Toy Story 4
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'Hercules' is the most exhilarating movie experiences of 2014 yet! Dwayne Johnson capitalizes on another brilliant performance full of charisma supported by a story that's entertaining enough to sit through. He bulks up for the role and offers a new Hercules offering diversity to our cultural understanding of the Greek God. Ratner adds an enjoyable twist to the original tale, and his visuals are the most stunning images so far in 2014. By the end of the film, you can't help but get up, like a six-year-old and chant his name.
Just when you though great storytelling was dead, Ozon hits you with a shamelessly offensive yet brutally honest memorable art house film.
Part II is written on a Shakespearean level. The Godfather (1972) was beautiful in its' pulpy melodramatic sense that perfected and reinvented 30's mobster films. However, Part II takes all the underlying thematic genius of the first film and makes a compilation that has a fine balance between Robert De Niro's and Al Pacino's best performances. The first Godfather was a wonderful stepping stone to this masterpiece of art, and is the only true 'Renaissance' film. Ever since the first film, audiences wanted to see Michael truly taking the position of Don Corleone - and it is breathtaking. Immigration is at the center of the heart. Michael was never meant to be Don even if he believes and truly has what it takes. The Sicilian kind heart of Vito is lost and corruption ensues. The flashback sequences accompanied by a fine-tuned score by Nino Rota make this film a combination of two masterpieces, and thus my favorite film of all time.
Stand Up Guys is trash, but it's entertaining trash since it has the three old kings: Alan Arkin, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken. Christopher Walken is still a serious actor who is fantastic in most of his recent roles. Alan Arkin is the funniest old guy to hit the big screen in recent years. Al Pacino, like De Niro, has completely wasted his talent over the last few years. Nevertheless, he still manages to have some charisma. The script starts off very strong grounded in nostalgia and the fear of old age; then, it takes a u-turn into shameless slapstick and Tarantino wannabe-style. At the end of the day, it is a generally heartfelt film about friendship.
Just because a film has likable intentions doesn't mean it's a good film. The Place Beyond The Pines is a hollow film void of catharsis due to its stiff writing and direction. Ryan Gosling is wooden in his role which is a shame as it is a trend that is plaguing a genuinely good actor. He is a walking pawn for director Cianfrance to place wherever he wants. Every actor hits one note the entirely film without offering anything else; however, they're all good actors. The story is divided into three separate films that try to be a noble and genuine look into the lives of people trapped in their lower-classes. The film is also a melodrama without the emotions. Some of the quotes are so artificial at being poetic just like the title itself. The plot is impossible not to spoil, but it's not original. Bradley Cooper freshens up this film, and Dane Dehaan performance feels so important that it simply pardons the lackluster script. I can only commend Cianfrance for choosing to make an unconventional story-line. However, he needs some guidance; it's as if he started with a blank page and figured out the story later.