully synchronized sequences that strike you with its impressive animation and heart-warming characters, placed in a situation of danger or discontent. Moving on, we have the incredible animation, that really brings the animals to life. Everything looked genuine and yet so effortless. The smooth feel of the film is the result of the incredible composition and depth of the character designs. The stampede sequence took over four years of production to animate and became one of the most famous scenes in movie history, ending with the perfectly executed death of Mufasa. (If that's a spoiler, then where have you been?) And now, the voice acting. Nathan Lane gives a highly entertaining performance as Timon. His skills as an entertainer make his dialogue deliver perfect comedic timing without becoming annoying. James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Robert Guillame, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Rowan Atkinson all lend great and enjoyable performances to their characters. It is obvious the true show-stealer is Jeremy Irons as the villain, Scar. Irons has always had a voice that I would want to narrate my life, and what he does with it in this film is pure fun to watch. The character is so richly enhanced by Irons distinct vocals and classic use of diction. The songs by Elton John and Tim Rice are unforgettable: "The Circle of Life", "Be Prepared", "Hakuna Matata", and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," all have great beats and memorable lyrics. With all this said, "The Lion King" continues to be the second top-grossing animated feature of all-time, with its light-heart for kids, yet surprisingly dark tones for adults, it succeeds as a classic on my list.

The Adventures of Tintin
½

Based on an old series of graphic novels, the duo of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson is one you might have thought up in your imagination. When they come together, the produce a highly entertaining motion picture. The debate over this film is if it can be considered animated or not. While the entire film centers around characters created with motion capture, there's no denying that the film incorporated a great deal of animation, so I will have to say that it is an animated feature and deserved a nomination of some kind. Adventure and action loom around this film and the visuals are stunning. The characters connections draw from the actors performances; particularly Andy Serkis, the motion capture master. As far as story goes, it mixes Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean, with the over-the-top adventure pieces to the super-natural action sequences. Although, with all of its amazing trickery, the story becomes lost, and the actual action and adventure itself becomes the plot. One scene that would look good in 3D after another. It seems repetitive, but it still maintains its characters in a unique composition that we don't lose total grasp of its true meaning and don't get sucked into the visuals, the way "Sucker Punch" tried to do. "The Adventures of Tintin" can definitely be called on of the best animated features of the year.

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)

Charlize Theron appears to be steaming up again, after a string of forgettable films, we have "Snow White and the Huntsman" and this film. "Young Adult" is the theme to basically growing up and how to get around after college. Our main character struggles with becoming an adult, and you might expect the conclusion of this to be her becoming a prominent lady. But, the fact of the matter is, she doesn't, and her conclusion revolves more around, "I get it." While Theron's character is ultimately likable, there are scenes where they stretch her out a little too far and nearly sever our connection with her. The real person we root for is he friend, who tries to get her on track. He's seems to be the one with the challenge and Theron gets lost between pointless and filling. While the film is well-written, and extends to a point of boredom, where you just don't care what happens. The variety of emotions portrayed muddle the tone, and you begin to suspend your attention. But, the film still holds up, with some good laughs, well-written dialogue, and an interesting performance by Charlize Theron.

Midnight in Paris

I was surprised that I liked this film so much, considering that I'm not actually the biggest Woody Allen fan. But the film is perfect in every possible aspect. The dialogue and characters are just so natural and genuine. Everything seemed real and the set-up of the American tourist is well played by Rachel McAdams. Owen Wilson does a better job than usual and his character was utterly enjoyable. The natural flow and perfect comedic timing is so beautifully executed by Allen, that its hard not to fall into the story. The themes of possible time travel may confuse or frustrate some, wondering how it's possible can distract audiences. But the travel between time periods is done with such sedulity that it can be implied that it was all Wilson's imagination rather than time travel. Plus, the themes never go over-the-top with the concept of time travel; ignoring all uses of flashy, time machines, and creates a realistic yet beautiful world. The film draws you back and makes you connect with the characters and the time period. The portrayals of historic figures are absolute fantastic fun to watch. Kathy Bates is especially good as Gertrude Stein. And there is a humorous cameo by Adrien Brody as Salvatore Dali. The film is so beautifully weaved into such a creative and entertaining masterpiece, all with the words of the worlds most respected figures. And the shots of Paris couldn't be better. "Midnight in Paris" is a film you can't afford to miss.

The Descendants

A critical acclaim and a gem of its genre, this movie really brings out the inner emotions of its main characters and associates with comedy that many parents will get a laugh out of. George Clooney to me has always appeared as a person who seems to have life "figured out." He's not wasting a second of it in this film; the chase for his daughter's acceptance is a vivid portrayal to watch and derive in. Clooney is truly great in this role, and Shailaine Woodley does the typical yet interesting character of the daughter a little one-eyed about her father. The Hawaii scenery is used, but that wasn't a main topic of the film, for those who think it needed to have some focus on the character's environment. The film has plenty of comedic whit to spare, and great timing, but also maintains the exact level of drama it requires to incorporate the characters in a certain level of emotionalism. All of which relates to the films gradual but obvious theme, which was the only real problem I had with the film. The acting and pacing is nicely played out, and director Alexander Payne conveys a great amount of substance for his characters and the contradictions that follow. Clooney has received a Golden Globe for his performance, and Woodley a Best Supporting Actress nomination. One of the top ten movies of the year, "The Descendants" is a well-worked family drama.

The Sitter
The Sitter(2011)
½

After viewing, I wasn't confused as to how this film got released late. Previous to Jonah Hill's weight loss, the film is completely misguided in tone and in character personalities. Hill starts off as a nice, nerdy kind of kid, to a rude-mouthed jerk for no real reason. The kids are utterly unconvincing and made-up projections. Nothing they did, especially the one who blows up a building, seemed believable or was funny. The lack of even the most basic humor drives the audience to boredom. Thankfully, it's not a long movie. Overall, the film just ignores the realism of a children's mind and the low probability of any of the actions they commit. It knows if it does normal, "I have to change the babies diaper", kind of humor that is usually found in a baby-sitter movie, the film would have to be a kids movie. They tried to turn the concept R-Rated, but completely went overboard with the stretches of common realism and the knowledge that the unfolding and recycled predicaments throughout the show are just impractical. It's hard to draw an audience when they have no idea what is going on, but more importantly, why. Why would any of this happen? Jonah should have just walked away; remember, he is a jerk, so it wouldn't be out of character for him to leave the kids at home alone. Basically, there are many movies out there that just shouldn't have been made, and "The Sitter" falls under that list.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
½

The franchise has definitely been refreshed in this rather ridiculous, but still incredibly satisfying sequel. Before we start, let us recap on the "Mission Impossible" series. The first film was a decent spy thriller, but everyone knew at the same time, it was no replacement for James Bond. The second film was an utter disappointment, with the stunts and action taken a little too far. The third film was more promising, with J.J. Abrams at the directors helm, it offered a more serious tone, but almost became to serious where character conclusions seemed empty and the action was thinned to a point where the movie seemed out-of-place in the trilogy. Now, years later, number four has come along, and looking at this film, it could be considered a reboot of higher proportions. But, the negatives are in here. The film grows to a point where the most basic of "bad guy" plans become a cliche. Blow up the country. The missile element and the worldly based conflict that failure could cause, (nuclear war), it seemed awkward that this all fell on only Tom Cruise and his team. Although, the film makes up greatly with its decent plot twists, incredible action sequences, and most importantly, "team work." The character twists and emotional involvements made me care more for their success. Plus, the action sequences were so thrilling and on-the-edge-of-your-seat material. The whole Dubai sequences, not just the tower, was perfectly executed by Brad Bird. Now, team work was the most fun aspect. It wasn't all about Tom Cruise. Every member had something unique to offer to the mission and to the personal contradictions of the characters and setting. Jeremy Renner even seems like an equivalent of Cruise. Fantastic and suspenseful action is great fun, and the story was as decent as it could get. I was a little thrown-off by the ending, with the bit corny, "we're all coming back," kind of thing. But the film still outweighs its negatives, and is an action-packed thrill ride; definitely the best of the franchise.

New Year's Eve

A dull film that is obviously trying to cash in on "Valentines Day" success, this film is an overall flop. Filmmaking and basic storytelling at its worse. The biggest and most glaring problem with the film are the characters; nothing about them seemed remotely interesting. Just because they're normal, every-day people doesn't mean will relate to them and ultimately care for them. In fact, strangers are always arguing with each other in reality. I'm an angry asian, so I do it all the time. (Although, I try not to be a troll.) The film offers just stale and boring characters, with dialogue so cliched that all the romance or emotional predicaments that the characters may face is just not genuine or realistic. The height of the film is even about an event that we can all just experience ourselves, for free, every year. New Year's Day. We don't have to pay a $15.00 ticket to watch a muddled storyline with twenty different people we don't care about. The film fails in every aspect to grasp the audience's attention and hold on to it for the remainder of the story. It's obvious that the script was rushed so that they could get to casting all the celebrities. The film is butchered with humorless cameos and muddled relationships that we have no care for, and the basic format of filmmaking is disregarded so they can attract millions of people to watch celebrities obviously pretend to be people.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)

The last thing you would expect from acclaimed director, Martin Scorsese, turns out to be surprisingly decent. The 3D is also pretty cinematic in an ironic way, taking the artistic set pieces and really putting in an effort to use the vast potential of 3D technology. While the acting, plot events, and set design is ultimately great, I couldn't help feeling that this film, while based off a book, seemed to be a bunch of different films combined. Magical robot that needs to be fixed; sounds familiar. Father died and left son with magical secrets to discover; also sounds familiar. Now, Hugo himself is joyfully yet seriously played by Asa Butterfield, potentially a great actor in the future who meets a former actor (Ben Kingsley) and his niece. The journey is set off to find the key to a robot that was Hugo's father's greatest project. The film pacing is well-timed, and the French setting was almost perfect, even if much of it was computer generated. Although, I never seemed to be completely understanding of Hugo or his goals. The characters connection is ultimately required for a film that is acting out of a family tragedy, but, I felt more engaged with Ben Kingsley than I did Hugo. He seemed to be a clumsy, messenger boy that we followed around. Plus, the ending is kind of dull and as the film drives further, the ultimate goal doesn't seem worth it. But, besides that, the film is very well-directed by Scorsese and is definitely watchable, and a sure fire for awards; due to its artistic story-telling and good performances, it will be all worth at least your time.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

There was much speculation as to if "The Muppets" could truly restore its fame and glory, especially among a modern-day audience. I am happy to say that the film succeeded on a certain level. The music and songs are an enjoyable tribute and the puppeteering is great fun to watch. The characters embedded into the puppets are rather realistic and you almost forget that their puppets. The set designs and musical premises will play out differently for certain people, depending on age or knowledge of the Muppets. Although, I felt off with my emotional connection with the Muppets. I know past Muppet movies have been generally positive, but the care for the Muppets was one of the many reasons I and many others were skeptical. The film barely reached out to me, creating a sort of a "Toy Story 3" kind of connection. But it had to be don win one film. The stereotype oil executive for some reason wants to take out the Muppets run-down theatre and a dedicated fan helps the puppets save it. The movie is entertaining and has a few good laughs, but the level of actual careens for the Muppets and some of the topics it too obviously points out as morals are a little contrived. The kids will definitely enjoy, wether or not they know the Muppets or not, and I can only say a handful of adults will be entertained.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

The "Twilight" saga based on Stephanie Meyer's book is half way to its bland conclusion. I say this because the Part 1 of "Breaking Dawn" is so poorly conveyed and adds nothing to the series. While, not such a fan of the vampire fad, this film really was bad. As far as writing and filmmaking goes, nothing positive can be said about it. The characters have always been very dull and uninteresting, and the one event, (Stewart's pregnancy), where we could see one bit of emotion is completely dried out because the actors don't seem invested at all. Robert Pattinson sin't a terrible actor, but this film isn't helping convey that. Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart give dry and stale performances that don't stimulate or attract any interest from you. The camera work is just basic, and the overall feel of the film comes off as empty. Nothing really happens. The most notable or memorable thing is the awkward attraction Wolf Boy has towards, now Belle's infant daughter. What? I thought he loved Bella. The plot is also full of painfully noticeable inconsistencies. Everything is just played under the spotlight, where Harry Potter's conclusion took a much more interesting and fan-craved route.