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after seeing Rogue One- A Star Wars story, overall i did liked it, even though it was somewhat predictable ... There were certain stand out characters such as Lyn, Cassian and Chirrut (Donnie Yen) yes there is still the familiar than new elements and surroundings. Storm troopers, death star, star fighting jets, etc.
Of course Rogue One takes affects before the original New Hope Star Wars of `1977, so of course we have to see the same ole's of old.
but in terms of the CGI special effect graphics, the action sequences, the character portrayal role and the dark roles, storylines and climatic ending made it very interesting a good return investment.
And the CGI wasn't just the action-parts but bringing in appearances of the late Peter Cushing's role of Grand Moff Tarkin, as well as Princess Leia (the late Carrie Fisher) , the imaging effect was so realistic and well, I was wonder how they were able to accomplished that feat.
Oddly there was some critics and controversy of the computer imaging of these characters
I liked the music score during film, I wasn't as keen fond of the robot that always wanted to follow Jyn and Cassian around, as other viewers were, no harm, but I could live with or without it. The humor wasn't always there, but for the most part, I liked the speed of to the point of the movie. I thought it had a good start and developing point , It only slowed during the middle, but it picked up again on it's way to a climatic finish.
I got a vibe from Jyn as I did for Ryn (Force Awakens) ,as a relentless rebellion freedom fighter - but of course Jyn doesn't have " the force" like Ryn does. I had heard that Rogue one is going to be the first film of a trilogy,
I think a lot of traditional hard core Star War fans may have a problem with this film as it does not use, open with the traditional, signature black-screen text at the very beginning of the film such as "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....",and so on to describing the background of the film. Maybe SW fans may grunt about it , but I had no problem with as it feels like a experiencing a different way of viewing a new Star Wars film.
Rogue One : A Star Wars story ... On a scale of 1 to 10 ,.. I gave it 7.5
Although I'm have an admitted love for vampire movies, I also admit that I was conservative about seeing labeled as " Abraham Lincoln" vampire hunter. I didn't know if it would be camp-corny should I be prepared to take it as a light or dorky comedy movie ..or will it be serious ?
But once the origin began in the civil war era and how it revealed the fate of the parents of young Abraham, and his search for vengeance, I could see it is set to be a not only serious but fast moving. Afterwards I could see how clever it was to have this vampire flick centered around one of our presidents.
One thing that was so unbelievably striking was how Benjamin walker who plays Abraham Lincoln, has an uncanny resemblance to veteran actor Liam Neeson that I just couldn't get by until he grew the beard later on.
Another thing I can always be very thankful for is the pace. It gets off to a good start and stays that way for the better part of the film. There's a Vampire hunter teacher and a brief vampire hunting training session before Link is sent on his way to rid the town of hidden vampires. You see gadget weapons and near close calls from some of the vampire battles.
There are a couple times where I thought that seem kind of dorky. -one which is young Abraham prefers to use of a long axe rather than loaded guns or swords. Another was the horse stampede chase which reminded me very much of the dinosaur stampede in the 2005 version of King Kong . One confusion in another scene is how can a trained vampire hunter be subdued and jailed by mere humans.
It has the slow motion CGI effects that similar to the " 300" film and Spartacus series in a number of action scenes. And it actually has a couple of " jump-scare" scenes that took me by surprise. Of course there's a love discovery and connection but it was brief and never threaten to slow down the film. There's a unexpected emotional tragedy. And even I paused at the end when I heard the Lincolns preparing to go the theater.
I don't recall any light humor and I didn't connect " president" Lincoln until the bottom half of the film when the biggest part of the civil war took affect. And the movie producers keep the act of the civil war movement in well. Blended it in quite nicely and carefully in not lingering and speech it out to slow down the good pace of the the film.
But besides just the one on one vampire battles, there's the Undead vampire southern rebels soldiers, Horse carnage busting thru walls,, horse stampede, great train ride, and even Mother Lincoln finally getting her revenge.
Also ....If you had seen this film in 3-D .. you would have loved the way the vampires " JUMP" out at you. Otherwise everything else about the 3-D is pretty ordinary. Don't let the name-title fool you, it actually ended up being a good, enjoyable vampire-action flick.
Note: pays close action to the ending scene of the film. to see if you can draw indentify to who the vampire hunter is talking to at the liquor bar.
I give it a 7.0 out of 10.
I had heard so much about based on true story film, " the Conjuring " from word of mouth that I finally decided to check it out. And I had to admit that I enjoyed myself and thought it was well worth seeing. Everyone may have their own view as to what is considered really " scary" to themselves. But I have to at least say that I found the Conjuring definitely to be " creepy" enough to enjoy.
With the Conjuring - which I tip my hat to the director James Wan and writers - because not only did I think this film had some creepy and jittery "jump-scare" moments in the film, but I also liked the way the dark areas of the house, the rooms, the corners, basement, stairs dark areas were displayed , they made it look eerie and macabre ( that's been an missing element in horror films for decades, IMO)
Much like the room the possessed girl Regan was tied up in the Exorcist. Speaking of which, in terms of it being a demon-possession flick, it ( nor any other "entity" movie will ever be in that class) Slowly creaking opening doors,.. bouncing objects, ..strange vibrations,.. shadows in the corner, ..dark- creepy hallways, ..powerful stench odors, ..unexplained physical yanking and bruises, ..dead animals, etc. And I thought the whole haunting demonic origin was well told.
The way the film started out did remind me very much of the Amityville Horror, but unlike that film and it's ghostly encounters, it was well explained in this film why the terrified family group could not just pack up and leave. I liked that the Conjuring more centered on atmosphere than with a lot of excess blood and gore and superficial CGI effects.
There was only a couple of instants where director James Wan let that slip, primarily at the end. I also liked that it had a very brief documentary-like atmosphere where you felt part of the investigating ghost-crew with the rolling camera. The creepy sounding and wide screen camera angles were terrific and the cast and characters were well scripted and portrayed admirably.
Particularly Lily Taylor and Vera Farmiga.
I didn't really get into the " Annabelle " doll, which was supposed to be one of the " gateway" tools to which demon spirits emerged into the lives of the living humans, I thought that the ending which one gets possessed to murder,- could have been a lot more intense and dramatic. While the credits rolled at the end, you get to see the pictures of the real couple who the film was based that actually investigates Occult like haunting back In the 60's and 70's.
Overall I thought this film was a solid film that gives some spooky chills and thrills in periods of the movie, and although I was initially concerned that this would be one of those films where the trailer itself ends up being much better, exciting that the actual movie itself- I can say that's not the case here, and I was very much put at ease on that note after I finished watching the film. This should easily be one of the scariest movies of the year.
Too add I think it's an greater advantage and enjoyable thrill to see this at the movie theaters with the much greater sights and surrounding sounds vs at home on DVD or streaming.
On a Scale of 1 to 10, I'd give The Conjuring a 8.0
After months of previewing the impressive trailer for Dracula Untold, I finally got the opportunity to see it
(you know it's hard to resist my vampire movies) .. of course this is was another which I was worried if the trailer would end up being the better than the movie itself. But after seeing Dracula Untold, I'm glad I didn't have to worry about that at all.
The film opens up to a narrative introduction to Vlad the Impaler, ( this is his origin before he became the dark king known as Dracula) who was taken away when he was young, to be trained as a heartless soldier with no morals.
He escapes and becomes a prince to his very own kingdom and homeland. But the Turkish Empire shows up, and demanding Vlad to give them 1,000 boys to be trained for their very army.
Vlad refuses and rebels, causing the Turkish Empire to declare war upon Vlad - who ironically once explored, stumbled upon and survived
an attack by a powerful dark force in the mountain layers, decides to return to the mysterious mountain that lays a master vampire.
Vlad begs the master vampire to give him the power and strength in order for him to fight against the Turkish Empire and manages to strike a deal with him in return for that power.
The first half of the film seems a bit methodical during his gradual transformation into the prince of darkness, but it's clear that it is aimed to display and develop Vlad's relationship to his family,- his beloved wife Mirena (Sarah Gadon) and his son Ingrid (Art Parkison)
and his people, as well as building up the enemy in the face of the ruthless and cunning Turk king (Dominic Cooper) and his great army.
But I can admire how the story tries to portray and reveal the character as a hero and savior more than the legendary evil force.
The first half also aims to display how Vlad, upon the conditions of his dark deal (and curse) has to somehow resist the
overwhelming urge of thirst for human blood for a particular period of time. Thus he is now burdened with two enormous challenges.
But Vlad does learn the limits of both his strength of his powers as well as the crippling weaknesses he has to endure.
This is where I got to enjoy the terrific CGI graphic visuals effects and the fighting action sequences.- it was a first that I saw Dracula
travel and speed through the air in a cloud of bats, disappear and reappear in various places in a blink, display enormous strength,
regenerate quickly from stabbing wounds and fire, turn humans into fellow vampires, command an army swarm of vampire bats, and defeat large armies with an incredible ease.
This actually spoiled me such that I actually was craving for more - as I would have like to seen even more of a full display of the powers of Dracula
( ability to shape shift or control various creatures- such as wolves, rats, limited power to cause storms and fog,)
One element I found interesting that the director change course of was Dracula's own vampires turning against him at one point when
it was always documented that he controls all vampires that he created in the first place.
A good number of the camera fights are dark and fast-cut. and based upon it's surprising PG-13 rating its actually not that blood gory.
As much as I enjoyed it, there were just a few flaws I did have with this film - for one, it's predictable ,if you see the trailer, then you pretty much
know the tell-it-all plot and how the whole film is going to go down.
And I would prefer the story just go ahead and portray the creature in the mountain layers as "Satan" himself rather than a master vampire,
to which this mountain master would have to be even more powerful than the actual Count Dracula Lord of the Vampires himself.
Also, I thought one scene was ridiculously silly as we see one lone monk square off against a huge horde of destructive vampires with only a small crucifix at his disposal.
I had wonder how this Dracula film would compare to other Dracula films in the past and vary away from the usual Van Helsing/Dracula -like origins.
This one tells of Dracula before he became the dark prince of evil. But in a different manner,
Of course it's not on a level of say Francis Ford Coppela's 1992 Dracula (that featured Gary Oldham, Keanu Reeves, Winona Rider and Anthony Hopkins) But it was very entertaining in its own right, IMO - especially the 2nd half of the film.
To this day I still cannot understand the reviews of the critics that put down this film as such. I was very well entertained and satisfied with Dracula Untold- and I think most viewers will be as well.
On a scale of 1 to 10, .. I'd give Dracula Untold a 7.0
Wow, Great, impressive film.
I found it riveting, relentless and and at times edgy. Maybe it's bias on my part because I followed the group and the artists that are portrayed
in the film, but "Straight out of Compton " impressed me such as easily being one of the best films I've seen this year.
Straight Outta Compton tells of the controversial group NWA that emerges from the rough urban streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California
in the mid-1980s and who created, developed, and revolutionize Hip Hop culture with their very controversial music in the form of 'gangsta' rap
and also presenting the tales of life in the 'hood.
' Compton' was already very intriguing to me because I followed the group and a couple of the artists who later became very popular in the hip hop
world and eventually Hollywood movies, I was already clued in how the group was created and formed,.. how it was decided what would be their format,
approach and style, how they would come to form their identity, who would be the lead singers, what they had to endure from FCC, and tales of their own
brutal encounter with corrupted local law enforcement, I thought about the irony timing to which controversial law enforcement seems frequently
in the news nowadays.
The movie pretty much displays some of their true to life details of how the group tried to stay together when outside (and inside) forces attempt
to corrupt and break apart the group. Egos, contract disputes, How they were being pursued and forced to have their music lyrics censored.
How they help heightened and bring along an entirely new brand style of rap (gangsta rap) when at the time the lesser "fun" toned
hip-hop rap (ala "kid n' play", Kool Mo Dee, Fresh Prince Wil Smith, etc.) were still on the scene.
It told of how Ice cube ended up parting on bad terms with 'Ruthless' productions (Dre, Eazy E) they even brought up historic moments such
as Rodney King, and major LA city riot crisis.
Then there's introduction of legendary hip hop rappers Tupac Shakar, (played by Marc Rose) Snoop Dog ( played by Keith Stanfield) , the horror stories of the Scandals and corruption of Death Row Productions - and how Row's ruthless executive producer Shug Knight (who is currently on trial for murder) tried to manipulate Dre, Ice Cube and threaten Easy E and his managers, etc. Knight was brilliantly portrayed by R.Marcos Taylor. And of course, eventual fateful, sad demise and end of star Eric Wright (Aka Eazy E.)
I was so impressed with how the film was constantly going and rolling, never really seem to have a slow-drag moment, I liked the way the actors/group members
was introduced in the beginning credits, I like how a particular rap song was broken down to define/explain the lyrical wording.
Great pace, great intrigue, great characters that either had you laughing with humor or captivated with their emotional moments to
where I was hype with anxiousness to see what was going to happen from one scene to the next..
From being to end it kept me the viewing audience totally engaged. It made little mention of how the group decided on wearing the color black and
sports related paraphilia the recording sessions scenes are not in the league of " Hustle & Flow " and it's edited down to give you a brief tease of the songs
Such that it stayed with me, and had me thinking about it a lot even after I left the theater, and flat out gave me the desire to so very much see it again to see it again immediately.
Overall such a brilliant combination of direction, script write, cinematography and very solid acting performances that turned this film into a masterpiece:
I thought it was excellent direction by Felix Gary Gray, terrific acting performances by front running stars of the cast crew,
- especially by Jason Mitchell (as Easy E.) Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, ...O'Shea Jackson Jr.- who portrays his real live father Ice Cube's
- and who draws such an astounding looking resemblance to his father 'til it's ridiculously scary. and Paul Giamatti as manager Jerry Heller.
Mitchell brought energy and charismatic presence, both as inspiring leader and emotional tragedy, his role and performance blew me away
the further the movie and dramatics grew. The connection between he and his manager Jerry was a big noteworthy element to the film.
Maybe this type of film is not going to be for everyone's interest, but for me, and how it was presented, kept rolling and was so very well scripted
and well performed, it was sheer delight. I can't think of a biopic made film about a musical group that made any better than this.
This film will really stay with you after you've seen it.
On a scale of 1 to 10 , I'd give it an 9.0